Act 3, Scene 2: Between a Rock and a Hard Place


Paki: “Okay, Lori, I'm an engineer, and I owe you one. So tell me, what needs to be fixed?”

Lori: “Well, it may sound strange, but … because of me, the war between the Lions and the Hyenas might break out again.”

Paki: “Wow. You don't do things half way, do you? My underground connections have told me that the Lions are indeed preparing an attack against the hyenas. Thank god we’re not anywhere near the line of fire, because when Lions and Hyenas start to fight, things tend to get messy! Last time, the Lords of the Sky took care of it. But sadly … we haven’t seen them in a long time.”

Lori: “The Lords of the sky? You know about them?”

Paki: “Everyone here knows about them! I even saw them with my own eyes, when I was a little kid!”

Lori: “You mean they really exist? How do they look like?”

Paki: “They’re magnificent creatures, like giant birds of prey. Their feathers are as black as coal, but at the same time, glowing red like embers! When they come flying down from Mount Ogwambi, their wings cover the entire sky, and their voice is so loud and deep that it shakes the ground! They say, the lords of the skies are the essence of the souls of our ancestors, and that they always tell the truth! ”

Lori: “Has anyone ever gone up the Mountain to see where they come from?”

Paki: “No no no! Meerkats don’t climb mountains, and especially not Mount Ogwambi! That thing is like a big chunk of swiss cheese, all cracks and holes, and totally unstable! Some foolish fellow tried to start a colony up there a looooong time ago, but he found out most of the caves were already claimed. By bears. Lizards. Bats. And believe it or not, even Lions and Hyenas. Back in the days they would often come, hide in one of the caves for a day scratching the rocks with little sticks, and leave again. Crazy people. No wonder the lords won’t talk to them anymore.”

Lori (excited): “That cave … does anybody still know where it is?”

Paki: “I don’t think so.”

Lori: “Darn. But thank you. I think you’ve already helped me a lot. I need to catch up with Nakisisa and MBali before it gets dark again, and tell them that they're looking for the right thing … but in the wrong place!”

Paki: “Have a good trip, then. And may you find what you’re looking for. I have one last question, though.”

Lori: “Yes? What is it?”

Paki: “What's a laser? And do you think it would look good on my forehead?”


%HND% Curtain - open

%LIG% Lights on

%AMB% 13 - Windy Mountain

%ACT% Nakisisa enters from [7], not saying a word.

%ACT% Mbali follows.

%ACT% Together they slowly walk/climb upwards.

Mbali: “Nakisisa? Nakisisa! Hey! Come to your senses! How do you think you’re going to find a place that has been lost for generations without any idea where the heck you’re going?!”

Nakisisa: “I know perfectly where I'm going! I'm following the directions on Jojo's amulet! I can't believe the answer to the shaman's secret has been hanging around my neck all those years!”

Mbali: “But even if you're right, it's still crazy to go all alone! We should go home and get help!”

Nakisisa: “If you want to go the way of the coward, feel free. True warriors can take care of themselves!”

Mbali: “Ouch. That hurt. I'm not a coward.”

Nakisisa: “Then prove it! You can go home, tell everyone your story, and get spanked by your dad because he's not going to believe you. Or you can join me, and finally achieve something in your life that matters! It takes courage to become a hero!”

Mbali: “So that's what it's about. Becoming a hero. And I though you were doing this for us.”

%ACT% Nakisisa starts shaking and pushing the tree.

Nakisisa: “I give up. * hhrrrgn* It's pointless. *hrrrrrm* If you want to leave *haaarghhhghm* then leave. *hhrrrrsn* I'm not holding you back.”

Mbali: “What the hell are you doing?”

Nakisisa: “I'm trying get to the other side.”

Mbali: “By pushing over the old tree? Forget it. If it was that loose, it would already have fallen years ago.”

%ACT% Nakisisa violently shakes the tree.

Nakisisa: “Take … this … you … stupid … tree ….”

%SND% 1001a - Hitting Wood
%SND% 1001b - Hitting Wood
%SND% 1001c - Hitting Wood
%SND% 1001d - Hitting Wood
%SND% 1001e - Hitting Wood + Crackling

Mbali: “Stop it! You're just going to hurt yourself!”

%MUS% 1002 - Horror (Rise + Dreadmill + Stark Gaze (mitte von trial and terror + Anfang von Creepshow)

Nakisisa: “There! …. It's moving!”

%SND% 1002 - Falling Tree
%SND% 1001e - STOP

%HND% The tree falls over

%ACT% Nakisisa gets knocked to the edge of the cliff, then pinned by the falling tree, halfway dangling over the chasm.

%ACT% Nakisisa cries out in pain!

%HND% The tree barely hits the other side of the chasm, ending in a very unstable position.

%SND% 1002 little stones breaking away from both sides of the chasm

%ACT% Nakisisa cries some more. (One of the leftover branch stubs has pierced one of his legs, and he can't move.)

Mbali: “Naki! Nakiiii!”

%ACT% Mbali storms forward to the cliff, checking out Nakisisa

Nakisisa: “Help! Mbali! Help me!”

%HND% The tree slides down a little

%SND% 1003 - Slide 1

Nakisisa: “AAAAAAH!”

Mbali: “Don't move!”

Nakisisa: “Aaaahhhh! I'm not moving! The tree is moving! My legs are caught … and it hurts! Oh god, it hurts! *whimper*”

Mbali: “I said don't move!”

Nakisisa: “Stop talking and get this thing off me!”

Mbali: “Naki, there's no way I can get this thing off you. It's way to heavy. And even if I could, it might slip and pull you over the cliff.”

Nakisisa: “And what do you suggest we should do instead?”

Mbali (angry): “I suggest that YOU shut your mouth and cool down just for once, goddamit!”

Nakisisa (feeble): “Mbali, I'm not making this up … I'm bleeding, and it hurts like hell!”

Mbali: “I know. You'd better pray to mother earth that there is SOME member of a sentient species around who's neither afraid of lions or hyenas, or you might spend a VERY uncomfortable night here.”

Nakisisa: “You're not going to call for help, are you?”

MBali: “Oh yes!”

Nakisisa: “Oh, this is so humiliating …”

%ACT% Mbali clears her throat.

Mbali: “Heeeeelp! Heeeeeeeeelp! Can anybody hear me! Heeeeeeelp! Heeeeeeelp!”

%ACT% Lori comes running in from [7].

Lori: “Mbali! Nakisisa! I'm here! I'm here!”

Mbali: “Oh my god, Lori, it's you! Why are you here? I told you not to come, but by Jua and Angani, I'm so happy to see you!”

%ACT% Mbali hugs Lori

%ACT% Lori gasps for air.

%ACT% Lori looks at the tree and Nakisisa

Lori: “So what has happened? Oh no! Oh my god!”

%ACT% Lori runs to Nakisisa

Lori: “That's unbelievable! How the hell did you manage to pull THIS off?”

Nakisisa: “Lori! Out of all creatures you're the LAST one I would have expected to show up here.”

%ACT% Lori examines Nakisisa

Lori: “Wow. You're really wedged in there for good. Mbali, we need to get him out of here quickly! One of the branch stubs is sticking right through his leg, and he's lost quite a bit of blood!”

%MUS% 1002 - STOP
%SND% 1004 - Slide 2
%MUS% 1004 - Action

%ACT% The tree slides a bit towards the chasm

Nakisisa: “AAAAAH!”

Lori: “Aaaaah!”

Mbali: “Naki!!!”

Lori: “Mbali! Put all your weight on the lower part of the tree! We must keep this thing from sliding!”

Mbali: “Alright!”

%ACT% Mbali does as she's told.

Lori: “*sigh* Okay. It looks like I have no other choice than to gnaw through this thing …”


Lori: “I'm talking about the branch, silly! It's old and brittle. Hold on to the tree trunk so you won't fall off.”

%ACT% Lori starts gnawing away

%SND% 1005 - Gnawing

Nakisisa: “Whatever you do … please be careful!”

%ACT% Lori gnaws some more.

%SND% 1004 STOP
%SND% 1006 Slide 3
%MUS% 1006 Rise

Nakisisa: “Aaaah!”

%ACT% Nakisisa is free, and clings to the tree trunk.

%HND% The tree begins to slide!


Mbali: “Lori! The tree is moving!”

Lori: “Naki! Grab my paw! Now! Nakiiii!!!!”

%HND% The tree falls into the bottomless pit.

%SND% 1006 - Tree Falling

Everyone: “aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!!”

%ACT% Lori holds Nakisisa (standing behind the tree)

%ACT% Mbali jumps off at the very last second.

%ACT% Mbali pants and gasps

%ACT% Nakisisa lies on his side, back facing the audience. He moans in pain.

%ACT% Lori hacks and spits out splinters of dry wood.

Mbali (crying): “Thank you Lori. Thank you, thank you, thank you. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU …”

%ACT% MBali hugs Lori

Lori: “*cough* *gasp* You're welcome … ”

Nakisisa (beaten): “I'm so sorry, Mbali. I said a lot of things I shouldn't have said. And I did a lot of things I shouldn't have done. You're right. I DO want to impress my mom. But that's not all. The REAL reason why I'm here is because I love you! Please, believe me!”

%SND% 1006 STOP (slow fade)

Mbali: “Of course I believe you. Do you remember when I said, with you I'll go everywhere? That was a promise, and I'm going to keep it. For now I'm just glad you're still alive. And your leg doesn't look good. We need to stop the bleeding. Hold still.”

%ACT% Nakisisa whimpers.

%SND% 1007 - Rip, Rustle

%ACT% Mbali rips a strip of cloth from her clothing and starts bandaging Nakisisa.

%HND% Bandage Nakisisa's leg

Nakisisa: “Ouch! AAAH!”

Lori: “*sigh* Mbali, I hate to say it, but I've got good news and bad news.”

Mbali: “Really? Well, then give me the bad news first.”

Lori: “Sundyata is using Mbali's disappearance to justify an assault against the hyena tribe.”

Nakisisa: “What? The old bastard! MBali! You need to go home and stop them!”

Mbali: “And leave you here to die? No way! Let's hear the good news first.”

Lori (proud): “The good news is: I've met someone who's seen the lords of the sky with his own eyes! And he told me about a secret cave where lions and hyenas used to meet long ago!”

Nakisisa: “A cave? You mean, the shamans used to summon the lords in a CAVE? Are you sure?”

Mbali: “Lori! If you're right, there might be more truth in those old stories than we thought! There's no chance we can make it home in time with Nakisisa on our backs. But we might be able to make it to one of the caves, if we only knew which one it is.”

%SND% 1008 - Finale (try)

Lori: “Then let's stop guessing and start doing SCIENCE! Mbali, when you and Nakisisa first told each other the story of the lords of the sky, were there any differences between the lion and the hyena versions?”

Mbali: “Oh yes, lots of them! It took us days to figure out how the story REALLY goes!”

Lori: “And how far did your versions of the story agree on where the shamans went to meet the lords of the sky?”

Nakisisa: “My mother told me the shamans literally walked up the mountain, meeting them there at the top. And that's pretty much it.”

Mbali: “Our version of the story is a lot more sketchy about the shamans' journey. It's thought to be more of a spiritual voyage. And there is a little side story to it. One day, a curious little boy dared to follow the shamans on their way through the old riverbed at the foot of the mountain. He was determined to find out where they were going. But suddenly, the wind blew a grain of sand into his eye, forcing him to blink. And when he opened his eyes again, the shamans had disappeared without a trace!”

Lori: “Excellent!”

Mbali: “But the stories totally disagree about the shamans destination. How can that be excellent?”

Lori: “Because they don't disagree. They're just different pieces of the same puzzle. The Hyenas tell us that they used to meet the lords of the sky at Mount Ogwambi. The Lions tell us that the shamans disappeared in the dry riverbed that leads up to Mount Ogwambi. The meerkats saw the shamans in a cave inside Mount Ogwambi. So what's the obvious conclusion?”

Mbali: “That we'll find the shaman's secret cave at the source of the river that once carved it! And there is only one riverbed that leads to Mount Ogwambi! That's brilliant, Lori!”

Lori: “And what do you think, Nakisisa?”

Nakisisa: “You came back to save my life, Lori. So I'll trust you. Friends?”

Lori, Mbali: “Friends!”

%SND% 1008 STOP

%LIG% Lights out

%HND% Curtain - close