The Memoirs of Father Shiron
Part 10 - Lights. Camera. Action.
just about to take a bite out of his sandwich when it blinked out of
existence and his teeth clamped down on his fingers.
"Ow!" he cried,
shaking his hand in the air. It was accompanied by laughs all round.
"Ha ha! Poor old Falamir
gets caught every time doesn't he," chuckled Presto.
"You certainly live up to your nickname of Falamir The
"Hmm," replied Falamir
sucking his fingers better.
Almost immediately there was a
distant crashing and tumbling sound which came from the other exit, some
way off down the corridor. It was followed by quite a commotion and
what sounded like shouts and cursing, but not in the common tongue.
"Sounds like orcs,"
said Feanar. "Oh shit!"
"They must have fallen
over the time step," suggested Dick getting up and removing a torch
from a wall bracket.
"What a stroke of
luck," Feanar responded. "For once it's in our favour and alerted us to danger rather than the other way round. They still
sound a fair way off. What shall we do?"
"Orcs travel pretty fast
when they want to, they'll be here soon enough," added Erendil.
"I suggest we get out of here as quick as we can. I could well do without another battle at the moment," he added
rubbing his sore leg. "I think discretion is the better part of
valour on this occasion. Let's try one of the doors along the
corridor. Nip inside until they've gone past then carry on.
How does that sound?"
"Sounds to me like you're
volunteering to miss out on a whole stack of experience points
Erendil," said Dick in a rather scathing tone.
"I'd rather miss some XPs
and stay alive for a while longer thank you Dick," replied
Erendil. "I'm not totally one track minded you know. Self
preservation is a very popular hobby of mine."
"Uh huh," grunted
Agreed on evasion rather than
confrontation, the party hastily gathered their gear and quickly made
their way out the doorway leading to the new corridor, Dick and Falamir on
"Which door would you like
Erendil? Any preferences?" asked Dick as they drew level
with the first two doors facing each other across the corridor.
"This blue one's got a nice round handle on it, or maybe that green
one, number 2?"
"Any one will do Dick,
don't mess around. They're getting closer," answered Presto
with concern in his voice. "They'll be here any
The sound of many tramping feet, clinking armour and
weapons and coarse guttural language grew steadily louder from around a
turn in the corridor as Dick pondered his decision. He was always up
for a fight. He wanted to make Erendil sweat a bit.
"How about number 3?
Nice bright yellow colour with a knocker and everything." He
tried the handle. "Oh it's locked. Maybe I should
quickly!" squealed Presto, sounding even more anxious than
before. Presto didn't like orcs. Orcs didn't like elves either
and had a nasty habit of cutting their heads off and sticking them on
poles. They also reportedly did unspeakable things to their beheaded
body afterwards. Presto didn't fancy that at all and visibly shuddered
at the thought of it.
"Here they come!"
shouted Falamir. His torch beam caught the first orcs as they
rounded the corner ahead of them and caught sight of the party.
ghash!" (rough translation - "Look!! Get the
b******!") shouted the lead orc, pointing at them with his very nasty
looking scimitar which flashed menacingly in the torchlight.
"This one!" shouted Falamir
as he flung open the door nearest him and bolted in. The
door that said 'Sound Stage 4' on it and had a bright red light above it.
The rest of them piled in after
him as the orcs poured down the corridor at them in alarming numbers,
howling and shrieking with bloodlust.
"What the ......!"
The party gawped in amazement
at what they saw. They were in what appeared to be a docking bay
straight out of a sci-fi movie! Bright arc lights shone overhead
from a vast metallic ceiling onto a giant hanger bay bustling with
technicians, guards, pilots and maintenance droids. Machinery and
spacecraft of all shapes and sizes dotted the bright metallic expanse of
gridded metal flooring. Pipes and lines criss crossed the
area. Floor vents hissed steam. Noise. Light.
"What on earth do you
think you're doing?" enquired a man clutching a clipboard as
they rushed past.
"Sorry, no time to
chat," called Erendil as he ran as best he could past him along with
"I'd clear off as well if
I were you mate," shouted Feanar helpfully as he sped past.
"There's a band of orcs about to come through that door.
Aghast, the man threw himself
backwards as the leading orcs poured through the door followed closely by
the rest, all shouting and snarling and being generally very
unpleasant. They completely ignored everyone and everything else as
they single mindedly pursued the party across the hangar. The
technicians and flight crews watched in utter amazement as the party flew
across the hangar, dodging maintenance droids, fuelling rigs and equipment
pods in their bid to escape the ravening orcs who were in hot pursuit.
As Falamir ran he noticed a
twin turbo laser cannon installation on the far side of the hangar.
"Head for the laser
cannon," he shouted as he pointed and made a dash for it. They
all followed him and got behind it. Falamir climbed into the
operator's seat and flicked a switch. A series of indicator lights
glowed and the turret activated with an audible hum. He swiveled it
round and trained the twin barrels on the rapidly approaching orcs.
"Shield your eyes," warned
Falamir. They all dutifully put their hands over
their eyes and peered through the gaps between their fingers.
"Let 'em have it,"
encouraged Feanar from behind his hands.
"Here goes," said Falamir
and squeezed the twin triggers. "Cop this you scum!"
Two searing beams of blindingly
bright green light streamed from the cannon muzzles and streaked out
towards the tightly bunched orcs. This was accompanied by a suitably
impressive laser type noise which is very hard to spell so I'll leave it to your
The party members all felt the
small hairs on their arms and the back of their necks stand on end as the
pulsating beams ionized the surrounding air and reduced every last
horrible orc to a smoldering pile of ash.
"WOOHOOO!" shouted Falamir
punching the air in jubilation. In his excitement he
turned the cannon to face the main hangar port and loosed another volley
off for good measure. Twin beams streaked down the entire length of
the hangar and disappeared off into deep
space. "This is fantastic!"
"Well done Falamir,"
congratulated Erendil. "But I think you'd better get down from
there before you do some serious damage with that
All the other people in the
hangar were picking themselves up and dusting themselves off after diving
for cover when the laser went off. They were all looking utterly surprised and
amazed and were jabbering to each other trying to work out
what exactly had happened. The pile of smoldering ash and charred
weapons that was the orcs was proof that they hadn't just imagined
it. A man holding a megaphone approached the party and spoke.
"Just what the Sam Hill is
going on here?" he asked in annoyed bewilderment. "First
of all you burst on to my set in fancy dress without so much as a by your
leave, then another bunch of
guys follow you in wearing the most convincing Halloween prosthetic makeup
and wardrobe I've ever seen. You run around totally disrupting the take
then to cap it all you nuke the living bejeezus out of them." waving his
megaphone in the direction of the pile of smoking remains. "With a
goddamn prop! I'm at a total loss to explain it and as for what I'm
supposed to tell the exec producer I've absolutely no idea." He
sat down on a nearby engine cowling shaking his head in disbelief.
"I'm sorry, how rude of
us. My name is Erendil and these are my associates. And who may you be sir?" said
Erendil offering the man his hand.
"I'm the director, "
he answered rather curtly.
"Yes. This is a film
set. What did you think it was? You are on Sound Stage 4 where we are currently shooting the
internal space ship hangar scenes of a sci-fi movie. Take a look."
Now the party were free of the orc
threat they had time to take a better look at their
surroundings. Amongst the assembled costumed personnel and sci-fi
themed props they spotted cameras, dollies, sound booms, lighting rigs,
all with attendant crews. People in jeans, tee shirts and sneakers were dotted about holding clip boards, cups of coffee, make up
kits, dog-eared copies of what could only be the script. They even spotted the
clapper board guy looking decidedly perplexed.
"Wow! a real film
set," enthused Feanar. "What are you making?"
Before the director could
answer, Falamir who had been surveying the costumes and set props with
mounting excitement blurted out, "Star Wars! It's Star
Wars!! Look there's 3 X-Wing fighters over there." They
all looked where he was pointing. "That droid over there is an
R2 unit." They all looked again as he pointed. "And
that gentlemen....," they turned as he pointed behind them at the
largest single thing in the hangar,"...is the Millennium
Falcon. Oh my god! Star Wars! It's Star
Wars!!" Falamir was almost shaking with excitement and it made
them all chuckle, even the director. They had of course all heard of
the Star Wars films, hasn't everybody? Even if they hadn't actually seen
them all. Looking around at everything, they had to concede that Falamir
could be right.
"As your friend has
rightly guessed this is a Star Wars movie. The fourth one in fact,
or should I say Part VII. The first of the final trilogy.
It's scheduled to be released in about a year from now.
Falamir was absolutely beside
himself, his eyes were out on stalks. Feanar and Shiron also looked
pretty pleased and were surveying the scene with growing grins on their
"Cool," they all said
"But what about you?"
asked the director. What are you doing on my set? and how am I going
to explain what you did to them?," waving his megaphone at what was
left of the orcs.
"Let me explain,"
volunteered Erendil. "We were, er, taking cover from a band of orcs who were after us and dived in here to avoid them.
Unfortunately they spotted us and ,well, you know the rest."
repeated the director.
Nasty bad tempered interbred hateful things. Rotten to the core."
"You mean guys made up as orcs? Like you're made up as fantasy adventurers? Oh I get
it!" he said, snapping his fingers, the light dawning on
him. "You're from Studio 7 aren't you? They're shooting
some sort of sword and sorcery thing over there at the moment. This
is some sort of practical joke isn't it? This is a big set
up." he said nodding to himself. "Just you
wait. I'll get my own back on them, " he added, revenge schemes
already being plotted in his mind.
"No, not at all. I don't think you
quite understand." explained Erendil. "We are professional
adventurers, not actors. They," indicating the pile of
incinerated bodies, "were orcs - genuine real live orcs."
"Oh, give me a
break," said the director with amusement. "You're good
I'll give you that and your makeup, costume and props are excellent.
May I take a look at that?" he asked gesturing at Erendil's sword. Erendil unsheathed it and the director took the sword in his
hands. "Jeez it's heavy," he said.
"Excellent, excellent workmanship." He swooshed it
about. "The balance is superb." He took a playful
swipe at the wood and board constructed engine cowling at his side and
went straight through it. "Holy cow it's sharp too!" he
exclaimed in surprise. "Is this real? I'm all for
authenticity but this is really dangerous. You must have to be
really careful else someone could get hurt with this." He
handed it back to Erendil who had an amused expression on his face.
"That is the general
idea," he said resheathing it. "It wouldn't be much good
to me otherwise. Both my life and my living depend on it."
The director was starting to
look a bit uncertain. He took another good look at the party and then
over at the smoldering orcs. "Just what are you saying?
Those guys over there are really dead?"
"Thank heavens for your
laser gun sir, otherwise we'd had to fight them ourselves. With
these," he added patting his sword at his side for emphasis.
The director walked over to the
mound of ashen remains, holding his nose. He prodded it with his
boot. "Real orcs? As in JRR Tolkien's Lord of the
Rings? Real adventurers with real swords? On a real
"Yes. Well, a D&D
adventure." answered Erendil matter of factly. The director
looked at the rest of the party. They all nodded at him in
Dragons. Fantasy role playing. Maybe you've heard of it?"
offered Erendil hopefully. It looked like the man's brain was about
Dragons? Yes my son plays it. Spends hours locked away in a
dark room playing it with his friends."
"There you go then,"
replied Erendil with satisfaction.
"But it's just a
game!" blurted the director. "Dice, little figures, pencil
and paper." Oh dear thought Erendil.
This was turning out to be really hard work. For a film director he
seemed to suffer from a serious lack of imagination. He put his arm around the director's shoulder.
"Let's take a walk shall
we?" he suggested. Erendil led the director away, talking
calmly to him, the director nodding slowly. Erendil looked back over
his shoulder to the others. "Talk amongst yourselves for a
while. And do try not to get up to any mischief." They
watched as Erendil tried his best to explain what was going on to an
obviously bewildered man.
After a few minutes they
returned. "......And that probably also explains how he managed to
use your laser turret prop as if it were real," finished Erendil.
"Well I've never heard
anything like it in my entire life and that's a fact," replied the
"Anything's possible in
this story," joked Shiron with a smile.
"So it would seem.
So it would seem." answered the director.
"Haw haw. That's got
to be the line of the year Shiron," laughed Dick.
The director offered his
hand. "Delighted to make your acquaintance."
Erendil introduced them all in
turn and the director shook their hands. His grip was shaky and
sweaty but firm. "I don't know about you guys but I could sure
use a drink." he said afterwards.
"Now you're making
sense!" agreed Dick. "Lead on."
The director put his megaphone
to his mouth. "OK everyone back to work. Nothing to see
here. Prep for re-take. 15 minutes please." He
lowered the megaphone and started to walk away then stopped and raised it
again. "And can someone please clean up that mess!"
The party accompanied him back
to his director's chair where he tentatively sat down. "Chet.
Get these guys some
chairs and cups will you please?" he called to a hovering
assistant. "Oh, and bring out my bottle of JD from the office."
In short order 6 fold up
chairs, plastic cups and a part full bottle were produced and set
down. The director took a large tug from the bottle and wiped his
lips with a loud "Aaaaahhhh." He chatted with them enthusiastically about film
making and the pros and cons of professional D&D adventuring as the
bottle did the rounds. They got the impression that he would view
his son's gaming interest in a whole new light from now on. After a
very pleasant break the director stood up.
"We'll it's been a real
pleasure but I really must get on. If I don't get this scene shot
there'll be hell to pay and I'll have George breathing down my neck."
"George? George Lucas?" piped
"He is a god!" replied
Falamir in all seriousness.
"He certainly likes to
think so," responded the director with a wry grin.
"Please, feel free to stay and watch if you like."
"Oh wow really?" said
Falamir in excitement.
"Of course. As long
as you promise to stay here and not kill any of my extras that'll be
fine," he added jokingly.
They all sat up in their chairs
ready for the show. "Anyone got any popcorn?" said Feanar.
The director called over his
assistant. "Get Harrison on the radio will you? I imagine
he's nodded off again with the long wait. We're ready to go here in
The director raised the
megaphone to his mouth. He was back in the driving seat again,
business as usual. "OK people, 2 minutes.
Makeup artists put the final
dabs and dustings on several extras and scurried out of shot. Uniforms
were adjusted. A special mechanical effects guy with a remote control steered the R2 unit
into position. The 4 camera crews put their headphones on and made
final adjustments. The boom operator's leaned in. The director got the nod from the assistant with
the radio. He sat down in his chair with a commanding view of the
area and a bank of direct feed monitors set low in front of him.
Camera." Someone with a clipboard off to his left gave him two
The director nodded to the
clapperboard guy who was standing ready in front of the main camera.
"Scene 25. Take
4." He snapped it shut.
called the director.
Here endeth Part
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