Scene 16


INT. TATTERDEMALION SECOND LEVEL HALLWAY - NIGHT
Arden and his group stand next to Ulrich and his band, looking down onto the stage. The drum riser is dangerously compromised now - the acid loogies fly like crazy.
ULRICH
You are really not fucking with us?
ARDEN
No, we are not fucking with you, Ulrich. And from what I heard, you know enough about Ivor and The Putrefication Principle that this might not be a total surprise.
Ulrich gives him a sideways look - he knows something.
ULRICH
Yes. I cannot say that I am shocked.
Ulrich gets a far-off look in his eye. The others focus on him.
ULRICH
It was the late nineteen nineties...
BEGIN FLASHBACK
Ulrich’s story comes to life in a desaturated style.
ULRICH (V.O.)
I was stuck in Norway. My previous band Cryptic Carnage had just busted up. Creative differences.
Ulrich, lugging a guitar case and amp, walks through a snowy Norwegian cityscape.
ULRICH (V.O.)
I came across the Putrefication Principle in a little establishment just outside of Oslo.
Ulrich enters a scary looking inn. He sees the Putrefication Principle shredding on stage.
ULRICH (V.O.)
They told me their guitar player could not make their European tour. Ivor was not crazy about my playing - he hated my hammer-ons - but I compromised and blended into their style... though I occasionally did manage to sneak in a flourish or two.
Ivor puts his arm around Ulrich. They hop onto a tour bus. The bus speeds off, leaving exhaust clouds behind.
ULRICH (V.O.)
Everything was good at first. Lots of packed shows, lots of stacked chicks - heh heh... titties...
Ulrich and Ivor hit on a bevy of metal groupies.
ULRICH (V.O.)
...but then things started to get strange. Ivor began talking about an idea he had for the ultimate concept album.
Ivor, in a hotel room, showing Ulrich a series of elaborate sketches and maps from a portfolio.
ULRICH (V.O.)
The story was all about a doom metal band riding forth to conquer the world through some kind of supernatural power.
Ivor flips open a page in an old book and points to a line drawing of the ANCIENT AMULET we saw him wearing earlier.
ULRICH (V.O.)
The concept album was interesting, but kind of clich├ęd. I told him I would consider playing on it.
Ulrich flips through the book, smiling and laughing. Ivor gets an angry look and rips the book from Ulrich’s hands.
ULRICH (V.O.)
Then, midway through the tour, Ivor said we had to stop in some little hamlet so he could meet up with some guy who was supposed to help with the album.
The tour bus idles in front of a tiny house. Ulrich sits alone on the bus. He watches Ivor and his bandmates as they’re ushered inside by a MYSTERIOUS OLD MAN.
ULRICH (V.O.)
I thought he was just making a score... if only that was the case.
Ulrich gets off the bus and sneaks into the house.
ULRICH (V.O.)
They did not come out and I became curious. When I went inside, the old man was handing Ivor the ancient amulet. The thing was glowing like a supernova!
Ulrich peeks into the house to see the Mysterious Old Man ceremoniously handing the glowing Amulet to Ivor. When Ivor and his bandmates spot Ulrich, they slam the door shut.
ULRICH (V.O.)
They drove me back to the hotel, but they were gone in the morning. Kicked out mid-tour! I thought it was because of the hammer-ons.
Ivor stands on a desolate road next to the bus. His guitar flies out of the door, knocking him over. The bus speeds off.
END FLASHBACK
The group is huddled around Ulrich, who looks sad. They’re fixed on his words like kids listening to a bedtime story.
ULRICH
I heard later that they only got deeper into the occult once their label dumped them. I never understood why that happened.
ARDEN
Yeah... that is kinda weird...
He sounds guilty.
ULRICH
And Ulrich was always so poor at following instructions. He probably gave the incantation incorrectly. I doubt he intended to turn himself and his band into demons.
TURK
Hey - I just remembered! I saw Ivor in the john before their set. I barely noticed it then, but he had the talisman around his neck.
ULRICH
'Amulet'.
TURK
Right. Amulet.
Arden grabs Ulrich’s shoulder and brings him face-to-face.
ARDEN
What else did Ivor say about the medallion?
ULRICH
'Amu'--
ARDEN
Same fuckin’ thing! Tell me what else you know!
Ulrich taps his head, thinking.
ULRICH
The book he showed me... it said the powers given by the amulet can’t be defeated--
F.F.
'Can’t?'
ULRICH
...unless they’re taken away from its possessor in an arena of battle!
Arden looks up, thinking hard.
ARDEN
The contest...
RICHIE
Could that really work?
ULRICH
The judgment must be made by an impartial tribunal.
ARDEN
That we have. Next rule.
ULRICH
It must be a public spectacle of large proportion.
Arden looks down at the scattered audience members below.
ARDEN
Check... more less. What else?
ULRICH
And the ruling must be completely fair and balanced. If there is any form of cheating--
Arden ignores Ulrich. He wraps his arms around his bandmates.
ARDEN
Well, I can’t promise that Vehement Volition won’t wipe the floor with those demonic bastards, but we’ll try to at least make it look fair. Now come on, everyone...
He stares down at the club below. With the house lights on, all the gear scattered, and most of the audience in other areas, it no longer looks like a heavy metal club.
ARDEN
...we’ve got an arena to build!