G R O T T E S C O
INT.ASSEMBLY HALL. Text on screen: "VILLA DELLA STREGA, ITALY, YEAR 1600 A.D."
Antonio il GROTTESCO, monstrously deformed Grand Master, is addressing his army of Dark Templars. Behind him, the HEAD OF BAPHOMET mounted on its pedestal. Before and below them two hundred Knights Templar are gathered, excited and aroused, swords and voices raised in salute to their Leader. (see storyboard panel above)
GROTTESCO shouts and rages, lurches to and fro on twisted legs. His speech is arrogant, passionate and unmistakably evil. (330 years in the future, a certain Germanic Führer will emulate that aggressive oratorical style!)
GROTTESCO: ...we must sacrifice MORE lives to Satan! We must plunder MORE wealth from the world. We must destroy MORE cultures and eradicate MORE religions! Only then can Our Lord's infinite greed be somewhat appeased. This is our DUTY! This is our PURPOSE! And this is our PLEASURE!
TEMPLARS: (frenzied cheer) Ave! Ave! Ave Satanas!
GROTTESCO: And Jews! Jews, Jews, Jews- thank God that we have "His Chosen People" to exploit! Every Jew we persecute and abuse and KILL brings us closer to that Ultimate Battlefield of Har-Meggidon! Harm them! HARM THEM!
TEMPLARS: Harm the Jews! Steal from them!
CU FACES IN THE CROWD: This guy's the Greatest Grand Master we Dark Templars have ever had. / Yeah, he's good- oops, I mean EVIL! / Satan bless Antonio il Grottesco!
GUARD: Harken, harken! (interrupting, shouting above the din of the crowd, which goes silent) Sire, Captain Brunello has just arrived, saying he has a missive for your eyes ...er... eye only!
GROTTESCO: (pleased) Ah Brunello, at last! Send him to me. (down to the crowd) The Captain and his team have been upon a secret mission, if they have been successful...
The grand double door to the chamber is opened, ostensibly for a victorious hero to stride through, but instead a wounded Templar comes slowly limping in, his uniform bloody and tattered. He stops before GROTTESCO, head bowed abjectly.
GROTTESCO: Captain Brunello, your condition does not inspire confidence that your mission was a success.
BRUNELLO: We met a War Angel, Grand Master, she...
GROTTESCO: An ANGEL? (shouting) Tell me you have CAPTURED her!!
BRUNELLO: (shakes head shamefully) She tore my team to pieces, Sire, sparing me only to bring this... (pulls a scroll out from his tunic, offers it) ...personal message to you.
Frustrated, GROTTESCO snatches the scroll, unrolls it to read. Then freezes at what he sees.
GROTTESCO: RENATA!! (stunned, he staggers, reads more)
Suddenly he shouts a very angry spell down at BRUNELLO, (insert CGI effect here) who jerks spasmodically as his skin blackens and burns, flames jet out the cracks. Within seconds he is a statue of smoking cinder, which topples and shatters into dust.
But GROTTESCO'S rage does not seem spent; he aims his one evil eye out at the crowd of shocked Templars, perhaps for other potential victims. They cringe back, but discipline does not allow then to panic. Yet.
CARDINAL RICHELIEU: (whispering to his fellow Templars) Show no fear, he loathes cowards.
GROTTESCO: (hears) Truthfully, I loath you ALL. (glowering madly, looks dangerous, about to go really crazy)
BAPHOMET: Stop-Antonio, this-is-counter-productive...
Now out of control, GROTTESCO turns and rashly shouts a curse at BAPHOMET, which is reflected back at him, knocking him down hard enough to send him sliding across the floor.
BAPHOMET: This-assembly-shall-commence-later. Templars, leave-us-now.
The TEMPLARS rush out the door, leaving only BAPHOMET and GROTTESCO still on the floor, now weeping.
BAPHOMET: Get-up. This-is-unbecoming-a-Grand-Master.
GROTTESCO: Oh shut up, you old... piece of rock.
BAPHOMET: Cybernetic-crystal, actually. Talk-to-me, it-might-be-therapeutic.
GROTTESCO: (sits up after a pause, displays the scroll) It's from her, my sister Babylonia, the Love of My Life, now resurrected as Renata --our mutual daughter-- to wage war against me.
BAPHOMET: Old-news-a-hundred-years-ago, how-can-this-warrant-your-current-distress?
GROTTESCO: Yes, a hundred years ago... TODAY! (lifts the scroll, reads aloud)
"Happy 100th Anniversary, Dear Brother: I'm afraid I've had to kill some of your Dark Templars, sorry, I hope none of them were close friends of yours. But then, you don't have any friends, do you?
I took no pleasure in it. No, for pleasure I must dwell on memories of you and I having all-consuming SEX. The original You and I, Antonio and Babylonia. Remember when we/they were 12 years old and The Lust came upon us/them? And years later, when I was your prisoner and you raped me every night? I pretended not to enjoy it, but even now, a century on, I still long for those nights. You know, if you had only forsaken your "Great Satanic Plan" to run away with me, we could have been happy today..."
GROTTESCO: I have destroyed myself! If I- if HE, my earlier Antonio-self, that proud beautiful idiot I had once been -had not sacrificed her to the Accursed Satanic Plan I might still be handsome and loved by women. Loved by HER!
BAPHOMET: Perhaps-not, that-was-long-ago, even-for-an-avatar. But-no-matter, this-Grottesco-version-of-you-serves-Satan-far-better. When-you-are-not-going-berserk, that-is.
GROTTESCO: I go berserk because this brain and body are driving me mad! How much longer must I endure being this "grotesque" monster?
BAPHOMET: Is-it-so-bad? THINK-of-how-much-more-powerful-your-MIND-is-now-than-back-when-you-were-"Pretty Antonio". The-Great-Satanic-Plan has-advanced-so-far-in-the-time-you-have-been-Grand-Master. Your-larger-brain-is-more-efficient-and-capable-of-strategic-reasoning. The-Conquest-of-the-New-World-was-brilliant, the-Spanish-Inquisition-inspired!
GROTTESCO: Well, yes... but I'm not happy! I was happy then!
BAPHOMET: You-were-inefficient, an-amateur-Grand-Master, a-young-fool-distracted-by-women-pandering-to-your-pretty-face.
GROTTESCO: And body. I had a pretty body too. All lost.
BAPHOMET: Bodies-become-lost, just-look-at-me. And-you-shall-have- another-incarnation-eventually.
GROTEZCO: But when? Why can't I find One Measly Angel to breed with? And the thing is, Brunello had RENATA- almost --but let her get AWAY!
GROTTESCO: Well, not exactly, (reads)
"...but if ever we do meet as Grottesco and Renata, I shall take great pleasure in cutting off YOUR head this time and thwarting the Great Satanic Plan for all time."
BAPHOMET: Excellent. She-understands-the-part-she-must-play. Now-you-must-do-the-same.
GROTTESCO: Must I? What for? She has ruined my latest plan to establish a Jewish Nation... no, wait... Of course! I have a better plan now! Oh, you're right, this brain is a beautiful machine.
(shouts) TEMPLARS!! Come in again, we have a new mission!