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    Campfire Conversations

    Happy Ending


    Tank Dempsey (Primis): I’ve known some of you for a long time. The others? Well… (Chuckles) Kinda feels that way too. 

    (Takeo laughing, others cheering)

    Tank Dempsey (Primis): It’s not always been plain sailing, but, it looks like we finally pulled it off. So, to answer Nikolai’s question about what I really want: I just want my happy ending!

    (Spit-take, laughing, and cheering)

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): Yeah! Me too, brother!

    Tank Dempsey (Primis): Okay, calm down... By happy ending I mean finally being able to hang up my guns and… maybe do something that won’t end up getting me maimed or killed. Look, I know what you’re thinking: What the hell else can Dempsey do besides be knee deep in combat? Well… I’ve thought about that. We may have won our war but that doesn’t mean there won’t still be a need for soldiers. Reckon I might serve my country best by helping train up the next generation of recruits. You know, pass on my expert knowledge.

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): Excellent idea, making the next generation even dumber is the American way!

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): Zip it, Doc! Before I do it for you! With my boot! (Clears throat) Anyway, while we’re on the subject of boots, let me just raise a glass to one of the finest men to ever set foot in a pair. Peter McCain… Semper Fi brother, Semper Fi.

    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis): ?

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): Hip hip hooray… Sorry...


    Throw The Grape


    Takeo Masaki (Primis): Now, Dempsey, when I count to three, I want you to throw the grape into the air.

    Tank Dempsey (Primis): What? At you? Into the fire?

    Takeo Masaki (Primis): The choice is yours. One…

    Tank Dempsey (Primis): Really?

    Takeo Masaki (Primis): Really. Two-

    (Dempsey tosses the grape and Takeo cuts it in half with his blade)


    Tank Dempsey (Primis): Whoa!

    Takeo Masaki (Primis): Do you know why I picked you, Dempsey? I knew you would go on two!

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis): Hey… Where’d you get fucking grape?


    The Bed Frame Story


    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): You wanna know about pain? I know about pain levels that none of you bozos can even imagine!

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): I got shot in the face, does that count?

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): I’m talking about the kind of pain you have to live with!

    Edward Richtofen (Primis): Oh, sounds intriguing. Do tell.

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): (Sighs) So… Back in boot camp, the squad house had these cheap broke-ass bunks. The MCRD probably bought ‘em second-hand from Alcatraz or some other hellhole. Anyways, the mattress was about as thick as your frickin’ finger, and it sat right on top of an old-ass metal frame of half-rusted bed springs.

    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis): My, what horrors you have suffered! I have experienced more pain stubbing my toe.

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): Hold your horses, Tak, I ain’t got to the pain bit yet. So, I wake up early one morning, swing my legs onto the ice-cold floor, and try to remember what the biggest problem of the day is gonna be. I don’t know it yet, but my biggest problem is the fact that the crappy mattress is no longer covering the springs near the side of the bed. DI stomps in and yells, “Lights! Lights! Lights!” We all snap to our feet! Now, I don’t know how much you all know about physics, but when your body weight’s on a bed, those springs are all stretched out. When that weight is removed, they snap shut like a bear trap. It took me a minute to process what had happened, but that my friends… (Stammers) … is why you always, ALWAYS wear shorts. Even more important when you get older.

    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis): Oh… Oh man… (Faints)


    New Worlds


    Tank Dempsey (Primis): So, we got these boy scouts to run around frantically trying to construct some Agarthan Device. I get it, but… What is it? What does it do?

    Nikolai Belinski (Primis): The Agarthan Device can do many things. It has the power to open and close new worlds.

    Tank Dempsey (Primis): New worlds? (Scoffs) Ain’t we opened enough new worlds? Isn’t that we’re in this mess in the first place?

    Nikolai Belinski (Primis): As I said, it has the power to do many things. For us, I intend to use it to bring us the peace that has eluded us for so long.

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): (Raises glass) Cheers to that! But… We’ll see.

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis): Будем здоровы! (To our health/Cheers)

    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis): Kanpai! (Cheers)

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): I need a refill.


    Ten Rubles


    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis): (Chuckles) I feel very much more drunk than usual, oh ho! (Chuckles) What is in this stuff? Potatoes?! (Laughs)

    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis): (Laughs)

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis): No, is not joke! Potato vodka is very good.

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): (Exaggerated laughing and coughing)

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis): So, Nikolai was out drinking with friends, (Belches) I knew it was late, and wife would be mad. But we were having good time! (Chuckles) After few more drinks, heh, I vomited on uniform! Oh ho ho, I knew I was in big trouble! (Chuckles) Da? My friend says, “No, Nikolai!” and tucks five rubles in my pocket. “Just tell wife that drunken stranger made mess, and even gave money to pay for cleaning! Is brilliant idea, da?” So I stay out, more drinks, more fun, eh? Then finally I get home. Wife is very very mad, heh heh. I tell her about drunk man who made sick, and how he gave me five rubles to pay for cleaning. Wife says, “But there is ten rubles here…” “Ah yes,” I say, “He also crapped in my pants.”


    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis): Hm, I do not get it. Maybe you would like to hear Takeo’s stand-up routine?

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): Um… No!


    Dimension 2210


    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): Well, I’m not a very complicated man. My needs are simple! I just want power, preferably absolute.

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis): You destroyed Earth, is that not enough?

    Edward Richtofen (Primis): Thank you, other me. Thank you, other Nikolai. This is all very entertaining. But, I cannot help but feel a little morose.

    Tank Dempsey (Primis): Ain’t that you all over, Richtofen?

    Edward Richtofen (Primis): Ja, ja, I suppose you’re right. We may be victorious, but wouldn’t you like to hear a little story? A story you’ve never heard? A sad story?

    Tank Dempsey (Primis): Ah man, why do you always have to be such a debbie downer?

    Nikolai Belinski (Primis): Let him speak.

    Edward Richtofen (Primis): It’s a story of Dimension 2210. The story of mein soul. By the way you’re nodding, Nikolai, I can only assume the Kronorium already showed you the whole sorry tale. Well, for the benefit of the peanut gallery, I was just a boy then, an innocent. I was a sensitive child, a lonely child, orphaned at a young age. I never got to know who I really was. But one day, I learned who I would grow up to be.

    Takeo Masaki (Primis): What do you speak of, Richtofen?

    Edward Richtofen (Primis): I… had to do it. The Kronorium told me. (Begins to stammer) I had to trick the poor little innocent me into trusting a complete stranger.

    Tank Dempsey (Primis): Geez, Richtofen. I don’t think I like where this is going.

    Edward Richtofen (Primis): Me neither, Dempsey, but that’s the sad truth of it all. I took mein own soul. Before it could ever have the chance to flourish. Is it any wonder I’m the way I am?

    (Silence, Nikolai belches)

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis): How about another drink? I am empty!


    Her Dad Had A Plan


    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): So Richtofen, what exactly is the deal with Sam? Weren’t you mortal enemies?

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): Oh ja, very mortal, very mortal indeed! But a lot has changed. Maybe since we both got a little taste of the M.P.D., it’s helped see a little more, er, eye to eye.

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): I know she’s got every right to be mad, what with her dad being killed and all. But how can we be sure she won’t turn on us?

    Edward Richtofen (Primis): You know, there was a time und a place where Maxis was very much a father to me too.

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): What? You’re serious?! I only ever knew him as a bitter rival!

    Nikolai Belinski (Primis): The Kronorium shows only Samantha’s path to redemption. When war is over, she will be normal child again. Innocent, same as boy.

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): Well that’s nice to know! It’s been a loooong time since I’ve been innocent.

    Edward Richtofen (Primis): Do not remind me. But I tell you one thing: A long time ago, Samantha told me something very important. She promised she would keep us safe forever, and that she would make everything okay. She said her dad had a plan.


    To Peace


    Takeo Masaki (Primis): Nikolai, if what you have told us is true, that we stand on the brink of victory, then I would like to make a toast to peace. We have travelled further than I ever dreamed possible. We have faced challenges that no mortal should ever have to face. Though our alliance was brought to the brink of collapse many times, we have prevailed. Even in the face of unimaginable evil, we fought with courage and honor. But now, perhaps the fighting is truly at an end.

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): Fightin’s in my blood, Tak. I’m a marine, and that ain’t something you turn off.

    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis): Do not be so sure, Tank Dempsey. The warrior’s path should always lead toward peace.

    Tank Dempsey (Primis): Well, I’m with you on that, Tak. To peace.

    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis): To peace!

    (Glasses clink)


    The Time Of Mein Life


    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): Well, well, well, I can honestly say, I never imagined being in this position! I mean look at us, all buddy-buddy! I am not going to apologize for all the terrible things I have done, because frankly, I’m not sorry for anything! Ja! I’ve had the time of mein life! (Laughs) Oh, I know you’ll probably never really trust me, and even now you’ll be expecting me to pull some last minute rabbit out of a hat! A big rabbit of betrayal!

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): Yeah, no kiddin’!

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): Thank you, Dempsey. I knew I could rely on you!

    Edward Richtofen (Primis): (Sighs) So, do you have a rabbit of betrayal? If I’m honest, I’ve been expecting one since we all got together.

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): Sadly, no... I am all out of rabbits...


    Old Song


    (Accordion playing)

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis): Okay everybody, this is old song. I want you all to join in.

    Edward Richtofen (Primis): I’ve got to be honest, Nikolai, I’m not sure if I want to join in.

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis):

    I’ll sing for my supper

    I’ll drink to another

    I’ll tell all ye folks a tall tale!

    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis): A tall tale?

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis and Primis):

    Well it’s all based on fact

    Though I should say the act

    Of telling gets taller each day!

    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis): Literally.

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis): Now you all know tune, is time for someone else to sing. Ladies and gentleman! Eh, gentlemen... Tank Dempsey!

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): Yay! (Claps)

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis):

    My Aunt Jemima

    Thought nothing was finer

    Than lazing around everyday!

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis and Primis):

    But my Aunt Jemima

    Lost it all in a fire

    Including herself by the way!

    (Cheering, laughing, clapping)

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): I thought that whole Jemima line was going somewhere else entirely!

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis): Takeo Masaki!

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): Yeah, Tak! Give us something about the Emperor! Or honor!

    (Cheering and clapping)

    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis and Primis):

    Honor is one thing

    But I’m feeling nothing

    But lack of opportunity!

    Our leaders are watching

    But I’m not so eager

    To let them still watch over me!

    Nikolai Belinksi (Ultimis): Nicely done, Takeo! What about you, Richtofen?

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): Yeah!

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis): Do you have any soul?

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): No!

    Edward Richtofen (Primis): I did, a long time ago. But, it hurts just to think about it.

    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis): Aw...

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis):

    I started this song

    But please don’t get me wrong

    No one sings unless they want to sing!

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis and Primis):

    We’re all telling tales

    And we’re all singing songs

    Drinking our drinks from midnight till dawn!

    Edward Richtofen (Primis): I was trying to say something there.

    Tank Dempsey (Primis): Sorry, Richtofen, we’re not messing with you. We want to hear you dulcet tones! Ain’t that right?

    Nikolai Belinski (Ultimis): Daaa!

    Nikolai Belinski (Primis): Yes!

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): Really? Really!

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis and Primis):

    This isn’t the song that I wanted to sing

    But nobody gets what they want…

    (Instrumental stops)

    Edward Richtofen (Primis):

    I was the nicest one…

    But… you won’t... even…

    Remember me…

    (Instrumental restarts)


    And if you start to doubt

    You should know that without

    Hindsight we’d all be blind everyday!

    You swallow the tail of the whale

    You were bit by the bite of the shark!

    Edward Richtofen (Ultimis): Ouch!


    The Greatest War


    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis): You have spoken many times of a war, Nikolai. Eh... A Great War.

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): Yeah, a war unlike any we have ever seen.

    Edward Richtofen (Primis): Oh, are you going to tell them everything, Nikolai? The Apothicons? The Keepers? The Shadowman? The Dark Aether? Monty?

    Tank Dempsey (Ultimis): Shadowman? The Apothi-whats? What’s he talking about, Nikolai?

    Nikolai Belinski (Primis): They are… legends contained in the book, the Kronorium. Tales of demons and angels, commanded by the forces of light and darkness.

    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis): That does not sound unlike any war we have ever faced.

    Edward Richtofen (Primis): Demons und angels, light und darkness, the big stuff. Who was who? Which was which? Do you know that, Nikolai?

    Nikolai Belinski (Primis): Monty and Shadowman were more similar than you know, Richtofen. Both were corrupted by the Dark Aether. One by his own ambition, the other desperately trying to save his friend. Do you remember when I asked you what you really want?

    Takeo Masaki (Ultimis): We remember, but why do you ask this now?

    Nikolai Belinski (Primis): Because the Great War, no, the Greatest War... is the one we fight against ourselves.


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