And, of course, this being emmacrew's favorite opera,
I get to sleep on the compost heap for the next month, probably.
N.B.: This is the 2nd opera of a series. You may want to catch the first episode if you haven't already. Or not.
SIEGMUND Wotan's mortal bastard son SIEGLINDE Siegmund's twin bastard sister HUNDING Mr. Sieglinde and owner of the all-important Hut WOTAN (Odin) Head God Dude from previous opera BRÜNNHILDE a Valkyrie FRICKA Mrs. Wotan, Goddess of Marriage from previous opera SIEGRUNE another Valkyrie WALTRAUTE yet another Valkyrie GRIMGERDE and another ROSSEWEISSE and another SAURKRAUTMITWURSTE ... oh bother, I forget, there are 9 of them, and they are all Very Loud, okay?
[HUNDING's living room, which, for some reason that is never fully explained, has this tree growing in the middle of it. Whatever. Outside, it is a dark and stormy night. No, really. SIEGMUND, crashing through the forest, fortuitously manages to find the door to the hut. Well okay, so there really isn't anyplace else for him to go and still be on stage, but there you have it.] SIEGMUND: Sucks to be me. La la la. Hey, shelter. Not Motel 6, but it'll do in a pinch. [opens door] Anybody home? No? Good. Time to collapse in front of the fireplace. [collapses in front of the fireplace] [Enter SIEGLINDE] SIEGLINDE: Hm. Someone here looks like he could use a drink. Actually, that would be two of us. Luckily, this house is fully stocked. Imagine that. [prepares drink] Here ya go. SIEGMUND: Hey, thanks. SIEGLINDE: No problem, Mr. Random Stranger with a nice ass who looks kinda familiar. SIEGMUND: You may be reconsidering this in a little while. There always seems to be this complete assload of crap waiting to descend on me. You might not want to be in the way of it. SIEGLINDE: Well, as it happens, this house here is already Crap Central, so,... nothing new, really. SIEGMUND: And this house would be... ? SIEGLINDE: Welcome to Hunding's House of Marital Discord! SIEGMUND: Oh, I'm sorry. SIEGLINDE: Yeah well, Hunding and I kinda got off on the wrong foot, what with his having bought me from the tribesmen who burned my village, killed my mom and dragged me off. Also, the getting raped every night for years tends to sour the relationship a bit. SIEGMUND: So I guess counseling is out, then. [Cue "Twoo Wuv" motif.] SIEGLINDE [to orchestra]: And you lot can be fucking off, right now! [Cue "No Wait, We Didn't Mean Hunding" motif.] [Cue "Guess We Jumped the Gun There" motif.]
[Cue HUNDING's motif, just in case anyone was wondering who might be about to step through the door.] HUNDING [entering]: Hi, honey! I'm home! SIEGLINDE: Yay, hubbie is back. HUNDING [sees SIEGMUND]: So what have we here? SIEGLINDE: This would be a Completely Random Person who has wandered in from the forest in the middle of a storm. HUNDING: Um. Ok, then. SIEGLINDE: Naturally, being your dutiful wife, I have extended him Full Houseguest privileges. HUNDING: Naturally. SIEGLINDE: Because only a complete douchebag would... HUNDING: Right. I get it. So, does our Full Houseguest have a name? SIEGLINDE: I'll admit to being curious about this myself, actually. SIEGMUND: Well, these days, I tend to go by Pathetic Loserface Loser Face, but you can call me Loser for short. My friends would call me Pathetic except that I don't have any friends, so... HUNDING: Self-pity much? SIEGMUND: Well, let's see... Family home destroyed by raiders when I was just a kid, check. Mom killed, check. Twin sister kidnapped, check. Dad and I hunted as outlaws by everyone, check. until he disappears, too. check. And a trick-or-treat bag full of rocks every goddamn year. I think I'm entitled to a little self-pity, thank you very much. HUNDING: Okay then. So what do you do with this pathetic life of yours? SIEGMUND: These days, I've been hiring out as a Hero/Consultant. Righting wrongs, rescuing damsels in distress, the usual stuff. HUNDING: I see. SIEGMUND: Thing is, I've been having extraordinarily bad luck with clients lately. Last job started out quite promising. Got a plea from this girl whose dad had arranged for her to marry some useless old fart nearly twice her age. Some stupid alliance thing. She needed a quick exit and that's really my specialty. So I worked out this rescue plan. Execution was pretty much flawless, if I do say so myself... ... at least up until the part where I have to kill her father and brothers and then she's all crying and shit, and I'm like, "Look, they were not going to let us leave. Big weddings like this take a lot of planning; people have this tendency to get heavily invested. You should already have some idea how that goes." But she's sitting there bawling her eyes out and then I see these six guys with swords closing in, and I'm all, "Um, we need to go, like, now, or this will turn out not to have been entirely pointful." This not being enough to get the ditz moving, I try to drag her away, but she keeps crawling back. Somewhere in there the fight starts, because, of course, the guys with the swords have now caught up to us, and let's face it, when you have that many opponents, -- granted I was able to nail 3 of them straight off -- it can really soak up all of your attention. So I didn't notice exactly when it was that she started work on removing her own gall bladder, at least, not until after I'd broken my sword trying to extricate it from this guy's head -- piece of advice, by the way: Ronco blades aren't worth shit, like they don't actually bother to temper them or something, I don't know. Anyway, at that point, I figured it was time to switch to Plan B, the basic outline of which goes something like: 1. Run away because, well, staying was, by then, deeply into the realm of No Fucking Point At All. Luckily, Plan B also executed without flaw, at least in that I managed to lose everybody in the forest. Which admittedly leaves certain unresolved issues relating to extant wounds, total exhaustion, and no weapon larger than a toenail. Presumably, I will be able to address these in the not-too-distant future. But anyway, here I am. So how was your day? HUNDING: Nothing too eventful. Except for this wedding I had to go to. SIEGMUND: ... HUNDING: I never know what to get for these things. Spent most of the morning at Nordstrom's. Eventually picked out this Ronco stainless carving set. SIEGMUND: Nice. HUNDING: And then I finally get there and it turns out that I may as well have stayed home, because some assclown killed the entire bridal party. SIEGMUND: Wow. HUNDING: Yeah, second cousin Olaf even had part of a Ronco sword embedded in his skull. SIEGMUND: What an eerie coincidence! HUNDING: ... SIEGMUND: Of course, given the known violent propensities of our many and various Scandiwhovian tribes, this sort of thing happens a lot more often than you might think. Really, it was only a matter of time before there'd be an instance of two weddings scheduled for the same day in the same village, each getting knocked over in mostly identical ways by entirely different and unrelated assclowns. HUNDING: ... SIEGMUND: The world of statistics is, in fact, filled with many beautiful and strangely counterintuitive phenomena. For example, if you were to gather a bunch of your tribesmen into the same room and ask everyone for his birthday, even though there are 365 days in the year and you've only got maybe twenty people there, it is, hard as this may be to believe, virtually certain that two of you will... You're not buying any of this, are you? HUNDING: Short answer: No. SIEGMUND: All right, then. What now? HUNDING: RCW1 §18.01 et seq. (1 Revised Code of Wotan.) SIEGMUND: I can never remember those numbers. Is that the section on weddings? HUNDING: That's the section on how I have to avenge my kin by skewering your sorry ass with my sword. SIEGMUND: Um. Okay. Though, if I am not completely mistaken, isn't there also a section on the propriety of skewering Full Houseguests? HUNDING: That would be RCW §15.63. Fortunately, checkout time is 10am, tomorrow. SIEGMUND: I see. Well, that's something. You wouldn't happen to know anyone with a sword I could borrow? HUNDING: Oddly enough, no. Not that I am necessarily your best source of information on this topic. [yawns] Oh well, time to be getting off to bed. You should be fine on the couch here. Bathroom is down the hall, first door on the right. Towels are in the closet over there. And please try not to make too much noise, I have this duel to fight tomorrow. [to SIEGLINDE] Coming, wife? [exeunt HUNDING and SIEGLINDE]
SIEGMUND: Great. A whole new world of suck. Yo, Dad! Remember that sword you promised me would be there when I most needed it? Well, I believe we may be coming up on that magic moment. Just saying. [Cue "Sword" motif.] Oh good, a leitmotif. Just what I need. [Cue "Sword" motif.] See, unless you give me some idea where it is, you're just being annoying, [Cue "Sword" motif.] and then I get inspired to do something nonconstructive. Like maybe jump down into that orchestra pit and break a few wrists, you know...? [Cue "Okay, Excuse Us For Trying To Be Helpful" motif.] [SIEGLINDE returns] SIEGLINDE: So, we need to talk. SIEGMUND: What about H... ? SIEGLINDE: Meade cask filled with Cherry Nyquil. He's going to be out of it for a while. SIEGMUND: Guess we've got all night, then. SIEGLINDE: Mmmm, yeah. SIEGMUND: So what's the deal with this tree? I mean, yes, treehouse makes sense if you're in an area prone to flooding. But this is on the ground, which means flooding and squirrel problems. Worst of both worlds, really. SIEGLINDE: I think it's a plot device, mainly. SIEGMUND: This should be interesting. SIEGLINDE: See, when Hundface and I were married, this guy with an eyepatch crashed the wedding. [Cue "Valhalla" motif.] Showed up, plunged this sword into the tree, and said, "Excuse me. I need a place to park this for a few years, and you have this handy tree. Hope you don't mind. Kthxbai." Then he takes off. It's right up there. [points to a spot 8 feet off the ground. Cue "Ooooo, Shiny!" motif.] Everybody took turns trying to pull it out, but it was too firmly wedged, so it's been sitting there all of these years. SIEGMUND: Wait. How tall was this guy? SIEGLINDE: Your height. Maybe an inch or two taller. SIEGMUND: But... [looking up the tree] SIEGLINDE: It was years ago. The tree grew. SIEGMUND: Sorry. Doesn't work that way. See, trees grow outwards by adding rings. It's only the bits at the ends of the branches that grow longitudinally. SET DESIGNER [to DIRECTOR]: Told you. DIRECTOR [to SET DESIGNER]: Bite me. [SIEGMUND climbs up on the table to peer at a hilt sticking out of the tree] SIEGMUND: Never mind that a live tree is a really stupid place to keep a sword. Might as well leave it soaking in a tub of sugar water. Also, good luck keeping the blade straight while the tree continues to grow. SIEGLINDE: I'll try to remember that the next time this comes up. SIEGMUND [tugging on sword] It's not budging. SIEGLINDE: Check the inscription. SIEGMUND [reading]: "Whosoever removest this Blade is Rightwise King of All The Britons." Um... SIEGLINDE: Look around. There should be a few more up there. SIEGMUND [reading]: "Nabye Anduril i ne Narsil i macil Elendilo. Lercuvanten i mali Mordoreo"? WTF? There are, like, ten swords up here! SIEGLINDE: Yeah. Word got around. For a while we were getting somebody every week. SIEGMUND: SIEGLINDE: That's not even UTF-8. SIEGMUND: How about ... [Cue "Sword" motif] There we go. [pulls Sword out of tree, triggering a whole bunch of happy motifs from the orchestra,]: See, now that was vaguely useful. [Cue "You're welcome" motif] [reading]: "Lifetime Warranty and Certificate of Authenticity. This blade sealed by our patented ForgeStressTM process; it will not crack, chip, or shatter. Here at Ronco we take pride in our craftsmanship..." Oh,... FUCK... ME... SIEGLINDE [to herself]: Mmmmm. SIEGMUND: Lifetime of the swordsman, I bet. That's Ronco for you. So what now? SIEGLINDE: You fight tomorrow, Hunding gets his ass handed to him, and we live happily ever after, yes? Shouldn't be hard; I mean it's not like the guy can fight his way out of a paper bag. Oh look,... [moonlight shines in through the windows. SIEGLINDE opens the front door onto peaceful meadow scene.] SIEGLINDE: Yay. It's spring now. SIEGMUND: WTF? How can it just become spring in the middle of the night? Anyway, vernal equinox isn't for another week. SIEGLINDE: I think I've figured out why you don't have any friends. SIEGMUND: What? SIEGLINDE: Never mind. Just shut up for a moment. [Cue various "Nature" motifs, birds cheerfully chirping away, things growing/blooming, doing all of the usual spring stuff. In the middle of the night. No, this really doesn't make a whole lot of sense to us, either. But never mind that, since SIEGLINDE is now on the move to SIEGMUND's side to slip an arm around his waist. Cue "Twoo Wuv" motif.] SIEGMUND: Hey, I have a silly idea: Maybe we could do a bit of Happily-Ever-After now, you know, just in case things don't quite work out tomorrow? SIEGLINDE [to herself]: Took you long enough. SIEGMUND: What? SIEGLINDE: I said, let me think about that a bit. Mmmmmm. Okay, done. [Cue "More Twoo Wuv" motif. SIEGMUND and SIEGLINDE engage in 10 minutes of deep, serious, tonsil-sucking smoocheroonies.] SIEGMUND [coming up for air]: There is one teentsy detail bothering me about your story. This guy who dropped off the Sword? Could you describe him some more? SIEGLINDE: Eyepatch, two ravens. Reminded me a lot of my dad. [Cue "Valhalla" motif] SIEGMUND: Wait your dad had an eyepatch and two ravens?... AUDIENCE: Uh, oh... SIEGMUND: See, my dad had an eyepatch and two ravens. [Cue "Valhalla" motif] SIEGLINDE: No way! SIEGMUND: Way! SIEGMUND: And the same leitmotif, too. SIEGLINDE: You know what this means? SIEGMUND: Sister-bride! AUDIENCE: Ewwwwwwwwwwww.... SIEGLINDE: Twincest! Yay! AUDIENCE: Hello!? What part of "Ewwwwwwwwwwww...." did you not understand? [SIEGMUND and SIEGLINDE both dive for the turf, clothing starts flying in all directions as the curtain can't descend quickly enough. Cue "Friea, But Not Running Away This Time" motif followed by "No, No, The Clit's Here" motif followed by "Yeah That's More Like It" motif followed by the "Ohgodohgodohgodohgod" motif followed by ...] AUDIENCE: This is seriously creeping us out. RANDOM AUDIENCE GUY #1: Could be worse. I mean, what if she were, say, his aunt... ANNA RUSSELL: Hey, that was my joke! Also, you're one opera too early. [Music swells to cover serious violence in the audience. House lights eventually come up for intermission revealing only a wet inoffensive smear on the floor where RANDOM AUDIENCE GUY #1 used to be.]
[Valhalla parking lot. Or a hillside somewhere. Hell, we could just set it back in Hunding's hut for all the difference it makes. We don't care. Deal with it. Enter BRÜNNHILDE, bored.] BRÜNNHILDE: Gratuitous high C! (Hoyoto ho!) Gratuitous high C! WOTAN [entering]: I'm glad somebody's having fun. BRÜNNHILDE: Loads. So what's on for today, Dad? WOTAN: Siegmund vs. Hunding. 11:43am. Should be pretty straightforward. BRÜNNHILDE: Hunding gets his ass handed to him, and then Siegmund goes to take out Fafner. I guess you've been waiting a long time for this one. WOTAN: ... BRÜNNHILDE: What about Hunding? Valhalla or Organ Donation? WOTAN: ... BRÜNNHILDE: Organ Donation it is, then. And I suppose I don't really have anything else to do other than making sure the Sword doesn't break. Fucking Ronco. I don't know why you didn't cancel that contract when you had the chance. WOTAN: ... BRÜNNHILDE: You never find this even slightly creepy? That I can just read your mind and everything? WOTAN: ... BRÜNNHILDE: Whatever. Oh, by the way: The wife is on her way over, apparently upset, as usual. WOTAN: ... BRÜNNHILDE: Not my problem, I guess. Anyway, have fun. [starts to leave. FRICKA enters.] Hello, "Mother". [Cue "Catfight" motif as BRÜNNHILDE exits.] FRICKA: Hello, dear. RCW §28. Perhaps you might recall how that one goes. WOTAN: Yeah, right. You wrote that section if I remember correctly. FRICKA: God, what a piece of work you are! WOTAN: What? FRICKA: Back when we were courting you were all about protecting the sanctity of marriage. Set aside a whole 12 inches of your spear for it. Then no sooner are we married and bam, you're off fucking anything that moves. WOTAN: For the thousandth time, §28 only applies to mortal entities. How many more times do we have to go over this? FRICKA: Yeah. Clever last-minute "technical" edit, that. Which makes everything all right, of course. WOTAN: Look, I try, okay? It's really not fair that I make a few mistakes and you keep rubbing them in my face. FRICKA: A few mistakes. Right. You go off, bang Erda, on at least nine separate occasions, probably more, for all I know. And then you bring home Brünnhilde and the rest of her sisters to live here under my roof. And, no, that's not rubbing anything in anyone's face. Of course not. Who would ever think that? WOTAN: You, clearly. By the way, quick point of information: Only Brünnhilde is Erda's, and it didn't actually take nine tries. FRICKA: I suppose the other Valkyries were due to some kind of spontaneous generation? WOTAN: ... FRICKA: And this is helping your case, how? WOTAN: Why do I feel like I'm losing this argument already? FRICKA: Oh, I'm just getting warmed up. WOTAN: And I still have no idea what this is really about. FRICKA: No idea? At all? Let's see... Prayer Hotline, 8:45 this morning, invocation from this fellow named Hunding. WOTAN: Oh,... FRICKA: Fine upstanding citizen. Has a certain father-in-law who's quite well connected, though he's never been known to take advantage of the relationship. Probably would help if he actually knew about it. WOTAN: ... fuck ... FRICKA: Father-in-law even crashed the wedding, if I remember correctly. WOTAN: ... me. FRICKA: Not tonight, I'm afraid. Anyway, those kids of yours had quite the lawn festival last night. WOTAN: Look, you can't blame me for that. It's not like I have any control over what they do. FRICKA: Like everything is about you. Well okay, maybe everything is all about you. But as it happens this isn't about whether you're to blame. The question is more what you're going to do about it. WOTAN: Do about it? FRICKA: 1st Degree Adulterous Twincest. This is about as blatant as it gets. WOTAN: You do know that "Twincest" isn't actually in the code, right? FRICKA: Right. Because separate provisions forbidding "adultery" and "incest" wouldn't apply at all to adultery committed by fraternal twins. WOTAN: ... FRICKA: Please tell me you were about to try to make that lame-ass argument. I haven't had nearly enough entertainment today. WOTAN: How about this: it's True Love! [Cue "Twoo Wuv" motif.] FRICKA: Ah, the True Love Exception... which ... I seem to have missed. But maybe you can show me where I can find it. Another of those last-minute "technical" edits you forgot to tell me about? WOTAN: Unfortunately, no. Ok, fine. What do I do? FRICKA: Nothing. WOTAN: Wait... what? FRICKA: See, I'm even making it easy for you. Everything a loving wife is supposed to do. WOTAN: Yeah, right. Drop the other shoe already. FRICKA: I mean it. Nothing. Siegmund and Hunding fight a duel today. You make sure you, your Valkyries, your stupid band of dead warriors, your magic and whatever else just stay the fuck away from it. Let the fight run its course. Whatever happens, happens and I'll be happy. WOTAN: You will? That doesn't make any sense. Unless... [wheels turning] So... "Magic". FRICKA: Yes? WOTAN: Would that perhaps include ... magic swords? FRICKA: Well, speaking totally hypothetically here, I don't think I could object if anyone were to, say, make use of a formerly magic sword. WOTAN: Totally. Hypothetically. FRICKA: Formerly. That's the word you need to concentrate on. Get that right or there will be hell to pay. WOTAN: As in formerly magical Ronco sword. Versus a real sword. You realize that's essentially a death sentence, right? FRICKA: Dear me. Sword fighting can be so complicated. And I'm just a stupid old woman who can't possibly be expected to keep any of that stuff straight. WOTAN: This is my son we're talking about. FRICKA: Right. The son you abandoned in the forest and have been messing with ever since. Geez, if this is how you treat those you love, I should probably be relieved I'm not at the top of the list. WOTAN: ... FRICKA: Well, look at the bright side. If Hunding kills Siegmund, at least it wouldn't be your fault. After all, it's not like you have any control over what they do. WOTAN: Right. Never mind how this completely hoses my plan to deal with Fafner. FRICKA: Of course. How could I forget? Your Grand Plan to Save Us All. Your Grand, Completely Brain-Dead Plan that not only would not save us but would actually make things far worse. WOTAN: Wait... what? FRICKA: Well, let's see if I have this straight: You can't take the Ring away from Fafner yourself because it's his fair and square according to the Valhalla Contract that you all worked out in excruciating detail last opera. If you violate it, then everything else on that Spear of yours turns to shit. So, instead, what you do is take your very own son, train him from early childhood to be a kick-ass warrior, then abandon him and dump assloads of crap on him so that he's pissed off at the world, and motivated to pound some heads. Then you point him in the direction of Fafner. How am I doing so far? WOTAN: Pretty well, actually. FRICKA: So, help me out, here. Presumably, the next step is that Fafner gets taken out. WOTAN: Got it in one. FRICKA: By the Son of Wotan. Who was Trained by Wotan. Using a Sword Provided By Wotan infused with Wotan's Magic so that its bearer cannot possibly be defeated. And everybody is supposed to look at that and say, "Well gosh, Wotan clearly couldn't have had anything to do with that, now could he? What a crazy idea!" WOTAN: ... FRICKA: Why not just have Donner send down a fucking lightning bolt with "Greetings From Wotan!" inscribed on it? Aim it right for the base of Fafner's skull. Tell everybody it was an accident. "Oops. SORRY! My mistake!" I'm sure that would work. WOTAN: ... FRICKA: This also ignores the Small Matter that Fafner, as a giant in dragon form courtesy of the Tarnhelm, is maybe the best guardian for the Ring that we could ever hope to find. He's been sitting there in that stupid cave of his for decades and shown absolutely no sign of wanting to do anything other than diddle with his treasure. If Siegmund were to kill Fafner then the Ring will be back out in the world where it can fall into the hands of anyone, be it Alberich or some other megalomaniac. Keep in mind the thing is cursed and Siegmund is mortal so this would be guaranteed to happen eventually anyway. So please explain to me how killing Fafner now improves our situation. WOTAN: Wait, I'm not sure even Wagner thought of that one. FRICKA: Aren't you glad I'm on your side, dear? WOTAN: ... FRICKA: Are we done yet? WOTAN: I guess so. FRICKA: Wow. The boy has a few brain cells to rub together after all. Who knew? [BRÜNNHILDE returns] BRÜNNHILDE: Hey, Dad, "Mom". FRICKA [to WOTAN]: You had better let Shieldmaiden here in on the New Plan. WOTAN: Right. I'll take care of it. FRICKA: Not that I ever imagined you'd "forget" to, what with you being such a conscientious husband and all. WOTAN: I said I'll take care of it. Geez. You are enjoying this far too much. FRICKA: Okay, leaving now. [leaves].
BRÜNNHILDE: Uh, Dad? [cue "Wotan is having a bad day"] Does "Mom" being in an unaccountably good mood mean what I think it does? WOTAN: Man, Loge was not kidding about this being an industrial-strength curse. My son is going to get sliced up, and I have to allow it to happen. BRÜNNHILDE: The Ring does this? WOTAN: Well it was a scheme to get the Ring back, and evidently, the curse makes these all end in disaster. BRÜNNHILDE: Are you sure our problems don't have more to do with your trying to compress an entire legal code onto an eight-foot spear? WOTAN: Well, yeah, there is that. Thing is, Fricka is right. Whoever takes down Fafner can't have anything to do with me. So it has to be some completely random bozo who wanders in off the street, kills the dragon, grabs the ring, and gets it back to the Rhinemaidens before he can get nailed by the curse, and all without any instruction from me. We are so fucked. BRÜNNHILDE: ... WOTAN: Did you know Alberich has a son, now? No constraints there, Kid can do whatever the old man wants; no consequences. It's just not fair. BRÜNNHILDE: So I have to withdraw all of the magic from the Sword. WOTAN: Yep. BRÜNNHILDE: And Siegmund dies. WOTAN: Yep. BRÜNNHILDE: Wow, this sucks. WOTAN: Yep. BRÜNNHILDE: So what was in the rest of this scene, then? WOTAN: I do a completely gratuitous recap of stuff you already know: the plot of the previous opera, how I later tracked Erda down and fathered you, then set you and your sisters all to collecting dead heroes, so that we'll all be ready for the Last Battle. BRÜNNHILDE: And of course if Alberich gets the Ring back, he can just command them all out from under you, And if he doesn't, you can keep ruling things with your Spear. Which is why I was never all that clear on the point behind our having our very own zombie hero army. WOTAN: You can shut up now. BRÜNNHILDE: Ok, leaving.
[Mountain pass or some other suitably rugged terrain out in the middle of nowhere. Enter SIEGMUND and SIEGLINDE.] SIEGLINDE [suitably exhausted]: Gotta keep going. SIEGMUND: I still don't get why we're running away. I've got a Sword now. SIEGLINDE: Because maybe I wasn't totally confident about Hundie being honorable and fighting you one on one? SIEGMUND: If we were worried about that, we could have just sliced him up last night while he was drugged, fed him into the wood chipper, and snuck out at leisure with no one to raise the alarm. SIEGLINDE: which probably would have invoked all sorts of bad karma. SIEGMUND: Ooo... Bad karma. Scary. Yeah, wouldn't want that now, would we? Granted, it does rather go against the whole Hero concept. And Hunding was scrupulous about following the Guest Protocol. SIEGLINDE: And the rest of the tribe would have just let us leave? SIEGMUND: I've got a Sword now. SIEGLINDE: He has a rather large tribe, you know. SIEGMUND: I've got a Sword now. It makes a difference. SIEGLINDE: Okay, you are one crazy fucker. And I'll admit maybe I'm a bit more freaked out about this than I have to be. You realize if this were the real opera, all of this dialog we just had would instead be me wailing about how I've been a horrible wife, cuckolded my husband and dishonored myself, and therefore you should abandon me. SIEGMUND: Wow. SIEGLINDE: Granted, that's supposed to be me being insane and delerious. But still, fuck that noise. SIEGMUND: Really. SIEGLINDE: Meanwhile, since we've been running for several hours and I don't usually get this much exercise before noon, I'm now going to pass out in exhaustion. SIEGMUND: Well you've picked a good place for it. [cue hunting horns] and a good time for it, too. SIEGLINDE [lying down on the ground]: At least you're my crazy fucker. Mmmmm. [passes out]
[BRÜNNHILDE pops out from behind a rock] BRÜNNHILDE: I greet thee, Siegmund. SIEGMUND: Uh, hi! Do I know you? BRÜNNHILDE: Not really. We're kinda related, though. SIEGMUND: I'm tempted to ask how, but something tells me... BRÜNNHILDE: Yeah, don't go there. SIEGMUND: So,... silly helmet with wings. plus all of this other glowy shit. Please tell me you're not... BRÜNNHILDE: Valkyrie? Yes, actually. SIEGMUND: So, all that stuff about gathering up dead heroes and taking them to Valhalla...? BRÜNNHILDE: That would be me and my sisters, yes. We do that. SIEGMUND: And I imagine it's not standard procedure for the daughters of Wotan to stop off and talk to random guys on the way to a battlefield. BRÜNNHILDE: Not normally. SIEGMUND: Special trip just to see me, then? BRÜNNHILDE: Oddly enough. SIEGMUND: Wait. Last I checked, I was still alive. BRÜNNHILDE: For now. SIEGMUND: Shit. So this fight I'm about to have... BRÜNNHILDE: 'Lose' is the word you're looking for. SIEGMUND: I lose to Hunding? BRÜNNHILDE: Sorry. SIEGMUND: This is not making any sense, you know. I mean I have this Sword now. [Cue "Sword" motif] It's got a leitmotif and everything. And you're telling me it's not going to matter. BRÜNNHILDE: Yep. Sorry. SIEGMUND: But Dad promised... BRÜNNHILDE: I'm guessing you don't have that in writing. SIEGMUND: [holds up Ronco Certificate of Authenticity] This doesn't count, right? BRÜNNHILDE: Not hardly. SIEGMUND: Fair enough. But I still don't get this. Was Dad just lying or what? BRÜNNHILDE: He got overruled. SIEGMUND: By? BRÜNNHILDE: Fricka. SIEGMUND: ... BRÜNNHILDE: Goddess of Marriage. That little stunt you and your sister did on Hunding's lawn last night? If you could have waited just another 24 hours... SIEGMUND: Yeah, well, I can't say I regret that. All right, I lose, then. But you're here. So... Does that mean I make the final Hero Cut? BRÜNNHILDE: Oh, yes. No problem there. SIEGMUND: And Fricka doesn't have any say in that? BRÜNNHILDE: Oh heavens, no. SIEGMUND: So, Valhalla then. Dad's there? BRÜNNHILDE: Yup. SIEGMUND: And I get to meet Wotan? BRÜNNHILDE: Uhhhh, yeah. Actually. SIEGMUND: Good. I think I'll be wanting to carve him a new asshole. BRÜNNHILDE: He does tend to frown on that sort of thing. SIEGMUND: Color me surprised. BRÜNNHILDE: But I imagine you'll have a lot to talk about. SIEGMUND: I bet. So, what about Sieglinde? BRÜNNHILDE: ... SIEGMUND: I imagine that gets a bit tricky, figuring out when and how to swing by to pick her up on the way to Valhalla. BRÜNNHILDE: ... SIEGMUND: Oh wait, doesn't she have to be dead, too, for this to work? I would have thought you'd all have a rule about that. BRÜNNHILDE: ... SIEGMUND: Why do I have a bad feeling about this? BRÜNNHILDE: It's a moot point, actually. See, there is this other detail: Valhalla is a "No Girlz Allowed" Zone. SIEGMUND: What the hell? Whose idea was that? No wait, don't answer that. BRÜNNHILDE: Except for us, of course. SIEGMUND: Of course. Makes perfect sense, now that I think about it. Take a bunch of cranky guys who weren't actually selected for their mental stability in the first place. Surround them with virgin-warrior goddesses BRÜNNHILDE: We throw excellent parties. SIEGMUND: Emphasis on virgin. BRÜNNHILDE: Hey! SIEGMUND: Give them nothing to do but get blind drunk every night... BRÜNNHILDE: Our mead is top quality. SIEGMUND: ... and beat each other senseless, BRÜNNHILDE: Actually, it's more structured than that. There's a full schedule of games and contests. SIEGMUND: Golly. So, I guess there are different days for arm wrestling, weight lifting, decathlon, synchronized swimming, Graeco-Roman wrestling,... BRÜNNHILDE: You know, it's supposed to be quite the honor ... SIEGMUND: Graeco-Roman ... BRÜNNHILDE: Uhh. SIEGMUND: ... wrestling. With olive oil! BRÜNNHILDE: Please tell me you're not... SIEGMUND: That could be kind of interesting, actually. I mean if what they say about Siggurd Thorson... BRÜNNHILDE: RCW §28.16. SIEGMUND: Bothered to write that one down, did we? Damn. BRÜNNHILDE: I do not seem to be selling this very well. SIEGMUND: Perhaps not, but I'd say your dad gets most of the credit here. Only a complete fucking genius deity could come up with an afterlife that is this lame. BRÜNNHILDE: He's your dad, too, you know. SIEGMUND: Wait, what? BRÜNNHILDE: Oops. Forget I said that. SIEGMUND: Wow. I am so ready to carve him a new asshole now. Or two. Shitting in triplicate would really suit the old bastard. Yeah, I can see this Valhalla thing is gonna work out real well. BRÜNNHILDE: ... SIEGMUND: Hey, I know... How about if I just die now, go off to Regular People Hell, and then we call it a day? BRÜNNHILDE: Buh. You know what? I have a better idea. SIEGMUND: This ought to be good. BRÜNNHILDE: Nothing too complicated. We just go back to Plan A, In which you hand Hunding his ass, and then go on to do all the stuff Daddy wanted you to do in the first place. SIEGMUND: Oh, good; I was rather fond of that plan. But isn't that going to piss off Her Marriageness? BRÜNNHILDE: Sucks to be her, then. SIEGMUND: But what about,...? BRÜNNHILDE: Excuse me, but I'm the one wearing the funny hat with the wings. You're the big dumbass with The Sword. Just fight and I'll deal with the rest of it. SIEGMUND: Ronco sword. BRÜNNHILDE: I said, don't worry about it! Jesus H. F... SIEGMUND: Wrong mythology. BRÜNNHILDE: Hunding, T minus 2 minutes. I have stuff to do. Bye now, and good luck. [exit]
SIEGLINDE [waking up]: I had the strangest dream. SIEGMUND: Later. SIEGLINDE: We were back in the village and Mrs. Olafsson was planting reindeer face down in her garden and everyone was singing "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (BWV80)" and waiting for the B section but then one of the reindeer was getting away and so Mrs. Olafsson tried to hit it with a shovel only then all of these badgers suddenly started falling from the sky and we all had to run and hide under the giant mattress because that was only place that would be safe, because, well, badgers, and then... SIEGMUND: Was there some part of "Later" that I was not entirely clear about? SIEGLINDE: Oh. Hey, incoming! [enter HUNDING] HUNDING: Aha! [SIEGMUND turns to face HUNDING] HUNDING: Oh. Sword. Crap. I don't suppose ... SIEGMUND: Short answer: No. [HUNDING and SIEGMUND begin specially choreographed Fight Sequence. Enter BRÜNNHILDE.] BRÜNNHILDE: Okay Sword, keep it together. [gestures] [Enter WOTAN.] WOTAN: Something's wrong with this picture, and I can't quite put my finger on it. SIEGMUND [to HUNDING]: Special delivery: Your ass! WOTAN: Ah, right. Sword still intact. Wrong Person winning. Wait, that's two (2) things. [WOTAN interposes Spear just as SIEGMUND begins an especially devastating downstroke.] WOTAN: Er, excuse me. [Sword breaks. WOTAN trips HUNDING who falls forward and manages to plant his own sword solidly in SIEGMUND's chest.] WOTAN: p0wned. [Cue "Spear 1; Sword 0; Wotan wins!" motif.] SIEGMUND: Whatever, dude. [dies] BRÜNNHILDE [to SIEGLINDE]: Oops. Time for Plan B. SIEGLINDE [in shock]: Whatever, dude. [gets dragged offstage by BRÜNNHILDE] HUNDING [in shock]: WTF? I'm still alive? WOTAN [not actually in shock]: For another minute or two. I need you to deliver a message. To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> ... [enter FRICKA] HUNDING: Wait, is that her standing right over there? WOTAN [looking]: So it is, at least in this staging. I guess you'll only need about 15 seconds, then. HUNDING: Okay, then. What's the message? WOTAN: Subject: Your loan approved <style> Gwen math they est ely, wok est sow fang does sob. Jo rice whee murk hero weal gash, dusk none onus mert nagy, burt dang tale rift, corn day mac togo gang hoe, sham bide weal owly easy nod, nib hold hall hobo verb reef crab. Best rates available now. Check out this month's special offer. </style> <img src="http://phishingbank.com/kick_me.gif" /> HUNDING: Whut? WOTAN: Never mind. She's a smart lady; she'll figure it out. Off you go. HUNDING: Wait, but... aw, crap. [stumbles over to FRICKA, dies.]
[Mountain peak. The weekly Saturday night Valkyrie Party. The music is turned up very loud, but (a) you've heard this one before, (b) there are no neighbors to complain anyway (except maybe the folks over in Key Arena), and (c) it's Wagner (duh) ROSSEWEISE and GRIMGERDE, carrying saddlebags filled with body parts are re-enacting scenes from "Night of the Living Dead" ] ROSSEWEISE: Grrr. GRIMGERDE: Brains! WALTRAUTE: You'd think we'd have picked some place to party wide enough so we're not stuck standing single file. SET DESIGNER: Hey, would you rather be on silly carousel horses? WALTRAUTE: Um.... SET DESIGNER: How about trampolines? This could be arranged. WALTRAUTE: Yeah,... that'll get good reviews. SET DESIGNER: Or maybe we'll just turn on the the propane now. WALTRAUTE: Oh hey, nice cloud effects! GRIMGERDE: That would be Daddy breaking the furniture again. ROSSEWEISE: Just as long as it's Daddy and not Speight. GRIMGERDE: Shh. [other VALKYRIES land] HELMWIGE: Everybody here? I count eight. ROSSEWEISE: Good thing we're not all completely identical or this scene would be very confusing right about now. GRIMGERDE: No, it wouldn't. We could all have numbers for all the difference it would make. VALKYRIE #5: Works for me. VALKYRIE #4: Aaaand... here's Brünnhilde. [enter BRÜNNHILDE leading SIEGLINDE] BRÜNNHILDE: I could use a little help here. VALKYRIE #2 [eying SIEGLINDE]: This is a bit irregular. BRÜNNHILDE: ... and about to get more irregular. You need to hide us from Daddy. VALKYRIE #3: And how exactly is that going to work? We're all stuck out here on this ledge single file. The guy might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but he does know how to count from one to nine. SIEGLINDE: You know, I was fine with getting killed back there, what with Siegmund being dead and all. Figure if I just jump right from here then the numbers ought to work out. BRÜNNHILDE: A couple details you might want to be aware of first: 1. Pregnant. 2. It's a boy. I'm naming him Siegfried. I figure he can be the subject of the next opera. SIEGLINDE: How nice! What now? VALKYRIE #8: There's a forest to the east. Fafner's cave is there, so Daddy stays out just on general principles. And everybody else stays out because Fafner. So that should be a really good place to hide, i.e., if you're really worried about the off-chance of Daddy even noticing that you're not acually dead and deciding there's any point to going after you. SIEGLINDE: Wow. A constructive suggestion. Sounds good. Forest it is. VALKYRIE #6: Of course, if it occurs to him to consult his ravens, then it's not going to matter at all where you are. He is a god after all. SIEGLINDE: That's okay. This clinging to hope raising Siegmund's kid all by myself in the middle of the wilderness while fending off wolves and shit has a certain appeal to it. So, do any of you think you might remember to send a midwife or something, say around 8 months from now, after all of the excitement has died down? VALKYRIE #7: Nope, sorry. SIEGLINDE: Yay, I'm dead. Well, thanks for your very limited help. Bye now. [exits] VALKYRIE #4: Shit. Here he comes. [to BRÜNNHILDE] Are you hiding or what? [BRÜNNHILDE ducks down.]
[WOTAN enters, looking suitably wrathful] WOTAN: Hey, kids. VALKYRIES: Hi, Daddy! WOTAN: Let's see... [glancing off-stage, counting on fingers] Nine flying horses. [looking at VALKYRIES lined up single file, more counting] Eight Valkyries. Ooookay, then. Has anyone seen Brünnhilde? VALKYRIES [staring off in various directions, trying to make themselves look scarce]: Dum dee dum dee dum. WOTAN: Just in case you were wondering, Siegmund was slated to die; she tried to save him. That would be a big 'F' in Following Instructions. By the way, collective punishment is still on the table. So, let's try this again: Has anyone seen Brünnhilde? BRÜNNHILDE [stepping out]: I'm here. Guess I could have planned that better. Oh, well. So,... Sentencing? WOTAN: Um, yeah. As I happens, I did manage to come up with a three-point plan on the way over here. 1. Exile from Valhalla forever. VALKYRIES: eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee WOTAN: 2. Reduction to mortal status. VALKYRIES: double eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee WOTAN: Wow, that is really loud. And, finally, 3. Enchantment via this really neat spell I just worked out, in which you fall asleep until the next random guy comes along, and then you wake up totally enslaved to him, BRÜNNHILDE: WTF? WOTAN: Magically compelled to obey all of his commands until you die. VALKYRIES: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE BRÜNNHILDE: Um,... That's pretty creepy, Dad. WOTAN [to VALKYRIES, ears bleeding]: Right. You all need to leave now. VALKYRIES: No problemo. Leaving now. [Exeunt]
BRÜNNHILDE: So, seriously, WTFF? WOTAN: I make the rules, remember? Erda made you the expression of my innermost will. But since you apparently don't want to do that anymore, I have to separate you, cut you off, and make you into somebody else's will. Whatever fetish it happens to be, you'll do it, and the spell will warp your very thoughts so that you'll want to do it, eager to serve his every... BRÜNNHILDE: Okay Dad, you can stop getting off on this now. WOTAN: Right, sorry. BRÜNNHILDE: Still not fair. I know Fricka had the arguments lined up. But, saving Siegmund was the one thing that you really wanted to do, probably more than anything else, ever. So how could I do otherwise? WOTAN: Hm, you do have a point there. Unfortunately, the decision is made; can't go back on it. BRÜNNHILDE: So I get to be magic zombie-girl fucktoy for Joe Random Schlemiel. Great. WOTAN: How about if I make sure he's a studly, fearless hero with a nice ass? BRÜNNHILDE: Now, see, that would be much, much better. WOTAN: Should be doable. We can use Loge's Magic FireTM to keep out all of the riff-raff. BRÜNNHILDE: Thanks, Dad. You're the greatest. By the way, you do realize that The Plan can still go forward. Sieglinde's gonna have a kid, and it's a boy, and... WOTAN: La la la. Not listening. What part of "Can't Have Anything to do With Wotan" didn't you get? Anyway, time for night-night. [kisses her. Cue "Magic Sleep" motif] BRÜNNHILDE: [clunk] WOTAN: Bye kid. Gonna miss you. [lays BRÜNNHILDE out] Yo! Loge! Flame on! [pounds staff on rock. Cue "Loge's Magic FireTM" motif] No wimps; no gimps; nice ass required; kthxbai. [There is a distinct smell of propane and then all of the jets ignite. Half of the stage goes up in flames, surrounding BRÜNNHILDE. Exit WOTAN.] SET DESIGNER: Wheee! Awesome! DIRECTOR [to SET DESIGNER]: You are such a fucking pyro. Do you have any idea how much we needed to pay off the Seattle Fire Marshall? SET DESIGNER: Heheh. Just you wait... [Fireproof curtain descends.]
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