THE ANIME-MAZING RACE 3

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Talk about a fairy tale ending…

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Welcome, to what is technically the penultimate stage of the Animazing Race, version 3. After this, the final leg will be a triple instalment all in one go based on three series in two legs.

O.K, so what is this leg about? From one anime based on a fairy tale (or a selection of fairy tales) we have one which has been dubbed ‘Snow White and the 7 Bishounen.’ Indeed, it has even been subtitled in the manga ‘The New Legend of Snow White.’ However, this Princess is no delicate flower!

Pretear is a leg which I considered but not really put into writing until finalising this considering the many series I considered. (Ironically, this took place of my original choice, D N Angel…) The show itself is decent, not fantastic, but an enjoyable 13 episode romp. A good comedy/romance, with an interesting heroine – can be excessive, humorous and violent at one point…and then depressed, destructive and even suicidal at another. It’s like her two stepsisters are rolled into one…Mayune, the excitable one, and Mawata, the depressed one.

However, the real reason is simple. Someone who doesn’t like this series who shall remain nameless dissed another series I liked saying ‘it was a pretty series, but pretty doesn’t cut it without any story.’ Said series was Angelic Layer, which last time I checked, had a great story involving Misaki and her mom. As AL had been used, just for a little revenge, added this series instead. Heh, petty author differences…gotta love ‘em. J

Nah, seriously – Pretear is an enjoyable enough series to warrant a leg, so let’s prét!

* * * *

(Shot of the Royal Castle, where the four remaining teams, are, like Chacha-tachi, not quite receptive of the etiquette of the castle. Chacha (fortunately escaping it) narrates.)

Chacha: This is the Pit Stop, where teams will have to suffer the horrors of royal life…I mean it, seriously! There they will have to eat…

(Shot of Riku not handling a knife and fork properly according to the chefs, waiters and other staff they have at the castle. Riku being to ready to blow a fuse...not because she's being admonished…but that Risa seems to be doing it perfectly…^_^)

Chacha: …(sweatdrops)…sleep…

(Riku, Risa, Racquel and Weda join Dorothy, Orin and Yakko in a game of cards. Marine would have joined them, but she’s too busy looking for Riiya (who of course, changes into his wolf form to avoid her). The boys (Hale, Naruto, Sasuke and Shannon) aren’t quite as having fun – the tension isn’t helping, and the fact that there are washing/fixing the dishes that some of them broke (well, mainly Naruto) doesn’t help, despite Shine’s best effort…)

Chacha: …and mingle with the others…

(If you’re reading AGW, check the forums for a special bonus fight there between Orin, Naruto and Sasuke, as we have a few quick little clips with Yakko and Chacha watching (Yakko of course fantasing about Seravy whilst screaming at Chacha), Riku and Risa enjoying the balcony air and the great view from the castle with Hale and Racquel. Weda fails again to find the secret royal stash of booze, as Shannon practices swordsplay with Shine’s father, Access.)

* * * *

(Chacha is now quite tired as it’s just past 2.30am in the morning, and she hasn’t finished…)

Chacha: (Yawns) The team that arrived first was Naruto and Sasuke, and they arrived at 2.32 in the afternoon…

(Shot of both ninjas, not fully awake or asleep…)

Chacha: …so they will leave at 2.32am…can kids that age be possibly awake?

Sasuke: You’ll get used to it in our line of work…

Chacha: I’ll ask Orin-chan if that’s true later…anyway, let the Prétear leg begin!

Naruto: I’ll be a bit sorry to leave here…it was fun…

Sasuke: So those band-aids were fun right?

Naruto: Look who is talking!

(Sasuke and Naruto both have a few band aids on their faces, Sasuke smiles.)

Sasuke: I still think we should trade Sakura for her…

Naruto: …and I’m still telling her that…anyway…head to the 8 Star Plateau where you will be transported to the prefecture of Awayuki.

Sasuke: O.K…

Naruto: And where the heck is that?

Chacha: (yawns) At least I’m not the only one who will suffer…guys!

(Shot of Seravy, Dorothy, Yakko, Orin, Marine, Shine and Riiya (in wolf form again to avoid Marine).)

Chacha: We’re the only ones who can make it there so you’ll need one of us to help you guys, so who do you want…

(Naruto and Sasuke smile…)

Sasuke: This was a really good leg for us, and probably our most fun as well. It’s a shame it has to end, but at least we get to meet someone…who if I had to call a friend I would…before we go…

* * * *

Naruto: Great that you’re with us one more time Orin-chan!

(Shot of Naruto holding Orin’s hand as they skip off…Sasuke seems indifferent but he’s smiling under that façade as well…)

Orin: Thank you Naruto-san, but are you O.K?

Naruto: Oh don’t worry, the only thing hurt is our pride!

Orin: (turns) And you Sasuke-san?

Sasuke: I’m fine Orin-san…

Orin: Then…

(Orin holds her hand out. Sasuke seems to pause…but sighs.)

Sasuke: I guess…

(The only time you’ll see Sasuke willing hold a female ninjas hand aside from one side SasuSaku fanfiction, Sasuke and Naruto head off as Orin guides them towards the 8 Star Plateau…and even takes them through a shortcut through the trees (of course, N and S are more than capable of following). As they do this, we cut to Ayawuki Town…)

* * * *

(…and we are introduced to our first host, the handsome bishounen of Sound…dubbed ‘Leafe Knight’ of course, the Leafe Knight of Sound, Sasame. He’s tall, has white hair and is in a plaid white suit, working in his regular job, as a radio host. He introduces the leg.)

Sasame: Teams must make it to the four places where the four elder Leafe Knights work – that being Hayate, Kei, Go and myself. There, they must get a signature from each of us before they can continue on with leg.

(Sasame smiles…)

Sasame: Of course, there is a slight problem now…

* * * *

Orin: …you see, when we had to face the Great Demon King, 7 of us close to Chacha were transported to this plateau, and only we can see it.

Naruto: Right…

Sasuke: So is this it?

Orin: Hai!

(A magic circle with 8 lines and circles attached where they were transported to face the Demon King – this is the plateau, where Chacha defeated the King after a little help from everyone.)

Orin: O.K, put yourselves into two of the circles.

(Naruto and Sasuke do as Orin steps into the centre with her medallion. It’s glows…)

Orin: Ayawuki…

(Suddenly, the two male ninjas begin to disappear…)

Naruto: Bye Orin-chan!

(Sasuke nods as they go bye-bye…)

* * * *

(…and welcome back to Tokyo, Naruto and Sasuke! This is Ayawuki Town, renamed after the new husband of Natsue changed her surname to Ayawuki. Naruto and Sasuke drop in the middle of the night…)

Sasuke: Not good.

Naruto: We’ll let your nervousness answer that in a second…

(Naruto gets the route marker right where they were dropped…)

Naruto: Find the four Leafe Knights of Wind, Sound, Fire and Light in their human forms – they are located on this map.

(It’s not a very good map (probably drawn by Mannen) and just marks points where the bishies should be. Plus Naruto and Sasuke are worried…)

Naruto: It’s late…

Sasuke: If we find some way of confirming that the route marker is stopped first…otherwise we’d better make sleeping arrangements.

Naruto: We don’t know also when they start working…it could be now for all we know!

Sasuke: Well, no harm in trying…

(The ninjas begin to see if they can find anything in pitch blackness…)

* * * *

2.50am

Naruto: …(yawns)…so?

(They are outside a restaurant, where they are sure is one of the spots. However…)

Naruto: Open…at 10.00am.

Sasuke: Damn.

Naruto: What do we do?

(Sasuke looks around and checks his money – magically transformed back to Japanese yen.)

Sasuke: Let’s see if we can find anywhere to sleep at an inn or something…if we can’t do the leg until around 10am anyway, no point waiting here is there…

Sasuke: It sucks, but we had a feeling it was going to happen. Now I really wish we were back at the previous leg…

(Sasuke and Naruto are grumbling that their lead will now be cut, but back in Fantasy World Mark 1…)

* * * *

3.00am

(…and I believe for the first time, Naruto and Sasuke actually stay at a place, as a late night ryokan opens it’s door…sorry NaruSasu fans – had enough of the yaoi in jokes so no love hotel…gomen…)

Naruto: …is it O.K?

(The Awayuki Kuroi is open for business as the late night receptionist nods as Sasuke compares rates…)

Sasuke: We’ve got enough.

Naruto: We’ve got to be at that one for 10am right?

Receptionist: Do you want a wake up call?

Sasuke: Yeah, this moron would need a rather loud one though…

Naruto: Sa…su…ke…

(The two get to their room WITH SEPARATE BEDS (see above yaoi-fans) as they just have to wait for the next day and hope their speed will still be enough…)

* * * *

3.14am

RIKU/RISA – TWIN SISTERS – 2ND PLACE

Risa: …good little doggy!

Riiya: I’m a wolf!

Riku: …but you’re so soft…

Risa: …and cuddly…

Riku: …yes cuddly!

Chacha: (in distant) Riiya is kawaii right?!

Risa/Riku: HAI!

Marine: Riiya? Where’s Riiya-kun?!

Yakko: Baka…(back to swooning)…ah Seravy-sama…

(The 2nd place Harada siblings have chosen the cuddly dog…er…wolf…Riiya. Guess using it to make up that we never used the Fast Forward last time…plus he’s cute! Riiya is a dumb young jock who is all muscle but no brains (and provides most of the comedy) but in his wolf form, he definitely looks more like a cuddly little bow-wow. And the Haradas are always fond of cute cuddly things…)

(…but for the record…Riiya isn’t complaining as much as he may should be – watch it boy, Chacha may be watching…J )

Riiya: (sniffs the ground) Hmmm…the Plateau is that way…

Risa: Your scent can track it?

Riiya: No…I just picked up Orin-chan’s scent…I have no idea where it is…

(The two girls nearly collapse, but continue on, as despite Riiya’s sense of direction about as good as another young man which can transform into an animal, Riiya’s nose is very accurate, but they aren’t as quick as the ninjas, so they are a bit later in getting there…not that it matters though considering the late hour…)

3.26am

Weda: (yawning) You’re a tough customer Dorothy!

Dorothy: (yawning) Well, you’re a worthy rival Weda!

Hale: (grumbling) What do they have in common? Oh yeah – abusing their young male into their personal slave and drinking into the night to avoid their troubles…

(Hale, obviously not quite as happy with their choice of Dorothy, who seems to have a friendship with Weda, as the third place team begin their late night journey…)

Dorothy: Well, it lead to Chacha defeating him…and then she defends the title many times before Seravy won it again…AND I STILL CAN’T BEAT HIM!

Weda: Geez…the way you anger about him…it’s the old you always hate the ones you love right?

(Dorothy blushes slightly before recovering…)

Dorothy: NO, NO, NO! WHO COULD LOVE THAT BLONDE HAIR LOVING VENTRILOQUIST FREAK? I- I MEAN COME ON…THAT’S…THAT’S…

Hale: …pretty common around where we live.

Dorothy: (turns bright red) Um…welll…GAH! NEVER MIND, PLATEAU, PLATEAU!!

(Weda smirks as Hale groans….)

Hale: It’s slow moving at times, and it’s not a good time to be slow, with Racquel-nee behind us and could use the Fast Forward, we are on edge, and we don’t want to be slow…even against the Haradas, we want to win. So what time it is, I just want to get there…

* * * *

3.40am

Riiya: …let’s see…

(Riiya is back in human form, a young boy with blue/purple hair and a green shirt as he follows the instructions left by Seravy to him (you honestly think he would remember) as he stands in the middle. Risa and Riku stand on two of the remaining circles not blacked out (used by Naruto and Sasuke) as Riiya looks on confused…)

Riiya: And they promised me an all you can eat buffet for this…

Risa: Come on!

Riiya: Oh fine…

(Riiya concerntrate as a glow appears on his wrist…and the Haradas are about to jump onto more familiar turf…)

* * * *

Risa: The travel is cheap…

Riku: …but the landings are never good.

(The Haradas comment on their rough lands, as they see the darkened streets of Tokyo, and Riku reads the sign just above her…)

Riku: Welcome to Awayuki Town…home of esteemed author Kaoru Awayuki – order of Natsume Awayuki…

Risa: Doesn’t ring a bell…

Riku: Whatever…let’s see what we have to do!

(Riku spots the bright colours of the route marker even in this darkness, as Risa yawns despite getting used to these unusual sleep patterns they’ve had to adapt for this race, Riku grabs the clue.)

Riku: Find the four Leafe Knights of Wind, Sound, Fire and Light in their human forms – they are located on this map.

Risa: At this time of night? Forget it…

Riku: True…but…we’d better check…

Risa: Aw…I’m tired…

Riku: Same here, but if Naruto and Sasuke are here and they ARE looking, then…

Riku: At this stage of the game, you don’t want to take risks. Even the smallest advantage can help, and we need it, knowing out of the 4 remaining teams, we are physically the weakest...

(Riku looks at the map as best as she can, and despite Risa’s grumbling, the Haradas begin moving, but unlike Naruto and Sasuke, they decide to take a longer road…)

* * * *

3.51am

Dorothy: See, easy?

(Dorothy has it a bit easy to complete compared to Riiya, but it’s just not as cute of course.)

Dorothy: All right my soulmate Weda…and her son, I wish you a pleasant journey! (yawns)And now back to bed…

Hale: Wish we had that luxury…

Weda: (yawns) You’re telling me…

Hale: NEXT TIME THINK BEFORE DRINK!

Weda: Next time…

Hale: Why don’t I believe you…

(The two begin to move as only two spots remain on the plateau which Shannon and Racquel will occupy, but meanwhile…)

* * * *

3.58am

Risa: …so that’s the plastering agency…open for business at 8am…

Risa: I think we both figured what this leg was going to be about…so we planned ahead. As Riku said, we need every advantage that we can – we’ve used our Fast Forward, and to combat our weaknesses, we need every strategy and trick we can think of…

Riku: Can you handle more walking?

Risa: I don’t wanna, especially after last leg, but considering that we’d have to waste money on a taxi when we could do with a sleep…

Riku: I’ll tell you what, you book a hotel and I’ll search…

Risa: Right, there is one just up there right?

Riku: Let’s see…

(The Haradas run off, as they nod and smile.)

Riku: O.K, you book us in, and I’ll do a little investigating…

Risa: Are you sure sis?

Riku: Yes, now we’re here…(circles map) so I’ll meet you back hopefully in an hour or so…

(Risa seems a bit quiet…)

Risa: I just…well…feel a bit guilty…

(Riku stops, turns and smiles.)

Riku: You know, if you had said that a year ago, I would have fainted. It’s fine Risa – don’t worry about me. Just get in there, book a room and I’ll do the rest…

Risa: Sis…

(Riku clutches her sisters hand, nods once, and begins running. Risa wipes her sleepy/tearful eyes and heads in…)

Risa: We fight, we moan, we are complete opposites…but she’s the best.

* * * *

4.00am

(Shot of Hale and Weda now also looking after arriving at Awayuki, and not really making heads or tails of the map, only that they need to find 4 guys…)

Hale: I don’t think any of them are on lates…

Weda: Well…shall we ditch this stand and find somewhere to sleep?

Hale: I doubt it…we don’t sleep in this race remember?

Weda: Well, what do you suggest?

Hale: (thinks) I guess we need to find these places…and see what time they are opening and how to find these guys…

Weda: (yawns) Any better ideas which involve us getting into a bed?

Hale: It’s 4am…if someone begins work at 6am, does it really matter?

Weda: Good point…

Hale: Let’s start looking and plan our next point of action…

(Hale and Weda move onward and upward…)

* * * *

4.06am

(…as now all our teams are accounted for)

SHANNON/RACQUEL – STEPSIBLINGS – LAST PLACE

Shannon: …well, we would have picked the big guy, but he seemed scared of you?

Racquel: Really, why?

Shannon: And as soon as we said that, the black hood girl went nuts…

Racquel: …as long as you’re quiet when you say that…

(Racquel and Shannon head there with Shine, who is happily skipping along after Chacha waved him goodbye…poor schmuck…)

Shine: This is how we defeat the Evil Lord – thanks to Chacha-san’s power, ahh, Chacha san is great…

Shannon: I think the other teams picked the sane ones…

(Oh yeah, a dumb ever hungry mutt, a chibi shy ninja and a psycho rival witch…there is no such thing as normal in the main cast of ACC…)

Racquel: Oh well, we have to catch up anyway…

(The two head off as Hale and Weda look on…)

* * * *

4.10am

(…they are outside of a Radio Tower, where Sasame works. To their surprise, it’s actually still open (early morning radio), but they don’t know when Sasame’s shift is, which is the problem…)

Hale: So, he works here…

Weda: Well, let’s try something out…

(Weda casually enters – the late night receptionist is there, as she seems surprised to have someone come this late who isn’t a worker, and seems a little edgey…)

Weda: Excuse me, do you know when any of these guys come in?

(The lady obviously isn’t at all sure what she’s on about, as she’s never heard of the ‘Leafe Knights…but…’)

Receptionist: Well, Sasame-san is known as the Spirit of Sound, and he will be in at 6am to begin prep work and then be on the air for his morning hour at 8am.

Weda: (yawns) That will do…

(The mother steps out, half asleep and probably didn’t really listen, but has unwittingly got a clue to when Sasame, someone they are looking for, is coming. Hale sees his mom head out…)

Weda: Get comfy kid, we’ve got a date to win this race at 6am…

Hale: Mom?

(Weda plops her rear end on the ground, and beckons her son to join him. Hale does so, as Weda puts an arm around him…)

Weda: We can’t sleep in, so if one of us has a nap for an hour, and then the other for the next hour…

Hale: Right…

Weda: With that…g’night!

(Weda collapses on her sons shoulder as Hale sighs…)

Hale: Mom…

(…then he smiles…)

Hale: …you’re hopeless.

Hale: Mom is so unpredicatable, she can be a sleeping giant or a thunderous volcano, but I know that somehow, we’ve got this far, and we can get further, so any advantage we can get, we’ll take..

(As Hale takes first watch…a familiar face greets him…)

Hale: R-Riku-san?

(Riku stops, as she looks exhausted. She’s marked out 8am at one of the locations (the computer design company who Kei works for) and 10am for the restaurant, so she just needs one more…this one…)

Riku: Eh…Hale-kun?

Hale: (whispering) Where’s Risa-san?

Riku: She’s at the hotel, I’m on scouting alert…

Hale: Oh…

Riku: So this must be it…when do we have to be alert here?

(she turns to Hale, who is trying to avoid her gaze…)

Riku: Hale-kun?

(It’s obvious Hale is debating to tell her, out of all the teams in the race, Hale and Riku have been the closest…BUT the fact that they are so close to the end of the game makes it difficult for any team to get an advantage over another…)

Hale: Hmm…we’re just camping out waiting for when he comes…

Riku: Really?

Hale: I know it opens at 6 in the morning, but I don’t know if that is when the guy is in…

Riku: I see…

(Riku makes a note of 6am (with a question mark) and looks at the distance between here and the hotel…)

Riku: Maybe it would have been better to have dropped here like you guys…

(Now it’s Riku who looks a bit guilty, after all she knows where to go and how to get there…)

Riku: Anyway, good luck Hale-kun…

Hale: You too Riku-san…

(As Riku leaves, almost in unison…)

Hale/Riku: I’m sorry Riku-san/Hale-kun…

* * * *

4.26AM

Shine: O.K, are you guys ready?

Shannon: As ready as we’ll ever be…

(Shine’s fingers glow as the power from the two remaining magic circles surrounding Racquel and Shannon begin to glow…)

* * * *

Shannon: …and we’re back to reality.

Racquel: Not necessarily…

Shannon: You sense something?

Racquel: Yes, aura of magic…it’s faint, but it’s there.

Shannon: Right, let’s see what we have to do first…

(They find the route marker, and go through what they have to do…)

Racquel: So, we have to find these Knights?

Shannon: Sounds right up my street.

Racquel: Let’s see if we can make heads or tails of this…

Shannon: Wouldn’t be much worse than any of the directions we’ve taken before…

(The two begin moving, following the map as best as they can…)

Shannon: We’re strong as a team, and seeing that night sky gave us hope – now if we get a bit of luck on our side…

* * * *

4.35am

(Shot of Riku entering their hotel room…)

Riku: For a couple of hours rest…not sure if it’s worth it…

(Shot of Risa, totally in snoozeville as Riku sighs…)

Riku: Well, whatever Hale-kun said, if it’s true…then it doesn’t matter as they have to make it for all of them by 10am, and if I work it out that way…

(Riku sets her watch for a time, and join her sister to sleep…)

* * * *

4.46AM

(Racquel and Shannon are outside a computer programming company, where the Leafe Knight of Light, Kei, works. Opening hours are at 8am, as Racquel and Shannon contemplate what to do.)

Racquel: We don’t know much about this world’s customs, but if most businesses open around this time, it makes sense to do everything at this time…

Shannon: We could check to see if the other places are open, after all, we don’t know for certain…it’s not like we’re in any hurry.

(Neither seem tired, as Racquel nods, and begin to have a quick search around the city, like Riku and Risa did…)

* * * *

4.58AM

Racquel: Aww…how precious!

(Racquel has come across mom and son – Hale is barely keeping awake, but knows he has to wake his mom for the next hour. He doesn’t notice the two watching them, as Racquel smiles.)

Shannon: They’ve just camped there, meaning this is probably somewhere we have to be early…stay here, and I’ll search around the other places.

Racquel: Right!

(Racquel does so as Shannon takes the map and begins moving, as a couple of minutes later…)

Hale: Mom…you up?

Weda: (Half-asleep) More juice please…

Hale: Not again…please mom…

(It’s take a few shakes, and casually sleep dodging his mom’s flailing fists, but Hale somehow gets Weda up…)

Weda: Wh-wh-what?

Hale: Your turn to stay up, remember?

Weda: Huh?

Hale: (sighs) Never mind…goodnight…

(Hale snuggles to his mom’s side, as Weda suddenly gets all wide awake, and smiles.)

Weda: Ah yes…have to be alert now…

(Weda puts her arm around as Racquel tries not to give herself away…)

Weda: I’m not sure if it is the race, or the amount of time we’ve spent together and managed to survive this long, but this is the first time I’ve really felt like a mother to Hale…

Racquel: It’s so sweet watching them – it’s a family blossoming in front of our eyes – something that Shannon and I are well aware of as well. However, we also want to win as much for said family…

(Racquel crouches down as Weda keeps one eye on the time, and one eye on the radio station. A few cars drive by, as some early morning executives are ready for their morning meeting, Weda calls out a couple of times to see if any of them are this ‘Sasame’ guy…no luck and a few weird looks later, Weda humphes and just waits on…)

* * * *

5.24am

(Shannon has returned, sees Racquel still hiding as he has to be careful to make sure Weda doesn’t notice, fortunately some combined sleepiness and intense watching make sure Weda doesn’t see him…)

Shannon: Right, there…

Racquel: So?

Shannon: At this location and this one, they are opening for business at 8am…and at this one at 10am…here?

Racquel: I don’t know…but I think they are waiting for someone to come early, so we wait…

Shannon: K.

(The two begin to wait, as two teams sleep…)

* * * *

6.02am

(At 2 minutes past 6, a white car drives in. Weda looks on as a man comes out. It’s the same man who introduced the leg, a handsome young man in a white suit – Sasame (prenounced the same as Tenchi Muyos’ resident chef) , aka, the Leafe Knight of Sound.)

(Weda tries again…)

Weda: Excuse me, are you Sasame?

Sasame: Why, yes I am? And I’d assume you would be…

Weda: Huh?

Sasame: I got a memo that four teams of two people would be trying to find me for a signature, this that correct?

Weda: Yes!

Sasame: Unusual way to get an autograph but never mind. O.K, let’s do this before I have to do any work…

(As soon as Weda does it, Shannon and Racquel nod and move ahead…)

Racquel: Hello there?!

(Weda nearly screams seeing the two there, but recovers enough…)

Weda: Looks like our plan didn’t work out…

Racquel: Well…

Shannon: Excuse me sir, if you don’t mind…

Sasame: Sure, it’s just prep work until the morning hour anyway – plenty of time.

(Sasame signs the map for Shannon and Racquel as well as they let Sasame to do his work as now…)

Racquel: So, we have to now go and wait?

Shannon: Yeah, we’ve got a couple of hours to kill…

(Racquel and Shannon begin moving but Weda calls out…)

Weda: Wait, where you going?

Shannon: Nowhere.

Racquel: Bye!

(The two go as Weda tries to catch up, but Hale is only just stirring, and she can’t react in time.)

Weda: Dammit!

Weda: I never noticed them, they had planned what to do, and stole what we did basically. And now they’ve got ahead – talk about the worst scenarios. Fortunately the other teams haven’t come either…but now we have to find the others now…and this horrible feeling that they now where they are as well…

(Fortunately for Hale and Weda, they don’t need to do two until 8am…and one at 10am…which one certain team has made the mistake of assuming that’s for all of them…)

* * * *

6.20AM

(At the computer programming company, they now have another problem…)

Shannon: When are their shifts?

Racquel: We don’t know…

Shannon: Just hope it’s early, otherwise we could be waiting a long time…

Racquel: So what do we do now?

Shannon: Hmmm…

(Shannon thinks…)

Shannon: About time we say what we’re going to do to avoid seeing Pacifica a few days quicker…

Racquel: Shannon!!

(The stoic swordsman smiles…)

Shannon: Kidding…I think we’ve been wrapping this up, and it’s time to go home.

Racquel: Let’s head home in victory though…

Shannon: Of course…

* * * *

6.26AM

Hale: …man, this sucks.

Weda: I know, but what else can we do?

(They are outside the plasterers work, as they find the opening hours, but don’t know whether they should stay or wait…)

Weda: Well, most businesses open at 8am or 9am, so fingers crossed, we’ll just move after…

Hale: …I hope…

* * * *

7.30AM

(Wake up call for the Haradas as the two maidens stir thanks to Riku’s alarm. Risa is struggling as Riku is quickly up, yawns and washes her face…)

Risa: Sis…(yawns)…what’s with the wake up?

Riku: Race remember? We’ve got to be at the plasterers and the game company for 8am when they open, so we’d best move…

Risa: (yawns) Well, let’s go!

Riku: Huh?

Risa: What?! You think I can’t be awake on time – I can if I set my mind to it? Let’s just get changed and get ready…we don’t know how the others are doing…

Riku: …plus…

Risa: …plus…

Riku: I can’t say…

(Risa slyly moves towards her sister…)

Risa: You’ve been listening to Sasame’s talk show recently haven’t you? On help with your lo-ve life?

(Riku turns beet red…as Risa chuckles.)

Risa: Don’t worry sis, if we can make it before 9, then we should be O.K…that’s what you said right? Hale-kun was waiting for 6 but if we’re between 8 and 10, and that Sasame’s show in the morning starts at 9…that’s what you said didn’t you, you fangirl you?

Riku: (embarrassed) Niwa-kun…gomen!!!

Risa: (laughs) Come on sis, let’s clean up and move out!

(Riku gets changed, glares daggers at her sister, and begins to move, to their nearest location, the plasterers…)

* * * *

7.52am

Hale: Um…hi?

Riku: Eh…hello there…

Risa: Ah, awkward…

Weda: Not really…just been outside pretty much the night…

(Riku turns to avoid a bit of guilty looks as does Hale, which is of course misinterpreted by Weda…)

Weda: Aw, shyness is so sweet…

??????: Excuse me?

(They turn, and Risa gasps in her own fangirl way – a tall, dark and handsome young man (who is not too dissimilar to Tamahome in looks) with long black hair, and dressed in a white workman’s outfit – this is Hayate, the main male character (you can argue Sasame as well though) of the show, and whilst Sasame is kind and helpful, Hayate is stoic and condescending. Still, he has his moments…)

Risa: My new angel!

Riku: Oh boy…

(Hayate inspects them slightly and sighs…)

Hayate: I take it you are among the people I have to sign to? They said something about ‘Kogechibi Productions’ were doing this for four pairs to compete in a race?

Hale: So…you’re one of this Leafe Knights?

Hayate: Yes, but it’s taboo – let’s just leave it at that shall we?

(Risa continues to swoon as Riku continues to sigh. However, Hayate is still a gentleman, and does sign them without any problem…now…)

(…the race is truly on. Riku and Risa, who know where they are going, have the unenviable task to try and shake Hale and Weda off, considering that they are trying to find where else to go…)

(…suddenly, Riku and Risa get a brainwave…)

Riku: To the radio station!

(Riku and Risa begin to head down, and with Hale and Weda already been there, it’s not much help…)

Hale: Map please…

Weda: Hai…

Hale: We need to move…

Weda: Hai…

(The two teams separate, as they have different directions to go in…)

* * * *

7.55am

Kei: You’re lucky you caught me on the early shift…

Shannon: Yes, luck.

(Kei, the Leafé Knight of Light, and the only person who doesn’t fall about laughing when Shannon asks…is also pretty much the quiet brains of the bunch. Tall, blonde, dark tanned…he also has a thing for…himself. Well, whilst not a complete narcissist, the fact that around his workstation he has a lot of pictures of himself…well…)

Kei: Right, well, won’t be the first person someone asks for an autograph…

Shannon: Right, right…

Racquel: Shall we move on?

Shannon: Yeah…next up…let’s go south…

Racquel: Right.

(Two run off as Kei heads inside the office…)

* * * *

8.04am

Risa: …we’re sorry to disturb you Sasame-san, but my sister is a big fan and would like your auto…OWWW!

(Riku pinches her blabbermouth of a sister as Sasame just smiles at the two young ladies – technically, they are after an autograph, but for race purposes…)

Sasame: Very well, sign here…(he sees the form)…I see Hayate has already been charmed by you?

Risa: You can tell he’s a radio voice can’t you?

(Inside the studio, Sasame is enjoying a cup of coffee and completing some paper work, as the Haradas look through were to go now…)

Riku: By the time we go east and get the third one, we can get some lunch…

Risa: How so?

(Before Riku can explain, Sasame comes back with the signing, the Haradas thanks him, and they head off, as Riku quickly speaks about the fourth place…)

Riku: It’s not open until 10am, so we can just have a relaxing time for an hour or so…

Risa: How can you relax in this game?

Riku: Good point, and we don’t know if two other teams will try and take the fast forward...

Shannon: I assure you we are considering it…

(The Haradas eep as Shannon and Racquel are now outside the studio. Riku sweatdrops…)

Risa: Er, hi?

Racquel: Hi there!

Riku: Bye?

Shannon: That works too.

(The Haradas gulp as Shannon chuckles…)

Shannon: Haven’t had much time with those two, but that’s a sister relationship which reminds me a bit too much of myself and Pacifica…

Racquel: Because on the outside they argue and hate each other, but in reality…

Shannon: Oh, I’m sure Pacifica will be moaning when we get back…still be happy to see her face though…

Racquel: Right…

(The two head in, ready to get their next clue…)

* * * *

8.14am

Hale: Is this it?

Weda: I think so…

(Hale and Weda are following the map to the outside, where they are near Kei’s game company, but aren’t sure…)

Hale: Now what?

Riku: (distant) That’s it!

Risa: Right…

(The mother and son look at each other, nod and chuckle…)

Weda: Looks like we caught up with them after all…

Hale: Just don’t be mean…

Weda: I know…(chuckles)…I know you wuv Riku, but she’s got a boyfriend and what’s Mari going to s…

(Hale runs like the wind to avoid Weda’s teasing…which of course was EXACTLY what his mother wanted.)

Weda: Wait up!

(As soon as Weda’s voice is heard, Risa twitches…)

Risa: Crud!

Riku: Less talk, more walk!

(The Haradas move in, as they have to get in via reception. As they do, the receptionist asks for their business...)

Risa: We need to find someone named the Leafé Knight of Light?

(Normally, cue laughter. Not this time…)

Receptionist: Ah, this race jargon. Someone in there answers to that nickname, though not sure…you may go in though…

Risa: Thanks!

(The twins head up, closely followed by Hale and Weda. Hale and Weda go through the same thing as they head upstairs…)

* * * *

Risa: …so this is an office job…

(Shot of something which is probably similar to my business desk – a real mess. Various producers, designers, creators and test players around, with paper everywhere, machines twitching, the aroma of coffee everywhere and anywhere, and somewhere in this mess hides someone who they have to get their third autograph…)

Weda: So Hale, you’ve always wanted to know how they make those games of yours?

Hale: There went…my final fantasy…

Riku: Well, first one with a signature owes the other team a coffee…

Hale: Riku-san, only one of us drinks that stuff…

Riku: Ah right…ramune?

Hale: Deal.

(The two teams split up, looking for Kei. They don’t want to bring too much attention, so they begin just asking a few of these guys if anybody goes by the name of ‘The Leafé Knight of Light.’ Of course, most of them laugh, but during this, Riku notices that one of them is groaning every time they laugh…)

Riku: Time for a true dark trick sis…

Risa: Huh?

(The two duck through the archives with a ‘sneak sneak’ motif, as they try to avoid Hale and Weda seeing them. Finally, they get to Kei, who was pretty much obvious as a Leafé Knight, simply because his Arabian like good looks pretty much make him stand out like a sore thumb…)

Risa: Excuse me, are you…

Kei: Yeah – it’s not my pen name and I haven’t told anyone because it’s a secret, but just three more times…

Risa: Two now…

Kei: Yeah…

(Kei scribbles his John Hancock on the paper, as Hale sees them try to sneak away.)

Hale: Nice try!

Risa: Dammit!

Riku: Outta here!

(The sisters leave as Hale’s grin and shake of his head just says it all…)

Hale: Damn them.

Weda: Yeah, like you mean it – you’re loving this aren’t you?

Hale: (chuckles) Maybe I am…come on…

(The two head over to Kei, who does the same, as Racquel and Shannon head off to numero trois…)

* * * *

PLASTERER’S – 8.25AM

Hayate: …just doing this whilst I’m busy…

(Hayate loading up some plaster ready to be made into some sculpture work (bets on it will be Tulip Number 3…Pretéár fans enjoy the joke…)

Shannon: We’ll be out of your hair.

(Two stoic bishounen meet as Racquel moves up a bit…)

Racquel: Please?

(Hayate sighs – despite his deamenour, pushy girls seem to work with him. He puts his signature, meaning three teams have three signatures. The last one is at the restaurant where Go works…)

* * * *

(…which the Haradas make to first knowing where it is.)

8.40am

AYAWUKI RESTAURANT

Riku: …well, waiting in line for an hour doesn’t seem to be good…is there a snack stand somewhere?

Risa: Well…

(Quick scout around…)

Risa: Nuts…

Riku: Now what?

Hale: You can catch first of all!

(Riku turns as Hale tosses her a ramune soda. Weda does the same for Risa, as the two also have a couple of bags…)

Riku: Hey, how’d you find it?

Weda: A map deary…and the fact that Hale is now very good at stalking girls…

Hale: (sweatdrops) It’s called following them because they know where we are going…not a tactic I like but…

Risa: …we’d do the same.

Riku: Yeah, this close to the end of the game.

Hale: And as it is, we got some food…we saw the restaurant wasn’t going to be open until 10 so mom and I got some subs and some instant ramen…

Weda: Would you ladies like to join us?

(Risa’s stomach kinda answers the question…)

Risa: Um…

Weda: Half the price please…

Risa: WHAT?!!!

Riku: Swindler…

Hale: Mom….

(Weda laughs as she sits down and shares around the food with some ramune for Hale and some coffee for herself. The two teams realise this may be the last peaceful moment they have in the race…)

Hale: From moment one, when we were kicked into a van, and later ended the leg together – they are our biggest competitors. Sure, they’re not as physically gifted as the Shannons or the Narutos, but they’ve been the most consistent by far. And I guess, whilst we are rivals, I’d like to say they have become friends now, and just for now, pretend this race doesn’t exist.

Riku: I like Hale-kun, he’s a cute little kid who is real smart and energetic, he’s the only person I can say I’ve got to actually be close with – his mom is a real wisecrack, and I can see why he gets veins in his head, but if I was part of their family, I’d probably guarantee it wouldn’t be boring…

* * * *

8.56am

Shannon: …well, well.

Racquel: Hi there!

(The two teams were involved in a talk which probably meant lots of Hale teasing, but Shannon and Racquel have arrived at the restaurant…)

Hale: We’re together for the end huh?

Risa: Well…where are the ninjas?

Shannon: They’re not here?

Riku: Nah – haven’t seen ‘em either…not a hide nor hair…

Shannon: Interesting…

Weda: Are you guys joining us for the last supper?

Racquel: Don’t mind if we do!

Shannon: Where’s a good place to eat?

(Weda points to the vending machine opposite. Shannon nearly sweatdrops…)

Shannon: My fault for asking…

Racquel: Well, three teams here, all looking for victory now, and yet we’re here eating together…seems kinda of…unusual…

Hale: As soon as the race begins again at 10am, we’ll be at each others throats…

Shannon: Maybe not…

(Shannon walks off, and takes the Awayuki equivalent to Starbucks, as they wait until Go shows up. Some restaurant staff are already in there, cleanings and working on stuff…but one team still hasn’t got that far…)

* * * *

9.25am

NARUTO/SASUKE – RIVALS

(The two wake up from their ryokan room, unaware of the boo-boo they made…Sasuke is up first and after dragging Naruto up, the two begin the ancient ninja ritual of…washing their faces.)

Sasuke: Let’s just annihilate this now – we’re close to the end and all we have to do is remain focused…

Naruto: Huh?

Sasuke: Never mind…let’s just kick ass.

Naruto: That language I understand!

(The two ninjas head off to the restaurant as soon as they’ve changed…)

* * * *

9.32am

Risa: …you guys are late!!!

Naruto: Heh…didn’t expect this…

Sasuke: Well, we’ll see when the race starts…

Weda: Eh, hasn’t it already started?

Naruto: What do you mean? This opens at 10 and…

??: Hey, you guys must be the racers!

(An attractive uneven haired young man in a waiter’s suit appears, adjusting his tie. This is the last of the adult Leafé Knights, the Leafé Knight of Fire. Oh, and he’s voice by Spike Spencer…sorry, been a while since heard Spike, so have to mention it.)

Go: So you guys want me to sign?

Weda: Yes please!

Go: Very well milady, you guys first!

(Go scribbles the fourth signature on the Jungle duo, following by the Haradas, then the Scrapped duo and finally the ninjas. Naruto and Sasuke look confident…)

(…until the papers in the hands of Weda, Risa and Racquel begin to glow…and theirs don’t.)

Naruto: Huh?

(As the glowing ends, the paper turns into the familiar gold envelope. The ninjas are shocked…)

Sasuke: But it started around 10 right?

Shannon: (stoic smirk) Never said the other four places were at 10 right?

(Sasuke seems stunned.)

Sasuke: What a stupid error! We assumed one was the same as the others…and it has cost us…big time.

(Weda and Risa open them simultaneously…)

Weda/Risa: Detour – Ice Cream or Ice Rink.

* * * *

(Cut shot to the best friend of the heroine character Yayoi Takato, with dark brunette/red haired pig tails, glasses and a beaming face. She straightens her hair as it flows more naturally as she introduces the detour.)

Yayoi: This is the Detour – it consists of two tasks, each with their own pros and cons. The teams will have to choose between Ice Cream and Ice Rink.

(Cut shot to an ice cream vendor outside the school. There’s a small crowd even this early in the warm hours of the morning as Yayoi instructs.)

Yayoi: In Ice Cream, teams must eat my best friend Himeno’s favourite ice cream flavour…whilst sounds easy enough, it’s not quite a flavour anybody should be used to…or indeed like…lychee bean and chilled natto…

(Yayoi shudders at her own experience of tasting it, or Mannen puts it ‘Himeno-oneéchan, do you have any taste buds?’)

(Speaking of Mannen, we cut over to a home made rink of ice, created by the young Leafé Knight of Ice. He’s about 13, has light blue hair, and has a cheeky grin. On the ice rink, two kids even smaller and younger (around 9 and 6 respectivelly) – one with short brunette hair which slightly sticks out. The smallest, with a face so adorable it defines ‘pinch cheeks’ has very light brunette/blond hair and a small green cloak around his body. These are also Leafé Knight, Hayame (the eldest) – the Leafé Knight of Water, and Shin (the younger) – the Leafé Knight of Grass.)

(And yes, I know it’s beginning to sound like a Pokemon game but Yayoi continues…)

Yayoi: In Ice Rink, the team will have to guide Shin and Hajime around the rink with Mannen’s instruction. You can skate, slip, slide or fall on your rear, but you need to get round twice. More fun and less stomach churning, but obviously the time to do two laps will be longer than to devour an ice cream, no matter how bad it is…

* * * *

Weda: So what do we do?

Hale: I had some of that pastry last leg…and your cooking…

Weda: WHAT WAS THAT?

Hale: (hurriedly) Joking, joking! We’ll do ice cream…

Weda: Yeah, how bad can it be?

(The Haradas on the other hand…)

Risa: Natto? No way!

Riku: I know you don’t like it but…

Risa: Nononononono…

Riku: (sighs) Fine. We can skate anyway, let’s have some fun right?

Risa: (eyes sparkle) Thank you big sis!

Riku: You scare me when you say that…

(They leave as Shannon and Racquel look through it and nod…)

Shannon: O.K, let’s follow them…

(They head in the direction of Hale and Weda…as Naruto and Sasuke look at each other in shock…)

Naruto: I don’t believe it…

Sasuke: Believe it Naruto, and now we’ve got to get to the other places now! We’re still faster than all of them, but…

Naruto: Less talk, more running like heck!!!

Sasuke: A rare occurance…I totally agree with you…

(They begin moving, unaware that as soon as they are out of sight, Shannon and Racquel stop.)

Shannon: Now?

Racquel: Now.

(The two flip the clue over – where the fast forward shows.)

* * * *

(Cut to the evil stepmother, well, kind of. We have Natsue Ayawuki, a tall mature woman in her mid thirties with long black hair and wearing a long red dress. Fond of her husband’s novels and now enjoying herself a lot and that life isn’t just about money, she introduces the Fast Forward.)

Natsue: There is only one Fast Forward on this leg – and only can be used once in the race. The Teams must choose when they feel it is most advantageous to use it.

(Shot of Natsue outside her mansion, where the small, chubby and bald…and how sensitive he is to this is one of the show’s good points…chaffeur Mr. Tanaka, who has been in love with his employer Natsue for a long time, but she’s been married…twice…and broken his poor heart (and his wallet) more times than I care to remember. However, you can help this poor soul…)

Natsue: To get the Fast Forward, teams must search in town for the legendary 5000 Year Chinese Hair Remedy – it’s only found in one shop…and poor Tanaka can’t afford it on the amount of wages he owes…

Tanaka: Mistress, you are too cruel…

Natsue: (makes a note in her notebook) Tanaka – using too much authority in his voice, dock 3 months pay.

(Cue the ashes in the wind affect…)

Natsue: (continuing) …it’s in a remedy shop downtown, and will be recognised by the store clerk. Once they purchase it, they will win the Fast Forward.

* * * *

Shannon: We’ve saved a lot on this trip, but is it enough?

Racquel: Well, we won’t know if we can try…

Shannon: Just be ready to see if we can sell some items in case…

(The two begin running back into town, to see if they can find this remedy…)

* * * *

9.40am

(Naruto and Sasuke’s poor sense of direction isn’t helping either, as despite their intense speed, map skills have never been a strong point for Naruto. And despite Sasuke with the map, they argue more than Kyo and Yuki do in these sorts of circumstances. Instead, they decide to leap to the top of a telephone pole and see if they can sort anything that resembles where to go…)

Naruto: So…we were at that restaurant…

Sasuke: …which is there…

(He points at the map, and tries to see if he can work out where to go in the three other locations. He points north west…)

Sasuke: Up there…

Naruto: You’d better be right…

(The two leap off and head in that direction…)

* * * *

9.45am

(…as Hale and Weda drop off the school outside a taxi.)

Hale: Thank you!

Weda: We decided, we could go and search for it, but what’s the point? We’ve done well so far, and we need to keep ahead, so we took a cab. Easier than looking for it – the map doesn’t tell us where that is…

(Outside the school, they see 3 kids in the line, and Hale and Weda wait for a moment before it’s their turn. You can see that neither of them are really looking forward to this though…)

Hale: Um…er…this sounds stupid but…

(He points to the flavour specified on the detour…)

Ice cream vendor: Really, that flavour starting to pick up? I’ve only had one customer of that brand before…

Weda: I think I can understand why…

(The vendor does the ice creams and Hale pays. They look at it, as it looks like grey grisle, with slimy natto beans still visible. Needless to say, it’s not one of the most enjoyable experiences the mother/son team have enjoyed in the race…)

Hale: One…

Weda: …two…

(The two take a tentative lick….and their faces swell up…)

Hale/Weda: Dis…gusting…

(The two shake their heads…)

Hale: Down the hatch mom…we can wash it down later…

Weda: Wish we’d kept that ramune now…O.K…now!

(The two literally shove the things down their throat – both shudder with pain, brainfreeze and utter disgust…but after a few moments, Hale holds his nose and swallows. Weda follows suit and the two swallow.)

Hale: That was…the worst thing…

Weda: Water…soda…coffee…beer…anything…

(After buying a couple of sodas from the vendor and gasping for air, they receive the next clue.)

Weda: Head to the Ayawuki Mansion: Jungle Entrance.

(Hale’s eyes light up…)

Hale: Jungle?

* * * *

(Return to Natsue, who is busy ignoring the fallen ash that is Tanaka as she introduces the next stage…)

Natsue: Teams must navigate to the Awayuki Mansion, but they will be denied access via the main gate. They must get through and find the garden entrance, also called ‘The Jungle’ at times. It is here, they will find their next clue.

* * * *

Weda: Y’know…I sudddenly feel revived…

Hale: Let’s go mom! Taxi!

(They catch the cab they got first and ask to go to the Awayuki Mansion. The driver doesn’t know about a jungle entrance, but he obviously knows about the Awayuki Mansion. They head off…)

* * * *

9.50am

(…just as Riku and Risa find their track…)

Risa: It is homemade!

(Riku made the logic – it’s at the pond. Visitors are stunned about a frozen pond somewhere here in sunny Awayuki, but they are taking advantage of it, none the less two young boys…)

(…and a third young one spots the two twins and waves them over.)

Mannen: Are you neechans here to skate?

Risa: Yes! (Waves the clue)

Mannen: O.K, let’s get some skates on…Hajime! Shin!

(The two young boys turns…cue the shounen sparkles…)

Shin: Thank you, a beyondious to you!

Hajime: Help us please neechans!

Risa: So cute!!!

(Riku turns to hide her blush…)

Mannen: O.K then…

(Riku and Risa get on the ice, stutter a little because they have to guide the two kids around the pond twice. Not easy…)

Riku: The detour was done out of my sisters selfishness, but I decided to go along with it – she’s managed to surprise me so far, so let’s just see if we can hold out. I’m not counting out anything, especially as two teams have a fast forward…

* * * *

(Shot of Naruto and Sasuke getting Hayate’s signature as they race in town, trying to find Sasame’s radio station…)

(…and spots two other familiar people…)

Naruto: Crap…

(Shannon and Racquel are around town – looking around for some medicine shops or chemists. Their ‘not familiar with Tokyo surroundings’ is becoming a problem.)

Sasuke: What they doing here?

Racquel: Where is it?

Shannon: Hmm?

Racquel: We can’t find this detour anywhere…

(Racquel ‘spots’ Naruto and Sasuke who turn, smile and speed off. As soon as they’ve gone, Racquel smiles.)

Racquel: That’s twice we’ve got them…

Shannon: …so…

(They spot another medicinal store – they’ve found 2 Chinese stores before, but this one is different. First, there is a pottery work in front of it, and two, the clerk working there is very different from anyone else they’ve met.)

(She’s got beautiful cropped teal hair, a Japanese yamato nadesico look about her in a blue kimono, and a slow but kind smile. This is the youngest stepsister, Mawata – who stands out in any crowd with her music skills and angelic looks. She also had quite the crush on Sasame before certain events happened. Shannon and Racquel pop inside…)

Mawata: Welcome.

Shannon: Hi.

Racquel: Hello there, we are here to find if you have this?

(Racquel shows what they are looking for. Mawata nods.)

Mawata: Very well…it’s…

(The two blink their eyes at the price…)

Shannon: Hmmm…have we got enough?

Mawata: We also take foreign currency…

Shannon: Start shuffling those pockets…

* * * *

Shannon: So what do we have? 2 ancient gold pieces, 1020 yen, 450 lira, 120 deutchmarks…

Mawata: Wait, those pieces…

(Mawata examines them…)

Mawata: They are from ancient times…I think those two pieces alone are worth enough…

Racquel: Lucky!

(Mawata takes the gold pieces, as Shannon is handed the cannister of rare 5000 year old hair growth.)

Mawata: Give this to Tanaka-san, in front of the gates of our home, the Awayuki Mansion.

Shannon: Wow…

Shannon: Sometimes, the little things you do can help the most. The fact that we stored our left over money in our pouches isn’t something we kept track of, but if we hadn’t, we’d be stuck.

Racquel: Luck was on our side there, and at this stage of the game, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

(Shannon and Racquel use their remaining yen to holler up a taxi, as the other teams unaware of what has transpired, continue merrily on…)

* * * *

10.00am

(Three events occur…)

Risa: Come on!

(She and Shin have done their first lap, with Riku and Hajime just ahead as they are nearly through their second. The kids are slowing them down, but they seem to be enjoying it, though you can feel a small twitch of tension from Risa to hurry up, as elsewhere…)

* * * *

Naruto: …we had to wait until he finished?

Sasuke: We got it didn’t we?

Naruto: But how far are we behind now?

NARUTO/SASUKE – LAST PLACE

Naruto: From first to worst…and the fact we had to wait until Sasame finished his first hour on that radio show or whatever it was, so now we have to rush and find this fourth guy otherwise we aren’t going to survive this!

(The ninjas hop out and begin using their mad ninja skills to try and find where Kei is located, as at 10am, two teams reach different sides of the lifestyle of the Awayukis…)

* * * *

AWAYUKI MANSION - JUNGLE ENTRANCE

(Shot of Hale and Weda paying their cab as they look for the jungle entrance. They pass by the main entrance and slide by as they go further down…)

(…just as another cab pushes up in front of the mansion. Weda notices…)

Weda: Hale?

(Shannon and Racquel step out as they go outside the gate. At first, they are denied by the guard, but then they wave the remedy…)

Guard: Tanaka, your saviour has come!

(The grey ashes that was Tanaka have formed back to life as he rushes up to the gate. Weda gulps…)

Weda: Looks like they’ve got the Fast Forward…

Hale: NEVER MIND THAT MOM, LOOK!

(Down the road, they see a small crack with an arrow pointing downwards – there they see the familiar route marker colours…)

Weda: No time for worry, but plenty of time for hurry!

Hale: Come on!

(The Jungle duo rush down as back at the gate, Tanaka does the anime waterfall tears, and lets the guard move aside to let them in.)

Tanaka: Thank you, last months supply has gone now – so I get to have hair for another week!

Shannon: That only lasts a week?

Tanaka: Trust me, it’s the only thing that works…

Shannon: And you have to pay that…

(Tanaka nearly goes into falling ash mode again, but recovers before he can be reminded of that. He hands them the clue.)

Shannon: Congratulations! You have won the Fast Forward! Move directly to the Pit Stop and ignore all tasks – the Pit Stop is held at the Awayuki Mansion…

Racquel: Let’s just keep on moving!

(Shannon and Racquel nod as they run up the hill to the mansion…)

* * * *

(…as we cut to a pairing who would probably make a good Animazing Race Team themselves, Himeno and Kaworu Awayuki – in the daughter and father category. Himeno has a tulip style pink hair (which gives her lots of ridicule from Hayate), a tomboy through and through, she is also the mythical Prétear. Her father, Kaworu, is a reformed alcoholic and a former best selling author, and quite a good sculpist. He’s returned to writing now, as Himeno introduces the end.)

Himeno: After claiming the Fast Forward, Shannon and Racquel can now bypass all tasks and head here, the Pit Stop, the last stay of the race…for one team…

(But Himeno doesn’t get much time to rest as…)

* * * *

Hale: Road Block. This person must have no distractions.

* * * *

Himeno: Geez, they could let me have a breather…

(After getting that out of her system, Himeno continues…)

Himeno: The Road Block is a task that only one person can attempt.

(A shot of the not so tranquil nature of the jungle area where there are 4 deckchairs placed ready and waiting for our victims. On the chairs, there is a wodden object which looks like a cylinder attached to a small stick. Attached to that is a ball with a piece of string on it.)

Himeno: The person that attempts the Road Block must be able to place the ball on the kadema 100 times. It requires patience, skills and a lot of luck…and worse…

(We can see somewhere hidden, in a full body suit to avoid the ‘icky bugs’ is Himeno’s elder stepsister, the evil one – Mayune – ready to spring a few traps on our unsuspecting victims…not to mention, the screams of the animals and various other intriguing creatures inside this variable jungle of a garden…)

Himeno: …they have to get through all that to progress. Once they do, they will get their next clue.

* * * *

Hale: I’ll do it.

Weda: Go for it!

(No messing about, Hale slinks into the jungle, where he first has to navigate himself to the deckchairs. As a native of the jungle, the sounds don’t bother him…)

Hale: WAAAAAAAHHHHH!

(…it’s the pit hole trap he quickly walked into dug by Mayune…)

Hale: This is going to be tougher than I thought…

* * * *

10.04AM

Risa: All done!

(The sisters finally complete the detour, as Riku seems fine, though a little disappointed about how long it took…)

Shin: Thank you Risa-neechan, Riku-neechan!

Risa: You’re welcome sweetie!

(Mannen hands them the clue as they look through it.)

Risa: Head to the Awayuki Mansion: Jungle Entrance.

Riku: We don’t have time at this stage to be waiting about, let’s find a taxi…

(Riku and Risa wait outside the roads for a moment before one pulls up. Again, the driver doesn’t understand the fact they have to go to a jungle, but the Awayuki Mansion is a place everyone knows so he begins peddling to the meddle.)

* * * *

10.05AM

AWAYUKI MANSION

(Shot of Shannon and Racquel who have made it through the long steep hills towards the top of the mansion. They are a little out of breath, but mostly fine, and soon to be quite happy, as they step up to the mat marked ‘PRETEAR’ where Kaworu and Himeno await.)

Kaworu: Welcome to the Awayuki Mansion!

Racquel: Thank you good sir.

Himeno: Shannon and Racquel, you are team number one!

Shannon: That is the best news we’ve heard in this race now.

Racquel: By the way, where’s that girl with the hat?

* * * *

Lillith: SIS, YOU’RE SO DEAD!

(Somewhere trapped in Leafenia, Lillith can’t get through the magical ‘shortcut’ that Eve may have hinted at perhaps. You can hear the giggling all the way to Tokyo as we continue the race…)

* * * *

10.08AM

Kei: …you guys seem depressed…here’s, have this on me.

(Kei gives them a picture of…yep…himself, as both ninjas looks a bit shocked and disgusted.)

Naruto: No thanks, we’ll just take your signature thanks…

Kei: Fine, fine…

(Kei does so and now all 4 signatures have been completed as it transforms into the detour clue. The two however ignore that, and turn it over and look at the Fast Forward.)

Sasuke: It’s a risk.

Naruto: We’ve failed at getting it twice, third time is lucky as they say!

Sasuke: We hope so.

(They read it, and realise they have to go downtown to find it…but then…)

Naruto: Wait…did Shannon and Racquel go there as well?

Sasuke: Check where the detours are…

(The two read – one outside an ice cream vendor outside a school, and one on an ice rink outside of town. The two look at each other…)

Naruto: DAMMIT!

Sasuke: They took it…to make sure we didn’t.

Naruto: Now what?

Sasuke: We go faster than anybody could have ever gone…we get this detour done, we catch up with the other teams and we beat Shannon and Racquel so badly in the next leg that they will regret making fools of us…

Naruto: Sasuke…you seem different…

Sasuke: I hate being made look like an idiot…that’s your job.

(Naruto seems to fume…)

Naruto: No time for crap like this! We’ve got to hurry – we don’t now how far the girls and that jungle duo have got!


Sasuke: Agreement acknowledged…let’s go!

(The two head out of the company, as soon as they step outside, they begin their insane ninja speed -–heading to the ice cream vendor as they begin looking for the school, not bothering with going for a taxi, relying on their own speed…)

Sasuke: We realised it before we could screw up even more speed. If we went and checked that Fast Forward, and if indeed, Shannon and Racquel got it as we think we did, then I don’t think even we could catch up with the other two teams. This way, we still have a chance…

* * * *

10.11AM

AWAYUKI HOME, JUNGLE AREA

(Hale has dug himself out of the hole and has slowly navigated around to the chairs. Weda waits outside, as Hale picks up the kadema.)

Hale: O.K, I have to get it into the hole 100 times then…

(Hale begins to use the japanese cup and ball as a timer is on the kadema, marking how many he gets. He begins well, but it isn’t look before the distractions begin…)

(A cawing in the distance of an albatross (I’m serious considering the number of animals Tanaka has) doesn’t distract Hale (being used to sounds from the jungle)…

(…but a pouring of honey down from a tree (by Mayune before being subsequently being chased by a few bees) does as bees hover close to Hale, as do some hummingbirds, trying to get some sap from the trees. Hale has got it in 14 times so far, but now he’s getting a little agitated…)

Hale: And you’d think I’d be used to this?

(Hale continues with the Road Block, as a hissing sound catching his attention…)

Hale: Oh god…

(A HUGE snake (possibly an anaconda) slides across the ground. What they don’t know all these animals are actually friendly, but Hale doesn’t know that…)

Hale: (gulps) This is definitely becoming a distraction…

(Hale tries his best to maintain composure as he continues with the Road Block…)

* * * *

10.15AM

(Naruto and Sasuke have found the school, and the vendor is still there, as they don’t have a queue to get by as they ask for the unusual ice cream flavour…)

Vendor: Another couple of people, a woman and a young boy ordered that as well – must be in season or something for the speciality flavours…

Naruto: The Jungle guys!

Sasuke: Can’t worry about that now…

(The two get the ice-cream…and take a rather serene look at it…)

Naruto: I’m suddenly having second thoughts…

Sasuke: Not ramen flavour huh?

Naruto: In ice cream?! It would probably taste better than this…O.K…brace ourselves…

(The two close their eyes, hold their noses, open their mouths, and almost in unison bite the thing in half. Naruto looks ready to spit it out at first, and Sasuke’s face turns blue, but the two ninjas swallow it. They down the remainder of the cone…)

Naruto: …I’m gonna be sick…

Sasuke: You can be sick whilst we run…and I might as well be as well…

(Sasuke recovers long enough to get the clue from the vendor…)

Sasuke: Head to the Ayawuki Mansion: Jungle Entrance.

* * * *

(…which Risa and Riku have now got to after being dropped off at the Mansion. Risa finds the clue down the road which they look at…)

Weda: Hey girls!

Riku: Hale’s in there, come on we can still be there…er…sorry Weda-san.

Weda: Competition rules…just enjoy it…

Risa: Road Block. This person must have no distractions.

Riku: I’ve got this one…give us a holler if any of the others are coming…

Weda: You know one of them most likely done the fast forward…

Risa: …but it means one hasn’t, so we’re still ahead. Go for it big sis!

(Riku heads into the jungle…)

Riku: (crashing sound) Dammit!

(…meets the same fate as Hale and they continues on…)

* * * *

(Hale has now done the kadema 89 times, he’s doing well despite the distractions of the birds, the bees, the snakes, and now the bear and gorilla sounds coming suspiciously close…)

(…but now comes the biggest distraction…)

Riku: Hale-kun!

(Hale nearly drops the kadema as Riku comes in…)

Hale: Riku-san…

Riku: So this is what we have to do?

(Riku then freezes, nearly stepping on some track marks…)

Hale: A snake was there just…

(Riku gulps…but then sits down in the chair…)

Riku: Let’s get through it…

(She picks up the kadema and begins it. She seems more skilled at Hale…but she’s not quite as used to the sounds as the younger competitor.)

Riku: That was nerve wracking. Hale and I together, possibly fighting for survival, and then all these rattle sounds and growls…it wasn’t pleasant, that’s for sure…

(After a few more moments, and Riku nearly screaming when a native spear flings from a tree pounding the ground, Hale screams!)

Hale: DONE IT!

(100 turns – he’s done it. The bottom of the kadema opens and reveals the clue. He reads it…)

Hale: Congratulations, you’ve completed the Road Block! Head through the jungle straight ahead and go to the Pit Stop.

(Hale screams…)

Hale: MOOOOOOOOOOOM, LET’S GO!!!

(Weda hears this, bids goodbye to Risa, and runs into the jungle. She manages to see the hole this time, and jumps over it, as she greets and hugs her son inside.)

Weda: Come on Hale!

(The two run, Hale glancing back momentarilly at a now frozen Riku…she realised she wasn’t as scared with Hale there…but now, she’s alone…)

Riku: O.K Riku…let’s do this…

(Riku at 22, continues on…)

* * * *

Sasuke: Awayuki Mansion?

Passer-by: Up there!

Passer-by 2: Can’t miss it!

(Naruto is scouting on top of a pole, and sees the big mansion at the top of the whole town…)

Naruto: I SEE IT! I SEE IT!

Sasuke: Let’s go Naruto!

Naruto: Right!

(The ninjas begin running like hell with their insane speed, which is presumingly faster than a taxi, but can they make it?)

* * * *

10.20AM

(Riku has done 74 turns now, and Mayune’s exploding flour bombs haven’t really helped. Since Hale left, she has basically closed her eyes, and used her natural instincts and turned the kadema. And despite a snake drapping around her shoulders, she’s managed to hold her own…)

(…but then Risa sees something.)

Risa: Oh no…

(Riku gets her 75th then…)

Risa: Si…

(She’s about to call her sister, probably not the best idea with her nerves, but the ninjas however make a mistake…)

Naruto: Is this it?

Sasuke: It’s the mansion right? But we can’t get in…

Naruto: HEY, LET US IN!

(The guard remains stern, as Sasuke wonders what the heck…before reading the clue again…)

Sasuke: Jungle Entrance?

(He looks over, and Risa has now hidden away AROUND the corner, so that they can’t see her. Risa hopes they can’t sense her or something…)

Risa: I didn’t want to call Riku and say Naruto and Sasuke were here – she needs to be sure that they are not near us to complete this Road Block…we’re so close…

(Sasuke and Naruto can’t see the route marker anywhere, and no hint of a Jungle entrance. Sasuke looks around to see if he can find it…)

(…then…)

Riku: Sis, nearly done it!!!

(Now, Riku made the (unknowing) mistake. Sasuke looks near the voice, and finds the arrow…)

Sasuke: You’re there Risa. Don’t hide.

(Risa steps out nervously, as Sasuke calls Naruto. He takes the clue and smiles…)

Sasuke: We’ve got this. Stay here Naruto.

(Sasuke spins into the jungle as Naruto remains silent for once as Risa feels the uncomfortable edges…)

* * * *

(Sasuke avoids the trap as Riku is shocked by Sasuke’s appearance. However, she’s done 92 spins…)

Riku: No…not now…

(A huge roar from a lion sent her out of her seat, as Sasuke looks surprised…)

Sasuke: What is this?

(He sits down on the chair, and takes the kadema. He sighs…)

Sasuke: Concerntration and speed.

(He misses the first one…)

Sasuke: Not that easy…

* * * *

10.24AM

AWAYUKI MANSION

(…chopping through the jungle, and climbing through the path, sweaty, dirty and a little bit nervous, Hale and Weda emerge from the jungle to see Himeno and Kaworu ahead. They jog up to the mat and smile.)

Hale: …that was exhausting.

Weda: Just like being back at home.

Hale: Don’t remind me…

(Himeno greets Hale and Weda and they greet back.)

Himeno: Hale and Weda, you guys are team number two!

Hale: We’re still there!

Weda: Indeed…can we continue on now?

Himeno: You guys are doing great…but can you guys wash up? I don’t think my family would appreciate it…

Weda: Oh right sorry!

Weda: We’ve got this far now, and we can win it! I can feel it…confidence or arrogance, but I think Hale and I have gotten so strong since our early misgivings, and now not only do we want to win, we know we can!

(Hale and Weda clean up, as Shannon and Racquel sees them as they watch over the patio…)

Shannon: So, Hale and Weda are with us right?

Racquel: But one team still has to come?

Shannon: I think we know who we wish to come…

* * * *

Riku: RISA, GET YOUR BUTT OVER HERE NOW!

(Risa squeals as Naruto sweats, the younger Harada sister rushes in…nearly falls, but manages to recover and go around the pit trap, before meeting with her older sister in the jungle growth…)

Riku: We’re going!

(Rika waves the clue she got from the kadema as Sasuke is having a couple of problems, the pressure is on knowing the sisters have completed their Road Block. Riku tells Risa to head up and fast!)

Riku: Let’s go!

(The two begin to navigate through the jungle as Sasuke, now on 34 hits, is now getting a little nervous.)

Naruto: (screaming) Sasuke, you done yet?

Sasuke: No, be quiet Naruto, I need to concerntrate…

(Naruto, for once, does be quiet, as the Haradas begin to move through…)

* * * *

(A joint cut shot of the Haradas moving through and then out of the jungle…)

(…then one of Sasuke hits 56…)

(…shot of the Haradas having to move up the hill…)

(…one more of Naruto hopping down nervously…)

(…Sasuke hits 70…)

(…a tired Risa is struggling up the hill as Riku calls for her to ‘gut it up, we’re almost there…’)

(..Sasuke hits 93…)

(Risa and Riku are halfway through the hill…)

* * * *

10.35AM

Sasuke: DONE IT NARUTO, HURRY!

(Naruto doesn’t need to be told twice. He jumps through the jungle and joins his rival…)

Sasuke: We’re going, top speed…now!

Naruto: We can still do it!!!

(The ninja vanish through the jungle, hot on the Haradas trail…)

* * * *

10.37AM

(…we can see the mat in the distance, as Riku and Risa are approaching closer. Riku moves ahead of her younger sister…)

Riku: We’re there!

Naruto: (distant) Not quite!!!

(Riku nearly freezes, but recovers to run ahead to make it to the mat, however Risa is struggling, and then they see the super speedy ninjas emerge from the undergrowth…)

Riku: COME ON SIS!

Himeno: Man, this is exciting!

(Outside the home, Hale and Weda scream for the girls, whilst inside the home, Shannon and Racquel watch with interest…)

(Naruto and Sasuke’s inhumane speed catches up…but Risa’s effort to not let her sister and herself down is pulling through…)

(…and as the mat comes forward, it’s…)

* * * *

Himeno: Welcome to the Awayuki mansion…and you guys are team number 3…

(…dramatic pause before Himeno smiles…)

Himeno: …Risa and Riku.

(A quick shot of the ninja literally a hair behind her but Risa jumps and dives onto the mat just a second before the ninjas can claim a come from behind victory...)

(…shot of Risa crying, as Riku hugs her…)

Risa: (crying) We did it! We did it!

Riku: (laughs) Yeah sis…talk about a fairy tale ending.

(Despite the celebrations, Himeno has a not as pleasant tale to tell, as Naruto and Sasuke look shocked and stunned. Himeno smiles.)

Himeno: Naruto and Sasuke, you are team number 4. I’m afraid you’ve been eliminated from the race.

(The two don’t even speak for a moment…as they look at each other…)

Naruto: ..teamwork eh?

Sasuke: I think we showed enough.

Naruto: But…not good enough right?

(Sasuke looks into the sky…)

Sasuke: Guess that means we need more training right?

Naruto: Well…we can go back home now at least…Sakura-chan and Kakashi-sensei must be wondering what we’ve been doing…

Sasuke: (smiles) Well, we’ll just have to tell them right?

Naruto: Right!

Naruto: I don’t know what to make of this – we travelled through strange new worlds, we met some strange people, and some rivals to boot. However, my biggest rival was also my greatest ally through this race…

Sasuke: I never know what to make of Naruto, but we did well as a team. Just a few slip ups out of our control cost us in the end…

Naruto: We messed up on the Fast Forward 3 times…and in this case, it was third time unlucky. We had some good and some bad luck, but the feeling of coming so close before victory just…well…it feels bad.

Sasuke: I’m not used to failing, and when I do, it hurts. This hurts as well, because we were physically superior to all the other teams…however, we made a mistake in this leg which cost us with the time issue – and then with looking for the Fast Forward cost us bigtime, otherwise we’d be looking to win.

Naruto: Ah well…Iruka-sensei is still here right? Let’s go have some ramen before we go home…

Sasuke: Naruto…you dunce…

(The ninjas become the penultimate team to be eliminated, as the final three teams have now been decided…)

* * * *

Lillith: Gah! How long did it take you to free me?

Himeno: Gomen, but I don’t like to use my Pretear powers really to do something like that…

Lillith: I would kill Eve…but I can’t…she’s immortal. Damn.

(Shot of Hale and Weda with a now recovered and smiling Riku and Risa, talking about the upcoming end. Shannon and Racquel are now downstairs, smiling as well…)

Shannon: Getting this far is a testament to our adaptability and skill. We use some intelligence as well which cost the strongest team in the race now, but that doesn’t mean we can sit back…

(They look over at Hale and Weda…)

Shannon: Hale and Weda are so unpredictable – at times, they can be so disorganised and incomprehensible, but at other times, they are the most in sync team of the lot. The fact they’ve got this far shows that the latter has broken through more than the former…

(Now they look at Riku and Risa…)

Racquel: Riku and Risa, like us have a sibling bond, but it’s a blood bond, once that is strong within them. We’ve seen what they can do when they are on the same page, and they’ve surprised everyone by getting this far – it’s certainly wouldn’t surprise me if they came from the back to win this now…

(Now we are with Hale and Weda…)

Hale: Mom and I have had a relationship throughout this race which borders on insanity…which sometimes works best for both of us. I don’t know how we did it, but we’ve captured our skills combined and despite mishaps, we’ve stayed here, and we know we can go further…

(Hale looks at Riku and Risa as Riku pats her younger sister on the back…)

Hale: Riku and Risa…they’ve the team I’ve been closest with throughout the race…Riku in particular. She’s a wonderful girl who deserves a good life back home – and I certainly don’t underestimate her…Risa is a wildcard who proved on the right mindset, she can do anything. We are friends…but rivals as well.

(Weda takes over as she invites Racquel over for a drink…)

Weda: Shannon and Racquel are the strongest team, physically, left in the race. They are 1st, quite intelligent, adults. They have every advantage going into the next leg…and we’ll need to somehow nullify that, considering how skilled they’ve been to adapt to change.

(Lastly, Riku and Risa joins both teams as Himeno brings out some drinks, champagne for Shannon, Racquel and Weda – Orange Juice for Hale, Riku and Risa.)

Riku: I think I’m amazed how well we’ve done…especially how well we’ve linked as a team. Risa has developed so well…she’s been amazing these last few legs…and now, we’re at the back of the pack…but that doesn’t mean we’ll be lying down. If the guys and girls make a mistake, we’ll take advantage of it…

(Riku smiles as Hale talks with his mom…)

Riku: Hale-kun…he’s so nice. A sweet little kid with a greater maturity than I think he’s letting on. His mom is funny…reminds me of Emiko-san a bit…but together, they are very strong. They’ve been our best friends and biggest rivals throughout, and now we have to stop them…

(Risa talks to Shannon as Shannon begins explaining a bit more about his little sister…something he’s been avoiding most of the race.)

Risa: Shannon is mysterious, but from his eyes and his past, he holds a deep love for his family – his family is strong, as shown by them being 1st now with Racquel. I know it will be tough to match them physically, so they’ve got a huge advantage over us now…let’s hope we can somehow stop that…

* * * *

Lillith: So you guys are the final three teams – congratulations – for tonight, just relax and enjoy yourselves, because we have the last stage of the Animazing Race 3 to go, and one of you pairs will end up winning the half a million British pounds prize.

Weda: Wow…

Shannon: How much would that be back home?

Risa: Trust fund, here we come!

Lillith: Up till then, you will rest at this Pit Stop, the last but one you’ll have. Until then…

(The 6 remaining contestants raise their glasses…)

All: Kampai!

* * * *

Next time on the Animazing Race 3…

* * * *

And we’re nearly there!

Wow – I enjoyed this leg, rather simple in comparison to the others – though we had to eliminate the Naruto team…

Sorry fans – but Naruto and Sasuke winning was never in the question, no matter how popular these guys are. Intriguingly, it’s a show which is one of the rare occassions, I really like the main character. Naruto himself is a great character…unfortunately, I can’t really say the same for his two teammates. I’m not a big fan of either Sasuke or Sakura…Sasuke angsty nature and indeed what has happen recently hasn’t helped this young bishie…and well as for Sakura…you do the obligatory Sakura sucks joke.

Not to say that I don’t like the series though – it’s very enjoyable, and despite it’s length has enough interest in the characters to keep me watching. The recent main arc has now ended so we’ve got pointless filler (though Shikamaru getting more scenes rules – go Shika!) until the whole timeskip saga starts. Sakura I believe is actually going to be more useful – but it’s taken how many episodes to get this far?

On another note: Sakura is now the most popular female character (in Japan) in Naruto. That would be good for Sakura if it wasn’t for the fact that she’s the main female character and it’s taken over 200 manga chapters for her to beat previous winners/leaders Hinata and Temari. (Then again, considering that Iruka is in the top 5 (because of the Kakashi/Iruka fangirls – seriously) I don’t listen to it much…^_^). This poll also doesn’t have Rock Lee and Jiriaya in the top 10…they are the best!!! Gah…

Anyway, Naruto and Sasuke were always going to be physical giants, a la Jessie and Ayla, however, they made a few bad judgement in outside worlds, and it cost them. Shannon and Racquel wanting to make sure they stayed down didn’t help either, and in the end, Risa’s determination ended the ninjas race.

So now, it’s time for those who are eligible to win to e-mail me and see what they want. I hope to post the finale the day before I go to Ayacon on the 18th August. This consists of three legs, one single and one joint leg, so get your answers in prior to then, and if you can, what you want from me. You can win a DVD of your choice (or fansub) from the legs or the teams involved. Plus probably some other stuff I can scrounge up…

O.K, until the finale – and of course, the soon to be announced Murder Game 3…see ya!