The camera pans over a battle sequence in a sprawling city. The extras fall into their battle choreography – a slashing demon here, a group of humans bringing down a foe, there. A hellknight, seemingly wrought from rust and decay steps into the foreground and growls menacingly at the lens.
“Stop the video playback.”
The cinematic scene immediately halts on the curling lip.
“Just isn’t dramatic enough. Have to draw on the audiences’ sympathy for the heroes’ plight. Needs more drama. Get me the director.”
The scrappy intern turns and dashes down the hallway and out into Lot 6. A tall man sporting sideburns and a really nice pair of khakis sits in the director’s chair, pondering a scale model of the city of Pice.
He looks up as the intern approaches and says, “Mr. Adams, Mr. Childs would like to speak with you.”
A chill runs down D. Adam’s spine. He made a good career by not being called to The Office, but today wasn’t his day. A damn fat orange cat kept sneaking its way onto the set and photo-bombing all the shots.
The Office is a macabre of previous cinematic blockbuster victory. Framed posters on every wall covered by thin sheets of glass. Crystal trophies stood on shelves. The desk is polished mirror plates, reflecting glory and perfection. F. Child is sitting in a very comfortable looking chair as Adams enters through the doorway.
Tight lips spread into a toothy smile that makes the director nervous.
“I like your work, Adams, I really do. We just need to open a gate.”
“To your muse, your artistic inspiration. We need to go for the gusto, as they say.”
“Sure. I can do that.”
Long thin fingers reach out and push a few pencils into three perfectly parallel lines, sharpened points towards Adams.
“Go get a rewrite from the writers, and get us back on track. Under budget, of course.”
“Of course.” Oh great, thought Adams as he leaves The Office, the writers…
Down two hallways, Adams opens a door. Five hungry goblins slaver and pull towards him dangerously. He drops a grape gumdrop to the back of the small closet. The goblins dive for it, but only one successfully sucks on the candy at the end of the small battle.
They grumble quietly to themselves all except B.Revelry, the one with big eyes who says, “Tastes like purple!”
Adams sighs and says, “I need to workshop some ideas guys. The show needs more punch. Something that makes the fans and the critics say wow.”
The blue goblin, S. Stiltz, says, “Put puppies in it!”
“I can’t. There’s already this cat-“
“I like turtles," she adds.
“How about puppy turtles!”
Another goblin, the fuzziest of them says, “Puppy turtles, that’s brilliant!” He was known only as N.
Adams tries to wrangle the derailed train, “I don’t think we have the budget for hybrids.”
“How about a giant-ass spider?”
All eyes in the room go to the stout pragmatic F. Wind. He had a strong voice, even though all goblins sounded like they breathed helium. He has his paw held up and everything, “Spiders scare the shit out of me.”
“Spider, huh?” Adams thoughtfully tugs at the facial hair on the side of his face, “That might be crazy enough to work.”
N adds, “Yeah! And maybe babies and stuff. Coming out of a websack! Kill all the friendlies with all legs and fangs.”
Wind glares horribly at his goblin pup brother, “What’r’ya trying to do? Give me nightmares?”
Adams says, “No! That’s perfect!” He stands quickly and opens the door. The voice of the freckled goblin, Miller stops him.
“Will you tell us how cool Lodestar is again?”
“Very, very cool.”
The goblins purr to themselves as the door shuts them in darkness once again.
“So I’ve got this great shot of the Hellknights bashing down the magical iron wall, and the Mother of All Spiders busting her egg sack and babies flying out all over the battle scene. I mean, the budget went crazy for this battle, but I think it’ll be worth it.”
Adams sits in the workshop of the Props Master, M. Smith, a greater djinn who had a way with adding to the urgency of a scene and keeping the value of the mise en scene up while maintaining the budget. Several plaster-molds of monsters observe their conversation.
Smith says, “Mmm, yes.”
Adams continues, “But I need your skills with props, foley, continuity, and choreography to add on a little scene to close us out.”
“Maybe you could almost kill the heroes.”
Adams squirms in his seat, “Well, I’ll leave you to it.”
“May I use Barbed Devils?
“Uh, sure. That goes with the whole theme.”
“May I use Horned Devils?”
“Oh, okay. Maybe just one. No need to go-
“May I use a possible Fire Elemental slash possible enemy from the past?”
“All right. But I think you’ve got enou-“
“May I use a black dragon?”
Adams stands and walks out of the room. There is a murmur of another question as he presses on back to work.
Adams sits in a plush red chair in a music hall, surrounded by many of the stars cast in his film.
Ben Browder announces the name, “ The Lodestar.” The audience applauds as Adams mounts the stage. F. Childs stands behind him smiling with a hand on his shoulder. I.Torossion and Winter run up to the stage to proudly embrace him.
The blur between what is real and fantasy gets super blurred.Blur Out.