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Monkey Island 5 - Operation Guybrush.
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Chapter 6: The Road to Perdition
Having finally mastered the basics of the art of Voodoo, Elaine, despite the interruptions she has suffered, feels significantly more confident than she had previously felt about rescuing her husband. The process of learning
about practical ways in which to combat whatever might be done to Guybrush emboldens Elaine with a fresh sense of courage, and she proudly saunters over to the Voodoo Lady, grinning gently as she imagines charging into the room where Guybrush is being held captive, rescuing him and scooping him up in her arms, holding him close and never letting go.
“OK, I now know how to reverse most curses, I understand the roots of Voodoo history, and I can identify the types of natural ingredients I might need to concoct a potion. Now, what next?”
“Well, I’ll tell you what I always tell Guybrush, or indeed anyone else who is setting off on a long, potentially hazardous journey. You will definitely need a crew, as you can’t sail that far alone, on such a voyage that may well be fraught with peril. I recommend going to The Scumm Bar, you are bound to find some semi-fearsome buccaneers willing to help you with your quest,” The Voodoo Lady replies coolly.
“Great! Thank you for all your help!” enthuses Elaine, truly relieved that she has had all the assistance she needs, and can now concentrate properly on the critical task in hand.
She strides confidently towards the door, when a sudden desperate cry from
the dark recesses of the shop causes her to halt sharply, impatiently, and
listen to the pleas of this mysterious figure. The second the figure began
to form coherent phrases however, Elaine knows exactly who she is dealing
“Oh please! Take me with you! I need to get out of here! I need to wreak hav… I mean I have to help you find Guybrush!” cries Murray excitedly
as Elaine sighs deeply, bored, her hand lingering on the doorknob.
“PLEASE!” Murray yelps “I’m bored out of my skull here! Well, not literally, of course… And I could help you… I could be your first member!Oh, you know what I mean!” he adds, slightly exasperated as Elaine shoots him a cold, withering glance.
“Murray, I know you. You’re pure evil, malice personified”. Elaine states her opinion of Murray that she had gleaned from Guybrush’s description of Murray as being “Cheeky, mischievous and roguish”.
“What, I’m not that bad! (although I’d love to be)” Murray insists. “Oh,
come on, please.” He begs.
At this, the Voodoo Lady’s rhythmic tones cut through, neatly interrupting Murray’s pleas. “Yes, please do take him Elaine. He may prove to be of use, certainly in situations where spying might be necessary, as Murray is, when silent, inconspicuous enough to go anywhere in the world and be unnoticed. Besides, his incessant chattering and grumbling gives me the most appalling headaches, but I am quite sensitive to noise, certainly when I’m trying to concentrate on VERY important hexes” she casts a reproachful glare at him. “But I’m certain that you’d cope far better than me.”
“Well…” says Elaine slowly, reluctantly, as she can think of far better people to share the voyage with than Murray, and yet can see that he has the potential to be a worthy member of her crew. “Alright then.” She concludes eventually, still not entirely happy with the idea. “But on two conditions. First, you will be allowed to join me only as the skull that you are, that means no persuading the Voodoo Lady to charm you with a body”
“Oh..” groans Murray dejectedly.
“Do you actually want to join me?” Elaine asks sharply. “Because if you carry on like that, I shan’t even take you out of this shop, understand?”
“Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m sorry, it’s just so frustrating you know? Anyway, what else do I have to do to get out of this place?”
Elaine’s frosty expression softens slightly as she states the second rule “You must also promise me, make a solemn oath to me that you will behave yourself impeccably for the duration of the journey, as I’ve heard some amazingly awful tales about your behaviour.”
Murray, suppressing his evil urges with difficulty, murmurs assent, for although he struggles to control his dominant streak, he knows that it would not be wise to infuriate Elaine any more by arguing with her or being negative and attempting to go against her plans, certainly not if he wishes for freedom.
“Well, OK then.” Elaine plucks Murray up from the tabletop carefully, still not trusting him entirely, in fact almost convinced that he will bite her
and then escape without her supervision, but he says “Hey, you’re much more
gentle than Guybrush was, man, he was clumsy!” and seems very satisfied to
allow her to carry him out of the door.
Once out of the door however, Murray cannot contain his excitement any longer, and bursts out “Bwhahahahaha!! Finally, I am free, free to wreak my revenge on the Caribbean that has… OWFH!”
Elaine drops Murray casually as he becomes engrossed in his vocalised
thoughts, and cries out with a deliberately sarcastic edge to her voice
“Opps, how clumsy of me!”
“Oh, ha ha, very funny Elaine. I meant after we rescue Guybrush, of course.”
Elaine sighs, already exasperated with Murray’s behaviour, but decides to give him a second chance and picks him up off the ground. Together, they set off for the Scumm bar to begin a voyage that Elaine will never forget.
As Elaine walks purposely towards the Scumm Bar, Guybrush is hauled roughly out of his porcelain prison and dragged before Lechuck. A sudden, brief wave of panic sweeps over Guybrush as he catches a glimpse of the expression on
Lechuck’s face, omnipotent and dictatorial, knowing that Guybrush’s demise
is certain this time, convinced he cannot escape, but Guybrush forces
himself to quash his fear for his own mortality to ask the question that has
been plaguing his thoughts since his arrival.
“Why have you brought me here Lechuck? What do you want with me? What are your plans?” Guybrush says as calmly as possible, trying desperately to suppress the ever-increasing note of anxiety in his voice.
Lechuck’s features contort into a twisted leer in response to Guybrush’s questions, and ignoring Guybrush completely, he turns and addresses his undead army in a slightly sardonic stage whisper. “We clearly need to work much harder to break him, he’s still retaliating.”
“Wha…what do you mean, retali.. ah!” Guybrush trails off into a gasp of pure shock as he is suddenly forced to the floor by Agley, powerless to resist his completely unexpected grasp. Agley flips Guybrush effortlessly onto his stomach, meeting very little resistance from Guybrush, since the prisoner now knows better than to struggle against an unbeatable force, and brings out the dagger used earlier to pierce Guybrush’s innocent, soft flesh.
Guybrush squirms uncomfortably, sensing something awful is about to happen, twisting his neck round in a vain attempt to glean a glimpse of Agley, but he is unable to. The blade slides dangerously under his shirt, ripping
through cords and fibres, destroying the very fabric of Guybrush’s being. He
stiffens instinctively as he feels the knife tearing through his back, but
suddenly realises, to his immense embarrassment, that all Agley has done is
use the knife to strip the shirt off his back.
However, panic rises in Guybrush once more as he catches sight of Largo clutching the voodoo doll in one hand and gazing at him with malicious intensity. Largo suddenly gives a perverted grin as an insidiously evil idea pops into his head, and he holds the voodoo doll over the river of lava, holding it to the ground and dragging it along the floor until the neck of the doll lies on the edge of the rock, its head hanging lifelessly over the molten lava. Obviously, Guybrush, totally helpless against the power of the voodoo doll, is pulled across the floor by demonic forces and comes to rest with his throat uncomfortably upon the end of the rock. Due to his position, he is forced to look down into the bubbling, bloody lava and he suddenly feels incredibly uneasy, as though he senses a fate worse than death will ultimately ensue.
Largo smirks, revelling in the evident discontent he is causing Guybrush, and pushes the voodoo doll still further over the boiling concoction. Guybrush lets out a strangled squeak of terror as he finds the top half of his body suddenly dangling precariously over the voodoo lava that holds the key to the gates of hell, as all who pass through it become undead. It would be all too easy for Largo to release the doll and transform him into a creature, a pawn solely for Lechuck’s use, to be disposed of once he has been deemed useless. The thought of this, the prospect that he might become an undead servant to Lechuck, that he may even have to endure the sight of Elaine being forced to share her life with Lechuck, fills Guybrush with a cold, anguished dread, as the mere thought of these events is too much for him to bear, death, any death, no matter how excruciatingly painful or gruesome, is preferable than that fate.