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Ludus latruncularius

Jacob Trance

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The scene is dim, but not quite dark. The most illuminated part of it is a giant chess board, in the centre sits Jacob Trance, his arm resting on one knee, he seems occupied with his black painted nails, until he looks up.


Trance: Answers, questions, all these things are sought and they are all the same. Why? But the answer is why not? When you take everything into perspective… it all makes sense.


Jacob raises a hand and points towards the Knight.


Trance: The most aggressive of pieces, he charges onwards, he often makes the first move, looking to mow everyone down below the hooves of his steed… But the knight's biggest flaw is his own aggression. He’s dangerous, violent… Prone to letting his emotions get the better of him. You see Wrex, you retired me, it was so beautiful, you stood there, drenched in your own blood but you were the goddamned man… Then you sat back on your laurels and let your kingdom burn…


Jacob sighs and motions towards the Rook.


Trance: Now this one… He’s a fortress, his moves whilst limited are powerful, strong, he can be used to defend or to attack… All it takes is a switch of personality to become a ferocious foe… He is made of stone. Quartz, you are the rook in this. You get your moment of glory, but then it’s often overtaken by a more mobile piece, it’s often your brute strength that just overloads the rest of the board… Only for the graceful…


Jacob smirks, the Bishop now takes up the camera.


Trance: Bishop to come in from the back, he saunters through the destruction you leave in your wake, picks everyone off and that’s it. He rises to the top, corroding your foundations, weakening them every time he passes. He breaks you down, he Rusts you away until you are nothing, a merciless adversary with a heart as black… As Cohle…


The camera swings wildly as if it was dropped from a wire, when it returns to focus all of the pieces on one side have fallen, leaving only the King and Queen standing.


Trance: Now… The objective, as it always is with this, is to defeat the king… To smash him from his pedestal and take the crown, the most important piece that somehow, without his following, finds himself to be the most vulnerable of all… It’s fitting, the crown becomes the noose… The robe the funeral shroud as the world burns around you….


Trance: And that… That brings us to the Queen. The single most dangerous piece on the board, the most powerful of all adversaries. Without it, you will struggle, but keep the Queen close to your heart and your chances of winning… Well…


Jacob chuckles.


Trance: The possibilities are endless, like the ever expanding universe and the worlds they encompass… The fire that burns within the heart of the Queen… Isn’t always for their King… Sometimes their own motives… They take over, they’re overcome with rage, scorn, pride… They seek to fix what wronged them in the past…


The camera begins to swing upwards, offering a top down view as the scene shifts, all the pieces, bar one disappear, leaving only a pawn directly in front of Trance.


Trance: And then… The final actor in our play, the lowly pawn. However, highly admirable. Willing to die for his cause, versatile, adaptable. Right at the start it can use its knowledge of a thousand deaths to take one extra step into the chaos… He always marches forwards, capable of simply being forgotten about until it’s too late and he topples Knights, Kings, Queens… You name it, all can fall prey to the humble pawn they decide to ignore…


The camera rotates, moving to a regular view on the floor.


Trance: But what is more impressive about the pawn… Is it’s untapped potential, its ability to transform into whatever is necessary to win the war… It’s willing to reshape its entire body, change its skin for its goals… Yes… The pawn might be simple, it may be old and cracked… But he is resilient…


The camera switches directly onto Trance’s face as he tilts his head up, eyes burning into the lense.


Trance: Check… Your move.

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B17: Hi, Travis.


From the handheld camcorder B17 navigates through the maze of stoic warriors. The chessboard was undisturbed since Trance had played his game, leaving behind a pile of discarded pieces.

B17: Oh what a majestic game you played...but it takes two to play. Who else do you plot with in the dark?


B17 looks around.

B17: I see Rust was sacrificed.


B17 walks over to where a white bishop lays discarded.

B17: Poor Rust. Here, hold on.


Upon top of another piece B17 places the camera. He bends down and looks into, and slides it with a nudge so that it is pointing directly at “Rust Cohle”.

For the first time it is revealed that Bingo is carrying a sledgehammer.

B17: But I broke him long ago.


CRACK! The marble explodes from where the hammer met the pale surface.

B17: Is that Wrex? Right, the knight?


Bingo picks up the cam.

B17: I’ve broken him many times. Just gotta hit him where it hurts the most.


Using one hand he knocks out the leg of the loyal steed.

B17: You see, Wrex can’t stand without someone to prop him up.


B17: And there he goes.


B17 watches as the Knight falls to the ground.

The Rook stands ominously off to the side. B17 glares at it: Well not all pieces have been broken yet. But that King (B17 points to “Kassidy”) Will remain standing regardless of what you or any other threat provides.


B17: After all. I’m not playing your game, Trance. I will break this hammer over your face and lick the blood just so I can get a taste of your misery. You’re a broken man, alone in this world trying to regain just an ounce of glory that has slipped through your hands. I despise you. But more than that I despise your metaphors. You say you’re a pawn that will grow into the most powerful piece on this board, but you are only playing yourself. There is no place to navigate, no place left for you to move. Your allies are gone, your career will belong to me and only me when this is all said and done.


B17 holds up the hammer and inspects it.

B17: How’s your wife by the way?

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"Amatuer cheat hunter, Resident OCWFED historian, Lover of spreadsheets, data and HOI, MASTER OF THE GOKART"




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