HANNAH: Are you sure we have to do this? It's dark - maybe we could escape and get help.
EMILY: We can't run from our debts, though, and the Baron's promised to erase them if we beat him tonight. This is the best chance we have to save our home... and James.
JAMES is off to the side of the rink, unconscious and chained to a dozen curling rocks. Torches burn all around him. BARON VON HAMMER smiles as he watches the distress upon the remaining three members of the opposing team, and warms his hands upon the fire, which leap up to meet him. He seems not to mind, and watches HANNAH take her shot.
She makes her delivery, and the weight looks good. The rock slows down as it crosses the hog line, and it's going to rest in the house behind a guard. The BARON frowns.
BARON: Marco! Get ready to watch it "curl"!
MARCO, the BARON'S gigantic vice-skip, grunts, and puts all of his weight into the ice. There's a crack, and the entire sheet of ice lurches and tilts. The three young curlers all slip and fall, and the rock bumps into them as it changes direction. The BARON laughs, and MARCO takes the weight off the ice, restoring it to normal.
BARON: And here I was nervous about all these flames... but it seems as though you were the first to burn a rock! Hahahaha!
EMILY: You villain!
Furious, she charges the BARON,
BARON: Now, now... that's not very sporting, is it?
He snaps his fingers, and the brutish lead and second restrain her, and drag her into JAMES' deathtrap. The BARON turns back to HANNAH and SIMON.
BARON: It seems that you're short a few players... such a shame. Forfeit is such an ugly way to win.
MYSTERIOUS VOICE: Then perhaps I'll show you a beautiful way to lose, Von Hammer!
BARON: That voice... No! Could it be...?
HANNAH (to SIMON): He came! He got my message! It's... El Pingüino!
EL PINGÜINO enters the scene. His amazing pants are scuffed, and his jacket is torn... but behind the mask, his eyes are blazing with purpose.
EL PINGÜINO: I've finally caught up with you, Baron - your mockery of the Roaring Game comes to its final end tonight! (turns to HANNAH) Do you have room on your team?
HANNAH: Of course! Thank you, El Pingüino - with you skipping, we'll be sure to win!
EL PINGÜINO: Ah, but I won't be skipping... my job is to protect and support the innocent, and as lead, I'll guard your rocks from takeouts just as I'll guard you from injustice! (He flashes the biggest smile he can from behind his mask.) And besides, you might need my help sweeping!
SIMON: So, who'll be skipping, then?
EL PINGÜINO: I brought in a friend of mine! I first confronted her in the Scottish lochs of Sterling, but once that crisis was resolved, I could see the nobility of her character. And... (He glares at the BARON) who better to skip on an unstable sheet, than someone who learned how to curl hanging upside-down in her icy caves? Come out, my friend! Lend us your immortal wisdom!
BRIER MacCRIMMON appears. She is tall and gaunt, and almost perfectly concealed in her black cape. When the wind catches it, though, her highland tartans underneath are visible. Her hair is almost as black as her cloak, making her forehead seem as pale as snow against her widow's peak. Above all else, though, nothing is more arresting in her appearance than the gleam of her fangs in the moonlight.
BARON: What? No! You can't let her on your team - she's a Dracula!
EL PINGÜINO: What? There's no rule against letting a Dracula curl - any more than letting a Frankenstein play!
Everyone turns to look at MARCO, who grunts.
EL PINGÜINO: Enough talk! Your time is up, Von Hammer! Tonight, El Pingüino curls...