Dragon Knights Fan Fiction ❯ Dragon Knights Sentai ❯ Kainaldia Company ( Chapter 5 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Welcome back to Dragon Knights Sentai, a fanfiction based on the works of Mineko Okhami's Dragon Knights. It's been fun writing about Lykouleon's production, but of course, he's not the only producer in this story and the others can be even worse to work for.

A brooding man in a dark green suit paced the hard, wooden floors of his office. He glanced at the papers covering his desk - open to the review pages - which raved about a brand new series and spat at them. A light blinked on his desk and he pushed the button beside it. "What?"

A muffled voice blared out from a hidden speaker, "Fedelta is here to see you. Shall I let him in?"

"Hang on." The man settled himself into an imposing leather chair, mussed his purple hair and then tugged at his jacket until all the creases were gone. Finally, he plastered a scowl on his face and rasped, "Let him in now."

The door opened and a reject from the glam decade sauntered in.

"Lord Nadil," he said, bowing low.

"Get up," snarled Nadil, "and explain why the papers are full of praise for Lykouleon's latest marvel." He grabbed one of the papers and launched it at Fedelta, who bowed again: the paper sailed on, over his head.

"Casting agents were only abuzz last week, when he called an audition at short notice," murmured Fedelta, still bent low. "The production is tight. That's scarcely enough time to choose a cast and design costumes, let alone make them, build sets, write a script and shoot the first episode." He looked up and slowly straightened his back. "Rumours hold that there wasn't even a script until the first day of filming. Even the crew working on the show were in the dark about it. It came out of left field for everyone."

"So there are no copy-cat shows in production and Lykouleon has the field to himself," hissed Nadil.

"Yes, sir," agreed Fedelta. "However I can tell you exactly what Arinas Titles are doing to meet the challenge..."

"Who cares about those has-beens?" snarled the angry man, kicking his chair away from the desk and lurching to his feet. "We have to do a Lykouleon: get a show from nowhere and put it on the air."

"Sir," enquired Fedelta. "We need preparation; it's not a good idea to throw something together too quickly. As pioneers, Dragoon Pictures will be forgiven shoddy production values, but if our sets creak and wobble as much as theirs do, we'll flop."

"The first show in a new genre is not always the best." Nadil stalked the room, kicking the paper as he stamped up to it. It sailed through the air, crashing against the far wall with a satisfying clush. "We need to grab this sentai business by the throat and ram it into the audience's face. We need to do it better than him," he spat, "with better actors, hotter talent and greater depth. If we can show him up... cast his series as an unsophisticated one with a simplistic world view, then we'll get the kudos and he'll look lame. We need to turn everything his show stands for on its head. What's the basic plot?"

"Ugh." Fedelta scooped up the paper from the floor and scanned through the review. "Basically, these three knights, of fire, water and earth, fight demons called yokai for the Dragon Empire."

"Demons eh?" asked Nadil, focusing on the ceiling while he paused for thought. "Then our show will be about them, except we'll spell it youkai and the tagline will be ... Youkai Sentai: Our greatest enemy is our only hope. We'll show these misunderstood heroes who protect a world that fears and reviles them and we'll make dragons the real bad guys."

"Are you sure about that, sir?" Fedelta dragged out their conversation while rooting in his pockets for a pen and scrap of paper.

"Yes. Great, roaring, evil, western-style dragons, breathing fire and eating people."

"Cast?" said Fedelta, making frantic marks on the back of a receipt.

"They have three, so we need three. We need some angst-ridden characters ... with depth." Nadil paused, twirling a pencil between his fingers. "Get the twins."

"They're not available, sir," he said, looking up from his notes. "They're booked solid for the next three months."

"Get it cancelled," cooed Nadil.

"But sir," argued Fedelta, a wan smile on his lips, "the Kainaldia Company pantomime has been a tradition for the last hundred years..."

"What's more important," Nadil asked, reasonably, "entertaining orphans, or beating Lykouleon at his own game?"

Fedelta searched his pockets again, the receipt now covered in his scrawls and found another one. He made a mark on it, then regarded his boss once more. "We have two, who's the third?"

Nadil stalked over to the desk and pushed the intercom button. "Send in the teaboy." He released the button, jerked open a drawer and pulled out a cigar. He lit up without offering one to Fedelta. "We get the twins to push their close relationship; that gives us our niche audience and plenty of column inches."

"What about the censor?"

"We'll be subtle," remarked Nadil, blowing smoke into the air and staining the room with its scent. "If anyone goes overboard, we'll get a cult following; teenagers will feel that they're doing something dangerous by liking a taboo show and college students and geeks in their twenties will spend a fortune on the merchandising to follow. Our show will be far hipper than Lykouleon's and even if we're not as succesful, we'll sour the taste in his mouth."

A knock on the door was followed by the entry of a downcast young man with a trolley. He pushed an impressive mane of hair away from his eye, before pouring the first cup of tea. Nadil took it ungraciously and Fedelta waited until the milk had been poured before refusing a cup of his own.

"Teaboy," barked Nadil. "Stand up straight."

The newcomer complied, pushing back his shoulders and staring rigidly ahead. Nadil prowled around him, exuding incoherent mutterings while Fedelta looked on, a smile on his face.

Nadil eventually stood back and muttered to his underling. "Think he can fill the role?"

Fedelta nodded and Nadil blew smoke directly into the teaboy's face. He didn't respond.

"Go to wardrobe. If they like you then you're hired for my new show."

That lit the fire in his eye. "Really, sir? I'm so grateful. I never thought that I'd get this chance again," he blubbed. He stepped forward and reached out his hand, before thinking better of it and rubbing the back of his head. "I'll do my best, sir."

Nadil nodded and gestured toward the door. The teaboy took the hint and headed off, although he had to be called back to retrieve the trolley.

Another order was then barked down the intercom. "I'm sending the teaboy down to Lim Kaana. If he fits the catsuit, then he's hired for the new show and we'll need another teaboy." Nadil settled himself back in his chair and continued to puff away, while Fedelta made himself comfortable on the edge of the desk.

"Who's going to write this underground masterpiece?" the glam fan said, while fiddling with a paperweight.

Nadil tipped his chair backwards and thought for a moment. "Set up a meeting with Kirikulus and go yourself. Pay whatever he wants. When that's over, try to hire Kharl away from Lykouleon. Don't pay him whatever he wants - the man has no concept of money."

"Anyone else?"

"Medicinea. She has a good eye and will give us the right look for the series. If we get those three, then the rest of the crew won't matter."

Fedelta bowed and left. Nadil scowled at the papers on his desk: bright, large pictures of Lykouleon and Raseleane enjoying their posed kiss dominated the pages. He pushed the button again.

"Saabel, get in here! I need you to take a lot of ... dictation."

Yes it was short, but Nadil deserves his own chapter. The next one is twice as long and there's still a lot of work to do. Brief summary: casting problems push a few people into the limelight who are happier behind the scenes. Anyway, back to the grindstone.

So which version will you support? Thanks for reading. I hope you liked it. All feedback is appreciated, so please click on the review button.