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Empire on Ice #44: The Kingdom of Zeal

This week! Josh abdicates his Empire on Ice responsibilities. In his place, Afiach Bard sings a lyrical version of "Corridors of Time," from Chrono Trigger…with a bit of inspiration from Shakespeare, and Doreen. Bowling balls! Sashimi!

[In Josh's office…]

Josh: I don't have time to write Empire on Ice this week! Help! O, HALP!

[Enter Afiach.]

Afiach: Are you all right? I heard poetic misinterpretations of common words.

Josh: Afiach! I'm so busy working on the After The Hero Prelude that I don't have time to write Empire on Ice this week.

Afiach: Oh dear. That sounds terrib—

Josh: So here's a million dollars. Do Empire on Ice for me!

[Josh pulls a cord and a bunch of jewels drop onto Afiach.]

Afiach: Ow!

Josh: Sorry. I should probably use jewels without so many pointy edges.

Afiach: What do you mean, "Do Empire on Ice"? I'm a bard, not a sketch comedy writer.

Josh: It doesn't matter. It doesn't even have to be funny. Just give the people something they want! Anything!

Afiach: But—

Josh: I have to go! The world is counting on you! Just be careful. My millions of fans can get very nasty if they're not kept placated.

Afiach: Wait! What?!

[Exit Josh, swiftly.]

Afiach: [Daintily.] O, fuck.

[Afiach looks at the fourth wall in flabbergasted silence for a moment.]

Afiach: Uh…hi. Or "hale fet," as I like to say. I'm Afiach Bard. I have a TV show on The Scenery Channel, and I'm a co-star in After The Hero: The Motion Picture. I've been…er…"kindly asked" to fill in for Josh this week in Empire on Ice. So…um…how about some music?

[She pulls out a guitar.]

Afiach: Yeah. How about "Corridors of Time," from Chrono Trigger? You know…the Kingdom of Zeal theme? Everyone likes that, right? Um…please don't kill me?

[She begins to play the music, and sings along with improvised lyrics.]


The Kingdom of Zeal,
Never worry, never wonder, or feel.
The dream of the Nu
Takes flight on the wind of Zeal,
Makes fire dance,
As though we yell into the gale
That everything we are and that
Everything we love is a

What is real?
Am I a bird, idly dreaming that I'm a man?
What is this
If we can't say what's real?

The Kingdom of Zeal,
Never worry, never wonder or feel.
Serene as we are,
What care we to hope and feel?
Enlightened Ones!
We want for nothing anymore.
We're far too wise to wonder or
Tremble at the thunder on
Zeal's shore.

Our revels
Now are ended. The cloud-capped towers soon shall dissolve;
Our lives, Nu,
Are rounded with a sleep.

[The song ends and Afiach flees.]

[Then she hastily returns, scoops up an armful of the jewels, and quickly flees again.]

O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!