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A play in 2 acts
By Aaron Hobbs and Erich Brown



ideas - should it be Locke (loki) Corp not Cert (Surt) corp?
the power plant itself is Jormungander, because it can spray poison all over the land, the eel is its baby
remember that this is based on ragnorok but not an exact retelling, the watchmen is just as much the story, and the third part is our own creation
That being said, fenrir can die too early, jormungander can be stopped from rising, and Surt can be kept in Muspeil and prevented from burning everything.
References should be made
Also that being said, the actual tale of ragnarok leaves everyone dead except for two humans who repopulate the planet. Mars colony. So everything can be as ragnaroky as we want. Including fenris can still be on the loose.
If fenrir and jormungander are already represented, Hel must be represented. Fenrir is so present, however neither of lokis children are anthropo/ oh yeah, they arent humanoid. thats why hel should be acted out. Plus what a great experience for an actor.
Loki and Surtur are not essential to have shown
the two cops that showed up can be skoll and hati, the wolves who devour the sun and moon
Angrboda frees loki from his chains. There could be a scene with O1 and O2 where they are perhaps Locke in prison or stifled in some way and Angrboda is a lawyer or corrupt prison gaurd who gets him out. Or perhaps he is an Artificial intelligence who is downloaded into human form by the tech lady in Act 4 that erik talks to.
Perhaps Locke is downloaded from the new O.S. plus something that Angerboda wrote as script and puts it into a sex robot. Loki could then be a ‘shapeshifter’ as a sexy swaggering robot/person? tough acting job
Perhaps LOKI AND SURT will not be in the play in anthropomorphized sense. They may be saved for the book.

Remember key scenes: Erik must now be informed of the trauma on the street.
There must be repercussions from the Earthquake at Jormungander.
Cedar will be in hospital for 3-7 days. Recovers ‘abnormally fast’. Grace will therefore be able to inform Erik first. Unless he is at plant for the entire time. Which is possible due to the earthquake and him taking advantage of his plans.
Cedar could then return from the hospital and Grace will have taken care of him there some. Florence nightingale effect in addition to other attractions. Also now he’s save the neighborhood man. They , continue care at home. They could be at Graces wondering where tf Erik is.
So next scene is grace pacing at the hospital. .










© 2019 by Aaron Hobbs and Erich Brown

Olympia, WA 98506

CHARACTERS

1
ERIK
30-45, physicist, divorced. Clean cut, fairly fit, academic, nature enthusiast. Owns both houses portrayed in play, and has lived in the Neighborhood for many years. Light skin/hair.
2
CEDAR
30-45, rugged jack of all trades, handyman, single. Well read in very few subjects. Either a little thick from eating wild or very lean. Been living solo in the Pacific Northwest for over a year. New to the Neighborhood. Some British descent. Any skin/hair.
3
GRACE
25-45, Nurse, single. Studious, healthy, professional, artistic, loves kids and animals, go figure. A naturally lovely woman, not a model. Has lived in the Neighborhood for over a year. Dark skin/hair.
There are no rows in this table

In addition to the three main actors, 2 additional actors will play other parts. Changing hair, costume, and accent/personality to suit.
O1-
More on the tall and lean side. Male.
Skull - An overseer for Cert Corp. Think new york, boston cop.
Schneider - An electrical engineer for Skollhati facility. German accent.
Director Locke-Head of operations, Skollhati facility.

02 - More on the short and thick side. Female.

Hatie - An overseer for Cert Corp. Also northeastern type..

Romano - An IT tech for Skollhati facility..

Inspector Helsinki - Head of security, Skollhati facility. Puppet mayor of the town. Responsible for reporting to Director Locke and managing the day to day needs of the community as well as protecting the interests of Cert Corp.
SETTING

Two identical front porches looking out over an alleyway, company town. A rear door, window, chair, and small table are on each porch. Each porch has a single step down in front of the door. There is railing where appropriate. Stage right porch is unoccupied and undecorated. Stage left porch is lived in but sparse, led solar lamp, nice camping chair, some fireless heating device. A Bonsai tree prominent, as well as some kind of statue.


TIME

A slow burn apocalypse. The Ice has melted, the Climate has changed, the Viruses have mutated, the Bombs have dropped, the Food and Water are scarce. The near future.

ACT I

SCENE 1

(Lights up slowly like a morning sunrise, sound of birds chirping)

Erik is on stage left porch holding a steaming cup of liquid. He is wearing a deep blue button down collared shirt and some type of functional good looking blue zip up jacket. He wears a neck gaiter (grey or something like) around his neck. Nice pair of utilitarian blue jeans. Fashionable zip up boot, waterproof but still good for meetings. Appears well groomed.

(
From offstage right comes the sound of a few fast footsteps. A dog begins furiously barking and snarling.
GRACE
enters stage right. She is dark skinned and haired, fairly fit, and is wearing red athletic clothes as a jogger might wear, she has a sophisticated breathing apparatus, obvious ventilator, headphones
)

GRACE:
(shaken)
Shut up you beast! Why are you always..?
( sees Erik, collects herself)
Good morning!
(starts walking towards Erik’s porch SL, pulls down mask, headphones, never gets closer than five feet)
Coffee Day?

ERIK: Ahh coffee day. You want some?
(Grace makes a face, holds up hand and shakes head, then starts stretching Erik looks up)
It IS nice out, getting cold.
(Beat, extends hand in direction GRACE arrived from)
What news of the world, fair traveler?
GRACE: Hmmm, well, Ferris is still a jerk. Oh, they’re getting set up at the old school for the parade. Lots of people are there already. They have last year's giant blue dinosaur skull hanging over the door… There is a U.N. ship in the port... Oh, I saw that eagle today, on the old library roof. Flew in with some kinda fish or something. I think I heard some chirping. Maybe one of the eggs hatched after all?
ERIK: that’s great news about the eagle. We should take the binoculars over and check it out. We gotta kill some crows...When’s your next day off?
GRACE: What’s today? Wednesday? (Beat) Wait... Is today the big day?

ERIK: (takes a big breath) Yes it is.

GRACE: Do you know when he’s coming?

ERIK: (Exhales) I do not.

GRACE: Ooooo. Pins and needles, huh? Ah the sheer excitement. Of waiting! (smiles)

ERIK: Yeah I can’t decide if I should start a project or just sit on the porch. Maybe if I had a rocking chair and a hound dog…
(looks at porch)
GRACE: Right, he’d eat it.
(single bark as she gestures behind her).
Well, sounds thrilling.
(still stretching)
Oh, Speaking of thrilling…How’s the new project going? Are we getting more power?

ERIK: In theory. We still have some kinks to work out. I should know more by the end of the month.
GRACE: Yes! I am definitely down for TWO hot showers a week. And for everyone else to have two. (Waves hand in front of nose).

ERIK: Yes,(chuckles) that would be good for morale.
GRACE: Just imagine the luxury! Laundry AND a shower... Mmm-Mmm, I’m getting spoiled just thinking about it!.

CEDAR:
(Off stage center, two metal knocks)
Appreciate you, brother!
(A truck horn honks twice and an engine sounds fading off. Sound of key in lock stage right, doors opening, heavy rucksack dropping, a few heavy thumps and sound of chair being kicked over)
Ooookay..
GRACE: On that note, I will be taking my leave, good sir.

ERIK: Ah yes, m’lady
(small bow)
until we meet again.
G: Some of us actually have to GO to work.
E:
(holds up laptop)
And some of us never get to LEAVE.
GRACE: Touché. Well, parting is such sweet sorrow... (
loud crash of something metal hitting the floor, GRACE heads back to her house, quickly with her back to ERIK
) Tell me how it goes tomorrow!

CEDAR: (
Sound of doors opening and slamming again, more thumps, tinks, clatters. Finally the door to stage right opens swiftly. Cedar steps onto the porch. He is clad in Carhartt coat/overalls, all oil stained and well worn. Ragged yellow t - shirt. Hiking/work boots. A leather satchel strapped to a shoulder dangles. He has a harmonica harness around his neck and is wearing a gas mask. A belt knife protrudes from waist, his pockets are stuffed, some items stick out from them, including a wrist rocket. He has a beaten up and decorated metal thermos carabinered to some part of him. He carries a guitar with one string, an apple, and a hammer. Steps onto porch)
Nice! (
goes to take a bite of apple, hits mask
) Shit!
(removes mask, throws on chair, bites apple
) Yeah! Porch!! (
points
) Perfect! (
Drops some gear, goes back in the house with enthusiasm. Comes back out with a large marijuana plant in a ceramic pot, a wolverine and a wonder woman figurine lay in the soil. He has a metal coffee tin ash can, bag of something liquid. Puts marijuana plant on SR corner of porch, puts down metal coffee can on porch railing, bag on table. walks out into alleyway with increased enthusiasm. Ferris starts barking menacingly)
Shut the hell up! (
Ferris stops barking with a menacing growl)
Little grass. Nice. Stuff’s growin'. (bites apple) allright. (pumps fist, looks up smiling) Nice roof.
(points)
Good roof. (beat) Nice.
(He notices Erik standing there, immediately starts barreling towards him with his hand out)
Oh! Hey neighbor! How’s it going? (
Erik takes a step back).
Oh shit! (
Erik covers his mouth with the gator. He puts up his hands in a defensive posture. Cedar slows down, puts his hands on his chest, wipes them off as if he had oil on them, lifts his shirt up over his mouth, takes a step back
) Sorry, old habit.
(beat. Makes finger guns at Erik)
Heeeeeyyy. (
points thumbs at self
) Cedar.
ERIK: Yep, hi. (
takes finger gun point, turns it back on self
)
Erik.
CEDAR: Good to meet you Erik! Sorry, it's been a while since I had a neighbor. (beat) This place is great!
ERIK: Great... Glad you like it. Take your time, check it out.
CEDAR:
(Cedar continues exploring for some time, perhaps checking quality of woodwork as well)
So how long have you lived here, bud?
ERIK: About 3 years.
C: Right on, you like it?
E: It has its percs.
CEDAR: Wow. 3 years. That’s right about the time Hel’s handbasket shifted gears. I didn’t even know about this place till a few months back. I just got lucky I ran into some folks on their way here and hitched a ride. Course the guards made me camp out in a field for almost a month before my ‘application was approved’ and the vaccine kicked in.
ERIK: ‘The neighborhood’ has an application process and a lottery, they weren’t making that up. So, congratulations.
C: That’s crazy. Guess I filled it out right. I started to think I was gonna spend the rest of my life in the woods.
E: When did you head out? After New York or before?
C: Right after everyone left the big cities. I was like, that’s it man. Oceans rising, people fighting over water, the super virus...
E: COVID 21 Theta.
C: People were droppin’ left and right, killin each other over vaccines. And then I read something about nukes in the paper and I just.. headed uphill till I ran outta gas and started walking.
E: Wow. Not many could do that.
C: I guess so. I had decent gear. And I found a little cabin before the first winter, or I probably wouldn’t have made it.
E: We are the fortunate ones. They needed me here and you found an empty cabin to wait out the troubles. Pretty lucky.
C: Well, it wasn’t empty. But you are right. You live here by yourself, or do you got any family?
ERIK: Not here. It’s just me.
CEDAR: Right on. Me too.
ERIK: (
nods)
CEDAR:
(Opens the door to the outhouse)
Nice.
(turns back to Erik to say something and pauses every muscle in his body, sniffs the air, turns, sniffs again, turns back to Erik and stares at Erik’s cup for two beats. )
Hey, is that…. Coffee?
ERIK: Yeah…
CEDAR: …You guys have coffee here?
ERIK: Yes, if you can call it coffee.
CEDAR: Goddamn!
(rubs hands together)
Coffee!
(Cedar arranges things on porch, plants action figures firmly in soil. Erik stands for a few beats, then heads inside.)
Hey, you smoke weed?
(Notices Erik is gone, starts singing to himself. Erik returns, steaming steel thermos in hand. Erik approaches Cedar's side of the yard. Cedar turns, appears stunned. Then runs inside, returns with a tin camping mug. Erik fills their mugs. Cedar stares reverently into the cup)
Thank you man.
(They return to their porches and sit in their chairs. Worshiping their coffee and observing the neighborhood)
ERIK: It’s good to have a fellow aficionado of the finer things in life. (Beat) Welcome to the Neighborhood.
(A loud industrial siren goes off. Erik looks up, unconcerned. Pulls up mask Cedar grabs his gas mask, looks at coffee mug.
)
C: Screw it.
(sips coffee as the lights slowly fade and the horn goes off two more times)

Act 1 Sc 2

[Later that day.
Light up from within a wooden outhouse, a crescent moon, candle light, stage center, outhouse is between both houses upstage. Slow amber (sunset light) coming up on stage, both porches are empty)
C: (
In outhouse pounds on walls)
This is nice. (beat) I could get used to this. (
Beat)
Whoa, there’s a whole damn library in here! To Kill a Mockingbird, Huck Finn.. Is this guy a racist? What's this one, hmm, you look interesting. Cool cover. What is that a dragon? (beat) Catcher in the Rye, Romeo and Juliet, Crime and Punishment, what is this guy a high school teacher? Nuclear Physics for Dummies… I don’t think that’s a good idea... What's he got against these ones?… Ohhhh, that's why, the pages are the Toilet paper. Thank god.
(sound of books hitting floor, pages ripping)
Oh hell no, Bible? You’re already full of shit. (beat) Pages are too thin anyways.
(Groan, ripping more pages.. hums to self while finishing up. Erik enters his porch and sets a labeless wine bottle on the porch table. Cedar exits outhouse, one buckle unbuckled, reading a half-book)
Pee Quad? Who the hell is named Pee Quad?
(Throws book back to outhouse. Blows out the candle)
Oh, hey neighbor.
E: Hey. What, you didn’t like that one?
C: Uh, no, there’s only so much Moby Dick I can take.
E: Ha. The ripped ones aren't for reading.
C: Good, ok. So I understood the system.
E: Apparently. Well done, sir. The ones
with
covers are for entertainment.
C: If you don’t mind, I'd like to read one. Inside where it smells better. I haven’t read anything but comics the past few years.
E: Sure man, no problem. Comics, huh? Like what?
(pours from the wine bottle into his mug).
C: Oh, a little bit of everything. The cabin I was in wasn't fancy but it did have a wood stove and a comic book collection, go figure.
(Gestures to the outhouse)
It didn't come with one of those babies, tho.
E: (holds up bottle) Want some wine?
C: (halts. Looks up at Erik in awe) Really?
E: Yeah, cheers.
C:
(wipes hands on pants, runs to porch and grabs his mug, Erik pours him wine, Cedar raises it in toast, sips, coughs and splutters)
S’good..
E: It’s not, and you can’t get it often, but it is still technically alcohol.
C: Wow man. Thank you. (beat) Wine too? This place is cool.
E: So what was in the collection? I might know a thing or two about comics.
C: Oh yeah? Right on. I gotta say after a couple of years in the woods it was nice to have books with pictures. You start to forget what people look like.
(reverently)
Especially Wonder Woman
(sighs)
.
E: Ah yes, the beautiful Amazonian demigoddess with the lasso of truth. The guy who created her was the psychologist who invented the lie detector.
C: No way? That’s why she’s always
(pantomime lasso)
.
E: What else?
C: There was Batman and Superman. Batman’s cool and stuff but he’s too rich and depressing.
E: (laughs) True.
C: Superman.
(jerk off hand sign)
the guy who came up with that had no sense of fairness. He could do everything.
(poses)
‘Do you have a green rock? No? then I win.’
E: Or you could kidnap Lois Lane. But if you kill her, Superman probably goes berserk.
C: Yeah he’s pretty dangerous actually.
E: I think he represents the American military. What other comics were there?
C: Oh, X-Men, Wolverine. He’s pretty cool. Total wildman. ‘two things certain in life bub, and this aint taxes. Snikt’. And super sense of smell, which of course would be a blessing and a curse. But he’s kinda tragic…
E: Ah yes. He felt the pain when he would get shot or stabbed or burned, he just couldn’t die from it. Outlived everyone he ever loved. And the military stuff messed with his head big time.
C: Yep, it does that.
(beat)
There were a few others, Thor was pretty cool. I like Viking stuff, but that one's totally unfair for comic book villians. He’s
a god
for Christ's sake.
E: Those are some of the best. Wonder Woman is a demi goddess so of course she’s beautiful, but she’s also wicked smart and very compassionate. That’s why she has the lasso, to make people see the truth about themselves. Batman is kind of a case study in economic responsibility, and of course vengeance and vigilantism. Super Man I agree, he IS very one dimensional and an obvious anthropomorphized version of the christian God. And Thor, well, I could talk all day about Nordic myths, but the comic is not very representative of them.
C: Yeah, the myths and legends I used to read, I don’t remember Thor lookin like a blonde underwear model.
E: No he was just a huge guy, red blonde hair and thick beard, probably a cro magnon forehead and thick jaw, built like a boulder with a bad temper.
C: Haha, yeah! Exactly. Oh there was also one really good, big ass, (finger quotes) graphic novel, The Watchmen. That was
actually
one of the best things I ever read.
E: Oh you read Watchmen? It’s just Watchmen, and
actually
that is generally listed as one of the top 100 American novels.
C: No way? Makes sense. Yeah, that blue man who basically becomes a god, that was deep. There was, like a lot of, philosophy in there. With the super smart guy and the dude with the face...
E: Rorschach. The smart guy is Ozymandius. And Dr Manhattan is-
C: Yeah, that's them!
E: Rorschach seems to represent human nature and individuality.. Osymandius represents human intellect and sacrificing for the greater good -..
C: And the blue guy?
E: I would say sentience, you know, ‘I think therefore I am’, and maybe transformation. He could rearrange anything, including himself. But didn’t really care that much about humanity. The three main characters are kind of the holy Trinity of human thought. I actually wrote a dissertation -
(Something sparks Ferris to start starts barking loudly, startling both men)
C:
(spills wine on shirt)
Goddamn dogs! What the Hell.
E: Yeah, that one in particular.
Ferris.
C: Like Ferris Bueller? Take a day off Ferris!
(Ferris slowly comes to a stop)
C: It's fucking huge. Looks like it's part wolf.
E: Yeah, be careful around it.
C: Is it always chained up out here like that? It looks like it could bust that thing whenever it wanted.
E: Hasn't yet, but it is an asshole. Kind of like it’s owner.
C: People and their dogs, huh? …Yeah, so, what were we sayin? Oh yeah, holy trinity.
(snorts)
Ugh. I’ll take Odin, Thor, and Freya any day.
E:
(storytelling time)
It begins with 3 seasons of winter. A sword age. A blood age.

C:
(stares at Erik)
huh?

E: Ragnarok.

C: Oh, yeah - the final battle.

E: (
storytelling voice
) Father kills son, son kills father, and brother kills brother. The children of Loki break free of their bonds.. And the war between the gods and giants will begin, and end everything.
C: Right on. So you like Viking myths and stuff? I love myths and legends. Odin and Loki and Zues and Ra and all that. My grandma had all these big ol books with really cool pictures. I must have read them all a hundred times.
E:
(Erik walks into house and returns with a big book of Norse Mythology for Cedar)
C: Whooaaaaaa. Cool pictures. Can I borrow this?
E: Sure. I actually didn’t grow up reading it, my parents were Lutherin and strict. But I studied it over the years and got more tuned in to Nordic mythology, as it is deeply relatable, entertaining, and my ancestry. (points at self) Erik Larsen.
C: You’re a Viking? Erik the blue! Valhalla!
E: I’m Scandinavian. Viking is technically the term for pirate. Scandinavians sometimes went 'Viking'.
C: Well. I don’t know what I totally am, but I know there’s some English and Russian, so I definitely got some Scandinavian shoved in me.
(beat)
We’re both Vikings.
E: Only if we raid and pillage, neighbor. We are just both of Scandinavian descent. As brave and enduring as our ancestors were, I think the example the northern socialist democracies set at the end of civilization were far more worthy of praise and celebration.
C:
(grabs hammer off porch)
VALHALLA!
E:
Skol! (they toast)
Well... we would have to die
in battle
.
Odin
would have to be watching and think we did a good job. And
a valkyrie
would have to bring us to Asgard. There are layers involved.
C: Yeah, sounds complicated. And painful. I mean, all gods are bullshit, but, if there were gods, Odin and Thor would be pretty damn cool.
(beat)
E: All gods are bullshit?
C: Yeah.
(Beat)
I mean, no offense, but there's been hundreds of gods. so either they are all there or none are, ya know? The Egyptians, the Greeks, the Vikings, Hindus, Chinese, Aztecs, Jews, Muslims, they all thought their gods were the real gods. The bible thumpers just happened to get the most guns and money so they got to act like their god was on top.
(uncomfortable silence)
I mean if there are Gods they
love
playin hide n seek. They don’t seem to care about us much. Or if this
was
their plan, fuck em anyways. Like Aliens, they may be out there… but I've never seen proof of one.
E:
(Cedar clears throat, looking pointedly away from Erik, who gestures to the outhouse)
Speaking of aliens, Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy is in there. That’s a fun one.
C:
(opens door and quickly)
Whew. No little green men.
(chuckles nervously)
Oh yeah,
(holds up book)
I would read this again, it's funny. Intergalactic craziness.
(moves center stage)
Don't the aliens destroy earth because it's in the path of some space super highway?
E: Yep, and only one human gets off the planet who ends up hitchhiking through the galaxy.
C: So, the aliens aren’t that much different than us? Huh. Interesting. Destruction equals Progress. Wait, don't all the dolphins like sense it's going to happen and fly away into space?
E:
(Sings the song as in the movie HGTTG)
"So long, so long, so long... Thanks for all the fish!"
C: And some computer comes up with the answer to a big question everyone’s waiting for?
E:
(Holds up finger)
‘The meaning of life, the universe and everything.’.. but no one can remember the
exact
question, because Deep Thought, the computer, has been working on it for 7 million years.
C: Wow. Typical. And the answer is some number, right?
E: 42, or thereabouts.
C: Heh. Good answer. Super helpful.
I guess it's cool he didn’t have the balls to try to actually answer that.
(beat)
. Like there’s any “meaning” to all this (
Looking up at the sky
) Just stuff moving around.
E: One could say there is no intrinsic meaning to anything except what we choose to give it.
C: That’s deep man. What’s intrinsic, again?
E: Inherent.
C: Like built in?
E: Yes.
C: Cool.
E: There’s another book in there called Man’s Search for Meaning. Have you read it?
C: Nope.
E: Check it out. It’s non fiction, short and to the point. It was written by a jewish psychologist who survived the nazi concentration camps.
(Cedar returns the first book and rummages, comes out with a new book, looks it over)
He encourages all people to give meaning to things in life. He explains how the people who survived the camps were the ones who had a ‘purpose’ that they just
had
to accomplish before they died...Find a lost loved one, complete a work of art, visit a sacred place. Those that didn’t lost the will to live and couldn’t survive the horrible conditions.
C: (
staring at book
) Damn. That’s.. Wow. (
Holds book up)
I’ll read this first, if that's okay.
(Erik nods. beat)
Speaking of purpose, uh, what do we do for work here? You got a job?
E: I am a nuclear engineer at the power plant.
C:
(beat)
No shit? You do have a big brain. Is it true you can get a hot shower here?
E: Yes, you can, at least one a week, 2 if you are efficient. That might change soon to be more like 2 or 3.
C: Nice!
(sniffs armpit)
Well heck, I can do woodwork and general construction. I’m decent at growing stuff, mostly weed, and I can make moonshine and cook a bit… How would a dude like me get to work here?
E: Cert Power basically owns this community, and employs almost everyone. You can work with food production, ration control, water control, sanitation, or at the plant, but there's no new construction scheduled. The town's people seem eager to barter for drugs or booze, or if you can't barter, fix their house up. There is a warehouse administration the town's people set up to handle distribution of any UN Aid, but those deliveries are getting thinner and thinner by the month. I'll show you where the different offices are.
C: Okay. Well. Guess you take what you can get.
(looks up at sky)
(Both look up at the sky, long beat
)
C: Do you think they’ll make it?

E: There's about a 60% chance, given the current solar situation, food and fuel reserves, and estimates of Earth's survival timeline.

C: Yeah, well I hope they get scurvy and their dicks fall off. Tang ain't oranges ya giant bastards!
(gives the arm ‘shove it’ motion)

E: If their dicks fall off they are going to have a harder time repopulating the earth. That's what this whole effort is for, right? Do you want us to go extinct?

C: I mean fuck 'em. They destroyed life here and now they leave us to die and go try to live on Mars or wherever? How’s that gonna go when they don’t even know how to make a PERFECT PLANET work…

E: I agree, there is no justice in this situation.

C: Damn straight.

E: Only survival of the species.

C: They don’t deserve to survive!

E: Sure
they
don’t. But
we
do. Or, if not "deserve", at least, we
could
survive, if the plan works.

C:
We’re
not going to survive!

E: You and I aren’t, no. But
we
, humanity, can.

C: So what, most or all of us die of starvation and radiation and disease, and after what, hundreds, thousands of years, when earth is livable again, they come back from mars and start over and do the whole damn thing again? Are they gonna do slavery again? Witch burning again? Nukes again?

E: Humanity has come a long way over a very long period of time. Hundreds of thousands of years. In the past hundred years we have learned more about life and the universe than in all the time before. Hopefully-

C: They ain’t learned shit-
E:
(hand up)
Hopefully… mankind will take the lessons it has learned and apply them to the new world and not make the same mistakes.

C:
(beat)
Like plastic.

E: Like plastic.

C: And fossil fuels.

E: And fossil fuels.

C: And fuckin’ Kardashians.

E:
(chokes on wine in laughter)

C: It's crazy how we evolved from building fires and hunting deer to putting chunks of plastic in our butts.

E: Big brains, opposable thumbs.

C: Bored brains, fake nails on our thumbs.

E: Technology, tools, and civilization.

C: Oppression, opulence, and exploitation.

E: Religion, science.

C: Endless war, bigger bombs.

E: Modern medicine.

C: The ego’s quest for immortality.

E: Ay there's the rub.

C:
(beat)
To Be, or Not To Be.

E: That is the Question.

C: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

E: Or to take up arms against a sea of troubles.
And by opposing, end them.

C: To Die:…

E: To Sleep

Both: (C and E slice their hand through the air as if conductors stopping the music, loud whisper-) No more…
(Beat
)

C: And there’s the rub again.

E: For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, must give us pause.

C: huh.(
Beat
) Yeah, I’m thinking there's no dreams when the brain's rotten meat.

E: Uh, yes, most likely sentience ends when life ends. However, as Hamlet says, (E gets comfortable in his chair, raises his feet from his seat and puts on porch railing, about to enjoy what is about to say) there is more in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies dear Horatio-

C: That philosophy is my philosophy. Like, I know there's more going on in the universe than I can ever know about. I accept that. But I ain't going to believe someone who claims to know what happens after we die. When they ain't been dead yet.
(walks back to outhouse to check out books)
But, hey, we’re just two guys, right?
(stands and turns)
Huh, Huck Finn.
(beat)
You wanna go fishin?

E: Yes I do.
End of ACT 1 Sc 2









ACT 1 Sc 3


(In darkness an industrial siren sounds, lights up slowly, afternoon/evening. Siren stops after five seconds.
GRACE
enters stage right, wearing goggles and mask. She approaches the two houses)
Hey! What was that one for?
(Waits)
Hellooooo?
(After 2 beats. heads up to Erik’s porch, knocks on the door, looks in the window, she examines porch items. She’s done this before. Slowly approaches Cedar's porch, glancing around)
Hello???
(She peers in the window for a long moment, then explores porch items, touching a few things, she hasn’t done this before. Sniffs pot plant. She shivers and does a little dance, and goes into the outhouse. The sound of Cedar and Erik’s conversation precedes their entry, stage left.)

C: Hell yeah wanna fuck a mountain lion!

E: You’re crazy.

(Ferris snarls menacingly as the two men enter stage left from the main street. They carry fishing poles of some kind, a rusty metal tackle or tool box, and a five gallon plastic bucket which sloshes. Cedar has a gas mask on head, face exposed. Erik is wearing goggles, mask around neck. They give the dog a wide berth as Erik attempts to stifle laughter.)

C: Chill out dog! I mean they’re the sexiest animals, man. They got that blonde fur, all soft and sleek, but their muscles just like..
(he flexes off and on
) quivering. And those eyes, like gold laser beams. You’d have to approach em reaaaal slow, like (imitate a slow liontaming crawl). I bet they feel so soft, and hard-.

E: And sharp. Don’t forget, sharp.

C: Yeah, but that’s what would be so exciting about it! This one time I was out hunting and didn’t have any pants on -
(Whatever is in the bucket lurches)

E: Whoa, this thing is still alive?
(Cedar lifts the lid, looks in the bucket warily)
Are you
sure
you want to eat it?

C:
(makes a face)
I’ll tell ya after the first bite.
(takes the bucket to the porch,
puts on work gloves and grabs a hammer on the way inside)
I’m gonna...

G:
(Exits outhouse laughing, surprising Erik)
Oh. My. God.

E: Whoa, you scared me. Do you hang out in there now?

G: I was coming to ask you what the siren was for and I had to pee, allright?

E: Earthquake warning this time,
(holds up shortwave radio device)
not a big one, epicenter was far east.

G:
(Nods)
good. … The new guy though? What the-?

E: Yeah he is somethin’.
(beat)
Among other oddities, he’s horny for certain wildlife.

G: Lions?

E: Mhm. Personally, I can never decide between a gazelle or an octopus? You?

G:: Eww, you know they have a beak in their mouth that bite through shells?
(Erik covers crotch with hands)
Hmmm. I’ll take… An asexual grizzly bear that only gets off on snuggling.

E: Wow.
(Beat)
You win.

G: You guys are pervs.

C:
(sound of hammer blows from inside house)
Ah-Jesus! Mother-!

G: So you went fishing? In the river?

E: Yeah it was-

G: Can you even eat anything that comes out of there?

E: (big shrug) I’m not really sure? We threw the fish back in, they didn’t look right.

G: And so, naturally, you started talking about sexable animals?

E: We talked about a lot, actually. And a little bit about that.

G: So, it's not that bad? You guys are alright?

E: So far, so weird. But yeah, he’s alright.
(Deposits gear)

G: Awwww, somebody's got a buddy…

E: I think so.

G: Better than the last few?

E: Potentially. Louder and more…

C:
(In house)
Fuck you too!
(Big smash)

E: Stimulating? Definitely louder.

G: Okay so that's good, right?

E: I think so.

G: You think so?

E: I mean it’s still early days...

G: Just say yes.
(tension starts to build)

E: What?

G: Just say yes. Don't be scared.

E: Okay.

G: Hey.

E:
(beat)
Hey.

G: So... it's been a while since we really talked.

E:
(beat)
Yeah. Sorry.

G: Don't apologize. Just be real with me.

E: Okay.

G: Can you do that?

E:
(stands still, gazing at Grace)
I can, try.
(Deep breath, smiles to himself and then G)
Hi.

G: Hello.

E: I was going to tell you…

G: Going to tell me?

E: I AM going to tell you….
(Deep breath)
I love having you, as a, neighbor. I do. I love knowing that you are right there
(points to her house)
, being amazing. When I come out in the morning and start my day, I look up at your place and just, feel good.

G: I’m glad for you.

E: I didn’t want that to change.

G: Okay.

E: I DON'T want that to change.

G: Well, it's different than it was in the beginning.

E: Yes. I didn’t want it to get bad.
(beat)
It can get so bad.

G: Yes, but,
(beat)
it can also be, amazing.
E: I couldn’t risk it. There is so much going on and I can’t have my heart-

G:
(laughs)
It's been months, Erik! You know better than anyone how many we have left.
(Erik looks down)
We look at each other, we talk to each other. We ate together. I broke the seal with you, man. I let you in! You should know what that means. If you want to enjoy anything, now is the time to fucking do it, man. You just... shrunk.

E:
(beat, imploring)
There are a lot of... forces at play here, Grace.

G: Oh my god, fine.
.
fine.
(long pause)
Well, hey. I’m glad you’re still here.

E: I’m glad you’re still here.

(Grace sighs, opens her arms, they both pull up masks, they hug)

C: Motherfucking piece of shit probably poisonous spine!
(C enters stage right porch door, holding and looking at hand
)
(stops on seeing Erik and Grace hugging, obviously confused, goes halfway inside, halfway comes back)
uh yeah, no biggie.
(goes inside, hug slowly draws to a close)

E: That was nice. (
both smile at each other, apply sanitizer)
How are you?

G: I’m okay..

E: Still painting?

G:
(smiles)
That’s when I’m really good. I’ve been working on a new piece for awhile now. It’s.. it’s..
(gestures as if starting to describe the painting with her hands)
Yeah… it’s just cool.

E: That’s awesome! I’d love to see it.

G: When I’m done.

E:
(nods)
How are things at the hospital?

G: You know. People keep getting sick and hurting themselves, so there’s always something to do.

E: How many ventilators are still functional?

G: 11, ten in use.

E: Vaccines?

G: As of yesterday, gone.

E: And that guy, who was coming around a lot?

G: Gone. Thank you.
(Yoga hands)

E: Good. God, I wanted to
(clentches up)
… yeah, well, glad that's over.
(beat
, concern in his voice) Cecilia?
G: Cecilia is going to make it, little badass, The treatment worked.
(big smile)
She said to tell you ‘nair hair double dare’?

E: She’s awesome.
(E turns away, wipes quickly at face and then a small chuckle.)

G: How much time does she have left?

E: A year at most.

G:
(beat)
Really?

E: If we are fortunate.

G:
(approaches something that can be used as a drum. A bucket, a can, something percussive. She starts a slow beat)
You’re a good person Erik, you know that right?

E: I am A person.

G: Yeah, whatever. Let’s make some music, dude.

(Grace starts to lay down a beat, Ferris snarls, then barks at intervals. Erik tries to find something to contribute, then does. They slowly get in the cinque. This is a ‘stomp like’ moment. The actors will create whatever is organic for them. Make it awesome. After a brief time, Cedar enters the porch, and chimes in with harmonica brace and slappin on something. They all notice each other and just rock out until they are sweaty.)

C: Yeaheaaaaah. Yeah man, that was the goods!

E: Woo!

G: Mmmmm hmmm!

O1/ O2:
(Ferris barks and snarls menacingly, voice from offstage left)
Hey! Holy-!
(more barking)
We got a big bad wolf here.
(light and sound of electric taser, yelping dog)
. Settle down, Wolfenstein.

(As E, C, and G, collect themselves, two uniformed ‘officers’ come into view entering stage left, wearing masks and gloves)

O1: Good evening neighbors.
(O2 looks back at Ferris).
Knocked on the front door, but sounds like you’re having some kind of ho down back here?

E: Good evening officers-

C:
I can attest to the fact that no hoes are going down back here. There is no farmin or pimpin goin on just slappin on-
(hits railing as he approaches officers)

O1: Back up citizen.
(Hand on baton. O2 turns from Ferris to focus on the ‘neighbors’ at hand)

O2: You might just wanna sit your ass down, fella. (
stares hard at Cedar)

C:
(looks askance for a moment, Erik nods, Cedar sits down on porch step)

O1: We’re following up on a complaint.

G: We’ve only been playing music for a couple minutes. And we’re done.

O1: Not here about your ‘music’. Here about the power consumption.

O2:
(Produces an electronic device, shows it to O1)
Yep, this is the right place.

(the sound of helicopters overhead and a sporadic searchlight intercede, the ‘overseers’ observe)

O1:
(Looking up)
Oh that’s Heim working tonight,
(reverent)
he’s so good with that light- I’d be all over the place-

O2: This here…
(clears throat)
is an official meeting with Overseers of Cert Corp.

O1:
(clears throat)
What you are about to participate in is a regulated activity called interrogation.

O2: Nothing you say is admissible in court, but will be used against you if deemed appropriate by aftersaid-

O1: Aforesaid-

O2: Aforesaid - (long beat) Dammit. Uhh, (clears throat) This here is an official-

O1: Just stop. Show us your power counters.

E:
(Goes inside, Cedar looks confused)

O2:
(Checks out Grace)
Hey, how you doin?
(She gives a terse smile, looks away)

O1:
(Checks out Cedar)
You new around here? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you before.

C: Yep. Just got here. How long you guys-

O1: I’m gonna need to see your papers, too.

C: Okaaay.
(beat, heads inside as Erik returns)

E:
(approaches with device)
Here you go.

O2:
(looks over data, grunts occasionally)

C:
(Returns with two pieces of paper, smiling)
I think these are them.

O1:
(takes papers and looks them over, compares photo to Cedars face).
Cedar... Petrovsky. Petrovsky, what is that, Polish?

C: Russian-

O2: That reminds me of a funny joke.
(chuckles)
But you’re Polish right? You wouldn’t get it.
(chuckles harder)

C:
(takes a step toward O2, chest puffed)
Hey asshole-

O1: Hey!
(O2 draws his taser baton, Ferris starts barking)
Back up citizen! Just go and sit on your porch.

O2:
(Cedar, hands up, glares at O2. O2 is looking back and forth between the dog and Cedar, crackles the baton)
You wanna dance?-

O1:
(talking to O2)
Hey! Chill that anger, Boda. Stand down.
(points at Cedar and waits for him to sit down)
And you!-
(directed at Ferris, draws can of mace from belt, disappears from view. Spraying and animal coughing/distress heard)
Put that away,Boda!
(Boda sheaths baton)
Allright, everybody just CALM. DOWN.
(deep breath)
Where were we? Oh yeah, power consumption - (beat) Wait a minute..
(gestures to O2)
Wasn’t it some Russian/Polish guy tried to bring the rifle in last week?

C: I didn’t even have any shells...And I apologized-

O2: You have any weapons on ya now?

C: Depends on what you consider a weapon.
(grabs his crotch)

O1: Okay, calm down.

O2: Only Cert Corp overseers are authorized to possess or use -

C: It was my dad’s rifle and I only had one bullet, Ass-

O1: Shut. UP! Everyone shut up. Please!
(glares at O2)
For fuck’s sake.
(Beat)
Okay, what does the counter say?

O2: 292 for the past seven days.

O1: Well now.
(beat)
Way over 170.

O2: Yessir.

O1: That shouldn’t even be possible. What do you got, some kinda contraband contraption saps power off the community grid? It appears we are going to have to issue some SERIOUS citations here, at the very least, AND we’ll have to search and confiscate.
(prepares to write with attached electric pencil on device, beat, glances at O2)

O2: Oh, UNLESS there's… something you all wanna work out...

E: Read a little further.

O1: What?
(O2 keeps looking at his device, then prods O1, who looks at the machine)
Dr. Larsen.
(change in attitude)
Oh, hey, sorry sir about all this... hullaballoo.
(Slaps Boda’s shoulder)
Boda's new and things have been a little stressful around here lately.

O2: Uh, Sorry.

O1: I appreciate your position, sir, but I still need to enforce the regulations. Is there some reason these readings are so far over?

O2: We still need to check his, too.
(Points at Cedar)

C: I don't even know-

E:That one counter covers both places. It's all a single service under my name and responsibility. The operating system malfunctioned last week and there was some data loss. That's why your readings are off. We are far under the 340 and haven’t incurred any penalties.

O1: Oh.

O2: Oh.
(Look at each other)

O1: Well, glad we got that sorted out.

O2: Yeah. Nice to meet y'all, sorry bout-

G: Yeah wow, what a pleasure. Okay byyyeeeeee.
(hard glare waves dismissively)

C:
(Waves with glee)

E:
(Takes reader back)
Good afternoon, officers.
(They both leave, Ferris low growl)

O1: Somebody should put this dog down before it kills someone.

C:
(After they have gone)
All cops are bastards.

G: They're not even cops.

E: Private security forces are all anyone has anymore.

G: Mercenaries.

C:
(beat)
Dr?

E:
(hands in pockets)
PhD. Physics.

G: Yeah, he's kind of smart.

C: Hi, I'm Cedar by the way.

G: I heard. Hi, I'm Grace.
(They do an air elbow bump)

C:
(to Erik)
Thanks for keeping me out of jail, Doc.

E: No problem. Just, try to be careful around any overseers, Cedar, really. They have ultimate authority, here.

C: Noted. Do you guys know each other? Do you live around here?

G:
(Nods
,
points at apartment downstage right)

C: No way? Right on, neighbor. Wait, second story at the end? You an artist?

G:
(beat)
Yes. How do you guess that?

C: I was checking out the street the other day and saw a lady painting something through a window.

G: Ooo.. lady - Wait, checking out? With like, binoculars?

C: No! It was sunset and I was just walking through the neighborhood.
G: So, you weren’t spying on me?

C: If by cruisin around with my eyes open and looking at stuff you mean spying.

G: So, you aren’t stalking me?

C: Hell no!

G: No? Good. Because I’m not a mountain lion.

E:
(snickers)

C: Hah, what? Oh.
(beat looks at Erik)
You told her that?

E:
(gestures to outhouse)
She was in the-

C:
Um, yeah, well, Hah. Okay, that was kind of a metaphor -

G:
(takes on the air of authority, finds a place to sit and be entertained)
Uh huh? Go on.

C: Because they're so feminine and strong and sleek.. Like… Okay… obviously I’ve never been with an animal.

E: OBVIOUSLY.

C: I know I can’t REALLY fuck a lion.

G: Really?

C: But it’s still exciting to imagine. I mean - first of all… you’d have to be really brave AND really horny.

E: Oh wow. Are you really gonna talk about this?-
(Erik finds a comfortable place to sit)

G: How would you even approach it? Not with flowers and chocolate, right?

C: Oh no, with the good half of a deer, the butt part. And you know you’d have to pay attention to the signs and the seasons, cuz they only get in the mood like a few days a year. You’d have to time it just right or you’re hurting from the get go.
(beat, moves around)
You’d gotta be real confident, but also real slow. Not seem like a threat, or scared, or like something to eat.

G: But you would be all of those things.

C: Right! So, to put her at ease, you’d probably wanna get a good musk on. Don’t bathe. Gotta have a natural smell. No Shampoo. No perfume. Laundry soap, that’s a death sentence. Probably gotta be naked, that's just part of the deal… and roll around in the dust a bunch, they always do that. Now, THEY got a strong urine smell about 'em, sooooo
(raises hands like 'what are ya gonna do?').

E: Oh. My. Goodness. Piss on yourself first? Cedar, you have really thought about this, haven't you?
G: Am I supposed to be disgusted or turned on…

C: It ain’t about you. It’s my story. Now... I know she would be disappointed with my lack of spines-
(Erik stifles laughter, Grace looks confused)
You guys know all cats have barbed-
(Eriks laughter bubbles over, Grace laughs as well)
That’s why they make so much noise and bite each other and…. I’m sure it’s good in its own way... or at least I hope it's good for ‘em... or they just get the
(sniffs)
pheromones goin and they just GOTTA DO IT! Anyways, I hope she wouldn’t be disappointed with my barbless pecker. She MIGHT be like,
(adjusts voice, actor choice
) "Hold up. That is refreshingly smooth, I’m free to leave at any time? Strange but, go on. Also, you are slow and weak, I maaay decide to SHRED you at any moment. But, go on." And in her hopefully happy confusion, I get precious, oh so dangerous moments on her furry, muscular, back. Then, she probably bolts with a roar, but leaves me bleeding bad and scarred on the way out. Now, how is that really different from being with a woman?

G: Where do I start?

E: Ok, on some levels, I do see where you are going, with the scars idea… the danger of interacting with any... romantic interest… whatever the animal.

G: But you also emasculated yourself. You have a
(air quotes)
barbless pecker, you're naked and then scarred… You only pretend to be powerful like her.. And she's just what, an object of desire, a big sexual moment for YOU, and then she conveniently runs away? No lasting relationship. Were you even friends first, do you try to chase after her?

C: Whoa, okay-

E: Well, he did say, when we were fishing, that there was a 'certain mountain lion'.

C: Alexandria.

E: Alexandria, that he lived in close proximity to in the woods near his cabin for over a year. So, he got to know her pretty well, from afar. And maybe started to fall for?
(looks pointedly at Cedar)
And he COULDN’T follow her exactly. Cougars are elusive and more prone to stalking than being stalked. And if she lets you find her, it’s a dangerous situation-

C: Okay. Lemme backtrack here. It all comes down to this. When I was 8 or 9 I went to the Zoo with my dad. He was like, Nature Man, knew everything about everything. Latin names, ecosystems... We did the whole zoo thing, but I only remember the lion part. When we got up to the - enclosure, I stood by the iron fence and watched. My dad went and talked to somebody else he knew there. There were two iron fences, probably 4-5 feet apart, cuz lion arms are long. I was probably eating a popsicle or something, and this giant golden lioness leaves her buddies and just like... saunters up to me, to the other side of the fence. And it was just, staring at me. Totally chill, totally calm, but not really. Just... staring. And I remember feeling... quivery. So, Alive. But I couldn’t move. I felt hot. Sweaty. Like I was falling… I don’t know how to explain it exactly, but the way I remember it, I was the only person there. Suddenly there was no one around to ask questions, and no one was gonna help me, or probably even notice what was going on.... It was just me and her. And I don’t know if I reached my hand through the fence or just thought about doing it. I stopped being everything else I ever was at that moment and I just wanted her to touch me.

E: Hmm. It really is a metaphor.

G:
(beat. looks to Erik, then to Cedar)
You know she wanted to eat you?

E: You just described a near death experience. She absolutely wanted to kill you.

C: She would have had to do it with her own body right?
(Grace nods)

E: Yes.

C: I'm okay with that. Not much different.

G: Then what?

C: People. Volleyball players.
(G and E bust up again)
Animals just do what animals do. Sex is always a little dangerous at first… what a way to go though.

E: One point though. It sounded like you were describing an experience with an African Lion.

G: True. How come you’re a cougar man?

C: Right, well, two things. One, I never figured out how I could get over to Africa. So that would be a long distance romance
.

G: You could have been a zookeeper.

C: No, it's gotta be wild and free not, slavery. And two, well, I mean those kinda lionesses are a decent chunk bigger than me. I wouldn’t wanna disappoint. But a mountain lion -
(Grace face palms)

E: You know what? You are very interesting, Cedar.

G: Definitely entertaining.

C: Well shucks… You know, if you like sexy animal stories…
(hunkers down)
One time me and this big ol bull elk had a Tarantino standoff over like, half a dozen healthy, but homely lookin cows. I could smell him before I saw him -

E: Were you wearing pants?

C:
(thinks)
Yes.

G: What IS that smell?
C:
(Looks to his house)
Oh shit!
(hustles back in)

G: Wow.

E: He definitely spices up the place..

G: Unreal...
(shakes head to clear mental cobwebs)
So hey, I'm going to the school tomorrow, to start working on my costume.

E: Ah I can't, not for a while. Starting tomorrow I'm working on a huge project, going to be at the plant most of the time.

G: Oh, okay. I could grab you some stuff you could work on here. You are doing a costume, right?

E: I'm thinking about it.

G: Here we go-

E: I mean, yes! I'm definitely all in.

G: Good! They have a ton of scraps and art supplies, mostly recycled from last year, but with imagination and super glue… What are you gonna be?

E: Well, I was thinking of getting in touch with my Nordic roots. Either a wolf or a Raven.

G: Oooo. Careful if you go wolf, Ferris might pull a Cedar on you.
(Laughs, then fear)
Oh shit.

E: What?

G: I already started on my Tiger costume… I was going with my heritage too!

E: That sounds awesome? OOOhhhh -

G: You're buddy here will probably tackle me.

E:
(laughs)
Hopefully he knows the difference between-

G: Well, I'm not changing my costume, the head is already done. He's just gonna have to deal with it, like a sane person.

E: (beat) There will probably be a big turnout, who knows how many more of these we get…

G: Apparently you do. I bet the whole town will be there, AND it's a full moon…

E: Chaos.

G They're gonna need me at the hospital after for sure.

E:
I don't know if that's a good idea, Grace. It might not be safe. You should be with the two of us so we can all look after each-

G: Aww, you’re sweet Erik. But there's going to be people falling off roofs, alcohol poisoning, burns. The hospital is one of the safest places.

E: Just think about it. It could be the last one, let's really all party and focus on having a good time -

C:
(enters from his house with three steaming chunks of meat impaled on chopsticks on a piece of wood covered in tin foil.)
Allright, dinner is served! I burnt the hell outta one side, but that’s probably for the best, right?…

E: Oh man, Cedar, it looks awesome.
(beat)
I hate to tell you this, but I'm vegan.

C: Awww man! Really? I respect that and all. But don't you just wanna try it, though?

G: What is it, exactly?
(looks suspiciously at the meat)

C: I think it's an eel.

E: I don't know what it would do to my digestion, so go ahead, more for you.

C: Okaaay. If you say so.

G: This is really generous of you Cedar, but I don’t -

C: Not you too? C'mon' at least try a bite with me! I dipped the sticks in grain alcohol, so they’re clean. Take the best one, even if you just taste it. It's got salt n pepper…
(Grace and Cedar both pick up a chunk by the stick, keeping distance, toast to Erich, and take a bite).
Mmmmm. That's alright! Mmm, greasy.

G: Hmm.. Interesting. Fishy barbeque… Well, hey do you mind if I take this with me? The light is perfect right now and I'm feeling inspired to paint…

C: Awww. Okay. Hey, nice to officially meet you.

E: Hey Grace, what do you think about showing Cedar where the work offices and the school are, in the next couple days? I'm going to be really busy for a week.

G:
S
ure, yeah. Why not? You wanna go tomorrow?

C: I don’t know about the school. I mostly need a job.

E: Oh, it’s not a school anymore, now it’s a community center for people to work on costumes for the party.

C: What party?

G: The Third Annual End of the World party! End of the month.

C: No way, really?

E: Yeah, it’s a big deal, the whole town shuts down. Huge parade, drumming, fireworks -

G: Costumes, food, dancing, partying -

C: Count me in. What time you wanna head out?

G: Oh, early. The bakery sells pastries on Saturdays. But they're usually gone by 9.

C: Sooo, 8?

G: 7. I'm GETTING a doughnut.

C: Deal!
(Ferris barks a few times)

G: Cya boys.

C: Happy painting.

E: Goodnight.

(Erich watches her go, Cedar digs in)

E: Tastes alright then?

C: It's MEAT.
(Erik nods, beat while chewing).
She seems really cool, man. Good looking, too. Way to go, brother.

E: She's one of the coolest people I have ever met.

C: How long y'all been a thing?

E:
(beat)
We're not.

C:
(stops chewing)
Really? No! I saw you both hugging out here. Seemed like something was going on.

E: (matter of fact) We used to be a thing. And we aren’t that thing anymore. (Resolved) We’re friends.

C: Oh man. That sucks. I mean, don’t get me wrong, friends are definitely better than enemies.
(bite)
You still got a thing for her?

E: Maybe, but I made my choice and it’s over.

C: YOU let go of HER? Okay buddy. She’d have to beat me off with a stick.

E: You’d probably be into that.

C:
(thinks, shrugs)
. But hey, that’s a no-fly zone far, as far as I'm concerned. Last thing I want is to step on any toes.

E: I really don’t have a dog in the fight, Cedar.
(beat)
If both of you end up liking each other… do what you need to do.

C: Yeah, right.

E: Seriously.

C: Uh huh.

E: We aren’t teenagers. We can all be mature about it.

C:
(beat)
You’re full of shit.
(big bite)


(Lights fade, intermission)





ACT 2 Scene 1

(Lights up on street. Early morning, birds chirping. Erik exits his house door and stands on the porch, chewing the last bite of nutrition bar, drinks from mug. Shivers. Ferris growls weakly as Cedar exits the house door looking worse for wear. Slowly pulls on jacket, groans.)

E: Good morning.

C: Yeah, not so much.

E: Didn’t sleep well?

C: Not at all.
(shivers)
Jeez, it's cold.

E: Are you getting sick?
(pulls up mask)

C: Not like that.

E: What are your symptoms? Fever? Shortness of breath?-

C: My symptoms are, don’t eat anything that comes out of that goddamn river.

E: Oh.
(mask down)

C: I spent half the night in the outhouse.

E: I’m sorry, man. There’s a little coffee left?

C:
(waves hand in denial)
Oh no. I’m gonna try my best NOT to shit my pants in front of your friend.

E: Right. Did you get any reading done in there?

C:
(shakes head)
Too queasy.

E: Sorry pal.

C: Hey, it is what it is, you know. It tasted good goin down.
(gags, deep breath)
Maybe they got plain bagels.

E: Okay. Well don't go into the offices unless you can make a good impression. I put in a word for you with Cert. Corp. There's a project I think you could be useful on.

C: I can work with you?

E:
(readying for work)
Not exactly. I'll tell you more about it later.
(
P
ointedly to C)
Only if you can make a good impression.

C: Okay. Good call.
(sound of Grace approaching)
Well, wish me luck.

G:
(enters stage right, chipper)
Good morning! Who's ready for doughnuts?

C: Oh. Heck yeah. You allright?

G: Great! Got some AWESOME painting done last night. Got some good sleep. Oh!
(animated)
I had this crazy dream. A giant eel flopped up out of the river and came down our street and started spraying slime on all our houses and you tried to have sex with it!

C:
(gags)
Oh
(runs into out house)

G:
(stands and stares)

E: I think the eel…
(gestures to stomach)

G: Oh my god. Is he sick?

E: I guess so. Are you okay?

G: I just had one bite and threw the rest away. But it smelled so bad, I took it out of the garbage. I came down here and gave it to him.
(gestures to Ferris)

E: Good call.

G: I did feel queasy for a while, but I thought it was from staring at the canvas for hours.

E: Good. I'm glad you are alright. (
Doctor prescription)
Well, take it easy on him. Get him a plain bagel or something, no coffee. Plenty of water. I think he’s going to try his best to make it.
(Gathers things, pulls up mask, waves)

G: Will do, Doctor. Have fun at work.

E: Hah, yeah.
(exits stage left, Ferris growls weakly)

G:
(Looks at Ferris)
You’re quiet for a change. Not feeling so good?
(Shivers, jumps up and down a few times and shakes it out. Cedar enters porch, closes up the house. He is wearing a stocking cap and gloves, and carries a gas mask.)
Heeeey. You okay? Erik told me you aren’t exactly ship shape.

C: Yeah. I think I'll make it. They got a bathroom at that bakery?

G: There’s a few around.

C: Good. Okay... (
puts mask on head, face still uncovered
) Ready to do this?

G: Can people hear you talk through that thing?

C: Kind of. I point a lot.

G: Alright. Hey, sorry to bring it up but what did you do with the rest of that Eel? It was kinda stinky.

C:
(grimaces)
That fucker
(indicates Ferris)
kept barking every time I went to the outhouse so I threw it over his fence.
(exit stage left, weak growl)
Shut
him
up.

(lights down. Fade in sounds of various voices talking in scientific and administrative jargon. Computer keyboards, beeps, mechanical clangs, telephone, background hum. Midpoint during this audio montage, a wide spotlight comes up down stage. Two technicians in lab coats, blue hospital gloves, and hold a clipboard and some kind of electric device. They are logging data.)

… Alpha particle activity is negative 1.7 k, within .02 of regulation. Ms. O’hare do you have the illumination schematics for the grid F9 west? Dr. Okamura, Director Locke is on line 11, Dr. Okamura. It’s pizza day in the cafeteria. 6.5 or 6.6 base load in reactor 12? 6.6, check. This new O.S. is great, way faster, who needs internet. Put the whole can on it Chomsky, better too much lube then not enough on 56 gauge pistons. Rate of isotopic reduction has been steadily increasing, are you sure that this data is accurate David? It can’t be real cheese. Recheck hydraulic systems status in containment unit B-4, unit B-4 hydraulics. Assistant Director Fernandez, line 1. Just give it a little elbow grease man, crank on it, you can’t break that thing. I don’t give a rat’s ass Karen, it tastes like pizza.
(deep robotic voice)
All systems are within acceptable parameters and continuing to produce at preordained levels...

Schneider - 6.65. Vats zee A.P.?

Romano: - negative 1.7 mk. Delete that. 1.72.

S: - Vich is it?

R: - (sighs) 1.72, exactly.

S: - Hmm. So. Ze new operating system?

R: - Yeah. It’s a beauty. Everything is faster, more streamlined, and it’s Mid GR-D. Much more user friendly.

S: - Vy does a computer need to be friendly? I liked ze old system. It vas dependable.

R: - Sure. It worked fine for what it was, but MidGrd is real progress.

S: - Progress is gud. Responsible progress is betta. Zere are bound to be mistakes vis new technology.

R: - Dr. Schneider, you are the perfect stereotype.

S: - (looks down glasses) Of a scientist?

R: - Yes. Of a scientist.

S: Very vell.

R: We ran worse case scenarios for months and we’re doing diagnostics twice daily. The margin for error is 1%.

S: - Zass is gud. But vun percent of error vis atomic fission is still-

(Erik enters, wearing white lab coat)

E: Dr. Schneider, just the man I was looking for. Hello Greg
(to Romano)
nice to see you.

R: - Hi Erik.

S: - Yes, I vas hoping to speak vis you too, Dr. Larsen. Regarding zees
new
parameters for alpha particle safety levels in reactors vun and two.

E: I got your report. Excellent research Dr. Rest assured, the diagnostics all came back above board before the data loss. If I could show you the numbers I would. But, keep following up on it if you want to. Bring the results directly to me when you are finished. The Assistant director is swamped right now. Antonia (to Romano), is the O.S. running properly? How about the pressure reading response time in hydraulics?

R: A couple kinks left. I wrote a script to fix the coolant discharge discrepancy, but if you could lend me a hand like you did with the install...

E: No problem. How about say,
(looks at watch
) 5 o'clock? I have to recalibrate the Radeon spectrometers.

R: Sounds good Doc.

S: I am still concerned about a possible-

E: It’s going to be fine Dr.
(pats his arm)
But keep me posted on your findings. We can go over them together. Hey it’s pizza day.
(points at Romano)
5 o'clock?

R: See ya then.

Erich walks downstage Center, spotlight follows him. He approaches a computer terminal, pantomime tapping keys, reading. He glances over his shoulder, pulls out a usb flash drive, and inserts into the terminal. Takes deep breath. Lights fade.


(Lights up on an empty stage, afternoon. Ferris gives a single, deep, modified ‘woooof’. Sound of drumming starts in distance)

C:
(offstage left, approaching)
He was the destroyer, right? Could shoot a fire beam out of his head? But also he was a creator? And he meditated a lot and did a special dance.

G: 10 points for you!
(Ferris gives two strange, deep barks as C and G enter stage left and pass by his enclosure. The two humans stare at him as they pass).
He seems different. Not sick, that’s for sure. More intense.

C: Did he grow while we were out or is it just me? Damn, he is big.
(they walk far to stage right)
So yeah, I always thought Shiva was the biggest badass of the bunch.

G: Totally. Talk about intense. Meditating for centuries at a time, giving up material wealth and social standing. But when you need something seriously destroyed or contemplated or impregnated, he’s your guy. The duality! One time he becomes half woman in order to save the Ganges river. Another time he proves his power to the other by becoming a giant penis that erupts from the ground and reaches the sky.

C: What the actual-

G:- He and Sita used to have sex for hundreds of years at a time, and If you interrupted them, he might turn you to ash with his third eye. My mother didn’t tell me those stories, but I found them out later..
She
loved the duality of family life and monastic life. That he was deep minded and extremely loyal to his wife. She probably also hoped her child would follow his example of not eating much and being 'so disciplined'! He can be pretty distant, but also very sexy.

C:. Whats that dance thing, that's in all the statues. (attempts to do Nataraja)

G: Nataraj! That's Shiva when he becomes the lord of the dance! (Poses) Creation and destruction happening together, dancing on and destroying all illlusion…(does a few steps of Orissi dance).

C: Wow. (Beat, husky) I don't believe in magic, but that made me feel something. Makes me wish I had more hands-

G: Easy tiger.

C: (clears throat) Soooo Shivite means, follower of Shiva.

G: Yes.

C: So there would be other vites?

G: Bramavites, Vishnuvites, exactly.
(Shivers)
It is SO cold.

C:
(begins taking off coat)
You want my jacket-

G: No, I'm fine, I gotta go soon- . You know I can't explain the entirety of Hinduism to you in an afternoon?

C: Hinduism’s cool. I'd like to learn more.

G: Okay. But seriously it's such a big subject. Another time, curious one?

C: I'm down if you are.

G: I’ve always thought it was strange that the monotheistic religions pray to the same god for victory in war, safe childbirth, wealth, and love.

C: That is weird. Personally, I think all gods are made up. (G puts hands on hips) No offense. But if you’re gonna make up gods, make 'em like, interesting. Animal heads and laser eyes and six arms and scary, sexy, women with giant tongues. Not like, invisible or nailed to a cross. I like your style.

G: Okay. (Shakes head) I like
your
style. It was fun exploring the town with you today.

C: Totally, thanks for that. That bagel and your company really straightened me out.
(smile at each other)
. I feel great actually. I had no idea a place like this could function these days.

G: Oh! And I can’t believe you got a job on your first try, congrats!

C: I’m gonna be busier than a three peckered goat!
(G laughs, head back)
Can’t believe I’ll be working at the plant with Erik.

G: Well I doubt you'll be working
with
him, unless you know about particle physics.

C: That I do not. It’ll probably be cement or crankin on gears.
(beat, listens)
This party thing seems like it’s gonna be somethin else. All those costumes…

G: I know! The dancers, the giant
heads
. It’s so wild. You’re gonna watch them practice when they come by later right?

C: What else am I gonna do?

G:
(Checks watch)
Crap. I gotta get ready for work.

C: Sorry if I kept you.

G: Don't be sorry. I had a blast. Cya!

C:
(Ferris barks once deeply, Cedar watches her go)
Hate to see you go, love to… Oh hell.
(To self)
You said you weren't gonna do this, man. Dumb dumb dumby. Loyalty. Safety first tho man! You like living here? You wanna ruin all this? (
beat)
Why is she so smart and fun, and hot. Those
eyes
... Stupid! What's more stupid than that. Of course you wanna fuck her! Duh. Should you? No! Nothing good will come of it! Except - ugh na na na! - Idiot!
(He is approaching Ferris as he talks to self)
What do
you
think?
(Intimidating growl)
That's what I thought.
(Backs up, one hand up. Misha enters stage left. He is in his 50's, salt and pepper hair and stubble. Cigarette behind ear. He wears a white tank top and Adidas striped pants, slippers, has bandana around his neck, wears heavy silver bracelet. He does not seem to mind the cold. He carries a tall boy beer can. Doesn’t speak to or look at Cedar.)
Hey.

M:
(beat, sizes up Cedar)
Vwhats up?

C: Not much, just talking to myself.

M: Alright. Hopefully you vwere fucking leestening.
(takes a sip)

C: Yeah, right?
(beat)
You can get beer here?

M: Nyet. I bring, eh, how you say... ‘stockpile’.

C: Ah. Nice one buddy.

M:
(ferris barks. Beat)
Someting vwrong vwit dog.

C: Like, in general?

M: Hah. Da. He is no good all dee time. Asshole piece of sheet.
(drinks)
But is wary fuckin vwierd today.

C: Yeah. He seems real... intense. Not all frantic like usual.

M:
mmm.
He not eat today. He
alvways
eat.

C: Oh yeah? What the hell do you feed him?

M: Leeterally anything. (looks suspiciously at Cedar) Who de fuck are you anyvways?

C: Cedar. Petrovsky.

M: Petrovsky? Ah. Misha Kozlov. Privyet.
(hello)

C: Privyet. Vy Ruski takzhe?
(hello. Are you russian?)

M:
(he lights up)
Da comrade. Chto za khyerna? Otkuda ty? Kak davno ty zdes?
(yeah buddy. What the fuck? Where are you from? Have you been here long?)

C: Ah shit. I don’t really speak that much. . Izvin-Izvinyayus.
(sor-sorry)

M: Ah, horosho,
(no problem)
no beeg deal. First time someone speak Ruski to me in year. You leev heer?
(points to Cedars house)

C: Yep.

D: You are new neighbor, eh! Petrovsky.
(beat)
You vwant vodka?

C: Daaaa!

M: Hold on. (
Exits stage left, sound of chain link fence rattling, Ferris barks.)
Ah shut de fuck up.

C:
(Cedar shivers and blows into his hands as he runs to the porch for his mug. The sound of drumming is slowly becoming more and more audible as the parade approaches from downtown. clinking glass from vodka bottle, Cedar returns downstage)
. Wait, you keep it out here?

M:
(fenris growls, chain link fence, Misha returns)
No one goes in
my
yard mutherfucker!

C:
(Nods like ‘oh yeah’. Misha pours a healthy amount in Cedar’s cup and his own beer can).
That’s what I’m talking about.

M: Nostrovia!
(lets get drunk)

C: No-fuckin-strovia comrade!
(both take large sips)
Oh yeah, that’s smooth.

M: Dats dey good stuff, right?

C:
(deep breath)
So how long you been here?

M: Year.

C: Right on, I just got here. Bout a week. You gonna watch them practice the parade?

M:
(beat, looks at Cedar)
Vwat else am I going to do?

C: Yup.
(Fenris barks)
Hey man, what kinda dog
is
that?
(sound of drumming getting closer)

M: No fucking idea. I find him outside thees place vwhen I’m vwaiting to get een. He just leetle puppy by heemself. So I think,
(silly voice)
‘oh, is a sign, like Game of Thrones and sheet. My furry babushka.’
(bites thumb at Ferris, spits)
He eat
so
much! Gyarbage, aneemals, fucking
clothes
! Just keep growing. Make so much kaka. And
alvways
asshole.

C: Yeah, some things, it’s just in their nature.
(both take another drink).

M: So many times I think to just put heem down vwould be better. He no like
anybody
. Just
(mimes gunshot)
. DosVidaniya.

C: Yeah maybe. Be a hell of a lot easier if you had a gun.

M: Oh, I have
(taps nose while looking at Cedar).

C: Really? Good for you comrade. They took mine. Why don’t you just do
that
?

M: Need silencer.
(air quotes)
Illegal.

C: Yep well. We got time to make one.

M: How much time you tink vwe have?

C:
(looks at Misha for moment)
What do you mean, like, to live?

M: Nyet to get our fucking hair done for party. Da, to live.

C: I don’t know, buddy. I didn’t expect to make it this long. I guess as long as we can find clean water and the virus don't change again.

M:
(looks toward plant)
Or the fucking povwer plant doesn’t go like Chernobyl.

C:
(looks toward plant)
Yeah. Couple years maybe?

M: Couple years? Da. Sounds right.
(drinks)
I’ll probably outlive all you fuckers though. Koslov means ‘goat’. It pretty hard to kill a Ruski goat vwis nuclear vwinter. So, keep some meat on your bones, okay fatty?
(chuckles)
I’ll be hungry.

C:
(coughs on vodka)
You a crazy dude, Misha. I like you.
(Licks lips, deep breath)
Oh there it is. Mmm, I’m feelin goood. This is some primo stuff.

M: I tell you.

C: Hold on, I got something for ya. (
Cedar goes to the house. Returns with a few grams of weed rolled in a plastic sandwich bag. The drumming is very close and peoples voices can be heard from the parade. Actors will have to shout soon)
Here you go man.
(hands bag to Misha)
You smoke weed right?

M: Kakiye? (whaat?)
(sniffs bag, gets a little teary eyed)
Fuck yeah man.
You are best neighbor. It's been so wary long.
(pockets baggy)
Oh dis is too kind. Dees is too much.
(the drumming and voices are at the end of the street. Fenris begins a disturbing long unending growl and doesn’t stop.)
Buddy, I get you whole bottle for yourself. Hold on. Vwe going to party!
(exits stage right, chain link fence, vodka bottles clink)
Fuck you, dog.

G:
(enters stage right)
Alright, I’m off to work
(waves to Cedar)
Oh look, they’re here!
(The Industrial Siren goes off, Ferris’ growl dims. Both actors onstage wobble visibly)
Is that an... earthquake?-

C: Hoooolllly shit!

(Other sounds fade quickly except for drumming, single loud bark layered with a deep giant voice saying ‘NOW’. Time slows, stage lights go red. On the back wall sound/image of chain breaking, then a long wolf howl begins. Black silhouette image of wolf upper body or just head moving towards man upper body with hands in air, blood splatter. Misha’s voice screams. Cedar puts arm over face, wide eyed, Grace covers mouth with both hands. In slow time, Cedar staggers backwards towards Grace, who moves towards Cedar. Cedar draws a belt knife. Image changes to wolf jumping, then a crowd of people, then a girl in front of a large wolf. Time and lights return to normal. Sounds fade in one at a time; a choking gurgle from Misha, a scared crowd of people, a slavering dog/wolf, the siren)

G:
(clasps her hands)
Oh-my-god-Shiva-ram-Shiva-ram-Cedar, those poor girls!

C: Oh-shit-oh-shit-oh-shit-Odin-
(The ground seems to steady, Cedar charges the street)
AAAaaaaaa!

Lights down end of scene 2/1

To allow Grace costume change, Immigrant song starts playing immediately upon lights down. Hospital sounds fade in after ‘hot springs flow’. Fades out with ‘Valhalla I am coming’.
ACT 2 Scene 2


(hospital sounds, heart monitor beeping, ventilator puffing, gurneys being rolled. “Dr. Okoye to room 13, Dr. Okoye, surgery in room 13. Dr. Tanaka to room 13…. Dr. Tanaka
Spotlight up downstage right. Grace is pacing, troubled, same outfit as last scene, but bloodstained top.)

Ajax:
(male nurse enters stage right, rubbing sanitizer on hands, pauses, looking at G. He wears nurse garb, hospital mask, very well groomed blonde hair, flash sneakers)
Hey G.
(approaches as G slows to a stop. looks around)
Come sneak over here so I can hug you.
(They go to edge of spotlight, around invisible corner)

G:
(Almost breaks, keeps it together)
I love you Aj - please tell me you know something.

A: Okay. So he got Okoye and Tanaka.

G: Oh - thank you
(eyes closed)

A: They ain’t acting scared. It’s kosher baby.
(pets Grace, beat)
He
was acting like a drunk orangutan. But now he’s out. They gown do a stint in his arm and a
million
stitches.

G: I should be in there.

A: Girl, no you shouldn’t. You know that.

G: Do they have enough blood? What’s his blood type?

A: They got blood. A: Whatchu talkin bout?

G: It looked right at me. I died, I froze, -

A: The
man's
dead, yeah. But at least
one
of them girls probly gonna make it. Cuz a y’all! So you need to check yoself Grace and calm down-.

G: I should fucking be in there!

A: Honey, you need to
chill
. (
beat)
Come sit down with me. (
they move to two chairs down stage right)
Okay. You already know this. You need to do what we tell
them
to do. Am I Right?

G: Right. (deep breath)

A: Just be cool, and let the professionals handle it.

G: There was blood everywhere....

A: There always is when it matters baby, and you know this.
(G sobs once, takes a few deep breaths)
Uh huh,
(rubs back)
that's right.

G:
(wipes face)
It’s just that-

A: Hey, (
beat)
he ain’t even my type.
But yo you gown save a bunch a little children and have a jaw like that- girl… You need to make him some mac n cheese, knowwhatImsayin.

G: (
Laugh/sob/beat
) Okay.
(stands
) So should I, get to work?

A: Only if you like yo job.

G:
(breath, straightens herself up
) Thank you.
A: Mmm hmmm. You know I love you boo, but you needa change yo shirt.

(lights fade. Spotlight up on downstage right, Erik stands facing audience as if being interviewed or teaching class)

E: Hello everyone. Welcome. Let me put your minds at ease by saying Jormungander is almost fully operational. The earthquake was a real test for both the new systems, (nods in direction of Schneider, off stage) and the old, and both have been found to exceed expectations and weather significant.. well. seismic change.
(building speed)
In the handouts in front of you, you will find the procedures that your teams are to accomplish in the next 72 hours. I cannot stress enough that these tasks are not a drill, not a regulation, but simply the most important job you can possibly have. In
this
time, at
this
place, for
our
people. If your bravery falters, call on us. Call
me
, call any of your senior staff, and gain strength. This is one ship, with one destination. We are here to support you. Let me remind you that we are the last bastion of hope on this continent. The world is watching, what is left of it, and we know you are the best that humanity has to offer. I know you are. Management has prepared this short film for you to watch, and we hope that it will provide inspiration in the days to come. Lights? (points) Yes Mrs. Romano? ….

(spotlights fade. Stage lights go up on the neighborhood)



(Spotlight up downstage right on Director Locke. He wears grey suit, black shirt, white tie. Shiny shoes, slick hair. His back is to the audience, standing, )

Sounds of the power plant. Industrial siren seems distant, high pitched electronic alarm inside plant. Many voices layered over each other. System check, are there any cracks? Run a full diagnostic. All emergency personnel respond to your duty stations. Can I get a status report on hydraulics in segments 3 through 6 Now please, Mr. Lui. . C’mon Chomsky we don’t have time, we gotta throw that new piston in here ASAP. Minor coolant leak, Reactor B-2, minor coolant leak reactor B-2, redirecting. Fire suppression systems engaged in area 41, minimal damage reported. Slow the rate of acceleration by 32 percent in both reactors, let’s just wait till this all settles down and we’ll get her back up to speed. (deep computer voice) All systems are within acceptable parameters and continuing to produce at preordained levels...

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