ACT 1 - SCENE 1
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INTERIOR, THE CLUTTERED OFFICE OF CHIEF ASTRONOMER AT MT. PALOMAR OBSERVATORY
(Terrance Stone opens his eyes with a start.)

Palomar Observatory

TERRANCE
I've been dreaming of her again. To be with her for a moment...

(He moves as if uncomfortable.)

Sadness...

Of course it was only a dream, but ...(heavy sigh) so beautiful.

ANGELINA
(voice over intercom) Dr. Stone, the space probe committee is here for your eleven o'clock meeting.

TERRANCE
O.K. Tell them I'll meet them in conference room three in five minutes.

ANGELINA
Conference room five in three minutes.

TERRANCE
Angelina, you stop that!

ANGELINA
Sure Terrance. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention this time.

TERRANCE
Look, Angelina, you're my executive assistant so why don't you assist me for a change? Will you keep that committee occupied while I review my notes? Angelina? Angel! Are you there?

(shaking his head, he begins reviewing notes)

Let's see... Space Probe named "Galileo"... Multi-million dollar price tag...

(dramatically, with a sweep of his arm)

To boldly explore where no...

(he pauses, flipping through his notes)

To boldly explore...

(he continues shuffling his notes)

ANGELINA
Jupiter.

TERRANCE
Are you listening to me again!

ANGELINA
No.

TERRANCE
I thought I told you not to listen to me anymore!

ANGELINA
Believe me, I don't.

TERRANCE
You know what I mean!

ANGELINA
Right. Let me read from my copy... Space Probe Galileo is now making it's last pass of Earth to gain speed and sling-shot toward Jupiter. On schedule, the multi-million dollar craft will soon be mapping the largest planet in our solar system.

(dramatically) Your assignment, should you decide to accept it, will be to observe, record data and project the trajectory path as Galileo leaves the inner planets on it's way to the far reaches of Jupiter's orbit...

TERRANCE
Hmm... Yes, as the probe leaves the inner planets... Right... well I knew that!?

ANGELINA
You should, you wrote it. I merely had these words typed; a pawn in your vast celestial games. Next time don't stay up so late with your moon gazing and have your own notes typed!

TERRANCE
Uh... sure!? Uh, I'm going to the meeting now. I'll be using my private door.

ANGELINA
Oh? Going down the bat-pole are we?

(Terrance looks indignant as he leaves the room. A short time passes and he returns, a disgruntled expression on his face. He drops into his chair and slides to a slumped position.)

TERRANCE
(pressing intercom) I'm back.

ANGELINA
So soon?

TERRANCE
Any messages?

ANGELINA
Do I look like your secretary? Next you'll want me to make coffee. (giggling) I'm just teasing you. No, no messages. If you want we can go to the cafeteria and take a break. I'd love a honey-bun and some fresh brewed. What do you say, honey-buns?

TERRANCE
Thanks, but I think I'll just sit here... on my honey-buns... in the dark...

ANGELINA
O.K., O.K. Here's my shoulder to cry on. The meeting went bad? Tell me what happened.

TERRANCE
I walked out on the meeting.

ANGELINA
Not again...

TERRANCE
I was really angry! The committee agreed that I was the expert, right? Then why can't I choose my own observation point?

ANGELINA
New Vegas?

TERRANCE
Yes... New Vegas. More corporate politics and it's back to Mars... New Vegas! Ugh...and as usual, I proposed the moon observatory at Luna One.

(He sighs and stands, beginning to pace.)

You know I've only been there a few times, but there's something about Luna that is... that is... oh I don't know. Those party towns on Mars are no fun for me. Besides, when I'm with Luna I can look down to the browns and blues and greens of Earth.

ANGELINA
Poor thing! In love with a rock. Listen! You know it was politics that landed you this position in the first place.

TERRANCE
Yes, I suppose so...

(He looks at the computer monitor on his desk and begins clicking.)

At least I'll be getting away from here. Did you see on the Internet today? About the...

ANGELINA
Yeah. They lost some more plutonium somewhere.

TERRANCE
What a screw up.

(He lifts and drops the mouse.)

TERRANCE
Boom!

ANGELINA
Yeah, boom. But forget it. You know, if you play this assignment right you'll be promoted to Head of World Astronomy. Your dream will finally be coming true! All that hard work you've benn doing will be paying off!

Think of the fame, think of the money, and all those great parties you'll be invited to. Think of a new fall wardrobe... ooh! An herbal mud-bath in the desert... with imported mud!

TERRANCE
I don't usually think of those kind of things.

ANGELINA
Maybe you should. You're not getting any younger. So go on to Mars and have a good time. A little work, a little play... The moon will be there when you get back. And remember what the President is so fond of saying, (singing) "How you gonna' keep 'em down on the moon..."

TERRANCE
(talking) "...when they've been to play on Mars." Yes, I know. It's just that... (looking out the window, he speaks softly) She's showing the last of her daytime face. A small sliver... Half of a ring...

ANGELINA
Who?

TERRANCE
(absently continues) It's cold up here on this mountain top, but when she shows me her pale, delicate face it warms my heart. She is so beautiful. In two weeks she will be in her full beauty again. I wish I didn't have to wait.

ANGELINA
The moon again?

TERRANCE
Oh, yes! I nodded off to sleep a little while ago and dreamed of her. Together at last! At least in my dreams.

ANGELINA
Terrance, you have too many dreams. I'm not even sure you really are an astronomer. Maybe you're a poet! Yeah! You ought to change your name to sound more like a poet. Instead of something stoic and solid like Dr. Stone maybe something lyrical like Keats. Yeah, Terrance Keats or maybe ... Dr. Dickinson...

"I taste a liquor never brewed - From Tankards scooped in Pearl - ..."

TERRANCE
(snorts a laugh) Dickinson!? Emily Dickinson? That's a girls name!

ANGELINA
What - ever... Don't you think there's a million other people who are looking at this very same moon, right this very same instant and seeing the very same thing?

TERRANCE
They might be looking, but they don't see her the way I do. I love her you know.

ANGELINA
Oh, you poor, sick puppy! (pause) Listen, honey-buns, you better get packing. The next cruise ship leaves, uh, well, leaves pretty soon so hop-to and chin up old boy!

TERRANCE
Thanks. And thanks for listening... I just have a few things to pack anyway.

(He picks up a framed picture from his desk.)

ANGELINA
Don't forget your picture.

TERRANCE
Got it right here. Remember when you took this. It was last winter.

ANGELINA
How could I forget! I almost froze waiting for that moon of yours to rise above the horizon. You said it had to be just high enough so it would look like she was right by your side in the picture. What was it you said about her...

TERRANCE
... So we can together swim, the cool, blue, sea of sky.

ANGELINA
Yeah! That was it! Poetic! See what I mean? You're a poet!

TERRANCE
You said "Her"!

ANGELINA
Did not!

TERRANCE
That's okay. I know you really believe me. Luna is not just a dream...she's real!

ANGELINA
Get out 'a here! You and your dreams.

TERRANCE
(laughing) 'Bye.

(Placing the picture in a bag he had been filling, he walks to his private door, bag in hand.)

ANGELINA
Terrance...

TERRANCE
Yes?

ANGELINA
Please give me a call when you reach the Mars port. I worry about you, ya' know.

TERRANCE
I'll do that. And... well, I'll see you soon.

(He leaves the room and quietly closes the door.)

ANGELINA
Oh, Terrance ... you are a silly romantic man...

(exasperated) You know, if I were your moon I'd... Terrance... Terrance, are you there?

Oh humph...

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