ACT 1 - SCENE 1
INTERIOR, THE CLUTTERED OFFICE OF CHIEF ASTRONOMER AT MT. PALOMAR OBSERVATORYTERRANCE
I've been dreaming of her again. To be with her for a moment...
(Terrance Stone opens his eyes with a start.)
(He moves as if uncomfortable.)
Of course it was only a dream, but ...(heavy sigh) so beautiful.
(voice over intercom) Dr. Stone, the space probe committee
is here for your eleven o'clock meeting.
O.K. Tell them I'll meet them in conference room three in five minutes.
Conference room five in three minutes.
Angelina, you stop that!
Sure Terrance. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention this time.
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)
Are you listening to me again!
I thought I told you not to listen to me anymore!
Believe me, I don't.
You know what I mean!
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...
Hmm... Yes, as the probe leaves the inner planets... Right... well I knew
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!
Uh... sure!? Uh, I'm going to the meeting now. I'll be using my private
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
(pressing intercom) I'm back.
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?
Thanks, but I think I'll just sit here... on my honey-buns... in the dark...
O.K., O.K. Here's my shoulder to cry on. The meeting went bad? Tell
me what happened.
I walked out on the meeting.
I was really angry! The committee agreed that I was the expert, right?
Then why can't I choose my own observation point?
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
(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.
Poor thing! In love with a rock. Listen! You know it was politics that
landed you this position in the first place.
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...
Yeah. They lost some more plutonium somewhere.
What a screw up.
(He lifts and drops the mouse.)
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!
I don't usually think of those kind of things.
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..."
(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...
(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.
The moon again?
Oh, yes! I nodded off to sleep a little while ago and dreamed of her.
Together at last! At least in my dreams.
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 - ..."
(snorts a laugh) Dickinson!? Emily Dickinson? That's a girls name!
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?
They might be looking, but they don't see her the way I do. I love her
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!
Thanks. And thanks for listening... I just have a few things to pack
(He picks up a framed picture from his desk.)
Don't forget your picture.
Got it right here. Remember when you took this. It was last winter.
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...
... So we can together swim, the cool, blue, sea
Yeah! That was it! Poetic! See what I mean? You're a poet!
You said "Her"!
That's okay. I know you really believe me. Luna is not just a dream...she's
Get out 'a here! You and your dreams.
(Placing the picture in a bag he had been filling, he walks to his private door, bag in hand.)
Please give me a call when you reach the Mars port. I worry about you,
I'll do that. And... well, I'll see you soon.
(He leaves the room and quietly closes the door.)
Oh, Terrance ... you are a silly romantic man...
(exasperated) You know, if I were your moon
I'd... Terrance... Terrance, are you there?