ACT 1 - SCENE 4
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INTERIOR, BASE NEW VEGAS, MARS
(A diplomatic party is in progress. Terrance is standing with a small group of scientists, two of whom are in a heated argument.)

Mars Base - Finishing Work Before The Party

MARSOVICH
And I tell you that there is irrefutable proof that constructive co-habitation has immense value for both parties, not just for male of species, but female of species too! No matter what you think! You think too much. That is problem!

VENUSKI
Marsovich, you are problem! What do you mean, 'no matter what I think'? I am only one of us who does think! The science of Co-habitation? You mean live together! That would suit you fine! You are male chauvinist pi...

TERRANCE
Venuski, Marsovich... Now come on you two; always talking science. This is a party remember? (he turns to those watching the argument and raises his glass) Smiles!... smiles everyone!

(Suddenly Terrance seems to melt into a sitting position on the floor and then lean over on his side. Two other guests join him in that position. From the party guests, a festive cheer of "Gatsby!" and much laughter, accompanies their slow recline to the floor. The "sleeping" guests are helped to their feet amid loud requests for "another round".)

TERRANCE
(exasperated, being helped to his feet by Venuski and Marsovich) On the floor again!

(Several of his group chuckle good-naturedly.)

Every time I come to one of these diplomatic parties, sooner or later I fall down. It's very embarrassing. And it's always so cold! Don't you have any heat on this planet? (he crosses himself with his arms, rubbing his shoulders briskly).

MARSOVICH
Cold?! Nieyt! I remember winter in Siberia when I was boy. It was so cold...

VENUSKI
(waving off Marsovich's story she speaks to Terrance) It's Martian gravity. Mix in a little vwodka and voila', Gatsby!

(Terrance is embarassed. He is bear-hugged by Marsovich.)

MARSOVICH
Come now comrade! Not to be shy. Is expected to fall to floor as often as host. Martian tradition...And as you see (a friendly swat on Terrance's rear-end) you are falling behind.

(Marsovich lets loose a roar of laughter. The others in the group grimace at the pun. Venuski lightly slaps his arm whereupon he glowers at her. She takes a menacing step toward him. He suddenly laughs and, drawing his arms far away from his sides, calls loudly while embracing Venuski.)

Vwodka! ... vwodka for everyone!

(Venuski enthusiastically returns Marsovich's embrace while still others fall to the floor to the chant, "Gatsby"!)

CHORUS
Diplomate a diplomat,
It's dignified to fight like dogs and cats,
Top coat and hat bank roll so fat,
We fight for our republic,
Well versed in fact and well rehearsed,
They say, `A compliment to you
And then we stab you in the back!'

Diplomat, a Cheshire cat,
But in the case of war we are first at bat,
We wear many hats, but the media rats,
Declare we are corrupt,
A little bribe here or a favor there,
Will keep the beast of CHAOS in it's lair!

With just a drop of honey,
We secure a place for our money,
From Wall Street to Fleet Street,
To the Tokyo Exchange,

We invest in our world,
We invest in our world,
We invest in our world.

Diplomats, we all are diplomats,
Each and every one of us a foreign guest,
We protect our Earth,
For all we're worth,
Or suffer for misdeeds,
Invest with joy every girl and boy,
And royalties for our children will roll in!

TERRANCE
(to near-by scientist) I think I've had enough of this.

SCIENTIST
Aye! Well, would ye like to go to the movies? My friends and I ahr goin' to see "Friday the Thirteenth - Part twenty-three" It's in 3-D hologram ye know.

TERRANCE
Yes, thank you. That sounds fun. It's not scary is it? I scare easy.

SCIENTIST
Why, our husbands will be goin' along and if they kin take it I'm shear you kin too. If you git scared when that 3-D hologram of Jason walks up to ye seat then it'll be me who's hand you kin hold.

TERRANCE
Oh, gosh, thanks!

(Terrance bashfully is drawn into the group beginning to leave. Vesta Asteroid secretly watches the departing scientists from her vantage point behind flowing curtains, she leaves the party, moments later a messenger reports to Terrance.)

MESSENGER
(worried excitement) Dr. Stone! Message for Dr. Terrance Stone...Sorry to interrupt you, sir, but you must hear this. As the exploratory space probe, Galileo, was passing Earth's moon, the moon turned on it's axis and began to move away!

TERRANCE
What!?! Oh no!... my fault! I should have been with her instead of here.

MESSENGER
Well, I'm sure that if it could have prevented...

TERRANCE
... No, no! My Luna... leaving? Say it isn't so... (Terrance grabs the messenger who shrugs his shoulders, bewildered) Call a meeting immediately! (he pushes the messenger away) If the moon does not return within twenty-four hours there will be terrible earthquakes, destructive storms, tidal waves...

MARSOVICH
(jovial, drunk) ... And... indefinite postponement of World Series. (roaring laughter)

(Venuski roughly pushes the laughing Marsovich out of the room and the others worriedly follow.)

MARSOVICH
No world! Get it? It's joke. What is problem? We are safe here. This is New Vegas - Mars. Venuski, this is Mars, da?

(Terrance is left alone in the space.)

TERRANCE
... terrible earthquakes, (crosses his arms around himself) destructive storms, (he puts his hand to his head) tidal... oh Luna... (he puts his hand to his eyes)

(A near-by phone rings, Terrance straightens himself and weaves a bit, holding his head, as he moves to pick up the receiver.)

Yes, I'm Stone. What! Are you sure? You've rechecked the data? ... and recalebrated the instruments? ... so somehow the moon was what... attracted? away from her orbit... by the probe, Galileo? ... (gravely, dropping the hand-held phone to his side) ... and headed toward... Jupiter.

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