ACT 1 - SCENE 7
 *

THE ORBIT OF JUPITER
(Baron Io and Duchess Europa stand together drinking cocktails and conferring while observing their prisoners. Luna and Galileo warily exchange whispers and make calculations on a small computer Galileo draws from his belt.)

Caught in the Gravitational Dungeon near the Orbit of Jupiter

IO
(loudly and with contempt for the prisoners) Duchess Europe, my devious and completely unscrupulous sister, (she is flattered) our guests have much to discuss.

EUROPA
Yes, Baron Io, you inside-trader, you! (he is flattered and begins to preen) It is amazing how the small minds of the inner planets can stay so busy.

(Galileo begins to bristle at the comments and whispers to Luna.)

IO
My dear incredibly rich and thin sister please allow me an upper-crusty correction.

EUROPA
By your leave kind Baron.

IO
Mmm, thank you. These... (gesturing with contempt) ... are not even inner planets, but merely satellites... of Earth!

EUROPA
Common strato-trash?!

(Galileo grows more irritated, but folds his arms across his chest and tilts his chin up and away attempting to deflect the insults. Luna whispers to him. Io and Europa continue to amuse themselves.)

IO
One is an ancient, copper etched, computer who's mother-board has been accessed by so many main-frames that she got the nick-name of 'lap- top'. She was so easy to pick up and take home.

(Galileo begins to rise in anger, but checks himself.)

EUROPA
Oh, yes! I believe I have heard of her. Is she not the computer they called 'personal'? (giggle) And the little trollop that is with him...

GALILEO
You might ought hold your tongue now, ma-lady!

EUROPA
Ooo... such a brute! That must be what Gans and Cali found so irresistible!

IO
(to Europa, discussing Luna) Ah, yes the little ... rag-a-muffin. You would think the shame of being an orphan from St. Pieces Orphanage were enough to keep her well hid. Yet she continues to degrade herself by losing her puny heart to the lowest, most unworthy and disenchanted things in the universe.

EUROPA
You mean..?

IO
Uh, huh... a mortal man.

LUNA
That is very impolite!

EUROPA
Ugh! Poor, poor Mother Earth. To have those annoying little creatures always clinging to you! And whining! And the mess they leave. How can a mother find time to live life! Crawlies! Ugh!

IO
(to Europa) I quite agree.

EUROPA
(to Luna) It is not a wonder, though, how the esteemed Ms. Earth (feigned cough) could have conceived such a dreadful bore as is your mortal lover. That is considering Terrance Stone's father is none other than the noted tramp and failed planet to planet sales rep, Halley S. Comet.

IO
(to Europa, actual surprise) Is this true! Is this news from a reliable source? Halley S. Comet? The father of mortals? I thought that, since Ms. Earth was not married, all her children were of... immaculate birth!

LUNA
Baron! That is not nice!

EUROPA
Of course it is not nice. The Baron is my brother! (to Io) The news does come from a very reliable source. Pallas Asteroid told me herself while we read magazines in the check-out line at the stellar-market. I, of course, was there to purchase breath mints. I never do my own shopping. Except for cloths...

Besides, she should know. Halley is her father too! But tell this to no one for it is a family secret!

LUNA
Family secret? Wait! You say Halley S. Comet is father to both my friend Pallas and by beloved Terrance?... Halley is Earth's ex-husband?... But what of Pallas's sisters Ceres and Vesta?

EUROPA
More evidence of inferior breeding.

IO
(to Luna) Quiet you!

EUROPA
(to Io) No, Io, dear brother, the child must know. Especially if it ruins her stay with us. (to Luna) You are comfy, no? A sparkling mineral water perhaps? (she swirls her glass) Or something stonger?

Well, all the Asteroids were fathered by Halley. One for every time he was back in town! He is so awful!... (wistfully remembering) and so handsome... kind of rugged in a threatening sort of way and...(she stops her fond description and addresses Luna) Why would Earth put up with him so long? Duty and family I suppose, (laughs) the fool! But then what do you expect from an inner planet.

LUNA
So Terrance is the Asteroid sisters baby brother! I am such a fool. When they called him the baby I thought... Well, I don't know what I thought.

They should have said something. I would have understood.

(Galileo gently elbows Luna bringing her out of her wonderment.)

GALILEO
(rising with a falsely casual manner) Well... my! ...those are some interesting facts...

EUROPA
Yes, they are! And...

IO
Hold your space pops. There is no need to test my mettle. I might have to wring your scrawny...

(Galileo jumps at Baron Io snatching a space-saber from Io's belt. Europa tosses her space-saber to the Baron who begins battling Galileo. As a light from above begins to intensify Luna warns off the Duchess.)

LUNA
Stay where you are Europa! We have calculated that Sun will be opposite us in moments. I will reflect that blinding light and give you a good jolt if you do not set us free.

EUROPA
You would not... would you... little 'ole me? Was it something I said?

LUNA
Might do wonders for your icy disposition. (Europa hisses at her)

(Io and Galileo are at each others throats with their space-sabers. Galileo is beginning to give way.)

GALILEO
(weakly) It is a stand-off I believe!

(The Ladies Ganymede and Callisto enter.)

GANYMEDE
Stop!

(All four combatants cease their hostilities in surprise.)

CALLISTO
Time is short. Our brother, Lord Jupiter, will be very angry at your attempted escape.

GANYMEDE
...But rather than listen to him rant and rave over an attempt at freedom we would just as soon hear him yell about the prisoner's... escape.

(Galileo smiles and moves toward Ganymede and Callisto.)

GALILEO
Oh Ganymede... my Callisto...

CALLISTO
(rebuff to Galileo, shooing him away) Now you two get along! There is no time for your meaningless words.

(Luna begins to move away, Galileo moves more slowly, dejected from the cool responds of the sisters. Galileo bumps shoulders with Io as he passes and the angry Baron flies into a rage pushing Galileo into Luna causing he and Luna to stumble.)

IO
Europa! Look out for the Sun...

(A burst of light emits toward Europa from Luna. Europa sheilds her eyes and in the process spills her drink on herself.)

EUROPA
Aaaiieee yaiiee yaiiee!!!

IO
... Light...

EUROPA
I am melting...melting...

LUNA
Sorry...

(Luna approaches Europa to render assistance, but Europa avoids her, stumbling, she clutches at Galileo.)

EUROPA
(crying) Oooo...

LUNA
Watch out Galileo! The melted ice on your computer will...

(Sparks begin to jump from Galileo's belt, he whirls off, howling. Baron Io recaptures Luna, leading her away.)

EUROPA
(crying/warning to Ganymede and Callisto) You two trouble-makers keep your distance! Jupiter will hear of this! (dabbing a cloth at her dress) I just hate when this happens...

CALLISTO
That was great!

EUROPA
(muttering) ... have to go to Mr. Bruce and get my ice-do re-done... (she pats her hair)

GANYMEDE
I must say, Cali, that was the most excitement we have had since the last time Galileo was here.

EUROPA
... darn it! Broke a nail... (inspecting her hands)

CALLISTO
I do hope he is okay. He looked a little green spinning off like that. But remember Gans, Galileo is pretty tough.

EUROPA
... ooohh, a run... (inspecting her leg)

GANYMEDE
Yes, tough in the head. (to Europa) Europa, will you stop that whining! It is only melted ice, so... chill-out! (laughing, to Callisto) Oh, that was good! I am sooo funny.

(Ganymede and Callisto begin to walk away from the snarling Europa and stop for a moment to look in the direction of the departed Galileo.)

CALLISTO
I hope he comes back.

GANYMEDE
Me too.
 *
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