ACT 1 - SCENE 8
 *

BASE NEW VEGAS, MARS
(Terrance is lying in a soft pool of light on a cot which is at waist level, the stars twinkle above, Mercury raises a short rod above Terrance's head.)

The Planet Mars - Mortal Realm.

VENUS
Mercury, stay your hand until there is movement beneath his eyelids.

MERCURY
By your word, Venus.

VENUS
And... and... Place your Rod of Sleep on his forehead. Now!

(Mercury places the Rod of Sleep on Terrance's forehead and the scientist's prone body jerks a slight night-tremor. Terrance's eyes blink open.)

MERCURY
Terrance, your body is now completely at rest...

VENUS
... Yes. What you mortal beings call the rapid eye movement sleep phase...

MERCURY
... so do not attempt to adjust your perception. Your mind will begin to focus from a soft blur... to crystal clarity. (looking up and raising his Rod of Sleep) For we control the vertical, we control the horizontal...

VENUS
Mercury, will you stop it? We have work to do.

MERCURY
You are no fun, Venus! Who put you in charge anyway?

VENUS
I did.

(Mercury scowls. Terrance raises himself to a sitting position and stands up, looking down at the form of his sleeping body under the bed-covers.)

TERRANCE
(exasperated, to the stars above) This is just great! So much work left to do and this awful planet Mars has ruined my sleep!

VENUS
In a way you are right...

(Terrance jumps a little when Venus speaks, he rubs his temples.)

... Let me explain...

TERRANCE
(sudden realization) Oh! I am not awake. I am dreaming. Now this makes sense. Probably that awful tasting 'Gatsby' drink. Or an undigested bit of potato...

(Terrance blankly looks at Venus.)

VENUS
I am Venus and this is Mercury. We have come to enlist your service for the Planet Council. You are worried about your Earth's moon leaving her orbit. This has also happened to us. Luna, of the noble Planet Realm, has departed from her designed task of assisting Earth and we are unable to locate her...

... Apparently she left with her friend, Galileo.

(He is suddenly interested.)

... We have tried to contact Earth...

(Terrance looks at Venus, confused.)

... Our Earth of the noble Planet Realm, not yours...

(He is more confused.)

... There is something wrong and we cannot contact Earth. Perhaps Mother Earth is ill. We must have Earthen representation at the emergency Planet Council meeting or else the Council members will not convene. Since we cannot reach Earth then a representative of Earth who is not on Earth can be the only choice.

TERRANCE
(musing) ... A dream within a dream... Venus and Mercury. I always thought Venus was with Mars.

VENUS
Pay attention! You are to stand in for Earth on the Planet Council. We discovered from Mars that you were staying with him.

TERRANCE
This is empirically impossible, completely unscientific and without merit, but... this is just a dream I am having so... O.K. why me?

MERCURY
You are Mother Earth's child, correct?

TERRANCE
Well, yes. All human beings are considered children of Earth... Mother Earth if you will.

MERCURY
Long ago the children of Earth were like we of the noble Planet Realm; immortal beings, creatures of extraordinary powers and deepest of passions. When Mother Earth decided to divorce Halley she was punished by the creators. Before Mother Earth, divorce was an unheard of shame.

TERRANCE
You immortals are really behind the times on this divorce thing.

So Mother Earth was married to Halley you say... Halley the Comet?

MERCURY
For her punishment the youngest of Mother Earth's children were stripped of their immortal powers and a veil of forgetfulness was drawn before their memories. Venus and I now enlighten you so that you can and must help us... help your Mother... or loose her forever. Without Luna, Mother Earth cannot survive.

TERRANCE
This is truly amazing even for a dream. I did not know I was this creative. Maybe I am a poet like Angelina says.

VENUS
Terrance, this is no dream. Earth is depending on you. Luna is depending on you. What will Luna do without Earth? What will you do without Luna?

TERRANCE
Help...? How can one person be of any help. Remember, I am only a mortal astronomer.

VENUS
Mortal, yes, but you mortals have the unique ability to, what you call, "plan ahead." Of us all, Earth possesses the gift of planning. Now you must plan for us during this time of emergency. That you were with Mars at this crucial moment can only be thought of as luck... or fate!

TERRANCE
I have never been known to be lucky, but... but if I were... lucky... then the implications of this noble Planet Realm business are mind-boggling; another dimension with people and everything. Real Twilight Zone stuff with no commercials...But wait... wait if this is true then many things are put into perspective; so many questions I have had are now made clear!

MERCURY
How do you mean?

TERRANCE
I guess then it is not so strange being in love with Luna... that when I think of her and when I look at the full moon... I get uh... physically excited. You know... "fire down below?" It never occured to me that...

(Both Venus and Mercury look below Terrance's waistline.)

TERRANCE
It is not a full moon right now. Not for another two weeks.

(Venus and Mercury look away, embarrassed.)

TERRANCE
So I am immortal. What now?! Do I have extraordinary power? Do I have the deepest of passions? Do I have to dress in a flakie toga like you two.

VENUS
(Venus looks and brushes at her shoulders) I hate flakes.

MERCURY
Terrance, you must represent Earth on the Planet Council. Earth has her responsibilities in planning. Mars says that you have already begun your planning for the mortal beings so this should fall within your expertise.

(Venus hands Terrance a card.)

TERRANCE
What is this?

VENUS
A legal alien card. Your immortality will not last forever!

MERCURY
The Council meets now.

(The Planet Council becomes visible, Venus and Mercury lead Terrance toward the meeting.)

TERRANCE
This is really quite amazing, Venus. All of your Council members are the planets of my solar system! They look like ancient heros of Greek and Roman mythology. I mean you, Venus, you look like a beautiful Roman goddess. (she blushes) Mercury, you hold your Rod of Sleep. Now if you had wings on your feet...

(Mercury looks at Venus and shakes his head, he sighs and bends down to loose his shoes leg thongs, out flap small wings.)

MERCURY
(to Terrance, with knowledge) I like to keep them snug until I need them. (the small wings gracefully flap a little... in confidence to Terrance) The babes love them. (a sly wink) Look there, (he points) the brawny one.

TERRANCE
Let me guess... Neptune?

MERCURY
Very good! He is the image of your mortal Neptune, the Roman god of the sea. And look there; Pluto and Charon, devoted husband and caring wife, or to you, planet and moon.

(they continue moving through the crowd)

Over there in slinky dresses; an all-girl singing group? No! They are none other than the Asteroid sisters, very good friends of our Luna. And the others I presume you must recognize.

TERRANCE
I believe I do, but if memory serves correct there are a few missing. What of Uranus and Saturn and Jupiter?

VENUS
Uranus is a little condescending when it comes to Council meetings, but we have messengers attempting to persuade his co-operation. Saturn and her children mostly keep to themselves, what with her husband, Halley, cavorting about.

TERRANCE
Halley? I thought you said he used to be married to Mother Earth?

VENUS
Why, yes. Earth was Halley's first wife. He then married Saturn. You did not know?

TERRANCE
Earth is punished for divorce and Halley remarries?

MERCURY
Correct.

VENUS
And... Jupiter, he likes to be called King Lord Jupiter, he used to be head of the Planet Council, but it became necessary to relieve him of his duties. Since his dismissal, Jupiter has been a very bad one and has been banished, along with his gang, from all Council affairs!

TERRANCE
(swallowing hard) Gang?!?

(The Council take their seats.)

VENUS
Hear ye, all of the Court, attention, announcing mortal Earthen astronomer Terrance Stone, hale his health and wisdom!

Terrance has been transformed from the mortal realm to perform in place of Earth as temporary chief Council tactical planner. He will now deliver his report.

Terrance, what say you to the Council as to the location of Luna!

TERRANCE
Well, er, Luna has gone to Jupiter.

(A gasp of disbelief comes from the Council.)

 *
PROLOGUE || 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 || HCH Home || 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 || EPILOGUE