SCIENCE FICTION BLAST-OFF THEATER

"The Empire Will Never Fall"

 

                                                               by Richard Nathan

 

Before the lights come up, a voice announces the title of the story:

 

                                                            VOICE
                                    "The Empire Will Never Fall."

 

LIGHTS UP on a prison cell.  The REBEL LEADER lies in filth on the floor, groaning.  Enter a GUARD, followed by the PRESIDENT..

 

                                                            GUARD

                                    Wake up, rebel!  Youíve got a visitor.

 

The President speaks to the Guard.

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    You can go.

 

The Guard leaves.  The President greets the Rebel Leader.

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    Hey, buddy!  How ya doing?

 

                                                            REBEL LEADER
                                    Swine!

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    Me?  A swine?  Gee, last time I looked, I
                                    wasnít the one lying in my own filth.

 

                                                            REBEL LEADER
                                    You carry your filth with you.

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    If by filth you mean unlimited power and money,
                                    yes, I do carry that with me.  Always.  Now, you must
                                    be wondering why the leader of the most powerful
                                    nation in the history of the world came by to see you
                                    today.

 

                                                            REBEL LEADER
                                    Why?  I know why.  It is because the very sight
                                    of you is the worst torture you could ever inflict
                                    on me!

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    Then youíre a lucky fella, because Iím going to
                                    make you an offer to make all that torture go away. 
                                    You tell us what we want, and weíll kill you
                                    nice and painlessly Ė put an end to all your
                                    misery.  How about that?

 

                                                            REBEL LEADER
                                    No.  Do whatever you want.  The answer is no.

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    Seems like you still have hope.  Thatís just
                                    stupid.  How can I convince you that your
                                    situation is hopeless?

 

                                                            REBEL LEADER
                                    My situation may be hopeless.  But there is
                                    hope for others.  Whatever happens to me,
                                    humanityís hope for freedom and justice will
                                    survive.

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    But Iíve got money.  Iíve got so much money;
                                    I can buy and sell humanityís hopes.  Hell, thatís
                                    what I do every day.
 

 

                                                            REBEL LEADER
                                    Youíre wrong.

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    Well, Iíll just have to convince you.

 

The Guard enters in a panic.

 

                                                            GUARD
                                    Mr. President!  A coup!  Thereís been a coup! 
                                    The generals have taken over!  They sentenced
                                    you to death!

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    ButÖ  Iíve got money!

 

                                                            GUARD
                                    Theyíve impounded all your funds!

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    No!!!

 

                                                            GUARD
                                    They say they will bring back democracy.   Free
                                    elections.  Freedom of assembly.  Freedom of
                                    speech,

 

                                                            REBEL LEADER
                                    You see.  I told you.  You canít kill humanityís
                                    hopes.

 

                                                            GUARD
                                    Yes we can.

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    We were just kidding.

 

                                                            GUARD
                                    Heís still in power.

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    We just wanted to get your hopes up so we could
                                    crush them.

 

The President and the Guard laugh.

 

                                                            GUARD
                                    There is no hope for you or your kind anymore. 
                                    You must understand, itís different now.  We
                                    passed the tipping point.  We grew so strong, and
                                    you got so weak and hopeless, the Empire
                                    will never fall.

 

                                                            PRESIDENT

                                     The Empire will never fall.

 

                                                            REBEL LEADER

                                    The Empire will never fall.

 

The Guard goes over to the Rebel Leader and frees him from his chains.

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    What?  What are you doing?

 

                                                            REBEL LEADER
                                    We wanted to get your hopes up, so we could
                                    crush them.

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    What are you talking about?  Iím still the
                                    President.

 

                                                            REBEL LEADER
                                    No.  You are the rebel leader.

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    Huh?

 

                                                            REBEL LEADER
                                    You are the rebel leader.

 

                                                            GUARD
                                    Did you really believe the President would
                                    waste his time visiting a rebel?

 

                                                            REBEL LEADER
                                    We used drugs.  Mind control drugs.  We made you
                                    believe you were the President - to give you a
                                    taste Ė just a taste Ė of what we have Ė what we can
                                    do - so you would realize just how hopeless your
                                    situation is.

 

                                                            GUARD
                                    So all your hopes would be crushed.

 

                                                            PRESIDENT
                                    So I would talk.

 

                                                            REBEL LEADER
                                    You already talked.  Weíre bringing in your friends. 
                                    We will crush their hopes just as we crushed yours. 
                                    And then we will kill them, just as we are going to
                                    kill you.  In a very public execution.

 

                                                            GUARD
                                    The Empire will never fall.

 

 

 

BLACKOUT

 

THE END

 

 

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© 2008 by Richard Nathan.  All rights reserved

The author grants all internet users the right to print these scripts for their own, personal, non-commercial use.  No other use may be made without the author's permission.  Without limiting the foregoing, the plays may not be staged without the author's express  permission.

Send e-mail to the author at Richard-Nathan@att.net.