FICTION BLAST-OFF THEATER
by Richard Nathan
Before the lights come up, a voice announces the title of the story:
This piece takes place in a cafeteria. Two co-workers enter, carrying their lunches. The workers can be any gender, with any names, but for purposes of typing this up, I am calling them PHIL and JAMES.
Hey, Phil! I hear youíre leaving!
Yeah. I canít take this place any more.
They both sit down to eat.
Where you going?
I donít know yet. Iíll find some place.
I wish I had your guts. But I guess any
place will be better than here, right?
Iíll find out.
You have any particular prospects?
No. Iím just taking off.
God, I hate my job. Itís like being in this
huge, empty void of absolute, dark,
nothing! Like that giant void they found
They found that?
Yeah. Thereís this huge expanse where
there isnít anything. No stars or planets
or asteroids or anything! And itís huge!
No one knows how it came to be.
Actually, that was me.
Yeah. I did it. It was unintentional, but
I did it.
You feeling okay?
I tired of inhabiting this body - but aside
from that, Iím fine. And quite sane.
No, you look. Look in my eyes. Youíll
see something youíve never seen before.
James looks into Philís eyes, and sees something that tells him Phil is not remotely human.
The thing about interstellar travel is that
it takes too long. Even at nearly the speed
of light - it just takes too long! The only
way to speed it up is to create some kind of
wormhole, but that takes energy on a scale
that no one ever could achieve - until me.
I calculated that if I converted one of the
outer moons of my home world into pure
energy, it could be used to create a
wormhole large enough to take my ship
across the universe. It was a small moon.
I didnít think it would be missed. But I
didnít foresee the chain reaction. My attempt
to convert one small moon to energy
demolished nearly fifty star systems. Gone!
Several of them inhabited. I am responsible
for the deaths of more sentient beings than
anyone else who ever lived.
You must feelÖ
Fortunately, my culture has never known
empathy. We believe the best system is
for everyone to act in his or her own best
self interest. You know, not that different from
But all those beings who diedÖ
Yeah. But Iím still alive. So it worked
But why would you tell me?
You kept it a secret so long! Why tell me
What difference does it make?
But itís earth-shattering news.
Yeah. Earth shattering.
It changes everything.
James thinks for a moment. Then he realizes what Phil means.
Itís like I told you. Iím taking off.
here to go to more
SCIENCE FICTION BLAST-OFF THEATER
science fiction scripts
© 2007 by Richard Nathan. All rights reserved
The author grants all internet uses permission 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.
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