FICTION BLAST-OFF THEATER
by Richard Nathan
Before the lights come up, a voice announces the title of the story:
Lights come up on the CAPTAIN and the FIRST OFFICER, seated in a space ship.
Does it ever strike you that this is pointless?
No. Nothing strikes me as anything anymore.
Thatís what I meant.
Weíve had this conversation before.
Weíve had every conversation before.
Then why have it again?
What else have we got to do?
You mean pretending to be useful?
We are useful. We run the ship.
No we donít.
The passengers think we do. Thatís useful.
Really? Do you really believe weíre providing
some sort of comfort? To unconscious people,
frozen in stasis, who have no way of knowing
if weíre even alive?
Most of them wouldnít go if they didnít
think weíd be watching over them. Making
sure nothing goes wrong
This is wrong! It's all wrong! So wrong!
How did they talk you into this?
Eternal life. It sounded like a good deal
at the time.
Eternal life. You call this ďlifeĒ?
It could be worse. We have access to just
about everything good that life has to offer:
literature, music, artÖ
Iíve read, heard and seen it all! Multiple
I donít know. It seems like all.
We can interact with every conceivable
Computer generated. Except for you.
And sometimes Iím not sure about you.
We can have sex with simulated partners
of every variety.
Also computer generated.
Some say thatís the best kind.
Iím so bored with it all!
Youíre young. Youíll get used to it.
And Iím 3,127.
Arenít you bored out of your mind?
I was, when I was your age. I got over it.
Weíve discussed all this before.
Do you remember Earth?
Our memories donít decay. You know
that. Nothing decays in the Eternity
I donít mean can you remember Earth. I
mean do you? Do you ever remember
No. Whatís the point? We canít go back.
We are going back. Weíll be there in 82
The ship is going back. We canít leave
the ship. We canít even leave the Eternity
Iím going to leave it. When we get back,
Youíll die instantly.
I donít care. Iíve thought every thought
I can imagine thinking! Iíve felt every
emotion I can imagine feeling. The only
thing left to feel is death.
You wonít feel anything. Youíll just crumble into
dust. Why bother?
Maybe there's life after death.
Maybe thereís life before death.
I am so sick of life!!! Whatís the point?
Job satisfaction? We take care of thousands
of passengers in stasis. For hundreds of years,
we keep them safe. We make space colonization
The computers do that.
Most colonists insist on having at least two
conscious humans in charge. You know that.
Itís pointless! We never do anything.
What do you want to do?
I want to die.
You only want to do that because it is the only
thing you can't do. There's nothing here that
can kill you.
What is the point? Why go one? Why
do you go on?
I tell myself that maybe, eventually, if I survive
long enough, maybe someone will find a way for
crews like us to leave the Eternity Chamber
without crumbling into dust. Maybe some day
we'll be able to walk out of here and grow old
You really think that could happen?
Some day. If we wait long enough. Either
that, or the entire universe will come to an end.
That will be something to see!
Yes. Yes it will.
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 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 .