Act One: Scene TenMature

[KIM enters to find LUCY.]

KIM

Is he overreacting?

LUCY

Oh most definitely.

KIM

Is it really that bad?

LUCY

Depends on your perspective.

KIM

And which perspective is it that bad from?

LUCY

Mine. I don't need people like him.

KIM

Why?

LUCY

That doesn't really matter, dear.

KIM

Doesn't it? If you take offence to one of my best friends then I think that's important.

LUCY

One of your best friends? Then why did you take offence to him? Because I highly doubt it was me that annoyed him. I swear he is reluctant to even acknowledge my presence sometimes.

KIM

(half-aside) I think he has the right idea sometimes.

LUCY

Kim?

KIM

Yeah well I feel bad. That's what happens when you have a heart.

LUCY

There's no need to sink to his level.

KIM

And Amelia. Was I wrong?

LUCY

About what? Being honest with her?

KIM

I don't know if that's what we did.

LUCY

Honesty is the best policy.

KIM

Listen to me. I don't know if we were truly honest with her.

LUCY

Oh what now?

KIM

Maybe we just made things worse.

LUCY

As in...?

KIM

What if it was the wrong thing to do?

LUCY

Drip drip comes the poison?

KIM

Exactly.

LUCY

That's hindsight for you. It's a wonder and a burden. A gift and a curse. A gift and a curse.

KIM

Shut up. I'm trying to think.

LUCY

Don't worry about it. What's done is done.

BENJAMIN

(off-stage) You can't rewrite history. Not one line! But that doesn't mean that you can't do anything about the future.

KIM

(looking back) Like what?

BENJAMIN

Correct your mistake?

KIM

How?

LUCY

(sarcastically) Wish and wish and wish.

BENJAMIN

Find her. Talk to her.

KIM

Where will she be?

BENJAMIN

Stop asking questions and do something!

[KIM stumbles over her own feet a little as she tries to figure out what to do - after a moment she runs off.]

BENJAMIN

Still playing the bitch?

LUCY

Harsh words from a ponce.

BENJAMIN                

Strong words from a...

LUCY

Don't start a fight that you can't win.

BENJAMIN

Thanks but I don't think I need any advice from you.

LUCY

Suit yourself. But I'm never wrong. I never lose.

BENJAMIN

But part of me thinks that the tide is about to change.

LUCY

Your almighty weatherman feels like a bit of rain now then eh?

BENJAMIN

More like a storm.

LUCY

Everyone loves a bit of thunder.

BENJAMIN

Now why doesn't that surprise me?

LUCY

What? (pause) Oh come on. Don't go all coy on me now.

BENJAMIN

(smug) I'll do what I like. You don't control me.

LUCY

Oh come on. Do tell.

BENJAMIN             

(grinning) Now where's the fun in that?

[A voice starts to increase in volume from off-stage. It is STORME and she is mumbling to herself. It is all inane and worthless with very few words actually distinguishable from the rest. Nevertheless, she is completely caught up in it. She walks through the forest with grace and dignity, holding a small notepad and pen in her hands. She will occasionally stop to write something down before moving on as if the thought is a burden to her and she must offload it instantly. The mumbling should not be misconstrued as a sign of mental instability - it is simply a way for her to organise her thoughts. If necessary, she may wear a head set to suggest that she is communicating with someone else, like she is someone's personal secretary. She immediately acknowledges BENJAMIN, if necessary taking the head set off.]

LUCY

(half-aside) Speak of the devil.

STORME

Hey Benjy. I heard that you wanted to talk to me.

BENJAMIN

Oh yes, Storme. I want to build a new world. You're the one with the contacts.

STORME                

So you want to use me?

BENJAMIN

(pause, as if taken aback) I want your help.

LUCY                

(half-aside) I doubt it would take much to convince her otherwise.

BENJAMIN

You can help me, can't you?

STORME

Of course I can.

LUCY

Benjy here is always asking for help, isn't that right?

STORME

It doesn't bother me. I'm used to it.

LUCY

(half-mocking) With great position comes great responsibility.

STORME

(taking her seriously) Exactly.

BENJAMIN

So no problems?

STORME

Depends on what you're asking me for.

BENJAMIN

(pause) Whatever you can offer me.

LUCY

Oh Benjy. Get to the point.

BENJAMIN

(sigh) Charisma. Enthusiasm.

LUCY

(seductively) Raw magnetism.

BENJAMIN

(ignoring her joke) In a way.

STORME

And what am I supposed to be attracting?

BENJAMIN

The people.

STORME

Are you asking me to become some sort of politician?

BENJAMIN

I suppose.

STORME                

So I'm the face of your new world?

BENJAMIN

And I'll deal with everything else. All I need is your face.

STORME

Why me?

BENJAMIN

(pause) You already have the people in the palm of your hand.

LUCY

(half-aside) Like you'd have her in the palm of your hand.

BENJAMIN

(snapping at LUCY) Shut it. If you aren't going to offer anything useful then you might as well just get lost.

STORME                

What do you mean?

BENJAMIN

It would take years to build up the same sort of popularity that you have. We need immediate action.

LUCY

What's the rush? What have you got to be afraid of?

STORME                

Popularity?

BENJAMIN

Oh now isn't the time to be modest! We both know the effect you have on everyone. Just take it as a compliment and let's move on.

STORME

What makes you think that I'll do it?

BENJAMIN

(dark) Because you can hear that noise in the trees just as well as I can.

LUCY

(pause; smiling softly) Pardon Benjamin?

BENJAMIN

(spinning to face her) You know exactly what I mean. The moan of the dead (pause) or the dying. It fills this forest and echoes on forever. How are we supposed to keep our sanity intact if our minds are plagued by that? As well as it might work as some story to scare the kids, it hardly helps our situation right now.

LUCY

Thinking about kids are we, Benj?

STORME

(disturbed) What is it?

BENJAMIN             

Quite frankly I don't want to know. I just want there to be a stable wall between us and      whatever it is as soon as possible.

STORME

What do you want me to do?

BENJAMIN

Tell them.

LUCY

(mocking) Attract them.

STORME

Tell them what? A warning?

BENJAMIN

An order.

LUCY

Orders are better. Everyone likes a dominant leader.

STORME                

I've never done anything like this before.

BENJAMIN

And you think any of those men and women that fought for us had? This is the time to stand up and act.

LUCY

Sounds like you should be the one speaking.

STORME

Yeah. Maybe that would be best.

BENJAMIN

And be the crazy person prophesising some sort of doom unless we do something? You    cannot honestly tell me that you'd listen to me over her.

LUCY

(pause) He has a point.

STORME                

(nervous) I don't suppose this is the time for an underdog story?

BENJAMIN

Maybe when everything is up and running. But not now.

STORME

But they just like me.

BENJAMIN

And that is what we will build on. They'll listen to you. Take what you say into account. Just look at who we have at the minute. They can't do a thing right now because we still blame them for this.

LUCY

Rightly so.

BENJAMIN

Which is why we need new blood. New blood that's halfway there.

LUCY

From out of the ashes.

STORME

Are you sure?

BENJAMIN

Completely.

BENJAMIN

While their ashes die away, you will blaze in their place.

STORME

Are we burning them?

BENJAMIN

No. They did that to themselves. Why don't you go make a start? Start spreading the word. Salvation is on its way.

STORME

But what do I do if they start asking too many questions?

LUCY

(half-aside) Stop asking them yourself.

BENJAMIN

(taking her notepad and scribbling on it) Tell them (pause) this. I'll come and find you and we can talk through the rest of it then. I have something else I need to deal with first.

STORME

Ok.

LUCY

Go attract them. Go change the world.

[STORME exits, again mumbling to herself. Now it is about the project she has just undertaken.]

LUCY

That was impressive.

BENJAMIN

What?

LUCY

You know, there isn't a great deal of difference between you and me.

BENJAMIN

Oh I disagree.

LUCY

You just manipulated her, Benj. There's no denying it. First you wanted her for who she    knew and then you just used her completely. Is that what you do? Take what you want?

BENJAMIN

No. That's what you do.

LUCY

I have underestimated you. We're more similar than either of us thought.

BENJAMIN

There's one huge difference.

LUCY

Motives?

BENJAMIN

I want the greater good.

LUCY

That can be changed.

BENJAMIN

I'm not working for myself and myself alone.

LUCY

Just wait. The lines will blur eventually.

[BENJAMIN is frustrated and leaves before he says anything else. LUCY simply smiles to herself before leaving in a different direction.]

 

END OF ACT ONE

The End

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