Sonne

A 3-act play by Nicholas Rupprecht

 

 

Dramatis Personś

 

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Alpha

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Omega ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† the Travelers††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Paul†††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† a young man

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Lilith†††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† his sister

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Ariel

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Calvin††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† their parents

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Heinz

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Cy

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Dreyer

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Fear

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Finn†††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† the Five

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Edward††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† a blind poet

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Boy††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† his eyes

 

 

Setting:

Somewhere in the vicinity of Kentucky

 


Act 1

 

Scene 1: I was in Kansas once.

 

The stage is bare except for some humps that could be rocks.But everything is so bleak and desolate, it's hard to be sure.Only one of them is large at all; it's large enough for someone to hide behind.Two men, Alpha and Omega, rush in from stage left.Both have hiking packs on their backs.Alpha wears a bandana around his head as a sweatband; Omega clutches his to his nose.It is red and wet.

 

In this scene and elsewhere, Alpha will occasionally say things that could be jokes, if he were to say them differently.His manner is always clinical and humorless.As they enter, Omega is on the verge of hysterical laughter.

 

Alpha guides Omega to a rock and sets him down.

 

Alpha: Here, sit down.

 

Omega: Fuck!Fuck!

 

Alpha: Calm down. (pushing Omega's head back) Just tilt your head back -

 

Omega: (resisting) You can choke on it that way.You're supposed to pinch the top of your nose (demonstrating) like this. (he starts laughing)

 

Alpha: Oh, yeah, that's right. (takes off his bandana and gives it to Omega) Here.

 

Omega: (still laughing) Thanks.

 

Alpha: What's so goddamn funny?

 

Omega: (suddenly stops) I don't know.The whole thing - I've never seen one go off like that.

 

Alpha: Me neither.

 

Omega: Like gushers.Like Old Faithful. (this renews the laughter)And here we are, us for the love of Mike, arguing about the best way to treat a fucking bloody nose.Jeez.

 

Alpha: Is it slowing down?

 

Omega: Yeah.I wonder if you can die from a bloody nose.

 

Alpha: You mean a bleeder?

 

Omega: No, let's say you lose 3 quarts and you're in bad shape.

 

Alpha: I see.I think you were losing maybe 8 mils per second.

 

Omega: OK, so 3 liters.That's about ... 375 seconds. (beat) Six minutes.Shit.8 mils a second?

 

Alpha: (shrugging) Je ne sais pas.You weren't picking at it, were you?

 

Omega: That's disgusting, Alpha.

 

Alpha: I don't know ... cocaine?

 

Omega: Not since college.

 

Alpha: It is freakish. (beat) We're not high enough up for it to be altitude.

 

Omega: Oh, come on, just say it.It's this place.It did it to me.

 

Alpha: Bull.

 

Omega: We walk across that line and ten seconds later it's the great flood out of my nose.

 

Alpha: I suppose next you'll be telling me we ought to be making sacrifices to that tower over there (points to stage right).Not that that would be many steps lower for you, but -

 

Omega: It's weird.

 

Alpha: (beat) True.Radiation?

 

Omega: Radiation doesn't cut off that quickly.Radiation doesn't cause a fucking line in the middle of a field, with nothing but rocks and dust on the other side.And how about the sky?

 

Alpha: Looks like a thunderstorm.

 

Omega: Yeah.Except I never saw any thunderstorm that stayed on its side.

 

Alpha: Almost like the Divine Comedy, at the beginning.

 

Omega: Midway in our life's journey I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood.How's it go in Italian?

†††††††††††

Alpha: Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, che la diritta via era smarrita.

 

Omega: Do you think we've gone astray?

 

Alpha: I don't think we're in Kentucky anymore.Or Kansas, for that matter.

 

Omega: I don't know.I was in Kansas once.It looked kinda like this. (laughs nervously) Hey, let's go back.

 

Alpha: (patronizing) Omega, we can't.We're Travelers.We can go right or left, but always forward.

 

Omega: But this place is bad.Can't you feel it?

 

Alpha: No.And maybe we can't go back.

 

Omega: You think?

 

Alpha: That's the impression I'm getting. (sees something behind the big rock) Oh, Christ! (rushes over) Get over here!

 

Omega: (getting up) What is it? (sees it) Holy ...

 

Alpha: Get the fuck over here already! (Omega rushes over, taking off his pack.) Give me some gauze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene 2: What's the rush?I'll not again.

 

The same location, several minutes later.Paul, a young man, sits against the large rock.His torso and arms are covered up to his shoulders in guaze.Omega is crouching down next to him, daubing his face with a damp cloth.Alpha stands aside.

 

Omega: Wake up, kid. (Paul wakes up and looks around, confused)Are you all right?

 

Paul: (to Omega, hopefully) Ainít ye the sun?

 

Alpha: The what?

 

Paul: No, ye not.I'm here still. (tries to get up, and winces in pain) Ai!

 

Omega: No, don't get up.

 

Alpha: What happened to you?

 

Paul: Ye blind?I put myself to flame.Naturally.

 

Omega: You what?

 

Paul: I kenned maybe if I were in death, I'd see him.I can't in life.But appears he kens better than that.

 

Omega: (getting up) Never mind.We've got to get you to a doctor.

 

Paul: What's the rush?I'll not again.But it was a sight.I crept to the firewater, the old tubs. (laughs) Firewater ... fire from water.Incredible as day.None of they understand it, but fire, that's the only place I can see him - at times.If I pierce right to the heart of the flame, that burst of light.

 

Alpha: This him, who is he?

 

Paul: (beat; excited) Oh!Ye not from here, ain't ye?Ye strangers.Ye've seen it, right?The sun.

 

Omega: Um.Round bright thing, in the sky?

 

Paul: (awed) So he is.Ye lucky, really lucky. (suddenly alert) What hour is it?

 

Omega: (looking at watch) It's about -

 

Paul: (interrupting)We're almost in ... (suddenly stands; howling in pain) Reint! (pauses, breathing) Letís go.I'll explicate after. (starts limping off right as fast as he can) Come now!Maybe he'll return today. (exits, right)

 

Alpha: What do you think?

 

Omega: Travelers can go around things, right?I wish we'd done that.

 

Alpha: Too late now.

 

Omega: He's heading for the tower.You know ... it looks like a clock.Except it doesn't have any hands.

 

Alpha: Curiouser and curiouser.

 

As they start to shoulder their packs, Alpha starts singing the Beatles' "Here Comes the Son" to himself, absentmindedly.

 

 

 

 

Scene 3: Ye strangers, after all.

 

Shortly after, in a different location.The rocks may be moved to indicate this, but itís not necessary.Edward sits on a rock, staring into space.At his left hand stands the Boy, motionless, with a pad of paper and a pencil in his hands.

 

Edward: One foot in my coffin, one foot in my cradle ... what ken ye, boy? (beat)No, the difference is too evident, too easy.One foot in my coffin, I fancy that ... one foot in my grave, there we go!Scrip that down, boy.One foot in my coffin, one foot in my grave. (Boy writes it down) Now, relate it to the youth ... a newly-lit candle?Yes, good, involve fire ... Under dust that snuffs the newly-lit candle.Scrip that down, boy. (Boy writes) Now read it back. (Boy whispers in his ear) No, it's not best yet.I'll ken more on it, but we've little time ... he must be in death by now.

 

Paul staggers in from left, Alpha and Omega close behind.Paul stumbles to the ground.Boy stares at the newcomers with disinterest.

 

Omega: Just listen -

 

Paul: (breathing heavily) No, it's no need.I live really close by.

 

Omega: (measured) But you're hurt.

 

Paul: (yelling) I'm fucking fine! (beat; quieter) If he comes, I'm fine.If not, what difference?

 

Edward: Paul, is that ye?

 

Paul: Edward!What trouble ye making?

 

Edward: Composing your elegy, ye fool!But here ye go, in life it appears.

 

Omega: Excuse me -

 

At some point in the below conversation, Paul loses interest and starts digging with his fingers in the ground.

 

Edward: Boy, whose voice is that?It's new. (Boy whispers in his ear) Ye certain? (Boy whispers again) Two! (to Alpha and Omega) Is it right?Ye two strangers?

 

Alpha: Yes.

 

Edward: (awed) To ken that I should be in life to see such happenings ... It's an honor to meet ye.

 

Omega: Well, great, but he needs help, he's -

 

Edward: Engraved himself with fire eternal.I ken. (beat) A nice turn of phrase, that.Scrip that down, Boy. (Boy writes) I ken. (Puts a hand on Boy's shoulder) My eyes saw him with the firewater.

 

Omega: Then why didn't you do something?

 

Edward: To what benefit?Ye can't force light in the heart of a boy who's never pierced into the blue sky. (beat) I composed that.None of they listen, but ... is the sky blue?Where ye come from.

 

Alpha: Most of the time.

 

Edward: It's nice to ken for sure.All the old poems say so.

 

Alpha: So what exactly is going on here?This sun, is it a guy or what?

 

Paul: (not looking up) No one kens.But he was here before, long long before.Was not this way before.Not until he left.No one kens why, but it appeared he must, as if he not wanted to.He promised return, after, when the clock strikes ten.He'll make it all the way was before - unbroken.

 

Omega: Why don't you just leave?

 

Paul: Leave?

 

Omega: Go ... somewhere else.

 

Edward: To the ends of our world, this is all. (thoughtful) Maybe ye can leave.Ye strangers, after all.

 

The clock begins to chime.

 

Paul: There it goes.

 

The rest of the characters, except for Lilith, enter.Paul begins counting.

 

Paul: Four, five ...

 

The others begin to join in.

 

People: Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, (breathless) Ten ...

 

The clock strikes eleven.Everyone exhales.

 

Paul: Eleven. (beat; yelling) What ye want?

 

This divertsattention from the clock to Paul.They rush over, Ariel leading.

 

Edward: (aside, to Travelers) And there they go.

 

Ariel: Paul, what happened to ye?

 

Paul: Touch not, Mother.It still hurts.

 

She sits in front of him and lays his head gently on her shoulder, stroking his hair and speaking softly to him.

 

Ariel: Hush.Ye safe now.

 

Paul: I did a bad one, Mother.

 

Ariel: It matters none, my dear, my dear, hush ...

 

Calvin: Paul, ye put yourself to flame, ain't ye?

 

Paul: With the firewater.

 

Cy: Ye tried to go in death.

 

Ariel: Oh, Paul -

 

Cy: I kenned as much.

 

Ariel: (hard) Not this again.

 

Dreyer: He's a danger to himself.

 

Cy: Did ye ever ken it that way?

 

Calvin: I still say there's no need for that -

 

Heinz: We'll decide the need.

 

Cy: What happens next time?

 

Fear: If he's a danger to himself, he's a danger to all.

 

Cy: What if he lights up all the firewater?

 

Dreyer: How many would die?

 

Ariel: Finn?Say they can't.

 

Finn: (hesitant) Ariel, ye ken Iíd not unless there ain't another way.

 

Ariel: Finn, hear yourself.

 

Finn: This changes such.Somesuch must be done.

 

Calvin: (forceful) Hold up!Aye, somesuch must be done.But could ye do it?Did ye ken it that way? (no answer)Or ye?Ye? (laughs) Who'll do it?And any problem, there's a better way of rigging it than killing someone.

 

Ariel: Calvin!Never ye say that!

 

Paul: They'll kill me?

 

Ariel: No, they'll not touch ye, I swear.

 

Paul: (laughs) Just my right desire!

 

Heinz: Ye hear?The boy's broken!

 

Finn: Ye must consider the greater good.

 

Cy: He'll go again.

 

Ariel: I'll not let him!

 

Paul: C'mon!

 

Dreyer: Yes, just as ye did this time.

 

Paul: C'mon ye fuckers!Ye sons of reints!

 

Ariel: Paul, hush.

 

(the argument starts to escalate until it becomes a shouting match)

 

Heinz: We've no choice.

 

Fear: Always afraid he'll kill us all - I'll not have it.

 

Ariel: Cowards!Ye pack of cowards, ganging up on a sweet, innocent boy -

 

Cy: For much longer?

 

Calvin: (noticing the Travelers) Hey.

 

Ariel: I'll not let ye touch my boy!

 

Cy: Ariel, be reasonable!

 

Calvin: HEY EVERYBODY HOLD UP A MINUTE!!

 

Edward: Yes, ye great gaggle of idiots!Hold up so I might make introductions between ye and these two strangers

 

Minor hubbub at this.

 

Edward: Who've been very patient, mind ye ... em, (to Travellers) gean your pardon, I've forgotten your names.

 

Alpha: I'm Alpha, and my friend is Omega.Weíre the Travelers.Thatís what we do; we hike.We stumbled upon Paul just now, and we dressed his wounds the best we could.

 

Ariel: Thank ye, thank ye.Surely ye'll be blessed for it ...

 

The Five look at each other, unsure, then come together, Heinz leading.He walks up to the Travellers as the others (save Fear) nod encouragement.

 

Heinz: (shaking their hands) Thank ye for coming here. (laughs nervously) I ken not what to do, it's been a long time since we last had strangers here. (to Edward) Since before our time, right?

 

Edward: (nodding) The last time, my grandfather was a young man.Composed his first poem on it.

 

Heinz: Anyways, ye're welcome to whatever hospitality we can give.

 

Omega: Thank you.

 

Heinz looks back to the others, smiles, and takes on a more authoritative air.

 

Heinz: Right!Edward, ye go and tell the others.Say to be here in three days time.Can ye do as much?

 

Edward: With pleasure.Come, Boy! (they leave)

 

Omega: Wait.What about Paul?

 

Cy: (moving quickly) Gean your pardon for having to see this.He'll not bother ye anymore -

 

Omega: No, that's not what I meant.We ... rather like him?

 

Pause.

 

Paul: Ye do?

 

Ariel: That settles it, then, right? (to Omega) Thank ye forever.

 

Omega: Right, no problem.

 

Ariel: Ye hungry, right?I'll tend to lunch.

 

Heinz: Yes, good.Where's Lilith?They'll want to meet her, for certain.

 

Ariel: (stiffly) I ken not.

 

Calvin: She must be by the creek.I'll fetch her. (leaves)

 

Ariel: Can ye stand, Paul?

 

Paul: (pushing away from her and standing) Iím not hurt bad.Walking, I can do.

 

He goes off.Ariel rushes after him.

 

Ariel: Now, Paul, ye must not say such as ye just did.

 

Paul: Only joking.Can't they ken that? (exits)

 

Heinz: Well.Anysuch we can provide for ye?

 

Alpha: I have some questions to ask you.You're in charge?

 

Heinz: We try to make life here as nice as possible.

 

Dreyer: If that means we're in charge, so be it.

 

Heinz: We're the Five.My name is Heinz.

 

Cy: Cy.

 

Dreyer: Dreyer.

 

Fear: Fear.

 

Finn: And I, Finn.

 

Heinz: We stay with each family for a time, settling matters.

 

Fear: And we greet strangers.Or so it appears.But what business strangers have with us, I ken not.

 

Heinz: (sharp) Enough.

 

Alpha: We have no business with you.Our presence here is accidental, I assure you.

 

Omega: It was kind of in our way, you know?

 

Alpha: Now, this Sun business -

 

Dreyer: I expect Paul told ye of that.

 

Finn: Ye've seen it, right?

 

Alpha: We see it all the time.

 

The Five murmur to each other.

 

Finn: Incredible.

 

Alpha: It makes his story hard to swallow.

 

Dreyer: No, I expect he got it mostly right.

 

Alpha: Then no oneís ever seen it?

 

Cy: He's not returned yet, no.

 

Finn: But Lilith saw him once.

 

Heinz: Calvin and Ariel's youngest.

 

Finn: By the creek.Thatís why she spends such time there now.Ye can tell ... ye can hear it on her song, and see it in her face.Sheís different from us, as ye.

 

Heinz: Paul would not be in such a mess if he stayed with her more.

 

Omega: Why doesn't he?

 

Finn: Ariel will have none of it. (shrugs)

 

Dreyer: Who kens, with that woman.

 

Fear: If I be asked, Paul follows after her.

 

Cy: (sharp) Ye were not asked.

 

Fear: (shrugging) Whichever.

 

Finn: (getting up) We should go in.Lunch is not long after.

 

Heinz: (Points offstage) We in that hut.Please join us.

 

Omega: Thank you.

 

Heinz: We welcome ye, strangers.Ye bring knowledge of the sun, so we welcome we.

 

Most of the Five start to leave.Fear makes no move.

 

Heinz: Fear.

 

Fear: Iíll stay longer - if they mind not.

 

Heinz looks at the Travellers.

 

Omega: I ... guess we don't.

 

Heinz. As ye say. (exits)

 

Omega: So ... Fear, huh?That's a weird name.

 

Fear: A lineal name, if ye ken. (beat) So ... ye stumbled on this place.

 

Alpha: You could say that.

 

Omega: And we couldnít go back.

 

Alpha: Itís part of our code to always go forwards.

 

Fear: Ahh, a code.What's this code say of staying in one place for a time?

 

Omega: We don't have any plans.

 

Alpha: (quietly hostile) But apparently, we can stay as long as we like.Am I right?

 

Fear: Maybe.But ye picked a bad lot to stay with. Mark me: such and such went wrong for that family when one of their own saw the Sun.Ariel will not let the kids together, eh? (laughs) I've my suspicions.If ye could see the way they pierce at each other in that family, maybe yeíve suspicions also.And Cy was very sharp on the whole matter, right?Yes, I've my suspicions - for ye, also.

 

Omega: Really? I never wouldíve noticed.

 

Alpha: Have any left for yourself?You could use them.

 

Fear: A few. (Looks offstage) But enough of that.

 

Calvin and Lilith enter.She stops suddenly.

 

Lilith: Only two?What of the rest of ye?

 

Alpha starts.

 

Alpha: Why should there be more than two of us?

 

Lilith: Oh ... Gean your pardon.I misremembered - two of ye.Iím Lilith.

 

Alpha: Alpha.

 

Lilith: (to Omega) And ye?

 

Omega: I'm nobody!Who are you?

 

Lilith: Are you - nobody - too?

 

Omega: Then there's a pair of us?

 

Lilith: Don't tell!They'd advertise - you know!

 

They pause, and both start laughing.

 

Calvin: I ken not ...

 

Lilith: Neither do I. (to Omega) Gean your pardon, but what are we speaking?

 

Omega: You don't know?

 

Alpha: It's a poem, from our world.

 

Calvin: (pensive) A poem, eh? (sits)

 

Lilith: I've never heard it before.

 

Omega: That's strange.

 

Lilith: They always say I'm strange. (to Calvin) Right?

 

Calvin: (distracted) Aye, ye strange.Since ye a girl.

 

Omega: Like us.

 

Lilith: As ye.

 

Omega: Iím Omega.

 

Lilith: Such names ye have. (beat) How is Paul?

 

Omega: He seems to be better now.I think heíll be fine.

 

Alpha: Relatively speaking.

 

Lilith: Thank the sun.And ye, also.

 

Omega: It's the least we could do.

 

Paul: (offstage) Lilith!

 

He comes loping onstage, followed by Ariel at a bit of a distance.Lilith rushes to him, and hesitates, holding his arms gently.He hugs her tightly.

 

Lilith: Does it hurt?

 

Paul: Not anymore.

 

Lilith: Paul, yeíll not see him until he wishes it.

 

Paul: I ken, I ken. After.Always after.

 

Ariel: (flat) Paul.We're to lunch, remember?

 

Paul: Yes, lunch.Food.Sustenance! (he lets go of Lilith, sees the Travellers and rushes to them) Ye coming, right?We're friends now, ain't we?

 

Omega: Sure.

 

Paul: So ye staying.

 

Omega: (to Alpha) Well, if you don't mind the delay ...

 

Alpha: Why should I care?We're not going anywhere.No timetable.

 

Omega: I guess we could stay a little while.

 

Fear: Hah!I kenned as much.

 

Calvin: What now?

 

Fear: More trouble. (gets up and starts to walk off briskly)Let's off.I'm hungry.

 

Ariel: Paul.

 

Ariel and Paul follow Fear out.Next are Omega, joined quickly by Lilith

 

Lilith: What of the gondle on your shirt?None else were hurt - right?

 

Omega:Oh, that.Almost forgot about that.It's mine - kind of a funny story, in a sick way.

 

They leave, leaving only Alpha and Calvin, still sitting.

 

Alpha: Are you coming?

 

Calvin: A little after.My knees ain't what they were before.Ye?

 

Alpha: I'll wait for you.

 

Calvin: Aye.Bandaging Paul; that mostly ye, or the other?Or half-and-half?

 

Alpha: Me.When we were in school together I was pre-med.He was chemistry.

 

Calvin: Pre-med?

 

Alpha: I was studying to be a doctor.

 

Calvin: Ye'll be a doctor?

 

Alpha: No.I was just studying for it.As for what I'll be ... I think it's here.The end of the line.

 

Calvin: A fitting name for it.

 

Alpha: If I remember correctly, they said we're not the first strangers to show up here.What happened to the others?

 

Calvin: I ken not - nobody kens.It is only written that they came with knowledge of the sun.

 

Alpha: And left?

 

Calvin: It appears so. (beat) I wonder ...

 

Alpha: What?

 

Calvin: If yeíd not come.If Paul went in death, as he wanted.Maybe that were best.A terrible idea, I ken, but ...

 

Alpha: Wife troubles?

 

Calvin: I ken not if I'd say as much. (beat) No, I would, but not as concerns Paul, Iíd say.Anysuch he wants, she wants for him twice as much. (stands) But that's as she should, right?

 

Alpha: I'd say so.

 

Clavin: There, ye see?No troubles.

 

They start to exit.

 

Alpha: Tell me about this visitation Lilith had from the Sun.I'm curious.

 

Calvin: (brightening) Aye, for certain!That's a much nicer one to talk of. (droops) No, maybe it's best ye hear it from her.

 

Alpha: I would rather hear it from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene 4: Just so.

 

The same location, late in the day.Alpha and Omega are at work setting up a backpacker's tent.Omega looks at the ground around him, holding a stake as Alpha constructs the poles.

 

Omega: Hey, Alpha?What should I do with these stakes?

 

Alpha: Put them in the ground.

 

Omega: (kneels down and taps the end of the stake against the ground) That's rock hard.I'd rather not fuck up these stakes, if you don't mind.

 

Alpha: Ok, don't worry about them.

 

Omega: You sure?

 

Alpha: There's no wind here.

 

Beat; Omega licks a finger and holds it up, feeling for some wind as Alpha continues to work.

 

Omega: (awed) Shit.Just when you start thinking this place's half-normal.

 

Alpha: If you think this place is half-normal, I worry for you.

 

Omega: Lilith is pretty normal.

 

Alpha: She's one person.

 

Omega: And Calvin.And some of the Five, when they're not talking about lynching someone.But that's just the circumstances.I'm not talking about the circumstances.

 

Alpha: The lack of wind that so upset you just now is a part of the circumstances, you know.

 

Omega: Granted, but I still think the most important determining normality of this place is the community.

 

Alpha: But the circumstances determine the people.

 

Omega: Not entirely.And besides, the normality of people is defined by how they react in a given situation.So the circumstances don't enter into it.

 

Alpha: (calm) Well this entire conversation is predicated on the notion that normality can be empirically measured which it fucking well can't be.

 

Pause.

 

Omega: So I get a point?

 

Alpha: What?

 

Omega: You gave up, so I won.

 

Alpha: (patiently) No, I didn't.I showed how the whole deabate was invalid. (beat) You did get another point, though - earlier today.The nosebleed thing.Remember, how I was saying to lean back?That was wrong.So you get a point for that.

 

Omega: Oh.Thanks, I guess.

 

Alpha: Sawa ni sawa.Now help me with these.

 

The poles now assembled, Alpha and Omega work together to thread them through the loops on the tent.

 

Omega: (to himself) It's an unfortunate name.

 

Alpha: What's an unfortunate name?

 

Omega: Oh.Lilith.

 

Alpha: Ah, Lilith.

 

Omega: Something clumsy about all those l's, and then a th.

 

Alpha: You think it matters?

 

Omega: I just don't think it suits her.

 

Alpha: It's a - how did you put it - pretty normal name for a pretty normal person.

 

Omega: Ah, but what's in a name?That which we call a Paul by any other name would be as crazy.

 

Alpha: Self-contradiction.You lose a point.

 

Omega: Oh.

 

Alpha: You spent a lot of your time today with her.

 

Omega: Yeah, well ...

 

Alpha: Well.

 

Omega: When she came - this is going to sound ridiculous.

 

Alpha: Go on.

 

Omega: You won't believe me.

 

Alpha: I think I know what you mean.You felt, shall we say, a presence in your mind.

 

Omega: Yeah, that's it!

 

Alpha: I felt it too.

 

Omega: It was like light.

 

Alpha: Like invasion.I don't like her.

 

Omega: You don't like anybody.

 

Alpha: Except you.But I especially don't like her.It felt like ... she was afraid of me.

 

Omega: Oh.I see.

 

Alpha: Can you think of any reason she might have to be afraid of me?

 

Omega: Not in particular, no.

 

Alpha: (tense) In general?

 

Omega: You're just harsh - casutic, that's it.You're a little caustic.It puts some people off.

 

Alpha: Does it put you off?

 

Omega: No, no.Of course not.

 

Alpha: (relaxes, and starts setting up his sleeping bag) No.You understand me.I'm not an unreasonable man.But I don't like her.

 

Omega: (quietly) Whatever you say.

 

Omega sits silently as Alpha continues with his sleeping bag.

 

Alpha: Although it's a pretty interesting dialect.Gean your pardon, where does that come from?Give, given, giving ...

 

Omega: The dialect, is that all you care about?

 

Alpha: No, not all. (beat) Say, there's something I've been thinking about.Do you remember that movie we watched last week, about the Crucifixion?

 

Omega: The sand and sandals epic?

 

Alpha: It made me wonder: suppose, for the sake of argument, that Jesus did, in fact, exist.

 

Omega: Feeling generous, aren't you?

 

Alpha: I can afford to.But for the sake of argument -

 

Omega: Say that the Crucifixion is nonfiction.

 

Alpha: Just so.Were the nails driven into the palms, or the wrists?

 

Omega: Hmm.Is this a question, or an invitation to debate?

 

Alpha: The latter.

 

Omega: What do you think?

 

Alpha: You choose first.

 

Omega: All right, this is an easy one.The wrists.

 

Alpha: Good.I disagree.

 

Omega: Damn.No autowin.But you're wrong on this one.Everyone knows it was the wrists.Well, practically everyone.

 

Alpha: Outside opinion.And the standard representation of Jesus on the cross has the nails in the palms.

 

Omega: Outside opinion.

 

Alpha: No.Under our assumption, his legacy in the Church was created by those who had first hand experience of the event.To assume they got it wrong -

 

Omega: They got it wrong because they misinterpreted Jesus saying to Thomas to look at his hands.The wrists belong to the hands, at least in their reckoning.Now, the palms are too weak.If you tried to support a man's weight by nails through the palms, it'd rip the hands apart.

 

Alpha: Ah, but.You are assuming the Romans used the nails for a practical reason.When in fact the Romans normally crucified without nails.They tied the prisoners to the cross, as they did to Jesus as well.The nails were simply for additional torture.

 

Omega: And a nail hurts far worse in the wrist.

 

Alpha: How do you know?

 

Omega: It's a more sensitive spot.

 

Alpha: You've never had a nail driven into either location.

 

Omega: No -

 

Alpha: For all you know, having your hand ripped apart could hurt far worse than a nail in the wrist.Plus, there's more symbolic weight to nailing his hands down, rendering him ineffective as a potential revolutionary.

 

Beat.

 

Omega: You planned this out.

 

Alpha: You just chose wrong.

 

Omega: No, I'm right.I just can't prove it.

 

Alpha: It's the same thing.

 

The clock starts ringing eleven offstage.

 

Omega: There it goes again.

 

Alpha: Tell you what: I'll give you thirty-six hours to come up with a reply.Eleven in the morning, the day after tomorrow.

 

Omega: Yeah, sure.

 

Alpha continues unpacking, bringing a glowing sphere out of his pack.Omega sees it and starts.

 

Omega: Shit!Put that away!

 

Alpha: Nani?

 

Omega: Put it back!

 

Alpha: (putting the sphere back in the pack) The hell?

 

Omega: They might think it's the sun.

 

Alpha: You think so?

 

Omega: You never know.

 

Alpha: Yes, that does make sense.If an otherwise intelligent man can see a god in two pieces of wood tied together, or in a thin wafer of bread - well, I guess one delusion is as easy as another.

 

Omega looks at him for a moment.

 

Omega: Yeah, I guess that's what I'm saying. (starts unpacking) More or less.

 

Alpha watches Omega ignore him and unpack.

 

Alpha: I'm only trying to help you see reason.

 

Omega: Yeah, I know.I'm just tired.

 

Alpha watches him a little longer, then returns to his own pack.

 

 


Act 2

 

Scene 1: Iíve not the words to say what it was.

 

Same location.The next morning.The tent is still up.Cy and Alpha enter from the direction of the tower.

 

Cy: Does that answer your curiosity?

 

Alpha: Yes, I believe so.

 

Cy: Good.I never kenned I'd go there.

 

Alpha: Why not?

 

Cy: It's everysuch gone wrong with this place.If ye've desire to go again, please find someone else.I'll not go there again.

 

Alpha: That's what you thought before.And yet, you went - at my behest.

 

Cy: Yes.Maybe ye've a point.

 

Alpha: The point, if there is one, is that want is a strange thing.For example, what would you say it is that you want the most?

 

Cy: The sun, naturally.

 

Alpha: You see, I don't think so.I think you need the sun.Do you ken how to tell the difference between want and need?

 

Cy: If ye need it, ye go in death without it?

 

Alpha: That is requirement, not need.Let me tell you a story.When I was younger, I believed in another god.His message was love - or so I was told.And there was something of my father's that I wanted.Something of great value, great power.So I prayed to my god that I might have it.And soon after, both of my parents were killed.I realized two things.First, this other god could not exist, for this was not the way of love.Second, I didn't mind the loss of my parents, so long as I acquired the object of power.That is how you know want: when you are willing to see someone else hurt for it.

 

Cy: (small) And need?

 

Alpha: When you are willing to do the hurting.

 

Cy: But we've no need to hurt anyone for the sun's return!

 

Alpha: How do you ken?

 

Beat.

 

Cy: Is this your knowledge of the sun?

 

Alpha: Perhaps, perhaps.But enough time for that after.Now, what do you want?

 

Cy: I ken not if I want anysuch.Not the way ye say so.

 

Alpha: I ken there's something you want very much.Or someone.

 

Cy: (starts) Ye ken of that?

 

Alpha: Naturally. (beat) I have need for someone - a right-hand man, if you will.You could be that.

 

Cy: And I would get what I wanted?

 

Alpha: Maybe.Anything is possible where I'm concerned.Yes, you could fit the bill quite nicely.Someone to cry out my name in this desert.

 

Cy: What is your name?

 

Alpha: I am who I am.What do you ken my name is?

 

Cy: I'd not dare speculate ...

 

Alpha hesitates, then frowns.

 

Alpha: I can't say.At least, not yet.

 

Heinz: (off-stage) There he is!

 

The rest of the Five enter, led by Heinz.Cy wanders off a bit, deep in thought.

 

Heinz: Mr. Alpha. Ye well-rested?

 

Alpha: I am.

 

Heinz: Good, good.Anyway, we've wondered ... that is, as a stranger, ye've seen the sun.

 

Alpha: Naturally.

 

Heinz: Yes, as we ken.Would ye tell us of him?If ye've a mind to, naturally.

 

Alpha: And you speak for everyone?

 

Heinz: What? (looks around) It's just us Five.

 

Alpha: Yes, exactly. (to Dreyer, Fear, and Finn) Do you all want to hear my stories?Or are you just following this one around?

 

Heinz: It's not that way -

 

Alpha: (sharp) I did not ask you.

 

Fear: Why not?It's as good as anysuch else.

 

Dreyer: What he means is, we'd all hear they.

 

Finn: Surely ye've seen we're not the most dissimilar of people.We were more different, but that was long before - right, Heinz?

 

Heinz: We've been together ten years.

 

Finn: Ten years, yes.Long before.And to pierce us now, ye'd ken we were born from the same cradle.That's what this place does. It twists up everysuch.So ye wait for the Sun, and until, ye take what ye get.

 

Alpha: Such as Lilith?

 

Finn: Yes, exactly.The Sun coming to her as he did is a sign he'll return soon, I ken it is ... but imagine.To see him, just get one pierce at him ...

 

Dreyer: None of that for us.

 

Finn: She's a lucky, lucky girl.

 

Alpha: Too lucky?

 

Finn: No.We can only wish the best for her.That's what ye feel about her, ye ken?

 

Alpha: No, I don't ken.I just met her yesterday.

 

Finn: But surely ye felt -

 

Dreyer: It's not possible to bear her any sort of grudge.

 

Cy: Anysuch is possible.

 

Everyone looks at Cy.

 

Fear: Gean your pardon?

 

Alpha: I believe he meant you never know whether you can or can't do something until you succeed at it. (beat) Now, you came to hear of the sun.

 

Cy: Tell they the one ye told me.This morning, as we went to the tower.

 

Fear: The tower?For curiosity's sake?

 

Cy: Ye remember, right?

 

Alpha: It doesn't ring any bells -

 

Cy: When ye a boy.

 

Alpha: Why don't you tell it?

 

Cy: Em, ye a boy, a young boy, and your father took ye places.I not remember any of they, none of the names at least, but they were across oceans, and halfway about the world.And ye asked him -

 

Heinz: What's it as?

 

Cy: Oh, beautiful.With gardens, and light-colored rocks in the staircases, and hills ... (frustrated) I've not the words to say what it was.

 

Finn: And the sun?

 

Cy: Alpha saw - he noticed wherever they went, the sun was shining.Always.So he asked his father why.And he said (to Alpha) your father said ye blessed, right?And the sun would follow ye to the ends of the earth, as a chariot.

 

Beat.

 

Finn: He said that?

 

Alpha: Something like it. (beat) Something similar.

 

Fear: Maybe somesuch got lost in the telling.

 

Alpha: It's just a story.

 

Cy: No!It's a story, but not just a story.The sun will follow him to the ends of the earth, even (stops)

 

Heinz: What ye saying?Say it straight, so at least we can talk of it.

 

Cy: But it sounds so broken.

 

Heinz: It matters none.If it's right, say it straight.

 

Alpha: Stop.Don't berate Cy.It's my story, not his.Cy, find Paul and Ariel and bring them here.

 

Cy: Right. (exits)

 

Dreyer: Who are ye?

 

Alpha: I cannot answer that as directly as I would like.

 

Heinz: Why not?

 

Alpha: It is too soon.The time will come for you to be delivered from this wasteland, but not yet.As my father has said, "Recklessness brings failure tenfold."

 

Dreyer: Your father again.What's he in this?

 

Alpha: I am my father's son.

 

Dreyer: Then ye say -

 

Alpha: I say nothing.You are the one who says it.

 

Dreyer: But I'll not say it! (hold up hands) What I mean is, I'll not say against it, I'm not certain.But I'll not say for it, either.

 

Finn: (distracted) Last night I was kenning ...

 

Dreyer: What?

 

Finn: What do we ken of strangers, for certain?Maybe all strangers are the same.Just one.

 

Alpha: Not possible.

 

Finn: Then all strangers able to come here!

 

Alpha shrugs this off.

 

Heinz: But there were strangers here before.

 

Finn: Maybe we ainít ready for him before!

 

Alpha: Enough.This is all just speculation.Don't you ken you'd know the man when you saw him?

 

Beat.

 

Heinz: There's somesuch about ye.I'll say as much.

 

Alpha: What?What is it about me?Can you say it straight?

 

Heinz: No.

 

Alpha: Enough?

 

Heinz: I ken not ...

 

Alpha: Would you stand against me?

 

Beat.

 

Heinz: Appears it's enough.

 

Dreyer: Ye broken, all of ye?! (Alpha turns to him) Not to dispute, but ... I'd prefer certainty.

 

Alpha: Ah, yes.Though your name is not Thomas, yet you do doubt.

 

Dreyer: Thomas?

 

Alpha: It doesn't matter.Soon, if the time is right, you will get your proof.I will either leave tomorrow or stay here forever.

 

Finn: What can we do -

 

Alpha: The choice is not yours, nor is it mine.Go now, and think on this: my father has said, "There are times that do not accomodate mercy."

 

Finn: What of Omega?

 

Alpha: He ... also has power, though different from mine.He has a part to play in this, but that is yet uncertain.For the time being, do not speak to him of this.Go.

 

They leave.Fear remains, making no move to follow.

 

Alpha: What about you?

 

Fear: I ken what ye doing.

 

Alpha: Is that so?What do you intend to do about it?

 

Fear: Intend?I intend nonesuch.Do ye ken ye'll succeed?

 

Alpha: It looks promising.

 

Fear: And Omega?Can he stop ye?

 

Alpha: He can.As a matter of fact, I want him to.

 

Fear: Well!Fascinating.Tell ye such: I'll support ye, but I'll not believe.I ken ye not, but I ken who ye not.

 

Alpha: How do you ken?

 

Fear: I'll trust the sun.Or at least, maybe.Whichever he's doing, he's a roundabout method for it, right?

 

Alpha: Then pretend.It makes no difference to me.

 

Fear: That, I'll do.

 

Cy enters, escorting Ariel and Paul.

 

Fear: New day, Ariel.

 

Ariel: New day.

 

Fear: Ye to receive good news.The best. (leaves)

 

Alpha: Cy, would you go find the rest of the Five, calm them down?

 

Cy: Right after. (leaves)

 

Alpha: Well, Paul, how are you this morning?Feeling better?

 

Paul: As new.Hurts no more.

 

Ariel: I took care of him.

 

Paul: She rubbed me with the cream.She's cream for my burns.

 

Ariel: It's not the first time, but only small ones before.He'll not again, I'll see to that.

 

Alpha: Of course you will.A mother's love for her son - it's a wonderful thing. (to Paul) You're very lucky to have a mother like that.

 

Paul: Me, here and lucky?

 

Alpha: Well, you're not just here, you're here now.What if the sun were to come tomorrow?Would you then be lucky?

 

Ariel: Why ye pose such a question?

 

Alpha: He could; you never ken.Well, Paul, what do you say?What then?

 

Paul: If such were ... I'd go in death I so happy - and he'd bring me back, and I'd go, and back, and each time the fire would get bigger, the fire in my heart, bigger, until - I ken not.Somesuch fantastic!

 

Ariel: What ye want of my son?He'll give it ye, whichever it is, he's a good boy.

 

Alpha: I don't want to take anything from him, or from you.I am here to give.Especially to you two, you admirable unit, and my most fervent believers.

 

Ariel: Most fervent ... oh! (she covers her mouth, then reaches out to him) Ye've come back - Ye've returned!I should've kenned, I should've kenned the instant I saw ye! (falls to her knees) Gean your pardon, my stupidity -

 

Alpha: That is not needed.You ken me now; that is enough.It is not intelligence I require, not gentleness nor humility.Only fervor.The fire that burns brightly in your hearts.

 

Ariel: I swear to ye, Paul and Iíve that and more!

 

Alpha: Then I can depend on you. (beat) What of your husband?

 

Ariel: A man of no account.Yeíve no need for him.

 

Alpha: As I kenned.

 

Paul: What ye saying?

 

Ariel: Paul.He's here for you.Ye see him - the Sun!

 

Paul: Is it so?

 

Alpha: I stand before you, Paul.

 

Paul yells with glee.He hugs Ariel joyously.

 

Paul: At last!At last!

 

Ariel: All this time we've waited - it was worth it.The Sun is here, and he's to heal ye ... heal ye.

 

Paul suddenly pushes away from Ariel.

 

Paul: Omega.If ye the sun, who's he?

 

Alpha takes a capped lighter out of his pocket.

 

Alpha: Do you ken why you see me in fire? (lights the lighter.Paul stares at it, fascinated) It's my reflection you see.The fire is a mirror, and it pierces me. (Paul reaches out for the flame, and Alpha caps it) But it's dangerous.Reflections are, sometimes.Omega is also a reflection of myself.

 

Paul: Is he dangerous?

 

Alpha: Maybe.By tomorrow I'll ken.Until then, you must both keep my revelation a secret from him.

 

Lilith's singing is heard offstage.Here, and anytime else she sings, it is simple, without lyrics.Alpha starts, as Paul listens, rapt.

 

Alpha: What's that?

 

Ariel: It's her.Lilith.

 

Alpha: The deceiver.

 

Ariel: Then ...?

 

Alpha: I never appeared to her.

 

Ariel: I kenned her lie.I kenned ye would appear to me and Paul first.But all of they believed her.Especially Paul, gean your pardon.

 

Alpha: We should go.

 

Ariel: Yes.Paul.

 

Paul: What?

 

Alpha: We're going, Paul.

 

Paul: But Lilith - she ken?

 

Alpha: It is not yet time for that.Follow me. (leaves)

 

Ariel: Paul.

 

Paul reluctantly leaves with her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene 2: Ye go in death, do ye not?

 

The same location, moments later.Lilith enters, singing, with by Omega and Calvin.The song comes to an end, and Omega starts clapping.

 

Lilith: Please don't. (Omega stops) Not to sound ungrateful, but ye need not congratulate me.It's not a performance.

 

The clock starts tolling eleven offstage.

 

Omega: Oh.If you say so.But it is beautiful.

 

Lilith: (looking right) It's none of mine and all of his.

 

They listen to the clock until it finishes.

 

Lilith: Next time, maybe. (beat) Where is everyone?

 

Calvin: Maybe somesuch happened.

 

Lilith: What could keep them away at this time? (jumps up) I'll see if they're at the house. (leaves)

 

Omega: She's different from us, huh?

 

Calvin: Aye.Would ye like me to contrive an errand fror myself when she returns?

 

Omega: I guess I would.

 

Calvin: Good.Ye a good kid.And a stranger. (chuckles wryly) The family's moving up in the world.Maybe ye could take her from here.

 

Omega: One of these days it'll be a moot point.

 

Calvin: Eleven.I kenned it would be, this time.

 

Omega: That's just disappointment talking.

 

Calvin: No, I kenned for certain, because of the poem.

 

Omega: I don't understand.

 

Calvin: The poem ye and Lilith quoted.Someone wrote that poem, right?Someone as Edward.What beauty were they searching for and not found in a world with the sun?And more, it's written on ye and Alpha.Ye in life - maybe not the same as us, but ye in life, ye cry, ye get sick, ye fight. Ye go in death, do ye not? (beat) Appears the sun is not to ye what it is to us.

 

Omega: Then what happened to Lilith?

 

Calvin: I try not to ken of it.She's wrong, but she kens she's right, ye see?

 

Omega: Well, you don't know that.Just because things are different outside - they could just work by different rules, couldn't they?

 

Calvin: To what point?

 

Omega: Nobody knows.We're just people.We can't even fit our minds around gods, let alone expect them to make any sort of sense.The best we can do is have faith.

 

Calvin: Do ye have any gods in your world?

 

Omega: There is one - at least, I believe there is.He's not that unlike your Sun.I believe He'll come back for us, to take us to salvation. (beat) He once said: In my father's house there are many mansions.

 

Calvin: What's that mean?

 

Omega: Again, nobody knows for sure.But maybe it means that one god can seem like many different gods with many different names to many different people.For all we know, my God and your Sun could be the same.

 

Calvin: (chuckles) What do ye ken of our Sun?

 

Omega: I know Lilith, and that's enough.

 

Calvin: Aye.Maybe.

 

Lilith returns.

 

Calvin: Any luck?

 

Lilith: No, no one's to be found there.

 

Calvin: Well, they'll show up for lunch, for certain.I'll set to it, then.

 

Lilith: Ye need any help?

 

Calvin: No, ye just stay.

 

He exits, and Lilith watches him go as Omega walks up behind her.He hesitates, standing close to her.Without a word, she reaches out and takes an arm with each hand and lifts them up and out, and then around her shoulders.Omega stiffens a little in surprise.

 

Lilith: Ye kenned of wanting to do this, right?But ye kenned ... tell me right, what ye ken.

 

Omega: (relaxes) Well, it's not exactly something you go around doing uninvited.

 

Lilith: (laughs lightly) Then consider ye invited.I want to ken how it feels.

 

Omega: How do you know what I'm thinking?I could feel it, right from the beginning.

 

Lilith: I kenned as much.It took me by surprise; ye two are the first to feel my presence.

 

Omega: Do you read minds?

 

Lilith: Not as a book, no.Thereís not always words, or anysuch that specific.I just sense such and such.

 

Omega: Did you always?

 

Lilith: It began when I saw the Sun.

 

Omega: A gift?

 

Lilith: Appears so.

 

Omega: How'd that happen, anyway?

 

Lilith: Let's see ... he came six years before.I was by the creek to draw some water, but as I pierced into it, I saw anotherís reflection.Then from behind him appeared the Sun, and all the creek reflected this piercing white light (reaches up to touch Omega's arms) The light was all about me, like this.It feels the same.

 

Omega: The story, madam.

 

Lilith: Right.The Sun appeared before me, as a man, and he told me ... I ken not what it means, but he said to be strong.Maybe he meant endure until his return.After, I was by the creek once again, and (thinks) yes, it was Finn who found me first Ė they were here at the time.Once he saw me, I felt his wonder and my difference, reflected in his mind.

 

Omega: And the singing?

 

Lilith: Music I heard in the light. (beat) Ye've never heard tell of the Sun before, right?

 

Omega: Not by that name, no.You seem to be lifting quite a bit from my mind.

 

Lilith: It's a comfortable place for me.Do ye mind?

 

Omega: Just stay away from the doors marked ďAuthorized Personnel Only.Ē

 

Lilith: What name do ye ken him as?

 

Omega: Names don't matter.What's important is the catechism.

 

Lilith: What's a catechism?

 

Omega: It's what He tells you.Like the Sun saying he'll come back when the clock strikes ten.That's catechism.And in my case ... it's love -that's the simplest way to explain it.Love for every human being, because no person is below love.Even though no one's perfect ... though I may have found an exception.

 

Lilith: Ye liar. (beat)Would ye explicate the rest of it?

 

Omega: Down to the last detail?

 

Lilith: The last detail.

 

Omega: It'll take a while.

 

Lilith: Would ye stay the while?

 

Omega: As long as I live.

 

Lilith: (twisting around her head towards him) Then teach me.

 

He kisses her.Then, holding hands, they sit together.

 

Omega: Um.What kind of shortcut did we just take?I mean, I donít know about you, but I'm not in the habit of telling people I just met I'd spend the rest of my life with them.

 

Lilith: Is anyone?

 

Omega: What did you feel when you looked into my mind that first time?

 

Lilith: I felt ye could love me.

 

Omega: Well, that can't be so special.Not for you.

 

Lilith: It surprises ye, how rare right love is.But never mind that.If ye loved me just a little for just an hour, it would be enough.I felt ye could love me.So I loved ye, and I fell into a world of light -

 

Omega: Of love -

 

Lilith: All about us.

 

Omega: (softly) Wow. (pause) What about Alpha?What did you feel in him?

 

Lilith: Little - nonesuch, really.Just somesuch Ö as a black cloud coming to push me from out its sky.

 

Omega: That sounds about right.I think you spooked him.

 

Lilith: I (trails off)

 

Omega: What?

 

Lilith: Iíll not speak of it.He's your friend.Ye friends a long time, right?

 

Omega: If ten years is a long time.In which case, we're the youngest pair of geriatrics I ever saw.

 

Lilith: Ye good friends.

 

Omega: Look, donít worry about it.He's a bit of an acquired taste.

 

Lilith: For certain. (beat) But I felt one other.There were more of ye before.

 

Omega: Yeah.Four of us - four best friends, from college.We were all looking for something else.So Alpha - you see, the thing you've got to understand about Alpha is he's rich.

 

Lilith: That explicates somesuch?

 

Omega: Nothing, really.Just that rich people can actually finance their crazy ideas.Anyway, his parents were in some sort of business, but they died in an accident, oh ... about four years before we met.So he figured we could hike around, camp out, talk about ... whatever.Have debates.He even made a game out of it.One point for being right.

 

Lilith: What goes to the winner?

 

Omega: We never really got to that.Al least, Alpha didnít, and none of the rest of us - even for us, Alpha was too smart.Oh, and the letters, I almost forgot about that.That was another one of his ideas - we each picked a Greek letter for our name.

 

Lilith: Then Omega's a wrong name?

 

Omega: Thankfully, no.

 

Lilith: I like it.

 

Omega: Because it's mine, right?

 

Lilith: Maybe.Why ye pick Omega?

 

Omega: I figured itís underappreciated, being last.

 

Lilith: And Alpha?

 

Omega: I don't know.Symmetry, I guess.Epsilon was a math major - mostly analysis.And Iota had this thing for short words and names with a lot of syllables.Like aria, or Ohio.

 

Lilith: Or Omega.

 

Omega: Yeah, but Iota's better.

 

Lilith: Where are they now?

 

Beat.

 

Omega: Both dead. In accidents.A few months apart, a couple of years ago.

 

Lilith: Gean your pardon.

 

Omega: Well, Alpha took it harder than I did.

 

Lilith: I see.Then that explicates his reaction, before.

 

Omega: Yeah.He took it harder.Maybe because he didn't have a family, except for us ... now me.I'm the only one left.I couldn't leave him.

 

Lilith: Are ye certain?

 

Omega: What?

 

Lilith: Ye promised me, Omega.Tell me right, can ye keep your promise if ye not leave him?Gean your pardon, but I ken not.

 

Pause.

 

Omega: I think about it sometimes.Like if he hadnít come up with this Traveler thing, maybe we couldíve drifted apart after college.He's a hard guy to like.For example, he's got no sense of humor.I don't think he even understands the concept.Itís like Iím this talking hand.

 

Lilith: A what?

 

Omega: A talking hand.You know, a hand that talks?

 

Lilith: Yes, but why?

 

Omega: Just. (holds up a finger, then continues)I'm a talking hand, so I talk all day, but Alpha never listens to me.Until eventually, he realizes there's this noise coming from somewhere, so he says, "What's that?" and I say, "Oh, nothing, just the sound of one hand yapping." (beat; no response from Lilith) Guh.You see, I'm terrible now.I'm becoming like him.

 

Lilith: At least ye try.No one here tells me jokes.None of they have the courage.Ye can tell a joke to a girl, but how can ye to a dream, a hope, a need? (smiles) But ye try, and I thank ye for that.

 

Omega smiles at her, then looks away, embarrassed.

 

Omega: Geez, don't look at me like that.

 

Lilith: Like what?

 

Omega: Well ... Iíve got a little sister, her nameís Elise, and, from certain angles you know, you look kinda like her.

 

Lilith: Is that so?

 

Omega: It feels weird.

 

Lilith: Appears it would, for most.

 

Pause.

 

Omega: You mean ...?

 

Lilith: Yes.

 

Omega: Has he ever -

 

Lilith: No.He's not yet firm enough on it to try anysuch as that.I ken not what to do if that changes, after.I love Paul, but I canít return his love. (beat) I remember that first night after the creek, as none of they could stop talking of the miracle I was, I lost everysuch he was to me. I could feel the desires writhing about in his head, just being born.And that not the only one, no, there were lots of them, from all directions.In almost every mind, disease and darkness. (beat) The song is the only right gift the Sun gave me. (she begins to sing her melody, but trails off quickly and sits in silence.Omega hugs her.After a moment, she looks offstage.) They're coming.

 

Omega: Who?

 

Lilith: My mother.And your friend. (beat) Ye should be the one to let him ken of us.Iíll see to Paul.

 

Omega: Done, Madam.Done.

 

She kisses him quickly, and then gets up and moves away from him before Alpha and Ariel enter in conversation.

 

Ariel: I kenned they would be here.

 

Alpha: True.Theyíre all ready for lunch, back at the house.

 

Ariel: (to Lilith) Ye missed out, girl.Alpha told us of such and such of the outside world, such of interest.

 

Lilith: Iíll not feel deprived.

 

Ariel: Ye should.Yeíve much to benefit from it.Unless this other told ye of it.

 

Omega: Not much, just some history.

 

Alpha: What kind of history?

 

Omega: Well Ö

 

Lilith: Just to answer my curiosity.

 

Alpha: The past has no value.Only the future matters.

 

Lilith: Tell such to her.

 

Ariel: Ah, itís just a link of our family with strangers.It matters none.

 

Lilith: Ye talked of it with pride.

 

Ariel: Until ye broke it.

 

Alpha: Tell us of it.Iíd like to hear.

 

Ariel: My grandmother was given somesuch by a stranger, years before.Maybe ye could tell what it was.It was formed of glass, wide on the ends, thin in middle, and boxed about.It held sand.

 

Omega: An hourglass, maybe?

 

Alpha: It's a simple clock.It keeps time by how much sand has fallen from one end to the other.

 

Ariel: Incredible as day Ö a clock without numbers.I could see somesuch of its intended workings, but never its purpose.Well, she picked it up, and the glass broke.The sand fell to the floor rather than the other side, slowly.One grain giving way and sliding on, pushed by somesuch it can't ken of.Then the others about it, and the rest. All the pieces of the whole sliding on.Preparing for the stop.Whichever that might mean.

 

Omega: It just means it's time to flip it over and start it up again.

 

Ariel: Then so be it.Whichever the stop means.

 

 


Scene 3: At least this makes things simpler.

 

Same location, at ďnight.ĒAlpha and Omega lie in their sleeping bags, Alpha singing "Here Comes the Son" softly to himself.

 

Omega: Do you have a sudden fetish for this song now, or what?

 

Alpha: No.It's just the circumstances of this place that bring it to mind.

 

Omega: Oh, I see.So now we get elevator music.

 

Alpha: (ignoring him) And it's an interesting song, in its dependence on the English language.

 

Omega: What do you mean?

 

Alpha: The whole impact of the song derives from the fact that sun and son are homophones.They aren't in most other languages.El sol, or el hijo.Il sole, or il figlio.Le soleil, or le fils.In German, they aren't even the same gender.It's die Sonne in the sky or der Sohn in the family.Just try translating that song into German.Either "Hier kommt die Sonne" or "Hier kommt der Sohn."You have to choose, and you lose the flexibility.The double-meaning.

 

Omega: Who wants to translate it?

 

Alpha: That's what I'm saying.It's better left in English.It's impossible otherwise.It's just an interesting thought to ponder.

 

Omega: In the dark.When all your other thoughts are too big, too loud.

 

Alpha: Yeah.

 

Pause.

 

Omega: How long do you feel like staying here?

 

Alpha: I donít know.But we stayed at your behest in the first place.Do you want to leave?

 

Omega: I just don't want to keep you here against your will.

 

Alpha: Don't worry about my will.I never do anything against it.

 

Pause.

 

Omega: (simultaneously with Alpha) Alpha.

 

Alpha: (simultaneously with Omega) Omega.

 

Omega: Jinx. (beat) You go first.

 

Alpha: This isn't easy for me to say.

 

Omega: Mine neither.Maybe we'll cancel each other out.

 

Alpha: I have little hope for that.

 

Omega: Well, go ahead.

 

Alpha: (sits up in his bag) You asked me if I wanted to stay, and I do, but if I did, it would be for something you would hate.You couldn't stand it.But there is one way we could leave this place tomorrow, and I would be satisfied.Only one way.It's because I love you, you see.

 

Omega sits up quickly.

 

Omega: You think you love me?

 

Alpha: I'm sure.I've had years to consider this.

 

Omega: Shit. (laughs ruefully) Oh, shit.

 

Alpha: Is something funny?

 

Omega: Weíre so fucking stupid, you know?All of us.

 

Alpha: I know you donít love me yet, but you will, in time.

 

Omega: No, Alpha. That's not how it works. (gets out of his bag and walks off) This isnít something you can control.

 

Alpha: Why not? (no answer) You wonít give me your love.

 

Omega: I canít.I've already given it.

 

Alpha: To Lilith?To that bitch?!

 

Omega: Thereís no need to call her that -

 

Alpha: Do not mock me!

 

Omega: I'm not.Go ahead.Rant and rail.I'll rant with you.It doesn't seem fair, does it?It's not.But there are certain parts of ourselves we have no control over.All we can hope is that they don't hurt anybody.

 

Pause; Alpha gets up.

 

Alpha: Then you've made your choice - and mine, too.If that's what you want -

 

Omega: What I want is for things to stay the way they were.

 

Alpha: I was willing to forgive a great many things of you.I would forgive you for your silly, pointless devotion to a god that's nothing more than words in the wind.I would forgive you for your frivolity.I would even forgive you for loving Lilith first.But I do not make myself vulnerable, only to be broken, for anyone.

 

Omega: This is the best I can do, Alpha.It's not much, I know Ė

 

Alpha: Donít talk to me.You will pay for this. (storms out)

 

Alpha storms out.Shortly after, Lilith screams offstage and stumbles on, panicked.Omega rushes to her and takes her in his arms.

 

Omega: Lilith!Whatís the matter?

 

Lilith: I felt Ö

 

Omega: What?What is it?

 

Lilith: Nonesuch.Just his anger.

 

Omega: If you felt something in him, tell me.

 

Lilith: I Ö (calmer) no.Just his anger Ö and he threatened ye.

 

Omega: Itís all right.Heíll cool off.Heís just angry.And why not?I Ė how much did you hear?

 

Lilith: All of it.

 

Omega: I broke his heart.

 

Lilith: Gean your pardon, I meant not to spy Ė

 

Omega: I know, I know. (wry) At least this makes things simpler.A regular Gordian trefoil.

 

Lilith: Ye ken it that way?

 

Omega: I guess heíll go on without me.

 

Lilith: I hope so.

 

Omega: Lilith?Would you stay with me tonight?

 

Lilith: I would.

 

Omega: Not here.This place is tainted now.

 

Lilith: There's just one place here not tainted. (beat) Itís fitting, then.Itís the place I first saw ye.

 

Omega: What do you mean?

 

Lilith: Ye remember the face I saw right before the sun came?It was yours.For certain, it was yours.

 

She takes his hand and leads him off, in the direction from which she entered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene 4: She's only human.

 

Same location, shortly after.Alpha rushes in, followed by the Five.

 

Heinz: Now that we've followed ye here, will ye tell us why?

 

Alpha: (looking around) He's not here ... where the hell is he?

 

Heinz: Who?

 

Alpha: Omega.

 

Finn: Your friend?

 

Alpha: He is no friend of mine.

 

Heinz: Alpha, I've come this far being quiet -

 

Alpha: Your silence needs work.

 

Heinz: But I'll not do anysuch for empty threats or empty promises, or people who say before, one, and after, another.Before, ye two friends from school, and now he's no friend of yours.So I ask ye, who is he, and who are ye?Because weíll not a one for someone we ken not.

 

Cy: Speak for yourself.

 

Heinz: I speak for the Five. (to the Five)Right?Right?

 

Lilith's singing is heard faintly offstage.

 

Alpha: Do you hear that?

 

Finn: It's Lilith, down by the creek.

 

Alpha: Omega is with her.

 

Dreyer: How ye ken?

 

Alpha: It is given to me to ken.

 

Cy: Then weíll off -

 

Alpha: No! (beat) We're too far after.As we speak, he is corrupting her.Turning her against the Sun.

 

Finn: Impossible.She'd never turn.

 

Fear: Iím not as certain.She's only human.Humans are easily turned.Right, Alpha?

 

Alpha: You speak right.

 

Finn: It will not ...

 

Alpha: And if it would?

 

Finn: We would put him in death.

 

Alpha: So it is.She may be savable, but tomorrow.Tonight she would not recognize me. (to Heinz) You want me to speak plainly?Then I will, for the timeís come.I am the Sun.I have been sent by my father to deliver you.Is that enough?

 

Heinz: Ye couldíve said as much before.

 

He kneels, and the rest of the Five save Dreyer follow his example.

 

Dreyer: Wait!Can ye all believe him?

 

Fear: Gean your pardon, Dreyer, but ye outvoted.

 

Dreyer: Well ... if ye all believes it, it must be right ... but we can't follow him for saying he's the Sun.Anyone can say as much. (notices Alpha looking at him) Gean your pardon Ė

 

Alpha: A small matter.If I could prove myself to you - if I could show you a miracle - would you believe me?

 

Dreyer: Iíd not hesitate.

 

Alpha retrieves the pack from his tent and shoulders it.

 

Alpha: Cy.

 

Cy: (standing) Yes.

 

Alpha: Get these men to sleep.They must be well-rested, and prepared for anysuch.

 

Cy: Yes, Sun. (to Five) Ye heard him.Let's off.

 

Alpha: Tomorrow, ye shall see a miracle! (they all exit)

 

 


Act 3

 

Scene 1: It must be purged.

 

Same location.The next day.Lilith enters and starts packing Omega's belongings.Paul enters, behind her.He sneaks up on her.

 

Paul: (throwing his arms around her) Lilith! (she backs off, startled) What ye doing?

 

Lilith: I'm packing Omega's belongings.He'll leave today.

 

Paul: Ha!Then Alpha gave him a right speaking to.He set such and such straight.

 

Lilith: Paul, what ye speaking of?

 

Paul: As an arrow.

 

Lilith: Did ye hear them?

 

Paul: Yes.I heard all. (points to head) Up here.Same place I hear him in the fire. (he quickly grabs Lilith's shoulders and forces her to the ground.He leans above her) Where ye say ye love me.

 

Lilith: Paul ... yeíll not do this.Not Ö not this.

 

Paul: (pouts) But weíve not the chance since five days before.Letís finish it.What weíve done. (he starts to lean in closer)

 

Lilith: (sudden) I'll go with him! (Paul freezes) I'll leave with Omega.

 

Paul laughs and walks away from her.She sits up.Ariel enters, unnoticed until she speaks.

 

Paul: Ye can't.

 

Lilith: Paul -

 

Paul: Everysuch will start today, really.Alpha said as much.Ainít ye so happy? (laughs) Fireworks today.Great big ones.Yeíll not go.

 

Lilith: What more did he say? (beat) Who did he speak as?

 

Paul: Ye ken.Ye saw him, before.

 

Lilith: He said as much?

 

Paul: Ye say as much.I believe ye.Weíll all be happy again, after.

 

Lilith: Then heís destroyed ye all.As easy as that.

 

Paul: Heíll not hurt his believers.

 

Lilith: Can't ye see him right?

 

Ariel: Right?Ye ken nonesuch of right.Every word ye speak is wrong.

 

Pause.

 

Lilith: So ye ken.

 

Ariel: Yes, I ken.I kenned it long before anyone else, and He has seen as much.

 

Paul: What ye saying, mother?Sheís right; sheís rightest!

 

Ariel: If ye ken it that way, then ask her where she slept last, and who slept by her side? (Lilith starts) Ye have no secrets from me, girl.

 

Paul: Well, she was with us.Naturally.Right?

 

Lilith: No, Paul.It's as I told ye.I was with Omega.

 

Ariel: Ye hear that, Paul?With our enemy.

 

Lilith: Enemy?

 

Paul: I ken not Ö he and Alpha healed me.

 

Ariel: Alpha healed ye.Tell me right, who bandaged ye?

 

Paul: Alpha.

 

Ariel: And who just sat and watched?

 

Paul: Omega.

 

Ariel: And who did Alpha warn us of?

 

Paul: Omega.

 

Ariel: And who fucked your sister?

 

Paul tries to slap her, but she grabs his arm.

 

Paul: No need for coarseness, Mother.

 

Ariel: Gean your pardon, Paul, but it's right.Does she deny it?

 

Paul: (to Lilith) Ye will, right?Come on. (beat) Come on.

 

Lilith: Gean your pardon -

 

Paul: Stop dancing.I hate it when ye dance.I never danced with ye! (no answer) Well.Weíll see.Weíll see what happens to the son of a reint.Right?Weíll see. (exits)

 

Lilith: Why must ye always be so ugly?

 

Ariel: Ugly, ye say?Ye wanted his hands on ye no more than I.

 

Lilith: Ugly in thought, ugly in word, ugly in manner -

 

Ariel: I just do as a mother should for her son.I love Paul.

 

Lilith: I love him also!Heís one of many that I love, and I canít do anysuch for. (beat) But it concerns ye none.Iím leaving; Iíll not bother ye anymore.

 

Ariel: Yeíll not leave, reint, until ye get your judgment.Ye may be forgiven, if ye recant.Tell me right; ye never saw the Sun more than two days before.

 

Lilith: Iíll not.I canít.

 

Ariel: Then ye lost.Ye my shame, girl, so Iíll be the one to give ye judgment.

 

Ariel takes a knife out of her pocket and advances on Lilith deliberately.Lilith watches for a moment, almost hypnotized, then screams and tries to back away.She trips on something, and Ariel bears down on her.They struggle for control of the knife.Omega enters, sees this, and runs to help Lilith, throwing Ariel off her.

 

Omega: What the hell are you doing?!

 

Ariel jumps up and backs away from Omega, holding out the knife in front of her.

 

Ariel: Stay away from me!Stay away from me.

 

Omega: OK, sure.Just put that down.

 

Instead of answering, she backs out.

 

Omega: Lilith, are you all right?Did she hurt you?

 

Lilith: No, she missed me.

 

Omega: What happened?

 

Lilith: It matters not, now.Please ask me not.

 

Omega: She was trying to kill you!

 

Lilith: Sheíll not kill me if we leave.I was going to ask ye when ye woke up Ö take me with ye.

 

Omega: We don't even know if you can leave.

 

Lilith: Then go without me. (frantic) Canít ye ken?Thereís nonesuch we can do against it!

 

Omega grabs her shoulders to steady her.

 

Omega: (levelly) Against what?

 

Paul and Alpha enter, the latter with his pack on his shoulders.Alphaís clothes are dirty and stained with grease.

 

Paul: Well, well.

 

Alpha: Good morning there.I ran into Paul on the way back.He told me you two were going.

 

Omega: On the way back?

 

Alpha: From the clock.I can't believe no one ever tried to fix it.

 

Omega: You wouldn't ...

 

Alpha: That clock will ring ten, twice today.And every after, also.

 

Omega: But why?

 

Alpha: Y is a crooked letter that can't be made straight.At some point explanations dry up, or stop mattering.I believe you told me that once, years ago.

 

Paul: Why ye talking so much?Letís put him in death, already.

 

Alpha: Paul.Do you believe in me?

 

Paul: Right.Hold up, Paul. After.

 

Paul suddenly screams in Omegaís face.Alpha quickly pulls him away from Omega.

 

Paul: Heíll put ye there after.

 

Alpha: Paul, calm down.He canít stop me - anymore.Besides, I want him to see this.I want him to see what heís wrought.

 

The Five, Calvin, and Ariel enter talking amongst themselves.They sit as Cy confers with Alpha.

 

Lilith: (to Omega) Letís go.Please.

 

Omega: I canít.

 

Cy: Everybody, hold up. (any chatter stops) Appears most of ye ken why we called ye here, now.

 

Calvin: And not spoil the surprise for the rest of us.

 

Ariel: Hold up, ye fool.

 

Cy: Just listen.Listen good, everybody.

 

The clock begins to strike.Soon, Cy begins to lead the rest in counting, until it reaches ten.They wait in hushed silence as Alpha reaches into his bag.

 

Alpha: Ten. (he brings out the glowing sphere and holds it above his head)The Sun is among ye. (to Dreyer) Ye believe now?

 

Dreyer: (bows) Yes.Please ... Gean your -

 

Alpha: No apologies are needed.Rise, a forgiven man.

 

He rises to a kneeling position.Most of the others follow suit.Calvin is not among them.

 

Calvin: Hold up.What happens after?

 

Alpha: Excuse me?

 

Lilith: (weakly) Father, Ö

 

Calvin: Nonesuch but disrespect for ye, but this isnít what I kenned it would be.We kenned yeíd rig everysuch when ye came.Miracles and such.Have ye miracles that come not in bags?

 

Alpha: Yeíll see what I can do - once Iíve the support of the entire community -

 

Cy: Yeíve that when Edward brings they here.

 

Alpha: Iíve plans.Naturally, thereís a lot of work involved, but that's to be expected.For as my father has said, I will help those who are willing to help theyselves.

 

Calvin: Plans.Can ye list they?

 

Ariel: Questions, is it?I shouldíve kenned.Yeíve always questions, nonesuch but soft doubt.Ye blinder than Edward.Yeíve truth before ye, and ye question it, even into death.

 

Calvin: Ye liked my questions, before.When I whispered they in your ear.

 

Cy: If yeíve problems, ye two Ė

 

Calvin: Ye ainít the Sun.Ye a man.

 

In the consternation that follows, Lilith screams and runs offstage.

 

Omega: Lilith, wait!Alpha, stop this!

 

Alpha: Ye certain of that?

 

Calvin: Ye went to school, and to countries as a boy.Real countries, real as here.

 

Alpha: Parables.They were merely stories to help ye ken my nature.For as my father says -

 

Calvin: Your father! (beat) I ken it now.Your father says much.Your fatherís mansion has many houses, right?

 

Alpha: Where did ye hear that?

 

Calvin: Ye see?He's not just a wrong Sun, he's a copy!Omega told me of that phrase.

 

Alpha quickly puts away the sphere.

 

Alpha: IĎve not the stomach for heresy.

 

Finn: Wait!Weíll not be swayed by Ė

 

Alpha: No, it's none of yours.This man has been tainted by the demon.He said as much just now.

 

Calvin: The demon?Omega?That's broken. (looks around) Right?

 

Ariel: (backing away from him) Stay away from me.

 

The Five and Paul form a ring around him.

 

Cy: What must we do?

 

Alpha: There is an impurity in your community.It must be purged.

 

Ariel: Yes ... he must be purged.

 

Calvin: Yeíll not ...

 

Led by Paul, the Five converge on Calvin.They lay hold of him.Omega tries to interfere, but is taken himself.Alpha picks up a head-sized rock from the ground.

 

Alpha: (holding up rock in direction of the big rock) Purge him with stone against stone.

 

The men begin to take him to the upstage side of the big rock.

 

Calvin: Let me go!

 

Omega: Alpha!

 

Ariel: Alpha.Let me do the purge.It is my shame more than theirs.

 

Alpha: (gives her the rock) As ye wish.

 

Omega: Alpha, you can't do this!

 

Alpha: I'm not, as ye can see.

 

Calvin: Let go of me, ye sons of reints!

 

Ariel stands in front of Calvin, and raises the rock above her head, and hesitates.

 

Cy: Do it, Ariel!He must be purged!

 

Calvin: Ariel ... please ken -

 

Ariel: It's too much after.Ye must be purged.

 

She starts bludgeoning him (out of sight of the audience).

 

Omega: No!

 

She continues, implacably. Omega sags, the strength going out of his limbs.After a few pounds of the rock, Alpha puts a hand on Arielís shoulder, and she stops, dropping the rock.

 

Alpha: Ye ken where to find a heavy hammer, and a large spike?

 

Ariel: Yes.

 

Alpha: Get they.Quickly

 

She runs off.

 

Alpha: Yeíve done well.The sun will return today, but first, the demon must be contained.(to Paul and the Five) Set him against the rock, and lay his right arm on the ground.

 

They do so.

 

Omega: Alpha ... what are you going to do to me?

 

Alpha: Through the wrists, was it?

 

Omega stares at him for a moment before realization dawns.

 

Omega: No.Not that.

 

Alpha: (to Paul and Five) Hold him down tight.

 

Omega: (increasingly panicked) No ... please, Alpha ... Alpha, not that.Please don't do this, Alpha ... anything -

 

Alpha: The time for that has passed.

 

Omega: (yelling) Did Epsilon and Iota beg for mercy, too?

 

Alpha recoils, then slaps Omega.Ariel comes in with the hammer and spike.Alpha takes the hammer from her.

 

Alpha: Hold the nail above his wrist.Hold it tightly.

 

Alpha stands downstage of Omega's wrist, and readies himself for the swing.

 

Omega: (weakly) No ... don't.

 

As Alpha swings, the lights go down, and we hear Omega scream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene 2: Half a league onward.

 

Same location.Much later in the day.Omega sits alone, against the rock, his wrist pinioned to the ground and covered in blood.He cries out hoarsely.

 

Omega: Water!Somebody ... please ... give me some water. (beat; to himself) No, it's no use.There's no room in his catechism for mercy.There's only room for the dead.There are many houses in his father's mansion and all of them are crammed with the halls of the dead. (laughs) Jesus, thatís fucked up.Jesus ... (looks up) I don't want to die here ... if it be in thy will.And all will be well and all will be well and all manner of thing will be well.

 

Lilith enters with a bottle, and kneels by him.

 

Omega: Who's there?

 

Lilith: It matters not.Just drink.

 

She opens the bottle and gives him a drink.

 

Omega: You're still alive.

 

Lilith: I hid most of the day.Except ... before ... I buried my father.

 

Omega: I don't remember that.

 

Lilith: Ye still as death.

 

Omega: Nope.Not yet.But I'm relatively sure I've got a fever, so I think the wound's infected.Between that and the blood loss, I've got a feeling I won't live to see the morning.

 

Lilith: Ye canít say as much Ė

 

Omega: (laughs) So much for nosebleeds that kill you, and Italian poetry, and Ö and Greek letters. (beat) Elise?Whatíre you doing here?

 

Lilith: What?

 

Omega: Go home.Momís worried about you.No, she didnít send me.

 

Lilith: Omega, hear what ye speaking.Ye sound as Ė

 

Omega: And donít give me that overprotective older brother bullshit.

 

Lilith: (panicked) Thatís not me!Thatís not me, stop speaking as much!Ye not my brother Ö ye my love Ö fuck.

 

Omega tries to embrace her with his left arm.She jerks away.

 

Lilith: Touch me not!

 

Omega: Lilith, I know, I know.I just had one of my moments back there, Iím better now.

 

Lilith: But I deserve it not.All this is my fault.

 

Omega: Surely you're exaggerating somewhat, my dear.I do believe we can place just a wee bit of culpability on Alpha's head.

 

Lilith: Don't ye ken?I saw this in his head as it was forming.I saw, and what answer did I rig?I sang a song to forget it.I'm a coward.

 

Omega: So what?I'm a coward too.

 

Lilith: Ye tried to stop him.

 

Omega: Yeah.After how many years?How long did I go on pretending Epsilon and Iota died in accidents, that Alpha wasnít dangerous?And whatís that make me?But so what?We just do better next time.

 

Lilith: Next time?Pierce about, ye see a next time?Ye sit there going Ö Alpha won.

 

Omega: Admittedly, I can't do much.But you ... I can just see it in my mindís eye: six years ago, the Sun appears to you, and at the same time, Alpha's telling us about his idea to always go forward.

 

Lilith: I ken.Iíve his gift to pierce into minds, and Iíve wasted it.

 

Omega: Not just that.

 

Lilith: What else is left?

 

Omega starts coughing.Lilith quickly gets the bottle and gives him another drink.

 

Lilith: Whichever ye ken, donít speak it.If ye not speak it, I can stay with ye through to the after.As ye promised I could.

 

Omega breathes deeply, then begins to speak softly.

 

Omega: ďHalf a league, half a league / Half a league onward, / All in the valley of Death / Rode the six hundred. / ĎForward the Light Brigade! / Charge for the guns!í he said: / Into the valley of Death / Rode the six hundred.Ē (beat) It's from a poem.

 

Lilith: What of?

 

Omega: Bravery, I guess.It sounds easy for someone else to be brave, doesnít it?Thatís what I always thought.The Sun just gives us the tools.Itís up to us to use them, even if we donít understand.

 

Lilith: And if we not, heíd understand, right?As he understands our cowardice now.

 

Omega: Thatís why heís the Sun.

 

Lilith: Then Iíll to the creek, and pray to him.Maybe he kens what Iím to do.Would ye pray to him also?No, speak nonesuch.If ye speak, Iíll stay.But ask him if yeíve a tool left to use, also even if itís nonesuch more than enough life to see me until the end of the day.

 

She kisses him and leaves.

 

Omega: ďWhen can their glory fade? / O the wild charge they made! / All the world wondered. / Honor the charge they made, / Honor the Light Brigade, / Noble six hundred.Ē

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene 3: Here comes the Sun.

 

Same location.Later.The tent is now empty.Alpha takes it down as Omega lies against the rock, unmoving.Alphaís pack leans on the rock next to Omega.

 

Alpha: Iíll bet youíre still wondering about that light of mine.To tell you the truth, I donít know what it is myself.It belonged to my father before he died.It looks just like a light, doesnít it?But if so, why did he guard it so jealously, and why did I want it so passionately?Did we know where it would go and what it would do there?I still wonder. (beat) I remember a few years ago, we debated whether the existence of God implies predestination.Since youíre still around, letís have one last contest: does predestination imply the existence of God?I submit: words on the wind.Youíll see I can spin them just as well as any other prophet.Feel free to make a reply at any time.

 

Cy and Ariel enter, the formerís arm around the latterís shoulders.Paul ambles about behind them, and stops to stare at Omega.

 

Cy: Ye must be strong.

 

Ariel: I ken as much.

 

Cy: Thereís call for much sacrifice from here on.

 

Alpha retrieves his pack and brings Paul away from Omega.

 

Alpha: Thereís no need for such.The demon has been contained.Soon after, heíll be in death.

 

Alpha drops him off with Ariel and draws Cy aside to confer.As they do so, the remainder of the Five wander in and sit in anticipation.

 

Alpha: They prepared?

 

Cy: For anysuch.

 

Alpha: And Lilith?

 

Cy: Not seen since her father went in death.

 

Alpha: She came back here.

 

Cy: How ye ken?

 

Alpha: It matters none.But if she returns, regard her not.Iíll deal with her, if needed.

 

Cy: As ye say. (to gathering) Hold up, everybody.Em, as ye can see, heís still here.Weíve his forgiveness.

 

Finn: And the light?

 

Alpha: The light will return at the appointed time.Nonesuch now can stop ye from receiving your promised rewards.

 

Lilith enters.

 

Lilith: When did ye promise them death?

 

She starts to move in closer, but hesitates.

 

Alpha: Do go on.

 

Lilith: Omega.

 

Omega: Iím not dead yet.

 

Paul: Ye not speak to her, ye Ė

 

Alpha: (firm) Paul.If this is of your father, I regret.

 

Lilith: Ye regret his bravery, and nonesuch else.Donít tell me wrong.

 

Alpha: Well, what should I say?

 

Lilith: Ye say nonesuch.Yeíve said too much since ye came here.

 

Alpha: What can ye speak in my place?

 

Lilith: I could say I never saw ye before in my life, and maybe such would be enough.

 

Paul: What?But Ö ye did, ye did.By the creek.

 

Lilith: But Iíll not.

 

Paul: Ye ken not what ye say, stop speaking Ė

 

Lilith: Instead, I'll say the real reason why ye not the Sun.

 

Paul: Itís not ye, itís the lies of the demon in ye, stop!

 

Alpha: And what, pray tell, is that?

 

Lilith: Ye everysuch he is not.Where he would life, ye would death; he forgiveness, ye madness.Especially madness.It's ye best ally. (to the rest) Pierce at ye, everyone!If ye can, see through the eyes of who ye were before!And if ye can, hear your shame. (beat) And if ye not believe me, whatís that make me?A heretic.So ye must ask, which one of ye?Which one of ye will put this heretical reint in death?! (goes to Finn) Finn?Would ye do as much?

 

Finn: I ken not Ö

 

Alpha: (sharp) That's enough.It's clear sheís been corrupted also.

 

Paul: No she not!Just confused.

 

Alpha: Do ye dare contradict me, Paul?She must be purged.

 

Ariel: I'll do it.

 

Alpha: No.It must be Paul.

 

Paul faces Lilith.

 

Lilith: Would ye do as much for him?

 

Paul hesitates.

 

Paul: Please squirm not.

 

He grabs Lilith's neck with both hands. Surprised, she stumbles back and falls.Paul goes down with her, and leans over as he strangles her.

 

Omega: No!

 

Paul: It's over soon after, so - just - please Ė squirm - not.

 

Lilith raises her hands, up and out, her arms forming a V.The sound of her song comes from nowhere.

 

Paul: Stop squirming! (beat) I said stop squirming.I told ye I told ye I always told ye ...

 

The song fades out, and Lilith's hands drop, but Paul continues to strangle her.

 

Paul: I said stop squirming!

 

Alpha: That's enough.

 

Alpha puts a hand on Paul's shoulder.Paul lets go of Lilith.

 

Alpha: Ye've done well, Paul. (goes back to the pack)It's almost time.Let us pray.

 

The Five and Ariel turn their attention to Alpha, so they donít notice Paul turn to Omega.

 

Paul: (dull) What knowledge of the Sun ye bring?

 

Omega: (almost dead) Just this: love.

 

Paul pulls the spike out of Omegaís wrist and the ground.Omega falls over, dead.

 

Paul: Love.Maybe.After.

 

Alpha: Everyone: here comes the Sun.

 

Alpha takes the sphere out of the pack and holds it above his head, as the clock begins to chime ten.With a cry, Paul charges at Alpha and stabs him with the spike.Alpha falls over, dropping the sphere, and the rest fall on them, until Paul finds the sphere.He holds it above his head, and Ariel and the Five look up at it, and all extend a hand toward it.Then, Paul smashes it on the ground; at the moment it would reach the ground, the lights go out.There is the sound of glass breaking, followed by the screams of Ariel and the Five, underscored by the chiming of the clock.

 

 

 

 

 

The End