Act 2, Scene 4: Ssssssssnake


Suberi: “Sundyata, my King! May I come in?”

Sundyata: “Yes, what is it, Suberi?”

Suberi: “The stranger we saved from the hyenas last night … he's gone without a trace. The sentries report that he left through the south gate around noon and hasn't returned yet.”

Sundyata: “Well, good news. One weakling less clinging on our coat-tails.”

Suberi: “Are you serious? Sometimes your cynicism is outright scary.”

Sundyata: “*LAUGHS* See, Suberi, and that's precisely why I am the King, and you are not. Your heart is weak, and you worry too much about people who don't matter.”

Suberi: “I wish I knew why you're so hard on Lionel. At no point has he ever been any kind of threat to you.”

Sundyata (dismissive): “Certainly not to me. But if someone stupid enough to get caught by the same hyenas twice in a row isn't a threat to society, then I don't know.”

Suberi (suspicious): “Twice? Do you know something I don't know, Sundyata?”

Sundyata (self confident): “It's the only possibility. A single lion doesn't stand a chance out there at night. I'll bet one of my lionesses that someone's going to find his gnawed-off limbs somewhere out there tomorrow.”

Suberi (still suspicious): “Would you give me permission to go and check?”

Sundyata: “Of course not. I need you here, Suberi. We're at war now.”

Suberi (annoyed): “War - that's all you care about nowadays, isn't it? Don't let your power get to your head, Sundyata.”

Sundyata: “You should know better than challenging me, Suberi.”

Suberi (serious): “If you go on like this, life will have enough challenges in store for you by itself. I'm taking my vow of obedience very seriously, but if you don't want to hear my opinion, maybe it's time to relieve me from my duties as your personal advisor. But that decision is up to you. Good night, my King.”


%HND% Curtain - open

%LIG% Lights on

%AMB% AMB-11 Dry Desert

%MUS% 0801 - Funny Meerkat Music

%ACT% Meerkats with hard hats and construction tools are merrily running around.

%ACT% A foreman meerkat with a differently coloured hat and an improvised megaphone is shouting instructions while whizzing about.

%SND% 0801 - Construction Site Sounds

Foreman: “Hurry up! Hurry up! We must finish the device today!”

%SND% 0802 - (o'wolf) Random Meerkat 1: “We're doing our very best, Sir!”

Foreman: “Well, you better had! Keep going, keep going!”

%ACT% Foreman runs around

Foreman: “What the hell do you think you're doing there? Look at the plans! You're doing it all wrong!”

%SND% 0803 - (Pinky) Random Meerkat 2: “I'm so sorry! I'm going to fix it right away, I promise!”

Foreman: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions! Don't screw it up another time, okay?”

%ACT% Foreman runs around

Foreman: “Hey, Guards! Don't fall asleep! I don't want any nasty surprises this time!”

%SND% 0804 - (Eisfuchs) (Pan) Guards: “Sir, yes Sir! So far we haven't seen any enemies approaching, Sir!”

Foreman: “Very good, very good …”

%ACT% Foreman runs around

Foreman: “Hey you! What's the progress on the pressurized tunnel outlets?”

%SND% 0805 - (Tigerseye): “We're just testing a new technology that will allow us to dig twice as fast as usual! Gentlemen? START THE COMPRESSOR!”

%ACT% Four meerkats go up and down in four consecutive tunnel exits like pistons in a motor, accompanied by the sound of an air compressor.

%SND% 0806 - Compressor

%ACT% A fifth meerkat is holding a large pneumatic drill, that starts vibrating heavily.

%SND% 0806 - Sound of a pneumatic drill

%SND% 0806 - (Fairlight) Driller (shaking): “wooo-o-o-o-o-o-o-a-a-a-a-a-a-i-i-i-i-i-i!! IT WOOOOORKS! IT WOOOORKS! IT MMMmmm.m.m…”

%ACT% Driller sinks down into the ground.

%SND% 0806 - (Group) Meerkats cheering and applauding

%SND% 0801 STOP

%ACT% Everyone cheers and applaudes.


%SND% 0806 - (Group) Meerkats screaming, fleeing

%ACT% Everyone panics, and jumps into the nearest hole

%ACT% Lori comes in from the left, exhausted, limping, dehydrated.

Lori (exhausted): “Hello! Hello? Where is everyone!”

%ACT% Lori coughs up a little cloud of dust.

Lori: “Oh man. I'm so thirsty that I'm beginning to hallucinate. I could swear I've seen hundreds of little people running around all over the place just a few seconds ago.”

%ACT% looks down into one of the tunnels, and shouts into the opening.

Lori (reverberating): “Helloooo! Is anybody home? I just need some water! I won't hurt anyone! I promise! Heeeelllooo?”

%ACT% Lori listens but gets no answer.

%ACT% The oil barrel snores

%ACT% Lori perks her ears, and homes in on the oil barrel.

Lori: “Hello, is anybody in there?”

%ACT% Lori knocks against the oil barrel.

%SND% 0807 - Metallic Knocking

Barrel: “Aaaaaaaaah!”

%SND% 0808 - Cartoon Running

%ACT% The oil barrel starts running away from lori.

Lori: “Hey! Stop! Don't run away!”

%ACT% Lori runs after the barrel and holds on to it.

%ACT% The barrel swings around with Lori still attached, and runs away to the other side.

Lori: “Woaaaaaah!”

%ACT% Lori loses hold on the barrel.

%ACT% The barrel leaps forward, crashing into the tree trunk.

%SND% 0808 STOP
%SND% 0809 - Twang

%ACT% The barrel wobbles cartoon-like

%SND% 0809 - Wobble

%ACT% The barrel falls off stage backwards, revealing Paki

%SND% 0809 - Ka-Römpel!

%ACT% Paki wobbles like the barrel did before.

Paki: “p-p-p-p-p-p-lease d-d-d-d-on't eat m-m-m-m-me!”

Lori: “Nononono, don't worry, I'm not going to eat you!”

%ACT% Paki looks left and right

Paki: “You're not? Really? Are you sure? Who are you?”

Lori: “Eh … My name is Lori.”

Paki: “My name is Paki! If you're not here to eat me … what are you doing here? Haven't seen a critter like you before … you smell dangerous!”

Lori: “If you had been through what I've been through, you'd smell just as dangerous. But anyways, I'm in desperate need of some water, and I was hoping maybe you could help me find some.”

Paki: “Water? Of course we have water - deep down in our tunnnels!”

Lori: “Really? That's great! Could you please go and get me some?”

Paki: “I'm sorry … but … that's not possible.”

Lori: “Oh pleeeeaaase! Is that how you thank me for not eating you?”

Paki: “I can't just go down there and give water to strangers. Hell no! Just THINKING of it would get me into DEEP TROUBLE! It doesn't matter how grateful *I* am. This is a colony. We have rules. If you want some of our most precious resource, you'll have to win the gratuitiy of a few more meerkats than just me.”

Lori: “*sigh* Somehow I knew it wasn't going to be THAT easy. But you sound like you already have something specific in mind. So I'll bite. What do you want me to do?”

Paki: “Ah! I see, you're used to talking business! Very nice. Just a second … ”

%ACT% Paki produces a tape measure and starts measuring Lori in all directions.

%ACT% Some meerkats are poking their noses out of their holes curiously to see what is going on outside.

Paki: “Ahaaa! Very good! Excellent! Just what I need …”

Lori: “What the hell are you doing?”

Paki: “Just taking a few measurements to make sure you'll fit in!”

Lori: “Fit in where?”

Paki: “You know … for a couple of months, our colony has been under threat from the most vicious enemy a meerkat can have! NYOKA!”

%SND% 0810 - DRAMA, BABY! (Version 1)

%SND% 0811 - (Group) Meerkats gasp in horror

%ACT% The meerkats gasp, and draw back into their holes!

%ACT% Meerkats immediately begin to peek out curiously again!

Lori: “Who is Nyoka? Or rather … WHAT is Nyoka?”

Paki (dramatic): “She's the biggest, baddest, vilest creature on earth: A giant sssssSSSSSSNAKE!”

%SND% 0811 - DRAMA, BABY! (Version 2)

%ACT% The meerkats gasp, and draw back into their holes!

%SND% 0811 - (Group) Meerkats gasp in horror

Lori: “I don't like the way this conversation is going.”

Paki: “We're Meerkats, we're peaceful creatures, we don't fight. If something evil comes along, our guards scream alarm, and everyone scurries down into the tunnels, where they are safe. Except for … snakes! They'll sneak, creep and slither after us into our homes, and … and … OH MY GOD!”

%ACT% Meerkats slowly begin to peek out curiously again!

Lori: “I totally understand how that is really bad, and I'm really sorry for you guys but … where do I come in?”

Paki: “Well, as I just told you, fighting is not really an option. At the sight of a snake our knees go weak, and all we can do is stare into their hypnotic eyes and await our doom!”

Paki: “But because of ME, this is now going to change! I have designed this!”

%ACT% Paki pulls on a cord, and a rolled-up blueprint hanging from the tree unrolls.

%SND% 0812 - Unroll Paper

Paki: “The automatic snake deflection system - ASDS 3000! We're just about to add the finishing touches! See, the snake comes in here, and will be detected by the rectabular excrusion bracket, triggering the volumetric irrigation pistons which in turn are connected to these antisymmetric revolving connection bolts, which then will …”

Lori: “Excuse me for interrupting, but the more you explain it, ??? the more it seems that dying of thirst wouldn't be so bad in comparison after all. So I suggest you skip to the important part before I change my mind.”

Paki: “Okay. The device is almost ready. The only thing missing is … live bait.”

Lori: “WHAT???”

%SND% 0813 - DRAMA, BABY! (Version 3)

%ACT% This time, the meerkats stay :)

Paki: “Yeah. Snakes will only react to live bait. And I haven't been able to find any volunteers yet. And you look tasty, fresh, and sufficiently desperate. And, although we haven't been able to test this machine yet, my calculations show that your chances of survival are almost 51% … opposed to the chances of dying of thirst, which are 100%. I'd say its a great deal.”

Lori: “I hate you. ”

Paki: “And if you survive, you'll be a hero!”

Lori: “I still hate you.”

Paki: “Do we have a deal then?”

Lori: “Let's go.”

Paki: “That's the spirit!”

%ACT% Paki whistles

%SND% 0814 - Paki Whistles!

%MUS% 0814 - Construction Montage

Paki: “EVERYONE! We have a volunteer! Let's put everything into place, and get this machine running!”

%ACT% Meerkats come streaming from their holes, putting some last missing parts onto the machine.

% SND% 0814 - Construction Site Noises

%SND% 0814 - (Group) Meerkats talking to each other, working

%ACT% Meerkats tie Lori into a neat package, hanging her from the tree as live bait.

%ACT% Meerkats disappear into their holes.

%SND% 0814 STOP

Paki: “All right. We're all set. And don't worry. Everything will be fine. I've bought myself a PhD in engineering on the internet! Take care!”

%ACT% Paki runs, jumps and dives head-firs into the hole.

%SND% 0815 - Jump & Run

%ACT% The snake appears, slithering towards lori.

%MUS% 0816 - Suspense + Slithering Snake (Snake humming)

%ACT% Lori whimpers

%ACT% The notices something, looks around, sees lori, and sniffs at her

%SND% 0817 - HUH? OH! *Sniffsniff* OHO! NOM!

%ACT% The snake opens her mouth

%SND% 0818 - Open Maaaw

%ACT% The snake starts to swallow lori as a whole.

%ACT% Lori whimpers!

%SND% 0819 - Nomnomnom

%ACT% The machine triggers, pulling on the rope, and since the rope is tied to lori, pulling the entire snake into the machine.

%MUS% 0816 STOP
%SND% 0820 - Machine Sounds + Surprised Snake?

%ACT% The snake gets pulled through a rube-goldberg-like contraption, getting dragged around poles, in- and out of holes, across pulleys and things falling on top of her.

%ACT% In the end, the snake gets pulled out of a meerkat tunnel opening, but her tail seems to be stuck.

%SND% 0820 STOP
%SND% 0821 - Fump - Streeeeetch

%ACT% Lori gets pulled out of the snake's mouth, ending up somewhere on the floor.

%SND% 0821 - Splort!

Lori: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah”!

%ACT% The snake is terrified, and tries to escape.

%ACT% Paki pokes his head out of his hole


%ACT% The meerkats do the four-piston motor thing again, going up and down in their holes

%SND% 0822 - Pumping Noise.

%ACT% The snake gets blown up like a balloon.

%SND% 0822 - Terrified Snake

%ACT% The snake shoots out of its hole, off stage!

%SND% 0822 STOP
%SND% 0823 - Pooof! PFPFPFPF! (Snake goes AAAAargh!)

%ACT% Everyone come out of their holes and applaud!

%SND% 0823 - (Group) Meerkats cheer and applaud!
%MUS% 0823 - Victory!

Paki: “We did it! We did it! Thank you, Lori, Thank you!”

%ACT% The meerkats untie Lori, and throw her up in the air!

%ACT% One meerkat carries a big water bottle.

Paki: “Hip hip!”

%SND% 0824 - (Group) Meerkats: “Hooray!”

Paki: “Hip hip!”

%SND% 0824 - (Group) Meerkats: “Hooray!”

Paki: “Hip hip!”

%SND% 0824 - (Group) Meerkats: “Hooray!”

%SND% 0825 - (Group) Meerkats cheer and applaud!

%ACT% More cheering and celebrating

%ACT% The meerkat hands the water bottle to lori.

%ACT% Lori downs the bottle.

%SND% 0826 - Glug glug glug.

Lori: “*GULP* *GULP* *GULP* *GULP* *GULP*”

%ACT% Lori BURPS monumentally.

%SND% 0827 - MEGA-BURP

%SND% 0827 - (Group) Meerkats screaming, fleeing

%ACT% All meerkats except Paki scurry into their holes.

%ACT% Lori looks left and right.

Lori: “Ooops!”

Paki: “Ah, don't worry. It's in their DNA. Anyway, thank you very much for helping us! Where are you going now, if you don't mind me asking?”

Lori (at a loss): “I wish I knew. *sigh* I wish I knew.”

Paki: “Uh-Oh. That doesn’t sound good. But I’m an engineer. I know how to solve problems. Is there anything I can do to help?”

Lori: “I got some innocent people into deep trouble. And now I have no idea what to do. Should I get out of here before I make things even worse? Or should I stay and make up for my mistakes?”

Paki: “Well, you know, life is like digging tunnels. No matter how careful you are, some day you are going to hit something unexpected. If it's a rock, you can safely turn around and call it a day. But if it's an underground stream however, running away means leaving everyone else to drown. So wich kind of obstacle is in YOUR way right now?”

Lori: “An underground stream. Definitely an underground stream. Of lava. With sharks in it. And lasers on their frigging foreheads.”

%LIG% Lights out

%MUS% 0828 - Ending Music

%HND% Curtain - Close