Act 2, Scene 4: Until Their Glorious Return

MaxwellBlu the Bold


%ACT% Everybody Mumbles

%ACT% Faraday knocks on the table with a sort of gavel to get everyone's attention.

Faraday: "Attention please! The council of the five is now in session! As always, we being with the roll call. Great Archimendrite Hawking IV?"

Hawking: "Present!"

Faraday: "Father Hieromonk Leibniz III?"

Leibniz: "Good afternoon, I'm here!"

Faraday: "Archpriest Nightingale XVI?"

Nightingale: "Present!"

Faraday: "Archpriest Maxwell X?"

%ACT% a brief pause

Faraday (louder): "Archpriest Maxwell!"

Maxwell: "Oh! Yes! I'm here, thank you!"

Faraday: "Archpriest Kepler V."

Kepler: "Present."

Faraday: "We have full attendance, and that means the council of five is now officially in session. Today's meeting will be a closed session, and the written records shall remain classified due to the sensitive matter to be discussed. I would now like to turn this conference over to Great Archimendrite Hawking. Please go ahead."

Hawking: "Thank you, Secretary Faraday. For many years, I've been fighting an internal struggle that caused me many sleepless nights. A struggle between my conscience and my spiritual obedience. But I can no longer remain silent, because I fear for the lives of our people and the coming generations that our Masters have lovingly entrusted to us."

Everyone except Maxwell: "UNTIL THEIR GLORIOUS RETURN!"

Maxwell: ".. their glorious return."

Hawking: "And that brings me to the main subject: It is time to consider what to do if they do not?"

Kepler: "If who doesn't do what?"

Hawking: "If our Masters do not return."

Nightingale: "Are you insane? THAT'S HERESY!"


Hawking: "I'm not questioning our Masters intentions at all, dear Leibniz. But we can't live on intentions alone. The people need food. They need water. They need air to breathe. And shelter from the cold. No matter what our Masters intended, we are facing difficult times. Our lives depend on resources that are finite. Out of five hydroponic farms, only two are left functioning and nobody knows why. The blackouts are getting longer and longer. And the steam pipes are rusting faster than we can plug the holes."

Leibniz: "Our Masters are testing our faith. And in every test, our Masters are our solid rock, foundation, lovers, saviors, abundant life, our eternal hope, our ready help and our way through!"


Maxwell: "What?!"

Hawking: "Or maybe, they are testing not our faith, but our strength. Our intelligence. Our ability to survive. We are on a path to extinction, that is a fact, and I don't see how we could fulfill our Masters' vision if we're all dead."

Leibniz: "So we have to be even more economical."

Hawking: "But how though? Allow only half a baby per family and hope they'll eat less with only one arm and one leg?"

Kepler: "It's the way of the world!"

Nightingale: "Yeah, seriously, what are we supposed to do?"

Hawking: "We have to expand our reach beyond Polaris."

Nightingale: "Hah! Nonsense. There is no 'beyond Polaris'. There is only The Great White."

Hawking: "Of course there is! Why would our Masters have left if there wasn't another place to go?"

Nightingale: "Maybe they can walk between worlds?"

Hawking: "Maybe. But they don't have to. And neither do we. Look at this."

%SND% A heavy object being placed on the table

Maxwell: "Uhm ... eh ..."

Leibniz: "What's that? A child's toy?"

Nightingale: "Yeah, looks like a ball to me."

Kepler: "Or maybe a humming top."

Hawking: "This ... is ... the world."

Kepler: "Hawking, that's literally the dumbest thing I've ever heard you say."

Leibniz: "Are you sure you're all right?"

Hawking: "This thing has been sitting in my office for as long as I can remember, and I've always been wondering if it's just that - a toy - or if it has a deeper meaning. Our Masters didn't leave us a lot of literature beyond the Holy Tome of Prophecy and Maintenance, but it does exist, and I've been studying it diligently for years."

Nightingale: "And let me guess, out of all the scholars who have attempted to make sense of it, you're the first one who cracked the case!"

Hawking: "Well, that depends on what you think 'the case' actually is, but I now know that this 'ball' is called a 'globe'. And it is nothing less than the map of the entire world. Polaris is just a tiny speck. Right ... up here."

Nightingale: "Okay, let's assume you've not completely lost your mind ... what use is that knowledge to anybody?"

Kepler: "Yeah knowing 'the world's a ball' is about as useful as 'the moon is made of cheese', even if it were true."

Hawking: "Our society is built on hope. Hope for the return of our saviors. But that hope is fading away, just like we are slowly fading away. Survival is our only ambition. But this could be our new hope. Our new dream."

Leibniz: "Or our demise. What are you going to do? Deactivate the Shepherd's Reins and release everyone into The Great White? With no belief to guide them, no certainty of what their future might hold? They have all that right now. They don't deserve to get all that taken away from them for a vague chance that there MIGHT be some kind of promised land out there that we don't really know anything about except that someone once painted it on a turning sphere in ancient times."

Kepler: "I agree. This would be madness. A betrayal of all our beliefs and the values we hold dear. This theory is poison for the mind."

Hawking: "It's not a theory. It's knowledge of a fact."

Maxwell: "Eh? What? Who's sealing a pact?"

Kepler: "Then this knowledge is poison, and we must not let it spread and tear apart the foundation of our community."

Hawking: "I staunchly disagree with this assertion!"

Nightingale: "The logic of your argument is tempting."

Maxwell: "But it's also very confusing."

Leibniz: "Secretary Faraday, I propose a vote."

Faraday: "All right. If you agree with Great Archimendrite Hawking's proposition to further pursue the path of, shall we call it, globalization of our community, then say AYE. If you agree with Kepler's proposition to keep this theory under wraps and never talk about it again, then say NAY!"

Hawking: "AYE!"

Leibniz: "NAY!"

Kepler: "NAY!"

Nightingale: "NAY!"

Maxwell: "WHAT?"

Faraday: "One aye, three nays, one abstention. That means Hawking's motion is hereby dismissed."

Hawking (sighs deeply): "Okay. So I shall practice and preach our masters holy scripture as I've always done. But it will be hard. Very hard. And I hope that one day, you'll understand how wrong you were."