PPC: The Playscript

PPC, an Playescripte inne nine and an halfe scenes. Starringe three agentes, onne psychoe, twoe floweres, an Mini-Balroge and diuerse alarums. Minutes of funne! Withoute Onee Thousande Oliphaunts!

Designed for a cast of FOUR, doubling up on parts. Cast list:
Person One: Agent Alex Orange
Person Two: Agent Sam Apple
Person Three: The Sunflower Official, Agent Lanel Cadbury, A Mini-Balrog
Person Four: The Daisy, Agent Mortic Wentway

All of these parts may be played by persons of any gender, species or universe, excepting a Hooloovoo. It’s very difficult to design costumes for superintelligent shades of the colour blue.

And now...


Scene I: The SO's Office

[Enter Alex and Sam SR. Note: SR = Stage Right, the right hand side as seen looking out from the back of the stage. To the audience, it appears left. SL = Stage Left. The SO is standing behind a desk to SL]
Alex: I hate these corridors
Sam: Oh, quit moaning. We're here now.
Alex: Yes, but all the grey is so confusing –
SO: If you're coming in, come in.
[Sam and Alex step into the office in unison, and stand before the desk. For the next exchange, the SO moves to face whichever agent is speaking]
Sam: We don't like our department any more.
Alex: We don't get enough money...
Sam: ... and we have to face personal danger...
Alex: ... which isn't fun any more.
Sam: So we'd like to move...
Alex: ... to the Department of Internal Affairs.
Sam: We think we'd do really well there...
Alex: ... plus we'd get paid more.
Sam: Shh! Don't tell it that!
Alex: Uh... plus we'd stop pestering you.
Alex & Sam: [In unison] Pleeeeeeease?
SO: You want to join the DIA?
[They nod]
SO: You will, of course, have to talk to the Tiger Lily about this. However, we have a way for you to test your skills. An Assassin, Agent Lanel Cadbury, is having a psychotic episode. Your task is to apprehend your fellow agent with minimal disruption of Headquarters activity. Dismissed.
[Alex and Sam nod and walk back to SR. SO exits SL, with desk]
Alex: Well, that was... odd.
Sam: It was. But we have a task to do, remember?
Alex: Of course I do. So, where do we start?
Sam: Well, we need to find out what happened to Agent Cadbury...
Alex: Do they still have that sculpture in the Lobby? The one with all the agents and response centres?
Sam: Good idea! Let's go!
[Runs off SL. After a few seconds, runs back on to Alex, who hasn't moved]
Sam: ... it's this way, isn't it?
Alex: Yup.
[Alex and Sam exit SR]

End Scene I

Scene II: A Corridor

[Generic grey background. A daisy is standing at the back, SL. Enter Alex and Sam SR]
Alex: Oh, this is hopeless.
[Alex stops and sits down at the from of centre stage, joined after a few moments by Sam]
Sam: It's just because you're paying too much attention, you know.
Alex: No it isn't! We don't even know if we're on the right floor! Why couldn't there have been someone in the Lobby to help us?
Sam: I expect they're all busy at something.
Alex: [Bitter] Oh, yes, of course. Anything rather than help us.
[Pause. Eventually, Sam looks over at Alex]
Sam: At least we found the RC number quickly enough.
Alex: Right, it only took us half an hour. But honestly, is ‘Agents Lanel Cadbury and Erena Lechenham, Response Centre Number 16186' really that useful to us?
Daisy: Three floors up from this one, second corridor on the right, third on the left, and on to the end.
[Both agents stand and turn to look at it]
Alex: And you would be?
Sam: Someone who just helped us, and is probably related to the Director of Personnel. [To the flower] Thank you, sir.
Daisy: Oh, you're perfectly welcome. It's not like I have anything better to do, and I do know the building better than most.
Alex: Then why not do a map?
Daisy: [Tinge of regret] I tried once, but when you find that both ends of a straight corridor end up in the same place, it rather puts you off.
[Silence – the agents don't know how to respond to this. After several seconds:]
Sam: Well, thank you again, sir. Goodbye.
[Exit Sam SL. After a few seconds, re-enters SL and walks across towards SR. As passing Alex...]
Sam: ... lifts are this way.
Alex: Yup.
[Exit Sam and Alex SR. Exit Daisy SL]

End Scene II

Scene III: A Different Corridor

[Enter Sam and Alex at a run SR. Stop at centre stage]
Sam: [Breathless] D'you think... we've run... far enough?
Alex: [Breathless] I can't... see her.
Sam: [Still breathless] Thank Eru... for that.
[Pause while the agents catch their breath]
Sam: What did we do, anyway? We only asked her where she thought her psycho partner might be. That's no reason to chase after anyone with a ‘Sue sword.
Alex: Beats me.
[Both agents seem genuinely bemused. Pause]
Sam: So, what do we do now?
Alex: We get comfortable.
Sam: [Stares at Alex] What? Are you mad?
Alex: Well, yes, we all are, otherwise we wouldn't be here. But that's not the point.
Sam: So what is the point?
Alex: [Sigh] Whenever we get comfortable back in our Response Centre, something happens. It stands to reason that the same applies here. It's the -
Alex & Sam: [In unison] Laws of Narrative Comedy.
Alex: So, relax.
[Both agents sit down. After about five seconds:]
Lanel: [Offstage] Hee hee hee! Burny!
[Enter Lanel at a run SR, with flamethrower. Runs straight across, trips over Alex, picks self up and runs of SL as Sam and Alex rise to their feet]
Sam: That was Cadbury! Quick, follow that rogue!
[Exit Sam and Alex at a run SL]

End Scene III

Scene IV-A: The First Corridor Again

[Daisy is on at the back, SL. Enter Lanel at a run SR. Runs to centre and stops]
Lanel: Flower!
Daisy: Er... yes, I am...
Lanel: BURN!
Daisy: No, please, I beg you...
Daisy: Arrrrrgh!

Scene IV-B: The Same Corridor

[Enter Sam and Alex at a run SR. Stop at centre as they see the Daisy. Its mask is now burned]
Sam: Oh, dear Eru... what happened?
Daisy: Agent... flamethrower...
Alex: [Grimly] Cadbury.
Sam: It's worse than we thought. We're not chasing an agent any more; we're hunting a monster with a flamethrower and a vendetta against vegetation.
Alex: Well, at least it makes tracking easier.
Sam: [Glares at Alex]
Alex: ... sorry.
Sam: [To Daisy] Which way did -
Alex: Forget that, we need to get to get this flower to Medical!
Daisy: Too... late... go... [Points to SL] That way...
Alex: I'm not letting you die. Sam, you chase our rogue, I'll portal down to Medical with our friend.
Sam: But -
Alex: GO!
[Exit Sam at a run SL. Alex pulls out a Remote Activator]
Alex: I know I shouldn't do this, but... it is an emergency. Hang on, sir.
[Alex points the RA off SL, and presses the button. Sound effect and/or blue lighting. Exit Alex SL, dragging Daisy]

End Scene IV

Scene V: Yet Another Corridor

[Enter Alex SL, weary. Move to centre front stage and sit, exhausted]
Alex: Those doctors. So arrogant. ‘Oh, no, Agent, you can't help. We'll handle it from here.' Not even any thanks – it's not like I had to help.
Daisy: [Offstage] Arrrrgh!
[On hearing this, Alex shudders]
Alex: But I did, didn't I? I know Sam thinks I'm a psycho – hells, I probably am, sometimes – but I couldn't just leave it to die. Not after it had helped us like that.
[Pauses reflectively]
Alex: Ha, no. The only thing I'd do that to is a ‘Sue. But then, they deserve it, after what they do to the Canon. They've actually done something, unlike that poor daisy. All it was guilty of was being a flower in the wrong place at the wrong time.
[Another, longer pause]
Alex: I hope I never end up like Lanel. I'd never be able to live with myself if I did things like that.
[Alex puts head in hands and sits in silence for about ten seconds. Then:]
Mortic: [Offstage] Alex? Is that you?
Alex: [Looks up and to SL] Mortic? Mortic Wentway?
[Enter Mortic SL]
Mortic: Hello, Alex. If you don't mind me saying it, you look terrible.
Alex: I should. I certainly feel it.
Mortic: Aww, poor Alex. Tell you what; come down to the cafeteria with me. I'll buy you some coffee and bleepesteem; you'll feel better in no time.
[Alex smiles up at Mortic]
Alex: Thanks, Morty. You're a real friend.
Mortic: What else is a former partner for? [Holds out hand to Alex] Come on.
[After a moment, Alex takes the hand and gets up. The two agents walk towards SR]
Alex: So, what is this ‘bleepesteem' anyway?
Mortic: Oh, you'll love this...
[Exit Alex and Mortic SR]

End Scene V

Scene VI: HQ Cafeteria

[Alex and Mortic sit at a table. Mortic has a coffee cup, Alex a coffee cup and a glass of water with blue food colouring in (or other blue liquid). Throughout the scene, until Mortic leaves, they take sips of their drinks]
Alex: ... so, let me see if I've got this right. Some agent over in Mary Sue Experiments got really depressed and turned invisible, so another agent, this one from Geographical Aberrations, came up with this bleepesteem stuff to make her feel better. Yes?
Mortic: That's the simple version, yep.
Alex: But what is it?
Mortic: A mix of bleeprin and Essence of Self-Esteem. It makes you feel better, and then erases the memory of why you felt bad in the first place.
Alex: Well, it won't work with me. There's no way I'm going to forget... er... what was it I was remembering?
Mortic: See?
Alex: [Sighs] Okay, you win. This is good stuff. Any idea where I can get some more?
Mortic: Nah, they only sell it in here, I'm afraid.
Alex: Shame. [Remembers something] Oh no!
Mortic: What?
Alex: I was supposed to be helping Sam hunt down this rogue agent, who's been running around flaming plants.
Mortic: Sorry, I distracted you.
Alex: No, it's not that, it's more that I don't want to any more. I realised that the only things I wanted to hurt were ‘Sues. I'm not cut out for chasing my colleagues.
Mortic: Mm. And what does Sam think of this?
Alex: I don't know, we'd already split up by the time I decided it. But then, the whole joining the DIA thing was my idea anyway, so... yeah, I'm not sure.
Mortic: Well, when you next see Sam, you might want to say that you're not sure anymore. With any luck...
[Exit Mortic SL, pursued by a Mini-Balrog. After a few seconds, enter Sam SL]
Sam: [Pointing back over shoulder] Hey, was that Mortic I just saw? [Alex nods] Doing what, exactly?
Alex: Apparently, exiting, pursued by a Mini-Balrog. I think someone [glares up at ceiling] has been reading too much Shakespeare.
Sam: Ah, I see.
[Sam sits down in Mortic's chair]
Alex: Sam. I've been thinking.
Sam: No. My turn first. I'm afraid I can't join the DIA with you. I... I couldn't catch Lanel. I had to call in one of the professionals. I'm going back to Mary Sues, without you if necessary.
[Pause. Sam looks on the verge of crying]
Alex: Sam... I was about to say the same thing.
Sam: ... you were?
Alex: Well, no, not exactly. But I realised that the only thing I could intentionally harm was a ‘Sue.
Sam: So we're agreed?
Alex: We are. Let's go and tell the SO.
[Sam and Alex rise and walk towards SL]
Sam: It's going to be insufferable now we've admitted it's right, you know.
Alex: Oh, I know.
[Exit Sam and Alex SL]

End Scene VI

Scene VII: The SO's Office (Again)
[Enter SO, Alex and Sam with desk SL. Set up at SL, then Sam and Alex stand SR of desk while SO stands SL]
SO: So, Agent Orange, you have reconsidered your decision?
Alex: Yes, sir. We would like to remain in the Department of Mary Sues.
SO: Well, I'm afraid that may be difficult. It's possible that your response centre has already been assigned to a new pair of agents. You know how short staffed we are these days.
[Both agents stare at the SO in shock]
Sam: You wouldn't.
SO: I'm not sure, Agent Apple. It's possible.
Sam: Alex! We have to go and get our room back!
Alex: But Sam...
Sam: Quick! No time to waste!
[Sam runs towards SR. Alex shrugs]
Alex: Sorry about this, sir.
[Alex runs off after Sam. Exit Sam and Alex SR]
SO: Suckers.
[Blackout. Exit SO SL with desk]

End Scene VII

Scene VIII: A Corridor
[Enter Mortic SL. Walk towards centre stage. As nears centre, enter Sam and Alex SR at a run. The pair collide with Mortic and all three end up in a heap on the floor. As they untangle themselves:]
Mortic: Ow... why can't you two look where you're going?
Sam: Sorry, but we have to get back to our Response Centre to check if the SO's given it away.
[Mortic starts laughing]
Sam: [Affronted] What is so funny?
Mortic: That old trick again? The Sunflower has said that to every single agent who has had to apologise to it after mistakenly requesting a transfer, and never yet has any agent lost a Response Centre because of it.
[Sam stares at him. Pause]
Alex: Yes, I thought as much.
Sam: [Turns to face Alex] You did? Why didn't you tell me?
Alex: [Shrugs] You ran off.
Sam: Ooh, I hate you sometimes.
Alex: Yes, I know.
Mortic: You know, the SO might not be too happy if you're still here when a call comes through.
Sam: Yeah, well, I'm not happy with it, so...
Alex: Sam...
Sam: All right, all right. Come on.
[Sam walks off towards SR until, when nearly at the edge:]
Alex: Sam!
[Sam turns round]
Alex: Response Centre is this way...
[Sam stares at Alex for a moment, then stalks back over towards SL]
Alex: See you, Mortic.
Mortic: Yeah.
[Alex follows Sam off SL. Exit Sam and Alex SL]
Mortic: [Shrugs, to audience] Children. But what can you do?
[Exit Mortic SR]

End Scene VIII

Scene IX: Response Centre

[Enter Alex and Sam SR]
Sam: Well, that was a nice break, if nothing else.
Alex: Yeah... but let's not do it again, okay?
Sam: Seconded!
[Sam slumps on the floor against the back wall. Alex covers ears with hands. After five seconds:]
Console: [Sound Effect] Beeeeeeeep!

End Scene IX