Obsolete! A Play In One Act

Characters

Theta: A librarian. Heroine of the story

Sigma: A lowly thief

Alpha: A chairman of sorts

Beta: Alpha's secretary

Omicron: An escort

Phi: A gambler

Delta: An officer of the law

Omega: An executioner

Council members and guards: All work for Alpha.

Scene 1: A meeting chamber

(Theta is standing before a council with Alpha at the head)


ALPHA

Do you know why we brought you here today Ms…?

THETA

Theta sir.

ALPHA

Oh yes, Theta. You are here on the basis of being obsolete.

THETA

On what grounds sir?

ALPHA

Remind me again of your profession.

THETA

I'm merely a librarian sir.

ALPHA

Ah yes. A librarian manages a building where books are kept, correct?

THETA

Yes sir.

ALPHA

Are you not aware that books have been deemed obsolete? We no longer need them.

THETA

Oh no sir. We have so much to learn from them.

ALPHA

What can we learn from pieces of paper?

THETA

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

ALPHA

Because books are obsolete, they have become illegal to have in your possession.

THETA

I'm aware of that sir.

ALPHA

So you are aware that we must incarcerate you because, you in essence have become obsolete.

THETA

Do what you will.

ALPHA

You will remain in custody until we decide what to do with you. Delta, please escort Theta here to the containment area.

DELTA

Yes sir.

(Delta handcuffs Theta and takes her off stage. Theta doesn't say a word)

BETA

(Looks up from taking notes on an electric device) What do you suppose she meant by "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts?

ALPHA

Nothing more than words. Don't you worry about that.

BETA

I just can't help but wonder.

ALPHA

You're starting to sound just like that obsolete. I know better than anyone you are anything but.

BETA

Forget I even mentioned it.

ALPHA

That's my girl. Alright, meeting adjourned. We will meet back tomorrow at dawn to discuss what we will do to the librarian.

Scene 2: A jail cell

( The jail cell is occupied by Sigma, Omicron, and Phi. Delta enters with Theta in tow. She remains silent as Delta removes the handcuffs)

DELTA

Enjoy your stay. At least you'll have company. A thief, a hooker, and a con. (Delta exits)

OMICRON

Oh don't listen to him. He just hasn't had any since the dawn of time.

PHI

Omicron, don't you see she's been through enough?

OMICRON

So sorry. Excuse my manners. I haven't introduced myself. I'm Omicron. This is Phi and over there is Sigma.

SIGMA

So what are you in for missy?

PHI

Sigma!

THETA

No, it's okay.

SIGMA

So let's have it.

THETA

I've been found obsolete.

OMICRON

So what else is new?

THETA

What do you mean?

OMICRON

We've all been found obsolete honey.

SIGMA

What fruitcake here means…

OMICRON

Hey!

SIGMA

Excuse me. What Omicron means to say is that there are reasons why we are obsolete. For example, I was caught stealing therefore they concluded that I have nothing to give to society thus obsolete.

PHI

I'm pretty much guilty of the same thing except I wasn't just a petty thief.

SIGMA

What's that supposed to mean?

PHI

I am what you call a card counter. I stole millions from casinos all over. I could have gotten away with it too if I hadn't been too greedy.

OMICRON

Oh that's nothing. I'm a working man. An escort if you will.

SIGMA

He's a whore.

OMICRON

Hey, I had high rollers after me. Besides, I'm not in here because I get paid for sex. God knows how much of that council has laid dough out for my kind. I'm obsolete because I'm homosexual. I'm not the kind to "perpetuate the human race".

THETA

Oh I see. So I guess I'm not in here because I'm a librarian.

PHI

Ah, you're here because you have books.

SIGMA

Books have the power to influence minds.

THETA

They make it seem like I'm some sort of anarchist.

SIGMA

Maybe you are. You just don't know it yet.

( Delta enters)

DELTA

(To Phi) You con, come with me. The rest of you get some shut eye. We have a busy day ahead of us.

(Delta and Phi exit)

THETA

Where's he taking her?

OMICRON

He's taking her to Omega.

THETA

Who's that?

SIGMA

The executioner. That's what's sick and twisted about these bastards. They make you choose the way you're going to die.

THETA

Something has to be done, and I think I'm the one to do it.

SIGMA

No time today. Let's get some sleep and figure this out tomorrow.

Scene 3: The meeting chamber, the next day

(Once again Theta stand before the council)

ALPHA

Welcome back Theta. How was your night?

THETA

Do I even have to answer that?

ALPHA

Understandable. We the council have decided that you are to be executed.

THETA

Who are you to find me obsolete?

BETA

The insolence!

ALPHA

Let her speak Beta.

BETA

But Alpha-

ALPHA

She has something to say. Continue Theta.

THETA

What is so imperfect about me? What did I do to be deemed unworthy of your so called society?

ALPHA

As we explained yesterday, your profession is no longer needed.

THETA

But that's no reason to execute me. I think I'm here because you're afraid of me.

BETA

Afraid of you? What do we have to fear?

THETA

I'll tell you what. Your precious little community out there are so ignorant of what you do here. You fill their minds with propaganda and they eat it up because they don't know any better.

ALPHA

Ha! The people out there are above you. You are the equivalent of dirt to them. What does it matter if you died? You are nothing.

THETA

That's where you're wrong. I am above them. I am above you.

BETA

Are you going to allow this to continue Alpha?

THETA

I am educated. Are you aware that you are not the first to kill people just because they didn't come up to par?

ALPHA

Delta, take her to Omega immediately! There will be no waiting period! She is to be executed today!

BETA

But Alpha, that's never been done before! The people will start to ask questions!

ALPHA

You should shut your mouth before I sentence you as well. Delta!

DELTA

Are you sure Alpha?

ALPHA

More than sure. Take her now.

THETA

The people will rise up against you.

(Delta takes Theta off stage. There is a bit of struggle)

ALPHA

I apologize ladies and gentlemen. I lost my temper there. Now that this whole mess has been taken care of, I officially adjourn this meeting. Next meeting, we will discuss what to do with the two in the containment area.

BETA

I look forward to it.

Scene 4 A plain room

(There is only a table and a chair. Omega is seated)

THETA

(As she enters) You must be Omega.

OMEGA

Yes, I am.

THETA

What do I do?

OMEGA

You tell me how you want to die.

THETA

I wouldn't know where to start.

OMEGA

Let's start with location.

THETA

I get to choose where I want to die?

OMEGA

You may even choose with whom you would like to spend your last minutes with.

THETA

Ah interesting.

OMEGA

Or maybe you would like to start with how you die. Would I recommend quick and painless?

(Pause)

THETA

I could spend my last moments with whomsoever I want?

OMEGA

Correct.

THETA

So I could spend time with Alpha if I wanted to?

OMEGA

Correct.

THETA

I think I know what I want to do.

OMEGA

That's good. Now what would you like to do?

THETA

I would like to pass away in my own residence.

OMEGA

You know some people choose to die in more exotic places. Are you sure?

THETA

Yes, I'm sure.

OMEGA

Now, who do you want with you?

THETA

I would like Alpha to join in my company.

OMEGA

He wouldn't be my first choice but whatever floats your boat.

THETA

I just want to say a few words to him before I die.

OMEGA

And how would you like to die?

THETA

What do you have in the slow and painful area?

OMEGA

We don't get that too often. I like your style.

THETA

I appreciate it.

OMEGA

Now to go through the options.

THETA

Let's get started.

Scene 5: The jail cell

(Omicron is pacing back and forth as Sigma sits to the side)

OMICRON

Why haven't they brought Theta back. Those kinds of meetings don't take that long. All they do is tell you how long you have to live.

SIGMA

Something's definitely wrong…

(Beta enters)

OMICRON

Who are you?

SIGMA

That's Alpha's woman.

OMICRON

What are you doing here?

BETA

I came to tell you that Theta has been sentenced to death today.

SIGMA

Yeah we know. She should have at least a week.

BETA

You misunderstand. She will die today.

OMICRON

What?

BETA

You heard me. She dies today. She is meeting with Omega as we speak.

SIGMA

You can't do that.

BETA

Of course we can.

OMICRON

But there has to be at least a week.

BETA

She poses a danger to society. Besides it serves her right. She shouldn't have talked back.

SIGMA

That's it! (He pulls a knife out and grabs Beta)

OMICRON

Sigma! What are you doing?

SIGMA

What I have to do.

OMICRON

Where the hell did you get that knife?

SIGMA

They didn't give me a cavity search.

BETA

Oh god that's disgusting!

SIGMA

I washed it!

OMICRON

What do we do now?

SIGMA

We take her as a hostage. They have to let us out.

BETA

They will never let you out!

OMICRON

Shut up and come with us!

SIGMA

Oh, Omicron. I didn't think you had it in you.

OMICRON

You didn't know me as well as you thought huh?

(Delta storms in)

DELTA

What the hell is going on in here?

SIGMA

We're getting out of here.

OMICRON

And you're going to let us!

DELTA

Or else what? You kill that bitch?

BETA

What the?

DELTA

What? It's true. You're just like Alpha.

SIGMA

Hate to interrupt, but we have to get out of here.

(Sigma throws Beta toward Delta, knocking them to the ground. Sigma and Omicron make their way out)

BETA

(As they scramble up) You're a real ass. You know that?

DELTA

There they go.

BETA

Well?

DELTA

Let them go. What difference could it make?

Scene 6: A small living room with a large book shelf

(Theta is in an easy chair as Omega places something on the book shelf)

OMEGA

That's it. You will die at the stroke of six.

THETA

Thank you.

OMEGA

You have about ten minutes.

(Omega leaves as Alpha enters)

ALPHA

Hello again Theta. I'm surprised you wanted to see me.

THETA

Oh yes? I just wanted to leave you with a good impression.

ALPHA

So these are books?

THETA

You've never seen them before?

ALPHA

Well, they've been banned.

(Alpha picks out a larger book from the shelf)

THETA

(She stands). I see that you've taken an interest in my bible.

ALPHA

A bible?

THETA

Oh yes. It holds all of my beliefs.

ALPHA

Oh yes. I've heard of this thing called religion. I myself find it foolish to follow what you can't see.

THETA

Just because you can't see doesn't mean it's not true.

ALPHA

Then where is this god of yours? I can't see him so he must not exist.

THETA

He is all around us. In our hearts. In the hearts of everyone on Earth.

ALPHA

Is he in my heart? I think not.

THETA

You're right. I see a black, twisted heart in you. Overtaken by your own greed and selfishness.

ALPHA

My selfishness? Society has been like this for years. I just follow orders.

THETA

And that is what makes you selfish. You see that something is wrong, yet you do nothing about it only to protect yourself.

ALPHA

What's wrong with that?

THETA

Well, I'm taking matters in to my own hands.

(She goes to the window)

THETA

You see there Alpha? All of those people, curious to see why their dear leader has decided to join an obsolete.

ALPHA

What are you talking about?

THETA

Oh look. Sigma and Omicron are down there as well. They will rally for me.

ALPHA

You and I know that you are to die.

THETA

But I have the upper hand. Did you ever wonder why this window is sealed?

ALPHA

Where are you getting at?

(There is a sound of the door closing and locking)

THETA

It's about to begin.

ALPHA

(He rushes toward the door and calmly speaks) What the hell is going on? Let me out of here!

THETA

It's too late. Omega should be long gone by now.

ALPHA

(A little more frantic) Let me out of here!

THETA

It's time.

ALPHA

What are you going to do to me?

THETA

The same as you were going to do to me.

ALPHA

What did you choose?

THETA

Slow and painful. Mustard gas.

ALPHA

I'm not dying with you.

THETA

Oh no?

(They begin to cough violently and eventually collapse. Moments later Omega enters with Sigma and Omicron. They look at the corpses.)

SIGMA

So what now?

OMEGA

I'm sure Beta and Delta will take over.

OMICRON

And what do we do with them?

OMEGA

Same as we always do.

SIGMA

Oh. So just like that, you'll throw them in a pit.

OMEGA

Together in the afterlife. For eternity.

SIGMA

You do realize that we will rally the people.

OMEGA

I'm aware.

OMICRON

So you know we'll come after you.

SIGMA

Watch your back. We may come sooner than you realize.

(They exit)

OMEGA

This is what has become of our society? The ignorance we tolerate just for a power trip. What's to become of us? Are we just pawns in the game we call life? Are we all just doomed to keep living like this. I hope for humanity's sake that the rebellion will succeed. It's ironic. Alpha, the one who thought he was above all else was in fact obsolete in his thinking. As for me, I refuse to be a part of this any longer.

(Omega pulls out a hand gun and takes a good long look at it. He then exits. A gun shot is heard)