All Creation

ACT I

Scene 1 

In a bio-dome, similar to the Eden Project.  Backdrop of plants with a sky seen through the dome, which is divided into hexagon shaped windows.  The stage has a curling path running across it with exotic plants doted about. To the back right of the stage is a tree laced in vines.  Climbing the tree is a man.  This is Alex, he is a fully grown adult, bald, he appears to be in his early twenties.  Standing in the centre of the stage is a trolley of scientific instruments.

Alex climbs along a branch, loses his footing and falls into a tangle of vines.  He is struggling and attempting to scream but a vine is wrapped around his neck.

Ben enters the stage from the left. Ben is an ambitious thirty year old man.  He keeps himself fit with regular exercise and a carefully calculated diet. He looks at Alex struggling, then heads to the trolley.  Preoccupying himself with pouring a concoction of liquids into a beaker and then pouring it into a syringe.  He places it onto a small test tube rack of seven other full syringes.

FRANK (O.S)

Ben!?  What’s all the noise about!?

Ben listens to Frank and then turns to look at Alex struggling. He pauses for a moment.

BEN

Quick! Alex is in trouble!

Ben runs to Alex and tries to lift him up, to stop him from hanging.

Frank is fifty-two, he is a widely respected geneticist, he is tall and gaunt, his skin is pale, he wears thick glasses and a watch. His black hair has mostly turned grey. He runs on stage, he is carrying a wad of letters that have been opened, he tosses them to the floor as he  heads straight for Alex.  He takes over lifting Alex up.

FRANK

Ben, get a knife and cut the vines!

Ben heads back to the trolley.  He carefully selects a large knife from the trolley and holds it up before him.  Then he crosses over to Alex and Frank and using the knife cuts the vines that Alex is tangled up in.

FRANK

(Cradling Alex)

Alex are you alright, are you hurt anywhere?

Alex shakes his head.

FRANK

What happened Ben?  You were supposed to be watching him.

BEN

I’m sorry professor, I just let him out of my sight for a few seconds.  He wanted to play a game.

FRANK

What game?

ALEX

Hide and seek. It was fun. I don’t think he was very good at it though.

BEN

I tried my best to find you, but you outsmarted me.

ALEX

You were supposed to find me?

BEN

Er, yes I was.  I went to look for you didn’t I?

FRANK

You can’t leave him on his own, you know that!  How did you not notice what he was doing?  Where were you?

BEN

I got called away, another bomb check. It took me three hours to get in this morning, they checked my car over a dozen times.

FRANK

You still can’t leave him alone.

BEN

Sorry professor, I didn’t think.

Frank lets go of Alex.

FRANK

We can’t lose him. I can’t lose him.

Alex spots a butterfly and tries to chase it, mimicking its flight by flapping his arms.

BEN

Don’t treat it as your son.  You’ll only get yourself attached.

FRANK

I know, I thought you understood what I’m trying to do though.

Alex stops and picks something up off the ground.

BEN

I understand what you want to do-

ALEX

I found a wasp!

Alex holds up his hand with something small and dark in his palm.

FRANK

You shouldn’t capture a wasp, they’ll sting you.

(Taking a look)

Hmmm, that’s a spider. A wasp spider, see?  It has the colouration of a wasp to deter predators.  They’re quite harmless though.

Alex runs to the other side of the stage and puts the spider down, he continues to play with it, poking the ground.

BEN

(Once Alex is away)

We still have the family’s permission?

FRANK

Yes, they were surprisingly receptive.  What’s more the genetic coding appears to have taken effect.  We’ve had no incidents.

BEN

Thus far…

FRANK

Well yes, but Alex has displayed none of the usual symptoms.

BEN

Yes but that man lived to his twenties before anything happened, and no one saw it coming.

FRANK

But think, if this works we will be able to give people a child, exactly the same as the child they would have had.  But with no mental illness.

Alex stands up and starts to pretend to be an airplane, he runs around the stage making engine noises with his arms held out.

BEN

What if it hasn’t worked? The family wanted to help, so that it won’t happen again.  But there’s no escaping it.  That man killed seven people.

FRANK

It wasn’t murder.

BEN

That doesn’t change the fact that they died. Intent isn’t important in this. He left them for dead.

FRANK

He was mentally ill, all the psychologists agreed on that. That’s why he was committed and not imprisoned.

BEN

Yes, but that mental illness you seem to be using as an excuse, still caused the deaths of several other people.

FRANK

Which is precisely what this research into cloning is here to stop.  Insanity, at least genetic insanity can be cured. He is proof.

Frank gestures to Alex.

BEN

The thing is, there’s no way to prove he has any psychosis.

FRANK

He’s not a psychopath, look at him.  He’s a living, breathing human being.

ALEX

What’s a sicko path?

FRANK

It’s nothing.

ALEX

Nothing?

FRANK

It’s a kind of special person, someone who doesn’t think and act normally.

ALEX

Are you a sicko path?

FRANK

Uh, no.

ALEX

(pointing to himself)

Me?

FRANK

Absolutely not. Just forget about it, you don’t need to know.  Why don’t you head over there and see if you can find me some nuts or berries or something.

Alex nods and heads to the other side of the stage, searching the ground as he goes.

But don’t eat anything!

BEN

What about the protest groups?

FRANK

What about them?

BEN

Just look at these letters.

Ben picks up the discarded letters, and fingers the torn opening.

It’s as bad as the car checks.  Every piece of mail has to be screened for anything. Bombs, disease, you name it.

Ben begins looking through the letters.

FRANK

Don’t show them to me, those people are so aggressive. If they want their opinion to be known they should write a formal complaint, not a-

BEN

-Death threat. From the H.I.S, here’s one from A.C.D.  The Natural Order, The Trust Of Humanity, L.O.Q, Fighters For Genetic Freedom.  I mean if so many people are against it, should we-

A small watch ALARM sounds. Frank pushes a button on his watch to stop the alarm.

FRANK

Time for your injections Alex.  Come over here.  Ben can you get the dosages ready?

Alex stops playing and runs to Frank. Ben crosses to the trolley of scientific instruments.  He drops the letters and carefully selects a syringe.

FRANK

(Taking hold of Alex’s arm)

It’ll only take a second. You need them, you aren’t stable yet.

ALEX

(Trying to writhe free of Frank’s grasp)

No, no, no, no, no, I don’t want to!

Ben advances, wielding the needle menacingly.

FRANK

Come on Alex, you’re a big boy, you have to learn to be brave.

Ben takes takes the needle in one hand and an arm of Alex’s in the other.  He flexes the arm a bit to find the vein then delicately gives Alex the injection.

Pause

Alex doesn’t move, so Frank releases him and Ben goes to put the needle back on the trolley.

Alex begins to spasm.

FRANK

He’s having a reaction!  What’s gone wrong?

BEN

I haven’t done anything wrong.  Hold him down, I’ll give him another shot.

FRANK

Hurry

Frank tries to restrain Alex, holding him to the ground with difficulty.  Ben gives another injection to Alex and after a moment he calms down.  Alex falls unconscious.

FRANK

I put you in charge of him.  You let him out of your sight and now this!

BEN

I didn’t do anything wrong! I prepared the serum as usual, there was nothing different.  Have you no trust in me professor?  I’ve been your assistant for five years!

FRANK

You think I don’t notice the way you look.  You don’t think we should be doing this, you’re like those protest groups and now you’re trying to kill my son!

BEN

He’s not your son!  And I’m not trying to kill him, I’m trying to save him.  I’m here to make sure he doesn’t just get disposed of!

FRANK

Disposed of?

BEN

What did you think would happen to him?  You have created a life professor, but for an experiment.  Once you have your results, what are you going to do with him?

FRANK

I-

BEN

He’s never going to be able to live in normal society.

FRANK

That doesn’t matter, I’ll look after him.

BEN

You actually think they’re going to let you keep him? The best scenario is that they’ll keep him here, forever, trapped like a lab rat.  But then I guess that’s what he is.

FRANK

I’d…I’d do something, find a way to put him in my care.

BEN

You really think you can?-

An EXPLOSION sounds and the sky glows ORANGE briefly.

ALEX

(Waking up)

What was that?

FRANK

It’s nothing. They must be doing building work next door. Nothing will happen to us here.

Another EXPLOSION sounds and the sky again glows ORANGE briefly.

BEN

This is supposed to be top security!

ALEX

Daddy? I’m scared.

Alex, still seated, grabs hold of Franks legs.

FRANK

It’ll be okay Alex, you stay with Ben.  I’m going to call the main lab, find out what’s going on. You take care of him Ben.

Frank pulls away from Alex’s grasp and pats him reassuringly on the head.

BEN

Trust me.

Frank heads to the left of the stage.  BLACKOUT.

ALEX (O.S)

Hurry back Daddy.

He moves to the fore of the stage and is lit by a SPOTLIGHT. Frank picks up the emergency phone, dials a number and holds the receiver to his ear.

FRANK

What the hell was that explosion?

Pause

I guessed that much, but how did they get in?

Pause

But they spend hours checking everyone at those doors.

Pause

Wha- Who do you think it is?

Pause

I’m not sure.

Pause

Couldn’t this just be a ruse.  To sow mistrust?

Pause

I have to admit I have some suspicions.

Pause

So it’s all under control now?

Pause

Okay, I’ll get back to them.

He hangs up the receiver.

FRANK

(Taking a deep breath)

Act natural.  Act natural.

He heads back to the right of the stage where Ben and Alex are waiting.

As Frank approaches the lights raise to reveal Alex busy drawing in the dirt using a stick.

Ben is dead.  His lifeless body is strung up in the same vines that Alex had been caught in. Frank doesn’t notice the body.

FRANK

Alex?

ALEX

I’m here Daddy, we were just playing a game.

FRANK

What game was that then?

ALEX

Hide and seek, Ben taught me how to play.

FRANK

(Crouching next to Alex)

Aren’t you supposed to be looking for him then? Or counting.

ALEX

That’s not what you do in hide and seek silly.  Look, Ben’s playing right now.

Alex points with his stick to Ben, Frank turns to look.

FRANK

(Horrified)

What happened!?

ALEX

I don’t understand?

FRANK

He’s dead!?

ALEX

He’s not dead.  That’s how you play hide and seek, he told me so himself.

FRANK

Wha-?

ALEX

You wrap yourself up in the vines and then you see how long you can hang there.

FRANK

Hang there..?

ALEX

I had to help Ben, he wasn’t very good at playing.

FRANK

He..? How could you do that?

ALEX

We were only playing Daddy.

Frank stares at Alex.  BLACKOUT.

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