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Characters: Jess Turner, Casey McDonald, Chancellor Max Devlin, Inspector Noclue, Flora Potts
(The scene begins as Truth Force Leader, JESS TURNER, enters from the rear of the auditorium and walks down the center aisle, stopping short of the stage where he retrieves a manila envelope. He quickly opens the envelope, finds a small communication device, and proceeds to watch an important message from the ISA COMMANDER.)
ISA COMMANDER: Good morning, Jess. I know you’ve just returned from Prague, but truth and the knowledge of God is under attack again, so there’s no time to relax. This time you’ll be going to International City—a European city-state with a strong Christian heritage. The government of this small country has been infiltrated by members of a secret order, called VENOM, whose ultimate goal is to take over the world and remove all references to the one true God—and they’re doing it one country at a time. Now, you know how important a constitution is—it forms the very foundation for national law and order. Well, tragedy struck eleven months ago, when the International City Archives building burned to the ground, and all the original founding documents, including their Constitution, were lost. Our intel suggests that VENOM operatives were responsible.
After the fire, VENOM flooded the market with counterfeit copies of the Constitution to create confusion and force the writing of a new document—one that’ll give them complete control, no doubt.
The good news, however, is that many years ago, a man named Simon Dettwiler became suspicious of certain government officials and hid one of the originals of the Constitution to keep it safe. The bad news is that no one remains who knew where it was hidden. Nevertheless . . . we believe certain clues were left behind.
Jess, your mission will be to locate and recover the only remaining original Constitution before the Chancellor, a VENOM underling, can ram through a new one by the end of the week. So, as usual, you won’t have much time.
For your team, we’ve selected Dresden Kohl—an experienced technical specialist and Casey McDonald—a veteran agent with our European Command. You’ll be meeting them at the checkpoint shortly after you arrive in International City. Your flight leaves today at 1200 hours.
Godspeed, Jess. And remember . . . the Enemy never sleeps.
Because of the top secret nature of this information, this message will self-destruct in 5—4—3—2—1 (message destructs).
(As the message self-destructs, JESS exits quickly toward the rear of the auditorium.)
(It’s late Monday night in International City [house lights low] as the Screen Message appears.)
“Secret checkpoint, International City, Late at night”
(CASEY enters the stage and takes a position near the pastry cafe. Then, after a moment or two, JESS comes along and stands near CASEY.)
JESS: (secret phrase to CASEY) Nice evening isn’t it?
CASEY: (secret reply) Yes . . . it is. But I hear it’s supposed to get much colder.
JESS: Really? Then I’m glad I packed some warm clothes. (looks to see if anyone is around) Isaiah 45:5 . . . .
I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no
God besides me.”
JESS: (now assured of her identity) Amen to that! Welcome to International City. (sees café table and chairs close by) Would you care to sit down?
CASEY: Thank you. (sits down)
JESS: Casey . . . I’m glad to have you with us on this mission, because it’s an important one. As usual, it’s going to require all of our skills and experience, not to mention our total dependence upon God and His Word.
CASEY: Hey, that’s how we like it, right?
JESS: We’re also under some serious time pressure. The Chancellor has already begun work on a new constitution, so if we don’t find the original ASAP, it’ll be too late.
CASEY: Does VENOM know about the document?
JESS: We don’t think so. And we have to keep it that way. If they find out that an original Constitution exists somewhere, they’ll do anything they can to destroy it.
CASEY: And us, too!
JESS: That’s right . . . but God is our refuge and strength.
CASEY: So, what’s the plan?
JESS: (slight pause) Okay. Tomorrow morning at 1100 hours, go to the park gate and stand. I’ll come over to where you are after I check the area for bugs. You never know whom VENOM might consider suspicious. (hands CASEY a “sensor pen”) Here . . . you’ll need one of these too. It’ll expose any listening or recording devices within 100 feet.
CASEY: (smiles) Cool . . . I love toys. Especially very expensive ones!
JESS: I’ve already met up with Dresden and dispatched her to the safe house. She’ll set up and monitor things from there.
CASEY: That works.
JESS: Okay . . . let’s test our receivers . . . (gets up and walks a few steps away then speaks softly) . . . Comm check? (They make adjustments to their earpieces.)
JESS: Again. Comm check?
JESS: (as he returns to CASEY) Okay, well . . . you know what time it is.
CASEY: Time to pray. May I?
JESS: By all means.
CASEY: Let’s pray. Father in heaven . . . we love You . . . and more than anything we want to serve You because You’re the one and only true God. And now, Lord, we ask for wisdom and protection as we carry out this mission in Your name. Amen.
JESS: That’s it for now. Try to get some sleep. The next couple days are going to be long ones.
(As Transition Music [sfx] plays, JESS and CASEY leave the area stealthily and in different directions. Then night becomes day [house lights up] as the Screen Message appears.)
“The next morning”
(Scene begins as the CHANCELLOR enters from the rear of the auditorium and proceeds toward the stage. When he arrives on stage, he looks over the town square, where the International City 200th birthday celebration will be held and where he’ll be delivering a message for the big event.)
CHANCELLOR: (happy, talking to himself) Excellent. Everything is working out splendidly! It won’t be long now. (looking at the shrouded monument) Hmmm . . . (pause) It would probably be a good idea to put police protection on this. I think I’ll call headquarters (pulls out his cell phone and punches in the numbers) . . . I want to make sure nothing happens before the big event. (pause while phone rings) Uh, yes . . . this is Max. Get me the Commissioner . . . (pause) . . . What? (irritated) An important meeting? Seriously? Listen, honey, what could be more important than a call from the Chancellor? . . . (pause) . . . That’s more like it . . . (then she puts him “on hold”) The nerve of some people . . . (then the Commissioner answers the phone) . . . Hey, Alex, I’m over here at the park, where the monument is, and I’m thinking that we need some security (pause) u-huh . . . right . . . so you’ll send someone right over? (pause) Excellent . . . .
(Meanwhile, INSPECTOR NOCLUE enters the stage from nearby, walks up behind the CHANCELLOR, and holds a salute.)
CHANCELLOR: (still holding the phone) Oh . . . but, please . . . whatever you do, don’t send me that incompetent Inspector (pause, phone call cut off) . . . Hello? . . . Hello!! (to himself as he closes his phone) Hope he heard me . . . that’s all we’d need. How Noclue got to be an inspector, I’ll never know.
INSPECTOR: (clears throat to get the CHANCELLOR’S attention) Ahem . . .
CHANCELLOR: What? (as he turns around to see the INSPECTOR saluting him) Oh, brother . . . I can’t believe this.
INSPECTOR: Monsieur Chancellor . . . I am at your service.
CHANCELLOR: (annoyed, sarcastic) Okay, Noclue. Do you think it’s possible you can actually handle an assignment this time?
INSPECTOR: (extremely confident) There is absolutely no doubt in my mind. My extensive training and experience will guide me as always.
CHANCELLOR: That’s what I’m afraid of.
INSPECTOR: Now, what would you like me to do?
CHANCELLOR: How ‘bout take a long walk off a short pier!
INSPECTOR: (confused) Monsieur?
CHANCELLOR: What I want you to do is guard this monument. We’re planning to unveil it tomorrow, and in the meantime, I don’t want anything to happen to it. Do you understand?
INSPECTOR: Yes . . . you would like me to guard the monument so that nothing will happen to it.
CHANCELLOR: Exactly. Do you think you can do that?
INSPECTOR: You can count on me, Monsieur Chancellor . . . I am confident that you will be proud of my work.
CHANCELLOR: (sarcastic) Yeah? Well, surprise me.
(As the CHANCELLOR leaves, the INSPECTOR surveys the area. As soon as he notices the flower shop, however, he is distracted from his work. He looks around to see if anyone is watching him, then proceeds to smell the flowers. After a few moments, FLORA emerges with a broom. She begins to sweep the sidewalk until she notices the INSPECTOR with his face “buried” in a bouquet.)
FLORA: May I help you, Officer?
INSPECTOR: (startled, embarrassed) Oh . . . well . . . no. (pause) I mean . . . no, thank you . . . (takes a step back from the shop) I am . . . just looking.
FLORA: (kidding) I see . . . well, honey . . . did you get a close enough look?
INSPECTOR: Uh . . . yes . . . I think so. (quickly tries to change the subject) It is a beautiful day, don’t you think??
FLORA: Are you sure you wouldn’t like to buy some flowers? As you already know, we’ve got some beautiful bouquets!
INSPECTOR: Oh, uh . . . no, I cannot . . . I mean . . . I would like to . . . but, uh . . . (looks around, then lowers his voice) I am on duty.
FLORA: (loud whisper) On duty for what?
INSPECTOR: (leans toward FLORA; loud whisper) I am guarding the . . . (motions with his head) . . . the you-know-what. (as FLORA doesn’t understand, he rolls his eyes) . . . must I spell it out for you? The monument!
FLORA: (loud whisper) Oh . . . right. (pause) What monument?
INSPECTOR: What monument?! The one behind that . . . (pointing, can’t think what it’s called) . . . you know . . . that thingy there.
FLORA: Oh, right . . . that thingamajig over yonder. It’s part of the celebration, isn’t it? Well, don’t let me bother you or anything. I’m sure you’re very busy.
INSPECTOR: Well . . . yes, of course. I am an inspector, you know. (proudly flashes his police ID)
FLORA: Really? (as she reads the ID) What’s your name? NO-CLUE?
INSPECTOR: (correcting her—“Naw-clew”) Noclue . . . Inspector Noclue. It is a short “o,” you see.
FLORA: Well, I’m sure glad to know you . . . Inspector Naw-clew.
(As the INSPECTOR puts his ID away, he knocks over a planter.)
FLORA: (shocked) Oh, no! My vase . . . it’s broken!
INSPECTOR: (quickly tries to justify himself) Well . . . what is one little vase when it comes to official police business!
FLORA: (as she tries in vain to piece it together) But it’s a priceless antique!!
INSPECTOR: Uh . . . you mean, it WAS a priceless antique. Here . . . let me help you.
(As the INSPECTOR tries to help, he knocks over an entire shelf.)
FLORA: Inspector! Please! I appreciate your help . . . but, really . . . I think I can manage much better by myself.
INSPECTOR: But, are you sure?
FLORA: Yes. I’m quite sure. Besides . . . aren’t you supposed to be guarding the monument?
INSPECTOR: What monument? Oh yes . . . the monument.
FLORA: Please don’t worry about me. I’ll be just fine.
INSPECTOR: Well . . . if you insist. But, if you should ever need my assistance with anything else, here is my card (as he hands her his calling card).
FLORA: (with sarcasm) Oh . . . thank you. I know just where to put this.
(As soon as the INSPECTOR turns to leave, FLORA drops it in her trash can.)
FLORA: (as she watches him go) Hmmm . . . as daddy would say, “That boy’s about two sandwiches shy of a picnic.”