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Characters: Avery, Queen Josephine, Robo, Oda Grim, Professor, Roman Soldier
(Theme music beginning)
(Continuing the scene from yesterday, ROBO is trying to untangle himself from the toilet paper with just one arm as AVERY returns with a box of tissues.)
AVERY: I found the tissues (as she hands them to QUEEN JOSEPHINE).
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: I thank thee, fair maiden. Thou art very kind.
AVERY: (notices ROBO struggling) Let me help you with that.
(AVERY helps ROBO remove the toilet paper.)
ROBO: When are you go—go—going to replace my mo—mo—motivator?
AVERY: Right now. You’ll need to stand still.
ROBO: Like this? (He stiffens like a board.)
AVERY: Yes. That’s perfect. (She grabs a small package.) It will only take a second. (She pretends to open a panel on his back.) Okay. The bad motivator is out and the good motivator is in. There. You should be good as new.
ROBO: (as he happily moves both arms and legs) This is great! This is wonderful!
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: (to ROBO) No more smoo-thee.
AVERY: That’s right, Robo—no smoothies. Do you understand?
(ODA GRIM, disguised as a building inspector, appears in the doorway.)
ROBO: Yes. I understand.
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: Fair maiden, a visitor is at thy door.
(ODA GRIM enters with a small rolling suitcase and holding a clipboard.)
ODA GRIM: Hello, I’m the city building inspector and I’m here for your inspection.
ODA GRIM: Yes. Let’s get something straight. I work for the government now, so you can’t fire me.
AVERY: (confused) Okay.
ODA GRIM: Is Professor here?
AVERY: No, I’m sorry. He’s not.
ODA GRIM: Rats! (She thinks.) I guess you’ll have to do.
AVERY: You should wait for Professor. I’m just a lab assistant. I hardly know anything. Isn’t that right, Robo?
ROBO: On the contrary, besides Professor, you are the smartest person I know.
AVERY: Don’t listen to him, he’s just a robot.
ODA GRIM: I’m sure you know enough—for my purposes (evil snicker).
AVERY: No. Another day would be better. Look at this place. It’s an absolute mess, and dirty too! See? (She swipes her finger along the top of the counter and holds it up to see.) We haven’t dusted in weeks.
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: May I see, fair maiden? (She tries to get a closer look.)
AVERY: It’s not skitterbug eggs, if that’s what you’re thinking.
ODA GRIM: Skitterbug eggs? I’ve never heard of them.
ROBO: You have never heard of them because there is a 99.9999 percent probability that skitterbugs and skitterbug eggs do not exist.
AVERY: Some crazy person dressed like an exterminator was here the other day trying to convince us that we had an infestation. (She suddenly recognizes ODA GRIM’S face)
ODA GRIM: Why are you staring at me?
AVERY: Oh, uh, no reason.
ODA GRIM: (quickly changes the subject) Shall we get started, then? (She pretends to see the Machine for the first time.) This is new since your last inspection. I’ll need a complete set of plans to make sure it’s up to code. While you’re looking for those, I’m just going to take some pictures and have a look around.
(While ODA GRIM takes pictures of the Machine, AVERY quickly huddles with QUEEN JOSEPHINE and ROBO.)
AVERY: (discretely) It finally came to me! I know where I’ve seen her before. She’s the exterminator!
ROBO: Do you mean Dead Bug Dawn from A-1 Bug Exterminators, where we kill the bugs so you do not have to?
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: But how can that be, fair maiden? She declared not ever hearing of skitterbugs.
AVERY: She lied. I’ll bet she’s a spy. So we’ve got to think of a way to get her out of here—and fast! Professor could come back at any moment, and then our secret would be out!
ROBO: We could pull the fire alarm.
AVERY: No. You should never pull a fire alarm unless it’s a true emergency.
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: Thou couldst lock her in the dungeon!
AVERY: We don’t have a dungeon. Maybe I should just confront her.
(Then the Machine suddenly springs to life with lights and sounds [sfx]. ODA GRIM quickly takes a seat at Professor’s desk to watch the action.)
AVERY: Oh, no! Not now!
(Then the door to the Machine opens, and PROFESSOR emerges amidst a cloud of smoke.)
PROFESSOR: (out of breath) I made it. Whew! That was a close one! Do me a favor and remind me to wear a Bible times costume next time. I stuck out like a sore thumb and almost got myself arrested!
(The ROMAN SOLDIER coughs, while still inside the Machine.)
AVERY: Professor? Did you bring someone else with you?
PROFESSOR: (concerned) Not that I know of.
(The ROMAN SOLDIER emerges from the Machine.)
PROFESSOR: (loud whisper) Oh, no! It’s the soldier who was chasing me!
ROMAN SOLDIER: (He scans the room with a scowl on his face.) Hail, Caesar!
PROFESSOR: Run! (He alone runs out into the auditorium to hide.)
ROMAN SOLDIER: Stop citizen! In the name of Caesar and the Roman Empire, I command you! (He chases PROFESSOR.)
AVERY: We’ve got to do something! Wait! I know! (She yells to PROFESSOR.) Professor! You can stop running! He has no authority here! Rome collapsed over 1,500 years ago! The Roman Empire is no more!
ROMAN SOLDIER: Woman! You speak treason! Rome will endure forever! (He grabs AVERY.)
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: Unhand her, you brute!
ROMAN SOLDIER: Quiet! Or you’ll be next!
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: (gasp) How dare thou speaketh to me thus! For I am Queen Josephine, wife of Edward the Gallant, King of Vestaland and all its territories.
ROMAN SOLDIER: Oh, yeah? That’s only because we haven’t conquered you yet!
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: Pride goeth before destruction!
AVERY: That’s enough, you two. Robo! Grab my backpack and bring it here!
ROMAN SOLDIER: (to AVERY) I am taking you to the Fortress of Antonia where you will stand before the governor this night. Then you will feel the weight of Rome’s displeasure for inciting political instability.
AVERY: (unconcerned) Sure, whatever, but first I want to show you something.
(ROBO brings backpack to AVERY.)
ROMAN SOLDIER: (to ROBO) And what country are you from, strange one?
ROBO: I am made in the USA. Would you like to see me juggle?
AVERY: Some other time, Robo. Go sit down somewhere.
ROBO: No one wants to see me juggle. (He walks away.)
AVERY: (to ROMAN SOLDIER as she holds up her textbook) See this? It’s my world history textbook, and there’s a whole chapter just on the Roman Empire.
ROMAN SOLDIER: And how is it possible that the glory of Rome can be contained in just a single chapter? Tell me that.
AVERY: It’s a pretty long chapter, if that makes you feel any better. Here. Read this paragraph. (She points to a paragraph on a page.)
(ROMAN SOLDIER reads the paragraph, and then “turns white.” He can’t believe that the Roman Empire no longer exists.)
ROMAN SOLDIER: The mighty Roman Empire—gone? I cannot believe it!
AVERY: I’m sorry.
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: (to herself) Ha! I am not sorry at all!
ROMAN SOLDIER: (devastated) What is to become of me? I’m now a soldier without an army, a man without a country, a person without a purpose. I am ruined.
PROFESSOR: Nonsense, soldier of Rome. I can fix your situation.
ROMAN SOLDIER: You’re just saying that to make me feel better.
AVERY: No, really—he can help you.
ROMAN SOLDIER: You, a mere man, can restore the Roman Empire with all its might and glory? Are you some sort of magician?
PROFESSOR: No, not a magician—a scientist.
ROMAN SOLDIER: If you would do that, you would prove yourself to be a friend of Rome and the Emperor would be most pleased. I would not have to arrest you either.
PROFESSOR: Sounds like a deal to me. All you have to do is get back inside that chamber. We’ll do the rest.
(ROMAN SOLDIER looks at the Machine with a bit of skepticism.)
AVERY: Go on. It’ll be okay.
ROMAN SOLDIER: (he looks around) This is a very strange place. I will have to alert the garrison commander. (Then he enters the Machine.)
PROFESSOR: Robo, can you shut the door?
ROBO: I can do that and more! (He walks toward the Machine.)
ROMAN SOLDIER: Hail, Caesar!
ROBO: Goodbye, Roman soldier. (He shuts the door.)
PROFESSOR: Okay, ready? One. Two. Three. Enter.
(PROFESSOR presses the Enter key, which causes a light and sound effect [sfx].)
PROFESSOR: And back he goes to the first century. Whew! That wore me out!
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: Good Professor, I beseech thee, wouldst thou be able to send me back as well?
PROFESSOR: Absolutely, Your Majesty.
AVERY: But you’ll need to change first. I put your dress in the storage room. Robo can show you where it is.
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: I thank thee, fair maiden.
ROBO: Follow me, Queen Josephine, wife of Edward the Gallant, King of Vestaland and all its toiletries.
AVERY: No, not “toiletries,” Robo, it is “territories.” King of Vestaland and all its “territories.” (to QUEEN JOSEPHINE) I’m sorry, Your Majesty.
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: That is quite all right. I am not offended.
ROBO: “Territories.” I will remember that.
(QUEEN JOSEPHINE follows ROBO off stage, exiting the lab. Then AVERY turns her attention to ODA GRIM, who’s seated at the Professor’s desk.)
AVERY: Professor, I meant to tell you sooner, but we have a visitor.
PROFESSOR: (alarmed) What?
AVERY: She arrived just before you did. Today she’s posing as a building inspector. Yesterday she was an exterminator, and before that a janitor.
ODA GRIM: Very good, lab assistant. I was wondering how long it would take you to figure it out. (She removes her disguise.)
PROFESSOR: Let me guess—The Evil Oda Grim? ([sfx])
ODA GRIM: (proudly) At your service.
AVERY: What? She’s the Evil Oda Grim? ([sfx])
PROFESSOR: That explains all the mishaps and mayhem the past couple days. What do you want?
ODA GRIM: I think you’re smart enough to know the answer to that question.
PROFESSOR: If you think I’m just going to hand over a time machine to one of the world’s most notorious villains, you’re kidding yourself.
ODA GRIM: I thought you might feel that way, so I brought something with me that will help motivate you. (She opens her suitcase and begins to assemble her new favorite “weapon.”) It’s my new favorite toy—a Shrink Zapper. It shrinks things. I just tested it out in the parking lot and it worked perfectly. Look familiar, pretty one? (She hands a toy car to AVERY.)
AVERY: (confused, then flabbergasted) Wait. I don’t understand. It looks like my car. Is this my car? This is my car! You shrunk my car! Professor! She shrunk my car!
ODA GRIM: (as she points the Shrink Zapper at them) And you’re both going to be next if you don’t hand over the plans to that machine right now!
PROFESSOR: You wouldn’t dare!
AVERY: (pretends to see a mouse) Oh, look! A mouse! (She points.)
(AVERY suddenly grabs the barrel of the Shrink Zapper and struggles with ODA GRIM for control. PROFESSOR tries to help AVERY, but every time he tries to make a move, the barrel is pointing directly at him. Then AVERY and ODA GRIM disappear through the lab doorway and the sound of the Shrink Zapper is heard [sfx].)
PROFESSOR: Oh, no! (He rushes to AVERY’S aid.)
(Then AVERY emerges holding a miniature ODA GRIM in her hand.)
AVERY: Look how small she is! It’s incredible!
PROFESSOR: (scolding) It could have been you! That was a very risky thing you did!
AVERY: I know, but I had to do it. I just had to. (Look amused.) Look at her shaking her fist at us. She’s so angry. I wonder what she’s saying?
PROFESSOR: Let me grab a microphone.
(PROFESSOR takes a microphone and points it at AVERY’S open hand. Then Tiny Oda Grim (sfx) is heard: “Just you wait! I’ll get you for this! You’ll see! You’ll see! I’m the Evil Oda Grim!”)
PROFESSOR: It’s sad. She just won’t give up.
AVERY: Actually, she’s kinda cute. Think she’ll stay like this?
PROFESSOR: Who knows? For now, let’s put her in a jar to keep her safe. (He grabs a small jar, then holds it as AVERY drops Tiny Oda Grim into it.) Careful. I’ll take her down to the police station on my way home and let them deal with her. Oh, for the day when there’s no more evil!
AVERY: No more evil? That’s hard to imagine.
PROFESSOR: I know, but it will happen. And hopefully soon.
AVERY: Do you really think so?
PROFESSOR: Yes, absolutely. The Bible clearly says that a day is coming when God will create a new heaven and a new earth where the curse of sin will be totally gone. And that means no more crying or pain, no disease, no death, no wickedness, nothing scary. In fact, there won’t be anything bad at all.
PROFESSOR: Best of all, Jesus will be there for everyone to see, reigning as king forever and ever. It will be wonderful beyond our wildest imagination! I can’t wait!
(ROBO emerges through the doorway, then stops to introduce QUEEN JOSEPHINE.)
ROBO: (He raises a trumpet to his mouth and plays a trumpet fanfare [sfx].) Now presenting the beautiful Queen Josephine.
(QUEEN JOSEPHINE enters through the door curtains.)
PROFESSOR: How’d he learn to play the trumpet?
AVERY: Beats me.
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: Good Professor, fair maiden, indeed, I am thankful that thou hast brought me hither into thy world. I will admit, at first I was despondent, but the experience turned out to be most enchanting. And now, if it pleaseth thee, I am ready to return to my world.
PROFESSOR: By all means, Your Majesty. The Machine is ready and waiting. All you need to do is enter the chamber, and we’ll do the rest. (He shakes her hand.) Goodbye. I’m so glad to have met you.
AVERY: Goodbye, Your Majesty. I hope our paths cross again someday. (She hugs QUEEN JOSEPHINE.)
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: As do I, fair maiden, as do I. (She enters the Machine.) Fare thee well, good people!
ROBO: Hey! What about me?
QUEEN JOSEPHINE: And to you, strange-looking knight! Fare thee well!
(Then ROBO closes the door to the Machine.)
PROFESSOR: One. Two. Three. Enter.
(PROFESSOR presses the Enter key, which causes a light and sound effect [sfx].)
ROBO: I liked her. I liked Queen Josephine, wife of Edward the Gallant, King of Vestaland and all its territories.
PROFESSOR: So did I, Robo. (Then he notices AVERY deep in thought.) Avery?
AVERY: What? Oh, sorry, I was just thinking.
PROFESSOR: About what?
AVERY: About the new heaven and new earth and Jesus being there. It sounds so amazing, but not everyone will get to go there, right?
PROFESSOR: That’s true. Only those who’ve believed in Jesus and are in his family.
AVERY: But what if you’re not sure if you’re in his family?
PROFESSOR: The good news is that you can be sure. Remember what I told you yesterday? If you admit to God that you’ve disobeyed him and then believe in Jesus and what he did for you on the cross, then you’ll be saved and adopted into his family. All you have to do is ask him.
AVERY: It’s strange. Growing up in church, I’ve heard that before, but I never took it seriously until now. Maybe it’s the history paper.
PROFESSOR: Could be. The important thing is that you are taking it seriously, because what you believe about Jesus will determine where you spend eternity.
AVERY: Wow! That never occurred to me. But it’s true. What I believe about Jesus will determine where I spend eternity.
PROFESSOR: That’s why he’s so important. How about we go to the café and talk more about it?
AVERY: Really? That would be great!
(AVERY and the PROFESSOR exit the lab. After a few moments, ROBO realizes he’s alone.)
ROBO: Miss Avery? Professor?
(Then the Machine suddenly springs to life with lights and sounds [sfx])
ROBO: Oh no—not this again! Who is it going to be this time?
(A Dragon roar [sfx] is heard.)
ROBO: Ahhhhh! (He runs for the door.)
(Theme music ending.)