Murder in Outer Space by Josh Nichols
This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent
JENKINS: AVA what’s happening?!
AVA: The ship is experiencing collisions.
JENKINS: Activate shields and engage boosters.
XAVIER and RILEY stumble in.
XAVIER: We didn’t see it coming! Some radar must be down. I have visuals and I think we should be out of the thick of it momentarily.
HALEY and AURORA stumble in as well.
JENKINS: Oh good, there you go “thinking” again!
RILEY: Captain, as the Marketings, Sales, and Safety Officer, I must advise you that this isn’t very safe!
JENKINS: Yea! No shit!
DEXTER trips during the commotion. There is a bit more turbulence and then things subside and the lights return to normal. DEXTER lays on the ground and appears dead.
AURORA: (shrieks) It’s Dexter, he’s dead!
ALL: (staggering) What? How? What do we do?
DEXTER: (getting up suddenly and yelling) I’m fine! The crew yelps and jumps back not expecting this turn of events.
DEXTER: I just tripped. I’m fine.
JENKINS: What an idiot. AVA, cease control.
AVA: Control relinquished.
JENKINS: AVA status report.
AVA: The ship was hit by a small amount of space debris. Manual checks required for key life support systems. Main navigation operational. Detecting damage to external supersonic radar systems.
JENKINS: Dexter, go find out what’s wrong with the external supersonic radar.
DEXTER: (starts to leave and then backpedals) Um… did you say, “external” supersonic radar?
JENKINS: Yes, that’s what I said, now go!
DEXTER: Well you see, I’m more of an “internal” technician. The external stuff waits until we’ve docked and the engineers handle those. The “external” engineers.
JENKINS: Listen you piece of garbage! Either you go check the radar on your own or I’m going to single handedly turn you from an “internal technician” to an “external one” myself.
DEXTER: But you can’t…
JENKINS: Riley go verify the integrity of the oxygen purifiers.
JENKINS: Haley, go check the servers for any damage.
HALEY: Certainly Captain. Does this mean we are canceling our prescheduled erotic session?
Everyone stops and looks at JENKINS.
JENKINS: I’m sure I don't know what you’re referring to.
HALEY: You requested a 30 minutes session along with a list of supplies: ice cubes, whipped cream…
JENKINS: (yelling to stop him from speaking) I said go check the servers!
HALEY exits while everyone is still looking at the Captain.
JENKINS: Stop looking at me! Doctor stay here and make sure none of the passengers need any medical attention. I hope I’m forgiven for saying this but, Commander, take control of the ship while I go check the remaining systems.
JENKINS exits. XAVIER who doesn’t look that well sits in the chair and presses buttons to activate control.
AVA: Scanning identity. Commander Xavier is at the helm. Control approved.
AURORA: We have to talk.
XAVIER: Now’s not a good time, we’ve got problems and I don’t feel that great at the moment.
AURORA: I've got some good news and some bad news.
XAVIER: What? Is the ship in trouble!? I got the memo! (groans in discomfort)
AURORA: No, not that…
XAVIER: (stands up) I’m a little busy, what’s the problem!
AURORA: You may want to sit down.
XAVIER: I don't need to sit down! I'm a man damn it, I can take it! (groans and then sits)
XAVIER: Would you just tell me already!
AURORA: You're pregnant!
XAVIER: Okay, yes, you’re smart and funny and adorable but I really don’t have time for this right now.
AURORA: No! Xavier! I'm serious! You. Are. Pregnant!
XAVIER: What in the hell are you talking about!?
AURORA: ... Well... you see... my alien race... we work a little differently... anatomically speaking.
XAVIER: I've seen you naked I know that there's some differences... I'm not blind!
AURORA: Yes but we also breed differently! You see we're sort of a complete package. We can impregnate almost anything and the fetus can survive almost anywhere. It really just needs to be a dark wet environment.
XAVIER: This is ridiculous. I can't be pregnant, I'm a man. (groans again)
AURORA: I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you through your “pregnancy pains!” Look! I ran the bloodwork myself when I was completing your reanimation evaluation.
XAVIER: Okay, fine! So let’s assume then that I’m pregnant by some crazy delusion of science...what's the good news then?!
AURORA: That was the good news.
XAVIER: What do you mean that was the good news?! You just told me I was pregnant! In the “I’ve got good news and bad news” that’s pretty much the worst of the news!
AURORA: (getting upset with him) So wait, you're not happy that we're having a baby!?
XAVIER: Well of course not! I've never been pregnant before. I can’t imagine this is going to feel good squeezing out of wherever it's about to come from!
AURORA: Well, that's the bad news.
XAVIER: (interrupting) Okay, this is all a lot to take in. I really just need some time to process this.
AURORA tries to touch him to comfort him. XAVIER reacts.
XAVIER: (upset in a high pitched voice. Don’t touch me! DO…NOT…TOUCH ME!
AURORA: Look, we’ve got to figure out what to do! If the captain finds out you’re pregnant she’ll know you’re in a relationship, she’ll find out it’s me, I’ll get fired and my life will be ruined!
XAVIER: I don’t care if she knows! I care about having something growing in me!
AURORA: Look! I’m not getting fired! She’s on a rampage about work relationships and I’ll do anything to keep my job, okay!
XAVIER: I said I need some time to process this!
AURORA: Well, gestation only takes a few hours.
XAVIER: A few hours?!
XAVIER begins to feel ill and runs off. AURORA chases him.
AVA: Control relinquished.
XAVIER: I think I’m going to puke!
AURORA: It’s just morning sickness.
XAVIER: It’s not morning.
AURORA: Well on my planet it is!
Both exit. JENKINS enters from a different location. She sits in the chair and presses buttons to activate control.
AVA: Scanning identity. Captain Jenkins is at the helm. Control approved.
The chair short circuits. Lights begin to flicker and the Captain begins to convulse as she is being electrocuted. Lights stabilize and the Captain lays in the chair lifeless in a less than photogenic pose. DEXTER enters wearing a space suit not realizing the Captain is dead.
DEXTER: Okay, look! I fixed your stupid radar! But I’m here to say that I’m tired of the way you treat me! I’m not going to stand for it anymore! You need to respect me more!
DEXTER looks at the Captain who has died with a weird look on her face. He thinks he is being mocked.
DEXTER: Don’t give me that look! You think you can mock me? Well, you know what? People who have to be mean to feel good about themselves like you do are just missing happiness and love in their life.
XAVIER stumbles in still sick and groaning. He overhears what the DEXTER is saying. He approaches the Captain and realizes she is dead. He is shocked and tries to double-check and pushes her bit on the shoulder to see if she will react. She slowly slumps and falls out of the chair onto the floor. XAVIER silently freaks out in the background as the DEXTER goes on his tirade.
DEXTER: Yea, you are missing love! But not me! I have love now! I love AVA! I know, you probably think love between humans and machines is forbidden. But machine love is simplistic... ones and zeros, love or hate. The choice is easy for most. How sad and pathetic you are, how small, how weak. When you love somebody, you’ll do anything for them. Lie for them. Steal for them. Some would even kill for the ones they loved. (turns and doesn’t see her in the chair anymore) Captain? Oh, hey Commander.
XAVIER: Stay away from me you freak!