IsThereAWarOn

is there a war on?

 

Written by Chandler Pennington

 

Characters

Male pronouns and relations used, but characters can be any gender.

COR, a primitive tribal leader. Ever so slightly smarter than his brother. Any age

MALO, another primitive, tribal leader. Loud, and pretty dense. Any age

WARRIE, a highly intellectual alien. Inspired and adventurous. Any age

 

Setting

A planet similar to, but not Earth.

 

It is apparent to the audience that two great armies are gathering for a final battle of sorts, on a planet similar to but not Earth. Whether we see the armies or not, we can hear them. The sound awakens in us ancestral memories of Stone Age tribal warfare, complete with incoherent chanting and war cries. Eventually, two ice cold warrior-leaders, MALO and COR enter the stage from opposing sides. They are basically human, and their dress is basically that of cavemen. They wield spears, or clubs, or a torch. They are, apparently, meeting between the two armies, as is tradition. They stare at each other for quite some time, each as if daring the other to speak first. Finally, the warrior on the left, COR, speaks abruptly.

COR

Malo.

 

MALO

Cor.

(There is a long, pregnant silence.)

 

COR

Wonderful to see you today.

 

MALO

Always.

(There is another long silence. They both start to speak at the same time.)

COR

Malo, I—

 

MALO

The time has come-- Oh, I'm sorry—

 

COR

No please.

 

MALO

You can—

 

COR

No, I didn't have anything. Just filling the--you go, seriously.

 

MALO

Ok. The time has come! This conflict between us is too great. The schism it has formed is too wide. And now the blood it will spill will be far too red.

 

COR

I am sure it will be well worth it.

 

MALO

As am I, dear brother. As am I.

 

COR

I wish it didn't have to end this way.

 

MALO

I can't say I feel the same.

 

COR

I was being polite.

 

MALO

I wasn't.

 

COR

I've wanted to kill you since you left our mother's womb.

 

MALO

You tried in fact.

 

COR

I did.

 

MALO

But you failed.

 

COR

The time was not right.

 

MALO

(Opening his arms) Then when will the time be right?

 

COR

Today, brother!

 

MALO

Here? Now?

 

COR

On the battlefield!

 

MALO

Is this not a battlefield? Am I confused?

 

COR

This is your grave!

(He stabs a weapon into the ground)

 

MALO

(Also throwing his weapon down) Come on then! Bury me!

 

COR

Only after my army buries yours!

 

MALO

Oh?

 

COR

Yes!

 

MALO

Your army of what? Of children, and weak old men?

 

COR

Yes!

 

MALO

You don't stand a single chance against me, dear brother. My men will fight to the last. You will never route us!

 

COR

I am quite sure of that. Because we will surround you!

 

MALO

You will surround me?

 

COR

We already have!

 

MALO

That's...no you haven't.

 

COR

But we will!

MALO

We shall see!

 

COR

We shall see!

 

MALO

Enough of this. The time is now. The sun shall set soon. And tonight I shall roast your flesh over a fire, burning for the Great Goorag!

 

COR

Poor Goorag will have to wait, as I spill your blood over an alter for the Goddess Almara!

 

MALO

Almara is going to have a hard time tonight, as I crunch your bones into the sacred ground of the Mighty Habara!

 

COR

Habara will be hungry tonight, as I--

(A sudden flash of light. A roll of thunder. Something that, to the tribals, could only be the arrival of a god. They fall to their knees, but a simple, calm man--also basically human, but in a different way than the tribals--appears before them. He is caught between MALO and COR, and after a moment notices the enormous armies behind each of them. He takes a few seconds to put two and two together, and recognition dawns on his face.)

 

WARRIE

Oh dear, is there a war on?

(This simple question takes a moment to process. But MALO manages to form a response.)

 

COR

...Yes. Yes there is a war on.

 

MALO

Are you the great god Alkaiya?

 

COR

Or the sorcerer Zankai?

 

MALO

Surely, by your skin and your temperament, you are the goddess Vamail, manifest as a man! Still, you are beauty itself!

 

WARRIE

Oh, well thank you! Yes, thank you very much.

 

COR

So who are you?

 

WARRIE

Um, no one you've said.

 

COR

Then surely, the mighty god of rain, Kello!

 

MALO

Or perhaps the messenger of the gods! The noble Lontar!

 

WARRIE

No, none of those!

 

COR

Shall we keep guessing?

 

WARRIE

How many gods have you got?

 

MALO

Hundreds.

 

COR

(One-upping him) Thousands!

 

WARRIE

Ah, yes. Very impressive.

 

COR

Thank you.

 

MALO

(Recovering from the blow) And we're working on more!

 

WARRIE

All the time, I'm sure.

 

MALO

So who are you, actually?

 

WARRIE

Oh, um. My name's Warrie.

 

COR

War...ee?

 

WARRIE

Yes! Just like that. You're very smart.

 

COR

(Flattered) Thank you!

 

MALO

What are you god of, Wahiyr...ee...

 

WARRIE

Very close...Um, what am I god of? Let's see...not much, really.

 

COR

You're not a god.

 

WARRIE

Not in any traditional sense of the word.

 

MALO

(Angrily) Then who are you!

 

WARRIE

Hey, hey! Calm down there! I'm doing you a favor here, being very honest. Plenty of interstellar travelers have fallen prey to the temptation of settling on a backwards planet and claiming to be gods, it's very easy. I'm above all that. I consider myself a Universal Citizen. I want what's best for all of us third-dimensional beings. Normally, I wouldn't even interact with creatures of your evolutionary progression. Unfortunately, however, I misread my fuel dial and I certainly wouldn't make it out to the Bi-Cetic quadrant with what I've got, so I'm going to have to stick around and mine here for a bit. So, anyways, really, don't mind me! I'll just watch.

 

MALO

Watch?

 

WARRIE

The war! You said you're having a war, right?

 

COR

Yes.

WARRIE

Then go on! Don't let me stop you!

(He gets out of the way)

MALO

Well, hold on--

WARRIE

Come on, not shy are you?

MALO

No--

WARRIE

Then what's the matter? Is this the part where the leaders meet and attempt to "negotiate" but of course end up battling it out anyways? Has one of you brought a poisoned blade to sabotage your opponent?

(The two look at each other and then shake their heads at WARRIE)

Good! I love a fair match. Been so long since I've seen a proper war.

 

COR

Sorry, this is all just a bit much.

 

WARRIE

I know, I know. But think of it this way, whatever you were about to fight about is certainly more important than whatever or whoever I am, right?

 

MALO

I'm not sure.

 

COR

You sound like a wise man, who knows many things.

 

WARRIE

I am, yes.

 

COR

You are from other worlds?

 

WARRIE

Just one other world, but, yes.


COR

That...feels pretty important...

 

(Though he can't quite figure out why)

WARRIE

Well, it is. Yes, of course. My very being here will likely launch your civilization into a philosophical golden age and put you a good century ahead of most life forms at your stage.

 

MALO

...Right.

 

WARRIE

But, surely it doesn't trump whatever you were about to do, right?

 

COR

Maybe--

 

WARRIE

I mean, come on--What's your names?

 

COR

Cor.

 

MALO

Malo.

 

WARRIE

Cor, Malo. You were about to kill each other, right?


MALO

Yes!

 

COR

One of us was!

 

WARRIE

And you've got all your friends and family following you, ready to do the same?

 

MALO

Yes. Good men. Hearty and strong.

 

COR

Quick children and smart old people.

 

WARRIE

Huh.

 

COR

And also some catapults.

 

MALO

Some what?

 

COR

Nothing.



 

WARRIE

Oh this is going to be good! So what's it about?

 

COR

What?

 

WARRIE

The war! What're you fighting about?

 

COR

Uh, well it's personal.

 

WARRIE

Personal?

 

MALO

Yes.

 

WARRIE

So just between you two and thousands of your closest friends and family?

 

COR

Exactly.

 

WARRIE

But you can't tell me?

 

MALO

No.

 

WARRIE

Just a second ago you thought I was a god!

 

MALO

Heh, well. We don’t tell the gods everything.

(He winks at COR and they share a knowing chuckle)

 

WARRIE

Come on!

 

COR

It's not your business!

 

WARRIE

(Sighs) Fine. I'll bless your crops for a hundred years.

 

COR

You can do that?

 

WARRIE

I have some hormones.

 

COR

What?

 

WARRIE

Yes, I can do that.

 

MALO

Two hundred years!

 

WARRIE

What? Are you negotiating with me?

 

COR

Yeah, two hundred! And livestock!

 

WARRIE

I don't have anything for the livestock.

 

MALO

Then three hundred!

 

WARRIE

Two hundred and fifty.

 

MALO

Deal!

 

COR

Fine!

 

WARRIE

Do you...shake hands or anything? Blood pact?

 

COR

Blood pact?

 

MALO

Gross.

 

WARRIE

Right, of course.

 

COR

What is wrong with you--

 

WARRIE

Ok, Ok. Just tell me.

 

COR

Fine. Malo is my younger half brother. We are the only sons of the former chief, Tako. My mother is named Kaira. I am the eldest, and the rightful heir!

 

MALO

But our father hated Kaira! He left her for dead in the Aiyan waste. And you are a false son!

 

COR

You take that back!

 

MALO

I never will! It's true! I am the rightful heir!

 

WARRIE

Woah, woah, sorry--heir to what?


COR

The throne.

 

WARRIE

Of?

 

COR

The kingdom.

 

WARRIE

Yes. So—what? Did everyone come out? To the battle?

 

MALO

Just about.

 

WARRIE

So, king of a few thousand people then?

 

COR

King of all there is.

 

WARRIE

Which is about how much?

 

COR

The entire world! Until the sea!

 

WARRIE

On my way in it looked like there was a lot of world...

 

MALO

Yes. And it will all be mine.

 

WARRIE

Hm. Where did I end up...

(He produces an electronic device and observes a map.)

Ha! Yes. Of course. We're on an island.

 

COR

A...

 

WARRIE

An island. A small piece of land surrounded by water.

 

COR

The sea!

 

WARRIE

Yes, yes. The sea. The thing is, it is very small.

 

MALO

What?

 

WARRIE

There is so so much world out there you won't be able to discover for...a good five hundred years.

 

MALO

Five hundred....

 

WARRIE

And without the means to produce iron, a very limited supply of lumber...they'll find you way before you find them.

 

COR

Who?

 

WARRIE

Just some others. My point is, you're fighting over a very small inheritance. I know, I know, it's all you know. It feels big. But, even if it was the whole planet...listen. In more advanced parts of the universe we've come to realize nothing is really worth fighting over. Whatever you're fighting over there's always more of it somewhere and if you just team up and go look for it there will be plenty for everyone.

 

MALO

Your words are confusing.

 

WARRIE

Oh. Oh, I really shouldn't do this.

 

COR

Do what?

 

WARRIE

(He considers for a long moment) Cor, Malo...would you like to see the stars?

(They look at each other)

 

MALO

What?

 

WARRIE

I will show you the universe. All of its wonders. You will see just how small what you're fighting over is. You will see how pointless it all is.

(He approaches MALO, softly.)

You will know what it is like to be a god, to look down on creation, to feel it's power course beneath you and ultimately understand--

(He affectionately places a hand on MALO's shoulder. In response, MALO stabs him in the gut with a stone dagger.)

 

WARRIE

Oh, no, why'd you have to do that?

 

COR

Malo! You insult the gods!

 

WARRIE

The--yes, kind of! They're going to nuke your planet now!

 

COR

What?

 

WARRIE

(Looking at his wound. It hurts, but he has a bio healer in the ship. He can survive what they throw at him.)

Yes. They're going to come here and destroy you all!

 

MALO

Let them come!

 

WARRIE

Put you down like dogs...

 

MALO

We will fight to the last man!

 

WARRIE

I'll get written up...

 

MALO

We are stronger.

 

WARRIE

You're not, but--

 

MALO

Cor. My brother.

 

COR

Malo?

 

MALO

We must prepare for the coming enemy. We must not dwindle our numbers. We must unite our forces, for only together will be strong enough to save ourselves from the death above!

 

WARRIE

Well honestly not even together...actually...yes! Yes! Do that! Good idea!

 

MALO

Brother. Will you join me?

 

COR

How do you answer for your insults?

 

MALO

If you give me your army. Your quick children and your wise old men. Together we will find the others that Warrie speaks of. We will find the land and conquer it together. Or bring them into our alliance against the not-gods from the sky. My brother.

 

COR

My brother!

(They embrace)

 

WARRIE

Really without a proper lumber supply...actually, maybe now would be a good time for me to...yeah. Yeah I think I'll do that. Ship's full anyways.

(The flash of light from before, the thunder. The two brothers hold each other as they watch the stranger leave.)

 

COR

Brother.

 

MALO

Yes.

 

COR

Something is coming, isn't it?

 

MALO

I'm afraid so, brother.

 

COR

But together...

 

MALO

Together we are strong, brother.

 

COR

I will tell my army.

 

MALO

I will tell mine.

 

COR

Let's do it together.

(They walk off towards one of their armies with the news, ready to face their new reality. WARRIE would report his activities to his superiors, who would add the destruction of the planet to their very long, bureaucratic list of duties. They would get around to it, eventually. But by then MALO and COR were stronger than they could’ve predicted. But, that’s a story for another day…)