Act 1, Scene 4: Road's Closed


%SND% Flight noise (inside a plane about to take off)

Attendant: "…. ladies and gentlemen, please make sure that electronic devices such as mobile phones must be turned off during start, landing, and taxi …"

Mika: "*GASP* Of course, my phone!"

%SND% rummaging noises

Passenger: "Excuse me, ma'am, can I help you?"

Mika: "Who, me? Uhm, no. Thank you. I'm just looking for my cellphone. I thought I had put it in my handbag, but now I'm not so sure."

Passenger: "Have you looked through all your pockets?"

Mika (annoyed): "Yes, of course. *sigh* Oh crap. I think I've left it on the table in the living room. I hate leaving in a hurry!"

Passenger (chuckles): "Yeah, i know what you're talking about. I always forget half of the stuff I need if I don't make sure to take my time for packing."

Mika: "So do I. But sometimes you don't have a choice."

Passenger: "So, what takes you to the emirates on such short notice, if you don't mind me asking?"

Mika: "Oh, I just got invited by an old acquaintance. A little bit too spontaneous for my taste. He arranged free tickets for me, but to get this flight, I had to drop everything and immediately rush to the airport. I don't want to know what else I've forgotten to pack."

Passenger: "Call me nosy, but the circumstances make it sound like he's a bit more than just an acquaintance … or is he?"

Mika: "Let's just say we didn't get to see each other for a few years, and still I owe him a favor. A big one. And yes, you are nosy."

Passenger (chuckles): "I'm sorry. My job requires my to fly a lot, and chatting with the people sitting next to me is a much more pleasurable passtime that watching the same movie for the hundreth time. I've got to know some incredible people that way!"

Mika: "Well, too bad I can't tell you more about my friend then, because he's certainly a lot more incredible than me! He's an engineer living in Dawlat al Nimr."

Passenger: "Wow! There are not many people with friends in Dawlat al Nimr able to hand out free plane tickets. Most of the people living in that country probably don't even have running water!"

Mika: "To be honest, I'm not really sure what to expect. On one hand, it felt really good to hear the voice of a close friend again after so many years! On the other hand, he sounded very different from when we last met. I don't think it's going be like old times."

Passenger: "Well, time changes everything."

Mika (thoughtful): "*sigh* Yes, it certainly does. Let's hope everything will be allright."


%HND% Curtain open

%AMB% 03 - Desert Camp

%LIG% Main light on (red 100%, white 100%, yellow 100%)

%ACT% Malika is sitting under an awning in [4], reading a book.

%ACT% Rana comes in from [1].

Rana: "Greetings Malika."

Malika: "Oh, hello Rana. I didn't realize it is already time for the changing of the guard. Are there any news from the dam?"

Rana: "No, everything is quiet as usual. Nobody trying to get in, nobody trying to get out, no messages."

Malika: "I don't get it. All the workers have left the construction site, and we still have the road under control and they haven't gotten any supplies for weeks. They should be seriously running out of food. I would have expected at least some kind of reaction by now."

Rana: "Malika, may I ask you a question?"

Malika: "Sure."

Rana: "Given the fact that we've placed the Emir's sons under siege … why haven't they called Sayyid for help yet?"

Malika: "Because it wouldn't be much of a challenge if they could simply call for their father's help every time they run into trouble, would it? Sayyid intentionally gave Adham and Rashid a very limited amount of resources to work with. And that's precisely why I believe we still have a chance. It's obvious that they have seriously overdrawn their budget."

Rana: "Ah, I see. Well then, I guess we just have to be patient and hope their supplies run out quicker than ours."

Malika: "Precisely."

%ACT% Lubab comes in from [7], chewing, carrying a tray with bowls

Lubab (chewing): "Rana, Malika! Sorry to interrupt you, but it's dinnertime!"

%ACT% Lubab puts down one bowl in front of Malika and one in front of Rana

Lubab (chewing): "There you go. Enjoy your meal!"

Malika: "Thank you, Lubab."

%ACT% Lubab leaves to [7]

%ACT% Malika and Rana stare at their bowls

Rana: "What in Allah's name is that?"

%ACT% Malika pokes the bowl

%SND% 0401 - Wubba-wubba

Malika: "I … don't know. If it has ever been alive, it must have died a horrible death."

Rana: "With all due respect, Malika, but why did you make Lubab the cook?"

Malika: "Because you don't want to know what happened when I gave her a gun."

Rana: "Oh. Okay."

Nashida (off): "Hehehehee … Malikaaaa! Hihihi! Malikaaaa"

%ACT% Malika facepalms

Nashida (off): "Where are you? At the command tent?"

Malika (annoyed): "Yes! As always!"

%ACT% Nashida comes bouncing in from [7], giggling with glee

Nashida: "Malika! Malika! You won't believe it! I caught someone! Finally! And you know what the best thing is: We've now got a Jeep again! And the tank is almost full!"

Malika: "Oh! Uh .. well done, Nashida! Who's the intruder?"

Nashida: "Muahaha! It's a 2007 Jeep Cherokee, brand new! You've got to see it, this thing has EVERYTHING! 172 horespowers, 2.4 liter high performance engine, standard side-curtain airbags, and they have this thing called Variable Valve Timing on both intake and exhaust camshafts, which helps optimize the torque curve at all speeds! Muahaha! Can I take this thing for a joyride? Can i, can i, can i? Yes? Pleeeeeze?"

Malika (sighing deeply): "Nashida! I don't give a damn about the car! I mean … who is the prisoner?"

Nashida (disappointed): "Oh. Yeah. Some cat. Female. Kinda strange species, dunno …."

Malika: "What? The intruder is a woman? Now that's unusual. I hope you didn't …"

Nashida: "Noooooo! Nonononono! You told me not to shoot any women, so I did not shoot any women. Most of the time, anyways. Well, at least, this time, I didn't. Like you said!"

Malika: "Could you please just stop talking, and bring me the prisoner? I'd like to talk to her."

Nashida: "Yeeeesyesyes, of course I can! I'll do anything to make you happy, oh mighty Malika … Malikamalikamalikaaaaaaa!"

%ACT% Nashida dashes off to [7]

%ACT% Malika and Rana sigh deeply

%ACT% Mika comes in from [7], being dodged by a machine-gun carrying Nashida

%ACT% Mika growls and hisses at Nashida

Mika: "Hey! What do you think you are doing? Leave me alone! Just be glad that you caught me off guard like that, because I am Mika, and I've got the black belt in catfighting!"

%ACT% Mika turns around an looks Malika in the eyes

Mika: "And who are you? Are you the master of this little ankle biter?"

Malika: "Mika? Is that your name? So then, Salem Aleikum, and welcome to Al waha ta'lab. My Name is Malika ibnat Sirah Ash-Maqwa'iyya, and yes, I am the sovereign of this oasis. May I ask you what you are doing here?"

Mika: "That's none of your business!"

Mailka: "I hate to disagree, but it very much is, because this place belongs to us, and the road you've been travelling along is closed. You are now our prisoner, and if you want to leave this place alive, you'd better be a little more cooperative. So, tell me: who are you, and who sent you here?"

Mika: "Nobody sent me. I came here all on my own. I'm just a tourist."

%ACT% Malika and Rana burst our laughting

Mailka: "A tourist! You just made my day. Thank you very much, that's a good one!"

Mika: "Whats so funny about that?"

Malika: "Oh come on. This is al waha ta'lab, the last remaining oasis in Ash Maqwa whose last remaining old city has just been deserted by its last remaining inhabitants. Except for this oasis, there is nothing left but a few empty houses and an endless plane of hot desert sand. You are travelling on the only paved road, which has only one destination: The new reservoir dam at the Jabal Abu Nahla, home of the Emir's two sons: Rashid and Adham ibn Sayyid. Nobody drives up this road without a good reason. You are obviously lying to me. And I don't like that."

Mika: "Well, too bad."

Malika: "Yes, indeed. Too bad. I would have loved to chat with you a little bit more. You look like an intelligent person, but still you turn up here with neither money, weapons nor the slightest clue what is going on in this country. I'd love to find out what you're up to."

Mika (defiant): "I'm not going to tell you anything."

Malika: "I'm getting the impression that you haven't fully grasped the situation yet. But you seem to be a strong woman, and I like that. I'll give you one final chance to cool down and make up your mind. Nashida, take her to the base camp, and call me if she wants to talk. If not, shoot her in the morning."

Nashida: "Muahaha, yes! Shoot her! Muahaha!"

%SND% 0402 - Machine Gun 1

Malika: "No! First, you'll bring her to the camp, understood?"

Nashida: "Oh yeah, sure. The camp. Good idea. Very good idea. I'll bring her to the camp, and them shoot her."

%ACT% Nashida shoots into the air

%SND% 0403 - Machine Gun 2

%ACT% Everyone flinches and ducls

Malika: "No! Not before morning!!!"

Nashida: "OH, yeah, sure! Can I take the car?"

%ACT% (in the background) Lubab comes back in, looking into the bowls

Malika (very annoyed): "I don't care, as long as you shut up and go!"

Nashida: "Yippieeeeeh!"

%ACT% Nashida drags Mika after her, and runs off to [7]

%SND% 0404 - Jeep Starting and speeding away

%ACT% Malika and Rana sigh deeply

Lubab (chewing): "Are you going to finish that?"

Rana, Malika: "No, thank you."

Lubab (chewing): "All right!"

%ACT% Takes the bowls, eating the remains while walking off

%LIG% Main light off

%SND% 0405 - Ending
%AMB% 03 (STOP)

%HND% Curtain close