The Crossroads of the Aether
SCENE II: The guest suite. The mantle clock reads 2150. All of CR&A+K, except Regnad, are present. The door opens, Regnad enters and closes and bolts the door.
A. (With mock annoyance) And just where have you been?
R. Saying thank you and goodnight to Luisa. You're right, Adele, she really has taken a liking to me. Why else would our farewell dinner be a pizza party?
M. I had a bit to do with it, as well.
R. More than a bit, I'd say, considering how much it tasted like a somewhat improved version of our own attempts to make a proper pizza. No wonder you were so insistent on visiting the kitchens! Good work, Marie. Now if only we can convince someone to open a pizza parlor in Denver.
C. It is good, but do you really think it can become a widely accepted food?
R. Well, when I was a kid, pizza was already one of the most popular foods in the United States that I come from.
A. I still say it's kinda like a lotta Mexican food, except the bread part's thicker, an' it ain't folded up.
R. There is a sort of folded in half version called a calzone-
K. (Interrupts) Please, enough about food! Aren't any of you concerned about the two 'surprises' for us that were mentioned?
M. Hmph! It's now obvious that you enjoy a good meal as much as anyone. Why won't you just admit it?
C. Yes, and I think 'concern' is the wrong word. I'm quite looking forward to tomorrow!
R. I agree. If the Sylothians were hatching some kind of plot, why would they say anything at all? Besides, if anything was amiss, Sabeetha or Marie should have spotted something.
A. Yup! Ain't you noticed that them two can pick up on all sorts-a things reglar humans miss?
M. And that you seem to miss, as well!
R. Ouch! I thought we had called a truce, here!
A. Marie, if somethin's eatin' ya, just come on out with it.
M. Well, it's just that Krancher has been especially mean to me, and I think I deserve a direct apology!
S. Yesss, I agree.
R. So THAT's why you gave him that elbow jab back on the road instead of just saying something!
A. Alright, Mister, you heard the lady! Better do it, if only t'keep the peace.
K. Oh, very well. Marie, I really have put the feelings that caused me to make disparaging remarks about you behind me. If my apology will make you feel better, then you have it.
M. (Hesitantly) Ah, I really can't judge your sincerity the way I can with humans... All right, I accept.
A. Whew. Fer awhile there, I was afraid I was gonna have'ta separate you two.
M. (Snaps) Mistress, I am NOT a child!
Everyone stares at Marie. She slaps her hand over her mouth.
R. (Looking surprised and pleased) That's right, you tell'er!
A. (Happily) Yeah, I sure had that one comin'! That was great, Marie!
C. (Softly, in wonderment) You're really doing it. You're overcoming your imperatives. That shouldn't be possible...
R. Well, Marie wasn't literally being disobedient or disloyal, but it's certainly another big step forward!
M. (Aghast) I don't WANT to be disobedient or disloyal!
A. A'course y'don't! But it should be by yer own choice, not 'cause-a some dumb ol' imperatives.
M. I still don't think you understand. And now I'm not entirely sure I do, either.
R. I might be getting an inkling. Caroline?
C. I'm afraid not. There's far too much about my fathers methods that are still unknown to me.
R. But you DO think this is all rooted in his 'balanced mind' concept, right?
C. Oh! I wasn't even considering that! Hmmm....
A. All right, all right, it's gettin' a bit late fer all this. I think we should call it a night, and worry about t'morra t'morra.
R. Sounds good to me.
C. Yes, well, I may not get much sleep. Suddenly I have a lot to think about. (Sarcastically) Thank you all so much!
R. (Grinning) Don't mention it! If it makes you feel any better, I'll be giving a few things some thought, myself.
A. OK, g'night everyone. An' congratulations, Marie, y'done real good all the way around!
Adele and Regnad stand up, and exit to their room. Caroline rises and heads for hers, as well.
S. I think I sshall take sssome air.
She exits to the balcony, closing the door behind her. Marie and Krancher sit well apart, but where they can still see each other.
END OF SCENE II
SCENE III: Adele and Regnad's room. Adele plops down on the bed. Regnad continues to stand and pace a bit, as usual.
A. I dunno about you, but I really enjoyed today!
R. Definitely! Great music, an interesting tour with the second half conducted by Luisa, fantastic food, and Marie really standing up for herself, not only with Krancher, but with you, too!
A. (Chuckles) Yeah, it's been slow goin', but that girl is really startin' t'come around.
R. It's funny, but I could say the exact same thing about Caroline.
A. Uh huh, and while I wasn't gonna say nuthin' in fronna Krancher, I really am wond'rin' about them surprises.
R. I'm not.
A. Not even a little?
R. Alright, maybe just a little. If I had to guess, I'd say one of them must have to do with the means of our departure.
A. Yeah, but what about th' other?
R. Hey, I thought I was supposed to be the suspicious one!
A. (Grins) Dang, y'got me!
R. And while I'm starting to really like some of the people around here, I am very much looking forward to going home.
A. (Thoughtfully) Y'know, yer startin' t' use that word a lot.
R. What word?
R. Oh, Adele... (Sits next to her and takes her hands) Don't you know I meant everything I said to Arianna?
A. (Softly) 'Course I do. But... I guess some-a it's takin' awhile t' sink in.
R. (Puts an arm around his wife) Oh. Is there anything I can do to help?
A. Naw, jus' keep on bein' you, OK?
R. That's easy, and be sure you do the same.
A. Alright. So... D'ya know what happens now?
R. (Smiles widely) I shut up and kiss you?
A. (Smiles even wider) What else!
They embrace and share a long kiss.
END OF SCENE III
END OF ACT IV