The Return of Sloth: The Musical! - Part Six
[Lights up on a section of the Space Station, divided in two by a wall running perpendicular to the footlights with a single, closed door in it. Valka and several Resistance members are on the stage left side, and Garoo, his troopers, and Ylana are on the stage right side. The Resistance’s side is lit, and Sloth’s side is in the dark. Valka sings quietly:]
Valka: On my mark, we’ll launch our attack.
We’ll surprise them as we come from the back.
[The Scout enters hurriedly from stage left, limping slightly.]
Scout: I came as quickly as I could run;
Don’t tell me I missed out on the fun!
Valka: “Fun” you call it? This is war!
The enemy waits just behind this door!
Besides, I told you to stay behind,
And you disobeyed! I’ve half a mind –
Scout: Relax, old man; I had to budge:
I need to settle an old grudge.
Ylana humbled me earlier today,
And then I swore I’d make her pay.
Valka: Don’t let your rancor interfere
With the reason that we’re here.
Our aim is just to drive them back;
No time for personal attacks.
Scout: You fight your way, I’ll fight mine.
But now let’s get ready; it’s almost time.
[The lights go down on Valka’s half of the stage, and rise on Garoo’s half. Garoo and Ylana are bickering, as usual.]
Ylana [mocking]: “Oh, look at me, I’m Commander Garoo,
I lost the prisoners in the hullabaloo!”
Garoo: Very funny, but it seems you left out
How you couldn’t take down one little scout!
[Suddenly, a pink Alien Aisha enters from stage right and strikes a pose. She is Sophix II, another of Sloth’s mercenaries. However, she fancies herself to be a great singer. Neither Garoo nor Ylana can stand her; it is one of the few things they agree upon.]
Sophix: Never fear, my adoring fans!
I’m here to help carry out Sloth’s plans.
It seems that our master was quite disappointed
By your failing efforts, lackluster and disjointed.
And so, he sent in the right girl for the job;
I have come to replace vous deux miserables.
Ylana: Stop putting on airs, you’re no better than us.
Sophix: Then why is it Sloth has sent me here thus?
He realized you two couldn’t help in his plan,
But knew that where you two could not, I can.
Alas, why has fate showered on me
These dual gifts of singing and hunting bounty?
I’m so skillful at both, but my true love is song.
I just work for Sloth to help me get along
Between singing gigs, like the one I just had
At Tyrannia’s concert hall. Oh, it was fab!
Garoo: You never sang a concert there and you know it.
You say you brought help to us? Well, then, show it!
Sophix: I suppose it’s my fate to be misunderstood.
But I assure you that this weapon is good.
And so, to help out with Sloth’s evil plot,
Allow me to introduce the Grundo-Bot!
[A few dozen comically small robotic Grundos waddle onstage. Garoo and Ylana are decidedly unimpressed.]
Garoo [spoken]: ...That’s it?
Sophix [spoken]: Hardly. Watch this!
[Sophix snaps her fingers and the robotic Grundos start to congregate. They quickly form themselves into a formidably large Grundo-Bot. It “sings” in a robotic monotone:]
Grundo-Bot: Grundo-Bot kill,
Enemies to ash!
Ylana: Not bad, my dear Sophix; it seems this one time
You managed to be useful: this weapon’s sublime.
Garoo: I too must admit that I am impressed.
You manage to be more competent than I guessed.
Sophix: I suppose it’s the curse of one such as me
To be e’er underestimated because of beauty.
[Garoo and Ylana look at each other and roll their eyes.]
Garoo: All right, your robot has us wowed;
But will it help us find the –
Valka [shouting]: NOW!
[The lights suddenly are raised on both sides of the stage. The door between the two sections slides open and the Resistance pours through. After a few seconds of chaos, the lights immediately go to black. Scene change: Sloth’s headquarters. As usual, Sloth is sitting in his chair quietly. Gormos enters, fuming.]
Gormos: The Grundos anticipated our assault.
These results are worse than what we sought.
I beg you, send me in to fight.
I can get us out of this plight!
Sloth [spoken]: No. You stay here. Fetch me Parlax.
Gormos: But sir, I think I could be of aid.
I pray you, let me join the raid!
Sloth [spoken, furious]: Why do you force me to repeat myself? You will bring Parlax to me and then wait here for your next order. Now go!
[Gormos bows halfheartedly and exits, fuming. Lights down. Scene change: a different area of Sloth’s space station; a hallway decked out in polished chrome and dark green metal. The design is stark and angular. Gorix enters stage right, Cylara in tow. Cylara holds the Space Faerie Token.]
Cylara: Thank goodness we managed to find the real token.
There were so many fakes, my spirit felt broken.
Are you sure that we shouldn’t help clean up the mess?
That Yurbot back there looked less than impressed
With the task that he has; in fact, he seemed enraged.
Gorix: There’s no time for that now! There’s war to be waged!
Parlax, my old friend, I am coming for you.
Cylara: And don’t forget Sloth!
Gorix: Oh, right, him too.
Cylara: Is your mind really so filled with only revenge?
Gorix: Every time that I think of his name now, I cringe.
He turned coat, betrayed me, and left me to die.
And it boils my blood that he’s lurking nearby.
Cylara: Are you sure he deserves such a hateful assessment?
Perhaps his “betrayal” was just an investment
In some double-crossing to bring old Sloth down!
Gorix: No, he just cares for himself, tossing others around.
He did what was easiest, not what was right.
And that’s why, Cylara, I require this fight.
I need to prove to him he made the wrong choice,
And the last thing he’ll hear will be my gloating voice.
Cylara: All right then, Gorix, whatever you say.
I still think that you’re – someone’s coming this way!
[Gorix and Cylara panic, looking around for a hiding place, but there is none. They brace themselves for the worst as Commander Gormos storms in from stage left. The Kougra halts and stares at the two pets. After several long seconds, he speaks.]
Gormos [growling]: Get out of my sight.
[Gorix and Cylara scamper off left, not second-guessing their luck. Gormos sighs, turns directly to the audience, steps downstage, and sings.]
Gormos: That’s what I told them: “Get out of my sight.”
Those five little words keep me up every night.
As I now look back on this moment of weakness,
My heart fills with regret, my head fills with bleakness.
Why did I let them go? It’s not understood.
A moment of pity? A sparkle of good?
Did I feel in my heart that Sloth’s conquest was wrong?
Was I no longer evil? Did I not belong?
[viciously] These questions are met with a resounding “no!”
They are not the reason that I let them go!
I am not a hero, I didn’t see the light.
But still, I said it: “Get out of my sight.”
It wasn’t intentional, nor did I know
That my little action would help overthrow
The master I served without question or doubt.
Yet they were in my grasp, and I let them out.
I’m tortured each day by the slip that I made.
History would be different; I’m deeply dismayed
That I was too weak to carry out the task.
Now they call me a hero. To them I ask:
Does one noble deed turn a whole life around?
The rest of my acts were evil, from top down.
A lifetime of sinning, redeemed by one deed?
No, it can’t be! I’m no hero; I plead
That they not tell my story as if I’m not a villain.
But yet, I’m a champion, albeit unwilling.
[introspectively] Still, sometimes, my own mind returns to that day
And I start to see things in a different way.
Perhaps it was heroism that drove me;
Perhaps, just perhaps, I let them go free
Because something stirred me from deep in my heart.
Maybe a sliver of me wanted a fresh start.
To break free from Sloth and begin things anew...
[angrily] No, it can’t be! That just isn’t true!
I had no intention of making things right
When I said to those pets, “Get out of my sight.”
[Gormos angrily exits stage right. Lights down. Scene change: the same room of the Space Station where we had been previously. The battle is now over; the Resistance has won. There is a tableau of Resistance soldiers standing over Garoo’s troopers, who sit with their hands on their heads. The Grundo-Bot lies on the ground, dismantled. Commander Valka holds both Sophix and Garoo himself at blasterpoint. But the focus of the stage is on the Scout and Ylana, who stand only a few paces apart, each with a blaster in an outstretched arm pointing directly at the other’s head.]
Valka: It’s over, Ylana, we’ve won the day.
It’s time to put that blaster away.
Garoo: I hate to say it, but it seems that he’s right.
It’s over, Ylana; we’ve lost the fight.
Ylana [scoffing]: You fools may have lost, but I’m still going strong.
My personal battle will just be prolonged.
Valka: I feel I must remind you I’m holding your friends
At the business part of my blaster’s end.
Ylana: My “friends”? Oh, please, that laughable pair?
Go ahead, shoot them, see if I care!
Sophix: Ylana, how could you? Forfeit us two?
After all of our suffering, all we’ve been through?
Garoo [to Sophix]: You should know by now that means nothing to her;
Means to her goals is what she thinks we are.
Ylana: Quite right, little Garoo, you’re right this one time.
I don’t care if you die, but this Scout must be mine!
Scout: Don’t forget, Ylana, you’re in quite a spot:
If you shoot me, you yourself will be shot.
The only way to get out of this alive
Is to put down the blaster; only then you’ll survive.
Ylana: I care not for life, or your miserable mob.
I have just one goal: to finish my job.
I was assigned not to let you away,
And that’s all that matters at the end of the day.
If you’re still left alive at the end of the battle,
I won’t get my payment, and that’s all that matters.
I’d hate to be him who stands in your shoes:
It’s tough to face one who has nothing to lose.
[The lights slowly fade to black on the standoff; end of Act VI.]