Sci-Fi Shenanigans
rating: +18+x

Act I - Scene V

Outdoors, in front of Site-96. Upstage center stands an elevated platform with a podium, on which the PR team in its entirety is standing, with barely enough room for all of them to stay on at once. Downstage, and spread from stage right to left, a large group of reporters stands, facing the podium.

MICHAEL
Hello everyone, thank you for coming to the press conference today, uhh… I don't have much experience with these but I just want to remind you all that we are still… sort of a government organization… kind of… and so we can't share everything, but we can share preliminary stuff, and anything you need to know that's… not classified. So I guess… questions?


The reporters raise their hands and begin shouting for the chance to be called upon. Michael is overwhelmed by this, as his head darts back and forth, not knowing who to choose.

MICHAEL
Oh jesus uhhh… uhh…


Michael backs away out of stress. Evelyn quickly rushes in and points at Reporter A.

EVELYN
You! Go ahead, what's your question?

REPORTER A
Hi, I'm Bertrand Gumpel here from The Typewriter Dot AOL, just how big is the scope of what your foundation does? We've heard snippets here and there that it's a largescale group for stopping and containing monsters, though the word we keep hearing time and time again is "anomalous beings", so to what degree do these things exist naturally in our everyday life, and is it something we should be concerned about?

EVELYN
(unnaturally cheerful)
Ah, well, that's a great question, definitely. So essentially, our world is a whole lot crazier than everyone has been led to believe, but we did that so that you wouldn't worry about all the stuff going on! Monsters is sort of a… a very small subsection of what we actually do, which is, as you mentioned, anomalous phenomena. It's sort of this wild world full of sci-fi shenanigans… like, sometimes it literally feels like a book or movie. Honestly, name any sci-fi trope and it probably exists. Go ahead, name one.

REPORTER A
I… I don't know, Time Travel?


Evelyn laughs and attempts to answer, but is met with an intense and sudden onset of PTSD caused by her literal years stuck in temporal loops as part of her job. She freezes, fully, pausing mid motion and stuck with an expression bordering between surprise and concern.

HENRY
(whispering)
Evelyn? Evel… oh god, alright.


Henry grabs Evelyns shoulders and "walks" her out from in front of the podium, taking her place.

HENRY
It's… it's complicated. Like Mr. Handler said before, a lot of stuff is classified, and to be honest, it's not clear how much we can reveal, so for now just… let's leave it at "sci-fi shenanigans". Alright, okay, next questions, anyone?


Similarly to before, the reporters raise their hands and begin shouting for the chance to be called upon. Henry points at Reporter B.

HENRY
Yeah go ahead.

REPORTER B
I'm Sasha Bloom from Today Weekly. Dr. Ozid, reports from all over the country and in fact, across the continents suggests that the SCP Foundation's logo has been spotted in several locations, including on boxes going into factories and hospitals, as well as on clothing and items worn by otherwise non-conspicuous persons. If we are to believe that your organization is as secret as it is, and yet does as much as it does, how do we know where is safe anymore? Just how many covert sites and operations are being run across the country?

HENRY
Well… a lot. I'm not going to lie to you, a lot of buildings, both abandoned and functional are secretly run by our Foundation, but again, that's as a way to protect the public from-

REPORTER B
From anomalous phenomena, right? From so-called "memetics" and "cognitohazards" and other big new words that have been thrown at us this past week. But I'm not asking about that. The people want answers, and you need to be prepared to give them.


Chandler motions to Henry to let him go to the podium. Henry reluctantly agrees.

CHANDLER
Hi, Chandler Wentworth here, I work for the SCP Foundation, and in order to dispel any rumors or misconceptions you may have about our operations, we'd like to invite a select few reporters and press associates to join us for a guided tour of Site-96, the building we're currently standing in front of.


Mr. Handler looks extremely concerned, as does Henry.

HENRY
Uhhh… Chandler, I'm not sure we should-

CHANDLER
Henry, please, these people deserve answers, and besides, we don't have anything to hide.

MICHAEL
(looking defeated)
Yep, nothing to hide, that's correct. And so the tour, which will be led by me, will be on… Wednesday at 9:00 AM.


Michael shoots Chandler a look that conveys anger, confusion, and annoyance, all at once. Chandler looks genuinely confused as to Michael's reaction.

MICHAEL
I think that will do it for today's event, thank you all for-


The reporters erupt with noise, trying desperately to be called on just one more time. Michael is legitimately startled by this, jumping backwards in shock.

MICHAEL
I… okay fine, FINE! You!


Michael points at Natasha Fliers, who steps forward confidently.

NATASHA
Natasha Fliers, Channel 12 news. Mr. Handler, an entire country is gone.


The air is still for a moment. Natasha seems to be waiting for Michael to respond, and Michael seems to be waiting for Natasha to respond. During this time, the lights dim slightly. Dana walks in
from house doors and paces in front of the stage, holding his phone to his ear.

DANA
Come on… come on… pick up…


Lighting swaps from Dana to the podium.

MICHAEL
Yes… that is… correct…

NATASHA
An entire. Country. Is. Gone.

MICHAEL


Lighting swaps back to Dana.

DANA
Pick up pick up pick up…

JAZZ RECORDING
Hi, this is Jazz Korbachev, please leave a message and I'll see you when I see you.

DANA
Jazz, this is Dana, listen, I didn't see you at work today but you've gotta listen to me, I was going to show you this today but it can't wait any longer. There was an extra member on your team. You were only supposed to have five members but you had six, and there are some other weird things in the reports too. Stuff reading too high, engines not working despite multiple checks. I think something fishy was going on, and I don't think it was your fault. Just… don't do anything crazy, okay? This isn't your fault!


Lighting swaps back to the podium.

MICHAEL
I… I understand that an entire country is gone… is there a question, though?

NATASHA
What are you going to do about it? What is the SCP Foundation going to do about North Korea? We don't know if it's destroyed or missing or if everyone on it is dead, we know absolutely nothing. And from what your company has shown, you aren't doing a damn thing about it. At least tell us this much - why? Why did it happen, and who is to be held responsible?

MICHAEL
Well… nobody really… it was part of… well…

JAZZ
(from offstage)
Me!


Jazz walks onstage and up to the podium. She softly pushes Michael out of the way and looks intensely at Natasha.

JAZZ
I am Jazz Korbachev, head engineer on the North Korea project that turned the country into a hole in the ground. It was my mistakes that caused the machinery involved to malfunction, and I am the one solely responsible.


Everyone is silent. The members of the PR team eye each other nervously. Finally, Natasha speaks.

NATASHA
If that's true, you should be in custody. You should be locked up immediately.

JAZZ
I agree. I already called the police.

MICHAEL
Wait, Jazz, what? You did what?

JAZZ
(looking angry/determined through tears)
I said I called the police, Michael. I'm a monster. I killed twenty five… MILLION people.

HENRY
Jazz, that isn't true! You were just doing your jo-

JAZZ
(sobbing)
My job was to keep those machines in check and I failed, Henry! I failed everything and I'm a failure and I'm a failure and I deserve to fucking die!


Evelyn places her hand on Jazz's shoulder, but Jazz throws it off.

JAZZ
Don't try to give me sympathy or you're just enabling me.


Two police officers run on from downstage left. One points at Jazz and they run through the crowd of reporters. Jazz walks towards them and falls to her knees. The police place her in handcuffs and walk her offstage as the PR team looks on in horror, and the reporters take pictures in awe. Lights go out on the stage as a spotlight goes up on Dana, still recording the same phone message.

DANA
Please don't give up, Jazz. I know this seems like the end of the world but it's not. That's all. I'll talk to you soon, I promise.


Dana closes his phone and places his forehead into the palm of his hand, sighing. He closes his eyes for a moment in thought before opening them and placing his phone into his pocket. Blackout.
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