[SCENE I. Outside JEREMY’s house. He is sitting on the porch, drinking a beer, staring at the horizon thoughtfully. CELESTE emerges from inside, looking pleased with herself.]CELESTE: I believe I’ve located the source of the evil wizard’s lair!
JEREMY: Is it the mayor’s office?
CELESTE: It’s at the mayor’s office! (Beat.) Wait, what?
(JEREMY points at the horizon. There is a giant, sinister-looking tower standing where the mayor’s office used to be.)
JEREMY: Nick must be happy about that.
CELESTE: He probably summoned it. Isn’t he a devil cultist or something?
JEREMY: Be that as it may, he’s still my friend. We should probably make sure he’s not being tortured to death or something. (He gets out his cell phone.)
CELESTE: Oh, yes, let’s. (She sits on the porch next to him.)
JEREMY: (Narrating his text message as he types it.) “Hope you’re not a prisoner in the new evil wizard tower.” And sent.
(A long silence follows. Eventually his phone beeps again. He reads it aloud.)
JEREMY: “Depends on your definition of prisoner. Please send help.”
CELESTE: So, I guess it’s rescue mission time. Should we tell anyone?
JEREMY: Do we know anyone who isn’t completely unreliable?
CELESTE: Let’s see. (She frowns.)
JEREMY: Kelly, maybe?
CELESTE: She’s in love with Melissa. Probably bad news. (Beat.) Melina? She’s like Melissa without the madness.
JEREMY: Still. (Beat.) How about Charlotte?
CELESTE: Oh! Yes! (She gets out her cell phone, begins sending a text.) I always forget about her.
JEREMY: Probably because she isn’t constantly doing crazy things.
(CELESTE’s cell phone beeps at her.)
CELESTE: She’s in. Let’s go down to the Examiner’s office, shall we?
[SCENE II. Outside GAVIN’s house. The MELISSAE, MELINA, and SARAH have gathered in their various costumes: FUTURE MELISSA and SARAH in their futuristic jumpsuits, PAST MELISSA in the black Victorian-style dress, and MELINA as Tom Baker’s Doctor. MELINA taps FUTURE MELISSA on the shoulder.]
LINA: Can I talk to you?
FUTURE MELISSA: I believe you are.
LINA: Alone. (She gives SARAH and PAST MELISSA a meaningful glance, and they head inside.) Listen. I know past-you wanted to send the wrong version of you into the past. I just want it on record that this is a phenomenally terrible idea.
FUTURE MELISSA: You know, I’ve been thinking about it, and I think you’re right. I’ll talk to myself about it.
LINA: Just like that?
FUTURE MELISSA: You’re very persuasive.
LINA: You already have some other horrible plan, don’t you?
FUTURE MELISSA: Of course not.
LINA: If you destroy reality I will kill you. You know that, right?
FUTURE MELISSA: You have nothing to fear, dearest sister. Shall we join the others?
LINA: (Sighs.) After you.
(They head inside.)
[SCENE III. Outside the offices of the Portland Examiner. CHARLOTTE is loading some things into the trunk of her car.]
CHARLOTTE: I’m still a little confused why you called me, and not, say, someone who likes Nicholas.
CELESTE: Those are pretty hard to find.
CHARLOTTE: Don’t you live with his sister?
CELESTE: She’s not exactly the president of his fan club. Anyway, you seemed like a good fit. Intrepid reporter ladies usually solve problems pretty well.
CHARLOTTE: Fair enough. I wanted to check out this sinister spire anyway. (She closes the trunk and gets in her car.) Let’s drive.
(They approach the sinister tower, and find parking quite close to the building. There is no one on the streets as they get out of the car and approach.)
JEREMY: I don’t think I like this.
CHARLOTTE: No, it’s definitely got a decidedly spooky aura about it.
(As they approach, the front doors slide open silently. Exchanging worried glances, they walk inside. The interior is all made of some glossy black material. The SORCERER, a sinister man with dark hair, dark eyes, and a pointy goatee, dressed in flowing red robes, is descending the stairs.)
SORCERER: Welcome to my tower, Miss Xenaki–wait, you aren’t Melissa.
JEREMY: Sorry to disappoint.
SORCERER: I went through all the effort to build this obvious evil tower right in the heart of Portland and she can’t even be bothered to show up?
CELESTE: We thought it best not to bother her.
SORCERER: I suppose it doesn’t matter. (He makes a gesture. GAVIN and CHARLOTTE are sent flying by a burst of energy; CELESTE stands firm, apparently protected by a force field of some variety. The SORCERER looks surprised, but he soon manages to encase CELESTE and the others in a cage of energy.) Your magic is no match for me, wizardling. (He turns to ascend the stairs once more.) Do try to scream and attract attention for me, will you? (He departs.)
(After several moments of waiting, CELESTE concentrates, and manages to loosen CHARLOTTE’s cage. The effort appears to exhaust her; she tries again on JEREMY’s cage, but nothing seems to happen.)
CELESTE: Get out of here and warn the others!
CHARLOTTE: The hell with that. I’m going to get to the bottom of this. (She sneaks upstairs.)
CELESTE: (Sighs.) And you said she was reliable.
JEREMY: Hey, you agreed. Anyway, it sounds like he wants us to get help anyway. Probably part of his evil plan.
CELESTE: Probably. (Beat.) Wouldn’t it be hilarious if it wasn’t actually an evil plan? Just a normal plan that he was using sinister means to accomplish?
JEREMY: That seems a touch unlikely.
CELESTE: Still. The irony.
JEREMY: That’s not ironic. Unless you’re being Alanis ironic.
CELESTE: No, not as such. (Beat.) So, do you suppose Charlotte is going to die horribly?
JEREMY: I doubt it. She’s resourceful.
(A long silence follows, as they both consider the situation they have found themselves in.)
[SCENE IV. GAVIN’s party. There are a number of guests mingling about; the MELISSAE are making it a point not to be in the same room at the same time, as are the two GAVINS. MELINA manages to pin one of the GAVINs down.]
LINA: So, how much do you know about what’s going on?
GAVIN: (Hesitates, then relents.) Not much. My future self doesn’t remember this ever happening. (Beat.) What about you?
LINA: I think the entire fabric of reality is in jeopardy.
GAVIN: I knew as soon as I found myself in the future with Melissa there would be trouble.
LINA: Yeah. It’s worse than that. (She glances around, then pulls him aside.) Listen. I have a plan. And I think you’re the only one who can pull it off. (She leans in and whispers in his ear.)