Scenes from a parallel universe; FF8: Part 4

SCENE 21: She’s A Black Magic Woman...

[The Headmaster’s & Head Matron’s Office. Headmaster Sid is curiously absent (so what else is new?). Head Matron Edea stands upright, behind her desk, sickly smile on her face. Her eyes are clouded over with unnatural gold color in the iris. It’s also rather hard not to notice the large fire ax she is seemingly “hiding” behind her back, gripped with both hands.]

[On her desk rests Squall’s confiscated boom box / ghetto-blaster. Just in front of it, something that looks curiously like a guillotine.]

[Enter Squall.]

Squall: Yo Yo Yo! What Up, Teach?

[Edea smiles malevolently. She – or to be more accurate, the evil spirits now inhabiting her – speaks.]

Edea: We have decided to return your precious little boom box. [Pause.] All you have to do is lean your head over the desk and...take it.

[, they, cackle wickedly. She leans forward provocatively (making the axe even more obvious) and she smiles and flutters her eyelashes in what is possibly some sort of attempt at being seductive and tempting.]

Squall: You trippin'! Yo, this ain’t gonna turn into none of that Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate” or nuthin’ like dat, is it?


Squall: And yo, what up with this guillotine thing?

Edea: [Faux Innocence] What guillotine? We don’t see any guillotine! Just bend over and grab the box. You know you want to.

[Squall reaches out – deliberately around the guillotine – and grabs the boom box. And backs up quickly. Edea frowns.]

Edea: You look thirsty. And hungry. Why don’t you help yourself to something in the refrigerator?

Squall: Aight. Cool.

[Squall walks over to the refrigerator. Edea follows closely behind. Squall opens the refrigerator door and peeks in. Behind him, Edea slowly raises the large two-handed axe over her head and...]

Squall: [bending over at the waist to get a better look inside the fridge] Yo, is dis a chocolate pie?

[...and the axe plunges into the door of the freezer above, where Squall’s head used to be. Edea growls.]

Edea: Yes, it’s an EVIL chocolate pie. [ASIDE, to audience, in a hissing, raspy voice] With enough arsenic to kill a herd of elephants!

Squall: Evil? Whatchu talkin’ bout, Matron?

Edea: It goes straight to your thighs.

Squall: Yeah?

Edea: Yes. But you don’t have to worry about that. Enjoy. Eat! And help yourself to that bottle of Pepsi.

Squall: Pepsi? Why it gotta skull and crossbones stick on it den, yo? Hey, this wack-ass bottle looks like Rat Poison!

Edea: It’s Pepsi. Trust us...

Squall: HEY! Is dis a damn syringe floatin’ up in it? What up with dat?

Edea: Extra caffeine. Just drink. And Eat. [ASIDE, in raspy voice] Until your throat begins to burn and swell and your lungs explode and you die a slow, agonizing death!

Squall: Naw, dat’s cool, I think I’ll just take my boom box and get my ass on back to class, yo.

[Squall heads for the door.]

Squall: Peace! We Out!

Edea: Oh, to hell with it.

[Exit Squall.]

[Just a second or two too late, Edea produces a handgun and empties a full clip into the door of her office.]

[Re-Enter Squall. He sticks his head and arm through the door.]

Squall: [shaping his fingers into a ‘‘W’’ and shouting] WEST SIIIIIIIIIIIIDE!

[Re-Exit Squall.]

Edea: There must be a way to kill him. We must find it.

[Fade Out.]

SCENE 22: The Apes of Wrath

[Rinoa walks down the hall, fresh off her failure to recruit Selphie into enlisting in the Inevitable Class War and to get her to warm up to Seifer. Zell is tagging along because, well, if you’ve ever been a guy with a crush on a girl that you just can’t quite say what you feel to, you know why.]

[Coincidentally, Seifer is reclining against the lockers on the far wall.]

[Biggs and Wedge, in all their primate “glory,” are approaching Seifer from the opposite direction, and closing much faster than Zell and Rinoa.]

[Seifer sighs.]

[Biggs and Wedge quickly flank Seifer.]

Biggs: Haw Haw!

Wedge: Loser!

[Biggs shoves Seifer to the left.]

[Wedge shoves Seifer to the right, putting Seifer back where he started.]

Zell: [Aside] Come on, man, fight back.

Biggs: What’s the matter? Scared to fight?

Wedge: Heh! I bet he’s one of those pacifiers! You know, like Morton Downey King, Jr.!**

Rinoa: [Aside] Typical hatemongering aggression. I’d expect no less from tools of the Establishment.

Zell: Come on dude, you got to stick up for yourself.

[But Seifer simply walks away.]

[Biggs and Zell point and laugh.]

Biggs: He’s a big sissy.

Wedge: Yeah, he’s a big chicken. A chicken wuss!

Biggs: Yeah! [Laughs uproariously.]

Seifer: It simply won’t get me anywhere to try and match up physically with either of you. Especially when you outnumber me. Besides, I don’t believe in using violence to solve anything.

[Biggs clucks like a chicken. Wedge joins in. Seifer simply walks away. Zell grabs him by the shoulder.]

Zell: I told you, man, they’re only going to get worse if you don’t make a stand.

Rinoa: How can you tolerate their oppression?

Seifer: Honestly, it doesn’t really bother me. Yes, it’s inconvenient to be pushed around and taunted on a daily basis...

Zell: Inconvenient?

Seifer: ...and no, I don’t enjoy their maltreatment and abuse. But there’s no real point to my standing up. This world is fleeting. Nothing lasts long on this plane of existence. Everything you see, hear, taste, touch. It’s all transitory. After all, this is our senior year, right? After graduation, how many of us do you really think will ever run into each other again? It will be over, and done with. I will have endured this test, and my soul will move on.

Zell: And continue to get picked on. If not by them, then by somebody else.

Seifer: Perhaps. But only until the death of the body. Which is when one’s life really begins.

Rinoa: The Opiate of the Masses. You’re just being suckered into being a beast of burden for the Capitalist Class...

Seifer: Rinoa...

Rinoa: Yes?

Seifer: Have you been saved?

[Awkward silence.]

Rinoa: [pondering] Well, not in a while, no. Not since Selphie squished that baby Malboro with her boot.

Seifer: Huh?

Rinoa: Huh?

Seifer: I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing. I’m speaking more of...

[Enter Squall, once again united with the Funkmaster 9000 Boom Box.]

Squall: Uh! Uh! Raise The Roof! ‘Sup. Yo, any of you foo’s seen Selphie around?

[Seifer shyly steps backward a couple steps and looks away.]

Rinoa: We were just talking to her, actually. She was out by the rocks in the south end of the quad.

Squall: Cool Beans, Cool Beans. What was y’all talking ‘bout?

Zell: Erm...

Squall: Nah, dat’s cool. I gots ta go get the hook up. Peace out.

[Squall starts to exit, as Biggs and Wedge re-approach.]

Biggs: Heh.

Wedge: Heh.

Rinoa: Wonderful. I guess this means you’ve finished picking the lice out of your hair and feeding them to each other?

Squall: [offstage, very loud] OHHHHHHHHHH! SNAP!

Biggs: Um...shut up!

Wedge: Ha ha ha! You tell ‘em!

Biggs: Losers of a feather flock together, huh?

Wedge: Hah!

Biggs: Hey Zell, what are you doing hanging out with these losers instead of your teammates for?

Rinoa: Maybe he wants an INTELLIGENT conversation for once?

Wedge: You have a real big mouth for a chick. A real big mouth. Better suited for something else.

Biggs: Heh!

Zell: You guys are a disgrace to the uniform.

Rinoa: You mean they can put it on themselves?

Biggs: You know what? You talk too much.

Wedge: She’s just angry that you haven’t asked her to the Garden Festival Dance yet, Biggs.

Biggs: Heh, don’t I know it.

Rinoa: [rolling her eyes] I’d shop at the Gap and vote Republican before I went to anything with you.

Biggs: See? She hecka wants me!

Zell: Why don’t you two clowns just get out of here?

Seifer: You guys don’t know what you’re doing...

[Rinoa makes as to slap Biggs across the face. Wedge intercepts her attempt with a hand around the wrist.]

Wedge: Mmmm, she’s feisty!

Zell: Cut it out!

Biggs: This ho tried to hit me, Zell, and you’re taking her side over mine?

Seifer: [with unprecedented forcefulness] Leave her alone. [Everyone turns to look at him.] I’m the one you have the problem with. Leave them out of it.

[Wedge lets go of Rinoa.]

Wedge: Ooh, look at this!

Biggs: Oh, he’s ready to fight now.

Wedge: Heh. Yeah, he’s pretty tough with his loser friends standing behind him. But he don’t have the guts to do anything by himself, Biggs.

Biggs: Yeah, you’re right.

[Biggs shoves Seifer roughly into the wall of lockers. His head bounces hard and loud against the metal.]

Rinoa and Zell, simultaneously: Leave him alone!

[But Zell only gets shoved down by Biggs for his trouble. Wedge kicks Seifer in the stomach. Seifer slides down to the floor and lays flat on his back, arms flopped out at maximum wingspan.]

Unseen Student Voice #1: Fight!

Unseen Student Voice #2: Fight!

Unseen Student Voice #3: It’s a fight!

[Enter Irvine, with pencil and note pad in hand.]

Irvine: Fight? Who? [He looks over at the commotion and begins jotting down names.] Let’s see, that’s Biggs, Wedge, Rinoa, Zell, and... [He Hesitates] Biggs, Wedge, Rinoa, and Zell.

Biggs: Hey, it’s the snitch!

Wedge: Where?

Biggs: Damn, let’s get out of here before he recognizes us.

[Exit Biggs and Wedge.]

Irvine: Well, look who’s getting into a fight on school grounds. Oh, what a surprise, the Football Player and Lenin’s Daughter.

Rinoa: Biggs and Wedge started it.

Zell: Look, man, Seifer’s hurt pretty bad. We ought to get him to the nurse’s office.

Irvine: There’ll be time for that later. What’s important right now is finding out why you were picking a fight in the hall.

Zell: Excuse me, they were the ones picking the fight.

Irvine: Well, maybe so, but, you know, you shouldn’t have retaliated. That’s just as bad. I’m sure Seifer would agree with me on that.

Rinoa: Well, I hope you’re happy, Irvine.

Irvine: Oh I am.

Rinoa: Really? Does what you do really make you feel happy? Do you enjoy being such a tool?

[Irvine stays silent for a long time.]

Irvine: Oh shut up. Leave me alone. I’ve got a little report to make to Headmaster Sid.

[Zell just shakes his head in disbelief.]

[Exit Irvine.]

Zell: [To Seifer] Hey, you all right man?

Seifer: [still laying as before] I’ve been better. How about you two?

Zell: I’m alright.

Rinoa: I’m fine.

Seifer: Good.

[Zell and Rinoa help Seifer to his feet.]

Rinoa: I don’t know if this is much consolation, but...we were just talking to Selphie, and, I think she really likes you.

Seifer: Did she say so?

Rinoa: Well, no.

Zell: Not really.

Rinoa: I think she’s trying to hide it. When I dropped your name, she definitely reacted. There’s something there.

Seifer: I’m sure she has her reasons. Not everybody is as comfortable with wearing their heart on their sleeve as you are.

[Fade Out.]

[** = If you get this reference in its entirety, let me know, and you’ll get a cookie or something. By the way, if you’ve ever read The Grapes of Wrath, some stuff in this scene might come off as being pretty familiar. That’s deliberate. Of course, there’s another book it might remind you of, too...and that was deliberate on Steinbeck’s part.]

SCENE 23: A, B, C. It’s Easy as 1, 2, 3...As Simple As Do-Re-Mi...A, B, C, 1, 2, 3, Baby You And Me.

[Nida and Xu are (still!) in the library, with a bunch of books piled up on the desk. Their heads are bowed over their notebooks, as they cautiously take notes.]

Nida: So, Um...

Xu: Yeah?

Nida: I think I got it?

Xu: Really?

[Nida passes his notebook to Xu, and points out the notes in question.]

Nida: Um...I think that’s how you do those equations.

Xu: Is it?

Nida: Um...I think so.

[Xu reads it carefully.]

Xu: Oh. Oh! So...Um...the arrow works like an equal sign?

Nida: Uh...I think so.

Xu: So, 3 atoms of element A + 2 atoms of element B = 1 molecule of element C?

Nida: Yeah. I think.

Xu:, it’s only an arrow because in chemistry, the idea is that it’s forming something new.

Nida: Um, yeah. I think.

Xu: Because, um, a reaction is one way.

Nida: Yeah.

Xu: Oh, okay.

[She hands back the notebook. And their hands accidentally touch again.]

Xu: Oh! Sorry.

Nida: Sorry.

[Long silence.]

Nida: So, you have, um, any ideas for what to do for the, um, project?


Xu: Um, well...


Nida: Ah...

Xu: Um, I guess I have, um one. We, um, could do a volcano?

Nida: Yeah.

Xu: But, um, not like those paper-mache` ones?

Nida: Oh.

Xu: Um, do you ever watch “Goodbye Pupurun?”

[Nida’s face completely lights up.]

Nida: Yeah.

Xu: Well, um, you remember that episode where...

Nida: Oh yeah! You mean the one where it’s Science day and...

Xu: Yeah! Episode #B-23!

Nida: Yeah! That’s when Akira Yojima was still head animator!

Xu: Yeah! Episode #B-23! And Pupu and Nuki build the...

Nida: Yeah! You want to do that?

Xu: Yeah!

Nida: Okay!

Xu: Yeah.

Nida: That’s a good idea.

Xu: Thanks. I drew up a sketch blueprint of how to build it based on the episode, and...

[She passes over her notebook and passes it to Nida.]

Nida: Wow, this looks just like in that episode!

Xu: Thanks! I practice drawing a lot, based on Pupurun.

Nida: Me Too! Only the Yojima as head animator seasons, though.

Xu [smiling]: Of course. Did you get the “How To Draw Goodbye Pupurun” book he put out last year?

Nida: Yeah! That’s when I started drawing a lot.

Xu: Me too.

[He passes it back to Nida. Their hands touch accidentally, again.]

[But this time there aren’t any apologies.]

[Fade Out.]

SCENE 24: A Smashing Scene Featuring Some Lovely Acting
[A Rivalry Reborn]

[Selphie is sitting on (that’s right, “on” not “at”) a table, feet resting on the base of a chair, writing in her poetry journal, the cover of which is (naturally) solid black with vibrant blood red lettering spelling out her name.]

[Seifer approaches.]

Seifer: Hi.

[Selphie raises the level of the journal, lowers her head, and begins to scribble furiously.]

Seifer: Selphie? Do you think we could talk for a minute?

[Selphie puts down her pen just long enough to extend the middle finger of her writing hand in Seifer’s direction, all while remaining soundless.]

Seifer: I guess you aren’t in the mood at the moment.

[She picks her pen back up.]

Selphie: [heavy with acerbic sarcasm] You’re unusually perceptive today, Seifer. I suppose next you’ll inform me that the sky has a slightly bluish tint to it.

Seifer: It’s just that, well, after reading your poetry...

Selphie: [Interrupting] Which you had no right to do.

Seifer: [continuing] ...I’ve been inspired to write some of my own. I thought maybe you’d like to read it.

[Seifer produces several neatly kept pieces of binder paper from a folder stored in his backpack.]

Selphie: Will you finally leave me alone if I read your bloody poems?

Seifer: At the risk of exhibiting pride, I think you might not want me to go away after you read them.

[But nobody will ever know. Enter Squall, copy of “Taming of the Shrew” in one hand, ghetto blaster {thundering} in the other.]

[Squall and Seifer exchange stern glances with each other. Selphie glances sternly at them both.]

Squall: Kiss me, Kate, for we shall be married o’ Sunday.

Selphie [exasperated]: Go away. This isn’t funny.

Squall: I ain’t playin’, yo. Ain’t no joke.

Selphie: Both of you. Leave me alone. Now. I am not even remotely close to being interested. [To Squall] You’re only doing this on a bet. [To Seifer] And you, you’re only doing this because...well, I haven’t figured out exactly what’s motivating you. But it isn’t honorable, I know that much. You’re up to something dishonest.

Seifer: I really do think you’re a great poet.

Selphie: Liar.

Seifer: Lying is a sin; I’d never do that.

Squall: I just wants to get to know ya better, girl. You tired?

Selphie: Why in Alucard’s name would I be tired?

Squall: Because you’ve been running through my head all day!

[Selphie and Seifer wince.]

Squall: Now I know that line be hella stupid n’ all dat, but ya see, normally I wouldn’t bust dat out. But witchoo, I feels I gotsta pull out all the stops, cuz, like, you be special like dat. Plus, like, otherwise you’ll be stuck reading Seifer’s wack-ass poetry.

Seifer: Um, my poetry doesn’t have anything to do with whacking anything. Especially not a defenseless donkey.

Squall: Ha! You hella trippin’, foo. You hella dumb, man!

[Selphie has a pondering look on her face, as if the proverbial light bulb were going off over her head.

Selphie: [ASIDE, TO AUDIENCE] I think it’s time for a little test. Here goes nothing...

[She hesitates briefly, initially unsure of herself, but eventually...]

Selphie: I actually thought that was pretty amusing, Seifer.

[She slides over on the table. In Seifer’s direction.]

Selphie: I haven’t laughed like that in a long time.

[Seifer blushes a little, but smiles.]

[Squall’s eyes go wide.]

Squall: [ASIDE, TO AUDIENCE] Oh HAIL naw! M.C. Griever ain’t goin’ out like dat to a chump like Seifer! I’m bringing out the Ace now, yo.

[Squall sets down the ghetto blaster boom box, presses a few buttons, and a different, distinctly old-school beat, begins emanating from it.]

Squall: [rapping]
You say so away? I say no way!
Cuz it just ain’t cool to leave you stuck with some fool.
No, not a whit: I find you passing gentle.
they told me you were rough and coy and sullen,
And now I find report a very liar;
For thou are pleasant, gamesome, passing courteous,
But slow in speech, yet sweet as spring-time flowers:
Thou canst not frown, thou canst not look askance,
Nor bite the lip, as angry wenches will,
Nor hast thou pleasure to be cross in talk,
But thou with mildness entertain'st thy wooers,

[Squall ceases his ‘flow’ long enough to break dance on the floor of the hall.]

Squall: [rapping resumed]
With gentle conference, soft and affable.
Why does the world report that Selphie doth limp?
O slanderous world! Selphie like the hazel-twig
Is straight and slender and as brown in hue
As hazel nuts and sweeter than the kernels.
O, let me see thee walk: thou dost not halt.

[Squall stops and, on one knee, throws up the “Westside” symbol with both hands.]

Selphie: Asses are made to bear, and so are you.

[But she slides over, back towards Squall, anyway.]

Seifer: Is there some symbolism attached to donkeys that I don’t know about?

Selphie: [ASIDE TO AUDIENCE] What is with these two? What’s this I’m feeling? I can’t...oh no...

Squall: And I gots way more then dat. Check dis out! [Squall hands her a demo tape.] Dis be the most ace mix of all my dopest rhymes and phattest beats. I can be hella deep and poetic an’ shizz, yo.

Selphie: [ASIDE TO AUDIENCE] I...I don’t know what to do. I never get this kind of attention. This can’t be happening. But...they seem so...I need advice.

Squall: So whaddya say, girl?

Seifer: Selphie, honestly, I really like you a lot, and...

Selphie: Leave Me Alone!

[Exit Selphie, clutching Squall’s demo tape, Seifer’s poems, and her journal, all at once, against her chest.]

Seifer: You scared her off.

Squall: Man, you scared her off! I was about to get all up in dat!

Seifer: Your act isn’t going to get anywhere. You’ll have to be a bit more real.

Squall: Foo, I always be keepin’ it real! Especially wit her. She deserves no less.

Seifer: She’s wonderful.

Squall: Hot.

Seifer: She has a beautiful...

[They speak simultaneously.]

Squall: Body.
Seifer: Spirit.

Squall: Man, and to think I wouldn’t even have thought about her like dis if I hadn’t made that dumb-ass bet with Quistis. Ya know, I ain’t never seen a girl with a smile as pretty as that one I just saw from Selphie…

[he pauses.]

Squall: …when you was making that joke about donkeys and asses...

[The implication sinks in, and Squall’s eyes go wide again.]

[He runs after Selphie, putting distance between himself and Seifer as quickly as possible. Exit Squall.]

[Seifer, not wanting to lose any more ground, joins him in running after her. Exit Seifer.]

[Fade Out.]

SCENE 25: Can’t See The Forest For The Trees.

[In Detention Hall. It’s morning. Rinoa is sitting with two compatriots of hers, Zone and Watts. Rinoa is dressed as per usual, Zone has a black shirt and an army surplus helmet {with the word “AVANTI!” in white-stenciled letters across the front} on. Watts has a knit wool cap and glasses with lenses so thick they’re almost opaque and white.]

Zone: This is so unfair.

Watts: They’re trying to break us.

Rinoa: They’ll fail. They can’t hold us in these desks forever.

Watts: You’re right, sir!

[Rinoa hesitates, casting a questioning look at Watts.]

Rinoa: Viva La Revoluccion!

Zone: Viva!

Watts: Viva! Look Out, Sir!

[Watts shouts out his warning just in time; a large section of the metal air vent attached to the ceiling of the detention hall creaks, dislodges, and plummets.]


[But Watts stands up and pulls her out of the way just in time. The metal piece of air vent crashes to the ground with a loud smash.]

Watts: Are you okay, sir?

Rinoa: I think so.

Zone: Our enemies are trying to take us out. I bet the Forest Fox Front is behind this.

[Enter Zell.]

Rinoa: Oh, hi Zell.

Zell: Are you guys the Forest Fox Front? Committed to the overthrow of Galbadian Imperialism over the city of Timber in specific, and the overthrow of the Bourgeois in general?

Zone: What? Fool! We’re the Forest Owl Front! [Mutters to self] Forest Fox Front, yeesh.

Watts: Are we? I thought we were the Forest Chocobo Front.

Zone: Owl Front! Forest Owl Front!

Rinoa: The Forest Chocobo Front splintered off after the Popular Forest Front split off.

Zone: Whatever happened to the Popular Forest Front?

Rinoa: He’s over there.

[She points to one guy, sitting in the corner of detention hall, all by himself.]

Rinoa, Watts, Zone, simultaneously: SPLITTER!

Rinoa: Anyway, we’re not the Forest Fox Front. We’ll have nothing to do with those splitters. They’re all about compromise and appeasement. Too moderate. A hindrance to the revolution.

Watts: You tell ‘em, sir!

Rinoa: [looking oddly at Watts again] Riiiight. Look, Zell, this isn’t some game to us. It’s serious. So hurts. If you want to join the Forest Owl Front, you’ve got to REALLY hate the Galbadians.

Zell: But I do!

Zone: Oh yeah? How much.


Zell: A lot.

Rinoa: Okay, you’re in. Actually, we need more people like you. People trustworthy to the mainstream establishment. What with you being a football player and all, the pigheaded right wing establishment would never think to suspect someone like you until it’s too late.

Watts: Good thinking, sir!

Rinoa: Yeah. You can be “The Fifth Column” of our assault.

Zell: The fifth column?

Rinoa: Yeah. It means agents on the inside.

Watts: Fifth column? But, um, there’s only four of us, sir!

Zone: Oh shut up!

[He slaps him in the back of the head.]

Watts: Cut it out! That’s so fascist of you!

Zone: Fight fire with fire. The only way to overthrow the Galbadians is to use their own tactics against them.

Watts: But then we’d be stooping to their level, and we’d be no different from them after the revolution! It’s just like Hegel said. If you take power by violence, you’ll have to keep it by violence. Tell him, sir! Tell him!

Zone: Sissy. Violence always brings about social change quicker. Everybody knows that. Besides, it’s the only way to overcome and subvert those accomodationist wimps the Forest Fox Front and the Forest Chocobo Front. With direct ACTION! Inspire the people!

[Zone throws a “Roman Style” salute in keeping with his black shirt and uniform, but quickly puts his hand down nervously, amid curious stares from everybody else in detention hall, who are all quickly getting the wrong idea.]

Watts: I’m not going to let you hijack this movement, Stalin-style, and corrupt it into another brutal dictatorship! Let’s throw him out, sir!

Rinoa: Watts, please, we have to keep united...

Zone: If that’s the way you’re going to be, fine! I’m forming my own movement. You guys aren’t serious enough. Long Live the Forest Solidarity Front!

Rinoa: Solidarity? With who? You’re all by yourself!

Zone: With The People! The Glorious Proletariat! Who YOU have lost touch with. You’re just like the Popular Forest Front and The Forest Fox Front!

Rinoa: Don’t ever compare my group to the Forest Fox Front! They’re a broken moderate lapdog. There’s no real difference between them and the establishment anymore!

Watts: Yeah, you tell him, sir! Zone, the Forest Owl Front will crush your stupid Forest Solidarity Front!

Zell: Um, shouldn’t we be struggling together?

Zone: We are, you foolish neophyte.

Zell: No, I mean, united against the common enemy.

Watts: He’s right, sir! We should be united against the common enemy.

Zone: Yeah.

Zone, Rinoa, and Watts together: THE FOREST FOX FRONT!

Zell: No, no, no, no, NO! The Galbadians!


Rinoa: Oh...yeah...

Zone: We’ll never be able to take them on until we neutralize The Forest Fox Front. They’re the real enemy. Class Traitors, they are.

Watts: You’re right!

Rinoa: Wait, I thought you were out of the Forest Owl Front?

Zone: No. I split off and formed the Forest Solidarity Front. That doesn’t mean I’m not in the Forest Owl front, too.

Rinoa: You can’t be part of two fronts at once! It’s ridiculous! Moreover, it’s a conflict of interest, too.

Zone: Why? We want the same thing. Revolution!

Watts: But the Forest Owl Front and the Forest Solidarity Front are totally divided on issues of means and process! They’re irreconcilable!

Zone: But the Forest Solidarity Front stands for Solidarity amongst all Liberation Fronts, so we can reunite and vanquish the Forest Fox Front.

Zell: What about the Galbadians? And the Bourgeois in general beyond that?

Zone: Shut up, nobody’s talking to you. You’re just rank and file; we’re the chairs of the Council. I say unity!

Watts: Yeah, he’s right, sir!

Zone: Under the flag of Solidarity!

Watts: Yeah!

Zone: Are you with me?

Watts: Yeah!

Zone: The Revolutionary Army grows stronger!

Rinoa: Quit subverting my movement! Recruit your own members! Don’t steal mine! It’s counterproductive.

Zone: What, afraid to let Watts think for himself? Watts, think for yourself!

Watts: I agree with whatever it was that Zone said, sir.

Rinoa: This is pointless quibbling over nothing!

Zone: This is central to EVERYTHING! Long Live The Forest Solidarity Front!

[Exit Zone and Watts, who move across detention hall to The Popular Forest Front to see if he’ll join their group. Rinoa and Zell are left alone.]

Rinoa: This sucks. What am I supposed to do now?

Zell: Um...hmm...

[Awkward silence.]

Rinoa: Zell, is there something you want to say to me?

Zell: Um, well...are we still going to...overthrow that Bourgeois thing?

Rinoa: Zell, is that really why you were so interested in joining?


Rinoa: Be honest.

Zell: you want to go with me to the Garden Festival? That’s...that’s kinda been my motivation all along. That probably bothers you. Um, I mean, that all this talk about joining your revolution was just an excuse to get closer to you, and...

Rinoa: Eh. Not really. The main reason I started the Forest Owl Front was really just as a way to meet more guys.

Zell: Did it work?

[Rinoa grabs Zell’s hand.]

Rinoa: Yes.

[Fade Out.]

SCENE 26: Bizarre Love Triangle

[In the office of Head Matron Edea (still possessed by several evil spirits concurrently). Selphie is sitting with her legs pressed against each other and her arms sullenly folded over her stomach. She’s frowning (when is she ever not?).]

[Edea has an axe to grind – literally. The occasional spark flies here and there off the grinder behind her desk as she goes to work.]

[After several seconds, she stops, and flips up the protective face guard wrapped around her head.]

Edea: So, child, you wish to see us?

Selphie: Yes.

[Enter Headmaster Sid, with his rubber Ronald Reagan mask pulled into place.]

Sid [singing]:
I am Emperor Ronald Reagan
Born Again with fascist cravings
Still, you made me President!
Human Rights will soon go away
I am your Fuhrer today
Now I command all of you
I’ll force your kids to pray in school
Force your kids to pray in school!

California! Uber Alles!
California Uber Alles!
Uber Alles! California!
Uber Alles California...

[Sid begins humming along, no longer singing coherent words.]

[Edea calmly turns her head to face Sid. The rest of her body remains as it was, meaning her head is now on backwards, glaring with an impish smirk on her face at Sid. This is, of course, physically impossible except when you’re possessed.]

Edea: Hello dear. Are you still wearing that ridiculous rubber mask? You know how we feel about it...

[Sid stands in shocked, horrified silence. A large wet patch appears and rapidly expands in the front of his pants.]

[Exit Sid, screaming and stumbling about in a blind panic.]

Selphie: What in Alucard’s name was that?

Edea: Never mind him. So, child, you wish to see us?

Selphie: Yes.

Edea: What for?

[Selphie hesitates. She looks awkwardly from side to side, as if checking for eavesdroppers or bugs or something.]

Selphie: I seek advice. On boys.

[Selphie, made anxious by this uncharacteristic public admission, blushes, bringing rare traces of actual color into her face.]

Edea: Ah.

Selphie: Two fool mortal boys are competing over me. It’s silly, really. They’re both playing some insipid little game of courtship. It’s not really me per se that matters to them, but the acquisition of a companion for this upcoming Garden Festival – such a wretched idea – and of course I recognize their machinations for what they really are.

Edea: So, tell us, what’s the problem?

Selphie: Well...[hesitates awkwardly]...this has never happened to me before. I’ve never been “fought over” as it were.

Edea: And?

Selphie: While I naturally resent the objectification I am subjected to as a idea of...well, I suppose it is, in some ways, a nice compliment. And also...I’m not so sure anymore, about their motives. Why, I wonder, if they’re just out for any date, would they continually make such an effort for me, who resists and rebuffs them so strongly? Also, as far as I have seen, neither of them have attempted to pursue any of the other girls. Why would they choose to struggle over me and, apparently, only me, so much, unless...

Edea: To our ears, it sounds like you think they’re genuinely interested in you.

Selphie: They might be. Probably not, but possibly yes? [She makes some approximation of an attempted smile]. The thought is a little flattering. What if they’re not just pretending to be interested in me? But it just doesn’t make sense. Why now, all of a sudden, unless it just has to do with finding someone to go with to the Garden Festival? But then, why are they trying so hard to court me and me alone when so many others would be easier quarry and actually WANT to go? I guess I want to know if you think I should take a chance on one of them, and if so, how do I decide which one?

Edea: How to choose between them?

Selphie: Yes.

Edea: We would recommend killing both of them, then feasting on their respective flesh. Whichever better conformed to your taste would be your choice.

Selphie: But then they’d both be dead.

Edea: Exactly our point. It’s a plan with no downside. A veritable win/win situation.

Selphie: But I don’t want to kill them.

Edea: [shocked] You DON’T?

Selphie: No.

Edea: [Suddenly upset] Well why the hell not? And you call yourself a Goth...

Selphie: If one of them...or, dare I dream, both of them...really do honestly care about me...well, they shouldn’t be put to death for it. Besides, underneath all their pathetic pretensions and conformity to stereotypical automaton behavior...I get the feeling there's something more...genuine. To both of them.

Edea: So you want a means to choose between them.

Selphie: Yes.

Edea: But without fatal violence being involved.

Selphie: Yes.

Edea: We’re afraid that really isn’t our department. We specialize in homicidal solutions.

Selphie: [Groans] This is impossible! You've been no help whatsoever!

[Selphie stands up and storms out.]

Selphie: What am I going to do?

[Exit Selphie.]

Edea: So much for pawns. Oh well, we suppose that if we want something done right, we have to do it ourselves.

[Fade Out.]

[**NOTE** Sid’s “song” a lyrical excerpt from “We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now / California Uber Alles” [Biafra/Greenway] copyright 1982, Alternative Tentacles records. Though Decay Records has since usurped the rights and royalties to this and just about all the rest of the Dead Kennedys back catalog. For more info on the messy legal battle going on amongst The Dead Kennedys, start your search here:

And start following the links that sound like they’re relevant. You’ll figure it out. You’re smart. (I mean, you must be if you’re reading my writing, right? Hee hee).]

SCENE 27: Can’t get much more parallel than this

[Irvine is in the Quad, reading. This contrasts him slightly with the other students in the quad, who are all either half-dressed and sunbathing, or kicking/throwing a soccer ball/football around. The title of the tome in Irvine’s hands is a two-in-one deal, the first book being How To Get People To Like You, and the other 100 Sure-Fire Guaranteed Pick-Up Lines.]

Irvine: This makes it all sound so simple. And yet...

[Enter Ellone, wearing the official school uniform, the same one once required but made optional a year ago. She looks at Irvine, smiles, and shakes her head. She sits down next to Irvine.]

Irvine: What? Don’t give me that look.

[Irvine buries his face in his book again, trying to ignore her. Silence follows. He looks up again, rather peeved.]

Irvine: Don’t you have something better to do?

Ellone: Not really. Everybody else’s story is just about at an end. My work is just about done. Fujin and Raijin are getting along fine, Nida and Xu have broken the ice, Zell and Rinoa have untied their tongues, and Squall, Selphie, Seifer, and Quistis will sort themselves out soon enough.

[Long, silent pause.]

Ellone: That just leaves you.

Irvine: What are you blithering about now, you silly girl? I should report you to the nurse’s office. You’re clearly going insane. It sounds like you believe there’s some Great Mystical Plot we’re all following, and that somehow you are the Agent of said Plot.


Irvine: That is simply ridiculous. People don’t follow scripts.

Ellone: No, they don’t, do they?

Irvine: People are too chaotic. There’s no fate, or destiny, or magic formula or scientific law that governs human behavior like a mathematical function. You can’t just put in action X and expect reaction Y. Only a clueless idiot or a desperate fool would believe otherwise.

Ellone: Exactly. [She stares hard at Irvine’s choice in literature as she speaks.] Only a clueless idiot or a desperate fool. There’s no magic word. There’s no magic phrase.

Irvine: Exactly. [It finally dawns on him, as he looks down at his book.] Erm...

Ellone: [Smiling Broadly] There’s no such thing as a guaranteed sure-fire pick up line. [Pause] Nor is there, for that matter, a magic formula to get people to like you.

[She rips the book out of Irvine’s hand and hurls it into the fountain, quickly soaking and ruining it.]

Irvine: That’s my book! And that’s vandalism!

Ellone: You should report me to the Headmaster’s Office, shouldn’t you?

Irvine: I certainly should.

Ellone: But you’re not going to, are you?

Irvine: [Hesitates, then replies.] No. I guess I’m not.

Ellone: And why not?

Irvine: [He pauses, stutters, struggles to remember] [ASIDE] Gah! What was that one guaranteed sure-fire pick up line? Why’d she have to throw out that book? I can’t remember it? I can’t remember anything about anything!

Ellone: You’re trying to remember something from the book, aren’t you? There’s really no need.

Irvine: But...

Ellone: What did we just talk about?

Irvine: I have such a bad memory.

Ellone: Yes, you do.

[Awkward Pause.]

[With Leopard-Like Suddenness and Ferocity, Ellone pounces on Irvine and knocks him flat on his back. She begins kissing him wildly and does her best to touch his tonsils with the tip of her tongue.]

[Fade Out.]

Part 5