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Guinea Pig Paulie

Characters:
Paulie Rockford: The courageous guy known for his profession as a human test subject for countless experiments and inventions. Young man, exceptionally healthy and strong. “Guinea Pig Paulie”.
Director Dennis Markers: The very professional head of the inventions department at CIC. Fairly old.
Dr. Ralph Faux: The geekiest guy you’ll ever meet. Really bad inventor, has many crazy ideas that have never been approved by the company. Until…

Prologue

Setting:
The story opens with a spotlight on DR. MARKER. He’s sitting in a chair, wearing a straightjacket.

Director: (Slowly looks up, a crazy look in his eye.) I know what you’re thinking – you’re making it pretty obvious. You think I’m crazy, don’t you? Well, DON’T YOU? (Pauses) I’m not, let me tell you that. I know what I… Well, I don’t. But something happened! Something…difficult to describe. Impossible to. God, help me; I’m starting to sound like Faux.


Dr. Ralph Faux, you’ve heard of him? You must have – how infamous the man is at the Cooperation for his ludicrous ideas. You know he once tried to cure cancer with genetically altered coconut oil? He does most everything with genetically altered coconut oil. Whenever ol’ Guinea Pig Paulie put that crud on his skin, let me tell you, he couldn’t bath in hot water for… (Breaks into a fit of hysterical laughter) Now, if you haven’t heard of Faux, there’s no doubt you know Paulie. He’s not our only guinea pigger, just has a body of steel, strong enough to take on any drug, injection, experiment. Knowing this, he was perfectly willing to put his body through excessive lengths… (Shakes his head, muttering). But the one time we really need him…

Stop looking at me like that! Look, who are any of you to judge? You weren’t there, you weren’t a part of… (Sighs, exasperated, and sits back down) Maybe that’s the problem. You can’t understand unless you were there. Which you weren’t. Okay, I know – I can tell you what happened, piece by piece, and maybe you’ll have an idea of what we went through. Yes, that will work. It’s a good thing the Paradox happened in…hmm…

Black out.

Scene One

Setting
When the lights come back up, an office is revealed. The DIRECTOR sits at a desk down stage left, wearing a suit, tie and glasses, very professional. There’s a chair on either side of the desk and a door up stage right.

DIRECTOR looks over multiple papers, a confused expression on his face, when there’s a knock on the door.

Director: Come in.
Paulie enters.
Director: Ah, here he is! Guinea Pig Paulie – get in here. (Shakes hands with him)
Paulie: (Smiling) Haven’t seen you in a while, Director.
Director: Sit down, sit down – we have much, much to discuss. How’s the wife?
Paulie: (Sitting) Still gorgeous.
Director: Kids? (Sitting too)
Paulie: Working on it.

Both laugh.

Director: (Leans across desk, slaps in PAULIE the shoulder) Good man.
Paulie: What are you getting me into today, Sir? Need an immortality pill swallowed, cancer-curing vaccine injected, fire-breathing dragon tamed?
Director: That’s exactly why you’re here, Rockford. Tell me, how did your last project go? I understand you underwent surgery for the…?
Paulie: Psychological Department – coolest place at the Cooperation. (Gesturing to his head, speaking thoughtfully and excitedly) The Memory Chip they stitched in up here is unbelievably awesome. An indestructible computer chip implanted your brain, collecting every memory you’ve had and restoring them long after you’re dead. I don’t get speechless, but just…wow. I get to be in the middle of the craziest things. Who else can have an accurate video of their life playing at their funeral?
Director: Right. (Serious now) Paulie, I’ve called you here because we’ve found something…we can’t explain. I’m sure you know Dr. Faux?
Paulie: Ralph? Tested out his coconut oil projects, yeah.
Director: You’re familiar with his, frankly, terrible inventions.
Paulie: (Trying to phrase it nicely) Gee, uh… Well, he could be, um, worse…
Director: He’s claimed to have invented time travel.
Paulie: Sorry, come again?
Director: I don’t believe it anymore than you do – Faux can’t invent worth a damn. But, see, we have reason to believe he’s on to something.
Paulie: Well, okay, great for him… Look, if I have to test it out, can we have some of Dr. Bradston’s moisturizer on hand? If this “time machine” is fueled by any more coco –
Director: We think you already have. (Pause). Tested it out, that is.
Paulie: (Stunned and/or confused to silence)
Director: (Reaches under his desk and pulls out a fossil of a skull.) Take a look at this. Our guys were at the fossil grounds this morning, found a human skull.
Paulie: (Pause, staring) It’s…old.
Director: Much older than old. We’re certain this fossil dates back to the cretaceous period. And inside the skull (pulls it out): a computer chip. Rusting, withering away, but a computer chip all the same. Look familiar?
Paulie: What are you telling me?
Director: Paulie, I’m sorry. This is literally set in stone. You have to take Ralph’s invention back in time, and… Son, you’re not going to make it. We’ve run the numbers countless times. There’s no other way.
Paulie: (Massages his temples, leaning forward, groaning)
Director: I can bring a Doctor in if you’d like, God knows we don’t have a shortage of –
Paulie: (Sits up abruptly, still kind of woozy). When?
Director: Paulie, don’t think about that right now. You just got the news of your life. Death, rather.
Paulie: (Quietly) You have a spooky sense of humor.

DIRECTOR almost speaks, is interrupted.

Paulie: A week. All I need is a week to say goodbye. I’ll be ready.
Director: You’re sure?
Paulie: Don’t sugarcoat me, Director. We’re in the middle of some sort of paradox we don’t even understand, right? I’m not even a scientist – just some guy that can take some blows to the head – and I have an idea of how serious this is. I just…hope my memories are worth your while.
Director: (Nods solemnly) Good man.

Scene 2

Setting:
A chair mid-stage left, designed to look like a time machine. DIRECTOR and RALPH are chatting center stage, in front of a small couch. A door upstage right.

PAULIE walks in.

Ralph: (Shakes PAULIE’s hand aggressively, ecstatic) Paul Rockford! Guinea Pig Paulie! I’m telling ya, it’s so great to see you again. Just fantastic, absolutely fantastic!
Paulie: (Smiling politely). That’s quite a grip you have there.
Ralph: (Lets go) Gee whiz, sorry ‘bout that. Well, hopefully by the time you’re done with this beauty (taps time machine) she won’t burn your skin off like most of my inventions, am I right? Either way, your skull and Memory Chip’ll be intact, though, that we can be sure of.
Director: Dr. Faux?
Ralph: Yes, sir.
Director: You talk too much. (Leads PAULIE to the couch, sits him down) Let the man relax a while. This is a big day.
Ralph: Sure thing, Director. (Salutes awkwardly, then turns to adjust parts the time machine)
Director: (To PAULIE). Is there anything else you need? Something to eat, drink, say… I assume you’ve been to the counselor I recommended. We can bring Mrs. Joyce in if you’d like.
Ralph: (Still calibrating stuff) Just don’t take too long, ya hear? Like the Director said, it’s a big day! Today being the day all my hard work is finally…
Director: Stop talking, Ralph.
Ralph: (Just as perky) Absolutely!
Director: (To the clearly depressed PAULIE) Paulie, say something. Anything.
Paulie: (Slowly but surely, pulling out phone) I’d like to talk to my wife one last time, if that’s alright.
Director: Of course you –
Paulie: Excuse me. (Gets up and leaves, dialing as he opens and shuts the door)
Ralph: (Turning as the door slams). He’ll be back, right? Not abandoning the project?

As DIRECTOR says the following line, RALPH pulls out a laptop and shoved a chip into the drive.

Director: No. I know him. He can’t back away from this now, he’d never forgive himself. He’s too dedicated not go through with a project worth testing. And, of course, the fact that we don’t know what will happen to time itself if he doesn’t… Wait, what are you doing?
Ralph: Oh nothing, nothing at all, just, um…
Director: Dr. Faux! Unplug the memory chip this instant! How did you, where did you…? Look, we can’t be watching memories that haven’t happened –
Ralph: (Fiercely) Apparently, they have, otherwise the Chip wouldn’t be here. Director, you don’t understand. Nobody respects me in the Cooperation, never in the twenty years I’ve been here. Now, finally, something of mine works. I’ve been aching to watch this all week, and you are not going to –
Director: (Staring at laptop) Holy mother of…
Ralph: (Looks back, gasps). That’s a Goddamn Apatosaurus! Are you seeing this, Director?
Director: By god, it’s so…so beautiful...
Ralph: A herd of Hypsilophodons! And in the sky, pterodactyls!
Director: Good God, Paulie, don’t get too close!

DIRECTOR and RALPH burst out in warm laughter.

Director and Ralph: Ahh…
Ralph: Wow. I did this. I gave this man the best possible thing to experience before…

Laptop makes a weird noise.

Director: What happened?
Ralph: I don’t know… The battery must’ve died, I guess. We’ll watch the rest later, don’t –

PAULIE walks in, a petrified look on his face, muttering something inaudibly.

Director: (Now excited) There he is, the man of the hour! Well, we ought to get going on this if you’re going to be the first man to – What are you saying?
Paulie: It’s positive, it’s positive, it’s positive, it’s positive… (Keeps repeating)
Ralph: Would you look at how optimistic the man is?
Paulie: Tami’s pregnancy test, it’s positive…
Ralph and Director: Wait, what?
Paulie: (Screams) I’M HAVING A BABY! Oh my God, I’m having a baby, guys! Good luck – I have to go! I’m having a BABY!
Ralph and Director: (Adlib) Wait! Come back! Stop! No!

PAULIE exits. RALPH and DIRECTOR stay dead silent. After a few beats…

Ralph: Well…now what?

Lights abruptly cut out.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

WOWritingThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 8:46 am:
This is - really, really good. It's intriguing and hooks you in straight away. I don't usually like written scripts, but this is great. I don't often read long pieces on TeenInk but this was really good and I want to know what happens next! :D my favourite piece so far on here... 
 
JRayeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
today at 7:32 pm :
Thank you SO much! :)
 
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