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When A “Star” Goes Supernova / A One Act Play

Updated on December 30, 2016
Source




Setting : Office or scientific laboratory with large graphs and pictures of stars and galaxies.


Jacob Alexander : Sitting at a table examining documents and shaking his head.

Eric Zigman : Hurries into the room through doorway.



Eric Zigman :

“I came as soon as I realized you’d called Jacob. Thought we all had the day off Boss.”


Jacob Alexander :

“Thank you for coming in. Eric, I would like you to check this latest data. I have already checked it a dozen times with the same result.”


Eric Zigman :

“Well the charts appear in order Jacob. The micro gamma ray bursts you observed from within this star are progressing in the pattern as your Supernova model predicts. Looks like your supernova prediction theory will be validated soon enough.”


Jacob Alexander :

“I know, that is why I am so unsure of myself.”


Eric Zigman :

“Well if this supernova occurs as you have predicted, you my friend will be in Stockholm getting the Nobel Prize for Physics.

( Pretending to speak into a microphone )

Ladies and gentlemen the Nobel Prize for pioneering contributions to astrophysics this year is awarded to Dr. Jacob Alexander, greatly assisted by his dedicated graduate assistant Eric Zigman.”


Jacob Alexander :

“I am pretty sure I will never be awarded that prize Eric.”


Eric Zigman :

“It’s possible. If this supernova occurs, and the data here supports that conclusion, we will in the future be able to predict the exact moment a star will go supernova and watch that star explode in real time. Which is much better than belatedly noticing an interstellar event after everything that once was a star is being rapidly spread over the universe.”


Jacob Alexander :

“I don’t think I want to announce this event to anyone Eric.”


Eric Zigman :

“What ? The more scientists and observers there are, the fewer that will doubt that your prediction and the modeling were accurate. When do you think this star will go supernova ?”


Jacob Alexander :

“The data indicates according to my watch that it will be twenty three ( 23 ) hours fourteen ( 14 ) minutes from right N..N...... NOW.”


Eric Zigman :

“Well then we don’t have much time left.”





Jacob Alexander : his voice rising

“I know we don’t have much time left. I don’t think it matters really.”


Eric Zigman :

“What ? If you wait until after the star goes supernova then skeptics will challenge your prediction and theory. You don’t know how long it will be before you have another opportunity like this to demonstrate your supernova critical mass model Jason.”


Jacob Alexander :

“Actually I do know if this star goes supernova there will not be another opportunity Eric.”


Eric Zigman :

“Now I am thoroughly confused. You have worked on this project for five years and I have been helping for the last two years studying hundreds and hundreds of stars. I can help you start making the calls to alert the media right now buddy.”


Jacob Alexander :

“That’s the problem, I have been debating with myself whether to make the announcement or just wait.”


Eric Zigman :

“Wait for what ? You are making no sense and it is late at night. Jason do you have faith in your theory, your experiments, your observations ? Doesn’t your experience and data confirm your projection, then you ......”


Jacob Alexander :

“Yes.”




Eric Zigman :

“So lets start the notification process.”


Jacob Alexander :

“Please sit down Eric.”


Eric Zigman : sits down

“O.K. I’m sitting.”


Jacob Alexander :

“Eric you haven’t asked me which star is about to go supernova.”


Eric Zigman :

“O.K. which star of the hundreds we have examined is about to go supernova ?”



Jacob Alexander :

“The closet star to the planet Earth.”



Eric Zigman :

“The Sun...... This is no time to be joking Jason. Everyone knows that the Sun will not go supernova for billions and billions of years from now.”


Jacob Alexander :

“Everyone then is wrong, according to the data here in front of us.”




Eric Zigman :

“This is one very sick joke pal.”


Jacob Alexander :

“You know we have determined that every once in awhile a star goes supernova unexpectedly. We don’t understand the mechanism ..... maybe gamma radiation sychronous wave feedback. No really good therories ....., just observations and unproven possibilities.


The model we have developed here clearly shows that OUR Sun will go supernova in about twenty three ( 23 ) hours.”


Eric Zigman :

“Your serious, you believe this, don’t you Jacob ?”



Jacob Alexander :

“Unfortunately yes. I reviewed the data over and over before calling you Eric. That is why I checked and rechecked all the calculations, the telemetry data and readings. At first I wasn’t going to tell anyone, then everyone, and now I don’t know what to do. I called you to have someone else confirm the data, to see if I had overlooked something, anything. I called you in to confirm the data and have someone who I can discuss the consequences with.”


Eric Zigman : shouting

“Well in twenty three ( 23 ) hours there will be one hell of a consequence !”


Jacob Alexander :

“Please calm down and talk this through with me. If we tell the world .... well no one can escape. What would people do, what good would that do, to tell them we are all doomed ?”



Eric Zigman :

“Right, some folks might just kill themselves out of sheer terror, a bunch of folks will suddenly get religion and be on their knees.

laughing

Real believers in the end time finally seeing it happen.”


Jacob Alexander :

“Sheer panic, world wide chaos is likely.

Some folks will not believe that the whole world could just disappear, swallowed by the Sun. Remember, the Y2K scare when the calendar was turning to the year 2000 and all the computers were going to fail. The Mayan Calendar ending the world. Past predictions of the ‘end of the world’ that just didn’t happen. Some folks would never believe. Guess they would just go on with their daily lives to the end.”


Eric Zigman :

“Imagine the talking heads on all the television, cable, and radio programs dissecting the “facts” and expert opinions. All the experts pontificating.”


Jacob Alexander :

“No President, country, or any army could do anything to change the course of history.
History, Everything just stops.”


Eric Zigman :

“I imagine that some folks thinking the end was near, would just grab a bottle and a lady and have at it.”




Jacob Alexander :

“I don’t think ultimate disasters necessarily bring out the best in our fellow man. Worldwide chaos spreading like a wildfire. Horrendous fear and terrible deeds.”


Eric Zigman :

“No longer any consequences for your bad choices or evil impulses, for any deed done, or left undone. And if the Sun didn’t go supernova after all, the cost to social and societal stability would be unimaginable.”


Jacob Alexander :

“Few people on the side of the Earth facing the Sun during daylight will understand why the Sun appeared to be getting larger and larger in the sky and coming closer.”


Eric Zigman :

“What do you think, how long will it take before the Earth is just a cinder ?”


Jacob Alexander :

“Well the outgassing of the supernova might strip off the atmosphere of the Earth a few minutes before the Earth was enveloped in the dying Sun’s corona. Cinder is probably discriptive. Should be over pretty quick.”


Eric Zigman :

“Doesn’t someone have the right to know they are going to die ? The chance to get right with God, with others and make amends ? To get right with their maker or someone they have harmed, tell others they love them one last time. Preach for Salvation”






Jacob Alexander :

“Is it really a kindness to let the condemned man have a final meal and then wait in agony for the executioner ?

So what do we do ? No one can save us other than devine intervention if our therory is correct.”



Eric Zigman :

“Well I am going home to spend what is left of my last day with my wife and kids. If we are checking out I want to be home with my family and all go together. I am not sending my kids to school tomorrow, instead we will go to the beach, I understand the weather is supposed to be nice.”


Jacob Alexander :

“What will you say to Janey Eric, when your wife insists the kids go to school.”


Eric Zigman :

“I will lie, and do whatever it takes so we will all be together at the end.”


Jacob Alexander :

“Thanks Eric for coming in tonight. I think I will be going home soon also.”


Eric Zigman :

“Well I will see you, or not, on the other side of this day. Good night.”


Jacob Alexander :

“Good bye.”

He gets up slowly and shuts off all the lights.



Picture sources credited are from Wikipedia Commons.



Thank you for taking the time to read this play and thinking about your response to such a scenario.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



All Rights Reserved


Written : Summer 2013


Hub Published : December 10, 2013

Hub Re-Visited : November 14, 2014

Hub Re-Visited : December 30, 2016


David J. Neuendorff


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


You may want to read a One Act Play previously written found at :

http://neuendorffspeaks.hubpages.com/hub/After-The-Funeral-A-One-Act-Play

OR:

http://neuendorffspeaks.hubpages.com/hub/General-Oversight-Division-Responsible-for-Planet-Earth-vs-Homo-Sapiens




A short story by this author :

http://neuendorffspeaks.hubpages.com/hub/AUSTIN-A-Student-Remembered


Still Another short story by this author :

http://neuendorffspeaks.hubpages.com/hub/Late-One-Night-In-Washington-DC






Permissions



The author encourages you to share this play with anyone.

Please notify the author if you use this play for any purpose.

Please credit the author if you want to stage this play.


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