This is a part of Mr. Stolyarov’s play, Implied Consent. To navigate through the various parts of the play, go here.
(Enter MARK and VICTORIA into the space immediately in front of the courthouse, where numerous REPORTERS, as well as NEVILLE and WALTONFORD, are already gathered.)
VICTORIA: I shall go in already, dearest, and let you speak to the defense if you wish. After all, I would not want to overhear any secret information you are exchanging amongst yourselves. (She enters the courthouse.)
MARK (approaching NEVILLE and WALTONFORD): Greetings, gentlemen.
NEVILLE: Mr. Mark.
WALTONFORD: Mr. Mark.
MARK: I, too, of course, am regretful that the trial has begun so early, but how fares your project, Dr. Waltonford? You were working overtime on it, correct?
WALTONFORD: Correct, and I have accomplished much, yet much remains to be done. I would say, if the work continues at the present pace, two more weeks would be needed before the… desired outcome… is attained.
NEVILLE: But unfortunate tidings may still be ahead. Do remember that this is a civil suit, and all the conventionally time-consuming procedures preceding criminal trials, such as jury selection, crime scene investigations, and narrowing down of suspects, are absent. We are arguing before one man, who is not likely to deliberate his decision at length after all the arguments are presented, and will not need to spend time negotiating the verdict with other people. So, even if Roberts does not know that he had better win this case in two weeks’ time if his arguments that Mr. Grummond is not alive are to have any validity, circumstances still favor such a speedy outcome.
MARK: But what of appeals? Can you not always appeal the verdict to a higher court, and thus have all the time you need?
NEVILLE: Unfortunately, this is the highest civil court in the state, and, seeing as all the plaintiffs and defendants are based in a single state, the federal courts could always construe this matter as beyond their jurisdiction. Roberts could always use this line of argument with the proper persons to prevent further appeals even if they were theoretically possible. Thus, our only real option is to win here; everything depends on it.
(Enter ROBERTS in the distance; his head turns toward the conversation of MARK, WALTONFORD, and NEVILLE, though he cannot hear the words pronounced.)
ROBERTS (to himself): Hmmm… isn’t that Victoria’s fiancé? I have seen him in her company quite a few times. And now he’s conversing with the defense! What business does he have with them? I ought to find out. (He opens his suitcase slightly and reaches into it with his hand, but extracts nothing visible. He then addresses the audience with his hand outstretched.) What I hold in my hand presently is a microscopic… communication device, which fits quite nicely in between skin cells when it contacts the hand with the side that I now have facing outward. It is somewhat like a mini-camera and listening device in one, and, when I desire to turn on the monitor to which it is connected, it shall inform me of Mr. Mark’s subsequent… experiences. Now, this is all for the good of the people, of course, so that the people know the truth! They deserve to know the truth in this situation, right? (He begins to walk toward MARK.)
MARK (to WALTONFORD): By the way, I am convinced that my fiancé will no longer serve as witness for the prosecution if you authorize me to reveal the nature of your project to her. She is quite fond of all things technological, and does not, unlike others of the public, consider any manner of improvement upon human life to be sacrilege. When she is told the information, she will agree to withdraw as a witness and to be kept to the same secrecy as I have been. Would you consent to this?
WALTONFORD: It would depend on how this day’s proceedings in court go; I cannot guarantee anything at the moment. But I should be able to tell you my decision by day’s end, after Mr. Neville reveals to me the details of what had taken place so far during the trial. For now, however, I have matters to attend to in the laboratory, and shall take my leave.
MARK: Doctor. (WALTONFORD departs in the direction opposite the courthouse entrance.)
NEVILLE: I, too, must now leave your company to enter and prepare for the trial’s imminent opening.
MARK: Mr. Neville. (NEVILLE enters the courthouse.)
ROBERTS (after a few seconds, catching up with MARK): Ah, so you are Mr. Mark. Pleasure to meet you. I’m Trent Roberts. (Stretches out hand.)
MARK (somewhat uncertain): I am pleased to meet you also, Mr. Roberts. (Shakes ROBERTS’ hand. The grin on ROBERTS’ face widens noticeably.)
ROBERTS: Oh, please, call me Trent. I must extend to you my warmest congratulations on your upcoming marriage to Miss Grummond. Really, she’s such a fine and charming young woman.
MARK: Why thank you.
ROBERTS (attempts to crack a joke): Now, if you ever need a good divorce attorney, you know whom to call!
MARK (appalled): And you have the gall to suggest this-
ROBERTS (lightheartedly): Now, now, I kid, of course, Mr. Mark. All in good spirit!
MARK (in a stern and booming voice): Mr. Roberts, what may be humorous to you and the hedonist circles of your typical associates, for whom marrying and divorcing is a sport, is an outrage to me! I shall stand for no more of this. Good day. (He enters the courthouse.)
ROBERTS: Some people I just don’t understand. (Shrugs) Oh, well. I’ve done what I wanted to him. (He enters the courthouse.)
To read other parts of Implied Consent, go here.