Giving Your All
(all are adults, either gender)
Setting: A line.
(lights up, all nine people are in a line, they wait to go into an office that is offstage, 1 is at head of line, 9 at the end)
1: I don't know exactly.
2: Nine o'clock was what the letter said.
3: Right, two forms of ID.
4: I've got my birth certificate.
5: Driver's license and social security card here.
6: How long will this take?
7: I don't know; they said just a few minutes.
8: I took the morning off work.
9: Why are we here?
(lights down, lights up, same as before, except each person now wears an ID card around his / her neck, like you see in hospitals, 2 is now at front of line, 1 is the end)
2: Maybe they need better pictures?
3: My letter said that we needed to sign some new forms.
4: Yeah, and fingerprints from everyone.
5: I didn't read the whole letter, it was really long.
6: Lots of small type; sounded like lawyers wrote it.
7: But now they'll know who's really American, and who's a terrorist.
8: Yeah, seem like the least we can do, with the troops fighting for our freedom.
9: I don't want my fingerprints taken. I didn't do anything wrong.
1: Listen, pal, then you don't got anything to worry about. Only a terrorist would refuse to get their fingerprints taken.
(lights down, lights up, they have rather large placards hanging on chains around their necks with a big picture of themselves and lots of writing underneath, 3 is at the front, 2 at the end)
3: Yeah, pretty sure it said blood sample.
4: Like the hospital kind?
5: Yeah, they need to check everyone's DNA against that of known terrorists.
6: Makes sense. I wouldn't want to be confused with a terrorist. Those guys are horrible!
7: You said it... TV said they're trying to take away our freedom!
8: Yeah, they could attack at any minute, anywhere.
9: What are you guys so afraid of?
1: Wake up, man! There are people out there who hate America; they want to destroy us.
2: Giving up some DNA will help protect us from them. We're lucky to be living here, in the land of the free!
(lights down, lights up, same placards, they are all barefoot, 4 in front, 3 in rear)
4: Light surgery.
5: Hope it doesn't take too long; I don't have many more sick days to take.
6: Yeah, it's been hard without shoes and socks, my feet got really sore at first.
7: Quit whining, at least you don't have to be in some backward country fighting for our essential freedom.
8: Everyone has to make sacrifices! I'd rather have the Calluses of Liberty on my feet than have terrorists living here.
9: But don't you guys see what's happening!?
1: Yeah, that one guy had bombs for shoes, dumbshit!
2: Shoes can't be trusted!
3: I'm so proud of my Calluses! I'm doing it for America; what's wrong with you? Can't make small sacrifices to preserve our security?
(lights down, lights up, they all have an eye patch covering their left eye, 5 is in front, 4 at rear)
5: Something about reassessment protocols, something?
6: I couldn't read it very well with just my right eye.
7: Me either, but I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm so glad they took it out!
8: You probably think they were being mean.
9: Yeah, they took out everyone's left eye! What has to happen to you people before you...
1: See how dangerous you are?!
2: Your stupid criticism just makes the terrorists stronger!
3: You have to learn how to shut up and let people protect us!
4: Doesn't he even know that the left eye was proven to be the evil one? Jeeessh!
(lights down, lights up, same as before, 6 in front, 5 in back)
6: Freedom. I don't know either. Freedom.
7: Liberty. Standard procedures in cases of national crisis. Liberty.
8: Terrorism. So nice to be back here; I really missed it last week. Terrorism.
9: 9-11. This is not freedom! You people are being lied to! 9-11.
1: Justice. Hey! I told you to shut your trap! The terrorists hear everything! Justice.
2: Sacrifice. You must be a damn terrorist! Sacrifice.
3: Shut up! You just never know when to shut up do you? Shut up!
4: Struggle. It's the least when can do to shut you up! Struggle.
5: Loyal. Some people just don't know how to sacrifice for the good of the country. So selfish. Loyal.
(lights down, lights up, same as before, except they know have headphones on)
7: Liberty. I love this one. Liberty.
8: Terrorism. Yeah! His highest really can sing this one! Terrorism.
9: 9-11. He can't sing and the words are meaningless! "This eternal war will bring us endless peace"? Do you not even see that's impossible?! 9-11.
1: (shouting over the loudness of his headphones) Justice. I turned my volume up; so I don't have to hear you... damn sympathizer! Justice.
2: (shouting) Sacrifice. Good idea! Sacrifice.
3: Shut up! Besides you don't know what the hell you're saying! The channel said just yesterday that you can't have peace unless you fight for it. Shut up!
4: Struggle. So the only way to have the kind of peace we enjoy - an endless peace - is by struggling all the time. Struggle.
5: Loyal. He's completely disloyal! Loyal.
6: Freedom. Doesn't know what freedom even looks like! Freedom.
(lights down, lights up, same as before, 8 at front, 7 at rear, they all speak as if making real sentences with the words, proper inflections and emphasis)
8: Terrorism terrorism terrorism, terrorism terrorism.
9: (pause) Fuck this! (tears off headphones, the the large placard, pulls sandals out of his pockets, puts them on, stands defiantly, then walks away)
1: Justice! Justice justice justice justice justice justice justice justice!
3: Shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up; shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up, shut up shut up shut up.
4: Struggle struggle struggle struggle struggle struggle struggle struggle!
5: Loyal loyal loyal loyal loyal?
6: Freedom freedom! Freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom.
7: Liberty liberty.
(lights down, lights up, all except 9 are same as before, 9 is at head of line, the rest are on their hands and knees with their faces looking down)
(long pause, 9 stares at the eight people behind him, he gets a signal from offstage and walks offstage into the office, gun shot, body thumps to the floor, the other eight pick their heads up and look at each other, trying to smile and making muffled noises of approval through the stitching in their lips)
(lights fade out)