A Futuristic Interview With Romeo


Setting: On the set of ‘Time Voyager\', a new television series.

Characters: ANN - Announcer ROMEO - Romeo

ANN: Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome again to this week\'s edition of Time Voyager.
In case this is the first time you have tuned in and are unfamiliar with the
concept, let me explain it to you. Modern technology today allows us to go back
in time, as you probably know already. We do just that - go back and visit those
times and places that had so much mystery, so much darkness, and so little
knowledge. Our current model of time machine is the best that money can buy and
has been completely tested for safety so we will not... as they say... leave
someone ‘behind the times.\' So sit back, relax, and watch as the past becomes
the present.

(Lights dim, machine hums, beam of light appears center stage. Through the beam,
people are visible, walking seemingly unaware of the new presence.)

ANN: The place is Verona, Italy, and the year is 1523. To be precise, the third
of May.

(Romeo cautiously peers into light beam. It seems he is the only one aware of

ANN: (To Romeo) Do not be afraid, come forward. (Beckons with hand)

ROMEO: What is this?

ANN: Sir, I apologize for this sudden interruption of your day. Perhaps you
would like me to explain?

ROMEO: (Steps onto stage out of light beam. Beam dies) What has happened to me?
Have I died? Is this the other world? What do you want of me?

ANN: No, you are not dead, rather transported to another time...

ROMEO: You talk no sense! Your head must be full of bugs and insects! And, if
you do not mind, what are those strange machines in the corner? (Points at video

ANN: Those are recorders - recording you as you are currently here speaking to
us. They can put the images - moving images - so that we may view them later.
Right now, they are sending the images through the air to millions of people...

ROMEO: What year is this? You have many strange devices, for example, lights
that have no candles behind them, screens that record my movements, and all
these strange new materials, it is rather... mind-boggling... that is, if you
are telling the truth...

ANN: The year is 2174. Yes, I am telling the truth. We have machines that tell
if you are telling the truth now.

ROMEO: How do I know you are telling the truth about machines that tell if you
tell the truth? You could be not telling the truth but have me under the
impression that you are telling the truth simply to put me at ease with you!

ANN: Good sir, I do not lie on national television...

ROMEO: What sort of words are those? Television? Why, that sounds like some kind
of magical ability to see into my soul! Back! I am forced to depart! And if you
resist... (Draws rapier. Audience goes ‘Ooooohhhhh\'.)

ANN: At least tell us your name!

ROMEO: I am surprised that you do not know that already from prying into my

ANN: We are not that good yet.

ROMEO: If you must know, ‘tis Romeo. And with that, a Montague.

ANN: I\'m sorry, did you say... Romeo? Montague?

ROMEO: Are you hard of hearing? Have all the lies you have told clogged up your
own ears too?

ANN: Then you must be the one...

ROMEO: What foolishness do you talk of? The one what?

ANN: The one in love with Juliet!

ROMEO: (Face pales, drops rapier) But how do you know? (Looks at camera.) Great.
Now I suppose millions (Gestures with hands) of people know my dirty little
secret now. And my friends, Benvolio and...

ANN: Mercutio!

ROMEO: Correct, who was unfortunately...

ANN: ...Slain by Tybalt!

ROMEO: ...Whom I did slay. Alack the day.

ANN: But Romeo - We can change all that!

ROMEO: (Very depressed) Everybody says that, now that I have been banished.

ANN: But this is the truth! You deserve a better life than this! Quick,
technicians, set the machine to... When did you slay Tybalt?

ROMEO: On but the second of May.

ANN: Where shall we put you? What year? What month? What day?

ROMEO: I have no hope for redemption...

ANN: Have hope, for god\'s sake! Life is worth living!

ROMEO: I have been stolen from my home...

ANN: Think of what you can live over again!

ROMEO: ...And placed in a strange future, a thousand years later.

ANN: And Juliet!

ROMEO: This feud that goes on shall stop all that again...

ANN: (Bold