MALLEE MAYDAY

By Allen Lyne

GENERAL LIGHTING UP ON ACTING AREA AS THE LONG WEEKENDERS ENTER. THEY PROMENADE CHANTING. OOM CHUCKA OOM CHUCKKA YA YA YA. OOM CHUCKA OOM CHUCKKA YA YA YA, ETC.

DRUM BEAT. THEY FREEZE. GENERAL LIGHTING DIMS AS SPECIALS HIT CHRISTINE AND HELEN.

Christine               This is the story of the Mallee.  I'm Christine

Tonie                    And the Murray.  I'm Tonie

Christine               This is our friend Wally.

Tonie                    He left home 'cause he didn't like living in the country.

Wally                    It killed my father.

Christine               And this is our old friends Joy and Joe.

Tony                     Brother and sister.

Christine               Went to the city when their parents' vineyard failed.

Joy                       Grape growers.  Riverland country.

Tonie                    These are their friends.

Christine               Wendy, Ann.

Tonie                    Tiny, Neville---We're all here for the….

All                        LONG WEEKEND.

Chorus                 HERE FOR THE LONG WEEKEND HERE FOR THE LONG WEEKEND

HERE FROM THE CITY, HERE FROM THE TOWN

WE CAN WRECK WE CAN RUIN WE CAN SMASH.

DON'T GET IN THE WAY, DON'T PUT US DOWN

OR WE'LL KNUCKLE AND THUMP AND BASH.

WE'LL ROCK THROUGH THE RIVER, WE'LL ROLL THROUGH THE TOWN,

All                        TO DESTROY IS WHAT WE LIKE.

                            WE'LL BURN AND WE'LL CHOP, YES WE'LL NEVER STOP

                            ALL WEEKEND DAY AND NIGHT.

Chorus                 HERE FOR THE LONG WEEKEND, HERE FOR THE LONG WEEKEND

FOR WE ARE THE GANG TO LET YOU KNOW

THAT WE'RE TOUGH AND ROUGH AND MEAN.

WE'RE FOUL AND CRUDE AND REALLY VERY RUDE

WE'RE CRASS AND UGLY AND OBSCENE.

YOU CAN GET REAL DRUNK YOU CAN GET REAL PISSED

YOU CAN SPEW YOU CAN CHUNDER YOU CAN CHUCK.

YOU CAN ROCK YOU CAN ROLL YOU CAN REALLY HAVE A BALL

YOU CAN SHAKE YOU CAN RATTLE YOU CAN….

All                        CHUCK

Chorus                 HERE FOR THE LONG WEEKEND, HERE FOR THE LONG WEEKEND

                            THEY ALL COLLAPSE IN A HEAP

                            DURING THE ABOVE CHORUS/CHANT TONIE IS ESTABLISHED AS THE CHUCKER.

Joe                       Geez, what a bonzer, beaut weekend.  Pissed?  We was pissed for the whole three days.  Wouldn't believe the things that happened.  For starters, Nev chops down a tree for firewood, see?  Pissed as a newt.  Dropped this bloody great tree fair on the tent.  Laugh.  Would've killed any bastard inside.  Lucky we was all out tryin' to shoot roos.

CROSSFADE TO JOY.DURING THIS NEXT SECTION WE SEE WALLY IN ACTION.

Joy                       So Wally—you never seen nothin' like it—Blazin' away with his twenty-two semi-automatic 'cause he reckoned he'd seen a rabbit.

Wally                    Pow pow pow pow pow pow pow pow.

Joy                       Suddenly there's this voice….

V/O                      Put that flamin' gun away.  You're shootin' holes in me house.

Joy                       Laugh?  Well, we laughed later.  This farmer bloke comes over see?  White
as a sheet.
  Did he get stuck into Wally?  Called him all the bastards under the sun.  Wally says

Wally                    Sorry mate.  Didn't see your house.

Joy                       Lauqh?  Wally didn't remember nothin' about it next morning.

CROSSFADE TO JOE. WE SEE TINY IN A SEPARATE LIGHT. HE MIMES THE DUCK BIT.

JOE                     Never seen no one so pissed . Lauqh.  On the second morning, we'd hardly slept, Tlny'd had eight stubbies .... No, really.... eight flamin stubbies for breakfast and he sees some ducks.  Gets some bread and starts throwin' it to them.

CROSSFADE TO JOY

JOY                     Can you imagine it?  Tiny?  Throwin bread to ducks?  We thought he was losin' his grip.  Laugh?  Anyway, he's throwin' the bread closer and closer and the ducks are comin' closer and closer and when they're real close, he reaches out and grabs one.

CROSSFADE TO JOE

Joe                       No, ridgey dij, he did. Couldn't of done it sober.  No worries. Tiny looks the duck in the eyes-- know what he does?  Bites its head off.  Laugh?  There's duck blood spurtin' everywhere

                            TONIE CHUCKS.

Joy                       First night we camped on this bend in the river, see?  Laugh?  We must've drunk six million stubbies.  Everyone was real pissed, even us sheilas.  Then Wendy gets a great idea….

Wendy                  Smash the empties.

                            GENERAL LIGHTING UP AS THE LONG WEEKENDERS SMASH THE EMPTIES. MOVEMENT SEQUENCE. SOUND OF SMASHING BECOMES LOUDER AND MORE EXTREME WITH TIME. LONG WEEKENDERS HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER.

Joy                       Laugh?  There was broken glass all over the place.  Jeez, we were so pissed.

                            GENERAL LIGHTING FADES.

                            FX: STICKS AND CHANT.  FAINT AND JUST A SNATCH.  JOE'S SPECIAL UP AND ANOTHER ON ANN.

Joe                       On the second night Ann's tryin' to light a fire to cook some tucker.  She's pissed out of her brain.  Never lit a fire before neither, see?  So she piles up some branches with some dry grass underneath and off she goes.  Reckon it'd start?  No way.  Wood's too green, but we weren't gonna tell her.  Ann gets the petrol can from the outboard and throws petrol all over the fire, see?  There's this bloody big bang.  Up goes the fire.  Up goes the petrol can.  Up goes Ann.  Shouldn't scar too much.

SLOWFADE ON ANN'S SILENT SCREAM OF AGONY. STICKS AND CHANT ARE HEARD ONCE MORE. THEY ARE LOUDER AND MORE INSISTENT. THEY FADE AS GENERAL LIGHTING COMES UP ON JOY AND THE LONG WEEKENDERS IN THEIR BOAT. (HOUSEBOAT)

Joy                       We're comin' through this lock on the second day, see?  And this bloke on the lock says, "Got any empties?"  "Not us," says Tiny. "We don't drink."  Laugh?  We're all pissed as newts and Tonie's chuckin' over the side of the boat.  "Don't worry about her," says Wendy.  Seasick.  Laugh?  We laughed so much Tiny pranged the boat into the side of the lock on the way out.

LIGHTS DOWN ON JOY AND THE BOAT.

STICKS AND CHANT SWELL TO A ROAR IN THE BLACKOUT.

ANOTHER ABORIGINAL MUSICAL SOUND IS ADDED.

SOUNDS AND CHANT FADE AS A SPECIAL COMES UP ON JOE.

Joe                       By the end of the day we've got all this crap in the boat. There's empty cans, empty cigarette packets, empty stubbies, cardboard boxes, plastic bags and wrappers and yabbies…

ALL                      Paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!

Joe                       The boat's awash with crap.

Wally                    Leave her to me.

All                        Heave ho.

Wally                    The big garbage can'll take care of her.

Joe                       Laugh?  Jeez it was a great weekend.

JOE'S SPECIAL FADES. SOUNDS AND CHANT IN BLACK

THEY START SOFTLY AND BEGIN TO BUILD. THIS TIME THEY CONTINUE THROUGH JOY'S SPEECH. GENERAL

LIGHTING UP ON JOY AND THE LONG WEEKENDERS.

Joy                       Guess what we forgot?  The flamin loo paper.  Had to wipe our.... Well we had to….on grass!  Tiny picked up some stinging nettles by mistake….

SPECIAL ON TINY'S FACE AS WE SEE AND HEAR HIS REALISATION.

Joy                       Never seen no one so pissed.  Jeez, we was all of us so pissed.  Then on the third night.

                            ROCK MUSIC. CAKE WALK. SOUND BUILDS.  EXPLOSION. SMOKE. POOTERA APPEARS.

Pootera                GAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

OVER POOTERA'S SCREAM AND EACH SUBSEQUENT TIME WE HEAR IT SCREAM, WE HEAR A RUMBLING SOUND.

THE LONG WEEKENDERS REACT WITH HORROR.

Christine               Jeez!  What's that?

Pootera                GAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Wally                    A farmer?

Ann                      Ever see a bloke look like that?

Wendy                  Should see my old man after a hard night.

Pootera                I will kill you.

                            IT MOVES TOWARD THEM. THEY FLEE.

Tonie                    Hold it .... Hold It .... This isn't happening. We're just pissed.  Watch ......

SHE MOVES TOWARD POOTERA. IT PICKS HER UP AND HURLS HER BACK TO THE OTHERS.

Pootera                GAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

                            SLOW MOTION DANCE SEQUENCE AS POOTERA CHASES THE LONG WEEKENDERS AROUND THE SPACE.

THE DANCE SEQUENCE FINISHES WITH THE LONG WEEKENDERS IN DEFENSIVE POSITIONS.

Pootera                The land, the river, the lakes. Everything is dying and IT IS ALL YOUR FAULT.

Wendy                  We didn't do nothin'.

Pootera                You are the new generation.  The new custodians.  You must correct the faults of your people.

Joe                       Mum and Dad?

Pootera                White people.  Cut down the trees, dam the river, take water from the river, salt rises, river silts up, river dies, THE EARTH IS BEING DESTROYED.

Joy                       It wasn't us.

Pootera                It was your people.  You are the young.  You must repair.

Christine               How are we going to do that?

Ann                      Don't know what you're talkin' about.

Pootera                You have one last chance.  Repair the damage done by your people or you die.

Tiny                      Here, hang on.

Wally                    You're jokin', aren't you?

Wendy                  It's a nightmare.

Pootera                Do you understand what I have said?

Tiny                      What?

Pootera                One last chance.  Repair the land or die.

Joy                       Repair…?

Wendy                  How?

Joe                       What's it on about?

Wally                    You sayin' it's all up to us?

Wendy                  Reckon we all want to live in the country?

Chris                    It's not my fault.

Ann                      No one's gonna make me do nothin'.

Pootera                You refuse to accept responsibility?  Oooooooooooh, Gaia, the young refuse to become custodians as in ages past.  Do your worst Gaia .... End it .... Come, mighty Gaia….come Gaia….end it….it must finish!

                            MUSIC. SPECIAL ON POOTERA. LIGHT BEGINS TO FADE. THE EARTH BEGINS TO SHAKE. THE LONG WEEKENDERS ARE THROWN AROUND.

Ann                      Stop it!

Tiny                      What's goin' on?

Wally                    Knock it off.

Wendy                  Fair go.

Chris                    Oh, don't stop it.

Joy                       Far out.

Tiny                      Amazing.

THE MUSIC HAS BECOME EVER MORE TORTURED AND POOTERA WRITHES AND GROANS AS THE SPECIAL FADES THEN COMES BACK UP. THROUGHOUT, POOTERA CALLS TO GAIA TO END IT. THE LIGHTING, MUSIC AND VOCALS INCREASE AND DECREASE IN INTENSITY. FINALLY THE LIGHTS GO RIGHT DOWN, THE MUSIC BEGINS TO TRAIL OFF TO A WAIL. POOTERA'S VOICE BECOMES WEAKER AND WEAKER. THE LONG WEEKENDERS ARE PRESSED DOWN TO THE FLOOR.

SUDDENLY THE LIGHTS AND MUSIC SNAP BACK UP TO FULL

POOTERA SCREAMS.

Pootera                AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Gaia will not yet end it.  Oh hear me Gaia. It must end.  The land.  The land is dying.

Neville                  Jeeez!

Ann                      Please, please stop.  Who are you?

Pootera                POOTERA.

Tiny                      Poo who?

Pootera                Terra.  Pootera, the devil of the lost Narwij-Jerook.

Christine               Who?

Pootera                Narwij-Jerook.  The Nookamba tribe.  The old custodians.

TINY:                   Who's this "Gaia" you keep shouting about?

ANN :                   Why do you want to kill everyone?

POOTERA:           The land.  The land.  You do not care.  Oh, Gaia, Come.  Come!

Tonie                    Jeeez, don't start that again.

Pootera                Why do you not care for the land?

Tiny                      It's only dirt.

Noelene                Look, whoever--whatever you are.  It's not our fault.  We're only visitors

Pootera                You are the young.  It is your responsibility

Wally                    What is?

Pootera                To become custodians of the land.

Tonie                    What are you talking about?  Custodians?

Pootera                The land has been abused.

Tonie                    We're just growing things.

Pootera                The air is poisoned.  The water is foul.  The soil is dying.

Tonie                    Bull.  We're using them to grow things.

Pootera                What use of air you cannot breathe?

Tonie                    So, there's a few chemicals in the air.

Pootera                What use is a river when you cannot drink its water?

Tonie                    We can filter it.

Pootera                What use is soil that grows nothing?

Tonie                    It hasn't stopped growing things.

Pootera                It will.

Tonie                    We've got scientists working on these things.

Pootera                Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgggggghhhh!  They do not understand GAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAA.

Joy                       Who is this Gaia?

Tiny                      It's all Greek to me.

Pootera                You do not belong here.  You have no understanding.

Christine               What are you on about?

Pootera                You do not know your history.  The history of the land that nurtures you.

Tonie                    History?  Yuk, got enough of that at school.

Pootera                A people that do not know where they come from do not know who they are.

                            FLUTE MUSIC. SAD, WISTFUL. THE MUSIC EVOKES MEMORIES OF THINGS LONG PAST. POOTERA IS ALONE IN A SPECIAL. THE IMAGES POOTERA EVOKES ARE PLAYED OUT.

Pootera                Once a people called Narwij-Jerook lived here.  They lived on the shores of the great lake Nookamka.  They were happy people. The land, the river, the lake, the sky, they provided for Narwij-Jerook all things needed to survive.  The land was a hard land.  Dry.  But Narwij-Jerook knew how to live here. They lived in harmony, in balance with the land.  Narwij-Jerook stayed close to the life-giving waters of the river and the lake.  There was plenty of bush tucker here.  Plenty of wallaby, possum, fish, birds and plants to eat.  In the bad times when the river dried up the great lake Nookamka also emptied, food called pullila grew in the dry lake and the river.  The land provided for Narwij-Jerook and they were happy.  Around the lake and along the river big river gums grew.  Bigger than any trees you are ever going to see.  They took hundreds of years to grow and no time to destroy.  The beautiful big gum trees with their branches spreading, giving cool to the people and the land in the hottest times.  All gone now like Narwij-Jerook.

Sometimes the tribe suffered from the heat and sometimes from the cold.  Sometimes when the rain did not come for a long time the tribe would go hungry.  But not for long for this was a rich land.  Sometimes sickness swept the tribe, but always, in the end, what was left was the people, the river and the land.  There was balance.  There was harmony.  Then the white people came.

POOTERA CONJURES THE NEXT SCENE--

FLASH AND EXPLOSION. WE SEE-THE WHITES ARRIVE. MUCH CONFUSION AND SHOUTING: WE SEE DEPICTED THE PEOPLE FROM THE FIRST ERAS OF EXPLORATION/DEVELOPMENT.

1830: STURT SAILS DOWN THE RIVER.

1838: HAWDON DRIVES A MOB OF CATTLE THROUGH.

1840: AN OVERLANDER DRIVES A MOB OF SHEEP

THROUGH--HE SHOOTS AN ABORIGINE.

1845: A FARMER PLOUGHS A FIELD--HE SHOOTS AN ABORIGINE.

1851: A RIVERBOAT SAILS THROUGH--SOMEONE SHOOTS ANOTHER ABORIGINE.

THROUGHOUT THE ABOVE SCENES WE HEAR THE SOUNDS OF

AXES, SAWS AND TREES FALLING (CHEKOV EAT YOUR HEART OUT).

Clergyman            Will you please stop shooting the Aborigines?

                            SOMEONE SHOOTS HIM.

                            LIGHTS FADE ON THE SETTLERS' SCENES.

                            SPECIAL ON POOTERA.

                            SOFT, ROMANTIC MUSIC.

Pootera                And so the harmony, the balance with the land was broken.  It took only twenty years from white people coming to this beautiful country, this beautiful river, for Narwij-Jerook to die.

                            1860s. DANCE SEQUENCE IN WHICH WE SEE THE DEATH OF THE NARWIJ-JEROOK TRIBE. WE HEAR WILD LINES AS VOICEOVERS. "MEMERA". "WE ARE ALL FRIENDS". "COME, SHARE THE LAND". THERE IS A SINGLE GUNSHOT THAT REVERBERATES AS THE LAST OF THE BLACKS DIE. POOTERA SPEAKS.

Pootera                Forty thousand years….All gone now….All gone.

                            POOTERA STANDS SADLY IN DIM LIGHT.

                            A FEMALE VOICE. LIGHT AND CLEAR.

                            RED THE SLAIN-DAY SUNSET

OVER THE LAKE

STILLNESS

BROKEN BY SOLITARY BIRD

HOMING

SPIRIT OF NARWIJ-JEROOK

BROODS

THE LAND CRIES FOR THEIR RETURN

GENTLE PEOPLE OF A GENTLER TIME

LAUGHTER OF PICCANINNIES ECHOES YET

FROM DARK TREES.

                            POOTERA SPECIALOUT. 1880s

                            LIGHTS UPON FARMERS 1 TO 4.

Farmer 1              No use.

Farmer 2              Nope.

Farmer 3              Nothin can live up here.

Farmer 2              Nope.

Farmer 4              No flamin rain.

Farmer 2              Nope.

Farmer 1              Won't support cattle.

Farmer 2              Nope.

Farmer 3              Won't support sheep.

Farmer                 Nope.

Farmer 4              Won't support crops.

Farmer 2              Nope.

FARMER 1           Place is so flamln' dry nothing'll live.

FARMER 2           Nope.

FARMER 3           Suppose this means you'll be leaving?

FARMER 2           Nope.  Place has its faults, but it's a good place to live.  For one thing there's the beautiful big bounteous blue Murray River.  All that water but the land won't grow a bloody blade of grass.

1886. SWANEE THEME

ARRIVAL OF THE CHAFFEYS.

SONG AND DANCE ROUTINE.

Chaffey I              Hot diggedy dog. Hootin tootin. Morn's apple pie and goddam.

Chaffey 2              Son of a gun. Stars and stripes. Old glory and yeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaah

Farmer 2              Where'd you fellas say you was from?  America?

Chaffey 2              Canada.

Farmer 1              (GESTURE)

Chaffey 1              Chaffey's the name and we're here to tell you what to do with that there river.

Chaffey 2              We'll irrigate

Chaffey 1              Irrigate

Chaffey 2:             Irrigate

Chaffey 1:             Irrigate

Chaffey 2              Two, three, four

Both Chaffey's      WAY DOWN UPON THE MURRAY RIVER

FAR FAR FROM HOME

THAT'S WHERE MY HEART IS YEARNIN EVER

FAR FROM THE OLD FOLKS AT HOME

ALL DOWN ALONG THE MURRAY RIVER

GLADLY I ROAM

THIS IS WHERE WE'RE GONNA MAKE OUR FORTUNE

FAR FROM THE OLD FOLKS AT HOME.

OH ALL DE WORLD IS SAD AND WEARY

EVERYWHERE I ROAM

'CEPT UP ALONG THE MURRAY RIVER

FAR FROM THE OLD FOLKS AT HOME

WE'LL IRRIGATE IRRIGATE IRRIGATE IRRIGATE

YEEEEEHAAAAAAH!

SQUARE DANCE ROUTINE AS IRRIGATION EQUIPMENTIS INSTALLED.

CHAFFEY 1          Pipes n pumps and pumps and pipes

CHAFFEY 2          Pumps and pipes and pipes and pumps

CHAFFEY 1          Take your partners by the hand

BOTH CH             Lay out the towns!

WE'LL BORROW A MILLION A MILLION AND THANKS

BORROWED FROM GOVERNMENTS BORROWED FROM BANKS

BORROWED FROM PEOPLE LIKE SHE AND LIKE HE

FROM ORDINARY PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND LIKE ME

WE'LL BORROW THIS MONEY BUILD US SOME TOWNS

DIVIDE UP THE FRUIT BLOCKS AND THEN KNOCK THEM DOWN

WE'LL BORROW THIS MONEY TO WATER THIS LAND

COME UP TO RENMARK AND GIVE US A HAND

WE'VE OODLES OF WATER FROM THAT RIVER THERE

WATER YES WATER WE'VE WATER TO SPARE

WE'LL TAKE ALL YOUR MONEY AND BUILD US THESE TOWNS

GIVE US YOUR SHILLINGS AND GIVE US YOUR POUNDS

WITH CHAFFEYS YOU'LL PROSPER WE'RE PERFECTLY SOUND

DON'T WORRY DON'T FIDGET WE'LL NOT LET YOU DOWN

WE'VE DONE IT BEFORE IN THE OLD USA

GET US SOME WATER THE LAND WE CAN SPRAY

WE'VE OODLES OF WATER FROM THAT RIVER THERE

WATER YES WATER WE'VE WATER TO SPARE

THINK OF YOUR COUNTRY & BUY UP A BLOCK

COME TO THE RIVERLAND, GO INTO HOCK

WITH THE CHAFFEY'S YOUR MONEY IS PERFECTLY SAFE

PUT UP YOUR MONEY WE'RE BUILDING APACE

PICK OUT YOUR BLOCK AND PICK ITOUT QUICK

WE KNOW IRRIGATION WHAT MAKES IT TICK

WE'VE OODLES OF WATER FROM THAT RIVER THERE

WATER YES WATER WE 'VE WATER TO SPARE.

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Chaffey 1              Hot diggedy dog.

Chaffey 2            Hootin tootin.

Chaffey 1               Step right up step right up for the greatest auction of all time.  Who'll bid for the first block?  Yes the first block to go.  Step right up step right up who'll have em who'll have em who'll have 'em?  Sold to the gentleman in the top hat.  Congratulations!

Gent 1                   I was just scratchin' me nose.

Chaffey 2                  You won't regret it.

Gent                          What?  scratchin' me nose?

Chaffey 1               Sell up the land.

Chaffey 2                  Sell up the blocks.

Chaffey 1               Ice blocks?

Chaffey 2                  Fruit blocks!

Chaffey 1                  What a grape idea

Cbaffey 2                  Berri qood!

Chaffey 1                  Renmarkable

                                 THEY DANCE TO THE SWANEE RIVER THEME

                            SPARKLERS. RUMBLE.  CROSSFADE TO POOTERA

DANCE SEQUENCE BEHIND POOTERA'S MONOLOGUE

Pootera                     Underground a sleeping monster stirs.  Always there has been harmony between the sleeping monster and the river.  It begins to move.  Under the land.  Under the river basin.  It is waking and moving toward the river.  It begins to cry.  A long drawn-out wail.  Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!  Its tears, the monster's tears weep salt into the river.

Chaffey 2                  Yep, we got ourselves a land flowing with milk and honey.  Fruit blocks carved out of the mallee.  Vines and oranges, peaches and plums.  You name it. If it'll grow, we'll grow it.  And the river, that great big bonzer beautiful bounteous blue river is what gives it all life.  Huge pumping stations on both sides of the river in three states.  Thousands of miles of pipes, millions of megalitres of water each year pumped into the irrigation pipes and ditches.  And behind it all the one thing we can't do without, the big bonzer beautiful bounteous beatific blue Murray River.

Farmer 2                  Err ..... It's not blue anymore.

Chaffey 2              So?  A bit of silt don't matter.

Farmer 2                  Err .... It's sort of stopped flowing.

Chaffey 1              So we put sandbags across the river at Renmark and Mildura and pumped what water we could get onto the fruit blocks.  It was no good.  Salinity it killed everything it touched.

Farmer 1              Lost all our money

Farmer 2                Lost all our dough

farmer 3                  Lost all our land.

ALL                      We just gotta go.

SAD, WISTFUL MUSIC AS THEY TRUDGE OFF.

Farmer 2              Damn the river.

Chafey 1               Damn the river.

Chaffey 2              Damn the river.

THE IDEA DAWNS ON THE CHAFFEYS AND ON FARMER 2.

MUSIC

Pootera                So they dammed the river, put in locks, changed the way the river lives. Now it hardly rises and falls.  The river is dirty and the monster cries its salt tears faster and faster.  What use is a river when you can no longer drink the water?  And the river gums….the drowned trees cry for help….

THE FEMALE VOICE WE HEARD PREVIOUSLY PICKS UP POOTERA'S LAST LINE AND THEY SAY IT TOGETHER, LIGHTS COME DOWN ON POOTERA WHO REMAINS DIMLY LIT.

                                 THE DROWNED TREES CRY FOR HELP

WE HAVE BROKEN THE THREADS OF THE PAST

DESTROYED WHAT WAS GOOD

HARMONY

NOW UNKNOWN

WE DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE NEEDS OF THIS FRAGILE LAND

THE DROWNED TREES ARE DYING

THE RIVER IS DYING

THE LAND IS DYING

Pootera                          NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Farmer 3              I remember my old grandpa and grandma, you know.  Strike me pink, I reckon they lived a better life than I've got now.  The old dad and the Granddad only had half the land I've got, and they only got five bags an acre.  That's right, five flamin' bags of wheat an acre was all this dryland area could support.  They could take several weeks off a year too, between harvesting and sowing.  Me? I'm out there on the land fifty-two weeks a year.  I work all the flamin' time pumping chemicals into the land to keep up those twelve bags an acre I get.  Yep, over twice what the dad and the Grandad got, yet I'm just keeping me head above water.  Dad owned his land. I owe half a million on mine. Life should get easier as time goes on, but it don't.

Joy                       Jeez, anyone'd think everything was our fault.

Christine               We didn't do nothing.

Wendy                  Tell you what, that thing frightened the life out of me.

Nev                      Just play it cool everyone.  Do exactly what it wants.

Tonie                    Yeah?  Bullshit!

Nev                      Nothing else we can do.

Joe                       It's big alright.

Tonie                    Wimps.

Nev                      Suppose you're gonna tackle it head on?

Tonie                    If I do I won't expect you backing me up.

Ann                      Wimps.

Tonie                    You so-called blokes are all the same.

Wally                    Yeah?  I'm not frightened.

Chris                    What would you do?

Tiny                      Shut up all of you.

. Tonie                   Look out here comes macho man.

Tiny                      I said shut up ...... We're gonna take it on.

Ann                      What?

Tiny                      Pootera?

Wendy                  We can't.

Chris :                      It's too big

Nev                      And strong.

Tiny                      Nothing's too big or strong if you play your cards right.

Wendy                  You're gonna knuckle Pootera?  That'll be worth seeing.

Tiny                      Not just me.  Us.

Nev                      Can't do it, Tiny.  Too big.

TINY GRABS NEV BY THE THROAT.

Tiny                      Shut your mouth, Neville.  If I say we go for it we go for it.

Nev                      Right.

Ann                      What do we do?

Tiny                      Tonie, you start another argument with Pootera.  Rest of us come up behind it with sticks and rocks.  When I give the signal, we rush it.

Joy                       And?

Tiny                      We belt the frigging to death.

Tonie                    Great plan, Tiny.

Wally                    Take long to work out?

Tiny                      We do it my way or you get the belting instead.  Got it?

Wendy                  Maybe we should talk to it a bit more.

Tiny                      The thing wants to rip our heads off and you want to talk to it?

Wendy                  Well, what it's saying makes sense.

Chris                    What? That it wants to kill us?

Joy                       It sucks.

Wendy                  Anyone agree with me?

Wally                    Who gives a stuff.

Wendy                  What's wrong with what it's saying?

Wally                    Oh come on!

Nev                      I've been so busy shitting myself I haven't listened.

Ann                      Air, soil, water.  Lose them, we die.

Nev                      That's it?

Chris                    That's it.

Nev                      Nothing much to it.

Joe                       Nope.

Tony                     But it's telling us everything's our fault.

Tonie                    Pig's arse.

Tonie                    It's telling us if we don't fix everything up, we die.

Wendy                  Suppose someone's got to do it.

Wally                    Where you gonna start?

Tiny                      Yeah, go on smart arse.  Gonna solve the world's problems.  Where do you start?

Wendy                  I dunno.

Joe                       If you don't know, how you gonna fix anything?

Wendy                  You're the smart bastard.  The country kid.  You tell me.

Nev                      I don't even know what the problem is.

Chris                    Nor me.

Joe                       Aw, bullshit.  You live out here.  You know what's wrong.

Chris                    Nothing wrong where I live.  Our farm's doing real well.  Twelve bags to the acre.

Tonie                    It's the river, right?  The water Poo thing's talking about.  Too much salt in it.

Chris                    No problem at Pinnaroo.  Our bore water's okay.  River don't matter to us.

Wendy                  Except that if there's no river there's no South Australia.

Chris                    You clean it up.  Nothing to do with us.

Tonie                    Not all our fault either.  What about all the shit that gets dumped into it upstream?

Wally                    Reckon there's nothing wrong out there in the drylands?

Chris                    Our water's okay.

Wally                    For now.  What about the soil?  The only stuff not blowing away is so loaded up with chemicals it can't shift.

Chris                    Oh, crap.  It's heavy soil. Clay.  Anyway, my dad only puts into the soil what it needs.

Wally                    And my dad's farm failed because he had a couple of bad years and the bank pulled the pin.

Chris                    That's not the land's fault.

Wally                    We've only been farming there for eighty years.  We've knocked down all the trees and cleared thousands of hectares.  Pumped fertiliser and other shit into the soil by the tonne.  Who knows what'll happen to the land in years to come?

Joy                       You saying Pootera's right?

Wally                    What happened to your parent's fruit block?

Joe                       Yeah.  The salt.

Tiny                      Doesn't matter if it's right or wrong.  It wants to kill us.

Wendy                  Only if we don't listen.

Wally                    And act.  I'm not staying around in the country to fix nothing.

Ann                      Me neither.

Tonie                    Mightn't have to.

Nev                      Eh?

Tonie                    We could make a deal with Pootera.  Those of us who live in the country spread the word up here.  Those of us who live in the city spread the word there.

Tiny                      You're crazy?  We're gonna belt its brains out and that's that.

Tonie                    Who reckons we should talk to it?

Tiny                      I'm not asking you. I'm telling you.

Tonie                    piss off.

Tiny                      Reckon I won't hit a sheila?

HE SHAPES TO KNUCKLE HER.

Tonie                    Just because you're big doesn't mean you're right.

Tiny                      Yes it does.

THERE IS A MASSIVE BRAWL

POOTERA WAILS.

Tonie                    So things are crook now.  They'll get better.

Pootera                The land will reject you or die.

Tonie                    We're just growing things.

Pootera                You destroy what you touch.

Tonie                    We've improved the land.

Pootera                You are despoilers.

Tonie                    This land grew bugger all before we came.

Pootera                You cannot breathe the air.  You cannot drink the water.  The soil becomes barren.

Tonie                    But we're just growing things.

Pootera                The land must reject them or die.

Tonie                    Things people need.

Pootera                The land will reject them.

Tonie                    Things people can't do without.

Pootera                There must be balance

Tonie                    What do we eat if we don't grow stuff?

Pootera                There must be harmony

Tonie                    How are we gonna live?

Pootera                YOU MUST FIND ANOTHER WAY

                            FX RIVER IN DISTANCE.

                            GAIA DISTANT RUMBLING

Pootera                You must find another way to be on the land.  You must put something back.

                            SOFT PAN PIPES—THE RIVER RUNS DOWN TO THE SEA.

Tonie                    The Land?  The way it was?

Pootera                To use the land you must maintain the land.

                            A SINGLE VOICE ECHOES "MAINTAIN THE LAND".

                            POOTERA CONJURES UP THE FARMERS.

Farmer 1              Prices are down.

Farmer 2              Yup.

Farmer 3              Costs are up.

Farmer 2              Yup.

Farmer 4              Interest rates are way up.

Farmer 2              Yup.

Farmer 3              Clearance sales all over.

Farmer 2              Yup.

Farmer 4              Shoot the bankers.

Farmer 2              Yup.

Farmer 1              Shoot the politicians.

Farmer 2              Yup.

FARMER 3           Might go and shoot meself.

FARMER 2           Yup........... Hey, wait a minute.

                            FARMER 2 CHASES FARMER 3 OFF

POL 1 APPEARSON SOAPBOX.

Pol                       I Promise, if re elected to parliament, that I will spend more money on land reclamation, combat soil erosion, cure the salinity problems in the river and on the land, and end the rust problem in wheat.  Don't you worry about that.

Pol 2                    I promise, if elected to parliament, that I will spend more money on land reclamation, combat soil erosion, cure the salinity problems in the river and on the land and end the rust problem in wheat, Fair flamin dinkum....And furthermore, I'll plant a billion trees

POL 2:                 Two billion

Pol 1                    Three billion

                            THEY CONTINUE TO BID AS THEY EXIT.

                            SPECIAL ON FARMER 4

Farmer 4              It's a vicious circle.  You gotta pay back the money you owe on your land.  Okay?  Interest rates go up so you have to pay back more than you thought.  Prices stay the same or they fall.  For the producer that is.  Not for the bloke in the middle.  Not for the supermarket or shop that sells the things you grow.  Oh no.  They put their prices up.  So then petrol and diesel goes up.  Fertilizer and insecticide goes up.  Transport costs go up.  Labour costs go up.  Taxes go up. The price of water goes up.  The only thing they're not taxing you on or charging you for is the air you breathe.

WE SEE AN OFFICIAL INSTALL AN 'AIR CHARGE' METER.

You're losing. You're getting further and further into debt to produce things other people make a profit on.

CROSSFADE TO FARMER 3

Farmer 3                 I've reduced me working hours to eighteen because I was having trouble staying awake the other six.  Spare me days, a bloke's a mug to keep doing this.  Me son Wally don't want to know.  He lives in the city now.  Who can blame him?  Wonder who'll produce the food after this generation of farmers is gone?

CROSSFADE TO: FARMER 1

Farmer 1              You talk to me about conservation?  All bloody farmers are conservationists.  We care about the land.  Of course we do, and we don't need greenies that have never sat on a tractor in their lives tellin' us we should be farming another way.  If I had the time, I'd go over every centimeter of my land and organically compost it by hand.  I don't have the time. I've got to keep trying to produce more and more to earn more money to pay higher interest rates and increased costs.  You talk to me about improving my land?  I'd love to.  You talk about not using chemical inputs?  I can't do that and grow the amount I need to pay my debts.  I'm not making any flamin' money.  I' m keeping my head above water.  Just.  Maybe we should never have opened up this land in the first place.

Joy                       Ask the first people to settle here.

                                 POOTERA CONJURES UP THE FIRST SETTLERS.

                            FLASH.  ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND SOUNDS.

THE LONG-WEEKENDERS DON APPROPRIATE PIECES OF COSTUME, HATS, SCARVES, WHATEVER. THEY BECOME THE FIRST SETTLERS.

Settler 1               When us whites arrived here we found a few blacks sitting around under the trees doing (shrugs shoulders).  The first settlers carved this country out of the wilderness, harnessed the land and the river to progress.

Settler 2               Look at the farms.  They're like oasis of green in a desert.  Yes a desert, because that's what this country is without water, without irrigation.

Settler 3               Sure you gotta try to look after the river and the land, but that doesn't mean stopping everything you're doing and trying to put the land back the way it was.  Even if you could, it wouldn't support people! And that's what it does now.  In a way and on a scale that it never did before.

Settler 7                      You gotta put things in perspective.  The white fella comes along and says "How can I improve it?"  We chop down a few trees and a bit of scrub that was stuff all use to anyone so we can graze a few sheep and cattle.

Settler 5               Straight away the land's productive.  It's supporting people who live on it and it's providing meat and wool and hides to people in Adelaide.  Next we got the riverboats.  Right?  All the towns along the river as far as Bourke depended for their survival on the riverboats to take their produce to market.

Settler 6               None of those places would have-existed; none of them would have supported people.  Right?  So the riverboats needed fuel to go up and down the river.  Where's the only place they can get it?  On the banks of the river of course!

Joe                       You can't grow grapes and have trees.

Pootera                You must do both.

Joe                       You can't eat trees.

Pootera                You must understand.

Joe                       The farmers do the best they can.

Pootera                Who is responsible?

Joe                       No one's responsible.

Pootera                Someone must be.

Joe                       It's circumstances.

Pootera                Explain.

Wally                   There's going to be nothing left the way things are going. See?  It's economics.

Pootera                Ecowhatics?

Wally                   Economics ....It's prices and costs and interest rates and things.

Pootera                what makes these econ.......

Wally                    ….nomics.  We do

Pootera                People?

Wally                    Yeah

'Pootera                Then people can change them.

Wally                    It ain't that easy.

Pootera                And this is why the land dies.

Wally                    Yeah.  Just like there was reasons the trees got cut down, well, there's reasons no one can fix the land up.

Pootera                Aaaaaaaarggggghhhhhh!  Gaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiaaaaaa.

Wally                    Oh, don't start that again.  Look, can you do another one of those flash things?

Pootera                Flash things?

Wally                    You know ...... Boom, Kazoom, flash and we see the past.

Pootera                What would you have me conjure?

Wally                    What the banks do to farmers.

                            POOTERA CONJURES THE BANKERS SCENE.

Banker 1               Hi, I'm from the bank.

Farmers               Which bank?

Banker 2               Your bank a brand new bank.

Banker 1               The Farmers' Friendly Trust.

Banker 2               Don't you love the name?

Banker 1               Now the banking system's de-regulated, we're here to give you lots of things.

Banker 2               Higher interest rates.

Banker 1               Higher charges.

Both Bankers        We'll bleed you dry.

Banker 1               Put you through the wringer.

Banker 2               Stitch you up.

Banker 1               Burn you out.

Banker 2               And chuck you away when we finish.

Banker 1               Thanks to us it will now take twice as much land to support your family.

Banker 2               Because you'll have......

Banker 1               More debt.

Banker 2               More debt.

Banker 1               More debt.

Both Bankers        More!

Farmer 3              Can I ask a question?

Both bankers        No!

Banker 2               Sign here.

Banker 1               Sign your life away.

Banker 2               Default and you die.

Banker 1               What's good for the bank is good for you.  Trust us.

BOTH BANKER SING:

TRUST IN US OH TRUST IN US

WE'LL NEVER LET YOU DOWN

TRUST IN US OH TRUST IN US

FOR WE ARE THE BANK THAT'S SOUND

TRUST US

WHAT'S GOODFOR YOU IS GOOD FOR US

TRUST TRUST TRUST

DONT CARE IF YOU PROSPER OR IF YOU GO BUST

TRUST TRUST TRUST

DONT CARE IF YOURE HIGH OR IF YOU'RE LOW

AS LONG AS YOU PAY THE MONEY YOU OWE

TRUST TRUST TRUST

WE TRY TO BE HONEST WE TRY TO BE FRANK

WE ARE THE FARMERS FRIENDLY BANK

TRUST TRUST TRUST.

Banker 2               Sign here

Banker 1               And here

Banker 2               Sign

Banker 1               Sign

Banker 2               Sign

THIS BUILDS UP INTO A FRENZY, UNTIL:

Farmer 3              Hold it!  Hold it!  I'm not signing anymore papers!

Both Bankers        What?

Farmer 3              Not 'til we find out a few things

Banker 1               Like what?

Farmer 3              What are your interest rates?

Banker 2               Heavens!  I don't know.

Farmer 3              What are your charges?

Banker 1               Ridiculous

Farmer 3              What are your fees?

Banker 2               It's got a little bit to do with you and a lot to do with us.

Farmer 3              What do these papers mean?

Banker 1               You don't want to know silly things like that

Farmer 3              I'm taking them out of the bank to get my lawyer to check them.

Banker 1               Trust us!

Both Bankers        Trust us!

Banker 2               Sign.

Banker 1               Sign.

Banker 2               Sign.

FARMER 3 SIGNS

Both Bankers        Behind with your payments

BOTH BANKERS SING:

Sign

Sign

Sign

FARMER 3 SIGNS

BOTH BANKERS SING:

PUT UP HIS CHARGES PUT UP HIS FEES

PUT UP THE INTEREST PUT ON THE SQUEEZE

SELL UP THE PROPERTY SELL UP THE FARM

SORRY OLD CHAPPIE WE MEANT YOU NO HARM

BANKING'S OUR BUSINESS BANKING'S OUR JOB

NO USE YOU CRYING DOES NO GOOD TO SOB

YOU'RE BEHIND WITH YOUR PAYMENTS BEHIND WITH YOUR DOUGH

DON'T BEG FOR OUR MERCY YOU'VE JUST GOT TO GO

Farmer 3              Help!  I'm in trouble and it's up to you to help me.

Banker 2               Why?

Farmer 3              Because you're my bank.

Both Bankers        Which bank?

Farmer 3              The Farmer's Friendly Trust. Remember?  We're in this together?

Both Bankers        Pig's bum!

Wally                    See?  The banks put the screws on the farmers.  The farmers flog the land to survive and everybody

loses.

POOTERA            These banks must fix things.

Wally                    Pigs bum!

Pootera                Then it is up to you.

Wally                    Not me, mate.  I'm out of the farming game like most of the kids I know.

Pootera                Why?

Wally                    Look, don't put it all on me.  Don't tell me it's all up to me.

Pootera                It is your responsibility

Wally                    It is not .... It's not!  My dad ..... (he is close to tears and controls himself with an effort).  I'd….I'd left home.  Dad, He….Well he couldn't cope…. Couldn't….How do you think I felt?  I got blamed

POOTERA CONJURES AND WALLY STEPS INTO THE SCENE.

SONG AND DANCE ROUTINE.

Mum                    Come back, Wally….Come back….We need you on the farm.

WALLY'S AND MUM'S LINES INTERCUT THE CHORUS. AT TIMES ALL VOICES ARE SINGING/SPEAKING AT THE SAME TIME-THIS SHOULD INDICATE MUM'S AND WALLY'S CONFUSION ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING AND WHY.

THROUGHOUT THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE MUM CONTINUES TO SING HER LINES HISTRIONICALLY WHILE WALLY SPEAKS HIS IN A FLAT, MATTER OF FACT VOICE.

Chorus                 GOING TO THE CITY

                            GONNA HAVE MYSELF A TIME

Mum                    Wally, we did it for you.

Wally                    I didn't ask you to.

Chorus                 GOING TO THE CITY

                            GONNA MAKE IT OH SO FINE

Mum                    All this will be yours one day.

Wally                    All what?

Chorus                 GOING TO THE CITY

                            GONNA MAKE IT ALL MINE

Mum                    The land.

Wally                    I don't want it.

Chorus                 GOING TO THE CITY.

UP THAT LADDER IM GONNA CLIMB

Mum                    It's the family's land.

Wally                    I don't want it.

Chorus                 GOING TO THE CITY

                            GONNA LIVE UP MY LIFE

Mum                    You are our only child.

Wally                    There's nothing here for me.

Chorus                 GOING TO THE CITY

SICK OF TROUBLE SICK OF STRIFE

Mum                    Wally don't leave us.

WALLY                 I have to go, Mum.

CHORUS              GOING TO THE CITY

GOING TO THE TOP

MUM                    Oh Wally, Your father…

WALLY                 I don't want to live like him.

CHORUS              GOING TO THE CITY

NEVER GONNA STOP

MUM                    W e can't do without you.

WALLY                 Don't put it on me.

CHORUS              GOING TO THE CITY

MAKE A BUNDLE OF DOUGH

CHORUS              GOING TO THE CITY

MAKE A NEW LIFE

MUM                    It would be your farm.

WALLY                 You can't put that on me.

CHORUS              GOING TO THE CITY

SICK OF TROUBLE SICK OF STRIFE

WALLY STEPS FORWARD AND ADDRESSES THE AUDIENCE DIRECTLY. THE CHORUS CONTINUES TO SING' "GOING TO THE CITY". MUM'S VOICE RISES TO A WAIL AS SHE SINGS "WAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLY" ON A HIGH-PITCHED NOTE. THIS MAY BE ON TAPE.

Wally                    I never asked for any of it.  Just because you're born into a farming family, doesn't mean to say you have to take over the farm.  Live like my dad?  I've watched him working himself to death to try to stay in front.  It's no good.  It's all going down the gurgler and that's not my fault.  I've got my own life to lead and a right to make my own decisions.  I'm going to the city.  Girls, pubs, good jobs, social life where you don't have to work eighteen-hour days fifty two weeks a year to survive.  Dad wants to keep doing that, that's up to him, but it's not my responsibility to stay on the farm and take it over.  I don't know why he doesn't sell up and do something else with his life.  All this crap the oldies go on about their connection to the land.  What connection?  A connection with something that makes you old before your time and drives you into an early grave?  Bullshit!  Mum and dad are killing themselves.  I've told them to get out before it's too late, but you can't tell oldies anything.  They know it all.  Well, it's their problem.  I don't want it to be mine.

                            MUM AND WALLY SING AGAIN.

Chorus                 GOING TO THE CITY

                            GONNA LIVE UP MY LIFE.

Mum                    You must come back.

Chorus                 GOING TO THE CITY

                            GONNA MAKE IT ALL MINE

Wally                    I have my own life to live.

Chorus                 GOING TO THE CITY

UP THAT LADDER I'M GONNA CLIMB

Mum                    It would be your farm.

Wally                    It would be my debt.

                            WALLY'S FATHER KILLS HIMSELF

                            LIGHTS FADE AND LEAVE WALLY ALONE IN A SPECIAL

Wally                    It would be my debt…..

                            SPECIAL ON WALLY FADES SLOWLY.

                            GENERAL LIGHTING UP ON POOTERA AND THE LONG WEEKENDERS.

Pootera                You rejected the land.

Wally                    There are better ways of living.

Pootera                You do not care for the land.

Wally                    The land killed my father.

Pootera                The land gave Life to Narwij-Jerook.

Wally                    They can have it back.

Pootera                They are all dead.  You are now the custodians.

Wally                    I don't want it.

Joy                       Leave him alone.  He's said he doesn't want to live on the land.  That's his choice.  And it's Joe's choice and Tonie's and mine.

Pootera                Always the young people have accepted the mantle.  Always the young have been custodians.  Now they reject the land.  The threads of the past are truly broken.

                            SPECIAL ON POOTERA

                            POOTERA MOVEMENT SEQUENCE

Pootera                Earth, our mother.  The balance you have maintained for eons is being destroyed.   Come, rain down your destruction.  The young refuse to take their rightful place as custodians.  Come mighty Gaia.  Come destruction.  Fire and flood.  Earthquake and famine.  Mighty winds blow and cleanse the planet of destructive humanity.  Come Gaia, come Gaia destroy these people before it is too late for the Earth.  Save the Earth Gaia, save the Earth.  COME GAIAAAAAAAAAAAA….

ELECTRONIC MUSIC RISES TO A HOWL, EVERYTHING BEGINS TO SHAKE. THE LONG WEEXENDERS SCREAM AS GAIA APPEARS.

….Come mighty Gaia.  Rid the Earth of this plague.  Rid the Earth of these uncaring people.  The young refuse to accept responsibility .... Destroy them Gaia. Destroy them ........

TONIE STEPS FORWARD.

Tonie                    No!  No!  Stop it!  Stop it!

POOTERA AND GAIA ARE SURPRISED BY THE TEMERITY OF THIS MERE HUMAN. THE SHAKING LESSENS. THE NOISE REDUCES.

Tonie                    You're not going to end it. And you are not putting all this on us.

Pootera                You dare to defy me?

Tonie                    You can't blame us.

THE RUMBLING AND SHAKING INCREASE.

Pootera                You dare to defy Gaia?

Tonie                    Listen.  Hear me. Gaia, Please listen.

                            GAIA BRINGS THE NOISE AND SHAKING DOWN TO A MINIMUM.

TONIE:                 You can't just blame us.  That's too easy.  You're right.  We should have inherited the land. Wally and Joy, Joe & me, should have carried on farming, but there's no future the way things are.

                            GAIA INCREASES THE SHAKING AND THE NOISE

Pootera                You cannot breathe the air.  You cannot drink the water.  The soil is dying.

Tonie                    We have to change then.  We understand, Gaia.  We understand what you are saying.  But it's not just us.  We must get everyone to listen to you. We have to make everyone understand.  From the youngest to the oldest.  Not just here in the country, but the cities as well.  Everyone must understand what's happening to the land and the river.  It is everyone's responsibility to put it right.  Don't kill us, Gaia.  Give us one last chance.

GAIA INCREASES THE SHAKING AND NOISE.

TONIE                  We've all got to play our part in recovering the land.  In fixing up what's gone wrong.  We will carry your message GAIA, Pootera.  We will carry your message to all people, but we need time to make people understand.

                            THE NOISE AND SHAKING CONTINUE TO INCREASE

Pootera                The air.  The water.  The soil

Tonie                    Please, give us time, Gaia.  Give us one last chance, Gaia.  Gaia, give us one last chance.  Gaaaaaaaiiiiiaaaaa.

                            GAAAAAAAIIIIIAAAAA IS PICKED UP BY POOTERA

Pootera                Gaaaaaaaiiiiiaaaaa.

SPECIALS ON POOTERA AND GAIA, THE LONG WEEKENDERS ARE IN DIM LIGHT AS THEY ARE THROWN AROUND. THERE IS MUCH SCREAMING, NOISE AND CONFUSION, SMOKE, STROBE. THERE IS A SOUND LIKE THE SHOCK OF AN EARTHQUAKE, A BANG THAT SHOULD SHAKE THE BUILDING WITH ITS INTENSITY.

THROUGHOUT ALL THIS POOTERA SCREAMS.

Pootera                GAAAAAAAAIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAA.

POOTERA IMPLORES GAIA TO END LIFE ON EARTH. GAIA INVOKES DESTRUCTION. TONIE IS STILL IMPLORING GAIA FOR ONE LAST CHANCE.

Pootera                Gaaaaaaaiiiiiaaaaa

                            THUNDER AND LIGHTNING

Pootera                Gaaaaaaaiiiiiaaaaa

                            BLACKOUT

Pootera                Gaaaaaaaiiiiiaaaaa