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LUCIUS LUCIUS Part One Acts One and Two
by Rev. Charles E. Posey
07/28/05
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Lucius! Lucius! is a four act play. Due to the complexity of the play, it will be published in two parts; Part One: Acts I & II and Part Two; Acts III & IV.

ďLucius! Lucius!Ē

ACT I

PROLOGUE: The Emperor Nero has just demanded that all Christians be gathered together for games and sport. He demands their death to appease the gods of Rome over the ills of the empire.

CURTAINS

Scene: Darken Dungeon area sparsely lit.

SOUND: Whips, chains, moans, and screams are heard.

The Christians are herded on to the stage followed by the guards. Men in one cell and women in the other.

GUARD #1: [Driving the Christians into the cells]
Get in there. Hurry up! [Grabbing Lydia by the arm] Females in this cell.

THIMUS:
ďShe doesnít understand. Sheís just a child.

GUARD #1:
Sheíll learn fast enough. Get in there!

EDIMUS:
What have we done?! What is our crime that you treat us like this?! Iíve broke no laws. Listen to me! Listen.

GUARD #2: [gathering keys to lock the cells]
By order of Caesar, all Christians are to be rounded up and put to death.

EDIMUS:
But you have made a mistake, Iím no Christian, Iím a merchant! I donít know these people, let me out! You have made a mistake!

GUARD #1:
Shut up! If a mistake was made it was yours for joining with these Christians against the gods of Rome.

EDIMUS:
You have made a mistake! Iím no Christian! Get your officer, Iíll prove my loyalty to Rome!

GUARD #1: [Locking up the female cell]
Ah, the way with you.

BETITIUS:
The others, what about the others?

GUARD #1: [Locking the male cell]
What about the others?

BETITIUS:
Can you tell me about the others? Please, I need to know?

GUARD #1:
Youíll find out about the others in due time. There are games to begin tomorrow where you will be able to see all the others.

HELEN: [Arm stretched through the bars]
Please sirs, a little water, for my grandmother. Just a little water?

EDIMUS:
What about me? Are you going to check on me?

ELIAS: [Lending through the cell bars]
What have we done to desire this? What law have we broken, what statue has been defiled, because we are Christian?

EDIMUS: [Pulling Elias back from the bars]
Shut up! You are going to get us all killed.

ELIAS:
Well, answer me? What laws have we broken that the emperor treats us in this manner?

GUARD #1: [Throwing a cup at the cell]
Shut up!

EDIMUS:
Guards! I am a Roman citizen and I demand to see the captain of the guard. Guards? Guards? Guards?!

GUARD #2:
What if he is telling the truth? What do we do then?

GUARD #1:
Nothing, What is one more life here or there. It will all be for the emperorís pleasure.

GUARD #2:
But, you better check with the Captain of the Guard to make sure.

GUARD #1:
So Iíll get him to check on it. But not now later.

ENUS: [Clinging to his father, Inon]
Father, father, I am scared. What have we done? Why, why are we here?

INON:
It is because we are what we are. We are Christians.

ENUS:
The emperor, he is not a Christian?

INON:
No son, he is not.

ENUS:
And. he doesnít like Christians?

INON:
No son, he does not.

LIONIUS:

We are children of the way; followers of our Savior Jesus the Christ, because of this others fear us, hate us, and desire to destroy us. Where God teaches us to love, they have learned to fear and hate. But beyond their fear is a love that will conquer all.

SILVA: [Fainting to the floor]

REBA: [Holding Lydia]
Thimus? Thimus? Where are you?! Thimus?

THIMUS: [Pushing his way through the cell]
Here, here, I am Reba.

REBA:
Where is Lucius?

THIMUS:
He is here. We are all here. Every one from our section.

HELEN:
Please sir, may I have a little water?

LYDIA:
Lucius! Lucius!

THIMUS: [Pulling Lucius to the cell wall]
Heís here my darling. Heís okay.

LUCIUS: [Moving to the back]
Lydia? Iím all right.

THIMUS:
Lydia, stay close to your mother, God will protect you both.

LYDIA:
Father, I am not afraid, I have you, and mother, and Lucius and Jesus is here with me too, so I am not afraid.

THIMUS:
Thatís right, everything is going to be alright. God is with us.

HELEN:
My grandmother, she has fainted, please sir, may I have just a bit of water?

PONTUS: [Kneels to pray in the center of the cell]
As we have been taught by the elders of the church, in this hour, we need to pray. Come now and gather around that we might enter into communication with our Lord, that he will reward us with strength to face tomorrow.

ELIAS: [Finding room kneels next to Pontus to pray.]

JOHN: [Joins Pontus in prayer]

LIONIUS: [Joining the others]
Yes, this is the hour of our most needed prayer.

REBA: [Holding onto Thimus by the fingers]
Pray for us Thimus. Lucius pray for all of us.

LUCIUS:
I will my mother.

THIMUS: [Leading Lucius to pray joins the others]

REBA: [Talking to the women]
Let us also unit with the men in prayer.
HELEN:
Sir? Please Sir?

GUARD #2:
Okay, all right! Iíll get you some water when I get my food.

All kneel in prayer except Edimus.

EDIMUS:
Prayer! What gods will hear you down in this stink hole! You should be up demanding as I am to see the officer, the commander, someone who will set us free! Why pray! Voice your rights as Roman citizens!

PONTUS:
Our father, who art in Heaven. Hallowed be thy name.

GUARD #1
Thatís it, pray. Thatís what got you here in the first place.

EDIMUS:
You see! Iím not one of them! My loyalty is with roman gods.

GUARD #1
So, what? Youíre going to die with their god, anyway.

GUARD #2: [Enters with a bucket full of water and a plate of food, stage left]
What are they doing?

GUARD #1
Theyíre in prayer.

GUARD #2: Placing the bucket in front of the womanís cell.]

HELEN: [Stops praying and moves quickly to give Silva water]

PONTUS: [Continues in pray]

Lights come down low.

CURTAINS

ACT II

CURTAINS


Center Stage: All Christians are asleep about the cells.

GUARD #1: [Quickly enters]
GET UP! WAKE UP ALL OF YOU! Get up quickly.

GUARD #2: [Enters and snaps to attention.]

CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD: [Enters]
I understand that the Emperorís guard may have been over zealous in rounding up those who are followers of this man, Jesus and may have taken in a number of good citizens of the Roman Empire. I am here to give you the opportunity to confess with your mouths loyalty to Rome and the Emperor. All you have to do is declare by your mouth that Caesar is lord.

EDIMUS: [Pushing his way forward]
I will. I say, I will.

CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD
Open up the cell. Let him out.

GUARD #2: [Unlocks the cell]

EDIMUS: [Exits the cell with joy]
Let it be known in all Rome that Caesar is lord of all!

CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD
Let him go.

EDIMUS: [Kisses the hand of the Captain of the Guard and flees]

CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD
Will there be another?? [Pause] Guards, leave us.

CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD: [Waits, picks up a plate from the table and makes the sign of the fish on it.]

PONTUS:
Then you are a Christian?!

CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD
No, no, but my wife is one and I was able to save her. Her love for me is the most precious thing I have. And because of her, I am here to help you.

THIMUS:
How will you help us?

CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD
Just like I saved that man, say these words, and when you do, I will release you.

SILVA:
But that will deny our savior and make a man into god?

CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD:
It is the only way I can save you.

BETITIUS:
It is taught us that if we deny our Savior before man, that he will deny us before God, his father. I ask you, which would be worst; to be saved in the sight of man or redeemed in the sight of God?

CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD
There is no other way! Caesar has demanded your deaths for all the ills of the empire. I am only one man, and I do what I can. DonĎt ask anymore.

PONTUS:
We ask for nothing, except that you understand. We can not give up on our faith in the only true God and his son, Jesus Christ now. Even though you may imprison us, beat us, or even kill us. We can not turn our backs to our Lord. If there is another way?

CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD:
This is the only way.

JOHN:
Then you offer us no way at all. We are followers of the risen Christ and to deny him would be to us death. We can not choose this life and be counted among the dead in the eyes of Christ, but we must choose Christ and.

CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD [Frustrated]
And die!

PONTIUS:
And live. For he has gone to prepare a place for us, for in his house there are many mansions where we will be received by him and loved forever and ever.

HELEN:
Yes, live! By choosing Jesus, you really live.

CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD
ďYou people amaze me. Iíve gone out of my way to offer some of you away out, yet you try just as hard to ensure your own deaths. Well, it is no matter to me. Iíll be back tomorrow and if some of you are still here, I will offer them the same freedom. Your god be with you. [Exits] GUARDS!

LUCIUS:
Father, the captain seemed sincere. Couldnít we have considered his offer?? I mean held true to our belief but simply acted out his request?? Then later we could have joined the others who I know by now have gone underground?

THIMUS
And compromised our faith? No. Lucius you were raised in roman society full of false gods. When your mother died, I took you away from all of that and brought you into a new life with Reba and your sister, Lydia. Our lives have a new direction now. No longer do we cleave to the old way, but to the right way which is Christ. There is no compromise when it comes to our faith. There is no compromise when it comes to Jesus.

REBA:
Jesus is our faith. His life fills us with hope for a better world, his death provides us a lesson as to what we must do. His resurrection gave us the power to challenge this world and the powers of the dark one for in Him we have life eternal.

LUCIUS:
But, mother, couldnít we have considered his words just for the sake of the children. If we parish and they parish, where will our faith be but lost?

SILVA:
It is because of the children, you and your sister, Enus, and Elias, that we must obey His words. If we are the poorest of examples to you, then where will your faith be and how can we reach others?

LYDIA:
I am not afraid brother; hold my hand. [Reaching out to hold Luciusí hand] I am not afraid.

GUARDS: [Enter]

GUARD #1:[Unlocking the femaleís cell]
All right out; all of you out!

HELEN:
Are we free?

REBA:
What about the men?

GUARD #2:
Stop talking and get in line.

GUARD #1:
This is going to be pitiful with so few. Caesar will not be pleased.

GUARD #2:
Shut up Antinius! You [grabbing Lydia] get in line!

LYDIA:
Mother?

REBA: [Pulling Lydia closer]
Sheís my daughter.

GUARD #1: [Lusting over Reba]
Ah, I see. And what would you be willing to do to save your pretty little girl?
I could be persuaded to save her some pain as a favor to you.

REBA:
Pain?

GUARD #1:
Yes, for the emperorís pleasure all of you are to be burned at the stake.

A heavy gasp goes up as the women huddle together for support.

REBA: [Clutching Lydia]
My darling!

LYDIA:
Mother, Iím not afraid. Lucius, my brother, Iím not afraid.

GUARD #1: [Toying with his knife]
How about it? One swift move of my knife and all the little oneĎs pain would be ended?

REBA:
NO!

GUARD #1:
It is your pain.

SILVA:
Pray, children, pray! The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want.

HELEN:
He maketh me to lay down in green pastures.

LYDIA:
He leadth me beside still waters.

GUARD #1
Letís go!

The women are herded off stage all huddled together.

SOUND: Wild cheers are heard.

THIMUS:
REBA!! LYDIA!! GOD PLEASE!!

PONTIUS: [Kneeling down to pray]
Oh God of Heaven, Our Lord, Our Savior, .Jesus Christ.

ENUS: [Clinging to his father]
Father, I am afraid. Why did they have to take the woman away?

INON:
Son, donít be afraid.

ENUS:
Where did they take them? Where did they go?

INON:
They have gone to be with Jesus. They have gone to see our Lord.

LIONIUS:
Let us all pray for forgiveness, for strength in a trying time, for the love of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The men grow silent as they huddle in prayer.

SOUND: Moments later, the sound of fire is heard then screams that grow and die in waves until nothing is heard except the roaring fire.

GUARD #1: [Screaming, stumbling while holding his face, enters]

GUARD #2: [Enters quickly trying to give Guard #1 some aid]
What is it?? What is the matter? Did you get burned?

GUARD #1: [Continues to scream]

LUCIUS: [Reaching through the bars in heavy anger]
It is your fault! Devil!

THIMUS: [Pulling Lucius off the guard]
Son, Son you must not.

GUARD #2: [Pulling guard #1 from Lucius and up to the table]
What is the matter with you!

GUARD #1:
IíM BLIND! IĎM BLIND!

GUARD #2:
How? How did it happen! You donĎt look hurt at all!

GUARD #1: [In some kind of pain and rubbing at his eyes.]
I saw, I saw that little girl. I saw her die, but she didnít die. I looked at her as the flames roared around her and she made no sound, no sound at all, she just closed her eyes. But just as she closed them, she immediately opened her eyes. Then I saw, oh! I saw her step out of the flames and walk toward me, wings began to formed at her back as she, moved towards me!

GUARD #2: [Shaking guard #1]
What? What did you see? Have you gone mad?

GUARD #1:
She, she moved toward me nearly floating and said, I forgive you. (arwgh) she forgave me and kissed me on the cheek. All, all that I see now is her face. Iím blind!

GUARD #2: [Grabs the screaming, stumbling guard #1 and pulls him off stage]

Lights come down low.

CURTAINS


If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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