Enron by Lucy Prebble

Scene 9: Party Like It's 1999

Flashes from cameras.
A media event becomes a party filled with Employees, Press and Analysts. It's a financial love-in.
Skilling is being photographed for yet another magazine cover as the dynamic CEO changing the world. The Photographer is beneath him to make him look impressive, god-like.
A Reporter interviews him.
Reporter 'World's Most Innovative Company', how does that feel?
Skilling I'm just pleased we're giving shareholders value for money.
Reporter I guess it's a work-hard, play-hard sort of environment?
Skilling We're aggressive, we take risks, and that's why we're successful. Way I see it, if your executives aren't waking up at four in the morning, their heart beating out of their chest, they're not doing their job.
The Reporter flirts a bit.
Reporter Sure. So, here we are at the end of a millennium! Can you let me know what the next big innovation's gonna be?
Skilling Well, I was gonna wait to announce this later tonight, but I'll give you a sneak preview. Video On Demand. We've teamed up with Blockbuster and Enron's gonna be streaming movies directly into your home by this time next year.
Reporter Oh my God!
The stock price goes up.
Skilling is approached by Lay.
Lay Jeff, you know the Congresswoman?
Skilling Hi, great to meet you.
Lay Anne's been very useful for us up on the Hill.
Congresswoman Such a creative atmosphere. I'm thrilled to meet you, you're the expert in energy trading, right?
Lay That's like saying Alexander Graham Bell knew about telephones. You're meeting the guy who invented the concept.
Congresswoman Well we're all just thrilled to be here. I don't know how you're doing it, but keep on doing it.Split Scene.Beneath:
Fastow's lair is revealed. He is finishing constructing LJM, the huge construct that has been designed literally and metaphorically to 'support' the level above it, Enron.
Fastow, dressed in an even more dandyish fashion, is in his element.
He takes calls on his phone. He's hugely in demand.
Hi you're talking to Andy Fastow, Chief Financial Officer to the stars. Hey Rex, you fuck, you know how many other divisions are begging for help with their numbers right now?! You're gonna have to hold. Lou baby, don't tell me 'bout your numbers now – hey, I know those targets were unhittable, I know that. But you gonna take those losses? I didn't think so!Hold on, I got another one. Yeah yeah yeah, you love me. No I'm not going up to the party. I leave my office, the whole world falls apart, you know what I mean? Don't worry. Everything's developing nicely down here.
Above:
Lay Where's our Chief Financial Officer?
Skilling Still working, I guess.
Lay No harm. He's hardly the life and soul –
Skilling He's not a performer, he's got his own qualities.
Lay Claudia thinks we should keep an eye on him.
Skilling Oh for – seriously, Ken? You're listening to her!? She's jealous! This has all been built by me for Christ's sake. He's mine! All these ideas are mine!
Lay It wasn't my intention –
Skilling Broadband, electricity, energy trading, Video On Demand –
Concerned Employees approach Skilling.
Employee Could we talk about Video On Demand?
Lay Of course we can, sir, of course we can. Who doesn't want movies streamed direct into their homes?
Employee 2 I don't think it's possible for next year.
Skilling Video On Demand?
Employee I can't see how it's possible at all.
Lay I don't like that talk. That's unsupportive.
Skilling We've got our best people working on it.
Employee 2 Sir, that's us.
Employee We're the ones working on it.
Skilling Tell me what you need and you'll get it.
Employee It's not that –
Employee 2 It's about what's physically possible. There's not bandwidth capacity for it.
Skilling Bandwidth?
Employee 2 It's the sort of … lines that internet information travels / along –
Skilling I know what the fuck bandwidth is. Buy as much as we need.
Employee It doesn't work that way. There's a finite amount available.
Skilling There's a finite amount?
Employee Yeah.
Skilling And people want it?
Employee Yeah.
Skilling slaps the employee on the back. He turns back to the press interview.
Skilling Here's the next big thing, people: trading bandwidth.
Reporter Trading bandwidth?
Skilling (turns to everyone) Yeah, it's a hell of an Enron idea. If you're not using your bandwidth capacity, we could sell it on. It's tradeable. But people don't think in those terms because it's a virtual commodity. Well, Enron gets virtual. We're changingbusiness, we're changing people's lives, we're changing the world.
Lay applauds. The Employees are congratulated and sheepishly proud. The stock goes up hugely. Reaction is ecstatic, like a religious cult. Skilling is messiah-like.
A huge party: absurd, luxurious, delusional, the peak of bull-market excess. Skilling shakes hands with everyone, is treated like a movie star.
Just then, Roe makes a grand entrance to the party. Never one to be outshone, she is on a Harley motorbike, dressed entirely in leather.
Skilling You've got to be kidding me.
She shows off the back on which is stitched 'ENRON'. Whoops of celebration. She removes the helmet, revealing herself, and shakes down her hair. Everyone loves it and all attention is lavished on her.
Skilling This is what I'm talking about. Everything's the Claudia Roe show.
Lay It's a very entertaining show!Fireworks are starting to go off in the distance. The party reaches a peak of excitement as everyone goes upstairs to view them and celebratory opulence.As everyone gets ushered out on to the balcony –Below:
Fastow hears/senses another presence in the lair of LJM.
Above:
Roe marshals guests into place for the countdown she will be leading. Below, during this:
Fastow goes to seek out the source of the sound. Uncanny silence. He can sense someone … but where?
Another movement from the opposite side. Fastow swings around – what the …?
Above:
Roe begins a countdown to welcome in the new millennium. Others eventually join in.
Ten!Nine!Eight!Seven!Six!Five!Below, during this:
Out of the shadows, a Raptor appears. It creeps forward, cocks its head and considers Fastow. Fastow stares back.
Four!Three!Two!One!
Above:
Roe turns on the party's big event – the lighting up of a huge neon display welcoming in the new year: 2000.
Below:
Fastow turns slowly around to see the other two Raptors have also taken corporeal form and have crept into LJM.
Fastow Clever girls.
Blackout.
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