Enron by Lucy Prebble

Act 2

Opening

Enron commercial with ethereal voices singing 'Why?'

Scene 1

Fastow's lair where LJM has been fully and complexly constructed, like a large, supportive web.
Among the shadows there are strange movements going on. The Raptors scuttle about. Not entirely human sounds. In the centre, Fastow.
The tiny red box is safely put away, buried. We can see it throb. The Raptors creep eerily around in the shadows.
Skilling enters. The Raptors hide.
Skilling Andy? Is everything right down here?
Skilling This place has got big.
Skilling Everyone wants to invest in our shadow …? Why?!
Two more figures emerge from the shadows: it is the Lehman Brothers.
Skilling That's one of the biggest investment banks in the world. You can't talk to them that way!
Skilling What you asking me for?
Skilling You got a problem with LJM?
Skilling You got a problem with Andy?
Skilling You do, you got a problem with me.
The Lehman Brothers give Fastow the money.
Skilling Hey, Lehman Brothers!
The conjoined figures struggle to turn round in unison, both pulling in opposite directions. Eventually, they manage it.
Skilling What's your analyst rating our stock at?
Skilling Not Strong Buy?
Skilling nods graciously.
The Lehman Brothers slink out.
Skilling I can't believe it. Everything upstairs is bullshit compared to this.
Skilling But where does all the debt go?Sounds from the shadows.What's that?
Skilling What is it?
Skilling What the fuck is this?
Skilling goes to explore. One of the Raptors approaches Skilling to check him out. It smells him cautiously.
Skilling That's where the debt goes?
He feeds one of them a dollar bill.
Skilling They're consuming our debt.
Skilling In … what … sense?
The Raptors gain confidence at this and play with Skilling a little.
Skilling Go on.
Skilling That plant has no fucking power coming out of it.It's surrounded by protesters. When Claudia makes a deal it doesn't just lose money, people march against it.
Skilling She thinks her balls are cut off, what about my balls?!
Skilling This is the future. Not Claudia and her gift from grampa. Ken's gotta accept it's my show!
Skilling You think her numbers are right?
Skilling Yeah. You think she's doing anything … untoward?
Skilling If you have cause for concern.
Skilling strokes a Raptor.

Scene 2: The Purge

One of the Raptors runs towards Roe and chases her out of the building.
After a moment, Lay enters Skilling's office, looking pained.
Skilling Did you do it?
Skilling I felt she had to hear it from you.
Skilling She wouldn't have taken it seriously from me.
Skilling I'm good, thanks.
Lay gives him one anyway.
Skilling Regarding what?
Skilling I didn't want to have to bring those figures to your attention. I know they didn't look like much –
Skilling Sure.
Pause.
Skilling Sure.
Lay bows his head in prayer, his hands together. He closes his eyes. Skilling copies him.
After a few moments, Lay has not spoken. Skilling opens his eyes. He watches Lay, not sure what to do.
He watches Lay, fascinated.
After a little while, Lay stops his silent prayers and raises his head. Skilling immediately tries to bow his to make it look like he hadn't stopped.
Skilling It's a privilege.
Beat.
Beat. Lay touches Skilling on the shoulder. It's a paternal, almost saintly action, but takes Skilling by surprise.
Skilling We really gotta get deregulation moving –
Skilling But that's how we're gonna make our money. If he doesn't come through –
Skilling You can do what you want, Ken.
He drifts off. Pause. Skilling picks up the cigar left him.

Scene 3: Rooftop

Roe is having a last cigarette outside on the rooftop/terrace of the Enron building.
Skilling comes out.
Roe has been crying. She hastily attempts to cover any sign of her tears.
Skilling You're not gonna jump are you, Claud?
Skilling I'll leave you alone.
Skilling You can go and get any number of jobs –
Skilling Not any more.
Skilling I asked Ken because I thought it would be worse for me to fire you –
Skilling I didn't have to lie. You're an amateur.
Skilling Did you tell him something I should know about …?
Skilling Of course not. That would make all the profits we've declared on those things void.
Skilling Why do people talk that way? We'll make those profits. It's like playing poker with these guys who get mad when you win on the last card, 'Why did you stay in? You're not playing properly!' It's poker, you idiot. Doesn't matter how you win – as long as you win! When electricity gets deregulated, the cashflow –
Skilling We will.
Skilling You don't know anything.
Skilling I went to Harvard.
Skilling I left all that behind.
Skilling Get out of my building.
She stubs her cigarette out. She leaves him.
His Daughter blows bubbles somewhere on stage.
Skilling I have to check the stock price.
Skilling Because that's how Daddy knows how much he's worth.
Skilling Well, the market knows how many people believe in Daddy. That's important.
Skilling It's important because I want people to like me. I don't want them to go round saying bad things.
Skilling Because in business these things matter.
Skilling Because it's important to look strong. That's the first thing.
Skilling Because that's how you make money.
Skilling Because I want to provide for you.
Beat.
Skilling Because I love you. Now let Daddy go to work.
Skilling turns to his Daughter but she has disappeared, leaving only bubbles in her wake.

Scene 4: The American Spirit

Skilling gives a speech to Employees.
Skilling Our stock is so strong. So strong that I think all employees should have the opportunity to benefit. I want to extend the stock option to everybody. From the mail room all the way up.
Skilling Because if you're invested in the company you work for you are literally investing in yourself – it is an act of beliefin yourself. Which you should all have. Because, I believe in you. So, grab that opportunity. Now, tonight's a big night for us. I hope you've all voted. I don't know if you know, but we got a local boy in the race(!)Laughter. They are now looking up concentrating on an image of America on screens.Election coverage:The screen goes red.INDIANA CALLED FOR BUSH.+ 12.They cheer.Screen turns blue.VERMONT CALLED FOR GORE.+ 3.They boo.FLORIDA.They inhale.TOO CLOSE TO CALL.

Scene 5: Andy's Lair Of LJM

Skilling enters. Fastow is with the Raptors watching the election results roll in.
Skilling You got it on down here?
Skilling Alabama too close to call?! You gotta be fucking kidding me.
Skilling I'm going crazy with this.
Beat.
Skilling Now we got the big boys –
Skilling Yeah but here goes the other side.It's blue.CALIFORNIA: CALLED FOR GORE.+ 54.
Skilling It's all about Florida.Beat.FLORIDA: CALLED FOR GORE.+ 25.
Beat.
Skilling Fuck fuck fuck.
Skilling What the fuck we want with Colorado, eight fucking votes. This is chicken shit. Game's over.
Skilling No, Andy, you don't know. Clinton's been real good to us. This guy … this guy scares me.
Skilling That's it. We're done.
Skilling Faith?! Andy, you gotta understand. I don't have any cash. I can't operate. I have no money.
Skilling Not me personally, Andy, you prick. What, you think I'm some drinking, gambling-it-away prick can't find cash on my salary? What is it you think?!
Skilling Without someone friendly to us right now, we're dead.
He seems to be in pain – his stomach.
I haven't been sleeping. People need to get paid.
Skilling Everyone is paid in stock. Already, that's why it can't go down
Skilling I know!
Skilling I'm saying it can't go / down.
Skilling Well don't tell me what I already / know!
Skilling Well that's your fucking job, ain't it?Beat.Sorry.
Skilling More like four –
Skilling stares at him.
Skilling Million?! No.
Beat.
Skilling We're the world's most innovative company. How can we not find four/ billion dollars?!
Skilling (losing control) Then what good are you …? What fucking good is any of this to me?! Then we're going down, Andy, / and it's your –
Skilling What does that mean?
Skilling But they called it for Gore.
Skilling I've sold everything!So, what, have we won?!
Skilling CNN says no.Screens go blue.FLORIDA RETRACTED FROM BUSH.
Skilling What the fuck are they doing?
Skilling What's going on out there?!
Skilling What dumbass is running this thing?
Skilling Who's won!?
Just then, Lay enters, hanging up on a phone call. He is deliberately oblivious to the strange, exaggerated world of LJM. The Raptors scuttle away.
Skilling Say we got a Texan in the White House.
Skilling is clutching his stomach.
Skilling falls to his knees with the relief.
Skilling A small state? Or …
Lay grins.
Video footage of George W. Bush being sworn in as President of the United States.

Scene 6: Texas Vs California

The floor is flooded with Traders.
During the following, Traders are manipulating California's electricity market by moving energy around. It should be tremendous fun, extremely fast, physical and overlap is encouraged.
Skilling
(addressed to the Traders)
Gentlemen. We've finally got our chance to move out all across the country. This is about competition. A deregulated system means one thing and one thing only controls electricity. The market. The market is supposed to show the weakness of regulation. The free market is there to show regulators how wrong they're getting it. I'm setting you free in California, fellas, bring it on home.
They all look.
Laughter.
News reports begin playing between and underneath the traders. They should overlap as appropriate.
Short physical sequence.
Laughter.
Skilling (to camera crew) We are doing the right thing in California. I mean, people are saying we shouldn't trade electricity – do you really believe that? Let's, let's stop trading wheat. Let's stop trading – you know, we need automobiles to maintain the logistics system, so does that mean we can't trade steel? We are the good guys in California. We are on the side of angels.
Physical sequence.
He hangs up the phone.
Physical sequence.
A climax of sound and activity is being reached. It builds and builds.
Everyone and everything is at fever pitch, yelling and encouraging.
A climax.
Skilling You know the difference between the state of California and the Titanic? At least when the Titanic went down the lights were on.
Every light in the world seems to go out.
Utter darkness everywhere. For a shade longer than is comfortable.
And then …
Nothing but the light from a small doorway.
In front of the light of the doorway, a man comes into view. It is the short, homuncular figure of Ken Lay. A suited man comes on stage and goes through the door, first shaking Lay's hand.
Arnold Schwarzenegger steps into the meeting, followed by Lay.
The door closes.

Scene 7: Skilling's Office

Skilling I hate those guys. I hate those legislators and politicians – not because they restrict business and fuck up the markets, even though they do and it does. I hate government because I know those guys. I went to school with them. And let me tell you, the weakest, most ignorant, most drunken fucking incompetents went to work for the US government. Because they weren't smart enough for the private sector. And that's the truth. I got head-hunted. And those bottom-of-the-fucking-barrel, frat-party know-nothing fucks who never got the call design the regulations for an energy market they know nothing about. It's my job to find ways round that. Why should we respect ineptitude? Why should we look at the lazy fucking regulations they've put in place by committee and go, 'Yeah, you suck at your jobs, fine, we'll ignore that and just suck at ours too.' Who do you think is gonna win in the end?! The greedy or the inept?! We're not perfect, but wait till you see the other guys.
Skilling is in a meeting with the Lawyer.
Skilling So why the fuck are people picketing my house?!
Skilling I want you to represent me, not the company. I didn't kill anyone.
Skilling This is crazy.
Skilling What do you mean?
Skilling Death Star?!
Skilling That's a perception problem.
Skilling Will this affect the stock price?
Skilling Cos that cannot happen.
Skilling But we didn't do anything illegal in California.
Skilling I got a group of the smartest people in the world who can tell you why what they did was not illegal.
Skilling I don't think you understand how markets work.
Skilling You don't get to choose! You don't get to say, we like this much of free markets but not the whole thing. That's not free!
Skilling So what are you interested in?
Skilling Those guys deserve medals.
The red box throbs from deep underneath.
Skilling Yeah. OK. But you can make this go away?
Skilling OK. OK.
A large Enron Security Officer appears in Skilling's doorway.
Skilling looks dishevelled and highly strung.
Skilling Yes, please. Yeah.
Skilling Thanks.
The Lawyer leaves.
Skilling Hey.Sorry, this is a little – can you, can you sweep this office for … equipment or recording …
Skilling Maybe, something –
Skilling No, no, just take a look –
Skilling No –
Skilling I don't know. I just got a feeling.
The Security Officer checks around the office surfaces.
Skilling How's things in Maintenance?
Skilling Sure.
Skilling You all got your 401Ks? You're all OK?
Skilling Yeah. Good.Listen, can you hear, like a hiss like, you can tell something's on …? Wait, maybe under …
He gets down on the floor. He eventually puts his ear near the floor.
Here.
The Security Officer gets down on the floor too. He copies Skilling who puts his ear to floor. They listen, lying on the floor together.
Skilling There's a sort of, ticking sound.
They listen.
Skilling's head is leaning on his wrist with his watch on. He gets up, embarrassed.
Skilling It was earlier.
Skilling / Yeah.
Skilling Sure.It's hot out, don't you think?
They laugh.
Skilling Hey. You'll be straight. I've been thinking about our next venture. I've been thinking about taking Enron into weather.
Skilling Yeah, for investors or companies whose worth can be damaged by bad weather. We could carve out a market in protecting against that. Have people buy up shares in weather.
Skilling Sort of, yeah. We break up the risk, sell it off in parts like credit derivatives.
Skilling (keen, looking for paper and pen) Sit down. I can explain it to you in minutes.
Skilling It's not, it makes total sense.
Skilling You don't want to hear what's next for the company?
Skilling Sit down! You want to be a doorman the rest of your life? Sit down and listen!
Beat.
Skilling Sure, I know.
Skilling I just wanted you to understand …
Skilling Didn't mean to be wasting your time.
Skilling Very Enron, though. Dealing in weather?
Skilling nods.
Security Officer leaves.
Skilling's intercom beeps.
Skilling Yes?
Skilling (down phone) Jeff Skilling.I can't answer those questions right now. I am not an accountant. Look, I don't think you understand the complexity of the way we operate here. If you print an article now without our side, I personally think that's unethical. Sure, I'll send someone out, at Enron's expense. He'll fly out and help you understand the questions you're asking.Goddamn.

Scene 8: Andy's Lair

Skilling enters Fastow's shady lair, all anxiety.
The Raptors stay visible. Two have grown very bold now – fast and aggressive. One of them is weak and sickly, the other two flank it to protect it.
Skilling approaches to pet them and one of the strong Raptors is aggressive. He backs off. It follows him and pins him. Skilling is deeply unnerved by them.
Skilling Andy?!No reply.Andy!
Fastow enters.
He tazers a Raptor to protect Skilling. It falls down, ultimately unharmed. The others back off.
Skilling What the fuck was that?!
Skilling What's wrong with that one?
Skilling Too much what?
Skilling Will it spread?
He tries to look at and comfort the injured Raptor.
Skilling Well. That's a good reason. That's a good excuse, we're getting rid of them.
The Raptors seem to hear him and snap around, maybe moving towards Fastow for support.
Skilling You heard me.
Skilling Get rid of them.Beat.I need you to fly out to New York.
Skilling A reporter. Fortune magazine. They're running an article on us.
Skilling It's not a positive article.
Skilling They have questions.
Skilling You got to go out there and explain how it works. How money flows through the business. That we're not a black box.
Skilling We are not! We're a logistics company! With a ton of great ideas –
Skilling You're going and you're / (gonna) –
Skilling You're Chief Financial Officer –
Skilling (violent) Be a fucking man! You're going to have to choose between LJM and Enron.
Skilling I created you!Andy, I love you. And I would do anything for you. But you're gonna have to choose.
Beat.
Skilling Look, if we disclose everything, there'll be panic, right?
Skilling So for everybody's good, they don't want trouble, we don't want trouble –
Skilling Andy, don't you dare say that in my – (presence).
Skilling Nothing?! Twenty thousand employees taking home paychecks nothing? World's most innovative company? We run Texas, is that nothing? Then the whole fucking thing's nothing. Then the world's nothing.
Skilling You go and you do that!
As Skilling is at his most manic and the Raptors are circling, Ken Lay enters.
Lay is absolutely oblivious to the Raptors, the odd environment and the men's turmoil. He holds two scraps of material.
He holds the choices up.
Both men stare at him. The Raptors stare at him.
Skilling (slowly) Andy has to fly out to New York.
Skilling That won't do it. Ken, this has all been across your desk, you know what's / going on.
Skilling And if the stock falls –
Skilling We need to have a / conversation –
Lay doesn't look at the Raptors or anything except the material swatches and sometimes Skilling.
Skilling, desperately buying into the charade, points at one. Lay nods, satisfied and lowers the swatches.
Pause.
Skilling, dead-eyed, gets ushered off by Lay.
Lay turns back, eyes the minion.
He leaves.
Left alone with his creations, Fastow rallies himself to do his master's bidding. He eyes the Raptors.
He destroys the Raptors.
He torches LJM.

Scene 9: The Asshole

Skilling climbs stairs like a man on his way to the gallows, unkempt and addled.
He eyes the stock price.
Skilling I know. I'm fine. I'm Jeff Skilling. OK. OK.
As he goes up, he notices his presence pushing the stock price up a very little bit.
This spurs Skilling on.
As they go up, Enron Analysts and Journalists emerge from everywhere to listen to the conference call.
Skilling Just an outstanding quarter, another outstanding quarter. We're growing real quick in earnings and revenue and we have the strongest position in every market we're in … You know, so I have no idea why our stock's as low as it is, fifty-four dollars, that's crazy! People are saying we're opaque, we're a black box, we're not. That's like calling Michael Jordan a black box just cos you don't know what he's gonna score each quarter! (Pause.) We are very optimistic.
Silence. Skilling exhales.
Skilling I'll take questions now.
Pause.
Skilling Mr Grubman.
Skilling We will have that done shortly. But until we put all that together, we just cannot give you that.
Skilling I'm not saying we can't tell you what the balances are. But we'll wait – at this point – to disclose those until all … the right accounting is put together.
Skilling Well, you're … you – Well, uh, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
Skilling Asshole.
There is utter silence as everyone realises what he just said to an important stock analyst.
Then suddenly there is frenetic activity.
The Analysts all get on their phones and BlackBerries to their banks and brokerage firms
The Analysts have taken themselves off, hurrying back to their marketplace hubs, a sea change in the offing.
But their effects are already painfully clear on the stock price, which is free-falling.
A spotlight on Skilling alone, unsupported. Just him and his representation of his self-worth, the stock price.
Skilling approaches it desperately, trying to regain former glories.
Skilling No! Please, come on. I'm happy, I'm … excited …The stock price does not respond.Come on, this is crazy.Nothing.IT'S ME! Everything will be fine, don't be idiotic!
The stock price drops slightly. Skilling recoils with shock.
No, no, no, sorry –
It drops further. He's terrified.
Jesus, no, stop. Oh God.
He goes to his phone. He dials a number he knows by heart. It rings.
Hi, sweetheart. It's your dad. Are you OK? Yeah, I'm sorry, I know, it's four in the morning. Is your mom there?Beat.OK, well, this is important. I need you to tell her something. Are you awake? OK. Tell her to sell her shares. Sell her shares, All of them. I love you.
He turns to the stock price.
What do you want? You want me? Is that it? Is that what you want?!
He ends, his arms outstretched, crucifying himself before the market.
The blocks beneath where Skilling was standing are removed by Analysts and Brokers as shares continue to be sold and the company weakens.
A sour, tuneless version of the 'Enron' barbershop quartet from earlier plays.

Scene 10: Private Meeting

Sheryl Sloman and Ken Lay are in a meeting with Skilling.
Pause.
Skilling (teary) The company's in great shape, it couldn't be less to do with that. I … A company like this, it consumes your life. I've neglected my daughter. This is personal.
Skilling I'm doing this for the company. It'll go up when I announce. The market's decided. It wants me out.
This seems to affect him deeply.
Skilling You pour your life into something and, if it doesn't reflect back at you … I'm so tired.I can't sleep.
Skilling I haven't slept since I was fourteen.
Skilling I should go.
Skilling leaves.
Beat.
With a reassuring squeeze of her arm, Lay stalks off, leaving Sloman thoughtful.
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