Enron by Lucy Prebble

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.
(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.
Trader 3 California! Yes, people, an electricity market of such complexity, designed by people of such simplicity.Loopholes so big you could fuck a fat chick through 'em and neither of you touch the sides. Let's find arbitrage opportunities. Let's. Fucking. Play.All right man, this is Clem up at Enron. We're buying as much electricity as we can and taking it out of the state.
Trader 4 Ricochet! Fat Boy! Burn Out! Death Star!
Trader 2 You want your power back? Fucking pay!
Trader 7 Wheeling electricity out of the state, push the prices up, get 'em high –
Trader 4 Sell it back when they're desperate!
Trader 5 The most beautiful thing about electricity –
All Traders It cannot be stored!
Trader 4 Holy shit, price is up through a hundred!
They all look.
Trader 1 I've never seen prices like these –
Trader 5 Welcome to Californ–I–A!
Trader 6 We're making billions of dollars!
All Traders For Enron!
News reports begin playing between and underneath the traders. They should overlap as appropriate.
News Report California's power supply came up short today, and the lights went out. Rolling blackouts have hit the sixth largest economy in the world. For the first time in sixty-five years, the electric power market is in chaos. Electricity rates are climbing and California has gone into meltdown.
Trader 5 There's a fire on the core line!
Trader 2 More fires we have, more prices go up!
All Traders Burn baby, burn!
Short physical sequence.
News Report Another day, another death in the story of California's blackouts. The driver of a station wagon was killed early Friday when she collided with a transit bus at an Oakland intersection where the traffic lights were down.This after surgeons were left without operating lights in San Pablo forcing patients to be airlifted to facilities out of state –
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.
News Report Today, the governor of California, Gray Davis, declared a state of emergency after being forced to cut power for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the state.
Lay (on phone) Kenneth Lay here for the Governor of California. Governor! I understand you're considering running for President. You think it's gonna help you any to have the sixth largest economy in the world go dark on your watch? Voters remember that sort of thing. So how 'bout paying the prices we're asking?Well, I'm sorry to hear you say that, Governor.
He hangs up the phone.
(to Traders)
Boys, step it up.
Trader 5 Come on!!
Physical sequence.
A climax of sound and activity is being reached. It builds and builds.
Trader 1 This is the largest single transfer of wealth I've ever seen!
Trader 7 We're like the Roman empire! We're going fucking down!
Trader 4 Let's rape this motherfucker!
Trader 5 Push it through the fucking roof!
Trader 1 Okay, okay!
Trader 2 / Do it, do it!
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.
Lay Hi, Mr Mayor, I'm sure we can get this under control.
Another suited man approaches the door. Lay shakes hands with him.
Thanks for coming out.
Another suited man right behind him shakes Lay's hand and goes in.
Don't worry, I got the guy to fix this.
And then, another suited man approaches. He is huge and square and muscular in his suit. Lay looks up at him, his face breaking into a grin. They shake hands. The man's broad back fills the doorway.
Mr Schwarzenegger! I'm so glad you could make it. Now, let's go inside and talk about the future of California.
Arnold Schwarzenegger steps into the meeting, followed by Lay.
The door closes.
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