The Author - Phil Emery

My work has been published in the UK, USA,  Europe and Canada since the seventies.   There's a novel,  "Necromantra",  published in 2005 which is due to be reissued soon as an ebook.   Work in the area of drama includes a radio play, "Virtual Grafix",  produced by Minute Radio Drama and a short story, "ID" was broadcast on radio and due to be available from the BBC as a download.   I was also a founder member of the short-lived experimental theatre group ‘Helix’,  which performed a version of my play “Sirens” in 2006.

I taught creative writing for Keele University for twenty years and am now a full-time carer and a part-time PhD student with Loughborough.

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Author: Phil Emery 



SERAPH - A young woman,  early to mid-twenties,

melancholic,  sarcastic,  perverse.   A hard-working

scholar and something of a know-it-all.


BYHREN - Acrobat-juggler.   A young man,  early

twenties.   A 'country-boy' type,  naive,

overconfident,  idealistic,  vain - affable but

basically weak in character.


JERRYC - Painfully shy,  somewhat forlorn university

colleague and would-be lover of Seraph.  


THE JUDGE - A kind of assassin.   One of the highest

rank of those who enforce the strict social codes of

the time.   Officious,  deadly,  with an apparently

simplistic black and white mind.


LELENE - Late teens.   Selected by her wealthy family

for the 'Celibate Caste' until Alarno spoilt things.

Modest,  determined,  a quiet,  black sense of

















Episode 1   

                     EARLY MORNING IN A FOREST. 

                     SOMEONE WALKS THROUGH IT.


SERAPH:              (internal monologue) Folk adage:

                     'Laugh loudly so you don't hear

                     the world dying.'   That's an

                     early one according to sources.

                     Just a few generations after the

                     sun began to go red giant. 

                     Pretty useless advice even then.


                     SHE WHISTLES TO HERSELF AS SHE

                     KEEPS WALKING.   TWO VOICES,

                     YOUNG MEN,  IN THE DISTANCE. 

                     ONE IS LAUGHING.   CUT TO THE

                     TWO MEN.


MUGGER:              Come on,  farm-boy,  give.   You

                     must have something.   Nobody's

                     stupid enough to travel this

                     forest without something to buy

                     their safety.  


BYHREN:              I told you.   I've nothing. 

                     That's why I'm going to Peldarec

                     Town.   I'm going to work as a



MUGGER:              Busker eh?   What's your trade?


BYHREN:              Acrobat.


MUGGER:              Fancy that.   Well,  well.   Go

                     on then.   Prove it.  


BYHREN:              All right.


MUGGER:              Godsblood,  very good.   Wasn't

                     that good?   Best somersaults

                     I've ever seen.   Dare say

                     you'll make plenty in Peldarec.


BYHREN:              Of course.


MUGGER:              Providing you get there.


BYHREN:              Look,  I've told you,  I don't

                     have anything to pay you.   Why

                     don't you just go your way and

                     I'll go mine,  without



MUGGER:              You know,  I think you really

                     are that stupid,  it can't be an

                     act.   Let me say this slowly, 

                     farm-boy.   There are only two

                     of us in this forest.   I've got

                     a knife,  you haven't got a

                     knife.   You must have something

                     of value on you.


BYHREN:              I d-


MUGGER:              What's that then?   Looks like

                     your ozone aerosol.   Fell out

                     when you did that last backflip.

                     Might fetch a bit in town.


                     CUT BACK TO SERAPH,  MUCH CLOSER

                     TO THE TWO,  NOW.   HER HUMMING

                     IS IN THE FOREGROUND,  THEIR

                     VOICES FURTHER AWAY.


MUGGER:              Ah!   It's friggin' empty.


SERAPH:              (internal monologue) Folk rhyme:

                     'The sun a burning shard of


                     The stars...'  

                     How does it go?


MUGGER:              So what do I do now?


BYHREN:              Let me pass on my way to

                     Peldarec,  of course.


SERAPH:              (internal monologue) 'The sun a

                     burning shard of fire...

                     The stars...

                     The stars...'

                     Oh come on,  butter synapses,  I

                     know it's in there somewhere

                     with all the rest of the

                     academic crap I've stuffed in



MUGGER:              I could stab you,  I suppose.


BYHREN:              Now wait -


MUGGER:              Be doing farm-boy a favour,

                     probably.   Wouldn't last two

                     days in town.   Better hurry

                     though.   Looks like I've got

                     another customer.


SERAPH:              (internal monologue) 'The stars

                     damned souls burning white,

                     In the - '


SERAPH:              Well,  well.


MUGGER:              Well.


SERAPH:              Do you realize how happy I am to

                     see you?   Do you appreciate

                     just how boring walking through

                     a biofuel plantation is?   I

                     mean really appreciate?


BYHREN:              Look out!   He's got a knife! 

                     Leave her alone!


MUGGER:              Eh?   Want to take me on do you,

                     farm-boy?   Right,  hero,




                     THE MUGGER PROCEEDS IN GRUNTS

                     AND GASPS.


SERAPH:              Do you realise that a couple of

                     billion years ago back on Earth

                     if you walked through a forest

                     the trees would all be different

                     sizes and shapes?


                     MORE GRUNTS AND GASPS.


SERAPH:              And there'd be birdsong.   You

                     know what a bird was?


MUGGER:              Um?


SERAPH:              How about this?   D'you know

                     what this is?


MUGGER:              Strewth.


SERAPH:              That's riiight.   It's a gun.



                     THE MUGGER STOPS ABRUPTLY.


SERAPH:              A percussion-projectile hand

                     weapon to be exact.   What I

                     think used to be called



MUGGER:              Hold on a minute-


SERAPH:              Now I know what you're thinking.

                     Is it real or a paraquantum

                     construct.   And if it is real

                     is it loaded with projectiles,

                     given our world's

                     resource-exhaustion includes

                     metals.   And if it is a

                     paraquantum copy is it a

                     functioning paraquantum copy



MUGGER:              Shit.


BYHREN:              Paraquantum?


SERAPH:              Be quiet eh,  lover,  there's a

                     good boy.

                     As for you,  it all comes down

                     to whether you're going to use

                     that piglet-sticker,


                     THE RATCHETING SOUND OF THE GUN

                     BEING PRIMED.


SERAPH:              or your legs.   Make your little

                     mind up n-


                     THE MUGGER RUNS.


SERAPH:              Legs,  eh?


BYHREN:              Speaking of legs...


SERAPH:              Um?


BYHREN:              I can't help noticing that yours



SERAPH:              Yes?


BYHREN:              ...pretty long.


SERAPH:              Not so much the legs being long

                     as the skirt being short.


BYHREN:              Do they wear them that short in

                     Peldarec?   That is where you're



SERAPH:              Let's see...   Walking toward

                     Peldarec on the main Peldarec

                     road...   That's where I'm

                     going.   You ask a lot of

                     questions,  farm-boy.


BYHREN:              That's what he called me.   How

                     did he know?   How did you?


SERAPH:              Raised on an energy farm,



BYHREN:              Right!


SERAPH:              Cattle slurry conversion?


BYHREN:              Right!   How do you-


SERAPH:              Your ozone's wearing thin.


BYHREN:              I know.   I'll need to get a new

                     can as soon as I reach Peldarec.

                     Oh,  I see.   The smell.  


SERAPH:              Here.   I'll spray you some of



                     AEROSOL SPRAY SOUND.


BYHREN:              Hm!   It's perfumed.   That's

                     umm,  wondrous.


SERAPH:              'Evening of Life'.   It'll do

                     until you get some of your own.


BYHREN:              In Peldarec.   They say it's a

                     really friendly place...


                     SHOUTS AND SOUNDS OF VIOLENCE

                     OVER A MORE URBAN ACOUSTIC.


THUG:                Aaargh!   You broke my arm!


JUDGE:               Tell me where he is!   Where in

                     Peldarec does the miscreant

                     Alarno hide his miserable



THUG:                You broke my arm.


JUDGE:               You attempted to strike my

                     person,  an authorised judge. 

                     The breaking of an arm is no

                     more than reasonable force.


THUG:                But you broke it off!


JUDGE:               It was false.   Make certain

                     your answers are not!


THUG:                I told you!   If I knew I'd tell

                     you.   I'd like to see him dead

                     myself!   Aaaargggh!


JUDGE:               So be it...   Alarno the

                     Paraquantum,  if I cannot hunt

                     you down through your enemies,

                     then perhaps through your



                     BACK TO FOREST ACOUSTIC.


SERAPH:              Come on,  then,  let's split.


BYHREN:              To?


SERAPH:              Would you believe friendly old

                     Peldarec?   I think I can

                     tolerate your company now.


BYHREN:              I thought animal odours're

                     supposed to be attractive.


SERAPH:              Who told you that?   The cattle?

                     Speaking of beef,  by the way,

                     I can't help noticing that your

                     shoulders are pretty,


BYHREN:              Broad?   They belong to the

                     talented acrobat Byhren,  by the

                     way.   And those legs belong to?


SERAPH:              Call me Seraph.


                     SOUND OF A COMPUTER WORKING

                     FADES UP.


SERAPH:              (recorded voice) Seraph. 

                     Personal Electronic Journal: 

                     Research notes for doctoral

                     thesis,  Faculty of Terminal

                     Studies,  Peldarec University.

                     Subheading socio cultural


                     Urban existence in our time is

                     mainly in the form of towns. 

                     Cities in the old terminology

                     are practically extinct (see

                     Cuchulain,  "Demographics of

                     Decline" minutes one seventy to

                     three three two).   The last

                     millennium has seen urban masses

                     cut down to size,  a trend

                     heightened at points by

                     legislative purges on resource

                     misuse.   Cities took on a

                     negative symbolism and were

                     starved like gluttonous

                     children.   Lanza referred to

                     them as "concrete-alloy egos." 

                     With the breakdown of macro

                     systems of government in the

                     last few centuries towns have

                     diverged widely in socio

                     cultural behaviour and systems

                     of law.   See subheadings

                     Callydyan Town,  Mimevor Town,

                     Peldarec Town...