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blitzkrieg she bop

Blitzkrieg She-Bop & Love among the Ruins

The city will fizzle in the night, so vacant
I’m tryin’ to hear you talk …
I’m dyin’ to see you walking around me
the soundtrack to the city is exposed …

— The Clash, Sex Mad Roar (1985)

[The action takes place on a sweltering night in an attic on the High Street, Bethnal Green, at the height of the Luftwaffe Night Terror, in late April 1941. The room functions as a bedroom, with its ceiling sloping down at the back to within a few feet of the floor. There is a dormer window in a recess at back, its glass blacked out. A door stands at right center, bed left of window, bureau down right. The room is in terrible disorder and chaos, with something not of human design hiding in the shadows. The walls are covered in a strange encrusted material, vaguely resembling the chambered nest of a mud wasp, but on a much grander scale]

[LYSSK is discovered hanging upside down among the alien-encrustations as the curtain rises, snoring gently. She is a Xenomorph, powerfully built, one hundred and twenty-four years old]

[TSU XI TSU enters, lighting a candle on the bureau. She is a melancholy-looking woman of thirty-seven. She speaks with a Chinese-Yorkshrie accent; marking the two sides of her heritage]

LYSSK [Still upside down, yawning groggily]:
Tsu Xi Tsu, is that you?

TSU XI TSU:
Ah dint mean ta wake theur up. Nip on back ta sleep.

LYSSK:
I haven’t been asleep. What time is it?

TSU XI TSU [Takes off jacket]:
Abaht fowa o’clock.

LYSSK:
You’re late.

TSU XI TSU [Takes off shirt, scratching under her bra]:
Ah ‘ed ta walk fra uptown.

LYSSK:
How far uptown?

TSU XI TSU [Sighs]:
Way up tarn. ah let um sailors shake uz li’ eur dingy. [She sits in chair at foot of bed and fans herself] Ah dint av sense enuff ta gerr cab fare. Phaw! Theur dooant realize ‘a mafted theur are while theur sit daahn.

LYSSK:
Poor darling.

TSU XI TSU:
It’s onny April bur theur mun av ‘ed t’ gas lit ta mek it as mafted as dis i’ ‘eear. Ah’m sa glad ta gerr ‘ooam.

LYSSK [Drops to the floor, standing near her; a towering presence]:
You didn’t bring anything?

TSU XI TSU:
Not eur red cent, Lyssk. [Gets up and goes to bureau] Ah doun’t kna li’ what’s t’ matta wi’ uz. [Looks in the mirror] It’s ‘a’ darn ‘erpes sooar. If ah ‘ed onny ‘ed sense enuff ta gerr um camphor afowa ah went art.

LYSSK:
But isn’t it healing nicely? I can’t notice it any more.

TSU XI TSU:
O’ course it’s perfectly well. Theear won’t be eur trace o’ it tomorra. Ah shouldn’t ta av tried ta nip on art those twoa days t’ fust o’ t’ week when it wor sa bad. Everybody wor afraid o’ uz ‘n it made uz feel li’ eur lepa. Ah lost uz grip i’ um way ‘n naw ah can’t gerr it back. It orl depends on yursen. [Picks up the candle] If thas sure o’ yursen theur av luck; if theur aren’t, theur dooant. That’s orl ther’s ta it. [Crosses with the candle, which she puts down on the headboard of the bed] If i’d ‘ed eur lahl bit o’ t’ met t’neet i’d av getten um brass arta’ crowd. [Sits at the foot of the bed] Bur cocaine doesn’t brace uz up anymooar.

LYSSK:
Yes, I know.

TSU XI TSU:
Poor owd lass. Av theur bin liggin’ ‘eear orl neet i’ dis ‘ea’ waitin for uz? It’s ‘ard jouce on theur, Lyssk. Ah thowt i’d nip on sixes ‘n sevens t’neet! Uz nerves are just orl ta pieces. Ah did think ah wor goan gerr um brass dis tahhm.

LYSSK [Moves over to a mattress on the floor, half of which is covered in LYSSK’S encrustation-secretion]:
Why don’t you take your clothes off and come to bed?

TSU XI TSU [Gets up and takes a small bag out of her jacket]:
Ah caught dis for theur, onnyrooad. ‘Eear. [As she throws the bag it makes a rat-like squeal. There is clearly something alive inside]

LYSSK [Catching it, hissing happily to herself; a shrill noise, laughter made from fingernails running down a blackboard]:
Yum! Ta!

TSU XI TSU:
Lyssk, ah wish theur wouldn’t ‘iss li’ ‘a’, it’s inhuman. [Goes over to the bureau] Ah suppose theur can’t ‘elp it, bur it gives uz t’ creeps. [She begins to undress]

LYSSK [Wanders over to a dark corner of the room to eat in privacy]:
All right, darling. [Sounds of sloppy munching. Finally the Xenomorph drops the bloody bag on the floor and turns around, wiping her mouth] Do you want the last of the black meat?

TSU XI TSU [Undressing]:
Neya, it doesn’t matta. Ah’m just nervous ‘n irritable. Dooant pay enny attention ta owt assez. If ah dooant gerr um brass tomorra ah just doun’t kna li’ wha’ ahl doa. It’s terrible ta be sa dependent on owt as ‘a’.

LYSSK [Lies down on the mattress and stretches out one leg, inspecting her claws]:
Four days.

TSU XI TSU:
Neya, tonight’s ‘Aturday.

LYSSK:
That’s four days, isn’t it? We finished up that last package Tuesday night. I remember because it was the last time that they dropped bombs on Bethnal Green.

[As if on cue distant air raid sirens start up. They wail in the distance for a long moment while the two listen if they can hear the noise of approaching enemy bombers. Nothing. Unless noted the sirens continue throughout the rest of the play, faint background noise, like radio static or distant traffic, all that makes up an aural landscape of the city]

TSU XI TSU [Shaking her head as if from a dream, walks naked over to the bed, looking down at her lover]:
That’s reet. Ah wouldn’t av believed ah could nip on sa long. Ah dooant see ‘a theur stan’ it, Lyssk, orl neet li’ dis, doin nowt.

LYSSK:
It’s not like I can just go wandering down High Street any time I choose. Don’t worry about me. I can go for a while without the black meat … at least I think so.

TSU XI TSU [Attempts to pull a kimono off the chair, but finds it glued to the surface by LYSSK’S pear-translucent secretions]:
Ah cunt. [Gives up on the kimono and sits down in the chair, taking a cigarette from a package on the floor] Bur then i’ve bin usin it sa much longa than theur av. [Lights cigarette off the candle]

LYSSK [Curling into a fetal ball, stretching out one arm, inviting her lover to join her]:
I had been using it for some time, too, you know; a month or so after we met last summer.

TSU XI TSU:
Ta think. [Clambers into bed, careful not to spill ash, curls between LYSSK’S limbs as if the war-like Xenomorph was nothing more than a giant pillow] Onny eur year usin t’ flesh o’ t’ ‘iant black ‘entipede. Ah wonda wha’ ‘ood av become o’ theur if ah ‘adn’t fahn’ theur?

LYSSK [Running long talons through TSU XI TSU’S hair like a comb]:
What becomes of any queen who gets kicked out of her hive and has nowhere to go? I don’t like thinking about it.

TSU XI TSU:
That’s t’ trouble wi’ theur bugs. Theur are browt up wi’ onny ‘un idea — toa lay eggs ‘n fight — an’ if owt does ap’n ta thee then thas not able ta doa owt else. Thas onny ‘un ‘undred ‘n twenty-four, ‘n thas done.

LYSSK:
I’ll be one hundred and twenty-four in October, I think.

TSU XI TSU:
Lut, you’re fowa times ahda than uz ‘n it still mecs uz feel sa ancient. That’s ‘a theur stan’ t’ streeam t’ way theur doa. Theur are as firm ‘n strong as theur ivva wor, bur skeg a’ uz!

LYSSK:
I would if I could. But I can smell you, taste you and feel your molecules shift ever so slightly each time we make love. I know every micron of you, every fiber.

TSU XI TSU [Stubs out her cigarette and tosses the butt across the room]:
Ah feel sa owd, ‘n jiggered, ‘n discouraged, Lyssk. If ah dint av theur ah dooant think i’d gue on wi’ it.

LYSSK [Tightens her arm about her]:
I will always be with you. You know that, don’t you? Always.

TSU XI TSU:
Ah nivva thowt o’ thy leavin uz. [She puts her free arm up about her lover’s queer, oblong head and strokes the blank part of her skull where her eyes would be had she been human] Ah love theur sa much, Lyssk. Ah love theur mooar than anybody else will ivva love theur if theur li’ ta be eur thousan’ years owd.

LYSSK [Starts her horrible shrill laugh a second time; then quickly remembers how much TSU XI TSU hates it]:
Oh, um, sorry.

TSU XI TSU:
Ahl allus love theur. Bur thas li’ eur babby. Can’t nip on ahtside. Can’t feed yursen. Can’t even fettle sa we can buy wee mooar black met. [She snuggles up to her and presses her cheek to her. The two listen to the endless air raid sirens for a long moment, possibly in the distance is the throb and thrum of German bombers crossing the Channel, but it is impossible to be certain] Lyssk?

LYSSK: Yes?

TSU XI TSU [In a whisper]:
Uz darlin. [She gathers her courage. Long pause]

LYSSK:
Tired, lover?

TSU XI TSU:
Neya, not naw. Ah gerr strength fra theur. Thars getten plenty o’ strength for both o’ wee, ant theur? eh?

LYSSK:
It’s queer that someone like you would want to shack up with a monster like me.

TSU XI TSU:
Aye, you’ve sez ‘a’ afowa ‘n ah keep sayin’ —

BOTH:
“You’re neya monsta.”

LYSSK:
I know, but before I found you I was so alone.

TSU XI TSU:
Theur wor driftin thru orl ‘a’. [Waves hand at ceiling to indicate the rest of the universe] T’ cosmos, or whateva it is theur called it. Driftin, asleep, for thousands o’ years. O’ course theur wor a sen.

LYSSK:
And now I have you, darling. I may be nothing but a bio-mechanical killing machine, but none of that matters if I have your love.

TSU XI TSU:
Thee seh wee love won’t pay t’ rent. I’ve towd theur orl abaht missen. Ah did fettle ont’ Evenin ‘Un i’ Tangia, ‘n afowa ‘a’ ah used ta li’ on eur farm i’ Interzone. That’s orl ther’s.

LYSSK:
That’s fine. I don’t want you to tell me anything that you don’t want to. [Moves her position slightly] Are you all comfortable?

TSU XI TSU:
Aye, uz love. [Pause] Ah av summa’ ah need ta call ta thee abaht. Wi’ve eur problem.

LYSSK:
We have many problems, lover.

TSU XI TSU:
Ah kna we doa, ‘n yet ah can lie ‘eear li’ dis ‘n it doesn’t seem possible ‘a’ ther’s such eur thin as trouble int’ world. It is sa serene ta lie still, ‘n av theur strokin uz ‘air. Ah dooant want ivva ta move agin. Ah can feel thy ‘eart lampin. Does thee feel ‘a much fasta mine is gonneur than thy’n?

LYSSK [cupping one of TSU XI TSU’S breasts]:
Yes. Yes, I can.

[The sound of distant bombing is heard]

TSU XI TSU:
T’ bombs soun’ li’ eur spirit ‘a’ can’t rest. T’ spirit o’ t’ city gonneur made, ‘a’ goes on burnin ‘n burnin ‘n will nivva gi’o’a, neya matta wha’ becomes o’ theur ‘n uz. Bur when ah’m liggin’ close ta thee li’ dis, touchin theur, ther’s eur soarts o’ electric current ‘a’ radiates fra theur orl o’a ‘cos thas sa ali’. Wha’ wor ah goan seh? Wha’ wor ah callin abaht?

LYSSK:
The end of days? The beginning of love?

TSU XI TSU:
Aye. Ah wor goan seh while ah’m liggin’ close ta thee li’ dis it orl seems sa far away, doesn’t it? It is li’ liggin’ i’ bed ‘n listenin teur t’ clouds. Theear may be deyth ‘n storms ‘n fallin bombs art theear, bur they’re far away. They’re li’ t’ clouds. Thee can nivva touch wee.

LYSSK:
I wished we could get some raw, dripping black meat and forget out troubles for at least a night.

TSU XI TSU:
‘Oor beautiful Lyssk. [Sits up and moves to the side of the bed, finds a cigarette and lights it] Ah tell theur ‘a’ ah thowt ah ‘ood nip on sixes ‘n sevens tonight; ah ant gorreur nerve gallock i’ uz body. Ah woontad ta kna wha’ theur wor doin. Ah thowt orl sorts o’ dingy things. Ah could picture theur gerrin desperate ‘n nip on ea’ someone, somewheear, ‘n t’ police ‘ood ‘unt theur ‘n pur theur i’ eur zooa, or ‘appen doa experiments on theur, ah doun’t kna li’ wha’. Ah could av getten um stuff t’neet, a’ ‘a’.

LYSSK:
What do you mean? How? Who?

TSU XI TSU:
T’ landlut. ‘E wor waitin for uz ont’ stairs.

LYSSK:
Him? Does he still think you live alone? Why would he even mention it when he knows how broke we are? We owe him two weeks rent.

TSU XI TSU:
Neya, ‘e sez ‘e knew eur way sa ah could gerr um.

LYSSK:
What do you mean, darling?

TSU XI TSU:
Theur norrz.

LYSSK:
Do you mean to tell me that man has been soliciting for your favors again? [She hisses softly, her terrible segmented tail twitching violently] I knew something was the matter. Did you … what did you tell him?

TSU XI TSU:
Ah towd ‘im ta fuk off. Wha’ does thee think ah towd ‘im? Ah sez ah wor off t’ rubbish.

LYSSK [uncurls herself and places one of her giant hands on TSU XI TSU’S naked back]:
O, Tsu Xi Tsu. You feel so warm and I am suddenly so cold.

TSU XI TSU:
Well, ah dint want it sa bad, then.

LYSSK [desperate]:
If we had any other place that we could go, I would have got out of this house the night you told me he first came up here and bothered you. But how can we? We don’t have a pound to deposit on a new room. I suppose he knows all that.

TSU XI TSU:
Aye. [Looking around the room with a touch of humor] ‘N when t’ owd clart noggin finally sees wha’ theur did ta ‘is walls ah suspect we won’t gerr wee deposit back. That’s wha’ ah getten ta call ta thee abaht. ‘E’s goan kick wee art.

LYSSK:
“Kick us out”?

TSU XI TSU:
That’s wha’ ‘e sez. Unless–

LYSSK:
Unless what?

TSU XI TSU:
Well … theur norrz. We need eur place ta sleep. Eur place for theur ta ‘ide. Theur see —

LYSSK [Sitting up suddenly, tall and terrible in the shadows]:
What are you talking about?

TSU XI TSU:
Ah think t’ owd bloke will let wee stay if ‘e gets wha’ ‘e wants. ‘E cum up ‘eear ‘n made eur gurt fuss o’a uz ‘n sez ‘a’ ‘e wor mafted on uz ‘n orl ‘a’ rubbish, ‘n ah sin wor stayin a’ ‘is ‘ouse wiyaa’ eur ‘usban’ or eur guardian ‘n not payin rent ‘n it’s t’ war … ‘e sez ‘a’ if ah wor tooa gran’ for ‘im i’d av ta gerr art o’ ‘is ‘ouse, that’s orl. ‘A’ wor afta ‘e offered uz t’ black met.

LYSSK:
Tsu Xi; am I going mad or did you just suggest sleeping with our landlord in exchange for rent?

TSU XI TSU:
‘Appen, theur mean?

LYSSK:
Never let me hear that again. You don’t do that anymore.

TSU XI TSU:
Ah av uz job, don’t ah?

LYSSK:
You work as a hostess in a bar in Soho. That’s completely a different matter. Don’t ever let me hear yu suggest that again, do you understand? I would sooner crack his skull and eat his brains than let him touch you. [Now it’s LYSSK’S turn to angrily get up and cross over to the bureau] By the Lady of the Hive, it’s hot in here!

TSU XI TSU [Walks over behind LYSSK. The height difference is in stark comparison, the Xenomorph’s 7 feet to the human’s 5’3”. TSU XI TSU puts her arms around her lover as far as they can go]:
Darlin, wi’ve ta li’. Wi’ve ta doa summa’. Everee neet we meight dee if eur Kraut bomb falls on wee. Wi’ve neya brass ‘n ah don’t kna ‘a ta gerr enny. If we can’t gerr on … t’ way we bin gerrin on … then ah av ta doa summa’, theur understan’? [Reaches up and pulls LYSSK’S head down to her mouth. A long kiss] Ah don’t care wha’ ah av ta doa, bur ah’m not goan lose theur.

LYSSK:
You’re not going to lose me.

TSU XI TSU:
Oa? Theur gurt dummy. Wha’ does thee think will ap’n t’ moa anyone else i’ orl o’ London village sees theur? If thee don’t shoot theur they’ll pur theur i’ eur zooa ‘n doa experiments on theur. Theur towd uz it yursen. Owt for Churchill’s war effoarts. T’ onny way ah can protect theur is ta keep theur ‘idden ‘n ah can’t doa ‘a’ if we gerr kicked art ontoa t’ street.

LYSSK:
Of course we’ve got to do something. But you don’t understand what you are saying. If it were the last night we’d ever spend under a roof it wouldn’t change my decision.

TSU XI TSU [returning to the bed]:
Then, by Lut, it luks li’ it is t’ last neet, wi’ t’ jouce ah’m avin. [She sits and leans her chin on her right hand, gazing at the candle] If ah wor able ta doa enny kin’ o’ fettle it’d be different. Bur ah don’t kna ‘a ta doa owt else, ah guess. Ah couldn’t neya mooar stick ta enny kin’ o’ eur job than ah could drift thru space li’ theur did. Wea’ar up against it, that’s orl ‘n it’s fine ‘n noble ta call abaht uz ‘onor, whateva ‘a’ is, bur t’ day anyone finds theur, lova, it’s gem o’a.

LYSSK:
But Tsu Xi, love, you don’t understand. [Crosses to bed] Listen to me. [Cradles TSU XI TSU to her] You think that you know me, you think that because I told you how I escaped and got lost, how I drifted for almost a century, that you know me and that you love what you know. It isn’t your fault. But this is the way that I was made. I kill. That’s my primary goal in everything that I am supposed to do. But you changed that I don’t know how, but you did. I have so few ways to show you how much I love you because you are the clean part of me. You are the part that I live for. And you are sacred, do you understand? Holy.

TSU XI TSU [Still gazing at candle]:
Sure, ah understan’.

LYSSK:
Go on. Say that you love me. I love to hear you say it.

TSU XI TSU [resting her head against LYSSK’S massive breasts as if she were a baby]:
Ah love theur. ‘n ahl stick wi’ theur. Bur we getten ta li’, don’t we? We getten ta gerr um brass um way. ‘N if theur can’t gerr it, sa ah av ta. That’s if wea’ar goan stick togetha.

LYSSK:
No, you won’t have, Tsu Xi Tsu. I’d rather be dead. [Places her lover on the bed and stands] I’d rather go out into the street and let Nazi bombs kill me before I’ll see you do that. [Distant sound of bombs getting closer] That horrible old asshole. I think I’ll kill him. [Goes up into alcove and takes hold of the blacked out window as if she were about to open it and look outside. Thinks better of it and turns back toward the room]

TSU XI TSU [sympathetic]:
We getten ta, lova. Wea’ar up against it. Ah’m goan be jannock wi’ you; ‘a’ thin ‘a’ ah getten on uz gob isn’t goan gerr betta. If we gerr kicked art o’ ‘eear today, wha’ t’ ‘ell can we doa? sleep int’ park? Ah guess not. Not while ah gorreur way ta mek easy brass. Why, darlin, ah wish’t tha’d see t’ numba o’ ’em ‘a’ tries ta speyt ta uz everee tahhm ah nip on art. It’s easy, ah tell theur. ‘N ther’s gran’ brass i’ it. Ah dooant li’ ta call abaht it, bur we getten ta doa summa’. We can gerr eur gran’ roa somewheear ‘n keep eur lahl black met on ‘an’ orl t’ tahhm. Ah’m not goan leev theur bur ah need t’ rubbish, that’s orl. [Lies down on the bed and turns toward the wall] I’ve gone wiyaa’ it fowa days naw.

LYSSK: [comes down and sits as daintily next to her as she can]:
You are a strange woman. Can’t you see that you are the only thing I’ve left in this world and every other world we could ever visit?

TSU XI TSU:
Bur theur can’t tek uz away, can theur? You’re stuk ‘eear, li’ we’re stuk i’ London wi’ orl t’ world burnin afowa wee een.

LYSSK:
If I knew how to take you away, lover, I would. Now I just have to protect you.

TSU XI TSU:
Protect uz? Dooant theur understan’ ‘a’ ah saved theur when theur wor sa weyt theur couldn’t even move? ‘A’ theur belong ta uz? Ah saved theur fra dis reeight thin, ah suppose, eur year agoa. Dooant theur see, darlin’?

LYSSK:
There has to be a better way than this to live.

TSU XI TSU:
Neya.

LYSSK:
What do you mean by no?

TSU XI TSU:
Ah dooant see enny reason why we should li’.

LYSSK:
Why wouldn’t we want to live? What’s the point of being in love if you can’t live?

TSU XI TSU [Sits up and embraces her lover once more]:
Lyssk, uz darlin, listen ta uz. Thars bin eur wonderful lass, or relic, or whateva it is thy fowk call apiece otha, ‘n ah love theur as reeight few fowk av ivva bin loved i’ dis world. ‘Cos ah ‘ed lost everythin, theur see, when ah fahn’ theur, everythin. Ah ‘ed thrown everythin away. ‘N thars ‘ed ta be t’ whole world for uz sin. T’ whole world, theur see. Theear int owt else. When t’ black met getten uz ah just went daahn ‘cos ah dint care abaht owt. Ah gev up uz job ‘n just let missen slide. Ah intended ta kill missen when uz brass gev art, ‘n ah dint even care ‘a much ah ‘ed gallock. Then theur fell art o’ t’ sky ‘n orl ‘a’ changed.

LYSSK [Strokes TSU XI TSU’S hair]:
I remember.

TSU XI TSU:
Theur can’t rememba much. Ah can’t thoil ta think even naw ‘a theur wor bea’ up. Bur theur wor i’ sa much peeam theur didn’t even kna ‘a’ theur ‘ed crashed ta earth.

LYSSK:
That’s right. Free fall. There was that nightmare; I remember some horrible dream about smothering.

TSU XI TSU:
‘N sin then, Lyssk, wi’ve ‘ed eur wonderful tahhm. Does thee rememba when we used ta av ta sleep unda t’ temple? Ah love ‘a’ owd temple naw ‘cos it’s associated i’ uz min’ wi’ theur.

LYSSK:
It’s been the best year of my life.

TSU XI TSU:
“Ah mun nip on daahn teur t’ seas agin, teur t’ lonely seeur ‘n t’ sky, an’ orl ah ax is eur tall ship ‘n eur star ta stea ‘a by; an’ t’ wheel’s kick ‘n t’ wind’s song ‘n t’ whi’ sail’s shakin, an’ eur grey mist ont’ sea’s fyass, ‘n eur grey dawn breytin …”

LYSSK:
Er. What was that?

TSU XI TSU:
Seeur Feva, by ‘Ohn Masefield. Uz mutheur use ta read it ta uz when ah wor eur wee lass. I’ve bin listenin fert tide orl uz life, ‘n ah finally fahn’ it i’ theur. Wha’ does thee seh we nip on art wi’ it?

LYSSK:
What do you mean, “go out with the tide”?

TSU XI TSU:
Listen. [Sound of bombing getting very close]. Open t’ winda. Turn ont’ leet. Let’s gi’ t’ Krauts eur target.

LYSSK [Spins around, hissing in alarm]:
Tsu Xi Tsu! What are you saying? [Crouching down before her human lover, the Xenomorph looks as if she were peering into the other’s eyes.] No, not for me.

TSU XI TSU:
Lyssk, wi’ve ‘ed such eur wonderful tahhm. Wi’ve known everythin ther’s ta kna int’ world worth knowin. Wi’ve reached t’ top. Let’s let dis be t’ en’. ‘A can we survi’ togetha? Even if we don’t dee i’ an air raid, if t’ war is o’a wheear can we nip on? Whoa ‘ood let wee be togetha? Eur year is as long as eur lifetime if it is full o’ love.

LYSSK [Incredulously]:
Be serious.

TSU XI TSU [Gently]:
Ah nivva wor mooar serious i’ uz life. Ah can’t gue on wiyaa’ theur, ‘n ah won’t leev theur behin’ ta en’ up um experiment or slev. It’s theur ‘a’ ah love — the lahl strange spirit ‘a’ mecs theur lyssk, ‘n different ta everybody else ‘a’ ivva lived. T’ black met will kill ‘a’ i’ theur, i’ uz. If we’re goan destroy ‘a’ then let’s doa it soona than lata. Think! Dis may be t’ last neet we’ll ivva spen’ together — the last chance we’ll av. Turn ont’ lights. Open t’ winda. Neya tellin what’ll ap’n if we gerr ta see tomorra. Ah don’t ‘od on ta fyass it a sen.

LYSSK:
I am a warrior and a queen dethroned. If I don’t fall in battle then I don’t want to, darling.

TSU XI TSU:
Eur theur afraid ta dee?

LYSSK:
Afraid? No. It just goes against my need to survive.

TSU XI TSU:
Theur lost thy ‘i’. Theur lost thy fowk. Theur can’t feight. Theur can’t even nip on ahtside. Wha’ av theur getten ta li’ for?

LYSSK:
I’ve got you.

TSU XI TSU:
‘Abe, thars slipped. Thars slipped away furtha than ah thowt. Ah meight be gonneur parky turkey o’a t’ black met, bur thars slipped furtha than ah av.

LYSSK:
I’m not that bad off.

TSU XI TSU [panic-stricken, the sound of falling bombs very close now]:
Thas chuffin’ bad off, Lyssk. Dooant theur see ‘a’ thy life is finished? Warrior? ‘Ueen? Theur are nowt. Theur are less than nowt. Wha’ theur chuffin’ are is t’ onny alien thin on dis earth, ‘n ‘eear theur call calmly abaht … um vague ideeur abaht ‘onor. “Dee i’ battle”? Ther’s neya reason for theur ta gue on livin … except thy fear o’ deyth.

LYSSK:
I’m not afraid of dying … for the right reason.

TSU XI TSU [rising up, advancing to the blacked out window]:
‘Ell, let uz open t’ winda then, then. Ah’m not afraid. Skeg a’ uz. Think o’ t’ trouble it takes ta li’. Think o’ t’ effoarts ta keep yursen gonneur on ‘n on. When theur lose uz tha’il just slip ‘n slip. Thars getten ta dee int’ en’ anyha. ‘N when thas dead it won’t mek enny difference ta thee ‘a long theur lived. It will be just as if tha’d nivva bin burn.

LYSSK [Her head following TSU XI TSU’S every movement]:
I don’t understand you.

TSU XI TSU [Edging towards the window]:
Aye theur doa. Ah can’t fyass t’ dayleight, Lyssk, if you’re not i’ it wi’ uz. Ah’m tooa jiggered. Aren’t theur jiggered? Wha’ will become o’ theur wiyaa’ uz ta tek care o’ theur?

LYSSK [Helpless when faced with human rationalizations]:
I don’t know.

TSU XI TSU:
Let’s turn ont’ lights. Then we won’t av ta wake up int’ mornin. Theur ‘n uz but — maybe — bur ah think thas scared.

LYSSK [Makes a noise half way between a hiss and a sniff, curls back into her fetal position on the mattress, her tail swishing angrily]:
Have it your way. Open the windows.

TSU XI TSU [in an ecstatic whisper]:
Oa, Lyssk!

[TSU XI TSU opens the window, the sounds of the outside world suddenly very loud and then turns on the single, naked light bulb hanging from the ceiling. She then comes down on tiptoe, trembling; lies next to LYSSK. The room is garishly bright]

LYSSK:
Now what? How long do you think this will take?

TSU XI TSU:
Not long, ah think. Ah doun’t kna li’. Dooant let’s call abaht it. Lyssk, does thee think i’ve getten t’ reet ta tek theur wi’ uz?

LYSSK:
With you? Where?

TSU XI TSU:
Now — li’ dis. Bur ah couldn’t thoil for anybody else ta ‘urt theur, darlin.

LYSSK:
You’re trembling. Are you the one who is scared now?

TSU XI TSU:
Ah’m not scared. ah’m just ‘appy.

LYSSK:
Happy?

TSU XI TSU:
Ah thowt i’d lost theur, Lyssk.

LYSSK:
Um. [Very long pause during which nothing happens save the wail of air raid sirens and the drone of German engines getting louder and louder] I never thought killing me would take so long. Do you think they’ll find enough of us to figure out who we were?

TSU XI TSU:
Wha’ theur wor? Ah expect sa.

LYSSK [hissing one last time, more to herself]:
Won’t that give the boffins something to talk about? I suppose none of my sisters who survived will ever know what happened to me.

TSU XI TSU:
They’ll figure summa’ art. Please dooant let’s call abaht it.

[Another long pause. The German planes are right over head. Still no sounds of bombs dropping. From down on the street an outraged male voice: “Oi! Turn that bloody light out!”]

LYSSK:
Well, someone noticed.

TSU XI TSU:
Lyssk?

LYSSK:
Yes?

TSU XI TSU [in a whisper]:
Uz darlin’! [Long pause. The sound of planes is definitely heading away]

LYSSK [with a loud sigh]:
How incredibly thick are those pilots? Should I go onto the roof and start waving my hands and jumping up and down?

TSU XI TSU:
These raids gue on for ‘ours. If dis wev dunt see wee ah’m sure t’ next ‘un will. Oa, Lyssk, cum on back ‘eear. Wi’ve onny getten such eur lahl while.

[The sound of planes has completely disappeared. Sounds of distant outrage. Feet pounding up wooden stairs]

LYSSK:
From the sounds of it we’ve got the whole neighborhood coming to visit.

TSU XI TSU:
Fert Lurt’s sake, dooant open t’ door! I’m sure eur bomb will fall soon!

[The air raid sirens fall silent. Outrage on the other side of the door. A multitude of voices: “Ay yous insane?” “Turn Frank Bough that Isle Of Wight!” “’Re ya tryin’ ter get us killed?” “Tirn off dat lamp!” etc.]

LYSSK [raising herself up on one elbow to stare at the door]:
How ironic. It won’t be the Nazis that kill us, but our neighbors.

TSU XI TSU [Sits up in bed, truly terrified as more and more fists rain down upon the door. It trembles, about to be ripped off its hinges]:
Nah! Nah! Nah! This isn’t supposed ter ‘appun like this!

LYSSK [pulling her lover close, inhaling deeply of her scent]:
Love, love of my heart, listen. Do you trust me?

TSU XI TSU [In a panic, not sure what LYSSK is even saying]:
Trust yous? O’ cose, ay trust yous wi’ me loife.

LYSSK [Standing up, all 7 feet of her suddenly dark and threatening, her old warrior nature rising to the surface]:
Then sit right there, close your eyes and whatever happens, don’t move.

[LYSSK leaps to the ceiling, to hang upside down in the exact spot where she was sleeping when the play began. The ferocious babel of voices on the other side of the door reaches a pinnacle of indignation and then the door bursts open. Fearful, irate neighbors in night shirts, slips and bathrobes — normal people terrified that the lit, open window would allow their whole neighborhood to be fire bombed — burst in]

WOMAN WITH ROLLING PIN AND CURLERS:
Ah ya tryen ter get us killed?

MAN IN PURPLE DRESSING GOWN:
Wa woods ye dae sic’ a hin’? Ah hae a fowk in thes buildin’, ye ken.

FACTORY WORKER IN NIGHT SHIRT:
Oi don’t want ter die the-nite! Oi don’t want ter die any noight.

[By this time the crowd has moved into the center of the room. TSU XI TSU appears zombified, apparently staring into space as the multitude crowds in around her. In truth she is gazing in awe at LYSSK, still out of sight but watching every move the humans make]

TSU XI TSU:
I’m — I’m soz. Bur — bur —

[LYSSK drops from the ceiling, between the invaders and the door, trapping them in the small room. She rises to her full height — 7 feet — black-green as poison, clawed cable-like arms held out at her sides, her segmented tail whipping back and forth, her shiny smooth head moving into the light. The entire cast turns to stare at her, horror-struck, mesmerized.The Xenomorph takes one threatening step toward them, as if she could gather everything in the room up in her arms and devour them all]

LYSSK [Making her shrill laugh]:
I say, this is a terrible way to end things.

[CURTAIN]