ACT I

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SCENE 1 


Mary
Please pay attention to these sheep behind the fence;
Mouton and Becky, our couple experimental,
These animals are truly instrumental
In understanding every human sense.
In those sheep we cloned genes for human vision,
And hearing, and touch, and taste, and smell.
 

Li
So how do they fare?
 

Mary 
It's really hard to tell -

But they improved reaction and decision.
What's better still - without any stick or carrot
We managed to their vocal centers reach
By cloning to the sheep a gene from parrot.

Li
You do not mean you engineered speech


Mary
To some extent - and in a limited amount;
But they can talk; and they can sing and count.

(rings the bell. Sheep talk, sing, count)

Mouton and Becky
Bah, bah, black sheep - where have you been?
To Fort St. Germain, to get me a gene.
Children of Dolly,
A gene from a Polly.
Fort St. Germain, Fort St. Germain,
Give us new genes, again and again.
The grass is green, a nice green grass,
Give us a gene, give it to us,
One, two, three, four - give us some more,
Fort St. Germain, Fort St. Germain, etc.

Li
Miraculous! I swear, it is a dream!
 

Mary
Techniques are not as complicated as they seem.
Fort St. Germain becomes a citadel of action
Which will conduct our race to its perfection.
 

(orchestra; waltz)
A gene from a spider we'll weave in a tailor;
A gene from a dolphin we'll give to a sailor;
A gene from a swallow with a pilot will fly;
And a gene from a mole will be put in a spy.
 

In all that is living, in all Nature's creatures
We'll find and correct undesirable features;
All genes will adorn with their final expression
The Garden of Eden designed to our fashion.
 

Oh wonderful castle, our Fort St. Germain,
Here the future of mankind in earnest began;
With skills of Onegin and wisdom of Baer
We are taking of humans the ultimate care!
 
 

SCENE 2


Li
Forgive me, sir, before I utter
An exclamation of surprise -
I hardly can believe my eyes:
We had a common alma mater!
I had no clue whom I will find
At this experimental station;
Please do recall, if you don't mind,
The '87 graduation!
 

Onegin
But surely, old chap, I do remember you:
You were among the protein folks I knew:
You did this work on a coding box
Which helped to crack that bloody pox!
It's rather thrilling how we meet!
 

Li
I heard about you from my tutors -
You were among the finest suitors
Of Science, that mistress harsh but sweet.
 (laugh)


Onegin
Unlike my namesake operatic,
I never led a life erratic.
From youngest years I knew my mission,
My future occupation, which
I could achieve in my position,
In Moscow born to parents rich.
What counted were not your perfections,
But your familial connections;
You had to do well on a test -
Papa took care of the rest.
I was reluctant, however,
To utilize this common lever -
All by myself I forged my skill,
My golden head and iron will.
All years of my college training
I counted the days remaining
Until I will the cures find
To all the troubles of humankind.
 

Li
But how could somebody so bright
Completely vanish from the public sight?
 

Onegin
I found a gene in sheep, which makes them - sheep.
Alas, the road to the Nobel Prize is very steep.
My countrymen despised my talent, skill and poise,
To head their bioscience I was not their choice.
In shambles Russian labs, nobody's pitching for us,
In sorrow and disgust his funding halted Soros.
That's how I began my road to St. Germain,
This fortress of the times long gone, ablaze with life again.
 

(waltz)
Behold my working teams, with courage all alight -
Like knights of old, they plunge into a reckless flight,
Through molecules abreast, through nuclear membranes,
Through twists of DNA, through endless double chains.
 

Chorus of scientists
Earth is green, and full of life all over,
Every race and species, beast and germ;
Every bird and every leaf of clover
Have their standards and fulfill their norm.
 

Native genes don't with each other mingle,
Their identities they keep and save,
Like inscriptions on an ancient shingle,
These instructions Nature did engrave.
 

Now to us this nature did surrender,
We can make it walk the wanted line,
We can change and alter, splice and bend her,
We can change the life to our design.
 
 

SCENE 3


Onegin
Behold the jar where genes reside:
Each has its wisdom and surprise.
With hopes high and fears aside,
We do not play genetic dice.
From Nature's misty primal slumber,
From its ingenious abode,
Each gene, according to its number,
I can uncover and decode.
I know my craft - but I am still
In awe of this tremendous skill.
 

Arcady
In skin, in flesh, in blood and bones
We graft and grow wondrous clones.
In bunches tight, in lustrous clusters
Here lie the genes, both deaf and mute;
They bring mutations and disasters,
Those culprits old of bad repute.
Their little code turns the tides,
It runs adventure bold and reckless -
This double chain, this precious necklace,
This sequence of nucleotides.
 

Mary
To harness genes as with a noose,
Two perfect molecules we choose,
Two markers binding to embrace
The target human DNAs.
 

Our marker first, from backyard thickets -
A gene for sound, used by crickets;
It binds to other genes until
All DNA will chirp and trill.
 

Our second marker to apply -
A gene for light from a firefly.
Within a chromosomal maze,
It sets a known gene ablaze.
 

These are the ways the real scientist gropes
With his or her machines and microscopes,
We go ahead and we come back,
And every step we double-check,
As does a climber on the mountain slopes.
 

Onegin
Our peaks to climb are slippery and steep.
Here is my gene from sheep that make them - sheep;
But something did attract my sight -
In human cells the firefly's light;
These markers here were never seen,
Please, Dr Baer, take a look.
 

Arcady
Onegin - throw away your book.
By Jove - you found the human Master Gene!
 

Onegin
Can't be!
 

Arcady
My friend - it surely can.
This is a gene from men that make us men!
I never thought that we will reach
This lofty peak, these heights prophetic -
But here it is, this Holy Grail genetic,
For all our genes the Master Switch!
This tiny speck, this little clone
Above all others stands alone!
 
 

Onegin
How do you know this is right?
 

Arcady
By cricket-chirp and firefly-light,
Two independent marker probes.
I feel as if our coats white
Turned suddenly to be magician's robes.

Mary
This gene of human soul and mind
Will help us change the humankind.
 

All three
Fort St. Germain, Fort St. Germain,
Were genes are cloned by their masters,
We'll cure disorders and disasters,
We'll forge a better race of men!
 

Arcady
Onegin - let's continue later,
Please put those genes in your refrigerator;
We now have to celebrate
This day divine, this knowledge great!
Let's go deep to cellars mine
And drink a bottle of ancient wine.
 
 

SCENE 4


Li
The stupid sheep behind the wall
Will not bother me at all.
For this moment I have labored twenty years.
Right before their silly eyes
I abandon my disguise,
And the real essence of my character appears.
 

No guessing who am I -
I 'm a Chinese proverbial spy -
But despite all your disgust and your contempt,
Right before, with a villain's mien,
I will steal Onegin's gene,
Let me stop and justify my bold attempt!
The government of my big land
Desires to keep its upper hand,
And for this upper hand to keep,
We need the master gene from sheep.
Applying the new scientific means,
To our men and women all
We will deliver and install
This gene among their human genes.
It will be spliced without a seam
With our technology impressive,
And yield all kings' and sultans' dream,
The crowd always dull and passive.
We need this gene, we want this tool
To sheepify genetic pool!
To think of it, the life of men
Is torture now and again,
Would not philosophers of old
Pay for this gene in pure gold?
To bridle your passions, curb your thought,
And thus design a model nation -
Oh what a future will be brought
By such a crucial operation!
 

(opens the refrigerator. Chirp of a cricket)
One, two, three, four - that's more than I have planned.
So that's how struggle of classes is to end -
The whole humankind will be a single class,
With feelings of a sheep, and wishes of a grass.
 

(touches the bell)
Mouton (wakes up)
Grass - grass - green grass. Give it to us.
Fort St. Germain, Fort St. Germain,
Give us new genes, new genes again -


Li
Shut up, a stupid sheep!

(sound of broken glass, struggle, sirens)


Voice
This is the security - put your hands up - your plot is discovered -
This is the security - (sirens)


Li
I lost. Oh well. To save my face and pride,
Come here, my faithful drop of cyanide.
 (sirens)

SCENE 5


Arcady
This tragic end we told about
Does show very plainly why
There never was a single spy
To carry our secrets out.
Our St. Germain, our ancient fort,
Is monitored from every angle,
This every plot we can untangle
And trigger a security alert.
 

Alceste
Five days did pass since we have spoken.
Although the spy is now gone,
Behind the fence that holds Mouton
Some vials have been found broken.
The germs did grow on fodder fresh,
The viral progeny did follow,
So all Mouton did was to swallow,
And virus did invade his flesh.
That's how the delivery is done
For every engineered clone.
 

Onegin
Not only gene from sheep did steal
The spy with his intentions ill.
We found that this imposing coward,
Quite unbeknownst to himself,
Did take from fridge's upper shelf
The latest gene that I discovered;
And virus with the human clone
Was also swallowed by Mouton.
 

Alceste
So we are now five days later
Since sheep consumed infected grass.
Day number six (when the Creator
Made, by His own image, us -
And after this retired to rest,
Because He thought He did His best).
This secret code, the one we call
Onegin's gene for human soul -
Into a virus finely crafted,
Is now in sheep transformed and grafted.
 

Mouton
Fort St. Germain, Fort St. Germain,
I am a lamb - I'm not a man.
The sheep are dumb - bah, bah, black sheep.
But how come I cannot sleep?
I sing this tune - the choice is done.
I know the words - I speak their tongue.
We eat green grass - we eat green grass.
No mind or soul resides in us.
For how long I knew this song?
What fills my mind? Who did my choice?
For how long I had this voice?
Fort St. Germain, Fort St. Germain,
How do I learn to be a man?
 
 

SCENE 6


Alceste
And now, without any more delays,
Let's jump ahead and count sixty days
Since virus, neatly cloned in a germ,
Our little lamb did enter and transform.
 

Onegin
Here cricket chirps - and firefly is blinking -
And our Mouton is now reasoning and thinking.
 

Mary
The transformation was miraculous. Not once
We saw him give us back a sheepish glance -
His eyes were full of living human thought,
As if he were a human child upbrought!
 

Onegin
From outside a perfect sheep he looks -
But in a month he started reading books!


Mouton
Sweet Mary, listen: here I find
Some lines about the human mind.
This books tells that the mind has always limit,
That oftentimes it is too lazy, shy and timid -
But mine does only grow and expand.
Please do explain - I do not understand.
What is the case? What is a trick?
 

Mary
Mouton - you are just growing too quick.
 

Mouton
I read Shakespeare - this play about the youth and maiden
Who loved and died. And then that other play
Where the magician, Prospero, does say
"We are such stuff that dreams are made on".
Please do explain - what this expression means.
You told me we are made of genes.
 

Mary
The difference is not as drastic as it seems -
Our genes write their poems on our dreams.

Alceste
And of these dreams I beg you not to wake,
When we come back after a little break.

Intermission

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Remembering Time