A royal council chamber, where workmen are installing telephones, decking the walls with maps and putting black-out over the windows. Enter King Tony, accompanied by Duke Prescott, George, Duke of Robertson, and various military men.
King Tony: From here we shall conduct the war
This little room, this nest of phones and maps
Shall be the centre of the whole campaign!
This is the very room which great Churchill used
To send out orders in the last world war,
For I, like him, shall all the brains control
Which send out orders to our far-flung men!
Prescott: to Robertson Has he been in this state
for very long?
Robertson: Softly, to Prescott Oh, ever since the
war began last week
Has he put on the noble warrior look,
Strutting around this military centre,
Putting flags on maps, and model rockets,
And making little noises to himself, such sounds as "Bang!" and "Crash" and "Bombs Away!"
And then he says...
King Tony: This war shall never cease
Until King Slobodan has given in
And seen the error of his evil ways!
Robertson: And after that he strikes another pose,
That pose we know so well, with moistening
His hand curled up as if imploring us
To pat his little head and stroke his locks...
Prescott: I know it well.
Robertson: And says to us this time...
King Tony: This is a just and caring war we wage!
A war to make men free and not be slaves,
A loving war, a war that says "We care"
And not a war for gain or territory!
A New Age war, perhaps. Organic war,
That would not harm a single person's hair,
Or, if a bomb should fall upon their head,
Would leave them there holistically dead!
Prescott: How strange to see the man of
peace stand there
And preach the cause of spreading war abroad!
Is this a thing that comes with power, you think?
Robertson: This is a thing I cannot understand.
Inside King Tony dwell two different men.
One is a vengeful, fighting man of peace.
The other, a loving, caring warrior chief.
Now riddle me that one, Prescott, if you can!
Before Duke Prescott can make answer, King Tony turns to him.
King Tony: Good Prescott, welcome to our
What think you of our little set-up here?
Prescott: It's very nice.
King Tony: "It's very nice", he says!
Where is the pride and passion in your voice?
Oh, Prescott, it is heaven in this room
Where I, at last, can be in real charge
And bomb my enemies, not humour them.
Now, Prescott, I shall need your help today.
Once weekly, as you know, I meet my people
And let them ask such questions as they wish. "King's Question Time" it's called.
But for today I am too busy with the war to go
And listen to my subjects' stupid plaints.
I trust thee well. Do thou go in my stead
And many rewards will fall upon your head.
Prescott: I go at once, my Lord. I only hope
That I shall do it half as well as thee.
Exeunt Robertson and Prescott. Enter Martin Bell, in a white suit. King Tony starts at the sight.
King Tony: Avaunt, thou man of peace, avaunt
I have a just and caring war to fight!
Bell: No war is ever just, and no one gains.
Only he prospers who from war refrains.
The loser's left with bitter, vain regret;
The winner's left unharmed, but deep in debt.
King Tony: Get out, you moaning Minnie, now
Bell: The weakest men are they who loudest shout.
At a signal, Martin Bell is summarily ejected, doing all sorts of damage to his suit, leaving King Tony looking angry but pensive.
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