play starts in BRAD SPARK's office: "It
is the office of a computerised private eye.
A one-man investigation service. On the desk in front of the usual
swivel chair is a video monitor and keyboard terminal. Electronic
Jazz theme-music. Brad Spark slouches on. In trenchcoat and pulled
down hat. He glares at the audience" (...)
SPARK: My name's Spark. Brad Spark. Private
Eye. And this here heap of overheated circuitry is my assistant. ZYTE
B128. He's a micro-computer. Running an investigation and deduction
program. We make a great team. I do the leg-work...
He switches on the computer
ZYTE: And I do the brainwork. Hi there Brad, and how are you feeling
Zyte exchange some data and close the latest case as Zyte finally
tracked down "Pre-programmed Pete" alias "Real-Time-Tony".
Brad feeds Zyte with some data to chew on, than switches on a video
- we hear BS in voice over, laying
out the map of THE GULCH and what he's doing in this macro-cosmos
of micro-crimes. (this is a must read!)
that Brad changes clothes... after 4 days... - Brad agrees, asks
Zyte for help in choosing a new tie - Zyte suggests, as a machine
knows next to nothing about these mundane things, that Brad should
finally get himself a wife - after all:
per cent of men in top jobs in America are married. To women.
Brad replies kinda furious that he'd NEVER get married. He, Brad,
the classical loner? Ha!
Instead he switches over into the first song:
As the song fades, Zyte announces that they have a new client.
Enters the COUNTESS - to a blaring
saxophone swank -
"Parades around with Bump, Grind and Circumstance".
She tells Brad that she came because her husband was murdered.
Brad suggests that this doesn't sound like his line of work, but
more like a standard police case.
The Countess reveals that her husband HYMY
SPENCER has been ripped apart by his automized cigar-cutter
- but that it -nevertheless- must have been a case of murder.
Zyte's throwing in his immediate protest - that it MUST have been
After some arguing about if machines can actually murder someone,
the Countess says that her husband's computer was part of a link-up/computer
network, and she's convinced that "some computer-freak"
in that link-up programmed the command to kill into the system."
Finally it comes out, that Hymy Spencer, the victim, used to play
'Space Invaders' with his linked-up
computer-network-partners - who all HATED him, because he won all
the time.... - but the Countess insists that he never cheated...
At the end of the scene the Countess and Brad switch into the second
Spark wastes no time and heads off to the Countess' place on
"Echo Park Lake" - a vast luxurious mansion.
SPARK: Kinda place wheren even the trees have preservation orders
on them. Pity their owner didn't have one as well.
Brad 'meets' Spencer's computer SOL 190
for a first interrogation. It comes out that SOL 190 played 'Space
Invaders' (and won...all the time) in that computer link-up - though
the other owners couldn't prove it, they hated Hymy alright, that,
at least, is Spark's conclusion.
Then unfolds one of those brilliant and absurd interrogation dialogues
btw. Brad and SOL 190 - read it
The end of
the interrogation is the cue for the next SONG - sung by SOL190:
CAN'T THE WORLD BE RUN BY MACHINES?
Click on to part II of The Play
+ The Plot
the main-page on THE KID