12 Angry Ninjas

[At lights up, there is a long table on stage, surrounded by 12 chairs. Paul sits in one. Ben enters.]

Ben: Sorry I’m late. Wanted to get a soda. If we can all take our seats. [Ben sits, opens his soda can]

Paul: [looks around] Is this it? This is all of us?

Ben: Yes it is. Time for roll-call.

Paul: I thought there were supposed to be more of us. On TV, you usually see about-

Ben: Please. Hold your questions until after roll-call.

Paul: But-

Ben: Sir. Please. Okay, Juror 1? Juror number 1? Oh, that’s me. Present. Juror 2? Present. Juror 3? Present. Juror 4? Present. Juror 5? Present. Juror 6? Juror 6?

Paul: Present?

Ben: Present. Juror 7? Present. Juror 8? Present. Juror 9? Present. Juror 10? Present Juror 11? Present.  And Juror 12? Present. Now gentlemen, as you know, we’re entrusted by the court to decide on the case State vs. Killer Robot. Now, we’ve all heard the testimonies-

Paul: I’m sorry, I just… [Paul points around to the empty chairs, obviously confused] There’s only two of us here.

Ben: Please, Juror 6, let me finish.  We’ve heard the case from the prosecution, and the defense, and the testimonies from Killer Robot itself and several eye witnesses, and we’re here to decide if Killer Robot is guilty or innocent of its alleged crime: incinerating an entire city block and throwing a bridge at the moon.

Paul: But there’s only two of us here now.

Ben: Juror number six. My job here as jury foreman is to facilitate a discussion, and make sure we stick to protocol in arriving at a unanimous decision of guilty or not guilty. If we cannot come to a consensus, then we have to declare a hung jury and Killer Robot will be re-tried. Now, how the prosecutor was able to fill this jury with Ninjas is not my place to say or speculate. I have a job to do here.

Paul: Ninjas?

Ben: Yes, Ninjas. [Ben takes a drink from his soda, but it is empty.] Ha ha ha. Very funny. I think before we go any further, we should take a preliminary vote by secret ballot. Remember, if guilty, Killer Robot will be decommissioned. That’s the weight that we’re all dealing with here. I would like you to write your verdict on these note cards and pass them forward.  [Ben places a stack of note cards on the table in front of him, takes one, and writes on it. He then gathers up the note cards] Thank you, everyone. [Ben counts the cards] I appear to be missing one. Oh, Juror 6. [Ben passes a note card down to Paul. Paul writes on it, then passes it back to Ben.] Thank you. Okay. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Not guilty. Guilty. Guilty. I can see this is going to be a long night.

Paul: I just have a reasonable doubt about Killer Robot’s guilt.

Ben: And you’re entitled to that. What sort of doubts do you have?

Paul: For instance, Killer Robot’s gun. I don’t think the prosecutor made a strong enough case for its effectiveness in incinerating an entire city block.

Ben: Would you like to examine the gun yourself? Juror 10, will you get Juror 6 Killer Robot’s gun from the evidence locker?

[Paul opens his jacket and pulls out Killer Robot’s gun.]

Ben: You might be careful with that, number 6, or something mysterious might happen.

Paul: What?

Ben: I’m just saying that if I was the only one who voted Killer Robot not guilty on a jury full of ninjas, I might expect a partially hung jury, if you get my meaning.

Paul: Oh. I would like to change my vote to guilty.

Ben: I’ll let the bailiff know we’re done. [Ben gets up to leave.]

[Paul sits in his chair motionless. Lights out.]

Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.