Back in the day, Oywei looked like yet another star in the sky from afar. It glowed with the gleaming excellence of it's illuminated cities. It was both literally and metaphorically a shining beacon to the rest of the Cosmos.
The court left the stage and the pirates entered. They were in the lower reaches of their ship, laughing and jesting and playing cards. Rennie was amongst them, every bit an equal to their merriment as she was to their occupation. She stepped forwards to the audience and allowed the men to quieten before she began her soliloquy. She told the audience how she much preferred that life to the one she'd experienced before hand, and how she'd fallen in love. She explained that she was happy with an illegal life, as long as it was exciting. She announced that she was a free and happy woman now.
It was in that moment that the first fake cannon went off. The entire opera hall was meant to feel like it was caught in the blast, emphasised merely by the way all the actors fell to the floor. The Captain leapt back up and onto a table, drawing his sword and announcing they were at war.
Everyone, including Rennie, drew their weapons. The Empire Privateers and Warrior Droids marched on set and announced they were here to claim the monster which had slain the Emperor's son. Rennie was prepared to step forwards, but all the men stood in front of her. Their chanting voices created a shield, repeating over and over again that they would protect the girl with everything they had. And so, the fighting began.
In many adaptations of the opera, this scene was set to music known as the Ballad of War. It was, however, decided that in this production the scene would be completely silent apart from the clashing ring of the duelling swords. The ring and clash was the wood wind of scraping swords, and the explosion of guns and cannons was the percussion. The Ballad of War had never been a more fitting name.
The closing scene of the Ballad was the Captain's death. The Emperor's new heir, his daughter's husband, drew a bayonet through the Captain's chest. Rennie saw it from the other side of the stage. As the Captain fell, so did all the other pirates. The battle was instantly lost.
The final scene was the most famous. The Death March, a famous piece of music, played at full volume as the Emperor read the list of Rennie's sins. The music grew louder and louder. Rennie was marched across the stage towards the steps up to the erected gallos in the centre. The dead of the play stepped out, chanting louder and louder. Rennie put her head into the noose. The cacophony grew louder and louder, the light brighter and brighter. The room seemed to be shaking with the build up of energy and power. Cutting through all the terrible chanting and pumping drums, Rennie's voice sang the death song. Louder and louder the music grew, but her voice piercing the veil of noise.
The Emperor grabbed the lever, hoisting it back and then darkness, silence and the show was over.
A video camera in the corner relayed footage of the standing ovation to a ship beyond the enclosing atmosphere of Oywei. The man watching the screen smiled to himself and shouted, "Set course for the Orient."
Inka László gave the actor who played the Captain a grand hug and congratulated him on his excellent acting. "Oh, thank you, darling!" He cried in return. "Although, kissing yourself is always the hardest bit!"
She wandered one, not entirely sure whether he was kidding or not. She curved her way up a double helix staircase that ran almost parallel to the stairs leading from the Box. They circled up and up towards her dressing room at the very top of the Orient. She found it as she'd left it; a short narrow room with a dresser sat in front of the body length window. There was a button to the side of it that, when pressed, transformed the window into a mirror. She did that and began to get undressed out of her dirty costume. She picked up a tabard and a pair of leggings and pulled them on, settling into the chair in front of the mirror. She took a couple of pills from her desk to quell the headache currently forming in her. She absolutely loved performing in the Cosmic Nightingale, but the percussion did horrors to her health. After she'd quickly swallowed them, she sat back in her chair and breathed in and out, resting her vocal cords.
She meditated for a good ten minutes, trying to rest her soul and body before she had to begin rereading her lines for the next performance. She breathed in and out, in and out, felt her blood circulating calmly. Then she stood up and pressed the button to turn the window back to the mirror. She went over to the set of drawers behind her, searching for her script. She'd read through it whilst the suns set. She found it exactly where she'd left it and went over to her chair sitting, back down again. What she saw wasn't the twin suns dipping below the horizon, but instead a pirate looking at her whilst stood on the gangplank of a pirate galleon.