High command

In the Eagle's Nest

[A high-ceilinged loft of some sort, white walls, shag carpet, a few chairs that look like set pieces from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Former presidential advisor/Nazi STEVE BANNON, wearing some kind of inflated wetsuit, floats about seven feet above the floor like Baron Harkonnen in Dune. His head is visible through a filmy white cloud that envelopes it; closer inspection shows the cloud is produced by leakage at his neckline. A door opens and STEPHEN MILLER, current presidential advisor/Nazi, enters with presidential son-in-law JARED KUSHER, both wearing expensive skinny suits. No one is masked though KUSHNER has a mask tucked into his breast pocket like a hanky. MILLER takes BANNON’s state in stride but KUSHNER stays near to the door at first, staring goggle-eyed.]

MILLER: Steve, good of you to see us.

BANNON: [Looking down at them from the corner of his eye, his voice clear but distant] Hello, Stephen. I’m always happy to make time for you. Hello, Jared. It’s been a while.

KUSHNER: I can’t believe you’re just floating there. Are there wires or is it like helium.

BANNON: There’s some helium. It’s a mix. I can control it.

[BANNON floats down a few feet; KUSHNER looks as if he’s ready to flee.]

I better stay a little above you — [gestures toward his head] this infusion would do you no harm, but you might find its effects disorienting. Myself, I find it comforting. It helps me to think.

KUSHNER: Okay. Okay. [Inching forward] Well, Dad wanted your analysis of recent events, like for example —

BANNON: I have a standing order from President Trump that whenever you call him Dad I should tell you not to call him that.

KUSHNER: Really? Dammit! [Sullenly] Well whatever, he wants to know how you think he’s doing and what he should do next.

MILLER: That’s rather an oversimplification.

KUSHNER: That’s alright. I know what he means. I understand the president’s mind.

[BANNON starts moving around the room in a circle, as a thoughtful person might, except without touching the ground, which makes KUSHNER very nervous and even causes MILLER to adjust in anticipation of sudden movement.]

The Orders are good. They baffle the enemy, which is the press. They report them as if he actually has the power. That means he will have the power, soon enough. Did you see CNBC?

KUSHNER: Sorta.

BANNON: They said he was “expanding coronavirus economic relief to Americans struggling during the pandemic.” In the second graf they said he was stopping the payroll tax. They didn’t say that people might not get the money until the end of the fifth graf.

MILLER: [Giggling] And we didn’t even have to threaten them!

[Arresting his horizontal movement, BANNON starts slowly floating up.]

BANNON: But the President must be careful. He mustn’t deceive himself about how much money will actually get moved. If he overpromises it could be fatal. Has he made peace with Adelson?

MILLER: We haven’t had a good opportunity to connect.

KUSHNER: I’m taking care of Sheldon, guys.

BANNON: Oh. Great. [Dreamily] Let me think... let me...

[Pause. BANNON is at about nine feet now. His neck exudes a little extra cloud material. Suddenly he drops till he is just about two feet above the ground; both MILLER and KUSHNER gasp and run to far corners of the room.]

I have it! [Pointing at MILLER] Miller, orchestrate a campaign saying the Democrats are trying to rob the president of his Constitutional powers.

MILLER: We’re already doing it. Navarro was on Meet the Press

BANNON: Not that way. I mean memes! Show Nancy Pelosi stabbing James Madison in the back.

KUSHER: No one knows who James Madison is.

BANNON: [A little testily] He’s a guy in a powdered wig! They know what it means! [Dreamily again] Then, a meme in which Democrats are watching children starve! Little children all skin and bones! Chuck Schumer stands above them eating a big meatball sub — no, something Jewish! But not too Jewish. Make it —

[More cloud material. BANNON shoots straight up in the air, maybe ten feet. He roars:]

A ham sandwich! We make it clear he’s Jewish by making him eat trafe! Its GENIUS!

KUSHNER: Steve, this isn’t the kind of —

BANNON: SILENCE!

[The cloud material is now bubbling up faster; BANNON’s voice become louder and increasingly hoarse.]

Show the Jews with the blacks and the blacks with the Jews! Ocasio-Cortez! Maxine Waters! Al Sharpton! Newman from Seinfeld! SOROS! They’re all starving the white Christian babies! With intent to sodomize! They’re all stabbing the Founders in the back! Feel it! Feel it! FEEL IT!

[BANNON suddenly goes tail up and starts zooming around the room as MILLER and especially KUSHNER careen and shriek with terror. After a bit of this KUSNER pulls what looks like a gun out of his jacket pocket and shoots at BANNON, causing a loud bursting sound; the suit deflates and BANNON falls unconscious to the floor; the room fills with a light smoke. MILLER and KUSHNER freeze, start coughing intermittently.]

MILLER: You’ve killed him!

KUSHNER: No, no! It’s just a dart!

[They both move in closer to investigate BANNON.]

[Points] See?

MILLER: Dart? What kind of dart?

[MILLER puts his fingers on BANNON’s neck.]

KUSHNER: Dexmedetomidine and, uh, other stuff. Lots of it.

MILLER: He’s got a pulse.

KUSHNER: Okay, should we call someone?

MILLER: I think so!

KUSHNER: Really?

MILLER: Not really!

KUSHNER: Yeah they probably have, probably, I mean this probably happens all the time.

MILLER: Yeah.

KUSHNER: Though I didn’t see anyone, I don’t think.

MILLER: I'm sure they’re here, though.

KUSHNER: Yeah.

MILLER: Hey, I feel kind of excited.

KUSHNER: Excited like how?

MILLER: Like my senses are super sharp.

KUSHNER: Me too!

MILLER: You know what it is!

KUSHNER: Yeah, all that cocaine!

MILLER: Cocaine? I thought it was the idea that we’d killed a man.

[Pause.]

KUSHNER: Let’s get out of here.

[They flee. Pause. Eventually, slowly, figures in strange uniforms with padded shoulders and black boots gather in the doorway.]

VOICE: Herr Bannon?

[One of them comes forward, spots BANNON on the ground, turns to the others:]

Schnell!

[They all rush in; CURTAIN.]