PROLOGUE

The Ocean

A FISH

The sky's head sinks low over blue,

Leaving the darkness to wink at below,

Where simple souls that Death once knew

Float downwards, now part of the ocean's flow.

Though, 'mongst the long forgotten swim

The dark, the feared, the sly—

Stark white souls where light is dim,

We give off hate, but to love ally.

ANOTHER FISH

But one unlike us, hooves not fins,

Comes down to join us, in the depths.

Burning bubbles follow as he swims,

Darting from his nose at each faked breath.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Good whale, I cannot imagine your life,

Confined to such a thrill-less place.

Just now, I came from a hearty scene,

As a witness to the tragic loss of a young

Man's soul, given up in a bet.

Yet here you remain, alone, as I see,

Lost in your own dank daydreams.

MOBY DICK

You are mistaken, my oldest friend;

I have my source of fun to view.

You are familiar with Ahab?

MEPHISTOPHELES

The captain of The Pequod!

MOBY DICK

He does not cease to chase me,

No matter to what seas I roam,

He is always there, ready with a spear,

Always aimed for me.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Why does he fixate upon that goal?

MOBY DICK

I ate his leg.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Such a silly reason for an obsession,

But, nonetheless, 'tis amusement.

I wonder, though, his strength –

I wonder if another tragedy

Can deter him from his aquatic love.

MOBY DICK

I see no harm in trying.

MEPHISTOPHELES

After all, he's just a man, if not

More driven and crazy than the rest.

Easily distracted by fame and riches,

Beautiful women and dreams.

It shall not be hard to find something

To catch his attention, to draw him near.

MOBY DICK

No, it shall not, but I wish you luck.

You can't trust those captains.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Nor can you trust me.

Captain's Quarters Aboard the Pequod

AHAB

Back and forth, I feel the waves

Rock the breast of this poor vessel,

The carrier of my dreams,

The manner of my revenge.

He's there below, I feel him wait,

Bloodthirsty for my other limbs:

A feast of courage for the fiend,

A mark of failure for the lead.

(He glances at the various instruments around the room.)

They stare at me, my little tools,

Awaiting their use in my epic plan.

But as if a spirit's overcome them, dark

And menacing as that whale.

It fills my soul, their hardened doubt,

Their sympathy for that monster.

My Christian soul's not soft for sin,

But craves to purge it from this world.

But shall a slave 'gainst master rebel?

Shall leaves from top a tree not fall?

Shall a man with a dream leave his family behind

When he travels the seas like a curse?

(The incoherent shouting of the crew can be heard from outside the room.)

They think they talk alone,

That no one hears their words.

I listen every time they speak

And take note of their mutiny.

They call me crazy, insane, manic,

Fixed on a dream, impossible so.

But they don't see, both legs intact,

And youth clouding their eyes and minds!

If they were me, they'd do the same!

(The shouting stops, and is replaced by uproarious laughter.)

This necessary deed, the star of my heart's sky,

They take it for a joke! A whim!

Avast, they'll see with wakened eyes

The fear instilled by Moby Dick!

I look out the window, enveloped by blue,

And see myself staring into the eyes of the beast,

Separated solely by a piece of hardened sand.

Were I to break through, to connect with the brute,

Perhaps my crew will see the danger that I fear.

But, oh! What's this? A hole I see!

A leak between the window and the wall,

My slow death right before my eyes!

But, look, the water comes out slow,

Not fast with pressure from behind.

It trickles down, blood of the sea,

And forms a puddle at my feet!

(As the hole begins to leak, the water gathers in a puddle that begins to rise, forming the shape of a man.)

'tis no longer a puddle, I see down there,

But a man! A stranger! Present yourself,

So that I may know who dares to enter

The lair of my revenge!

MEPHISTOPHELES

One calls me by many names, good sir,

But you can say Mephistopheles.

AHAB

Though your name is of great reassurance,

Who are you to enter my cabin

Through a hole in the wall?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Of what hole do you speak?

AHAB

It has disappeared, vanished before me,

Snow melting in the spring!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Perhaps it was just something you saw,

An obsession spoiling your hardened mind?

AHAB

I know of no obsession,

Nothing that would cloud my mind!

(The laughter returns.)

MEPHISTOPHELES

No, you cannot think of a single one?

I've known of your face and name

And love of your rival, the White Whale.

AHAB

This affection of which you speak, 'tis not obsession!

MEPHISTOPHELES

You say those words, yet have your men

Slaving away to catch the brute, hoping

For a chance to reclaim what was once lost.

Obsessively you follow; an obsession it is.

AHAB

If that is true, this obsession,

Of what consequence is it to you,

Strange Mephistopheles?

MEPHISTOPHELES

You know yourself the stories,

The fables true and false:

Catching that whale would be a miracle,

One which I doubt you could commit.

AHAB

What do you mean to say?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Wouldn't it be wise, a quality useful to captains,

To set your eyes towards another, closer goal?

To chase this whale is to kill yourself,

Alone and purposeless, not deserving your soul.

Turn towards another, find a new dream,

And your life will take on a meaning unattainable.

AHAB

I daresay I cannot.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Your wife and children miss you dear,

And, like the crew, wishes you home.

You do not even have to return to them—

Many women await a man to love,

And many opportunities for gold present there.

AHAB

I cannot abandon my goal so quick.

My leg he's taken—my leg!

You may not care for your misshapen feet

But I must avenge my stolen flesh.

Say what you want, offer your best,

But I shall not abandon this whale like you want.

You may find someone else, if you want—

Someone younger, more pliable,

Not used to your tricks.

MEPHISTOPHELES

They matter not to me, these other men.

My purpose here is to save you, Ahab!

You're setting yourself towards a dangerous path,

And I fear you shall not come out alive.

Set your eyes towards something else.

Forgive the past and save yourself.

AHAB

Save myself, then let you steal my soul?

Mephistopheles, I see your plan!

I will not give up, follow you blindly,

For the one I follow is Moby Dick alone!

FISH SURROUNDING SHIP

It's coming near!

A twist of fate!

The shackles on,

Freedom awaits.

The young police,

With none to lose,

Eagerly waits for

Relevant news.

The convict's arrest

Has brought much relief

Danger surrounds us

All caused by a thief.

Help him, Mephisto!

Arrive like a prayer!

Nurture the poor, misled

Soul of Javert!

MEPHISTOPHELES

That seems a fair deal, helpful fish,

I'll follow your sudden, well-received advice.

I'm sorry, Ahab, I could not be of help,

To turn you away from your wet, gory death.

I'm off to France, to try this again,

Perhaps I will see you, once more, who knows where?