This is the first draft of scene 1.2 of Vivat Regina, originally written on August 12th of 2013. I’ve mentioned that I was originally planning on having the central struggle for Mary being her deciding that she could only take on the future of Mrs. Hawking’s work under her own terms. Because of this, having it declared early that Mrs. Hawking meant to groom her in this way made sense.
But my boyfriend Bernie pointed out that this story required a slower exploration in order to do it justice, and I ended up scrapping this to deal instead with Mary’s fear that she was not up to the challenge. This meant that Mrs. Hawking’s reveal of her intention to pass the torch had to be a revelation to come later.
Some of these scene still exists in the final version of 1.2. Other pieces were included in 2.3, the scene to which the protege reveal occurs. This is a great example of scene work where it doesn’t work in its original conception, but can be repurposed later to better serve the story.
Day #12 – “Protege”
(MRS. HAWKING is in the parlor in his stealth suit, removing it piece by piece. MARY rushes back in through the front with her wrap and hat over her dress, exhilarated.)
MARY: Oh, that was extraordinary!
MRS. HAWKING: A task adequately managed, indeed.
MARY: I did it, I worked it all out, you saw it yourself!
MRS. HAWKING: Eventually. With some guidance.
MARY: Still, I did manage!
MRS. HAWKING: You did at that.
MARY: And yes, with your guidance. Everything you’ve wanted to teach me, I’ve worked very hard to learn.
MRS. HAWKING: Yes. Yes, you have.
MARY: You have seen it, madam, haven’t you?
MRS. HAWKING: You’ve been a diligent student. In fact… you’ve been an excellent one. Better than I dared hope.
(MARY beams at her. Then she begins taking off her wrap, her hat, and her gloves. MRS. HAWKING becomes contemplative, and after a moment MARY notices.)
MARY: Are you all right?
MRS. HAWKING: It’s only… it makes me think. I’ve been at this work for half my life now, and before you, I’d always done it alone. I thought that when it came time that I could not keep on with it any longer… that would be the end of it. All my efforts would die with me. But since you’ve come along, you’ve learned. You’ve risen to every challenge that’s come your way. I would never have guessed what help you would be to me.
MARY: Oh, madam. Do you mean that?
MRS. HAWKING: I do.
MARY: I’m sure I’m not the assistant you would have imagined.
MRS. HAWKING: Perhaps not. And yet I see now that I have in you a protégé, on your way to becoming a true partner. And one day, you’ll carry it all on in my stead.
MARY: Mrs. Hawking… I don’t know what to say.
MRS. HAWKING: Is that a path that you could see for yourself?
MARY: After everything you’ve shown me… it’s the only path I can see. Thank you.
MRS. HAWKING: No need. I can rest easy in the future of my life’s work.
(She turns away, pleased, and begins to gather up her things. MARY watches her, charmed.)
MARY: Why, Mrs. Hawking?
MRS. HAWKING: Yes?
MARY: I do believe you’re smiling.
(MRS. HAWKING frowns hard.)
MRS. HAWKING: I beg your pardon?
MARY: You never smile.
MRS. HAWKING: Certainly not. I don’t know what you’re on about, Miss Stone.
(She gathers her things in an armful and strides from the room. MARY watches her, and glows.)