Friday, October 7, 2011

Reflections 01: The Woman is a Virus

How does this read to you?  It's the first episode of a web series I'd really like to see made.  Feel free to be brutal.  I really want to do this, and if the letters suck, the show will suck, so I need to know what to change.

REFLECTION - EPISODE 01: THE WOMAN IS A VIRUS

FADE IN

INT. COMPUTER LAB / WORKSHOP

Camera explores the detritus of the shop.  WILLIAM GIBSON DECKER is working hard on something technical.  Parts are strewn all about the bench.

DECKER (VOICE-OVER)
I don't really understand people.

A doorbell sounds in the background.  Decker doesn't react.

DECKER (VOICE-OVER)
Too messy, too unpredictable.  With people,
you put in data - time, effort, direction - and 
you have no clue how they're going to react.

The doorbell sounds again, ringing three or four times, impatiently.  Decker continues to work.

DECKER (VOICE-OVER)
Take this jerk.  I tell everyone I know not to
bother me in my workshop.  "Don't bug me
in my workshop," I tell them.  There's a sign
on the door.  It says, "Go away, we don't 
fucking want any."

Doorbell sounds again, twice.

DECKER (VOICE-OVER RISING TO DIALOG)
Seems like a simple command.  But with people, you
lock yourself away with your work and some asshole
won't stop RINGING THE FUCKING DOOR-
BELL!

Silence.  Decker listens.  For a moment, there is nothing.  He returns to his work.

WOMAN'S VOICE (THROUGH DOOR)
William?

Decker winces.

DECKER
Women.  Women are worse than people.  At 
least with some guy you can be reasonably sure
he won't start crying at you or telling you, you
don't listen.  One day, you're having a nice chat,
and then BLAM! out of nowhere, here come the
wet-works and a fourteen-hundred dollar
peripheral flying at your head.

Decker gets up from his bench and opens the door.  Standing on his stoop is an attractive girl in last-night's waitress uniform.  This is MARLENE "MARLI" BARA.  She's been crying.

MARLI
He's gone.

DECKER
Uh... Who's gone?  Wait.  Marli?  What are you
doing here?  Go away; I'm working.

Marli pushes her way past Decker, into his lab.  She dislikes this room.

MARLI
Christian, my boyfriend, is missing.  He was
supposed to pick me up from work last night,
and he never showed up.  I took a taxi home.
He isn't returning my texts or answering his
phone.

As she speaks, Marli fiddles with some piece(s) of tech from Decker's shelves.

DECKER
Maybe he's drunk.

MARLI
No.  He's missing, I know it.  We have to
go to the police.

Decker takes something out of Marli's hands and puts it down, then leads her to the door.

DECKER
That's a good idea.  Why don't you go to the
police and let them deal with it.  Why are you 
even here?

MARLI
I can't go alone.  You had that thing that one
time.  You know how to talk to the police.

DECKER
That thing.  You mean when your boyfriend 
and his minions broke in here and stole 
thousands of dollars worth of computer equip-
ment?  And the police couldn't make a case
because of half of what they took was my
surveillance gear?

MARLI
He doesn't have minions.

DECKER
Sure he does.  Four of them.  Rich, privileged
frat-boys.  You know them.  You gave them an
alibi.  I lost everything.

MARLI
I wasn't the only one.  And they didn't take
your stuff.  We were all at the Crash House
playing beer pong - celebrating Brett's pro-
motion.  Come on, that was forever ago, I 
really need your help.

Marli collapses in Decker's arms.  He holds her, unhappy; but he melts a little.

DECKER (VOICE-OVER)
She came here because she knows I can't
say no to her.  It doesn't matter if she screws
me over a hundred times, I have to go with
her.  She needs my help.  She needs me.  How
can I turn that down.  Dammit.

Decker holds her at arms length and looks at her a moment; but then puts on his jacket.  Then turns to his workbench and retrieves a bulky smart-phone and starts to put it in his breast pocket.

MARLI
Is that an iPhone?

DECKER
(Laughs)  You know, there's more computing power
in your average smart-phone than was on
the early shuttle missions.  This?  This little
baby could tell you how to build a ship that
would take you to Mars.  Then you could
use it to fly the thing.  You'd be dead from
radiation exposure before you got half-way;
but it would get you there.

As he speaks, Decker places a metal and plastic device around the back of his neck.  It has two wires which he plugs into jacks hidden beneath his hair.

MARLI (KIND OF DISGUSTED)
What are you doing?

DECKER
I installed a few highly sensitive electrodes in my
head that let me interface remotely with my
mobile.  This picks up the signal from those 
electrodes and then connects with the glasses
and the phone.

He puts on the glasses - somewhat bulky, mirrored shades.

MARLI
You are not wearing those in public.

DECKER
Hell I'm not.  These are my lifeline.  They
figured out a way to use contact lenses; but
they can't do a full color spectrum yet; and I
don't have the equipment to make them re-
ceive the carrier signal.

What?  Okay, here.  Put them on.  Don't
worry, they're not going to do anything.  Hang
on.  It's not easy to do this without looking.

DISPLAY (IN THE GLASSES, MARLI'S VIEW): Facebook comes up in a simplified Smart-Phone App window. 
"Marli@Augnet.org" types itself into the email
 window then "*********" in the password.
Marli's page pops up.

MARLI
Hey! It's my Facebook page.  Wait.
What are you doing?

DISPLAY (NOW OVERLAID ON SCENE):
Marli's Status Update: I've been a real shit
to Decker, and I really should start treating
him better.

MARLI
How are you doing that?

DECKER
Your password sucks.  Get a better one.
Here.  This is what they're really for.

Decker wipes the Facebook window away.

DISPLAY: DECKERSPHERE (Laid out like any generic search engine).
Search: William G. Decker. Go. Results:
[List of Results]

DECKER
Anytime I meet someone, if they have any
kind of internet presence, I'll know about
it.

MARLI (FIDGITING WITH GLASSES)
Okay, that's kind of cool; but do they have
to look so stupid?

Decker flips her the finger and takes the glasses from her.  Camera wipe to black as he does so (as though we're seeing scene through the lenses).

INT. MARLI'S CAR, DRIVING.

As they drive, the Display shows a GPS Map.

MARLI
Did you say you put wires in your brain?

DECKER
That's putting it pretty simply; but yeah - 
basically.

MARLI
But why?

DECKER
An experiment.  The tech is based on work
done at Brown University, with quadriplegics.
I improved on the basic design.  It's how I 
run the computer without taking it out of my
pocket.

Marli looks worriedly at Decker, then turns the car into the police station parking lot.

MARLI
You are weird.  We're here.

The duo exit the car and walk into the Police Station.

INT. POLICE STATION

Alone and bored, POLICE OFFICER FREEMAN sits at a desk reading a magazine.  He puts the magazine down and sits up when Decker and Marli enter.

FREEMAN
How can I help you today?  Wait, you're William
Decker, right?

DECKER
Yeah.  And you are (reading badge) Officer
Freeman?

DISPLAY: As he says it, SAPD Freeman appears in the search bar.  Results:
* Local law enforcement officer receives state's
highest honor.
*Decorated Officer charged in beating.
*Police Brutality Down Home. Ken Freeman:
"Actions appropriate to circumstance."
*Local police support neighborhood baseball.
*Record Abroad "Sexy Model Adrenne Freeman
likes Harry Potter."

DECKER
And this is Marlene Bara.  She's here to file
a missing person's report.

Freeman perks up.

FREEMAN
That sounds serious.  Sit down, then. Tell
me about who's missing.

FADE OUT.

1 comment:

Spaceboy said...

I really enjoyed it! It has a great flow and I like the inner voice/narration. (the only suggestion I have is to change the main character's name, it's a bit too much)
Lez

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