Commencement

With Commencement we reach the seventh Gnosis College script, one which brings certain key plot elements full circle — but don’t worry overmuch, as there are a number of new plot lines potentially opened up here, and there will be much more mad science to come.

As with previous scripts, I have provided a number of sections for easier reading. A PDF version of the script is available here.

Prologue

Competitions

Seductions

Abduction

Swan Song

Homeland Security

Under Siege

Mother Love

A Goddess is Born

Restoration

Epilogue

 

 

fade in:

int. madder’s private study – day

COLONEL JEREMIAH MADDER is sitting behind his desk speaking with HORST.

(Note:  Madder is the same character last seen in Where Am I?)

madder

So you feel confident you can make this go forward.

horst

Before your internal hearing, sir, yes, we can.  Bastard will get what he deserves.

MADDER

Please try to be calm here, Horst. This is not about personal enmity.  High principles are at stake, and we must not allow our personal feelings to influence us.

HORST

I’m sorry, sir.  But you must know how we all feel about the new regime.

MADDER

I am not chiding you for having such feelings, Horst.  We all have them.  Our duty is merely to be in charge of them.  Dismissed, and good luck.

HORST

Thank you, sir.

Horst leaves.

Madder sits for a moment in thought.

MADDER

(to himself)

Disciplinary hearing.  There is the work of the Lord to be done, and those bureaucrats with to pester me over missing office supplies.  Well, never mind.  There is work to be done.

Madder turns to a small notebook computer on his desk and turns one the screen.

EXTREME CLOSE UP: madder’s screen as he types

Many windows are open on the screen.  In a small text box on the screen he can be seen rapidly typing in the words “Emphasize your father’s position as a doctor.  Hint, but do not explicitly say, that the medicine might the target with her singing.  Do not overplay, and good luck.  You are benefiting your country in ways we cannot explain now.”

back to scene

Madder sits back in his motorized chair and smiles.

Back to top.

int. tanya’s room – night

TANYA YIP is wearing a long, frilly nightgown.  She takes a sip of tea from a china cup that she puts down on her nightstand.  She then puts on a pair of headphones connected to a little music player.

(Note: Tanya is the same character as appeared in Where Am I?)

Tanya switches off the light and lies down on the bed.  There is only faint light in the room.  Tanya closes her eyes.

Sound of MUSIC, Pablo Casals playing J.S. Bach’s solo cello Suite No. 1 in G, first movement.

The music fades in scene transition.

dissolve to:

int. dark stage/tanya dream sequence – night

All is dark except for a small spot of stage illuminated by a bright white spotlight above. A chair with a cello bow on it and a sort of stand are all that sits in the patch of light.

Sound of BARE FEET WALKING.

Tanya steps into the light.  We see her initially from behind.  She is naked.  She looks down at the bow for a moment.

Tanya extends her arms, then places her hands on the sides of her head.  She begins squeezing and lifting her head and neck.  As she does so, they distort and compress, until they are as long and thin as the neck of a cello.

Tanya then squats down and brings her arms in front of her, so that for a moment the curves of her body resemble the soundbox of a cello.

Our view shifts to the front.  Tanya begins kneading her labia with both hands.

tanya

Uh…uh…uhhh!

Tanya pulls up on her kneaded genitals, such that they are divided into four strings, which she stretches up and attaches to the side of her compressed head.

Tanya’s body morphs.  Her hair becomes scrollwork, her head a pegboard, her neck and cello’s neck.  Her body morphs into the soundbox of a cello, her nipples and aureolae darken and lengthen to become F-holes.

Tanya’s legs retreat into her body.  Her skin becomes shiny and lacquer-like.

Tanya is now a cello, resting on a stand.

Sound of SHOD FOOTFALLS approaching.

PABLO CASALS enters the light.  He picks up the bow, sits on the chair, picks up Tanya, and begins playing the Bach suite on her.

cut to:

int. tanya’s room – night – later

Tanya is lying on her back, still listening to Bach on earphones.

Tanya’s mouth has fallen open, and her face wears and expression of ecstasy.

int. a women’s dormitory bathroom – night

CONNIE MORTON, wearing a bathrobe, approaches a sink.

She removes a small, brown glass pill bottle from her shower kit, opens it, takes a single pill, then fills a small glass with water and swallows both.

Connie then sets the bottle down, enters the shower, turns on the water, and removes her robe.

Connie begins lathering up, showering, and so forth.  As she does so, she begins singing “Quando m’en vo” from La Boheme.

connie

(singing)

Quando men vo soletta per la via,/ la genta sosta e mira/ e la bellezza mia tutta ricerca in me/

(running her hands from head to foot)

da capo a pie’…

(her singing picks up in force and conviction)

…ed assaporo allor la bramosia/ sottil, che da gli occhi transpira/ e dai palesi vezzi intender sa/ alle occulte belta./

(she begins pleasuring herself with her hands)

Cosi l’effluvio del desio tutta m’aggira/ felice mi fa!

extreme close up: the pill bottle

A pair of woman’s hands opens the bottle and shakes out a single pill, then closes the bottle.  The tiny red pill, which is held between the right hand’s thumb and forefinger, as if the hand’s owner is examining the pill.

extreme close-up:  a locket and a woman’s chest

The pill is tucked into a tiny locket on a chain, which is in turn secreted into the generous cleavage of the locket’s wearer.

back to scene

Outside the shower, fully-clothed JIREEN is glancing over her shoulder just before exiting the bathroom.  Connie’s SINGING is clearly audible, and more expert with every passing bar.

int. a gnosis cafeteria – day

Jireen, along with other students, is moving her tray along a counter, putting food on it.  Jireen is wearing a shawl around her shoulders.

close-up: Jireen’s face

Jireen glances out of the corner of her eye.  A slight smile appears on her lips.

back to scene

Jireen stands up abruptly and moves away from the line, right into the path of ROB, with whom she collides, spilling a bowel of soup on him.

jireen

Oh my gosh!  Oh, I am so sorry!  I didn’t see you coming!  I am such a klutz…

ROB

(slightly stunned)

Uh…gee…it’s nothing really…

JIREEN

(taking napkin and trying to clean Rob off)

No really, it’s my fault.  Oh look at you.

ROB

No, please, don’t worry.  I live next door in Boone Hall.  I can just run over and change.

JIREEN

But not like that, surely.

close-up:  front of rob’s trousers

They are wet with soup.

back to scene

Jireen removes her shawl and holds it out to Rob, revealing that she is wearing a very low-cut blouse.

JIREEN

Here.  Please take this to cover up a bit.  I insist.

ROB

(trying to keep his eyes at Jireen’s eye-level)

Well, but that seems like a pretty nice shawl.  How will I get it back to you.  I mean, I don’t even know your name.

JIREEN

Gina.

ROB

I’m Rob.

JIREEN

I’m not really such a klutz all the time.  Look, I’ll walk you over if it’s okay with you.

ROB

Yeah.  Okay.  Sure.

int. rob’s room – day

Rob and Jireen enter.  A movie poster for The Big Sleep is visible on the wall.

ROB

(handing the shawl back to Jireen)

So here we are.  Thanks for lending me this.

JIREEN

Any time, Rob.

(looks at the poster)

Say, do you like old movies?

ROB

Sure.  They’re the greatest.

JIREEN

You know, they’re showing Casablanca tonight and I’d love to go…would you be interested in coming with?

ROB

Well, I sort of have a girlfriend.

JIREEN

(miming disappointment)

Oh…well maybe if she’s busy she might not mind.

ROB

She often seems kinda…busy these days.  But I should at least ask.

JIREEN

Yeah, I guess you’re right.  Tell you what, if you want to and she’s okay with it, we can go.  I’ll be at the Gadget at seven, if you’re up for it, just swing by, okay?  Otherwise I’ll have to go alone…

ROB

Yeah, okay.

Rob and Jireen stand in silence for a moment.

ROB

So I, like, kind of have to change.

JIREEN

Oh, right.  Sorry.  I forgot.

(turns to leave)

So I’ll see you this evening, maybe?

ROB

Maybe.

JIREEN

‘Bye then!

Jireen leaves.

ROB

(to himself)

Maybe.  If I’m lucky.

int. a small performance hall – day

PROFESSOR FLAMAND, flanked by PROFESSOR MILLER and PROFESSOR PAISELLLO sit at a table on the stage with notebooks open.  ARTHUR KAUFMAN sits at a piano on the stage.  The back of the stage is curtained off.

flamand

Mr. Kaufman, would you show the next soprano in, please.

arthur

Yes, Professor Flamand.

Arthur gets up, walks behind the curtained-off area.  Sound of a DOOR BEING OPENED.

arthur (o.s.)

It’s your turn.   Good luck.

Sound of FOOTSTEPS, SHUFFLING behind the curtains.  Arthur then reappears and takes seat at the piaon bench.

FLAMAND

Is she ready, Mr. Kaufman?

ARTHUR

Yes, Professor.

FLAMAND

Give her the opening pitch, and then proceed.

Arthur provides a single opening pitch.  Then Tanya, who is behind the screen, begins singing the opening recitative of the “Libera me” of the Verdi Reqiuem.  As the music progresses, Arthur provides piano-reduction accompaniment.

tanya (o.s.)

(sung)

Libera me Domine de morte aeterna in die illa tremenda, quando coeli movendi sunt et terra…

close-up:  tanya behind the curtain

Tanya’s face shows intense concentration

back to scene

Arthur plays on, and Tanya sings on.

TANYA (O.S.)

(sung)

Dum veneris, judicare, saeculum per ignem…

close-up: the judges

Paisello concentrates, then writes something.  Flamand glances at Miller and raises an eyebrow.  Miller nods.

cut to:

int. a hallway outside the performance space – day

Tanya, looking exhaused and sweaty but happy, comes upon Connie, who is rising from a chair where she has been waiting.

CONNIE

Hi.

TANYA

Hi.

CONNIE

How did it go?

TANYA

Okay I think.  Good luck to you, Connie.

Tanya proceeds on.  Connie calls after her.

CONNIE

Tanya?

TANYA

(turning around)

Yes?

CONNIE

There’s no one I’d rather compete against for this than you.

TANYA

I feel the same way.

cut to:

int. the audition space behind the screen – day

Connie reaches into her purse and takes out the pill bottle, removing one pill.  She pours some water into a glass from a pitcher and swallows the pill.  Then she turns her head an nods.

Arthur provides the pitch.

cut to:

INT. THE AUDITION STAGE (FRONT) – DAY – LATER

Flamand, Miller, and Paisello are sitting at the desk.  Connie is singing the soprano part from the middle acapella section of the “Libera Me.”

connie (o.s.)

(singing)

Requiem aeternam dona eis domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

All three judges are sitting gap-mouthed.

Arthur, who has nothing to play in this interval, silently smacks his forehead and mouths the word “Wow.”

Connie ends beautifully on the final B-flat in alt.  Arthur resumes the accompaniment.

int. the gadget – night

Jireen is sitting drinking a cup of tea when Rob approaches.  Jireen looks up and smiles broadly.

jireen

Hey!

rob

Hi.

jireen

So are we off to the movies?

rob

We are.

jireen

(smirking slightly)

And is the girlfriend okay with it?

rob

Well, I guess I did e-mail her…

jireen

You’re such a loyal guy.

rob

But she seemed cool with it, really.  Told me she was sorry couldn’t come herself because she was busy with her thesis, but that I should go and have a good time.

jireen

She sounds really nice, Rob.

rob

She says she knows you and that you’re nice, too.

jireen

(laughing a little)

Well, I’ll try not to disappoint her expectations.  Shall we, kind sir?

Rob

(offering his arm)

Surely, dear lady.

int. the audition space – night

Tanya and Connie face the judges.

FLAMAND

I must say that this was not an easy decision.  In all of your years of running this audition, we have never, ever heard such a remarkable and passionate performances, and you both young artists with a great deal to be proud of.  Still, after long and careful consideration, we have decided to award the soprano part to Miss Morton, with Miss Yip to serve as understudy.

Connie tries not to look too happy for a moment, while Tanya looks forward stoically.  They then turn to each other and embrace somewhat stiffly.

The three judges applaud them both.

paisello

Both of your achievements are glorious testimony to the power of song.

int. an auditorium – night

It is a crowded auditorium, with student faces illuminated by the light coming from the movie screen.  Rob and Jireen are at the center of the shot.

We hear the soundtrack of Casablanca, the scene in in which German officers are singing “Die Wacht am Rhein” in Rick’s Cafe.

victor laszlo/paul henreid

Play the “Marseillaise.”  Play it!

Grins spread across faces as everyone in the auditorium rises and heartily sings the “Marseillaise” along with the movie soundtrack.

Back to top.

cut to:

int. an auditorium – night – later

Closer up on both Jireen and Rob.  Jireen nestles closer to Rob as Bogart speaks.  Rob lets her

rick blaine/Humphrey bogart (o.s.)

Because you’re getting on that plane.

ilsa lund/ingrid bergman (o.s.)

I don’t understand, what about you?

RICK BLAINE/HUMPHREY BOGART (O.S.)

I’m staying here with him until the plane gets safely away.

ILSA LUND/INGRID BERGMAN (O.S.)

No, Richard.  Not what after what happened to you last night…

reverse shot:  the movie screen

The scene plays out on the movie screen.

RICK BLAINE/HUMPHREY BOGART

Last night we said a great many things.  You said I was to do the thinking for both of us.  Well I’ve done a lot of it since then and it all adds up to one thing:  you’re getting on that plane with Victor where you belong.

ILSA LUND/INGRID BERGMAN

But Richard, no, I…

RICK BLAINE/HUMPHREY BOGART

You’ve got to listen to me.  Do you have any idea what you’d have to look forward to if you stayed?  Nine chances out of ten we’d both end up in a concentration camps, isn’t that true Louis?

captain renault/claude raines

I’m afraid Major Strasser would insist.

ILSA LUND/INGRID BERGMA

You’re saying this only to make me go.

RICK BLAINE/HUMPHREY BOGART

I’m saying it because it’s true.  Inside of us we both know you belong with Victor.  You’re part of his work, the thing that keeps him going.  If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him you’ll regret it.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.

ILSA LUND/INGRID BERGMAN

But what about us.

RICK BLAINE/HUMPHREY BOGART

We’ll always have Paris.

back to scene

RICK BLAINE/HUMPHREY BOGART (O.S.)

We didn’t have it.  We’d lost it until you came to Casablanca.  We got it back last night.

ilsa lundh/ingrid bergman (o.s.)

I said I will never leave you.

RICK BLAINE/HUMPHREY BOGART (O.S.)

And you never will.  But I’ve got a job to do too.  Where I’m going you can’t follow, what I’ve got to do you can’t be any part of.  Ilsa I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.  Someday you’ll understand that…now now, here’s looking at you, kid.

Jireen, already dewey-eyed, brushes away a tear.

ext. outside boone hall – night

Jireen and Rob are standing there.

JIREEN

It seems silly that you should have to walk me all the way back to Lovecraft when you’re already home.

ROB

Well, I..

JIREEN

So perhaps we should say goodnight.

ROB

Uh, if you want, I mean, it was really nice to have someone to go to the movies with.

JIREEN

Is this Jill of yours neglecting you, you poor man?

ROB

Well, she’s really been sort of missing in action for a while.

JIREEN

(pouting)

Kiss me goodnight, at least?

ROB

(loking around, as if to make sure no one will se)

Well, okay.  Anything for a lady.

Rob kisses Jireen gently on the lips.

Jireen smiles, then seizes Rob and kisses him passionately.

Rob pulls back, looking surprised.

EXTREME CLOSE-UP: JIREEN’S LIPS WHISPERING IN ROB’S EAR

JIREEN

Life is short, Rob.  Don’t say no to something good when it walks up to you.

back to scene

Rob looks at Jireen for a moment, then he takes her by the hand and they walk — practically skipping together — into Boone Hall.

int. rob’s room – night

Jireen and Rob are naked on the bed, copulating.  Jireen is astride Rob, who is on his  back with his hands on her breasts.

int. rob’s room – night – later

Rob is lying on his back under a blanket, holding Jireen who is curled up against his chest.

ROB

That was…amazing.  It felt somehow so easy and familiar and yet at the same time…completely new.

jireen

(smiling, trailing her fingers on Rob’s chest)

Mmm.

ROB

You’re so beautiful.

Jireen snuggles closer.

int. connie’s room – night

Connie is hanging out with several friends, including RANDOM DUDE, in her room.  Champagne bottles and plastic cups are strewn about, as they have obviously been celebrating.

There is a KNOCK on the door.   Connie goes to answer it.

It is Marie at the door.  She is holding a bottle of champagne.

CONNIE

Hi!

Connie and Marie embrace.

marie

Room for one more at this little celebration?

CONNIE

Sure!  Come on in.

Marie comes in.

CONNIE

Guys, this is Marie.

random dude

Hey, Marie,

MARIE

Hey, everyone.

General MUTTERINGS of greeting.  Marie hands the bottle to Random Dude.

MARIE

Enjoy!  I’d like to chat with Connie for a while.

RANDOM DUDE

Aw, thanks Marie.

Connie and Marie sit in a corner.

CONNIE

I’m so glad you came.  Did you…uh…I’m almost out.

MARIE

(grinning)

Sure.

extreme close-up:  connie and marie’s hands

A little brown bottle is passed from Marie’s hand to Connie’s

back to scene

CONNIE

Thanks so much.  I could swear these things are helping not just with my cold, but with my singing as well.

MARIE

Well, you never know…

int. a classroom at the state home for wayward girls – day

Several girls, including CHRISSY and EVE are sitting quietly in desks facing a blackboard at the front of the room.  Jireen enters.

JIREEN

Good morning, class.

Murmured and somewhat puzzled-sounding GOOD MORNINGS from the class.  EVE puts her hand up.

JIREEN

Yes, Eve?

eve

Excuse me, ma’am, but where is Maureen?

JIREEN

I’m afraid she can’t make it today.  She came down with a bad cold.

Disappointed GROANS from the class.

JIREEN

But don’t worry, she arranged a sub.  Me.  My name is Gina.

eve

You look sort of like Maureen.

JIREEN

She’s my cousin.

EVE

Oh.  And how did you know my name?

JIREEN

Maureen briefed me very thoroughly.  I know all your names.

Excited WHISPERING in the class.

JIREEN

Anyway, ladies I am sure you’re all pleased that Maureen was able to come up with a substitute, because you’re certainly not going to want to miss what comes next, because…

(goes to the blackboard and writes as she speaks)

…this fine day we begin our unit human sexuality.

Jireen writes the words HUMAN SEXUALITY on the board.

Appreciative WHISTLES and NOISES from the class.

close up: chrissy

Chrissy blushes and looks down down, then up shyly.

cut to:

int. same classroom – day – later

Anatomical drawings of the human male and female reproductive tracts are displayed at the front of the room.  Jireen is showing something with a laser pointer.

JIREEN

So as you can see…

There is a KNOCK at the door.

JIREEN

Come in.

Mrs. Sneed enters.

mrs. sneed

(pointing at a clock on the wall)

I’m sorry, Miss Creel, but…

JIREEN

Oh, I’m sorry, Mrs. Sneed.  Did I run over?  Okay, ladies, class dismissed for today.  Be sure to study up.

The girls rise and start filing out.  Chrissy approaches Jireen.

chrissy

Miss Creel, uh, would it be okay if I talked with you for a moment?

JIREEN

Please.  Call me Gina.  I’ll have to check with Mrs. Sneed.

(turning to Mrs. Sneed)

Is it okay if I talk to Chrissy for a few minutes?

MRS. SNEED

Yes, if you walk her to my office when you’re done.

JIREEN

Thank you, Mrs. Sneed.

The last of the girls file out, followed by Mrs. Sneed, leaving Chrissy and Jireen alone in the classroom.

JIREEN

What’s on your mind, Chrissy?

CHRISSY

Miss Cr…Gina, is it okay if, like, a girl, you know

(hesitates, then blurts out)

does it with a girl?

JIREEN

It’s a perfectly normal variant on human sexuality.  Of course it’s okay.

CHRISSY

It’s not sick or twisted or evil or anything?

JIREEN

No.  Not at all.  Many women have sexual feelings for other women, and about a percent or so of women have sexual feelings almost exclusively for other women.

CHRISSY

Oh.

Chrissy stares off into space for a moment.

JIREEN

Is everything all right, Chrissy?

CHRISSY

I think I might be one of thsoe women.

JIREEN

Polite people usually call such women lesbians.  It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

CHRISSY

(lower lip beginnng to tremble)

But it’s so very hard.  Locked up in here with all these other girls, some of whom are so tough and mean, and then there are these guards, and they won’t let us touch each other and…

(begins to cry softly)

…sometimes I think I’ll go out of my mind here.

JIREEN

Hey, hey.

(reaches out, embraces her)

You’re only here until eighteen, right?  They didn’t send you in for anything all that bad, just a trivial narcotics thing you got mixed up in. Mrs. Sneed says you have good conduct, and Maureen told me that you’re making excellent progress in class, when that’s up, and it will be soon, with good reports, they’ll just let you go, not transfer you to another institution.  And then…

Chrissy sobs. Jireen holds her.

CHRISSY

Sometimes I just wish I could kill myself.

JIREEN

Oh, now don’t say that.  Things will be alright.  I promise.

int. madder’s office – day

Madder is sitting at his desk, working thourhg some papers.

The intercom on his desk buzzes.  Madder puts it on.

secretary (o.s.)

(on intercom)

Sir, there’s a Mrs. Kupler calling for you.  Shall I put her through?

MADDER

Yes, please do.

The phone on Madder’s desk rings.  He picks it up.

MADDER

Colonel Madder speaking…Good afternoon, Mrs. Kupler.  I am well, thank you, and you?..Good…Yes…the reason we contacted you was that we have a take and transport which your organization might be interested in…

(reaches into a desk drawer and pulls out a dossier)

…indeed.  Standard terms, yes…we’ll smooth over passage with law enforcement and customs and allow you to convert the goods in return for your making sure she goes into the dark…

Madder flips open the dossier.

close-up on the dossier

Marie’s photo is clearly visible.

MADDER

Yes, quite nubile and desirable, but nearing the end of her usefulness to us.  Fifty percent on the proceeds of sale is much better for us than wet-work.

back to scene

MADDER

By all means, attempt use of the new nanotech capture system…Yes, we’ll transmit the vitals to you over an appropriate secure channel as always…not at all.  You’re welcome, Mrs. Kupler.

Madder hangs up.  He buzzes his secretary.

MADDER

(into intercom)

Ask Horst to come in, please.

Horst enters promptly.

HORST

Sir?

MADDER

(handing him the dossier)

Transmit this to the Kupler op, and make arrangements to receive a transfer into the special operations account.

HORST

(leafing through the dossier)

She’s very pretty.  Are you sure nothing about these ops bother you, sir?

MADDER

(leans back, calmly)

Nothing in either Hebrew or Greek scriptures forbids slavery, Horst, and some of us are inclined to the view that its classification as an evil is merely a heresy of secular liberals.  Did not St. Paul himself enjoin slaves to obey their masters? In any event, we are having no one killed, and as long as the girl still lives, there will be an opportunity for repentance, as I once explained to your predecessor, prior to his unfortunate disappearance.

HORST

The girl will suffer terribly, I do not doubt.

MADDER

The evil of suffering is another liberal heresy, Horst.  The presence of suffering reminds us of our fallen nature and brings us closer to God.

HORST

It is heartening to see that you have thought this through, sir.

int. dormitory room at the state home – night

Several girls, including Chrissy, are asleep in bunk beds.  A CLICK is heard, followed by faint barefoot-sounding footfalls.

There is a tug on Chrissy’s blanket, and her lips dimple slightly.  Her eyes pop open.

CHRISSY

Huh?

jireen (o.s.)

(whispered)

Shh!  Look, the door is slightly ajar, and there is a trail on the floor.

There is indeed a faint, bluish trail on the floor, leading out of the room.  Chrissy sits up in bed and looks around nervously.

CHRISSY

(whispered)

Where are you?

JIREEN (O.S.)

(whispered)

You will not be able to see me, it has to be this way.

CHRISSY

(whispered)

What are you?

JIREEN (O.S.)

(whispered)

An angel bringing hope.  There is no bed check for another two hours.  Follow the trail!

Chrissy hesitates for a second, then gets up and follows the trail.

The camera follows Chrissy down the hall, through another set of doors, and then through a door into a room.

The lights in the room turn on.  It is a shower.

CHRISSY

A shower?

JIREEN (O.S.)

(whispered)

Used by the home staff, but not at this late hour.  Nicer than the one for the girls, no?

CHRISSY

Yes, but…

JIREEN (O.S.)

(whispered)

Why not take one?  I’m sure you’d enjoy it.

Chrissy hesitates.

JIREEN (O.S.)

(whispered)

Have some faith.  I’m not going to hurt you.  I’m an angel, remember?

Chrissy undresses, removing first a heavy prisoner nightgown and then panties.  She then steps into the shower and turns on the water.

CHRISSY

It’s…nice.

JIREEN (O.S.)

(stage whispered)

Here’s something even nicer.  Turn to your left and reach out your hands…reach out to me.

Chirssy turns left, then reaches out.  At a certain point, she GASPS and jerks her hands away.

JIREEN (O.S.)

(stage whispered)

Don’t be shy.  Reach out to me.  I won’t bite you.

Chrissy reaches out and appears to be feeling something in space.  Then both her hands seem to grasp onto something large.

CHRISSY

You…you’re a woman.

(squeezing the invisible Jireen’s breasts)

An amazing woman!

Jireen giggles.

JIREEN (O.S.)

(stage whispered)

A female angel, silly!

Chrissy’s own breasts squash as the invisible Jireen embraces her.  Chrissy’s mouth open, he tongue protrudes into Jireen’s invisible mouth as they kiss.

Jireen’s outline is visible in falling shower-water drops.

Chrissy and Jireen proceed to have sex in the shower.

Back to top.

int. women’s locker room in gnosis gym – night

The locker room is empty.  Occasional sounds of a SHOWER, LOCKERS CLOSING, WOMEN’S VOICES in the background.

close-up:  a particular locker

A pair of gloved hands reach out and spin the locker’s combination-lock dial, undoing the lock.  They then open the locker.

A young woman’s clothes, towel, purse, toiletries, etc. can be seen inside the locker when it opens.

The gloved hands reach for a bottle of shampoo, unscrewing its top  They then produce a small bottle, from which an “eyedropper” is removed.  The hands drop a few drops of some sort of clear liquid into the shampoo, then screw the top back on.

The hand close the locker and replace the lock.

int. a fitness center at gnosis – night

Marie is working out on a fitness machine, wearing some sort of tight-fitting spandex outfit.  Her hair is done up.  She is sweaty.  PAMELA is working out beside her.  GUY #1 and GUY #2 are also working out in the room.

MARIE

Whew.  Enough reps for me.  How about you?

pamela

I’ll keep going a while.

MARIE

Well I’m hitting the showers.  See you back in a while.

PAMELA

Sure.   Fun coming here for late hours.  Not to crowded.

MARIE

(glancing up at the guys, smirking)

Well, not quite.

The guys put their heads down and pretend not to be ogling Marie.  Marie gets up and leaves.  The eyes of the guys follow her out as she does.

int. the women’s locker room – night

Marie goes to a locker — the same one we saw before — and opens it.  She undresses completely, then takes a towel and wraps herself in it before picking up a shower kit that contains the shampoo.

Marie heads for the showers.

int. the women’s shower room – night

The shower room is deserted except for Marie.  Marie turns on a shower, waits for it to get warm, then unwraps herself and stands under it.

Marie gets herself wet, then takes her bottle of shampoo, squeezes some out, and begins washing her hair.

As Marie does so, a couple of unusually large bubbles fall from her hair to the floor of the shower.  Most of the bubbles burst upon making contact with the tile, but one begins to expand.  Marie takes not notice of this.

Marie rinses her hair clean, then begins conditioning.

The bubble grows to the size of a basketball.

Marie rinses the conditioner out of her hair, then begins soaping up with bodywash.  She turns her back to the bubble, which rapidly inflates to the size of a beachball.

By the time Marie has finished rinsing herself off, the bubble is slightly larger than she is tall.

Marie turns off the shower.

The bubble suddenly lurches toward, bumping Marie.

Marie turns around and emits a SHRIEK when she sees the bubble.

The bubble bumps her again.

Marie begins backing away.  The bubble rolls toward her.

Marie backs away as the bubble pursues her.  It bumps up against her again.

shot from within the bubble

We see the surface of the bubble stretch and distort against Marie’s body.

back to scene

Marie leaps back, then turns and runs out of the shower room.

MARIE

Help!

Marie runs around the locker room, with the bubble pursuing her.

After some futile pursuit, Marie finds herself backed against a pair of double doors with a sign over them reading EXIT.

The bubble approaches, jiggling and making a WUBWUBWUB sound.

Marie pushes through the doors.

She finds herself on an indoor track.  She runs along it.  The bubble pursues her.

marie

Help!  Help!  Someone please help me!

After running about 30 meters, Marie stumbles and falls to the surface of the track.

The bubble covers her and sucks her inside of itself with a SCHLURP.  Marie SCREAMS as it does so. There is a POP sound when she’s completely enveloped.

Marie beats her fists against the inside of the bubble.  The surface of the bubble jiggles ferociously as she does so, but it does not break.

MARIE

(voice very muffled by the bubble)

Let me out!  What is going on?  Let me out?  This isn’t funny!  Please!

A cat (Lilith, who we last saw in Gnosis Dreamscapes but this time looking sleeker and healthier than she did there) walks up to the wobbling bubble, regards it curiously, and then takes a swipe at it with her paw.

At this point the ABDUCTOR appears.  Lilith HISSES and runs away.  He looks like a maintenance man, dressed in coveralls.  He pulls a little wireless remote out of the pocket of his coveralls and presses a button.

The surface of the bubble becomes dark-gray and opaque.  Marie’s vocal protestations fade to silence.

The Abductor walks over the the now ovoid-shaped bubble and pushes it along the floor.  It rolls easy.

Pamela, Guy #1 and Guy #2 enter the gym.

PAMELA

What’s going on?  We thought we heard screaming in here.

abductor

Didn’t hear nothin’.  Just movin’ equipment.

Pamela and the guys look at each other, puzzled.

The Abductor ignores them and pushes the bubble away.

INT. TANYA’S ROOM – NIGHT

It is silent and dark.  Tanya is sitting in a chair by her window. She takes a sip of tea from a china cup, then sets the cup down on a saucer.  The CLINK of china striking china is the only audible sound.

Tanya stares out the window.

int. interior of a warehouse – night

The warehouse is a large, open space with giant garage door at one end.  In the middle of the warehouse floor, there is a large lift the goes up to a platform about seven feet off the floor.  There is a ladder down from the platform to the floor.

Under the platform in the middle is a transparent tube about eighteen inches in diameter and about seven feet high.  There is machinery at the base of the tube.  The tube is filled with some sort of transparent luminous liquid.

There is a RUMBLE sound as the garage doors open.  A van backs up through them, making BEEPING noises as it does.  The van backs up to the base of the lift platform.  The garage doors RUMBLE down after the van is in the space.

The van doors open.  The Abductor and his ASSISTANT jump out and lower a ramp down to the lift platform.  The push the opaque bubble containing Marie down the ramp to the platform.

The Abductor and his Assistant then hop onto the lift and work controls to make the lift rise to the platform above.  After it does so, they push the bubble into place so that it is directly above the tube.

The Abductor then climbs the ladder down to the floor.  He then works some controls on the machinery under the platform.

The bubble above distorts as if being sucked partway into the tube.  Then there is a loud POP and Marie (still naked) squirts down into the tube, making a cascade of bubbles as she does.

We hear DISTORTED CRIES from Marie, large bubbles escaping from her mouth.  She pounds her fists against the inner wall of the tube and futilely tries to claw her way up out of it.

Marie soon slows down closes her eyes and appears to lose consciousness.  She then floats serenely in the tube.

A mechanical arm descends from the ceiling of the warehouse and places a cap on the top of the tube.  There is a HISS as the cap is sealed into place

int. a medical lab at euphoric state – day

ALOYSIUS is sitting at a laboratory bench.  Part of the bench contains chemical glassware/apparatus.  The rest is covered with notes, sketches of female figures, calculations, half-filled coffee cups, etc.

Aloysius is face down, apparently sleeping.  He is wearing a white laboratory coat.

Jireen enters.  Aloysius does not respond.  Jireen nudges him gently.  Aloysius wakes with a start.

(Note:  Aloysius does not look all that good.  His hair is a mess, there are circles under his eyes, stubble, etc.)

aloysius

Oh.  Sorry.  Jireen.  Didn’t hear you come in.  Must have dozed off.

JIREEN

(running her hands through Aloysius’ hair, looking concerned)

Aloysius, you poor man.  Have you been getting any sleep lately?

ALOYSIUS

Well, um, as I’ve been a bit preoccupied.  I guess you know with what.

JIREEN

(surveying Aloysius’s scattered notes)

Yes, I see.  Have you had a chance to analyze that pill I swiped?

ALOYSIUS

No.

JIREEN

(angrily)

No?  What do you mean, no?  Aloysius something serious is up.  I can feel it.  An innocent young woman’s life might be in danger, and you are here playing around with…

ALOYSIUS

(shouting back)

An innocent young woman’s life?  What about two other women who’s lives hang in balance?  Do you think that’s some sort of game for me?  I…I…

Aloysius’s features turn from anger to grief.  Then he buries his head in his hands.

Jireen’s features soften.  She leans forward and embraces Aloysius’s hands.

JIREEN

Aloysius, I know you feel like you did some sort of terrible thing.  But you didn’t take anyone’s life.  You saved two lives.

She pulls Aloysius’s hands forward and places them against her chest.

JIREEN

Do you feel a beating heart in there, Aloysius?  Because I do.  Everything that was Jill Keeney is here, right here.  Everything that was Maureen Creel is here, right here.

On hearing Maureen’s name Aloysius sobs silently.

JIREEN

Watch.

Jireen picks up a pencil and a piece of paper and writes on it.  She hands it to Aloysius.

EXTREME CLOSE UP: the paper

It reads, in cursive handwriting “Hi!  My name is Jill Keeney.”

back to scene

JIREEN

(grinning)

Good enough to fool Jill’s boyfriend Rob.

Jill writes something else on another slip of paper and hands it to Aloysius.

EXTREME CLOSE UP: the second slip of paper

It reads, in different cursive handwriting “Hi!  My name is Maureen Creel.”

(Note:  The dot over the “i” in “Hi!” is a little heart.)

back to scene

JIREEN

Good enough to fool Mrs. Sneed at the State Home for Wayward Girls and maybe even you.

Aloysius gazes at Jireen, miserable.

JIREEN

Oh, Aloysius…

Jireen hugs Aloysius.

JIREEN

You will do right be all of us.  I know you will.  But I really, really need for you to figure out that pill first.

Aloysius pulls back and reaches into a pocket of his lab coat.  He pulls out the little red pill, now in a tiny ziplock bag.  He holds it up to the light and looks at it.

Back to top.

Int. the periclea – day

A performance of the Verdi Requiem is set to begin.  A full orchestra and chorus are arranged on the stage.  Connie the three other vocal soloists sit on chairs at the front of the orchestra.

There is am anticipatory BUZZ of noise from a full audience.

Arthur walks out on stage in white tie and tails.  The audience APPLAUDS.  Arthur bows, then takes his place on the podium, raises his baton and begins to conduct the requiem.

MEDIUM CLOSE UP: the cello section

The celli are shown playing MM. 1-5 of No. 1, “Requiem.”

back to scene

close-up:  tanya in soprano section

Shown singing at M. 9 of No. 1, “requiem.”

int. a lab at euphoric state – day

Aloysius holds up a test tube, swirls it around, and inspects its contents, then sets it back down.

He turns to a screen full of spectrographic data and studies it with great concentration.

INT. THE PERICLEA – DAY

Connie is singing the acapella section of the “Libera me” (starting at M. 132).

pan: the audience

They are entranced.  Some of the younger female ones are in tears.

Among the people we see in the audience is PROFESSOR RICHARD GREGG.

INT. A LAB AT EUPHORIC STATE – DAY

(Note:  the music is continuous across scenes, switching from diagetic to extra-diagetic as we switch between the Periclea and the lab.)

Aloysius is typing at the computer.

EXTREME CLOSE UP: a computer screen

A bar pops up that shows “working.”  At the end of the shot a text article:  “Pharmacological database:  Cygnusine.”

INT. THE PERICLEA – DAY

The “Libera me” continues.

close Up: connie’s face

She appears to be in something like ecstasy as she reaches the B-flat in alt (M. 170).

back to scene

In the course of the recitative that proceeds the choral fugue (MM. 171-179) Connie makes an operatic arm gesture.

close up: professor gregg

Gregg raises an eyebrow at this.

int. a lab at euphoric – day

Aloysius is reading his screen, a look of horror growing on his face.

ALOYSIUS

Shit!

Aloysius picks up a phone on his desk and dials it frantically.

int. wvgc studio – day

Willie and Jireen are sitting in the studio.  The sound of the requiem can be heard coming over speakers.  Maureen Creel’s cellphone is sitting in front of the control panel.

Jireen is leaning toward Willie with body language that suggests that this is might be about to become more than a friendly meeting when the cellphone RINGS.  Jireen immediately picks it up.

JIREEN

(into phone)

Jireen here.  Yes.  Good work, Aloysius.   Yes?  Well, she’s singing right now, maybe you can even here her over the phone., and… What did you say that stuff was?

int. a lab at euphoric – day

Aloysius is speaking into a phone while staring at his screen.

ALOYSIUS

Cygnusine.  The military developed it as a kind of performance enhancer about ten years ago.  It worked, but it had a very nasty side effect, which is that it got so much enhanced performance out of its subjects that it killed them. You need to stop that performance any way you can and get that girl under heavy sedation right away.  I don’t care what you have to do. I’ll try to get some medical help there from here.  Go now!

INT. WGNO STUDIO – DAY

Jireen SLAPS the cellphone shut.

JIREEN

We need to go and disrupt that performance and get Connie some help.

willie

What?

JIREEN

Human life is at stake.  I’ll explain on the way.

Jireen and Willie leave hastily.

INT. THE PERICLEA – DAY

The “Libera me” reaches towards its noisy climax, and to its final recitative.  Connie’s performance is full of pathos and is somewhat husky-voiced.

CONNIE

Libera me domine de morte aeterna in die illa tremenda…

After the final orchestral chord dies away, the entire audience rises in a stormy standing ovation.  After a few seconds, the orchestra also rises and begins to applaud Connie.

Connie smiles somewhat feebly, leans forward as if to bow, then collapses on stage.

The ovation quickly dies away into a HUBBUB of confusion.

Tanya, surging forward from her place in the chorus, SCREAMS and runs forward to Connie, where she kneels and cradles her head.

At the same time, there is a BANG from the back of the Periclea as Jireen and Willie charge through a door at the back.  When they see that they are too late, Jireen sinks to her knees and buries her face in her hands.  Willie looks on with dismay.

After a few more seconds, OFFICER JACK CLEARY enters the same door, with PARAMEDIC #1 and PARAMEDIC #2 behind.

cleary

Guess that wasn’t a crank call after all.

(shouting over the din)

Okay, everyone back, everyone back!  These are paramedics, everyone let them through!

Back to top.

int. madder’s study – day

Horst is handing a folder to Madder.

HORST

…and in addition, telephonic pen-registers at Gnosis turned up something pretty remarkable prior to the latest unfortunate incident.  A trio of phone calls, all from a medical laboratory at nearby Euphoric State University to two numbers at Gnosis.  One was actually logged by campus security, involving a claim that the girl who died on stage yesterday was in serious trouble.  The strange thing is that it appears to have come in a few minutes before anyone else seems to have known what was happening.

MADDER

(inspecting the contents of the folder)

Yes.  Obviously someone who knows something.  And the other call?

HORST

A mobile phone.  We haven’t been able to find the student listed as the subscriber yet, but we’re looking.

MADDER

Get someone to check that medical lab as well.  On this issue luck might finally be ready to break our way.  Meanwhile, how’s the main event?

HORST

Ready to roll, Colonel.

MADDER

(sitting back and relaxing slightly)

Excellent.

ext. a soccer field – day

Kids in soccer unifroms are fanning out to their parents.  Little KATHY runs to DIRECTOR RICHARD YGLESIAS.

kathy

Daddy!

The Director picks up Kathy and swings her around.  They both LAUGH.

KATHY

Did you see I scored the winning goal, Daddy?

director

I sure did, sweetheart.

The Director and Kathy walk over to a dark sedan, which is attended by a huge, besuited DRIVER.  The driver opens the door for Kathy, who hops into the back seat, followed by the Director.

int. inside the sedan – day

DIRECTOR

How about some ice cream?

KATHY

(hugging the Director)

Oh Daddy, you’re the best.

DIRECTOR

Can we stop off, Jim?

driver

Sure thing, sir.

EXTREME CLOSE UP: the sedan’s ignition lock

The Driver is turing the key in the ignition.  Sound of the sedan’s ENGINE TURNING OVER.

KATHY

This is the best day ever.

ext. the sedan seen from outside – day

The sedan is demolished in a massive EXPLOSION.

ext. the scene of the explosion – day – later

SPECIAL AGENT-IN-CHARGE MACNEIL and SPECIAL AGENT SMITH are standing in a field of debris around the charred chassis of the sedan.

In the foreground there is a small sheet covering something.

smith

Is this really who we think it might be, Chief?

macneil

We’re running one last check on the VIN for confirmation.

SMITH

(pointing at the sheet)

But under there?

MacNeil lifts the sheet up so that Smith can see. Smith has to suppress an urge to retch.

MACNEIL

A little girl.  Eight years old, maybe.

AGENT JONES approaches.

Jones

Sir, it’s what we were afraid of.  It’s confirmed.

MACNEIL

Jesus.  Okay, thank you Agent Jones.  I’ll make the call.

MacNeil pulls out a cellphone and dials it.

MACNEIL

Yes, sir.  We’re at the site now.  It looks like we’ve lost a principal, as we feared.  I have a preliminary…what sir?  Yes, of course I’ll hold on for the conference.

(expression turning ashen)

Yes, Mr. President.  I can hear you quite clearly.

INT. THE GADGET – NIGHT

The Gadget is full of students.  Some are sipping beverages.  Most look apprehensive.  A large-screen television is displaying an address by the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

int. the oval office on television – night

the president

My fellow Americans, it is with great sadness that I must report to you a terrorist act against the United States.  At approximately three o’clock this afternoon, Richard Yglesias, the Director of National Counterintelligence, was assassinated when his car was bombed by forces unknown.  As if this were not enough of an act of depravity, the terrorists who planted the bomb also killed Director Yglesias’s eight year-old daughter Katherine, as well as long-serving couterintelligence agent James Shimin.

MUTTERINGS of disgust and dismay from the students in the Gadget.

THE PRESIDENT

I have known Dick for many years not just as a staunch patriot and dedicated civil servant, but as a personal friend.  No words are adequate to express the sorrow I feel at this loss.  To the doubly-bereaved Mrs. Yglesias, I can only extend my and the nation’s condolences on this terrible day.

The President pauses, as if he has to gather himself before proceeding.

THE PRESIDENT

I want you, the American people, to know that we will not rest until the cowards who perpetrated this deed are found and brought to justice.  To this end I have promoted Colonel Jeremiah Madder to the role of Acting Director of National Counterintelligence and given him as his top priority the pursuit of the terrorists.  I have the highest confidence that Colonel Madder, a war hero whose patriotism has never wavered, even at the highest cost to himself.  I have the highest confidence in him, and this evening have signed an executive order directing Federal agencies to provide Colonel Madder with all possible assistance in the task he is about to undertake.  I wish to assure you, the American people, that your government is taking every action humanly possible to keep you safe.  Goodnight, and God bless America.

ext. gnosis campus – night

CLEO MOUNT is hurrying along a lighted path at night, alone.

BEEFY AGENT #1 and BEEFY AGENT #2 suddenly step out from behind a corner.  They are in the way.

beefy agent #1

Cleo Mount?

cleo

(surprised)

Yes.

beefy agent #2

(displaying a badge)

We need you to come with us, please?

CLEO

But…I haven’t done anything.  Am I in some kind of trouble?

BEEFY AGENT #1

We just need to ask you a few questions, Miss Mount.  Come with us quietly and there won’t be any trouble.

BEEFY AGENT #3 and BEEFY AGENT #4 appear behind Cleo.

Cleo looks around fearfully.

int. a corridor outside the lab at euphoric – night

Aloysius is walking down a corridor, a pair of large double doors behind him.

As he is about to round a corridor he hears the BLARE of something coming over a police radio in front of him.  He freezes.  Then he sneaks a peek around a corner.

aloysius’s p.o.v. – around the corner

There are a lot of cops, Federal agent types, etc. milling around.

back to scene

Aloysius backs away and puts his back against the wall.  To his left is a door marked JANITORIAL.

male voice #1 (o.s.)

Hey, did you see something down there?

male voice #2 (o.s.)

Better check it out.  We might have surprised a target.

Aloysius swiftly tries the knob on the “Janitorial” door, but finds it locked.  He slips his hand into the pocket of his lab coat and draws something out.

EXTREME CLOSE UP: aloysius’s hand

It is holding a small lock-pick.

back to scene

Aloysius picks the lock very quickly and slips inside the door.

AGENT #1 and AGENT #2 in suits come around the corner.

agent #1

Don’t see anyone.

They desultorily try a couple of doors but find them all locked, then shrug and go away.

int. auxiliary gym shower room – night

It is something like an old shower room.  Light comes from naked bulbs above.  There are what look like water and steam pipes everywhere.

Cleo has been handcuffed so that her hands are bound to one of the pipes above, and her legs spread apart and cuffed to two pipes running from floor to ceiling.

foreground:  the four beefy agents conferring

BEEFY AGENT #1

So why this weird fucking holdup?

BEEFY AGENT #2

Ah, for some reason they wanted special transport for the prisoner.  Some sort of Army deal, don’t ask me why.  Anyway, due to the typical interagency fuck-up it won’t be here for another two hours and so we have to cool it.  And as you’re junior, you get to watch while we go up for a smoke.

BEEFY AGENT #1

Shit.  So they sent us out to deal with something fucking X-Division freak job and only now I know about it?  To say nothing of our having to sit on a package at a fucking little college for some hours.

BEEFY AGENT #2

Aw, don’t sweat it.  It’s just interagency bullshit.  Make the best of the opportunity, you’ll have relief down in sixty.  Maybe you’ll even get a chance to get out hunt down some late-night coed poontang.

BEEFY AGENT #1

Thanks a lot.

back to scene

Beefy Agents #2 -#4 leave.

CLEO

Please!  What are you doing with me?  You can’t hold me like this!  I’m a citizen.

BEEFY AGENT #1

Shut the fuck up.

Beefy Agent #1 slaps Cleo.

CLEO

You asshole!  How dare you!  Who the fuck do you think you are?  I’ll…

Beefy Agent #1 seizes Cleo under the jaw, cutting her off.

BEEFY AGENT #1

Now you listen, Missy.  I don’t like being down here in this pit.  Not with you, not with anyone.  So I just want some quiet time.  Transport comes, you go away, and I go home and get on with my life.  But we’re down here alone, for the next hour, pretty much.  So you want to make some noise?

Beefy Agent #1 unbuttons the top of Cleo’s jeans with his other hand and pulls down the fly zipper, then slips his hand down their front, groping her.  Cleo makes a STRANGLED GASP.

BEEFY AGENT #1

You want to make some noise, little girl?  Well then just maybe I’ll really give you something to make some noise about.

Beefy Agent #1 steps back and unzips his fly, taking out his cock, which is now erect.

BEEFY AGENT #1

I’ll really give you something to make some noise about.

There is a RING of a cellphone at this moment.  Beefy Agent #1 smirks, then tucks his cock back in.

BEEFY AGENT #1

Unlucky you.

Beefy Agent #1 answers his phone.

BEEFY AGENT #1

Yeah?  Oh, hey Lenny.  No, can’t watch the game tonight.  Got called in for some bullshit assignment.  Yeah the current crisis.  Frankly I don’t know why they’re having us root around down here when we’re supposed to be looking for terrorists.  Yeah. Yeah.  Well, maybe

(smirks at Cleo again)

I’ll find some other way of being entertained.

EXTREME CLOSE UP: cleo’s face

Cleo’s expression begins to harden in form of furious hatred.

beefy agent #1 (o.s.)

Yeah.  Okay Lenny, no sweat.  Catch you later.

back to scene

Beefy Agent #1 closes his phone and is about to put it away.

BEEFY AGENT #1

So then, where were we, girly.  Shall I show…

Cleo spits something right into Beefy Agent #1’s mouth.

Beefy Agent #1 looks disgusted, then horrified as he collapses in a heap on the floor, paralyzed.

Cleo shoots a strand of web-silk from her wrist that sticks to Beefy Agent #1’s phone.  She very carefully reels it in.  Then, holding it carefully, she dials a number, holding the phone awkwardly in her hands over her head.

The phone RINGS a few times, then is answered by IRIS BROCKMAN.

iris (o.s.)

(on phone)

Hello?

CLEO

Iris?

IRIS (O.S.)

(on phone)

Cleo?  Is that you?

CLEO

Iris, thank God.  I’m in such terrible trouble…

IRIS (O.S.)

(on phone)

What’s going on?  You sound far away…

CLEO

I’m handcuffed in the women’s shower room in the auxilliary gym…the one the almost don’t use anymore.  But I’m still on campus…

IRIS (O.S.)

(on phone)

Okay.  I’ll call the police for you…

CLEO

No!  I mean, I think these guys are something like the police  One of them had a government badge…but I think they’re much worse than that.  I think one of them was even going to…Oh god.  One of them was going to rape me.  There were four of them. And now I’ve killed one.  But I’m still trapped…

Cleo begins to WHIMPER.  After a moment of this, Iris speaks again.

IRIS (O.S.)

(on phone)

Okay.  Try to keep it together.  I’ll try getting you a different kind of help.

CLEO

Okay.  Please, please hurry.

int. iris’s room – Night

Iris hangs up a phone.

iris (v.o.)

Always thougt they might be coming.  And if they come for me, it will be the worst kind of trouble.

Iris pauses in thought for a moment, then brings up something on her computer screen.

There is a TWEETING sound.   Then MR. TAKAYAMA appears on screen.

takayama

(through computer speakers)

Miss Brockman.  Good evening.  Unexpected to hear from you so suddenly.

IRIS

Mr. Takayama.  Good morning.  I have something of an emergency situation here, so I’ll be brief.  I need to ask three quick questions.  First, if I take you up on your offer of an executive position within your organization, how soon can I start?

TAKAYAMA

(through computer speakers)

At any time.  Now, if you want.  We had thought you wanted to finish at Gnosis.

IRIS

That might not be as desirable as it once was.  Second question:  are you still keeping a high-resolution Iris scan from the time I worked at Club Cuisine.

TAKAYAMA

(through computer speakers)

Yes.

IRIS

Final question.  Are you still reading my input feed?

Iris pulls her hair back from the base of her skull.

EXTREME CLOSE UP: the back of iris’s head

Near the base of Iris’s skull we can see two tiny LED’s flashing.

takayama (o.s.)

(through computer speakers)

Yes.

back to scene

IRIS

Mr. Takayama, I may need to leave to leave the United States very soon, and I don’t think I will be able to travel on my passport, if you know what I mean.  I think Japan would be nice, but if I go there, I will certainly need a job.

TAKAYAMA

(through computer speakers)

I see.

IRIS

Also, it is possible that my input feed might cease very soon.  If that’s so, take it as a sign that I would like to begin working for your organization within the hour.

TAKAYAMA

(through computer speakers)

But Japan is twenty hours…oh, I see.  I understand.  We can make it as you request.  As long as you leave no tail on the other side, you understand.

IRIS

I shall make it as you request.  And now I really must go.  Brockman out.

ext. outside the auxilliary gym – night

Beefy Agent #2 is standing outside a door, looking bored.

Iris approaches, wearing an overcoat, with her hair done up.

BEEFY AGENT #2

Can I help you, young lady?

IRIS

Hi!  Are you Buck Yale?

BEEFY AGENT #2

No.

Iris pouts and undoes a button on her overcoat, which reveals a somewhat low-cut blouse underneath.

IRIS

I was told Buck would be here.

BEEFY AGENT #2

I’m afraid not.

IRIS

(undoing another button)

Well who are you then?

BEEFY AGENT #2

Just a guy.

IRIS

Just hanging out on campus, in the middle of the night?  Did you get stood up, poor boy?

BEEFY AGENT #2

Well, I…

Iris undoes yet another button, revealing a lot of cleavage.  She pulls a little notebook and a pen out of an inside pocket and writes a phone number down on a page therein.  Then she tears the page out.

Iris holds the page out to the Beefy Agent, her pen still in her hand.

IRIS

If you ever get bored standing around waiting for a date, you can always give me a call.

Beefy Agent #2 reaches out to take the paper.

extreme close Up:  Beefy Agent #2’s face

As he is reaching out to take the paper, his eyes travel down into Iris’s cleavage.

back to scene

As Beefy Agent #2’s eyes leave Iris’s hand, she stabs him in the eye with pen, driving it into his brain and killing him instantly.

IRIS

You boys will never learn.

Iris looks around.  She reaches into Beefy Agent #2’s coat and removes his sidearm and handcuff keys, which she slips into a pocket of her own coat.

Iris then drags Beefy Agent #2’s body into the dark space of the Auxiliary Gym.

int. auxliary gym shower room – night

Iris runs in.   Cleo is still shackled to the pipes.  Iris steps over the body of Beefy Agent #1, only briefly glimpsing down.  Iris begins unshackling Cleo.

CLEO

Iris!  How…

IRIS

I might ask you the same.

CLEO

Iris…I’m undergoing…changes.

IRIS

Yes.  I am too, or already have.

CLEO

What do you mean, Iris?

IRIS

Somehow I’ve become someone who can kill without remorse.

CLEO

Ohmigod Iris…what’s happening to us?

iris

Higher education, evidently.

Iris finishes unshackling Cleo.

IRIS

There’s no time, Cleo.  You need to get the hell out of here. Find someone who can help you.  You said that there were four of them?

CLEO

Yes.

IRIS

I count only two.  That means…

Sound of MALE VOICES in the distance, CRACKLE of a radio.

IRIS

…that the cavalry is gonna get called in soon.  Go now,

(taking out Beefy Agent #2’s gun)

They’re probably going to come in looking for the rest of their team.  I’ll stand my ground and that might be enough for you to slip away.

CLEO

But, Iris…

IRIS

Cleo, do you remember that pleasant afternoon that seems so long ago when we all bragged about our adventures abroad?  About the scanner tech they have?  Well, my contatcs there are still good, and so is my scan.  These bozos can’t harm me no matter what.

beefy agent #3 (o.s.)

Blood trail!

beefy agent #4 (o.s.)

Call for backup!

BEEFY AGENT #3 (O.S.)

What about Bobby?

BEEFY AGENT #4 (O.S.)

Call and then we go in.

IRIS

(indicating the paralyzed agent on the floor)

That’s they guy who wanted to rape you?

Cleo nods.

IRIS

Help me lift him.

Iris and Cleo lift Beefy Agent #1 up.  He GROANS slightly as they do. Iris uses a pair of handcuffs to hang his body by the wrists from an overhead pipe.

IRIS

Now go!  There just is no time.

Cleo leaves.

Iris takes Beefy Agent #1’s sidearm and tucks it into the front of her pants.  Then she takes up a position with a gun behind Beefy Agent #1’s body.

Beefy Agent #3 and Beefy Agent #4 burst into the shower room, guns drawn.

BEEFY AGENT #3

Bobby, fuck!

Iris bobs from behind Beefy Agent #1’s body and takes a shot at Beefy Agent #3’s, hitting him in the head.  He goes down.

Iris and Beefy Agent #4 proceed to have to trade shots back and forth, with Iris ducking back and forth behind Beefy Agent #1, which Beefy Agent #4 tries to avoid hitting.

A bullet RICOCHETS off the wall and hits Iris in the chest.  She goes down.

Iris points her gun at herself as Beefy Agent #4 advances on her.

BEEFY AGENT #4

Is that how it is?  We don’t take you alive?

Iris gives a weak but mordant LAUGH.

IRIS

You don’t even get to take me dead.

Iris puts the gun in her mouth and pulls the trigger.  Her blood and brains spatter against the back tile wall of the shower.  Her body slumps down.  Beefy Agent #4 looks on, horrified.

extreme close-up:  The back of iris’s head

Iris’s exit wound.  The two diodes we saw before have been blown out and presumably destroyed.

int. intelligence command center – night

A huge windowless room, filled with male and female agents and clerks staring screens, answering telephones, looking at reports.  Giant screens on the walls above display information.  Tremendous BUZZ of activity.

Horst picks his wasy across the floor to a small, glassed in space at the corner of the room that contains Colonel Madder.  He places his hand on a biometric scanner and is admitted to the space.

int. the glassed-in office

In contrast to the command room that surrounds it, it is dead quiet in the office.  Madder is reading a report.

MADDER

(putting the report down)

Unfortunate.

HORST

Yes, sir.

madder

How do you suppose one coed overpowered and killed a Federal agent?

HORST

Forenscis found a phone number at the scene.  Power of seduction, apparently.

madder

She gave her number?

HORST

No, sir.  It was the number for the Dean of the College.   He gets to spend his night having his ass kicked in interrogation before the lawyer gets him sprung, but basically I’m pretty sure he had nothing to do with this. Unfortunate.

MADDER

Especially since the Brockman girl was our best link to Strangeways duplication technology.

HORST

And the Mount girl did get away sir.  But don’t worry.  We’ll find her.  And we’ve generated leads on a series of other targets.  I did have a question, though.

mader

Yes?

HORST

Do you really think people will buy the connection between a terrorist incident in Northern Virginia and midwestern college for long?

MADDER

We have the perfect cover.  You see, last year a senior F-B-I agent named MacNeil put in for a national security investigation with a possible Al-Qaeda connection.  It was a pretext, of course. It was actually in connection with their looking in to my niece’s disappearance.  But it provides an excellent rationale for our current activities, especially with all the other officially-unexplained forms of destruction that have been going on there recently.

HORST

Good point, sir.

MADDER

And of course there’s also a drug investigation, since an unfortunate young woman died from an overdose of a banned enhancement substance.  Truly tragic.  But useful for us.  you know full well how people’s brains shut off when they hear the word drugs.

horst

Most certainly, sir.

MADDER

You’ll run down those targets, yes?

HORST

Absolutely, sir.  I mean, they’re just a bunch of college kids.  How far can the really get?

int. reconstitution chamber in tokyo – day

Step by step a young woman is reconstituted in a reconstitution tube, following the same procedure seen in Study Abroad.  It is Iris.  FEMALE ATTENDANT #1 and FEMALE ATTENDANT #2 wait for her

Iris’s eyes flutter open as she regains consciousness.  She steps out of the tube onto a tiled floor.  Female Attendant #1 washes her off with a hand-held shower while Female Attendant #2 washes her with a soft brush.

After bathing her, Female Attendant #2 wraps a robe around her, while Female Attendant #1 hands her a clean towel.

(Note: all dialog in this scene is in Japanese and indicated with a SUBTITLE cue.  Iris’s is accented, though nowhere near as heavily as in Study Abroad.)

IRIS (SUBTITLE)

I have arrived.

female attendant #1 (SUBTITLE)

Yes, Madam.  Welcome to Tokyo.

IRIS (SUBTITLE)

I always feel amazed when that thing works.

The two attendants smile and bow.

female attendant #2 (SUBTITLE)

Is there anything Madam would like after her long journey?

IRIS (SUBTITLE)

Did Mr. Takayama tell you just how I always feel after I come out of that thing?

FEMALE ATTENDANT #2 (SUBTITLE)

(blushing)

Yes, madam.  If you would wait here for just a moment.

The two attendants leave.  Iris dries her hair.

The SAMURAI enters, wearing only a bathrobe of his own.  He approaches Iris and bows.

IRIS (SUBTITLE)

A job with fringe benefits.  Not exactly the sort they can talk about at Career Services, though.

Iris and the Samurai embrace.  The Samurai reaches into Iriss robe and fondles her breast.

close up: iris and the samurai’s faces

They kiss deeply

back to scene

The Samurai leads Iris out by the hand.  They are both smiling.

Back to top.

int. a minivan – night

Aloysius and Jireen are sitting in the two front seats.  Aloysius is driving.  There’s a lot of technology junk further back in the van.  Outside it looks very dark.

A cellphone RINGS.  Jireen glances at the Caller ID, then flips the phone open and answers it.

JIREEN

(into phone)

Hello?

(trying to make her voice sound a bit more like Jill Keeney’s)

Cleo?  Is that you what’s…okay…please try to be calm.

(to Aloysius)

It’s Cleo Mount.  She’s in terrible trouble.

ALOYSIUS

No way we are taking on any more trouble.

JIREEN

Aloysius, Cleo knows things.  And our enemies are after her as well.

ALOYSIUS

We can’t risk it.

JIREEN

You owe me, Aloysius.

Aloysius pauses for a moment to think.

ALOYSIUS

Give me the phone.

Jireen gives Aloysius the phone.

ALOYSIUS

Cleo Mount?  My name is Aloysius Kim.  I’m a friend of Jir…a friend of Jill’s.  I can get you somewhere that will be safe for a while, but you need to do exactly waht I’m about to tell you.  Are you listening?  Good…

ext. outside a locomotive roundhouse – night

In dim light, the minivan is pulling up outside the roundhouse.

EXTREME CLOSE UP: the minivan’s license plate

It reads MWR 409.

back to scene

Aloysius hops out of the minivan, leaving the motor running.  He raises a garage door on the side, then drives the minivan inside.

int. the roundhouse – night

Aloysius and Jireen are getting out of the minivan which they have just driven in.  They are in a huge enclosed turntable space.

Aloysius goes and closes the garage door behind them.

JIREEN

What is this place?

ALOYSIUS

Old Q-line railroad roundhouse.  The railroad used to service locomotives in here.  That thing ahead of us is a giant turntable, underneath which is a servicing pit.  It was mostly used in steam locomotive days, although the Q-line seems to have mothballed an entire E-M-D E6 unit over there.

(pointing at one of the locomotive stalls)

There’s an attached car-barn with some old rolling stock in it as well.  This place is a dream if you like old technology.  Willie and I broke in and crawled around here a lot in our days before going steam-tunnel spelunking.  Speaking of which…

Aloysius WHISTLES the first line of Yoko Kanno’s “Inner Universe.”  Someone else WHISTLES the second line back at him.

ALOYSIUS

Come on out, Willie.  I’m here with Jireen.

Willie comes out from one of the stalls.  He is accompanied by MICHIKO MAEDA.

ALOYSIUS

(pointing at Michiko)

What is she doing here?

WILLIE

Try to understand here, Aloysius.  She’s in trouble, too.

ALOYSIUS

Seems like there’s plenty of trouble to go around these days.

michiko

There have been all sorts of Federal agents running around campus for a day.  Some huge thing at the auxiliary gym earlier tonight.  And earlier in the day they raided Professor Waite’s lab and even took Professor Waite in for questioning for a few hours.  They let her go, though.

dissolve to:

int. an overcrowded office – night

The office is full of cops and Federal agents.  MacNeil is sitting at a small desk, giving an order to Smith.

MACNEIL

Who the hell let Professor Waite go?

SMITH

Chief?

MACNEIL

It says here that she was released.  Who gave that order?

SMITH

You did, Chief.

MACNEIL

I did?

SMITH

You interrogated her one-on-one for about two hours, then you came out here, entered your report into the system about how she didn’t know anything, then you ordered her released.  So we did.

MACNEIL

(looking up something on his computer screen)

So I…damn, I wrote this?  Doesn’t even read like me.

SMITH

We all saw you come out and put it in, Chief.

MACNEIL

I just don’t remember…

SMITH

How many hours have you slept in the last forty-eight, Chief?

MACNEIL

Zero, Smith.  Zero-point-zero.

(leaning back exhaustedly)

Jesus on a popsicle stick I am losing it.

INT. THE ROUNDHOUSE – NIGHT

WILLIE

So how did you make it up from Euphoric, what with the world crawling with cops?

ALOYSIUS

There was another tan Toyota Sierra of about the same year, so I pulled the old license-plate switch.  I can’t help but think that that probably burned the last of the good karma I have.

ext. a road outside euphoric – day – dawn’s light

MARTHA, a large, heavy, middle-aged African-American woman, is driving along the highway (we see her at first through the windscreen of the van).  GOSPEL MUSIC from the van’s radio can be heard.

extreme close-up:  the minivan’s license plate

It reads HFN 408

back to scene

The headlights of a sedan appear behind Martha’s minivan, these fade and are replaced by a police cruiser.

The police cruiser begins flashing its lights and sounds its siren.  Martha pulls over.

Half a dozen government sedans race past Martha, then come to a screeching halt in front of her, blocking the road.  Another half-dozen pull out and block the road behind her.

Government agents in full tactical gear/biohazard gear and carrying assault rifles pour out of all the cars.  Sound of RIFLES BEING COCKED.  The rifles are then aimed at the minivan.

helicopter shot above the van

Two helicopter gunships are circling around the minivan above the scene.

return to scene

The LEAD AGENT takes out a bullhorn and and speaks to Martha.

lead agent

Aloysius Kim!  Do not move until you are ordered to do so.  We are Federal officers and we will open fire on you if you do not comply.

Martha looks terrified, and does not move.

int. the roundhouse – day

A little light is starting to filter through a skylight above the turntable.

JIREEN

So now what?

ALOYSIUS

We assess what we have, and figure out what to do.  This old pile still has some power on.  Did you manage to salvage your invisibility tech?

JIREEN

No.  It was too bulky to move out of Maureen’s closet, so I sabotaged it instead.  Certainly that’s not something we want in the wrong hands.

aloysius

True that. I managed to keep some of my Apsinthion apparatus and my computer.  There’s plenty of old industrial equipment around and…

cleo (o.s.)

(in the distance)

Hello?  Is anyone there.

WILLIE

Shit!

JIREEN

No, Willie, calm down.  It’s Cleo.

(calling out)

Cleo?  It’s okay.  Come on out over here.

Cleo walks out from another locomotive stall.  She is bedraggled and shivering.

JIREEN

Ohmigod Cleo.

Jireen runs to the van, gets a blanket out of it, then runs to cover up Cleo.

CLEO

Who are you?  Is Jill here?

JIREEN

Jill is…very nearby, Cleo.

(covering her with the blanket)

It’s just that you can’t see her just this minute.

Aloysius and Michiko exchange glances.  Aloysius looks tormented, Michiko baffled.  Willie, looking uncomfortable, wanders off.

close-up on just jireen and Cleo

JIREEN

(whispering to Cleo)

But I know everything that you told Jill, Cleo.  Everything about what you told her about your experiences in Sarawak…the spiders, everything.  I know all about that luncheon the four of…you had.  I know how much trouble you feel like you’re in now.  Please.  You must try to trust me.

back to scene

Jireen is leading Cleo back toward the group.

willie (o.s.)

(voice raised so as to be heard)

Hey guys, come look at this!

ext. a road outside gnosis – day

It is the scene where Martha had been pulled over before.

helicopter shot:  The gunships circling the scene

voice #1

V-I-N doesn’t match, obviously not the target.  Over.

voice #2

Well, fuck me in the neck.  Over.

back to scene

Martha is out of her vehicle.  A number of tactical officers are standing around.  Although their faces are obscured by biohazard gear, their mode of standing indicates clear awkwardness.

martha

Kim?  Kim?  Aloysius Kim?  Do I look like some Ko-rean man to you?

shot a couple of agents standing around

One agent reaches up as if to scratch his head but, because he’s wearing a helmet, ends up scratching that instead.

martha (o.s.)

When I get back to Pleasant Prairie, I am calling every civil liberties organization I can find, and when they get through with you…

int. one of the roundhouse stalls – day

Aloysius, Cleo, Jireen, Michiko, and Willie are standing around outside an old passenger car that’s stored the car barn.

WILLIE

Look at this old thing.

ALOYSIUS

Probably an old office car.  Would make good cover.  Let’s in and take a look.

int. inside the office car – day

Willie is carrying in a box, grunting and sweating.

WILLIE

See you managed to get some power up.

ALOYSIUS

Yeah.  We have light, we can run some stuff, and we should even have some heat soon.

CLEO

(shivering, comforted by Jireen)

Oh thank God.

MICHIKO

Okay, so now what?

ALOYSIUS

We don’t have that many resources.  We have a few computers, we have some food.  And I have some Apsinthion apparatus.

MICHIKO

Apsintion apparatus?  What’s that.

JIREEN

Better tell her, Aloysius.  Cleo too.  We won’t get anywhere if we don’t share information.

ALOYSIUS

(sighing wearily)

Alright.  One more time.  You remember Professor Joseph Corwin, right?

Cleo and Michiko nod.

ALOYSIUS

Before he disappeared last year, Professor Corwin worked out the details of a truly exotic technology, which allowed a human being to be taken apart, I mean, literally dissolved, then stored in an information-preserving form for a period of time, before being reconstructed in some form, usually their original form.

CLEO

But surely no one has ever had that done to them!

MICHIKO

It sounds possible in theory, but it would just be crazy to try.  I mean, who would go first?

ALOYSIUS

Well, Professor Corwin must have had truly Satanic powers of persuasion, because he did put several people through it.  You remember Nanetta Rector?

CLEO

Also disappeared.

ALOYSIUS

Well, I’m pretty sure she went through it and lived.

MICHIKO

Holy shit.

ALOYSIUS

Moira Weir was also somehow involved with Corwin and his experiments, and I have access to some of her notes and papers.  I’ve been working with Corwin’s technology.

JIREEN

Not just working with it, Aloysius.  Tell them the whole story.

ALOYSIUS

We’ve had…some interesting results, though not entirely intended.

JIREEN

Oh Lord, Aloysius.  Stand up and be a man about it.

ALOYSIUS

Well…

JIREEN

I’m one of those interesting results, for crying out loud!

Silence for a few seconds.

ALOYSIUS

My research into the protocol has long indicated that certain parameters relating to the way individuals are reconstituted can be tweaked.  In a recent emergency situation, I had to tweak the parameters on two other individuals in the process.  They were Jill Keeney and Maureen Creel.

CLEO

What…were?

ALOYSIUS

They had been attacked.  Each was near death.  I had no choice.  I swear I had no choice.  No other medical attention was available, and neither was the reconstitutive substrate in sufficient quantities so…

MICHIKO

You don’t mean…surely…

JIREEN

Jireen has two Mommys.  I am both women.  A composite.  A conjoinment.

CLEO

Jill…oh no…

Cleo begins to cry.  Jireen comforts her.

JIREEN

Cleo, please don’t cry.  Jill is not dead.  Everythign that Jill is I am.  Every memory.  Every dream.  Aloysius didn’t kill her.  He saved her.

ALOYSIUS

And when we get out of this mess I swear I will reverse engineer the protocol and bring back Jill Keeney and Maureen Creel both.

michiko

I thought I was queen of the weird, but at this point I don’t even rate lady-in-waiting.

willie

So what now?

ALOYSIUS

Not sure.  We’re up against something unbelievable.  We need allies.

michiko

Rebecca would probably help.  I mean, they fucked up her lab.  Knowing her, she’d spit poison at them, if she could.

A WAIL from Cleo.

jireen

Aloysius, I think Cleo’s really sick.

aloysius

I’ll do what I can, when I can.  We don’t have much.

jireen

Does anyone know what happened to Professor Corwin?  Someone with Satanic powers of persuasion might come in handy right now.

aloysius

Gone as far as I know, but there might be some way to contact him.  But researching it?  How do we even get out an about?

willie

Well, Jireen was born, so to speak, only a few weeks ago, so probably she’s in the clear.  But I doubt any of the rest of us are.

michiko

Maybe that apsinthion protocol thing might help.

aloysius

What do you mean?

michiko

Well, can’t you reconstitute someone with tweaked parameters so that they’ll be disguised.

aloysius

Well, in theory I suppose.  But if you think I have any more appetite for playing around with the protocol, you have another thing coming.  Besides, I only have less than enough of the substrate matrix for one full-sized person.  So unless you want people who are itty-bitty, then…no sorry, that’s a stupid thing to say.  Forget about it.

jireen

Forget about what?

aloysius

Forget about nothing.  There’s nothing there.

Jireen stands up, walks over to Aloysius, and looks him straight in the eye.

jireen

You cannot fool me, Aloysius.  There’s that look in your eyes again.  The one you had when you had an idea that you thought was too crazy to work.  Maureen knew that look, Aloysius. She knew every look that you got in your eyes.  And therefore I know every look you get in your eyes.  You have an idea Aloysius.  I know you do.  And the world is imploding around us.  You need to come out with it.  No joke.

WILLIE

I don’t care how scary it is, Al.  Can’t be worse than what we’re going through now.

MICHIKO

You know me.  Always up for adventure.

They stare down for a moment, then Aloysius breaks.

aloysius

Well, it’s like this…

ext. rebecca waite’s front porch – day

Two children approach the front door and RING the bell.

(Note:  These two charactes are Michiko and Willie, regressed to about the age of seven by Aloysius.  They will be referred to in the script as LITTLE WILLIE and LITTLE MICHIKO.)

interior shot – waite going to answer the door

The doorbell RINGS again.

waite

Coming, coming.

back to scene

The door is answered by PROFESSOR REBECCA WAITE.  She looks down at Little Willie and Little Michiko, somewhat surprised.

WAITE

Can I help you kids?

LITTLE WILLIE

Professor Waite?

WAITE

Yes?

little michiko

Don’t you recognize us?

WAITE

I’m sorry, no. You both look a little bit familiar, but no.

LITTLE WILLIE

Can we talk to you?  It’s very, very important.

int. the railcar – day

Cleo is lying down on a cot, under several blankets.  Aloysius brings her a cup of tea, a glass of water, and some pills.

ALOYSIUS

Take these, Cleo.  They’re not much, but they’ll probably help at least some.

CLEO

What are they?

ALOYSIUS

Acetaminophen with codeine.  They’ll help you relax.

Cleo sits up and takes the pills, then lies back down.  Aloysisu tucks the blanket around her.

CLEO

Aloysius?

ALOYSIUS

Yes?

CLEO

That thing you did with Willie and Michiko, the aps.., er abs-something.

ALOYSIUS

Apsinthion Protocol, tweaked  for an age regression.

CLEO

I’ve seen some very strange things in the last year or so, but that’s the strangest of all.

ALOYSIUS

No one is really prepared for how strange it is.  I still can’t imagine how it was that Corwin managed to develop it.

CLEO

I could swear they enjoyed going through it, though.  Michiko especially.

ALOYSIUS

It seemed that way to me, too.

CLEO

What are they supposed to do out there?

ALOYSIUS

Research.  We can’t get anywhere without further information.  And neither you nor I can exactly show up at the library, now can they.

CLEO

The library?  Are you sure this is a good idea?

ALOYSIUS

It’s all we could think of at the moment.  We’re students, remember?

int. in front of the gnosis library circulation desk  day

Jireen is facing the desk, with Little Michiko and Little Willie in front of her.  a SPINSTER LIBRARIAN is looking at a written letter, then glancing up at the three of them.

aloysius (v.o.)

Now normally, of course, little kids would not be allowed to run around loose in an academic library.  Unless, of course, a Gnosis faculty member wrote a letter explaining that they’re visiting as part of a “Big Brother/Big Sister” program, under the supervision of a responsible student.

The Spinster Librarian picks up the phone and makes a call.

int. rebecca waite’s office – day

Waite is seen talking on the phone and nodding.

aloysius (o.s.)

Fortunately we know such a faculty member.

int. circulation desk – day

The Spinster Librarian is giving a stern talk to Little Willie and Little Michiko.  They nod as if taking it all in.

cleo  (v.o.)

But why the library?

ALOYSIUS (V.O.)

Moira Weir’s notes indicate that Corwin’s was an intense user of certain books in locked stacks.  And I also happen to know from my own snooping around that some of the books that were in Corwin’s office prior to his disappearance were taken and stored there as well.  The librarians got there before the Feds did.

int. the gnosis library stacks – day

Jireen, Little Willie and Little Michiko approach a locked door.

cleo (v.o.)

Surely they’re not going to let little kids get at that.

ALOYSIUS (V.O.)

This is something we’re not asking for permission for.  The stacks may be locked.  But as it happens, Maureen Creel was very good at dealing with locks, ever since I taught her how.  And Jireen knows everything Maureen knows.

Little Willie and Little Michiko post up as lookouts.  Jireen goes to work on the lock with a pick.

After a little while, the lock gives.  Jireen waves Little Willie aned Little Michiko inside, then closes the door and leans on it.

After a few seconds a RANDOM DUDE walks up to Jireen.  He speaks and shows her a book. Jireen gives him a friendly smile.  Random Dude’s body language indicates that he is asking questions as a pretext for hitting on Jireen.

int.  inside the locked stacks

Little Willie is steadying Little Michiko who is standing on a shelf and trying to reach a book on a still higher shelf.  It is just beyond her grasp.  She stretches and stretches.

ALOYSIUS (v.o.)

I don’t doubt that this will be quite a research challenge for Willie and Michiko.

The heavy book Little Michiko is reaching for tumbles off the shelf and falls on her.  She falls off the shelf onto Little Willie.

little michiko

Aieee!

Book and children collapse on the floor in a cloud of dust.  Little Michiko SNEEZES.

ALOYSIUS (V.O.)

But I certainly hope they can scare up something, because right now I’m pretty much out of other ideas.

LITTLE WILLIE

Ow!

int. Slave girl decanting room – day

The Decanting room is a large octagonal room with a high, domed ceiling and a large bath or pool in the middle.  There is a ramp leading out of the pool. On one wall is a row of fluid-cylinders in which naked girls are floating.

close-up two of the tubes

Marie is floating in one of the tubes.  BRIDGET O’BRIAN is floating in another.  Both have their eyes closed.

back to scene

With a WHIR a crane with a claw-like appendage at one end reaches out and picks up the tube containing Marie.  It picks the tube up by the top and carries it until it is suspended over the middle of the pool.

There is a CLICK, then the bottom of the tube opens up, decanting Marie and her fluid into a pool below with a SPLASH.

BATHING SLAVES #1, #2, and #3 enter the scene.  All are naked girls.

Marie surfaces in the pool with a SPLUTTER and a GASP.  She shakes her head.

MARIE

What…where…why?  Ohmigod.

Bathing Slaves #1 and #2 each take Marie, one by each arm.  Bathing Slave #3 begins gently washing Marie with a large sponge.

MARIE

Who are you?  What are you doing to me?

Bathing slave #3

(putting her finger to her lips)

Shh!

INT. THE RAILCAR – DAY

Aloysius is looking on his laptop screen at what look like photostats from his old books.  Little Michiko and Little Willie stand to either side of him, watching what he’s doing.

ALOYSIUS

Good work, you guys.

LITTLE WILLIE

Itty-bitty I took the pictures myself with my itty-bitty camera.  I thought you’d like that marginal gloss.

LITTLE MICHIKO

Can’t see.

Aloysius grimmaces slightly, then pickes Little Michiko up and puts her on his lap so that she can see better.

close-up:  aloysius’s computer screen

We see a graphical image of a page full of printed Latin text and alchemical symbols.  Aloysius’s finger can be seen pointing to a marginal note in what looks like modern handwriting.

ALOYSIUS (O.S.)

Especially good work here.

little michiko (o.s.)

I thought it looked just like the handwriting included in in Moira Weir’s digital facsimile notes.

back to scene

LITTLE WILLIE

So what are we looking at, Al?

ALOYSIUS

Well, the text we are looking at is from Borellus, a seventeenth century physician and reputed alchemist.  I think the marginal handwriting is indeed Corwin’s.

LITTLE WILLIE

Strange that a twenty-first century psychologist should be spending time on such a thing.

ALOYSIUS

Unless he’s looking for pointers on melting down girls.  The fact that he’s read the text gives me an idea.

Aloysius pops open a window, surfs around for a moment or two, then cuts and pastes something.

close-up: aloysius’s computer screen

A window has popped up, in which text reads: “I alone am at a Loss.  I have not ye Chymicall art to followe Borellues, and own my Self confounded by ye VII. Booke of ye Necronomicon that you recommende…I say to you againe, doe not call up Any that you can not put downe; by the Which I meane, Any that can in Turne call up Somewhat against you, whereby your Powerfullest Devices may not be of use.”

back to scene

LITTLE MICHIKO

What on earth is that?

ALOYSIUS

Fiction.  Fiction of the sort that I spent all too much time with as a lonely adolescent.  In particular, this bit is from a story called “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward,” written by H.P. Lovecraft.  The significance here is that it is from a letter to a fictional character whose name is Joseph Curwen, a necromancer who specialized in calling up the dead for his own foul purposes.

LITTLE WILLIE

Neat!  But why?

ALOYSIUS

I supsect that if Corwin is still out there somewhere, he might be looking for someone who needs to get in contact with him, or for information that’s relevant to him.  He seems like a pretty crafty guy.  I mean, he disappeared from Federal custody, right?  I think that he might be using a bot or some other means of getting information from the web.  We know he’s read Borellus.

LITTLE MICHIKO

So put this up, and he finds us?

ALOYSIUS

I hope so.

LITTLE MICHIKO

If you want a bot, how about some additional keywords, like Apsinthion?

LITTLE WILLIE

Or Moira?

ALOYSIUS

(narrating as he types)

“We drink the nectar of Apsinthion and say ‘I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille,’ while awaiting our fate, in the Greek sense of fate.'”

LITTLE WILLIE

Don’t get it.

ALOYSIUS

You don’t have to.  It’s Corwin who needs to get it, and I think he just might.  Then…

Aloysius types some more?

LITTLE MICHIKO

(pointing at the screen)

What’s that big block of letters and numbers?

ALOYSIUS

A public encryption key.  If Corwin does find us and try to get in touch, I don’t want the world listening in.  Things might get a little sensitive.

LITTLE WILLIE

We have a strange way of fighting the bad guys.

ALOYSIUS

We’re up against some strange bad guys.

int.  The Decanting room – day

Marie is being led up the ramp out of the pool by Bathing Slave #1 and Bathing Slave #2.  Bathing Slave #3 is standing at the top of the ramp with a large towel.  Marie is trembling.

MARIE

What are you doing to me?  Where am I?  Don’t you know who I am?  You can’t take me like this!

Bathing slave #1

You must be weak after your long journey.  Please do not struggle.  It will only make you tired.

They reach the top of the ramp.  Bathing Slave #3 begins drying Marie with the towel.

There is a slight GRATING sound as a giant hollow wheel is rolled up to the side of the pool on a pair of steel rails by MALE SLAVE #1 and MALE SLAVE #2.

(Note:  Both Male Slaves are muscular and naked and well-hung. They could have walked out of a gay porn movie.)

Marie glances from side to side, obviously looking at the slaves’ genitals for a moment in astonishment, perhaps lust.  Her mouth falls open.

MARIE

Ooh!

Marie’s expression then changs to fear.  She tries to break away and run.  The male slaves swiftly step forward.  Each seizes an arm and together they lift her up.  Marie kicks and struggles helplessly.

MARIE

Put me down!  Let me go!  You can’t do this to me!

The Male Slaves carry Marie to the middle of the wheel.  They pull out her arms and proceed to fasten them by the wrists to the edges of the wheel.  Then they force her legs apart, and bind her ankles likewise.

Marie is spread-eagled inside the wheel.  She struggles and WHIMPERS.  The Male Slaves proceed to roll the wheel out of the room along its rails.

bathing slave #2

She will break quickly.

BATHING SLAVE #1

Yes.  But fresh sweet ones like that one often fetch a pretty price all the same.

BATHING SLAVE #3

They say the next one is special.

close-up:  the tube containing bridget

We see her face and shoulders.  Her expression is serene.

The WHIR of the crane is heard again.

int. A compartment in the railcar – night

Aloysius is sitting at a desk, his head down, asleep.  His computer is open next to him.

There is a tweet from the computer.  The screen suddenly lights up.  A window pops open on the screen.  PROFESSOR JOSEPH CORWIN appears in the window.

corwin

(on screen)

Corwin here. Who is out there?

Aloysius wakes with a violent start.

ALOYSIUS

Professor Corwin?  Is that you.

CORWIN

See for yourself.  And who might you be.

ALOYSIUS

I am contacting you from Gnosis.  I see you picked up our message.

CORWIN

Yes.  Most ingenious.

(squinting into his camera)

It’s Mr. Kim, isn’t it?

ALOYSIUS

Yes.

CORWIN

I seem to remember you from Hedonic Psychology.  You were the one who sat near the front row but always seemed distracted about something.  In spite of that, other faculty said that you had great potential that you seemed not to be developing.

aloysius

Well, I developed it.  I was incetivized.

CORWIN

Apparently so.  And do what do I owe the honor of this contact?

ALOYSIUS

(scowling)

I would like to say this is about Moira Weir and her fate, about which I think you know.  I think it’s fair to let you know, Professor Corwin, that someday I intend to get some answers from you about what happened to her.  But that day is not today.  We have more pressing concerns.

CORWIN

Oh?  I understand from reading the Internet in my carefully concealed location that there have been some rather unpleasant goings on back at dear old Gnosis.

ALOYSIUS

There most certainly have been.

CORWIN

But I have left all that behind, and I have more important concerns where I am.

ALOYSIUS

I know about the Apsinthion Protocol, Professor.

CORWIN

Interesting claim, but those might be just words.

ALOYSIUS

I not only know about it, but I have recreated it.  On multiple human subjects, no less.

CORWIN

You don’t seriously expect me to believe…

ALOYSIUS

Believe?  I would never insult a scientist of your calibre by asking you to believe, Professor Corwin.  Instead, I’m going to transmit some data, and ask you instead to analyze.

Aloysius makes a number of sharp keystrokes on his computer, then stabs the RETURN button.

Corwin looks intently at his own computer screen.  He types in several keystrokes of his own, frowning, concentrating.

CORWIN

No…it can’t be.  Astonishing…even without…Great Cthulhu.

(looking up)

Do you have any idea what it is you are playing around with, young man?

ALOYSIUS

I have a strong sense that it was when I…or perhaps more accurately when you…began playing around with it that various troubles around here started.

CORWIN

(looking grim)

Perhaps.

ALOYSIUS

And now it seems like things are really out of hand.  And not only am I and my friends in trouble with the Protocol, but we seem to have attracted the baleful attention of a certain Colonel Jeremiah Madder, who I believe is the brother of a late United States Senator who met his timely end in the course an earlier round of unpleasantness.

CORWIN

Madder.

ALOYSIUS

Why this asshole should be so obsessed with us isn’t very clear to me, but he ran some sort of biowarfare thing against Gnosis a few months ago, and now he has mysteriously ascended to the top of United States intelligence as the result of an assassination, and now Federal thugs are all over Pleasant Prairie.  Coincidence.  I just don’t think so.

CORWIN

And still, why should I help you?

ALOYSIUS

I’m trapped in my hidey hole, Professor Corwin.  People are looking for me.  I’m running out of both time and resources, and frankly I don’t think I’d get very far if I tried to make a run for it.  I’m in deep trouble and my friends are in deep trouble and so as much as it wounds me, I have to ask for your help.  Please.

CORWIN

And do you think that’s enough?

ALOYSIUS

I also understand at least something about the workings of the Apsinthion Protocol, Professor Corwin. Given how — creative, shall we say? — government-issue goons are willing to in their interrogations these days, how good would it be for anyone if Madder’s storm-troopers find me?

CORWIN

Well played, young man.  Well played indeed.  You want my help?  Very well.  I’ll help.  Let me begin with a bit of advice:  Madder probably is the lynchpin of the whole problem.  It makes no sense to be hunting you otherwise.  I know this Madder.  He’s a religious fanatic, and he and I have clashed before.  And I have my suspicion about the assissination.

ALOYSIUS

You think Madder did it, don’t you.

CORWIN

It would be in his character.

ALOYSIUS

How do we stop him?

CORWIN

Nietzsche once wrote that it is not true that every man has a price, but that it was true that every man has a bait he cannot resist swallowing.  Find the bait first.  I suggest you do the following.  Spend an hour or so combing through every public utterance associated with this Colonel Madder.  Do a Bayesian search for unusual concepts.  Contact me with the results, and we shall go from there.

ALOYSIUS

I’ll try.

CORWIN

Good luck, young man.  Corwin out.

int. a brightly lit room  – day

The Two Male Slaves roll the wheel in which Marie has been bound into the center of the room.  They place it with Marie in an upright position.  They then chock the wheel so that cannot roll, then leave the room, leaving Marie alone.

MARIE

Hey!  Wait!  Don’t leave me alone!

The lights in the room dim.

A robot arm, at the end of which is fitted some sort of wicked-looking toolhead, swivels from a fixture on the ceiling, stops just short of Marie’s crotch.

Marie WHIMPERS.

Laser beams shoot out of the toolhead.  The strike Marie in the mons veneris.  As they do, Marie’s pubic hair begins to come out and fall away.  A second, smaller head, snakes out of the first and starts depiliating between Marie’s legs.

EXTREME CLOSE UP: Marie’s pudenda as this is happening

back to scene

Marie YELPS.

After the tool has thoroughly depiliated Marie’s pubic area, it begins scanning over her body, especially her armpits, zapping hair folicles.

Then the robot arm retreats.  The lights come back up.  Marie is now completely dipiliated from the neck down.  She slumps in her bonds.

The two Male Slaves re-enter.  They roll the wheel so that Marie is now upside-down and her hair is hanging down, exposing the back of her neck.

Another tool-arm swings down from the ceiling.  It tattoos a bar code on the back of Marie’s neck.

The two Male Slaves then roll Marie out of the room.

INT. THE RAILCAR – DAY

Aloysius is looking at his computer screen, Corwin speaking through on the other side.  Jireen looks over Aloysius’s shoulder.

Little Michiko and Little Willie sit across the room, mostly comforting Cleo, who is stretchd out on a cot, and who occasionally stirs and groans.

CORWIN

(on computer)

So, what do we know about our enemy the Colonel.  What is he obsessed with in public.

ALOYSIUS

Our Bayesian search turned up a number of concept, the ones one might expect:  God, country, patriotism, sacrifice, faith, mother…

CORWIN

Tell me more about his mother.

ALOYSIUS

He refers to her a lot, much more frequently than a control group sample of similar public figures.

CORWIN

I see.  And do we know anything about his mother.

JIREEN

The Madder family is actually local.  Helga Madder, who was Colonel Madder’s mother, died when he was about seven.  We found an obituary in the Pleasant Prairie Republican that indicated that she died in some sort of accident, although it was vague as to details.

corwin

A car accident?

ALOYSIUS

A best I could tell it was some sort of freakish household incident, like falling down the stairs.

CORWIN

Hmm.  And is she buried in the area?

ALOYSIUS

Excuse me, Professor Corwin, but I don’t think I understand where this conversation is going.

CORWIN

Well, Mr. Kim, I see from the data on your own adventures in dangerous science that you’ve figured out a lot of tweaking can be done with the Protocol.

ALOYSIUS

Yes.

CORWIN

You were also the one who decided to contact me using material from a…rather interesting story about my fictional namesake who engaged in his own…interesting activities.

A moment of silence passes before Aloysius speaks.

ALOYSIUS

You are absolutely fucking kidding me.

CORWIN

Enough D-N-A might survive, along with programmable or borrowable congnitive data from a donor to create a working simulacrum.

JIREEN

What on earth is he talking about, Aloysius?

ALOYSIUS

(ignoring her)

No way.  No fucking way.  Of all the bizarre, disgusting, immoral…

corwin

Immoral?  Listen to me very carefully, Mr. Kim.  I’ve seen quite a lot of strange things going on in and around our little world and know that the stakes are really far to high for this sort of discussion.  We are outside the realm of human morality here, beyond good and evil.  The concept of immoral simply no longer applies.  Moira Weir and Nanetta Rector, in a moment of supreme crisis, understood this and made a choice.  A choice that I could not reconcile myself to at first, until I began to understand the consequences for us all for what she had done.  And now Mr. Kim it is your turn to make a choice.  I can only help you to do what needs to be done.  I cannot force you.

Aloysius stares at the screen for a few moments.  He looks like he is trying not to be sick.

ALOYSIUS

I can’t.

CORWIN

You must.

JIREEN

(very sharply)

Aloysius!

Aloysius looks right at Jireen.

JIREEN

What I’m about to say is really going to hurt, but you need to hear it, and it’s this:  if you had earlier focused less on feeling guilty about what had happened and more about what needed to happen, maybe Connie Morton would be alive today.  Now I really don’t pretend to what it is that you two geniuses are going back and forth about, but you need that in your mind as you try to make it up.  Which I hope will be fast.

Back to top.

int. glassed-in office in the command center – day

Hosrt is speaking to Madder.

HORST

I wish we had better progress to report on the Gnosis front, sir.

MADDER

In my long career, Horst, I have learned to expect setbacks and face them with equanimity.  It’s unfortunate about the Brockman and Mount girls, but at least the mess was cleaned up pretty quickly.  Don’t worry.  We’ll close the noose quickly enough.

horst

I appreciate your confidence, sir.  In the meantime, the black sites are reporting that the ace in the hole is getting ready.

MADDER

Happy news, Horst.  Thank God almighty for the existence of enhanced interrogation techniques.  Always there to get the right confession from the right people at the right time. Is that all for today.

HORST

(a little nervously)

There is one more issue, sir.  Something that you might find slightly disturbing, personally.

Horst hands a folder across the desk to Madder.

MADDER

(opening the folder)

Local P-D?  This hardly seems like our issue.

(leafing through)

What?

(purpling with rage)

My sainted mother’s grave!

shot – outside the office

Madder is seen through the glass as he picks up a laptop computer from his desk and hurls it hard against the glass wall of the office, making a loud CRACK as it cracks the glass and shatters into lots of tiny pieces.

People working in the room look up, startled.

back to scene

MADDER

Get that F-B-I man on the phone, McBeal.  I am personally tearing him a new one.

HORST

MacNeil.  Sir, this is a local police matter.  Questions are already being raised about the deployment of security resources in the Gnosis area.

MADDER

I don’t give a flying fuck.  This is my mother’s grave we’re talking about.  Get him on the phone!

int. a crowded office – day

Special Agent-in-Charge MacNeil speaks on the phone.  Special Agent Smith stands by.

MACNEIL

Yes sir. Of course, sir. No I…yes, sir. Right away sir.

MacNeil hangs up, then rubs his temples.

SMITH

Who was that?

MACNEIL

That, Special Agent Smith, was the asshole-in-chief.  Apparently now we are in the business of investigating acts of vandalism that threaten national security.

SMITH

Chief?

MACNEIL

Some punks went and trashed Madder’s sainted mother’s grave last night, and so now it’s our problem.

SMITH

Sounds like bullshit to me.

MACNEIL

There must be some fouler animal.  Pig shit?  Warthog shit?

SMITH

So what are we going to do now?

MACNEIL

Same thing we do every day, Pinky.  Try to obey orders.  Which we will.  But as I have now officially gone past my limit for warthog shit, I’m going to make one more quick phone call first.

MacNeil picks up the phone and dials swiftly.

int. a newsroom – day

It is a busy urban newsroom, full of people writing on computers.  STEVE JACKSON is one of them.  His phone rings.  He picks it up.

jackson

National desk, Jackson speaking.  Yes?

(interest perks up, he immediately picks up a pencil and pad and starts writing)

Yeah, sure.  You bet I’m getting this down.  Keep going…please.

INT. THE RAILCAR – DAY

Little Michiko leads HELGA, a pretty, blonde woman, to the scene and makes a gesture for her to sit ona chair facing Aloysius.

helga

I feel so confused.

JIREEN

Try to be comfortable.  This won’t take long.

Aloysius is looking at a folder of his own.  There is something clipped inside of it.

EXTREME CLOSE UP: inside the folder

There is an old newspaper obituary, apparently printed off microform.  The headline reads, HELGA MADDER, 28, MOTHER OF TWO, DIES IN FREAK ACCIDENT.

There is a picture in the obituary.  The features of the woman depicted are the same as Helga’s.

back to scene

ALOYSIUS

(leaning over to Jireen, whispering)

The version of the protocol I got from Corwin for this doesn’t give her any memories of her life, just linguistic and world-knowledge and some basic skills.

JIREEN

(whispering back to Aloysius)

Where’d she get even those?

ALOYSIUS

(whispering)

I have some left over product from when we regressed Willie and Michiko which I was able to recycle.

JIREEN

(whispering)

She’s not going to be very convincing to Madder if she starts speaking Japanese all of a sudden.

ALOYSIUS

(whispering)

Corwin will keep her on a short leash, I’m sure.

helga

Please, who am I?  What am I doing here?

JIREEN

Your name is Helga.  Don’t be afraid.  We don’t want to hurt you.

HELGA

But why am I here?

JIREEN

Events have impaired your memory.  I’m sorry.  But you have a very important mission to perform.

HELGA

I do?

ALOYSIUS

We need you to lure a very bad man out of hiding.

HELGA

How?

ALOYSIUS

By playing the victim.

int. a bunker/office – day

Madder is watching a vide clip on a computer screen.  He is covered in sweat.

close-up: on screen

Helga has her back up to the wall.  She is clad in some sort of negligee, and her hands are tied over her head.  A figure is advancing on her, holding some sort of knife.

Helga’s eyes are wide with fear.

HELGA

(in video)

No, no.  Please, stop! No.

ALOYSIUS

(in video)

Now you will suffer.

Aloysius takes the knife and cuts away part of Helga’s negligee, partially exposing one breast.

Then the video cuts off.

back to scene

MADDER

(to himself)

It can’t be…exactly like…

Horst enters.

HORST

Sir?  Sir?

MADDER

(tearing his attention away from the screen)

What do we know about this clip, Horst!

horst

Elint forensics boys have been over it extensively, sir.  It was sent with weak encryption from an anoynmized proxy, so there’s no way to trace the source directly.  However, they’re pretty sure that this isn’t CGI — someone shot this from life.  We can’t see male subject’s face, but the voice sample closely matches that belonging to Aloysius Kim, one of our targets.

MADDER

A known technology abuser, yes.  But any way to know where they are.

HORST

She’s up against a brick wall.  The stone has known construction characteristics typical of industrial buildings in the Pleasant Prairie area.  Most structures are accounted for, but there’s one…

Horst takes a remote from his pocket and clicks it.  An ariel photograph of the Pleasant Prairie area appears.  Horst points to a large building on the photo.

HORST

…where they very well could be.

MADDER

What on earth is that place.

horst

An old locomotive roundhouse and an associated trainshed, sir.  Disused since the 50s but still standing.  Quite a hiding place, but not very secure.

MADDER

We have to stop this.

HORST

I’ll scramble a tac team immediately.

MADDER

No.

HORST

No?

MADDER

Did you see this morning’s newspaper, Horst?

HORST

No, sir.

Madder takes out a newspaper and tosses it down on his desk so that it opens.   The headline reads “Questions Arise on National Security Investigation.”

HORST

Fuckola, sir.

MADDER

(taking the newspaper and reading)

“Sources inside law enforcement have indicated that there is interal dissent on the concentration of Federal resources around Gnosis College, and small, private liberal arts institution…blah, blah, blah…speculation that Colonel Madder may be seeking retribution for the death of his brother there the year before.”  So you see, Horst, we have a traitor in our midst.  Someone willing to cooperate with the lying liberal scum of the media to undermine our operation.  We’ll deal with them in due time, Horst.  We’ll deal with them.  But in the meantime, far more important matters need taking care of.  If harm should come to my mother…

HORST

Surely you don’t believe…sir, that has to be a someone else, maybe is even an actress…

MADDER

Do you believe in God, Horst?

HORST

Of course, sir.

MADDER

And do you believe that his only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, died and rose from the dead?

HORST

Yes, sir.

MADDER

I believe in miracles, Horst.  I will not reject one as impossible until I know it to be false.  I will not, do you hear me!  You and I are going to see to this matter personally, and together.  And no one else is to know.

HORST

But sir…

MADDER

What’s the matter with you, Horst?  Afraid to confront a few college kids?  Deal with them harshly, as their parents so signally failed to do?  You and I are going.  No one else is to know.  Arrange for the jet.

HORST

Sir.

MADDER

I believe I shall be trying on my prosthesis.

int. the railcar  – day

Helga is ravenously eating a sandwich.  Aloysius and Jireen watch her.

JIREEN

Excellent acting, Helga.

HELGA

(between bites)

Thank you.  You said there is something else that I needed to do?

ALOYSIUS

Just a little more acting.  A man is coming for you.  His name is Madder.

HELGA

What kind of a man is he?

ALOYSIUS

A very bad man.  You are going to try to get him to talk to you.

HELGA

How?

JIREEN

You are going to pretend to be his mother.  Someone who we trust has told us that he might already be thinking this and that it will make him lose control of himself and make a serious mistake that will lead to his downfall.

HELGA

I won’t know what to say.

ALOYSIUS

That’s why we have this.  Improvised it myself.

Aloysius holds up a tiny bug.

ALOYSIUS

It will fit just inside your ear.  A friend of ours — his name is Joseph — will listen in and give you instructions on how to act and what to say.

HELGA

And can I eat again afterwards?

ALOYSIUS

Sure.

Helga returns to eating.  Aloysius motions for Jireen to join him a ways off so that Helga can’t hear.

ALOYSIUS

I can’t believe that we’re making use of a person this way.

JIREEN

Try to remember the evil that Madder does.

int. a display room – day

The room is large, with theater-like seating at one end.  The seats are filled with rowdy, rough-looking men.

Marie, still naked and pinioned inside her wheel, is rolled into view by Slave #1 and Slave #2.  The men in the audience whistle and jeer.

FRAU KUPLER, clad in black leather, steps out onto the stage, holding a riding crop.  She holds up her hand.  The whistling and jeering stops, replaced by a low buzz of lustful murmuring.

Marie begins to cry.

MARIE

I want to go home!

kupler

You have no home, except where we say.  You have no name, except what we call you.  You have no salvation, except in submission.  You are no more a person.  You are a posession, a toy.  Henceforth you exist only for pleasure.  Do you understand me, slave?

MARIE

You…bitch!

Kupler strikes Marie hard across the buttocks with her riding crop.  Marie SHRIEKS.  The audience CHEERS.

ext.  a cemetary – day

Several evidence technicians are working around the site of a grave that has been dug up.  Among them is AGENT HARRAWAY and MacNeil.  AGENT JONES is talking to Harraway.

(Note:  Harraway here, as opposed to Apsinthion Protocol, here looks young and beautiful.)

JONES

So, Agent Harraway, are you busy this evening.

harraway

Well, I’m booked pretty solid, Special Agent Jones.

MacNeil approaches.

MACNEIL

Not on company time, Jones.

JONES

(abashed)

Sorry, sir.

MacNeil hands a ziploc evidence bag to Harraway.  It contains a gold coin.

MACNEIL

What do you make of this, Agent Harraway?

Harraway holds it up.

HARRAWAY

Looks like a gold guinea.  George III, so eighteenth century.

MACNEIL

We found it on site.

HARRAWAY

So perhaps our grave robbers were after buried treasure?  Is this really a national security issue, Special Agent MacNeil?

INT. THE ROUNDHOUSE – DAY

A side door is kicked in.  Horst enters, carrying an M4 carbine at the ready.  He sweeps back and forth, then gestures behind him.

Colonel Madder enters.  He is moving on prothetic legs, aided by canes.

Madder and Horst venture some way into the roundhouse.

Horst bends down carefully.  He picks up an empty can of Red Bull, which he sees at his feet.

horst

Someone’s been in here more recently than the 1950s, sir.

MADDER

Look around.

They venture further in.

A RAPPING sound comes from the direction of the railcar.  Madder gestures toward it.  Horst goes there, looking forth and back with his carbine.  Eventually he reaches the car.  Madder follows after Horst as best he is able.

Horst moves about the railcar, his carbine at the ready.  Then he leaps inside the car.

INT. THE RAILCAR – DAY

Helga is sitting bound to a chair with duct tape.  She has managed to inch the chair along the floor of the railcar so that she is up against one of its walls.  Her mouth is also covered.

Horst does a quick search of the car and finds no one.  Helga looks at him pleadingly.

Horst returns to the door of the car an shouts down to Madder.

HORST

In here, sir!

Horst reaches down and helps Mader into the car.

MADDER

Good lord!  Its…

horst

I fear a trap, sir.

madder

Nonetheless we must investigate.  Horst, patrol outside for trouble.  I will handle my…the girl.

horst

But sir…

madder

That’s an order, Horst.

Horst salutes and leaves.

Madder hobbles over to Helga.  Withdraws a small knife from his jacket pocket.

int. machine room – day

Aloysius, Jireen, Little Willie, and Little Michiko are sitting, watching a compoter screen.  The light from it illuminates their faces.

LITTLE MICHIKO

I can’t believe that the guy actually came here with just that one flunky.

JIREEN

I wish I knew where he was going.  Also that we didn’t have to leave Cleo hidden in the van.

LITTLE WILLIE

She wasn’t well and needed to be somewhere more comfortable.  Kept muttering about “the change.” I don’t think he’ll find her.

ALOYSIUS

Quiet, you guys.  I want to hear what happens next.  Corwin is convinced this Madder asshole has been living his life on some weird psychic borderline, and that he’ll on his obsession with his mother.

INT. THE RAILCAR – DAY

MADDER

I am sorry about this.  I really am.

Madder pulls the tape off Helga’s mouth.  Helga GASPS as it is removed.

int. a house in a kampong – night

Corwin is sitting at a desk in a large wicker chair.  He is looking at a laptop screen and wearing a headset.    The doors of the room are open at both ends, showing on one side a beach with a full moon out.

madder (o.s.)

(tinny, as if over cheap speakers)

All you all right, Miss?  What is your name?

CORWIN

Address him as “Jeremiah,” first, then ask him if he recognizes you.  Then address him as “my son.”

a BEAUTIFUL MALAY GIRL, clad in a tight sarong, enters the room, carrying a tall glass of something cold to drink.  She sets it down next to Corwin, who nods in acknowledgment.  The girl bows and leaves.

int. the railcar – day

HELGA

Jeremiah…

MADDER

How do you know my name?

HELGA

Don’t you recognize me?

MADDER

You look exactly like…no, surely it can’t be.

HELGA

You are my son.

corwin (o.s.)

Take his hands, draw him toward you.

Helga does so.  Madder does not resist.  They gaze into each other’s eyes for a moment.

HELGA

Some loves are so powerful they triumph even over death.

CORWIN (O.S.)

Excellent improvisation, Helga, but don’t overdo it.  Try drawing him closer in.

Helga pulls Madder closer, so that his head nestles against her bosom.

MADDER

The smell…awakens so much.

CORWIN (O.S.)

Yes I thought it might.  The sense of smell is the most primitive and the most evocative of all our senses.  Proust, in his Recherces

ALOYSIUS (O.S.)

Stop professoring, Corwin.   We really need this to go well.

MADDER

It is really is you.

HELGA

Yes.

Madder begins to cry.

MADDER

I am so sorry…mother.  I am so sorry…I tried to stop him…I did.

sh0t:  aloysius and his friends watching the monitor

Aloysius mutes his headset.

ALOYSIUS

Now certain ugly things start to makea little more sense.

Aloysius unmutes his headset

back to scene

CORWIN (O.S.)

Comfort him…console him…praise him.

HELGA

I wasn’t your fault.  You were always my brave little boy.  You know that.  If it were a matter of love alone you would have pulled down the stars for me.

Madder holds Helga tighter.  Helga cradles him.

helga

And you’ve grown up so big and strong.   But…

Helga feels in Madder’s trouser leg at the point where one of his prostehtic legs joins the stump of his actual one.

HELGA

…you have been hurt.  What have they done to you?

MADDER

I was wounded in war.  I chose to serve God and country.  It was for you.

HELGA

I would expect no less of my brave little boy.  Your legs…

MADDER

I do not regret the loss of my legs, if only the cause for which I gave them up were better.  I wish I could spare you this.

CORWIN (O.S.)

Ask to see.

HELGA

I am your mother.  Nothing about you could ever be ugly to me.

Madder pulls back.  He undoes his trousers and drops them, showing the stumps he has for legs.

MADDER

Even these?

helga

Not even those.

Helga leans forward and kisses each stump in turn.  Madder shudders.  Helga pulls Madder back toward her.

MADDER

Terrible things are happening, mother.  The country you raised me to serve is filling up with people who mock the God you taught me to revere.

HELGA

But you never give up, my brave little one.

MADDER

We are locked in a terrible war against the worst kinds of depravity, and I have been forced to do terrible things.

CORWIN (O.S.)

Whatever he says next, Helga, do not look shocked, do not act horrified.  Show him absolute, unconditional love and keep him talking.

HELGA

I cannot believe you would ever do anything but battle for good.  You were always brave and strong.

madder

I have done terrible things…arranged to kill people, even a little girl.

shot: aloysius and his friends

LITTLE WILLIE

Holy shit!  Did he just confess to what I think he did?

JIREEN

(putting her finger to her lips)

Shh!

INT. A HOUSE IN A KAMPONG – NIGHT

Corwin is still speaking to his computer screen.

CORWIN

Alright, Helga, I know that’s shocking but just keep going…keep him talking…show him sweet, unconditional love and..

A SHARP CRACKLE indicates the failure of Corwin’s comm link.  He whips of his headset.

extreme close-up:  corwin’s computer screen

A box appears which says:  FAIR ACCESS POLICY INVOKED, CONNECTION TERMINATED

BACK TO SCENE

CORWIN

Great Cthulhu.

INT. THE RAILCAR – DAY

madder

Burdened as I have been with service to God and country, I have known the love of no woman other than you.

HELGA

My strong, handsome boy, no.

MADDER

(glancing downward at his prostheses)

I am mutilated…a freak.

HELGA

No.  No.  Letter me show you.

Helga stands up, and leads Madder by the hand to a table, where she motions for him to lie down thereupon.  Madder does so.

Helga detaches the prostheses from Madder’s stumps, then leans over and tenderly kisses the stumps.

close-up:  madder’s lower half

Helga kisses the stumps.  We can see through Madder’s boxer shorts that he is becoming erect.

back to scene

Madder is beginning to perspire profusely.

Helga notices his erection.  She begins stroking it gently.

MADDER

No.  You mustn’t.

HELGA

I must.  You must feel the love you have been so unjustly denied.

Helga eases off Madder’s shorts, then leans over and kisses his erect cock.

int. the mechanical room – day

Aloysius, Jireen, Little Michiko, and Little Willie are all watching their screen, their mouths falling open.  GRUNTS and MOANS can be heard coming from the screen.

JIREEN

I think I’m going to be sick.

LITTLE MICHIKO

I really hope this wasn’t something she got from my liquid essence.

ALOYSIUS

Corwin, this is spinning out of control, you need to do something.  Corwin?  Corwin?

There is a loud BANG as the door to the Mechanicals Room is kicked in by Horst, who enters with his carbine shouldered and ready.

HORST

Found you, you little piece of shit!

Aloysius and his friends all abruptly turn around.

HORST

It’s all over, you slant-eyed little cocksucker.  Say goodbye to your friends, ‘cuz you’re going to a site so black it blots out the sun.

LITTLE WILLIE

(stepping in front of Aloysius)

Hey, you wouldn’t hurt little kids, would you?

LITTLE MICHIKO

Yeah, mister.  Don’t make us cry.

HORST

On the contrary, I’ll finish the two of you first.  One of the first things I learned contracting for Darkriver over in Eye-rack is to shoot the rugrats first, ‘cuz otherwise you’re gonna go nuts chasing them where it’s hard for you to go.  So start thinking about what you’re gonna say to Jesus, you little shits, because…

Horst SHRIEKS and drops his carbine, which CLATTERS to the floor.  Cleo has snuck up behind him and bitten down deep on the back of his head.

Horst and Cleo struggle for a moment.  Horst’s face is a mask of horror and pain.  He reaches into his belt and pulls out a knife, which he manages to stab backward into Cleo’s right kidney.

Cleo emits a high-pitched SCREAM, muffled by the fact her teeth are still locked into the back of Horst’s head.  Cleo falls down backward, Horst toppling backward onto her.  The both lie still, as if dead.

ALOYSIUS

(screaming)

Fuck!  Fuck! Fuck!

Aloysius rips off his headset, and surges forth.  He picks up Horst’s carbine, steps over the bodies of Horst and Cleo, and leaves the room.

JIREEN

(heading after him)

Aloysius!

int. the roundhosue – day

Aloysius is striding grimly across the roundhouse floor to the railcar.  Jireen is several yards behind him, following.

int. the railcar – day

Helga is astride Madder on the table.  The are copulating.  Helga whips off the negligee is she is wearing and is naked.  She reaches out and pulls up one of Madder’s hands, putting it on her breast.

Aloysius hurtles into the railcar, holding the carbine, which he duly points at Helga and Madder.

Helga SHRIEKS and dismounts from Madder and scuttles into one corner of the railcar, where she cowers.  Aloysius keeps the weapon trained on Madder, who rolls over to face Aloysius.

ALOYSIUS

Jeremiah Madder!  I always knew you were a motherfucker, but I never…

(shakes his head in disgust)

…it’s over for you.  Completely.

extreme close-up:  the trigger of the carbine

Aloysius places his index finger inside the carbine’s trigger guard.

back to scene

Jireen bounds into the car.

JIREEN

Aloysius, don’t!

ALOYSIUS

Jireen if you don’t want to watch this then don’t.  But think about all the horror…

flashback:  colleen’s half-implosion

COLLEEN, in Invisible Girl, Heroine half-implodes.

aloysius (v.o.)

…all the suffering…

flashback:  rape of jill-prime

JOHN SAMSON raping JILL-PRIME in Grnosis Dreamscapes.

ALOYSIUS (V.O.)

…all the misery behind which this man stood…

flashback:  death of connie morton

Connie collapses and dies on stage at the end of singing the “Libera me.”

back to scene

ALOYSIUS

…and you’ll know why this story can only end this way.

JIREEN

No, Aloysius, please.  You’re better than this.

Aloysius turns his head to Jireen.

shot:  aloysius’s p.o.v.

Jireen is looking Aloysius straight in the eye.

JIREEN

You’re better than this.

dissolve to:

flashback:  aloysius’s p.o.v.

MAUREEN CREEL, on the abandoned stage in Gnosis Dreamscapes is looking Aloysius straight in the eye.

maureen

Please, Aloysius.  You’re better than this.

back to scene

Aloysius and Jireen are staring at each other.  Aloysius drops his carbine’s aim slightly.

Madder whips a .45 Colt M1911A1 out of his uniform jacket.  Lying on his stomach on the table he draws a quick bead on Aloysius.  There is an audible SNICK the pistol’s safety catch being disengaged.

Suddenly there is  HISS as a web shoots out and snares Madder’s pistol, which is then yanked out of his hand

Aloysius glances down, then noticing that Madder is attempting to scramble off the table, re-assumes his bead on Madder.

Cleo calms walks into the body of the car.  The whole front of her shirt and part of the side is stained with blood.  She otherwise looks calm, healthy, almost radiant.

cleo

I finally figured out what was wrong with me.  I just needed to eat.

JIREEN

That Federal agent guy?

CLEO

Sucked down his brain.  Not really to my taste, and not that nourishing, but enough.

MADDER

Monster!  Whore!  Abomination!

ALOYSIUS

(threatening Madder with the carbine)

Kindly shut the fuck up.  This shit is really hard for me to process.

JIREEN

But your wound?

CLEO

Goddesses heal very quickly.  Especially when properly fed.

ALOYSIUS

I could tell something really weird was up with you.

JIREEN

Well you healed just in time to deal with the creep.

CLEO

Oh, I shall deal with him.   His thug — whose name was Horst by the way — left me with what he knew when I ate his mind.  The creep is one Jeremiah Madder.  And I know his game.  Which I’ll be happy to write down, explaining in detail a bomb plot he masterminded.

ALOYSIUS

Which killed a little girl, no?

JIREEN

Looks like we’ll be leaving an interesting document for someone to find.

MADDER

For the love of Christ, at least let me die like a soldier.

ALOYSIUS

Sorry, soldier, but you heard the lady.  I’m better than that.

CLEO

Leave him to me.  I’ll wrap him up.

(approaching Madder, who cowers)

Lucky for you, I’m sated at the moment.

INT. THE ROUNDHOUSE – DAY

Aloysius, Cleo, Jireen, and Helga are walking toward the van.  Helga has been dressed in warm but not qutie well-fitting clothes.

CLEO

I know where I must go.  Back to where I first encountered the spiders.  Fate calls me there.

JIREEN

Well, you’re in luck there.

CLEO

How?

ALOYSIUS

Apparently Corwin, even back in his professoring days, had a strong sense that he might have to flee rather suddenly.  To that end, he left a number of caches containing documents and money, as well as the forty kilos of extra matrix with which we were able to make Helga here. He and his assistant Anwei Li hit one when they fled last year, but he was able to tip us off to the existence of another one.  We also have three passport blanks, presumably good enough to get us out of the country since they got Corwin and Anwei out, quite a bit of currency and also sonme gold.  Very strange gold, really.  All in guieneas minted in the era of George III.  Not sure Corwin would have so many of these, but he did, and we’re going to make use of them.  Jireen and I need to see Corwin, who’s gone to ground in Southeast Asia.  Corwin owes me some answers, and also technical help in finally disjoining Jireen.  Since we have a third passport blank, we can help you as well.  Willie and Michiko will have to wait a while in their age-regressed forms, but I’m sure, with Corwin’s assistance, if we can shake it out of him, that we’ll be able to return and get them back to their old selves in due time,

HELGA

What about me?

JIREEN

Well, you’re young, you’re beautiful and…

(hands her a heavy bag)

…thanks to the commercial success of Professor Corwin’s ancestors, you’re now also capitalized.  It’s a big world, Helga.  Why not go out and have a life in it?

HELGA

But I have no ties, no memories…

ALOYSIUS

(countenance darkening)

Perhaps you should consider that a blessing.

INT. THE RAILCAR – DAY

Madder is hanging from the ceiling, tightly bound in spider silk, helpless.  His uniform tunic is still largely visible.  He is wearing no pants, though, and his cock is hanging limply down.

Special Agent-in-Charge MacNeil regards him curiously.  Madder hangs his head.

MacNeil turns around and looks at a laptop computer, which is playing the video of Madder’s encounter with Helga in an an endless loop.

MADDER (O.S.)

(through computer speakers)

I have done terrible things…arranged to kill people, even a little girl.

MacNeil mutes the computer’s speakers.

MACNEIL

It may interest you to know that we received a tip.  A tip full of details interesting details about how a certain assassination was performed.  It was a remarkably detailed tip, sent anonymously as an e-mail to my office.  So full of detail, one would almost think it was sent from the inside.  I realize that perhaps you suspect your man Horst.  Well, we can rule that out, because we found what’s left of him inside a mechanical room in this abandoned roundhouse, and I assure you he’s quite thoroughly dead.  Something sucked the brain right out of the back of his skull, in fact.   In any event, although the tip was uncorroborated, I have men working to corroborate it right now, and I suspect that when that’s done, you’ll have more embarassing things to worry about than a little bit of homemade pornography.

MacNeil looks over his shoulder at the computer.

MACNEIL

Pretty dame.  Care to tell us who she is?

Madder looks up and glares silently at MacNeil.

MacNeil shuts the computer.

MACNEIL

Not that it matters very much.  I think there will soon be enough for this case to end.  And it’s a break for me, because when it is, I’ll be a Deputy Director at the very least.  As for you…

MacNeil bends over and picks up something off the floor.  He holds it up to Madder’s collar.

EXTREME CLOSE UP: Madder’s collar

MacNeil is holding up a silver eagle, which matches a tear where it has apparently been ripped off Madder’s collar.

back to scene

MACNEIL

…it looks like someone has already drawn their conclusion.

MacNeil turns to leave.  As he is leaving, he meets Agent Smith on the way out.

SMITH

Sir?

MACNEIL

Get a team in here, cut that sorry bastard down, and take him into custody.  Oh, and Smith, one more thing.

SMITH

Yes, chief?

MACNEIL

For chrissakes, cover him up when you do so.

Back to top.

ext. sarawak rainforest – day

Cleo, Aloysius, and Jireen are walking through the rainforest, with Cleo in the lead.  Cleo seems serene and cool.  Aloysius sweats and occasionally swats a bug.

ALOYSIUS

Are you sure you know where you’re going, Cleo.  It’s been two hours since we left the boat, and now it seems that our GPS has just fritzed out.

CLEO

We are very near.

As Cleo walks along, she begins shedding clothing.

JIREEN

Uh, Cleo…

CLEO

They will want to see me this way.

ALOYSIUS

Well, I’m sure everyone wants to see you that way, but really, is it wise?

CLEO

I feel perfectly comfortable

As Cleo drops clothing in her path, Jireen stops to pick it up.  Cleo stops, turns, and smiles.

CLEO

You needn’t bother collecting, unless you want it for yourself.  I for one will never be needing it or any other clothing again.

Aloysius and Jireen trade looks.  Cleo goes on, continuing to undres until she is naked.  She then slips through a bush and seems to disappear.

Aloysius and Jireen look at eac other, somwhat alarmed.  They struggle through the brush where they saw Cleo disappear.

Aloysius and Jireen emerge behind Cleo, who is standing in a clearing.  Facing her are the people of TONDELAYO’S nation, with the WISE WOMAN in front.  They are prostrate.  The men have bows and spears.

One of older men looks up when Aloysius and Jireen enter.  He gives a SHOUT.  All the men rise, bringing bows and spears and training them on Aloysius and Jireen.

(Note:  hereafter in this and following rain-forest scenes, dialog written with the notation SUBTITLE is in the language of Tondalayo’s people, with English subtitles.)

cleo (subtitle)

(raising a hand, commandingly)

Stop!  These are my friends.  The woman is named Jireen.  The man is named Aloysius Kim.

The bows and spears are lowered.

CLEO (SUBTITLE)

(more gently)

I would never have been able to return, had it not been for their help.

The people bow reverently.

Tondalayo comes forward.  She and Cleo embrace.

The WISE WOMAN approaches Jireen and Aloysius.  Tondelayo follows to interpret.

The Wise Woman speaks few words.

tondalayo

The Wise Woman welcomes you, and thanks you for bringing Cleo back to us.

JIREEN

Please tell her we were glad to do it.

Tondalayo interpets this.  The Wise Woman nods.  Then she looks into Jireen’s eyes for a few moments.  She concentrates and frowns, as if there is something she does not understand.  Then she speaks a few sentences.

TONDALAYO

The Wise Woman says that you are one of the strangest women she has ever seen.  She says that it is as if there are two spirits in you, rather than one.

JIREEN

Please tell her she sees much, but that it would take a long time to explain.

Tondalayo interprets this.  The Wise Woman moves on and looks at Aloysius.  Then she speaks a few sentences more.  Tondalayo interprets.

tondlayo

The Wise Woman says that she sees you carrying a terrible burden.

ALOYSIUS

She sees a lot, indeed.

The Wise Woman lifts her voice and speaks commandingly to the entire people.  Tondalayo interpets.

ToNDALAYO

We are commanded.  We are to return with the goddess and her guests to our village and prepare to feast, and meanwhile to make our guests comfortable in any way we can.

ALOYSIUS

(swatting another bug)

Some sort of a bath would be nice.

JIREEN

(eyeing a muscular young warrior-type)

I hope they mean it about comfort.

int. a hut – night

The interior of the hut is dimly lit by flickering firelight.

Jireen is astride YOUNG WARRIOR #1, who in turn lies on a reed mat.  Both are naked. They are copulating vigorously.  Beside them is a a backpack Jireen brought with her.

YOUNG WARRIOR #2 enters the hut and cocks his head curiously.  Jireen spies him.

(Note:  Jireen continues to copulate with Young Warrior #1 while she speaks through this scene.)

JIREEN

Oh, interested in me, are you?

Jireen reaches behind herself and strokes her anus.

JIREEN

There might be room for you too.

Young Warrior #2 looks puzzled and doubtful.

JIREEN

Oh, yes there is.  C’mon.  Don’t be shy.

Jireen reaches into her backpack and comes up with something lubricating, which she expertly spreads on herself.

JIREEN

Yes you can.

Young Warrior #2 removes his loincloth and takes a position behind Jireen.  She reaches behind her and begin guiding him in.

JIREEN

Oh, but can I…can I…

She guides his cock into her anus with a GASP and a bit of a grimace.

JIREEN

Oh, yes I can…oh yeah…

Jireen and the two Young Warrios proceed in double-penetration sex.

JIREEN

Yes we can…yes we can…yes we can… ah…ah

int. a different hut – night

This hut is likewise lit by flickering firelight.  Aloysius is sitting on some sort of crude bench next to Tondelayo. JUNGLE SOUNDS (insects, the occasional monkey or bird, etc.) can be heard in the background.

tondelayo

So you know Cleo?

ALOYSIUS

Yes.  She and I were at Gnosis College together.

ToNDELAYO

What sort of place is that?

ALOYSIUS

You had teachers, once, right?  Missionaries.

Tondelayo makes a face.

ALOYSIUS

Yes.  Sometimes I feel the same way.  Anyway, the college is a place where many students and many teachers gather together.  I was there for four years.

ToNDELAYO

That is a very long time.

ALOYSIUS

It often felt like it.

ToNDELAYO

Don’t you like it here better?

ALOYSIUS

Well, there is much I have to do back there.  I am studying now to become a doctor.

ToNDELAYO

That is like a priest, no?

ALOYSIUS

Something like.

ToNDELAYO

Would you like to couple, Aloysius Kim?

ALOYSIUS

Excuse me?

ToNDELAYO

You are so far from home.  You must be lonely.  And to me you look like such a strong, powerful man.

ALOYSIUS

Uh, it’s about good food and exercise.  I suppose I am a little lonely.   But, I’m afraid I don’t really want to couple.

ToNDELAYO

(pouting)

You do not find me pretty?

ALOYSIUS

No. You are very pretty.  It is just that I feel bound to someone else.

ToNDELAYO

Oh.  I see.  Will you at least take something to drink.

ALOYSIUS

Sure.

Tondelayo gets up, goes to the other side of the hut and pours something from a skin vessel into a wooden cup, which she hands out to Aloysius.

ToNDELAYO

I think you will like this.  It is special to our people.

ALOYSIUS

Thank you.

Aloysius takes a sip, then hands to cup to Tondelayo, who also takes a sip.

ALOYSIUS

It is very…sweet.  Strange, like some sort of fruit that I have never tasted before.

ToNDELAYO

I think you will enjoy it very much.

ALOYSIUS

Yes, I… feel somewhat strange.

Tondelayo sits down next to him on the bench.

ToNDELAYO

Do you feel sick?

ALOYSIUS

No I feel sort of…hot…and some kind of…urge.

Through his shorts, Aloysius is becoming visibly erect.

ALOYSIUS

What did you give me to drink?

ToNDELAYO

Sometimes, Aloysius Kim, it is better not to ask questions and just accept things.

Tondelayo begins fumbling with the closures on Aloysius’s shorts (which are, of course, unfamiliar to her).  After a few seconds fumbling, Aloysius helps her undo them.  She lowers Aloysius’s shorts.

Aloysius is massive (all the more so because of his self-enhancements in Progress in Research.)

ToNDELAYO

Oh…by all the gods!

Tondelayo helps Aloysius off with his shirt, then pulls off her loincloth and sits on his lap.  They kiss and caress each other for a while, then Tondelayo mounts Aloysius.

ToNDELAYO

Oh…so wonderfully large.  But can I…Uhhh…yes I can.

Tondelayo and Aloysius begin to copulate.

ToNDELAYO

Where are your people from, Aloysius Kim?

ALOYSIUS

My parents came from Korea to America.

ToNDELAYO

I want to go to Korea!  Women must be so happy in Korea!  Uh…uh…

ALOYSIUS

Well, I’m not sure…

The camera pans back as Aloysius and Tondelayo continue to copulate.  Tondelayo continues in mounting sexual excitetment.

The JUNGLE SOUNDS in the background become louder as she does so.  A few moments before climaxing, Tondelayo leans forward and whispsers something to Aloysius that cannot be heard over the noise.

ext. the village – day

It is close to sunrise.  Aloysius is walking with Tondalayo up to a hut.

close-up: within another hut

NATIVE GIRL #1 and NATIVE GIRL #2 peek out of a window, looking at Tondalayo and Aloysius walking by.  Native Girl #1 points at Aloysius, then makes a gesture with her hands, holding them about nine inches apart.

Native Girl #2 GIGGLES.

back to scene

Aloysius and Tondalayo arrive at the entrace of a hut.

ToNDALAYO

You should wait here while I wake her.

A few quickly whispered words and a GROAN are heard from within.  Then Tondalayo emerges with Jireen.  Jireen appears to be hastily pulling on her clothes as she exits.

JIREEN

Were it not Cleo, I would not be getting up at this hour.

They walk off toward a larger, more centrally-located hut.

INT. THE CENTRAL HUT – DAY

Cleo is just rising from a bath in a wooden tub.  She is attended by the Wise Woman.  Aloysius, Jireen, and Tondalayo enter.

Cleo steps out onto a woven mat and begins to drip dry.

CLEO

Jireen.  Aloysius.  You have come to see me off.

Cleo kisses Jireen and then Aloysius on each cheek.

ALOYSIUS

From what Tondalayo has explained, for the last time.

CLEO

It is in the nature of what I am becoming.

JIREEN

Cleo, aren’t you afraid?  Horrified a little, even?

CLEO

This is not a monster movie, Jireen.  In Hollywood entertainments people who undergo transformations into something other than human are horrified.  But I…feel nothing but joy at teh prospect of my transformation.  It may seen strange to understand, but more and more I come to feel that really being me means no longer being human.  I shall have the joy of joining a race of gods who live here in the forest and protect Tondalayo’s people.  And in assimilating the thoughts of others, I shall have a kind of identity that no human could hope to have.

JIREEN

Except an unusual sort of human like me, maybe.

CLEO

Yes, I can see your point.  But I don’t think there’s much point in my trying to recreate the circumstances under which you were born.

ALOYSIUS

(under his breath)

Cthulhu…

CLEO

Aloysius, you can hardly know the orgasmic pleasure of the hunt, the extraordinary perceptions of the race I am joining.  I go without regret.  Remember me for what I was, but do not mourn.  Think for a minute.  What would become of me even if I wanted to rid myself of this transformation, even if I could?  I would go back the states.  I would work hard, get some sort of professional degree, then some sort of boring professional job.  Get married to some boring professional guy.  Live in a suburb in a McMansion with a brace of S-U-V’s and perhaps a brace of kids going to soccer practice.  Try not to grow old but grow old anyway.  Wither away and die, like all human beings.  Why?  Why even bother?  Here I will be an immortal member of an immortal race knowing joys that no human does.

ALOYSIUS

You were a friend.

JIREEN

The best of friends.

wise woman (subtitle)

It is time, lady.

CLEO

And I am running out of time.  May the gods watch over you both.  I beg you not to follow — my people-to-be may not be able to tolerate it.

Cleo embraces Jireen and Aloysius in turn.  Then she leaves with Tondalayo and the Wise Woman.

EXT. THE VILLAGE – DAY

Two DRUMMERS lead a procession consisting of themselves, Cleo, the Wise Woman, and Tondalayo through the village.  Lining their paths are villagers in prostrate positions.

The drummers DRUM and the Wise Woman CHANTS as they walk slowly away.

Aloysius and Jireen watch them from the Central Hut.

ext. a small clearing deep in the rainforest – day

The Two Drummers, the Wise Woman, Tondalayo, and Cleo all enter the clearing.  At one end a naked man is bound between two trees, his arms outstretched.  The man is hooded.

WISE WOMAN (SUBTITLE)

We are here, goddess.  We have prepared the sacrifice for your transformation.

CLEO (SUBTITLE)

I thank you, Wise Woman.  May peace and prosperity attend your people.

The Two Drummers, the Wise Woman and Tondalayo all prostrate themselves at Cleo’s feet.

CLEO (SUBTITLE)

Tondalayo…

tondalayo (subtitle)

Yes, goddess?

CLEO (SUBTITLE)

For what little time remains to me as a human, do not call me “goddess” or prostrate yourself.  Stand up.

Tondalayo stands up.  She and Cleo embrace tightly.

CLEO (SUBTITLE)

Whatever form I take in the end, Tondalayo, I shall not forget you.

tondalayo (subitle)

Nor I you, Cleo.

The Wise Woman rises.

WISE WOMAN (SUBTITLE)

I humbly beg you to complete what you must, goddess.

Cleo walks over to the naked man.  She removes his hood.

It is ULU.

(Note: Ulu is the young man Cleo frolicked about with in Study Abroad.)

Cleo GASPS.  She turns around

shot:  cleo’s p.o.v.

The Two Drummers, Tondalayo, and the Wise Woman have vanished.

back to scene

CLEO (Subtitle)

Ulu!

ulu (subtitle)

Goddess.

CLEO (subtitle)

But, why you?

ULU (subtitle)

It was decided by the elders of our people.

CLEO (SUBTITLE)

My heart feels heavy, when I think back on some of the happy times we spent together…

Cleo kneels down.  She takes Ulu’s cock in her mouth and sucks on it a few times, before rising again.

CLEO (subtitle)

You do not feel fear, or regret?

ULU (SUBTITLE)

There is no greater honor than to be fed to a goddess.  Today there is no happier man among our people than me.  I beg you to take me, goddess.

CLEO (SUBTITLE)

There is no more fitting reward than that you should live on forever in me.

Cleo circles behind Ulu, enveloping him in her arms.  Ulu closes his eyes.

Cleo sinks her teeth into the back of Ulu’s head, and begins to suck.  Ulu’s face contorts in pain for a moment, then relaxes, then takes on a look of ecstasy.

EXTREME CLOSE UP: ulu’s cock

It goes erect swiftly.  Ulu ejaculates.

back to scene

Cleo continues to suck.  A split appears in the skin of her back, which widens until it runs from the back of her head to the cleavage of her buttocks.

A huge spider emerges from Cleo’s skin, lifting out one leg at a time, positioning itself on Ulu’s body.

Cleo’s human skin and hair fall away like a husk at the end.

Spider-Cleo releases Ulu and clambers down, then HISSES and waves its first two limbs in triumph, before skittering aay into the rainforest.

ext. a boat beside a river bank in the rainforest – day

Aloysius is helping Jireen into the boat.  Tondalayo stands and watches.

ALOYSIUS

Did Cleo achieve what she came for?

ToNDALAYO

There is no doubt she has joined the gods now.

JIREEN

Thank you for being a good friend to her, Tondalayo.

ToNDALAYO

You are welcome, Jireen.

Aloysius pushes the boat away from the bank.

ALOYSIUS

Goodbye, Tondalayo.

ToNDALAYO

I hope you have luck in setting down your burden, Aloysius Kim.

Aloysius starts the boat’s motor and he and Jireen head off down the river.

ext. the boat going along the river – day

Aloysius is steering and looking pensive.  Jireen looks forward and happy.

ALOYSIUS

Jireen?

JIREEN

Yes?

ALOYSIUS

Do you know what it means, among Tondelayo’s people, when a woman says to a man, “I am opening my fist for you?”

Jireen looks momentarily surprised, but masks her expression.

JIREEN

No, I’m afraid I really don’t.

ALOYSIUS

I see.

Back to top.

int. a house in a kampong – day

(Note:  In this scene and those that follows, Corwin’s facial features have been slightly altered.  He now looks somewhat Chinese, or at least Eurasian.)

Corwin is writing at his desk.  The Beautiful Malay Girl enters.

beautiful malay girl

The guests you said were coming are here, sir.

CORWIN

Show them in, please.

The Beautiful Malay Girl bows and exits.  A few minutes later Aloysius and Jireen enter.

CORWIN

(rising, bowing slightly)

Ah.  This must be Miss Jireen and Mr. Kim.  How do you do?

Jireen extends a hand, which Corwin takes and kisses.  Corwin then extends a hand, as if to shake hands with Aloysius.  Aloysius does not reciprocate.

CORWIN

Ah, I see.  Well, I understand that you have come a long we and we have much to discuss.

ALOYSIUS

Indeed.

CORWIN

Won’t you sit down?

Aloysius and Jireen sit, as does Corwin.  Corwin strikes a little gong on his writing desk.  The Beautiful Malay Girl appears.

CORWIN

Refreshments, please.  Our guests have come a long way.

The Beautiful Malay Girl bows and leaves.

JIREEN

You look different from what I recall, Professor Corwin.

CORWIN

Under present circumstances, I thought it would be wise to alter my appearance with  little judicious plastic surgery.  Also, I shall soon be taking up a new situation, in which my altered appearance will be an asset.  But I take it you did not come all this way to discuss that.

ALOYSIUS

Moira Weir.  And the disjoinment of Jireen.

Corwin sits silently for a moment before speaking.

CORWIN

You must understand about Moira Weir that I did not put her up to the sequence of events that brought about her fate and that of Nanetta Rector.  That was an improvisation of their own which I myself would absolutely not have permitted had it been proposed to me in advance.  Which is not to say that, in the larger picture, her fate was fortunate.

ALOYSIUS

You ask me to follow these riddles, Corwin?

CORWIN

No, Mr. Kim.  I do not ask you to believe me at all.  I can, however, arrange a meeting with someone who might be able to explain better, if you will trust me that far.

ALOYSIUS

Moira?  Is she alive?

CORWIN

As wish I could make it so simple as “alive” or “dead,” but just as we are no longer operating in a moral universe where human moral categories of “good” and “evil” make much sense, likewise the human metaphysical categories of “dead” or “alive” are not necessarily applicable.

Aloysius thinks shakes his head.  His expression is a mixture of confusion, anger, and grief.

CORWIN

I’m sorry, Mr. Kim, that I can’t give you a more straightforward answer right now.  But I might be able to better address your second issue.

ALOYSIUS

Disjoinment.

CORWIN

Yes.  Disjoinment.  I knew that the Apsinthion Protocol would have conjoinment as a possible outcome, but as always, didn’t see it as an experiment that I could in good conscience attempt.  It would seem that you young people are bolder than an oldster like myself.

ALOYSIUS

It was an emergency, Corwin.

CORWIN

Yes.  I have read your notes and I understand that.  Now normally I would not regard disjoinment as all that feasible, except that I understand that you used a variant of the protocol on a…duplicate of one of the conjoined individuals, is that right?

ALOYSIUS

That is my understanding.

CORWIN

Hmm.  I had heard rumors that of a group experimenting with this technology in Japan.  Highly illegally, of course.

ALOYSIUS

Whereas I am sure you had FDA approval for everything you did.

CORWIN

Well, there is no royal road to science, as someone once said.  In any event, it would seem that the technology was being developed by someone, and somehow it might have been used on the individual named Jill Keeney.

JIREEN

One of my mothers, so to speak.

CORWIN

So to speak.  So perhaps this indiviaul was one of your aunts?  In any event, with enough information preserved in the sample, it might be possible to run a differentiation job that would allow a disjoinment of the conjoined individual.

ALOYSIUS

And we would thus have Jill and Maureen back.

CORWIN

Yes.  Did you bring a sample of the Apsinthion product?

ALOYSIUS

How could I forget?

Aloysius reaches inside his shirt.  He takes out a lanyard, on the end of which is a tiny container.  He rises and walks across the room, handing the container to Corwin.

ALOYSIUS

Here.

CORWIN

I shall have to analyze it.  The sample might be too degraded for the procedure to work. The procedure will take some time, a day or so at least.

The Beautiful Malay Girl enters with a tray full of refreshments.

Aloysius takes something.  Jireen takes something too, but seems to be remote, staring into space.

ALOYSIUS

Given how far we have come, I am sure we can wait.  Now, about Moira?

CORWIN

We would need to take a trip down to the beach for that.

ext. a deserted beach – day

Corwin, Aloysius, and Jireen are stading at the water’s edge.  Aloysius is barefoot and wearing shorts. The sun is setting in the distance.   Corwin is holding some sort of CO2-powered gun.

JIREEN

Such a beautiful place!  Strange that there should be no one out.

CORWIN

The locals do not like this place.  There are legends that it is haunted.  The legends are more true than false.  Watch.

Corwin points his gun out to sea and fires it with a POP.

ALOYSIUS

What is that?

CORWIN

A chemical trace.  We need to make contact with someone.  We cannot use radio — in salt water, Monsiuer Volt and Madame Ampere are not your friends.

ALOYSIUS

I see you have a fondness for Charles Stross.

CORWIN

One has to pass the long evenings somehow.  Sonar might be possible, but who we are trying to contact has a prejudice in favor of molecular communication.

The three wait for a few moments. Then a bubbling appears some distance offshore.

A figure emerges from the water.  It is LI ANWEI, but transformed.  Her legs have become like long fins, and her hands have full webbing before the fingers.  Her skin has changed color to bluish green.  She has gill-slits on the sides of her neck.  She is naked.

Anwei beckons to Aloysius

CORWIN

Wade out to her.  Her voice will not carry far.

Aloysius wades out through the surf and faces Anwei.

anwei

You are Aloysius Kim.

ALOYSIUS

Yes.  You remember me?  From Corwin’s lecture.

ANWEI

It is more that Moira remembers you.  Fondly, Aloysius, know that.

ALOYSIUS

She is alive?

ANWEI

It is not so simple, Aloysius.  Moira chose to surrender her distinct identity as an individual, as did Nanetta, to communicate something about humanity to those who dwell beneath.  To try to show them that humanity is not their enemy, to show that even in its errors, it can learn.

ALOYSIUS

She is dead, then.

ANWEI

Not so.  Everything she was, every experience she had, lives on with us.  She is transformed, just as I am transforming.  Her consciousness lives on in a realm of joy such as humans do not know.  It may seem hard that she had to sacrifice what she was.  But the ones who live beneath took note of what she did.  They knew that she overcame terrible fear to do what she thought she had to do.  And they were moved.  Moira might be lost to you, Aloysius Kim.  But what she did might have saved humanity, or at least bought it some time.

ALOYSIUS

Who are these ones beneath?

ANWEI

An ancient intelligence or collection of intelligences.  I do not myself know their origins.  They seem to be more-or-less benignly inclined toward humanity and have been watching it over many centuries.  They developed various means of communication, including forms of tactile contact and the Apsinthion Protocol, which Corwin helped to develop.  They are afraid, though, as human technological progress continues, that they or humanity will come to harm.

ALOYSIUS

And Moira is now in some sense among them.

ANWEI

In a sense.  Proper explanation would require much deeper contact.

ALOYSIUS

How is that possible?

ANWEI

It takes a great deal of time — on is in effect in contact with a very different kind of intelligence from human.  Some humans go beneath, but it is quite risky.  Many never return.   I myself, though perhaps more mentally compatible with them than many…

(looks down at her tranformed body, shows her webbed hands)

…can never really return to the world of human beings.  Others go mad from the mental strain of contact.

ALOYSIUS

I might risk that.

ANWEI

If you did, you might become an ambassador or sorts to the human species, but it would mean being gone for many years.  And the various risks would still apply to you.

Aloysius turns back to the shore and looks at Jireen.

ALOYSIUS

I am not sure.  I have obligations here.

ANWEI

You know now how we are reached.

Anwei dives beneath the surf and vanishes.

Aloysius walks back to the water’s edge. He is met by Jireen

JIREEN

What did she tell you?

Aloysius looks at her and shakes his head sadly, then walks on.

ALOYSIUS

We have work to do in the lab.

int. corwin’s sarawak laboratory – day

The laboratory looks a good deal like Corwin’s Gnosis offsite, with an Apsinthion protocol apparatus in the middle, a control bench, a reconstitution pool, and a set of lab glassware to one side.

Jireen is looking over the apparatus curiously.  Corwin and Aloysius are working over the laboratory.

CORWIN

Just one more quick spectral test…and…good!

ALOYSIUS

Amazing luck.

CORWIN

Indeed.

ALOYSIUS

So did you hear that, Jireen?  Enough of the sample’s integrity survived that we can do a disjoinment.

CORWIN

Indeed.  I am somewhat surprised, but the protocol turns out to have been more robust that I would have thought.

(turning to Jireen)

We can begin immediately, if you want.

JIREEN

No.

CORWIN

Not ready?  Feel free to take some time if you wish.  All the time you need.  We’ve stabilized the sample. There’s no hurry.

JIREEN

No.  I don’t mean that I’m not ready.  I mean that I’m not going to go through with this procedure of yours.

ALOYSIUS

What?

JIREEN

Aloysius, I know what you think you have to do.  But I am me now.  One whole person.  With two sets of memories, perhaps.   But I like existing as I am.

ALOYSIUS

But Jireen, there are two young woman whose place you are existing in!

JIREEN

And they’re still here, Aloysius.  Everything they ever were.

ALOYSIUS

But two different women!  With lives and aspirations and families of their own.

JIREEN

And now I’m them!  I will not be pulled apart, torn in half as I see it, just because of some previous condition of their existence.

ALOYSIUS

But what right have you?

CORWIN

(aside, to himself)

Fascinating…

JIREEN

I am a full, complete person.  No one who exists should be forced to give up their lives for someone else who doesn’t.  And I won’t.  Indeed, I’ll tell you something more, Aloysius.  I feel more full full than either Jill or Maureen ever did.  You who were never conjoined with anyone else cannot imagine what it is like…how amazing it can feel…to have not just one person’s desires and knowledge, but two.  Two feel what it like to enjoy not one set of lovers but two.  Two meld not just one set of fantasies but two, to let them play within you and interact.  I’ve had a long time to do this, Aloysius, and I’ve decided that I love it.

ALOYSIUS

(shaking his head)

This is madness, Jireen.

JIREEN

Madness?  Let me show you madness.

Jireen strides across the room and seizes Aloysius in an embrace.  She kisses him hard, hungrily.  Aloysius’s eyes grow wide with amazement before he manages to pull away.

JIREEN

Do you know where that came from, Aloysius?  That’s from the Maureen in me.  Do you know, even understand, how much she longed for you, from the first time she even talked to you during freshman year.  But poor Maureen…

int. a high school corridor – flashback – day

An adolescent Maureen Creel, a bit dumpy, ill-groomed, in braces and acne-ridden, walks down a corridor.  Some mean girls appear to be taunting her.

jireen (v.o.)

All her life she saw herself as just an ugly duckling, even when she grew up to be not one.  She never dared imagine she could actually have someone she wanted.  Invisible girl!  You’d know what an astonishingly appropriate role that was for her, if only you knew how many times she longed to just be invisible.

int. a dormitory room – flashback – day

A BIG HUNKY ATHLETE  walks in, apparently from the shower, warpped up to the waist in a towel.  JILL KEENEY slips out from behind the door, naked and faces him.

The athlete looks suprised.  Jill smirks and strips away his towel, then leaps up on him, wrapping her legs around his hips, and kissing him.

jireen (v.o.)-

Glamorous athletic Jill, however, had no problems with her self-confidence, or with taking what she desired.

INT. CORWIN’S SARAWAK LABORATORY – DAY

JIREEN

So you see, Aloysius, between the two halves of me, there’s no trouble coming out and saying that I want you.  And I think you wanted Maureen, too, near the end, as you came away from your hopeless quest for Moira.  I could sense it…we were so close, Aloysius…if only fate.  But there is me, and heart in here that beats for you.

Jireen reaches out and takes Aloysius’s hand.  She pulls it into her shirt, placing it against her skin.

JIREEN

And not just a warm heart.

Jireen shifts Aloysius hand so that it cups her breast.

JIREEN

Better than either woman would have been alone, no Aloysius?

extreme close-up: jireen’s and aloysius’s faces

Jireen places her lips within an inch of Aloysius’s.  As she speaks, she nibbles at and kisses him.

JIREEN

And I have a better idea than this disjoinment that you propose.  We go through the Protocol together Aloysius.  You and I conjoin and come out as one being.  An amazing being, beyond male and female.  All of your amazing intellect and skills.  All of Jill’s fire and determination.  All of Maureen’s loving warmth.  It would be the most erotic, the most intimate thing any man and and woman had ever done together.  And as one we’d…

back to scene

Aloysius pulls away from Jireen abruptly.

ALOYSIUS

Stop!  This is insane!  Jireen, what is wrong with you!  You’re proposing to…to just murder people right and left in the name of creating some sort of freakish…

JIREEN

(shouting)

Freakish!  Is that what I am to you, Aloysius, some sort of freak?

ALOYSIUS

That’s not what I meant.

JIREEN

Well what did you mean?  How can you do this Aloysius?  How can you just pull away like that?

ALOYSIUS

There’s a right thing to do here, Jireen, and you know it.

JIREEN

How can you do this, Aloysius?  How can you just play around with these technologies, transform people’s lives in incalculable ways, and then act as if you can hit the reset button on life?

ALOYSIUS

It’s not your life, Jireen!  And my life isn’t yours either.

JIREEN

You’re so good at figuring things out Aloysius.  So expert.  So talented.

(wipes away a tear)

But the one thing you just don’t understand is people.  Fuck you.

Jireen storms out and slams the door.

An empty beaker rattles off a laboratory bench and shatters on the floor.

int. a corridor in corwin’s house – later – day

Jireen approaches a door, which she taps on softly.

JIREEN

Aloysius?

No answer.  Jireen taps again.

JIREEN

Aloysius, I’m sorry.

Jireen opens the door.

int. a bedroom in corwin’s house – day

The room is something of a mess, with an unmade bed, clothes on the floor, and so forth.  Jireen enters and looks around

JIREEN

Aloysius, are you here?

ext. the beach – day

Jireen is trotting down the beach.  She sees a pile of clothing near the waterline.

Jireen runs up to look at it.  It is the same clothing we saw Aloysius wearing in the last scene.  Corwin’s CO2 gun sits next to the pile.

Jireen looks out to sea.

Aloysius is wading out to sea, naked.  Anwei emerges from the sea.  Anwei extends a hand.  Aloysius nods.

Anwei embraces Aloysius.  His body begins to be enveloped in a blue-gree goo which flows from Anwei’s nipples.

JIREEN

Aloysius!  No!  Wait!  Please!

Jireen dashes frantically into the sea and begins wading out to where Aloysius is being enveloped.

Before she reaches Aloysius, he and Anwei dive beneath the waves and disappear.

JIREEN

(screaming)

No!

Jireen begins frantically feeling around in the water for where Aloysius might be, with no result.  Eventually she sits down in the water and begins to cry.

Corwin walks out into the water.

CORWIN

Jireen.  He was going there anyway.  His decision simply wasn’t your fault.

Jireen puts her face in her hands and sobs.  Corwin comforts her as best he can.

CORWIN

There is something to salvage from the situation.

Corwin holds out the vial that Aloysius gave him.

CORWIN

A lot of what she was was preserved.  With a sample from a close enough living individual…we could save one…with your help.

Jireen takes her hands away from her face and looks at the vial.

int. corwin’s sarawak laboratory – day

Jireen is naked in the Apsinthion Protocol tube.  She has vanished almost up to her breasts.  Her face is contorted in ecstasy.

JIREEN

Ah!  Ah! Ah!!!

Jireen vanishes entirely and disappears.

The plunger in the tube comes down and forces the fluid out.

int. corwin’s sarawak laboratory – later – day

Corwin is working hard among the glassware.

He opens a tube that allows a little fluid to flow from one vessel to another, then swiftly closes it.

Corwin picks up a flask, swirls it, and looks at it critically.

int. corwin’s sarawak laborary – still later – day

Jireen is kneeling by the reconstitution pool.  She has been wet recently, and is wearing a terry-cloth robe, while holding another robe.  Corwin stands by.

The water in the pool bubbles and fizzes.

Jill-Prime emerges from the pool, COUGHING and SPLUTTERING and GASPING for air.

Jireen helps pull her up, and wraps her in the robe.

jill-prime

Oh God.  Oh how horrible!  What’s happened to me?

JIREEN

Please.  You are safe now.

INT. A BEDROOM IN CORWIN’S HOUSE – DAY

Jill-Prime sits in bed, propped up on pillows.  Jireen on a chair next to her.

JILL-PRIME

So it all really happened?

JIREEN

I’m afraid it did.  I’m so sorry.  But the bad man who did these things to you…you can rest assured that he’s suffered retribution for what he did.

JILL-PRIME

My life is a nightmare.  An absurd joke.

JIREEN

No, Jill.  It isn’t.  You have some very important things to do.

JILL-PRIME

Such as?

JIREEN

The original Jill, the woman whom you were made a duplicate of…can’t be Jill anymore.

JILL-PRIME

Is she…dead?

JIREEN

Not exactly.  It’s more like she has an important mission she has to fulfill.

JILL-PRIME

(sobs)

I wanted to kill her, you know.  I think I would have, too.  I so badly wanted to take her place.  So badly.  It was so horrible of me.  I deserve to have suffered what I did.

JIREEN

That’s not true.  No one should have suffered what you did.  In any event, you now have a chance to go and fill the role you want.

JILL-PRIME

And just be Jill?

JIREEN

And just be Jill.  That’s all you hve to do.

JILL-PRIME

I don’t know if I can.  I mean, the horror that I’ve been through…who would I fool, really?

JIREEN

People miss and love Jill Keeney.  They’ll see what they want to see and accept you as Jill.  Believe me.

JILL-PRIME

Is that really enough?

jireen

There’s something more.

JILL-PRIME

What?

JIREEN

Bridget.

JILL-PRIME

Bridget?

JIREEN

She’s disappeared and something bad might be afoot.

JILL-PRIME

But…

JIREEN

Cleo has taken up a different path in life, but I think she will be fine.  Interestingly, Iris has also left Gnosis, taking up a role with an organization in Japan.  I spoke to her on the phone just this morning.  Her organization is powerful and cares a lot about her, and will probably help with Bridget.  But we could really use some help with someone back at Gnosis to follow up leads.

Jill-Prime’s face turns to a look of steely determination.

JILL-PRIME

Then I guess I have to go and take up being Jill Keeney.  Perhaps it won’t be so hard.  I certainly feel a good deal less twitchy seen I went through that strange liquid thing, whatever it was.  When can I leave?

JIREEN

Very soon.  Just one more thing, though.

JILL-PRIME

Which is?

JIREEN

When you get back to Rob, who really does miss you very, very much, it might not be too good to ask him too many questions about what he’s been doing.  If if perchance he does slip and tell you something you’d rather not hear, please try to refrain from killing him.  It’s for the best.

int. an airport coffee shop – day

Jireen and Corwin are having coffee.

JIREEN

Strange, but I can’t help but wish her the best of luck, being part of me.

CORWIN

You have no reservations?

jireen

I’m a different person from Jill Keeney.  I can’t have her life.  I leave that without regrets.

CORWIN

A long leap.

JIREEN

But I mourn for Aloysius.

CORWIN

He chose his fate, just like Moira and Nanetta.  Thought it is hard to understand, I suspect he may be happier with what he chose than not.

JIREEN

I hope you’re right.  But I shall always hate myself for the way we parted.

CORWIN

It might not have been parting.  The ways of those who live beneath are often strange, but they bear us no malice.  There is something that troubles me, though.

JIREEN

Which is?

CORWIN

Didn’t Aloysius tweak the protocol to perform an age regression on two of your friends?

JIREEN

(eyes growing wide)

Ohmigod.  And now…

CORWIN

Unfortuntate, maybe.  Or maybe not.

JIREEN

I guess they’ll just have to grow up.

int. a bathroom in rebecca waite’s house – day

Little Michiko and Little Willie are sitting together in a bubble bath.  Little Willie sits at one end of the tub, Little Michiko sits at the other.

LITTLE WILLIE

I really think that those guys should have called us by now, at least.  Don’t you think that Rebecca is getting tired of playing Mommy?

LITTLE MICHIKO

Oh, I wouldn’t fret that much, Willie.  She told me that we are still useful in her research.  Better even, perhaps, since children have such active imaginations.

LITTLE WILLIE

Hmm.  Even if we are twenty two year-old children.

LITTLE MICHIKO

(looking down at her chest, a little ruefully)

Though I guess I won’t be able to run my own cleavage test anymore, at least for a while.

LITTLE WILLIE

Don’t like your new form, Michiko?

LITTLE MICHIKO

Well, I don’t know.  It’s kind of sleek, actually.  No breasts weighing me down.  Nice smooth everything.  Has its advantages.

LITTLE WILLIE

Yeah, I guess you are still kinda cute.

LITTLE MICHIKO

(grinning)

Oh?

Little Michiko scoots down to the end of the tub where Little Willie is sitting.

LITTLE WILLIE

Hey!  Let go of that!

LITTLE MICHIKO

I didn’t know that happened to little boys!

(grinning)

You little perv!

LITTLE WILLIE

It happens to male fetuses in the womb, even.  Hey!

Little Michiko scoots up even closer to Little Willie and rubs noses with him affectionately.

LITTLE MICHIKO

You little perv!

LITTLE WILLIE

Uh, maybe it won’t be so bad, even if we have to grow up all over again?

INT. AN AIRPORT COFFEE SHOP – DAY

CORWIN

So what now, given that you’ve decided to be who you are?

JIREEN

I’m not sure.  I talk of a mission, but that was in part just to steel Jill.

CORWIN

Well, I’m taking up a new position soon.  Do you think you might be interested in a job?

Back to top.

int. a lecture hall at a chinese university – day

Corwin is lecturing to a large audience of students.  Jireen is sitting at a table next to him.

On a blackboard behind Corwin is written in Chinese “Hedonics,” “Posthumanity,” “Simulation Hypothesis.”

(Note: Corwin is lecturing in Chinese as well.  In the parts of this scene labeled with “Subtitle” we see subtitles for Corwin’s lecture.)

corwin (subtitle)

So we can see that the argument associated with a functionalist theory of mind is true, some very unsettling implications would seem to follow.

close-up:  Three chinese coeds

NAO, MEI, and AI sit next to each other in seats.  Nao is taking notes, Ai listening intently with a frown on her face, and Mei looks a little vacant, an is stroking her collarbone.

back to scene

Jireen points to her watch.

CORWIN (SUBTITLE)

I see that I am running out of time, so be sure to read Dennett Chapter Three and…

RUSTLE of students beginng to leave the lecture hall.

Fade out.

Back to top. Creative Commons License This work by Dr. Faustus at EroticMadScience.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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