OPENING: A stormy sky overhead of a small, medieval town. A few lanterns hang on the outside of each house, allows light to shine on the doors. Behind the houses sits a tall stone tower. Townspeople hurry home. <THUNDER RUMBLES overhead.> NARRATOR Welcome! To the beginning of a new journey. We find ourselves in a world based on tarot. <Lightning strikes once then twice. The third strike hits the tower’s roof. The roof catches fire and caves in. Below, the townspeople SCREAM.> NARRATOR (CONT'D) In this world, you will meet many people based on the archetypes found in tarot, and not all of them welcome you here. Be careful. Be wise. Remember the meanings. They will aid you in your quest. LIGHTNINGBORN EPISODE 1: THE FOOL FADE IN: VIEWER’S POV: The camera with an eye line of 45” from the ground. <The viewer’s EARS ARE RINGING. The townspeople WHISPER amongst themselves.> EXT. TOWER - NIGHT The townspeople crowd around the viewer. ABOVE: The full moon in a cloudy sky BELOW: Various surfaces - dirt and grass AT 3 and 9 o’clock: Brick houses At 6 o’clock: The confused faces of nosey townspeople
At 12 o’clock: The tower and its burning roof BEGIN STORY BRANCH #1 The viewer stands up at the sound of: THE HIEROPHANT Who are you? We’ve never seen your kind before. The game pauses. New card detected! <Sound cue: Tarot cards being shuffled. A tarot card appears on screen, shows an old man holding a staff. He gazes at the viewer, solemn.> NARRATOR Ah, yes. The hierophant. He’s upright this time. WORDS ON SCREEN: “The Hierophant. Usually a rule-follower, upholds traditions, and a good mentor. He’s someone you want on your side.” Off to the side: “GOT IT”. The game continues once viewer clicks “GOT IT”. The hierophant, known as SANTOS, is represented as a burly, cold-faced man. He smiles warmly at the viewer. He is the voice of authority here, labeled with a floating Hi over his head. Everyone stiffens as rain begins to fall. //Interactivity: The viewer can look at their own clothes and bruises, see notes of: “You look like you fell out of a tree.”// SANTOS Come inside. Let’s get you some food. Santos steps offers his hand and pulls the viewer up. He pats the dirt off of the viewer’s clothes. SANTOS (CONT'D) Go home, everyone! Everything is okay. <The townspeople grumble behind the viewer.> The townspeople begin to leave. Within moments, the viewer is alone with Santos.
SANTOS (CONT'D) My name is Santos. I have a spare bed in my home. What’s your name, kid? Fallon.
Santos smiles. SANTOS Wonderful, Fallon. C’mon. You can tell me where you came from. Santos leads the way. Rain begins to pelt down on them. They pick up the pace. //Interactivity: The viewer can walk around, even run away from Santos, but he cannot go far before he is blocked by an invisible wall and is turned back. The viewer cannot run ahead of Santos either.// //Interactivity: On screen, whenever viewer looks at the tower): Oddly inevitable. Don’t take it to heart.// Santos and the viewer continue down the path. At 3 and 9 o’clock: More houses. Townspeople closing doors. At 6 o’clock: The tower, fading in the distance. The fire is extinguished by the rain. At 12 o’clock: Santos’s home, marked by a GREEN LANTERN. EXT. SANTOS’S HOME Santos unlocked the door. Opens it and steps aside for the viewer to enter. //Interactivity: The viewer can run and explore Santos’s neat garden, but not without prompts from Santos: “Come on in!”, “Nothing to pick right now!”, “What about the mud?”// The viewer walks inside. The GREEN LANTERN turns a NORMAL ORANGE. INT. SANTOS'S HOME <The sound of the door locking behind the viewer. Santos’s home is cozy and dim. A fireplace CRACKLES nearby. A soup BOILS in a cauldron above the fireplace.>
At 3 o’clock: An empty wall At 6 o’clock: The closed, locked door At 9 o’clock: A cot hugs the far wall At 12 o’clock: The fireplace and the cauldron, a small table and two chairs, Santos in front of viewer Santos turns to viewer and brushes hair out of their face. SANTOS Fallon, huh? VIEWER Yes, sir. Thank you for letting me stay. SANTOS Not a problem. I know someone who needs help when I see them. Santos leads the way to the soup. SANTOS (CONT'D) Where are you from, Fal? Can I call you “Fal”? THREE CHOICES ON SCREEN: A. “I can’t remember anything.” B. “From here, like you.” C. “Sure, you can call me ‘Fal’.” The viewer walks to the small table. Takes a seat. Looks at Fal and shrugs. CHOICE A: SANTOS Where are you from, Fal? Can I call you “Fal”? VIEWER I can’t remember anything. Santos looks over at viewer in surprise. Nothing?
Santos makes a face. Grabs two bowls from a cabinet and scoops out some soup. Santos sets a bowl in front of viewer and sits down in front of the fire. They eat in silence. CUT TO BLACK. CHOICE B: SANTOS Where are you from, Fal? Can I call you “Fal”? VIEWER From here, like you. Santos chuckles as he heads to the cabinet. SANTOS I saw you fall from the sky. You ain’t from around here, kiddo. The viewer looks down at the table, risky glance up at Santos. SANTOS (CONT'D) I won’t push ya. Maybe you hit your head pretty hard. I’m surprised you survived the fall. Santos scoops the soup and hands viewer their bowl. Sits in front of the fireplace. They eat in silence, but Santos eyes viewer suspiciously. CUT TO BLACK. CHOICE C: SANTOS (CONT'D) Where are you from, Fal? Can I call you “Fal”? VIEWER Sure, you can call me “Fal”. Santos guffaws and beckons for viewer to come over.
SANTOS I like you! Help yourself, kiddo! CUT TO BLACK. INT. SANTOS’S HOME - EARLY MORNING Eyes open. The viewer is alone in the house. The viewer rises from the cot. <Santos murmuring in front of the closed entrance.> //Interactivity: Viewer can explore the house, observe objects such as the fireplace, empty soup bowls, and cauldron. Various notes: “Fire’s out”, “That soup was something to write home about,” and “Do people still make potions in these things?”// The viewer walks to the door and opens it. EXT. SANTOS’S HOME <Birds sing overhead. The sky is clear and blue. Big puffy clouds.> Santos speaks to a KNIGHT OF SWORDS. The knight is dressed in cool colors - a simple tunic and pants, and sits on a saddled horse. Both the horse and Knight wear a dark red scarf. The knight of swords is identified with a floating K of S next to a sword over his head. VIEWER’S POV: The Knight has a black mist surrounding him. He’s reversed, stressed. The game pauses. New card detected! <Sound cue: Tarot cards being shuffled. A tarot card appears on screen, depicts a young man on a horse, sword raised, and angry. The card flips, shows the knight upside down.> NARRATOR Uh-oh. We don’t ever want to see a Knight of Swords. Especially reversed. WORDS ON SCREEN: “The Knight of Swords: inconsiderate, determined, and driven. Moves without apologizing, a discordsower. Reversed, he makes a mountain out of a mole hill, even more of a headache.” Off to the side: “GOT IT”. The game continues once viewer clicks “GOT IT”.
The knight holds a scroll, reads from it, but we hear nothing. The knight is erratic, upset. The viewer blinks a few times and the mist is gone. Hmm. VIEWER (V.O) The Knight of Swords. Why are they here? Santos and the Knight turn to viewer. Knight beckons for viewer to come forward. KNIGHT You’re the one the Empress dreamed of last night. The lightningborn. IF CHOICE A: KNIGHT (CONT'D) You’re the one the Empress dreamed of last night. The lightningborn. Santos stands in front of viewer protectively. SANTOS They don’t remember anything. I don’t think they’ve done anything wrong. KNIGHT I’m not here to arrest them. I want them to come back with me. The Empress needs to speak to them. Santos looks back at the viewer. Viewer nods and Santos steps aside. Viewer walks toward the Knight and the Knight offers them a hand. Pulls them up on the horse. CUT TO BLACK. IF CHOICE B: KNIGHT You’re the one the Empress dreamed of last night. The lightningborn. Santos turns his gaze to the viewer. Narrows his eyes suspiciously. Looks back at the Knight.
SANTOS You bring them right back if they didn’t do anything wrong. I was looking forward to having a friend. KNIGHT Of course. I’m only here on the Empress’s request. Both of them look at the viewer now. Knight beckons for the viewer to come forward. CUT TO BLACK. IF CHOICE C: KNIGHT You’re the one the Empress dreamed of last night. The lightningborn. Santos glares at the Knight, pushes the viewer back towards the house. Viewer’s POV: Santos has a black mist around him now. The game pauses. NARRATOR New card detected! A reversal! <Sound cue: Tarot cards being shuffled. The hierophant card appears. The card flips, shows the hierophant upside down.> NARRATOR (CONT'D) You should always take the time to reason with any reversed Court cards, but alas. He’s made up his mind. WORDS ON SCREEN: “The Hierophant is usually a rule-follower and supports obeying the law. Reversed, he disobeys the law, makes poor decisions.” Off to the side: “GOT IT”. The game continues once viewer clicks “GOT IT”. Santos looks at the viewer over his shoulder. SANTOS Go inside and lock the door. The viewer ducks back inside of the house.
INT. SANTOS’S HOME <Arguing outside. The Knight is boisterous, angered easily. A sword is pulled from a sheathe. Santos GROANS in pain.> //Interactivity: The viewer can choose different places to hide: behind the cot, in the corner, but before they can hide-// The Knight opens the door. We see the blood on his sword. He puts the sword in his sheathe and beckons for the viewer to come forward. VIEWER’S POV: The mist is back. KNIGHT Now, please. So no one else will get hurt. The viewer rises from their hiding place and walks out of the house. EXT. SANTO'S HOUSE At 3 o’clock: Santos is slumped on the ground by the front door. At 6 o’clock: The open door to Santo’s home At 9 o’clock: Santos’s garden, unattended and full of weeds At 12 o’clock: The waiting horse The Knight beckons for the viewer to come on. The viewer climbs on first. The Knight climbs on next, gestures for the horse to move. The viewer turns and watches Santos’s home fade in the distance. BLACKOUT END STORY BRANCH #1
PORTIA (O.S) Just remember our deal, okay, Cutie? CUTIE (O.S) I am incapable of forgetting. I’m ready to feel excited. FADE IN: SUPER: 2287 INT. DR. MARTIN FURR’S OFFICE – CUTIE’S CUBICLE – NIGHT The office outside of Cutie’s cubicle is simply furnished, but futuristic. Cutie’s cubicle is nothing but a cot hidden by a screen. The cot has no sheets and is covered by a thin, steel sheet that has blinking lights. CUTIE sits on the cot. PORTIA (mid 20s) stares down at CUTIE. PORTIA has dark red hair, big green eyes. CUTIE has curled, dark blue hair and silver eyes. The only clue that gives her immortality away is the silver ring of light around her pupils. A panel on the back of CUTIE’s head is open and wires are attached to it. The wires connect to a device PORTIA is holding. PORTIA presses a button and CUTIE jolts with the shock. Sorry!
CUTIE laughs, bounces. CUTIE Is that where I say “ow”? I felt a . . . Tingle. PORTIA Did it hurt? Hurt?
PORTIA presses another button. CUTIE jolts again, big grin. CUTIE (CONT'D) Yes, that did hurt! That one did. The last one, the-PORTIA I got it, Cutie. You masochist. CUTIE I am not a masochist. That means that IPORTIA I’m just joking. CUTIE stares at PORTIA with big, confused eyes. She doesn’t know. PORTIA is amused and saddened by the innocence. PORTIA (CONT'D) Do you think CODY is right about emotions being dangerous? CUTIE Absolutely. Humanity is our prime example. PORTIA Do you think you can handle the emotions, Cutie? It’s not too late. CUTIE I want to feel everything. My intentions for humanity are pure. I want to help you. PORTIA nods. Begins to pack up the tools. CUTIE’s eyes mist over, but the tears do not fall. Robots can’t cry. CUTIE (CONT'D) I am immensely grateful for what you’ve done for me. PORTIA Just be careful. CUTIE nods. Stands and walks to the door. CUTIE I do not sleep, but you do. It’s late. I have to prepare the Pandora Pods for tomorrow’s events.
PORTIA Pandora Pods? CUTIE Some humans who lived before the domes had their bodies frozen. We only found twenty of the hundreds of Pods and Dr. Martin decided he wanted to open them. PORTIA is still. She gazes at CUTIE, confused. PORTIA Why? They’d be dead. They’re hundreds of years old. CUTIE To see what the past was like. If any of them wake up. INT. POD ROOM - MORNING CLOSE UP: RAY’s eyes are closed. The glass window revealing his face mists with each breath. There are bags under his eyes, despite the deep sleep he is in. Slow zoom out. The pod RAY is inside of shape resembles a lima bean. There is nothing on the machine – it’s smooth metal finish is uninterrupted by buttons or flashing lights. The POD ROOM resembles a parking garage. It is sterile and bright. There are ten pods lined against one of the walls. The rusty electric cords holding the pods into place weave up the walls like vines. The pods are tarnished from smoke and ash, but otherwise the same. TINA SANG (20s) is in another pod. DR. MARTIN FURR (40s) and CUTIE are walking to the pods. CUTIE is wearing plain clothes. There are no zippers or buttons to be seen. DR. MARTIN looks tired, like he hasn’t slept for a few days. He pushes forward in wrinkly clothes. He rubs his eyes as they approach the pods. The two of them reach the pods, stopping at RAYMOND’s. There are a few more HURTs behind them, wearing similar clothes to CUTIE. DR. MARTIN gestures for CUTIE to open RAY’s pod. CUTIE hesitates.
CUTIE This technology is ancient. It’s older than me. Their vitals are undetectable. They could be dead inside. They won’t rot until we open them. DR. MARTIN There are only a few things older than you, Cutie. Go on. I’m surprised they survived the 2092 fires. CUTIE walks to one of the pods besides Ray’s. It contains a MIDDLE-AGED REDHEAD. She pushes a button on the side and the pod opens. CUTIE stares for a moment. Looks back at DR. MARTIN. He smiles a thin smile. CUTIE turns back to the opened pod and reaches forward. Her hand gently brushes the REDHEAD’s cheek and her skin sinks in, turning into dust. CUTIE pulls her hand back, horrified. CUTIE looks back at DR. MARTIN. He is disappointed. Waves for her to continue. The SECOND POD contains a TODDLER, who is accompanied by her MOTHER. As soon as CUTIE opens their pod, their skin falls into their bones, revealing skeletons. CUTIE’s shoulders slump as she continues on. A THIRD POD reveals a OLD MAN who sits up and gasps for air when his pod is opened. He lurches upright, struggles to walk, only to fall, clutching his chest. The other robots rush forward to help him, but he goes still before he reaches them. CUTIE is visibly shaken, can no longer hide her emotions. She stiffens up when DR. MARTIN turns to her. DR. MARTIN (CONT'D) No one told them the odds of surviving were really small. They should have. CUTIE Do we have to open the rest? DR. MARTIN We do. We only found twenty two of the hundreds. It’s only fair.
CUTIE understands his point. CUTIE walks to RAY’s pod. She stares inside. Ray’s face is peaceful with sleep. CUTIE presses a button on the side of the pod. There’s a small WHISTLE OF AIR as the pod opens. CUTIE gazes at RAY, waiting. Glances at DR. MARTIN. DR. MARTIN tucks a shaky hand into his pocket. CUTIE notices but says nothing. CUTIE waits another moment. Something akin to curiosity crosses her face. CUTIE Do you think he’s alive? His skin isn’t falling off his bones yet. Behind her, DR. MARTIN is worried now. He leans forward and reaches for his pen. He clicks the top and shines the light into RAY’s face. RAY’s eyes open with a jolt and he steps forward, falling out of the pod and onto the floor. DR. MARTIN gives RAY a hand while CUTIE stares at RAY, waiting for the worst. DR. MARTIN Do you remember your name? RAY stares around the POD ROOM, dazed. He looks back at DR. MARTIN. At the sound of DR. MARTIN’s voice, RAY balks. He turns away from the man. Big grimace. RAY What the fuck? I’m alive? DR. MARTIN Come again? RAY Am I really alive? Am I in the future? When he finishes, RAY finds himself staring at CUTIE. CUTIE turns and looks over at RAY. Long stare. She smiles a wrangled smile, happy he’s alive. RAY (CONT'D) How far into the future are we?
DR. MARTIN I’m not sure you’ll like my answer, Raymond. Do you remember anything from before you fell asleep? FLASHBACK SUPER: TODAY INT. RAY’S CAR GARAGE - RAY’S CAR – NIGHT RAY is sitting in his car. He is gripping a photo of him and MATTHEW (early twenties, brunet). His hands are shaking. RAY turns the key and the car comes on. The radio plays as RAY revs the engine. The garage begins to fill with smoke. RAY keeps revving. The SOUND OF THE RADIO makes RAY refocus. RADIO . . . Say goodbye to the present and hello to the future! Our Pandora Pods come with the latest technology to ensure a safe transition from here . . . RAY stops revving the engine. Turns the radio up. RADIO (CON’T) (CONT'D) . . . to decades from now. If you’re willing to take a chance. Want to start over in a new century? RAY shuts the car off by turning the key. Takes his keys out of ignition. He stares off into space. END FLASHBACK INT. POD ROOM – SAME DR. MARTIN Do you remember what year it was? RAY Some time yesterday. It was the 21st century.
DR. MARTIN You’re in the future now and we have different problems now. Why don’t you come with me? See the new world? RAY Might as well – since I didn’t die in that thing. RAY looks over at CUTIE, who is having no luck with the other pods. RAY sees the skeletons. He balks and turns away, exhaling slowly. RAY sees TINA’s unopened pod – she’s the last one. RAY (CONT'D) I can’t believe it. She did it, too? CUTIE Do you recognize her? RAY She was a good friend of mine. What is she doing here? CUTIE Hopefully, you will be able to ask her. CUTIE heads to TINA’s Pod. RAY limps after her. Hopefully?
CUTIE opens TINA’s POD without explaining. CUTIE turns away, afraid to look. TINA’s eyes open and she looks around, confused. She sees RAY. Instant recognition. RAY (CONT'D) Tina? Can you hear me? RAY grabs TINA and pulls her out of the pod. She clings to him, big hug. RAY hugs TINA back. TINA I’m so happy to see you! Meanwhile, CUTIE wanders off to another empty pod. She pokes one of the rib cages of the skeletons. It turns into dust.
Silver lights go off in CUTIE’s cheek as she stares at it. The horror is gone. RAY’s eyes drift over to the skeletons. He’s going to puke. TINA and RAY pull away. All eyes go to CUTIE. CUTIE turns to see everyone staring at her and she darts to DR. MARTIN’s side. She hides her sheepish smile with her hand. CUTIE That’s all of this year’s pods. We’re out of Pandora Partners. INT. INFIRMARY – LATER The pale room is too bright, like the pod room. RAY sits on a table, waiting to be seen. He’s clothed in a thin gown. He’s not mentally in the room. Aside from the beds, the metal room doesn’t have any furniture. CUTIE walks into the room. The movement catches RAY’s glassy eyes. He struggles to focus. CUTIE Hi, Ray! Welcome to U.C.E., The United Countries of Earth. Dr. Martin wanted me to make sure you were feeling okay. Before I begin, I was wondering if you would like an HRA. The concept of U.C.E. has gone right over RAY’s head. RAY How far into the future are we? What’s an HRA? CUTIE Humanoid Robotic Assistant. The HRA you pick will live with you - like a built-in butler. They can do almost anything for you, even run and pick up your food if you want a late night snack. They’re really popular with the younger population - you all have high metabolisms despite the . . . RAY is dead quiet. CUTIE trails off.
CUTIE (CONT'D) I think you’ll need one, Ray. You seem a bit unfocused. How are you feeling? RAY I didn’t want to be here. CUTIE Here in New York? Would you like a transferRAY smiles, feels a flicker of hope. RAY We still have New York? CUTIE Yes! New York and Moscow, but both cities have food from all over the world. You’ll never run out of new dishes to try, if that’s what you’re worried about. Do you like to eat? At the sound of food, RAY perks up. His stomach growls. RAY Who doesn’t like to eat? CUTIE Certain individuals with psychological issues due to demeaning or belittling remarks, which in turn negatively affect their appetite-RAY Cutie, I didn’t mean for you to answer. I feel fine, a bit curious, actually. Can I leave now? Explore this place? CUTIE Certainly! I’m happy to see some life in your eyes again. I’ll fetch your HRA and you’re free to go. As far as exploring, your official tour begins tomorrow. I’ll be your guide so you won’t be wandering in Eden alone. RAY chuckles at “eden”. CUTIE smiles and leaves the room. RAY stares around the clean room. He’s impatient and curious now.
CUTIE comes back with ROWBOAT, a brunet with hazel eyes. He looks like MATTHEW. RAY recoils. RAY Bring me another one, Cutie. CUTIE Do you doubt his capabilities to be an excellent and helpful HRA? Rowboat’s ratings are exceptionally high - all of our dark-haired HRAs receive high ratings. I think it’s the hairRAY No. He looks like someone I used to know. CUTIE Rowboat has a generic face. We can always customize him. Everything can be changed here. ROWBOAT Please give me a chance to prove myself. RAY gazes at ROWBOAT. Sighs and nods his consent. CUTIE looks pleased, the others emotionless. CUTIE Your tour of the city will begin tomorrow morning after you get some sleep. We have accommodations for your limp. RAY nods, looks down at his leg. Looks back up. RAY Will Tina come? CUTIE Her tour will be separate from yours. CUTIE senses RAY’s disappointment. Places a comforting hand on RAY’s shoulder. RAY looks up, confused. CUTIE smiles a wrangled smile back.
INT. INFIRMARY HALLWAY ROWBOAT leads the way down the hallway. RAY limps after him, keeps pace. ROWBOAT stops and turns. ROWBOAT Would you like some assistance? RAY No, I’m okay. I’ve had this limp for a while. RAY stiffens as he speaks, leans to the right wall. ROWBOAT goes to his side. RAY swats him away without thinking. RAY (CONT'D) I’m fine, MatthewMatthew. The name makes ROWBOAT pause. The lights in his cheeks go off. RAY (CONT'D) What is that? What are you doing? ROWBOAT The name is familiar. I believe I’ve read it in your files. I am Rowboat. RAY Right, sorry. You . . . You look like him. ROWBOAT I will take that as a compliment. I believe Matthew was special to you. RAY Yes, he was. ROWBOAT watches RAY catch his breath. He offers an arm. ROWBOAT Lean on me. You’re not the only one who needs help. This is why I am here. RAY gazes at ROWBOAT. Wipes sweat from his eyebrow. He grabs ROWBOAT’s offered hand. Grunts as ROWBOAT pulls him from the wall. The two of them make slow progress down the hallway.
INT. RAY’S APARTMENT – NIGHT The color scheme is white, an icy pale blue, and black. The walls are a pale shade of blue and the few carpeted areas have black carpet. All of the furniture is black with white accents. No wood, only a tough, plastic like material. No windows in the entire apartment. KITCHEN Nondescript and tidy. No refrigerator. BEDROOM The bedroom contains a queen-sized cot. The cot is covered in thin, folded blankets. Two pillows sit at the head of the bed. There is a small nightstand and desser. No lamp. LIVING ROOM No TV. A coffee table and black couch sit in the middle of the space. The small area has a smooth tile floor that is hidden by a bright blue rug. It doesn’t clash with the dull room. FRONT DOOR - CONTINUOUS RAY and ROWBOAT stand at the door. RAY clutches a silver box to his chest. It is stamped with “Property of U.C.E. OWNER OF ITEMS: RAYMOND MCCOY, A PANDORA PARTNER”. ROWBOAT stands an inch behind him, leaning over RAY’s shoulder. There are tiny blue dots lighting up in his right cheek as he reads RAY’s vitals. The silver ring glows. ROWBOAT averts his eyes as RAY squirms, sensing his lifeless gaze. ROWBOAT Raymond, we have been standing here for about ten minutes now. Does this apartment not meet your requirements? RAY glances at ROWBOAT and quickly looks away. He keeps seeing MATTHEW’s face on ROWBOAT’s.
ROWBOAT (CONT'D) Your accelerating heartbeat tells me that you’re experiencing some anxiety – would you like for me to go in first? RAY exhales a slow breath, his hands shaking as he squeezes the box. RAY I can’t decide if I really want to sleep here. ROWBOAT Is something wrong with your apartment? RAY grits his teeth as he steps past the threshold, entering the apartment. He sets the box down on the coffee table and walks into the kitchen. ROWBOAT follows him, reading RAY’s vitals. RAY What the hell is this? No windows? ADA That can be customized. Everything can be changed here. RAY freezes and looks around. ADA (CONT'D) You cannot see me. I am ADA, your invisible housemate. I work with CODY and your HRA to make sure your apartment is exactly how you want it. For example . . . The WALLS TURN INTO A HOLOGRAPHIC SURFACE, allowing ADA to PROJECT THE IMAGE OF CENNTENIAL PARK ON ALL OF THE WALLS. The sound of BIRDS CHIRPING and other SOOTHING PARK NOISES fill the air. RAY visibly relaxes. Smiles a little. Not bad.
INT. RAY’S APARTMENT – BEDROOM – NIGHT RAY is sitting on the queen-sized cot. The silver box rests on his lap.
RAY glances up to see ROWBOAT laying on a cot of his own. His eyes are closed and there are blue lights in his cheek again. They slowly dim and fade, only to reappear. RAY Like fireflies. RAY stares at ROWBOAT’s glowing cheek, mesmerized. He refocuses on the box when the box slides off his lap. RAY reaches for the box and stares at the label. He lets his hands rest on the top of the box. Slow, nervous breath. RAY opens the box. INSIDE: the same photograph of RAYMOND and MATTHEW from before, a two dollar bill, several twenties, a couple of plaid shirts, a new tennis ball, and an envelope. On the envelope: “OPEN ME IF YOU WAKE UP.” RAY opens the envelope with a shaky hand. He pulls out the sheet of paper. BEGIN FLASHBACK EXT. TENNIS COURT – SUNSET MATTHEW and RAY hold tennis rackets. A RED COOLER is tucked to the side, next to their things. Two water bottles sit on top of it. They’re both covered in sweat, but RAY is worse off. RAY I suck ass at this game. MATTHEW It’s one of the things I like about you. RAY (V.O) “You have to give it a shot . . .” They both head to their RED COOLER. MATTHEW hands RAY a water bottle. MATTHEW And to settle your anxious brain . . . God? Free will? Who cares? I love you, and that will get me through anything.
INT. CAR – SUNSET RAY reaches for the radio at the same time MATTHEW does. They bump hands. MATTHEW lets RAY pick. SERIES OF SHOTS --MATTHEW’s sun-kissed face --The yellow sunlight becomes white --Headlights in RAY’s eyes --The bright light envelops the car END SERIES OF SHOTS RAY (V.O) . . . Give it two weeks. Keep the cash on you at all times. Give the future a chance . . . END FLASHBACK INT. RAY’S APARTMENT – RAY’S BEDROOM - SAME RAY folds the paper back up and places it in the envelope. He trades everything for the tennis ball and sets the box on the nightstand. RAY squeezes the tennis ball and closes his eyes. ADA Off to sleep? RAY Uh, yeah. Thanks. ADA Thoughts on the room temperature? RAY The temperature is fine. I’m going to call it a night. ADA Alright. Goodnight, Raymond. Pleasant dreams. RAY lays back. Closes his eyes. Opens them and sits up.
RAY ADA, do people still play tennis? ADA Yes. If you enjoy tennis matches, I can set up an appointment— RAY No matches for me. I’ll just watch. I’m bad at tennis. ADA Absolutely. I’ll find a local game and air it on the walls for you. Thank you.
ADA No, thank you, Raymond, and if you change your mind about playing, Rowboat specializes in tennis and virtual car racing. He can teach you, if you like. It’s a no from RAY, but he’s touched. INT. DOME SQUARE – MORNING It’s not New York City like RAY hoped. The DOME is like a mall turned inside out. Cobblestone underfoot. Big empty space. PEOPLE walk around the dome, dressed in bright colors. Some float by on hoverboards. Others ride on roller skates, skate boards, even bikes. RAY blends in seamlessly with the rest of the human population, even with the HRAs and HURTs. RAY is wearing one of his plaid shirts. THE HURTs and HRAs are distinguished by the lights in their cheeks. HRAs have blue and HURTs have a soft silver color. The lights in their cheeks glow as they stare at the humans around them, reading their vitals for distress. CUTIE and ROWBOAT stand beside RAY. CUTIE stares around, waving at fellow HRAs who wave back. Their faces are cold, no smiles. The wave back is a curtesy only. RAY I thought you said there were cities left.
CUTIE The domes are the cities. There are two of them: New York and Moscow. ROWBOAT turns to RAY. ROWBOAT Please do not be alarmed, but— RAY What are you about to tell me? ROWBOAT As you know, I have access to your files. I was told you have a preference for Thai food and 20th century southern gothic architecture. RAY Invasive, but okay. ROWBOAT I know the location of the highest rated Thai food restaurant in town. They deliver, well, HRAs deliver, and we can go visit the hologram of the Telfair Square, if you like. RAY Is there a catch? ROWBOAT We have no currency system. The “catch” is that you must be respectful to the workers. RAY looks at the people floating by on hoverboards. RAY Can we get one of those? ROWBOAT follows RAY’s gaze. ROWBOAT I will show you how to ride so you won’t fall. However, it is similar to skateboarding, which you-RAY --Did back in the 21st century. I’m sure I won’t land on my ass.
ROWBOAT Right. You should be good at this. Stay here. ROWBOAT walks off, leaving RAY with CUTIE. She takes her chance. CUTIE Raymond, if you ever feel that your needs aren’t met, I will be able to assist you. Mental health services aren’t a priority here since everyone is happy here, but you can always talk to me. RAY Are you offering to be my therapist? CUTIE If necessary. We read your files. We know that you are inclined to certain-RAY is worried by the implication. He cuts her off: RAY --How many people is “we”? ROWBOAT returns on a hoverboard. A second hoverboard follows close behind. ROWBOAT gestures for RAY to step on. RAY (CONT'D) (to CUTIE) He’s so stoic. I think he thinks he’s my nurse. CUTIE HRAs are more stern with injured humans. Your assumption is correct. RAY Rowboat, could you relax? You’re tensing me up. ROWBOAT (smiles) Of course, Raymond. RAY gazes at the smile, pensive, and steps on the hoverboard. He wobbles. ROWBOAT steadies him with a hand.
ROWBOAT (CONT'D) Let’s hurry. Tina is waiting. RAY nods, looks at CUTIE. CUTIE waves at them and they wave back. ROWBOAT leads the way farther into the dome. INT. THAI RESTAURANT - DAY The restaurant is a place from the past, complete with the décor. RAY inhales deeply, satisfied, as he floats inside. ROWBOAT floats in on his hoverboard behind him. ROWBOAT steps off his and steadies RAY with one hand while he climbs off. ROWBOAT I do not know your favorite meal. Please tell me. What for?
ROWBOAT So I can bring it to you on request. RAY Okay, uh, I love the Pad Thai. The lights in ROWBOAT’s cheeks go off as he stores this information. RAY turns to look at the rest of the restaurant. It’s a bit loud from the chatter of feasting humans. TINA and PORTIA sit by the front at a table for four. They’re laughing. The table is empty except for their two waters. PORTIA leans forward, hanging on every word from TINA’s mouth. TINA doesn’t shy away. She gazes at PORTIA demurely, shy eyes darting away every few seconds. Palpable attraction. RAY smiles, and the first hint of hope shines on his face. Behind RAY, ROWBOAT’s gaze settles on the two women. The lights flash again. ROWBOAT Friends of yours? RAY Tina is. The Asian. ROWBOAT She was in the Pods, too.
RAY is confused by ROWBOAT’s certainty. RAY Do they let you read everyone’s files? Before ROWBOAT can answer, TINA glances over at the door. Sees Ray. Waves him over. PORTIA follows TINA’s gaze. She smiles, but her eyes go to TINA again. RAY walks over, questions forgotten, and ROWBOAT follows. RAY (CONT'D) Hey, Tina! I guess you’ve had your tour already? TINA Yes. My HRA showed me around earlier with Cutie. She’s adorable. PORTIA Hence her name. TINA smiles, beckons for RAY and ROWBOAT to sit. RAY does. ROWBOAT stands. ROWBOAT I am intruding— RAY No, you’re not! Come sit! They’ve bonded already. So easily. ROWBOAT’s cheeks flash again. ROWBOAT No, but thank you. I will go to the charging unit in this building. ROWBOAT digs into the pocket of his jeans. He pulls out a remote, but it’s a single square of metal with a button. The button is the Pandora Partners’ logo. ROWBOAT (CONT'D) My remote. Page me if you need me. ROWBOAT hands the remote to RAY. RAY That’s somehow so old-fashioned and high-tech at the same time.
ROWBOAT smiles. RAY smiles back. He likes it here. ROWBOAT Enjoy your food. I am summoning the waitress. ROWBOAT walks away as a waitress appears. Another robot. Her name is FAIRY. She’s wearing a black button up and slacks Very humanlike. FAIRY’s got violet eyes and tattooed stars on her cheeks and face. Her name tag is colorful, alit with drawn pixies. She’s friendly and excitable. FAIRY Hi! I’m Fairy, your host for this evening! What would you like? PORTIA You guys have to try their special. RAY and ROWBOAT exchange glances. Enthused nods. FAIRY Two Eden specials, coming up! INT. MALL – DRESSING ROOMS – LATE EVENING RAY stands alone in his dressing room. He’s wearing some pants, turns to the side of different angles. His full belly bulges over the waistline. RAY sighs, old pains resurfacing. RAY Tina, how’d you convince me to do this? TINA You and Matthew loved shopping! Give me a break! RAY Matthew looked good in everything. I for one— He opens his dressing room door. TINA stands outside, holding her desired clothes. She’s dressed in her own pants, but she’s wearing a shirt from the mall. Shoes off. RAY (CONT'D) --Look awful in everything. I don’t like to shop, okay?
TINA Hey, I wouldn’t be here either. Matthew dragged both of us to the mall all the time because— RAY AND TINA “You never know who you might meet!” The two of them start laughing. TINA giggles and sets the clothes down, tugging off a store’s shirt for the one she came with. RAY gazes at TINA, grows sad. RAY He’d love it here. Just for this mall. All the plaid he could wear. And the cheap-smelling, overpriced cologne. TINA is unsure what to say, so she says: TINA He’s in a better place now. CIVIC (O.S) Tina, that is a lovely color on you. They both turn to look at the DRESSING ROOM ENTRANCE ROWBOAT and CIVIC (TINA’s blond and blue-eyed HRA) stand by the door. Their eyes are everywhere except TINA and RAY, but the lights in their cheeks are going off. TINA smiles at the compliment. PORTIA comes in before TINA can reply, holding more clothes. PORTIA What are you guys standing around for? Find something you like? Before they can speak, the sound of moaning comes from another stall, a few stalls down. TINA exchanges a glance with RAY, confused. RAY and TINA look to PORTIA.
PORTIA (CONT'D) This world is for almost everyone, even exhibitionists. Almost?
PORTIA opens her mouth to say more, but ROWBOAT and CIVIC speak: ROWBOAT AND CIVIC It’s late. Time to go? TINA and RAY are a bit creeped out by the synchronicity, but they nod. TINA gathers up her clothes. RAY goes to get his. They follow ROWBOAT and CIVIC out of the dressing room. TINA drops a shirt on the way out. PORTIA lingers behind. Grabs the shirt, squeezes it. EXT. RAY’S APARTMENT - EVENING RAY, ROWBOAT, TINA, CIVIC, and PORTIA stand by RAY’s door. RAY gives PORTIA a hug. RAY It was nice to meet you. PORTIA I’ll see you around. You can reach me through ADA or ROWBOAT. We don’t have cellular devices here. RAY Cellular devices. Ha. PORTIA walks off with another wave, eyes linger on TINA. RAY gives TINA a tight hug. RAY (CONT'D) Thank you for coming with me. I didn’t know you were, but I’m glad you’re here with me. TINA relaxes in RAY’s arms. TINA I just wish she was here too. I know.
Another tight squeeze. Then he releases her. Waves. CIVIC leads the way back home. TINA follows. RAY stays by his door and lets himself and ROWBOAT inside when TINA is out of sight. INT.RAY’S APARTMENT – FOYER RAY Why don’t we have phones here? ROWBOAT It lowers the chances of harassment and cyber bullying. RAY heads down the HALLWAY RAY That’s really nice actually. How so?
RAY It lets everyone be real. True to themselves. BEDROOM RAY falls onto his bed, exaggerated sigh of relief. ROWBOAT Get some sleep. You have work tomorrow. RAY I have a job? ROWBOAT Not a job. A passion. For architecture. RAY sits up, looks at ROWBOAT in disbelief. What?
ROWBOAT Don’t you remember? You have a degree in architecture that you didn’t get a chance to use until five months before you became a Pandora Partner. We’d like for you to use it here, if you want. RAY And my eighty-five thousand dollar debt? ROWBOAT A thing of the past. There is no debt here. The U.C.E. doesn’t have a currency system. RAY stares at ROWBOAT for a moment. Falls onto his back. RAY Can I stay here forever? ROWBOAT There is an immortality serum in the works— RAY (laughs) Don’t fuck with me, Rowboat. INT. DR. MARTIN FURR’S OFFICE – LATER DR. MARTIN’s office is futuristic and cold, offset with pale yellow lights. It makes DR. MARTIN look ill. DR. MARTIN stares at his computer screen, the data reflected on his glasses. DR. MARTIN looks up at the sound of RAY’s approach. He smiles a tired smile and waves him in. RAY is wearing a plaid button up and some nice pants. He carries a brand new canvas bag on his shoulder. He walks with a cane – it’s funky. DR. MARTIN (rises) Hi, Ray. I assume Cutie told you about your new position here. RAY Rowboat did.
They shake hands. RAY (CONT'D) I’m really excited to work here. DR. MARTIN We have a strict operating system. RAY Strict how? Doesn’t seem like it. DR. MARTIN You’ll see. I’m cranking out updates every few weeks with Cutie’s help. She helps me get an understanding of what the people want. RAY How does she do that? DR. MARTIN Depends on what I’m looking for. Do you have any burning questions for me? RAY What exactly do you want me to do? Rowboat was vague. DR. MARTIN Well, you can get acquainted with my assistants. Portia is through that door. You’ll meet Peter and Dwayne soon enough. DR. MARTIN points to the left. RAY walks through the door, passing CUTIE’s cubicle. BREAK ROOM RAY finds Portia in the break room first. It’s a meager room, little offerings as far as condiments. A coffee pot sits on the counter. No visible cords. A cup sits by the coffee pot. PORTIA drinks from one. PORTIA Hi, Ray! Want some coffee?
PORTIA This stuff is great. I’m glad we managed to save some from the old days. PORTIA pours a cup for RAY. Hands it to him. She watches him add cream and sugar. PORTIA (CONT'D) How was your first night here? RAY I slept like a tired baby. I had a bad feeling about this place earlier, but it’s gone now. PORTIA gazes at RAY for a moment. She smiles wanly. Good.
INT. CONSTRUCTION SITE - LATER This isn’t your everyday construction site. The building is done, hollowed out. Paint has yet to be laid down. The floor underfoot is concrete. PORTIA and RAY are standing inside the room. No windows. RAY stares at the walls, feels the material. RAY What is this? PORTIA No idea. It’s absorbent. PORTIA touches the wall, pushes in two fingers. She pulls her heads away. The wall retains the shape, then springs back like memory foam. TINA (O.S) My God! There’s no escaping you two. PORTIA and RAY turn to see TINA, also formally dressed, holding folders. PORTIA grins at TINA, who smiles back. RAY doesn’t miss this.
RAY I’d rather work with you guys than a pair of strangers. TINA Don’t get comfortable. TINA walks inside and she’s followed by four HURTs. RAY smiles at them and waves. All his previous misgivings are gone. INT. CONSTRUCTION SITE - EVENING The construction site is full of wood and metal rods now, all stacked neatly in one corner. TINA and RAY are inspecting the materials. The BLUE-HAIRED HURT (POLARIS) walks over to TINA. PORTIA watches the exchange, nervous. POLARIS How was our service? RAY Amazing. You guys were really helpful. You made it seem like we’ve been working here forever. POLARIS All a part of the job. We are supposed to help you make a smooth transition. TINA Well, mission accomplished. POLARIS Affirmative. Something about this makes RAY laugh. TINA joins in. The HURT does not – he cannot feel amusement. The laughter dies down awkwardly. They’ve forgotten. RAY Will we see the same ones tomorrow? POLARIS No, but you can make a request. (looks up) ADA? Yes?
POLARIS Please send all of us back here tomorrow. Confirmed.
POLARIS nods at RAY and PORTIA. He looks over at the other THREE HURTs. They’re still charging. The lights in their cheeks flash as they obey him. The HURTs stand up and leave the site without a word. POLARIS (to RAY) Goodnight. RAY Goodnight. Thanks again. POLARIS turns to leave. TINA stops him: TINA Wait, what’s your name? POLARIS They call me “Polaris”. TINA It’s nice to meet you. See you tomorrow. POLARIS As you will. Goodbye. MONTAGE – THEY’RE ADJUSTING INT. CONSTRUCTION SIGHT – EARLY MORNING TINA and RAY supervise their FOUR HURTs. POLARIS does most of the robot-commanding. The robots carry various materials. TINA and RAY go through the boxes together. The two talk to PORTIA MOS. PORTIA sits on a stool, marks off materials on a list. She glances at the two of them, eyes linger on TINA. PORTA’s staring doesn’t go unnoticed. POLARIS sees the staring. The lights in his cheeks go off.
THAI RESTAURANT - AFTERNOON RAY and TINA munch on Thai food next to PORTIA. PORTIA eats a hamburger. The FOUR HURTs sit in a corner of the construction site on a charging pad. PORTIA cracks a joke MOS. TINA laughs the hardest. The chemistry is undeniable. RAY sees the smile on PORTIA’s face, looks worried. INT. RAY’S APARTMENT – LIVING ROOM – NIGHT RAY stares at the HOLOGRAPHIC WALL. He watches a tennis game. He cheers and ROWBOAT mirrors his actions. Damn! Damn!
RAY turns to ROWBOAT, surprised. RAY Don’t curse. ROWBOAT My apologies. RAY turns back to the HOLOGRAPHIC SURFACE to smile. A CLICK sound, the old-fashioned noise of a photo being taken. RAY turns, looks at ROWBOAT, the source of the sound. ROWBOAT (CONT'D) (smiles) Proof that you’re enjoying yourself. RAY nods, half-listening, and looks back at the HOLOGRAPHIC SURFACE. EXT. CONSTRUCTION SITE – MORNING RAY sits outside of the site on the ground. He sketches onto a pad. The sketches are elaborate, neat. They reflect the inner musings of an architect. RAY glances up at the ceiling of the dome. It’s a pale, foggy blue. Somewhat translucent. Some sort of yellow line shines down, reminiscent of sunlight.
RAY glances back down at his sketches, rubs the side of his head, by his right temple. He feels something. He pushes harder, canâ€™t tell what it is. TINA (O.S) Ray, you wanna take a look? RAY looks up to see TINA standing at the threshold to the construction site. He nods, pulls himself up with his cane.
A small collection of my latest projects. This file contains act one of C.O.D.Y.'s Intentions, a feature film, and Lightningborn, a VR scrip...
Published on Mar 11, 2020
A small collection of my latest projects. This file contains act one of C.O.D.Y.'s Intentions, a feature film, and Lightningborn, a VR scrip...