I n t e r c e p t e d T r a n s m i s s i o n
Script: FRACTAL: The Hollow Knots
FRACTAL © 1996-1997-2004,'05,'06,'07,'08,'09-2013... Mark Thornally mthorn@ix.netcom.com
[- Synopsis -]

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Draft: F R A C T A L - (The Hollow Knots) -

FADE IN:
EXT. MOUNTAINS - LATE AFTERNOON

OVERCAST SKY. A storm is brewing, Red-Violet light glows through the clouds. JAGGED ROCKS puncuate a grassy hillside. A large tree dominates the view. A squirrel sprints down the tree into a protective hole. Overhead, a large RAVEN flies evasive maneuvers as several smaller birds soar and attack. The RAVEN DESCENDS.

SUPER IMPOSE: CLOSE-UP: A MAN'S EYE REFLECTS THE DESCENT.

The SHOT WIDENS. The man's face: mid forties, athletic, introspective with a lingering trace of the high-strung nerd. Attired in hiking clothes, he walks along a shear cliff, opposite to which is a DEEP RAVINE and the face of another cliff dotted with SHALLOW CAVES. He suddenly notices that he is not alone.

The CAMERA quickly PANS. Indistinct faces appear and disappear amidst the surrounding rocks and grass. It is impossible to tell if their presence is real or merely a trick of the light.

A DISTANT VOICE calls out

Owlsley

Recognizing his name, the MAN TURNS.

CUT TO:

EXT. HOUSE - DUSK

A charming, RUSTIC, two story house sits alone amid wild TROPICAL LANDSCAPING. Through an illumined window, an attractive WOMAN - late forties, grey/black hair - is seen standing at a large MONITOR. She is painting an image directly onto the flat screen with a digital pen.

CUT TO:

INT. HOUSE - DUSK

Modern furnishings - plants, paintings, sculpture - one wall is full of computer equipment. The chaotic SOUND of a TV is heard as the woman glances away from her work. The CAMERA begins to PAN until her face is momentarily silhouetted by the TV screen. The TV fills the scene.

TV VOICE

...And now the piano concerto number 20 in D minor, by Mozart.

CUT TO:

INT. CONCERT HALL - DUSK

A RAUCUS CROWD fills the hall with the SOUND of HOWLS and WHISTLES. Many are eating popcorn and having animated conversations. The MUSICIANS, attired in street worn clothing - a tough looking ensemble - begin playing flawless Mozart. Many in the crowd don light-emitting goggles. Their raucus pace continues unabated - the music overrides their noise.

CUT TO:

INT. HOUSE - DUSK

The SOUND of Mozart fills the air. The woman is now on the phone, trying to get off.

WOMAN

...Tonight?! Alright... alright.
Any minute now, I expect.
He went for a hike.

She looks at the TV.

WOMAN

Shit.... No, not you... the TV... I will.
Okay, I will. I'll tell him. Goodbye Drake.

She hangs up, turns off the TV with a remote and looks out the window at the brewing storm. She looks worried

WOMAN

Where the hell are you?

CUT TO:

EXT. MOUNTAINS - DUSK

Owlsley, still on the cliff, looks frantically around, hardly noticing the rain or the descending gloom. No one is there. He looks again. FIVE PEOPLE have formed a semi-circle around him, cutting off his escape from the cliff. The FIVE ADVERSARIES stand motionless with blank expressions. Owlsley turns away and faces the other cliff on the opposite side of the ravine.

CUT TO:

Owlsley's POV

The SHADOWS formed on the cliff by the caves begin to shimmer. RED and BLACK ocsillating bands appear, indicating openings to long, winding tunnels. They become hallucinatory, mesmerizing. The whole scene begins to look as if it is an image generated by an interference pattern resulting from various wave forms. The SOUND of a pager is heard.

CUT TO:

Owlsley opens his coat to retrieve his PAGER. He fumbles with it, drops it in the mud, wipes it off and reads the number and message. He looks up and around. The Five Adversaries are gone. The cliff face hallucination, likewise, has ended.

CUT TO:

EXT. MOUNTAINS - DUSK

LONG SHOT of Owlsley slipping on the hillside. In the confusion he misses the trail and enters a patch of forest. He sees a dull, red light in the distance and heads toward it.

CUT TO:

EXT. INDUSTRIAL PARK - NIGHT

An angular, spotlit building surrounded by low rolling grassy hills sits menacingly. A holographic sign statically emits its name: COMSYNCH INDUSTRIES.

CUT TO:

INT. HIGH TECH LAB

The fat hand of Drake hangs up a telephone receiver as the scene widens, revealing a surprizing lack of expected high-tech equipment - the sophisticated hardware is fluidly incorporated into the walls and furnishings of the room. A number of technicians dressed in crisp business suits - no lab coats - are milling about. One suit, Malak, a tall, sleek African Woman with piercing eyes, approaches and slaps a folder on Drake's desk. The words: THE HOLLOW KNOTS PROJECT are clearly displayed on the folder. Drake quarter-turns, eyes still smouldering fixed on the phone.

DRAKE

Yes...

MALAK

These are the specs on the last run. Nominal interference patterns,
but we were able to get a virtual print on the inner boundary...

DRAKE

What about the asynchronous problem?

MALAK

...So, for all intents and purposes it works... uh...
time, time... Is it a fractal or just a four dimensional
measurement of duration. We narrow it down and
sustain the wave patterns just enough to squeeze
through, and we'll catch a glimpse.

DRAKE

That it?

MALAK

What? Oh... we're going to require the
specialist pretty soon. If we can't...

DRAKE

Working on it... Found his location. Just talked to his wife.
We'll reel him in soon. Don't worry.

MALAK

I do. Are you sure about him?

DRAKE

Oh yeah, I know what makes Owlsley tick.

MALAK

That's what worries me.

DRAKE

What about our Sorcerer friends?

MALAK

They've been informed. [IRRITATED]
Why you insist on involving a group of delusional
mystics with this project, even remotely...

DRAKE

We've been over that.

MALAK

You sound like an old movie...

DRAKE [ w/ Brief Stare]

You should be more concerned with the missing FIVE,
and the potential damage they could do to you.

Drake presses a button. A monitor flips up like a sportscar headlight on his simulated oak desk. As MALAK leans over the desk to get a better viewing position, Drake intentionally avoids looking at his provocative associate. He only watches the screen.
The CAMERA peers over their shoulders. The MOZART concert is ending. Drake hits another button. A taped, closed-cicuit video of five technicians hurriedly grabbing files, dismantling equipment, then leaving the building unmolested fills the screen. Throughout the action, Drake's calm voice is heard:

DRAKE (Voice Over)

How they defeated security is no longer a mystery. We
found a phony video, jacked in at a shielded relay. This is
from an old maintenance camera no one thought to check
until it was too late. Bring them back and we won't need
Owlsley, or the Sorcerers.

A DOOR OPENS across the room. The CAMERA glides over the two COMSYNCH employees and enters the room revealing a CAVERNOUS SPACE. Black painted walls, empty except for a large GOLDEN SPHERE. The SOUND of electronic tones - almost musical - fills the air. Synaesthesiac.

CUT TO:

EXT. FOREST - NIGHT

Owlsley, wet, muddy, frantically plows through the brush and trees. As he nears the distant light, the forest begins to give way to a sprawling meadow. The CAMERA PANS UP over the tree tops revealing the source of the light: A large Tibetan style temple surrounded by a narrow moat.

[NOTE: The Tibetan Temple, "Odiyan," located in Western Amerigo Vespucci-land, near the coast, would be an ideal location...]

EXT. FOREST - NIGHT

Owlsley stumbles onto a dark, dry portico where he decides to briefly rest, but instead quickly falls deeply asleep into DREAMTIME:

*** *** ***

FADE IN:

EXT. JUNKYARD - LATE AFTERNOON

OVERCAST SKY. A storm is brewing, Red-Violet light glows through the clouds. JAGGED STEEL puncuates a chaotic junkyard. A large magnet swings from a rusty cable. A rat sprints down the cable, onto the magnet, and leaps over a pile of convoluted wires, just as a 64 Chevy is released with a thunderous racket. Overhead, a large RAVEN flies evasive maneuvers as several smaller birds soar and attack. The RAVEN DESCENDS.

SUPER IMPOSE: CLOSE-UP: A MAN'S EYE REFLECTS THE DESCENT.

The SHOT WIDENS. The man's face: mid sixties, gray, introspective with a lingering trace of nicotine poisoning. Attired in a wrinked brown suit, he walks along a narrow shelf of chrome skulls, opposite to which is a SMALL SHED and TWO JUNKMEN. He suddenly notices that he is not alone.

The CAMERA quickly PANS. Indistinct faces appear and disappear amidst the surrounding metal and debris. It is impossible to tell if their presence is real or merely a trick of the fading light.

A DISTANT VOICE calls out

Thodol

Recognizing his name, the MAN TURNS.

CUT TO:

INT. SHED - DUSK

DIRTY & RUSTIC, the inside of the shed is cluttered with bizarre artifacts. A threadbare tapestry covers one wall. The THREE MEN are seated around the twisted remains of a Harley. MAN NUMBER ONE is doing all the talking. The famous detective, G. Eustachius Thodol, looks like he is lost and can't quite remember something. MAN NUMBER TWO is mutely gazing into a greasy Laptop screen, typing furiously with his left hand while his right hand is fumbling with something in his pocket.

MAN NUMBER ONE (while looking at the sole of his shoe)

Yeah, old Storm-Drain's been do'in that ever since they left.
Won't let anybody know what he's up to with that thing either.
Took it real hard when the women left. No, no warning -
just some wild talk about dreaming and whoosh... gone.
Never saw a thing...

SILENCE. A faint creaking SOUND of a strained cable
and a large swinging object of great mass.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHED - NIGHT

The magnet crashes into the shed, immediately killing Man NUMBER ONE and STORM-DRAIN. Only the famous detective, G. Eustachius Thodol, slowly rolls out, alive. He is seen crawling through splintered timbers and rusted iron, a rat gnawing on his shoelace.

FADE TO BLACK

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FRACTAL LOOP

A small, privately funded, highly sophisticated research team is poised on the brink of "powering up" the first, truly immersive virtual reality system.
This is to be the VR system that science fiction writers have fantasized about for decades.

However, no matter how much tweaking is done by the five project scientists, there seems to be a small anomaly that keeps showing up in the preliminary tests. Since no human subject has yet directly tested the system - for safety reasons, the research team has had to rely on a specially designed artificial intelligence for test information - they can't really be certain that the anomalous data is something to be concerned about.

Ironically, just as a volunteer team member is about to don the equipment for the first human test, another team member suddenly realizes what they've been getting all along: a repeating fractal.

This seems innocuous enough at first, until they begin to grasp the scope of this particular "hyper-toroidal-quantum-fluctuation" in the system. They postpone the human test, and sit down to fully analyze the data. They are more than astonished by what they keep coming up with, but are unable to come to any other conclusion.

Unintentionally, the configuration of equipment, self teaching neural nets, and sensory feedback devices have synergistically combined to create a kind of quantum telescope: a unique telescope into time and space, only this telescope generates reality (virtual) as well as observes it.
The VR system, which was designed to be a seamless synthesizer of raw, earthly experience, has revealed the existence of another, preexisting cosmology which is synthesizing their own world: the very universe in which the research team exists.

__________________________________________________________________

This revelation opens the door for further probing. They theorize that one VR system created another and another, countless generations removed of previous cosmos creating systems. They trace it back as far as they can until a mysterious "dark spot" enters the cycle, eliminating, apparently, any hope for tracing an origin or first cause.

__________________________________________________________________

Recklessly, they at last power up their own VR system with a human
subject this time.

_________________________________________________________

With this human experiment in tandem with their continuing probe into the darkest limits, they reach the information-empty, dark spot, which marks the beginning of the cosmos' generation, and catch a split-second glimpse of their own VR system generating the universe furthest removed.

Not only was the system announcing the presence of a repeating fractal in the equipment, but the very core reality of all nature has just been revealed to be an evolving, self-contained, consciousness-driven fractal loop: like a snake living off its own tail.

One VR test begets the next VR test, or so the loop manifests itself at the current time. Perhaps a previous loop was less self-conscious. In any case, it becomes apparent that the fractal loop evolves in a quantum fashion, jumping in totality to the next manifestation. The segments of reality comprising the loop undergo a simultaneous evolution at each jump. In addition to this, there is a slight reduction in the space/time barriers dividing the segmented realities on the loop.
The logical conclusion is that in time, the barriers will dissolve, leaving total access across the previously segmented realities, the consequences of which are unknown.

This paradox proves too daunting for the researchers. Or does it? Convening a secret meeting hours before daybreak, they arrange to destroy all files, notes and records of the project.

They dismantle all the physical evidence and equipment down to a single chip's embedded circuitry and destroy it all, retaining only five main memory chips.

Each member, in possession of a single chip, goes his or her separate way and is never heard from again.

Needless to say, the backers of the project, those privately funding this covert enterprise, are quite annoyed by this sudden and mysterious disappearance.

Through an exhaustive process of elimination, they finally select an individual to research and uncover the trace remains of the project. The only thing is, he isn't informed on the true nature of the project nor the disappearance of its members.

All he is told to do is to reconstruct the rudiments of an interactive, virtual reality experiment which had previously been shelved due to funding constraints.

His name is Owlsley.
--------------------------------------------
============================================

Owlsley stood upon the brink, gazing into the shadows. The bright warmth of the day made the shadows appear all the more strange and deep as if they were dark openings to long, cavernous tunnels, and the longer he looked into them the more feasible they seemed as potential escape routes.

Behind him, forming a semi-circle thereby cutting off any possible escape, stood the five adversaries. He was ignoring them for the moment, pretending he hadn't noticed their arrival - maybe they would get bored watching him, and leave. They did that sometimes.

They'd be lingering out there in Owlsley's peripheral vision, usually during a particularly stressful moment in an otherwise uneventful day, and just as it seemed they were about to make their move, or at least make some kind of move, Owlsley would yawn or do something innocuous, and they would suddenly vanish.

The five adversaries' first manifestation in Owlsley's life didn't particularly alarm him, attributing their origin, as he did, to some neuro-biochemical "experiments" performed in his early, more reckless days. Coping with the initial shock was easy enough, Owlsley merely relegated them to an area of his brain responsible for handling paranoia and stress; yet if only his growing experience had spawned a matching depth in reflection and speculation, he might have realized that they had always been there, since birth perhaps, or even earlier.

Owlsley intentionally assumed they were harmless and basically disinterested in anything other than mere observation; however, as of late, it was becoming increasingly apparent that they were simply biding their time... Waiting.

If Owlsley knew the truth about the Adversaries, not only would he be appalled by his casual dismissal of them, but his entire notion of himself as a so called "real being" in a solid, tangible world would be utterly demolished. He had a brief intimation of this fearful secret once early in his childhood, when another part of his brain, responsible for handling trauma and existential terror quickly intervened and shut tight the door to this and other unsavory perceptions.

Eight years old at the time, he was confined to bed by a high temperature. Feverish, free from school and very spaced out, his mind wandered down an angular corridor which normally would've been well barricaded against any inadvertent trespasses by composite beings.

The notion of a "composite being" was introduced to Owlsley's understanding much later during a fever-breaking delirium, suffice to say at this point that Owlsley was a composite being, a rarity of rarities, and a special interest to the Adversaries. In any case, on that particular afternoon, Owlsley found his mind in a space it was never meant to occupy, especially this early in his career.

He was in a weird, feverish, hypnagogic state between sleep and wakefulness, staring at a corner point in his room where the ceiling meets two walls and forms a geometric hollow - a kind of skewed, three-sided pyramid - when a dimensional key, hitherto invisible, spontaneously formed a similar pyramid in his mind.

This geometric curiosity had the effect of jettisoning the tumblers of an invisible spacial lock to five directions, and without a sound or any discernible movement, a presence became known to him, or, more accurately: Their presence was revealed.

The nature of this bewildering visitation was so unprecedented in Owlsley's life that all he was capable of discerning at the time consisted primarily of two, faint, unintelligible voices originating, apparently, from the other side of his closed bedroom door.

He was too sick from fever to open the door, but he knew he was alone in the house, and it was only later during the aforementioned fever-breaking dream that he finally realized that there were in fact five "entities" who were hovering around his sick bed.

In the dream, Owlsley found himself the subject of intense scrutiny by five monk-like physicians. He thought monk because of their attitude of serene detachment, and he thought physician due to their clinical precision, as if they were researchers discussing an experiment. The source of the experiment, in this case, being a presumably unconscious Owlsley.

As soon as the subject of this experiment began to exhibit signs of perceiving the experimenters, an alarm was raised and the Five vanished unceremoniously from Owlsley's mind.

Owlsley himself completely forgot this incident until much later in life, when, during his pursuit of various degrees in science and art, they, the five Adversaries, returned with a vengeance.

This remanifestation occurred during one of Owlsley's early neuro-biochemical experiments, the particulars of which shall remain unexplored. At first Owlsley thought he was losing his mind, so he visited a psychiatrist and had several tests performed all of which indicated an above average health and psyche.

He then went the route of religious speculation, which quickly led to a dead end, and finally concluded that the Five must be some sort of disembodied personification of his own five senses.

Owlsley was particularly fond of this idea as it appealed to some Taoist fantasy of his, the origin of which he traced back to that ill-fated, childhood ending day in bed, about the eternal emptiness of being and the composite nature of sentience, but this notion also ultimately led nowhere. So he decided to live with it, and since they didn't prove to be a major hindrance to his daily life, this seemed to be a reasonable course of action. Until, that is, recent events proved otherwise.

With their increased activity came a corresponding degradation in Owlsley's equanimity, culminating in his present dilemma on the mountain side.

Owlsley had decided to take a hike along the ridge behind his house, when a short rest on some boulders overlooking a cliff lined with shallow caves precipitated one of the fiercest manifestations in Owlsley's recollection.

The boldness of their arrival indicated an urgency and lack of concern about their being directly perceived that Owlsley began to feel true fear in his defenseless position.

His only clear escape was off the boulders towards the cliff, with a bone crushing fall or perhaps death as an outcome.

None of the usual distractions were effective, in fact, for the first time Owlsley sensed the presence of eyes, or an equivalent, peering into him, emitting an electric charge which permeated his skin down to his core, like liquid x-rays filling him with primitive dread.

His only recourse was to stare at the shadows on the opposite cliff, willing them to become tunnels for escape.

There was something oddly different about the Five this time which he had not felt before: a stern malevolence had replaced what previously had seemed an inquisitive indifference.

Now this "other" Five was almost upon him while he gazed deeper into the shadows, willing a hopeless escape. It was when it seemed they must certainly be within striking distance, judging by the excruciating, electric field, and even the growing shadows were no longer a promise, but an engulfing annihilation sent to devour the world, that Owlsley's pager went off.

As simple as that, they were gone.

Owlsley raced home, dialled the pager number and spoke with a technician at a nearby communications facility where he had once briefly worked. They were reconstructing an aborted research project and needed a troubleshooter. Would Owlsley be interested? He thought of the ridge top and without hesitation said yes. He would start the next morning.

From here on, the interactive potential enters into the story. Also, an outline of plot structures and overall themes is required.

In brief summary:

An experiment in cutting edge VR is underway, backed mainly by five mysterious individuals. Their identities and their specific input into the interactive work remain to be further defined. Suffice to say, there is something a bit malignant about them.

The five researchers performing the experiment (2 women, 3 men), have wide ranging, more specifically defined backgrounds, are relatively benign and present an eclectic, binding element to the work.

When their research indicates that their universe is the product of another VR experiment, and that that virtual reality system is in turn the product of another virtual reality, ad infinitum, and non-linearly, i.e., it looks more like a torus with fractal-like qualities than a straight progression/regression, (a computer animation could convey this better), they intuit the malignant intent of the backers, destroy the project and scatter in five directions across the earth.

Each is in possession of a single chip, the linking of which leads back to the observation of and interaction with the fractal loop.

The malignant intent of the backers has to do with the weakening of the boundaries dividing the virtual worlds which is accelerated by the VR device.

The researchers, perceiving the backer's exploitative designs, designs which are ultimately destined for cataclysmic failure, scatter with the chips.

The chips act as global variables and determine the look of the completed story, depending on the final number assembled and their configuration.

The most important element in this interactive piece is the Artificial Intelligence utilized early on in the research phase of the VR device. Without revealing it too early, but hinting at it throughout, "Owlsley" is the Artificial Intelligence.

The breakdown in VR system boundaries allows the character Owlsley to serve as a kind of inter-dimensional protagonist.

In point of fact, Owlsley does not truly exist outside of simulation, but then, neither does anyone else, since the total reality here is Virtual.

Yet, Owlsley is less real in terms of the interactive story than the others, but more important to the "player" since it is Owlsley who must blindly reconstruct the experiment.

It is Owlsley who must discover the identities of the five researchers, the five backers, and the Five Adversaries who haunt him.

It is Owlsley who must find and assemble the missing chips.

And finally it is Owlsley who must discover his own artificial synthesis at the hands of the five researchers and come to the realization that "The Five Adversaries," both benign & malignant, are different aspect of, and interactions with, the backers & researchers throughout his state as an Artificial Intelligence.

__________________________________________________

........ THE HOLLOW KNOTS .....

__________________________________________________

Ergotropic Arousal: arousal of the sympathetic nervous system and the cerebral cortex, associated with creative and ecstatic experiences.

Trophotropic Arousal: arousal of the parasympathetic system, associated with deep relaxation and the timeless, oceanic mode of the mystic experience.

Both states, which may be interpreted as hyper and hypo arousal, or ecstasy and samadhi, are now thought possible to induce by computerized sound and light brain entrainment technologies.

* * *

The Hollow Knots would be a ground breaking title requiring innovative approaches to design and production.

The "story / simulation" progresses not as a game, but as a multidimensional, multilinear neurovisual epic. Three visually unique and highly complex plot structures are interwoven into a singular tapestry of strange, dark beauty. A single story emerges from the tripartite chaos as a Boschian triptych unfolds its three hinged paintings to reveal an interconnected "garden of earthly delights." The use of three parallel narratives ensures that no two journeys through The Hollow Knots would proceed identically. One storyline seamlessly flows into another, back again, and yet into a third. The observer participant (player) exponentially changes the configuration interactively as numerous routes appear and vanish, concluding toward a unification of all worlds and characters.

This is not a game; and although it may be classified under the game genre, this would be a misclassification. The Hollow Knots, if produced with meticulous care and state of the art technique, will open a new class beyond mere entertainment, into a realm of consciousness mutation and unknown discovery. A hint of danger and risk may accompany such an enterprise... (more on that later).

The Hollow Knots will be a microcosmic exploration of an entirely "other" universe, with just enough game player familiarity to allow for fluid observer-participation and learning. The player will be a collaborator in a radical socio-technical experiment, while testing the limits of interactive simulations.

The Hollow Knots: A kaleidoscopic odyssey through a visually rich universe of self-reproducing inflationary universes containing scalar fields, ancient technological civilizations with hierarchical links to future and past beings, multiple worlds and identities, primitive oracles, complicated characters, honest sexuality, benignly indifferent inorganic beings permeating galactic space, and a realm where a solitary formlessness acquires sentience by gazing into "bas-reliefs" covering an enormous labyrinthine edifice: the sole structure on a barren world. A simulation where a Virtual Reality experiment exposes tenuous boundaries between the universes, and one of several main protagonists discovers that he is really an artificial intelligence integral to an earlier VR experiment that had gone awry.

The synergistically configured, multidimensional story/software/hardware effect of playing The Hollow Knots will induce either an intravenous feedbag or a quantum step in the psychic development of the observer- participant. This will be accomplished with the use of legal and available brain entrainment technologies, intended where appropriate, to add a profound new depth to the simulation. As music has been traditionally used to add an emotional element to motion pictures and theatre, consciousness technology should now be included to open a new dimension for interactive entertainment/education.

The three elements of EEG biofeedback, light and sound will be incorporated into the storyline to induce appropriate changes in the player's delta, theta, alpha, and beta brain wave patterns, thus taking entertainment to its next step: neurological interactivity. With available techniques, pulsed light and the superimposition of binaural beat frequencies incorporated into the software, the player will feel an emotional, psychological and physiological involvement in The Hollow Knots unlike any other cybernetic experience. This could be analogous to a precursor technology, in which images would be created directly with the mind. Naturally this would require extensive "in-house" testing with a measure of secrecy: some may consider this project ethically and psychologically challenging.

00oo-~^~-oo00
00oo-~^~-oo00
00oo-~^~-oo00

"Laughter is the mother's milk of the infinite." -END-

Copyright©1996-97 MT
[- Return to top -]

Meanwhile []| | From another space & time...

Draft: PORTAL JANE'S TALES
- (The City Launch of Flying Mammals) -
Copyright ©1996-1997-2000-04 Mark Thornally mthorn@ix.netcom.com

FADE IN:

EXT. CITYSCAPE - LATE AFTERNOON

OVERCAST SKY. A storm is brewing, Red-Violet light glows through the clouds. WHACKED-OUT PEDESTRIANS punctuate an angular, glassed labyrinth of narrow avenues and light-running cars; all movement reflects the ordered-chaos.
A large, nouveau-urban Pagoda dominates the view. The uppermost spire scrapes the underbelly of a low-flying blimp. A squirrel sprints down the spire into a protective hole in the pagoda wall. Overhead, a large HELICOPTER flies evasive maneuvers around the blimp, as several small birds soar and attack the blimp's blinking lights which are spelling out:

Drink Fresh Squeezed Squirrel Juice!

The HELICOPTER DESCENDS.

SUPERIMPOSE: CLOSE-UP: A WOMAN'S EYE REFLECTS THE DESCENT.

The SHOT WIDENS. The woman's attractive face: middle-aged, alert, bright and intelligent with a lingering trace of the hybrid-mutant shapeshifter. Attired in urban hiking clothes, she walks alone along a shear curb, opposite to which is a DEEP RED RUMBLING BUS. She suddenly notices that she is not alone.

The CAMERA quickly PANS. Indistinct faces appear and disappear amidst the surrounding cars and glass. It is impossible to tell if their presence is real or merely a trick of the light.

A DISTANT VOICE calls out

Portal Jane

Recognizing her name, the WOMAN TURNS.

CUT TO:

EXT. OFFICE BUILDING - DUSK

A surreal, NEO-GOTHIC OFFICE BUILDING, sits alone amid wild TROPICAL LANDSCAPING, the imagery is embedded in city wall. Reflected in an illumined window, a man dressed in nothing but a T-shirt and bumper stickers is whirling like a dervish. THE CAMERA PANS 180 DEGREES, then ZOOMS SLOWLY into the man's forehead.

The last of the mad celibate monks, Straight Jacket Malak, hands out carob nano-processors with popcorn; a small barcode is tatooed on his forehead. Whirling and Ranting, he is screaming at no one in particular:

STRAIGHT JACKET MALAK

Fellow Worker Drones!
Where are all the low paying, poor satisfaction
jobs for dull morons like myself? I think I must've
taken one of those evolutionary exits on the tree
of life, destined for naturally selected obsolescence.
That sort of thing used to take hundreds of millennia.
Imagine my surprise: one minute I'm swerving to avoid
cybertooth felines, and the next thing I know, there's
a sentient tractor sitting in my living room speaking
VRML at me, like I know what the hell it's talking
about... Oh Sure! And what about China, huh?
Popcorn and processors!
FOOD of the GODS!

CUT TO:

INT. HOUSE - DUSK

Modern furnishings - plants, paintings, sculpture - one wall is full of computer equipment. The chaotic SOUND of a TV is heard as a man glances from his computer work to the TV screen. Back and forth. The CAMERA begins to PAN until his face is momentarily sillouetted by the TV screen.
The TV fills the scene.

TV VOICE

...And now the piano concerto number 20 in D minor, by Mozart.

CUT TO:

INT. CONCERT HALL - DUSK

A RAUCUS CROWD fills the hall with the SOUND of HOWLS and WHISTLES. Many are eating popcorn and having animated conversations. The MUSICIANS, attired in street worn clothing - a tough looking ensemble - begin playing flawless Mozart. Many in the crowd don light-emitting goggles. Their raucus pace continues unabated - the music overrides their noise.

CUT TO:

EXT. OFFICE BUILDING - NIGHT

Tracking shot.
The SOUND of Mozart segueing into the SOUND of airbrakes on the RED BUS fills the air. The building colors subtly reflect the changing sounds. Portal Jane is decanted abruptly into the night as the BUS DISSOLVES into the urban jungle foliage.

PORTAL JANE

...Whoa! Hi-yah Manna...!

She looks at the twisting form of Straight Jacket Malak as he sails through the air safely attached to a helicopter's grappling hook: the approved method for dispatching troublesome vagrants.

Stepping across an art deco threshold, Portal Jane enters the oscillating lobby of the neo-gothic office building. She has an important announcement to make. Meanwhile, The Corporate Overlords, sensing a looming, vibrational dissonance in the approved, sanctioned pattern field infrastructurally, look out their windows as the rains begin to fall...

FADE TO BLACK

Draft: P O R T A L _ J A N E ' S _ T A L E S
- (The City Launch of Flying Mammals) -
Copyright © 1996-1997-2000-04,'05,'06,'07,'08,'09-2013...
Mark Thornally mthorn@ix.netcom.com




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