Us vs. Them

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First, some housecleaning. The Scoob Casting Challenge is still on, but that ambitious one-a-day schedule has fallen by the wayside. I think we’ll sprinkle a few in – take a couple days in order to focus on other topics (such as the unfortunate loss of my limb) and then rinse and repeat. I also owe a 24 and Lost update. 24 is coming tomorrow. Lost on Friday.

In the meantime, to fill some space, I decided to publish the first scene of one of the screenplays I have been developing forever. Bear in mind – this is not written in traditional screenplay format. My style is to smash the screenplay and novel together. If I were to ever get a sniff of a sale, I’d hammer this into proper form. But for now, for me, for you – this is how it goes. Here’s Scene 1. If you like or at least want to read more, I’ll publish additional pages.

FADE OUT

 

Us. Vs. Them

FADE IN

1.  EXT.  “Heydon Delta – Noomi Village”   Night   1.

A dense starfield stretches infinitely. The stars burn bright, their white light broken by the barest blotches of blackness. Suddenly, movement. The stars rearrange themselves, starting and stopping in unison. Motion then calm. The celestial dance repeats over and over. Somewhere, a beckoning voice calls out in the night.

Mother
Wu! Come to dinner!

Nearby a young boy, all of ten, frolics amongst the reeds ringing Noomi Village, a sparse township plunked haphazardly in the midst of unwelcoming marshland. The boy scurries to and fro, lost in pleasurable pursuit of flitting fireflies, the “starfield” revealed. A firefly lights on the edge of a solitary reed, allowing the cool night air to massage its weary wings. The boy, Wu, slows his pace, sliding into stealth mode. He approaches the reed carefully, cautiously, heeding his Dad’s oft-told words as they echo in his head.

Father
All good things come to those who wait, my son.

Wu stops mere inches from his quarry, easily within striking distance. He raises his hands, slowly, deliberately, careful to avoid emitting even the tiniest atmospheric disruption. The slightest tempest could spell disaster, clueing the hunted into the conspiracy around it and sending the firefly back into the night, adrift on frenzied flight. Caution is on Wu’s side. The fly sits, oblivious, or perhaps, tiredly resigned to its fate. It’s tail leisurely pulses, beaming tiny spots of light sporadically into the night. Wu steadies his hand, closing the gap of inches between he and it. The hand, ¾ open, surrounds the reed, awaiting the moment of truth. Sink or swim. Success or failure. Within Wu’s mind chemicals flow, neurons charge, synapses spark… Impulse takes over. His hand clamps shut.

Satisfaction washes over Wu’s face. He holds still, relishing his victory. Then, carefully, he withdraws his hand, pulling it in tight, close to his chest. Victory! His clenched fist turns to meet his awaiting eyes. His face pulls forward, hunched over the catch. The final stages of the plan unfold slowly. Again, thought happens, and one finger is relaxed, then released. This is followed by another, and then another; the final two following in rapid succession. Again Wu cranes forward, eager to soak in the moment. His eyes grow, seeming ready to burst from his head, his heart pounds, excitement builds, as his hand bursts open. The fly sits still. Nothing happens. Wu looks disappointed. Then suddenly, a rumbling rolls across the field, it’s fury building. Blinding white hot light rushes into the frame, bathing Wu in its unnatural glow. Wu’s eyes instinctively snap shut. His hands push forward, outstretched, struggling to push back the unwelcome intrusion. Wu’s mouth drops open, inhales sharply then just as quickly, exhales, bringing with it a voluminous scream. His pained shrieks are soon drowned out by a violent rushing of air. Then silence. As quickly as it came, the brilliant intrusion is extinguished. Light becomes dark. Day turns back to night.

Wu stands frozen, shock having taken him under its wing. His hair singed, eyes wide, hands outstretched, he stands the sole witness to the force of fear. Two ships, Revenant Cruisers, soar above and beyond him, rocketing deep into the night sky. Behind him, flames lick at the scattered remains of Noomi village. The boy doesn’t notice his Mom’s voice has been silenced. He tilts his head to the sky, peering upward, watching as the two ships fade into the night, finally uttering one yearning cry:

Wu
Mommy?

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