Categories > Original > Drama > The Archive (A Screenplay)

The Archive : Part 1

by sammywrae 0 Reviews

Part 1 of 5 of the screenplay. The story is not in five parts, however it is 20,000 words long, and does not suit a single chapter.

Category: Drama - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters:  - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2008/06/21 - Updated: 2008/06/21 - 4883 words - Complete

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INT PUBLIC LIBRARY

Caption : Public Library, Serenity, Ianara District.
28th February, Year Of The Goddesses 2,305


Darena (a young girl of around 12/13) is sat at table, and in front of her is a book. The title of the book is "Sometimes, There Is No Right Choice" and the author is "Sophia Tuscon". Darena opens it, and begins to read.

EXT PUBLIC SHOPPING CENTER

Caption : Blackwall Center, Serenity.
23rd February, YOG 1,305, 12:35pm


It is a typical shopping center. People of all ages are shopping, having a good time. The camera focuses in on a family - two women, a daughter and two sons. They walk in to the center

INT PUBLIC SHOPPING CENTER

We follow the family down the main concourse, then we see them stop in front of a bookshop.

DAUGHTER

Mother - do you think I co...

Before she can finish the sentence, the bookshop explodes.

EXT PUBLIC SHOPPING CENTER

People are running around, screaming, crying and bleeding. We can now hear sirens getting louder.

INT PUBLIC SHOPPING CENTER

The bookshop is in ruins, as is the surrounding area. The camera drifts around, showing the devastation. We see the bodies of the family from the previous scene. They are clearly dead, and did not die well.

EXT PUBLIC SHOPPING CENTER

In a dark alley across from the main entrance, a young woman is stood in the shadows. She is in her mid twenties, with wavy black hair. She has a sad expression on her face. This is SOPHIA TUSCON

SOPHIA
(speaking to herself)

Well - it wasn't as if we had a choice

EXT QUEEN'S PALACE

Caption : Queen's Palace, Serenity. 1:35pm

QUEEN LEONARA is speaking to the press. She is in her mid thirties, with blonde hair and blue eyes.

LEONARA

I am sure everyone in Pallatium joins me in
utterly condemning this terrorist action.
I promise you, I will find the culprits, and
when I do, they will pay in full for every
life they have taken

JOURNALIST #1

Your Highness - this is the twentieth bombing
this month. Can you tell us something about
what you are doing to stop further bloodshed?

LEONARA

As you can imagine, the exact details are
classified. However, earlier today I formed
the first of three agencies that will exist
soley to tackle this terrorist threat. The
Directorate Of Justice will take over the
responsibility of trying terrorists, while
the Special Services will devote all their
time to tracking down these criminals.

JOURNALIST #2

Have you considered asking for help from
some of our neighbours? And do you know if
they fear that the violance will spread to
them?

LEONARA

I have made agreements with our neighbours
that they will turn over anyone who flees
to their territories, but I believe that
the PPA will not dare to risk taking
the war outside the land.

INT FLAT #1

Four people, including Sophia, are watching a TV. The other three are Juliana Bronson, Ariana Green and Michael White.

JULIANA

She makes us sound like cowards.

MICHAEL

Of course she does. She can't tell the truth -
that our neighbours are still democratic,
and she is a dictator. And none of the
journalists are going to ask her that
question because...

ARIANA

They are either all hand-picked for their
beliefs, or they are too damn scared to
ask any question that will make
(sarcastic tone)
Our Belevoed Majesty
(normal tone)
seem bad.

LEONARA
(from the tv)

We are close to identifiying the leaders of
the PPA, and, when the National Security Laws
come in to force, the SpecS will have a lot
more powers at their dispoal to hunt down
and destroy these enemies of democracy and
freedom

The four people glance at each other.

SOPHIA

Time to move on?

The others nod.

INT FLAT #1

Caption : 22nd February, YOG 1,305. 10:55pm

Juliana, Michael, Ariana and Sophia are gathered round a table. There are blueprints on the table, that show the ground flaw of the Blackwall Shopping Center. Lying around the flat, we can see timers, packets marked C4, wires and other equipment used for making bombs.

SOPHIA

Here (she points to an area on the map) The
store is run by Althea Taylor

She picks up a newspaper, and turns so the other three can see the front page. There is a photograph of Queen Leonara standing next to a middle-aged woman. They are shaking hands, and clearly friends.

SOPHIA

She is a major contributer, and is tipped
to be a member of the DOJ when it is fully
operational

MICHAEL

Okay. We will go first thing tomorrow
morning, and set the timers for just past
noon. That should produce enough of a
reaction to make her think twice about
supporting The Queen.

ARIANA

We will have to inform the others, so that
they aren't around (she looks over at
Juliana)
do you want to do that?

Juliana nods, and then stands up and leaves the room. Sophia watches her go, then turns back to the group.

SOPHIA

I will keep watch. You two are becomming
too well known to be seen around after the
attack.

They both nod, then Sophia looks down at the plan again.

MICHAEL

You two should get some sleep. I will check
over the devices, make sure they are all
working okay.

Sophia leaves the room, and we follow her to her bed room. She sits down on her bed, and pulls out a small notedpad.

SOPHIA
(vo as she writes)

Tomorrow is another attack. The twentieth
the Army has done, and the fifth we have
been responsible for personally.
(she pauses, the continues)
Taylor is a dispicable human being - she was
a year above me in school, and even then she
was a pretty horrible person.
(she pauses again, then continues)
But this isn't about revenge, or settling
personal scores. She is one of the major
supporters of The Queen, and if we can
ruin her business, we can take away a lot
of her power and influence.
(she pauses again, then continues)
If tomorrow goes as we hope, then it will
be a large step foward to freeing the country
from the grip of The Queen.

She puts the notepad away, then lies down on the bed.

EXT PUBLIC PARK

Caption : Serala Park, Serentiy.
24th February, YOG 1,305. 10:35am


Sophia is sat on a bench, watching a group of kids playing on the playground in the middle of the park. After a few moments, another young woman (ALISON DUCHAMP) sits down next to her, and begins reading a paper.

ALISON
(speaking to Sophia, though reading her paper)

Our contact inside the army has said there are
going to be a number of arrests. They are
sweeping your district in about two hours.

SOPHIA

Thanks. If we have to move, will you still be
able to get in contact with us?

ALISON

We will get in touch with you. Don't try to
get in touch with us.

SOPHIA

Okay.

After a few more moments watching the kids play, she gets up and leaves. Alison stays where she is.

INT FLAT #1

Caption : 11:25am

The four people from the night before are sat around the table, talking in an urgent manner.

JULIANA

You know it is the only way. I am the most well
known of the group - if they get me, then you
three can disappear in to the night, and they
will not come after you.

ARIANA

But you have heard the rumours - you know what
they will do when they get hold of you.

JULIANA

Not if I don't give them the chance.

The room falls in to silence for a moment. Then, one by one, the other three nod. Juliana smiles.

JULIANA

Just promise me you will win. If it turns out
that we did all this for nothing, then I promise
I will come back and haunt you.

EXT FLAT #1

Caption : 12:55pm

Four police cars and four army vehicles pull up in front of the flat. All of the occupants are heavily armed. They swarm the door to the flat building.

OFFICER #1

Delta, Echo - round the back. Gamma, Epsilon -
take the left. We don't want them getting away.

OFFICER #2

Yes sir. My neice was at Blackwell - I want
these bastards bad.

OFFICER #1(smiles)

We need prisoners, Julie, not corpses. But the
Captain didn't say they had to be in one piece.

OFFICER #2
(snaps off a salute)

YES SIR!

INT FLAT

Juliana is sat at the table on her own. The rest of the flat is empty, and most of the personal items in previous frames have vanished. She looks out of the window and sees the forces gathered outside. She smiles to herself, and walks down to the front door and opens it.

EXT FLAT #1

OFFICER #1

STOP RIGHT THERE! Put your hands up, and come
out slowly.

JULIANA

Yes sir.

She raises her hands, and walks out of the house.

OFFICER #1

Alpha, Beta - search the house.

Six officers enter the building, while Juliana is walked over to the command vehicle.

OFFICER #1

Name?

JULIANA

Juliana Bronson, but it won't do you any good.

OFFICER #1

Why?

EXT PUBLIC STREET

The three others from the flat are watching the scene from the barricades errected. They can clearly hear what is going on.

JULIANA

Because you won't live long enough to use it.

She slips her hand in to her pocket.

ARIANA

That's the signal.

SOPHIA

I know

She pulls out a tiny control pad from her jacket, and - with a final look across at her friend - she pushes the button.

EXT OUTSIDE FLAT #1

The flat explodes in a huge ball of flame, knocking most of the officers on their bums.

EXT ARMY COMMAND VEHICLE

Juliana throws herself at the police officer, and a moment later she explodes in a ball of flame as well.

EXT PUBLIC STREET

The three watch the resulting fireball, all with tears in their eyes. Then they turn and walk away.

EXT OUTSIDE FLAT #1

Caption : Ten minutes later

Officer #2 is surveying the damage. She pulls out a radio.

OFFICER #2
(to the radio)

We lost thirteen officers, and the prisoner.

VOICE
(on the radio)

What happened?

OFFICER #2
(to the radio)

She detonated a bomb in the house, then blew
herself up rather than let her be captured. She
took the Sarge with her as well.

VOICE
(on the radio)

She blew herself up?

OFFICER #2
(to the radio)

Yes sir.

VOICE
(on the radio)

Very well. Secure the area, then return to the
offices. I will be talking to the captain later.

INT FLAT #2 (a new one)

Caption : 7:40pm

The three are watching the news.

ANNOUNCER
(on the tv)

Today, in the south side of Serenity, a
terrorist caused the death of more than a dozen
innocent people when she attacked a military
convoy. Juliana Bronson was detained on
charges of murder, terrorism with bloodshed and
treason, and she blew herself up, along with a
number of officers and her neighbours when
she destroyed her base of operations.
(various pictures are shown)
Also found were the bodies of five of her
co-conspiritors.

MICHAEL
(turning the tv off)

How many people do you think will buy that?

ARIANA

Enough to make it worth their while to lie. And
the officers were dead, so why not use their
deaths to further the cause even more?
(she glances at Sophia)
Soph?

SOPHIA

Just wondering if the others heard this, and
if they know we are still around?

ARIANA

They will get in touch when they get in touch.
At the moment it is too dangerous, so they
won't whether they think we are dead or not.

SOPHIA

Okay.
(she stands up)
I am off to bed.

ARIANA/MICHAEL

Good night.

INT SOPHIA'S BEDROOM

Sophia pulls out the notepad again, and begins to write.

SOPHIA
(vo as she writes)

So - you are wondering how I can stand by and
watch a good and dear friend blow herself up,
and how I can watch kids in the park one day,
and then plant a bomb that will kill them, and
kill them bloody, the next day? Well - like
most stories, it starts when I was young, and
niave, and innocent.

INT FINAL SCHOOL

Caption : Queen Telara Final School, Serenity.
Ascension Day (9th June) YOG 1,292.


We are in a typical classroom. The students are all 8/9, including a young Sophia sat near the front of the class.

TEACHER

This morning, we will be watching the Ascension
Ceremony of Queen Leonara. As you know, she has
been elected to replace the out-going Queen
Serala, and is one of the youngest Queens to
be elected since the Ascension of The First
Queen.

The kds all look bored.

TEACHER

Okay - I know it is not that exciting, but
this will be the first Ascension Ceremony you
have seen in your lifetime, and it might be
the only one you see. When you are older, you
will come to look back on this day with fond
memories, as Queen Leonara goes on with her
reign.
(she looks at her watch)
And now - it's time.

She turns on the tv at the front of the classroom.

ANNOUNCER(on the tv)

And now, the New Majesty is taking the Rod of
Office from Queen Serala.

On the tv, we see a young Leonara, along with an older woman who is QUEEN SERALA. Serala passes a golden staff to Leonara, then bows deeply to her. Leonara smiles, then walks to the poduim at the front of the stage.

LEONARA

By the Rod of The Three, I do swear that I will
do my duty to govern and rule Pallatium with
wisdom, justice and compassion.

The crowd cheers and there are many shouts of joy and merrymaking.

LEONARA

Thank you, my people, for giving me this chance
to serve you. I promise I will use those
gifts I have been given to bring Pallatium
to a new age of wisdom, and a new age of
harmony. I will ensure people will have
pride in their country, and in themselves, and
I will make Pallatium the country that we all
know it can be.
(she pauses for applause)
I will dedicate myself to ensuring we can grow
together, as one country, and that, together
we can be strong. I will use our resources, and
our skills, to keep that which makes us what we
are in the forefront of our advancements, and
I will ensure we will never forget from where
we came.
(she pauses for more applause, louder than the
first)

And I promise that the wars of the recent years
will become a thing of a past. That we will
have a safe and secure future, from our enemies.
(she waves, and walks off the stage to
thunderous applause)


The teacher turns the tv off, and looks back to the class.

TEACHER
(sounding less happy than before)

So - who can tell me about The First Queen?

INT TUSCON HOUSE

Caption : 9:55pm

Sophia's parents (LYSSA AND THEALA) are talking, unaware that young Sophia is eavesdropping.

LYSSA

I don't know. The way she was talking - it
didn't sound good.

THEALA

I am sure you are just over-reacting Lys. And
even if she turns out to be bad, then we can
always have another election.

LYSAA

I suppose.

INT SOPHIA'S BEDROOM (Flat #2)

Sophia is still writing in the notepad.

SOPHIA
(vo whilst writing)

I was nine when Queen Leonara came to the
throne, and I didn't understand why my mother
and my chana were so unhappy about what she
had said in her Ascension Speech. I thought
that war was a bad thing, and that peace was
much better. And that having a country we
could be proud of was a good thing as well.
(a pause)
Like I said, I was nine.

EXT QUEEN'S PALACE

Caption : Queen's Palace, Serenity.
15th April, YOG 1,293. 2:30pm


Leonara is adressing a group of journalists.

LEONARA

Today, I passed in to the law the Education
Reform Decree. Our education system is
crumbling under the strain it is being
forced to bare, and I believe that, with these
reforms, we will be able to bring it back
to some semblence of controls.

JOURNALIST

What does this Decree do?

LEONARA

For too long, we have all been forced to pay
for the education of those who come to settle
here from outside. People who come here for a
free ride for their children, and then let their
children take that knowledge elsewhere, so that
all of your tax guilders will benefit other
nations, while our own future is put in peril.
I believe that the vast majority of decent,
hard-working people of Pallatium will believe,
as I do, that duty to our own children should
come first, and that it is they we should be
giving priority to in education.

JOURNALIST

There are rumours that you intend to alter
the operation of the press. May I ask if
these are true?

LEONARA

Yes, but I think you need not fear the
planned reforms. There will be more detail
available later, but I plan to relax the
binding laws you have worked under in regard
to the actions of the judicial system.

There are a few surprised gasps from the assembled journalists.

LEONARA

Since I took office, I have discovered a number
of irregularities in the way some cases were
handled, but that were kept secret, or - as some
might say - swept under the rug - by the
jucicious application of the SubJ laws.
(she pauses to let this sink in)
Now, I fully understand the need for
impartiallity in the judicial process, and I
have no desire to interfere with that. However
I do not believe that a corrupt system should
be protected, nor do I believe that the
various inconsistancies and irregularities that
I have uncovered should remain hidden because
of an outdated law that acts more to protect
those who do wrong than those who are innocent.

JOURNALIST

Will you be providing examples of these
irregularities?

LEONARA

Of course. I could hardly make such accusations
without providing suitable proof to back up my
words now, could i?

INT TUSCON HOUSE

Caption : 6:30pm.

The three members of the family are having tea.

LYSSA

So - any ideas what these new Judicial Reforms
will contain?

THEALA

No. If Tralia receieved a copy, she has yet
to send it round the rest of the pool.
(she pauses, and glances at her daughter, then
back to her wife)

What are your collegues making of it?

LYSSA

Most of them are all for it.
(she smiles at Theala's grin)
I know, it is not that surprising. But if they
can do more reporting on some of the more
major trials, then it will sell more papers.

There is a pause while they all eat.

THEALA

And you?

LYSSA

You know me too well to think that.
(she smiles again)
I think that the laws were put there for a
reason, and while reviews, and even slight
modifications are okay, I am not convinced
that wholesale reform is the right way to go.

SOPHIA

Why? Is it so wrong that papers should be
allowed to tell the truth about someone?
(both parents turn to look at her)
There was a debate in the last class, and
Althea asked that.

LYSSA

It is not the truth we are worried about, love.

THEALA

It is what people think is the truth, and
what they will believe is the truth.
(Sophia looks confused)
Imagine that, later tonight, you bump your head
on a door, and get a big bruise on your
forehead.
(Sophia nods)
Tomorrow you go to school, and someone says that
it came from Lyssa hitting you with a book
because you were bad.

SOPHIA

But that wouldn't be true.

LYSSA

But would people believe it?

Sophia looks thoughtful

SOPHIA

I suppose so.
(she pauses, then continues)
So you think that someone might tell a lie, and
the papers would print it and people would
believe it is the truth?
(both her parents nod)
Okay.

They continue their tea in silence.

INT SOPHIA'S BEDROOM (Flat #2)

Sophia is still writing in the notepad.

SOPHIA
(vo while writing)

In my last two years at school, between 1,294
and 1,296, there were very few major changes to
the laws that govern Pallatium. And those
changes that were made were very subtle.
They all made it clear that Queen Leonara was
working to her stated goal of making sure the
interests of the native born were taken care of,
sometimes at the expense of those who came to
live here.
(she pauses)
However some of the changes were brought home to
me more forcefully, because my mother worked as
a judge.

INT TUSCON HOUSE

Caption : 17th Sept, YOG 1295. 10:30pm

Theala storms in to the house, flings her briefcase down on to the sofa, and throws her jacket across the room. Lyssa, hearing the noise, comes in. Sophia (now aged 13) is listening by a door.

LYSSA
(a little warily)

Hon? What's wrong?

Theala looks round, and her expression softens.

THEALA

Sorry sweetie. I just had a bad day.

LYSSA

What happened?

THEALA

I was given a promotion.

LYSSA

And that's a bad thing because...

THEALA

I have been promoted to the immigration
department.

LYSSA

Wow. Big promoition.

THEALA

I know. And if it was what I wanted, I would
be over the moon.
(she sighs)

LYSSA

But you don't want it?

THEALA

I don't deserve it. I wasn't promoted because
I am the best at my job, or because I am
very good at what I do.
(she pauses, then takes her wife's hand)
My next case was a pro-bono job for REAL, and
the judge who is going to take it now...
(she shakes her head)
I don't want to speak ill of my fellow judges,
so I will refrain from telling you what I think
of her.

LYSSA

You think that you were promoted because you
would have helped repeal the new education
laws?
(she takes her wife's hands)
So what are you going to do?

THEALA

What can I do?
(she waves her arms expansively)
If I turn it down, I will be asked to give up
my position on the bench, and
(she glances over at the door to Sophia's
bedroom)

there is the future to think of.

LYSSA

You think that if you stand up on this, that
more direct action might be taken?

THEALA

Don't you?

Sophia closes the door, and goes back to her bed, and lays down.

EXT QUEEN TELARA FINAL SCHOOL

Caption : Queen Telara Final School
June 25th, YOG 1,296. 11:00am

It is morning break. Kids are milling around. We see a car pull up at the gates, and two armed guards step out. A moment later, a man (DARTHON ROR) and a woman (PRIAS NASRON) in suits step out of the car and walk over to the school buildings, escorted by the armed guards.

INT CLASSROOM

This is the same class as we saw four years before, except they are all four years older, and there are a few less students than before.
The teacher comes to the front of the class, along with the two people from the car.

TEACHER

Well - as this is your last day before you
graduate, we have some special visitors.
(she gestures)
May I present Prias Narson, Head of The
Education Service, and Darthon Ror, Head of The
Welfare System.

There is very little reaction from the students, but one or two make a noticable effort to sit up straighter and look as if they are paying attention.

PRIAS
(talking to the teacher)

Thank you for inviting us here today.
(turns to the students)

I understand that most of you have had some
career talks with the guidance teacher here,
but I, and my associate Mr Ror, have been
invited here today to give you an insight in
to working for the government, and to answer
any questions you might have about working
for Queen Leonara in the service of our people.

For a moment there is silence, then one of the "sitting up straight" kids (LUCINDA DOYLE) raises her hand.

PRIAS

Yes?

LUCINDA

How do you work with the Queen?
(Prias looks at her questioningly)
I mean - do you have regular meetings, or
does Queen Leonara tend to send down the
new laws and you work with them?

PRIAS

It is a mix of the two. The heads of department
are a part of the cabinet, and meet with the
Queen on a weekly basis, but the other staff
tend to deal with the Heads, rather than
directly with The Queen.
(she points to another student)

STACEY ROWE

I have a question for Mr Ror.

DARTHON

Yes, young lady?

STACEY

I understand the welfare department is being
split in to two parts. How will that affect
the staff who are there?

DARTHON

Not very much. The jobs of the two departments
will do more or less the same job.

SOPHIA

Then why are they being split up?

Both Prias and Darthon turn to look at her

PRIAS

And your name is?

SOPHIA

Sophia Tuscon

PRIAS

Theala's daughter?
(Sophia nods in surprise)
I know your mother. She is a good judge.

SOPHIA

Thank you. But - why is Welfare being split
in to two divisions?

DARTHON

To simplify the administration of the various
resources, Queen Leonara has set up one
department to handle the native born
claimants, and another for those of the
people who come to live here.

SOPHIA

And they are going to be run the same way, or
is one department going to get more funds
than another?

DARTHON

Their funds will vary with the needs of the
departments. Are there any more questions?
(points to another student)

TOMAS DERWENT

Is the Queen planning on dealing with the
judges who are opposing her progress?

PRIAS

As you know, the judicial system is entirely
independent from The Queen, and she has no power
over it.

TOMAS

But they are preventing her from governing
properly, aren't they? Wouldn't it be better
if she could do what she needs to do without
the necessity of fighting with a few people
who don't understand the need for progress?

PRIAS

It is true that there are some judges who are
causing problems, but in the past, all attempts
to change that part of the legal system have
been voted down by the population. Perhaps,
in the future, the public will start to get
sick of these reactionary judges and give
Queen Leonara more scope for action.
(looks at the teacher)
We have time for one more question?
(the teacher nods, so Prias points at a girl
in the back)

Yes?

HOLLY BELL

Why does the Queen keep refering to native born
and foreign born people in the country, and yet
the laws seem to relate more to the sex of the
people, as opposed to their original
nationality?
(there is a moment of silence, then the teacher
turns to Prias and Darthon)


TEACHER

I think that is all the time we have. So - I
would like to thank Ms Narson and Mr Ror
for coming in to talk to us today, and hopefully
you have all been given a better idea of what
a future in government would entail.

There is a little applause, but some of the other students are simply staring in surprise at Holly.

The two visitors leave the class, and, after they are gone, the teacher turns back.

TEACHER

This afternoon we will have a rehersal for
graduation tomorrow, but now you can all go to
lunch.
(the class starts to file out)
Miss Bell - may I have a word?

Sophia leaves the class, along with the rest of the class, but stays by the door, interested in what the teacher has to say to Holly.

TEACHER
(in a quiet voice)

I have told you about this before. You should
not be drawing attention to yourself.
Especially now, when you are about to go
out in to the world.

HOLLY
(also in a quiet voice)

I know. And I promise I was listening.

TEACHER
(quiet)

You just accused the Queen of legislating
against mixed-sex marriages, and you did
it to two of the most senior members of
her cabinet. Would you like me to get a
dictionary so you can point out
which part of that was "not drawing
attention to yourself?"

HOLLY
(quiet)

I know - I know. But my neighbours kid has
had to drop out of school, because he has
a father. And, on a purely personal basis,
my mother's father was well known as an
activist for equal rights, and if the Queen
continues on her current path...

TEACHER
(quiet)

I understand. But I would like you to think
about something.

HOLLY
(quiet)

What?

TEACHER
(quiet, but serious)

If you draw undue attention to yourself, then
it is not beyond reason The Queen, or some
of her minions, will find a reason to deal
with you.
(sees Holly's eyes widen)
You understand now?

HOLLY
(quiet, but serious)

Yes miss.
(she smiles at her teacher)
Thank you.

Sophia walks away from the door, a thoughtful look on her face
<<
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