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

The Archive : Part 4

by sammywrae 0 Reviews

Part 4 of the screenplay

Category: Drama - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters:  - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2008/06/30 - Updated: 2008/06/30 - 3745 words - Complete

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INT HOUSE

Caption : 10:45pm

A group of people are sat round the table, including Ariana, Michael, Alison, Alexis and Juliana.

ALEXIS

So - that's where we are at the moment.

JULIANA

Do you think we should stop?

ALEXIS

I don't know.

ARIANA

No. We shouldn't.

Everyone turns and stares at her.

JULIANA

Care to explain?

ARIANA

We aren't the one putting civilians in harms
way. They are doing that.
(starts pacing back and forth)
They know we are going to carry on the bombings
for as long as they carry on their torture
and murder routine.
(stops, turns and faces them, looking serious)
And yet, knowing that, they are putting people
in harms way.

JULIANA

It's a thin line, Ari.

ARIANA

I know. And when we are done, we will have to
answer for everything we do.
(she sighs)
But what's the alternative? Let the
disappearances continue? Let the "official"
murders continue?

There is silence.

ARIANA

Passive resistance hasn't worked. All it has
done is let a lot of us get shot, and even
more of us put in prison.
(looks around)
I don't want to kill people who might support
us, but on the other hand if they do support
us then they are in danger from the Queen's
forces anyway.

Another period of silence

JULIANA

Lexi - any other news?

ALEXIS

Depends on your point of view.

ARIANA

So do a great many things in life.

ALEXIS

Quite.
(pauses)
There are a couple of new initiaitives being
set up.
(everyone winces)
Yeah. Well - the first is that any business
that actively promotes the world view of
The Queen will get benefits of various sorts.

ARIANA

Actively promotes?

ALEXIS

Bookshops that sell books saying mixed-sex
marriages are bad. Cinemas that show films
that make out rebels to be bad people. That
sort of thing.
(pauses)
And, of course, people who make large donations
to her government and to the cause will gain
extra favours as well.

ARIANA

Wonderful.
(looks around)
Anything else?
(there is no reply)
Okay then. We are done for the night.

The people start to leave, only in groups of ones or twos, until Ariana, Alison and Michael are left in the group.

ALISON

Ari? You looked like you had an idea.

ARIANA
(reluctantly)

The protests aren't working, and, despite what
I said, if we push on with the bombings, then
Queen Leonara might be able to win the PR war.

MICHAEL

So?

ARIANA

There are only two things that make
politicians, even corrupt dictators like The
Queen, change their minds.
(pauses)
The first is bad PR.

ALISON

Which you have already dealt with.

ARIANA

And the second is money.

There is a slight pause.

MICHAEL

You want to bribe her to stand down?

Alison smacks him on the back of the head.

MICHAEL

What?

ALISON

She is not suggesting bribing The Queen.
(she stares at Ariana)
She is suggesting we expand the bombing
campaign from The Queen's military support
to her financial support.

Michael stares at both of them in surprise.

MICHAEL

That won't win us any friends.

ARIANA

I know. But if they are actively supporting
The Queen, why shouldn't we treat them as
legitimate targets?
(holds her hand up to forestall any objections)
I know there is a difference between a bookshop
owner who sells books, and an armed policeman
who shoots people in the head, but - in all
honesty - I don't see it as much of a
difference.

There is a longish period of silence, then Alison shrugs.

ALISON

May I suggest that, for the moment, we keep
to the original plan.
(turns to Ariana)
Even if you do have a point about The Queen's
supporters, I don't think now is the time to
start expanding our target list. We have only
been doing this a little while, so lets see
where it gets us before we step up to the
next level.

Ariana stares at her for a moment, the nods.

ALISON

Okay. I will talk to the other groups, and tell
them about the plan in respect to the police
and the army.
(smiles)
I don't think I will tell them what we might
be planning in the future just yet, if only
because we don't want it getting out if we
decide not to go that way.

The other two in the room nod.

EXT PUBLIC SHOPPING CENTER

Caption : Blackwall Center, 9th June, YOG 1,301. 10:35am

Sophia is looking in the window of a bookshop (the one she will blow up in a few years time) when Alison walks up behind her.

ALISON

Miss Tuscon?

Sophia turns round.

SOPHIA

Headmistress?

ALISON

Just Miss Duchamp now.
(smiles)
Or Alison, if you think you can manage it.

SOPHIA

I will give it a shot, Alison.
(smiles)
Wow - who knew?

ALISON

So - how've you been?

SOPHIA

Okay, I guess. My parents moved away a few years
ago, and I am working up at the hospital.
(sees Alison look around)
Day off today.

ALISON

Ah.

SOPHIA

And how've you been?

ALISON

Pretty good. I have been doing some tutouring
work, and the odd bit of supply teaching in
other schools.
(looks around)
I was wondering if I might talk to you about
something.

SOPHIA

Go ahead.

ALISON

Not here.
(sees the look on Sophia's face)
Can you meet me at my house in an hour?

SOPHIA

I don't know your...
(Alison hand Sophia a piece of paper)
Address.

ALISON

Please.

SOPHIA

Okay.

Alison smiles and walks away. Sophia watches her leave for a moment, then turns back the bookshop. In the window we can see titles like "God Created Women", "Terrorists and Tourists - The Truth About Non-Native Visitors" and "Dilution And Destruction - A History Of The PPA"

EXT DUCHAMP HOUSE

Caption : Duchamp House, Serenity. 11:40am.

Sophia walks up the path, and knocks on the door. Alison opens it a moment later, and ushers Sophia in.

INT LIVING ROOM

Alison and Sophia are sat, both with cups of something in front of them.

SOPHIA

I am guessing you didn't ask me to come here
to discuss my academic record?

ALISON

No.
(pauses)
We need your help.

SOPHIA

We? Who's "We"?

ALISON
(deep breath)

The PP...
(doesn't get any further before Sophia
interupts)


SOPHIA

No!
(puts her cup down)
Did Ari put you up to this?

ALISON

You know Ariana?

SOPHIA

Old friend from home.
(shakes her head)
Damn it.
(sees Alison smirking)
Force of habit I guess.

ALISON

Ari has nothing to do with this. I had no idea
you even knew her.

SOPHIA

Then why me?

ALISON

Honestly?

SOPHIA

If at all possible?

ALISON

I recognised you this morning, at Blackwall,
and remembered you from my last year at
QTS. And I also remembered why your parents
moved away.
(pauses)
I was just going to walk away, but you mentioned
that you worked at the hospital.
(pauses again)
The work we do sometimes means we get hurt, and
there are some injuries we can't take to a
hospital because...

SOPHIA
(bluntly)

Because they would arrest you for being
terrorists?

ALISON
(honestly)

Yes.
(stands up and starts pacing)
From what I remember, you are not the type to
support Queen Leonara in her quest to purify
the country. Your parents fled the country
because of their views, and I am pretty sure
that you share them.

SOPHIA

I do.

ALISON

So why aren't you standing up for them?

SOPHIA
(in an annoyed tone)

Just because I am not running round killing
people doesn't mean I am bowing before the
throne.

There is a moment of silence.

ALISON

We are not the only ones doing the killing.

SOPHIA

So that makes it better does it?

ALISON

Of course not. There is no better. There is
only...
(considers her words)
There is only what there is.
(pauses again)
Do you think I like knowing that I am killing
people? Do you think that I go to bed
dreaming of the number of lives I can end
the next day?
(pauses again)
I spent a fair part of my life teaching kids
all that I could so that they would live
long, full, productive lives, and it kills me to
think that one of my students will end up on
the wrong end of my bombs.

SOPHIA

Then why do it?

ALISON

Because I don't see any other way.
(pauses, and shudders)
And because I have seen Queen Leonara's version
of justice, and there are somethings you can
not walk away from.

SOPHIA

So the answer is to become just as evil?

ALISON

It's not a good answer. It's not even a
right answer. But it might be the necessary
one.

There is a long period of silence, then Sophia opens her mouth to speak. But before she can, her pager goes off. She looks down at it, then back at up Alison with fire in her eyes.

SOPHIA
(barely controlled anger)

If you will excuse me, I have to go and deal
with the consequences of your necessary
evil.

She stands up, and walks out of the room (and the house) without looking round.

EXT HOSPITAL

Caption : Queen Leonara Hospital. 9th June, YOG 1,301. 12:30pm

INT HOSTPIAL

Sophia is taken in to a room (passing two armed officers) off the casualty department. There she sees a middle-aged woman in a hospital bed, two armed officers in the room and a woman we know to be Lucinda Doyle.

SOPHIA

Lucinda?

LUCINDA

Dr Tuscon...

SOPHIA

You used to call me Sophia.

LUCINDA
(firmly)

Dr Tuscon. We need you to treat this woman,
and you need to keep it secret. You can't tell
anyone she was here, nor that you treated her.

SOPHIA

We have to keep records.

LUCINDA

No you don't. There are to be no records of
this, anywhere.

SOPHIA

That is illegal. What if she needs treatment
in the future?

LUCINDA

Dr Tuscon - you will treat her now, or I will
find a doctor who is willing to do it, and
you will no longer work here, or at any
other hospital.

Sophia stares at her for a moment, then comes to a decision.

SOPHIA

What's wrong with... I'm sorry - what did
you say her name was?

LUCINDA

You don't need to know her name. But if it
makes you feel better, you can call her Miss
Smith.

SOPHIA

What's wrong with Miss Smith?

LUCINDA

She tripped, and hit her head on a table. She
hasn't regained conciousness since, and we
are worried about her.

SOPHIA

I need some det...

LUCINDA

No details.

SOPHIA

I need to know when she hit her head. Why
she tripped. How long she has been like this.
(glares at Lucinda)
These are not for my records - if I don't have
these details, then I can't start to treat her.
So if you want to protect your secrets, go
ahead, but you ensuring she will stay
like this, or she will die.

There is another moment of silence as they glare at each other, then Lucinda shrugs.

LUCINDA

She tripped over a cable that wasn't put away
properly. This was about half an hour ago, and
we brought her straight here after some limited
first-aid at the scene.

SOPHIA
(slightly sarcastic)

Thank you - was that so hard?
(turns to the guards)
You two - out.
(they look at Lucinda, who nods, then they
turn and leave)

Okay.

She starts examining the patient.

INT HOSPITAL WARD

It is around an hour later and the patient is awake.

LUCINDA

Thank you, Dr Tuscon. You may go.

SOPHIA

May I ask what will happen to Miss Smith?

LUCINDA

No, you may not. Please leave.

Sophia glares at her, then, with a last look at her patient, she walks out of the door.

She walks through the Casualty department, and out of the main doors, then sits down against the wall.

A few moments later, the sound of an explosion splits the air.

Sophia jumps to her feet and looks around. A moment later she sees a cloud of smoke rising from two blocks away.

She gets a determined look on her face, and then rushes back in to the hospital, and comes out a minute or so later with a bag of medical supplies.

EXT STREET

She comes to a halt a few blocks away, and finds the site of the explosion. It is a travel agency, and the building is now a smoking ruin.

She starts picking through the ruin, looking for anyone who might need medical help. While she is doing this, a few police cars and an ambulance arrive behind her.

OFFICER

FREEZE!!

SOPHIA
(still searching)

I'm a doctor, I am trying to help them.

OFFICER

Name?

SOPHIA

Doctor Sophia Tuscon. I work just down the
road at QLH.
(stops searching and turns)
I think they are all dead.

OFFICER

This is the third this month.
(waves over one of the paramedics)
Dr Tuscon says they are all dead, so can
you collect the dead?
(the paramedic nods, and then she and her
collegue set to work)

So - Dr Tuscon. Why are you in the vicinity?

SOPHIA

I was on duty at the hospital, and I heard
the explosion. I grabbed my kit and came here
to see what I could do.

The officer stares at her suspiciously for a moment, then nods.

OFFICER

Good thinking.
(smiles)
We need more people like you - ready to help
fight against these damn terrorist.

Sophia smiles briefly, then she looks around.

SOPHIA

Can you cope with this now? I should get back
to the hospital.

OFFICER

Yeah. Thanks.

She hands her kit over to one of the paramedics, then turns and walks back down the street to the hospital.

EXT TUSCON HOUSE

Caption : 10:30pm

INT TUSCON HOUSE

Sophia is in the living room, eating a late tea. The news is on.

ANNOUNCER

Today marked one of the worst days of violance
in recent months, with the death toll reaching
fifty, and officials expect it to rise
during the night.

There are a few shots of the buildings that were attacked by the PPA, including the travel agency Sophia went to, then we return to the announcer.

ANNOUNCER

Queen Leonara made a statement deploring the
loss of life, and has promised to redouble
her efforts to crush the terrorists and bring
peace back to this great nation.

Sophia rolls her eyes in response, then suddenly her eyes widen as the next story comes on.

ANNOUNCER

A number of arrests were made today, after
(a picture of "Miss Smith" comes up)
Eloise Jensen was arrested by police. Mrs
Jensen, from Tiala District, was arrested
on suspicion of terrorism and conspiracy to
commit terrorism, and, in questioning, named
a number of her associates in the PPA.

Cuts to a reporter in front of the National Court House

JOURNALIST

Thank you Sophie. Following the arrest and
initial questioning of Miss Jensen, seven more
members of the PPA were arrested and brought
in for questioning.
(looks down at her pad)
The head of the Police in Serenity said that
this was one of the most significant days in
the war against the terrorists, and that, as
the questioning continues, there will be more
and more leads to follow up.

ANNOUNCER
(os)

There are reports that Miss Jensen had to be
taken to hospital during the interogation. Can
you confirm if there is any truth in these?

JOURNALIST

According to the statement we were given, these
rumours are just myths, used to gain sympathy
for the terrorist cause by suggesting there
is torture and abuse going on behind
closed doors.

ANNOUNCER
(os)

So these reports are false?

JOURNALIST

There is no evidence to suggest otherwise.

ANNOUNCER
(os)

When are the trials expected to take place?

JOURNALIST

Generally the trials of those involved in
terrorism take place within one to two
weeks of the person being arrested, however
I expect in light of the loss of life we
have witnessed today, the trials will be
carried out as soon as possible, to
demonstrate Queen Leonara's commitment to
stamping out the terrorist threat.

The shot returns to the studio.

ANNOUNCER

Thank you Sally.
(looks down at the papers on her desk)
In other news...

Sophia turns the TV off, and leans back on her sofa.

SOPHIA
(vo from the future)

I knew, of course. The problems that "Miss
Smith" had couldn't possibly have come from
falling over a loose cable. A first year med
students would have been able to see that.
(pauses)
But, while I was in that room, I comforted
myself with the fact that she was my patient,
and that, regardless of what happened next, I
had a duty to treat her and make her well.
(long pause)
And no, it doesn't sound any more convincing
to me now than it did back then.

EXT FLAT #3

Caption : PPA Safe House, Serenity.
27th February, YOG 1,305. 9:55pm


A group of people are gathered in the living room. They are all talking in a lively and intense way. Amongst them are Alison, Sophia, Sophia's teacher from school (who is called SALLY NIGHTINGALE), NELLY SUTLER and a guy named NIKOLAS ERADA.

ALISON

You three have all been assigned to this
group because you all have more than a
passing familiarity with the target, and
you all have medical knowledge, to one
degree or another.

SOPHIA

I thought we had an agreement, Alison.

ALISON

And I am not going to ask you to break it.
(she smiles)
What can you tell me aboout Katy Sparrow?

SALLY

Head of Reproductive Services. She is based
in the NRC, and is one of the key
proponents of The Queen's policies.

ALISON

Anything else?

There is a long pause.

SOPHIA

She is a reasonably good dancer.
(they all turn and stare at her)
Well - she is.

ALISON

Well - Sophia's social life notwithstanding,
Ms Sparrow is one of the biggest supporters
of The Queen, but she has also made it
the policy of the National Reproductive
Center to not help mixed couples have
kids.

NIKOLAS

Tell me about it.
(everyone looks at him)
Me and Lucia were refused an appointment
last week, and told that "our sort should
find a more suitable place to have kids"

ALISON

We also believe she has been responsible
for handing over several dozen people to
The Queen's interrogation squads.
(she looks around)
As part of The Coming Storm, we want you
to attack the NRC.

SOPHIA

Alison...

ALISON

I know what you are thinking, but the
reason we picked you three for this is
that you can render the NRC unusable for
the near future, without doing any serious
damage to things you think should be
protected.
(Sophia stares at her for a moment)
Is it really serving its purpose now?

SOPHIA

I guess not.
(She looks at the other two)
You have no problems with this?

NIKOLAS

Nope.
(pauses)
Katy's power lies in the fact she runs
the NRC. If she loses that, then she
loses a lot of influence. And by
extention so does The Queen.
(pauses again)
And if we take out the NRC, then a few of
the other Centers round the district will
be able to set their own policies.

SALLY

We need to do more than chop the head off
the beast.
(glances at Alison)
The Coming Storm will not only take out
The Queen, but will wipe out her power
base as well. That way, we will ensure
that whoever replaces Queen Leonara will not
have to fight the people who will work for
her.

Sophia stares at them for a moment, then nods in agreement.

ALISON

Okay.
(lifts up a folder from the desk)
The storm is planned to break at 9am
tomorrow.
(pulls out a list from the folder)
As you know we are hitting a number of
targets, so all of them will have to
be done with timers.
(looks down the list)
Tomorrow morning the city will go up in
flames, and, at 12pm, The Godesses will
name the new Queen.

They all stare at her in surprise.

SALLY

The Godessess?

NIKOLAS

The New Queen?

SOPHIA

Is there something you might have forgotten
to mention, Ali?

Alison blushes a little, and ducks her head.

ALISON

Last night, I went to speak with them.
(they all look at her in a shock)
It wasn't to ask for their blessing, nor
to ask for forgiveness.
(looks down)
I have never needed their blessing, and I
am way beyond forgiveness.
(looks up again)
I went to ask what would happen if the
serving Queen, her deputies, all of her
cabinet and agency heads were killed in the
same day, at the same time, along with those
most likely to be responsible for calling
a new election
(pauses)
Before you ask, I didn't ask their
opinion, I just asked them what might
happen afterwards.

They all stare at her.

NIKOLAS

And?

ALISON

Well - it should come as no surprise to
any of you that they already knew what we
planned to do, and they had a plan in place.
(smiles)
If our plan works as we hope, then their
chosen will take over as Queen tomorrow
at noon.

SALLY

And if it doesn't go as we hope?

ALISON

Then I suspect we aren't going to be around
to care one way or another.

INT SOPHIA'S ROOM AT SAFEHOUSE

Caption : 10:40pm

Sophia is writing in her notebook again.

SOPHIA
(vo while writing)

So - it is here at last. In half an hour
we are leaving to infiltrate the NRC, to
set a group of charges that will
detonate tomorrow and that will form part
of The Coming Storm, and, as one of the
other group members put it, illuminate
the path to returning freedom and justice
to our land once more.
(pauses)
Yeah - I smirked as well when I heard that.
(pauses again)
I think the fact that, one way or another,
it will be over in twelve hours, has put me
in a surprisingly good mood. The whole
freedom and justice thing is good, but
the fact that, by this time tomorrow, I will
never have to kill or maim another person
(trails off, then continues)
Lets just say I will have to reasons to
celebrate the new Ascension tomorrow.

She puts the notepad down, then lays down on the bed and closes her eyes.
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