R. Earle Harris
All rights reserved (c) 2015 (r dot earle dot harris at gmx dot com)
EXT. MIRANDA'S FOOT - NIGHT
The lovely foot, golden chain around its ankle, of MIRANDA (twenty-year-old daughter
of Prospero) who wears a wet suit in a small dark space. POV moves up the leg, waist,
and torso as:
If I were you
And I wish that I were you
All the things I do
To make myself turn blue
I'd start by removing all my clothes
POV reaches neck for the line:
BARENAKED LADIES (CONT'D)
Tie my pantyhose around my neck.
EXT. MIRANDA - CONTINUOUS
POV rises to Miranda's face in close-up. She has high-tech gear attached to her
head and wears slender dark goggles. Dwell on close-up for the lines:
I'll be that girl ...
You would be in clover
Then POV rises:
INT. DEPRIVATION TANK - NIGHT
Expand view to establish she is in sensory deprivation tank.
If I were the sun
You would be in shadow
POV continues to rise until--
EXT. DEPRIVATION TANK - CONTINUOUS
--we are above her tank. Her face is visible through the lid.
If I had a gun
There'd be no tomorrow
If you will not have me as myself,--
POV still rises and PROSPERO (properly named Julian, forty-six-year-old half-owner
of Synapse and the technical wizard who engineered its virtual reality engine) becomes
visible in the tank next to Miranda's.
BARENAKED LADIES (CONT'D)
--Perhaps as someone else,
Perhaps as you I'll be worth noticing
Then even a eunuch won't resist
The magic of a kiss from such as me
POV closes on Prospero's face so that it fills the screen at the second occurrence
BARENAKED LADIES (CONT'D)
Then, one minute and thirty-three seconds into the film and song, with a jarring
The movie's title bursts onto the screen and as quickly disappears.
The sudden banging of a stairwell fire-door.
INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
Synapse's floor of commercial building. Most of the lights are out. GONZO (hacker
and trusted friend of Prospero -- overweight, bearded, in black T-shirt, jeans,
red suspenders) comes in through the banging door, annoying ANTHONY (Prospero's
brother, half-owner of Synapse -- a handsome bisexual, who represses both tendencies,
wearing an expensive suit) and startling STEPHEN (Anthony's gay personal assistant
-- young, casual-business attire), who are waiting by the elevators.
We're waiting here in the hall?
Alex and his team will be here soon.
I want to meet them here and take
them straight in.
Alex. As in the owner of NerveWare?
Yes. As in our prospective buyer.
As in he who will cash us out.
Prospero won't like this. He made
I'm sure my brother Julian will accept
the sale of his company. He won't
have any real choice, will he?
Shouldn't we wait in the conference
We won't be using the conference room.
Then take your cellphone over there
and cancel them.
Stephen takes his phone over to one side and makes a call. Elevator chimes.
EXT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
The elevator doors open. Inside are ALEX (owner of NerveWare -- fifties, confident,
well-dressed), SEBASTIAN (Alex's gay lawyer -- forty, assertive, power-dresser),
ADRIAN (Alex's son -- twenty, casually dressed),and YURI (Alex's technical consultant
-- thirty, geeky, not attractive to women but, if cleaned up, perhaps attractive
EXT. HALLWAY - CONTINOUOUS
They emerge, Alex first, who shakes Anthony's hand.
Anthony! Tonight's your night! In
the morning, I will own all of Synapse
and its headaches and you will own
all the money it's worth. Isn't it
a little dark in here?
Thank you, Alex. Sorry about the lights;
they won't turn on. I appreciate you
coming along on this unusual meeting.
I look forward to going into your
brother's masterpiece and meeting
him. I know that we will see the best
Synapse has to offer.
Round of handshakes.
And my lawyer, Sebastian.
Sebastian recognizes Anthony's bi tendency and sends his own predatory signals which
are ignored by Anthony.
And my technical consultant, Yuri.
This is my assistant, Stephen.
Stephen and Sebastian trade gay signals -- Sebastian showing he is out of reach.
Good to meet you, Stephen.
And my brother's associate, our lead
engineer in his absence--
You're not bringing a lawyer?
I am a lawyer. Come, let us go.
Anthony leads Alex down the hall and the rest follow.
I thought the quickest way to resolve
this would be to go straight in.
So we are really going into the Synapse
engine? Wouldn't it be more convenient
to simply bring your brother out?
Yes. Why don't we bring him out?
Anthony ingnores Gonzo. All continue down the ill-lit hall.
My brother Julian, or Prospero as
he calls himself, is not entirely
well and will not come out of his
I think so. Or ... I don't know. We
tried to resolve that question but
then he went inside and hasn't come
Yes. To transfer ownership.
And all this is legal in the machine.
The courts have ruled that transactions
in virtual reality between real
people are binding so long as they
are conducted according to legal norms.
I understood that the Synapse engine's
world was almost real--
I understand it can be. But the dangerous
aspect of its reality is, of course,
under our control.
Correcto. Synapse can be completely
real--a bullet wound in the engine
producing death in the player. Or
it can be dialed down to nothing.
Injuries will hurt. But death in the
machine will just wake you up with
a total-body hangover back here in
Can't we dial it all the way down
for this meeting?
Prospero won't let us. But then, we
won't let him dial it up, either.
Jarring crash of darkness. Sound of hall doors banging open.
INT. TANKS - NIGHT
With a burst of light, POV enters room with isolation tanks and control area.
INT. TANKS - CONTINUOUS
All enter. Adrian sees Miranda in her tank.
My brother's daughter, Miranda.
We thought it best. They are very
Your brother does not look crazy.
Yuri is over by the controls.
Anthony nods to Gonzo.
INT. CONTROL AREA - CONTINUOUS
Same room. Gonzo walks over and brings up a user-interface on a screen with controls
Here are the reality settings. You
see it is set just above halfway.
Prospero keeps it there.
Screenplay truncated at 500 lines.