Duplicity

Julian Winter

508-904-8319

julian@julianwinter.com

Note: Due to the nature of a web page some of the standard screenplay formatting is lost.




FADE IN:

To the majesty of the universe, then to a single galaxy and the similarity of the stars to the synapses of the mind.

From the dark comes a whisper, a brain synapse fires, dozens of synapses fire leading to more whispers, then silence.

A WHISPER
No... no.

INT. A MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB - NIGHT (YEAR: 2037, UNITED STATES)

The darkness opens to a THIN WOMAN'S face in a bed. An ocular clamp, resembling spider legs, pulls her eyelids back to fully expose her eyeballs. Restraints hold her in place.

INT. A BEDROOM - NIGHT

Shadowed darkness, enough light though to see NAYA, late 30's, asleep, her body drenched in a night sweat. Her eyes snap open.

BACK TO THE LAB

The woman's eyes watch GILDE, late 60's, a scientist, shine an examining light into them. Gilde strokes the woman's temples, her bedside manner too kind, more suited to a parent and child.

Gilde looks to a monitor which,

THE MONITOR

Displays everything the woman sees. As the woman turns her head the monitor reveals dozens of beds in a row containing similar-looking MALES and FEMALES, asleep.

INT. A LUXURY OFFICE SUITE - NIGHT

In a darkened office on a dozen 3-D TVs lining a wall, ADRIAN LARCHMONT, facing away, watches Gilde tend to the thin woman.

Gilde prepares a syringe. The thin woman pulls against her restraints, her unnaturally exposed eyeballs darting about.

Adrian sips a green liquid from crystal. Something serpentine
and very large writhes off to the side, out of focus.

TO NAYA'S BEDROOM.

Naya returns to sleep.

THE LAB

Gilde holds the syringe ready. The woman fights against the clamp, tears in her eyes. Gilde looks to a ceiling camera.

THE OFFICE

Adrian nods toward the TVs. He appears 40, healthy, but his eyes gaze dark and empty. Gilde injects the woman.

As the woman writhes in agony, Adrian shudders. He clutches his chair, muscles tense as her pain increases. Gilde monitors her vital signs.

THE LAB

On the adjoining bed a male's eyes snap open. He watches the woman struggle, then turns to a female beside him.

Her eyes open and they lock gaze, sharing the woman's pain. The monitor screen dims like a flashlight with dead batteries.

EXT. SIXTY FEET BENEATH THE OCEAN - DAY (NAYA'S DREAM)

A SCUBA DIVER, tangled in seaweed, dangerously low on air, struggles to free himself. A WOMAN DIVER approaches to help.

She fails to untangle him. He motions for her to ascend. She offers her emergency valve. He refuses. Her air is low, too.

She connects their vests, then embraces him. As they inhale their final breath she removes her mask. She slides his off and finds his lips. They die in love's embrace.

Their bodies drift beside each other tugged by the surge. Her face mask drifts away.

THE OFFICE

Adrian slumps, unconscious, as the thin woman's struggles
subside. Again, unfocused serpentine movement in the corner.

BACK TO THE OCEAN (NAYA'S DREAM)

A WOMAN'S VOICE (OS)
Naya?

The drowned female scuba diver lifts her head. It's Naya.

WOMAN'S VOICE (OS)
Naya?

Naya looks around in alarm.

NAYA
Where am I?

WOMAN'S VOICE (OS)
Be not afraid.

Naya peers into the male scuba diver's face, finding only death. She places his wedding band on her right ring finger.

She untethers herself from the man. She ascends and looks about. No bubbles trail upward. She doesn't need to breathe.

NAYA
Where are we?

WOMAN'S VOICE (OS)
Together, finally.

Naya looks up. A light shines from the surface.

WOMAN'S VOICE (OS)
Naya, life as you know it, is over.

The vague outline of a hand hovers over the surface.

NAYA
Am I dead?

WOMAN'S VOICE (OS)
Not you.

Now only inches from the surface, Naya sees her reflection.

NAYA
What's happening?

WOMAN'S VOICE (OS)
Something marvelous.

The hand looms overhead. Naya's reflection peers back at her.

NAYA
Who are you?

Silence. The hand edges closer.


NAYA
Will we meet again?

TESS (OS)
Know me as Tess.

Naya breaks the water's surface as,

THE LAB

Gilde closes the woman's eyes and pulls a sheet over her face. In the lab monitor's now black reflection she glimpses the two
watching her. She turns, but their eyes are closed.

IN THE DARKNESS

Snippets of confused whispers end abruptly, leaving silence.

THE OFFICE

Adrian sucks a breath and fixes glazed eyes to the TV image of Gilde lingering over the woman, stroking her covered face.

A tear drops from Gilde onto the woman's sheet-covered face.

NAYA'S BEDROOM

Naya jerks awake and lies shaking.

THE LAB

Preceded by an ORDERLY pushing the deceased woman on a gurney, Gilde shuts the lights in the lab glancing back to the dozens of bodies lying silent in their beds.

IN THE DARKNESS

Whispers like children awake when they should be sleeping.