(I like Shield best, but isn't it already the name of some kind of superhero group from D.C....
posted 16 April 2002
Satellite probes are tracing an inbound comet/asteroid/whatever on a collision course with earth. Story sounds like Armageddon, except true level of unpreparedness for such an endeavour is revealed: all we do is throw missiles at it. They comet DODGES the missiles, keeps on coming. Turns out to be enormous but insubstantial, rips through earth with almost no effects other than really killer special effects (lights etc., whatever).
In its wake, five teenagers (yay! Youthful-heroes story sans Power Rangers! At last!) are left contacted with the knowledge that the passing comet was the survivors of an alien race fleeing destruction by a more powerful race which is agressively colonising planets rich in heavy metals. The Agressors (should that be their name?) are in hot persuit, so they can only help planets that they happen to pass in their flight, and only help them insofar as they can without stopping, because the agressors are moving at a nearly equal speed.
The teenagers are told that they must contact "all the others" and together form a defence (SHIELD! duh) against the agressors.
Somehow they get in touch with each other (probably through Eva, but maybe Vladimir) and they meet up. Then they somehow decide that they must meet another person, and they find Seldo, who's had the abilities that they've only just acquired for a long time.
This is a huge plot hole. How do they meet up? How do they find each other? Where do they meet? How do they find out about Seldo? How do they FIND Seldo?
And is it too egotistical to put your own alter-ego into a movie? :-)
- Vladimir - Smart (theory), disturbed - Intelligence specialist [+Seldo]
- Eva - Unpopular, expressive - Diplomat, communications [+Trevor]
- Daniel - Aggressive, brilliant tactician / organiser [+Heloise]
- Heloise - Weak (physically), Smart (practically, mechanically) [+Daniel]
- Trevor - Inexpressive, misunderstood, smart (mathematically) [+Eva]
- SELDO - The original. Wiser but not older. Leader. [+Vladimir]
SCENE: Kitchen, brightly-lit and modern, clean. Outside sunny, weather tropical and breezy.
SELDO turns on kettle, brings down cup, etc., fills kettle. Goes to window, is admiring view while waiting for kettle to boil. Interior of kitchen, a small black point appears at waist-height. It expands like a water-funnel around a plug-hole, forming a circular "hole" which narrows rapidly in a funnel-shape to a gate into another scene, the gate being about half the size of the hole. TREVOR's head pokes through, looking around.
TREVOR: Seems safe!
(He climbs over the funnel-edge and through the gate, pushing at the sides to widen the gate, which responds by expanding the entire hole.)
Exterior shot, looking at SELDO's face through window-bars. His eyes widen at the sound of TREVOR's voice, then his face falls. He looks somewhat annoyed. He rolls his eyes, sighs, and turns around, walking slowly towards where the group is appearing.
TREVOR is holding open the gate to admit EVA, who is looking with extreme interest at the nature of the edges.
EVA (as she climbs through): These are solid. What are they made of? How are you *doing* this, Trevor? How did you know what to do?
TREVOR: I was just trying something. I think this is a wormhole, but there's no black hole, no energy source, nothing. I don't know.
(A bright point of light emerges through the floor, casting shadows. It expands rapidly into the shape of VLADIMIR, encased in a glowing sphere which becomes more transparent as it expands. Once correctly sized, VLADIMIR tenses and the sphere fades, briefly leaving a faint outline of sparks.)
VLADIMIR: That was fun. I think I was travelling as a neutrino -- straight lines, through matter, light speed.
TREVOR: Physically impossible.
VLADIMIR: Nice talk, coming from somebody who got here through a wormhole with no visible means of support.
(They both grin)
TREVOR: What makes you think it's a wormhole? I think so too, but I'm just guessing.
VLADIMIR: I heard you say so. I could hear what you guys were saying, like you were all right next to me. We've got to figure out how we're doing all this.
(There is a slight wind that ruffles their clothes. Air is rushing in towards a point, where a mist is forming in the shape of HELOISE, first a misty shape which gradually thickens, grows opaque and more defined. The mist attains colour rapidly in the last few seconds of the formation.)
(TREVOR's hole narrows rapidly, the funnel spinning shut, startling TREVOR, who was still trying to hold it open. His hands are shoved out of the closing hole.)
TREVOR: Damn! Why'd that happen?
HELOISE: Whoa, this is SUCH the way to travel. Trippy. It feels NICE.
(She is French, but attending an American school elsewhere, so she has a French accent but American mannerisms).
HELOISE: Where's Daniel?
EVA: Not here. Did he find a way to come?
HELOISE: I guess not. Hang on, I'll get him, this is SUCH fun!
(She begins to fade into a mist, which blows away, but the process stops halfway this time. Her voice is oddly muffled as she speaks now)
HELOISE: Cool! I'm both places at once! You have no IDEA how cool this looks. Daniel, grab my.... damn. Um, okay, hang on...
(she fades completely. Then wind-formation restarts, this time forming two figures facing each other, holding hands)
DANIEL: (now solid) I have GOT to learn to do that...
HELOISE: Don't ask me. I just looked through Trevor's hole at this place, then... I dunno. I just sort of CAME here. But DAMN that feels good! I feel so CLEAN!
DANIEL: This isn't fair. How come me and Eva can't travel by ourselves?
VLADIMIR: We don't seem to be using the same methods. You two probably haven't figured yours out yet. If you can call wishing to do something "figuring it out".
TREVOR: Hmm. I didn't wish so much. I've always thought this should be possible -- not without the energy-source, though. I thought about the processes to make it happen.
VLADIMIR: Heloise and I were just wishing. Or thinking hard.
(SELDO has reached them. The other four look at Seldo immediately, VLAD spins round to face him. His eyes run up and down SELDO's body, and their eyes meet for a few seconds. SELDO smiles at him momentarily.)
SELDO (turns his gaze to the group as a whole, sounding resigned, and slightly bored): Damn. Hello, welcome to my house, I'm Seldo, and you are... [He closes his eyes, and appears to be reading] Vladimir, Trevor, Heloise, Eva and Daniel [his hand points to each of them as he calls their names. He opens his eyes.] Right? And you have all just got your abilities delivered. I'm sure you have lots of questions, but I've been expecting if not exactly looking forward to this day for quite some time, so let me take you though the prepared FAQ, okay?
(The kettle clicks, causing the five to look round at it. SELDO glances at it, then, raises one arm and begins to make complicated gestures with his fingers. Sugar, cups, milk and hot water move around in time to these movements, making a cup of tea)
For the record, not a whole lot has been done to you. No, Vladimir, you have not been evolved to the next level (Vladimir gasps at this echo of his thoughts). You've just been sort of amplified. You all had these abilities beforehand, they were just negligibly weak. Now they're fantastically strong, and it will be some time before you find any limits at all to what you can do.
EVA: Why can't you call that evolution?
SELDO (smiles at this response): Damn! 10 seconds into my monologue and you can still answer back! Look at the rest, they're still mainly in shock. In answer, there are a variety of reasons. One, it'd only be evolution if it were something the whole species gets. As you will have noticed, just like everybody has ordinary talents which differ, these new abilities of yours vary greatly from person to person.
TREVOR (murmuring): ...thought so...
SELDO: I know you were, Trev. Secondly, it can't be evolution because the aliens may be very advanced, but they aren't infallible. They cannot yet predict chaotic situations with any degree of accuracy, and since evolution is a random and chaotic process, and one which incidentally takes millions upon millions of years, there would be no hope in hell of them even knowing what we're going to end up like. Or even if we'll be here at all, given the amount of time we've got left to prepare. Plus, evolving us would involve rapid and extensive remodelling of our organisms, which would likely have killed our brains and would certainly have forced us to have to relearn everything from infancy upwards, starting with sitting up and working from there. Which would take too long. No, they just amplified whatever useful talents they found. And no, Vladimir, I don't know how -- at least, not in any kind of detail.
(he pauses briefly)
And yes, you're all right. I can detect vocal thoughts.HELOISE: Meaning you know what we're about to say?SELDO: Wow! I can't tell your accent until you open your mouth, though. Knowing what someone's about to say, that's hardly a talent, is it? Lots of people can do that already.
SELDO: However, I can also detect things you're saying to yourself, or thinking about saying, or you've decided not to say. Once the thoughts are *words*, not pictures or concepts, I can see them. And so can Vladimir, or at least so WILL Vladimir, I doubt he's very good at it yet.
VLADIMIR: Oh! I could hear what they were saying even after they'd travelled here.
SELDO: Impressive! But your ears were not involved, honey. You were reading their minds, because you wanted to.
EVA: I'm not sure I like that...
SELDO: Why not? We can only detect words 'cause words are very simple thought-forms. We don't actually have all that much talent, although Vlad has more than me. You, Eva, can read much deeper. It's not really telepathy, because it's not what they want you to hear or see. You can detect... emotions, concepts, that kind of thing. The closest thing I can get to describing it is empathy. Or rather, the closest YOU can get, since I'm just saying what I'm hearing you think.
EVA: Stop that! It's very annoying.
SELDO: I can't help it, it's somewhat automatic. When were you planning on mentioning this ability to the rest?
EVA (waits, then sees SELDO squirm a bit, then smiles): Thank you for letting ME speak. I didn't realise I was doing it. Because it's amplified, I didn't notice anything new, just what I've always been able to do is much stronger now.
DANIEL: So what else can we do?
SELDO: I only know what you know, Dan... if you haven't figured it out yet, then I can't hear you thinking about it. Eva might be able to figure it out by looking at your subconscious... (he waits again)
EVA: Thank you. But, as I was about to say, I don't want to try. It's a bit... icky. You feel like you're invading, and you get everything at once, so its kind of hard to make out single facts, only an overall mood. I'll get better I suppose.
SELDO: Until then, you'll basically find out what you can do as you do it.
HELOISE (rises off the ground): Ooh, look, I can move stuff around.
(The tea-things rise and begin to move around.)
HELOISE: Damn! I'm no good at this!
(DANIEL moves quickly over to the counter where the tea things are bobbing. He then sits down on the floor in front of the counter, cross-legged, and holds out both hands at a particular height and angle. HELOISE drops to the floor, as do the tea things. A cup bounces off the kettle and rolls over the edge of the counter, exactly into DANIEL's hands.)
DANIEL (stands up, places the cup on the counter, wipes his hands on his pants): I think I can predict those chaotic situations of yours, but only a few seconds in advance. Are we about to go upstairs?
HELOISE (she likes this idea): *Trippy!*
(This appears to be one of HELOISE'S favourite expressions)
SELDO: That's right. Follow me.
(SELDO holds out his left hand, hand clenched as if he were holding a staff vertically
[...this ends here. I will finish it, sometime...]