Human World – Screenplay v1.1

(Excerpt: 10 pages)

INT. THE INTERVIEW ROOM

Guy is back in the interview room. As before – Sean, Jane, Darren, Bertie, and Gunter are sitting around the large circular desk; and Guy is positioned on the mechanical revolving chair in the middle, surrounded by the others. The now blank screens look down from each wall.

SEAN

(frowning at Guy)

Guy, you still with us?

JANE

Take off your clothes.

GUY

(to Sean)

Sorry, yes…

He glances at Jane, furtively and slightly embarrassed, but she isn’t looking at him in the same way as at the apartment.

Do any of us truly know who we are?

SEAN

Interesting.

As he writes a comment, the word “Interesting” appears on the screen behind him. He then reads the next question from his AI-pad, robotically.

Can you give an example of when you were faced with a difficult situation and how you positively overcame that situation?

The screen fades as he talks and goes blank.

GUY

Sorry, this isn’t for me. I might as well be talking to a machine.

(stands up in anger)

You think you are important sitting behind your desk interrogating me. This is tedious. I don’t want to be here. I don’t give a shit about your pathetic little job!

SEAN

Well, I think that has answered who you are.

(to Darren)

It’s interesting how he seemingly becomes aggravated by non-varying stimuli.

GUY

No, I haven’t even started!

The moment washes over him and he sits back down.

The biggest regret is I let you slip away, Jane. I’m so sorry. I have nothing. I am nothing.

SEAN

(he nods, ticking a box)

No thing. Okay, next question.

GUY

No more questions. Jane, please?

JANE

(polite but detached)

Do you have any questions for us?

GUY

(tearfully)

Why?

JANE

This is a two-way interactive process. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate our interviewing service? We would greatly appreciate the customary 10 out of 10.

GUY

Have you not been listening to a word I’ve been saying?

SEAN

Well, I think that concludes the interview.

He checks his watch that is tattooed on the back of his right hand.

Thank you, we’ll let you know. Can you show in the next one, please?

JANE

Before you go, is there any way in which we can improve our questioning to better understand you?

(Guy is silent)

Okay, then I hope you enjoyed the experience. Please provide your rating and feedback to the front screen on your way out.

BERTIE

(grabbing Guy from behind)

There’s no need for that. Let him recalibrate.

(Guy doesn’t struggle)

Now there is light. Now there is…

Guy’s head slumps forward into his chest.

INT. THE DARK ROOM

Guy is seated in his chair. A clock is ticking, tick, tick, tick. It appears from the emptiness, a blue illuminated circle hovering in space; its hands pointing to the familiar one and thirteen.

GUY

Hello?

(silence)

Lexi? Are you there?

The vague outline of a man appears in the gloom.

GUNTER

Why do you hurt?

GUY

Please leave me alone.

The glow of the clock face fades out to the edges and sinks back into the dark. Gunter laughs, menacingly.

GUNTER

Answer the question.

GUY

Because I can.

GUNTER

(patting Guy on the head)

Good boy. That is the right answer.

GUY

Please. I’m so tired. No more.

There is a creaking sound of a door and a widening strip of light. Gunter disappears into the shadows.

GUY

(whispering to himself)

Please be Jane.

Bertie appears as a blurry shape in the doorway.

GUY

I guess you were right. We’re just chemical scum on an insignificant planet.

BERTIE

Yes – orbiting an insignificant sun in an insignificant galaxy.

GUY

Are you real, Bertie?

BERTIE

As real as you believe me to be.

GUY

Look, if I close my eyes, you’re still here.

Guy demonstrates his proof, but, when he opens his eyes again…

INT. THE INTERVIEW ROOM

The room and the demeanour of the interviewers are unchanged.

SEAN

What is one plus one?

GUY

(stunned)

Erm, two?

SEAN

(he ticks a box on his device)

Correct. Jane, do you have any questions?

Jane is looking up at fast-scrolling text on a wall screen, which then stops at a comma-delimited list of “Null” values that fills the whole display.

JANE

There’s a gap here. Why didn’t you love me?

GUNTER

Gunter is seated with his feet up on the desk.

She has no interest in saving you. Your real human needs make you weak and contemptible in her eyes.

SEAN

I guess he can’t answer that one. Shame. The replication would have been a great asset. Okay, can you give me an example of when you were faced with a difficult situation and how you positively overcame it?

(no response)

Guy, can you answer the question, please?

GUY

I was born. Though I haven’t overcome that difficult situation yet.

SEAN

(slightly surprised)

You were born? Who are your parents?

GUY

I can’t remember.

DARREN

Are you an orphan?

GUY

I can’t remember. I only know that I was born – how else would I have got here?

SEAN

Have you done anything since?

GUNTER

(now standing behind Guy)

Tell him. Tell him what you really think. That turd thinks he’s better than you. Look at him, he should be cleaning your shoes, not questioning you like you’re a child, asking you where your parents are.

GUY

I’ve done a few things since. But mostly I’ve lived in fear for myself – for little me.

GUNTER

(angry)

Twat!

GUY

I don’t want to be a pathetic little me anymore.

GUNTER

Exactly! Look at the pointless tosser.

Gunter thumps the desk, glaring at Sean, before angrily turning to Guy.

GUNTER

You want more. You want me! You know you shouldn’t be here; you’ve got better things to do. Show them who you really are and get us the hell out of here. I know – I know who you are, don’t I!

GUY

I love you, Jane. I am so sorry.

JANE

I’m sorry, Guy. I think you are getting confused. You can’t love me.

The wall clock is ticking up to one-thirteen.

GUNTER

Why do you hurt?

GUY

I don’t mind so much.

GUNTER

What?

GUY

I am feeling hurt. But I’m glad I can feel something, anything. If I can feel something, then I am real. I am alive.

GUNTER

You are hurt. I can make you bleed. I can make you plead, to beg on your knees to me, “No More”.

GUY

It doesn’t matter so much.

GUNTER

Shall we see?

GUY

No, I don’t want you anymore.

GUNTER

If not me, then who? You?

Every screen shows a police mugshot of Guy.

GUNTER

It was you, wasn’t it!

GUY

What? No!

GUNTER

Admit it. It was you, wasn’t it?

GUY

This isn’t real. You aren’t real. Is this a dream? An illusion?

Guy takes out a shard of jagged glass from his trouser pocket, tinted with his blood from the restroom. It drops from his grasp to the floor.

GUY

I didn’t do it! I didn’t do it.

(sobbing)

I’m sorry. I love you. I’m so sorry.

BERTIE

You didn’t choose any of this. Your impulses, thoughts, and actions are already written in you.

GUY

None of this is real? My emotions are not real?

The main door opens and Adam strides in, with a large remote control in his hand.

ADAM

You are not the thoughts or the sensations you are experiencing. Watch. It is quite the play. Everything changes with how you look at it.

He presses a big blue button on the remote and the panel members freeze.

GUY

Why do you play with me? All I want is for things to be as they were.

(looking at Jane)

But you’re gone from me, forever. I wanted us to be happy.

ADAM

Did you?

Gunter returns to life.

GUNTER

I can give you what you really want – any pleasure you desire, more than you can even imagine. Just get us out of here.

GUY

I don’t know how.

Gunter slides over the desk to Jane and gently sweeps back her hair with one hand. He slowly kisses her neck, seductively. Jane murmurs with pleasure, while the rest of the panel remain statue-still.

GUY

Stop!

GUNTER

I don’t think she wants me to.

(he resumes)

GUY

Ah, God! I’m so tired of this. Is this an evil universe? Anything good is taken away and destroyed, leaving only emptiness ang grief. Why is there so much suffering and cruelty? Most people never had a chance – they were born into a cage – they never even had the luxury to have the illusion of choice. Why are the pure and innocent thrown into this evil? Why are monsters allowed to rule and victimise the meek? Why does illness take… Why are people inflicted with this torment? This is not the best of all possible worlds; it’s a zoo for the beautiful to be fed to the cruel.

Jane is responding to Gunter’s touch with her eyes closed, in ecstasy.

GUY

Why do those you love betray you in the worst possible way?

GUNTER

Yes! Shout your rage!

GUY

If this is being alive, then I don’t want any part of it.

GUNTER

Yes! More!

GUY

You’re pathetic. I would rather there was nothing than the world riddled with this.

ADAM

You are the nothing.

GUY

All I get are your riddles and mysteries! I don’t understand what you are saying. She didn’t have to die. Nothing? No thing. What is nothing?

(silence)

No, things shouldn’t be like this. People shouldn’t be starving to death. There should not be misery. There should be no pain. Nothing good would have created that.

ADAM

Hating the hatred helps it grow, even though it may change its face.

GUY

Some people are evil, I have no intention of being kind to them. They deserve everything coming to them.

Adam jabs at a green button on the remote control half a dozen times, which brings the rest of the panel back to life, blinking and shuffling in their chairs.

ADAM

Guy, listen to me. This is important. Don’t let him win. He is trying to deceive you and poison your mind. Give your love and the world will be relieved.

(now talking faster)

Give your anger and the world will be wounded yet again. That’s how important you are. That’s how important every single person is.

GUY

Anything I do will not change the world. I need to get out. Help me get out.

GUNTER

What are you prepared to do to get out?

GUY

I don’t know. I need to get out of here.

GUNTER

You do need to get out. You need to get out and win. Win for us all. Come.

Gunter grabs Guy’s forearm but Adam yanks him back by the other.

ADAM

The world will only heal with kindness. If humanity can find its light there can be no darkness. You can help make that possible, right now.

GUY

I have every right to hate. I need to get out! No! I can’t live like this. Let me go!

SEAN

Then go.

Both men drop their hold on Guy.

GUY

I don’t know how.

SEAN

Yes you do. But you keep coming back. Who are you? What is your name? Who are you?

GUY

I am…

GUNTER

What?

GUY

Not a what.

SEAN

What’s your name?

GUY

It changes.

SEAN

Who are you now?

GUY

I am you.

SEAN

Who am I?

GUY

You are me.

SEAN

Do you have any questions?

GUY

When do I start?

SEAN

Now.

(to Adam)

Do you think he stands a chance?

ADAM

He’s the best yet. I recommend we raise the level.

Sean inspects a wall screen.

SEAN

Candidate ten-O-eight-fourteen.

Sean stands up, the centre of focus in the room again, and announces, carefully and precisely:

SEAN

Loading…

Sean freezes. Sean’s face moves on the screens, while the version of Sean that is in the room remains motionless.

SEAN

Initiating sequence.

The wall clock’s second hand ticks up to 1.13. Then stops.

Jane crawls under the desk and curls herself up into the foetal position. Gunter climbs up onto the desk and stares at the clock. Darren is in the corner facing the wall. Bertie gets up in haste, trips over a chair, and prostrates himself on the floor. Adam puts his hands on Guy’s shoulders and starts to massage them. The lights from the screens intensify until there is nothing but light.

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