Friday, April 18, 2014

Excerpt From My Sci-Fi Script, Moon Monsters...

I've been thinking of restarting this as a series, with the lunar settlement as kind of a central station for monsters. But right now it's available as a stand alone story. Here's the plot and an excerpt:



In the year 2040 the Deluge came. The people of Earth were forced to flee to the mountaintops. Some struggled just to survive while the rich lived happily in their lofty fortresses.

Twenty years later, Edward Ash built a resort on the moon, to cater to the richest, most beautiful of the survivors.

It seems like paradise to Rio Larsen and her twin brother, Dodge. But then strange things start to happen ... hallucinations, thefts, sinister secrets revealed on an old time radio broadcast …

Will the twins and their family find out what’s going on? And if they do, will the truth destroy their last chance for survival on the moon?





MOON MONSTERS

A Film Script

By

Pamila Daniel



This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Moon Monsters


A Film Script


Copyright 2011 Pamila Daniel

All Rights Reserved.


For the little girl who loved to watch science fiction classics – and the big girl who still does.


“MOON MONSTERS”

SUPERIMPOSE: JUNE 19, 2060

EXT. OUTER SPACE. DAY.

A sleek silver shuttle bus, shaped like an Art Deco hood ornament, glides through the stars, moving towards the bright side of the moon. Its bold lettering proclaims it to be the I.M.E. GRATIS.

FOLLOW it to the surface, where a neat conglomeration of squares and rectangles in cantilevered variations dot the gray landscape like so many Frank Lloyd Wright knock-offs.

They are connected by round, transparent black tubes that swallow white, capsule-shaped cars, whisking moon inhabitants from one place to another.

CENTER in on two teen faces in a shuttle bus porthole: excited, wide-eyed redhead, fourteen year-old RIO LARSEN, and her calm, black-haired twin brother, DODGE.

EXT. SURFACE OF MOON. DAY.

The shuttle bus sets down on a landing pad with retractable limbs that clasp the vehicle and hold it firmly.

A tube expands from the main moon station, latches onto the side of the shuttle bus.

Fifty or so passengers dressed in black uniforms that mimic Depression era bellboys (minus the monkey caps), including the Larsen teens, and their slim, elegant parents, black-headed JAKE and crimson-locked TARA, exit the bus in several capsule cars. They all carry duffel bags with the IME logo.

INT. MOON STATION. DAY.

Inside the bright chrome and glass terminal, the travelers step out of the capsules, breathless. They are greeted by a smiling, robotic hostess, MIMI, wearing the same uniform, her fake blonde hair styled in a 1930s permanent wave.

MIMI
Welcome to the International Moon
Exposition! Follow me, please.

They all nod and begin to walk behind her down a well-lit, tree-lined street beneath an enormous skylight, leading past luxurious townhouses, swanky stores, a gleaming theatre, chic restaurants and other buildings.

Mimi stops at different living areas, escorting each family to its new home.

One by one the number dwindles until the Larsen family is the only group left.

FOCUS on Rio, who is starry-eyed, and Dodge, who keeps a calm front.

RIO
I never imagined it’d be like this! Did
you, Dodge?

DODGE
I had my ideas.

RIO
Look at the stores! It’s going to be
like living at one of those Gallerias
from the old days!

He nudges her with a pointy elbow.

DODGE
Could you cool it, Rio? You sound like
a tourist!

Their parents grin.

TARA
We are tourists, darling! Look, there’s
the Sun Spa, where I’ll be spending
most of my free time!

They all look towards a separate building that has an artificially sunlit roof and clear walls. Inside there are exotic swimming pools with waterfalls and tropical plants and trees.

Swimmers and sunbathers lounge around the pools, oblivious to their lunar surroundings.

A sudden but minor meteor shower in the distance catches everyone’s attention.

RIO
Ooh! I can never get used to being in
outer space! Isn’t it amazing?

DODGE
You embarrass me.

RIO
Oh, stop it. You’re just as amazed by it
as I am. That cool act is getting really old.

DODGE
It’s no act. I am cool.

RIO
If you have to say it, then you ain’t it!

TARA
(laughing)
Nice to know some things will never change,
even up here on the moon!

JAKE
(laughing too)
Yeah! Feels like home already! You kids
will probably find those areas over there
very interesting.

RIO
The Moon Park, and Lunar Beach! Now, those are cool!

SCAN areas – the Moon Park is like a big old-time amusement park, with rides and food and garish entertainments, covered by a clear enclosure. People dressed in 30s style clothes stand in line, some with children, waiting to get on the rides, while roller coasters whisk round in brightly colored blurs. An enormous Ferris wheel gives its patrons a lofty view of the moonscape.

RIO
I’ve never seen anything so wonderful
in my whole life! I can’t wait to get
on those rides!

Lunar Beach is an enclosed water park resort with all the typical beachside amenities.

DODGE
Now that’s my kind of place. Sand,
surf, even seagulls. Just like back
on Earth.

RIO
You mean … like it used to be back
on Earth … before the Deluge …

DODGE
Sure. I’m itching to get out on those waves.

RIO
You’d think that you’d be sick to death
of seawater, since just about the entire
world is covered in it.

They all seem a bit sad.

TARA
I know I’m sick of it. But your father and
I have lived with it longer than you guys.
Jake, will we be safe in this place? I don’t
think I could bear another disaster.

JAKE
We should be perfectly safe here, Tara. The
IME has a completely controlled atmosphere.
The water in the beach and spa areas is
producing the clean fresh air that everyone
on the moon base is breathing.

Mimi, the robotic hostess, who was strangely quiet on their walk, perks up like a wind-up toy, waves the Larsens towards a building with a graceful, gloved hand. She smiles.

MIMI
Here’s your apartment, Mr. Larsen.

They approach their living quarters. The apartment building is clean and white, lots of glass and Deco chrome, with palms and wisteria, even bougainvillea draping the balconies and arbors. It’s like an MGM movie set from the 30s.

MIMI
Here is your key, Mr. Larsen. I hope you
enjoy your new life on IME.

JAKE
Thank you.

Jake Larsen enters a key into a digital lock on the door of a first level apartment.

Mimi nods goodbye and walks away. She enters a side street, then slips into a small office area.

INT. OFFICE AREA. DAY.

Mimi sits down at a desk, begins to enter data into a tiny tablet, highlighting words the Larsens and others said as they walked through to their homes.

Then she sends her report through to an attractive, dark-haired man with thick brows and steely-gray eyes whose face appears on the tiny screen. He is EDWARD ASH.

ASH
Thank you, Mimi, darlin’.

MIMI
You are welcome, Mr. Ash. Shall I switch
off?

ASH
Yes, please.

She sets down the tablet. There’s a CLICK. She seems frozen in time.

INT. LARGE OFFICE. DAY.

Edward Ash sits in a big chair pointed towards a beautiful view of the Earth hanging over the moon. He is flanked by two stony-faced robotic officers.

An Asian man, SATU AOKI, looking a bit like an aging J Pop star, paces the room nervously near a huge, circular desk.

ASH
Calm yourself, Aoki. You are the most
fidgety human being I’ve ever seen!

AOKI
I’m sorry, but I just don’t like all
of this spying. I can’t see the point
to it, Mr. Ash. Every person who comes
here has already been vetted by your
company on Earth. Why do you feel the
need to spy on them?

Ash stands. He is very tall. Even the robots, who are big enough to be linemen, have to look up to see his face.

ASH
Because I want everything on the IME
station to be perfect! No one’s going
to ruin my plans. I can’t allow one
slacker or rebel to upset the balance!

He turns, stares out the window, watches as another meteor shower lights up the sky.

ASH
This is my dream come true, Aoki. I
waited all my life to build a paradise
like IME. And nobody’s going to spoil it!

INT. THE LARSEN APARTMENT. DAY.

The Larsens all enter their apartment, big-eyed, and drop their duffel bags to the floor.

The living room/kitchen area is high tech, of course, but also very earthy with its stone walls, large windows and streamlined wood furnishings.

TARA
Did you guys know that each apartment
is computer designed to fit the
personalities of the families living there?

Rio runs to Dodge’s room, peeks inside.

INT. DODGE’S BEDROOM, DAY.

Rio GASPS. Inside there are sky-blue walls, deep, soft denim chairs, a captain’s bed, a holographic fish tank, and surfing posters.

RIO
Yep, it fits Dodge, to a T! I can’t wait to
see mine!

They walk across the hall, look into Rio’s room.

INT. RIO’S BEDROOM. DAY.

The room has deep red walls, a black canopy bed with purple drapes, velvet and fringe furniture, and framed black and white glossies of old movie monsters.

In one corner stands a gilded birdcage, inhabited by a bright emerald robotic parrot called POPPY.

RIO
I wonder what his name is?

POPPY
Poppy. Poppy. Poppy. Hello, Bon Jour,
Good Day, Kenichiwa, Hola!

DODGE
I’m glad I have fake fish. At least they’re quiet!

RIO
Oh, I can hush him up. Poppy, shut down!

The bird dulls a bit. He bows his head then freezes into off mode.

Rio looks out the window at the moon’s surface. A large crane is removing the gray dirt from a crater.

RIO
What’s going on there?

TARA
They’re probably getting the site ready
for the shuttle bus fuel station.

JAKE
Yeah, the station will have acres of
huge fuel tanks, to supply the exposition
shuttles with fuel, so they can start
taking people to other parts of the
solar system.

RIO
That’s all we need … a big, ugly gas
station, cluttering up the view.

JAKE
I know, but it is necessary.

DODGE
Dad, I’ve been wondering about something.

JAKE
What’s that, Dodge?

DODGE
Well, IME is a huge place, but it
doesn’t look big enough to house all
the people who wanted to leave Earth. Are
they going to build more settlements?

JAKE
Oh, I’m sure that’s the plan. President
Aoki assured us at the last assembly
that everyone who wanted to leave the
planet would be able to. Now, I don’t
know about you guys, but all this space
traveling has made me hungry. Let’s stow
away our gear, and find the fridge!

Tara LAUGHS as Jake grabs her hand and swings her back through the hall to the kitchen.

Rio and Dodge look at each other, obviously unsure.

INT. ANOTHER APARTMENT. NIGHT.

A fragile thirteen year old boy with round-rimmed glasses, JOHNNY KALE, lies in a western bunk bed in a room decorated in cowboy wallpaper and wagon wheel furniture.

He munches on a snack plate of vegetables, most notably large slices of mushrooms. Johnny dips them in dressing as he watches a film on a screen that hangs in front of the bed. The film is JAWS, and the scene is a scary one.

His mother, MARIE KALE, enters, and LAUGHS.

MARIE
You’ll have nightmares, my baby, eating
so late, and watching scary movies.

He pouts.

JOHNNY
I’m not a baby.

MARIE
Of course you’re not.

She glances at a night light by the bed. Then she kisses his head.

MARIE
Goodnight, darling.

She leaves.

Johnny sets the plate on a nightstand, turns off the screen, and the night light, lies wide-eyed in bed, the covers pulled up tightly round his neck.

His eyes close. He tosses and turns, having a bad dream.

There is a strange SOUND coming from the ventilation register, like something is trying to remove it, from the inside. The vent cover falls off.

A gray, glowing glob appears, seeps out of the vent. It takes a ghostly shape, moves toward the nightstand where the plate of mushrooms sits.

Johnny stirs, wakes in a sweat, his arm flails out, touches the gray ghost. There is a spark, then the ghost transforms into a huge, hulking shark.

Johnny raises up, switches on the night light. He sees the shark, SCREAMS like a little girl, startling the creature, who shrinks back down into a glob and disappears through the vent.

Marie Kale rushes in.

MARIE
Johnny, what’s wrong?

JOHNNY
It was a shark! I mean it was a glob!
It started out like a glob but then it
touched me and BOOM it was a shark!

She shakes her head, grinning.

MARIE
I told you so, didn’t I?

JOHNNY
It wasn’t a dream, Mom. I know it
sounds crazy, but it was real!

MARIE
Johnny, listen to yourself. Now, think.
We’re in outer space. How could a shark
be here, in your room?

JOHNNY
I don’t know. I just know it WAS here.

MARIE
I can’t deal with this. I’ve got to get
ready for the big welcoming celebration
tomorrow. Get some sleep … and no more
scary movies!

Johnny starts to argue, but shrugs, seeing it’s useless.

His mom leaves.

Johnny gets up, covers the vent with a heavy chest, then returns to bed, the comforter up tight about his throat – the night light still on.

INT. MAIN MOON STATION. DAY.

People are gathering around a podium in the largest area of the station. Everyone is dressed in 1930s finery – tuxes and long flowing gowns.

A big band plays Cole Porter tunes from a stage to the left.

There are tables full of exotic vegetables and alcoholic drinks.

Robotic waiters serve the partiers with soulless precision.

The Larsen family enters the crowd, dressed to the nines.

Dodge pulls at his collar uncomfortably.

DODGE
Man, and I thought the uniforms were bad!

TARA
Now, Dodge, a guy’s got to learn to
wear a tux sometime.

RIO
At least you’re wearing pants! I haven’t
worn a dress since I was five! I’ll catch
my death of cold in this thing!

JAKE
No one can catch a cold on the moon, Rio.
The filters in the air ducts see to that.

DODGE
Yeah, and all those shots we had to take!
I don’t think I have one germ left in my
whole body.

TARA
Shh! The celebration is starting.

A group of very attractive older men and women arrive to polite APPLAUSE and step up onto the podium.

IME President Satu Aoki motions for the music to stop, then he bows to the audience.

AOKI
Thank you, thank you. We are very glad
to welcome our newest members to the
International Moon Exposition. We all hope
you will enjoy your time here. I know
some of you have already opened your
businesses in the mall area, and others
plan to soon. This settlement is on its
way to becoming a wonderful, thriving
community.

More APPLAUSE.

A disheveled man with wildly loose hair comes running towards the podium. He is DR. HANS KLEINER.

KLEINER
Tell them the truth, Aoki, tell them
what’s really going on!

Two robotic guards step forward from the shadows and take his arms.

AOKI
I don’t know what you mean, Dr. Kleiner.

KLEINER
Lies! It’s all lies! Don’t believe what
you hear, don’t believe what they tell
you! Tune in to the truth! It will set
you free!

FOCUS on a pair of long, black boots. Rise upward slowly to reveal a stern-faced, tough but beautiful woman with pale green eyes and purplish hair cut in a Louise Brooks pageboy. She is CREGAN SAMUELS, Overseer of Security for IME.

She raises a quick hand, calms the quivering doctor with a deftly placed karate chop as the audience GASPS. He slumps down then is carefully carted off by the stony-faced guards.

CREGAN
Sorry for the interruption, Mr. President.
Dr. Kleiner has been working long hours
on a project and isn’t quite himself.
Please resume your speech.

She follows the guards out without glancing back.

Rio and Dodge are fascinated, watch her until she disappears into a side door.

WOMAN
(whispering)
Who was that? And why did she use violence
on poor Dr. Kleiner?

MAN
It’s appalling! Who’s in charge of this
creature? President Aoki, we demand an
explanation!

AOKI
Well, I am sorry to see Dr. Kleiner so
distraught. He has been a valuable
asset to our company. I realize most of
you lived in some rather ivory towers
back on Earth. That’s how you could
afford to come here. And, true, there
was no need for a security force in
your world. But things are different here.

WOMAN
How are they different? We were told there
would be no troublemakers on IME.

AOKI
There are none. And we aim to keep it that
way. Your happiness and safety are our two
main concerns. We hope we have provided
an atmosphere congenial to both. Now, I
don’t honestly think I need to say much more
about our beautiful little settlement here.
Just that I wish all of you a good, long
life, full of prosperity and joy. Maestro,
give us a foot-stomping old dance number to
get this party started!

The band leader nods, then motions for the musicians to play a raucous tune. Everyone APPLAUDS, then LAUGHS as they try to keep up with the rhythm.

Jake and Tara huddle in a corner, WHISPERING, with worried frowns marring their oh-so-perfect facades.


DODGE
What’s up, Dad?

JAKE
Nothing, Dodge. Grab yourself a girl
and get out there and dance.

DODGE
Are you kidding?

RIO
He doesn’t know you very well, does he?

TARA
Apparently not, but I do. Why don’t you two
head over there to Dogstar, the skating
rink? I’m sure that’s more your speed.

DODGE
Right!

He aims Rio towards a Deco door a few steps away. A subdued sign announces it to be the DOGSTAR SKATING RINK. They enter.

INT. SKATING RINK. DAY.
Inside, the place is lit up like a pastel paradise, neon everywhere, with a huge slick wooden skating rink lining the glass walls.

Boys in white jackets with pushed up sleeves, and hair teased almost as high as the glass ceiling are roller skating with girls in Madonna gear to the SOUNDS of 80s Alternative Rock.

RIO
Now this is more like it! Dodge,
what do you suppose was up with Dr.
Kleiner? He was always a bit of a
loon at the Academy, but not that bad.

DODGE
I don’t know, but I’ve got a feeling
Mom and Dad do. That’s why they
looked so worried.

V.O.
Hey, Dodge Larsen! When did you get here, dude?

They turn to see a dark-skinned boy, JORDAN TOTA. Rio immediately blushes.

DODGE
Jordan! Wow, it’s good to see a friendly
face! We weren’t sure anybody else had
come in yet.

JORDAN
Sure. I’ve been here awhile now. If you
need somebody to show you the ropes, I’m
your man. Hello, Rio. Nice to see you.

Rio’s cheeks flush as red as her hair.


RIO
Hi, Jordan.

Dodge watches her in disgust as she coyly smiles. He shakes his head.

DODGE
Say, Jordan, did you see what happened
outside just now?

JORDAN
You mean Dr. Kleiner? Yeah, he’s done
it before. I’ll bet this time they
lock him up somewhere.

DODGE
What’s this truth he was talking about?

JORDAN
Who knows? See you around, guys. I’m
going to hook up with that Cyndi Lauper
look-a-like over there and do some
serious skating! This place is jack!

He moves away, Rio’s gaze trails him like a lovesick hound.

RIO
He’s just the dreamiest!

DODGE
If you only knew …

RIO
What?

DODGE
Never mind. A true friend keeps his pals’
secrets to himself. I’m going to go rent
some skates. Coming along?

RIO
In this dress? Are you crazy?

DODGE
Well, run home and change. It probably
won’t take ten minutes if you ride the
capsule cars.

RIO
I guess I could. Don’t leave before I
get back.

DODGE
I won’t.

He leaves her, slips on a cool set of skates and begins swaying to the fluid notes of an ABC oldie, Be Near Me.

Rio puzzles after him a moment, then retraces her steps out the door.

INT. MAIN MOON STATION. DAY.

Rio maneuvers her way slowly through the throng of partiers, most of whom seem drunk.

A man stumbles nearby, falls towards her. She SQUEALS as he leans into her. A strong arm grabs him, tosses him off.

Rio looks up into the pale green eyes of Cregan Samuels.

RIO
Thanks, Ms. … er …

CREGAN
Samuels. Officer Cregan Samuels.
Overseer of Security for IME, at your service.

RIO
Right.

CREGAN
Teens aren’t allowed to travel alone on
IME. Where’s your sub-mom? 

RIO
At home, I guess.

CREGAN
Well then, that’s where you’d better be.

RIO
But my parents are at the party.

CREGAN
Fine. Stay with them.

RIO
But I wanted to change my clothes, so
I can skate. Can’t I get a hall pass
or something?

CREGAN
Not allowed. Didn’t you read the rulebook
they gave you on the shuttle bus?

RIO
No, Ma’am. Nobody ever reads those things.

CREGAN
EVERYBODY is supposed to read them. Maybe I should haul your butt up to the brig,
hum? Then maybe you’ll remember to read it?

Rio stared at the woman, unbelieving.

V.O. (deep, dark voice)
Now, now, Cregan, old girl, I think we
can be nicer about this. Let the young lady
go home and change. I’m sure she’ll read
your rulebook later, won’t you, Miss?

They turn to see a titan of a man with flowing black bangs hovering over thick black brows and steely-gray eyes. Edward Ash, the architect and owner of IME.

RIO
Sure, I mean, yes, sir, I will.

ASH
Run along then. And Officer Samuels, I need
you to follow me, please.

Cregan nods, follows him off like a scolded child. She turns the eerily pale eyes back to give Rio a warning glance. Rio visibly shivers, hurries towards the capsule cars.

END OF EXCERPT