14/04/2017

Perish Part II


For a mobile friendly version of this page please follow the link:


This is part 2 of 5. If you want to download and own this in full as an ebook, please follow the links...




The pricing on Smashwords is dependent on you. You may choose to download the ebook for free or pay otherwise.

For the previous part on the blog:


Comment below or tell me what you think at:



Let's continue...



INT. MESS HALL - LATER

All two-hundred men stand, no seats, at a long metal counter that spirals into the centre of the room. On this counter is a conveyor belt with their lunches on.

The men eat, mostly silent, quivering as they half-heartedly shovel food into their mouths. Jim stands with Rip.

JIM

Rip, right?

RIP

Jim?

JIM

Yeah. Rough day, huh?

Rip sighs, eyebrows raised, shovelling more food in.

JIM

What do you reckon's next?

Rip shrugs.

They continue to eat in silence a moment.

RIP

My fucking thumb won't stop going, you know...

Rip shows Jim his twitching thumb.

RIP (CONT'D)

(with a weak laugh)

It's fucking ridiculous.

JIM

My ears are ringing.

RIP

What if I hit it...

He smacks his hand on the table. MEGATRON, who's stood next to him, looks over his shoulder.

MEGATRON

The fuck?

Rip turns away. His and Jim's eyes hit their plates, both exhaling small laughs.

IRON

Assembly hall in five.

INT. ASSEMBLY HALL - LATER

The men sit facing the team leaders again, all of them knackered, eye lids bobbing up and down, barely able to keep their heads up.

IRON

Ok. I'm leaving the rest of the formal introduction to Spit. He'll talk at you, you'll fall asleep and then we break into the training halls to wake you up before sending you to bed. Spit.

Spit comes forward.

SPIT

Men, fall asleep in this brief and I assure you there will be no waking up.

He waits for the eye rubbing and back stretching to stop before:

SPIT

Androdgena is...

INT. TRAINING HALL - LATER

Iron's men run laps, all of them sweating, dilapidated, Iron fierce with his encouragement (death threats).

Rip and Jim run together, Rip refusing to be the fat guy who can't do it.

INT. SHOWERS

The men stand naked under showers that aren't on yet. Twenty showers, twenty men, no seclusion, no privacy. All the men hold a small pill.

IRON

What I expect you were all waiting for this morning was the buzz cut. Too much time. Too much mess.

The room, abundant with styling, the gelled, combed, touched up, worried over, cared for, waits for Iron's next words...

IRON

Who likes their hair here?

A few men raise their hands.

IRON

I don't. You know why that is? It's because hair gives a person character. Hair first and foremost protects the body. That's why when you've got to really dig in there because you've sat on the toilet too long and the shit's dried up a little, you pull out curly black hairs. I'm not saying that I care about your asshole's personality--or your dick's or your balls' for that matter. What I don't like is that shit on top of your heads. Why do women have long hair? Because it accentuates movement. They get to say more with their actions. I don't want to hear shit from you men! Perish men live in silent torture so we can all get on with our lives. So, off it goes. All of it. Take the pill.

The men throw back the pill.

Iron marches through them toward the shower room door.

IRON

The showers are multifunctional. They spit shampoo, soap, whatever. What they will piss on you now will help break down that hair, leaving you with next to nothing. You're lucky though. You get to keep your eyebrows, eyelashes and the hair up your nose and in your ears. Nonetheless, you're all destined to be space-monkeyed, prepubescent-crotched, lady-legged, pussy-chested, jarheads for the next ten months. Congratulations. Now, shower.

Iron leaves. The showers turn on.

The men begin pushing their soaked fingers through bubbling goop that washes away, their heads, legs, arms, backs and pubic regions left bare.

At most, tiny particulates spot once hirsute bodies--some of the men absolutely horrified. Jim remains calm however, more worried about being naked amongst dozens of men.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTERS - NIGHT

The men, now all bald, get changed into shorts and t-shirts for bed. They quickly finish and stand to attention by their bunks.

IRON

Here we are. Welcome to Perish. The first day is over. What have we learnt?

The men look around, saying nothing.

IRON

Now, I could come round and fuck with you face-to-face. But, what we're going to do is lay down some ground rules. Some people like dialogues. I like monologues. You should too. The only person hearing your shit will be yourselves. Your team working skills will flourish from independence because you will quickly figure out that, alone, we die quicker. Consolidate, reflect, talk, sleep. This is your place, your time. Goodnight.

Iron leaves.

The men stand dumbfounded a moment before crawling into bed. Some of them chat quietly.

Jim falls onto his mattress, practically asleep already.

RIP

Night.

JIM

Night.

The lights dim.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTERS - MORNING

All the men stand to attention in front of their bunks. Iron walks through the aisle looking at their faces, disgusted at the stupid expressions stuck on them.

They're not awake. All of them sleep, stood up and unaware.

Iron steps up to Rip. He exhales, almost knocking Iron out with the putrid blast.

IRON

Dirty fucker.

He moves away and blows his whistle.

The men jolt awake...

S-SPLAT

... a few fall over. All are astounded as to how they got to be standing up, but say nothing.

IRON

Salute.

The men salute.

IRON

Get dressed, you have two minutes.

The men start to get dressed, groaning to each other tired good mornings and befuddled small talk.

Iron spots a man making his bed.

He marches over, vehement. The man stands to attention, saluting again.

IRON

Name?

JUELS

Juels.

IRON

What are you doing, Juels?

JUELS

Making my bed?

IRON

Every man in this room, stop what you're doing. Right now!

The men stop.

Iron stares down at Juels, seething.

IRON

Juels, are you a maid?

JUELS

No, Iron.

IRON

Do you like making beds?

JUELS

Not particularly.

IRON

Then what in the fuck are you doing!?

Juels flinches, backing off, limps wrists raised to his shoulders like a kid thinking they're about to be slapped by their parent, mouth in an idiotically fearful shape.

Iron keeps close and personal.

IRON

The only people who make beds are those who get paid to do so and those with the delusion that makes them think they can control chaos. A bed is to be slept in. An unmade bed can be slept in. A made bed can be sat on. It can be looked at. It can be pissed on for all I care! But, what matters is that a made bed cannot be slept in. Only on. Understand!?

Jules nods.

IRON

You will sleep in your beds because I need you to develop a false sense of security around this place. A made bed is a futile attempt to prevent chaos. Any time you see a made bed I want you to tear it apart! You hear!?

Juels nods again, mouth open, slack-jawed.

IRON

You hear!?

JUELS

Yes, Iron.

He turns away.

IRON

Control is a key term here, men. People don't have it. We only want it. We find comfort in accepting that we don't have to run the futile rat-race. Maybe you'll remember that. Finished getting dressed.

The men quickly get changed.

Jim's bed isn't made, but neat. He screws it up a little.

Rip smirks when he sees this. Jim just smiles back.

IRON

Time! In your foot lockers you will find a suit and helmet.

The men produce metallic full-body suits and helmets.

Jim inspects the slickened 50s sci-fi space-suite with raised eyebrows.

IRON (O.S)

As you know, microbes, atmosphere, such and so on dictate you wear these. The ins and outs of the suit...

INT. EXIT BAY - DAY

Iron stands in front of what looks like a huge garage door. His men stand, wearing the suits, in a line before him.

IRON

Men. What is beauty? Beauty is being made to feel insignificant. War is a collectively disgusting thing because people try to feed off it, it makes them feel powerful. Money is a disgusting thing. Power is a disgusting thing. Order is a disgusting thing. Space. Space is beautiful. An endless universe up down, left, right, all around us. Why is the universe beautiful? Because it's a big-ass place with no order. People can't comprehend our universe and so it's beautiful. Simple. Men. Men are stupid. That's why women don't give a fuck about you. They want your money and they want your sperm. That's enough for them. Women understand men. We are simple creatures. But, women? Women. Women are beautiful. Every curve. Every inch of skin. Beautiful. We do not get women. We never will. We don't really want to. They will forever be beautiful. And that's our commiseratory solace. However, some of you don't get yourselves. That's why you stand in front of a mirror and jerk off. You should work on that. Now...

Jim purses his lips to suppress a laugh.

The door behind Iron lifts up and through a thick layer of glass Androdgena is revealed:

Beyond the window is a concrete courtyard, training fields and a wall, but beyond that wall is a multitude of colour and life that stretches to a far off horizon, the sky above a translucent blue, stars faintly visible in the silken backdrop.

IRON

Men, put on your helmets.

The men twist and click the helmets into place.

Iron turns, placing his finger on the glass.

BEEP

It fades away, allowing a soft breeze to blow in. Iron breathes it in like it were a drug.

IRON

(taking more breathes)

This stuff. Wow. Follow me. Stay in line as you do.

EXT. COURTYARD

Iron strolls out looking up at the sky, the line of men marching behind, out of sync.

IRON

You march like shit, now stop.

The men stop. Iron turns around. The glass entrance to the exit bay reappears as the door comes down.

IRON

(pointing to one of his men)

You. Name?

MUFFIN

Muffin, Iron.

IRON

Muffin, take your helmet off and throw it over here.

Muffin does just that, holding his breath.

IRON

Take a deep breath, Muffin.

Muffin hesitantly does so. Before his lungs are full he starts puking.

IRON

How's it taste?

He just keeps throwing up.

IRON

Androdgena doesn't like you. Not much. Not yet. Muffin, stop puking and hold you breath for five seconds. Salute me when you manage that.

Muffin tries as Iron goes on.

IRON

In a month's time your bodies will be prepared to deal with this atmosphere. Until then you will be wearing these suits to venture outside. Beyond these walls is a world ruled by vegetation. Maybell is sparsely scattered throughout. It's very unlikely that we'll meet her, but, train hard because the fastest and most enduring will escape her if there's an encounter.

Muffin stands and salutes. Iron throws him his helmet. He puts it on and backs into line.

IRON

One month, Muffin, and I'll be asking you to take that helmet off again. Ok, now we're not out here for fun. Two single files.

The men line up.

IRON

I hope you all had a good breakfast. Now run.

The men run toward a door that's opening up in the wall of the courtyard. Jim runs next to Rip near the back.

JIM

That was bullshit. There's no enemy, right?

RIP

Probably, man.

EXT. TRAINING CIRCUITS - DAY

The men jog through pathways that look like tunnels, the huge over arching trees letting little light through, all following Iron through the meandering tracks that all seem to go up hill.

There are few sign posts around, mile markers. The men hit 2 before turning back.

INT. TRAINING HALL - DAY

The men march to Iron's ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, from wall-to-wall and with no end.

INT. MESSAGING CENTRE - LATER

A handful of men sit in booths reading out the message on the sheet.

Jim stands at a panel on the wall that holds his personal information. He swipes the screen blank, going over numbers in his head.

Jim takes a seat in a booth.

His fingers hover above the number pad on the screen.

He sighs and leaves.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTERS - NIGHT

Jim puts his folded uniform into his foot locker beside the helmet and gets into bed.

Rip is getting dressed next to him.

JIM

Why'd you do it, Rip?

RIP

Huh?

JIM

Sign up.

RIP

I've never owned anything. I've never been apart of something. Maybe this could change things. You?

JIM

It was this or some other torture.

Silence...

RIP

Think you made the right decision?

JIM

I don't know.

RIP

Well...

He jumps up onto the top bunk.

RIP

... time will tell. I think we'll do fine though. Night.

JIM

Night.

Jim gets comfortable. The lights dim.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTERS - MORNING

The men stand, sleeping.

Jim sways, mumbling. Iron watches him.

JIM

Please... no. No... no, no... ah, come on... please... wait...

Iron walks away, unimpressed as always.

He takes a final look around him before blowing his whistle.

All the men jolt awake--

THWACK

--one falls straight on his face.

IRON

Stand up straight you worthless bridge trolls and salute.

(the men do)

It's zero five-hundred. Get dressed and do it quick.

The men open their foot lockers and start getting dressed.

IRON

Today you will be introduced to the thing you will probably hate most about this place: Elvish Liquor. Last night was the last real meal you'll be having in a really long time.

INT. MESS HALL - MORNING

All two-hundred men stand at the long metal counter that spirals into the middle of the room. Trays laden with shot glasses, full of a murky substance, circulate the room.

Iron walks through the men holding one of the shot glasses whilst the other team leaders hover about on the sides.

IRON

This is Elvish Liquor. It's cheap, it's nasty and we've got lots of it here at Perish. Starvation is not a thing people stand for any more. There was a time when the only form of malnourishment wasn't self-inflicted. Maybe you remember this? Maybe I don't give a fuck.

He holds up the shot and then downs it. To him it tastes good.

IRON

Elvish Liquor was a revelation about twenty years ago. A revelation the world, for the most part, never knew about. All along on Earth was a natural substance that would feed a man for the whole day without negative consequence. It could be lived on - a search tested with many a comical trial and error. Elvish Liquor provides all a person needs. As you will find out. And all it takes is one shot to fill even the hungriest of bellies.

The conveyor belt stops. Each man is stood before a tray of shots.

IRON

This substance wasn't put upon the world for five years simply because it's nasty as shit. To some at least. I think it's an acquired taste--a taste you'll all have to acquire. Nonetheless, when it was introduced it had been watered down, modified, made to taste good. Then the adverts meant to depress first-world people stopped. No more 'Umbeke needs ten dollars a month'. No more slow motion shots of flies in babies' eyes. No more of those ridiculous, E.T-looking, third-world, snuff-pleas. No more world hunger. Yay for people. Right? I say no, but what the fuck does that matter? People want to survive where they shouldn't and so we will. An interesting lesson.

Iron takes another shot from a nearby tray and downs it. He grimaces, pulling at his waistband.

IRON

The most shots ever consumed by an individual on this base is five. You all have ten shots on your trays.

(to himself)

Apparently some people are optimistics around here.

Iron spits into his empty glass and puts it back on the tray he took it from. He taps the man's shoulder before continuing:

IRON

If you want a fleeting moment of glory that'll only be remembered as a number to beat, you will try and down more than five shots. We'll do this in rounds. First round, all of you pick up a glass.

Jim picks up a shot and sloshes the substance inside around, disgusted.

IRON

And down it goes.

All the men throw the shot back, soon after releasing a chorus of gags and yacks.

The team leaders look on amused.

IRON

All right, cut that shit out. Next round, next shot.

Most of the men pick up another glass.

At first Jim isn't going to, but then Rip, who's stood next to him, picks his up. Jim shakes his head and takes it.

IRON

Down it goes.

The shots are thrown down, for some they're thrown straight back up.

Refusing to acknowledge the hygiene issue about to splurge through the room, Iron keeps things going:

IRON

Round three.

Some of the men pick up a glass.

IRON

All right, this is starting to get serious now. All you bulimics out there are going to count down for the brave and the stupid. On go, counting down from three.

MEN

(with Iron)

Three, two, one, go!

Shots are downed.

Shots are projectile vomited back up.

Jim's tray is filled with the puke of a man stood next to him. Unknowingly, he slams his shot glass down in it, the puke splashing up his arm.

Jim gags, fighting to keep the Elvish Liquor down.

IRON

Round four. Getting close now.

Jim looks at his tray, he's not going to touch anything. Rip picks up a shot.

IRON

How many are left in? Spit?

SPIT

Not many.

IRON

All right.

MEN

(with Iron)

Three, two, one, go!

Shots are downed by some of the harder men.

One of them doesn't even manage to slam the glass down, instead...

BOOM

... it's his face that plows into festered, puddled, tiles.

Over the moans of agony:

IRON

Hopefully he's not dead. Mantra, Six, get him out.

(they do)

Round five. Spit, how many we got?

About ten men raise their glasses.

SPIT

Just under a dozen, I think eleven.

IRON

A dozen brave men. Un-fucking-believable. We've got a good bunch here. Ok.

MEN

(with Iron)

Three, two, one, go...

Eleven shots are downed, nine fail to stay down. The atmosphere, tinged with the textures, scent and taste of vomit, only thickens.

Rip, by all stretches of the imagination, is one of the two who manages to keep his down. He gags though, about to throw up.

IRON

Don't do it! Don't do it, Rip. You're really starting to become something around here.

Rip stands up and takes a breath, signaling an 'ok' as Jim lightly taps his back.

IRON

Round six?

Rip and the other raise their glasses.

IRON

Ok, try not to die.

MEN

Three! Two! One! Go!

They both down their shots.

Rip immediately doubles over, his stomach about to explode.

He lets out a cry of pain...

... farts...

... then pukes.

The men convulse with laughter as he hurls. Jim jumps back, wanting to help, but not get puked on.

IRON

(silences the men)

Well done. You've made a right ass of yourself. What's the name of the hard-ass that made it?

The last man standing can only just speak:

CINDERELLA

... Cinderella.

IRON

Brilliant. Spit?

SPIT

(shaking his head)

Megatron.

IRON

Megatron, congratulations, your boy did it.

Megatron, with puke splattered down his front, waves at Cinderella.

IRON

Round seven?

Cinderella waves his arms in submission.

The men mock. Iron lets it go on.

INT. TRAINING HALL - DAY

The men run in circles around the hall as fast as they can with Iron taunting them, telling them they need to burn off the excess of food.

Some men try and stop, but Iron won't have it, some men even try to puke, but he won't have it. He keeps pushing the men to run harder and faster, reminding them that they'll be doing this all day.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTERS - LATER

The men change.

IRON

Assembly hall in ten.

Rip sits on his bunk as Jim changes. A few bunks down PARAMECIUM starts singing a bluesy tune to himself with a deep silky voice.

JIM

How you feeling now, Rip?

RIP

(ignoring him)

How fucking annoying.

Paramecium keeps the tune going.

Jim just exhales a laugh before sitting back on his bed.

INT. CORRIDOR - DAY

Men file into the Assembly Hall.

Jim's gaze is caught by the blue telephone as he enters.

INT. ASSEMBLY HALL

The blinds are drawn, all is dark. A screen rolls down behind the stage and lights up with Perish's logo: the fist in salute.

Iron stands in front of the screen about to address the men.

IRON

There have been countless wars over time, men. Three colonial wars. Seventy world wars. Over the last two years twenty-nine civil wars have broken out in zero region alone. Over the last century, cancer killed almost ten-billion people. In that same one-hundred year stretch approximately one-hundred and fifty-two-billion have died in war. The...

(as some say)

... 'genocide' of the Klump region resulted in eleven-billion of those deaths alone. And that all happened in a matter of days. Humans are getting incredibly good at killing one another. The human population is almost three-hundred-billion strong as of now. The population of this planet is twelve-thousand. All twelve-thousand of those people are men and women willing to fight Maybell.

On the screen a picture of Maybell pops up, the men only able to look up disgusted.

IRON

There was a time in dear old zero region, from which yours truly hails, when words such as nigger, kike, honky, wop, spook, chink, rag-head, spic, paki, oreo, jap, hillbilly, half-breed, gringo, redneck and so on, were considered racist. Nowadays we have too many races to even think about getting racist about. People still try though. Nonetheless, racial discrimination is born out of fear. Maybell is not human, but you'll extend her the courtesy of thinking of her as one. I would much prefer we all be a little more like Maybell, but that's too much for you daisy chains to wrap your heads around. Instead, you will respect Maybell. Respect is also born out of fear. Don't let that fool you though; it's a helpful kind of fear. Respect is the admission to submission. To respect someone is to bow your head, to be stood above. You will simply fear and then you will respect Maybell. For if you do not, she will annihilate you because it's only with a certain amount of respect that you will be able to recognise her weaknesses.

The men nod along.

IRON

You've all already taken your first few steps on the yellow brick road. Today you take another. Eventually you'll be clicking your heels and be back on your way to Kansas. But, clicking your heels is the easy part. It's all about getting to Oz. I don't care if there's a scarecrow, tinman or a fucking leprechaun missing his knife walking that road with you. You will get there or you will die. Maybell means all that is pure in my books. It does in yours as well. I will not hear her referred to as anything else. That's a rule I'm ashamed to have to enforce. In any senses... this is Lucifer.

A picture of a Samurai sword-esque blade pops up on the screen. The men's eyes light up in awe.

IRON

This is Hades.

A picture of a glove pops glistens from confused eyes.

IRON

That stuff's very exciting, a nice big step across the yellow bricks, but we get to that later. What we are interested in now, and to hop skip and jump our pretty little asses there, is field education and basic tactics.

The men sink in their seats as the lesson continues.

Jim stares ahead, features somewhat attentive, mind wandering.

INT. MESSAGING CENTRE

The room rests stagnant, unsettled only by the relentless beat of a man hunched over one of the desks, headphones on, tugging away as his girlfriend squeezes her tits together on his small screen.

Lolita sits in his booth, trying to concentrate on his message to his mother.

INT. TRAINING HALL - DAY

Iron's men sit around him. He's at a table with small grey box. Everything's relaxed, a little more personal.

IRON

Time for a few core values; down time which you will all eventually fall in love with me over. Today, we'll start with a simple story. The moral: it takes courage to do bad things.

(a pause before starting)

It takes courage to kill, to lie, hate, rape, pillage, destroy and all that other fun stuff. Just as much as courage is needed to do good of the equal extreme. Thus, there is no real difference between the feeling in a man's heart, mind and gut when he jumps in front of a train to save a child that's fallen on the tracks and pushes one down to get hit. Courage can be used to do many things, but all will be equally stupid and brave. My mother used to sell fruit outside my house. My father was a drunk. He'd sit indoors all day and drink. He drank because he couldn't feel without the alcohol. He was relatively level-headed when drunk, so don't think he's the source of the sob in this story. One day, as my mother was selling fruit outside the house, she came upon a man with real courage. He was the type of man who took what he wanted because nobody had ever stopped him doing so. That was until he met my mother. The conflict resulted in a gun being pulled and my mother's brains being splattered on the pavement in front of her own home. My father, having heard the shot, looked out of the window to see the man testing the weight of a watermelon, tapping on it to check if it was ripe. My father was not a stupid man--for the most part. But, he decided to take his gun and open the door. He didn't even get to step outside before he was just as dead as my mother.

(beat)

Courage always has consequences. This is what the boy in the upstairs bedroom window realised. We all get something from an act of courage. For my mother, she got to go to heaven. For my father, he found out that there was a heaven, but also that he was going to hell. For the gangster, he got some nice, ripe watermelon. Now, I, as of now, am not religious, but I was at the time. It was God, at that time, later that day, that gave me courage. For my courage, I got these.

Iron takes a chain of teeth from his pocket and places it on the table.

The men look on, features suspended in awe.

IRON

Stand and line up, please.

The men do. Iron stands.

IRON

Rip.

Rip stands forward.

IRON

Have you got any proof of your courage?

He shakes his head, no.

IRON

Always got the answers, haven't you? Step back.

(he does)

You. Next to him, um...

Jim stands forward.

JIM

Jim, Iron.

IRON

How about you? Got any sorrows?

JIM

I think I'm fine in that respect, Iron.

IRON

Mm. Seems so. Got any proof of your courage?

JIM

Not yet, Iron.

IRON

A quick thinker. I like it. Tell me, Jim, when is this 'yet'?

Iron waits for an answer...

... but Jim hasn't got one.

IRON

Maybe you just got lucky. Jim, do you remember being a child?

JIM

A... um... little.

IRON

Being a little child?

JIM

No. I remember a little of my childhood, Iron.

IRON

Well then, maybe you can tell me this: did you want to kill people as a child?

JIM

Not really.

IRON

So only a little then. Jim, did you ever play the game 'cowboys and indians'?

JIM

Cowboys and indians?

IRON

Yeah. Is there an echo in here? It's like doctors and nurses but with more running and less of your uncle going to prison.

The men snigger.

JIM

I don't think I ever played cowboys and indians, Iron.

IRON

Repression, that's what that is. Well, we're going to play now. Come up here.

Jim apprehensively goes up to the table.

IRON

No, come round this side.

(Jim does)

You want to be the cowboy or the indian?

JIM

I don't mind.

IRON

I'll be the cowboy, you're the indian. Don't worry, there's not much of a difference between the two. Your horse is a little slower and you will lose, but that's ok. Now, do you have any idea what the rules of this game are?

JIM

For us to kill each other?

IRON

Correct. And how do we accomplish that?

Jim shakes his head, no idea.

Iron puts his hand in his pocket.

Jim takes a step back.

Iron pulls his hand out in the shape of a gun. He looks Jim in the eye, dead serious.

Jim looks off to the side with no clue of what's going on.

Iron mounts an imaginary horse then starts prancing around the room, whooping and slapping the horse's hind.

IRON

Get! Get! Whoop!

Jim watches, smiling, trying to suppress laughter.

A giggle is about to break through his smile when...

IRON

(pointing his gun)

BANG!

Jim and the rest of the men jump out of their skin.

An awkward moment of silence falls...

The smiles start to return...

Jim looks to the other men for help, about to laugh again when...

IRON

Don't you fucking laugh! DIE! DIE! DIE!

Jim flinches, not knowing what to do.

IRON

Fall to the fucking floor, you gaping asshole, before I make you bleed!

Jim...

FRUMP

... awkwardly does.

IRON

I don't want to see you fucking move. You're dead! You hear!? You're dead!

Jim daren't nod, just lay there, face mushed against the not-so-clean floor.

Iron holsters his gun and dismounts his horse. The men turn to him, flabbergasted.

IRON

Cowboys and indians. Hopefully you all understand how it works now. Ok, half of you to the left and half of you to the right. Get to it!

The men split, nine go left, ten to the right.

IRON

(to the right)

You are cowboys.

(to the left)

You are indians. Jim! Get up. Go to your people.

Jim stands and joins the line of nine people on the left. Iron surveys the sides.

IRON

I changed my mind.

(to Jim's team)

You're cowboys. You seem to fit the aesthetic.

(to the other)

You are indians. All of you. Mount your horses.

The men look around at each other.

IRON

Mount those damn nags or I swear I'll shoot them and you'll have to deal with disease infested fucking donkeys.

The men pretend to mount their horses.

IRON

Ok. Keep 'em still and listen. Indians, your horses aren't as fast but you've got rifles, they are long range. Cowboys, your horses are faster, but you've only got revolvers, shorter range. Don't worry about bullets, you've all got plenty.

Iron waits a moment in which the men stand bewildered.

IRON

Well? Get the fucking guns out.

The cowboys produce their one-handed revolvers. The indians produce rifles with two hands and peer down their sights.

IRON

Indians, you're not that talented. You need one hand on the reigns. Just simulate the rifle with your one hand.

The indians trade in the rifles for what look like revolvers.

IRON

On 'go', I want war.

Iron steps back, the two lines of men left staring at each other.

Silence...

IRON

Go!

Nobody moves...

Jim aims his revolver--

JIM

BANG!

IRON

No! You missed; not close enough.

From across the room Rip aims his rifle at Jim and...

RIP

BANG!

IRON

DEAD! Now get down. You truly are shit at this.

Jim dramatically holds his heart then falls off his horse...

FRUMP

... dead.

The men look on in disbelief.

IRON

Way-hay! Jim's got it! What the fuck are all you putrescent dickweeds waiting for!? Fucking go!

The men all kick off and start shooting.

Iron jumps into the action, calling out kills as the men start falling.

It only takes a moment for the men to get past the absurdity and into the fantasy. Soon the indians are going too fast and the cowboys are shooting from afar as Iron screams out, trying to direct the men and control the battle.

INT. TRAINING HALL - LATER

The last two men circle each other, trying to get clear shots.

All around, the men lay down pretending to be dead, drowning in sweat, glad for the rest.

MAN

BANG!

IRON

DIE! Get down!

One of the men fall.

The triumphant one left standing tries to stay in character as he catches his breath.

IRON

Fuck me! It took all day to get one good battle. Get up.

The men stand and get back to their sides.

IRON

No. Games are over, get in line.

The men line up.

Jim gets into place, doubled over next to Rip, rasping whispers of 'good game'.

Iron gets back behind the table, opens up the grey box and produces a glove.

He holds it in his hand as if it were a baby.

It's a seemingly normal thin woollen glove, the only thing special about being a red band around the wrist and a red index fingertip.

IRON

Say hello to Hades, men. One of deadliest weapons ever created.

The men join the dots, standing up straight, no longer embellishing how tired they are.

Iron just rolls his eyes.

IRON

Disintegration is a wonderful thing. Pure entropy. This weapon will disintegrate a human. In fact, if you stand a dozen men in a line, about seven times out of ten you'll get all of them. However, this will not disintegrate Maybell, it only does serious damage. You will all be trained in the art of C and I. Cowboys and indians. Everyday.

The men nod, almost excited. Jim just scratches his head, eyes meeting Rip's surprised nod. He nods back.



No comments: