14/04/2017

Perish Part IV


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INT. IRON LIVING QUARTERS - MORNING

Iron blows his whistle. The men wake, stood to attention, goggles off.

IRON

Salute.

Twenty fists simultaneously rise.

IRON

Recreation in ten. Elvish liquor in five.

The men start getting changed, chatting excitedly about the night before.

Jim approaches Rip, wary.

JIM

Hey. How'd it go?

Rip just shakes his head, whatever.

JIM

Yeah, it was weird, man. I'm not sure what it was. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting it...

Sour, Rip watches the room as Jim quietly continues to talk at his back.

INT. MESS HALL - MORNING

Rip and Jim down their shots. Juels moves next to Rip.

JUELS

(welcoming)

Motherfucker.

RIP

What?

JUELS

Chill. Shit. What's up?

He playfully hits his shoulder.

RIP

Nothing.

JUELS

Cool.

(pause, jumping ahead:)

A good left you got.

Rip throws a fake smile.

Juels sees Jim trying to lean in on the conversation, he gives him a dirty look and he leans out.

JUELS

Why don't you talk, man?

RIP

I talk all the time. You just don't hear me.

JUELS

Oh, really. What do you say?

RIP

(snorts)

I don't know.

JUELS

(laughs)

Yo, you got a pussy waiting for you outside?

RIP

No.

JUELS

I've got this peach... Oh my God, man. The messages she sends--

EYEBALL

Five! To your tens.

JUELS (CONT'D)

Dude... you wouldn't believe...

Rip chuckles as they start toward the mess hall doors. He turns back to Jim, about to introduce him:

RIP

This is--

Jim locks eyes, squinting with a slight shake of his head. Rip questions with a squint of his eyes, but drops introductions.

Jim then hangs back a little, leaving Rip to walk on with Juels.

JUELS

(oblivious)

I'll tell you though, I love the bitch. We must have been together...

The men file out of the doors as the conveyer belt starts moving. Jim loses Rip as he chats with Juels, caught in double file with Muffin who gives a polite nod, nothing more.

INT. CORRIDOR

Jim files past the blue telephone.

INT. RECREATION HALL - DAY

The men have been split into four groups to play dodgeball. Jim faces Rip's team. Jim's team are winning, it's down to Rip and Juels.

Rip, semi-playfully, concentrates fire on Jim. Juels turns on him too.

B-BANG

A ball to the face and groin and Jim's out.

He slumps on the bench, catching his breath, watching Rip and Juels make their final stand before losing.

IRON

Switch!

Jim goes back onto the court as Rip's team leaves and another comes on.

As Jim plays, Rip, Juels, Lolita, Megatron and Paramecium insult each other in growing comradery on the bench.

INT. CORRIDOR - LATER

Rip, still chatting with Juels, passes the assembly hall.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTER - NIGHT

Jim lies down, reluctantly putting the goggles on. Rip still chats with Juels.

JIM

Well, shit.

The lights dim, but the buzz of the room persists. Jim can only lie in it, not wanting to drift into The Gorge.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTERS - EARLIER

Paramecium sings, the group around Rip jeering as he fends off ridicule.

Jim dresses, his back to the tune, eyes closed.

INT. BEDROOM

Before blue walls asheen with a clean, soft white light, net curtains billow, dancing in the breeze of an open window.

Jim reclines on his bed, fingers brushing crisp chords from his acoustic guitar.

Dangling from the headstock is a broken wrist band, pink lace platted with white string, the tied, frayed ends burnt black.

Jim stops playing, eyes on the wrist band.

He sits forward with a sigh, stretches his back and slides his fingers back onto the fret board.

JIM

(under his breath)

One... two...

He starts a tough legato line, fingers rapidly climbing up the neck of the guitar, strings singing a pretty tune--

TWANG

JIM

(under his breath)

Fuck...

He starts again--

TWANG

Again.

A good start, a clean flurry of notes--

TWANG

JIM

Fuck.

Back to the start--

TWANG

Again.

TWANG

Again.

His fingers rest, Jim sighing; the song he can never do.

He looks to the swinging wrist band again, shaking his head, before focusing on his fingers.

JIM

One, two...

Notes blur, a fluid and pretty tune flowing up the neck, turning melancholy as it cascades back down. Jim's smile tautens as his fingers fight to keep--

TWANG

JIM

Motherfu--

INT. THE GORGE

BAM

Jim's slammed to the ground.

He looks up, beaten, then into the void in wait of the telephone as the creature raises its sword above its head.

CUT TO:

Breath searing through his flared nostrils, teeth grit, Jim starts forward again, engaged into a cacophonous melee with the half dozen blades.

Blinded by fury, Jim flights sloppily, his sword slicing air until--

BOOM

--a pink blade bites through the flesh of his neck, spinal cord snapped, head sent hurtling into the void.

CUT TO:

Jim's boots power forward, dancing a vicious tango with the creature as swords clang...

BAM

... but they're quickly blown off of the platform.

CUT TO:

Knuckles whiten as they arc forwards and backwards, gripping the hilt of a sword, Jim sprinting into battle with the creature...

SLASH

... the sword dropped soon after.

CUT TO:

Jim's fingers hammer and pull on the sleek strings...

CUT TO:

... his sword batters against the creature's...

CUT TO:

... waves glissade the length of strings...

CUT TO:

... shock waves rattle the blades...

CUT TO:

... calloused pads fumble...

CUT TO:

... Jim's grip fails, his sword flies from his grip...

CUT TO:

... strings twang...

CUT TO:

... Jim's head slams into the ground--

BAM

Blood dripping from his temple, features wrought and vehement, Jim screams up at his foe...

CUT TO:

SNAP

... the strings give, broken...

CUT TO:

... a pink blade sails into Jim's skull--

THUD

Lights out.

FADE IN:

EXT. COURTYARD - DAY

Iron's men stand in a line holding wooden swords meant to replicate Lucifer.

Jim stands between strangers.

Iron paces on a mat, the same used for the fights that decided who got what name.

The men know what's coming. They're pumped.

IRON

Men, we cannot change. Waves do not resound in Perish. We know this. We don't want change. We don't need the stress and so we relinquish order for chaos. However, the question remains: how do we better ourselves? There seems to be two answers to this question. The first: re-contextualisation. The second: de-contextualisation. You want be the biggest fish in a pond? Why not jump into one buried beneath three feet of putrid algae? The one light dare not let us peer into. The pond where fish have eyeballs where fins should be because they've been drinking too much of each others' piss their whole lives. The pond where nobody fishes, but maybe a few get dropped off to sleep. You can go jump in that pond and feel content knowing you're the biggest, baddest motherfucker for miles. Or!

(crescendo into roar:)

Or, you go take your cuts, your fucking bruises and you fucking stomp into the salty shores of the ocean, march in and annihilate some motherfuckers!

(breath...)

Men nod along, malicious momentum swelling within them.

IRON

Re-contextualisation; the pond you're dropped off at by the short bus, the world you slip nicely into. De-contextualisation; war, blood, murder, the creation of a world around yourself. Fuck all that was, fuck all that is, own all that will be.

Jim's gaze falls to the ground and stays there.

Iron picks up a wooden sword and strolls back and forth on the mat.

IRON

Men, Maybell cannot be fought in the same manner as you fight each other. As a result, you can consider this recreation. Inspired by recent events, over the next three days we'll be testing each and every man in Perish. That means dozens of fights. Hopefully, some broken bones and blood. Maybe a death--I don't know how lucky we'll get. As with all combat, the rules are simple: you fall to the ground, you lose. This is not a test of strength or ability, but capacity. This is a test of will. Whoever is the best fighter is clearly the most motivated and the best mind suited for battle. So, without further ado... Muffin and Buttercup. Upfront.

Buttercup and Muffin step onto the mat and prepare to fight. The rest of Iron's men sit, cross-legged. Jim just stares at his clenched fist in his lap.

Buttercup holds his sword with two hands, stood side-on. Muffin holds the sword with one hand, looking to the ground.

Other team leaders have their men sat around other mats set up across the courtyard, plenty of men already engaged in combat on them.

IRON

Ok, get to it.

Iron blows his whistle.

The men cheer.

Buttercup lifts his sword up to his shoulder, points the blunted point straight at Muffin and charges.

Muffin doesn't move, not even to look up until the last second when he ducks and...

BOOM

... stabs Buttercup, through his outstretched arms, in his neck.

Immediate uproar bursts as the men jump to their feet.

Buttercup is taken clean off his heels, propelled backward, blood spurting from his mouth.

EXT. COURTYARD - DAY

Pan and Paramecium charge toward each other.

Pan jumps and...

BAM

... stabs Paramecium in the chest with a bone-fracturing thrust, pinning him to the ground with a bitter grin.

EXT. COURTYARD - DAY

Jim is up against Lolita. They parry and attack at lightning speed, their swords dancing against one another as if choreographed--

BAM

Out of nowhere Lolita roundhouse kicks Jim in the head.

His knees go weak, but moving with the fall he evasively reels away and to the side.

Lolita isn't giving him a second to breath, straight away he's screaming, about to bring his sword down on Jim's head as he kneels...

CUT TO:

INT. MESSAGING CENTRE - DAY

Lolita, imbued with pride, records his message.

CUT TO:

... Jim slides his head away from the blade, the sword smashing down on his shoulder...

BLAM

He takes the hit and is about to stand but Lolita's sword is coming down fast again...

CUT TO:

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTER - NIGHT

Lolita laughs hysterically with his group encircling him.

CUT TO:

Jim instinctively brings his sword up and...

SMASH

... both wooden swords shatter into tiny pieces.

Men jeer and shout a confused chorus.

Lolita thinks the fight is over.

CUT TO:

INT. THE GORGE

Pink blade through his skull, light leaves Jim's eyes.

CUT TO:

Jim's not having it. Iron says nothing.

Jim sweeps up the hilt of his sword and powers into Lolita, tackling him to the ground.

Deaf to the roaring encouragement, Jim gets a grip on Lolita's collar and drives the rounded pommel into his face.

BAM

BAM

BAM

A deep anger rises from within Jim as he meticulously demolishes the man's face...

BAM

BAM

... and it feels good.

BAM

FRUMP

Lolita's left limp on the ground, barely cowering, absolutely bloodied.

Jim throws the stub and takes a seat amongst the rowdy mob, no sign of emotion, a stone soldier, a job done.

EXT. COURTYARD - DAY

Juels faces Cinderella. They circle one another, neither one wanting to make a move.

Iron blows his whistle.

Juels brings his sword up, screams and charges. Cinderella throws his sword...

SMACK

... straight at Juels' face.

He's instantly silenced and on the ground.

The men laugh hysterically, especially Juels' own gang.

Before Cinderella can start celebrating, Iron points off to Megatron and he cheers for his man.

EXT. COURTYARD - DAY

Rip faces Wendy.

Iron blows his whistle.

Wendy charges.

Rip takes a knee.

Wendy brings his sword over his head, ready to bring it down.

Rip takes advantage of the opening and using the hilt of the sword...

BOOM

... blasts him in the gut.

Wendy doubles over.

Rip bolts to his feet, throwing his sword into the air, fluidly snatching Wendy's away to...

BAM

... splinter the grain against his neck.

The sword shatters and Wendy falls to the side, paralysed.

Snatching his falling sword back, Rip catches Wendy before he hits the ground.

His grip the hilt and blade tightens, Wendy's head cradled on the edge of the sword. Rip yanks Wendy toward his rising knee...

KABOOM

... knocking him back the way he was pulled from.

With a final falling arc of bloodied lumber, Rip...

C-CRACK

... fractures Wendy's ribs.

THUMP

He hits the ground, men cheering all around, Rip's new found buddies cheering the loudest.

Jim simply concentrates on the sword in his lap, running his thumb long the fuller.

INT. GYM - DAY

Fifty victorious men stand before their team leaders with the rest on the bleachers, all badly beaten up with swollen faces, black eyes, red noses and bruises galore.

Finished with introductions:

IRON

All right. Day two. Round three. First up, Gonorrhea and Sphincter.

Gonorrhea and Sphincter step up on the mat.

The other forty-eight men sit.

Against the roar of the crowd Rip tries to get Jim's attention. He's staring at the floor in another world.

RIP

Yo!

Jim perks up.

RIP

You good?

JIM

Yeah. Just thinking... You reckon you can win?

RIP

Of course.

JIM

You realise that means beating me?

RIP

Of course.

Jim laughs, turning to watch the fight.

BAM

Gonorrhea is downed.

IRON

Clit and Dragon.

RIP

(to Jim)

Hey. How long do you think this will take?

Clit is thrown off the mat.

IRON

Sue and Flower.

JIM

Not long.

Jim and Rip watch Sue and Flower go at it for a moment.

RIP

Then what do--

Flower is knocked out cold with a gruesome blow to the jaw.

IRON

Rip and Keizak.

Rip stands up and makes his way to the mat.

Jim watches him go and take position in his corner of the match.

Iron blows his whistle.

The two charge.

Jim's focus zooms in on Rip's hand gripping the wooden hilt as he sprints into the fight, quickly lost in a blur as the cracks of hammering wood pound.

Drawing his attention back, Jim finds himself in the fight. He looks on from the mat as he violently navigates the attack of another solider, slipping from defence and into attack with a swift counter that has his foe back-pedaling.

Knowing what's coming, Jim's eyes fall away from his previous battle and lock onto his hands. Again, his thumb caresses the groove along the blade.

C-CRACK

The men around him scream for victory.

Blood suddenly pools in the blade's fuller. Jim draws his thumb away, disgusted, snapping his eyes closed.

The noise of one-hundred and ninety-nine men fades away.

Jim opens his eyes to clean hands.

Childish unnerve makes the sword in his grip light. He twirls it from hand-to-hand playfully. With a slip of the finger he almost lets it spiral away from him, but manages to grips the blade by its tip.

He tips it upward, balancing the sword on his finger. It wobbles before Jim's riveted gaze, teeters over his shifting hand.

Soon he's stood up and stepping over people to keep it on his finger.

There are no reactions, everyone frozen in place, as Jim steps onto the empty mat and tosses the sword up into the air, up into darkness above.

It disappears for a moment before reappearing, falling down toward Jim, darkness coming with it.

Pitch black consumes all...

A spotlight shines down on Jim's open and gloved hand which catches a sword - a real one.

The blue blade illuminates his calm features as he balances the sword on his finger again and dances around in the dark room.

He comes to a stop and throws the sword up toward the spotlight...

It disappears.

Jim stands, looking up, confused.

Something starts to fall, but it's not the sword. The spotlight cuts.

Darkness again.

VOICE

(whispers)

Waves do not resound...

The spotlight turns back on, a pale glow raining down on Jim.

From above a blue telephone handset lands into his hand.

Jim looks up again.

Its coiled wire starts to fall.

Jim stares aimlessly as the blue wire cascades down on him. In no time he's buried where he stands, leaving a small mountain of coiled wire.

Jim's stunted breathing gently shakes the stagnant air.

INT. GYM - DAY

All is dark.

A whistle sounds.

We open our eyes from Jim's POV.

Muffin is charging straight at us.

As if he were nothing we slip his attack, counter with a swing our sword and...

SMACK

... clock him on the head.

He falls to the ground like a rag doll.

We look to the cheering crowd and then the empty position on the mat meant for Jim.

INT. GYM - DAY

Fights continue.

Men are thrown, stabbed, sliced, hit, kicked and pounded. Violence a game of one-upmanship. Control or restraint a word in no ones dictionary.

INT. GYM - DAY

Twenty-five men are stood near the mat, included is Jim and Rip.

IRON

All right, it's been fun. Tomorrow we get to find out who the real hard-asses are. Round...

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTERS - NIGHT

All men sleep with their goggles on.

All apart from Jim. He tosses and turns in bed.

INT. VOID

Silken silvers and shades of grey heave...

Metallic muscle throbs...

Molten oceanic tides rip beneath the torso of Jim's creature...

Its coarse arms spiral...

The harsh and fibrous matte of hair convulsing as air sweeps through...

The tender flesh of the human hands swirling at the wrist hard against the sword grips...

Jim stands before the monolith without a weapon.

The swinging blades break through the air, a complex moving tapestry of blurred lights ferociously fluttering around the creature.

From the storm of colour cries a thunderous whistle of sliced air.

The symphonic piercing crescendos into a singular scream of blades.

Jim staggers backwards, his stray gaze pushing into the azure void in search of a telephone to put an end to his anticipation--

His heel clips over the edge of the platform...

... his hands throw forward, fingers finding nothing to grip...

... Jim trips off the platform...

... gone.

Hurtling through the void, Jim gasps breathless, unable to scream, just careen endlessly.

As he continues to plummet away from the creature above, the whistling sharpens, but can only reach so far before it begins to soften, fading away...

The cobalt void pales, the blue depths turning milky, coming to a rest at an off-white.

Jim's feet find ground.

Dumbstruck, he lands unharmed.

He falls back finding a seat on a made bed.

The faded whistle above starts to echo, ringing clearer, soothing into human tones.

Jim looks up, hearing the distant voice of a woman.

Her song resounds through the void, the uttered words indiscernible, one pure melancholic sonic soundscape, a plane of clarity buried in the luminescent white above.

The voice eventually recedes... fades away... leaving silence to fall.

Jim's head, tipped upward, turns down.

Breath curls toward his ear.

He looks to his left, finding himself nose-to-nose with Flower.

Jim stutters, flawed by the man's hateful stare.

Drawing back, Jim pushes his hand towards Flower's face--

--it swishes through.

The hologram fizzes then quickly fades away, revealing a mob approaching from the distance.

A barrage of screams burst toward Jim as he gets to his feet, his boots tracking backwards over the pearl floor.

The mob, Rip, Paramecium, Megatron, Juels, Wendy and more, thunder towards the made bed.

They bomb down on it, diving onto the mattress, tearing sheets apart, pulling springs, gutting out the cotton, snapping the frame, completely demolishing the bed.

In a matter of moments nothing stands, just strewn paraphernalia.

The mob gather the larger pieces and trail back off into the void.

Jim drops to his knees as they scarper.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTERS - NIGHT

The lights dim.

Jim sits on the edge of his bunk. He watches everyone crawl into bed with their goggles on.

He slides his from his lap and under his pillow before getting under his covers.

Rip leans down from the top bunk:

RIP

Night.

Jim says nothing, his back turned toward him. Rip leans back assuming he's asleep.

After a moment, Jim's eyes open. He pulls the goggles from under his pillow again, looking to Lolita, to his bruised, swollen and cut up face, in a nearby bunk as he begins to flinch in his sleep.

INT. VOID

With resolve, Jim watches the mob fold into a distant white fog.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTERS - NIGHT

The goggles slide underneath the pillow.

INT. GYM - DAY

From the bench, Jim sits with a bloody mouth watching a fight below. Out of the competition.

INT. MESSAGING CENTRE - DAY

Luscious, voluptuous tits are squeezed together as a woman playfully groans.

Nose inches from the screen, a man tugs underneath his shorts, straining to stay concentrated as a man goes on in another booth:

LOLITA (O.S)

Look, as you can now see, it's not that bad. You over-reacted and you ultimately said some harmful things. I'm not failing and this isn't a stupid decision. Either way, I can't come home. Just wait, I'm trying... I'm trying to prove to you that I'm going to do something you'll be proud of. Just wait... I'm telling you, just wait... Also, I told you that's not what you call me now, my name...

The man jerking off just rolls his eyes.

INT. SHOWERS - LATER

Jim showers, still not comfortable with the lack of privacy.

Pan enters, arms held wide, smile stretched as the men cheer the winner of the competition.

The congratulations quickly turn to bravado which devolves into naked wrestling - Rip, Paramecium and Juels in the centre of it all.

Jim stays clear, quickly finishing up and then leaving.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTERS - NIGHT

Most of the men sleep.

INT. TOILETS - SAME

Lolita, face still badly bruised, flushes the toilet.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTERS

Lolita enters.

Passing Jim's bed he sees he's not wearing the goggles. He stops and lifts up the lid to Jim's foot locker - no goggles, just his uniform and weapons.

Lolita leans closer to Jim, seeing a strap under his pillow.

LOLITA

(under his breath)

Motherfucker.

He gets in bed, tapping Pan who's in the bunk next to him. He slowly wakes, pulling the goggles off. Lolita leans closer and starts whispering.

INT. ASSEMBLY HALL - DAY

Spit addresses the men.

SPIT

Ok. We are in main phase. That means training intensifies and we start taking you a little more serious.

Spit produces a sword and lights it up.

SPIT

Basic run down. These are dangerous. They will kill you. You will die. Nobody will cry.

A few men let loose a snort of laughter.

SPIT

Your training in The Gorge now only has to be realised. Because they are...

EXT. COURTYARD - DAY

Iron's men stand in formation holding the real swords, all lit up different colours.

Iron calls out and the men respond with sword maneuvers.

The array of colours glisten and shimmer from attentive faces.

Jim's eyes, splashed blue, drenched with calm composure, keep focus.

INT. TRAINING HALL

The men are engaged in close combat training, some dealing with hand-to-hand, others with swordplay.

Jim trains with Pan. The two wrestle on a mat, Pan...

BAM

... taking Jim down hard as he tries to defend.

Juels, Rip, Lolita and Megatron talk in the corner. They all seem to be trying to convince Rip of something. He's caving in.

Jim keeps an eye on their inaudible interactions between rounds.

EXT. COURTYARD - DAY

The men are being pushed through assault courses, they are all fast, growing in efficiency.

EXT. TRAINING CIRCUITS - DAY

Everyone runs, passing mile marker 7 and continuing on.

Lolita still talks at Rip near the back.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTER - NIGHT

The men lie asleep with their goggles on - all but Jim, who sleeps soundly without them.

With a few nods of heads, Juels, Pan, Megatron and Lolita crawl out of bed and creep over to him. Rip, on the bunk above Jim, sits up to watch them come.

They give him a nod, he lies back down, choosing to stay out of the situation.

Megatron and Juels have sheets in their hands. Lolita has a pillow case and sock. He pushes ahead, approaching Jim's pillow, looking for the goggles.

Pan opens up Jim's footlocker, finding them as he quietly empties it.

PAN

Psst.

Lolita smiles vindictively at Jim:

LOLITA

Just makes things even easier.

They all close in on Jim, preparing...

They give each other a nod.

Rip waits up above, eyes closed, clenching his covers.

LOLITA

Go.

Megatron and Juels pounce, holding Jim down.

Pan puts the goggles on his face.

Jim calls out.

Lolita stuffs the sock in his mouth.

Jim bites down, but Lolita quickly pries his fingers out of his mouth and puts the pillow case over his head.

They all roll him over and tie him in the sheets as he kicks, punches, squirms and tries to scream past the sock jammed down his throat.

The bed shaking under him, Rip just squeezes his eyes shut tighter.

Other men start waking, they aren't at all sympathetic. They just watch.

Pan opens up Jim's footlocker. Lolita, Megatron and Juels drop him in, his muffled screams not surmounting to much...

BAM

... silenced, the lid shut.

Pan then lifts up the bunk bed a little so the footlocker can be slid under and the bed used to keep it shut.

Rip goes to get off the bed.

JUELS

You've got to stay there.

RIP

Come on.

LOLITA

Shut the fuck up. An hour and then we let him out.

They all creep into bed. Rip lies back cursing himself.

Juels, Pan, Lolita and Megatron congratulate each other as everyone else goes back to sleep muttering.

INT. FOOTLOCKER

Jim squirms, unable to do anything.

After a while he gives up and lies still, focusing on keeping his breath constant.

INT. VOID

Knelt in the paraphernalia that was once a bed, Jim watches the hoard of men shrink into the distance of the white void.

He looks up.

Without hope, he silently begs...

JIM

... please... please...

His throat dries, leaving him silenced, gazing up aimlessly.

INT. BEDROOM

Jim's on the bed with his guitar--

BRIIIIIING

--his heads snaps toward the door.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTERS - LATER

Rip sits up, catching the eye of Juels. Rip gestures for him to release Jim. Reluctantly Juels, gets the others up and head for the footlocker.

They slide it out from under the bunk, holding the lid down a moment.

LOLITA

Jim? You asleep?

No response.

LOLITA

Maybe this'll teach you, you little fucker.

After a moment of signalling they pop the lid and take a step back. Jim starts squirming again.

The men laugh then start untying him.

As soon as the sheets are loose enough Jim's hand burst out, grabbing Lolita's throat.

LOLITA

Shit -

Lolita starts stomping on him as the others try to break it up.

Jim is dragged out of the locker, both hands on Lolita's neck, the others unable to get him off.

He squeaks hatred through his torn throat into Lolita's face, eyes and veins bulging.

A few other men quickly get out of bed to help free Lolita and pry Jim off him. Grip on the throat gone, Jim, manic, throws himself at the crowd, willing to fight them all.

They all turn on him, throwing him to the ground and kicking him until he stops.

RIP

Yo! Stop!

They don't hit hard and they don't overdo it, they just take his fight away.

PAN

It's enough. It's enough.

They stand above him, waiting for a response.

Jim just lies below them, curled up, beaten.

Lolita's helped to his feet.

LOLITA

This motherfucker. You think that's the last!?

He spits on him. Flower pushes him back.

FLOWER

What the fuck did he do, you asshole?

LOLITA

The washed up ass-fuck doesn't even sleep with the goggles on.

The tone shifts, no longer confused and tired. All the men look down on Jim with no respect at all, the room silent, the atmosphere cold and hostile.

They all dismiss him and get into bed.

Lolita bends down and whispers:

LOLITA

Sleep is going to be an ordeal for quite some time, you flaccid, little bitch. Good luck.

Everyone in bed, the room settles.

Jim gets to his feet, picks up the goggles, and staggers over to his.

RIP

(whispers)

You all right?

JIM

Fine.

RIP

You sure?

JIM

Fuck off.

Rip lies back with a huff.

Jim gets in bed, slides the goggles over his eyes and throws the covers over his head.

The room is left a mess with ripped sheets, clothes and boots on the floor and the bunk and foot locker out of place.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTERS - MORNING

The room back to normal, Jim stands sleeping.

Iron blows his whistle.

Rip, Juels, Lolita and so on look to each other, a little apprehensive.

Iron leaves a quiet moment so that it can be acknowledged that he knows what went on last night.

IRON

Salute.

(the men do)

Courtyard in ten. Elvish liquor in five.

The men get dressed.

INT. CORRIDOR

The men file past the assembly hall.

The blue telephone pulsates, as Jim passes it beats faster. He pretends it's not there.

EXT. COURTYARD - DAY

The men are engaged in target practice, shooting at mid and long-range targets with their gloves, whispering 'POW'.

IRON

Fall into two!

The men drop down onto their front, into the prone position, to start shooting.

Jim shoots fast, ignoring Rip who's next to him.

RIP

It was a joke, you know.

Jim offers no response.

RIP

Why don't you wear the goggles?

JIM

It was like twice.

Rip sighs. They carry on shooting.

RIP

I couldn't stop -

JIM

I didn't ask.

RIP

You want me to -

JIM

I'm not asking.

They continue to shoot.

Targets rapidly burst open, each and every man almost perfectly accurate.

INT. CORRIDOR

A group of men peel off towards the messaging centre. Jim continues to recreation.

INT. RECREATION HALL - DAY

Jim plays basketball with a few other men. An outsider, but playing.

INT. SHOWERS - LATER

Jim showers, Lolita and Pan looking over their shoulders at him as they talk.

Gaze riveted on the swirling liquids disappearing down the drain, Jim pushes his fingers over his scalp.

INT. IRON LIVING QUARTER - NIGHT

The lights dim.

Jim lies with his eyes open, goggles in hand. Lolita sits up in his bed. He starts muttering at Pan and Megatron.

Jim shakes his head. Not going to wait for trouble, he gets out of bed, throws the goggles and stands out in the open.

Most of the men sit up in their beds.

Lolita stands, Pan, Megatron, Paramecium and Juels behind him.

JIM

You want me to fuck your face up again?

LOLITA

Fucking try.

Wendy sits up to see it's 5 to 1.

WENDY

How many pussies does it take?

MEGATRON

Fuck you.

WENDY

Who's beef is it?

LOLITA

Mine.

WENDY

Then you other guys back the fuck off.

The other men in the room agree.

RIP

He beat you once. What's your problem?

Jim doesn't like his saying so.

LOLITA

This pussy won't even train and he's supposed to have my back in battle? I don't think so.

Everyone in the room looks to Jim.

Jim stands up to it a moment before getting into bed and putting on his goggles. Lolita tries to taunt him as he goes, but Jim ignores it.

LOLITA

We will settle this, ass-fuck. Sooner or later, some shit will happen. Just keep your ass in check, I fucking tell you that.

WENDY

Just fucking go to bed, you dramatic bitch.

LOLITA

Fuck you.

WENDY

Fuck you.

PARAMECIUM

Fuck all of you. This is boring.

PAN

Yeah. If I'm kicking ass, it better taste sweet.

He snaps his goggles on.

The group mutters, everyone going back to bed.



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