Changing World

by

Andrew Webster

awebsterkew@gmail.com

***

 
SC EXT NIGHT CITY STREET
 
STUART and MARA, a young couple, are walking from a tube
station to a party. Fairly quiet city street. Ominous sound,
a bit like thunder, O.S.
 
                      STUART
          Who's going to be at this party
          anyway? 
 
                      MARA
          Was that thunder? Lucky we're
          nearly there.
 
She gives Stuart a rather worried look.
 
PAUSE. CLOSER THUNDER.
 
                      MARA (CONT.)
          Well, a few of Sal's fellow
          teachers from her college I
          suppose.
 
                      STUART
          Oh great - that patronising,
          wimpish, Guardian reading,  P.C 
          crowd.
 
                      MARA
          Oh - and  Sal told me Hari Dhaliwal
          is coming. He's been doing a
          writer's workshop there.
 
                      STUART
          A jump-on-the-bandwagon churner out
          of multicultural novels  - isn't
          that something to look forward to?.
 
                      MARA
          I enjoyed his last book. Maybe you
          would if you got round to reading
          it. I'm looking forward to meeting
          him.
 
                      STUART
          Please don't encourage him! I don't
          want to listen to a multicultural,
          self-congratulatory sermon at a
          party. Drinking, dancing, letting
          go a bit - that's what I need -
          then bed and sex.
 
Louder sound like thunder O.S.
 
                      MARA
          Ah,! You primitive hulk!  Don't let
          go too completely tonight -
          remember the last party!
 
STUART looks moody as they arrive and MARA rings the
doorbell. Before the door opens she turns quickly to STUART
and puts her hand on his arm.
 
                      MARA
          Come on. Let's just enjoy the
          party..
 
The door is opened by SAL,hugs between Sal and Mara,quicks
peck on the cheek for Stuart.  Sounds of party within. They
go in.
 
SC INT NIGHT THE PARTY
 
Montage of party.
 
Large crowded main party room with doors out to other rooms
to suggest the party is spread over more than just the main
room where dancing happens - e.g.people coming in and out of
dance room. Bar area should be in main room but out of way
of dance area.
 
Party in full swing, noisy, music, dancing, including MARA
and STUART dancing. Different groups chatting, drinking
around edges at bar etc. 
 
LATER. ONE SIDE OF MAIN ROOM
 
HARI is the center of al group including STUART and MARA.
 
                      HARI
                (holding court)
          So what interests me is the way the
          modern experience is essentially
          fractured and conflicted; to be
          modern means to have competing
          cultural influences inextricably
          grafted into one's being. For
          example, to be both Moslem and
          British, to have working class
          loyalties but professional duties,
          to have elements of both male and
          female psyches fighting for
          expression within one.
 
HARI stops. Mara and some others are rapt but there arel
signs of irritation and boredom from others in the circle,
especially from STUART.
 
Circle begins to  break up.  STUART starts to go but stays
reluctantly when MARA continues conversation with HARI
 
                      MARA
          That's what I so enjoyed about
          "Fragments" - the characters
          searching for identity while
          struggling with conflicting social
          pressures.
 
                      HARI
          Ah, nicely put - that's exactly
          what I was aiming for. I'm so
          pleased it worked for you.
 
                      STUART
          I need a top up - Mara?
 
MARA ignores him, listening closely to HARI
 
                      HARI
          I'm sure you noticed how Nathan and
          Satwant settled for an illusion of
          stability in my parody of a happy
          ending.
 
                      MARA
          Oh yes, so ironic and yet so true
          to life and I loved the way
          Surinder, my favourite character by
          the way, continued to do whatever
          she felt like, the only honest one
          among them.
 
                      HARI
          Exactly, selfishness - the only
          honest solution possible today. 
 
HARI PAUSES AND SMILES WINNINGLY AT MARA
 
                      HARI (CONT))
          You know, it's most rewarding for
          an author, I'm sorry that must have
          sounded rather conceited and
          pompous -.
 
We follow STUART as he walks off to the bar. He fills a
tumbler with red wine. HARI's voice fades behind him as he
goes.
 
STUART looks disgusted at what he hears. He drinks.
 
                      STUART
                (quietly to himself)
          Rather conceited and pompous?
          Massively, mind-boggingly conceited
          and pompous - and boring!
 
Montage of the party continuing.
 
MARA and HARI dancing together in the throng. HARI is
attempting a rather close encounter with MARA; she is trying
reasonably hard to keep a respectable distance between them.
 
LATER
 
STUART and MARA dancing.
 
                      STUART
          'Male and female psyches fighting
          for expression". Yuk! I don't even
          think he's much of a writer. His
          books are as pretentious as his
          conversation.
 
                      MARA
          You haven't actually read any of
          his books.
 
                      STUART
          I read 3 pages of 'Fragments' and
          that was enough to make me queasy.
 
                      MARA
          Stuart, he's an honest writer,
          tells it the way it is. You're just
          jealous. He deserves the
          recognition.
 
                      STUART
          And you're just dazzled by the
          success, the star status - such as
          it is.
 
                      MARA 
          Dazzled?
 
MARA stops dancing - it has been uncommitted for some time.
 
                      STUART 
          You looked dazzled to me - and to
          everyone else I'm sure - adoring
          fan Mara, ready to drop her
          knickers at the slightest sign of
          encouragement.
 
                      MARA
          Look, just fuck off Stuart, will
          you.
 
MARA walks rapidly away, leaving STUART very obviously alone
in the middle of the now not crowded dance floor
 
                      STUART
          Oh bugger! I think I'll have a
          proper drink.
 
Stuart walks off towards the bar.
 
Montage of party continuing.
 
LATER
 
 MARA dancing with HARI again on crowded dance floor.
 
STUART, drinking at the bar, notices them dancing.
 
LATER
 
Group of STUART, SUE and MARTIN at side of room
 
                      STUART
                (not sober)
          I mean the whole gender debate can
          be so false. OK, I grant there's
          still a pay gap and stuff, but now
          women want the freedom to behave as
          badly as men, or worse, and then
          they go all feminine and helpless
          when there's a dirty job to do.
 
Behind STUART at the far end of the main room we see HARI
saying goodbye to SAL, BASIL and others
 
                      SUE
          Oh for God's sake, Stu - women
          won't do dirty jobs? - you mean 
          like nursing, caring for the
          elderly and disabled, not to
          mention babies and giving birth?
          You wouldn't know which end of a
          baby to put a nappy on!
 
                      STUART
          I didn't say they don't do
          difficult jobs - just that they
          like to get back to their little
          woman protected role when it suits
          them.
 
                      MARTIN
          We're all a bit like that, aren't
          we?
 
Shot of MARA through party crowd, not visible to Stuart, at
the far door with her coat over her arm,  slipping out of
door with nobody looking.
 
                      STUART
          But men don't manipulate it the way
          women do.
 
                      SUE
          Oh you poor dears! What about the
          way men are mysteriously
          unavailable when it comes to
          keeping the support and social
          networks going, sending the
          Christmas cards, remembering the
          birthdays, keeping in touch?
 
                      MARTIN
          Now look what you've started,
          Stuart. What brought all that on?
 
                      SUE
          I hope he's upset about something
          Mara has done - acted like an
          independent human being, for
          example.
 
                      MARTIN
          Oh dear, I think I'll take Sue onto
          the dance floor before she bites
          you.
 
MARTIN leads a slightly reluctant SUE onto the dance area,
leaving STUART alone at the bar.
 
Montage of PARTY. Still crowded, noisy though not wild.
Groups talking and drinking. some inert figures on chairs
and a sofa. One couple dancing. Party well past full swing.
 
STUART and BASIL drinking at bar.
 
                      STUART
                (quietly, a bit
                 embarrassed to ask)
 
Have you seen Mara?
 
                      BASIL
                (too loud, a little
                 drunk)
          No, haven't seen her for ages.
 
BASIL turns to call over his shoulder
 
                      BASIL
          Sal, have you seen the Mara?
 
SAL in group of three talking. She is deep in conversation
with someone, mouths a 'shhhh' at him, over her shoulder,
quickly so that STUART can't see. She turns back to her
conversation
 
                      BASIL
                (not giving up)
          Sal you usually know where Mara is
          ....
 
SAL turns to speak to BASIL over her shoulder
 
                      SAL
          Hang on a sec, Basil
 
SAL turns back to her group to continue her conversation
 
FADE TO SAL rejoining STUART and BASIL at the bar
 
                      SAL
          Mara? I think she must have gone.
 
                      STUART
          Are you sure?
 
                      SAL
          Well I haven't seen her for quite a
          while.
 
                      BASIL
          Our multicultural celeb Hari didn't
          stay long either.
 
                      STUART
          I'm not going to grieve over the
          loss personally.
 
As STUART turns to get yet another drink he realizes what
Basil is implying.
 
LATER corner of room. Party in late stages.
 
STUART is half lying on a sofa with his head close to BEA's
shoulder, drinking beer from a can. BEA is a little older
than Mara and Stuart, a bit eccentric in dress. She
tolerates STUART because she likes MARA. She makes sure she
isn't touching him.
 
                      STUART
          I might have been a bit of an
          asshole but I didn't think she'd go
          off with that pretentious little
          shit. Just because he's got one
          half-baked book published - it only
          got published because it's crammed
          full of PC multicultural
          'insights'.
 
                      BEA
          Stu, baby, you're drunk and
          thoroughly offensive with it. Hari
          may be a bit up himself, but he can
          write - and I wouldn't go round
          accusing Mara of running off with
          him - she'll be livid if she hears
          about it. 
 
                      STUART
          Oh God, more feminist sermonizing.
          I've had it with this middle of the
          road, PC,
                (there are pauses in the
                 rant as he searches for
                 words)
          weak-minded, nanny state. We're
          spineless -   half-in, half-out of
          Europe - pathetic, going nowhere.
                (Stuart has become
                 miraculously fluent.)
          What happened to conviction
          politics, direction, national
          destiny?  I don't care what
          extremes we go to, Left or Right,
          we must have the guts to get things
          done. 
 
Very loud thunder O.S. The lights flicker and come back up.
 
STUART and BEA look at each other for a moment startled,
then STUART makes a sudden drunken attempt to kiss BEA from
his awkward position on the sofa. BEA recoils, gets up
hastily. STUART falls off the sofa onto the floor. He sits
up on floor, looking very foolish.
 
                      BEA
                (quite angry)
          You drunken oaf, Stuart. You need
          to go home before someone thumps
          you.
 
BEA walks away. STUART gets up and falls back on the sofa,
still with a beer can in one hand. He groans.
 
SC INT NIGHT LATE NIGHT TUBE HOME
 
MONTAGE to establish STUART's late night tube journey.
STUART sitting in tube, still rather drunk & sleepy.
Impressions from his point of view of tunnel walls racing
by, train noises, light variations, other passengers etc.
train seems rattle through some almost empty stations
without stopping.
 
STUART hovers between sleep and waking.
 
From STUART's point of view the train slows and stops next
to a train headed the other way. STUART wakes and looks
through the blurry, reflective window into the opposite
train. The layout and the passengers appear identical but
facing the other way. There is a woman carrying a small dog.
 
Stuart looks at his his own carriage and sees the identical
woman and dog! She puts it down on the floor; STUART looks
at opposite train again. The identical woman has just
finished putting down the same dog. STUART looks back and
forth in disbelief. Then he recognises himself, STUART 2,
sleepy, red-eyed, dishevelled, in the other train on the
opposite platfom going the other way. They recognise each
other with identical expressions of confusion and disbelief.
 
                      STUART1
                (to himself, slurred)
          That's me! Weird - no, silly, must
          be a reflection.
 
Everything freezes for a second. Through the train window
STUART1 sees the other train start carrying STUART2 away in
the opposite direction, making it clear it can't be a
reflection.
 
There is a lurching change of point of view to STUART2 and
his view of STUART1 in the original train still waiting in
the station. STUART2 sees the other train start to move just
before his own enters the tunnel. We stay with STUART2 as
his train continues through the tunnel.
 
                      STUART2
                (to himself)
          What's going on? Train's going the
          other way. I can't be in the
          reflection. Must have been
          dreaming. Hope I'm on the right
          train?
 
SC EXT NIGHT
 
CITY STREETS WALKING HOME
 
Montage of STUART walking home in the dark, down deserted,
rainy city streets; he sees a number of CCTV cameras
swivelling to follow his movements.
 
A police car slows down almost to a stop. A small camera on
the car swivels round to inspect him. He sees there is no
driver inside but hears police radio communication. There is
a loudspeaker on the top of the car and what looks like a
mounted gun.
 
                      POLICE LOUDSPEAKER
          Mr. Gilmore, your presence in
          Brunswick Street at 1.28 am has
          been recorded under the Public
          Safety Act. You may be asked to
          explain your presence here at a
          later date.
 
The car speeds up and away.
 
                      STUART
          What is going on? Driverless police
          cars with guns?  And do I really
          look that dodgy?
 
STUART turns down a narrow alleyway. A CCTV camera at the
entrance to the alley swivels towards him. He walks deeper
into the gloom of the alley.
 
From the far end a very ancient looking individual in a
rather military style but shabby raincoat is coming towards
him. Behind him are more very elderly, very seedy
individuals, similarly dressed, of varying race and gender.
STUART nervously but politely makes way for the ancients as
they approach.
 
The first OLD MAN moves past, turns towards STUART with his
back to the distant alley way entrance and the CCTV, takes
out a very large hand gun and holds it against STUART's
head. The others form a menacing ring around him.
 
                      OLD MAN
                (educated voice,
                 threatening)
          Be so good as to hand over the
          wallet with your right hand. Left
          hand behind your head.
 
                      STUART
          What? Oh God - I don't think I've
          got much cash.
 
                      OLD MAN
          Don't chatter. Just hand it over.
 
STUART hesitates. OLD MAN strikes STUART casually across the
cheekbone with the gun. STUART staggers back, blood flowing
from a gash. Trembling, STUART hands over the wallet with
his right hand, struggling to free it from his inside
pocket, still rather clumsy from drink.
 
The OLD MAN tries to remove non-existent cash one handed
and, still holding the gun, scatters the rest of the
contents cards etc. on the floor, throws the wallet down on
top of it and starts rooting quickly through it.
 
                      OLD MAN
                (To the others)
          No cash again fuck it!
 
The OLD MAN throws down the last cards, waves the gun
threateningly and they all run off into the darkness of the
alley from which they came - at remarkable speed for their
age.
 
                      STUART
                (to himself)
          Jesus wept! What's going on? What's
          wrong with everything? Geriatric
          thugs, armed and dangerous
          octogenarians.
 
STUART is on hands and knees retrieving stuff. He gets up
and makes his way unsteadily back towards the lights of the
main road, wiping away the flow of blood from his forehead.
 
He disappears shakily round the corner of the alleyway into
the main road.
 
SC EXT. DAY CENTRAL CITY STREET MORNING. GOING TO WORK
 
Series of shots - getting the bus
 
STUART is waiting wearily and hungover at a crowded bus
stop. He is wearing a suit but the plaster on his forehead
and a general untidiness gives him a disreputable air. CCTV
camera following movements. At length a bus approaches at
speed. A minor riot takes place as STUART struggles, shoved
and shouldered, into the very crowded interior. The bus
leaps into dense but fast moving traffic.
 
Series of shots - walking to work
 
STUART walking through crowded and extremely competitive
rush hour street. Series of CCTV cameras following
movement.There are occasional police with prominent sidearms
and dark glasses. After several near collisions he is
violently shouldered aside by a conservatively dressed city
gent wearing a pollution mask.
 
This is repeated - aggressive behaviour by repectable
looking pedestrians, many wearing pollution masks.
 
STUART is visibly shaken. He approaches his office building.
 
INT DAY
 
AT WORK
 
THE IT OFFICE
 
An office lined with metal shelving, piled with laptops,
server cages, cabling, spare parts etc. Some winking lights
etc. office phone. His co-worker, JOSEPH, who is of African
descent, is already there. He is dressed in a sharp suit and
statement tie. Stuart enters, looking decidedly the worse
for wear with the plaster on his forhead. A CCTV camera in
the corridor follows his movement.
 
                      JOSEPH
          Hi young Stu. We have a dangerously
          bad day already, system broken,
          half the stations can't log on,
          chaos and despair.
 
JOSEPH stops and looks at STUART, takes in his general
state.
 
                      JOSEPH
          Mm, you look a bit unlogged on
          yourself. Tell me later. Go round
          to big bad boss's office and use
          your  vast professional expertise
          to see what's up - or rather down.
          Try to get his station working
          somehow. Don't upset him. He is
          easily upset, as you know, and
          already very cross - with us,
          particularly.
 
                      STUART
          Have you told him I'm coming?
 
                      JOSEPH
          Just go, will you, O dishevelled
          guru of the crappy system!
 
STUART parks his coat on a shelf, puts his case down, sees
JOSEPH looking positively threatening and hurries off. As he
goes a CCTV camera above the door swivels to follow his
movement. He goes into corridor.
 
SC. INT DAY
 
OUTSIDE AND INSIDE BOSS'S OFFICE
 
Stuart knocks on imposing office door
 
                      BOSS (O.S)
                (in powerful deep voice
                 through closed door)
          Enter, Stuart
 
Stuart reacts with shock at the voice and enters nervously -
swiveling CCTV camera somewhere behind him. Interior of
office - huge desk, imposing figure of BOSS seated at desk,
well fed, expensive suit, heavy set of face etc. STUART
stops and stares, then finally approaches and stands
nervously in front of desk.
 
                      BOSS
                (with dangerous smile)
          At last someone who might know what
          they're doing - I hope you do, I
          sincerely hope you do.
 
BOSS rises and strides out of the office still talking
 
                      BOSS
          I'm going to leave you to it. Fix
          it, Stuart, before I return!
 
STUART moves warily round the desk to tackle the desktop
computer system. Over STUART's shoulder as he sits behind
the desk a row of small screens can be seen set into a panel
showing various offices and their occupants.
 
For a moment he sees the IT office in one screen with JOSEPH
rising from his chair as the BOSS enters; he can just be
heard shouting.
 
                      BOSS O.S.
                (shouting)
          One hour! Final warning! Last
          chance!
 
Then all the screens go dark. Stuart, very puzzled, examines
the row of mini screens.
 
CCTV camera, unseen by Stuart, above the door focuses on
Stuart examining the mini screens.
 
                      STUART
                (to himself)
          What's the matter with everything?
          Is it me? Or has the whole world
          flipped?
 
Stuart leaves his amazed examination of the mini screens and
tries to focus.
 
                      STUART
          Ok, focus! Check the system!
 
He begins diagnostics of desktop system on top of desk. CCTV
camera follows hiS every small movement. He works away at
computer.
 
LATER
 
STUART still in boss's office, beavering away at system.
BOSS enters briskly.
 
                      BOSS
          All fixed?
 
BOSS moves to take possession of desk. STUART gets up from
desk hastily
 
                      STUART
          Er - not exactly all - but it's
          usable for now.
 
BOSS sits down massively at desk. As he does so, the mini
screens come to life showing different offices and
corridors. Voices can be very faintly heard.
 
                      BOSS
          Explain!
 
On one little screen JOSEPH is on a pair of steps adjusting
a CCTV camera on a corridor wall.
 
                      STUART
                (watching Joseph on
                 screen, fascinated)
          You have access to your local files
          and internet access - and access to
          the archived files from before this
          month. I've had to log you on to
          the backup server.
 
                      BOSS
          Why?
 
                      STUART
          There's something weird going on
          with the main server - could be the
          password file is corrupted. It's
          still refusing to log you on. There
          may be wiring problems too, the
          system's old and it ....
 
                      BOSS
                (interrupting)
          It's a robust British engineered
          system. How long will it take to
          fix?
 
                      STUART
          Not long if it's the password file.
          There are backups. Longer if it's
          wiring.
 
                      BOSS
          I need transaction data from
          yesterday and Tuesday. I need it
          today, now preferably. Go and fix
          it, Stuart.
 
                      STUART
          Is Joseph working on it now?
 
                      BOSS
          He's busy at the moment. You can
          manage without him, can't you?
          That's what we pay you for. Fix it,
          Stuart. 
 
                      STUART
          I'll do my best - sir
 
                      BOSS
          Let's hope that's good enough - for
          both our sakes. And sharpen up your
          appearance - you look disreputable.
 
STUART leaves. His movement is followed by the CCTV camera
above the door; this time he notices it.
 
SC INT DAY
 
IN THE IT OFFICE
 
JOSEPH is getting out wiring diagrams from a drawer or
cupboard. STUART stands next to him to look at the diagrams.
 
                      JOSEPH
          I don't know how long we can go on
          patching up this senile system -
          our all-British, home produced
          components have reached
          unprecedented heights of
          unreliability. Most of the Chinese
          originals  - and even the American
          compatibles  - are unavailable -
          import restrictions .
 
JOSEPH looks round nervously as if afraid of being
overheard.
 
                      JOSEPH
          But we've got to fix this meltdown
          quickly or we'll both be out on our
          ear by the end of the day. He's in
          a really dangerous mood. 'Last
          chance' were his words to me.
 
                      STUART
          Come on! He can't just fire us.
 
                      JOSEPH
          What do you mean?
 
                      STUART
          Well, you know, er - contract,
          terms of notice, reasonable grounds
          etc.
 
JOSEPH turns and stares at him.
 
                      JOSEPH
          On a temps contract? No notice,
          paid to the end of the day.
 
                      STUART
          But we're not temps. We've both
          been here ages.
 
                      JOSEPH
          Are you feeling ok? You know they
          only give permanent contracts to
          senior execs. This could be very
          bad for you and even worse for me -
          I could lose my skilled status and
          be sent 'back' to Chad - via an
          internment camp. I've never been
          near Chad and from what I hear it's
          not a good time to visit.
 
BEAT
 
                      JOSEPH
          Let's get started. You try to
          locate the fault in the wiring
          diagrams, largely fantasy fiction
          though they be, and I'll go and do
          a quick physical check round the
          affected stations.
 
Series of shots. JOSEPH places the diagrams on the desk and
leaves the office. STUART peers at the diagrams trying to
make sense of them.
 
Close up of bewilderingly complex and repetitive wiring
diagram in red and blue and black. STUART uses his
forefinger to follow the connections but repeatedly loses
his way as the lines loop round in impossible complexity. He
tries again and again with the same result. The diagram
lines seem to start to move slightly at the edge of his
vision.
 
                      STUART
                (to himself)
          Nightmare! Are these the only
          diagrams?
 
The telephone on the desk rings. STUART picks up but is
looking at diagram preoccupied.
 
                      STUART
                (into phone)
          Hello?
 
SPLIT SCREEN
 
Split screen of STUART1 and STUART2 on phone to each other.
STUART2 has no injury to forehead and is dressed in plain,
more casual 'work' clothes. The STUART2 office has minor
differences - poster on wall "FORWARD TOGETHER" with a
clasped hands logo, wiring diagram in black only, dingier
paintwork, dimmer ambient light, different positions of
phone, diagrams, chair and it is less cluttered with
equipment.
 
                      STUART1
                (into phone)
          Hello?
 
BEAT
 
                      STUART2
                (into phone)
          IT Department.
 
BEAT
 
                      STUART1
                (into phone)
          What? Who is this?
 
                      STUART2
                (into phone)
          Stuart Gilmore, IT.
 
Both Stuarts pause, confused - they know the voice.
 
                      STUART1
                (into phone)
          Yes, this is Stuart Gilmore, IT -
          Are you trying to be.....
 
                      STUART2
                (interrupting into phone)
          Who is this? Stop fooling around.
 
They have both now recognised their own voice and stop
talking.
 
LONG pause.
 
                      STUART1 AND STUART2
                (together)
          Unbelievable!
 
They both put the phone down precisely together.
 
END OF SPLIT SCREEN
 
Everything freezes for a moment. The STUART1 split screen
fades and dissolves as the STUART2 split screen grows and
consumes the other, so we are left with only STUART2 in
STUART2 office. He stares into space, in shock.
 
                      STUART
                (to himself)
          Jesus, not again.
 
Stuart puts his head in his hands. After a while he
recovers.
 
                      STUART
          Talking to yourself is never a good
          sign but you don't usually get into
          an argument.
 
Series of shots - STUART finding the problem on the diagram
again.
 
Stuart catches sight of the wiring diagram on the desk; it's
now black and white and less complex. He stares at it in
confusion, picks it up and looks again, turns it over (it's
blank) and puts it down as it was again. He's visibly
shaken.
 
He looks around the office, noticing the differences. He
looks down at the diagram and becomes interested again.
 
Close up of diagram. The camera tracks his forefinger
following a line but this time it is a simple enough path to
a clear destination.
 
JOSEPH comes into the office, carrying a small toolkit. His
clothing is also plain, workmanlike.
 
                      JOSEPH
          Found anything?
 
                      STUART
          Have we got another set of circuit
          diagrams?
 
                      JOSEPH
          Why? What's the matter with this
          one?
 
                      STUART
          No, nothing. I just thought I was
          looking at another one - colour
          coded?
 
                      JOSEPH
          Only set I know of. So you haven't
          found anything.
 
                      STUART
          What? Oh well, maybe. If the
          diagram is right, I think all the
          stations unable to log on are on
          the third left or fifth middle
          branch off the vertical spine.
 
                      JOSEPH
          Let's have a look. Yes, you could
          be right. Hope we don't have to
          rewire that spaghetti mess.
          Probably not. We'll have to start
          by isolating a section at a time, I
          suppose. If only we could switch to
          a wifi system, instead of this
          EdemSoc crap, which is about as
          quick as a Party endorsed tax
          rebate.
 
STUART gives a puzzled, wary look at JOSEPH, not
understanding Edemsoc or Party.
 
                      STUART
          Those wiring problems don't explain
          why some people can't log on
          anywhere though.
 
Enter behind JOSEPH a severe looking woman wearing a 'Works
Coordinator' badge
 
                      JOSEPH
                (not noticing the new
                 arrival)
          That's probably just the usual dumb
          punter stuff - confusing logging on
          to their own computer with logging
          on to the server, forgetting their
          passwords and other idiocy.
 
                      COORDINATOR
                (in an official, warning
                 tone)
          The punters, as you refer to them,
          are your comrades and co-workers,
          engaged like you in the great march
          forward. You should remember that,
          comrade, and show respect. Have you
          found the problem?
 
JOSEPH is too taken aback to reply.
 
                      STUART
          Could be an intermittent fault at
          some stations or on some cabling,
          plus something with the password
          file.
 
He looks rather nervously at JOSEPH
 
                      STUART
          By the way,Joseph, I left the boss
          logged on to the backup server. He
          was very impatient about some data
          he needs.
 
                      COORDINATOR
          The team leader's concerns are
          important but that doesn't give him
          the right to bully fellow workers.
          You can only do your best.
 
                      JOSEPH
          We'll have to go and check all the
          cabling and routing on the third
          floor and that section of the
          spine. That may fix it.
 
                      COORDINATOR
          That's the spirit, comrades. Onward
          together. And give a little thought
          to correct attitudes.
 
They all exit to the corridor. The wall above the door has
the same poster 'Forward Together' with the clasped hands
logo and no CCTV camera.
 
SC INT DAY CORRIDOR BY THE LIFTS
 
STUART and JOSEPH are waiting for the lift. When the lift
doors open the BOSS is revealed. He looks less imposing,
more utilitarian dress, less arrogant, no cigar.
 
                      BOSS
          Ah, the elusive IT department. Was
          the Coordinator here?
 
                      JOSEPH
          Yes, you just missed her.
 
                      BOSS
          Oh dear! How's it going? Found the
          fault?
 
                      JOSEPH
          Just off to check the cabling. We
          think we know where to look now.
 
                      BOSS
                (To JOSEPH)
          Good - of course the coordinator is
          aware of all the extra work you're
          putting in. We will all be
          grateful, I'm sure, once it's back
          online .
 
BOSS takes in STUART too with a nod in his direction
 
                      JOSEPH
          Shouldn't be too long now. It is
          mainly a question of knowing where
          to look.
 
                      BOSS
          Excellent. Let me know if there's
          anything you need.
 
BOSS hurries off to find the Coordinator
 
                      JOSEPH
          With any luck we should be able to
          sort this out in an hour or two and
          bugger off home early with the
          Coordinator's OK.
 
The lift arrives and JOSEPH goes in first.
 
                      STUART
                (to himself)
          That would be great. I could have a
          nice lie down before the men come
          and take me away.
 
STUART goes into lift and the doors close
 
SC 11 INT NIGHT
 
IN STUART'S FLAT
 
MARA is hanging up her coat with her back to STUART and
carefully composing her expression of displeasure before
turning back to him. She is very sensibly, unglamorously
dressed, with minimal makeup and shortish hair. She has a
large sensible hold-all type bag.  She keeps her distance
from Stuart
 
                      MARA
          I think there's something you need
          to say to me.
 
                      STUART
          I'm really happy you're here.
 
                      MARA
          That's not what I meant.
 
                      STUART
          You mean the party - I know I was
          an idiot and I'd had too much to
          drink. I did notice you and Hari
          had gone - I presumed together.
 
                      MARA
          Are you surprised? You were so
          unpleasant - rude, possessive and
          jealous - not to mention primitive,
          regressive, bourgeois and
          reactionary.
 
                      STUART
          Ok, I admit I was out of order,
          badly out of order, but there's no
          need for the string of communist
          jargon. What happened between you
          and Hari?
 
                      MARA
          That's none of your business. You
          forfeited your citizen's rights by
          behaving like an ape.
 
                      STUART
          Ok, I admit to a period of primate
          behavior - but did you have to go
          off with him - of all people?
 
                      MARA
          I was just a tiny bit angry about
          being slagged off in public by my
          drunk boyfriend.
 
                      STUART
          I really am sorry - but it wasn't
          that public. I don't think anyone
          heard - and it did look as if you
          were deliberately flirting with him
          in front of me.
 
                      MARA
          I wasn't performing for your
          benefit. I was just enjoying the
          privilege of discussing the book
          face to face with a state
          recognized author and a thoroughly
          civilized, socially aware citizen.
 
                      STUART
          So where did you go to have your
          meeting of mind and spirit - his
          place or yours?
 
                      MARA
          If you're going to be all hurt,
          sarcastic and possessive, I shall
          leave. I am free to make my own
          choices.
 
                      STUART
          Free to sleep with whoever you like
          whenever?
 
                      MARA
          Stuart, I've always been free to do
          that - but actually I left early
          and went home.
 
                      STUART
          You didn't stay the night?
 
                      MARA
          No. Hari lives with his mother and
          he spent a lot of time worrying she
          would hear us - and even more time
          talking about his agent's failings.
          It was rather sad.
 
MARA comes closer. STUART looks happy and relieved. He puts
his arm round MARA and she allows him to lead her to the
sofa; they sit down together rather awkwardly.
 
                      STUART
          Things have been so weird recently
          -  I'm not sure I know what's real
          and what's not.
 
                      MARA
           You don't think I'm a figment of
          your imaginationI hope.
 
                      STUART
          No, of course not -  but I saw a
          double of myself on the train.
 
                      MARA
          You what?
 
                      STUART
          I saw a sort of reflected double of
          myself going home last night.
 
                      MARA
          That is bad luck - two Stuarts -
          quite enough to upset anyone.
 
                      STUART
          Very funny, but that's not what I
          meant. My reflection moved off in
          the opposite direction from me.
 
                      MARA
          That's what I would I have done,
          too - coming across you at that
          time of night and in that kind of a
          state.
 
                      STUART
          Oh ha ha ha.
 
                      MARA
                (rather more gently and
                 moving closer)
          Just tension and too much alcohol I
          should think.
 
                      STUART
          Well something's very weird - if
          it's not the world, it must be me.
 
MARA puts a hand on Stuart's knee. 
 
                      MARA
          What you need is some normal,
          healthy, relaxing activity. Come
          with me.
 
Mara stands up and heads towards the bedroom door. Stuart is
clearly surprised by this directness but follows.
 
SC INT NIGHT STUART'S BEDROOM AND EN SUITE BATHROOM
 
STUART and MARA in bed, looking much more relaxed.
 
                      STUART
          Do you want to use the bathroom
          first?
 
                      MARA
          Thanks.
 
Series of shots
 
MARA gets out of bed, dressed in very little, if anything.
She gets her bag, takes out pajamas and wash things and goes
into bathroom, leaving door partly open.  STUART stays
sitting up  in bed.
 
                      STUART
          Anyway that's what they looked like
          to me  - armed octogenarians with
          ferocious attitude.
 
                      MARA O.S.
          I don't understand - pensioners go
          into the state shelters.
 
                      STUART
          Believe me I was the one who needed
          sheltering.
 
MARA returns from the bathroom in sensible pyjamas.
 
                      MARA
          Bathroom's free.
 
STUART goes into bathroom, leaving door partly open.
 
IN THE BATHROOM
 
STUART brushing his teeth. MARA still talking as STUART
looks in mirror, examines his forehead, puzzled by lack of
injury. From STUART'S point of view the mirror also shows us
part of MARA on the bed through the open bathroom door.
 
series of shots
 
Again from the point of view of STUART looking into it, the
mirror shows the bedroom behind STUART with MARA on bed but
no reflection of STUART. Everything freezes for a moment.
The lighting changes to harder and glossier.
 
STUART waves a hand in front of the mirror but there is no
reflection. He pushes his hand onto the mirror but it passes
straight through and he falls forward through the dissolving
mirror into the reflected bathroom, stumbling.
 
                      STUART
                (muttering to himself)
 
Oh Christ not again. What's happening to me?
 
STUART turns to face the mirror and basin in the reflected
bathroom. He has a normal reflection. He screws up his eyes
then rubs them, shakes his head vigorously, splashes water
on his face, takes several deep breaths. An angry gash can
be seen on his forehead.
 
                      MARA O.S.
          Are you coming out of there one
          day? I'm getting lonely.
 
                      STUART
          What? No - just momentary brain
          failure. Sorry - on my way.
 
STUART takes a deep breath and gets ready to re-enter the
bedroom.
 
From STUART'S point of view approaching from the bathroom we
see MARA in bed. This version of Mara is wearing a short
nightdress and plenty of makeup, displaying more of herself,
her hair is more expensively done. Stuart stops for a moment
in surprise to take in the change. MARA appears gratified by
this  reaction.
 
                      MARA
          I was beginning to wonder if you'd
          lost interest. Just because I came
          back doesn't mean you can take me
          for granted, you know.
 
                      STUART
          I don't, Mara, really I don't. I'm
          just a bit weirded out.
 
                      MARA
          Just teasing. Come to bed!
 
                      STUART
          I'll just turn off the light.
 
SERIES OF SHOTS
 
STUART crosses the room to turn off the light. On the way he
sees something through a gap in the curtains. A CCTV camera,
lit by a street light, is swivelling towards him as he parts
the curtains. He makes a face at it, closes the curtains
completely and then switches off the main bedroom light,
leaving blackout that is gradually brought up to a very dim
light. STUART hits his shin on something on his way back to
bed.
 
                      MARA
          The  bed's over here - and so am I!
 
                      STUART
                (rubbing his shin)
          Ouch, sorry.
                (under his breath)
          Whoever you are.
 
STUART climbs into bed.
 
SC INT DAY WORK IT OFFICE
 
STUART and JOSEPH are celebrating their success repairing
the network with a cup of coffee and a biscuit. The coloured
version of the bewildering network wiring diagram is open on
the desk. Joseph is examining it.
 
                      JOSEPH
                So can you show me where
                 the fault was on this?
 
                      STUART
           I just couldn't follow it  - lost
          in the maze - so I used a simpler
          version -er- sort of in my head.
 
Joseph looks at him in some amazement.
 
                      STUART
          We need a better diagram - that one
          doees my head in.
 
                      JOSEPH
          Mine too. Well, it's all working
          now. Should keep us in our jobs a
          bit longer.
 
The office phone rings and Joseph picks it up.
 
Joseph grabs pen and paper and repeats a number as he writes
 
                      JOSEPH
          Yes, I'll tell him.
                (listens)
          Yes, sir.
                (listens)
          Yes sir, I know personal phone
          calls are forbidden. I'm sure he
          realises that, sir. Yes, sir, I'll
          tell him.
                (listens)
          Yes sir, I'll tell him that too.
          He'll be very grateful.
                (listens)
          Yes sir, I'll try to make sure it
          doesn't happen again.
 
                      STUART
          What was all that about?
 
                      JOSEPH
          I'm afraid your mother's been taken
          ill. She's in hospital.
 
                      STUART
          What happened? How serious is it?
 
                      JOSEPH
          Sorry. I've only been given the
          hospital phone number. That's all I
          know.
 
JOSEPH hands STUART the piece of paper
 
                      STUART
          OK- I'll phone them and get over
          there straight away.
 
                      JOSEPH
          That'll be OK - the boss said you
          could have the rest of the
          afternoon off - he must be in a
          good mood because we've fixed the
          network.
 
                      STUART
          So good-hearted of him.
 
                      JOSEPH
                (a little surprised)
          Well he could have made you wait
          until clocking off time, normally
          would've. There's no time off for
          family illness - you only get half
          a day unpaid leave for death of
          close family, including the
          funeral. He said to make sure it
          doesn't happen again.
 
                      STUART
          What? Well, I'll tell her not to be
          taken ill again, shall I? Anyway
          I'm off.
 
STUART leaves the office in a hurry, phoning as he goes.
 
SC INT DAY HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM
 
Small waiting room, off from hospital corridor, bright,
modern, potted plant or two. Stuart, anxious and bored, is
waiting on a plastic chair. An expensive looking TV screen
is displaying an advertisement for a family 'dignity in
death' insurance policy.
 
                      TV VOICE V.O.
          ...but costs have risen to levels
          that can spell financial ruin.
          Blessed Relief's rates are the best
          in the industry and our spread
          payment terms and no quibble
          insurance are without challenge.
          Prevent your dear ones suffering
          needlessly in old age at a price
          that doesn't put your own and your
          children's future at risk. Let
          Blessed Relief take care of you and
          yours.
 
A suited and carefully groomed man enters briskly through
swing doors. He looks fit, wealthy and young middle aged.
Maybe a neat little beard.
 
                      DOCTOR
          Stuart Gilmore? Sorry to keep you
          waiting. I'm Dr. Rysdale - I've
          been assessing your mother - as you
          probably realise.
 
                      STUART
          Er - yes.
 
                      DOCTOR
          Stuart - I hope you don't mind my
          calling you that - I feel first
          names are best - call me Derek -
          your mother has had a mini stroke
          and a resultant fall, rsulting in a
          blow to the temple. There are signs
          of concussion with the possibility
          of some internal hemorrhaging.
 
                      STUART
          How bad is it? I mean what's the
          prognosis?
 
                      DOCTOR
          We don't really know at this stage.
          A scan and 24 hours close
          observation would tell us more of
          course. She is conscious but
          considerably shaken and confused.
 
                      STUART
          What kind of scan?
 
                      DOCTOR
          An MRI would be best but a CT scan
          might tell us enough. An MRI is,
          I'm afraid, VERY expensive these
          days.
 
                      STUART
          Surely that's not an issue.
 
                      DOCTOR
          Ah, I take it she's well insured
          then - in which case you might even
          consider a move to Mount Vernon,
          our sister hospital, state of the
          art in every way. Of course
          treatment decisions are entirely up
          to you and your mother - though she
          is, in my professional opinion, not
          really in a state to make such
          decisions, especially on her
          present medication.
 
                      STUART
          I'm sorry but what's all this about
          being 'well insured'? This is a
          National Health hospital.
 
                      DOCTOR
          Certainly - but obviously current
          guidelines only allow us to use
          treatment appropriate to the age
          weighted score on the quality
          adjusted life years expectancy
          profile of the patient, unless of
          course treatment is funded
          independently. Do you have her
          insurance details to hand?
 
                      STUART
          I don't think she has any private
          health insurance - but, wait a
          minute - I don't understand -
          appropriate to the life expectancy
          profile - do you mean she's in
          danger - that she might die?
 
                      DOCTOR
          Well no, almost certainly not from
          this incident and its immediate
          health impact - but she is over 70
          and so statistically at risk of
          further vascular events. She's in
          what we call the shrinking horizon
          category I'm afraid. So nothing as
          costly as an MRI on the public
          purse, I'm afraid - nor a CAT scan
          - as I'm sure you realize.
 
                      STUART
                (confused but becoming
                 angry)
          Shrinking horizon! So what can you
          do "on the public purse"?
 
                      DOCTOR
          Just preliminary assessment - which
          we've already done. I would
          recommend the MRI if it's within
          your means though.
 
                      STUART
          And if it isn't "within our means"?
 
                      DOCTOR
          Well the CAT scan should give us a
          pretty good idea of what's going
          on. Of course if there are no funds
          available or if it's not felt that
          the expense is justified in view of
          the uncertain life expectancy, then
          there's nothing wrong with letting
          nature take its course - the body
          is remarkably resilient.
 
                      STUART
                (savagely)
          And if she dies, then that's
          nature's decision not to waste any
          more on her.
 
                      DOCTOR
                (surprised)
          Mr. Gilmore, medicine will always
          be a question of priorities and the
          allocation of resources. We have to
          follow guidelines; otherwise we
          will end up unable to treat anyone.
          These days, as you know, import
          duties make most modern therapeutic
          technologies and treatments
          extremely expensive.
 
(pause)
 
The doctor starts to leave.
 
                      DOCTOR
          Let me know your treatment
          decisions as soon as possible. The
          ward sister will have all
          appropriate forms for you to sign -
          to defray costs and so on,
          including physical asset
          assignment. There are of course
          ongoing costs -  the occupation of
          a hospital bed and the care and
          medication already administered -
          in addition of course to my
          consultation fee. Your mother is on
          Pfizer ward - a nurse will direct
          you.
 
He walks off rapidly, leaving STUART looking shocked. He
starts looking for somwonw to ask the way.
 
SC 15 INT DAY
 
ON THE WARD
 
A busy, full ward but smart and bright. STUART is walking
towards his mother's bed in the middle of the ward. He
passes a very frail and ancient looking patient in the bed
next to her. He stops at his mother's bed and kisses her.
 
                      STUART
          Hello Mum. How are you feeling?
 
                      MOTHER
                (struggling a little with
                 speech)
          Well if I said I was just fine you
          wouldn't believe me.
 
                      STUART
          No I wouldn't, you're right, but
          are you feeling better?
 
                      MOTHER
          Well, I think so. I'm having a bit
          of a problem with my words, but I
          feel much better about things, not
          frightened any more. I was
          frightened at first - when I lost
          track of where I was, the time and
          everything.
 
                      STUART
          Mum, obviously you would feel
          scared and upset. Who wouldn't? -
          but you're being looked after now.
          The doctor says you should have
          some scans, rather expensive ones.
          They don't seem to pay for anything
          these days.
 
                      MOTHER
          There's no point paying out for
          expensive scans. The truth is I'm
          just old - my body and mind are
          giving out.
 
                      STUART
                (deeply worried)
          That's nonsense. You've got years
          and years in you yet. The scan will
          tell us what treatment you need.
 
                      MOTHER
          I don't have any insurance you
          know.
 
                      STUART
          But this is a National Health
          hospital, isn't it?
 
                      MOTHER
          Yes, of course, but obviously they
          can't provide expensive tests for
          someone my age.
 
                      STUART
          You need to have a scan. Tell that
          doctor - what's his name - Rysdale
          - that you want one.
 
                      MOTHER
          Rysdale? I don't remember a doctor
          Rysdale.
 
                      STUART
          Rather sleek and smarmy - medium
          height - snappy dresser.
 
                      MOTHER
          Oh you mean Derek, the Director of
          Services - he's worried about my
          bed and the money I'm costing - and
          who can blame him?
 
                      STUART
          The sooner you tell him you want
          the tests the better - I'll pay for
          them if I have to.
 
An alarm goes off at the bed next door and the patient is
seen to be unconscious, eyes staring, mouth open slackly. A
nurse comes hurriedly and closes the curtains round the bed.
 
                      NURSE
                (To Stuart)
          Could you please wait outside for a
          mmoment?
 
                      STUART
          Of course.
                (to his mother)
          Back in a while.
 
STUART goes out as a doctor and another nurse come in,
followed by a porter with a hospital trolley bed. They place
it next to the alarm bed and pull the curtains round it.
 
SC HOSPITAL CORRIDOR ANTEROOM (BETWEEN WARDS)
 
STUART enters through double doors with the usual small
glass panes. He is alone in a room which is little more than
an enlargement of a hospital corridor with  4 sets of double
doors, two opposing sets into the corridor, two opposing
sets into identical wards.
 
STUART looks through the doors into his mother's ward and
sees a patient being lifted from bed onto the trolley. He
walks up and down restlessly. He finds himself near the
opposite WARD doors. He looks casually into the opposite
ward through the window panelsin the doors.
 
To STUART's surprise the same scene is being enacted there
(in the ward opposite his mother's), a patient being wheeled
on a hospital gurney from the curtained bed. Beyond this
action is a figure in the next bed closely resembling his
mother. He stares through the glass but cannot make out
quite clearly what he is seeing. He continues to peer
through the glass. The gurney patient is wheeled off at
speed away from him towards far doors at the other end of
the ward.
 
He crosses the small anteroom and looks through the opposite
window, into the ward he came out of - identical gurney and
doctor /nurses are disappearing/have just disappeared
through identical far doors. He is about to enter but the
rest of the ward now looks different and he can't see his
mother. He looks harder. The corresponding bed appears to
have a strange wild figure sitting up in it, grinning
ferociously at him. Everything freezes for a moment. Stuart
puts his hands over his face.
 
                      STUART
          Oh God, not again.
 
After some hesitation he recrosses the anteroom, peers
through the glass again. There is a distant, unclear sight
of mother through glass. Stuart gives a despairing shrug and
gingerly enters this (opposite) ward.
 
IN THE OPPOSITE WARD
 
The ward seems dingier, darker, noisier and the beds are
more crowded together. His mother is looking anxiously for
him from the bed as he approaches.
 
                      MOTHER
                (calling out slightly
                 plaintively)
          Oh there you are, darling.
          Hospitals can be so confusing,
          can't they.
 
                      STUART
                (Quietly, to himself)
          I'll say.
 
STUART arrives at his mother's bed.
 
                      STUART
          Did you know him?
 
                      MOTHER
          Who, dear?
 
                      STUART
          The man in the next bed - the one
          they've taken away on a trolley.
 
He points to the next bed, which still has screens round it.
 
                      MOTHER
          It's a woman next to me, dear, not
          a man. I don't think she's very
          well at all.
 
                      STUART
          I saw them take someone out.
 
                      MOTHER
          I really don't know, dear. I didn't
          see.
 
                      STUART
          Never mind. So we need to make sure
          you have the scan.
 
                      MOTHER.`
          What scan?
 
                      STUART
                (worried)
          You know, the scan the doctors say
          you should have but the NHS won't
          pay for.
 
                      MOTHER
                (with pathos)
          I don't suppose it's going to make
          much difference at my age. It's the
          state homes for me soon.
                (reacting late to what
                 Stuart has said)
          Won't pay for them? What do you
          mean? They told me I would probably
          have a scan.
 
                      STUART
                (confused)
          They told you..... what did they
          say you were having?
 
                      MOTHER
          I think the doctor said that I
          might need to have a Cat scan.
 
                      STUART
          Here comes a nurse. I'll ask her if
          she knows when they're planning to
          do any tests.
 
                      MOTHER
          Let's not make a fuss, darling. I'm
          sure they're very busy. They'll get
          round to me when they can.
 
                      STUART
          I'd just like to make sure they're
          going to do that scan.
 
                      MOTHER
          I'm sure they'll take the right
          decision, dear. They know what
          they're doing.
 
A severe looking nurse comes by at a brisk pace.
 
                      STUART
          Excuse me, nurse. How can I find
          out when my mother is scheduled for
          a scan?
 
                      NURSE
          That decision may not have been
          taken yet, citizen. It's up to the
          ward management committee.
 
                      STUART
          Surely a doctor has to decide what
          treatment is necessary.
 
                      NURSE
                (looks at him sharply)
          Obviously the medical opinion of
          the doctor will be taken into
          account, citizen. The final
          decision will be made by the
          representatives together.
 
                      STUART
          Which doctor is in charge?
 
                      NURSE
          If you mean the committee case
          medical adviser that information is
          not usually given out to family,
          citizen.
                (relenting)
          It will be in the notes on the end
          of bed.
 
The nurse starts to walk away. Stuart picks up clipboard
from the end of the bed
 
                      STUART
          I can't read the name - Dr. Mungo?
 
The nurse comes back, takes notes from STUART, looks at name
and puts them back at end of bed
 
                      NURSE
          Dr. Morgan - she's not on at the
          moment.
 
                      STUART
          When is she next on duty?
 
                      NURSE
          I'm afraid I don't know. You could
          ask the secretary.
 
                      STUART
          Secretary?
 
                      NURSE
          The ward committee secretary.
          Visiting time finished at five.
 
The nurse hurries off
 
                      MOTHER
          You see, you're just going to upset
          people.
 
                      STUART
          The ward secretary? Do you know who
          that is?
 
                      MOTHER
          No, dear. It could be anyone of
          course - a porter, a nurse, anyone.
          You'll only make trouble looking
          for them.
 
                      STUART
          I need to arrange to see that
          doctor - either on the way out now
          or the next time I come. You need
          to have that scan. Anyway I'd
          better go. I'll come and see you
          tomorrow after work.
 
                      MOTHER
          If I 'm still here, dear.
 
                      STUART
                (disturbed)
          What do you mean?
 
                      MOTHER
          Just that they may decide to send
          me home - that there's nothing much
          they can do - or to one of the
          protected homes if they feel I am
          not safe on my own.
 
                      STUART
          They won't do anything like that
          until they know it's safe.. I'll
          see you tomorrow. At least you can
          get a good rest.
 
Stuart kisses her goodbye and leaves the ward.
 
SC EXT DAY HOSPITAL BUS STOP IN CAR PARK
 
STUART is waiting for a bus. His mobile rings.
 
                      STUART
                (into phone)
          Oh hi, Mara. Where are you?
                (listens)
          She doesn't seem too bad, shaken up
          of course, but I need to make sure
          the hospital does the necessary
          tests.Thanks for asking. 
                (listens)
          No of course I won't. I just want
          to make sure they're doing
          everything they can.
                (listens)
          You're still at school? This late?
                (listens)
          Oh OK. Yes I suppose so. I can get
          the 371. Where is this meeting?
                (listens)
          Twenty minutes at least, depending
          on the bus.
                (listens)
          I should hope it would be over by
          then. Room 48 next to the small
          hall - see you soon.
 
Stuart hangs up.
 
SC. EXT DUSK SCHOOL APPROACH
 
STUART walks through the gates and then the doors
unchallenged. There is a tattered notice on one door. 'All
citizens visiting the school MUST report to the school
guardians office'.
 
SC INT NIGHT SCHOOL SMALL VESTIBULE AND CORRIDORS
 
SERIES OF SHOTS
 
STUART looks around for the office but nobody is about. He
is unsure about direction.
 
CORRIDOR1 He starts down a long, dimly lit, shabby corridor.
There are posters on the walls, the already seen 'FORWARD
TOGETHER' with the clasped hands logo, 'PRACTICAL SKILLS
WILL BUILD A BETTER FUTURE' and 'HARD-WORKING STUDENTS ARE
THE HEROES OF TOMORROW' with pictures of wholesome , strong
youths of both genders in sensible working outfits. There is
also student art of a heroic and morally irreproachable
nature. STUART registers the notices and art, stops for a
moment to look at it.
 
                      STUART
          Communist Propaganda for and by the
          pupils. Ugh!
 
Stuart moves on,  focused on finding his way to MARA and
room 48. The corridor is extremely long and Stuart seems to
go on walking down it for a very long time.
 
CORRIDOR2
 
STUART turns into another equally long corridor. Everything
freezes for a moment, perhaps a transition sound. The scene
rapidly brightens, CCTV cameras are seen on the ceiling or
walls, following his movement.
 
The decor is modern and glossy, the walls are freshly
painted, potted plants appear, plenty of glass and chrome.
 
There are posters of a different style on the walls. 'YOUR
SUCCESS IS OUR BUSINESS. YOU ARE PART OF THE FAMILY AT
GLOBAL ENTERPRISES.' 'NEW AGE BIOMED INC. FINANCING YOUR
FUTURE - INVESTING IN YOUR SKILLS.' The accompanying images
are glamorous, glossy, sexualised, full of money.
 
There is also student art which is less poster-like, more
sensual and experimental, aiming for glamour and shock.
 
STUART walks on scarcely aware of the changes until he sees
a CCTV camera, almost at eye level, swivelling towards him.
 
                      STUART
                (to himself)
          Spy cameras again. I'm sure there
          weren't any of those when I came
          in. How long have I been walking -
          it seems ages?
 
Stuart looks around and notices the change in atmosphere and
decor.
 
                      STUART
          All change again. Where am I now?
          This is ferociously glossy.  Am I
          in Mara'school? Where is the Small
          Hall?  
 
Voices can be heard O.S. further along and they get louder
and resolve themselves into a male voice and MARA talking
animatedly.
 
STUART sees double doors on his left with a name plate
 
'Montanso Hall A gift from Montanso Global'
 
and finds room 48 just beyond. The door is slightly open and
part of MARA can be seen. Stuart stands and listens. He can
hear clearly.
 
                      LAWRENCE O.S.
          It's in the company's interest to
          make sure you are fully trained in
          the use of the materials and that
          you cascade those skills down
          through the school hierarchy. It's
          a winwin scenario - for us, for you
          and for your school.
 
                      MARA O.S.
          I can't guarantee that the school
          will adopt the scheme.
 
                      LAWRENCE O.S.
          But you can explain the advantages
          - both educational and financial.
          The program has been approved by
          the ministry and has a five star
          rating from the ESA for its
          national youth values. It's a key
          segment in the British Excellence
          in Learning strategy and AJOSEPH
          Powerhouses Initiative. Once you
          commit to the program, we start our
          generous funding scheme - you
          personally would be in line for
          substantial negotiating fees. There
          would be internships and some
          permanent company positions on
          offer, tailor-made for suitable
          ex-pupils.
 
STUART coughs and knocks at the door, which swings further
open as a result of the knock, revealing MARA, in a business
suit with power lapels, and an absurdly smartly dressed
young man.
 
                      STUART
          Oh sorry, I didn't mean to
          interrupt.
 
                      MARA
          Stuart, you managed to find us!
          This is Lawrence Marsden from the
          Royal Lion and Unicorn Trust.
 
MARA kisses STUART on the cheek. LAWRENCE vigorously shakes
STUART'S hand.
 
                      MARA
          We've nearly finished.
 
MARA turns back to LAWRENCE
 
                      MARA
          But do the students have to wear
          the device badges outside school?
 
                      LAWRENCE
          They certainly do - visibly and we
          hope with pride. It is not only a
          sign of their commitment to the
          learning program but it's how we
          monitor their progress; it's an
          arrangement that guarantees
          results.
 
                      MARA
          I'm afraid some of my students will
          find ways round that requirement.
 
                      LAWRENCE
          Well, we would be aware of that
          through the implants and would
          exert pressure - in our own way.
          Mara, you must realize, this is a
          one-off opportunity and I need an
          answer very soon. I'm not really
          allowed to give you an extension to
          consult with colleagues. Let me
          know by tomorrow midday or it will
          almost certainly go to another
          school.
 
Lawrence packs his paperwork away in a smart briefcase.
 
                      LAWRENCE
          You have my contact details -you
          can reach me at any time. I must
          leave you - I have another
          appointment.
 
Lawrence picks up his briefcase and prepares to leave.
 
                      MARA
          I've finished here myself. I can
          see you out. Come along, Stuart.
 
                      LAWRENCE
          No it's ok. I know my way. Be sure
          to contact me tomorrow - a.m.
          Goodbye for now. (To Stuart)
          Pleased to meet you.
 
Lawrence shakes hands again with STUART and leaves in a
different direction along the corridor
 
                      STUART
          That all sounded weird to me. What
          are they doing - wiring the kids'
          brains to the company machine?
 
                      MARA
          They're just monitoring the time
          and effort the kids put into the
          learning tasks. It may sound
          invasive but that's what
          educational sponsors are doing
          these days - and we need the
          funding hey provide to compete with
          our rivals.
 
Mara pauses, remembers and puts her hand on Stuart's
shoulder.
 
                      MARA
          How is your mother?
 
                      STUART
          She's not too bad considering - it
          was a mini stroke after all.  She's
          a bit depressed - but she needs a
          scan to check for further bleeding,
          an MRI preferably.
 
                      MARA
          An MRI! Jesus! Does she have that
          level of insurance?
 
STUART's phone rings. He answers.
 
                      STUART
                (into phone)
          Yes, speaking. Who is this?
                (listens)
          Yes, that's right. That's my
          address. Who did you say you were?
          Security Services?
                (listens)
          Oh, the police!
                (listens)
          To the station! What's this about?
                (listens)
          No, I'm not being difficult. But I
          just don't see what there could be
          to discuss.
                (listens)
          Well, if you say so.
                (listens)
          Yes, that's possible I suppose.
                (listens)
          Well, you may say I have nothing to
          lose, but I don't see what I have
          to gain either.
                (Listens)
          No, no, ok, I'll be there. 6
          o'clock.
                (Listens)
          Not at all. Goodbye.
 
STUART looks at MARA and makes a gesture of disbelief
 
                      STUART
          That was the police - central
          security services they called
          themselves! Apparently they want to
          talk to me at the station. Surely
          they don't have time for chatting
          to the public. They are supposed to
          be desperately short-staffed. What
          can they have to say to me?
 
                      MARA
                (looking a little uneasy)
          Maybe it's about those oldies who
          mugged you.
 
                      STUART
          I haven't even reported that yet.
          What can they want?
 
                      MARA
          Who knows? Well, at least you can
          report the mugging while you're
          there.
 
                      STUART
          I suppose. Have you been involved
          in crime recently - jewellery
          heists, assassinations, anything
          they might need my help with?
 
                      MARA
                (smiling)
          Come on Stuart, you know I wouldn't
          do anything exciting like that
          without you.
 
MARA looks away from him a little guiltily.
 
SC.16 INT NIGHT POLICE STATION ANTEROOM
 
STUART is standing alone in a small anteroom, waiting. There
is a door to the street behind him. There are police notices
on the walls and some kind of electronic device at head
level on one wall in front of him. CCTVs are watching him,
swivelling to follow him
 
                      STUART
          Hello?
 
                      COMPUTERISED VOICE V.O.
          Welcome to Central Security
          Services, Bradtown branch. Our
          business is your safety. Please
          approach the scanner on the left of
          the counter and follow the
          instructions.
 
STUART, startled, looks around for the source of the voice
then spots the scanner which has a little light blinking. He
approaches gingerly.
 
He examines the scanner device, an adjustable height double
eyepiece on the wall next to the counter with a notice that
reads
 
"WHEN INSTRUCTED POSITION HEAD
 
AS IF LOOKING THROUGH EYEPIECES."
 
STUART places his head as instructed. There is a very bright
flash.
 
STUART staggers back clutching at his eyes.
 
                      COMPUTERISED VOICE V.O.
          Temporary blindness may result from
          the laser flash illuminating the
          retinas. This should not last more
          than 30 seconds, a few minutes at
          most.
 
PAUSE
 
                      COMPUTERISED VOICE V.O.
          Your scan has been recognized.
          Please wait.
 
                      STUART
          Jesus! I can't see.
 
STUART tries to grope his way out by the street door
opposite the counter but there is no door handle. The street
can be dimly seen through the glass. He blunders about and
falls into a chair.
 
He waves one hand up and down in front of his eyes and
eventually is able to see it.
 
                      STUART
          Thank God, thank God.
 
A noise of powerful, smooth door mechanism. A section of
wall opens. A uniformed policewoman in dark glasses stands
in the opening.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          Mr Gilmore, good evening. Please
          walk through with your hands behind
          your head.
 
                      STUART
          I had a message to come in to the
          station.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          Yes sir, that's right, Please walk
          through with your hands behind your
          head. It's just a security
          procedure.
 
STUART gets up and walks through a heavily armoured opening.
 
SC INT NIGHT IN THE INTERVIEW ROOM
 
The usual table and chairs in a windowless, austere room.
Laptop on desk. A very large screen on one wall faces
STUART. Several surveillance cameras. STUART looks around,
POLICEWOMAN sits at desk and types on laptop. The wall
screen shows 'Informal interview with STUART GILMORE :
Sergeant Russel'; a transcript of the interview flows on
screen as it progresses. 
 
Behind the table is an open door. Through this can be seen a
very large array of screens of live videos. From time to
time one of the screens flashes red and this coincides with
a mysterious sequence of numbers across the top of the big
screen, above the transript of the interview.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          Please sit down, sir. This
          shouldn't take long.
 
Stuart remains standing.
 
                      STUART
          Why am I here? Have I broken any
          laws?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          This is just an informal chat, sir.
 
                      STUART
          You must be making a mistake. I
          can't think of anything the police
          could possibly be interested in.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          You'd be surprised, sir, what can
          interest us these days. You are
          aware I am sure of the British
          Family Values and Moral Decency'
          legislation.
 
                      STUART
                (Hesitates in confusion
                 and disbelief)
          Er, I'm afraid not.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          Really, Mr. Gilmore? I find that
          hard to believe. You have no idea
          why we might want to talk to you?
 
                      STUART
          That's what I as saying - no idea
          at all.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
                (sighs)
          Sit down Mr. Gilmore, please. This
          might take a little longer than I
          thought. You know a Miss Mara
          Davis?
 
                      STUART
                (startled)
          Yes - how do you know that?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
                (ignoring the question)
          Would you describe your
          relationship as close?
 
                      STUART
          Yes,
                (ruefully)
          though it's hard to be sure
          sometimes.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          Ah, that's a rather revealing
          reply. Would you describe the
          relationship as intimate?
 
                      STUART
          You mean do we sleep together?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
                (stiffly)
          If you wish to put it that way.
 
                      STUART
          Why? That's not against the law is
          it?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          No, not in itself - but how long
          have you and Miss Davis been sexual
          partners?
 
                      STUART
          What's that got to do with you?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          Would you say you are a ouple - you 
          have a commitment to each other?
 
                      STUART
          I like to think so - but I
          certainly don't wish to discuss
          this with the police.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          The law is quite clear about our
          responsibilities - we have a duty
          to monitor sexual morality and to
          intervene if there is evidence of
          socially damaging or morally
          degenerate behaviour.
 
                      STUART
                (astonished)
          What? 'Morally degenerate'? What on
          earth are you talking about?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          Well you're not married, nor
          apparently planning to be - and
          there are one or two other
          circumstances that concern us.
 
                      STUART
          But this is insane. We're just a
          normal couple.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          So you do see yourself and Miss
          Davis as a couple - that's a good
          start.
 
                      STUART
          Obviously - we are.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          So you expect some loyalty from
          Mara Davis as your partner.
 
                      STUART
          I suppose so, yes. Why are you
          interested?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          And how would you react if she
          spent the night with another man?
 
                      STUART
          What?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          It's not a hypothetical question.
 
The policewoman taps on the laptop. The big screen clears
and then displays a rather grainy video clip of MARA and
HARI walking down a street together at night. Hari's arm
appears to be round Mara's shoulders. They go into HARI'S
flat together. Stuart watches. He sits down.
 
                      STUART
          Tell me - do you have cameras in
          our bedrooms too - monitoring our
          'morals' there?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
                (angry)
          There's no need for that kind of
          suggestion. The public space
          cameras are there to prevent crime
          or other socially unacceptable
          behavior. We're not peeping toms!
 
                      STUART
          You are spying on people's private
          behaviour, people who are doing
          nothing wrong. 
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          That depends on your definition of
          wrong, Mr Gilmore. Miss Davies
          spent last night in your flat, the
          night before in Mr Pattaya's and
          the one before that in yours again.
          It seems a woman of previously good
          character has started flitting
          between partners.
 
                      STUART
          Flitting? She was just angry after
          a bit of a row we had. I don't
          think she'll be going back to
          Hari's.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          You don't think, Mr Gilmore? How
          sure of her are you? Do you for
          example know where she is now?
 
                      STUART
          She can't stand people trying to
          keep tabs on her. She'll be livid
          when she hears you've been spying
          on her with hidden cameras.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          We have only done what the law
          requires and the surveillance isn't
          hidden - the cameras are in plain
          sight.
 
(pause)
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          We need to know your attitude to
          your girlfiend's apparent
          infidelity?
 
                      STUART
          That's none of your business.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          It is widely accepted that a woman
          may be tempted to test the
          commitment of a partner by real or
          simulated acts of infidelity. She
          is searching for the reassurance of
          control. If her partner weakly
          tolerates such acts - or responds
          in kind  - this can start a
          downward spiral into promiscuity
          and decadent, anti-social behavior.
 
                      STUART
          That's a weird and highly sexist
          way of looking at relationships.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          We believe that Miss Davis would
          respond well if you made it clear
          that her loyalty is important to
          you and that she must choose - not
          flit - between partners. Your
          weakness is probably just as much
          to blame, just as destructive, as
          her unfortunate lapse into - er  -
          temporary promiscuity.
 
                      STUART
                (stunned)
          I can't believe that the police are
          - I mean - you sound like a
          puritanical Victorian agony aunt.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          Thst's offensive, Mr. Gilmore. I
          have an M.A.in Counselling and
          Moral Guidance, as it happens.
 
                      STUART
          And you're saying it's my fault she
          has been 'flitting' as you call it?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          I'm just trying to avoid a
          situation where we have to
          intervene. I think a little
          firmness from you will achieve
          that.
 
                      STUART
          You're telling me - the police are
          telling me - how to behave towards
          my girlfriend!
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          Making a helpful suggestion -
          asking you as a responsible citizen
          to consider the best course of
          action for all concerned - as part
          of our brief to support community
          standards.
 
Stuart looks at the policewoman, who is clearly angry and
determined, rolls his eyes and sighs.
 
                      STUART
          OK, you've made the suggestion. Am
          I free to go now?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          You're free to end this informal
          interview at any time. With the
          right attitude there should be no
          consequences for you.
 
                      STUART
          Consequences? What consequences?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
                (reluctantly)
          Well, conviction for a morality
          offense can carry severe penalties,
          even medical intervention.
 
                      STUART
                (stunned)
          Medical intervention? What do you
          mean - drugs?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          It's only considered in the most
          extreme and stubborn cases.
 
                      STUART
          But what do you mean by medical
          intervention?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          Possibly pharmacological, to adjust
          the sex drive, yes.
 
                      STUART
          Good God! - you said possibly? What
          else?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          I'm sure, Mr. Gilmore, you are
          aware of the 'Safeguarding the
          Future' section of this
          legislation. When all other
          measures fail, the court can order
          sterilisation, either temporary or
          permanent.
 
                      STUART
          That's appalling.
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          Most agree it's better than the
          birth of countless unwanted
          children with no chance of a
          stable, nurturing environment -
          it's the same legislation that
          protects society from the
          uncontrolled transmission of
          serious genetic defects. Of course
          no prosecution is likely in a case
          like this, though if this pattern
          continues, your personal morality
          rating will certainly drop and this
          will affect your prospects.
 
                      STUART
          Prospects? You mean promotion?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          Promotion, even staying in
          employment. Employers regularly
          consult the ratings.
 
                      STUART
          So I could lose my job because my
          girlfriend is suspected of sleeping
          around?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          That's an unfortunately loose way
          of talking. If you  agree to give
          our advice serious consideration,
          consequences are unlikely.
 
                      STUART
          This is mad. OK!  I give in!  I'll
          give your 'suggestion'
          consideration. May I go now?
 
                      POLICEWOMAN
          Very well, sir- please take this
          unofficial chat to heart, though.
          I'll let you out. Just follow the
          procedure - hands clasped behind
          your head.
 
STUART gets up, walks uncertainly towards the wall which
doesn't open until he clasps his hands behind his head. When
it does he is engulfed in total darkness for a time. He is
then dazzled by a brilliant flash of light. Everything
freezes for a moment. He stumbles through a door into a
slightly different anteroom with a small counter (empty) and
no sign of the scanner device. As he looks about, a rather
down at heel but military-style uniformed policeman appears
behind the counter.
 
                      PC
          Goodbye, citizen. Close the street
          door behind you.
 
STUART opens the door, which is a normal heavy door with a
handle, but shabby. He leaves and closes it behind him.
 
SC 17 EXT EVENING CITY STREET OUTSIDE POLICE STATION
 
STUART emerges onto pavement, dazed.
 
                      STUART
                (muttering to himself)
          That was utterly insane. What a
          world!
 
STUART looks around. Sees an apparently normal busy city
street.
 
                      STUART
          Well, everything looks fairly
          normal.
 
A woman in a wheelchair approaches at speed so that Stuart
staggers off the pavement into the road as if drunk. The
wheelchhair woman screeches to a stop and turns. She is
wearing a badge or decoration on her chest reading
REVOLUTIONARY HERO 2ND CLASS (SENIOR).
 
A huge articulated lorry thunders by within inches. The
driver shouts out of the window.
 
                      DRIVER
          Degenerate!
 
                      STUART
          What was that?
 
                      DRIVER
                (voice fading into the
                 distance)
          Bourgeois social degenerate!
 
STUART lurches back onto the pavement, accidentally just
touching the back of the wheelchair as it speeds off again
so that it swerves slightly towards the edge of the
pavement. It slows down and the woman turns again.
 
                      WHEELCHAIR WOMAN
          Look where you're going, can't you?
          You damage this chair and I'll
          report you. It took me six months
          and all my social credits to get
          it.
 
Wheelchair woman speeds off along the pavement.
 
                      STUART
          'Social credits'? 'bourgeois
          degenerate!' - not normal truck
          driver language. Oh God, more
          madness. I need a drink, several
          drinks.
 
STUART looks around, spots a pub across the road through the
traffic 'Brotherhood in Unity'. He heads for a pedestrian
crossing with traffic lights and push button mechanism. He
presses the button and a recorded voice speaks
 
                      VOICE FROM CROSSING MECHANISM V.O.
          Scan your citizen's card to
          activate this crossing. Please do
          not abuse your citizen privileges
          by interrupting the traffic flow
          unnecessarily.
 
                      STUART
          Oh Christ! What's the matter with
          everything and everyone?
 
Stuart watches the traffic thundering past. A slightly
shabby man is observing him closely from a doorway. A woman
(JJ) in her fifties/sixties with shopping bags comes up
swiftly to the crossing, swipes a card and takes his left
arm in her right.
 
                      JJ
          Ok, citizen, cross with me when I
          say.
 
After a brief pause the lights change, the thundering truck
traffic stops, there is loud beeping from the crossing
mechanism.
 
                      JJ
          Now! Keep well to my right, out of
          sight of the camera!
 
They cross together, JJ keeping STUART at arm's length away
from the mechanism with a firm grip on his elbow.
 
                      JJ
          There - safe and sound.
 
                      STUART
          Thank you.
 
His arm is still firmly gripped. STUART tries to release
himself.They are standing together on the pavement.
 
                      STUART
          I'll be ok now.
 
Stuart manages to release himself. The man in the doorway
opposite is still watching.  
 
                      JJ
          Have you been inside? I don't want
          to know really. No card obviously!
 
                      STUART
          Look - thanks again. I'm just
          heading for the pub and a quick
          drink. I'll be fine.
 
                      JJ
          You won't get a drink without your
          card.
 
                      STUART
          What? Why not?
 
                      JJ
          Where have you been? The health
          regs, obviously.
 
                      STUART
          Oh yes, of course!
 
                      JJ
                (looks at him
                 wonderingly)
          You don't know what I'm talking
          about, do you? Look, you'd better
          let me fill you in on some stuff.
          Tell you what, if you buy the
          drinks you can have one on my card.
 
                      STUART
          That's very kind of you but I.....
 
                      JJ
          That's the only way you'll get your
          drink - and if you go on wandering
          about without a card you'll get
          picked up by CS and questioned - at
          the very least. Come on - you're
          buying!
 
She leads STUART up the road and they disappear into the
Brotherhood in Unity.
 
SC. INT EVENING INSIDE THE PUB
 
A dingy and sterile atmosphere.A few rather depressed
looking drinkers scattered around.  STUART and JJ are at the
bar getting their drinks. The BARMAN gives them a suspicious
look when JJ shows her card and STUART pays.
 
                      BARMAN
          Your name, citizen?
 
                      STUART
          Sorry?
 
                      BARMAN
          Regulations, citizen
 
STUART looks at JJ and she nods.
 
                      STUART
          Stuart Gilmore
 
                      BARMAN
          Thank you, citizen.
 
A huge television screen is showing brightly coloured
statistics. An officially enthusiastic voice is speaking
loudly over the stats. STUART and JJ make their way with
their drinks to a table away from the bar, the BARMAN and
the TV .
 
                      TV VOICE V.O.
          ...reaching a new record for
          productivity in this sector. Let us
          show our gratitude to the workers
          and Party labour organisers for
          this magnificent achievement,
          citizens, - an inspiration that
          will drive us on to new triumphs of
          socialist endeavour
 
                      JJ
          To citizenship!
 
She raises her glass.
 
                      STUART
                (After bewildered
                 hesitation)
          Cheers!
                (grimacing)
          What is this stuff?
 
                      JJ
          CBB - whAt you ordered.
 
                      STUART
          I just asked for bitter. This
          tastes awful - thin and sour - like
          bad home brew with water in.
 
                      JJ
          CBB - Citizen Best Bitter. You
          won't get drunk on that. You'd know
          about CBB if you're a beer drinker.
 
                      STUART
                (inventing)
          Er - I have been working abroad,
          haven't been back for years. There
          seem to have been a lot of changes.
 
                      JJ
          Abroad? What made you come back? In
          that case how come you don't have 
          a visitor's ID card and a minder? -
          well, at least it's too lame a
          story for you to be a P.I.
 
JJ sees his blank look.
 
                      JJ
          Party eye - spy - you don't even
          know that? Whoever you are,
          whatever your story, you won't last
          long here without a Citizen card!
 
                      STUART
          I'm beginning to think I don't want
          to be here, in this pub or in this
          country. Thank you for helping but
          I'd better get off home.
 
                      JJ
          So you do at least have somewhere
          to go?
 
                      STUART
          Of course. I'm not homeless. I'd
          better go - I can't drink this
          stuff anyway
 
                      JJ
          You're in danger. You seem to know
          nothing about our workers' paradise
          and you desperately need a card. I
          know people who could help with
          that. Here's my number.
 
She hands him a slip of paper
 
                      JJ
          My name is Jill Jones, JJ for your
          purposes. My advice is to go home,
          talk to no-one and ring me on your
          mobile, the bathroom is usually
          safest. Wait an hour, though. I
          have to go now. Don't leave that
          number lying around.
 
She knocks back her drink in one, pats STUART on the
shoulder, collects her bags and exits briskly.
 
                      STUART
          She didn't seem your typical high
          street shopper. PI? Phone from my
          bathroom? JJ? Jesus!
 
He takes another sip of beer, makes a disgusted face, puts
the 2/3 full pint glass on the bar. The barman notices.
 
                      BARMAN
          Thank you, citizen.
 
STUART leaves. The barman watches him go.
 
SC INT NIGHT BACK AT STUART'S FLAT
 
LATER
 
STUART enters his flat. The flat appears dingier, darker and
smaller. He looks around morosely, collapses into a chair.
 
                      STUART
          Jesus! 
 
Beat
 
He gets up, goes to the fridge, searches inside and takes
out a plastic beer bottle. A close-up of the bottle reveals
the label - Citizen Best Bitter. Stuart looks disgusted and
shaken, then shrugs. He gets a glass, opens the bottle,
pours and drinks.
 
                      STUART
                (makes a face)
          How could anyone drink this stuff?
 
The door bell rings. 
 
                      STUART
          Bugger! Who the hell..?
 
Stuar, thoroughly irritated, nervous, looks at glass of beer
in one hand, bottle in other, makes a decision, pours beer
down the sink, leaves glass and bottle by the sink, walks to
the door and opens it. MAURICE, a rather ordinary-looking,
small,  middle-aged man carrying a large briefcase, is
standing there smiling confidently.
 
                      STUART
          Hello?
 
                      MAURICE
          Hello fellow resident! Stuart,
          isn't it? Delighted to meet you at
          last. I'm Maurice Webb.
 
                      STUART
          Sorry?
 
                      MAURICE
          I'm the Association Chair, you
          know. Thought I'd just drop in and
          say hello.
 
                      STUART
          Association?
 
                      MAURICE
          The Resident Citizens' Association.
          Keeps me busy I can tell you.
 
MAURICE is standing resolutely in the doorway, clearly
expecting to be asked in.
 
                      STUART
          Oh I see. How can I help?
 
                      MAURICE
          Oh it's nothing in particular, you
          know, but I just thought it might
          be a good idea if we had a little
          chat and got to know each other.
          May I come in?
 
                      STUART
                (reluctantly)
          Of course. Come in.
 
STUART makes way for MAURICE who comes in and looks around.
 
                      MAURICE
          Nice flat - plenty of space for one
          person.
 
                      STUART
          Thank you. Can I offer you
          something? I'm afraid I've finished
          the beer but coffee, tea?
 
Maurice eyes the empty bottle by the sink.
 
                      MAURICE
          No thank you. I see you don't mind
          the bottled variety of CBB then.
 
Maurice gives a conspiratorial smile and wink.
 
                      STUART
          Having just tried it, I don't think
          the bottled version is any more
          drinkable than the draft.
 
                      MAURICE
                (chuckling)
          But at least you finished that one,
          didn't leave a nearly full glass.
 
                      STUART
          What? How could you possibly..? You
          weren't in the pub, I'm sure.
 
                      MAURICE
          No, no not my kind of place really,
          the Unity.
 
                      STUART
          But somehow you know I was there
          and that I didn't finish my beer.
 
                      MAURICE
          Walls have ears, you know. Are you
          surprised?
 
                      STUART
          Surprised doesn't begin to cover
          it. What's going on?
 
                      MAURICE
          Well normally I don't think a
          citizen making a rather public and
          pointed display of his contempt for
          CBB would have the barman do more
          than make a mental note, but you
          were buying drinks on someone
          else's card, so he reported it to
          local office and they got in touch
          with me - just to check in and have
          a chat.
 
                      STUART
          I thought he gave me a pretty dirty
          look - didn't care for me much -
          and I must say the feeling was
          mutual - but reporting me - for
          what?
 
                      MAURICE
          Oh come now, it was his duty to
          report the suspected absence of a
          citizen card. I imagine you had
          just left the card at home or
          something, eh?
 
                      STUART
                (truth much too
                 difficult)
          Well, actually, I'm afraid I seem
          to have lost it.
 
                      MAURICE
          Oh dear - but you haven't reported
          it lost?
 
                      STUART
          Not yet, I've only just realized
          it's gone.
 
                      MAURICE
          Oh I see - you must have realized
          in the pub, I suppose.  You'd
          better report it and  apply for a
          replacement straight away - the
          Party's very hot on missing cards -
          foreign agents,ounter-revolutionary
          terrorists, don't want anyone
          getting the wrong idea, do we?
          Actually as Residents' Chair I can
          issue you a temporary card.
 
                      STUART
          You can? I would be very grateful.
 
                      MAURICE
          No problem. If you just give me
          your details, I'll fill out the
          paperwork here and now. Let's get
          started - may I sit down here?
 
Maurice sits down at a table or desk and takes out a form
and pen from his briefcase.
 
MAURICE continues to take down STUART's details.
 
A LITTLE LATER
 
MAURICE hands over replacement card
 
                      MAURICE
          That's valid for a month. I am
          going out on a limb a bit, helping
          out like this, you know. If you
          could let me know of any future
          developments, I'd be most grateful
          - it would help to keep me in the
          clear so to speak.
 
                      STUART
          Oh, OK - certainly.
 
                      MAURICE
          I'll call you so you have my
          number. I must get on.
 
Maurice packs up his paperwork and gets up to go.
 
                      STUART
          Thank you again. I'm most grateful.
 
MAURICE gives STUART a brief and moderately friendly smile,
shakes hands with him and leaves the flat.
 
STUART's mobile rings imediately
 
                      STUART
          Christ!
 
Stuart answers call wearily. 
 
                      STUART
                (into phone)
          Oh hi Mara.
 
MARA's voice is audible but only tone and intonation - not
words.
 
                      STUART
                (into phone)
          Well, not really - a bit of a weird
          one.
 
MARA's voice sounds worried,higher.
 
                      STUART
                (into phone)
          I seem to have lost my id -sorry,
          citizen - card that's all.
 
MARA's voice rises further.
 
                      STUART
                (into phone)
          You could be a bit more supportive.
          I'm having a few problems here.
 
MARA shouting urgent and angry questions
 
                      STUART
                (into phone)
          Anyway it's OK I think -I've got a
          temporary one.
 
Very sharp brief question from MARA
 
                      STUART
                (into phone)
          From the Chair of the Residents'
          Association, actually. Nice of him,
          really - never met him before.
 
String of sharp questions from MARA
 
                      STUART
                (into phone)
          Well - he knew I'd not got a card -
          I mean that I'd lost it. For some
          reason the barman reported me
          getting a drink on this woman's
          card.
 
Even sharper response from MARA
 
                      STUART
                (into phone)
          Just a stranger being helpful - I
          was feeling rather confused. I'd
          just got out of the police
          interview and I needed a drink I
          can tell you.
 
MARA now quite loud and the words "coming round" can be made
out.
 
                      STUART
                (into phone)
          OK Mara, OK - how long will you be?
 
MARA sharp question
 
                      STUART
                (into phone)
          No I'm not thinking of going
          anywhere.
 
MARA peremptory
 
                      STUART
                (into phone)
          No, I'll be here..
 
MARA hangs up. STUART looks at his mobile and sighs, there
is a message sound. Stuart looks and sees Maurice's number.
 
                      STUART
          How did that man know my number?
          This is giving me the creeps.
 
The door bell rings again.
 
                      STUART (CONT.)
          Not again! Who now?
 
He quickly crumples up the paper and chucks it in the bin.
He opens the door. A conservatively dressed, quietly
authoritative figure is standing there.
 
                      STUART
          Hello?
 
                      GLOVER
          Mr Gilmore - Stuart Gilmore? I am
          Assistant District Coordinator
          Glover of the Citizens' Support
          Service. Your Residents' Chair
          tells me that you are missing your
          Citizen Card.
 
                      STUART
          Yes, he's just issued me with a
          temporary one.
 
                      GLOVER
          May I see it?
 
                      STUART
          Of course.
 
He hands over the temporary card
 
                      GLOVER
          Yes that seems to be in order. Of
          course there are some limitations
          with a temporary card.
 
                      STUART
          Limitations?
 
                      GLOVER
          10 km  on travel and 350 Sterling
          Credits on purchases , I'm afraid.
 
                      STUART
          Heavens! How long will it be before
          my card comes through?
 
                      GLOVER
          Well, hard to know. Your records
          seem to have gone astray. We can't
          very well issue a new card to
          someone who doesn't exist, can we?
          Can you tell me how you came to
          lose the card?
 
                      STUART
                (lying)
          I'm afraid I don't remember
          exactly. I missed it when I was
          trying to cross the road outside
          the police station yesterday
          evening.
 
                      GLOVER
          Police station - ah, you mean the
          local Citizen Support Office.
 
                      STUART
          Oh yes, sorry - very old-fashioned
          of me.
 
                      GLOVER
          Well, it's easy to slip back into
          the old ways,isn't it? Let's hope
          your card doesn't fall into the
          wrong hands though. I'm told
          someone, technically illegally, let
          you buy a drink on her card. A
          friend?
 
                      STUART
                (adjusting the truth a
                 little)
          No, we  both hppened to be at the
          same crossing when I realized my
          card was missing and she helped me
          cross.
 
                      GLOVER
          Another one of those little
          regulation breaches. And after that
          she let you - a complete stranger -
          get a drink on her card?
 
                      STUART
          She was just being friendly.
 
                      GLOVER
          Are you still in contact with her?
 
                      STUART
          No. It was just one of those chance
          encounters.
 
                      GLOVER
          Apparently you had quite a
          onversation - what did you talk
          about?
 
                      STUART
          Just a casual chat with a chance
          acquaintance. Why the interest? Are 
          we in some kind of police state?
 
                      GLOVER
          Not an advisable way to speak of
          our People's Republic, even in
          jest. Your conversation may have
          seemed quite innocent to you but we
          believe this woman has links to a
          terrorist organization. Could you
          describe her?
 
                      STUART
          I don't remember her very well. Is
          it really necessary?
 
                      GLOVER
          If you don't mind.
 
                      STUART
          Oh well, I'll do my best. She
          looked very ordinary - a woman out
          shopping. Getting on a bit, maybe
          fifties, slightly overweight,
          ordinary raincoat, hair tinted -
          auburn, I think - big shopping
          bags.
 
                      GLOVER
          Remarkably unremarkable in fact.
          Voice?
 
                      STUART
          Er - actually very clear, educated,
          firm, confident.
 
                      GLOVER
          Somewhat unexpected, eh?  - though
          we shouldn't think in stereotypes,
          should we? Thank you.  It's not
          much but it confirms what little we
          know. 
 
Glover pauses deliberately, glances  around the flat and
looks back at Stuart.
 
                      GLOVER (CONT)
          You realize that your position here
          is a little uncertain.
 
                      STUART
          Sorry?
 
                      GLOVER
          Well, strictly speaking, without an
          official identity you don't have a
          right to this flat.
 
                      STUART
          What do you mean? I pay rent - I
          have a contract.
 
                      GLOVER
          There are plenty of families who
          would be delighted to have this
          kind of space. Let's hope your
          paperwork gets sorted out quickly -
          though I fear supporting documents
          and a formal interview may well be
          required. Can't have a worker's
          paradise without bureaucracy, now
          can you?
 
Glover chuckles, pauses and then leans forward meaningfully.
 
                      GLOVER
          It's important you let us know if
          your new friend gets in touch. If
          she does, I want you to go along
          with things and keep us informed.
 
                      STUART
          She's not my friend and I'm sure
          she won't- but what do you mean by
          'go along with things'?
 
                      GLOVER
          Do what she suggests and tell us as
          soon as possible. I will call you
          later from my personal number.
          Please use it if she contacts you.
 
                      STUART
          How do you know my number?
 
                      GLOVER
          That much is in our records I am
          happy to say.
 
He gets up and STUART escorts him to the door.
 
                      STUART
          So what will happen about my card?
 
                      GLOVER
          We'll be in touch - 'in due course'
          as they say.
 
GLOVER smiles at Stuart
 
                      GLOVER
          Take care, Stuart!
 
He gives STUART a direct look and gets up to leave. As
STUART is about to open the door for him, MARA arrives,
letting herself in with a key.
 
                      GLOVER
          Ah, this must be Mara. Delighted to
          meet you. Well, goodbye Stuart -
          for now at least.
 
He walks out and STUART closes the door.
 
                      MARA
          Who was that for heaven's sake? How
          did he know who I was?
 
                      STUART
          He seems to know an awful lot.
 
                      MARA
          But who is he? Why was he here?
 
                      STUART
          He said he was Assistant District
          Coordinator of something.
 
                      MARA
          What ? Assistant District
          Coordinator of what?
 
                      STUART
          City Support I think he said.
 
                      MARA
                (almost shrieking)
          Citizen Support? That was the
          Assistant District Coordinator of
          Citizen Support? You idiot, Stuart,
          what have you been doing?
 
                      STUART
          It's just about me losing my card -
          and they've lost my file
          apparently.
 
                      MARA
          It an't  be just about you losing
          your card - and they never lose
          people's files. It doesn't make
          sense. Who told you your file was
          lost - and when?
 
                      STUART
          The Commissioner - just now.
 
                      MARA
          There must be something else going
          on.
 
                      STUART
          Um - he did seem very interested in
          this woman I met -the one who used
          her card to get me a drink.
 
                      MARA
          Why would he be interested?
 
                      STUART
          Apparently she's known to security.
 
                      MARA
          What? Oh - you mean she's a
          suspected terrorist - you've been
          having a drink with a
          counter-revolutionary!
 
                      STUART
          She didn't seem anything like a
          terrorist to me.
 
                      MARA
          You're so naïve, Stuart. She
          wouldn't advertise the fact, would
          she? I suppose she was young and
          attractive with big doe eyes.
 
                      STUART
          Not at all - more like droop-eyed  
          -  typical middle-aged, worn-down
          housewife, shopping bag and all.
 
                      MARA
          So how did you get someone like
          that to get you a drink?
 
                      STUART
          I was trying to cross the road and
          she helped me out with her card.
 
                      MARA
          That's an offense too, I'm pretty
          sure. So you've lost your card,
          you've got yourself mixed up with a
          terrorist and now questioned by a
          very senior member of Party
          Security . I'm surprised they've
          let you have a temporary card, even
          if it is the kind they give to
          criminals just out of jail. That
          reminds me, what did the police
          want?
 
                      STUART
          Well, I couldn't believe it, but
          they wanted to talk to me about
          you, me and Hari.
 
                      MARA
          What? What on earth do you mean?
 
                      STUART
          They apparently thought I was
          encouraging you to be immoral - by
          being weak and unmanly.
 
                      MARA
          Oh come on. That's not funny. Why
          did they want to see you, really?
 
                      STUART
          Honestly, that was it - this
          policewoman said I was encouraging
          you to 'flit between partners'.
          That was the expression she used.
 
MARA stares at STUART in disbelief.
 
                      MARA
          You're saying citizen security, the
          police, questioned you about me and 
          Hari! Are you crazy?.
 
                      STUART
          Honestly Mara, I'm not making it
          up. It actually happened. I
          couldn't believe what that
          policewoman was saying to me and I
          told her so - but I was in a
          difficult position - they had CCTV
          footage of you and Hari going into
          his place. I couldn't deny that I
          was unhappy about it.
 
                      MARA
          Oh for fuck's sake Stuart! You 
          want me to believe Citizen Support
          spied on me and Hari and asked you
          to control me! This is madness -
          obsessive, possessive, delusional,
          and so reactionary! And now you're
          probably under investigation for
          links with a counter-revolutionary.
          What's the matter with you? See
          someone! Get help!  Sort out your
          life! You're frightening me. Start
          living in the real world!
 
MARA storms out of the flat
 
                      STUART
          Living in the real world would be
          good - if I knew how to get back
          there.
 
STUART stands, dazed, for a moment then his  phone buzzes in
his pocket. He takes it out.
 
                      STUART
          Assistant District Coordinator
          Glover!
 
 He pockets his phone again  but feels something there. His
hand comes out of pocket with the piece of paper with JJ's 
phone number. He stares at it.
 
                      STUART
                (to himself)
          Why not? I don't think I'm among
          friends somehow.
 
He takes out his mobile again and walks into the bathroom to
make the call. We hear him dialling and asking for 'JJ'.
 
A few minutes LATER Stuart comes out of the bathroom with
phone and paper, having finished the call.
 
                      STUART
          Not a terrorist - a therapist? 
          Probably just what I need, though. 
 
SC INT DAY A TEA/COFFEE CANTEEN
 
The canteen is very large and rather utiitarian; it is not
crowded. There is a counter with a manager behind it and
some other staff clearing tables et. MARA and HARI are
sitting at a secluded table opposite each other. MARA is
already speaking, quietly and intensely.
 
                       MARA
          ...and I just don't understand how
          he could have got himself into
          trouble with CS. He may have some
          odd ideas but he isn't really
          political and he just isn't the
          kind to get involved with the
          resistance.
 
                      HARI
          Stuart in league with terrorists?
          Doesn't sound very likely I agree -
          but you have to be so careful these
          days. We are very isolated in the
          world, the counter-revolutionary
          threat is growing and there are
          Party agents everywhere. You have
          to think of your own safety first,
          Mara.
 
                      MARA
          What - why?
 
                      HARI
          Stuart has become a danger to you.
          If he is arrested then you will be
          questioned too - you know the kind
          of thing. 'Did he ever express
          revisionist or reactionary ideas to
          you or in your hearing?'
 
Hari stops as a waiter comes by, appears to loiter near the 
table and slowly moves on.
 
                      HARI (CONT))
          Or ' Did he meet with so and so,
          who was discovered have possible
          links with terrorists 7 years ago?'
          If you say no, they suspect you of
          lying and if you say yes they want
          to know why you haven't reported
          it.
 
                      MARA
          But he's just a bit of an idiot
          ocasionally - nobody in their right
          mind would suspect him of being a
          terrorist.
 
Unseen by Mara or Hari, Maurie Webb enters the canteen, goes
up to the manager. They have a brief conversation and
Maurice sits at a table where he can see their table but not
be seen easily.
 
                      HARI
          Sure - but he has broken the law in
          the company of an enemy of the
          people and has mysteriously lost
          all evidence of his citizenship.
          Your association with him is known
          to Citizen Support. From what you
          say about his present state of
          mind, he is likely to do something
          else really stupid fairly soon.
 
                      MARA
          You make it all sound really
          sinister. All he's done is lose his
          card and accept some unfortunate
          help.
 
                      HARI
          Citizen Support will take a darker
          view. You must keep away - at least
          until it all dies down. All that
          stuff about being interviewed by
          the police, by local Citizen
          Support I mean - do you think he
          suffered an actual hallucination or
          was he inventing a story for you?
 
                      MARA
          He really seemed to believe it - he
          was accusing them of trying to
          bully him into reactionary and
          extremist sexist views and actions
          - he was apologizing for them.
 
                      HARI
          How transparent! Using  a state
          authority to excuse his deviant
          possessive jealousy. Do you think
          he might be violent?
 
                      MARA
          Oh no, I don't think so, not
          Stuart. He just seems rather
          confused, a bit lost - he was
          really hurt that we went off
          together.
 
                      HARI
          You sound as if you're beginning to
          feel sorry for him. He treated you
          disgracefully.
 
                      MARA
          But maybe I overreacted. You were
          the perfect citizen, giving me the
          support I needed without asking for
          anything in return - or at least
          without insisting on it - but I
          could have just waited for him to
          sober up and calm down. I'm afraid
          I've helped to get him into this
          state.
 
                      HARI
          You didn't make him lose his card
          or team up with a suspected
          terrorist! And of course you were
          right to leave him at the party -
          he has to learn that actions have
          consequences. Promise me you'll
          stay away - at least till he seems
          more stable and is no longer under
          investigation. You have to think of
          yourself, of your own safety.
          Please!
 
HARI lays his hand on hers. MARA quickly extricates her
hand.
 
                      MARA
          You're being very sweet about all
          this, Hari, but I know how to take
          care of myself. I'll get no closer
          than the end of a phone till he
          sorts himself out - and I'll make
          sure he does. I just hope he
          doesn't do anything to make Citizen
          Support even more suspicious.
          Anyway I must get back to work -
          all right for some who have only
          their publisher to worry about!
 
                      HARI
          I'll walk with you. I do have work
          to do too, you know.
 
They get up to leave.
 
SC.INT DAY THE THERAPIST'S OFFICE
 
STUART is sitting in a small consulting room opposite the
THERAPIST at a desk. There is a door behind the THERAPIST
and the entrance door behind STUART
 
                      THERAPIST
          So, Stuart, you arranged this
          appointment yourself. Why do you
          feel you need therapy?
 
                      STUART
          Well, I feel rather lost - as if
          I'm in a dream world.
 
                      THERAPIST
          And it was entirely your own
          decision to come here?
 
                      STUART
          Well, my girlfriend seemed to think
          I needed it..
 
                      THERAPIST
          Oh dear, that must have been
          upsetting for you. And who
          recommended this clinic?
 
                      STUART
                (remembering what to say)
          Joan Johnson - she spoke very
          highly of you.
 
                      THERAPIST
          Ah yes, dear Joan. Very well. I
          think we could come to an agreement
          about a few sessions. In which case
          there are some preliminaries. Would
          you go through the door behind me
          and fill in a brief form about your
          medical and family history, then
          come back so we can draw up a
          treatment program?
 
The THERAPIST gets up and opens the door behind him with a
key. STUART goes through and the therapist relocks the door
and then goes out of the other door, the entrance to the
office.
 
SC INT DAY INNER ROOM - THE RESISTANCE
 
A larger, library type room, with another door opening at
the far end. An older man, rather scruffy in an academic
way, is sitting in an armchair facing STUART as he comes in.
He gestures towards another chair. STUART sits. The stranger
hands a small plastic wallet to him. Stuart takes it and
examines it briefly.
 
                      STUART
          What is this? Who are you?
 
                      BARRY
          You can call me Barry, Barry Brown
          - BB eh? Friend of JJ's? In answer
          to your other question, that's your
          lost card.
 
                      STUART
          I don't understand. You can't have
          got hold of my card.
 
                      BARRY
          Of course not - but it will stand
          up to very close scrutiny  - unless
          you subject it to the precise
          frequency of radiation, when it
          will display our ghostly little
          emblem - in 3D I'm told. Quite high
          tech really.
 
                      STUART
          But the authorities, the police, I
          mean Citizen Support Services -
          they know I've lost it.
 
                      BARRY
          So phone them up and tell them you
          found it somewhere - in the lining
          of your coat for example. What can
          they do?
 
                      STUART
          It can't be as simple as that. Is
          it really good enough to fool them?
          And what's in it for you - what do
          you want from me - and how do you
          know you can trust me?
 
                      BARRY
          Well, as for trusting you, we have
          an insurance policy. What we want
          from you is quite simple. I
          understand you're an IT man and
          pretty good at it. Isn't that
          right?
 
                      STUART
          Possibly. Ok at it, anyway.
 
                      BARRY
          As you must be aware, all of us are
          under surveillance, but some of us
          are close to arrest and
          interrogation. The signals chatter
          from the surveillance and security
          services would be an important clue
          as to who's most at risk. You could
          help us by keeping track of this.
 
                      STUART
          You want me to hack into the
          security services system and make
          reports to you? You're out of your
          mind.
 
                      BARRY
          None of us is safe these days. Any
          'incorrect' behavior or opinions,
          can lead to arrest and
          interrogation - even disappearance.
          Keeping company with people who are
          on record, rightly or wrongly, as
          critical of the Party, failing to
          follow correct bureaucratic
          procedure, belonging to a suspect
          social or racial group - any of
          these things can be enough. You
          yourself are in a perilous
          position. The fact that you have no
          card - that you didn't immediately
          report it lost - and now apparently
          have no official history - would be
          enough, even without your link to
          JJ and your girlfriend's doubts
          about you. Finding your card could
          substantially lessen official
          interest in you.
 
                      STUART
          There's also my lost file.
 
                      BARRY
          Well, it may not really be lost -
          more deliberately mislaid as a
          security services method of
          exerting pressure on you. We might
          be able to find out - we have some
          inside contacts - even arrange for
          it to be 'found'. No promises,
          though.
 
                      STUART
          I still think you're taking a
          terrible risk trying to recruit
          someone you know almost nothing
          about.
 
                      BARRY
          We do know a bit about you and I
          think you're exaggerating the risk;
          our little logo is our insurance.
          Just tip off  CS the frequency and
          you would be found in possession of
          a card forged by a terrorist
          organization.
 
                      STUART
          In that case I think I'll hand it
          straight back thank you and take my
          chances with Citizen Support - less
          of a risk.
 
STUART starts to hand back the plastic walle. Barry 
 
                      BARRY
          You can do that and you'll never
          see us or hear from us again - but
          we assume that Support are
          intending to use the loss of your
          card and mysteriously missing file
          to pressure you into becoming an
          informer, a Party Eye. If you find
          your card, chances are they'll drop
          that idea and miraculously locate
          your file - and we're not asking
          you to do very much really.
 
                      STUART
          What exactly would you be asking me
          to do?
 
                      BARRY
          We have a current top level login
          for the Citizen Support internal IT
          system. We want you to log in from
          time to time. An important mailing
          goes round every week with lists of
          names. Obviously you'd have to
          cover your tracks very carefully,
          digitally and physically.
 
                      STUART
          Why can't you get into the system
          without me?
 
                      BARRY
          We think you'll be safer. You know
          what you're doing and the fairly
          large size of your organisation
          would make it harder for CS to
          identify you as the source. Also of
          course if they did trace it to you
          or your office it wouldn't
          compromise our people.
 
                      STUART
          How reassuring for me! Do you
          really know enough about the system
          for me to get access undetected?
 
                      BARRY
          Well that's partly up to you,
          though our insider has a good
          knowledge of the setup and would
          brief you - and you would anyway be
          signing in as a high level user.
          Noone else will be using those
          credentials.
 
(PAUSE)Stuart is deep in thought.
 
                      STUART
          Say I agree - where do I get the
          sign in details? And how do I pass
          any information on - assuming I get
          into the system undetected and 
          actually find anything?
 
                      BARRY
          Your therapist will give you a
          handout with a list of mental
          health organisations at the end of
          the session. He will recommend one.
          It will lead, eventually, to
          contact details - if you mention
          BB.
 
BARRY leans forward and fixes STUART with a penetrating
stare.
 
                      BARRY
          Call CS  and say you've found the
          card! Will you help us?
 
LONG PAUSE as STUART struggles to decide what to do.
 
                      STUART
                (muttering to himself)
          Does it really matter? It's all a
          nightmare anyway.
 
STUART gives a faint nod.
 
                      BARRY
          Good man! Go back through now. Take
          the form with you.
 
BARRY gets up and unlocks the door Stuart came through.
STUART leaves.
 
Sc. INT. Day The same canteen. 
 
HARI is sitting at a table, waiting. Glover enters the
canteen, nods to the manager, looks around, sees Hari, comes
over and sits down.
 
                      GLOVER
          Thank you, Hari, for agreeing to
          this meeting. I am personally an
          admirer of your work and I think I
          can say that the Party is very
          happy with your writing and its
          unifying message. Literature is of
          great value in society, don't you
          agree?
 
                      HARI
          Well of course, and I am extremely
          conscious of the privileges I enjoy
          as a writer recognized by the
          Party.
 
A deferential waiter brings a coffee to Glover. 
 
                      GLOVER
          Thank you. We always show our
          appreciation of serious, honest
          work. Anyway, I asked for this
          meeting because there is some
          conern about the status of an
          acquaintance of yours - or is he a
          friend? - Stuart Gilmore, an IT
          specialist.
 
                      HARI
          Oh dear - what seems to be the
          problem? I mainly know him through
          his girlfriend Mara.
 
                      GLOVER
          Oh yes, a nice girl and we think a
          good citizen. Well, the problem is
          that we can't quite work out how
          safe a citizen Stuart is. As an IT
          specialist he has access to some
          sensitive information. He is in
          contact with a woman we now know
          has links to
          counter-revolutionaries.
 
GLOVER pauses to drink his coffee.
 
                      GLOVER (CONT) 
          We worry about his mysteriously
          lost and found card - forged
          citizen cards are a major problem
          for us. Is he completely sound, do
          you think?
 
                      HARI
          I think so.
 
                      GLOVER
          You think so? You're unsure of him?
 
                      HARI
          Not really, but I've never spoken
          to him about his political beliefs.
 
                      GLOVER
          So you couldn't personally vouch
          for him?
 
                      HARI
          Well I suppose not 'vouch for him',
          no.
 
                      GLOVER
                (coldly)
          You realize of course that you have
          a duty to inform us if you have
          reason to believe he might be  a
          security risk. Concealing such
          information would be aiding an
          enemy of the revolution. I ask you
          - is there anything you have
          neglected to mention concerning
          Stuart?
 
                      HARI
                (after some hesitation)
          Well perhaps he doesn't seem
          entirely stable at the moment.
 
                      GLOVER
          Not stable?
 
                      HARI
          He appears to think the police -
          that is Citizen Support Security -
          have been pressuring him to assert
          some kind of male dominance over
          poor Mara.
 
                      GLOVER
          Good heavens, our own CSS! So he's
          blaming the Support Service for his
          own primitive ideas of sexual
          ownership - is that what you're
          saying?
 
                      HARI
          Er - well - I suppose that is what
          it amounts to - yes. He has become
          obsessively jealous and this tale
          of the police is obviously a
          fabrication - or a delusion - but I
          hope it's just a temporary problem.
 
                      GLOVER
          This could make him vulnerable to
          approaches from reactionary,
          subversive elements. After all,
          this bizarre delusion sounds like a
          desire to return to a 
          pre-revolutionary hierarchy.
          Worrying that he seems to be in
          contact with
          counter-revolutionaries at such a
          difficult time for him.
 
                      HARI
          Yes, I suppose that is all rather
          worrying.
 
                      GLOVER
          So you agree that he could pose a
          threat to security?
 
Glover looks straight at Hari. Hari hesitates, clearly
uncomfortable, but gives in.
 
                      HARI
          Yes, I agree.
 
                      GLOVER
          Thank you for being such a model
          citizen. It's reassuring to know
          our artist comrades are good
          friends of the revolution at heart.
          Anyway I must be getting to my
          meeting. I've made a mental note of
          our conversation. Don't worry
          Stuart with any of this - we'll
          look after everything. And thank
          you for the coffee.
 
GLOVER gets up, leans across the table and shakes hands with
HARI, doesn't smile, turns and goes.
 
                      HARI
          Not at all.
 
As Glover goes out much obsequious respect is shown by the
manager behind the counter. HARI stays, sitting alone at the
table.
 
SCENE INT DAY AT WORK THE IT OFFICE
 
Joseph is sitting at a terminal, checking something. Stuart
is standing near the door, not dong anything, restless.
 
                      STUART
          I think I'll go and check on the
          work stations on the first floor.
 
                      JOSEPH
          You can do that remotely from here.
 
                      STUART
          No, some of them were reporting
          mechanical problems - keys sticking
          and such.
 
                      JOSEPH
          First I've heard of it -though it
          wouldn't be a surprise considering
          their crap build. You've done a lot
          of walkabouts there  recently - is
          there someone special on the first
          floor?
 
                      STUART
          Ha ha! Would I be confiding in you
          if there were?
 
                      JOSEPH
          I am deeply hurt. OK, off you go
          but be careful. You know what they
          say about fouling your nest.
 
                      STUART
          Thanks for the fatherly advice.
 
Stuart leaves. Joseph looks a little puzzled, worried.
 
SC INT DAY A WORK CORRIDOR 
 
Stuart is walking along a long  corridor with office doors
on either side. Stuart slows down and listens outside a door
marked '207, Sarah Lakin, Finance officer'. Another door
opens along the corridor and a woman walks towards Stuart.
Stuart knocks at the door he is outside.  The woman nods to
him as she passes.
 
                      STUART
          Hi!  Do you know if Sarah Lakin is
          in today?
 
                      WOMAN
          Haven't seen her. If she's not
          answering I'd say not. Oh, no -
          I've just remembered - she's at a
          Citizens' Awareness conference.
          Don't tell me there are more
          problems with the system!
 
                      STUART
          Just something with her hardware -
          keyboard maybe.
 
                      WOMAN
          Oh thank goodness. Good luck with
          it.
 
                      STUART
          Thanks.
 
The woman goes on down the corridor and Stuart goes into
Sarah Lakin's office. 
 
SC INT DAY  UNDER COVER IN ANOTHER OFFICE
 
SERIES OF SHOTS
 
Inside the office STUART is at a computer, his fingers
flying over the keyboard. He looks nervously at the door to
the corridor from time to time. It is closed. A close-up of
the screen in front of him shows this message
 
'The selected volume is level 1 restricted. Accessing it
remotely may compromise security. To continue re-enter your
staff id and password.'
 
There is a beep. STUART enters an id and a series of numbers
as the password. Another message appears on screen.
 
'Access code?'
 
Stuart enters another code.
 
                      STUART
          I'm in.
 
The large screen clears and shows a series of options
including 'Weekly briefing' and a date. Stuart selects this.
The screen displays a list of names and levels of
surveillance.
 
                      STUART
          Those are the surveillance
          briefings.
 
STUART starts to write down the names on paper. The door
suddenly opens. A tough looking man, with a  citizen
peacekeeper badge,  a woman soldier with an automatic weapon
burst in. Behind them can be seen the WORKS COORDINATOR
hovering in the corridor. STUART desperately starts trying
to dispose of the paper and close the computer down but is
knocked to the floor by the butt of the soldier's weapon
before he can do anyt5hing.
 
                      CITIZEN PEACEKEEPER
          We have evidence that you are
          plotting a criminal, terrorist act
          against the citizens and their
          representatives. For the protection
          of your fellow workers and the
          people, you will accompany us to a
          place of detention pending
          preliminary examination by a
          magistrate.
 
CITIZEN PEACEKEEPER takes out a small camera and photographs
the screens. The soldier places a canvas hood over a
terrified STUART. He is led away at gunpoint into the
corridor. JOSEPH watches from a safe distance down the
corridor.
 
SC INT NIGHT INTERROGATION ROOM
 
A windowless office and desks, chairs. Stuart is standing,
still hooded, in front of one desk, a uniformed guard at his
side. Glover comes in quietly.
 
                      GLOVER
          You can take the hood off him. I
          don't know why we do this really
          since everybody knows where we are
          - disorientation I suppose.
 
The guard removes the hood. STUART stands blinking in the
light
 
                      GLOVER
                (to the guard)
          Thank you, comrade. Could you wait
          outside in case I need you -
          shouldn't be long.
 
The guard nods and leaves.
 
                      GLOVER
          Stuart, despite my feeling that you
          cut a rather ridiculous figure as a
          terrorist spy, I have to take you
          seiously. We are facing both
          internal and external threats after
          all and you have been caught
          red-handed stealing classified
          material. Perhaps you would be so
          good as to explain how you were
          recruited and what you thought you
          were doing.
 
                      STUART
                (terrified and adlibbing
                 lamely)
          I didn't really know what I was
          looking at or how I got into that
          page. I was just worried that I was
          under suspicion because of that
          lost pass so...
 
                      GLOVER
          So you accidentally logged on to a
          top secret server without
          triggering any security alerts and
          chanced upon surveillance data only
          available to top  echelon service
          officers. Don't waste my time  -
          re-education is a painful process
          and leaves the citizen permanently
          altered, - which is its main
          purpose I suppose. We know where
          you got the card, which would have
          given you away eventually anyway,
          and I assume your activities were a
          quid pro quo.
 
                      STUART
          Sorry?
 
                      GLOVER
          No Latin? An exchange, favour for a
          favour. Never mind. I have my own
          proposal, one I rather think you
          will want to accept. This way you
          could leave here a free man, well,
          relatively, go back to work, behave
          as if nothing has happened and even
          continue with your espionage
          efforts. You won't have to report
          back to us - but you mustn't let
          your 'friends' know that we know
          that they know what you know - I do
          hate the way this business has me
          saying such absurd things. I see
          from your puzzled expression that
          you're wondering how we can enforce
          such a deal and that's where modern
          technology is  so useful - a little
          implant that will monitor your
          activities. Of course this is
          invasive and therefore entirely
          voluntary, though the alternative
          is re-education, I'm afraid -
          probably not worth considering.
 
                      STUART
          So I have no choice.
 
                      GLOVER
          Quite. We will be aware of all your
          communications with your friends
          and I must warn you that the device
          has electrodes close to the heart,
          rather like a pacemaker, and it can
          be made to provide er - a
          sufficient charge. Avoid doing
          anything that might make us
          suspicious. I'm glad to say that I
          have never had to use that
          function.
 
STUART is too stunned to respond.
 
                      GLOVER
          Stuart, I don't know how you got
          mixed up in all this - as I said
          before you don't seem very
          convincing in the role of either
          counter-revolutionary or spy - but
          in the end I'm afraid I can't worry
          my head about that. We may meet
          again but, for now, goodbye.
 
GLOVER presses a button. The GUARD comes in and STUART is
escorted from the room.
 
SC THE OPERATION
 
A small operating theatre. A bored looking surgeon and a
nurse. Stuart is on the operating table under local
anaesthetic looking frightned and woozy. The surgeon makes
an incision in Stuart's chest. The nurse is holding a small
device with a thin wire attached, ready for insertion.
 
                      SURGEON
          I think that's deep enough. You may
          feel a tugging sensation now.
          That's perfectly normal.
 
The surgeon inserts a clamp into the incision.
 
                      SURGEON
          Nurse, could you place the implant
          on the lip of the incision.
 
The nurse places the implant on Stuart's chest and the
surgeon inserts it manually.
 
                      SURGEON
          There. Nurse, please check the
          signal.
 
The nurse crosses to a computer screen. She nods to the
surgeon.
 
                      SURGEON
          Now a small charge - just 200 volts
          should be enough I think.
 
The nurse adjusts something and presses a button. Stuart's
back arches as he spasms.
 
                      SURGEON (CONT.)
          Good. Then I can close.
 
The surgeon begins to close up the incision. The nurse
cleans around the wound. Stuart lies shoked and inert but
conscious..
 
SC INT DAY RELEASE
 
A small treatment room with medical equipment. STUART is
sitting up on the couch with his chest bare. A nurse is just
finishing off attaching a dressing to the partly healed
incision on his chest. A guard is standing near the door.
 
                      NURSE
          No showers for a couple of days,
          comrade. In 48 hours change the
          dressing for one of the waterproof
          adhesive ones I will give you.
          After that you can shower and bathe
          normally. Take the antibiotics
          twice a day for five days.
 
She o~ist world to normal
 
STUART walks along the corridor, watched casually by the
GUARD, presses the first button, goes through the first door
into a brightly lit vestibule. The light grows blinding and
for a moment the screen is frozen. In the dazzling light
STUART gropes for the second release, the door opens and he
exits, still half blinded by the brightness. The door clicks
shut behind him.
 
SC EXT DAY
 
STUART stands dazzled on the pavement of the usual busy city
street. After a few moments he starts to walk up to a
crossing. Waiting at the lights, he searches in his pocket
for something but can't find it.
 
                      STUART
                (to himself, muttering)
          What's the point of letting me out
          if they've taken my party card? And
          where are the meds?
 
He notices something about the panel on the pedestrian
crossing and examines it more closely.
 
                      STUART
          It's got no card reader.
 
The lights change and the familiar green symbol of a
pedestrian appears with a countdown.
 
                      STUART
          It's a normal crossing! 
 
STUART crosses the road. His phone goes. He manages to
answer while reaching the kerb and continues to walk slowly.
 
                      STUART
                (Into phone)
          Oh hi, Mum. How are you feeling?
                (Listens)
          Oh, that's very good news! 
          Completely clear? I wasn't sure
          they were going to do that scan
                (listens)
          I thought they might be worried
          about the cost. 
                (listens)
          No, I know it's the NHS.
                (listens)
          Already?
                (listens)
          No, no, I'm really pleased. I'll
          come and pick you up in a taxi. I'm
          just on my way home now.
                (listens)
          Oh OK, but are you sure you want to
          go by ambulance?
                (listens)
          OK, I won't fuss if you insist.
                (listens)
          Yes mum, OK, OK, I'm sure you are.
          I'll come and see you tomorrow
          then, when you're settled back in.
                (listens)
          Well don't overdo it. Call me when
          you're home. Bye.
 
He pockets phone and looks around to check where he is. The
High Street is busy with the usual traffic and pedestrians
 
                      STUART
                (to himself)
          She sounded back to normal. What
          about the rest of the world? -
          looks OK!
 
SC INT DAY STUART'S FLAT.
 
STUART's flat. It looks brighter and smarter - the lighting
is warmer.
 
Series of shots.
 
 Stuart is lifting his shirt to examine his chest in the
mirror. Clearly puzzled he takes off his shirt to get a
better look. There is no dressing or incision scar. He
fingers the spot where the dressing used to be. He checks
his pockets again for the medical supplies. At that moment
there is the sound of a key in the lock. He turns towards
the door and MARA is standing there. She looks at the
bare-chested STUART.
 
                      MARA
          Sunbathing?
 
                      STUART
          What? Oh no, just checking a mark
          on my chest.
 
                      MARA
          Looks OK to me.
 
                      STUART
          Yes, must have been imagining it.
          Are you coming in?
 
                      MARA
          I didn't just come to peek at your
          chest and then go. So yes, if I am
          invited.
 
                      STUART
          Of course, sorry. Come in.
 
MARA comes in. STUART looks uncertain how to behave. He
starts forward as if to kiss her and hesitates. MARA puts
her arms around his neck and kisses him with determination.
She releases him.
 
                      STUART
          So you're not still mad at me?
 
                      MARA
          I thought we were over all that.
          You were obnoxious drunk and my
          reaction was a bit primitive too.
 
                      STUART
          You had every right to be angry.
 
                      MARA
          Seriously - let's forget it!
 
                      STUART
          Drink?
 
                      MARA
          Just the thing.
 
STUART goes to the fridge and gets out a bottle of beer that
he examines carefully. It clearly isn't Citizen's Best
Bitter.
 
                      STUART
          Beer? Only one here I'm afraid.
 
                      MARA
          Fine. Let's share the bottle.
 
STUART brings the bottle over and they sit down together on
the sofa. Stuart opens it.
 
                      STUART
          What shall we drink to?
 
                      MARA
          How about 'Getting back to normal'?
 
                      STUART
                (does a double take)
          Yup. I'll drink to that. Getting
          back to normal.
 
He raises the bottle and drinks.
 
                      MARA
          What?
 
                      STUART
          Never mind. Your turn.
 
MARA takes the bottle, has a swig and then tips it up for
STUART to drink from, while still holding it. He drinks and
she then takes the bottle away from him and kisses him. She
puts the bottle down on the floor and swings her legs up
onto the sofa. Things progress a bit.
 
                      STUART
          Are you staying the night?
 
                      MARA
          I brought my pajamas!
 
FADE OUT as both become fully involved with each other.
 
THE END