Monday, 17 December 2012

It's Not My Funeral


NORMAL OPENING
TITLE comes up: Rest In Pieces
Camera pans into bedroom
Number Six, eyes moving under closed lids.
Wakes with start

No6: Dream. Just a dream.
 
Camera draws out – into Living Space of Number Two. He is blond, wearing beatnik spectacles.

No2: Sleep no more Number Six. Your past is about to catch up with you.

Scene: Early morning in the village.
Groups of villagers clustered nearby the Tally-Ho printing press.
No6 is taking his early morning Constitutional. He notices crowds and looks puzzled.

Village Speakers blare out: Not such a good morning today. Such terrible news for all of us. Our legendary old No2 has died. Such a man as he comes but rarely and our thoughts must be with him this day. Tally-Ho has the full details and full information about how you can attend the coming memorials.

The speaker continues in it’s normal mundane way to announce the weather etc. No6’s face tightens with curiosity and he heads towards the Printing Press.

Paper-seller: 3 Units today – Special Edition
No6: My credit is as endless the News
Paper-seller tears off sheet: Sad news today No6
No6(sardonically): That’s hardly news in this place

No6 steps aside… POV Tally-Ho.
We see large photo of an elderly man wearing the badge of a No2.
 Headline: Village in Mourning.

We can read: For almost 30 years, No2 was the ubiquitous and distinctive face of the village. His trademark mixture of gurning and garrulity, inspired an entirely new genre of authority - what one observer called the “attention-seeking, nutty-prankster school” - but the old No2 also saw himself in a more serious role as the King Solomon, dispensing words of wisdom and advice to young villagers. “I never forgot they were the villagers and I was just No2,” he explained. Although he shrank from overexposure, the old No2 long established himself as the face of the village - nothing quite like him had been seen in the village. No2’s arsenal of sartorial and verbal oddities was also vividly deployed when he presented No2 Makes Dreams Come True, which ran on village screens for 20 years, and in which he played the role of benevolent uncle, granting wishes to the village’s children. No2’s ability to make dreams come true made him a powerful and mysterious figure


 The print then becomes too small for us to read, but No6 crumples the paper into a ball and drops it into a village dustbin – muttering to himself.

No6: Not enough to have living No2’s; now we have to hear about dead ones? Face of the village? Never seen his face before. 


No6 stops a moment, mid-stride

No6: Children? What children? We are the only children in this place. And nobody is going to make my dream come true in this place. Only out of it………

A woman’s voice is heard, and camera pulls back to reveal No14

No14: It is sad isn’t it No6. But you should not grieve alone. Let’s talk about him
No6 startled: Who? What?
No14: We will all miss him, but you should keep the souvenir edition, not throw it away. One day the pain will ease, and then you will be glad of the memories
No6 (realising she is referring to the screwed-up newspaper): I’ve never heard of him before
No14: You’re new here of course. He was one of the greatest No2’s of all
No6: You remember him?
No14(smiling): He once made my childish dream come true!!
No6(growls): How come you’re still here then?
No14(baffled): I don’t understand
No6(making the hand signal and moving away): Be seeing you

Scene: Living Space. Number 2 watching a disappointed No14

No2(scowling): That’s it No6. Only interested in your own dreams. No thought of the community.
No2(stabbing button on his console): Supervisor!
Suopervisor’s voice: Sir?
No2: Is the Obituary ready for broadcast?
Supervisor: On schedule for this evening as arranged sir
No2: Good – Erm – Supervisor?
Supervisor: Sir?
No2: No6’s monitor is in full interactive mode?
Supervisor: No off-switch operability?
No2 (grins): Exactly. He’ll mourn - whether he wants to or not.

Smiling beatifically behind his specs, he turns to see the butler carrying tea.

No2: He has no sense of sentiment!! No warmth!! He’ll have to be taught to feel better!!

Butler looks blankly at his master, and makes no expression

 Scene: Evening has come. No6 is in his cottage. Walks towards door as if to open it. It does not operate. He slaps the wood. Goes to window, fiddles with sashes but nothing will open. POV goes from his eyes up through the village scene of quiet to the moon in the sky. Suddenly the quiet of his cottage is broken by music from the TV. No6 turns abruptly, scowling. Tries to turn the machine off. It will not stop. He hits it, but then suddenly his curiosity is aroused.

TV: The old No2’s ability to make dreams come true made him a powerful and mysterious figure. At the height of the programme’s popularity, children would write in, asking No2 to “fix it” for them to sing with their favourite pop group, meet No1 or take part in the Olympics .

No6(to himself): Meet No1!?
 
No6 sits downs and pays attention the screen. The sound and the pictures merge into swirling patterns. No6 is evidently becoming hypnotised by the TV. His face becomes blanker, his eyes wider. POV changes to Living Space. No2 is grinning amiably.

No2: Feel your way in No6, feel your way in. It’s nice isn’t it? Sorrow, warmth, regret. Soon you’ll be desperate to share with us – tell us how you feel. Tell us what you know.

POV pans towards TV, from behind No6, pans around his shoulder to show us his face. Tears glisten wetly on his upper cheeks, his mouth drooping in grief. He rubs at his nose with the back of his hand, sniffing, and plunges his face into his hands, his shoulders shaking as he sobs.

NEW MORNING

Village Speakers: Another beautiful day, but one tinged with sweet sorrow as today is the day we lay our greatest No2 to rest. But we shall not waste the day in sorrow; let us instead celebrate the LIFE!!

LOUD MUSIC – the band is parading. Villagers in columns behind, carrying flowers as they move their umbrellas up and down.

No6 emerges from his cottage, and makes his way across the village to join the throng. Some smile and touch his arm, he is friendly and puts a hand on an occasional shoulder, in expressions of comfort. No14 finds him. They stay within the parade as they talk

No14: It’s so good that you share No6. Your sadness is our sadness and a problem shared is a problem taken away.
No6: Thank you. It must have been your words that changed me. I feel quite different to yesterday.
No14(smiling prettily): It makes me feel good to know that you feel good No6
No6 (smiling beatifically back at her): Your pleasure is my pleasure my dear
No14 (looking very content): It’s good that we lay the old No2 to rest with a celebration of his life
No6: I agree, even though I do not remember him
No14: Rely on me No6; he was a great man, a great and wonderful human being
No6: May he rest in peace
No14: All men and women would say Amen to that No6
No6: Was he a religious man?
No14(puzzled frown flicks over her face): Erm…… I forget……
No6: A good man though?
No14 (relieved and confident again) Truly good. He could make dreams come true
No6 (looking slightly puzzled now): Even meeting No1?!
No14 (looking evasive): I think for children, even that!
No6: I never see any children
No14: But you believe in them. You must believe in the children?
No6 (voice fading as if in doubt): I must believe, mustn’t I; it’s the only decent thing to do.

Scenes of funeral proceedings

The new No2 is addressing the happy mourners:………. he worked as a volunteer porter at the Old Folks Home, and enjoyed a particularly close relationship with the hospital raising many Charity Credits to contribute to the rebuilding of the hospital’s Spinal Injuries Centre, which opened some time ago. He also worked as a volunteer at the hospital for the criminally insane, where he was given his own room, and referred to the staff and patients at the hospital as “my people” and himself as “the Godfather”……

No6(in the crowd -slightly incredulous): Godfather?
No14(fawningly): No2 always said goodness was next to Godliness
No6(begins to frown): My godfathers………

The new No2 is still speechifying: ………… he claimed to have thousands of acquaintances, yet seemed to have few close friends. Away from public view, he could be prickly, impatient with journalists who attempted to get too close or pried too deeply into his affairs. He was a man who distrusted displays of emotion, and eschewed introspection or self-analysis, which he regarded as soft. A man who divided opinion ….. bit no longer are we divided! Three cheers for No2!!  Hipp Hip!!

As the crowd is shouting Hooray, the coffin is lowered……..

No14: Such a good man
No6: Is there any such thing as a good man?
No14(shocked): No6! You are a good man are you not?
No6(hypnosis clearly wearing off): Am I? How can I know?By listening to what others say about me?
No14(reaching for, and holding his arm): I feel you are a good man
No 6(glances at her arm and then her face, speaks coldly): How can you think you know me?
No14(drops his arm as if hot): In the midst of grief there is goodness…….
No6: Keep your grief for someone you care about.

No6 stalks off from the back of the crowd, back towards the village buildings. 
No2 sees his from his rostrum and his voice falters as he recognises the outsider leaving.

No2: A man who divided opinion without ever appearing to care much what anyone thought of him, he was simply an odd chap…….

Village Crowd(lifting umbrellas and throwing flowers at the grave as they march past): May he rest in pace!!  Rest in peace!!

END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO

Living Space. No2 and No14 are being served by the Butler.

No2: It didn’t last long did it
No14: Over 12 hours
No2: Most of that time he was asleep. Difficult to get much out of a sleeping man, as we’ve already discovered.
No14: At least we know now that it works, if only for a short time
No2: The only reason he even looked at the screen was because he thought about meeting No1. He’s a man obsessed. that’s not going to work a second time is it……
No14: It’s all we have to work with
No2(rattling tea-cups): It’s not enough……
No14: The second phase will work better. Hate is a closer emotion to him than….. (she hesitates)….. than Love.
No2 (laughing out loud): Love? He doesn’t know the meaning of the word!! (laughing louder)
No14(quietly): He’s good at hating though….. (grimaces balefully)

The Butler is clearing up the tea things

No6 Cottage. He is inside, sitting in his bed, glancing at another copy of the Tally-Ho souvenir edition. 
He reads out loud.

No6: His public persona was his best camouflage. Long after his village fame had waned, the old No2 continued to give the impression of being instantly animated by the spotlight, no matter how dim it may have become, a man who regarded it as his duty to brighten everybody’s day, collaring passers-by to whom he was at best a distant memory and regaling them with his jokes and catchphrases, making a beeline for anybody in a wheelchair…….  Well, nobody is all bad are they…. I suppose

No 6 smiles inanely, as if at the room then folds the paper and lays it on the bedside table as he goes under the sheets, to fall asleep

Scene: Early morning in the village.
Groups of villagers clustered nearby the Tall-Ho printing press.
No6 taking his early morning Constitutional. Notices crowds, looks puzzled.

Village Speakers blare out: Not such a good morning today. Such terrible news for all of us. Such a man as he comes but rarely and our thoughts must be with his victims this day. Tally-Ho has the full details and full information about how you can attend the coming Hearings.

The speaker continues in it’s normal mundane way to announce the weather etc. No6’s face tightens with curiosity and he heads towards the Printing Press.

Paper-seller: 3 Units today – Special Edition
No6: My credit is as endless the News
Paper-seller(tears off sheet): Sad news today No6
No6(sardonically): That’s hardly news in this place

No6 steps aside… POV Tally-Ho.
We see large photo of the elderly man.
He is dressed badly and his teeth look rotten and his skin mottled

Headline: Village in Shock.

We can read: For almost 30 years, No2 was the ubiquitous and distinctive face of the village. His trademark mixture of gurning and garrulity, inspired an entire generation - what one observer called the “attention-seeking, nutty-prankster school” - but the old No2 has now been revealed in a more serious role as the King of Sodom, dispensing words of abuse and nastiness to young villagers. “I never forgot  that I was No2 and they were just villagers,” he said when in private. Although he shrank from any exposure, the old No2 long established himself as the face of the village - nothing quite like him had been seen in the village. No2’s arsenal of sartorial and verbal bombast was also vividly deployed when he presented No2 Makes Dreams Come True, which ran on village screens for 20 years, and in which he played the role of a seedy uncle, striking fear into the hearts of the village’s children. No2’s ability to make a nightmare come true for the village, grew from his power and his mystery

The print then becomes too small for us to read, but No6 crumples the paper into a ball and drops it into a village dustbin – muttering to himself.

No6: Not enough to have dead No2’s; now we have to hear about undead ones? Face of the village? Two faces, like everyone in this place.

No6 stops a moment, mid-stride

No6: Children? What children? We are the only children in this place. And this place is the nightmare. Not anything outside of it………

A woman’s voice is heard, and camera pulls back to reveal No14

No14: It is tragic isn’t it No6. But you should not grieve alone. Let’s talk about the victims
No6(startled): Who? What?
No14: He is dead, but you should keep the souvenir edition, not throw it away. The pain will never ease, and then you will be glad of the facts about the evil of the old No2.
No6(realising she is referring to the screwed-up newspaper): I’d never heard of him until a couple of days ago!!
No14: You’re new here of course. We thought he was one of the greatest, but now we know he was the worst, No2 of all
No6: Is there a difference? He was just a man

The pair walk through crowds of people gesticulating at copies of the newspapers

No6: You remember him?
No14: He once (she hesitates, choking on her words) He once….. ruined my childish dreams
No6 (growls): How come you liked him so much yesterday then?
No14(baffled): I don’t understand. Am I to blame for being taken in by him?
No6(makes a perfunctory hand signal and moves away): Be seeing you

Scene: Living Space. Number 2 watching a disappointed No14

No2(scowling): That’s it No6. Only interested in your own evils. No thought of the community.

Doors swish open and No14 enters

No14: I knew the news would not be enough. We must have more than that to persuade him
No2 (stabbing button on his console): Control!
Suopervisor’s voice: Sir?
No2: Is the Revelatory Exposure ready for broadcast?
Supervisor: On schedule for this evening as arranged sir
No2: Good – Erm – Supervisor?
Supervisor: Sir?
No2: Monitor No6 to be in full communication mode please
Supervisor: No off  operability?
No2 (grins): Exactly. He’a good at hating – but this time it will be what we want him to hate!!

Smiling beatifically behind his specs, he turns to see the butler carrying tea.

No2: He has no sense of shared sentiment!! No warmth towards the suffering of others!! He’ll have to be taught to feel bitter on behalf of the rest of us!!  Not just Himself!!
 
Turns to concentrate on the big screen of No6 walking through woodland, alone
Butler looks blankly at his master, and makes no reply

No14(mutters to herself as she sips tea): Himself is what makes his strength

Scene: Evening has come. No6 is in his cottage. Walks towards door as if to open it. It does not operate. He slaps the wood. Goes to window, fiddles with sashes but nothing will open. POV goes from his eyes up through the village scene of quiet to the moon in the sky. Suddenly the quiet of his cottage is broken by music from the TV. No6 turns abruptly, scowling. Tries to turn the machine off. It will not stop. He hits it, but then suddenly his curiosity is aroused.

TV: The old No2’s ability to make dreams come true made him a powerful and mysterious figure. At the height of the programme’s popularity, children would write in, but how could they know that his only purpose was to hurt them and carry out his foul and depraved crimes upon them!! Even No1 could not have known the scale of this man’s evil deceits!!  Shortly, No1 will be making a statement to us all – to explain how these crimes have finally be discovered and how lessons have been learned and these mistakes can never happen again!!  But first, we must steel ourselves to look closely at the wickedness of the old No2!!

No6: Statement? ………. By No1!?

No6 sits downs and pays attention the screen. The sound and the pictures merge into swirling patterns. No6 is evidently becoming hypnotised by the TV. His face becomes blanker, his eyes wider. POV changes to Living Space. No2 is grinning amiably.

No2: Feel your way in No6, feel your way in. It’s nice isn’t it? Hate, Disgust, Righteous Anger!!. Soon you’ll be desperate to share with us – tell us how you feel. Tell us what you know. Tell us EVERYTHING!!

The Butler clears away the tea-tray things

Morning – Usual Village welcome to another lovely day
Number Six is sitting near the Bandstand alone.
There are a number of villagers on the deckchairs nearby

No67: Utterly disgusting
No86: Vile
No34: How can No1 not have known?
No54: Nobody can know everything

No6 stirs himself, and offers conversation

No6: Who WAS No1 when this No2 was appointed?

The other villagers freeze mid-conversation, shifting uncomfortably in their seats

No86: Questions are a burden
No34: Answers can become a prison of convention
No6: Who are the prisoners here? Ourselves?
No54(standing peremptorily): You are a prisoner of the past!!
No67: What use can the past be? It is the future that matters!
No86(also standing): The past is the Past! We can only live in the present and have hope for the future!
No54: No1 has said we must not live in the past!! Forward is the only way we can travel. The future is our only hope!!
No6(squeezing temples): No1? No1? Did we see him? What is his past?. What is our future? This place?

The other villagers begin to move away, looking worried

No86(pulling folded Tally Ho from pocket): Did you not watch? Can you not read?
No54: The truth is out there now!
No86(throws paper at No6): No1 has shown that even the Village Guardians are not beyond evil
No34(choking on a sob): The children! The children
No86 & No54 & No67: The children!!!!
No6(stands, knocks the chair over, shouting): What children!!!! There ARE no children!!

The villagers back away angrily, berating No6 as they retreat
The new No2 appears from the Bandstand, approaches No6 unseen. When he speaks, No6 is jumpy and whirls around, half-aggressive and half-defensive

No2: What on earth? No6?
No6: Wha’…. Where…… What do you want?
No2: This is no time for arguments with your friends No6
No6: I have no friends! I want fewer in this place.
No2: You’ll have even fewer if you carry on this way. Have you no compassion for the victims?
No6: I am the only victim of this place!
No2(raises eyebrows): Have you not read the papers? (flicks Tally Ho on the ground with his umbrella-tip)  Did you not watch the great leader last night?
No6(rubbing temples): I saw the paper yesterday; it made no sense then. But the TV….. I watched…… I saw…… But what did I see? What did I hear? None of it makes any sense in my head.  (snaps aggressively at No2)  What have you done to me NOW!!!
No2(laughing suavely): Me? I’ve done nothing. I am innocent. It was the OLD No2, not me!
No6: Why do the others keep talking of the children? There ARE no children in this place. All the people talking are older than me!!
No2: We were all children once and so there must be children, don’t you think?
No6(scowling): You give us a nice place to play in, and treat us as if we are all children but I prefer to be an adult. As an adult I was brought here, and as an adult I will leave.
No2(crossly): If you would act like an adult and tell us what we want to know, then you can leave any time you like.
No6: Why did I resign you mean? I HAVE told you. You would not believe me.
No2: You told the OLD No2. HE said he didn’t believe you, but we now know that he deceived all of us anyway. So we must all start again don’t you think? Year Zero and all that. Why don’t you tell me?
No6: I never repeat myself. You have it all on tape anyway. You have ALL of it on tape.
No2(temper fraying with ego): Ahh… No6……. Really. You think you can win? Tell ME… Tell me NOW!
No6: I would tell you to go to hell, but you’re already there… (stalks away)

No2 is left standing alone, tapping his umbrella.
He speaks into his wrist, where he evidently has a microphone,
an answering voice coming to his ear via his thick spectacle arms

No2: Complete failure. What went wrong?
Supervisor: He watched and heard the same as everyone else but… he seems not to have believed any of it. I’m sorry.
No2(annoyed): You’re sorry? YOU can be replaced too you know!!
No86(who has returned): Are you okay sir?  (picks up Tally Ho)
No2: What do you think of No6’s attitude No86?
No86: None of us understand how he can be so cold sir; so uncaring. How can any man not care about the children? Some of us think there must be a reason……
No2: You mean….. Him? …... Too?
No86: What other reason could there be sir? The evils of the past. He is damaged and so he causes only damage to the village. He should be taken to the Hospital.

No86 salutes and walks away leaving No2 looking worried

No2(to himself): Now they try to give ME advice? What are we unleashing?

No6 at home again. No14 is tidying the rooms.

No14: Did you watch the Expose?
No6: On the TV? Yes… But… It made no sense.
No14: The witnesses were very persuasive
No6: But who were they? I was told nothing about them
No14(slightly shocked): They were victims. They must be heard… have a voice
No6: I must believe everything they say?
No14: You find it hard to accept the past is not as you believed it to be. That is understandable.
No6: The past is a foreign country to those who don’t remember it. Tell me.
No14: Tell you?
No6: The day before yesterday you told me the old No2 was “a great man, a great and wonderful human being”. Now you ask me if I watched the TV show that told me he was… the most evil man in the history of the village….. a village that does not even HAVE a history!
No14(patting the cushions straight and plump): I was wrong
No6: And today, how do you know you are right today?
No14(flustered): The evidence is clear… The witnesses
No6: There is no evidence. There are only witnesses
No14: More than one witness IS evidence
No6: perhaps it is just collusion
No6: But you personally KNEW the old No2-  you said?
No14: I did……. (looks downcast)
No6: You knew him, you did not know these people whom you have only seen on TV, but now you believe them and disbelieve the person you knew?
No14(becomes upset): You don’t understand. I was so young then. I had no understanding. How could I tell what I knew?
No6(baffled): Knew?
No14: He WAS evil… so devious and evil – Everybody knows now and I could have prevented it – if only I had known!! And that is my shame… my guilt

No14 runs out of the cottage –
the door obligingly opening and whirring closed behind her
Supervisor Observation Area. No2 is watching the baffled face of No6.

No2: I fail to see why he does not believe when all others do
Supervisor(shrugging): He is not like the others
No2(annoyed): Really? Why?
 Supervisor: Only he knows why

The doors swish open and No14 joins the other two

No14: That was the best I could come up with I’m afraid
No2(sarcastically): Running away was quick thinking.
No14(pulls face): He was asking too many questions. I had too few answers
No2(officiously) You said he liked you… a little… It was not enough.
No14(offended): Looks can be deceiving
Supervisor(interrupting): Sir!! He’s reading them again.

No6 is reading the two Tally Ho editions. Two headlines, separated by barely a day.
Village in Mourning
Village in Shock
His head turns from one text to the other, 
comparing, analysing, and studying.
A man obsessed.

End of ACT Two



Act Three

Another new day. No6 is near the Bandstand. There is a large crowd.
Village workmen are passing by. On the back of one of their truck is the
broken head-stone from the grave of the old No2.


No54: Where is the coffin?
No86: Removed in the night. Burned. They say the ashes will be thrown in the sea – on a windy day. No trace will be allowed to pollute our village.
No34: Thanks be to No1, I can rest easy at night again. He…. It….. will have gone
No6: No trace? Not even a memory?
No86: He will be …... Erased.
No6(uncaring): I never knew him anyway
No14: I was ashamed to…Now I can forget
No54: I was another victim. Now I can speak. The fear has gone
No6: Death can be a great release for all of us. Even when it is not our own. One thing still bothers me greatly however.
Group: What?
No6: How do we know… I mean, how do we REALLY know, that the new No2 is not also…. You know….. the CHILDREN!!
No14: No6!! How CAN you??!!
No6: How can you KNOW?!! Can you afford to wait?! The children!!
No86(confused): We MUST know!! We must be sure….. Never again!!

The mood begins to infect the rest of the crowd. 
A rising murmer grows into scowling protest and the crowd lurches in the direction of the Green Dome

Supervisor Area

No2(sweating) Use the Rover!
Supervisor(speaking into phone): Internal Orange Alert! INTERNAL! ORANGE ALERT!!!!

ROVER BIRTHING

A mass of villagers are corralled in a ring outside the Green Dome precincts by a series of pulsating, vaguely threatening Rovers. The people are angry. The people are afraid
 No6 has made his way to the graveyard.
He passes the scuffed earth of a recently disturbed grave.

No6: Rest in Pieces

No6 is approaching the helicopter. It is unguarded – not even a Rover is to be seen.

The Green Dome Precincts. 
Several figures are walking, accompanied by guards. They are wearing futuristic gas-mask headgear.
A voice is heard to say, “Safe and secure No2”.
The masks are removed. The camera pans around.
The entire population of the village seems to be lying prone on the grass.

Camera comes back to the face of No2

No2(crossly): Absolute fiasco. Absolute.
No14: He would not believe neither one nor the other sir
No2: The power of love and the power of hate seem to have neither hold nor interest for him.
(Stops suddenly – looking alarmed)
Where IS he?
(Becoming increasingly panicked)
Where the devil IS he?

No6 has started the helicopter engines and the rotors are whining into motion. There is a tangle of wires protruding from the dashboard of the machine. No6 has been interfering.

The rotors are thrashing at maximum speed and No6 pulls back on the stick, and the craft begins lifts, just as several Rovers bound into view, throwing themselves at the machine. Three are bent and thrown aside by the blades as the helicopter lifts up,beyond their reach.

Supervisor area.
No2(shrieking in panic): Bring him back. Bring him back!
Operators: No response from Auto-Flight control sir! We have no control!!
No2(turning deathly pale): He’s getting away?!
Supervisor: There’s nothing we can do now

The red phone begins to beep angrily

No2(in fear and funk): Oh my God!! …. NO!!!!

Helicopter. No6 is high and flying over open sea.
No land seems to be in view in any direction except behind him: the distant village.
POV to fuel gauges. They are by no means showing full.

LIVING SPACE – No2 is on the red phone. No14 just behind him

No2: Yes… I know the price of such a catastrophe… But….. He must have bypassed the Control Circuits……. I have no idea how he knew…. My job to know….. I know…… What to do…….

No2 replaces the phone and lays his badge next to it. He is frog-marched out by two white-hatted men. 
The Butler is suppressing a silent smile.
No14 drops her badge next to the phone and attaches the No2 to her lapel.
The Butler stands in front of her, with the tea-tray held forward.

 
No6 has turned turns and is heading for the mountains behind the village. The village is passing below. He is over and past, and the land rears up, coming towards him.He is pulling back on the stick and rising higher and higher,waiting for the horizon to come back into view.He banks away again – frustrated. He does not know the way out.The fuel gauges are starting to flash empty.

LIVING SPACE – The new No2 is tapping her teeth with the tip of a pencil. 
The yellow phone rings. The voice of the Supervisor is heard.

Supervisor: No6 is back
No2: Back? How?
Supervisor: By our calculations his fuel would have run out by now. He must have made the same calculation
No2(eyes widening): He does not want to die…….. 
(snaps officiously)Let me know as soon as he is landed
Supervisor: Of course No2

No2 reaches for red phone – a widening smile on her face.

HELICOPTER

No6 sweeps back over the village, slowing as he does so, until he is hovering over the Old Peoples Home. He grabs a wooden box on the passenger seat and wrenches off the lid, whilst holding the craft steady with the stick between his knees. Leaning out, he lets grey, dust spill out, the dust blowing into the downdraft of the rotors, spreading throughout the air. As he does this, he allows the helicopter to get lower and lower until the struts bounce gently on the grass of the lawns, deserted except for one man, prodding at the ground with the tip of his umbrella. There is now a faint settling grey dust drifting across him.

The face of the previously new No2 appears, as the camera zooms in on his dust-begrimed features, but his badge now reads No92. He has a strange scar at his right temple. No6 is climbing out of the helicopter, and they meet under the slowing rotor-blades that now lazily sweep the air above their heads.

No92: You’re back?
No6: No peace for the wicked
No92: There is no escape?

(No6 tosses the wooden box at the feet of No92)

No6: Not for you.  Ashes to Ashes.

No6 walks away, leaving No92 with the box splintered apart at his feet.
No92 wipes away a grimy tear that has trickled down his dirty cheek

No92: All is Dust?




END

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Episode 9 - "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling" - The Boot is on the Other Foot - wherein Number Six's mind is transferred into a different body

Scene Opens. Six's bed. A shape is under the covers. A steady, low snoring can be heard. The scene pulls back and is on the big screen of the Observation Room. Number 2 is talking to another man, flanked by the Supervisor. The man is wearing a white doctors coat

Number 2: Are you certain this is safe to go ahead?
Doctor: Of course. The feminising process is complete.
Number 2: It seems...so....impossible somehow.
Doctor: It will be second nature to him.
Number 2: And the woman?
Doctor, suggestion of regret: You prohibited any transfer, in order to guarantee his safety. I simply do not know....that was the risk you took when you insisted upon this procedure.
Number 2, sharply: It became necessary!
Doctor, blankly: Sir.
Number 2: Finding her after all this time was an unexpected opportunity. We could not waste the chance.
Doctor: I hope Number Six sees it that way sir.
Number 2: She will see things our way!
Doctor: I half expected it to fail.
Number 2: Their compatilibity was assured. Number Six is normally so incompatible. He has been a tricky subject. To find his fiancee was a once-in-a-career chance.
Doctor: I am certain your career is assured sir.
Supervisor: Six is waking up Sir!

Their attention transfers back to the screen.

Fadeout

Standard Intro begins. Flash image of Lotus 7 reveals the driver to be a woman. Her hair is held by a satin head-scarf. Her mouth is drawn tight, determined. The intro progresses. In the corridor the walking feet are strong but well-shaped female feet in slightly-heeled shoes. They clip-clap firmly along the corridor. The door opens firmly but calmly into the study. The bespectacled man politely ushers the woman into a chair. She is tapping an envelope on the desk. The man has a condescending expression. The woman flicks a head movement, irritated. She pushes the envelope into the man's tea-cup and pushes the cup towards him as she stands and walks out of the room exasperated. The cup has upset, pouring tea over the man's papers. The envelope lies stained on the desk. It has the word: 'Resignation' scrawled across it. Cut to the woman in her apartment, packing a small case. She tosses some holiday brochures in. Gas enters the room. The woman gasps and collapses onto a bed. Throughout this sequence, the womans face has only been glimpsed, shrouded by the head-scarf.

Six's bedroom. The shape is sitting, back to the viewer, up on the bed. The blankets are pulled up and around, covering the back of the head. The figure stands and pads across to a window Cut to outside the window. The blind is seen from the outside, a slat is bent by a finger, an eye peers out, it is blue, the other is squinted closed against the bright light. The picture switches to the view from the window.

It is the Village. Title comes up.

THE BOOT IS ON THE OTHER FOOT

Observation Room

Number 2: Remarkable!
Doctor: The real test is yet to come
Number 2: But...she...looks....utterly, that is...... entirely.....
Doctor: Normal?
Supervisor: Heading for the bathroom Sir!

The blanketed figure is shuffling into the bathroom. The light comes on automatically. Six stares into the mirror. Cut to reflection. It is a woman! She has billowing reddish-blonde hair. One eye is blue, the other is hazel. She pushes a finger at the blue eye.

Six: It's another fine morning...and I don't think. Boy! Do I look strange today.

Turns tap and sluices cold water into her face, rubbing vigorously. Blinks as water drips from eyebrows and nose.

Six: That's better.



Observation Room. The view from behind the mirror is on-screen

Two: Truly stupendous! You are to be congratulated Doctor. I will commend you in my Report!
Doctor, looking doubtful: Thankyou. It is gratifying to know my theories have been proved correct.

Two is putting an arm round the man's shoulder as they head out of the Observation Room

Two: I never doubted for a minute, old boy!

The Supervisor is left in the room. The Watchers are transfixed, watching the woman, washing her face and neck. The Supervisor's eyes are wide too. He suddenly becomes self-conscious and snaps at the Watchers

Supervisor: Area 14! Report!
Watcher 1, hurriedly turning a dial: Erm...Area 14, that is....
Supervisor, loudly, annoyed: Report! Now!

Six is towelling her face dry. She turns from the mirror and idly plucks a brush from the work surface. She is humming gently as she sits on a couch and flicks on the TV. The usual Village nonsense is being broadcast. As she watches it, she drags the brush through the unruly hair, bringing it into order.

TV: And tomorrow, especially for all you lovely ladies....there is Keep Fit, in the Gymnasium! Keep those figures trim now girls! Exercise is good for you!

Six sighs, tapping the brush on her knee

Six: Oh Yippee! Keep Fit! I can't wait.

The front door hums open and a muscle-bound man in a striped tee-shirt comes in

Six: Don't bother ringing the bell will you.
Workman: Here to mend the light for you
Six pulls her dressing gown tighter around her legs: Really? Hadn't noticed it was broken.
Workman: Never you mind about it. There's a man about the house now!
Six: So I see.

The workman is grappling with a tall standing lamp to one side of the seated woman, his exertions prompt him to be uncomfortably close. Six stands and slips away.

Six: Are you fixing the light? Or just blocking it?
Workman, looking vaguely disappointed she has moved: What the heck is wrong with it?
Six: Why don't you just leave it alone? It's daylight anyhow.
Workman: What have you done to it? I don't know. You girls and mechanical things!

Six blinks, exasperated. Moves quietly across to the wall behind the couch. Slips an electric plug into the socket. There is a large bang. The workman is blown across the floor, the lamp-standard snapping, as it is pulled over.

Six has straightened quickly and is pulling her hair back: Oh dear! Are you alright?

There is a siren and the front door opens as two men with a stretcher rush in to attend to the stricken workman.

Six: How many men does it take to change a light-bulb?

The men carry the electrician out, casting nervous looks in the direction of Number Six

Six: Close the door behind you, there's a dear.

The door swings shut.

The Living Space.

Number Two and the doctor are watching the big screen

Two: Gracious! Lost none of the temperament I see!
Doctor: Hmm. They were similar in that regard...however I am a little surprised....the aggressive qualities.....
Two, interrupting: Yes, yes. It can only be expected. But he has no idea, no idea at all!

Claps hands delightedly. The butler moves forward with a tray of tea.

ADVERT BREAK

Six is leaving the house. She is dressed in a neat pencil skirt, just below the knee. She has a white roll-neck sweater, topped by a tailored blazer. She is wearing her numbered badge on one lapel. A group of women, walking past spot her

Woman 1: Number Six! You are looking lovely today!

The other women cluster round, like clucking hens, jabbering compliments

Six, smiling, flattered: That is so kind of you all
Woman 2: We were so worried about you Number Six
Six: Really?
Woman 3: You have been so poorly!
Six: Have I?
Woman 1: But you're all better now! Aren't you!
Six, smiling sweetly: Apparently!
Woman 4: You will be joining us for Keep Fit tomorrow won't you?
Six, hugely grinning: Wouldn't miss it for the world. What time does it begin?
Woman 2: High Noon of course! As usual!
Six, smiling directly: Of course! Be seeing you!

Six moves away, lightly touching arms, as the other ladies reach out. They all smile contentedly at her and each other, then clucking, move away.
Six heads towards the Green Dome


Living Space.

Door slides open and Six walks down the ramp.

Two: Number Six! How delightful to see you! You're looking so much better!
Doctor, proffering a seat: Please. Sit down.
Six, pointedly takes another chair: Thankyou. I will

The two men glance at Six, then at each other, smiling inanely

Six: Cats got your tongues?
Two: Oh, not at all. It's just....just so nice to see you.
Six: Missing me?
Two, clears throat, glancing round. Presses button:Tea?
Six: For Two?
Two, glances at Doctor: Are we finished?
Doctor, eyes twitching: Ah... that is...yes sir. I suppose we are. Nice to see you up and about again Number Six.
Six, dismissively: I'm sure.

The Butler bustles in. The doctor leaves, grudgingly, glancing behind him, as he goes. The Butler is pouring the tea. He lifts a cup towards Number Six

Six, taking tea and sniffing fragrance: Thank you. It smells delicious.

Butler, smiling slightly: Nods

Two, placing his cup carefully near the red phone: We were quite worried about you Number Six.
Six, crossing one leg neatly and leaning back: You were? Have I been ill?
Two: You don't remember?
Six: I remembered my way here
Two, breaking a short silence: It was a terrible mistake on my predecessor's part.
Six, sipping at tea, interestedly: Perhaps you're still making it.
Two, clearing throat: A gross error. He has, of course paid the price.
Six: Gone to see Number One has he?
Two, glancing at the red phone: I'm sure if Number One were here...they would apologise in person....
Six, swallowing tea and stroking the rim of the cup: He knows where I am!
Two: He?
Six: She?
Two, teasingly: She...He....
Six, annoyed: Tea Hee...
Two: Don't be angry..my...dear
Six, takes draught of tea: So here we are
Two, picks up cup, smiling: Indeed. Tea for two, and two for tea.
Six: Why am I here?
Two: To tell us why you resigned. Don't you remember?
Six: Oh, that again.
Two: It is important.
Six: To you.
Two: To all of us.
Six: If I told you, we'd have nothing left to talk about.
Two, leaning forward, excited: Try me?
Six: Maybe I wanted to have children.

Two starts back, spilling tea, the liquid flows towards the red phone. He snatches at it, only succeeding in knocking the cup over completely and sending the phone tipping over the counter top. Six has moved like a panther, casting her own tea onto the floor in front of the desk as she catches the phone before it could reach the ground. The Butler is fussing over Number Two.

Six, into phone: Hello? Hello?
Two, panicking, but blocked by the Butler: Give me that!
Six, into phone: Number One? Why! How nice to speak to you at long last. What? Number Two? Oh, he's just having a small upset.

Two, careering around the desk, slips in the tea spilt by Six and falls at Number Six's elegantly shod feet.

Six, into phone: Oh! You want to speak to Number Two?
Two, looks up imploringly: I will be in so much trouble.
Six: You weren't already?

Six holds the red phone high, in her fingertips, then drops it. Two flaps at it from the floor but it slips past him and smashes into several pieces as it hits the floor. Six swivels on her toes and heads back up the ramp.

Six: I think you've been cut off!

Two Village thugs have rushed in and are standing, halfway down the ramp, looking uncertainly at the confused scene. Six, seeing them, pitches her weight forward and collides, shoulders-first with each of them. In their surprise they each flinch sideways as Six passes between and out the sliding door. The two thugs are eyeing one another uncertainly as Two screams at them.

Two, clutching the pieces of the red phone: Don't just stand there you idiots! Call Engineering!

Six is heading for the cafe. A voice is heard from a large bush. It is the doctor.

Doctor: Please meet me. Tonight, in the Cat & Mouse. 8-o-clock. There is something you must know!
Six, pretending to check the heel of her stocking: Why not tell me now?
Doctor: No time!

Bush rustles as he disappears
Six gently sings Armstrong: "....
got all the time in the world......"
Six makes way to cafe, sits and looks at menu. Waiter comes out, eyes flit up and down at Six.


Six: Eggs Benedict?
Waiter eyes Six: Will that be all?
Six, dismissively: Some tea would be nice.
Waiter, disappointed: Madam.

Waiter heads to kitchen. Six flaps menu, meditatively. An old man gets up from a nearby table and approaches, chess set in hands.

Old Man: Game of chess m'dear?
Six: It is, isn't it
Old Man, uncertainly: I...sorry?
Six, smiling gently: It will be a pleasure. I'm having brunch presently but if you care to set them up we can play a game, or maybe two.
Old Man, with delighted smile: Splendid!

Observation Room.
Two is with Supervisor. He has a small criss-cross plaster on one temple and is dabbing a cloth pad on a red patch on the back of his hand.


Supervisor: Six appears to be having another cup of tea sir.
Two: Who is that with him?
Supervisor: Just the chess-man
Two, annoyed: What's he doing away from the Old Folks Home?
Supervisor shrugs: Do you want me to have him taken back?
Two, still annoyed: Oh. Never mind. Keep your eye on her. Don't let her out of your sight.

Two leaves room. Supervisor zooms in on Six's ankle. Watcher 2 winks at Supervisor as he sweeps by.

Watcher 2: No chance of that eh Sir?

Supervisor, furious, presses phone: Security! Observation Room immediately. And bring a new Watchman!

Watcher 2 has look of terror on face as the boom sweeps him away from view.

ADVERT BREAK

Six's bedroom. It is evening. She is in her dressing gown, studying the wardrobe, mumbling glibly to herself.

Six, flicking aside garments: Hmm. What to wear? A date? How unusual.....and with a gentleman from the professions. No.....too plain. Perhaps. Oh dear, no, not that. Blazer and slacks? Oh, not again. Come on girl, pull yourself together. Aha! That's it! Why on earth didn't I think of that in the first place.

Observation Room

Supervisor: She's in the dressing room sir
Two, on phone in Living Space: Put her on-screen please.

The screen shows the interior of Six's house. A figure is moving around but it is indistinct, a mere shadow.

Two, to himself: Damn!
Two, into phone: Supervisor! What on earth is wrong with the picture. I can hardly see anything!
Supervisor: Instructions from Number One sir. Decency Clause 15.5 has been programmed into the TV monitoring system.
Two, gulps and looks guiltily at the red phone, which has electrical tape holding it together: Ah yes! Of course. Good work. Congratulate the Engineering section for me. Let me know as soon as something happens.

Cut to Cat & Mouse Bar. A few desultory couples are sitting at tables. Two Villagers are at the bar. The door opens. Six steps in. She looks as elegant as Kathleen Turner. Realising with a sweeping glance that the doctor is not in the room she makes her way to the bar. All the men in the bar are staring. One of the two single men moves down the bar.

Barfly: Well, hello to you.
Six: And hello to you too.
Barfly: Buy you a drink?
Six: Thanks, but I'm meeting someone.
Barfly, with a leer: But I'm here and he isn't.
Six, with a sigh: Of all the bars in all the world and you have to be in my one.
Barfly, swaggeringly: Lucky, huh? What's your poison?
Six, slipping credit card from handbag: No, really. I can pay.
Barfly, presses the card back into her hand: My treat.
Six, fatalistically: Your credit's as good as mine I guess. I'll have a small whisky - plain.
Barfly: Non alcoholic?
Six, smiling sweetly: I try to be.
Barfly: Huh?

The door opens, the doctor comes in, looking around, looking frightened. Six flags a look to a table in the far corner. The doctor heads over to it.

Six, to barfly: Actually, could you make that two?
Barfly, delightedly: Heck yes! Barkeep, make that two of them whiskies!

Six, picks up the two drinks, as she slips away from the bar, winking at the barfly: Enjoy your evening!

The barfly is left standing, baffled, as Six makes her way to the doctor.

Doctor: We haven't much time
Six: Well that's more time than we had earlier.
Doctor, surreptitiously pushes something across the table: Do you recognise him?
Six looks at small photo of the real Number Six: No, should I?
Doctor, disappointed: No, I don't suppose I should expect you to. I just hoped........
Six, sips whisky, pulls face: Why don't you just tell me what's going on?
Doctor: He is in great danger.
Six: I know the feeling.
Doctor: Only you can save him.
Six casts glance back at Barfly: Sounds like one of his lines.
Doctor, grabs her hand on the table: You don't understand. He cannot last another two days. He is in the hospital. You must get to him...before it is too late.

The bar door bursts open. Four Village thugs charge in, heading for Six and the doctor. Six jumps from her seat. The thugs ignore her and grab the struggling man. A small fight ensues but the doctor is soon disabled and dragged away. The barkeep comes and puts the tables straight again. The rest of the room resume their conversations as if nothing has happened. Six wonderingly makes her way back to the bar. Her suitor sidles up.

Barfly: Guy run out on you huh?
Six: He was a bit of a drag evidently.
Barfly: Another drink?
Six, glances at the barely touched whisky in her hand, pushes it along bar in front of the barfly: Here. Knock yourself out.

Six heads for the door

Living Space.

Two is shouting furiously down the phone at the Supervisor.

Two: The doctor! Meeting with Six? At night? In the Cat & Mouse? He should have left this afternoon! This is a disaster! What kind of operation are you running?.........Yes, I realise it is Security's responsibility........Of course, I will be looking into it immediately.......Yes, Supervisor, thank you for informing me so quickly.......and....well done for dealing with the matter so quickly. The doctor must be taken to the Hospital......No.....immediately! I cannot risk any more damage. I must go now......I must make my report to Number One.

Two puts the yellow phone down and throws his head into his hands. He opens his fingers and a frightened eye peeps out at the bandaged red phone.

Six's house

Six is in her bed. She looks again at the photograph under cover of the blankets. There is tiny, detailed, writing on the reverse. A look of puzzlement creases her brow. She stares at the image of the man and then pushes it under her pillow as she goes to sleep.

ADVERT BREAK

Two is doggedly watching his screen in the Living Space. The camera is watching the sleeping face of Number Six. Her eyeballs are moving under the closed eye-lids.

Cut to classic Intro but each segment switches from being the woman to being the man.

The images speed and repeat hypnotically. The images speed and repeat hypnotically. The images speed and repeat hypnotically. The images speed and repeat hypnotically. The images speed and repeat hypnotically. The images speed and repeat hypnotically. The images speed and repeat hypnotically.

Six wakes with a mild shriek and sits upright in bed.

Two is dozing in his embryo chair and wakes with a jerk. He speaks into a dictaphone.

Two: Subject seems to have suffered no adverse effects from meeting the renegade doctor. Security action effective in isolating him before any communication took place. Subject still dreaming vividly, as before, but stable. Prognosis is for the disclosure to take place tomorrow.

Six is in bedroom, selecting clothes. Cut to outside. Group of Keep Fit ladies are approaching the house.

Woman 1: I hope she's ready. We will be late.
Woman 2: I'll ring the bell
Six comes to door, wearing tee-shirt and slacks: Hi girls. I'm ready. I'm feeling fitter already!

There is a glitter of laughter as the group head away towards the Gymnasium
Two is watching screen in Living Space. A different doctor is with him. This one is a woman.


Two: Doing Keep Fit! The embedding is complete!
Lady Doctor: Hmm. Almost too complete. I am concerned that the process is too successful.
Two, worried: What do you mean?
Lady Doctor: Our aim is exploit the milder gender, a woman's lack of self-determination, her willingness to go along with authority, her conditioning from childhood....
Two: She is! Look at her! Out with the girls!
Lady Doctor: Appearances can be deceiving sir. Look at what happened yesterday when you......
Two, angrily interrupting: That is nothing to do with anything! It was a freak accident....I slipped... and...
Lady Doctor, soothing: Of course. I never meant.....It is just, if we have embedded too strongly she may not be....as compliant as we had hoped.
Two, with superiority: Nonsense. It is just a matter of waiting...you'll see.

Gymnasium.

The Keep Fit is underway. A cacophony of music and shouting fom the Instructor is filling the room. Six is exercising next to Number Eighty Two.

Eighty Two: We'd like to invite you to join us Number Six.
Six: What?
Eighty Two: We're escaping. We weren't sure if you'd be well in time, but you are, so we'd like you to come.
Six: There is no escape from this place.
Eighty Two: We have a plan. They think we are just stupid chattering women. They do not watch us as carefully as the rest.
Six, looking intrigued: How? Where?

The music stops. The room quietens

Eighty Two: Shh! There now Number Six! You must be feeling better already!
Six, grinning, red-faced: Thankyou Number Eighty Two! Yes, I'm feeling better than I have for a long time!

The Instructor bellows some more instructions and the Keep Fit continues. Six and Eighty-Two continue their private conversation.

Living Space.
Butler shuffles across, collecting teacups and plates.

Cut back to Keep Fit class.

Six: So you are certain Rover will ignore you?
Eighty Two: We have had a try-out. We just walked past it. It paid us no attention.
Six: The other systems will alert them when you cross the line.
Eighty Two: We will be in the forest by then. Are you coming with us?
Six: Not this time. You are certain Rover will ignore you?
Eighty Two, nodding: We will miss you.
Six, smiling: You hardly know me.
Eighty Two: Good luck
Six: I've a feeling we are going to need it.

The Keep Fit is over. Eighty-Two is looking at the departing figure of Six. Her mouth makes the silent shape of "We?" as she frowns in puzzlement.

Six is sitting in her house. Her hands are clutched to her temples, she is rocking, agitated. Two is striding through the streets of the Village. The female doctor is striding confidently alongside him.

Lady Doctor: I did try to tell you he was unreliable.
Two: Not hard enough evidently.
Lady Doctor: Boris was always a sentimentalist at heart. Brilliant, but weak.
Two: Well Dr. Seltzman, you have control now.
Lady Doctor, smiling greedily: The Seltzman Method. Invented by Suzanna Seltzman. Yes. I will not let you down sir.
Two: You realise your brother will have to be.......
Seltzman: Yes. Of course. Such things are necessary.
Two, glancing with a faint distaste: Excellent. Ring the bell?

Inside, Six stirs from her troubles as Number Two and the Doctor walk in.

Six, dreamily: Does nobody have any manners in this place?
Two: Sorry to burst in on you Number Six but today is a big day and you never answer the bell!
Six, looking at the woman: Chance would be a fine thing. Another doctor?
Two: This is Doctor Seltzman. She is the one who made you well. I thought you might like to meet her.
Six, smiling prettily: Ah! Pleased to meet you Doctor. You're used to seeing me in bed I assume?
Seltzman, smiling uncertainly: Indeed, but now you seem much better.
Six: Oh I feel....like a new woman!
Seltzman, exchanging glances with Two: Excellent.
Six, to Two: What happened to the other doctor?
Two, hastily: Ah yes, most unfortunate. He was an assistant to Doctor Seltzman, but he....formed...an unhealthy attachment to you Number Six. I gather there was an unseemly incident last evening. Most unpleasant.
Six, patting her slacks smooth: Indeed, possibly the most disappointing date I can recall, although I was once left standing outside a cinema for three hours in the rain....but that was many years ago.
Seltzman: He has had some kind of breakdown. He is in safe hands now.
Six: That's good to hear. I wonder Doctor, as I have now met you, whether I could thank the rest of your staff?
Two: What a lovely idea. I'll arrange for them to visit you.
Six: I was thinking I could visit them - at the hospital. I wouldn't want to drag them away from important work.
Two, confused: Erm , well that might be difficult.......
Six, smiling benignly at Seltzman: I'm sure the doctor could arrange it, couldn't you? I feel like I have awoken from a terrible dream this morning. I need to make some changes to my life here. We need a fresh start Number Two, don't you think? But, first I must pay my dues.
Two, puzzled but excited: Quite so. Yes, I'm sure that is possible. Doctor?
Seltzman,shrugging: Of course sir. We could arrange it for say, an hour from now?
Six: Ideal. Now, if you'll excuse me. I'm going to clean up.
Two, turning to door: Of course. Doctor?
Six, watching the pair leave: Be Seeing You!

The Hospital.

A large stone building, slightly forbidding. There are bars on the windows. Six, wearing slacks, sneakers and a blazer over her plain roll-neck sweater, is jogging across the lawn to an open window, past a Rover, which seems to ignore her.

Cut to main entrance. Number Two and the doctor are walking in. As they enter there is an eruption of noise: loud sirens and emergency buzzers. Rovers come bounding onto the lawns all around the hospital, pulsating gently, as if awaiting orders. Number Two grabs a yellow phone from the reception counter.

Two: What on earth.....Escaped? How?....Four of the Keep Fit class? How on earth did they get past the Rovers? Not programmed to arrest those women? You stupid, stupid fool. Where are they now? You don't know?....Find them!.....And reset Rover for all Villagers...In fact, I want full Lock-down...NOW! Nobody is to set foot outside....ANYWHERE...until the fugitives have been found!

Number Two is sweating profusely. He slams the phone down and looks at the doctor who is staring at him.

An operating theatre.

Six is entering the room carefully. Boris Seltzman is on one bed. His face is covered by some weird assemblage of goggles and ear-phones. Six is hurriedly altering various switches and buttons. She seems satisfied. She walks across to the other bed. The male Six is obvious under the apparatus. Six lowers her hand towards his exposed cheek. She has a sad expression as she traces the line of his skin, her finger not quite touching him, a membrane of space between them. She bunches her fist as the sirens begin to wail. She leaves the room, glancing quickly at the two empty beds, also in the room. She dodges through a corridor, finds an open side-door and walks purposefully outside.

Two and Seltzman are outside on the lawns, looking around them. Village Guards are moving in various directions. There is a terrible roaring from one side of the building. Number Two runs to the source of the noise.


Guard, looking at the pounced Rover: It's got her sir!
Two, in horror: Get it off her!

Six is plainly visible in the gossamer grip of the roaring Guardian. In the background four other Rovers are dragging members of the Keep Fit class. Seltzman has arrived.

Seltzman: It's killing her!
Guard: Rover was reset to attack on a Lock-down sir
Two, in a panic: Radio the Control Room! Tell them to deactivate Rover...Quick man! Before it's too late

Operating Theatre.

Suzanna Seltzman is climbing on one bed. The prone form of the female Six is on another. Nurses are hurriedly attaching tubes.

Seltzman: The system is all set up for reverse trasnsference sir. I will make up the fourth, to ensure a conscious control. Boris will take up the woman, if there is anything remaining. Number Six will be returned and I will monitor the process from within
Two, flustered: Very well. Be quick...before I lose both of them.

Seltzman is locked into position and the technicians throw the power switches. All the bodies become rigid as the process is carried out. Two is pacing frantically, looking at each bed in turn. The process is finished. None of the bodies are moving. Suddenly Seltzman stirs. Her mask is removed.

Two: Well?
Seltzman, looks disgustedly at Two, but Two is oblivious: The woman is unrecoverable.
Two, glancing at the prone woman: Yes Yes, we knew that was inevitable. We could not take the risk of transferring her originally. Her mind had to be flushed to make room for the important one. How is He!
Seltzman, looks sadly at the body of her brother: Dead too, I'm afraid.
Two, screeching and pointing at the real Number Six: Not him! HIM!!!

As Number Two screams Number Six stirs. Technicians remove the apparatus. He sits up slowly, confused. He looks at Number Two and Seltzman. Then he catches sight of the prone woman. He stands, staggers slightly, then balances and plods across to the side of her bed.

Six, with a look of unutterably sad despair on his face: Janet?
Two: Yes Number Six. You have only yourself to blame. We were bound to discover her sooner or later. You should have realised that.

Number Six turns with a look of malignant hatred.

Six: Hell will have no fury............

Number Two blanches and steps back, shaking with a sudden fear. His mouth opens and closes without sound. Number Six turns back to the body. His fingers reach down and trace the line of her cheek, not quite touching her skin, a membrane of space keeps them apart. Seltzman has walked across. She acknowledges Number Six with a glance and gently lifts the arms of the dead woman to form a cross on her breast. As she does so, she removes the small photograph, clutched in one of the dead hands, and drops it in her pocket.

Six, looks plaintively at the doctor: There was no way you could save her?
Seltzman: I am so sorry.
Six, very quietly: For your sister?
Seltzman, looking at the approaching Number Two: The Seltzman Process is in my hands now. It will be my responsibility in future. I am sorry she has gone Number Six.

Six, glancing dispassionately at the doctor, brings a pointing finger up to the side of his head

Six: She is here. She will always be here.

Flash Cut to Bar-Slamming Sequence

END