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Chronosphere Fiction

Daniel French: Fishbonius Sound Design

Chronosphere Fiction is a story telling anthology podcast where writers' creations come to life with sound effects and music.

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Generation Z : Unknown Expiration Date : S2 E2
Jun 3 2022
Generation Z : Unknown Expiration Date : S2 E2
A new assignment for George and Schumacher. Charlotte and Gen. Adams are ready to close the deal. Will Gov. Lewin help Samantha? Gen. Wilkes updates the Consul. Henry Hobbes and Dr. Schnieder begin to execute their plan. Cast: Scene 1 Capt. Roberts : Pete Lutz Mayor Schumacher : Scott Slagle Lt. Ramsay : Van Riker George Cooper : J Dean Garcia Soldier : Daniel French Scene 2 Charlotte Knox : Ilana Labourene Marie Knox : Katelin Curtis Sen. Harper : Rosanna Jimeno General Adams : Rich Green Sen. Michaels : Anne Ghrist Assistant : Daniel French Scene 3 Samantha Cooper : Victoria Fancki Susan Cooper : Nina Bricko Gov. Lewin : M A Doerfler Sheriff Dietz : Daniel French Nick Hobbes: Joe Brillion Scene 4 Consul Nathaniel : Blake Benlan Vice-Consol Calhoun : Katelin Curtis Benjamin Danton : Spencer J Fredrick Gen. Wilkes : Van Riker Dr. Meighan : Rosanna Jimeno Lars : Daniel French Scene 5 Henry Hobbes : Pete Lutz Dr. Schneider : Spencer J Fredrick Jailer : Nina Bricko   Production, Music, Foley, and Sound Design by Daniel French at Fishbonius Sound Design     Transcipt Generation Zombie Season 2, Chapter 2 “Unknown Expiration Date” by Steven Chisholm   NARRATOR: DZ-6, Porterville Town Hall ROBERTS: You certainly have exquisite taste in furniture, Schumacher. Is this desk of yours mahogany?  SCHUMACHER: Nothing so lavish, I’m afraid. It’s cherry wood. ROBERTS: Nevertheless, a fine piece… Lieutenant Ramsay, you have the battle plans for Embalmersfield on hand? RAMSAY: Yes, sir. SOUND: UNRAVELING OF MAP. ROBERTS: Place it on the desk, if you will. SOUND: SMOOTHING OUT MAP ON DESKTOP. Wonderful. SCHUMACHER: You really do have this raid all planned out. ROBERTS: Yes, but there’s been a slight change in plans. SCHUMACHER: Change in plans? SOUND: APPROACHING FOOTSTEPS. SOLDIER: Pardon the interruption, sir. ROBERTS: What is it, Private? SOLDIER: Corporal Cooper is here to see you. ROBERTS: Let him in. SOUND: SOLDIER DEPARTS ROOM. GEORGE ENTERS. George, how can I help you? GEORGE: It’s done.  ROBERTS: Yes, I can smell the smoke on your uniform. You did a fine job, Corporal. GEORGE: (TIMID) Thank you, sir. Proud to serve the Life Guard. ROBERTS: I hope you understand why I had you do that. GEORGE: To prove my loyalty to the ULZ… And to preserve the sanctity of the living. ROBERTS: Yes, but you must understand what lead Leanne to such… unfortunate circumstances. Carelessness, sure. But we wouldn’t be discussing her premature departure if not for the actions of your sister. It was not I that forced your hand, nor was it your own free will. Samantha, your own blood, was the one that set the blaze. It was treason that reduced Leanne to ashes. Do you understand, Corporal? GEORGE: I understand that she must pay for her crimes. ROBERTS: Good. Now that I’m assured of your allegiance, I must say, you’ve arrived at the perfect time. GEORGE: You have an assignment for me, sir? ROBERTS: Oh, yes. One that involves Mr. Schumacher, here. SCHUMACHER: Me? ROBERTS: You see this beautiful desk, Corporal? Cherry wood, I’ve been told by Schumacher. Where once this material was a great tree, producing oxygen for us living folk, now it is mere lifeless timber. But despite being felled, it still serves a purpose. Not nearly as noble a purpose as when it was living, but nonetheless, it functions as a desk on which to plan our annexation of Embalmersfield. Schumacher is much like this tree. He once lived a nobler life but had that privilege stripped away by undeath. Despite his breathless existence, he’s still here to serve a purpose, and it’s up to you, George, to see that he fulfills his obligation to the living.  SCHUMACHER: I gave you Porterville. What more can I do? SOUND: UNRAVELING PAPER. RAMSAY: Captain, here are the plans you asked for. ROBERTS: Thank you, Lieutenant… Corporal, would you kindly take a look at these? SOUND: ROBERTS HANDING PAPER TO GEORGE. GEORGE: It’s… If you don’t mind my asking, what am I looking at, Captain? RAMSAY: Allow me to explain, George. This line here, this is you and Schumacher. GEORGE: You have us… You have us heading to Embalmersfield? Alone?  ROBERTS: Correct. SCHUMACHER: As devoted as I am to your cause, you can’t expect me to go on this suicide mission. RAMSAY: This isn’t a preliminary attack. At least, not in the way you two are envisioning. George, here, is simply to escort you to the outer perimeter of Embalmersfield. A chaperone of sorts to ensure that you’re not beset upon by any free-roaming Life Guards. SCHUMACHER: Am I some offering to the enemy? RAMSAY: You’re a refugee. SCHUMACHER: I don’t understand. ROBERTS: Schumacher… You’re going to seek sanctuary in the city of Embalmersfield. You’re going to be the mayor who braved the battle and escaped. And when they welcome you with warm blankets and hot cocoa – or whatever it is your kind do for comfort – you’re going to cozy up to Governor Lewin. She’s no doubt caught wind of the annexation of Porterville, and who better to trust with their defense plans than someone who’s faced the might of the ULZ themselves? Schumacher, I’m once again asking you to be our man on the inside.  SCHUMACHER: I… ROBERTS: I’m confident your faith in the ULZ has not wavered. SCHUMACHER: No. No, it has not. ROBERTS: Thank you. And you, Corporal. I know I can trust you with delivering the mayor to his destination. GEORGE: Yes, sir. ROBERTS: Excellent. Ramsay has been kind enough to outline your route. Follow that path closely, and you shouldn’t run into trouble. Do you have any questions? GEORGE: Yes, Captain. When do we start? ROBERTS: Meet Ramsay at sunset by the northwest entrance to Porterville. He’ll get you both situated. GEORGE: Will do, sir. ROBERTS: You’re dismissed, Corporal. SOUND: DEPARTING FOOTSTEPS. SCHUMACHER: And me? ROBERTS: You’re free to leave, too, Schumacher. SCHUMACHER: Okay. I’ll see you in Embalmersfield, Roberts. ROBERTS: Look forward to it. SOUND: DEPARTING FOOTSTEPS. ROBERTS: Oh, one more thing, Mayor. SCHUMACHER: What’s that? SOUND: GUNSHOT. SCHUMACHER: What the–What the hell did you do that for?! ROBERTS: You can’t expect them to think you got out of Porterville completely unscathed, can you?    NARRATOR: DZ-1, a crisis room in the White House MARIE: (YAWN) Tired. CHARLOTTE: You’re tired? You can take a nap right here. MARIE: I want my bed. CHARLOTTE: You can have your bed after I’m through talking with my friends, here. HARPER: Mrs. Knox, pardon my manners, but is it necessary that your child be privy to our conversations? MARIE: Privy! CHARLOTTE: If only there was someone I could trust to watch her. HARPER: Someone you can trust? Madam, is everything okay? MICHAELS: What about her usual caretaker, Margaret?  MARIE: Bad Margaret! SOUND: DOOR OPENING. ADAMS: I apologize for my tardiness, Mrs. Knox. CHARLOTTE: Apology not necessary. But, before you come in, can I have a quick word with you outside? ADAMS: Of course. CHARLOTTE: Excuse me, please. Come on, Marie. SOUND: FOOTSTEPS, AS CHARLOTTE MOVES TOWARD CRISIS ROOM ENTRANCE. DOOR CLOSING. CHARLOTTE: Has she said anything, yet? ADAMS: She’s remaining tight-lipped, Madam, but I’m confident she’s withholding something from us. We’ve just begun a search of her quarters. If something comes up, you’ll be the first to know. CHARLOTTE: How long can we reasonably hold Margaret? MARIE: (UNCOMFORTABLE GROAN) ADAMS: We’re certainly running out of time. Legally, she can remain detained for another twelve or so hours. CHARLOTTE: Then let’s hope we can get something out of her by then… Come on, let’s get back in there. SOUND: DOOR OPENING. FOOTSTEPS TO SEATS AT TABLE. Mrs. Speaker. Senator. You both have my sincerest apologies for the delay. ADAMS: Speaker Harper. Senator Michaels. Always a pleasure. HARPER: Welcome, General. MICHAELS: Yes, hello. MARIE: Hi! CHARLOTTE: I called this meeting to discuss any further intelligence you all may have gathered. As you’re all well aware, the Vice President remains on a diplomatic mission in the Zombie’s Republic of China. With her absence extending until the eve of the centenary, it’s fallen on us to determine our next steps. HARPER: I’ll reiterate what I said during our last meeting, as I’m sure the Senate Majority Leader will agree, I believe appropriate action is to quell this rogue Life Guard unit and seek reparations after. As Danton said, there’s no need to declare war. MICHAELS: Even if you wanted to, Madam, you do not have the votes in Congress to pass a formal declaration of war. HARPER: But speaking of Danton, I’ve yet to establish any communication with him since touching down in the ULZ. Though, with President Knox’s recent correspondence, it appears negotiations are still underway, despite this misstep from LZ-4. ADAMS: Misstep? With all due respect, Mrs. Speaker, it was a god-damned genocide.  HARPER: And you’re seeing to it that it doesn’t happen again. Am I correct? ADAMS: The 40th infantry will touch down in Embalmersfield within the hour. But further lives are at stake. If the Consul is unable to gain control over this rogue regiment, there is sure to be bloodshed. MICHAELS: Congress is not yet prepared to declare war, General. ADAMS: Did you hear any utterance of that word leave my lips, Senator? MICHAELS: No, I did not, but we’ve received reassurance from President Knox himself that the ULZ has this situation under control. Let us not also forget that Embalmerfield is also receiving the help of LZ-11. ADAMS: And if evidence points to the contrary? MICHAELS: Then you will have the full support of Congress to do as you please. Just know that the commander-in-chief also has a say. I’ve communicated our response to LZ-1, and they are aware of our accompanying reinforcements in Embalmersfield. Both regiments have received orders not to engage with one another and to instead address the threat from LZ-4. ADAMS: Pardon me if I take less credence in their reassurances. A division of their army has lain waste to a town full of innocents, after all. HARPER: The time for drastic steps is not now. I think we all agree, our top priority is stamping out this band of saboteurs. CHARLOTTE: Our top priority is getting my husband back. MARIE: I miss dad. CHARLOTTE: I know, dear. Me, too. MICHAELS: Nevertheless, the president is still engaging in negotiations with the Consul, and until he’s– SOUND: KNOCKING ON DOOR. CHARLOTTE: (SIGH) Can someone see who that is? SOUND: DOOR OPENING. ASSISTANT: Excuse the interruption, Madam. We’ve just received further correspondence from the president. CHARLOTTE: Another recording? So soon? ASSISTANT: Yes, Mrs. Knox. CHARLOTTE: Well, if you could all pardon me while I listen to this, I’d be greatly appreciative. I will send for you when we can resume this meeting. SOUND: ADAMS, MICHAELS, AND HARPER GET UP AND BEGIN LEAVING THE ROOM. MARIE: Bye-bye! CHARLOTTE: General, if you wouldn’t mind sticking around for this. ADAMS: Oh, of course, Mrs. Knox. SOUND: ADAMS RESUMES SITTING AT HIS CHAIR. DOOR CLOSES AS MICHAELS AND HARPER DEPART. CHARLOTTE: It’s great to hear my husband’s voice, General, but I can’t shake the feeling that something’s off. ADAMS: I don’t think you need me to tell you my position on the matter.  CHARLOTTE: I mean, I always knew communication with the ULZ was shoddy, but how is it I’m not able to speak directly to him? ADAMS: I agree with your suspicions. Something isn’t adding up, which is why I took the liberty of tacking on some extra reinforcements to Embalmersfield.  CHARLOTTE: Extra reinforcements? What do you mean? ADAMS: I’ve directed the 75th Ranger Regiment to defend Embalmersfield. CHARLOTTE: Jesus, General! You don’t think that’s a little overkill? ADAMS: With two ULZ regiments converging on the city – friend or foe – we can’t be too careful. CHARLOTTE: (SIGH) Let’s hope our suspicions are false, then. MARIE: Bed now? CHARLOTTE: Soon. Very soon.   NARRATOR: DZ 6, the Governor’s Office in Zonal Capitol, Embalmersfield SAM: … And that’s when Sheriff Dietz helped us escape. We were pursued by the Life Guard but were fortunate enough to shake them before arriving here. LEWIN: I’m… speechless. And you’re sure of what you saw? NICK: Yep, homicidal soldiers-in-training. Zombies in cages. DIETZ: And I can attest to everything following their arrival in Porterville. LEWIN: If what you say is true. We must get word to the president. DIETZ: Good luck with that. From what I hear, he’s so entrenched in those peace negotiations in the Consulate, hardly anyone can get a hold of him.  LEWIN: I’ll make some calls. The public must be made aware of these zombie traffickers. Who knows how many ULZ loyalists reside within our borders? And what could they be doing with those poor kidnapped folk? NICK: Target practice, for one. Immolations. Who knows what else? They’d run out of matches if they were to execute every captured zombie. SAM: Nick’s right. My brother talked about Life Guard members being ordered to transport “cargo” to LZ-1. Conveniently, those missions were around the time a whole batch of zombies would suddenly go missing from our cells.  SAM’S MOM: Oh, George… I wonder how wrapped up in this mess he is.  LEWIN: (STRESSED SIGH) Well let’s hope we can rely on those troops coming from LZ-11.  DIETZ: Come again? NICK: LZ-11 troops? LEWIN: That’s right, you’ve probably been a bit preoccupied, but the Consul has offered the help of LZ-11’s Life Guard to defend Embalmersfield against the rogue Life Guard units. Fortunately, we’ve received word that the 40th infantry will be touching down any minute, so in the event that LZ-11 is a Trojan horse, our troops should handily stamp that out. SAM: A Life Guard regiment ordered to protect zombies? I never thought I’d hear anything like that. Life Guard soldiers – at least where I’m from – are taught to despise the undead. Taught to kill them at any and every opportunity. SAM’S MOM: Governor, they’re called “Life Guard” for a reason. They would never raise a hand to their own. LEWIN: Do you expect me to just call off their reinforcements? I’m afraid it’s a bit late for that. NICK: What’s that supposed to mean? LEWIN: The LZ-11 troops are set to arrive by tomorrow morning. SAM: Can you order them to camp just beyond the border? Or at least intercept LZ-4’s force south of here? Allowing Life Guard within the city is a recipe for disaster. LEWIN: For Christ’s sake, I’m not a tactician. But they’re landing in the airfield on the outskirts of the city. I’ve been in communication with General Adams, and he assured me that we have the full support of the federal government. My heart goes out to the people of Porterville, truly. It was unforgivable what those LZ soldiers did, but we have something they didn’t have. Time and a whole lot of guns coming our way. SAM: Then use this time wisely and find a way to keep those soldiers out of your city.  LEWIN: Okay, but right now, those reporters are tearing at each other’s flesh to find out about you lot. I need to give the people answers. Once this press conference is over, I’ll consider negotiating LZ-11’s defensive position. SAM: By then, it could be too late. LEWIN: Listen, I know you all have been through hell, but there’s nothing to worry about here in Embalmersfield. Sam, you and your mother have known nothing but the LZ your whole life, but we here in the DZ are well-versed in the might of our military. If you think even two LZ regiments can stand against one of ours, you’re sorely mistaken. DIETZ: This girl ain’t been wrong yet. I urge you to at least consider what she’s said. LEWIN: Like I said, it’s been taken into consideration. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to address the people. SAM: You’re making a mistake taking this so lightly. LEWIN: Help yourselves to whatever you need. SOUND: DEPARTING FOOTSTEPS. DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES. DIETZ: And this is why I always say, you can never rely on a politician.   NARRATOR: LZ-1, a crisis room in the Consular Palace. CONSUL: I’m starving. This meeting was supposed to start half an hour ago. LARS: The catering is on its way, your Consulship.  CONSUL: This shouldn’t be taking so damn long. CALHOUN: Not at all. The script wasn’t nearly as comprehensive as the previous one. SOUND: DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING. DANTON: I apologize for my tardiness. The president was not very cooperative. CONSUL: If he wants to continue playing games, he can see just how serious we were about our threat. DANTON: Believe me, I kept reminding him about his daughter, but the man’s at the end of his rope. Can’t blame him really. Being outsmarted by someone working right under your nose must be a significant blow to your ego. CALHOUN: (SIGH) As long as he continues to do our bidding, we won’t have to take any unnecessary steps. CONSUL: Leave it to the UDZ to elect such a stubborn, impertinent leader. Nevertheless, Danton, you can take a seat now… General Wilkes, I trust LZ-11 is still en route to Embalmersfield? WILKES: Landing tomorrow, as scheduled. From the airfield, they will march into Embalmersfield and set up a loose – albeit staged – perimeter within the southern border of the city. Fortunately, we were able to reroute more gas canisters to their regiment from LZ-7, so they’re well equipped to take Embalmersfield. Of course, the remaining variable is when Captain Roberts intends to launch an invasion on Embalmersfield.  CALHOUN: Has no one communicated the plans to him? CONSUL: No, he will not know anything of this until the day of his attack. An LZ-11 messenger will relay the plan to him on the day, but Captain Roberts is too much of a liability to wantonly relinquish such information. WILKES: Yes, and I’ve been assured by Doctor Meighan that the canisters LZ-11 have on hand should be enough to cover Embalmersfield and the surrounding districts. The canisters will remain on the C-130s stationed in the airfields after arrival. Just before LZ-4’s attack, they’ll take off with a skeleton crew to loose the canisters over the city’s defenses and most populous neighborhoods. There’s likely to be creases in coverage, but our forces should be able to eliminate any surviving targets. DANTON: Is there a plan to hold the city? WILKES: According to the wind predictions, the gas should make the region uninhabitable to the undead for at least a full 24 hours, and the canisters should cause minimal damage to the city’s infrastructure. We have LZ-10 on standby. When given the order, they will reinforce Embalmersfield and man the defenses abandoned by the UDZ’s troops. CONSUL: Their armaments will make a lovely addition to our military. WILKES: Precisely, your consulship. Despite this change in pace, our invasion should go off without a hitch. And Doctor Meighan’s shipments continue to remain on schedule. It won’t be much longer until every one of our regiments has enough gas to extinguish an entire city. CONSUL: Ah, and may the living prosper once more. SOUND: KNOCKING ON DOOR. LARS: I'll get it SOUND: DOOR OPENING. Lars : Oh, my apologies. It seems lunch isn’t quite ready. CONSUL: Well, then who’s at the door? MEIGHAN: Greetings, Consul. CONSUL: Ah, yes. Doctor. Please come in. MEIGHAN: I’m afraid I have some… unfortunate news. CONSUL: (PERTURBED) Go on. MEIGHAN: It’s the White House, sir. We’ve lost communication with our woman on the inside, Margaret. She never filed yesterday’s vaccination report for Marie. CONSUL: Could it be that she simply forgot. MEIGHAN: She’s a very capable professional, sir. She’s not one to forgo something so important as this. DANTON: Wait, you’re saying that Marie hasn’t received her latest vaccination? MEIGHAN: And without you there, Danton, we have no one else to administer it. CALHOUN: What will happen to the girl if she doesn’t receive the vaccine? Will she simply re-zombify? MEIGHAN: The vaccine triggers a response in the patient’s bone marrow. Think of it as jump-starting a car. Every injection stimulates the body’s stem cells, which in turn produce white blood cells. At some point, her body may retain the ability to produce its own white blood cells, but for now, the vaccine is the only thing setting this production in motion. Over time, her immune system will become weaker as these cells die off, and given her apparent immunity to zombification, the common cold, alone, could be enough to kill her. CONSUL: Thereby giving up our leverage over Knox. MEIGHAN: Precisely. DANTON: That is, of course, worrying, but more concerning still is Margaret. CONSUL: How do you mean, Danton? DANTON: I’ve noticed she was growing a subtle affinity for the child. Assuming she’s been detained, I’m not so sure how long she can keep her lips sealed when it’s Marie’s life on the line. CONSUL: She’d betray the ULZ for one of them? DANTON: With all due respect, your Consulship. Not one of them. She is indeed one of the living now. Though, for how long, I don’t know.   NARRATOR: LZ-1, the cellblock beneath the Consular Palace. HOBBES: Guards! Someone! Anyone! Something’s wrong with this man! SCHNEIDER: (SPUTTER, COUGH, and GROAN) HOBBES: I think this man’s sick! Anyone?! JAILER: (ANNOYED) I’m coming. I’m coming. HOBBES: He just started gripping his stomach. Rolling around on the ground. Moaning and such. SCHNEIDER: Ugh… (WEAK) Please… JAILER: Christ, man. You look paler than this lumbering stiff next door. HOBBES: Never mind that, this man clearly needs help. SCHNEIDER: (WHEEZE) I can’t… (WHEEZE) I can’t… breathe. JAILER: Let… Uh, let me go get a doctor. HOBBES: This guy is a doctor. SCHNEIDER: Chest… (WHEEZE) Chest compressions… Please. JAILER: CPR? I ain’t done anything like that since I was a greenhorn in the Life Guard. Don’t suppose they teach you any first aid in the UDZ, huh? HOBBES: What? Of course not. Just do as he tells you. Look, he’s miming it now. JAILER: How do I know he’s not faking it? HOBBES: I don’t think it’s normal for your kind to be that color. Besides, he’s half your size. SCHNEIDER: (WHEEZE and COUGH) JAILER: Aw, hell! SOUND: JAILER FIDGETS WITH RING OF KEYS. JAILER: I can’t have another prisoner die on my watch. It’ll be off to LZ-5 for me. SOUND: PRISONER DOOR OPENS AND JAILER APPROACHES SCHNEIDER. HOBBES: Hurry! JAILER: Okay, so… Lay still, why don’t you?! Okay, I just place my hands here and… Oof! What the hell?! SCHNEIDER: (SOUNDS OF STRUGGLING) JAILER: Hey, let go of my rifle! (GRUNT) I said stop! Let go! SOUND: GUNSHOT. SCHNEIDER: (DYING BREATH) JAILER: No… No, no, no. This can’t… You saw it, right? You saw it all. He was trying to take my rifle from me. It was… It was self-defense, yeah? HOBBES: Dr. Schneider, no… You… You killed him. JAILER: I didn’t kill nobody.  SOUND: FOOTSTEPS TOWARD THE BARS. JAILER TAPS HIS GUN AGAINST THE BARS. And you’re going to corroborate that story or else I’ll make sure you’re first in line at our next barbeque. You understand? HOBBES: You already took my son from me. Your worst can’t beat that. JAILER: Look, I’m just asking you to tell the truth of it, got it– SOUND: SCHNEIDER HITS THE JAILER IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD. (PAINED GRUNT) SOUND: JAILER FALLS TO THE GROUND.  HOBBES: (HUSHED) You did it! Great job! SCHNEIDER: You were right; your kind really can’t feel a thing.  HOBBES: I–I’m sorry you got shot. That wasn’t part of the plan. Do you know if that life-restoring vaccine you guys got will work with a hole in your chest? SCHNEIDER: (SIGH) Tempt fate by saying I have almost nothing to lose, and then this happens. I, unfortunately, know little of what the vaccine does outside a brief explanation from that homicidal maniac, Dr. Meighan. If they intend to use it on the UDZ, especially with the states of decay of most citizens, then I presume it’ll work on me. Besides, the bullet narrowly missed my heart. HOBBES: Well, here’s hoping it works. Either way, I appreciate your sacrifice. SCHNEIDER: I really underestimated how quickly the virus would take hold. HOBBES: Right, but let’s get a move on. I’m sure all this commotion will eventually garner some attention. Not to mention, that jailer seemed like he had a thick skull, so he could be up at any moment. SCHNEIDER: Okay… SOUND: JINGLING KEYS. Why is it prison guards always have such heavy sets of keys? HOBBES: Oh, and don’t forget the rifle. SCHNEIDER: Rifle? You know how to use this thing? HOBBES: You don’t think I’d pass up on the chance to fire guns at my armor prototypes, did you? SCHNEIDER: Makes sense. HOBBES: Now, get me out of here, and let’s go find Nick.   End of episode.
Generation Z : Unknown Expiration Date : S2 E2
Jun 3 2022
Generation Z : Unknown Expiration Date : S2 E2
A new assignment for George and Schumacher. Charlotte and Gen. Adams are ready to close the deal. Will Gov. Lewin help Samantha? Gen. Wilkes updates the Consul. Henry Hobbes and Dr. Schnieder begin to execute their plan. Cast: Scene 1 Capt. Roberts : Pete Lutz Mayor Schumacher : Scott Slagle Lt. Ramsay : Van Riker George Cooper : J Dean Garcia Soldier : Daniel French Scene 2 Charlotte Knox : Ilana Labourene Marie Knox : Katelin Curtis Sen. Harper : Rosanna Jimeno General Adams : Rich Green Sen. Michaels : Anne Ghrist Assistant : Daniel French Scene 3 Samantha Cooper : Victoria Fancki Susan Cooper : Nina Bricko Gov. Lewin : M A Doerfler Sheriff Dietz : Daniel French Nick Hobbes: Joe Brillion Scene 4 Consul Nathaniel : Blake Benlan Vice-Consol Calhoun : Katelin Curtis Benjamin Danton : Spencer J Fredrick Gen. Wilkes : Van Riker Dr. Meighan : Rosanna Jimeno Lars : Daniel French Scene 5 Henry Hobbes : Pete Lutz Dr. Schneider : Spencer J Fredrick Jailer : Nina Bricko   Production, Music, Foley, and Sound Design by Daniel French at Fishbonius Sound Design     Transcipt Generation Zombie Season 2, Chapter 2 “Unknown Expiration Date” by Steven Chisholm   NARRATOR: DZ-6, Porterville Town Hall ROBERTS: You certainly have exquisite taste in furniture, Schumacher. Is this desk of yours mahogany?  SCHUMACHER: Nothing so lavish, I’m afraid. It’s cherry wood. ROBERTS: Nevertheless, a fine piece… Lieutenant Ramsay, you have the battle plans for Embalmersfield on hand? RAMSAY: Yes, sir. SOUND: UNRAVELING OF MAP. ROBERTS: Place it on the desk, if you will. SOUND: SMOOTHING OUT MAP ON DESKTOP. Wonderful. SCHUMACHER: You really do have this raid all planned out. ROBERTS: Yes, but there’s been a slight change in plans. SCHUMACHER: Change in plans? SOUND: APPROACHING FOOTSTEPS. SOLDIER: Pardon the interruption, sir. ROBERTS: What is it, Private? SOLDIER: Corporal Cooper is here to see you. ROBERTS: Let him in. SOUND: SOLDIER DEPARTS ROOM. GEORGE ENTERS. George, how can I help you? GEORGE: It’s done.  ROBERTS: Yes, I can smell the smoke on your uniform. You did a fine job, Corporal. GEORGE: (TIMID) Thank you, sir. Proud to serve the Life Guard. ROBERTS: I hope you understand why I had you do that. GEORGE: To prove my loyalty to the ULZ… And to preserve the sanctity of the living. ROBERTS: Yes, but you must understand what lead Leanne to such… unfortunate circumstances. Carelessness, sure. But we wouldn’t be discussing her premature departure if not for the actions of your sister. It was not I that forced your hand, nor was it your own free will. Samantha, your own blood, was the one that set the blaze. It was treason that reduced Leanne to ashes. Do you understand, Corporal? GEORGE: I understand that she must pay for her crimes. ROBERTS: Good. Now that I’m assured of your allegiance, I must say, you’ve arrived at the perfect time. GEORGE: You have an assignment for me, sir? ROBERTS: Oh, yes. One that involves Mr. Schumacher, here. SCHUMACHER: Me? ROBERTS: You see this beautiful desk, Corporal? Cherry wood, I’ve been told by Schumacher. Where once this material was a great tree, producing oxygen for us living folk, now it is mere lifeless timber. But despite being felled, it still serves a purpose. Not nearly as noble a purpose as when it was living, but nonetheless, it functions as a desk on which to plan our annexation of Embalmersfield. Schumacher is much like this tree. He once lived a nobler life but had that privilege stripped away by undeath. Despite his breathless existence, he’s still here to serve a purpose, and it’s up to you, George, to see that he fulfills his obligation to the living.  SCHUMACHER: I gave you Porterville. What more can I do? SOUND: UNRAVELING PAPER. RAMSAY: Captain, here are the plans you asked for. ROBERTS: Thank you, Lieutenant… Corporal, would you kindly take a look at these? SOUND: ROBERTS HANDING PAPER TO GEORGE. GEORGE: It’s… If you don’t mind my asking, what am I looking at, Captain? RAMSAY: Allow me to explain, George. This line here, this is you and Schumacher. GEORGE: You have us… You have us heading to Embalmersfield? Alone?  ROBERTS: Correct. SCHUMACHER: As devoted as I am to your cause, you can’t expect me to go on this suicide mission. RAMSAY: This isn’t a preliminary attack. At least, not in the way you two are envisioning. George, here, is simply to escort you to the outer perimeter of Embalmersfield. A chaperone of sorts to ensure that you’re not beset upon by any free-roaming Life Guards. SCHUMACHER: Am I some offering to the enemy? RAMSAY: You’re a refugee. SCHUMACHER: I don’t understand. ROBERTS: Schumacher… You’re going to seek sanctuary in the city of Embalmersfield. You’re going to be the mayor who braved the battle and escaped. And when they welcome you with warm blankets and hot cocoa – or whatever it is your kind do for comfort – you’re going to cozy up to Governor Lewin. She’s no doubt caught wind of the annexation of Porterville, and who better to trust with their defense plans than someone who’s faced the might of the ULZ themselves? Schumacher, I’m once again asking you to be our man on the inside.  SCHUMACHER: I… ROBERTS: I’m confident your faith in the ULZ has not wavered. SCHUMACHER: No. No, it has not. ROBERTS: Thank you. And you, Corporal. I know I can trust you with delivering the mayor to his destination. GEORGE: Yes, sir. ROBERTS: Excellent. Ramsay has been kind enough to outline your route. Follow that path closely, and you shouldn’t run into trouble. Do you have any questions? GEORGE: Yes, Captain. When do we start? ROBERTS: Meet Ramsay at sunset by the northwest entrance to Porterville. He’ll get you both situated. GEORGE: Will do, sir. ROBERTS: You’re dismissed, Corporal. SOUND: DEPARTING FOOTSTEPS. SCHUMACHER: And me? ROBERTS: You’re free to leave, too, Schumacher. SCHUMACHER: Okay. I’ll see you in Embalmersfield, Roberts. ROBERTS: Look forward to it. SOUND: DEPARTING FOOTSTEPS. ROBERTS: Oh, one more thing, Mayor. SCHUMACHER: What’s that? SOUND: GUNSHOT. SCHUMACHER: What the–What the hell did you do that for?! ROBERTS: You can’t expect them to think you got out of Porterville completely unscathed, can you?    NARRATOR: DZ-1, a crisis room in the White House MARIE: (YAWN) Tired. CHARLOTTE: You’re tired? You can take a nap right here. MARIE: I want my bed. CHARLOTTE: You can have your bed after I’m through talking with my friends, here. HARPER: Mrs. Knox, pardon my manners, but is it necessary that your child be privy to our conversations? MARIE: Privy! CHARLOTTE: If only there was someone I could trust to watch her. HARPER: Someone you can trust? Madam, is everything okay? MICHAELS: What about her usual caretaker, Margaret?  MARIE: Bad Margaret! SOUND: DOOR OPENING. ADAMS: I apologize for my tardiness, Mrs. Knox. CHARLOTTE: Apology not necessary. But, before you come in, can I have a quick word with you outside? ADAMS: Of course. CHARLOTTE: Excuse me, please. Come on, Marie. SOUND: FOOTSTEPS, AS CHARLOTTE MOVES TOWARD CRISIS ROOM ENTRANCE. DOOR CLOSING. CHARLOTTE: Has she said anything, yet? ADAMS: She’s remaining tight-lipped, Madam, but I’m confident she’s withholding something from us. We’ve just begun a search of her quarters. If something comes up, you’ll be the first to know. CHARLOTTE: How long can we reasonably hold Margaret? MARIE: (UNCOMFORTABLE GROAN) ADAMS: We’re certainly running out of time. Legally, she can remain detained for another twelve or so hours. CHARLOTTE: Then let’s hope we can get something out of her by then… Come on, let’s get back in there. SOUND: DOOR OPENING. FOOTSTEPS TO SEATS AT TABLE. Mrs. Speaker. Senator. You both have my sincerest apologies for the delay. ADAMS: Speaker Harper. Senator Michaels. Always a pleasure. HARPER: Welcome, General. MICHAELS: Yes, hello. MARIE: Hi! CHARLOTTE: I called this meeting to discuss any further intelligence you all may have gathered. As you’re all well aware, the Vice President remains on a diplomatic mission in the Zombie’s Republic of China. With her absence extending until the eve of the centenary, it’s fallen on us to determine our next steps. HARPER: I’ll reiterate what I said during our last meeting, as I’m sure the Senate Majority Leader will agree, I believe appropriate action is to quell this rogue Life Guard unit and seek reparations after. As Danton said, there’s no need to declare war. MICHAELS: Even if you wanted to, Madam, you do not have the votes in Congress to pass a formal declaration of war. HARPER: But speaking of Danton, I’ve yet to establish any communication with him since touching down in the ULZ. Though, with President Knox’s recent correspondence, it appears negotiations are still underway, despite this misstep from LZ-4. ADAMS: Misstep? With all due respect, Mrs. Speaker, it was a god-damned genocide.  HARPER: And you’re seeing to it that it doesn’t happen again. Am I correct? ADAMS: The 40th infantry will touch down in Embalmersfield within the hour. But further lives are at stake. If the Consul is unable to gain control over this rogue regiment, there is sure to be bloodshed. MICHAELS: Congress is not yet prepared to declare war, General. ADAMS: Did you hear any utterance of that word leave my lips, Senator? MICHAELS: No, I did not, but we’ve received reassurance from President Knox himself that the ULZ has this situation under control. Let us not also forget that Embalmerfield is also receiving the help of LZ-11. ADAMS: And if evidence points to the contrary? MICHAELS: Then you will have the full support of Congress to do as you please. Just know that the commander-in-chief also has a say. I’ve communicated our response to LZ-1, and they are aware of our accompanying reinforcements in Embalmersfield. Both regiments have received orders not to engage with one another and to instead address the threat from LZ-4. ADAMS: Pardon me if I take less credence in their reassurances. A division of their army has lain waste to a town full of innocents, after all. HARPER: The time for drastic steps is not now. I think we all agree, our top priority is stamping out this band of saboteurs. CHARLOTTE: Our top priority is getting my husband back. MARIE: I miss dad. CHARLOTTE: I know, dear. Me, too. MICHAELS: Nevertheless, the president is still engaging in negotiations with the Consul, and until he’s– SOUND: KNOCKING ON DOOR. CHARLOTTE: (SIGH) Can someone see who that is? SOUND: DOOR OPENING. ASSISTANT: Excuse the interruption, Madam. We’ve just received further correspondence from the president. CHARLOTTE: Another recording? So soon? ASSISTANT: Yes, Mrs. Knox. CHARLOTTE: Well, if you could all pardon me while I listen to this, I’d be greatly appreciative. I will send for you when we can resume this meeting. SOUND: ADAMS, MICHAELS, AND HARPER GET UP AND BEGIN LEAVING THE ROOM. MARIE: Bye-bye! CHARLOTTE: General, if you wouldn’t mind sticking around for this. ADAMS: Oh, of course, Mrs. Knox. SOUND: ADAMS RESUMES SITTING AT HIS CHAIR. DOOR CLOSES AS MICHAELS AND HARPER DEPART. CHARLOTTE: It’s great to hear my husband’s voice, General, but I can’t shake the feeling that something’s off. ADAMS: I don’t think you need me to tell you my position on the matter.  CHARLOTTE: I mean, I always knew communication with the ULZ was shoddy, but how is it I’m not able to speak directly to him? ADAMS: I agree with your suspicions. Something isn’t adding up, which is why I took the liberty of tacking on some extra reinforcements to Embalmersfield.  CHARLOTTE: Extra reinforcements? What do you mean? ADAMS: I’ve directed the 75th Ranger Regiment to defend Embalmersfield. CHARLOTTE: Jesus, General! You don’t think that’s a little overkill? ADAMS: With two ULZ regiments converging on the city – friend or foe – we can’t be too careful. CHARLOTTE: (SIGH) Let’s hope our suspicions are false, then. MARIE: Bed now? CHARLOTTE: Soon. Very soon.   NARRATOR: DZ 6, the Governor’s Office in Zonal Capitol, Embalmersfield SAM: … And that’s when Sheriff Dietz helped us escape. We were pursued by the Life Guard but were fortunate enough to shake them before arriving here. LEWIN: I’m… speechless. And you’re sure of what you saw? NICK: Yep, homicidal soldiers-in-training. Zombies in cages. DIETZ: And I can attest to everything following their arrival in Porterville. LEWIN: If what you say is true. We must get word to the president. DIETZ: Good luck with that. From what I hear, he’s so entrenched in those peace negotiations in the Consulate, hardly anyone can get a hold of him.  LEWIN: I’ll make some calls. The public must be made aware of these zombie traffickers. Who knows how many ULZ loyalists reside within our borders? And what could they be doing with those poor kidnapped folk? NICK: Target practice, for one. Immolations. Who knows what else? They’d run out of matches if they were to execute every captured zombie. SAM: Nick’s right. My brother talked about Life Guard members being ordered to transport “cargo” to LZ-1. Conveniently, those missions were around the time a whole batch of zombies would suddenly go missing from our cells.  SAM’S MOM: Oh, George… I wonder how wrapped up in this mess he is.  LEWIN: (STRESSED SIGH) Well let’s hope we can rely on those troops coming from LZ-11.  DIETZ: Come again? NICK: LZ-11 troops? LEWIN: That’s right, you’ve probably been a bit preoccupied, but the Consul has offered the help of LZ-11’s Life Guard to defend Embalmersfield against the rogue Life Guard units. Fortunately, we’ve received word that the 40th infantry will be touching down any minute, so in the event that LZ-11 is a Trojan horse, our troops should handily stamp that out. SAM: A Life Guard regiment ordered to protect zombies? I never thought I’d hear anything like that. Life Guard soldiers – at least where I’m from – are taught to despise the undead. Taught to kill them at any and every opportunity. SAM’S MOM: Governor, they’re called “Life Guard” for a reason. They would never raise a hand to their own. LEWIN: Do you expect me to just call off their reinforcements? I’m afraid it’s a bit late for that. NICK: What’s that supposed to mean? LEWIN: The LZ-11 troops are set to arrive by tomorrow morning. SAM: Can you order them to camp just beyond the border? Or at least intercept LZ-4’s force south of here? Allowing Life Guard within the city is a recipe for disaster. LEWIN: For Christ’s sake, I’m not a tactician. But they’re landing in the airfield on the outskirts of the city. I’ve been in communication with General Adams, and he assured me that we have the full support of the federal government. My heart goes out to the people of Porterville, truly. It was unforgivable what those LZ soldiers did, but we have something they didn’t have. Time and a whole lot of guns coming our way. SAM: Then use this time wisely and find a way to keep those soldiers out of your city.  LEWIN: Okay, but right now, those reporters are tearing at each other’s flesh to find out about you lot. I need to give the people answers. Once this press conference is over, I’ll consider negotiating LZ-11’s defensive position. SAM: By then, it could be too late. LEWIN: Listen, I know you all have been through hell, but there’s nothing to worry about here in Embalmersfield. Sam, you and your mother have known nothing but the LZ your whole life, but we here in the DZ are well-versed in the might of our military. If you think even two LZ regiments can stand against one of ours, you’re sorely mistaken. DIETZ: This girl ain’t been wrong yet. I urge you to at least consider what she’s said. LEWIN: Like I said, it’s been taken into consideration. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to address the people. SAM: You’re making a mistake taking this so lightly. LEWIN: Help yourselves to whatever you need. SOUND: DEPARTING FOOTSTEPS. DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES. DIETZ: And this is why I always say, you can never rely on a politician.   NARRATOR: LZ-1, a crisis room in the Consular Palace. CONSUL: I’m starving. This meeting was supposed to start half an hour ago. LARS: The catering is on its way, your Consulship.  CONSUL: This shouldn’t be taking so damn long. CALHOUN: Not at all. The script wasn’t nearly as comprehensive as the previous one. SOUND: DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING. DANTON: I apologize for my tardiness. The president was not very cooperative. CONSUL: If he wants to continue playing games, he can see just how serious we were about our threat. DANTON: Believe me, I kept reminding him about his daughter, but the man’s at the end of his rope. Can’t blame him really. Being outsmarted by someone working right under your nose must be a significant blow to your ego. CALHOUN: (SIGH) As long as he continues to do our bidding, we won’t have to take any unnecessary steps. CONSUL: Leave it to the UDZ to elect such a stubborn, impertinent leader. Nevertheless, Danton, you can take a seat now… General Wilkes, I trust LZ-11 is still en route to Embalmersfield? WILKES: Landing tomorrow, as scheduled. From the airfield, they will march into Embalmersfield and set up a loose – albeit staged – perimeter within the southern border of the city. Fortunately, we were able to reroute more gas canisters to their regiment from LZ-7, so they’re well equipped to take Embalmersfield. Of course, the remaining variable is when Captain Roberts intends to launch an invasion on Embalmersfield.  CALHOUN: Has no one communicated the plans to him? CONSUL: No, he will not know anything of this until the day of his attack. An LZ-11 messenger will relay the plan to him on the day, but Captain Roberts is too much of a liability to wantonly relinquish such information. WILKES: Yes, and I’ve been assured by Doctor Meighan that the canisters LZ-11 have on hand should be enough to cover Embalmersfield and the surrounding districts. The canisters will remain on the C-130s stationed in the airfields after arrival. Just before LZ-4’s attack, they’ll take off with a skeleton crew to loose the canisters over the city’s defenses and most populous neighborhoods. There’s likely to be creases in coverage, but our forces should be able to eliminate any surviving targets. DANTON: Is there a plan to hold the city? WILKES: According to the wind predictions, the gas should make the region uninhabitable to the undead for at least a full 24 hours, and the canisters should cause minimal damage to the city’s infrastructure. We have LZ-10 on standby. When given the order, they will reinforce Embalmersfield and man the defenses abandoned by the UDZ’s troops. CONSUL: Their armaments will make a lovely addition to our military. WILKES: Precisely, your consulship. Despite this change in pace, our invasion should go off without a hitch. And Doctor Meighan’s shipments continue to remain on schedule. It won’t be much longer until every one of our regiments has enough gas to extinguish an entire city. CONSUL: Ah, and may the living prosper once more. SOUND: KNOCKING ON DOOR. LARS: I'll get it SOUND: DOOR OPENING. Lars : Oh, my apologies. It seems lunch isn’t quite ready. CONSUL: Well, then who’s at the door? MEIGHAN: Greetings, Consul. CONSUL: Ah, yes. Doctor. Please come in. MEIGHAN: I’m afraid I have some… unfortunate news. CONSUL: (PERTURBED) Go on. MEIGHAN: It’s the White House, sir. We’ve lost communication with our woman on the inside, Margaret. She never filed yesterday’s vaccination report for Marie. CONSUL: Could it be that she simply forgot. MEIGHAN: She’s a very capable professional, sir. She’s not one to forgo something so important as this. DANTON: Wait, you’re saying that Marie hasn’t received her latest vaccination? MEIGHAN: And without you there, Danton, we have no one else to administer it. CALHOUN: What will happen to the girl if she doesn’t receive the vaccine? Will she simply re-zombify? MEIGHAN: The vaccine triggers a response in the patient’s bone marrow. Think of it as jump-starting a car. Every injection stimulates the body’s stem cells, which in turn produce white blood cells. At some point, her body may retain the ability to produce its own white blood cells, but for now, the vaccine is the only thing setting this production in motion. Over time, her immune system will become weaker as these cells die off, and given her apparent immunity to zombification, the common cold, alone, could be enough to kill her. CONSUL: Thereby giving up our leverage over Knox. MEIGHAN: Precisely. DANTON: That is, of course, worrying, but more concerning still is Margaret. CONSUL: How do you mean, Danton? DANTON: I’ve noticed she was growing a subtle affinity for the child. Assuming she’s been detained, I’m not so sure how long she can keep her lips sealed when it’s Marie’s life on the line. CONSUL: She’d betray the ULZ for one of them? DANTON: With all due respect, your Consulship. Not one of them. She is indeed one of the living now. Though, for how long, I don’t know.   NARRATOR: LZ-1, the cellblock beneath the Consular Palace. HOBBES: Guards! Someone! Anyone! Something’s wrong with this man! SCHNEIDER: (SPUTTER, COUGH, and GROAN) HOBBES: I think this man’s sick! Anyone?! JAILER: (ANNOYED) I’m coming. I’m coming. HOBBES: He just started gripping his stomach. Rolling around on the ground. Moaning and such. SCHNEIDER: Ugh… (WEAK) Please… JAILER: Christ, man. You look paler than this lumbering stiff next door. HOBBES: Never mind that, this man clearly needs help. SCHNEIDER: (WHEEZE) I can’t… (WHEEZE) I can’t… breathe. JAILER: Let… Uh, let me go get a doctor. HOBBES: This guy is a doctor. SCHNEIDER: Chest… (WHEEZE) Chest compressions… Please. JAILER: CPR? I ain’t done anything like that since I was a greenhorn in the Life Guard. Don’t suppose they teach you any first aid in the UDZ, huh? HOBBES: What? Of course not. Just do as he tells you. Look, he’s miming it now. JAILER: How do I know he’s not faking it? HOBBES: I don’t think it’s normal for your kind to be that color. Besides, he’s half your size. SCHNEIDER: (WHEEZE and COUGH) JAILER: Aw, hell! SOUND: JAILER FIDGETS WITH RING OF KEYS. JAILER: I can’t have another prisoner die on my watch. It’ll be off to LZ-5 for me. SOUND: PRISONER DOOR OPENS AND JAILER APPROACHES SCHNEIDER. HOBBES: Hurry! JAILER: Okay, so… Lay still, why don’t you?! Okay, I just place my hands here and… Oof! What the hell?! SCHNEIDER: (SOUNDS OF STRUGGLING) JAILER: Hey, let go of my rifle! (GRUNT) I said stop! Let go! SOUND: GUNSHOT. SCHNEIDER: (DYING BREATH) JAILER: No… No, no, no. This can’t… You saw it, right? You saw it all. He was trying to take my rifle from me. It was… It was self-defense, yeah? HOBBES: Dr. Schneider, no… You… You killed him. JAILER: I didn’t kill nobody.  SOUND: FOOTSTEPS TOWARD THE BARS. JAILER TAPS HIS GUN AGAINST THE BARS. And you’re going to corroborate that story or else I’ll make sure you’re first in line at our next barbeque. You understand? HOBBES: You already took my son from me. Your worst can’t beat that. JAILER: Look, I’m just asking you to tell the truth of it, got it– SOUND: SCHNEIDER HITS THE JAILER IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD. (PAINED GRUNT) SOUND: JAILER FALLS TO THE GROUND.  HOBBES: (HUSHED) You did it! Great job! SCHNEIDER: You were right; your kind really can’t feel a thing.  HOBBES: I–I’m sorry you got shot. That wasn’t part of the plan. Do you know if that life-restoring vaccine you guys got will work with a hole in your chest? SCHNEIDER: (SIGH) Tempt fate by saying I have almost nothing to lose, and then this happens. I, unfortunately, know little of what the vaccine does outside a brief explanation from that homicidal maniac, Dr. Meighan. If they intend to use it on the UDZ, especially with the states of decay of most citizens, then I presume it’ll work on me. Besides, the bullet narrowly missed my heart. HOBBES: Well, here’s hoping it works. Either way, I appreciate your sacrifice. SCHNEIDER: I really underestimated how quickly the virus would take hold. HOBBES: Right, but let’s get a move on. I’m sure all this commotion will eventually garner some attention. Not to mention, that jailer seemed like he had a thick skull, so he could be up at any moment. SCHNEIDER: Okay… SOUND: JINGLING KEYS. Why is it prison guards always have such heavy sets of keys? HOBBES: Oh, and don’t forget the rifle. SCHNEIDER: Rifle? You know how to use this thing? HOBBES: You don’t think I’d pass up on the chance to fire guns at my armor prototypes, did you? SCHNEIDER: Makes sense. HOBBES: Now, get me out of here, and let’s go find Nick.   End of episode.
Corporate Punishment 8 : 4th Floor : Information Technology
May 19 2022
Corporate Punishment 8 : 4th Floor : Information Technology
Connie Bozeman and Chief Amil encounter a floor of Severance Inc that confirms we are on another plane of existence. Cast: Overseer : Frank Guglielmelli Secretary : Rosanna Jimeno Connie Bozeman : Katelin Curtis Chief Amil : Van Riker The Unemployable : Spencer J Fredrick Main Frame : Steve Katz & Daniel French Production, Music, Foley, and Sound Design by Daniel French at Fishbonius Sound Design       Transcript:   CORPORATE PUNISHMENT EPISODE 8: FOURTH FLOOR – INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY   Written by Steven Chisholm   Characters: Overseer Secretary Connie Chief Amil Unemployable IT Tech Main Frame   SOUND: SUBTLE STATIC BUILDS IN INTENSITY UNTIL ABRUPT CUTOFF. SECRETARY: (HUFF) Sorry I’m late. Jan cornered me in the breakroom to talk about the weather. (IMITATION) “If tomorrow isn’t shorts weather, then I’m going to be short with the weather.” What does she think? That I’m interested in her senior center comedy routine? Nothing more hackneyed than weather-related office talk, right?  OVERSEER: (STRESSED) Please stop mentioning the weather, Secretary. SECRETARY: I wasn’t talking about the weather itself, just the notion of office talk lacking substance– OVERSEER: Please, just stop. Can’t you see you’re triggering my claustrophobia? SECRETARY: Claustrophobia? What the hell are you talking about? OVERSEER: Don’t make me say it. SECRETARY: Say what? OVERSEER: (SIGH) The clouds, Secretary. The weather outside, let me guess… it’s overcast? SECRETARY: Yeah, but I don’t see any reason for– OVERSEER: I get claustrophobic when it’s overcast. It’s like the clouds are trapping me in a bubble. SECRETARY: But you work in five-by-five room all day. Is that not triggering? OVERSEER: Well, at least I know there’s a way out of this room. SECRETARY: Are you saying you get claustrophobic because the clouds prevent you from… um, leaving the planet? OVERSEER: I don’t want to talk about this anymore. SECRETARY: Do you think clouds are solid objects? OVERSEER: I told you, I don’t want to talk about this anymore. SECRETARY: What reason would you even have to leave the planet? In fact, what opportunity would you have– OVERSEER: I said enough, Secretary. SECRETARY: Fine. Fine. It’s just… Never mind. Let’s just get on with it. OVERSEER: So, you agree we should nuke the clouds? SECRERTARY: Huh? OVERSEER: Oh, you’re referring to the tape. Yes, let’s roll. Just take a seat over here, Secretary. (CLEARS THROAT) (HOT ON MIKE) Subject number 2496G. Connie Bozeman. Date: Friday, October 8th. Time: Irrelevant. Location: Level four, information technology. SOUND: STATIC. CONNIE: Woah! Look at this, Chief! It’s so… retrowave. CHIEF AMIL: It’s so dark yet so bright. CONNIE: You ever seen Tron? Never mind. Of course, you haven’t. But this sure looks the same.  CHIEF AMIL: I’ll take your word for it, Chosen One. SOUND: ELEVATOR SIREN. CONNIE: Ah, right. Let’s get off this elevator before it crushes us. CHIEF AMIL: Right behind you. SOUND: SIREN CEASES AND DOORS CLOSE. CONNIE: This is so cool! I used to watch Tron all the time as a kid. Deadly Discs, Light Cycles, Cindy Morgan! CHIEF AMIL: Who? CONNIE: Yori! CHIEF AMIL: Oh… Wait, who? CONNIE: Lora Baines! CHIEF AMIL: Um, perhaps we should focus on the task at hand. CONNIE: Oh, right… But look ahead, Chief. There’s a group of people gliding around on some sort of neon skates. Throwing discs at glowing bricks. And oh, over there! That looks like some sort of spin on Space Paranoids. I have a feeling this challenge is going to be a blast! CHIEF AMIL: Connie, you’re scaring me. CONNIE: This place is enormous, Chief! Who knows what other games they have? And this neon aesthetic is really attuning to my vibe, y’know? CHIEF AMIL: Connie, look out! SOUND: SYNTHESIZED ICE SKATES APPROACHING. CONNIE: Woah! I have to get me a pair of those! IT TECH: Halt! How did you bypass the access point? CHIEF AMIL: Connie, prepare yourself. CONNIE: The elevator just spit us out here, but hey, how do I get me a pair of– IT TECH: We don’t have the bandwidth to host the likes of you. CONNIE: (SIGH) Fine, then can you point us in the direction of the elevator so we can, uh, free up space on your, uh, hard drive, or whatever? IT TECH: Now that you’ve penetrated our firewall, we must set you up an account before clearing you of our cache. CONNIE: Hey, wait a minute. I’m no computer expert, but even I know that’s not correct. IT TECH: Silence! CONNIE: Okay, sheesh. CHIEF AMIL: (WHIPSER) Connie, what do we do? CONNIE: I guess we just do what the guy says. Set up an account or whatever. CHIEF AMIL: I don’t know if that’s such a good idea. CONNIE: How is it I’ve become more accustomed to this nonsensical demi-plane than you? You’re the one that’s lived here longer. CHIEF AMIL: It’s just that… No, you’re right. IT TECH: Are you two finished syncing your data centers? CONNIE: Yeah, sure. IT TECH: Then, follow me. SOUND: DEPARTING FOOTSTEPS TRANSITIONING TO STATIC. SECRETARY: I guess it was only a matter of time before Connie’s–I mean, Subject 2496G’s mind broke. OVERSEER: I don’t know, I was just as much in love with Tron when I was a kid. Witnessing something so similar in the flesh would make me a little giddy myself. SECRETARY: What is Tron anyway? I’ve only heard it mentioned in passing. Never seen it myself. OVERSEER: You’ve never seen Tron?! SECRETARY: That’s what I just said. OVERSEER: Oh, my god. You’re missing out. Tron is a movie about this hacker who falls into a computer and is trapped in a digital world.  SECRETARY: Falls… into a computer? OVERSEER: Yeah, and he’s imprisoned in this cybernectic plane that happens to be obsessed with these gladiatorial-type games. It’s a must-see. SECRETARY: Surprised a claustrophobe like you would enjoy such a premise. OVERSEER: What do you mean? SECRETARY: If you’re scared of an overcast sky, imagine being trapped in a computer. OVERSEER: No… Oh, no. How could you, Secretary? I… I need a paper bag. Hand me a paper bag. SECRETARY: Here. I have this plastic bag from Sal’s. SOUND: OVERSEER SNATCHES BAG AND STARTS BREATHING INTO IT. Not sure if a plastic bag has the same effect as paper though. SOUND: OVERSEER REMOVES PLASTIC BAG FROM LIPS. OVERSEER: (SHARP INAHLE) Are you trying to kill me? I couldn’t breathe with that thing over my mouth. SECRETARY: What? You were the one holding it–Never mind. I’m sorry. I’m glad you were smart enough to not suffocate to death, but we should really get back to the tape. Look, it seems like they’re coming up on something. Some colorful neon cube of some sort. OVERSEER: (CATCHING BREATH) Huh? Oh, okay. Let’s tune back in. SOUND: STATIC. IT TECH: Before us is the blockchain, wherein resides the Main Frame. CONNIE: Guess that explains the cube shape. CHIEF AMIL: Are we going inside this thing? IT TECH: Yes, we need to set you both up with accounts, and the main frame is the only one who can do so. CHIEF AMIL: Well, is there a door? SOUND: AUTOMATIC DOOR. CONNIE: Woah, so futuristic! CHIEF AMIL: Automatic doors? CONNIE: Well, I mean, automatic doors with neon lights. IT TECH: Step inside with me. SOUND: FOOTSTEPS. CONNIE: Wow, what is that pillar? IT TECH: That is… The Main Frame. SOUND: POWERING UP COMPUTER. CHIEF AMIL: Look, Connie! Some sort of holographic visage! MAIN FRAME: Who has awakened me from sleep mode? IT TECH: It is I, Almighty Main Frame. I have come to you in hopes you could set up accounts for these new users I have with me. MAIN FRAME: Did you submit a ticket? IT TECH: I, uh… Well, I just thought that maybe you could, uh… MAIN FRAME: No ticket?! IT TECH: Well, you see… I was going to but, uh… MAIN FRAME: Task Manager? IT TECH: No, please! No! It was a mistake. MAIN FRAME: End task. IT TECH: (PIXELATED SCREAM) CONNIE: (GASP) CHIEF AMIL: Woah! CONNIE: Where’d he go? What did you do to him? MAIN FRAME: Where all failures go… The trash bin. CHIEF AMIL: Seems we’re dealing with a tough customer this time around, Connie. MAIN FRAME: Potential new users, for what purpose have you found yourselves before me? CONNIE: Listen, uh, Main Frame, we’re just– MAIN FRAME: Please, my motherboard calls me Main Frame. You can call me… M’n’Fer. [pronounced em-en-effer] CONNIE: Uh, okay, M’n’Fer. Um, we’re trying to find the elevator, and then we’ll be out of your hair… or, uh, filaments. MAIN FRAME: For that, you will need to be registered for new accounts. CONNIE: Okay, and how do we do that? MAIN FRAME: First, you must read our Terms and Conditions. CONNIE: (SIGH) Can I just scroll to the bottom and click agree? MAIN FRAME: No! You must read the entire agreement before proceeding. CONNIE: (SIGH) Okay, where is it? MAIN FRAME: Look at the wall behind you. CONNIE: Oh, my god. This will take me ages to get through. CHIEF AMIL: I believe in you, Chosen One. CONNIE: Believe in me? Chief, I’m sure you have to read this, too.  CHIEF AMIL: No, I… I’m not worthy of the task. I don’t think– MAIN FRAME: All that desire to hold accounts must read and agree to the sacred Terms and Conditions. CHIEF AMIL: Uh, fine. CONNIE: All right, you ready, Chief? CHIEF AMIL: Don’t know if I ever will be, but let’s get started. CONNIE & CHIEF (MONOTONE) This agreement hereby governs your use of Severance, Inc.’s AMIL: information technology services, including access to the elevator, virtual help desk, and vending machines. Our services are available– SOUND: STATIC. OVERSEER: And I’ve had just about enough of that. Let’s fast forward a bit. SOUND: FAST FORWARD TAPE. SECRETARY: Aw, I actually wanted to listen in. I was hoping the Terms and Conditions would fill me in on what’s actually going on in this plane. What its purpose is. OVERSEER: Oh, you’re one of those people? You actually read the Terms and Conditions? SECRETARY: Yes, normally. OVERSEER: On second thought, I probably should do the same. I agreed to the Terms and Conditions of some dating app, which apparently wound up being a Marriage Certificate instead. I’m ten years divorced and still paying alimony to Anastasia and Little Fiodor of Moldova. SECRETARY: Mhmm… Anyway, I think they’re nearing the end of the agreement. OVERSEER: Oh, you’re right. Let’s tune back in. SOUND: STATIC. CONNIE & CHIEF: (MONOTONE) Someone left the cake out in the rain. I don't think that I can take AMIL: it. 'Cause it took so long to bake it. And I'll never have that recipe again. Oh no. No. Oh no. CHIEF AMIL: (RELIEVED SIGH) CONNIE: Okay, that last section was just the lyrics to MacArthur Park. MAIN FRAME: Oh, so you have finished, have you? CONNIE: Yes, M’n’Fer. And we both agree to the Terms and Conditions. Isn’t that right, Chief? CHIEF AMIL: Huh? Oh… Yeah. MAIN FRAME: Wonderful. But you are not yet ready to be awarded your accounts. CONNIE: What? Why not? MAIN FRAME: Because, in order to set up an account for you, you must first pass our trial. CONNIE: Trial? MAIN FRAME: You must show that you are worthy to hold an account. CONNIE: Oh… (EXCITED) Oh! So, this is where the games come in. What’s it going to be? Where are we headed? The Disk Arena? I must warn you, I’m pretty adept at Light Cycle. Though, Ring Game is my favorite. MAIN FRAME: You must defeat me in a game of… CONNIE: Go on! A game of what? MAIN FRAME: Riddles! CONNIE: … Huh? MAIN FRAME: We will take turns answering each other’s riddles until one of us gets one wrong. Here, let me start. What has– CONNIE: Wait, wait, wait. No. What are all these neon arenas for if not to test my strength? MAIN FRAME: Huh? Oh, you mean the company-sponsored gym? CONNIE: Gym? MAIN FRAME: Oh, yeah. We have neon racquetball, neon spin classes, neon frisbee golf. But of course, that’s all reserved for premium members. CONNIE: God damn it! Fine, let’s start with these stupid riddles. CHIEF AMIL: Connie, fear not. I am a master of riddles. MAIN FRAME: Okay, as I was saying. What has many keys but can’t open a single lock? CHIEF AMIL: (WHISPER) Oh, Connie. I know this. It’s an armless custodian. CONNIE: (SIGH) It’s a piano. MAIN FRAME: Very good. Very good, indeed. Now see if you can outsmart me. CHIEF AMIL: Step back, Connie. Let me handle this. (CLEARS THROAT) What has bark but is not a dog? What has leaves but it stays in place? It grows from the ground and eats sunlight and drinks water. It provides shade, and some of these grow apples. What is it? MAIN FRAME: A tree. CONNIE: Chief, what the hell was that? CHIEF AMIL: Hmm, it seems this computer is smarter than I imagined. MAIN FRAME: My turn. Hmm… Computing. Yes, I’ve found the perfect one. What runs but never walks, has a mouth but never talks, has a head yet does not weep, has a bed but never– CONNIE: A river. The answer is river. MAIN FRAME: No. Wait, yes. But this is a two-parter. Hold on. Um, okay. A person calls his dog from the other side of the river. The dog is able to cross the river without getting wet, and without using a bridge– CONNIE: The river’s frozen. Okay, my turn– MAIN FRAME: No. No, wait. Did I say a two-parter? I meant a three-parter. Okay, what is– CONNIE: No, no, no. It’s my turn, M’n’Fer. MAIN FRAME: Ugh, okay, fine.  CONNIE: Um… You’ll probably get this, but it’s the first riddle that came to mind. Okay… I have lakes with no water, mountains with no stone, and cities with no buildings. What am I? MAIN FRAME: Hmm… Computing… CONNIE: You can’t seriously be taking this long to answer. This is one of the most common riddles I know. MAIN FRAME: Shh… I said I’m computing. I need quiet. CHIEF AMIL: (WHISPER) This is a hard one, Connie. Are you sure there’s a correct answer? CONNIE: Are you for real, M’n’Fer? Severance, Inc. needs to think about updating their software. MAIN FRAME: I said shut up! I’m computing. CONNIE: Is there a time limit? MAIN FRAME: I… I… CONNIE: (SIGH) Come on. MAIN FRAME: I… uh… Does not compute! Does not compute! No answer detected. False riddle identified. CONNIE: The answer is a map, you dumbass. MAIN FRAME: System overload! CONNIE: Overloading on what? It was just a basic riddle. You’re being dramatic. MAIN FRAME: Uh, fine. I’ll update your credentials… There, you both have accounts now. CONNIE: That’s it? MAIN FRAME: What do you mean that’s it? A lot of processing power goes into creating accounts. CONNIE: Yeah, okay, cool. Now where’s that elevator? MAIN FRAME: It’s right over there. On the wall behind me. CHIEF AMIL: (GASP) There it is, Connie! You did it! CONNIE: Uh, yeah. Sure. MAIN FRAME: Do you need to view the tutorial? CONNIE: To operate an elevator? I think I’m good. MAIN FRAME: Oh, well. Okay, no need to be a jerk about it. CONNIE: Come on, Chief. CHIEF AMIL: Oh, yes. Let’s get out of here. SOUND: FOOTSTEPS FOLLOWED BY ELEVATOR DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING. CONNIE: (SIGH) CHIEF AMIL: What’s the matter, Connie? You did it! You made it through the IT department! CONNIE: I just… I don’t know. I was expecting something cool to happen. That place was so… underwhelming. CHIEF AMIL: Well, I’m sure the next level will present a true challenge. Here, I’ll press the button. SOUND: ELEVATOR MOVEMENT ACCOMPANIED BY ELEVATOR MUSIC. CHIEF AMIL: Is that new music? CONNIE: Nope. CHIEF AMIL: Oh. SOUND: ELEVATOR JERKING TO HALT.  CONNIE: Here we go again. Uh, dude? Can we skip the rhetoric? I’m not in the mood. UNEMPLOYABLE: So, I can see your hope puddling on the floor beneath you like the piss of an incontinent child. CHIEF AMIL: Leave her alone, you unemployable wretch! UNEMPLOYABLE: Apologies, Chief Amil. You know how unabashedly forward I can be. ‘Tis the reason why I can never be employed, you see. Honesty is never the best policy in terms of business. CONNIE: Or maybe you don’t have a job because you’re crawling around in the filthy ducts and breaking the elevator every five minutes.  UNEMPLOYABLE: Are you claiming it’s my quality that’s holding me back? CONNIE: What? Yeah, sure. UNEMPLOYABLE: Well, how apropos. Because look where we are now. SOUND: ELEVATOR DOORS OPENING. ELEVATOR: (ROBOTIC) Floor five. Quality Assurance. CONNIE: Do you prepare these lines before we even get to the elevator? UNEMPLOYABLE: Why, of course. How else can I assure such quality. CONNIE: All right, we get it. Ugh. Ready, Chief?  CHIEF AMIL: Sure am, Chosen One. SOUND: STATIC. OVERSEER: And that’s enough for today. SECRETARY: Yeah, I was expecting a lot more violence.  OVERSEER: Oh, Secretary. It seems you’ve developed a bloodlust. SECRETARY: What? No, I mean isn’t the purpose of this plane to be unnecessarily violent? I’m just saying, beside that one IT guy, this floor was pretty tame. OVERSEER: Meh, I suppose. I’m sure there’ll be plenty more bloodshed for you to revel in next time. SECRETARY: That’s not what I’m saying, boss. OVERSEER: Don’t worry. I’m not going to report you to HR or anything. SECRETARY: No, it’s just… (FRUSTRATED HUFF). I’m going to grab some lunch. OVERSEER: Well, okay. Let me just wrap this up and I’ll join you. (CLEARS THROAT) (HOT ON MIKE) Subject 2496G observation terminal signing out. SOUND: SUBTLE STATIC BUILDS IN INTENSITY UNTIL ABRUPT CUTOFF.