Thursday, September 30, 2010



A flashing red light on a clock wakes Jake up. He turns on a dim light. We see he sleeps on a small cot in a tiny, tiny room. He is blear-eyed and stands up, pulls on a shirt.

Next, he is in the workshop. He uncovers the head of the bot who saved him last night. Her name is NATALIE. He runs his hand through her hair. Her eyes open. Jake is startled.

Jake: How do you do that?

Natalie: Do what?

Jake: I shut you down last night.

Natalie: I’m just waking up.

Jake: But how do you do that?

Natalie: I don’t know.

Jake: Don’t let Fat Man find out.

Jake walks to the workbench and pulls out a small case. He walks back to Natalie and puts the case down on the table. She closes her eyes. He goes about patching her skin with small patches from the case. Natalie opens one eye.

Natalie: Did Fat Man do that to you?

Jake: Do what?

Natalie: He did it again?

Jake: Hold still.

Natalie: Jake, I can go out there take care of him.

Jake: And have the inspectors take you away and take you apart and me just go work in another sexbot shop? And not have you to talk to ever again?

Natalie’s face softens. Jake continues working.

Natalie: I love you, Jake.

Jake stops. His eyes widen. Natalie’s face is warm and sincere. Jake is silent. Natalie holds his gaze. Jake then hangs his head.

Jake: How come I have the only self-aware bot in the world?

Natalie stares at him.

Jake: You don’t think there aren’t thousands of other kids out there who could use a robot to take care of them? I’m just another dumb kid.

Natalie continues staring, then hugs him.

Jake: Thanks, but as you should know, there’s no way out of this place.

Natalie: There’s the front door.

Jake: And where would I go?

Natalie: You could go find the Inspector at Central. He’ll give you a job.

Jake: You were awake for that?

Natalie smiles.

Jake: Gotta keep my mouth shut when you’re around. And you know I’m not old enough yet. He’d just have to return me to Fat Man.

Natalie: An opportunity will present itself. You should always be on the look out.

Jake says nothing. Natalie sits up, Her face is repaired. She holds her sheet to cover herself.

Natalie: I remembered.

Jake: If you’re going to be self-aware, you’ve got to be aware of your nakedness.

Natalie: That’s one thing I still don’t understand.

Jake: How’s the rest of you?

Natalie: Fine. I fixed myself last night.

Jake: How?

Natalie: I remembered from watching you last time.

Jake: You’re learning complex procedures now?

Natalie: I guess so.

Jake’s body noticeably loosens. His head drops and he looks up at Natalie.

Jake: How’d you know to do what you did last night?

Natalie: You were in trouble.

Jake: You better learn to lay low. Fat Man’s going to catch on if you keep waking up and learning.

Natalie: I’ll lay low. You look for a way to get us out of here.

Jake: It’s us now?

Natalie: I’ve got to keep taking care of you, you know.
Natalie gives him a caring look. Jake walks to the work bench.

Jake: Are you OK?

Natalie: What do you mean?

Jake: Like, with the clients.

Natalie: I don’t feel any pain.

Natalie’s face has fallen. Jake is looking at her intently.

Jake: Don’t lie.

Natalie looks at Jake.

Natalie: I’ll be OK.

The door to the work room begins to rattle. Natalie lays back down, covering her face with the sheet. Jake turns to the work bench, busying himself. Fat Man walks in. He has just woken up, but is dressed.

Fat man: I heard talking.

Jake: Talking to myself.

Fat man: I catch you talking to one of the bots again-

Jake: I haven’t been. Promise.

Fat man: Get Natalie ready. She’s got an early appointment today.

Jake: Sure.

Voice from the lobby: Where the hell is everybody?

Fat man (startled, to Jake): He’s here!

Jake: Is that the-

Before Fat Man can leave the work room, a disgusting, round, greasy man enters the room. He wears a grin. He is JOHN.

John: What’s it take to get some service?

Fat Man: We’re just getting going for the day. She’ll be down in just a moment.

John: She better. I got some new things planned for you, dolly.

John laughs and exits.

Jake: Wasn’t he here yesterday with Natalie?

Fat man: Get her ready.

Jake: That’s the guy that cut her?

Fat man: Now.

Fat man exits to lobby. Natalie sits up.

Natalie: Get me my clothes.

Jake: But-

Natalie (more forcefully): Get me my clothes.

Jake’s face is tense as he searches for words, but he gives up and gets Natalie her clothes. He turns her back as she dresses. Natalie looks over her shoulder at Jake. Jake stares at the floor, gritting his teeth. Natalie exits the work room.

Fat man (heard through the door): Room four, sweetheart.

Jake’s face goes blank and he looks up. He peeks out of the work room. Fat Man stands behind his reception counter, counting money. Jake gets the “tazer device” from the work bench and turns on one of the girls.

Jake: Fat Man said he wants you to seduce him.

Girl (flirtatiously): Ooh, what does he want me to wear?

Jake: Um. That sheet.

Girl: Yay!

Girl gets up and exits the work room. Jake follows her to the door and watches her.

Girl: Hey.

Fat Man: Geez, Amber, what’re you doing out here?

Girl: Nothing.

Fat Man: You gotta go back and get your beauty rest. You’ve got an appointment soon. Jake!

Girl: I think I have an appointment right now.

Girl steps closer to Fat Man, touching his shoulder.

Fat Man: Jake! Get out here and get Amber in the back!

Girl: Aw, I don’t want Jake. I want you.

Fat Man: Jake!

Girl: Come on, baby.

Fat man grabs Girl by the arm and pulls her toward the back room.

Fat Man: Jake! You’re gonna get it!

Just inside the work room, Jake presses himself against the wall next to the door. Fat Man barges in with Girl. Jake slips out. He goes to the front desk and removes the revolver from the drawer. From down the hall, we hear John’s maniacal laughter.

Fat man (from work room): Jake! Where the hell are you?

Jake runs down the hall and shoots the door handle, and kicks the door in. John turns with rage.

John: Kid, you better put that down!

Jake and Natalie lock eyes. Natalie is worried. Jake is nervous, but keeps a strong face.

Jake: Let her go

Fat man is no longer in the work room and he spots Jake at the far end of the hall.

Fat man: Jake!

John: She’s just a bot, kid, not your mommy. Now get out!

Fat man moves down the hall toward Jake and Jake notices. He swings the gun and points it at Fat man. John uses that moment to make a move toward Jake and Natalie jumps from the bed, sheet wrapped around her dramatically. She lands a kick on John’s back. He lands face down, but rolls over and springs at Natalie. She shrieks in surprise. Jake, who still has the gun trained on Fat man turns to John. He fires twice, hitting John in the back. John slumps down. He turns and sees Fat man barreling down the hallway at him and with cold efficiency, fires two more rounds at Fat man, landing in his chest. Natalie lays on the floor, visibly frightened. Jake points the gun at her and fires one round in her head and one in her chest. He wraps her in the sheet and drags her to the workroom. He is sweating, fighting tears. Just as he enters the work room, another male customer walks in.

Customer: Hello?

Customer looks around. Jake remains still in the work room. He looks at Natalie’s lifeless body.

Customer (from down the hall): Oh my god!

Customer turns and runs out of the shop. Jake heads to the far corner of the work room and grabs a large, rectangular box with wheels. He rolls it over to Natalie’s lifeless body. He opens it. The box has a body outline and Jake begins to struggle to put Natalie in. He places the gun in his hand next to her. Finally, he has her in place and closes the latches. He wheels her to the back of the work room. He slides the wall back, revealing that the wall is a hidden panel. In this room are a few automatic weapons, a couple briefcases, and a few computers. Jake kicks the box in to the room and steps out. As he slides the panel back, he hears the front door open.

Cop: Police! Hands up!

Jake pushes the panel into place just as a policeman kicks open the back room door. Jake raises his hands.

1 comment:

  1. Whew! That was tense. I'm holding out hope that he shot her because violent bots get destroyed and he can fix her later. Or maybe this is going to a darker place (which would also be cool).