Thursday, June 17, 2010

The YOA Apocalypse Parte The Third

Yes, I know I never finished the previous two. So what? It doesn't matter...

[Caption: 2012. Fade up on the apartment. It's gone downhill. The windows are boarded up. A lot of the furniture is missing. There are candles and hurricane lamps. A huge pile of batteries is in a corner, most still in packets. Nigel's Andy Warhol pic is covered up by a noticeboard marked SCHEDULED POWER CUTS. There is a pile of makeshift weapons by the door - a cricket bat, pool cue, a cardboard cutout of Kath and Kim with a nail through it, and the automatic reindeer.]

TV: I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times! Just because the Mayan Calendar ends this year doesn't mean the world ends, it means the Next Calendar starts! Besides, you think if they knew so much about the future they would have seen Cortez coming? Exactly!

[Andrew and Katy are in the middle of the room, working with a side of beef on a spit over a campfire. Eve is sitting on the sofa and watching the TV, which is wired up to an exercise bike. They are all grubby, dirty and their hair is unkempt, but none of them look particularly fussed about the downturn in their fortunes.]

[There is the sound of breaking glass. Screams and a few gunshots.


[Eve yawns. Sobs from the TV.]

TV: That was my wife, you bastard! I’ll bloody kill you!

[More gunfire. Blood spurts. Eve winces.]

TV: Run! Ted, run! [bang] OH MY GOD!!

TV: Shut up! How old are you?

TV: What?


TV: Sixteen! I’m sixteen! Please don’t hurt me! Please...!

TV: Sixteen’s good. Put her in the back.

[More screams and then the sound of a fire bomb going off. Familiar music plays.]

TV: And that was the final episode of Packed to the Rafters.

Eve: Oh, come on! This is exactly what happened in How I Met Your Mother!

Andrew: Yeah, it's a popular ending nowadays. But they didn't do it first.

Katy: Blake's 7 did.

Andrew: See, Eve, this is why I love this woman. She has even the vaguest notion what I'm talking about.

Eve: Blake's 7 had a point to it. It had a reason to end like that. Do you think Dance Academy had a drammatic reason to end with death squads executing everyone?

Katy: It's always the arts that suffer.

Andrew: And they started with the bitchy ones first, you gotta respect that.

TV: And now Channel 7 wishes a fond farewell to our faithful viewers.

[Sudden silence. The TV shows the Channel 7 logo and the word GOODBYE. There is a long pause. Then the screen turns to roaring static. Eve gets up and turns down the volume manually.]

Eve: [sighs] Well, that's it. 7's off the air. Just the ABC and TVS now.

Katy: Ah, televisual darwinism. Still, it means we don't have to change channels much any more.

Eve: Speak for yourself. They're already repeating Fawlty Towers for four hours every day.

Andrew: ...your point being?

Eve: [shrugs] Yeah guess so. How's the food coming?

Andrew: Well, don't quote me on this, but I don't think we'll get poisoned.

Katy: You don't THINK?

Andrew: It'll be delicious either way. I'm sure we'll make it to Christmas.

Eve: Unless the world ends four days early.

Katy: Don't be so pessimistic. You'll end up like all those folk in Uganda.

Eve: What? Set up sulfuric acid bombs to wipe out the entire population so they could cheat God's wrath on the final day?

Katy: [stares at her] No, Eve, the OTHER Uganda.

Eve: Huh? Are you being deadpan and sarcastic again?

Katy: No.

Andrew: Which means yes.

Eve: [defensive] I know, I know! Where're Dave and Nigel anyway?

Katy: Down the newsagents.

[A ruined street. There are abandoned vehicles in the middle of the road. Shop fronts are wrecked. A few people huddle around burning garbage bins. Slogans like THE END IS EXTREMELY NIGH and KILL THE RUDDMEISTER are spray-painted on walls. Dogs bark in the distance. Dave and Nigel creep around the corner. Dave now has a beard and Nigel's hair has gone brown.]

Nigel: I'll say one thing for the collapse of society. This place is a lot more lively than it used to be.

[They move down the street.]

Nigel: Ah. New comic day.

Dave: [disbelief] Oil apocalypse, mass animal extinctions, all the borders closed yet STILL people are publishing Torchwood Magazine?

Nigel: It's the literary equivalent of a cockroach, Dave. Survives anything.

Dave: You know that's not actually true.

Nigel: This is from someone not brave enough to watch Joe's Appartment.

Dave: Oh, like YOU don't find thousands of those brown clicking bastards singing in close harmony just a LITTLE bit freaky?

Nigel: Not as freaky as a para-cop. Come on.

[They creep across the road and into a newsagent. It is rundown, and the greeting cards section is now covered in dust. Most of it is ransacked. Dave looks at the few newspapers left. One has PETER COSTELLO CONFIDENT OF VICTORY IN NEXT ELECTION as a headline. New Idea has CHASER TEAM EATEN BY WILD DOGS on the cover. Nigel picks up a magazine with WE STILL CAN'T GET OVER IANTO on the cover and crosses to the counter, which is now in a cage.]

Nigel: I can't believe how expensive this is!

Shopkeeper: Last issue.

Nigel: It's not even double length! Look...

[Nigel tears out half the pages.]

Nigel: Nothing but posters of Gareth Lloyd-Davies! You can keep them.

Shopkeeper: [yawns] 4 double As.

Nigel: Oh, real Christmas Spirit, that is!

[Nigel shoves a packet of batteries over the counter.]

Nigel: I hope, as you watch the Queen's Speech on your chargable iPad, you think of all the people you screwed over... because we'll be waiting for you the moment you blink!

Dave: Nigel, don't annoy the one remaining businessman this side of the CBD.

Nigel: It's spineless tools like you, Dave, that brought Australia to its knees.

Dave: I thought it was the collapse of the New World Order when the Jews returned to Israel.

Nigel: Oh, excuse after excuse with you. Come on.

[They head off back home.]

Dave: Just think, Nige. A few years ago, everything seemed to be going well. A Prime Minister who wasn't a complete asshole and willing to admit he was wrong. A black man President of the United States of America. Earth Hour was working out. Robin Hood was being filmed in Hungary... and now look at it.

Nigel: Moan, moan, moan. Oh, all right, so a billion or so people are dead, the oceans are closed and there are death camps for immigrants across Europe. So what? Every century has its up and downs. 20th century had two world wars, the 17th had plagues and fires, the 15th had religious persecution... just because we've hit a bit of a bumpy patch doesn't mean the world's gone to hell in a handbasket.

[Two savage-looking teens attack them. They have curly black wigs and Aborigine-style body-paint. They have sporks as weapons. Dave runs off, but Nigel is captured.]

Nigel: Ah. Hey. What's occuring?

Savage: Hand over the batteries, goldilocks!

Savage 2: Yeah, or be defragged forever.

Nigel: Sorry, I don't speak Bogan. What? Do? You? Want?

Savage: Give us all you got!

Nigel: Sure thing, bro.

[Nigel looks left and right, checking no one is around, and moves to whisper in the savage's ear. Then he bites the guy's ear. The savage screams and jumps back, as Nigel drop-kicks the other.]

Nigel: That's the problem with your generation, you forgot all about Mike Tyson!

[He bodyslams the first savage.]

[Nigel and Dave are hurrying down a deserted street. Several houses have burnt down. The two carry several bags they nicked from the savages.]

Nigel & Dave: The ice age is coming! The sun is zooming in!
Engines stop running and the wheat is growing thin!
A nuclear error, but I have no fear
London is drowning-and I live by the river!

Nigel: You know, I really should join up with the Para-cops. Think of it, Dave. The authority of a wild west sherrif, the armor of a samurai warrior, the armory of a starship trooper...

Dave: ...the life expectency of a Spinal Tap drummer...

Nigel: Good point. Still, it'll all blow over in a few days.

Dave: When the world ends, you mean?

Nigel: It won't end, Dave, you pathetically gullible tool. If the Large Hadron Collider couldn't obliterate the entire Earth then what the hell will?

Dave: I dunno. Beginning to wonder if there's any point going on.

Nigel: Just because people are dying like animals in the streets and Joe's Apocalypse Emporium is now doing better business than Starbucks and McDonald's combined? The trains still run on time! Admittedly, they don't stop at stations and are apparently occupied by cannibals, but City Rail's never been perfect.

Dave: You said it was the best railway system in the world until they fined you 200 bucks for travelling without a ticket.

Nigel: I had a ticket!

Dave: The wrong ticket.

Nigel: I was only on the train for two more stops! 200 bucks! Bastards! I hope the world DOES end. And that it hurts. We'll see what those cretins think about priorities THEN?

Dave: Probably what YOU'LL be thinking.

Nigel: Oh?


Nigel: Like I would ever be so... lame.

Dave: Don't worry, everyone else will be too busy dying to care about you.

Nigel: [almost in tears] Oh, you know how to hurt a man, Restal.

[They pass a billboard with the phrase "Will the last one to die please turn out the lights? Think about the carbon footprint!" sprayed on it. Beyond it, fires are burning in the distance. Suddenly there are gunshots and Dave and Nigel duck and cover. Two riot-armored cops break cover and head for a house, but are shot down before they make it. One falls dead at the feet of Dave and Nigel.]

Nigel: Man, that armor IS crap, isn't it?

[They turn and run off as more shots are fired.]

[Back at the apartment, Andrew is carving off meat, chatting to the girls as he does so. They use paper plates.]

Andrew: ...of course, 98% of all life on Earth was nearly wiped out in the Permian extinction. And what about the dinosaurs, eh? Height of arrogance to think mankind's special enough to get extra time.

Eve: Yeah, but the dinosaurs got a million years. We didn't.

Katy: The dinosaurs didn't go around polluting the world or waging wars.

Eve: Oh, so not only are we discussing the imminent death knell of mankind, I'm also getting guilt-tripped for not being as environmentaly friendly as a velociraptor!

Andrew: Ladies! We agreed - any arguments have to be resolved by mud wrestling!

Katy: I can't believe you agreed to that. I mean, I can believe Nigel suggested it...

Andrew: Still, at least we'll leave behind some pretty pictures, some lovely books and the odd bittersweet symphony by the Verve.

Eve: Can we talk about something other than our own looming deaths?

[A pause. They all clearly try to think of something.]

Andrew: ...apparently they've started rebuilding Solomon's temple. Whole new line of priests being initiated with the ashes of a cow - quite similar to the one we're eating.

Eve: Is that it?

Katy: The dead sea scrolls are being released in pdf. form too, I've heard.

Andrew: Yeah, if the internet was still working we could probably download them and have a good laugh.

[They head over to the couch to start eating when there is a frantic banging on the door. None look particularly interested.]

Katy: I'll go.

[She goes into the hallway and starts to turn a heavy industrial wheel that slowly retracts a metal bar blocking the front door.]

Dave: [vo] Let me in already!

Katy: [pleasantly] Who is it?

Dave: [vo] Dave M Restal!

Katy: And the password?

Dave: [vo] Give me strength... "What man will become is the ultimate significance of time. There is nothing within the Book of Infinite Secrecy of what the devils hid the stars. Violence is life, a very ordinary need that gives meaning to the world and the name of action is Rain of Judgement. The life of his epoch ends in bed at midnight in time for the Australian sitcom."

Katy: Pass friend!

[The bar withdraws completely and the doors slide open, allowing Dave to run inside and slam them closed. Katy starts turning the locking wheel.]

Dave: Every time. Every freaking time. Can't we have a slightly shorter password?

Katy: We could, but given how long it takes to open the door, you'd be panicking during the wait. Where's Nigel, anyway?

Dave: [helps her with wheel] Oh, who cares? He was right behind me one minute then gone the next. If he's gone off with one of the Sheila Cults, then I'm not going to rescue him. Not again.

Katy: Nor me. Honestly, anything more than two nipples and a hint of body hair and he's off. You think the fact that those girls are cannibals and never go hungry just MIGHT have something to do with the fact they run naked through the streets offering sex to people?

Dave: [solemn] Yeah. He'd WANT it that way.

[They enter the main room. An episode of Fawlty Towers is starting on the TV.]

Andrew: Afternoon, Dave.

Dave: Afternoon, Andrew. I miss anything?

Eve: Channel 7 went off the air.

Dave: Great. [helps himself to plate of food] Now it's just a choice of Fawlty Towers and black and white Dick Tracy movies for the rest of eternity. Or until they stop broadcasting too, whichever comes first.

Andrew: Where's Nigel?

Dave: Oh, well, after his vital mission to get the latest Ianto Jones wank mag, he beat up a couple of savages, considered joining the Para-Cops, dodged a sniper and then disappeared. Well, fine. I won't miss him. In fact, you know what? I'm putting him on the list.

Katy: [warning] Dave...

Dave: I'm going to do it.

Eve: Every time you do it, he turns up again.

Dave: I'm still putting him on the list.


Dave: Maybe he's done us all a favor and gone to Quietus.

Andrew: Like Nigel's smart enough to do that.

Katy: I dunno. There are ads for it everywhere. Even on the ABC.

Eve: Ads on the ABC? Will Anderson would be spinning in his grave. If, you know, there was enough of him left to bury.

Andrew: It's amazing, though. Since the Millennium, we've had international terrorism, new diseases, oil spills, political collapse, the formation of a one world government and martial law that tests plagues and nerve gasses on outlying communities and the return of Hey, Hey It's Saturday. And not once did someone go, "I know, I'll make an authorized euthenasia service and charge people for murdering them."

Dave: Pretentious sods, Andrew. Just wander around after dark and you're dead a lot quicker, cheaper and less embarrassingly.

[Dave slumps against the wall, depressed rather than angry.]

Dave: We made a total stuff-up of the whole thing, didn't we?

Andrew: We're still alive.

Dave: No, not us. Humanity, I mean. No wonder everyone wants to world to end on the 21st. It's not like things are going to get better if there IS a 22nd, is there?

Andrew: [frowns] You're not using those government-issue antidepressents again, are you? How many times? They're tic-tacs! ORANGE TIC-TACS!

[Dave joins them on the couch miserably.]

Dave: Millions dead in Spain. Paris looted by ex-Big Brother contestants. America torn apart by civil war. Obama turning out to be an insane black and white minstrel with hystrionic mania. Bill Gates getting kicked to death by some crack-crazed pensioners addicted to twitter. The only remaining international communication is done by the producer of gas chambers, lethal injections and firing squads. And the chances are in a week's time there won't be a single thing left alive to even remember it.

[Eve puts her arm around Dave.]

Eve: All the more reason to enjoy things in the meantime, right?

Dave: [smiles sadly] Yeah, guess so?

Katy: Nigel'll turn up.

Eve: Well, I say we give him the welcome he deserves.

Andrew: You mean eat his share of the food between us?

Eve: Damn right.

[They cheer.]

[Nigel is strolling through the ruins of a house, singing cheerfully to himself. He crosses to an automatic machine gun and reloads it, then wanders off.]

Nigel: It's the end of the world as we know it, it's the end...

[Nigel leaves the house and crosses to the first dead para-cop and nicks his wallet.]

Nigel: Dadda-dadda-dadda-adda breathing down your neck, something something government for hire at the combat site something feeling pretty psyched! It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel...

[He crosses to the next body, which has already been picked clean.]

Nigel: OI! Get your own automated death trap! Honestly, there used to be honor amongst ruthless scavengers in the good old days...

[Sighing, he heads back down the street.]

Nigel: It was only supposed to scare people off. Not my fault their bullet-proof armor doesn't work, is it? And you can't take it with you. [starts singing] It's end of the world as we know it and I feel...

[He turns a corner and stops before a crowd of raggedy people in rags and robes, halfway between refugees and hippies. They are all insane.]

Nigel: [hopeful] Fine?

[The leader, even more deranged than the others steps forward.]

Leader: Come with us, Nigel!

Nigel: ...MAURICE?!

[The appartment. All the candles are on and lanterns lit. Andrew is sifting through a sack. Katy is reading a book, the others eating and watching the TV.]

Eve: You know, I read somewhere that Sybil acts like that because she has an inoperable brain tumor.

Dave: ...right.

Eve: See, she doesn't tell anyone about it, and Basil only finds out when she gets blown up in some IRA bombings.

Dave: Uh-huh.

Eve: Then he goes mad.

Dave: How can you tell? Besides, I always thought he died of a heart attack after Basil the Rat pooped all over the biscuits the Health Inspector was going to eat...

Andrew: Is this stuff all nicked from the savages Nigel beat up?

Dave: Yeah.

Andrew: No wonder he beat them. These have to be the most useless looters I've met. No food, no water, no batteries... just an inflatable platypus, two Easter showbags and a pile of Being Erica DVDs!

Eve: I like Being Erica.

Katy: Oh. Do you?

Eve: Are you being deadpan sarcastic again?

Katy: No.

Dave: Girls! Save this homoerotic arguments for when there's enough light to enjoy it.

Eve: Oh pur-lease. She is SO not my type.

Katy: Whereas I just have a quality threshold.

Andrew: Dave's right, you two, shush.

[He nods at the TV.]

Katy: They're interrupting Fawlty Towers for a news update? Isn't that illegal?

Andrew: Ever since Cleese became Britain's Dictator for Life, anyway.

Eve: [frowns] Looks like something's gone wrong on the Moon...

[Nigel and Maurice the Leader are with the raggedy cultists walking seemingly aimlessly through the streets.]

Nigel: Fleeing to another planet? Maurice, did you miss the whole Alternative III thing last year? Everyone who could afford it's fled to that city they've been building on the moon since the 70s, remember? Did you miss that expose Obama did about the USA-USSR alliance, and all the Illuminati and royal families getting one-trips on recycled NASA shuttles while the rest of got left behind?

Maurice: Don't tell me YOU fell for that cock-and-bull story too, Nigel.

Nigel: Typical. The ONE conspiracy they admit was real, YOU think was a hoax.

Maurice: Oh, there's a moon colony all right. But this crap about it being built last century? It was a last-minute hack job stolen from a Ben Elton novel.

Nigel: Oh yeah... Elton sure showed his critics, didn't he? Refusing the invite?

Maurice: Yeah. Reclaimed his cred in one move.

Nigel: Pity about Andrew Lloyd-Webber going apeshit with that black and decker cordless drill though. Anyway, I get you all want a way off this obviously-doomed-to-be-eaten-by-a-giant-mutant-star-goat septic isle we called Earth. Fair enough. And that means another planet. But Mars, at top speed, is a long way away. Babies are conceived, gestated, born and teethe in the time it takes to get to the nearest planet. And that has the benefit of rockets. Which you don't have.

Maurice: We don't need rockets.

Nigel: Where are you going to go anyway?

Maurice: I dunno. Where's the nearest habitable planet? Europa?

Nigel: That's a moon.

Maurice: Still counts. It's got water, air and everything.

Nigel: It's also permanently below zero. And who wants to live on a world that looked like a cracked marble?

Maurice: Maybe we do?

Nigel: How are you even going to get there?

Maurice: We have faith.

Nigel: Faith? Maurice, you don't believe in faith. You believe in the tooth fairy. You believe Jim Morrison faked his death. You believe Hitler was working with aliens to crack open a rift in time and space on behalf of the masonic clans. You believe Twilight was a readable book. You do NOT believe in faith.

Maurice: Oh yeah? Well, what's the time?

Nigel: [checks watch] Quarter past two.

Maurice: Good. Then we have eight minutes to reach the departure point.

Nigel: Ooh, that sounds epic.

[The apartment. Everyone watches on with increasing worry.]

TV: This is Trinity Wells from Moonbase Alpha, where there is absolute pandemonium! There's something so huge it's blocking out the stars, from horizon to horizon and citizens are stampeding for the underground levels...

[The light from the TV gets brighter and brighter.]

TV: Wait, there's something happening! Light is starting to... Oh my god! It's filling the sky! A curtain of... The water reservoirs are literally... boiling! Get out of the way! Get...

[All the lights go out. Everyone is startled.]

Dave: Oh, brilliant timing for the power cut!

[Dave hops onto the exercise bike and starts peddling. After a moment the TV splutters back into life. The light is very bright. There are explosions and screams. A wierd throbbing noise is heard.]



TV: Well, we appear to have lost contact with Moonbase and...

[Dave stops peddling and a few moments later the TV switches off. A pause.]

Eve: That was random.

Katy: What do you think happened up there?

Andrew: [shrugs] Divine retribution?

[A carpark next to a railway station. Nigel is looking at the nutters milling around, utterly furious.]

Nigel: This is "the departure point"? A car park? A FUCKING CAR PARK?!

Maurice: This is where the layline meridians...

Nigel: WE ARE IN A FUCKING CAR PARK! You expect to hitch a magical ride to Europa from A CAR PARK!

Maurice: Trust me, this is apppointed longitude and lattitude...

Nigel: A CAR PARK!

Maurice: And at twenty three minutes and twenty three seconds past the hour, our salvation will come. Humanity will begin anew! REGARD THE CLOCK!

[Nigel yawns and looks at his watch.]

Nigel: 2:23 and 10 seconds... 15 seconds... 20... 21... 22... 23...

[Maurice flings his arms out enraptured. So do all the nutters. Nothing happens. Nothing continues to happen. Maurice sags with disappointment.]

Maurice: [unsurprised] Fuck.

[He sighs and wanders off. Nigel follows. Just as they leave the car park there is the wierd throbbing noise. Nigel and Maurice turn to see a massive pillar of light slice down out of the sky and slam into the car park, blaze brightly and then retreat into the sky. The throbbing noise fades. All the nutters in the carpark have vanished, leaving heaps of white dust. A very, very long pause.]

Nigel: You know, my watch HAS been getting a bit fast of late.

[Maurice turns to look at him, and then smacks him over the head. They look out over the deserted carpark as the dust wafts in the air.]

[The moon. There are huge geodesic domes in craters. No sign of life as a huge shadow passes overhead.]

Nigel: [vo] It's always the same. Whenever it looks like I'm at absolute rock bottom...

[We see an observation gallery in one of the domes. Totally deserted bar heaps of white dust on the floor. An anbandoned microphone and video camera lie amongst them.]

Nigel: [vo] ...someone throws me a shovel.

- to be continued...

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