Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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THE OUTPOST (Working Title) PLOT

June 22nd, 2012 · No Comments · Social Commentary

ELEVATOR PITCH
The Outpost is a Space Noir set to Rock Music. Borrowing from film classics Double Indemnity and Casablanca, The OUTPOST takes place amidst the chaos of a civil war on Jupiter’s moon Europa. The plot revolves around several characters who are rough around the edges and unfolds predominantly at an interCherir truck-stop of sorts called the Budapest Hotel where seedy characters and miners reside.

The Hotel’s proprietor, “Liza” is managing to stay neutral in the conflict as forces loyal to the government (known as The Order) keep precious resources flowing from Europa to Earth which has been decimated by war and endless environmental disasters.

CAST OF CHARACTERS
Harley – A Rebel Leader masquerading as an Insurance Adjuster (Shawn Sugrue)
Scarpa – Captain of the Guard and Life Insurance Agent (Kenton Fridley)
Valentine and Alexis – Sisters and trust fund brats (Alisa Boniello and Rozaliya Israilova)
Liza – The Owner of the Budapest (Arianna Arimon)
Cheri – An employee of The Budapest and opportunist (Not Yet Cast)
Swifty – A resourceful and crafty hustler (Pedro Vasquez)
Boyle – Scarpa’s goon and second in command (Special Guest)

BACKGROUND
THE OUTPOST (Working Title) centers around a gang of thieves and Liza who is the owner of an interstellar truck stop called “The Budapest”. The time is one of war between the globalist forces of Earth called “The Order” and clusters of rag-tag independents that, having all but been defeated, have had to scatter into sleeper cells off-world.

The action takes place in and around Europa’s main settlement Center City where an uneasy relationship exists between Liza and Scarpa, a villainous lawman who is in charge of keeping the peace. They were at one time married but Liza tired of his philandering. Scarpa’s crew includes sisters “Alexis” and “Valentine” who are under the guardianship of Liza until they reach 25. Others include a local hustler named “Swifty”, “Cheri”, one of Liza’s employees and his goon “Boyle”,

The property on which The Budapest is situated is valuable because it straddles the most productive fissure in the moon’s icy surface upon which a highly profitable commercial extraction site is operated. Scarpa routinely chases away rebels as it is rumored that buried under the ice is a resource capable of being converted to a weapon of mass destruction called “Ultra Blue”. Finding Ultra Blue would make someone wealthy beyond measure though the substance has only been found in minute quantities. There are many who hang around, hoping to be in the right place at the right time when the ice shifts and bide their time by praying on others including the miners.

Two who are expert in such activities are “Valentine” and “Alexis” who are heir to the fortunes of a recently deceased mining tycoon. Rather than wait for their inheritance however, they, along with their pal “Swifty” have taken to crime and become experts in a scheme that has come to be known as “floozing”. Floozing involves duping unsuspecting marks into taking out life insurance policies and unwittingly making strangers their beneficiaries. Further, certain life insurance policies double the payout in cases when death is caused by accidental means. Accordingly there are a lot of “accidents” on Europa, each one more creative and comedic in nature than the one before it.

After several suspicious deaths, Harley, an insurance claims adjuster arrives on Europa to investigate whether or not the recent spate of deaths are attributable to the illegal practice. He takes a room at the Budapest and is met by Liza who tells him of the troubles that are going on. She reveals that her business is not doing well. The mining going on underneath the ice is about to literally dry up as the fishers which open in the ice frequently shift and the one by her establishment has not only seen better days, but is about to seal up for good.

Another of the cast of grafters is Swifty who is a charming but self-serving rogue who works the extraction site. His access has put him in a unique position to command favors and graft, and he is forced to kick back some of his ill-gotten gains to Scarpa.

As the action unfolds, Scarpa discovers that unauthorized communiqués are making their way past security and comes to suspect that there is an informer or worse, a lawman in their midst. Anger, tensions and suspicions give way against the backdrop of a scintillating soundtrack until only 2 are left standing and a race against time unfolds that will keep Europa, and perhaps the entire solar system in the balance.

SYNOPSIS

ACT I

FLASHBACK
The story opens ten years before the present drama. While the OVERTURE plays, scenes of war unfold as a soldier (Harley), leads the rebels in retreat into mountainous caverns. He is holding out apparently waiting for a contact from someone but the barrage is too great. Just as he and a small band take off in a shuttle, he rips a glowing blue amulet from around his neck and tosses it into a fissure in the ice, which slowly engulfs the object. The scene ends with the small craft disappearing into space under heavy fire.

PRESENT DAY
The scene is the Hotel Budapest, otherwise known as “The Bad Hotel”. The work week is ending at the mines and Liza is preparing to open the bar for what will be another wild weekend of the residents and passers-through on Europa blowing off steam. Swifty is holding court at the bar, dealing contraband, and collecting money for the girls whom he “looks out for.” Seemingly slight, he is expert with a knife, other weapons and is very dangerous. He opines that one woman is not enough and much to the chagrin of Liza sings Babes in Budapest. The song finishes and a sonic boom can be heard.

Inside a small spaceship, Harley is biding his time. He takes readings, does some calculations, looks on the view screen at his position and straps in. Concentrating on entering orbit he is eager to get out of his confined surroundings and sings Out Here In Space. As he enters the atmosphere he receives a communication from a cloaked voice asking him his estimated time of arrival to which he responds that it won’t be long.

Back at the Budapest Valentine and Alexis are trying to flooze miners who have had too much to drink and succeed in getting one to put his imprint on a touch screen thus signing his death warrant. Liza threatens to send them off-world to which they pay little mind. After a testy back and forth, the sisters return to their floozing pursuits while their previous mark falls prey to an accident (NOTE: THESE ACCIDENTS ALL HAVE TO BE COMEDIC). After acknowledging their success the sisters try to move on to another mark, but they all seem leery and shun the two spurring the sisters to sing Come On Now Love Me.

Scarpa swaggers in, pushing people out of his way and being generally obnoxious. Cheri, Liza’s employee delivers Scarpa his usual as the scantily clad sisters Valentine and Alexis sit down with him. Swifty joins them and the group begins a meeting. Scarpa hits on Liza but she’s not interested which bruises his ego and he sings Bad Hotel.

Unimpressed Liza goes about her business which annoys Scarpa even more. First he reminds her of what a good friend he is and how hard he could be making it for her. When that doesn’t produce a change in her attitude, he threatens to shut her establishment and lock her in the Tower, an impenetrable jail. Laughing, Liza points out that he’d be doing her a favor as she’d be discharged from her responsibilities to her bratty charges Valentine and Alexis. Foiled in his attempt Liza drives the point home by singing You’re Too Familiar.

Scarpa and Liza wind up practically nose to nose when a stranger, Harley, enters the Budapest Bar. Swifty covers up the group’s ill gotten gains as the sisters step toward the newcomer while Scarpa, not taking his eye off Liza barely flinches. Scarpa turns to Harley and gives him the third degree after Harley reveals he is an Adjuster and asks Liza for a room. Before he can retreat to his lodgings Scarpa and Harley feel each other singing Mysterious against one another.

Harley asks Liza to be shown to his room. She gives him a curious look of recognition and tells Cherri to take the stranger upstairs. Scarpa makes a lewd remark about what a difference a day can make. Harley responds that it would be a relief and parts company from Scarpa and his crew. She lets him in and after closing the door they embrace. Cheri confides how much she’s missed Harley and she can’t take another day in this miserable environment. She bemoans her accommodations, the environment, the people and sings Waiting. They go to bed.

Scarpa and his goon Boyle listen to the pair making love from outside the door. Scarpa stalks off with Boyle in tow as it appears he’s lost one of his previous conquests to the stranger. They walk through the now empty bar and are joined by the sisters and Swifty. Scarpa, seething dispatches Swifty and the Sisters on an errand to visit the “Tamashi” which is a secret hiding place where Scarpa and the gang store their loot and valuables. He threatens that he knows every single item by memory and that if anything is missing they will pay the price, then walks off into the night. The trio remark how they’ve never seen him this mad and worry about the ramifications. The trio sing Going To The Tamashi.

Early the next morning Harley is preparing to leave the Budapest and set out on a hover-scooter called a transpod for the desert. Liza catches up with him barely getting her clothes on in order to catch up with him and find out where he’s going. Harley explains that he needs to look into the recent goings on and suspicious deaths. She tries to convince him that Europa is a lost cause and to leave singing Elevated.

Harley acknowledges her warning as Cheri, the Sisters and Swifty enter. Valentine seems particularly irritable while Alexis seems overly subdued. Cheri goes about the business of cleaning up from the night before. Harley questions them all initially about floozing but the conversation moves to the topic of the conflict and with whom the miners’ sympathies lay. Suspicious, Swifty asks the reason for his questions and Harley informs him that someone has been looting the fisher site and he heads into the desert sending a message as he leaves.

END ACT I

ACT II

At the Tamashi, Scarpa and Boyle take inventory of their loot and communicate with those still loyal to them. They also monitor a screen and become aware of a suspicious transmission. Scarpa directs Boyle to decode it and they determine it is coming from an area where there shouldn’t be anyone. On a hunch Scarpa contacts Liza and asks where Harley is. She says she doesn’t know but he sees through this. They suspect that Harley is not whom he says he is and Scarpa gleefully plots his demise bellowing The Tower.

Out in the desert Harley is taking readings and is gradually lead to a second though smaller fisher site. He takes some samples and cracks a wary smile and tastes the Ultra Blue which causes his body to glow. After hiding the sample in his boot, he begins to head back towards the settlement singing Snakeskin Alligator, sending another message from his handheld.

Outside of one of the mining sites Swifty is plying his trade and ducks into a cave to organize his contraband when Valentine and Alexis romp inside amidst a fire-fight, seeking refuge from an angry mark that turned the tables on them. Valentine doesn’t look good and Alexis along with Swifty tries to calm her down. But the beautiful hotheaded Valentine is ready to go out in a blaze of glory singing her signature song Valentine. On finishing the song her older sister Alexis knocks her unconscious and directs Swifty to return with a med-kit. In his absence Alexis speaks to her sister and confides her unhappiness since their father’s death with the haunting ballad I’m Dying.

Outside the settlement Cheri finds Harley and tells him that Scarpa is onto them. Harley tells her events will unfold rapidly and insinuates that he may have to get her to safety and leave again. She is adamant that she does not want to be separated from him and tells Harley that this is their last chance to make a life for themselves singing One Last Second Chance. Harley says he has an idea and they head towards the mines.

Meanwhile Liza is seeing the writing on the wall and begins making preparations to leave – dismantling certain fixtures and destroying others so as not to be of use to the Globalists. Outside munitions fire can be heard as the miners have begun committing attacks and acts of sabotage against installations. Enter Scarpa who orders his guards to secure the Budapest and directs Boyle track down Harley and Liza which he does at an underground grotto.

As the lovers prepare to leave, Cheri senses that there is something wrong and Harley reveals a secret – that he is a hybrid-artificial being – part of a race of worker cyborgs called the “Agni” who were created by the Order to help colonize Europa. When UltraBlue was discovered under the ice, it was found to augment the Agni’s already enhanced physical capabilities which were a threat to the Order. They were all but exterminated and the few who remained retreated off world or hid amongst the population of miners. Cheri is stunned but Harley reassures her singing Hungry. Boyle and his men attack Harley who puts up a good fight but ultimately succumbs to greater numbers while. Cheri escapes in the confusion.

Scarpa is now hunkered down at the Budapest which he has turned into his command post when Boyle enters shoving Harley toward his commander. Valentine, Alexis and Swifty return just as the Budapest comes under heavy fire. Alexis and Valentine sing The Last Time and share an old fashioned cigarette. Harley chides Scarpa saying his forces are no match for rebels armed with Ultra Blue. Shortly after Boyle enters and pushes a Harley in the direction of Scarpa who grabs his identification and matches it to the transmissions he’s intercepted.

Scarpa reasons with Harley to confess his true identity and intentions which he does telling Scarpa that his end is near as a rebel force armed with Ultra Blue is on its way to their very spot. Realizing the gravity of his position Scarpa sings Wasted. Liza tells Scarpa he’s lost but Scarpa replies that the fissure which has yielded so much will soon freeze shut anyway and her site will no longer have access to the valuable stuff extracted from below and takes her hostage along with Harley.

Liza sings a Reprise of Elevated with Harley just as the rebel assault begins. Scarpa, Boyle, Swifty and the sisters firing back on their attackers as the rebels penetrate the defenses and subdue the gang. After dropping weapons Harley is reunited with and thanks his men. He shares a kiss with Cheri who reveals that she was able to get the Ultra Blue to the rebels just in time.

Harley envisions a future where the Agni and Humans can co-exist – free of corruption and the Order. Harley leads the cast in singing Hot Shot of Love.

They leave the Budapest as rebel ships begin to arrive. Scarpa warns that there will be a heavy price to pay.

FADE TO BLACK

Musical Numbers

ACT 1

SCENE (A grotto / cave on Europa)

1. Overture (Montage of Past w/Harley leads rebels and pours vial of UltraBlue into Ice)

SCENE (The Bar at the Hotel Budapest)

2. Budapest Babes – Swifty (backed by Twins)

SCENE (Harley in a small space ship)

3. Out Here In Space – Harley (dreaming of Cheri)

SCENE (The Bar at the Hotel Budapest)

4. Baby Now Love Me (Aqua Planet) – (Twins to Marks)

5. Bad Hotel – Scarpa (Entrance – backed by Twins & Swifty)

6. Too Familiar – Liza (to Scarpa / Scarpa backing vox)

7. Mysterious – Scarpa and Harley (after meeting each other)

SCENE (Cheri takes Harley to his room)

8. Waiting – Cheri

SCENE (The Bar at the Hotel Budapest)

9. Going To The Tamashi – Swifty, Alexis and Valentine

10. Elevated – Liza (to Harley trying to warn him)

ACT II

SCENE Scarpa’s Hideaway (The Tamashi)

11. The Tower – Scarpa with Boyle (On intercepting Harley’s transmission to base reveals plans to blow up Europa)

SCENE The Desert

12. Snakeskin Alligator (Harley after finding Ultra Blue)

SCENE Entrance to Mines (Miners coming and going)

13. Valentine – Valentine (Barely escaping an attack readies for combat)

14. I’m Dying Inside – Alexis (to her sister Valentine)

SCENE A Secret Location Near The Ice Fisher (Cheri meets Harley)

15. One Last Second Chance – (Cheri says that this is it or else)

SCENE (The Bar at the Hotel Budapest)

16. Hungry – (Harley tries to reassure Cheri)

SCENE (The Bar at the Hotel Budapest)

17. The Last Time – Valentine and Alexis (sensing this is their Butch and Sundance moment)

18. Wasted – Scarpa (Scarpa’s last stand)

19. Hot Shot of Love – (Harley with Cheri and Liza)

END

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