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SCI_FI2  8'?m2f The Bible: a message from outside of time/space

LIZ -- (enters carrying laptop computer, crosses to podium, 
opens computer, types)

AMY -- (enters briskly, slows) Hello, I'm from the agency...

LIZ -- (not looking up) ...You're late! I told them I needed you 
by eight a.m.!

AMY -- I'm sorry, they just called me 15 minutes ago... I...

LIZ -- ...Fifteen minutes ago! I called them yesterday morning!

AMY -- I'm sorry. Apparently, with sweeps week coming up, all 
the full time writers are booked.

LIZ -- Oh, no! Don't tell me you're a part time writer!

AMY -- Well, as a matter of fact, I...

LIZ -- ...Okay, how much science fiction have you written for 
television?

AMY -- Well... none.

LIZ -- ..Oh, no.

AMY -- They said you needed someone who knew science...

LIZ -- ...Have you written ANY scripts for television?

AMY -- Does radio count?

LIZ -- Oh, brother! 

AMY -- I'm sorry.

LIZ -- Alright, what scripts did you write for radio?

AMY -- Bible studies.

LIZ -- Bible studies!? I thought you knew science!

AMY -- I do. I've written some magazine ar...

LIZ -- ...Magazine?! Oh, brother!

AMY -- I'll just go back and tell the agency you... (turns)

LIZ -- No! 

AMY -- (turns) No?

LIZ -- No, they've obviously scraped the bottom of the barrel. 
The next writer they send will probably be a fugitive from that 
kids show with the purple dinosaur. (moves away from podium, 
points at it) Here, you type. I work best while pacing the 
floor.

AMY -- (steps up to computer, points to it) I see you've already 
started a script.

LIZ -- It isn't like I haven't had time...

AMY -- (looks up from screen apologetically) I'm sorry... I...

LIZ -- Alright, let me tell you what we've got so far. I already 
wrote most of the story line and action scenes near the end of 
this episode. The reason I called the agency is because I need 
help with some technical aspects and the opening, where we set 
up the situation leading to the action scenes.

AMY -- (scanning) What's your story line?

LIZ -- (paces) Okay. This alien being from another universe is 
going to visit this isolated planet in our universe. When he 
arrives, his presence sets up a war between those who understand 
his peaceful intensions and those who assume he's there for 
other reasons.

AMY -- I see. Where would you like to start?

LIZ -- The way the action scenes are written, everyone on the 
planet already knows he's coming in advance. So, as soon as he 
arrives on the planet, the war breaks out between the two 
factions.

AMY -- I see. But how do the locals know he's coming?

LIZ -- That's what I'm hoping YOU could tell me. We need a 
credible way for this alien to send a message to another 
universe well in advance of his arrival, so that by the time he 
arrives, everyone on the planet will know he's coming and will 
have an opportunity to choose up sides.

AMY -- That's no problem. Since he's from another universe, he 
is outside of space and time in this universe. He can just 
travel back in time, send his message, then time travel forward 
and arrive on the planet. 

LIZ -- Good. I like that.

AMY -- But, how do they receive the message? Do they have 
radios, TVs...?

LIZ -- No, they're a primitive culture. I was thinking in terms 
of a message chisel in a big monolith like "2001 a space 
Odyssey".

AMY -- I don't recommend that. 

LIZ -- Why not?

AMY -- First of all, if the alien's enemies don't like the 
message, they could destroy the monolith, removing all traces of 
the message.

LIZ -- Oh, yeah.

AMY -- Second, if these are primitive people, they'll live in 
tents, they might need to move around a lot. A big monolith 
would be impossible to move.

LIZ -- Oh, yeah, yeah, that's right.

AMY -- I recommend small stone tablets for the main message and 
papyrus scrolls for the other things they need to know.

LIZ -- Good! Write that down!

AMY -- (types) And since they'll be copying the messages to 
distribute throughout the world, I recommend an economical 
language.

LIZ -- ECONOMICAL language?

AMY -- Yes, one that saves paper.

LIZ -- Oh, I like that. That's the kind of detail the sci-fi 
fans love. Tell me more.

AMY -- I recommend a language like Hebrew.

LIZ -- Hebrew.

AMY -- Yes, it has very few characters to learn. It leaves out 
the vowels and no spaces are needed between the words.

LIZ -- Perfect. That will give the audience the idea that this 
alien has thought of the smallest detail.

AMY -- I also recommend that the alien carefully select the 
people entrusted with caring for the tablets and spreading the 
message.

LIZ -- People? Why not one person?

AMY -- A crowd can spread the message around the world faster 
than just one person.

LIZ -- You've got a point there.

AMY -- And many people can defend the tablets better than one.

LIZ -- Yes. (paces) Let's say that the alien gives the tablets 
to the king of a great nation....

AMY -- Oh, he wouldn't want to give the message to the ruling 
class.

LIZ -- Why not?

AMY -- Because the alien's superior intelligence and power would 
be a threat to a king.

LIZ -- Yes, yes, that's right. Who then?

AMY -- Slaves.

LIZ -- Slaves? 

AMY -- A nation of slaves. First, the alien frees the slaves by 
miraculous means to let them know how powerful he is.

LIZ -- Oh, I like that! Write that down! (points) Freeing the 
slaves makes them grateful and loyal.

AMY -- (types) And humble. They know that without the alien, 
they'll end up in captivity again.

LIZ -- Good! We can even depict them disobeying his commands and 
going back into captivity for awhile! 

AMY -- And, since the alien is outside of time and space, he can 
predict the future.

LIZ -- Yes, yes! I like that! (paces) So, he sends his 
message...

AMY -- Just for safe keeping, and so everyone knows the stone 
tablets are valuable, the slaves should make a gold box to store 
the stone tablets in...

LIZ -- Good. Write that down.

AMY -- (types) ...With a heavy solid gold lid, so noone could 
ever open the box by mistake.

LIZ -- Are you sure you haven't written science fiction before?

AMY -- Mostly Bible studies.

LIZ -- (paces) Okay, let's see what we've got so far. The alien 
chooses some reliable people, he's delivered his message to them 
on stone tablets. (snaps fingers) What if some powerful king 
hears about the whole thing and decides to go to war and kill 
off the good guys? What if several kings join forces against the 
slave nation? (points) Supernatural protection!

AMY -- Since the alien is outside of space and time, he can time 
travel back to the ancestor of the slaves to predict the exact 
names of some of the people who will support and oppose the 
slaves.

LIZ -- Oh, you are good! You've just given me the possibility 
for a couple more action sequences. We can also depict the alien 
winning their battles for them through supernatural means.

AMY -- ...with hundred-pound hale stones from the sky?

LIZ -- You are really good! Write that down! (paces) Okay, just 
one more problem.

AMY -- What's that?

LIZ -- I've got no ending. At final battle, the alien steps in 
and destroys the enemy. But what happens then? 

AMY -- How about if the alien takes all his loyal friends back 
with him to the other universe?

LIZ -- Yes! I like it! I like it a lot! Say, listen, I... I'm 
sorry I yelled at you when you came in. I...

AMY -- Forget it. You were under a lot of pressure. Sweeps week 
is coming up. (points to screen) Shall we go back now and start 
writing the dialogue?

LIZ -- Listen, I've been working since six o'clock this morning. 
(points offstage) Let me buy you a cup of coffee. (motions)

AMY -- Oh, okay, sure. 

LIZ -- (exiting) So, tell me about those Bible studies you wrote. 

AMY -- (exiting) I just did. 

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