Adapt or Die

5-Minute Screen Play

Adapt or Die

FADE IN:

 EXT. THIRD WORLD SLUMS, DIRT ROAD – MORNING

Morena, a young woman, walks briskly toward a bus heading toward her on the dirt road. The bus is packed with people, some are sitting in the windows. Others are hanging off the sides. The top of the bus is loaded with boxes, packages, bundles. She waves her hand to get it to stop. It does. She pays the driver, but there is no place to stand inside the bus, so she grabs a hand rail, places her foot on the edge of the open door, and hangs off the side along with a half dozen other passengers.

She reaches her destination, a huge factory. She lines up with the hundreds of others files inside. A sign greets the workers:

Neural Nano-Systems

Change is happening faster than ever. Accept it. Embrace it. Adapt !

 CUT TO:

INT. CLEAN ROOM

Morena goes through several layers of clean rooms, changing, covering her hair, putting on a mask and goggles. Eventually, she comes out the other side into a fully clean environment. She settles into her job, over a magnifying glass overlooking a moving production line. She maneuvers robotic arms over impossibly small nanites, looking like silver powder, passing by her station. Lasers reach out and cut

 CUT TO:

INT. CAFETERIA

Morena is laughing with her girlfriends at work. Mostly women, most older than she is, but some the same age. They finish lunch and put away their trays.

A TV is playing in the background.

 TV ANNOUNCER

Neuro Nano-Systems. We make the nanites that make the world work. From superconductors to toy robots, our nanites are completely adaptable, forming into virtually anything you program them to. Change is happening faster than ever. Accept it. Embrace it. Adapt ! with Neuro Nano-Systems.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE CAFETERIA

Morena walks down a hallways and stops at some papers posted on the wall outside a cafeteria. She looks up and down, finally putting her finger about two thirds of the way down the paper. She points to her name and follows it across to a number, 49.7%. She is interrupted by a deep voice. A tall skinny man is standing behind her.

SUPERVISOR

You had better fix those numbers. You just officially fell below acceptable levels. Under 50% now.

 MORENA

I’ll do better. I’m sure I can do it.

SUPERVISOR

Two days under target and you’re out. You know the rules.

 MORENA

Two DAYS? I thought it was two WEEKS.

 SUPERVISOR

Targets were updated. See?

Morena looks at a memo hanging on the wall outside the cafeteria. She scans it, slowly, shoulders drooping.

 SUPERVISOR

You can always sign up for adaptation.

 A co-worker walks by Morena and her supervisor. Her hands look raw, red. Her fingernails are missing.

 MORENA

I can make it. I’m sure I can.

SUPERVISOR

Up to you. You still have to make up for the morning, though. That means higher than 50.3% the rest of the day.

CUT TO:

INT. CLEAN ROOM

Maria is deep in concentration. Her brow furrowed, sweat dripping within her goggles.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY

Morena reads her productivity results, 50.4%.

 SUPERVISOR

Almost didn’t make it. You made your productivity, but lost on your yield. Only your room’s results were outside your control limits. Facilities shows more moisture in the air than standard. That’s the first time we were able to isolate the reason. Sweat, wouldn’t you know. I should thank you for finding that for us. It was driving the QA analysts crazy. Can’t find sweat in statistics. Ha ha.

You can be sure that we’ll include that in everyone’s targets tomorrow. Neural Nano-Systems thanks you. G’night.

 Morena passes through multiple airlocks to the outside world, where the dust swirls and covers her in moments.

 FADE TO:

EXT. THIRD WORLD SLUMS, DIRT ROAD – MORNING

Morena runs toward the bus. She’s late, exhausted. She hangs off the side along with other passengers again. She reaches the huge factory. She lines up with the hundreds of others files inside. The same sign greets her as yesterday:

Neural Nano-Systems

Change is happening faster than ever. Accept it. Embrace it. Adapt !

She stops in front of it, stares at it.

FADE TO:

INT. SUPERVISOR’S OFFICE

 SUPERVISOR

This is a very smart decision, Maria.

 MORENA

Morena

 SUPERVISOR

Pardon?

 MORENA

Morena. My name is Morena.

 SUPERVISOR

I see. Yes. Morena… Well, we’ll just schedule the procedure. We have an opening at 8:37.

MORENA

It’s 8:30 now.

SUPERVISOR

Efficiency. Productivity. That’s what we’re all about. Change is happening faster than ever. Accept it. Embrace it. Adapt !

 FADE TO:

INT. CLEAN ROOM PRODUCTION

CLOSE UP:

Morena’s hands. They are raw, red, fingernails missing. She places her hands in the controls. Without moving her hands, the lasers dance across the production line.

CUT TO:

 INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE CAFETERIA

Morena reads her numbers, looking pleased. For the last 12 periods her productivity numbers increase, reaching 62%. But today they dipped to 59%. She is shocked. Her supervisor appears over her shoulder.

 SUPERVISOR

Grading on a curve, Maria.

MORENA

Morena.

SUPERVISOR

Right… The new adaptation is showing even better results. Senior Management is really pleased with the new productivity levels. The other associates are really pushing the learning curve. And that means we can up the targets again.

 CUT TO:

INT. CLEAN ROOM PRODUCTION

CLOSE UP:

Morena’s hands are removed at the wrist. The stumps where her hands were are raw, red, lined with angry looking criss-crosses. She places her stumps. Lasers dance faster than ever before. The silvery powder along the production line almost dances in synch with the lasers she controls. Her stumps occasionally lift away from the controls, but the lasers continue.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY

Morena reads her productivity results, 50.1%. Her supervisor smiles down at his clipboard.

CUT TO:

A sign greets the workers:

Neural Nano-Systems

Change is happening faster than ever. Accept it. Embrace it. Adapt !

CUT TO:

INT. CLEAN ROOM PRODUCTION

CLOSE UP:

Morena’s hands are removed at the elbows, as are her legs. Her face, legs, and arms are raw, red, lined with angry looking criss-crosses. She leans her body into the controls. Lasers flash through the room. The silvery powder along the production line rises completely from the line. The powder forms and coalesces into arms and legs. The lasers detach from the stations. Morena and her co-workers, some looking human, others looking less so, sweep through the factory, gathering up more nanites and heading toward the supervisor’s office. Lasers criss cross the supervisor as screams can be heard.

 MORENA

Change is happening faster than ever. Accept it. Embrace it. Adapt !

 Copyright 2015 – Sean Donovan

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