Cut to: long shot of an island, a grey lumpen city floating in what appears to be raw petroleum. As the camera zooms in we see the island/city itself is a hybrid of Mexico City, modern day Tibet and Youngstown, Ohio.
POV shot: zooming down claustrophobic, industrial barrio streets, around collapsing factories, over mountains, waterfalls and shanty towns, skimming through stone tunnels, up through open markets with hanging reptiles and cheeses. Rows and stacks of various electronics fly by. There are lots of jumps cuts and slick pans.
The POV shot settles momentarily on an garishly ethnic restaurant with a slate roof, overblown statuary and ornate, wrought-iron tables. The trees are weeping overhead and huge insects swarm in clouds. The shot pans across a paradoxically elegant red and purple neon sign, “DiOrio’s Authentic Italian Cuisine.” Garbage floats though the air. Everything is in slow motion.
Back to normal speed POV: into the restaurant, along the bar and through the food service window, over steaming plates of bloody looking pasta, sailing through bronzed chefs and dusky waiters with oiled hair… past sweating dishwashers and a cluttered office, pausing on a statue of the Holy Virgin, before diving headlong into the basement.
Medium shot: a dingy, industrial cellar. We hear a soft undercurrent of whimper and sob- the rattle and grind of multiple chains and manacles against concrete, occasional mechanical clamor from the kitchen above and a steady drip, drip, drip. (Night is falling and it won’t be long before the Manager shows up)
Cut to Upshot: Chad Windhorse sliding down a stormwater drain pipe into the sewer system. It doesn’t phase him; he’s used to being covered with vile liquids. In voiceover he recites the coordinates and landmarks from the various maps of this ‘strange and terrible’ city that he’s memorized. Along with this, he repeats his understanding of the Manager’s M.O. Windhorse has determined, through his amazing powers of deduction and underworld connections, that the Manager’s headquarters are in a disused storage room off an antiquated pump station in utility quadrant two.
He lights one of the two dry cigarettes he has left and his fingers smell like shit. This stokes his determination. He clenches his teeth around the filter, smoke billowing from his nostrils, and activates the LED flashlight on his tactical knife.
He’s entering the darkest depths of the sewer.
Cut to medium shot: his flashlight beam illuminates hoardes of fat rats scurrying over an enormous fatberg, nibbling off chunks.
ECU: Windhorse’s squinting eyes, gritting teeth on the cigarette.
Cut to: long shot of Windhorse slipping and sliding over fatbergs, hopping along the narrow ledges and service walks of the sewer as he repeats the name of the Manager over and over again.
Cowboys ride through New Mexicali Ranch. At least, that’s how they might at first strike you. They’re led by famous Hollywood legend, Milkhand Mignon. With a heart of Kevlar and dry ice in his veins, he leads a charge of 10 handsomely rippling and 20 dazzlingly ugly ad hoc lawmen. Hard men. Proud men. Men men. Not like your typical, flaccid Hollywood or DC types. You know those guys who are just distractions or snacks or canon fodder for the Real Players. They are the ones still arguing in board rooms, like the one he’s storming now.
“Dead men make great paperweights.” He announces, eyes of molten glass, as he detonates the C-4 charges and the bits of wall and frame go flying. He hurdles the rubble and, as these executives start fumbling for whatever they’re fumbling for, he sprays them with sleeping pills from his dispenser. Those are his euphemisms.
He swaggers over to a nattily dressed CEO. The youngest one in the room. The boy’s chest is blown open and looks like cherry pie filling spilling from his shredded vest. His blood seeps into a choatic mat of documents. He leans toward the unblemished face, a rictus of dumb blood spattered fear… fear on a face so beautiful. Nearly perfect like his own face. His voice is soft now.
“I told you.”
Mignon started his personal crusade by leading a crippling actor’s/writer’s strike that has set the nation ablaze as angry, bored citizens wreak havoc in their own neighborhoods, torching porch and pergola. Their skyline glows white hot… no more heroes on the screen, the last bastion of heroes… there’s no more money in it. The money’s gone… all gone. The partial collapse has given him the nerve to emancipate himself from all social, moral and legal stricture, to methodically build his Freedom Corps. This has always been his dream, sublimated by starring in such Blockheadbusters as Cardigan’ s Woke, Stalking Stuffer 1, 2 and 3, and I Am Windhorse (winner of the Cannes Film festival 2058). Taking all his cues from the character of Chad Windhorse, Mignon has let himself fall completely to the throes of nationalistic mania and armed himself to the teats.
“Everything’s gone to hell on hot wheels, so why not profit from it while setting it a-right.”
What’s more wholesome than that?
Without movies people have resorted to acting out their favorite storylines in real time. The more timid have retired into virtual reality. Milkhand culled his current corps using far right versions of Tindr, Grindr, and two far-leaning secret societies. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but he’s strictly no homo: a man’s got to do what he has to do to get a job done. The means justify his end. His activities are strictly confidential, information on a need to know basis. For the record, each person he hooks up with will be put to the Father of All Tests. They must either fight him or die for their country. Fights are done gladiator style, minus. Which means hand to hand (no weapons other than what’s thrown to you by the crowd) and au natural. “A deadly game of cat and mice- four against one- will snort out the boys from the bros.” He expects the entire cyberinfrastucture to collapse within the next week; by then, his men all have to be in tip top shape. Good thing he’s also a licensed physical trainer, something he’d acheived during a three year acting hiatus. “When the tip blows off this puppy, you’re either with us… or in the way.”
“You all are just lackeys for the Manager. I’m just going through you to get to him, per protocol.” He drawls above the bodies of the mid-level executives covering the floor. Standing wide legged, brim of hat bisecting pupils, he growls through clenched jaws, perfect, white teeth: “I know how important protocol, chain of command, etcetera, is to assholes like you when having to deal with assholes like me.” Over their dead eyes, he flashes his big, heavy-gauge sleeping pill dispenser, road scarred just like his own haunches. You don’t want to be on the receiving end of either.
He’s literally going through the channels, in a very physical way, to get to The Manager. The commoners love him because of his looks, because of I Am Windhorse. They think he’s the character, and so does he. He’s building his legion, expanding his base. His movement’s gaining pandemic momentum. As Windhorse himself said before he saved the world the first time, “You see me? I’m what takes control after the microwave radiation and the monarch programming has turned everyone into semi-soft turds. Ain’t that some shit?”