Early evening, in a La Fiesta Tech college dorm. The communal area appears largely empty, with most inhabitants either out or busy in their rooms.
Aldric Davis sits writing his term paper on the dorm computer, with a half-finished cup of coffee beside him. A door slams and Almeric Davis staggers in, dressed in his gym clothes. He sits down heavily on the sofa.
Aldric: (deadpan, doesn’t look up) Hey. Good training session?
Almeric: Shut up, runt.
There is a somewhat awkward silence. Almeric picks up his brother’s coffee and drains it. He sighs but doesn’t retaliate.
Almeric: Where’s dinner then?
He pushes back his chair and the two brothers make their way to the table. On it are two bowls of spaghetti. They sit down opposite each other. Almeric starts to eat, but Aldric just sits and watches him. He appears to be waiting for something to happen.
Aldric: So, what happened this time?
Almeric: I don’t know. I’m just… off my game recently. Don’t smile.
Aldric: I’m not.
This is true. Almeric’s eyes begin to well up slightly. He shakes his head.
Almeric: (almost as if talking to himself) They’re gonna kick me off the team. I just can’t hold it together anymore… my aspiration meter… my mood… something’s got into me and I just feel like –
He suddenly stands, puts a hand to his mouth and rushes from the room. Vomit noises can be heard from across the hall. Aldric picks up his spoon and begins to eat. Fade out.
Fade in. Later that evening, in a Downtown diner, Aldric sits opposite Jimmy Phoenix. There are a few other occupied tables, but none in their immediate vicinity. Jimmy looks awful, like he hasn’t slept or eaten in a long time. There is a large suitcase beside him.
Jimmy: Wait, what are you saying here, Al?
Aldric: I’m saying I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s petty and cruel, not to mention probably illegal.
Jimmy: But, but how can you just stop? That’s what your whole life has been about, getting back at Ric for shutting you out all these years. He made you a social pariah, Al.
Aldric: (shrugging) I didn’t say I wasn’t still mad. But it’s just not my priority anymore. And it’s not worth making him ill.
Jimmy: (seems to be thinking on his feet) Ok, ok, I see that. But what if it wasn’t about him, what if it was about you?
Jimmy: Look what I’ve got (close up on case). This is the full ‘b.o.o.l. prop.’ range.
Aldric: Hey, there’s no need for name-calling, dude.
Jimmy: Not that kind of boolprop, idiot- I mean, valued customer. It’s an acronym. They’re the most powerful substances available. They’ll make you stronger, more attractive, boost you into platinum whenever you like. You could be the talk of the town…
Jimmy is talking excitedly, but Aldric is shaking his head. He gets up to leave.
Aldric: No deal. I don’t care about being popular anymore.
Jimmy stands and gives Aldric a hard stare. We see a few people are beginning to notice them.
Jimmy: You’re different, Al. You changed your aspiration, didn’t you? You’re a Knowledge man now.
Aldric: Yeah, and I’m a lot happier than I was dropping your ‘cheat’ pills into Ric’s dinner. (Turns and begins to walk away) They’re killing him, Jimmy. Take those things back, ‘cause I’m not buying.
Aldric exits, leaving Jimmy standing, holding his case, in the middle of the restaurant.
Jimmy: (yelling) You don’t know anything, Al, not a thing (He starts to cry) There’s a gun to my head, don’t you see it? If I don’t get them their test results, they’ll come for me. They’re coming for me.
His aspiration meter crashes. He reaches for the case in desperation and begins to shovel its contents into his mouth. Fade out.
Black screen, we hear Jimmy’s voice.
Jimmy: Ahahahaha! I… feel… incredible…
Cut to Jimmy running towards the camera through an alleyway. He stops suddenly, and falls to the floor. Two men in lab coats walk over to him.
Mystery Man 1: Jimmy Phoenix?
Jimmy: (whimpering) Don’t be mad, please don’t be mad. Aldric Davis terminated the contract.
Mystery Man 1: You imbecile. (Sniffs) Ugh, plumbbobs, kid, how much did you take?
Mystery Man 2: (Examining case) Boss, I think he took the whole range.
Mystery Man 1: The whole range! And he’s still alive? (Pause) Well, we took a different route but I guess we got there in the end.
MM1 crouches down next to Jimmy and helps him up. Jimmy can’t believe his luck, as the men don’t seem to be angry with him for losing their test subject. Perhaps he is going to get out alive after all?
Mystery Man 1: Alright, Jim. How do you feel?
Jimmy: Perfect! Like I could swim for hours and not drown, like my mood’s so high I swear I could sparkle. I’m fearless, indomitable, unbreakable. Heck, a lightning bolt couldn’t fry me.
As he speaks the two men nod at each other. When he finishes, one of them shakes his hand.
Mystery Man 1: Excellent, excellent. Well, I think the findings here are pretty conclusive. This contract is terminated.
Jimmy: Hey, so… does this mean I can go back to college?
The men laugh.
Mystery Man 1: Hahahaha… no. (To MM2 as he walks away) Take him out.
Close up on MM2 as he fires his gun, then on Jimmy’s shocked face. Cut to black screen. We hear the men’s voices.
Mystery Man 2: Poor kid. There’s no running from his past.
Mystery Man 1: Not anymore, that’s for sure.
Both laugh. Sound fades out.