A Station Eight Fan Web Site
Displaying 1 record.
Late 1994. Writer Lydia Marano and Story Editor Brynne Chandler Reaves had turned in an outline entitled "Thieves in the Night". This memo and beat outline was my response to their work.
And before you ask... I have no memory of "the Zompanos". Perhaps a pre-cursor to the Sopranos? :)
Notes on "Thieves in the Night" Outline...
The main problem for me here is the first act. From a plotting standpoint, everything with the Zompanos is largely immaterial to what follows. As with the outline for "The Mirror", the action of this story only begins at the end of Act One, when Mac and Demona stage their first attempt to steal stuff. We have to move that event up to the beginning of the act.
FOCUS ON COLDSTONE
Let's fool the audience into thinking he is the focus of the whole thing. It's a Coldstone story that turns out to be the set-up for something more dangerous. (Avalon.) To accomplish this, let's misdirect even more than we are.
I've basically cut Matt out of this story. I didn't like doing it, because I thought you gave him and Elisa a lot of nice character stuff. I even added some stuff to what you had done -- stuff that I also wound up cutting. The story was just too crowded and unwieldy with him there. (And thematically, the Elisa/Matt arc was just slightly off point.) Every time I worked on a scene, Matt got in the way. I wouldn't mind revealing just a little to him here, but there didn't seem to be any way to reveal "just a little". (Matt's not the type to just let things go or to settle for a partial explanation. And he's certainly shown a willingness to stick close to Elisa even when she's made it clear he's not welcome.)
I also would not be opposed to revealing the whole truth to Matt, but this story seemed to be too complicated to reveal just the simple truth about Goliath and company. We'd also have to tell him about Macbeth, Coldstone and maybe even Demona. It was just too much. But don't lose track of these ideas for Matt. We'll get to them all eventually.
THEME: HIGH NOON
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing." Or put another way, "You can't crawl into a hole, no matter how nice the hole is, while others suffer." Obviously, this is Othello's arc to a tee.
I'm also giving it to Elisa. And since this is a lesson that Elisa really has already internalized 100%, I'm putting her through the wringer, so that in her exhaustion, she can have a moment of weakness, a crisis point where she can consciously reaffirm her belief. It's high noon, she tells herself. Is she gonna fight the good fight or not?
To a lesser extent, Goliath and the gargoyles reaffirm this belief every time they knowingly walk into a trap. Because the only alternative -- to do nothing -- is unacceptable to them.
We can't destroy the clock tower or even "all but destroy" it without attracting considerable attention from the precinct full of cops downstairs. A thunderstorm can cover a lot of noise, I suppose, but not extensive damage or explosions that might shake the building.
I don't want to count on the fact that our audience will have seen either "City of Stone, Part Four", "Legion" or "The Mirror". I don't want to be ham-fisted in our exposition, but I do want to make sure that we find a way to reveal that when we last saw Demona and Macbeth, they were in the custody of the Weird Sisters. Also that Coldstone has three personalities due to the fact that he was created from pieces of three separate gargoyles. And finally, that thanks to Puck's spell, Demona is now human during the day -- a situation which pissed her off at first, until she discovered the benefits of it.
The "tentacle vines" and the "vortex" were all the result of the computer virus. I think we can assume by this time that the virus has wiped out all programming, including itself. All that is left inside is the personality of the three gargoyles and whatever fantasy they create inside their mutual mind.
Don't forget that Macbeth and Demona feel each other's pain. And also, as you had it in the outline, that they each share the opinion that the other is a royal pain.
1. Prologue: Coldstone's Mind. Othello and Desdemona enjoy an idyllic life in a virtual reality fantasy world that they've created. Electricity water-falls. A circuit-shaped moon. Whatever. They know it's not real, but it's close enough. They are together.
They are also aware of Iago's presence hovering darkly on the outskirts of their paradise, but he no longer has the power to come between them. They are content to let him hover.
2. Clock Tower -- Shortly before Dawn. Elisa has just ended a long night's shift and is stopping upstairs (via the broom closet) to see Goliath & co. before she heads home for some much needed sleep. Brooklyn is helping Hudson and Broadway with their reading lessons. Lexington is off in a corner working on Coldstone. Lex has opened up a metal plate on Coldstone, to get access to the circuits inside. He's hooked his laptop up to it and is checking things out. Goliath asks: is there any real hope of bringing him (her, them) back? As far as Lex can figure, the computer virus that attacked Coldstone has wiped its programming clean. Nothing's functioning, but nothing's broken. It's a blank slate. Even the virus is gone. After it finished attacking Coldstone's programming, it devoured itself. But none of that should have affected the souls of the three gargoyles that were used to create Coldstone. They were put there by magic, not programming. They've got to be in there somewhere. If Lex could devise a simple operating program, they might wake up. Well, he'll work on it some more tomorrow night. The gargoyles take their places. Sun rises. They get stoned.
3. Police Precinct -- Minutes later. Elisa's heading out the door, saying good-bye to Officer Morgan, who's also heading home. Coming in, is a uniformed female cop with red hair, pushing a felon who's got his cap pulled low over his eyes and his hands handcuffed in front of him. [Obviously, this is the human Demona and Macbeth.] Elisa pauses, and watches them head into the building and out of view. They both looked vaguely familiar, but she can't place either of them. Does Morgan know them? No, but the cop is obviously a rookie. Why else would she have cuffed the guy with his hands in front of him? Especially a guy that big.
Yeah, someone should tell her. Elisa heads back in. She spots them heading up the stairs. Sees them going around a corner. Always a step behind. Finally she sees them head into the broom closet. Horrified by what that might mean, she draws her gun, and follows them up into the clock tower.
4. Despite her precautions, she is ultimately jumped by the "felon" and the "cop". There's a struggle. And Elisa recognizes Macbeth, just before she is stunned into unconsciousness by Macbeth's lightning gun. Sweet dreams, he says. And the screen goes black.
5. Inside Macbeth's Airship - Twenty minutes later. Macbeth and the "cop" are flying along. The "cop" is angry that Macbeth wouldn't let her kill the gargoyles and especially Elisa, once and for all. Macbeth won't apologize for having a code of honor. But he's in a good mood. Their stolen cargo is safely stowed away in back, plus they got away without anybody else spotting them. "So lighten up... Demona!"
6. Clock Tower - Several hours later. Elisa comes to. She feels lousy, but she's basically all right. How long was she out? She checks her watch. Wow, most of the day. She looks around. Coldstone is gone!! Obviously taken by Macbeth and that woman. But how did they get him out of here in broad daylight? They couldn't just walk him out the door or even fly Macbeth's airship in to pick them all up without somebody noticing. Still, how they succeeded in doing it isn't as important as the fact that they did. She slumps into Hudson's recliner. "Might as well stop talking to myself and wait. It'll be sunset soon."
7. Macbeth's Mansion - Just before sundown. Human Demona is waiting for the sun to go down. Macbeth's a bit impatient. He thinks that despite her appearance, Demona's still thinking like a gargoyle. Why wait for night? Put the disk in now. She refuses. Coldstone doesn't know Macbeth, and wouldn't recognize her in her present form.
The sun goes down. Demona changes from a human into a gargoyle. The process is not without some pain. As she catches her breath, she wryly observes that despite an initial distaste for the human form, she's come to appreciate Puck's gift, although the fact that he made the transformation painful was probably his way of keeping her from appreciating it too much.
But, to work. They insert the operating program disk into Coldstone. And we push in hard and fast on Coldstone's eyes!!
8. Inside Coldstone's mind -- Same time. A tunnel of electric light appears before Othello and Desdemona. Des wonders if they should investigate, but before Othello can answer, Iago pushes them aside and glides down the tunnel out of sight. Now Desdemona is convinced they should stop or at least follow him. But Othello talks her out of it. Let him go. We are here and happy and together. What else matters?
9. Macbeth's Mansion -- Right then. Coldstone awakens and Iago is in control. He recognizes his rookery sister. (It doesn't really matter if Demona knows about Coldstone's multiple personality disorder.) She asks him how he feels. He quietly responds: vengeful. Demona and Macbeth smile at each other. They've found a friend.
10. Clock Tower -- About the same time. The gargoyles woke up and got the gist of Elisa's story while we were at commercial. But everyone has questions. Goliath left Macbeth with the Weird Sisters, how did he escape them? And how did Macbeth know about the clock tower? And who was the human woman with him? Did Elisa recognize her? She seemed really familiar, but Elisa can't quite place her. Well, there's one thing they do know: Macbeth stole Coldstone. They have to get him back. So it's off to Macbeth's mansion. Elisa'd like to go with, but she's supposed to report to work in thirty minutes. Goliath assures her the six of them can handle it. She has an entire city to protect. She's not happy about being left out, but she can see his logic. She heads downstairs, talking to herself again. (Good thing I got that long enforced nap.)
11. Macbeth's Mansion -- A short while later. The place is very quiet. The gargoyles split up to search for Coldstone. Lex with Goliath. Brooklyn and Bronx. Broadway and Hudson.
12. Macbeth's Control Room. -- A bit later. Lex and Goliath break in, prepared to battle Macbeth. He's not there. Lex hits the control panel and soon he's found Coldstone on one of the screens. And what's more, he's found the creature awake and straining against chains that bind him to the floor of the dungeon. It must be a trap, but Lex can't figure out what the trap is. Goliath's all for heading straight down to the dungeon to free Coldstone, but first Lex reminds Goliath of some hard truths. Somehow, Macbeth got Coldstone operational again. That's the good news. But there'll be no way of knowing which of Coldstone's three personalities will be in control. One of the three hates Goliath's guts. Goliath has to be careful.
13. Another area in the mansion -- about the same time. Demona attacks Brooklyn and Bronx. They weren't expecting her at all, and it looks like she's got the upper hand.
14. Another area in the mansion -- about the same time. Broadway and Hudson find Macbeth. This is exactly who they expected to find and they're ready. It's a tough battle, but the good guys win.
15. Same as Scene 13. -- exactly the same time. When Macbeth is taken out by Broadway and Hudson, Demona doubles over in pain. She recovers quickly, but she's lost the upper hand, and Brooklyn is not about to let her get it back. He and Bronx defeat Demona.
16. Dungeon -- a few minutes later. Goliath and Lex approach Coldstone. Coldstone yells a warning: It's a trap!! But from another door, Broadway's voice calls out: "Not anymore!" He and Hudson enter, toting an unconscious Macbeth. But Coldstone still warns them away. Demona is still out there. And from a third door come Brooklyn and Bronx with the unconscious Demona as well. Goliath is surprised. Demona and Macbeth obviously escaped the Weird Sisters together, but who could have predicted they'd team up? They hate each other. But he can't worry about that now. He turns to Lex. Coldstone's warnings would seem to indicate that the right rookery brother is in control. Lex: "It's probably o.k. Just stay on your guard." So Goliath and Broadway help Coldstone break his chains. He greets them all warmly. Then approaches the fallen Macbeth and Demona. He effortlessly lifts them up by their shirt fronts, in a very threatening manner. But then his rocket jets turn on and he hovers a foot above the floor. Before the gargoyles have time to react, he says, "Now." Macbeth, who, like Demona, was only faking, has a small one-button remote control hidden in the palm of his hand. He presses it. The entire floor of the dungeon electrifies and all six gargoyles are knocked out.
17. Coldstone's Brain -- right then. Othello and Desdemona hear the deafening sound of Coldstone's laughter.
18. Coldstone's Brain, in front of the electric tunnel -- a few seconds later. Obviously, Iago's up to no good. But Othello's being stubborn. Let someone else take up the cause. We have earned this peace.
19. Clock Tower -- Several hours later, just before sunrise. An exhausted Elisa is there (wearing at the very least, a different colored t-shirt, one would hope). She anxiously awaits the return of the Gargoyles. She tells herself that if they're not back by sunrise, she doesn't know what she's going to do. But before she can figure it out, she sees a winged silhouette approaching. She's initially relieved, until seconds later when Demona comes in for a landing. Elisa isn't exactly terrified. After all, the sun's coming up right now: Demona's about to turn to stone. But Demona merely laughs. And then transforms into the human woman that Elisa had seen 24 hours ago. As Demona grimaces from the pain of transformation, Elisa, despite her shock, draws her gun. If Demona's human, then she's subject to human law and under arrest.
But even unarmed, Demona has the upper hand. She, Macbeth and Coldstone have the gargoyles. If Demona doesn't return, the gargoyles won't either. She tells Elisa why she came. Before she kills Goliath, she wants to prove to him once and for all what humans are really like. So she's inviting Elisa to a high noon rendezvous at Belvedere Castle in Central Park. She warns Elisa that her only chance of surviving the encounter is to avoid it. Either Elisa dies or Goliath sees what human loyalty is really worth: either way, it works out fine for Demona, who then calmly takes her leave via the trapdoor. After a defeated beat, Elisa follows.
20. Ext. Precinct house. Elisa gets outside in time to see the Human Demona hail and get into a yellow cab. The cab pulls away, and for a second Elisa starts to follow, but then she says to herself, what's the point. I know where she's going. Officer Morgan exits the building, again on his way home. "We gotta stop meeting like this, Detective," he jokes. She's a bit dazed and just says, "I'm sorry, what?" He looks at her with concern. "You're looking a bit frayed around the edges."
Elisa: "Maybe that's because I haven't gotten any real sleep in the last 40 hours. I'm tired, hungry and, yes, afraid. I could just go home now and go to bed. When I woke up, it would be over for me. The world would suddenly be normal again. No more monsters -- good or bad. Just normal life."
Morgan: "Normal life would be nice."
Elisa: "But it isn't nice enough, Morgan. My life could never be nice enough or normal enough to make up for letting them down now. I can't crawl into a hole by myself and pretend that no one else matters."
Morgan, thinking he's finally getting it: "That's why you put on the badge."
Elisa: "Yeah, that's exactly why. Thanks, Morgan. You've been a big help." And she takes off.
Morgan, still a bit confused: "Sure, detective, anytime."
21. Belvedere Castle -- a few minutes before noon. The gargoyles are there in stone and in chains. Coldstone/Iago, Human Demona and Macbeth are there as well. Coldstone can't get over seeing the sun. He doesn't understand why he didn't turn to stone. Demona explains that he is no longer a gargoyle: day or night, he is Coldstone. Fine. But that doesn't explain how come no one in the park seems to notice their presence. Macbeth answers: "It's enough that they don't. Don't concern yourself with it." The answer satisfies Coldstone for the time being. He's in too good a mood to argue.
22. Inside Coldstone's Brain -- same time. Desdemona isn't sure that she and Othello are doing the right thing. Is this the gargoyle way? Othello tells her they are no longer really gargoyles. But he turns away, when he says it. He can't look her in the eye, cause he knows he's doing the wrong thing. But when he looks at her again, instead of seeing one Desdemona, he sees three. One with Blonde hair, one with Silver hair and one with Black hair. The Weird Sisters doing their thing.
23. Belvedere Castle -- Noon. Elisa arrives. Demona is surprised, but not upset. She lifts her plasma cannon. But Elisa says she's unarmed. Demona doesn't care, but Macbeth gets the message. This doesn't sit well, with his own strange code of honor. What's wrong, Demona? Afraid to face her on an even playing field? Thus Human Demona is goaded into a hand-to-hand match against Elisa. Demona's had a thousand years of warrior training. But not as a human. So it's pretty evenly matched.
24. Coldstone's mind -- Same time. The three Desdemona Weird Sisters confront Othello. Would he really be happy here in this false paradise knowing that he could have stopped all the damage that Iago is doing in the real world. Othello finally admits that he couldn't. The three Desdemona's merge together, leaving the real one there, a bit woozy, but still determined to help Othello fight Iago. They head down the electric tunnel together.
25. Belvedere - Right then. Coldstone/Iago suddenly cries out that he's under attack, then freezes up.
26. Inside Electric Tunnel - Right then. Iago blocks Othello and Desdemona's path. They fight. Desdemona will hold Iago at bay so that Othello can take control of Coldstone and try to repair the damage that Iago has done in the real world. With a last look back, Othello heads toward the light at the end of the tunnel.
27. Belvedere - That second. Coldstone/Othello awakens. Macbeth asks if he is all right. Coldstone simply asks for a moment to access his memory banks. He does. And then he attacks Macbeth. This catches both Macbeth and Demona off-guard and helps give Elisa the upper hand in her battle against Demona. Ultimately, Macbeth is forced to grab Demona and flee. (Maybe he summons his airship?) Coldstone starts to pursue, but Elisa needs him to help her get the chains off the guys, besides there's been enough fighting for one day. Coldstone uses his wrist cannon to snap the hold on all six. When they wake up at sunset, they should be able to shrug the chains off. Elisa asks him to stay. She knows that's what Goliath wants too. But Coldstone knows that Desdemona and Iago are still at war inside of him. The other gargoyles aren't safe from "Coldstone" until that battle is decided. He promises, that if he can, he will return someday. Then he rockets off into the sky. A few seconds later, a jogger jogs by. "Hey, where did those statues come from." Elisa heaves a big sigh. She sits down and leans back against Goliath. "Don't ask me. I'm just taking a nap."
28. Macbeth's Mansion - That night. Macbeth and Gargoyle/Demona are summing up. Demona's pissed that they failed to kill Elisa and the gargoyles, but that wasn't the primary objective. Plus they lost Coldstone, but that was always just a blind anyway. They've got the Grimorum, the Eye and the Portal-to-Avalon-Talisman. They stole all three when they took Coldstone. (They even used a spell from the Grimorum to hide their escape from the clock tower and to keep their fight in the park private.) If they had left Coldstone in the tower and only stolen the magic items, Goliath wouldn't have rested until he got them back. This way, it will be weeks before he notices that they're even gone.
But then they start to question they're own motivations: why did they want these items so badly? How did they know their secret location in the clock tower? For that matter, how did they know that the gargoyles lived at the clock tower at all? And why the heck are they working together when they hate each other's guts?
Just when they're about to murdilize each other, the Weird Sisters step in and put them both into a trance. They just made it under the wire. The "geas" spell on Demona and Macbeth was about to wear off. And of course they had no spell on Coldstone, which was why they wanted him separated from the other two. Besides they don't need Coldstone. Each of the three Sisters picks up one of the magical items. These will do quite nicely in the coming battle.
ONE LAST QUESTION: Given the above changes, does the title still work for you? I'm kind of mixed on it now.