The Avengers: Caribbean Cruise Adventure (A Fanfiction Screenplay Part 3)

The Avengers: Caribbean Cruise Adventure (2015)

The Avengers: Caribbean Cruise Adventure (2015)

Act Two: Perceptions

Scene One – A Map

Interior – Cruise ship corridor, main control deck, lounge

Two cruise ship personnel in uniform come out of a door.  Both of the crew members are shorter. Tony and Steve are waiting for them in the hall.  Steve and Tony make quick work of knocking out their opponents. They drag the unconscious bodies back into the room from which they came. Tony and Steve then exit the same room now wearing the personnel uniforms. Tony’s uniform fits perfectly, but Steve’s pants are way too small for him. There’s a good 4 inches of leg showing between his socks and pants   He walks with an odd gate.

Tony: You alright, Captain?

Steve (tugging near his crotch): Yeah. I’ll be fine…in a minute.

Tony: That’s what you get for being tall and handsome.

Steve: I don’t understand. Clothes always fit in the movies.

Tony: Just hide behind me if someone comes. No one wants to see that.

Steve:  Shut up!  I’m sick of…

Steve grabs Tony by the throat and shoves him against the wall.

Steve:  Shut your damn mouth now.  If you mess up this mission…Let’s just say I don’t care what punishments Fury can come up with, but if this virus escapes…If you’re the one that screws it up, I will deal with you myself.

He releases Tony who shrugs him away.  Steve and Tony reach a locked door labeled “Control Room.”  There’s a card scanner to the side of the door. Tony searches his pockets and pulls out the personnel’s identity card. Looks at it.

Tony: Thank you…Wallis Becker.

He slides the card in the reader. A green light flashes on and Steve opens the door a crack.

Steve: There’s just one guy in there.

Tony: I’ll go in. Hopefully he won’t notice that I’m not Wallis. You wait out here and keep watch, Skinny Britches. Crow if someone’s coming.

Steve: Crow?

Tony puts on the crew members hat and walks inside. The door closes and Steve looks back and forth down the corridor.

Inside, Tony nods at the man at the control panel who looks up at his entrance.

Tony: How’s it goin’?

The man turns back to his work and Tony starts rifling through different things. He opens different cupboards and drawers.

Tony: Hey, do you know where I could find a…

Three large men walk in from another adjoining room.

Man: You’re not Wallis.

Tony: A map!

Tony yanks open one last compartment which is filled with blueprints. He grabs all of them.

In the hallway, Steve hears a number of bangs and shouts. He looks concerned, but doesn’t try to open the door. Tony emerges from the room into the corridor where Steve is standing. His hat is missing, his hair is mussed, and he has blood on his face. He still clutches the blueprints under one arm.

Tony: Crow!

The two men start running through the ship. The ship’s crew pursues them. They keep running. They knock things over as they go to trip up their followers. One of them goes down. Tony tears open a door which blocks the hallway behind them. The personnel run straight into it and one of them is knocked out. Tony and Steve rush into the ship’s bar and lounge which is full of people. They hide in the crowd and try to catch their breaths.

Steve: I think we got ‘em. Did you still have the maps?

Tony (whacking Steve with the blueprints): Yeah.

Steve: Let’s try to blend in.

Steve picks up an empty glass from a table just for appearances. Tony does the same. They move through the lounge. Nodding and smiling at the people they encounter. By the bar, they knock into Violet who is wearing a little black dress now. She looks at the cut on Tony’s head and then Steve’s too short pants.

Violet: Whoa.

Steve: They shrunk in the wash, ma’am.

Tony: Don’t mind him. He’s had one too many.

Violet: That’s okay. Laundry can be tricky. I turned all my clothes pink once. You never know. You might start a new fashion trend. You gentleman like some new drinks?

She grins at Steve.

Steve: No. Thank you, miss. We would love to, but we have other duties that we should get back to.

Tony: I might take you up on that later though. Tomorrow? Same time, same place?

Steve pulls Tony away toward the door when something stops them.

Scene Two – Fight

Interior – Lounge

Sly is at the bar getting a drink. Loki approaches him from behind and rips him away from his stool.

Loki: Who are you and why are you watching me?

Sly: I don’t know what you mean. I don’t know you. Security!

Flashback:  Sly and his wife are having lunch at a restaurant in New York City.  They are sitting at a table outside with a green umbrella over them.  They lean in close to each other, laughing and talking.  Sly feeds her a bit of his lunch from a fork.  The next moment, people around them are screaming.    Strange alien beast fly over their heads shooting at people as they scatter.  Sly grabs his wife’s hand and pulls her toward the restaurant.  A crushed car comes rolling at them from off-screen.  The car hits Sly’s wife and she is pinned underneath it.  She’s still alive.  He cries out to her and goes towards her.  Above them Loki and Thor are fighting at the top of Stark Tower.  The giant “K” gets blasted off of the building and falls.  The “K” lands between Sly and his wife, wreckage blocking his way to her.  Sly has to watch his wife die from a distance.  Another hover craft zooms over him.  On it is not an alien, but Loki.The-Avengers-Climax-Loki-the-avengers-34726348-1920-1080

Back on the cruise ship Loki punches Sly.  Sly falls to the ground and Loki pulls him back up again. Loki squeezes his throat. People around him yelp.

Loki: Do that again and I will make you wish you’d never seen this ship.  My brother’s friends will find you conveniently unconscious on the floor.

Sly:  And they would just let you go in the process?  How fast can you run?  How strong are you against Captain American and Ironman?  How clever do you need to be without your magic powers?

Loki presses in closer to Sly.

Loki:  What do you know?  How do you know I don’t want to be caught?

Sly:  You don’t.  I took your powers.  You don’t want to be caught until you get them back.  Not now.  You’ll wait until the right time.  And you won’t kill me until you know how to get them back.  Here they come.  So what now, Loki?

From across the lounge: Steve and Tony watch the two men’s encounter.

Steve: Is that…?

Tony: I think it is.

Steve: Loki.

Tony lunges forward at Sly and Loki.  Hearing his name, Loki looks over at Steve, loosening his hold on Sly. Sly twists out of Loki’s grasps.

Steve:  Tony!

Steve tries to stop his friend from attacking, but is too late.  Tony hits Loki with the empty glass he’s carrying.  Sly steps back, rubbing his throat.

Sly:  This man attacked me for no reason!  He should be locked up and taken off the ship!

Loki, Steve, and Tony continue to fight.

Violet:  Wait!  Stop!  Security is on the way.  Argh, men.  Stop hurting each other!

Violet throws her drink into the middle of the group.  Glass shatters onto all three of them.  Loki breaks free from the group and escapes through the crowd.  Security guards arrive and put handcuffs on Steve and Tony.

Scene Three – Speculations

Interior – Bruce’s cabin

Thor watches as Bruce conducts an experiment at a table that involves a Bunsen burner, beakers, a stop watch, and data sheets on a laptop.

Thor:  Is any of your memory coming back?

Bruce:  Do I remember that if something ticks me off I’ll turn into what Tony refers to as “a big, green rage monster”?  I still don’t remember how we got here on this ship though.  You?

Thor:  I come from a different planet.

Thor looks over Bruce’s shoulder.

Bruce:  Yes.  And shouldn’t you be planning sieges to unite your realms or something?

Thor:  Sorry.

Thor steps back.

Thor:  I do not blame you for misjudging me.  My people are great warriors, yes.  But we also value knowledge.  My father gave up his own eye for it.  I respect your profession.  Jane –

Bruce:  I appreciate your interest, but let’s just stop right there.  If you must know, I’ve taken the information from the files we were given on the zombie virus and I’m trying to figure some things out about how the virus might have been developed.  Now, I need to concentrate.

Bruce drips a liquid into the beaker with a pipette.

Tony and Steve enter Bruce’s cabin. They have lost the uniforms they’d been wearing.  Tony flops the blueprints out onto the table covering Bruce’s own papers.  Bruce flinches, squeezing all the liquid from the pipette into the beaker all at once.  He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath to try to calm himself.

Tony: We got plans of the ship.

Bruce: I see that.

Steve: What’re you working on, Dr. Frankenstein?

Tony: Hey, don’t talk to him like that.

Steve: Why shouldn’t I? You would do it.

Bruce: Ok, guys. Let’s just sit and talk.

Steve: No. I want to know why it’s okay for him to be an asshole to everyone, but as soon as anyone else tries to give him shit, he’s all righteous.

Tony: I can’t help that I’m such an awesome badass. But you shouldn’t take out your jealous rage on the doc here.

Bruce: Stop. Just stop it. You don’t want to make me angry.

Steve sits down and the others follow suit.

Bruce: What happened? What’s this really about?

Steve: We got the blueprints, but were pursued. We ended up at the lounge and lost our tail. Then Mr. Badass thinks it’s a good idea to start a fight. Security kicked us out of the bar. The guards have been given our id’s and photos in case we ever decide to go back there again.

Bruce: You got banished?

He looks at Tony.

Bruce: From the ship’s bar?

Steve: And now, thanks to Tony, our targets have access to a part of the ship we don’t. An extra advantage for the enemy. Plus our identities have gotten out to the ship’s security. They’ll be on to us for the rest of this trip.

Tony (to Bruce): If you saw what I’d seen, you would’ve done the same thing. It wasn’t just a fight, anyhow. It was Loki.

There’s silence while the men in the room look at Thor.

Bruce: What’d you mean? Loki’s floating around somewhere in the back alleys of the cosmos making connections with alien crime lords and who knows what else. But he certainly isn’t going on a family vacation cruise liner.

Thor: Where is he now? 

Steve: It was him. You don’t mistake someone’s identity when you’ve seen them do what Loki’s done. He was with some other guy too. They both got away.

Thor: Who was this other man?

Tony: We don’t know.  He said that Loki just attacked him for no reason.  They didn’t look like they were friends.

Steve: Loki doesn’t have friends.

Bruce: So the real question is: Is the enemy of Loki our friend? Is this mystery guy Zhivkov’s friend? Or the thief we’re looking for?

Steve: You think Loki and Zhivkov are connected? Maybe Loki is the thief?

Thor:  No matter if Loki and Zhivkov are allies, this man Loki attacked is important.  The man lied to you.  Loki does not attack for no reason.  If we find out who the man is, we will be able to find out why my brother is on this ship.

Steve: I think that it’s safe to say that an enemy of Loki is, unless we have evidence otherwise, our friend. We need to divide the ship into sections so we can split up and do a search for Zhivkov and our new mystery man.

Steve spreads out the blueprints.

Steve:  Thor, you take the ballroom/dining room and this surrounding area.  Bruce, you can have the lower decks in the bow area and the smaller auditorium here.  Tony, gets the stern lower decks…excluding the lounge.  I’ll take the upper decks and outdoor areas.

He looks around for confirmations or challenges.

Scene Four – Karaoke

Interior – Ship’s lounge – Three days before virus outbreak

Violet is on a stage singing karaoke. She has picked the song I’m the Only One by Melissa Etheridge. She is a little out of tune, but the passion for the song is there.

Violet (singing): Please baby can’t you see, I’m trying to explain. I’ve been here before and I’m locking the door and I’m not going back again. Her eyes and arms and skin won’t make it go away. You’ll wake up tomorrow and wrestle the sorrow that holds you down today.

View expands to include the bar where Tony is sitting in a disguise. He is wearing a fedora and sunglasses. He takes a drink and glances over towards Violet.

Violet (singing): But I’m the only one who’ll walk across the fire for you.

She points randomly at no one into the crowd of drunken listeners and dancers. A man hoots thinking that he’s been specifically chosen. Loki is there, eyeing Tony.   He glances behind himself when Violet points, and raises an eyebrow.

Violet (singing): I’m the only one who’ll drown in my desire for you. It’s only fear that makes you run, the demons that you’re hiding from, when all your promises are gone. I’m the only one.

She finishes the song. Tony takes another drink. She joins him at the bar.

Tony: Nice Singing.

Violet: Thanks. Do I know you?

Tony: Maybe.

Violet: You were here the other night in uniform. I saw what happened. You’re lucky you didn’t get your nose busted up or something. I always wondered what that would be like. What would I look like with a broken nose?

She turns towards him, waiting for an answer.

Tony: Like yourself. I don’t think I am who you think I am.

Violet: Yes you are. You wanted to have a drink with me tonight, so let’s have a drink. Same time, same place, remember?

Tony looks at the bar tender who is busy at the other end of the bar.

Tony: Don’t say anything.  I’m here against orders, but somebody has to do the dirty work.  And what you said…drinks.  Maybe you can help. I’m looking for this guy. Have you seen him?

He slides a picture of Zhivkov across the counter to her.

Violet: Ooo. Are you a detective? FBI? Undercover.

Tony: Yeah. You could say that.

Violet: I haven’t seen him, but I’ll keep an eye out. He’s got nice hair. What should I do if I see him?

Tony: Call me.

He gives her his calling card. She reads it, flips it over and reads the back.

Violet: Stark Industries. Ironman. Okay. Let’s drink. My dad always said I was good at making friends, but he never wanted to be mine. So, Ironman, let’s be friends. To fathers.

Tony: To fathers.

They clink their glasses together. There’s a time-lapse in which they are drinking and the two of them appear somewhat drunker. Violet isn’t as drunk as Tony. She’s been conserving her drinks.

Tony: How are you still sober?

Violet: Practice. Hey, I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we sing a song together and while we’re at it, we can both search the crowd for your guy?

Tony: I don’t think that’s the best idea for me. I’m a wanted man.

Violet: Oh, come on.  You seem like such a confident man.  Or maybe that’s the problem?…  Besides, what are they gonna do if someone recognizes you? Clap you in handcuffs and make you walk the plank? You disobey orders, but you won’t sing a little song?  You’re scared.

Tony (jokingly): No. I’m not scared. I just want people to like me. And they wouldn’t like me if I got up and sang at them. The ‘O captain, my captain’ guy I was with the other night would really not like that. I don’t want anyone to know who I am, right now. That’s all. And karaoke is…kinda girly.

Violet: It’s not girly at all.

Tony: You’re a girl. A damn pretty one.

Violet: You’re just saying that.  Who cares if they like you or not? You say you’re not afraid, but here you are hiding your identity behind a costume. If people shoot you down, you have all the more reason to stand up strong for who you really are.

Silence then drunken ramblings.

Tony: You’re not the only one with daddy issues. If this boat had a daddy, it would have issues. You know, I remember something now. Drink is helpful. (To his whiskey) Thank you. I came here on a time machine from the future. Fury said I couldn’t have my suit. It’s not right, SHIELD. I don’t like it. I just want to make it right. So many things my daddy did. How can I make it right, if I don’t have my superhero suit?

Violet: You’re from the future. What’s it like? Wait. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know what kind of alien takes over the world. Surprises are better. Ironman. That’s you’re superhero name. (She looks at Tony’s card again.) If your dad did so many bad things, how are you going to put it right if no one knows who you are? If you operate under an alias, does it matter if you put things right? An apology doesn’t mean anything, if people don’t know who it comes from.

Tony: They do know who I am. See the card. Both names.

Violet: And yet there’s this.

She reaches up to take Tony’s hat off. He grabs the hat and secures it against his head.

Violet: So what. You started a fight in here. You’re human even if you don’t want to be. You can’t change anything – people can’t like you for who you are – if you’re hiding. But see here, we’re friends. I like you anyway. Costume on or costume off.

She takes his fedora and this time he lets her. She stands up and tosses it over the crowd. A young man catches it and puts it on his head. Violet takes Tony’s sunglasses and sticks them on top of her own head.

Violet:   Now, come on. What song do you want to sing?

Tony: Ladies choice.

Cut to: Tony and Violet on stage together with microphones singing Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash.

Tony: It’s always tease, tease, tease. You’re happy when I’m on my knees. One day is fine, and next is black. So if you want me off your back, come on and let me know. Should I stay or should I go?

He sings more tentatively as he is busy skimming the crowd. He keeps singing as the camera focuses in on Sly who was spying on them for Fury. Sly is worming his way closer to Loki, but Tony doesn’t spot Loki.

Tony (whispers): I think I know that guy. SHIELD. (To Violet) This is girly. Why’d we pick this song?

Violet (to Tony): You didn’t want to pick it.

Violet: Should I stay or should I go, now? Should I stay or should I go, now? If I go there will be trouble. And if I stay there will be double. So come on and let me know.

Loki is scowling at Violet and Tony as they dance together while they sing. Violet is wearing his sunglasses now and they face each other on stage.

Tony and Violet: Split!

Scene Five – Let’s Dance

Interior – The ship’s huge ballroom – Two days before virus outbreak

There is live music and the place is full of people dancing. Violet dances enthusiastically by herself at the edge of the crowd. People clear a space for her so that she stands alone. Thor makes his way through the dancers, looking at each person to see if they are Zhivkov or Sly. He is not even pretending to dance or blend in as he moves past Violet. He examines her from a distance and she sees him staring at her.

Violet: Hey! Would you like to dance with me?

He puts up a hand to decline and then changes his mind. He goes over to her and begins swaying back and forth. Thor tries to copy the moves of another guy nearby. He looks at the guy instead of at Violet.

Violet (laughs): You’re good!

He looks at her questioningly.

Violet: I mean it!

Thor: In my…country we dance only at certain festivities. Weddings and rituals for our ancestors. But our dances are much different from yours. They are a bit more…orderly.

Violet: Oh, where are you from? No, let me guess. Finland? Netherlands? Australia? Greenland? Germany? Antarctica?

He shakes his head after each question as they continue to dance.

Thor: No, no. It is a place far away that I do not think you would know. Have you by any chance seen these men?

He shows her a picture of Zhivkov and one of Sly. She points at Sly.

Violet: He was at the bar while I singing karaoke. But he wasn’t doing anything. Just hanging around. You must know the hiding man.  I mean Ironman.

Thor: He is my friend. My name is Thor.  The man in this picture, Sly, works for the same …company – I think is the word – that I work for.  But he was not asked to come on this mission with us.  We believe he is a double agent.  If he speaks to you, you should not believe what he says.

Violet: I’ll watch out for him.  You know I had dinner the other night with a man who was also named after a Norse god.

Thor:  Loki.  He ate dinner with you?

Violet:  How did you know who I was talking about?

Thor:  He is my brother, but the last time I saw him, he was imprisoned in our dungeons.

Violet steps away from him.

Violet: Your family keeps your brother in their own personal jail?

Thor: It is not what you think. His cell is as finely furnished as any chamber on this ship. Loki is immeasurably evil and feels no remorse for any of his actions. He is cruel, treacherous, and holds childish grudges.

Violet: Perhaps because you lock him in his bedroom as if he were a naughty child you are ashamed of.

Thor: You do not know him as I do. He is in the dungeon not only to keep him from causing trouble, but also because I wish to protect him from himself and from the world.

Violet: First of all, no, I don’t know him well. He’s different, cold and distant, yes, but I tend to judge people by my own experiences. Not by what the world wants me to think of them. Secondly, how does what you just said make you any less sadistic than your brother? You’re like an evil stepmother and it doesn’t suit you.

Thor: That is the problem.  I do not want to be his mother.

Violet: Then treat Loki like an equal and not like a princess locked in a tower. You say you love him, but here you are on vacation with him – in the same space as this boat – and yet he is completely alone and you are off running around with your other friends. You say he is cruel and hateful and yet you take no responsibility for your own actions towards him.  No wonder he hates women, when you treat him like one and act like it’s your righteous privilege.  Do you ever think about what it would be like to be outcast by your own family?

Thor: He deserves what he has gotten. He turned on us.

Violet: I don’t doubt that. But it still doesn’t mean that it’s right to pretend like nothing’s happened when you’ve hurt someone’s feelings. You could tell him you’re sorry for what’s happened, even if you can’t change it.

Thor: He would not listen.

Violet: Not to you maybe. I’m an outside party, and perhaps you need mediator.

Thor: Why would you do that?

Violet: I know what it’s like to have family conflict. I judge fairly. I have emotions beyond happy and macho. And I do what I want.

Thor nods.

Thor: I must leave you now.

Exit Thor. Violet goes back to dancing and jumping around on her own. She whoops when the band finishes the song they’re playing, clapping her hands above her head.  Loki watches his brother walk away.  The song Believe by Mumford & Sons plays.

Say something, say something,

Something like you love me

Less you wanna move away

From the noise of this place.

Enter Loki. Violet sees him and he approaches her.  He nods once at her.

Violet: Hello. You have a striking face, you know. It stands out in a crowd. I mean that in a good way.

Loki: I can’t believe you enjoy this.

He gestures to the crowd.

Violet: Why wouldn’t I?  It’s freedom.  Anonymity.  I can be whoever I want to be in a dancing crowd and nobody cares because we’re all people having fun.  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be someone else?  Here’s your chance.

He looks at his hands which have been drained of their magical powers to disguise him.

Loki: No. Be one of these idiots?

Violet: I will take your initial disbelief that I would be here as a compliment, since it means you don’t include me with “these idiots.” Thank you, Loki. You’re very kind.

He snorts and looks around.

Loki: They don’t think, they just do whatever they’ve been told to do.

Violet: And of course there’s never been a time in your life when you’ve wanted not to think.  To just do something, strangle someone or laugh out loud.  Absolutely not. You could have never wanted that freedom before either.

Loki: You mock me. My brother has made you his friend and turned you against me.

Violet: Your brother…is an acquaintance of mine who I think has good intentions towards you. They’ve just been put into practice in unfortunate ways. He seems like he can be quick to anger, and yet there is an innocent charm to him that perhaps makes him more dangerous to women like me.

Loki: He’s nothing but a stupid, human-loving oaf.

Violet: Maybe. But like I told him, I tend to use my own experiences when judging people instead of thinking whatever I’ve been told to think.

They stand in silence.

Violet: I believe Thor would like to get along with you, but I don’t think he’s done a very good job at showing it. Perhaps he doesn’t know how to treat you. Perhaps he needs your help. I’d like to help you.

Loki: Then you’re wasting your time. Thor has made his choice. I’ve made mine.

Violet: I’m getting tired of this crap. Let’s dance.

Loki: No.

Violet: Okay.

She disappears into the mass of dancers.  For once more in his life, Loki is left alone.

Scene Six – Attention Seeker

Interior – Ballroom

Loki tears through the crowd, ripping men from their dance partners.  He punches one man in the face and his date screams.  People start looking at him and paying attention to what he’s doing.  He drags the yelling woman out of his way by her hair.  Then he knees another man in crotch before kicking him to the floor.  He knocks another woman’s legs out from underneath her.  She shrieks.  He realizes a good portion of the room is now looking at him.  His lips part in a satisfied smile as he glances around at the fear in the room around him, wondering if Violet is watching.  Hoping that she is looking and is terrified by him.

He doesn’t see Sly come up from behind him.  Sly injects something into the back of Loki’s neck.  Loki drops to the ground unconscious.

Sly:  Security.  I’m security.  Everyone stay calm.  Is everyone okay? 

No one responds.  The disheveled and bleeding crowd stares back at him like he must be joking.

Sly:  This man will be taken into secure confinement and released to authorities when we make the next port.

He drags Loki from the room.

Scene Seven – Prisoner

Interior – Storeroom

Sly pulls Loki into a storeroom and ties him up with a cord.  There’s a cargo container inside.  Sly opens the lid of the container and shoves Loki inside.  The container is small enough that Loki is stuck in the fetal position with his knees pressed against his chest.

Sly:  That injection should knock you out until tomorrow.  Then I’ll pay your little girlfriend a visit.

Scene Eight – Brain Magic

Interior – Magic show in small auditorium – One day before virus outbreak

The magician produces a wind blowing throughout the room.  A small sailboat is carried through the air on the breeze, returning a woman’s gold earrings to her which she never knew were missing.  She removes them from the boat with a gasp.

Violet:  You’ve got to be kidding me.

She walks around trying to get back to her seat with a new long island ice tea in her hand.  The liquid splashes out onto Bruce Banner’s sleeve.  He brushes at the wet spot with a napkin.

Bruce:  You’re tellin’ me.

Violet:  I’m sorry.  I feel like I’ve been running into people ever since I got on this boat.  Must have balance issues…Sea legs.

Bruce:  Why don’t you sit here?

Violet:  Oh, thank you.

She takes the empty seat at his table.  He doesn’t clap as the magician bows and the crowd cheers.

Violet:  I take it you don’t like magic?

Bruce:  It’s kind of against my beliefs.  If you have any scrap of logic in your brain, you can figure how the tricks are done.  It’s not magic to me.  It’s a puzzle. 

He looks around the room.

Violet:  And you’re looking for someone.  Are you friends with Thor and Ironman?  What’s your name?  The Puzzler?

Bruce:  I like it, but no.  You can call me Bruce.

The magician appears to be walking on the ceiling.

Violet:  Do you think he feels like he’s in The Poseidon Adventure?  What if he’s the right way and we’re wrong?

Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, film (1979)

Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, film (1979)

Bruce: Yup.  Magic is all about perspective.  Are you looking in the right direction at the right time?  Everything is about perspective really.  Ever heard the phrase, “It’s all in your head”?

Violet: Do you think I’ve lived in a barrel my whole life?

Bruce:  Sorry.  You never know.

Violet:  Are you suggesting that if you could change your mind, you could convince yourself that magic was real?

Bruce:  Why would I want to do that?

Violet:  Could I change my self-identity like the white lady who told everyone she was African-American and then believed it was true?  What about other abstract things like love, hate, or anger?  Could you can convince yourself that you love someone?

Bruce:  You could, but it would be difficult and possibly take years for the feeling or lack of the feeling to be genuine.  You would have to have a very strong will.  Theoretically, if you tried hard enough you could control all your emotions with your head.

Violet:  That seems like magic to me.  Also, if you still haven’t found this guy, don’t you think you’ve been looking in all the wrong places?  If I wanted to hide on a cruise ship, I wouldn’t go to a magic show or a bar.  I would stay in my room as much as I could. 

Bruce:  But then we wouldn’t be able to do all these fun things on our vacation.  You can’t be vigilant all the time.

 Scene Nine – Intruder

Interior – Corridor, Violet’s cabin

Sly picks the lock on the door to Violet’s cabin.  He goes inside.  The door slides open and Sly’s form is outlined by the lights outside the room.  Inside is darkness.  He moves further into the room.  There’s a bed where Violet is fast asleep.  He watches her for a minute to see how soundly she sleeps.

Sly (aside):  The zombie virus is within my grasp.  I just have to waiting for the right time.  At the last minute, I’ll switch out the machine’s cartridge containing the virus with a harmless one.  Then I will steal the real cartridge and bring it back to SHIELD.

He approaches Violet as she sleeps.  He starts to reach out to brush her hair off her forehead, but then stops.  Instead he kneels down at the head of the bed so that their faces are level.  He scoots her nightstand away from the wall, revealing an electrical outlet where Violet’s phone is charging up.  He takes out a screwdriver and removes the outlet cover.

Sly (to Violet)I’ve seen you with Loki.  Are you helping him?  But you were also with Tony, Bruce, and Steve. Could you possibly be another double agent?

He rises and then does run his hand down the side of her face.

Sly (aside): Not while I’m around.  There’s only room for one villain in this story.  If she’s not a double agent, then she’s Loki’s friend.  Loki killed my wife in New York, anyone who calls herself his friend deserves to die.

He takes a small device from his coat and acts like he showing it to the sleeping Violet.

Sly (to Violet):  See this?  It contains just enough of the virus to infect a single person.  I’ve chosen you to be the first host.  It’s an honor!  I’ll just leave it for you when you unplug your phone in the morning.  Then you will go around infecting all of your new little Avenger friends.  But Loki is mine, of course. 

He snatches the device away.

Sly (aside): Fury can have the virus if he wants it, but not until it’s done its work here.

He turns back to install the device into Violet’s outlet.  Sly leaves as quietly as he came.  When Violet’s door clicks shut, she jumps out of bed and tip-toes to the hallway.  She peers down the corridor and glimpses Sly turning the corner.  She follows Sly to the storage room where Loki is being kept.

Thank you to Marvel, Stan Lee, Joss Whedon, and all the other writers, directors, and creative minds/hands involved in producing such a large number of enjoyable films.  And of course the actors: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Hiddleston, and Chris Hemsworth.

The Avengers: Caribbean Cruise Adventure (A Fanfiction Screenplay Part 2)

The Avengers: Caribbean Cruise Adventure (2015)

The Avengers: Caribbean Cruise Adventure (2015)

Act One: Meetings

Scene One – Opening Credits

Exterior – Decks of a cruise ship

Opening credits play and we get a collage of scenes across the ship. The cruise is a tiny version of the world with every sort of person, hierarchy, and relationship present. We see the workers in the kitchens, a family with children splashing in the pool, a school group running around, a seniors group doing yoga, bi-racial couples, same-sex couples, politicians, and celebrities. There is the sound of laughter, conversation, and chaos.

Scene Two – New Cargo

Interior – Basement deck of ship/cargo hold

Men move around and secure items in the cargo hold using forklifts and their own arms. There are two security guards present who are double checking the manifest and using devices to scan bar codes on some of the containers that have been brought on board. A man named Sly, dressed in a black suit with sunglasses approaches the guards with an entourage of similarly dressed individuals behind him. They are escorting a large, unlabeled container.

Guard: May I help you, sir?

Sly: The doctor has arrived.

The guard appears to be confused.

Guard: Where’s your manifest key code? I don’t see any doctor on my list.

Sly: That’s too bad.  Boys.

Sly gestures to two men standing behind him. The men come forward and each of them raises a sizable gun. They shoot the two guards full of bullets. The rest of the entourage lift similar weapons and proceed to fire at and kill the other men who had been working in the cargo hold when they entered. Bullets and sparks light up the dark space.

Scene Three – Interruptions

Exterior – Upper deck of ship

A woman named Violet, around thirty years old, sits in the sun on a white lounge chair. She is moderately attractive and could care less.  Her feet are propped up in front of her and crossed at the ankles.  She holds a paperback novel just below her face. Her light-brown hair is pulled back in a ponytail and her dark blue one-piece bathing suit catches a glint of the sunshine in its material. There are other empty lounge chairs on either side of her. She’s reading, but easily distracted by the people who walk in front of her. She looks up from the pages often.

A group of three teenage girls passes her by. Unlike Violet, they have nice tans, are skinny, and are wearing neon-colored bikini suits.  They are running away from an insect, swatting at it and squealing.

A few paces behind the girls, follows a man, Loki, walking right next to the deck railing. He is wearing a lightweight, collared shirt with the first two buttons undone and grey chinos.  Also reading a book, he is engrossed in the words before him, he shows no interest in any of the people surrounding him. His black hair hangs just brushing his shoulders and hiding part of his face.  Unconscious of his actions, he dampens one finger in his mouth, using it turn the page.

More tourists pass him as he is strolling along. He is concentrating on reading and less focused on his movements.  He makes a creeping progress forward  A couple with arms around each others waists walk past.  The woman of the couple laughs at a shared, secret joke. Everyone gives Loki a wide berth as if, for some reason, they do not want to get too close to him.

Violet glances at him as he continues to approach the place where she sits.  The bikini-wearing teenagers return having lost their insect somewhere.  They look at Loki as they move around him.  The girls begin to arrange themselves on the empty lounges beside Violet. They giggle and talk loud enough for anyone in the area to hear. One of the girls browses her phone searching for something on the Internet.

Teen One: …What a freak. Did you see that guy back there? His hair is gross!

Teen Two: I know. Who does that?

Teen Three: Hey, have you guys seen this new One Direction video?

Teen Two: Gasps*

Teen One: What…? Shrieks* upon looking at the phone.

Violet rolls out of her lounge and rolls her eyes.  She turns her back to the teenage girls.

Cut to: Loki continues walking in the same direction, but his back is now facing the camera in this shot. Violet is hurrying towards him and towards the camera. Her head is down and she doesn’t see him. She moves straight into him. He is pushed back against the deck railing and Violet stumbles. Loki’s book falls to the floor of the deck and Violet fumbles to pick it up while she is still carrying her own book.

Violet: Oh, I’m so sorry. Are you okay? Here. Sorry.

Loki has backed away from her and stands as still as a statue.  Violet picks up the books and hands one back to Loki.

Loki takes the book from her without looking at it.  He is too busy giving Violet a cold glare.  Seeing his reaction, Violet runs away in the direction she’d been heading. Loki’s own walking pace is now uncomfortable and his strides uneven. His free hand clenches and un-clenches. He doesn’t try to read anymore.

Scene Four – Boredom

Interior – Loki’s Cabin

Loki lies on his back on his bed. His book is resting flat on his chest. He picks it up to begin reading again. He stares at the cover in confusion.

LokiReading

Cut to: Book Cover. Pride & Prejudice With Zombies with a woman’s rotting face on the cover.

Loki sits up straight in the bed. The book falls to his lap and he reaches his hands out as if to blast something with magic. Nothing happens. He examines his hands for a moment before dropping them in front of him.

Loki: I hate Odin!

He flops back down on the bed.

Cut to: Close up of book in Violet’s hands as she runs away from Loki on the upper deck. The title reads: Poetic Norse Eddas.

Return to Loki’s Cabin: Loki picks up the zombie book once again and flips through the pages.

Loki: What is this horrifying drivel? Should I be stuck on this boat with nothing to read but this?

He drops the book once more as the camera slides across his room, through the wall and into the adjacent cabin.

Scene Five – Hearts

Iron-Man-Playing-Cards

Interior – Tony Stark’s Cabin

Thor, Bruce, Steve, and Tony sit around a square table, one of them seated on each side. Tony shuffles a deck of playing cards. Led Zeppelin plays in the background from an iPod and speakers on a counter nearby. They are all dressed as civilians.

Loki (Muffled shout from the other room): I hate Odin!

Thor: Did you hear something?

Thor tilts his head, trying to listen through the music.

Bruce: Hear what?

Thor: Sounded like someone yelling…a familiar voice.

Steve: I didn’t hear anything.

Bruce: Tell me again why we have to play hearts.

Steve: Because none of us besides Stark have any money to gamble away.

Tony: We could play strip poker? Let’s play strip poker.

Steve: None of us want to see you naked.

Tony: Who said I’d be the one who was naked?

During this conversation Thor has gotten up from his seat and is listening at the wall that borders on Loki’s room.

Tony: Hey, are you playing or not, blondie?

Thor returns to his seat.

Thor: What does one do with these?

Thor holds his cards backwards and forwards in a jumble in front of him.

Steve: You hold them like this.

Steve begins to explain the rules of the game to Thor in the background as the others talk.

Tony (turning to Bruce): You ever get the feeling that things aren’t quite right around here?

Bruce: Since we got on this boat, there have been times when I feel like my brain’s been scrambled.

Tony: Like you’ve forgotten your toothbrush but then you realize it’s much more than that?

Bruce: Yeah.  We just showed up at the port with a mission to accomplish. I don’t even know how exactly we got here. I don’t remember driving and we were just all here, like we fell out of the sky or something.

Tony (lost in thought): Strange. And why doesn’t he know how to play cards?

Tony and Bruce look pointedly at Thor.

Scene Six – The Machine

Interior – Basement Deck of Cruise Ship

A number of men work in the dark bowels of the ship.  The dead bodies of the ship’s original crew have been taken away and the workers are replaced by Sly’s entourage dressed in dead crew’s uniforms.  One of the men is Dr. Zhivkov. He is large, wealthy, and his hair is prematurely going grey.  Sly has now replaced his sunglasses with spectacles.  He tinkers with a large piece of metal machinery with wires and tubes sticking out of it.  A liquid bubbles in a tank to the side of the machine.  Sly’s entourage are helping him around the room – carrying things and putting small things together. More men are just standing around.

Zhivkov: Will the machine be ready for the experiment?

Sly: I just need to make a few power adjustments. The machine the way it is now won’t give off enough voltage to carry the virus throughout the ship. With my readers, I detected an extra power source on the ship. I’ve created an input collection booster that will drain the energy from the source without interfering with the ship’s systems.

Zhivkov: Good. How soon will we have power?

Sly: It will take a few days to charge up. Not until after we make the second port. The power source I’ve found is strong. It’s the only way I can maximize the output of the virus, but the energy comes in spurts so it will take longer to charge the machine.

Zhivkov takes a gun out of his jacket and shoots three of the men that are just standing. He puts the gun away. Everyone stops work to look at the dead men.

Zhivkov: Excellent, Sly. (To the other men) Everyday Sly is still working on this machine another one of you will die. It seems you aren’t busy enough anyhow. No one stops working until all the people on this boat are infected. Am I clear?

The men who stopped working redouble their efforts. Zhivkov exits with some men in black suits following him.

Scene Seven – Call to Arms

Interior – A conference room at SHIELD headquarters, day before the cruise

Nick Fury is stands in an empty conference room. There are four empty chairs at a table. Each chair has a file in front of it. Fury looks at his watch.

Cut To: Tony in his Ironman suit is overseas in a desert. There is gunfire and explosions. A bomb is ticking down to zero. Ironman is attempting to disarm it. The timer gets down to one second. The next moment the count down stops, but Ironman vanishes in an explosion of blue light to reappear next to Nick Fury in the SHIELD conference room.

Cut To: Bruce Banner is in a science lab. He is wearing a lab coat and goggles. A research assistant watches him. He holds a beaker of golden liquid with a pair of tongs and prepares to tip it into another liquid.

Bruce: If my calculations are correct, this monkey urine will neutralize the vapors from the invisibility serum.

Bruce vanishes in the same way as Tony did earlier in a flash of blue light.

Assistant: Didn’t work.

Cut To: Thor in Asgard. He is using his hammer, Mjolnir, and fighting with Heimdall. There are alien creatures all around them. One of them spears Thor through the chest.

Computer voiceover: Simulation terminated.

The aliens vanish, but, in a flash of blue light, so does Thor. Heimdall growls.

Cut To: Steve Rogers in his apartment looking at old photographs and listening to jazz.

Steve: If I had to live it all again…

He vanishes with the blue light.

Cut To: SHIELD conference room. Nick Fury and Tony are joined by Bruce holding a beaker of monkey urine, Thor groaning on the floor, and Steve looking around.

Fury: Have a seat, boys.

Nick Fury gives them a briefing. Steve is now sitting with his hands folded in his lap. Tony has his metal feet resting on a tabletop. Bruce is examining some papers on the table in front of him, the monkey urine nearby. Thor stands behind him, looking over Bruce’s shoulder at the papers.

Fury: I’ve brought you here using the latest technology in transport. I wouldn’t have done it this way if this wasn’t a mission of top priority. Dr. Zhivkov is a potentially dangerous security risk that must be dealt with quietly and efficiently. (Zhivkov’s face appears as a hologram behind Fury) His team of researchers have been able to produce a weapon Stark Industries could only dream of. Upon contact, this weapon would shut down the emotional centers of the human brain, rendering everyone incapable of feeling. We’re calling it the Zombie Virus.

Humans need to feel anger, hate, love, and joy. No one will be able to function normally without emotion. According to the files from Zhivkov’s lab, test subjects who contract the virus become entirely violent and reckless. With no feelings of guilt, people either do whatever the hell they want or they simply become so withdrawn that they abandon other essential human needs like eating. Anyone infected dies within 24 hours. It started showing up last month in a number of cases in large cities around the world – London, Moscow, Hong Kong, Istanbul, New York.

Thor: How do we stop it?

Fury: That’s where things become difficult. Dr. Zhivkov himself died on a cruise three years ago, before all of you had that little party in New York with Loki. Someone on that cruise stole from Zhivkov vital information for recreating the virus. Zhivkov then took the identity of this thief to his grave.

Steve: Whoever stole the virus back then is using it now?

Fury: That’s what we believe. The easiest way to discover the virus’s origin now is to determine who stole the information on the cruise three years ago. But more than that, we need to stop the creation of the virus before it starts. There have already been about 30 worldwide cases of the virus so far, but who knows how far it will spread by the time we find where it’s coming from. We need to target it at its source before anyone had the chance to become infected.

Bruce: So you’re saying we need a time machine?

Steve: I might have been frozen for decades, but I still don’t understand how that’s possible.

Fury: As I said, there are risks. We’ll be sending you back in time by using alterations made on the Tesseract – a version of the same technology that helped bring you here. There will be side-effects such as memory loss. In addition, we don’t want this to make headlines. Since you will be operating in the past, anything you might do could change the outcome of events such as Loki’s bid on world domination. If The Avengers Initiative had been made public three years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to use the element of surprise against Loki.

Tony: Like Captain Hammer said, what are we supposed to do about that?

Fury: Once you reach the past, you will be forbidden from using any of your powers or talents. You’ll use your intelligent minds to find the thief and take him out. Then you will destroy the information on the virus that Zhivkov carries with him.

Bruce: Alright, say we get there and find this Zhivkov guy. How are we supposed to get back to the present?

Thor: Why would you want us to do this? I don’t understand. If we don’t have any of our abilities, why not just send normal mortals?

Fury: We’re sending you because even without your talents, you are still the best team there is. You’ve worked together before and been successful. That’s better than sending any random group of people.

Cut To: The group walks down a corridor inside SHIELD.

Bruce: (To Tony) I don’t get this memory loss deal. How’s he gonna keep me from changing? What if I forget to not be angry?

Scene Eight – Oldest Goes First

Interior. – Time Machine Room at SHIELD, day before the cruise

Fury and the four Avengers stand in front of a metal chamber. They have all changed into every-day civilian clothing. Each of them, except for Fury, has a suitcase with them.

Fury: You will all arrive at the port of call at approximately the same moment. All the information you need on Dr. Zhivkov is in the file I’ve copied for each of you. The Tesseract has been programmed to bring you back to the present at the moment of Dr.Zhivkov’s death. At that point you will have either succeeded or failed and your presence in the past will no longer be relevant.

Steve: So who goes first?

Bruce (looking at Steve): I’d say the oldest should go first.

Thor (putting his hand on Steve’s shoulder): You do have the most experience in time travel.

Steve: Come on guys. I’m pretty sure Thor’s been around longer than I have…He’s been to other universes…

Tony shrugs at him and so Steve sighs before stepping forward into the metal chamber with his suitcase. He is standing inside when we see a blue flash through a window and then he is gone.

Slide2

Cut to: A blue flash in a parking lot and the four men appear with their luggage.

Bruce: This is as normal as hell.

Tony: I don’t know what you’re talking about. Groups of unmarried men go on cruises together all the time.

Scene Nine – Back-Up Plan

Interior – Time Machine Room at SHIELD, day before the cruise

Fury stands in the same place in front of the time machine chamber. Sly is with him now.

Fury: Agent Sly. Glad you could join me. Your mission is to make good with Dr. Zhivkov. You will make sure that the Zombie Virus remains intact and you will bring it back to me. In order to prevent future wars, you will capture an individual on the ship who calls himself Loki.

Sly: What about The Avengers, sir?

Fury: Your mission is top priority. Anyone who gets in your way must be destroyed. The Avengers are merely a back-up plan. Do you understand?

Sly: Yes, sir.

Fury: I’m sending you back a week before the cruise leaves. You have that much time to convince Zhivkov to hire you. If you need to communicate in an emergency, send a message to this email address. It’s old, but still working.  Although you don’t know it yet, you’ve already told me Loki was on the ship.  

Sly takes the paper and sticks it in his pocket. He steps into to time machine and the door closes.

Scene Ten – Escaping

Interior – The ship’s dining hall.

Loki sits at a table by himself. He has no food with him or any other objects. He glares at each female who walks by, examining them. He looks at their hands to see what they are carrying with them.

A woman passes by him and makes an affronted face as he continues to stare after her.

There’s a scrapping noise as someone pulls out the chair behind him. The table rocks as Violet bumps it when she sits down. She has a plate full of slimy or overly crunchy food with her.

Violet: Mind if I join you?

She puts a napkin in her lap.

Violet: I’m sorry about running into you the other day. I really am. Then when I got back to my room I realized I had this.

She bends down to retrieve something and the Poetic Norse Eddas plunks down on the table in front of him. He looks at the book and then looks at Violet. He places a hand over the top of the book.

Violet: Don’t worry. I didn’t eat or anything while I was reading it. I did read a little of it. I hope you don’t mind. Norse mythology has always been really interesting to me. I saw the inscription inside. It’s always nice to get books from your mom. Frigga’s your mother?

Loki: I have to go.

Loki turns toward the door and sees his brother, Thor, along with Tony, Bruce, and Steve, waiting to be seated. The image of Loki becomes blurry as he tries to cast an illusion on his appearance, but can’t. His image clears and he looks the same. Thor turns in his direction and Loki retakes his seat abruptly once more. Loki turns so his back faces Thor.  He is now looking directly at Violet.

Loki (chuckling): Frigga is my mother.

Violet: I’m Violet by the way. Vi for short. Are you okay?  You looked sick for a minute. Drained. You don’t have to leave on my account.  Frigga is a really pretty name when you think about it. I bet she’s a beautiful woman. Just like Odin’s wife in the stories in your book, huh?

Loki: Yes. Just like the stories.

Slide3

Loki (quickly before Violet can go on): You don’t need to sit with me. I’m not very good company.

Loki watches Thor cross the room heading towards an empty table nearby. Loki looks back at the exit calculating the distance between it and himself. Thor sits down at a table some ways in front of them and to Loki’s right.  Loki moves his chair closer to Violet so that she helps block him from Thor’s view.

Now that Loki is beside her, as Violet speaks she places her hand on his arm before taking it away again.

Violet: I don’t mind. I’m all by myself here anyhow. I mean who goes on a cruise by themselves?…Well, I guess I do, but I saw you all alone too so…

Violet eats her food, realizing that if she doesn’t have anything in her mouth, she’ll just keep talking about nothing. Then she holds out a fried chicken leg.

Violet: Here. Take it. Aren’t you hungry?

Loki: No. Thank you.

Violet: Come on. It’s good.

Loki scowls at the thing in her hand.  Violet’s fingers are shiny with grease. He looks again at Thor talking to his friends before taking the chicken.  He tries to touch it as little as possible.

Violet: Haven’t you ever had fried chicken before?

Loki raises an eyebrow for a second as she laughs and then he frowns, placing the chicken back on the table.

Loki: Is that what this is?

Violet: Oh, don’t be that way. I’m sorry I laughed, okay. You don’t have to eat it.

Loki doesn’t eat it.

Violet (looks at him in earnest, wiping her hands on a napkin): I’m trying to figure you out. You’re very unhappy, but yet you’re on a cruise. I get the feeling you don’t want to be here with me, but something is keeping you from leaving.  You’re all shifty. You don’t like to talk, but you don’t want to be alone.

Loki: How could you possible know that?

Violet: I’m here alone because my family ditched me. This trip was supposed to be for my birthday. I planned it all out, ordered them all tickets. I should’ve known then – getting my own birthday present. But I thought we could spend lots of time together. I could go to an on-board magic show with my brother, sunbathing with my mom, shopping with my sisters. It’d be great family time, I thought. But when the time came…(different voices) Oh, is it your birthday already? I’m too busy – work, babysitting, illness. (normal voice) But I wasn’t going to let it go to waste. So here I am. All by myself. I always wanted to go on a cruise and I am going to enjoy it. Joke’s on them, right? Just because they don’t appreciate me, doesn’t mean I’m not going to do whatever the hell I want.

Loki is looking down at the table as she speaks and dodges away in order to avoid Violet’s great gesturing.

Cut to: Flashback of last scene in Thor film. Loki is dangling at the end of the bifrost. He looks Slide1up to see Thor and Odin above him.

Loki: I could have done it, father. I could have done it. For you. For all of us.

Odin: No, Loki.

Loki lets go of his staff. Dropping into the closing portal.  We see him come out the other side of the portal, dropping towards Midgard/Earth. He lands on the deck of the cruise ship. The night is dark and quiet, but there are faint sounds of a party going on elsewhere – music and laughter. Loki gets up. He is still wearing his Asgardian garb. His image shimmers as he tries to change his appearance once more. The shimmer vanishes and he’s still dressed the same.  He examines his hands.

Loki: Odin’s taken my powers?

Loki looks around and a single man comes out of the darkness. He’s well dressed in a shirt and grey chinos. The man is still buoyed up from the party – smiling. Loki flashes out an arm, trying to zap the man with magic and nothing happens.

Man: Hey, neat costume.

The man comes closer and Loki punches him in the face then shakes out his hand. The man touches his bloody nose and comes back at Loki, swinging fists. Loki grapples with him for a minute on the floor. The man is much larger than him and for a time, Loki is pinned beneath him. With a cut on his face, Loki grabs a nearby object and hits the man in the head with it. Loki gains the upper hand and gets the man flat on his back. He holds the man by the throat, strangling him.

Blackout.

Then we see Loki wearing the man’s white shirt and chinos.  Loki walks away from the dead body.

Back in the dining hall: Loki turns to smile coldly at Violet then glances back at Thor at the dinning table.

Loki:  Your family disrespected your gift.

Violet: That’s an interesting way of putting it. But yeah!

Scene Eleven – Spy

Interior – Ship’s dining hall.

The Avengers sit around a table, having dinner. We see Violet in the background and at times, glimpses of Loki with her.

Bruce: So we need to make a plan.

Steve: I say tomorrow we split the ship up into four sections and we each get to know our section. See what people are staying in that area – what they do, where they go. Get to know the boat backwards and forwards. Get to know our target. We need to locate him before we make the first port and he has a chance to get off the boat.

Thor: We’ll need a map of the vessel.

Tony: Okay. Where can we get one?

Bruce: They probably keep a copy stored away for emergencies somewhere in the main control deck.

Steve: We’ll need stealth and a persuasive story if we’re caught. Tonight Tony and I will sneak into the control deck and see what we can find.

The view pans out to include the table where Loki and Violet are sitting. The view then focuses on Sly who is standing in a corner outside of the dining hall listening to the Avengers with a device.

Tony (through Sly’s listening device): Who made him the leader?

Scene Twelve – Electric Transmission

Interior – Dining Room, Cruise ship corridor, and Zhivkov’s cabin

Sly starts walking from his corner. He moves through the ship’s corridors.

Sly Voiceover: What do we use everyday and never realize it? It’s around us all the time, but we don’t see it, such a part of our lives that without it many would not be able to cope. Electricity. Energy. It’s the perfect enemy. Take it away, and people would kill to get it back.

Lights come on in a dark corridor as Sly moves into it.

Sly Voiceover: But what if flipping a light switch could give you the measles? Plugging in a laptop or a phone? Bird Flu.

Sly continues down the hall, pulling out his phone and typing out what he had been saying in a message to Fury.

Sly Voiceover: Turning on the TV? Ebola. Airborne diseases spread quickly enough. What about electric borne illness? Once you flip the switch there’s no going back. You’re sick. There’s nothing you can do. After that, an infected individual can give the disease to whoever they contact. But the initial infection is inescapable, widespread, and untraceable. What if I told you the means of doing this were right here on this ship?

Sly comes to a door and knocks. A man in a black suit answers the door. The man steps back to allow Sly to enter. Sly goes in and turns the corner. Zhivkov is bench-pressing weights in his cabin. His own suit is replaced by a wife-beater and mesh athletic pants. Another man in a suit is acting as his spotter and standing behind him. As Sly comes in, the spotter helps Zhivkov return the weights to their stand. Zhivkov sits up.

Sly: The machine will be ready much sooner than I thought. You can activate it in three days.

Zhivkov nods and wipes his face with a towel.

Thank you to Marvel, Stan Lee, Joss Whedon, and all the other writers, directors, and creative minds/hands involved in producing such a large number of enjoyable films.  And of course the actors: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Hiddleston, and Chris Hemsworth.

The Avengers: Caribbean Cruise Adventure (A Fanfiction Screenplay Part 1)

The Avengers: Caribbean Cruise Adventure (2015)

The Avengers: Caribbean Cruise Adventure (2015)

As I’ve been thinking more about fangirling and seeing how people have enjoyed reading my Wholock fanfiction, I decided to post more of the fanfiction I’ve written.  The following piece, as you can guess is Avengers fanfic.  For the four main Avengers, the story takes place between the first and second Avengers films.  For Loki, the story is happening directly after Thor #1.  There’s some time travel involved.  Plus all of the other things you love about cruises: magic shows, buffets, disguised evil villains, snorkeling, karaoke, alcohol, culture shock, dancing, family drama, hand-to-hand combat, memory loss, teenage girls, and fast spreading illnesses.

I have also added an extra heroine to the story named Violet.  She gets to help out the Avengers while they fight the bad guy.  Violet represents the effects of being a woman living among male “gods” and possesses some of her own super powers that the Avengers are lacking.  She is Loki’s foil, the similarities and differences in their characters helping to enhance each of them in turn.  She is to a degree his advocate and holds a type of control over his life due to her serving as a self-appointed go-between for Thor and Loki.

I have done a little research on writing screenplays, but I actually have no idea about making a film or script formatting, so bear with me if directions/terms are not correct.  It reads kind of like something between a novel and a play.  I’m also sorry to everyone who is a bigger Marvel geek than I am (You’re much cooler and I wish I were you.) if I make some sort of faux pas in regards to the original story line or comic books.  I’ve taken some fictional liberties that I hope you have fun reading!

Thank you to Marvel, Stan Lee, Joss Whedon, and all the other writers, directors, and creative minds/hands involved in producing such a large number of enjoyable films.  And of course the actors: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Hiddleston, and Chris Hemsworth.

The Danger of Writing Stereotypes in a Politically Correct World

My Personal Experiences Related to Stereotypes

My own definition of a stereotype is a generalization made about a person based on their culture, religion, sexuality, socio-economic status, profession, or even their hobbies.  Stereotypes are used to categorize people into groups.  If you think about high school, some common stereotypes might be: 1.  The popular football player who has the “best” girlfriend, but who struggles with his grades.  2.  The kids who wear black, smoke in the bathroom, and skip class.  3.  The brainy kid with glasses and acne who sits by himself at lunch and who won the science olympiad.   The groups are then given certain characteristics that define the people within them.  Football players are popular, goths are druggies, and brainiacs have no friends.  Therefore; according to the stereotypes, if you are a football player you must be popular, if you wear black you must do drugs; and if you are smart, you are also friendless.  The generalizations don’t always make sense and limit individuality in our society.  There is no place for the stereotypical football player on the science olympiad team.  More importantly, stereotypes can also be used to promote racism and other forms of hate.

Throughout my life I’ve lived in communities that are highly open to diversity and in environments where stereotypes are avoided.  I’ve learned that every person is unique.  If someone is different from you, then you should try to understand them rather than shutting them out.  I  have to say that I believe that there are very few lifestyles or beliefs that are wrong.  They may be different from my own, but they are not wrong.  The only thing that I believe is wrong is closing off your mind from understanding differences between yourself and others.  The only thing that is wrong is closing the door.

This way of thinking makes me super sensitive to anything and everything that may offend someone else.  In addition, my training as an English major, has made me super observant to the world around me.  Even tiny details can bother me.  There was a TV commercial that I couldn’t stand to watch because of the way a man and a woman were standing next to each other – the man leaning toward her with his hand on the wall and she against the wall.  It was a rather subtle image of female vulnerability and male control and yet it made me cringe.  The result of this attention to detail is that I am easy offended by statements and images I see or hear everyday, even if I do not belong to the group they are directed towards.  Another good example of a stereotype that bothered me can be found in a film I watched recently called The Lorax.  The antagonist of the film wanted to produce more smog so that his company, which sold clean air, would become more profitable.   It was troublesome to me that this character’s appearance was somewhat stereotypically Asian.  Despite that fact that his voice was that of American Rob Riggle, the character was short with black hair cut in a bowl shape and had small, dark eyes.  I don’t belong to the group the stereotype represented, but still I have this fear and guilt that made me squirm when I saw something offensive towards another race.

Even though stereotypes are often negative, I think that sometimes we are too focused on sensitivity.  Political correctness has become such a big deal in our society that sometimes I feel like we have to tiptoe around everything to the point of being ridiculous.  Our society is haunted by the fear of offending.  The fact that we are over sensitive to hurting someone can be just as damaging as using too many stereotypes.  Political correctness can suck all of our enjoyment out of something like the film The Lorax which was made for children.  You might think that because the movie is for kids that makes it even worse that it contains hurtful stereotypes.  On the other hand, does a character’s haircut or height really matter to the 10 year-olds watching the film?  Should we not allow children to view the film (with an overall positive message)
because a detail makes us adults feel uncomfortable?  It’s hard to say.

Political correctness and the fear of offending someone prevents us from discussing the stereotypes at all.  Our need to avoid stereotypes in a way continues to close the door on understanding differences of culture and beliefs.  The golden rule if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all, although it is a good rule, it doesn’t solve the problem of the deeper discord that caused us to have to censor ourselves.  The stereotypes don’t go away just because we don’t want to see them.  Is there a way to balance the use of stereotypes and the fear that we may offend someone or close the door on them?  How do we teach our children to be sensitive without instilling in them a fear that will prevent us from solving problems of racism, sexism, etc, later on in life?

Stereotypes Positive or Negative when Writing Fiction?

In the same way that stereotypes reduce unique qualities in individuals in the real world, they have the same effect on the quality of writing when used in fiction.  When a character becomes too stereotypical it can limit creativity.  I’m guilty of having stereotypical characters.  It’s hard to avoid because certain images/ideas have become so engrained into how we view the world.  I’ve tried my hand at writing chick lit. before, and the main temptation for me was to create a gay best friend who acts as the leading lady’s fashion/relationship consultant.  This character would have lacked originality and detail.  He would have been boring, cliché, and predictable to anyone familiar with the stereotype.  Anyone could write this character which also means that we would know every detail about him even if we saw him from two miles away.

However, like I explained above, I don’t want to be over sensitive and throw out stereotypes in writing altogether.  Categories do exist in society if we want them to or not.  Placing characters into certain stereotypes can be helpful in understanding who the character is that we are writing about.  It might be good to start out with a stereotype if you are having trouble developing a character.  There is nothing wrong with a heroine in chick lit. having a gay best friend.  But perhaps you can twist his character a bit from there.  Maybe he had no mother growing up so he doesn’t know how to dress himself well.  Perhaps he tries to become the fashionable stereotype, but fails.  Perhaps he has a fear of becoming a stereotype and avoids fashion completely.  What the character thinks about other people seeing them as a stereotype can change who the character wants to be.  By using a stereotype as a jumping point, we’ve now created a more interesting and complex person.

Stereotypes can also add more meaning to a story if you want to make a critical statement about a greater issue we face.  One of the benefits about stereotypes in writing is that they give straight forward, solid definitions of the people they represent.  They might get rid of unique details, but everyone will understand who it is that you writing about.  Your gay best friend character could be an advocate for gay rights by generally representing the legal/social challenges faced by LGBT individuals all over the world.  By categorizing the character and giving them a solid definition, we can now critique that definition and say what is good or bad about how society reacts to the definition.  By using the stereotype of the gay best friend we can show how love and acceptance towards individuals that we place within the stereotype can positively change the world.  Or perhaps if your fictional world mistreats the stereotypical character, we can better see issues of discrimination against that stereotype in the real world.

The ironic problem is that we don’t really want to offend anyone.  To go back to The Lorax, there should be a line between making a positive statement about environmental issues and attaching that issue to a certain race.  The stereotype becomes more strongly racist than it promotes awareness of the issue of air pollution.  To help find a balance, I’ve come up with some questions to ask yourself about a character that you might think is too stereotypical.

1.  Did you intentionally make the character stereotypical or did it just turn out that way?  If you did intentionally choose a stereotype then:

2.  What is the purpose of having a stereotypical character?  What statement are you trying to make about the world by using a stereotype?  What issue would you like to bring to light?  Does the rest of your writing focus on this issue or do you get caught up in trying to define the stereotype itself?  Does the stereotype exist in a world that never acknowledges it?

3.  What is positive and negative about the stereotypical character you’ve created?

4.  If you did not intend to make a character stereotypical: Are there any details about the character that are not necessary?  If you can delete any of the details about the character that seem more stereotypical without taking away from the plot or image of the character, than do it.  What makes your character unique?  Create a detail that makes them different from all your other characters and emphasize that one thing.

5.  What is the character’s background?  Do they have universal experiences?  Is their history something that could happen to anyone or a history that happens to one in a million?  How does the one-in-a-million experience in the past change who the character is in the present?   If you can create a unique past for the character, than it is easier for them to have a unique future in the story.

My Current Writing Project

I’m having doubts right now about a character that I’m working on that I feel might be too stereotypical.  She is from Mexico and her family is faced with the challenge of become financially successful in America.  She works as a maid at a hotel and ends up stealing from guests at the hotel to add to her income.  I feel that her employment is rather stereotypical and that the stereotype becomes negative when she commits a criminal act.  I’d like to address each of the questions I asked above in terms of my own writing project.

1.  I did not intend to make the character stereotypical.  I’m most familiar with Latino culture and I wanted her character to be a minority.  It just seemed natural that she should come from Mexico.

2.  I didn’t intentionally create a stereotype, but I did want to make a statement.  I wanted to bring to light that fact that America is meant to be the land of opportunity and yet there are citizens living here that can’t make enough money to live.  I wanted to write about how opportunities are limited for minorities despite the fact that America prides itself on equality.  I also wanted to create awareness about what Latinos experience when they come to the United States – that many of them are harmless people who face incredible hardships.  The problem again is that my character commits theft.  This has a reverse effect on the statements that I want to make.

3.  The positive things about the stereotype are connected to the issues that I want to highlight.  The negative aspect again is the criminality and lower level of employment of the character.

4.  Unfortunately, the fact that she is stealing is essential to the plot of my story.  It’s a detail I can’t change.  In this case, I think I need to reconsider the importance of this character being a minority.  She could be a white American from a middle-class family that comes upon hard financial times.  Perhaps the idea that she is a minority can come from her gender and not from her race.   She could have a partial education from a university and career goals.  This would take care of the negative aspects of the stereotype.

5.  I could focus on the past of her family coming to America from Europe hundreds of years ago.  This would still maintain a theme related to immigration issues in America by stating that we are all immigrants.  It would also create a unique past for the character that we don’t always hear about in regards to modern, American characters.

 

I Hope this has been helpful to you in developing your own characters.  It has been very helpful for me to think about and the process of answering these questions might later lead to new connections in the plot of my story that I hadn’t thought about before.

Questions in Harry Potter Fandom

So, I made my word count goal today and this is my fun literary related post.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Harry Potter and have been a loyal fan since I was in third grade.  But some of these things on this page can’t help but be funny.  It’s a list of 29 major ideas regarding Harry Potter that were raised on Tumblr.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukebailey/lol-wizards

Wholock: Two Bodies in Time (Part Seven)

Scene 9: Sherlock Holmes (Friday night,  A London Pizzeria)

“Remind me again, brother, what we are doing in a pizzeria.”  Mycroft put his cigarette out in a plastic ashtray that lay on top of a red and white-checkered tablecloth.

“Not all of us are food snobs.”  Said Sherlock, playing with the salt and pepper shakers.

“It’s called a diet.  You’re a good one to talk.  Sometimes I think you’re a vampire.  Never eating anything.  And that’s not what I meant.  We’ve been following John Watson around town for the last two hours.  If they’d actually gotten on the London Eye, I think I would’ve hurt someone.”

“Aren’t dates ridiculous?  Why don’t they just eat, say they like each other, and go home?  What’s all this other rubbish?”

“Romance, I think they call it.”

“Dull.”  Sherlock said.  And it had been dull.  All of this messing about and still John and Molly had not said a word to each other about him.  They were getting on just fine.  How boring.   John looked like he was having a good time, smiling and laughing with Molly.

“Sometimes I don’t see why John wastes his time with it.  We could be chasing a murderer right now.”  Sherlock said.

You could be, but you’re not.  You’re here spying on your friend’s love life.”  Mycroft argued.

“What are you doing here, Mycroft?”  Sherlock thumped the salt shaker down on the table a little harder than he meant to and glared at his brother.

“You wanted me to come.”

♦♦♦

John knew that his friend had been following them for the last hour, but he decided not to let it bother him.  Sometimes there was just no understanding Sherlock.  Perhaps he was just going through one of his down periods.  Everyone gets depressed once in a while including great detectives.  John was just glad that it was so easy to tell when Sherlock wasn’t feel as upbeat as usual.  In that respect, Sherlock was very predictable, which allowed John to prepare the support Sherlock needed.  John actually invited the fact that he was being followed as long as Sherlock wasn’t ruining his date with Molly.

The thing John wasn’t sure about was whether or not he should tell Molly that they had company.  It didn’t seem right not to tell her, but he knew how she felt about Sherlock.  If he told her that this man was watching, her attention would immediately be diverted from himself to Sherlock.  He wasn’t sure he’d be okay with that.

“So…”  He shifted in his seat.  “What made you decide to work at the mortuary?”

“Well, I’m not sure.  It’s not what I started out wanting to do.  I started out wanting to be a nurse, but…this might sound strange, but it actually takes a stronger stomach to work with people who are living.  Death doesn’t bother me the way that people dying does.  In a way it’s comforting to know that they’re already gone.  They’re done suffering.”   Molly explained.  “It’s too painful to see people in the process of going.”

“That’s understandable.  I’ve seen my share of death.”  He said.

“But you’re more like him that way.  You like the excitement.”  She nodded in the direction of Sherlock and Mycroft who were sitting in the back of the restaurant in a booth behind John.

“I like a certain amount of adventure in my life, yes.  But not the suffering of other people.  Neither does Sherlock.  He just doesn’t like to talk about it.   When did you notice they were following us?”  He asked.

“Two blocks away from the flat.”

“Really?  I didn’t see them until we changed lines at King’s Cross.”

She giggled.  “At one point I thought Mycroft was going to throw a fit.”

“I bet Sherlock is having a time of this.  He can’t stand we’re together without him.  Let’s pretend like we’re making fun of him.”

“That’s mean, John!”

“Oh, yes?  And he hasn’t done enough mean things to you?  Besides, we live to give each other a hard time.  He loves it.  It’s all fun if I’m the one that’s making the fun.  Give me your scarf and I’ll act like I’m him.”

She laughed despite herself as he knotted the floral printed scarf around his neck.

“And then…”  He flipped up the collar of his suit jacket.  In a forced, deep voice he said, “Get a brain, Lestrade.  I’m a high functioning sociopath.  Go have a Merry Christmas.”  He went back to his normal voice.  “How’s that?  Tell me is he looking?”

When Molly had recovered herself from laughing she answered.  “Yes!  He looks confused.”

“Are his eyes narrowed and his lips kind of like this?”  He made a face and she burst into a stream of giggles again.

“Yes and no!  It’s a good impression, but you don’t look anything like him.  That in a way makes it so much better – so much funnier.”

“Here.”  He handed the scarf back to her.  “Thanks.  Not sure if that scarf’s my color though.”

“Oh, I think it looked cute.”  Her cheeks turned pink.  “I wanted to tell you something.  I knew that Jim Moriarty was gay when I went out with him.  I’m not clueless like some people assume.  But I didn’t know he was trying to kill Sherlock or that he would try to hurt you.  It’s just…”

“It’s nothing.  Doesn’t matter.  I know you’re not clueless.”  John cleared his throat and changed the subject.  “You’ve known Sherlock longer than I have.  What was he like before I met him?”

She thought for a moment.  “He was the same in that solving a case was his life.  But he was crazier about it than he is now.  It was the only thing that he did and so things always went a bit too far.  His website was one thing that he totally overdid.  There weren’t any murders then, so he became obsessed with analyzing tobacco ash.  He put articles about it on his site thinking people would find it as interesting as he did.  I think he was lonely.  Really lonely, even though he pushed most people away.  But I also think that it was other people who did most of the pushing.  If the world is cruel to someone, what can you expect to get back from that person but cruelty?  People said he was a freak and so he became one.  And you…were the only person who proved to him that it wasn’t true.”

♦♦♦

John was making fun of him.  Lot’s of people made fun of him, but John wasn’t lots of people.  The making fun wasn’t what bothered him.  What troubled him was that he didn’t entirely understand his discomfort.  It was like John had some sort of disease that had changed everything.  Sherlock didn’t know how to act around him to talk to him in the same way.  What do you say to someone who is dying?  Or will be as good as dead to you at any moment?  And what if you can’t tell them they’re dying?  How do you say good-bye to John Watson without actually saying it?

“Why am I his friend?”  Sherlock said out loud.  He meant to be talking to himself and had forgotten Mycroft was next to him.

“Well, you make his ordinary life more interesting.  You’re like John Watson’s Moriarty.  But I’m confused.  Which one of them are you jealous of?”  Asked Mycroft.

“Jealous?”  Sherlock’s word was covered by a crash as two men barged in the back door of the restaurant.  They both had full, red beards and long curly hair.  It looks like they’ve come all the way from the Scottish Highlands, Sherlock thought.

“Holmes!”  They bellowed upon seeing Sherlock and Mycroft in their booth.  “You will die, Holmes.”

“What in hell did you do this time, Mycroft?”  Sherlock asked at the same time his brother pointed a finger at him.  “Oh, Please.”

♦♦♦

More bearded men (and women) came through the front door, yelling.  John and Molly were on their feet now.

“The Buhoo!  They’re after Sherlock.”  Molly said.

One of the Buhoo had picked Sherlock up by the lapels of his coat.  The creature threw him across the room.  He landed on a table and slid the surface of it to fall on the floor on the opposite side.  But Sherlock was just an extra piece of garbage.  The Buhoo were now heading for Mycroft.

“You killed our Queen.”  Said the Buhoo closest to Mycroft.

“Not Sherlock then.”  John said.  He was headed across the room to where his friend lied on the floor.  “You okay?”  He asked Sherlock, offering him a hand.

“Sherlock jumped up, ignoring the hand.  “I’m fine.”  Then kneed the nearest Buhoo in the stomach.  “Get Mycroft.”

The Buhoo at the booth was now trying to pull Mycroft out from behind the table, but Mycroft had sunk down on the bench so that most of him was hidden beneath the tabletop.  The Buhoo had made a grab at his prey’s shoulders when John leapt onto his back.  John’s weight pulled them backwards.  John found himself crushed between the Buhoo and another tabletop, but not before they had run into a waiter who was trying to calm the rest of the customers.

Just then The Doctor entered the scene with a running slide.  He bumped into Molly and grabbed onto her to keep his balance.

“Doctor!  What do we do?  I don’t want to hurt anyone.”  Molly said.

“Here.”  He revealed two things that looked like a toy guns that might belong with a cowboy costume.  He gave her one and kept the other one.  “This won’t hurt the Buhoo.  It’s a transport gun.  All it does is send them back home.”

She stared down at it.

The Doctor shrugged.  “It’s all I could find to make this kind of weapon.  I don’t have everything in the TARDIS.”

A yell interrupted them.  Sherlock was trying to untangle John from the Buhoo he had tackled.  It now had John in a headlock on top of the table.  Meanwhile, another Buhoo had grabbed Sherlock from behind and bitten him on the neck.  Mycroft weaved around, avoiding the blows of the third Buhoo.  It looked like they were part of some sort of ritual dance.

Molly shot at the Buhoo who had John.  She hit it in on the side of its hip.  The creature disappeared into thin air with not so much as a grunt.

John jumped up and punched the alien biting Sherlock in the forehead.  Molly took care of that one as soon it was away from the detective.  This time the gun’s blast hit it right in the chest.

The Doctor took aim at the other Buhoo surrounding Mycroft and in an instant all that remained in the restaurant were humans.

♦♦♦

They stood in a line in the alley outside of the pizzeria facing The Doctor and the TARDIS.  Mycroft stood on the far right followed by his brother and John.  Molly came last on the left.

“Sometimes humans are so disappointing.”  The Doctor said in front of Mycroft’s face.  “They’re disappointing because they are capable of so much more than violence.  And sometimes that’s the only thing they believe in.”

Mycroft blinked twice.  “Torchwood…”

“Oh, pish!  Torchwood only does what the government tells them to do.”  The Doctor moved down the line to Sherlock and John.

“Ahh…”  The Doctor examined Sherlock’s bite.

“What?”  Sherlock took a step back, not used to having strange men that close to his face.

“Looks good.  Just keep it clean and it won’t get infected.  I’d go to the hospital though, if you start growing a beard, but I doubt if that will happen.  The Buhoo venom isn’t very strong.”  The Doctor said.  “John, it’s good to see you again.”

“Again?”  Asked John.

“I don’t need to say it, but you two look out for each other.”  The Doctor waved his finger horizontally from John to Sherlock.  He moved on.

“Molly! You were brilliant!”  He declared.

“Wait! Who are you?”  John asked stepping forward and closer to Molly.

“John.  Let it go.”  Sherlock told him.  “He’s fine.”

“Thank you.”  Molly said to The Doctor.  “The last time we met, you said perhaps later.  Is now later?”

“Well,” he thought it over, “I suppose…if you wanted…”

She shrieked and hugged him.  “Come on! Let’s go!”

Taking his hand, they ran to the TARDIS.  The Doctor turned around and waved to them before closing the door behind them.  The whirring sound began to issue from the spaceship.

“But I wanted…”Sherlock began, but the TARDIS was already gone.

He looked at John who shrugged and started to walk away.  Sherlock followed him, still staring at the place where the TARDIS had been.  Mycroft brought up the rear.

“I guess I can always go out with that girl from the laundromat.”  John said as they made their way back to 221B.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you enjoyed it!

Note: Characters and settings belong to Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Russell T. Davies, and various other writers.

Wholock: Two Bodies in Time (Part Six)

Scene 7:  Molly Hooper (Friday, 221B Baker Street)

Molly arrived early Friday night at John and Sherlock’s flat.  Mrs. Hudson let her in.  When she came into the sitting room, Sherlock lay curled on the couch asleep.  He still wore his white dress shirt and black pants.  She could see skin above his socks where the pants had ridden up his leg.  Black curls splayed across his forehead.

He’s like a puppy  or a child when he doesn’t open his mouth, she thought.

He started mumbling something in a dream that she couldn’t understand.  It sounded like he was saying “don’t” over and over again, but she wasn’t sure.  His face creased into a frown.  Oh, Sherlock, you keep so many things inside; too many things.  Molly wanted to reach out and soothe that forehead and push back those curls.  She took a step toward him into the room.

The floor creaked and he shot upright.

She shrieked.

“John!  What’s happened?”  He saw her and seemed to recall where he was and that it was just a dream.  Getting to his feet, he stretched his long arms out behind him.

“Molly.”  He looked at the clock.  “John must still be getting ready.”

“Actually, I came over a bit early to see how you were doing.  You didn’t text me back.”  She said.

“I’m fine.  Is that what you’re wearing tonight?”  He said with a frown.

She glared at him and pointedly tugged her cardigan down.

A thunk issued from the bathroom.  John must have dropped something on the floor – his razor perhaps.  Sherlock’s eyes darted toward the sound.  She  saw now that the way he’d been looking at her was an act compared to the genuine weight his frown now carried.

“We have some cake left over from Mrs. Hudson’s birthday.  Would you like some?”  Sherlock offered, trying to smile.

Something was wrong.  He was attempting to be polite and make amends.  “It sounded like you  were having a nightmare.”  She said as he sat down in his chair.

He folded his hands together and rested his chin on top of them.

“Sherlock? Can I tell you something?”

His eyebrows went up and nodded once.  He stared at John’s empty seat on the other side of the fireplace.

“People say that Sherlock Holmes has no friends.  You say that you only have one.  But I hope that some day you’ll see that it isn’t true.  People…Many people would fight for you if you would let them.”

When she’d finished, he looked at her, moving his eyes but not his head.  She wondered what was going on behind those blue eyes.  Then John came down the hall and the moment passed.

She turned towards her date and smiled at him.

“Molly, how are you?  You look very nice.”  John told her.  She was delighted to see that he was smiling too.

“Thank you.  I’m looking forward to this.  I’ve been so busy this week.  It will be nice to have some fun.”  She imagined Sherlock looking at her pony tail and the back of her blouse.  She shivered.

“Oh, you cold?”  John stepped forward and rubbed her back.  He guided her around to the door before turning back to his friend.  “Just so you know, I hung up your towels in the bathroom.  They were everywhere so…I hope you have a good dinner with Mycroft.”

“Piss off.”  Sherlock told him.

“Goodnight to you too.”  John said as he followed Molly out the door.

Scene 8: Sherlock Holmes (Earlier Friday, St. James’s Park)

uktv_sherlock-moriarty“They’re so reassuring, so calming.  I love it when they start pecking each other.”  Jim Moriarty tossed out more breadcrumbs to the pigeons at St. James’s Park.  “I come here when I’m stressed, Sherlock.  I watch the gluttonous pidgins scrambling about.  Then I think about how easy it is to get people to hurt each other and then I’m bored again.  It makes me want to see you.”

“Why did you send me that message in the dead man?”  Sherlock asked.

“I thought you might like the pigeons too.  The small joys in life and all that.”bri8.jpg

“Do you want to ruin me?”  Sherlock decided to cut to the chase.  He wanted to be back at the flat before John left for his date with Molly.  That way his friend would leave first and he could follow them, dragging Mycroft with him if it came to that.

“You disappoint me.  I thought the answer to that was obvious.  I did say I’d burn your heart out.”

“I need you to kill me.”  Sherlock said.

“Nope.  Too easy.  It wouldn’t be any fun if I did what you wanted.  Why are you doing this?”

“You’re a genius.  What do you think?”

“I think I’ll just have to find my entertainment elsewhere.”

“If you do this, and fake my death, we’ll both get what we want.  I disappear and you have the satisfaction of watching me fall.  In the end, I’ll still be around so that your little games can continue.”

“I don’t think you really want to collaborate with me.”

“Then things stay on as they are.”  Sherlock explained.  “You keep murdering and I’ll keep hunting you down.  The same, old, boring story.”  He emphasized each word in his last sentence before getting up from the park bench and walking away.

Come back later for the final installment!  What will happen on John an Molly’s date?!

Note: Characters and settings belong to Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Russell T. Davies, and various other writers.

Wholock: Two Bodies in Time (Part Five)

Scene 6:  Sherlock Holmes (Wednesday, St. Paul’s Cathedral)

That morning, Mrs. Hudson had informed Sherlock that his mobile had been beeping like mad while he showered.  He pulled it out of his jacket, now on his way to St. Paul’s.

There was a text from John sent last night that he hadn’t seen.  I don’t know what you’re doing SH, but I’m not taking salsa-dancing lessons.  I’m in the bedroom you know.  I can hear you. – JW

He hadn’t been that loud.  He was only practicing a few of his moves and experimenting with Latin Jazz.  It got rid of some of the extra energy when there wasn’t a pressing case to work on.  He texted back: Sure?  You’d be a great dancer, JW.  -SH

There was another message from Molly.  Watch yourself. :)

A beep issued from the phone.  A reply from John – work must be slow at the clinic today.  I always knew you  were an idiot. -JW

He allowed himself one pronounced, “Ha!” Before tucking his phone away again.

“Sherlock.”  Someone mumbled.  It sounded more like he was saying “Sharla.”  This could only mean one thing: the man calling after him had his mouth full of cinnamon roasted almonds.  Sherlock turned around and discovered that it was the man he was looking for.  The Doctor.

“Wan sum?”  The Doctor held out a plastic cone with the nuts inside and swallowed the food in his mouth.  The smell of sugar and butter mixed with a sharp spice permeated the air.  “I love these things.  Every time I pass that vender by Millennium Bridge…I can’t help myself.  It smells so good.  Mmm…Earth.  I need to talk to you somewhere more private.”

For once Sherlock didn’t know what was going to happen.  He followed The Doctor to the very top of St. Paul’s dome where gust of air carried their conversation away.

“Nice coat.”  The Doctor said.

“What?”

“Your coat.  Very stylish.”

Sherlock scowled and glanced at his outfit and then at the man’s next to him.  He scowled because what they wore was nearly the same.  He looked up at the man’s face.

“What was that blank paper you showed me the last time?”  Asked Sherlock.

The two of them stood staring out over London with their hands in their pockets and the wind blowing back their hair.  They had walked side-by-side through the silent nave with shoes thudding thunder.  Somewhere a child tourist was whispering and pointing at something.  Sherlock had felt the rush of the city leave him, but something else filled him up – a type of still power that hung over his head and came pressing downward.  He wasn’t sure if it was the cathedral or the man he was with.

The Doctor pulled out his wallet.  “This is the psychic paper.  It shows people whatever they want to see.  It doesn’t work on you because you see exactly what is there. But there is so much more that you miss.  Oh, so much more, Sherlock.”

“Tell me what you know about John Watson.”

“Ah, John Watson!  If there is one thing we can agree on, it’s that John is a beautiful piece of humanity.  Small as he may be in the universe, he is a great part of it.  Oh, the beauty of humans.  Don’t you love them?”  The Doctor’s face split in a fantastic grin.

“You’re mad.”

“Eh, well…”

“If you’re using John to get at me, it won’t work.  We’ve dealt with this before.”  Sherlock told him.

“No.  For once Sherlock, this has nothing to do with you…Well, sort of…well, you’ve become a part of it.”  There came a whirring noise somewhere between gears letting off steam and two sheets of metal rubbing against each other.  A blue, rectangular box materialized out of the air.  Police Public Call Box was written across the top.  “There she is.  I was looking for you!”  The Doctor reached out and stroked the thing’s door as if it were a pet.

“A part of what?”

“Your friend is not who you think he is.  John Watson is your John Watson, but he’s also John Watson from 1886 and 1519 and so on and on through time.  I’ll show you.  Come inside for tea?”  The Doctor asked and disappeared within the box.

Sherlock peered into the partially open door before stepping into a huge room.  In the middle was some sort of circular control panel.  In the middle of this panel was pillar of strange light.  The Doctor rummaged in a compartment under all of the knobs, switches, and cranks looking for his tea-things.

“Earl grey with lemon okay?”

“This is a time machine.”  Sherlock said.  “But how does it work?”

“It’s called the TARDIS.  I can go anywhere in the universe on any date I want.  Does it matter how it works?”

“I’ve looked you up in government archives.  You turn up over and over again.  Same person, different times.”

“You hacked into your brother’s computer.”

“Of course.”

“Look at this.”  The Doctor made his way over to a screen and typed some things on a keypad.  Sherlock stood behind his right shoulder.

The screen buzzed into life and an image like a movie appeared.  A man walked down a version of Baker Street dressed in clothing from the 1800’s.  At the corner of the sidewalk, he looked up to the camera.

“That’s John.”  Sherlock whispered.  The image changed to a scene that could have been King Henry V’s court.  There was John.  It changed again and John was standing next to another man on a battlefield holding a sword in the midst of severed body parts.

“See that?”  The Doctor pointed to the man next to the medieval John.  “Galahad.  That was my best summer vacation ever.”

“What’s happening to John?”  Sherlock’s patience grew thin and he realized he was yelling.

“For reasons I can’t determine, John Watson has been living in different times or different realities.”

“You mean like parallel worlds?”

“Sort of.  His random existence in different years changes what happens in history, which creates a new reality.  You can call it a parallel world if you like.”  The Doctor explained.  “You could be walking down the stairs, leaving your flat together, and John Watson could just disappear only to reappear in another time.  It could happen at any moment.”

Sherlock didn’t say anything – couldn’t say anything.  He thought about John’s strange premonition he’d mentioned in their last conversation.  Do you ever get the feeling you’re living in two separate realities?  John had said.

“Does he know this?”  Sherlock found his voice.

“No.  He can’t know it, or he would go mad.  It would be too much for the human mind.  You can’t tell him any of this, Sherlock.”

“Then why are you telling me about it?”  He felt his heart rate increase and his head felt hotter.  “If nothing can be done about it…And now there’s a greater risk that he might find out.  What if I accidentally tell him?  You idiot!”

“Sherlock.”  The Doctor handed him a cup of tea, but he barely realized it.  “John has connected himself to you.  Each time he moves to a new time, he seeks you out.  Even though he doesn’t know it, he’s restless until he finds you.”

“So I’m in these parallel worlds too?”

“Yes, but you don’t jump around in them.  Only John does.  He only ever jumps to a new time after he meets you.  Sometimes you know each other for one minute, sometimes ten years.  But he never jumps until after you’re friends.”

There followed a silence in which Sherlock absently sipped at his tea.  “What if I disappear instead?  What if he has to keep looking for me or gives up on it?”

“I don’t know.  It might work for a while.”  The Doctor considered.

“What if I came and traveled with you?”  Sherlock asked.

“That wouldn’t work.”  The Doctor answered a bit too quickly that time, Sherlock thought.

“I have to go.  Busy.”  Sherlock said, putting down the cup and saucer on the control panel.  He needed time to be alone, to get some nicotine patches and to think.  Or perhaps it would clear his head to do that experiment on the dead rat he’d put in the icebox.  He wanted to get away from the world now.  Science did that – ironically.  An ordinary person would think that he was avoiding the problem, but concentrating on something trivial made it easier for him to consider more important things later.  Like what was the problem anyhow?  John was going to vanish?  Sherlock couldn’t stop it?  He no longer understood his best friend?

As Sherlock was leaving, The Doctor called after him.  “Be careful!  There might be an alien wanting to kill you!”

Note: Characters and settings belong to Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Russell T. Davies, and various other writers.

Wholock: Two Bodies in Time (Part Four)

Scene 5:  Molly Hooper (Wednesday, Covent Gardens)

She’d caught up with the man running away from her toward Covent Gardens.  He was only two feet in front of her now.  They passed the parliament building and kept going, dodging all of the tourists.  Molly gasped for breath, her footsteps pounding in her head and in her chest.

“Come on!  You got him.” She heard The Doctor give encouragement from behind her.

She reached out a hand to grab the man, the Buhoo.  If she could just grasp the back of his coat, he might stumble and fall.  Her fingers glanced off the slippery waterproof cloth of the jacket.  With her weight leaning forward toward the Buhoo, she almost fell on her own face, but it only took a moment to recover.  She propelled herself off of a brick building with her hand and got back into the pursuit.

The only way to stop him is to tackle him, she thought.  Molly gave a last burst of speed  and launched herself at the Buhoo’s back.

They landed in a pile, the air leaving both of them in a whoosh as they hit the ground.  She even imagined that she felt her captive’s lungs deflate beneath her.  In a second, The Doctor was at her side with the device she now understood was called the sonic screwdriver pointed at the Buhoo’s neck beneath its beard.

“Don’t move.”  He ordered it.  “Molly, are you okay?”

She nodded, not having her breath back enough to speak yet.

Molly had been riding the tube home from St. Bart’s when The Doctor had boarded at Blackfriars Station.  She recognized him immediately even though he had his back to her.  He grabbed the bar above his head and turned around to face the rest of the car.

“Molly!”  He’d said grinning.  “Didn’t I say we would meet later?”

“Yeah…I suppose.”  She wasn’t sure what else to say.  “How is it going, hunting down those thingies?”

“Oh, the Buhoo?  Not so good, actually.  They’ve become violent – intentionally killed some government people.  I need to capture one to find out why.”  He pulled out another handheld gadget that looked like an iPhone made of scrape metal.  “I’m currently tracking one that’s headed for the Victoria line.”  He glanced out the window of the car as they slowed.  St. James’s Park.  The next stop was Victoria.

A group of people got on the train and somehow managed to squash themselves between Molly and The Doctor, forcing The Doctor further into the car and away from the doors.  She kept her eyes on the platform as they pulled into Victoria.

“There he is!”  The Doctor pointed at a bearded gentleman headed through a tunnel transferring to Victoria.  “Molly!  Excuse me.  Sorry.”  He tried to push his way to the exit.  The man had spotted him and started running.

Molly didn’t think.  She jumped off the train and started chasing after the man who decided he could escape by going topside into the city streets.  The Doctor caught up with her as she reached the sidewalk outside Victoria Station.

Now, near Covent Garden, Molly felt the eyes of passer bys on them – shoppers and a performer with a ventriloquist dummy in his arms.

“Earth, a level 5 planet, is off-limits to colonization by order of the Shadow Proclamation, so what are the Buhoo doing here?”  Demanded The Doctor of the captured Buhoo.

“We were never going to stay here.  We were going to leave after our new Queen was born.  We wanted to be peaceful.”  The Buhoo answered.  Its voice was soft and feminine.  Molly realized that it was actually a woman.  A bearded woman.

“Your children bursting from the chests of humans – killing them – you call that peaceful?”  The Doctor nearly shouted.  For the Buhoo, it is an honor to be chosen as a host for reproduction and even a greater honor to carry a Queen.  We did not understand that we would be…murders to humans.”

“But why Earth?  Your own people were becoming infertile hosts?”

“We had to find the perfect host for our new Queen.  We scanned the galaxy looking for such a host.  We found him here.  Please, Doctor, let me stand up.  I mean you no harm.”  The Buhoo pleaded.

The Doctor nodded at Molly and she stood up, releasing their prisoner.

“But things have changed.  You killed a man in cold blood.  Why?”  He asked.

“There was a group of men on the street.  They had captured our Queen’s host.  Torchwood, they called themselves.  The one in charge told the others to push our host into the way of a bus.  Our new baby Queen was murdered by humans.  We must take our revenge.”

The man in the morgue with the green ooze, Molly made the connection, had been carrying the new Buhoo leader when he was killed.  The bus had destroyed the baby inside of him.

“So you are killing anyone that was involved in pushing your host under the bus.”  Molly finally spoke.

“All we want is the man who gave the orders.  After we destroy the man in charge, we will leave and never come back.”  Said the Buhoo.

“Who was this ‘man in charge’?”  Asked The Doctor.  “Do you have his name?”

“His name is Holmes.”  Said the Buhoo.

“Holmes!” One person with that name came to Molly’s mind.  “Sherlock?”  She whispered.Slide1

At that moment of contemplation and shock in her captors, the Buhoo made her escape, running off into the crowd of people.  Molly made to follow her when The Doctor put his hand on Molly’s shoulder.

“She’s gone.  Let her go.  We’ll find her again.”  He said.  “Come on, Molly.”

She walked with him into an alley where a blue phone box stood in the corner.  The Doctor took out a key and unlocked the door of the box.

“What is this?”  Molly asked.

David-Tennant-doctor-who-35677968-2197-1463“This is my spaceship.  I call it the TARDIS or Time And Relative Dimensions In Space.”  He stepped one foot in the door.

“Wait!  Can I come with you?  What about the man the Buhoo are after?  Will you protect him?  I want to help you.”

“Not now, Molly.  I promise nothing will happen to him.  I have to go now.  There’s someone I need to meet at St. Paul’s.  But perhaps later…”  He disappeared inside of the TARDIS.

Molly stood back from it as it made rushing whirring sounds and vanished.

Next Post will be on Sunday.  Sorry, but I work all day on Saturday. : (   Come back on Sunday to hear about what Sherlock learns from The Doctor about John Watson.

Note: Characters and settings belong to Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Russell T. Davies, and various other writers.

Wholock: Two Bodies in Time (Part Three)

Scene 4: Sherlock Holmes (Monday, 221B Baker Street)

Sherlock was already back at the flat by the time John got home from the hospital.  The consulting detective sat in his chair to the right of the fireplace playing with a loop of string tangled in his fingers.  He looked up when John came in.

“Mrs. Hudson?”  He asked because it was the first thing that popped into his mind.  For some reason Sherlock didn’t have the same filters that ordinary people had.  It had ceased to bother him at the age of ten.  He didn’t even realize that he was doing it anymore.

“Are you on drugs again?” Said John.

“Did you call Mrs. Hudson?”  A bit of annoyance was added in Sherlock’s tone.  “I thought I’d told you to call her.”

“Why?  No.”  John answered.

“The ice machine’s broken.”

“We don’t have an ice machine.”

“Hmm.”  Sherlock went back to concentrating on the string.

“You just have to put the water in those little trays.”  John sat down in his own chair.

John-and-Sherlock-at-Baker-StreetHis face looks different, thought Sherlock.  It’s lighter with fewer lines.  The brows are more relaxed.  Sherlock tilted his head to the side to scrutinize John.  “What’s changed about you?”

“Hold on.”  John leaned forward in his chair.  “Are you…concerned?”

“Something’s different.  You’re happy.”  Sherlock declared.

“Is that so wrong?  So what if I am?  As my friend, aren’t you supposed to be glad about it?”

“I never said it was wrong, John.  I said it was different.”  A silence fell between them before Sherlock continued.  “So, what have you been up to?”

“What have I been up to?  You run away and leave me and now you want to know what I’ve been up to.”  John looked away, indignant.

“Oh, shut it.  I’m just trying to make conversation.”  He said, and it was the truth.  One thing that Sherlock couldn’t stand about people was that they assumed he was attempting to make them angry.  He wasn’t.  He just wasn’t any good at talking to people.  He didn’t purposefully make them mad or offend them.  John understood that about him, even though his flat mate sometimes pretended not to – like now.  John still wouldn’t look at him.  Sherlock tossed the string at him, but it floated down to the rug between their chairs.  “Come on!  What happened?”

Now John was smiling.  “I love to see you flustered.”

“I’m not flustered.  I don’t get flustered.”

John laughed.  “Why do we argue so much?”

“Because you’re the only one who thinks it’s fun.” Sherlock answered.

“I was in the lab with Molly – where you left me.  We did an analysis on a green substance, which turned out to be alien in nature.”  John told him.

“Alien?”  Sherlock got up and went to the window.

“Yeah.  Molly said there was some man that came into the mortuary and told her about a kind of hairy creature.”

Sherlock pretended to peer out onto Baker Street while his left hand absently went to the place on his chest where his scarf usually hung on him.  That doctor thought my scarf was a beard, Sherlock mused.  If there really are aliens, does that mean the other things The Doctor told me were also true?  The thing about John disappearing?

“Sherlock?  Are you okay?”  Asked John.

“I’ve just remembered that we’re condescending to have dinner with Mycroft on Friday.  He said he’d send mom and dad here for the weekend if we didn’t show up.”

You’re condescending.”  John corrected him.

Sherlock looked back at his friend.

“I have a date.”  John cleared his throat.  “With Molly Hooper on Friday night.”

“Molly?”  Sherlock returned his gaze to the street.  It’s happening again, he thought.  John is abandoning me for a silly date.  Pointless things are dates.  But Molly?  That’s not right.  John is only supposed to date women I don’t know.  What in the world will they be doing without me?  “You should take her to that new place on Chattington.”

“Is that where you’re meeting Mycroft?”  John said.

“Where are you taking her?”  He persisted.

“Not the new place on Chattington.  Why do you care?”

“Are you taking her to the cinema?  I remember seeing posters for The Hobbit about town.  Is this the sequel now?”  Cinema was the last thing he was interested in, but the advertisements were unavoidable.  Dragons and dwarfs everywhere.

John visibly shuddered.  “Sorry.  Someone just walked over my grave.  Do you ever get the feeling you’re living in two separate realities?  That happened to me just now.”  He shook his head.  “Probably nothing.  Did you find anything out about that note in the bottle?”

“No, actually.”  He said.  “I did other things.”  It seemed that Sherlock would in fact be making a visit to St. Paul’s rather soon.

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More coming tomorrow!

Note: Characters and settings belong to Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Russell T. Davies, and various other writers.