Katherine Tolentino's Screenplay

SCENE 13

FADE IN:

INT. COFFEEHOUSE – DAY

A young female BARISTA prepares two frothy lattes and pours them into two large white mugs behind the bar of a swanky coffee shop in downtown San Francisco. As she makes the drinks and begins walking to a table by the window, a news report sounds on the TV of the café.

NEWS REPORTER (O.S.)
We’ve received more information about the youth riot that took place in Mission Dolores Park just last night. When local law enforcement arrived to monitor the demonstration, the crowd of hundreds of teenagers began chanting angry threats. Police officials claim they were forced to gas the crowd in order to maintain control.

The BARISTA reaches the table where MARCUS and ANGE are seated, looking at the headlines of two or three local newspapers.

BARISTA
(friendly, unaffected)
Two soy lattes.

MARCUS
Thank you.

MARCUS takes two sugar packets and begins to pour them into his coffee. ANGE hasn’t noticed the latte in front of her, as she is shaking her head angrily at a headline that reads, “OVER 200 YOUTH RIOTERS CLOG CITY’S EMERGENCY ROOMS.”

ANGE
(outraged)
They’re total whores.

MARCUS
(disappointed, in disbelief)
Yeah… I know.

ANGE
(still fuming to herself)
Actually, no. They’re worse than whores. They’re… they’re profiteers.

MARCUS
Well, the Xnet got it right, anyway.

ANGE
I haven’t checked it yet. What’s been posted?

MARCUS unlocks his phone and slides it across the table to ANGE. She takes the phone and plays a video of the concert.

ANGE’S POV - A CLOSE-UP OF THE PHONE IN HER HANDS

The low-quality video shows a bumping crowd of teenagers dancing to heavy beats. It cuts to a shaky video clip of TRUDY DOO onstage, above a crowd of shouting audience members.

TRUDY DOO
My name is Trudy Doo and you’re an idiot if you trust me. I’m thirty-two and it’s too late for me. I’m stuck in the old way of thinking. I still take my freedom for granted and let other people take it away from me. You guys, on the other hand, you know what your freedom is worth to the last goddamned cent!

The video then cuts to a clip of the crowd yelling, “Take it back! Take it back!” It ends and ANGE passes the phone back to MARCUS. She then taps her finger in thought and begins to look determined.

ANGE
We need to make people know about this.

MARCUS
(glumly)
Yeah, that’s a nice theory.

ANGE
Well, why do you think the press doesn’t ever publish our side?

MARCUS
You said it, they’re whores.

ANGE
Yeah, but whores do it for the money. They could sell more papers and commercials if they had a controversy. All they have now is a crime—controversy is much bigger.

MARCUS
So maybe the only reason they don’t publish our side is that they don’t know how to find it. I mean, reporters can barely even search regular blogs, let alone navigate through the Xnet.

ANGE
Hm… but isn’t that something we can change?

MARCUS
(pauses as he is about to sip his latte)
Huh?

ANGE
WE could give them the information. Write it all up. Link everything to one place. A single place where press can go to see our side of things.

(on a roll)
You could link it to the HOWTOs for Xnet. Any regular internet user can access those pages.

MARCUS
You really think that’ll work?

ANGE
Even if it doesn’t change much, at least we’re doing something to get our voices heard.

MARCUS
(stirring his coffee)
Yeah, but what makes you think they’ll listen to us?

ANGE
Are you kidding? Who wouldn’t listen to M1k3y?

MARCUS stops mid-stir. He picks up his phone and slips it into his pocket. He gets up from his seat abruptly and walks towards the door. As he opens the door and walks out, ANGE calls to him from the table.

ANGE
(confused)
Marcus!

MARCUS steps out of the coffee shop and begins to walk in a random direction. Market Street is bustling around him— a Muni bus passes by, pedestrians (teenagers, seniors, tourists, native San Franciscans, etc. etc) roam the streets, but he is lost in thought. His head begins to thump. On the street corner, he notices a policeman stopping a Hispanic man outside a BART station, and then looks away.

EXTREME CLOSE-UP – MARCUS’ FACE

His mind replays several scenes from the past few weeks.

CUT TO- INT. STARK WHITE, WELL-LIT INTERVIEW ROOM

The room is almost empty of furniture except a desk on which SEVERE HAIRCUT WOMAN sits, fresh and well-groomed, and a chair, where MARCUS sits, unwashed, deathly, in vomit-covered prison jumpsuit.

SEVERE HAIRCUT WOMAN
From now on, you belong to us. We will be watching you. We’ll be waiting for you to make a misstep. Do you understand that, Marcus? Do you understand that we can watch you closely, all the time?

MARCUS
(mumbling)
Yes.

SEVERE HAIRCUT WOMAN
Good boy.

CUT TO - INT. CLASSROOM – DAY

The class is in the middle of a heated debate about the Constitution.
CHARLES
(riled up)
It’s easy to tell who’s us and who’s them: if you support America, you’re us. If you support the people who are shooting at Americans, you’re them.

CUT TO – EXT. SUTRO BATHS – DUSK

JOLU and MARCUS stand atop a weathered stone platform, overlooking a crowd of teenagers with beers in hand.

MARCUS
The Xnet isn’t just a way to play free games. It’s the last open communications network in America. It’s the last way to communicate without being snooped on by the DHS. For it to work, we need to be able to trust the people we send messages to. We trust you. Trust you with our lives.

CUT TO – INT. PRISON

MARCUS, resistant, is pulled along the dark rows of prison cells by two burly prison guards.

MARCUS
Darryl!! DARRYL!!

No response but the sound of an ocean crashing somewhere in the distance.

CUT TO – EXT. SEASIDE – NIGHT

The ocean crashes loudly against the sharp rocky shore. MARCUS and ANGE stare out at the waves, MARCUS holding the broken pieces of his laptop in a wet garbage bag.

EXT. CLOSE UP – MARCUS’ FACE

ANGE (O.S.)
That was beautiful.

The seaside fades away and MARCUS finds himself once more in the midst of bustling Market Street.

ANGE (O.S.)
HEY-

MARCUS ignores her, and continues his quick pace. ANGE finally catches up, and grabs him by the arm when she reaches him.

ANGE
HEY!
(forcefully pulling MARCUS around to face her)
What is your deal?

MARCUS
(searching for words, resigned)
No one is supposed to know who I am. I can’t put it any more simply. If you know, it’s all over. Once other people know, it’s all over.

MARCUS begins to walk away.

ANGE (O.S.)
Marcus!

MARCUS stops, but doesn’t turn around.

ANGE
Marcus, I’m sorry.

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