Parasitecology S01E01 “The Beat Goes On” Transcript

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S01E01 – “The Beat Goes On”

By

Alan Gallauresi


Act 1 – Intro
INT. NOTHINGNESS
Javier, alone and cut off from his senses, slowly comes to accept that he must have killed himself when he is confronted by a strange presence.
A dull and sightless void. Ambient noise rumbles and muted drips echo. JAVIER DURAN slowly becomes aware he is deprived of his senses, but is – apparently, and surprisingly – alive.
Javier
(groggily)
Uhnh… no… please let me just keep my eyes closed and go back to sleep so I won’t erhh feel so terrible.
(clearer)
Uhn. Wait… ARE my eyes closed? They don’t feel closed, I guess. And I don’t feel… terrible. I don’t feel…
(louder)
Hello? I — I can’t see anything.
No response.
Javier
(to self, quietly)
I can’t see anything. I can’t… I can’t feel anything. I can’t feel ANYTHING — I can’t feel MYSELF. If myself is even… here. HELLO? I CAN’T HEAR YOU… if there is a you. Okay, Javier, what did you do? It was probably bad, but… HELLO?
No response.
JAVIER
(slow, then nervously rushing at end)
Okay, well, let’s think about this logically. I’m not black-out drunk or I wouldn’t be having this conversation; I don’t think I’m asleep, because this is crazy boring and has very few nude vampires demanding to see if my homework is done; a sensory deprivation tank is totally out of my budget; and I’m really starting to get scared about the remaining option.
(loudly)
HELLO? Can anyone hear me, or see me..
Pregnant pause.

2.
JAVIER
(calmly, resigned)
Well, I guess that’s it then. Congratulations — you did it, asshole. Just gave up. Couldn’t take it anymore and now…
(briefly chokes up and recovers)
And now you’re… where exactly? There’s
(breaks off)
nothing at all.
A warbling noise like muffled speech interrupts.
JAVIER
Hello? HELLO! Is some [one out there?]
The disembodied voice of CHER GANDHI STATHAM becomes clearer, focusing like a lens, but with a slightly shimmering echo.
CHER
Hold on… it’s … I wasn’t expecting that to be over THERE. Oh this is ROUGH.
(low chuckle, then composing itself)
YES. Hello! Greetings! Salutations… there’s gotta be some kind of… ok, yes ETCETERA. ETCETERA to you, bearer.
JAVIER
You can hear me? And… understand me?
CHER
Of course, Bearer!
JAVIER
Bearer?
Synth music begins in background.
CHER
Yes, Bearer! Yes… let me just turn…
(turns down echo)
That’s better. For you are one of the chosen amongst the endless creations of the universe… a being who holds within, the noblest of spirits.
JAVIER
A soul?
CHER
[Just a] moment… ah y-yes. That checks out… a soul.

3.
JAVIER
So then… this dark nothingness… Are you saying that I really am dead, and THIS is…
This is the afterlife?

4.
INTERSTITIAL – THANKS
HI FOLKS, THIS IS ALAN/ROB FROM PARASITECOLOGY AND OTHER FINE INTERRUPTED TALES PODCASTS SUCH AS INTERRUPTED TALES.  
We want to thank you for listening and hopefully you’re enjoying the show. If not, keep listening, there’s a lot more nudity later on. We’re talking full-frontal, full-rearal, Dolby 5.1, Audigy EAX enhanced, VRML 3d positioned nudity, all mixed down to glorious mono SO REAL you’ll swear you can’t hear the clothes.
Boy, that was some capital “A” acting there, wasn’t it? If you though he was really crying there, you’re right, it’s an old acting trick, you just take a safety pin and when it comes time to turn on the old waterworks, BAM – you have someone punch you in the nards.
I want to tell you a little about the structure of the show. The current plan is that it will be 14 episodes long, released every other week. I’m not gonna do the math on that but that’s a baker’s baker’s dozen individual downloads. And I think we can all agree, that’s a lot of baking… the house is going to be very warm after that, so open the windows.
Kids, I want to get you back into the show, but first I want you to do one thing for us: if you like what you’ve heard the most important thing is that you tell somebody who might like it – maybe they like sci-fi, or dark comedies, or just audiodramas in podcast form. Send them a message, share this episode via AddThis, mention it when you show up unexpectedly to ask for money and you want to offer something of comparable value.
Thanks and back to the show.

5.
ACT 2: A Lie And the Good News
Int. NothINGNESS
The presence conveniently allows Javier to mistake the situation while convincing Javier to relive his most happy memory as a “test”.
CHER
Afterlife, uhh it’s really not accurate but that’s maybe a… useful… shorthand since… Your previous life is no more, and a new joyous era begins.
JAVIER
But I AM dead?
CHER
That’s not a good way for either of us to think about this, Bearer.
JAVIER
Us? But who… or what… ARE you?
CHER
I think you could call me a… guide. Yes, I will be GUIDING you through this process and helping you to come to terms with all… of this. Perhaps shepherd, or mentor, or… Bearer, I will be your ETCETERA! And I hope, in time, a friend.
JAVIER
(dismissive)
Ok, a guide. What’s your name?
CHER
My name is not pronounceable by you, even in this form.
JAVIER
Eh… let me try.
CHER
Alright… “Coo inyrsthuh”
JAVIER
“Coors”?
CHER
Coorse.
JAVIER
“Coors”

6.
CHER
Coorse-thuh
JAVIER
“Coors”
CHER
Yeah, you got it.
JAVIER
Alright, Coors…
CHER
Now the second letter is much more difficult, you‘re going to need to pucker, well, basically anything that’s puckerable.
JAVIER
The second letter?
CHER
Bearer… we have a lot to cover, so I will simply browse through your etched memory flesh for a familiar name representing my qualities. Perhaps someone who has helped you greatly in life, or a personal hero to you… Let me… ok, yes, Bearer — you may call me CHER GANDHI STATHAM.
JAVIER
Ahh – no, but… This is a little embarrassing, i didn’t know you could just…
CHER
Browse your etched memory flesh?
JAVIER
Browse my… well, to explain, I was young and my tastes hadn’t…
CHER
Of course… CHER STATHAM.
JAVIER
Well, what I meant…
CHER
CHER, you may call me Cher.
JAVIER
(affirmatively)
Yeah. Yeah, that works. Wait, if i’m dead, why do I still have “etched memory flesh”?

7.
CHER
Bearer, I know you have so many questions, but please… just for a moment, I need you to think… of your happiest moment. It is the next step of the process.
JAVIER
Well, “Cher” — nice to meet you, my name is not BEARER, it’s actually Javier… Cher. Huh. It kind
(cut off)
of rhymes, Cher, Javier.
CHER
Kind of rhymes, doesn’t it? That’s a fun little thing we have together. Now, please — your happiest memory. It’s incredibly important.
JAVIER
Is this part of some… judgment? Is it a test?
CHER
Yes, actually, I’m testing everything. I’m ready for your happiest memory.
And don’t just recall it, live in it.
JAVIER
Okay… I think I can…
(lets out breath)
I’m eleven years old.
(slow as if happening in real time)
I’m alone in my bedroom and the window is open. It’s hot, really hot… and bright… and we don’t have air conditioning. I’m laying on the floor. My mom is downstairs, starting lunch.
CHER
How do you know that?
JAVIER
I can hear her getting pots out of the draw under the stove. God, eleven – that’s before she found about the cancer…
Pots bang softly in the distance.

8.
Yes, yes! I hear the pans. I can hear them.
cHER
Yes, Javier. Continue. What do you smell? Do you smell anything?
JAVIER
No, she hasn’t started cooking yet. Wait… Yeah. I remember! We had these azalea bushes in the front yard and every summer the air smelled a little bit like them… almost sickeningly sweet, but barely there at all. That’s it.
CHER
Yes, that’s it. Just a little to the right and…
JAVIER
That smell! God, it’s been years since I’ve smelled that.
CHER
And what about taste?
JAVIER
(Smacking lips)
The aftertaste of one of those frozen ice pops. Lime. We must have just opened the box – my sister would have eaten all the good ones, and it would be grape or … Coconut.
CHER
In an ice pop? Ungh, oh that tastes awful – I mean, it sounds like it tastes awful. Stop thinking about that part. Now, what do you feel?
JAVIER
I’m… Laying on the carpet. It’s ugly and blue and shaggy, and it’s rough against my skin in the areas where it’s worn down. And I’ve got a big box fan blowing on my face, full blast. And I’m so sweaty but it’s like the fan is making it evaporate at exactly the same time, like a perfect equilibrium.
CHER
And you…

9.
JaVIER
And over the hum of the fan I hear somebody playing the oldies station on a boombox outside. I think it might be a Rolling Stones song?
CHER
HA! No, I mean uh, you may be misremembering that part, memories are hazy, ethereal things.
JAVIER
No, I remember now… Midnight Confessions by the Grassroots…
CHER
…Oh, you’re getting specific now?
JAVIER
I remember because I loved sad old songs filled with anguish… Not that I knew what anguish actually was back then. Just like I didn’t know that Midnight Confessions was actually about the inappropriate sexual longing of a man for his married coworker.
CHER
No, no, I think it was probably just a generic-ish oldies tune, not particularly memorable, largely immaterial to the memory… we all get the picture. Now, you’re in your room, the strong air current working in tandem with your strange perspiration mechanism. HOW do you feel?
JAVIER
I feel light, like the air could lift me up and I would just fly away in the wind. I feel…
CHER
Happy?
Audio of scene fades and major ambient music takes over.
JAVIER
I feel… Happy.
CHER
Yes! Ok, hold that, hold that…
(thrumming sounds while Cher mutters)
Alright, there it is, tucked away under that bluish gray thing which hopefully is NOT metastisizing. Just gotta poke it a little and oh, yes, that IS nice. Very nice.

10.
JAVIER
(Dreamily)
I feel happy. And it’s been so long since I felt like that — I can’t MAKE myself feel like that. Like I could just float away.
(Somberly)
Because now everything is heavy, and it’s always pushing… pushing down on me.
Music becomes increasingly discordant
CHER
Bearer, concentrate. You’re happy. For at least a few more 1/86400ths of your planentary revolutions. Uh what do you call them… Etceteras. Just a few more etceteras!
JAVIER
It’s like my chest is a one giant, twisted knot, clutching at my heart and pulling on my shoulders.
CHER
I’m nowhere near the heart… Hold on to the happiness!
(quietly)
Just a little more before…
JAVIER
Everytime I make a decision, Everytime I worry and all I do is worry… The knot gets tighter and it’s dragging me down and down and I can’t get up.
Music and sound stops suddenly as Javier sobs. Pregnant pause.
CHER
Bearer… Javier. It’s going to be alright.
JAVIER
Alright? Alright? Do you even understand what this feels like?

11.
CHER
(Wistfully)
Honestly, several lifetimes over… Maybe not as deeply…
JAVIER
(Ignoring)
And tell me — just what is “alright” about an afterlife that dumps you into a shapeless black void and makes you relive your happiest moment of your childhood and then crush it with the same pain you literally killed yourself to get away from, only to have it follow you the grave and tear at your soul…
(Pregnant pause)
What is so alright about being dead, Cher?
No reply.
JAVIER
Cher? CHER!
Cher
…Yes?
JAVIER
(quieter)
I thought you’d left me.
CHER
Oh, yes, no I did. I ran out to get inflatable latex for your pity party, I hope I didn’t miss it, the lines were very long and I told them what a big deal this was…
JAVIER
I suppose you mean balloons?
CHER
Balloons, condoms, very tiny blimps, ETCETERA, JAVIER. Party ITEMS, Javier, for your party. Now, if you are willing to listen for a few moments, I’d be more than happy to jumpstart the process of getting you out of this shapeless black void.
JAVIER
Okay. I’m willing to listen as long as you are willing to answer questions.

12.
CHER
Perfect. See, this is what’s called a dialogue and it is one of the most wonderful things in existence, Bearer!
JAvier
And stop [calling me]
CHER
Sorry — JAVIER. Okay, well, I think we might be ready to move forward in the process. Now, have you heard of this thing called “Good news, bad news?”
(chuckling to self)
Oh, yes, of course you have, you are where I got it from. Well, I believe it’s traditional to ask you whether you’d like the good news first, or the bad news.
JAVIER
I’ll [take]
CHER
So, first the good news. Javier Duran, you are not dead. In fact, you are alive and … living.
(pregnant pause)
So, congrats…
(shorter pause)
JAVIER
But you said I… and that this was…
CHER
No, I specifically didn’t say that… because a. You aren’t and b. It ain’t.
(Pause)
You seem non-plussed, Javier, so I’m just gonna roll.. right.. on.. to.. the.. next.. part. You are now the host in a symbiotic relationship with an alien organism who is living in your brain stem and directing most of your bodily functions. Meaning…
(makes the “me” signal with hands, snaps and clucks)
JAVIER
(very slowly)
Oh. Oh. Well, thank you, Cher… alien organism Cher, for sparing my feelings so delicately between the welcome news that I am in fact not deceased, and the, and I don’t want to hurt your feelings obviously so let’s not say bad, let’s say slightly “less welcome” news that I have a brain eating parasite.

13.
CHER
Oh ah…
(chuckling nervously)
I do hate it when this happens… it’s sort of uncomfortable put this out there now, but actually, I was still on the “good news”!
(pause, then audio fading)
So, where to start? I suppose there’s the murderbots, but they say don’t start the show with a show stopper…

14.
OUTRO Part 1
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