M E H A N A T A, Episode 1

Mehanta

This is script rendering of FIRE ON THE MOUTAIN/ ACT ONE. Here is a pilot episode draft I am working on. The working title for the Show is Mehanata (The Tavern), after the Bulgarian tavern where many of the principle charchters meet in.

 

PILOT EPISODE:

 

M E H A N A T A

 

EPISODE 1

 

“THE MOSCOW HOSTAGE CRISIS, Pt. 1”

 

 

SCENE 1

 

SETTING: Safehouse in Central Moscow. Snow is falling.

 

 

A room lit only with blue electric candles, a man seated with a book and woman seated on a bed taking apart a futuristic pistol and putting it back together. In the background, the Russian song ‘KATUSHA’. A sound of record skipping and KATUSHA becomes a dancehall song, then turns off. Sebastian Adonaev, a 33 year old American with brown hair and grey eyes, is seated at a red desk reading a lengthy leather bound manuscript. Intermittently he is also typing in a device that is a lap top where the words appear holographically projected about the room. Daria Andreavna, a 29 year old Russian with bleached blond hair is meticulously assembling a pistol.

 

 

Appears bold on the Screen:

 

“Two little partisans hide in safe house in Russia.”

 

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

The snow fall was exceptional. It was as if god had pulled a vast white blanket upon us to tuck Russia to bed.

 

Then the devil and a host of petty bureaucrats did not take the time to keep the power running. And so this winter was the winter that tens of thousands across the country, were tucked in without heat into a long kiss goodnight.

 

Blat.

 

DARIA:

 

Where did you find that?

 

Sebastian pages through a leather bound compilation written in what she recognizes with a dismissive glance to be English.

    

    

SEBASTIAN: (Stands)

 

In a well-fortified safe house buried in the heart of the Russian capital. I lock eyes with a woman who in another life broke me down and sold me as a slave.

 

Her eyes, her eyes!

 

Even the bluest day on the Caspian contains no such expansive shimmer; there is no comparison for this level of captivation.

 

All things we have done, or did or may even still have to do are only so that we might never have to bear again the painful agony of our tumultuous separation.

 

 

DARIA:

 

Read then my little bleak one, my American Mayakovsky.

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

Daveigh, Poem #038: Moscow Hostage Crisis Part One.

 

DARIA:

 

Dedicated to me, Dasha Andreavna!

 

Her hands pantomime the ghost of quotations.

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

Are you blushing yet?

 

DARIA:

(Standing up waving the gun about to the music.)

 

We know not how.

 

She then claps with excitement, kisses Sebastian’s cheek suddenly, then wild eyed then retreats completely under the covers. Then she jumps out and makes the bed her stage.

DARIA:

 

Life of the slave show. Let me remove you from your castle and let you observe how we live, in the wilderness below.

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

I take it you like it?

 

DARIA:

 

I like very much it when you try and talk so dirty to me in American. This is for sure.

 

 

He leaves the desk and follows her up her leg under the vast red folds of the heavy blanket. She points the gun at him.

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

I am capable of just about anything when you believe in our work.

 

 

She laughs at that.

 

DARIA:

 

I believe, that you still believe in your own lies about the Brooklyn Soviet. You still find it useful propaganda.

 

I think it’s dated. I think all your friends are dead!

 

She keeps pointing the pistol at him and bends slightly to kisses his lips.

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

You whisper always of such treacherous things.

 

 

DARIA:

 

Story time tovarish lover. I challenge you now. One for one. Two for two. The Ministry wants to know how our poems are coded. The proles need something to believe in!

 

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

The trouble sweetness with your tales is that not a single one of them are true. And frankly, they’re dark.

 

DARIA:

 

The greatest fun with your medical war stories is that so many of them are real. You give everyone away! You reveal your entire naked plot points!

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

What will be the prize for the partisan with the premium story tonight?

 

DARIA:

 

The usual my daring. Only the usual. I won’t be raped and you won’t get tortured. The people you love most won’t get killed.

 

She licks her lips.

 

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

Continuing his reading from the manuscript.

 

Her amusement and our perpetual survival had gotten us in quite a yarn of danger. She’s been worth every bullet. As well as dirty things I dare not reveal at this juncture that I do to women as well shaped as she. Or worse the tender things I do to balance those out and then so let my guard fall, completely.

 

Under the folds of the burgundy comforter we languish in the sensual embrace of each other’s longing as our pillow fort assumes new dimensions.

 

A vastness will unfold with the power of words and the only distraction from the yarn of escapade will be the fortified lusts we will unleash when a parable wears thin. She will draw on fairy tales and I will spin from the ghosts of my dead friends and the darkness still in me. Somewhere in between that space hope will float perhaps.

 

We expect and encourage each other’s full participation.

 

Sebastian sits again at the desk. He is taking dictation for her. The device he types one projects the words into Cyrillic about the room.

 

DARIA:

 

Ladies always go first, for this is the code of the Haitian gentleman. Let the mind games begin!

 

If I am woman, and he attempts to be man then we are easy prey.

 

For the gods, the spirits, lesser demons and also human devils! Sin and general winter are historically undefeated. That’s a fact. Above all those forces seeking to make us base slaves, we are bound most to our own wild passions!

 

I am creature ruled almost selfishly by my passion, and so is he. Inevitable really that so much did burn.

 

I do not make any remembering when we had this conversation. Only that it once occurred.

 

It was sometime after our very first meeting.

 

Sometime before I found myself handcuffed to a chandelier fixture in the Millennium Hotel awaiting my deadly snuff and torture! Sometime after blue moons of their Bohemian festival. Sometime before that murderous uprising called “the Great Disorder. Sometime after the Great Revolt. Which was its more articulate, yet ultimately more homicidal older sibling.

 

Before I sold soul to a devil without making ask of questions!

 

Certainly after I realize I loved him as I have never loved a man before in this life or the next, or one after that.

 

Before I realized that I had loved him several times before. And that we are both so dangerous when in love. To each other. Also world at large.

 

And that Russian love, and American love have very different expectations that come with them.

 

I will now make careful my choice of my words.

 

Speaking his American language with my Russian thoughts is to attempt placement of entire Caspian Sea into a shitty hip flask. My English when spoken without any intoxications hints that I will speak more clearly with my actions.  Were he sober then when we found each other on that roof top, instead of passion punch drunk he’d not have ignored the threat our lusty adventures soon presented. We would have walked away.

 

Despite his fascination with me. Despite my overwhelming beauty.

 

But that is not how the story was to write itself!

 

He could deny me nothing. But no one dare should point the finger to me that I did not give warning!

 

Perhaps we were blinded by the vodka lullabies, the bright lights of the towers and the good night moon.

 

She pauses.

 

I’m going to use you. I announced as much on the roof of the district. And I know you don’t care.

 

Completely and utterly so that I may get from point A to point B.

 

Did I say that to him, or did he say that to me?

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

I consented to such use, use away. We will see how far in the alphabet we can climb with you on my shoulders!

 

DARIA:

 

 

The Russian alphabet, it has more letters. The letters also can take different subtle meaning based on where they are placed. The sounds, they will completely change. Some hard, some soft.

 

She sits back down on the bed.

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

Place yourself besides me for now.

 

He sits beside her.

 

 

DARIA:

 

I shall, but tomorrow this will be finished. How long can you make more of your favorite poetic noises, your rhymes in American English as you devote your life to something hopeless that cannot ever be?

 

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

I like the way that all sounds. I like way the way the word ‘hopeless’ rolls off your lips. I am an Amerikanski, as you accuse me. Hopeless is just a call to arms.

 

With one hand she’s playing with his hand. In the other is still the pistol. She points it at him again, then lowers it.

 

DARIA:

 

What can I say in the face of mad idealism! Your passion did and does touch me. I’m going to devastate you though again, you know.

 

She takes his hand and thrusts it against her heart.

 

No angel. Or Devil. Or ghost.

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

Well we shall not later claim I wasn’t given a fair warning. Had we met in another time, were I a different person wearing a different life; I would still know you.

 

I cannot put the emotions that I wear like cufflinks to my funeral to bed as easily as you.

 

DARIA:

 

In the darkness of the district night. In the wilderness of North America I repeatedly told you nothing but white lies. I did what needed to be done.

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

It is sad that it all has to end.

 

 

DARIA:

 

Turns to face the viewer.

 

These were the first words uttered in acceptance of a risk and a warning between myself Daria Andreavna and the mad idealist named Sebastian Adonaev. Our love and the totality of our affair will be thing of Post-Soviet lore and Amerikanski voyeuristic fascination. There have been many doomed loves before. Captured artistically in bright theatre lights of both empires.

 

There have been tales of hard hearts which remain unbreakable. And wild bohemian longings that conquered heroically the conventions of their day.

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

Is the story of our love to be more like Russian literature or more like American cinema, mere Paramount Pictures?

 

DARIA:

 

She jumps up again and he returns to the desk.     

 

General Winter has never been defeated, not once ever.

 

So we will perform more miracles. In the wilderness to remain together a variety of strange longings took shape and bore most irregular fruit.

 

That much is clear.

 

The first miraculous act will be turning your tragic tears into vodka. This is my happy gift to you. To turn an unusual and storied past into a heroic song and dance. And make your dead mechanical heart beat like a war drum as the waves of the uprising crashed upon the nation we shared or really I should say, co-inhabited.

 

The second miracle is the theft of the blue moon itself. Such a task is just a starting point for you to please me, also pay my ransom.  He took to heart that the materialism of a Russian woman is but an ante up to play a most choice and high stakes game of loyalty.

 

The third miracle is for us to put some bullets in the devil himself collective. In retaliation for crimes of the past committed against us, and our love, and humanity in general. We’re gonna kill some oligarchs.

 

The fourth miracle act is that I can truly come to love him one day. And forgive him for what he had to do in my name. In the name of his long dead wife also. More on that later.

 

It will take several lives and a solid contact between us to accomplish these four miraculous acts. They will make wild tale and epic song.

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

Mine I did with ambition first and then total hate, but later secretly, begrudgingly with a mighty love.

 

DARIA:

 

Yours you did to please and save me and avenge your fallen tortured soul. Via my company and our secret series of kisses we made war on the devils and their entourage. And we painted together a portrait that in the end makes Russian literature look like tame romantic comedy, and Amerikanski Cinema, just flickering soma on telescreen.

 

To beat back brutal hunger and or feed those dependent upon them; to meet the benchmark called survival; human body and mind capable of any number of general sins.

 

At times grossly unpalatable to human soul. If you believe in such things!

 

It is not just question of what we all must to do to preserve our own selves. The shifting of alliances in pursuit of securing our deliverance from the wilds of worldly living is exhausting. Strange bed fellows make and break even the strongest of hearts.

 

The wilderness at night is vast and treacherous place that to some is source of fearful panic. To others bevy of potential opportunity!

 

In darkness of night fallen angels appear as demons at times. Most treacherous are our human misjudgments. The nuances of intention are lost to perceptions of trickery. Violations of trust. Devils can look angelic for a time and humans with host of mixed motives can see best kept secrets revealed like so much dirty laundry blowing in the cold winds of night.

 

Not here to talk to you about night! Or about all the devils that thrive in its long shadow.

 

This just story about when feeling returns to the heart when the body has been dead for many days. So many that the world of the living is but a restored memory. Also about the selling of souls and the banding together of destinies.  Also about whether poems can feed anything more than hope in the face of hopelessness.

 

And whether more reckless and brazen hope, is indeed the only cure something so called hopelessness invites.

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

So it’s Haitian love story, also a Vodka Lullaby staring brave Russian angel from Penza! And devilish American paramedic born in New York. If that’s how one likes look at it. Little like the Christ Story, it has less violence and more nudity and good deal more vodka from tears in place of water into wine.

 

DARIA:

 

And it also about trying to steal away another man’s wife. Which is whole category of sin onto itself. It’s about old souls coming back for each other, even if just for a fall.

 

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

This yarn is play with words based on true Brooklyn noire based on two people not “being in love” or “missing each other” or “being tortured by our supposed fate”, but instead some wide range of prophesized events which we set in motion via of our high impact knowing of each other. Maybe like in a biblical sense.

 

But with more carnality! And gun play.

 

 

 

DARIA:

 

Set not in heaven or hell like the Bible but in the Holy Land of Brooklyn and the Wilderness of the Financial District in the City of New York, mostly to glow of blue moon light at night and structure fires by day.

 

In Moscow! In Haiti! In the heart of twisted Brooklyn Soviet! In places that were and also soon could be!

 

This not just the story of Sebastian Vasyli Adonaev and I, Dasha Andreavna Skorbogatova; it is also a tale of forbidden-impossible love in the age of anarchist trials; of great train robberies in the former Soviet Union, and of a tavern in the wilderness where lost souls find short but wholly tumultuous company in post Capitalist America on the eve of a global human rights revolution. Or, something.

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

And so begins the tale of Daria and Sebastian, a Russian she and a most irregular Amerikanski me and the partisans we led into a vile battle. Star crossed lovers with the moon as our witness, fuck and vodka as our means of cross interrogation and higher ground beyond the waves of hopelessness and fate as our primary objective.

 

DARIA:

 

He begins often with strange memories of a murder and a war. I chose to begin with my winning smile. With a warning. But also a promise of deliverance via passionate love, once adequately demonstrated.

 

And yet, We begin our tale with a double funeral!

 

SEBASTIAN:

 

You my dear old friend, my tovarish, are a genius poet. A thrilling propagandist.

 

And I am honored, truly honored to be your front man.

 

SCENE 2

 

APPEARS ON SCREEN: “THE BRONX”

 

Setting North Bronx neighborhood of Wakefield. A well-attended funeral. Several dozen civil servants, cops, fire men and paramedics are in their class A uniforms. A very diverse gathering of New Yorkers.  

 

During this scene you hear the thoughts of many of the mourners most of whom do not actually speak.

 

 

Voice of Daria:

 

Somewhere in the miserable Bronx a sea of red brick high rise tenements hits a long highway bed and then the dead place of poverty becomes a green and hilly oasis. This juxtaposition is striking.

 

They all found their way north along that endless highway to a place called Wakefield.

 

Victoria Christiana Contreras, 32 year old American female is dressed in all black, a lace vale covering a pretty albeit heavily make upped face and contacts which turned her eyes vaguely feline brown blue. Her husband, Ernesto Rafael Contreras, 34 year old Peruvian with salt and pepper hair. He is in denim jeans and black shirt as he owns no funeral appropriate suit and had only sobered himself up long enough to attend the two funerals.

 

He is unshaven; his baby face is markedly hard for the first time in many years. The weather is poorly.

 

Sebastian Adonaev is dead.

 

Anya Drovtich, is a 33 year old dreadlocked Polish paramedic in a leather biker armor. Michkai Dbrisk is a 32 year old Jamaican paramedic with his dreads under a black Tam.

 

 

Victoria:

 

Zooming in on her face, she thinks.

 

It is very well attended considering all the bridges he had burned this year. But very few people can believe he is really dead. Everyone is speaking quietly of “seeing it coming.” Also of his epic potential now buried just as many had suspected before his 30th year. He was strange but wonderful. Like a brother to me really.

 

 

Anya:

 

It is rather like a circus actually. There were way too many people speechifying, justifying and explaining, and there was an overabundance of booze flask flowing. And many of the mourners are black, and many are wearing blue ambulance Class A uniforms which was striking too. His parents seem kind and bourgeoisie. They didn’t break down or cry. They just quietly hold court and whisper on the sidelines, his mother in particular with select old friends paying their respects over whisper.

 

It is a closed casket. Sebastian had shot himself twice in the head with pistol and then toppled seventeen stories off a roof. There was very little left of his face.

 

Michkai:

 

It was theoretically a Hebrew funeral. But the only thing Yiddish about it was that it was done on the tasteful but cheap. He went in the ground less than 24 hours after his alleged suicide.

 

There not being a note was the most un-nerving aspect of the whole thing.

 

Sebastian was amongst other things a prolific writer. Not leaving a suicide note was highly suspect, vaguely anticlimactic. But, the inner circle knew exactly why he’d gone and done what he did, what he thought he had to do.

 

Nikholai Trickovitch, is 33 year old Russian-American with short black hair. He’s clearly drunk, but holding himself mostly together. Nikholai, Anya and Michkai are clearly running the crowd control here.

 

Nikholai:

 

Nikholai explains to group of younger men.

 

Over a woman that didn’t even love him!

And then he spits.

 

 

Anya:

 

I want to see the body.

 

Victoria and Ernesto quietly stand in the background of the mob of sorrows. They recognized many of Sebastian’s associates and former lovers and comrades.

 

Mickhi:

 

The casket stays closed sister.

 

His grey-blue-black armband and the small silver pin on his left lapel indicating him as a person of authority here.

 

Anya:

 

I won’t believe he’s dead until I see the body.

 

The mother of the dead man nods to Mickhi Dbrisk. Sebastian’s mother has circular, red wizard spectacles. His father is portly and normally jovial, albeit not really such as his first son’s last first funeral.

 

Dbrisk opens the casket. The head is missing.

 

Mickhi:

Thinks

Where your head at bro?

 

Raphael:

 

Thinks:

 

And there lies the body of the poet, paramedic and rebel hooligan Sebastian Adonaev. He appears to be wearing a pair of bootleg designer Ray Band dark sun glasses. A Haitian flag is tucked in his left lapel. That bitch really did a number on you this time.

 

 

TRANSITION: Zooming out to see a map of New York the camera goes from Bronx to Brighton Beach Brooklyn.

 

Scene 2 B

 

Voice of Daria:

 

Four hours, three shots of vicious Rakia, two Coronas and a car service ride later.

Somewhere on the coast of Brooklyn.

 

The second funeral, my funeral, is quite small and fancy. It’s on the other side of town. Ernesto and Victoria take a black town car hired out from the Mexican Express. Sebastian’s funeral was in the Bronx and mine is in Southern Brooklyn. Should have been Manhattan.

 

Victoria:

 

There are fewer than two dozen people there. No speaks anything but Russian and no one cries. Dasha looks as beautiful dead as she did alive, like a gently sleeping doll. The funeral was nominally Russian Orthodox, as that was her mother’s religion and husband’s religion too. And although Dasha is technically Jewish, the husband has spared no expense. Her mother had been flown in from Penza, on the husband’s insistence she was to be buried here and not brought back to Russia. Odd, the husband not being in attendance.

 

There were a couple lady friends that Victoria knew without knowing. There is an assortment of dangerous men, looking suspiciously at each other.

 

Ernesto:

Thinks:

My Russian is much stronger than Victoria’s though it is my third language. I make out a vaguely hushed interaction. Scene size ups.  This place is filled with crooks.

 

 

Victoria:

Thinks:

I knew very little about the nightlife of Dasha outside of the Bulgarian Tavern ‘Mehanta’. Only that there was husband named Maccluskey and a boyfriend named Surge, and also a corporate lawyer named Dmitry. Maybe another boyfriend named Sergey. She has a best friend named Tanya. Tanya isn’t here.

 

Ernesto:

 

One could basically only guess at who everyone else was besides the husband, who of course wouldn’t be here. He’s just a paper work man anyway. Maybe.

 

Allegedly Dasha’s heart had stopped roughly 24 hours ago. The medical examiner inconclusively blamed a hazardous midnight cocktail of red bulls, vodka shots and cocaine, but Dasha wasn’t really known to play with that stuff, anymore.

 

The paramedics found her body at the Stillwell Station. She was pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital. She had in her purse, amongst other things a small book of poems written to her by Sebastian Adonaev. He allegedly killed himself just a day after confirming she was gone.

 

“Allegedly, blat” is the main phrase in English being bandied about this funeral.

 

Daria’s Mother:

 

Who is to blame for the death of my daughter?

Her mother asks Victoria in broken English when no one seemed to be paying attention,

Which one of these men?”

 

Victoria:

 

I don’t know.

 

Daria’s Mother:

 

Dasha told me that there was some crazy ambulance poet in love with her. She hinted that this man had been trying to steal her away for about a year. Who killed my daughter’s heart?

 

Victoria:

 

I don’t know.

 

Daria’s Mother:

 

Is that man here now, this Sebastian?

 

Ernesto:

 

No. He’s dead. He shot himself twice after seeing your daughter’s corpse. We just came from his funeral.

 

Voice of Daria:

 

Ernesto looks like he might cry looking down at my body buried in Peony flowers and fancy white casket. He had loved me too, while still loving his wife of course. Everyone had loved me Dasha Andreavna, without knowing very much about here because I was young and free and exotic and beautiful and impossible to tame. Many men here had tried, my husband included.

 

Daria’s Mother:

 

Who is to blame for this catastrophe?

 

Ernesto:

Thinks:

And nobody really knew. Allegedly a lot of fucking things had happened over the course of the year 2012, in the wilderness of New York City. They had made way too many enemies with their fun and games.

 

Enters the handsome Russian, 27 year old Dmitry Khulushin.

 

Dmitry:

 

A senseless tragedy. A senseless goddamn waste of…

 

the very well-dressed man in the custom cut black suit whose name is Dmitry Khulushin, who had almost said ‘talent’ aloud, but instead, said “…of perfection.”

 

Victoria:

 

Dasha’s mother began to quietly sob which is permissible for a woman and mother to do at a Russian funeral. Her daughter had come a very long way to die for absolutely nothing.

 

Ernesto grabs Victoria by the arm.

 

Ernesto

 

It’s time to leave. He says quietly in Spanish.

 

Voice of Daria:

 

Ernesto looks as though the hard defenses of his man code machismo will crumple any minute now.

 

They wait in the cold outside the funeral hall for another Mexican Express cab to take them home. Ernesto finally begins to weep heavily without sobs for me whom he once very much loved and Sebastian too who was one of his closest friends. He had introduced them and thus felt now more than any other moment in the year responsible for what had happened.

 

In both Peruvian and Russian culture, real men do not by any stretch of imagination cry in front of mixed company. Wives included.

 

But cry he does wiping away the tears as they form. Victoria is an American, the children of Irish Catholics. Irish Catholics make up about 1/6th of the population and cry in front of whomever they want.

 

The Mexican Express cab is nowhere in sight.

 

Victoria Lynch takes out a leather bound volume of Sebastian’s poetry on the subject of Dasha Andreavna.

 

Victoria:

 

There are 99 poems in total. Sebastian had loved Daria something endless. And when she died there was nothing on this cold earth left for him to love. Himself included.

 

TRANSITION CUTS IMMEDIATELAY BACK TO MOSCOW SAFE HOUSE.

 

 

Scene 2 C

Back in the Moscow Safe house

 

 

Sebastian:

 

We could blush at the pain we’ve caused others in the name of good causes. But, we will not.

 

We surely pulled that job off, albeit most traumatically.

 

 

 

Daria:

 

Never send a man to do a woman’s job.

 

Sebastian:

 

Highly dramatic, I applaud you. A grand and deceptive opening. Though not the double funeral I was thinking of. Certainly that was indeed a most tragic day.

 

Daria:

 

Except when we woke up on the Beach in Eilat a month later. We were only parted for a lunar month.

 

 

Sebastian:

 

Well if my memory serves me correctly, prior to that month I had to wait 29 years to find you. I was speaking more to those we may have briefly traumatized with our out of body elopement.

 

 

Daria:

 

Shto, Fuck them. You’re completely whipped. Is that the right word? Whipped?

 

Sebastian:

 

It is dorogaia. And perhaps I am. Whipped like a planation slave until I can no longer feel pain or fear. Such was needed to love you as I did.

 

Daria:

 

And to love me as you do?!

Her face again feigns a pout.

 

Sebastian:

 

Possessing you has only intensified it I must confess.

 

Then suddenly a mad woman’s devilish happy grin.

 

 

Daria:

 

Do you remember the games I used to play?

 

Sebastian:

 

Used to, ha. Or, still do?  When you used to make me prove how much I loved you with epic impossible feats?

 

Daria:

 

I enjoyed those games!

 

Sebastian:

 

And I would deliver on them each time with a larger ante.

 

Daria:

 

That was something. The moon! You shouldn’t have.

 

Sebastian:

 

My first story then to counter your opening reminder of our sad funeral will be about the only woman I’ve ever encountered who has more wild machinations in her head than you and the emancipatory mission to retrieve the man who made me the zealous partisan I am today.

 

Daria:

 

Maya and Andrew, your powerful imaginary fiends. She whispers her eyes now ready to devour detail.

 

Sebastian:

 

Emma and Avinadav are their truer names. How your Sebastian came to be intimate friends with the mother and father of the Mahdi and Messiah of our age, was due to my brief stint in Israeli night life promotion which led to my eventual enlistment in the fledgling Résistance movement there. And later prison. I’d got banged up hardcore. Real bad things happened to my comrades during the purge of the underground in the Jewish Military Colony.

 

Daria:

 

Tell me more,” she says in Russian. This will never ever make past the censors.

 

Scene 3

 

Café in Carmel Hills above City of Haifa, Israel.

 

APPEARS on “SCREEN NOVEMBER 2001”

 

Sebastian Adonaev, age 17, Brent Avery, chubby Christian missionary, age 40. Café empty except single Arab owner.

 

 

Voice of Sebastian:

 

It’s November of 2001, and they are sitting in a Haifa hills café that is small and dimly lit, secluded from the street by a big black Bedouin sheet. The last light of day falls softly on the Carmel. A fleeting splendor ripples over the harbor bay.

 

 

He removes a crumpled green pack of Noblisse cigarettes from the inner pocket, puts one in his mouth and lights it. He takes long drags.

 

Brent:

 

I’m sorry.

 

Sebastian:

 

They fucked her within an inch of her life before they killed her. They ripped her to meat shreds. Her body, was cut into pieces. And then they dumped her along the southern highway as if they knew there wasn’t even any use in covering the thing up. Where was your man Jesus then? Not with the underground. What do you know of good hard pain?

 

Brent:

 

I know plenty about plenty. And I’m sorry about Emma.

 

A pause.

Do you remember what I said that first evening we met Sebastian?

 

Sebastian:

Why do you insist on calling me that?

 

Brent:

Because it is your name.

 

Sebastian:

 

My name is Zachariah Artstien.

 

Brent:

 

Your real name is Sebastian Adonaev, you were born in New York City.

 

 

Sebastian:

 

But there is no such a person anymore. If you wish to carry on this conversation you will not refer to me by the name of a man who is rotting in the ground.

 

Brent:

 

You know I don’t like to humor your devils.

 

Sebastian:

 

You know I do not like to humor your just about anything

 

You cannot save me.

 

I don’t believe in your fucking religion. You are wasting your time on me, yet again.

 

 

 

Brent:

 

Please calm down, Sebastian. To the best of your ability. Emma would prefer that, I’d imagine. Having read all her work.

 

Sebastian gets up to leave.

 

Sit the fuck down!

He didn’t have a Southwesterly accent at all for some reason.

 

I told you the first time we met that I saw a well of pain in your eyes that was so deep that you might drown in your own sorrow. The night we met I laid awake praying for hours in the hope that you might find peace. It’s a long war, some of us need to survive to win it.”

 

 

Sebastian:

Redemption being some Nazerene, of course. Shut the fuck up.

 

Brent:

Could you please stop?

 

Sebastian:

 

What do you really know about me? About this Sebastian you’re trying so hard to save? I grow very tired of people these days. Especially those with penchants for doing the Lord’s work through lost children.  There is nothing you can say to me to make me forget everything that has happened.

 

Brent:

 

You can forget the past, Sebastian. Even the immediate past. It’s actually part of your training to be able to do that incredibly well, invent a new reality, for now.

 

Sebastian:

 

 

Well thank you, you quintessential, self-helping faith healer! I killed two people last night. The night before that they murdered up my partner.

 

Brent:

Not everything you saw actually happened to you. You are not a corpse, but you have allowed hateful demons to possess your body and speak on your behalf. It is time to go home!

 

Sebastian:

 

My home is a place near two flaming towers where men of finance sacrificed three thousand of my former country men to their false god and those that rule this country collaborated with them!

 

 

Thank you for telling me what everyone always tells me, just in case I had forgotten the misery and grind of things since yesterday? Perhaps another brilliant cliché is in order like ‘be myself?’  Or forgive my enemies perhaps! Remove the grey mask! I’ve been trying. I swear I have. In all honesty I think your coming here was an enormous waste of both of our time. I have no home at all, traded it for tea and gun fire.

 

The man’s tone changes.

 

Brent:

 

I figure you tell lots of tales. Throw around theology at people and radical rhetoric. You’d tell your secrets to any stranger who’d care to listen if you thought it would teach them something. But that doesn’t make your secrets true.

 

Sebastian:

 

I don’t follow you.

 

Brent:

How many people speak out of your mouth boy? Who’s that imaginary friend whispering in your ear today? It’s gotten worse since you arrived here in the land hasn’t it? Can you tell anymore who is talking, you or the ghosts, you or the angels and devils?

 

Sebastian:

Don’t worry your Southern neurons. So what’s the moral, Brent Avery? The take away?

 

Brent:

 

What I want you to do is to tell me how you came to be the way you are without Zachariah doing the story-telling. Why are you so angry at your tribe and country of birth, the world in general and even God himself?

 

Sebastian:

 

You would never understand that story, Brent. It isn’t set in the bible or in places where the wind blows lightly on the plain. I feel you’d quickly miss the plot points.

 

Brent:

 

Try me then, comrade. Believe it or not we’re not so different. God cries for all of us. And we all have served Solomon and the underground.”

 

Sebastian:

 

Oh really!?  I don’t believe that for a second. God spits on us with its indifference! I doubt that there are two people who could be more different than you and I. You have your Lord, your God. You serve him blindly like a sheep. My only higher power is the inevitable great revolt. I will get what I contribute.

 

Brent:

 

They are one and the same these higher powers you speak of.

 

Sebastian:

 

Really, Brent Avery? Do you think I believe that?

 

Brent:

 

No. I don’t think you don’t know what you believe in anymore. Other than in the hate that never leaves you, other than the demons whispering inside you to pick up arms and kill without compunction for cause.

 

Sebastian has a devilish grin.

 

Sebastian:

 

 

At least I can believe in my hate. But if faith is what governs us–you in your God, and me in the coming revolution–what makes you think we should see eye to eye on anything? You play the preacher pray boy and I’ll play the rebel with righteous cause.

 

Brent:

 

You should confide in me because we all have nightmares about the things we can’t control. Your demons have taken their toll, Sebastian Adonaev. An ocean, a latest new name and some ten thousand miles later ain’t improved your sleep, boy. Is that truth? You report directly to Solomon and Andrew, but you do not grasp their plans.”

 

The coffee shop has all but emptied out, still the boy doesn’t answer. The Arab Christian is keeping it open for the sole prospect of what these Americans might buy. He will stay open all night as long as they keep drinking and eating things. The Carmel is sometimes slow on a Tuesday night. Especially since the Second Intifada began.

 

Sebastian:

 

You want to hear a wild yarn?

 

Brent:

I want to hear a mostly true story, true to facts as you care to tell it.

 

Sebastian:

 

There’s no such thing as a true, Brent. There’s only the mostly true, the heartfelt narrative and the remembered past. Other than that it’s just propaganda and crowd control.

 

It’s a long story. It goes well with vodka and cigarettes. Told backwards and forwards, as if I had rehearsed it under the supervison of visionaries.

 

Brent:

 

We’ve got all Sabbath, and as long it takes. If you enlist me in your narrative and I can get you on a plane back to New York. You walk out on me, you’re wide fucking open.

 

But you’ll have to settle for coffee. I’m not much of a drinking man and neither should you be. I’ve come a very long way to get you back to New York and I don’t have anywhere else I’d rather be, but don’t play me.

Sebastian:

 

Well, let us all hope this Arab can tolerate the sound of our English and takes limited mental notes. It begins with the tale of a rude boy on the last days of summer. It ends with a fancy hooker beaten half to death on a lonely desert high way. A black man hanging from a tree and an early deportation. And we know exactly who brought the towers down, and more importantly why.

 

Brent:

 

Tough talk from a seventeen year old, you new recruits are hard. The underground thanks you in advance for your unit’s heroism out here.

 

Brent Avery half whispers.

 

But, really no one wants this to be a double funeral. Certainly quite enough people died horribly this week getting those secrets out of Jerusalem.

 

SCENE 4

 

Mehanta Social Club, Manhattan NYC.

APPEARS on SCREEN: “SEPTEMBER 2011”

 

Sebastian Adonaev, age 29, Daria Andreavna, bleached blond Russian, age 26. Daria is banging on a door in an alley way, a badly tortured Sebastian in bracing himself on her. Sebastian and Daria arrive at a tavern limping and near death. His feet are badly burned and his face smeared in dried blood.

 

Daria: (Thinks)

 

Things were broken inside of him that hurt worse than seared flesh or shattered bones.

 

Daria bangs again on the door with a well-manicured fist.

 

 

Daria (thinks):

 

It would come to be said that a small army of angels amassed like a great flotilla flew above Sebastian Adonaev. They seemed to protect him in the 11th hour from the multitude of enemies he had made. But now in a den of literal devils, thieves and aggressive criminals he seemed to be surrendering his luck.

 

I took him into a Bulgarian tavern to sign some papers in blood as the city burned to the ground in race riot and class war. The revolt began on September 1st, 2011.

 

 

Finally after several minutes, they are ushered in by a stone faced man named Slavi. Hanging above the main dance floor across the third floor gallery area is a clothesline and from it hangs a wide variety of female under garments. Slavi and Daria carry Sebastian into the tavern and lay him on cot set up on the dance floor.

 

Sebastian:

 

Sometimes a seemingly small place can become a vast labyrinthine and impregnable fortress when inundated with a bit of black magic, vodka and immigrant elbow grease. Perspective is but a cheap pair of sunglasses after all, paradigms are but Costco contacts to be shed and quietly replaced at will.

 

Daria:

Stop thinking so much, it will get you killed. This tavern is a vast entrapment.

 

ON SCREEN: “05:09”

 

Justin Toomey Azello, an Irish hooligan with long brown hair, bolts the door with the pull of a large metal brace and shortly after James White (looks like an of duty cop) and James Behemoth (slightly overweight Puerto Rican) begin piling tables against it. The three man Mexican kitchen staff lines up and begins stacking crates and kegs and assorted furniture against the storm shutters now pulled down and latched closed over the second exit to the tavern.

 

Martina the bartender begins placing bottles of liquor below the bar, vigorously. Conspicuously absent is all of her clothing.

Ernesto Lynch, the Peruvian Disk Jockey looks as though he is half asleep, a zombie casually examining his drink seated at the bar on the swing seat, taking dainty swigs his head drooping, intermittent half singing accompanies the dull steady thumping of his palm to the bar. Victoria Lynch is also entranced so it seems, seated beside him on one of the four two-person bench swings abutting the main bar.

 

The lighting has completely changed. It’s become eerie in here on the eyes. Everyone who smokes is now smoking which is absolutely everyone except the Mexican kitchen staff, the Lynches and James White the Fenian bouncer who used to be a cop and still carries himself like one, except more jolly. The plumes waft about taking on various shapes.

 

Daria hands the injured Sebastian a Newport, they share it.

 

 

Alexander ‘Sasho’ Perchevney, the boss, is watching everyone and everything from the end of the bar, his back to the wall of the kitchen. The boss is wearing a black leather jacket his face stern and commanding; he snaps his fingers and fire takes form off his index finger. From this miraculous flame he lights a long cigar.

 

Martina takes from below the bar a chalice of usual size, Byzantine even in proportions and pours him off a tall glass of what is presumably a thick red wine, although the lighting, quite unusual as said, makes it appear as though it is thick sanguine blood. The bottle from which she pours is house blend called ‘A Shot in the Mouth’.

 

Misha Korovyov, a Bulgarian regular, with his long flowing brown hair and one eyed squint, and playboy bi-winning manic grin with some European designer cigarette dangling out his mouth throws his arms around Dasha and Sebastian. It was a though the eccentric Bulgarian materialized behind them.

 

MISHA:

 

Joyous epic times new friends! Where but five weeks ago we were all merry strange acquaintances but how now we are intimate co-conspirators!

 

It appears James Behemoth mostly called “James Brown”, to differentiate him from “James White” the former cop in casual conversation, the sly and charming Puerto Rican gangster bouncer; well for lack of a better description, he has now transformed into a hippopotamus sized black cat! Walking upright still in his leather jacket, James Behemoth is now at the bar and Martina is pouring a pint glass sized frothy frozen vodka shot and leaving him the bottle.

 

Daria:

 

Devils.

 

Misha:

 

That’s the spirit! What my lovely Mademoiselle if I told you that the combination of man’s primitive brain with his powers of creativity with his latent albeit savage thirst for self-importance, self-aggrandizement creates an ongoing wildly unstable variable where bye all manners of mythology have been generated turning vastly complex phenomena, into well, cautionary children’s tales?

 

I’d go even further to say, to caution even the arrogance of making Judeo-Christian spiritual assumptions in this day and age. The utter epitomes of self-absorption most grand that would make you all assume that you were either the center of the universe figuratively. Literally or neurologically; more so spiritually. Even now putting these base ideas into Amerikanski I must use nine words when in my own native tongue I could use a hand gesture, a syllable.

 

Daria:

 

He speaks a lot while not saying anything!

 

Sebastian:

 

Indeed. Good show indeed, evil, angels and demons on full display! Flabergashy I say. Well I’m sure someone from the former Soviet Union once has explained how there is no such thing. No such thing as either.

 

I refute that with my American understandings of hope and heroism there are both angels and demons battling everywhere, and certainly good and evil are quite real I assure you.

 

Misha:

 

Mere devices in service of the ego sir, you see there may be deeds that cause pain or deeds that cause pleasure, but all of them get accomplished without some god or the devil whispering in the ear of human kind.

 

Sebastian:

 

I’ll believe what I believe and you believe what you believe.

 

Daria:

 

And I’ll believe what I’ve believed all along which is that you men say a lot of drunk bullshit when you all drink

 

Darling tovarish let’s perhaps leave now, these wily tricksters offer us little besides their temporary refuge, their wine and some vodka.

 

Sebastian:

 

Darling tovarish, it looks as though they have sealed us inside.

 

 

It even appears that the enormous vodka drinking black cat that was once James Behemoth is welding the metal door behind the barricade right to its frame. Ernesto is singing some old folk tune in Spanish as he gently swings the bench back and forth. Sasho has not left his standing perch at the bars end.

 

 

Sasho:

 

It is not to seal you in. It is to keep the secret police and regular army temporarily at bay when they arrive.

 

Well sit down. Sasho commands Daria. Daria helps Sebastian off the cot and over to the main bar. Martina drops shot glasses in front of them. Her nakedness is ignored by virtually everyone.

 

Sasho:

 

I have plenty of doubts about helping the likes of you. Just because you’re adulterers doesn’t mean you came to play with a full deck of cards.

 

Martina:

 

They’re not consummated adulterers, just wild reckless ones with intent to achieve spiritual adultery.

 

Sasho:

 

Please do remain quiet. What is it you want from me again?

 

Sebastian and Daria respond at once.

 

Sebastian:

 

A trade.

 

Daria:

 

A job.

 

Sasho:

 

You have nothing that I cannot just take, either of you. He clearly needs a bath and some blood.

 

Sebastian:

 

I respect you sir, your powers I mean and this establishment generally, but we are not afraid of you. Even in this state I’ll figure out how to walk out the front door.

 

James White:

Inadvisable.

 

Sebastian:

 

Unlike many others we are neither enthralled nor intimidated easily. Our regularity has not indebted us to your, tavern.

 

Sasho grins and his smoke trails take form before then, out his lips the smoke becomes a floating diorama of urbanity unraveling into anarchy.

 

Misha:

With wild hand motions and flailing.

You ought to be more afraid of your fellow humans. And each also other since both of you albeit human are both vigorously more endowed. There will not be any dawn breaking in two hours. Outside lawless mobs are looting and burning, the whole city is much on fire. Heads are being cut off as though this were Jacobin France. The police are killing people in the streets. Sheer and total anarchy! And as we speak cordons of police are marching their way across the Lower East Side, heading here! They are after you two who they wrongly suspect of being key players in this bloody revolution being carried out. The Authorities dejour mean to arrest you both for high crimes, conspiracy and treason!

 

In any number of minutes they will be banging on these doors asking for your heads on platters. It’s no state secret you both traffic here frequently.”

 

Martina pours shots for them from a deeply frosty unmarked bottle.

 

Sasho:

 

Do you really love her? Sasho asks pointing to Dasha. She’s a common whore.

 

Daria:

 

Watch your mouth demon.

 

Misha:

 

Alright, an uncommon witch whore.

 

Sebastian:

 

Of course I do.

 

Daria (at the same moment):

 

Of course he does.

 

Martina:

 

She doesn’t love you, at all.

 

Sebastian:

 

I realize that might be true.

 

Martina:

 

She most likely and I say this respectfully but with great faith, she never will. Not in this lifetime cycle anyway.

 

Sebastian:

 

Well as we all know. It’s not as if you only get one life.

 

Sasho grins and breathes about smoke.

 

I’ve run out of people to help me run and places to hide are running short as you know. If I am not mistaken many of my friends and associates have been taken or killed over the course of this black night. If I am not mistaken, the authorities think I am higher in the non-existent chain of command of this uprising than I really am. If I am not mistaken some rather grisly crimes have been committed over the past five weeks, my alleged role the general uprising not withstanding; it seems that the authorities wish to try us not just for treason but for sick, an heinous offenses committed by some rampant cult in grey.

 

Justin:

 

Well it is certainly not Behemoth and I who are the poster children of the uprising or the slaughters of young wayward women.

 

James White:

 

We may be an establishment of handsome devils, trickster Gypsies and seductresses and thieves, but we are not sick fuck murderers.

 

Sasho:

 

Are you asking me for help then?

 

Daria:

We don’t have anyone else to turn to, at this juncture.

 

Misha:

 

Are you saying your G-d is ignoring you? Are you saying you tried to pray and nothing happened?”

 

Martina:

Imagine that.

 

Dasha:

 

Look here, we are not at your mercy. Although he doesn’t exactly look the part right now per-say, this man is or was; Valera the prophet.

 

Martina:

 

Valera the gunslinger!

 

Misha:

 

Valera the gunslinger!

 

Sasho:

 

Yes, yes I know the human protégé of Archangel Michael, guardians of the unborn children of potential messiahs.

 

Misha:

 

If such fantasies are still believed in!

 

James Brown:

 

I believe.

 

James White:

 

Me too.

 

Sasho:

 

You’re both Bronx dwelling humans with Catholic families. Martina, what think you of us assisting agents of, the other side?

 

Martina:

 

Well now!

 

Well most interesting is that neither of them reports to remember anything of their past lives and associations, in a word, sorcery made them mortal this round, but who’s sorcery? Not ours surely or we’d have known about it.

 

Sasho:

 

Daria Andreavna remembers everything.

 

Martina:

The mystics long believed that in each generation would be born one hundred and four candidates exactly out of the bloodline of King David, house Judah that these candidates would be hidden from the so called forces of good and evil, that then three would reveal themselves by their 33 year as the Tzadikk ha Droriim, the three potential candidates for messiah. Only these three; a warrior, a sage, and an oracle might reverse the tide of human suffering and usher in an age of reason and compassion. Suffice to say, a good much was invested to snuff this nonsense out.

 

Many factions have at one time or another joined hands to abort this prophesy as close to the womb as possible. Mostly by killing or corrupting them before the year of their revelation. Often by getting at their mothers before they are born. Have you heard this Old Soul mythology before?”

 

Justin:

 

Emma Solomon!

 

Sebastian:

 

Who’s Emma Solomon again?

 

Sasho:

 

Never mind your poor dead wife for a minute.”

 

If I told you that you were both super natural beings with auspicious births and no biological fathers, at least not genealogically speaking what would you make of that?

 

Daria:

I’d say stop fucking around with drunken wounded people and let’s get down to business.

 

Sasho:

 

Alright then, if it is in my power, I’ll make you both a good deal. For a job I require you to follow this sad man to the cross roads and keep him from selling his third soul to anyone, anyone at all. I will help you escape and you will be in my employ for three years of human time which is considerably more or less fourth dimensionally speaking, though cost no more than three life days here in this reality. As for a trade I will trade you her contract to me and help you both quite literally disappear if you will go on a little field trip on my behalf once you escape.

 

Daria:

 

So my job for your establishment is to escort Sebastian on some mission into exile?

 

Sasho:

 

Exile isn’t any place to hide. He’s far too hunted. We offer you improved fourth dimensional time travel.

 

Daria:

 

What in the fuck are you talking about!?

 

Misha:

 

Let me blunt, before I am specific because time is for once not really on your side tonight new friends. Sasho might I be so bold as to lay out the terms?

 

Sasho makes a hand motion and a shrug indicating the international indication of; carry on.

 

Dasha Andreavna Skorbogatova Maccluskey. We know what your keeper will do to keep you! He’s found Mr. Adonaev’s letters; he has your passport and Adonaev’s parents address and your mother’s too. He’s not going to let you just walk away, he’ll make all the people dear to you suffer first, that is the man he is. Sebastian; Valera, whatever it is you’re calling yourself this in epoch. Since the little melee on that train and in the district your little band of black brothers has been hunted down and exterminated down to almost the last woman and man. Not only are you all being accused of being of house of subterfuge and treason, when you are arrested they will accuse you and she and your associates in the Z.O.B. of being sadistic vampires cannibals! They will drag you before trial and say that the thirteen of you were kidnapping, raping and vivisecting young girls for sacrifice.

And then they will line you up and execute you all to make an example. Under any scenario your little five weeks of romance have yielded impending catastrophic dividends.

 

Dasha shrugs. Sebastian again with a different Bulgarian hand sign often utilized by Sasho and Misha asks Martina to fill up their shot glasses and get Dasha a red bull chaser.

 

Sebastian:

 

How now?

 

Sasho:

 

Most basic. We will hide you in the past and the future. She will belong then to us, and you can auction her freedom with your abilities. You will thus work under a contract with a devil like me for three days’ time. Which will feel to you like three years over three past lifetimes. And when it’s done you’ll both be free and your friends will be alive and your city will be secure and spring time will be near. Instead of torture, prison, murder, death, not just yours and hers but your friends and families, instead of another victory for one side or another, you get freedom. You get to absolve yourself of the burdens you were born into, and in five weeks flirted your way toward courting oblivion.

 

Daria:

What does he have to do, for us to get that?

 

Sasho:

Three day’s work.

 

Martina:

 

But three years in the eye of the mind

 

Sebastian:

What is it that we have to get done in these three days, or lifetimes or whatever to save our families and friends and each other?

 

Sasho:

Martina.

 

Martina:

Die, steal the moon, kill a lesser demon, and take good notes of your comings and goings. Return to life. Prosto.

Daria:

Miraculous levels of detail here.

 

Sasho:

If you sign yourselves to me and my gang I will not only harbor you but I will aid you at all stages in getting this job done.

 

Sebastian:

How will we convincingly die?

 

Sasho:

I will put your souls in new vessels and leave convincing corpses for the authorities and your sadistic lesser oligarch husband to find.

 

Daria:

Dance magic dance. The implications of your voodoo are not as interesting to me as what in past lives and other times you want us to accomplish.

 

Sasho:

 

I want you to see for yourselves what happened to the man Yeshua ben Yosef in the year 33, I want you to kill a certain lesser demon I compete with in 1933 and to this very day, and I want you to steal a diamond of enormous size in 1996 and trade it with an old Ivory who will give me something I require.

 

Daria:

 

In just three days, what the fuck man. What expertise do either of us even have for this black magical undertaking?

 

Martina:

 

Three days here. Three years there. Over three lifetimes. Understand what you’re signing.

 

Daria:

 

And what is it you want from the conclusion of hostilities

 

Sasho:

I want total leverage in the world to come. I’m bargaining now to open a new tavern and I require a high placed bargaining chip. And on your three day journey you will take care of three variables I need adjusted.

 

Daria:

What’s on the list?”

 

Martina:

Names of auspicious women he wishes to employ at the new tavern.

 

Sebastian:

It’s a rather tall order. Die, come back. Infiltrate and revise the New Testament, snuff out a lesser Oligarch, and steal a precious stone to get a list of women’s names. Fourth dimensional mission impossible.

 

Daria:

The things a woman will do for a man in the name of her freedom, sounds like Master and Margarita.

 

James Brown:

We’re going to help you.

 

James White:

It’s not as if we’re just going to burn the social club to the ground and quietly plant your lifeless corpses about the city and vanish into blue smoke.

 

Justin:

Although that was one plan.

 

Misha:

Oh no-no, were gonna do that and transmography the entire tavern down the rabbit hole of time. We’re gonna help you run three mighty-mighty epic miracles.

 

Justin:

For leverage.

 

Daria:

With whom?

 

Martina:

 

The management who issues liquor licenses and cabaret licenses for the city.

 

Daria:

We’re not stupid.

 

Misha:

And we’re not lesser demons. Adjusting his glasses.

 

Martina

You’re definitely not the angels.

 

Sasho:

I am a devil though. Not the devil, because there isn’t just one anything in a universe so vast, but know that if you two don’t live up to my powers of intervention, then the Bratva your latest keeper sponsor associates with, and the security apparatus of the American state investigating you, and the cult that pursues you will be the least of your problems.

 

Justin:

 

By far the least.

 

Sebastian:

 

Why us? Why help us though. What makes you think we can do what you want?

 

Misha:

 

Because of your reliable Old Soul credentials.

 

Sasho:

Because I’m not dealing with paramedic student Adonaev son of a privileged bourgeoisie, and Dasha Andreavna, accounting student debutante, property of Khulushin Bratva. Once you leave these feeble bodies I’ll have put two very powerful creatures on my pay roll. Valera the Gunslinger and Dasha Andreavna Skorbogatova Maccluskey. The Candidate 64.

 

Daria:

Candidate?

 

Martina:

 

Oh poor unfortunate souls, the ethanol clouded all your past lives and past accomplishments.

 

Martina pinches Sebastian’s cheek.

 

Justin:

Moonstruck until they can’t tell an angel or devil apart.

 

Martina:

 

Why, you’re Valera the Gunslinger, Valera the Sword, main disciple of the archangel Michael, the greatest killer of demons in Gregorian time!

 

And you,

She says leaning into Dasha, Well via the blood line of the house of Judah traced only in part by our little gang, well you have full Hebrew blood, you are candidate daughter of a prior powerful Tzadikk ha Dror.

 

Daria:

 

What does that even mean!!

 

Misha:

Gosh! You might bear the messiah of your generation. And he is the man in the grey mask, a historical serial killer. Your blood and your womb and your collective memories will take us where we need to go and his deadly-deadly aim will let us acquire the things we need.

 

Justin:

Such as a liquor license.

 

Daria:

If we do as you ask we can save our families and his murdered friends and we can return in three days and when we do what we change will set us free?

 

Sasho:

Precisely. And when the new tavern opens I’ll rehire you both happily or we can just shoulders as happy hevals.

 

Misha:

Albeit in far more glorious capacities!

 

Sasho:

 

Absofuckinglutely!

 

 

James Brown:

All this for a cabaret license, ha.

 

 

Sasho:

 

For a cabaret most subversive to the elites of this world and lucrative for me. For all of us. So if you would, Martina!

 

Martina Dubreskaya pulls a ball point pen of solid gold out her red lips. Rising out of nowhere from each shot glass emerges a rolled scroll. Dasha takes the one in front of her written in Russian. Sebastian’s is in Russian too and thus he cannot even read it, anymore.

 

Martina:

You trust her don’t you? She’ll translate it.

 

Sebastian:

What’s it say?

 

Daria:

 

“..I will own you and you will own me and the Perchevney Bratva will own us both until completion of our duties to Mehanata which include documentation and surveillance of the man Yeshua ben Yosef and his wife Mary Tania Magdalena; the assassination of a demon in the form Mr. Breria head of the Stalinist secret police; the assassinations of Superior Oligarchs Kahn, Talleyrand and Trumpuldoroff; and the theft of the blue moon diamond. Once said duties are in order we are free people and all calamities unleashed by our brief passions will be un-made allowing us at that juncture to part as associates or should love or passion grow strong enough to marry and allow Alexandre Sasho Perchevney the honor of hosting our happy marriage.  It specifies that under no circumstances are you to be allowed to sell your third soul, nor am I to have sexual intercourse with you with results in child.

 

Martina:

 

Avoid further sexual intercourse! We don’t care about the rest of it. No babies made between your vile races. Slavs and Ivory should not even ever mix.

 

Daria:

And we are prohibited from drinking alcohol while under contract as it will lead to babies being made.

 

Sebastian:

And what does mine say?

 

Daria:

It says almost the same thing except for a sub clause which establishes that should we fail at our tasks you assume full responsibility for all resulting actions.

 

James White:

 

Bro, just sign the thing, the cops, and secret police and the National Guard and the military are gonna be here to blow in the door any minute now, I have a good tip. You’re gonna get accused of harvesting and eating women’s sexual organs. Just sign the thing. Its three days of work and it your only way out.

 

Sebastian:

 

I love you.

 

He signs the contract totally unable to read it. She marvels at this strange thing called love he exhibits then calmly signs hers.

 

A controlled banging on the metal doors shakes everyone out of their surrealist stupor.

 

James Black:

They’re here.

 

The power goes out except red ghost lights.

 

Martina:

 

Welcome to the gang and the tavern staff.

 

The banging continues muffled shouts through a public address system declare everyone must come out before the authorities come inside. It sounds as though a battering ram has been deployed.

 

Sasho:

James White and my noble Companeros please exit via the roof and see to it that the body doubles are put in place before dawn.

Tomorrow is Friday thus this is when Dasha must be found lifeless in Brighton and it must be believed that Adonaev murders himself on Saturday after a night in Bellevue. And please call the Lynches a cab. Everyone else! To the Ice Cage, now!

 

Another controlled bang shakes the tavern. Probably the second blast door.

 

James Behemoth Brown still in the form of a cat kicks over an enormous canteen of petrol as does Martina. Everyone forms a line behind Sasho and then go down stairs. The stink of petrol is over powering. Justin Azello opens the freezer door. A hatch in the floor is then unlatched and they behold a bottomless pit.

 

Misha:

Down the tunnel you go, we’ll be right behind you as soon as we burn this place to the ground.

 

Martina:

 

Remember, no matter where you end up find the tavern and there we will be. To answer stupid questions and arrange your papers.

 

Dasha turns to Sebastian and takes his hand as they enter the freezer box with wall to wall vodka for the very first and possibly last time.

 

Justin:

 

No drinking, no baby making and no re-selling his soul.

 

Daria:

I’m sorry that I’ve gotten you into this whole mess.

 

Sebastian:

Did you do it on purpose?

 

Daria:

I did. But I had no choice, my Mom is still in Penza.

 

Sebastian:

Bze platnee syr ve mishalovka.

 

Subtitles: The only free cheese is in a mouse trap. The look down into the bottomless pit.

 

Daria:

If you do a good job, and we get them what they want, then I promise ill make real love to you until you don’t even know the difference between your wants and your needs, between lust and loving, I will give you everything you ever wanted from me.

 

Sebastian:

 

For how long?

 

Daria:

 

Three days of nearly forever.

 

Sebastian:

 

Dasha, no matter what happens I’m glad that you found me on that roof top.

 

Daria:

 

We shall see.

 

Sebastian:

 

Is any of this even real?

 

Daria:

 

No, they’ve just tortured us so badly we’re muddying the waters of objective reality for all around us and are imaging, or remembering perhaps; our other lives. Pretty soon these bleak dreams will end and you’ll wake up on the floor of a cell with no teeth.

 

Sebastian:

 

Better to wake up in a bed with no feelings.

 

Daria:

 

Find me again immediately when you wake up.

 

Sebastian:

 

Fall back to the center of the universe.

 

 

Holding hands, him leaning on her just to stand they step out and fall tragically into the abyss, a hole in the ceiling to somewhere. A hatch in the floor of an ice cage.

 

Scene 5

 

A desert Wilderness. Two figures dash across sand dunes. Red, has crimson hair and Michael Washington is a brunette in late 40’s.

 

Michael

 

Red and I are on the run.

 

I’ve on my feet for many days. The girl named Red is leading the way. We’ve changed our clothing at a tiny underground weigh station three days back. The blue coveralls of slavery discarded, we’re clad now in the light grey shawl tunics of the desert pilgrims.

 

When I can’t walk anymore she nearly carries me across that desert. Ten thousand kilometers of off white dunes to clear. She never says much. Just harder, faster, stronger. Time is a little different now.

 

Every time I go to sleep at dawn I find myself dreaming of that political crisis in America which led to the fall of the empire. It seems far away like in another time. Like reading about Rome in high school. In a jumble of remembered stories and perhaps also memory implants, I remember Sebastian. He was building an army. He was doing his part to free slaves. In a reality right next to ours, but the not the same as.

 

More running.

 

Red is a woman possessed. She’s convinced we can clear this desert by sheer tenacity and reckless constitution. We ran out of water a few days ago. She says we’ll reach the citadel soon.

 

She is hiding something in her loose grey pilgrim’s shawl that she has changed into. It appears she’s a few months pregnant. I hadn’t noticed before.

 

Red

 

It’s just a day’s journey further, Michael. We’ll rest a bit. We’ll reach the citadel by dawn.  I’m parched and delirious. Never was a fan of exodus without my manna and quail.

 

Michael

 

Why. Do. You call me by his name?

 

Red

 

I guess it’s time to let the cat out of the bag.

 

Gently she takes him in her arms, takes his head against her breasts. He has stiches that run around his neck.

 

Red

 

They just cast you as the knock-around guy this in life.

 

She says as she breaks the stitches around his neck.

 

The quick sound of flesh ripping. His head is torn back and out of his neck they birth the body of a pilgrim boy without a head. In a jumble of blood, sand and slime this headless boy wriggles free.

 

Michael lies on the desert floor bleeding. Red takes Mike’s head and some surgical knives out of her satchel.

 

Voice of Michael

 

How long and how often do I become Mr. Washington, the man in the Grey Mask? How often does he speak for me in this place and back in Amerika?

 

EMMA! (his head cries out)

 

Red carefully implants his head back on the boy pilgrim’s body. The head of Mike Washington is stitched back on the body. Red sits between them running IV lines between our bodies filled with neon blue, glowing fluids. She jams a thick syringe in the heart of Mike’s body. With a great spasm and then shudder, the hero is reborn. There’s a lot of blood in the sand. Her tools are not so sterile. Her grey tunic is a dirty mess.

 

Mike regrows his head.

 

Red

 

Was it good for you two?

 

Dawn is coming. She covers them in some organic micro quilt, which forms itself like a cocoon around both thier bodies. 

 

I have to reach the citadel. Come after me when you guys have regained your strength. The quilt and some manna will sustain you from the elements.

 

Then she covers them with sand.

 

 

 

Scene 6

Manhattan 1999

 

The alarm rings. Teenage Sebastian Adonaev wakes up in bed.

FLASHES ON SCREEN ‘1999!’

Voice of Younger Sebastian as a montage shows him getting ready for school, walking to 23rd street Lexington station, getting the 6 train and riding it to Bronx Science High School. These scenes are mixed with cut scenes of Dasha and Sebastian at the Waldorf Astoria in 2012. Teaser cut scenes that Sebastian’s monologue overlays.  

 

Sebastian:

 

I wake up quickly in a pool of sweat. I nearly fall out of the bed that is a raised bunk bed with my desk underneath. It has been another in a string of nightmares. They all started sometime in 1997.  I never remember most of the details, only the horror.

 

It is 6:15 am on a Monday morning of a new school year. I live at Waterside Plaza on the island fortress of Manhattan. My school is an hour north by subway in what some call the Boogie down, but what I call the fucking Bronx.

 

It is time to go to the camps for some indoctrination.

 

Sebastian:

My name is Sebastian Adonaev. Believe as much or as little as you hear about me. That goes for the things I tell you about myself as well.

 

The mind works in cycles and patterns, innate behavioral conditioning brought about through external governing factors that mold response and reaction. How strong or beautiful a person appears is genetic, but that the mind is a clean slate, a great evolving tapestry, a mostly unused muscle.

 

Scene flash of Sebastian kicking in a door at a hotel and finding Daria tied dangling from the ceiling, pouring Champaign upside down for wealthy patrons in mask.

 

Sebastian:

With discipline, this muscle can be harnessed to radically affect a person’s surroundings, sense of time and ultimately, the character of an individual’s life. The mind is a beautiful piece of organic clockwork that we are largely unable to understand, regulate or control.

 

I’m sure that I’m not using more than 8% of my brain, but like all things that will change.

 

You see Sebastian opening fire on the guests at the hotel part. But this cuts immediately to teenage Sebastian walking in the winter towards the 6 train on 23rd.

 

Sebastian:

Narrating his 2012 Massacre in the Waldorf Astoria of businessmen.

I get up quickly and shower. I jerk off in the shower thinking about my dick with two chicks–one Black-Irish, one Haan-Nipponese. Mixed races are the future. I towel off. I dress in whatever is lying about. Some days I undress again when the socially conscious part of my brain realizes my threads look ridiculous.  I run back to the bathroom. I throw Queen Helene, that thick mix of hardening green goop, into my hair, slick it back, spike it and sculpt the devil horns that swoop and curl. I use Scope instead of brushing my teeth because it is quicker. If I’m late the teacher will make me sit in the corner.

 

Blood splatters on Daria’s naked body. He has killed everyone in the hotel room.

 

I run down the stairs and drop by the steel shutter coffee stand to wait in line for my morning fix of that nasty, bitter stimulant that will keep me awake long enough to do last night’s homework on the train.

 

Sebastian cuts Daria loose from the naked Champaign serving rig, she slaps him as hard as she can.

 

Sebastian:

It is “essential” that this work be completed, because it is essential that one finishes high school. That’s the place you memorize facts you do not need to know in pursuit of a so-called “body of knowledge” necessary to be considered a civilized member of Western society. This is nation-biased bullshit that paints our consumer-frenzied culture as truth and light to the brown barbarians.  But learn it you shall, for college is only four years away. There you will be further tuned and refined into a cog, screw or girder in mainstream society. Eventually you will choose a career you hate, making enough money to one day join that promised upper middle class bracket of the American socio-economic stratosphere. You will marry, have 2.3 kids and move to the dream home in the suburbs. You will go on vacations to places with beaches or European cities you can’t quite pronounce and hopefully sip fancy drinks. Your children will grow up to be accountants, doctors and lawyers if you’re a Ivory or athletes, musicians, or entrepreneurs if you’re Noire.

 

He wipes the blood off her face and hands her a bathrobe. 

 

But the main goal is to get rich. This is the naked truth about this American Dream.

 

Cuts to 1999 Sebastian getting on the 6 train.

 

Sebastian:

I board the uptown #6 train on 34th Street and transfer at 42nd to the #4 Bronx-bound uptown express. The train is packed like a fetid Polish cattle car, a sea of inter-tangled flesh, crammed into a metal can and shipped to its respective destination.  People push and shove, fighting over every inch of cubic space. The heat is unbearable. The stale air is cross-pollinated with the odors of aftershave, raw armpits and cheap cologne.

 

Right now all I am thinking about is the history homework I didn’t do, the sleep I didn’t get and the utter monotony of the life I am currently leading. The roar of the train car through the underground tunnels is deafening. People peer through the glass divider giving me annoyed looks as I finish off my cigarette. I once read a story about a boy who was thrown to his death from the train while riding between cars as the train made a sharp turn. I am sure these rumors are propagated by the old to make the young less daring.

 

 

He arrives at the Bedford Boulevard station at 8:30 am.  He crosses Bedford Park Boulevard and Harris Field and smokes another stoag. He runs upstairs to 1st period History Class where we see Dr. Brent Avery the same man encountered in Haifa (earlier scene) but this time not over weight and without a southern accent.

 

Avery:

Good of you to rejoin us, Mr. Adonaev. Your presence and your homework were greatly missed.

 

Sebastian:

Sorry, sir.

 

Avery:

I’m no sir, I work for my money. Quite alright, Mr. Adonaev. Your assignment please.

 

 

The class is staring at him. He catches the eyes of Hubert O’Domhnaill, a red haired freckled teen you will later meet grown up in the series.

 

Avery:

 

Sit in the corner. You’re late and unprepared.

 

Sebastian:

Yes, sir.

 

Avery:

Stop calling me sir.

Sebastian:

 

 

 

Yes, Dr. Avery.

 

Voice of Sebastian:

The theme of today’s session has something to do with cavemen and walls. My eyes feel heavy. Sleep begins creeping into my mind. The room periodically blinks out of existence. The class drones on. Reality melts away. I slump over at my desk. The room fades to gray. I fight it but just can’t win.

 

Visually cuts to Michael and a young pilgrim walking in the desert.

 

All I see is the great desert expanse and the Pale City, dimly lit in the never-ending twilight of my mind. I’m on the tree. My hands are nailed to the branches. I look to my side at the Black man nailed next to me. He eyes pop open and his head swings in my direction. Although his mouth never opens I can hear his thoughts in my head.

 

“Collaborator, do you see it?” he questions me in rasps.

 

Sebastian awakes with a sudden start.

 

Avery:

 

Mr. Adonaev, perhaps you could give us some insight into this subject. I can tell that you are particularly enthralled by the discussion and won’t hesitate to add some of your own vast wisdom to our dialogue.

 

Well, I suppose I could repeat the question for you, Mr. Adonaev. I know a mind like yours requires periods of, thoughtful hibernation.

 

 

Sebastian:

Yes sir, it certainly does.

 

Avery:

 

We were discussing early human socio-economic development, Mr. Adonaev. As you know from last night’s reading, which I am sure you read in depth, hunter-gatherer societies evolved into the classic city-states of antiquity. We are now debating how.

 

Sebastian:

Well, um. I suppose when the rich folks started building high walls around their homes and telling all the little brown people what to do, tricking um like to relinquish control over property that nobody really owned.

 

So, like, society evolved from a concept of ownership and property, a mass theft really. Hunter-gatherers did not understand the concept of property. But it was this concept that created the early foundations of the city-state. The moment the biggest, toughest caveman built a fence and declared that the land inside was his, modern society was born.”

 

Avery:

 

Once again, ladies and gentlemen, the young philosopher king redeems himself. He may pass this class, yet. You may return to half salute slumber, Mr. Adonaev.

 

Voice of Sebastian:

 

I lean back in the chair with a smug grin.  Only seven more hours to go. I really hated that school. If there weren’t girls here I wouldn’t probably even show up. These simulations are incredibly insulting to my resolve.

 

Cut scene Sebastian keep narrating, Daria and Sebastian are running through the Plaza Hotel be chased. A car pulls up out front and they jump in Michkai Dbrisk is the driver.

 

Sebastian:

 

They remind him of the months on the Submarine, attempting to learn Hebrew and the art of war. Was that all a dream too, or a future life or a passing listless fantasy? Or worse something I was being forced to believe as an explanation for unpleasant reality. A reality that hinted unsubtly at my own failure to live up to my abilities. My invested potential.

 

A reality that hinted at the possibility of his prior failures to protect those he most loved.

 

The car speeds off. Young Sebastian opens his eyes. This time they are completely grey.

 

 

Scene 7

 

People’s Television Studio, Hell’s Kitchen

 

‘January 2010’ Appears on Screen

 

There is Nicholas Mapfre and Justinian Tomas, the mike is hot the camera was rolling and they are filming. Ryder Haske is filming. Four rebels a table reading a statement. Tiputti Capois, leader of the detachments in Haiti actually has only one default calm emotion of everything being ok. Alongside Chechen gun man Valera Adonaev (Sebastian) he looks dark as hell. Mickhi Dbrisk the Jamaican gangster cut all his dreads off after the Battle of Brownsville. The fourth testimonian, is burly St. Vincy Rastafarian named Brother Malcolm.

 

Valera:

 

There are eight basic and immediate things you are being asked to do in the North, which is to say the USA, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The primary OECD beneficiaries of the global system supply chain, otherwise known as the Core. While civil liberty protections are supposedly the most advanced, so are the mechanism of the surveillance state, intelligence services and sophistication of torture.

 

Dbrisk:

 

First, take off your safety pin. Stop wearing anything or saying anything that could get you reported to the secret police. The USA has 17 known agencies to keep track of you. Get out of the habit of reporting your thoughts and location to Social Media. Please begin consciously avoiding your purchase or collection of subversive materials like books or attending meetings and events that will get you noticed as opposed to the regime. You are being recorded at every demonstration you attend.

 

Malcolm:

 

Second. Take out your cell phone and remove the battery. Practice this drill as often as possible. If you cannot remove the battery of the Apple phone, that is because it was designed that way. Turn it off and practice placing it in another room. That is a listening and tracking device that is being used to monitor you. Utilize the time that the phone is off or in another room to make love to your husband or wife, cook a meal and or engage in discourse with your friends about what is to be done in this state of emergency.

 

 

Tiputti:

 

Third. You are being asked to begin auditing your time. In that much of your northern life is lived vicariously through electronic devices. You are being asked to count the minutes and hours you spend on television, movies, social media, sports you’re not playing and sex you’re not having. After that audit we encourage your realignment to real physical activity, real emotional engagement and real learning. Real time with friends and family. Then audit your new mood.

 

He said all that with a smooth Haitian accent.

 

Valera:

 

Fourth. You are being asked to purchase a dark grey, blue or tan uniform and place on the right arm the flag of your country and on the left arm your rank if you have one, such as teacher, lawyer, paramedic or engineer. You are to put your last name on the right breast. Now you are wearing a uniform. And if or when you are captured you will be entitled to Geneva accord protections and not simply be executed or disappeared into indefinite detention as a terrorist. You are now a uniformed combatant and a patriot, welcome to the army of the resistance. As frightening as it may be that you will possibly killed or captured, there are very strong odds you will survive and history will absolve you. As you are now actively resisting a holocaust, make no mistake about the unprecedented atrocity being carried out.

 

Dbrisk:

 

Fifth, you are being asked to prepare hiding places in your homes for undocumented people and movement activists. They can be complex such as flash walls in attics basements or floors. They can be stocked with provisions and bedding. They can accommodate one person or perhaps a whole family. Be prepared mentally to risk the lives and freedom of yourself and your family to hide fellow human beings slated for arrest or deportation. Drill and coordinate moving people from cities to rural areas and familiarize yourself with the surveillance capabilities of your district. There are cameras virtually everywhere.

 

Malcom:

 

Sixth, you are being asked to boycott the following products, designer electronic devices. Chocolate. Beef. Coffee. Oil. Pornography. Shrimp. Textiles made outside of USA or Europe. We can start with those. It is not important what specific brand. You need to remove your personal buying power from those specific product and commodity lines. They are all tied directly to the full exploitation of fellow humans at home and abroad.

 

Tiputti:

 

Seventh, you are being asked to acquire one firearm for each member of your household. You are to begin drilling in its use and to keep a stockpile of non-lethal ammunition adequate for the defense of your building. As the political right had done for decades, you and your friends should begin regularly and discretely exercising your second amendment right. If you are a practitioner of nonviolence you are asked to buy bulletproof vests for your neighbor that will be willing to face the police forces, military and National Guard with a firearm that had no lethal rounds in it. You may also nonviolently contribute to bail and equipment bond funds. You could also nonviolently help build the smuggling tunnels and compartments to hide people in the sanctuary cities.

 

Valera:

 

Eighth, for any major escalation in the state of emergency or atrocities being committed by our police forces or military, you are being asked to help knock out power generating facilities in your city, paralyze public transit to obstruct the work week and obstruct trucking operations on major roadways. All resistance activities are to cause maximum economic disruption at minimal loss of life at all costs. You ought to plan to accomplish that with no loss of human life if possible.

 

You will likely be arrested shortly after your involvement in a raid or operation. While the resistance will not dictate to you what constitutes a justification for an armed action, surely if you open the paper or read objective reports, an atrocity is occurring every hour of every single day. Insofar as you affiliate yourself at heart or in deed with the resistance in the North, it is really up to the consensus of your own community and companions to dictate what actions you will take. Suffice to say at this juncture you will only be able to rely on the resources of you and your band, we can contribute only in solidarity or attempts at liberation if you are caught. Which you will be. Remember that of all the rights we wage this war for, the right to life is the only one we can never take away from our enemies. But we are no longer school children and surely the enemy kills with indiscriminate impunity.

 

Justinian flips off the camera.

 

Ryder Haske:

 

How the fuck are we going to distribute a track that hot?

 

Mapfre:

 

I have no idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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