Sound of a car, driving through a city.
Joy is narrating.
JOY: Izmodido. City as virus. The city. The city. Izmodido. Izmodido layered over our world. Izmodians, a new ethnic group. Izmodido, with its new laws. Annex. Annex. Izmodido will Annex our world.
Through this monologue, a sound of a new city, the sound of Izmodido, can be heard bleeding into the city sounds.
JOY: My nervous system belongs to the Izmodian government. I can see through their cameras. I work for the human government. The human government works for Izmodido. I am a schizophrenic.
Sound of a car door slamming.
HANK: Wake up!
JOY: I’m not sleeping!
Joy continues narrating.
JOY: Right now I’m being taken to the hospital by an undercover police officer.
HANK: We’ve got to make a stop, honey.
JOY: I’ve been awake for fifty-seven hours.
Sound of car parking. Sound of a suburban yard.
JOY: The cop is talking to THE SHED OWNER, THE DOG OWNER and THE BITE VICTIM. I’m looking at THE DOG. The bite victim has been badly bitten on the arm. He is coated in a nasty-looking liquid as well. The dog has blood, and the liquid, on its mouth. The dog owner is screaming. The bite victim is laughing.
THE SHED OWNER: That dog has bit that man several times before. I always knew something like this would happen..
HANK: And you say he got the poison from you?
THE SHED OWNER: He got it from my shed. I’m not involved in this mess.
THE DOG OWNER: Son of a bitch! The son of a bitch.
HANK: I’m about to fire my gun into the air.
THE BITE VICTIM: The look on your face!
THE DOG OWNER: You’re a monster!
Hank fires his gun into the air.
HANK: Are you going to press charges?
THE DOG OWNER: I’m pressing charges.
HANK: I wasn’t talking to you. I’ll get to you in a minute.
THE BITE VICTIM: Sure. Sure, whatever.
THE DOG OWNER: This is your fault!
THE SHED OWNER: He broke the lock of my shed. I’m not involved in this mess.
THE BITE VICTIM: Whoo!
THE DOG OWNER: I’m pressing charges.
THE BITE VICTIM: Goddamn!
JOY: I’m poking this dog.
HANK: Will you get over here?
Joy walks over to Hank.
JOY: That dog’s going to die. That man’s arm is poisoned.
The Bite Victim begins shoving his bloody arm in the dog’s face.
THE BITE VICTIM: You want some more? Take a big bite. You want some more?
HANK: Cut that out!
THE BITE VICTIM: See, last time it bit me, you guys didn’t do nothing. So, it figures it can just bite me again. But it don’t just get me this time. It gets a mouthfull of-
HANK: Hey, genius, look at me. Look at me!
THE BITE VICTIM: Don’t get all cop on me, man! I’m cooperating here!
HANK: The bite on your arm is getting that shit all over it.
THE BITE VICTIM: Well that. . .oh.
HANK: Why don’t I call you an ambulance?
THE BITE VICTIM: Sure. Let me just get my shoes.
Joy watches the bite victim go inside. From the doorway an IZMODIAN WOMAN stares back at her.
JOY: What are you staring at, lady?
HANK: Probably his wife. Goddamn Izmodians. No wonder this guy’s crazy.
IZMODIAN WOMAN: Risk. Risk. I am a river of sorrows.
HANK: Go back inside!
IZMODIAN WOMAN: Harm. Harm. I am the bad end.
JOY: He said go back inside, you dumb bitch!
THE BITE VICTIM: They were behind the couch!
IZMODIAN WOMAN: Hush. Hush. You are also the bad end.
HANK: The ambulance should be here in under thirty minutes.
The car doors slam.
HANK: I know what’s wrong.
JOY: What’s wrong?
HANK: You’re wondering why we couldn’t take him to the hospital.
JOY: You didn’t want him to bleed in your car.
HANK: No, Joy, it’s because we’re going to a different kind of hospital.
HANK: And because I didn’t want him to bleed in the car.
JOY: I get it.
HANK: Good, Joy.
JOY: You’re making a joke.
JOY: I’m not going to talk for the next fifteen minutes.
The car sounds continue. The Izmodian sounds get louder.
Sounds of a hospital mixed with sounds of a home. Izmodian gibberish is heard. Suggestions:
“Night. Night. The moon is angry, but it shines as well.”
“Blind. Blind. I have stolen his eyes, but he refuses to see.”
“Light. Light. Twelve feathers. Eleven feathers. Only I am the difference.”
JOY: The undercover hospital looks like a house. Everyone inside wears street clothes. There are people in wheelchairs, however, and some trauma victims. There are several Izmodians.
The door closes.
JOY: This doesn’t look like a hospital.
HANK: It’s an undercover hospital, Joy.
JOY: How can you tell the doctors from the patients?
HANK: I don’t know. How?
All the Izmodian chatter stops.
A RECEPTIONIST approaches Joy and Hank.
HANK: I’m Hank.
RECEPTIONIST: And this is your sister?
JOY: I am, in fact, not his sister.
RECEPTIONIST: Right this way.
The receptionist leads Joy off.
HANK: Goodbye, Joy.
We enter a new room.
RECEPTIONIST: Wait here for the doctor.
The door closes. Joy narrates.
JOY: I wait a long time. There are 157 different cameras in this room. I look at myself through all of them.
THE DOCTOR enters.
THE DOCTOR: Hello, Joy.
JOY: There are 157 cameras in this room.
THE DOCTOR: I am touching the side of your head.
JOY: Yes. You are.
THE DOCTOR: I’m a pediatrician. You’re not going to kill me.
JOY: Do you have the keys to these?
THE DOCTOR: Those look like handcuffs.
JOY: They are.
THE DOCTOR: The man who brought you in.
JOY: Is he my brother?
THE DOCTOR: Don’t trust him. He’s going to kill you.
JOY: So you say.
THE DOCTOR: I have a prescription for you. These are several crayon drawings and an beat-up tape recorder.
JOY: I understand.
THE DOCTOR: Some children in my care observed a bombing of an Izmodian building.
JOY: Their buildings take over human buildings, in the way cancer cells infiltrate an organism.
THE DOCTOR: You are hopelessly insane. No chance of recovery. However, these items are a remedy. Unorthodox, but I think you will be satisfied with the results.
JOY: I know this.
THE DOCTOR: Do you know why?
JOY: My name is Joy.
THE DOCTOR: Joy, I’m about to be killed by helicopter men. Before that, I had to write you this prescription. These items will bring you back.
JOY: I suppose I will be leaving.
THE DOCTOR: Joy, remember. The helicopter men will kill me. Not you.
JOY: I’ll look at the file.
THE DOCTOR: Listen to the tape as you look at the pictures.
There is a thumping sound as THE HELICOPTER MEN appear around the doctor. Joy avoids them, with the coolness of someone walking past a swarm of bees.
THE DOCTOR: This is what I do for a living.
JOY: This is what I do for a living.
The door closes. Behind the door, the doctor screams as the thumping gets louder. The sound of the waiting room can be heard, with the Izmodian chatter. Then we hear a second door open and close, as JOY moves outside.
HANK: Hello, Joy. I wasn’t sure they’d let you leave.
JOY: The doctor was killed by helicopter men.
HANK: Well, that makes sense. Let’s go.
The car door opens.
THUG ONE: Good afternoon.
THUG TWO: We require your vehicle.
THUG ONE: This is a gun.
THUG TWO: This is also a gun.
JOY: Yes, Hank?
HANK: Do you know what to do?
JOY: I think so.
THUG ONE: To reiterate, we require your vehicle.
HANK: You require my foot up your ass.
JOY: I go berserk. I beat Hank bloody while the thugs look on. Stunned at first, Hank begins to fight back, but I show extraordinary martial skill. I knock Hank the fuck out.
JOY: Now what? Now what?
JOY: The two thugs run away. I drag Hank over to the car and put him in the driver’s seat. I sure hope that’s what he had in mind. I put on the tape and look at the pictures.
STORYTELLER: End. End. The bad end. A desolation. Gray. Gray. Your city in dust. Your children a feast for unseen parasites. Deep. Deep. This is how you will know it. Drippings spill along a molten highway. Call. Call. The wise king, a bird with burnt feathers stumbles on a stone walkway.
JOY: You would say that. You’d fucking say it. You’ve put that shit so far under my skin I’d have to claw it out.
STORYTELLER: So. So. Every day, the king, a bandaged leg, walked among his people. He would feel their hands upon his face and ask them for their troubles. Their words fell into his ears, collecting there. Waiting for night.
JOY: You Izmodian son of a bitch! You think I don’t know? You think I don’t know what you say to me?
HANK: Joy? What the fuck?
STORYTELLER: Night. Night. The wise king had a dream. In his dream, he saw all the water in the world disappear, only to be replaced with new water, the taste of which would drive the drinker mad.
HANK: Why did you attack me? What is this you’re listening to?
JOY: Shhh. Wait. I’m hearing something. It’s like an itch in my brain.
STORYTELLER: Upon awakening, he saw that the dream was a prophetic one, During the night, all the streams had stopped running and the wells had gone dry, Before the king could assemble his advisers to warn them of his dream, the streams began to run again, and the wells once more swelled with water, The king did not have time to warn his subjects. Each one drank the water, to the very last.
HANK: It doesn’t make any sense. It’s like someone yelling in German, down a long tunnel.
JOY: It’s like an eel’s swimming in my skull, Hank. Can I call you Hank?
HANK: What? Yes.
STORYTELLER: When the wise king walked among the people, he found that they were thinking and talking in an entirely different way from before. When he tried to talk to them, he realized that they thought that he was mad, and they showed ridicule or pity, not comprehension.
JOY: Oh, Hank. We should get a larger place, I think.
HANK: Shhh. I’m trying to hear this.
STORYTELLER: Surrounded by a horde of gibbering psychotics, the king screamed as he was forced to the ground, a flask of the new water shoved down his throat.
JOY: Our friends are so good at entertaining, and we simply can’t have them over.
HANK: We’ve been over this, Joy. It’s simply too small.
STORYTELLER: The people rejoiced.
JOY: You know, at first I thought this Izmodian nonsense was gibberish. Simply gibberish. However, if you listen, and I mean really listen? Well, they make as much sense as you or I. Even more perhaps!
STORYTELLER: Their king had miraculously been restored to sanity.
JOY: I think the yellow linoleum, Hank. Alice said that for a kitchen floor it’s just simpler to mop than a hardwood.
HANK: Anything for you, honey.
JOY: I am the bad end, you know.
HANK: Aren’t we, though?
JOY: Light, light, an ocean of light.
HANK: Our children, carried away by the tide.
The Izmodian sounds overtake the sound of them chattering on.