Kennedy Space Center 2015/7

Here is the treatment for another script that I wrote around 2009, somewhat based on earlier drafts of my novel.  The script is actually in decent shape.


Tagline: She really went up.

Logline:  A reporter’s pregnant fiancée disappears in a storm and the reporter (because of the way he believes his fiancée has manipulated his head) claims that the circumstances point  to UFO abduction, when others, as he investigates, suspect his motives and ultimately force him to undergo a “nighthike” initiation that leads to Revelations.  His personal values (as to relationships) may be tested, too.


A pregnant female religion reporter, Doreen, disappears in a prairie near a town with a religious cult and mysterious right wing training academy. Her tracks dead-end. At the same time, media reports mysterious lights in the area, that might have been UFOs, military aircraft, or something hired. There have also been wild late winter storms to shake things up.

Doreen’s fiancée, Justin, reports on technology at the same Dallas paper, but has long wanted to investigate the cult himself. She has teased him about it, and he declines to marry her in a religious ceremony until he goes through one of their initiations (or is slain in the spirit). (He had proposed after the pregnancy 7 months ago without the usual pampering – and avoids being around her too much fearing reports that exposure will “emasculate him”.) Justin secretly equates the “slain” ritual with an erotic male initiation. Their game playing over his “initiation” has allowed them to remain engaged without spending all that much time together. (Doreen may want to test Justin’s “manhood” by tempting him into a ritual.)

In the meantime, Justin has been dating a negro, Carla, and has impregnated her, too.  Doreen doesn’t know this. Carla has a mixed-race son from a previous affair, Pip. (Later we will learn that she had Pip by Frankie, who runs the right wing center. Carla works as a security guard and girl Friday in the gay bar business and gets around. She’s even been a female drag queen (oxymoron).

Justin’s personality is a paradoxical brew. He looks and acts hypermasculine, but is very concerned with the symbols of masculinity, which he has found discussed in the writings of Bill. He is drawn to Bill’s manuscripts, which predict a dark future in which humanity is divided into something like brownies and elves, or humans and angels. From Doreen, he has learned that the religious practices at the cult mimic some ideas in Bill’s writings. He wants to get on the beat himself and go investigate, and his boss, Abram, has always resisted. Abram wants him to stay on the technology “CNET” techies.com  beat. Justin is beginning to suspect that people think he has an “attitude.” He doesn’t think that “techies can sell”.

Justin finds the police bugging him about the disappearance. They know about his “mistress” but he can blow them off by maintaining that the footprints end. The only way he could have killed her is if he had flown a chopper himself (or hired someone to). But of course, if he gets involved with the Academy, he has to watch himself. Someone there could have.  (This would be the first time he’s ever been in trouble with the law.) Justin is becoming aware that others wonder why his passion over Doreen isn’t more evident, as one would see in a soap opera. He is already seeing himself from the third person.  He reviews videos of his “talks” with Doreen where she accepts his need to be initiated to earn the right to “know.”  Justin is just starting to perceive his own conscience.

Desiring to prove that he is on to something real outside of his own personal problems, he goes to the town, Teglia, near the Academy, and finds weird goings-on. Women are reported to have been “changed” (even into “The Grays”) but the local pastor (Roach) seems to think they were just slain in the spirit, an idea that Justin doesn’t believe in. He finds three vigorous young men: Toby, Matt, and Eric (a teen), and an older doctor-lawyer Ethan. They all have some connection to the writer Bill. Toby is a kind of role model, with a girl friend Sheila, and interests that resemble Justin’s. Matt is an exuberant (gay) guy with mysterious ties to the military and who brags that he beat “don’t ask don’t tell.” Eric is a filmmaker and artist, graduating from high school soon, hoping to go to film school at NYU. Matt, Eric and Bill appear in a dirty dancing scene to anticipate rituals that may occur later.

(Eric uncovers a back story where Bill had been burned out of his house with Mother as an EMP attack, then Mother kicked him out and then died, but he can’t touch the money.)

Justin’s journalism leads him to The Academy, a few miles from Teglia, across a river and mysterious prairie meadow, and here he finds more characters with a sinister mission. Frankie was at one time a sexual partner of Bill. He meets an ex military man Ali, disfigured from a Vietnam accident, who has been groomed for a remote viewing project that would answer some of Justin’s questions. He meets Ali’s effeminate son, Amos, who took the hit for a computer crime partially committed by Bill a decade ago.  (Justin also finds out here that Frankie is Pip’s father.) He would get mad, but Frankie offers to gratify his own sexual curiosity.  Frankie admits his own previous “sexual” connection to Bill and they both know about the “theology” of Bill’s writings.  Frankie can tell Justin about Bill’s connection to Toby, when Toby put Bill on TV discussing his writings, and how Bill had wanted a “relationship” but had been injured during the speech. Justin can start to put together the pieces: Eric has put Bill’s theology into a computer game and even Pip has picked up on it. Toby’s own body seems to express the theology.

Justin does find “Bill’s Paradigm” which provides a key to understanding what is going on. (Rather than having this in dialogue, this will be shown “visually” too.)  Bill has a progressive personal history which has led to his apprenticeship at the Academy, whereas Toby is being groomed for the finer things of angelhood at another center (“The Shop”) where he learns remote viewing.

Pip plays with a board game that emulates the journalism profession, on another planet. Some of the games come from a teen programmer, Eric, who has fed info to Justin through Bill. Eric had helped Bill when Bill’s machine was hacked and destroyed by a storm in his mother’s house. That gave Bill a reason to go to the Academy.

Justin has procured a tape on two earlier disappearances, one on Beta HiFi from the 80s.  (Bill’s friend [Art?  Matt?] has an old beta player. He (Justin) runs down the source of the tape, and Amos and Eric determine that it must have come from the founder of the place, Femeri. Justin connects the dots, and according to Bill’s literature, Femeri himself has to be a fallen angel. That could mean some of the other characters he has met could be trying to become angels. Justin cavorts with the boys and becomes suspicious that Toby is the candidate. The beta tape shows that Femeri once resembled Toby, and had a spouse who died childless (a “woman without a shadow”). . Toby has a girlfriend Sheila who teases him in similar fashion. Toby has a confrontation with Bill about Bill’s relationship with him before Toby’s own remote viewing session.  Amos, despite a criminal background that keeps him off (most) computers, has accumulated the goods on most of the people at the Academy through his military agent dad, Ali, and “undercover” hacking skills. Despite his own Capote-like homosexuality, he has gotten by on simple nepotism.

Justin is now talking to Matt, and is pretty sure that he will go on the Academy initiation. Amos actually pass on the tidings to Bill in Bill’s dorm room at night, where Bill (and Justin) see in a new student, Lapp, what this “Initiation” can really do to people. Justin tries a remove viewing exercise in the dorm and is repelled by Amos.

Justin sleeps with Carla one more time, and finds from her he has learned some remote viewing skills. Carla seems more “with it” spiritually than Denise, who won’t touch these experimental rituals herself.  (Yet, Denise went up, maybe against her will.)

(“Progress” starts.) Frankie and Lapp “inspect”  and prep them as they assemble. They go on the “Nighthike,” even taking the sandwiches. Justin sharpens his remote viewing skills with Matt.

“The point of no return occurs as they go into the woods and find themselves lost and stranded.” At one point, before getting lost, they pass the religious commune. They start to see UFOs. They find the point where she went up. But there has been a thunderstorm and they are cut off by the river. (They found shelter in a treehouse and remained relatively dry in the storm.) The river is rising and threatening them.

They start the initiation rites (the “complications and higher stakes”; Toby gets it, as does Matt; Justin allows it to start). Matt had dug up the info and given it to Bill on how the rites work. The girls who do the rites are friends of Carla. Matt teases Bill about the initiation, then runs off. Matt “goes up” and everyone sees the UFO.

The waters have receded, and they can see that the commune has been destroyed. Toby swims across and finds several survivors. Toby tries to get Bill to go. Bill drowns. Toby revives him. (This is the “major setback”.) But Justin allows himself to be “rendered” (after undressing) so that he can “go up” to and find his girl friend (the fiancée). Bill is rendered and sent up. (All of this is the “push”).  (Justin gets “completely” “rendered” on the UFO).

They arrive on Titan. They find out that some people are being groomed as angels. One of them is Matt. Another is Toby. If Matt breaks the rules and enjoys his powers too much, he expires. Matt stays on Titan. Justin returns.  Toby and Sheila get married and Bill and Justin attend. This is the “aftermath.” Sheila will have a child, so Toby cannot become an angel but he can join the telestial kingdom. (Eric is “saved” for the sequel.)  But marriage and kids will protect Toby (or any candidate) from abuse (and from falling) once they actually become angels.

UFO’s land in several cities.  EMP effects make people (particularly in evangelical suburbs) into grays (they thought they would be raptured), but Eric is “saved”. (For foreshadowing, Doreen should have talked about The Rapture.)

At the very end, in the chaos from the UFO’s, Justin and Doreen marry, and Doreen delivers the baby.

(in the novel, Toby remains childless and becomes an angel)

(if Bill fathers a child, Tobey can become an angel.)

Note: differences: in the novel, Amos committed entire crime.  In the DADT screenplay, mother comes back, and Bill is still living in the house when he is abducted. In novel, Bill was also thrown out of the house.

In the novel, Amos doesn’t need to hack, because Sal can do the hacking.

The Shop (here) is the Monroe Inst. in the novel.

Note also (2202/7/20):  Because of the passage of time, “Bill” would be still older.  It would be necessary to add another (ficitious) aging relative he has to deal with after Mother dies (she did in 2010 in real life) to extend his story line to connect up with the main plot.