FADE IN GRAPHIC: PRESENT DAY, 9:37 AM.
FADE IN to reveal two plain, white walls. The wall on the right contains a window with blinds, drawn up, revealing a fence, trees and a grass lawn. The sky is blue and the sun shines. The sound of a lawn mower can be heard in the distance. Birds chirp. In front of the other wall is a computer desk and chair. A computer, Apple, is turned on and displaying the INTERNET.
In the chair in front of the computer sits a man, HERO. A small cell phone is in his hand and held to his ear. His other hand is holding a piece of paper, previously folded, which has now been opened up.
HERO LOOKS AT piece of paper.
INT. SMALL ROOM – PIECE OF PAPER
CUT TO TIGHT SHOT OF piece of paper which is revealed to be an invoice showing dental services performed. The invoice is marked PAID.
INT. SMALL ROOM – CELL PHONE
CUT TO TIGHT SHOT OF cell phone held against HERO’s ear. Several hairs, scraggly, are visible coming out of the ear.
EXT. CITY SKYLINE – NIGHT
CITY SOUNDS are heard as FADE IN to a city skyline at night. Thick layers of choking, soupy and debilitating smog completely cover the landscape.
SUBTITLE FADES IN: SHANGHAI, CHINA
Camera PANS RIGHT and ZOOMS IN on nondescript, rundown building. ZOOM continues to focus on a specific window until…
INT. LARGE BOILER ROOM – NIGHT
Long row of desks, separated by narrow walkways, are revealed. All desks face the same direction. At each desk sits a person in a chair, facing a computer screen. All are wearing telephone headsets and are talking. There is a CACOPHONY of overlapping voices. The room is dimly lit and the screens appear to glow. A haze hangs in the air as most of the people seen are smoking. The camera BULLET TIME PANS and begins to focus on a specific person, who is revealed to be the VILLAIN.
VILLAIN is an older woman who has seen many days. Her face has too much makeup which does nothing to disguise the weary lines she is trying to hide. A lit cigarette dangles from her lips and dances as she speaks. She is slumped in her chair and moves in a slow, disinterested manner.
There is a beeping and flashing light on her desk. The woman sighs, reaches up with her hand, clicks something on a cord dangling from the headset and begins to speak fluently in accent-free English.
Acme Family Dental. This is Vivian speaking. How may I help you?
Yeah, hi. This is Cliff Face. I was in there just the other day.
HERO glances at the piece of paper held in his hand.
Yeah, um, well, I had a crown put on and also a cavity taken care of. It must have been Wednesday, I think. I paid cash for it all. Anyway, I was just looking at the receipt I was given. I didn’t check it earlier because I was out of town. I have a few questions about the bill. It says there was a pending balance but I paid in full last time I …
(interrupting, demeanor now considerably chilled)
I’m sorry, sir. This is the answering service. [cough] The doctor’s office is closed today. May I take a message?
INT. SMALL ROOM
(stunned, speaking slowly)
Uh. [beat] Umm. [beat] Uh, no. I guess not. Um. I guess [beat] I guess I’ll call back later. [beat] Umm, yeah. Some other time. I’ll call back some other time.
INT. BOILER ROOM
VILLAIN laughs, turns to unidentified COHORT and HIGH FIVES followed by FIST BUMP. Both laugh.
INT. SMALL ROOM
HERO takes phone away from ear and pushes a button to turn it off. HERO stares at the phone for several beats. The camera PANS to reveal a piece of fabric laying on the desk, camouflage in color and pattern. HERO sets phone down, picks up the cloth, and brings it up to his head. HERO holds the cloth against his forehead, pulls back, and ties off the cloth in a knot with one, swift, slightly vicious motion.
The camera PANS again, this time revealing a large hunting-style knife on the desk. HERO picks up the knife and turns it face down revealing a compass. HERO takes a reading on the compass and looks back up, as if deep in thought.
If you’re only the answering service, why the fuck didn’t you say so?
ZOOM IN on HERO’s face, specifically on the EYES.
This time it’s personal.
It’s go time!
EXT. DENSE GREEN FOREST, AERIAL VIEW
Camera slows moves forward revealing endless forest terrain.
OPENING CREDITS FADE IN: PHONEY SERVICES, PART II
SUBTITLE FADE IN: THIS TIME IT’S PERSONAL
FADE TO BLACK
MUSIC START: NOOKIE/BREAK STUFF (RICHARD CHEEE) (MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY)
Copyright (C) XVIIIXIIV Takerizer Productions