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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Friday (2/10/12) 5:40pm - ... wherein Peter posts yet another Sketchwar thingie.

Some time ago, I participated in something called "Sketchwar".  Every Saturday, we'd pick a topic.  Then we'd all write a sketch that had to do with that topic, and post it the following Friday.  The next day, we'd have a new topic to work on, and so on.

I figured, now that I have time for such things, I'd start doing this again.  This week, I set myself the topic of "Conspiracy"  If anybody wants to join in the Sketchwar fray (looks like Andrew Pish is participating -- yay!), next week's topic is "a walk in the woods".


          FADE IN:

          INT. OFFICE - DAY

          MR. GELLMAN (40s) sits at his desk in a shabby little
          industrial office.

          SHAUN (20s) sits across from him.

          Gellman happily shuffles through a few papers.

                              GELLMAN
                    And there's that sorted, and...
                    congratulations!  Shaun, you are
                    our newest mechanic specialist!

                              SHAUN
                    Awesome!

          A firm handshake.

          Gellman digs up one last form.

                              GELLMAN
                    Oh, right, there's one last thing. 
                    Nothing, really --

          He hands the form to Shaun.

                              SHAUN
                    This contract is under an NDA?

          Shaun shrugs, gets out his pen.

                              GELLMAN
                    Bit more than that.  You can't even
                    acknowledge that this place exists.

                              SHAUN
                    What?

                              GELLMAN
                    Sorry to say, this whole factory is
                    a bit of a conspiracy.  Our own
                    government doesn't know about it. 
                    One of those 'black projects'.

                              SHAUN
                    Well... do I pretend I'm in some
                    sort of front organization, or --

                              GELLMAN
                    Oh, no, no, that never works.  If
                    anyone asks, don't say anything
                    about this agency; just claim to
                    work in 'software development'.

          Beat.

                              SHAUN
                    Software development?

                              GELLMAN
                    Mm-hmm!

                              SHAUN
                    That works?

                              GELLMAN
                    Indeed!  Don't worry, it shuts down
                    conversations dead.

                              SHAUN
                    Huh.  So, are all 'software
                    developers' actually...

          He gestures at the office around him.

          Gellman nods.

                              GELLMAN
                    Programming work was all farmed out
                    to India ages ago.  So now, you see
                    lots of people pulling down high
                    salaries for work they never
                    actually talk about?  That's mostly
                    black-box operations such as, well,
                    this one.

                              SHAUN
                    But... but there are whole
                    magazines and websites and
                    conferences devoted to --

                              GELLMAN
                    Right, it's a sizeable job,
                    maintaining all that -- but it's a
                    collective effort from secret
                    crimefighting organizations,
                    garden-variety mad scientists,
                    superhero support infrastructures.

                              SHAUN
                    This -- okay, this has gotta be
                    some kinda joke --

                              GELLMAN
                    You really think php is real?  Or
                    that any sane person would use it
                    if it were?

                              SHAUN
                    Oh, I... I don't know what php is. 
                    Any time somebody mentions
                    something like that, my mind glazes
                    over.

                              GELLMAN
                    That's precisely how it's designed!

                              SHAUN
                    No kidding!

                              GELLMAN
                    Every six months to a year, they
                    come up with a new set of
                    buzzwords, just in case any
                    outsiders get too curious.  A good
                    many English majors work on that.

                              SHAUN
                    I always thought there were way too
                    many English majors for the
                    existing job market.

                              GELLMAN
                    Quite.  And that way, the rest of
                    us can keep fighting aliens,
                    performing bizarre experiments in
                    transhumanism, dealing with
                    singularity-level AIs -- you name
                    in -- without incontroverting the
                    conventional world.

                              SHAUN
                    Huh.

                              GELLMAN
                    So.  The NDA?

                              SHAUN
                    I don't know if I feel comfortable
                    with this sort of dishonesty.
                         (thinks a moment)
                    Oh, but this is one of those things
                    where I already know too much,
                    isn't it?

                              GELLMAN
                    Rather.

                              SHAUN
                    I don't really have a choice?

                              GELLMAN
                    We do employ a team of freelance
                    assassins to eliminate leaks.  Nice
                    people, really, but --

          Shaun sighs.

                              GELLMAN
                    And... look, I'm not supposed to
                    say this, but I'll just 'throw
                    caution to the wind', as it were. 
                    It might be that we're making an
                    army of killer robots capable of
                    taking over the world.  Just...
                    throwing that out there.

                              SHAUN
                    Really?

          Gellman touches a finger to his nose.

                              SHAUN
                    Wow.

                              GELLMAN
                    Does that help?

                              SHAUN
                    Absolutely!  That's awesome!

          Shaun happily signs the last form.

                              GELLMAN
                    I know, right?

                              SHAUN
                    Why didn't you just lead off with
                    that?

                              GELLMAN
                    Good point, Shaun.  Good point.

                                                        FADE OUT.




This is an odd one, in that I wrote up a whole outline for a largely different sketch, but when I was actually writing pages I got so distracted by the "software development" joke that I decided to just run with it and make it the whole sketch.

Tags:
Mood: [mood icon] amused · Music: none
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