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.
Mood: amused · Music: none