Saturday, July 5, 2008

L.B.: Chekhov's GIRAT

To me the thing that's menacing about this scene is the leader who not only inspires fanatical loyalty to his eeeevil cause, but who is such a ruthless badass that he will kill his own guys at the drop of a hat just to make the point that he will kill YOU at the drop of a hat too, so don't ever every do anything that might make him even momentarily angry.

The only problem is that having intimidated all his followers he then gets them to forget it, and tries to claim public sympathy as "OMG, this guys friend just shot his other friend." That's more pity inspiring than sympathetic loyalty inspiring, though... not exactly what he needs here.

The other point is that in the movie Kirk realizes that the bible says the anti-christ will proclaim himself God... Nicky Rocklumps doesn't really do that at all here.

I would have played it something like this: Un-st. Nicky talks about the new heaven on Earth they're going to build.
"You are of course with me on this. It's important that you all believe in me. The work we are going to achieve here will take faith, devotion, and obedience."

Then when Stonagal and Cothran raise some minor type of objection, Rocksy ostentatiously ignores them and speaks directly to the body guard.

"You would be Mr. Otterness, no?"
"Yes sir."
"And your job here is to protect Mr. Stonagal is it not."
"Yes sir."
"You must be concerned that Mr. Cothran here is undermining the work of your employer Mr. Stonagal."
Exuding a blank professional stillness the guard said nothing.
"This is a cause we all need Scott. I can call you Scott, can't I."
"Sir." The guard shifted his feet.
"Scott, Mr. Cothran is a grave danger to the works of your employer. He is becoming an unreliable agent for the needs of us all. Only you can help now Scott. You know what you need to do."
The guard rocked on his heels slowly, and blinked twice. Then reached to his belt and removed a small blunt pistol.
"No, Otterness. Put it down." Stonagal chimed in. The gun raised. "I'm ordering you to stop Otterness! This is not the way."
"You know your duty." Carpathia demurred. There was a bang and Todd-Cothrane crumpled off his seat.
Stonagal turned white. After a moment he unfroze and turning back to the table, sat heavily. "You've made your point."
"Have I?" Carpathia pressed his palms together. "And what point would that be exactly?"
"We're all in this together." Stonagal hardened into a poker face. Buck was impressed at the composure he was able to pull together.
"Moving on," Stonagal put his hands behind his head in a show of ease, though Buck was sure he saw them tremble. "What else is on the agenda today?"
"So now you're pacing our meetings for us are you Jonathan?" Carpathia moved and stood behind the man. "That's most kind of you to lend us the benefit of your authority. Is there anything else we can do for you? Can I perhaps help move along your vision of peace on Earth?"
Stonagal scanned the eyes of the other representatives, but seemed unable to return any of their gazes.
"Because we can't bring Eden back if we're all working at cross-purposes Jonathan. We have to be singing out of the same song book Jonathan. All playing our own parts. If someone plays the wrong part, then the whole venture fails." Carpathia lifted his finger tips from the back of Stonagal's chair, and took a step towards the guard. "And we can't have that can we Scott?"
Scott Otterness hadn't moved since he had released his trigger. He was still gazing just past the end of his extended firearm, through the smoke still curling from its muzzle.
"You wouldn't want to stand between the 6 billion people of this planet and paradise would you Scott? Personally, yourself? That would be a lot to have on your conscience now Scott, wouldn't it. I don't know how a man could live with such guilt. How can your professional duty stand in the way of your obligation to do right by the entire rest of the population of our lonely little planet?"
The room was so quiet that everyone heard the scrunch of Otterness' feet pivoting on the marble floor.
The first bullet missed. It burst through the back of the chair beside Stonagal's head, leaving a dark puncture in his black leather halo. Stonagal's only motion was to close his eyes. The second bullet hit its mark. Stonagal's cheek, marbled with its fine labyrinth of capillaries, exploded outwards, and he lurched forward, his head landing with a crack on the round mahogany table. And then he was still, as a red crown expanded slowly outwards, covering the smoky swirls in the wood.

Eventually Carpathia broke the silence. "We've all just witnessed a tragedy gentlemen. We are none of us safe in doing God's work. I believe I was talking earlier about genuine humility and faith in the cause. It's the only protection any of us have. Madness and enemies lurk in every false security that we seek." He turned easily to Buck. "Mr. Cameron, I'm sure you will see to it that the world hears of our plight here. It is important they know about these forces of discord and chaos that have struck such a blow to our noblest of institutions this afternoon. To all the rest, we have work to be done. I suggest you go prepare yourselves."

As Carpathia strode to the door, the rest of the room suddenly came alive. Security personnel dived to cover their clients, and Scott Otterness flew backwards in a hail of gun fire.


alan said...

An idea I had re: this scene was simply to say that Nicky Appalachian is really a closet psychopath who is subconsciously upset that he never gets to personally kill anyone and always has to do it through mind-controlled proxies. He shot Todd-Cothran and Stonagal because he wanted the charge of pulling the trigger himself and after it was over, he mind-whammied everyone into forgetting about it.

X said...

What, an evil antichrist? Who enjoys doing evil stuff? You're just not making any sense man!