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Introduction: My Writer's Tale of Woe     
 
 

' SLIDE-IT-YOURSELF'  was a SCIFI CHANEL contest on their website, intended to simulate the process of pitching and writing loglines for scripts, as if for the final season of the TV show 'SLIDERS.' It started on a public bulletin board, where participants were supposed to pitch loglines. But the posts where not all necessarily so concise or lucid. In the next phase, the various at all usable pitches where sorted and grouped together by similar thematic categories, for further discussion, development and even what is sometimes called nominal brainstorming.

Lastly, I actually made it to the final round, by invitation, where teams where each supposed to develop competing outlines called beat-sheets, to complete the contest. But the moderator was shallow and overbearing and made serious work impossible by obstructively pandering to instigators. Indeed, when I finally asked for my regular Dominion "handle" to be removed and replaced with my protest nom de plume, well I was granted half of my request! 

Yes, it's all true, I got locked out from the invitational "Stage 3" of the Sci-Fi Channel Dominion BBoard ' SLIDE-IT-YOURSELF' contest, not only for being too critical, but also, believe it or not, for actually being too prolific! No. Really. MORE 

Yes, when they promised us a simulation of the Hollywood scriptwriter's experience, they never stinted on the abusive sheer mindless petty intrigues and enforced hack writing! 

And so, my version, synthesized from the ideas posted by many others, never saw the light of day. Until I put up this page myself

The SYI experience, the good and the bad, has factored into my own proposal for Online fiction writing community and my fanfic oriented demos, first 'Star Trek: The ship of Fools' and then the SLIDERS Brainstorm, a fan project I actually undertook by request.

Alas, however, this was only feigned interest, bait by which I was drawn in that only got me more abuse for my trouble.

But, in retrospect, I really should have expected that anyone who signs all their posts with perfunctory and insincere "blessings" might be just a little creepy! And so, I found my self at a Coffee Klatch by Innocence Abused ensconced amid The Swarm!

I ask you! Shouldn't the etiquette be suited to whatever undertaking, rather than the activity or the objective being compromised for etiquette? Otherwise, where the fun in any of it? And what are the principles of the etiquette imposed? I'll tell you what they are! Mindless conformism, bullying and sycophancy that stifles creativity! Just more touchy feely hypocrisy.

I only hope that I've managed to infuse half as much drama as I've pit up with, into the actual story! Enjoy...

As ever, theWRLDSTOCK draft remains open to input and ongoing revision on the SLIDERS Brainstorm.

 



 
 


 

WRLDSTOCK '

 






TEASER
 
 

1. EXT. A LARGE FIELD - AFTERNOON

Remmy and Mallory vortex into a noisy Rock concert. As they walk and the
camera boom rises we quickly perceive that this Rock concert, incongruously
enough, is the central activity on a Military Base. The miserable Roadies,
many wearing hearing aids, are barked at by Top Sergeant's to step lively as
they "work double time, you maggots!" When Remmy and Mallory come upon 
Maggie conferring with a double (we should hope!) of COLONEL RICKMAN 
(played by Roger Daltry), strumming out riffs on an electric guitar as he gives
orders to Maggie, who checks off a clip board, Remmy discretely turns away his
face. Maggie salutes Rickman, involved in his guitar practice, and joins Remmy
and Mallory walking away.
 
Among the poor wretches, the toiling deafened roadies, is COLLIN MALLORY!
Spying Remmy and Maggie, Collin, unseen, struggles to beak away, but is
prevented by an abusive Top Sergeant.
 
Just like old times, eh? -queries Remmy sardonically. No, replies Maggie. This is 
not a sort of war she knows how to fight! Heck, what do I know about the musical 
tastes of the Swiss? But hey, Maggie, they are the neutral country who will decide the 
winner. For Mallory, however, Swiss neutrality actually surviving the Second World 
War is just kind'a weird! But Maggie only wants off the base before her double gets 
out of the elevator that Maggie sabotaged, and belatedly reports for duty!
 
Remmy, Maggie, and Mallory, then come upon MARY, in uniform, whom the original 
Sliders encountered in 'Invasion'. (Remmy's inner P.O.V.: Montage of Kromagg Manta 
Ships, devastation, captivity, and Mary.) But is she Mary or a double? Who's side is 
she on, America, Russia, Humanity, the Kromaggs or what? And what is she up to? 
Worlds may be at stake! Mallory becomes nervous that they've been made by their 
quarry. But Maggie instructs him to just look innocent, so that even recognizing their 
faces, they'll still just be taken for doubles of people Mary has glimpsed on other worlds.
That takes brass! remarks Mallory. Remmy shows him brass:
 
Keeping his back to Colonel Rickman just yards away and focused upon his
electric guitar practice, Remmy calmly strolls up and salutes Mary, catching her
on her cell phone, quite astonished. But Sir! Sputters Mary, tucking away her cell 
phone. Aren't you a prisoner of the Russians? Need to know, replies Remmy. Was
it bad? The worst thing, kvetches Remmy, convincingly, was not being branded a
turn coat and a traitor, but how the Commie bastards butchered his immortal
classic, 'Tears in my Fro'! Getting down to business, Remmy states that he
had seen her notice tacked up on the Musicology University bulletin boards
for Social Scientists and Cultural Anthropologists to subcontract a
government research grant, and that he'd like to give him a lead on an
eminently qualified candidate who might possibly be available. Borrowing
Mary's cell phone, Remmy places a quick call:

2. CUT TO: EXT. SAN FRANCISCO PARK - AFTERNOON

Diana and HER DOUBLE converse excitedly. Diana discloses how a domineering
male mentor, quite frankly made her all she is today, and vaguely states that she
might very well have amounted to nothing without him. But you (alt-Diana)
have shown me how it's possible to make other choices and excel in any
number of quite different fields. Alt-Diana being an accomplished
Ethnographer. Alt-Diana, how ever, is still just amazed how alike they look.
Then her cell phone rings. It's the other Sliders. Alt-Diana strains to even
hear Remmy, with all the loud music on the other end: A grant? Really! Bring
her on by! Yes, she's here. -Gives the cell phone to Diana. Remmy tells
Diana to get lost before they come, or the jig is up. Diana looks at her
watch, makes an excuse, and splits.

3. CUT TO: INT. ALT-DIANA'S HOME - DUSK

Remmy and Maggie are there with alt-Diana. Mary is just leaving. Mallory is
raiding the fridge in the kitchenette. Alt-Diana is thrilled to get the
generous grant! But there's so much work to do, and since the research
involves Black music, she gratefully offers to hire Remmy to assist. Remmy
has convinced her that he is a human decoy double who's regular job it is to
protect the now captured Lieutenant Rembrandt Brown. And that Diana may be
called upon to act as Diana's decoy protector. But she is perplexed by
another matter entirely:
There are subtly mistaken historical references in Mary's grant proposal, a
list of questions. Strange allusions to events that never happened, or that
actually happened quite differently! But Mary, departing, only makes vague
apologies for messing up the draft, and simply instructs alt-Diana not to
worry, but to simply make historical corrections of any mistakes, however
she sees fit, and then reinterpret the questions intelligently.

4. EXT. ALT-DIANA'S HOME - DUSK

No sooner is Mary out the door, then she slides! (Musical sting:
"Mary, Mary. Where ya' goin' to?")

4.a. INT. ALT-DIANA'S KITCHENETTE - REFRIGERATOR LIGHT

Mallory pulls out the timer from his pocket to observe as it reacts,
tracking Mary's wormhole!

5. INT. A SUMPTUOUS PENTHOUSE ATOP A TRANSOM OF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE -
DUSK

Mary slides in. A rich DOUBLE OF REMMY'S is engaged in a lovers' quarrel
with his consort WANDA WOMAN, a double of the "music producer" female
lothario from 'The Weaker Sex'. As fate would have it, Remmy's double is
obsessed with making enough money to buy out his agent's share of Remmy's
double's DNA and memory equity, at current value, and regain full ownership
of his identity, as per the terms of their Faustian contract, that also includes
clauses under which a clone may even be drafted by the share holders to replace
alt-Remmy! If alt-Remmy ever ceases, for any protracted amount of time, to function
as truly and fully creative, as determined by regularly scheduled sophisticated
holographic brain diagnoses, that he has been dodging with ever more lame
excuses. Mary reports that all is going as planned, and hands alt-Remmy a
milk crate of old vinyl records. Yes! With more of this, I can make
gigabucks! -alt-Remmy gloats...

TV in the background: ROBIN LEACH:
"The influence of celebrities and politicians (a fading distinction), casts
an even longer shadow on our modern world of eclectic Shamanistic Ancestor
Worship, Thanotology, mass Cryonic resurrection (Hallelujah! Brrrr!) after
the carnage of The Big One, cloning, and memory archive and transfer. Yes,
as those well to do and cyber-chic Off World tourists delightedly discover,
there are a legion of Crying Men on this oh so blessed Earth! For the Crying
Man has even reunited the Spinning tops (More like the Spinning Rembrandts!)
all on his multiple lonesome! Down on his luck, Rembrandt Brown, the Reggae
Blue Grass singing sensation, has parlayed his cloning royalties into a
pinnacle of power as possibly the world's greatest recording Mogul, from
which he masterminds yet another marketing coop. The one which he hopes will
permanently establish him, and also set him free."
 
 

CUSTOMIZED OPENING CREDIT SCENE

I. EXT. SAN FRANCISCO

FADE IN indicating some passage of time. Change of cloths for all.
Alt-Diana, astonished, comes upon the Sliders opening their wormhole as the
timer counts down! Diana takes alt-Diana (still agog, as Remmy, Mallory, and
Maggie each leap into the vortex) firmly by the shoulders and, feeling that
she is owed an explanation, speaks to her before also departing:

"What if you found a portal to a parallel universe? What if you could slide
into a thousand different worlds where it's the same year and you're the
same person, but everything else is different?"

Alt-Diana moves forward, fairly mesmerized, drawn to the vortex, but finds
herself checked by Diana adding emphatically: "And what if you can't go home?"

-As Alt-Diana watches Diana leap into the vortex, just as it closes...

-FADE INTO opening montage...

-CUT TO Collin, battered, gasping, winded and cloths torn, runs up just in time
to behold Alt-Diana standing before the fading vortex!
 
 

ACT ONE

6. EXT. SAN FRANCISCO PARK - DAY

The vortex opens, disgorging our heroes, tracking Mary's wormhole. The
Sliders disperse and investigate. The park seems to be filled with people
singing, harmonizing in counterpoint, and dancing on this balmy day. Some
even seem to be singing into public vid phones and laptop and palmtop
computers! Everywhere there is an infectious blend of African music styles
with Blue Grass and Cajun Zydeco. Soon Mallory returns to drag the others to
the blood bank that he has discovered.

Meanwhile, nearby and just out of sight, hapless Collin materializes...

7. INT. BLOOD BANK - ANNOYING FLORISSANT LIGHT

The place is empty. THE ATTENDANT is excited and surprised to get donors.
The pay, electronically transferred to a new account, is generous! But Maggie, 
rolling up her sleeve, has lingering misgivings... Is this too good to be true? But 
the need for cash is urgent, if they hope to pick up Mary's trail again. And they 
had to slide before Mary's check to Alt-Diana cleared, so Remmy (subcontracting 
research assistance) could get paid in turn.

8. EXT. BLOOD BANK STREET - DAY

Exiting the blood bank, our heroes are accosted by an obnoxious bawdy Pirate
Captain, a DOUBLE OF CONRAD BENNISH JR., and his Gilbert and Sullivan
musical music and video PIRATES (They Might Be Giants together with Pen and
Teller) who direct our heroes: "If yea be that all fired desperate for
booty, arr mateys! to some work under the table, where there are no
questions asked, me lads and fair maids!" "And no _back_stage_pass_
required. Awrk?" Squacks Pirate Capt'n Bennish's PARROT. -local slang for
work visa, the Sliders surmise. But unbeknownst, Mary, now in decidedly
slinky civvies, is watching from behind the tinted glass of a limousine!
"Aye, any brave new pirate recruit worth their salt fears not to earn their
keep shedding blood." muses Mary to herself "But someone else's, not their
own." She sighs.

9. INT. CAFE BOOK STORE - EVENING

Working at a little cafe book store is ideal for research, despite the din
of a Garage Band. -officially unrecognized, and proud of it, so Beamish
proclaims... There are shelves of books, the cash register doubles as a Work
Station with Internet access, and there are educated patrons to chat up for
even more information and gossip. The Slider's confirm their surmises from
Mary's historical slip ups:
Great Black Americans are often hard to reference, because they kept their
African names! The horrors of slavery in this world's history did not
include the eradication of African identity and culture in the name of
Christianity. Because, unlike the Roman Empire that gave rise to both
the 
Roman Catholic Church and the British Empire, the otherwise ruthless 
Mongol invaders into Europe who tended to absorb the identity of the 
conquered, rather than to crush it, infused Christianity with their own 
Shamanist cultural Eclecticism. Hence, American Black culture as we know 
it never arose, given more open African culture into the mixing pot. Indeed,
when the British where forced to share power with the Dutch in New Amsterdam,  
Dutch style slavery enduring in the Americas, a twenty year servitude with a
modestly landed retirement plan, also came increasingly under the influence of 
contemporary Islamic slavery in the Far East, with it's relative moderation and
upward social mobility, also at all somewhat less rigid and segregated than the
"peculiar institution" of "property" in the brutal Western history which we are
all sadly familiar with. 
Suddenly the Garage Band breaks it's improv, to listen, excitedly, to the new 
CDs just in (which they fully intend to pirate, of course. Arr me hearties!). 
Sounds the Sliders have not heard on this world of joyous noise:
Gospel, Jazz, Blues, Soul, and Rock and Roll! Artists that Remmy knows from
research with Alt-Diana are starving. (Well, presumably, at least on most
worlds.) And they are being robbed all over again! And who is responsible?
To Remmy's disgust, it is his double, famous on this world! But Remmy has
come to understand that, given alternate history, this culture is founded
upon broad protection for intellectual property. So, Remmy, enraged, gruffly
warns the Garage Band of Gilbert and Sullivan musical Music and Video
Pirates, to cheese it! He's narking out his thieving double to the copyright
authorities! And so, the flamboyant pirates jump lively, maties! Arr! and make
their frantic exit!  

9a. EXT. CAFE BOOK STORE - EVENING

The fleeing garage band of Gilbert and Sullivan musical Music and Video
Pirates scatters past him out the door, as Remmy steps out to the public vid
phone...

10. CUT TO: INT. COURT ROOM - WINDOWLESS, GOOD ELECTRIC LIGHTING

Diana and Maggie are prying an infuriated Remmy off from a hapless Mallory,
who whimpers, smiting his brow and biting his fists. It now comes back to
haunt the Sliders how impulsive Mallory had dragged the others with him to
give blood for the generous quick cash offered by the under-frequented blood
banks! Because now their genetic blood samples are on record! Now Mallory,
chagrined, understands why blood donation has fallen so low here. People on
this world are understandably cautious of releasing their genomes. (Heck,
even with STDs all long cured, condom sales are up! No free samples, even
for cute chicks! And age old Voodoo religious caution to destroy all hair
and nail clippings now claims modern Scientific vindication! -gloats an
obscenely cheery Rastafarian BAILIFF, Yah Mon!) Remmy and the Sliders are
now in grave peril of being ruled an unlicensed copies, living knock offs, now
that has Remmy's gotten on his greedy double's bad side!
 
Expository dialogue establishes how on this world, all lawyers are jailhouse
lawyers! Indeed, convicts serve as officers of the court, while it is not uncommon
for ex-cons to go into private practice. Indeed, Remmy catches sight of one such
is a double of the Latin spouting 'Guys and Dolls' mobster on Egghead World
(wonderfully portrayed by Peter Spellos).
 
The court is called to order, are the Sliders ready? Receiving a borrowed
lap top computer, gratefully, from the lewd and genial Rastafarian Bailiff,
Diana replies in the affirmative. Remmy collects himself to address the
Jury. Remmy is forced to stall by addressing the jury, laying it on thick as
grade A creamery butter, movingly, stirringly and eloquently as Barry White
portraying Lawrence Darrel standing before The Almighty! -but, alas, using
only the limited material available in the public domain, a painful
compendium of dreadful homily and atrocious cliche, that Diana, acting as
cyber-Paralegal, digs up on the fly, online, to feed Remmy! Diana is
horrified to discover that all useful prior precedents, arguments, and
defenses are all copyrighted, and can only be used under licensing fees,
from which the authors of record receive royalties. But the Sliders are flat
broke! Having revealed themselves, the Sliders cannot pass cash from other
Earths! And even their electronic payment from the blood bank has been
frozen pending the outcome of the trial. JUDGE LANCE ITO off handedly 
resolves to assign the Sliders a Public Defender in a an irritated fit of benign
impatience with Remmy's awful schmaltz, eaten up so avidly by the jury,
spell bound by Remmy's nigh Elvis-like celebrity (on this world). The
Sliders' Public Defender is a parolee and junior attorney for a legal firm,
sitting in the back row, unlike the seasoned veterans of the court, not quick
enough to escape being dragooned by the judge! To Remmy's dismay, she
is the double of TIFFANY AUGUST, his pretty but callow Public Defender in
'The Young and the Relentless'. But he is astonished to realize, that on this
world, she is a deaf mute. But, even more remarkably, all the officials of the
 court can sign. Remmy realizes that the dance styles he had earlier glimpsed
are derived from signing! Not only Amalzon Standard, but possibly also
Native American, Oriental, and Hindi sign languages, as Diana points out.
(Even finger computing, forgotten as obsolete in most technological cultures,
gains new relevance and cache as a system of "robotic" dance/mime steps, in
interpretive mimicry of street cleaner droids and such.) Wow! observes
Remmy, Diana's double's Sociological bent has really rubbed of on her!
Meanwhile, Tiffany abashedly sparks, momentarily, with Mallory.
 
The judge grants the Sliders an exemption from the fees on grounds of
indigence, as per the request of their Public Defender, Tiffany. And as a
formality, the court agrees to pay out to the licensors a reduced nominal
fee out of a discretionary fund for that purpose. Both Remmy's music piracy
complaint and his double's DNA infringement counter suit are deemed
meritorious  by the jury and so allowed to proceed by the judge. And with 
the prelims concluded, the jury is dismissed.

Presently, the judge's brain is injected with RNA encoded arguments from all
sides, disconcertingly enough, by another RICKMAN DOUBLE, and lapses, near
comatose, into "deep deliberation". Verbal (or musical) argument will be
reserved until a new jury is empanelled for the main proceedings, as needed.

Even more bizarre, the strangely menacing Rickman double, clad in surgical whites,
comes to be flanked by leather clad dominatrix prison guards, disconcertingly eying
Remy, both aroused and intimidated, like a vulture's next meal.

 

ACT TWO

11. INT. LAW OFFICE/PRISON COMPLEX - MORNING

Under Tiffany's watchful guidance, Diana, still winging it as paralegal,
continues researching the pertinent case law:
Indeed, the Sliders come into in peril of their lives being that a prior
genetic copyright torts proceed from the case of one identical twin suing
the other for 'infringing' on his DNA copyright. The court unable to
determine who was the original copyright owner, sentenced both to death.

That means that alt-Remmy is also risking his own life just to hold on to
his pirated music and culture. Worse still, the Sliders defense, based upon
the argument that DNA pre-exists any individual claiming patent on their own
genome, also undermines the proprietary nature of that which Remmy accuses
his double of stealing!

Other legal precedents on this world are no less astonishing:

Royalties must be paid to the Crown for the use (and abuse) of the Queen's
English. (This is being legally contested by a group of historians.)

TV set in the background: "Bill Clinton filed counter-suit against Monica
Lewinsky today for attempting to capitalize from his copyrighted material.
Lewinsky claims that the dress is her property, but Clinton claims that she
is trying to make money off the presence of his famous genetic marker on
the fabric..."

The Sliders are reviewing a stack of legal papers, all routine, for them to
fill out and sign. Embroiled full time in litigation, with no royalties from
any of a broad range of intellectual property, the normal means of
livelihood on this world, and denied vital medical coverage until the legal
matter is resolved, the Sliders are offered an exemption, routine under such
exigent circumstances, from San Francisco law of obligatory membership in a
musical ensemble. For music is the primary engine of grass roots politics,
much prized in San Francisco.

Diana downloads the 'Welcome to San Francisco' video travelogue from the
local Chamber of Commerce (The voice track -provided by Majel Barrett- is
sped up, but the pitch is lowered back to normal for intelligibility.
Lightening quick animation by Mike Jitlov.):

In preliterate culture, before anything could simply be written down, melody
and rhyme where vital to Memory Theatre, a formula of mental associations
for continually retaining ever more vast quantities of rote information.
Ballads, revised, learned, sung, and passed on across the country side,
where mass communication, of news and editorial. Music was also consensual
validation, sympathy and protest. Criminals passed secret messages in clever
rhymes, and slaves sang out warnings to help one another escape. On this
world, such traditions endured into the age of electronic communications, to
become an unprecedented mechanism of highly articulate and broad based Grass
Roots politics, far beyond the scope of 60's political protest songs. This
is what has been going on all around our heroes since they arrived!

The Sliders, watching the digital presentation, realize that on this world,
the Woodstock inter-generational reconciliation was not followed by the
Reactionary backlash of the late '70's. The strong and culturally eclectic
legal system helped to take the wind out of the government's crack down on
the Counter Culture. Also, in the face of rising social tensions, a strong
Psychiatric Behaviorist movement arose, pushing for universal musical
literacy and practice, shown to have value as an expressive outlet
preventing outbreaks of violence. Also, mandatory membership in musical
ensembles helps to prevent the detachment from society producing loners who
may otherwise tend to go Postal!

San Francisco has become one huge artistic community built up to support an
ongoing concert known as Worldstock. There are districts for each musical
style.
 
Less Bluesy and more overtly African then in familiar Western
culture, and also more Blue Grass and Zydeco to fill the gap left by the
absence of Jazz, as Remmy notes.
 
The video presentation continues: Alcatraz is the minimum security model
reform facility where inmates pay their debt to society by running a resort
for foreign dignitaries, whom it is hoped, will serve as
role models for the
inmates for their return to society.
 
The Sliders gaze through the barred window at the outside vista. Alcatraz! 
 
The video presentation is abruptly interrupted by a news flash: A suite has
been prepared for the imminent arrival... Look, there, it's him arriving, stepping
of from the launch onto the dock: The Eminent world renowned Humanist,
SIR ALGERNON JERVAIS! Who has nothing but praise for the Alcatraz model
reformatory, and scorn for the rest of the dehumanizing prison system. Never the
less, tension can be sensed seething beneath surface amicability. 
 
The video presentation resumes:
At Worldstock, bands from around the globe and even the Off World Habitats
jam together and create world policy. Upon the San Francisco peninsula, over
time, has grown the veritable backstage of this perpetual revolving concert.

The Worldstock Musicological Congressional Record is transcribed in the form
of an historical ballad. Dueling banjos, battle of the bands, counterpointal
duets, and the like, scheduled or spontaneous, at the discretion of the
conductor/chair person, are the accepted modes of political debate on the
floor of the Musicological Congress at Worldstock in San Francisco.

Musical politics among the musically literate is something of an ongoing
referendum. And scheduled election times may be somewhat de-emphasized, as
bands/ensembles rise and fall on the agenda charts, continually. The course
of history has been changed by single agenda one hit wonders!

The San Francisco legal requirement of resident membership in a musical
ensemble began to protect the special franchise of the Activist musicians,
both resident and visiting, who are privileged to be in San Francisco
because of the work they put in, and to ensure that the event will continue
to run smoothly. The law has also persisted for it's favorable benefit local
polices and culture, and as a matter of city pride. The obligation is not
unlike jury duty or National Service/ the draft.

Yes, without music one can still vote. But a high per capita average musical
ability gives the common citizen access to politics at the grass roots,
because a catchy sting or rhyme caries through out the community, physical
and electronic, subject to mutation. Indeed, the Sliders begin to realize
that they have observing this process since their arrival. Thus there is
consultation and input from anyone who speaks the language and can carry a
tune! Those who can't are disadvantaged, despite the prevalence of signing,
which is catching on. The entire society is truly musically democratic.
Politicians are the most masterful and influential musicians. Voting is only
the end game.

A talking computer interprets young Tiffany's signing, as she notes that:

The Coalition of Animals Activists of Nevada (C. A. A. N.) supports the rock band
Shaka CAAN. The S. P. C. A. endorses Shaggy and the Scooby-Doos. And then, 
there's always CREEP, the Committee to Re-elect the Pretenders. 

Inspired, Remmy persuades the others decline the routine exemption, and
resolve to use the publicity of their legal battle to take the issue, and
the music which Remmy's greedy double seeks to hoard for his own profit,
straight to the people! We'll work this crazy system yet!

12. MONTAGE: VARIOUS LOCATIONS - NIGHT WEARING INTO THE EXHAUSTED WEE HOURS

And so, the Sliders each sally off to join musical ensembles in accordance
with San Francisco law.

-Even, unbeknownst to the others, Collin!

How Bohemian! Remmy, Maggie and Diana all enjoy themselves hugely,
each going off to join different bands. But Mallory, who as it turns out, has
always dreamed fervently of the rock star life, finds himself lacking in
proficiency and confidence. His low point finally comes, as he struggles in
vein to find an opening, when Mallory is accosted by a snide and sarcastic
robotic messenger droid, adding insult to injury by officially conveying the
offer of another government deferment, this time on grounds of lack of talent!

13. INT. THE BOOK STORE CAFE - NIGHT

Adapting to the different unfamiliar musical styles all day is challenging,
even if rewarding. Indeed, Remmy did try his hand folk protest songs in his
youth, but soon decided that if he ever wanted to become a preacher he'd
just go back to Gospel music! (Also unknown on this strange world.)

Remmy, not always mindful of the political context, enjoys belting out from
his accustomed repertoire, a crowd pleasers even here. But to this
politically conscious audience, grasping for a context for this novel new
music, 'Cry Like a Man' becomes an anthem for Men's Liberation from Macho
emotional repression. But even as Remmy sings...

14. MONTAGE: VARIOUS LOCATIONS, THE PARK, STREET CORNERS, VID PHONE CALLS TO PRISON INMATES, NEWS FLASHES...

'Cry Like a Man' is taken up in support of the sensitive musician activist
politician Algernon Jervais. Because 'Cry Like a Man' is also about separation 
from a loved one. Thus, the song is re-appropriated and rewritten, as a cover, in
support of Jervais' controversial cause of instituting conjugal visitation
between prisoners of different sex as a reward for good behavior and as a
better outlet to remedy the ongoing rampant Homosexual rape behind bars. 
 
But, asserts Jervais passionate baritone, all self-serving excuses aside, in reality,
conjugal visitation is so vehemently opposed by the sex workers union, zealous of
their government contracts to service the prison population. Indeed, the Dominatrix
fetish clad sex workers double as somewhat paternalistic rehabilitation councilors cum
prison guards.
 
14a. INSERT
 
Remmy, watching on the computer screen of the cash register at the bookstore cafe,
quickly takes a seat, stunned, as, as the sex worker /prison guard spokesperson, the
Amazonian Wanda Woman, heatedly debates Jervais in musical counterpoint!
 
14b. MONTAGE CONTINUES
 
An extravagant dance routine, a full Hollywood production, ensues on Alcatraz, 
as loved ones flood the visiting booths! Even screws, dragging away the 
despondent cons back to their cells, shimmy in step and harmonize. 

15. LATER, INT. THE BOOK STORE CAFE - DAWN COMING UP

Over cappuccino, Remmy, somewhat chagrinned, and Diana disagree, politically,
now finding Remmy shouldered with the responsibility of deciding where to
stand on the proposed prison reforms of Algernon Jervais. Prison, after all,
resounds with echoes of slavery. But should the Sliders become involved in any
other issues save those which drew them to this world? Maggie, at first, sounds
out Remmy and Diana, as their foil. Diana contributes background Sociology and 
analysis of all that Remmy has so spectacularly failed to consider. But Maggie 
quickly changes the subject to Mallory's difficulties (Maggie has paid attention 
to local gossip). Learning of Mallory's troubles, Remmy and Diana rise from 
their seats and march out into the streets...

15a. EXT. THE STREET - GLORIOUS SUN RISE

-where they soon find Mallory, moping around. We don't hear the dialog. But
the body language and gestures are conciliatory. Maggie pats Mallory on the
shoulder. Diana smiles a lot. Remmy mock boxes with Mallory. Mallory is
cheered up again.

Strolling away, the Sliders once again narrowly miss bumping into Collin.
 

ACT THREE

16. INT. THE BOOK STORE CAFE - EVENING

The back wall slides away, opening up the book store cafe to a warehouse
space shared by other stores and businesses. ZOOM IN:

16.5. INT. THE BOOK STORE CAFE AND ADJOINING WAREHOUSE SPACE - EVENING

The Sliders, visibly in solidarity with Mallory, are now their own band,
playing to a Rave! Mallory, the wanna be Rock and Roll rebel, lives out his
fantasy! Remmy's association with prison reformer Algernon Jervais
galvanizes the Sliders a following among the underground underclass among
whom they have abided, from their own illegal arrival in San Francisco:
A rough crowd of outlaw bikers, patent violating cheap knock off artists,
and Gilbert and Sullivan musical music and video pirates, forming
unrecognized garage bands, living in San Francisco on the sly and infesting
Worldstock. (But, heck, if it's not dangerous, then it ain't Rock and Roll!)

Mallory can scarcely believe his eyes, to behold a DOUBLE OF SAMANTHA 
the Biker Queen from 'Easy Slider' amid the throng, and plays for her attention.
Ironically, Mallory is actually rejected by the double of the Polyandrous
Biker Queen because of her misperceived expectation of sharing him with Maggie 
and Diana! As Samantha's clan rises up to defend her dubious honor, Mallory 
suddenly realizes that the adoption into a musical ensemble of someone less 
proficient by those far more proficient, gives rise to the perception of Mallory as 
a groupie slut and pretender trying to suck up to respectable musical legislators! 
His friends have unwittingly only succeeded in making Mallory an even bigger joke, 
resented by disenfranchised and elite alike!
 
Mallory is saved from a serious beating by another woman among the Sliders
following. One for whom even Sam and her clan will back down. A slinky rich
bitch slumming. Yes, it's Wanda Woman! nevertheless, Mallory must still use
all of his might just to restrain hot tempered Maggie, just spoiling for the fight.
Yes, Remmy recognizes Mallory's rescuer Wanda Woman, not only for Jarvais'
political rival as sex worker / prison guard labor union spokesperson, but also
as a double of his own partner in romantic misadventure, the "producer" female
lothario in 'The Weaker Sex'. (But we, the audience, are also well aware that on
this world, she is, in truth, the vamping courtesan of Remmy's greedy double, in
the midst of yet another steamy lover's quarrel with the egomaniacal tycoon.) 
 
Amid the thronging audience, Colin struggles in vein, to reach the stage and
gain the notice of his lost compatriots.

17. EXT. AN RV PARK - A BEAUTIFUL EVENING

Slumming with Remmy's double's consort, Mallory encounters among the
underclass and dissidents the growing number those deafened by the high
decibels. They who mutely dance sign language in eerie silence at the RV
parks of those promiscuous free lovin' old fart retiree rebels, the Flower
Grands, many of whom wear hearing aids. One shy furtive and withdrawn deaf
mute girl gets a cute little crush on wanna be rock star Mallory. She lifts
her veil, when Mallory turns away to confer with Remmy's double's consort.
The little deaf mute dancer is the Slider's lawyer, Tiffany August!

18. INT. BAR/DINER & EXT. PARKING LOT, SAMANTHA'S HAUNT, A ROUGH AND
DANGEROUS BIKER BAR, SMOKER'S - NIGHT

Tiffany, worried about Mallory's dangerous liaisons, tags along, and
protects him covertly from the rough crowd, warding off trouble, and
diffusing tension. Her signing dance also translates into deadly Martial
Arts, and she can make that perceptible by the way she moves, when 
she wants to.
 
One of the thugs backing off, inadveritently knocks Colin to the ground, unseen,
right at Samantha's feet. Laughing good naturedly, Alt-Samantha offers Collin a
hand up.
 
Meanwhile, Mallory barely catches a glimpse of the action to notice how Tiffany
wears a thick house arrest radio ankle shackle, that has started blinking a warning
light. Tiffany is summarily apprehended, without resistance, by parole officers,
likewise convicts, with whom she appears to be on friendly terms.

19. INT. WANDA WOMAN'S APARTMENT - DAY TIME

On the rebound from Sam, Mallory recapitulates Remmy's relationship in 
'The Weaker Sex', with the double of the same lying and emotionally distant
exploitative female, Wanda Woman. When are you going to help with my
carrier as you promised? When are we going to spend time together again?
Characteristically, she has only been using Mallory, building up all of his
varied hopes. Tiffany is there to confer with Mallory, she comforts him
mutely, by eloquent body language, as Alt Remmy's mistress declares that,
y'know? -the relationship with Mallory isn't working, don't be here when I
return, and breezes out like a frigid winter blast.

20. MONTAGE - DAY WEARING INTO LATE NIGHT INT. ALT-REMMY'S PENTHOUSE AND VARIOUS LOCATIONS THROUGH OUT SAN FRANCISCO 

Wanda Woman has only run back to Remmy's scheming double to bicker, musically,
with him. The day wears on as she curses him as a sell out, spoiled by fame and
prostituting his talent. In truth, the haughty Wanda Woman is extremely unhappy. 
 
Meanwhile, Mallory wanders lonely as a cloud through the city of San Francisco, 
outside looking inside, and green with admiration and envy, at all the musical 
talent, way out of his league.  
 
20a. INT. MAKE-SHIFT SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE BACK ROOMS OF THE MUSIC STORE - THE WEE HOURS - THE FLICKERING GLOOM OF COMPUTER MONITORS- THUNDER AND LIGHTENING  
Roused in the wee hours, thunder and lightening outside the windows in the 
San Francisco streets, Remmy comes upon an exhausted and distraught bleary 
eyed Mallory at the musical synthesizer terminal of the public telephone/cash 
register, in a fugue state, taken over by the mentality of Quinn (Robert Floyd 
doing his uncanny  Jerry O'Connell impression), struggling with the advanced 
music theory of a Bach fugue. "Que-Ball!" utters Remmy, astonished, under his 
breath. Indeed, from Mallory's P.O.V. it is Quinn who stares back at Mallory from 
the dressing table mirror, in the next thunder flash. 
 
Taking pity, Remmy, the Crying Man, guides Mallory to put aside the 
book-learnin', and  begin singing his heart out. Because, deep down,
Mallory, Quinn too, just wants to Rock! 
 
"Are you split against the middle?" they sing out (flash back to Oberon Geiger 
asking Mallory the excited question:) "Are you now two men in one? Yes, tell 
me Doctor Gieger, I got the Combine Blues!" By now Maggie and Diana are 
also roused, tired but smiling, bleary eyed, at Mallory's break through. 
 
20b EXT. OUT IN THE POURING RAIN, SOMEWHERE IN SAN FRANCISCO
 
The flash of a thunder clap reveals Collin wandering the streets, already soaked
yet still resolute.
 
20c INT./EXT.
 
Alt-Samantha watches out her apartment window, Collin departing. 
 
FADE

 

ACT FOUR

21. INT. THE BOOKSTORE CAFE - STAGE LIGHTS - BLACK AND WHITE - THE NEAR
FUTURE - EXCERPT FROM MTV ROCKUMENTARY

Insert edited archival footage illustrates monologue:

Conrad Bennish Jr. being interviewed:
"From that compounded romantic let down of Mallory's, Remmy, from his deep
appreciation of the other Earthly Blues form, mentored Mallory to *find his
voice*, and become the admired musician he is today, on the basis of that
honest raw expression, which we now know as *Rock and Roll*, to make up for
Mallory's decided lack of polish. Mallory began to respond musically to
life, growing beyond bad imitations, phony musical derivative cliché, and
just that half assed air-guitar bullshit. And his concise social
observations are sometimes reflected in the legislation of the day. But
Mallory soon found himself increasingly creatively interested in pantomime
expression, as if something was just, I don't know, finally dawning on
him." - Says Bennish, grinning obnoxiously, while pointing to his cranium,
in mockery, so as to indicate that he remembers Mallory as someone slow on the
uptake.

Voice off camera, pan, it's Mary!
"What gradually occurred to Mallory was that all along, it had been Tiffany
August, the Sliders' shy and withdrawn deaf mute Public Defender, who really
cared for him and looked out for him."  She smiles. It's so romantic!

22. EXT. THE RV PARK - DAY - FADE INTO COLOR, SIGNIFYING RETURN TO CURRENT
TIME FRAME

But when he goes looking for her, she has already moved on with the rest of
the RV folk, and disappeared. But Mallory is intercepted by a ROSS J. KELLY
DOUBLE (the shyster from season one). The Slider's case, increasingly high
profile, has been reassigned to a senior partner causing Tiffany to resign
from the law firm in angry protest! "I will fight for you!" Ross
enthusiastically promises Mallory, who could hardly care less.

23. INT. THE BOOK STORE CAFE - AFTERNOON

Returning dejectedly to his friends, Mallory is somewhat consoled to learn
that his deferment has been rejected! Mallory is finally taken seriously.
And the Sliders are breaking through to the mainstream! The ramifications,
in dizzying detail, of sliding, have risen on the musical political agenda
charts.

24. CUT TO: EXT. THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE - SUNSET

And the CONDUCTOR/CHAIRPERSON/CEO (Laurie Anderson) calls 
upon the Sliders for response. And so, as the timer counts down, the Sliders 
sing their farewell, their best contribution to the debate, no contrived ballad
polemic, but an impromptu and intimate disclosure on the personal meaning of
the Sliding experience, sung by Remmy and Maggie to Mallory and Diana, who
harmonize and counter point:

(To the 'Sliders' second season opening theme.)  

You won't find
search forever
I don't mind
what you say

Other fates
Sound of thunder
All unknown
Hell to pay

Wide my eyes
Stunned with wonder
All I loved
Slid away
 

Unexpectedly affecting where initially least welcomed:

25. INT. THE PRIVATE BOOTH OF ALT-REMMY - SUNSET

Meanwhile, Wanda Woman watches the Sliders' farewell performance from a
luxurious private balcony of alt-Remmy's penthouse retrofitted atop the Golden
Gate Bridge, overlooking the performance down below.

26. EXT. STAIRWAY - SUNSET

Meanwhile, by the private elevator to his booth, alt-Remmy's confers in hushed
tones with Mary on the stairway, who supplies him with shocking information
on a diskette, which he quickly browses. On this world, with video communications
and computing so ubiquitous, surveillance is only a question of hacking. -As is
the discovery phase of litigation, for pertinent documents.

27. INT. THE PRIVATE BOOTH OF ALT-REMMY - SUNSET

Remmy's double, enraged, then storms in to confront Wanda Woman, making
foul accusations of her of conspiracy with his agent to exercise the clonal
replacement clause, and thus hold on to a controlling share of Remmy's
double's DNA equity. Because the agent feared that Remmy's double could
succeed in making enough money licensing an archive of music from other
Earths, to buy out his agent's controlling share even at current value, as
per contractual provision.

Wanda Woman gloating in defiant hauteur, belts out additional musical
exposition:
Yes, another already competitively motivated alternate Earthly Remmy, a
musician from a divergent culture, was deemed a more attractive and
opportune candidate than even the best of clones. And what better to top a
musical archive from a parallel world, then an actual living breathing
alternate musician? Remmy the Slider reminded Wanda Woman of what
her own Remmy used to be like, not paranoid, derivative and grandiose,
but creative and passionate, as he was before fame, greed and stress ruined
him. She hates all that he has become! alt-Remmy's collapses in very real
tears! No act for once.
 
Cold and conniving Wanda Woman finally cracks from pent-up emotion,
blurting out that she only wanted to return that kind of talent that she had
always so loved and admired to this world where music is so crucially
important.
Wanda Woman pours her heart out, revealing how she had never actually
been really interested in Mallory, but only schemed to undermine and
discourage amateurish Mallory in order to persuade him to quit the Sliders,
in order to improve the Slider's performance on the charts, and thus better
position Remmy the Slider to supplant alt-Remmy. But no one on this
world had ever contended with the inspiration of the Blues, from out of
rejection and hardship! Nor the dynamism of Rock and Roll defiance. This
music from another world has unguessed at power, they realize! They no
longer need to feel trapped. For there are unprecedented possibilities in
worlds without end.

28. EXT. THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE - SUNSET

-Exactly as they Sliders' are singing down on the bridge below...  

And the assembly goes wild, as the vortex opens before their very eyes! 

However, Diana detects some sort of interference diverting the wormhole, and 
urgently warns Remmy, Mallory and Maggie that it might well be a trap. But, 
suddenly, Remmy hears the plaintive voice of WADE WELLS calling out to him 
in his mind, and leaps into the vortex with no hesitation or regard for the danger. 
Leaving Maggie, Mallory and Diana, rather than simply abandoning Remmy to 
the unknown, no choice but to follow. 
 
Dianna is next, leaping headlong into the bright and swirling vortex. Suddenly
Collin bursts on stage just as Maggie stage dives into the vortex. Mallory, 
astonished, calls out to Collin in his Quinn voice. But as Collin nears Mallory,
crackling energy arcs between them, levitating them both off the stage and into 
the vortex just as it closes after them, dissipating without a trace, the rumbling 
sharply silenced, the mighty winds calmed and still. Then the crowd, first stunned 
silent, then explodes into wild and enthusiastic cheering! 

29. INT. THE PRIVATE BOOTH OF ALT-REMMY - SUNSET

From their striking realization, alt-Remmy's and Wanda Woman have reconciled
passionately, concocting a mad scheme for alt-Remmy the tycoon to masquerade 
as destitute Remmy the Slider, after our heroes slide, by claiming that the tycoon
had switched  places with his slider double, in order for Remmy's double to, in effect,
supplant  himself! -thusly stalling the stockholders long  enough to get straight back
to work on his great romantic inter-dimensional digital sampling good will opus...
(wait for it) ...  'We Are the Worlds'! 

FADE
 
CONTINUED 
 

COPYRIGHT © 1999 - 2001- 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2007 - 2015 by Aaron Agassi ON BEHALF OF ALL prior CONTRIBUTORS
 
 



 
    

 

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