Posts Tagged ‘star trek’

Death in the Making, Chapter 1: The Meeting

November 23, 2009

Note: All spelling and grammatical errors are there for a reason. And now…

Chapter 1: The Meeting

Chapter 1

“What are talking about Silas disapeering! That lazy bum is probaly just lying around at his house!” Max Wicks yelled. He was the leader of the company “Max Parks” “Max Amusement Parks.” He was at a meeting with his associates. He was a greedy man who looked just like a used car salesman. The assistint manager Raymond Perry who was quite weak and skinny was across the table yelling back. “We found his body! How could you think he was lounging around at home?! And anyway from the looks of it he died about a week ago.” Now he was scared because he needs to pay his rent and if he gets fired he can’t pay.

“Guys, we still have to decide who’s going to test it out.” Kasey the sound engineer said. He was the strongest of the group. He had scraggaly black hair and and always wore tank tops and jeans.

“Any Ideas?” Jack Russell the youngest of the group said.

“Hey I have a brother who owns a chain of amusement parks. He could bring his kids and anyone else.” Michael Drake said. He had white hair and he was the cutest one.

“We’ll call ’em and they’ll we’ll see what happens.” Raymond said quietly.

“Waitm what’t this about kids! Kids are a pain in the butt. Those whining little brats annoy me!” Max yelled.

“They’ll pay.” Mac, the nervous one, said.

“Okay, they can come.” Max said.

“Um, Mr. Wicks you have the park documents to fill out.” Cooper, the security guard said as he opened the door. He was a fat slob who hardley ever talked. He had a crew cut and wore a police uniform.

“Meeting ijurned. Go back to work.” Max said going back to his office. “Oh yeah Jackson. You finished the track right.”

“Right.” Jackson said. He was a resourceful person. Wearing a white shirt and a yellow sleeveless jacket. And a light brown shorts.

Everyone walked away. Drake stopped Mac in his tracks.

“Yeah. Um yes Drake.” Mac said nerveously.

“How do you think Silas died? Cause he had those scratches on him and he had that weird mark on his head. Drake said scratching his head.

“Um. I don’t really know. I mean I didn’t do it. I mean…I don’t know okay!” Mac yelled and he ran on the elevator and was gone.

“Kasey, hey Kasey c’mere. I need to ask you something.” Drake yelled. Kasey came up to him. “Do you know what happened to Silas?”

“Don’t ask me. Me and my family were at home eating dinner when that happened. I mean it happened at 8:00 and we had a late dinner.” He looks at his watch. “Look man I gotta go. Bug in the sound machine.” He threw some cable on his shoulder. “See Ya.”

“Yeah bye.” He watched Kasey walk in the elevator and go down.

In a minute the room was empty and he was alone in the room. He stared at the window fogdusted window. He wiped off the fog off the window and stared. Then he thought he saw something burst through the trees. “Just my imagination.” Drake said to himself. “Just my imagination.”

What I remember: Where these characters came from. If you read the previous post, you’ll know that each of these characters was based on an action figure from my collection.

Max Wicks, the owner of Max Parks Max Amusement Parks:

Pacino!

Big Boy from Dick Tracy! (Could not find the action figure pic.)

Raymond Perry, the weak and skinny one:

Not making this up.

Worf from Star Trek! (NOT weak and skinny. An odd choice.)

Kasey the Strong Sound Engineer:

Like a nice Jason Voorhees.

Kasey Jones from the Ninja Turtles cartoon and films (played by Elias Koteas!)

Mac, the nervous one:

As played by Dustin Hoffman in the film!

Jack Russell, the young one:

This one makes the least sense.

Corporal Dwayne Hicks from Aliens.

Michael Drake, the cutest one:

I had such a crush on this dude.

 Corporal (something) Drake from Aliens.

Jackson, quite possibly be my favorite character of the novel:

This looks nothing like the actor in the film.

Robert Muldoon, a small character from Jurassic Park.

Cooper Michaels, the security guard who wears a police uniform:

I had an earlier, less stupid version of this action figure where his arm wasn't grafted into an eternal clothesline.

The Big Boss Man!

As you can see, my tastes were all over the place. My love of Dick Tracy facilitated an early interest in the mystery and variety of genre fare. Jurassic Park and Star Trek bred within me a love for adventure (not to mention my early leanings towards heavy themes). Aliens satisfied my bloodlust. TMNT offered the goofiness and humor (not to mention backflips). And WWF taught me there’s nothing wrong with a good ol-fashioned ass-whoopin.

What these disparate entertainments have in common is ensemble. They created worlds that focused on many journeys, not just one, offering a slew of interesting and diverse characters, all coalescing in the wake of one (or several) catastrophic event(s). 

This is what I wanted with Death in the Making, to bring these action figures, from such vastly different universes, together into one. To break down walls. To create dialogue. What would happen if they were all brought together? What would they become? Who would be good? Who would be bad? Who are these people in relation to one another? These are the silly questions I still ask myself because I love character. More than plot, more than theme, I love characters and I love ensembles. And Death in the Making is where that all began.

Of course, there is always one central figure at the center of these stories, whether it be Dick Tracy, Jean-Luc Picard,  or Sam Neill. You guys have yet to meet that central figure. That’s what Chapter 3 is for, and it’s something I’m excited to explore.

The idea of the “main character” is something that has oft-frustrated me as a writer. When Arthur Kopit saw my play, Lamp & Moth, in Kansas City, his complaint was that it had no central character. Further revisions have remedied that to a degree, but not without some grumbling. I often find myself disassociated from “main” characters in most art. They’re often bland everymen, heroic in all the wrong places. Or raisonneurs from the author who can’t help but smash his grubby fingers all over a perfectly good story. Or genre robots so patched together from the canon that they trade blood and guts for empty cardboard witticisms.  They’re written with such blandness because we perpetuate the idea that audiences need to identify with someone  to enjoy something, which is, of course, bullshit. It is in this identification that we remove all the shit that makes us human, all the things that anyone could actually identify with on a more profound level.

Having said that (who caught Curb last night?), Sam Drake, my ostensible “main” character, is guilty of at least a few of those crimes. And Jimmy Drake, my childhood surrogate and likely main “main” character, is a lot worse. But these guys, this group, delineated (like the TMNT) by only the most base character traits, are at the heart of this story…at least as I remember it.

There will probably be a lot more talk about ensemble as we continue this journey. There’s certainly many more characters to meet in our immediate future since my 11-year old self was a kindred spirit to one David Milch, who never met a character on Deadwood he didn’t want to spin a yarn about.

And so it goes…   

 Beautiful: In a minute the room was empty and he was alone in the room. He stared at the window fogdusted window. He wiped off the fog off the window and stared.

“We found his body! How could you think he was lounging around at home?!

Embarrassing: Now he was scared because he needs to pay his rent and if he gets fired he can’t pay.

He had white hair and he was the cutest one.

“Um, Mr. Wicks you have the park documents to fill out.”

“Don’t ask me. Me and my family were at home eating dinner when that happened. I mean it happened at 8:00 and we had a late dinner.”

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