dadomz (dadomz) wrote,
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Ninety-Eight Percent Complete, Titanium-Lined Android

Here's the premise:
So I Xander enrolled me to this creative writing workshop for my FA Elective--it's a play adaptation class under Sir Glenn Mas. Basically, the goal of the course is to come up with a one-act play adaptation worth 30 - 35 pages.

To be honest, I haven't the faintest about plays--I've watched a couple, read a few, hell, I think I've gone as far as knowing the technicalities but I'm not well-adversed when it comes to writing them. I've written short stories for cathartic purposes but I've never tried writing for an audience--so I hope you see my dilemma. That aside, I've always written my stories under the context of a screenplay, not a stage performance.

When I presented my outline to the class, I literally heard crickets. I had this sheepish smile on my face because I knew I was a tad bit too tedious. Everyone had interesting stories--most of them satirized fairy tales (with a bit kinky quirks here and there) and so you know, I think they were expecting something funny from me (since I often suggested perverse plots and made tons of innuendoes).

So my primary concern is if it is a tedious plot, if there's a possibility I can work my way around it. I think it's a niched topic--like, it's not something you'd decide upon watching unless necessary.

Gah, I'll leave that to you guys to decide.

So please, I need all the constructive criticism you can muster--and suggestions too. XD

I've attached both the short-story and the outline for the play.



Title: Ninety-Eight Percent Complete, Titanium-Lined Android
An Adaptation of: Ovid’s Pygmalion
With slight references from: Sir Thomas More’s Utopia
By: Dominique Marie M. Tiu
I would like to dedicate this to (in no particular order): My mother, my father, my grandmother, my grandfather, my best friend, my roommates, the rest of my ancestors, my fag, my hag, the children I will most likely not have, my dog Bea, my hamster Johnabehl, my boyfriend, my girlfriend, my goat, my turkey, and my professor Glenn Mas.


I.

In the near future, they say anything is possible.

II.

Change is inevitable.

Change is the only thing constant.

The dawn of a new government will take precedence over the entire world: a technological Utopia where the field of Science has left no question unanswered.

With industrialization at the cusp of global evolution, trivial prejudices are eradicated—gender, religion, geography.

There will be no room to practice self-expression; every citizen is geared towards the stability of the civilization.

Mediocrity will no longer exist; any form of anomalies will be eliminated as well.

An individual’s goal is to immortalize his or herself; their worth, gauged by the notable achievements accomplished within the given lifetime.

Virtues are blurred, judgments are reserved, and the only thing constant will be apathy.

They say: “Change is good.”

III.

Will you remember?

IV.

If I may allow myself to recall, I believe it has nearly been three years since I last left this lead-lined hangar.

Five since I left the Academy.

Twenty-six since I last came into existence.

Zero since I made a name for myself.

I am citizen number 00010038808.

I am the ninety-ninth roboticist granted a position within the Earth’s science council.

I had worked incessantly, day and night without fail for the past three years just to gain such recognition.

But I come from an illustrious family, a lineage of prominence that dates back as early as the twenty-third century. My father is currently the syphogrant of Cypriot, the twenty-eighth city—he was formerly a famed nuclear chemist that was able to isolate several compounds, inducing an atomic fusion using quasineutral, anisotropic plasmas.

My mother, on the other hand, worked as the head engineer for the Saturn Consolidation Project, stabilizing the planet Saturn’s gravitational field and making it inhabitable for human utility.

It was about time I created history for myself.

V.

I also go by the name: Olivia.

VI.

The opportunity came sixty-three days after my twenty-sixth birthday.

It came in the form of a tiny black box.

“I would like for you to create the perfect human.”

VII.

The request reverberated incessantly without the need of the black box.

“I would like for you to create the perfect human.”

“For you to create the perfect human.”

“Create the perfect human.”


“The Perfect Human.”

VIII.

She was the epitome of perfection.

The image of Alexandra materialized in my mind like a turbulent onslaught of reality; individually, her features were quite plain and predictable but perhaps, as a whole, they complemented her like a trochaic octameter in a poem.

We lay next to each other in post-coital silence whilst counting numerous fissures in the ceiling as if they were stars arranged into a constellation; she puffs perfectly shaped smoke rings in tangents—how strange, even those are complementary to her universe.

“What is?” Alexandra asks as she inconspicuously stubs the cigarette butt against the edge of the metal table.

I turn my head towards the right, facing her fully. For that brief moment, I don’t mind the strong scent of nicotine. She continues to look at me passively, ambivalently—perhaps in a manner that suggests scrutiny.

I can feel the tiny jut of bone on her left wrist digging against mine.

“What is what?” I ask, slightly a bit disinterested.

She pushes herself elegantly upright in one fluid motion; her hair draped over the expanse of her back. She gathers them loosely with both hands raised slightly above her head thus revealing the exquisite curve of her nape.

My eyes trace over the smooth muscles outlined by her glistening skin.

She tilts her face carefully, hooded eyes lazily doing a gradual once-over.

“Complementary to my universe?” She asks nonchalantly, her voice smooth and slick, rich and deep.

Everything, I responded in my mind as she lowers down her head slightly to engage in what is said to be the most classic form of intimacy yet for me, will always remain the most sensual.

I kiss her back with much fervor and my universe shatters into tiny, fragmented pieces all over again.

IX.

I named her Elizabeth.

X.

I felt lips pressed against the back of my neck.

“Those seem familiar.”

Nimble fingers working their way around my right bicep, flitting light against the skin of my arm, slowly trailing down to my inner wrist.

I arched my back against her and shivered.

The air seemed particularly cool that day.

I pried her fingers away gently, setting it against the surface of the metal table. Now was not the time to engage in such absurdities.

I went on to massage the android’s artificial skin, which is made out of tinted porous polymer film implanted against its titanium framework.

The texture similar to that of human skin.

So much like human skin.

“Those are my breasts,” Alexandra states plaintively.

“Those are your breasts.” I mimic.

She steps back abruptly, an influx of air rushing in between the formerly occupied space.

“I should get going.”

“You should.”

XI.

“You have become quite attached to your work.”

Alexandra loomed over Elizabeth, examining her progress. I paid no attention to her histrionic claims—sometimes, ignorance is the cure for envy.

I lifted the android’s fingertips, watching them spasm underneath my gaze. This is a breakthrough—her sensory perception and kinesthetic functions are working extremely well.

Much akin to a human being’s.

“Alexandra,” I lifted my head and looked up to her, “You are blocking my light.”

She stood motionless, challenging me with her stony countenance. Alexandra abhorred having her authority being challenged; this was something I had become used to upon dealing with her, I had come to admire it at times even.

Today, however, it annoyed me.

“You have become attached to your work,” She continued monotonously, “gravely attached to your work in a manner that is more than necessary.

“It cannot be Olivia, do you not see the irony of your task? A robot can never compare to the sublimity of a human being much less aspire to be a perfect one.” She bit out viciously, taking a step towards the lifeless Elizabeth, lifting her chin and shifting her face roughly from one side to the other with much less solicitude than I would have preferred.

I grabbed her forearm and pried them away from the possibility of creating damage.

“Please leave.”

She pulled her hand back with brute force.

“She is but a cheap imitation.”

Sometimes, I can no longer tell whether she’s envious of me—my passion, my depth, my success—or of Elizabeth—certainly because she has the very characteristics Alexandra lacks.

She stalks off without so much as a word.

XII.

That was the last I’ve heard of Alexandra.

XIII.

When I began teaching Elizabeth the foundations of speech and phonetics, she suddenly interrupted my discourse by asking what love is.

What is love?

For a while, I could not answer.

It was not because I did not know but more of the fact that I was unfamiliar with it. There are seemingly endless translations of various synonyms and descriptions as provided by the world however, nothing could accurately suffice—even to a human being, what more an android, who is, for now, designed to be human?

For the remaining weeks to follow, I could not answer still.

“It is complicated,” I started, “but I think my relationship with you pretty much encapsulates the concept.”

Elizabeth looks up at me with child-like curiosity ready to absorb every inch of knowledge I could provide. “Then why do you love me?”

“Because I created you,” I said simply, dissatisfied with my own answer.

It only served to heighten the confusion and inquisitiveness in Elizabeth’s expression.

XIV.

It came about to the moment that I had to let her go.

I cupped her on the cheek in a rather intimate manner, boring her seemingly vapid eyes into mine.

“Do you love me?” I had asked hesitantly, desperately.

For a fleeting moment, she looked at me in what I had possibly imagined as tender yet filled with pity.

“I am sorry,” she said out of propriety as I had taught her to do, “I still do not know enough to answer your question.”

I had not realized when my hands had dropped to my sides.

XV.

I have succeeded in so far as I have failed.

XIV.

And so I let it go.


Title: Ninety-Eight Percent Complete, Titanium-Lined Android
An Adaptation of: Ovid’s Pygmalion
With slight references from: Sir Thomas More’s Utopia
By: Dominique Marie M. Tiu


Characters
Olivia – A roboticist, relatively 26-27 years old
Alexandra – her lover, 30 years old
Elizabeth – Android, seemingly between 25 – 30 years old
Benefactor – Anonymous

Time and Place
The play is set in the future in an atypical Utopic society with fifty-two cities; it is in Cypriot, the twenty-eighth city. The environment will not look any different from the contemporary world hence time is of no value however, it is important to point out the predominance of industrialism. The play transpires particularly in a whitewashed office encased in glass; it has a distinctly large metal table in the middle with a workstation, which is cluttered with office paraphernalia, computers, and numerous wires.

Outline

Scene 1
Alexandra pays her colleague Olivia a visit in her office; she presents to her a task of heading a project from an anonymous benefactor. She hands Olivia a tiny black package before leaving to attend to her own projects; Olivia, in turn, opens the tiny black box and receives a recording of the benefactor’s request to fashion a perfect human out of an android.

Scene 2
Olivia sits at the edge of the metal table, playing with shadows cast by the lone-desk light on her workstation. Alexandra lies down next to her, puffing smoke rings. It is implied that Alexandra and Olivia had slept together. Alexandra talks about Olivia’s blueprint for the android, pointing out the resemblance between her breasts and the proposed ones for the android. As Alexandra succumbs to sleep, Olivia stares at her intently before proceeding to her workstation to create the blueprint of the android’s face. Ever so often, she looks at Alexandra’s face intently and inputs several characteristics.

Scene 3
The android is nearly complete; it lies on the metal table lifeless but very much akin to a human being. Alexandra is in the room, observing Olivia flit about and examining the robot for any possible imperfection. The conversation starts out lightly with Alexandra comparing the characteristics between her, the robot, and Olivia. The topic escalates to the robot’s mode of assimilating information—Olivia prefers giving her merely sensory perception and kinesthetic functions while taking a personal approach in education; Alexandra, information-ready microchip software. Alexandra makes a move to examine the robot closely but is put off by Olivia with a sharp slap on the hand; Alexandra stalks out of the room without so much as a word.

Scene 4
Olivia breathes life into the android.

Scene 5
Alexandra examines the android from a distance; Olivia is ecstatically teaching the robot basic language. Alexandra accuses Olivia of being too involved with her project, pointing out the lack of communication and goes on a vindictive tirade about how a robot can never be a perfect human. Olivia becomes slightly agitated; the robot senses her discomfort, acts on its primal kinesthetic functions as inputted by her creator and lunges towards Alexandra. Alexandra grabs the nearest object and makes a swift cut across the android’s face thus revealing titanium metal underneath. Olivia and Alexandra get into another fight, which results, to Alexandra permanently signing off the project.

Scene 6
Olivia repairs the android’s face, going off to a monologue involving the need to immediately repair imperfections. She is interrupted by her own answering machine; Alexandra has left her a vague apology. Olivia deletes the message.

Scene 7
Olivia stresses the importance of the classics and enunciations; she goes on to a lesson of phonetics with a poem by Jean Leon-Gerome (Pygmalion and the Statue):

Pygmalion loathing their lascivious Life,
Abhorred all Womankind, but most a Wife:
So single chose to live, and shunned to wed,
Well pleased to want a Consort of his Bed.
Yet fearing Idleness, the Nurse of Ill,
In Sculpture exercised his happy Skill;
And carved in Ivory such a Maid, so fair,
As Nature could not with his Art compare,
Were she to work; but in her own Defence,
Must take her Pattern here, and copy hence.
Pleased with his Idol, he commends, admires,
Adores; and last, the Thing adored, desires—

She is interrupted in mid-tirade by the Android (to which she fondly calls, “Elizabeth”), thrown off by a question about the meaning of love. Reluctantly, Olivia parallels her relationship with Elizabeth as an example of the concept. Elizabeth states her incapability of comprehending. Olivia assures her that it is perfectly human to do so.

Scene 8
Elizabeth examines Olivia’s naked body, curiously touching several parts and lapping up each and every reaction elicited. Olivia explains to her the need to engage in sexual actions to achieve a certain level of intimacy and at the same time, derive pleasure. She explains, it is what people do at times, to express their love. Olivia proceeds to spread Elizabeth’s legs open to demonstrate.

Scene 9
Olivia primps Elizabeth up prior to shipping her off to the original benefactor; she works her way around hesitantly, slightly a bit edgy, moving around with less ease. She fixes the pod used to host Elizabeth on while engaging her in small pep talks. She finally confronts her robot, telling her frankly that she is capable of not sending her off to the benefactor and is torn between an internal battle of wanting to keep the android for herself and wanting to fulfill her role as a mere roboticist at the edge of a scientific breakthrough. As a sort-of ultimatum, she asks Elizabeth if she loves her—to which, the robot apologizes with propriety, telling her that she does not comprehend the concept fully to attest to it. Olivia kisses the robot on the forehead and unwires the robot’s system, allowing it to slump limply against her.

Scene 10
The entire scene changes, the blank wall behind the workstation is filled up with newspaper clippings of the android and the special benefactor. The metal table is filled with spare robotic limbs, several are scattered around the floor. Olivia is slumped on her workstation, drawing sketches and blueprints, examining it, and then hastily crumpling it. On the background, the answering machine chimes on an eleventh message from Alexandra.



I would like to thank:i_l0ve_my_az,archangel_dream, ravyn_ashling, and Reis' friend Jeremy plapla_lord.
Tags: rl
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