Thursday, September 13, 2012

Arrival Rejected Story

I'm giving a talk on Monday about a game I helped design.  The game (Arrival: Village Kasike) was made to let the players experience what life was like for the native Taino before the arrival of Columbus.

In the early development phase of the game, I wrote a kick-ass story.  In the end, we had to dump the story because it was "not true to the nature of the Taino," "somewhat insulting to the people we intend to portray," and "jeez, we can't use this."  Here's what I wrote.  You be the judge.
INT. INSIDE HUT - NIGHT
A YOUNG WOMAN (carrying a sack) and two muscular MEN armed with clubs enter.  They approach the bed where an OLD MAN is sleeping.  He wakes at the noise and opens his mouth to scream, but a hand clamps down before he can make a sound.
YOUNG WOMAN
Take him.  If he struggles, tie his hands.
The two men drag him away as the woman watches then she bends down and opens the sack.
EXT. VILLAGE - NIGHT
The YOUNG WOMAN sneaks out of the hut just as A LOT OF WARRIORS approach carrying torches and clubs.  They are dressed differently than the other islanders.  The men are led by LEADER, a vicious man wearing that dangerous expression of determination.  They enter the hut.  The Young Woman slips away unnoticed. 
INT. INSIDE HUT - NIGHT
The MEN surround the bed and turn to look to LEADER.
LEADER
Do it.
They smash the bed with the clubs, sending leaves and twigs flying.  The men stop and pull back the blanket to reveal it has been stuffed with pine cones and branches.  One man reaches down and pulls out a bowl with a crude face drawn on it that had served as a head.  He shows it to LEADER.
LEADER
To the beach!  Quickly!
EXT. BEACH - DAWN
The horizon is just beginning to glow with the promise of sunlight.  On the beach are two canoes being prepared.  One, filled with WOMEN AND CHILDREN is the closest to ready and several WARRIORS are trying to push it out into the water.
Nearby, the YOUNG WOMAN is directing, while the OLD MAN (her father) is sitting, tied to a chair next to her.
OLD MAN
You should have pushed the canoes out first before loading them.

YOUNG WOMAN
The waves were too strong.  We have babies.
There is a shout and both turn to the tree line where a group of TEN WARRIORS and LEADER have burst from the trees.  The Leader walks forward, hands extended and smiling.
LEADER
Please don't go.  We've come to trade and find new homes.
YOUNG WOMAN
We've heard of you.  You move from island to island killing each Kasike so you can rule.  That is not how we live.
LEADER
(waving his warriors forward)
Then it shall be how you die.
She turns to the warriors pushing the canoe who are watching her as they strain forward.
YOUNG WOMAN
We need more time.
Three of them reach into the canoe and pull out clubs.  They turn to run up the beach at their attackers, but she grabs one by an arm.
YOUNG WOMAN
They are a people misled, no killing.
The warrior nods and follows his comrades.  The Young Woman turns and helps the men push the first canoe.
The three warriors face off against the ten and are slowly pushed back down the beach.
The first canoe moves into the water.  The men pushing it climb inside and all begin paddling for the horizon.  The Young Woman turns back to the shore where two men are lifting the Old Man into the second canoe, chair and all.
OLD MAN

You should leave me behind.  I'm only going to slow you down.
The Young Woman shakes her head.
OLD MAN
(showing unexpected emotion)
This is where I was born.
YOUNG WOMAN
I'm sorry, Kasike.  We're going to need your wisdom to survive.
They begin pushing the second canoe.  It moves into the water and they jump inside.  Young Woman turns back to the shore.
The Three Warriors are bloody and barely standing the Ten advance menacingly.  Young Woman whistles and they drop their clubs, running for the water.  They dive in and swim to the canoe, where they are helped aboard.
Leader
(standing calmly)
Bring them back.
The Ten Warriors run to a large set of canoes sitting on the shore.  They begin to ready the canoes but stop suddenly.
The Leader strides over, furious.  He grabs one of the Warriors and shakes him.
LEADER
I said get them!
The warrior points helplessly at the canoes.  They all have holes in them.
EXT. OCEAN - EARLY MORNING
The sun rises slowly as the two canoes move away from shore.  The men and women, even the wounded ones, are paddling madly while children sit inside.  The Young Woman unties her chief from the chair.
OLD MAN
It isn't over.
YOUNG WOMAN
I know.
They both look back to the shore, where LEADER is standing in the waves, screaming incoherently at them.
They all turn towards the rising sun.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bad Luck! @javed

Matthew Kagle said...

I doubt luck has anything to do with it. Merely lack of understanding. Thanks for the vote of confidence, though.