SOUND: Tense music, ominous. Builds before giving way forest sounds. The engine roars faintly in the background as Devin drives with Markus back to Haven.
DEVIN: We’re almost at the border, Mark, so look alive. (Slight beat) Mark, are you listening to me?
MARKUS: (as if waking from a daze) What? Yeah, I am.
DEVIN: Markus, if you keep grinning like that they’ll get suspicious when we return. You need to pretend that I was actually training you.
MARKUS: I’m sorry, I can’t help it. Can you believe how happy Isa was? When we gave her the food? And I finally got to meet her, face to face. It was—
DEVIN: Markus! I know you’re excited and feel really good about what you did. Your friend is very sweet, but we are not in the clear yet. Save your celebrations for when you get back in your room at home.
MARKUS: Right. Sorry Dad.
DEVIN: If anyone finds out what we were really doing, they could deport us or they— (stops himself, breaths heavily) I’m sorry. I just love you very much. I don’t want to see anything happen to you.
MARKUS: I know. I love you too. I know this was really hard for you to manage but thank you. We did a good thing today.
DEVIN: Others won’t view it that way, but yes. We did do good today. You did good, kid.
MARKUS: I’m not a kid anymore.
DEVIN: In your dreams.
MARKUS: At least I’m not an old man like you.
DEVIN: Hey now.. Is that any way to talk to your dad, or your commanding officer?
MARKUS: No sir. What’ll the punishment be? Detainment, or am I grounded?
DEVIN: Quiet, you little punk. We’re arriving back now.
SOUND: They laugh together, getting out of the vehicle. Doors slam. Footsteps are heard. Devin suddenly grows quiet. Markus keeps laughing.
MARKUS: Is it time for your nap? I’d hate to—
DEVIN: (forceful whisper) Shhh..Markus, enough.
MARKUS: What is it?
DEVIN: (quietly) Do you hear that?
SOUND: The sounds of the forest have seemed to fade, except the wind through the trees.
MARKUS: What do we—
SOUND: Guards shouting, and spotlights flashing on.
ELLI: Put your hands up! Don’t move!
MARKUS: Dad, what’s—
ELLI: I said don’t move! I don’t want to hurt you.
DEVIN: Just do as they say Markus.
ELLI: Devin Gallagher, Markus Gallagher, you’re both under arrest for the illegal distribution of Haven property.
MARKUS: Wait, you can’t do that! It was for my friend. She was dying!
GUARD SOO: That’s enough out of you!
ELLI: Don’t put up a fight. You’re outgunned.
MARKUS: Let go of me!
DEVIN: Easy Elli. We’ll go quietly. Markus, quietly.
DEVIN: Do as they say—they won’t hurt us.
ELLI: (static of walkie-talkie) Commander, we have the targets in custody. En route to the Citadel now. Over.
SOUND: The commotion fades away as tense music builds.
SOUND:The sounds of the forest return, especially the wind in the trees. Crunch of sticks underfoot.
ISA: Are you sure you can carry all that, Mama?
SOUND: exerts effort, trying to lift the food Markus delivered
LOUISA: I’m fine. Let’s just get this back home quickly. Raine will be awake by now.
SOUND: exerts effort again. Rustles in the bushes.
ISA: Mama. Stop. Don’t move.
SOUND: Rustles continue.
LOUISA: Its probably just a rabbit.
ISA: That’s no animal. (calling out) Don’t come any closer, whoever you are! We have a gun!
SOPHEA: Whoa, please! Don’t shoot!
ISA: Who are you?
SOPHEA: Just a passerby. My name’s Sophea.
LOUISA: Hello, Sophea. I’m-
ISA: Ma! Awfully close to Haven to be just passing by.
SOPHEA: Could say the same. What are you two doing out here?
ISA: Doesn’t matter.
SOPHEA: Well, looks like you’re having a hard time doing...whatever you’re doing. Do you need some help?
LOUISA: Why thank you, Sophea. That would be-
ISA: No! No, we’re fine. Just stay back.
SOPHEA: Take it easy. I’m not a guard.
ISA: How can we trust you?
LOUISA: Honestly, Isa-
ISA: Sh! Ma! Please!
SOPHEA: Take a look at me? Would any Guard have hair this frizzy or clothes this dirty?
ISA: Well, no. I guess...
LOUISA: See? Just stop and take a breath. I’m sure Insiders don’t just take strolls out in the woods like this. Please excuse my daughter, Sophea. I’m Louisa and I am certainly glad to have an extra set of hands!
SOPHEA: Here I can take these, sorry I didn’t get your name...?
SOPHEA: Nice to meet you. So where are you two from, Isa?
ISA: Just southwest of here. How about you?
SOPHEA: I just came down from the north. Been camping for about a week now.
LOUISA: In the woods near Haven? Brave.
SOPHEA: Why do you say that?
ISA: You haven’t heard all the stories? Masked men and women with electric guns? Mines scattered in the forest? The pits of corpses?
SOPHEA: You really don’t like the people of Haven?
ISA: I just know they’re on the other side of that wall, and those who weren’t lucky enough to be born in there know how to steer clear. Too much risk.
SOPHEA: Where did the stories come from?
ISA: Parents tell them, kids embellish them.
SOPHEA: It was the same for me. We always would try to spook our friends with stories of Outsi— stories of people in the country.
ISA: You’re from Haven, aren’t you?
SOPHEA: How did you—
ISA: It’s OK. My friend is from Haven. He gave me all this stuff just now.
SOPHEA: Where is he now?
ISA: He went back ‘bout an hour ago.
SOPHEA: He’s a smuggler?
ISA: Son of a guard, but I guess you could call him that now. His name is Markus.
LOUISA: Can we make you something to eat, Sophea? As a thank you for helping us get all this back home?
ISA: Yeah, if there’s anything we can do—
SOPHEA: Actually, there is. Do you have a phone?
SOPHEA: Mine died last week, so I’ve been cut off from my Mom inside. Could I make a call, let her know I’m alright? I really miss her.
LOUISA: Yes, of course!
SOPHEA: Thanks, it means a lot.
ISA: No problem. But I should warn you, Markus wasn’t able to call me at all today.
SOPHEA: They must be tightening security. But even then...
SOPHEA: When I was a kid, we always used to sneak through the wall. There were gaps around the southern edge...
ISA: I don’t know. Markus’ dad is a guard. He said security has been getting tighter.
SOPHEA: Hmm, but maybe you and I could just explore a little? Safety in numbers and all. If we find a way into Haven, I could get back to my family and you could get in.
ISA: I guess, it’s worth a try.
SOPHEA: It would mean a lot to me.
LOUISA: It’s settled then. We will make you a thank you supper and tomorrow, Isa, you and Sophea head towards the wall.
SOPHEA: Thank you.
SOUND: Hopeful music.
SOUND: Hopeful music gives way for something more sinister and dark. A large holding cell. An industrial buzzer goes off, the kind usually accompanying prison doors.
THOMAS: Hey, Alli. Did you hear that?
ALLISON: Yeah. They’re bringing someone new in.
THOMAS: Another member of P.E.A.S.?
ALLISON: Doubtful. We wouldn’t be the only two in this cell if they had a list of names.
THOMAS: We don’t know how long Marlene’s been building a case.
And if I know Marlene, she was probably watching us for a long time. I’m sorry, I should’ve been more careful.
ALLISON: It’s not your fault. You weren’t even there when Lianne and I were apprehended. Don’t beat yourself up. For now, we just need to focus on getting out again.
THOMAS: Somehow. (sigh)
SOUND: Another buzzer, and a heavy gate slides open. Footsteps can be heard entering.
MARKUS: Where did you take my dad? What? Can’t talk?
GUARD SOO: Gallagher is required for further questioning. You’ll wait here until it’s your time.
MARKUS: The only one who needs to answer questions is you! All you thugs at the gates keeping the wall up.
GUARD SOO: You two, backs against the wall!
SOUND: A gate swings open.
GUARD SOO: Step inside please.
MARKUS: Hey, don’t push!
SOUND: A door slams shut and locks.
GUARD SOO: (beginning to walk away) The Defence sector thanks you for your patience.
MARKUS: Up yours!
SOUND: Markus begins pacing in the cell, muttering under his breath in frustration.
THOMAS: Hey, hey kid. You alright?
MARKUS: Yeah, fine. Just great. I might have just sentenced my entire family to be banished, or worse, but you know...just great.
THOMAS: (Chuckles) Easy now.
MARKUS: What’s that supposed to mean? Easy?
THOMAS: I’m just saying, we are all in here for a reason and there’s no use wearing yourself out over it.
MARKUS: Oh yeah? Just what were you doing that you can take things so easy?
THOMAS: Smuggling food and supplies beyond the Wall for P.E.A.S.
MARKUS: That sounds like the worst trade ever.
THOMAS: (laughing) No, not the legume. The group who believes Haven should be responsible for helping the world...get back on track and ending the famine?
MARKUS: Woah. Wait a minute. You’re Thomas Ascott, right?
THOMAS: Yeah, call me Tom.
MARKUS: I’m Mark. Your speech was incredible. It really made me think.
THOMAS: I’m glad. I’m guessing it stirred you to action, given the circumstances of our meeting.
MARKUS: You could say that. My friend, she lives beyond the wall and she was starving. I couldn’t let her and her family die, so I brought them supplies.
ALLISON: You did the right thing.
MARKUS: Yet for some reason I’m in prison. And I don’t even know what they’ve done with my dad. He’s a guard, he got us through the Wall.
ALLISON: Probably wherever they’re keeping my sister, who was made an officer just before her arrest. I’m Allison.
MARKUS: Hey. So what, we’re just supposed to sit here?
ALLISON: Well supper should be anytime now.
MARKUS: Seriously? You’re thinking about food right now.
ALLISON: You bet I am. Food will be coming any moment, and then we’ll have a full stomach to think on. I hope they have buns. I just love the ciabatta rolls.
THOMAS: Alli, you feeling alright?
ALLISON: Never better.
MARKUS: You sure? ‘Cause you sound-
ALLISON: Just wait for the buns, you’ll forget all your problems.
SOUND: A buzzer, and the gate opens.
ALLISON: Ah, right on time.
GUARD: Mealtime. Backs against the wall.
ALLISON: No problem. Tom, Mark, shall we?
SOUND: The gate unlocks and swings open. A tray is placed down on the ground. The gate slams shut.
GUARD: (sarcastically) Enjoy.
SOUND: The buzzer and gate go off again as the guard exits.
ALLISON: What did I tell you? Buns! A whole basket of them!
You know, pre-famine there used to be a saying; “breaking bread together”. It’s when people would share their food. Their bread...and it brought people closer together.
MARKUS: Is she always like this?
THOMAS: Not usually.
ALLISON: (rummaging through the bun basket) In other words, connection.
THOMAS: Is that...?
ALLISON: One phone for the desperately incarcerated? Yes it is.
MARKUS: What? How did you—?
ALLISON: P.E.A.S. has friends in the Guard. That guard thanking us for our patience was a sign.
THOMAS: Alli, you really are full of surprises.
ALLISON: I have some contacts, but we have to use it carefully. If signals start coming from the holding cell, the monitors will send a patrol around and our only chance will be blown.
THOMAS: But it’ll take time for them to trace us.
ALLISON: We still can’t take chances. I’d say no more than 2 calls, maybe a couple texts.
MARKUS: Can I use one of them? I have an idea.
SOUND: Outside the Wall, forest sounds. Footsteps. Wind in trees.
ISA: I’ve never been this close to Haven before.
SOPHEA: Gotta say, it was nicer when I left.
ISA: I don’t know how you plan on getting through the wall. Looks like all the gates are closed.
SOPHEA: There’s gotta be a way. A hole or something like when I was a kid...
SOUND: The phone starts to ring, a ringtone specific to Markus.
ISA: Oh my god! Its him! (into the phone) Mark?
SOUND: All of Markus’ lines are spoken through the phone, with appropriate static and muffling.
MARKUS: Isa? Thank goodness you’re safe.
ISA: I’m fine. What’s going on? Why haven’t you ca-
MARKUS: I don’t have much time. Where are you?
ISA: Outside Haven.
MARKUS: What? Why?
ISA: Time Markus!
MARKUS: Right—I’ve been arrested. The guards got me as soon as we got back to the wall.
ISA: Oh my God. What do we-
MARKUS: I need you to do something for me.
MARKUS: I need you to start recording your story. Talk about Raine and your Mum, talk about the famine, talk about me and my dad getting arrested for trying to help you.
ISA: Sure but what good will that—
MARKUS: I’m going to text you my username and password to HavenLine. It’s an online community for all kinds of groups in Haven. Post your videos to every chat I’m in, tell people to share it.
ISA: What’s that supposed to do?
MARKUS: Give another perspective, make outsiders flesh and blood.
ISA: Are you alright?
MARKUS: Yeah, I have to go though. Isa?
MARKUS: We’re counting on you.
SOPHEA: What’s happening?
ISA: He was arrested.
SOPHEA: Isa, I’m so sorry.
ISA: He wants me to start posting my story to HavenLine?
SOPHEA: Humanize the outsiders, right?
SOPHEA: I’ll be your camera woman and show you how to access HavenLine, but mind if I try calling my mum again? I think she might be able to help.
SOUND: Phone dialing, then ringing.
PHONE: You have reached Hope Industries. You are calling from an unsecured outside line. Please standby for security measures.
ISA: Whoa—is security always this intense? No wonder I could never call Mark.
PHONE: If you have a security code, please enter it now. (Sound of phone dials) Hello Sophea Chea. You have clearance to contact one resident. Please state the name of the resident you want to contact today.
SOPHEA: Jana Nok.
PHONE: To connect, answer the following security question. Where does the green glass rise?
SOPHEA: Come on, come on. Pick up.
SOUND: Jana’s voice is muffled in the same way as Markus' was, being on the phone.
JANA: Hello? Who is this?
JANA: Sophea! Oh my goodness, where are you? Are you alright? When I stopped hearing from you, I feared the worst.
SOPHEA: It’s so good to hear your voice. I’m outside Haven, I’m almost home.
JANA: Go up to the gates. Ask them to let you in. Explain who you are.
SOPHEA: I don’t think that’ll work Mom, besides I need to do something out here and I need your help.
JANA: My help? For what?
SOPHEA: Get your friends together. The guards just arrested someone for giving food to starving outsiders.
SOPHEA: I doubt the guards will take nicely to being asked about it. Record your story, post the videos on HavenLine. Tell people to share it.
JANA: Sophea, how is this going to get you inside the Wall?
SOPHEA: By making it too unbearable to keep the gates shut. I love you Mom. I’m counting on you.
JANA: I love you, sweet pea.
SOPHEA: Be safe.
SOUND: The call ends.
SOPHEA: Ready for you close up, Isa?
ISA: As I’ll ever be.
SOUND: Tense music. Marlene’s command center at the Citadel. Murmurs between Marlene and Elli, interrupted by a door opening and closing.
KEELAN: Madam Councillor.
MARLENE: Keelan. Keelan, you’ve caused me quite the headache.
KEELAN: I’m aware, and—
MARLENE: Your recommendation, what was her name again? (Shuffling of papers) Lianna Walker...
KEELAN: Madam Councilor, I had no idea she would-
MARLENE: And now we seem to have a full-blown protest outside the Citadel.
ELLI: They are demanding that the gates be opened.
KEELAN: Why? I can have guards down there immediately-
ELLI: Videos of an unknown outsider have been posted to every chat in HavenLine. The young woman in question reports that her friend was arrested after having given provisions to help her starving family.
MARLENE: It seems we have a bigger problem than a rouge C.O. on our hands, Commander.
KEELAN: I will have all videos removed and I will have a complete report-
MARLENE: I certainly hope you will, Commander.
MARLENE: Take care, Keelan.
KEELAN: ...You too, Madam Councillor.
SOUND: Door opens and closes.
ELLI: Well he seemed genuinely surprised.
MARLENE: I don’t think he had any clue about any of this. This is coming from inside our walls but he’s certainly clueless about it all...makes me more than a little concerned about who I have in charge around here. You might be due for a promotion.
SOUND: A text tone.
MARLENE: What’s that?
ELLI: I just got a message. From...Tom Ascott.
MARLENE: What? How?
ELLI: I...don’t know.
MARLENE: What does it say?
ELLI: It’s an audio recording. Let me play it.
SOUND: Thomas’ voice plays, static and muffled slightly as through a phone.
THOMAS: Aunt Marlene, I want to talk to you. I’m sure you’ve heard of, and maybe even seen, the videos that have been filling up HavenLine. You told me once that a great many people will disagree with my sentiment of outreach. If you look out your window, you’ll see a great many people have stood up. They want change. I don’t want to see anything bad happen to you. Let me help you. The future is coming. Which side of history do you want to be on?
SOUND: It clicks off.
MARLENE: Well, I suppose we have an idea who our man on the inside is.
SOUND: Shuffling of papers as Elli and Marlene move to leave the room, and the sounds of the protest outside enter the room.
SOUND: The sounds of the protest transition from being muted as through a speaker to sounding as if you are standing in the middle of the crowd. An assortment of voices can be heard shouting slogans and chants about outreach. Jana’s voice comes forward from the soundscape and becomes clearer.
JANA: My name is Jana Nok. I have lived in Haven since I was a little girl, and I love my community. Right now, I am without my daughter. She is outside the gates of Haven, unable to get back home because the gates remain closed and the guards have become wardens. We are not citizens of Haven any longer, we are inmates in a jail! They have claimed it is for our own protection, but they are keeping out one of their own. I want to hold my baby girl in my arms once again and welcome her home properly instead of having to fight just to see her again. Open the gates, Marlene! Open the gates!
SOUND: The sounds of the crowd
SOPHEA: My name is Sophea Nok. I grew up in Haven, beside many of you. I have seen the outside, and it is not what the defense sector has told us it’s like. People are doing their best to create a better life for themselves, but they’re disadvantaged at every turn. They are curious about our way of life and are hungry to learn about how they can start reversing the famine. We can help so many people, if we only open the gates.
ISA: I was offered a job in Haven, and I wanted to take it so that my family could live a better life. My Mom and I work 6 to 7 days a week just to make sure we can feed ourselves a couple of times a week. Sometimes, we don’t get that much. I want my brother to grow up knowing what a full belly is like. I want him to have a chance to go to school and lead a life where he doesn’t have to live pay cheque to pay cheque or for food alone. I want my family to feel like they have a chance to live, and don’t fear tomorrow. People of Haven, you have the power to help my family and so many others.
SOUND: A click of a keyboard, and the sounds mute.
MARLENE: (on a walkie-talkie) Elli, dear. Is Mr. Ascott ready? Good. I’m on my way.
SOUND: The observation deck. The sounds of the protest far below.
THOMAS: How are you holding up Elli?
ELLI: I just want Haven to return to normal.
THOMAS: You know it can’t though.
ELLI: A new kind of normal then.
THOMAS: Here’s hoping.
ELLI: Mom always said you were like your father. He’d be proud.
THOMAS: Thank you Elli. That means a lot.
SOUND: Door opens and closes.
MARLENE: I’m sorry for keeping you waiting. I had some matters to attend to.
THOMAS: I’m sure you did.
ELLI: Good luck, Tom.
SOUND: Door opens and closes.
MARLENE: Well played, Mr. Ascott. You succeeded in making Haven tremble.
THOMAS: I can’t take all the credit. Without the people, I’d still be in a cell.
MARLENE: It’s an impressive turnout.
THOMAS: I guess more people agreed with me than you thought.
What’s your move, Marlene?
MARLENE: In all my years as Councilor of Defense, I’ve never had to handle a protest. There were periods of civil unrest, but never outright insurgence. I’ll admit, I’m out of my element. I’m inclined to giving them what they want.
THOMAS: Wha— That would be amazing.
MARLENE: Calm down. It won’t be a free-for-all though. I wouldn’t agree to opening the gates without provisions. We’d need a team to oversee outreach programs, a group to make sure that the interests of Haven are being met while we begin to offer aid. I’d like you to take the helm on that one.
THOMAS: Of course. I don’t want to see Haven fall.
MARLENE: Just the wall...No need to be shy about it. The wall was useful at a time when the world was far more hostile.
THOMAS: Why the change of heart?
MARLENE: I have been the Guard of this keep for more than 50 years. That is a long time to be suspicious and subversive. I’ve missed a lot of opportunities because I was blinded by my duty to the people I swore to protect decades ago when Haven was merely a farmer’s cooperative. I’ve been so busy trying to create and preserve peace for others that I never got to enjoy it for myself. Now, I’m tired of fighting.
THOMAS: You’ve left quite the legacy Marlene.
MARLENE: Shame it ended with a coup.
THOMAS: They don’t want you to resign.
MARLENE: I’m sure I heard, “Down with Schultz” in one of the videos.
THOMAS: They just want the gates opened.
MARLENE: But it is time. My last act as Councilor of Defense will be to open the gates. You might think it oddly sentimental of me, but I was touched by a woman who wanted to be reunited with her daughter. All I’ve ever wanted was what’s best for Elli. When I realized that so many parents are struggling to deliver that love to their child because they simply do not have the means. The parents of the outside need Cameron’s science, Jacob’s practices and your good will...
Jacob would be proud of you, and that everything is going to change.
THOMAS: For the better I hope.
MARLENE: Only time will tell.
SOUND: Soft music to end the Scene.