Excerpt from ”Intensifying Hearts & Dreams” – season 17, episode 59

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Int: Location unknown, Pastor Jing’s auditing chamber

MARCIA is sitting despondently on the edge of a divan. Long time no see, MARCIA! She seems as scattered as ever, and is nervously looking around the small room, waiting for someone. There is a chair for a practitioner to sit in as well as a small table with a glass of water and an e-meter. MARCIA jumps, startled, when PASTOR JING suddenly enters. The PASTOR strides purposefully over to his chair, all the while scanning a folder held in his hand. He addresses his patient nonchalantly, without meeting her pleading gaze.

PASTOR JING

Right, MARCIA WILKINSON. You are troubled by memories of trauma sustained at the Gastronomy Institute and have been under the wicked influence of psychiatry. Is that correct?

 

MARCIA

Yes, PASTOR…

 

PASTOR JING

You are also victimised by the loss of your paramour, PJALTUR, whose alleged death you have not been able to move past. Is that also correct?

 

MARCIA

Ye- (Crying)

 

PASTOR JING wags his finger importantly at her.

PASTOR JING

Now, young lady, you must realise that death is a natural part of the bridge to total freedom. Why, even L. RON HUBBARD himself elected to undergo death so that he could continue his important work unfettered by his connection to this mortal life. As such, it is vitally important for your recovery that you admit that PJALTUR’s death was not the end of him as a person, and indeed, is not a cause for concern.

 

MARCIA

Yes, father. But I can’t forget him… He was the love of my life… He was going to bring me love, happiness, and those special things… (Crying)

 

PASTOR JING

I see there is much work still to be done. Well, no matter. You are in capable hands here. We shall start the session, and I shall simply have to redirect your mind if it chooses to dwell overmuch on PJALTUR’s demise. Grasp the cans, please.

 

MARCIA grasps the e-meter’s cans.

PASTOR JING

Close your eyes and become relaxed. Deep breaths. Now tell me the first thought that comes into your mind.

 

MARCIA

When I was a kid… DADDY used to take me down to the dandelion fields… We were happy…

 

PASTOR JING

False. The e-meter indicates you’re reciting an engram. In other words, you were adrift and your analytical mind can’t remember what truly happened at those fields. How old were you?

 

MARCIA

T- twelve… I think…

 

PASTOR JING

Take me back to the beginning of the earliest time you can remember going to those fields and recount the memory for me.

 

MARCIA

All right…

 

Quick zoom in to MARCIA’s face complete with cheezy visual effect. We are now in her mind.


Ext: Dandelion fields

DADDY

See this, my god-born daughter? One day, these fields will all be yours along with your blessed inheritance.

 

YOUNG MARCIA

Really, DAD? I’m so lucky to have a successful father! I love the dandelions. They indicate to me that which is fleeting, effervescent.

 

PASTOR JING

False. E-meter says no. They indicated to you something else.

 

MARCIA

All right, I’ll try to re-remember.

 

YOUNG MARCIA

They indicate to me things that shall be lost.

 

PASTOR JING

Better. Now, take that feeling and take us to the first memory before this that springs to mind.


Int: the Intensifying Hearts and Dreams Club, youth centre

MARCIA is about ten years old. She is being introduced to PJALTUR.

DADDY

Now, MARCIA my daughter, this young lad has just been accepted into the Club’s Youth Executive and Luxury Training Program. He will be an important part of our future and you two will be fast friends.

 

YOUNG PJALTUR

Hey, baby.

 

YOUNG MARCIA

(Gulp) H-h-hello…

 

DADDY

Surely you will show PJALTUR around the Club for me.

 

PASTOR JING

No, false. He did say that, but he meant something else than what your youthful mind interpreted.

 

MARCIA

He… Gave me to PJALTUR? Even at that early age, I was entered into an arranged marriage?

 

PASTOR JING

The e-meter indicates that an arranged marriage isn’t quite it… But you’re getting closer. Fast-forward to a little bit later.

 

FYLOSO

My, this is interesting! Stellar stuff, PASTOR!


Int: the Intensifying Hearts and Dreams Club, café

YOUNG MARCIA is nervously speaking with YOUNG PJALTUR while drinking root beer.

YOUNG MARCIA

I love root beer!

 

YOUNG PJALTUR

Me too, babe, but maybe we could get into something a bit stronger, eh?

 

He winks at her.

YOUNG MARCIA

That sounds fun, but we’re literally ten years old right now.

 

PASTOR JING

Ah-ha! Even when it happened, you realised that wasn’t what he said. Nothing gets past the e-meter!

 

YOUNG PJALTUR

Yeah, I didn’t really say that. Wouldn’t really make sense. So what are your hobbies, favourite colours and favourite celebrity crushes?

 

YOUNG MARCIA

Well…

 

They continue chatting.

FYLOSO

My guess is that it’s time for the next memory!

 

PASTOR JING

That’s enough puppy love. Time for the next memory. But this time, I would like you to take us forward to the next strong memory of PJALTUR you have! Don’t think about his death, though, that would poison the entire session.

 

MARCIA

All this remembering is hard.


Int: Wilkinson household, kitchen

YOUNG MARCIA and YOUNG PJALTUR are finishing having lunch at the table. NICKY, the wife of MARCIA’s father, hovers nearby looking for something to critisise.

MARCIA

This is about two weeks later. The first time PJALTUR met my evil stepmother… Oh, this is an awful memory…

 

PASTOR JING

Stay with it. Be strong.

 

YOUNG MARCIA

So after the waterpark, I figure we might go look at the circus! That would be fun, wouldn’t it, PJALT?

 

NICKY scoffs in the background.

YOUNG PJALTUR

Sure thing, MAR! I like to look at the fancy elephants.

 

NICKY

You’ve just been invited into our house, and all of a sudden you’re suggesting to my precious daughter that she should expose herself to those nasty gypsies of the circus? Surely you realise she will be snatched away. I will have no daughter of mine go near such degenerates, it simply does not befit her status, riches and beauty! I am also very hesitant of you, young man. My wretched husband surely made a mistake by entering you into the Youth Program, being that you are from such a substandard family. You simply must disinherit all of your kin! Your clothes are cheap and stupid. Your hairstyle is not up to snuff. And I will not have you endangering my loved daughter on that bicycle, either! This is the end of the line for you, young man; I shall have you sent to the coal mines for your disrespect! Enjoy your hard fourty-hour shifts with no breaks! Ha ha ha!

 

The children simply stare. What a madwoman.

YOUNG PJALTUR

If I did something to offend, ma’am, I-

 

YOUNG MARCIA

You’re not my real mother! You can’t tell me what to do, I’m gonna tell DAD!

 

At this comment, NICKY leans back, shrieks like a vulture, and spits YOUNG MARCIA fiercely in the face. Then, she speaks, her voice half an octave lower and clawing its way out of her throat like an ancient underwater rat.

NICKY

How dare you question my motherhood??? I may not have given you the birth, but you are only alive because I will it so! I could have slaughtered you manyfold times since my marriage in wedding bliss to D’ADDARIO! That is any wife’s godly right! You live only by my mercy and from this day forth you will obey my commands! You will, you will, you will!!!

 

FYLOSO

I am coming to the belated conclusion that this lady’s childhood had its blemishes.

 

MARCIA and YOUNG MARCIA are both crying. Then the action freezes.

PASTOR JING

This is all very typical childhood coming-of-age pranks and silliness, not worthy of concern. A dedicated auditing session will have these paltry engrams wiped. In a second, PJALTUR jumps to your defence, cementing his place in your heart for good – sentimental, jejune malarkey. However, there is something here regarding your birth, MARCIA. Take us back to that seminal moment.

 

MARCIA

Oh, now I’m just supposed to recall my birth like it’s nothing???

 

PASTOR JING

Don’t be fresh now, girl. This is all for your own good.

 

MARCIA wipes her tears, screws her face up in concentration, and remembers… The scene swirls and falls away in psychedelic colours.


Int: Location unknown, hazy laboratory

Green smoke, great cylinders of strange fluids… We see glimpses of a dark laboratory for forbidden science.

MARCIA

What… Is this…? This doesn’t look like Doomtown’s luxury maternity ward. Who is my mother anyway?

 

MAN’S VOICE

Don’t hesitate, my old friend. These Gastronomical practices are perfectly safe. I’ll have the child ready in an hour or so.

 

MARCIA

Oh, he is speaking on the phone with an unheard individual. I wonder…

 

MAN’S VOICE

Yes, the work is going quite well. I need to make some adjustments, and then-

 

The scene begins to disintegrate like the reception of an old television. The man’s voice is broken up by static and we can only hear scattered syllables.

MAN’S VOICE

-the formula and—–to slake the body, and once———-these things can happen to the temporal lobes. Yes, quite the same as ANG—-vampire bats. The next step will be t———fe——-ny——–eh—–fa——–ju——3-4——-cheese in the rain——-t the idea from FRANK, actuall—–le——–v-w———-w-r———-t-e———-pop tunes.

 

MARCIA

I can’t make heads or tails of this, PASTOR.

 

PASTOR JING

Yes, it seems an advanced engram is blocking this memory from the future. There is something crucial here, but we can’t access it. But this gives me another idea… This is unorthodox, but perhaps we shall investigate the circumstances of PJALTUR’s disappearance after all. Indeed, even L. RON HUBBARD himself sometimes broke his own rules to advance the science of Dianetics to new levels. MARCIA… Do the opposite of what I told you. Dwell on PJALTUR’s last moments in your life! Take us to that fateful day!

 

MARCIA

Oh no…


Int: the Gastronomy Institute, laboratory for forbidden science

The green fog clears, but nothing else about the place changes. A variety of school children are on the floor, writhing in agony. The adult MARCIA and PJALTUR are there. DR. ADAMSON is working the science computer.

MARCIA

This is just the way I remember it… We were invited to help look after the children, and then the pigeons flew in and interfered with the Gastronomical machinery… It was a terrible disaster.

 

YOUNGER MARCIA

DOCTOR! Shouldn’t we do something about this???

 

DR. ADAMSON

The children should never have been brought into this part of the Institute. PJALTUR, I blame you for this, a lot!

 

PJALTUR

Don’t worry, I’ll just throw this switch and shut down the procedure! MAR, take that football bat and waft away the pigeons!

 

She tries to follow his instructions, but the pigeons are cantankerous.

YOUNGER MARCIA

It’s not working! I can’t deal with these birds!

 

PASTOR JING

Of course you couldn’t, as these weren’t your average birds. Those pigeons are actually the divided body of one of our local demigods.

 

MARCIA

Hang on, PASTOR. Something’s starting to bug me. Did… Did PJALTUR really die here? Didn’t I speak with him after this? I accused him of cheating on me and I threw my purse and fancy hat to the floor in a fury…

 

PJALTUR

Aaaah!!! I am being torn asunder by the pigeons!!!

 

MARCIA

Oh, how terrible! But this doesn’t seem to add up…

 

PASTOR JING

Very good! Very, very good, my young apprentice. Yes, you are right. Something changed in the basic fabric of reality this day. Events were switched around, or perhaps erased… But your broken mind still remembers them the way they happened the first time around. I have been looking for the answer for a long time, and your memories have finally given me a vital clue to the truth!

 

MARCIA

Do I get to choose which memory is the truth? Because I would prefer PJALTUR dying to him cheating on me.

 

FYLOSO

And there it is in a nutshell, isn’t it? The reason for her trauma and shattered psychology.

 

PASTOR JING

That’s it, MARCIA, do you realise what a crucial breakthrough this is??? The reason for your troubled mind’s actions is that reality was altered, but still you would rather believe the original version of events so your mind refuses to forget it fully!

 

MARCIA

So PJALTUR cheated… And he is alive…?

 

PASTOR JING

We’ll see if we can’t work out what happened to PJALTUR. Try to keep your mind in the current timeline, where he wasn’t killed at the Institute, and stay here.

 

MARCIA

But was I here at all in the version where PJALT didn’t die?

 

PASTOR JING

It shouldn’t matter. The e-meter indicates that we can find the truth by staying in the same place and accessing some memories in your reactive mind. Don’t you think you would have been brought back here for questioning after the accident?

 

MARCIA

Maybe… do they usually bring victims of accidents back to the site?

 

PASTOR JING

They do. It is a known practice to let people more easily recall the details.

 

FYLOSO

Are you sure? That doesn’t seem quite right.

 

MARCIA

So the police brought me back to the Institute for questioning after the accident… And I forgot?

 

PASTOR JING

Right, but for one detail. The police wouldn’t have been the ones to bring you.

 

MARCIA

So… My psychiatrist?

 

PASTOR JING

Try again.

 

MARCIA

My… Parents?

 

PASTOR JING

Of course not. Who is the leader of this town, and the one with the most to gain from working troublesome conundrums out?

 

MARCIA

FRANK?

 

PASTOR JING

No, you stupid… Who is the leader of this town??? THE MAYOR, of course! THE MAYOR would surely want to bring you back to the site for questioning!

 

FYLOSO

…Really? That doesn’t quite add up, you know.

 

MARCIA

Oh, okay. So THE MAYOR brought me back here.

 

PASTOR JING

Right. Try to find that memory and we’ll run through it.

 

MARCIA

I’ll try…

 

A great deal of static and screen morphing. Eerie sound effects as we travel into this last memory.


Int: the Gastronomy Institutte, laboratory for forbidden science

Same room, a while later. YOUNGER MARCIA is being sheperded into the room by THE MAYOR and his loyal assistant, MYSTERY MASK.

THE MAYOR

Speakin’ as leader of this here town, I need’s y’all to tell me what went down right here.

 

YOUNGER MARCIA

Yes, sir. There were pigeons flying around. The children died. And my love, PJALTUR… I haven’t seen him since then. I fear he was also injured, or worse…

 

The e-meter cans in the current MARCIA’s hands are vibrating more and more intensely.

MARCIA

Uh, PASTOR, I think there’s something wrong with my cans.

 

FYLOSO

Not as far as I can tell, but I haven’t had the pleasure in person! Hey-oh!

 

PASTOR JING

There’s nothing whatsoever wrong with your cans, young woman. We must schedule some auditing to work on your body image issues.

 

MARCIA

No, not that… The e-meter is acting up.

 

PASTOR JING

That’s normal. Let’s stay with the memory.

 

THE MAYOR

I am sure the young man is jess fine. In fact, between y’all and me, he might just have gotten hisself a gooood job offer on account of getting wrapped up in all the supernatural mumbo-jumbo!

 

THE MAYOR elbows MYSTERY MASK and winks significantly.

MARCIA

Did he seriously just strongly imply that he kidnapped PJALTUR and turned him into his masked slave??? And somehow I didn’t remember that? That really stretches- Ouch!!! The e-meter is about to blow!

 

The e-meter is shaking and turning red. The display reads ”ERROR – BAD MEMORY ERROR – BAD ERROR. (If error persists, contact your nearest Religious Technology Center.)”

PASTOR JING

The e-meter acts this way when a memory is particularly true and trustworthy. But I’m glad you picked up on the subtle underlying insinuations of the evil MAYOR. It seems he has stolen your lover away. I can help, though… If you would give me your loyalty and sign some harmless documents, I would be willing to transform you into a CRIMINAL CYBORG. You will get the use of your hands back, and also aquire the power you would need to avenge yourself against THE MAYOR!

 

MARCIA

What the hell are you saying??? Are you insane??? Aaah, my hands… Burning! The burning!!!

 

PASTOR JING

That’s enough for now. Hit the panic button.

 

MARCIA hits the panic button on the e-meter, and everything goes dark.


Int: location unknown, Pastor Jing’s auditing chamber

The room has become full of smoke. Sparks are coming out of the e-meter’s base unit. MARCIA immediately drops the cans.

MARCIA

Aaah! My hands!!!

 

She stares at her burnt hands.

PASTOR JING

Helpers!!! Get her to the Gastronomy Institute for treatment!!!

 

Several Committee slaves run into the room and hurry MARCIA toward the exit. Before we follow her out the door, we can see a glimpe of the PASTOR rubbing his hands together and chuckling to himself.

Int: government centre, antechamber

MARCIA

(Sobbing, as usual)

So… PJALT is still alive…? And he might have cheated on me…? And he’s kidnapped and enslaved by THE MAYOR…? I… I don’t want to become a CRIMINAL CYBORG, but on the other hand… I need to know the truth. I must find out what happened…

 

As MARCIA is lead out of the building by the slaves, we can faintly hear PASTOR JING’s demented laughter…

(CONT)

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One thought on “Excerpt from ”Intensifying Hearts & Dreams” – season 17, episode 59

  1. Pingback: Excerpt from ”Intensifying Hearts & Dreams” – season 17, episode 53 | a truth called nothing

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