Episode 3: Desolated

[SCENE I. SOPHIE and GAVIN are in a boat which is by most measures far less awesome than the Regret. SOPHIE is piloting; GAVIN is in the back reading a book and occasionally glancing up at their course. They are approaching Desolation Island.]
SOPHIE: I think that’s it.

GAVIN: If ever an island was to be named “desolation island,” that would be it.

SOPHIE: I don’t see any sign of Xenakis. Good. Let’s find a place to park.

GAVIN: I don’t think that’s what you call it.

SOPHIE: Sailors only use nautical jargon to feel superior to land-dwellers. I think that’s bullshit.

(She runs the boat ashore on some rocks; together, they disembark and slowly make their way up the rocks.)


SOPHIE: I admit I was expecting something slightly more . . . private luxury island-like.

GAVIN: We can still go back. If the boat still works.

SOPHIE: No, no. This is even worse. Something sinister is hiding here.

GAVIN: Perhaps that’s why they named it Desolation Island?

SOPHIE: Yes! They’re trying to keep people away!

GAVIN: Yes, but I don’t think–

SOPHIE: Gavin, any secret the Xenakis family is keeping is a secret that is potentially hazardous to the city of Portland. Do I need to remind you of the incident with the Canadians?

GAVIN: Fine, fine.

(They reach the summit and its militaristic-looking entrance. The voice of the COLONEL calls from within.)

THE COLONEL: Who goes there?

GAVIN: What, really?

SOPHIE: It is I, Sophie Swanson, titular heroine! And this is my trusty sidekick–

GAVIN: Gavin. I’m not a sidekick. She’s not the titular heroine of anything.

SOPHIE: I have you know there is a series of exciting adventure stories about me.

(The COLONEL emerges.)

THE COLONEL: What business do you have here? This is private property.

GAVIN: We’re friends of the Xenakis family.

THE COLONEL: Is that so? Well, I suppose you’d better come in. (He leads them to his private study.) If you’ll just wait here. (He departs.)

GAVIN: Somehow I don’t think he’s buying it.

SOPHIE: Maybe it’s because he finds it implausible that the Xenakis family could possibly have any friends.

GAVIN: But Melissa has lots of friends.

SOPHIE: Melissa has people she bullies into cooperating with her.

(The COLONEL returns.)

THE COLONEL: Well, it seems your story checks out. Was there anything in particular you wished to see?

SOPHIE: Uh, the . . . operations?

THE COLONEL: Certainly, certainly. I’ll show you around.


[SCENE II. The heart of the labyrinth. SARAH, still with beeswax in her ears, is seated in a room with two SIRENS, one of whom appears to be an adolescent. Both have put on a set of artificial wings.]

SARAH: So, you want me to warn everyone that you’re going to escape, and then convince them to just let it happen?

(They nod.)

SARAH: Okay. Well, I don’t like people being kept in cages, or I guess labyrinths. But I don’t think that I’m going to be very persuasive.

(The SIRENS shrug, then make a ‘follow me’ gesture. They lead her back to her trail of fishing wire, and she follows it to the entrance. She finds MELISSA and MELINA in their room.)

MELISSA: There you are! We thought maybe the labyrinth got you.

LINA: She thought that. I found it implausible at best.

MELISSA: Not so much thought as imagined. It was a harrowing tale. You befriended a small creature and it led you to safety.

SARAH: (Removing the beeswax.) I may have befriended a small creature.

MELISSA: Was it a siren?

SARAH: Yeah. They wanted me to tell everyone they’re going to escape soon, so you should just leave them alone.

MELISSA: Well that’s silly of them.

SARAH: (Shrugs.) What can you do?

MELISSA: Beats me.

(Long pause.)

LINA: Oh, right. Apparently Sophie and Gavin followed us here. We told the Colonel they were entirely untrustworthy, so he said he’ll get them out of the way while we’re still here.

SARAH: Oh. That’s . . . weird.

LINA: I have ordered her to stop telling things to Gavin Roderick. It’s clear where his loyalties lie.

MELISSA: Apparently she thinks I listen to orders now. (Beat.) But it’s probably a good one. I mean, I told him about the island in confidence.

LINA: You told him absently, while drunk, on IM.

MELISSA: Strictest confidence! (Beat.) So, tell me about the sirens.

SARAH: Well, we mostly talked using my notepad. It was awkward. They don’t seem so bad though! I mean, not “imprison me forever on an island” bad!

MELISSA: And you think they’re going to escape.

SARAH: Well, there’s a trail of fishing wire that leads to the entrance now. They can probably follow that.

MELISSA: Ah. (Beat.) Well, we have to tell the Colonel.

SARAH: What? No we don’t.

MELISSA: Listen, he’s a good friend of ours.

SARAH: He’ll stop them!

MELISSA: Well, all right, what’s their plan?

SARAH: The mother has built some wings. They just need to get to the surface and they’ll be able to fly away.

LINA: I would like to add that ‘building wings to escape a labyrinth’ doesn’t work very well when that labyrinth is underground.

MELISSA: Well, the Colonel says this place is all soundproof. So even if they sing there probably isn’t a danger. If you really want this, Sarah . . . .

SARAH: I do.

MELISSA: I guess we can just wait and see what happens.


[SCENE III. GAVIN and SOPHIE’s room. Unlike most rooms in this place, there is a window to the outside here.]

GAVIN: I feel like the Colonel was giving us the runaround.

SOPHIE: Nonsense. You’re just not the keen investigative journalist I am.

GAVIN: Oh? So what do your journalist eyes tell you?

SOPHIE: First, this island is a prison. Second, Melissa Xenakis is on the island somewhere.

GAVIN: A prison for what?

SOPHIE: We’ll just have to find out, won’t we? Maybe we could go for a walk. (She approaches the door and tries the handle. It appears to be locked.) Or we can stay here and think. (She approaches the window and stares outside longingly.) Xenakis must have known we were close to the truth. That’s why she had us locked up.

GAVIN: You don’t think it was just because we’re trespassing on her private property?

SOPHIE: The truth is never so simple, Gavin. Stick with me and one day you will understand that. (A long pause.) I will get my revenge for this, Xenakis. I swear it on my honor as a reporter.

(The camera zooms out through the window, leaving us on a beautiful sunset shot of Desolation Island. TBC.)


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