INT. UNITED STATES PENITENTIARY [JASON’S CELL] – NIGHT
SFX: Footsteps can be heard coming down the hall as Jason sits up in his creaking, old bed. A few moments after, the footsteps stop as Alexander stands outside of his cell.
JASON Finally. Took you long enough.
ALEXANDER I had some other things to take care of.
JASON (sigh) Not like it actually matters. Venezia doesn’t much care for punctual anyway.
ALEXANDER (laughs) Punctual? I doubt the word’s in her vocabulary.
JASON (chuckle) Yeah, agreed. (beat) Alright. We may as well get the show on the road then, huh?
ALEXANDER (amused) Someone seems pretty gung-ho about seeing a particular doctor.
JASON Well, when your only interaction with people for a few weeks has been non-existent, other than “I’m good” responses, you start to appreciate conversations more.
ALEXANDER Ah, yeah. Guess I never thought about it that way.
JASON Especially since you’re not subjected to stay cooped up in a room for 23 hours of the day.
ALEXANDER Doesn’t mean I’m enjoying myself.
JASON I don’t think anyone is really enjoying themselves here. (beat) Well, expect for Venezia.
ALEXANDER Something’s not right with her. (beat) Anyway.
SFX: Alexander takes out his keys and opens the door to Jason’s cell.
JASON Alright then.
ALEXANDER Let’s get going then.
JASON Lead the way.
ALEXANDER (slight chuckle) Nice try, but go in front. You know how we do things here.
JASON (sigh) Unfortunately.
SFX: Jason starts walking, with Alexander right behind him.
EXT/INT UNITED STATES PENITENTIARY [VENEZIA’S OFFICE] – NIGHT
SFX: The pair stop walking.
ALEXANDER Well, here we are.
JASON (sigh) That we are.ALEXANDER If you’re not in the mood to be berated, we can get her to reschedul–
JASON No, it’s fine. I’ll be fine. (beat) Just… it’s been a while is all. Before the lockdown, I was ready to play her games, but now… I don’t know.
ALEXANDER Well, I’ve never had a long enough conversation to be “played” with, but doesn’t sound fun.
JASON You’re right, it’s not, but it’s required.
ALEXANDER That it is.JASON (sigh)
SFX: Jason walks to the door and opens it, entering Venezia’s office. The door slams shut behind him.
VENEZIA Not this one.
SFX: Venezia throws something, crashes hard.
VENEZIA (CONT’D) Or this one.
SFX: Venezia throws another thing at the wall.
JASON Uhh. Dr. Venezia?
VENEZIA (absentmindedly) Huh? Who is it?
JASON It’s me, Jason. Remember, we had an appointment.VENEZIA Oh, right right right. That’s today, huh?
SFX: She stops what she’s doing and opens a drawer, grabbing a bundle of paper. After flicking through them for a few moments, she stops and drops them on her desk.
VENEZIA (CONT’D) It seems that I’ve allowed time to slip by. It’s already Wednesday. (mumble) Could’ve swore it was Sunday.
JASON Have you left your room since the lockdown?
VENEZIA (laughs) Of course not! What reason would there be for that?
JASON I don’t know, talking to people? Seeing the sun?
VENEZIA Pish posh. I don’t need to talk to uninteresting people. I only care for those with stories, but not just any story. (beat) They must chill me to the bone, make me weep tears of joy or sadness or–
SFX: The door opens.
JAKE What about ones that are just outright strange?
VENEZIA My my my. Now, who are you?
JAKE Jake Fisher.VENEZIA And what is Jake Fisher doing in my office?
JAKE Ummm. Yeah, about that… I don’t know how to explain it.
VENEZIA Well, you’re already here so try and dazzle me. (beat)
Otherwise, I’ll need to call the guards. Hmmm. That’d be fun in its own way as well. Well, the choice is yours.
JASON I’d do what she says. From your clothes I’d say you’re not a prisoner, a guard or a worker.
JAKE That’s correct.
JASON So what do you think’ll happen if she calls the guards on some random ass person? I couldn’t see it going well.(beat) It is a supermax prison.
JAKE (surprised) T-this is a… prison? (beat) So you’re a…
JASON A prisoner, yes.
VENEZIA Interesting. There’s no logical way for you to not know what this place is. (beat) Actually, there’s no reason for you to be in this wing at all. Hmmmmm. Interesting indeed.
JAKE Alright, so… I can travel through doors.
JASON (slight chuckle) Obviously. Anyone’s able to do that.
JAKE Okay, I’m not stupid. Obviously people can walk through doors, but this is a bit… different.
VENEZIA VENEZIA (CONT’D) (CONT’D)
VENEZIA Hmmm. Different how? Am I correct in assuming that’s what led you here?
JAKE You are indeed correct. So have you two heard of Doctor Who?
JASON Oh yeah, that old British show?
JAKE Old? No, it’s quite new actually. Recently, renewed for a new season.
JASON Really? I think it’s quite old, but I don’t keep up with shows from the UK. My husband used to, which is the only reason why I’ve seen it.
JAKE Great! Regardless, this’ll make my explanation easier. (beat) So I can do what he does.
VENEZIA What who does?
JAKE Yes, what who does. Dr. Who obviously. (beat) Sometimes, when I open a door, I’ll “jump” to someplace or time.
VENEZIA And this is what’s happened now?
JAKE Yes, I gotta find my way back home.
VENEZIA Before you do find a way home, mind telling me a few stories of your space or time?
JAKE Wait… you two believe me?
JASON I don’t know if I’d say believe, but there’s nothing else that can explain it at the moment.
VENEZIA So will you weave me your tale?
JAKE I-I guess? I mean what do you want to know?
VENEZIA Hmmmm. The most surreal experience you’ve had with this power of yours.
SFX: Silence for a beat.
JAKE (CONT’D) Okay. I think I got one, but I’ll also need this guy to tell me something as well.
JASON The name’s Jason. Jason Cawfield.
VENEZIA Oh, how rude of me. (beat) Dr. Stella Venezia at your service.
JAKE Nice to meet you both, but before I tell you this, I want to ask Jason some questions.
JASON What if I don’t answer?
JAKE Then I’ll find my trinket and be on my way.
VENEZIA Trinket? (beat) What is the significance of it?
SFX: Silence for a beat.
JASON (sigh) Just ask your question.
JAKE Jason, what are you in here for? What did you do?
JASON I’m here for a crime I didn’t commit.
JAKE And that crime being?
JASON Ummm. Bi–VENEZIA International bio-terrorism.
JAKE O-oh, I see….
SFX: Silence for a few beats.
JASON I’ve already said that I didn’t do it, but you’re free to believe whatever you want.
JAKE I suppose that’s true. Alright then. I’ll hold up my end.
VENEZIA Fantastic.JAKE Most surreal experience. (beat) So–
VENEZIA One moment.
SFX: Venezia grabs her chair and a notebook as she attentively waits.
JASON Don’t mind her. She’s always like that.
JAKE Oh, o-okay. Anyway, it was one of the first times that I learned about this… “power.” (beat) I wasn’t certain where I actually was, but that was also due to me standing by the door for a little while.
SFX: Venezia is scribbling down notes.
VENEZIA And after entering this unknown place, why did you not go off exploring? If it was me, I’d have been jumping for joy.
JASON I think more sane people would be cautious.
VENEZIA Sane? HA! Since when has being sane ever brought about change? (beat) I’ll tell you, never. It’s always the “crazy” one. The outside of the box thinker. It’s never the sane one.
JASON My point still stands. In regards to your own safety, many would be cautious and take more care.
JAKE (fake cough) Ahem.
VENEZIA Apologies. Please do continue.
JAKE So as I was saying: I stood by the doorway, entranced by the site before me as well as the fact that a random numbered door brought me there.
SFX: Venezia continues to scribble.
VENEZIA Numbered? Why and for what purpose was it numbered?
JAKE The numbers indicate the order that you must enter the doors in. (beat) However, after entering a number, you’re able to go to the next one and all the ones before it are still available.
SFX: Venezia is hastily writing down notes in her notebook.
JASON So where’d you end up? Where’d that numbered door take you?
JAKE Even if I tell you, I don’t think you’ll beli–
VENEZIA No no no. That will simply not do. (beat) You must tell us. (intimidating) No matter how ridiculous, or insane it sounds. Do you understand me?
JAKE Y-yes ma’am!JASON (sigh) She’s at it again.
JAKE So I was playing a game; Geoguesser. Ever heard of it?
JASON Nope. Never. Dr. Venezia?
VENEZIA Is that where any individual can place an item of their choosing in a location and have others seek it out?
JAKE (excited) Yes! That’s exactly it.
JASON I’m surprised. I didn’t take you for the recreational type.
VENEZIA Well, let’s just say I’ve hid a few interesting items here and there in my day.
JASON Yeah… I’d rather not know.
JAKE Anyway, that’s what I did during my free time. I’d play that game. (beat) After playing for a while, I stumbled upon a town called Ostium, which had a population of zero.
SFX: Venezia is scribbling notes.
JASON Zero? So an abandoned town?
JAKE That or just wasn’t updated, but that’s not the strangest thing.
VENEZIA That being the numbered doors you previously mentioned, correct?
JAKE Correct. And once I entered one of the first few doors, I was in North Carolina.
JASON Okay? Is that all…?
JAKE In the 1500s.
VENEZIA Hmmm. If my memory serves me right, that was around the time that town went missing. Roake? Roanke?
VENEZIA That’s the one. (beat) (intrigued) Wait. So you’re saying that you’ve seen the lost town?
JAKE I have.
SFX: Venezia is frantically writing down notes.
JAKE (CONT’D) I couldn’t believe my eyes… me in a lost town that shouldn’t exist anymore. (beat) I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, but there I was.
JASON So what’d you do? What’d you find?
JAKE I found…
SFX: There’s a hard knock at the door.
JASON Dr. Venezia did you schedule two overlapping meetings?
VENEZIA (sigh) No. I may be a scatterbrain most of the time, but I’d never, ever schedule two conflicting meetings. (beat) If I did, I’d never be able to give my full attention to anyone.
JAKE Okay… then who’s at the door?
VENEZIA Beats me, but I think it’d do you good to leave.
JAKE Leave? Don’t you want to know what happened in Roanoke?
VENEZIA (slight laugh) Trust me. I’d love to. Honestly, I’m tempted to lock you in this room until you tell me all of your stories.
JASON That doesn’t sound insane at all.
VENEZIA Oh hush you. I said that I’d like to. Not that I was going to. Two entirely different things.
JASON Uh huh. Sure.
SFX: Two loud bangs on the door.
JAKE (nervous) O-okay. I’ve gotta go, but I can’t.
JASON And why not? Just go open that door and… vanish?
JAKE That’s what I’m saying. I can’t do that… at least not without a token.
VENEZIA Token? What does it look like?
SFX: Someone tries to angrily open the door, but it’s locked.
JAKE (nervous) T-they aren’t all the same, but it’s always something to represent the world that I was in.
JASON (thinking) Something to represent the world…ah!JAKE What?
SFX: Jason rummages through his pockets.
SFX: He hands Jake a T.INT patch.
JAKE What’s this?JASON This is a patch from the organization I’m apart of. Tinkers International or T.INT.
JAKE Oh! The arms make an “O” in the middle for Ostium! (beat) This has to be it.
JASON Wait really?JAKE Yeah, look.
SFX: Jake puts out his hand to show Jason.
JASON Yeah, the patches don’t have a white “O” in the middle. Strange.
JAKE Yeah, okay. That confirms it then.
VENEZIA I’d say you take that and be off then, no?
JAKE Yes, thank you.
VENEZIA No, thank you. It was a fun story, albeit an incomplete one.
SFX: Someone bangs on the door again.
JAKE I apologize for the story being cut short, but thanks for your help.
JASON Make it back home safe.
JAKE I’ll do my best.
SFX: Jake quickly runs to the door and opens the door, vanishing as someone else stumbles into the room.
VENEZIA (amused) Oh hello director. You do not look pleased. What ever could be the matter?
End of the episode