Crimes of the Future (2022) | Transcript

As the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations. Accompanied by his partner Caprice, celebrity performance artist Saul Tenser showcases the metamorphosis of his organs. Meanwhile, a mysterious group tries to use Saul's notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution.
Crimes of the Future (2022)

It sounds just as ambitious, taking a deep dive into the not-so-distant future in which humankind is learning to adapt to its synthetic surroundings. This evolution moves humans beyond their natural state and into a metamorphosis, which alters their biological makeup. While some embrace the limitless potential of trans-humanism, others attempt to police it. Either way, Accelerated Evolution Syndrome, is spreading fast. Saul Tenser is a beloved performance artist who has embraced this new state, sprouting new and unexpected organs in his body. Along with his partner Caprice, Tenser has turned the removal of these organs into a spectacle for his loyal followers to marvel at in real time theater. But with both the government and a strange subculture taking note, Tenser is forced to consider what would be his most shocking performance of all.

* * *

[ELECTRICAL ARCING; ZAPPING]

[MECHANICAL SWITCH THUMP]

[BUZZING]

[GENTLE RHYTHMIC GUITAR]

[VOCALIZING]

[LOW RUMBLE]

[FILM PROJECTOR WHIRRING]

[OPENING ORCHESTRAL THEME]

[LAPPING WAVES]

[DIGGING IN ROCKY SHORE]

[MUSIC BECOMES MORE DRAMATIC]

[SPOON CLINKING ON ROCK]

[SCORE FADES OUT]

Brecken…

I don’t want you eating anything you find in there, you understand me?

I don’t care what it is.

Don’t care what it is.

[CICADAS CHIRRING]

[SURF HITTING SHORE IN DISTANCE]

[TOOTHBRUSH INTO HOLDER]

[CRUNCHING]

[POIGNANT SCORE]

[CRUNCHING CONTINUES]

[BED CREAKING]

[EMOTIONAL BREATHING]

[SCORE FADES OUT]

[CHAIR CREAKS]

[SOFT FOOTFALLS]

[EDGY SCORE]

Ah…

[MUFFLED GRUNTS]

Mum! Mum!

No! No!

[LEGS THRASHING]

[MUFFLED SHRIEKS]

No! No, no!

[THRASHING STOPS]

[DJUNA BREATHES HARD]

[TREMULOUS BREATHING]

[SCORE FADES OUT]

[RINGING]

[RINGING]

[POIGNANT SCORE]

[RINGING]

[CONNECTING BEEPS]

Yes?

Yes, it’s still Djuna.

Now you’ve confirmed the phone number.

I want you to tell Lang that if he’s interested in picking up the corpse of that creature he calls his son…

Yes, yes, I mean the Brecken thing.

So, you tell him to come to the address I gave you.

It will be here, and I won’t be.

[STATIC]

[CLICK]

[PHONE CLATTERS TO SHELF]

[EMOTIONAL SCORE]

[SHARP NASAL EXHALES]

[SOBBING]

[SNIFFLES]

[SOBBING]

[GENTLE SURF]

[SCORE FADES OUT]

[FOOTFALLS ON ROCKS]

[DOOR CLOSES]

[LANG DOTRICE EXHALES]

[MOVING SCORE]

[DEEP INHALE; EXHALE]

[SOBBING]

Oh, my boy, boy, boy.

My boy. Oh, my boy.

[DRAMATIC SCORE]

[RUMBLING]

[GUTTURAL NOISES]

[GAG]

[GROANING]

[MOANING]

[GASP]

[LOW THRUMMING]

Saul.

Saul, darling, can you wake up?

Who’s here?

It’s just me.

It’s Caprice.

Did you sleep?

[SIGH]

I think this… bed needs new software.

[PAINED BREATHING]

It’s not anticipating my pain anymore.

[SHARP GASPS; BREATHING]

It’s not turning me properly.

Yes, I heard you.

A sleepless night.

[TENSER GAGGING]

I will call LifeFormWare right away.

They’re usually very responsive.

[SHARP EXHALE]

What else? What else?

The tests cooked all night and were ready this morning.

There is a new hormone in your bloodstream.

Ah…

Great.

It’s about time.

I thought I was all tapped out.

[INHALE] [SIGH]

Dried up.

You always think that, and you’re always wrong.

One day, I’ll be right.

Not today.

[DEEP RUMBLING]

[SHARP EXHALE]

Not today.

[SAUL AND CAPRICE LAUGH]

It’s still before breakfast.

[WHIRRING; CLICKING]

What do you see?

I can feel you pulling things around in there.

It seems to be some small sort of, uh, endocrine gland, about the size of an adrenal gland.

Small.

That’s disappointing. It’s not very dramatic.

[GROANS]

It’s a brand new organ

Never before seen.

Yeah.

And it’s functioning.

[SAUL GROANS]

Can you feel it?

That new hormone?

Yeah.

Oh, LifeFormWare.

[DEEP EXHALE]

LifeFormWare?

Yeah.

The pain is different.

That’s probably why my bed’s computer’s having trouble.

[GROANS]

This new organ, it’s, uh, it’s shifting my pain centres.

For better or worse?

So far, just different.

[SIGHING]

How’s the artwork progressing?

It’s a slippery surface.

Hard to be precise with the ink.

Huh…

Why not do something that really looks like a tattoo?

A heart, an anchor, “Mother”?

[LAUGHING]

That would be playful.

But the Registry insists on “uniquely self-referential.”

Ah, the Registry.

Of course.

[SIGH]

[PLACID SCORE]

[SPOON CLINKING ON PLATE]

[NASAL EXHALE]

[GAGGING]

[CHAIR THRUMMING]

[GAGGING]

[CHAIR CREAKING]

[GRUNT]

[GRUNT]

[GAGGING]

[GROANS]

[DRAMATIC SCORE]

[GAGGING CONTINUES]

[TENSER SIGHS]

[COUGHING]

[COUGH]

[MOANING]

[WRAPPER CRINKLING]

[KNOCKING]

[TENSER GRUNTS] [APPROACHING FOOTSTEPS]

Saul Tenser.

Caprice.

Oh, my God.

So you are.

Welcome.

I’m Wippet, by the way.

[DOOR CREAKS]

Wow, um…

[DOOR CLOSES]

This is a real treat and a privilege for us, isn’t it, Timlin?

That’s Timlin.

This isn’t very grand, is it, but this is the National Organ Registry nonetheless, and we’re fully equipped, aren’t we, Timlin?

Um, it’s all secret stuff now because we’re part of the NVU of Justice, but we’ll be ready to break out and go public when the time inevitably comes.

NVU?

New Vice Unit.

No crime like the present.

[SAUL LAUGHS]

Sorry, we’re a little confused about procedure.

This is our first time.

Hm.

But you understand the necessity of organ registration from a security standpoint?

We understand human bodies are changing.

[CLEARS THROAT]

I know this quite well.

Um…

And, apparently, this is of some concern to the governments of the world.

Human bodies, yes.

“Human” is the operative word.

Human evolution is the concern.

That it’s going wrong.

[SAUL CLEARS THROAT]

That it’s… uncontrolled, it’s… insurrectional.

It might lead us to a bad place.

Look what’s happened to the pain thresholds, for instance.

The world is a much more dangerous place now that p-p-pain has all but disappeared.

What good is it that only a lucky handful of us experience pain in our sleep?

Pain has a function.

It is a warning system that we don’t have anymore, and how did this happen, what does this mean?

Or, or what about infections?

Infections? What happened to them?

Nobody washes their hands anymore.

What is itwhat is that new, uh, fad, uh, what do they call it? Desktop surgery?

In public!

It’s repulsive.

[CLEARS THROAT]

Um…

Our records indicate that you’ve been producing random and novel bodily organs for some years, but that you’ve had them consistently removed.

Who wouldn’t?

[WIPPET SCOFFS]

You’d be surprised.

We would be surprised.

They’re basically tumours, right?

Who would want to keep them?

They could kill you.

[TENSER GROANS]

What is the relationship between you two?

I remove these tumours as part of our performance.

We are performance artists.

We perform together.

Hm.

And you’re qualified to perform surgery?

Well, as Mr. Wippet was saying, everybody’s qualified to perform surgery these days.

[WIPPET CHUCKLES]

If consent is legally given, there is really nono issue there.

Hm.

I was speaking of your professional relationship.

You wouldn’t want to kill your performance partner, would you?

You never know.

There’s a lot of improvisation in our shows.

Stop it.

Hm.

We met when Saul was cut up on duty.

I was a trauma surgeon at First General.

We unleashed things in each other.

We both changed, left our professions.

And now we are what we are.

Oh.

You’re stars, that’s what you are.

Gosh, everyone wants to be a performance artist these days.

It’s all the rage, but… [INHALES] not everyone can do it.

Well, then…

Registration?

[GENTLE SCORE]

[CLICKING]

[GEARS CLACKING]

[SNORING]

Oh, my.

Oh, it is so beautiful!

I can’t quite see it from my angle.

Can you pick it up from where you are?

Oh, yes. It’s-it’s very clear.

Oh, gosh!

It is a gorgeous, I might even say, sensual example of the registration tatooist’s art.

Why don’t you tell us what a registration tattoo is?

Well, um… we here at the National Organ Registry have just instituted a new policy of tattooing novel organs, or idiopathic organs, that is, new organs whose function is unknown, so that they can be registered and kept track of.

[MOAN]

Um, our fear is… that some of these neo-organs might establish themselves genetically, and then be passed down from parents to children, who would then no longer be, strictly speaking, human.

At least, in the classical sense.

Our concept of the registration tattoo was largely inspired by the performance art

[SIGH]

Of Saul Tenser.

Oh, I’m so sorry, but it’s forbidden to record in here.

Oh, right, right. She’s right.

I was thinking we could use it for our performance.

We record the most intimate things.

I’m sorry, but it is illegal.

This department does not yet exist.

Right, if it doesn’t exist, then, I guess, it’s impossible to make a recording.

Sorry.

[LAUGHS]

Too bad.

[WIPPET SIGHS]

[EXHALES]

[COMPRESSORS HUMMING]

I don’t think you should have invited those two creeps from the registry to our show.

Why not?

[CLEARS THROAT]

Why not get ’em on our side?

I don’t trust them.

The woman, Timlin, she’s, uh… especially creepy.

Hm.

I thought she was rather attractive.

In a… bureaucratic way.

Hm.

The LifeFormWare technicians are here.

They need to see you in your bed.

[Groans]

I’m a little upset about the tattoo.

Oh?

[CLEARS HIS THROAT]

Rambunctious.

That’s what I’d call it.

That’s a technical term?

TENSER.; Uh.

[SIGH]

It takes over the form, the shape of the organ itself.

It really, in a sense, dominates it, reshapes it.

It’s not just parasitic, although I suppose, in a sense, it is that too.

It seems to take meaning

[CLEARS THROAT]

Away from the organ.

Takes the process of meaning for itself, so to speak.

You’d really better get into bed.

There, there.

You’ll be comfortable again soon.

OrchidBed is our top of the line bed.

Once we correct the misalignment caused by your… hormonal imbalance,

[SQUELCHING]

You’ll be floating.

[DEEP RUMBLING]

Huh.

Isn’t that right, Berst?

Uh-uh.

Yeah, these things are basically bulletproof.

This bed loves your body, Mr. Tenser.

It is so flexible, so attuned to every shift of your pain centres, it’s a beautiful thing to behold.

[TENSER MOANS]

I see you actually have several of our units here, don’t you?

Mm-hm.

The OrchidBed Bed, the Break Faster Chair, that’ll probably need some adjustment as well.

We can… download your OrchidBed co-ordinates into the Break Faster, tweak the EatWare parameters, and we should be very close.

[PAPERS CRINKLING]

Oh, my God.

Router.

What is it?

Mr. Tenser has a Sark unit here.

[Gasp]

[FAST FOOTSTEPS]

[SIGH]

Yes.

He really does.

[GENTLE SCORE]

The Sark autopsy module was one of the best units we ever made. It’s gorgeous.

They’re legendary.

So complex.

So subtle.

Do you ever work on one of these?

They stopped making them before our time.

I’ve never seen one in the flesh before.

[SCOFFS]

They’re legendary.

What do you use it for?

You’re not in the autopsy business, are you?

It’s my paint brush.

[INDUSTRIAL SCORE]

[CLICKS]

[GEARS WHIRRING]

[MECHANICAL WHIRRING AND GRINDING]

[INHALE]

[WHIRRING]

[SQUELCHING]

[CRINKLING]

[SQUELCHING]

[CHIRPING]

[AUDIENCE GASPS]

[HIGH-PITCHED WHINE]

[INDUSTRIAL MUSIC ENDS]

[MULTIPLE INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS]

[TENSER SPEAKS QUIETLY]

[GLASSWARE CLINKING]

Hm.

Mm, oh, my God, look at this thing.

No, you can’t.

[GLASSES CLINK]

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God.

It’s not that small.

Quite big, actually.

Hm.

Do you mind if I ask you something intimate?

Hi.

No, go ahead.

That surgery is sex, isn’t it?

Is it?

Hm.

You know it is.

Surgery is the new sex.

Hm.

Does there have to be new sex?

Yes.

Yes, it’s time.

When I was watching Caprice cut into you, I wanted…

Yes?

I wanted you to be cutting into me.

That’s when I knew.

Hm.

[GLASS DOWN]

Hm?

What was that all about?

Just another epiphany.

Art triumphs once again.

Hm.

His body needs are subtle and they’re constantly shifting.

We feel, Danny Router and I do, that the Tenser account will force our entire organization into new, exhilarating territory.

Saul Tenser is… an artist of the inner landscape.

Creation of art is often associated with pain, and pain, as we know, is always associated with sleep.

We at LifeFormWare specialize in manipulating and modulating the pain of artists, and, to us, Saul Tenser is the greatest challenge, so intimate and involving in his art, and the nature of his pain.

A good night’s sleep is a… hard thing to define when you’re an artist and you seek pain.

[TENSE SCORE]

[GROANS]

[TENSE SCORE ENDS]

[APPROACHING FOOTSTEPS]

[APPROACHING FOOTSTEPS]

Hm.

Sit down.

I’m Detective Cope.

I’m with New Vice.

And you are?

Wippet.

Timlin.

Hm, yes, good.

Have you had recent dealings with the performance artist, Saul Tenser?

Yes.

And you have a portfolio of all the neo-organs which he has developed and removed?

He donated it to us.

[INHALES]

He was the first to undertake the logging, the archiving, of his inner creations.

We call it the Tenser Organography.

For him, it was an art thing, an artist wanting a systematized record of his art.

But, for us, it triggered an awareness of the flow, the significance of these spontaneous growths which many people were experiencing in secret.

So, now, we have actually required the legal registering of these growths.

The registering of a genuine, new…

Saul Tenser internal organ…

It’s like discovering a new species of animal.

Well, more like discovering a new Picasso.

How can a tumorous growth be considered art?

Where is the emotional shaping, the philosophical understanding, which is basic to all art?

[TIMLIN SCOFFS] [WIPPET SIGHS]

[SCOFFS AGAIN]

Look… I have a lump on my abdomen.

You see it?

Picasso?

Duchamp?

Francis Bacon, perhaps?

Am I an artist?

[CLEARS THROAT]

[INHALE]

He takes the rebellion of his own body and seizes control of it.

Shapes it, tattoos it, displays it, creates theatre out of it.

It has meaning, very potent meaning, and… many, many people respond to it.

[LAUGHS]

Yes.

Tattoos it?

Here we go.

Hm.

You see?

See, right from the beginning, after he met Caprice, all his neo-organs were tattooed while they were still inside his body.

Caprice is his lover?

Caprice is his performance partner.

She does the tattoos.

And the surgery.

Hm.

[TIMLIN INHALES SHARPLY THROUGH HER NOSE]

[TIMLIN SIGHS]

Looks to me as though Caprice is the artist.

Tenser is just a glorified organ donor.

[WIPPET LAUGHS]

Well, there are the performances.

And, then-then, there is the question of will.

Will?

Yes.

We believe, that on a certain level, perhaps a subconscious one,

Saul Tenser wills these new organs to grow.

So…

[COPE SIGHS]

Hm, you really ought to get that lump on your abdomen looked at.

[GROAN]

[ROLLING DOOR OPENING]

[CART ROLLING ACROSS FLOOR]

[TENSER MOANS]

[CHAIR SLIDING ON FLOOR]

[CLATTERING]

[FOOTSTEPS]

[TENSER MOANS]

Saul?

Saul, darling, can you wake up?

[SOFT MOAN]

Your bed says that you’re working on something new.

Can that be right?

So soon?

The bed is very quiet.

The bed is never wrong.

[SIGH]

Just ask our friends at LifeFormWare.

[MOANS]

Is this something we should worry about?

The interval between growths seems to be closing up.

I’m feeling very creative.

I guess.

We’ll just have to start cutting faster.

[TENSE SCORE]

[Squelching]

It is time to stop seeing.

It is time to stop speaking.

It is time

to listen.

[LOUD HOUSE MUSIC]

I don’t like the ears.

What?

The ears.

They’re cute, they’re striking, but a thousand ears is not good design.

Surround sound?

The extra ears don’t even work.

They’re just for show.

How do you know?

I’m Adrienne Berceau.

I’m Klinek’s Biomorphology Coordinator.

Don’t tell him I said this, but he’s better with the dancing than he is with the conceptual art.

Are you working on anything new, Mr. Tenser?

I never really know when I’m working on something new.

[CLEARS THROAT]

It doesn’t seem to be my decision.

What if it is?

If it is?

The creation of inner beauty cannot be an accident.

Forgive me for quoting you and your show.

Have you heard of Dr. Nasatir?

No.

You should pay him a visit.

Inner beauty is his specialty, as it is yours.

I’ve booked you an appointment.

Go to the address written here.

A consultation about a medical problem?

A consultation about a political problem.

[SLOW FOOTSTEPS]

[WOMAN MOANS]

[TENSER CLEARS THROAT]

[GROANS]

I have a concept for you.

Yeah?

Yeah, yeah.

It came to me when I saw you use a Sark unit as part of your show.

The Sark was originally an autopsy module.

Did you know that?

I knew that.

Have you ever thought about using it for a real autopsy?

As part of your show?

Perform an autopsy?

On a corpse. Mm-hm.

I have a corpse for you.

It’s a very special corpse.

You could do a live autopsy on a dead body.

And there would be surprises. I can guarantee a few surprises.

What corpse are you talking about?

My son.

Eight years old.

[TENSER CLEARS HIS THROAT]

Why is he a corpse?

His mother murdered him. Wouldn’t that be… good raw material for a performance?

You have the body of your son?

Yes, of course I have the body of my son.

He’s my son.

Wow.

Yeah, I know.

I mean, how radical are you?

Hm?

Are you afraid of a little emotion?

[TENSER COUGHS]

I’m afraid of everything.

[DOTRICE SCOFFS]

[TENSER COUGHS]

[GAGS]

[COUGHS]

[GROANS]

The throat thing is very severe today.

I can’t open it.

What’s going on?

I am not sure.

You were out for a very long time yesterday.

Yeah.

It’s not my allergies.

In fact, they’re not bothering me.

[COUGHS]

It’s strange.

Are you in discomfort?

No, it’s a… compelling fullness.

Not a completely bad feeling.

At least not… [SWALLOWS HARD] uninteresting.

[SIGHS]

I went to see the Klinek.

How was it?

[EXHALES]

The usual.

[GAGS]

[EXHALES]

It was packed.

Jealous?

Of course.

But that’s not it.

[CLEARS THROAT]

I met this guy…

[GAGS]

On the street.

[CLEARS THROAT]

He had an idea

for a show.

[GENTLE SCORE]

[CLICKING; BEEPING]

So,

I’m the boy’s corpse.

We’ll have to modify the Sark.

Hm.

Convert it back into an autopsy module.

[TENSER EXHALES]

I don’t know where the law is on acts degrading to human remains.

[WHIRRING]

We’ll have to be outrageous to make it worthwhile.

We have to go deep.

[EXHALE]

[CAPRICE MOANS]

[WHIRRING]

[CAPRICE MOANS]

I’m not sure how we’d play the inner beauty angle.

This guy, Dotrice, he said there’d be surprises…

[GASP]

Oops.

Oh.

Sorry.

That was the machinery talking.

That was you talking.

Keep going.

[CAPRICE SIGHS DEEPLY]

Really?

So far… so good.

[CAPRICE EXHALES]

[MACHINERY CHIRPING]

Oh…

[CAPRICE MOANS]

Oh…

Oh! Oh…

[EXHALING]

You could be on the inside for the next show.

Maybe.

But maybe this is just for us.

[CONTROLLER CLICKS, CHIRPS]

[MACHINERY WHIRRING]

[RAPID BEEPING]

[CHIRPING]

[WHIRRING]

[SQUELCHING]

[WIND BLOWING; SURF IN DISTANCE]

[APPROACHING FOOTSTEPS]

How are you feeling?

What do you mean?

Got anything cooking in there?

Huh.

Your imagination’s working overtime.

I just got to see your portfolio.

You are very prolific.

I had no idea.

It must be exhausting, uh?

I could live without it.

Listen, illuminate me.

Why is Saul Tenser doing undercover?

I mean, you seem to be pretty deep into that body-art stuff.

Well… What I’m saying with that body-art stuff is that I don’t like what’s happening with the body.

In particular, what’s happening with my body, which is why I keep cutting it up.

Your partner, Caprice, she’s in the dark about this?

The under the covers?

Yeah.

Totally?

Yeah.

She can’t read your insides?

There aren’t any traces there that say undercover stoolie?

You really are imaginative.

What have you got for me?

Dr. Nasatir.

Cosmetic surgery.

Someone contacted me at the Klinek show.

[CLEARS THROAT]

I heard it was a good show.

Very disturbing. Multiple ears.

Wow.

Got to be good.

It was okay.

If you like escapist propaganda.

This someone talked to me about my take on inner beauty.

Said I really should consult with a doctor.

Dr. Nasatir.

Inner beauty, huh?

That’s right up your alley.

Guess that’s why she was talking to me.

Okay, good.

Follow it up.

Find out what it means.

What else?

Why is your body-crime unit called New Vice?

I don’t get the vice part.

Somebody in the Bureau thought it was sexier than Evolutionary Derangement.

Sexier means easier funding.

Anything else?

Yeah.

You have a woman named Djuna Dotrice in the Metro Pen.

We have?

New Vice has her?

Probably just Old Homicide. She’s in for murder.

Murdered her own kid.

Yeah.

Well?

I need to talk to her.

[METAL SCRAPING]

[GENTLE SCORE]

The Sark was originally a coroners’ autopsy sarcophagus.

When it went out of style in the medical profession, it took on new life as artists’ supplies.

I’ve heard that some of the Sarks that were modified for performance surgery have been really brutally hacked around, but this one was converted by someone with a very delicate touch.

It’s in beautiful shape.

[WHIRRING]

[CLICKING]

Where’s your partner?

Saul likes me to do the techno dog work.

Keeps me in touch with my roots.

What happened to him?

The body-growth thing.

Is there a name for it?

Accelerated Evolution Syndrome.

Your body gets very inventive and throws a lot of new stuff at you.

I guess it wants to see what sticks for the next generation.

Yeah, but, uh…

Tenser’s not letting anything stick, is he?

I mean… not if he’s getting rid of it all.

The new, improved body parts?

It’s pathological.

It’s not healthy.

It’s a breakdown of the system.

An organism needs organisation.

Otherwise, it’s just designer cancer.

Hey, Caprice.

Check us out!

[LAUGHS]

Whaddya think?

Do we got a future in performance here?

[LAUGHING]

Definitely.

[MODERATE SCORE]

[SCORE MODULATES DARKER]

[COUGHING]

[COUGHING CONTINUES]

[GROANS]

Saul Tenser.

Come on in.

[CLEARING THROAT]

This

is very exciting.

Is it?

Seeing you here, is like a lightning bolt from the blue.

It strikes you very hard and very convincingly.

Let me take your coat.

Uh, I prefer to keep it on.

I get cold.

If you don’t mind staining.

Please, just hop up on there and expose your abdomen.

[CLICKING; DYNAMO SPINS UP]

[CLEARS THROAT]

Tell me about the lightning bolt.

Saul Tenser and the Inner Beauties.

It’s a marriage made in heaven.

Inner Beauties.

[EXCITED BREATHING]

I propose to install the rip-lock here.

This will give you maximum access.

[CLEARING THROAT]

Access to what?

I believe I’m here to discuss my political problem.

I wasn’t aware you had one.

I wasn’t either, but Adrienne Berceau seems to think I do.

Oh, Adrienne.

She’s so dramatic.

Listen…

Me, I’m just a mechanic.

I install doors and windows into the future.

Politics will come soon, when you’re registered.

Registered?

For what?

He doesn’t even know.

For the Inner Beauty Pageant.

I’m sure you’ll be a contender.

[TENSER COUGHING]

Hi.

Hi.

How’s the Sark coming along?

Our LifeFormWare friends are very…

[CHUCKLES]

How can I put it?

Very playful.

Huh.

Is that a good thing?

They love it to death, that piece of machinery.

They literally salivate on it.

They won’t hurt it.

Huh.

Wow.

And what’s this?

Cut yourself shaving?

[TENSER CHUCKLES]

[COUGHS]

I seem to be a contestant in the Inner Beauty Pageant.

It’s very hush-hush.

Might not be quite legal.

The things you drag home.

Hm.

I’m entering in the category of Best Original Organ With No Known Function.

This is like a raincoat for internal organ flashers.

[CHUCKLES]

Wow.

A new world opens up.

Hm.

Wait a minute.

Have we just been made, um… obsolete?

No, of course not.

It’s just a functional thing.

[SNIFFLES]

It’s a zippered fly; it’s not art, It’s not sensual.

Besides, remember what our Registry friend said: sex is surgery.

A zipper can’t replace our Sark.

I think she said, uh… “Surgery is the new sex.”

Besides, zippers…

[ZIPPING]

[GENTLE SCORE]

have their own sex appeal.

[TENSER MOANS]

[GASPS]

[SQUELCHING]

[CAPRICE MOANS] [TENSER SIGHS]

Careful… don’t spill.

[GROANING]

[SCORE FADES OUT]

[FLIES BUZZING]

He ate a plastic wastepaper basket.

What would you do?

I wouldn’t kill him.

A little kid, my own son.

But he wouldn’t be your own son.

He wouldn’t even be a little kid.

What would he be?

A creature.

A thing.

A thing my husband invented to torment me.

A thing that can eat a plastic wastepaper basket.

Eat it and enjoy it.

And eat nothing but plastic and weird synthetic stuff.

[LAUGHS]

He would take that watch and he’d have it for lunch.

[LAUGHS]

He could digest plastic?

He had this weird, thick white drool that he’d sometimes slurp over everything.

It was like acid.

It’d dissolve any kind of plasticky stuff.

It would sting if you got it on your skin.

Didn’t bother him, though.

That lizard.

[CLEARS THROAT]

Your husband is Lang Dotrice.

Was.

Was my husband. I’ve disowned him fuck him.

He invented your son?

Yeah.

That’s how I think of it.

And here’s another thing I think of: the thought of that slimy worm growing in me still makes me sick.

The police tell me they haven’t found your son, Brecken.

I get the feeling they don’t think you really killed him.

I confess they don’t believe me.

The perfect crime.

[GROANS]

You confessed?

Yeah.

Why?

I’m guilty.

Where’s the body?

Lang has it unless he’s thrown it away.

How’d he get it?

I left it for him.

My little divorce present.

What is Lang going to do with the body?

Maybe him and his cannibal friends are going to eat it.

Who the fuck knows? Who the fuck cares?

His friends are cannibals?

Um-hm.

If you’re a Barbie Doll, then they’re cannibals.

If the police found Brecken’s body and did an autopsy, what do you think they’d find inside it?

Outer space.

[FOOTSTEPS RECEDING]

[CICADAS CHIRRING]

[BANGING ON METAL DOOR]

[DOOR MECHANISM CLACKING, SLIDING OPEN]

Tarr.

Lang.

Everybody’s here.

Good.

[INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS]

Our supply lines are up and running again, so we’re in very good shape.

Production will soon be back to maximum.

[THUD] [BUZZER]

[GEARS RATCHETING]

[PLASTIC CRINKLES]

Tarr, if we have to move the commune, I mean, the whole operation, the assembly line, everything…

Sit.

How quickly can it be?

You’re expecting problems?

[LAUGHS]

I’m going ahead with the Brecken autopsy.

Finally, what we’re doing is going to be very public and it’s going to resonate.

[DRAMATIC SCORE]

[CAMERA SHUTTERS CLICKING]

[RASPING]

[HEAVY BREATHING]

Oh…

[SCORE FADES OUT]

[INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS]

[WOMAN LAUGHING]

[GLASSWARE CLINKING]

Oh.

Where’s Mr. Tenser?

He’s doing some research.

Ah.

Where’s your friend, Timlin?

Oh, she was, uh, intimidated.

By whom?

Well, we’ve been forbidden to mingle.

It’s now part of the job description.

I’m risking my career just being here, but, uh…

I can’t stay away.

I’ve got the fever.

Forgive me.

I’ve got to talk to her before she goes.

Odile.

Caprice.

Oh, you have no idea how hard it’s been for me to find plastic surgeons who understand that I do not wish to be made more beautiful.

Surgeons tend to be very focussed and unimaginative.

It’s considered a strength.

I was a surgeon myself.

Not cosmetic surgery, though.

[SIGHS]

Trauma.

Trauma.

But that’s very um… provocative.

I enjoy trauma.

What I do to myself is very traumatic.

Is it?

You seem so peaceful, so… beatific while your surgery’s going on.

Watching you suddenly… filled me with the desire to cut my face open.

[SIGH]

It’s a feeling that shocked me.

A desire to be open is often the beginning of something exciting…

[CAPRICE BREATHES DEEPLY]

…new.

[EXHALES]

Perhaps you would like to join me and the troupe later this evening, at the hotel?

[CLEARS THROAT]

A desire to be open?

Metaphorically.

Emotionally.

Artistically.

You want to take over the Brecken show.

I want to perform the autopsy.

I want to perform.

[TENSER CLEARS THROAT]

Well, this is new.

Yes, it is.

[SIGHS]

Maybe… you were too shy before.

I’m not too shy now.

Will you have something new for the show?

We could definitely do work in a Tenser extraction.

Double Autopsy.

Hm.

I do have something cooking.

[SIGHS]

Maybe a few things.

But I’m happy to let them stay inside for now.

That might not be healthy.

We can extract in private, if it’s a problem.

Doesn’t have to be a performance.

Don’t let it go too long.

[COUGHS; CLEARS THROAT]

[CHAIR CREAKS]

[SIGHS]

How was Odile’s show?

It was…

Brilliant.

[CHUCKLES THROUGH NOSE]

She’s exhilarating.

Yeah.

She says hello.

Hello.

I want to do more than perform.

I want to construct.

I want to construct the Brecken show.

It already has an innate structure.

[CLEARS THROAT]

A murdered boy.

A very strange boy.

A public autopsy, some… surprises.

I want to work with it.

It’s juicy with meaning.

[WIPPET INHALES, EXHALES]

Saul Tenser.

[CHUCKLES]

Well, then, come on in.

Hm.

[DOOR LATCH ENGAGES]

Just…

[TENSER CLEARS HIS THROAT]

What’s up?

Oh, well…

I just want your advice as a neo-organ generator.

I… just…

[LAUGHS]

Uh… actually, I wanted to show you our safe room.

Can I?

[TENSER CLEARS HIS THROAT]

Yes…

So, this is where we archive our more provocative material in here.

I thought it was all provocative.

[WIPPET SCOFFS]

You, you provoke us.

[LAUGHS]

Uh…

[TENSER CLEARS THROAT]

You, you provoke me.

I’m… I’m just so glad you’re with us, you know.

It makes such emotional sense.

Who’s us?

It’s me, I’m… I’m the one.

I am the Registrar for the Inner Beauty Pageant.

[LAUGHS]

Sh, don’t tell.

Registration seems to be your strong suit.

I-I think you have a very good chance of winning your category.

In fact, if I were you, I’d go for Best in Show.

I’m not sure I’ll have anything to show.

Might have to fake it.

Speaking of faking it, I said it makes emotional sense for you to be with the Inner Beauties, and it does, but… you know, doesn’t make logical sense.

No?

No.

Because the Inner Beauty Pageant is all about acceptance.

It’s about acknowledgment, aesthetic empowerment, and you, Saul Tenser, you’re all about anger, and rebellion, and… rejection by scalpel.

[TENSER GROANS]

[LONG SIGH]

This has been a mistake, hasn’t it?

No.

No, you’re right. I’d be a fish out of water at your little secret event.

But, no, no, no.

We want you, we need you, we-we…

It’ll all fall apart without you!

What if I won for best original organ and then I ripped it out in public at my next show?

Wouldn’t that humiliate your group?

[MUMBLES]

It’s star power. We’ll-we’ll-we’ll cover it.

We’ll, we’ll settle.

We’ll give you whatever you want and maybe, just maybe, you’ll begin to see it our way.

[LAUGHS]

Uh…

[CLEARS THROAT]

So…

[CLEARS THROAT]

So, okay… we rewind.

I, uh…

[CLEARS THROAT]

I’m here to register for the Inner Beauty Pageant.

Mr. Tenser?

Ah! Oh.

Saul…

It’s you.

[CLEARS THROAT]

Could you come into my office?

[SHUTS DOOR]

[TIMLIN SIGHS]

You were just with Mr. Wippet.

I was.

I’m very worried about him.

He seemed to be in fine form.

Oh, no, it’s a very dangerous form to be in.

[TREMULOUS INHALE]

I… I don’t understand.

It’s… in our line of work, very easy to be dazzled by the glamour of the performance world, the charismatic people we meet, like you.

TENSER: Mm.

I see.

Do you?

[CLEARS THROAT]

Maybe not. Tell me.

[CHUCKLES]

Well, this is our world.

This office, this building.

From the centre of it, deep, deep within it, this beautiful white light emanates outward.

That light is you, what you create, and those like you.

Mm…

It’s hard-it’s hard for us, drab little bureaucratic insects that we are, not to be drawn into your powerful gravitational field.

Hurtling towards you, plunging into your black hole that pulls all light into it.

[DEEP INHALE]

We want to follow that light, fuse with that light.

Is… Is Wippet doing some fusing, [CLEARS THROAT] do you think?

Oh…

He’s-he is drawn to inner beauty.

Is he playing games with subversive groups?

Is that-is that what you mean?

[INHALES]

I… I am very, very fond of him, but…

Yes, I think I might have to actually turn him in.

No, don’t-don’t-don’t do that.

Uh…

[ECHOEY CLATTERING IN HALLWAY]

How safe is this room?

Oh, it’s…

It’s totally safe.

You can be open with me.

Yeah, open.

Um…

Have you run across a neo-organ… or rather, a system of neo-organs, that had a digestive function?

A system that can digest synthetics, plastics… that sort of thing?

No.

No, but that sounds interesting.

We’ve only come across single organ growths here, like yours.

Of course, nobody knows what would happen if those growths were allowed to accumulate.

Do you think they could ev…

Um, I almost said evolve, but I didn’t. Hah.

Um…

Do you think they could actually develop into… a system of organs?

Like a… circulatory system, nervous system, um… lymphatic…?

You know a lot about human physiology.

Yeah.

Hm.

[CLEARS THROAT]

Do you think you would ever let me be a part of your show?

Uh…

Because I would love to… find myself in that Sark module with… you at the controls.

That would, that would definitely fall into the category of New Vice.

Mm…

Well, that is where I live.

[QUIET SCORE]

[INHALES]

Hm.

Ah.

[TIMLIN MOANING]

[SHARP EXHALE]

[TENSER MOANS]

[TENSER MOANS] [TIMLIN SIGHS]

Oh… Uh…

[STACCATO CLEARING OF THROAT]

I’m sorry.

No.

I’m just not very good at the old sex.

[WIND BLOWING]

[CRICKET CHIRPING]

[KNOCKING ON DOOR]

Please, come in.

Sit, uh, anywhere you like.

[LAUGHS]

[TENSER GROANS QUIETLY]

[DOOR CREAKS; CLOSES]

This is Caprice.

She’s my partner.

Yes, I’ve seen your work.

Beautiful. Outstanding stuff.

Thank you.

I spoke to your wife.

Your ex-wife.

Why’d you do that?

I wanted to know what we were getting into.

Do you know now?

[TENSER EXHALES]

Not exactly.

Okay.

[CHUCKLES]

Why don’t we, uh, [SLAPS FREEZER TWICE] start with this.

[FREEZER COMPRESSER DRONES]

[TENSER CLEARS HIS THROAT]

Don’t you want to take a look at your raw materials?

Please.

[TENSER CLEARS HIS THROAT]

[CAPRICE SIGHS]

[EXHALES]

I don’t think we should do this.

Maybe you shouldn’t.

[BANG]

But you obviously really want us to.

[SIGHS]

Why do you?

I need to make a statement.

A very public statement.

Hm.

Wouldn’t a formal police autopsy make that statement?

[DOTRICE LAUGHS]

No, no, it would be covered up.

You’d never hear a thing.

[THUD]

[CAPRICE INHALES; EXHALES]

Performance art is all consensual.

[CAPRICE SIGHS]

This one would be different.

[TREMULOUS BREATH IN]

This would be different.

Yes, well, you’ll have my consent.

Brecken isn’t talking.

I’m sure you realize that Djuna doesn’t care what happens to her son’s body.

I got the feeling she was obsessed with his body.

[CLEARS HIS THROAT]

Especially his digestive system.

Ah. Well…

[PLASTIC WRAPPER CRINKLING]

Ever eaten one of these?

Never seen one of those before.

Go ahead. Please.

I think it’ll be a revelation.

[SNIFFS]

I’m very fussy about my food.

Yeah, so am I.

So was Brecken.

Let me ask you something: does the EatWare application work for you?

I looked at one of those Break Faster chairs from LifeFormWare in a showroom window once.

The way they adjust every part of your body to make chewing, swallowing and digesting easy.

At one point in my life I thought that might be the answer.

To what question?

The eating problem that I have, Brecken had… and that you have.

Hm.

You think they’re related?

You’re a man who’s fighting what he really is.

Don’t you see?

You should let your body lead you to where it wants to go instead of hacking it to pieces and displaying it in some hidden museum like the bones of an extinct animal.

Saul would be dead now if he listened to that advice.

His body wants to kill him.

What we’re doing is we’re making art out of anarchy.

We are creating meaning out of emptiness.

Are you?

Has it ever occurred to you that you might simply be interfering in a fantastic natural process that you should surrender to?

[GROANS]

Never has.

Will you do the Brecken show?

Should I do the Brecken show?

What does New Vice want to get out of this?

You have a new best friend.

Who would that be?

Lang Dotrice.

We want him.

But we don’t just want him.

We want his group of freaks.

All of them.

I don’t know anything about a group.

You will find out about the group.

He likes you.

He trusts you.

He trusts me to cut up his dead son in public.

What’ll that get us?

It could get you to the next stage, which is infiltration.

We want to know everything there is to know about Dotrice and his plastic-eating comrades.

Plastic-eating?

You don’t get it yet?

You talking about those purple candy bars?

[COPE LAUGHS]

Ever try eating one of those?

One of our agents did.

He’s as dead as Brecken now.

Poisoned him?

They’re synth bars.

Synthetic, man-made stuff.

Toxic.

A normal human can’t eat that stuff.

But those people, they just… [CRUNCHING] they just munch away, no problem.

[STONE HITS METAL SIGN]

They’re evolving away from the human path, Saul.

It can’t be allowed to continue.

[TENSER GRUMBLES]

[LOW RUMBLE]

[STACCATO TICKING]

[KNOCKING ON DOOR]

[CRACKLING]

[NASAL EXHALE]

[MECHANICAL WHINE]

[FOOTSTEPS RECEDING]

Doctor Nasatir?

Yes?

Router and Berst of LifeFormWare.

Authorized technicians.

You called us, we’re here.

Did I call you?

A paradigm shift with your Break Faster chair.

Yes, that’s true, but I’m just eating now.

Oh, it’s perfect timing.

[DISQUIETING SCORE]

[LOW THRUMMING]

[SQUELCHING]

[MECHANICAL STACCATOS]

We’re moving everything out.

Mr. Tarr here, he’s taking care of everything.

I figure the Brecken show is going to make us too hot but this, this is what all of us eat.

[TENSER CLEARS HIS THROAT]

All of us, is how many?

Well, our own little cell, 60, 70 souls but around the world, our network is vast.

And, really, the number’s unknowable.

And everybody’s had the same elaborate surgery?

Tarr.

Everyone around the world, yes.

The procedures were developed over years of collaboration.

There are variations, of course.

Culturally unique versions.

And you did it because?

Because our bodies were telling us it was time to change, yes?

Time for human evolution to sync up with human technology.

We’ve got to start feeding on our own industrial waste.

It’s our destiny.

The end result is you can’t eat food.

Well, we eat modern food.

We eat plastic.

And that’s what we like to call it.

And Brecken?

Brecken.

Brecken was the first-born.

The first to be born with a plastic… processing digestive system.

To be… naturally unnatural.

She hated us. Djuna hated us.

She stole Brecken away from us.

She never really understood what a gem her kid was.

She… she couldn’t handle it.

He really must have been a gem, because what you’re saying sounds insane to me.

Why?

Well, you’re saying your surgery, the surgery that made you plastic eaters, was somehow replicated genetically in your son?

That surgically acquired characteristics… [GRUNTS] …became inheritable?

You cut off your little finger

[CLEARS THROAT]

And your kids are born without little fingers?

Brecken was our miracle child.

He was everything we all wanted to be.

That’s all I can say.

Can’t say I understand the process.

But why a Brecken show?

Because I wanted to, someday, present my son to the world.

 I wanted to show the worldthat the future of humanity existed and was good.

Was at peace and harmony with the techno world that we’ve created.

Now, all I can do is present the reality of his dead little body as a promise of that future.

I don’t know what we’ll see.

But I know he’ll be beautiful.

Sweet and real and beautiful.

[CICADAS CHIRRING]

[GENTLE SCORE]

[CAMERA SHUTTERS CLICKING]

Sorry, I gotta…

I didn’t expect you to be here.

Hm.

Couldn’t keep away, huh?

Guess not.

Special event.

Mm-hm.

[LAUGHS]

Worth the risk.

We’ve all wanted to see an autopsy, haven’t we?

[SCORE BECOME DRAMATIC]

[MECHANICAL WHIRRING]

We’ve all felt that the body was empty, empty of meaning and we’ve wanted to confirm that, so that we could fill it with meaning.

[BEEPING]

Autopsia means the seeing for oneself.

Why First Autopsy?

Because we know there’ll have to be a Second Autopsy.

If you want to do an autopsy, you need a corpse.

Corporeal, incorporate, corpulent.

Body words.

Fleshy words.

[SIZZLING]

Brecken is our corpse.

Brecken was a young boy who was murdered by his mother

[TREMULOUS BREATH]

Because of what was hidden in his body.

Because of the meaning that was there.

For her, the body was not empty of meaning.

[CLICKING; SQUELCHING]

[ENGINES WHIRRING]

[SLOW EXHALE]

And now let us dive deep into the body of Brecken and, like professors of literature, search for the meaning that lies locked in the poem that was Brecken.

[BEEPING; CLICKING]

[SQUELCHING]

[AUDIENCE GASPS; MURMURS]

Oh, my God.

[OVERLAPPING CONVERSATIONS]

[CAMERA ROTORS WHIRRING]

Oh.

So, we see that the crudeness and the desperation and the ugliness of the world has seeped inside even our youngest and most beautiful.

[TREMULOUS BREATH]

And we see that the world is killing our children from the inside out.

[EMOTIONAL SIGH]

Here we have the anatomy of today’s pathology.

And we know now why we’ll have a Second Autopsy, and a Third.

[CAPRICE INHALES]

We know that we’ll have to keep… diving back deep inside, hoping to find a different answer.

But for tonight, let us not be afraid to map the chaos inside.

[TREMULOUS EXHALE]

Let us create a map that will guide us into the heart of darkness.

[CAPRICE GASPS]

[SIGHS]

[BEEPING; CLICKING]

[SQUELCHING]

[CLICK; WHIRRING]

[CICADAS CHIRRING]

[SOBBING]

No, no, no.

No, no, no, no, no, no.

That was hideous.

I feel so awful.

That’s not what he was inside, that’s not what he was.

She did this.

She?

She, she, she.

The ex-wife; the mother of the cadaver.

[GASPS; SIGHS]

Djuna?

No, she didn’t.

She had nothing to do with it.

Of course she did.

What you saw in there, that was her message to me, to me.

No, it wasn’t.

I have a feeling she’d approve of this, though.

[DRILLS WHIRRING]

[CRANIUM CRACKING]

[BODY THUDS]

[SOFT SCORE]

[FOOTSTEPS RECEDING]

[METAL TINKLING]

I’m sorry I’m late.

Lots of meetings these days.

Hm…

New Vice is getting quite big, is it?

It is now.

A lot of people running scared.

So many plastic-eaters running around with scalpels.

Makes people insecure.

They’re pretty good with the scalpels, those plastic-eaters.

Better than whoever did that hack job on Brecken’s insides.

Yeah, so…

Okay…

Okay, we’ve got a man inside.

We got there first.

The kid was pretty weird inside anyway.

You wouldn’t have recognized a thing, but the hell of it was that…

it was all natural.

He was born that way.

[MUTTERING]

You wouldn’t want everybody to know that.

I couldn’t.

I couldn’t let that out.

Once that got out of the box, you would never be able to put it back in.

Your friend at the Registry did the work.

“Inspired by Caprice.”

My friend?

You mean, Wippet?

No, that strange little woman.

What’s her name?

[SNAPPING FINGERS]

Uh, Timlin.

I wondered what she was doing at the show.

I guess she couldn’t resist checking out her work.

She really wants to be Caprice for you, if you know what I mean.

And I know that you do.

And Dotrice’s assassination?

Assassination?

[HANDS HIT SIDES]

Fancy word for murder.

He was a leader.

He had a cause.

Whatever it was, it was a surprise to me too.

You have a bad habit of not telling me things.

It makes it difficult to function.

I’m telling you, we didn’t know about it.

Maybe… Maybe his crazy wife got to him somehow.

I don’t know.

No, no, no.

Well, it doesn’t matter who killed him.

It’s going to make him a martyr.

Just what the cause needs.

The cause?

Sounds like you are becoming a believer.

If you’re going to be good at living undercover, a part of you has to believe.

[DRAMATIC SCORE]

[FOOTSTEPS RECEDING]

Saul!

Saul!

[TENSER MOANING]

[CAPRICE MOANING]

[TENSER GROANING]

Oh…

[TENSER GAGGING]

Uh!

[CAPRICE BREATHING HEAVILY]

[TENSER GAGGING]

[TENSER COUGHS]

Uh, uh-uh.

[TENSER MOANING; GAGGING]

[CAPRICE BREATHING HEAVILY]

You are in pain.

Uh…

Was I?

What’s it like?

Physical pain?

Yes.

[SIGHS]

It’s hard to be clear about it.

It becomes… part of the dreaming.

Mixes with the emotional pain of the dreaming, so it’s-it’s…

It’s confused.

I… I almost thought… I almost thought I was… I was feeling.

Ah.

Ahh…

Did you dream about Dotrice?

[TENSER SIGHS]

Dotrice…

Djuna and Brecken.

They were all in the Sark together.

[SIGHS]

A family autopsy.

[GRUNTS]

Who was at the controls?

You.

And I.

We both were.

[QUIET SCORE]

[MOTORS WHIRRING]

[CLACKING]

[GROAN]

[CAPRICE SIGHS]

[PLASTIC CRINKLING]

[GAGGING]

[MOTORS WHIRRING]

[GROANS]

[COUGHING; GAGGING]

Well, Saul… what do you think?

[GRUNTS]

Yes. I think yes.

[PAINED BREATH]

It’s time to try it.

[COUGH; GAGGING]

[MOANS]

[GROANING]

[CHAIR BUZZES]

[MOTORS POWER DOWN]

[EMOTIONAL SCORE]

[CALM EXHALE]

[EXHALE]

[CHAIR PURRING]

[LONG EXHALE]

[PURRING]

[CLOSING THEME]

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