The Family Cell

The Family Cell
A Screenplay
Written by Lindsay Berry

First rights copyright Lindsay Berry 2009
Lindsay Berry asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work
Synopsis
This short film takes place in a boarding school. The theme is cloning and the film explores some of the emotions of the donors and the recipients of cloned cells.

The Set Up
During the first and second scene we meet a group of young girls aged between 12-14. They appear to be normal girls discussing and doing normal activities. Some of the girls discuss their siblings. Late in the first and second scenes there is reference to an absent girl and the first hint of a common conflict facing them is revealed.

Confrontation
In the school canteen we then meet some young men, a year or two older than the girls. They are also students at the school. Throughout the scene we discover that some of the boys are related to the girls. Some of the action takes place on a sports playing field. Two of the girls have a discussion during which we learn that they do not always see themselves as normal.

The next scene takes place at a school disco. This is the first time that the girls and boys are seen interacting together. We observe some of the sibling relationships. At the end of this scene, one of the boys collapses.

Resolution
The final scene takes place at the school end of year ceremony. During the delivery of the Head’s speech we learn about the cloning process. This is followed by a speech by one of the main girl characters. The final shot is of the girl with her brother between her divorced parents followed by a close up shot of the fencing outside of the school covered in posters condemning cloning, condemning human guinea pig experiments, stating religious objections, etc with some of these quite threatening.

Characters

Abby
Julia
Chrissy
Sophie
Jade – From another dorm room
Faith – Absent in first scene
2 teachers
Mr Watson Teacher
Mark
Jamie
Boy 1
Boy 2
Mrs Pugh
Abby’s mother and father
Russell
Extras as parents, teachers and pupils
ACT 1

(Action as the credits are shown)
It is late afternoon during the autumn. The first shot is of the back of a young girl in a hospital gown stood at a window looking outside at an autumn scene. Next there may be an outside shot of old manor house type building representing boarding school. There is high wire fencing around the school. The camera enters the building through playing fields during the credits and follows up a staircase past noisy canteen preparation sounds on ground floor. It proceeds up the stairs passing an office saying Headmistress, Mrs D Pugh, (male head?) on 1st floor, and then up more stairs to 2nd floor. It then follows down a corridor past several doors, one with sign “Housemistress”, then turns into a room.

This is a common room with chairs and settees and a television. On the walls are posters of young male screen and pop idols.
There are two girls lying around on the settee, aged about 13 to 14. Both are holding mobile phones and texting. One of these girls, Chrissy, has a towel on her head and a strawberry mask on her face and is reading Mizz magazine with IPOD speakers hanging under her chin and is also singing out loud while she texts. The second girl texting is Sophie. She is obviously a sweet character, perhaps indicated by what she is wearing. There is a close up shot of another girl, Julia, who is on a computer doing Facebook. A 4th girl, Abby, enters the room wearing hockey gear, sweaty and dirty waving her hands above her head.

Abby (Hockey player)

-We won! Convent didn’t stand a chance. And guess who scored the winning shot? We are the best!-

Abby sits down heavily on a chair and starts removing her shoes and socks. She is clearly a real sportswoman. The three other girls continue doing their texting and computer work and none of them reply immediately. After a brief pause, Julia looks up and smiles at Abby.

Julia (Girl on computer)

– Well done mate. What was the score?-

Abby

Continues to remove her socks and bounce in the chair excitedly.

– 2 up. That new forward from Queens is no good at all.-

(PAUSE)

– And I reckon she’s a right cow as well. I saw her shove her foot in front of Shelly’s ankle on one run and now Shel can’t play in the semi-final.-

– She had to go off to hospital and all… –

Julia

– Oh no. What a bummer! Who’s taking her place?-

Abby

– Melanie-

Julia

– Oh great. She’s hopeless! Is Shel going to make it to the Christmas dance? –

Abby

Sits forward

– Don’t know yet. 6 weeks to go so maybe she’ll be out of plaster by then. She’s going to be so gutted. Our first time that we can hang out with the guys in a dance and she may miss it.-

– Chrissy, how long did your broken foot take? –

Camera goes to Chrissy who continues singing etc. as before. No answer. Abby is not looking at Chrissy. Then she repeats herself in a louder voice.

-Chrissy!-

She looks up at Julia

– Who’s she texting, Jul?-

Julia
Julia looks at her and smiles.

– Lover boy. Again!-

Abby
– Chrissy!-

There is still no answer from Chrissy. Abby finally looks around at Chrissy and starts staring at Chrissy’s face and then starts laughing

– What is that on your face? You look like a tomato!-

Chrissy finally removes her IPOD earphones and looks up smiling at Abby.

Chrissy

– Hi Abby. Just listening to the end of JLS. They are so hot!-

(She hugs herself)

– What did you say?-

Abby

– I said how come you look like a tomato?-

Points to her own face.

Chrissy

– Ha ha. Very funny. Anyway it’s not tomato, it’s strawberries. It says here in Mizz, that if you put fresh strawberries on your face it will get rid of spots and oily skin. I managed to bribe Shirley in the canteen to give me some. You mush them up and spread it on.-
(PAUSE)
– I have to get rid of these spots by Friday! I just have to. Otherwise I’ll have to wear a bag over my head when I see Mark.-

Abby pretends to come over to Chrissy and hug and lick her.

Abby

– Well I guess Mark can always lick your face…Oh yummy, yummy, oh, Chrissy you are so tasty…-

Julia and Abby start giggling. Chrissy sticks her tongue out at them.

Chrissy

(IN GOOD SPIRIT)

– Get lost, you two! You’re just jealous coz I’ve got a boyfriend. Not like you two losers. Are you going to dance together at the prom or have you found someone desperate enough to go with you Abbs?-

Abby makes a funny face at Chrissy, she goes over to Julia and they start dancing together and then they all start laughing.

Abby

– I’d prefer to dance with Julia than any stupid boy. I don’t know how you can even kiss him Chrissy. Doesn’t it make you gag?-

Chrissy

– It’s all right I guess. Anyway, I was texting Sophie not Mark.-

Julia and Abby start laughing more loudly.

Julia

– Chrissy, she’s in right next to you, you plonker. What is wrong with you two? Sometimes you are a right dork! –

Sophie finishes her text, closes her phone and looks up enquiringly at the others. She is a really sweet girl and one that everyone likes.

Sophie

– What are you lot laughing at? Hey, Abby, how’d the game go?-

Sophie smiles sweetly at Abby. Abby becomes softer in her responses to Sophie.

Abby

– We won, !!-

Sophie

– Well done! What was the score? –

(CHANGES HER TONE TO CONCERN)

-Were you all right? You didn’t do too much did you?-

Abby

Brushing off Sophie’s concern.

– 2 – 1. No problems. I felt fantastic!-

Sophie

– That’s great. I am so relieved! I bet your mum will be glad. When’s the next game?-

Abby

– Next Wednesday. We’re playing Brandon Hall.-

Sophie looks sympathetic.

Sophie

– Yikes. They’ve won all of their matches this year, haven’t they?-

Abby smirks but looks defiant.
Abby

– Yeah. But we can beat them. And Soph, guess what?-

Sophie

– What Abbs?-

Abby

Whispering excitedly

– Don’t tell everyone yet but I may be in line for captain of the team for the rest of the season!-

Sophie

– Oh Abby that’s amazing news. You don’t half deserve it. I could never practise as much as you. I don’t know how you do it. I wish I was good at sports like you. Mummy and Daddy would be so proud if I got made team captain. –

Abby

– Yeah, well you are good at other things. Anyway, keep your fingers crossed for me .

(Speaks in normal tone)

– Shelly’s got injured though.-

Sophie

Looks shocked.

– Oh no. What happened?-

Abby

– Oh some Queen’s cow tripped her up & now she’s in plaster for weeks and weeks!-

Sophie

– Oh flip. Did they phone her parents?-

Abby

– I’m not sure. I guess they have to.-

Sophie

– I bet they throw a right fit. Her mum went mad when she asked for her permission to play. Frightened that she’ll spoil her face for modelling. That’s all her mum ever thinks about. In the end Shel got Russell to forge the note for her.-

Abby

– Uh oh. What’s my brother doing messing around with that? She’s going to be in so much trouble and now he might be in for it as well! –

Julia goes over to look at herself in a mirror and speaks contemplatively.

Julia

– Do you think maybe when she’s famous we’ll get an invite to her mansion. Hey, maybe we’ll get to meet Robert Pattinson. Yum (Hugs herself). Almost worth being nice now, isn’t it? Just think, Smelly Shelly a movie star. Maybe they’ll get married and have tons of kids and I can be godmother and then one day I’ll be at their house and meet someone famous to marry and then I can have servants and never have to do anymore work again!

Abby

– Yeh sure, like you do so much work now. Anyway, even if you did marry someone famous, one day he’ll probably meet some stick insect like my dad and guess what, bye bye Julia.-

– Besides I think Taylor is so much better looking.-

Julia

– No way Jose. Anyway, what time is Twilight on tonight?-

Chrissy

– 8pm. Yikes, got to go.-

Chrissy looks at her watch and rushes out of the door to wash her face. The other girls carry on reading etc.

A few seconds after she has left, Jade enters the room and sits on one of the chairs. She looks fed up.

Jade

– Hey girls.-

Abby

– Hey Jade-

Julia

– Hiya. What’s up?-

Sophie waves without saying anything.

Jade

– That dragon Miss P confiscated my tuck again.-

Julia

– Not again! What for this time?-
Jade

– She snuck into the room while I was putting out a fag. She went ballistic.-

Sophie

– Jade! You promised you weren’t going to smoke in the dorm again. Anyway, I thought you were giving up. You know that it can affect the gift. Is Miss P going to tell your parents?-

Jade

– I don’t know. Who cares? They don’t! Besides all they can think of is Tim. Tim needs this. Tim needs that. We can’t even go on holiday in case Tim gets sick. We never do anything because of Tim. Sometimes I wish that I had never been born. I don’t know about him being sick, what about me?-

Jade wipes her eyes as though crying.

Julia looks at Sophie and raises her eyes. Chrissy comes into the room with a clean face. She looks at Julia who shrugs towards Jade.

Chrissy

– Hey ya Jade. Are you all right?-
Jade

– No I’m …-

Runs out of the room and into a bathroom.
Chrissy runs after Jade and catches up with her in the bathroom

Chrissy

– Jade wait. Come on. What’s wrong? (Tries to grab Jade’s hand) Are you all right?-

Jade

– No I’m not.
(CRYING)

– I’m fed of Tim, Tim, Tim. I hate him. It’s all the time Chris. I know he’s sick but Mum & Dad don’t even know I exist. It’s so unfair. I can’t wait till I’m 18 and I don’t have to see any of them again. Then they can’t make me do anything I don’t want. Serve them right if I go off to Australia!-

Chrissy goes over to Jade and starts to hug her.

Jade

– Don’t you ever get fed up with it Chris. All the time, second best.-

Julia comes in (carrying her laptop with the lid open in one arm) as Jade is speaking. Julia and Chrissy give each other sympathetic smiles.

Julia

– Jade, Don’t get so stressy. You know this is just how it is.-

The girls nod in agreement. The three of them start to walk towards a dormitory.
In the room are 5 beds with bedside furniture and lots of girly things around. On the walls are posters of current heartthrobs except by one bed where there is a sporting poster. One bed is empty and made up, obviously belonging to someone not there. As they walk into the room Julia continues talking.

– Yeh sometimes it seems a bit unfair but, nothing’s changed. It’s always been like this. Why are you so cross this time? What’s happened?-

The other girls from the common room come in and sit on various beds.

Jade

– Oh I don’t know. I think it’s just. FAITH.

She looks towards the empty bed and makes an angry gesture with her hand.

– This is the third time she’s been called in this term and it’s not even half term yet.-

Julia

– Yeh, but you know Faith says she doesn’t mind it. She says it’s her job.-
(Tries to make the conversation lighter)
– Besides her parents give her something big everytime she does it. This time she’s hoping she gets the new IPOD. She dropped her old one in the lake last week at sailing.-

Chrissy
(Also tries to lighten the conversation)

Yeh, she was really cross at Jacob when he capsized the dinghy. She wouldn’t speak to him all weekend. She swears he did it on purpose.-

Tries to encourage Jade to look at her whilst talking.

Anyway, she said the procedure is so simple now. It hardly hurts at all.-

Jade

– Yeah, right. Sure. Just like it didn’t hurt last time you went. So why all the shaking then?-

Abby

– Come off it Jade. You know it’s difficult for Sophie.-

Jade

– Why? Because she’s got two to give to? But what about the rest of us. We still have to be on call all the time. What about you Abby? Don’t you get fed up sometimes? I mean, didn’t you feel gutted when you had to turn down the offer to Milfield?-

Abby

– Of course I felt gutted. But Russell needs me. And, well I guess I’ve been lucky. So far there’s only been the one time this year.-

Lifts her head up defiantly

– Besides, I’m sure Russell is improving.-

Jade

– You’re so lucky Abby. Russell’s really great. I’d love a big brother like him.-

Abby

– Yeah. I don’t know what I’d have done without him this year. When Dad took off, he was fab. Mum was just hopeless. She just cried all the time. I was almost glad to come back to school to get away from all the fuss. Russ is the only one who held it together. He even told Dad to stop trying to introduce HER to me.

– AND Russ’s come to all my matches!-

Sophie
– He IS really great.-

Abby

– I’d do anything for him, even if it kills me.-

Sophie

(Suddenly in tears)

– Can we stop talking about that? PLEASE !-

Jade

Rushes over to Sophie and hugs her tightly

– Of course, you daft, silly thing. I’m just a crosspatch. I didn’t mean it. Sorry. Sorry. Come on stop crying. I promise I’ll stop being horrid.-

All of the girls continue doing things with Julia returning to concentrate on her computer. Pan into her screen and see that she is on Facebook. She writes something and presses the enter button and immediately becomes distressed.

Julia

– Oh no! Oh god, I can’t believe what I’ve done. Oh god, they’re going to kill me. What am I going to do? I’m such a dork! Oh my god.-

The other girls look at Julia with concern.

Abby

– What’s wrong Jul?-

Jade

– Yeh, Jul. What’s happened?-

Julia

– I’ve just sent a message telling everyone about making out with Scott last week and, oh my god, I am in so much trouble. It’s even gone to my parents!!-

All of the girls start laughing hard and rolling about on their beds. Julia plonks herself onto her bed and hides her head in her pillow.

Julia

– Oh my god, I wish I were dead!-

The other girls all go back to what they were doing as the camera fades out of this room.

FADEOUT
Scene 2

Indicate a change of time frame by showing the back of the same young girl from the beginning of the first scene stood at the window in a hospital gown looking out on a wintery scene.

New Characters

Jamie
Mark
Mr Watson

Camera goes along corridor to a dining room where 2 staff are sat talking together. Camera pans around to two boys sat at a meal table opposite each other. Both are in their teens, older than the girls by one to two years. One has full plate of food which he is moving around his plate with a fork, the other plate is dirty but empty.

Jamie

(continuing an ongoing conversation)

– And he said that Beckham should be out.-

Mark

– No way! He’s still good for another season.-

Jamie

– Come on Mark. He’s old, man. He must be at least 30. Anyway, me dad says he’s ready for the push. He should have had it years ago. He’s never going to make the play offs. If they got Ronaldo in, at least we’d have a chance at the title.-

Mark

– You’re talking through your…-

Jamie

– Like you’re some kind of expert.-

Mark

– Yeh, well, more than you. My dad IS the biggest coach in the south. He used to play for Chelsea you know.-

Jamie

(Sarcastically)

– Oh I didn’t know that!-

The boys don’t talk for a while.

Jamie

– Anyway, where’s Tim? Isn’t he up for the game tonight?-

Mark

– Oh didn’t you hear? He’s had to go back in again.-

Jamie

– No way! When?-

Mark

– Last night.-

Continues eating and then looks up at Jamie.

– I heard Forrester and the Head talking by his bed. They thought I was asleep. They must be so dumb if they think that I couldn’t hear them with all that noise. Anyway, I think they called his parents in. Forry told the Head it sometimes happens at this stage in his condition.-

Jamie

– Bad news! Is this the third one or the fourth time?-

Mark

– Fourth I think.-

Jamie

– Jees. He’s had more than you and I put together. I bet Jade is throwing a right wobbly. She nearly freaked out last time she had to give. Boy I wouldn’t like to be in that room right now. What’s the bet she screams the place down?-

Mark

– Yeh. Gotta feel sorry for Tim with that for a sister. Sophie is so great. She never complains.-

Jamie

– Yeh. And she looks pretty good too.-

Mark

– Heh that’s my little sis you’re talking about. Shut your face.-

Jamie

– Yeh and what about Chrissy. Do you think Frank likes having the school nerd going out with his sister?-

Mark

– Better a nerd than a ….-

The teachers walk by and one says

– Don’t you boys have practise this evening? Move! Now! –

The boys stand up, take their trays to a serving hatch and they start to walk out of the room. Mark takes a cake from a trolley and you hear one of the staff shouting from the kitchen.

– Leave those cakes alone-

The boys make their way outside to a sports field talking as they go. Conversation is inaudible. As they get near to the field they start running.

A teacher is there directing the sports.

Mr Watson

– Ellis. Richardson. Late again. Detention for you both. Now Ellis take the left field and let’s see some serious game play this time instead of looking like a bunch of girls. Come on now, put your backs into it. Move it boys!-

The boys start playing the game.

While the game is being played the camera pans to Chrissy and Julia on the sidelines. They are also wearing sports clothes and carrying sports equipment.

Julia

– Look at that Chrissy. Your boyfriend missed again.-

Chrissy

– He’s such a wooz.-

Julia

– Yeh. Wonder why you like him. I guess he is quite cute.-

Chrissy

– Hands off!-

Julia takes hold of Chrissy’s arm.

Julia

– You’re safe with me.-

The girls keep watching the game for a minute and cheer as though something is happening. Then they both groan.

– Oh no, look at that. Russell dropped it again. I can’t believe it’s the same guy who won the cup two years running. Look at him! Poor Abby.

Chrissy

– Yeh well. Don’t dare say that to her. You know you can’t say anything against him. She thinks he’s really something special.-

Julia catches a look at Russell and then looks away. As she turns a towel falls out of her sports bag. Russell starts to run towards to help but is struggling to run. The other boys run to help and pat him on the back as they pass. One of the boys calls out to him

-All right mate. I got it.-

Russell turns away frustrated and then the camera goes back to the girls.

PAUSE

Chrissy

– He is looking such a weed. Do you reckon he needs another gift?-

Julia

– Abby said that they were waiting as long as they could. She really wants to play in the match next month. I hope they can wait. We’re going to lose without her. Especially as Shels still not playing.-

Chrissy

– Go Mark! Yehhh.-

Both girls start jumping up and down and yelling. Mark turns and grins and misses someone going by him.

Mr Watson

– Mr Richardson! Get your eyes off the sidelines and onto the game, where they belong!-

Chrissy

– Woops. We’d better be going Ju. Old Watson‘ll have a fit if Mark messes up again.-

Chrissy waves to Mark and the girls walk back towards the school building. Chrissy goes very quiet and looks down at the ground as though thinking of something. Eventually, she puts her hand on Julia’s arm.

Chrissy

– I wanted to ask you something Ju.-

Julia
Turns to look at her.

– What?-

Chrissy

– You promise you won’t tell my mum.-

Julia

– Yeah sure.-

Chrissy

-You promise Ju. You won’t tell anyone.-

Julia grabs Chrissy’s hand as they are walking.
Julia

– Chris, you’re my best friend. We’re best friends together. I would never split on you. Cross my heart and hope not to die.-

Chrissy

– Well that’s kind of it really.-

Julia

– What?-

Chrissy

– Hope not to die. We all say that.-

Julia

– Yeah. So?-
Chrissy

– Do you think it’s right what we do?-

Julia

– What?-

Chrissy

– Well, you know. It’s like playing God sometimes. I mean maybe those people outside are right. Maybe we should let things happen as God intended.-

Julia

– Oh yeah. Like that is going to so happen. –

Chrissy

– I mean, it does seem unfair. I mean, not everyone gets this chance to change things Julia. Maybe we shouldn’t play around with destiny.-

Julia

Looks as though she is thinking about what Chrissy has said.

– Well no maybe not. And I know it seems really tough. But does that make it wrong? All we are doing is making things better for our families. So far I don’t think they’ve managed to make us live forever.-

Chrissy

– Do you think it’s fair? I mean, do you think we should be able to change things?-

Julia

– Jeez Chris. We don’t have any choice. You know that. That is why we are here. What’s wrong with you? You’ve always known that. We’re the lucky ones. We can make a difference. How many girls our ages can do that?-

Chrissy

– Yeah but, I mean, what if we said no? I mean, no more. What do you think would happen?-

Julia

– Chrissy, you can’t do that! What about Frank? What would he do without you? He’s the whole reason you are here. Doesn’t it make you feel good when you know that you can help? I love that feeling.

– Anyway, I think you need to talk to your Mum. Does she know that you feel like this?-

Chrissy

– No way. She’s great and she never lets me see her crying but I can hear her at night sometimes when I’m there at the weekends. I don’t want her to think that I don’t want to look after the family. I mean, I love Frank, I really do, it’s just sometimes I wish we were just a normal family. I am fed up of tests and worrying about the next time and…-

Julia

– Chrissy, you are the most normal person I know. You are no different from any of us. What a big wally you are. We all get fed up sometimes, but, without us, what would happen. How would you feel then?-

Chrissy

– Oh I know. I don’t know what’s wrong with me these days. Maybe it’s because it’s my birthday coming up. I just started thinking of my parents and Frank and how they must have felt when I was born. I just wish we were normal. I’m just feeling really fed up with it.-

Julia

– Yeah well. You need something to take your mind of this. I know! Look! I’ve got a woopie cushion. I’ll let you decide whose chair to put it on at the next staff meeting? Come on. Cheer up.-

Chrissy smiles hesitantly at Julia

– I know. What about getting a pass for the next exeat and going to get a dress for the Christmas prom? That’ll cheer you up. How much pocket money have you saved up now?-

Chrissy

– Oh, I don’t know. About £28. Do you think that’s enough? I’ve never bought a dance dress before. –

Julia

– Sure. I got mine in Jane Norman’s sale for £30 and you know how pricey they are.-

Chrissy

– Where did you get £30?-

Julia

– My dad slipped me the money last time they visited.-

Chrissy

– You jammy cow! I wish I had your dad. He’s so nice.-

Julia

– Yeah right. Come on. There’s the bell for prep.-

The girls start running towards the school. Camera fades after they have entered the building.
Scene 3

Shot of the same girl stood at the window in her hospital gown. Now we see that spring is beginning to arrive.

The action takes place in a school hall decorated for a spring dance. Some of the girls from the first scene are all dressed up in party frocks and the boys are in their best shirts and trousers. The teachers are there as well and are dressed smartly. They are not supposed to be participating in the dance and are there as chaperones. The music is loud and there is a bar serving non alcoholic drinks. Some of the youngsters are dancing, girls with girls and boys with boys.

New Characters.

Boy 1
Boy 2

Two boys are stood near the bar whispering. One is holding a bottle and looking nervously around.

Boy 1

– Go on John. Put it in.-

Boy 2

– No way. Watson’s looking over here.-

Boy 1

– No he’s not.-

Boy 2

– Yes he is.-

Boy 1

– Not-

Boy 2

– Is-

While they are arguing a teacher comes up behind them and taps one of the boys on the shoulder.

Mr Watson

– Hello you two. If it isn’t the terrible twins? And, what is that Mr. Fisher?-

Boy 1 tries to hide a bottle behind his back. Mr Watson reaches behind him and pulls out a bottle of cheap wine.

Mr Watson

– Where on earth did you buy this? 5% proof. Um. Enough to qualify for extra detention. Right you two. Bed. Now. And report to the Head in the morning.-

Mr Watson points towards the door. The two boys go out and Mr Watson turns and walks away. A t the same time the girls walk by them over to the bar, giggling and showing off for the boys. Sophie has her dress tucked up into her knickers.

Boy 1

– Nice pants, Soph.-

Sophie looks around and realizes her dress is tucked up. She pulls frantically at her dress and then hides her face in her hands.

Julia

– Get lost creep. Saw Watson telling you to go. You’d better get before he really loses his rag.-

Julia takes hold of Sophie’s hand.

– Don’t worry Soph. No one saw. Come on. Let’s get a drink. Look. There’s Bucks Fizz. Your favourite. Maybe they made it with real champagne instead of lemonade this time.-

Sophie

– Oh my god. I can’t believe that happened to me. Why do things always happen to me? Did anyone else see?-

Julia

– Don’t worry Soph. No one saw. Look they are all over watching Charlie do his breakdance. Come on. Let’s go watch him.-

Sophie

Pulls at Julia’s hand and turns to leave.

– No Julia. I can’t stay. Everyone saw. This is the worst day of my life!-

Julia

– Sophie. I swear no one saw. Cross my heart.-

Sophie looks around and reluctantly allows Julia to pull her back into the room.

Sophie

– All right. If you’re sure.-

The girls head over towards the bar.

– Hey look, there’s Jade. What has she got on her head?-

The camera pans around the dance floor to Jade, who has a strange hat on her head. She is dancing with Abby but every so often she seems to be in pain and grabs at her stomach. You can see that she is trying hard to ignore what is troubling her.

Julia

– Oh I think there was a bit of a problem with her last stay at the clinic. She found a hair on her pillow and now she’s convinced that it is falling out. She wasn’t going to come tonight. I offered her my extensions but she said no way. Anyway, Chrissy got so fed up of hearing her moan about it that she made the hat to match Jade’s dress. Jade couldn’t tell her she hated it. Serves her right for being such a baby.

– Anyway, I think Chrissy did all right. It kind of suits Jade that look.-

The girls smile as they pass Abby & Jade.

– Hey Jade, love your outfit mate. That looks so cool.-

Abby

Lifting her eyes towards the ceiling as she turns away from Jade. She looks sad and distracted.

– Yeh, it’s great isn’t it?-

Julia and Sophie carry on by and both say Yes quietly together. Julia grabs Sophie’s arm.
Julia

– Did you hear? Poor thing. She’s really cut up about Russ. He’s no better. They’re going to have to do another treatment next month-

Sophie

– Oh no. When?-

Julia

– She didn’t say. She won’t talk about it except to say that her parents are both
coming and she’s going to miss the award dinner. Shame.
(Pause)

At least she isn’t going to miss the final games of the season. She’ll probably get Sportswoman of the Year as well.-

Jamie and Mark appear across the dancefloor.

Sophie

– Oh look. There’s Jamie. Come on. Let’s go and show him my dress.

Sophie goes up to Jamie and smiles at him.

– Hi Jamie.-

Jamie

Replies without catching Sophie’s eyes.

– Hi Soph. Hi Jul. Where’s Scott?-

Sophie

Holds her dress out to the sides.

– Do you like my dress Jamie?-

Jamie

He doesn’t look at the dress and rushes to answer.

– Oh sure. Have you seen Scott? He said that he was going to be coming down from the dorm straight away.-

Sophie

– Blue’s your favourite colour. I knew you’d like it.-

Jamie

– Yeah, right-

Mark
Trying to ease the embarrassment.

– Come on Jamie. Let’s go and see if we can find Scott and see if he wants to play pool.-

The two boys wander off

Sophie starts to sniffle. Julia puts her arm around Sophie’s shoulders.

Julia

– Don’t worry Soph. He’s just really shy. Come on. Let’s show him. He’s a pratt anyway.-

Sophie and Julia go back and join Jade and Abby dancing. Camera pans around to Mark and Jamie walking over to a group including Chrissy. Mark goes up to Chrissy.

Mark

– Hi Chris. Wow. You look nice.-

Chrissy

Looks pleased but tries to act cool.

– Oh, hi Mark. Thanks.-

They both look at their shoes.

Mark

– How long have you been here?-

Chrissy

– Oh we just got here. I had to help Jade so I was a bit late.-
Mark

– Bummer. Did you hear about Fisher and Billy? They got banned.-

Both girls look surprised but not shocked.

Chrissy

– No way. What for?-

Mark

– Watson caught them adding wine to the punch. What pratts! I bet Fisher ends up missing the rest of term.-

Chrissy

– Those two are so bad. They are always in trouble.-

They both look at the floor and up at the ceiling feeling awkward. Jamie starts grinning. Then they both start to speak at the same time.

Chrissy

– What’s your….-

Mark

– Have you had..-

Chrissy and Mark together

Mark

– Sorry. You first –

Chrissy

– Go on.-

Mark

– I was just going to ask whether you knew what was happening with Shelly’s foot? Is she out of plaster yet? I can’t see her here.-

Chrissy

– No haven’t you heard ? She needs another op to reset it. I can’t believe how long it’s taken.-

Mark

– Jeez. That’s really bad news.-

They both go quiet again and then Mark grabs Chrissy’s hand and drags her onto the dance floor and they start dancing. While they are dancing they keep talking.

Chrissy

– Yeh. I don’t know whether they are going to do Shel’s gift at the same time?-

Mark

– Can they do that?-

Chrissy

– Jade says they can. She says it doesn’t affect the gift.-

Mark

– Yeh she should know. Funny, but I thought we all had to be perfect for it to work. Didn’t Sophie have a problem last time? Wasn’t that when she had some cold or something?-

Chrissy

– Yeah.That’s right but I don’t think a broken foot is the same. I think the cells can grow normal. It’s only if there’s like something wrong with you inside. I think so anyway.-

They keep dancing and then a slow record comes on and they both look at the floor. Then they start to walk off the dancefloor. Camera pans out and other dancers are leaving the dancefloor. Suddenly there is a sound of falling and everyone starts to crowd around. There is some shouting.

Voices

– Quick. Get help. Somebody call the San.-

Jade is stood on the outside of the circle and her hat falls off. Someone steps on Chrissy’s foot. Sophie pushes her way out of the crowd and looks around as though she is looking for someone.
She sees Chrissy and comes up to her.

Sophie

– Chrissy. Thank goodness. Have you seen Abby?-

Chrissy

– No. Last time I saw her she was with Jade. Have you seen Jade’s…?-

Sophie

– Sorry Chris. No time. Got to go and find Abby.-

Chrissy

– What’s up?-

Sophie

– Russell’s collapsed. They’ve called Dr Young. He’s really sick this time. It looks like he’s going off to ICU at the General. I’ve got to let Abby know. Do you know where she is?-

Chrissy

– Oh no. Poor Abby. We’ll help you look. Come on Mark.-

All three run off in different directions as though searching for Abby. Chrissy finds her dancing with someone. Chrissy goes up to her and starts speaking earnestly. At first Abby acts as though she is fed up of the news. As Chrissy keeps talking Abby becomes more distressed. She pulls away from Chrissy and the final shot of this scene is of Abby beginning to cry and pushing her way through the group of people to run out of the room.

Camera fades.

Shot to indicate passage of time. It is now late spring/early summer. Outside shots of the school show some flowers beginning to bloom. The camera travels into the front door of the school and instead of going upstairs this time it goes straight on. Turn right along a corridor towards a large door at the end. We start to hear noises as the camera gets closer to the door. When the camera is close we see that the door is slightly open and there are sounds of a meeting going on. The camera enters the door.

Scene 4

Setting

A school hall with teachers sat up on a platform facing a room of students and adults. The students are sitting in the front rows and Abby is sat at the end. The adults are sat behind. In the middle of the teachers is the Headmistress, Miss Pugh. She is standing and reading from a speech. Some of the students are not paying attention. One young boy is tying a girl’s ponytail to a chair or colouring it. One girl is texting. A couple of boys are kicking each other. The scene is a typical end of year school meeting.

Miss Pugh

– …and I am proud to say that the maths department has achieved its best ever results. One of our pupils has been shortlisted for the national student maths award for the under 10’s.-

Everyone claps politely.

Miss Pugh

– The Sports Department, under the direction of Mr Watson, has gone from strength to strength. This year the boys’ teams have won all of their matches here at home and have only lost two away games. This is a fine achievement. Even though we are losing some of our sixth form star athletes this year I know that in the upcoming year groups there are some new stars waiting to step in their places. –

Everyone claps politely.

Miss Pugh

– Sadly, this year the girls’ teams were not so fortunate. They lost two of their best sportswomen this year. I am sure that most of you know about poor Shelly’s accident.-

Camera pans around to a girl in the audience who looks cross at being singled out. The girl sitting beside her knudges her.

– I’m glad to say that she has now made a full recovery and will back on the first team next year.-

The students all shout hurray.

Miss Pugh

– I would just like to give a special mention to Abby Foster, our under 15’s girls champion hockey player.-

The students all start cheering

Miss Pugh

– As you all know, in addition to her role on the hockey team, Abby has been a member of the gymnastics team, tennis team, athletics squad and is the junior captain of the girl’s soccer team. She is a talented all round sportswoman and we have been really lucky to have her here at Cambridge Cloning Foundation Education Facility. Her sporting contributions have never been surpassed in our history. Unfortunately, as many of you know, during this past year the health of her brother, Russell, has deteriorated. Despite several donations from Abby, the medical team has been unable to extract the cells needed to re-grow the lung which Russell so desperately needed. So, in a typically selfless act, Abby took the decision to donate one of her own lungs to her big brother. As you know, we do try to avoid organ donation here at the cloning clinic. Our aim has always been to use the donor’s cells to grow organs for the recipients. And we are delighted that, over our years of trialing this method, our success rate has soared to 94o/o. Of course, this makes it so sad for us all now when the gift fails and we lose one of our precious children

Camera shot of Faith, the girl from the window, now dressed in school clothes and wearing black armband. The camera follows her gaze to a large memorial photo of a teenage boy on an easel at the front side of the teacher’s platform. She catches her breath and looks down at her lap twisting a tissue in her hands.

– Anyway, I am happy to tell you that Abby’s operation took place last month and both Abby and Russell have made a good recovery so we are confident that Abby will be back next year to take her place amongst her team mates on the sports field..-

The students cheer again.

Miss Pugh

We hear her voice over shots of archived press cuttings of protest against cloning, stem cell research, etc)

– When Dr Young and I set up this facility 15 years ago in 1996 people were frightened of the idea of cloning. There were horror stories of creating a perfect race. Babies were going to be grown in pots. Donors would be killed off to help the recipients live. In 1996 our own Dr Young had a vision of how cloning could be used ethically and with the minimum harm to everyone involved. As you all know he met great resistance in this work. Society was not ready to accept man growing man. The whole purpose of our research work has been to prove that everyone can win when cloning is used in a safe and controlled way.-

Camera looks towards Abby

– Let’s let Abby herself tell you how she feels about her role as a donor now.-

The students all cheer loudly and stamp their feet.

Abby makes her way slowly onto the platform during the cheering.

Abby

– When I was little I knew that Russell was sick. He couldn’t do what other big brothers did. He was always sick. Everything we did in our family we did or didn’t do because he was feeling well or sick. Mum & Dad told me when I was five that I was special. Up until then I thought that they just loved Russell more than me. But then they said that they also loved me because I was able to help make Russell better. They had chosen to have me specially to do that and that made me even more precious to them. Anyway, I made my first donation that year. Yes it hurt a bit. But not as much as Russell hurts when he can’t breathe. I am really glad that Mum & Dad had me to help Russell. I know he can be a pain sometimes but I think he is okay as a brother. And I only wish Faith had her brother here today.-

Miss Pugh starts clapping and everyone stands and cheers. Miss Pugh goes over to Abby and puts her arm around her. Abby slowly walks off the stage and goes to a spare seat in between her parents, who are sat separately at either end of four chairs, and Russell. Russell gives her a gentle punch on the arm. They all smile at each other and then the parents look away from each other.

Miss Pugh

– Thank you Abby. I am sure that you all agree she is a great inspiration to us all.-

More clapping and stamping of feet.

– Well as you all know, modern medicine has enabled our parents to produce a second child to help save the life of their older child. Just think. A future with no more cancer. No more heart disease, No more lung disease. We are hoping that soon we will be able to take our work out into the wider world. This is the face of the new medicine. In this experimental model of the boarding school clinic we are producing happy and healthy young adults. They can live in safety without any of the fear and unhappiness of being the odd one out in an ordinary school. They are protected from the extremists in society. We have given hope to the future health of this society. We are the future. I am so proud of our children and parents for helping us make this work…-

As she carries on reading her voice fades and the children start to fidget in their seats. Some of the parents have tears in their eyes and are holding hands. Julia turns around in her seat to smile at Abby and they both look up at the ceiling smirking. Russell turns to grin at Abby and she sticks her tongue out at him. The camera fades away to show the outside of the school, this time with the sign visible “CCFEF, with “Promoting the Future Health of the Nation”. This time when we see the fencing we see that there are all types of protest signs and signs of attempts to break in.

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