Perchance to Dream by James Austin McCormick | Script Revolution

Perchance to Dream

Type:

Status:

Page Count: 
10pp

Genre:

Budget:

Age Rating:

Logline: 
A dead soldier follows the light at the end of the tunnel but discovers his own personal afterlife is nothing he could have imagined.
Synopsis/Details: 

Set in the near future when corporations are more powerful than governments and fight each other for the solar system's resources, a soldier falls on the Martian battlefield only to wake in a dark tunnel. Following the light ahead he enters an office with a clerk waiting to discuss his contract. He is dead, that is beyond question, yet that doesn't mean his corporate employers are done with his services just yet.

This Script Has Been Reviewed By Shootin' The Shorts

Perchance to Dream
A dead soldier follows the light at the end of the tunnel,
but discovers his own personal afterlife is nothing he could have imagined.

Imagine, for a second, a world (or universe) in which democracy has completely collapsed and evil, amoral corporations have seized supreme political control, overtaking government, controlling our economy, military and even us, as people. What’s that? We don’t have to imagine it at all? It’s happening now?

I’ll stay away from any political rants, but it’s no secret just how much corporations influence our government, our economy and us, as people, and our everyday lives. But what if these corporations controlled us… even after we’re dead?

That’s what author, James Austin McCormick, explores in his “Outer Limits”-esque sci-fi tale, Perchance to Dream.

It all takes place in the very distant future, where corporations reign supreme and are at war with each other, duking it out over the solar system’s resources. It’s also a future where DNA replication and gene patenting is regulated by one corporation in particular. Think of the way Monsanto was able to alter crop DNA and then essentially own it in perpetuity, thus monopolizing America’s agricultural market with its genetically modified seeds. Well, the corporation in Perchance to Dream is kinda the same thing, but with human DNA.

The story opens with battered and bloodied soldier, Captain Eli Jaxon, moving towards a light at the end of a tunnel. As he reaches the light, he finds himself in an office where he’s greeted by a nerdy, bespectacled clerk sitting behind a desk.

All Jaxon remembers is being on the battlefield, where an enemy shell exploded, decimating him and his troop. Next thing he knew, he was walking down a dark tunnel, towards a light.

“Am I dead?” Jackson asks.

CLERK
Well, at this precise moment your body lays broken and bloodied
on the Martian battlefield, just outside Olympus Mons.
Both heart and respiratory functions have ceased.
Already brain cells are dying.

He taps his temple.

CLERK
Your higher cognitive functions have ceased,
but your consciousness has been saved.
That now resides inside this virtual environment.

JAXON
Okay, now I’m beginning to catch on.
That damn chip in my head.

It’s actually a crystal embedded in Jaxon’s central cortex, the clerk clarifies.

During this office meeting inside of Jaxon’s subconscious, the clerk then discusses some paperwork that had previously been signed by Jaxon.

CLERK (CON’T)
Now, it says in your contract that if you’re to die during active duty
then a substantial payment is to be made to your family.

Unfortunately for Jaxon and the family that he’s survived by, there’s a sub clause in the contract that threatens payment – leaving his wife and kid, back on Earth, no longer entitled to compensation despite Jaxon being blown to bits over this corporation’s war.

There is, however, a way to make things right – to sign a new contract. By signing it, not only will his family be compensated, but he will be brought back to life to specifically complete his mission so that the corporation he’s fighting for can prevail. But, by signing that contract, he may be signing away much more than he had intended.

In Perchance to Dream, McCormick explores themes of power, lack of it and how individuals can become enslaved through gene patenting while also touching on what it means to be human… and whether or not that human side can truly be replicated.

Review by Michael J Kospiah
Submitted: April 24, 2020
Last Updated: April 24, 2020

Want to read this script? You must join the revolution first. Don't worry, it's free, easy, everyone's welcome, and you can start reading right away.

This Script Is Loved By

Tyna Ezenma's picture
Marc Schwyn's picture
Lance West's picture
Loraine McBarron's picture
Wilmer Villanueva's picture
Marcos Fizzotti's picture
James Austin McCormick's picture

The Writer: James Austin McCormick

I'm a college lecturer and compulsive writer of speculative fiction. To date I've had many short stories published in various anthologies, as well as novellas and novels published with Class Act books. Anyone who wants to check out my fiction can find a detailed list at the link below: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?195589 And my page on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/James-McCormick/e/B00F3F9SGY%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_... I also enjoy screenplay writing and along with a co- author had three horror scripts optioneds. I have also had several scripts place highly in international competitions. In addition to full length scripts, I also write shorter ones. One of these, "In the Silence" (... Go to bio

More Scripts From James Austin

Sunfall
A small-time smuggler lands a high-priced contract but is hunted by a superhuman assassin intent on stopping him delivering a mysterious device that could save millions of Martian colonists from an impending solar storm.
Feature Sci-Fi For sale 118pp
1 reader loves this script
The Lamp
A genie offers an antiques dealer three wishes but the man soon begins to suspect the supernatural offer may have some very serious strings attached.
Short Fantasy Available for Free 20pp
2 readers love this script
Fuss
An old man does so hate to make a fuss, even when someone's life is at stake
Short Drama Available for Free 3pp
1 reader loves this script
Bridges
A suicidal man is comforted by a stranger but soon begins to suspect he might be better off without her help.
Short Drama, Horror Available for Free 4pp
1 reader loves this script
A Matter of Taste
Two crime bosses pit their wine tasting skills against one another in a contest to become head of the underworld, only they’re vampires and the wine isn’t actually wine.
Short Comedy, Horror Available for Free 10pp
1 reader loves this script
Friends Like These
A broke tech genius tries to sell his virtual company but his AI creations have very different ideas.
Short Sci-Fi Available for Free 17pp
1 reader loves this script
The Last Fight
An ageing, on his way out boxer bets everything on one last fight.
Short Sci-Fi Available for Free 11pp
1 reader loves this script
The D'Angelo Way
An unscrupulous journalist sets out to uncover the secret of a fitness guru’s eternal youth. It's not the healthiest decision he could have made.
Short Comedy, Sci-Fi Available for Free 15pp
The Helper
A desperate man finds himself lost and alone until a stranger shows him two possible paths, that between life and death
Short Drama Available for Free 4pp
FROM BEFORE
An ambitious university professor finds the things he’s done to come so far so quickly come back to haunt him, quite literally.
Short Horror Available for Free 15pp
Black Space
When an experimental craft warps into an empty void, the crew must work out exactly where they are if they have any chance of returning home.
Short Sci-Fi Available for Free 12pp
Friends in the Swamp
An old man, close to death, says farewell to his grand-daughter. It’s just the two of them out there in the swamp, but they’re far from alone.
Short Drama, Fantasy Available for Free 6pp
Long Live President Tyrone
A jaded CEO takes on his own board when they refuse to let him retire. Their argument is simple, countless life saving operations and technical implants have rendered him corporate property.
Short Sci-Fi Available for Free 10pp
The Picture of Jonathon Laslow
A bankrupt mill owner turns to a rich friend for help but soon wishes he hadn’t when he learns the terrible price he must pay in return
Short Crime, Mystery Available for Free 16pp
sendnudes