The Last Discovery by Robert Bruinewoud | Script Revolution

The Last Discovery

After making an extraordinary discovery, the small team at an isolated research facility in the Australian outback, struggle to survive as one by one they become violently deranged.

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102pp

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SHORT SYNOPSIS

In an isolated facility in the Australian outback, a small team of scientists discover evidence the universe may have been built on an underlying code. Surprised and excited by their extraordinary discovery, they invite some colleagues to help validate their findings before sharing them with the world.

But their plans are shattered when two of their colleagues become violently deranged. Horrified by their friends' actions, they begin to suspect their discovery may be the cause, as, one by one, they fall victim to the same disorder.

Cut off from the outside world, the remaining survivors struggle to hold on to their humanity.

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LONGER SYNOPSIS

The night side of Earth as seen from space. S.E. Asia and Australia are outlined by billions of city lights.

The Australian outback, day. Two specialists, SHU-FEN (mid 40s) an expert on language, and ANTON (early 30s) an expert in finding and cracking codes, are met at an airstrip by the facility's maintenance engineer HAMID (late 30s).

They arrive at the facility and are greeted by GEENA (mid 50s), the project manager and RAKESH (late 40s), the team leader. They are joined by two other scientists, KRISTA (late 20s) and LARS (30s), and the facility's cook and first aid officer, CHARLI (mid 20s).

Over dinner that night, the guests learn that their hosts suspect they have discovered evidence that suggests our universe may be built on an underlying code or language. The two newcomers are stunned by the news.

However, extracting the ordered information, or code, from within the data proves to be more difficult than anyone suspected. Soon after, they learn of an approaching tropical storm that is expected to isolate them for a week or so. They decide to throw a party to watch the spectacular lightning display.

During the party the power goes out. They go to investigate and are shocked to find their cars and the power shed are on fire. Rakesh and Charli go to find fire extinguishers, only for Rakesh to be attacked by Krista. The others rush to his aid. Krista fights them, screaming incoherently.

Confused and frightened, the group gathers in the rec room. There, they realise that Anton is missing. Lars and Shu-Fen go to find him, while Charli and Geena attend to Rakesh's wounds.{39}

Hamid joins Shu-Fen and Lars in their search. They find Anton dying from a self-inflicted wound. They try to save him, but Anton fights them, eventually dying from his wound.

The next day Hamid explores the facility and is disturbed by the thoroughness of the destruction wrought by Krista and Anton. Hamid tells the others that he suspects it was something in the data that drove the two scientists insane. The scientists are sceptical.

Later that day, Krista manages to kill herself. Mourning the loss of their friend, they inter her in her hut.

Isolated by flooding, they cling to the knowledge that the university will soon send a plane to see why their communications are down. To that end, they layout a large "SOS" and prepare a number of bonfires. The work lifts their spirits.

Next morning, Rakesh is found standing on a dune, stripped of his bandages. Hamid tries to speak with him. Rakesh struggles for control and then, rather than risk harming his friend, impales himself on a metal fence post and dies.

With Rakesh interred in his cabin, the group relapses into stunned grief. Geena shares Rakesh's single-malt scotch with the others and proposes a toast. With no reason to stop, they keep drinking until the wake is interrupted when Lars sees a light plane. They rush out to light a bonfire, but the plane doesn't respond to the signal. Despondent, the group moves on to Geena's cabin to continue drowning their sorrows.

That night, Shu-Fen finds Charli alone in the dark kitchen. Charli tells her she's making a curry in honour of Rakesh. On hearing of of Charli's tribute, Hamid goes to give her a beer. He doesn't find her, but does discover the curry has been poisoned.

He warns the others and the group goes to the kitchen in the hope of restraining Charli. She surprises them by setting herself on fire and blowing up the kitchen. They barely escape. Hamid suffers burns to his legs.

In the morning they find Charli's remains and place them in her hut. Frightened, confused and unsure if anyone can be trusted, the survivors separate. They spend the day apart.

That evening the four survivors gather together. The scientists now believe that whatever is behind the code, is intent on killing not only them, but all of humanity. Despite his initial thoughts, Hamid finds this idea too distressing to accept.

After a sleepless night, Geena and Shu-Fen meet and are relieved to find that they are both sane. Soon after Geena is attacked by Lars. He manages to spear her in the gut, but Shu-Fen rescues Geena by smashing Lar's collarbone with a cricket bat. The two women flee to Geena's cabin, meeting Hamid on the way.

Over the next few days, Hamid and Shu-Fen tend to Geena as best they can, but peritonitis is killing her and there's nothing they can do.

Their bleak routine is upended when a light plane approaches the facility. Hamid lights a bonfire sending up a plume of black smoke. Hearing the plane, Fu-Shen joins him. Together they watch as the plane never wavers from its course and continues on to the horizon.

They return to Geena's Cabin to find the back door has been forced open and Geena dead from a fractured skull. Lars attacks them from hiding. Shu-Fen manages to smash-in his face with her cricket bat. They leave and lockup the cabin, interring Lars with Geena.

That night, bereft and alone, the two make love.{99}

Next day, they decide to splurge on a picnic and say their goodbyes, before one of them turns and tries to kill the other. The desert after the rain is awash with wild flowers. Birds and animals enjoy the bounty. It is beautiful. Hamid and Shu-Fen make a day of it. One last defiant celebration of humanity.

Near sunset, the two hug and go their separate ways. Never to see each other again.

We see the night side of the Earth from space. There are no lights. The world is in darkness.

Submitted: August 19, 2021
Last Updated: February 15, 2022

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Robert Bruinewoud's picture

The Writer: Robert Bruinewoud

Melbourne, Australia 1982. I submit my first "screenplay" (and I use the term very loosely) to the BBC. It was a hugely expensive Doctor Who saga. Needless to say, it wasn't picked up. You can read all about it here . Now, I’ve been advised that the above is not the way to sell myself as serious writer. I’m not sure why. The fact that any screenwriters’ first screenplay doesn’t sell is, I would’ve thought, to be expected and so not something anyone should hide. Nor is the fact that I’ve been writing screenplays (off and on) for forty years, something to be shy about. During that time I had my paying job (graphic designer and advertising art director) distracting me, but over those years I... Go to bio

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