By Jakob Rodriguez
From the darkness… a current of electricity sparks and then starts to fill the void. metal plates come down and are pressed into the shape of…
EXT. California institute of technology – MIDDAY, OCTOBER 5 1942
Now inside a classroom, we look up from the bottom of a desk up at an angle to reveal AIKO HYODO, looking toward the front. The teacher is talking in the background as we focus on her.
(not in the shot)
Students, today you shall take your midterms.
(the shot cuts to behind Aiko, showing her full upper body, in focus along with other people. The shot pans from left to right, and the teacher and other students are visible)
We have all studied vigorously for this and I sincerely hope you all pass. Now if you all are ready…
(he looks at his watch and the shot cuts to his watch)
…you may begin! (the shot cuts to show the man in an upwards angle, raising his arm as he says it.)
The shot is right over Aiko’s head, and it pans down. She’s writing on the paper.
Cut to outside the school.
Same shot as the opening. Fade to the same shot but the sun has changed locations and shadows are in separate places. We hear a bell ring.
Alright, turn in your papers at the desk. Have a good day.
Aiko is in a line of people with her bag, who are leaving their papers in the desk. It’s a side shot that shows a space above their heads to under their knees. When Aiko reaches the end of the line, we see in her POV her placing the paper on the stack.
THE HOME OF AIKO
The same hand and paper, now with a 40/40 on it, on a table. It is now February 19, 1942. In the kitchen.
Yatta! Great job Aiko, my pride and joy!
Aiko lifts her hand. We cut to Aiko’s mother, Emi, hugging her daughter. They’re in the middle of the shot, facing perpendicular from the angle the hand was in the last shot. We can see up from their hips, and not much of their legs. Emi is hunched over and with an excited look on her face, her eyes closed in delight. Zoom out to Aiko’s father, Eiji, with glasses looking at a newspaper which he shakes. He bears a smile on his face and turns his attention from the paper to Aiko.
Yoi shigoto! (EMI in the same shot moving away from Aiko and turning to the fregadero, the next shot is back to where we were before but facing opposite the hand from the first shot, Aiko facing the camera.) I’m sure you’re going to become something great Aiko. You’re truly living the American dream.
[A somber look rests on her face.]
(a knock is heard)
(her head turns) Someone’s at the door?
(opens her eyes, looks to the door) I’ll get it. (she walks toward the door. The shot cuts to Aiko opening the door—we see Aiko from outside the house in a medium shot. She has a look of trying to piece together what’s going on. The shot remains on her.)
Good evening, is this the Hyodo household?
Yes, it is.
(the shot shifts to have Aiko’s head in the foreground on the left. We see two officials, one dressed in brown and the other dressed in blue.)
We are government officials, and we are enforcing the new Executive Order 9066 signed by the president; you and your family are coming with us.
Change to a long shot showing the house, Aiko and the officers. We see Aiko get outraged, and her father and mother come to the door as well. We see them talk, but we cannot hear them. After a bit, the camera pans up toward the horizon, which is setting right now.
ext. japanese internment camp – may 21, 1942
It’s night. We pan down to one of the houses.
We see the Hyodo family eating in full view from a corner of the house opposite the doorway. Aiko is sitting on the bed, Emi and Eiji sit at the table. The space is very small and cramped, the table and bed very close to each other. We focus on Aiko for a bit, and then on Eiji and Emi for a bit—they all have sad faces.
Then, a knock is heard. Emi and Eiji look up from their food and turn their heads to the door (not in view).
Who could that be? This late?
(the shot cuts to her, from the direction of the table) Don’t worry, I’ll get it.
(cut to the door opening from Aiko’s perspective, looking down. We see her hand fully open the door. A man in a gray suit, MR. ADAMS, and an officer dressed in blue are at the door. Adams is closer to the door and further up steps than the officer. The sky is a navy color, the stars in plain sight. Other houses and hills create a black silhouette. The officer is carrying a lamp which illuminates the outside for a few feet.)
Good evening. I am Mister Adams, an official from the government of the United States. (he takes his hat off) I am here to talk with an Aiko Hyodo. Is she here?
(the shot changes to Aiko, looking behind the shoulder of Adams, at an angle.)
(raises her left hand to point at her face.) That would be me… (her expression changes to a somewhat suspicious and scared face)
(signaling toward the house)
We need you to be part of a top secret project.
(looking off to the side) O-Okay… let’s talk about this with my family too, please?
Very well. (he puts his hat back on)
(she backs out of sight, and Adams goes up the stairs. The officer stays down there and turns around.)
Cut to show Aiko and Adams coming in. Emi and Eiji are in the foreground. Then cut to show Eiji, Emi and Tomo from the perspective of the opposite wall.
(curiously, eye brow raised)
Uh…? Hello? (Emi turns around)
(we focus on Adams now) Greetings, Mr. and Mrs. Hyodo. I am here to recruit your daughter to become an integral part of a top secret government project. Time is of the essence, so I must ask you to come up with a decision right now.
(impatiently, back to that other shot)
Wait, what? Can we get an explanation?
(almost cutting off Emi, standing up)
This is all so sudden!
(cut back to him, closer shot, puts hand up)
Not to worry; Ms. Hyodo will be safe and will be better off there than here. We cannot discuss details here as it’s confidential.
Cut back to Emi and Eiji. Eiji and Emi are angrily talking with Adams in the while. The camera zooms into them slowly for 2 seconds. They blink. Then the camera cuts to Aiko, Adams’s shoulder visible in the foreground, slowly zoom into her. She’s looking down into the ground, her eyes closed. She shifts her face up, still not looking directly at the camera, then she turns her head to look at Adams’s shoulder, closes her eyes, takes a couple of steps forward and…
I’ll do it.
Adams’s shoulder turns partially. The shot cuts to behind Aiko, at a slight upward angle with the roof visible though their bodies are in full view. Adams turns around and she opens her eyes soon after Adams begins speaking.
Glad to hear that, Ms. Hyodo! (he nods and makes for the door) Now, off we go.
He walks across the screen, which transitions TO
EXT. OF THE HOUSE
Aiko now dons a backpack, and is hugging her family in a medium shot. The family is facing away from the camera (Emi is perpendicular to it and Eiji is at an angle from it) while Aiko is facing it full. She stops hugging them and turns almost away from the camera, the camera cuts out to a wider shot. A BOEING 307 STRATOLINER is now in view and center of the frame, the dark night sky makes up half of the view while houses are in the background. We see the airplane in full view, almost from the house’s perspective though more up in the air. The family is in front of the camera, though small, as is Aiko who is making her way toward the Boeing’s stairs.
Don’t worry, I’ll write to you!
The camera cuts to a close up of Aiko getting on the plane from right under the door of the plane. She’s climbing up it and is in the foreground, as the family is in full view as is their house. Emi is waving goodbye, Eiji is looking on, his hand around Emi’s shoulder.
The airplane then starts up and begins taking off into the sky, getting smaller as it goes into the distance. After a bit we show the Boeing in flight in the night sky, the moon in the background and clouds very distant below in the sky. After that
INT. boeing 307 sTRATOLINER
Aiko sits alone in a chair in the lounge, facing toward the window. We see her in a sideway medium shot sitting down, the KING KONG novel in her hand. She looks out to the window. After a brief close up to her face, looking lost in thought, she closes her eyes, smiles, and…
INT. m.e.i.c.o.b.s.u. construction facility
Aiko is in the same exact position as the last shot. The camera turns into a medium shot, angle up like last shot. The camera now turns into a shot from behind her back at an angle where her eyes are visible and the camera is able to catch a view of the paper she has her hand over, and Aiko has blue overalls with a pink shirt now (still sitting down). She opens her eyes, and starts drawing on the paper (the drawing is barely visible).
(while the montage below plays out)
I, 17-year-old Aiko Hyodo, am one of the lead designers of the superweapon M.E.I.C.O.B.S.U., nicknamed Mecha-Cobra—the first mech in history. Powered by harnessing nuclear energy, it’s state of the art-decades ahead of its time, and took collaboration from several minds to create—I only handled the engineering of the robot, but I’ll be piloting it as well… Mecha-Cobra’s purpose? A countermeasure against possible superweapons by the Axis Powers. It was built… to save the world.
Aiko moves her fingers across blueprints of MC and talking as men in hard hats look at the paper. We see then the setting up of the base where M.C. will be constructed in, looking up. Wireframes then surround the vertical shaft, looking down and at an angle. Wires begin to be put in certain arrangements in the wireframe, with Aiko inspecting from afar at the ground. Metal heart and head begin to be added, with Aiko inspecting closely now, up in a lifting machine. Someone uses a flame thing on metal very close up, almost facing the camera. We see that half of the robot has some plating now. Cut to Aiko inspecting MC from the inside, visible through wireframe. Now giant nails are being hammered into shell of MC in pretty much a mirrored shot of the fire shot before with no Aiko. Now in a medium shot showing the chest of MC, it is being painted by workers as Aiko stands in the foreground, to the left. Aiko is now sitting in a chair in the control room of M.C., only her visible. She’s twisting slightly at her chair. Finally, we see a full view of the finished M.C. Cut to Aiko looking up, as she finishes the monologue. Adams can’t initially be seen behind her, but comes into view slowly, as the words “AUGUST 16” come into view.
Alright! I think we’re finished here! (thumbs up, closes eyes)
Hyodo! We’re deploying Mecha-Cobra, now!
(opens her eyes, shocked expression, turns around) What?! Are we under imminent attack by an enemy robot?
(close up) Actually… the Japanese have surrendered--However… we have confirmed sightings of a giant monster, a monster that appeared right after the atomic bombs were dropped, and it has destroyed everything in its path out to the ocean, and it’s heading toward the west coast. Conventional weaponry has proved ineffective against it. They call it… Dairachi.
(Cut to Aiko. Zoom in slightly.) A giant, unstoppable force of destruction that doesn’t identify with the sides of petty humans… almost symbolic, isn’t it? (Aiko looks down. After a brief pause, Aiko looks up.) I’ll do it.
MECHA-COBRA’s eyes light up in bright white, extreme close up to show only his eyes. Switch to look behind MC at an angle in the ground. The gates open. Aiko is inside M.C., wearing a distinctive suit. We see her at an angle.
All systems seem to be operational. (cut to look behind Aiko to show television screens with color, square shaped and low resolution)
Pathway is clear. You may go enter land-travel-mode.
MC is now viewed at an angle from the door, where it is facing the door camera-left. MC begins to slouch over slowly, then speeds up to hit the ground. Cut to outside the facility, we switch to a side view from outside where his full body comes out. Then, he starts gaining speed and starts swaying from side to side as he moves away. Front view, he moves this way toward the camera and when he fully covers the camera,
it quickly cuts to
island of hawaii, pacific ocean
Aerial angled view showing the shore of the island of Hawaii, facing landward. Mecha-Cobra can be seen wriggling from side to side. Change perspective to a close up of the body of M.C.
Hyodo, we just received word from within Oahu: Dairachi went right through Honolulu about 30 minutes ago.
(cut to inside, Aiko in MS angled view) I’m just off shore of the island of Hawaii. I’ll be seeing it soon then… (brief pause) Say… if Mecha-Cobra and I can’t defeat the monster what will be done to stop it? (pause; meanwhile we see land come into view in the form of beaches in the background)
A roar is heard right then. Aiko opens her eyes, leans back a bit, then takes a close look at the screens rapidly)
Oh… my lord… (the camera switches to behind Aiko. The camera abruptly zooms in to a screen, to show the shape of Dairachi come out from behind Mauna Loa. We see Dairachi walking, from the side, panning up from his legs to his upper body for a few seconds.)
Hyodo! Can you confirm a visual? (back to Aiko—she is panicking in the same shot as before)
Yes! It’s there! It’s the size of a mountain!
(focus on Dairachi from away now) By God… it’s worse than we ever possibly imagined (the radio starts to go to static and becomes gargled eventually becoming white noise.)
Hello? Hello? I can’t hear you! (she tries to adjust the radio, holding onto her headphones, and then the camera cuts to over the station, her fist hitting it, her face comes down with her eyes closed and her teeth visible) Damn it! (after a pause, she looks up. In a medium shot, she opens her eyes and says) I’ll just have to do it. I have to save the world. (She pushes the control levers forward, cut to a side view of MC, speeding up, going out of the frame, then cut to an aerial shot showing MC slithering quickly on land. We see a long shot of Dairachi, right next to Mauna Loa, walking, as MC comes into the frame. Now a partial side view of MC, opening its mouth and having other weapons be visible. The camera slowly pans to the right, and a triangle slashes half the screen to a view where Dairachi’s head walks into frame.)
TO BE CONTINUED