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Hard Reboot By William Ayre

INT. BEDROOM - DAY The room appears to be empty except for a computer tower and monitor that rests on the hardwood floors. The light from the monitor illuminates the completely white room. Spotless. A vintage toy alarm clock shrieks alive in the corner. The flashing lights read 6:46. The door to the closet opens and Henry, young twenties, rolls onto the ground in his underwear. Hes surrounded by packing peanuts. A night masque that reads W.O.W. (World of Warcraft) rests on his head. Henry crawls over to the alarm clock and shuts off the alarm. HENRY (V.O.) I wake up at exactly 6:45 everyday. He removes his masque and scurries towards the desk, his breath becomes heavy as he looks at the clock change to 6:47. HENRY (V.O) Perform a hard reboot. He stares at the clock as it turns to 6:48. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, he presses the power button on the base of the tower. Henry walks off screen with his head down. HENRY (V.O.) Computer first, then me. INT. BATHROOM - DAY EXTREME CLOSE UP: INSIDE HENRYS MOUTH. HENRY (V.O.) Beyond our exterior lies millions of microscopic organisms that live, multiply and perish. Henry spits again into the sink. He hits the stopwatch. HENRY 6:50 brush top right quadrant. HENRY (V.O.) They live a pointless, singular life...

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HENRY 6:52 top left quadrant. HENRY (V.O.) ...completely unaware that they exist in the body of an underachieving twenty year old. HENRY 6:54 bottom left. HENRY (V.O.) ... I am not an individual, I am a world. Resets the time, and then starts it again. HENRY (V.O.) Gargle. Rinse, repeat. Henry stops and stares at himself for a second. INT. BEDROOM - DAY Henry stands with his legs apart, arms perpendicular to his body. The grungy pair of white briefs hangs loose around his thin profile. Start of Time Lapse: -- Henrys world accelerates exponentially as he describes his routine. HENRY (V.O.) Starting at 7 I spend one hour on calisthenics and general exercise. After every activity he hits the stopwatch. Henry opens a mini fridge filled entirely with gogurt. HENRY (V.O.) At 8 o clock I eat two tubes of pink yogurt, and a fiber bar. It takes me approximately 88 seconds to eat breakfast. Close up of his hand squeezing the tube too quickly and the yogurt erupting.

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HENRY (V.O.) After breakfast is personal time. Henry sits down at the computer screen. The image is censored briefly for a second. HENRY (V.O.) 8 to 10 I spend managing my clan in WOW. Henry moves to the bathroom. HENRY (V.O.) 3 minute bathroom break. Close up of urine hitting a toilet. Cut to Henry back at the computer. HENRY (V.O.) 10 to 12 I play Rome Total War. Today Im re-enacting the battle of Aegates Islands- a roman sea victory over the Carthaginians. A decisive end to the first Punic war. Henry pumps his fist minimally. He walks towards the far corner of the room. Next to the crates of water, ramen, and toilet paper lies a hot plate with a single pot. Henry grabs a bottle of water, takes a swig and then pours most of it in the pot before switching on the hot plate. HENRY (V.O.) I have chicken flavored Ramen for lunch, beef for dinner. One scoop of cake icing for desert. Cuts to Henry slurping Ramen from the pot sans utensils. HENRY (V.O.) 20 minutes for lunch. Henry waits for the timer to stop perfectly before he clicks it. HENRY (V.O.) I spend the next 5 hours and 45 minutes socializing.

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SHOT: Henry sits cross legged in front of the computer. The camera is stationary. Head and shoulders shot from behind. The glow of the screen is the only light. HENRY (V.O.) Anonymity is my superpower. Why be yourself when you can be seven different people? Online, Im a 12 year old girl named Shelly who likes long walks on the beach and blue balling pedos. Or Im Matt Schneider, a personal fitness instructor in Vancouver who flirts with bored housewives in Tangiers. Sometimes I fake my own death on webcams. SHOT: Henry pretends to hang by the neck using tied up sheets. The camera tilts down to reveal hes standing on tip toes. HENRY (V.O.) But then I actually start to think about death and what happened. END OF TIMELAPSE. Henry falls onto his back and stretches on the ground. SHOT: OUT OF FOCUS CLOSE UP ON A WOMANS SHOES. MOTHER Henry, son, Im so sorry. Henry, look at me, look at your mother. The camera tilts up slightly and then quickly tilts back down. HENRY Listen, I might be going away for awhile... you need to do something for your mothe Henry. I need you to take these bonds and papers and hide them... Henry can you hear me? I need to go now Henry, its time. The woman bends down and places the papers underneath the carept. Cuts back to Henry looking at his stopwatch, counting the seconds.

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HENRY (V.O.) I dont allow myself time. Time is the enemy. I need to tighten my schedule. The alarm clock in the corner starts to ring: 6:00 HENRY (V.O.) 6o clock is the best hour because it means my friend Mifune is about to make his next move. Henry pulls out a small wooden chess board. The match is in its end game. Henry plays black, and hes about to lose. HENRY (V.O.) I dont know much about him, except that he lives in Taipei, but was born in Japan. The camera focuses on different chess pieces. HENRY (V.O.) Once a week for the last year hell send me a move online and Ill study every probability. Ive never won a game, but this time Im one move away from checkmate. Henry launches chrome and opens the site he uses for chess. An alert reads "Error site maintenance" HENRY No. Henry refreshes the page. HENRY What do I... He hits the refresh button again. HENRY Its past 6. Henry starts to breathe rapidly and keeps refreshing the page. HENRY Im behind schedule. Henry looks at his stopwatch.

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HENRY Its already 6:08!? Henry angrily slaps the side of the monitor and in a blink the light is replaced by blackness. The room is entirely black, except for the glow of the alarm clock reading 6:09. INT. CLOSET - NIGHT Henry crawls over to his closet in the dark, opens it and gets in. He pulls a cord from the ceiling. Initially the light is blinding. The room is lined with bubble wrap and besides Henry the only object is a small television with a built in tape player. HENRY (V.O.) Its time to reboot. Henry presses play. A title in Japanese appears, beneath it reads: "Mind Hack". A small copyright logo from the late 80s can be seen underneath the title. A beautiful smiling woman appears on screen, she begins to speak very calming in a foreign language. As she speaks the noise of a waterfall slowly begins to swell, and the background falls away into a swirl of hypnotic suggestion. HENRY (V.O.) I havent been able to sleep in four-hundred and forty two days. I put on the tape, and the memories of my day get washed away. Then the clock strikes 6:45, and I rise again able to live fresh, clean, new. Its a hard reboot.

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