THE LAST STATION Amy Suto

Amy@amysuto.com

FADE IN: EXT. RADIO STATION - NIGHT A dilapidated radio station covered in vines, being digested by the surrounding forest. PERSEPHONE BAKER (20’s), a petite girl with a smart mouth and a hot temper opens the door. She walks a few paces to the rusty MAILBOX, reaching in to remove a tightly bound pile of hand-delivered letters. Before she goes inside, something catches her eye. Three COLUMNS OF BLACK SMOKE tower on the horizon. She frowns, then disappears into -INT. RADIO STATION - DAY A tiny studio with little rooms like transparent catacombs: a recording room, a sound mixing booth, and a small lounge area, all separated from one another by soundproof glass panes. FLINT LOCKWOOD (20’s) relaxes in the soundbooth by the microphone. Flint, a charismatic radio personality with a bleeding heart, appears at home in this place. Persephone raps on the recording room’s glass. Flint grins and emerges from the booth to greet her. PERSEPHONE Are you ready for broadcast? FLINT When am I not? Persephone pushes the stack of papers at him. PERSEPHONE Here are the listener letters that the messenger dropped off. We need to get you on the air in five, alert Abel Township that the Marauders are on the move. Flint raises an eyebrow.

2. FLINT Again? All this gang activity is getting in the way of my epic quest to turn this station into the new NPR. You know what? Maybe we should interview a Marauder. “What’s it like to be a part of a gang that routinely preys on the helpless?” Persephone goes to the soundboard, flipping switches and preparing for broadcast. PERSEPHONE Right now investigative journalism isn’t our highest priority. FLINT (wistfully) Do you think people remember NPR? Persephone stares at him as if he’s lost his mind. PERSEPHONE Of course. It’s only been, what, a year? So if you’re thinking about changing your name to Ira Glass, I’d give it a decade. By then, who knows if any of us will be alive. Flint stares at her. FLINT You don’t believe that. I do. PERSEPHONE

She switches a switch. PERSEPHONE (CONT’D) This goddamn transistor is acting up again. Did you put the toolbox in the basement? Flint nods. Persephone heads down a narrow hall that descends into the basement. INT. RADIO STATION - BASEMENT - NIGHT Canned food, water jugs, and survival gear are piled in stacks up to the ceiling. Two mattresses lie on the floor, separated by a wall of first aid kits and ammunition.

3. Persephone grabs the toolbox. INT. RADIO STATION - NIGHT Persephone struggles with radio parts and a toolbox as Flint flips through the letters. Each letter begins with -- “DEAR SPEAKER OF THE DEAD.” FLINT More missing persons reports than ever this time around. Some of these letters are from people who don’t even live in Abel Township. PERSEPHONE And they’re all addressing some faceless “Speaker of the Dead.” Stupid. FLINT It makes sense, though. I’m not only the voice for the missing people looking to be reunited with the families or the towns trying to protect themselves against the wandering Marauders, I’m the voice of the dead. I remember those who would otherwise be forgotten. PERSEPHONE Jesus, Flint. You’re just a glorified lookout who occasionally reads off lists of dead people. That’s it. Flint visibly deflates. He looks down at the letters again, but says nothing. Persephone looks up, now awash with guilt. But before she can apologize -KNOCK KNOCK. Persephone and Flint grab FIREARMS from the SHELVES on a wall. FLINT You said the Marauders were close -how close?

4. PERSEPHONE Five, ten miles. The smoke was from the East, they’d hit Abel before they’d get to us. KNOCK. KNOCK. PERSEPHONE (CONT’D) (calling through the door) Who is it? Help! EMILY (O.S.)

Flint drops his weapon, opening the door -PERSEPHONE Flint, wait! --and in tumbles EMILY CRANE (20’s), a frightened, bird-like woman clutching her bleeding stomach. FLINT Go get the med kit! Emily claws her way into a chair, and gasps out: No. What? EMILY FLINT

EMILY Just... something to eat. I haven’t eaten in days... I just want to taste real food before... Flint turns to Persephone. FLINT Get some beans. And the chocolate and wine we keep in the chest. Persephone stares at him. PERSEPHONE She doesn’t have long, Flint. Exactly. FLINT

Persephone studies Emily, distrustful. But she still does as Flint asks.

5. Emily watches Persephone descend into the basement. EMILY What is this place? FLINT A radio station. The only one left, as far as we know. Emily’s eyes light up. EMILY Wait... are you... The Speaker of the Dead? Flint grins. FLINT I am indeed. Persephone returns, shoving the beans, chocolate bar, and a wine bottle at Flint. PERSEPHONE While you entertain your guest, I’ll go fix the transistor. Persephone turns and stomps off... to the other side of the room. It really is a small station. EMILY What’s wrong with it? PERSEPHONE When I flip the switch, nothing happens. EMILY Sounds like a problem with your dish, not your transistor. PERSEPHONE Thanks for your help, but -Persephone stops. The dish? PERSEPHONE (CONT’D)

EMILY Probably a mainline that got disconnected.

6. Persephone thinks about this. Emily smiles warmly. Persephone fumes, heading outside to go fix the dish. INT. RADIO STATION - SOUND BOOTH - NIGHT Flint sits in the sound booth while Persephone prepares for broadcast. Emily watches from nearby. PERSEPHONE Ready, Flint? He gives a thumbs up. She hits a red button, then points at Flint. FLINT Good evening, Abel Township and survivors. This is your Speaker. Before we honor those who are lost but not forgotten, I have some breaking news about an encampment of Marauders on the east... INT. RADIO STATION - NIGHT - LATER Persephone shuts off the lights in the small soundbooth, and takes the station off-air. Emily and Flint talk across the room, within earshot. EMILY You have such a great voice. And the way you always open with “good evening” and then “goodnight, Abel Township and survivors, goodnight” is so... comforting. FLINT That’s the secret with radio, y’know. You always wish people good evening, and then say goodbye with the phrase, “goodnight.” PERSEPHONE Sounds like pointless semantics. But Flint doesn’t hear her, and instead continues his story to Emily.

7. FLINT Saying “good evening” and then “goodnight” not only recognizes the passage of time, but also the transition of the eve into darkness, and that as a host, you’re with your listeners during that transition. Emily leans forward, captivated. Persephone pretends not to listen to Flint’s idealistic ideas. INT. RADIO STATION - BASEMENT - NIGHT Flint lies on the cold floor, haven given his mattress to Emily. Persephone sighs, then goes over to him, shaking him awake. PERSEPHONE Flint, if your heart bleeds any more you’re not going to have any blood left for the rest of your body. For God’s sake, sleep on my mattress. With you? FLINT

PERSEPHONE Yes, when I’m done putting the station in order I’ll want to sleep somewhere that isn’t beside a dying girl or on the floor. Flint smiles sleepily. PERSEPHONE (CONT’D) (softer) Has anyone told you that you’re too nice? FLINT LOCKWOOD Has anyone told you that you’re really pretty? Persephone blinks, flustered. PERSEPHONE Goodnight, Flint.

8. She escapes this awkward moment, running up the stairs. As she closes the basement door behind her, she pauses. The compliment sinks in... and she smiles. INT. RADIO STATION - NIGHT Persephone passes by Emily, asleep on Flint’s mattress. Emily’s long sleeved shirt is rolled up at the sleeves, exposing a STRANGE TATTOO of dual ampersands reflected on top of one another. Persephone walks to the booth, wheels turning in her head. Where has she seen that symbol before? Behind her, Emily raises her head, watching as Persephone makes her way into the next room. As Persephone turns the corner, Emily reaches into her bag and GRABS A KNIFE, slipping down the stairs... Persephone stares at the toolbox, turning over the tools as if they could jog her memory. Then, it clicks. PERSEPHONE (screaming) FLINT! She turns and RUNS DOWNSTAIRS. INT. RADIO STATION - BASEMENT - CONTINUOUS Flint lies BLEEDING OUT on the floor, multiple stabbing wounds in his body. Emily, nowhere in sight. PERSEPHONE Flint, Flint -She falls beside him, tears rolling down her cheeks. She repeats his name like a prayer, grasping his hand. FLINT LOCKWOOD She... she took our med kits... and ammo... Persephone looks up. The great wall of supplies that had separated her bed and Flint’s has disappeared. Flint fades fast, his eyes roll back into his head.

9. Persephone leans over, kisses him, her face wet with tears. PERSEPHONE Good night, Flint. Good night. Then, flushed with fury, Persephone rises to her feet, the cold fire of revenge burning in her eyes. EXT. FOREST - NIGHT Emily runs through the forest, laughing with mirth at her getaway, hauling her burlap sack filled with the station’s supplies over her shoulder as she sprints. Emily stops to rest behind a large tree, giggling to herself. EMILY Speaker, you’re dead. She laughs at her play on words, a twisted, venomous laugh. PERSEPHONE One-liners like that belong on the radio, Marauder. Emily stops laughing, now staring down the barrel of a gun. PERSEPHONE (CONT’D) Your tattoo gave you away. EMILY How did you -PERSEPHONE My traitor of a brother got one when he left me to die out here. And when the guards from Abel don’t get here fast enough to slit your dirty throats, you break in and take what you think is yours. When evil brands itself for us, it’s just too convenient. Persephone loads her gun, her hand shaking. EMILY No -- no, you don’t understand! PERSEPHONE I understand you killed the only person I had left. And that’s enough.

10. Persephone raises the gun. BANG. EXT. RADIO STATION - NIGHT CLANK of a shovel as it hits soil. The pile of dirt grows larger behind Persephone as she digs. A body wrapped in white lies a few feet away. Beyond the new grave are SIX MORE GRAVES, six bodies put to rest long ago. INT. RADIO STATION - NIGHT Persephone hits a red button, and walks as if in a trance into the audio booth. PERSEPHONE Good evening, Abel Township and survivors. As the new Speaker of the Dead, I’d like to start off tonight’s broadcast by honoring those who are lost but not forgotten. Starting with... Flint Lockwood. Her voice chokes, and she takes a deep breath. EXT. RADIO STATION - NIGHT The forest stirs. The Station stands strong, never changing. The only constant here. PERSEPHONE (V.O.) He will be missed. FADE OUT. THE END

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