A series by MAND PASKUSKI
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C.R.Y.P.T.O. (Sci-Fi Teen Thriller). Five years after a global catastrophe, the children of the scientists responsible uncover a conspiracy that could clear their parents names and save the world.
In this dystopian tale, a corrupt leader flirts with totalitarianism and already a new world order is underway. The impetus of this caused by the infamous Black Sky Six: The scientists responsible for Earth’s first global blackout. It just so happens they left more than one legacy behind: their children.
We follow these six kids as they uncover information leading to the true events said to have been caused by their parents. Yes, everyone loves a good conspiracy…unless they’re at the center of it. At the center of our story is Vivien Hammerschmitt, a bright young student and daughter to one of the six. Her day begins like any other, until a fire at the town power plant catapults her and the gang back into their sordid pasts, and consequently back into each other’s lives.
When something new is discovered they are left with a choice: stay put and stay safe or follow the breadcrumbs to learn the truth.
Their parents changed the way of the past, will they choose to change the way of the future?
C.R.Y.P.T.O. is a ten-hour sci-fi teen thriller epic.
Set in Los Angeles in a dystopian retrogressive future and heavily influenced by classic teen films of the past.
Encapsulating the dread and awe as flakes of radioactive dust fall on curious on-lookers in Chernobyl…the bone-chilling hairs rising as blood floods up from Johnny Depp’s bed in A Nightmare on Elm Street…the mouth’s parting in unison as the audience finds out who really is Tyler Durden in Fight Club. This all the while as well as containing the charming feel of John Bender lighting a cigarette on his boot in The Breakfast Club, the closeness and camaraderie of The Goonies, and the nostalgia of watching Molly Ringwald sew herself a pink prom dress in Pretty In Pink.
Touching, thrilling and suspenseful, C.R.Y.P.T.O. is a kiss on the cheek to the good old days of John Hughes and Wes Craven.
BLACK SKY DAY
Most of us remember where we were the day the Challenger exploded, or when the twin towers fell. A day such as that in history lands itself a mark, imprinting on people’s lives forever. Such a day happens in C.R.Y.P.T.O. that will set the course and tone for the future.
The Cover-Up is one that will be explored throughout the course of the season. At first view we gain only a glimpse from one perspective of the events of Black Sky Day. A key-holed version of what happens as it happens leading up to the global blackout that resets the world from zero. The Black Sky Six, as they will later infamously be known as start their day as any other at a secret laboratory in the town of Roverside. A fax comes in from their Commander that will change the course of history. These fax directives will later be revealed, but for now all we know is they are dangerous. A secret mission is underway and the government is somehow involved, that much is clear. The rest, we uncover as we follow our gang following breadcrumbs.
President Parker Dunfield, ready to claim her iron fist world is on the rise and if not for Black Sky Day she might never have come into power. She is a villian hiding behind her yellow skirt suits and black pearls. We will come to know her as one of the most relentless, evil, power-hungry antagonists the world has ever seen and she is terrifying.
We open with the sound of a voice on a tape recorder. The voice in question is important and will be the recurring storyteller throughout the series. She is our first window into the knowledge that a conspiracy exists and the truth may not be what we think it is with regard to Black Sky Day.
A Teaser: As mentioned, this is where we see flashes of the titillating moments leading up to the global blackout. We see when and where those involved were on the day in question. A plane, a secret agent, a device, a power plant, six scientists, a fax, an elementary school, six kids, and then…an explosion.
Five years later, on the anniversary of this sad day, VIVIEN HAMMERSCHMITT guides us through our new world post-global blackout. Something called Tap Technology is in the intermediate stages of implementation. MTK’S, or Mandatory Tap Kiosks are everywhere and noticeable are Tap-Lets on nearly every wrists. Tap In to School, Tap-In to class, etc. etc.
The kids we glimpsed briefly in the teaser we finally get to meet as young adults. VIVIEN, KEVIN KELLER, PETER SMOLLETS, GINA FITZGERRICK, TOM MARSHALL and PATTI COLLINS are still grappling with the tragic loss of their parents coupled with their vilification in the media. They, nor their parents, should ever have been famous.
A small power outage occurs within the school, causing THE GANG to reluctantly come together. They discover the occurrence is due to a fire outbreak at the Power Plant Ruins. The following day, Kevin Keller is arrested on suspicion of arson and the rest are brought in for questioning. An unspoken solidarity forms and when they are released it’s up to them to figure out how to save Keller and quite possibly the town itself.
In order to do that, our gang is going to have to get resourceful and hop the line into dangerous territory. They’ll need to outwit the powers that be and delve deep into the past to save their impending future.
C.R.Y.P.T.O. will have a similar structure to that of the popular television shows FRINGE and BREAKING BAD. Cinematic in nature, but with explosive openings that unlatch a pandora’s box of curiosities…then a strategic middle to fill out and answer some of those questions slowly until finally we are gifted an end. Being a limited series it will give opportunity to seek out film actors for the principal cast. For instance, Michelle Pfeiffer or Octavia Spencer for Dunfield, Harry Styles or Dacre Montgomery for Keller, Mackenzie Foy or Lily Rose Depp for Vivien.
ACT ONE (Episodes 1-3) will encapsulate the aftermath of Black Sky Day and showcase the stark contrast between pre and post blackout not only for our little community but for the world. Keller and Vivien’s past and recent relationship dynamic will be explored, just enough to gather that for them it was always something a little more than friends. In this we also learn of Smollets’ long standing crush on Vivien, and therefore his resentment for Keller. One of the infamous six might be alive, and Dunfield knows it. We will see the enormity of her operation within the governemt and her intent to move The United States into a totalitarian regime with her as it’s Commander. Slowly The Gang will follow enough breadcrumbs to lead them to: Doctor Irving Laws, former Commander of The Black Sky Six and Creator of Tap Technology. This large discovery will be the catalyst for them to uncover the greater truth, and Laws by the end of Act One will have helped them to get Keller back.
ACT TWO (Episode 4-7) will show the town of Roverside becoming increasingly confined to the new orders of President Dunfield. Subtle implementations removing basic rights starting with a task force to monitor suspicious activity in the streets…then curfew…then tap technology as a means of Identification and MTK Tap-In’s mandatory before entry of any shop, building, restaurant, business or home. People begin to disappear, fathers, mothers, siblings and then whole families -- Refusal to wear one’s tap-let resulting in imprisonment. Laws is the only one capable of circumnavigating these restrictions which our kids take full advantage of. He creates special tap-lets for them, which help them evade being detected if they wish, and then as fate would have it…Laws disappears without a trace.
ACT THREE (8-10) hits a dénouement with Vivien’s discovery that her brother is alive (Mother still unknown). Finally, knowing the truth, the gang band together to take down Dunfield and her brainwashed military goons, free those imprisoned in Tap-Camps, and rid the world of this evil once and for all.
The Black Sky Six Scientist's: Doctors CAROLINE HAMMERSCMITT, ROGER SMOLLETS, YVONNE COLLINS, PATRICK MARSHALL, TOLLI FITZGERRICK, and OAKLEY KELLER.
Six Scientists responsible for the first global blackout in history that caused millions of casualties and left the world dark for nearly three months.
TOM MARSHALL, GINA FITZGERRICK, PATTI COLLINS, PETER SMOLLETS, VIVIEN HAMMERSCHMITT, and KEVIN KELLER JR.
This is our GOONIE GANG, our BREAKFAST CLUBBERS, our MYSTERY INC. SCOOBY DOO CREW and above all, our FRIENDS. These are OUR kids.
VIVIEN HAMMERSCHMITT (She / Her), is seventeen when we really get the know her. She is as beautiful as she is intelligent. It is of note that her main insecurity stems from the years of bullying due to her mother and the parents of her best friends being cast as international monsters. She would never have chosen to be famous, but to be famous for a mother responsible for the death of millions is a burden greater than she ever imagined she could bear. As a result, she sees none of herself the way we do and walks through life mostly with her eyes down. Her brother, VICTOR was tragically pronounced dead as well due to the events of the day in question. Her family was known for their wealth, and so she lives in the largest house in Roverside. Her second biggest source of insecurity comes from the fact that the inside of it is all but empty, except for an alcoholic father, selling whatever he can for the drink. She has never had a boyfriend, nor does she want one. She volunteers in her spare time, reads at a constant, likes Alice Cooper and has a heart of steel which has always belonged to Keller, though neither of them are observant enough to know it.
KEVIN KELLER (He/ Him), seventeen, is John Bender reincarnate. With the same cadence in speech and sultry bad-boy demeanour, he lacks the wherewithal to see the error of his ways. His safety-pin earring is one he’s never taken out, gifted by Vivien when they were kids as a token of safety. Vivien has it’s twin somewhere, though she would never admit it. His father left him only three things of value, a Harley Davidson, a gold engraved zippo, and a lesson for life to live as wildly on one’s own terms as possible. He’s quick tongued and hot tempered and khol-eyed like the rock-stars of yore. Oh yeah, and…as a rule…he NEVER Taps In anywhere. His mother, if you can call her that, is in a word... vacant and we get glance of her maybe only once throughout the story, leaning over a crack-pipe in their airstream trailer.
PETER SMOLLETS (He/ Him), seventeen, scrawny, shy and underestimated as a result. He does as he’s told and follows the rules and doesn’t accept grades below A minus. Though he fits within every stereotype imagined, he is actually quite the man. He and Vivien are the most cordial of the Gang as they run in closer circles. He volunteers like her, mostly as a means to possibly re-connect. He smokes Pot to calm down, and pops Adderall to speed up and study. There’s more than meets the eye. Keller gives him a hard time in school, but it’s mostly just for show. When they were best friends as kids, these two were inseparable.
TOM MARSHALL (He / Him), seventeen, is “the jock.” He’s head quarterback, he’s dated, he has a decent job working for his step-father and he’s likely the only one of the gang whose life has been unaffected. His mother re-married immediately, so she had none of that “last-name” shade the others got and managed to salvage her reputation. Tom and Gina have had an on again off again dramatic relationship that somehow never seems to spoil to the point of no return. They are Fred and Daphne, Ross and Rachel, Meredith and Derek and when we meet them, they are OFF.
GINA FITZGERRICK (She / Her), seventeen, is every bit as beautiful as she is aware of it. Being popular means she doesn’t take a general interest in school or her studies. It’s not that she isn’t smart, she just lacks the effort to care about self-improvement: “If it’s already perfect, what’s the point?” She loves Tom, truly but the both of them are too self-involved to see past their own noses and so it always falls into the seeds of narcissism and selfishness. As kids they were adorable, and in the tit-for-tats even then, but it was untainted by age and high school. Her home life is strained; her father went through a dark depression after her mother’s death and was never the same. She struggles to maintain her status alongside Tom’s but something else is within her, and deep down she knows she doesn’t care about any of it. At times, she envies Vivien and Patti for their talent and attitude.
PATTI COLLINS (She / Her / They / Them), seventeen, is unique, pensive and artistic with a mind able to connect strange patterns of thought. She is truly gifted, though it’s not quite clear what the uses of her special gifts lend themselves to yet. She has an eidetic memory and retains information the same way a computer logs information into files. This is direct result of her mother’s teachings when she was a child. She has no friends at school and has never even so much as held hands with a boy let alone had a boyfriend. Ultimately she is lonely, and reclusive which breeds more isolation. When the gang gets back together, for the first time in years, she feels hope.
Roverside High School
President Parker Dunfield
President of The United States of America.
Forger of the Novae Mirtae New World Order and co-creator of Tap Technology.
Dr. Irving Laws
Creator of Tap Technology and Commander of The Black Sky Six.
PARKER DUNFIELD, middle aged as only can be with politicians, is the wanna-be spawn of Adolf Hitler. In school when studying World War II, instead of horrified, Parker found herself fascinated at the tactics of the German Empire. She studied day and night the regimes of Hilter’s Fleet and sponged in how to influence and deceive an entire nation. Then, in her early twenties, as any good villain does, she began developing a plan of her own for the takeover of the century. A fateful meeting with a scientist by the name of Dr. Irving Laws, transpired the beginnings of Tap Technology and what was meant for good turned into a mass weapon for evil. Once Laws discovered her intentions were not entirely above board, he abandoned the project. Dunfield stole the tap-tech blueprint and devised her plot for the coming of Black Sky Day. Step by step she forged her way to the top of the political tier and after three months of the world going dark she used tap-tech to re-energize the world. Because of her contribution, she was automatically elected President of the free world and immediately began implementing her new world order.
PROFESSOR HARMUSH, mid 50’s, is Roverside High’s Science Professor and a good one too. He’s boring in the “Bueller? Anyone? No?” kind of way that would cause you to overlook him. He does what he’s told, taps in, taps out and on the surface leads quite the mundane monotonous life. At home, the insides of his house are covered in documents. For the last five years he has been slowly unravelling the secrets Dunfield has been keeping and connecting the dots leading to Black Sky. He has no wife, and lives alone, mainly because he was desperately in love with Caroline Hammerschmitt and when she died, his grief spurred on his obsession.
DR. IRVING LAWS, mid 50’s, is one of the world’s brightest minds and the inventor of Tap-Technology. The Einstein of this century’s generation, and yet for years he has been living in secret to avoid being captured and killed. When he was appointed the high title of Commander under Dunfield he accepted when he thought the technology would be used for good. A sad turn of events came about the realization that this technology would be weaponized against unsuspecting and innocent civilians and so he resigned. Black Sky Day was his last day working for Dunfield, and it almost went off without a hitch until he was ordered to give a small group of scientists a directive via Fax. It was too late before he realized what that fax would mean for the rest of the world. Barely surviving and assumed dead, Laws went into hiding and has managed to evade those searchful eyes up until now.
VICTOR HAMMERSCHMITT (Late 20’s) was travelling on the plane that crashed into the Roverside Power Plant on the day of Black Sky. He happens to be Dr. Caroline Hammerschmitt’s son (Vivien’s brother). He was on his way home from university when the power surge occurred and the blackout followed. It is revealed early on that Victor survived the impact…why he’s been in hiding since then remains a mystery for a second act episode to uncover in a big way.
Tone + style
This world is unique and grand in it’s conception and could lead to several different spin-offs due to the full development of the characters. This ten-hour tale is designed to begin with a question and end with an answer, but that’s not to say another instalment couldn’t arise with other questions within this world. In the same way in which The Mystery Incorporated Crew find themselves at the front of a question needing answered and a mystery needing solving, we too could devise ways to perpetuate the telling of this story within these character’s world. New events could transpire, a secret we didn’t know about before, a clue uncovered that once was hidden…the possibilities are endless and benevolent.