We are zooming down, down, into the tub of an old 50′S WRINGER WASHING MACHINE. Swish, swish, swish. Slowly, the pounding of the machine changes to electronic sounds, and the sight of the sudsy, swirling laundry metamorphoses into a bizarre vortex of swirling colours which gives the feeling that a new universe is being born. As we move through the eddying mass of colours, we hear a deep electro-machine like vioce (VICTORIA), “IN THE BEGINING, MAN CREATED GOD.”
Two bolts of lightning strike in a criss-cross manner, creating a gigantic ‘X’ in the sky. “And God said, ‘LET THERE BE DEATH’” – the image freezes. “AND THEN THERE WAS BETH.”. In the centre of the ‘X’ hatches a small creature. The creature forms into a beautiful baby DRAGON that immeidately devours the frozen image and takes us on a journey.
Hurtling towards the Dragon, thundering out of the blackness of this electrical universe, is a silver, STAR WAR SATELLITE with shafts of brilliant light bouncing off its thousands of reflective cells. The electronic sounds take on a definite rock beat as the satellite collides with the Dragon in an explosion of screaming sounds and dazzling video images.
An image, fractured and barely discernable, of PHOEBUS appears. He looks around 19 years old and has a healthy vitality that gives him the aura of a young Apollo. He is singing about his love for BETH, an alluring 17 year-old of mixed racial origin. His fractured image sprays out through space. As the explosion subsides, images and sounds begin to take on the form of thousands of mass-communication channels which mesh the past, the present, and the future.
Symbols that have become destructive predominate including: world pollution, ominous black bank towers and political symbols that have resulted in genocide. The images give us the impression that the future is not bright – we are entering the apocalyptic age.
The images clear as the Dragon zooms through space towards the planet EARTH. As it travels, it transforms into a large WHITE BIRD until, finally, it arrives at a hot, dry landscape with sand blowing around a small, isolated one-room SCHOOL HOUSE in SASKATCHEWAN.
The school house is filled with YOUNG WOMEN OF DIVERSE NATIONALITIES who are uniformly dressed in white. Explaining the world economy is an unpleasantly authoritative teacher, Ms. G. She, too, is dressed in white and has her hair pulled back severely. Her control of the class comes from her position of power. The students sit bolt upright, always looking Ms. G’s way, never blinking. There is no show of emotion, only a very dry give-and-take between teacher and pupil.
The camera rests on Beth, our daydreaming heroine, as she gazes out of the window at the White Bird against the red horizon. We suspect that all that has happened previously was some sort of ELECTRONIC PYCHIC DAYDREAM of Beth’s.
Ms. G become acutely aware that Beth’s attention is not with her. She asks Beth the question, “What is the ideal symbol of world economic balance?” Beth does not respond. Lowering her voice, Ms. G asks the question agian. She is a human guillotine – ready for the cord to be pulled – and the cord is in her hand or, more precisely, in Beth’s dreamy gaze.
Slowly, Ms. G twists her way to Beth’s desk, all the time speaking to her, reprimanding her quietly, flicking her long electronic light pen noiselessly through the air, telling her how she is going to pay for her inattentiveness. The whisper transforms into a hiss, a viper. Then, …
Beth is jolted from her daydream by Ms. G’s harsh voice screeching at full volume, “WHAT IS THE SYMBOL OF BALANCE?” Beth re-experiences the Star War Satelite colliding with the Dragon and out of the debris ‘X’ flashes on the screens of the computor desks through the power of Beth’s mind. She spontaneously answers the question the with “X”.
Beth’s correct answer only increases the teacher’s fury. Ms G stands over Beth; she loathes Beth’s innocence and purity and above all her freakish ELECTO SENSORY POWERS (E.S.P.) that lets her have an intuitive connection to anything electronic. A human volcano is about to erupt and the class is wide-eyed. Someone sets off the volcanic activity with, “She’s in love with Phoebus”, and a tumultuous eruption ensues. Paper flying … students running around … screaming .. hair being let down … complete chaos until … Ms. G raises her long electronic light pen and smashes it down on Beth’s desk. Everyone freezes as Ms. G maliciously tells Beth that her relationship with Phoebus is an illusion.
Angered, Beth rises slowly from her desk and stares into Ms. G’s eyes, causing all the video monitors in the class to begin a slow vertical roll.
Everyone becomes uneasy as Beth says to Ms. G, “What cold twisted evil has destroyed your heart? Why is pain and sorrow all that you can depart?” … and at that, Beth leaves.
On her way home, Beth walks down a lonely Path as the blazing hot sun sets. The White Bird flies ahead of her. Strange animals can be seen against the red horizon. The voice of Phoebus can be heard in the air. Beth re-experiences the time she first met him. We see that he is the only one who accepts and appreciates her uniqueness and encourages her to express herself through painting and singing.
At dinner, Beth’s FATHER is becoming frightened and angered by the newscast. The STAIRCASE TERRORIST has struck another poor suburban family by pouring cement over their front porch creating a ramp. Families are scared that they may be next. Beth tries to convince her father to let her visit Phoebus in TOROMEGO CITY one of the great mega cities in the world. But her father says “no! Phoebus is a good for nothing gigolo!”. Upset Beth runs upstairs.
In her bedroom, Beth’s E.S.P. activates the Videophone. On her bedroom wall screen, Phoebus plays a song about the TRANSFORMATION that will make him a MASS MEDIA STAR (MMS). When he jokingly implies that Beth may not recognise him after he becomes a MMS, Beth, disturbed, starts packing. She has decided to run away to join Phoebus at the club DEGENERATOR in Toromego City.
Beth takes a dream-like ride on the SUBTERRANEAN TURBO where she receives E.S.P. impulse imagery of GENI, a vampish 30 year-old, who is singing “Come down, Let yourself drown, In black space, My place …” that draws her to the Degenerator. Geni has a remarkable resemblence to Beth’s teacher Ms. G. After a nightmarish walk through the streets of Toromego City where she witnesses CITIZENS wearing painted gas masks and the poor being arrested for having illigal money like cash, Beth finally arrives at the Degenerator. The Degenerator is the ‘in’ undergound club in the world. As the centre for Mass Media Stars, it attracts the cream of OUTRAGEOUS CHARACTERS and personalities. The club oozes with chaotic, vibrating sexual energy as towering wall-to-wall VIRTUAL REALITY SCREENS realistically project you into exotic locales, people, and ideas.
The main event of the evening is Geni. She is performing and singing with an energy that drives the flashy but ghoulish crowd into a frenzy of playing the CREDIT-LOTTERY-VIDEO-MACHINES at a feverish pitch. Tonight is the ECON ULTRA LOTTERY, the biggest lottery in the world at 2.4 BILLION Dollars played instantly across the Globe in 101 countries.
The intoxicating atmosphere stimulates Beth’s Electro-Sensory-Powers which cause an emphatic rapport with Phoebus who is having his Mass Media Star Transformation in the ECON TOWER.
Phoebus is lying on the transformation table. He is being drenched by red orgone energy that has been collected at the Degenerator from the dancers. He is connected to a super computer – VICTORA. At the CONTROL TERMINAL, a finger with a ring having an ornate ‘X’ engraved on it, presses a key. Suddenly, a laser strikes the JEWEL IMPLANT in Phoebus’s forehead, throwing him into violent convulsions causing Beth to simultaneously experience his extreme pain. Beth collapses into a nightmare of menacing images and zooms through computer cables, then subatomic space which transforms into the innards of the VICTORIA,the most powerful banking computer in the world. Victoria, speaking a precise Queen’s English in soothing tones, narrates the journey, “We have just infiltrated Japan’s Central Monetary Computer and my BIOCOMPONET Phoebus is breaking their Security Access Code”. She is talking to forty year-old ECON who, despite his conservative attire, has a glint in his eyes that combines boyish innocence with madness. He has a remarkable resemblence to Beth’s father. “However,” Victoria continues, “I’m afraid that Phoebus, our dear, mind-tapped bio-component, simply lacks the internal life-energy drive that is required to continue with Opus ‘X’.”
Econ sits in front of a computer terminal and defiantly punches the keys as Victoria scolds him affectionately, “Econ, you’re not listening to me.”
Beth’s electro-nightmare continues: Phoebus’s brain splits open and looks like a burnt-out circuit board; a harrowing distortion of Econ screaming at Beth that he needs “Balance, Balance, Balance!“
Beth wakes up with a start hearing, “Bark, Bark, Bark …” from a baby GERMAN SHEPARD. Beth laughs, hoping that it was nothing more than a nightmare.
Beth finds herself in an extraordinarily beautiful ARTIST’S LOFT that is filled with lush plants and odd, irregularly-shaped objects from the early fifties.
The loft belongs to forty year-old ART who accompanies Beth on an old manual GRAND PIANO as she sings a joyful song. Art is very friendly to his visitor in a paternalistic way and tries to share his paranoia of electronics with her. He has a revulsion of anything futuristic or highly technological and is not at all surprised that Beth fainted with all the electronic pollution distorting and overloading her brain at the Degenerator. Beth tells Art that she is in Toromego to find Phoebus, who is having a MMS Transformation. Art sings a song in an attempt to dissuade Beth from staying. He tells her that Phoebus is getting his MMS from Econ and that she should go home before it is too late. Art’s song gives us a sense of the harrowing control that Econ may have over Phoebus and, perhaps, the world.
Beth is not sure how much to believe, but she knows that she must find Phoebus. Art offers his loft as a place of refuge until she decides to leave Toromego City. In his WHEELCHAIR, he returns to his latest PAINTING.
At the Degenerator, there are a few people remaining from the previous night’s debauchery. MARY (Who has a remarkable resemblence to Beth’s Mother) and LYN, two waitresses who are Marilyn Monroe look-alikes, are cleaning up. They stop awhile to admire handsome, virile, twenty-five year old STUD who oozes sexuality.
Wearing black leather, looking like Iggy Pop, Stud is on a VIDEOPHONE trying to get an advance from the sperm bank that he keeps well-supplied (this is how he makes his living). But, the DOCTOR belligerently tells him, “no sperm, no money.” Upset, Stud hangs up and, noticing that Mary and Lyn are eyeing him lustfully, he sings a song which explains that he is not interested in having sex with real people — only with safe, clean sterile things like sex mannequins and holographic layouts.
Stud’s singing comes to an abrupt halt. He lays eyes on Beth and falls madly in love with his first real human being. And Stud is not the only one — Beth’s aura of innocence and vitality draws everyone in the club to her like vampires after fresh blood.
This newfound attention excites Beth, but she is still anxious about Phoebus. As everyone competes to be her friend, Beth, through her questioning about Phoebus, discovers that it is common for many of the biggest MMS to have had Transformations from Econ. She is told that the likes of NUTRINO RAY and even Geni, the Degenerator’s owner, have come through it and it is highly unlikely that Phoebus should have any problems.
The attention Beth receives is overwhelming, placing a demand on her to perform. At first, Beth is shy. But after some coaching, she lets herself go and sings.
As Beth impresses her adoring audience, Geni jealously watches and spins her black, DIAMOND-STUDDED YO-YO. When Beth finishes, Geni moves in on her and slyly asks if she can YO-YO. Bewildered, Beth answers no.
With the hope of seducing Beth with a demonstration of authority, Geni performs the ‘In-Crowd Yo-Yo Song.’ Everyone but Stud, who is torn between his love and being a part of the in-crowd, pull out their yo-yos and accompany Geni in the song and dance number. “If you can’t walk the dog, you’re not in the in-crowd. If you can’t do around-the-world, who are you anyway?”
Feeling isolated, Beth’s longing for Phoebus is amplified to the point where her anxiety triggers off her Electro-Sensory Powers and, suddenly, the huge Image Screens at the club are activated. Perplexed, everyone stops singing. Geni, wary of the stranger, eyes Beth suspiciously.
On all the screens, there is a sudden news flash. “There is world panic in the wake of last night’s computer disruptions. People cannot purchase necessities with their credit cards as the computer credit system has inexplicably turned topsy-turvy. Once again, there are cries for the old-fashioned cash-money system.” Major international frictions are developing as nations accuse one another of tampering with each other’s economies.
Econ is introduced as a world-famous economist, so infuential that there are connotations that he is some kind of guru or priest. Econ pronounces that there will be BALANCE in the near-future.
The news continues with a NEWSCASTER informing us that the Staircase Terrorist has struck another unsuspecting suburban home. A REPORTER is on the scene: “This unsuspecting FAMILY is in shock. This morning they woke up to find that some deviant had poured cement over their front stairs and created a ramp. The question is: who will be next?”
On his wheelchair, Art makes an entrance into the Degenerator, taking the focus off of the newscast. Giving Geni a stern look, Art takes Beth by the hand and leads her out of the club.
Back at the loft, Art pours Beth some tea from an old zen tea set. Beth, “I thought things would be different here. I thought people would accept me but its just like school. Maybe you’re right. I should go home but where is Phoebus? He was supposed to meet me here. This is not like him. I’m worried. ” Art explains that the only way to get through to Phoebus is through Geni. He confesses, affectionately, that Geni was a good and loving person before Econ got hold of her and made her into a MMS. We suspect that Art may still be hanging around the Degenerator hoping that Geni will change back to her old self. He teaches Beth how to Yo-Yo.
That night, Beth slowly walks up the long flight of stairs to Geni’s quarters as she awkwardly practices her yo-yo. After standing a few moments at the door, she works up the nerve to knock. Surprisingly, Geni greets her warmly.
The flat is plush to the point of being erotic. In fact, sexual would be the key word when describing Geni’s place.
Geni offers her guest a drink. Aware that Beth is searching for Phoebus, Geni tells her rival that Phoebus’ MMS Transformation is a success and that he is in seclusion so that he can work on his new video disc which will premiere at the Degenerator. He has instructed Geni to tell Beth that he will contact her soon.
Although suspicious of Geni, Beth sings about her joy that Phoebus has gotten what he has always wanted – to be able to make a living singing his own songs to an attentive audience. However, Geni has drugged Beth’s drink and her head begins to spin as the effects intitially take hold. As Geni tries to seduce Beth she tells her that Phoebus, now being a big star, may not like her if she is not a somebody. Beth drifts from images of Geni, to images of embracing Phoebus, to a blurred image of a large ‘X’.
The image clears, revealing an X-ray infra-red video of Beth being slowly scanned in close-up by Victoria. As the scanner hits erotic parts of her body, they are blocked out by a black ominous X. When this X is slowly brought into focus it turns out to be Econ hanging upside down in his black three-piece banking suit as Geni, in black leather, whips him. Econ cries out, “Her brain is perfect!”
Waking up prematurely, Beth realizes that she is no longer at Geni’s place but on a table, nude, being scanned by Victoria. Econ is measuring her Electro Sensory Powers. He wants to mind-tap Beth as he did Phoebus and create another bio-computer for Opus ‘X’.
Realizing that Beth is awake, Econ and Geni quickly try to disguise their intentions and tell Beth that she has all the potential to become a Mass Media Star. Econ urges her to have a Transformation like Phoebus so that she will no longer be a nobody. Angry with Econ’s deceptions, Beth tells him that she wants nothing to do with him and storms out. After Beth has left, Econ asks ominously, “You tell me she’s living with my old friend Art?”
It’s Avant-garde Night at the Degenerator and patrons are both dressing and behaving as outrageously as possible.
Beth has accepted that she is powerless to do anthing but wait and hope that Phoebus will contact her as Geni has promised.
Stud has been trying to court Beth with different Mass Media Star personalities. One day, he is Elvis Presley; another day, he is James Dean. Tonight, the Stud is Marlon Brando’s character from “Last Tango in Paris.” Stud corners Beth and involves her in a song and dance number among the pretenious crowd.
While he is painting in his studio, Art is kidnapped at gunpoint by his ex-lover Geni. She takes him to the mammoth Econ tower that dominates Toromego City. Art makes it clear that he does not appreciate Econ. Econ tries to make it clear that he and Art actually have a lot in common other than Geni. “Ever since grade eight, you have not understood my art, Art. Now, I’m going to give you the privilege of helping me with a work so monumental that it will make me the greatest artist of all history. I shall transform the financial world economic market into a perfect ‘X’, thereby creating balance.” Econ is feverishly excited as he begins to explain why he had Art brought to him.
When Beth comes home, Art takes her up on the roof of the Degenerator and points out the huge ORGONE-ELECTRO-DISH that focuses directly at the Econ Banking Tower. The Dish collects the orgone energy from the dancers and sends it to Econ for his diabolic art. Art seems to have a lot of inner turmoil and he shows Beth his MAGNO-COPTER which appears to be a cross between a military attack helicopter and a flying cement truck. Beth is intrigued as Art nervously explains that the weird machine has been modified specifically to make it easier to pour cement over staircases. Finally he confesses that he is the Staircase Terrorist who has been in the news. However, Art also reveals that the Magno-Copter is a bribe from Econ who is threatening to expose Art if he does not convince Beth to have a MMS Transformation.
Upset with himself, and a little ashamed, Art wheels away from Beth. She follows him and tells him not to worry, that she will sort things out. Art answers, “You don’t understand Beth, Econ is not really interested in making you a star but using you for some insane art experiment.“
At the Econ Bank Tower, the Trasformation Room has changed. The lighting is very low key giving the whole place an uneasy mysterious feeling wtih its shadowy textures. Econ is sitting very contemplatively in an old high back chair. He is waiting, controlling his inner anxiety. He is ready to explode. He stares at the lights from Victoria’s terminal, silently flashing very quickly trying to calculate a solution to a problem. On the the screens are reruns playing over and over again the images of Phoebus lying on the Transformation Table being burnt out by some overload in the computer mind tap. Econ tears his eyes away and lets his eyes roam around the room. The room is adorned with objects that resemble ‘X’. An old Railway crossing, a broken Cross on its side, a huge iron sculpture in the form of an ‘X’ spinning, etc. On the other side of the Transformation Table, Econ’s eyes finally rest on two people in one corner of the room, and on closer examination, it turns out to be Geni and Phoebus.
Phoebus is playing on his guitar a tune that reflects the mysterious, angst mood of the place. His vibrance and charisma seem to be gone as if he is now under a trance or drugs. He sits wearing only a synthetic bath towel around his waist. Geni is sitting beside him interested more in admiring his muscles with her hands than hearing the music he is playing. Geni is making conversation, “That’s lovely, such a beautifull strong love song “. Excited, Phoebus says in a child-like voice, “Love? Love? Beth? … where is Beth? ” Both Geni and Econ become uneasy at this.
Victoria interrupts “We made a mistake in Phoebus’s motivation. Yes he has a strong desire to play his music to a mass audience but his desire, or his love would be more accurate, for Beth is his strongest motivation. This is the key to programming Beth.” Econ is so overcome that Victoria has solved the problem of Phoebus’s burn out that he goes over to the railway crossing and passionately kisses it.
Beth walks up to the front doors of the Econ Bank Tower. She pauses for a second, feeling a cold shiver go up her spine as she glances up at the massive building towering over her. Mysteriously, the front doors open, inviting her towards them.
Inside, Beth angrily asks Geni how she and Econ can expect her to have a Transformation when they have been lying to her. Econ, very smoothly, diffuses the situation by showing Beth a Rock Video Promo for Phoebus’ Premiere at the Degenerator. The Video is a love song that Phoebus sings to girls who are crazy about him. The girls are all very beautiful and, as a new fad, all wear Jewel Implants in ther foreheads like Phoebus (Geni and Nutrino Ray also have this Jewel Implant). Every once in a while we cut back to Beth reacting to Phoebus singing the love song to the pretty girls. Beth, of course, feels that Phoebus is really singing this song to her. She is almost in tears at seeing Phoebus again. She rushes out of the door, “I’ve got to find something to wear! “
Although Beth suspects she is still being lied to, she is extremely excited as she prepares herself for her possible meeting with Phoebus. She tries on a lot of different costumes, a wide variety of make-up (i.e. a RUBY JEWEL BEAUTY-MARK), and finally arrives at a combination that is simple and understated but makes her look devastatingly beautiful.
When Beth arrives at the Degenerator, she tries to see Phoebus backstage before the performance, but there are two BOUNCERS keeping a crowd of girls at bay. The girls have imitated the fad in the Rock Video that we saw earlier with Phoebus. Beth becomes now very uneasy about her self for she too is dressed in a similar style. As she moves closer she hears one of the girls trying to con one of the Bouncers, “But I’m his girlfriend “. When Beth is forced to use the same line, the crowd roars back mocking her, “She’s in love with Phoebus“.
On stage, the warm-up band “CASH AND THE BANKERS WITHOUT CLOTHES” are singing “Sex and Credit”.
Beth has a long wait, frustrated that she was unable to see Phoebus in his dressing room. Suddenly, Phoebus and his “ORCHESTRAL LASER PROJECTIONISTS” come on stage in an explosion of futuristic sounds and sights. Beth is shocked by Phoebus’s appearance which has changed drastically from when she knew him. He seems dazed. His movements are automatic rather than inspired – nothing like what she saw on the video. Worst of all, even though she is right in front of the stage, Phoebus does not acknowledge Beth’s presence.
When Phoebus ends his song, the whole club is sent into a state of shock as Beth grabs the mike and sings to Phoebus about the love they used to have and how she now feels betrayed. In response, Phoebus sings back to Beth in an attempt to convince her to get a MMS Transformation from Econ, after which he will love her again. Devastated, Beth runs away from the stage.
Beth runs out into the hall of the Degenrator. Mary and Lyn run after her in an attempt to console her. Econ and Geni also run after Beth hoping that this is an opportune time to convince Beth to have the Transformation after which ‘Phoebus will love you again.’ Beth does want anthing to do with Econ especially since he is responsible for changing Phoebus. No matter how sweet Econ and Geni are, they do not convince Beth. Mary and Lyn are on Beth’s side, so when Beth runs up the stairs, Econ turns nasty. He points his finger with the ornate ‘X’ ring and tells Mary and Lyn that they are fired.
As Beth runs up the stairs confused and broken-hearted, Econ is now determined to use force. As Econ and Geni follow Beth, Geni nags Econ, “You should have listened to me in the first place and kidnapped her.” Econ defends his actions by quoting Victoria, “Victoria said that Opus ‘X’ would have an eighteen point five percent greater chance of success if she came willingly.”
Econ and Geni lose Beth and, in his search, Econ goes to Art’s studio. Art is repainting a historical site, replacing the stairs with cement ramps. Econ confronts him. “Art, I gave you the Magno-Copter; now, where is my girl?” Econ threatens to turn him in. The penalty is 30 years in jail with 24 hour a day T.V. that you can’t turn off. Art’s concern for Beth’s safety outweighs his own. He leaves his loft to look for Beth .
Beth is alone on the roof of the Degenerator. Sitting dangerously close to the edge of the roof, she is crying. Staring down into the street below, she leans forward – then hesitates. Suddenly, she jumps backward onto the roof. “How could he do this to me. He was the only guy I ever loved. He was the beginning and the end of my world. Well Fuck him! (out to Toromego City) Fuck You! Now I take care of Number #1.” And at that, Beth stamps across the roof and disappears through the roof door.
Beth returns to Art’s studio and begins to throw her things into her knapsack. As each item goes in, she puctuates her actions. “I’m going over to Econ’s. I’m tired of being a nobody. I’m going to be a star. I’m tired of being laughed at. I’m going to be a star.“
Beth pauses and looks at the chair where her blouse and pants were – she left them there when she changed for Phoebus’ performance. She faintly hears a strange sound in the next room.
It is the white, 1950′s wringer washing machine that we saw at the beginning of the film. As she stares at her clothes being washed, there is a vortex of colours as Beth remembers the love song “I need you” that Phoebus had once sung to her. This snaps Beth out of her depression as she realizes that she has really been thinking of herself, or else she would have seen that Phoebus needs her help more than ever. With her determination renewed, Beth heads back to the Degenerator.
Just as Beth is about to sneak into Phoebus’ dressing room, Stud tries to court her with another Marlon Brando character – Stanley Kowalski. “Stella,” he shouts. Beth quickly persuades him to meet her somewhere else.
On his way down the stairs, Stud is asked by Econ if he has seen Beth. Stud tells him gayly, “No, just Stella “, leaving Econ annoyed but not realizing that he means Beth.
By this time, Geni is guarding Phoebus’s dressing room as the Bouncers are searching for Beth. For the first time Beth tries to use her Electro-Sensory-Powers intentionally. She easily manages to turn on the image screen in the other room causing a loud noise. Geni curious leaves her vigilance to see what the noise is.
Beth slips into the dressing room which is dark except for a laser beam shooting into what seems to be a CASKET. Inside the casket lies Phoebus, lifeless, the laser beam connecting him through his jewel implant to Victoria. Beth’s emotional turmoil sets off her Electro-Sensory-Powers which deactivate the beam.
In the moonlight, Beth tries to revive Phoebus with a kiss. Heavily drugged, Phoebus mumbles groggily, “Beth .. Beth you are my golden flower in this black turbulant now – to your life giving power I must my survival bow.” Suddenly, the laser beam is turned on. Phoebus’ body convulses violently and, before Beth can even scream, Geni rushes in with her bodyguards. Beth narrowly escapes.
Now completely determined to destroy Victoria, thereby releasing Phoebus, Beth zoom towards Econ’s Bank Tower on her TURBO ROLLERS with Geni hot on her heels on a vehicle which could be mistaken for a VACUUM CLEANER. Geni videos ahead to Econ that Beth is on her way. Following close behind, in the customized Magno-Copter, are Art and Stud. But they cannot catch up to Beth before she enters the Tower.
With the music from Phoebus at the Degenerator pounding away, Beth runs into Econ’s computer room with Geni in hot pursuit. Before Beth can destroy Victoria, Econ and Geni subdue her and, after a struggle, Beth is strapped to the Transformation Table as Econ instructs Victoria to set Opus ‘X’ in motion.
On Victoria’s Monitors we see people around the world sticking their credit cards into their Computer T.V. Imagery Screens. A commercial interrupts with “Stay tuned to the worlds biggist lottery ever,The Econ Ultra Lottery at 7.3 billion.“
Econ, like an excited young boy, tries to impress Beth with the magnificence of his grandiose scheme. He tells her that she should consider herself privileged to sacrifice herself for this work of art. “Do you know what this MEANS,child … Balance … ‘X’ ! ?“”
In this age, all financial transactions are done through computers – cash and bartering is illegal. Each nation has its own CENTRAL MONETARY COMPUTER and, by mainpulating these, Econ can control the world economy. His dream as a youth was to redistribute wealth so that there was equality of nations and individuals. ‘X’ is simply a computer graph of the world economy when the wealth is evenly distributed. Over the years, Econ has lost touch with the benevolent genesis of ‘X’ and is now only obssessed with it as a symbol for perfection and balance.
To Econ in his madness, effecting ‘X’ is equivalent to realizing God. To attain his goal, Econ needs to interface, through a laser mind-tap, the pure intuitive creativity and E.S.P. of Beth’s brain to Victoria, resulting in the most powerful computer in the world.
The dangers of ‘X’ range from the destruction of Beth’s brain, to nations wrongly accusing one another of computer tampering, to all-out Star War nuclear annihilation. The ‘tampering’ has resulted in such extremes as Toromego City being without water for the past three days because the computers won’t release it, and the main foodstuff available in Japan being perogies. The situation is so mind-boggling that no one can control it and people are beginning to panic.
Meanwhile, in their pursuit of saving Beth, Art and Stud steal the FRONT PORCH of a suburban home and fly across the Toromego City skyline towards the Econ Tower with the porch dangling from the Magno-Copter.
During his performance at the Degenerator, as his love for Beth is strengthened through their joint connection to Victoria, Phoebus struggles to free himself from Econ’s programming.
As ‘X’ is being effected, Beth has another Electro-Psychic Journey. Some of the images are: Phoebus sending the dancers at the Degenerator into a frenzy; silver dishes accumulating the energy from the Degenerator and transporting it as bolts of energy streaking across Toromego skyline to the Econ Tower; Beth being doused by coils of red energy as she hears Victoria say, “My bio-component, Beth, is being fortified by enough orgone energy to withstand the mind-tap. We are proceeding to infiltrate the Central Monetary Computers.“; and the image of ‘X’ slowly forming on Econ’s computer screen.
World economic chaos is occurring. Nations are preparing for Star War retribution.
As ‘X is almost completed, Econ is on the threshold of ecstasy. Suddenly, Art and Stud catapult the front porch through the window to the Econ Tower, causing an EXPLOSION.
With the EXPLOSIONS at the Econ Tower, Phoebus’ peformance ends and the screens at the Degenerator become disrupted with frightening and incomprehensible images. (i.e. a group of old-age pensioners, denied their monthly payments, turn into grotesquely salivating monsters, drowning whole day-care centres.) As a result, there is panimonium in the club.
Suddenly, there are bolts of bright colour, then an implosion which shrouds the whole club in SHIMMERING RAINBOWS OF LIGHT.
Beth emerges from the haze, wrapped like a mummy in clear plastic. She seems a mere zombie, obviously her brain has been fried like Phoebus’ – or has it? She begins to sing to Phoebus in droning, garbled tones resembling some sort of computer language. Feebly, he responds, as their connection slowly effects.
As bolts of orgone energy shoot out from Beth’s crystal implant, linking her with Phoebus’ crystal implant, their singing becomes distinguishable. The red orgone energy that ricochets back and forth between them and through Planet Earth affects the world computers with a strong positive force.
The attempts of MILITARY AND POLITICAL LEADERS from various powerful countries to push their buttons of war and chaos are thwarted. Under Beth’s control, the computers can do nothing aggressive or destructive against humanity.
To make a long story short, Stud falls in love with Mary the waitress; Art walks and marries Geni; Econ becomes obsessed with creating the PERFECT CIRCLE; Phoebus finds his old self and Beth finds her true love. Victoria and her computer cohorts join in the celebration of song and dance. With Beth controlling the world’s network of computers, the Planet is leftafar happier place.
THE RIGHTEOUS END
©Copyright 1992 ANDREAS SCHNEIDER