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This story consists of fragments from a 90-minute movie script from 2011 by an unknown writer. Most of the script was destroyed in a flood. The following are the only legible passages recovered from the script. With missing content and the absence of page numbers, it is up to you to figure out what the story is about. Choices you make will take you to related scenes.
<font size="10">City Across The River</font>
">Choose one of the following scenes as your starting point:</font>
A. [[Dining room at home|1. Family Dinner]]
B. [[10th floor of the boarding school|12. lights from another city]]
C. [[Dorm room 804|28. Allen sneaks into the dorm]]DINING ROOM AT ZOE’S FAMILY HOUSE-NIGHT
Zoe sits at a small dinner table with her family — her mother, father and a 10-year-old brother. A dim light bulb hangs over the table. There isn’t much food left, but nobody is allowed to leave because her father wants to have a family conversation. She is asked to pick a topic.
">The scene stops here, the rest is illegible. why don’t you pick a topic for her?</font>
A. [[School|6. Self study]]
B. [[Revolution|9. Allen and Zoe talk about parents]]
INSIDE ZOE’S FAMILY CAR, PARKED IN FRONT OF THE BOARDING SCHOOL-DAY
Zoe wakes up and finds herself alone in the car. She wonders how far she is away from home now. The scene outside is completely different from her hometown. The land is covered in tall grass and mild fog. A giant, fortress-like building stands alone on the landscape. Her mother is sobbing in front of the car. It looks like a scene from a bad dream. She takes her backpack, opens the door and steps out.
<font color="teal">If you were Zoe, what question would you ask?</font>
A. [[What is this place?|3. Mother says goodbye]]
B. [[What time is it?|14. library]]
BOARDING SCHOOL / CAFETERIA-DAY
The cafeteria is a huge room with little natural light. Long plastic tables and benches lay out in the center. Girls sit on the benches one next to another and chat as they eat from the metal trays. Next to the tables, other girls stand in a queue with empty trays in their hands, waiting for cafeteria staff John, to fill their trays with food from three big buckets.
">What do you want to know more?</font>
A. [[John |13. John and Zoe meets]]
B. [[The Cafeteria |15. Cafeteria group talk]]
BOARDING SCHOOL / CLASSROOM #3-DAY
She looks out the window at the vast land with tall grass. Girl A reads a textbook and carefully writes down notes on her notebook. Girl B is trying to figure out some teacher’s confusing markings on her exam paper. It is yet another self-study session. She has started to wonder if the teachers will ever teach anything.
<font color="teal">What do you think of the teachers</font>
A. [[They may be cyborgs spying on students. |17. weird teachers]]
B. [[They have secret agendas. |18. all hands]]BOARDING SCHOOL / VACANT 10TH FLOOR-NIGHT
Allen takes Zoe to the unoccupied 10TH FLOOR of the school that has been her secret haven.
Allen: ”Did your parents tell you about the revolution?”
Zoe: “Not really. We don’t have many real conversations. I overheard them talking about it, my mom was very upset.”
Allen: “My mom was thrilled about it. She wanted something big to happen.”
Zoe: “To be honest, I don’t care about the revolution, or anything to do with my old town. I’m not going back.”
Allen: “I thought you wanted to leave this place.”
Zoe: “I do, but if I’m going to leave, it will be for another city, not the one that we left behind.”
">Find out more about:</font>
A. [[Another city|11. lights outside the window]]
B. [[Zoe's mom|3. Mother says goodbye]]OUTSIDE THE BOARDING SCHOOL-DAY
Zoe: “What is this place?”
Mother: “This is your new boarding school.”
Her mother walks up to her, holds her hands and starts crying again.
Mother: “We’ll come back and get you when everything gets better. We were trying to tell you last night. Your dad lost his job. And protests are breaking out at your brother’s school. I have to take care of him at home and… You don’t have to worry about anything in there. Just keep doing what you do. You are not like your brother. You’ll be OK on your own. You’ll be safe here.”
">Do you think Zoe will be ok on her own?</font>
A. [[Yes.|4. Zoe meets Allen]]
B. [[No.|16. call mom]]BOARDING SCHOOL / LIBRARY-DAY
A clock on the wall shows 12:50. It is almost time for afternoon classes. Zoe has been sitting at the desk flipping through different versions of their city map.
Allen: “Come on, let’s get out of here. You won’t be able to find it.”
Zoe: “I haven’t looked through anything before the 1990s.”
Allen: “Zoe, your mysterious city across the river, it doesn’t exist. It’s not on the map, is it?”
Zoe: “Our school is not on the map either, do you even know where we are? Can you say we don’t exist?”
Zoe (lowering voice): “Plus I saw it with my own eyes. You showed it to me!”
Allen (lowering voice): “I showed it to you because it looks cool. It’s just some natural phenomenon. And right I don’t know where we are. I’ll see how you find this magic city with no reference point.”
Zoe: “How can you be sure? I think you’re just getting used to the life here and denying yourself any chance to leave for a better place.”
">Who is right?</font>
A. [[Zoe|21. Zoe keeps walking]]
B. [[Allen|28. Allen sneaks into the dorm]]
C. [[I’m not sure. |12. lights from another city]]
BOARDING SCHOOL / OUTSIDE CLASSROOM #3-DAY
Zoe has a good, top-down view of the courtyard from where she stands. About 100 girls of her age are in the courtyard doing collective morning exercise. There is no music, only a cold, robotic voice giving them orders of what moves to do next. Among the orderly grid of students, she sees a girl who clearly stands out because of her lack of efforts to follow the crowd.
">Who is this girl?</font>
A. [[Zoe's classmate |6. Self study]]
B. [[Zoe's roommate |30. Allen in dorm]]
BOARDING SCHOOL / TEACHERS’ OFFICE-NIGHT
The designated phone room is a small cube built inside of the office. A sign that reads “Not In Use” hangs on its doorknob. Teacher #1 instructs Zoe to wait outside the cube on a red chair. Teacher #1 flips the sign to “In Use”, walks in and locks the door. After a while, Teacher #1 walks out.
Teacher #1 (to Zoe): “You may go in now. Your mother is on the phone. You have five minutes.”
">Find out more about:</font>
A. [[Zoe's family|1. Family Dinner]]
B. [[The teachers|18. all hands]]BOARDING SCHOOL / DORM ROOM 804-NIGHT
Suddenly the door opens and Dorm Supervisor #1 walks in holding a large book in her hands. She flips through the pages until she reaches a page with Zoe and Allen’s headshots on it. She takes out a pen, stares at the two girls for a moment and writes something down. Zoe is curious to see what she wrote; but Dorm Supervisor #1 quickly closes the book. Dorm Supervisor #1 switches their light off and leaves the room.
">What do you think the supervisor was doing?</font>
A. [[Making sure they were both in the room.|19. walk together]]
B. [[Extracting points from Allen.|4. Zoe meets Allen]]BOARDING SCHOOL / COURTYARD-DAY
SUPERIMPOSE: WEEK 2
The sun shines brightly. A white van parks in the corner. John waves at Allen as he sees her and Zoe walking over.
Allen introduces John and Zoe to each other.
Allen: “John delivers food to us from the city and also helps out in the cafeteria. Zoe is my roommate.”
<font color="teal">Choose a character:</font>
A. [[Zoe |23. zoe walks]]
B. [[Allen |24. school closer]]
BOARDING SCHOOL / CAFETERIA-DUSK
Zoe sits with a group of girls.
Girl A: “The school keeps us safe.”
Girl B: “I don’t know. I just want to go home.”
Zoe: “Why don’t you call your parents and ask them to take you back?”
Girl B: “I did call them. They said it was not a good time to go back. The situation had gotten worse.”
Zoe: “Speaking of home, do any of you remember how you got here?
Girl E: “I don’t, I was too tired and fell asleep on the way here.”
Girl F: “Same. It was early morning when my dad drove me here. I fell asleep, too.”
">What should Zoe do next?</font>
A. [[Try to remember how she got here.|2. Zoe wakes up]]
B. [[Call her mother to find out why she doesn't remember anything.|16. call mom]]OUTSIDE THE BOARDING SCHOOL-NIGHT
Zoe stands in the rain. Before her is infinite darkness. Behind her is the way back to the school. She wipes the water off her face and starts walking again towards where the river should be.
<font color="teal">Do you think Zoe will find the city across the river?</font>
A. [[Yes, I have faith in her.|27. across the bridge]]
B. [[No, she will end up going back to school.|3. Mother says goodbye]]BOARDING SCHOOL / DORM ROOM 804-NIGHT
Allen sneaks into the dorm. She takes off her coat, which is dripping with water. She hides her coat and shoes under the bed.
">What makes you curious?</font>
A. [[Who is Allen?|9. Allen and Zoe talk about parents]]
B. [[What might happen next?|8. supervisor]]BOARDING SCHOOL / VACANT 10TH FLOOR-NIGHT
Zoe and Allen stand in front of the two big windows in darkness. They stare at the lights at the horizon, astonished.
Zoe: “It’s beautiful. I had no idea. What could it be?”
Allen: “Ghosts? Fires? Mirage?”
Zoe: “Or the lights from another city?”
">Learn more about:</font>
A. [[Zoe|2. Zoe wakes up]]
B. [[Allen|22. Allen walks back]]
C. [[Introduce a new character|5. Intro to cafeteria and john]]BOARDING SCHOOL / TEACHERS’ OFFICE-NIGHT
The moment Zoe steps out of the cube, for a flip second it seems like all teachers in the office have turned around to look at her. Zoe, unsure if it is an illusion, quickly walks out of the office.
">Where should Zoe go next?</font>
A. [[The 10th floor|10. tenth floor]]
B. [[The courtyard|13. John and Zoe meets]]
C. [[The river|26. sees a bridge]]BOARDING SCHOOL / COURTYARD-NIGHT
The security guard walks into the courtyard with a flashlight. He roughly points his flashlight around but finds nothing. He intends to look more closely but is stopped by Teacher #1.
Teacher #1:” We’re having an emergency all-hands. You have to join us.”
The guard follows Teacher #1 across the courtyard and walks upstairs.
Zoe and Allen hide in the corner of the yard and watch the security guard walk into the staircase.
">What do you think Zoe and Allen are doing?</font>
A. [[They are escaping school.|25. Zoe is tired]]
B. [[They are sneaking back to school.|30. Allen in dorm]]
OUTSIDE THE BOARDING SCHOOL-NIGHT
Among tall grass, a thin line of lights stretches across the horizon. A river flows beneath the lights, carrying their reflections.
<font color="teal">What should the characters do next?</font>
A. [[Investigate where the lights come from.|14. library]]
B. [[Set out to find the lights.|21. Zoe keeps walking]]OUTSIDE THE BOARDING SCHOOL-NIGHT
The rain has stopped. Zoe points her flashlight at the darkness in front of her. Still, she sees nothing but grass. She is exhausted. She puts down her backpack to take a break and briefly falls asleep. She starts dreaming.
<font color="teal">What is in Zoe's dream?</font>
A. [[Her classmates.|15. Cafeteria group talk]]
B. [[The lights.|11. lights outside the window]]BOARDING SCHOOL / DORM ROOM 804-NIGHT
Allen, now changed into her pajamas, climbs onto her bed. She pulls her blanket up and lies silently in the darkness. Moonlight comes through the small window. The wind has stopped blowing. It is quiet. She turns towards the window and looks outside.
<font color="teal">Where is Zoe at this moment?</font>
A. [[Looking at the same moonlight.|26. sees a bridge]]
B. [[In the dorm.|8. supervisor]]
C. [[In the classroom.|7. ants]]
D. [[On the 10th Floor of the building.|10. tenth floor]]INSIDE THE BOARDING SCHOOL-NIGHT
The school bell rings, piercing through the night. Students rush out of the classrooms and walk up the stairs to their dorms on the upper floors. From high up, they look like a crowd of ants.
">What should the story focus on?</font>
A. [[The dystopian quality of the school|15. Cafeteria group talk]]
B. [[The friendship between the two girls|20. betrayal]]BOARDING SCHOOL / VACANT 10TH FLOOR-NIGHT
Allen and Zoe open the door. Zoe attempts to switch on the lights but is stopped by Allen.
Allen: “Don’t turn on the lights. Let me show you something.”
Allen leads Zoe through a long, dark corridor until they reach two large windows at the end of the line.
Allen: ”Look outside. Look carefully.”
<font color="teal">What is outside?</font>
A. [[Another version of Allen and Zoe|19. walk together]]
B. [[Other students|7. ants]]
OUTSIDE THE BOARDING SCHOOL-NIGHT
Zoe and Allen walk silently through the field. Zoe holds the flashlight and walks in front. All the flashlight illuminates is overgrown grass. Nothing else can be seen in front of them. Behind them the school building stands alone in the dark night.
">Where are they going?</font>
A. [[Nowhere. |25. Zoe is tired]]
B. [[The other side.|29. other side]]
C. [[Back to school. |22. Allen walks back]]OUTSIDE THE BOARDING SCHOOL-NIGHT
Allen walks back towards the school building in the dark. She constantly looks for the building to make sure she is walking in the right direction. On the way she falls several times. Every time she falls, she gets up quickly and immediately continues to walk.
<font color="teal">When Allen goes back, she will find:</font>
A. [[Classes ending and her classmates going back to dorms.|7. ants]]
B. [[Zoe waiting for her in the library.|14. library]]OUTSIDE THE BOARDING SCHOOL-NIGHT
It is raining harder and harder. Zoe raises her backpack over her head and runs back to Allen, who has stopped walking.
Zoe: “Allen, we can’t stop. We have to keep going!”
Allen: “I’m sorry. I don’t think I can do this anymore.”
Allen: “I’m really sorry. Goodbye Zoe. I hope you find it”
Allen turns around and starts walking back to the school. Zoe stands there and watches Allen gradually disappear into the darkness.
">Are you more of a Zoe or an Allen?</font>
A. [[Zoe|29. other side]]
B. [[Allen|30. Allen in dorm]]OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER-NIGHT
Zoe walks ahead holding the flashlight. She is losing her sense of direction. She walks faster and faster. Still there is no sign of any lights other than her flashlight.
">What kind of flashback is Zoe having?</font>
A. [[The first time she met Allen.|4. Zoe meets Allen]]
B. [[How astonished she was when she saw the lights.|12. lights from another city]]OUTSIDE THE BOARDING SCHOOL-NIGHT
Zoe walks with the flashlight firmly held in her hand. The rain is now lighter.
">What is Zoe thinking?</font>
A. [[About Allen.|9. Allen and Zoe talk about parents]]
B. [[About school.|6. Self study]]
C. [[About where she wants to go next.|26. sees a bridge]]RIVER-NIGHT
After walking for a while, Zoe sees something blinking in front of her. As she walks closer, she sees a river. She breaks out crying and runs towards it. The river is quiet and shimmers in the moonlight. For a few minutes she just stands there and immerse herself in its beauty. She points her flashlight at the other side of the river, but tall grass blocks her vision. As she looks to the far left, she is surprised to find a small bridge.
">How do you want the story to proceed?</font>
A. [[Zoe walks across the bridge.|27. across the bridge]]
B. [[She didn't really see the bridge. It was just a dream.|2. Zoe wakes up]]RIVER-NIGHT
Zoe crosses the bridge. The other side does not look any different from the side she came from. She points her flashlight around and sees nothing but overgrown grass. She decides to walk deeper into the grass.
">What is on the other side of the river?</font>
A. [[A mirror image of the side Zoe came from.|2. Zoe wakes up]]
B. [[Nothing but grassland.|29. other side]]
C. [[A brand new world.|11. lights outside the window]]
OUTSIDE THE BOARDING SCHOOL-NIGHT
School is getting closer and closer. Allen walks even faster, her backpack on her shoulders.
">What is the first thing Allen going to do when she gets back to school?</font>
A. [[Go to a class.|6. Self study]]
B. [[Go to the tenth floor.|12. lights from another city]]