THE LAN PARTY

by Richard Pettifer

Short Film
Email: [email protected]

A bare room in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Three young men are playing a computer game on their desktop PC’s. They sit at a circular desk, each faces inwards and no-one can see the other’s screen. The only noise is the constant clicking of mouses, and the occasional sound effect from the game. It is 11:00pm - they have been there for one hour.

THE LAN PARTY
Written by
R. Pettifer
Richard Pettifer
(03) 9329 0710
[email protected]
  2
THE LAN PARTY
FADE IN:
INT. GAME ROOM (DINETH’S HOUSE) - NIGHT
A bare room in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.
Three young men are playing a computer game on their
desktop PC’s. They sit at a circular desk, each faces
inwards and no-one can see the other’s screen. The only
noise is the constant clicking of mouses, and the
occasional sound effect from the game. It is 11:00pm - they
have been there for one hour.
DINETH sits to the right of shot. He is 25 and Indian. He
is an earnest man from a large family, who emigrated when
he was young. He is heavily built, more so than Morpheus
(who compensates for this with bravado). Dineth is a gamer
because his otherwise earnest nature does not lend itself
to making friends easily. Within the game, he thinks of
himself as a leader.
MORPHEUS, 24, sits in the middle. He is a country boy,
grown weedy and unhealthy from too much gaming. He treats
both his gaming and his real life with a sense of masculine
bravado. He plays games for the competition. He is a smart
arse.
TIMMY, 26, sits to the left of shot. He is a tall, white,
awkward guy with no friends in the real world. Gaming
brings him out of his shell, and he is at home amongst the
other gamers. Of the three he is the most skilled gamer,
though he would never say this. He wears a t-shirt that
says ‘Howard Hater’, typical of his passive aggressive
nature.
They are playing the game WarCraft 3. It is early days in
the game, and their eyes are still awake and aware -
though the first signs of fatigue are starting to set in.
TIMMY
What next?
MORPHEUS
I say we go after the Zurg.
DINETH
  3
The Zurg are too strong. It’s better
to knock off the Protoss now because
they’ll get tougher later on. Are
you ready to attack, Timmy?
TIMMY
I’m just upgrading to level three
ground weapons. 2 minutes.
DINETH
Okay. I’ll come meet you.
Morpheus looks over at Timmy. Timmy doesn’t return his
gaze. He turns back to Dineth.
MORPHEUS
Okay. We’ll attack your beloved
Protoss. But if they fuck us up I’ll
rip off your balls and feed them to
Moses.
Morpheus uses his mouth to snap at an imaginary object. He
howls like a dog.
Dineth snorts in derision.
Dineth’s sister, JAYANTI, 18, enters. She is small and
pretty, with big eyes and long black hair tied in a
ponytail. She is carrying three glasses of lemonade on a
tray.
The boys stop their conversation on her entry. Otherwise
there is no reaction or acknowledgement.
Jayanti circles the table and puts a glass next to each guy
as they continue to play. As she pauses to leave, she looks
quickly at Morpheus. Morpheus gives her a sneaky smile,
which Jayanti returns meekly, glancing nervously at her
brother. Timmy notices this exchange, but Dineth is too
involved in the game. She leaves quickly, closing the door
behind her.
DINETH
Ready for attack? Morpheus do you
have Blizzard yet?
MORPHEUS
  4
(still smiling)
Yes.
DINETH
Timmy, how are you?
As Timmy is about to respond, a message comes up on his
screen from Morpheus. It says: “MORPHEUS: I FUCKED HER LAST
NIGHT”. Timmy is shocked.
DINETH
Timmy?
TIMMY
…Er… yeah, good to go.
DINETH
(Impatient)
What have you got?
Timmy looks at Morpheus with an ‘are you serious?’ look on
his face. Morpheus is confirming the fact with a sneaky
smile.
TIMMY
Some… Dragoons and… Archers.
DINETH
(Matter of fact)
You’re supposed to build Dwarves to
go with my Blood Angels.
MORPHEUS
He can build what he wants fucktard.
Let’s go.
Dineth looks annoyed about this, but says nothing.
Timmy types a reply to Morpheus. It says “TIMMY: 4 REAL?”
Morpheus reads the message and then looks over at Timmy
smiling. He gives a slight nod, and begins typing.
Timmy receives another message: “I got her drunk and owned
her. It was beautiful. Don’t tell the Towelie.”
  5
Timmy reads the message, and looks at Morpheus, frightened.
Morpheus grins.
DINETH
Okay. I’ll go in first with my level
26 Barbarian. Timmy, you give
flanking support. Morpheus, you’re
air support and rear guard. Watch
out for Ogre-Magi casting polymorph
spells. Ready?
TIMMY
Ready.
DINETH
Ready Fag.
Many sound effects are heard as they head into battle. They
are all concentrating on the game. They begin to win.
DINETH
Set to arrow formation.
The mouse-clicking and typing becomes more rapid.
DINETH
Timmy, how are we looking from the side?
TIMMY
I’m sustaining damage but we’re
holding up. They have a lot of
Minotaurs but my mana shield is
taking care of them.
DINETH
Morpheus, is that a white centaur
dragon I see?
MORPHEUS
Yeah, but I’m on it.
The continue to play. There is a series of louder
explosions in the game.
TIMMY
Hell yes.
  6
MORPHEUS
p00nd.
DINETH
(In a Chinese accent)
All your base are belong to us.
The explosions gradually die down.
MORPHEUS
Dineth, can you hook us up some
Doritos or something?
DINETH
I’ll get Jayanti to bring us some.
MORPHEUS
(grinning)
Awesome. You’re lucky to have a girl
like that.
Dineth looks at Morpheus passively. Morpheus fires Timmy a
knowing look. Timmy looks at Dineth in fear.
DINETH
(nonplussed)
Yes.
They return their focus to the game.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
INT. GAME ROOM (DINETH’S HOUSE) – EARLY MORNING
It is 2:00am, three hours later. The boys are at their
computers and little has changed. They look a little more
pale and haggard, and there are remnants of Doritoes
packets and empty glasses on the table. A silence
dominates the room, interrupted by the clicking of mouses
and occasional typing.
Dineth looks much the same as he did 3 hours ago, except
any semblance of awareness has gone from his eyes. He
stares at the computer screen in a trance, mindlessly
clicking his mouse button. Occasionally he picks his
nose.
  7
Morpheus is looking tired and trying to concentrate. He
isn’t smiling anymore – he’s completely focused.
Timmy is uncomfortable. Every now and again he contorts
his face and adjusts seating position, glancing around
the room.
TIMMY
I need a shit.
MORPHEUS
We’re not pausing bitch.
DINETH
You know the rules.
Timmy continues playing uncomfortably.
TIMMY
Fuck. I can’t hold it in.
MORPHEUS
You’re always the one! Don’t eat so
many fucking Doritos!
DINETH
Can it wait another hour? If can
take their Jade Falcons in this
attack we’ll have penetrated their
defenses.
Timmy contorts his face again. Clearly it can’t wait
another hour.
TIMMY
I gotta go. Sorry.
MORPHEUS
Fuck you’re lame.
DINETH
Plug in the laptop then.
Timmy pulls up a laptop from under the table. He switches
it on. There is an agonizing wait as it starts up, and
  8
his face keeps changing expression as he continues to
play the game. The others ignore him.
Timmy picks up the laptop and, not taking his eyes from
the screen, exits the room slowly. He trails the network
cord behind him.
MORPHEUS
Hurry the fuck up. I’m sick of
playing with such noobs.
Timmy glances back at Morpheus, before exiting backwards.
He continues to play the game as he exits.
CUT TO:
INT. BATHROOM (DINETH’S HOUSE) – EARLY MORNING
Timmy enters the bathroom holding the laptop, turns the
light on and closes the door. It’s a 1970’s-built room,
with brown and pale green décor. There is a toilet, a
shower and a washing machine, and other useless junk.
He puts the computer on top of the toilet and drops his
pants, not taking his eyes from the screen or his finger
from the touchpad. Awkwardly, he maneuvers himself into
sitting position. The cord keeps getting in the way, and
it takes him some time, but finally he sits with the
laptop on his knees and his pants around his ankles.
Timmy begins to shit. His face remains a picture of
concentration, occasionally broken by a contortion as he
passes some serious Doritos.
The sound effects from the game – wood being sawn, gold
being cashed etc. – continue as Timmy shits. Timmy’s
bodily functions begin to blend into the sound effects
from the game.
Although he is letting his body do its work, he is
clearly completely immersed in the game.
TIMMY
Come on… come on…
Timmy farts and this is followed by a plop and a sigh of
relief. The laptop makes a sound effect – a character
saying “Job’s done”.
  9
Timmy looks at his screen in curiosity. Morpheus has
written him a message. It says “MORPHEUS: HELP”.
Timmy hesitates for a second, then continues playing.
A crash is heard from the other room.
TIMMY (CONT’D)
(alarmed)
Shit!
Timmy pulls up his pants and runs out of the bathroom,
leaving his laptop behind.
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
INT. GAME ROOM (DINETH’S HOUSE) – EARLY MORNING
Timmy stands in the doorway to the room, watching in
horror.
Morpheus lies on the ground facing Timmy. His face is
bloodied and scratched horribly. His eye has turned purple
and is closed over like a boxer. His body is bruised and
his clothes are badly torn.
Dineth stands over him holding a keyboard raised above his
head. He has the feverish and wild look of a killer. There
is blood on his hands and on the keyboard.
Together they look like Reubens’ ‘Cain Slaying Abel’ (1609)
- a picture of primal violence.
Timmy pauses for a moment, stunned. Dineth looks at him in
a trance. Morpheus lifts his head and, sensing Timmy’s
there, groggily looks in his direction.
TIMMY (CONT’D)
Holy shit…
Jayanti enters from the kitchen, innocently holding a tray
with three glasses of lemonade. She sees Dineth first and
gasps in shock. She sees Morpheus on the ground her face
contorts in horror. She is about to burst into tears.
  10
Suddenly, her face softens.
JAYANTI
(inquisitive, to Timmy)
So you guys have a spare computer
now?
The killer spark slowly fades from Dineth’s eyes. Timmy and
Dineth look at each other. They look back at Jayanti.
CUT TO:
INT. GAME ROOM (DINETH’S HOUSE) – EARLY MORNING
It is an hour later. Timmy, Dineth, and Jayanti sit at the
desktop computers playing WarCraft 3. Jayanti uses the
bloody keyboard.
JAYANTI
Ownage… ownage… yes! We fucken
killed those motherfuckers!
TIMMY
Alright!
DINETH
Hell yeah!
The Flaming Lips ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ begins
to play as they high five in slow motion. Jayanti cries
tears of joy. The two boys grin ecstatically.
Morpheus lies in the corner in a pool of blood. He
occasionally twitches in horrible pain.
FADE TO BLACK.

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