THE ACT OF STORY STATEMENT
1. Story Statement; A fifteen-year-old punk skater (JINX) tries to reboot after her personality is altered by a ruthless CEO in a sinister social branding experiment.
2. Antagonist 200 words
The CEO is the master of his universe. As X-Town's founder, the CEO of X-
Psych and the high-school Principal, this Big Brother is all-seeing, all-
powerful and morally defunct. He is using students as lab rats in a social
branding experiment to create the Teen Lifestyle Brands. He believes the
Vogue, All-Star, Gangsta and Pussy-Cat franchises will be a lucrative
sideline to fund his controversial (and top-secret) neuro-tech research into
memory wipes and personality grafts.
But the master manipulator, may have met his match in Jinx. He co-opts
her punk personna as the prototype for his new Teen-Rebel© franchise, but
her refusal to rep the Brand forces him to take drastic measures.
He wipes her memories and implants her with a neural safety switch to
make her easier to control. But Jinx's refusal to be cowed both confounds,
and fascinates him. He pushes her into increasingly dangerous situations
to try to unravel the mystery inside the enigma that is Jinx.
3. Break-out Title
A Stepford Teen meets George Orwell's 1984
Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies meets Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World
5. Primary Conflict - Individuality
A rebellious teen struggles to retain her individuality after she is surgically altered and her punk-skater personna is stolen and mass-produced.
Inner Conflict - Trust
Jinx is a lone wolf with trust issues. Her freaky sixth-sense has turned her
into a human polygraph and she can always tell when someone is lying.
It's gotten to the point where she doesn't trust anyone...not even herself.
That changes when she starts to make friends at her new high school. The
lone wolf eventually becomes leader of her own pack when she is named
the Teen-Rebel Icon. But fame, fortune and a lucrative franchise come at
a cost. Without her sixth-sense and her memories to anchor her, Jinx begins to lose
herself in the swarm of copy-cats. She finally realizes she must eschew the safety of the
pack and learn to trust her instincts if she is to stay true to herself.
Social Conflict: Conformity
Peer pressure has been weaponized by the introduction of Teen-Brands© (off-the-rack
Lifestyle Brands) at Jinx's new high school. Students are ga-ga over the off-the
rack and ready-made personnas,
Everyone it seems is pushing Jinx to be something she's not.
Her parents want her to be more cautious. Her neighbours want her to be
more country-club debutante. Her friends, eager to bask in her reflected
glory, are pressuring her to be the Teen-Rebel© Icon.
Surprisingly, the CEO seems to be one of the few encouraging
her to be herself. However, he has an ulterior motive— the commercialization of her
rebel personna. The ruthless CEO will use all the tools at his
disposal (including memory wipes and personality implants) to break her
down and bend her to his will.
SIXTH ASSIGNMENT: Inner and social conflict
Inner: Jinx has awoken after a mysterious accident to discover she is now the Poster-Child for the Teen-Rebel Franchise. The lone wolf is now the leader of her own pack of Jinx copy-cats and struggles with the loss of individuality (Inner Conflict)
Jinx has no idea how she became the Teen-Rebel. The accident has damaged her short term memory and she forgets everything that happens during the day when she falls asleep. It's been six weeks since the accident but she can't remember a single thing. Every day is a reboot. It seems the accident has damaged more than her memories...her built in bullshit detector seems to be on the fritz as well. Suddenly, she can no longer tell if someone is lying. The realization is unsettling at first, but it does have certain benefits. (Social Conflict)
Both Inner and Social conflict are addressed in the following scene.
The car pulls up to the school. Tilly the guard waves us through the gate. A crowd swarms us as the convertible parks itself in the Vogue Teen-Brand Icon stall.
"It must get tiring, all this attention everywhere you go," I smirk.
Kee-Kee gives me a sideways glance. "They're not here for me. You're the big draw now."
"I thought you were the hot shot on campus?"
"Not since you became the Teen-Rebel Icon."
"You don't mind?"
She shrugs. "It's been kind of liberating, watching it happen to someone else. Puts a new perspective on things."
I reach for the door handle. Students surge forward in anticipation.
"Remember, you like Teen-Rebel," Kee-Kee reminds me.
I make a face. "Are you sure?"
“It's all part of your master plan to sabotage the Franchise. You call it your way of messing with the Teen-Brand mind-fuck."
That does sound like something I'd say. And it makes sense in a weird subversive way. No one's gonna listen to Jinx Xavier. Teen-Rebel on the other hand…
Kee-Kee gives me a push. "Get to work."
I stumble out of the convertible. Students surge forward and I brace myself for the frenzied energy of a dozen hormonal teen-agers.
But nothing happens. No raging onslaught...not even a flicker of panic. No sense of suffocating under the press of humanity. No racing heart. Nada.
So this is what it feels like to be normal.
A Rebel-Clone pounces, giving me the once over and squealing in delight. "Oh good, we're wearing the same outfit!"
Not just the same. Identical—from the short spiky hair to the grass stain on the cut-offs to the big toe sticking out of the sneaker. She even has my scar on her chin.
I glance around the clamouring crowd which is filled with similar Jinx-clones. I h ave to admit...it's kind of flattering to have an entourage of adoring fans. But it's unsettling to have them look so much like me. I feel like I'm lost in a sea of Jinx’s. Should I be flattered... or outraged?
My doppelgänger thrusts her skateboard at me. "Write To Trinnni, BFF's forever, love Teen-Rebel," she orders, leaning over my shoulder to make sure I get it right. "That's Trinnni with three n's, and puts lots of hearts and kisses around my name." She grabs the board when I'm done, eyeing it critically, and then takes a quick selfie of the two of us. "I just love love love Teen-Rebel, it's so different from the other Teen-Brands!"
Her excitement seems a bit over the top. I put out some feelers to try to get a read on how much she's exaggerating. Again nothing. Not a single tremor or quake in her energy field. There is absolutely no way to know if she's telling the truth.
It seems that accident took more than my memories...my bullshit detector appears to be on the fritz as well. I hadn't realized how much I relied on my freaky sixth-sense. Knowing when someone is lying makes it hard to believe anything they say, but at least you know what's real.
So what am I supposed to do now? Take 3-N-Trinni at her word? Or slip into default and assume she's lying? There's really no way to know for sure. How do people navigate this minefield?
My Dad says trust is a leap of faith without a safety net. So, I guess I'll take the leap and give Trinnity the benefit of the doubt. Her slavish devotion to Brand Jinx suggests her enthusiasm isn't totally fraudulent.
Something warm unfurls inside me. Maybe she likes me. Is this how it feels to be popular?
7. SETTING: NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE
The Mexican Badlands are teetering on the edge of an environmental abyss. Lured by cheap land, labor and lax environmental oversight, international companies
have built hundreds of hundreds of factory towns (Maquiladoras) along the U.S./Mexico border. Like a plague of locusts, the Maquiladoras have chewed up the Mexican Badlands, filling the skies with a toxic smog and stripping everything in their path.
But X-Town isn't a typical factory town—its main employer (X-Psych) focuses on neuro-tech research (memory wipes and personality grafts).
The only thing X-Psych pollutes is people's minds.
Menace lurks beneath the polished perfection of X-Town, the resort-like
gated community populated by ex-pat executives and their families. The town is constructed like the spokes on a wheel. All roads lead to the X-Psych Tower which houses the labs, offices and high-school. Surveillance cameras track residents every move while armed guards patrol the ten-foot walls protecting the citizens from the factories and slums outside.
But every paradise has its serpent. X-Town's perimiter wall protects but isolates its citizens, whose fear of venturing beyond the gate makes it easier for the CEO to exert his authority, which is absolute and to a large degree unquestioned.
Jinx and her friends eventually escape X-Town and venture into the "real”world. The Mexican Badlands might be dirty and dangerous, but they free the teens from the grip of X-Town's stifling constraints. The teen's branded personas crumple in the face of real danger and their true natures and selves are finally revealed.
The online virtual world is largely hidden, but the reader catches glimpses whenever GAIA (a rogue holo-tutor) pops up in the story. This is the World of Things where everything, from mainframe computers to espresso machines are connected. Communication between billions of machines requires an exquisite symbiosis, so ccess through the Portal is closely monitored and any anomalies or rogue programs are hunted down and destroyed by viral scanners (sniffers).
The world beyond X-Town and the Badlands is a world without books. Everything ever written is now available free online. Libraries and bookstores have shut down and mountains of mouldering books have been consigned to the shredders.
Jinx prefers real books, because no matter how many times she reads them they always stay the same (not like the on-line books which are always changing). A No-Read list has been established to cull and ban books deemed inappropriate or incendiary. Jinx has been forced to dig through dumpsters to add to her library of precious books. She has collected a trove of banned tomes, which are stolen by her Watcher when she moves to X-Town. A book is a loaded weapon and the Wateher's complacent world-view is shattered when he reads one of her banned books (Fahrenheit 451). Learning to think for himself has dire consequences, forcing the Watcher to question everything he once held to be true.
This is a world is awash in a sea of fake news. The new Truth-Check app is an attempt to bring clarity to people who have stopped thinking for themselves. Truth-Check bills itself as the ultimate bull-shit detector, "the arbiter of all truths", able to cut through lies, disinformation and greywash like a hot knife through butter. But Jinx quickly realizes Truth-Check's version of the truth is disturbingly selective and suspects it is just a more insidious form of censorship.
A forum for New World, New Voices students to work on pre-event assignments.
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