Ryan M. Moore

Writer/filmmaker, Silver Lake, Los Angeles. © 2004-2013

Entourage:2039, Chapter 25: Turtle Attacks!! (part one)

Is this all weird, confusing and a little scary for you? Start at chapter one.

_ _ _ _ _

It’s 4 a.m. In a Santa Monica penthouse suite, Ari Gold sleeps. There are four armed guards outside the door, an entire hotel full of his men, his private army camped on the surrounding streets and doing God-knows-what in the bar and down on the dark beach. There’s even a detachment on the roof with big guns and shoulder-mounted missiles, to guard against an aerial assault. But that’s not going to happen- Ari’s army owns the air. His drones go over every hour on the hour, ready to rain death on anyone who dares to cross him or, on a slow day, pretty much anyone at all.

There are eight empty little liquor bottles by the bed and on the floor. Pills too, horse pills. This whole pharmacopeia is enough to bludgeon Ari into unconsciousness, if not peace. And so he sleeps, lost in the past and his dream of Vince, twisted in 800-hundred-dollar black satin sheets.

***

But while Ari sleeps, Turtle is wide awake- completely wired, actually. No drugs involved. Turtle is on a natural high, because he loves this shit. Turtle is on the 101 freeway, southbound in what used to be the number four lane, approaching the Alvarado Street exit.

He’s not in a car, of course. If you see a car on the 101 these days, it’s a burnt-out rusted hulk, Read the rest of this entry »

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Entourage:2039 Chapter 23: Vincent and Ari in the Spirit World (part four)

Is this all weird, confusing and a little scary for you? Start at chapter one.

_ _ _ _ _

Vince and the girl visit the production’s barn and quietly retrieve the “Unicorn” – the flawless white horse presented to Vince in the film, now without its horn, of course. They lead the horse along the path to the small stand of forest being used for the shoot, and then, to Ari’s growing amazement, they take off their shoes and walk barefoot into the trees. A little way in, they come to a clearing, where moonlight is shining down on the blue grass. Ari hangs back among the trees, like the multiple-personalities serial killer in eight of the scripts currently piled on his desk. Vince and the girl stand in the moonlight and- they just talk to each other. Ari can’t believe this shit. They’re just talking. Now the girl is holding Vince’s hand, and rubbing her other hand on the back of his neck, and she whispers something in his hear. And… is he?? Is Vincent Chase crying??

Ari tries to turn away – he’s seen enough – but before he can he sees the girl take out some kind of horrible New Mexico turquoise-and-crystal necklace, and he sees Vincent bow his head so she can place it around his neck.

The next morning, Ari is ready to go: he’s seen more than enough. He shakes hands with Vince, and leans in to a half-hug, yelling in his ear to be heard over the prop wash of the waiting helicopter.

“You’re fine. Everything’s going to be OK.” Ari tells Vince, even though the commitment plan is now fully formed in his head- even though he already made a few phone calls to exclusive private facilities when he awake at four thirty a.m. that morning. As turns and walks towards the helicopter, Ari feels good: He is never more true to himself than when he is lying to someone.

And as Vince watches his friend recede into the sky, he feels good too, because he is never more true to himself then when he is telling someone what he wants to hear, when he is being what the world wants him to be.

And just like that, it’s over. Ari sits bolt upright in the California King of the black hotel suite with the black windows in the heart of the black Santa Monica night, with his black heart beating two hundred times a minute in his chest- but fuck that, because he’s still alive he’s still here he’s still Ari Gold who does what needs to be done and runs straight into the guns of the enemy and takes it in the gut, like a soldier.

And Vincent is back: falling into the ocean, and then he’s in the black water and it’s in his lungs and he can’t breathe but he’s not afraid and he sits straight up in the bedroom of the derelict house floating on the dead sea of the night desert, and the girl Mary is there, and she’s been watching him, and everything is new.

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Entourage:2039 Chapter 22: Vincent and Ari in the Spirit World (part three)

Right then was when Ari had first started to toy with the idea- when Vince had walked off the set for the sixth time in one day, and before they had even called lunch. Having your star client committed to a mental institution is a fairly radical move, but Ari had felt it was the only choice he had, at the time.

At the time. That was the key phrase- because the time had been over twenty years ago now- and yet here he was again. Rushing across the set to get to the director before the assholes from the studio did, having just helicoptered in from Telluride after being alerted, mid Double-Black-Diamond, to Vince’s fourth meltdown of the morning. It was then that the idea first started to germinate way back in the depth of his lizard brain, the part that always knew what had to be done, whether Ari’s conscious self liked it or not. That was the part that had gotten him through law school, and then out of the primordial ooze of the mailroom to take his fully evolved place at the very top of the agency food chain- and it was the part that would later pull off a series of military victories so sudden and unexpected that what was left of a metropolis of over ten million people would wake up one fine firey morning to find itself kneeling at his feet.

But all that was still in the future. He was an agent, and Vincent Chase was both his star client and his best friend. So the really weird part is this: he can feel the idea forming in the back of his head, feel his frontal lobe shout it down as ridiculous- but he already knows what decision he’ll end up making, exactly how it all plays out, down to the smallest detail.

Forty minutes later Ari exits Vince’s trailer, that part of his job done. He’d given Vince the basic guilt trip (responsibility, contracts, loyal fans, reputation in the industry, &etc), followed by the pep talk (most talented person on the set, one of the best of his generation, believed in unconditionally by his friend and mentor, Ari Gold). It was all pretty standard by this point. Next, the real work started.

Ari worked his way around the set, talking to a few Grips, P.A.s, and Boys (Best and otherwise). A few bribes later he had what he wanted: it all pointed to a certain young girl somewhere near the bottom of the makeup supply chain.

So Ari stakes out Vince’s trailer, and he waits. And sure enough, come 11 o’clock, there she is. She’s short, a little stocky even, big tits but other than that not much to look at. She knocks and goes in. Ari figures it’ll all be over in – he does a few mental calculations involving Vince’s current mental state, his estimate of the girl’s weight, and the orientation of the foldout couch in the trailer – sixteen minutes, give or take. He knows exactly how Vince operates: Ari wouldn’t even feel right calling himself an agent if he couldn’t set his watch by the inevitable position change- from Reverse Cowgirl to Doggy, due in about six-and-a-half minutes from now.

Nothing to do but wait for it, thinks Ari, but he’s wrong, because just then the door opens and out comes Vince, along with the girl, fully clothed and apparently unmolested. They walk back towards the sets, and Ari follows discreetly behind. He can hardly believe what he sees next:

[continued next week]

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Entourage:2039 Chapter 20: Vincent and Ari in the Spirit World (part one)

The party is a quiet one. It should have been a great night- Ari’s army had made their way from Chavez Ravine to the coast with no casualties at all, unless you counted a little indigestion and light vomiting. They’d plundered and looted a swath as wide as a football field across the remains of the city, and now here they were at the end of a hard day’s work, in Santa Monica, ensconced in the safehouse of the late beachfront luxury hotel, Shutters.

The boss had made a perfunctory toast – thanking everyone for their hard work – but no one was really buying it. He wasn’t smiling, and everyone knew what it meant when the boss didn’t smile at all, which was the same thing it meant when the boss smiled too much- which was that heads were going to roll, and soon.

Mr. Gold disappeared immediately afterward, bound for a sound- and light-proof suite on a floor so secure that 99 percent of the guests at the party would be shot dead before they were allowed to set foot on it. So the party isn’t very good, because everyone is just standing around looking at everyone else, trying to figure out who’s going to be dead before seven tomorrow morning. Some people are trying- there was a run down to the beach, and a few people even went in the water, laughing off the risk of certain, fast, extremely painful death that comes when you feel a forty-foot tentacle tightening around your ankle.

No one sees one of Things in the water on this night; no one sees anything much unusual- least of all the spirit, or avatar, or whatever of Vincent Chase floating in the dark outside the big hotel windows and looking in at Ari Gold holding a glass of fine red wine. Not only do they not see Vince, they don’t see Ari either because Ari has retired a good three hours earlier. Ari is 16 floors up, mired in combination of a meditative state, sleep, and a stupor induced by three of the industrial-grade Sequonel tranquilizers he carries at all times, in a little zippered compartment on the inside of his left boot.

The party actually looks pretty good to Vince, floating outside the window. No one seems to be having much fun, sure, and it’s a total sausage fest. But Vince’s standards are not what they once were. He sees these professional mercenaries- sipping wine and cocktails, and talking quietly in pairs and small groups about who pillaged what and the things and people they shot- and he experiences an overpowering urge to be with them, just for ten minutes, cracking jokes and holding court again, having three or four drinks and then, when his new friends have been brought effortlessly into his orbit, heading out to look for some weed, or some girls – anything – just keep the night going and see what happens.

The urge is so strong, there are so many memories coming back now all at once that Vince wants to cry, or scream that it’s all a mistake, it has to be a mistake it wasn’t supposed to turn out like this- but there’s no time because he’s flying now, away from the hotel and the lights of the restaurant perched on the end of this ruined city: The last light in the world- and it shrinks smaller and smaller behind him until it’s a tiny yellow-white dot swallowed by the endless night, and Vince feels himself being torn away from everything that he ever loved, or wanted in his life, and now there is no light at all and nothing below him but the bottomless black ocean, and now he is falling.

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Entourage:2039, Chapter 19: Night Flight

Vince and Mary stand in the living of the abandoned, unfinished house. Vince is dazed and confused, dead on his feet.

“We need to get you into bed,” Mary tells him, and no argument is forthcoming from Vince. She takes him up the stairs into the master bedroom- somehow there is furniture here after all- and she puts him into the big canopy bed. Vince experiences neither shame or arousal as Mary strips off his clothes- only a distant, fuzzy gratitude and a longing for sleep.

“I’ll be back,” she whispers, and then she kisses him on the forehead and turns out the light.

Down in the kitchen, Mary fires up the portable gasoline generator she’s brought in, and she has the water boiling in five minutes flat. She uses two teabags, a little sugar, and a few special ingredients all her own.

Mary’s voice calls Vince back out of a deep sleep. She sits on the bedside and she gives him the tea. “Careful, it’s hot.” Vince sits up, leaning back on a big pillow, and he takes the first experimental sip. It’s good.

Before Vince has even finished the tea, he starts to feel himself floating upward, like the ghost of a dead husband he played once in a television movie. He sees the stars through the open roof and they seem to be falling on him, but no- Vince is rising, flying and he’s not afraid now- it’s amazing actually:

He flies out of the house and looks down on the entire abandoned subdivision, the roads and cul-de-sacs from above like runes carved onto the desert by a people now as ancient and inscrutable as any in the Social Studies classes Vince missed anyway because he was making out in the janitor’s closet. Vince flies higher now, far above the desert and west, back towards the ruined city. Through the permanent layer of pollution and soot Vince can somehow see it all: the studio lots, the hills where he once lived, the streets and clubs of Hollywood where he had been a Boy-King- there are almost tears in his eyes now but there’s no time because he keeps flying west, over the luxury fortresses of his former agents and lawyers.

The coast is coming up fast now, Malibu off to the north-west and directly below, the Palisades and Santa Monica, lit by the last red ray of the huge sun as it sinks into the western ocean. Vince circles lower now- he’s not really in control of his flight, but he has no fear either- wherever he’s being taken, he’s pretty sure it will be OK and if it’s not, well… Vince is willing to take his chances at this point.

He makes slow circles over the Santa Monica pier, skirting the blackened hulk of the Ferris wheel, and then lower, below the roofline of the luxury hotels he flies south towards Pico, over the Beachfront Walk where the deathracers speed by, day and night, and then Vince is over Shutters and floodlights beam into the sky around him because, unbelievably, there is a party going on at One Pico.

Somehow Vince knows to fly lower now, and he descends with perfect control until his feet are only eight inches off the path- behind him a three-wheeled death race bike rams its two-foot-long spiked blades through the inadequate armor plating of a hapless opponent and metal screams and blood flies through the air but Vince takes no notice at all – because he is looking the other way, into the big floor-to-ceiling glass windows of the restaurant, and not six feet away, staring out at the waves and holding a glass of red wine, is his former agent and friend, the Warlord Ari Gold.

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Entourage:2039 Chapter 12: Three things happen at once (part two).

Ari Gold is not at peace. Never has been, and apparently never will be- not if bullshit like this keeps happening. You can’t get good help: That’s the one thing that’s never changed since the old days.

And they still get out of his way when he walks down the hall- that hasn’t changed either. You would too, if you saw the Ari Gold of 2039 coming at you. The big pistol on his belt, the bulging arm muscles, obvious even under his suit. And then there’s those legs- cosmetic surgery has come a long way in thirty years. It’s hard to even call it cosmetic anymore, when the recipient’s leg looks more like a horse’s, and he can (and has) knocked people stone cold unconscious with one kick to the head.

It’s obvious to Ari what happened. They came up through the tunnels, under the wall. The places his men are supposed to be charting, and mining, if they weren’t so scared, and lazy, and worthless. They’re still scrubbing the blood off the walls and taking the bodies away when Ari gets there. He feels nothing for these men, nothing at all. They were weak, and lazy, and careless. All the evidence he needs to make this judgment is right there in front of him, stiffening by the minute.

In a few minutes Ari finds the storeroom he was looking for, the place where they came in. A quick inspection, and he knows exactly who he’s dealing with. The calling card is handed to him a second later by an underling who literally turns and flees in terror before Ari can say a word to him. The black card, blacker now with dried blood, only confirms what Mr. Gold already knows.

He reads the label anyway: “The Murphy Group.” A little smile curls on the end of his lip. They realize, of course, that this means war.

Meanwhile: Turtle’s slow breathing is the only movement in his cell. There is no light, no sound, no nothing. Right now there is not even Turtle. He throws his entire self into the meditative void with an almost Trappist zeal.

Ari Gold is meditating too. His practice area is a little different: For starters, there’s the gigantic gold-plated Buddha that almost envelops Mr. Gold as he sits cross-legged in front of it on the giant, Opium-den-red pillow. There are Buddhas everywhere, and maybe a few of the more well-known Hindu deities for good measure. As he sits, Ari’s mind is not what a Zen teacher would consider “clear” by any stretch. When he closes his eyes, his anger does not dissipate. No, quite the opposite. With his concern temporarily withdrawn from the waking world, Mr. Gold’s rages are free to careen though the black gulf of his semi-consciousness , like pulsars transmitting through deep space.

But maybe that is a kind of meditation. Beggars can’t be choosers. And maybe, just maybe, on some astral plane, the minds of Ari and Turtle meet. They’ve had thirty years after all, to get to know each other, to get inside each other’s thoughts. Thirty years since that fateful day when Turtle barged into the offices of the Miller/Gold agency and demanded Ari helped him go into business. He’d said “no,” of course, given the kid some big, half-made-up lecture about what it had been like for him starting out, and then sent him on his way with no help whatsoever- just as a matter of principle. That had been the beginning. And now, the beginning of the end.

Ari, lost in memory, is maybe the only thing in his entire fiefdom not moving right now: In the cyborg workshops under the Silver Lake reservoir, in the hangars and barracks of what was once the Paramount lot, from the tops of skyscrapers and half a mile under the Hollywood Hills, Mr Gold’s people are preparing to make war.

But first, dinner. Ari halted his practice mid-breath and stood to the meditation cabana. If he’s going to unleash hell, why not a little taste of heaven first? He walks to the table, where a lavish meal is waiting: The finest veal still gettable anywhere west of the Great Divide, and an eight year old Bordeaux brought up from the deep cellar for the occasion. His face bathed in red-tinted candlelight, Mr. Gold eats.

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Entourage:2039 Chapter 10: “In the Garden of Allah”

It’s hard to worry, from way here up on the roof. Which is a good thing, because Mr. Gold doesn’t like to worry. He could have replaced his personal staff years ago, brought in the cyborgs, but that’s just not Mr Gold’s style. What good is yelling at something that lacks the capacity for humiliation? What good is directing hate at something that lacks the good sense to hate itself afterwards? No, Mr. Gold prefers to employ flesh and blood. Mr. Gold is a humanitarian.

He calls this place The Garden of Allah. Ari likes the connotation of Old Hollywood glamor. And the “Allah” thing makes him laugh, too. Mr. Gold doesn’t have any problem with Muslims, in principle- as long as they stay outside the wall. Ari’s kingdom is bordered by the 2 freeway to the east, Western avenue and the remains of the 101 on the western side, and Griffith Park on the North. Standing on the twenty-foot high, twelve foot thick battlement, a guard can look over the sight of his assault rifle (Israeli-made) and see smoke rising from the hillsides and reclaimed fairways of the huge park. It’s best not to ask too many questions about what goes on in the park.

But inside Ari’s Green Zone, all is peaceful and efficient. A frontal assault by any enemy is unthinkable. Uniformed, smiling Vincent Chases serve as security guards, valets, street entertainers, and for the right discreetly-arranged price, private concubine to the needy of either sex. It would be a stretch to call it Paradise, but you can get whatever you need in Ari’s little kingdom, if you want it bad enough.

“This kid doesn’t look happy,” thought Ari to himself, as he looked at one of his sub-commanders standing in front of him like he had a particularly pointy stick up his butt.

“Here’s your drink, Mr. Gold, sir.”

Ari took the frozen concoction off the tray. It was good for the kids: He had started in the mailroom and he had clawed his way up, because he wanted it. So just because this kid had killed a few people for him and gotten a few medals pinned on him, that didn’t mean he was too good to serve drinks all of a sudden.

Ari looked through the sparkles of light forming on the rim of the glass, refracting off the big grains of Dead Sea salt. The kid was still here.

“What?”

“Well, sir… Mr. Gold…” The kid looked like he was going to piss himself.

“Spit it out!”

Ari hurled the glass over the kid’s head, and it shattered somewhere off in one of the grottoes. Jesus, was the kid crying? The glass hadn’t even come close- he’d purposely sailed it at least two feet over his head.

“Yes sir, Mr. Gold. There was another attack. They came up through the pipes.”

Ari was awake now. He sat up straight, and took off his sunglasses. “What did they get?”

“A couple of hard drives. We think it was some of the Source.”

Ari was actually starting to like this kid. He had straightened up there at the end, and answered like a man. Someone handed him a rag and he oiled his pistol, lovingly. The spent cartridge was still smoking on the ground next to his wicker Chaise lounge, liberated from poolside at the Peninsula.

In the background, two servants were carrying away the kid’s body, and three more were bleaching the bloodstain back into nothing. But all that was out of focus. Who could possibly know where to find that code, or understand its full significance? This wasn’t just some random Griffith Park tribal Mad Max bullshit. They were Beyond Thunderdome here. Ari was going to find out exactly who was fucking with him, and then he was going to deal with it, just like back in the mailroom, just like he always had. Two men enter, one man leaves.

Ari dug for his phone, which had worked its way down into the cushions of the chair when he’d gone for his gun. He was going to need another drink.

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