SCI-FI ADVENTURE SUSPENSE THRILLER
DIGITAL AFTERLIFE PARADISE
BLACK MIRROR’S “SAN JUNIPERO”, ANNIHILATION, GHOST IN THE SHELL, READY PLAYER ONE
• CAMILLE: MID 20S. BOUNTY HUNTER, STRONG-WILLED, DARK, SUSPICIOUS OF OTHERS, CYNICAL, SECRETIVE, WITTY.
• TOY BOWEN: 25. REBEL LEADER, ANTAGONIST, CONFIDENT, ENGAGING, OUTSPOKEN, ASPIRING.
• CODY PRIOLO: 47. CAMILLE’S BOSS. LOGICAL, COMPLEX, DECISIVE, EDUCATED.
Forever People follows Camille, a salty mercenary, as she fights to keep a group of rebels from destroying the computer system that stores the minds of the dead.
Target Gender: Universal
Zeta City (historically New Orleans): people make pilgrimages here to die. The "Node": the digital afterlife.
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: with a Publisher
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Year Published: 2019
Welcome to Zeta City, where the whole world goes to die. Here, the Node System uploads the minds of the dying so they can spend eternity in a digital Promised Land. But, this cyber heaven is causing hell on earth for the living.
After realizing that Node Points are a lie, Camille teams up with her adversaries and takes down the Points from inside the Node.
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Hard Copy Available
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Mature Audience Themes
Language/Profanity, Substance Abuse
Plot - Other Elements
Philosophical Questions, Meaningful Message, Twist
Plot - Premise
Main Character Details
Name: Camille Eko
Key Traits: Unapologetic, Criminal, Lone Wolf, Sarcastic, Secretive, Empathetic, Funny, Aggressive, Badass, Blunt, Complex
Additional Character Details
Name: Toy Bowen
Key Traits: Confident, Engaging, Outspoken, Aspiring, Charming, Leader, Selfless, Visionary, Beautiful
Additional Character Details
Name: Cody Priolo
Key Traits: Patriotic, Secretive, Complex, Decisive, Educated, Insecure, Manipulative, Obedient
Additional Character Details
Name: Remington Nakamoto
Key Traits: Blunt, Educated, Lone Wolf, Sarcastic, Skillful
Welcome to Zeta City, where the whole world goes to die. Here, the "Node System" uploads the minds of the dying, so they can spend eternity in a digital Promised Land - but his cyber heaven is causing hell on Earth for the living: Camille, a skilled mercenary, fights to keep a group of rebels from destroying the computer system that stores the minds of the dead.
What We Liked
This is a high concept science fiction piece that manages to touch into current events in a way otherwise yet not seen in the genre. The characters are unique and realistic. The world is fantastical and creative in a way that will come across on screen beautifully. The story forces readers to confront the uncertainty of purpose in life and trust in systems.
This would be a cinematographically beautiful, captivating film with thrilling action scenes and contentious drama. The underlying moral themes and questions in this film--what's the purpose behind living without any assurance of an afterlife? How much is a life worth?--will leave viewers deep in thought long after watching.
Strong female characters
Dystopian science fiction world
Opportunity for beautiful cinematography
Camille is a cynical but empathetic young woman living in Zeta--a city in future New Orleans where people go to die, because it's close to gates that will allow them to easily move into the digital afterlife, the Node. The Node runs on Node Points, points that the living earn to then spend in their death. Camille is obsessed with tracking her amount of points and has resulted in working as a bounty hunter to keep her supply rising. She works to hunt down people on the verge of dying, and keeps them in a state of existence and communication just long enough to pay off their debts or share a few last words with their loved ones. One of her most frequent clients is Cody, a middle aged government worker who hires Camille for her least favorite types of quests, generally in debt collection. One day, Cody assigns her a new, more complicated task--tracking down Toy Bowen, a young, beautiful hacker, and stopping her before she dies and affects the Node Point afterlife system with a virus. Toy is a part of a rebel group called Nirvana that seeks to destroy the Node Points system. The system gives people points on every birthday and extra points for doing good deeds, but even the best intentions have gone astray with many in the world attempting suicide once they have a certain amount of points or going to nefarious measures to collect more points for themselves and their loved ones. Toy's group injects a virus into her brain on livestream as she announces her reasoning for taking down the system. Camille catches up to Toy, but is too late--Toy jumps in front of a train before Camille can stop her, and her body is obliterated, beyond levels within which Camille can use her illegal "confiner" to keep Toy's spirit alive long enough to communicate.
Toy enters the afterlife, but faces some trouble as a result of her virus. She's unable to think clearly at first, and alarms an older man who tries to help her pass through the gates when the gates recoil from her instead of helping her get through. Toy immediately tries to search for some sign that her virus--and therefore, revolution--has worked. However, the afterlife appears to still be standing without any sign of interference. The only one who seems affected is Toy herself. Toy is confused by her lack of affect on the world, but forgoes her mission for the time being to instead spend time with her grandmother, who has chosen to spend her afterlife as a young woman in the Wild West.
Meanwhile, Camille is furious with Cody for assigning her to this mission, and that fury only grows once Cody asks to involve Remy, a former partner of Camille's. There is some tension between the dark, embittered Remy and Camille, and none of the trio trust each other. Camille and Remy soon realize that Cody knew Toy would die and wanted to employ Camille and Remy for their older line of work, communicating with people who had already passed into the afterlife. Cody notices that Remy works in the dark with machinery and needs more energy than the city is allotting for each citizen on an annual basis, and promises to provide Remy with decades of energy if Remy cooperates with the mission. Remy reluctantly agrees, as does Camille, who will do anything for more points. Remy warns Camille not to trust Cody, and to seek out his friend Deanna once she's at the hospital.
Cody takes Camille to a hospital on the edge of the "Net" that hovers over most of the world and allows them to pass into the digital afterlife. Once there, Cody reveals his plan--to put Camille into a semi-coma in order to trick the system into letting her in so she can stop Toy, and then waking her up once she's done. Camille is understandably reluctant at the idea that she might die, but is more reassured once she finally meets Deanna. Deanna tells Camille that she has already gone to the afterlife and come back, and asks Camille to pretend to be incoherent when she wakes up. She warns Camille that she's going to learn something drastic in the Node, but refuses to tell Camille any more information and just asks her to talk to her about it once she's awake. The doctors induce the dead-like state in Camille, and she enters the Node. Once there, an old man named Moses guides her to her long-deceased brother, Santos. Santos had died when he was only eleven years old, and Camille had worried about his afterlife being miserable, as young people died with very few points. Camille had worked for points for both herself and for Santos to enjoy in the afterlife, and is surprised to find Santos has a family and seems richer than she could have imagined. Camille asks how he's faring so well, and Santos reveals that the entire Points system is a lie--there is an infinite amount of resources for everyone in the Node, and everyone has whatever they want, no matter their Points value. Camille is stunned by this revelation, as the points system had ruled her life. She is broken for a bit by the knowledge that she wasted so much effort on gaining meaningless points, but Santos comforts her with the joy that they are finally together again.
Camille has almost forgotten about her original mission when she runs into Toy, who challenges her to a duel--after all, if you "die" while in the Node, you simply get transported back to the nearest virtual gate, unharmed. Camille refuses the duel, however, and reveals the truth to Toy, that she is really alive and only in the Node temporarily. Toy wants Camille to reveal the truth about the lack of points to the living world, but Camille is unsure. Before she has time to decide, Camille is captured by Moses, who turns out to really be Amos, one of the original Founders who created the Node. Amos was not a programmer like the other Founders, but a philosopher who devised the points system and modeled it after religion to try and encourage morality and longevity in the living world. Amos explains that the Founders didn't want people committing suicide en masse to join an afterlife of unlimited paradise, but after Camille explains what the living world is like, Amos demands that she tells them all the truth if she does wake up.
Due to Amos's interference, the doctors back at the hospital are having a difficult time waking her up. They call in Cody and Remy to try and decide what to do, and eventually, Cody and Remy decide to let the doctors shock her system to try and get her out of her comatose state. Cody gets a call from his boss, Anita--it turns out, Cody is not workin for the government, but for the Founders of the system. Anita wants Cody to let Camille die inside the system, but Cody defies his boss's order. The doctor prepares the procedure to wake Camille up forcefully, but she luckily awakens on her own just in time. She tells Cody and Remy the truth, and they devise a plan to bring down the system once and for all.
The trio plan to meet up, but Remy and Camille find themselves waiting for Cody for too long. Anita calls Cody in for a meeting, but it was all a ruse so that she could assassinate him and give his briefcase to someone else in the living world. The assassination is successful in killing Cody, but he has already left his briefcase, which contains a link for communicating between the worlds of the living and the dead, with his daughter, Nora. Anita and the other Founders have living agents in the real world--Cody did not have time to pick another living agent, and tells Nora from the briefcase that she gets to decide what to do with the information of the fallacy of the Node Points system. Nora was a young rich girl who always had enough points and never had to worry about them. However, lately she'd met some other young rebels in Nirvana at her university. One in particular, Alexis, had taken her to donate some of her Node Points to those who were less fortunate. Armed with this experience, Nora decides to help Camille and Remy take the system down.
In the afterlife, Amos calls for a meeting between the Founders, including Anita, but it's soon revealed to be a ruse meant to keep them from interfering with Camille's mission. The Founders are all locked in Amos's house while Camille and Remy work to bring the system down. Camille goes back into the system, and is soon followed by Nora, who has died to help the cause. From inside the Node, Camille broadcasts to the living world and tells the world the truth.