Thursday, 6 August 2020

GUEST POST BY HEIDI JAMES, THE HEALING, PART 4/4






The Healing
A Dramatic Series for the imagination

Written by
Heidi James




Series TWO

With the world watching, Diana and the Council can’t be seen to destroy the Boy Children, that would be against everything the New World stands for, wouldn’t it? But it is widely known that Boy children are feeble and weak, the Council decides to secretly withdraw care and sustenance from the babies, and let them die naturally. There is an uprising, of women who can’t countenance this, and led by Lucy they are the Eves. They rescue the few surviving babies. Safely delivered of her son, Mika and her family find help and join up with the Eves.
The Council, with newly promoted Chief Protector, Nico set out to crush the Eves. It’s war.

Series THREE

In the aftermath of the war, and the Eves as the victors how will the society change? With both genders and the new boy children coming of age, what will happen to the balance of power?






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Wednesday, 5 August 2020

GUEST POST BY HEIDI JAMES, THE HEALING, PART 3/4





The Healing
A Dramatic Series for the imagination

Written by
Heidi James




Overview
AKA Spoilers (for those who prefer not to read on)

Happy couple Mika and Nico have decided to have a baby. Except, an adherent of the Adamites, working at the clinic has used contraband sperm instead of Nico’s DNA and implanted a male embryo. Once the pregnancy is established and a scan confirms the foetus is male, the Adamites kidnap Mika from the clinic and take her to their HQ where she is kept along with other pregnant women (some willing, some not) where the Adamites will try and re-educate them in the necessity of the Boy Child programme. Mika, at first horrified at being a mother of a male, tries to escape. She is captured and kept in a more secure unit with other women who are resisting the Adamites. When she finally escapes with the help of Mattie she returns to Nico who takes her to the clinic to abort. By this time, Mika has bonded with the baby and goes on the run again… belonging to neither side. Meanwhile, the Adamites have revealed their aims to the public and the Council has to act.





Episode Synopses

101 Mother Tongue

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF WOMEN

  • Opens with Mika and Nico out drinking with friends including Jules. They announce their decision to get pregnant. We notice, slowly, as the episode develops, that this world is all women. Women unharassed, laughing, walking home safe.
  • The Council meet, to discuss processing unones, Diana states that any unones who wish to stop taking their hormones to re-male are endangering society. Vera argues with her, suggests allowing the unones (who are all over sixty) to transition would be good for society and reminds the council that a core principle of the new regime is that the individual has absolute autonomy over their body. Council votes to allow unones who wish to transition to do so in a secure clinic. Vera is on record agreeing to this.
  • At work, Mika, gives a lecture to young girls at the museum; she is funny, erudite, inspiring; we learn this is not a lesbian community in our contemporary world, but something else, no men… at all.
  • The Adamites, with Lucy directing, meet and they discuss the plans of the Man Child operation. They need as many pregnancies as possible, even unwilling ones. The leader, sitting in the shadows, tells them it’s time to go ahead. They must act now.



102 Even the Good Ones…


  • Mika and Nico have a lunch with their mothers, the older women talking about life with men, how even the good were bad! They are celebrating the potential new daughter. Life is good.
  • Mika and Nico, both nervous and excited, go to clinic for procedure. Their clinician is very attentive while collecting their DNA.
  • Nico meets with Diana, to discuss the unones transition process. They discuss transport and clinic. Nico feels it’s too dangerous, that they are still vulnerable to WLVs, Diana agrees that the unones are unlikely to survive. She is trusting Nico to keep the New World safe.
  • Vera makes a call; she discusses her suspicions and worries about Diana and Nico’s unones plan. She fears that they are planning to kill them.
  • Working late, Nico overhears Vera on the phone saying that she will get the transport and location details for the unone transition process.

103 Keeping Mum
  • Mika’s pregnancy is confirmed, they are delighted and go back to bed to celebrate.
  • At work Nico tells Diana she doesn’t trust Vera, Diana dismisses her. Nico accesses Vera’s computer, finds nothing overtly suspicious, but that she has accessed the unone processing plan.
  • Mika at work, researching a lecture, we see archive material objectifying and demeaning women and watch as Mika and colleagues create a timeline of female disenfranchisement across a gallery wall. She meets Jules, they go swimming and lunch. Jules is supportive and it seems a little jealous.
  • The Adamites meet, we recognise Mika and Nico’s pregnancy clinician is one of them. The group get ready to intercept the unones transport before it gets to the clinic and take them to safety.
  • Unones arrive at a secure unit far out into the woods. Welcomed to their transmogrification process, they’re told that the programme will begin when all their labs are done and the doctors are sure they’re fit and well. But the unit seems more like a prison than a clinic and the doctors more like guards.
  • The Adamites ambush the transport, but Nico has switched the location and instead sent an armed group of protectors. Most of the Adamites get away, but the protectors capture two, Jo and Cami.





104 Process
  • Nico reports to the Council that the Unone Process is successfully underway, Vera is visibly shaken. Nico doesn’t mention the ambush or the arrests.
  • Lucy and Adamites regroup, they are panicked and decide to bring in all the Man Child pregnancies for protection. They are determined to make this work.
  • Mika goes to the clinic for a scan and check-up, Nico calls, she can’t make it, is held up at work, but will call later. Mika is not happy, but goes in alone.
  • Protectors are gathering up unones from their work and homes – they don’t want to transition, so protest, but it’s for their protection and on Nico’s orders.
  • Nico questions Jo and Cami. Jo is tough and doesn’t give in, but Cami does. She tells Nico about the Adamites Boy Child plan. She doesn’t know who their leader is, but she does know she’s on the Council.
  • Nico reports to Diana, telling her about the Adamites and their plans and that their leader is a member of the council. Diana won’t believe it’s Vera, but they do agree not to share this intelligence with the council for now.
  • Nico gets home, having not heard from Mika all day, she’s looking forward to seeing her. The house is dark, no one is home and Mika isn’t answering her phone.





105 The Precious Eves

  • Mika wakes up bewildered in a room full of other women. They are all at various stages of pregnancy. Some are volunteers, Adamites and are happy to be there, the others, like Mika, are confused and frightened. They have no idea how they got there. Lucy arrives and welcomes them to the Boy Child project. They are the chosen ones. Precious Eves. Most of the women are horrified to learn they are carrying boys. It is an impossible nightmare.
  • Nico calls everyone looking for Mika. No one knows where she is. She goes looking for Mika at work and her usual haunts. Jules helps. Only Nico is really worried, women aren’t in danger anymore, perhaps Mika just needed some space?
  • Diana calls Nico, she has to come into work now. There have been reports of pregnant women going missing across the country. It’s happening. Nico fears the worst for Mika.
  • The Council meet, including Vera. While discussing the crisis they receive news that the Adamites have posted a video online. The video shows footage of the pregnant women – the Precious Eves – they are being well cared for, while a voice, Lucy, tells the viewer that the threat of WLVs is over and that they aim to restore a natural balance to humanity. While the Council is alarmed, we see why Diana is the leader. She is calm and decisive. Nico is in shock; Mika was in the video footage.
  • Diana, alone, orders the completion of the Unone Process with immediate affect.




106 Protest
  • Arriving at the Council buildings Diana and Nico have to pass through a crowd of protesters. The crowd is made up of two groups, one demanding protection from the Adamites and their Boy Child plan, and a small minority petitioning the Council to negotiate and get the missing women back safely, with their babies.
  • Jules and Jennifer console each other, they offer support to Nico but she just wants to get to work and find Mika and the rest of the missing women. Jules is horrified when Nico says we need to find Mika and get that parasite out.
  • At the Adamite HQ Mika and the others are being well cared for and Lucy is attempting to re-educate the women – show them footage of men caring for and loving their families, that ‘not all’ men were bad and that it was the system not individuals that created inequality. Most of the women, including Mika are not convinced. Mika speaks out and contradicts Lucy, and is compelling. Mika is warned not to upset the other women or herself or she will have to have ‘bed rest’ in a room on her own. Despite the gentle care, the women are imprisoned.
  • Nico wants to bring Vera in to question her. Diana tells her be careful, she warns Nico that Vera has secrets that could be embarrassing for the regime if twisted.
  • Through Diana’s eyes, we see the beginning of her and Vera’s friendship as students. Vera supporting Diana after a brutal assault on campus by a male student, we understand the depth of their friendship and why Diana is adamant that the New World must be protected.
  • Diana, makes a statement to the media, addressing the protestors. She tells them that the Council can’t and won’t negotiate. It still isn’t safe for males as a recent programme to aid unones in their transition back to male bodies demonstrated; their bodies, weakened by the transition to the weaker, less robust sex succumbed to illness within days. There were no survivors. Anyone harbouring or assisting the Adamites or the Boy Child project will be tried for treason. It is a sad day, a momentous day for a regime that has known only peace for the last 30 years.
  • At the Adamite HQ some of the women are becoming agitated. Seeing her chance, Mika tries and fails, to escape. Mika realises the Adamites are heavily armed and prepared to fight for their cause.


107 The Lying In
  • Mika is placed in the more secure bed rest unit. She is shackled to the bed with soft restraints. In the beds next to her are Mattie and Jean. The women talk, softly. They are being watched. Both Mattie and Jean are disgusted by the male body growing inside them, the babies’ movements and obvious growth is abhorrent to them, but while Mattie is stoic, Jean is anguished. Mika is different, less vehement, ambivalent even. She is beginning to bond with the baby moving and kicking inside her.
  • Nico and her fellow protectors go to arrest Vera. She’s gone, but at her home they find documents linking her to the Adamites, and more troubling for Diana, a box file of research into the cure for WLVs.
  • Public protests are getting more dangerous and violently divided.

108 Instinct
  • Jean strangles herself using her restraints, in the ensuing chaos Mattie helps Mika to escape. The women make it to a road where they are picked up by a family and taken to safety.
  • Nico and Mika are reunited. After initial checks Mika is allowed home to rest before the termination of the pregnancy. Mika tells Nico she doesn’t want to terminate the baby. Nico is horrified by Mika’s feelings and won’t touch or look at her pregnant belly. Mika realises they are going to abort all the babies at the HQ and refuses to tell Nico the location of the HQ.
  • Mattie willingly goes to clinic for termination.
  • Nico enlists the help of Jennifer and Jules to convince Mika to go to the clinic, if she doesn’t, she will be forced to go. Mika describes her feelings to her mother and Jules and begs them to help her. They feel the baby move, he’s just a little baby. They agree and tell Nico to give Mika some space and promise they will take her to the clinic in the morning. Instead they go on the run together.


109 The Cure for All Ills
  • Devasted, Nico swears to find Mika and the HQ. She is sure Mika will have returned to the Adamites for protection. She is convinced they have brainwashed Mika and that she will be able to rescue her and if not, then so be it.
  • During their investigation the Protectors find photos of a large compound in Vera’s possessions. Obviously taken during the Old World, a young Vera is in her father’s arms. Could this be the HQ? They search through old records and maps to find it.
  • Nico confronts Diana with Vera’s box file of research on the WLVs. Diana admits she knew that Vera destroyed the cure, and colluded with her. It was for the cause, and it was right. Nico doesn’t disagree, but she knows if it gets out it will only fan the flames of the protests.
  • Jennifer and Jules are on the run with Mika. They go out into the wilderness, while trying to decide what to do. They are almost caught but escape on foot. They are in serious trouble; Mika is heavily pregnant.
  • Nico and the protectors find and surround the HQ. Believing Mika is inside Nico holds them back, she won’t risk Mika’s safety.


110 The Boy Child
  • With the protests are getting more and more violent, and support for the Adamites growing Diana reveals that Vera is the leader of Adamites and that she suppressed the WLVs vaccine, how can anyone trust a leader who is so inconsistent? The Adamites are reactionaries out to subvert the New World and all its peace and prosperity.
  • Learning of this the Adamites turn against Vera, she has betrayed them. They surrender to the Protectors waiting outside, except Lucy who fights alone.
  • The Protectors take the Precious Eves to a clinic for their safety. Diana and the Council will have to decide what to do about the soon to be born babies under scrutiny of society.
  • Jennifer and Jules build a shelter and set about trying to find a way out of their predicament. They need to get to civilisation, undetected and soon. But then Mika goes into labour.




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Tuesday, 4 August 2020

GUEST POST BY HEIDI JAMES, THE HEALING, PART 2/4



The Healing

A Dramatic Series for the imagination

Written by
Heidi James




Characters
How they look/sound/move etc is up to you.

Mika
Mid-twenties
Headstrong, charismatic, successful and happily partnered. Mika is a curator and academic at the Museum of History, she is an expert on the history of patriarchy and the world before WLVs liberated humanity. She is close to her mothers and as a baby born after WLV, she has never known a world of men, as such her view is academic, based on research and not emotion. She has a close circle of friends and, up till now, has known little struggle. She is one of the new breed, born into a world of plenty and opportunity; but she will discover a determination and strength she never knew she had in the fight to keep her son. Chosen by the Adamites because of her job, they hope that if they can turn her she will spread the word through her work and be a valuable ally.

Nico
Thirties
Nico was one of the last hetero-made babies. Her father a casualty of the parasite, her mother viewed his death as a release from their abusive marriage. Nico’s mother is a vocal opponent to the reintroduction of the male and has raised her daughter to consider all men as violent, destructive oppressors. Nico is a loving partner to Mika and is excited to be having a baby together. She works for the Council as a protector and is committed, heart and soul to the new world, so much so she chooses the regime over her relationship to Mika and the baby, joining the council in its hunt for the boy children, including Mika’s.

Jules
Late twenties
Mika’s best friend. Gentle and sweet, it’s easy to underestimate Jules. She carries a torch for Mika, and is a little bit of an underdog. When Mika goes on the run, it’s Jules who steps up and fights with her, showing her integrity, loyalty and grit.

Mattie
Thirties
A tough cookie, Mattie takes no prisoners. Straight-talking and nobodies’ victim, the Adamites picked the wrong mother to mess with. Mattie is Mika’s ally in the Boy Child secure unit and together they fight to escape, except while Mika is beginning to bond with her baby, Mattie wants her own pregnancy terminated and for good reason – her traumatic childhood. That won’t stop Mika trying to help her.

Jennifer
Fifties
Mika’s womb-mother, loving, fulfilled. Was a lawyer before the WLVs and is now a respected author and advisor to the Council on writing of the Codes (the former laws and statutes now being obsolete), she is caught between her love for her daughter and grandchild and her commitment to society and the council. The potential birth of a grandson will undermine all her assumptions about the maternal instinct.

Vera
Sixties
Secret leader of the Adamites, an eminent scientist and expert in WLVs. As a young researcher her breakthrough discovery in a potential cure for cancer was claimed by her boss and the rest of the team leaving her name off the paper and demeaning her part in the process. That same team, including Vera, was tasked with finding the vaccine and cure for WLVs, which Vera did, but then destroyed her findings. Her decision to let the male population die off, based not just in personal retribution but for the environment and society, has haunted her. A close friend and confidante of Diana, the leader of the council, Vera has seen at close hand the lengths the council will go to protect the new world.


Lucy
Thirties
A leading member of the Adamites, she is part of the team that impregnates and ‘cares’ for the mothers of Boy Child. Also a hetero-baby she remembers her father with affection and her mother considered the loss of men an abomination. She is more fundamental in her aims and hero-worships Vera. She would be devastated to discover that Vera was instrumental in allowing the WLVs to proliferate.

Diana
Sixties
Leader of the Council and instrumental in the creation of the new world. A born leader; she is wise, committed to her cause and learned, but her dedication to the cause will push her to make terrible choices. Diana was a close friend of Vera when both were brilliant young students. Vera was a support and confidant to Diana when Diana was brutally raped on campus. Diana’s attack, and the perpetrator going unpunished is in part why Vera destroyed the WLVs vaccine. Diana and Vera are complicit in each other’s story.





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Monday, 3 August 2020

GUEST POST BY HEIDI JAMES, THE HEALING PART 1/4




The Healing
A Dramatic Series for the imagination

Written by
Heidi James



Premise

The Healing is a serialised drama that questions what the world will be like after all the men are gone. In the aftermath of a parasite epidemic that wipes out the human male population of the world, it’s left to the women to take control. It takes a period of mourning (for some) and readjustment but society begins to thrive. The environment heals, toxic patriarchy has been eradicated and with it violence and oppression in all its forms. Welcome to the utopia of The Healing, but is it all it seems?

What if your memories of your father, your brother, your husband don’t quite fit the history now being told about the innate violence of all men? What if, now the danger has passed, you wanted men back? What if you believed that a new world could be created, one where the lessons of the past had been learned, where gender no longer mattered? What if you longed for the old days? What would you do? And how would the new order respond to keep their peaceful matriarchy intact?



Location

Formerly known as America, but the new world is borderless. Green and plentiful, and with the population dramatically reduced the pressure on resources and the environment has disappeared. The world is recognisable to us, just more efficient, cooler, peaceful, and without men.

The parasite

The destruction of the environment, specifically massive overfishing, disturbed the ecosystem allowing the growth of a parasite, Wolbachia Letalis Viros, to go unchecked by the usual forces of the food chain. Harmless to females, the parasite destroyed reproductive tissues and organs in males, before causing multiple organ failure. With no cure available many men took fate into their own hands, wreaking havoc before ending their lives. When the temporary solution of taking female hormones was offered till a cure was found, for many men, including trans men, they preferred the option of dying male. A few however, joined the ranks of the surviving women, becoming un-ones. They are now the underclass.

Culture and Society

The prevailing dogma is that the world was delivered from the hell of men, and that WLVs (pronounced Wolves) liberated humanity. Nature rid herself of this plague of men, and everything is better without them, so why bring them back?
In this new world, people work and live collaboratively, freed from objectification and oppression. Free to dress, behave and love without fear. Without an aggressive capitalist ‘growth’ culture, and the use of eco technologies people spend less time working, more time with loved ones, playing and creating. Life is sweet, unless you are an un-one, the property of your female relative. Family units are often extended, though coupling up is common too.
The former culture is relegated to museums, where the art, history, film, religion and literature of patriarchy is derided and displayed to educate and warn against the dangers of masculinity. In this new world of women gender isn’t an issue.
But not everyone agrees, the Adamites, a small group of rebels led by the enigmatic Vera, believe that WLVs was a medical crisis, no different from any other plague or epidemic and that without males and traditional reproduction another natural crisis is inevitable and the future uncertain. The group is out to return the gender balance, by both providing safe haven for un-ones who want to stop taking hormones, and the conception and birth of male babies. Some of these women are older and remember men in a positive light, but a few have never lost their Christian/internal patriarchy and have taught this to their daughters, becoming another source of tension and conflict. The movement is subversive, potentially fundamental and explores love, memory and the ‘not all men’ theme. The aims of the group and the conflict it creates drives the series arc as both groups become more entrenched and divided.

Reproduction

Only females are born (initially because of the parasite, but now as an established part of culture and available technology) in the early era post-WLV children were conceived using sperm donated before the epidemic. Now, women who are ready for children – it is a joyful choice – use iPSCs (stem cells from their female partner) to create ‘sperm’ and conceive with the assistance of dedicated clinics. Parthenogenesis is outlawed in order to preserve genetic diversity.





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