Synopsis of 'Terminal'

An idea for a short story:

In a country called Terminal, the government rules with a brutal police force, and relentless propaganda. The propaganda concerns it's neverending war with Alia, a country to the north. The media is full of stories of Terminalian military victories, and the danger of Ailan spies.

Every day, spies are found and convicted. The population are constantly reminded to be watchful of 'deviancy', 'skepticism', 'strange beliefs', 'unpatriotism' and signs that anyone - a stranger or a friend - might be an Alian spy.

One man comes to see the absurdity of this paranoia. He doubts the media, the government, and the purpose of the war. He see police brutality, corruption, the rewriting of history, lies everywhere, and the constant fear that everyone lives in. Not the fear of Alia, but the fear that they will be accused of being spies.

Having decided that everything he has been taught about Terminal and Alia is false, he begins to see Alia as everything Terminal is not - free and democratic, with good unfrightened people reading unbiased newspapers, secure in their jobs, and secure they won't be sent for interrogation or re-education.

He makes contact with an underground reistance group, and buys his way out of Terminal, bound for Alia. When he arives in the other country, he sees how different the scenery is. But then, he picks up a newspaper.

The headlines tell of military victories made by the country he is now in - Terminal - against the hated enemy - Alia. Posters on the wall warn of Alian spies. The people are terrified more of their own government than attack from Terminal.

Two countries, whose war is so symetrical, they even share a common name, and refer to the other in the same way.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea, Night Shyamalan would make this on I think.
    Reminds me of a science fiction film in the early 70's called (if I rember rightly)'Doppelganger'...
    Ha! it was 1969, written by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and the plot summary is as follows:

    A planet is discovered in the same orbit as Earth's but is located on the exact opposite side of the sun, making it not visible from Earth. The European Space Exploration Council decide to send American astronaut Glenn Ross and British scientist John Kane via spaceship to explore the other planet. After a disastrous crash-landing Ross awakes to learn that Kane lies near death and that they apparently have returned to Earth, as evidenced by the presence of the Council director and his staff. Released to the custody of his wife, he soon learns things are not as they seem.