Poya the Qy
A reluctant space traveller struggles to stop earth’s extinction.
by M.M. Kizi
Poya the Qy is a science fantasy about a reluctant visitor from a distant planet Wapakoneta. Forced to live on Earth by his overbearing grandfather Poya discovers humankind are poisoning their Earth and an asteroid cloud is about to obliterate the Milky Way. Racing time and determined to protect his new home the shy far starer brings together a girl mathematician (Yas), an irritable woman physicist (BB Adams), a brilliant museum director (Idlouti Henson) and a young M15 agent(Khaled Akkad), despite their differences this mismatched quartet must work together to save the world.
MK Palomar interviews M.M.Kizi and asks
Why did you write Poya the Qy?
MKP: Why did you want to write a script?
MM: I was writing a thesis and going mad from the dryness and pedantic formality of it all – I wanted to build, explore and let loose in an imagined place.
MKP: Leaning towards the pedant’s view it’s not strictly written as a film script – is it a novel?
MMK: Not really
MKP Is it a film treatment?
MMK: I’m not sure how those work so probably not
MKP: Is it an excuse for a Si-fi fan to reference a long list of favourites and leave no cliché unturned?
MMK : er yes you could say that!
MKP: Is that because you don’t know how to write a book?
MMK: er yes again …!
MKP: So can you tell us what you think it is?
MMK: It’s a story script with dreams of being on a screen, as a feature film or a series- maybe with actors or perhaps as an animation.
MMK: I love stories in pictures, and I love watching stories in moving pictures too, and I think stories can save us from despair.
MKP: Why didn’t you draw it?
MMK: At first I tried to make a graphic novel but I find it very hard sticking to a ‘look’ I also realised it would take me forever and (to a certain extent) I would have been taking other peoples ideas away, although having said that I have put a few doodles among the text, so I think the short answer is I’m impatient and lazy, but also I’d like it to fly in other people’s minds’ eyes.
MKP: What ideas were you thinking about when you were working on it?
MMK: All sorts of different-images and ideas- Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes, Milan Trenc’s The Night at the Museum and Kate Atkinson’s book
Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, Diana Wynne Jones’s Halls Moving Castle, Robert Crum’s sequential series A history of America, some paintings by Durer and paintings by Marsden Hartley of Mount Katahdin, landscapes by Munch and Nolde, a wildlife film of Kakapos – the flightless parrots with iridescent green-blue feathers – lots of Sci-fi films (E.T, Close Encounters, The 5th Element, Interstellar, Arrival, District 9, Contact), and I had a dream of India in color. I’ve never been to India and hardly ever dream in color, but this was all glowing golden amber. I also thought about the power of sound, the treasure of otherness, the horror of Petrochemicals Pesticides and Plastics and the fragility of our planet. And I should mention- there is a wall at the end of my garden and around 150 years ago, there was a nunnery and an orchard on the other side there- I often wonder if a door was put there, could we make it into a portal that passed through time as well as space. So, bits of all of those things thrown in together really.
MKP: Did you work on this for a long time?
MMK: About ten years – on and off- it went through numerous different forms and stages –dozens and dozens of drafts – it’s still not finished –but I’m ready to let it go –for it to live another life – hopefully
MKP: Are you glad to move on?
MMK: Glad and sad – I had a little weep when I finished – I thought perhaps it was because the story has some sad elements, but really I think its because I’m saying goodbye to characters who I’ve lived with for over a decade – I can’t imagine how heart-wrenching that must be for novelists who have to let go of their characters over and over again.
MKP: What will you be doing next?
MMK: I’m going back to my studio– to paint narrative pictures ….. and live another life – hopefully!
POYA the Qy (the first 5 scenes)
A Screen Play (sort of)
Poya the Qy is a reluctant visitor from a distant planet who discovers a terrible catastrophe is about to obliterate the Milky Way. Racing time the far starer must find help to save the world .
This story is set across time and place, in contemporary London (Peckham & Exhibition Road), present day Wales (Brecon Beacons), ancient and modern Jordon (Zaatari village by a Roman reservoir named’Umm el-Jimal’ The Mother of Camels) and Wapakoneta (a giant planet in the spiral galaxy of Dwingeloo) .
These times and places are linked by a circular garden, in the wall around the garden are 3 doors, they lead to London, Jordon and Wapakoneta .
Forced to live on Earth by his overbearing grandfather, Poya a shy, creative two souls (1), 1/2 Qui 1/2 human far starer, discovers a catastrophe is about to obliterate the Milky Way, (& meanwhile Earth is being poisoned by humankind ).
Determined to protect his new home, Paya brings together a deaf girl mathematician (Yas Chandler), an irritable woman physicist (BB Adams), a brilliant museum director (ldlouti Henson) and a young M15 agent (Khaled Akkad), despite their differences this mismatched quartet must work together to save the world.
(1) a term used by Native Americans for those among their tribes whose gender was not binary.
0 MOUNTAINOUS South.AMERICAN LANDSCAPE 0 1000BC Night time
A crowd of tribesmen jostling round a large smoking object. Lights flicker, we have a narrow view between the men’s shoulders-wind gusts-smoke clears, we glimpse a large gold blinking eye (2), (3)
(2) A reference to the last frame of James Cameron’s Avatar (2009) the hero Jake Sully (a paraplegic veteran soldier) with the help of the planet Pandora’s Na’vi (blue skinned sapient) humanoids, transfers his consciousness finally and completely into his Na’vi avatar.
(3)This is Nosirrahnoj’s eye, he is Poya’s father, a universe explorer, he travelled light years through worm holes and latticed dimensions, searching for minerals for energy, & seeds for food and medicine. Nosirrahnoj crashed to earth in Peru – the Chachapoya people rescued him and nursed him to health . His son by Raju a Peruvian woman is Poya.
1 EXT-Night Desert landscape & many tents 1 (Zaatari Camp)
Text bottom left screen reads 2012 Zaatari Refugee Camp Jordan
A young Arab boy staring at a vast starry sky (he’s making a map of the stars with stones in the sand), beside him a cassette player blasts Bruce Springsteen, the boy mouths the words & dances chaotically, small iridescent green feathers drift out from his sleeves & float above him.
We pull up & away;
(.../ was trying to find my way home but all I heard was a drone bouncing off a satellite ) (4)
from above we see the boy dancing – feathers floating round him – he is at the centre of his celestial chart.
We fly out into SPACE- soon earth is a marble sized orb to the top left of the screen. We hear static radio waves (5) whooshing, hizz, fizz & pulsing bips – we are still speeding away, the Milky Way is now a small dot on the top left corner of the screen- we slow down – we are heading towards a planet with numerous satellites, (6) similar sized moons and one much larger, the planet and its moons are orbiting a large star.
Text across our screen reads
Wapakoneta (6) the 51st thousand rounding in the time of the Qy. 3000 times larger than Earth, one Wapakoneta revolution takes 50 Earth years
(4) Bruce Springsteen Radio Nowhere released in 2007 (from Springsteen’s album Magic)
(5) A reference to the opening sequence of the 1997 film Contact (from the book by Carl Sagan- film story outline written by Sagan & his wife Ann Druyan), in which the heroine (then a little girl) Ellie Arroway is listening to her crystal radio set, searching for contacts around the U.S. In her later years she will work for E.T.I. (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence), looking for contact with beings from other celestial bodies across the universe.
(6) The name Wapokoneta is a tribute to Neil Armstrong (the first man to set foot on the moon July 20th 1969, Apollo 11 mission,). Armstrong was born 1930 in Wapokoneta (Ohio); he died 2012
2 EXT. CLOSING IN AND LANDING ON THE PLANET 2
The landscape looks like a 15th century Durer painting, (7) translucent blues and greens- there are wooded hills, some peaked with high rocky-mountains; and white gold rivers winding through lush sparkling valleys.
The light from the moons and the large sun brush this place with an amber glow. Babbling sounds drift from strange unearthly growths. Through the hon eyed haze we see movement floating over the surface like a mirage (8) gradually we make out tall four legged buorlls wading across the landscape. They have wide spaced multi-lensed eyes, glinting iridescent blue, and their large pale heads sway gently with the roll of their gait.
We hear the sound of babbling again, and a purring trill. As we come closer we see a metal leg (9) fitted into a stirrup, and a withered hand tied to the top of the leg. We cannot see the riders but we know the noises are coming from them. Subtitles appear at the bottom of the screen, firstly gibberish then-as though we are learning how to translate a new language, words begin to form, and we glimpse parts of the feathered riders.
Deep rolling vocal
Ohd vnk wopin kipij fraaaalll looo Kkiii Smaiiiaalll ttttrrrr ep ep Loooook Poya-draw what you see look at the shape of things and the spaces between and think about the position you’re looking from(10)
(7) See the landscape behind the figure in the painting Saint Jerome (1496) by Albrecht Durer (1417- 1528) at The National Gallery London, also Dream Landscape (1526) by Albrecht Durer at The Kun sthistorisches Museum, and Along the Shore in Autumn 1870 by Eliza Pratt Greatorex (1819-1897) (Associated with Hudson River School).
(8) Referencing the scene of the 1997 film Contact, in which the scientist Ellie Arroway travels to a distant planet and encounters another being. The being is portrayed as a distant visual shimmer moving towards Arroway, it morphs from shimmer to fragmented mirage before solidifying into the form of her deceased father. Made before CGI, this is an example of Analog contortion & transformation to great
(9) A nod to Cressida Cowell’s book (2003) and film (2010) How to Train Your Dragon, in which the hero Hiccup (and later-because Hiccup has injured him-his dragon Toothless), both wear steam punk/ handmade prosthetics.
(10)Visualcy is the skill of competently understanding interpreting and perceiving the visual. Our societies are directed by & steeped (at every level) in images (both still and moving). Visualcy alongside Numeracy and Literacy, would equip pupils with strong visual interpretive faculties to better navigate their world.
2 CONTINUED: 2
Poya (Higher Trilling Noise) how can I draw when everything’s moving? (11)
We see a close-up -a thin bony hand holding a tool making wobbly marks that skitter across the pale palette in these other hand.
Deep rolling vocal when you draw life you draw movement -(12)
Deep rolling vocal pauses – we watch Poya struggling to keep control of these marker
Deep rolling vocal very well – we’ll slow down –
The withered hand pulls on the reins-we see past the hand to an open field.
Small creatures scurry about gathering plants into piles (13) , behind them tall tree-like growths lean towards the sun; a shadow from a distant mountain casts them into shade.
The creatures babble excitedly, dashing back and forth – in a slow synchronized curtsey the trees bow, fold their branches, slide over the shaded ground and unfold together, reaching up to bath in the light again.
The small creatures leave the field, their plants loaded onto wagons they travel down a lane towards a hamlet, passing the occasional Tuft Qy. Tuft Qy are featherless, urban outcasts they tramp the rural lands seeking comfort.(14)
Across the landscape we see trees shifting position to stay in the light, and small creatures hurrying to harvest their crops.
(11)Understanding that Motion has a rhythm & flow, helps to see & draw a thing in motion.
(12) Motion Activates and Action Motivates-being in motion keeps the brain alert, perhaps that’s why people pace up and down while they are talking on the phone-absorbed in animated conversation.
(13) The small creatures are Little Qy, flightless & much shorter than Great Qy, Little Qy work the land and travel from place to place performing stories of the past the present and the possible future of Wapakoneta.
(14) Disenfranchised, unemployed, hopeless depressed and homeless, Tuft Qy pull out their own feathers in distress leaving only tufts covering their raw green skin.
2 CONTINUED: 2
NOSIRRAHNOJ(15) (Deep vocal)Drawing is like mapping Plot things in place-the mountains don’t move…much (16)- use triangulation -(17) see relationships between things…
Suddenly we hear an engine roar, our viewpoint spins 180°, in the distance a vast metropolis soars from the horizon to the clouds. The immense buildings shimmer with light reflecting the sun and moons; there are vehicles at every level, flying through the air (17) on suspended tracks, and running along the ground. An enormous saucer cloud caps the city fed by plumes of steam billow ing from giant chrome vents. From all this comes a cacophony of strange noises and agitated movements.
Between us and this city lies a flat plain – sparkling yellow ground scattered with clumps of multi-coloured growths, thick and bulbous yet as they lean towards light they sway as though blown by wind.
The source of the engine roar comes into view, flying at us from the centre of the screen – a shiny metallic devise carrying four creatures- one of feather, one of fur, one of scale and the last of skin-they are whooping and cheering-______________________________________________________
(15) Nosirrahnoj – John Harrison (1693-1776) a tribute to the carpenter clockmaker who invented the marine chronometer that measured longitude.
(16) A tribute to the geographer Doreen Massey who when contributing to a symposium (accompanying an exhibition of work by walking artist Hamish Fulton at Tate Britain 2002), cautioned that fixity is an impossibility because even the mountains are migrants passing through’ moving at the rate our fingernails grow’ Phil Smith A Short History of the Future of Walking http://www.rhizomes.net/issue7/ smith.htm(accessed 17 October 2018)
(17) Triangulation can be a useful tool when drawing from observation, as it enables the observer to ascertain where the subject is within a space, mapping the subject with three references points, thereby plotting the shapes around the subject, as well and the shape of the subject itself.
(18) General nods to various Si Fi films with wondrous cityscapes, 5th Element, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, Blade ..
2 CONTINUED:3 2
NOSIRRAHNOJ (annoyed) Why don’t they fly themselves-
Cheering yobs (laughing and jeering) Hey granddad look’s like you could use one of these-
The gang do a sky wheelie revving the engine- the lumbering buorlls rear up shaking Poya and Nosirrahnoj
NOSIRRAHNOJ (CALMLY DEEPLY) Easy Nepolisis easy It’s just some techs virtualising
Nosirrahnoj calms Nepolisis- the metallic device does another spin – all aboard cheering then mid wheelie there’s a hiss & visual shiver- the image blurs, dims and just as the machine and riders disappear we hear one say
YOB Shit we’re out of credit’
NOSIRRAHNOJ(concerned) Poya, you alright?
Poya’s buorll’s eyes are suddenly covered with a lump of feathers. Blinded, the beast stands still.
POYA (laughing) Calvi (19) came to the rescue
NOSIRRAHNOJ Well done little Qy- Keep that one close Poya
POYA Always –
|(19) Calvi is a Little Qui and Poya’s best friend . Little Qui are flightless, they generally have two main roles on Wapakoneta, to perform stories in travelling troupes, and to work the land. Calvi lives with Poya as a friend and studio technician.|
PART TWO FADE IN
3 INT.(TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN) 2013 3 EARLY EVENING
Text across screen reads – Trinity College Dublin 2013
Aadi Chandler; a tall smiling Indian born Professor of Physics, in his mid thir ties, has just finished summing up at a conference on the maths of sub and supersonic waves. His colleagues are gathered round him admiringly-chatting equations and education-one notices his signet ring, a dull Thermochromite (20) stone in a titanium setting carved with seasonal signs for Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. In the centre of the ring are the symbols denoting action selection & wave over infinity (21) , when turned upside down these symbols read VAS, the name of Professors Chandler’s daughter. As they head through the corridor; busy with chattering students & eminent scholars (nodding sagely as Aadi passes), Aadi is explaining to his friends that he inherited the ring from a great uncle. A tall man & a petite woman smile and nod as Aadi passes.
Aadi (to the tall man & petite woman) I’ll be there as soon as possible .
they nod again, and we see them walk out to a waiting car.
JOVIAL COLLEAGUE (rival) Bet you got it at a cosmic fete kissing a frog- right? !! rebbit rebbit (all laugh)
AADI (emphatic but smiling) No really it’s been in the family for generations -you could say it’s perpetuating the Chandler wave
JOVIAL COLLEAGUE (slightly caustic) OOOOOOOHH
(laughing-shows everyone his high school ring)
(20) Temperature sensitive compound (alters color according to the temperature it comes into contact with) also known as ‘mood’
(21) Please be warned action selection & wave over infinity are very loose interpretations of the following scientific symbols- and have very little base in actual science. I must do more research and or find a scientist to advise <;CTA <; : Varsigma has the dimension of energy a :Sigma-self-energy. A :Lambda, in Astrophysics represents the likelihood that a small body will encounter a planet or a dwarf planet leading to a deflection of a significant multitude. oo :Lemniscate representing the concept of infinity.
3 CONTINUED: 3
JOVIAL COLLEAGUE This has been in my family for at least 30 years…perpetuating my central finger you might say….. ! (wiggles his finger)
Aadi gets into his car as the four colleagues stand in a row mimicking a Mexican wave
JOVIAL COLLEAGUE (sarcastic) “We are the perpetual Chandler wave” Aadi laughs, gives a mock regal bow and drives away.
4 (INSIDE AADl’S CAR-DASH BOARD LIT) 4 EARLY EVENING
Aadi; chuckling to himself; drives down the road from Dublin to Galway. Either side are open fields & rolling hills, it’s the blue hour just before sundown. Au tumn trees are silhouetted against a clear sky, early stars sparkle on the blue. Aadi turns on the radio, Kirsty Maccoll is singing A New England (22) .Aadi taps the dashboard to the beat and sings along.
“I saw two shooting stars last night I wished on them but they were only satellites it’s wrong to wish on space hardware I wish I wish I wish you cared...“
The road bends a lorry skidding out of control-collides with Aadi’s car. Both vehicles fly through the air, the lorry explodes-flames catch light to the trees, Kirsty Maccoll is singing,
“I don’t want to change the world, I’m not looking for New England are you looking for another girl are you looking for another…”
(22) Written and recorded by British singer songwriter activist Billy Bragg in 1983, then recorded by British singer song writer Kirtsy McColl in 1984. MacColl was born in 1959 and was killed in an accident in 2000 in Mexico, she was the daughter of British singer songwriter Ewan MacColl and choreographer in dance movement and theatre Jean Newlove. https://youtu.be /VnzpgSGgQCo Kirty MacColl sang Fairytale of New York with The Pogues (co-written by Pogues singer Shane MacGowan & musician & artist Jem Finer in 1988. Finer also made Long Player a self extending composition began on January 1 2000, and continuing for a thousand years.)
5 PART THREE FADE IN 5 INT (LOOKING THROUGH A WINDOW)
Text across screen reads – Wapakoneta the 61st rounding in the time of the Qy,(23)
We are in a studio, on top of a hill, looking out through a window over a rainy blue green landscape, tinted with amber light. Between portrait paintings of feathered creatures are drawings of extraordinary objects, machinery, constructions & strange beings, every inch of wall is covered (24)
In the corner a hologram hovers over a table scattered in drawings, kinetic maquettes shuffle themselves round the room, navigating scraps of paper & marking tools.
We see a crumpled image of a Brindle feathered creature with a metal leg, and one wing-arm tied to its side. A small creature stands holding the larger creature’s broken wing-arm-this is Paya and these father Nossirrahnoj . For the first time we see Paya clearly, these blue green gold iridescent feathers are exqui site (25), these long face with bony nose wise beyond these (26) Qy/human years.
These looks sadly at the photograph-we understand Nossirrahnoj died some years ago. There are more photographs-some of Nossirrahnoj the Brindle Qy standing proudly, holding various objects for display. Gifts from distant journeys, an abacus, a long piece of cloth, a scroll patterned with inscriptions.
Paya sighs, shakes these head and turns away. In these hand is a hologramat ic maquette, a vessel carrying tiny trees plants & animals. These is carefully reshaping different configurations, drawing with light and marks- absorbed in these task these strolls outside.
(23) Ten Wapakoneta roundings have passed since we saw young Poya being taught to draw by his father Nossirahn Each Wapakoneta rounding takes 50 Earth Years, so 500 earth years have passed.
(24) Poya’s studio is covered in working drawings sculptures and floating holograms, aesthetically Poya’s work combines Terry Gilliam’s determined drawing & humor (subversive animations for Monty Python and surreal theatrical sets & costumes for Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini at the English National Opera 2014), with Guillermo de! Toro’s dark fantasies (Pans Labyrinth), Carl Sprague’s attention to detail (The Grand Budapest Hotel), the magical fantastical inventions of StefanKovacik & Lenka Kovacikova (The Illusionist), a touch of steampunk mess with a smattering of Leonardo’s exquisite genius for investigation and brilliant invention.
(25) Poya feathers are green gold and iridescent like the New Zealand Kakapo
(26) Poya is now 20 Qy years old or 1,000 earth years old.
5 CONTINUED: 5
The view from the ledge is spectacular, a flock of gold birds their wings tipped black, fly past. The rain has stopped, there’s movement far below in the steaming landscape. We can see across to the horizon, in the south distant amber mountains reach to a honeyed moon in a violet sky (27), north the skyline is full of shining city towers lidded in their ochre saucer smog.
GRANDFATHER GEM (grating voice) Are you ready Poya?
Poya is surprised by the old brown Qy standing on the ledge –
GEM Poya I said are you ready?
POYA Grandfather I’ve told you I don’t want to go
GRANDFATHER GEM Don’t be stupid child It’s the Augurs reading (28) The meeting of Shamans on Blue is just what you need- get you away from this silly fiddling-
(gestures dismissively to Poya’s studio and work) Poya stands up – steps off the ledge & vanishes
GEM (feigning fury shouts after Poya) We ARE leaving tomorrow (Then to himself) Dearest child you’ll understand when we get there…
(27) The landscape color is inspired by Marsden Hartley’s Mount Katahdin (1942) Andre Derain’s The Turning Road Lestaque (1906), Gauguin’s Where do we come from, what are we (1897)
(28) The Augur are Little Qy travelling storytellers-they know Wapakoneta land and also how the fields of force & galactic waves running through the Universe, impact each galaxy-Little Qy act out seasonal predictions like a highly advanced almanac