2017 Dialogue-Writing Challenge: Scene 3
INT. OFFICE, BOSS DESK
LENA is outside the room, by a glass door badly attached to a drywall. The blinders are closed, and she’s visibly concerned about someone arriving.
LENA: Come on, Dave! He could be here at any minute!
DAVE is sitting on a chair, behind a desk whose plate reads “John Adelstein, Exec. VP”. Whose computer he’s apparently hacking into.
DAVE: Calm down, I’m almost there.
Lena looks to the end of the hall, and a chubby, balding man is walking towards her, checking his smartphone.
LENA: Whoa, he’s coming! What do I do?
DAVE: Don’t let him in! Go talk to him!
LENA: Me? And what do I say?
DAVE: Anything! Just go!
Dave’s POV reveals his acts: he’s copying entire folders into a thumb drive. He’s using the front USB port, meaning slower transfers.
LENA: How long?
DAVE: One minute. Go!
Someone stops Mr. Adelstein, gives him a report and he takes a brief look before saying goodbye and heading his office. Lena closes the door before he sees her. She walks towards him, and he notices it.
LENA: Mr. Adelstein!
JOHN: Oh, Ms. Maya. Didn’t see you today. Good morning!
LENA: It’s Mayer, sir.
JOHN: ‘Course it is. What can I do for you?
LENA: It’s about the quarterly reports…
JOHN: Yes, I got ’em right here! Gonna skim through ’em, then I’ll call your desk.
For Mr. Adelstein, it’s settled.
LENA: No, wait a moment, sir…
John was about to enter his office.
LENA: Who gave you this report? Was it Doug?
JOHN: Yes, Doug. Mr… Barnes. Why?
Dave is still behind the desk. But now Mr. Adelstein is turned away from the door, looking at Lena.
LENA: Well, it’s just…
LENA: I think he gave you an outdated version.
She tries to grab the papers from his hands. He objects.
JOHN: W-well, I’ll see to that. You’re very kind, Ms. Mayer. But —
LENA: No, really, you’ll just waste your time —
Dave is furiously typing something.
JOHN: Please let go —
The folder opens and the papers fall to the ground.
LENA: I’m sorry, I’m gonna pick them —
JOHN: Don’t worry, I got it. I’m just going to put my briefcase inside.
John goes right inside his office. Dave is caught sitting behind his computer.
JOHN: Mr. Hull?
Lena freezes in the ground. That’s it, she’s fired.
JOHN: Can you explain why are you —
Dave turns the computer screen to his boss. In his desktop wallpaper there’s a picture of him, written “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” all over.
DAVE: Sorry boss. Lena was supposed to stall you.
JOHN: Oh, you shouldn’t! How did you know it’s my birthday?
DAVE: Well, I work in HR, it’s my job.
Lena finally lets the air out of her lungs.
Dave gives John an awkward side-hug, holding the thumb drive behind his back. He signals “positive” to Lena.