Viper

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INT. BAR - NIGHT

A divey local joint. MORGAN sidles up to TOBY, who nurses a drink.

MORGAN
Tough day?

Toby’s genuinely shocked that a woman is talking to him.

TOBY
Oh. Oh, yeah. God, the worst. Evil. Like if Satan had a baby, it would be named “today.” 

Good one, Toby. He takes a drink.

MORGAN
You work at Viper, right?

TOBY
I do, yes, that is the place where I work.

MORGAN
I thought you looked familiar. I’m Morgan, I work in HR.

A beat.

MORGAN (CONT’D)
And your name is...

TOBY
Shit, uh, Toby. I’m Toby. Toby is my name. It is the name that I was given, and I have not changed it, and therefore it is Toby -- “it” being my name.

MORGAN
Are you always this jumpy, or just when you’re close to a pair of tits?

TOBY
I don’t, uh...

MORGAN
It’s okay, it’s cute.

She inches closer to him. Toby squirms.

MORGAN (CONT’D)
So what are we drinking to, Toby?

TOBY
To a failed staging, I guess.

MORGAN
Okay.

They drink.

MORGAN (CONT’D)
Now what the hell does that mean?

TOBY
You don’t know what a staging is?

MORGAN
I’m in HR.

TOBY
Right. Basically it means that we’re almost ready for our alphabet app to go to beta testing, but it’s going really badly.

MORGAN
Alphabet? Like Google, Alphabet?

TOBY
Oh no. No, no, no. I mean, literally, the alphabet. A, B, C, D.

MORGAN
You guys are making an alphabet app?

TOBY
We are.

MORGAN
Right, we. I meant “you guys” as in you over there in development. I mean, it’s not like we’re down in HR writing code between doing our... filing... and the other stuff we do there in HR. Where I work.

TOBY
Yeah, no I totally get it.

MORGAN
So, this alphabet app. That we are making. At Viper. Does it do other things, like numbers, or colors, or animals? 

TOBY
Nope. Just the alphabet.

MORGAN
Aren’t there, like, a thousand apps that can teach the alphabet and do a lot of other stuff?

TOBY
I know, it sounds stupid. But it’s all coming down from the top, market research, blah blah.

MORGAN
What do you mean?

TOBY
Market research is--

MORGAN
I know what market research is.

TOBY
Well apparently the data show that parents want an app that’s just the alphabet. No frills. And they say if we can get it right, we’ll have over two hundred thousand DAUs in a month.

MORGAN
Holy shit. So what’s the problem? UX?

TOBY
HR lady knows what UX means?

MORGAN
I had a boyfriend... once. So, is it the UX-- whatever that is?

TOBY
We can’t get a stable build. 

MORGAN
.. of the alphabet?

TOBY
Crazy, right?

MORGAN
It’s twenty-six letters. Any twelve-year-old with an iPad and an API could make that app.

TOBY
I know, but it’s not working. And we’ve spent everything on this app. I’m just afraid that one of our competitors is gonna catch on, like Pogo. Man, if Pogo beat us to market on this, we’d be fucked.

A beat. Toby takes a drink. Morgan gets a devilish grin on her face.

MORGAN
Then consider yourselves fucked.

TOBY
Uh, excuse me?

MORGAN
Come on, dude. Do you really think anyone in HR knows what an API is?

TOBY
Oh my god. You’re Pogo. Oh no. Oh my god.

MORGAN
Well done, Toby. I am Pogo. And tomorrow, when I go to work at Pogo, I’m gonna tell my boss exactly how to fuck you. He’ll throw down ten million for the app, add an extra five for speed, and we’ll be on the App Store in three weeks. And you’ll be out of a job.

She walks away. Toby is completely flabbergasted. 

MORGAN (CONT’D)
I would say dust off your resume, but once everyone in the Valley hears about this...

She leaves. A guy, WILL, comes up to Toby.

WILL
So?

TOBY
Pogo’s about to blow fifteen million dollars on an app for learning the alphabet

He suddenly wears a smug smile. He and Will cheers.

END