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Mentoring


In the tradition of 'Being Human' (Robin Williams), 'Mentoring' is a tale about two Souls who exchange roles in the student-teacher relationship in ways scientific, artistic, political and emotional. 

The tale starts with a campy, yet profound prehistoric tale in which 'Alpha', a female ET with a bright brain, hot body, expressively vocal and sterile emotional life finds herself stranded on a cold and desolate region of planet Earth.  She runs across, as she calls him, 'Uma', a gruff, but kindhearted Cave Man on his way home after a long, unproductive hunt.   On their way back to Uma's cave, and Alpha's drop-off/rescue point, Alpha teaches Uma how to hunt effectively, how to cook the food, and how to construct a wheel to build a cart to bring the bounty back home.  He teaches her about the value of human emotions, and that the woman pulls the wagon.  At their destination point, Uma is greeted by a smiling wife and children, and his brother, who has claimed Uma's family as his own in his absence.  The only family Uma has now is Alpha and he has become the kindest Soul she has ever known.  She forfeits her ride home, walking into the sunset, relating in a Bogartesce manner to Uma that 'this could be the start of a beautiful relationship'.

The next incarnation finds Uma as an Athenian (Thermoclis) in ancient Greece as that city-state is figuring out the benefits, and liabilities, of a new form of government---democracy.   It's a very corruptible system, as he observes a demagogue moving the crowd and manipulating votes over the 'Spartan War' and other issues.   Like all good Greeks in 300 BC, Thermoclis decides to consult the gods, taking a long trek to the revered Oracle of Delphi.  From a distance, she's a young, pure virgin in white robes, but close up she (Alpha's incarnation) is an old hag, stoned out on mushrooms, babbling out whatever comes to her head.   Contrary to what Thermoclis has been told by others before him, she has no connection to the gods, or even to the human quality of logic and reason.   On top of that, she's horny, begging for sex on any terms she can get it.  Convinced that mankind is now on his own, without help from 'the gods', a disappointed but enlightened Thermoclis heads on home.

A few hundred years later, Alpha incarnates as Rachel, an intelligent herbal healer and underground Jewish scholar, dangerous callings when you are in Europe during the Inquisition, especially after you've saved several villages from the plague by means the Church doesn't understand or can't match.  She is condemned to burning at the stake, allowed the chance to recant and be spared if she confesses to the location of her home village of earth healers where there are mystical healing books, perhaps gold and certainly her daughter, a protégé who is the Einstein of the Earth Healer movement to come.   Coming to her cell as her interrogator, and perhaps only friend, is Professor Hanson, a highly intelligent physician in the emerging discipline of science who is 'playing the system' to preserve the novel idea of the new experiment that needs the Church's support.the University.  Hanson sees his equal in Rachel.  He is repulsed at the fact that woman are considered an inferior and prosecutable species for all of men's' ills. Risking all, Hanson decides to spring Rachael.  Both are fugitives, and she leads him back to her village, where, she surmises, he will embrace the idea of merging his talents with that of her community.  But soon after Hanson sees the village, so do the Inquisition Soldiers behind him, who are under his command.   While the soldiers pillage the village of its gold, Hanson searches for the book of 'wonder cures', which could make him rich.  Frustrated that the soldiers have burnt it, he takes out his rage on Rachel's daughter, a member of 'the inferior species', raping her in front of her mother---which is stopped by Rachel killing her 'trusted' Professor Comrade.

The next incarnation takes place in New Orleans in the early 19th century.  Alpha is now incarnated as a man, Ludwig, an aspiring musician/composer who couldn't compete with Beethoven et al in Europe, held hostage by an inability to translate human emotions into music, or to experience those emotions himself.   Ludwig passes himself off in the New World as an accomplished musician/composer from the Old One, seeking patrons for his new opera house anywhere he can, particularly from the rich, gullible and socially conscious new generations of fat cat Americans in New Orleans.  He meets his match in Matt McCoy, a fat, rich, boisterous, barely literate 'good ole boy' who 'sets a wager' to Ludwig---teach his daughter Anna to play ANY tune on the 'piano' within a month and he can have his opera house.  Lose and he becomes a servant to the rags to riches pig farmer.  An easy task, so it seems, until he meets Anna.who is the male chauvinist Hanson, reincarnated as a beautiful, low-self esteemed woman with a severe speech impediment who can't express her emotions to anyone.   Ludwig does his best to teach her the notes, but nothing comes out, deadline for the bet approaching rapidly.  Then, he figures out that what Anna needs is music.  He asks her to talk to him, and tell her how she is feeling about everyone, and everything (including her abusive, smiling, father and passive mother) in music.  Ludwig answers her on the keyboard, their bond solidified by a musical conversation, which opens up HIS ability to communicate with the world through notes as well.

The next incarnation brings the male Soul Uma back into a man's body, specifically inventor Nicola Tesla, the most misunderstood, eccentric, humanistic and humorous physicist of the late 19th and early 20th Century who invented most everything but who got credit for virtually none of it.  Though he was nominated for the Nobel Prize, he spent the last 20 years of his life in isolation, poverty and obscurity, 'banished' from science and ridiculed by his cutthroat competitors who also stole from him, prominent opponents including American icon Thomas Edison.  The US government confiscated Tesla's notes twice, fearing that he would disrupt the status quo with inventions such as wireless electricity available to everyone, free of charge, and sources of energy that would solve world hunger forever.

In 1930s New York, the elderly and ailing Croatian-born genius is running dry of funds, and ideas, since the world isn't listening to him.  He's about to jump off the building of his degraded New York apartment building when he is visited by an aspiring female journalist/scientist (blue-blood-born Virginia Millhouse, an incarnation of Alpha), who says that she was sent by a good friend of Tesla's, said friend now too busy to interview or visit him.   Nicola is confounded, and distrustful of Virginia and the Capitalist world she represents, and starts interviewing her.  He finds out that she, like himself, is too smart and caring to 'make it' in the professional science and journalism world.   His faith in humanity is renewed by her visit. After discovering and forgiving her for lying about the premise of her visit, he gives her a book containing the last and perhaps greatest of his inventions. 

Nicola's spirits are renewed, and he goes back out on the roof.but this time, to fill his lab book with new ideas.  He finally has a protégé, and friend, who will carry on, expand upon, and critically-question his work, and a Comrade who will fight the money-grubbing Edison's out in the world.

But as Virginia leaves the apartment, she is met by her real employer----Edison himself.  He sent her in as a spy to get the goods on the rebellious, idealistic old 'fool' who needs to be stolen from by 'respectable' scientist in order to have his ideas to be implemented into the REAL world.  In exchange for Virginia giving Edison the goods on Tesla, she is paid a handsome sum of money and will get a prominent position in the Edison laboratories, a necessary rung up the ladder for the aspiring female scientist.  But, Virginia has second thoughts.  She asks if she can keep the Tesla notes for a day or so, to fill in the gaps, promising to be at Edison's lab the next morning with the info, and an eagerly-serving mind. 

She keeps the book, gives the money to a Tesla-friendly hobo, and walks away into the sunset, knowing that she may, one day, be worthy of working with Tesla, but for now, is certainly unable to sell out to Edison, or anyone else

The final chapter in the tale is present day where Uma is a homeless former psych patient (Ibriham) accused of being a terrorist.  Alpha is the FBI shrink assigned to interrogate him, told to ignore the processes of due process of law by her ex-husband and boss.  Alpha senses that Ibriham is not the terrorist he is accused of being, sensing something familiar in his eyes, and heart.  He tells a story about a magical place with much power.  Thinking it to be a depot for stolen plutonium, Alpha takes the initiative; letting Ibriham loose and going with him to the desert to the place he is begging her to return to.  She is followed by her husband and the trigger-happy Feds.  Then, at the nick of time, Alpha and Ibriham find the place where they decided to 'stick it out' with each other thousands of years ago, a spaceship offering to take Alpha and her new man-friend home. 

Update Jan 14/07:

Airing on Global TV Spring 2007