The Fourth Trimester

a feature film spec. script

written by

Michael R.R. McLaughlin

WGA West reg. #4566

Channel Islands Harbor
3600 South Harbor Blvd., Slip 336

Oxnard, CA 930325


In a future where the right to life begins 20 years after conception, a 19-year-old conceptus condemned to be aborted fights for his life as he rebels against the system.


Set in the future, when the Constitution of the United States has re-defined the "Right to Life" as beginning twenty years after conception. For "Concepti" like ALBERT JEFFERSON (19) and ISAAC EDISON (19), the fourth trimester, a trial period of nineteen-years, is spent outside the womb. Defined as not yet born, Concepti are not citizens, have no rights, and can be aborted at any time up until their twentieth birthdays. Once "born," however, they join the Antediluvians, and live forever in the perfect world of Metropia 7.

But what lies beneath the sublime surface of immortality and utopia, is a hell of mind-slavery and deception.

When Albert is selected to be born, and Isaac condemned to be aborted, Albert decides to go on the run with Isaac, and join the Surface Dwellers, a vagabond group of post-apocalyptic survivors, who live and hide in the ruins of the Old World -- the world before the Second Great Flood brought on by a failed attempt to artificially restore a depleted ozone layer. JONNAVAN (25) is their leader, a hard-edged rebel who wants only to keep his people alive and eke out a living from the barren wastelands.

But Albert’s attempted escape is anticipated by Laser Drake (30), (The Antediluvian Lord’s henchman), and Laser Drake allows Albert to escape the underground world of Metropia 7 only in order to lead him to Jonnavan’s rebel hideout. A surprise attack at dawn finds the rebels unprepared and Laser Drake and his Death Corps Guard are able to recapture Albert, and destroy most of the Rebels.

At the urging of Isaac, Jonnavan and his sister, MARRIANNA (19), sneak back into Metropia 7 to try and rescue Albert. What they find, is that Albert has been placed in a Cryo-Tube, and hooked up to a powerful Virt-Real computer. It would seem that all of the Antediluvian, who believe they are living in a wonderful world of happiness and plenty, are in truth only existing in a shared virtual reality, supported by the hoards of Concepti officially sentenced to abortion. These Concepti mind-slaves generate the background world in which the Antediluvians live out their every fantasy, and are allowed none of the pleasures of enjoying the fruits of their imaginations.

The world of the Antediluvian is indeed so wonderful, that Albert would choose to remain there, despite the fact that it is only a virtual reality, except for one thing, a girl. He has fallen in love with Marrianna, who he met briefly during his sojourn with Jonnavan’s troop of rebels. The problem is, he is only living with the memory of Marrianna, enhanced by the virtual reality computers and mind-slaves, a perfect copy, but merely a figment of his memory, none the less. The real Marrianna is alive and back in the Outside World.

So with Albert working from inside the computer network, and Isaac and Jonnavan fighting from the outside, they set out to destroy the Fourth Trimester System, and overthrow the Antediluvian Lord. The mind slaves are freed, the Antediluvians brought back into the real world, and Albert and Marrianna are reunited in the end.

post script: (But that leaves plenty of room for the sequel, for mortality and death are brought back into the world, and Albert is to thank, or blame...)