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                                  THE BOOK OF ELI
          
          
          
                                    Written by
          
                                    Gary Whitta
          
          
          
          
          
                                                          June 21, 2007
          
          
          A civilization is destroyed only when its gods are destroyed.
                                                          -
          
                                                           Emil Cioran
          
          EXT. FOREST - DAWN
          
          Bare as all hell. The trees stripped of their bark and white
          like ghosts. Some torn violently from their roots and felled.
          
          STARK GRAY SUNLIGHT shafts between the trees, clouded by a
          creeping fog that obscures the true color of everything. A
          LIGHT SNOW flutters. The world monochrome, lifeless and cold.
          
          A CAT prowls across the dead earth. Barely recognizable as
          the domestic breed it might once have been. Its fur mangy and
          rank, body rib-thin from starvation. Entirely feral.
          
          It moves slowly, cautiously. Sniffing the air, scanning the
          forest, alert. Trusting nothing of its surroundings. It paces
          across a leaf-strewn clearing, closing stealthily on:
          
          A DEAD MAN, splayed face-down in the earth. His feet bare.
          Face frozen in a grim death mask. A GAPING GUNSHOT WOUND in
          his head, the dried blood caked around it matting his hair.
          
          As the cat moves closer, approaching warily:
          
          P.O.V. FROM ACROSS THE CLEARING
          
          About thirty yards away. Someone is watching. Waiting. SLOW,
          DEEP BREATHS, heard through a GASMASK RESPIRATOR.
          
          CLOSE ON A PAIR OF INDUSTRIAL GOGGLES
          
          The MIRRORED LENSES reflecting the forest clearing, locked
          onto the cat. The slow, metered breathing continues.
          
          THE CAT slows, but continues pacing toward the corpse. More
          cautious than ever. It inches forward, sniffing at the body.
          
          ON THE WATCHER. Crouched behind the mangled stump of a felled
          tree. Concealed beneath a camouflaging mesh of leaves, twigs
          and bracken. A "ghillie suit" of the kind used by snipers.
          
          THE CAT sniffs at the dead man's hand, frozen by death in a
          grotesquely contorted claw. The animal still unsure. Looks
          around again, checking its surroundings for predators.
          
          THE WATCHER moves almost imperceptibly. The leaves covering
          him rustle ever so slightly as we hear - just barely - the
          familiar creaking sound of a BOW STRING BEING DRAWN TAUT.
          
          THE CAT hears it. Looks up, alert. Staring right at the
          watcher, but he is too well camouflaged to be seen. An
          interminable, tense BEAT - is the prey going to flee?
          
          Finally, the cat turns its attention back to the carcass,
          nibbling gingerly at the flesh of the man's fingers.
          
                                                                  2.
          
          
          THE WATCHER looses the arrow. It sails across the clearing
          and SKEWERS THE CAT clean through. It drops to the ground.
          
          THE WATCHER STANDS, shaking off the ghillie suit, revealing
          him to us for the first time.
          
          He wears a weather-beaten knee-length duster. Hooded sweater
          with more layers beneath that. Torn pants and scuffed work
          boots. Everything filthy and battered from years of wear.
          
          Along with the goggles, his face remains obscured by a
          DISPOSABLE PAPER DUST MASK and a CRUDELY-FASHIONED FUR HAT
          with dangling ear flaps that may once itself have been a cat.
          
          Around his neck he wears a silver SAINT CHRISTOPHER PENDANT
          hanging from a frayed twine cord.
          
          His name is ELI.
          
          He shoulders the bow and walks across the clearing. Crouches
          beside the dead cat and pulls out the arrow. Wipes the blood
          from the shaft, then reaches down to collect the body.
          
          Suddenly the cat SCREECHES AND FLAILS WILDLY! Eli recoils,
          falling backward, stunned, as the cat - MORTALLY WOUNDED BUT
          FIGHTING TO THE DEATH - bites and claws desperately at him.
          
          Eli struggles violently with the cat, wrestling it to the
          ground and grabbing up a HUNK OF FALLEN BRANCH. He holds the
          writhing animal down and CLUBS IT until it lays still.
          
          He sits back, breathing harder than the dustmask will allow.
          He yanks it down, revealing the dirty, unshaven face beneath.
          Impossible to tell his age, but certainly not a young man.
          
          For a moment he just sits there. Then bundles up the dead cat
          and returns to the mangled tree stump. Folds away his ghillie
          suit into a nearby RUCKSACK which he hauls up onto his back.
          
          A canteen dangles from the backpack, a SHOTGUN strapped to
          its side. Eli reaches down for his final possession - an old
          SAMURAI SWORD in a scabbard which he slings across his back.
          
          He gazes up at the sky. A snowflake drifts down and lands on
          his cheek. He reaches up and brushes it away, leaving a BLACK
          SMEAR on his face. Not snow after all, but some kind of ASH.
          
          EXT. FOREST ROAD - DAY
          
          Eli emerges from the treeline onto the cracked and ruptured
          asphalt. Lined by more of those ghostly, stripped-bare trees.
          
                                                                    3.
          
          
          He sniffs the air, breathing it in. Checks the road in both
          directions. Deserted. A few yards away is the rusted, burned-
          out chassis of a CAR. He heads toward it.
          
          The car rests half on the road, half in the adjacent ditch.
          Stripped of its tires and engine. In the driver's seat is a
          MUMMIFIED BODY. A BULLET HOLE piercing its forehead.
          
          Eli regards the body dispassionately. Tries the door handle
          but it's jammed. He yanks on it harder and eventually
          wrenches it open. He leans in and checks the man's feet.
          
          They're bare. No shoes or socks. Eli curses under his breath.
          
          He leaves the car behind and heads on down the road. As he
          walks away, we see that the sole of one of his boots has worn
          loose, held in place now only by a rubber band.
          
          EXT. ROAD - DAY
          
          Eli continues down the road. He ambles along slowly, a man in
          no hurry. A man who has been walking a long time.
          
          The road has since emerged from the forest. Passing now
          through a wasteland of dead scrub brush and urban junk.
          
          The sun beats down from directly overhead. The sky has no
          color to it, paper-white. The unfiltered sun's stark light
          leaves everything seeming bleached-out, over-exposed.
          
          CRANE UP as Eli walks on. On the horizon is the silhouette of
          a CITY. Or what was once a city. Columns of BLACK SMOKE rise
          from within, casting a deathly pall over the skyline. BURNED
          AND BROKEN SKYSCRAPERS jut out like tombstones.
          
          Eli reaches a fork in the road and stops. The road he's on
          appears to wind off in the direction of the ruined city on
          the horizon. The other fork continues on into the wasteland.
          
          After a brief pause, Eli changes direction and heads off down
          the other fork, away from the city.
          
          EXT. ABANDONED TOWN - DAY
          
          Little more than a main street lined with storefronts. Eli
          walks steadily along, side-stepping rubble and debris.
          Ignoring the petrified corpses lying in the street.
          
          He passes by abandoned stores, every one picked clean. Empty
          shelves, smashed windows. Looted and burned. He doesn't even
          look inside, knowing already that he will find nothing.
          
          Until he comes to a store that does cause him to stop. An old-
          fashioned sign squeaks on rusted hinges in the breeze.
          
                                                                    4.
          
          
                    ED'S SHOES - GENTLEMEN'S AND LADIES' FOOTWEAR
          
          He steps into the doorway and pushes open the door. It swings
          open on its one remaining hinge before splintering away from
          the frame and crashing to the floor in a cloud of dust.
          
          INT. SHOE STORE - CONTINUOUS
          
          Eli steps inside. Like all the others, the store has been
          cleaned out. Shoe racks and empty boxes strewn over the
          floor. The whole place reeking of dead, musty air.
          
          Eli looks around, just to be sure. Drags his sheathed sword
          idly along the empty racks as he checks them. Nothing.
          
          As he turns back for the door, his foot nudges against a shoe
          box. It's not empty. He crouches down, flips the lid off
          hopefully... and pulls out a LADY'S HIGH-HEELED SHOE.
          
          He strokes the shoe leather with his hand. Shakes his head
          grimly, then tosses the shoe back into the box and leaves.
          
          EXT. ABANDONED HOUSE - DAY
          
          On the outskirts of town. In disrepair - peeling paint,
          broken windows, damp-stained walls - but habitable.
          
          Eli stands in the front yard, surrounded by brownish,
          overgrown weeds. Thinking it over. Turns to face the setting
          sun. It will be dark soon. He turns back toward the house.
          
          INT. ABANDONED HOUSE - DAY
          
          The front door is sent CRASHING OPEN with a hard kick,
          revealing Eli silhouetted in the fading sunlight. The shotgun
          unhitched from his pack and held ready. He moves inside.
          
          Another dead place. Flies buzzing in the still, dank air.
          Everything covered in a thick layer of dust but otherwise
          largely preserved. An eerie snapshot of a world long gone.
          
          KITCHEN
          
          Every cupboard empty. Eli checks each one, poking around in
          the dark corners with his sword, but finds nothing but dust.
          
          He opens the freezer, checks inside. Empty save for a small
          ICEBOX. The lid stuck fast with mildew and gunk. Eli digs at
          it with his grimy fingernails and manages to pry it open.
          
          Inside are the wizened, petrified remains of a HUMAN HAND.
          Floating in slimy, discolored water. The smell vile and thick
          enough to make Eli retch. He quickly jams the lid back on.
          
                                                                  5.
          
          
          BEDROOM
          
          A wooden bedframe stripped clean. The dresser drawers have
          been emptied and lie strewn across the floor. Eli moves
          toward a large walk-in closet and opens the door.
          
          No clothes inside - just the near-fossilized corpse of a MAN
          HANGING BY A NOOSE. Twisting gently back and forth.
          
          Unfazed, Eli crouches down and checks the man's feet. An old
          pair of Converse All-Stars hang limp from the man's skeletal
          ankles. Eli calmly sets about unlacing them.
          
          He checks the size; they're a fit. He upturns each shoe and
          shakes the old flakes of mummified flesh from them. Discards
          his ruined boots and puts on the sneakers, laces them up.
          
          He walks around, pacing up and down, getting a feel for the
          new shoes. They feel good. For the first time, he smiles.
          
          LATER
          
          Eli sits in the corner, roasting the carcass of the dead cat
          over a small CAMPFIRE. He cleans the animal's pelts as he
          watches it cook. Pokes at the meat with a pen-knife, checking
          it for done-ness. It appears ready to eat.
          
          He clasps his hands together in prayer.
          
                              ELI
                    Dear Lord, thank you for your
                    generosity in providing us today
                    with this bountiful feast.
          
          He speaks QUIETLY, his voice barely above a whisper. Even so,
          we catch the accent - a RASPY, OLD-WORLD MIDWEST DRAWL, like
          John Wayne or some other long-forgotten western icon.
          
                              ELI
                    Thank you for the many gifts that
                    you have given me. Thank you for
                    your protection and your guidance.
                    Thank you for bringing me this far.
                    I know my long journey's end is
                    near. I ask now only for the
                    strength and the courage to
                    complete the task that you in your
                    infinite wisdom saw fit to bestow
                    upon me over all men. I won't let
                    you down. Amen.
          
          He signs a cross over himself, then uses the knife to saw off
          a chunk of meat. Takes a bite, savoring the taste with great
          relish. To him, it's grade-A filet mignon.
          
                                                                  6.
          
          
                              ELI
                    Hey. You hungry?
          
          It appears as though he is talking to himself... until a RAT
          emerges from his coat pocket, whiskers twitching keenly. Eli
          offers it some meat. The rat gnaws enthusiastically at it.
          
          SUNDOWN
          
          The last of the waning sunlight shafts through the bedroom's
          broken window. Eli rummages through his backpack, pulls out a
          SMALL PACKAGE wrapped in cloth and tied fast with string.
          
          He sits back in his corner and carefully unwraps it. It's an
          OLD LEATHER-BOUND BOOK. The binding cracked and pages dog-
          eared, thumbed through a thousand times and more.
          
          Eli gazes lovingly at it. Lets his fingers play across the
          beat-up old leather cover. A cherished thing.
          
          He begins to read, half-hidden in the shadows of the fading
          sunlight. Silently mouthing the words as he reads them.
          
          MANY PAGES LATER
          
          Eli closes the book and parcels it back up as before.
          Replaces it in his pack, then reaches in for something else.
          
          A CAR BATTERY. Old and streaked with acid stains. Attached to
          a tangled bunch of ELECTRICAL WIRING and JUMPER CABLES. Eli
          reaches into his pocket and produces:
          
          AN IPOD. Badly beat-up, the case pretty much held together
          with duct tape. But functional. Eli attaches the battery
          cable to the iPod and places the headphones in his ears.
          
          The music plays. Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor.
          Eli rests back against the wall and pushes the volume way up.
          
          THE MUSIC SWELLS. Eli's fingers dance and swoop in the air,
          as though conducting an orchestra, as he is transported by
          the music to another world, a world far from this one.
          
          MORNING
          
          Sunlight shafts through the window. Eli sits slumped in the
          exact same position, headphones still in his ears. Asleep.
          
          The rat scurries up Eli's chest and licks his face. Slowly,
          he wakes, realizing he fell asleep with his music still on.
          Checks the battery. It's dead, drained overnight. He frowns.
          
          He gets to his feet, moves to the window and checks outside.
          All seems quiet. He loads up his backpack and weapons.
          
                                                                  7.
          
          
                              ELI
                    Come on now.
          
          The rat scurries up his leg, onto his duster and disappears
          into the breast pocket. Eli turns and moves out.
          
          EXT. ABANDONED HOUSE - MORNING
          
          The gate squeaks shut behind Eli as he exits the front yard.
          
          He breathes in the air, turns to feel the warm morning sun on
          his face. Then turns away from it and walks on down the road.
          
          EXT. ROAD - DAY
          
          The landscape barren and featureless, road lined with dead
          trees. Eli walks along the warped and broken asphalt.
          
          The road is strewn with burned-out cars and debris from a
          world long dead. A warped metal sign by the side of the road
          reads: LITTER REMOVAL NEXT TWO MILES BY: "CIRCUIT CITY".
          
          Up ahead is a HUNCHED FIGURE by the side of the road. Eli
          arrives to see that it's a YOUNG WOMAN. Bone-thin, dressed in
          filthy rags. Skin plagued by an unpleasant rash.
          
          The SHOPPING CART she was pushing has overturned into a
          roadside ditch, spilling its contents. Blankets, tins of
          food, old clothes. She's on her knees trying to gather it up.
          
          She looks up as she sees Eli approaching. Instantly cowers
          from him, raising her hands to protect herself. Terrified.
          
                              YOUNG WOMAN
                    Oh. Please don't hurt me. Here,
                    take anything you want. You want
                    some food? Take it.
          
          She offers him a can of pet food with a trembling hand. Eli
          stands there looking at her. His expression impossible to
          read behind the mirrored goggles.
          
                              ELI
                    I'm not going to hurt you.
          
                              YOUNG WOMAN
                    That's what the last guys said.
          
          Eli bends down and picks up a couple of the cart's spilled
          contents. Steps forward and offers them to her.
          
                              ELI
                    Here.
          
                                                                    8.
          
          
          She blinks. Unsure. Cautiously she reaches out and takes it.
          
                              YOUNG WOMAN
                    Could you help me? The wheel came
                    off. I can't fix it. Maybe if I
                    could get it out of the ditch. But
                    I can't.
          
          Eli looks at the cart. It has come to rest in the ditch just
          inches from a THICK BRACKEN HEDGEROW that lines the road.
          
          He looks again at the girl. Her faded blouse is unbuttoned,
          revealing a little cleavage. Her skirt torn along the leg,
          showing more than a little thigh. Almost deliberate.
          
          He sniffs the air. Watches the hedgerow warily. Just like the
          cat he hunted, his senses heightened and on alert.
          
          Behind the hedge, THREE ROADSIDE BANDITS are crouched,
          waiting to pounce. Each armed with a crude blunt weapon. They
          exchange anxious looks.
          
          ELI sniffs the air again - then backs away from the girl.
          
                              ELI
                    One good thing about no soap any
                    more. You can smell the road agents
                    a mile off.
          
          The girl's face falls as Eli backs up. The three bandits
          EMERGE FROM THE HEDGEROW, brandishing their weapons. A couple
          of them wear old sunglasses and goggles similar to Eli's.
          
          The BANDIT LEADER grabs the girl by a fistful of hair as he
          passes, yanking her painfully to her feet.
          
                              BANDIT LEADER
                    Dumb bitch. What did we tell you?
          
          He pushes her away, she crumples to the road in a heap.
          
          Eli backs away, but TWO MORE ARMED BANDITS drop from hiding
          in the trees behind, cutting off his escape, surrounding him.
          
                              BANDIT LEADER
                    What you got there in the pack?
          
                               ELI
                    Nothing.
          
                              BANDIT LEADER
                    Yeah, that's what they all say. How
                    about you take it off real slow and
                    tip it out so's we can take a look?
          
                                                                  9.
          
          
          BANDIT #2 notices the shotgun strapped to the pack.
          
                              BANDIT #2
                    He's got a gun.
          
                               BANDIT LEADER
                    Shit, it ain't loaded. They never
                    are. Ain't that right, old man?
                        (BEAT)
                    Open the fucking pack or die.
          
                              ELI
                    I can't do that.
          
          The bandit leader steps forward aggressively. Now within
          striking distance of Eli. He grins, teeth filthy and rotten.
          
                              BANDIT LEADER
                    Want us to do it for you? We can
                    get it off real easy after we've
                    hacked your fucking arms off.
          
          Eli remains perfectly calm. And though he speaks with a soft,
          even tone, there is something formidable about his voice.
          
                              ELI
                    It's real important you boys listen
                    to me and understand. The man I
                    work for, you do not want to cross
                    him. See, I'm under his protection.
                    You stand in my way, you stand in
                    his. And he will cut you down with
                    a righteous fury - through me. For
                    I am his faithful instrument.
          
          BEAT. The bandit leader looks at Eli incredulously... and
          then LAUGHS. The other bandits laugh along nervously.
          
                              BANDIT LEADER
                    What the hell are you, some kinda
                    preacher?
          
                              ELI
                    Something like that.
          
                              BANDIT LEADER
                    Well I got news for you, preacher
                    man. Whatever kinda God you reckon
                    yourself to be working for, he left
                    these parts a long time ago. He
                    ain't here to protect your ass. Now
                    take off the pack and set it on the
                    ground.
          
                                                                 10.
          
          
          Eli doesn't move, doesn't say a word. The bandit leader takes
          another step forward and shoves him in the shoulder.
          
                              BANDIT LEADER
                    You fucking listening to me?
          
                              ELI
                    I hear you. You lay that hand on me
                    again and you will not get it back.
          
          The other bandits exchange nervous looks. This is not how
          it's supposed to go.
          
                              BANDIT LEADER
                    All right, I had just about enough
                    of this shit...
          
          He lunges forward, grabs the shoulder strap of Eli's pack.
          
          If you blinked, you missed it. But somehow Eli has now drawn
          his sword. A RIVULET OF BLOOD snakes down along the blade and
          drips onto the asphalt.
          
          Bandit leader's hand is still gripped firmly around Eli's
          shoulder strap. But it's no longer connected to his arm. The
          SEVERED HAND hangs there from the strap, dripping blood.
          
          Bandit leader staggers backward and raises the bloody stump
          where his hand once was. Looks at it in shock and horror.
          
                              BANDIT LEADER
                    What... you just... he just cut my
                    fucking hand off! My fucking hand!
          
          Eli pries the hand loose from the strap and tosses it onto
          the road as bandit leader's legs give out and he slumps to
          the asphalt. His eyes dart around, as though confused.
          
                              BANDIT LEADER
                    What you standin' around for? Kiss
                    him!
          
                              BANDIT #3
                    What's he talkin' about, kiss him?
          
                              ELI
                    He's in shock. He means "kill him".
          
          A tense BEAT. And then the four remaining bandits ATTACK ELI
          ALL AT ONCE, weapons flailing.
          
          Eli flourishes the sword. A BLUR, TOO FAST TO FOLLOW. But
          it's clear he is possessed of an inhuman level of skill.
          
                                                                    11.
          
          
          It is over in moments. The four bandits LAY SLAIN IN THE
          ROAD, blood pooling out onto the asphalt.
          
          The bandit leader crawls toward his severed hand, a few yards
          away. Eli steps in and kicks it out of his reach.
          
                               ELI
                    I told you you wouldn't be getting
                    that back.
          
          Bandit leader looks up to see the figure of Eli bearing down
          on him, silhouetted ominously against the sun. He looks for a
          moment like an avenging angel, something not of this world.
          
                              BANDIT LEADER
                    Who are you?
          
                              ELI
                    My name is Eli.
          
          And with that, Eli runs him through with his sword.
          
          He turns to see the young woman slumped in the road, sobbing.
          She cowers again as he approaches, certain that she is next.
          
          He WALKS PAST HER. Sheathes his sword, then pulls out the
          shopping cart from the ditch and rights it. The woman watches
          incredulously as he gathers up her supplies into the cart.
          
                              ELI
                    Take it and go on your way. And
                    don't fall in with men like these
                    again. No good can come.
          
          She looks at him, puzzled.
          
                              YOUNG WOMAN
                    Why are you doing this?
          
          Eli says nothing. Walks back to the slain bandits, crouches
          beside them and begins searching their bodies.
          
          He takes a scarf from around the neck of one. Finds a Zippo
          lighter on another, checks that it works and pockets it.
          
          LATER
          
          The five bodies are lined neatly in the ditch, half-covered
          with dirt. The best burial they are going to get.
          
          Eli stands before them, head bowed in prayer. He speaks
          quietly and quickly, a speech he has given many times.
          
                                                                   12.
          
          
                              ELI
                    God, the father of mercies, through
                    the death and resurrection of his
                    son has reconciled the world to
                    himself and sent the holy spirit
                    among us for the forgiveness of
                    sins.
          
          The young woman stands a few yards away, watching him,
          transfixed. She has never seen anyone like him.
          
                              ELI
                    Through the ministry of the church
                    may he give you pardon and peace,
                    and I absolve you from your sins in
                    the name of the father, and of the
                    son, and of the holy spirit. Amen.
          
          He turns and walks away down the road, passing the woman.
          
                              YOUNG WOMAN
                    Thank you. You're... a good man.
          
                              ELI
                    There are no good men on the road.
          
                              YOUNG WOMAN
                    Where are you going?
          
                              ELI
                    West.
          
                              YOUNG WOMAN
                    Can... can I come with you?
          
          He doesn't even turn back to look at her.
          
                              ELI
                    No.
          
          He walks on, into the horizon.
          
          EXT. FREEWAY OVERPASS - DAY
          
          Straddling the desert like a giant, crumbling monument to a
          long-dead civilization. Eli steadily climbs his way up.
          
          He comes to an abrupt stop as we realize suddenly that the
          overpass has COLLAPSED at mid-point. RUSTED IRON RODS jut out
          from where the roadway has been severed.
          
          Eli just stands there at the edge for a moment, feeling the
          wind whip around him, his coat fluttering in the breeze.
          
                                                                 13.
          
          
          The overpass's collapsed section is now just a MOUNTAINOUS
          PILE OF RUBBLE that leads down to the road below.
          
          Eli steps onto the rubble. About to make his way down when he
          FREEZES. He hears something. The faintest of sounds. He takes
          cover, peering down at the road beneath the overpass to see:
          
          TWO PEOPLE walking together on the road. We see everything
          from ELI'S P.O.V. - too far to make out much detail, but
          apparently it is a MIDDLE-AGED COUPLE.
          
          The man pushes along an OLD WHEELBARROW covered by a tarp as
          the woman, seemingly his wife, walks alongside. The barrow's
          rusted wheel gives out a plaintive, rhythmic SQUEAK.
          
          Eli ducks down again as he hears something else. This time
          much louder. The menacing growl of MOTORCYCLE ENGINES.
          
          FOUR BIKES IN TOTAL. Riding out of the horizon, closing in on
          the couple. They see the bikes coming and panic. Try
          desperately to steer the barrow off the road.
          
          The bikes screech to a halt and the FOUR RIDERS dismount.
          Brandishing a variety of weapons. The couple make a run for
          it but they're quickly chased down and tackled to the ground.
          
          The woman SCREAMS and struggles helplessly as the bikers
          swarm over the man like a pack of predatory animals.
          
          The woman is pulled to the ground and the clothes stripped
          from her. Eli turns away. He knows what comes next.
          
          Eli listens as the woman screams and screams. He reaches for
          his shotgun... hesitates... then withdraws his hand.
          
                              ELI
                    It ain't your concern. Stay on the
                    path. It ain't your concern. Stay
                    on the path.
          
          Eli repeats it like a mantra. He clearly wants to intervene,
          but will not permit himself to. Instead, he simply sits and
          waits grimly as the woman continues to scream for help. And
          then finally, suddenly, is silenced.
          
          Down below, the bodies of the man and woman lay dead and
          bloodied in the dirt. The bikers tear the tarp from the
          wheelbarrow, spilling its contents onto the asphalt.
          
          They ferret through the items, scavenging a few items - we
          don't see what - and stuffing them into an old cloth satchel.
          They leave the rest strewn in the road and ride off in the
          direction they came, dust pluming in their wake.
          
                                                                 14.
          
          
          Eli waits until the sound of the motorcycles has receded into
          the far distance before emerging from his hiding place.
          
          EXT. ROAD BENEATH OVERPASS - DAY
          
          Eli crouches on one knee before the murdered couple. He signs
          a cross over their ravaged bodies as he mutters a prayer
          under his breath. Then stands and continues on down the road.
          
          EXT. ROAD FORK - DAY
          
          More desolate wasteland as far as the eye can see. The road
          forks again here. Eli arrives at the junction and stops.
          
          The road Eli is on leads further into the west. The other
          fork heads toward a SMALL TOWN just visible on the horizon.
          
          A HAND-PAINTED SIGN has been driven into the dirt nearby. No
          words, just a series of CRUDE PICTOGRAMS. A BED. A PLATE OF
          FOOD. A WATER FAUCET. AN ARROW points toward the town.
          
          Eli pauses, thinking it over. Retrieves the iPod from his
          pocket. Clicks the button, but no response. He sighs.
          
          He turns and heads down the other fork, toward town.
          
          EXT. DESERT TOWN - OUTSKIRTS - DAY
          
          A primitive, sprawling village of tents and barn-like
          structures. Built from corrugated iron, rotted wood, molded
          plastic, tarpaulin - materials scavenged from the old world.
          
          HUDDLED RESIDENTS are dressed in little more than rags, many
          wearing goggles like Eli's to shield their eyes from the sun.
          
          Eli stands at the edge of town. Reluctant to enter, but he
          braces himself and walks on in. And as he rounds a corner,
          entering the center of town, an astonishing sight:
          
          EXT. DESERT TOWN - MAIN STREET - CONTINUOUS
          
          The broad thoroughfare now all that remains of whatever town
          once stood here. Many of the old storefronts still largely
          intact but patched up with salvaged materials. The asphalt
          street warped and cracked, parking meters bent and smashed.
          
          It's a lot like the abandoned town Eli passed through
          earlier, except VERY MUCH ALIVE - BUSTLING WITH TOWNSFOLK.
          
          It's at once a familiar and also a disturbing sight - like an
          old Norman Rockwell painting of classic small-town America,
          but filtered through the devastating eye of an apocalypse. An
          unsettling juxtaposition of the old world and the new.
          
                                                                 15.
          
          
          The centerpiece of the town is a GRAND THEATER at the head of
          the main street. THE PALLADIUM. Like the rest of the town,
          badly damaged and shoddily fixed-up. But still standing.
          
          Eli walks down the street and approaches a BLACKSMITH,
          hammering out a metal plate over an anvil outside his store.
          
                              ELI
                    You got an engineer or a fuelman
                    around here?
          
          The blacksmith doesn't look up from his work but motions
          toward a storefront at the far end of the street.
          
                              ELI
                    Thanks.
          
          Eli heads down the street. Stopping when he comes across a
          STATUE erected in the center of the road. A TALL MAN crudely
          fashioned in clay. One hand placed paternally on the head of
          a SMALL CHILD, the other outstretched toward the sun.
          
          As he observes the statue, Eli notices that passing residents
          take a moment to PAUSE AND GENUFLECT before it. Worshipping.
          
          Curious, Eli reaches up and runs his hand over the statue's
          face. Then hears SHUFFLING FEET behind him and turns as a
          PARADE OF EMACIATED MEN AND WOMEN trudges past. Roped
          together at the waist, each man leading the one behind.
          
          Heads shaved, thin from malnutrition. And each one BLIND.
          They gaze at the ground with pale, dead eyes. They carry
          picks, shovels and other tools - a sightless CHAIN GANG.
          
          Eli watches as the pathetic parade shuffles past, herded like
          cattle by a brutish CHAIN GANG BOSS who swats at them with a
          stick to keep them moving and indicate direction.
          
                              CHAIN GANG BOSS
                    Come on, move it!
          
          The gang boss glares at Eli as he passes by. Eli doesn't
          return the look, just continues crossing the street as the
          blind are herded away. Headed toward a wooden building with a
          pictogram of a LIGHTNING BOLT suspended above the door.
          
          INT. ENGINEER WORKSHOP - CONTINUOUS
          
          Whatever this place once was, it's now a kind of POST-
          APOCALYPTIC RADIO SHACK. Shelves display a variety of goods.
          Engine parts. Old electrical wiring. Small appliances.
          
          An old ELECTRIC GENERATOR rumbles noisily, powering strings
          of multi-colored CHRISTMAS LIGHTS that hang all around.
          
                                                                  16.
          
          
          Behind the main counter a convoluted Rube Goldberg-esque
          STILL is running. An ENGINEER in a leather apron pours the
          remnants of a can of motor oil into the still's funnel.
          
          Attached to the still is an old MOTORCYCLE MIRROR. In its
          reflection the engineer sees Eli checking out the store.
          
          Without turning around, he reaches surreptitiously behind the
          counter for something.
          
          Eli turns toward the counter - to find the engineer training
          a PUMP-ACTION SHOTGUN right at him.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    I don't know you.
          
          Eli slowly raises his hands.
          
                              ELI
                    I'm not from around here.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    No shit. Who are you?
          
                              ELI
                    I'm just a customer.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    A customer with a shotgun?
          
          He nods toward the shotgun visible on Eli's backpack.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    You come in here to rip me off?
          
          The engineer's hands tremble, his finger tight on the
          trigger. This man needs to be talked down carefully.
          
                              ELI
                    No. I'll set it down. Okay?
          
                              ENGINEER
                    Slowly!
          
          Eli nods. Unhitches the pack and sets it down, steps away.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    You carry a gun in the outland, you
                    don't bring one into town less you
                    live there. Don't you know that?
          
                              ELI
                    I'm sorry, I forgot. I've been on
                    the road a long time.
          
                                                                    17.
          
          
          This seems to make the engineer more suspicious of Eli.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    Show me your hand.
          
                                 ELI
                    I'm not a-
          
          The engineer jerks the shotgun at Eli nervously.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    I said show me your fucking hand!
          
          Eli raises his hand and holds it outstretched, palm faced
          downward. The engineer watches it closely for any sign of
          ticks or tremors, but Eli's hand stays steady as a rock.
          
                              ELI
                    I'm not one of them.
          
          The sight of the steady hand seems to reassure the engineer a
          little. Finally, he lowers the shotgun.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    What do you want?
          
                              ELI
                    I'm just passing through. I need
                    some help. I can pay.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    What kinda help? And what kinda
                    pay?
          
                              ELI
                    I'm going to get something out of
                    my pack. Okay?
          
          The engineer raises the shotgun nervously again.
          
                              ELI
                    I know, I know. Slowly.
          
          The engineer watches him like a hawk as Eli opens up his pack
          and pulls out the car battery. When he sees it, he gasps.
          
                                 ENGINEER
                    Holy shit.
          
          Eli places it on the counter. The engineer looks it over with
          awe, like it's a priceless historical artifact.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    Where'd you find this?
          
                                                                 18.
          
          
                              ELI
                    Years ago, in the outland back east
                    aways.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    Does it work?
          
                              ELI
                    Yeah, it just needs a charge. Can
                    you do it? I got the cables.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    Depends if you also got the coin.
          
          Eli pulls the Zippo lighter from his pocket. The engineer
          picks it up, sparks the flint, watches the flame flicker.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    It'll take a couple hours. There's
                    a bar across the street you can
                    wait, they just opened up.
          
                              ELI
                    I'll wait here.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    You don't trust me?
          
                              ELI
                        (SMILES)
                    I don't know you.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - AUDITORIUM - DAY
          
          This once grand theater have been largely gutted - seats torn
          out, fixtures and fittings stripped, curtains ripped from the
          stage. But still, there's a sense of grandeur to this place.
          
          Looking out over the stage, a ROYAL BOX - once the most
          prestigious seat in the house - has been converted into an
          OFFICE of sorts. Seats removed and replaced by an ORNATE
          MAHOGANY DESK facing inward, a CHANDELIER suspended above it.
          
          The whole set-up is gaudy and ostentatious - the work of
          someone who wants to project an aura of power and wealth, but
          has no taste whatsoever.
          
          A TALL MAN is seated in a battered leather armchair behind
          the desk, deeply involved in an OLD PAPERBACK BOOK.
          
          The book's cover is faded and partially torn away, the title
          still just visible: 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE.
          
                                                                   19.
          
          
          The man is OLDER than most we've seen. His skin weathered by
          the elements and by a long life's experience. One of the very
          few people we've seen in this world close to Eli's age - and
          unlike everyone else we've seen, he appears healthy and well-
          groomed. A rich mane of hair, full set of teeth.
          
          He wears a tattered SUIT AND TIE. None of it matches,
          everything scavenged from different outfits and eras. But he
          looks almost civilized. Respectable. His name is CARNEGIE.
          
          He looks up from his book at the sound of a POLITE COUGH O.S.
          
          REDRIDGE stands before him. Tall, powerfully built.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    What is it?
          
          His accent is like caramel. A RICH, DEEP-SOUTH DRAWL.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Survey team just finished up their
                    inspection. It ain't good.
          
          Carnegie lowers his book. Concerned.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    How bad is it?
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Pressure is down again, and going
                    by the new rod they sank levels're
                    lower than they've ever been.
          
          Carnegie stands. Thinking. This is bad news.
          
                                CARNEGIE
                    How long?
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Hard to say. Six months, maybe. A
                    little longer if we're careful. But
                    we're already-
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Halve the rations.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    We just halved `em last-
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    So halve them again!
          
          BEAT. Carnegie stares Redridge down. Nobody but nobody
          questions his orders.
          
                                                                 20.
          
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    You're going to have to say
                    something. Folks were none too
                    happy last time. Gonna be worse
                    now, you can count on it.
          
          Carnegie sighs, rubs his brow. He knows Redridge is right.
          
          EXT. DESERT TOWN - MAIN STREET - DAY
          
          A LARGE CROWD OF TOWNSFOLK - several hundred strong - has
          assembled outside the Palladium theater. AN ARMED CREW OF
          CARNEGIE'S GOONS keeps watch over the crowd.
          
          Carnegie stands on a BALCONY above the theater marquee. He
          treats the balcony like a pulpit, speaking through a
          MICROPHONE connected to an old PA SYSTEM that carries his
          words to the far reaches of the crowd.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    I want you all to remember how far
                    we've come together. And how far we
                    still can go, if only we believe.
                    When I brought us here to this
                    oasis - this promised land - we
                    knew there would be hardships. Knew
                    there would be sacrifices. But we
                    also knew that we were creating for
                    ourselves a world where we could be
                    safe from the horrors of the
                    forsaken lands beyond our borders.
          
          The crowd listens intently, hanging on Carnegie's every word.
          He is an incredibly charismatic and persuasive speaker - his
          cultivated image and inspiring, confident delivery remind us
          of a TELEVISION EVANGELIST.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    And I want you all to remember
                    above all that it is not the water
                    with which we have been blessed
                    that is the true lifeblood of this
                    town... but faith.
          
          This sends a MURMUR OF DISCONTENT through the crowd. Many
          don't like where they suspect this may be going. Carnegie
          senses this and dials up his rhetoric - delivering it now
          with the fire-brand passion of an old-time baptist preacher.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    It is our faith that sustains us,
                    brothers and sisters! Hallelujah!
          
                                                                 21.
          
          
          The crowd is divided. Many return the "Hallelujah" with
          varying levels of conviction. Others are not convinced. But
          Carnegie continues unabated, selling it harder than ever.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    And mark me, the ultimate
                    validation of that faith is coming!
                    The sacred Word of Our Lord that
                    formed the world before and will
                    reform it once again is coming to
                    this town to bring it succor, bring
                    it nourishment, bring it new life!
                    For the Almighty Himself has spoken
                    unto me and promised it!
          
          Carnegie is such an impassioned and inspiring speaker it's
          almost impossible not to get caught up and swept away by his
          words. His apparently unshakable belief is infectious.
          
                               CARNEGIE
                    In the meantime, He has asked us
                    all to be patient. To walk the hard
                    road of the faithful just a little
                    longer. And to do that, we must
                    give just a little more.
                        (BEAT)
                    Water rations will be halved until
                    further notice.
          
          This sends a much broader ripple of discontent through the
          crowd - this news has not been received well at all. Some
          still "keep the faith" but many more are perturbed by this.
          
          Carnegie motions for the crowd to settle down.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    I understand your frustration. The
                    road to salvation is a difficult
                    one - but what lies at the end of
                    that road is a greater glory,
                    beyond anything you can imagine.
          
          A DISCONTENTED VILLAGER steps forward, pushing through the
          crowd and jabbing his finger angrily up at Carnegie.
          
                              DISCONTENTED VILLAGER
                    We've heard this all before! When
                    are you going to-
          
          Carnegie's goons quickly move in and efficiently SILENCE THE
          MAN, removing him from the crowd. Dissent is not tolerated
          here. Carnegie goes on speaking as if nothing had happened.
          
                                                                 22.
          
          
                               CARNEGIE
                    I know each and every one of you
                    will understand the necessity of
                    this action. It was faith that
                    built this town - and faith that
                    will sustain it even through the
                    dark times that may lie ahead. But
                    it is always darkest before dawn -
                    and the new dawn is coming.
                        (BEAT)
                    May God go with you all.
          
          Carnegie steps back inside, leaving the crowd to talk among
          themselves, clearly mixed about what they have heard.
          
          As the assembled townsfolk disperse, FOUR MOTORCYCLES roar
          into town and pull up outside the Palladium.
          
          As the riders dismount, one detaches a CLOTH SATCHEL from his
          bike's cargo rack. The four riders head inside. They each
          have long, straggly hair and brutish expressions.
          
          We recognize them now as the BIKER BANDITS who killed the
          couple on the road under the freeway overpass.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - SECOND FLOOR - DAY
          
          Carnegie emerges into the second-floor hallway from the
          balcony, mopping his brow. Exhausted and stressed from his
          grand theatrical display, and from its mixed reception.
          
          Redridge climbs the stairs to meet him.
          
                               REDRIDGE
                    One of the road crews just rolled
                    into town.
          
          Carnegie looks at his cracked old wristwatch.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Of course they did, the bar's open.
                    Outlanders, always looking for
                    answers at the bottom of a bottle.
          
                               REDRIDGE
                    Not these guys.
                        (BEAT)
                    These guys say they got something.
          
          That gets Carnegie's attention.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Get them up here now.
          
                                                                 23.
          
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - MAIN LOBBY - DAY
          
          What was once a grand, gilded entrance foyer has, like the
          rest of the theater, been largely gutted. But it's still
          impressive - a spacious bar area with a grand staircase
          leading up to a second floor, entrance to balcony seats, etc.
          FADED OLD THEATER POSTERS still hang from the walls.
          
          The place has been shabbily converted into a kind of SALOON.
          Old ripped-out theater seats arranged around tables. A
          FIREPLACE sputters dimly.
          
          A MANGY TABBY CAT walks across the straw-laden floor. A dozen
          or so CUSTOMERS in the place, a mixed, rough-looking bunch.
          
          Redridge emerges from an upstairs room and nods to a group of
          his MEN who are holding the bikers at the foot of the stairs.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM AUDITORIUM - CARNEGIE'S BOX
          
          Carnegie checks his reflection in a CRACKED HAND MIRROR,
          licks his palm and slicks his hair back. He adjusts his tie
          as Redridge's men usher the bikers into his "office".
          
          Carnegie wheels around and flashes a smile at them. Just as
          when he gave his balcony address, Carnegie is in performance
          mode - charismatic and slick like a campaigning politician.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Gentlemen! It's truly a delight to
                    see you again! I understand your
                    latest excursion into the outland
                    has been a profitable one?
          
          The bikers exchange looks. They understood maybe half the
          words in that sentence. The lead biker - named HOG - speaks.
          
                              HOG
                    We did good.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Well, let's see, shall we?
          
          Hog tips the satchel's contents out onto Carnegie's desk.
          
          BOOKS. About a dozen different volumes of all shapes and
          sizes. Carnegie rifles excitedly through the collection.
          
          We see various titles as he sorts through them. Treasure
          Island. The Da Vinci Code. A volume of encyclopedia. The
          Diary of Anne Frank. Tuesdays with Morrie.
          
          In amongst the books are a few MAGAZINES. An old issue of
          OPRAH magazine. A torn copy of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED...
          
                                                                 24.
          
          
          ...And a NEWSWEEK. The cover graphic illustrates OPPOSING
          NUCLEAR ARSENALS over a world globe. On one side the STARS
          AND STRIPES, on the other flags indicating a SINO-ISLAMIC
          ALLIANCE. The headline reads: "IS THERE NO TURNING BACK?"
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    No. No. No. No. No.
          
          As Carnegie rejects each book with growing disappointment and
          frustration, it's clear he's looking for a specific volume.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    It's not here.
          
                              HOG
                    These ain't worth nothin'?
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    When you bring me the book I asked
                    you for, it'll be worth something.
          
          The bikers exchange more looks. An unspoken conversation.
          
                              HOG
                    We been doin' this a long time now.
                    Had to make a whole lotta corpses
                    to bring you all these books. You
                    want us to keep at it, reckon it's
                    worth more than a few free glasses
                    of that swill you call liquor.
          
          Carnegie's guards bristle, ready for a confrontation.
          Carnegie just smiles, always ready to smooth things over.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Gentlemen, gentlemen. I urge you
                    once again to take the long view
                    here. When we find this book - and
                    believe me, we will find it - we
                    are going to build a new world. A
                    world far greater, far more
                    righteous than this one. And you
                    and I are going to be perched right
                    on top of it, looking down upon it,
                    masters of all creation!
          
          As always, his carefully stage-managed rhetoric is delivered
          with the utmost conviction, every word dripping with passion
          and persuasion. He's a master salesman, a true huckster.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    And you know, I think you're
                    absolutely right.
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                 25.
          
                              CARNEGIE (cont'd)
                    That is worth more than a few
                    glasses of liquor. A whole lot
                    more.
          
          He steps forward and looks Hog right in the eye. His gaze
          like a laser beam, utterly disarming.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    The book I want is out there
                    somewhere, just waiting to be
                    found. Once there were millions of
                    copies - you only need to find one!
                    Find it and bring it here. And I
                    promise you, you will be rewarded
                    beyond anything you can imagine.
          
          It's impossible not to be swayed by this guy. He's just so
          full of fiery passion and infectious belief, you almost want
          to reach into your pocket and hand over your wallet.
          
          Hog snatches up his empty satchel.
          
                              HOG
                    This better not be bullshit.
          
          He turns and marches to the door, the other bikers following.
          The guards escort them out, only Redridge remains.
          
          Carnegie slumps back into his chair, frustrated, pissed off.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Might help if they knew just what
                    they were looking for.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Not one of them can read. How would
                    they even know when they found it?
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    So how's about you just tell me?
          
          Carnegie and Redridge lock eyes. BEAT.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Two years now you been sending
                    these crews into the outland.
                    Burning up gas we can barely spare.
                    For a goddamn book? What the hell
                    kinda book can be worth all this?
          
          Carnegie ignores him. Stands, walks toward the door. Redridge
          sighs, gestures toward the books piled on Carnegie's desk.
          
                                                                 26.
          
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    What about these?
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Put them with the others.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - MAIN LOBBY - DAY
          
          Redridge stands by the marble fireplace, tossing the books
          into the fire. The flames flicker and leap around the books
          as their pages blacken and are consumed by the fire.
          
          INT. ENGINEER WORKSHOP - DAY
          
          Eli watches as the engineer charges the battery with the gas
          generator, which chugs noisily.
          
          He licks his lips, dry as sand. Unscrews his canteen to take
          a drink, but it's down to its last few drips.
          
                              ELI
                    What's this place across the
                    street? They got any water?
          
                              ENGINEER
                    We got our own underground spring
                    here. Only fresh water in a hundred
                    miles - if's you can pay for it.
          
          Eli thinks a while longer. Then stands and stuffs his shotgun
          inside his pack, shoulders his gear and makes for the door.
          
                              ELI
                    I'll be back.
          
          Eli stops in the doorway and turns back to the engineer.
          
                              ELI
                    If that battery ain't here when I
                    get back, I will use this gun on
                    your kneecaps and I will put this
                    building to the torch and I will
                    watch it burn to the ground with
                    you alive inside it. So help me
                    God.
          
          And with that he turns and leaves. The engineer gulps. Not a
          hint in Eli's voice that he didn't mean every word.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - CARNEGIE'S BEDROOM - DAY
          
          This old second-floor DRESSING ROOM has been converted into a
          bedroom, simply furnished.
          
                                                                   27.
          
          
          A WOMAN stands in front of an old DRESSING ROOM MIRROR, the
          bulbs around the frame burned-out and broken. She washes her
          face in murky water in an old PORCELAIN BOWL on the dresser.
          
          Her name is CLAUDIA. Early 30s, pretty. She gazes into the
          mirror as she dries her hands, but it's so cracked and warped
          it's near impossible to see a reflection.
          
          The door opens and Carnegie enters. He still looks steamed.
          Claudia doesn't turn to look at him, keeps facing the mirror.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    Is that you, honey?
          
          Carnegie says nothing. Just paces angrily up and down.
          Finally Claudia turns to face him.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    Something wrong?
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    More books came in from the road
                    today.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    Oh? It's been a while.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    And it'll be a while longer. Just
                    another pile of useless junk. If we
                    don't find the right one soon - if
                    I can't give these people what they
                    want to hear...
          
          Carnegie trails off, the thought too awful to contemplate.
          Claudia adopts a sympathetic expression, supportive.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    You'll find what you're looking
                    for. It's out there somewhere. You
                    just have to have faith.
          
          This seems to anger Carnegie. He wheels on her.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Faith? Is that what you think we're
                    missing around here?
          
          She detects the aggressive tone in his voice and goes quiet,
          head bowed. Carnegie moves toward her angrily.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    My old man used to have faith. He
                    had it in spades. My mother, too.
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                    28.
          
                              CARNEGIE (cont'd)
                    You know where it got them? You
                    know where it got me?
          
          He's in her face now. Claudia avoids eye contact, submissive.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Faith is for the weak. It's for
                    them out there, the sheep. This
                    world is what you can see and touch
                    and taste. It's what you make it.
                    All these years with me, you still
                    don't have any grasp of that?
                    What's wrong with you, woman?
          
          He's shouting now, and she's trembling, afraid to speak.
          
                                 CLAUDIA
                    I'm sorry.
          
          Carnegie realizes he's frightened her. He softens.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    No, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to
                    scare you. Hey. You okay?
          
          He lifts her chin up, wipes away a tear.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    You just get me all riled up with
                    that kind of talk. It's not what I
                    need from you right now.
                        (SMILES)
                    You know what I need right now?
          
          He puts his hands on her lustfully. It's clear she's not in
          the mood, but she halfheartedly responds anyway. More out of
          a sense of wifely duty than reciprocated passion.
          
          As they kiss, Carnegie pushes her excitedly against the wall
          and feverishly begins unbuckling his pants.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - MAIN LOBBY - DAY
          
          The original customers have now been joined by the four
          bikers, who sit at their own table drinking a clear and
          pungent moonshine-type liquor from a shared jar.
          
          Eli enters. All eyes are on him immediately, regarding him
          with guarded interest as he pulls up a stool at the bar.
          
          The BARTENDER approaches, looks him up and down. Suspicious.
          
                              BARTENDER
                    Outlander? Let me see-
          
                                                                 29.
          
          
          Eli raises his hand as before. Holds it outstretched, steady.
          
                              BARTENDER
                    What'll it be?
          
          Eli places the canteen on the bar.
          
                              ELI
                    Water.
          
                              BARTENDER
                    That's the good stuff. Gotta eat
                    into my own ration to sell it - so
                    I don't sell it cheap.
          
          Eli takes off his scarf and puts it on the bar. The bartender
          takes it and looks it over. Not particularly impressed.
          
                              BARTENDER
                    That'll get you maybe half-way.
          
          The bartender spies Eli's silver Saint Christopher pendant.
          
                              BARTENDER
                    What about that?
          
          Eli stuffs the pendant inside his shirt. No way that's for
          sale. Instead, he reaches into his coat and produces the fur
          pelts he skinned from the dead cat, lays them out on the bar.
          
                              ELI
                    That's the best I got.
          
          The bartender takes a pelt and examines it. The mangy cat
          leaps up onto the bar and approaches. Sniffs at the pelts
          with suspicion and HISSES at Eli.
          
          Eli shoos the cat off the bar with a wave of his hand. At the
          biker's table Hog watches this, not happy about this.
          
          Satisfied with the pelts, the bartender gathers them up along
          with the scarf, then turns away toward the back room.
          
                              BARTENDER
                    Solara!
          
          A TEENAGE GIRL emerges from the back. No older than 16 or 17.
          Dressed in unflattering work clothes, face grimy, blonde hair
          tied back in a ponytail. But even through all this, it's
          clear she is a strikingly beautiful young woman.
          
          The bartender takes Eli's canteen and hands it to Solara
          along with a RATION CARD he keeps around his neck.
          
                                                                 30.
          
          
                              BARTENDER
                    Take this out back and get it
                    filled.
          
          Solara takes the canteen, pausing for a moment to look Eli up
          and down. Unsure quite what to make of him, but intrigued.
          There's something about him she can't put her finger on...
          
          He doesn't look back at her. She turns and exits.
          
          EXT. DESERT TOWN - MAIN STREET - CONTINUOUS
          
          Solara exits via the Palladium's STAGE DOOR and walks across
          the busy street to where TWO OF CARNEGIE'S ARMED MEN stand
          guard around an ENCLOSURE OF CHAIN-LINK FENCE TOPPED WITH
          RAZOR WIRE. TOWNSFOLK wait in line with bowls and buckets.
          
          One of the guards recognizes Solara and lets her cut to the
          front of the line. He punches two holes in her ration card
          and lets her inside the chain-link enclosure.
          
          Inside is an OLD RUSTED SPIGOT attached to a pipe emerging
          from the earth. Solara cranks hard on the handle - it takes a
          few pulls before the water comes, and then only at a weak
          trickle; it will take a while to fill the canteen.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - MAIN LOBBY - CONTINUOUS
          
          As Eli sits at the bar, a SHADOW comes into view and looms
          large over him. Hog is standing behind him, glaring, cutting
          a menacing figure in his armored cycle leathers.
          
          Solara senses trouble brewing and moves off, taking Eli's
          canteen away into the back room.
          
                              HOG
                    That was my cat.
          
          Eli doesn't turn. Just looks straight ahead. Impossible to
          read him behind those mirrored goggles. Utterly inscrutable.
          
                              ELI
                    Fine specimen.
          
                              HOG
                    I saw you push him off the bar.
          
                              ELI
                    I didn't push him.
          
                              HOG
                    You raised your hand at him.
          
                                                                 31.
          
          
                              ELI
                    Sorry. It won't happen again.
          
          The bartender looks at Hog nervously.
          
                              BARTENDER
                    Hey, how about another drink, Hog?
          
                              HOG
                    That cat's been comin' in here for
                    nigh on two years. It got more
                    right to be here than you. Who the
                    fuck do you think you are?
          
                              ELI
                    I don't want any trouble.
          
          Hog grabs him by the arm.
          
                              HOG
                    Well, that's too bad, `cause-
          
          Blink. Suddenly Hog's head is pinned to the bar by nothing
          more than Eli's thumb. Pressed deep into a nerve cluster in
          his neck. Eli leans in close as Hog whimpers, paralyzed.
          
                              ELI
                    I know you. Murderer of innocent
                    travelers on the road. You're going
                    to spend eternity drowning in a
                    lake of fire for the things that
                    you've done. Did you know that?
          
          The other bikers stand and approach, the OTHER CUSTOMERS
          following suit. Eli senses the trouble gathering behind him.
          
                              ELI
                    You go on back to your table and
                    I'll be on my way. All right?
          
          It's all Hog can do to just barely nod his head. Eli releases
          his thumb. Hog staggers backward, gasping for breath.
          
          Eli stands and makes toward the door, but the bikers and
          other patrons have moved to block his exit.
          
                              BURLY PATRON
                    You push Hog, you push all of us.
          
          Eli sighs, looks down at the floor. He's been pushed one time
          too many today. For the first time, we see anger in his face.
          
                                                                    32.
          
          
                              ELI
                    Cursed be the ground because of
                    you. By toil shall you eat of it.
                    Thorns and thistles shall it sprout
                    for you. From the ground were you
                    taken. For dust you are.
          
          The patrons look at Eli strangely. Who is this guy?
          
          Eli reaches back and draws the samurai sword. Carves a line
          in the dirt at his feet with the tip of the blade.
          
                              ELI
                    And to dust you shall return.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - CARNEGIE'S BEDROOM - DAY
          
          Carnegie has Claudia pinned against the wall, his pants
          bunched around his ankles, ass bared as he pounds away at
          her. Not making love. This is mechanical, loveless sex.
          
          Claudia stares vacantly over his shoulder into space as
          Carnegie thrusts into her again and again. Deeply
          uninterested, just waiting for it to be over.
          
          Suddenly, we hear a CRASH O.S. Carnegie stops and listens.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Did you hear that? What was that?
          
          Claudia sees an opening to get out of this.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    Maybe you should go check.
          
          BEAT. Carnegie keeps listening. Then comes another CRASH.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    What in the hell is going on?
          
          He pulls up his pants, grabbing a RIFLE propped by the door
          as he rushes out. Claudia just stands there for a moment,
          then reaches down and pulls up her panties.
          
          She moves from the wall and makes her way across the room,
          feeling her way with her hands, gazing off into nothingness.
          Only now do we finally realize that she is BLIND.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - MAIN LOBBY - CONTINUOUS
          
          Carnegie emerges from the bedroom onto the balcony. Looks
          down over the railing - and is stunned by what he sees.
          
                                                                 33.
          
          
          CHAOS in the bar below. Eli cutting a one-man swath of mayhem
          through the dozen brawlers. Most already lie dead. TWO MORE
          MEN ATTACK Eli and are effortlessly felled by his sword.
          
          Carnegie rushes hurriedly along the landing, banging loudly
          on the doors of the upstairs rooms.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Get your asses out here!
          
          ON ELI. Surrounded by the dead, only one man left standing.
          Hog. He backs away as Eli circles him like a predator. Sword
          held ready, the blade glistening with dark red blood.
          
          SOLARA re-emerges from the back room with Eli's refilled
          canteen. She stops and emits a horrified GASP when she sees
          the bloody carnage laid out in the bar before her.
          
          She watches, mortified, as Eli moves toward the helpless,
          terrified Hog, going in for the kill. Raising his sword...
          
          Suddenly, Solara steps forward and CRIES OUT:
          
                                 SOLARA
                    Stop!
          
          Eli FREEZES. Sword hanging in the air, poised to strike. He
          turns his head to where Solara stands behind the bar.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Please don't.
          
          BEAT as Eli considers. He looks back at Hog, still completely
          at his mercy... and then LOWERS THE SWORD.
          
                                 ELI
                    Go.
          
                              HOG
                        (CONFUSED)
                    ...What?
          
                              ELI
                    It ain't for me to judge you. Your
                    time for that's gonna come. Believe
                    me. Now go on. Get out of here.
          
          Hog stumbles backward through the door, into the sunlight.
          Eli moves toward Solara, who stands petrified behind the bar.
          Reaches out and gently pries the canteen from her loose grip.
          
                                 ELI
                    Thank you.
          
                                                                    34.
          
          
          In the exitway, Hog turns back inside, grabbing up a BROKEN
          BOTTLE from the bloody floor as he goes.
          
          Hog rushes Eli from behind. Solara sees him coming and goes
          to SCREAM - but before any sound can come, Eli flips his
          sword backward and Hog runs right onto it, SKEWERING HIMSELF.
          
          BEAT. Hog just stands there for a moment, eyes wide, frozen
          in shock. His fingers go limp, dropping the bottle.
          
          He slides off the sword and collapses to the floor, dead.
          
          Eli wipes the sword clean and sheathes it. Looks around at
          the bloodied, fallen bodies. Then back at Solara.
          
                              ELI
                    I'm sorry for all the mess.
          
          As he turns and heads toward the door:
          
                              CARNEGIE (O.S.)
                    Hold it right there.
          
          Accompanied by the sound of MULTIPLE GUNS COCKING.
          
          Carnegie is on the landing, training his rifle down at Eli.
          Alongside him, FIVE GUNMEN do the same. They've got him cold.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM AUDITORIUM - CARNEGIE'S BOX
          
          Carnegie sits at his desk, the huge auditorium and stage area
          visible behind him. Eli stands before him. Around him are the
          other gunmen, who keep their weapons trained on him.
          
          Standing at Carnegie's side are REDRIDGE and CLAUDIA.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    So, who are you?
          
                              ELI
                    Nobody. A walker in the outland.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    I've met walkers before. Not a
                    particularly civilized bunch. Some
                    have even taken to eating their own
                    kind, did you know that? You
                    wouldn't be one of those savages
                    now, would you?
          
          Carnegie's gunmen look him over, inspecting him warily.
          
                              CARNEGIE GUNMAN
                    He ain't got the shakes.
          
                                                                  35.
          
          
          Carnegie's confident gaze remains fixed on Eli throughout.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Good. This is a civilized town.
                    Under God. Do you know what that
                    means?
          
          Eli can't help but react at the mention of that word.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    It means we have laws here. Laws
                    set down long before any of us ever
                    walked this earth. And one of them
                    is, you don't eat the flesh of your
                    brother. Else you're no better than
                    an animal. And not welcome here.
          
          Eli doesn't respond. Just stands there in Carnegie's gaze.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    So what's your business here,
                    friend? Walkers don't usually come
                    into town less they want something.
          
                              ELI
                    I had a battery needed charging and
                    a canteen needed filling. I didn't
                    come here looking for trouble.
          
          Barely noticeable, Carnegie gestures to one of the gunmen,
          who nods in acknowledgement and leaves.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Well, you sure as hell found it. Do
                    you know who I am?
          
                              ELI
                    No.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    My name's Carnegie. I own this bar.
                    I own the whole town. You've never
                    heard of me?
          
                              ELI
                    That's you out there on the street.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Remarkable likeness, isn't it?
                    You'd never guess half the men who
                    built it were blind. A small
                    tribute from a grateful people. I
                    was deeply touched.
          
                                                                 36.
          
          
                              ELI
                    You had slaves build you a monument
                    to yourself?
          
          The mention of that word rankles Carnegie. He walks around
          the desk toward Eli, waves an admonishing finger at him.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Don't call them slaves. That's an
                    old word. I'm not a slaver. I'm
                    trying to help these people.
          
          Carnegie can't help himself - once again he is in his natural
          element, spinning the argument his way, pitching. Selling.
          
                               CARNEGIE
                    In the outland the sightless are
                    preyed upon like sick animals. Here
                    at least they're protected. They do
                    the essential work others don't
                    want. And in return they eat, they
                    drink, they survive. Last year, a
                    couple of them even got married -
                    performed the ceremony myself.
                        (BEAT)
                    You see, I'm not exploiting these
                    people - I'm saving them! Any one
                    of them is free to leave whenever
                    they wish. But here they stay. And
                    they thank me every single day for
                    their salvation!
          
          An impressive, impassioned performance. He sounds just like
          an old-school TV evangelist. But Eli is unmoved.
          
                              ELI
                    It's none of my business what you
                    do here. Like you said, it's your
                    town. I just want to be on my way.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    What's your name, walker?
          
          Eli doesn't respond. Just stands there.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    All right, I guess we just call you
                    Walker. Don't see too many folks
                    your age these days. You lived in
                    the world before? You can read?
          
                              ELI
                    I read every day.
          
                                                37.
          
          
                    CARNEGIE
          That's good. Good man. We educated
          folk, we need to stick together, if
          we're ever going to rebuild this
          world. People like you and me,
          we're the future.
          
                    ELI
          What do you want with me?
          
                     CARNEGIE
          Straight to the point. I like that.
          Fact is, you could be in a lot of
          trouble. This is a peaceful town.
          You walk in here, armed, and the
          next thing a dozen of my good
          citizens are dead. I've hanged men
          for less. I could hang you.
              (BEAT)
          Or, you could come work for me.
          
                    ELI
          What?
          
                    CARNEGIE
          I never once saw anyone handle
          themselves the way you did down
          there in that bar. I don't know
          where you learned it, but I sure as
          hell could use it.
          
                    ELI
          I'm not interested.
          
                    CARNEGIE
          People who work for me can live
          better than any walker ever
          dreamed. Real beds, clean water,
          hot food. Women, even. You could do
          a lot worse, my friend.
          
                    ELI
          I'm not your friend. And I'm not
          staying. I got someplace I need to
          be. Out west.
          
                    CARNEGIE
          West? There is nothing west. It's
          all gone, a long time ago.
          
                    ELI
          I've been told different.
          
                                                                    38.
          
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    By who?
          
          Eli doesn't reply. Carnegie smiles, dials up the charm.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    All right, look. I'm going to make
                    you an offer of goodwill. Stay the
                    night, think it over. Try a little
                    local hospitality. We'll talk again
                    in the morning. If you're still not
                    interested, you're free to go. No
                    hard feelings.
          
                              ELI
                    Thank you for your offer. But I'd
                    prefer to just leave right now. So
                    you can either let me out of here,
                    or I can kill my way out.
          
          The gunmen bristle, exchange nervous looks. Carnegie appears
          unfazed. He smiles. BEAT. He looks to the gunman at the door.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Let him go.
          
          The gunman opens the door. Eli turns and exits.
          
          INT. ENGINEER WORKSHOP - DAY
          
          The engineer stands behind the counter, looking worried. His
          heart sinks when he sees Eli enter.
          
                              ENGINEER
                    Oh, shit...
          
                              ELI
                    How's my battery?
          
                              ENGINEER
                    It's, uh... it's gonna take a
                    little longer than I thought.
          
                              ELI
                    How much longer?
          
                              ENGINEER
                    It's gotta charge overnight. You,
                    uh, you can always stay here in
                    town, pick it up in the morning.
          
          Eli leans in a little closer. He smells a rat.
          
                                                                    39.
          
          
                              ELI
                    You remember what I said would
                    happen if I came back here and you
                    didn't have my battery?
          
                              ENGINEER
                    It's right here! It's just gonna
                    take a while longer. I swear.
          
          Eli looks at the engineer. Hard to be certain, but he's
          pretty sure he's lying. Somebody got to him.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM AUDITORIUM - CARNEGIE'S BOX
          
          A VIOLENT COMMOTION is heard from down the hall. Suddenly one
          of Carnegie's henchmen comes flying into view as he is THROWN
          HARD INTO A WALL and slumps to the floor, unconscious.
          
          Eli storms into the box, pissed. MORE GUARDS rush in behind
          him. Carnegie, seated behind his desk, waves the guards off
          as he stands to greet Eli, smiling ingratiatingly as ever.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    I knew you'd reconsider.
          
                              ELI
                    Yeah? How'd you know that?
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    None of the walkers I've seen come
                    here from the outland were ever
                    what you'd call smart. I mean all
                    those years out there alone on the
                    road, some with their brains half-
                    fried from eating each other - it's
                    understandable why you people
                    aren't the brightest bulbs in the
                    box. But I never met one so dumb
                    that he'd turn down a meal and a
                    bed if it was offered.
          
                              ELI
                    So you didn't send someone across
                    the street to the engineer?
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Engineer? I don't know what you're
                    talking about. If there's something
                    wrong, maybe I can help.
          
          Carnegie is a practiced liar. Much more difficult to read.
          
                                                                 40.
          
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    This is Redridge. He's kind of my
                    right-hand man around here.
          
          Redridge - one of the two men who chased Eli into the room -
          steps forward. He regards Eli with a distrustful eye.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    He'll show you to your room.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - GUEST BEDROOM - DUSK
          
          Redridge opens the door and ushers Eli inside.
          
          It's another of the dressing rooms converted into a bedroom,
          less well-appointed than Carnegie's own. A threadbare rug.
          Bed with relatively clean sheets. A sink for washing.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Enjoy your stay. There'll be
                    someone outside your room all
                    night. If you need anything.
          
          Redridge smirks and closes the door, leaving Eli alone. Eli
          paces across the room. Finally sits down on the creaky old
          bed. Trying to figure out how he managed to get stuck here.
          
          He unshoulders his pack, sets it down. Lies down on the bed.
          It's been a while since he felt a real bed on his back.
          
          A KNOCK at the door. Eli gets quickly to his feet.
          
                              ELI
                    Hello?
          
          The door opens and CLAUDIA enters. Carrying a metal tub of
          water in both hands and, atop that, a dinner tray.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    I have this for you. Water for
                    washing and some food.
          
          Eli just stands there. Totally unfamiliar with this kind of
          situation, it's been too long. She smiles, embarrassed.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    Well... are you going to take it?
          
                              ELI
                    Oh. Thank you.
          
          He takes the stuff from her, sets it on the table.
          
                                                                 41.
          
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    You're very welcome.
          
          We get the impression that Claudia is as unfamiliar with this
          kind of polite interaction as Eli. But she likes it.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    It'll be dark soon.
          
          She strikes a match and lights the oil lamp on the table. The
          room is lit by its flickering glow.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    Can I get you anything else?
          
                              ELI
                    No, thank you.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    Well. Have a good night.
          
          As she turns for the door:
          
                              ELI
                    You're Carnegie's woman?
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    Why do you ask?
          
                              ELI
                    Just making conversation is all.
                    Haven't had one of those in a
                    while. Not a real one, leastways.
          
          Claudia smiles. Neither has she.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    He found me in the outland. I was
                    sixteen, my family had been...
                    well, they were gone. There was
                    just me and my baby.
          
                              ELI
                    You had a baby?
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    I'd met some men on the road. Bad
                    men. They...
          
          BEAT. She trails off, struggling with this unhappy memory.
          Eli gets it, raises a hand reassuringly.
          
                              ELI
                    It's all right.
          
                                                                  42.
          
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    I was on the road for a year after
                    that. I couldn't feed myself, let
                    alone my little girl. And then Bill
                    found us and he promised he'd take
                    care of us. He told me he was going
                    to make a place where we could be
                    safe. And he did. He did all that.
                    He built this whole town. He kept
                    us safe. And he raised that child
                    like she was his own. He's been so
                    good to both of us. He saved us,
                    really.
          
          There's a bittersweet quality to Claudia's words. As though
          there is more to the story than she is telling.
          
          Eli pulls out a chair at the table, offers it to her.
          
                              ELI
                    You want to eat some?
          
          She smiles and sits. Eli sits across from her.
          
                              ELI
                    When did you go blind? In the war?
                    You get caught in a flash?
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    No, I was born this way. I think
                    I'm lucky like that.
          
                              ELI
                    Lucky?
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    It's not like I ever knew what I'm
                    missing. I was already used to
                    being like this by the time... by
                    the time it all happened. So I got
                    around pretty good even when I was
                    on my own. And now it's easy. I
                    know every creaky old floorboard in
                    here, and it's not like I ever go
                    any place else. Bill would never
                    allow it. He worries about me so
                    much.
          
          Again, bittersweet. The sense that Claudia feels trapped.
          Thinking about it begins to upset her. She gets up.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    I should go. He'll be wondering
                    where I am.
          
                                                                 43.
          
          
          Eli stands, escorts her to the door and opens it.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    Thank you. I enjoyed our
                    conversation.
          
                                ELI
                    So did I.
          
          Eli closes the door, then sits back at the table.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - CARNEGIE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
          
          Carnegie washes, looking at himself in the old dressing-room
          mirror. He sees Claudia enter the room in its dim reflection.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    You took your time in there. How
                    long does it take to deliver a
                    plate of food and some water?
          
          A subtly accusing tone. It makes Claudia nervous.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    He wanted to talk.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Oh? What about?
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    Nothing really. He asked me what it
                    was like to be blind.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    He tell you anything about him?
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    No. I don't think he likes to talk
                    about himself much.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Yeah, I got that.
          
          Claudia moves to the bedside, begins to undress.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    I don't think he's going to change
                    his mind by morning. I don't think
                    he's going to stay.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    What makes you say that?
          
                                                                44.
          
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    Just strikes me as the kind of man
                    who's of a mind, is all. Doesn't
                    seem like the type to go changing
                    it once it's set.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Well, we'll just see about that.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    You saw him. He's not like the
                    others. You won't be able to smooth-
                    talk him and wrap him around your
                    finger like you usually do.
          
                               CARNEGIE
                    Who said anything about me?
                        (BEAT)
                    I'm sending Solara.
          
          Claudia reacts suddenly to this. Shocked and angry.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    You're doing what?
                              CARNEGIE
                    You know how often these walkers
                    get laid? Never. Least not by
                    anything living or willing. Girl
                    like her can be very persuasive.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    You can't send her in there with
                    him. He's dangerous, he's a killer!
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    You went in there readily enough.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    That's different. Solara's just a
                    child, she can't-
          
          Carnegie sighs, tiring of this.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    She's a grown woman now, Claudia.
                    Sooner or later you're going to
                    have to accept that. She has to
                    earn her keep around here, same as
                    the rest of us.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    By working as a whore? That's all
                    you think she's fit for?
          
                                                                    45.
          
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    We've each been given a talent to
                    help us make our way in this world.
                    Some people's gift is more evident
                    than others. Solara's sure as hell
                    is.
          
          Claudia looks at Carnegie in disgust.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    What kind of a man are you?
          
          Now it's Carnegie's turn to get angry. He rounds on her
          menacingly. She backs off as he approaches.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    I'm the kind of man who'd pull a
                    helpless blind girl off the road, a
                    girl who'd been beaten and raped,
                    and give her a place where she can
                    live without fear! Without me you'd
                    be just another no-eye, lying dead
                    in the outland, picked clean by the
                    buzzards, or shoveling dirt down
                    there with the others. That's the
                    kind of man I am!
          
          He has her against the wall, his face just inches from hers.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    I don't live without fear. I
                    haven't for a long time now.
          
          Carnegie calms himself, backs off. Claudia goes to leave.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Where are you going?
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    I'm not going to let you do this.
          
          Carnegie surges forward and pins Claudia to the wall.
          
                               CARNEGIE
                    You're not going to let me?
                        (BEAT)
                    Nobody tells me what I can and
                    can't do in my own town. Nobody. I
                    built this world, and I am God
                    here! So don't go thinking about
                    screwing with my plans. You know
                    how this works. Solara goes against
                    me, you get hurt. You go against
                    me, she gets hurt.
          
                                                                 46.
          
          
          He releases his grip on her.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    So let's not see anybody get hurt.
                    Okay?
          
          He speaks more softly now. As he strokes his hand tenderly
          through Claudia's hair, a tear runs down her cheek.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - GUEST BEDROOM - NIGHT
          
          Dark outside, but the room is brightly lit by the glow of the
          oil lamp. Eli sits up on his bed, quietly reading the old
          leather-bound book from his backpack.
          
          Another KNOCK at the door. Eli jumps up and hurriedly hides
          the book inside his shirt.
          
                               ELI
                    Come in.
          
          The door opens to reveal Solara. Looking very different than
          she did before. Cleaned up and wearing a flowery summer
          dress, blonde hair let down over her shoulders. Stunning.
          
          Unlike everyone else we have met, she seems - physically, at
          least - totally unscarred by the horrors of the times. Far
          too beautiful a thing to belong in a world like this.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Hi. Can I come in?
          
                              ELI
                    Someone was already here with food
                    and water. I got everything I need.
          
                              SOLARA
                    You sure about that?
          
          She glides into the room, closing the door. She's good. Very
          seductive. Eli is totally disarmed in her presence.
          
                              SOLARA
                    It's too bright in here. Mind if I
                    turn it down a little?
          
          She doesn't wait for an answer. Moves to the table and turns
          down the oil lamp. A darker, more seductive lighting scheme.
          
                              SOLARA
                    That's better. I'm Solara. You're
                    Walker, right?
          
                                                                   47.
          
          
                              ELI
                    No. My name's Eli.
          
                              SOLARA
                    That short for something? Elias?
          
                               ELI
                    Elijah.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Elijah. I never heard that one
                    before. It's kinda cute.
          
          She sits on the bed, kicks her legs playfully. Her light
          cotton dress revealing in all the right places. The
          silhouette of her body bathed in the seductive glow of the
          oil lamp. No red-blooded man on earth could resist her.
          
                              ELI
                    Look, I don't mean to be rude. But
                    I'm really not interested.
          
                              SOLARA
                    You sure about that? It gets mighty
                    lonely out there on the road.
          
          She leans over on the bed, resting on her elbow. Her hair
          cascades down. God damn, she looks good.
          
                              SOLARA
                    If you're worried about money, this
                    is all paid for. The whole night.
          
                              ELI
                    It's not that. You're a very nice
                    girl. But I'm not that kind of man.
          
          She slides off the bed, approaches him. Begins to work the
          buttons of his shirt.
          
                              SOLARA
                    They're all that kind of man.
          He moves her hand away. Gently pushes her back a step.
          
                               ELI
                    I'm not.
          
          She is stunned. No man has ever turned her down before. And
          then she seems a little insulted.
          
                              SOLARA
                    They told me you were crazy. Maybe
                    they were right.
          
                                                                 48.
          
          
          Eli opens the door for her.
          
                              ELI
                    I'm sorry. Good night.
          
          Suddenly all her other emotions give way to fear. She moves
          to the door and slams it shut again. Looks Eli in the eye.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Please don't make me leave. I have
                    to stay the night. If I don't...
          
                              ELI
                    If you don't, what?
          
                              SOLARA
                    He'll hurt my mom.
          
                              ELI
                    Who will? Carnegie?
          
          She nods, fighting back a tear. This angers Eli.
          
                              ELI
                    Maybe he and I oughta have words.
          
          He goes for the door handle, but she stops him.
          
                              SOLARA
                    No! Please, don't!
          
                              ELI
                    He's hurting you. He's hurting your
                    mother. He's-
          
                              SOLARA
                    He's my dad.
          
          BEAT. Eli moves his hand away from the door.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Look, if you want to help me, just
                    let me stay here tonight. We don't
                    have to do anything. I'll sleep on
                    the floor. Tomorrow you can tell my
                    dad that we had a good time. I'll
                    be no trouble, I swear.
          
          She looks up at Eli imploringly. Transformed. No longer the
          teenage sex kitten. Now she's just a frightened little girl.
          
                              ELI
                    You want to have a conversation?
          
                                                                 49.
          
          
          She smiles, wiping the tear from her cheek.
          
          LATER
          
          Eli and Solara sit together on the bed. A silent BEAT. At
          first, it appears as though they have nothing to say.
          
                                ELI
                      You know, you don't have to be
                      afraid of me. What happened down
                      there in the bar...
          
                                SOLARA
                      I'm not afraid of you. I know you
                      didn't start that trouble. When I
                      first saw you, I knew you weren't
                      the type to go looking for it.
          
                                ELI
                      How'd you know that?
          
                                 SOLARA
                      My mom says I'm a good judge of
                      character. She says I can read
                      people. That I know a good man when
                      I see one.
          
          She smiles. Eli is surprised to find himself smiling back.
          
                                SOLARA
                      So... you're pretty old, right?
          
          Eli smiles, amused by the bluntness of the question.
          
                                SOLARA
                      I'm sorry. I just mean, I haven't
                      seen too many people your age. How
                      old are you exactly?
          
                                ELI
                      You know, I don't rightly remember.
          
                                SOLARA
                      But you're old enough. I mean, you
                      remember what it was like? In the
                      world before?
          
          Eli nods.
          
                                SOLARA
                      What was it like?
          
          Eli thinks about this. Dredging through old, old memories.
          
                                                                    50.
          
          
                               ELI
                    Better than this.
                        (BEAT)
                    People lived longer back then.
                    Longer than me. Some were more than
                    a hundred years old.
          
          Solara smiles like she's having her leg pulled.
          
                               SOLARA
                    Come on.
          
                              ELI
                    I swear, it's true. Nowadays it's
                    not the same. If you're sick or
                    you're weak or you're old you won't
                    last long out on the road.
          
                              SOLARA
                    So how come you have?
          
          BEAT. Eli thinks. Should he or shouldn't he?
          
                              ELI
                    Can I read you something?
          
                              SOLARA
                    Wait. You can read?
          
          Eli pulls the book from his shirt. Solara's eyes widen.
          
                              SOLARA
                    And you have a book?
                              ELI
                    Not just any book.
          
          For the first time we see that it's a KING JAMES BIBLE. An
          embossed GOLD CROSS on its old leather cover.
          
          Eli opens it up, scans the page with his finger until he
          finds the passage he's looking for.
          
                              ELI
                    The Lord is my shepherd. I shall
                    not want. He makes me lie down in
                    green pastures. He leads me beside
                    still waters. He restores my soul.
                    He leads me in the paths of
                    righteousness.
          
          ON SOLARA as she listens to Eli read. Transfixed.
          
                                                                  51.
          
          
                              ELI
                    Though I walk through the valley of
                    the shadow of death, I will fear no
                    evil. For you are with me. Your rod
                    and your staff, they comfort me.
                    You prepare a table before me in
                    the presence of my enemies. You
                    anoint my head with oil. My cup
                    runs over. Surely goodness and
                    mercy shall follow me, all the days
                    of my life. And I will dwell in the
                    house of the Lord forever.
          
                              SOLARA
                    That's beautiful. Did you write
                    that?
          
                                ELI
                          (SMILES)
                    No.
          
                              SOLARA
                    What book is it from? Is it poetry?
          
                              ELI
                    I guess you could think of it that
                    way. It's from the Holy Bible.
          
                              SOLARA
                    I never heard of it. What's it
                    about?
          
          BEAT as Eli thinks. How on earth to answer that?
          
                              ELI
                    It's about love, and forgiveness,
                    and life and death, and mercy, and
                    revenge, and the beginning and the
                    end of the world. I guess it's
                    about a little bit of everything.
          
                                 SOLARA
                    Can I see?
          
          She reaches out for the book but he snatches it away.
          
                              SOLARA
                    What? I'm not going to do anything.
          
                              ELI
                    I'm sorry. I'm charged to protect
                    this book. I can't trust it with
                    anyone. Not even for a while.
          
                                                                 52.
          
          
                              SOLARA
                    What's so special about that book?
          
          BEAT. Eli runs his fingers across the embossed gold cross on
          the beat-up leather cover.
          
                              ELI
                    It's the last one. There are no
                    other books like this. All the
                    others are gone - destroyed by the
                    war or in the burnings that came
                    after. This is the only one that
                    survived until now. The last one
                    anywhere.
          
                              SOLARA
                    How can you know that?
          
                               ELI
                    I just know.
                        (BEAT)
                    For a long while after it happened,
                    I just wandered on the road like
                    most everybody else. There were
                    still a lot of people around back
                    then, in the beginning. I didn't
                    really know what I should do or
                    where I was going. I was just
                    moving from place to place, trying
                    to stay alive. And then one day I
                    heard this voice. I don't know how
                    to explain it, it's like it was
                    coming from inside me. But I could
                    hear it, clear as day. Clear as I
                    can hear you talking to me now.
          
                              SOLARA
                    What did it say?
          
                              ELI
                    It led me to this place, I don't
                    really know where. And I found this
                    book buried deep under some rubble.
                    No way no-one was ever going to
                    find it if they didn't know exactly
                    where to look.
          
                              SOLARA
                    But you knew because the voice told
                    you?
          
                              ELI
                    That's right. And that voice told
                    me to carry the book west.
                              (MORE)
          
                                                               53.
          
                               ELI (cont'd)
                    It told me that a path would be
                    laid out before me, that I'd be led
                    to a place where this book would be
                    safe. It told me I'd be protected
                    against anyone or anything that
                    tried to stand in my way. If only I
                    would have faith.
                        (BEAT)
                    That was twenty-five years ago. And
                    I've been walking ever since.
          
                              SOLARA
                        (SKEPTICAL)
                    Because a voice you heard in your
                    head told you to.
          
                              ELI
                    I'm not crazy. I didn't imagine it.
                    I know what I heard.
          
                              SOLARA
                    So who was it? The voice?
          
          BEAT as Eli considers his answer.
          
                              ELI
                    A very important, very powerful
                    man.
          
                              SOLARA
                    More powerful than my dad?
          
                              ELI
                        (SMILES)
                    I should say so, yes.
          
          BEAT. The two of them sit in silence for a moment.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Would you teach me to read?
          
                              ELI
                    What?
          
                              SOLARA
                    I never learned. No-one around here
                    knows how. Only my dad, and he
                    won't teach me. I think he likes
                    being the only one who can read. I
                    think it makes him feel powerful.
          
                              ELI
                    I think you're probably right.
          
                                                                 54.
          
          
                              SOLARA
                    So would you teach me?
          
                              ELI
                    I'm sorry. I'm leaving tomorrow.
                    And I won't be back this way, ever.
          
          She looks down, sad. She likes this guy. She doesn't want him
          to leave. Eli can sense her sadness.
          
                              ELI
                    Are you hungry?
          
                              SOLARA
                    I guess a little.
          
                              ELI
                    There's some food on the table over
                    there. Let's eat.
          
          She walks over to where the dinner tray is covered by a small
          cloth. She whips it away - to reveal ELI'S RAT nibbling on a
          piece of cheese. Solara SHRIEKS and backs away.
          
          The rat scurries down the table leg and leaps up onto Eli's
          shoulder, just as afraid of her as she is of it.
          
                              ELI
                    It's okay, it's okay. He's with me.
                        (to the rat)
                    Don't be afraid, pal. This is
                    Solara. She's our friend.
          
          Solara approaches warily. Reaches out and strokes him. The
          rat scurries up her arm. She almost shrieks again.
          
                              ELI
                    It's okay. It means he likes you.
          
                                 SOLARA
                    It does?
                              ELI
                    Trust me, if he didn't like you,
                    you'd know about it.
          
          Solara pets the rat on her shoulder. Then:
          
                              SOLARA
                    Did you really mean that?
          
                                 ELI
                    Mean what?
          
                                                                 55.
          
          
                              SOLARA
                    That I'm your friend.
          
          BEAT. Eli finds himself surprised that he admitted such a
          thing. When is the last time he had someone he could call a
          friend? He can't even remember.
          
                              ELI
                    Sure.
          
          She smiles. Giggles as the rat's whiskers tickle her ear.
          
          Eli breaks the cheese in two and gives half to Solara. She's
          about to eat but stops as Eli clasp his hands in prayer.
          
                              ELI
                    Our father, we thank you for this
                    meal which you have been so
                    gracious to place before us.
          
          Unsure of what to do, Solara mimics Eli, putting her hands
          together and bowing her head.
          
                               ELI
                    We thank you for a warm bed and a
                    roof over our heads on a cold night
                    such as this.
                        (BEAT)
                    And we thank you for the gift of
                    friendship in these hard times.
          
          Solara looks at him, touched by that.
          
                               ELI
                    Amen.
                        (BEAT)
                    You say that last part too.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Amen. And now we eat?
          
                              ELI
                    And now we eat.
          
          They sit and eat together, sharing the simple meal.
          
          PULL OUT from the window as they eat, away from the theater.
          Away from the town and its flickering points of torchlight.
          Moving farther and farther away until the entire town is
          consumed by the darkness of the world.
          
          EXT. DESERT TOWN - MAIN STREET - DAWN
          
          The pale sun rises over the town. To establish:
          
                                                                    56.
          
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - DINING ROOM - MORNING
          
          What was once the theater's COSTUME ROOM - OLD MANNEQUINS
          still stand around in the corners, creating an eerie feel.
          
          Carnegie and Claudia sit at a DINING TABLE, eating breakfast
          in silence. A third place is set, but no-one is seated there.
          
          Solara enters and sits down without a word.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Good morning, Solara.
          
          Solara doesn't say anything.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    I said good morning, Solara.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Morning, dad.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    How was your night? Did you sleep
                    well?
          
          Claudia appears perturbed by Carnegie's subtle probing.
          Solara flashes him a frosty look.
          
                              SOLARA
                    I did like you asked. Isn't that
                    what you really want to know? Just
                    come out and say it.
          
          Carnegie glares at her sternly.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    You don't speak to your father like
                    that. When I ask you a civil
                    question, I expect a civil answer.
          
          Solara lowers her head, scorned. Carnegie continues eating.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Did he say anything?
          
                              SOLARA
                    No. We didn't talk much.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Well, do you think you managed to
                    change his mind about staying?
          
                              SOLARA
                    I don't know. He said he had to go.
          
                                                                 57.
          
          
          Carnegie puts down his food, looks angrily at her.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    So he did talk? What else did he
                    say? Come on, I want all of it!
          
                              SOLARA
                    That's all he said. That he was
                    going to be leaving this morning.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    We'll see. This is my town, nobody
                    leaves until I say they leave.
          
          He glances knowingly at Claudia.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    Solara, honey, eat something.
          
          She looks at the food on the plate before her. Then closes
          her eyes and clasps her hands in prayer.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Our father, thank you for this meal
                    which you have been so gracious to
                    place before us.
          
          Claudia and Carnegie freeze. Carnegie stares at her, agape.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Thank you for my mother. Please
                    watch over her and keep her safe.
          
                                CARNEGIE
                    Solara...
          
                              SOLARA
                    Thank you for all the-
          
                                CARNEGIE
                    Solara!
          She snaps suddenly out of it, looks at her father.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    What the hell are you doing?
          
          She doesn't respond. Looks embarrassed.
          
                               CARNEGIE
                    God didn't put this food on the
                    table. Do you hear me?
                        (BEAT)
                    Who put this food on the table?
          
                                                                 58.
          
          
          Solara says nothing, just looks down at the table.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    I said who put this food on the
                    table?
          
                              SOLARA
                        (SOFTLY)
                    You did.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Who taught you that?
          
                              SOLARA
                    Eli taught me.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                        (PUZZLED)
                    Who the hell is Eli?
          
                              SOLARA
                    The walker. That's his name.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    And he taught you how to say those
                    words? How did he know them?
          
                              SOLARA
                    He had them written down in a book.
          
          This piques Carnegie's interest greatly.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    What kind of a book?
          
          He barks the question at her. Solara is rattled.
          
                              SOLARA
                    I don't remember! It was an old
                    leather book. It had kind of a...
                    thing on the front of it.
          
                               CARNEGIE
                    Show me.
          
          Solara makes the SIGN OF A CRUCIFIX with her index fingers.
          Carnegie's eyes widen; he can barely believe it.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    He had a bible?
          
                              SOLARA
                    That's what it was. A holy bible.
                    Daddy, what's wrong? Did I...
          
                                                                 59.
          
          
          Carnegie BOLTS SUDDENLY FROM THE TABLE, overturning his chair
          and sending his plate of food crashing to the floor.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - LOBBY BALCONY - CONTINUOUS
          
          Carnegie races across the landing, toward the ARMED GUARD
          posted outside Eli's bedroom. The guard steps aside as
          Carnegie flings the door open and barges inside.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - GUEST BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS
          
          Empty. No sign of Eli or his gear anywhere. The window is
          WIDE OPEN, the curtains fluttering gently in the breeze.
          
          INT. ENGINEER WORKSHOP - CONTINUOUS
          
          His hands shaking, the engineer disconnects Eli's battery
          from the generator and places it on the counter.
          
          Eli stands on the other side of the counter with his SHOTGUN
          TRAINED RIGHT AT THE MAN'S HEAD. He takes the battery from
          him and stuffs it into his backpack.
          
          EXT. PALLADIUM - CONTINUOUS
          
          Carnegie races from the lobby entrance and looks up at the
          open window to Eli's room. He could have easily jumped.
          
          Redridge emerges onto the street behind him.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Something wrong, boss?
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Something wrong? Something wrong?
                    The walker's gone!
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    That can't be. I had a man outside
                    his room the whole time.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    He jumped out the window, you
                    idiot! You didn't think to put a
                    man outside the fucking window?
                        (beat; fuming)
                    Find him. Now!
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Boss, he could be anywhere. He...
                        (REALIZATION)
                    A battery. Didn't he say something
                    about a battery?
          
                                                                  60.
          
          
          They turn to face the engineer's storefront - just as ELI
          EMERGES ONTO THE STREET, shotgun still in his hand.
          
          EVERYBODY FREEZES. Like a wild west stand-off. Redridge's
          fingers play over the butt of the pistol on his hip.
          
          BEAT as time hangs perfectly still for a second... and then
          ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.
          
          Redridge draws and FIRES, SHATTERING A PARKING METER just
          inches from Eli and showering quarters all over the sidewalk.
          
          Eli rushes along the sidewalk, RETURNING FIRE. The shot wings
          Redridge in the shoulder. He goes down, wounded.
          
          Carnegie dives for cover as FOUR MORE GUNMEN rush from the
          theater. Carnegie waves frantically in Eli's direction.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Go! Go!
          
          They spot Eli sprinting away and rush off in pursuit.
          
          Carnegie gets to his feet and storms back inside the theater.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - DINING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
          
          Solara and Claudia watch through the window. Turn suddenly
          when they hear the door slam open behind them.
          
          Carnegie stands in the doorway, glaring at them.
          
          EXT. DESERT TOWN - MAIN STREET - CONTINUOUS
          
          LOCAL RESIDENTS scream and rush to and fro in panic as Eli
          darts along the boardwalk.
          
          CARNEGIE'S GUNMEN pursue, firing their rifles wildly on the
          run. The bullets splinter wood, pierce barrels and crates,
          narrowly missing Eli as he dashes, keeping his head down.
          
          Eli aims the shotgun and FIRES without even looking. The shot
          HITS A GUNMAN SQUARE IN THE CHEST, dropping him to the dirt.
          
          Eli hits the deck, diving for cover behind a JUNKPILE as more
          gunfire ricochets all around him. He takes a moment to
          collect himself, reloads the shotgun.
          
          The three remaining gunmen close in on the junkpile warily.
          
          Eli signs a cross over himself with the shotgun, looks to the
          sky and offers up a silent prayer. Then emerges from around
          the junkpile back into the street. All three gunmen OPEN
          FIRE, their bullets whipping past on either side of him.
          
                                                                 61.
          
          
          In one swift motion Eli raises the shotgun and FIRES. Three
          shots in quick succession. And then there is silence. Smoke
          wisps from the shotgun's sawn-off barrel.
          
          The three gunmen LIE DEAD IN THE STREET. One hit square in
          the chest. The other two each have maybe one half of their
          heads remaining.
          
          Eli looks around. He's right at the end of the main road, the
          perimeter where the town meets the open desert. He's free.
          
          And then, A GIRL'S SCREAM. Distant but unmistakable.
          
          Eli whips around. In the upstairs window of the theater,
          Carnegie shoves Solara roughly against the wall. Barking
          angrily at her, shaking her.
          
          Eli looks at the road. Then up at the theater. Then back to
          the road again.
          
                              ELI
                        (quietly; to himself)
                    It ain't your concern. Stay on the
                    path.
          
          But he sounds less resolute now than before. Until today this
          was always a simple decision for him to make. But now...
          
                                ELI
                    Dammit...
          
          He marches back toward the theater, stepping over the fallen
          bodies of the gunmen, re-loading his shotgun as he goes.
          
          EXT. PALLADIUM - CONTINUOUS
          
          Redridge finally manages to clamber back up to his feet,
          wincing as he clutches his painful shoulder wound.
          
          He looks up just in time to see Eli coming right at him.
          Without breaking stride, he COLD-COCKS Redridge in the jaw
          with the shotgun, sending him back to the deck, out cold.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - DINING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
          
          Eli kicks the door wide open, finds Carnegie holding Solara
          against the wall. She sobs, terrified. Eli levels the shotgun
          at Carnegie's head.
          
                              ELI
                    Let her go.
          
                                                                 62.
          
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    That cannon of yours casts a pretty
                    wide net. I don't reckon you can
                    hit me without hitting her.
          
                              ELI
                    I reckon you're right.
          
          He holsters the shotgun. Then in the same fluid motion draws
          a PISTOL from his belt that we never even knew he had.
          
                              ELI
                    This, though? With this I'll shave
                    the hairs clean off your balls at a
                    hundred paces. You believe me?
          
          Carnegie releases his grip on Solara, steps away, hands up.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    I believe you. I have to say I'm
                    surprised to hear that language
                    coming from you, though. I mean,
                    you being a holy man and all.
          
          BEAT. Eli glances at Solara.
          
                               CARNEGIE
                    She told me all about it. Told me
                    all about the bible, too.
                        (BEAT)
                    Can I see it?
          
                              ELI
                    No.
          
          Carnegie takes a small step forward. Suddenly, his whole
          demeanor changes, and he now looks at Eli imploringly.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    You know, I've been searching for a
                    book like that one for years. All
                    I've ever wanted was to bring the
                    word of God to these poor
                    unfortunates here. To shine its
                    light upon them and give them
                    something in this wretched world
                    that they could believe in.
                    Something to live for! It's why I
                    built this town, did you know that?
                    All we've been missing is the word
                    to show us the way. And now, praise
                    the Lord, you've brought it to us.
          
                                                                 63.
          
          
          Carnegie takes a step closer. He appears entirely sincere -
          but then he is very good at doing so.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    It's not right to keep that book
                    hidden away, all to yourself. The
                    word is meant to be shared with
                    others. It's meant to be spread!
                    Isn't that what you want? I could
                    help you do that. You and me, we
                    could do it together.
          
          BEAT. Eli seems to be considering what he's heard carefully.
          
                              ELI
                    The Lord himself told me that if I
                    carried this book west, one day I
                    would find the place where it was
                    needed. Where it would be safe.
                    Where it belonged.
          
          Carnegie smiles broadly... and then with a sudden blur of
          movement Eli PISTOL-WHIPS him to the floor.
          
                              ELI
                    But this ain't it.
          
          He turns to Solara and offers her his hand.
          
                               ELI
                    Come on.
          
          EXT. PALLADIUM - CONTINUOUS
          
          Eli emerges from the theater, leading Solara onto the street.
          RESIDENTS part before them, staring at Eli with astonishment.
          
          Eli passes the statue of Carnegie - and STOPS. Something
          about that thing is bothering him.
          
                              SOLARA
                    What? What is it?
          
                              ELI
                    You shall not make for yourself any
                    graven image...
          
          He turns, drawing his samurai sword and in the same fluid
          motion SLICING across the base of the statue.
          
          BEAT. And then the STATUE TOPPLES from the neat cut just
          below the knees, CRASHING DOWN to the ground and SHATTERING.
          The assembled residents GASP at this defiant display.
          
                                                                    64.
          
          
          Eli sheathes his sword and takes Solara by the hand again.
          
                              ELI
                    Now we can go.
          
          CRANE UP over the main street as they both head out of town.
          
          EXT. ROAD - DAY
          
          The town barely visible on the distant horizon behind Eli and
          Solara. Eli walks as he always has, his pace steady and slow.
          Still, Solara lags along behind. She's already tired.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Where are we going?
          
                              ELI
                    I told you where I'm going. You're
                    free to go wherever you want.
          
          She stops in the road.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Wait... I'm not coming with you?
          
                              ELI
                    You're only going to slow me down.
          
          Eli doesn't stop walking. Solara is forced to catch up.
          
                              SOLARA
                    So what the hell was all that about
                    back there?
          
                              ELI
                    The man was hurting you. I don't
                    like that, so I put a stop to it.
                    Now you're free. He can't hurt you
                    any more.
                        (off her stare)
                    No need to thank me.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Thank you? For what? What am I
                    supposed to do now?
          
                              ELI
                    Whatever you want. That's what
                    being free is.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Whatever I want. Except go with
                    you.
          
                                                                   65.
          
          
                              ELI
                    I have to get where I'm going. I
                    can't be worrying about someone
                    else along the way.
          
          Solara is incredibly hurt by this. Blinks back a tear.
          
                              SOLARA
                    I thought you were my friend.
          
          BEAT. Eli stops and turns back to face her.
          
                              ELI
                    It's dangerous in the outland. I
                    wouldn't want you to get hurt.
          
                              SOLARA
                    I'll be safe so long as I'm with
                    you. I know it.
          
          Eli sighs. He's not getting through to her. So now comes the
          harsh truth of it:
          
                              ELI
                    You don't want this life. I gotta
                    do what I gotta do. Don't have no
                    choice in it. But you do. And I
                    can't let you choose this. You
                    don't want to be like me. You don't
                    want to spend your life alone.
          
          Solara steps closer, her eyes pleading.
          
                              SOLARA
                    If I came with you, I wouldn't be
                    alone. And neither would you.
          
          A long BEAT as Eli considers this. For a moment it appears as
          though Solara might have won him over. But then:
          
                              ELI
                    I'm sorry. Look, maybe it's best
                    you just go on back to town.
          
          He turns and walks off, leaving her in the road. She stands
          there, furious, screaming at his back as he walks away.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Fine! I'll do just that! I had a
                    life there! A family! I didn't ask
                    you to save me! I didn't ask you
                    for anything!
          
                                                                 66.
          
          
          He doesn't turn or acknowledge her at all. Just keeps walking
          off into the horizon. Getting smaller all the time.
          
          Solara stands there in the road, weeping. All alone.
          
                              SOLARA
                        (SOFTLY)
                    Fine.
          
          She turns and walks back in the direction she came.
          
          EXT. DESERT TOWN - BARNYARD - DAY
          
          A small, penned-in area to the rear of the Palladium
          containing an eclectic bunch of farmyard animals. Goats,
          sheep, geese, pigs. Mostly mangy, sad-looking specimens.
          
          Carnegie stands in the yard, tossing handfuls of animal feed
          from a nearby sack onto the ground. He watches with
          satisfaction as the animals gather at his feet to feed.
          
          Claudia emerges from the theater with an ice-pack.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Thank you, darling.
          
          Carnegie applies it to his jaw, red and swollen from Eli's
          pistol-whip. Redridge appears nearby, his arm in a sling.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    He killed four of my men and walked
                    out of town without a scratch. They
                    shot off a hundred rounds at him
                    and he didn't get hit once. I never
                    even heard of anything like that.
          
          Carnegie doesn't appear to be listening. He is lost in a
          world of his own as he tends to the farm animals.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    You know, I always thought of
                    myself as a shepherd. Bringing
                    together the wayward and the lost.
                    Tending to my flock. But all the
                    things I want to do, I can't do
                    them on my own. The one thing I've
                    needed is the one thing that's
                    always been missing. Then one day
                    it walks right into town - so close
                    I can almost touch it - and then
                    walks right on out again.
          
          Carnegie finally looks up from his animals, at Redridge.
          
                                                                 67.
          
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    I want you to put a crew together
                    and go out after him.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    He's not going to work for you. I
                    think he's made that plain.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    I'm not interested in him any more.
                    I only want the book he's carrying.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    If I'm gonna risk my ass hunting
                    down this maniac in the outland, I
                    need to know it's gonna be worth
                    it. I need to know what's so
                    special about this goddamn book.
          
          BEAT as Carnegie considers this.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    You have no idea. You're too young,
                    you don't remember the world
                    before. But I do. I remember.
          
          He turns back to his animals, summoning up old memories.
          
                               CARNEGIE
                    When I was a kid my parents used to
                    read that book every goddamn day.
                    My mother, she'd read it along with
                    this smooth-talking preacher on the
                    TV screen. They used to be able to
                    beam these guys right into your
                    house, into every house in the
                    world, through the air. Like magic.
                        (BEAT)
                    She worked two jobs and she sent
                    every spare penny she had to that
                    fucking guy on the TV. My old man,
                    he'd read that book, then he'd get
                    liquored up and kick my ass, tell
                    me all about the power and the
                    glory and how I was going to burn
                    forever in hell for the sins I was
                    born with. He made sure he beat it
                    into me good.
          
          He snaps out of his reverie and looks at Redridge.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Don't you see? It's not just any
                    book.
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                 68.
          
                               CARNEGIE (cont'd)
                    It has the power to motivate
                    people. It can give them hope, it
                    can terrify them. It can shape
                    them. Control them.
                        (BEAT)
                    Do you remember how I built this
                    town? It wasn't done with force,
                    and it wasn't done just with water.
                    It was done with the power of
                    words. I created this place out of
                    nothing, because people believed in
                    a promise that I sold to them.
                    Those guys on the TV, they were
                    richer than you could ever dream,
                    and it was all built the same way.
                    With words. With promises. And with
                    that book.
                        (BEAT)
                    That book is a weapon. Aimed right
                    at the hearts and minds of the weak
                    and the desperate. Just imagine
                    what I could do with it.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Boss... we're running out of water
                    and the people are running out of
                    patience. You're trying to tell me
                    that a book is going to keep them
                    in line?
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Oh, it'll do much more than that.
                    The water in this town may run dry,
                    but faith - that springs eternal!
                    And that faith will help turn this
                    town into a city. And this city
                    into a nation. It will help me
                    build a new world. In my image.
                    People will come from far and wide
                    to hear what's inside of it.
                    They'll follow me anywhere just to
                    get a taste of it. And they'll do
                    whatever I tell them.
          
          As usual, Carnegie's slick rhetoric has worked - Redridge has
          totally bought into it. Claudia, however, looks appalled.
          
                               REDRIDGE
                    And what if this book don't work?
                    What if it don't say what you want
                    it to say?
          
                                                                 69.
          
          
                               CARNEGIE
                    Oh, it'll say what I want, I can
                    promise you that. Because I'm going
                    to rewrite it. I'll keep the parts
                    that work for me and make the rest
                    whatever I need it to be.
                        (BEAT)
                    A new bible, for a new world.
          
          He reaches out and takes Claudia by the hand.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    What do you think, darling? A whole
                    new world, to do with as we will.
                    Won't that be grand?
          
          She smiles halfheartedly, but it's clear she is mortified.
          
          Carnegie turns back to Redridge.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Find that book.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    He has half a day on us already.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    So use the motor pool.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    There ain't much gas in reserve.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Whatever there is, use it.
          
          Redridge nods and goes to leave.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    What about Solara?
          
          BEAT. In all this excitement about the book, she had been
          completely forgotten about.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    She's still out there. With him.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Right. Right. Of course. Bring her
                    back, too, if you can. But-
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    The book. I know.
          
                                                                    70.
          
          
          Redridge turns and leaves. Claudia scowls at Carnegie, but he
          doesn't even notice, just goes back to feeding his animals.
          
          EXT. DESOLATE ROAD - DAY
          
          Solara wanders the road. She's tired. The sun beats down
          mercilessly. Nothing but desolation and wasteland all around.
          
          She comes to a FORK IN THE ROAD. Stops at the junction,
          unsure. Was this here before? She doesn't remember.
          
          There are no signs. Both paths look the same. Which one is
          which? She turns and looks back, looks around. She's lost.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Shit. Shit.
          
          She alternates her finger between the two paths. Eeny-meeny-
          miney-moe. Picks a path and follows it, headed down the road.
          
          EXT. ROAD - DAY
          
          Eli walks on. Slow and steady. His gaze, as ever, fixed
          firmly on the horizon. Takes a swig from his canteen.
          
          Suddenly, he STOPS and stands stock still in the center of
          the road. Impossible to know what he's thinking.
          
          He stands there for a long time.
          
          EXT. WASTELAND GAS STATION - DAY
          
          Solara comes upon an abandoned CHEVRON STATION. She doesn't
          remember passing this. Looks back up and down the road.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Where the hell am I?
          
          There's a RUSTED CAR parked at one of the pumps. Like every
          other car we've seen, stripped of its tires and engine.
          
          She walks around to the driver's side. A PETRIFIED FEMALE
          BODY lies on the ground, half-in, half-out of the car.
          
          Solara claps her hand to her mouth and recoils, horrified.
          
          In the dead woman's hand is a dusty bottle of MINERAL WATER.
          Solara hesitates. Not wanting to get closer. But so thirsty.
          
          She braces herself, grimacing, and tries to take the bottle,
          but the dead woman's hand is closed tight around it. She
          pulls harder and wrenches it free. In the process she falls
          on her butt and flips the corpse over onto its back.
          
                                                                  71.
          
          
          In the other woman's arm, she has a SKELETAL BABY cradled to
          her bosom. It seems to be staring right at Solara.
          
          Solara SCREAMS and frantically shuffles backward away from
          it. Gets to her feet and runs across the forecourt.
          
          She stops by the station shop and rests against the wall,
          hyperventilating, heart pounding. Trying to get it together.
          
          She inspects the water in the bottle. It looks clean.
          Unscrews the cap with shaking hands and takes a sip.
          
          She SPITS IT BACK OUT, coughing. It's rank. Undrinkable.
          
          INT. WASTELAND GAS STATION - FOOD COURT - DAY
          
          Solara enters. Gloomy inside. Comprehensively looted. Empty
          shelves coated in thick sheets of dust.
          
          She moves further in, searching for something, anything. But
          the place has been gutted. There's nothing. She checks the
          wall of dead refrigerators. Shattered glass, all empty.
          
          She's never known desolation and emptiness like this. It's
          beginning to scare her. She wheels around in a panic.
          
                              FEMALE VOICE (O.S.)
                    Hello?
          
          Distant, calling from outside. Solara hears it and freezes.
          
                              FEMALE VOICE (O.S.)
                    Hello? Can anyone help me?
          
          EXT. WASTELAND GAS STATION - CONTINUOUS
          
          She runs out across the forecourt, onto the road.
          
          A FEMALE FIGURE is hunched by the side of the road about
          fifty yards up ahead. Hard to see what she's doing from here.
          
                              SLUMPED FEMALE
                    Hello? Is anybody there?
          
          Solara starts walking toward her.
          
          The woman has her back to Solara. She's on her knees,
          muttering to herself. Gathering objects up from the road.
          
          As Solara moves closer, we see that the woman is struggling
          with an UPTURNED SHOPPING CART. Stuck in a roadside ditch,
          its contents spilled out next to a few BRACKEN BUSHES.
          
                                                                   72.
          
          
          We see her face now. It's the SAME YOUNG WOMAN from before.
          The same shopping cart. The same trap.
          
                                SOLARA
                      Are you all right?
          
          The woman looks around, sees Solara standing nearby. She's
          shocked to see that it's a girl.
          
                                YOUNG WOMAN
                      Oh. Yes, I'm fine. Thank you. You
                      go along, I'll be okay.
          
                                SOLARA
                      You look like you need some help.
          
                                YOUNG WOMAN
                      No, really! I'm fine. Really... I
                      need a man to help. Not you. You
                      just keep along. Please.
          
          The woman seems anxious to get rid of her. Tries to indicate
          the threat silently with her eyes, but Solara doesn't get it.
          
                                SOLARA
                      It'll just take a minute.
          
          She steps into the ditch and starts to haul the cart out.
          
                                YOUNG WOMAN
                      Really, it's fine! Please!
          
          Too   late. THREE ROAD BRIGANDS POUNCE FROM THE BUSHES. Every
          bit   as brutish and horrifying as the group that Eli killed on
          the   road in our opening. They grab Solara and drag her from
          the   road into the desert, screaming and kicking all the way.
          
                                YOUNG WOMAN
                      Let her go! She ain't got nothing!
          
          The BRIGAND LEADER looks Solara up and down lustfully.
          
                                BRIGAND LEADER
                      I ain't too sure about that.
          
          Solara is reviled by the man. He's filthy, his stench
          overpowering. One eye missing, just a dark, empty socket. He
          licks his lips, revealing a mouth almost devoid of teeth.
          
                                YOUNG WOMAN
                      This wasn't the deal!
          
          The brigand leader lashes out and grabs her by the throat.
          
                                                                    73.
          
          
                              BRIGAND LEADER
                    Shut your mouth, bitch. You oughta
                    be grateful you're getting a break.
          
          He releases her. She slumps to the dirt, whimpering.
          
                              BRIGAND LEADER
                    Never did care much for that dried-
                    up old snatch anyhow.
          
          He looks back to the struggling Solara.
          
                              BRIGAND LEADER
                    This one, though... this one looks
                    fresh. You a virgin?
          
          She says nothing, just sobs helplessly.
          
                              BRIGAND LEADER
                    Well, let's find out.
          
          He unbuckles his pants, lets them drop to his ankles.
          
          We hear a sound. It's hard to place. Something like a THHUP.
          
          The brigand leader is frozen in shock. His face goes pale,
          the blood draining from it. The two bandits holding Solara
          look at their leader in dismay. Staring down at his crotch.
          
          A quiet whimper escapes from his lips as he looks down.
          
          There is an ARROW IMBEDDED IN HIS CROTCH. What was once down
          there is now just a bloody mess of mangled meat. More blood
          streams down his thighs. A real horror show.
          
          He staggers backward, shrieking. Hands shaking. Staring down
          at the awful wound from which the long arrow shaft extends.
          
          The two other brigands release Solara and whip around,
          scanning the horizon. They see nothing. One of them has a
          RIFLE. He unslings it and aims it frantically around.
          
          Then they both see it. Coming right at them. The most
          terrifying thing either has ever seen.
          
          ELI, WALKING TOWARD THEM FROM THE ROAD, OUT OF THE SUN. His
          silhouette distorted in the rippling heat. An avenging angel.
          
          He pulls another arrow and draws it back as the rifle bandit
          trains his weapon on him, finger tightening on the trigger.
          
          Eli SHOOTS. The arrow sails through the air and RIGHT INTO
          THE RIFLE BARREL. The feathers at the end of the shaft
          plugging the muzzle tight.
          
                                                                  74.
          
          
          Rifle bandit pulls the trigger. The gun EXPLODES, BLOWING HIS
          HANDS CLEAN OFF. He falls to the ground, screaming.
          
          Eli only had two arrows. He shoulders the bow and draws his
          sword. All the remaining brigand has is a small knife. The
          two now square off at arm's length. A hopeless mismatch.
          
          BEAT. The knife brigand hesitates, trembling. And then RUSHES
          ELI WITH THE KNIFE. Eli deftly sidesteps, flourishes the
          sword. So quick it almost seems like he didn't move at all.
          
          The knife bandit staggers forward a couple more steps. His
          hand goes limp and drops the knife.
          
          And then his HEAD FALLS BACKWARD like a Pez dispenser. Almost
          completely decapitated, but not quite. Blood fountains from
          the neck stump as his body falls to the dirt.
          
          Eli moves to the other two bandits who lay horribly wounded
          on the ground, but still breathing. He stands over their
          fallen bodies. They stare back up at him, helpless.
          
          He crouches down between them in the dust.
          
                              ELI
                    I offer you both one final chance
                    in this life to seek forgiveness
                    for your sins so that your souls
                    may find salvation. Will you say
                    with me the act of contrition?
          
          The brigand leader defiantly spits blood at him.
          
                                BRIGAND LEADER
                    Fuck you.
          
          Eli sighs. Stands and looks down on him without pity.
          
                              ELI
                    Some might think it'd be most
                    fitting to leave you here like
                    this. Let you die slow in the sun.
                    But I know better. I know where
                    you're going. And the sooner you
                    get there, the sooner you'll get
                    what's coming to you.
          
          He plunges his sword into the bandit leader, finishing him
          off. Pulls the arrow from his crotch and wipes it clean.
          
          He turns to the other man, raising his sword.
          
                                RIFLE BANDIT
                    Wait!
          
                                                                   75.
          
          
          Eli pauses, sword hovering over him, poised to strike.
          
                              RIFLE BANDIT
                    I want to say it. I want to be
                    forgiven.
          
          Eli crouches once more by his side.
          
                              ELI
                    Repeat after me. Oh God, I am
                    heartily sorry for having offended
                    thee, and I detest all my sins.
          
          The bandit follows along with Eli, mouthing the words
          quietly. The life ebbing from him with each moment.
          
                              ELI
                    I firmly resolve, with the help of
                    thy grace, to confess my sins, and
                    do penance, and to amend my life.
                    Amen.
          
                              RIFLE BANDIT
                    Amen...
          
          His eyes roll back as his final breath leaves him. Dead. Eli
          signs a cross over his body, then stands and walks away.
          
          Solara sits on the ground nearby, a wreck. Eli approaches and
          gathers her up in his arms. She clings on to him tightly.
          
                              SOLARA
                    You came back for me.
          
                              ELI
                    What are friends for?
          
          She laughs, a tear rolling down her cheek. Grips him tighter.
          
          He helps her up and escorts her back to the road.
          
                              ELI
                    This is the deal. You keep up. You
                    pull your weight. You fall behind,
                    I can't help you. Okay?
          
                              SOLARA
                    Okay.
          
          She looks back at the young woman still slumped in the dirt.
          
                              SOLARA
                    What about her?
          
                                                                    76.
          
          
                              ELI
                    There's nothing can be done for
                    her.
          
          They walk on down the road.
          
          EXT. DESERT TOWN - MAIN STREET - DAY
          
          METAL GARAGE DOORS roll back to reveal darkness within.
          
          A PAIR OF HEADLIGHTS fires up. Full beam right at us.
          
          A VEHICLE roars out of the darkness onto the street. Heavily
          modified with plate armor and turret-mounted weapons. But its
          original form still recognizable underneath.
          
          It's a HONDA ODYSSEY minivan. Once the #1 choice of soccer
          moms, transformed now into an armored personnel carrier.
          
          Another minivan roars from the garage behind it. A DODGE
          GRAND CARAVAN, similarly customized and armed to the teeth.
          
          THREE MORE CARS follow. As eclectic an assortment as you
          could imagine. A MINI COOPER. FORD EXPLORER. A PRIUS. Each
          adorned with plate armor and weapons.
          
          In the lead Minivan is REDRIDGE, heavily armed. He nods to
          the DRIVER, who guns the engine.
          
          The fleet of armored vehicles moves out, kicking up a great
          funnel of dust in their wake as they roar out of town.
          
          EXT. DESERT - DAY
          
          Late afternoon. The sun hangs low on the horizon. We're far
          from the road. Nothing but scrub brush and a few PRAIRIE DOG
          BURROWS dotted around.
          
          A PRAIRIE DOG pops its head up, scans the horizon. Sniffing
          the air, whiskers twitching... and is SKEWERED BY AN ARROW.
          
          Thirty yards away, one of the pieces of scrub brush appears
          to COME ALIVE. And then we realize it is Eli's GHILLIE SUIT,
          camouflaging both he and Solara beneath it.
          
          Eli casts off the camouflage net and walks toward the dead
          prairie dog. Solara just stands there, appalled.
          
                              SOLARA
                    You killed it! That cute little
                    thing!
          
          Eli picks up the dead animal by the scruff.
          
                                                                    77.
          
          
                              ELI
                    It's good eating, is what it is.
          
          He yanks out the bloody arrow. Solara looks away.
          
          When she turns back, Eli is standing right there, holding the
          dead animal in front of her face. She YELPS in surprise and
          staggers backward, falling on her butt.
          
                              SOLARA
                    That's not funny.
          
                              ELI
                    If you're going to be on the road,
                    you can't be picky about what you
                    eat. You eat what's there to eat.
          
                              SOLARA
                    I'm not eating that.
          
                              ELI
                        (SHRUGS)
                    More for me.
          
          EXT. WASTELAND CAVE - DUSK
          
          Eli and Solara sit in the mouth of a desert cave, around a
          flickering campfire. The prairie dog roasts on a spit.
          
          Eli digs his knife into the carcass, the blade comes out
          clean. It's done. He clasps his hands together and gazes down
          penitently at the ground.
          
                              ELI
                    Father, we thank you for your
                    generosity in providing us with
                    this meal. Bless this food to our
                    use and us to thy service, and keep
                    us ever mindful of the needs of
                    others. Amen.
          
          Eli carves off a piece of meat. Juicy and succulent. He bites
          into it, teasing Solara by making a show of how good it
          tastes. He feeds a piece to the rat perched on his shoulder.
          
          Solara tries to appear uninterested, but she's starved.
          
                              SOLARA
                    What does that taste like?
          
          He takes another bite, thinks on this as he chews.
          
                              ELI
                    Tastes like chicken.
          
                                                                 78.
          
          
          She tries to fight the temptation to try it... but she can't.
          She reaches out and tears off a piece. Sniffs at it, takes a
          small bite... then quickly wolfs down the rest. Eli smiles.
          
          As she eats, she gestures toward Eli's Saint Christopher.
          
                              SOLARA
                    What is that?
          
          Eli reaches up and touches his hand to it.
          
                              ELI
                    It's a Saint Christopher medal.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Who's Saint Christopher? Is he a
                    character from your book?
          
          Eli smiles and shakes his head.
          
                              ELI
                    Christopher was a man who lived a
                    long time ago. He wanted to be a
                    good man, he wanted to help people.
                    So he would stand by a river that
                    had no bridge and carry people
                    across. He was a big strong man and
                    there was no one he couldn't carry.
          
          Solara listens, rapt. Eli is a good storyteller.
          
                              ELI
                    Then one day a young child came to
                    the river and asked to be carried
                    across. Christopher tried to carry
                    him but he was too heavy. He was
                    just a small boy but he was heavier
                    than any man he had ever carried.
                    The boy explained that he was the
                    son of God, and that he was so
                    heavy because he bore all the sins
                    of the world. After that,
                    Christopher was able to carry him
                    across and when they got to the
                    other side the boy baptized him in
                    the river. And that's how he became
                    a saint. Later on, he was known as
                    the patron saint of travelers.
          
                              SOLARA
                    What is a saint, anyway?
          
                                                                 79.
          
          
                              ELI
                    It's someone who spent their life
                    doing good things for others.
                    Enough that God himself took a
                    special interest in them.
          
          Solara looks at Eli tenderly, with admiration.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Someone like you.
          
          Eli looks away, down at the ground. He appears sad.
          
                              ELI
                    No. Not like me. Saints ain't
                    killers. And I done too much of
                    that. Spilled too much blood.
          
          BEAT. No words, just the flickering firelight.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Will you read me some more from the
                    book?
          
                              ELI
                    It's late. You should get some
                    sleep. Maybe tomorrow.
          
          LATER - NIGHT
          
          The fire down to its last embers. Eli sleeps next to his
          pack, half-hidden in the looming shadows of the cave. His hat
          and goggles hung up for the night on the hilt of his sword.
          
          Solara sleeps nearby... then opens her eyes. Not asleep after
          all. She looks over at Eli - his face hidden in shadow and so
          impossible to tell if he's asleep or awake.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Eli?
          
          No response. Quietly, she moves forward, kneeling by his
          side. She opens his coat and checks the pockets. Empty.
          
          She goes deeper, peeling back the layers of clothing,
          stealthily frisking him. She finds something on his lapel,
          hidden under several layers, that causes her to stop.
          
          It's a RECTANGULAR PLASTIC BADGE. The red, white and blue
          colors faded and worn. It reads:
          
                               WELCOME TO WAL-MART
                                 MY NAME IS "ELI"
                               HOW MAY I HELP YOU?
          
                                                                  80.
          
          
          She stares at it for a moment, not knowing what to make of
          it. Then moves on, continuing to pat him down.
          
          Whatever she's looking for is not here. She turns her
          attention to the backpack. Slowly, carefully, opens it up.
          
          There it is. THE BIBLE, wrapped carefully in its neat little
          package of cloth and twine. She reaches in for it.
          
          Suddenly, ELI'S HAND SHOOTS OUT AND GRABS HER BY THE WRIST.
          She cries out, startled. Eli sits up, his face just a dark
          shape in the shadows. For the first time he appears a little
          scary to Solara.
          
                              ELI
                    What are you doing?
          
                              SOLARA
                    You scared me! I thought you were
                    asleep.
          
                              ELI
                    On the road you sleep with one eye
                    open. I asked you what you were
                    doing.
          
                              SOLARA
                    I just wanted to see the book.
          
                              ELI
                    You want to see the book, you ask
                    me. Nobody touches it but me. Ever.
                    Until it gets where it's going. Do
                    you understand?
          
          He's very forceful. She nods, a little afraid of him.
          
                              ELI
                    Tell me you understand!
          
          He grips her wrist tighter.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Okay! I understand! Ow!
          
          Eli releases her wrist. Takes the pack from her and closes it
          up. Pulls it closer to him and lies back down.
          
                              ELI
                    It's no use to you anyway. You
                    don't know how to read it.
          
                                                                 81.
          
          
                              SOLARA
                    Well... now we have the time, maybe
                    you can teach me.
          
                              ELI
                    Maybe. Get some sleep.
          
          She lies back down beside him, but doesn't close her eyes.
          She just lies there, watching him.
          
          EXT. WASTELAND - DAWN
          
          The sun rises out of the east. And out of the sun comes the
          FLEET OF ARMORED VEHICLES. Racing side-by-side down the road.
          
          The lead vehicle comes to a halt. A door opens and Redridge
          gets out. MORE ARMED MEN emerge from the other vehicles and
          follow him as he marches into the wasteland by the roadside.
          
          The DEAD BRIGANDS are splayed out in the dirt where Eli slew
          them. A FLOCK OF BUZZARDS is picking their bones clean.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    He's been here.
          
          Redridge looks at the footprints in the dirt headed from the
          bodies and back onto the road. Two sets of tracks.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    The girl's with him.
          
          He moves back to the cars.
          
                                REDRIDGE
                    Move out!
          
          The other men hold for a moment, still looking at the half-
          eaten bodies in the dirt. Redridge turns back.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    I said move out!
          
                              CARNEGIE GUNMAN
                    I heard this guy's protected
                    somehow, some... power from up
                    above. That there ain't nothing on
                    this earth can touch him.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    He's just a man. You put a bullet
                    in him, he'll go down like any
                    other. I don't want to hear no more
                    of this superstitious horseshit!
          
                                                                 82.
          
          
          Hesitantly, they make their way back to the vehicles. The
          cars gun their engines and move on down the road, past the
          abandoned Chevron station. Dust pluming in their wake.
          
          EXT. ROAD - DAY
          
          Eli and Solara walk together, passing by a few burned-out
          buildings. It appears we might be headed toward a town.
          
          Solara looks up at the sweltering sun. Then around at her
          surroundings. Nothing but devastation and decay.
          
                              SOLARA
                    You say you've been walking for
                    twenty-five years. Have you ever
                    considered that you might be lost?
          
                                 ELI
                    No.
          
                              SOLARA
                    But how can you know? How can you
                    know this is the right way?
          
                              ELI
                    I told you. My path has been laid
                    out before me.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Yeah, but laid out by who?
          
                              ELI
                    By Almighty God.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Well if this God guy's so mighty,
                    how come it's taking you so long to
                    get where you're going? Doesn't he
                    know the way?
          
          Eli wheels around and jabs a scolding finger at her.
          
                              ELI
                    You want to stay on this road with
                    me, don't ever let me hear you take
                    his name in vain like that again.
          
          Solara is surprised by the severity of his reaction.
          
                                 SOLARA
                    Sorry.
          
          Eli resumes walking.
          
                                                                  83.
          
          
                              ELI
                    God has a reason for everything
                    being the way it is. It's not
                    always apparent to us. But it is
                    his plan nonetheless.
          
                              SOLARA
                    So, is he talking to you right now?
                    Telling you where to go?
          
                              ELI
                    It's not like that. It's kinda hard
                    to explain. I'm guided by faith.
          
                              SOLARA
                    I don't know what that word means.
          
          BEAT as Eli thinks on how to explain it.
          
                              ELI
                    It means you know something even
                    though you don't know it.
          
          Solara thinks about this, shakes her head.
          
                              SOLARA
                    That doesn't make any sense at all.
          
                              ELI
                    It doesn't have to.
          
          They walk on.
          
          EXT. HOUSE - DAY
          
          On the outskirts of a small town that lies in ruins. Almost
          every building burned or reduced to rubble.
          
          Except for one SMALL HOUSE. The building is damaged and worn
          but in mostly decent condition. It stands out among its
          surroundings for being the only structure still intact.
          
          The windows are BARRED. The outer structure fortified with
          SHEET METAL and other custom patch-ups. The whole plot
          surrounded by a CHAIN-LINK FENCE TOPPED WITH RAZOR WIRE.
          
          Eli and Solara crouch behind a pile of rubble nearby.
          
                              SOLARA
                    I don't get it. It looks almost...
                    normal. Like nothing ever happened.
                    How can it still be out here?
          
                                                                  84.
          
          
                              ELI
                    I don't know.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Maybe we should look inside. There
                    might be food.
          
          BEAT as Eli considers. Then stands and unhooks his shotgun.
          
                              ELI
                    Stay behind me.
          
          They approach the house cautiously. Arrive at the perimeter
          fence. There's a gate held in place by a PADLOCK.
          
          Eli pulls a pair of BOLT-CUTTERS from his belt and snips the
          padlock free. Swings open the gate with a metallic SQUEAK.
          
          They move inside, up the garden path. Though the soil in the
          yard is dead, it's been carefully raked and tended. WEEDS
          arranged in thoughtful patterns, like real flowers.
          
                              SOLARA
                    This is weird.
          
                              ELI
                    Yeah.
          
          Eli steps forward, his foot planting on a CRACKED PAVING
          STONE that shifts almost imperceptibly under his feet.
          Accompanied by a barely audible SOUND. He looks down.
          
                              ELI
                    Shit.
          
                              SOLARA
                    What?
          
          A ROPE NOOSE suddenly whips around their feet, tightening at
          their ankles and YANKING THEM UPSIDE-DOWN INTO THE AIR. Eli
          drops his shotgun to the ground.
          
          They hang there for a moment, twisting in the breeze.
          
          The front door to the house SWINGS OPEN to reveal...
          
          AN ELDERLY COUPLE. The woman's gray hair tied into a neat
          bun. The man bald, squinting through wire-frame glasses. They
          look like the couple from Grant Wood's "American Gothic."
          
          Instead of a pitchfork the man holds a 12-GAUGE RIOT SHOTGUN
          which he keeps trained from the hip on Eli and Solara.
          
                                                                 85.
          
          
          They step outside, regarding their new visitors carefully.
          The man seems more suspicious than his wife. He drags Eli's
          shotgun toward him with his foot, hands it to his wife.
          
                              ELDERLY MAN
                    Who are you?
          
                              ELI
                    My name is Eli. This is Solara.
                    We're travelers, that's all. We
                    don't mean you any harm.
          
                              ELDERLY MAN
                    You cut my padlock. I saw you.
                    Trying to break into our house.
          
                              ELI
                    I'm sorry. We didn't think anybody
                    lived here. We thought it was
                    abandoned, like all the rest.
          
          This seems to annoy the man.
          
                              ELDERLY MAN
                    Take a look around you. Look at
                    this yard. Does it look abandoned
                    to you?
          
          Clearly he's proud of the work he's done with the pitiful
          means at his disposal.
          
                              ELI
                    No, sir. I... like what you've done
                    with the place.
          
                              ELDERLY MAN
                    What's your business here?
          
                              ELI
                    No business. We're sorry to have
                    troubled you. If you'll let us down
                    we'll happily be on our way.
          
          The wife steps forward, she's much warmer, less guarded.
          
                              ELDERLY WOMAN
                    George, look at them! They're not
                    robbers or road agents! One of
                    them's just a girl!
          
                              ELDERLY MAN
                    Seen that before. Oldest trick in
                    the book.
          
                                                                   86.
          
          
                              ELDERLY WOMAN
                    Oh, stop! It's no trick. Let them
                    down!
          
          The woman glares at him. The husband reluctantly accedes and
          moves to the concealed trap apparatus. Releases the rope,
          dropping Eli and Solara to the ground in a heap.
          
          The old woman helps them to their feet. They shake off the
          noose from their ankles.
          
                                ELDERLY WOMAN
                    I'm so sorry about my husband. We
                    so rarely get visitors these days,
                    he's suspicious of everybody.
                         (BEAT)
                    I'm Martha and this is my husband
                    George. Would you care for some
                    tea?
          
          Eli and Solara exchange a look. What the hell is this?
          
          INT. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY
          
          It's like something out of the world before. The interior is
          almost perfectly preserved. Chintzy couches. A mahogany
          table. A TV set in the corner. Lace curtains. Unreal.
          
          Eli and Solara sit on the couch, feeling self-conscious and
          looking entirely out of place in this cozy environment.
          
          George sits across from them on the couch, scowling at them
          inhospitably. The shotgun resting across his lap.
          
          Martha emerges from the kitchen, carrying a tray laden with a
          tea pot and old china cups. Cracked and faded, but intact.
          She places the tray on the coffee table and sits.
          
                              MARTHA
                    I'm afraid we don't have any cake
                    or biscuits for the tea. They ran
                    out some time ago.
          
          She lifts the tea port and pours into the cups. But it's not
          tea, only water. Somewhat murky water. Eli and Solara stare
          at the cups, unsure. Martha gestures toward them.
          
                              MARTHA
                    Please.
          
          They raise their cups and take a sip. Martha watches eagerly.
          It's clearly a thrill for her to be doing something as
          civilized and elegant as serving "tea" to guests.
          
                                                                 87.
          
          
                              MARTHA
                    How do you like it?
          
                              ELI
                    It's.. uh...
          
                              SOLARA
                    It's very good.
          
          Martha smiles, delighted. She lifts her own cup to her lips.
          HER HANDS TREMBLE, the cup rattling against the saucer.
          
                              ELI
                    Have you always lived here?
          
                              MARTHA
                    For almost forty years now. This
                    home is our pride and joy, isn't
                    it, George?
          
          George just grunts. Not interested in conversation.
          
                              MARTHA
                    We refused to leave, even during
                    the troubles. We said, didn't we
                    George, we said if we're going to
                    die anywhere, we're going to die
                    right here, in our own home.
          
                              ELI
                    I don't understand how you've
                    survived out here this long.
          
                              MARTHA
                    Well, George is something of a
                    handyman, aren't you, dear? He did
                    a lot of work on the place, making
                    it safe. We may be old, but we're
                    resilient. We've had more than a
                    few who've tried to take this place
                    from us. Haven't we, George?
          
                              GEORGE
                    Yes. Yes we have.
          
          He stands and moves toward the back door. Opens it up and
          beckons Eli and Solara to come look.
          
          EXT. HOUSE - BACK YARD - CONTINUOUS
          
          Eli and Solara stand in the doorway, looking out on the yard.
          Solara is horrified by what she sees.
          
                                                                 88.
          
          
          The entire back yard is a GRAVEYARD. Maybe twenty human
          graves dug shallow into the earth. Some were dug long ago,
          others look like they're very recent.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Are these... graves?
          
                              MARTHA
                    Of course. It would be uncivilized
                    not to bury them. We're not
                    barbarians.
          
                              GEORGE
                    Plus, it's good for the soil.
          
                              MARTHA
                    Come on back inside. I think I
                    might be able to rustle up some
                    sandwiches.
          
          George and Martha go back inside, leaving Eli and Solara
          gazing at the little graveyard.
          
                              ELI
                    We have to get out of here.
          
                              SOLARA
                    They look so sweet... I would never
                    have believed they were killers.
          
                              ELI
                    They're worse than that.
          
                                 SOLARA
                    What?
          
                               ELI
                    They didn't just kill these people.
                        (BEAT)
                    They ate them.
          
          Solara is stunned.
          
                                 SOLARA
                    They what?
                              ELI
                    There's a disease in the outland.
                    Spread by eating human meat. It
                    affects the brain. Dementia, loss
                    of motor function. Did you notice
                    the old woman's hands shaking?
                    She's got it. They've both got it.
          
                                                                 89.
          
          
                              SOLARA
                    Oh my God...
          
          INT. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
          
          Eli and Solara re-enter. Solara looks at George nervously.
          He's still carrying that shotgun.
          
          Martha's voice drifts in from the nearby KITCHEN.
          
                              MARTHA (O.S.)
                    I found some meat for those
                    sandwiches! Are you hungry?
          
                              SOLARA
                    No! Thank you!
          
                              ELI
                    We really must be going.
          
                               GEORGE
                    So soon?
          
          An unnerving glint in his eye. Eli moves toward the door.
          
                              ELI
                    Yes, I'm afraid so.
          
          As he gets to the door, George moves to intercept. Hard to
          tell if he's blocking his path or moving to open the door for
          him. A tense BEAT.
          
          Martha emerges from the kitchen.
          
                              MARTHA
                    Are you sure you won't stay?
          
                              ELI
                    Yes. Thank you again for the tea.
          
          Eli stares George down. Reluctantly, George steps aside. Eli
          opens the door and escorts Solara outside.
          
          EXT. HOUSE - CONTINUOUS
          
          Eli and Solara emerge into the sunlight. Walk down the garden
          path. And FREEZE IN THEIR TRACKS.
          
          THE ARMED VEHICLES ARE COMING. Driving toward them out of the
          horizon in a hazy cloud of dust.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Oh no... it's my dad. It's his men.
          
                                                                 90.
          
          
                              ELI
                    Are you sure?
          
                              SOLARA
                    I recognize the cars.
          
                              ELI
                    Back inside.
          
          Eli bundles Solara back into the house. George stands in the
          doorway, squinting at the approaching convoy.
          
          INT. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
          
          George follows them back in, furious.
          
                              GEORGE
                    What did you bring upon us?
          
                              MARTHA
                    George? What's wrong?
          
                              GEORGE
                    A whole convoy of armed
                    degenerates, that's what's wrong!
                    Coming here for them! And they led
                    them right to us!
          
          Martha rushes to the window, pulls aside the lace curtain.
          Outside she sees the armored vehicles SCREECHING TO A HALT.
          
          The men spill out from the vehicles and take cover behind
          them, locking and loading weapons.
          
                              MARTHA
                    Oh no they don't...
          
          She rushes across the room, teeth gritted with determination.
          
                              GEORGE
                    Martha, what are you doing?
          
                              MARTHA
                    I finally got this house just the
                    way I want it. I'm not going to let
                    anybody tear it apart!
          
          She goes to the couch and yanks off the seat cushions.
          Underneath is a WOODEN LID which she throws open to reveal:
          
          A HUGE CACHE OF WEAPONS. Automatic rifles. Shotguns. Pistols.
          Grenades. And enough ammunition for everything.
          
                                                                 91.
          
          
          She pulls out an M-60 MACHINE-GUN, slings the strap over her
          shoulder and locks in a CHAIN OF BULLETS. She looks like a
          post-apocalyptic Martha Stewart.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Where did you get all this stuff?
          
          George pulls out an AK-47, slots in a magazine.
          
                              GEORGE
                    Took `em off them who came looking
                    to take the place from us. Built up
                    quite the stash over the years.
          
          He offers a .44 MAGNUM to Solara.
          
                              GEORGE
                    You know how to fire a gun?
          
                              SOLARA
                    My daddy showed me once.
          
                              GEORGE
                    Just like riding a bike.
          
                              SOLARA
                    I never rode a bike.
          
          George sighs, turns instead to Eli.
          
                              GEORGE
                    How about you, you know how to-
          
          Eli is already reloading his shotgun, checking the barrel.
          Readying the weapon in the practiced manner of an expert.
          
                              GEORGE
                    Never mind.
          
          EXT. HOUSE - CONTINUOUS
          
          Redridge steps forward, raises a BULLHORN.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    We know you're in there! Come on
                    out with your hands up and your
                    weapons on the deck and nobody
                    needs to get hurt.
          
          SILENCE. No sign of activity inside the house.
          
          Redridge turns back to his men. Their hands trembling. They
          didn't sign up for this, and they're not ready for it.
          
                                                                    92.
          
          
          Redridge turns back to the house. Into the bullhorn:
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    All right, look. I'm gonna make it
                    easy on y'all. Bring out the girl
                    with the book.
          
          INT. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
          
          Eli is crouched beneath the window. George and Martha have
          taken up positions at other windows, peering out.
          
                              REDRIDGE (O.S.)
                    That's all we want. The girl and
                    the book. The rest of you's can go
                    your way.
          
                              SOLARA
                    What are we going to do?
          
          BEAT as Eli thinks.
          
                              ELI
                    Hand me my pack.
          
          EXT. HOUSE - DAY
          
          Redridge waits. Still no sign of a response. His nervous
          gunmen exchange worried looks.
          
                              CARNEGIE GUNMAN #2
                    They ain't comin' out. They-
          
          Redridge raises his hand to silence him. Looks up as an
          UPSTAIRS WINDOW slides open.
          
          A CLOTH PACKAGE is tossed from the window. It lands in the
          dirt outside the perimeter fence a few yards from Redridge.
          
          Cautiously, he approaches. The package is wrapped in cloth
          and tied up with twine. It looks like Eli's bible.
          
          He picks it up and tugs at the twine, untying it. Folds away
          the cloth wrapping. Looks for a moment in puzzlement at the
          object, at the words written on the front of it.
          
                                THIS SIDE TO FACE ENEMY
          
          It's a MINIATURE CLAYMORE MINE. The small red light on top of
          the unit ILLUMINATES WITH A BEEP. Armed.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Holy shi...
          
                                                                    93.
          
          
          He drops the package in the dirt and races for his life back
          toward the vehicles.
          
                                REDRIDGE
                      Get down! Everybody get down!
          
          He dives across the trunk of the Explorer into cover as THE
          MINE EXPLODES, SHATTERING EVERY WINDOW OF EVERY VEHICLE. The
          lightweight Mini Cooper takes the main brunt and EXPLODES,
          cartwheeling through the air, a burning wreck.
          
          Redridge looks around. Three men lie dead already. Flaming
          wreckage all around him. Suddenly, it's a war zone.
          
          MACHINE-GUN FIRE ERUPTS FROM THE HOUSE, peppering the
          vehicles' armor. The gunmen cower behind cover.
          
                                REDRIDGE
                      Damn you, return fire!
          
          Redridge aims at the house and OPENS FIRE. Inspired by his
          example, the others follow. A HAIL OF BULLETS CRISS-CROSS
          BACK AND FORTH. The house's faded paint facade is shredded.
          
          INT. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
          
          Martha continues firing wildly with the M-60. Screaming at
          the top of her lungs, loving every minute of it.
          
                                MARTHA
                      Come and get it, you god-damn sons
                      of mother-fucking bitches!
          
          George and Eli also open fire from their windows,
          periodically ducking to take cover from incoming fire.
          
          Solara sits across the room, in the corner, sobbing.
          
                                ELI
                      It's all right. We're going to be
                      all right. Trust me.
          
          MORE GUNFIRE splinters the window frame above his head.
          
                                ELI
                      You remember what I told you about
                      faith?
          
          She nods.
          
          Eli peeks out and FIRES OUT THE WINDOW, dropping one of the
          enemy gunmen with a crack shot. Ducks back down as the return
          fire impacts around him.
          
                                                                 94.
          
          
                              ELI
                    We're going to get out of this
                    alive. Both of us. I know.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Because God told you?
          
                              ELI
                    Because God told me.
          
          Amidst all the chaos and gunfire, George has been listening
          to this exchange.
          
                              GEORGE
                    What about us?
          
          BEAT.
          
                              ELI
                    He didn't mention you.
          
          BEAT. George chambers a round and RESUMES FIRING.
          
          EXT. HOUSE - CONTINUOUS
          
          Redridge's men continue the hail of gunfire. Six of them dead
          now, six more still standing. No lessening of fire from
          inside the house. They're losing.
          
          Redridge races between the vehicles, ducking from gunfire
          until he makes it to the back of the Dodge Caravan. Pops the
          trunk and pulls out a ROCKET-PROPELLED GRENADE LAUNCHER.
          
          He sets it on his shoulder, rests on the trunk to steady his
          aim. And FIRES. The rocket screams toward its target, tearing
          through the chain fence and TEARING AN ENTIRE CORNER FROM THE
          HOUSE in a fiery explosion.
          
          INT. HOUSE - CONTINUOUS
          
          Filled with smoke. The sounds of COUGHING.
          
          Dazed, George pushes his way through the smoke, waving his
          arms to clear it. A BLOODY GASH on his forehead.
          
                              GEORGE
                    Martha? Martha!
          
          He finds her lying on the tile floor in what remains of the
          kitchen. Or at least her top half. The rest of her is gone.
          
          George slumps to his knees with tear-filled eyes. Takes his
          wife tenderly by the hand for a moment.
          
                                                                    95.
          
          
          Then the anger returns. He gets up and turns, consumed now by
          a wild fury. Firing with rage over the torn brick wall. He
          CLIPS ANOTHER GUNMAN IN THE HEAD, killing him.
          
          George moves back toward the LIVING ROOM, firing as he goes.
          
          EXT. HOUSE - CONTINUOUS
          
          Redridge moves between the cars again, staying behind cover.
          George's hail of gunfire has them pinned down.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    We got any more of those RPGs?
          
                              CARNEGIE GUNMAN #3
                    That was it.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Screw this.
          
          Redridge jumps into the driver's seat of the minivan, turns
          the key in the ignition. Jams the accelerator down with the
          butt of his rifle, then shifts the transmission into DRIVE.
          
                                 REDRIDGE
                    Get clear!
          
          The gunmen leap clear as the minivan HURTLES TOWARD THE
          HOUSE, engine roaring. CRASHES THROUGH THE CHAIN FENCE.
          
          INT. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
          
          Eli looks up from cover and see the van coming RIGHT AT HIM.
          He dives clear as the van CRASHES THROUGH THE WALL INTO THE
          LIVING ROOM. It SMASHES INTO THE FAR WALL, finally coming to
          a stop.
          
          More dust and debris, more coughing. Eli tries to get up, but
          winces in pain. Puts his hand to his side, it comes back WET
          WITH BLOOD. A bad wound. He covers it with his coat, stands
          and moves through the smoke.
          
                                 ELI
                    Solara?
          
                                 SOLARA (O.S.)
                    Eli!
          
          He finds her in the smoke. She embraces him.
          
                              ELI
                    Are you all right?
          
                                                                 96.
          
          
                                SOLARA
                    I'm fine.
          
          As the smoke clears, Solara sees George PINNED AGAINST THE
          WALL BY THE MINIVAN. His body crushed. Dead.
          
                                SOLARA
                    Oh God...
          
                              ELI
                    Come on. We're going out the back.
                    We're running.
          
          As he helps her to her feet, we hear the sound of MOVEMENT
          THROUGH THE RUBBLE.
          
          They turn around. The gunmen are ENTERING THE HOUSE, passing
          through the smoking hole left by the minivan.
          
          Eli reaches for his sword. Met by the sound of MULTIPLE GUNS
          COCKING. Redridge steps out from among the gunmen. Smiles.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Go ahead and try it, holy man. You
                    ain't that fast.
          
          EXT. HOUSE - DAY
          
          Eli and Solara are shoved out of the house at gunpoint and
          marched past the torn perimeter fence to the vehicles.
          
          Eli has been stripped of his weapons and backpack. Redridge
          faces him and points a pistol at his head.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Where's the book?
          
          BEAT. Eli doesn't answer. Redridge cocks the pistol.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    I ain't playing.
          
          Redridge stares him down. Eli just stares right back. Totally
          unflappable. Redridge motions to his men.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Check the pack.
          
          The gunman carrying Eli's pack opens it up and tips its
          contents out onto the ground. The ghillie suit, battery, some
          old canned goods, other odds and ends. No sign of the book.
          
                              CARNEGIE GUNMAN #4
                    It ain't here.
          
                                                                 97.
          
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    It's gotta be.
          
          Redridge holsters his gun and frisks Eli, going through his
          pockets. Finds nothing. He opens Eli's coat and checks the
          inside pockets. Digs around deep inside.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Hello, what have we here?
          
          And then suddenly he SHRIEKS IN PAIN. Yanks his hand out to
          reveal ELI'S RAT, TEETH SUNK DEEP INTO HIS FLESH.
          
          Redridge flails around violently, trying to get the rat off
          him, but it won't let go. His hand is bleeding badly.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Fuck! Get it off! Get it off me!
          
          He finally manages to shake it free. It hits the floor dazed.
          Redridge STOMPS ON IT with his boot, reducing it to a bloody
          smear in the dirt. Eli lowers his head in sadness.
          
          Redridge clutches his bloody hand, glares at Eli furiously.
          Pulls his gun again and marches right up to him, pressing the
          muzzle tight against his forehead.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    If you don't got the book, what
                    fucking use are you?
          
          His finger tightens on the trigger.
          
                                SOLARA
                    Wait!
          
          She breaks from the gunmen holding her and rushes toward
          Redridge. Reaches inside her dress and PRODUCES THE BIBLE.
          
                              SOLARA
                    It's here! I've got it! Please
                    don't kill him.
          
                                ELI
                    Solara...
          
                              SOLARA
                    It's just a book, Eli. No book is
                    worth giving up your life for.
          
                              ELI
                    You're wrong.
          
                                                                   98.
          
          
          Satisfied, Redridge takes the book. Runs his hand over the
          leather cover, gazes admiringly at the gold-embossed cross.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    You did good, sweetheart. Your
                    daddy would be proud. He knew you'd
                    come through for him.
          
          Solara looks at Eli guiltily. She feels terrible.
          
                              SOLARA
                    He said he would hurt my mom. If I
                    didn't help him.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                        (SMILING)
                    Daddy's little girl...
          
          Solara stands between him and Eli. Deadly serious now.
          
                              SOLARA
                    I want you to let him go.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    What?
          
                              SOLARA
                    You've got what you came for. You
                    don't need him. Let him go.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    He's killed a dozen of my men.
          
                              SOLARA
                    If you hurt him, I'm not coming
                    back with you. You'll have to drag
                    me kicking and screaming.
          
          Solara glares at Redridge. He sighs. He can tell she means
          it. It's not worth the aggravation. He turns back to Eli.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Take your shit and get out of here.
          
          Eli gathers up his stuff into his pack. Shoulders it and goes
          to pick up his sword, but Redridge puts his boot on it.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    No weapons.
          
          Eli still has a half-dozen guns trained on him. He turns and
          walks away, toward the road. As he passes Solara:
          
                                                                   99.
          
          
                              ELI
                    I told you we'd both live. Now do
                    you have faith?
          
          A tear runs down Solara's cheek as she watches him walk away.
          
          Redridge grabs her by the arm and pulls her toward the
          vehicles as his men load up and prepare to move out.
          
          IN THE REARMOST VEHICLE
          
          Solara sits in the back seat, staring out the rear window as
          it drives down the road at the tail end of the convoy.
          
          She watches as Eli moves away down the road, getting smaller
          and smaller until he is just a speck on the horizon.
          
          She bursts into floods of uncontrollable tears.
          
          LATER
          
          Solara in the back seat, calmer now. The tears dried on her
          cheeks. She sits staring blankly at the DRIVER in front.
          
          And then she LUNGES VIOLENTLY FORWARD. Clawing and biting at
          the driver, who struggles to fight her off. His hands come
          off the wheel and the car FISHTAILS WILDLY.
          
          REDRIDGE'S VEHICLE
          
          The DRIVER sees something odd in the rear-view mirror.
          
                              DRIVER
                    What the hell...?
          
          Redridge turns to see the car behind VEERING ERRATICALLY then
          SLAMMING ON THE BRAKES, stopping in the middle of the road.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Stop, stop!
          
          The car screeches to a halt. Redridge watches through the
          rear window as the driver's side door opens and the driver is
          KICKED OUT ONTO THE ASPHALT.
          
          The door closes again, the engine revs and the car TURNS
          AROUND, racing back down the road in the direction it came.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    Shit. Turn around!
          
                              DRIVER
                    We ain't got the gas for it!
          
                                                                   100.
          
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    She's getting away!
          
                              DRIVER
                    We got the book! And we got barely
                    enough gas to make it back as it
                    is! We can't go chasin' her!
          
          BEAT. Redridge knows he's right.
          
                               REDRIDGE
                    Stupid little bitch...
                        (BEAT)
                    Drive on.
          
          The car moves on, following the rest of the convoy.
          
          EXT. HOUSE - DAY
          
          Solara screeches the car to a halt outside the smoking
          wreckage of the besieged house. She runs from the vehicle to
          where ELI'S SWORD lies in the dirt and grabs it up.
          
          EXT. ROAD - DUSK
          
          Solara races down the road in the car, pedal to the metal.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Come on, come on...
          
          Eventually, she sees him. At first just a dot on the horizon.
          But unmistakably Eli. By now, she'd know him anywhere.
          
          Suddenly the engine SPLUTTERS. She checks the fuel gauge; the
          needle deep in the red. She pounds the wheel in frustration.
          
                                SOLARA
                    No... No!
          
          The car grinds to a halt, dead. She flings open the door and
          leaps out of the vehicle, rushing after Eli on foot.
          
          ON ELI. As always, his pace steady and slow. The sun directly
          ahead of him as it sets on the horizon. Headed always west.
          
          Solara is running up behind him, a hundred yards back.
          
                                SOLARA
                    Eli! Eli!
          
          He doesn't stop or look back. Just keeps on walking.
          
          She finally catches up with him, breathing hard, exhausted.
          
                                                                  101.
          
          
                                 SOLARA
                    Eli...
          
                              ELI
                    Thought you'd gone back to town.
          
                              SOLARA
                    I can't go back there. Eli, I'm so
                    sorry.
          
                                 ELI
                    For what?
          
                              SOLARA
                    For what? I betrayed you! I gave
                    them the book!
          
                              ELI
                    You did what you believed you had
                    to.
          
                              SOLARA
                    You're not mad at me?
          
          BEAT.
          
                              ELI
                    I forgive you.
          
          She continues walking alongside him. Trying to process this.
          This kind of compassion is totally foreign to her.
          
          She holds out the sword, offering it to Eli by way of
          atonement.
          
                               SOLARA
                    Here. I thought you might still
                    need this.
          
          Eli seems appreciative that she would think to return it to
          him. He takes it and slings it over his shoulder.
          
                                 ELI
                    Thank you.
          
                              SOLARA
                    What are you going to do now?
          
                              ELI
                    Same as always. Keep heading west.
          
                              SOLARA
                    Why? I mean, you don't have the
                    book any more.
          
                                                                  102.
          
          
                              ELI
                    But I still have my faith.
          
          They walk on together, into the sunset.
          
          EXT. NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - MONTAGE - DAY
          
          Eli and Solara follow the road through burned-out towns and
          retail neighborhoods. Gutted and dead, like every place else.
          
          But something is different here. Things are greener. Tufts of
          grass here and there. They attract Solara's attention.
          
                              SOLARA
                    What's that?
          
          Eli reaches down and runs his hand through the grass.
          
                              ELI
                    It's grass. It used to grow all
                    over the place.
          
                              SOLARA
                    How come it's here?
          
                              ELI
                    I don't know. Less poison in the
                    air this near to the ocean, maybe.
          
          They keep walking. Eli groans, clutches his side. Does his
          best to hide his pain from Solara. She notices anyway.
          
                              SOLARA
                    What's wrong?
          
                              ELI
                    Nothing. Just a cramp.
          
          EXT. FREEWAY - NIGHT
          
          They walk on through the night. Eli stops and sniffs the air.
          
                                 SOLARA
                    What?
          
                              ELI
                    Do you smell that?
          
                              SOLARA
                    Smell what?
          
                              ELI
                    Salt in the air. We're close to the
                    ocean. We're almost there.
          
                                                                103.
          
          
          EXT. CALIFORNIA ROAD - DAWN
          
          They keep on along the road. A shallow uphill incline. They
          follow it uphill, finally reaching its crest, where they stop
          and take in the view before them.
          
          THE PACIFIC OCEAN. Straddled by the GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE - the
          once-great structure has partially collapsed from decades of
          neglect and disrepair. The span sags and hangs low over the
          ocean, the asphalt cracked and ruptured.
          
          On the other side of the bay, SAN FRANCISCO - or the little
          that remains of it. The city has been almost TOTALLY
          DESTROYED - entire areas reduced to rubble, the few buildings
          still standing looking on the verge of collapse.
          
          Solara looks at it all in horrified awe. Eli, unperturbed,
          keeps on moving, still clutching his side.
          
                               ELI
                    Come on.
          
          EXT. GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE - DAY
          
          Eli and Solara make their way south across the bridge, side-
          stepping the fractures in the road.
          
          EXT. SAN FRANCISCO RUINS - DAY
          
          Eli leads Solara through the rubble of what used to be San
          Francisco. It's like walking through the wreckage of 9/11's
          Ground Zero, but a hundred times the scale. Horrifying.
          
          They pass by the wreckage of a HOTEL, nothing but the lobby
          still standing. A HILTON sign protruding from the rubble.
          
          Eli uses his sheathed sword as a walking stick, poking around
          ahead of him for loose rubble underfoot. He steps carefully.
          
                              ELI
                    Watch your footing. Step where I
                    step.
          
          EXT. SAN FRANCISCO - FINANCIAL DISTRICT - DAY
          
          More buildings are still standing here, but they're nothing
          more than great dead monoliths. Solara looks up at the
          blasted skyscrapers - she's never seen anything like it.
          
          The buildings loom over her like giant tombstones. It scares
          her - like walking through the graveyard of a dead world.
          
                              SOLARA
                    This... this is the world before?
          
                                                                104.
          
          
                              ELI
                    What's left of it.
          
          They keep walking, passing the TOPPLED TRANSAMERICA PYRAMID.
          
          EXT. SAN FRANCISCO - FISHERMAN'S WHARF - DAY
          
          Once a bustling oceanside tourist spot, now a ghost town.
          
          Eli and Solara walk along the litter-strewn street, passing
          the old RIPLEY'S BELIEVE-IT-OR-NOT and WAX MUSEUMS. The
          celebrity mannequins are still in fair condition, but slumped
          at their feet are CHARRED HUMAN SKELETONS.
          
          Eli is struggling now. He looks pale from the blood loss. His
          breathing labored. Solara takes him by the arm to help him.
          
          EXT. SAN FRANCISCO - PIER 39 - DAY
          
          A dead, ruined place, like everywhere else. We hear the sound
          of SEAGULLS nearby - the only sign of life at all.
          
          Eli and Solara walk along the pier, until they reach its end.
          The original end has long since collapsed into the sea, but a
          RICKETY HAND-MADE ROPE BRIDGE has been affixed to the pier's
          sheared-off edge.
          
          Eli and Solara stand at the pier's end, looking out to sea.
          
                              ELI
                    Do you see that?
          
                              SOLARA
                    I see it. Is that it?
          
                                 ELI
                    That's it.
          
          Reveal now that the rope-bridge leads out across the bay to:
          
          ALCATRAZ ISLAND
          
          Looking much the same as it always has, old and dilapidated.
          The coastal fog shrouding it gives it an ethereal look. It
          feels almost like a mythic place - the "promised land" Eli
          has sought for so many years.
          
          A tattered STARS AND STRIPES still flutters in the breeze
          atop the prison lighthouse.
          
                                                                  105.
          
          
          EXT. BAY ROPE BRIDGE - DAY
          
          Eli and Solara make their way carefully across the bridge. It
          feels highly unstable and sags low over the bay, the waters
          below close enough to lap around their ankles.
          
          EXT. ALCATRAZ ISLAND - DAY
          
          Eli and Solara arrive at the prison gates. Securely locked.
          As they inspect it for a possible way to enter:
          
                              VOICE (O.S.)
                    Who goes there?
          
          They look up. A GUARD in paramilitary fatigues is stationed
          in one of the perimeter towers. Training a rifle on them.
          
                              ALCATRAZ GUARD
                    Identify yourselves!
          
          In the opposite tower ANOTHER GUARD has his rifle trained on
          them too. Eli looks up, raises his hands.
          
                              ELI
                    My name is Elijah Stone. I have a
                    message for your boss. I need you
                    to tell him that I have a King
                    James Bible in my possession.
          
          BEAT.
          
                              ALCATRAZ GUARD
                    Remain where you are! Do not
                    attempt to move or you will be
                    fired upon!
          
          Keeping the gun trained on them, the tower guard uses his
          free hand to talk into a WALKIE-TALKIE RADIO. We don't hear
          the conversation. All Eli and Solara can do is wait.
          
          The guard puts away his radio and shouts back down:
          
                              ALCATRAZ GUARD
                    Be prepared to surrender any
                    weapons at the gate!
          
          BEAT. And then the massive front gates SLOWLY OPEN ON
          MECHANICAL RUNNERS with the low groan of rusted iron.
          
          Eli and Solara look at each other, then step gingerly inside.
          
                                                                106.
          
          
          INT. ALCATRAZ - MAIN GATES - CONTINUOUS
          
          As soon as they step inside they are SURROUNDED BY DOZENS OF
          HEAVILY-ARMED SOLDIERS. Not U.S. military, more like a semi-
          official militia. But every bit as deadly.
          
          Eli and Solara raise their hands. A pair of SOLDIERS take
          Eli's pack and sword, pat them both down for other weapons.
          
                              SOLDIER
                    They're clean.
          
          The soldiers before them part - to reveal a THIN, BALDING MAN
          wearing spectacles. He wears Kevlar body armor over his tweed
          jacket and tie. Professorial, academic.
          
          He approaches, shakes Eli's hand vigorously - very excited.
          
                              THIN MAN
                    Welcome, both of you. I'm Professor
                    Lombardi. I'm the curator here.
          
                              ELI
                    Elijah Stone.
          
                                 SOLARA
                    Solara.
          
                              LOMBARDI
                    Solara. What a delightful name. Is
                    that by any chance Shakespearean?
          
                              SOLARA
                    I, uh, I think it's Japanese.
          
                                 LOMBARDI
                    Wonderful.
          
          He turns back to Eli.
          
                              LOMBARDI
                    Is it true what they tell me? You
                    have a King James Version?
          
                              ELI
                    Been carrying it with me for twenty-
                    five years.
          
          Solara looks at Eli, puzzled. Lombardi finds it hard to
          contain his excitement.
          
                              LOMBARDI
                    My goodness. I can't tell you how
                    exciting this is. Well, come, come!
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                107.
          
                              LOMBARDI (cont'd)
                    I'll give you the nickel tour and
                    then we can all sit down and take a
                    look at it.
          
          He leads them across the courtyard into the prison buildings.
          
          EXT. DESERT TOWN - MAIN STREET - DAY
          
          Redridge's remaining vehicles drive back into town and come
          to a halt outside the theater. Redridge emerges from his car,
          carrying the bible. Walks up to the Palladium and enters.
          
          INT. ALCATRAZ - CELL BLOCK - DAY
          
          What was once a cell block is now an IMMENSE LIBRARY. Stacked
          floor to ceiling with books. Lombardi shows Eli and Solara
          around. Behind them, a pair of ARMED GUARDS follow closely.
          
                              LOMBARDI
                    Yes, we've been doing this for some
                    time now. Collected over thirty
                    thousand volumes from generous
                    donors all across the nation. We
                    even have a printing press that we
                    hope to have operational soon.
          
          Solara is stunned as she surveys the endless stacks of books.
          She's never seen anything like it.
          
                              SOLARA
                    You turned the whole prison into a
                    library?
          
                               LOMBARDI
                    Well, not exactly. We're more like
                    a storage facility. We're holding
                    these books here in trust, if you
                    like. When society gets back on its
                    feet and no longer needs us to
                    preserve these volumes, they'll be
                    here waiting.
                        (BEAT)
                    I must ask you, how did you hear
                    about us? We've been doing
                    everything we can to get the word
                    out, but we always like to know
                    where our benefactors come from.
          
                              ELI
                    I was sent here by God.
          
          Lombardi raises a quizzical eyebrow.
          
                                                                 108.
          
          
                               LOMBARDI
                    Is that right? Well, it's good to
                    know we're getting such high-
                    profile referrals these days.
                        (BEAT)
                    I must say, I am so excited that we
                    finally have a King James. You
                    know, we have a Talmud here, we
                    have two Korans, we even have that
                    Scientology book. But never a
                    Christian bible, until now. I
                    honestly believed it was the one
                    book I'd never see again, after
                    what happened...
          
          BEAT. Lombardi appears sad for a moment.
          
                              LOMBARDI
                    May I ask what condition it's in?
          
                              ELI
                    It's a little beat-up. But it'll do
                    the job.
          
                              LOMBARDI
                    Well, then. What say we take a look
                    at it?
          
          Lombardi looks at Eli with anticipation. So does Solara,
          interested to know where this is going to go next.
          
          Eli winces in pain, puts his hand to his side.
          
                              ELI
                    Is there someplace we could sit?
          
                              LOMBARDI
                    Of course. Right this way.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM AUDITORIUM - CARNEGIE'S BOX
          
          Redridge appears. Carnegie looks at him eagerly.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Did you get it?
          
          Redridge holds the bible up proudly. Carnegie beams.
          
                               CARNEGIE
                    Show me.
          
          Redridge hands it over. Carnegie sits back in his chair,
          running his hand lovingly over the battered leather cover.
          
                                                                   109.
          
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    The new world begins here...
          
          He opens the book and looks inside.
          
          BEAT. And then he looks up at Redridge, confused.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    What the fuck is this?
          
          INT. ALCATRAZ - CAFETERIA - DAY
          
          Eli, Solara and Lombardi sit at one of the long lunch-room
          tables. The two armed guards keep watch nearby.
          
                              ELI
                    Do you have something you can write
                    with?
          
                              LOMBARDI
                    Mmm? Oh, yes of course!
          
          He pulls a pen from his pocket, motions to one of the guards.
          
                              LOMBARDI
                    Could you please bring us some
                    writing paper?
          
          The guard nods and moves toward the door. As he does so:
          
                              ELI
                    Bring a lot of it.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM AUDITORIUM - CARNEGIE'S BOX
          
          Carnegie looks at the open bible, jaw hanging loose, his
          complexion ashen. Like he's just been slapped in the face.
          
                              REDRIDGE
                    What? What is it?
          
          INT. ALCATRAZ - CAFETERIA - DAY
          
          The guard brings a THICK SHEAF OF WRITING PAPER to the
          cafeteria table, sets it down by Lombardi.
          
                              ELI
                    Are you ready?
          
                              LOMBARDI
                    What exactly am I writing?
          
                                                                 110.
          
          
                              ELI
                    Pay close attention and write down
                    every word exactly as I say it.
          
          Eli removes his goggles. Solara can't believe what she sees.
          
          His eyes are pale, milky-white, dead. TOTALLY BLIND.
          
                              ELI
                    The First Book of Moses called
                    Genesis. Chapter one, verse one. In
                    the beginning God created the
                    heavens and the earth. Verse two.
                    The earth was without form, and
                    void; and darkness was on the face
                    of the deep. And the spirit of God
                    was hovering over the face of the
                    waters. Verse three. And God said,
                    "Let there be light," and there was
                    light.
          
          Lombardi hurriedly writes down every word.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM AUDITORIUM - CARNEGIE'S BOX
          
          Carnegie sits at his desk, still in shock. Eli's bible sits
          open on the desk before him.
          
          A BRAILLE BIBLE.
          
          Claudia is ushered in by a guard.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    What's wrong?
          
          He rushes forward and thrusts the bible into her hands.
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    You told me once that you know how
                    to read this. This blind language.
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    Well, a long time ago, when I was a
                    little girl...
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    You're going to read it for me.
                    Every word. And I'm going to write
                    it down. Start at the beginning.
          
          As Carnegie hunts on his desk for a paper and pen, Claudia
          opens the book and trails her fingertips across the raised
          lettering.
          
                                                                111.
          
          
          For a moment there is a glimmer of recognition... a faint
          smile... but then it fades as Carnegie turns back to her,
          eagerly clutching the writing materials.
          
                               CLAUDIA
                    I'm sorry. It's been so long. I
                    don't remember. I don't remember
                    any of it.
          
          Carnegie is aghast. BEAT as the anger swells within him,
          threatening to explode...
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    God fucking dammit!
          
          He swipes violently at the bible, knocking it out of
          Claudia's hands. He grabs it up and tries to rip it in two,
          but it's too thick to tear. Red-faced with rage, he tosses it
          out over the box balcony. It lands somewhere in the dark
          auditorium below, between the rows of gutted theater seats.
          
          As he paces angrily back past Claudia:
          
                              CLAUDIA
                    Bill, is there something-
          
                              CARNEGIE
                    Just go. Just get out of my sight.
          
          He slumps in his chair, exhausted and furious. Claudia sadly
          turns and leaves him alone with his thoughts.
          
          INT. ALCATRAZ - CAFETERIA - NIGHT
          
          Some considerable time later. Great stacks of paper have been
          filled with Lombardi's handwriting.
          
          Lombardi's pen races across the paper, struggling to keep up
          with Eli's recitation.
          
          Solara is curled up on a nearby bench, asleep. Eli's coat
          covering her to keep her warm.
          
          Eli clutches his wound painfully as he continues to recite.
          He looks paler now than ever. Close to death.
          
                              ELI (V.O.)
                    Dear Lord, thank you for giving me
                    the strength and the conviction to
                    complete the task you entrusted to
                    me. Thank you for guiding me
                    straight and true, through the many
                    obstacles in my path.
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                112.
          
                              ELI (V.O.) (cont'd)
                    And for keeping me resolute when
                    all around seemed lost.
          
          EXT. ALCATRAZ - EXERCISE YARD - PRE-DAWN
          
          The prison yard shrouded in the dim light just before dawn.
          
          Solara crosses the yard. She looks more mature somehow.
          Determined and strong. She carries with her ELI'S SWORD - and
          something else, tucked under her arm.
          
                              ELI (V.O.)
                    Thank you for your protection and
                    for your many signs along the way.
          
          She stops in a nondescript corner of the yard.
          
          At her feet is a SHALLOW MOUND OF DIRT. At the head of the
          mound, a SIMPLE TOMBSTONE.
          
          She kneels and places a SINGLE FLOWER on the grave.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM - CARNEGIE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
          
          Lit only by the pale moonlight, barely enough to see by.
          
          Carnegie sleeps soundly in bed. Next to him lies Claudia,
          wide awake. She checks that Carnegie is sound asleep, careful
          not to wake him before she creeps out of bed and exits.
          
          INT. PALLADIUM AUDITORIUM - NIGHT
          
          Claudia is on her hands and knees in the darkness, searching
          blindly in the aisles and beneath the theater seats.
          
          She finds Eli's bible in some litter strewn on the floor.
          
                              ELI (V.O.)
                    Thank you for the good that I have
                    done. For whatever light you were
                    able to shine into the darkness of
                    this world through me.
          
          Sitting in the darkness, Claudia opens the book and runs her
          fingers across the braille, reading. And though we can barely
          see in the dim light, we see the smile on her face. The joy.
          
          EXT. ALCATRAZ - EXERCISE YARD - DAWN
          
          As Solara kneels by the grave, we see now that she wears
          Eli's SAINT CHRISTOPHER PENDANT around her neck.
          
          The tombstone reads:
          
                                                                113.
          
          
                               HERE LIES ELIJAH STONE
                                DIED AUGUST 21, 2048
                            FAITHFUL SERVANT TO THE LORD
                                AND FRIEND TO SOLARA
          
          She unsheathes Eli's sword, plants it in the ground before
          his grave. Takes the BOOK from under her arm and opens it up.
          
          It's a NEW BIBLE. Crudely typeset from Lombardi's original
          transcription and printed on the prison press.
          
          She opens it up and begins to read a passage from the bible
          over Eli's grave. We don't hear what she says.
          
          As Solara finishes her reading and closes the bible, LOMBARDI
          appears behind her.
          
                              LOMBARDI
                    You know, you don't have to leave.
                    You're welcome to stay here with
                    us. You'll be safe.
          
                               SOLARA
                    Thanks.
          
          She stands, pulling Eli's sword from the earth.
          
                              SOLARA
                    But I gotta do what I gotta do.
          
                              LOMBARDI
                    Where will you go?
          
          BEAT. Solara looks at the sword, her fingers playing across
          its hilt. The blade glimmers in the light of the rising sun.
          
          There is a determined, purposeful look in her eye.
          
                               SOLARA
                    Home.
          
          EXT. ALCATRAZ ISLAND - DAWN
          
          The sun rises through the fog on the horizon.
          
          The great iron gates grind open. Solara emerges from inside
          the prison, steps out onto the island rock.
          
          She is dressed in a flak jacket, combat pants and boots.
          Eli's old pack across her back. Hair tied in a neat pony
          tail. Atop that, Eli's ragged fur hat.
          
                              ELI (V.O.)
                    Thank you for the friend I made.
          
                                                                114.
          
          
          In her hand she clutches a copy of the newly-printed bible.
          Eli's sword slung over her shoulder.
          
                              ELI (V.O.)
                    Please watch over her as you
                    watched over me.
          
          MONTAGE as Solara walks back along Fisherman's Wharf...
          through the San Francisco rubble... across the Golden Gate
          bridge...
          
                              ELI (V.O.)
                    Thank you for allowing me finally
                    to rest. I'm so very tired. The
                    time of my departure is at hand and
                    now I surrender my soul into your
                    care, at peace in knowing that I
                    have carried out your will. That I
                    have done right with my time on
                    this earth.
          
          EXT. ROAD - DAY
          
          ...and finally back onto a desolate road leading off into the
          desert wasteland. She looks up and down the road, then turns
          and heads toward the sun on the horizon. Headed east.
          
                              ELI (V.O.)
                    I have fought the good fight. I
                    have finished the race.
          
          As she walks away into the sun, her lonely silhouette on the
          road reminds us of Eli as we saw him so many times before.
          
                              ELI (V.O.)
                    I have kept the faith.
          
          She grows smaller and smaller as she walks into the distance,
          until she consumed by the rising sun and we
          
                                                          FADE OUT:
          
 


Book of Eli, The



Writers :   Gary Whitta
Genres :   Action  Adventure  Drama  Sci-Fi  Thriller  Western


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