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                               THE ISLAND

                               Written by
 
                          Caspian Tredwell-Owen




                                                          1/13/04



    We PULL BACK, in marked steps, to include neighboring apartments
    with identical frosted facades. Then more apartments, above and
    below, the tiers linked by ramps and crosswalks. It might be a
    prison cellblock but there are no guards apparent. Indeed, the
    residents move freely, all notably male, all clad in shearlings,
    polo shirts and slacks. It is just another day in Sector Four.

3   INT. NUTRITION PLAZA - SECTOR FOUR - DAY

    Satie's Gymnopedie plays from overhead speakers. 

    A glass wall looks out across a green mountain valley. The plaza, 
    formed in curves of creamy ceramic tile, is divided into two service 
    areas.

    Male residents in line on one side, females on the other. Both
    genders combine in the seating area. Lincoln reaches the head of
    the line. He swipes his ethercuff o v e r a scanner. A NUTRITION
    CLERK, a surly woman in uniform, eyes the readout on her screen-

                                    NUTRITION CLERK
                     Lincoln Six-Echo... Options are dried
                     fruit, oatmeal or anything in bran.

                                  LINCOLN
                     What? No bacon?

                                NUTRITION CLERK
                     You got a sodium flag, pal - now
                     what's it going to be?

                                 LINCOLN
                     Whatever.

    He shrugs, disgruntled. The clerk taps her screen. Turning to a
    row of chutes behind her, she collects a foil covered bowl and a
    drink can. Lincoln, less than appetized, loads his tray with the
    oatmeal and juice breakfast. Then he heads into the seating area.

    In the seating area, male and female residents sit eating and
    chatting happily. Uniformed busboys intermix, clearing and wiping
    tables. A divide in this community now starts to become clear...

    The busboys, like the nutrition clerk, like all the service,
    maintenance, and administrative staff we'll see, have distinct
    uniforms but no facial marking. They are known as "outsiders".

    The "residents", like Lincoln, have crosshatched scars on their
    upper left brows and ethercuffs o n their wrists. Mostly Caucasian,
    from mid-twenties to mid-sixties. There are no children here.

    We isolate a blonde - mid-20's, fresh, bright eyes, a fragile
    beauty, a crosshatch of two verticals and one horizontal. Her
    name is ESTER TWO-ALPHA. Seeing Lincoln, she smiles and waves-

                                     ESTER
                     Lincoln ! Over here!

                                                             3.



Lincoln crosses, a little surprised to see her. Pleasantly so.

                            LINCOLN
              Hello , stranger.

                           ESTER
              What? You don't recognize me?

                          LINCOLN
              It's just an expression, that's all.

                         ESTER
              You and your expressions, Lincoln. Now
              sit down and ask me where I've been.

                               LINCOLN
                     (sits , a spreading smile)
              Okay, Ester. Where have you been?

                               ESTER
              At the medical center. Just for tests
              but they had me on liquid nutrition.
                     (forks a mouthful of eggs)

              Mmmmm. This is the first solid food
              I've had in a week.

                          LINCOLN
              Exciting.

                            ESTER
              That's not the exciting part. I got my
              first trimester report: happy, healthy
              and contaminant-free... Both of us.

                          LINCOLN
              Us?

                        ESTER
              My baby... It's in perfect condition.
              I just hope I can keep it that way. I
              still have six months to delivery.

                          LINCOLN
              Then you leave all this behind, huh?

                          ESTER
              Why? Will you miss me?

Her eyes betray a flicker of something. It unsettles Lincoln.

                          LINCOLN
              I'll miss your coffee. C'mon, I
              already burned up my quota.

                                                                       4.



                             ESTER
                Okay. But this is the last time.

In a deliberate move, she drops her napkin on the floor. As she
ducks down to retrieve it, Lincoln steals a gulp of her coffee.
Rising again, Ester registers his souring look.

                            ESTER
                What is it?

Lincoln just nods across the plaza. Ambient conversation is now
ebbing at an arrival. An outsider in a grey, vaguely clerical
uniform - sanguine, settled, precise eyes. He might be a prison
warden but for the generally warm reception. He is known as The
Community Director. His name is MERRICK.

He crosses to a lectern, unlooping a chain from his neck with a
three-forked pendant known as a "tri-key". He slots the tri-key
into the lectern. The glass wall frosts over and pixellates i n t o
a live feed of himself. Now amplified by the plaza speakers,
Merrick begins his address-

                            MERRICK
                Good morning. To everyone here and
                everyone watching on etherscreen,
                welcome to the community address. Today
                I'm coming to you from Sector Four. For
                those of you here with sugar quotas, let
                me recommend the french toast. I just
                tried some and it's excellent, really.
                But I know what everyone's hungry for
                s o let's move on to the lottery. As
                always the draw will be made from our
                host sector. So tell me, Sector Four -
                is everyone ready for The Daily Spin?

Applause and whistles erupt, mostly from the younger residents,
who take on the zeal of a game show audience. The older ones -
including Lincoln - greet the prospect with labored tolerance.
Merrick turns the tri-key i n the lectern. The glass wall
switches from the live feed to a jumbotron o f flashing text;

- - DAILY SPIN!... GET READY TO WIN!... DAILY SPIN!--

                           MERRICK
                Let The Spin begin.

To a burst of cheers, he turns the tri-key another notch. The
glass wall becomes a spinning blur, like a tumbler on a slot
machine. But instead of icons, it clicks through names, each
separated by a blank line - from "Adams One-Alpha" to "Zucker
Three - Charlie" - scrolling the entire population of Sector Four.

                                                                     5.



    As the spin slows, a pent silence falls. Expectant eyes watch the
    names click through the P's, the Q's, the R's, the S's and . . .
    - - SPIN WIN!... STARKWEATHER TWO-DELTA... SPIN-WIN!--

                                     MERRICK
                   Starkweather Two-Delta! Step up!

    Cheers and applause as everyone looks for the lucky recipient.
    The excitement abates as it becomes clear he's not among them.

                                    MERRICK
                   Well , Starkweather, if you're watching
                   on etherscreen - your time has come, my
                   friend! You're moving out to The Island!
                          (another burst of cheers)
                   And the rest of you, never lose hope;
                   what do we know about The Daily Spin?

                                   THE YOUNGER RESIDENTS
                   Everyone gets to win!

                              MERRICK
                   An d tomorrow it could be you...

    Merrick steps down and departs. The plaza reverts to its former
    mood, dotted with murmurs of disappointment. Lincoln scowls.

                                ESTER
                   Don't worry. Your time will come.

                                 LINCOLN
                   That's easy for you to say. Your time's
                   guaranteed. All you have is six months.

                              ESTER
                   Six months of mood swings, sore back
                   and swollen feet. Want to trade places?

                                    LINCOLN
                          (scowl lifting)
                   Give me some more of your coffee.

4   INT . SUBWAY PORTAL - SECTOR FOUR - DAY

    The portal is spanned by a rank of latticed metal gates, known as
    an "ethergate." Residents swipe their ethercuffs o v e r scanners,
    the gates hiss open and they step through in systematic order.

                                                                      6.



5   INT. SUBWAY PLATFORM - SECTOR FOUR - DAY

    The subway, formed in arches of creamy ceramic tile, is not
    unlike our own. In place of escalators, moving walkways deliver
    the residents onto the platform. Along the platform wall runs a
    strip of mirrored panels, etherscreen reporting in banner crawl:

    - - NEXT STOP... SECTOR 5 - SECTOR 6 - CENTERVILLE...
    At the tunnel edge of the platform is a safety fence, where the
    residents wait in a patient line, Lincoln among them. His focus
    is drawn to two younger residents whispering furtively nearby.

                            RESIDENT #1
                   A stim unit says it hits the wall.

                                RESIDENT #2
                   Okay . But I get to set the can.

    Resident #1 shrugs and hands him a drink can. Resident #2 ducks
    under the fence, reaching the can down to the track. Or what
    looks like a track. The struts lining the bed are not sleepers
    but buffers of galvanized rubber. Nor are there any rails. The
    relay system is provided by a series of metal posts, flanking the
    buffers to run in twin parallel. Known as "lode-poles," they now
    start thrumming and pulsing with red light, like runway beacons.

                                RESIDENT #1
                   Hurry it up. The shuttle's coming.

    Resident #2 regains the platform. We PUSH IN on the drink can,
    balanced on a buffer. It starts rattling. Then suddenly shoots
    upward into the air, arcing and bouncing off the tunnel wall,
    clattering into obscurity. Resident #1 whoops in victory.

    A rush of air heralds the shuttle. It sails out of the tunnel,
    floating three feet above the track. A hybrid of subway car and
    nautical craft, it has runners in place of wheels, like hulls on
    a catamaran. It is buoyed by a magnetic flow emanating from the
    lode-poles, an invisible river known as a "lode-stream". The
    shuttle drifts to a gentle halt, hovering, rocking a little. Its
    gangplanks fold out toward the platform and the safety fence
    lowers. Lincoln and the other commuters file routinely aboard.

6   INT . CENTERVILLE - DAY

    An avenue of cream colored buildings. Uniform in architecture,
    rising five stories to meet a mirrored roof. Despite lighting
    arrays, the absence of sky lends a chasmic quality . Lincoln
    follows the flow of residents up the avenue. Building signs read:
    "Dept. Of Labor", "Dept. Of Health", "Dept. Of Sanitation". He
    splits off, turning into a building marked "Dept. Of Population."

                                                                            7.



7   INT. OFFICES - DEPARTMENT OF POPULATION - DAY

    Frosted glass workstations, notably circular rather than square.
    Lincoln sits at his desk in front of a wraparound etherscreen,
    divided into three sections, a formation known as a "visor".
    Right-visor shows a polymorph in fractal cycle, like a permanent
    screen saver. Mid-visor shows a tomograph of a residential block;
    tiers of apartments shown as boxes, most in solid white, a few
    blink red with the text label "Vacancy". Left-visor shows a list
    of names and sociographic grading sheaded "Residents Pending".

                                   LINCOLN (TO VISOR)
                     Hudson Four-Alpha; profile reviewed.
                     Match to vacancy; 171, Sector 5.
                     Request clearance to populate.

    - - PROCESSING . . . FOUR-ALPHA, HUDSON; POPULATION APPROVED

    Left-visor, the name highlights then blinks out. Mid-visor, a
    box labelled "Vacancy" turns from blinking red to solid white.

                                 A VOICE (O.S.)
                     Hey, you want to know something?

    Lincoln looks up at a face grinning over the partition - mid
    30's, jovial, tall and burly. His name is JONES THREE-BRAVO.

                                JONES
                     You know that guy who won the Spin in
                     your sector? Starkweather?

                                 LINCOLN
                     No.

                              JONES
                     I had a bout with him last week. Guess
                     how long he's been here? Six months.

                                LINCOLN
                     Six months?

                                JONES
                     You don't believe me - look it up.

                                   LINCOLN (TO VISOR)
                     Census File: Two-Delta, Starkweather.

    - - TWO - DELTA , STARKWEATHER: 102, SECTOR 4 -- DAY: 186 / HR: 09:31

                                 JONES
                     What do you say now? Still think The
                     Spin's rigged for the long haulers?

                                                                     8.



                             LINCOLN
                   He got lucky, that's all.

                              JONES
                   And don't you wish it was you... out
                   there on The Island... nature's own
                   clean air zone... no screening, no
                   quotas... unlimited pleasure...

                               LINCOLN
                   Shut up, Jonesy.

                              JONES
                   Why don't you make me? In the ring.

                                 LINCOLN
                   You're out of my weight-class.

                              JONES
                   Not anymore. They just got the new
                   program in - multi-weight balancing.

                               LINCOLN
                   I'll think about it.

                                 JONES
                   C'mon, champ. A stim unit says you
                   won't last three rounds.

8   INT . BOXING RING - CENTERVILLE - EARLY EVENING

    - C R A C K - The same face recoils from a punch. Jones shakes it off,
    retreating, recovering. He resets his guard as Lincoln moves in.
    Lincoln jabs at Jones' defenses, his blowing hitting harder than
    we'd expect from his stature. Suddenly he breaks through with a
    left hook. Jones staggers back. A strange ripple distorts his
    face. Stranger still, his skin tone takes on a grainy pallor.

    As the bout continues, we widen to see the boxing ring is indeed
    a ring rather than a square and beyond the ropes is an outer ring.
    With Lincoln in FG, we now see another figure in the outer ring,
    mirroring his moves, dressed identically but for the gloves which
    are like gauntlets. The gauntlets are rigged to two armatures
    which are, in turn, rigged to a gantry-like mechanism. It glides

    noiselessly to and fro, shadowing the figure round the outer ring.
    RACK FOCUS reveals the figure is also Lincoln . The real Lincoln,
    in fact. The one in FG is a derivative hologram known as a "proxy".
    As Lincoln fakes and jabs, the counter-weighted armatures drag
    and recoil, duplicating the exertions of his proxy. Jones moves
    more sluggishly, his proxy now ghostly, transparent. Now being
    sent on a last offensive only to be roundhoused by another left
    hook. Jones' proxy topples and explodes into a pixellated mist.

                                                                     9.



                               LINCOLN
                   Whoooooo!

    Lincoln proxy - and Lincoln - punch the air in victory. Jones
    unlatches his gauntlets, sweating, galled by the defeat-

                               JONES
                   Sure you input the right weight class?

                                 LINCOLN
                   You're just too slow, Jonesy.

                                 JONES
                   You're faster `cause you're lighter.
                   Programmers... they always miss
                   something.

                               LINCOLN
                   Hey, you put up, now pay up.

9   INT . STIM BAR - CENTERVILLE - EVENING

    Rainbow light and swirling electronic music. The clientele are
    all male residents. Round the walls, poster-sized etherscreens
    display various dancing women, beckoning, text supers flashing:

    - - NEW AT THE PLEASURE CENTER!... OR TRY A MYSTERY DATE!...
    At the bar, Lincoln and Jones, freshly showered, each swipe their
    ethercuffs over a scanner. A uniformed BARTENDER notes the readout-

                                BARTENDER
                   Jones Three-Bravo; you got five units.
                   Your friend, he's got an alcohol flag.

                             JONES
                   So make it a beer and a Vita Cola.

    The bartender serves the drinks and they settle at the end of the
    bar. Scoping for onlookers, Lincoln steals a gulp of Jones' beer.

                              JONES
                   You know, you're going to get yourself
                   contaminated one of these days.

                               LINCOLN
                   Shut up, Jonesy.

                              JONES
                   So, you up for a rematch tomorrow?

                            LINCOLN
                   I can't. I got an interact.

                                                                        10.



                                JONES
                    With who? That blonde again?

                                LINCOLN
                    Hey, it's an authorized interaction.
                    We're on the same meditation program.

                               JONES
                    You want to get flagged for proximity?

                              LINCOLN
                    No law against friendship, Jonesy.

                                    JONES
                    Quick . . . Give me that beer back.

     TWO CENSUS OFFICERS ("CENSORS") enter the bar; in wireless head-
     sets and white uniforms, they seem at once clinical and military.
     CENSOR 1 carries a tablet known as an "etherboard". CENSOR 2,
     more imposing, carries a wide-muzzle rifle known as a "stopgun".
     Their foreboding appearance is greeted without alarm. As they
     move up the bar, the customers dutifully swipe their ethercuffs
     over the etherboard. Now reaching Jones, who swipes accordingly-

                                  JONES
                    What's going on, officer?

                                  CENSOR 1
                    Census check.

     Censor1 checks the etherboard; a headshot of Jones spins in 3-D.
     He offers it to Lincoln who swipes his ethercuff emphatically-

                                LINCOLN
                    What happened? You lost count?

                             CENSOR 1
                    I hope nobody's drinking off-quota.

                                LINCOLN
                    Vita Cola all the way, officer.

     Lincoln sips his cola. As they move on, he grimaces at the taste.

10   INT . SHUTTLE - IN TRANSIT - LATER

     Lincoln stares out of the window. The red pulse of the lode poles
     catches a glazed look in his eyes. His pupils, a little dilated.
     His focus returns to the interior and an etherscreen banner:

     - - G E T READY FOR THE DAILY SPIN!... TOMORROW IT COULD BE YOU...

                                                                             11.



11   INT. BEDROOM - LINCOLN'S APARTMENT - THE NEXT DAY

     The horizon. The morning sun streams over the green mountains.
     Lincoln lies sleeping, his head buried under the pillow. Off a
     beeping sound, he stirs and squints up at the mirrored ceiling:

     - - ETHER CALL PENDING ; ACCEPT OR SEND TO MESSAGE BANK?

                                   LINCOLN
                       Accept.

     The etherscreen resolves Ester's face, fresh and bright.

                                       ESTER (ON ETHERSCREEN)
                       Lincoln? I missed you at breakfast.

                                LINCOLN
                       I guess I overslept.

                                ESTER (ON ETHERSCREEN)
                       I just wanted to check we're still on
                       for tonight. The interact.

                                     LINCOLN
                       Right. I'll be there.

                                   ESTER (ON ETHERSCREEN)
                       I'll see you then. Enjoy your day!

     Her face blinks out. Lincoln gets out of bed with a smile.

12   INT . RESIDENTIAL BLOCK - SECTOR FOUR - DAY

     Lincoln exits his apartment and heads up the walkway. We reveal
     the walkway ends at another ethergate, governing residential
     access. Lincoln swipes his ethercuff o v e r a scanner and a gate
     swings open. He heads on, the gate hissing closed behind him.

13   INT . NUTRITION PLAZA - SECTOR FOUR - DAY
     Ravel's Pavane plays overhead. The plaza is emptying as residents
     leave for work. Lincoln arrives at the service counter. He
     swipes his ethercuff and greets the clerk with an amiable grin.

                                   LINCOLN
                       Just juice today. I'm late for work.

                                  NUTRITION CLERK
                       Too bad. I gotta serve the full meal.

     Lincoln shrugs, his gaze wandering past her into the kitchens.
     His grin fades as he spots TWO CENSORS talking to a busboy. Then
     the view is lost as he's served an oatmeal and juice breakfast.

                                                                        12.



14   INT. SUBWAY PLATFORM - SECTOR FOUR - DAY

     Not so crowded at this hour. Halfway down the platform we see a
     vending machine with confections in nameless silver wrappers. A
     mouse-ish resident collects a bar from the trough. His name is
     KLEINWORT NINE-ALPHA. Seeing Lincoln approach, he preempts-

                              KLEINWORT
                   No, no, no. Use your own sugar quota.

                                 LINCOLN
                   C'mon, Kleinwort...

     He says this amicably enough but he's using his imposing presence
     on the smaller man. Kleinwort sighs and breaks off a chunk.
                             LINCOLN
                   So what's up with the Censors, huh?

                                  KLEINWORT
                   They're conducting a census check. Or
                   don't you watch the bulletins?

                            LINCOLN
                   I know what it is. I've just never
                   seen them out in this sector before.

                                     KLEINWORT
                   Probably just tracking a glitch. A bad
                   scanner or maybe an userware defect.
                          (off Lincoln's puzzled look)
                   Ethercuffs. They get damaged, you get
                   a false read. Sometimes even a dropout.

                               LINCOLN
                   What are you saying? They lost someone?

                                  KLEINWORT
                   Someone just isn't showing up where
                   they should be. What do you care?

     A rush of air heralds the shuttle, curtailing the conversation.
     Beneath his tousling hair, a frown plays on Lincoln's brow.

15   INT . LINCOLN'S WORKSTATION - DEPT. OF POPULATION - DAY

     Lincoln stares at the fractal on right-visor, at the intricate
     paths of dysplasia. The glazed look has returned to his eyes,
     his pupils, a little dilated. His stare narrows at an errant
     thought. He shrugs it off. But the thought returns, persistent.
     More to dispel than indulge it, Lincoln turns to mid-visor-

                                                                       13.



                              LINCOLN (TO VISOR)
                Census File: Two-Delta, Starkweather.
- - T W O - D E L T A , STARKWEATHER: 102, SECTOR 4 - DAY: -- / HR: --

                                  LINCOLN (TO VISOR)
                Accomodation Status : 102, Sector 4.

The tiered boxes resolve, zooming in to isolate Apartment 102.
The box shows solid white. Lincoln frowns, assimilating this.

                            LINCOLN
                Hey , Jonesy. Remember the guy who won
                The Spin yesterday? His apartment's
                still showing as occupied.

                             JONES (O.S.)
                So?

                          LINCOLN
                So you get 24 hours to move out.

                             JONES (O.S.)
                Maybe the system didn't update yet.

                           LINCOLN
                No. It updates on the hour. If he's
                gone it should be showing a vacancy.

                                  JONES
                      (appearing over the partition)
                What? You think he's still here? The
                guy wins a place on The Island and you
                think he just decided not to go?

                         LINCOLN
                I don't know. He wasn't there to step
                up. And now there's a census check...
                           JONES
                And now nothing. It's probably the
                programmers messing up.

                             LINCOLN
                Maybe.

                         JONES
                A stim unit says I can prove it. Cross
                reference with sanitation.

                                  LINCOLN (TO VISOR)
                Sanitation Status: 102, Sector Four.

                                                                        14.



     --PROCESSING... APT. 102; CLOSED FOR CONTAINMENT CHECK--

                                    JONES
                        See ? Standard procedure. They got to
                        sweep it for the next occupant.

     Their supervisor interrupts them - an outsider, efficient-type-

                                  SUPERVISOR
                        If you gentlemen aren't busy... Perhaps
                        I could get an update on sector six?

                                     LINCOLN
                        Still in the electrical phase, sir.

                                    SUPERVISOR
                        Well the guys upstairs are griping
                        about the backlog. So go over there
                        and light some fires, will you?

                                         LINCOLN
                               (pulls on his jacket to leave)
                        I'll take care of it.

                                         SUPERVISOR
                        Aren't you forgetting something?
                               (holds up A STEEL BRIEFCASE)
                        Or do you want to get contaminated?

16   INT . CONSTRUCTION ZONE - SECTOR SIX - DAY

     An arc of blue light. A uniformed worker steers a plasma torch
     over a conduit. In the fog of smoke, we see wires being spliced,
     circuits, tested. Outsiders in hardhats, goggles and cup masks.
     Lincoln comes over the crosswalk, starkly contrasted in dacron
     coveralls and a hooded gasmask. THE CREW FOREMAN intercepts him -
     drawn, desiccated features, a husky drawl. His name is MCCORD-

                                      MCCORD
                        Sorry, chief. I can't let you get any
                        closer. We got live wires over there.

     Lincoln's reply is muffled by the gasmask, lost in the noise.

                                      MCCORD
                        What's that you said?

     Lincoln repeats to no avail. Frustrated, he peels off his gasmask-

                                 LINCOLN
                        I said I can't hear you.
     M c C o r d c h u c k l e s at the irony.

                                                                      15.



                                MCCORD
                    He y , you get yourself contaminated,
                    don't come pointing the finger at me.
                               LINCOLN
                    How are you doing, Mac?

                               MCCORD
                    You know how it is. `Gets to the end of
                    shift, `crew starts draggin t h e i r feet.

                                LINCOLN
                    We l l the guys upstairs are griping
                    about the backlog. They want to know
                    when you'll be ready for move in.
                             MCCORD
                    I guess if we bust our backs, we could
                    be out of here by the end of the week.

                                LINCOLN
                    I'll tell them two weeks.

                                   MCCORD
                    Thanks , chief. I appreciate that.

                                 LINCOLN
                    So . . . got any stuff on you today?

17   INT . AIRLOCK - SECTOR SIX

     A sign reads "Warning! Contamination Risk!". Lincoln stands by as
     McCord u n l o o p s a neckchain w i t h a single-forked pendant known as
     a "uni-key". He slots it into the top of three keyholes. A light
     starts flashing and the airlock gives a heavily pressurized hiss.

18   INT . EXTRACTOR SHAFT

     A deep steady thrum. Giant extractor fans churn above and below,
     both directions seemingly limitless. The bleak concrete shaft is
     streaked with soot, threaded by ladders and catwalks. On one
     such, we isolate Lincoln and McCord. B o t h smoking cigarettes.

                                LINCOLN
                    I t ' s too bad.
                                MCCORD
                    What do you mean?

                                LINCOLN
                    T h a t your shift's almost over.

                                                                     16.



                           MCCORD
                You mean, these things? Well, these
                things ain't good for you anyways.

                            LINCOLN
                The y taste good.

An exchanged smile. A pause as they enjoy the guilty pleasure.

                         LINCOLN
                I like coming here. Talking. Most
                outsiders don't like to talk.

                              MCCORD
                That's because we ain't supposed to.
                They got rules about fraternization.

Lincoln nods. Another pause as they drag on their cigarettes.

                            LINCOLN
                What do you do when the shift's over?

                            MCCORD
                M o r e of the same. They cycle us onto
                the disposal detail. Hump `n dump crew.

                            LINCOLN
                H u m p `n dump crew?

                              MCCORD
                D e b r i s clearance. We hump the heavy
                stuff to a site on the outside.
                          LINCOLN
                Is it as bad as they say out there?

M c C o r d l o o k s momentarily puzzled. Lincoln displays his gasmask.

                           LINCOLN
                The air... the containments.

                           MCCORD
                Right.

                           LINCOLN
                But not everywhere. Not on The Island.

                              MCCORD
                    ( b e a t , stubs his cigarette)
                I don't know too much about that.
Lincoln eyes him narrowly. McCord p a u s e s , then tucks his lighter
into the cigarette box and offers it with a palliative smile.

                                                                       17.



                                MCCORD
                    He y , take it from me, you got a sweet
                    deal right here. So why worry, huh?
     Lincoln shrugs, accepting the gift with a slow exhale of smoke.
     We tilt up to follow the smoke plume, dissipating into the fans.

19   EXT . THE WORLD OUTSIDE - DAY
     A i r blasts up from a giant tunnel.

     W i d e n i n g , we see it is one of a huge ring, planted in the dust,
     backdropped b y mountainous red rocks. At the hub of the ring is
     a large cubic building. From its facets, giant appendages of
     ducting plunge into its surround. These are the inlets for the
     processed air that feeds the underground...

     This is the landscape of the world outside and manifestly above.

     F r o m the processing plant, we pull back and up, raking over a
     large industrial complex. More cubic buildings, cream colored,
     windowless, like stacks of giant playing bricks. Now we see the
     front of the complex. The planate f a c a d e , faceless but for the
     entrance, cubed in polarized glass, like a dark cyclopean eye.

     F r o m the entrance, we follow a walkway out to a dock where the
     ground drops away into a broad concrete trench; like the subway,
     lined with lode-poles and buffers, it is known as a "lodeway".
     From the dock, we follow the lodeway out to a perimeter wall; red
     rock slabs, twenty feet high, framing a giant gateway. The gates
     now glide open to disclose a view of the world outside the wall-

     The shimmering bleached wilderness of The Arizona Desert.
     O u t in the distance, where the lodeway tapers into the scrub, a
     vehicle emerges from the shimmer. A hybrid of bus and nautical
     craft, single hulled, known simply as a "liner". Now as the
     liner becomes clearer, a decal on its prow is revealed - a
     crosshatch insignia over a blocky l e g e n d "The Sanger Institute".
20   INT . ENTRANCE HALL - THE SANGER INSTITUTE - DAY

     The polarized glass shows the liner has docked and A TOUR GROUP
     is disembarking. The men are mostly over 40, bloated by luxury.
     The women, mostly under 30, wives and girlfriends, all jewels and
     haute couture. They filter into the entrance hall to be greeted
     by the courtesy staff. Pretty girls in short skirts and blazers
     with the crosshatch insignia, led by a pert redhead named LYDIA.

                                  LYDIA
                    L a d i e s and gentlemen, my name is Lydia
                    and on behalf of our staff, I'd like
                    t o welcome you to The Sanger Institute.

                                                                          18.

                                    LYDIA (cont'd)
                    Before we start the tour, we'll be serv-
                    i n g r e f r e s h m e n t s in the visitor center
                    and circulating our standard discretion
                    agreements. I should add that today you
                    are all very lucky because our CEO and
                    founder, Dr. Henry Sanger, is with us
                    and will be leading the tour personally.

21   INT . INNER FOYER - LATER
     The crosshatch emblem spins on a wall-to-wall screen. Not a real
     screen but a projected flat known as a "holoframe". Here, Lydia
     assembles the tour group, nursing wine glasses and canapes. The
     holoframe fades up a serene music track and a commercial begins:
     A series of vignettes; an old man shuffling on a walking frame --
     a middle-aged woman in a bathing suit, one breast flattened by a
     mastectomy -- a young woman in labor, her face knotted in pain.
     The group watches with frowns and disapproving mumbles. Then-

                                V O I C E (O.S.)
                    I t ' s not a pretty sight, is it?
     E y e s turn to a figure behind them, dressed in a vestmental w h i t e
     labcoat - 70's, tall, slightly hunched by senility, eyes like
     quicksilver, glittering. He has the hauteur of a visionary
     stooping to the role of a salesman. His name is DR. HENRY SANGER.

                                      DR. SANGER (cont'd)
                    M o r t a l i t y . We all know its face and yet
                    w e look away, don't we? We deny that our
                    l i v e s are ordained to suffering. That
                    w e are all, inalterably, going to die.

     He pauses, fielding the various disconcerted looks. Then smiles.

                                DR. SANGER
                    I t takes courage to confront mortality,
                    my friends. And I see it in each of
                    y o u . My name is Dr. Henry Sanger and
                    I'm here to reward your courage.
     L y d i a applauds. The tour group dutifully follows suit. Sanger
     whispers a question in Lydia's ear. She broadcasts her response-

                                   LYDIA
                    T o d a y ' s group is from New Gaza Health
                    Care. They're with the platinum plan.

                               DR. SANGER
                    N e w Gaza. Yes, very good oncology unit.

     M u l l i n g this, he ambles through the holoframe which ripples at
     his passage. Rallied by Lydia the tour group follows him into--

                                                                  19.



22   INT. SALES HALL - DAY

     A hall of windows, each window framing a display case, each
     display case housing a different taxidermied a n i m a l . Not unlike
     a museum. On closer inspection, more like a chamber of horrors.
     I n one window is a pig with a horribly distended abdomen. Another,
     magnified, shows a mouse with a human ear grown on its back. In
     another, a chimpanzee stares out at us with glaringly human eyes.

                               DR. SANGER
                   I t doesn't get any prettier, does it?
                   But this is not a freakshow, my friends.
                   This is a war museum. A history of our
                   battles with mortality... and defeats.
                   Take the stem cell, for instance. A bid
                   to cultivate human parts for transplant -
                   in rodents, primates, barnyard animals.
                   It's enough to make your skin crawl. In
                   some cases literally, giving rise to a
                   new range of cross-species viruses. But
                   that's how we learn. From our mistakes.
     The y turn a corner. Another hall of windows, portals onto tanks
     of amber fluid that might be formaldehyde. Suspended within are
     embryos, fetuses and infants. All human. All grotesquely mutated.

                               DR. SANGER
                   C a s e in point, the clone. Back in the
                   beginning, the mapping of the human
                   genome was declared a historic landmark-
                   t o break the curse of heredity, to
                   correct congenital defect... genetic
                   engineering became the brave new world
                   of medical science. A bright future
                   that led to a dark age and much of the
                   legislation we know today. But while
                   the clone laws may have narrowed the
                   field, science marches on. Only to hit
                   the same wall over and over again - the
                   enigma of growth, the alchemy that
                   takes us from embryo to adult. A clone
                   barely reaches infancy before its
                   growth enzymes misfire, resulting in
                   the kind of monstrosities - which are
                   only effigies - you see here.

     S o m e reassured sighs from the women. They turn another corner onto
     another hall. A hall of mirrors. Simple, full-length mirrors.

                            DR. SANGER
                   So what do we learn from our mistakes?
                   That human parts cannot grow outside a
                   human body. That human bodies cannot
                   grow outside nature's grand design.

                                                                  20.



A FAT MAN, supporting his bulk with a walking stick, grunts -

                         T H E FAT MAN
               S o what the hell are we doing here?

                            DR. SANGER
               L e t ' s say one day you go to your doctor
               for a checkup. He discovers you have
               imminent renal failure and require a
               kidney transplant. What would you do?

                           T H E FAT MAN
               I wouldn't do nothing. My brother'd
               g i v e me one of his. Or else.

                           DR. SANGER
               E v e n if your brother's kidney is with-
               o u t defect, there's still a 38% chance
               of rejection. Or less if he's your twin.

                           T H E FAT MAN
               He's not. He's older.

                          DR. SANGER
               But what if you did have a twin?

O f f the fat man's confused look, Sanger smiles and gently coaxes
him to face a mirror. Their reflections stare back at them.

                           DR. SANGER
               What if you had a genetic double who'd
               give you not just one of his kidneys,
               but both? In fact, any organ or body
               part you ever had cause to need?

                            T H E FAT MAN
               What ? You mean like a clone? I thought
               you said all that stuff was a bust.

                        DR. SANGER
               I said the problem with a clone is it
               doesn't survive infancy. The solution
               is to find a different starting point.
               Why sow the seed when you can create
               the fruit? Or what we like to call...
               an "agnate".

L y d i a starts clapping., then s t o p s , realizing this wasn't a cue.

                         DR. SANGER
               An agnate is sequenced from a point on
               the cellular timeclock. I t is spawned
               post-maturate. It is `created' adult.

                                                              21.



                                DR. SANGER (cont'd)
              O f course, its brain is still vestigial
              s o for the first three years we keep it
              i n suspension. During which time we use
              d a t a impression to supply a template
              f o r functionality - a process we call
              " f o u n d a t i o n " . After foundation we
              t r a n s f e r the agnate into "containment"
              w h e r e it enters the conditioning
              p r o c e s s . An ongoing series of quality
              c o n t r o l s designed to test and maintain
              i t s functionality. After a minimum of
              t w o years conditioning, the agnate
              b e c o m e s eligible for harvest...
                      ( t o the FAT MAN, smiling)
              An d you, my friend, get your new kidney.

A hush falls among the group as they process what they've heard.
It's a sign of the times that none of them seems to be horrified.

                        T H E FAT MAN
             L e t me see if I got this straight. You
             can create this whatever... this walking
             spare parts holder... but I gotta w a i t
             five years to get hold of em?

                        DR. SANGER
             The spare parts, as you put it, need to
             be tested for integrity. But as many of
             our clients leave it till late in life
             to take out the policy, we do offer the
             option for early harvest. Given the
             risks, however, a waiver is required.

                       T H E FAT MAN
             S o five years or no warranty? For the
             premiums you're asking?

                        DR. SANGER
             An d what if the organ you   needed was a
             heart? Ask yourself, each     of you. If
             you had to put a price on     your life,
             your very survival - what     would it be?

A deep lull as the group considers this. Sanger picks his moment.

                         DR. SANGER
             I t ' s a question your insurance company
             has already answered. For them, the
             agnate obviates costly and ineffective
             treatment programs. Should you decide
             t o take out our policy, not only will
             they lower your existing premiums but
             they'll also cover the production cost.

                                                               22.



The incentive ripples across the faces. A troubled one speaks up-

                          T O U R MEMBER
              This "agnate"... what happens to it?
              After our friend here gets his kidney.

                            DR. SANGER
              That's entirely his decision. Our role
              is intermediary. We, as the insurance
              provider, guarantee the condition and
              availability of the agnate but all
              other rights are retained. In legal
              terms, the policy holder is defined as
              a "sponsor". The premiums, in effect,
              becoming sponsorship payments,
              maintaining the agnate until such time
              as harvest is required. At such time
              and where feasible, the sponsor has
              the option to extend sponsorship,
              retaining the agnate for secondary
              harvest or, shall we say, let the
              policy expire.

                             T O U R MEMBER
              E x p i r e ? You mean... let it die?

                            DR. SANGER
              N o . Not as you and I know it, at least.
              The associations of life and death are
              no more applicable to an agnate than to
              a cow in a field. It exists in a state
              of limited consciousness - aware not of
              life but of functionality. Imbued with
              the knowledge to maintain its function
              but without the capacity to question it.
              And yet, in many ways, the end if the
              most humane part of the process. The
              agnate goes to harvest without any fore-
              b o d i n g and is painlessly returned to the
              sleep from whence it came. Eternal or
              otherwise. There is mortality for an
              agnate. Just utility and redundancy.

                        T O U R MEMBER
              S o it doesn't know? It doesn't know
              its... its p u r p o s e in life?

                         DR. SANGER
              W h o does know my friend? Who among us
              knows our true purpose in life?
S a n g e r ambles on, plunged in thought. Lydia picks up the slack-

                                                                  23.



                          LYDIA
              This month we're offering a special
              rate for new sponsors. Including a 10%
              discount on the his-and-hers plan.

She ushers the group round another corner. Another holoframe and
another commercial, displaying the same characters as the first;
The old man with the walking frame is now running in a park--
The woman with the mastectomy is now at a party, her cocktail
dress broadcasting a full cleavage -- The young mother is now in
a waiting room, smiling as a doctor hands her a newborn baby.

                         LYDIA
              DR. SANGER? Would you like to close?

                            DR. SANGER
              Yes . . . Now some of you may be thinking
              this commercial is staged. But these are
              not actors, these are past customers.
              Real p e o p l e enjoying the real f r u i t s of
              sponsorship. What we offer here at The
              Sanger Institute is not just health
              insurance but indemnity. What we offer
              is the chance of a new lease on life...

The tour group applauds, this time without prompting from Lydia.

                         DR. SANGER
              N o w Lydia will walk you through the
              rest of the tour and explain the
              various limitations and exclusions.
              But I do have time for a few questions.
H a n d s are raised. A waspish-looking woman butts ahead of them-

                         T H E WASP
              The commercial. The girl with the baby.
              What is that? A fix for infertility?

                         DR. SANGER
              You mean the maternity plan? No.
              N o t endemic infertility at least. As I
              said, the law prohibits genetic
              alteration so a defect endemic in a
              sponsor will also be present in their
              agnate. No, what the maternity plan
              provides is a way round the risks and
              rigors of childbirth. Under this plan,
              an agnate becomes eligible for
              pregnancy shortly after foundation. A
              simple donation of sperm from the
              father, then the agnate is fertilized
              and brings your baby to term.

                                                                      24.



                                THE WASP
                     An d then what? You get it in the mail?

                                DR. SANGER
                     F o r practical reasons, delivery is
                     handled by your healthcare p r o v i d e r .

                                T H E WASP
                     An d "the agnate" - what happens to it?
                     When it's, you know - delivered.

                                DR. SANGER
                     The same rule applies. You can continue
                     your sponsorship. Or not. And in this
                     case, there's a natural window for
                     compliance as the agnate is routinely
                     sedated after delivery. As to whether
                     it wakes up from that sleep, like I
                     said, the choice is yours...

                                      T H E WASP
                            ( b e a t , a shrug)
                     An y t h i n g to avoid stretch-marks, right?

     The other tour members, some more guiltily than others, laugh.

23   EXT . PROCESSING PLANT
     A i r blasts up from the same giant tunnel, swallowing the laughs.

24   INT . EXTRACTOR SHAFT

     The acoustic hollowing as we look up from the now empty catwalk.
     The blast of air fading into the deep, steady thrum of the fans.

25   INT . CONTAINMENT

     The thrum fading to silence. A flat, measured silence as we
     revisit the community in soundless montage. The residential
     block, the frosted facades. The nutrition plaza, the counters,
     the chutes. The subway, the moving walkways. Centerville, the
     buildings now emitting a trickle of agnates, ending their
     workday - unwitting participants in their own greater utility.

26   INT . DIRECTOR'S OFFICE - CENTERVILLE
     A glass wall looks down on the avenue. The furniture is trans-
     p a r e n t , ethereal. Merrick sits at a console desk studying an
     etherboard. O f f a buzz, he taps a button. The door opens and
     Lincoln enters, composing a deadpan. He doesn't like this man.

                                LINCOLN
                     You wanted to see me?

                                                                    25.



                               MERRICK
                   Yes . Please, take a seat.
He taps     a button. The glass wall frosts over. It's unnerving but
Lincoln      stays deadpan, moving the chair before taking a seat.
Merrick      reviews the etherboard: Lincoln's headshot s p i n n i n g in
3D w i t h   a scroll of data. Then he looks up, forming a smile-

                                MERRICK
                   How ' s Lincoln Six-Echo today?

Lincoln shrugs, noncommittal. Merrick eyes him thoughtfully.

                                     MERRICK
                   E v e r y t h i n g going okay?

                            LINCOLN
                   I guess not.

                              MERRICK
                   Why do you say that?
                             LINCOLN
                   I f I'm here.

                              MERRICK
                   I'm not sure I deserve such a negative
                   association. My job's only to see that
                   you're happy. That everything's okay.

                                LINCOLN
                   Right.
                             MERRICK
                   I t sounds like you don't believe me.

                              LINCOLN
                   Why wouldn't I?

                                   MERRICK
                          ( s i t s back, smiling)
                   I t ' s part of your makeup. To challenge
                   things. To question what's around you.

                                LINCOLN
                   Ah.

                                  MERRICK
                   P e r h a p s you can utilize that facility
                   by helping me solve a little puzzle.
Lincoln shifts, feeling uneasy. Merrick consults the etherboard-

                                                                 26.



                                MERRICK
                You're doing well in most areas - pro-
                f i c i e n t a t work, exercising rigorously,
                your last medical puts you in excellent
                condition. But screening's picked up
                some deviations. Trace levels, changes
                in your sleep pattern... I see you've
                also been burning up your quotas...

                           LINCOLN
                A r e you saying I'm contaminated?

                            MERRICK
                No.
                            LINCOLN
                The n what's the problem?

                             MERRICK
                The r e are parameters, Lincoln. When
                someone starts straying from those
                parameters, we need to find out why.

                            LINCOLN
                Why?

                               MERRICK
                Because you - not just you, all of our
                residents - are special. Because people
                like me don't get to go to The Island.

He smiles. Lincoln stays deadpan, wondering where this is going.

                          MERRICK
                S o tell me, have you noticed any
                changes in yourself?

                            LINCOLN
                No.
                            MERRICK
                What about your sleep pattern? You
                feel you've been sleeping properly?

Lincoln shrugs, refractory.

                           MERRICK
                L e t me put it another way, when you
                wake up, do you feel... disrupted?

                         LINCOLN
                Disrupted?

                                                                  27.



                                MERRICK
               R e s t l e s s , disoriented, uneasy...
                        LINCOLN
               I don't know.

                              MERRICK
               They're all words in your vocabulary.
               I know you understand what they mean.
Lincoln ' s jaw clenches, patronized. Merrick notes this, resumes-

                                MERRICK
               Quotas . . . nutrition. Do you feel like
               you want more than you're given?
                        LINCOLN
               I don't know.

                         MERRICK
               Do you have any difficulty staying
               focused? At work, for instance?

Lincoln ' s jaw twitches. Merrick notes this, proceeds with care-

                           MERRICK
               H a v e you been experiencing feelings,
               sensations you don't quite understand?

                        LINCOLN
               I don't know.

                         MERRICK
               Do you sometimes feel agitated for no
               apparent reason? Frustrated, angry...

                             LINCOLN
               That's it.

                             MERRICK
               An g r y ? You feel angry?

                           LINCOLN
               Right.

                           MERRICK
               When exactly do you feel angry?

                           LINCOLN
               Now...
Lincoln leans forward as if to assert this. Merrick slowly nods
like he's just revealed something. He taps the etherboard-

                                                                 28.



                          MERRICK
               I'm going to order some tests at The
               Medical Center. In the meantime, I'd
               like you to stay away from stimulants -
               protein, sugar, caffeine...

                        LINCOLN
               I already burned up my quotas.

                          MERRICK
               But I know you can get around them.

He levels a knowing look. Lincoln stiffens again, unsettled.

                          MERRICK
               I'm asking you to cooperate. Not for
               my sake, Lincoln, but for your own.

                         LINCOLN
               Is that it?

                            MERRICK
               The r e is one other thing. You have a
               female friend. "Ester". Your file shows
               you've been interacting regularly.

                              LINCOLN
               The r e ' s no law against friendship.

                         MERRICK
               O f course not. We encourage interaction
               in the hope it'll be of mutual benefit.
               But given these deviations... let's
               just say proximity becomes an issue.

                        LINCOLN
               I know the rules of proximity.

                             MERRICK
               The rules of proximity apply to sexual
               contact, Lincoln. In this case it goes
               deeper than that. Ester is entering
               h e r second trimester. A time of change
               and emotional confusion. Further inter-
               a c t i o n might be... unhealthy for you.
Lincoln , patronized, looks away. This pill he won't swallow.

                          MERRICK
               An d for Ester - well, she has only six
               months left to delivery. Then she'll
               move out to The Island and whatever
               ties she has here will be broken.

                                                                       29.



                                      MERRICK (cont'd)
                    A s a friend, shouldn't you make her
                    t r a n s i t i o n as painless as possible?
     Lincoln ' s deadpan falters. This one, a bitter pill, he swallows.

                                 MERRICK
                    G o o d . Now I'm also going to refill
                    your pleasure quota. It may help to
                    settle you down a little.

                                 LINCOLN
                    Thank you. I feel much better now.

                               MERRICK
                    I'm not sure you do. But I think
                    you'll do what's right, Lincoln. You
                    may not trust me. But I trust you.

27   INT . COMMUNITY CENTER - CENTERVILLE - EVENING

     A theater in the round. The audience is mostly pregnant females
     and older residents. As the lights dim, eyes turn to the stage.
     Speakers bring up Handel's O m b r a M a i Fu. Then a glowing mist
     rises, condensing into a huge sphere, like a seed. Known as a
     "holomorph", it reacts sonically, germinating into stems and
     branches and blossoms, growing and evolving with the music. The
     diaspora i s as spellbinding as it is pacifying. It is beautiful.

28   INT . FOYER - COMMUNITY CENTER - EVENING

     The music from within is like a warm beckoning hand. The foyer is
     slightly vaulted to accommodate a statue. On a bench at its
     f o o t , Ester sits alone, waiting patiently. As Lincoln enters,
     s h e rises to greet him, smiling. He seems more sullen than
     usual.

                                 LINCOLN
                    S o r r y I'm late.

                                ESTER
                    I t ' s okay. I was waiting to tell you
                    something anyway. Guess what?

     Lincoln looks at her, unsettled by her flourishing smile.

                              ESTER
                    M y baby - I felt it move. And it's the
                    weirdest feeling too. I can't explain
                    it. It's like being more... more h e r e .
     Lincoln returns a deadpan look. Ester's smile wavers a little.

                                                                          30.



                                ESTER
                     I'm sorry. I'm all excited and we're
                     supposed to be finding peace of mind.

                              LINCOLN
                     I have to cancel, Ester.

     His voice is expressionless. Ester shrugs, refreshing her smile.

                               ESTER
                     S o I'll see you at breakfast tomorrow?

                              LINCOLN
                     I don't think so.
     Ester ' s smile falls. Her eyes, reaching, trying to understand.

                                ESTER
                     Did I do something wrong, Lincoln?

                                LINCOLN
                     No.

     A small word but it comes heavily. Before Ester can ask another
     question, Lincoln turns and leaves. His jaw, clenching with the
     effort of self-containment. Ester watches him, not hurt, just a
     little confused. We widen to encompass the height of the statue.
     The likeness is idealized but unmistakably that of Dr. Sanger.

29   INT . PLEASURE CENTER - NIGHT

     B l u e light. Lincoln walks up a long corridor, carrying a sealed
     plastic bag. Along the walls, poster-sized screens like those in
     the bar, display images of women, gyrating, licking their lips.

30   INT . PLEASURE CELL - NIGHT

     The blue light sustains. To one side is a mirrored wall, known
     as an "etherwall". It is currently pixellated t o display a grid
     of women's faces, artificial consorts waiting to be selected.
     Facing the etherwall i s a large aquarium-like tank, filled with
     gelatinous blue liquid. This vessel is known as a "sense tank".

     Lincoln sits at the rim, naked, wearing a full-head oxygen mask.
     He couples it to a hose dangling from the ceiling. Then lowers
     himself into the tank. On the inner facet, a touchlight k e y p a d
     resolves. Lincoln taps some keys and the etherwall a c k n o w l e d g e s :

     - - P L E A S U R E PARTNER SELECTED; PROGRAM COMMENCING...

     Lincoln looks out at the etherwall. The faces blink off to leave
     him staring at his reflection. Just one left, a pouting redhead,
     who licks her lips in anticipation as the lights dim.

                                                                       31.



     A holographic mist now rises. First resolving a proxy of Lincoln,
     naked, replicating his posture in the tank. Then the redhead is
     conjured, her buxom nudity glimpsed through the swirling mist.
     Lincoln proxy reaches out to stroke redhead proxy's breast. In
     the tank, Lincoln's fingers caress only the gel, his fingertips
     met by soft arcs of light - neurological charges, conducted by
     the gel, creating the sense of touch. They are known as "impulse
     arcs". Redhead proxy responds, dappling her lips across Lincoln
     proxy's neck. In the tank, impulse arcs flicker across Lincoln's
     throat, then down his chest, descending to more erogenous zones.
     Lincoln stiffens and closes his eyes, yielding to the sensation.

     The sensation engulfing him, Lincoln's brow starts to furrow. Not
     with ecstasy. Something darker. His eyes open, his pupils fixed
     in a black dilated stare. Resisting the artificiality, his face
     forming a sneer, tightening until... he slams h i s palm into the
     touchpad. The tank shakes. The proxies blink out. Lincoln stands
     mirrored in the etherwall. His hand, pressed against the glass in
     a posture of defiance. His reflection, warped and shuddering.

31   INT . ELEVATOR SHAFT

     F r o m darkness grows a seed of light. Red light, pulsing to reveal
     the shaft, lined by lode-poles, here in triangulated relay. The
     polarity cradles a dark mass towards us. An elevator in descent.

32   INT . DIRECTOR'S OFFICE

     Merrick   is at his console, working late. Off a buzz, he taps a
     button.   The door opens and an outsider enters - 40's, square set,
     hollow,   remote eyes. His hair is damp and he wears post-decon
     scrubs.   A USMC ring is visible on his finger. His name is SCHEER.

                                    MERRICK
                     K a r l . . . Welcome back.

     S c h e e r pauses, his face twitching. Then sneezes violently.

                              SCHEER
                     I forgot how much I hate the air here.

                                 MERRICK
                     J u s t a histamine reflex. Your system's
                     readjusting to the sterile environment.

                                 SCHEER
                     I t ' s the smell I hate. Empty.

                                 MERRICK
                     Yes , well I cut short your leave for a
                     reason. I take it you've been briefed?

                                                                     32.



                                SCHEER
                      ( s i t s , sniffing)
                O n e of our lab rats is missing.
W i t h a dour look, Merrick slots his etherboard i n t o a dock. A
proxy resolves over the console, quarter scale, spinning in 3D;
male, African American, bull neck. Data etches across thin air:

- - P R O D U C T ID: STARKWEATHER; FOUNDATION: II; GENERATION: DELTA;
- - I N T E G R A T I O N DATE: 01/27/84 // CONTAINMENT REF: 102, SECTOR 4

                           MERRICK
                His name is Starkweather Two-Delta. He
                dropped off the ether two days ago. At
                first we thought it was a system error.
                Then we found this in a garbage chute.

He opens a drawer and pulls out an ethercuff. He hands it to
Scheer who considers it remotely for a few seconds. Then-

                             SCHEER
                D e l t a generation, huh?

                              MERRICK
                That's right.

                          SCHEER
                I t was a Delta the last time.

                            MERRICK
                T h a t was entirely different. The
                product suffered a head injury.
                            SCHEER
                What happened to this one?

                          MERRICK
                We don't know. He just disappeared.
                           SCHEER
                N o t easy to disappear. Unless he
                figured a way through the boundary.

                            MERRICK
                He's a code two, Karl. A low functioner.
                          SCHEER
                I f you ask me, it's a mistake giving
                them any functions at all.

                            MERRICK
                The y don't function mentally, they don't
                function physically - you know that.

                                                                      33.



                           SCHEER
               The n perhaps if you're going to breed
               lab rats, you should breed them tame.
His look, albeit from a distance, throws a stone. Merrick hardens-

                         MERRICK
               I f you bothered to read the clone laws,
               you'd realize we have no choice in the
               matter. The virtual humanity statutes
               accord them a set of freedoms. All we
               can do is prescribe the limits. And
               even those are subject to regulation.
               Scope of knowledge, range of activity,
               even their speech patterns. The law
               requires that what is of human origin
               be provided with human characteristics.

                          SCHEER
               You mean, like fallibility?
Merrick pauses. He's not going to take the bait.

                          MERRICK
               The ether shows no attempts on the
               boundary. He's here, Karl. But for
               some reason, your men seem unable to
               find him. It's your job to contain the
               products. I'd like you to do it, okay?

                        SCHEER
               A little sensitive, aren't we?

                           MERRICK
               J u s t after Starkweather went missing,
               his sponsor placed an order. An order we
               can't fill. Damn right I'm sensitive.

                               SCHEER
               A l r i g h t . How much time do I have?

Merrick taps a button. A holoframe appears beside the proxy.
Even in two dimensions, the face is identical. Just a different
hairstyle and a gold earring. This is the face of The Sponsor.

                               MERRICK
               J a m i l Starkweather . . . last week he
               sustained a hepatic trauma resulting in
               liver hemorrhage. In medical terms, we
               have maybe a few weeks. In legal terms,
               we're already o n borrowed time...
                      ( a s Scheer rises to leave)
               An d Karl?

                                                                            34.



                                   MERRICK (cont'd)
                      I don't want a godawful m e s s like the
                      l a s t time. Minimal damage. Understood?

33   INT . LINCOLN'S APARTMENT - PREDAWN

     The horizon. The green mountains cast black by the predawn
     glower. Lincoln sits rigidly hunched on his bed, still in
     yesterday's clothes, sleepless. He is staring fixedly out of the
     window, hungrily, as if inviting the outer darkness to come in.

     His gaze lowers onto his jacket, slung across the bed. He digs
     in the pocket. And pulls out the cigarette pack. For a moment he
     considers it. Then slowly, purposefully, he opens it. He slips a
     cigarette between his lips. And lights up. He leans back, taking
     a slow drag. Exhaling, he watches the smoke rise. His gaze rests
     on the etherscreen above, expectant. The cursor comes to life:

     - - S C R E E N I N G . . . CONTAMINANT DETECTED: ADVISING SANITATION CTRL

     R e f l e c t e d in the ceiling, Lincoln grins at his small victory.
34   INT . RESIDENTIAL BLOCK - SECTOR FOUR

     Q u i e t , empty at this hour. Just the drum of footfalls as Lincoln
     marches up the walkway, puffing his cigarette. He stops at the
     ethergate, regarding it as if for the first time. Then he stubs
     out his cigarette. And swipes his ethercuff o v e r the scanner.

35   INT . THE ETHER GRID

     A blue dot blinks in space. We widen to establish its locus on a
     tomograph. Now building the boxes, the quadrants, the sectors.
     Revealing a vast, fully dimensional hologram of containment. It
     spins in the vaulted chamber like a giant geometrical phantom.

36   INT . ETHER CONTROL ROOM

     O v e r l o o k i n g the ether, like a studio control booth. Known as
     "Ethercon", it's also the title of the Censor at the console.
     Scheer stands over him, now in a white censor uniform with black
     chevrons on the sleeves, marking his seniority. He instructs-

                                    SCHEER
                     R e v e r s e map. Crop to twelve hour
                     segments. Then put up a sub-grid.

     - - S T A R K W E A T H E R TWO-DELTA: ETHER HISTORY; REVERSE MAPPING...

     T o one side, a miniature of the ether grid resolves. It peppers
     with a series of blue dots. Then a blue line stems from a point
     of origin to start joining them. Scheer leans in, eyes honing,
     watching the blue line retrace the last steps of his quarry.

                                                                     35.



37   INT. NUTRITION PLAZA - SECTOR FOUR - PREDAWN

     The glass wall reprises the predawn glower. The plaza is empty
     at this hour. But the service counters are staffed as breakfast
     is being prepared. The clerk looks surprised to see Lincoln
     arriving so early. He seems grim, latent, stiffly swiping his
     ethercuff o v e r the scanner. She eyes the readout on her screen-

                                   N U T R I T I O N CLERK
                    Lincoln Six-Echo... Options are dried
                    fruit, oatmeal or anything in bran.

                             LINCOLN
                    I want some bacon.

                               N U T R I T I O N CLERK
                    You heard the options.

                               LINCOLN
                    An d coffee. I want coffee.
     The clerk sighs and taps her screen. Turning to the chutes, she
     collects a foil covered bowl and a juice can and sets them on
     Lincoln's tray. Lincoln glances down at it, then back up-

                                LINCOLN
                    This isn't what I asked for.

                               N U T R I T I O N CLERK
                    You want to get into it? Look, I just
                    work here, pal. I serve the meal and
                    make sure it goes down on your record.
     Lincoln nods slowly. Then picks up the bowl. And flings i t across
     the plaza. Then the juice can, trying to outdistance the bowl.
     Finally, the tray, which rotors almost to the far side before
     clattering into obscurity. Then he turns back to the clerk-

                               LINCOLN
                    P u t that on my fucking r e c o r d .

38   INT . SUBWAY PORTAL - SECTOR FOUR

     The latticed wall of ethergates. The rising beat of footfalls as
     Lincoln approaches. He swipes his ethercuff o v e r the scanner. The
     gate slowly hisses open. Too slowly for Lincoln, who kicks it and
     barges his way through, leaving the gate to shudder on its hinge.

39   INT . SUBWAY PLATFORM

     The walkways, unmoving. The platform, deserted. The echoing beat
     of footfalls as Lincoln marches up to the vending machine. He
     swipes his ethercuff o v e r the scanner. A screen illuminates:

                                                                36.



--SUGAR QUOTA EXCEEDED; ACCESS DENIED

Lincoln glowers at the message. His jaw clenching, twitching with
anger. Erupting, he lashes out, punching t h e machine. He winces
as his knuckles crack. Then grabs the machine, trying to rip it
off the wall. Pulling, straining, sneering with effort, until-

He lets go with a defeated gasp. Then kicks the machine in final
affront. The machine resounds with a dull boom. For a moment, he
stands there, chest heaving. Then suddenly traps his breath...

The r e , in the fading boom, a noise. Faint, rhythmic. Becoming
discernible as THE SOUND OF A MAN SOBBING. Lincoln turns toward
the platform. Tracing the sound, he crosses to the safety fence.

                           LINCOLN
               Hello?

His voice echoes to nothing. He leans over the fence and peers
up the tunnel. There. In the fog of darkness, a figure. A figure
paused, half-standing, like an animal on the brink of flight.
The figure seems to stare at him. Then pulls upright. Now moving
forward and into the light. His face is African American, bull-
n e c k e d , eyes wild and bloodshot. A stranger to Lincoln, we know
him as STARKWEATHER TWO-DELTA. His voice is quivering, unhinged-

                           STARKWEATHER
               Please...

Lincoln stands, frozen by the sight of this dark, dishevelled
resident. As he climbs up onto the platform, we see his hands,
the fingertips grated and bloody. He lumbers towards Lincoln-

                              STARKWEATHER
               P l e a s e , you have to help me...

He rushes forward, grabbing Lincoln, pulling him face-close-

                          STARKWEATHER
               Y O U CAN'T LET THEM TAKE ME!

The stranger's eyes grow darkly, his pupils abysmal, black with
dilation. Lincoln fiercely shrugs off his grip, backing away...

                          LINCOLN
               W h o are you? What's wrong with you?

The stranger's eyes bore into him, obsidian. Face contorting,
baring his teeth like a rabid dog. Suddenly he lunges a t Lincoln-
- B O O M - ramming him back into the vending machine - Lincoln is
stunned - suddenly a vice-like grip on his wrist swings him round-
- C R A C K - into the etherscreen banner, webbing at the impact...

                                                                           37.



     For a moment, all is a blur. Teetering, Lincoln props himself
     against the wall. Then his focus resolves on the etherscreen and
     his fractured reflection. He releases a deep, bewildered breath.
     Then he notices his wrist. His ethercuff i s missing, his skin,
     grazed red from abrasion. Confusion yielding to anger, he looks
     for his assailant. But the platform is empty. His jaw clenches.

40   INT . SUBWAY PORTAL - SECTOR FOUR

     T H E DRUM OF FOOTFALLS as Starkweather rushes up to the ethergate.
     H a n d shaking, he swipes Lincoln's ethercuff o v e r the scanner. The
     gate hisses open and he barrels through, suddenly spurred by --

     LINCOLN BURSTING UP from the well of walkways, charging forward
     like a bull. The gate now closing, Lincoln races for the gap,
     barging his way through. And the gate snaps shut with a CLANG.

41   INT . ETHER CONTROL ROOM

     A N ALARM SOUNDS. The console flashes. Ethercon responds with a
     flurry of keystrokes. Scheer rejoins him as he pulls up a sub-
     g r i d . This one evolving past tomograph, mosaicing a n g l e s from
     etherscreen, conjugating a 3D l i v e feed known as an "etherview"--

                                                             M A T C H CUT TO:

42   INT . NUTRITION PLAZA - SECTOR FOUR - DAWN

     S T A R K W E A T H E R BARRELING ACROSS THE PLAZA; glancing off tables,
     sending chairs flying. Some residents, arriving for breakfast,
     scatter at his onset. Shocked faces, looking back and forth as
     Lincoln follows, in hot pursuit, vaulting the toppled furniture.

43   INT . ELEVATOR BANK - AN UPPER LEVEL

     A SQUAD OF CENSORS CONVERGING; called suddenly to duty, looping
     tri-keys r o u n d their necks, donning headsets, priming stopguns.
     S c h e e r leads them into the elevator, coolly relaying his orders-

                                   SCHEER
                    S u b j e c t headed into North Quadrant. Two-
                    m a n teams - we block him and force him
                    to ground. If you have a shot, hook him
                    but keep it above the belt. Management
                    doesn't want us to "damage the product".
     The Censors roll their eyes knowingly. Scheer taps his headset.

                                     S C H E E R (INTO HEADSET)
                    E t h e r c o n ? Sector Four North; code an
                    exclusion for tri-key a c c e s s . Then
                    give me a full quadrant lockdown.

                                                                          38.



44   INT. RESIDENTIAL BLOCK - SECTOR FOUR

     A VERTICAL ONTO A RESIDENTIAL BLOCK: the grid of crosswalks, the
     tiers of frosted facades; quiet, the residents still dormant--

     A DRUM OF FOOTFALLS: Then a figure breaking frame, racing up the
     walkway of an upper floor; then another figure, in hot pursuit --

     T H E LOCKDOWN I N I T I A T E S : the lights shifting spectrum from white
     to ultraviolet, bathing the quadrant in a lambent purple haze--

     S T A R K W E A T H E R : his eyes bulging with panic as he races up the
     walkway, straining for an ethergate a t the far end of the floor--

     LINCOLN : his eyes charged with adrenaline, straining to close
     ground on his assailant; oblivious to the building noise of--

     T H E LOCKDOWN: locks hissing, lights flashing, ripping up the row
     of frosted facades; sweeping past Lincoln and onward toward--

     S T A R K W E A T H E R : the ripple of hissing locks rushing up on him, he
     pours on the pace, sneering with effort as he tries to outrace--

     T H E LOCKDOWN: the ripple spearing ahead of him to the end of the
     floor; now banking across the ethergate a n d sealing the exit.

     S T A R K W E A T H E R : stalled by the realization he's trapped; he spins
     round, looking for another avenue of escape only to find--

     LINCOLN: blindsiding h i s assailant with a headlong tackle; both
     men toppling over, hitting the floor with a bone-jarring thud--

     S T A R K W E A T H E R : quick to recover, breaking lose of entanglement;
     now struggling to his feet, stumbling onward up the walkway--

     LINCOLN : gets up to resume pursuit, then pauses, spotting his
     ethercuff, discarded on the ground. He looks up in confusion at--

     S T A R K W E A T H E R : a short distance ahead, climbing over the walkway
     rail; launching himself off, into a seemingly suicidal plummet--

     LINCOLN : leaning over the rail, seeing his assailant land safely
     on a crosswalk beneath, resuming his flight on the lower floor as-

     - B O O M - A GUNBLAST r i p s the air. A KEENING SOUND builds to a wail-
     - T H U D - LINCOLN JOLTS as something hits his shoulder, catching him
     off-balance, a stab of pain keeling him onto the rail -CLANG -

     LINCOLN SLUMPS INTO FG - TWO CENSORS converging like white ghosts
     from the purple haze - one reprimanding his recalcitrant cohort-

                                                                           39.



                               CENSOR
                    You asshole! You hooked the wrong one!
     He crouches to examine Lincoln. Blood is blossoming from a wound
     on his shoulder, jutting from which is a projectile. The censor
     presses its base and it snaps loose of its unintended target.

     N o w we see the projectile more clearly. A fat metal pellet, snub-
     n o s e d , finned at the tail by four metal teeth. On impact, the
     nose recesses to release a springload a n d the teeth snap forward
     to bite into the target. This device is known as a "hookhead".

                                     CENSOR
                    J u s t a flesh wound. `Hit his head
                    pretty hard. Possible concussion.
                           ( i n s p e c t i n g Lincoln's pupils)
                    T h i n k you can walk, buddy?

     Lincoln nods slightly. The censor unloops a tri-key f r o m his neck-

                               CENSOR
                    You see this? It'll get you past the
                    lockdown. You're to report to The
                    Medical Center. You understand?

     O f f Lincoln's blank stare, the censor presses the tri-key i n t o
     his palm. Then departs. Lincoln stays where he sits, still dazed
     from the concussion. Absently he watches the censors race off up
     the walkway, dissolving back into the purple haze as we-

                                                                     C U T TO:

45   INT . ETHER CONTROL ROOM
     S T A R K W E A T H E R RUNNING. Meeting white uniforms at every turn, zig-
     z a g g i n g o v e r crosswalks, down ramps. The rat in the maze, dumb to
     its inevitable destination. Widening, we see we are watching the
     action on etherview, racking and dollying like a deific e y e .

                                E T H E R C O N (INTO HEADSET)
                    E a s t side team hold position. Subject
                    headed for the second floor crossramp.

46   INT . GROUND FLOOR - RESIDENTIAL BLOCK
     C l o a k e d in shadow, Scheer listens to the play-by-play on headset.
     With a tap, he changes the channel, whispering to his squad-

                                S C H E E R (INTO HEADSET)
                    G i v e him some space. I have him.
     A N O T H E R ANGLE: Starkweather hits the deck running, sprinting up
     the avenue. In BG, Scheer steps forth, stopgun l e v e l l e d , aiming--

                                                                             40.



     -BOOM- The flash of the muzzle, the shrill wail of the hookhead.

     - T H U D - Starkweather jolts as the shot hits him square in the
     back, arching as the hookhead b i t e s ; but he keeps on running-

     - B O O M - B O O M - B O O M - Scheer unleashes his ordnance, filling the air.

     - T H U D - T H U D - T H U D - Starkweather jolts from one, two, three more
     hits; hookheads b i t i n g , spraying blood; but he keeps on running.
                                 S C H E E R (INTO HEADSET)
                      A l l clear. Flood the area.

     A N O T H E R ANGLE; Floor level, as between the tiles, tiny red lights
     start blinking, rippling forward in a wave. Known as "lode-pins"
     their small magnetic pulses accumulate into a low level stream.

     The hookheads c l a w e d in Starkweather's back also start blinking
     red. The invisible stream flowing beneath his feet, Starkweather
     feels its force. The duelling polarities stealing his traction.
     His run reducing to a slipsliding s t a g g e r . Then his feet leave
     the ground. He flails for a handhold. But there's nothing. The
     force lifts him a foot clear off the ground before balancing out
     to dangle him in mid-air, squirming about like a fish on a hook.

     A N O T H E R ANGLE; Scheer advances to reel in his catch. The stream
     bows before him, red lights blinking out. Until all that remains
     is the section where Starkweather hangs suspended. Scheer stops
     at its limit, looking up at him like some curious zoo exhibit.

                                  S C H E E R (INTO HEADSET)
                      H o o d him, cuff him, patch the bleed.
                      Then let's get him up to Level Three.
     A N O T H E R ANGLE: looking down from high above as the Censors move
     in on Starkweather. Scheer now walking away, tapping his headset-

                                       S C H E E R (INTO HEADSET)
                      E t h e r c o n ? Send word to dispatch.
                      Starkweather Two-Delta is secured.

     R E V E R S E ANGLE: Lincoln in CU, looking down. He has seen and heard
     all that has just passed. In his eyes, we see his daze clearing,
     consciousness coalescing, deepening. His pupils dilating into a
     deep and uncanny stare. What can only be described as a dawning.
47   INT . NUTRITION PLAZA - SECTOR FOUR - LATER

     N o w full but unusually quiet. Residents sit in whispered, anxious
     discourse. The news of the incident is spreading. Off a series of
     chimes, eyes turn to the glass wall, now pixellating i n t o an
     outsider's face - calm, official. THE COMMUNITY ANNOUNCER begins-

                                                                      41.



                                COMMUNITY ANNOUNCER
                    Good morning - this is a community
                    bulletin... Following an incident in
                    Sector Four earlier this morning, The
                    Department of Sanitation is issuing an
                    all-sector contamination warning...

     TRACKING the rapt concern of the residents, Ester among them.

                               COMMUNITY ANNOUNCER
                    The incident involved a resident found
                    to be infected with a pathogen. While
                    the risk is assessed, residents are
                    advised to be aware of the symptoms.
                    Should you experience aberrant levels
                    of anxiety or witness it in others,
                    immediately contact The Medical Center.

48   INT . DIRECTOR'S OFFICE

     The proxy of Starkweather spins over the desk. Merrick regards
     i t with a frown. Scheer sits turning the ethercuff i n his fingers
     with a demeanor of cool curiosity. Underneath, he's rattled.

                               SCHEER
                    You want to tell me what's going on?

                                   MERRICK
                    There's nothing going on, Karl.

                               SCHEER
                    I'm jaded. Not stupid.

                                  MERRICK
                    What's your point?

                             SCHEER
                    I checked up. In the past year, three
                    products have destabilized. All of them
                    Deltas... and there's nothing going on?

                                  MERRICK
                    You're jumping to conclusions.

                                SCHEER
                    Once I can overlook. Twice I can call
                    coincidence. Three times I start giving
                    a shit. Because if these products are
                    defective...

                                   MERRICK
                    Q u a l i t y control is not your concern.

                                                               42.



                        SCHEER
              S o it is a quality control issue?

                            MERRICK
              That's not what I said.

                        SCHEER
              He was in the subway tunnels for two
              days. In the dark, no food, no water.
              His fingers were scraped to the bone.
              He was trying to dig his way out. Now
              you try to explain to me why that is.

His look says he smells a rat. Merrick weighs him a moment. Then
sighs, a little depleted. He gets up and crosses to the glass
wall. Looks down on the avenue, at the agnates m i l l i n g beneath.

                               MERRICK
              It's not an exact science - biogenesis.
              There's a degree of trial and error. If
              the agnate doesn't come together on the
              first pass, we have to abort and start
              over. It's like breaking inertia. The
              bioreactor, the growth medium - we just
              keep upping the levels till we achieve
              integration. At which stage the agnate
              is deemed physically stable. We rely on
              foundation to provide mental stability -
              matching the templates to their capacity
              but walling it in with parameters.
                     ( b e a t , considers the proxy)
              When signs of instability started to
              show up, it pointed to foundation. A
              hole in the wall, an oversight. But it
              was only happening in the later generat-
              ions . Which pointed back to biogenesis.

                        SCHEER
              So there was a production defect.

                              MERRICK
              Actually the opposite. We found out in
              the later generations, the levels were
              so high that when we broke inertia, the
              process kept going. Over-integrating.
              Specifically the neural system. It
              produced a condition called synesthesia.

                       SCHEER
              Synesthesia...

                                                                  43.



                             MERRICK
               A fusion of the senses, creating a
               component awareness. Sixth sense,
               s e c o n d sight, whatever you want to call
               it. Its emergence seems to be arbitrary.
               But it gives them experiences beyond
               their functional parameters. And
               ultimately... it destabilizes them.
               However, if we catch it early enough we
               can control it with re-conditioning.

Scheer absorbs this with a slow grin. Merrick looks puzzled.

                          MERRICK
               You find this amusing?

                          SCHEER
               Poetic.

                          MERRICK
               Poetic?

                           SCHEER
               This "agnate" took off just before his
               sponsor placed an order. Maybe he got
               the sense his days were numbered...

Merrick ' s composure cracks a little. He hadn't thought of this.

                           MERRICK
               This stays between you and me, Karl. I
               trust I can rely on your cooperation?

                            SCHEER
               Don't you mean my complicity?

                                MERRICK
                      (hardening again)
               Remind me, why is it you were
               discharged from the military?

                             SCHEER
               What's your point?

                            MERRICK
               Learn to be a team player, Karl. Or
               you'll find yourself out of another
               job.

Scheer rises, discarding the ethercuff onto Merrick's desk.

                             SCHEER
               Nobody else would take it.

                                                                     44.



49   INT. EXTRACTOR SHAFT

     The deep steady thrum of the extractor fans. We are TIGHT ON the
     frame of an airlock. Hissing, it indents and opens. Lincoln steps
     through, eyes black and uncanny. The tri-key g l i n t i n g , dangling
     from his fingers. Scanning around, he fixes on a section of wall.
     He wipes off some soot. Legible beneath is a number. Twenty. He
     assimilates this. Then turns his gaze up the extractor shaft.

50   INT . ELEVATOR SHAFT

     Looking up an elevator shaft. The red pulse of the lode-poles,
     rippling downward as an elevator descends from the surface.

51   INT . OUTER THRESHOLD - LEVEL THREE

     A tiled chamber. Draped off cubicles. The elevator doors slide
     open. An outsider emerges, dressed in a flightsuit, emblazoned
     "Medical Courier". He announces himself, seemingly to no one-

                                      T H E COURIER
                     Clearance code: NG-230-2DS.

                                V O I C E ON SPEAKER
                     New Gaza Healthcare. Okay, you're
                     clear. Go ahead and get undressed.

52   INT . DECONTAMINATION CHAMBER

     The pressure door hisses, heaving open. The courier steps inside,
     naked, covering his genitals, some goggles slung around his neck.
     He takes position on two marked footpads and puts on the goggles-

                              T H E COURIER
                     I tell you, I hate this fucking r u n . I
                     always leave this place with sunburn.

                                V O I C E ON SPEAKER
                     Try full-course decontamination. It's
                     even more fun. Especially the colonics.

     The lights blink out. A red glow rises. Twin planes of light
     scrape across the courier, infra-red, searing his epidermis.

53   INT . INNER THRESHOLD - LEVEL THREE

     A chamber like the first. The inner pressure door hisses open.
     The courier emerges, dripping wet from a decon s h o w e r . He goes
     to a cubicle, grabbing a towel and dries himself off. Laid out
     within are some scrubs. Beside them is A STEEL COOLER, inset
     with a thermostat and embossed with the crosshatch insignia.

                                                                     45.



54   INT. CORRIDOR - LEVEL THREE

     The courier strolls up the corridor, now dressed in the scrubs
     and carrying the cooler. He turns a corner and his footsteps
     gradually fade out. A flat, sterile silence falls in his wake.

     A metal squeal. A ventilation grid levers down from the ceiling.
     A pause. Then a pair of feet drop through, legs, torso. Dropping
     to the floor, Lincoln stands revealed. Sweaty, smeared black
     with dust. For a moment he looks around to get his bearings.
     Suddenly he freezes, hearing-

                                  A VOICE (O.S.)
                     C h e c k in at the nurse's station. Up
                     the corridor, left, then first right.

     The footsteps are now coming back. Lincoln spins round. He finds
     a door. A lock panel. A moment of panic. Then he fumbles the tri-
     k e y f r o m his pocket, hurriedly slotting it into the lock panel.

55   INT . THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR - SECONDS LATER

     Lincoln waits, ear to the door, listening as the footsteps pass
     and fade out of earshot. Lincoln releases his breath in relief,
     calming a little, then frowning as he registers another sound.

     Very faint, rhythmic. He turns and looks around. The room is in
     partial shadow. To one side is a row of seats, to the other, a
     row of windows, covered by blinds, light creasing through. The
     sound repeats. Muffled. But now unmistakably THE CRY OF A BABY.

56   INT . HARVEST ROOM

     A grid of bio-readouts, each square alive with graphs and digits.
     The familiar baseline of a cardiograph. A lever-arm mounted with
     an IV r e s e r v o i r , dangling tubes and wires onto the OR table.

     We see A DOCTOR and A MIDWIFE, in whose arms A NEWBORN BABY
     squirms and bawls. Lying on the table, we see THE MOTHER, her
     feet up in stirrups, deeply flushed and puffing from exertion.
     Marked by her crosshatch as an agnate, she has just given birth-

                                THE AGNATE MOTHER
                     May I hold her?

                               THE DOCTOR
                     We have to run a few tests on her first.
                     In the meantime, I'm going to give you
                     something to help you relax, okay?

     Off his smile, the agnate mother nods, anxiously watching the
     midwife wrap her baby in blanket. The doctor taps a button and
     watches the IV reservoir misting with a pale colored fluid.

                                                                              46.



     The cardiograph marks the drop as the fast-acting sedative takes
     effect. The agnate mother watches drowsily as the midwife takes
     her baby from the room. Then the cry of the newborn is shut out.
     J u s t the cardiograph now, the beeps evening out, the scart o f
     peaks shallowing a s the agnate mother falls asleep. The doctor
     taps a button. On the grid, the face of a DESK NURSE appears.

                                 THE DOCTOR
                        I'm incubating the baby for 24 hours
                        prior to transport. But go ahead and
                        contact the sponsor. Tell her she has
                        a beautiful baby girl.

     The nurse nods. The grid square goes blank. A pause. Then the
     doctor taps another button. Text appears. Reading it, he cites-

                                    THE DOCTOR
                        Let the record show the sponsor has
                        signed Clause 22 of The Basic Sponsor-
                        s h i p Agreement. Initiate compliance.

     A light starts blinking. The doctor walks stiffly out of the
     room. The door hisses closed. The agnate mother is left alone.
     Sleeping peacefully, blind to the fluid now seeping into her IV.
     D e a f to the slowing beep of the cardiograph. The peaks of the
     baseline falling. Spacing, fading, slowing, slowing, until...
     The cardiograph flatlines. An d a sepulchral stillness falls. Our
     angle widens with the growing emptiness. The lifelessness.

57   INT . OBSERVATION ROOM

     Lincoln looks down from above, eyes frozen in the slatted light.
     His fingers are trembling, rattling the blinds against the glass.

58   INT . CORRIDOR

     Lincoln tumbles out of the door. He can't breathe, can't think,
     his mind is in overload. He stumbles around like a wounded
     animal. His focus suddenly and searingly r e t u r n s as he hears-

                                          DESK NURSE (O.S.)
                        Starkweather ? Like the football player?

59   INT . NURSES STATION - LEVEL THREE - CONTINUOUS

     A rotunda spoked by corridors. A console at its hub, manned by
     the desk nurse we saw earlier. The courier stands over her-

                                      THE COURIER
                        That's right. Starkweather.

                                                                       47.



                                 DESK NURSE
                    Still showing in surgery. Sorry.

                                  THE COURIER
                    Honey, I got a bird on the pad and a
                    storm moving in. How long's it gonna be?

60   INT . ANOTHER OPERATING ROOM

     Another grid of readouts. Another cardiograph beeps. A spotlamp
     illuminates the OR table and STARKWEATHER TWO-DELTA - his face,
     slack with anesthesis, eyes rolling a little beneath the lids.
     The rest of him under a sheet, cut out over the belly, the flesh
     slit and parted by a clamp, framing a window into his innards.

     Standing over him, mid-operation, A SURGEON and SURGICAL TECH.
     Interrupted by a chime, the surgeon looks up at a screen, where
     a panel flashes: "PAGING". He cradles his bloody gloves and
     elbows a button. The face of the desk nurse resolves on screen-

                               DESK NURSE (ON SCREEN)
                    The courier's here for pickup.

                                THE SURGEON
                    Well he's going to have to wait a while.
                    It took forever to put this one under.

                                SURGICAL TECH (O.S.)
                    Doctor...

                                DESK NURSE (ON SCREEN)
                    He's asking for an ETA. Said something
                    about some kind of storm moving in.

                               THE SURGEON
                    For Christ's sake, is that my fault?
                    Just find a way to stall him, okay?

                                S U R G I C A L TECH (O.S.)
                    Doctor.

                                SURGEON
                    What is it?

                                     SURGICAL TECH
                    Subject's heart rate is spiking.

                               SURGEON
                    Not again. Boost the anaesthetic lev...

     Suddenly he's sprayed with blood a s the clamp springs loose from
     the stomach, clattering to the floor. He's frozen by shock as...

                                                                               48.



     Starkweather sits bolts upright. Dazed, he looks at the surgeon,
     the tech, then down at his wide-open stomach. Instinctively, he
     clutches it. Then, his mind assimilating the horror, he SCREAMS.
     Now launching off the operating table, the lever-arm swinging
     out, blindsiding t h e tech - tubes and wires snapping loose -
     instruments flying - Starkweather lunges for the doorway - the
     surgeon steps up to block him - only to be hurled aside...

61   INT . CORRIDOR - LEVEL THREE

     THE BLARE OF AN ALARM. Starkweather, clumping down the corridor,
     clutching his open stomach, blood streaming down his legs. He's
     delirious, running nowhere, anywhere, running blind. Reaching the
     end of the corridor, he stops suddenly, seeing WHITE UNIFORMS.
     He doubles back up the corridor. Kicking at doors with bare feet,
     frantic for any means of escape. He spots a ventilator grid,
     slightly open. He jumps, reaching for it. Once, twice, then his
     feet slip from under him. He hits the floor with a damp splat.
     TWO CENSORS turn the corner, ready for action. But there is
     Starkweather, face-down in a starburst o f his own blood.

                                    CENSOR (INTO HEADSET)
                       Yeah, no sweat, subject is secured.

62   INT . DUCTING - MINUTES LATER

     POVCEILING VENTILATOR GRID. Looking down through the slits onto
     Starkweather directly beneath. He now has a loose white hood over
     his head. His wrists and ankles are bound by plastic cuffs. A
     loop of intestine plumps out from his belly. His weight is such
     that the Censors have to drag him away, leaving a bloodsmear o n
     the floor. His guttural whimpers are the only sign of life.

     CLOSEUP: Lincoln's face in part shadow, looking down. The gleam
     of his eyes as Starkweather disappears from view. Listening now,
     to those feeble whimpers, growing fainter, ever fainter until
     they disappear from earshot. Silence again. Emptiness. All that
     remains of Starkweather is a wending bloodsmear o n the floor.

                                                           SLOW FADE TO BLACK.

63   INT . BEDROOM - DAWN

     The horizon. The green mountains in different aspect, framed by
     a different window. The bedroom is like Lincoln's but with a few
     feminine touches. Ester, in her papery pajamas, sits brushing
     her hair. With a chime, etherscreen scales over her reflection:
     - - E T H E R C A L L P E N D I N G ; ACCEPT OR SEND TO MESSAGE BANK?--

                                                                        49.



                                  ESTER
                    Accept.
     The etherscreen resolves Lincoln's face, dishevelled, urgent-

                                    LINCOLN (ON ETHERSCREEN)
                    Ester . . . I have to talk to you.

                                    ESTER
                    Lincoln ? Are you okay? I was worried.

                                LINCOLN (ON ETHERSCREEN)
                    What are you talking about?

                               ESTER
                    The contamination warning. Somebody
                    said you'd been exposed.

     Lincoln pauses to process this. Hunted, more cautious now-

                             LINCOLN (ON ETHERSCREEN)
                    I want you to meet me as soon as you
                    can. But you can't tell anyone.

                              ESTER
                    Is it true? Were you contaminated?

                               LINCOLN (ON ETHERSCREEN)
                    You know where to come.

     His face blinks out. Ester is left frowning at her reflection.

64   INT . BEDROOM - LINCOLN'S APARTMENT - DAY

     Lincoln stares at his own mirror image. His eyes, fraught with
     revelation. His clothes, begrimed with dirt and blood. He rests
     his head against the etherscreen panel, shuddering, pressing his
     eyes tightly closed. As if he could ever forget what he's seen.

65   INT . CENTERVILLE - DAY

     The routine flow of residents up the avenue. Lincoln walks, head
     bowed, trying to look inconspicuous. Showered, white shirt and
     blue slacks under his shearling, he looks a little too scrubbed,
     too clean. He spots a familiar figure up ahead. He catches up.

                                  LINCOLN
                    Jonesy. . .

     J o n e s lets him fall into step with a look of mild curiosity-

                                                                           50.



                                 JONES
                     Hey, champ. Are you alright? I heard
                     there was a contamination scare.

                              LINCOLN
                     I saw what happened to him.

                                 JONES
                     What are you talking about?

                                       LINCOLN
                     Starkweather . . . What they did to him.

     Jones huffs, dismissively. Lincoln grabs his shoulder, ardent-

                                 LINCOLN
                     They cut him open, Jonesy. The y took
                     him upstairs and they cut him open.

     Jones holds his gaze a moment, then shrugs off his grip.

                                JONES
                     You caught that fucking p a t h o g e n ,
                     didn't you? You're contaminated.

                                    LINCOLN
                     J o n e s y , listen to me...
     But Jones just backs away. Lincoln makes to follow. Then stops
     dead in his tracks. Across the avenue, TWO CENSORS are on patrol
     and his best friend is now heading towards them. With a barren,
     torn grimace, Lincoln turns away and melts back into the crowd.

66   INT . COMMUNITY CENTER - CENTERVILLE - LATER

     R i n g s of empty seats round the empty stage. Ester enters warily,
     walking up the aisle. Lincoln waits in the shadows. He checks to
     see she hasn't been followed. Then steps forward. Ester recoils-

                                      ESTER
                     Please . . . don't come any closer. I
                     don't want to get contaminated.

                                   LINCOLN
                     Ester, I'm not contaminated.

                                ESTER
                     But they said...

                                LINCOLN
                     I'm not contaminated!

                                                                  51.



His shout echoes through the empty auditorium. Ester looks at
him, alarmed by his vehemence. Lincoln calms himself a little-

                                 LINCOLN
               Contaminants, pathogens... it's just
               what they tell us to keep us inside.

                           ESTER
               What do you mean?

                        LINCOLN
               I saw it. Why they keep us here. To
               use us. To take things from us.

                             ESTER
               You're not making sense.

                           LINCOLN
               Your baby... they're going to take
               your baby away... you understand?

                         ESTER
               M y baby? Why would they do that?

                        LINCOLN
               I don't know! But I saw it!

                             ESTER
               You're scaring me, Lincoln...
               I want to go back now.

                          LINCOLN
               You can't go back! Don't you get it?
                             A VOICE (O.S.)
               N o b o d y move! Stay right where you are!

A CENSOR steps through, stopgun l e v e l l e d . Ester freezes. Lincoln
hovers, mind racing. The censor moves in, tightening aim on him.
Ester looks on anxiously as he approaches Lincoln. Lincoln now
sees the censor pulling out some plastic cuffs. The same cuffs
used on Starkweather, promising the same fate... TRIGGERING HIM--

LINCOLN LUNGES AT THE CENSOR - ramming him - toppling him across
the seats - knocking the stopgun f r o m his grasp - recoiling as--

THE CENSOR RETALIATES - driving a knee into his groin, doubling
him over - then a knee to his head - THUDDING INTO HIS SKULL-

                            ESTER
               Don't hurt him!

                                                                        52.



     ESTER RUNS UP grabbing at the white uniform, trying to restrain
     him - the censor swats her blindly - hitting her in the stomach--
     LINCOLN SPINS ROUND at the sound of Ester's yelp - only to be
     roundhoused b y the censor - the blow sending him to the floor--

     Ester DOUBLED OVER - wincing at the pain - clutching her belly
     instinctively, protectively - an ominous scowl knotting her face-
     THE CENSOR PUNISHING LINCOLN - kicking him down the aisle - then
     suddenly hearing a noise from behind - turning to face it as --

     - B O O M - A GUNBLAST R I P S THE AIR. The brief wail of a hookhead.

     - T H U D - THE CENSOR RECOILING - lurching as the hookhead b i t e s -
     starting to gag - blood jetting from his neck - a hookhead
     c l a w e d into his jugular - gurgling, collapsing to the floor--

     Ester STANDING FROZEN - holding the stopgun - seeing Lincoln now
     getting up - she drops the stopgun l i k e it's on fire, aghast-

                                ESTER
                     Lincoln?

     L i k e she's asking him what she did... Silence - the rasp of the
     censor, blood foaming - another sound - FOOTFALLS. Lincoln goes
     to the door - an IMMINENT MASS OF WHITE UNIFORMS. He grabs Ester-

                                LINCOLN
                     RUN!!!

67   INT . FOYER - THE COMMUNITY CENTER

     CENSORS BURSTING IN - led by Scheer, pushing through into the
     main hall - the statue of Dr. Sanger looking serenely down--

68   INT . MAINTENANCE CORRIDOR - BEHIND THE COMMUNITY CENTER

     A HISS OF DEPRESSURIZATION - a pressure door swings open - Lincoln
     and Ester tumbling through - running up the maintenance corridor--

69   INT . COMMUNITY CENTER - MOMENTS LATER

     CENSORS FANNING OUT - sweeping the hall, stopguns r e a d y - Scheer
     finds the fallen Censor - crouches to examine him, then-

                                     SCHEER
                     Somebody get someone down here!

     A Censor splits off to join him, tapping his headset - Scheer
     rises again - in his eyes, detachment yields to cold intensity--

                                                                     53.



70   INT. VARIOUS CORRIDORS - CONTAINMENT INFRASTRUCTURE

     THE CENSORS: flooding through into the maintenance corridor, in
     their white uniforms, they seem like a swarm of antibodies--

     LINCOLN AND ESTER: deeper in, at another pressure door, fumbling
     the trikey i n t o the lock. A tense second. The lock hisses open--

     SCHEER : pushes through the opening gap of another pressure door,
     taking the lead, his Censors surging up in his wake --

     LINCOLN AND ESTER: meeting an intersection, veering at random,
     running blind, running deeper into the faceless labyrinth--

     SCHEER : catching up, hitting the intersection, pausing to split
     his squad in each direction - white uniforms dispersing--

     LINCOLN AND ESTER: reaching another pressure door. Footsteps
     audible. Lincoln jams the tri-key i n t o the lock. And waits. The
     seconds pass. But the door doesn't open. Lincoln looks around
     for another exit. Ester looks at him in mounting panic then--
     THE PRESSURE DOOR OPENS: not onto a corridor but an elevator
     car. Pulling Ester inside, Lincoln finds an array of buttons.
     His fingers hovers, uncertain which to press. So he punches all
     of them, stabbing madly, trying to prompt the door to close.
     SCHEER : turns a corner, seeing his quarry at the far end of the
     corridor, he gathers pace. The elevator is closing but he doesn't
     break stride. He deftly taps his headset, opening a channel to--

                                     SCHEER (ON HEADSET)
                    Ethercon! The elevator - override it!
                    Do you read me? Bring it back down!

71   INT . ETHER CONTROL ROOM

     Ethercon is working the console keys like a madman. His gaze
     flitting to a subgrid o f the complex, spinning the angles,
     navigating the mesh of lines. His voice comes apologetically-

                                  ETHERCON (INTO HEADSET)
                    You're off the grid, sir. Give me a
                    second. Can you tell me where you are?

     He recoils at the blaring volume of the response.

72   INT . CORRIDOR - OUTSIDE THE ELEVATOR

     Scheer stands with his Censors, poised, watching the panel chart
     the elevator's descent. A light flashes and the doors open. They
     level their stopguns o n . . . nothing. The elevator is empty.

                                                                       54.



                                      SCHEER (INTO HEADSET)
                    Foundation Levels - all of them. Lock
                    them down. Access only on my command.

73   INT . FOUNDATION LEVEL

     A dead acoustic. A corridor paved with sound proofing panels. It
     ends at a pressure door, where Lincoln and Ester now arrive.
     Lincoln looks back to the elevator at the other end. No going
     back. He slots the tri-key into the lock. The door hisses open.

74   INT . FOUNDATION CHAMBERS

     Amber light. The sound of slow bubbling. Lincoln and Ester pause
     to adjust to the gloom. They are in a hall of windows. Ester is
     the first to venture forth, as if drawn, to the nearest window.

     Behind the glass is a foundation tank. Bubbling with viscous
     fluid, laced with various tubes pulsing matter to and fro. The
     tubes connect to a form. A human form, an adult form but curled
     foetally. I t is known as a "nascent". In this tank is a female
     nascent, shifting slightly, causing Ester to gasp. The nascent
     registers the noise, turning its head. Its eyelids are closed but
     its eyeballs move, questioning. A slight furrow appears on its
     crosshatched brow. Ester recoils in sudden horror, perhaps
     remembering on some deep level that this is where she came from.

                                  LINCOLN
                    Ester ! Come on!

     Spurred to action, Ester follows Lincoln onward up the hall.
     Still conscious of movement all around, of nascents stirring at
     the sound of their footfalls like the ripples of a nightmare.

75   INT . FOUNDATION CHAMBER

     A STOPGUN n o s e s through the door. Followed by Scheer moving in
     silence, honed. How much time has passed is unclear. He signals
     his censors to split off. Tracking Scheer's advance, we INTERCUT:
     ANOTHER FOUNDATION CHAMBER: Censors making their sweep. Strobes
     of light from an armature mechanism moving up the row of tanks.
     It angles to project a grid across each nascent's face, then
     fires a short laser burst, searing a crosshatch into the brow.
     ANOTHER FOUNDATION CHAMBER: another contingent moves up another
     row of foundation tanks. The nascents within have cables plugged
     into their ears, filaments pulsing. The nascents a r e in a posture
     of rigor, sinews straining as they accept the data impression.

     RETURNING TO SCHEER as he reaches the end of the first chamber.
     No further access, just a continuing wrap of foundation tanks.
     He pauses, confused for a second. One of the censors comes up-

                                                                    55.



                                      CENSOR
                      Nothing , sir. No sign.

                                  SCHEER
                      They can't have got past this level.

     Scheer peels off his headset, giving full leash to his senses,
     straining to concentrate. Seconds of pent silence. Then he hears
     a faint humming. His gaze slowly drifts up to a ventilator grid.

76   INT . / EXT . THE FUNNEL - NIGHT

     A POV LOOKING UP. The funnel mouth framing a vista of the world
     outside. A hostile vista of black sky, maelstroms of sand. The
     sound of blasting air, suborned to the giant howl of a DUSTSTORM.
     A HAND. Reaching over the funnel lip as Lincoln pulls himself up
     with a mighty effort. Blinking, blinded by the sand, he swings
     astride the lip. Then he reaches down to pull Ester up. Ester
     gains the lip and likewise swings astride, coughing, blinking.
     T H E DUSTY EARTH as Lincoln leaps down to meet it. We track up as
     he helps Ester down from the funnel. Her feet meeting the earth,
     we are now in CU o n their faces. Gaping and blinking at the
     prospect of the world outside. A world of darkness and storm.

     SUDDEN BLINDING LIGHT as halogens explode the darkness. Lincoln
     shields his eyes, scanning for their source. He spots a large
     cubic building, banks of spotlights on the roof. He pulls Ester
     away. Away from the lights and towards the safety of darkness.

77   INT . EXTRACTOR SHAFT

     T H E THRUM OF EXTRACTOR FANS. Scheer pacing on a catwalk. White
     uniforms above and below, flashlights roving, sliced by the
     blades of the extractor fans. From somewhere, comes a shout-

                                  C E N S O R (O.S.)
                      Sir ! We got em! Motion sensors just
                      picked them up at the surface!

78   EXT . FRONT OF THE INSTITUTE - NIGHT

     ANOTHER BURST OF HALOGENS. More spotlights engage, their blaze
     flooding across the foreview, catching two figures; Lincoln and
     Ester, running, now, veering sharply away from the light. Now
     disappearing from sight, dropping into the trench of the lodeway.

79   INT . MAINTENANCE ELEVATOR - CONTAINMENT

     THE RISING HUM OF THE LODE-POLES. The elevator crammed with
     censors. Scheer at the front, staring ahead. He looks very
     focused, bitterly so. The look of a man outwitted by lab rats.

                                                                 56.



80   EXT. THE LODEWAY - NIGHT

     THE DARKNESS OF THE TRENCH. Lincoln and Ester running along the
     lode-way, stumbling over the buffers. Above them, the dust
     flails in lashing tongues, starkly depicted by the halogens.

81   EXT . PROCESSING PLANT - NIGHT

     WHITE UNIFORMS IN THE NIGHT - censors spill forth into the
     halogen light, splitting in all directions. Scheer suddenly
     notices the corona of light from the front of the complex. He
     barks something inaudible to his men, launching into a run.

82   EXT . THE GATEWAY - NIGHT
     THE GATEWAY LOOMING ABOVE. Beneath, Lincoln and Ester, on their
     knees, clawing at the dust. Like burrowing animals, trying to
     widen the gap between the foot of the gate and the lodeway.

83   EXT . FRONT OF THE INSTITUTE - NIGHT
     A LONE WHITE UNIFORM. As Scheer reaches the forecourt, stopping
     to scan the spotlit view, the veils of the duststorm. His face
     tightening with urgency. Suddenly he taps his headset, barking-

                               S C H E E R (INTO HEADSET)
                    The lodeway! Flood it! Light it up!

84   EXT . THE GATEWAY - NIGHT

     THE RISING HUM OF THE LODE-POLES barely audible over the storm.
     Lincoln and Ester, washed by pulsing red light. Ester recoiling,
     her arm flinging back from the pull. Lincoln grabbing her, his
     own arm straining now. The polarity tugging their ethercuffs.

85   EXT . THE LODEWAY - NIGHT

     THE RED WASH OF LIGHT from the lodeway as Scheer races up the
     edge, eyes trawling the trench for his quarry. His pace now
     suddenly dropping, slowing to a halt. He doubles over, catching
     his breath. More white uniforms now appear from the dust as the
     Censors, unable to match his pace, finally catch up. The first
     reaching him, Scheer pulls upright, bellowing over the wind-

                               SCHEER
                    G e t me a bird!

                             CENSOR
                    A bird?! In this storm?!

                                SCHEER
                    The y got out! They got past the gate!

                                                                                  57.



     Scheer spins on his heel back towards The Institute. The Censor
     lingers, confused. Then he fixes on the lodeway. Floating past
     in the red wash are the luminous blue seams of two ethercuffs.

86   EXT . THE DESERT - NIGHT

     The perimeter wall silhouetted in the middle-distance. Lincoln
     and Ester scramble through the scrub, blinded by dust, driven by
     momentum. As Ester starts lagging behind, Lincoln grabs her arm-

                                      LINCOLN
                        Ester ! We have to keep going!

     But Ester resists him, breaking loose from his grasp. Lincoln
     looks at her, uncomprehending. Until he sees her expression, the
     harrowed stare in her eyes, the labored heaving of her chest.

                                     LINCOLN
                        Ester?

     Ester staggers back, losing balance, reeling as if spun by the
     storm. Her eyes widening, senses flooding. The howling wind, the
     swirling dustclouds, the pendent gulf of black sky. Her reel
     returning her to face Lincoln, Ester opens her mouth to speak.
     But all that comes is A SCREAM. A scream from deep within, shrill
     and hysterical, the only articulation she can find. Lincoln grabs
     her and covers her mouth. Fighting to stifle her, rocking to her
     convulsions. But Ester keeps screaming. A scream of everything.

87   INT . BEDROOM - SOMEWHERE - LATE NIGHT

     All is still. Just a muted shudder of wind on glass. The room is
     in shadow. All we see is a canopied bed where a figure,
     obscured, lies sleeping. The still is disrupted by a chime. The
     figure stirs, fumbling at the nightstand. A holoframe resolves,
     the light revealing Dr. Sanger, rumpled by sleep. He peers into
     the holoframe to find the face of Merrick, gaunt with concern-

                                        Merrick (ON HOLOFRAME)
                        He n r y . . . There's been a breach.

                                                                H A R D CUT TO BLACK.

     SLOW FADE UP:
88   EXT . THE RED ROCKS - DAWN

     A horizon. A brim of dawn over the red rocks. The view is framed
     by the mouth of a cave. Lincoln sleeps within, slumped against
     the rock, his head bowed heavily. The touch of first light opens
     his eyes. His brow creasing, as if waking from a bad dream into
     a worse reality. He looks around only to find himself alone. He
     gets up, a little shaky at first, then ventures out of the cave.

                                                                     58.



     He emerges onto a ledge, perhaps fifty feet up. He pauses, eyes
     adjusting to the quality of light. He sees the storm has reduced
     to a low wind, combing the floorland o f scrub. Now, across the
     ledge, he sees Ester. Perched on an outcrop, hugging her knees,
     watching the sunrise over the desert. He crosses and lowers to a
     crouch beside her. Ester turns to him with a confused frown-

                                 ESTER
                    W h e r e did all the green go?
     Lincoln looks deep into her troubled eyes. He answers gently-

                                 LINCOLN
                    The r e is no green. The windows in
                    there... they were just pictures.

     Ester absorbs this with difficulty. Lincoln rises again and
     stands looking out across the desert, into the barren unknown.

89   EXT . THE SKY OVER THE DESERT - MORNING

     From the massive sky grows a glinting shape. Like a helicopter
     but sleeker, aquiline. Without combustion, its only noise is the
     sibilance of blades slicing air. It is known as a "whisper".

90   INT . WHISPER - MORNING

     The pilot jockeys with the thermals. Scheer rides shotgun. Now
     in civvies, scanning the terrain with electronic binoculars. The
     flight console beeps. He taps a keypad. A holoframe resolves:

                                  CENSOR (ON HOLOFRAME)
                    Ground team checking in.

                                 SCHEER
                    Anything?

                               CENSOR (ON HOLOFRAME)
                    The storm pretty much covered their
                    tracks. We're scanning for thermals
                    b u t the hotter it gets, the harder it
                    is to isolate a heat signature. I don't
                    know, sir, it's a big desert out there.

91   EXT . CHASM - THE RED ROCKS - DAY

     The desert sun clefts the chasm into light and shadow. Lincoln
     trudges into view, Ester lagging behind. He stops to let her
     catch up, only to watch her slump onto a rock. He allows her a
     moment to rest and walks to where the chasm comes to an end.

                                                                     59.



     He surveys the terrain. His eyes roam the carpet of scrub, now
     narrowing on an inconsistency. A faint strip where nothing seems
     to grow. Tracing its lineage, he walks a few feet out. Then
     drops to a crouch and starts clawing away at the dust.

     His fingers meet something hard. He sweeps off the dust to expose
     a layer of concrete. Continuing, revealing the ghost of a line.
     What we might recognize as a lane marker but a curiosity to him.
     Continuing, opening a window in the dust. Now his fingers snag
     o n something. He tugs it and it gives a little, dust crumbling to
     reveal a section of rusted chainlink. A corner of metal is
     visible. Lincoln exposes the rest. A sign, barely legible: "US
     Government - Restricted Area". He frowns, trying to assimilate.
     Ester comes up to join him. Off her anxious look, he decides-

                             LINCOLN
                    I think I've found a path.

92   EXT . THE GREEN MOUNTAINS - DAY

     W h i t e rock blanketed by stands of fir and ponderosa pine. A
     whisper skims over the treecaps, circling in on a high shelf.
     Here, remotely nestled in a clearing, stands a glass villa.

93   INT . THE GLASS VILLA - DAY

     The flood of light, the majestic view lend an air of beatitude.
     The decor is minimalist with Native American accents, kokopelli
     spirits in carved silhouette. Dr. Sanger stands at a glass wall,
     looking out across the green mountain valley. On the sofa sits
     Merrick, now in civvies, still gaunt from worry. The air stirs
     as a maid ushers in A WOMAN - 30's, all business, sharp blue
     eyes, a severe, mannish coiffure. Her name is ELLEN CROWNE.

                                CROWNE
                    Good morning, gentlemen.

                                    SANGER
                    Bernard, this is Ellen Crowne from our
                    legal department. Ellen, this is
                    Bernard Merrick, director of products.

                                 MERRICK
                    Thank you for coming out here.

                                CROWNE
                    Well when Henry called me I got the
                    sense it wasn't for a social visit.

     They settle at a table. A jug of icewater a n d glasses laid out.

                             CROWNE
                    I understand there was an incident?

                                                                 60.



                            MERRICK
              First, let me stress there's no way we
              could have anticipated what happened...

                           CROWNE
              We're on the same team, Mr. Merrick.
              Just give me the facts down-and-dirty.

                               MERRICK
                     (uneasy, clears his throat)
              We'v e lost two of our products. They
              escaped containment last night.

Crowne casts a troubled look at Sanger. Merrick quickly adds-

                                Merrick (cont'd)
               However, we have all available
               resources dedicated to the search.

                         CROWNE
              How exactly did this happen?

                           MERRICK
              We'r e still piecing it together.

                        CROWNE
              Do we expect more products to escape?

                           DR. SANGER
              Don't be so alarmist, Ellen.

                         CROWNE
              I'm sorry, Henry, but you asked me
              here to assess our liabilities.

                        MERRICK
              To answer your question, we condition
              our products with a deterrent. A fear of
              contamination. And thereby of the outer
              environment. So to escape, they first
              have to escape their conditioning.

Crowne pauses to absorb this and to light a slim black cigarette.

                                CROWNE
              Containment is one of the terms of our
              state health license. The fact it was
              compromised could put us in violation.

                       DR. SANGER
              Bureaucracy.

                                                  61.



              CROWNE
Henry , it was a bloody battle getting
our license through in the first place.

                DR. SANGER
They're not going to pull our license,
Ellen. We have a lot of friends on the
Commission. Not to mention the goodwill
we earned in DC when we took over the
facility; a bunker complex for a bio-
chemical war that never happened... We
relieved them of a costly embarrassment.

           CROWNE
I'm not sure we can rely on that.

                DR. SANGER
Alright . What do you suggest?

              CROWNE
First, I need you to level with me.
What are our chances of finding them?

             MERRICK
Well, in our favor, they've never been
outside containment. They'd have no
coordinates, no sense of direction.

         CROWNE
I don't see how that's in our favor.

               MERRICK
They're in the middle of the desert.
Food and water become an issue.

          CROWNE
So they might return to the trough?

            MERRICK
Possibly.

           CROWNE
And if not? How long could they last?

         MERRICK
A few days maybe. But there is another
variable. We maintain the products in a
sterile environment. So basically their
immune systems are untested. Toxins,
pathogens, environmentals t h e rest of
us overcome routinely, to them...

                                                               62.



                             DR. SANGER
               That's a little drastic. Some immune
               systems are more adaptive than others.

                            CROWNE
               Let's take the drastic case. What then?

                              MERRICK
               Well . . . the male, we could cover. Fast-
               track another generation before the
               sponsor ever needed access. The female
               comes under the maternity plan. She's
               three months pregnant. Even if we fast-
               tracked another generation, we couldn't
               fast-track the pregnancy. We'd miss the
               delivery date, the sponsor would wonder
               why and there would be... difficulties.

Crowne looks worried. Sanger pours a glass of icewater.

                           DR. SANGER
               Even so, the worst may not happen.

                         CROWNE
               We haven't even touched on the worst. If
               these products reach a populated area,
               there's the problem of scrutiny.
                             DR. SANGER
               Ellen , we operate under State license on
               a lease from the Federal Government...

                             CROWNE
                    ( c u t s him off, harshly)
               We slipped through a loophole in the
               clone laws, Henry. And they only let
               u s through because they smelt money.
               And they gave us a government basement
               to cover their own a s s e s not ours. It's
               at the core of our license - why we
               screen potential sponsors, why we make
               them sign discretion agreements, why
               containment is such a critical factor -
               to limit the extent of public scrutiny.

                             DR. SANGER
               E i t h e r way, it's unlikely they'd get
               that far. It's at least twenty miles to
               the next settlement. Right, Bernard?

Merrick hesitates before nodding his assent. Crowne pounces on it-

                                                                    63.



                                     CROWNE
                    Something to add, Mr. Merrick?

                                    MERRICK
                    I just don't think we should under-
                    estimate them. Especially the male.

                               DR. SANGER
                    And I don't think we should panic.

     He cautions Merrick with a discreet look, then shakes a pill
     from a bottle. Crowne looks forward to both men. Very serious.

                                      CROWNE
                    Gentlemen, whatever happens we need
                    t o keep one thing clearly in mind. As
                    far as the world at large goes, we are
                    just another medical services company.
                    Anything that alters that perception
                    puts us at risk. And we cannot rely on
                    the sanction of the law to protect us.
                    Whenever and wherever and in whatever
                    condition we recover these products, we
                    have to stay beyond reproach. All it
                    takes is one nudge to put us in the
                    spotlight. Then you'll see how fast
                    politicians can run for cover.

     Merrick shifts, uneasy. Sanger takes the pill with a bitter smile-

                              DR. SANGER
                    I n other words we need to find them
                    o r else. That's very astute, Ellen.

94   EXT . DESERT HIGHWAY - SUNSET

     The dust swirls and puffs across a highway of yesteryear. A dirt
     track but for patches of exposed concrete and angles of buckled
     lampposts. The empty path reaches to a blood-red sunset.

95   EXT . SCRAPYARD - SUNSET

     The dust skims over mountains of rusted scrap. Nestled in the
     mountains is a shack. A sign creaks in the breeze "Osmund D e e r ,
     Licensed Salvage Merchant". On the porch sits an old man in a
     greasy ballcap a n d dungarees. This is the eponymous owner, OZZIE.

     He's sitting on a lounger, surveying his empire, enjoying a beer
     and a cigarette. Exhaling a drag of smoke, his eyes crease to a
     squint. He sees something through the smoke, silhouetted against
     the sunset. An approaching figure, wary, like a flighty animal.

                                                                          64.



                                OZZIE
                    Hello?

     The silhouetted figure doesn't answer, just stares back at him.

                               OZZIE
                    Can I help you?

     This seems to get a response. The figure ventures closer. We
     recognize Lincoln. Exhausted, dust-covered and dry-throated -

                              LINCOLN
                    My friend... she needs water.

96   INT . BACK ROOM - THE SHACK - SUNSET

     A mass of technology and furniture from recent and distant past.
     Lincoln lowers Ester onto a threadbare sofa. Ozzie, excited to
     have visitors, bustles up with a water gallon, pouring a glass.
     Lincoln takes it and tips it to Ester's lips. She coughs it out
     at first. Then takes the glass and starts drinking with vigor.
     Ozzie sets down the water gallon in front of his visitors. Then
     settles in an armchair and cracks open a beer. It lends the mood,
     albeit strained, of a social visit. Lonely old Ozzie wanting to
     make it so. Despite which, both men have an eye on each other.

                               OZZIE
                    Got stuck in that supercell, didya?

     Lincoln eyes him, wary of the question. Ozzie reads confusion-

                                     OZZIE
                    Supercellstorm , that's what they call
                    it on the news anyways. I n my day, we
                    just called `em "big ol' h o w l e r s " .

     Ozzie chuckles to himself. It seems to put his visitor at ease.

                                OZZIE
                    Yep, I heard it shut down some of the
                    lodeways. Dust in the works, I guess.
                    Where were you folks headed anyways?

     Lincoln gulps down some water, deciding an answer. Then ventures-

                                LINCOLN
                    Away.

                                 OZZIE
                    A w a y ? You mean, like outta s t a t e ?

                                LINCOLN
                    " O u t of state"...

                                                                          65.



     The term is meaningless to Lincoln but he likes the sound of it.
     Ozzie grins. This is starting to feel like a real social visit.

                               OZZIE
                    N o w where's my manners gone? I'm Ozzie.
                    Osmund r e a l l y . But folks call me Ozzie.

     An awkward lull as Ozzie waits for his visitor to reciprocate.

                                     OZZIE
                    S o m e t i m e s I like to make a joke of it,
                    my last name bein' D e e r . . . "O. Deer".

     O z z i e chuckles but the pun seems lost on his visitor. He lets it
     drop. The awkward silence returns. Lincoln drinks the water,
     wondering if this strange old man is as harmless as he appears.

                                OZZIE
                    We l l now, looks like yer g i r l f r i e n d ' s
                    made herself at home.

     Lincoln looks at Ester, slumped over, asleep on the sofa. Ozzie
     puts a finger to his lips, beckoning his visitor out of the room.

97   EXT . SCRAPYARD - DUSK

     The porch light comes on, casting the scrapyard in grades of
     light and shadow. Ozzie steps out onto the porch, lighting a
     cigarette. His visitor hovering at the threshold, he offers the
     pack. Lincoln steps out and takes one. Ozzie lights it for him-

                                    OZZIE
                    Yer girlfriend sure is pretty.

     His visitor looks at him curiously. Ozzie misinterprets that
     he's said something out of turn. Time to change the subject-

                              OZZIE
                    So what's with them tattoos, huh?

     He taps his forehead. Lincoln fingers his crosshatch, suddenly
     aware of it now and suspicious of the question. Ozzie palliates-

                                OZZIE
                    Hey , in the eye of the beholder, right?
                    Now this place, this is beautiful to
                    me. This is my place. I own it. `May
                    not look like much but you'd be
                    surprised. C'mon, lemme show you...

     Ozzie moseys into the scrapyard, beckoning his visitor. Lincoln
     hesitates, then follows him, sensing it's better to play along.

                                                                       66.



                                    OZZIE
                    M o s t a t h i s heavy stuff's industrial
                    scrap. Comes in from all over. Easy way
                    round the recyclin' l a w s . Me, I sell it
                    on to the boondock b o y s for meltdown.
                    Other stuff, I pick up at the scrap
                    markets. Fix it up, `fetches a price.

     The y reach a vehicle shell. A rust-pocked chassis, canted on its
     axle, we might recognize it as an automobile from our own era.

                               OZZIE
                    Fossil fuel transport. This piece o'
                    junk's a collector's item. All that
                    Age of the Wheel nostalgia, "elegant
                    era of transport" bullshit. I find the
                    parts, she's as good as solid gold.

     Ozzie pats his investment and moves to another rusted metal pile.
     Steepled by rail tracks, we see elevator sheaves, tension cables.

                                 OZZIE
                    Now this here's got a colorful history.
                    Came in from this ol' g o v e r n m e n t bunker
                    out in the valley. `Got shut down way
                    back. Then this new outfit took over,
                    stripped the place out. I guess they're
                    doin' s o m e more remodelling cause I
                    just had `em in again the other day...
                           ( a tug of smoke, reflective)
                    Hump`n dump crew. Nice fellas.

     Lincoln frowns. The term is familiar. The taste of smoke, a hint.
     But his memory has been clouded by trauma. Ozzie reads his face-

                               OZZIE
                    You okay there?

     Lincoln looks at him, something breaking the clouds. A sense of
     danger, indistinct. Suddenly cautious, he stubs his cigarette-

                               LINCOLN
                    I'm going to check on my friend.

98   INT . FRONT ROOM - THE SHACK - DUSK

     A front room turned into a front office. Piles of paper teeter
     atop junk furniture. A bankers lap we might recognize from our
     own era glows over a desk where Ozzie is rummaging, looking for
     something. He stops to peer through and check on his visitors-

                                                                   67.



The woman still lies asleep on the sofa. The man is sitting
beside her armchair, head bowed, seemingly plunged in thought.
O z z i e resumes rummaging to find a crumpled delivery note. He
reviews it for a moment. Then quickly clears away some more
papers to uncover a keypad device. It is known as a "holocom".
He taps a key and a holoframe resolves. Then taps in some digits
from the delivery note. The holoframe snows with static. Then a
crosshatch insignia appears, spinning in 3D:

                              RECORDED VOICE (ON HOLOCOM)
               Welcome to The Sanger Institute. If you
               know your party's extension, press...

                           LINCOLN (O.S.)
               What are you doing?

Ozzie jerks round to find his visitor suddenly standing there.
He fumbles on the holocom keypad and the crosshatch blinks out.

                              OZZIE
               Nuthin . I wasn't doin nuthin .

Lincoln frowns, the sense of danger becoming more distinct.
Ozzie reads his visitor's troubled expression, realizing-

                        OZZIE
               I knew it... them clothes... them
               weird tattoos... I mean, I heard
               stories from those guys but I never...

O f f his visitor's frown, Ozzie bites his tongue. He's cornered
in this cramped space with a freak of science. Time to backpedal-

                          OZZIE
               N o t that I believe `em... buncha c r a z y
               stories... nuthin t o do with you...

He chuckles feebly. But his visitor just stares back at him,
pupils dilated and dark, somehow inhuman. Time to wriggle out-

                               OZZIE
               W h a d d y a s a y we just forget about it,
               huh? How about I go getcha a beer?

He makes a move past but his visitor doesn't budge. Lincoln
senses danger in this old man, whose fear is now manifest-

                               OZZIE
               What e v e r you want... Just take it...
               Whaddya w a n t . . . ? You want money...?

                                                                     68.



      His visitor frowns. Ozzie quickly unlocks a cashbox. He grabs
      some colored plastic cards and offers them like meat to a lion.

                                 OZZIE
                     I t ' s all I got... Take it... just
                     please... just don't hurt me...

      His visitor takes a blue card, inspecting it like a curiosity.
      Then steps closer. Ozzie shrinks back. An ominous moment, then-

                                 LINCOLN
                     " O u t of state" - how do I get there?

      O f f Ozzie's cowering and confused look, we -
                                                               C U T TO:

99    EXT . SKY OVER THE DESERT - NIGHT

      F r o m darkness grows a seed of light. The whisper flies low and
      quiet, its spotlight roving the undulant desert. Now picking out
      metal glints as it banks over a scrapyard. Now training its beam
      on a figure in the dust whirl beneath. Ozzie, his hair flying
      wild, gesticulating madly. The whisper follows his directions,
      nosing onwards, its spotlight corrugating across the red rocks.

100   EXT . SHUTTLE STOP - NIGHT

      I n the middle of nowhere, a canopied platform. Not unlike the sub-
      w a y platform, it borders a deeply trenched lodeway. A wave of dust
      rolls in, swelled by the whisper, landed beyond. It seems to bring
      Scheer to the platform. He scans around for a clue, a footprint
      perhaps. But somehow he already knows. He looks up the lodeway,
      eyes honing. The deep black line stretches far into the night.

101   INT . THE GLASS VILLA - NIGHT

      Silence. Still. Sanger sits nursing a cup of herb tea. Crowne
      sits smoking. Stubs in the ashtray speak of long hours waiting.
      The still is broken as Merrick emerges from an adjacent room.
      Sanger and Crowne look up, expectant. Merrick closes the door
      with slow care. Then he faces them, a grim tenor in his voice-

                                   MERRICK
                     Bad news.

102   EXT . PHOENIX - NIGHT

      The whisper slices the night, running lights blinking. We pan to
      frame it against a skyline of black towers. A glittering row of
      domes and spires, somehow celestial, touching the sky. The city
      bears no trace of its origins, once built over Indian ruins, now
      rebuilt, subsumed by urban overhaul. It has become a metropolis.

                                                                        69.



103   INT. ROOFTOP NIGHTCLUB - PHOENIX

      A glass dome, faceted, insectile. A haut-monde h i v e . The movers
      and shakers of the high-tech boomtown drinking, dancing. Shot
      waitresses dose blue tequila. Bass music thuds like a heartbeat.
      Scheer looks out of place here but the crowd's too self-absorbed
      to care. He moves through them, invisibly, towards a corner booth.

      TWO MEN IN SUITS sit with a bottle of blue tequila. The first is
      bald, pale and dead-looking, he'd be the grim reaper but for his
      fixed leer. The second is long-haired, bearded, hulking, more of
      a grim ploughman. He has a metal brace screwed into his forearm.

                                  SCHEER
                     Which one of you is Diggs?

                                   DIGGS (THE BALD MAN)
                     That's me, slick. This here's my
                     partner Burdon. Don't mind him. He
                     gets a little shy around strangers.

                                 SCHEER
                     What happened to his arm?

                                     DIGGS
                     `Pursuit last week. The guy took a
                     swing at him with a fireaxe. Didn't
                     stop Burdie though . `Took down that
                     fucker with one arm, didn't you?

      Burdon sips his drink. Scheer, underwhelmed, takes a seat.

                                SCHEER
                     You don't look like bounty hunters.

                                 DIGGS
                     Well we're on the job, see? And it
                     kind of helps if you bleed in. You
                     don't look like a bondman either.

                                SCHEER
                     I'm just an intermediary.

                                DIGGS
                     Now that's what people use when they
                     don't want to get their hands dirty.

      He grins, cannily. Scheer grimaces, a pro suffering an amateur.

                              SCHEER
                     I was told you also handled civil
                     bonds. Debt runners, data-thieves...

                                                               70.



                          DIGGS
              What we hunt depends on the bounty.

                          SCHEER
              It's worth ten platinum. Unmarked.

Diggs pauses at this. A huge amount. Suspiciously huge. He licks
some salt, downs a blue tequila shot and bites a slice of lime.

                            DIGGS
              What's the bond?

                         SCHEER
              The parties I represent want to limit
              the specific details. But let's just
              say industrial secrets are involved.

                         DIGGS
              Ten platinum. Must be big secrets.

That canny grin again. It raises Scheer's hackles-

                         SCHEER
              Any good at keeping them?

                         DIGGS
              Oh, me and Burdie, we're busy bees. We
              don't have time to file every report
              and we got real bad memories. But just
              so we understand each other, slick,
              we're talking about a bag job, right?

Scheer returns an equivocal look. Then dips in his pocket for two
digital slides - Lincoln and Ester's headshots, spinning in 3D.

                            DIGGS
              What's up with these tattoos? They
              look like fucking boondock types .

                         SCHEER
              All I'm authorized to tell you is they
              have no records in this state. Also
              that they're not armed or dangerous.

                         DIGGS
              How about we start with their names?

                          SCHEER
              John and Jane Doe...

                            DIGGS
              You're kidding me, right? No names?

                                                               71.



Scheer's look says he's serious. But Diggs is still confounded.

                          DIGGS
              The n - with all due respect - how the
              fuck d o you expect us to find them?

                             SCHEER
              Because you won't have to look. They
              jumped an overnight shuttle. They'll be
              headed for the terminal, trying to get
              out of state. It's strictly a recovery
              job. For you, it should be childsplay.

                          DIGGS
              The n why not do it yourself? Or is the
              dog ring just to impress the ladies?

The grin. Scheer moves his hand to cover the USMC ring, stiffly-

                         SCHEER
              The parties I represent want to stay at
              arm's length. And just so we understand
              each other that means no connection, no
              papertrail, no police interest...

                        DIGGS
              Is that everything?

                           SCHEER
              . . . no mistakes. They want these two
              brought in quickly and quietly and
              unharmed. Once you have them, you'll
              contact me for further instructions.

                       DIGGS
              I don't know. What do you say, Burdie?

B u r d o n looks over. Then suddenly stands bolt upright, diving into
his jacket, jerking out what looks like a pump-action shotgun.

                           BURDON
              F r a n k Hofstetter! This is a bond
              recovery! Step away from the bar!

F A C E S TURN as he swings aim across the bar - HOFSTETTER, slight,
wide-eyed, looking hunted - customers moving away, exposing him -
Burdon chambering a cartridge, emphatic - Hofstetter f r e e z e s - a
deer in the headlights - a moment of hesitation - then he runs.

- B O O M - BURDON FIRES but the shot misses, hitting the bartender -
exploding on impact with A BLINDING ELECTRICAL DISCHARGE - the
stunned bartender spasms and drops - Burdon pumps and chambers
another slug - his weapon now earned the name of a "thunderbolt".

                                                                            72.



      A STAMPEDE BEGINS - customers running scared - his quarry lost
      in the stampede, Burdon vaults over the table - Diggs pulls out
      what looks like a twin-barrel sawn-off and launches after him -
      Scheer stays seated, watching the hunt with remote curiosity--

      H O F S T E T T E R C L A W S THROUGH THE STAMPEDE - spotting Burdon and the
      thunderbolt close behind - he drops out of the firing line - onto
      his knees - crawling, banged about - almost at the exit, almost--
      T W I N BARRELS PRESS TO HIS HEAD - Diggs looks down - grinning,
      beckoning him upright - Hofstetter l o o k s up - bleak, defeated -
      A GIRL blunders into them - toppling over Hofstetter i n t o Diggs--

      H O F S T E T T E R T A K E S HIS CHANCE TO RUN - now scrambling against the
      stampede - Diggs disentangles himself and levels his weapon -
      the stampede parting - throwing themselves to the ground as--

      - B O O M - DIGGS FIRES - the scattershot hits Hofstetter a s he flees
      up some steps - peppering his leg - sparks off metal as Diggs
      keeps firing - his weapon now earned the name of a "rainmaker".
      H O F S T E T T E R R E A C H E S A CATWALK - his leg dragging, numbing from
      t h e tranquilizer cores - the catwalk dead-ends - blind panic now -
      He ducks under the rail, reaching for the dome - finding a
      precarious handhold, he swings across - trying to climb --

      D I G G S COMES UP BENEATH - looking up, grinning - the pathetic
      sight of Hofstetter - one leg useless - clinging to the dome
      like a fly trapped under glass - as Burdon goes to recover him -

                                   DIGGS
                      Don't bother. He'll drop by himself.
      B u r d o n pulls out some handcuffs and stands waiting. Diggs returns
      to the booth. Pouring out two tequila shots, he grins at Scheer -

                                    DIGGS
                      N o w . . . where were we?

104   EXT . THE DESERT - MORNING

      S u n l i g h t blinks off a chain of carriages, travelling the trench
      of a lodeway. The overnight shuttle slits through the desert.

105   INT . PASSENGER CAR - MORNING
      The sun is a muted orb behind polarized glass. Lincoln stares out
      of the window at the bleak new world blurring past. He's wearing
      Ozzie's ballcap o v e r his crosshatch, his former clothes discarded
      for some of the old man's ill-fitting denims. Perhaps a disguise
      or perhaps just to shed the memory. He glances across at Ester,
      dressed likewise, her hair teased to cover her crosshatch. She's
      dozing, head rested on the glass. A TICKET COLLECTOR comes up-

                                                                        73.



                               TICKET COLLECTOR
                      Tickets...
      Lincoln looks at the man in uniform, uncertain what he wants. The
      ticket collector shakes his head. These two look like deadbeats.

                                   T I C K E T COLLECTOR (CONT'D)
                      A d u l t fare is forty five currency
                      units. Do you have the money, sir?

      Lincoln assimilates. Money. The word is familiar. He pulls out
      the blue plastic card. The man in uniform looks encouraged. He
      gives him the card, watching him slot it into a handheld device,
      which briefly flashes, then the card is returned. Lincoln sees a
      strip at the top is now transparent, like a depleted reservoir.
      He assimilates. Not so different from the transactions in the
      world below. Then he notices Ester is awake and is looking at
      him. Her bright eyes, dim and troubled, somehow accusatory.

                                  LINCOLN
                      I t ' s going to be okay, Ester.

                                ESTER
                           (faint)
                      Is it?

                                LINCOLN
                      We just need to get out of state.

      Ester , disconsolate, looks out of the window. In her gaze, the
      forlorn air of a hatchling fallen from the nest. Lincoln watches
      her, knowing her troubles and knowing that he cannot relieve them.

106   EXT . PHOENIX - DAY

      The skyline stands reprised in daylight. A glimmering citadel.

107   EXT . SHUTTLE STOP - PHOENIX - DAY

      P a s s e n g e r s climb the steps from an underground gloom. Lincoln and
      Ester with them, jostled by the more certain flow. They cross the
      portal onto the street and stop, dazzled by the sunlight. Only to
      be dazzled again by the sudden, stunning prospect of the city...

      F i r s t there's the quality of light, a burning white, perhaps from
      depleted ozone, depicting everything in a surreal shimmer. Then
      there's the towers, darkly crystalline, facets of polarized glass
      rising to domes and spires, like monolothic f i n g e r s reaching for
      the sky. The traffic flashing past, the chassis identifiable as
      trucks, taxis, compacts, sedans, streamlined in a nautical trim,
      hull runners in place of wheels. The sound of claxons, more like
      fog horns than car horns. Then there's the street itself, a six-
      l a n e lodeway, lanes marked with buoys, bobbing around on cables.

                                                                            74.



      The graceful arcs of pedestrian bridges at the intersections. The
      citizens, strange hairstyles, fashions, all wearing sunglasses.
      Even to us it's a wondrous sight. The urbanism, the grandeur, as
      if here in the heart of southwest, Manhattan has met Venice.

                                  V O I C E (O.S.)
                      He y , man, spare a little green?

      A w e interrupted, Lincoln and Ester look around. Slouched by the
      street exit is A HOBO with a mangy dog. He grins toothlessly-

                                   T H E HOBO
                      A i n ' t eaten in two days, have we, boy?

      Lincoln and Ester step back as the dog rises to greet them. Tail
      wagging, it noses forward, sniffing. Then, abruptly, drops its
      tail and backs off, whining. Lincoln and Ester likewise back off.
      Both sides have just discovered a new species. The hobo pets his
      whining canine, watching the strangers walk off with curiosity.

108   EXT . STREET - DAY

      The sunlight flares off passing vehicles, hypnotic. The faces of
      pedestrians flash past. Lincoln and Ester wander in thrall up the
      street. Everywhere new sights, new curiosities bombard them...

      The storefronts, mysterious recesses behind polarized glass. The
      glass, alive with pixellated g r a p h i c s , marquees: "Temps! Temps!
      New Tech Opportunities!" - "Beauty Therapy! Manicures, Dermals,
      Follicle Grafts!" - "Discount Legal Service! Class Actions Only!"

      H o l o f r a m e b i l l b o a r d s loom over the street, huge shimmering
      panels like phantom jumbotrons, commercials playing on a loop:
      - - A businessman in a conference room, shrinking from a fierce
      negotiation; the scene replayed with the same businessman, now
      on his feet, stabbing his finger angrily in the air; a pill
      bottle in CU, a text super "Combatrine! The Aggression Enhancer"
      - - A teenager bemused by his homework: his parents escorting him
      into a clinic; the teenager hooded by an electronic dome; his
      parents clapping; the teenager smiling as he accepts a diploma;
      a text super "Intellex: Data Impression For A New Generation"

      Lincoln suddenly looks round, realizing Ester is gone from his
      side. He scans the sea of faces. Then spots her stepping through
      a doorway. Over the threshold is a holoform: a pig with wings,
      circled by the legend "Hog Heaven! Home Of The True Hamburger".

109   INT . HOG HEAVEN - DAY

      F a s t food outlets have evidently changed little. Promotional
      posters in 3D: "Ham Slam", "Porker Forkers", "Bacon Blitz".

                                                                     75.



      Service counter, seating area. Ester is looking around like
      Alice In Wonderland. Lincoln comes up, out of breath, edgy-

                              LINCOLN
                     I told you to stay with me.

                                     ESTER
                           ( i n n o c e n t , plaintive)
                     I'm hungry.

                                  LINCOLN
                     O k a y . Okay...

      He nods, realizing he is too. He plants Ester in a seat and looks
      around. People stand in line transacting, receiving food trays.
      Not unlike nutrition plaza. Lincoln ventures to the counter. He
      offers the blue card hopefully. THE SERVICE CLERK looks at him-

                                T H E SERVICE CLERK
                     A r e you gonna tell me what you want?

                                      LINCOLN
                            ( b e a t , no other reference)
                     What are my options?

                                  T H E SERVICE CLERK
                     K n o c k yourself out, buddy.

      He indicates a menu above. Lincoln assimilates, looking up at
      the menu. Understanding now, his face lifts to almost a smile.
      It's the first time he's been given an unrestricted choice.

110   INT . SEATING AREA - A FEW MINUTES LATER

      Lincoln returns to Ester with a tray of food and drink. She's
      staring off again, distant. He puts a burger and drink cup in
      front of her. She seems not to notice. He tries to engage her-

                              LINCOLN
                     I asked the man how to get to the
                     terminal. He said it's not far.

      But Ester just keeps staring, her brow now furrowing as A LITTLE
      GIRL skips past, maybe 11, sipping a soda. Now Lincoln sees her
      too and is transfixed. Now the little girl notices the strangers,
      staring at her. She hurries onward, uncomfortable. Lincoln and
      Ester's eyes follow. It's the first time they've seen a child.

111   EXT . PHOENIX TERMINAL - DAY

      A low rumble. A plume of smoke. A sudden eruption of fire. A bird
      rises from the flames and a phoenix spreads its wings. Widening,
      we reveal this is a holoform o v e r the terminal entrance.

                                                                        76.



      Union Station now looks more like Grand Central. A huge granite
      facade, a covered colonnade linking to pedestrian bridges at the
      corners. Here, in the flow of figures, we make out Lincoln and
      Ester, resembling tourists. Then, a short distance behind, we
      spot two more figures. The hobo and his timorous dog. Following.

112   INT . CONCOURSE - TERMINAL - DAY

      V a u l t e d . Arched windows, mosaiced i n polarized glass. Sunlight
      falls in filtered shafts. Footfalls echo off polished granite.
      Lincoln and Ester scan around. Ester looks daunted by the space.
      Lincoln looks focused. He sees people in line, transacting.

113   INT . TICKET WINDOW - DAY
      The sign on the window reads "Tickets". Lincoln assimilates. The
      word is familiar. He steps up to the counter with Ester. A TICKET
      CLERK - female, immaculately groomed - greets them with a glossy
      smile. Lincoln offers her the blue card. She seems not to notice.

                                    T H E TICKET CLERK
                     We l c o m e to Phoenix Union Station. What
                     is your date of travel, sir?

      Lincoln has to think. Dates mean nothing to him. He ventures-

                                 LINCOLN
                     Now...

                                T H E TICKET CLERK
                     An d what is your destination?

                                LINCOLN
                     O u t of state.

                                T H E TICKET CLERK
                     I'm sorry. Could you repeat that?

                               LINCOLN
                     We want to go out of state.

                                T H E TICKET CLERK
                     I'm sorry. Could you repeat that?

                                 V O I C E (O.S.)
                     L i k e talking to a wall, ain't it?

      Lincoln and Ester turn to look. The interceder is pale, bald,
      wearing leathers. A stranger to them, we recognize him as DIGGS-

                                       DIGGS
                     H o l o s e r v e . C h e a p e r than flesh and
                     blood but nothing between the ears.

                                                                     77.



      Diggs demonstrates, wafting his hand across the ticket counter.
      It cuts through the ticket clerk with a holographic ripple.

                                   DIGGS
                      F i r s t time I used one of these, I
                      asked her out on a date...

      He grins genially, examining their faces, verifying his quarry.
      Lincoln examines the pale man. The sense of danger is welling-

                                  LINCOLN
                      What do you want?

                                  DIGGS
                      J u s t wanted to help, that's all.
      D i g g s shrugs, disarming, trying to win them over, nice and easy
      per the mandate. Then he notices the eyes of his male quarry. The
      pupils, black and dilating. Suddenly the male jerks away, like a
      shying horse, drawing the female with him. Diggs, unperturbed,
      makes no attempt to follow. Turning his back on them, he touches
      a device concealed in his ear canal, a miniature two-way radio-

                                     D I G G S (INTO RADIO)
                      B u r d i e , it's them. East exit.

114   EXT . TERMINAL - DAY

      Lincoln and Ester emerge into the colonnade, rejoining the flow
      of figures. Lincoln presses the pace, alert, darting looks back.
      The pale man doesn't appear to be following. But the sense of
      danger is spurring him to gain distance. Ester, vicarious to the
      danger, stays close to Lincoln's side, scurrying to keep up.
      Neither of them notices the grey vehicle sliding up on them,
      kerbside. A commercial transit van known as a "cutter", it's a
      common sight on the streets. The driver leans out of the window -
      hair tied back, dressed in buckskins, we recognize BURDON-

                                 BURDON
                      You folks need a ride?

      Lincoln and Ester turn to look. The dark giant is just another
      stranger, cast in a demeanor of casual inquiry. He's offering an
      opportunity to gain distance but Lincoln remains hesitant. The
      sense of danger, turbulent, hard to read. Burdon sugars the way-

                                     BURDON
                      P r i v a t e cab. No state surcharge...

      He taps a button and the side-door slips open. Lincoln looks into
      the lightless c a v i t y , wavering, uncertain. Ester, hugging close,
      nervous. Figures passing, jostling them toward the cavity. The
      dark giant, looking on expectantly. The pause stretching, then-

                                                                78.



                           VOICE (O.S.)
               He y ! What the fuck are you doing, man?
B a c k down the colonnade, THE HOBO is gesticulating to Burdon-

                        T H E HOBO
               I told you! They went inside!

The hobo doesn't see Lincoln and Ester, unwitting that he's just
betrayed himself as their shadow... and Burdon as their predator.
His dog starts barking. Lincoln starts backing away with Ester,
his eyes blackening, the danger surging, the dog barking, the
giant's face dropping, the elements converging... They bolt.

                           BURDON
               Shit!

B U R D O N JAMS INTO REVERSE - but his pursuit is cut short by a
parked vehicle - he swings a look back, jabbing his earpiece-

                            B U R D O N (INTO RADIO)
               N o r t h Corner! North Corner!

LINCOLN AND ESTER RACE UP THE COLONNADE - against the flow of
figures - darting and weaving like fish swimming upstream --

D I G G S BURSTS FROM THE NORTH EXIT - launching up the north side
of the terminal - thinner foot traffic here, faster going --

LINCOLN AND ESTER SLOWING - the flow massing under the portico -
they peel through - the holoform p h o e n i x rumbling overhead --

D I G G S TURNING THE NORTH CORNER - pausing to touch his earpiece -
now launching south down the colonnade - towards the portico -
jerking a pair of handcuffs from his belt, ready for the snatch--

LINCOLN AND ESTER GAINING PACE - past the portico now, the way
opening - Lincoln's eyes flaring - a face in the distance ahead -
the pale man - he swings Ester around - doubling back to find --
B U R D O N COMING UP BEHIND - the flow of figures, no obstacle -
parting at his thunderous onset - his quarry, stopped and
staring at him - almost upon them - handcuffs at the ready--

LINCOLN FREEZES - caught between the dark giant and the pale man -
Ester cringing to his side - the dark giant charging up on them -
sunlight on metal - the sight of the handcuffs - TRIGGERING HIM--

LINCOLN GRABS ESTER - swinging her off the sidewalk - lowering
her into the lodeway - leaping down to join her - lode poles
pulsing, thrumming - rivets on their denims, rattling from the
polarity - traffic soaring past on lode-stream, chest-high -

                                                                       79.



      DARTING OUT INTO TRAFFIC - Lincoln leads Ester by the hand like
      a child - across the lanes, dodging, weaving through the gaps -
      claxons b l a r i n g , deafening - sunflashes, blinding - a sudden
      shadow - a huge freight truck bearing down, no gaps ahead --

      LINCOLN DRAGS ESTER TO THE GROUND - both flattening against the
      concrete lode-bed - the shadow engulfing them - the truck's hull
      runners shearing narrowly over their heads - the rush of air,
      sweeping off Lincoln's ballcap - rousing a storm of dust--

      LINCOLN AND ESTER CHOKING - crawling onward through the dust -
      hull runners scudding overhead - maybe only a foot of clearance -
      buoy cables whipping around like cheesewire - onwards, crawling
      across the concrete - fighting their way across the lode-stream--

      B U R D O N WATCHING from the sidewalk where Lincoln and Ester first
      dropped, scouring the trench for a sight of them. Now he spots
      them, climbing up onto the sidewalk the far side of the street.

      D i g g s now arrives at his side, sweating, out of breath. Now
      seeing their quarry take off up the far side of the street, he
      turns to his lumberous p a r t n e t , fury mixed with incredulity-

                                 DIGGS
                      Why the fuck d i d n ' t you go after them?!

      B u r d o n just looks at him, displaying the metal brace on his fore-
      a r m . Diggs, out of sheer frustration, gives him a pounding shove-

                                DIGGS
                      Fuck!

115   EXT . ALLEY - DAY
      The refuge of shadow. The alley is divided by a lodeway and the
      walls on each side are jutted with dumpsters. Lincoln and Ester
      run up the narrowed strip of sidewalk, forced into single file.

      A huge shape looms ahead. A garbage vehicle known as a "scow".
      Like a leviathan spreading its tentacles, the scow's tube-arrays
      dock with the dumpsters and start sucking the contents out.

      Lincoln glances back to find Ester has stopped and is cringing
      away from the tentacled monster. He returns to her, his eyes
      flicking around, aware that their real predators are close-

                                LINCOLN
                      We have to keep going.

      He takes Ester's hand, drawing her onward. But Ester recoils,
      shaking off his grip. Now he looks at her more closely. She's
      panting, shuddering, fraught with trauma. Her voice is haunted-

                                                                            80.



                                      ESTER
                     P l e a s e . . . Please, I want to go back...
      She shrinks into the shadows, shaking her head. The hatchling
      wanting to return to the nest. Lincoln meets her eye, deeply-

                                  LINCOLN
                     T h o s e men - that's what they want too.
      Ester holds his gaze, chest heaving. Then looks back towards the
      alley mouth. Her fingers reach for her belly, clawing a little.
      Then her eyes lower, assimilating, reason reasserting its heavy
      grip. Lincoln senses her turmoil. His voice is soft but sturdy-

                               LINCOLN
                     We have to keep going, Ester.

      Ester looks up at him again. The forlorn air seems to have faded.
      Her eyes, grimly set. Her face, a little haggard. Older somehow.
      She takes Lincoln's hand and together they head off up the alley.

116   EXT . ALLEY - MOMENTS LATER

      The alley mouth darkens as a vehicle turns off the street. The
      grey cutter moves through the shadows, prowling and shark-like.

117   INT . CUTTER - DRIVING

      The drone of resistors. The throbbing glow of the drive console,
      a panoply of instrumentation. Burdon steers in silence, Diggs
      beside him, edgy, intent, combing the shadows for their quarry.

                                       DIGGS
                     S u n n a v a b i t c h ! What the fuck d o we do
                     now, huh? They could be anywhere...

                               BURDON
                     We go back to the office and run `em.

                               DIGGS
                     A s what? John and Jane Doe?

                               BURDON
                     We ask the guy.

                                  DIGGS
                     Y e a h , let's tell him we couldn't hack
                     it in kindergarten. See how long him
                     and his ten platinum stick around.

      He fires a barbed look. Burdon absorbs this, unflinched, thinking-

                                                                       81.



                                BURDON
                      I t was blue, right?

                                DIGGS
                      What?

                                  BURDON
                      The y were using a blue currency card.

118   EXT . STREET - DAY

      Lincoln and Ester walk up the street. Wary of attention, they go
      with the flow of figures, eyes peeled for predators. The sights
      of the city now seem hostile. Faces flash past, dead-eyed in sun-
      g l a s s e s . Traffic rushes like steel rapids. Storefronts construct
      a black wall. Holoframe b i l l b o a r d s loom, mocking, half-noticed:

      - - A woman in a bathroom, adjusting her sexy neglige; a crack in
      the door shows a man in bed, waiting; the woman closes the door
      and picks up what looks like a toothpaste tube; she arches her
      eyebrow; "F.I.G. F e m i n i n e Impulse Gel... Because who needs him?"
      - - A cemetery under a grim overcast sky; suddenly a frisbee flies
      across frame; an old woman, dressed like a teenager, catches it;
      she tosses it to an old man dressed likewise; a text super "Death
      Sucks!", a sting, "New Gaza Healthcare: Your Life Is Our Life."
      Lincoln and Ester stop at the corner. They look around, blindly,
      no coordinates, no frame of reference. Urban canyons, identical,
      gordian a n d chasmic. P a s s i n g figures jostle. Then Lincoln spots
      something across the street. It looks like an over-sized phone
      booth. Its beacon flashes; "C.I.N. - CITY INFORMATION NETWORK."

119   INT . CIN BOOTH - DAY

      A flourish of music greets Lincoln and Ester as they enter. The
      fanfare conjures a holoform i n mid-air. A cartoon rattlesnake,
      benignly rendered, welcomes them with a clownish, fanged smile:

                                THE SNAKE
                      H i there! I'm Tattletail! What e v e r you
                      want to know, wherever you want to go, I
                      got the answers! Let's look at the menu!

      A set of text frames appear: "Residential Listings", "Business
      Listings", "Transport Listings", "Hotel Listings". Lincoln
      assimilates. The terminologies are not unfamiliar.

                                 THE SNAKE (CONT'D)
                      N o w let's make a selection!

                                                                     82.



                                   LINCOLN
                         ( b e a t , venturing)
                     Transport...
                                  THE SNAKE
                     O k a y ! Let me open that directory for
                     you! I'll be with you in two shakes!

      The snake rattles accordingly and coils in a holding pattern.
      Then a tomographic map of the city appears. A red dot plants
      itself under a text flag "You Are Here!". Then other red dots
      scatter across the map, each flagging with transportation icons.

120   INT. CUTTER - STREETS - DRIVING - DAY

      B u r d o n steers calmly, scanning the streets. Diggs impatiently
      bashes the keys of a holocom on the drive console. A holoframe
      hovers, snowed with static. Then a secretary's face appears -
      sagging, older, primped and painted young. Her name is JANEEN-

                                  J A N E E N (ON HOLOCOM)
                     D i g g s & Burdon Bond Agency.

                                    DIGGS
                     J a n e e n , where the fuck have you been?

                                   J A N E E N (ON HOLOCOM)
                     B e a u t y therapy. I got a date tonight.

                                DIGGS
                     O h , Jesus... Listen, I want you to
                     punch into the currency stream for me.
                     Sweep for blue card transactions.

                                   J A N E E N (ON HOLOCOM)
                     You're kidding me, right? You have any
                     idea how long that's going to take?

                              DIGGS
                     I want serial numbers, batched a n d
                     cross-referenced. Start from Union
                     Station and work your way out...

      B e f o r e he can object he taps a key. The holoframe blinks out.

121   EXT . BUS STATION - LATE AFTERNOON

      A surging sound. A surface of water. A burst of spray. A dolphin
      leaps from the waves and hangs suspended. Text scrolls around:
      "Get Out Of State & Out Of Mind - Ride the Grey Dolphin Line!"
      This is the next incarnation of the greyhound. The blue facade,
      crested into waves. We make out Lincoln and Ester, now looking
      more like transients than tourists, dirty, worn and exhausted.

                                                                      83.



122   INT. CONCOURSE - BUS STATION

      Low roof. Flat lighting. The faces here seem less threatening,
      the young and the low-income. Lincoln and Ester look around. Not
      unlike the train terminal. People standing in line, transacting.

123   INT . TICKET WINDOW

      Lincoln and Ester step up to the ticket window. A TICKET CLERK -
      male, immaculately groomed - greets them with a polished smile.

                                     T I C K E T CLERK
                      We l c o m e to Grey Dolphin Bus Lines.
                      What is your destination, please?

      Lincoln squints at him. Then wafts his hand across the counter.
      The ticket clerk flinches at the impact. Then composes himself.
      A trace of camp as he smiles bashfully at the rugged customer-

                                  T I C K E T CLERK
                      I t ' s okay. Really. I get that a lot.
                      I'm sorry, now where were we again?

                               LINCOLN
                      I want to get out of state. Now.

                                     T I C K E T CLERK
                      B e l i e v e me, I know how you feel. So
                      where did you want to go exactly?

                                 LINCOLN
                      O u t of state...
                                  T I C K E T CLERK
                      J u s t wherever the wind takes you, huh?

                                     LINCOLN
                      Where's that?

                                   T I C K E T CLERK
                      We l l , if it was me, out to the west
                      coast. It's perfect this time of year.

      Lincoln nods, liking the sound of this. The ticket clerk smiles,
      enjoying the acceptance of his suggestion, he ventures hopefully-

                                        T I C K E T CLERK
                      T r a v e l l i n g alone, are we?

                                 LINCOLN
                      N o . With her.

      He gestures, then realizes Ester is gone from his side again.

                                                                     84.



      He scans the faces. The clerk, disappointed, taps some keys.

                                 T I C K E T COLLECTOR
                      T w o adults, let me see... I'm afraid I
                      can't get you seats till the morning.

124   INT . FOOD SERVICE AREA - BUS STATION

      A grill bar. A rank of vending machines. Ester moves through the
      seating area as if drawn. Now over the ambient noise, we isolate
      the cry of a baby. Ester is following the sound to its source.
      She finds a Mexican woman shushing her infant. The woman looks
      up and smiles. Ester just stands there, awe-struck. Lincoln now
      comes up to reclaim her. He's about to ask why she wandered off
      when she turns to him. He sees her eyes are brimming with tears.
      Tears of joy and sorrow. It's the first time she's seen a baby.

125   EXT . STREET - DUSK

      The winged pig flutters over the doors of "Hog Heaven". The
      milling customers are suddenly parted by Diggs, bursting out
      through the doors. He leaps into the grey cutter, parked
      kerbside. I t peels out with a flash of its halogen eyes.

126   INT . CUTTER - DRIVING - DUSK

      B u r d o n steers, glancing inquisitively at his partner. Diggs taps
      the holocom, urgently, galvanized. The holoframe resolves snowed
      with static. Janeen's face appears. Less primped, disgruntled-

                                   J A N E E N (ON HOLOCOM)
                      D i g g s & Burdon Bond Agency.

                                DIGGS
                      We got a positive on the serial number.
                      Punch in and pull up the transactions.
                      Start with the last hour and work back.

                                    JANEEN
                      G r e a t . So I got to park my ass in
                      front of a screen all night?

                                  DIGGS
                      I t ' s a platinum bond, Janeen. We get
                      this, I'll buy you a new ass, okay?

      He grins at Burdon. The thrill of the chase glows in his eyes.

127   INT . WAITING AREA - BUS STATION - NIGHT

      A blue glass partition wall looks out onto the depot. More like
      a marina with an embarcadero a n d a row of docks. "Liners" slot
      in and out, their nautical trim making them seem like ferries.

                                                                    85.



      Lincoln and Ester sit waiting. Lincoln, rigid, watchful. Ester,
      gazing across at the Mexican woman, who as the infant cradled
      asleep. Ester glances wistfully at Lincoln. Then she frowns-

                                      ESTER
                      Lincoln , what is that? On your face?

      Lincoln turns, touching his face. He feels stubble there. For
      the first time. His body is naturalizing but it feels unnatural
      to him. Ester reaches out and runs her fingers across his cheek.
      Lincoln stiffens a little, unused to this type of contact. But
      her touch is gentle and the contact is warming. Their eyes
      slowly meet, flickering, something passing between them. Then
      Ester's face contorts slightly. She emits a shallow cough.

                                 LINCOLN
                      A r e you alright?

      Ester clears her throat. But another cough follows.

                                ESTER
                      M y throat... it feels dry...

                                     LINCOLN
                      O k a y . . . I'll get you some water.

128   INT . FOOD SERVICE AREA - NIGHT

      E m p t y . The grill bar is closed. Only the vending machines are
      active. Lincoln considers them. Not unlike those he used to
      know. He finds one that offers water bottles. The sign reads
      "Arctic Melt". He pulls out his blue card and looks for the
      slot. Then pauses, picking up his reflection in the glass. He
      examines the shadowy growth on his face. Then he notices his
      eyes. They seem to be darkening. The pupils, welling open. Then
      he feels it. The sense of danger, surging up like a geyser.

129   INT . DEPARTURE AREA

      Ester sits waiting, anxious now, coughing persistently. Hearing
      footfalls, she looks round. But the face that greets her is not
      Lincoln. It's the pale man, the one who chased them. Before she
      can react, he forcefully pulls her upright, tapping his earpiece-

                                   D I G G S (ON RADIO)
                      P i e c e of cake, Burdie. J a n e Doe's in
                      the bag. Keep an eye out for John-Boy.

      Ester looks around in panic. Faces turn but none of them are
      Lincoln's. Diggs confronts the spectators, flashing a badge -

                                  DIGGS
                      Bond recovery... state license.

                                                                      86.



      He marches his female quarry towards the exit. Now she starts to
      struggle and he jerks her back, slapping a cuff onto her wrist-

                                 DIGGS
                     Play nice, little girl. Now you want
                     to tell me where your boyfriend is?

                                   LINCOLN (O.S.)
                     Behind you.

                                     DIGGS
                     What?

      - T H U D - LINCOLN HAMMERS HIS FIST into the pale man as he turns -
      dropping him, flat-on-his-ass - pulling Ester away from him -
      D I G G S JERKS OUT THE RAINMAKER - quick to his feet - more insulted
      than hurt - targeting his quarry - who suddenly duck down as--

      - B O O M - DIGGS FIRES - A WOMAN SCREAMS - the Mexican woman - her
      face, peppered with tranquilizer core - her baby starts crying--
      Ester FROZEN - horrified by the screaming woman - the bloody,
      slack grimace - the baby bawling - Lincoln dragging her down-

      - B O O M - THE BLAST OF THE THUNDERBOLT - Burdon positioned behind
      them - narrowly missing his target - hitting the partition wall -
      - C R A S H - THE PARTITION WALL EXPLODES in a blinding electrical
      discharge - shattering into a sudden TEMPEST OF GLASS SHARDS -

      LINCOLN AND ESTER SPIN ROUND to see the pale man retargeting -
      the dark giant reloading - exit blocked, they lunge towards --
      T H E PARTITION WALL - kicking through the hole in the glass -
      Ester's last glimpse of the screaming woman - the howling baby -

130   EXT . BUS DEPOT - NIGHT

      LINCOLN AND ESTER LEAP OUT onto the embarcadero - running -
      faces blur past - liners flash by with glaring halogens--

      D I G G S LEAPS OUT AFTER THEM - rainmaker poised - the embarcadero
      g l u t t e d with passengers - he can't get a bead on his quarry--
      LINCOLN AND ESTER VAULTING over the scattered luggage - the
      crowd thinning - the canopy opening onto the street beyond--

      D I G G S RIGHT ON THEIR TAIL - people screaming, parting as they
      see his weapon - the firing line clearing - he levels aim and--

                                     M E T R O PD OFFICER (O.S.)
                     M e t r o PD!      Drop it!

                                                                              87.



                                 DIGGS
                      I'm a bond agent!

                               M E T R O PD OFFICER
                      I said drop the fucking w e a p o n !

      D i g g s sees his quarry now escaping. With a scowl, he complies.
      He laces his fingers, tapping his earpiece in the process-

                                        D I G G S (INTO RADIO)
                      N o r t h b o u n d on Third. Get `em, Burdie -
                      and take off the fucking g l o v e s . . .

                                                                        C U T TO:
131   EXT . STREET - NIGHT

      T H E GREY CUTTER VEERS ROUND A CORNER - Burdon at the wheel - his
      quarry visible ahead - he jams the throttle - revs rising -

      LINCOLN AND ESTER SPRINT UP THE SIDEWALK - disorientation - the
      sudden diaspora o f lights and darkness - the sharp acoustics -

      T R A F F I C SWERVING - CLAXONS B L A R I N G - the cutter hurtling up the
      street, relentlessly - its halogen eyes, burning, growing -

      LINCOLN AND ESTER RACING FOR THE END OF THE BLOCK - towards a
      pedestrian bridge - trying to outpace the cutter -

      T H E GREY CUTTER CLOSING - Burdon punching a button - the side
      window slides open - he levels his thunderbolt, angling a shot-

      LINCOLN AND ESTER VEER LEFT - up onto the pedestrian bridge -
      rising above the traffic - claxons b l a r i n g beneath as --

      T H E GREY CUTTER PLOUGHS INTO THE INTERSECTION - banking into a u-
      t u r n - vehicles braking to avoid collision - LIGHTS, CLAXONS -

      LINCOLN AND ESTER - turmoil raging behind them - a glimpse of
      the cutter regaining pursuit - Lincoln sees an opening ahead--

132   EXT . ALLEY - NIGHT

      LINCOLN PULLS ESTER INTO THE SHADOWS - the sidewalk narrowing -
      they run onward, glancing off dumpsters - DULL BOOMS OF METAL -
      A FLOOD OF HALOGENS - the cutter banking sharply into the alley -
      pouring on the speed - the quarry trapped in its headlights--

      LINCOLN AND ESTER - nowhere to run - THE LIGHTS GROWING - THE
      RISING DRONE OF RESISTORS - Lincoln sees another opening --

                                                                        88.



133   EXT. PEDESTRIAN ALLEY - NIGHT

      LINCOLN PULLS ESTER INTO THE DARKNESS - a narrow access, barely
      lit, hard to see - a sudden dead-end - they SLAM INTO A BARRIER--

      A CHAINLINK F E N C E - the links shuddering - Lincoln looks up and
      sees it's scalable - claws into the links - STARTS CLIMBING-

      Ester TRYING TO CLIMB - rattled by coughing - fighting to
      breathe - her limbs shaking - her muscles failing - then--

      - B O O M - A BLINDING ELECTRICAL DISCHARGE - SUDDENLY THE FENCE IS
      ALIVE WITH ELECTRICITY - BURNING FINGERS JITTER ACROSS THE LINKS-

      LINCOLN AT THE TOP OF THE FENCE - jolted by the sudden shock -
      muscles in reflex - falling - landing the far side of the fence--

      Ester STILL CLIMBING - the jolt instantly toppling her back -
      landing the near side of the fence - more rattled than hurt --

      B U R D O N RUNNING TOWARDS THEM - thunderbolt smoking from the shot-
      LINCOLN ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE FENCE - recovering from the fall--

      Ester ON THE NEAR SIDE OF THE FENCE - cowering, coughing -

      B U R D O N JERKS HER UP BY THE HAIR - like a rapacious viking - he
      looks through the fence at Lincoln - sniffing her, almost bestial-

                               BURDON
                     G o ahead. I'll look after her.

      LINCOLN ' S EYES FLICKERING DARKLY - jaw clenching - the sense of
      danger urging him to run - but Ester is in the giant's grips -

      Ester CLAWING TO BREAK FREE - coughing, rasping - her fingers
      snag on the giant's arm-brace - TUGGING WITH ALL HER STRENGTH--

      B U R D O N YOWLING AT THE SUDDEN PAIN - lashing out - flinging Ester
      into the fence - dropping the thunderbolt - CLUTCHING HIS ARM--

      LINCOLN LEAPING ONTO THE FENCE - scrambling up the link - the
      dark giant momentarily off-guard - HE VAULTS OVER THE TOP --

      - T H U D - BURDON SPINS ROUND - takes the full brunt of Lincoln's
      impact - overbalancing - THEY CRASH TO THE GROUND -

      LINCOLN STRUGGLES UPRIGHT - winded, but forced to face the dark
      giant - who is already on his feet, his mighty fist SWINGING OUT-

      - T H U D - LINCOLN TAKES A PUNCH TO THE JAW - recoils, reciprocates
      throwing a left hook - hitting hard but the giant barely flinches-

                                                                      89.



      -THUD-THUD- BURDON POUNDS INTO HIM - a storm of punches - his
      quarry, ducking and blocking - now backed up against the fence--
      Ester RETRIEVING THE THUNDERBOLT - trying to work the mechanism -
      coughing - hands shaking - accidentally touching the trigger -

      - B O O M - THE SHOT BLASTS INTO THE AIR - enough of a distraction
      for Lincoln - he lands the giant with A BONE-JARRING LEFT HOOK-
      B U R D O N KEELS OVER INTO THE WALL - cracking the back of his head -
      his knees buckling - sliding down - just catching sight of--

      LINCOLN AND ESTER SCRAMBLING UP OVER THE FENCE - and then the
      quarry is lost from sight in A DOWNPOUR OF ELECTRICAL SPARKS.

134   EXT . BACKSTREET - NIGHT

      S I R E N S WAILING IN THE DISTANCE. Lincoln and Ester race down the
      sidewalk, along a construction hoarding. Ester slows, doubling
      over, rasping. Lincoln looks at her, her l i p s , blue, her face,
      pale. The sirens, getting louder. He sees a gap in the hoarding-

135   EXT . ENCANTO PARK - NIGHT

      Lincoln and Ester emerge through the gap onto a derelict tract.
      A once public park, now a construction site. Mounds and craters
      of earth. Dim shapes of huge vehicles, like sleeping dragons.
      Patches of parkland, as yet untouched. Bowed palms, dead grass,
      a stagnant lagoon, a dull mirror for the ascendant moon. On its
      shoreline is a dilapidated construct that was once a boathouse.

136   INT . BOATHOUSE - ENCANTO PARK - NIGHT

      The refuge of shadow. The collapsed   roof allowing streams and
      puddles of moonlight. Lincoln helps     Ester onto a rotted bench.
      She slumps down, exhausted, Lincoln     watches her, helplessly.
      She's fighting for breath, wheezing     and coughing in deep rasps.

                              ESTER
                     I can't... I can't breathe... my
                     throat... it's so... dry...

                                 LINCOLN
                     I ' l l find you some water.

      He looks around blindly. Some junk in the corner. He rummages,
      finds a rusted metal box. Pries it open, empties the contents.
      Gauzes, band-aids - evidently a first-aid box - then a bottle.
      He opens it, sniffs. It smells pungent. Alcohol, not water.
      Ester suddenly starts sobbing. Lincoln returns to her side-

                                 LINCOLN
                     I t ' s going to be okay, Ester.

                                                                90.



                            ESTER
               N o . . . no, it isn't...

                           LINCOLN
               I ' l l find you some water, okay?

Ester looks up at him, wheezing, tears streaming from her eyes-

                          ESTER
               An d then what, Lincoln?

                           LINCOLN
               I ' l l find another way. Out of state.

                          ESTER
               An d then what? What if they find us?

                           LINCOLN
               The n we'll keep going.

                        ESTER
               I can't... I can't run anymore...

Ester folds over, sobbing and coughing at the same time. Pitiful
to watch. Lincoln crouches, gaining her eyeline, very deliberate-

                            LINCOLN
               We ' l l keep going till we get there.

Ester traps a sob, reading his eyes, something reviving in her-

                          ESTER
               The Island... You mean, The Island?

Lincoln answers with a brief smile. If this will keep her going
then the truth is redundant. He eases her out of the moment-

                          LINCOLN
               N o w I'm going to get some water. But I
               want you to stay here. It'll be safer.

Ester wipes away her tears, sniffing. Her breaths, calming.

                            ESTER
               Don't go yet. Stay with me, Lincoln.
               Stay with me for a little while.

Lincoln looks puzzled by Ester's request. Even more puzzled as
she rests her head on his shoulder, nestling into his neck. He
feels her against him. The warmth spreading through him again.
His arm reaching, as if of its own accord, closing around her.
I t feels right somehow. And there he stays, holding her, looking
out across the dereliction. And the moon rises over Encanto P a r k .

                                                                      91.



137   EXT. METRO PD STATION - NIGHT

      The holoform l o g o of The Metro PD glows over the threshold.
      Diggs exits with a dark glower. The cutter is waiting kerbside.

138   INT . CUTTER - DRIVING - NIGHT

      Diggs climbs in an Burdon steers out into traffic. The thrill
      o f the chase is gone from them now. Both seem equally grim and
      determined. Diggs taps the holocom. A holoframe resolves, snows
      with static. Then Janeen's face appears, dishevelled, bitter-

                                 JANEEN (ON HOLOCOM)
                     What the fuck do you want now?

                                     DIGGS
                            (very calm, very cold)
                     Punch into the currency stream, close
                     the net on downtown and keep the search
                     active. The next time they use the card,
                     I want to be right on top of them...

      O f f his icy tone, Janeen nods without retort. Diggs hits a key
      and her face blinks out. And the cutter prowls into the night.

139   EXT . DOWNTOWN STREET - NIGHT

      The winged pig flutters over the doors of "Hog Heaven". Another
      franchise on a more downtrodden street. Lincoln emerges with a
      bag of food and drink. He considers the blue card. The reservoir,
      now close to the bottom, his resources almost exhausted. With a
      look of foreboding, he pockets the card and turns the corner.
      An d suddenly stops in his tracks. But it's not a vehicle that he
      sees. Or a predator. His eyes are fixed on a holoframe billboard:

      - - A football player in montage; pummeling into a defensive line;
      running for a touchdown; gyrating in the endzone; spinning in an
      NFL podium shot, super; "Nobody Stops The Juggernaut!"; a team
      logo, super; "Come See The Phoenix Admirals! Rulers of the AFC!"
      Lincoln recognizes the player's face but it's not possible. He
      waits for the loop to restart. There it is again. The face of
      Starkweather Two-Delta. Incredulous, he stops a pedestrian-

                                LINCOLN
                     The man, the man up there. Who is he?

                                 PEDESTRIAN
                     What planet `you been living on?
                     That's the Juggernaut, brother.

                                LINCOLN
                     The juggernaut...

                                                                          92.



                                     PEDESTRIAN
                     Jamil "The Juggernaut" Starkweather -
                     highest rushing total in the league.
                     `Least till that injury blew out his
                     gut. Now the doctors are saying he'll
                     be back on his feet next season. Those
                     fuckers sure can work miracles, huh?

      Lincoln doesn't respond. The pedestrian shrugs and heads on,
      writing him off. Lincoln lingers, staring up at the billboard.

140   INT . CIN BOOTH - NIGHT

      The flourish of music greets Lincoln as he enters. The cartoon
      rattlesnake appears and smiles his clownish, fanged smile:

                               THE SNAKE
                     Hi there! I'm Tattletail! What e v e r you
                     want to know, wherever you want to go, I
                     got the answers! Let's look at the menu!

      The set of text frames appears: "Residential Listings", "Business
      Listings", "Transport Listings", "Hotel Listings".

                                THE SNAKE
                     N o w let's make a selection!

      A heavy pause. Lincoln's voice comes with a slight tremor.

                              LINCOLN
                     Residential...

                                   THE SNAKE
                     Please give me the name.

                              LINCOLN
                     Starkweather...

                                  THE SNAKE
                     Okay! Let me find that listing for
                     you! I'll be with you in two shakes!

      The snake rattles and coils. Then a headshot a p p e a r s with the
      face of Jamil Starkweather , scaled across with a red line.

                                       THE SNAKE
                     Starkweather , Jamil... I'm sorry! This
                     listing is blocked from the directory!

      Lincoln stands, darkly intent on the face. Now irrefutably the
      same face he saw in his life below. The snake shakes its rattle-

                                                                           93.



                                THE SNAKE
                     You want me to find another listing?
      Lincoln looks at the snake, flicking its tongue, coiling.

                                                             F A D E TO BLACK.

141   EXT . DOWNTOWN STREET - MORNING

      A downtrodden neighborhood. The buildings look like remnants from
      our own era. A scruffy man slouches up to a gated storefront. He
      slots a key into a lock panel and the gate rolls up, squealing.
      We widen to a vehicle parked kerbside. A familiar grey cutter.

142   INT . STORE - MORNING

      L i g h t s flicker on to disclose a gunshop. The array of firearms
      a s fathomless as their purpose. The scruffy gunshop o w n e r slouches
      inside. Diggs and Burdon enter on his heels. He yawns at them-

                               G U N S H O P OWNER
                     We ain't open for another hour.

                                  DIGGS
                     Y e a h , well we ain't in the market.

                                       G U N S H O P OWNER
                     E v e r y o n e ' s in the market, pal. One end
                     of the barrel or the other...

                                  DIGGS
                     We ' r e chasing up a currency record from
                     last night. These two ring a bell?
      D i g g s displays two digital slides. The owner pauses, suspicious.

                                 G U N S H O P OWNER
                     What are you? Cops? Lawyers?
      D i g g s answers by jerking out the rainmaker. The twin barrels
      aimed at his head, the gunshop o w n e r loses his cool a little-

                                 G U N S H O P OWNER
                     H i m , I remember... Came in just before
                     closing... wanted a shooter but didn't
                     have no ID... settled for one of these.

      He displays a HUNTING KNIFE, unsheathing it, showing the blade.

                                DIGGS
                     Did he give you a name?

                                G U N S H O P OWNER
                     No.

                                                                    94.



                                DIGGS
                     Did he say where he was going?
                                 G U N S H O P OWNER
                     No.

      D i g g s cocks the hammer. The owner flinches. Then, off the knife-

                                  G U N S H O P OWNER
                     The r e was one thing. Kinda w e i r d .
                     He wanted to know how to use it...

143   EXT . APARTMENT BUILDING - MORNING

      An apartment building towers overhead, vaguely ominous. Lincoln
      approaches the entrance with Ester. We now see he has a band-aid
      covering his crosshatch. He takes Ester briefly aside, teasing
      some tresses over hers. As she gently smooths down her hair,
      Ester catches his eye. A look flickers between them. Then-

                                  D O O R M A N (O.S.)
                     Fancy dress, was it, sir?

      A DOORMAN is looking at them like they just rolled out of a club
      he wouldn't be seen dead in. Off their flustered looks, he gives
      an apologetic smile. Then opens the door and holds it for them.
      Lincoln reaches for Ester's hand. Then stiffly leads her inside.

144   INT . CORRIDOR - AN UPPER FLOOR - DAY

      The doors are set with small glowing orbs at peephole level. Like
      eyeballs, watching, as Lincoln and Ester proceed up the corridor.
      They stop at a door. Lincoln checks the number. Pauses heavily.
      Then looks for some type of doorbell. As his eyes cross the orb,
      it seems to blink. Then comes a sound of disengaging locks. Then
      the door swings open. Lincoln flinches, taken by surprise. Then
      frowns as he sees there is no one on the other side of the door.

145   INT . APARTMENT - DAY

      Lincoln enters, wary, scanning around. A living room. Framed
      pictures. A sofa, chairs. A coffee table, empty bottles,
      cigarette packs, a full ashtray. A bureau, some paperwork.
      Silence, stillness. No sign of life, no sense of danger. Lincoln
      moves across to the bureau and starts leafing through the
      papers. Ester ventures in through the door, curious-

                                 ESTER
                     What are you looking for?

                              LINCOLN
                     I don't know. Something. Just wait
                     there and make sure nobody's coming.

                                                                    95.



As he leafs the papers, Ester waits dutifully by the door. Her
eyes wander across the framed pictures. Then narrow onto a 3D
p h o t o g r a p h . A college boxing team photo, grinning cup winners.

                            ESTER
                L o o k at this...

Lincoln returns to her. Ester points to the photo. A face in the
row, blurred but eerily familiar. Lincoln seems not to react.
Ester, curiosity piqued, scans the other pictures. She alights
on a framed certificate - "Thomas R. Lincoln, Attorney-at-Law".

                            A MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
                What the hell are you doing?

Lincoln turns to confront A MAN in a robe. Disheveled from sleep,
grey from a hangover... the man's face is unmistakably his own.
This is TOM LINCOLN, sponsor of Lincoln Six-Echo, his bleary
eyes now widening in disbelief as he recognizes his agnate-

                           TOM
                Oh, Jesus...

Lincoln is better prepared for this encounter but still stunned
by the sight of his double in the flesh. Sponsor and agnate stand
frozen. The only movement is Ester, her eyes flicking between
the same men, fraught, confused. Lincoln breaks the silence-

                           LINCOLN
                Who are you?

Lincoln steps closer, eyes piercing. Tom takes a step back.

                            TOM
                The y said... I'd never have to see you.

                           LINCOLN
                Who?
Lincoln takes another step closer. Tom takes another step back.

                           TOM
                The people...

                            LINCOLN
                What people?

Lincoln takes another step closer. Tom stiffens, gathers himself-

                             TOM
                Look, if you don't get out of here
                right now, I'm calling security...

                                                                  96.



Lincoln examines him, assimilating. His double seems to be as
belligerent as he is. Reasoning now, threat response kicking in.
Lincoln draws the hunting knife. Unused to it, he points it like
a gun. But it's enough of a threat for Tom, who swallows dryly-

                           TOM
                Why are you here? What do you want?

                         LINCOLN
                I want to know...

Tom grimaces at the ambiguity. That face. His f a c e . If not for
the pounding headache this would be a bad dream. He lowers onto
the sofa. Finds a cigarette and lights up. A drag, mind kicking
in. The knife cautioning him. With a slow exhale, he confesses-

                             TOM
                One of the partners at my firm... he
                told me about it. Gave me a referral.
                I thought he was joking at first. I
                went out there, took the sales tour.
                Even before that I knew it wasn't a
                joke. There was this discretion agree-
                ment. I never saw anything like it and
                I've seen a lot. Ironclad... breathe a
                word and they've got you by the balls.
                I don't know... There's cancer in my
                family. Maybe it was just to keep up.
                All the partners were on the policy.

                           LINCOLN
                The policy?

He looks at his agnate. Then realizes the level of ignorance.

                               TOM
                Christ, you have no idea, do you?

                             LINCOLN
                About what?

Tom drags his cigarette, fingers trembling. He shakes his head-

                         TOM
                I can't fucking do this...

                            LINCOLN
                What are you talking about?

Lincoln moves closer, pointing the knife. Tom flinches, then-

                                  TOM
                Insurance. You're an insurance policy.

                                                                   97.



                           LINCOLN
               What is that?

                             TOM
               Health insurance... medical...

                           LINCOLN
               What does that mean?

                         TOM
               If I get sick... if part of me gets
               sick... I take a healthy part from you.

                             LINCOLN
               Why?

                          TOM
               How do you expect me to answer that?
               It's just how it works, that's all.

Tom looks at his agnate. The insistent stare. The knife, pointing
at him like a finger. His fear yields to a flicker of anger-

                           TOM
               What do you want? A fucking apology?

                          LINCOLN
               Why do I look like you?

                              TOM
               Because you are me . . .

                        LINCOLN
               I don't understand.

                              TOM
               Because they made you from my cells...

                             LINCOLN
               Made me?

                             TOM
                      ( a flare of anger)
               That's right. You were made. Cooked up
               in a centrifuge like a fucking boiled
               egg. Every thought running through your
               head, every word coming out of your
               mouth, all of it, manufactured, made...

Lincoln frowns, trying to assimilate. Too much to process.

                             LINCOLN
               You . . . you're the one who made me?

                                                                98.



                         TOM
               No.

                          LINCOLN
               Who made me?

                        TOM
               I signed a contract. I can show you.

He gestures to a mirror on the wall. Lincoln steps back but his
eyes are unremitting. Tom rises, cautious, crossing to the wall.
He opens the mirror to reveal a wall safe. His trembling fingers
tap the keypad and the safe hisses open. He draws out a contract
folder embossed with a crosshatch. Then offers it to his agnate-

                           TOM
               It's all right there. Who, why...

Lincoln takes the contract folder and starts flipping the pages,
reading. A pendulous silence falls. Tom stands watching, smoking
nervously. Ester stands by the door, trying to take all this in.

                           TOM
               Look you've got what you wanted. Now
               why don't you just get out of here?

                                LINCOLN
                      (pause, looks at him)
               There are men out there, looking for
               us. I want you to make them stop.

                        TOM
               I can't...

Lincoln sets down the contract and brings up the knife again.

                          TOM
               I can't. Look, I'm a lawyer, I know how
               it works. The contract, everything, it's
               all laced with confidentiality clauses.
               It means they don't want this to get
               out. It means whatever I do, they're
               not going to stop. You understand?

Lincoln pauses, assimilating. His double's expression indicates
that he's telling the truth. Maybe try a more practical request-

                         LINCOLN
               Do you have transport?

                                 TOM
               Transport , yes... yes, parked
               downstairs... Bay 53... Take it...

                                                                      99.



                                LINCOLN
                     And then you'll call security?

      Lincoln steps closer, pointing the knife. Tom tries to stay dead-
      pan. The lawyer kicking in. Look them in the eye when you lie-

                                TOM
                     I'm not going to call security. I'm
                     not going to call anybody, okay?

      Lincoln looks at his double, reason now yielding to anger. Deep,
      roiling. Tom looks at his agnate, fear welling, deadpan cracking-

                                  TOM
                     Look, maybe there's something... maybe
                     there's a way to cancel the contract...

      Lincoln presses the tip of the blade to his double's cheek.

                                TOM
                     For Christ's sake! It's not my fault!

      Lincoln inches the blade deeper into the trembling face, drawing
      blood. The anger urging, hungry for more blood. Then suddenly-

                                     ESTER
                     Lincoln ! No!

      Lincoln looks at her, the anger interrupted, the knife still in
      place. He pauses. Then returns to his double. The dreading eyes,
      the trickle of blood down the face. His e y e s . His f a c e . A long,
      foreboding moment. Then suddenly Lincoln lashes out. His fist
      sends his double flying, falling in a flurry of contract pages.
      Lincoln stands over him, looking down, like a dominant species.
      His double is unmoving, unconscious. Lincoln abruptly spins away.

146   INT . ELEVATOR - DESCENDING

      The light panel flashes. Lincoln stands grimly, head lowered,
      trying to fathom the anger roiling within. Ester stares at him,
      wanly. Both held in the dark tableau. And the elevator descends.

147   INT . UNDERGROUND PARKING LOT - DAY

      The vehicle parked in bay 53 is a hybrid of sportscar a n d speed-
      b o a t , a two-seater known as a "skiff". Lincoln and Ester climb
      in. Lincoln reviews the drive console, the controls, all of it,
      meaningless. His eyes cross an orb set in the steering wheel.

      The orb seems to blink and suddenly the drive console lights up.
      Lincoln reviews it. A screen in front of him is flashing:
      "PILOTING: MANUAL/AUTO?". He assimilates. Then ventures-

                                                                     100.



                                LINCOLN
                      Auto...

      The interface processes, then asks: "DESTINATION: NAME/ADDRESS?"

                                 LINCOLN
                      O u t of state... West...

      The interface processes, then reports "UNDOCKING". Lincoln and
      Ester jolt as the skiff shunts forward. Lode-poles pulsing ahead
      of them, the skiff moves out, as if pulled by a phantom tugboat.

148   EXT . STREET - DAY

      The skiff buckets off the ramp into a street inlet. Then stops
      rocking a little. The interface reports: "ESTABLISHING UPLINK".
      On another screen, a road map appears. A red dot plants at their
      point of origin then bleeds into a red line, plotting a course.

      The autopilot scans for traffic, then nudges forward on the
      throttle. The resistors drone, the steering wheel turns and the
      skiff noses onto the street. Finding its lane, it drops to
      cruise speed. Lincoln studies the interplay of steering wheel,
      throttle and brake. Then glances at Ester. She's plunged in
      thought, staring off. She turns to him with a haggard frown-

                                 ESTER
                      The man back there... who looked like
                      you... does it mean I have someone too?

      Lincoln looks at her blankly, unknowing. Ester stares off again,
      her brow knotting with unanswered questions. But Lincoln's gaze
      lingers. Her pale skin, her limpid eyes, her hair fluttering in
      the breeze. It's the first time he's really seen Ester's beauty.

149   EXT . PHOENIX SKYLINE - DAY

      The domes and spires glint in the sunlight. We isolate a glass
      steeple. A crosshatch insignia. A legend "Sanger Industries".

150   INT . CROWNE'S OFFICE - SANGER INDUSTRIES TOWER - DAY

      A corner office with a panoramic view of the city. Crowne sits
      at a console desk, reviewing some data on a holoframe screen. A
      knock on the door and HER SECRETARY enters, looking unsettled-

                               SECRETARY
                      I just thought I should warn you. I
                      have a sponsor holding. His name's
                      Thomas Lincoln. He sounded... angry.

                                                                      101.



151   EXT. STREET TUNNEL - DAY

      The skiff plunges into the shadow of an underpass. The interface
      flashes: "UPLINK INTERRUPT... AUTOPILOT DISENGAGING". Lincoln
      sits up, confused. The skiff is now slowing, drifting as if cut
      loose. He studies the controls again. Positions one hand on the
      steering wheel, the other on the throttle. Then he nudges it.

      The skiff lurches, veering out of its lane. Another vehicle zips
      narrowly past, rocking them with its invisible backwash. Ester
      looks at Lincoln, suddenly alarmed. Lincoln tries again, firm on
      the wheel, gentle on the throttle. And the skiff eases forward.

152   EXT . MOTEL - DOWNTOWN PHOENIX - LATE AFTERNOON
      D i s m a l . The kind of place that precedes a life on the street. We
      push in on a window, cracked glass, the drapes closed within.

153   INT . MOTEL ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON

      G l o o m y , musty. A "holovision" plays some type of NFL recap. But
      Scheer is not watching it. He is lying on the bed, staring at
      the ceiling, motionless. Off a beeping sound, he stirs. He taps
      a holocom on the nightstand. A holoframe appears, resolving:

                                  Merrick (ON HOLOCOM)
                     K a r l , there's been a complication.

154   EXT . INTERSTATE - SUNSET

      The sunset melts gold across the horizon as the skiff cruises
      westward. Eight lanes of lodeway rake through the salt flats.
      Lincoln is driving more confidently now. Ester is huddled asleep
      beside him. Suddenly the skiff starts to slow again. Lincoln
      reviews the controls. Throttle, forward, foot, off the brake.
      The interface flashes: "REMOTE LOCKDOWN E N G A G I N G " . The skiff is
      steering itself onto the hard shoulder. It now pulls to a dead
      halt. Ester is woken by the sudden inertia. She opens her eyes
      and looks around. They've stopped in the middle of nowhere.

155   EXT . THE SALT FLATS - SUNSET

      The sun sinks in a slow pink haze. Lincoln and Ester walk across
      the salt flats. Visible in the distance is a walled settlement.

156   EXT . THE HERITAGE PARK - SUNSET

      An adobe wall culminates at an arched wooden gateway. Lincoln
      and Ester approach. They haven't walked far but Ester is already
      short of breath. As they near the gateway a holoserve appears,
      like a sentry - Native American, buckskins, feathered headdress
      and facepaint. His voice seems as old as the wind-

                                                                     102.



                                    THE INDIAN HOLOGRAM
                     Welcome to Salt River Heritage Park,
                     home to the Hohokam Nation for over two
                     thousand years. The park is now closed.
                     Please come back during opening hours,
                     9am t o 5pm, Monday through Saturday...

      Ester steps closer. With the sun hazing through, the holoserve
      s e e m s angelic or ghostly. She's examining his striped facepaint-

                               ESTER
                     He has marks on his face like us.

      She turns to Lincoln with a flowering smile. Then rushes up to
      the gateway, suddenly galvanized, squeezing through a gap.

157   EXT . THE HERITAGE PARK - SUNSET

      A ring of Native American pueblos. Pithouses a n d coursed adobes,
      recreations and preserved ruins. Ester rushes around the ring,
      looking into the pueblos as if expecting to find them inhabited.
      She ducks into one of the pithouses. Lincoln follows her inside.

158   INT . PITHOUSE - SUNSET

      The mud walls show a skeleton of saguaro ribs, cholla branches.
      It's cosy in here, dim. The living area, recreated with mats and
      pottery. Lincoln finds Ester looking around, between excitement
      and confusion. She turns to him, her voice wavering, wheezing-

                               ESTER
                     Is this... is this place The Island?
      Lincoln answers with a softly negating look. Ester's face slowly
      falls, the energy draining from her eyes. She lowers onto one of
      the mats and lies down, huddling. She looks up to him, wheezing-

                                ESTER
                     I'm tired. Let me rest for a while.

159   EXT . PITHOUSE - NIGHT

      Silence prevails but for the faint rattle of Ester's breathing.
      Lincoln sits on low stool, in sentinel over her as she sleeps.
      In his eyes, we see the weight of foreboding. He doesn't know
      what they'll do when she wakes. Of a moaning sound he looks at
      Ester. Then realizes it isn't coming from her. The sound is far
      off, a rhythmic moaning. Now discernible as the chant of voices.

160   EXT . THE PLATFORM MOUND - NIGHT
      A blazing fire. Figures in silhouette, moving around, chanting.

                                                                     103.



      The platform mound is situated just beyond the heritage park. An
      ancient ceremonial site, stepped in ruins, dusted with caliche.
      Pima and Maricopa, descendants of the Hohokam, are congregated
      for a solstice ceremony. Off to the side, a group of horses are
      tethered, shuffling, snorting. Lincoln approaches, cautiously,
      but somehow like a moth to the flame. He stops at a distance,
      watching. The curiosity of congruent sound and movement.

                                VOICE (O.S.)
                     You look a little lost, my friend.

      Lincoln turns to a figure emerging from the night. A tall man -
      swarthy skin, mist-colored eyes. His tribal name is GREY DOVE-

                               GREY DOVE (cont'd)
                     Or did you come here for a reason?

      Lincoln examines the tall man. The face seems as deep and gentle
      as the voice. His sense of danger, unstirring, he concedes-

                              LINCOLN
                     I was looking for water.

                                GREY DOVE
                     Not the best place to look.

                               LINCOLN
                     My transport... it stopped working.

                              GREY DOVE
                     I see. And where were you going?

                                LINCOLN
                     Out of state...

      Lincoln sighs, the destination seeming very far away. Grey Dove
      considers him. This bruised, weary outsider is somehow childlike.

161   EXT . THE CEREMONY - LATER

      The fire blazes across the face of a shaman. Old, gnarled, and
      dry as the salt flats. With a sacred mutter, he slips a peyote
      button onto his tongue. Then flings back his head, casting his
      eyes to the stars. When he lowers his head again, we see his
      pupils dilating. He rises, chanting, moving in ceremonial steps
      around the fire. Tribespeople s i t in a ring, joining the chant.

      Beyond the ring, others are dining at a roasting pit. Roast
      rabbit. Cornflour bread. The food is as it might been two
      thousand years ago. Only the sight of plastic water gallons
      breaks the illusion. Lincoln stands apart with Grey Dove, eating
      ravenously, gulping from a water gallon. He looks around-

                                                                     104.



                                 LINCOLN
                     What is this place?

                               GREY DOVE
                     It is a sacred place. My people come
                     here to commune with their spirits.

      Lincoln looks at him, puzzled. Grey Dove smiles tolerantly.

                                     GREY DOVE
                     Not easy to understand perhaps. For us,
                     the spirit is like the shadow on the
                     rock. Sometimes close, sometimes far
                     away, sometimes the sky clouds and the
                     shadow fades. We come here to ask our
                     spirits to return to us. The man...
                           (gestures to the shaman)
                     He speaks to The Grandfather from whom
                     all spirits are born. The Great Spirit
                     who binds every living thing. He has no
                     name. But he is everywhere. In the sun
                     and the moon, the wind and the rain...

      The shaman's chanting grows louder, more insistent. His circuit
      around the fire becoming faster, building in religious fervor.

                                GREY DOVE
                     Now he asks for the gift of vision that
                     he may see through to the spirit shape
                     of things. To find the spirits of the
                     lost. To bring them into the light...

      The shaman's chanting suddenly stops. He is looking directly at
      Lincoln, pointing. His face, contorting with what might be anger
      or fear. He starts babbling in dialect, ardently. Lincoln frowns
      in confusion. Grey Dove quietly draws him away from the mound.

162   INT . PITHOUSE - NIGHT - LATER

      Ester stirs from slumber. On the ground beside her, she finds a
      bowl of food and a water gallon. Now through the gloom, she sees
      Lincoln, sitting on the stool like he never left, keeping vigil.
      Something seems different about him as he turns, registering her-

                                LINCOLN
                     A r e you alright?

                              ESTER
                     I feel better after I sleep.

      Lincoln nods absently and stares off out of the doorway. Ester
      moves closer, sensing something. He speaks as if from far away-

                                                                      105.



                                LINCOLN
                     The man out there... he said
                     everything has a spirit... every
                     living thing... but not...

      His voice cuts off. Ester looks at him, recognizing his pain.
      She doesn't understand what it is or what caused it. It's pain
      and it evokes a response in her. A feeling, taking her over. Her
      hand reaches out and strokes his hair. Lincoln looks up at her,
      questioning. With supreme knowing, Ester leans down and kisses
      him. At the touch of her lips, Lincoln pauses. The first kiss
      for both of them but Ester takes it in her stride. The calm
      ballet of nature. Fluidly peeling off her shirt, breasts
      steeping with moonlight. Lincoln rising to face her, feeling her
      proximity, her radiant heat. His fingers touching her breasts.
      Ester trembling, her lips once more finding his. Lincoln closing
      his eyes, the rush of sensation, overwhelming. He yields to it,
      returning the kiss, with hunger, with passion... with spirit.

163   EXT . THE INTERSTATE - DAWN

      The sun rises in the east, depicting the traffic in silhouette.
      A vehicle arcs from the fast lane onto the hard shoulder where
      the skiff sits abandoned. The grey cutter pulls to a halt.

164   EXT . HARD SHOULDER - DAWN

      D i g g s and Burdon move up on the skiff, cover positions, weapons
      levelled. Burdon spins in to the driver side, snapping aim with
      the thunderbolt. But the skiff is empty. The only sign of life
      is the interface, flashing red: "REMOTE LOCATOR TRANSMITTING".

      B u r d o n exchanges a look with Diggs. No dice. Diggs reaches in his
      pocket and pulls out what looks like an electronic telescope. He
      puts it to his eye and pans the salt flats. Burdon crouches at
      the roadside, looking for tracks. Then Diggs fixes on something-

                              DIGGS
                     I got thermals.

165   EXT . PLATFORM MOUND - SUNRISE

      The fire is now reduced to a heap of embers. The tribespeople
      a r e asleep around the mound, wrapped in ethnic blankets. Diggs
      and Burdon move up stealthily, weapons at the ready. The horses
      bristle and snort, betraying their approach. The tribespeople,
      stirred by the noise, awake. Diggs and Burdon swing aim around
      the ring as faces rise and stare at them. None of the faces have
      white skin. Diggs lowers his weapon and addresses the gathering-

                                DIGGS
                     I'm looking for two bond runners. They
                     ditched near here last night.

                                                                        106.



                                          DIGGS (cont'd)
                      One man, one woman. Tattoos on the
                      forehead...
                              (nothing, just silent stares)
                      Anyone's seen them, I got fifty green.
                              (still nothing, aggravated)
                      What the fuck are you? Deaf and dumb?

      The tribal faces just keep staring. Diggs scowls. Then suddenly
      swings aim with the rainmaker and fires. -BOOM- hitting one of
      the horses in the haunch. It rears up, whinnying, setting off
      the rest of the horses. Diggs turns back to the gathering-

                                     DIGGS
                     Somebody start talking.

      He scans around the ring. Then fixes on one of the women. She
      lifts a trembling finger to a man nearby. Grey Dove stiffens.

166   EXT . SALT MOUNTAINS - SUNRISE

      The sunrise depicts two silhouettes, moving across the ridge.
      Lincoln and Ester clamber over the calcified rocks. Ester now
      stops to catch her breath. She is wheezing again, fighting for
      air. As Lincoln looks on with concern, she musters a brave smile-

                              ESTER
                     I can make it.

167   EXT . SALT CANYON - EARLY MORNING

      A freight barge whooshes through the canyon, trailing a chain of
      low, arched containers, capacious in width rather than height.
      The conveyance is similar to a lodeway but wider, deeper, known
      as a "lode-canal". At each end of the canyon, it intersects with
      other lode-canals, converging to use the same passage, a system
      of signals and lockgates controlling the flow of freight traffic.
      High above, on the south rim of the canyon, we find Lincoln and
      Ester. Ester is no longer wheezing but rasping. She looks down at
      the passing vessel, daunted. Lincoln offers her small comfort-

                                  LINCOLN
                     Don't worry. The one we want goes the
                     other way. He said it goes slower.

      They exchange a smile. The chain of containers tailing off, the
      barge leaving the canyon with a blast of its resonant claxon.

168   EXT . THE SOUTH FACE - MORNING

      Lincoln and Ester descend the rocky slope toward the lode-canal.
      Ester stops, having to catch her breath every few steps. Lincoln
      tries to hide his concern, looking away towards the sunrise. The
      westbound vessel will be coming soon.

                                                                        107.



      They just need to get out of state... Now he frowns, sensing
      something. Faint but growing. His jaw clenches. His face
      tightens. His pupils start to dilate.

169   EXT . THE NORTH RIDGE - MORNING

      The north ridge is evidently threaded by a lodeway as we see the
      grey cutter pulling up. Diggs and Burdon get out and look down
      into the canyon. Diggs pulls out his scope and starts panning.
      Burdon peels off his jacket. It's early but it's already getting
      hot. Diggs now pauses, handing him the scope for his opinion-

                                DIGGS
                      Up there in the rocks. Three o'clock.
                      I'm not sure... it could be ambient.

170   EXT . THE SOUTH FACE - MORNING

      Lincoln and Ester hide in the shadow of a rock. Ester is muffling
      her breaths as best she can. Lincoln now hazards a look over the
      top. Two figures are climbing down the far side of the canyon,
      now pointing in their direction. He ducks back, assimilating.
      Hiding, no longer an option. Nor running, at least for Ester.
      His face sets in a grimace of conviction. His eyes glow darkly.

171   EXT . THE NORTH FACE - MORNING

      Diggs and Burdon reach the foot of the rocks. Neither speaks,
      communicating in hand-signals. Diggs slips into the lode-canal.
      Burdon covers, sweeping the thunderbolt across the south face.

      Diggs emerges from the far side of the lode-canal. He stays low,
      moving up into the rocks. Then, from above, a rock dislodges,
      rattling down. Diggs reacts instantly, targeting, opening fire-

      - B O O M - B O O M - The shots from the rainmaker swathe across the rock.
      The thunderbolt now adding to the barrage, Burdon firing from
      the far side - SHOTS, BOLTS, KICKING UP A STORM OF DUST --
      SUDDENLY HOLDING FIRE, waiting for the dust to clear, reloading.
      No sign of movement. Just a slide of rubble. Fading echoes.

      D I G G S STEALS ONWARDS UP THE ROCKS - into the fog of dust - the
      sunlight and shadow playing tricks on his eyes - then suddenly-
      LINCOLN BURSTS OUT OF THE DUST - from the left - tackling the
      pale man - both of them toppling - tumbling down the slope --

      THUDDING TO A HALT at the lip of the lode-canal - the rainmaker
      lost in the fall - the impact throwing up a billow of dust --
      THE DUSTCLOUD - Diggs and Lincoln struggling, clawing, punching -
      Lincoln, with surprise on his side, gaining with the upper hand--

                                                               108.



DIGGS' CLAWING FINGERS discover Lincoln's knife - tugging it from
his jacket - Lincoln grabbing his wrist, fighting for control -
THE KNIFE MOVING BETWEEN THEM - Diggs with better leverage - the
blade inching towards Lincoln's face - pressing into his cheek--

LINCOLN'S EYES - welling black, almost inhuman - the sense of
danger screaming in his ears - he grabs the pale man's throat -
DIGGS' EYES - bulging as he strains to push the knife home -
oxygen draining - conscious ebbing - he slumps back -

LINCOLN REGAINS THE KNIFE - the pale man seems to be out cold -
but he's not sure - he pauses holding the blade over him, then--
- B O O M - THE KNIFE FLIES FROM HIS GRIP IN A BURST OF DISCHARGE -

BURDON SNAPS AIM FOR ANOTHER SHOT - beading - his target moving
now - dropping out of the firing line - into the lode-canal--

BURDON INCHES TOWARD THE EDGE - thunderbolt angling downward -
into the trench - then suddenly he's GRABBED BY THE ANKLES -

LINCOLN STRAINING to overbalance the giant - feet up against the
wall - like trying to topple a tree - finally winning some give-

BURDON TOPPLES INTO THE TRENCH - his ankles clamped by his
quarry - both men meeting the concrete with a bone-shaking-

- THUD - LINCOLN IS CRUSHED BENEATH THE MASSIVE WEIGHT - the giant
already recovering from the fall - now dragging him upright--

- THUD - BURDON THROWS A PUNCH - mightily - hurling his quarry
across the trench - moving in quickly, following up with a kick--

- THUD - LINCOLN CRUMPLES as the boot smacks into him - then
another kick - then another - the world starts blurring --

BURDON TURNS AWAY - his quarry disabled for now - he recovers
his thunderbolt - turns back to administer the coup de grace--

LINCOLN LOOKS UP - the giant looming - the muzzle of his weapon
thrumming with energy - the rivets on his denims start rattling--

BURDON SPINS ROUND - the thunderbolt suddenly ripped from his
grasp - there, in the distance - AN EASTBOUND BARGE IS COMING -

LINCOLN SCRAMBLES UP THE WALL OF THE TRENCH - muscles straining,
feet slipping on the concrete - escaping the imminent vessel --

                                                               109.



DIGGS COMING TO - now seeing his quarry a short distance away -
emerging from the lode-canal - he looks around for a weapon, then-

                             BURDON (O.S.)
               Diggs! Get me outta here!

BURDON STRUGGLING TO CLIMB OUT OF THE TRENCH - with one arm,
it's almost impossible - fighting against his own weight--
DIGGS REACHING THE EDGE - seeing the eastbound barge coming -
grabbing his partner's outreached hand - pulling him upward -

BURDON'S PANIC - his other arm flinging away - HIS METAL BRACE
SNARED BY THE LODE-STREAM - the force shuddering his entire body-
DIGGS PULLING WITH ALL HIS MIGHT - feet slipping - locked in a
tug of war with the lodestream - THE BARGE IS CLOSING FAST--

BURDON'S HORROR - now suspended between the two forces - feet
kicking - THE BARGE IS ALMOST UPON HIM - he screams agonized--

                           BURDON
               Help me! HELP MEEEEE!

THE SCREAM IS INSTANTLY LOST in the whoosh of the barge. Diggs,
stunned, just looks at his hands, empty, spattered with blood.

                        DIGGS
               Burdie...?

THE SHADOW OF THE ROCK - Lincoln rejoins Ester - casting a look
back - the eastbound barge now plummeting into the distance--
D I G G S STOOPING AT THE EDGE OF THE TRENCH - looking down - all
that remains of his partner is a smear of blood at the concrete--

LINCOLN AND ESTER REACHING THE FOOT OF THE ROCKS - seeing THE
WESTBOUND BARGE against the sunrise - snaking into the passage--
DIGGS PULLING UPRIGHT - spotting his quarry - fire in his eyes -
drawing out a boot-knife - slipping it between his teeth--

THE WESTBOUND BARGE pulling through the canyon - lode-poles
pulsing ahead of it - polarity thrumming in opposing flow--
LINCOLN AND ESTER start running as the barge comes towards them -
Lincoln pulling Ester along - struggling to match the pace--

A SOUND LIKE A BEATING TYMPANY COMING TOWARDS THEM - they look
round to see - A SHADOW RUNNING ALONG THE TOP OF THE BARGE--
D I G G S FLINGING HIMSELF OFF THE BARGE - the blade in his teeth -
arms spread - for an instant, like a vulture against the sun--

                                                                110.



LINCOLN IS SUDDENLY CRUSHED by the weight of his landing - ESTER
IS HURLED SIDEWAYS - into a ditch - lost in a cloud of dust--
D I G G S PULLING HIMSELF UP, astride of Lincoln - snatching the
knife from his clenched teeth - the sound, like a whetstone--

LINCOLN SPITTING DIRT - suddenly grabbed by the scalp and tugged
sideways - twisted partways o n t o his back, forced to look up at--
A BLACK SPOT AGAINST THE SUN - Diggs' face set in a murderous
sneer - he wants to see this fucker's e y e s - the torment--

LINCOLN DAZZLED BY THE SUNLIGHT - but suddenly knowing the face
of death - now catching the brief glint of the knife as --
D I G G S PLUNGES THE BLADE DOWN - slicing into his quarry's hand as
he throws it up in defense - his quarry YOWLING WITH PAIN--

LINCOLN FEELING THE STAB - his deepest instinct suddenly awoken -
every impulse, every fiber brought into alignment - survival--
D I G G S IS HURLED INTO THE AIR as Lincoln surges upward - he
tumbles backward into the dust - losing hold of the boot-knife--

LINCOLN PUSHES HIMSELF UPRIGHT - only makes it half-way -
scrambling towards the pale man - all fours, like an animal--
D I G G S CLAWING AROUND IN THE DUST - fingers finding metal - the
boot-knife - he brings it up - slashing at his imminent quarry--

LINCOLN RECOILING - the blade nicking his face - sudden rage -
grabbing the pale man by the arm - swinging him round into--
- B O O M - THE MOVING WALL OF FREIGHT CONTAINERS - as the westbound
barge passes - Diggs bounces off - stumbling to keep balance--

LINCOLN ON THE RETREAT - the pale man coming at him with the
knife - another nick - seeing a gap now, shoving him backwards--
- B O O M - THE MOVING WALL RESOUNDS - Diggs howls - snagged by a
bolt - hurt, his fury becomes incandescent - he strikes madly--

LINCOLN STUMBLING BACK - the pale man coming at him - the blade
flashing to and fro - frenzied - like a threshing machine--
F O R C I N G HIM UP AGAINST THE ROCKS - the knife almost upon him -
he grits his teeth and lunges forward - charging like a bull --

DIGGS CAREENS BACKWARD, still swiping the blade - digging into
his quarry - headlong towards the moving wall - hitting with--
- W H U M P - no resonant boom - no bouncing back - Diggs has hit a
gap between the containers and HIS HEAD HAS BEEN LOPPED OFF -

                                                                       111.



      LINCOLN STANDS HORRIFIED - as the headless body is spun by the
      moving wall - dropping into the trench as the barge tails off-
      The westbound barge gains speed, leaving the canyon. But there
      is Ester, running after it, vainly, coughing and sputtering.

                                   LINCOLN
                     Ester! Stop! It's no use!

                               ESTER
                     We have to... get to... The Island...

                                 LINCOLN
                     It's going too fast!

                               ESTER
                     We have to... get to...

      Ester staggers a few more steps, then collapses to her knees,
      rasping for breath. As Lincoln reaches her, she slumps back into
      his arms. Her head lolling, eyes rolled back to white, a drool
      of blood spilling from her lips. Then the blast of a claxon c u t s
      the air as the westbound barge disappears into the distance.

                                                          F A D E TO BLACK.

172   EXT . SEDONA - LATE AFTERNOON

      A ranch home in the middle of nowhere. Long shadows.

173   INT . STUDIO - RANCH HOME - LATE AFTERNOON

      Late golden sunlight through a mist of sawdust. Abstract wood
      sculptures are visible. Juniper wood, carved along the bias of
      the grain, polished to accentuate the curves of natural growth.
      AN OLDER WOMAN runs a sander over a work in progress - 60's, in
      coveralls, gray her tied back, her face shielded by goggles and
      a bandana. She pauses to review her work, shutting down the
      sander, slipping off her goggles and bandana. Her face is eerily
      familiar. Her name is KATHERINE. She now moves to the window,
      catching sight of something outside. Curiously, she watches a
      vehicle coming down the long driveway. A dusty, grey cutter.

174   EXT . FRONT PORCH - RANCH HOME - LATE AFTERNOON

      Katherine opens the front door. The cutter is now docked in the
      port and a stranger is staggering towards her. In his arms, is
      an unconscious woman. Now Katherine can see the face - younger,
      but unmistakable even so. Her voice comes in a chilled whisper-

                                KATHERINE
                     O h , God... Oh, my God...

                                                                      112.



175   EXT. PHOENIX - LATE AFTERNOON

      A whisper cuts across the glistening skyline towards The Sanger
      Industries Tower. It circles in to land on a rooftop helipad.

176   INT . CROWNE'S OFFICE - SANGER INDUSTRIES TOWER

      Silence . Crowne sits at her desk. Merrick sits across from her.
      Waiting. The air stirs as the secretary ushers Dr. Sanger into
      the office. No greetings are exchanged. Sanger just lowers into
      a chair, a little unsettled to find Merrick has preceded him.

                              CROWNE
                     I take it you've heard the news.

                                DR. SANGER
                     The bond agents. Yes. Unfortunate.

                                      CROWNE
                     Unfortunate?
                            (pauses, lights a cigarette)
                     We're way past unfortunate, Henry.

                              DR. SANGER
                     I thought we'd covered ourselves.

                                CROWNE
                     The police won't connect the bond
                     agents to us. But that's not the
                     problem. It's the sponsor.

                                 DR. SANGER
                     What are you talking about?

                                MERRICK
                     The male agnate tracked him down.

                                  CROWNE
                     His name's Thomas Lincoln. It seems
                     they had a genetic reunion. Not a
                     h a p p y one. It was all I could do to
                     stop him going to the authorities.

                              DR. SANGER
                     I still don't see the problem.

                               CROWNE
                     He may not want a police involvement
                     but he's already threatened to file
                     suit. And he's one of the biggest
                     litigation attorneys in the city.

                                                              113.



                            DR. SANGER
              That's why we have you, Ellen.

                            CROWNE
              That's why I asked Bernard to come out
              here. To find out how it happened.

                       MERRICK
              I told her, Henry. About synesthesia.

S a n g e r casts a betrayed look at Merrick. Then returns to Crowne-

                        DR. SANGER
              I t was a marginal problem. And it was
              under control - according to Bernard.

                            CROWNE
              That's not the point. Whether or not
              it's a factor in this instance, it
              puts us in breach of the clone laws.

                        DR. SANGER
              I t doesn't even touch their genetics.

                           CROWNE
              I'm talking about self-awareness. The
              virtual humanity statutes require us
              t o give them consciousness to the
              l e v e l of functionality. But not beyond.

This gives Sanger pause. Crowne drags her cigarette acutely.

                              CROWNE
              L e g a l l y , we are naked on every level.
              Federal legislature, state licensing,
              sponsorship contract... But even if we
              did manage to weather the legal storm,
              we'd never survive the public scrutiny.

S a n g e r absorbs this, calmly shaking a pill from his pill bottle.

                          DR. SANGER
              I've spent my entire career facing down
              naysayers, Ellen. Don't think for a
              second I'm afraid of facing them now.

                         CROWNE
              You remember cryogenics? At the outset,
              people dismissed it as a rich man's
              folly. Eccentric millionaires freezing
              their brains, hoping to wake up in a new
              body.

                                                                114.



                                 CROWNE (cont'd)
               E v e n when cloning showed signs of
               m a k i n g it feasible, it wasn't moral
               a f f r o n t that caused the backlash. It
               w a s the scope. The scope, Henry. When
               t h e size of the customer base was
               e x p o s e d , it screamed inequality - one
               m e d i c i n e for the rich and one for the
               p o o r . The pressure for accessible cryo-
               genics a s good as buried the industry.
                       ( a pause for emphasis)
               O u r graves are being dug as we speak,
               g e n t l e m e n . Every passing second, they
               g e t deeper. If we're going to survive,
               w e have to act swiftly and decisively.

                               DR. SANGER
               A l r i g h t . What do you suggest?

S a n g e r dry swallows the pill. Ellen opens a contract folder.

                          CROWNE
               O u r security chief - I've been looking
               at his file. Ex-marine, served in South
               China - do we think he still has it in
               him?

                               DR. SANGER
                     ( r e a l i z i n g , suddenly harsh)
               A r e you insane?

The i r eyes deadlock. Crowne gives Merrick a sideways glance.

                           CROWNE
               ` You ever wondered why Henry takes
               those pills, Bernard? Why he doesn't
               avail himself of his own technology?

                         DR. SANGER
               An agnate could give me a new heart
               but to get it to function mentally...

                                CROWNE
               B u l l s h i t , Henry. Bullshit. You don't
               want to deal with reality. Only with
               concept. I may not have been there at
               the start but I heard the stories. You
               wanted in on every aspect of
               construction, from environmental
               design right down to the classical
               playlists. I t wasn't enough just to
               make it work, was it? No, you wanted
               your own little utopia.

                                                                       115.



                                    CROWNE (cont'd)
                     Swanning a r o u n d in your mountain
                     r e t r e a t like some self-appointed
                     d e i t y . But when it comes to getting
                     y o u r hands dirty...

                                DR. SANGER
                     A r e you quite finished?

                                 CROWNE
                     E v e n God has blood on his hands, Henry.
                     Are you going to watch it all go up in
                     flames or are you going to deal with it?

      S a n g e r crosses to the window, looking down onto the city.

                                DR. SANGER
                     You see that street down there...?
                     Running east from the stadium. My
                     father used to take me to church on
                     that street. An old Spanish church.

                                   CROWNE
                     What's your point?

                              DR. SANGER
                     I didn't know they'd torn it down.

177   INT . GUEST BEDROOM - KATHERINE'S HOUSE - EVENING

      A floral bedroom. Ester lies in bed, wheezing, semi-conscious.
      Katherine slips a pill between her lips and tips in some water.
      Lincoln stands watching. Katherine ushers him out of the room.

178   INT . KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

      The kitchen is arrayed with modern technology but softened with
      paintings and craftwork. A r t marginally overwhelming science.
      Katherine starts making some herb tea in the traditional manner.

                                 LINCOLN
                     What did you give her?

                                 KATHERINE
                     J u s t something to help her sleep. I
                     think she has a bronchial infection.
                     But I'm not sure I should give her an
                     antibiotic in case it effects the baby.

                               LINCOLN
                     S o you know about the baby...

      Katherine pauses, reality sinking its claws. She looks at him-

                                                                 116.



                            KATHERINE
               Is n ' t that why you came here?

                        LINCOLN
               I found your name in the listings. I
               wasn't sure. You don't look like her.

                           KATHERINE
               The y have a plan... For women like me.

                         LINCOLN
               S o you're the one who takes her baby.

Katherine winces at him. It's uttered so matter-of-factly. She
pauses, hanging her head, searching within herself.

                          KATHERINE
               You know when you're young? How you
               run around thinking you're immortal?

Lincoln ' s look says he has no idea. She seems not to notice.

                            KATHERINE
               The r e was a lodeway accident. I was...
               damaged. After that, I thought no man
               would ever want me. I was wrong. His
               name was John. He said he married me
               for my eyes. Ocean eyes, he called
               them. He always loved the ocean. Up
               there on the wall, that's John's boat.

O f f her gesture, Lincoln glances at the wall. A watercolor of a
yacht. Meaningless to him but Katherine gazes it at, fondly-

                            KATHERINE
               But I think there was always an unspoken
               regret between us. When we heard about
               the technology, it was like... forgive-
               n e s s , like a second chance. A child of
               our own, part of both of us. Sailing
               trips, fishing trips, so many plans...
                      ( a flat beat)
               J o h n got cancer a year ago. He died.

He r eyes mist, distant and bittersweet, talking to herself now.

                              KATHERINE
               I r o n i c . That the same technology could
               have saved his life. And now the baby
               is the only part of him I have left.
               And the boat. I still have the boat.

Lincoln looks discomfited. There's more to this than he thought.

                                                                     117.



179   INT. MOTEL ROOM - EVENING

      S c h e e r opens the door. Merrick stands at the threshold with an
      attache case. Scheer, seemingly unsurprised, brings him inside.

                              SCHEER
                     I told you we shouldn't have gone to
                     outside personnel. They were cowboys.

                               MERRICK
                     We had no choice, Karl. We had to keep
                     this away from The Institute.

                                  SCHEER
                     An d now?

      Merrick lowers in a chair, grim and leaden. He opens his attache
      and pulls out a contract folder. He hands it to Scheer.

                                   SCHEER
                     What's this?

                                 MERRICK
                     Your resignation papers. Maybe `early
                     retirement' would be more accurate...

      S c h e e r leans forward, frowning, curious.

                                MERRICK
                     T e n platinum bounty - if you sign the
                     papers, their loss becomes your gain.

                              SCHEER
                     A parachute... So there's a jump?

                                MERRICK
                     You understand that whatever happens,
                     The Institute must be able to deny it.

      S c h e e r says nothing. Merrick reaches in the attache and pulls out
      a case. Inside are a row of ampules and a pressure syringe-gun.

                               MERRICK
                     We use a chemical to dispose of waste
                     product. It's called di-halcyonate. I t
                     reacts on a molecular level to start a
                     process of internal combustion. The
                     subject is incinerated from the inside
                     out. In post-mortem application it's
                     done its job before rigor mortis. In a
                     live subject, well... you can imagine.

                                                                     118.



                                SCHEER
                     You want to dispose of your products.

                                 MERRICK
                     I t ' s a little more complicated than
                     that. We have to be very... thorough.
                     If you still have it in you, that is.

      S c h e e r gives him a sideways look. Then displays the USMC ring.

                                SCHEER
                     Why do you think I still wear this?

                              MERRICK
                     I don't know.

                               SCHEER
                     I was discharged from the marines for
                     insubordination. If you asked anyone
                     i n my unit, they'd call it heroism. I
                     disobeyed an order to fall back. I took
                     out a bunker complex single-handed.

                               MERRICK
                     S o you wear it is a badge of honor?

                                SCHEER
                     N o . It wasn't bravery. I wasn't afraid
                     of dying. I just didn't care. You see,
                     I suddenly realized I was just a sack
                     of flesh with a heartbeat. Life, death,
                     I just couldn't see the point anymore.

      Merrick allows a respectful pause, then-

                                   MERRICK
                     You'll find a vehicle parked outside.
                     It's unregistered, difficult to trace.
                     I take it we have an agreement...?

180   INT . KATHERINE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

      A slant of light falls across Ester, writhing in her sleep,
      rasping. Katherine and Lincoln peer in through the doorway,
      checking on her. Then Katherine quietly closes the door.

181   INT . KATHERINE'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

      Lincoln paces around, feeling useless. Katherine considers him-

                                 KATHERINE
                     What do I call you?

                                                                 119.



                               LINCOLN
               Lincoln . My name's Lincoln.

                               KATHERINE
               Lincoln , I think she needs professional
               help. I think she needs to see a doctor.

                          LINCOLN
               N o . They'll find her. They'll take her.

                          KATHERINE
               N o t if I don't want them to.

                          LINCOLN
               You don't understand. They don't want
               people to know about her. Either of us.

                          KATHERINE
               The doctor I'm thinking of, he's an
               old friend. He look after John in
               t h e final stages. I trust him.

                           LINCOLN
               Why ? So you can take her baby?

                          KATHERINE
               N o . No, that's not what I want.
O f f Lincoln's blunt look, she sighs, lowering into a chair.

                               KATHERINE
               M a y b e I didn't realize she'd      be so...
                      ( c u t s off, a deep pause)
               M a y b e I just didn't want to.      Either
               way, I was wrong. I want you          to know
               that. I was wrong... And I'm          sorry.

A heavy lull. Lincoln hangs his head, remembering.

                           LINCOLN
               The y make you believe there's a place
               called The Island. Then they take you
               upstairs and put you to sleep. They
               cut you open. They take pieces of you.

Katherine looks at him, intuiting. She allows a pause, then-

                           KATHERINE
               E v e n if I had taken her baby, I swear
               to you, I'd never have... They give
               you a choice, you see, to extend the
               sponsorship after... after d e l i v e r y .

                                                                 120.



                                LINCOLN
                     N o . I saw a lot of us go to The Island.
                     But I never saw anyone come back.

                                KATHERINE
                     You mean... Even if I had extended the
                     sponsorship, they'd have... and kept
                     taking the money? But that's inhuman.

                                    LINCOLN
                          ( b e a t , a lost look)
                     Is it? I wouldn't know.

182   INT . UNDERGROUND PARKING LOT - EVENING

      A sleek low vehicle known as a "straker" pulls down the ramp.

183   INT . APARTMENT BUILDING - EVENING

      The orbs on the doors eyeball Scheer, moving up the corridor. He
      stops at a doorway. Rings the bell. Tom Lincoln opens the door-

                                TOM
                     Yes?

                                SCHEER
                     I'm from the Sanger Institute.

                                 TOM
                     I've given you people enough of my
                     time already.

                                 SCHEER
                     I t ' s just a formality. I need to see
                     your sponsorship contract.

      T o m pauses then lets Scheer inside. He crosses to the wall safe,
      taps the keys. Then pulls out the contract folder. He offers it.

                               SCHEER
                     Is this the only copy?

                                TOM
                     Why would I make copies? Do you think
                     I want anyone else to know about this?

      S c h e e r accepts the folder. As Tom turns to close the safe, he
      sets it down. And grabs Tom from behind, by the scalp, pressing
      the syringe-gun into his jugular. A HISS. Tom clutches his throat
      like it's on fire. With a boiling gurgle, he staggers forward.
      Sweating, collapsing. Convulsing, belching steam. Then falling
      slack. His skin starts to smolder. Scheer pauses, then tosses
      t h e contract folder on top of him, leaving it to burn with him.

                                                                          121.



184   EXT. NEW GAZA HOSPITAL - PHOENIX - NIGHT

      E s t a b l i s h i n g . A clean facade of white steel and glass. A hatch-
      b a c k vehicle known as a "corsair" pulls down the parking ramp.

185   INT . UNDERGROUND PARKING LOT - NEW GAZA HOSPITAL - NIGHT

      The corsair pulls up at the ER entrance, Lincoln at the wheel.
      Katherine gets out of the passenger side. A doctor is waiting -
      50's, caring face. His name is DR. ABRAMS. He looks curiously at
      the man at the wheel. Then greets Katherine with a hug -

                                        D R . ABRAMS
                      Katherine . . . It's good to see you. I
                      haven't seen you since John's funeral.

                                  KATHERINE
                      We l l I've been keeping busy. Trying
                      to. Thanks for coming down to meet me.

                                  D R . ABRAMS
                      Your call was a little cryptic. What
                      is it exactly that's wrong with you?

                                  KATHERINE
                      I t ' s not me... Not exactly.

      She opens the rear door of the corsair. Ester is lying on the
      back seat. Dr. Abrams frowns as he notices the resemblance.

186   EXT . THE RANCH HOUSE - SEDONA - NIGHT

      The straker p u l l s up into the port.

187   INT . THE STUDIO / MAIN HOUSE - SEDONA - NIGHT

      The shadow of Scheer moving outside the windows, looking for a
      point of entry. He inspects the studio door for alarms. Then
      elbows the glass. Reaching inside, turning the lock. He enters
      the studio, glancing at the sculptures. Moving through the home.

      S i l e n t l y , systematically, checking the rooms. He reaches the
      guest bedroom, looks around. Something catches his eye. Spots of
      blood of the linens. Eyes honing, he moves on into the kitchen.
      He discovers a holocom keypad on the counter. Taps some keys.
      The holoframe flashes "REDIALLING". The holoframe snows with
      static. Then a receptionist's face appears-

                                 R E C E P T I O N I S T (ON HOLOCOM)
                      N e w Gaza Hospital, how may I help you?

                                                                     122.



188   INT. WAITING ROOM - NEW GAZA HOSPITAL - NIGHT - LATER

      Lincoln stands waiting. There are chairs but he's too tense to
      sit. Katherine and Dr. Abrams now enter. Lincoln looks at them,
      expectantly. There's a pause. Then Dr. Abrams speaks-

                                 D R . ABRAMS
                     Your friend... she has pneumonia. At a
                     very advanced stage. Its progress has
                     been unchecked by her immune system.

                                LINCOLN
                     C a n you help her?

                                    D R . ABRAMS
                     We have two options... One is a super-
                     b i o t i c . But there's the risk her immune
                     system might bow out of the fight. The
                     other is a nodal transfusion. Katherine
                     has agreed to be the donor. But the new
                     antibodies may not conform fully. They
                     m a y decide to attack the baby...

                              LINCOLN
                     I don't understand any of this.

                               KATHERINE
                     He means that by trying to help her,
                     we could lose her. Or lose the baby.

                                D R . ABRAMS
                     Or , if we do nothing, both. Her immune
                     system is... remarkably unstable. If we
                     don't act, the infection will take over.

      Lincoln lowers into a chair. He feels a pain somewhere. He can't
      quite pin down where. Or what caused it. Or why it hurts so bad.

189   INT . HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT
      Ester lies in bed, dozing, looking more relaxed. Her oxygen mask
      makes breathing easier. Lincoln enters and sits beside her. She
      stirs, meeting his eye with a faint smile. Lincoln returns it-

                                   LINCOLN
                     He l l o , stranger.

                                ESTER
                     You look tired, Lincoln.

                                 LINCOLN
                     Ester...

                                                                     123.



                                 ESTER
                     I t ' s okay. I know. Katherine told me.
      She sits up, lowering her mask. Her hand finding his.

                                ESTER
                     She told me a lot of things. About how
                     they used a tiny part of her to make me.
                     She said it wasn't so very different.

                                 LINCOLN
                     What do you mean?

                                      ESTER
                            ( t o u c h i n g her belly)
                     F r o m this... From having a baby.

      Lincoln nods. A pause. Ester continues, more troubled, wheezing-

                                ESTER
                     She told me how they use us... And I
                     keep thinking... about the others...
                     the ones we left behind, about how
                     they'll never know... how they'll...

      Ester ' s out of breath again, coughing. Lincoln helps her put the
      oxygen mask back over her mouth. Ester slumps back, relaxing.
      Off Lincoln's worried look, she smiles at him with her eyes-

                                ESTER
                     I'm going to be okay, Lincoln.

                               LINCOLN
                     I know.

      But even to his own ears, the affirmation sounds hollow.

190   INT . MEN'S ROOM - HOSPITAL - NIGHT

      The stream of water gushes into Lincoln's hands. He splashes his
      face. Then looks at himself in the mirror. He looks sallow from
      sleeplessness. The facial hair makes him look like a shadow of
      his former self. For an instant he tenses at a light blinking in
      the glass. Blue light. Like etherscreen. Then he sees it's just
      a humidifier on the far wall. Tension ebbing, he splashes some
      more water. When he looks up again, he sees his pupils are
      dilating. The sense of danger. His voice comes in a cold whisper-

                               LINCOLN
                     No...

                                                                        124.



191   INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - NIGHT

      Lincoln emerges from the restroom, scanning for the danger's
      source. Figures flash past in scrubs, white coats. Then he sees
      it. The figure emerging from the elevator. The face of Scheer...

192   INT . PREP ROOM - NIGHT

      A flurry of disturbance from the nurses as someone barges into
      the room. Dr. Abrams is prepping Katherine for the transfusion.
      Off the ruckus, he looks up. Lincoln comes up to them, urgently-

                               LINCOLN
                     We have to go. We have to get her out.

                                 KATHERINE
                     What are you talking about?

                                 LINCOLN
                     He's come for her. For us.

                                     D R . ABRAMS
                     What e v e r this is about, we can't move
                     her. She's already under sedation.

      Lincoln look to see Ester, asleep on the OR table beyond.

                                LINCOLN
                     How long before she wakes up?

                                D R . ABRAMS
                     The procedure takes three hours but...

                                   LINCOLN
                            ( t o Katherine, emphatic)
                     You'll take care of it, won't you? Take
                     her somewhere they can't find her...

      Katherine , understanding, simply nods. Lincoln takes a last look
      at Ester, then departs. Dr. Abrams, bemused, turns to Katherine-

                                       D R . ABRAMS
                     Katherine , what the hell's going on?

193   EXT . HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - NIGHT

      Lincoln moves up the corridor, purpose in his stride. His black
      gaze fixed on Scheer, making an inquiry at the nurse's station.
      Lincoln doesn't even break stride. He GRABS SCHEER FROM BEHIND--

      H U R L I N G HIM ACROSS THE NURSE STATION - INSTANT CONFUSION -
      NURSES RUNNING - PEOPLE SHOUTING - Lincoln takes off at a run--

                                                                      125.



      SCHEER RECOVERING - seeing his quarry through the confusion - no
      time for subtlety - he leaps over the nurse's station - pursuing-
      LINCOLN pauses at the emergency exit - checking to see his enemy
      is following - then pushing on through the doors into--

194   INT . STAIRWELL - NIGHT

      LINCOLN HAMMERS DOWN THE STEPS - an alarm sounding - shouting
      from beyond - FOOTFALLS BEHIND HIM - deeper into the gloom-

      S C H E E R VAULTING THE RAIL - shortcutting t h e flights of steps -
      catching sight of his quarry as he pushes through a door into--

195   INT . UNDERGROUND PARKING LOT - NIGHT

      LINCOLN BURSTS OUT INTO THE PARKING LOT - flashes of light -
      vehicles pulling in and out - off across the parking docks -

      S C H E E R BURSTS OUT IN HIS WAKE - his quarry temporarily lost -
      now spotting him across the lot - leaping into a vehicle -
      LINCOLN FIRES UP THE CORSAIR - resistors droning - jamming the
      throttle - lurching out - NARROWLY MISSING ANOTHER VEHICLE -

      S C H E E R SPINNING ROUND as the corsair blurs past - it's heading
      for the exit ramp - he launches towards the straker -

196   EXT . EXIT RAMP - THE HOSPITAL - NIGHT

      T H E CORSAIR BURNS UP the parking ramp - SMASHING THE GATE ARM -
      plunging out into the street - bouncing across the lodestream -
      T H E STRAKER H U R T L E S UP close behind - into the snarl of traffic -
      steering expertly through - picking up the tail of the corsair -

197   EXT . STREETS OF PHOENIX - NIGHT

      T H E CORSAIR PLOUGHS UP THE STREET - TRAFFIC SWERVING out of its
      path - BUOYS CLANGING as it lurches from one lane to the next -

      LINCOLN JAMS THE THROTTLE - the resistors buzzing, growling with
      energy - he has one goal - draw his enemy away from Ester -

      S C H E E R COOLLY INTENT at the controls of the straker - keeping a
      certain distance - waiting for his quarry to make a mistake --

      A METRO PD OFFICER PULLS OUT - mounted on a hybrid of motorbike
      and jetski k n o w n as a "lode-runner" - SOUNDING THE SIREN--

      S C H E E R REACTING - the PD lode-runner pulling ahead of him - he
      can't allow a police intervention - he slips in behind --

                                                                             126.



      THE METRO PD OFFICER - darting looks back - headlamps b l i n d i n g
      his rear-view - another vehicle is coming up behind him fast -
      - C L A N G - THE STRAKER I M P A C T S - glancing the PD lode-runner which
      wobbles, corrects - the straker d r o p s back for a longer run up--

      T H E METRO PD OFFICER - yelling into his headset - inaudible over
      the siren - the headlamps a g a i n - the vehicle coming up behind--
      - C R A S H - THE PD LODE-RUNNER fishtails - its resistors suddenly
      clash with the prevailing polarity - A HUGE JOLT OF INERTIA-

      C A T A P U L T I N G THE METRO PD OFFICER through the air - plummeting
      down into obscurity - THE STRAKER W H O O S H I N G OVER HIS HEAD -
      T H E PD LODE-RUNNER LEFT SPINNING behind - resistors vying with
      the polarity - the drive system melting down - FUSING, SPARKING--

      - B O O M - THE PD LODE-RUNNER EXPLODES IN A FLASH OF ELECTRICAL FIRE-

      S C H E E R watches the fireball in his rear-view - there will be more
      police soon - he jams the throttle - he has to end this.

      LINCOLN SEEING THE STRAKER Z O O M I N G UP BEHIND - veering round
      another corner - the chassis tilting - A STEEP BANKING TURN -

      T H E CORSAIR HULL RUNNERS THUDDING across the buffers - recoil
      sending the chassis up against the concrete - SPARKS FLYING--

      S C H E E R TURNING THE CORNER - the windshield suddenly sprayed with
      sparks - jerking back on the throttle to avoid a collision -

      LINCOLN FIGHTING TO CORRECT THE STEERING - seeing the straker
      d r o p p i n g back - a chance to gain distance - JAMMING THE THROTTLE-

      A N INTERSECTION APPROACHING - Lincoln can't correct his steering
      in time - the corsair careens at full res over the intersection--

      C R A S H I N G THROUGH A GATE ARM - the ground dropping away into a
      steep ramp - suddenly the corsair is flying through the air--

      C R A S H I N G - SQUEALING ONWARDS - SCUDDING ACROSS VEHICLE ROOFS,
      finally nose-diving into an empty bay with a DEAFENING CRUNCH-

198   EXT . ENTRANCE - HOLSPAR STADIUM - NIGHT

      The straker p u l l s up at the smashed gate arm. In the booth, a
      holoserve p a r k i n g attendant greets the arrival with a smile-

                                     P A R K I N G ATTENDANT
                      We l c o m e to Holspar S t a d i u m , home of the
                      Phoenix Admirals, parking is fifteen
                      currency units...

                                                                          127.



      Scheer gets out of the straker. He looks down at the crashsite
      b e l o w . The parking lot, like a marina, is filled to capacity. A
      game is in progress. A corona of light coming from the stadium.
      Hoots, music, the roaring crowd. Over which, sirens can now be
      heard. Scheer draws the syringe-gun and heads down the ramp.

199   EXT . PARKING LOT - HOLSPAR STADIUM - NIGHT - MINUTES LATER

      D u s t blooms from the crashsite. S c h e e r crouches, peering down at
      the wrecked corsair. The burst windshield, the dangling driver
      side door shows his quarry has escaped the wreckage. He rises
      and scans around. On the concrete, a trail of blood is visible.

200   INT . STORAGE AREA - HOLSPAR STADIUM - MINUTES LATER

      The blood trail leads down a gloomy stairwell. The game is just
      audible overhead. Lincoln stumbles down the steps, clutching his
      bleeding arm. Between pain and concussion, he loses his footing
      and falls. He tumbles down the remaining steps to the bottom.

      I n the gloom we   see groundskeeping e q u i p m e n t , supplies - edgers,
      aerators, spray    rigs, drums of insecticides, herbicides. For a
      moment, Lincoln    lies stunned. Then hears a noise and rolls over.
      He looks up the    stairwell. A shadow is descending towards him.

      W i t h painful effort, Lincoln starts crawling across the floor,
      eyes fixed on the shadow. Tensing as A HANDGUN noses out of the
      darkness. Then A STADIUM SECURITY GUARD steps into the light -

                                 S E C U R I T Y GUARD
                     You , what are you doing down here?

      N o w he sees Lincoln more closely - injured, his arm bleeding.

                                S E C U R I T Y GUARD
                     O h , Jesus... Are you okay, son?

      Lincoln eases a little as he sees the security guard lower his
      weapon. Then suddenly the guard is JERKED BACK BY THE SCALP.
      A HISS. Now suddenly the guard jettisons the handgun, clutching
      his throat like it's on fire. With a boiling gurgle, he staggers
      forward. Streaming with sweat. Toppling across a herbicide drum.
      Convulsing, belching steam. Then suddenly his body falls slack.
      S c h e e r is at the foot of the steps, discarding the spent ampule
      from the syringe-gun. Now screwing a fresh ampule into place.

      Lincoln turns to him, realizing what he's just witnessed is a
      glimpse of his own fate. He pushes himself upright, bracing.
      S c h e e r looks at him. Clutching his bloody arm, barely able to
      stay upright, but still ready to fight for life. He half-smiles-

                                                                                 128.



                                  SCHEER
                       I'm jealous of you. You have a reason to
                       live. I can't say I've ever had that...

      Lincoln holds his gaze, looking deep in his eyes. Then, as if
      scared by what he sees there, starts inching away, glancing at--

      T H E GUARD'S BODY SMOLDERING - lowering, melting through the drum-
      S C H E E R MOVING FORWARD, the smile leaving his face. A mask of
      hollowness as he moves in on his quarry, the syringe-gun poised.

      LINCOLN STUMBLING - collapsing to his knees - hanging his head
      as if in surrender... then suddenly his hand flies up-
      - B O O M - A FLASH OF LIGHT as he fires THE HANDGUN - recovered from
      the ground - AN ENERGY PULSE impacting the wall, fizzling out--

      S C H E E R KEEPS COMING, syringe-gun ready, blank-faced, unflinching-

      T H E GUARD'S BODY CRACKLING INTO FLAME - the drum splitting open--
      - B O O M - ANOTHER FLASH - Lincoln fires again - clipping his enemy--

      S C H E E R KEEPS COMING, a charred wound in his shoulder, relentless-

      T H E GUARD'S BODY BURNING - sliding into the sands of herbicide -
      - B O O M - B O O M - B O O M - LINCOLN KEEPS FIRING - more hits than misses--

      S C H E E R KEEPS COMING, blank faced, his body PITTING WITH IMPACTS--

      A BLINDING FLARE OF LIGHT - THE HERBICIDE IGNITING - THE DRUM
      EXPLODING - STARTING A CHAIN REACTION - OTHER DRUMS IGNITING -
      EXPLODING - FIRE - SMOKE - ENGULFING ALL IN A BLAZING INFERNO...

                                                               D I S S O L V I N G TO:

201   INT . TOP OF STAIRWELL - NIGHT - MUCH LATER

      A cacophony of sirens can be heard outside. A thick grey smoke
      gulches up from the stairwell. Shadows are visible. The sound of
      extinguishers. A FIREMAN climbs up, emerging from the smoke, he
      pulls off his breathing mask to address a waiting PD officer-

                                         T H E FIREMAN
                       N o t h i n g . . . If there was anyone down
                       there, they're a pile of ashes now.

                                                               F A D E TO BLACK.

                                                                         129.



202   EXT. CEMETERY - SOME DAYS LATER

      P e a c e . Sunlight. A bell tolling in the background. We make out
      Katherine, dressed in black, standing at a grave. The headstone
      reads simply: "Here Lies Ester & Her Unborn Son - May They Rest
      In Peace". There are no dates. Katherine lays down some flowers
      then looks across at Dr. Abrams. As he escorts her away, we see
      Crowne crossing towards them. She introduces herself delicately-

                                CROWNE
                    M r s . Ester? My name is Ellen Crowne.

203   INT . CEO'S OFFICE - THE SANGER INDUSTRIES TOWER - DAY

      A celestial penthouse office. Katherine enters with Crowne.
      Merrick and Dr. Sanger rise to greet her. Strained solemnity.

                              DR. SANGER
                    M y name is Henry Sanger. I'd like to
                    offer my deepest condolences.

      His insincerity is transparent. Katherine just nods stiffly.

                                DR. SANGER
                    This is Bernard Merrick our facility
                    director. He knew Ester personally.

                               MERRICK
                    An d it's a terrible loss.

      M o r e insincerity. Katherine nods again. Then settles in a chair.
      Crowne allows a respectful pause. Then begins with due delicacy-

                                    CROWNE
                    L e g a l issues must seem trivial at this
                    time. But the sponsorship agreement has
                    certain conditions relating to confident-
                    i a l i t y . D e s p i t e this tragic t u r n of
                    events, those conditions remain binding.
                    We want to be sure you understand that.

                               KATHERINE
                    I see.

                                CROWNE
                    T h a t said, The Institute is likewise
                    bound by the terms of sponsorship and
                    while we reserve every right...

                               KATHERINE
                    You can stop there. I know why I'm
                    here. You wanted to know if I'm going
                    to sue you for breach of contract.

                                                             130.



                             DR. SANGER
              N o t h i n g so devious, Mrs. Ester. We
              simply wanted to find some way to
              heal the wounds from this incident.

                       KATHERINE
              I don't want restitution, Dr. Sanger.
              The reason I agreed to this meeting
              was to have the chance to talk to you.

                        DR. SANGER
              O f course. Please...

                         KATHERINE
              I never got to meet you when I visited
              The Institute. It was one of your sales-
              m e n who led the tour. I remember how
              h e described the agnates a s if they
              were some kind of mindless organisms.
              More like livestock than humanity...

                              CROWNE
              L e g a l l y , human rights don't apply.

                           DR. SANGER
              Don't interrupt, Ellen.

                       KATHERINE
              I remember how eager I was to believe
              him. But when I saw w h a t I'd created,
              in flesh and blood, when I touched h e r ,
              it was I who felt less than human.

                       DR. SANGER
              I understand.

He looks at her expressively. Perhaps he really does understand.

                               KATHERINE
              Ester ' s life was my responsibility and
              her death is my cross to bear alone. So
              I'm not going to sue you, Dr. Sanger...
                     ( b e a t , a sudden ominous tone)
              But I am going to blame y o u . Until the
              day I die, I will silently curse your
              name. That's w h a t I wanted you to know.

She drives it home with a horrible look. Sanger accepts it with
due gravity. There's an ugly pause. Katherine gets to her feet.

                         KATHERINE
              An d now I'd like to leave, please.

                                                                          131.



                               CROWNE
                     We do have other issues to discuss...

                                DR. SANGER
                     N o , Ellen, that's enough. I think Mrs.
                     Ester has said all there is to say.

204   EXT . STREET - OUTSIDE THE SANGER INDUSTRIES TOWER - DAY

      Katherine descends the steps from the entrance. She crosses to a
      black funeral sedan, parked kerbside. D r . Abrams stands waiting-

                              D R . ABRAMS
                     I hope you know what you're doing.

                              KATHERINE
                     I don't think they suspected anything.

                                 D R . ABRAMS
                     J u s t understand that I've put a lot on
                     the line for you, Katherine.

                              KATHERINE
                     I know... But it felt good. It felt
                     like something John would have done.

205   INT . ROOFTOP FLIGHTPAD - THE SANGER INDUSTRIES TOWER

      C r o w n e escorts Sanger and Merrick to the waiting whisper.

                                  CROWNE
                     We l l , I don't know about the two of
                     you but I'd say we got off lightly.

                                 DR. SANGER
                     Did we?

                                  CROWNE
                     Don't start getting maudlin, Henry.
                     It's a little too late in the game.

      She shakes their hands as they climb into the whisper. Then
      watches it take off, ascending into the blinding sunlight.

                                                            D I S S O L V E TO:
206   EXT . THE SANGER INSTITUTE - SOME WEEKS LATER

      A i r blasts up from the giant funnel. Widening, we re-establish
      the huge ring, the processing plant, the giant appendages of
      ducting, the immutable red rocks. The shot sequence, reprising.
      From the processing plant, over the main complex. From the front
      of the complex, to the dock.

                                                                           132.



      Following the lodeway out to the perimeter wall. The gateway now
      gliding open to disclose a view of the shimmering desert. Out in
      the distance, the institute liner emerging from the shimmer. The
      crosshatch insignia.

207   INT . ENTRANCE HALL - THE SANGER INSTITUTE - DAY

      T h r o u g h the polarized glass we see the liner has docked. A TOUR
      GROUP is disembarking. Another parade of plutocracy, aging
      bloated me and brittle young women. They filter inside to be
      greeted by the courtesy staff, led by the ever-perky LYDIA.

                                     LYDIA
                     L a d i e s and gentlemen, my name is Lydia
                     and on behalf of our staff, I'd like
                     t o welcome you to The Sanger Institute.
                     Before we start the tour, we'll be serv-
                     i n g r e f r e s h m e n t s in the visitor center
                     and circulating our standard discretion
                     agreements. I should add that today you
                     are all very lucky because our CEO and
                     founder, Dr. Henry Sanger, is with us
                     and will be leading the tour personally.

208   INT . VISITOR CENTER - THE SANGER INSTITUTE - DAY

      The tour group pick and mingle at a buffet. We isolate a
      casually dressed man, lightly bearded, in a Phoenix Admirals
      cap, crossing to Lydia. She turns to greet him with a smile-

                                   LYDIA
                     Yes . . . Mr. Thomas, isn't it?
      The man tilts up to reveal his face. We see he is LINCOLN...

                              LINCOLN
                     I can't find my sunglasses. I think I
                     left them on the shuttle.

                                 LYDIA
                     We l l we're about to start the tour.
                     But I can have someone check for you.

                                  LINCOLN
                     Don't worry. I'll catch up.

209   EXT . PROCESSING PLANT - DAY

      Lincoln moves quickly along the wall towards the back of the
      complex. Hugging the shadows, scanning for onlookers. There is
      the processing plant and there, the ring of funnels. The sight
      brings a sudden rush of memories, painful memories, horrors.

                                                                        133.



      Lincoln steels himself, then breaks from shadow and races for
      the nearest funnel. He makes a running lap. His fingers grab
      t h e lip of the funnel and he pulls himself up. Reaching the lip,
      he finds the funnel mouth has been gridded o v e r . Then he hears-

                                  A VOICE (O.S.)
                      S i r , this is a restricted area...

      Lincoln lowers back to the ground. He finds himself facing A
      TECHNICIAN in a hardhat. His uniform reads "Air Processing".

210   INT . ELEVATOR - PROCESSING PLANT

      The doors slide open and the technician enters, stiffly. Then
      suddenly topples forward, pistol whipped from behind. Lincoln
      enters the elevator, a familiar handgun clenched in his fist.

211   INT . ELEVATOR SHAFT

      L o o k i n g up an elevator shaft. The red pulse of the lode-poles,
      rippling downward as the elevator descends from the surface.

212   INT . ELEVATOR - DESCENDING

      Lincoln is now wearing the technician's uniform. He watches the
      panel lights flashing down. "Level 3: Harvest" "Level 5: Labor
      Decon", "Level 7: Labor Quarters". His pupils are dilating but
      his face is set with determination. He knows what he must do.
      His gaze drifts down to "Level Twenty: Agnate Containment".

213   INT . THE ETHER GRID

      The holographic rendering of containment spins in the vaulted
      chamber like a giant geometrical phantom. The ether blinks with
      blue dots in their hundreds as the agnates g o about their day.

214   INT . ETHER CONTROL ROOM

      O v e r l o o k i n g the ether, Ethercon sits at his console. The hiss of
      an opening door as someone enters. Ethercon looks round. He
      greets the technician's arrival with an inquisitive look. Then
      the technician takes off his hardhat. A crosshatch on his brow.
      Ethercon reacts almost instantly, reaching for the console. Then
      instantly freezes as Lincoln presses the handgun to his skull.

215   INT . CORRIDOR - LEVEL TWENTY SEVEN

      P a l e blue light. Ethercon leads the way down a silent corridor.
      Lincoln follows him, the handgun firmly levelled on his head.

                                                                            134.



216   INT. CHAMBER - LEVEL TWENTY SEVEN

      The pale blue light sustains. The chamber is reminiscent of the
      foundation chambers. The walls lined with tanks. But instead of
      amber fluid, these contain blocks of ice. Beside each tank is a
      grid of bio-monitors. E t h e r c o n stumbles into frame, prodded by
      Lincoln. Then, with a trembling finger points to one of the
      tanks. Lincoln holds aim on him and considers the glass facet.
      He wipes the condensation off the glass. Suspended in the block
      of ice is a shadow. A human figure. A device is attached to his
      stomach. Lincoln looks at the bio-monitors. A screen reads:

      " P R O D U C T ID: STARKWEATHER/ FOUNDATION: II/ GENERATION: DELTA".

      Lincoln looks across the EKG, the cardiograph, indications that
      Starkweather is still alive. Then he fixes on the RFI m o n i t o r . A
      resonant image of the brain. The shifting aura showing a level of
      consciousness. What thoughts must be going through that mind?
      The fate of the agnates s p a r e d from expiration. To be kept on
      i c e for future harvest. With a haggard look, Lincoln rests his
      hand on the glass where Starkweather hangs frozen. Connecting.

217   INT . SALES HALL - THE INSTITUTE - DAY

      An embryo in mutated effigy hangs suspended in the amber fluid.
      Dr. Sanger stands at the wall of display tanks, mid-way through
      his sales pitch. He delivers it now with noticeably less gusto-

                                       DR. SANGER
                     C a s e in point, the clone. Back in the
                     beginning, the mapping of the human
                     genome was declared a historic landmark-
                     to break the curse of heredity, to
                     correct congenital defect... genetic
                     engineering became the brave new world
                     of medical science. A bright future
                     that led to a dark age and much of...
                            ( a n abrupt pause, a frown)
                     . . . l e g i s l a t i o n we know today. But while
                     the clone laws may have narrowed the
                     field, science marches on. Only to...
                            ( a n o t h e r abrupt pause)
                     I'm sorry, I'm f...

      S u d d e n l y he clutches his arm, emitting a guttural gasp.

                                LYDIA
                     DR. SANGER?

      S a n g e r just looks at her. Then jolts from a spasm, clawing at
      his chest. His knees buckling, he topples against a display
      case. Pawing at the glass, he slides dreadfully to the ground.

                                                                        135.



                                 LYDIA
                     He's having a heart attack! A doctor!
                     Somebody get a doctor in here!

      The tour group keeps their distance, unsettled by the face of
      mortality. Sanger is now lying in contortion on the floor, his
      gaping eyes fixed on the display tank. The embryo in mutated
      effigy, rocking about in the amber fluid. The sight of this
      little human monster is one that will follow him to the grave.

218   INT . DIRECTOR'S OFFICE - CONTAINMENT

      The glass wall looks down on the avenue and the agnates m i l l i n g
      beneath. Merrick sits at his console. Business as usual. Off a
      buzz, he taps a button. The door opens and A CENSOR bursts in-

                                 CENSOR
                     S i r , I've been trying to contact you.
                     It's the ether... Something's wrong.

      Merrick taps another button and the glass wall frosts over. It
      pixellates o n t o an image of his own face. A recorded playback-

                                  Merrick (P/B O N ETHERSCREEN)
                     We l l , Starkweather, if you're watching
                     on etherscreen - your time has come, my
                     friend! You're going to The Island!

      P / B J U M P CUT TO: STARKWEATHER RUNNING IN AN ULTRAVIOLET HAZE,
      MEETING WHITE UNIFORMS, ZIGZAGGING OVER CROSSWALKS, DOWN RAMPS.

                                      MERRICK
                            ( s t a b s at a key on his console)
                     E t h e r c o n ! Ether control, come in!

      P / B J U M P CUT TO: STARKWEATHER RUNNING FOR HIS LIFE, LURCHING
      FROM IMPACTS, HOOKHEADS B I T I N G INTO HIS BACK, SPRAYING BLOOD-

                                    MERRICK
                     An y o n e ! Somebody pick up!

      P / B J U M P CUT TO: STARKWEATHER DANGLING IN MID-AIR LIKE A FISH ON
      A HOOK -- SCHEER LOOKING UP AT HIM LIKE A CURIOUS ZOO EXHIBIT.

                                   CENSOR
                     That's what I mean. We can't get
                     through. The circuits are locked.

      P / B J U M P CUT TO: STARKWEATHER CLUMPING DOWN A CORRIDOR,
      C L U T C H I N G HIS OPEN STOMACH, BLOOD STREAMING DOWN HIS LEGS.

                                MERRICK
                     How wide is this going?

                                                                               136.



      P/B J U M P CUT TO: CENSORS SHROUDING STARKWEATHER'S FACE WITH A
      WHITE HOOD -- BINDING HIS WRISTS AND ANKLES IN PLASTIC CUFFS --

                                        CENSOR
                      C o m m u n i t y - w i d e , sir. Everywhere.

      P / B J U M P CUT TO: CENSORS DRAGGING STARKWEATHER AWAY. THE LOOP OF
      INTESTINE PLUMPING FROM HIS BELLY. THE BLOODSMEAR O N THE FLOOR.

219   INT . CONTAINMENT

      I N T E R C U T T I N G : Agnates a t workstations watching on visors. In the
      subway watching on platform banner. In the plaza watching on the
      glass wall. An agnate in an apartment, watching on a wall panel.
      P / B J U M P CUT TO: A STILL IMAGE OF STARKWEATHER'S STORAGE TANK.
      T H E BLINKING GRID OF BIO-MONITORS. T H E SHADOW IN THE BLOCK OF ICE.

      We are still   in the apartment when the playback cuts out. The
      agnate looks    around as every piece of glass dissolves to trans-
      parency. The    mirror panels, the frosted walls, the window, which
      now shows no    view at all. Just the gleam of a holographic lens.

220   INT . DIRECTOR'S OFFICE

      Merrick looks down from the glass wall at the agnates m a s s e d in
      the avenue beneath. They are all looking directly up at him.

221   INT . ETHER CONTROL ROOM

      Alarms sounding. The ether grid blinking with red dots. Ethercon
      sitting frozen at the console, the handgun pressed to his head.
      Lincoln stands over him. His face cast in a chill of vengeance.

222   INT . RESIDENTIAL BLOCK - DAY

      A glass facade. A noise from within. A primal, guttural noise,
      building to a roar. Now warping as we drop to slow motion. The
      glass webbing, bursting open from within, the facade exploding
      in a GLITTERING SHOWER OF SHARDS...

                                                             S L O W FADE TO BLACK.

223   INT . BASEMENT - A YEAR LATER

      No windows. No clue of where we may be. A safehouse somewhere.
      The passage of time is marked on Lincoln's face, careworn, long
      hair, a full beard. He sits in front of a data tablet, his image
      recorded on its screen. His voice also seems older as he speaks-

                                                                   137.



                                    LINCOLN
                    I t ' s been a year since the breakout. A
                    year in hiding, waiting for things to
                    quiet down. I don't know how many made
                    i t out or how many who did, survived. I
                    know there are people called politicians
                    trying to say it never happened. That's
                    why I've kept this journal. To keep the
                    truth alive. Alive... I've learned what
                    that means but it still confuses me. In
                    functional terms, I've been alive for ten
                    years. In human terms, more than thirty.
                    Human... I'm not sure about that one
                    either. They say I'm not human because
                    I have no mother or father. I guess I
                    have more to learn. But one word I do
                    understand is hope. So maybe this
                    j o u r n a l will give hope - to those like
                    me, who may be out there. To know
                    t h e y ' r e not alone. My name is Lincoln
                    S i x - E c h o and this is my testament...

      He sits back, contemplating the screen with an air of closure.
      Then he stirs at a sound. At first just a gurgle. Then a moan.
      Becoming the sound of A BABY CRYING. Lincoln crosses to a cot.
      He lifts up a baby boy, 6 months old, bawling and squirming.

                              A WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
                    Is he hungry again? I just fed him.

      Ester steps into the room, sleep-mussed, her beauty deepened by
      maternity. The baby reaches out for her. Lincoln hands him over-

                                   LINCOLN
                    Lincoln Junior, huh? It still doesn't
                    sound right. That name.

                                ESTER
                    I t ' s the name of his father.
      She lovingly kisses him. Lincoln smiles at her, then the baby,
      sweeping the hair from the forehead. Unscarred, blemishless.

                              LINCOLN
                    We should finish packing.

224   EXT . JETTY - THE PACIFIC COAST - DAWN

      A private jetty stretches out to a pile of supply canisters. A
      yacht is moored. We recognized it as John's boat. And we recognize
      Katherine, holding the baby as Lincoln and Ester finish loading.
      The last canister stowed, Lincoln comes up to her. He smiles at
      the sight of her with the baby. Then prompts her gently-

                                                                       138.



                                 LINCOLN
                     Time to go.
      Katherine hesitates, part of her unwilling to let the baby go.
      Then she plants a lingering kiss on his downy hair and lets
      Ester take him. Lincoln presents her with the data tablet-

                                   LINCOLN
                     You'll make sure this gets out?

                                 KATHERINE
                     Yes . There are people sympathetic to
                     the cause. I'm going to get it to them.

                                  LINCOLN
                     Thank you, Katherine. For everything.

      He smiles. Katherine points to a canister left on the dock.

                                  KATHERINE
                     Don't forget that. It has the
                     operating manuals for the boat.

                                 LINCOLN
                     I've been looking at them for months.

                                KATHERINE
                     But the maps, the charts...

                                   LINCOLN
                         ( b e a t ; a meaningful look)
                     I don't need them either.
      Katherine nods, understanding. Nothing more to say, she hugs him.
      Then turns to Ester with the baby. She folds them in a yearning,
      almost maternal embrace. Tears well in her eyes. Then the sorrow
      turns to laughter as the baby starts tugging at her gray hair.

225   EXT . THE PACIFIC - DAWN

      The sun rises in the east, casting the coastline in silhouette.
      The light glows across Lincoln's face, at the helm of the yacht,
      staring back to the shore. He looks at Ester sitting beside him,
      the baby swaddled in a blanket at her breast. Then he looks out
      to the west, to the soft reach of dawn and the boundless horizon
      of sea. There never was an island. But perhaps there will be...



                                      T H E END


Island, The



Writers :   Caspian Tredwell-Owen
Genres :   Action  Drama  Sci-Fi  Thriller


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