Carv's Thinky Blog I'm an author with a focus on satirical sci-fi and agnostic commentary.

Century City

FADE IN:

The STUDIO LOGO in a Windows-like FRAME. The upper right "X"
button depresses, and the window closes. Darkness.

A VOICE IN THE DARKNESS
Ladies and gentlemen...Jack in...now.

A series of NEW FRAMES opens up:

ATLANTA burning.

A CG (computer-generated) origami SWAN.

A TALL SHIP with dolphins bow-riding.

Gradually the frames take on a theme: Biomedical
experimentation. Baboon hearts. Computers powered by
dolphin brains. Advanced gene splicing. Bionic eyes.

The frames recede, thousands, millions of them, each tiny
pixel coalescing with the others to form...

...A FACE. Handsome. About forty. Chinese-American. The
face belongs to a very Rich man. His name is Algernon TONG.

TONG
You have just stepped into the future--

Digital windows hang in the air behind his compact frame. He
wears the latest, most expensive DRESS PAJAMAS.

CUT TO:

INT. ENORMOUS CORPORATE MEETING ROOM

The table alone seems to have cost a million dollars. Tong
wears a FINGER CONTROL, and as he waves it, new IMAGES appear
in the air behind him. TWELVE EXECS and FOUR ASSISTANTS
drink in the sight of him and savor every nugget of golden
wisdom. He's THE BOSS.

A chic holographic banner opens up over Tong's head like a
halo: "TONG CYBERMEDICAL INDUSTRIES." A hand holds a
glowing heart of chrome and circuitry in a pair of tongs, the
COMPANY LOGO.

TONG
--of Tong CyberMedical, which makes this,
of course, the very future of tomorrow.
I am delighted to unveil for you today
our next indispensable product. We
anticipate sales in the eleven-digit
range, with commensurate stock
advancement and a sensation of great
emotional fulfillment around the office.

The execs chuckle and murmur in greedy admiration.

TONG (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
What you are about to see, ladies and
gentlemen, is the result of fourteen
months' R & D. His name, for the time
being, is Pinocchio.
(to a stunning SECRETARY)
Send him out.

The holographic windows float aside, and through this door
walks a FACELESS BOY.

His skin is raw, pink, puffy...NEW. Tiny lenses gaze out
through vaginal slits. A moistened mouth with baby-teeth
dentures speaks in the halting VOICE of a four-year-old.

FACELESS BOY
Hi, evvybody. I hope you like me.

TONG
We did a last-minute rethink on the face.
When we considered our core demographic
for high-end products, it was decided the
face was...too multiethnic; so at the
moment, we're still exploring new
directions.

A series of CHILDREN'S FACES, almost all boys, pop open in
the air behind Pinocchio and Tong. Almost all have big red
X's through them; some have scrawled notes suggesting
Photoshop adjustments.

TONG (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
What do you think, Pinocchio?

FACELESS BOY
I like that one.

The robot POINTS at a picture of a little Japanese girl, a
pic with a vigorous X slashed across it.

TONG
(to the execs)
Yeah, well, there goes his promotion.

The execs and assistants laugh out loud.

TONG (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Of course, we are open to new ideas--

A new WINDOW opens in the air. We see only a small corner of
that window, but Tong and the Faceless Boy stare at it in
sudden naked surprise.

FACELESS BOY
That's a cool one.

TONG
Who posted this?

The execs look at each other nervously. Finally, an
ASSISTANT (30) speaks up from the back of the room. Somehow
this assistant has managed to make well-fed corporate chic
look seedy.

ASSISTANT
I did, Mr. Tong.

TONG
And you are?

A nervous EXEC of about 50 half-stands.

EXEC
He's my PDA, sir, I'm very, very sorry,
I'll have him--

TONG
I wanted his name.

ASSISTANT
It's Dorquiero, sir, Edmund Dorquiero.

TONG
Starting Monday, Mr. Dorquiero, you'll be
my own personal assistant. Whose face
are you showing us? And how the hell did
you hack my private holo display systems?

EDDIE
I learned to hack down in the Poverty
Towns, sir, growing up. It's not that
hard once someone shows you a few basic
UNIX and MSOS commands.

TONG
And the boy?

EDDIE
He's my son.

TONG
Well, congratulations, Eddie. Your
humble seed is about to be mass-produced.
(to the Faceless Boy)
You hear that, Pinocchio? You're about
to make us even more insufferably Rich.

The execs break into spontaneous applause as Pinocchio gazes
calmly at what will be his new face. (NOTE: We only see a
corner of the face.)

We close in on Pinocchio's own unformed face until each pixel
expands, and then we dive into the pulsing darkness between
the dots.

DISSOLVE TO:

MUSIC begins. A strange, electronically-pulsing industrial
assault with subliminal elements. The kids of the late
twenty-first century call this genre of music "subway."

BEGIN CREDITS, designed to match the hypertextual Windows
motif. Frames open and close, reference each other, blink
excitedly in busy little applet-style animations.

CUT TO:

EXT. FUTURE LOS ANGELES - TWILIGHT

Hot pink sky. The halogen wash of the late twenty-first
century. TITLE CARD: "ONE YEAR LATER." And with a lurch we

DESCEND

into an economically-polarized LOS ANGELES.

The Rich live in huge blocky SKYSCRAPERS and ARCOLOGIES
(NOTE: an arcology is a self-contained city-building, six to
eight blocks on a side). The Poor live far below on the
streets.

Connecting this urban chaos is a tangle of multi-lane
ELEVATED FREEWAYS filled with jazzy new makes and models of
VEHICLES, all speeding along together at two hundred miles an
hour. Dozens of sleek, stylized HELICOPTERS circle overhead.

CONTINUOUS - ANGLE

through a CAR's front windshield. The "DRIVER" sits
comfortably reading his laptop computer as the car drives
itself.

CONTINUOUS - ANGLE

to an LAPD HELICOPTER. It drops through hundreds of levels
toward the squalor and misery below. Disappears out of
frame.

CONTINUOUS - MOVE

into an upper-level office garage complex.

INT. PARKING GARAGE - CONTINUOUS

A beautiful woman, DIANA T. LI-HALEY, crosses a mostly-empty
parking garage.
The few CARS have '50's-style fins, electric Tuckers.
Diana's talking to her purse, which is also her personal data
assistant VELDA.

DIANA
Well, all right, but keep it down. If
any of my coworkers find out I'm a Star
Trek fan, I'll never hear the end of it.

VELDA
Absolutely, Diana. Mum is the word.

DIANA
Fine. So the Enterprise has a store of
organic molecules, which the crew uses to
replicate foodstuffs.

VELDA
Right.

DIANA
And it also has transporter machines,
which beam organic molecules together to
make people.

VELDA
Specific people, whose construction
patterns are briefly stored in the ship's
computers.

DIANA
Okay. So why can't the ship's computers
and transporters resurrect the dead?
They could beam together meat--

VELDA
The show's producers already thought of
that. They decided the ship's computers
didn't have enough memory to store the
crew's patterns at subatomic, quantum
resolution.

DIANA
Oh, that's bullshit. You can't determine
anything at quantum resolution.
The transporters wouldn't work at all if
they had to do that.

VELDA
Exactly. And Admiral Data should be
immortal, because he wasn't designed at
subatomic resolution. The crew should be
able to beam him back together any time
they need to.

DIANA
I can't believe I'm talking about Star
Trek with a computer in my purse.

VELDA
Who better?

DIANA
Good point. God, the future is now...and
it's weird.

VELDA
Y'know, a friend of mine's been working
on the next Star Trek movie.

DIANA
Who, your friend the landlord's couch?
Hardy har, Velda.

VELDA
No, I'm serious. Those sci-fi movies are
all CGI now. Have you seen the new
digital Patrick Stewart? He kicks ass.

DIANA
I heard he was asking for a raise.

VELDA
Greedy bastard. He's starting to sound
like the digital William Shatner. It's
embarrassing. He's gone Hollywood.

Velda unlocks Diana's CAR door like a car alarm remote.

INT. DIANA'S LUXURY SEDAN - CONTINUOUS

Diana climbs into the plush back seat.

VELDA (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
So, straight home tonight?

DIANA
Yeah, I need some serious veg time.

CUT TO:

EXT. LOS ANGELES FREEWAY - TWILIGHT

The car eases out of the garage. Climbs an elevated on ramp.

INT. DIANA'S CAR - TWILIGHT

Diana closes her eyes and attempts to take a nap.

CUT TO:

EXT. LOS ANGELES FREEWAY - TWILIGHT

The car enters the remote-control grid and speeds along the
freeway, nose to tail with other cars at two hundred m.p.h.
Lights, holographic signs whip by.

L.A. traffic's even worse than in centuries past. A strange
new VEHICLE, a battered Art Deco El Camino, tears out onto
the freeway behind Diana's.

A mangy-looking TERRORIST in the back of the truck primes a
laser-guided GATLING-TYPE WEAPON. Opens fire on adjacent
vehicles. KLAXON ALARMS. Sparks! Spent shells! Tracers!

TERRORIST
Power to the Poor, you self-righteous
sons'a bitches! Crash and burn!

CUT TO:

INT. DIANA'S CAR - TWILIGHT

DIANA
What the hell--?

VELDA
The remote-control grid's down. I'll try
to compensate—-!

EXT. LOS ANGELES FREEWAY - TWILIGHT - INTERCUTTING

Cars immediately pull apart and slow by a hundred m.p.h.

The Terrorist shoots up a nearby CAR, which careens away and
smashes into another. Both tumble.

Diana's car pulls toward an outer lane.

DIANA
How do they keep getting guns?

A SEMI rams the El Camino and careens away. The impact knocks
the Terrorist out the back of the truck.

He bounces once like a wet sack of flour before he's hit
(still alive and screaming) by another CAR.

This car SWERVES viciously toward and into Diana's. The
beginning of a massively deadly pile-up.

VELDA
This is bad--

Cars collide at high speed and toss hot shrapnel in all
directions.

The impact sends Diana's car into the guard rail.

It crashes clean through the guard rail and OVER THE SIDE.

INT. DIANA'S CAR - TWILIGHT

The world tilts as if in super-slow motion.

DIANA
(barely articulate)
No!

Emergency lights flash over her horrified posture and face.
The contents of the car are in chaotic zero G.

DIANA (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Shit--!

EXT. LOS ANGELES - CONTINUOUS

The car sails, still in slow motion, toward the wall of a
PIZZA HUT at Level 20.

INT. DIANA'S CAR - EMERGENCY LIGHTS - TWILIGHT BEHIND

The car hits with a NOISE like a bomb going off. Instantly,
the interior is filled with a gluey CRASH CUSHION, which
transfixes Diana as she's launched through the air.

The cabin's crushed into a fraction of its former volume.
Terrible impact. Emergency lights wink out.

EXT. LOS ANGELES - CONTINUOUS

The car falls four more stories onto a rooftop HELIPAD, then
bounces to a halt against a solid brick wall.

INT. DIANA'S CAR - CONTINUOUS

Diana's crushed inside the glue cushion, her blood sprayed
all over the interior.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. HELIPAD - TWILIGHT

Diana's car sparks and bleeds, a stamped beetle. SIRENS wail
in the distance.

TILT UP

Far overhead, flashing police lights and helicopters mark the
scene of the terrorist attack.

CUT TO:

INT. TRAFFIC CONTROL STATION

DOZENS OF MEN AND WOMEN run around frantically. A bulky man
in his mid-forties, HENRY STONE, is in the midst of the chaos
shouting orders into a headset.

HENRY
Divert three PD cruisers pronto. And two
helicopters. And no, I do not have a
statement! "Do I have a statement..."
Send that traffic over to Third and then
just back it all up onto the 101 until I
can bring the auto-control grid back
online.

Henry kicks at a console in frustration. He has self-control
issues.

Another controller, an Asian-American woman named Madeline
TSAO, walks by with a headset of her own.

MADELINE
(into the headset)
Then just shut down that helipad! Jesus
Christ, do I have to tell you guys
everything?
(turning to Henry)
Long night, eh, Henry?

HENRY
Not for me, honey. I'm off in ten.

MADELINE
(laughing)
Call me "honey" again, Henry, and I'll
make sure you work another double
shift...babe.

HENRY
Yeah, you probably would, wouldn't you,
Madeline? Ma'am.

MADELINE
I'd enjoy that even more than the nookie
I'm missing with my husband.

HENRY
Don't disgust me. God, I hate this
friggin' job.

MADELINE
But just think of the benefits, Henry!
Early retirement...

HENRY
Early heart attack...

MADELINE
Yep.

CUT TO:

INT. METRO TUNNEL

The L.A. METRO transit system's finally been completed. New
tracks travel from building to building many stories off the
ground like the monorail at Disneyland. A TRAIN speeds by,
very close.

INT. METRO TRAIN

Henry holds on to a strap. A flat-screen TV blares, showing
high-resolution video of Diana's crash site.

ON THE MONITOR

A CG reincarnation of EDWARD R. MURROW.

MURROW
DiCaprio was in town to catch the teleNet
debut of his grandson Fulganzio, who
plays little Casey on AOL's new sitcom My
Augmented Baby. In other news...
(shifting cameras)
More trouble on the L.A. freeways today,
this time the result of another terrorist
attack. That's six more innocent victims
we can add to the death list.
Authorities are worried that an ever more
hostile lower class will continue its
attempts to wrest control of Los Angeles'
dwindling resources. In a prepared
electronic statement this afternoon, the
Los Angeles Mayoral Committee had this to
say...

Through a window behind Henry, the Metro train leaves an
interior tunnel, threading out into open air.

A tangle of freeways surrounds the Metro track, held aloft by
a complex arrangement of steel, polymer, and concrete pylons.

CUT TO:

INT. STONE FAMILY APARTMENT

A brightly-dressed little boy named JEREMY sits playing with
PLASTIC BLOCKS. He wears VIRTUAL REALITY GEAR and waves VR
gloves in the air in a data input semaphore.

He taps a block. The far WALL's replaced by the scene on the
side of the block: A tall ship, with dolphins bow-riding
before it. The image seems familiar, but Jeremy can't
remember why.

He taps another, and the first image is overlapped by
psychedelic computer GRAPHICS. The tall ship and the
dolphins sail into the a black hole in the center of the
graphics, and all the images fold up and vanish.

Jeremy gets up and looks out a tall picture window at

EXT. LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

A dirty MOON rises between the skyscrapers and elevated
freeways.

INT. STONE FAMILY APARTMENT

Jeremy pads into the small adjoining kitchen, where LORI
cooks dinner with a small, hand-held MICROWAVE HEATER.

INT. STONE FAMILY KITCHEN

Lori passes the heat gun over a tray of raw hamburger
meatballs. They cook to sizzling in seconds. She dumps the
meatballs into a simmering pot of spaghetti sauce.

JEREMY
What's for dinner, Mommy?

LORI
It's a surprise for your father. Now go
wash up.

Jeremy shrugs sadly and wanders away.

LORI (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
And you'd better clean up all your toys
before your father gets home...
(to herself as he exits)
Stupid kid.

CUT TO:

INT. METRO TRAIN - NIGHT

Henry watches RIOT COPS on the video monitor. From a tunnel,
the train passes outside again.

ANGLE ON MONITOR

MURROW
We take you now live to ground-level Los
Angeles, Figueroa and Fourth, where a
band of impoverished hostiles has
attempted to enter the Pournelle Arcology
building.

HENRY

watches with interest.

ANGLE ON MONITOR

MURROW (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
We've received word the Los Angeles
Police Department is currently en route.
The Mayoral Committee has authorized the
use of non-lethal riot suppression
techniques, and a command post has been
established on the ground.

EXT. GROUND LEVEL LOS ANGELES - CONTINUOUS

An LAPD HELICOPTER touches down in a misbegotten slum. Shreds
of trash blow around like volcanic ash. The only lights come
from police helicopters and flashlights.

A SIX-COP TEAM hustles over to an inflated makeshift SHELTER
made out of lightweight, bulletproof polymers. CARLO PENNER,
a rugged African-American, waves the other five cops into the
shelter.

PENNER
Move it, move it! Hurry! We're sitting
ducks out here!

A small rotored ROBOT CAMCORDER lands on outrigger treads as
the cops move quickly inside. Penner follows them in.

The robocam's rotor blades droop to a halt. Crawls forward
toward the shelter. In the distance, another helicopter sets
down an ARMORED POLICE VEHICLE. The bad-ass Humvee of the
future.

A junior policeman, BOTTINI, ducks out nervously and pulls
the robocam inside. He seals the shelter door with a
hermetic jolt.

INT. SHELTER - CAMERA P.O.V.

MURROW (O.C.)
This is Capt. Carlo Penner of LAPD's
Malcontent Suppression Division. Capt.
Penner, what steps are you taking to
protect the rights of L.A.'s taxpaying
citizens?

PENNER
Ed, the Pournelle Arcology here on
Figueroa has their own security forces on
full alert. I can assure you, none of
these terrorists are ever gonna make it
to the city's upper floors.
We're advising all responsible residents
of the Poverty Towns to put down their
arms and let the system work for them,
because they sure as hell don't want it
working against them.

MURROW (O.C.)
And what about the safety of the cops on
your suppression team?

INT. SHELTER - REGULAR P.O.V. - CONTINUOUS

PENNER
Well, these operations are never a
hundred percent safe, but we're using the
absolute state of the art in police
protection systems.

MURROW (O.C.)
We've heard reports that this afternoon's
freeway terrorists were using hi-tech
assault weapons.

PENNER
That was thirty-year-old hardware, Ed.
Those guys had nothing on us. Let me
show you what I mean: Anne, you mind?
This is Sgt. Anne Logan.

Sgt. LOGAN (25) is the sexiest bad-ass in town.

LOGAN
Not at all.

Logan sprays a new polymer substance ("GARD") on her right
forearm and holds the arm out. She grins wickedly at the
macho stunt she's about to pull. Showing off for the camera.

LOGAN (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Action figures, eat your heart out.

PENNER
Use your left arm, Sergeant. You don't
want to bruise your trigger arm.

LOGAN
Good thinking.

Logan sprays her left forearm and holds it out. Grits her
teeth.

Penner draws a small service PISTOL and shoots her in the
Garded arm. The bullet ricochets away. Logan's arm is
punched backward into the shelter material.

The bullet, nose crushed, bounces off the wall and drops to
the floor hissing.

INT. SHELTER - ROBOCAM P.O.V.

LOGAN
Ow, damnit, that hurts!

PENNER
What? It shouldn't've--

LOGAN
No, I hit my funny bone.

PENNER
Ah.

MURROW (O.C.)
Most impressive.

PENNER
We're also carrying a full battery of
anti-electronic devices and suspect
confinement gear.

LOGAN
That confinement gear is sweet!

Penner puts on a combination headset and camcorder DEVICE.
His headset radio whispers in his ear.

PENNER
Okay, I've just received word that we're
moving inside.
(to his officers)
Let's go get some!

The other cops unseal the shelter and run outside whooping
and hollering.

PENNER (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
(turning)
Follow me.

MURROW (O.C.)
Switching over to the view from Capt.
Penner's helmet cam.

EXT. GROUND LEVEL LOS ANGELES - P.O.V. PENNER - MOVING

WE RUN OUTSIDE and hop into that hi-tech assault vehicle.
The other four officers are already inside the vehicle.
Officer ALVAREZ is sitting behind the wheel.

Logan hops in beside us. Officers take turns spraying each
other with Gard.

The four officers (all male) are: Alvarez, a world-weary
Latino,

Bottini, on computer systems, a serious young Italian
American,

CRANDALL, on auxiliary systems, a stocky white,

and DIEN, on non-lethal suppression devices, a jovial Asian
American.

LOGAN
Woo-hoo, let's go apprehend and arrest,
boys!

DIEN
You know it! High-rez!

We approach the decrepit base of POURNELLE ARCOLOGY. A
hundred stories tall. Built from the remains of older
buildings. Elevated freeways are its arteries and veins.
Very heavily defended.

We pass through a hole in the outer fence.

PENNER
Ready on anti-electronic dart, Crandall.

CRANDALL
Ready, Sarge.

PENNER
Light 'em up.

Crandall fires a small MOUNTED DARTGUN. The projectile slams
through a window into the building.

THUD! Windows blow outward. A series of sparking flashes
within. Someone inside SCREAMS electrocuted agony.

BOTTINI
We're regaining computerized building
control. Head for the loading doors over
there. Shields up!

Clear panes of PLEXI slide up around us from the vehicle's
windshield bays and lock shut overhead.

Veering to the right as Bottini hits a button. A loading
door to the arcology rolls up. Moving...

INT. WAREHOUSE - DARK

We're immediately pattered by GUNFIRE, which dings menacingly
off our vehicle's plexi shields.

LOGAN
Flare!

Bottini touches another control surface. A series of small
ROCKETS fly up from launchers on the sides of the vehicle.

These rockets arc into the corners of the room and FLARE hot
violet white.

We see the warehouse more clearly now. A DOZEN EMACIATED
REBELS put down containers of food and open fire on our
vehicle. They scramble for new cover as the flare light
fills the space.

THREE MEN backed up into a corner blast away at us with
vintage AK's.

PENNER
Glue cannon.

DIEN
On it, Sarge.

Alvarez steers toward the three rebels, and Dien fires at
point-blank range. A meter-wide glob of gluey ADHESIVE
blasts out, SMASHING the rebels into the wall. Stuck there
like flies on a fly strip.

REBEL ONE
My leg!

REBEL TWO
You bastards broke my arm!

BOTTINI
I'll call a medic--

PENNER
Nah, later.

Veer away left. Dien fires again, catching one young REBEL
on the run and sending him spinning. The rebel crashes
headfirst into a column and is stuck there unconscious.

CRANDALL
Jesus, Captain, they're like a buncha
filthy rats down here!

BOTTINI
Rats? They're just hungr--

PENNER
(to Bottini; warningly)
Pedro!--Tonight it's food;
tomorrow it's guns. We gotta stop it
right here so it doesn't go any farther.

Magnified by the Hummer's P.A. system:

PENNER (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Come out with your hands raised, unarmed,
and you will not be shot on sight!

A LONG-HAIRED MALE REBEL leaps up onto the hood, aiming the
unfriendly end of an old ROCKET LAUNCHER directly at us
through the plexi.

LONG-HAIRED REBEL
(voice plexi-distorted)
Little pigs, little pigs...

Logan activates the PA system and speaks through it.

LOGAN
You really don't want to do that, sir!

The rebel shrugs and fires.

The rocket RICOCHETS off the plexi and knocks the young man
off the hood and down out of our view. It detonates in a
flash right below us.

BOTTINI
Jesus!

We're jolted into the air and land heavily.

LOGAN
I tried to tell him.

ALVAREZ
Systems nominal. We're peachy.

PENNER
Okay, that's it! Taze the shit outta
these cockroaches!

An INJURED REBEL attempts to limp toward us and retrieve his
exploded comrade.
Crandall fires off another anti-electronic dart, which dings
off a wall. It bursts, a hot violet shower of thunderbolts.
One touches the rebel limping toward us.

He's flung up to SMACK off the ceiling. Falls back to the
concrete floor, a bloody rag doll.

Jarringly, a TITLE CARD intrudes. "LAPD: TO SERVE AND
PROTECT!"

INT. METRO TRAIN - NIGHT

The graphic shrinks and is revealed as an image on the Metro
car's monitor. Henry watches.

MURROW
Thankfully, not one LAPD officer was hurt
in the suppression...We take you now live
to Senator Margaret Ozuki of PepsiCo, who
wishes to extend Pepsi's thanks and
congratulations to these heroes for a job
well-—and safely—-done...

The interview plays in the background.

HENRY
Yeah, damn right. That'll teach 'em to
wrestle outside of their class.

ANGLE ON MONITOR

SENATOR OZUKI
A safe L.A. is a pleasant L.A.!

EXT. LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

The Metro train whooshes into the distance.

A thin line of smoke drifts up from far down below.

CUT TO:

EXT. DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

The Metro train glides into a station cantilevered off the
side of a city-building. A POLICE HELICOPTER and its
spotlight sweep by. A sign reads "POURNELLE ARCOLOGY."

INT. POURNELLE ARCOLOGY STATION

The train glides to a stop. PASSENGERS disembark. Henry
gets out and grabs a strap on a six-man arcology SHUTTLE.

TIGHT ON HENRY

as he taps out "51130," his apartment number.

INT. ARCOLOGY HALLWAY - THIRTIETH FLOOR

A dim corridor hundreds of meters long. Numbered doors on
each side. The shuttle skims down the center of the hallway.

It goes smoothly from a horizontal to a vertical track and
disappears up an open shaft on its way to residential levels.

CUT TO:

INT. STONE FAMILY KITCHEN

Lori puts finishing touches on dinner. Jeremy trots in
again.

JEREMY
Mommy, why won't you tell me what we're
habbin' for dinner?

LORI
Jesus Christ, it's spaghetti, are you
blind as well as stupid?

JEREMY
(elated)
Pasghetti!

LORI
Yeah, yeah, pasghetti. Whatever.

QUIET FEMALE VOICE
Legal entry. Ident Henry Stone. Welcome
home, Henry.

This is the voice of the APARTMENT COMPUTER.

LORI
There, y'see, now? Your father is home.
Now get outta my hair so I can serve him
his dinner.

INT. STONE FAMILY LIVING ROOM

Henry slams the door (labeled "51130"). Kicks a block across
the living room. Settles into a huge fake-leather EASY
CHAIR. The smart chair automatically changes shape to
accommodate him.

HENRY
Who left all this junk layin' around the
apartment? Jeremy?

JEREMY
(running in)
Coming, Daddy!

Jeremy tries to jump into Henry's lap. Henry pushes him
away.

HENRY
How many times have I gotta tell ya not
to leave all this shit layin' all over
the house?

JEREMY
Sorry, Daddy.

HENRY
Yeah, you better be. Now clean this shit
up before I get mega-ly pissed.

JEREMY
Okay, Daddy.

Jeremy is crestfallen, but like all kids switches moods in an
instant.

JEREMY (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Um, you know what, dough? Mommy says
we're habbin' pasghetti for dinner!

HENRY
Oh, "pasghetti," huh?
(calling into the kitchen)
Jesus Christ, Lori, I told you this kid
was defective! Call the Tong
CyberMedical reps, will ya? He can't
even talk, for Christ's sake!

Lori comes in and sets the small table in an adjoining DINING
AREA.

LORI
Oh, come on, Henry, give him a chance.
He is only four, y'know.

HENRY
Only four, my fat ass. He should know
better. Say "spaghetti."

JEREMY
(happily)
Pasghetti!

HENRY
Oh my God, geez, get outta my face.

Henry pushes Jeremy away by the head. Not lightly. It isn't
cute. Henry gets up and goes to the table.

HENRY (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
This kid is really getting on my nerves,
Lori.

LORI
You were against getting him from the
start, dear.
(looking at Henry suddenly,
guiltily)
I'm sorry; I don't know why I ever said
that. Well...It's soup yet!

Henry grunts and starts eating.

JEREMY
It's not soup, it's--!

HENRY
Shut up, Jeremy. Don't say anything
until you can say "spaghetti" without
embarrassing your mother.

JEREMY
Sorry, Daddy.

HENRY
Sorry, Daddy, my ass. I've had a very
stressful day, Jeremy, and I don't need
you bugging me with any more of your
stupid-ass bullshit. Your mother and I
had to work like hell to be able to
afford you, and you've done nothing but
screw up our lives since you got here.
Now shut up and eat your dinner.

Jeremy starts to say something to apologize, but sees the
look in his mother's eye and shuts up. He fiddles around
with his food quietly, frightened to eat now.

LORI
I didn't cook this so you could play with
it, Jeremy. Eat.

Jeremy nods sadly and starts eating. The dinner continues in
silence.

CUT TO:

EXT. HELIPAD - NIGHT

HELICOPTERS circle. LAPD OFFICERS surround--but largely
ignore--the wreck of Diana's car, the red mess splattered all
over its busted-out windshields. Triple gloves on all hands.

DET. VINCE RODRIGUEZ (28), Latino-handsome and jumpy, notices
a tiny twitch of movement in the wreckage. He leans over.
Reaches in...then calls out to a JUNIOR OFFICER.

VINCE
Jesus...Get the medics in here! She's
alive!

The Junior Officer hustles away.

INT. DIANA'S SMASHED CAR - LOOKING OUT - CONTINUOUS

Vince turns back to look queasily into the car. Stains of
clotted blood and restraint goo cover the interior. Diana's
gory, mangled LEFT ARM sticks out of the mess. Fingers
twitch, the bones shattered.

VINCE
(unhappily, off the mess)
If you want to call it that.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. STONE FAMILY LIVING ROOM - LATER

Jeremy watches the HOLOCUBE. A CG CARTOON. A monkey uses an
oversized red hammer to whack squirrels into Rorschach tests.

Suddenly the image changes to a ZERO-G FOOTBALL GAME with
screaming ANNOUNCERS. Jeremy spins. Henry lowers a FINGER
REMOTE and sinks into his favorite chair.

JEREMY
I was--

There's an awkward beat while Jeremy decides not to say
"—watching that."

HENRY
Yes? You were what?

ANNOUNCER #1 (OVERLAPPING, O.C.)
I have never seen these Mexico City
linemen as fired-up as they are here
today, Bob!
They are really putting some serious hurt
to the Orbitals up here on Freedom
Station! So much for the home team
advantage!

JEREMY
Nothing, Daddy.

HENRY
Goddamn right, nothing. I'm getting sick
an friggin' tired of your little attitude
there, Jeremy. Your mother and I have
decided it's time you started pulling
your weight around here.

ANNOUNCER #2 (OVERLAPPING, O.C.)
Oh, you're right about that, Chuck. I
have to believe Coach Hernandez has been
putting his Gauchos through some serious
zero-G training aboard the Vomit
Comet...Ohh, and there's Rollie Montoya
getting crazy with the block bat! That
is not gonna heal right!

JEREMY
Yes, Daddy.

Jeremy looks at the game for a few seconds. Then a flicker
of defiance, barely visible, crosses his eyes.

JEREMY (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
(angrily)
Mister Big Man.

A few beats pass.

The game shuts off. Flares away to a disappearing dot like
an old TV set. Total silence.

A look of panic overtakes the boy's face.

HENRY
(quietly)
What'd you say?

JEREMY
(stalling frantically)
I was...Huh?

HENRY
No, don't "huh" me. What'd you say?

JEREMY
Nothing, Daddy.

HENRY
Come here, Jeremy.

JEREMY
I...I could...I don't want to, Daddy,
please?

HENRY
It's only going to get worse if you don't
come over here right now, Jeremy.

JEREMY
(starting to cry)
I'm sorry, Daddy. I didn't mean to.

HENRY
Right now, Jeremy...Jeremy, if I have to
get up, I'm gonna make you regret it.

JEREMY
(standing)
Yes, Daddy.

HENRY
Good boy. Now come right over here.

Henry sets down his beer and draws Jeremy over to his side.

HENRY (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Very good. Jeremy, you know I work hard,
right? You know your mother works hard?

JEREMY
Yes, Daddy.

HENRY
Stop your crying. You look like a sappy
little girl when you do that.

Jeremy doesn't understand him. Can't stop sobbing.

JEREMY
I'm a boy, Daddy.

Harry grabs Jeremy's arm. The boy exclaims in surprise and
fear.

HENRY
Don't talk back to me, Jeremy! You do
not disrespect me!

Jeremy stands shaking and sobbing for a few moments. What he
says next will determine how badly he is beaten, and he has
been through this sick ritual a hundred times; but just this
once, he can't stop himself.

JEREMY
(a whisper)
Shouldn't hit me...

The effect of this whisper on Henry is overpowering. A
quivering rage.

HENRY
What'd you say?

Jeremy says nothing. Even he has no idea what will happen
next.

HENRY (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
(standing)
Don't just act like you don't hear me
when I'm talking to you, Jeremy. What'd
you say?

Jeremy gathers his breath, and looks up.

JEREMY
I said you shouldn't oughta hit me no
more.

Father and son stand facing each other. The die has been
cast.

CUT TO:

INT. STONE FAMILY KITCHEN

Lori starts at the THUMP of a closed-fist punch.

CUT TO:

INT. STONE FAMILY LIVING ROOM

Jeremy crumples to the floor. Curls into fetal position.

HENRY
Is that right? Is that right! So you
think you're big enough to tell me what
to do now, is that it? Is that it? You
make me sick!

Lori's head pops in from the kitchen. Her face tells us
everything as the beating continues O.C. She considers
interfering, but then goes back into the kitchen to wash
dishes.

Henry holds Jeremy up against the wall by his shoulders so
the boy will unroll. Fist outstretched. Jeremy thrashes to
get away from him.

JEREMY
Stop it! Stop it!

HENRY
(a scream of rage)
Don't talk back to me! You never talk
back to me!

CUT TO:

INT. STONE FAMILY KITCHEN

Lori washes her hands. Caged emotions. Vicious NOISE.

CUT TO:

INT. STONE FAMILY LIVING ROOM - ANGLE ON JEREMY'S FACE

as Henry hits him in the stomach BELOW FRAME. Odd
expression. Strangely distant.

HENRY (O.C.)
Little bastard! Little freak!

Jeremy glances at Henry with disgust. Then he closes his
eyes and forces out one more little croak of a whisper:

JEREMY
Stop it now, Daddy. Please.

A beat passes...

CUT TO:

INT. STONE FAMILY KITCHEN

Lori's jolted from her dishes by the SMACK of Henry unloading
full blast on little Jeremy.

There's a CRACK, a loud POP, and a violet FLASH in a

MATCH CUT TO:

INT. STONE FAMILY LIVING ROOM

Sparks. Henry cries out. Draws his hand away. Rubs it.

Jeremy slides to the floor. No blood...A smear of gray char.
A thin smoky wisp escapes the back of the boy's head.

HENRY
What the hell?...Aww, son of a bitch!

The carpet stands up strangely around Jeremy's wounds.

Lori pokes her head in again.

LORI
Is everything okay?

HENRY
Well, hell, no, everything's not okay!
Something's wrong with the kid!

Henry grunts and goes into the hall. Opens a drawer and
withdraws a pair of rubber gloves. Puts them on. Goes back
into the living room. Rolls Jeremy over carefully.

Examines a smoking dent in the boy's head. Grabs a handful
of hair and gives it a deliberate TWIST.

A hermetic POP, like a cork from a bottle of champagne.

The back of Jeremy's head OPENS UP. His INNARDS are a melted
plastic sludge. Fiber optics. Sparking wires. A plate
reads: "(c) 2029 TONG CMI."

Henry flips a switch. The sparking stops, but gray smoke
still rises from the robot boy's fried CPU.

HENRY (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Oh, for Christ's sake...Room computer!

QUIET FEMALE VOICE
Yes, Henry?

HENRY
Open the warranty file on Jeremy.

QUIET FEMALE VOICE
Do I even need to, Henry?

HENRY
Hey, do not get an attitude! You just
tell me if we've got a warranty case
here!

QUIET FEMALE VOICE
You do not. You have violated the
conditions of Jeremy's warranty in at
least twenty-seven different ways. I
have also been instructed to inform you
that you've been docked forty additional
points on your federal live birth permit.
In fact, if it weren't for Tong
CyberMedical's inexplicable tolerance for
Jeremy abuse, you'd probably be an organ
farm in prison by now.

HENRY
Kiss my ass! It's supposed to be
cathartic!

QUIET FEMALE VOICE
The point is, you broke him, you bought
him.

Henry sighs and considers his options. Lori comes to stand
quietly at his side, gazing down at the corpse of her "son."
She is devastated, but won't let it show in front of Henry.

HENRY
Well...Shit, honey. I guess we'll just
have to save up for a new one.

Wisps of acrid smoke continue to escape Jeremy's head like a
soul.

ANGLE ON

two forgotten blocks in the corner. One shows the Tong logo.
In the other, Atlanta burns, a conflagration which expands to
fill the screen.

MATCH DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. VIRTUAL ATLANTA - NIGHT

From the blaze walks the CG incarnation of a forty-year-old
WALTER CRONKITE. On his collar, a button promoting
Microsoft. Behind him, the fires of Atlanta MORPH into a
busy REPLICATION CLINIC.

CRONKITE
Hello, I'm Walter Cronkite. Tonight on
Microsoft Presents the News of the World,
we'll be taking a look at the busy new
self-cloning industry.

He slides over to a corner of the screen. In the clinic,
dozens of GENETICISTS with tubes and Petri dishes work
attentively. Scrubs and masks. Flasks of flesh.

CAPTION reads: "TONG CMI LABS."

CRONKITE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Thousands of single gay American men and
women are commissioning cloned copies of
themselves for the sole purpose of
creating a new kind of dating gene pool.
Theoretically, it is possible to create a
differently-gendered clone of oneself as
well in order to facilitate same-DNA
heterosexual romances.

Graphics fly around. DNA. Human embryos.

CRONKITE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Senator Branson Guerara of Wal-Mart has
proposed a bill that would criminalize
the marriages of wealthy cell donors and
their clones on moral grounds.

Sen. Guerara's scowling face appears in another frame.

CRONKITE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Self-dating: Insufferable narcissism, or
a logical example of "Great minds think
alike?"

INT. LESBIAN BAR

A WOMAN French-kisses ANOTHER VERSION OF HERSELF.

CRONKITE
So curl up together with yourself on the
couch and join us tonight, won't you?
Both?

The kissing clones go away in a burst of black static.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. LOS ANGELES - NIGHT - P.O.V. HOVERING - ANGLE UP

It's an awfully pleasant evening for a walk. A rooftop
railing surrounded by trees and gazebos. A glimpse of an
urban paradise.

A BEAUTIFUL BRUNETTE's face appears at the railing. Smiles
down at us. Spits, as if directly at us. The glob of spit
drops just in front of us. Plummets downward, a cloudy white
teardrop.

FALLING DOWN WITH THE "TEARDROP"

into a ramshackle shanty town, a POVERTY TOWN on the old
streets of downtown L.A. What was once a clean rain is now a
cancerous sludge topped by swamps of old newspaper. It
courses through the undercity in dangerous streams. Rushes
into jury-rigged storm grates. The crash of carcinogenic
water. A cloud of acidic steam.

Beyond that steam, a crowded MARKETPLACE.

EXT. AGORA - CONTINUOUS

Unhealthy MULTITUDES in patched-together rags vie for pitiful
supplies of food and drinking water. A MOTHER hands her
LITTLE GIRL a dead pigeon, matted feathers still attached.
The child dives into it hungrily.

Beyond the Agora, a graffiti-free area defined by the pylons
of freeways high above. Rusted burn barrels light the scene
with a guttering unearthly glow. In this space, this

CATHEDRAL

of the Poverty Towns, a ring of MAD EVANGELISTS surround a
TINY CLOAKED FIGURE.

The ring of streetscreamers calls out for the salvation of
Jesus, the wisdom of the Buddha, the piety of Mohammed, and
the return of an absent Jehovah. The central FIGURE looks
up: An older, muddy-faced Jeremy (6), crying.

JEREMY
Why'd you let Tong and Eddie take my
face, Mommy? You don't know if someone's
hurting me. Why'd you let them take my
face?

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. POVERTY TOWNS - MORNING

LIBBY jerks wide awake!

Liberty "Libby" Wilde (25). Emaciated. Clothed entirely in
tatters and filth. Chose that name for herself a long time
ago and doesn't remember her real one.

She and Jeremy venture out into the pallid-looking sunlight.
A particularly bad neighborhood in Hell.

They trudge along, looking for something to eat.

JEREMY
Mommy, who was that man here last night?

LIBBY
Oh, baby, that was...a customer. I
didn't think you were awake.

JEREMY
What's a customer?

LIBBY
A customer is a Rich man who's lonely.

JEREMY
I thought Rich men had food.

LIBBY
I'm sure somewhere they do, baby.

Libby senses something. Looks up. Jerks Jeremy aside as a
BEER BOTTLE crashes to the street from far above. She peers
up into the sky.

LIBBY (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Yeah, you better keep driving, motherfuh-
(distracted by Jeremy)
What is it, baby?

The boy's stepped out to gaze into the mist.

JEREMY
Someone's coming, Mommy. In a car.

LIBBY
(peering at a fancy sedan)
Well, I'll be damned. It's him again.

JEREMY
Why would anybody come to see us?

The wretchedly hungry RESIDENTS of the Poverty Towns come
running to the car as it slides down the remains of Olive
Street. The car doesn't seem to belong in this picture, its
painted surface reflecting the misery of street-level
squalor. Its headlights fold closed upon illuminating the
faces of

Libby and Jeremy, who stand waiting.

The opaque driver's-side plexi windshield slides down.
Immediately a starving BEGGAR almost dives into the car...

...then backs away slowly with a GUN in his face, a chrome
pump-action handgun.

Inside the car, Edmund Dorquiero sighs.

EDDIE
So predictable...Okay, back away, right
away, or I shoot you in the face. Gun go
boom. Su comprende?

The beggar pleads with him in Spanglish for something to eat,
anything.

EDDIE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Yeah, no hablo espanol, Pancho Villa.
Get lost.
(as he does)
Hello, Liberty.

Liberty and Jeremy sidle up to the car. It's now surrounded
by a respectful perimeter of empty space.

LIBBY
Do I know you?

EDDIE
Very funny. How ya doin', kid?
(oddly)
Jeremy?

JEREMY
You're a stranger.

EDDIE
Not exactly...Well, yeah, I guess I am.
(to Libby)
Get in.

LIBBY
Like hell I will.

EDDIE
Look, your ship just came in, babe.
Congrats! I'm the Prize Patrol.

LIBBY
What? I don't get it. What prize?

EDDIE
Oh, an actual tax bracket for starters.
A fair deal. You and Jeremy are gonna be
cube stars! Look, I'm probably getting a
flesh-eating bacteria just sitting here,
so would you please just get into the
car, Libby? Please?

Libby thinks about it briefly. Looks at Jeremy. Nods.
Eddie unlocks doors. Libby and Jeremy slide in.

The assembled crowd of beggars is restless. They recommence
beating on the car the second Eddie relocks all the doors.

He starts to roll forward.

One OLD MAN runs up to the front of the car brandishing a
pipe. Eddie LAYS on the horn. It's so unexpected and loud
that it sends the old man running for his life.

INT. LUXURY SEDAN - MORNING

Eddie shrugs. Drives on.

LIBBY
It sure does suck to see you again,
Eddie.

EDDIE
Yeah, I'll bet.

JEREMY
Are you Rich, Eddie?

EDDIE
Not yet, Jeremy, but I'm upwardly mobile.
(into his headset mic)
Get me outta here, to Century City.

Dashboard lights shift to green. Eddie sits back
contentedly.

EXT. STREET-LEVEL CHECKPOINT - MORNING

The car passes onto a security-gated ON RAMP.

INT. LUXURY SEDAN - CONTINUOUS

EDDIE
Now we're all upwardly mobile, eh,
Jeremy?

JEREMY
I don't understand you. You talk funny.

EDDIE
I've got three degrees in talking funny.
It's what we middle-income citizens call
a "vocabulary."

LIBBY
So is this your car now, Eddie? Mr.
Bigshot?

EDDIE
This is Tong's car. Tong's money.
Y'know, Jeremy, your cute wittew face
made Mr. Tong a lot of money last year.
It's a shame you didn't know how to ask
for points on the profits. Ah, but hey,
you live and learn, right? Mr. Tong's
helped a lot of people learn things.

LIBBY
You don't even like him.

EDDIE
I respect him. Do you like him?

LIBBY
How should I know? I only met him just
that once.

EDDIE
When we sold our kid's looks.

This stabs Libby to the quick.

LIBBY
That wasn't Tong's idea. It was yours.

EDDIE
He is a good-lookin' boy, for as starving
as he must be. I guess that makes you a
pretty good mom.

LIBBY
I've had to do it all alone, you lousy
son of a bitch.

EDDIE
Now, now--for Christ's sake, I helped. I
got you that Pinocchio deal, didn't I?
What'd Tong pay you for that? Standard
modeling fee?

LIBBY
I'm not telling you!

EDDIE
Fine, so don't tell me. But I'll bet
it's all gone, isn't it, Liberty?
"Liberty Wilde." What a name. Shit.
Where'd you get that name anyway, some
comic book? You've got show biz in your
blood, Lib. I swear to Christ, you'll be
a hit on the cube. Give those Rich upper
floor bastards something to think about
while they're sucking the cream out of
each other's cannolis.

EXT. LOS ANGELES - MIDDLE LEVELS - MORNING

The sedan pulls onto another on ramp. This one takes it high
above the ground to the new SANTA MONICA TURNPIKE.

INT. LUXURY SEDAN - MORNING

Eddie holds up a credit-card-sized PASS as the car rolls
through a TOLLBOOTH LASER. The laser beam scans the pass at
a hundred and fifty miles an hour.

EXT. SANTA MONICA TURNPIKE - MORNING

A set of STEEL BARS draws aside to admit the sedan. Slams
shut again behind it. The sedan back up to two hundred
m.p.h. as it flashes through the steel security gate.
Century City ahead.

Rising high up above Century City is a distinctive
skyscraper, THE TONG BUILDING.

EXT. TONG BUILDING - MORNING - ANGLE ON JEREMY'S FACE

JEREMY
(enraptured)
I remember this, Mommy! I remember!

ZOOM OUT

to reveal Jeremy, Libby, and Eddie all rising up the side of
the building in a hi-tech GLASS ELEVATOR.

INT. ELEVATOR - MORNING

Jeremy watches cars stream in all directions on the freeways.
A GOODYEAR BLIMP slightly overhead. Whole fleets of LAPD
HELICOPTERS sweeping the city.

CUT TO:

INT. TONG'S OFFICE - MORNING

A coldly beautiful space overlooking Century City from a
height of many hundreds of stories. Eddie ushers Libby and
Jeremy into the vast space through huge double doors. Tong
is placid behind his ultra-high-tech desk.

TONG
Come into my parlor. Hello, Jeremy. Do
you remember me?

JEREMY
I remember.

TONG
(to Liberty)
Have a seat, please. I have something to
show you.

Libby and Jeremy sit facing the desk. Eddie stands at Tong's
right. Tong touches a control and speaks into a desk mic.

TONG (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Come in, Jeremy. Your friend is here.

A four-year-old ROBOT JEREMY, like the one Henry Stone
"killed," enters the room nervously from an anteroom. The
six-year-old Jeremy stands aghast. Libby's stunned.

LIBBY
Holy shit!

JEREMY
You look like me!

ROBOT JEREMY
You look like me.

EDDIE
You never saw one after they were
finished, did you?

LIBBY
No, this is...wrong.

She tries to touch Robotic Jeremy's face. He shies away.
She's a stranger to him.

EDDIE
It isn't wrong. You're too friggin' poor
to be so closed-minded.

LIBBY
I can't belive I let you talk me into
this, you bastard. If it weren't for the
fact that it got me Jeremy, that one
night with you would have been one night
too many.

TONG
Oh, Miss Wilde, please. Thanks to you
and Eddie and the real Jeremy, we've
placed hundreds of these cute little
Pinocchios with appreciative parents all
over this country. You've made them
very, very happy. And if you think about
it, you've given hundreds of Jeremys a
better life than...well, a better life.

LIBBY
I should never have done this. Never.

TONG
Nonsense. This was the best thing you've
ever done...until now.

LIBBY
What about now?

TONG
Jeremy, run along and play with Little
Jeremy, would you? I've got toys in the
room over there.

JEREMY
In the room? Without Mommy?

ROBOT JEREMY
The toys are high-rez. Come on, I'll
show you!

Libby nods at Jeremy, and he allows the "younger" robot to
lead him away.

ROBOT JEREMY (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
My name's Jeremy. What's yours?

JEREMY
(possessive; confused)
My name's Jeremy!

ROBOT JEREMY
Will you be my friend, Jeremy? I don't
have any kid friends.

A thick wooden door closes behind the pair.

TONG
All right, then. Miss Wilde. It's good
to see you again.

LIBBY
Yeah, I'll bet.

TONG
No, I meant that sincerely. I've always
found your take on life refreshing. So
different. In a way, it's a shame this
will make you so wealthy. You'll be the
new Eliza Doolittle. Eddie?

EDDIE
Yeah. Let's talk business.

LIBBY
We run different kinds of businesses, you
and me. What kind is this?

EDDIE
(considering that)
Not so different...Here, put these on.

Eddie hands her Tong's VR gear (a set of gloves and a display
helmet). She stares at them blankly.

EDDIE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
It's like the cube, the holocube. You
know the cube, right?...No?...Geez,
there's life without Microsoft. All
right, look, I'm gonna put these things
on you—-they won't hurt—-and you're gonna
see things, okay? Like a show. Like TV
used to be.

LIBBY
(uncertainly)
I remember TV.

EDDIE
Okay, then; this is like that. First the
gloves...good...and now we put on the
helmet. You ready?

LIBBY
I'm not—-

EDDIE
Good. Mr. Tong?

Tong ZAPS the helmet with what looks for all the world like a
TV REMOTE CONTROL.

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. WAREHOUSE - FLASH

Carlo Penner leads a charge against the Poor. Arcs of
lightning. Men crushed by glue guns into walls. Hunger
trampled under hate and technology.

Black static; echoes of screams.

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. TONG'S OFFICE - MORNING - REGULAR P.O.V.

Eddie removes Libby's helmet. She's still hollering.

She adjusts. Blushes. Closes her mouth.

LIBBY
That was scary. I didn't like it.

EDDIE
Well, then, thank God you're not a
subscriber. See, Lib, Tong CMI is
diversifying into entertainment. And
with this new hardware, you can not only
see things in perfect holographic 3-D,
you can smell them, even feel them, as
you felt the rush of speed on your face.

LIBBY
(insistently)
It was scary.

EDDIE
People love to be scared, Lib!

LIBBY
Maybe your kind of people do. Mine
don't.

EDDIE
Yeah, well, we haven't really targeted
your demographic yet: Poor-o-Vision.
Look, the technology itself is just a
marginal improvement over existing video
hardware. But what Tong CMI intends to
do is put the global video consumer in
situations he or she may never have
experienced before. Real adventure,
drama, conflict. Maybe shake 'em up a
little, force 'em to work harder to keep
their status quo alive.

LIBBY
Did those people really die?

EDDIE
No, of course not. All non-lethal. But
you, Liberty, you saw it first. The day
the Revolution started--and got squashed!
Pretty spiff, huh?

LIBBY
People actually want to watch this?

EDDIE
Like their very lives depend on it.

Libby stands.

LIBBY
I won't do this. Where's my son?

Libby steps toward the anteroom. Eddie moves to stop her.

LIBBY (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
You think it's funny to watch this,
Eddie? Your people getting hurt?

EDDIE
They're not my people. I used to know
people like them, before I finally got
away. If they died it wouldn't be much
of a loss!

Tong reaches quietly into a desk drawer.

LIBBY
What? Those people live just like I--

EDDIE
No, no, Liberty, I'm kidding, all right?
I'm kidding. Look...we didn't stage that
raid. And we sure didn't know it was
gonna wind up wounding terrorists!
They're all Poor, they weren't supposed
to be armed.
Now, believe me, it makes the footage a
hell of a lot more valuable, so we aren't
exactly crying real tears about it, but
it wasn't a part of the plan. Okay?
This isn't like that.
(smiling gently; lying easily)
Libby...I promise. I'd never hurt you.
Okay? Do you believe me?

Liberty relaxes a bit.

LIBBY
Okay.

Tong exhales. Closes the desk drawer on a 9 mm HANDGUN.

TONG
Ah, much better. Miss Liberty, I... How
awkward that is! "Miss Liberty." Edmund
tells me that your friends call you
Libby?

LIBBY
My friends do call me Libby, yes.

TONG
Good, then that's better. Libby--

LIBBY
You call me Liberty.

TONG
Oh, for God's sake. I've no patience
today. Edmund!

EDDIE
Okay, Wilde. Have a sit.

Eddie sits on a plush couch near the desk. Pats the cushion
beside him.

EDDIE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Come on, pull up an ass. Let's get
comfy. We have money to talk about.

Reluctantly, Libby sits.

LIBBY
I'm listening.

EDDIE
Thank you. I'll start with the basics.
What Mr. Tong wants is to put a mega-ly
advanced new kind of digicam—-a camera—
on the side of your face. It's so light
you won't remember you have it on. It
will not interfere with your glamorous
life in any way. Now. As soon as we put
your camera on, we take you back to the
Povs--

LIBBY
To the what?

EDDIE
To the Povs. To the Poverty Towns. You
know, the place where you live?

LIBBY
I didn't know it had a name. I don't
read.

EDDIE
Nor do I, except for stock reports. Lib,
we're gonna take you back down to the
Povs for a month...thirty days. We want
a full-sensation record of your struggle
...your life. Now, in that time, Jeremy
will stay with me—-

LIBBY
The hell he will!

EDDIE
Now, please, Libby, hear me out! He's
gonna stay with me,
(quietly)
his dad, right here in the cushy lap of
luxury. He'll start school, Libby.
He'll have four or five square meals a
day.
He'll have toys and get addicted to
cyberporn. Who knows what he'll
accomplish? The point is, he'll be well
taken care of, not just by me but by one
of the Richest sons'a bitches in the
country...No offense, Mr. Tong!

TONG
Oh, none taken.

EDDIE
And when the thirty days are over, I will
personally come pick you up and bring you
back here in a limo for your joyous
reunion with Jeremy, at which time Mr.
Algernon Tong will establish a credit
account in your name and stock the pond
with some two hundred thousand U.S.
dollars. And that's not counting points
or residuals!

Eddie's in his element now. Total salesman.

EDDIE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Just think, you could finally leave the
streets! And what's more, Lib, you could
finally get Jeremy off the streets.
He'll have plenty to eat...no more
licking old Twinkie wrappers for him.
He'll have medical care. He'll be
literate, maybe even grow up to be a
world-famous doctor or cube star.

LIBBY
What's that "literate" mean?

EDDIE
Oh, irony, thy name is Libby Wilde. It
means Jeremy could read, Libby. It means
our Jeremy would never have to look for
his next meal in someone else's garbage
again. You understand?
(leaning closer)
Come on, Libby.
Let's show these self- satisfied bastards
what it's like to live on the bottom side
of the tracks. You could really make a
difference here. And you'd make all the
difference in the world for our son. All
I'm asking you to do is get horribly Rich
and famous...for our child. Can you
understand that?

TONG
So what do you say, Libby Wilde? Are we
partners?

Libby considers her answer very carefully.

LIBBY
I say...Go to hell, Tong. And you...
(to Eddie, tossing him the VR
helmet)
I can't believe you actually thought you
could con me into this.
(to Tong)
It's amazing how many people try an' sell
you stuff when they know you can't afford
anything.

TONG
For God's sake, Miss Wilde, we both know
what you do for a living! So why are you
being so stubborn now when it actually
makes a difference?

LIBBY
Because I finally woke up. I understand
now. I've been so busy trying to stay
afloat that I forgot to do what felt
right, what matters most. I sold my
body, I sold my dignity, and God help me,
I even tried to sell you my son. But
I'll be damned if I'm selling my pain to
you, too. You can go find your own. I
don't talk funny, Eddie. I just talk,
but at least I tell the truth.
Now you go and bring me back my Jeremy,
you bastard, or I'll kick you in the nuts
so hard you'll never have the chance to
leave another kid behind.

Eddie looks over at Tong, who nods. With a shrug, Eddie goes
and brings back Jeremy.

EDDIE
Here you go, Lib. Good as new.
(to Jeremy)
Hey, I'd wish you a nice life, Jeremy,
kiddo, but come on. I mean, what are the
odds?
(sadly, to Libby)
What a stupid decision you've made here
today, Libby.

LIBBY
I don't understand you, Eddie. You hate
this Tong, but you get him whatever he
wants. Does he pay you that much?

EDDIE
I don't hate Mr. Tong. I hate losers.
You're a loser, Libby, and that didn't
just happen because you're Poor.

TONG
Let's not fight, Dorquiero. There's
plenty more like her in the Povs.

LIBBY
Yeah, you prob'ly know lots of charity
cases...not well, though. Come on,
Jeremy. We're going.

Robot Jeremy watches the real Jeremy leave from the door to
the anteroom/playroom.

ROBOT JEREMY
Bye-bye, Jeremy. I'll miss you.

The real Jeremy's weirded out by this. Manages a wave.
Eddie ushers the Wildes out through the huge wooden doors.

Robot Jeremy goes to stand next to Tong, who absently tousles
his artificial hair. They look out over Century City.

Eddie pauses on his way out the door.

TONG
Did that bother you, Eddie? That
reunion?

EDDIE
Nah. I won.

TONG
Yes, that's exactly how I saw it.
Well...The drawing board.

EDDIE
(in the doorway)
Yeah...Mr. Tong?

TONG
Mm?

EDDIE
I'll be back in an hour or so. If you'd
like, we can talk about Libby's
replacement when I get back...Hello?

TONG
(thoughtfully)
Yes, I heard you. Just an hour. It's so
close to us, isn't it? Misery?

EDDIE
(after a beat)
For me it's never as close as it used to
be.

Tong nods, preoccupied.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. SANTA MONICA - NIGHT

About eight o'clock. Calmer traffic. A LUXURY SEDAN cruises
past on the Santa Monica Freeway.

INT. SEDAN - NIGHT

The well-appointed car drives itself. "Moonlight Sonata"
plays. STEPHEN CARTER, extremely agitated, pours himself a
drink in the back seat. Takes a slug of the drink. Looks
out tinted windows.

CUT TO:

EXT. SANTA MONICA - CONTINUOUS

The sedan passes a holographic SIGN: "WELCOME TO SANTA
MONICA. CRIMINALS WILL BE PROSECUTED." Alternating
holographic cartoons: A smiling, anthropomorphic sun, then a
burglar with X's for eyes and a big, round, red hole in his
forehead.

CUT TO:

INT. SEDAN - CONTINUOUS

Stephen slams that drink down.

CAR VOICE
I've never seen you drinking like this,
Stephen. Is something the matter?

STEPHEN
Look, just...drive, okay? It's nothing
personal, but...could you just be a car
tonight, please?

CAR VOICE
(cheery)
Not a problem!

CUT TO:

EXT. SANTA MONICA - NIGHT

Stephen's sedan passes. Gray blur.

The freeway now extends all the way onto a small arcology
built just offshore, inside a stationary decommissioned
battleship: The Iowa-class U.S.S. NEW JERSEY, also known as
"Big J." A storm in the distance.

EXT. FLIGHT DECK OF THE NEW JERSEY - CONTINUOUS

The sedan parks neatly outside a topside restaurant, LES
FRUITS DE LA MER.

STEPHEN
(getting out)
What time is it?

CAR VOICE
(from inside the sedan)
Eight-fourteen.

STEPHEN
Good, I'm early.
(shutting the car door)
Just what I needed, huh? More time to
think.

INT. LES FRUITS

Stephen enters through a clear plexi WEAPONS SCANNER AIRLOCK
DEVICE, which blinks green and then opens to clear him. A
back wall of the restaurant is a HOLOGRAPHIC MONITOR.
Stephen glances at it once as he waits.

ON MONITOR

EXTERIOR VIEWS of an impressive office skyscraper, the TONG
BUILDING in Century City.

OFFICE INTERIORS. Busy DOCTORS in lab coats. White-collar
EXECUTIVES. Desktop ROBOTS shuffle paperwork.

CRONKITE (V.O.)
New inquiries tonight into the financial
practices of Tong CyberMedical
Industries, the brainchild of
trillionaire genius Algernon Tong.

File video of TONG, suavely introducing Jeremy to a crowd of
news reporters.

CRONKITE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Tong CMI has risen to become the
recognized leader in medical technologies
in only ten short years. It's generated
the most cutting-edge research into both
nano- and biotech applications. Tong
polymers and robotics have been used to
save lives not even miracles could have
touched thirty years ago. And, it should
be noted, Tong owns much of commercial
Los Angeles, with equivalent senatorial
representation.

Cronkite appears and folds his hands behind a virtual desk.

CRONKITE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
But is everything at Tong CMI as
"healthy" as it seems? Is it true, as
its critics allege, that Tong
CyberMedical has ties to illegal tobacco
and narcotics? Tonight on Microsoft
Presents the News of the World...

ANGLING AWAY FROM MONITOR

A handsome waiter in a microphone headset, PAUL-DADDY, comes
over to Stephen and checks out his dress pajamas.

PAUL-DADDY
Hey, Stevie-Baby, I saw your name on the
reserved list! Man, you rock! Look at
you!

STEPHEN
Hey, Paul-Daddy. Listen, could you put
us somewhere way in the back tonight?
You know how she...well. You know. And
I think tonight's the night.

PAUL-DADDY
Whoa, you're actually gonna tell her?

STEPHEN
I think I have to, don't you?

PAUL-DADDY
Yeah...I do. Man, I sure don't envy you
this fine evening, though.

CRONKITE
Tong CyberMedical Industries.
Lifesaver...or bloodsucker?

STEPHEN
Jesus. Could you please turn that off?
The last thing either she or I want to
hear about tonight is Tong CyberMedical.

PAUL-DADDY
I can mega-ly understand that, fella.
Done and done. Come on, I'll show you to
your table.

STEPHEN
And link me up with a shot of Cuervo.

PAUL-DADDY
(laughing)
Whoa, hey!

As they walk deeper into the restaurant, Paul-Daddy murmurs
into his headset. The wall changes over to pleasant twilit
OCEAN views. The music also switches from "subway" to Haydn.

STEPHEN
Since when are you into classical?

PAUL-DADDY
The ladies love it, fella!

STEPHEN
Oh, good Lord.

PAUL-DADDY
I'll show her back here when she arrives.

STEPHEN
Thanks. Oh, and Paul-Daddy: Make it a
vodka.

PAUL-DADDY
You're a man with a plan. Hey, you want
to go hit that club in Hermosa Arcology
Friday night, since you'll be single
again?

STEPHEN
(holding his head)
Make it two vodkas.

Paul-Daddy laughs. Shoots him "pistol" fingers. Leaves
Stephen alone with his thoughts.

CUT TO:

EXT. SANTA MONICA FREEWAY - NIGHT

Another CAR, this one brand-new, speeds past the Santa Monica
sign. Clouds gather overhead.

INT. NEW CAR - NIGHT

In silhouette, a strange insectile FIGURE gazes out at the
"Big J" Arcology looming in the distance. A feminine VOICE
filtered, slurred, familiar nonetheless.

FEMALE FIGURE
He's already there, isn't he? Stephen, I
mean.

VELDA (O.C.)
Checking restaurant security logs...Yes,
he's been there for ten minutes.

FEMALE FIGURE
(sighing mechanically)
He always did have better timing than me.

CUT TO:

EXT. FLIGHT DECK OF THE NEW JERSEY - NIGHT

The new car pulls to a halt beside Stephen's in the Les
Fruits parking lot.

INT. LES FRUITS

The mantis-like stick figure enters the security airlock.
Plastic organs and bionic limbs shift disturbingly under a
long hooded gown. Weapons scanner flashes red. A clear
plexi SHIELD DOOR locks shut, sealing the stick figure inside
the airlock.

INT. AIRLOCK

Her face hiding deep within the hood, the figure still seems
ready to cry.

FEMALE COMPUTER VOICE
Unfamiliar metallic components and
implants have been detected. Please hold
your position until restaurant security
personnel can admit you.

Paul-Daddy runs over. Muffled, through the security shield:

PAUL-DADDY
Sorry, sorry! Hang on, I'll buzz you
through...

INT. LES FRUITS

Paul-Daddy mutters into his headset. The shield opens to let
Cyber Woman through.

PAUL-DADDY
I'll uh...show you to your table. Right
this way, please.

It's hard to believe this is the same Diana T. Li-Haley we
saw twelve months earlier. Cybernetics whir and pivot under
her gown, as if she were walking on giant cricket legs.
Smudges of something at the edge of her face.

Other DINERS turn and stare as Paul-Daddy leads Diana through
the room like a cripple.

She sits. Face still mostly invisible inside the hood.
Robotic left arm. Articulated left hand resting lightly on a
human right hand.

Left hand fidgets anxiously with an expensive engagement
ring.

DIANA
Hello, Stephen.

Stephen darts glances at Diana's mechanical hand.

STEPHEN
Hi, honey.

PAUL-DADDY
Hey, Diana! What's up, way to go! Can I
get you fine people a drink?

DIANA
Not for me, thanks. You're looking good,
Paul.

PAUL-DADDY
Well, hey...That's DNA for ya!

Diana laughs. A strange beehive NOISE behind the sound.
Through her gown, it's apparent that much of Diana's torso is
gone, vital organs replaced with mechanical parts. The
beehive noise a mechanical diaphragm.

Stephen's eyes fixate on skeletal robotic fingers.

Diana clears her throat to get his attention.

DIANA
Stephen, anything for you?

PAUL-DADDY
Can I take those glasses away for ya,
fella?

STEPHEN
Um...Yeah, thanks. Thank you.

PAUL-DADDY
You fine people know what you want to
order, or do you need a few minutes?

Diana realizes something and slumps.

STEPHEN
(a reflex order by now)
Grilled salmon. Enrique knows how. A
glass of good white wine.

DIANA
Make it two.

PAUL-DADDY
Back in a flash, happy couple.

Paul-Daddy takes Stephen's empty shot glasses. Strolls
across the restaurant.

Other diners still stare openly.

DIANA
He used to call us "you beautiful
people."

STEPHEN
Did he? Yeah, probably.

An uncomfortable moment of silence.

A lumpy scar of plastic roughens the curve of Diana's right
breast. The plastic extrusion pushes the gown out in a line
extending to her left hip, a line marking the points where
her human body ends and the artifice begins. When she shifts
her weight, servos whir. False lungs a bellows inside her.

Diana looks down at her mismatched hands unhappily.

DIANA
This isn't working, is it?

Stephen pretends to misunderstand her.

STEPHEN
Have you talked to the Tong people about
it? What'd they say?

DIANA
They said the bionics are taking fine,
only minor rejections. What the hell,
when I asked them if I'd ever play the
piano, they said sure.

STEPHEN
You couldn't play it before you...oh. I
get it. That joke, the old...Right.

DIANA
Stephen...we've barely talked about all
this since it happened. You keep acting
like we'll wake up and it'll all be the
same again.

STEPHEN
No, I...know that it won't. I just don't
know what to say to you about it. I'm
sorry.

Diana shifts forward, and her servos whir loudly. This
attracts the renewed attention of surrounding diners.

Diana notices and looks uncomfortable. As she gathers her
thoughts, we see enough of Diana's chin to know the damage to
her face was every bit as extensive as the damage to her
body.

DIANA
Here, I'll start: I remember once when I
was a kid, my parents took us all on
vacation, and there was this ride at a
theme park that would drop you ten
stories on a rail in a little car. I
remember expecting there to be some kind
of acceleration feeling. But no, it was
just...down in the blink of an eye.
But my accident, my crash, wasn't like
that. I saw everything like it was
happening in slow motion. And I just
knew I was dead.

Stephen fidgets and tries to decide what to say.

DIANA (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
"Well, Diana, did you get to see your
life flash in front of your eyes?" Why,
no, Stephen, I didn't. But I did see a
Pizza Hut going by. I still like Pizza
Hut anyway. Don't you?

STEPHEN
I don't know what to say sometimes. I'm
sorry. I'm always trying so hard...not
to say the wrong thing.

DIANA
You and I used to sit every Sunday, all
afternoon together, and watch the
holocube naked and eat pizza. We did
that every Sunday for five months. And
then...nothing. You've been at work
every Sunday since then. I don't think
that could possibly be a coincidence,
Stephen.

STEPHEN
It's my...Jesus, I don't know.

DIANA
I just want us to talk again. Look, I
know you won't...touch me.

STEPHEN
I touch you, as much as it's safe. You
could get...you know.

Diana looks down.

DIANA
Dr. Skolil says the risk of infection is
smaller now that the pseudoskin is
sealing up my wounds. I'm finally going
back to work Monday, Stephen. I have to
get on with things the best I can.
(snorting)
I just hope I don't short out all the
computers.

STEPHEN
God, don't do that to yourself, okay?
...Are you sure you want to add that
extra detail to your life right now?
We've got plenty of--

DIANA
I don't even know if we have a "we"
anymore, Stephen.

Stephen's jolted. Attempts to smooth everything over.

STEPHEN
What're you--? Look, I don't know why
you have to make jokes all the time about
what happened to you. It isn't fair.
You don't deserve it.

DIANA
No, you're right, I probably don't. But
it's the only way I can...
(choking up)
Look, will you please just tell me why
I'm here?

STEPHEN
What do you mean, why you're here? We're
having dinner, just like...

He can't finish. Diana looks down at an empty plate.

DIANA
Like before.

Stephen starts to say something else. All he can manage is a
sad nod.

DIANA (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
What about after? Do we have one of
those?

She suddenly reaches up. Yanks off her hood.

Half her FACE has been replaced by robotic components. Her
jaw a plastic mandible. Straight white dentures gleam
alongside her few remaining teeth. Mechanical left eye
irising down against sudden light. Her nose gone, replaced
by a snotty filter. Ugly artifice meets remaining skin and
features in a line of gray putty. A dull partial wig
alongside glossy hair. Plastic surgery could never cover
this much machinery.

The miracle is that her brain was not harmed—-just her face,
a desecration.

DIANA (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Look at me, Stephen! Look at me!
(off shocked diners)
Why not? Hell, they are!

The diners look away, chastened.

STEPHEN
(quietly)
I've seen it.

DIANA
Yes, I know you have. But you haven't
seen me. I'm still in here, Stephen!
And I need you right now, more than ever!
Don't fade out on me! Say something,
even if it's the wrong thing!

STEPHEN
(a sad mutter)
I can't do this.

DIANA
Do what?

Stephen gathers his nerve. Dies inside but holds most of it
in. Does his best to be as kind (but as honest) as possible.

STEPHEN
I can't pretend I don't know what you're
talking about when you say I haven't been
there. I'm a bastard, yes, but I'm not
mean enough to lie to you again. I want
you to know I still love you, Diana. And
I imagine I probably will, for a long
time to come. But what's happened to
you...I can't change that. And I also
can't stop thinking about it, which is my
fault. So I'm sorry--

DIANA
Don't you ever say you're sorry again.

Diana weeps, her tears running asymmetrically down the right
side of her face. Reconsiders.

DIANA (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
No, I don't mean that. I know you did
your best, Stephen. 'Your fault'...
Don't you think I have a mirror in my
apartment? I wake up every morning and
stare into that mirror like something
magical might have happened overnight,
like I won't still resemble a junkyard.
See, I have to make sure all my organs
are covering. My whole face is being
eaten by a lump of gray plastic.

STEPHEN
Don't...

DIANA
This damn eye still isn't tuned right,
and I'm seeing funny colors that make me
want to throw up. Hey, I just thank God
it was my left side that got crushed like
a roach. Because at least I can still
write my name: Diana T. Li-Haley, Queen
of Chrome!
(sobbing)
I hate this.

STEPHEN
(despondent)
I know.

DIANA
So it's over?
(checking his face)
It's over.

She looks down. Stephen's barely in control of his emotions.

STEPHEN
I really am sorry, Diana, for everything
that's happened.

DIANA
It's what's happening right now that's
killing me, Stephen.

STEPHEN
It's not your face, the way you look.
It's that I've forgotten how to talk to
you...I don't know what to say...I don't
know how to cheer you up. We haven't
kissed in six months--

DIANA
You think I don't know?

STEPHEN
We've both changed. Not just physically,
but inside, you're not the Diana I
proposed to anymore. You've lost all
your excitement about things...I don't
know how to make you smile. I can't even
stop you from crying.

Diana's uncertain whether she loves him, or hates him, or
both.

DIANA
You. If you...Stephen, if you can look
me in what's left of my face and tell me
the way I look now doesn't matter to you,
I'll believe you. I'll believe you.

Stephen tries with all his might to comply. He just can't.
And it's over.

DIANA (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
I'd believe you...I'd...Stephen...

She rises. Mechanical locust. Stares him down. He can only
consider his own lap. Self-loathing and misery.

DIANA (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
I hope you find someone as beautiful as I
was. You know I was. Maybe the three of
us can have lunch together someday...No.
I won't treat you like this, Stephen. I
know it wasn't your fault. And that
makes it all the worse...This was all I
had left. But I love you. Goodbye.

Diana leaves as Paul-Daddy sidles over to the table.

PAUL-DADDY
Wow, that's low-rez, dude. Hey, tough
break, man. Should I go tell Enrique to
hold one of the salmon?

STEPHEN
Hold them both.

Paul-Daddy looks around, then sits down. Genuinely concerned
for his friend.

PAUL-DADDY
Are you okay, fella?

STEPHEN
(after a beat, devastated)
I can't remember her real face, Paul.

They sit quietly. A full moon visible between oncoming storm
clouds through the security plexi. The skyline of Los
Angeles shining brightly but coldly in the distance.

CUT TO:

EXT. METRO STATION - NIGHT

The rain still falls in whispering sheets. A train pulls
into the station.

Henry Stone disembarks, bone tired.

A gaunt figure in a BLACK DUSTER steps blocks his exit.

BLACK DUSTER
(a dry rasp)
Part with a five-spot?

HENRY
(too tired)
Get lost. Whatever happened to the days
when you guys begged for change? Get a
job, ya loser.

BLACK DUSTER
Would you hire me?

HENRY
No, I would not.

BLACK DUSTER
Hard to make a professional impression
when you haven't showered in a week.

HENRY
I give you five dollars, you'll blow it
all on bootleg nicotine.

BLACK DUSTER
You'd like to think that, wouldn't you?
Make it easier. Make it not your fault
again.

HENRY
My fault?
(shrugging him off)
Go to Hell.

Henry storms deeper into the station.

BLACK DUSTER
(a whispered prophecy)
The Revolution Is Coming.

Henry spins. He couldn't possibly have heard that.

HENRY
What'd you say?

BLACK DUSTER
Instant karma gonna get ya, my friend.

HENRY
I'm not your friend. And you couldn't
afford a revolution if you knew how to
fight one! Goddamn communist beggars!

BLACK DUSTER
Yeah, go on thinking just like that.
Don't lose a minute of sleep. We must
deserve this. 'Cause if we didn't, then
you'd have Hell to pay come morning, now,
wouldn't you?

Henry stares him down, each muscle a knot of pure tension.

HENRY
I'm going home now. You are home. You
are exactly where you want to be. You
put yourself here. I owe you nothing.
Now get out of my way.

Black Duster calmly stands aside.

He has purposeful EYES.

CUT TO:

EXT. FREEWAY - NIGHT

Diana's sedan heads back into Los Angeles proper.

INT. DIANA'S SEDAN - NIGHT

Diana sits, hood down over her face. Her car drives itself
along the freeway. Light patters of rain against the roof of
the car.

She gazes down at her hands, one still lovely, the other an
abomination.

A sign flanking the freeway: "CULVER CITY. BROUGHT TO YOU
BY TONG CMI."

The rain begins falling in earnest. Rivulets of shadow run
down Diana's misshapen body. She begins to sob loudly and
freely.

CUT TO:

EXT. CENTURY CITY - NIGHT

The rain falls in crystalline daggers, vanishing into the
darkness of the Poverty Towns.

The Tong Building stabs high into the night from a tangle of
freeways and sculpted skyscrapers.

INT. TONG'S OFFICE - DIMLY LIT - NIGHT

Tong sits in lotus position on his ultra-high-tech DESK, a
silhouette of quiet power. Eddie speaks into a headset mic.

EDDIE
May I speak with a Sgt. Anne Logan,
please?

TONG
It's started raining again, Eddie. It
rains all February in L.A. nowadays. I
detest goddamn El Nino.

EDDIE
Ah, good evening. Am I speaking with a
Sgt. Anne Logan?...Very good.
Eexcellent. Sgt. Logan, my name is
Edmund Dorquiero. I'm the personal
assistant to Mr. Algernon Tong... Ah, I
see you've heard of us. Well, Ms. Logan,
let me explain why I'm calling you. My
employer caught your performance on an
infotainment program about a year ago,
and we've watched you ev...Yes, exactly,
that's the one...Yes...Well, Ms. Logan,
my employer, Mr. Tong, feels you have
exactly the charisma and media presence
we've been looking for. We would like
for you to be featured in a project we're
very excited about, and we think you will
be, too. It's a new series, cutting
edge, very--

TONG
Is she buying it?
(to himself)
Am I buying her?

EDDIE
Yes, I don't mind telling you, there
would be pay, and it would be
considerable. Could we schedule an
interview?...Yes?...Well, let's just say
we want to make you the star of your own
life, Anne...Ms. Logan?

He stands waiting for Logan to answer.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BLUE 21

A pretty young WOMAN getting raped against a micro-CD
JUKEBOX. Screams for help, but not one of the bar's
CUSTOMERS lift a finger. Only gradually do we realize both
RAPIST and victim are lifelike animatronic figures.

A holographic sign on the wall: "BLUE 21."

A seedy bar catering to cops and other members of the
dwindling middle class. Currently serving about thirty
PATRONS in various stages of intoxication. The minimal
lighting comes primarily from holographic MUSHROOM CLOUDS
rearing six inches over the center of every table.

The bartender's a tall drink of water named SCHALLHORN. He
glances over at the roboshow with distaste. A BOOZY OLD FART
at the end of the bar sits avidly leering.

SCHALLHORN
(wiping down the counter)
You really seem to be enjoying the
roboshow.

PAYNE (THE BOOZY OLD FART)
Sure, don't you?

SCHALLHORN
I think the owners are out of their
minds.

PAYNE
Well, that's funny, 'cause the head-
shrinkers at Tong CMI say this stuff is
cathartic.

SCHALLHORN
If "cathartic" means "sick," I agree.
Hey, you're not a psychologist, are you?

PAYNE
(grinning)
Nope. A teacher.

SCHALLHORN
That's encouraging.

The robotic rapist finishes his task. A spotlight goes out.
Patrons applaud lustily.

Music changes over on the jukebox.

PAYNE
Tong says the roboshows make people less
violent.

SCHALLHORN
Well, it hasn't worked for me. Man, I
gotta find a new career.

ALARMS go off loudly. Everyone looks immediately at the

PLEXI SECURITY AIRLOCK

where Logan stands grinning and waving at Schallhorn.

MALE ALARM VOICE
Metal detected, metal detected! Please
hold your position until bar personnel
can admit you!

INT. BLUE 21

SCHALLHORN
It's okay, folks, I know this one. Calm
down. She's a cop.

Schallhorn taps security controls.

PAYNE
Hey, Schallhorn. I heard you used to be
a cop.

SCHALLHORN
I did. Was. Used to be.

INT. SECURITY AIRLOCK

A metal drawer slides out of the wall.

MALE ALARM VOICE
Please deposit all firearms in the
security locker.

Logan puts her badge, holster, service pistol and spare
ammunition in the drawer. Slaps it shut.

MALE ALARM VOICE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Processing. Please wait.

INT. BLUE 21

PAYNE
So what happened?

SCHALLHORN
Well, I don't want to shock you or
anything, but it turns out not everyone
in LAPD should be called out for
sainthood. I got mega-ly tired of havin'
to deal with a racist Little Caesar of a
captain.

INT. SECURITY AIRLOCK

Lights turn from red to green. Logan hums to herself.

INT. BLUE 21

SCHALLHORN
Plus I had to shoot one too many Poor
kids. They aren't all packing water
pistols anymore. So one day I come in
and the captain orders me to take out a
whole warehouse full of Poor, starving
squatters. "Oh, and make me some
coffee," he says.

Logan's cleared through the security airlock and enters the
bar.

SCHALLHORN (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
We uh...got into a bit of an altercation
about it.

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. POLICE CAPTAIN'S OFFICE

SCHALLHORN bashes a coffee pot violently into the skull of an
off-screen opponent.

SCHALLHORN
Coffee's up, fuckball!
(smashing down the coffeepot)
Lotsa cream--
(again)
Lotsa sugar!

Schallhorn bashes the captain a third time--

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. BLUE 21

Logan walks up to the bar and has a seat.

LOGAN
Dave Schallhorn has...interpersonal
problems.
(to Schallhorn)
Tequila, mi amigo, por favor.

SCHALLHORN
You got it.

PAYNE
Hey, cutie. If I resist, will you frisk
me?

LOGAN
If you persist, I'm gonna kick you in the
dick.

PAYNE
(smile frozen in place)
Okay...

Schallhorn opens a bottle of beer and hands it to Logan. He
notices a small DEVICE spirit-gummed to the side of her face.

SCHALLHORN
What's with the hearing aid?

LOGAN
Oh, get this. Tong CyberMedical is
paying me fifty thousand dollars to wear
this thing on my head for a week. It's
some kind of fancy digicam. Damnedest
thing. Plus apparently it records
smells, and these gloves record touch.
It's almost the same as being me.

SCHALLHORN
Who'd want that?

LOGAN
That's what I said!

SCHALLHORN
Well, don't look in any mirrors when
you're naked.

LOGAN
Are you kidding? For fifty K I'll take a
shower on the Sepulveda Metro.

PAYNE
Oh, baby, that's-a what I--

SCHALLHORN
Don't.

CUT TO:

EXT. CENTURY CITY - NIGHT

Skies are clear, except for a few helicopters.

A shadow moves behind the huge window to Tong's office.

INT. TONG'S OFFICE - DIMLY LIT - NIGHT

Tong paces now, still silhouetted against his own expansive
windows. Eddie waits.

TONG
So the incident's been...arranged?

EDDIE
What an interesting way you have of
putting it. If you mean "Did--"

TONG
(abruptly facing Eddie)
Just answer the question, Eddie.

EDDIE
I've taken care of it, yes, Mr. Tong.
They're on their way in now.

TONG
I must admit, I'm looking forward to the
show myself!

EDDIE
I'll have the raw data fed to your desk
monitor.

TONG
(sighing; turning back)
Sometimes, Eddie, it concerns me how
quickly I get bored.

EDDIE
Life's a bitch, sir.

CUT TO:

INT. BLUE 21

LOGAN
How's your love life, there, handsome?

Schallhorn grins as he mixes a drink.

SCHALLHORN
Well, it's funny you should ask that.

LOGAN
(perking up)
Oh ho ho! Mr. Schallhorn, do tell!

SCHALLHORN
Yeah, well...I've kind of got my eye on
one of the regulars here.

LOGAN
(elated)
Oh, really? Do I know her?

SCHALLHORN
(oblivious)
I'm not sure if...Katrina, the redhead,
usually comes in Thursday nights about
ten? Kinda tall?

If Schallhorn had looked at Logan's face when he dropped this
particular bomb, he'd have realized she's profoundly in love
with him. She is stabbed to the core but quickly hides it
like a champ.

LOGAN
I don't know her, I guess.

SCHALLHORN
You should meet her. I'll have to
introduce you. I think the two of you
would have a lot in common.

LOGAN
I'm sure.

Music changes. Patrons stir. Turn to watch the next
roboshow.

Poor Logan's grateful for the distraction. Gathers her
wounded emotions.

Spotlights stab down at both ends of the room.

Two grungy and emaciated gunslinger types in black dusters
stare each other down through about thirty feet of smoke
marbled air. BONNIE and CLYDE.

Clyde very slowly draws a SHOTGUN. Aims at the floor.

He cocks the shotgun and a red LASER SIGHT emerges. Hard red
point on the wood floor by his right boot.

Bonnie watches. Bares a WEAPON we don't recognize.

Clyde does. One eyebrow raises. Forehead beaded with sweat.
A small DIGICAM spirit-gummed to his face...and right about
now we realize: We know those eyes. He's the homeless man
who accosted Henry in the Metro station.

Bonnie arms the unfamiliar weapon. It whirs menacingly. The
bore of the gun about five centimeters across. Curl of
gunsmoke.

BAR AREA

PAYNE
(enraptured)
A Winchester three-centimeter disk
spinner. New and brutal. Kick ass!
They'll put a hole in you the size of a
storm drain!

SCHALLHORN
Ah, bullshit. A hole's a hole, Payne.
You should know that shit better than
anyone.

BONNIE AND CLYDE

BONNIE
On three plus three, Clyde!

CLYDE
Agreed. Let's do it.

The crowd really into it now. Stomping and hooting.

BONNIE
One...two...three!

Both figures SPIN. Face away from each other. The crowd in
the bar completely electrified. A bit of the old
ultraviolence!

CLYDE
You ready?

BONNIE
And then some.

CLYDE
Nice knowin' ya, then.
One...two...three!

CUT TO:

INT. TONG'S OFFICE - NIGHT

TONG
(in VR gear)
Action!

CUT TO:

INT. BLUE 21

Both "robotic" figures WHIRL...and open fire on the crowd!

Hard red dot on a smiling PATRON's chest. Shotgun blast blows
the patron from his chair. Cocktail goes flying.

Bonnie spins. Points the disk spinner at a BURLY GUY sitting
next to Payne.

SLOW MOTION

THWACK! Her strange weapon emits a white plastic DISK three
centimeters across, tapered to a hard edge. The disk
Frisbees through the air. Buzz saw blade.

REAL TIME

The disk zips through the burly guy's neck. Damn near
decapitates him. Continues into the bottles behind the bar.
Glass explodes.

The disk spins to a halt on the bar beside Logan. She's
astonished to say the least.

SCHALLHORN
Shit, look out!

Payne goes running for the door like his ass was on fire.

A FEMALE CUSTOMER punched to the ground by another shotgun
blast. Her DATE in a stupor. Not yet comprehending the
armed figures shooting aren't robots. His face is dotted
with blood.

LOGAN
Get down! Down!

Pushes Schallhorn to the floor behind the bar. Dives after
him. Covers her ears. Half-deafened.

LOGAN (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
I need my gun, Dave!

INT. BLUE 21 - LOGAN'S DIGICAM P.O.V. - MOVING

SCHALLHORN
You need!

We are seeing what Tong sees, through Logan's tiny digicam.
Schallhorn slaps at a floor-level drawer. Pops it open to
reveal a loaded .44. Hands it to US (Logan) butt-first.
Shots and screams O.C.

SCHALLHORN (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Take this one. I'll open the hall drawer
and security plexi. Cover me!

Schallhorn leaps up from behind the bar just as we do. We
snap off a shot. Schallhorn keys instructions into the
security monitor keyboard. Blood and smoke. Chaos!

Our shot merely punches a hole in Clyde's duster. He leaps
behind a table. We shoot holes in it. (NOTE: These
handguns pack more heat with less recoil than we're used to,
thanks to polymer components.)

CUT TO:

INT. TONG'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Tong pantomimes firing Logan's service pistol. Cackles in
wholehearted delight.

Eddie nestles into a deep leather sofa. Rolls his eyes and
then shuts them.

CUT TO:

INT. BLUE 21 - STANDARD P.O.V.

As the security plexi doors grind open, Payne waits fretting
like an idiot. A shotgun blast echoes in the room. He dives
under a table yelping.

Logan runs for the airlock to draw fire away from Schallhorn.

Schallhorn finishes up with the security computer. Drops
behind the bar as a disk cuts the monitor to sparking shards.
Ricochets past Schallhorn's head.

Airlock door opens an inch and a half. Grinds to a halt. A
PANEL flashes: "SECURITY SYSTEM ERROR--KEY AGAIN."

Logan sees the malfunction.

LOGAN
Shit!

She changes course to run full-tilt past the airlock.
Shotgun blasts and disk impacts cut spider-web cracks in the
plexi behind her.

She leaps through the air just ahead of the shots. Finds
safety behind a pool table.

The terrorists go back to blasting customers.

In the smoke, another MALE PATRON is cut nearly in half by a
shotgun blast. The sighting laser actually PIERCES OUT
through the hole in his abdomen before he falls.

Bonnie fires a disk directly at the bar where Schallhorn
disappeared.

It punches clean through the bar and ricochets into a stack
of glasses. Schallhorn scrambles frantically away.

Logan runs back across the room. Fires madly at the
airlock's cracked plexi. Smashes into it violently.

It gives. She goes flying through an explosion of shards and
out into the arcology hallway through the open outer door.

INT. ARCOLOGY HALLWAY

Logan fumbles for her walkie-talkie as she looks for the
security drawer. Tries to knock the ringing from her ears.

LOGAN
This is Logan, badge 1514. Multiple 187
in progress, Blue 21 Bar, Hermosa
Arcology. Many casualties. Get me
backup, goddamnit! Send in everyone!

Finds the gun drawer. Slaps it open. Shoves her badge in
her pocket. "Gard"s her arms and body—-not her joints,
though, to preserve mobility. Checks to make sure her
service .38 is loaded and ready. Quickly holsters it. Grabs
more ammo. Wields the .44.

INT. BLUE 21

Schallhorn pops up to wing a full beer bottle at Bonnie.

She catches it on the shoulder. Opens fire on him.

He leaps back behind the bar.

Twin disks punch through the bar above and below him as he
flies. Zing mere inches from his head.

INT. ARCOLOGY HALLWAY

Logan looks frantically around the hallway for anything else
she can use. FIRE EXTINGUISHER in a glass box nearby.
Breaks the glass. Removes the extinguisher. Fire alarms go
off all around. Sprays the extinguisher in through the
smashed airlock. Makeshift smoke screen.

Takes three deep breaths and runs back into the Blue 21.

A shotgun blast misses her as she leaps toward the bar.

Plastic disk hits just behind her and zings past her face as
she slides down the length of the bar.

Logan snaps a shot at Bonnie but misses.

Crashes to the floor behind the bar. An ICE PICK appears
right next to her right eye. She reflexively aims the .44
right in Schallhorn's face.

SCHALLHORN
Sorry.

LOGAN
Don't mention it.

Flips the .44 around. Hands it back to him. Draws her .38.
Smacks herself on the head--Can't hear!

Schallhorn reloads the .44 with ammo from the drawer.

SCHALLHORN
I can't figure out why the bar alarms
never went off.

LOGAN
I can. This is show business: Tong.
Which reminds me...

She yanks off the digicam. Tosses it over the counter.

A shotgun blast picks it from the air.

Black static!

CUT TO:

INT. TONG'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Tong rips off the VR gear.

TONG
(after a beat)
Well, that doesn't make me happy. Switch
over to Clyde's digicam.

CUT TO:

INT. BLUE 21

Logan notices a metal FOLDING CHAIR leaning against the
inside edge of the bar.

LOGAN
That'll work. Is anybody else still
alive in here?

SCHALLHORN
(smacking his head, deafened)
I haven't exactly gone out for a
walk...but it's less than a dozen, I
think.

LOGAN
Then all right, let's go save those
people's miserable lives. I'm gonna try
to run that bitch out of ammo. Cover me.

They fly up from behind the bar.

Schallhorn immediately looks for Clyde. Begins blasting
away.

Clyde fires one ill-aimed shot back. Dives behind a table.
Exploding wood.

Bonnie fires disks at Logan from a corner.

Behind her, Clyde runs for the safety of a phone bank
PARTITION.

Her first disk hits the chair Logan holds out as a shield.

A huge DENT bulges the chair in toward Logan.

Logan flinches. Wings it at Bonnie like a discus. Her next
shot shears off one of the chair legs. Zings away.

The metal chair's knocked spinning. Crashes to the floor.

Logan draws her .38. Launches herself at Bonnie before she
can run to join Clyde.

Bonnie fires!

The disk catches Logan in the left arm. It's batted away by
the Gard.

Logan yelps. Crashes heavily to the floor a full meter short
of Bonnie.

The bore of the Winchester disk-spinner appears under Logan's
chin. Bonnie laughs. A ragged cackle.

BONNIE
B'bye.

She pulls the trigger. Click! Nothing happens! Logan
immediately aims the .38. Bonnie kicks her arm aside.
Scrambles away.

Logan just misses her with the .38.

Bonnie flees to Clyde's hidey-hole behind the partition.

Logan now horribly exposed. Rolls to get away from a pair of
shotgun blasts. Chairs and flooring explode.

She scrambles up. Leaps behind the bar again. Standoff!

A few surviving bar patrons take these few opportune moments
to run for the exit. Most make it.

One MAN is felled. A vicious shotgun blast to the back.

Schallhorn peeks around the corner of the bar. Just misses
getting hit by a WEDGE of hard white material.

The bloody wedge buries itself partway into the wall by his
hand. Logan scrambles to his side, reloading.

SCHALLHORN
What the hell was that? Piece'a disk?

LOGAN
(glancing calmly at it)
Nope. A sternum. Human breastbone.

SCHALLHORN
I see. Hey, Anne, I want a spinner gun!

Clyde's laser beam quests through the smoke.

Logan pops up. Sights down Clyde's laser. Fires.

HIDEY-HOLE

Clyde nearly hit. A chunk of his refuge blown away.

CLYDE
You missed me, bitch! Now we're comin'
for your ass!

BONNIE
She's prob'ly called out for backup. We
should go, Clyde.

CLYDE
In a minute, sugar lumps.

BONNIE
(on her empty Winchester)
But I'm all out of sugar.

Clyde throws away the shotgun. Reaches into his coat. Draws
two high-tech PUMP-ACTION HANDGUNS, which he loads by cocking
one against the other.

CLYDE
Ask and ye shall receive.

BONNIE
(chuckling)
Oh, that wacky Mr. Tong.

CLYDE
What a guy, huh? Here. Let's go
ventilate somebody.

He tosses her one of the chrome handguns. She quickly gets
acquainted with it.

ON LOGAN AND SCHALLHORN

SCHALLHORN
How you doing on ammo?

LOGAN
Five shots left. I wasn't expecting a
wild party tonight.

SCHALLHORN
That beats me. I'm down to two.

Logan inspects a huge bruise on her left arm, the arm hit by
the disk.

LOGAN
I think that bitch might've broken my
arm!

SCHALLHORN
(unimpressed)
Hurt much?

LOGAN
(dry)
A little.

SCHALLHORN
So what's the plan? I'm getting mega-ly
tired of looking at the dirty back side
of this bar.

LOGAN
Well, I was hoping my backup would be
here by now, but apparently they're
having trouble getting through building
security.

SCHALLHORN
Let's charge 'em, then.

LOGAN
That's crazy!

SCHALLHORN
You like it?

LOGAN
I do!

They pop up just in time to see Bonnie and Clyde charging
them! Logan's shot misses Clyde. He ducks and rolls. Grabs
the empty disk-spinner and tucks it in a shoulder strap under
the duster.

Logan never stops running. Clyde snaps off a wide shot with
a handgun. Hauls ass for the door.

Bonnie nails Logan in the right arm (Garded). Logan's .38
goes flying.

Schallhorn and Bonnie collide. He slams her to the ground.

The two start wrestling for a clear shot. Guns aiming.

Schallhorn shoots her in the left arm. She screams. Snap
kicks him backwards. He stumbles.

She unloads a shot directly into his gut. Schallhorn's .44
arcs up through the air. He's punched to the ground like God
slapped him.

Bonnie wheels to look for Logan.

Clyde beckons madly from the hallway outside. He can see her
through the blasted airlock plexi.

Logan dives for Schallhorn's .44. Catches it!

Fires!

Bonnie's hit in the neck.

She lands gurgling on top of Schallhorn. He's in agony.
Shoves her aside. Grabs her gun.

INT. ARCOLOGY HALLWAY

Clyde starts screaming. Raw, venomous howling. Stalks the
airlock.

INT. BLUE 21

Schallhorn looks down to find his intestines spilling out.
Shoves them right back in angrily, screaming in agony! Looks
up just in time to see Clyde returning. Clyde is aiming his
handgun at Logan.

Schallhorn snaps off two quick shots with Bonnie's handgun.
Just misses Clyde's head.

Clyde jerks back. Retreats into the hallway amidst a flurry
of wood chips and plexi shards.

Logan slides up to Schallhorn.

INT. BLUE 21

SCHALLHORN
Mother-jumpin'--I can't believe I got
shot by a girl!

CUT TO:

INT. ARCOLOGY HALLWAY

Clyde stalks furiously off down the hallway, overwhelmed by
the loss of his partner in crime.

CUT TO:

INT. BLUE 21

Logan tries desperately to hold Schallhorn's wound closed.
It's clearly a losing battle.

LOGAN
Oh, Jesus, David, you've really done it
this time.

SCHALLHORN
Yeah, sure, criticize. I probably saved
your pathetic life just now.

LOGAN
My hero...Friggin' idiot.
(toward the airlock)
Where's my backup!?

Bonnie gurgles out a few incoherent syllables. Logan smacks
her in the head open-handed. Bonnie dies.

SCHALLHORN
That wasn't very compassionate, Anne.
You've got anger issues, haven't you?
Ah, shit, man, this really hurts.

LOGAN
Just hang on, y'big puss. The medics'll
be here any second.

SCHALLHORN
Yeah, you know it. I'll be back selling
vodka to minors in no time.
(chuckling to himself)
Ah...Goddamnit...This sucks.

Schallhorn dies with his eyes open. A miserable smile on his
face.

LOGAN
David? David! No...No! David! You son
of a bitch, don't you even think of dying
on me! You got that?...Oh, shit, no,
David, David, please...

Too late for all that now. She's alone amid still-blazing
mushroom clouds, in what used to be her refuge from violence.

CUT TO:

INT. ARCOLOGY HALLWAY

Clyde barrels down the hall on a rail shuttle. Gun still
drawn. Eyes wide. Snarling primal beast.

Disembarks at a dead run. Heads immediately for a locked
door marked "OBSERVATION LOUNGE." Shoots the lock off the
door. Runs inside.

INT. OBSERVATION LOUNGE - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

The lounge looks out over Hermosa and Manhattan Beaches. Two
BUNGEES are attached to bolted stanchions, set up for the
terrorists' escape. Clyde shrugs into one. Checks to make
sure he's completely secure.

Shoots spider-web cracks in a large picture window. Throws a
chair through the glass to shatter it fully. More alarms.

EXT. ARCOLOGY - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

The chair plummets hundreds of stories into the gloom.

INT. OBSERVATION LOUNGE - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

Clyde clears broken glass away with the gun. Clicks the
safety. Shoves the gun in his belt.

EXT. ARCOLOGY - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

Clyde stands on the sill, cantilevered out from the vast
arcology building. Looks out over the city like he owns it.
Looks down.

At least four hundred feet to the ground.

DIVES head-first. The ground rises to smash him in the face.

Within seconds he's fallen three hundred feet. The bungee
catches. Bounces him back up into the sky.

A few bounces later, he's hanging upside-down a few yards
from the railing of a tenth-level parking garage. Laughs
wildly. Just glad to be alive now.

CLYDE
Holy shit, Bonnie, I'm sorry you couldn't
be here to see this!

The Exec who used to be Eddie's boss calls out to Clyde from
the garage railing.

EXEC
Come on, come on, throw me the VR
digisensor!

CLYDE
Pull me in first!

The Exec hauls him in on a hooked pole like a fish.

EXEC
(irritably)
We don't have time for this. They're
coming...

Indeed, the sound of a helicopter appears to be drawing
nearer. Clyde reaches the safety of the balcony and tosses
Exec the digicam.

CLYDE
Hot potato.

EXEC
Jesus Christ, would you be careful with
that? Now gimme those guns and get
downstairs. I'll have a check printed up
for you by Monday.

CLYDE
(snorts)
A check. Listen, Bob, I'm gonna take a
few days off from the company.

EXEC
What?

Clyde shoots him in the head.

CLYDE
Exactly.

As Exec falls, Clyde grabs the digicam again.

CLYDE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Aw, goddamn, that felt good.
(into the sensor)
Bury Bonnie like a Rich girl, you
bastards.

He tosses the camera over the railing into the night.
Removes a trio of HIGH-TECH SHOCK BOMBS from a duster pocket.
Primes and tosses them into the garage.

Leaps off the balcony. Grabs a fat bundle of suspended
cable, nearly falling. The cable strings between this
arcology's garage levels and another distant building.

The bombs quietly tick seconds away.

Clyde lifts one of his new guns. Shoots the cables from
their mooring. Trailing sparks and cries of victory, he
sails off into the smoggy abyss.

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. TONG'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Tong is FURIOUS.

TONG
How'd he pull off an escape like that?
These people are illiterate roaches!
(to Eddie, who sits passively)
Call the press! I mean now!

CUT TO:

INT. BLUE 21 - REAL TIME

COPS stream into the bar waving guns.

Bodies all around, but Vince Rodriguez runs immediately to
Logan, who sits guarding Schallhorn's corpse.

She isn't crying, but her world has burned away.

VINCE
Anne! Anne Logan! You okay?

LOGAN
I'm uh...sure. If you say so. I don't
know.

Penner walks up casually.

PENNER
Sergeant Logan. Once again you've left
us nothing to do but put tags on the bad
guys. Congrats.

LOGAN
Yeah, whatever.

PENNER
Hey, is that David Schallhorn?

LOGAN
It was, sir.

PENNER
I'll be damned. He was a cop, Vince, and
a pretty damn good one, 'til he beat the
living shit out of his captain in
Inglewood. Not that the cocksnack didn't
deserve it, racist bastard.
(to Logan)
This wingnut was a friend of yours?

LOGAN
(standing wearily)
You could say that. But I still forgot
to Spray Gard him. You believe that? It
just never crossed my mind.

VINCE
Who's the shooter?

Logan kicks Bonnie's corpse in the face. Blood flies.

LOGAN
The shooter was this piece'a herpes right
here.

PENNER
You okay, Sergeant?

Logan already walking out the door.

LOGAN
I'll be fine, when I retire. Hey, what's
on the cube tonight, anyway?
(to herself, laughing sadly)
Probably me again.

EXT. ARCOLOGY - NIGHT

More POLICE HELICOPTERS circle the building. One lands on a
helipad atop it. The others drop slowly to look for Clyde.

A series of VIOLENT FLASHES goes off inside the garage,
destroying acres inside the towering arcology.

WALTER CRONKITE (V.O.)
...although the male perpetrator is
presumed dead by the LAPD, his body has
yet to be located in the slums below
Hermosa Arcology. And, in other news,
the war in Malaysia was canceled today
due to insufficient ratings...

Pink sky. Blue and red police lights. Raining fire.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. LOGAN'S APARTMENT

Footage of disappointed soldiers marching home floats in the
air over a small HOLOCUBE PROJECTOR with the sound off.

A tiny space with cheap, modular furniture, decorated with
unexpected femininity and taste. Mementos of Logan's years
with the LAPD.

She sits quietly on a day bed. Still in her uniform,
watching the cube. Upper left arm in a polymer cast. She
changes the channel with a REMOTE GLOVE to discover:

HOLOCUBE IMAGES - INT. HERMOSA ARCOLOGY

The bombs have lain waste to several floors. There are
bodies and patches of gore throughout the wreckage.

Police swarm through the Blue 21. The holocam swoops in on a
bloody CHALK OUTLINE.

INT. LOGAN'S APARTMENT

Logan sits, the pale light of the holocube fluttering over
her face.

FLASH CUT TO:

INT. BLUE 21 - P.O.V. LOGAN

SCHALLHORN
Goddamnit...This sucks.

Schallhorn dies in our arms.

FLASH CUT TO:

INT. LOGAN'S APARTMENT

All expression, all excitement is gone from Logan's face.
She turns off the cube. It shrinks to a dot.

Long beat.

She unclips her badge. Sets it gently on the nightstand.

Draws her service .38 carefully from its holster. Checks the
safety. Polishes the gun with her sleeve.

Her hands fall into her lap. She stares emptily into space.
A few beats pass.

In one swift, graceful motion, Logan lifts the gun. Flicks
the safety over. Cocks it. Slams it under her own jaw.

EXT. TONG BUILDING ROOFTOP - NIGHT - INTERCUTTING

News helicopters cluster around a makeshift podium, where
Tong stands to address TWO DOZEN REPORTERS. Eddie stands
dutifully at his right hand passing out press release papers
and CDs.

TONG
In light of the continuing menace from
impatient malcontents, I have decided to
make a gift to this city of the weapons
it will need to fight back. And I don't
mean non-lethals, not this time! I mean
prisons. More new guns. Grenades.
Explosives. Hell, whatever it takes.
Tong CyberMedical will provide the Los
Angeles Police Department with all the
firepower it needs to squash this threat
to decent living once and for all.

REPORTER
Mr. Tong, what makes you think you can
arrest the millions of Poor citizens of
Los Angeles, much less kill them, just
for being Poor?

TONG
They gave up being citizens when they
took two hundred innocent lives inside
Hermosa. In my book they aren't even
people anymore. They're just pests, like
cockroaches but more dangerous. Starting
tomorrow, the new century in this city-
my city--officially begins.

A sweating Logan removes the gun from her chin.

A new resolve.

LOGAN
Wait. No...Hell, no. I know exactly
what's going on.

CUT TO:

THE TONG LOGO

on the side of a truck.

INT. VAST SHIPPING GARAGE

A small truck takes the lead before a convoy of seven larger
vehicles. Cargo trucks. All bearing Tong CyberMedical logos
and graphics.

The driver of the small truck, a very nervous little Mexican
man named EMILIO, calls out to the other drivers.

EMILIO
A' right, le's lock it up an' go. We gotta
get this sheet up on the freeways.

Emilio's passenger-side companion, name badge ROY, is just as
nervous.

ROY
Do you think we'll be okay going out all
at once like this?

EMILIO
Hopefully even Poor teroristas are asleep
a' thees hour.

EXT. POVERTY TOWNS - MORNING - INTERCUTTING

The trucks roll out slowly into a carcinogenic fog. They
pass out through a razor-wired chain-link gate.

Emilio drives. He and Roy stare out edgily at too-quiet
streets. And then...

From out of the fog, a band of soldiers. GUERILLAS, aremed
with blades and pipes and yes, a few guns.

The trucks all grind to a stop.

The leader of the guerillas steps forward: Clyde. He holds
the spinner disk rifle.

ROY
Ah, screw this, Emilio, run him over.
Let's get out of here quick!

EMILIO
I can' just--
(calling out to Clyde)
Thees ain' gon' help you, man! You
crazy? All the trucks is bulletproof!

CLYDE
I know.

He fires a DISK, which smashes through plexi at Emilio and
RICOCHETS around inside the cabin. Blood streams down the
shattered plexi. The HORN sounds.

CLYDE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
That's why I didn't use bullets.
(to the guerrilas)
All right, let's crack this bad boy open.
Kill 'em all.

Rack upon rack of WEAPONS including GRENADES, BOMBS, and (for
all we know) NUKES are exposed to the streets...

Screams and shots. Every driver, every passenger...dead.
The fog rolls in to hide this massacre.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. TONG'S OFFICE - MORNING

Tong sits quietly as Eddie finishes another phone
conversation.

EDDIE
I understand. I understand. Yes. All
right, then. I'll call you back within
ten.
(disconnecting; to Tong)
It's all true. They're all missing, all
eight trucks. I can't believe it. They
killed everyone.
(quietly)
Those bastards knew we were coming. They
had someone inside.

Tong sighs heavily. Robot Jeremy comes to stand at his side.

TONG
They want to push me. Light a match,
start the madness. Well, so be it. This
is war.

The three gaze out over Tong's dominion, the City of Angels.

CUT TO:

INT. ARCOLOGY HALLWAY - BLAST AREA

COPS finish up inside Hermosa. All look downright miserable.
A DEVICE in the ceiling projects holographic SKULLS in the
air, the twenty-first century equivalent to "POLICE LINES -
DO NOT CROSS" tape.

Vince finishes his report on a COMPUTER CLIPBOARD. Tired as
hell. Captain Penner strides up. Touches his arm.

PENNER
Come on, finish up and let's get leaving.
You're off-duty.

VINCE
No, I'm...Oh. Thank you, Carlo. I
appreciate that.

PENNER
Let's go pound down a couple of adult
beverages.

CUT TO:

EXT. FREEWAY - DAY

The hissing grille of Logan's BLACK AND WHITE. Lights flash
red and blue.

The cruiser barrels down the 10 toward the Tong Building at
two hundred m.p.h.

INT. LOGAN'S POLICE CRUISER

She's in full uniform, including a DIGICAM. Loading her .38.

LOGAN
(into a dash mic)
Look, I don't care what your corporate
security policy is, Dorquiero. You can
take Boss Tong's meeting schedule and
cram it where the sun don't shine. I'm
coming in. His next appointment is with
the District Attorney.

CUT TO:

INT. CULVER ARCOLOGY PAVILION - DAY

Vince and Penner, both in civvies, sit on a bench drinking
Starbucks. Penner relishes his, Vince a great deal less
enthusiastic.

VINCE
Two hundred dead because some psycho Poor
can't make peace with the system. Who
got fed here tonight? Who got medicine?
I just don't understand it.

PENNER
Oh, I do. The peasants are revolting, no
pun intended. They're just completely
outgunned...I should have ordered a
biscotti.

VINCE
You're really taking this hard, Carlo,
geez.

Vince gets up. Walks to a railing that looks down three
stories...

...into a vast INDOOR PAVILION. A social and commercial hub
of the arcology. Densely populated with PEDESTRIANS,
VENDORS, and SECURITY PERSONNEL. SHOPPERS cruise past
lighted windows on SLIDEWALKS. Commercial HOLOGRAMS dance
over the crowd. GLASS ELEVATORS in vast ATRIA that ring the
bright galleria. More rail shuttles.

PENNER
I suppose I must seem a bit insensitive.
I apologize for that.
(joining him at the balcony)
But do these people care any more than I
do? Sad to say, Vince, I think we're all
getting used to this.
(off Vince's silence)
You're afraid you are, too.

VINCE
I should hate this. I mean, I do, but I
should be more...hell, at least more
surprised, shit!

PENNER
Have you thought about a vacation, Vince?

VINCE
Only constantly. But I'm afraid I'd
never report back to work.

PENNER
Well, we'll just make it a day trip,
then. Hey, y'want to hear a joke? Come
on, it'll cheer you up.

VINCE
He had his dick in the chicken.

PENNER
No, you better let me tell it. Your
timing is off. You ready?

VINCE
As I'll ever be.

PENNER
Well, here goes, then. Let's walk and
talk.

Penner leads his preoccupied companion away from the railing.

CUT TO:

INT. GLASS ELEVATOR - DAY

The elevator rises out of the pavilion past twenty
residential levels.

PENNER
So these two guys are sitting at a bar
drinking their asses off. They've never
met. But this one guy, he's a geek in
thick glasses and a polyester suit, and
he turns to the guy next to him and says,
"Hey, buddy, you want to make a fast buck
at my expense?" And the second guy goes,
"Sure, any day of the week." Right?
So the geek takes him up to the roof of
the building and says, "Y'see that open
window down there?"
"What, you mean three floors down?"
"That's the one."
"Well, I've heard the ventilation system
in this building is hooked up funny, and
if you jump off this balcony past the
window, the air vents'll suck you right
inside and you won't get killed."
"That's amazing!"
"Will you gimme a hundred bucks if I make
it?"

VINCE
(snapping out of his funk)
Where are we going?

PENNER
(casually)
Tar City. So the second guy gets all
excited—-

VINCE
The rooftops? Are you crazy? I don't
have clearance to--

PENNER
I know, I know, Vince. I've got a pass.
Don't they tell you? It comes with the
rank. Can I finish my story?

VINCE
(stunned; excited)
I've never been to Tar City.

PENNER
Well, it's good for what ails ya. Okay?
So the second guy gets all excited, and
he takes out his wallet and says...

CUT TO:

INT. ARCOLOGY UPPER FLOOR CORRIDOR

The two men zip down the hall in another rail shuttle.

PENNER
So the geek, as if you're listening,
takes a long running start and he goes
bounding over the parapet at the edge of
the roof. And as sure as I'm standing
here he goes shoop! Right smack in
through the open window. And a few
minutes later, he's back on the rooftop
collecting his hundred. The second guy
can't believe it! "That's incredible!"
he says. "I've got to try that one for
myself!" So he takes a running leap,
hits his mark like he's supposed to. But
instead of getting saved, he goes sailing
like a brick right past the window. A
hun'r'd stories he falls to his bloody
demise.

CUT TO:

INT. HEAVILY FORTIFIED SECURITY AIRLOCK

ROBOTS frisk Vince and Penner. Scan them with metal and
composite DETECTORS. Vince is fascinated by this.

Penner nonchalantly slides his police pass into a security
slot on one robot.

PENNER
Meanwhile, down in the bar, a customer
leans over to the bartender. He's a
regular, this guy, and he's seen the geek
collect on his dare a hun'r'd times,
'cause each time some dumb bastard winds
up taking a header off the roof.
Customer nudges the bartender. "God," he
says, "When he gets drunk, that Clark
Kent is one twisted son of a bitch."

The airlock opens. TAR CITY revealed. Vince's jaw drops.

EXT. TAR CITY - AFTERNOON

Tar City is luxury itself. Vince walks through the open-air
park as if stoned. Penner trails behind grinning.

If the RESIDENTS of Tar City wear clothes, they don't wear
many. Good looks are expensive, and the Rich have always
liked to show off.

HOLOGRAMS of trees and fairy-tale castles. Huge ACK-ACK
EMPLACEMENTS. Subway music POUNDS and PURRS across the gaps
between towers. Graceful BRIDGES span the abyss.

COUPLES, both gay and straight, and even a few menages a
trois, make out on grassy "hillsides."

A ROBOTIC COLLIE bounds past Vince's legs to catch a Frisbee.

PENNER
Close your mouth, Vince.

VINCE
So few people ever see this!

PENNER
(tongue-in-cheek)
I know, it's terribly unfair.

CUT TO:

INT. TONG BUILDING HALLWAY

An executive elevator opens. Logan charges out into the
luxurious corridor. Eddie joins her, hands up in a defensive
gesture. They stomp down the hall together.

EDDIE
Look, you know you can't do this!

LOGAN
Shit. You know you can't stop me.

EDDIE
I'm prepared to present you with--

LOGAN
Eddie, the last thing you're prepared for
is me when I'm pissed off! Now get out
of my way or you'll be sharing a cell
with the boss-man.

EDDIE
Damnit, Logan, he owns a full third of
L.A.!

LOGAN
Well, I guess I'm in the other two
thirds.

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP CAFÉ AREA - LATE AFTERNOON

Vince and Penner finish their coffees.

PENNER
Look over there, Vince. Between those
dish antennas. The brunette. You see
her?

A BEAUTIFUL BRUNETTE (the spitter we saw earlier) in an
elaborate CRASH SUIT, excited on a parapet. FRIENDS AND
SUPPORTERS cheer her on.

Other buildings massive and close. A ROARING in the air like
a hurricane.

Brunette puts on a hi-tech CRASH HELMET.

VINCE
I've decided: I'm off-duty. Let the
proles call the meat wagon this time.

PENNER
No, pay attention, this is exactly what I
wanted to show you. Come on.

The two walk over in time to see the brunette do an ungainly
jackknife.

They gaze down to the ground far below.

VINCE
(sadly)
Hey, did somebody down there order chili?

Penner laughs.

VINCE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
This isn't funn--

ANGLE DOWN THE SIDE OF THE ARCOLOGY

From a recessed balcony nine stories below, an ARM WAVES.
The crowd cheers.

Vince is stunned!

Beautiful Brunette leans out. Attractively sheds the now
inflated helmet and crash suit.

VINCE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
What the Christ?

PENNER
It's all those buildings over there. On
some nights the air is channeled through
all that shit and blows straight into
this building, hard enough to push a
jumper onto that balcony. You put on one
of those bio-engineered skin job crash
suits, aim your jump right, and vi-ola.
'Course, you mess up the jump, and it's
"Watch that first step, it's a killer."

VINCE
That's amazing! But who in the hell
would want to try it?

PENNER
Me, for one.

VINCE
Are you buggy? Excuse me, but are you
starving nuts? You're not even as
graceful as that druggie bitch that just
went over. I'll be picking you up with a
Shop-Vac!

PENNER
Do you really think that scares me,
Vince?
(off Vince's stunned silence)
Hey, I look around, man, same as you.
And I don't like what I'm seeing.
Because very, very quietly, very slowly
but surely, this world is turning to
shit. We've got twenty billion Poor
eating out of our refrigerator. There
are algae blooms killing the Gulf of
Mexico. I caught a three-day flu last
winter and couldn't get rid of it for two
months. No one reads a goddamn book
anymore!

VINCE
Aw, that's just life in L.A., man. No
one said it was supposed to be fun.

PENNER
No, we're choking. We've been cooped up
with our own stinking mess, and the Poor
have started to figure out they're all
trapped at the bottom. So y'know what?
I've decided I don't care anymore. I
want adventure, something new.

VINCE
What the hell are you talking about,
Carlo? That little stunt we just saw?
That's not new. That's just stupid.

PENNER
Vince, we've finally reached a point
where fear and violence are precious
...but only if it's the violence we
choose, and not the quiet fear of how
much things are falling apart. If you're
Poor, you're too far behind to enjoy
anything. And you're only falling
farther behind. If you're Rich, life
is...like a woman you've already slept
with. It's just a chore to be in it now.
And everyday I think, Why don't I do
something to change it? But I can't...or
I won't. This fear's better than that
fear. It just feels right. And if not,
if I fall, hey, who gives a shit? So I'm
doing it, Vince. I'm jumping. Right
now.

VINCE
I don't know what to say...I was totally
fooled...You're psychotic.

CUT TO:

INT. TONG'S OFFICE - DAY

Robot Jeremy plays video games that flash across desk
screens. Tong watches him, proud godfather.

Logan smashes into the room, gun drawn. Eddie trails her.

LOGAN
Hello, Tong.

TONG
Hello, Sergeant.

LOGAN
Hey, guess what, Tong? I'm gonna read
you some Miranda rights.

EDDIE
You cannot arrest Algernon Tong! You're
the stupidest cop in Los Angeles!

LOGAN
Yeah, I was. Tong, you're under arrest
for conspiracy to commit first-degree
murder.

TONG
(unruffled)
I don't know what you're talking about,
but I'll cooperate fully. Of course,
Edmund, I'll be needing my attorneys.

EDDIE
(to Logan)
Oh, shit, lady, now you've opened up a
shark cage. I wouldn't wish those guys
on Hitler. Ah, but hey, you've got the
L.A. public prosecution staff on your
side. You're in great shape!

Logan points her .38 an inch from Tong's nose.

LOGAN
On your feet, Tong.

Tong gets up, very slowly.

LOGAN (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
You know what sickens me most about you,
ya lying snake? It's not what you did.
It's what you didn't do.
You've piled up so much goddamn money,
have your fingers in so many pies, and
changed nothing.

TONG
And what have you changed, Sgt. Logan?

LOGAN
That's exactly what we're going to find
out.

CUT TO:

EXT. TAR CITY PARAPET - DAY

Washington and Sepulveda eighty stories below us. And Penner
looks like a psycho in a crash suit and helmet! Is it
possible he's having second thoughts? He stands sweating on
the parapet. The crowd cheers him on.

Vince walks away. He can't watch. Re-enters the security
airlock. Disappears into the arcology shaking his head.

Penner looks down. Almost passes out! Remembers his mantra:

PENNER
"Do. Or do not. There is no try."

Penner grins. He's okay now. He leaps--!

A HUGE EXPLOSION rocks the plaza far below him.

The cyclonic rush of air is suddenly, effortlessly DIVERTED.
No more jump trick!

Understandably shocked, Penner wears a gap-jawed stare as he
smacks into the building and then all the way down into the
roiling flames.

The building shakes. Some Rich fall clean off the roof, fall
like snowflakes, screaming rain.

A spreading circle of Los Angeles disintegrates violently.

CUT TO:

EXT. STREET LEVEL - RIOTS

Streetscreamers cry out rebellion. Bullets. Blood.

Libby and the real Jeremy run for their lives. An avalanche
of RUBBLE slams down all around them. Libby screams. Throws
herself over her son.

CUT TO:

EXT. TONG BUILDING METRO STATION - DAY

A STATION adjoining the Tong Building's fortieth level.

Henry Stone stalks angrily toward a METRO TRAIN. Lori lags
behind gloomily.

HENRY
Can you believe they wouldn't sell us
another Jeremy?

A train rolls into the station.

HENRY (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Would you hurry? We'll miss the--

The train EXPLODES. A piece is blasted inches from Henry's
head.

INT. TONG'S OFFICE - DAY

The shock wave hits the office with a vengeance, blasting
windows. Flipping everything and everyone in all directions
like bowling pins. Man-made earthquake.

Eddie and Jeremy are tossed into a corner, Tong and Logan in
the other direction. A loud crash of GUNFIRE amidst all the
other cacophonous noise.

Logan stares at her gun. No gunsmoke. Looks up...

CUT TO:

EXT. TONG BUILDING METRO STATION - DAY

Henry stumbles. Grabs a post. Lori whipped by the force of
the explosions.

The burning remains of the train have been jolted off the
track by the onboard explosives. They skid around to a
shuddering, sparking halt, only feet from Henry Stone.

HENRY
Holy shit, did you see that? I guess
somebody up there must like me--

The station collapses under the weight of the burning train,
and Harry vanishes in a rising plume of smoke.

Lori stands all alone on the remains of the platform. She
doesn't know whether to grieve or feel grateful!

CUT TO:

INT. TONG'S OFFICE - DAY

Tong and Logan pressed together against a wall. They stare
at each other in shock, and he clutches her shoulders. A
crimson flower opens up at his throat.

LOGAN
Jesus Christ!

Tong stares aghast at the blood in his hands.

CUT TO:

EXT. HIGHWAY 101/110 INTERSECTION - DAY

A band of terrorists run from explosives mounted underneath
the freeway. They GO OFF--

--and CARS slide into each other like toys. Cracks start
spreading into gaps.

INT. STEPHEN'S SEDAN - SAME

Stephen's in the back seat when the chaos erupts.

He climbs awkwardly into the front seat. Slides behind the
wheel.

A dent appears in the roof. Thump and SCREAM from outside.

INT. STEPHEN'S SEDAN - THROUGH WINDSHIELD - CONTINUOUS

A MOTORCYCLE and RIDER have been flipped onto Stephen's roof.
They bounce into the freeway free-for-all. Run over by a
TRANSIT BUS in the next lane.

EXT. HIGHWAY 101/110 INTERSECTION - CONTINUOUS

The bus veers out of control...

INT. STEPHEN'S SEDAN - THROUGH WINDSHIELD - CONTINUOUS

Then flips and rolls right in front of us.

INT. STEPHEN'S SEDAN - CONTINUOUS

Stephen wrestles with the wheel amid catastrophe.

STEPHEN
This is it!

The 101 falls away in huge chunks right in front of us.
Hellfire seems to shoot up from the cracks.

Stephen fights a car that's aimed downward.

EXT. HIGHWAY 101/110 INTERSECTION - CONTINUOUS

Butted right off the stump of the blasted 101. Screaming
metal. Screaming Stephen!

INT. STEPHEN'S SEDAN - CONTINUOUS

COLLISION GEAR balloons all around him, but he's falling too
far and too fast...then he's swallowed by the flame.

CUT TO:

INT. GLASS ELEVATOR - DAY

Vince Rodriguez looks up to see the building demolishing
itself all around him. Cabin bucking like a bronco.

TILT DOWN

to a secondary explosion. The atria blasted into slivers. A
thousand shoppers killed in an instant.

TILT UP

Vince clutches the walls of the cabin. Culver City Arcology
dancing a hula. Incredible noise.

CUT TO:

EXT. DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - DAY

Impoverished but all-too-well-armed guerillas rampage through
the city.

Another bomb goes off behind a running hooded cricket of a
woman. She bounds through a terrifying meteor shower. The
blast wave rears up behind her--

Hits! The figure's blasted off its feet--

A single gloved HAND grabs a street light. No mere human
could hold on against a blast of such intensity--

The hand belongs to Diana.

CUT TO:

INT. CULVER CITY ARCOLOGY - DAY

Miraculously, Vince's elevator reaches relative safety.

He staggers out into a ground floor which snarls like a
pissed-off grizzly bear. He's like a voyager into Hell.

Dust clouds pass. He sees daylight ahead.

CUT TO:

INT. TONG'S OFFICE - DAY

Tong falls on Logan. She freaks; he bleeds.

TONG
Some...arrest.

LOGAN
We've been nuked!

TONG
No, we haven't.

Logan staggers to her feet.

Looks up into the barrel of a chromed pump-action handgun.
Eddie trembles behind the grip as his world seems to shudder
and re-form.

EDDIE
Walk away, Logan. Go.

LOGAN
Screw you, Eddie, I came here for--

EDDIE
(quietly)
Oh, for Christ's sake, Logan, look at
him. It's over. Isn't that what you
came for?

Tong crawls to his desk. A bloody trail. Logan turns back
to Eddie. Slowly nods.

LOGAN
Yeah, that's true...All right, Eddie. I
guess you live to sleaze again.

Robot Jeremy climbs to his feet as she reaches the door.
Sudden premonition--

Logan stiffens--

LOUD REPORT as Eddie shoots her in the back.

EDDIE
They never think to Gard their back.

Logan turns as she collapses. A wicked SMILE on her face,
she just stares at him and DIES.

Eddie blinks. Sets down the gun. Thinks hard.

CUT TO:

EXT. CULVER CITY - DAY

Vince runs out into the open. The entire mass of Culver City
Arcology collapses in a mushroom cloud of dust and debris
right behind him.

He's slammed to the ground. Pissed as hell!

CUT TO:

INT. TONG'S OFFICE - SUNDOWN

Eddie rummages through Tong's desk. Robot Jeremy watches.
Distant ALARMS sound.

ROBOT JEREMY
Did you kill him to help out all the Poor
people?

Eddie couldn't be more shocked!

EDDIE
Help the Poor? Are you brain-dead? I
didn't do this for anybody but myself. A
few bucks here, a few guns there, and the
balance of power inevitably shifts. I
didn't plan on this, of course...
(indicating Tong's body)
...so that's a nice bonus.
(grabbing items from Tong's
desk)
And so is that, and that right there...

One of the items Eddie grabs is a REMOTE.

ROBOT JEREMY
(pouting)
I'm not brain-dead!

Eddie clicks the remote, and Robot Jeremy slumps to the
floor.

EDDIE
Yes you are.

Eddie tosses the remote onto Robot Jeremy's lifeless body.
Opens another drawer. His eyes flash with a gleam of naked
avarice.

EDDIE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
Oh, baby, baby, happy payday!

He arranges his newfound treasure into one obscenely valuable
pile.

MONTAGE - NIGHT - AN INSANE RUSH OF IMAGES, THE RIOTS:

Screaming terrorists. Clyde orchestrates fire and
devastation, an apocalyptic symphony of doom.

Looting.

Burning.

Gangs on retro-futuristic motorcycles.

Guns.

More guns. Always guns.

THE END OF ORDER.

SLOW TIME DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. LOS ANGELES - ESTABLISHING

Ruins...and towers. Far too little has changed.

EXT. LOS ANGELES, GROUND LEVEL - NIGHT - FOUR BLOCKS AWAY

A mound of rubble shoved aside.

Diana crawls out from underneath a pool-table slab of broken
concrete. She's found ways to look even worse than before.
Metal "bones" exposed in several places. Bleeding crimson
and black. The whole side of her chest is caved in. "Lungs"
won't work properly.

She looks down at herself.

DIANA
(singing to herself sadly)
Deja vu, Miss America...

CUT TO:

EXT. DEMOLISHED CITY - NIGHT

Tong's luxury sedan, only slightly the worse for apocalyptic
wear, cruises slowly through the smoke that still rolls
across a ravaged surface street.

INT. TONG'S SEDAN - CONTINUOUS

Eddie leans back contentedly. Feeling good. There are bags
of credit palmcards in the back. Wrapped paintings on the
passenger seat. A "subway" mini-CD in the player.

He leans forward. Clicks the CD off. Engages the car's
LIVESTREAM VIEWER. A small window projected over the dash.
Simple graphics read: "VIDEO STREAM INTERRUPTED."

EDDIE
What, no videostream? I guess this is
serious, damn. Audio on.

A simple radio station comes in.

CRONKITE'S VOICE
(staticky)
The final death toll? Unknown. Will the
Haves and Have Nots exchange lives to any
recognizable degree? At this time, also
unknown.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. UNDER WRECKAGE - NEAR-TOTAL DARKNESS

Libby gasps in claustrophobic panic.

LIBBY
Oh my God, baby, please say you're okay!

JEREMY
I'm okay. But my leg is all squeezed.

CUT TO:

EXT. RUINS - NIGHT

Dim light from faraway fires. Someone whimpers.

Diana limps through the city. Leaks tears from one all-too
human eye.

CRONKITE'S VOICE
(continuing)
This whole crisis may not have changed a
single thing--It's just another pointless
riot in the bitter, shallow history of
this city.

Diana hears voices. Whirs off miserably to investigate.

EXT. UNDER WRECKAGE - NIGHT

Libby struggles on, choking through panic and tears.

CRONKITE'S VOICE
In the end, we may discover only blood
and the surrender of hope are its legacy.

Quiet inhuman footsteps approach.

LIBBY
(sobbing in terror)
I can't figure out how to get us out of
here, baby!--Ssshhh...What's that?

Diana YANKS away the wreckage that has Libby and Jeremy
pinned.

EXT. RUINS - NIGHT

Diana gasps in obvious pain as she hauls the two out.

CRONKITE'S VOICE
No evil punished...

She collapses. Wheezes as her bionic lungs begin to fail.

CRONKITE'S VOICE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
No generosity, virtue, or kindness
rewarded.

Libby's stunned to be alive. Overjoyed that her son is in one
piece.

LIBBY
I don't know you...But thank you. Your
face--

DIANA
It isn't mine. I just borrowed it.

Libby doesn't understand.

LIBBY
Are you some kind of robot?

DIANA
I guess so.

LIBBY
Thank you anyway.

DIANA
You're welcome. That's your son?

LIBBY
He's my baby. His name's Jeremy.

DIANA
Hello, Jeremy.

JEREMY
Hello, robot.

Diana chuckles painfully. Her bionics start to convulse.

DIANA
I can't seem to make my legs work. Not
good...Can I tell you something important
I've learned today, Jeremy?

JEREMY
I guess so.

DIANA
It's what you do that's important, how
you make things fair and good for other
people, not what you have or how you
look.

JEREMY
(uncomfortable)
I already knew that.

LIBBY
Do you want us to take you someplace?

DIANA
What's your name?

LIBBY
My name's Liberty Wilde.

DIANA
Oh, what a beautiful lie. I'm Diana. I
like beautiful things.

JEREMY
So do I.

Diana comes to acceptance.

DIANA
No, you know what, Liberty Wilde? I'm
gonna lie here and look at the stars for
a while, until they start to fade away
again, or I fade away myself. I'm
overdue.

LIBBY
Do you want us to stay with you?

DIANA
No...It's not safe here. Take your son
where it's safe. When's the last time it
was quiet in L.A.? I'm gonna stay here
and enjoy it.

Libby shrugs.

LIBBY
Come on, Jeremy. Say goodbye to the
pretty robot.

Jeremy smiles. Waves goodbye.

Diana smiles back. It's the first time we've seen her do
that since her crash, and even amidst rubble and monstrosity,
it's a beautiful sight.

The Wildes walk away into darkness.

CRONKITE'S VOICE
Thousands dead--maybe hundreds of
thousands--

Diana lies in a pool of her own blood and machine fluids.
Gazes up at something not often seen in L.A.: The stars.

CRONKITE'S VOICE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
And still this city is the same.

QUICK CUT TO:

CLYDE'S PURPOSEFUL EYES - CONTINUOUS

stare us down. Regard the damage he's wrought. So much to
do, so little done...But he's alive, and he'll be back. The
fight goes on.

He fades away again into the smoke and the shadows.

CUT TO:

BACK TO SCENE - CONTINUOUS

CRONKITE'S VOICE
Either desperate--

WE LOOK DOWN

from far above at the insect-like form of Diana. She sings
to herself weakly. Saying goodbye.

CRONKITE'S VOICE (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
--or uncaring.

MOVE IN

slowly on her one HUMAN EYE.

DIANA
"Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me...
Starlight and dewdrops are awaiting
thee..."

MOVE OUT

slowly from the eye. Diana's changed.

She is human. Whole. Beautiful again.

DIANA (CONTINUED) (CONT'D)
(fading to a whisper)
"Sounds of the rude world...
Heard in the day...
Led by the moonlight have
all...
passed..
a
way"

CRONKITE'S VOICE
(concluding)
...It never ends.

A robotic claw hand drops. Diana is dead.

CUT TO:

INT. LUXURY SEDAN - NIGHT

Eddie drives.

He grins suddenly. Opens the glove compartment. Withdraws a
plain-wrapped pack of smokes. Touches a dashboard control.

A panel lights up orange. Eddie taps a cigarette to the
lighter. Starts smoking his illegal nicotine. He's the King
of the World...

Shit. The dash lights go black. He coasts to a stop.

EDDIE
Thaaat's not good.

The livestream window lights up again, black static.

VINCE'S VOICE
Hello, Edmund. We found out how the
guerillas got their weapons. Who tipped
them off to the location and time of the
shipment. We also have you on Murder
One, God knows how many times but one for
sure.

EDDIE
(panicking)
No, I...No! Who the hell are you?

The video image kicks in. A smug, if battered, Vince
Rodriguez.

VINCE
I'm Detective Rodriguez, LAPD. We've
seized control of this vehicle.

Eddie gathers palmcards and moves toward the door-

--but HEADLIGHTS suddenly pop on in the smoke and the
darkness. Police lights. Five cruisers.

Vince walks up calmly, his gun drawn. He taps on Eddie's
windshield with the gun. There's no escape. Eddie lowers
the windshield halfway down--

--before he loses it. Actually starts crying. Puts his
hands in the air in a desperate attempt not to get shot.

EDDIE
How'd you find me so fast? Jesus Christ,
there's a riot going on!

Vince holds out a DIGISENSOR CAMERA. Leans forward...

And hisses, the most profound and murderous hate of his life.

VINCE
When you shot her, did you notice--you
slimy son of a bitch--did you notice she
was wearing one of Tong's digicameras?
You worthless moron, did you even see her
turn to look at you as she died? You're
gonna fry for this, Eddie. And I swear
to you, nothing could make me happier
than to pull that switch myself.

Eddie sobs. Slumps. Collapses. Seems to--

--Wait, it's a ruse! He comes up holding a pistol! Shoots!
Vince reacts, a touch too slow--

The bullet spangs off the only-half-lowered bulletproof plexi
of the windshield and cuts a groove out of Eddie Dorquiero's
neck. He touches blood, completely stunned--

Then looks up slowly. Empty eyes...

And on THE PATTER OF REPEATED POLICE GUNFIRE, we pull up from
Eddie's car, up, way up, to look out over the whole of Los
Angeles...

...IN FLAMES...

But fire trucks, helicopters, police move in to restore a
miserable status quo.

The image PIXELLATES, and each pixel becomes a WINDOW.

Each window contains an image, a face, a moment in time.

The Tong logo.

Jeremy laughs.

Atlanta burns.

Dolphins bow-ride before a tall ship.

Children's blocks roll and tumble.

Diana pulls a young mother and her son from under wreckage.

Smoke and flame rise like souls in the night.

And Logan SMILES.

As each window DARKENS we continue pulling back, until we slowly

FADE OUT.

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