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LIBRETTO

SCENE I-3:30(timed: 2:40, will slow down for effect and length)

Color

(A dark room, a single flame can be seen with a wood reflection. No faces can be seen, voices are hushed, credits will appear. The camera will move about the room, enlightening the glow of the candle. The room will be filmed, barely seen on the dim reflection. The room is an elegant British living room. For a full thirty seconds before the scene begins, there is absolute silence. This scene will be filmed in a Hitchcockian fashion—obscure camera angles, etc.)

TRUSSEL

You know why you are here, Mr. Wilkes?

MR. WILKES

Is this about the project again?

TRUSSEL

 More or less, but you must realize, Mr. Wilkes, that your actions have continually failed time and time again.

MR. WILKES

 But sir—

TRUSSEL

 I don’t mean to make this personal, Mr. Wilkes, but unless you do a damn good job, I seriously doubt whether I shall be able to trust you any longer.

MR. WILKES

 Sir, I have no intention of anything that shall threaten the success of this project.

TRUSSEL

 Do you remember last time we attempted something like this? You nearly killed us, let alone the target!

MR. WILKES

 That was Sydney! I had no control—

TRUSSEL

 Did I give you this position so you could ruin my empire?

MR. WILKES

 Your empire, sir, has not yet been conquered—

TRUSSEL

 Mr. Wilkes, please shut up. Shall we discuss this plan once more, so that your insolence won’t ruin this again?



MR. WILKES

 Yes sir.

TRUSSEL

It shall only be you and me roaming the earth as free men.

MR. WILKES

 And Sydney? Will she as well?

TRUSSEL

 I have decided to save Sydney as well, yes—

MR. WILKES

 Will she have time?

TRUSSEL

The device will be programmed to give Sydney exactly twenty minutes to prepare after it has been detonated. You are to detonate it on Friday, you know where, there is no need—

MR. WILKES

Where, again?

TRUSSEL

 Are you telling me that you are prepared to fail once more? You are an incompetent fool!

MR. WILKES

 Yes, but—

TRUSSEL
Do not question my authority, Mr. Wilkes! You are to set it in Shanghai at one in the
morning, or eleven in Chicago, where Sydney currently resides. You are to very cautiously complete this task. Are you finished making it?

MR. WILKES

You see, sir, I haven’t exactly—

TRUSSEL

You mean you haven’t finished it?

MR. WILKES

Well—no.

TRUSSEL

You haven’t finished it? Aaron, this is not good! There is no excuse for your utter failure!

MR. WILKES

I apologize, sir, but this is truly a difficult task.

TRUSSEL

What do you think I pay you for? To complete simple tasks that involve nothing? No! I pay you to work! Again, there is no excuse for this! You are a lazy bastard who receives generous pay for failing his Master time and time again!

MR. WILKES

Yes, sir.

TRUSSEL

You are in Osaka, Mr. Wilkes! This is among the largest cities in the world. Your laboratory is equipped with the finer technology than world-renowned scientists could ever dream of. It is perfectly well hidden, at the bottom of the Pacific, for heaven’s sakes! How can your project not be completed in the time I have given you?

MR. WILKES

Sir, the device will be finished soon. I only need a little more time. I shall finish it. I promise that you will not be disappointed this time.

TRUSSEL

You know your task, Mr. Wilkes.

MR. WILKES

Thank you, Mr. Trussel, sir.

TRUSSEL

We shall dominate the globe, Mr. Wilkes. If—and only if—you refuse to fail me again.

(long pause)

MR. WILKES

 You have my word.

(the silhouette of a gun is placed on the wood surface)

SCENE II 2:12Color
(Chicago, Present Day)
(Background: Frank Sinatra’s Chicago can be overheard. Subtitles will reveal: CHICAGO, PRESENT DAY. The other character names will be revealed (co-stars). The Chicago skyline, Union Station, Navy Pier, and many other attractions will be shown for 1:05. The scene will continue in Grant Park.)

MICHAEL 

Alan!

ALAN

 Hey, Mike, did you get the papers from the office?

MICHAEL

Yeah, yeah, I did!




ALAN

Thanks, man, I owe you one! My boss will be happy! Wanna go get some coffee? There’s a great place over on Michigan Avenue. So, you up for it?


MICHAEL

Yeah, let’s go!

END

(START-END: 17 seconds (23) Our goal is to finish exactly when the song reaches 1:29, when Sinatra sings “On State Street” We will show Michael and Alan doing different things around town, such as visiting the top of the Sears Tower, driving in their car, etc. If we go into the city during the Taste of Chicago, which I discourage due to heavy traffic, we will NOT film anything related to this.)

SCENE III 3:00
Color

(At beginning of scene, conversation is heard, but not seen. The camera will begin in, for example, the living room and slowly turn in on the conversation)

Sinatra’s Chicago fades.

(Home of Sydney Watkinson and Lucas Moreno)

SYDNEY

All right, Lucas, dear?

LUCAS

Yes. Everything is all right.

SYDNEY

How was work?

LUCAS

All right.

SYDNEY

Did you contact the lawn service? I want them to rid the lawn of these filthy insects!

LUCAS

Yes, yes, I did.

SYDNEY

This was certainly a mediocre day for me.

LUCAS

(sarcastically) Why, I can’t imagine my dear wife having a bad day!

SYDNEY

Yes, well, you see—poor little Marcus, having trouble in school and all—

LUCAS

I understand, Sydney.

SYDNEY

Marcus seems to be having trouble with friends, not to mention—

LUCAS

How are his grades?

SYDNEY

(pause) Well—not too good.

LUCAS

(sighs) I’m sorry, Sydney.



SYDNEY

Well, it’s not your fault—it seems I receive calls from parents every day, pity calls, spitting apologies at me for allowing their sons to tease Marcus—

LUCAS

Well, Sydney, I suppose—

SYDNEY

Yes, you see the severity of this situation!

LUCAS

Did his report card come in the mail?


SYDNEY

Yes, I have it right here (Shuffles through papers, pulls out white sheet. The two look at it, with Sydney holding it, and then slowly look at each other with contempt). (Sighs) Well, at least history went all right—

LUCAS

Sydney, stop making futile attempts to be optimistic, this is not good! We need to seek professional help!

SYDNEY

Lucas, stop that! You know he has learning, well, difficulties, and I think this is something we can improve on, not kill him over!

LUCAS

What else is going wrong with Marcus, again, dear?

SYDNEY

(Heavy, curt sigh) Bullies.

LUCAS

Oh, Sydney—

SYDNEY

No, Lucas! This is one time in my life I must absolutely stop you! The poor boy is beaten up every other day—

LUCAS

Sydney, relax! The boy must learn reality! His grades are abysmal, so we shouldn’t pity him for being kicked around a bit! I was teased in school, my friends were, by god, teased too! It is simply a part of life.

SYDNEY

(heatedly) I wasn’t teased as a child!

LUCAS

You were a girl!

SYDNEY

(sighs) The point is, Marcus is struggling not only in his studies, but with schoolmates, too.

LUCAS

Oh, honey—

SYDNEY

Lucas I am TELLING YOU! THE BOY NEEDS ATTENTION!

LUCAS

Well, why are you telling me now? Why not two weeks ago, or a month for that matter?

SYDNEY

(Long pause, Sydney looks very grave) His math teacher just called—she wants to have a conference with me.

LUCAS

About what?

SYDNEY

(Long pause. Sydney has a grave expression on her face) She wants to hold him back. (Walks away quickly, looking very professional. Lucas stares back, dumbfounded.)

Outside

Sydney flips out her cell phone and dials a number.

SYDNEY

Please, I beg of you to spare the boy—Marcus—yes, well, my husband is an absolute moron, but my son, please—(Marcus Moreno is seen entering the driveway) (Quickly)–I have to go.
(Marcus Moreno walks into the driveway. He appears muddy and dissheveled)
SYDNEY

Honey! How was school?

(Camera turns to Marcus, then back to Sydney)

SYDNEY

Oh, honey, what happened?

MARCUS

Jack Gracie—

(Camera slowly turns away, conversation becomes fainter)

SYDNEY

(barely heard) What did he do?

SCENE IV 3:00 Color

(Alan’s house; Alan is sorting through the mail)
ALAN

Hey, Mike, check this out.

(Mike comes over. The two look at each other with triumphant smiles)

MICHAEL

Ha ha! WOO! God, Alan, where’d you get these?

ALAN

Friend of mine, class of ’82.

MICHAEL

Ha! Alan, people would pay dozens for seats like these!

ALAN

Fifth row seats at a Cub’s game’s nothing. Maybe eighty apiece—

MICHAEL

Alan, stop being downright pessimistic! This is the opportunity of a lifetime!

ALAN

Yeah, whatever.

(Alan continues to sort through the mail as though the last tickets he received was a mere letter. Alan finally finds something interesting and holds it up. The two stare, looking bewildered. The camera zooms in on the letter. It bears no return address.)

MICHAEL

Open it!

ALAN

Wait—


MICHAEL

What do you think—

ALAN

It’s from my college roommate. I’m sure of it. He has given thought into this, and it is simply a—

MICHAEL

So, what do you—

ALAN

No, Michael!

MICHAEL

When will you quit being so paranoid? I’ll open it. (opens letter, and immediately jumps.) Alan—look! Your boss promoted you! (The two look at each other and laugh simultaneously)

Alan runs up the stairs, holding the letter greedily.

*  *  *

In “living room,” debriefing

MICHAEL

Alan, this is excellent news.

ALAN

(still looking baffled) How did this happen? My boss seems, quite frankly, flustered with me right now.

MICHAEL

Oh, Alan, who cares? As long as you’ve got promoted, don’t argue!


ALAN

But—

MICHAEL

Now, Alan, we’re going out to celebrate. Invite friends, ask your girlfriend to come along!

ALAN

All right, but I’m not going unless you promise to get out of my house after this. I know that you need a job right now, and your apartment isn’t great, but—

MICHAEL

Invite your co-workers as well!

ALAN

If I invited my co-workers, do you really think they would want to celebrate my getting promoted? Frankly, I don’t think we need a celebration right now, I think we need to shut up and act normal.

MICHAEL

All right, let’s make it just you and me and Beth, shall we?

ALAN

(acquiescent) Oh, all right.

SCENE V :50 Color

A table at a local bar (Berghoff’s?) Alan, Beth, and Michael are there

MICHAEL

(Sounding somewhat tipsy, but not yet drunk, finishing beer) Ahh. There’s nothing like a good beer. Waiter!



ALAN

(Completely sober) Mike, I’ll drive home tonight, okay?

MICHAEL

Oh, no, it’s fine, I can handle this.

(Waiter comes by)

WAITER: Yes, sir?

MICHAEL

‘Nother beer, if you don’t mind.

WAITER

Yes, sir.

MICHAEL

So, anyway, Alan, I got the papers, and guess what Alan? Come on, give it a guess! I was looking through the papers (sounding more drunk) and guess what? You got promoted! HA HA HA! Jolly old chap, I’m proud of you, mate!

ALAN

 Mike, tone it down a bit—

BETH

Geez, he’s really out of it.

MICHAEL

So anyway Alan it was great you could get promoted. Mighty fine it was, mighty fine (waiter places beer on table) Thanks (gives waiter a large tip) (rather loudly) A toast to Alan for getting the promotion!

ALAN

(looking around, embarassed)(to BETH) We’d better get him out of here.

BETH

Alan, I’m disappointed in you, why’d you have to bring him along?

ALAN

He dragged me over here! I only invited you because it would be rather depressing to be in a bar with a guy who’s just had six martinis!

BETH

I’m leaving for Kansas City two days from now.

ALAN

(angrily) For another one of those internship projects?

BETH

Alan, I just don’t understand you. What’s with your attitude toward anything I do?

ALAN

Right now, hon, I just can’t worry about that—

BETH

Well if you don’t want to worry about me, you might as well leave! I’m flying to Kansas City tomorrow, and you are going to forget about me for—for the next week or so, I just know it!


ALAN

Beth, come on—

BETH

No, Alan! Don’t give me that! My job is as important as yours, even though the pay isn’t quite the same.


ALAN

We’d better get this guy home—

MICHAEL

Alan, come on, I’m having the time of my life!

ALAN

(bluntly) Yeah, we’re leaving.

SCENE VI 2:00 Color
(begins pulling into the driveway, Alan slams driver’s door. Beth leaves, says goodbye, they embrace. She then leaves. Alan then opens the backseat door and grabs Michael by the shoulders. He will drag Michael to the front door, open it, and drag Michael upstairs. He will then haul Michael onto the bed, flipping the light off. Alan will then retreat downstairs, muttering “waste of my damn time.” He will relax on the couch, reading a newspaper, possibly putting on his reading glasses. The phone will then ring. Alan will pick it up. Remember, it will be at night, after the bar scene.)

ALAN

(exhausted) Hello?

MYSTERIOUS VOICE (V/O)

Is this Mister Wilkes?

ALAN

No—


VOICE OVER

I would just like to say I am postponing the detonation until Friday at noon, Chicago time, of course. (Alan glances at his calendar, which notes the day is Monday) Tell Mister Wilkes this is a generous gift, as it will give him more time—

ALAN

Who the hell is this? What do you want?

VOICE OVER

Oh, I’m sorry sir, this is a telephone conversation?

ALAN: (looking alarmed) Is this a joke?

VOICE OVER

(unconvincingly) What? I mean, yes, ha ha, I fooled you.

(hangs up) (Alan looks down at the Caller I.D., which reads “Unknown Caller.” He stares into space, feeling afraid.)

SCENE V 1:00 Color
(Michael is seen walking down the street, into a local deli. The scene is “fast forwarded” and Michael comes out with a turkey sub, which he eats. A gunshot is heard. No person is around, and Michael quickly runs. A man, aka me, will shoot again, and realize he is out of ammo.)

MAN

Son of a bitch!

SCENE VII 2:00 Color

TUESDAY

(phone rings, Alan answers, for it is at his apartment)

MICHAEL

Hey, Alan, what’s bothering you?


ALAN

Michael, I am still angry about that very embarrassing occurrence yesterday evening. My girlfriend is mad at me, really, it is not the right time to call.

MICHAEL

Oh, come on, Alan, I wasn’t that—

ALAN

Oh, yes you were, you were as drunk as I’ve ever seen you! You drag me into that bar, then get yourself drunk while I’m sitting there, trying to have a conversation with Beth.

MICHAEL

Alan, just relax, I was simply indulging myself excessively with alcohol.

ALAN

Oh shut up! You think I care about your—

MICHAEL

All right, Alan, I’m sorry. Is there anything else you wanted to tell me?

ALAN

Well-

MICHAEL

Yes?

ALAN

I got a phone call yesterday evening. While you were out cold.

MICHAEL

And?

ALAN

Well—see, it sounded like a prank call, but I’m not so—

MICHAEL

Ignore it. Whatever it was, prank calls only try to get your attention. Probably some kid fooling around—

ALAN

This was no kid, Michael.

MICHAEL

(mysteriously) So who the hell was this person?

ALAN

I’ve no idea! It sounded like a grown man.

MICHAEL

Still, you should ignore it. If anything the caller wants to get you afraid, freak you out.

ALAN

(unconvinced) All right, I’ll take your word for it.

SCENE VIII 2:01
WEDNESDAY
(in the house of Lucas Moreno)
LUCAS

Marcus! Get down here right now, young man.
(scene switches to a small closet, where Sydney is hurrily preparing for an obviously busy day. It almost immediately switches back)

LUCAS

MARCUS!

SYDNEY

Lucas, dear, if you want Marcus to listen, why don’t you go up the stairs and then admonish him?

LUCAS

Sydney! I’d—(stumbling for words) I thought you left!


SYDNEY

No, Lucas, I have been inside this household for the morning. Besides, why would I leave my husband and son?

LUCAS

Well—

SYDNEY

As I have suggested, Lucas, why don’t you go upstairs and try to coax Marcus?

LUCAS

All right. (offstage) Marcus!
(Sydney hurries to a different closet which contains Lucas’ coat, where she opens the pocket, dropping a pen inside. Lucas walks downstairs)

LUCAS

What are you doing?

SYDNEY

I was—

LUCAS

(walks over to her) What are you doing with my coat, Sydney?

SYDNEY

Oh, nothing! I was rearranging the coats to make them look nicer.
(Lucas looks suspicious)
LUCAS

Oh—I see. Well, then, better be off to work.

SYDNEY

Remember to put your coat on.
(takes the coat out as he puts his arms into it)

LUCAS

I’ll see you back here around six.
(symbolically, they do not kiss)

SYDNEY

Good-bye.

(immediately after door shuts, Sydney flips out her cell phone and dials a number)
SYDNEY: Come on, come on, dammit! Oh, yes, hello. Why aren’t we ready yet? What is obstructing us from getting this thing ready? When will we have it done by? (pause) Friday?! You mean it simply can’t be done earlier? The only reason I have not divorced my husband is this. If you need just a minute more than this, I—I will not be happy. (hangs up, looking distraught) (Marcus enters) What do you want?

MARCUS

Mom, can you drive me to school today?

SYDNEY

No, honey, just walk.

MARCUS

But—

SYDNEY

Honey, can’t you see I am busy?


MARCUS

(forlornly) Okay. I’ll walk.
SCENE IX Color
(Once again, a dark room, a single flame can be seen with a wood reflection. No faces can be seen, voices are hushed)
TRUSSEL

Give it to me!

WILKES

Your weapon—and—your project. Completed.

TRUSSEL

What?! You’ve completed it?

WILKES

Gladly.

TRUSSEL

Mr. Wilkes, you are impressing me, now we only have to wait three more days. Shall I grant you a reward this time? Let’s see…several thousand dollars generally does the trick.

WILKES

But sir, our currency will be useless once the public has gone mad!

TRUSSEL

No, Mr. Wilkes, you are quite wrong. They will, in fact, become more greedy, and therefore kill for money. However, you must realize that they have no idea we will ultimately control most of their actions.

WILKES: This plan is flawless.

TRUSSEL

(unconcerned) Yes.

WILKES

It is utterly brilliant, sir.

TRUSSEL

Thank you. We shall ultimately dominate the globe. We shall select only the elite to toil for us as slave labor. The others we will kill. Kill, I say! You were correct in saying that this project is flawless, Mr. Wilkes. This world is rampant with overpopulation. This project will alter just that. This project has been my dream since I was a little boy. This, Mr. Wilkes, is Project Kokoro.

SCENE X Color
THURSDAY
The house of Alan and Michael.
Alan will shuffle through the daily mail and find a mysterious letter, which reads, “Mr. Aaron Wilkes” There is no postal address, no street or city addresses or ZIP code, nothing, except this name. Alan will be very ambivalent at this moment—he will not be sure whether to throw the letter in the fire or keep it for later reference. Alan eventually strolls over to the blazing fire and tosses it in. This will be a difficult scene to direct.

SCENE XI Color

FRIDAY

5:39 A.M.

House of Lucas Moreno.

LUCAS

Good-bye, Sydney.

SYDNEY

Lucas, why are you leaving so early?

LUCAS

Important meeting.

SYDNEY

Really? Well, good luck at your meeting.

LUCAS

(casually) I love you.

SYDNEY

(curtly) And I love you too. Good-bye, Lucas.

(Lucas leaves, grimacing. Sydney watches in horror as he pulls out a revolver. She screams and ducks toward the ground. Lucas runs up the stairs and stabs her with a knife. Marcus will be nearby, and Sydney will scream, “MARCUS!” Sydney wakes up in her bed, in cold sweat. Her clock, (yes, this is creepy), displays the digits 5:39, and, fiddling with it, she realizes the signs (under the clock a subtitle will appear, stating simply, “Friday”. Her heart is pounding wildly. She is breathing fast, and quickly realizes that Lucas is not there.)

SYDNEY

Lucas! LUCAS!

(Sydney looks in Marcus’ room, seeing he is sound asleep. Sydney dashes downstairs and fiddles with her purse, looking for her cell phone. This time, instead of dialing a number, she says to the phone, “Master.” She waits for the dial tone and, conceding, she hurls the phone down. As if realizing something, she states the following line aloud)


SYDNEY

(slowly, viewing up on the lips) My God, where are you?

SCENE XII Color
Alan’s apartment, Alan is finishing conversation with Michael..

FRIDAY

7:00 A.M.


MICHAEL

All right, good-bye.

ALAN
Yeah, I think I’m gonna take a day off today.

MICHAEL: Why?

ALAN

I don’t feel a hundred percent.

MICHAEL

Good enough. I’ve gotta go.

ALAN

Suit yourself.

(Alan hangs up the telephone, picks it up again and dials a number.)

ALAN

Hello? Yes, can you just tell my boss I won’t be here today? I think I am coming down with something. (Pause) Yes. Yes, of course. Yes. Thank you. (hangs up)

(Alan will then retreat downstairs. He will pick up a newspaper and begin to read it. Coffee will be brewing, and Alan will not hesitate to get up and get it. He will sip the coffee on his couch as he leisurely reads the newspaper. Indeed, Alan is not sick. Alan will continually glance toward the clock, nervously checking the time. 7:30. 8:30. 9:30. 11:00. At this point, Alan will flip on the television. This will be a bogus “newscast” that we will create, and Alan will get up to make a T.V. dinner. As he waits and eats, the clock is shown more and more. At 11:55, this is the climactic point. The anchorperson will come on, live.)

ANCHORPERSON

And now to Sandra, in China, where she will be studying the actions and habitat of panda bears. (smiles, waits for what may seem like forever) Uhh, we seem to be having a few…technical difficulties. (an attendant will rush over and whisper something in his/her ear) I am getting reports now that all communication has been cut off from China…yes…Breaking news! The Planet Earth is now undergoing rapid changes. Satellites closely examining China have discovered a faint, green gas covering the city of Shanghai and the surrounding area.

ALAN

 Oh, my God! (runs to the telephone and dials a number) Michael! Get to our house now! There is an emergency! Bring anyone you can, your mother, my mother, anyone!

MICHAEL

Woa, woa, Alan, what’s going on now?

ALAN

I can explain later. Just get here, dammit!

MICHAEL

Okay. I’ll be right over.

SCENE XIII
(House of Lucas Moreno. Sydney Watkinson will dial a number on her cell phone, looking terrified.)

SYDNEY

Aaron? Oh, thank God! I had a horrendous night sleeping…yes, what is it?…WHAT? I—how could I—what time is it? Marcus is in school! We have a mere half hour!
(Sydney dashes over to the normal phone and dials yet another number.)

SYDNEY

(sounding falsely emotional) Is—is this the secretary?

SECRETARY

Yes.

SYDNEY

(breaking into fake sobs) A—a tragedy has occurred.

SECRETARY

(in a hard, uncaring voice) Oh, I am very sorry.

SYDNEY

Yes, well, I need to pick Marcus up.

SECRETARY

Oh, yes, of course, Mrs. Watkinson, however, there is an emergency right now, and our children are not allowed to leave the school.

SYDNEY

Bitch! (slams down the phone)

(Alan will run down into his basement, literally tearing it apart with his cold hands. He eventually finds several gas masks in which he places on the table. As he runs upstairs, he greets Michael at the door with an unfriendly expression.)

MICHAEL

Alan, what the hell is going on here?

ALAN

(breathing fast) That prank phone call I got—wasn’t prank. It really was someone attempting to take over the world!

MICHAEL

So this is what the hell you took me out of work now, huh? THIS IS WHAT YOU GIVE ME—

ALAN

Trust me, it’s true!

MICHAEL

This is the stupidest sick joke I have ever gotten—and I’ve seen a lot!

ALAN

Mike, come over here, look!

(Turns television on)

ANCHORPERSON
This green gas appears to be moving at a rapid pace throughout Asia. We are currently unable to contact anyone from the infected area. Is this the end of the world as we know it? Our only suggestions are to go into a safe area—a basement, a hole in the ground, or anything else you can think of. In other news, President Bush, fortunate enough to be in Florida visiting his brother, Jeb, is being deported on an emergency flight to Cape Canaveral, where he will be rocketed into space after a quick announcement to his country. He has also requested that each of his immediate family members and Condoleeza Rice join him on the remaining emergency rockets. That’s eight rockets, total, folks. You can listen to his farewell speech on 590 AM radio. This is (name), reporting, and farewell, friends. And one last thing—(begins to cry) Mother, Father, sweet Janet, Little Mikey and Tommy, if you’re listening, I love you all!
(Camera will view up on Alan and Michael, both stunned. All we hear is the anchorman’s deep sobs.)

MICHAEL

Turn on 590!

ALAN

Wait, first I have something that just might be able to save us!

MICHAEL

What?

ALAN

Gas masks. My great-great-grandfather wore one of these in World War I. The other one belongs to his friend who died in the war.

ALAN

Listen! He may have information.


PRESIDENT BUSH

Today, America has entered a time of crisis. Not a crisis of oil, not a crisis of the stock market, not a crisis of them internets, but a crisis of weapons of mass destruction. (Alan and Michael will exchange glances) We have fought a war of terror in finding these weapons of mass destruction and, huh, we didn’t find them, but we still captured Sadaam Hussein and his terrorists. Today we are still in that war. We are helping the Iraqi people. We are doing good for the Iraqis. We are leading the Iraqis to the correct paths. But that’s not what I am going to talk to you about today. I am going to talk to you today about other weapons of mass destruction. The weapons of mass destruction that are about to kill our earth. The weapons of mass destruction that Sadaam Hussein himself has planted in China, or Japan, or whatever. Actually, it was probably that Kim Jong Lee guy in North Korea, since that’s kinduh closer to where the thing started. But that’s not the point. This is the point. I don’t know what kinduh gas them guys are using, but its some dangerous stuff that they can get into the air everywhere in the world. This guy is bad. We need to catch him. And we will. Don’t worry Americans. We will.

ALAN

Bloody HELL! This is the stupidest speech I have ever heard…it sounds like someone quite thick just gave it.

MICHAEL

Alan, that was our president.

ALAN

I know. But what do we do?

MICHAEL

Well, I’ve calculated we have a little under a half hour, so we need to get moving. Turn on the news.
(Alan turns on the news.)

ANCHORPERSON

We now have more breaking news. There are less than 25 minutes now until this gas hits Chicago, but we do have some idea of what this gas is. Element 118, yet to be discovered by man, and potassium have combined to form a strange compound that is likely to attack each man’s brain, possibly killing him. We have performed tests of this compound on rats, which seems to be unsuccessful. In other news, Bush’s farewell speech is currently drawing to a close. Researchers have so far found at least twelve grammatical errors in his speech. Many Republicans are angry that Bush is giving a dissapointing last impression. Bush’s final words, “And we will succeed,” seemed very overreaching to many. All we can suggest is that one remains in an enclosed area, closer to the center of the earth, such as a basement. Many Chicagoans are taking refuge in the Sears Tower Observatory, which is now charging seven hundred dollars for entry.

ALAN

Why does he have to—

ANCHORPERSON

And one more piece of advice—whatever you do, stay off golf courses and trees, which are in open areas. That’s the news at noon, we’ll see you—in Heaven.

MICHAEL

I’m going out—I’ll see if I can find any news. (Opens door, chaos is eminent).

ALAN

Mike, be back here in twenty minutes. Got that?

MICHAEL

We need to get going. Find out anything you can.

ALAN

You too.

(checks clock, sees it is already 12:10. Alan sits down, pondering, looking distraught. After a minute or so, something revolutionary occurs to him. He checks the caller I.D. on his phone, and calls the number under “Unknown Caller.” Alan listens as a recorded voice gives him instructions.)

VOICE OVER

Begin the antidote by mixing three cups of distilled water with two tablespoons of hydrochloric acid. Heat until boiling, then add three fig leaves to the substance. (Alan is quickly taking down notes). Add one teaspoon of sodium nitrite, then spit into the substance. Place in a blender and blend. Concentrate the solution, and add…

(The audience will know that the voice is continuing, but we will stop it for time reasons. Alan will then go into his basement, and, since his father was a scientist, he has almost all of the materials. He does not, however, have three fig leaves, which he begins to panic about. Alan runs out the door, and on his doorstep, strangely, are three fig leaves laid neatly on the doorstep. Alan picks them up and quickly adds them to his collection of materials. He picks up the phone and makes a decisive call.)

ALAN

Beth! Do you have any idea what’s going on? pause You have an idea? Okay, turn on the TV, channel nine. Okay, whatever, WGN! It’s in Kansas City… pause Yes, I know, but anyway, I can’t explain everything now. The world is ultimately coming to an end! This isn’t just a joke anymore. You are in Kansas City? pause Okay, call this number, ready? (708) 207-1856. Got that? Great. Listen for instructions. You only have about ten minutes. Hurry, Beth! Pause Okay. Don’t panic. I love you. (He hangs up the phone, then works on the potion for ten minutes, looks at the clock, which reads “12:30,” labels the potion, drinks it, and passes out.)

SCENE XIV Color

(House of Lucas Moreno. Lucas is standing next to Sydney, panicking.)

LUCAS

Sydney! What’re we going to do? What’re we going to do!

SYDNEY

Calm down, Lucas!

LUCAS

Where is Marcus? I thought he was with you!

SYDNEY

(rolling her eyes) He was. I told him to go to you for his allowance.



LUCAS

Where is he, then?

SYDNEY

I don’t know.

LUCAS

Sydney, what is going on? Why do you seem to flip out your cell phone every minute? Today, you seemed to be so uptight about everything. Sydney, I need to know, did you know anything about this gas attack?

SYDNEY

Lucas, I need to tell you something before I do this. I have waited for this moment all my life. I am incredibly sick of you and I have been longing for divorce ever since I married you. I did not marry you, Lucas, because I loved you. I married you because I had to. There are very complicated reasons for this, which would take days to explain, and I only have five minutes.

LUCAS

Sydney—what? Did you have anything to do with this—this attack?

SYDNEY

I am not at liberty to disclose that information. Now Lucas, please stand still.

LUCAS

What’re you—

SYDNEY

Lucas, I am sorry I have to do this. Please forgive me.
(Sydney takes a tranquilizer and injects it into Lucas’s skin. He falls to the ground.)
SYDNEY

(dialing her cell phone) Everything is in place. When will he awaken?


VOICE OVER

He will be out for the next six hours, at least. Is the antidote ready?

SYDNEY

Just about.

VOICE OVER

I will speak to you later.

(Sydney opens the refrigerator door and takes out a flask or canteen. She drinks a liberal amount, and falls to the ground.)

SCENE XV Color
(The house of Alan. Michael walks in.)

MICHAEL

Alan! Alan, where are you? (Walks around house, sees Alan passed out on kitchen floor. Michael wants to scream, but cannot.) Alan! What’s happened to you? (Shakes Alan’s body, sees that he is out cold. Michael then looks at the counter and sees a glass, half-full with a blue liquid, labeled “antidote.” Thinking this is an antidote for some poisonous substance, he forces it down Alan’s body. He then examines the glass, hesitates, and looks outside to the panicking crowds. In the distance is a green gas, quickly bowling toward him. Michael drinks the remainder of the glass and passes out. The electricity in the house goes out.)

SCENE XVI-Color
Saturday

Midnight

ALAN

(wakes up, goes over to the kitchen counter. The scene is dark, yet moans and howls can be heard outside.) The light! It doesn’t work. Michael! Wake up! (Michael remains on the ground.) The light! The light! Why doesn’t the light work? (Alan, delirious, literally falls asleep on the stairs. The crashing of a window can be heard.)
12:30 A.M.
(Michael awakens)
MICHAEL

Alan! Alan, what is going on? Alan? ALAN! Where are you? I can’t see anything!
(Michael also falls asleep in the middle of nowhere)

SCENE XVII-Color
(Alan awakens)
ALAN

Michael! Michael, are you there?

MICHAEL

Alan, what happened?

ALAN

I don’t know.

MICHAEL

Were you poisoned?

ALAN

No. I created an “antidote” against the poisonous gas.

MICHAEL

Did anyone live?

ALAN

I thought everyone lived.

MICHAEL

Then everyone is fine?

ALAN

I believe that those who did not take the antidote went insane.


MICHAEL

WHAT?

ALAN

Did you hear those screams last night? Our window was broken, as well.

MICHAEL

So the people went insane because of that gas? Is anyone all right?

ALAN

I doubt it—unless other people called that number, and I don’t know why they would.

MICHAEL

Would the gas masks have worked?

(Alan laughs)

ALAN

You’ve got to be kidding me. Those pieces of—well, those antiques from World War One?

MICHAEL

How do we find out who wasn’t affected?

ALAN

That’s my question. We’ll have to call around.

(Michael is pacing about the kitchen)

MICHAEL

Alan, don’t you understand the severity of this situation? THIS IS EVERY DAMN PERSON WHO WALKS THIS EARTH! DO YOU REALLY THINK THIS IS A LAUGHING MATTER?

ALAN

Calm down, Mike, all we need to do is make more of the antidote, call our friends and relatives, and administer it to them.

MICHAEL

But we don’t have enough resources to save everyone.

ALAN

So? We don’t have to save everyone, just so long as we save everyone—we want to.

MICHAEL

But don’t you think it would be selfish to save only our friends and relatives?

ALAN

Oh, shut up. Just forget about it.

(The phone rings. Alan quickly goes over to the phone, where he answers it)

ALAN

I’ll get it. Hello?

VOICE OVER (Aaron Wilkes):

THIS IS A RECORDING FROM THE CHARLES O’LAUGHLIN HOUSE. AFTER THE TRAGEDY YESTERDAY AFTERNOON, OUR SOURCES SAY ONLY A FEW PEOPLE REMAIN FULLY FUNCTIONING. THE OTHERS HAVE SUFFERED SEVERAL BRAIN MALFUNCTIONS. IF YOUR BRAIN IS STILL FULLY FUNCTIONING, PLEASE CALL US. OUR NUMBER IS (630) 325-4062. WE ARE SENDING THIS MESSAGE TO EVERY PERSON IN AMERICA VIA AN ILLEGALLY OWNED TRANSMITTOR, SO PLEASE BEAR WITH US. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION.

MICHAEL

Who was that?

ALAN

Someone on this earth is sane. This person wants us to call them.

MICHAEL

Really? That’s great news. Call them, now!

ALAN

Okay. (calls a number)

VOICE OVER (Aaron Wilkes)

Hello?

ALAN

Hello. This is Alan Guiles. We are sane, and we were wondering what—

VOICE OVER

Thank God! There is someone not affected on this earth! Well, we were just wondering, would you like to meet us tomorrow for drinks?

ALAN

Where do you live?

VOICE OVER

South Bend, Indiana. We were thinking—

ALAN

We’re from Chicago! We live very close to you. We can arrange something, I suppose—



VOICE OVER

Do you play poker?

ALAN

As a mater of fact, I do.

VOICE OVER

We’ve got a real thing for poker out here—do you want to meet us?

ALAN

All right.

SCENE XVIII Color

(In the car, driving. If the audience catches the symbolizm [Alan’s “authority”], Alan will drive)

MICHAEL

We’re going to their house to play poker?

ALAN

What else can we do? Frankly, I’m too tired to do anything right now. Besides, I’m already psyched for a good game.

MICHAEL

Do you have the directions to their place?

ALAN

Yes.

MICHAEL

Do you even know his name?


ALAN

He said his name was Brett Greenwood, and there was someone else who called in.

MICHAEL

Who?

ALAN

The man didn’t specify. It doesn’t matter, so long as we get to know him.

MICHAEL

All right.

ALAN

Cheer up. We can get to know these people.

MICHAEL

Why is no one on the road?

ALAN: Because everyone is insane.

MICHAEL

Well, then, why is no one acting insane?

ALAN

Don’t ask me. I haven’t a clue.

(The car pulls into a foreign driveway. Alan shuts the door, goes up with Michael to the front door, and rings the doorbell. A man appears, squinting, surveying every inch of them. NOTE: The audience DOES NOT know that this man is Aaron Wilkes. Possibly, if they are very clever, they will, but we will not reveal this to them until later. We will even alter the accents of the two for the effect)

WILKES

(in a New England accent) Hello! I am Brett Greenwood!

ALAN

(shakes his hand) Pleasure to meet you.

WILKES

Come in, come in!

(comes in, sees a somewhat dissheveled house, messy in manner)

WILKES

So! You two look alike!

ALAN

We’re brothers.

WILKES

Ah, I see. Have a seat. (sits them down at a couch) Can I get you anything to drink, sir?

ALAN

Oh, no thank you, both of us are fine.

WILKES

Teatotler’s, you are. I see.

ALAN

No, you see, we’re just not thirsty.

WILKES

All right, let’s get cracking, then. Danny is expected to come later—

MICHAEL

Er—Danny?

WILKES

Yes, he was also supposed to come. He, too, was saved from the disaster.

MICHAEL

How did you live?

WILKES

My father’s gas mask saved me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here, I’d be sleeping.

MICHAEL

What?

WILKES

The gas produced triggers a brain malfunction, well many brain malfunctions—one of which is the altering of the circadean rhythm, in other words, each person affected changes their sleep patterns, so most will sleep during the day and remain active at night.

MICHAEL

What do you mean by, well, remain active?

WILKES

They are more active than you’ll ever be, Mike. They will do whatever comes to their mind, eat ravenously, kill for pleasure, and for whatever reason, act very strangely and display very strange behavior toward others. Their sense of pain is virtually absent, as that part of the brain is almost completely obliterated.

MICHAEL

So what do we do?

WILKES

We ignore them. We may have to kill them, if necessary.

MICHAEL

How do you know all of this?

WILKES

My father. He died two years back, and left a wealth of information regarding the end of the world. He was a time-tested psychic who knew the end of the world was eminent.

ALAN

But how did your father know about this gas?

WILKES

He didn’t. He simply knew several methods of ending the world, one of which is this gas. Its chemical formula is so complex even Einstein wouldn’t completely understand it, but it deals with the high concentration of atoms. Otherwise, when the gas were released, not enough of it would be able to affect the world. I estimate that this gas can be compacted into the size of your fist, maybe even smaller.

ALAN

Do you really think this is the end of the world?

WILKES

The end of humanity, really. If the blokes are too stupid to reproduce, then this is the end. If they do reproduce, their children will grow up to be mentally retarded, and it won’t matter anyway.

ALAN

How did the gas disappear?

WILKES

It doesn’t, it simply begins to lose its effectiveness. Currently, much of it lingers about in the atmosphere idly, while the remainder of it was captured by—by whoever released it.


ALAN

Oh.

WILKES

Would you like to play a few hands of poker now?

ALAN

What time is it?

WILKES

Why does it matter?

ALAN

You’re right. Shall we place a wager?

WILKES

All right. One thousand for fifty chips.

ALAN

Money? Does money matter anymore?

WILKES

Of course it does. Those who are insane take money even more seriously than before. They will kill for money. No, we cannot simply steal from them. Besides, their sense of material gain is still intact, as they will still sell material for profit. (Doorbell rings) Oh, that must be Danny. (gets door) Hello! I am Brett Greenwood, this is Michael and Alan Guiles.
(Trussel is “Danny”)
TRUSSEL

Hello. I am Danny Watkinson.

WILKES

What a pleasure. Please, come in! You play poker, don’t you?

TRUSSEL

I play craps often, but poker—

MICHAEL

Pleasure to meet you.

(shake hands)
TRUSSEL

You look familiar. Have I seen you at Casino L’Evoure?

MICHAEL

Possibly. You hang out near the crappers? (Michael and Alan laugh)

TRUSSEL

(looks at the two with contempt) How…laughable.

ALAN

So, shall we play poker?

TRUSSEL

I generally prefer craps.

ALAN

Oh, come on.

TRUSSEL

All right, deal me in. Where are we playing?

WILKES

In my basement. A bar adjoins it.


TRUSSEL

Let’s play, then, shall we?

SCENE XIX-B&W
(Scene begins in color. The quartet will walk toward the basement door, which they open, and after the door shuts, the scene will become black and white. When the four get down to the basement, they sit around the unoccupied poker table. The cards are set up perfectly, the chips are distributed evenly. Wilkes sits next to Trussel, Trussel sits next to Michael, and Michael sits next to Alan. A man sits already at the table, with suit and gloves. The man is Lucas Moreno. NOTE: This scene is very suspenseful. We will make the effect very real. This will be filmed at my grandmother’s house.)

TRUSSEL

What do we play?

WILKES

Hold’em.

ALAN

Who is he?

WILKES

Oh, yes, he is my mechanic, Lucas. Would you like to play, Lucas? An evening off should lighten your load.

LUCAS

Certainly.
(Lucas sits between Alan and Wilkes, the cards are dealt by Wilkes.)
WILKES

I never did ask you, Alan, how did you survive? And you, Michael?





ALAN

Oh, well you see, I received what I thought was a prank phone call several evenings before. The caller really was the one who created this mess. So I called him back, and the man read an antidote for the gas.
(The camera will do a fantastic zoom-up on Joseph Trussel’s face. He looks extremely worried.)
TRUSSEL

What were you doing, meddling with other people’s affairs?

ALAN

(annoyed) Well, it saved our lives!

(Trussel gives Alan a dirty look)

WILKES

Now, now, let’s not create conflicting attitudes. Before we play, can I get anyone anything to drink?

ALAN

I’ll take a brandy.

TRUSSEL

I will, as well.

WILKES

Very well. Two brandies. Lucas, do you mind?

LUCAS

No, sir.

TRUSSEL

Change that to a vodka, will you?
(Lucas fetches a brandy and a vodka from the bar. Wilkes deals two cards face-down to each of the five players. Wilkes and Alan will light up cigars, but the others will not smoke.) (Alan subtly gives Michael a note. He opens it, and it reads, “I’ll split my earnings with you. Just try and win something” Alan is merely pretending to drink his brandy, when, really, whenever he can, he spits it out onto the cold tile floor, pretending to cough.)

The plays will be as follows:
A=Ace K=King Q=Queen J=Jack 10=10…
S=spades D=diamonds C=clubs H=hearts

WILKES

Everyone ante.

Each person throws one chip into the pot. The first cards that are revealed are Alan’s, and it is seen that he has A-S and 10-S. We will see no other cards in this round until after the river.

Trussel will bet first.

TRUSSEL

Forty.

Play passes to left, each person says “Check” except for Michael.
MICHAEL

I fold. (Throws cards onto table)

FLOP: A-D, 8-H, 9-C

Trussel examines his cards, looks back to the community, and sits there, counting his chips nervously. He begins with a substantial bet.
TRUSSEL

Sixty.

Alan seems quite undecided. He sits at the table for a long time before stating,

ALAN

I’ll raise twenty.

Wilkes and Lucas call.
TURN: J-S

TRUSSEL

Forty.

ALAN

I’ll raise sixty.

Michael, already out, stares at the pot dangerously.

LUCAS

I fold.

WILKES

I will, as well.

TRUSSEL

(with a gleaming smile) Sixty on top of that.
Puts in six chips
ALAN

All right. I’ll call.
RIVER: A-H

TRUSSEL

I’ll bet eighty.

ALAN

Fair enough.
Places four chips into the pot.
WILKES

All right, now for the showdown.



TRUSSEL

Shut the mouth, Greenwood. Straight.
Indeed, Trussel has 10-D and Q-S.

ALAN

Take the damn chips. How much did I lose that round?

TRUSSEL

(smirking) To be precise, you lost three hundred eighty dollars.

ALAN

(sounding less-than-sober) All, right, deal me in again.

WILKES

I will not participate in this round—would anyone like something to drink?

TRUSSEL

‘Nother vodka, if you don’t mind.
(Wilkes goes off to the kitchen, where he gets Trussel a “vodka”. In reality, he opens his concealed refrigerator, takes out a bottle labeled “Tonic Water” and pours a glass. He brings it back to Trussel and places it on the table.)
This time, Trussel will deal.

WILKES

I’m back, what have I missed?

TRUSSEL

I believe I am dealing?

Trussel shuffles the cards, gives them to Wilkes, who cuts them, and proceeds to pass out the cards.
This time, both Alan and Trussel’s cards are shown, but no one else’s are. Alan has A-S A-H, and Trussel has A-D K-S.


TRUSSEL

Kid, it’s your bet.

MICHAEL

I will check.

ALAN

Sixty.

LUCAS

I’m out.

WILKES

I am, as well.

TRUSSEL

I will raise forty on that bet.

MICHAEL

I’m out.

ALAN

So, it seems to be just you and me this round, eh?

TRUSSEL

Yeah, yeah, kid, keep it movin’.

ALAN

I’ll raise you one hundred.

TRUSSEL

A hundred? Kid, this is the first round! Isn’t there a limit?

WILKES

We never did specify a limit.

(Trussel concedes and places five chips in the center.)

FLOP: A-C, K-C, 8-H

TRUSSEL

Bet’s yours, kid.

ALAN

I will check.

TRUSSEL

Eighty.

ALAN

I see your eighty and raise you eighty.

TRUSSEL

All right.

TURN: 2-C

ALAN

Okay. Twenty.

TRUSSEL

I will raise you…forty.

ALAN

All right, then.

RIVER: 2-D

ALAN

I’ll check.

TRUSSEL

I’ll bet sixty.

ALAN

I will see your sixty, and I’ll raise you two hundred. Read it and weep, buddy.

TRUSSEL

(waits for several seconds) I will fold.

ALAN

Ha, HA! YES! I’m back in the money, fellers!

TRUSSEL

(short, frank, rhetorical) Bastard.

MICHAEL

I believe it is my bet?

TRUSSEL

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Kid, lemme cut the cards.

(cuts cards very precisely)

MICHAEL

We’ll play hold’em again.

ALAN

(loudly, sounding drunk) Why not Omaha?

TRUSSEL

Shut up!

ALAN

I’m out this round, folks.

WILKES

Are you sure?

ALAN

Yeah, I need a quick break. Can I stretch and walk around, maybe grab a quick beer? Come on! Just a beer!

WILKES

Why don’t we all take a break, shall we?

(As everyone gets up to stretch, Wilkes and Trussel go off to a separate room, where they discuss several “issues”)

TRUSSEL

What is that drink you gave me, tonic water?

WILKES

Well, nothing else in there looks like vodka—

TRUSSEL

What about tap water?

WILKES

Sir, I don’t mean to be frank, but water doesn’t exactly look like vodka.

TRUSSEL

I’m warning you, boy: don’t get lazy. All right, let’s keep playing.

WILKES

Do you want a vodka?

TRUSSEL

No. And don’t worry. I’ll get these fools soon enough.

Playing resumes.

TRUSSEL

All right, everyone back down.

(The next portion of this scene will simply show the members of the poker “party” playing. There are no references to anyone winning or losing any money, etc.) (Trussel’s phone rings)

TRUSSEL

I have an important call. Please excuse me from this round.

WILKES

All right, my deal. Let’s raise the stakes to a forty-minimum.
(Trussel is seen exiting the room)

TRUSSEL

(possibly in Japanese, with English subtitles) Hello? Pause Speaking. Pause Yes, this isn’t the right time, I am afraid—yes, I know—what, you think you can just interrupt me like that? All right.—yes. Good-bye.
(enters the room)

MICHAEL

How could you have a phone call? No one is alive on this earth.




TRUSSEL

I was simply listening to a message I gave myself earlier today. I purposely scheduled it to ring at midnight.

MICHAEL

(yawns) Is it midnight already?

TRUSSEL

Of  course.

WILKES

All right. One last hand. Your deal, Mr. Guiles.

(Alan takes the cards)

ALAN

Okay. Here we go.

(is about to deal cards, then hesitates)

ALAN

By the way, what’s the chip count?

TRUSSEL

I believe I am up a—a mere forty dollars from you, Mr. Guiles.

ALAN

(shrugs) Okay. No problemo. Here we go.

(deals out cards. Alan’s cards are shown: A-S, K-S)

ALAN

Bet is to you, Michael.

MICHAEL

I will check.

ALAN

Mr. Watkinson?

TRUSSEL

I will bet forty.

WILKES

I will call.

LUCAS

I’m out.

ALAN

I will see your forty and raise you—forty.

MICHAEL

I’ll call, as well.

TRUSSEL

I’ll see that.

(Wilkes puts chips in. We may not have everyone speak since it may sound somewhat awkward.)

ALAN

Just the four of us. All right.

FLOP: K-D, 8-H, 10-D



ALAN

Michael?

MICHAEL

I’ll check.

TRUSSEL

Twenty.

WILKES

Twenty on top of that.

ALAN

Forty…let’s see…I’ll raise sixty.

(Everyone calls)

TURN: K-H
ALAN

Bet is to you, Michael.

MICHAEL

I’ll call.

TRUSSEL

Forty.

WILKES

I’ll call.

ALAN

I’ll see that and raise you—let’s see now—sixty.

(Everyone calls)
RIVER: A-D

MICHAEL

I will bet twenty.

(Alan gives Michael an uncertain look, and Michael looks back at him. Both appear distraught)

TRUSSEL

I shall raise eighty.

WILKES

Twenty on top of that.

ALAN

How much are we in for here?

TRUSSEL

One hundred twenty dollars.

ALAN

Okay. A hundred on top of that.

MICHAEL

I’ll fold.

TRUSSEL

(waits for a long time) I will call.

WILKES

One hundred on top of all of you.

ALAN

(waits, pondering) You honesetly put in three hundred twenty dollars?

WILKES

(curtly) Yes.

ALAN

Well…you see, fellers, I dunno if this is going to be, well, worthwhile—

TRUSSEL

Are you in or aren’t you?

ALAN

Well…hang on. (sits, pondering) See yours (pause)—and raise you three hundred.
(Alan folds his hands, looking quite pleased with himself)

WILKES

I’m in.

TRUSSEL

Wait…didn’t we specify a limit after the break?

ALAN

The limit you specified was three hundred.

TRUSSEL

Well—

ALAN

Sir, are you in or aren’t you?

WILKES

I’m in.

TRUSSEL

I am, also.

ALAN

Show your cards, then.

TRUSSEL

Fools. Flush. (reveals J-D and 10-D)

WILKES

Beats me.

ALAN

Well—you see—

TRUSSEL

(gleaming triumphantly) You lost, my friend.

ALAN

Full house. (lays down the king and ace)

TRUSSEL

No! He’s taking my money!

WILKES

It’s quite all right, Mr. Watkinson.

TRUSSEL

He—he cheated!



WILKES

All right, calm down, now. Let’s pay up.

TRUSSEL

How much do I owe you?

ALAN

To be precise—you owe me eleven hundred forty dollars.

(Trussel reluctantly fumbles for his wallet, where he gives Alan eleven hundred-dollar bills.)

***

WILKES

All right, now. Alan, Michael, Danny—how would you like to spend the week here?

ALAN

Sounds great.

MICHAEL

Yeah.

WILKES

We can discuss the destruction and what we will do about it.

SCENE XX
House of Aaron Wilkes, in a room with, creepily, two neatly folded beds.

WILKES

Here is the guest room. Alan, Michael, do you find this satisfactory?

ALAN

Yes.

WILKES

If you need anything, call Lucas. He will be spending the week with us.

MICHAEL

Can I have a toothbrush?

WILKES

Of course. Lucas!

ALAN

May I, as well?

WILKES

Lucas! Two toothbrushes, please.

ALAN

May I use the telephone?

WILKES

suspicious Why?

ALAN

I—I wanted to leave myself a message. For when I get home.

WILKES

(good acting required)Dial nine. It’s on the bureau.
(Wilkes exits the room and enters another)
WILKES

(speaking to Trussel) Hurry, get the phone!



ALAN

(from the other room) Hello? Beth? Thank God! I thought you were dead—or a zombie or something—
(brief retreat to other room, where Trussel and Wilkes look at each other, baffled)

ALAN

I don’t have much time or privacy right now to talk to you, but I love you, and, well, to make a long story short—South Bend, Indiana—yes, well, see, I’m with the few people who were not affected by this horrible, horrible occurrence—wait, how did you not get the message? How did you survive?—A gas mask? We had a couple of those, we were gonna use them! Anyway, is there any way you could make it here to Indiana—why don’t you just drive? Okay, okay, I’ll call you soon. (Hangs up)
(Scene returns to other room)

TRUSSEL

I told you, he is nothing but a filthy liar. (slams phone on receiver)

WILKES

Yes, you did. Now get some rest. If you need anything, call for Lucas.

TRUSSEL

I will get my money back. That money may be worthless, but having his money in my hands is beyond priceless. Good night.
(in other room)
ALAN

Was it just me, or was someone listening in on my conversation?

MICHAEL

Alan, why did you lie to him?

ALAN

Because he seemed very suspicious and I find it quite rude of him to ask who I was calling.


MICHAEL

Don’t you find it strange that of all the people to live in this world, it’s not only us, but your girlfriend, as well? I mean, sure, there may be some out there still okay, but how—how can this be?

ALAN

It is an act of God, Michael!

MICHAEL

When our parents died, do you remember that night?

ALAN

Mike, well—why do you ask?

MICHAEL

I have never asked you before.

ALAN

You don’t remember, you were only two—but I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember Josephine, our caretaker, telling us—she was sobbing on the ground, I couldn’t bear to look at her.

MICHAEL

What did she say to you?

ALAN

I really didn’t understand it until later, but she—she said—(beginning to break down) She said she loved me. She said mommy and daddy were in a better place.

MICHAEL

What did she say then?



ALAN

She said there was an accident—she didn’t know the details—and that our parents were no longer with us. A bunch of social work—type people came to our house and told me not to worry—all that crap. Aunt Mary came over to comfort us.

MICHAEL

Alan, I need to ask something of you. Call everyone you know.

ALAN

Well, I really only had one call—

MICHAEL

And you couldn’t call someone else?

ALAN

No. I couldn’t. I don’t love anyone like I love Beth.

MICHAEL

Good night.

ALAN

Shut up, Mike, and get some sleep. I don’t know how much longer we have to go.

MICHAEL

Alan?

ALAN

What?

MICHAEL

Why is it so quiet?


ALAN

What do you mean?

MICHAEL

Well, don’t the crazy people come out at night?

ALAN

Good question. Now shut up.

SCENE XXI-Note: May occur somewhat later in film.

At night, around 2:30 A.M. outside the house. Lucas Moreno and Joseph Trussel are at scene.

TRUSSEL

Just throw ‘em in!

(If one is to look closely, Lucas is throwing corpses in a large garbage truck. We will zoom in on the eyes of a woman, dead, with eyes open. This scene may occur somewhat later.)


SCENE XXII
In the morning, 6:30, Wilkes has obviously woken up early. He is making pancakes. Trussel will come down, a bedhead, still in pajamas, quite groggy.

TRUSSEL

(somewhat pleased with himself) I suppose there will be no morning paper today.

WILKES

Yes. Do you prefer pancakes or waffles?

TRUSSEL

As a boy, I ate flapjacks every morning. I read the morning paper every morning, after I awoke, as well. This is the first day in almost thirty years I have NOT had my morning paper.

WILKES

What about yesterday?

TRUSSEL

Yesterday I never did wake up—I was merely awake the whole night.

WILKES

I’ll awaken the others.
(Trussel sits down, enjoying a coffee)
ALAN

Good morning. It must be about seven—

MICHAEL

Ooh, pancakes!

WILKES

The finest quality, hand-made, buttermilk pancakes. Lucas!
(Lucas enters)

LUCAS

Yes, sir?

WILKES

Make us ten strips of bacon, five omelettes, and ten sausages. Danny, does that sound satisfactory? Michael, Alan?
(General murmur of agreement)
WILKES

All right.
***
(eating)



WILKES

After breakfast, we need to go into the living room and talk about what we are going to do about this.

ALAN

I’m finished.

WILKES

Let’s go then, shall we?

SCENE XXIII
(Darkly lit room, as before)

WILKES

Master, why have you called me here?

TRUSSEL

I want to understand your strategy, Mr. Wilkes. It seems rather—dubious.

WILKES

My only intention is to serve you, and I am sure you can understand—

TRUSSEL

Surely you are not lying to me?!

WILKES

(hurredly) No! No, of course not! I simply—

TRUSSEL

Mr. Wilkes, quite frankly, this plan is not going quite as I would like it to. There are six people throughout the world we still cannot kill.



WILKES

But sir, why?

TRUSSEL

Because we need to get information out of them first, except perhaps the boy.

WILKES

But Master—

TRUSSEL

I hate to disappoint you, Mr. Wilkes, but you are too naïve to understand. Perhaps this conversation can be adjourned later. But first, I—I want to study your strategy.

WILKES

What do you—

TRUSSEL

You play chess?

WILKES

Yes, sir, I do.

(lights come on, revealing a glorious chessboard. It will apear diagonal the screen.)

TRUSSEL

I shall win, of course. I still want to understand your strategy. I’ll play white.

(The game begins. 1 e4 e5   2 f4 exf4   3 Bc4 Qh4+   4 Kf1 b5)

TRUSSEL: I see you wish to develop rapidly. You equal my taste.
5. Bxb5 Nf6
6. Nf3 Qh6 (TRUSSEL: Tsk, tsk.)
7. d3 Nh5
8. Nh4 Qg5
9. Nf5 c6
10. g4   Nf6
11. Rg1 exb5
12. h4 Qg6
13. h5   Qg5
14. Qf3 Ng8
15. Bxf4 Qf6
16. Nc3

TRUSSEL

(examines move, simply stunned) With whom did you play chess?

WILKES

My brother, mostly, before he died.

TRUSSEL

And after that?

WILKES

I played in the city, in Old Town. I seldom lost.

TRUSSEL

You’re quite good. This is far more difficult than I had expected. Your move.

16…Bc5
17. Nd5 Qxb2
18. Bd6
(Camera zooms in on Trussel moving the piece.)
18…Bxg1
19. e5   Qxa1+
20. Ke2 Na6
21. Nxg7+ Kd8
22. Qf6+ Nxf6
23. Be7#
(Again, camera zooms in on piece)

TRUSSEL

Mr. Wilkes, I believe that is checkmate.

WILKES

(tips over king) That was utterly brilliant, sir. (extends hand in congratulations, Trussel refuses to shake it.)

TRUSSEL

Get your hand off the table, Mr. Wilkes. As I analyze your position, I see you are quite—well—aggressive. You seem to enjoy action. Some of this is good. Of course, those who are passive will fail. Those who remain uncontrollably aggressive, however—(Trussel bangs on table, chess pieces scatter.) And THAT—THAT, Mr. Wilkes, is what will become of this project if you become lax. You are a skilled player Mr. Wilkes. You have not failed me yet. Whatever you do, do not fail. You’ll be damn sorry if you do. Now good day to you.

SCENE XXIV

(In house, ALAN and MICHAEL are debriefing, WILKES is chatting merrily with them.)

ALAN

Yeah, Mike and I both grew up in Chicago, on the North Side, sort of near Wrigleyville.

WILKES

I assume you’re Cubs fans, then?

MICHAEL

Yeah, we’re diehard fans. We even got tickets for July 10, fifth row. Yeah, you’re missing out, man.

ALAN

What teams do you support in Indiana?

WILKES

Actually the Boston Red Sox.

ALAN

Did you live in Boston?

WILKES

I grew up there, and basically moved here only two years ago to waste away my talent as a servant for that old crab.

ALAN

Yeah, Fenway Park, man, that’s awesome.

MICHAEL

What was the best Bo-Sox game you’ve seen?

WILKES

I would have to say…well, I could easily tell you the worst.

MICHAEL

Which game?

WILKES

In the ’86 Series.

(ALAN and MICHAEL look stunned)

ALAN

You saw the Buckner game?

WILKES

I saw that game.

ALAN

Wow, that musta been heartbreaking.

WILKES

No kidding, man. I saw grown men just bawling their eyes out.

ALAN

Do you still have your ticket stub? That must be priceless.

WILKES

As a matter of fact, I do.

ALAN

Jesus. That was the game that changed Boston and America.

WILKES

Of course! I was—

TRUSSEL

Excuse me, I hate to interrupt this conversation, but I believe there is work to be done. Follow me.

SCENE XXV
(The three are walking down a corridor, following Trussel. Without the slightest clue, they march on, out the door, onto the lawn, and into the town. We see a barren mess of objects strewn about. Trussel leads on, not uttering a word. They eventually pass through a small field and into a small forest [behind my house]. Trussel will guide them into a ditch, and he will turn around.)

TRUSSEL: (To Wilkes) Tie them up. (Then, to the two) Do not move.

(Wilkes ties the two to a tree while Trussel points a revolver in between them.)

MICHAEL

What are you—

TRUSSEL

Shut up!

MICHAEL

You’re surely not—

TRUSSEL

I said shut up!

WILKES

Sir, who is left to kill?

TRUSSEL

My sources say there is a man in the Himalayas who was not affected due to the altitude, however; he will die soon, we needn’t worry. Sydney was foolish enough to save her son from the attack, we may have to kill him ourself if she fails to comply. There is also a young woman in Kansas City, along with her shriveling old mother.
(Camera zooms in on Alan’s face)
ALAN

No!

TRUSSEL

Did I permit you to speak?

ALAN

Please, don’t hurt her!

TRUSSEL

What? You—you know of this woman?

ALAN

Ye—well, no.

TRUSSEL

LIAR! You know who she is and you will tell me!

ALAN

I don’t know what you’re talking about.
(TRUSSEL points revolver directly at ALAN’s face)
TRUSSEL

I’m warning you: if you aren’t being truthful with me, your life will end.

ALAN

As though you wouldn’t kill me anyway.

TRUSSEL

I think a deal is appropriate here. Wilkes!

ALAN

I thought your name was—oh I see, you planned this out! You lured me to your house so you could kill me, along with my brother. But why haven’t you killed me yet? And what’s your name?

TRUSSEL

My name is Joseph Trussel, and this is Aaron Wilkes. Together we have worked together to create the most successful domination in history. We—

ALAN

 And where, might I ask, are the people affected by the gas?

TRUSSEL

You are cunning. I see his ability, Aaron, and he can help us. The other, however, shall have to go.

ALAN

What? My brother? No!



TRUSSEL

My young friend, do not play games with me. I can meddle with your mind in ways you cannot imagine. I can attack you psychologically with the mere pressing of a button.

ALAN

At least keep him here.

TRUSSEL

Come with us. Yes, I suppose we can let him stay here. But first, tie him up again!

WILKES

Yes sir.

(Wilkes ties Michael to the tree. He also drops a time bomb on the ground timed for twenty minutes at MICHAEL’s feet. ALAN does not see this.)

TRUSSEL

(To Alan) And you, my friend, will be coming with us.

SCENE XXVI

(House of Sydney, she is shaking Lucas madly)

SYDNEY

Get up!

LUCAS

Oh, hello.

SYDNEY

Bastard! Why did you live?



LUCAS

Jolly good day, isn’t it?

MARCUS

Mom, what is going on?

SYDNEY

Marcus, we’re leaving.

MARCUS

Will dad be okay?

SYDNEY

(coldly) He’ll be fine.

MARCUS

Mom, tell me what’s going on!

SYDNEY

(leans down) Honey, this is out of my control. Something has happened, no one knows what.

MARCUS

Will dad—

SYDNEY

Honey, I don’t know! Now get in the car.

(the two exit the house and go into the car. Sydney begins to drive.)
*    *    *
(Driving near the seashore, Sydney answers her ringing phone.)



SYDNEY

Hello?

(Camera shows car driving from outside)

SYDNEY

Sir, my son is alive.

TRUSSEL

I know, Sydney, and the only thing you know we can do is kill him.

SYDNEY

No, Master!

TRUSSEL

At least you are not lying to me. That is good.

SYDNEY

Sir…please!

TRUSSEL

Do you want this plan to fail?
*   *    *
(Sydney is shown pulling over. She gets out of the car and opens the trunk. They are near a beach with, obviously, no inhabitants. She has tears in her eyes.)
MARCUS

Mom, what are you doing?

SYDNEY

Stay in the car, Marcus.

MARCUS

Why are you—

SYDNEY

STAY IN THE CAR!
(she enters into a wild howl of hysterics, and she forcibly opens the trunk, pulling out a pistol)

SYDNEY

Oh God, oh my God, will he forgive me! What shall I do? God, help me! Give me strength!

(summons all her energy, trying, concentrating, not to wave the pistol about haphazardly.)

SYDNEY

(sounding wildly deranged)Honey, I have to do this. My master—he will give me mercy! Honey, forgive me in heaven…you…will…be…saved…by…God….

(SYDNEY points the gun directly at MARCUS’s heart, but fails to fire. MARCUS screams. She then turns the gun around, points it directly at her own heart, and pulls the trigger.)
SCENE XXVII
Trussel, Wilkes, and Alan are walking through the forest. They stop somewhere, and Trussel looks at ALAN

TRUSSEL

You know where this woman is?

ALAN

Well…yes.

TRUSSEL

Will you lead me to her?

ALAN

What will you do to her?

TRUSSEL

Oh, we’ll treat her well.

ALAN

Look who’s the liar now.
(TRUSSEL slaps ALAN hard across the face.)
TRUSSEL

Do not ever call me that again or you will burn in hell. Now where the fuck is she?

ALAN

Kansas City, obviously.

TRUSSEL

Well, I figured that part out, thank you, but I would like the specifics; her hotel, her accommodations.

ALAN

I have no idea! She just told me she was going to Kansas City! And anyway, she wouldn’t lock herself up in a hotel when the world is coming to an end!

TRUSSEL

Very well. I shall have to force you.
(Trussel reaches into his coat pocket, and withdraws a single switchblade.)

TRUSSEL

I think you are intelligent enough now to realize I will not kill you. (Trussel hurls the switchblade into the dirt behind a tree.) But I will torture you for information. Wilkes, tie him up; we’ll teach him a lesson.

ALAN

I shall remain silent.



TRUSSEL

Oh! How dubious. My friend, you are too naïve to live.

ALAN

So I don’t live, isn’t that bad for you?

TRUSSEL

No, not necessarily. It will be a nuisance, but it will not ruin my plans.

ALAN

All right, then. (in a bored voice) Are you going to torture me now?
*  *  *
(Camera shows MICHAEL untangling himself from the ropes. This will be a suspenseful moment, we will quickly switch the camera back and forth from Trussel’s group to Michael. He will eventually escape mere seconds before the bomb goes off)
TRUSSEL: Oh, I think you’ll find yourself willing to give me the information in at most two days.
(A booming sound)

ALAN

What was that?

WILKES
Never you mind.

LATER
TRUSSEL: Wilkes! Let’s have dinner. I brought some food for us to share…I suppose we are going to have a rather larger feast tonight, since our guest refuses to give us any information.

ALAN

You cannot stop me. I shall remain here until I die.

TRUSSEL

Suit yourself.

(Darkness settles in. Wilkes ties Alan extra tight)

TRUSSEL

Wilkes, watch Alan, we can take shifts, you can have the night, I’ll have the day.

WILKES

Yes sir.
*   *   *

(All three awaken)

TRUSSEL

Come on, we’re going.
(Untying the rope, Wilkes frees Alan, looking extremely weary. He staggers.)

TRUSSEL

Get up! Since you won’t tell me where she is, we’re going there! I’ve had enough of this! TELL ME WHERE SHE IS!

ALAN

Never.

TRUSSEL

All right, Wilkes, get the car, we’ll drive there. Contact Sydney and tell her we have located the approximate area of a woman apparently not affected by the gas attack. And ask her if she has killed her son yet.

SCENE XXVIII
(Marcus Moreno, walking about on the sandy shore of the beach. He falls to his knees and les the water slosh upon him. We hear nothing but the ocean, and this is interrupted by a faint sound. Marcus looks up, wondering. He then runs to the nearby car, opens the door, and picks up the phone. He flips it up, lost for words.)

WILKES

Sydney? Are you there?

MARCUS

(extremely afraid) Who is this? How do you know my mom?

WILKES

Where is your mother?

MARCUS

She—she’s dead.

WILKES

Your mother is Sydney Watkinson? Surely she’s not…

MARCUS

Yes, my mom is Sydney Watkinson!

WILKES

How did she die?

MARCUS

(looking bug-eyed into space) Who are you? What are you doing?! HOW DO YOU KNOW MY MOM?!?!

WILKES

Oh, I know her. Yes, of course.
(Marcus quickly turns off the phone. He begins to run, completely lost.)

WILKES

Dammit! The kid’s alive.

TRUSSEL

Did you speak with Sydney?


WILKES

No, she’s dead.

TRUSSEL

She—Aaron, no!

WILKES

It doesn’t matter now, we need to find the boy.

TRUSSEL

And the woman. Shit! What did she do to get herself killed?

WILKES

Only the boy knows now. We need to lure him to our headquarters.

TRUSSEL

Where is Michael?

WILKES

Dead.

ALAN

No! You killed him!

WILKES

I wasn’t being serious. He is alive, I can assure you.

TRUSSEL

All right, Wilkes, I know what to do. Put Alan in the trunk. Give him a sandwich and we’ll be on our way.



ALAN

I have to go in the trunk?

TRUSSEL

Yes, this is your punishment for not allowing us to know the truth. You will receive a sandwich and a bottle of water. That is all.

(Camera shows ALAN maneuvering out of the trunk. He runs back to the woods to find MICHAEL)

ALAN

Michael? Mike, where—oh my god…

(Camera shows blown down trees)

ALAN

MICHAEL! MICHAEL WHERE ARE YOU?

(Alan runs back to the house he had stayed at for over a week)

ALAN
(runs in the house, screaming)

MICHAEL

Alan! What are you doing?

ALAN

Mike, you’re allright…thank God.

MICHAEL

What will we do? I’ve gone on Trussel’s computer, but I didn’t find anything useful.

ALAN

I have to contact Beth. She doesn’t know they’re after her.

MICHAEL

All right, but—

(Telephone rings)

ALAN

Who is this and what do you want?

TRUSSEL

TELL ME WHERE SHE IS!

ALAN

Never.

TRUSSEL

I am going to find and kill you.

ALAN

Oh, you’ll never catch me. Don’t think I’m hanging around this dump forever.

TRUSSEL

Once I find you—

ALAN

You’ll have to catch the others as well. They’re all over the country, one guy’s even in the Himalayas. And you don’t have your accomplice “Cindy” or whatever.

TRUSSEL

Sydney is not dead! The boy was lying!

ALAN

Of course, now we see who is truly naïve. You’re probably still ten minutes away, I can run wherever and you’ll never catch me.

TRUSSEL

Oh, really?

(Alan turns around, only to see Trussel directly in his face.)

TRUSSEL

This is it. This is the end, I’ve had enough of you—and your brother? He slipped away also…well, say goodbye my friend.

(Before Trussel can pull out his revolver, Alan whips out the blade Trussel had thrown on the ground earlier and stabs him swiftly in the heart.)

TRUSSEL

PROJECT KOKORO! (He falls on the ground, limp, clearly dead)

MICHAEL

How did you get that knife?

ALAN

It’s his. I stabbed him with his own knife.
(WILKES enters)
WILKES

I—I am on your side now.

ALAN

Yeah, you’d better be! Tell me the password to Trussel’s computer so I can find the antidote for this!

WILKES

The bodies—

ALAN

Yeah, where are the deranged people? Did Trussel kill them?

WILKES

His plan was to enslave them, but since you and several others were still alive, this ruined his plan. Now they are mere living corpses, unable to move. They will perish and rot very soon unless we can attempt to find the antidote using Trussel’s computer.
(On computer, Wilkes is gone.)

ALAN

It’s no good. They will never come back. There is no antidote at all.

MICHAEL

What about the one we took? Couldn’t we use that on them?

ALAN

I’m sure that won’t work. For one thing, that was only meant for humans able to digest liquids, and for another, they couldn’t revive with just a liquid. They would need a substance far more powerful. I’m sorry, it simply will not work.

FINAL SCENE

ALAN WALKS OUT THE DOOR, THROUGH THE YARD, AND INTO A GREAT VALLEY. HE STARES INTO SPACE, HOPING WILDLY FOR A NEW BEGINNING, A NEW TRUTH. HE KNEELS DOWN, WEEPING MISERABLY, MOANING TO GOD, SEARCHING FOR A CHANGE, A REVELATION. ALAN THEN STANDS AND WALKS INTO THE FOREST, THROUGH THE CHASMS OF TIME, INTO A NEW HOLOCAUST. WE SEE A SLOW, ENDURING FOG CAST OVER THE PICTURE, OBSCURING IT, AND FINALLY FADING INTO THE CREDITS, WHERE OUR PICTURE ENDS.

FOR THE CREDITS, WE MAY USE THE SONG “NEW YEAR’S DAY” BY U2, WE MAY USE A CLASSICAL PIECE, OR, MOST LIKELY, WE WILL USE NO MUSIC AT ALL.