Multitudes by Mitotic April 2010
Logline: While trapped in a laboratory complex, tension builds between two men who eerily resemble each other as questions of identity and conspiracy emerge.
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INT. PANAYIOTIS ZAVOS INSTITUTE OF EMBRYOLOGY - EVENING The revolving door spins frantically as, one by one, a crowd of men and women leave the Institute at the end of their workday, all displaying the same tired and wary expression and all with the same brisk, purposeful walk. There’s an eeriness about it, as if despite their surface differences, somehow all the multitudes of workers are exactly the same. Like clones. Perfect clones. TITLE OVER:
INT. LOBBY - NIGHT A tired-looking man is sitting anxiously on a couch in the Zavos Institute’s sleek lobby. He is staring intently at a nearby zen garden filled with rocks raked in several long, twisty lines, but his inaudible muttering suggests that his mind is on something else. The RECEPTIONIST taps him on the shoulder. Jim?
The man jumps.
RECEPTIONIST Jim Raël?
JIM God, you scared me. RECEPTIONIST I’m sorry, sir. Mr. Jung is ready for you now. Please follow me. JIM Yeah, sure. JIM stands and follows the receptionist toward an elevator. INT. JUNG’S OFFICE - NIGHT DR. JUNG is at his desk reading. His office is a peculiar mixture of the traditional -- bookshelves, certificates, a nameplate embossed with his name in gold, Dr. Jem M. Jung -- and the more modern and scientific, fitting for a partner at such a high-profile research institute. He shuts his book and looks up. the other side of the desk.
Jim is sitting nervously on
JIM What? JUNG Did you bring your resume? Oh.
JIM Yeah, I’ve got it with me.
Jim digs through his pocket and pulls out a crumpled-up sheet of paper. Jim flattens it out on the desk, runs a hand over it to try to smooth it, and places it in Jung’s outstretched hand. Jung spends a second glancing at the messy scrap of paper, and then tosses it in the garbage. Fine.
JUNG When can you start? JIM
What? JUNG It’s fine; your resume’s fine. when can you start? That’s it?
JIM I’m hired?
JUNG You’re hired. JIM You don’t want to know about my job experience, or how far I am in getting my master’s, or... JUNG Okay, I’ll bite. Exactly how close are you to getting your master’s? JIM (mumbling) A year. It’s for bio-physiology... JUNG Great, fine, good. Can you start tomorrow? Because we really need another lab assistant, and I’m sure you need your lab experience or whatever it is you came here for. It’s a win-win (MORE) (CONT)
JUNG (cont) God, I hate that JIM
A job. JUNG What? JIM I came here for a job. JUNG I figured as much. And I’m telling you that you’re hired. Jim, listen. I see a lot of myself in you. Can you understand that? JIM I... I’m not really sure, I mean -JUNG Jim, I want you to start tomorrow. So tell me. Can you do that? JIM Yeah, I can start tomorrow. JUNG Excellent. Dr. Jung stands and walks around the desk. Jim is confused at first, but then awkwardly stands and extends his hand to shake with Dr. Jung. JUNG (cont) I’m afraid I’ll have to decline. Things in a laboratory should always be kept... hygienic. I’m sure you understand. Jim retracts his hand. JIM Oh, uh, of course. JUNG Well, I must be going. Feel free to stay. We keep no secrets here. And Jim, before I leave, I need to tell you (MORE) (CONT)
something. important. listening?
JUNG (cont) Something Listen up.
JIM Yeah, sure. JUNG Jim, I want you to think of this company as your family. We all work together here. One common purpose. And youâ€™re our newest member. Welcome to the family, Jim. JIM Thanks. Jung gives the slightest hint of a smile and then walks briskly out of his office. Jim tries to relax in his chair, but he is still dazed from the odd nature of the interview. Jim pod get and
glances around the room at the various gadgets. A green on the bookshelf catches his eye, and he walks over to a closer look. Curious, he reaches out a tentative hand touches the pod.
Nothing happens. Jim walks over to a window and looks down into the lobby where he was waiting before. All the crowds have already left, and the lobby is left completely empty, except for Jung, who is making his way across the room and toward the revolving doors. Jim watches as he leaves. Turning back away from the window, Jim heads for the door. INT. SECOND FLOOR CORRIDOR - CONT. The corridor is quiet and empty. Several doors line the walls, but all are shut. One door opens. Jim cautiously steps out, glances down the hallway, and walks to one end. He arrives at the elevator. He presses the call button and waits for the elevator. It comes quickly. Jim steps in. INT. ELEVATOR - CONT. Jim presses the "L" button. It lights up, and the doors shut. As the elevator begins to descend into the lobby, Jim notices another button, marked with an the letter B. His finger slowly moves toward it, tracing the buttonâ€™s surface (CONT)
gently. The button begins to glow, and Jim instantly drops his finger. The button dims again, and it’s back to normal. The elevator opens into the empty lobby.
Jim steps out.
INT. LOBBY - CONT. Jim walks across the lobby to the revolving door, just as Jung had. When he’s almost there, Jim glances back and stops. He changes direction and heads for the zen garden. Jim places his feet at the edge of the rocks. Like a guilty criminal, he glances around, though there’s no one in the building. Then, he cautiously steps into the garden. As he walks toward the center of the garden, his feet tarnish the perfectly racked lines of rocks. Once he reaches the center, Jim kneels down. He picks up a single rock and turns it around in his hands. It’s perfectly smooth and round. He picks up another. It’s identical in every way to the first. MAN’S VOICE Amazing isn’t it? Jim jumps, far more startled than the receptionist had made him earlier. He looks rapidly around the room. He spots the source of the voice: a man leaning against the elevator door. MAN The stones, I mean. They’re all exactly the same. Perfect. Jim has begun to recover from his shock. JIM What? MAN I said, the stones look strange, don’t they? Similar? Yeah.
JIM I guess they do.
The man chuckles and begins to slowly walk toward the zen garden. MAN So what are you doing here?
JIM I had a job interview. MAN No, I mean, what are you doing, you know, in the rocks? I take it you didn’t see the sign? The man nods to a sign on a nearby wall: Walking in the zen garden is strictly prohibited. JIM Oh, sorry... MAN Don’t apologize. I don’t work here. I won’t turn you in. JIM Well, thanks. (beat) Do you know where everyone went? MAN Home, probably. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to stay here any longer than they must. Jim nods.
There’s a short, awkward silence. MAN (cont) Are you going to kneel there all night? Oh, no.
Jim gets up and walks out of the zen garden. The man is already at the garden’s edge, and offers his hand to Jim. Jim shakes it, happy to be accepted this time. I’m Jimmy.
MAN Jimmy Vorilhorn. JIM
JIM No, nothing. I’m Jim Raël.
JIMMY Ah, I see. Jim and Jimmy. coincidence.
JIMMY squints at Jim. JIMMY (cont) You know, we even look like we could be brothers or something. It’s true. Jimmy has the same basic facial features as Jim: the same hair color, eye color, and build. Even so, they look fairly distinct. Jim’s face is etched with the products of sleeplessness, and his hair is somewhat ragged. His tie is loose, and his shirt disheveled. Jimmy, on the other hand, is clean-cut. He too is wearing a shirt and tie, but they seem almost freshly pressed, and his hair and face are well-groomed. A playful expression dances about his face. Both are devastatingly beautiful. JIM Somehow, I doubt that. JIMMY So how did your interview go? JIM Fine, I guess. JIMMY Well? JIM Well what? JIMMY Well, did you get the job? JIM Yeah... JIMMY That’s not very enthusiastic. JIM No, no, I’m glad I got it. It’s just... the interview was a little weird.
8. JIMMY Who interviewed you? JIM Dr. Jung. JIMMY I don’t know him. JIM Really? I thought he ran this place or something. Could be. Ah.
JIMMY I don’t work here.
JIMMY No need to apologize. Seriously. Working here is the last thing I’d want to do. JIM That makes me feel great. JIMMY No, not that this is a bad place to work -- well, maybe it is, I guess I wouldn’t know -- but doing research every day would just bore me to death. JIM You don’t find it interesting? frontiers of a new science?
JIMMY Well, when you put it that way... (laughs) No, not really. It’s not really my thing. JIM So why are you here? Jimmy pauses. Sorry. asked.
JIM (cont) I shouldn’t have It’s none of my business.
JIMMY No, no, you told me about your interview; it’s my turn now. I’m an architect. The institute hired me to remodel some of this building. JIM It doesn’t look like it needs remodeling. JIMMY No, it doesn’t, does it? But they’re paying me, so I’m not exactly about to tell them that. Besides, this isn’t where I have to remodel. JIM Where, then? Again, Jimmy falters, only for a moment, and then he’s back. JIMMY The basement. It’s pretty boring, actually. So, do you -Jim interrupts, and there’s an enthusiasm in his voice that hasn’t been seen yet. JIM No, I think that’s fascinating! JIMMY Really? JIM Yeah, sure. I actually considered going into architecture, but my college didn’t have a program. JIMMY So you ended up in scientific research instead? Well, yes. might place
JIM bio-physiological studies, But it’s cool to think that I have ended up in the same either way.
JIMMY Maybe you have. JIM That’s my point. Here I am, and here you are. Meeting for the first time. Shit, I just brought us back to talking about me, didn’t I? I promise you, I’m not like that. JIMMY Like what? JIM Like one of those people that always has to be talking about themselves. An attention seeker. JIMMY Don’t worry. I’m sure you’re not. JIM So back to you then. What are they paying you to do? Just redesign? JIMMY That’s not enough? JIM That’s not what I meant. JIMMY I’m just joking with you. Lighten up! Anyway, mostly they just needed me to make room for something really big. None of their labs down there were big enough. JIM Something big? Like what, some sort of a machine? JIMMY Who knows? I just do what I’m told and get paid. Really?
JIMMY You don’t believe me? JIM
No, I do. JIMMY (grinning) You don’t, you liar! believe me?
Why don’t you
JIM I don’t know... It’s just, you’ve been so talkative, and -JIMMY You mean I’ve been nosy with you, so you think I’d be nosy with my employers? JIM Well... yeah. JIMMY To tell the truth, I’m not usually like this either. I’m a pretty quiet guy. JIM Strange night this is. JIMMY Indeed. JIM They could have used this lobby. It’s huge. JIMMY What do you mean? JIM This lobby. They could fit almost anything in here. It’s huge. JIMMY Yeah, it is, isn’t it? But not very private. Everyone can see it from their office. JIM I like that, though. It makes everything seem connected. Like, (MORE) (CONT)
JIM (cont) when I start working here tomorrow, I’ll know no one. I’ll just be some lowly lab assistant. But I’ll have the same view from my office as everyone else. JIMMY Deep. Not to burst your bubble, Jim, but I don’t think lab assistants get their own office. Oh, yeah.
JIM I hadn’t though of that.
JIMMY But I’m sure you won’t like this lobby quite so much after passing through it every single day. JIM There’s no back entrance? JIMMY No. Well, if there was, it must be really well hidden. JIM Well, this does seems like the kind of place that could be hiding something. JIMMY Maybe. I wish I knew, but I told you, I don’t work here. JIM Yeah, sorry. Don’t be.
JIMMY So why do you ask?
JIM Oh, you know. Just in case the time comes when I need to escape as quickly as possible. A look crosses Jimmy’s face. JIM (cont) (absolutely serious) I might not be able to handle a full-time job, and if the stress (MORE) (CONT)
JIM (cont) gets to me, I’ll need an escape route. Jimmy doesn’t say anything. JIM (cont) Maybe you can build one for me in the basement. Jim breaks out smiling.
Jimmy catches on and laughs.
JIMMY (joking) Don’t joke about things like that. JIM What? JIMMY Things that would require me to do more work. JIM We wouldn’t want that, of course. JIMMY Of course. Another awkward silence, but longer. JIM I guess I should be going. JIMMY Hmm? JIM It’s getting late. I probably should head home. It’s been great meeting you, Jimmy. JIMMY But the doors are locked. JIM What? JIMMY I mean, the door. The door is locked. They always lock the door at night.
JIM But not from the inside, right? JIMMY No, both ways. JIM ... Fuck. Jim turns and runs straight for the revolving door. He pushes. It doesn’t budge. He tries pushing the other way. Nothing. JIM (cont) Dammit! Jimmy, who hasn’t moved, calls out calmly to Jim. JIMMY It’s locked; I told you. JIM How the hell can someone lock a fucking revolving door? Jim kicks the door in frustration, then starts to pace. Jimmy begins to walk over. JIMMY It’s computerized. here.
JIM I have to get home. JIMMY You’re telling me. I have a two-month old daughter I should be taking care of. Instead I left her with her mom while I’m here working on a work project. JIM But don’t you have a key or something? JIMMY They don’t have keys here. They don’t want someone stealing them and sneaking in. They need to protect all their juicy secrets from their competitors.
JIM There have to be keys somewhere. How can there be a door with no keys? Jim heads for the reception desk and looks frantically through all the drawers. JIMMY I’m serious, there are no keys. The door automatically locks from seven in the evening to seven in the morning. No exceptions. Jim reaches the last drawer and slams it shut. he’s back to his tired, wary self.
JIM I guess we’re here all night. Yep.
JIMMY Guess so.
JIM What are we going to do? JIMMY I’m sure we can think of something. JIM What? The doors are locked, there are no keys, the -- Hold up. JIMMY What? Jim pulls out a cellphone from his pocket and dials. Shit!
JIM No signal!
JIMMY That’s just perfect. JIM What about your phone? JIMMY I don’t have one. JIM Well, surely there’s one around here... (CONT)
Jim looks behind the reception desk again. phone.
He picks up the
JIMMY Does it work? No.
JIM Just a dial tone. JIMMY
Figures. JIM Let’s go find another one. JIMMY No. JIM What? JIMMY I mean, if this phone doesn’t even work, then they’re all probably the same. It’s no use. JIM Why the hell would they disconnect all the phones? JIMMY Same reason the door automatically locks shut. JIM And what’s that? JIMMY Don’t ask me. I don’t know. JIM Well, it’s worth a try. If the phones are all off, then fine, but I need to get out of here. JIMMY It’s not going to work... JIM Do you have any other ideas? trapped. What else could we possibly do?
JIMMY This isn’t just some boring office building, Jim. It’s a laboratory. We’re standing at the very frontiers of science. Jim waits for more. JIMMY (cont) So what else could we possibly do? We could explore a bit! They’re doing some amazing experiments here, and they leave them all out overnight. Trust me, I’ve seen them before. The guys here, they never clean up. Typical science geeks. Anyway, the point is, there’s plenty to see, and I can give you the grand tour. So are you coming? Fine.
JIM But if we pass a phone...
JIMMY ...Then yes, we’ll see if there’s a signal. Which there won’t be. Okay.
JIM Which way first?
JIMMY Hold on a second. There’s something I want you to try here first. JIM (slowly grins) Yeah? And what’s that? On the second story, there is a slight movement in the window of Jung’s office overlooking the office. Neither Jim or Jimmy notice it. INT. JUNG’S OFFICE - NIGHT Through the window, Jim and Jimmy can be seen, still standing beside the reception desk. Jimmy runs into the zen garden and starts picking up rocks. Jim laughs. Jimmy tries to skip the rocks across the lobby. Jim runs over and joins him.
We slowly ZOOM OUT from the window and PAN to the green pod. It’s glowing now. Slowly, we head out of the office. INT. SECOND FLOOR CORRIDOR - CONT. We continue down the hallway and to the elevator. The elevator door opens without prompting. We move in. INT. LOBBY - DAY Jim and Jimmy are still "skipping" rocks. JIMMY Nice one. JIM It helps that the rocks are so round. JIMMY Doesn’t quite make up for the lack of water, though -The sound of elevator doors closing rings through the lobby. Jim and Jimmy both immediately face the elevator shaft. The doors are shut, and no one is there. JIMMY (cont) (cheery) Well. Ready for that grand tour? Jimmy?
JIM What was that noise?
JIMMY Here, come on. It will be fun. I’ll show you around. Jimmy starts to walk toward the elevator, motioning for Jim to follow. Jim doesn’t move. JIMMY (cont) Come on! I can show you the labs, the experiments. Aren’t you curious where you’ll be working? What you’ll be doing?
JIM Let’s just stay here. JIMMY All night? What about the phones? Or food? Have you even eaten? There’s a cafeteria in the back. Come on, let’s go see the labs, and then we can steal something for dinner. JIM Yeah, okay. Jim follows Jimmy to the elevator, but instead of calling the elevator, Jimmy turns off into a side corridor marked Natural Embryology Wing. JIM (cont) Natural Embryology Wing? As opposed to what? Supernatural? JIMMY Don’t ask me. I’m just an architect. Sorry.
JIM I must have forgotten.
INT. NATURAL WING LAB - NIGHT The darkened lab is crowded with scientific equipment. the center of the room is a giant tank. A door opens and lets his a small window of light. Jimmy enter.
JIMMY Here we are. As the lights begin to flicker on, we see that the tank is filled with cockroaches. Jim stares at it. JIM Charming. JIMMY Well, not the most interesting room -- just a rectangle, anyway -- but it serves its purpose, I suppose.
20. JIM I meant those bugs.
Jim walks closer, and Jimmy follows. The cockroaches are alive, and crawling all over each other. JIMMY Oh, well, that too. cockroaches.
JIM I’m going to be working with cockroaches? JIMMY Not necessarily. I don’t know what assignment the newbies get. JIM What can we possibly use them for? JIMMY I don’t know. Maybe you’ll study the embryos in their eggs. That’s what you’re here for, right? Embryonic research? JIM To be honest, I have no idea. JIMMY You applied for a job, but you have no idea what it’s for? JIM I needed money. And a break from getting my master’s. When Dr. Jung accepted me here, I wasn’t exactly going to be picky. Brief silence. JIMMY Well, make sure to buy some gloves or something. INT. POV - NIGHT The elevator doors open and we continue our gradual journey into the lobby. We then turn into the Natural Embryology Wing. The lab door is open. Inside, Jim and Jimmy are facing the cockroach tank with their backs to the door.
MAN’S VOICE Amazing, isn’t it? We ZOOM OUT to reveal a man watching through the door. Jim and Jimmy jump, even more startled than the last time. MAN The cockroaches, I mean. Shit. I’m sorry; I scared you. I didn’t mean to. I just meant, the tank... it’s amazing how many individual organisms can fit into that one tiny space. Though a few years older, the man shares the same physical characteristics as Jim and Jimmy do. He too is devastatingly beautiful. Even more so. Jimmy is the first of the two to recover. JIMMY Yeah. I was just giving Jim here the grand tour. MAN The grand tour, Jimmy? JIMMY Well... Wait.
JIM You two know each other?
JIMMY Yeah. This is James. assistant.
JAMES glances at Jimmy. JAMES Yeah. Except I really do all of this lazy bum’s work. JIMMY Come on, you know that’s not true. There’s no reason to say things like that. It just upsets things. JAMES We wouldn’t want to do that.
JIMMY We wouldn’t at all.
JIM Do you happen to have a key with you, James? JAMES Key? There aren’t any keys to this building. JIMMY I already told him. JAMES Well, clearly, he didn’t remember. JIM No, I did. I was just kind of hoping you might. Since I didn’t see you here before. JAMES This is a huge institute. I was grabbing a bite in the cafeteria kitchen. JIMMY That’s just where we were headed, right Jim? JIM Yeah. JAMES Cool. I can show you where the good stuff is. JIMMY I think I can handle that. Besides, you’ve already eaten. I wouldn’t want you to have to sit and watch us eat. JAMES No, it’s no problem, really. JIM Great, thanks.
JAMES I’d wash your hands first.
23. JIMMY Why is that? JAMES This laboratory is known for being a little... dirty.
Jim looks down at his hands, and then walks over to a sink. As water rushes out, Jimmy glares at James. CUT TO: INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT A cabinet opens, revealing hordes of cans and packages. James looks in. JAMES So what are you in the mood for? JIM What does this place have? JAMES Let’s see. Cookies. Dried fruit. Nuts of various varieties. Take your pick. JIM What about a phone? A phone?
JAMES Not that I know of...
On the other side of the kitchen, Jimmy opens a fridge. JIMMY We can make pizza. ingredients.
They’ve got the
JIM That sounds good. JAMES We really shouldn’t do that. JIMMY Why not? JAMES Well, we’re not supposed to be here, are we?
JIMMY You’re the one that was just here. JAMES Yeah, but I ate fruits and nuts. I didn’t mess with their oven and silverware. What do you think will happen will people come in tomorrow morning and see dirty silverware in the sink and a dirty oven? JIMMY What will happen when they see their fruits and nuts missing? JIM Guys, it’s cool. This place isn’t all the clean to begin with. JIMMY Great. Cheese or vegetable? There’s no meat in here. JAMES The meat’s in the meat fridge. JIM Good. I could go for some pepperoni. James points to a metal door. JAMES It’s over there. Let’s just clean up when we’re done. We can’t let anyone know we were here. Jimmy is already gathering ingredients from the refrigerator, and Jim heaves open the meat fridge door. JIMMY (sarcastic) Not too clean. We wouldn’t want anyone to suspect anything. CUT TO: LATER The oven beeps. James pulls out a warm pepperoni pizza. Jim stands nearby.
JIM I am so hungry right now. JAMES Here, let me find a pizza cutter. James starts opening drawers. JIMMY I’ll just use this knife. Jimmy is standing over Jim’s shoulder with a huge knife. he pushes Jim gently out of the way, Jim jumps.
JIM What the hell! JIMMY God, be careful!
I’ve got a knife.
JIM So I see! Jimmy starts to cut the pizza in slices. apart. James hands him a pizza cutter.
It starts to fall
JAMES Sure you don’t want this? Jimmy begrudgingly accepts it. JIMMY Yeah, okay. JIM Where are the plates? Jimmy gestures. JIMMY Try the dishwasher. As Jim is pulling out metal plates, Jimmy glances up at James. They expressions shift quickly, as if they’re having a silent conversation. Eventually, convinced that Jim is far enough away, they start to whisper. JAMES We have to. What?
26. JAMES He needs to -JIM Needs to what? JIMMY Nothing. (beat) Our boss. Back at the firm. We have to check our blueprints with him, and he needs to approve. JIM Ah. So are you working on the same project, James? JAMES Sort of, I guess.
Jim hands James and Jimmy each a clean metal plate. JIM Oh my god. You two look like twins or something. JIMMY What? Seriously. same.
JIM You look exactly the
JIMMY I sure hope not. James is, like, underweight. (to James) I keep telling you, you need to eat more, build some muscle -JIM No, I’m serious. You two have the same eyes, the same hair color, the same body. For Christ’s sake, you have the same face. What?
JIMMY James, say something. JIM
Look! Jim holds up his plate, and all three of them are reflected in the smooth shiny metal. Jim begins to get worked up. (CONT)
JIM (cont) This is insane.
JIMMY I don’t see anything, Jim. need to calm down. JIM No, I don’t have to do anything. Look at us three. practically identical.
JIMMY We are not identical. JAMES Maybe not identical, but he’s right, Jimmy. There’s something up. Once again, Jimmy glares at James. JIMMY James, don’t speak nonsense. JIM Okay, will someone please tell me what the hell is going on? JIMMY Jim, I don’t know what James is talking about. The two of us -JIM It’s not just you two, it’s all three of us! JIMMY Alright, the three of us look similar, so what? James and I grew up together. JIM Oh, so you grew up together, is that right? First coworkers, now lifelong friends? Yeah, some friends you two are. Glaring at each other all the time, is that right? JAMES Jim...
JIM Let me ask you something, James? Where did you grow up? Huh? Where did you two meet up and decide to become perfect replicas? JAMES Is this a test? JIM Just answer the damn question. JAMES We grew up in Charleston. JIM Guess what. That’s where I grew up too. So what, is this all just some strange coincidence? Is it nonsense, Jimmy; is that what it is? Am I going fucking crazy?! JIMMY Yes, Jim. I don’t know what else to tell you. JIM Enjoy your goddamn pizza. Jim leaves the kitchen. JAMES Great job. JIMMY You didn’t help any, James. JAMES Yeah, well, you know I’m not comfortable with any of this. JIMMY Yeah, I know. You’re the "different" one. INT. FIRST FLOOR CORRIDOR - NIGHT Jim is walking rapidly down the corridor, breathing heavily. He glances behind him. No one is there. He speeds up.
INT. NATURAL WING LAB - NIGHT Once again, the door opens and light shines into the otherwise unlit room. James stands in the doorway, staring in. We watch him for a few seconds. His resemblance to the other two really is uncanny. JIM’S VOICE Did you want to apologize? JAMES No. But I need to tell you something. As before, Jim is staring at the cockroach tank with his back to James. James walks in, leaving the door open, but not turning on the lights. JIM Where’s Jimmy? JAMES I don’t know. Eating the pizza, maybe. JIM You know, it’s funny. I didn’t see you at the door, but I knew it wasn’t Jimmy standing there. I knew it was you. JAMES Maybe because last time someone was standing there, it was me then too. JIM Maybe. Or maybe we’re not all as similar as I thought. Jim continues to stare at the cockroaches. James is behind Jim at this point, and he reaches out a hand to touch Jim’s shoulder. Jim doesn’t jump. JAMES We’re not. Jimmy, he’s not like us. I’ve worked with him for years. He annoys the hell out of me. Did you know he’s a father now? JIM Yeah, I think he mentioned it.
30. JAMES See, that’s not me at all. I’ve never wanted to get married, or raise a family, or any of that. It disgusts me. I could never sacrifice myself to that. JIM I could. JAMES Yeah. You see like you could. Jim, if you don’t mind me saying, you seem... I don’t know. Lonely. JIM I hadn’t exactly planned to be stuck here all night. JAMES But if you hadn’t, where would you have gone? JIM Home. But why? there?
JAMES What’s waiting for you
Silence. JAMES (cont) Maybe you needed this. all did.
Jim turns around and looks at James. JIM I glad you’re here, James. JAMES So am I. James grins, and Jim offers a little smile in response. JIM I’m hungry. JAMES I thought you might be. James holds out a package of dried cranberries. (CONT)
JIM Yum. JAMES Well, I wasn’t going to make another pizza. Too bad.
JIM It looked good.
JAMES And these don’t? JIM They’re fine, I’m sure. James opens the package and plops a few cranberries in his mouth. Jim reaches for the package, and James bends it toward him. Jim pulls out a handful and also puts a few in his mouth. JIM (cont) Fruity. James puts the package on the ground between them. He leans over and licks off the remaining cranberries from Jim’s open hand. JIM (cont) Hey now, let’s not steal my food. JAMES Your food, is it? JIM Yes, my food. JAMES Well then, I’ve got to say: your food is most definitely fruity. JIM I told you it was. JAMES That you did. They continue to stare at each other.
JIM You’re like looking into a mirror. JAMES Maybe that’s all I am. reflection of you. No.
JIM You’re more than that.
JAMES How are you so sure? JIM I’m sure. JAMES Maybe you’re my reflection. JIM Maybe I am. James suddenly crouches down.
Jim mirrors him perfectly.
JAMES Impressive. JIM Of course. Jim moves in, and James mirrors him. JIM (cont) You had something to tell me? JAMES Did I? JIM You did. JAMES Hmm. James lifts up a hand toward Jim. Jim does the same. hands meet. They do the same with their other hand.
JIM So are you going to tell me what it is?
JAMES I will. Why don’t you ask me some things first. JIM Okay. Um, why do you work with Jimmy? JAMES It’s my job. Why did you apply here? JIM I never said I did. And I never said you could ask me questions, either. True.
JAMES But you did, didn’t you? JIM
Yes. JAMES So? JIM I guess I just needed a job. We all do. it.
JAMES We don’t have to like
JIM That’s depressing. JAMES I’m a depressing person. JIM I can tell. James laughs and breaks his hands away, breaking the strange hypnotic mirroring effect. He grabs another handful of cranberries and pops them in his mouth. Come on.
JAMES Ask me another question.
JIM Alright. When did you move here? From Charleston, I mean.
JAMES Eight years ago. easy.
Come on, too
JIM Give me a break; I don’t know what to ask. JAMES Why not the classics? You know, "What’s you favorite color?" and "What do you do in your free time?" and what not. Okay.
JIM What’s your favorite color?
JAMES Irrelevant. JIM (laughs) What? JAMES (shrugs) I just don’t see how it matters to anything. JIM Wow, you’re right. It was a terrible question. Whoever suggested it should be severely punished. JAMES Ah, now you’re talking. What exactly do you have in mind? JIM Well, I was thinking I could gather up some people, go out to those rocks in the lobby, tie up the offender, and stone him to death. JAMES Ooh. Nice one. Here I was thinking a shot to the head would be sufficient. JIM Oh no, absolutely not. Asking a bad question is a capital offense (MORE) (CONT)
35. JIM (cont) in my book. It brings out the worst in me. JAMES The worst in you? JIM Oh, you haven’t seen anything yet. JAMES Is that right? JIM You better believe it. JAMES Oh, I do, Jim. I do.
James breaks into laughter, once again spoiling the effect. Jim smiles back, enjoying himself. Come on!
JIM What was that?
JAMES Sorry, I’m sorry! James suddenly breaks back into laughing fit. When it finally starts to subside, James looks up, fighting back more laughter. Sorry.
JAMES (cont) Okay, I’m done. JIM
You sure? JAMES Yes... No. James can’t stop himself.
The laughter returns.
JIM Was it really that funny? JAMES No. I don’t know why I’m still laughing. JIM Maybe it’s time for the next question.
JAMES Bring it. JIM Jung. JAMES What about him? JIM So you know him? JAMES Well, yeah. He runs this place, doesn’t he? JIM Yeah... Fine. JAMES Fine? JIM Yes. JAMES Well, I’m glad you approve. So am I.
JIM Okay, next question. JAMES
I’m tired. JIM You don’t look it. JAMES But I feel it. Everything’s blurry. JIM Maybe you should rest. JAMES There aren’t any beds here. JIM There’s a couch in the lobby. JAMES I’m not sure I want everyone to see me when the door unlocks tomorrow (MORE) (CONT)
JAMES (cont) morning and people come back to work. JIM Shit, I have to work tomorrow. forgot.
JAMES At least you’ll know you’re way around here. JIM Not really. I’ve only seen a little of this place. JAMES Oh? Wasn’t Jimmy giving you the "grand tour" earlier? JIM We didn’t get very far before you showed up. JAMES Well, sorry then. JIM Maybe we could finish the tour later. JAMES Maybe. JIM There’s nothing better to do. JAMES I’m not so sure that’s true. What else do you have left to see? JIM Well, the other wing. JAMES The other wing? You mean the Synthetic Embryology Wing? JIM Well, I hadn’t known what it was called...
JAMES You won’t need a tour of that. New employees don’t work in that wing. JIM And why not? JAMES I don’t know. I don’t work here. JIM That’s what Jimmy said. JAMES He told you about that wing? JIM No. But I asked him other things too. He said he didn’t know; he doesn’t work here. JAMES You can’t trust Jimmy. JIM He seems nice. JAMES Maybe, but you can’t trust him. JIM He’s your boss. JAMES I know. I told you, just because it’s my job to work for him, it doesn’t mean I like it. James starts to toss dried cranberries into the cockroach tank. JIM What are you doing? JAMES Feeding them. JIM I doubt they eat dried cranberries. JAMES Well, if they don’t, they should.
39. JIM So much for not making a mess. JAMES Well, I figured since we left a mess in the kitchen, there’s no point anymore. JIM There’s always a point. JAMES Is there? I’ve never really thought about it. JIM There is. Deep.
JAMES That’s my job.
JIM I think I can hold my own, thanks. JAMES I have no doubt you can. A brief awkward silence. JIM Oh, and the basement. James stops throwing the cranberries and looks at Jim. JAMES What? JIM I also haven’t seen the basement yet. JAMES There’s nothing to see there. JIM I thought you were remodeling it. I am.
JAMES We are, Jimmy and me.
JIM Well, I want to see what you’re doing.
JAMES We’re not doing anything yet. We still have to make the plans and gets them approved. JIM There has to be something down there -JAMES No! I’m sorry, no. They, well, they cleared everything out already for the remodeling. JIM I thought you hadn’t even made the plans yet. JAMES We haven’t. Don’t ask me, I don’t know. JIM Fine, I won’t. Another brief silence. JAMES Besides, the elevator scans your fingerprint before it will take you down there. JIM Well, if you and Jimmy are working on the basement, surely it knows your fingerprint? JAMES God, you have a question for everything, don’t you? I’m sorry.
JIM I’ll stop asking.
JAMES No, I’m sorry. To answer your question, no. It doesn’t work for me. Otherwise I’d be down there working right now. JIM Oh.
JAMES You want any more cranberries? JIM No thanks; I’m fine. JAMES True. James throws the entire package into the tank. cockroaches swarm it.
JIM That’s disgusting. Really?
JAMES I think it’s pretty cool.
JIM All those bugs, though. look exactly the same.
JAMES Yet they’re not. They’re all different people. JIM People? JAMES Well, cockroaches. JIM You still haven’t told me what you wanted to say. JAMES I know. JIM And? JAMES And I thought you said you would stop asking. JIM That was before. JAMES Oh, and this is now?
JIM This is now.
JAMES Okay. I’ll tell you.
James walks up to Jim, close, close, closer. JIM I’m waiting. JAMES You’ve waited a long time. James leans into Jim’s ear and whispers. JAMES (cont) You’re right. I have a secret. does Jimmy.
Jim looks straight ahead, not looking at James. JIM Tell me. James spins Jim around and stares into his eyes. JAMES God, you look just like me. JIM Is that it? James leans in, and once again, Jim mirrors. But they go farther this time, and farther, and then their noses are rubbing, and then their arms are wrapped around each other, and then their lips touch. No.
JAMES That’s it.
JIM This isn’t right. JAMES Shh. JIM You look just like me. JAMES I’m not you.
43. JIM No. But you might as well be. fuck, I want you.
JAMES We all have the power to change. JIM I don’t change. JAMES Jim, I want you too. JIM This is too weird. Jim pushes himself away, and this time, he’s the one to break the hypnotic mirroring. JAMES Where are you going? JIM I don’t know. JAMES Back to Jimmy? JIM I said, I don’t fucking know! JAMES What’s wrong with passion? JIM What’s wrong is that we’re practically the same damn person. JAMES And what’s wrong with a little narcissism? JIM Everything. Me.
Jim runs out of the room. JAMES (shouts after Jim) You can’t live like this! You can’t deny your emotions! You can’t deny yourself! It’ll all just bottle up inside until... until...
INT. FIRST FLOOR CORRIDOR - NIGHT Jim is walking rapidly down the corridor, breathing heavily. As before, he glances behind him. As before, no one is there. He speeds up. INT. LOBBY - CONT. As Jim reaches the Natural Embryology Wing sign, he stops. After a brief moment in which he stares at it, Jim flings himself at the sign. He grasps and slaps and pulls and pushes, but it doesn’t move. The sign remains untouched, mocking Jim from its place on the wall. Jim gives one final kick, and then calmly moves back, not taking his eyes of the sign. His expression is suddenly blank. MAN’S VOICE Amazing, isn’t it? Jim spins around, knowing exactly what to look for. He finds the source of the voice almost immediately: a man standing in the middle of the zen garden. MAN The sign, I mean.
Amazing how --
Jim doesn’t give a damn about what the man has to say. His anger returns in full force, and he sprints across the lobby headed straight for the man. Jim arrives at the edge of the zen garden and doesn’t stop; he charges into the man and knocks him to the ground, grabbing the man’s neck and pushing down. The man has the same features as Jim. James.
MAN (cont) What the hell? JIM Tell me your fucking name! MAN Jamie! It’s Jamie! doing?!
What are you
Jim pushes down harder, and JAMIE begins to gasp for breath.
JIM What the fuck is going on here?! JAMIE You already know. JIM Tell me! Somehow, James is behind Jim. JAMES We’re clones. Before Jim can react, Jamie jumps up, escaping Jim’s grasp, and runs straight for Jim. But Jamie runs right past Jim, instead tackling James and pushing him to the ground. James tries to resist, but Jamie slams his fist into James’ sack, and then his cheek, and then his mouth. Then Jamie gets up again and runs off into the Synthetic Wing. James is out cold. Blood runs down his nose and into his mouth; his face is turned sharply to the side. And Jim is still standing there, dazed in the middle of the zen garden. JIM Fuck. Then Jim is back into action. He sprints to the Synthetic Wing, on the other side of the elevator as the Natural Wing. JIM (cont) Jamie! There’s an open door.
Jim runs in.
INT. SYNTHETIC WING LABS - CONT. Darkness. Jim flips a switch, and the lights come on instantly. They do not flicker, but instead instantly reveal the size and contents of the room. This lab is far larger than the Natural Wing Lab. No one is in it, but experiments are spread all over. On one table, a series of dead frogs lie, each growing progressively larger, but each otherwise identical. From the ceiling, several identical monkey corpses hang. On one wall, trays and trays of petri dishes are stacked. In the center of the room, a gigantic machine hums, its lights faintly blinking. (CONT)
Everything is sleek. conducted.
This is where the true experiments are
But Jim’s doesn’t bother taking this in. focused on one thing only.
His mind is
JIM Jamie! But Jamie isn’t here.
No one is.
Jim runs to the other side of the room and opens a door. Jim finds himself in another lab of the same size. Similar experiments are scattered among the room. identical machine hums in the center.
JIM (cont) Jamie! Jim kicks over a table of half-dissected sheep. It falls into a wall of petri dishes, which collapse and spread across the floor with a downpour of cracking sounds. His eye catches a small, red phone in the distance. runs to it and pulls it to his ear.
AUTOMATED PHONE SYSTEM Emergency communication system activated. Please enter your authorization code. Jim slams the phone into the receiver. pierces the room.
A thundering ALARM
JIM Jamie!!! Jim’s scream is quickly overpowered by the alarm and a WHOOSH sound. The whoosh begins quiet, but quickly becomes the principle noise in a wall of sound. SMASH CUT TO: INT. MEAT FRIDGE - NIGHT The sounds instantly vanish. Jim is leaned up against a pile of packaged meat, shivering in the cold air and clutching his chest gently. He is staring at the door, preoccupied with whatever is on the other side.
And from the other side, there are faint voices speaking. Jim quickly scoots against the door and puts his ear against the cold metal. Suddenly the voices come into focus. MAN’S VOICE Is he dead? (beat) Jesus, Jamie, why did you have to kill him? JAMIE’S VOICE He told Jim. James did?
MAN’S VOICE Why?
JAMIE’S VOICE I don’t know, Jimmy. Wait.
JIMMY’S VOICE What exactly did James say?
JAMIE’S VOICE "We’re clones." Fuck!
JIMMY’S VOICE What are we going to do?
Jim slowly lifts himself up to look through the window on the top of the meat fridge door. Jamie and Jimmy are arguing in the kitchen. JAMIE I don’t know. JIMMY Did Jim believe it? JAMIE It’s true. JIMMY But did Jim believe it? JAMIE I don’t know. JIMMY What do you mean, you don’t know?
JAMIE When I ran out, he was just standing there. Jimmy glances in the general direction of the meat fridge. Jim ducks for a second, then peeks back through the window. JAMIE (cont) Jimmy, you know what we need to do. JIMMY I know, I know, it’s just... shit, okay? I didn’t expect this. Why did you come here anyway? JAMIE Well, why did you? JIMMY Fair enough. JAMIE I can do it if you can’t. No.
JIMMY I can do it.
JAMIE Are you sure? JIMMY No, Jamie, I’m not fucking sure, alright? Jesus! This wasn’t supposed to happen. JAMIE Are any more coming? JIMMY Any more of us? JAMIE Yeah. JIMMY God, I hope not. I can’t deal with any more of this. JAMIE Jimmy, we need someone who can deal with this.
JIMMY I know, I know! second, okay?
Just... give me a
JAMIE It needs to be done. Silence for a brief moment. Then Jimmy looks directly at the meat fridge window. Jim ducks. JIM Fuck. JIMMY’S VOICE Fine. There can only be one of us. But Jamie, let me do it. Let me kill Jim. JAMIE’S VOICE Be my guest. Just get it done. Jim scrambles to his feet and crouches in the corner beside the door. He covers his mouth with his hand. JIMMY’S VOICE I think I heard a noise.
The door opens with a loud creak. Jamie walks in. He looks left, right, and sees Jim just as Jim slams his fist into Jamie’s sack. Jamie falls to the ground screaming in pain as Jim runs out. JAMIE He’s here! JIM (muttering) That’s for before. INT. KITCHEN - CONT. Jim runs into the kitchen. Jimmy is running straight for him, so Jim turns and runs in the opposite direction. He heaves open a door and charges through. Jimmy is close behind.
INT. FIRST FLOOR CORRIDOR - CONT. Jim sprints down the corridor and past the Natural Wing Lab. Jimmy chases him from behind. limping slightly.
Jamie comes after, still
INT. LOBBY - CONT. Jim sprints across the lobby and into the Synthetic Wing Lab. Jimmy still is right behind, and Jamie pulling up the rear. Jimmy yells out to Jamie. JIMMY Jamie, follow him!
I’ll go around.
Jimmy hits the call button for the elevator. Jamie runs into the Synthetic Wing Lab, but at this point, several seconds have passed since Jim ran in. INT. SYNTHETIC WING LABS - CONT. The lights are out. There is absolute darkness except for the faint glow from the machine in the center of the first lab, and the window of light from the lobby doorway. Jamie runs in and immediately halts. light switch. The lights flip on... ...And Jim is nowhere to be found.
He grapples for the The roles are switched.
JAMIE Jim? No response. JAMIE (cont) Alright, you got me, Jim. come out now.
Jamie slowly, cautiously moves into the lab. A loud crack rings out through the room. Jamie jumps, looking frantically for the source of the sound: a monkey corpse’s string has snapped. The corpse drops to the floor in front of Jamie with a loud bang. JAMIE (cont) There’s no back exit you can escape through. But I’m sure you already know that, don’t you? (CONT)
No response. JAMIE (cont) Jim, we can talk! Just come out and I’ll tell you everything. Again, no response. Jamie paces the room. He walks through the far door and into the next lab. Broken petri dishes and half-dissected sheep are sprawled about the floor. JAMIE (cont) James was telling the truth. We’re clones. I’m sorry we didn’t tell you. We couldn’t. You see what your response would have been. It wasn’t what the Institute would have wanted. So we had to lie. There’s a faint bump from the other side of the machine in the center. Jamie grins slightly and slowly moves toward it, continuing to talk. JAMIE (cont) But I’m telling you now. We’re clones. All of us. Even you, Jim. You’re one of us. At this, Jim jumps out from behind the machine holding a sharp piece of broken petri dish. Before Jamie can react, Jim stabs the broken glass into Jamie’s heart. Jamie punches Jim on the side of his cheek, and Jim falters. But blood is spurting out of Jamie’s heart at a rapid pace. There’s not much time left. JAMIE (cont) You’re one of us, Jim! Jim recovers and drives himself against Jamie’s body, absorbing the full blow of another punch. But then Jamie’s on the ground, and Jim is above, and Jim squeezes Jamie’s throat and strangles him. Jamie throws a few more weak punches, but it’s no use. Jamie has breathed his last breath. JIM I am not like you. idea who I am.
You have no
And Jamie dies. Jim, bleeding slightly, runs out of the far door and finds himself in another elevator.
INT. BACK ELEVATOR - CONT. There are only two buttons: L and B. Jim’s finger traces the B button, and as before, it lights up. This time, Jim doesn’t drop his finger. The doors shut. basement.
Jim waits as the elevator descends into the
INT. BASEMENT - CONT. The elevator dings as it reaches the basement level. The doors open and Jim walks out. He walks briskly past another empty reception desk. Above the desk is a sign labeled Multitudes Project. Jim doesn’t give it a second glance. He seems to know exactly where he’s going. Jim turns a corner into a large room filled with shelves and shelves of glowing orbs, lined up and identical in every way to the orb in Jung’s office, but red instead of green. Except for two orbs seated on the top shelf. They are still glowing green. And in the middle of the room stands Jimmy. JIM I thought I might find you here. JIMMY Hello, Jim. JIM Jamie’s dead. JIMMY I figured. JIM So here we are. JIMMY Here we are. Jim slowly walks closer to Jimmy. stare at each other.
Jimmy doesn’t move.
JIM Some evening, huh? JIMMY Yeah.
JIM I wonder how it will end. JIMMY I think we both know. JIM Down to two. JIMMY But there can only be one. Jim is just feet away from Jimmy. JIM I’m sorry, Jimmy. No.
JIMMY I’m sorry.
Jimmy pulls out a gun. JIM Whoa! JIMMY You’re the one. Jimmy points the gun at his head and pulls the trigger. drops to the floor.
Silence. From the top shelf, one of the green orbs glows red. Only one orb remains green. Jim’s orb. Jim cautiously approaches Jimmy’s body. He reaches tentatively for the gun still wrapped in Jimmy’s hand. He slips it out of Jimmy’s fingers and points it at Jimmy. JIM Thank you, Jimmy. Squinting, he shoots the heart. Blood seeps into Jimmy’s freshly pressed clothing. It’s certain; it’s over. Then Jim grabs Jimmy by the ankles and pulls his body in front of the back elevator. He presses the call button, and when the doors swing open with a ding, Jim pushes the body inside. JIM (cont) Going up.
Jim returns to the orb room. The red orbs are no longer glowing, but their color has not changed. The green orb continues to glow. Jim heads to the other side of the room and presses a different call button for a different elevator. The doors swing open with an identical ding. INT. ELEVATOR - CONT. Jim steps on. This elevator has the full range of buttons available. He presses L. The elevator lurches upward. Seconds later, the doors open and Jim is once again looking into the Institute’s lobby. Jim steps off. INT. LOBBY - CONT. It’s still night, and the lobby is still devoid of people (including James’ body). Jim walks slowly and wearily to the couch. Once there, he collapses on the cushions and shuts his eyes. The lobby lights shut off. INT. BASEMENT - NIGHT The basement lights shut off. The green orb is the only thing faintly visible in the background. Then it too dims and stops glowing. Darkness.
Silence. CUT TO:
INT. LOBBY - MORNING POV: A general hum of a crowded location begins to fade in, filling the silence. Jim?
WOMAN’S VOICE Jim Raël?
Our eyes open and light streams back into the screen. are staring at the ceiling of the lobby.
The receptionist’s head enters frame, staring down at us.
JIM’S VOICE God, you scared me. RECEPTIONIST What are you doing here, Jim? FROM ABOVE: Workers stream briskly through the revolving door, beginning their workday. The receptionist is leaned over Jim, who is lying on the couch. FROM LOBBY LEVEL: JIM I think I was locked here. Overnight. RECEPTIONIST (unsurprised) Well. I’m sorry. But it’s morning now. The door is unlocked. Jim slowly stands up. JIM Thanks. Jim walks against the crowd to the revolving door. He waits patiently for a break in the line of people coming in. Then he enters the door and pushes. The door moves.
Jim is on his way out.
Except Jim doesn’t exit the other side. Much to the annoyance of the workers trying to enter the building, Jim stays in the revolving door and comes back into the lobby. He follows the crowd’s quick movement across the lobby. The crowd breaks into two when it reaches the lobby. Some workers turn into the Natural Wing. Some turn into the Synthetic Wing. But Jim presses the call button on the elevator. Ding.
INT. ELEVATOR - CONT. The elevator is already filled with people. inside.
JIM Could you press floor two for me? Thanks. The elevator doors shut. the only one to exit.
Moments later they reopen.
INT. SECOND FLOOR CORRIDOR - CONT. Jim walks briskly to down the hall of shut doors. He comes to one labeled Dr. Jem M. Jung. He doesn’t knock. He just opens the door and walks in. INT. JUNG’S OFFICE - CONT. Dr. Jung is at his desk. His orb is glowing green. calmly puts down his book and smiles up at Jim. JUNG Good morning, Jim. night?
How was your
JIM Excellent, thank you.
JUNG Fine. JIM I’m awfully glad it was fine, Jem. JUNG Well... thank you.
Can I help you?
JIM I have something rather important to say. JUNG Get on with it. JIM Naw, it can wait. Thanks for your time, Jem. I understand just how valuable it must be to you. So I’ll just be going then. I (MORE) (CONT)
JIM (cont) sincerely hope you have the best of mornings. Jim starts to walk out the room. when Jung asks:
He’s halfway out the door
JUNG You don’t really think I’m going to let you just walk out that door, do you? JIM You don’t really think I would just leave you be, do you? JUNG I would have been offended if you had. Jim, as my newest employee, I’m going to have to ask you to please -Jim suddenly turns around and gets in Jung’s face. JIM Listen, Jem, I know what’s going on here. JUNG Is that right? JIM Yes. The Multitudes Project. The orbs. The clones. It’s a fun little operation you have going on here, isn’t it? JUNG It seems you had an eventful time last night. JIM I’m going to tell the press, Jem. This place is going to be shut down. What you’re doing here, it isn’t right. JUNG Oh, Jim. Don’t make me regret hiring you.
58. JIM Are you that fucking clueless, Jem? Do you really not see? JUNG I’m not stupid, Jim. JIM Really? Because I think you’re missing something here. Do you see it now?
Jung can’t help but give a quick glance around his office. JUNG What are you on about? JIM Are you telling me that you don’t know everything? That you don’t have it all figured out? Oh, Jem, that’s so unlike you. So wonderfully, perfectly unlike you. JUNG Jim, listen to me.
JIM No, listen to me, Jem. I don’t want to hurt you, I don’t. The two of us... we’re the same, you know that. But there can only be one. And you’re the last in my way. Jim pulls Jimmy’s gun and points it at Jung. JUNG Who are you? JIM You still don’t know? first.
JUNG James? JIM And the winner is... A GUNSHOT rings out as Jung’s head falls lifeless on his book. From behind him, his orb matches the color of the blood oozing from his head.
JIM (cont) Daddy. An ALARM sounds. And once again, it is accompanied by the WHOOSH: first quiet, then building to a wall of sound. Jim smiles.
But it’s not Jim. SMASH CUT TO:
INT. SYNTHETIC WING LABS - LAST NIGHT The alarm continues to sound, as we return to the previous night. Jim is searching desperately for Jamie. JIM Jamie!!! Jim slowly paces the untidy lab, ignoring the alarm. He heads to the back elevator, looking at it curiously. He presses the call button. The doors swing open. Jimmy’s body is not yet inside. Jim steps in and lifts his finger. tear falls down Jim’s cheek.
As the doors shut, a
INT. BASEMENT - NIGHT The doors open and Jim steps off. He drifts slowly to the empty reception desk and looks at the sign. Jamie?
JIM Are you here?
Jim slowly walks around the corner and is awestruck by the rows and rows of orbs. All glowing red except for four green orbs on the top shelf. Jim. Jimmy. Jamie. And James. James isn’t dead in the lobby. The front elevator doors open and James steps out, still bleeding. JIM (cont) James? JAMES Hey, Jim. JIM Shit, James, are you okay?
JAMES Yeah. Jamie hit me pretty hard, but I’ll survive. JIM I thought you were dead. have helped you. No need.
JAMES Did you get Jamie?
JIM I can’t find him. JAMES All for the best, I suppose. Jesus Christ, have you been crying? JIM This is too much for me. What?
JAMES That I’m alive?
JIM No. Listen, James. I need to know. I need to be sure. JAMES It’s true, Jim. JIM Wait. Let me ask. I need to ask this. James. Are you -- all of you -- really my clones? JAMES We’re clones. JIM Oh my God. JAMES But not your clones. No response.
James begins to walk toward Jim.
JAMES (cont) I can tell you’re interested in this, Jim, and really, why shouldn’t you be? This affects you more than anyone, doesn’t it? Well, maybe not more than me, (MORE) (CONT)
JAMES (cont) and maybe not more than Dr. Jem M. Jung -- you know him, don’t you? Founder of the Multitudes Project? This little room we’re standing in now? Specifically tailored for the most advance embryonic research? Well, when it came time to do the "big experiment," naturally, he was the first to volunteer. Two of his gametes were put into a uterine orb to develop. Nine months later, he had a cute little baby. Of course, he named that baby after himself. So naturally, he fell in love with the baby. Who wouldn’t? A perfect replica of oneself. Like looking into a mirror. I think you said that, didn’t you? You understand. At this point, James has reached Jim, but James is continuing to move forward, forcing Jim to move back. They continue in this manner all the way to the empty reception desk for the next few minutes. JAMES (cont) But it couldn’t last. Because that’s all that cute little baby was. A reflection. So a few years later, Dr. Jem M. Jung had some more orbs built, and nine months later, poof! Three more babies! In case you haven’t figured in out, Jim, you’re one of them. Triple the babies. Seems like they should last at least triple the time, right? Wrong. The Doctor got bored of them -- all three -even faster than he had gotten bored of his first. His precious. And, poof! Nine more babies. Poof! 27 after that. Poof! 81 more. Now, I don’t know how good you are at math, Jim. But if you’re even a fraction as good as your "father," then you’d know that adds up to 121 (MORE) (CONT)
JAMES (cont) little clone babies. 121. squared. How perfect.
Of course, not all the clones were babies. Oh, on the contrary! By the time the 121rst baby emerged from his safe little orb out into this tumultuous little world, that first baby? Remember him? Well, that baby was ten years old. And remember how much the Doctor loved him? Remember? Of course not. Well neither did the Doctor. He had enough children to love. He didn’t need his first try, his fucking sloppy copy. So he hired that ten-year-old. He brought his eldest son into his profession, to get some use out of his investment. A little child, working in embryology, you ask? Not quite. Because embryology wasn’t the Doctor’s occupation. Not anymore. Oh, no. You see, the Doctor began to have a bit of a mid-life crisis. Just a teensy one. Perfectly common. Nothing to worry about. Except this crisis was different. The Doctor, you see, was overwhelmed with his clones. Quite naturally, actually. I don’t know why a genius like him didn’t predict it sooner. Anyway, the Doctor had to come up with a solution, and fast. So he did. Midway through his life, he became an adoption agent. Only in secret, of course. People don’t generally smile upon sending away your children. But what else was there to do? So one by one (because, of course, he couldn’t let two clones grow up in the same household -- too suspicious), his clones were sent to desperate parents around the (MORE) (CONT)
JAMES (cont) country. I hear he had to send the older kids off to some adoption center in Charleston. Adopting an eight-year-old just isn’t quite as special as adopting a one-year-old, is it? You lose some of the...exclusivity. You can’t forget that that thing just doesn’t belong to you. And neither can the thing. But somehow, the children grew up to be adults. And the older ones always had some sort of subconscious knowledge of where they came from. Something to draw them back home. It’s an instinct we all have, really. And when they returned, they all centered around this very place. The Panayiotis Zavos Institute of Embryology. And no matter what their credentials, Dr. Jem M. Jung hired them. Hired them all. Hired them to remodel, to manage, to assist. And eventually, they all learned the truth. It was inevitable, wasn’t it? And now, here you are. The last to arrive. Let me be the first to welcome you into a society of 121. A society of one. But wait. I think we forgot about something. Do you know what we forgot, Jim? I’ll tell you: the first boy. The first clone. Remember him? Do you? Do you?! James slaps Jim. JIM Yes, yes, I do! JAMES Well, that boy grew up too. And he came back too. Only he never applied for a job, did he? No, his memories weren’t subconscious like the others’. His memories were (MORE) (CONT)
JAMES (cont) very, very strong. And let me tell you, Jim, they were anything but pleasant. And let me tell you something else, Jim. Something important. Listen up. Are you listening? Jim, this boy learned something when he came back. You know what he learned? Was it trust? No. Hope? Couldn’t be. No, this boy learned the most essential lesson of them all. The one lesson out of all the multitudes that actually matters: In the end, there can only be one of us, Jim. And I’m going to be the one. The two brothers are now behind the empty reception desk. Suddenly, Jim’s fist flings forward, aimed for James’ chest. James steps back and grabs Jim’s fist. JAMES Disappointing. I had thought better of -Jim interrupts James with a sharp kick to James’ sack. James reels back, then slowly recovers, hiding his anger with forced laughter. Jim gets in some sort of fighting stance. JAMES (cont) Now, that was decent. How did it feel, Jim? Your first real punch. I take it you’ve never done that before. Am I right? Heh. Of course I am. You’re not a killer. Funny how that worked out. If I didn’t know better, I wouldn’t have thought we were the same man. James crouches down, mirroring Jim’s pathetic fighting stance. James throws some mocking punches in the air and laughs. JAMES (cont) But it feels good, doesn’t it, Jim? To hurt someone? It’s empowering.
The tears are back on Jim’s cheeks as he runs forward and punches James in the side, hard. James falls to his knees. Jim kicks him in the chest, and James skids back across the floor. James slowly gets back up, clutching his chest. JAMES (cont) Getting better, aren’t you, you little fucker? Think you’re better than me? Better than your poor little ten-year-old brother? Trust me, I’m used to that. He steps forward. JAMES (cont) It made me strong. Another step forward. JAMES (cont) It made me tough. Another. JAMES (cont) It made me a killer. The alarm, which has been barely audible in the background for quite awhile, now shuts off completely. The sudden, absolute silence is filled with tension. JAMES I’ll admit it, Jim. This was fun. But I really must be going. I have a strange feeling that the meat fridge is the place to be right now. So let’s see if we can do this without setting off that alarm again, shall we? What do you say, Jim? Are you up for it? Jim glares directly at James, tense and angry. His confidence grows with his fury, builds up inside him; he struggles to constrain himself. JAMES Remember what I told you, Jim? Our passions have a way of breaking free. You can try to deny them, but they’ll all just bottle up (MORE) (CONT)
JAMES (cont) until... Well, until they break. And then that’s the end for you, Jim. That’s it. It’s over. Jim drops his fists and slowly shuts his eyes. His expression morphs, becoming perfectly tranquil, perfectly accepting. A tiny hint of smile floats across his face. It’s clear: it’s over. JAMES (cont) Thank you, Jim. James lurches forward, hands out, eyes glinting. SMASH CUT TO: Jim is dead on the floor, naked, scratch marks decorating his neck. A small trickle of blood drips from Jim’s nose. James is standing beside a pile of clothes. He is already wearing Jim’s trousers, and he’s buttoning Jim’s shirt. When he finishes, he starts to tie Jim’s tie around his neck. His resemblance to Jim is perfect. WHOOSH builds to a wall of sound. EXT. PANAYIOTIS ZAVOS INSTITUTE OF EMBRYOLOGY - NEXT MORNING James is taking off his tie as he walks briskly away from the Institute and towards us. He throws the tie in a nearby garbage can, and loosens his top buttons. He nods at a family as they pass. And he continues to walk away from the Institute and toward us. Close, close, closer, and then he passes us, and then he’s gone. The Institute stands alone.
Still. FADE TO GREEN. CUT TO RED.