"Maximum Lifespan" Written by Ed Park
Pileus Productions work:(714) 285-0741 fax: (714) 285-1747 email: email@example.com
FADE IN: "BOSTON, The Near Future." EXT. BOSTON HARBOR -- NIGHT A winter storm rages. A 100 FOOT PERIMETER WALL divides the skyline into the ultramodern downtown and the outlying city. EXT. SYMBIOGENESIS HQ -- NIGHT Near the center of the metropolis, a high rise with a NEON sign that reads "SYMBIOGENESIS CORPORATION." INT. SYMBIOGENESIS HQ -- LOBBY The lobby is a sterile, modernist space. The air hangs heavy with Muzak. LCD monitors have KEN GARRETT, 50's, with open arms in a welcoming gesture. The tagline: "Dedicated to your Maximum Lifespan." 10YO WILL GARRETT, a handsome boy, struggles as security guards drag him across the lobby and out the front door. He screams at his mother and brother who follow closely behind. 10YO WILL We have to help Lucas! shaking!
ROSEMARY GARRETT, late 40's. Anxiety and depression have etched deep lines into a once handsome face. She holds in tow her middle son, DOMINIC GARRETT. Dominic is 12 YO, but looks like an old man due to his PROGERIA <accelerated aging disease.> ROSEMARY William Joseph Garrett! You stop it right now! Your stem cells can't fix Lucas' autism. OUTSIDE The guards toss 10 YO WILL into a curbside limousine. A man in a long red lab coat closes the door behind Rosemary and Dominic, then bangs the roof twice before the limo screeches away in the freezing rain. LOBBY The drenched man in a long red lab coat reenters the lobby. He is DR. ISAAC SPENCER, 50's, a gentle bookish man. Isaac walks to an inconspicuous area of the lobby, waves his ID badge, opening a secret door in the wall. IN THE ELEVATOR
2. The red LED in a fish-eye lens glows brighter when Isaac enters. An LCD monitor in the elevator shows the live surveillance of Isaac as he rubs his temples with eyes closed. The elevator panel has only six buttons. Isaac inserts his ID badge, causing an optometrist's face cradle to extend down from the ceiling. Isaac places his head into the cradle for a retinal and facial recognition scan. The LCD shows a stock photo of Isaac and reads "Dr. Isaac Spencer - Temporary access to subbasement 9" The elevator panel rotates to reveal nine floors. Isaac presses "SB-7" and "Sb-8" but they won't light up. He presses and lights up the "SB-9" button. The elevator descends into the dark elevator shaft. INT. SYMBIOGENESIS HQ - CONSCIOUSNESS TRANSFER LAB In room's center, two large, vertical Plexiglas cylinders with monitors for vital signs and brain waves. Techs in hooded white jump suits service the machines. Two half-circle ramps rise from the lab floor to opposing sides of a gangplank that provides access to the open tops of the cylinders. Two subjects wearing spandex boxers are suspended in these CONSCIOUSNESS TRANSFER MACHINES like fetal pigs in formaldehyde DR. KEN GARRETT, 50's and powerful, immersed in one. LUCAS GARRETT, his 16YO son, in the other. Both Ken and Lucas are connected to IV tubing, modified SCUBA breathing equipment and blinking VIRTUAL REALITY HELMETS that cover everything but the face. The elevator opens and Isaac exits it. He walks up to Lucas's tank to find an odd, syncopated readout of Lucas's brain waves on the EEG. ISAAC What is this? HENRY CLAYMORE, 20's, hyperactive and sweaty, wears a short red lab coat. HENRY It started with Ken but now Lucas shows the same brain waves. Isaac goes to Ken's EEG and types into a keyboard.
3. Isaac looks surprised, then upset.
He glares at Henry.
ISAAC Goddamn it, Henry, who said you could remove my limbic firewalls? Dr. Spencer.
HENRY Something's happening.
Lucas grimaces as his EEG becomes wildly unstable. CUT TO: EXT. A VIRTUAL REALITY -- DAY Blue skies and rapidly billowing clouds. Ken, (wearing 19th century top hat and tails) reaches out to Lucas (still in Spandex) with open arms and a smile. Lucas goes to him until something makes him scream. Dark skies and storm clouds gather behind Lucas. Ken has become a monster with his three heads bearing three different malevolent expressions. BACK TO LAB SCENE Lucas convulses in his tank as his EEG goes wild. Ken's eyes roll down as an evil grin creeps across his face. ISAAC What's the chairman's reading? The EEG on Ken's side was previously recording a flat line but now undulates with a wild, syncopated rhythm. HENRY That weird alpha-delta hybrid. ISAAC Get them out. HENRY Without proper shut down? ISAAC I'll take full responsibility. Techs drag Lucas out of his tank. on the gangplank.
Lucas continues convulsing
In his tank, Ken fights to regain consciousness. off his IV tubing, helmet, and SCUBA gear.
4. Gagging and coughing, he swims to the surface and drags himself out onto the gangplank. Ken pushes away the helping hands of techs and scrambles over to help with Lucas. KEN What the hell, Isaac? (coughs) You trying to kill me? ISAAC Lucas went into status epilepticus. He could have died if I didn't sever the link. Anyway, Rosemary threatened to go public. I think she's really going to leave you this time. KEN What? ISAAC Your boys accidentally saw us on the surveillance monitors in your office. KEN How much did Will see? ISAAC I'm not sure. Damn it, Ken, you promised to explain it to her. Lucas' convulsions slow as the techs continue to inject drugs and ventilate him with a face mask and bag. In a dark corner, a fish-eye lens with a glowing red LED gazes down at them. INT. GARRETT ESTATE -- STORMY NIGHT -- LATER THAT EVENING Squatting in the foyer, Lucas rocks back and forth and gazes at his flapping hand. He hears only a loud mechanical noise although from the looks of it, Rosemary is screaming at Ken. By the door, suitcases are packed and ready to go. INT. GARRETT ESTATE -- BOYS' BEDROOM -- (SIMULTANEOUS) WILL and DOMINIC are being changed into pajamas by a Nanny. Their parents' shouting is heard downstairs. Will gets a good-night kiss from the nanny. The Nanny gives Dominic the sign of the cross before leaving.
5. HALLWAY OUTSIDE THE BOYS' BEDROOM -- LATER Rosemary enters the dark room but is pulled back by Lucas. LUCAS (repeatedly) Chinny chin chin, don't let him in... Rosemary hugs Lucas as he furiously rocks back and forth. She seems more focused on keeping the scotch in her tumbler. ROSEMARY You're talking so beautifully, Lukieloo. Rosemary stumbles into the bedroom but keeps the door ajar. Ken appears from the shadows but stays in the hallway to eavesdrop. Lucas closes his eyes and hums as he rocks. This brings a smirk to Ken's face. IN THE BOYS' ROOM Rosemary sits on the edge of the bed, wiping tears away in the dark. She sighs before gently waking the boys. Will turns on a bedstand light. Rosemary's catatonic expression and running mascara scare him. She cries and Will tries to comfort her. helplessly.
10 YO WILL You say God loves us but you never say why. ROSEMARY Maybe because he made us. 10 YO WILL Why did he do that? ROSEMARY Now there's a good question. Rosemary raises a toast, smirks, then gulps it down. Will breaks away like a cornered animal. 10 YO WILL Giving bone marrow hurts, mommy.
6. ROSEMARY Remember Cain and Abel? 12 YO DOMINIC But Will's not killing me. My body just won't make telomerase... ROSEMARY Shut up, Dominic! You sound like your father. Mommy and Lucas have to go away. But I'll write. Will holds a framed PHOTO OF ROSEMARY, HAPPY WITH THE BOYS. 10 YO WILL Would you love me if I had autism or bad stem cells? I hate Lucas and Dominic! And I hate you too! Rosemary tries to hug Will but he bites her and runs away. In a tantrum, he throws things. He grabs a heavy crucifix from the wall. Rosemary shakes her head: ROSEMARY Don't you dareWill throws the crucifix, shattering a window and allowing gale force wind and rain to enter. Rosemary hugs Will who cries and fights to squirm away. ROSEMARY (CONT'D) Just do what Jesus wants. 10 YO WILL Did Jesus ask you to leave your kids? ROSEMARY Someday, your father will explain it all to you. Ken enters the room to comfort Will. Ken and Rosemary exchange vicious looks. KEN What kind of mother leaves her own children? Rosemary glares at him, scoffs, then tries to leave. KEN (CONT'D) But I guess this isn't the first time.
7. She turns, slaps Ken hard, then goes outside to Lucas who is screaming and rocking in the hallway outside. The wind slams the door shut. Will struggles to open the door against the wind. When he finally does, Rosemary and Lucas are disappearing into the shadows as the wind howls down the corridor. Ken restrains Will and closes the bedroom door. KEN (CONT'D) You boys don't have a mother now. Daddy will take care of you. INT. NOBEL PRIZE CEREMONY -- (EXPOSITION) Two thousand guests in formal attire give a standing ovation as live cameras show the event on the Jumbotrons flanking the dais. They appear to be applauding a 10yo Will. Will sniffles and wipes away tears on his tuxedo sleeve as he anxiously scans the faces of the beaming audience members. Ken, 10yo Will, and 12yo Dominic, are the only ones still seated in the front row of honorees. Ken's hand grabs Will's arm and pulls it down to his side. 10 YO WILL But she just wrote me. And I never heard about her plane crash. Ken mumbles through gritted teeth: KEN Don't ruin this for daddy, William. A large screen reads "Dr. Kenneth Garrett, Nobel Prize in Medicine for stable, bioactive Telomerase." VOICEOVER NARRATION Thirty years ago, life expectancy of the wealthy doubled thanks to Ken Garrett's new drug delivery platform. Projected on the other screen is a TECHNICAL VIDEO with a 3d rotating schematic of a PDA or "INHALER." It looks like a flip phone, PDA, and drug dispenser via a retractable straw. Many in the audience flip open inhalers and hold them up as a tribute.
8. Ken beams with pride as he ascends the stage to accept his award. CUT TO: INT. ROSEMARY'S HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NIGHT Rosemary and Lucas watch a news clip of the Nobel Prize ceremony on TV. When Ken ascends the stage, Rosemary shuts it off. She dials "Telomerase + Serenity" on her PDA. She looks at it in disgust and hurls it against wall, shattering it. She pours herself a tall glass of Scotch whiskey. VOICEOVER NARRATION Garrett's Symbiogenesis Corporation created a way of stably delivering inhaled telomerase, the anti-aging enzyme that our bodies cease making after we reach the age of 45. INT. CORPORATE JET -- 20,000 FEET -- (EXPOSITION) The "PROMETHEUS CORPORATION" logo is on the corporate jet. Inside, SIMON VISSER is surrounded by other CEO types and hookers as he blows out his cake with "Happy 100th" on it. SIMON, looks mid 50's, a man with complete poise despite the debauchery around him. VOICEOVER NARRATION But like tires or brakes on a vintage car, kidneys and other organs would wear out. Using bribes and intimidation, Simon Visser's Prometheus Corporation cornered the market on synthetic organs that proved as notoriously expensive and they were unreliable. INT. SYMBIOGENESIS HQ -- 7TH FLOOR CLONE ROOM - (EXPOSITION) In a dark cavern, a few men in hooded white bunny suits walk on the pathways created by hundreds of eight by three foot baths sunken into the floor. Yellow fluorescent light streams up from these baths. The back lighting makes it hard to make out their features, but each one clearly contains a human body. A woman's naked body floats in one. perfect...
Below her neck, she is
9. VOICEOVER NARRATION Telomerase and replacement organs were controversial but gradually accepted by most. But Ken Garrett's radical alternative to biosynthetic organs was not. The woman's forehead is completely caved in like a beer can. She has a blank look on her face.
She suddenly twitches but her expression is oddly unchanged. A tech holding a tablet PC checks a machine pumping green goo through the skin above her stomach. A tube with brown feces flows back into the machine. Like a giant carnival arcade game with stuffed animals, a steel claw grabs one of the struggling males out of his bath and plops him onto a stretcher. The name tag on the stretcher reads "Alphonso Huntington, 23-Theta-A: kidney harvesting." A tech kicks the leaking, disconnected tubes back into the empty bath and turns out the light and power to that particular bath. There are more clones lying in adjacent baths. All seem identical except for "23-Theta-B...23-Theta-C..." tattooed onto their caved-in foreheads. They look like teenage versions of ALPHONSO HUNTINGTON, billionaire industrialist. INT. OPERATING ROOM -- (EXPOSITION) ALPHONSO HUNTINGTON, looks to be in his 70's, is face down and anesthetized on the operating table. He has a surgically-exposed incision on his flank. The surgeon removes a SYNTHETIC KIDNEY from the elder Alphonso and tosses it into the trash. A nurse hands the surgeon a fresh human kidney to transplant. On the adjacent table, ALPHONSO'S CLONE (the one grabbed by the claw) lies in the same face down position. The clone also has a large and bloody surgical incision. anesthesiologist holding an apple and reading the sports page sits at the head of that operating table. Without looking up, the anesthesiologist opens an IV bag into the clone's IV. The bag is labeled "Kcl" and "Not for intravenous use."
10. The ECG jumps around, then goes flat line. The anesthesiologist looks disgusted. But it's only the taste of his apple. He spits it back into his hand and dumps it all onto the clone's corpse. ANESTHESIOLOGIST See this organic crap? How 'bout some pesticides, for a change. The anesthesiologist shuts off the monitors and covers the clone's head with a sheet. EXT. OUTSIDE THE 100 FOOT WALL -- NIGHT -- (EXPOSITION) PROTESTERS demonstrate outside the 100 FOOT WALL separating the wealthy metropolis from the normal city. GABRIEL PRINCE, teenager with a Mohawk hairdo and a large mole on his cheek, holds a flaming Molotov cocktail. RIOT POLICE and dogs stand ready for trouble. Searchlights dance over Jumbotrons embedded in the wall near a commuter train tunnel that penetrates the wall. The Jumbotrons show ads for Prometheus synthetic organs, American football and plastic surgery. VOICEOVER NARRATION Indignation over Symbiogenesis's lobotomized cloning set off a brief class war that had been brewing since the advent of longevity enhancement for the wealthy. A MOLOTOV COCKTAIL EXPLODES on the ad. comrades slap Gabriel on the back.
The crowd cheers and
The crowd is pushed back with high pressure water from hoses and tear gas. EXT. BASEBALL FIELD OUTSIDE ROSEMARY'S HOUSE -- FLASHBACK A well-dressed man is dragged from his fancy car and beaten down by children with T-shirts reading "METROS ARE VAMPIRES" or "EAT THE RICH OR THEY'LL EAT YOU." The man pulls out and fires his gun at them, causing the kids to scatter for cover. ACROSS THE STREET Rosemary flinches at the sound of gun fire. She pulls a letter from her mailbox. The Symbiogenesis envelope is addressed to "Ms. Frances Aubin" and there is a check inside.
11. A shriek comes from her front door. When Rosemary reenters the house, Lucas slams the door shut and continues to shriek. FADE OUT: FADE IN: "30 years later- present day Japan" EXT. MOUNTAINS IN JAPAN -- NIGHT Snow-capped mountains surround a small village and adjacent Zen Monastery. The streets are quiet. A fresh dusting of snow covers the trees and houses like a down comforter. INT. MONASTERY -- WILL'S ROOM -- NIGHT WILL GARRETT, now handsome young man. Shirtless and drenched in sweat, he mumbles and tosses in his sleep. INT. GARRETT MANSION -- BOYS' BEDROOM -- (DREAMING) Will's childhood bedroom is being torn apart by a CYCLONE of pictures, Scotch glasses, hypodermic needles, and demonic images. The cyclone swirls around Ken as he embraces and restrains 12YO DOMINIC and 10YO WILL. 10 YO WILL (at the closed door) I hate Lucas and Dominic! hate you too!
The bedroom door has no knob or handle. ROSEMARY (O.S.) (filtered sound fx) Someday, your father will explain it all to you. BACK TO PRESENT REALITY Will's eyes snap open. After a moment of anxious disorientation, he sits bolt upright. He goes to the sink, splashes water on his face, and sighs as he looks at his reflection in the mirror. Yeah?
WILL You and what army?
Sitting up in bed, he opens a laptop to an E-book "Jungian interpretation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland."
12. Outside, the moon is reflected in the heated pond. lotus blossom floats serenely on still water.
EXT. MONASTERY -- ZEN GARDEN -- DAY Outside Will's room, the sun and clouds reflect in the pond. Will and the ZEN MONK stroll through the garden and chat. The Zen Monk, serene yet clearly amused by it all. Will's inhaler PDA rings with caller ID "DOMINIC GARRETT." INTERCUT WITH: INT. DOMINIC'S CEO OFFICE -- NIGHT DOMINIC GARRETT, now an adult, but with odd, asymmetric features. WILL What do you mean he told you? DOMINIC The cold can preserve his cells for another 48 hours, tops. He communicates using a consciousness emulator, like a porn interactive, or a seance. WILL I told his lawyers I don't want your job. DOMINIC He says it's just to say goodbye. think he might still want some of your liver. With some fava beans and a nice Chianti. (slurping sound) WILL Very funny. Then tell him to buy one from Prometheus. DOMINIC Too late. He needs radical chemo followed by a genetically similar transplant to survive. WILL All the king's horses and all the king's men -
13. DOMINIC - I've booked you first class on tomorrow's direct flight. C'mon Will, I'm up a creek here. Hits an ENTER KEY- confirming Will on a PASSENGER LIST shown on his computer screen. WILL I won't do all that again.
DOMINIC Will Will hangs up and continues strolling along. hasn't moved. Go home.
The Zen Monk
ZEN MONK It's your family.
WILL This is where I belong. feel centered.
ZEN MONK Can a dog outrun its tail? First principle: the center is everywhere and nowhere. WILL Like the eye of a hurricane? The Zen Monk picks up two pebbles that are out of line with the rows of the carefully raked rock garden. He hands one to Will and drops the other into a still pond. ZEN MONK Like a pebble in a pond. They continue walking. WILL What if a person wanted to escape the center and just disappear? They walk into another area of the Zen garden where Westerners are practicing Tai Chi. ZEN MONK He should learn to dance with wind and between raindrops. INT. SYMBIOGENESIS HQ -- SECURITY CHECKPOINT -- LIMOUSINE Isaac, looking in his 70's, wears a long white lab coat. and Dominic ride in the rear of a slow-moving limo.
14. ISAAC Godfather or not, I won't pull punches during tomorrow's debate. DOMINIC Don't' ever take sides with anyone against the family, Fredo. (holding a thick report) By speaking against your own board you've sealed your fate at Eternity. ISAAC I'm too old to worry about what others think. But you... The limo passes through an angry mob of protesters with signs reading "TRANSHUMANISM IS SATANIC", "GOD IS THE WAY AND THE LIGHT". ISAAC (CONT'D) Who proposed this buy out? DOMINIC (rolls down window) If you want to die of natural causes, move to a poorer country! Dominic is pelted with food before rolling up the window. Protesters bang on the limo's hood, doors and windows. DOMINIC (CONT'D) Dad's had his eye on your company for years. At first, I didn't see why a biotech company would want an entertainment business. ISAAC You can call it interactive porn, Dominic. It takes a lot to make me blush. INT. SYMBIOGENESIS -- LOBBY Isaac and Dominic walk through the lobby towards the secret elevators. ISAAC And how is Judas working out? DOMINIC Henry? Dad sure loves him. Hey, Isaac, why the Frankenstein phobia? Transhumanism is only theoretical. They pause to watch a news snippet covering arson and rioting.
15. ISAAC Today's theory - tomorrow's Tar Baby. INT. ELEVATOR TO SUBBASEMENT -- CONTINUOUS Dominic presses "SB-8" as the face cradle rises back into the elevator's ceiling. As they descend, Isaac becomes anxious and notices his own expression on the LCD monitor. The red LED of the fish-eye lens glows brighter. ISAAC The place hasn't changed much in three decades. What's on seven now? DOMINIC R&D, I think. (notes Isaac's skepticism) Come on, I was eighteen when Lobocloning became illegal. ISAAC I recall a time spent on nine. Ken ever mention it?
DOMINIC No, I don't think he did. Down eight stories to the FREEZER LEVEL. INT. FREEZER LEVEL -- CONTINUOUS Down the hallway, several dozen mausoleum-like entrances with the wealthy-sounding names and dates. One of them reads "Alphonso Huntington. March 2, 1946 - (year blocked by Dominic's head). Philanthropist and devoted family man." DOMINIC He refuses to be decorpitatated like old man Huntington and the other talking heads. ISAAC Neurological connection to a body confers legal status. But even the mighty Ken Garrett can read the writing on these walls. So I guess this means you've made in into the top 20 club. DOMINIC Don't I wish. He says I can't see a dime until Will comes back.
16. ISAAC After all you've done for the company? DOMINIC Can you believe that? Ugh. I loath coming here. Your emulator is a real live freak show. ISAAC Then use the helmets and go virtual. DOMINIC Never trusted them. No offense. I even jerk off the old fashioned way. As they approach the entrance to Ken's Freezer, they check in at another high-security desk. HENRY, wearing a long white coat and appearing the same age as 30 years ago, is expecting them. HENRY Isaac. Just let me pick your brain for five minutes. ISAAC You have my notes and the archival video. That's more than I wanted to give. HENRY Buying a Cordon Bleu cookbook doesn't make one a five-star chef. ISAAC Just let us in, Mr. Claymore. INT. KEN GARRETT'S FREEZER -- MOMENTS LATER Isaac and Dominic enter a bright, featureless room facing a darkly tinted PLEXIGLAS WALL. DOMINIC Dad? (no reply) ...computer, show backstage. Room lights dim and the Plexiglas becomes clear. On the other side, techs in white jump suits service the machines sustaining Ken. Ken's body floats in a dry ice bath. Bearded and aged, his puffy head wears a virtual reality helmet aglow with fiber-optic lights. At regular intervals farther down the backstage corridor, there are many pedestals with heads floating in fishbowls. Those heads wear virtual reality helmets but have no bodies.
17. Without warning, the four walls recreate the scene of DOMINIC'S CEO OFFICE, but with Ken's decor. The backstage area is no longer visible, replaced by the fourth wall of the simulated office. A CGI hologram of an elderly but intact Ken is projected into the center of the visitation room. As it speaks, his CGI image flickers with grimaces, unconscious feelings, and loses visual continuity. LATER KEN You're just minding the store. Symbiogenesis will be run by Will. DOMINIC He'd rather light candles and bang on gongs. I'm the one who did your dirty work the last two decades. KEN Don't be greedy. My lawyers assure me that I'm still human enough to cut you off. Whereas, you lack the authority to return the favor (touches his neck and smiles) DOMINIC (under his breath) Still human? So much for "it takes one to know one." KEN Dom, you've never had the human touch. And just look at you. Now give us a moment. Dominic, peeved, leaves Isaac alone with the hologram. KEN (CONT'D) Why are you still trying to stop us? They'll oust you from the very company you built. ISAAC I don't want to be any party to Transhumanism. So do you plan to ask Will for a lobe of his liver? KEN They say it's my only shot.
18. ISAAC As long as you're not planning anything else... KEN Why is it so strange to want to see your own flesh and blood? ISAAC You've had ten years to reconcile. KEN Forgetting all that, wouldn't it be fun just to dust off the tanks for old times sake? ISAAC You're joking... KEN Your RINQ texture mapping is generations improved now. Maybe you could have uploaded your wife's consciousness after all? ISAAC My God, Ken. Don't you regret what happened to Lucas? KEN A babbling cretin is better that a mute one. Isaac looks over his shoulder instinctively. KEN (CONT'D) No one can hear us. And what's not to love about immortality? ISAAC Is that what you believe? Okay. You're a man of science so let's do a thought experiment. Pretend you could make a replica of yourself. All the same thoughts, feelings, memories. For all intents and purposes, that's you. KEN And that's the plan. ISAAC What if, just before the copy receives the exact duplicate of your soul, you are forced to select one of those beings to receive horrific torture. (MORE)
19. ISAAC (CONT'D) Which one would you choose? a selfish motive of course.
KEN Is there any another kind? I'm disappointed, Isaac? Take a good look at me. INTERCUT BETWEEN THE FROZEN BODY AND CGI KEN KEN (CONT'D) I'd give a billion dollars just to feel a good bowel movement. Want to stop Transhumanism? Get Will here and convince him. I will see my life's work realized. ISAAC Or die trying? KEN I don't plan on dying.
INT. SYMBIOGENESIS CORP. -- LANA'S LAB DR. LANA PIERCE, early 30's, super-model meets Rhodes scholar. A floor to ceiling LCD glass wall shows a world map superimposed with the animated branches of a family tree reflecting the genealogy of Homo sapiens as it migrated out of East Africa. She and a LAB TECH ponder the computer's message as they walk around the glass wall: "Discontinuous origin - no known ancestor." LANA Well that's not possible. Run it again. LAB TECH Lana, I verified with the genomic servers in Kyoto and Berlin. No other person's mitochondrial DNA looks anything like it. LANA Then where's it from? LAB TECH Weird thing is, someone anonymously e-mailed it to us from inside the building. I'll need a higher clearance to unlock the identity. Hands suddenly grab her from behind, startling her.
20. DOMINIC Boo! LANA Oh good, Dominic. Here, enter your password so we can identify an employee's weird DNA. Dominic gestures for the lab tech to leave.
DOMINIC You should run it by legal or corporate security. Dominic throws down airline tickets and an E-book "Buddhist Philosophy in Western Thought." Will's face is on the back. DOMINIC (CONT'D) Didn't you have a crush on him in college? LANA I didn't earn my PhD in biological anthropology to turn tricks for you. She gets up and briefly goes to the next room, giving Dominic a chance to enter his name and FIVE DIGIT PASSWORD. This brings up "anomalous mitochondrial DNA belongs to Garrett, Dominic". Dominic is stunned but closes the window before she returns. DOMINIC The merger could change everything. Maybe Ruthie would reconsider the nobility of death by "natural causes." LANA She's dying because of crummy Prometheus organs. And why the sudden concern over my mother? DOMINIC Now that hurts. In fact, I'm suddenly overcome with an urge to call my own mother. INT. HOSPITAL -- RUTH PIERCE'S ROOM Lana's mother, RUTH PIERCE, is an elderly woman near death but she can't help smiling with her eyes. RUTH lies sleeping with her head limp as though she may already be dead.
21. A TV news program features Ken's terminal condition and speculates as to whether Dominic or Will will lead the company. The TV then runs a promo for the upcoming televised debate on TRANSHUMANISM. Dominic, Isaac, and Simon are featured with their titles below. Lana enters the room and violently shakes Ruth awake. Oh, my God.
RUTH My Lana-fana, fo-fana. I was having the most wonderful dream. We were skating when a man came up from behind and hugged you. (coughs) But not like that weirdo. What was his name? LANA Dominic? RUTH Oh yeah: Dominic the rude and ugly troll. Yeech. Ruth's heart monitor was recording stable but now begins to show some irregular beats. OUTSIDE AT THE NURSES' STATION An alert on Ruth's tracing raises concern. BACK TO SCENE LANA If you loved me, you'd do another transplant. RUTH I should never have let you talk me into this one. (points to a hideous scar on her flank) Lana breaks down, sobbing in her mother's arms. RUTH (CONT'D) The old things die to make way for the new things. It's against God and Nature to live forever. Lana takes a photo from a poster board "get well" montage to hand to Ruth.
22. It's a photo of old RUTH, a young ROSEMARY, and clients posing outside a women's shelter with a sign: "Ninevah House." LANA Look at Frances. grandmother.
You could be her
RUTH She always looked younger, even when we were cheerleading. LANA Another good Catholic who still took telomerase. RUTH I'll bet she's had work done. Ruth coughs violently. At the nurses station, the alarm reads "VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION-CODE BLUE." LANA I had a date with your doctor. So what if we have kids? You'll need to show me how to care for them. RUTH Dr. Kelly is a nice man. Ruth's breathing becomes labored. gazes into her desperate eyes.
Ruth takes her hands and
RUTH (CONT'D) I'll be in here. (touches Lana's forehead) And here. (touches Lana's heart) Ruth starts coughing up blood and a team rushes in to administer oxygen and check vital signs. Ruth drops the photo. Lana is ushered out of the room. She breaks free to pick up the photo that had fallen to the ground. OUTSIDE THE HOSPITAL ROOM Sobbing, she makes a call. LANA Dominic? I've changed my mind. I'll go tonight.
23. DOMINIC (O.S.) Great. I've made all the arrangements. INT. OVER MOUNTAINS IN JAPAN-- FLYING AIRPLANE -- MORNING LANA PIERCE's plane descends into snowy mountains. Sitting across the aisle from her is SEAN, an intense man in his 40's. His left cheek and nose are reconstructed from titanium. Sean uses his laptop to record Lana with a miniature camera. Instant Message pops up: "He's booked on tomorrow's flight. We'll have a Humanist faction claim responsibility." Sean types back: "Here?
Where's the SAM stashed?"
Instant Message pops up: "No. arrangements."
I'll make all the
INT. MONASTERY -- LANA'S ROOM Steam rises from an oversized tub in Zen-style bathroom. Lana undresses and looks at herself in mirror over the sink. Although drop-dead gorgeous, she sighs. She plugs her inhaler into the TV eliciting a brief PRESSURIZED GAS sound. She climbs into the tub as a computer generated CONCIERGE appears on the TV with SOOTHING MUSIC. CONCIERGE Konichi-wah, Dr. Pierce, you look wonderful this evening. LANA I'll bet you say that to all the girls? No.
CONCIERGE You programmed me to -
LANA - Oh forget it. Messages? CONCIERGE I have an urgent message from Dr. Kelly about your mother. Lana dials "TELOMERASE + SERENITY" on her inhaler. She inhales, then sinks underwater with a euphoric smile. A ring tone breaks the spell and she resurfaces. LANA Connect with simulated clothing.
24. Dominic's image pops up from his CEO office desk. INTERCUT WITH: INT. DOMINIC'S CEO OFFICE -- SIMULTANEOUS DOMINIC Did you review his last book? Dominic moves his head as if it might help him peak around the CG clothes. LANA I won't forget the Gilgamesh thing. DOMINIC If that doesn't work? LANA Arjuna and Krishna? DOMINIC If that fails? LANA Show some skin? DOMINIC I was going to say mention Ruthie's illness. Play a little ditty on his heartstrings. LANA I'd rather seduce him than use that cheap trick. DOMINIC With anyone else, I would think that a splendid idea... Cut to Dominic typing "erase simulated clothing." Lana covers up before the dissolving of the simulated clothing completes. DOMINIC (CONT'D) ...but he hasn't been with a woman since the Oilers went to the Superbowl. He's only interested in fairy tale princesses. She hangs up.
She reviews pictures of the handsome Will.
LANA Show outgoing image. The monitor obliges and she primps a little.
25. LANA (CONT'D) Ok...mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? INT. ZEN MONASTERY -- MEDITATION ROOM -- DAY Rising incense and a seated golden Buddha. A BELL RINGS and the Zen Monk leads low guttural CHANTING with about a dozen Westerners. GROUP Nam, yoho, renge, gyo...nam, yoho, renge, gyo... A bell rings and chanting stops. Sean's eyes are half open and he sits in the row behind Will and Lana, watching them. Will and Lana sit side by side, in lotus position. occasionally opens her eyes to glance over. Lana COUGHS LOUDLY.
Will looks over to see her smiling.
He goes back to meditation.
She coughs again without effect.
LANA (at first softly) Something. Darn it! There it is again. Will ignores Lana. LANA (CONT'D) (whispering to Will) How do you do that so well? Still no response from Will. Others open their eyes and glare at her. She half-heartedly mumbles apologies. LANA (CONT'D) (whispering to Will) I mean here I'm going good. You know, thinking of nothing, more nothing, then nothing sorta becomes something. Sheesh. To tell you the truth, I don't think I can do this. TOURIST #1 Well some of us paid a lot of money to try - so would you please zip it? Murmurs of agreement. Will hides his amusement but their eyes briefly meet. As she stands up to leave: LANA (to Tourist #1) N-O-T-H-I-N-G. (MORE)
26. LANA (CONT'D) That's something so it's not nothing. I should have gone bungee jumping instead. TOURIST #1 (under her breath) We all wish you had. Lana sticks her tongue out at the woman and leaves. EXT. MONASTERY -- ZEN GARDEN -- DAY Lana takes a seat, glances back into the room she just left and appears frustrated. Sean approaches. SEAN You're right about nothing being something. What crap. I think they're all faking it. (lights a cigarette) LANA I know, right? I'm Lana. (offers her hand) So what brings you here, Mr.SEAN - Call me Sean. (ignores her hand) Just retired from military consulting. Time for a break. LANA Pricey little vacation. SEAN Yeah, it is. But I came into some money after selling the old house. Too many ghosts. LANA What do you mean? SEAN It's personal. LANA A smoker who believes in ghosts? How nineteenth century. SEAN Funny. My family was killed in that house.
27. LANA I'm so sorry. SEAN It's been twenty-four years. over it.
LANA So it was during the Lobo-clone riots? CUT TO: EXT. BOSTON SUBURB OUTSIDE WALL -- NIGHT -- (FLASHBACK) In a crowded house, rebels with slogan t-shirts make posters, and improvised explosives. A small robotic spy plane films one moment but is suddenly brought down by a net-like device. The boy proudly holding the net is a 13 YO SEAN. His older brother proudly musses his hair and hands him a rifle. SEAN (V.O.) We lived next to a Humanist safe house. One night, I convinced my brother to let me do his sniper detail. EXT. THE 100 FT WALL -- LATER (FLASHBACK CONT'D) Young Sean's hands tremble as he brings a policeman into his sniper sights. He pulls the trigger.
Terror, then exhilaration on his face.
SEAN (V.O.) I ran all the way home to brag about my first kill. When I got home, the entire block had been hit with neutron ordinance. BACK AT SEAN'S HOUSE (FLASHBACK) Corpses look like they suffered and struggled before dying. Among them, young Sean finds his brother. He drops the rifle and sobs over his brother's corpse. SEAN (V.O.) (CONT'D) The buildings were fine. I could smell charred skin and...the air was so heavy, like before a thunderstorm. A comforting, gloved hand rests on the boy's shoulder.
28. It is a faceless SWAT soldier wearing a SKI MASK and NIGHT VISION GOGGLES. The other soldiers kick corpses and scan handprints for identification. BACK TO SCENE LANA What a horrible story. (touches his arm) SEAN (pulls away) Just the cost of doing business. chose the wrong side anyway.
LANA How can you say that? SEAN After twenty years of defending us from enemies, foreign and domestic, I know it's usually not personal. LANA You make killing sound like a job. SEAN You think paying someone to do your dirty work leaves your hands clean? LANA I don't condone murder. SEAN Without me, you couldn't keep out all the aging, huddled masses yearning to breathe freely from our inhalers. Will and the tourists walks past.
Lana gets up rudely.
LANA There's more to life than conflict. I'm sorry you can't see that. EXT. MONASTERY -- ZEN GARDEN Will signs a book for Tourist #1 when Lana walks up and shoos her away. LANA I'm staring because you look so familiar...
29. WILL You know...meditation's not really thinking about nothing. LANA No? WILL We focus the mind and quiet the background noise of consciousness. LANA You mean worrying about money, sex and death? WILL Right. LANA Comparative Religions and Myths! You were my teaching fellow at Harvard. Lana Pierce. (offers her hand) I do Mitochondrial Eve research. WILL (ignores the hand) Sure...tracing human migration through female ancestry. I've read your work but I had pictured someone a little...older. She waves her inhaler. WILL (CONT'D) I meant it as a compliment. LANA Good, 'cuz that's how I took it. WILL But I'm sorry you've chosen to devote your life to a theory that's so fundamentally flawed. LANA What? WILL Never mind. LANA Whoa. At least get a meal and a few drinks into a girl before telling her that her life's work is bogus.
30. WILL I don't think so. LANA Come on, Professor, you've peaked my curiosity. WILL Well, okay. I'll meet you at the restaurant at the bottom of the hill. Say 8pm? LANA You're not going to escort me? WILL I have a feeling you'll find your own way there. INT. JAPANESE RESTAURANT -- NIGHT Will is unimpressed with an attempt at flirtation. LANA So, Professor Garrett, why am I wasting my time? WILL Your research interests or your interests in me? I found out a lot about you. (gulps sake and offers to pour a cup) LANA I thought I was stalking you. (waves the sake away) WILL When were you planning to tell me? LANA Okay. Dominic asked me to talk to you. Transhumanism was your father's dying wish. WILL Pardon me? LANA Transhumanism. To take the soul of a dying person and store or transfer it into something else. WILL A Modern Ka and Ba?
31. LANA Wow, this is almost as good as ...oh, nevermind, Dom said you gave that up. Ka and Ba? Will closes his eyes while tasting, but shakes his head. WILL Oh. Ancient Egyptians called our life force the Ka. The Ba was our soul or spirit. They believed immortality was possible if the believer could fuse the Ka and the Ba in the afterlife. LANA Right. I mean, what wouldn't people do to become immortal? WILL That's the problem. In life's parade, our survival instinct is like a bull elephant, religion like the prancing ponies. But Ethics, that's the guy following with bucket and broom. LANA You can't believe that morality is all just rationalizing. WILL Thou shalt not kill, right? When we were young, we traveled with SWAT teams because zealots believed God needed their help to smite him. LANA The public was never going to stand for lobotomized adult clones. There's a line that you don't cross. WILL Ken made a ton of money crossing it before they found out what he was up to. LANA Come home. You'll be our savior. Like Prometheus, Osirus and Gilgamesh all rolled into one. WILL Uh, were you daydreaming in class? Prometheus had his liver eaten out by an eagle every day. Osirus? (MORE)
32. WILL (CONT'D) Suffocated in a coffin by his brother then hacked to pieces. And Gilgamesh, well, he let down his guard... LANA ...he fell asleep allowing the snake to steal the root of eternal life he'd brought from the bottom of the sea. Then, you'd be like Gilgamesh who already had his nap. WILL ...I could really use one of those. Will gulps another shot of sake and rubs his eyes. WILL (CONT'D) Look...do you really believe a longer life is a better life? People save up for organs but they can't afford the scheduled maintenance. No one plays contact sports except highly paid professionals. Cars are marshmallows on wheels. LANA Ok. Modern life has compromises. But if you believe there's no point, how can you go on? WILL Consciousness doth make cowards of us all. LANA Now you're not being honest. What happened to the boy who trusted in the Lord and prayed every night with his mother? WILL He believed in Santa and the Tooth Fairy. That kid's been dead for thirty years. Tell Dominic that you tried and failed. Lana dials up "SERENITY" on her inhaler and INHALES DEEPLY. WILL (CONT'D) I have a question for you. Is there anything that could make you stop sucking on that? (a big gulp of sake) Thought so, all talk but won't put out when it counts. (offers sake to Lana)
33. LANA I can't stand sake but you never bothered to ask me. Won't put out? I'm not the one who hasn't had sex in a decade. Will gets up abruptly and drops money on the table. LANA (CONT'D) Wait. I'd give it up to save my mother. Lana shows the picture of her mother arm-in-arm with Rosemary and the clients in front of Ninevah House. Will sits and stares at the photo in disbelief. LANA (CONT'D) What's wrong? EXT. STREET OUTSIDE JAPANESE RESTAURANT -- LATER A light snow fall as they stroll back to the monastery. Will stares at the photo. LANA They graduated high school together. Mom used to volunteer at her women's shelter until her second kidney implant failed. WILL But she died in a plane crash. LANA That's weird. Why would they lie? WILL I'm going to find out. Anyway, your mom sounds just as religious, but in a much nicer way. LANA She used to make these for the clients. You keep it. Lana hands Will a small CRUCIFIX. They stroll for a while and pass a bus stop with a video ad for Anime-style erotic video games (with the Eternity logo). WILL Why don't parents just tell the truth? I could have done without a Tooth Fairy.
34. LANA Read your own books. Only the myth and metaphor go deep enough to be universal. WILL But something in me still wants to believe in the magic. (a pause) Don't you feel there must be something that would make life worth living? LANA You would think so... An awkward moment as they pause in front of her door. Will self-consciously offers his hand. Lana takes it and pulls him closer for a kiss before scurrying into her room. INT. MONASTERY -- LANA'S ROOM -- LATER Lana draws a bath and looks at pictures of Will while smiling. She undresses, pausing to look at herself in the mirror. This time, she's pleased with what she sees. She slides into the tub and unconsciously picks up her inhaler. Then, she consciously puts it back down. CONCIERGE Dominic Garrett calling. LANA Connect with simulated clothing. DOMINIC Well, is he on board? LANA Did you know your mother was still alive? DOMINIC Dad told me right before they froze him. So is he coming? LANA If he can track her down. I don't get the feeling he's so close to your father. DOMINIC Did you bring up Ruthie?
35. LANA I went with the cleavage. WILL That's my girl. Dominic types "REMOVE SIMULATED CLOTHING" Lana notices it and abruptly hangs up. A deep breath and before sinking back under the water. CONCIERGE I still have that urgent message from Dr. Kelly. LANA Go ahead. A video message comes up with DR. KELLY. In his 30's and almost too good looking, like a soap opera doctor. DR. KELLY I'm sorry but her heart is going the way of her kidneys. You'd better get back here, Lana. INT. MONASTERY -- LANA'S ROOM (LATER) Lana is done packing and writes a note: "Dear Will, my mother took a turn for the worse so I had to get back. I hope you'll come home to Boston. I still want my explanation about Mitochondrial Eve. Best, Lana." INT. AIRPLANE IN FLIGHT -- NIGHT Lana asleep by the window seat. across the aisle.
Sean glares at her from
INT. MONASTERY -- WILL'S ROOM -- DAY Will picks up the handwritten note that Lana slipped under his door. At the bottom of Lana's note, in another color ink and handwriting, it reads: "If you go to Boston, you're a dead man." INT. ISAAC'S OFFICE -- NIGHT -- (INTERCUT) Isaac talks on the videophone with Will. Will talks while piling clothes into a suitcase. ISAAC We'll sort it all out after you come.
36. WILL I'm booked on today's flight. ISAAC No. I'll send an unscheduled charter. I don't want to see you on the evening news. Still feel like coming? WILL Sure, who wants to live forever? ISAAC Your father, for one. EXT. OUTSIDE BOSTON AIRPORT -- EVENING Sean wears the overalls of a maintenance person and pushes around a cart. He ducks behind a hanger and pulls out a PASSENGER LIST with Will Garrett's name on it. He checks a hand-held radar device that confirms which flights are landing. He pulls out pieces that assemble into a shoulder launched, surface-to-air missile. CUT TO: INT. AIRPLANE -- EVENING Will is in an airplane reading a scientific paper by Lana on mitochondrial DNA. He smiles when he sees her author's bio picture. A FLIGHT ATTENDANT sits in her jump seat and smiles at Will. ON THE TARMAC A plane approaches and Sean acquires the target in his sights. Isaac waits nearby outside a limousine. IN THE PLANE As they descend, Will is hypnotized by the runway lights looming larger and larger. EXT. AIRPORT TARMAC -- DAY --
A SWAT TEAM shelters 12YO DOMINIC and 10YO WILL as they run across a windswept tarmac from a jeep to a small Harrier style jump-jet.
37. A BOOK ON HAWAIIAN VOLCANOS rests on the floor of the jeep. After boarding the plane, Will can't find something in his backpack. My book!
WILL Be right back.
Will runs out with Dominic close behind. Will!
DOMINIC Wait for the guards!
As the boys near the jeep, the PLANE EXPLODES. A guard pushes Will to the ground to shield him with his body. BACK TO PRESENT REALITY FLIGHT ATTENDANT And to think you were worried. ON THE TARMAC Sean aims, fires and blows it out of the sky. This brings a smile to his face. Sean folds up the launcher, takes off the overalls, and places both into a first aid case. He dons a fireman's suit with tinted face mask and helmet. Rushing towards the crash site with first aid case in hand, he spots a smaller plane resting on the nearby airfield next to a limo. END OF BOOK I