Screenplay by Joel Kaye
Based on short stories by Kai Staats
BEAUTIFUL EYES. Desperate eyes.
EXT. ALLEY- DAY
*note – this chase will be reworked for the actual location – 60-90 seconds.
MONICA, 20, is hidden below a pile of garbage near the side of a dumpster. She’s in jeans and a tank top.
Check the trash, I’ll keep moving.
THUG #2 walks to the dumpster and attempts to open the lid. He can’t get a grip. Not quite tall enough, he moves to the side and bumps into the trash the girl is hiding in. She’s still.
THUG #2 almost steps on the girl. Finally, the lid flies open. THUG #2 tosses the contents until he’s satisfied.
He walks off. Monica shifts. He stops. He turns and walks back.
As he nears, a load of trash flies in his face and Monica springs up and runs. High heels in her hands she blazes away around the corner.
THUG #2 Got Her!
Thug #2 chases. He turns the corner but he’s already lost her. Monica is just behind him hidden in a corner. She quietly reverses direction and runs along another street.
She takes another turn, looks back, out of breath but safe. Another THUG rounds the corner and spots her.
Monica narrowly outpaces the thug as she dashes down the nearest alley. Ahead she sees a vehicle turn into the alley and drive towards her.
LIGHTS FLASHING it’s the Police. Monica waves and runs.
The Police car screeches to a stop and doors whip open. Two thugs step out.
Monica quickly stops, loses her footing and falls on her butt. She stands, terrified.
From above we see she’s trapped.
We fly high into the sky still looking down. Business appears sparse below.
A CORPORATE HELICOPTER passes underneath us. It flies low and fast. We follow. It has a company logo on the side in the form of a pyramid.
INT. HELICOPTER – DAY
ETHAN, late 20s, casually hip sits in back. Eyes closed and earbuds BLARING HARD ROCK MUSIC. He’s SNORING.
Next to Ethan is GLORIA, late 20s, kind, conservative dress, brilliant, anxious. She wears an ANKH NECKLACE. She tries to wake Ethan.
I think we’re getting close.
Ethan doesn’t budge.
GLORIA (CONT’D) Ethan, we’re almost there.
Gloria attempts a nudge but Ethan stops her hand with an open palm. She draws her hand back as he sits up.
GLORIA (CONT’D) How can you sleep?
Ethan is not quite with us yet. He nearly executes a friendly expression as he pulls out his ear buds. Gloria seems more nervous than excited.
GLORIA (CONT’D) Are you excited? I’m excited.
Gloria looks out the window at the oncoming pyramid.
So why does a superstar like you switch companies anyhow?
Ethan gets her off his back.
The R&D pipeline. What about you?
The corporate campus is amazing.
It’s a great opportunity and a fun change of pace.
Ethan considers this.
Look, if you want to talk, talk.
Though hesitant, Gloria does want to talk…
It’s my parents. If the world hadn’t changed so much they’d be retired now.
Ethan wishes he didn’t say bullshit.
GLORIA (CONT’D) Sorin has a great retirement program and if I move up I might get my parents inside.
Wishful thinking. Gloria stares into the distance. Ethan breaks the silence.
They’re letting a friend of mine inside. Donny. He’s got Huntington’s Disease. He’s losing his mind. I’m going to get it back.
Gloria rests her hand on Ethan’s arm.
EXT. HELICOPTER – DAY
The helicopter continues towards a giant modern pyramid in the middle of the city.
GLORIA (O.S.) You play poker?
I read your bio. I read everyone’s bio.
EXT. PYRAMID HELIPAD – DAY
The chopper lands. Ethan and Gloria exit and are greeted by an ESCORT and head inside.
INT. MEETING HALL – DAY
A hip, modern meeting hall stage. Ten RECRUITS of various ages and ethnicity stand at elevated tables sipping cocktails. Fifty feet in front of them is a huge VIDEO WALL.
Ethan and Gloria join them.
VICTORIA, early 30s, British, meticulous, waits to the side of the stage. She sees Ethan and Gloria arrive at their table.
She flips on her mic, walks in and begins as she hits center stage. Pro.
Hello. I’m Victoria Dennison, Vice President of Research and Development. You will report to me. First, I’d like to introduce you to our founder.
The overhead monitors FLASH to JEFFRY SORIN, 50’s, warm, comforting and possibly pre-recorded.
MONITOR SCREEN – INTERCUT AS NEEDED
Welcome. I am Dr. Jeffrey Sorin.
I’m so heartened you’ve chosen to join our family.
Two monitors fade in images of world class scientists.
What we do here, what you will do here is drive the future of medicine. Look around. You’ll see you’re in pretty elite company.
The recruits look, smile or raise a glass. ZOE, 20s, hippy raver is a bit overwhelmed.
Yea no shit, right?
Near Zoe is ANNA, 30’s, Russian, precise, competitive. She eyes the monitors.
They all are inside?
Victoria will take you on a virtual tour of our facility, the largest self contained city on the planet. And she’ll bring you up to speed on our latest research. It’s very exciting.
Autopsies are pretty exciting.
As you know I’m a man of deep faith.
Gloria loses interest in Ethan on those words.
Today I’m proud to put my faith in you. Welcome to Sorin Biotech.
As you know our cancer
nanotherapies are the most effective the world. But that’s not why you’re here is it?
The video monitors flash statistics indicating very high remission rates in various forms of cancer.
VICTORIA (CONT’D) Preliminary testing has begun on the treatment of neurological disorders.
The recruits hang on that statement.
VICTORIA (CONT’D) Unfortunately, nervous system targets are extremely difficult to locate. When a payload arrives off target the result is negative. Your goal is to raise accuracy from thirty six percent to ninety percent.
VICTORIA (CONT’D) Make your goal and we’ll make people very happy. Would you like to see your new home?
The video monitors now begin a continuous slide show of amenities inside the pyramid. Sailing, Golf, Rock Climbing, Daycare, Luxury Living etc.
A paraglider floats across a golf course underneath a futuristic ceiling as Victoria drones on.
GLORIA Oh my goodness.
ETHAN It’s all real.
Sorin has done well. We’re blessed to be able to share the wealth.
Victoria drones on as KAREAN, a stunning Asian, 20s serves Ethan & Gloria a drink.
Karean enjoys serving and Ethan is impressed by the service.
Gloria, annoyed, spills her drink to break their trance. Karean giggles as she leans over in her low cut blouse to clean up.
Ethan remains impressed. Gloria remains annoyed.
INT CONTROL ROOM – DAY
Overhead MANDY, 20s, watches the recruits through one way glass. A control board displays names and details of different recruits. DAVID, 40s approaches.
DAVID Anything interesting?
Graphics update as Mandy proceeds.
Anna’s fast track, Gloria’s a disciple, but Zoe, she smuggled shrooms in her bra.
Bummer, I thought they were real.
Ok. What’s protocol?
Have housekeeping clean her up?
Mandy, clearly in training, can’t come up with an answer.
Come on, get her a new supplier you control. What else?
Ethan seems to like Karean quite a bit.
He just got off a chopper. That’s probably why his vitals are high.
Check his penile blood flow. Yep, they’ve got an app for that.
DAVID (to himself)
Everybody’s got something. David walks off with a laugh.
Perfect, grant him access and hook those two up.
David exits as hundreds of tiny screens record everything in the pyramid. One screen shows a beautiful pool. Scantily clad women and men swim, play and dance.
INT. POOLSIDE – DAY
DONAVON, 20s six pack abs-solutely gorgeous and KATE, 50, foxy and formidable sit and enjoy the show. But the show they are enjoying is not the people before them. It’s the orientation proceedings playing on a large TV screen.
DONAVON Freeze, double.
Karean’s face freezes and magnifies on the screen.
DONAVON (CONT’D) Ooh, I like her. ID.
A graphic comes up on the monitor indicating Karean’s vitals and that she is Service Five.
DONAVON (CONT’D) Can you get her?
She’s Service Five. I can get her when I level up. I think I get a horse too.
Kate considers this.
KELLY, a young woman from the pool party saunters up. She’s never felt better in her life.
Hi Kelly, would you like to play?
I would love to play.
Kelly begins to dance. And strip.
INT. MEETING HALL – DAY
VICTORIA Fantastic, yes?
The recruits have been floored by the presentation and show it. Looking down we float up through the levels of the Pyramid.
VICTORIA (O.S.) (CONT’D) Work hard. Level up. Raise a family. Retire.
We sink down below the recruits feet.
VICTORIA (O.S.) (CONT’D) Always keep looking up.
INT. MEDICAL ROOM – DAY
Technician #1 leans over a patient on a bed. He holds an electronic pad.
She’s stabilized. I’ll bring her up.
The technician touches the pad. Eyes flutter open. They are the eyes of the girl in the opening chase sequence, Monica.
Technician #2 sits comforting her.
Monica? Monica. Hi Monica. Would you like to play?
Monica, has never felt better in her life.
I would love to play.
FADE TO BLACK.