Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Machine That Makes Monsters



A slim lanky PRIMITIVE STANLEY GOODWIN crouches naked staring intensely, with deep sunken glacial blue eyes, at a pile of dry leaves. Weird ancient bugs skitter about. Rubbing perpendicular sticks together he succeeds in creating fire outside a driftwood and palm leaf bungalow. Something distracts Stanley from his discovery and he wanders towards the clearing.

STANLEY'S POV Palm trees sway in the gentle breeze on the white sand beach. A small black cloud appears on the horizon, expanding ominously blotting out the orange sun. The sky becomes darker and the surf more violent. WHIR, KA-CHUNK, BUZZ, HUM, and other MACHINE SOUNDS swell drowning out the WIND and bird CHIRPS of the beach.

Stanley stands on the beach awe struck.

EXT.  SEA CLIFFS 50,000 B.C.

The storm gathers.

On jagged sea cliffs, wrapped in bear pelt, PRIMITIVE HAROLD WAKEFIELD, bent nose, beard, and creased weathered face; frantically scribbles on the rock slab with limestone He works tight, back to us, arm dominating view.



An arm, clothed in a tweed jacket with leather patches sown on the elbows, creates a tick and writes 50,000 B.C. in chalk along a time line on a blackboard.

This is fifty thousand B.C.

The picture has a soft quality to it. Panning around and low to find the teacher is a much younger modern day Harold Wakefield. Modern Harold's face is not weathered nor cracked. Facial features are pronounced, clefts run up his checks, and the nose is similar but not bent. Primitive Harold's immense mane has been reduced to a receding hairline. He’s clean shaven for the moment. The eyes are the same. Harold has a deep commanding voice with a slight British undercurrent, like a perverse Winston Churchill.

RACK FOCUS to a hundred or so students who sit behind.

PULLING OUT, as Harold turns facing students, to a wide framing the blackboard where he has drawn a long time line with ticks along it aside an intense arrangement of math equations. A sliding ladder connects to the blackboard.

         HAROLD (cont’d)
Something rather interesting happened right about here; as we emerged from the caves, at the end of the last ice age. Something was different. We were different. Quite suddenly, we had acquired the ability to use tools, we spoke a common language,

and worshiped Gods as well.


Stanley stares towards the horizon with growing curiosity and horror.

                                 The baffled cave dwellers called out to the heavens, asking
                                 who had bestowed this magnificent gift of cognition upon them.

STANLEY'S POV the sun and moon merge in a solar eclipse.

A woman's hand finds his.

Shocked Stanley turns to see a happy modern day ALLISON at his side.

HAROLD (cont’d)
                                  The theologians were quick to reply, a deity who has thousands
                                  of names all of which are unutterable.

She mouths the words 'I love you.'


Restless, a figure shifts in his sleep MUMBLING nonsense.

CLOSER a shaft of light across his face reveals the man to be modern day Stanley; minus the large brow, olive tan, and missing teeth of the primitive version. One word can be heard through the mumbling.




SHOTS OF VARIOUS STUDENTS most of whom are disinterested.

A SLOW MOVE IN as Harold walks down the time line to where he has made more ticks.

                                  Something similar happened here, with the explosion of life late in the Pre-Cambrian                                     era. Also here with the emergence of single celled organisms from simple proteins and                                   amino acids three to four billion years ago, or the creation of the big bang thirteen                                         point four billion years ago. But what provided the spark? Nyes the conditions were                                     there, but why at that particular moment did it occur?. Well, perhaps now, with new                                     discoveries in quantum physics we don’t have to wait for the answer, perhaps we                                         have the power to awaken the Gods.

Harold smiles lecherously.

EXT.  SEA CLIFFS  50,000 B.C.

A lightning bolt fills frame.

Primitive Harold, on sea cliffs, cowers as the bolt fades behind. He returns to the rock wall he has been working on.

THE ROCK WALL equations in an invented geometric language,  crude renderings of fierce prehistoric creatures, and something else much more detailed and refined. Harold steps back from the drawing revealing the machine. The unfathomable diagram of a super conducting super collider.  A series of bold parallel lines frame rows of teeth, coils and tubes run out from the sides like tentacles, and exhaust fans resemble a multitude of eyes.

The pupils of Harold’s hazel eyes, sprinkled with green and silver, widen to focus on:

THE WALL a series of lightning flashes illuminates the slate and along with shadow movement causes the chalk drawing to come to life. Eyes glint, tentacles flail, and teeth gnash.

Harold looks on horrified.



Nails are drug across the blackboard.

VARIOUS STUDENTS grimace at the sound.

Harold has regained control of the class.

                                Silence. Now where were we? The key to the puzzle, I believe, lies in unseen forces                                     that act upon our physical world. For instance dark matter accounts for some seventy                                   percent of the known universe.

A students lets out a loud AHEM.

HAROLD (cont’d)
                                And while dark matter holds galaxies together, dark energy, or what Einstein called                                       ‘spooky effect at a distance’, is pushing galaxies apart at an exponential rate.

More loud AHEMS are issued from the seats.

HAROLD (cont’d)
                                Furthermore, extra-demensional forces have been seen...

Harold gets the hint glancing up at the clock.

HAROLD (cont’d)
                                 Nyes, nyes, well I guess that’s time then is it. Where does the time go? Or for that                                        matter, where does it come from? Remember your dissertations are due Friday, I will                                    accept them today for extra credit. Class dismissed.

The students pack up and filter out, some dropping off papers on Harold’s desk at the side of the blackboard. Harold erases the timeline and moseys to his desk.

A silhouetted figure stands at the doorway high up in the auditorium.

Harold organizes papers at his desk when he startled by a CHALK WRITING sound. He spins around to the direction of the noise.

A much younger modern day Stanley solves Harold’s complex math equation on the blackboard.

You forget to carry the two.

Harold initial shock turns to elation. He waltzes over and places a hand on Stanley’s shoulder. Stanley, engrossed, continues scanning the board to make sure he hasn’t made a mistake.

VIEW FROM BLACK BOARD HIGH UP Harold follows Stanley’s gestures and looks up at the board grinning.

So I have.

REVERSE the two turn to stand facing each other, after patting shoulders and shaking hands.

HAROLD (cont’d)
                                     My, what a pleasant surprise. What brings around these parts? I thought you moved                                      to the big city.

       I have. Came back to visit the farm. Have you been back there?

                                     Not in ages. Wouldn’t be surprised to learn it’s been paved over
                                     to make way for a strip mall by now.

                                     Ha. Nope it’s still there. You’re still teaching I see.

                                     Merely means to an ends. Still with... Oh what’s her-


                                     Allison! Right, right, still with-

                                     Yeah, we’re engaged.

                                                                         HAROLD (O.S.)


In the backseat, BABY ANGELA plays with the straps of her car seat.

Allison, in the passenger seat, looks at us impishly.

Stanley, older with more gray hairs and wrinkles, finishes coffee cake while driving.

                                     You’re crumby.

                                     What?! I’m allowed to eat carbs every now and then.

                                     No, you're crumby.

She points. Stanley looks down and brushes off crumbs from pants smiling.

                                     Oh jeez.

His hand lands on the arm rest.

Allison's hand finds Stanley's and squeezes it.

She smiles. Keeping his eyes on the road, Stanley lifts her hand and kisses it.

The baby frees herself from the car seat straps.

Stanley beams with joy. Noticing something in the rear view mirror he turns to see what the baby has done.

                                                                        STANLEY (cont’d)
                                      Oh dear Angela has-

Allison, staring straight ahead, fills with panic.

                                      Stanley look out!

Stanley slams on the brakes. SCREECH.





Light shines through a window as the drapes flap in the breeze.

MOVING LOWER Stanley lays on a couch, looking bloated and grayer, SNIFFLING, about to sob.
A tissue is handed to Stanley over his shoulder by a man sitting behind.

RACK FOCUS to a PSYCHIATRIST who leans back in his chair. He looks up thinking of the right words to say. He has a very comforting voice.

                                       Remember, time heals all wounds.


Harold and Stanley stare at each other.

                                       Well, I should probably go, it was good seeing you.

                                        And you as well my friend.

                                        Take care.

Stanley pats Harold’s shoulder and starts to leave.

As he walks up the aisle Harold calls to Stanley.

                                        Say Stanley, I have a project coming up you might be interested in.

Stanley stops, Harold walks up to join him.


                                        Yeah. Real ground breaking stuff.


Stanley, older and grayer, enters data into a computer. His mind wanders a moment and he grimaces, overcome with grief. He takes a deep breath, shakes it off, and continues entering data.

MOVING UP the machine, an almost unfathomable mix of industrial equipment, glows past the booth’s glass.

EXT.  SEA CLIFFS  50,000 B.C.

The machine drawing’s lifelike dance slows and ends.

Frightened primitive Harold steps back from the rock wall drawing. The muddy ground slips out from under him and he teeters on the edge of the cliff. A lightning bolt strikes to earth directly behind Harold and he cartwheels forward. Eyes open:

HARLOD'S POV a human head shatters against a rock at the cliff ledge and the torso tumbles towards water.

Harold races down the cliff.


The sound of LAPPING WATER. Rocks caked in blood and flesh mark ground zero. Harold arrives at the point of impact. Charred human bodies wash out to sea. Harold pulls one back from the surf. Harold investigates the featureless corpse and culls a wallet from the back pocket. He opens it and finds:

DRIVER'S LICENSE a face peers back with a goofy grin. Only the first name can be read: CARL

                                                                           HAROLD (V.O.)
                                     This of course brings us to the present.



A fat, tired, sticky CARL, still wearing janitor overalls, grimaces, feigning smile, and shakes his head. He's middle aged, Bostonian, and drunk.

                                      Man, to only be twenty two again... what I'd give to be
                                      twenty two again... I'd give just about...

Carl and ALVIN's drinks rest on a great oak bar. Alvin sips beer under a wool cabbie hat, dribbling some on his aviator coat. He slowly looks up at Carl from behind bomber glasses. A HUMMING beer ad spilling red light at his shoulders.

                                      What, if I said that you could?


Carl pans over against a cold blue light. Alvin has an Irish accent. The electrical AMBIENCE builds.

                                       What if I said ya could, that you could go back to that age,
                                       or any age ye like for that matter... But... There is one catch,
                                       you cannat be allowed to remember the years between now
                                       and that age. The thrilling heights, the trying lows, the lessons,
                                       all of it; gone... Would ya still want to do it? Would ya still
                                       want to go back to the age of twenty two?

Carl cocks his head like a terrier and thinks for a moment.

                                       Fucking, yeah.

Alvin takes off his glasses and gives a flash of the eye.

                                        Very good then.

Normalizing the ambience, Alvin SNAPS his fingers right in front of Carl's face.

                                                                                 ALVIN (cont’d)
                                         Shite, I thought that would've worked.

                                         Jesus Alvin, it's like you wanna spend the rest of your life
                                         in a wheelchair.

                                        Yeah, you’re a tough guy, I heard you took another guy in
                                        the alley behind the bar last night and beat him off, I mean
                                        beat him up.

                                        Har, har.

Alvin orders pitcher with gesture.
                                        'Nother one Sam! Stack 'em up.


CRASH. Stanley, in bed, BREATHES HEAVY and grinds teeth.


More and more people pour in as it starts to pick up on a busy Friday night. Laughter, glass clinks, pool balls clacks, and other BAR SOUNDS contribute a steady background noise. Alvin is preoccupied with a petite Asian girl at the other end of the bar.

                                                                                  ALVIN (cont’d)
                                        Nice baps.

                                        So what do you guys really do in the lab all day?

                                        Well it’s theoretical physics for the most part. Searching
                                        for the Higgs Boson, gluons, neutrinos, that sorta thing.

                                        What’s that mean? Working on stuff you can’t see?


                                        Yeesh, I wish I could say I cleaned the floor and have
                                        my supervisor take my word for it.

                                        ... How do I explain it?

Carl's attempts to light his cigar with a bic lighter are met with mere sparks. He looks underneath the lighter.

                                         Chinese can't make a lighter worth shit.

                                         ... Yeah... What?

                                         The Chinese, they can't make a lighter worth a shit.

                                         Worth a, what are you on about, the Chinese invented
                                         gunpowder, ya know, peat salt, they used it in firework
                                         celebrations. Then, white people came along and said,
                                         hey wait a second, we could use this as a fucking weapon.

                                         Yeah, Chiner, we'll probably have to borrow the money
                                         from ‘um to go to war with 'em.

                                         And they'd do it, a reasonable interest rates, I’d imagine.

                                         'Fereigners. Ah fuck, there’s a fly in my beer!

A beat and Alvin snaps into action.

                                           Perfect. Okay, you were asking about theoretical physics.
                                           Let’s take this fly...

Alvin takes Carl’s beer, dragging it across table.

                                           Yeah sure.

                                           The fly only knows this layer of the beer, which incidentally
                                           is yeast shit.

Carl sneers.

                                                                                  ALVIN (cont’d)
                                           Below there’s a whole world operating on different rules of
                                           motion, acceleration, properties and wavelengths of light, etc.
                                           The fly is completely unaware of the deep and complex reality
                                           below, it can only peer down to see a distorted image of
                                           what’s underneath.

Carl is listless. Alvin pokes the fly further into the beer.

                                                                                  ALVIN (cont’d)
                                           When we collide particles we’re finding there’s something missing,
                                           something’s pulling them somewhere, something stronger than gravity.
                                           In quantum physics, often times, we’re looking for what’s not there
                                           more than what’s there; or what should be there but isn’t.
                                           Does that make sense?

                                           Stop making sense. Don’t think, just drink.

Carl takes back his mug, removes the fly, and downs the beer in one go.

A beat. Someone pulls the plug on the JUKE BOX.

                                                                                  BAR PATRON #1

                                                                                  BAR PATRON #2
                                           Watch where yer walkin’ pal!

                                           Fucking Harold, who does that guy think he is, anyway?

                                           Buck up boyo, at least you still have a job.


Carl microwaves a burrito in the break room. Alvin digs through fridge. DING. The lights dim a moment.

                                                                                 ALVIN (cont’d)
                                           Huh, that's weird.

Heavy FOOTSTEPS signal Harold's approach. It’s been a good decade after Harold’s lecturing days and he’s aged some looking more disheveled.  He’s gone bald up top with a feeble comb-over to hide it and his hair jets wildly out at the sides. A few days beard growth dots his sagging jowls. He stands facing Carl and holding something behind his back.

                                           Now Carl, I know what we pay you is somewhat meager.
                                           However, even for minimum wage I still expect you to use
                                           at least one percent of your mental capacity while you're
                                           on the clock. Once you get home then you can switch to
                                           auxiliary power and stare vacantly at the wall, open-mouthed,
                                           until flies begin to breed in it!

                                           Look Professor what did--

                                                                     (waving crumpling papers)
                                           Inside the printer, there are two cartridge markers. One that reads
                                           color and the other black. You had a fifty-percent chance of not
                                           bullocksing this up, but I guess that's not good enough odds, even
                                           for you, is it? Now, you tell me, how am I supposed to send reports
                                           to Corporate, when, mind you, we're a billion dollars over-budget,
                                           in purple bloody ink?!

                                           Okay, I'm sorry--

                                           Sorry?! No, your parents are the ones who should be sorry.
                                           Now bloody fix it you idiot!


The bar is full, the light lower. Carl and Alvin are noticeably drunker. HICCUPING, Alvin looks surprised when a pitcher is delivered without gesture. SAM, the bartender, runs off to break up a FIGHT. The scene is surreal. People behind fluctuate between hospitality and hostility.

                                            I didn't order... hiccup.

                                            Gawd, Harold raved at me like I put out the sun.

                                             That'll happen, ya know.

                                             Look I know I'm a tool sometimes but-

                                             Nah, not you putting out the sun. It'll burn out on its own.


                                             Yeah in about five hundred million years.

                                             Wow, five hundred million... I'd be nothing by then, I'd be
                                             like a speck, like a nutrient speck in the soil, waiting to be
                                             absorbed by some plant, and then harvested, cut up, mixed
                                             in a salad, served in some fancy restaurant, and finally eaten
                                             by some vegetarian bitch who's busy babbling to her girlfriend
                                             about how she feels so much better ever since she stopped
                                             eating meat...

                                             Ha. Disaster ain't got nothing on you Carl.

                                             You know what's weird how dogs n' cats are always the first
                                             to know disaster's coming. Like in that Tsunami, the waters
                                             receded at first, and what do humans do? They chase out after it.
                                            What's going on? Oh we gotta get ta da bottom ah dis.
                                            Can't just leave well enough alone.

                                             It's like a mission to be the first man to land on the sun. We've got
                                             some pretty thick boots and sunscreen SPF twenty-seven million.

                                             Then wham! In comes the tidal wave. And the funny thing is,
                                             after the flood, they found all kinds of bodies, human bodies,
                                             but no animals, they had enough sense ta get the fuck out.

                                             Without Doppler radar, no less. Have you seen pictures of
                                             the Galaxy from the Hubble?

                                             Nu uh, why?

                                             It's a hurricane, it looks like a hurricane, hurricane Milky Way.

Another fight starts up behind the pair, they don't notice.
                                             An' ta fink somma deese Asian countries like da eat dogs.
                                             Nuff ta wanna make become a vagitarian.

                                             Did ya hear about the vegetarian Venus fly trap?
                                             Ate itself down to the roots.

                                              Ha! ...What?

Sam rings a BELL.

                                              Last call!

                                              Shit, Debbie's gonna kill me.

                                              So what, who cares, it's not like you two are married,
                                              or anything.

                                              Not yet at least.

                                              You's 'uns are getting married?

                                              I think it would be the honorable thing to do, after all,
                                              she's pregnant.

                                              Ha. A bun in the oven? You're gonna keep it? Woof,
                                              you a father, that's rich.

                                              Hey! What? People can change, a hundred and eighty degrees even.

                                              Sometimes three hundred and sixty degrees.

                                              Yeah... Hey, piss aff, I'll be a good father.

                                               Aye, I'm just fecking with ya. I know ya will.

                                               Yeah... But it's weird I'm feeling less connected...

                                                To Debbie?

                                                To everyone... It's weird.

                                                Your box sounds dooone in, I bet ya didn't even see
                                                the notice hanging on the bulletin board. You've been
                                                forgetting to turn off the transfixer, eh?


                                                 You forgot to turn it off before ya left, didn't ya boyo?

                                                  The notice was all CAPS.
Carl plants face in hands.


                                                  And had plenty of exclamation points. It'll be on all weekend.

Alvin glances over at the petite Asian who returns his look with a seductive smile. She runs her fingers through her black hair, presses her breasts against the bar, and waves at him GIGGLING. Alvin is spellbound.

                                                      I paid for the drinks tonight...

                                                      Nice baps.

                                                      Be a sweetheart … heh?


                                                      Swing by and turn aff the transfixer for me, would ya?

Alvin takes another look at the petite Asian.

She Blows him a kiss.

Alvin air grabs kiss and digs in pocket.

                                                       Tell ya what, I'll flip ya for it.

Alvin produces a coin.

                                                       C'mon, you live closer?

                                                       Carl, will you please look!

Alvin gestures with head at the end of the bar, Carl follows.

                                                                                    ALVIN (cont’d)
                                                       That girl's a treasure, she belongs in a vault, and
                                                       she's giving me the eyes! I never get that kinda fluff,
                                                       c'mon this is fair. Call it?

                                                       ...Fine … heads.

Alvin flips a very distinct coin, like a gold doubloon. It lands, both men look down. Carl closes eyes.
A man, opposite to the girl, TAPS MORRIS CODE S.O.S. with his beer can's tab.


                                                         That's bullshit, every time I get it wrong, every, that's
                                                         gotta be a forking trick coin. You're sheistin' me, I know it.

Alvin hands Carl the coin, which he inspects, tosses back, and goes to leave SIGHING.

                                                                                   CARL (cont’d)
                                                         Every fucking time...


                                                          ... What?

                                                          Use the word furkin, it sounds like fucking. It's a unit
                                                          of measurement; nine imperial gallons. So if someone
                                                          asks you if you had a good time you can tell 'em that
                                                          you had a furkin good time or one fourth a barrel of fun.

                                                          Thanks for that. Right, well I'm fucking outta here.


                                                           Furkin outta here then.


                                                           Yeah, right, cheers, whatever.

                                                           Ya can't take it with you, ya know.

                                                           Yeah, I don't care, It's no big deal. Just a hassle.

                                                            No, I mean the beer, ya can't take it with you, outside the bar.


Carl sets beer down and walks off, leaving a picture of Debbie on the bar. Alvin glances back in the direction of the girl.

                                                              Where'd she go?

An empty seat. She has disappeared.


A black Lincoln Continental slowly coasts to where three homeless people stand around a trash can fire, one sits on a crate, and sips from a flask. Behind the bums the wall has elaborate graffiti reminiscent of cave drawings.

The passenger side window rolls down. Harold leans over from the driver's seat.

                                                               How would you bums like to make a quick buck?

He smiles dementedly, most everything obscured in shadow.


Carl drives a primer Grey Chevy Nova towards the warehouse. At the end of a long road a refinery burns gas from a tall skinny pipe in a flare off.


Carl stares at the fire and is lost in thought. His head cocks. His gaze intensifies. POP MUSIC on the radio fades out and Robert Johnson's 'CROSSROADS' fades in. Carl glances at the radio.


A mangy dog wanders into the street and sits in front of Carl's growing headlights.


Carl looks up just in time to see the dog in his path. He slams on the BRAKES.


The dog sits and stares at Carl, inches away from his bumper. The car idles. Radio STATIC hisses.

                                                Get outta here! Get!


Carl HONKS the horn. The dog's indifferent.

                                                                               CARL (cont’d)
                                                What's wrong with ya pooch?

He throws the car into reverse.


Backing up Carl goes around the dog. POP MUSIC fades back in.

The dog is scared off by a black cat.

He drives towards the refinery.

The refinery fire ball burns hotter.


Carl arrives at the ominous entrance, very concrete and modern, like an art Deco prison. He swipes a card and bends down.

RETINA SCANNER verifies his retina in profile.

BOOP. Light washes over Carl from sliding door.


Carl walks down a corridor, rubbing his head in a stupor.

                                           Does anyone wanna buy a painted red nose? Real cheap.
                                           Son of a …


Entering into the warehouse with Carl, he lifts his head at a HUM coming from the core. The space is huge. Shafts of blue light escape from tiny windows along a dome and silo. Red lights glow in the darkness behind. Pistons, turbines, gears, and pumps churn slowly at the domes base. Behind glass blue metallic Street-light looking structures bounce electricity to each other over an inclined conveyor belt which feeds into a CAT like biological scanning machine. In the center of the warehouse is an L shaped control panel that holds computers, gauges, buttons, etc. Elevated ten feet next to that is a platform and lever.

                                           Probably get blamed for this too. Who the fuck woulda left the-

In the dark, he trips on a trip wire and knocks over paint cans to much COMMOTION.


Electrical currents slither up horizontal coils that line the wall. In the center a pyramid structure of suspended magnets spin erratically.

Harold is standing, his eyes snap open and dart to the side.


Carl stands at the control panel. He punches a few buttons and taps a finger, trying to remember the rest of the sequence to deactivate the core.

                                           Ah what is it? What is it? What is it. System suspend?
                                           System override? Deactivate? Ah... I can just hear Harold now.
                                                              (impersonating Harold)
                                           Oh, I'll bet it was a hard one... And I'm an old bastard that's
                                           pissed off because I haven't been laid in eons… Oh my sweet
                                           Wendysaurus Rex how I loved her. I think it was a her.

                                           Not a bad me.

Carl turns. Harold stands in the shadow of the machine, grinning, holding something behind his back.
                                            Oh uh Har, er, Professor Wakefield I didn't know you were,
                                            I thought some one had left the uh … what are you doing here?

                                            That's none of your concern.

                                             Well … what's behind your back?

                                              That. That might be some of your concern.

                                              What? Did I put in the wrong printer ink again?

                                              Yes, that's it.

                                                                    (laughing nervously)
                                              Oh heh, God for a second, I don't know why, I was
                                              really kinda… phew!

                                              Carl… You're fired.

A letter opener emerges from the darkness.

Harold lunges at Carl and plunges the opener into his heart. Carl falls, running backwards, obstructing picture.

Cut to black:


Stanley wakes from dream violently, catapulting straight up in bed, sweating and GASPING.


Bloodied Harold sits surrounded by monitors, radars, and gauges. He presses some buttons and binary code starts running across the screen.

An ant walks onto Harold's hand.

                                                    I've always liked the ant.

Harold lifts and turns hand watching the ant crawl onto his palm.

                                                                            HAROLD(V.O.) (cont’d)
                                                     Lost amongst a sea of chaos, somehow they make sense
                                                     of it, still blissfully unaware of the deeper cosmic reality
                                                     and what’s to come.

Harold squeezes a fist appearing to crush the ant. He opens his hand and the ant crawls on unharmed.

                                                                            HAROLD(V.O.) (cont’d)
                                                      Yet always continuing its forward momentum.
                                                      They’re perfect little machines.

Harold sets the ant down gently to crawl off his hand and onto the table when he notices the monitor change.

The 0's and 1's are replaced by ATCG. A DNA double helix pops on the screen. A human face appears made up of the molecules.

Cautiously Harold types: WHO ARE YOU?


Harold scoots his chair to the desk, takes a deep breath, and types: MY NAME IS HAROLD WAKEFIELD, I AM A HUMAN A SCIENTIST, A CARBON BASED LIFE FORM.

The computer types: ARE YOU?

Harold looks quizzical and types: YES.


Harold types: THIS IS CORRECT.


MOVING IN on a contemplative Harold.


A dark figure feeds a body onto the conveyor belt leading to an octagonal entrance for the machine.


A beam of light blasts through the warehouse roof leaving a small hole. The metal surrounding it warps and contorts slightly.


A dirty bathroom baked in florescent light, pipes rusted, filled with steam from running hot water. Harold shaves off a blood caked beard. Almost finished, he cuts himself with the sling blade razor. Quickly blotting it he leans close to the mirror and pulls back the tissue.

Harold finds metal underneath the skin.

The MACHINE SOUND picks up for a moment and Harold looks away from the mirror. When Harold looks back the cut is gone. The beard is gone. He drops the tissue and trembles some.


STANLEY'S EYE; the retina scanner beam makes a sweep. BOOP.


A handsome modern day Stanley, wearing a clean lab coat and wire rim glasses, bursts through large warehouse doors. CAMERA moves in and pivots low at Stanley's right side as he peers first left then right looking stoic while chewing a toothpick. CHURCH BELLS ring outside and birds flutter past the high windows above.


The room is a mess. Stanley enters looking for Harold. He notices a long untorn machine print-out. Climbing up the scroll he grows furious, rips it off, and drags it behind him as he glides out.


Harold sits, dangling his legs off the edge of the elevated platform, with a creepy quivering smile. While clean shaven, his lab coat is smeared with grease stains and flecks of neon powder, made worse by the wiping and cleaning of an ornate brass box he holds in his hands. A beat-up ham RADIO plays 'JOHN HENRY WAS A STEEL DRIVING MAN'.

An ANCHOR comes on the radio.

                                                                     ANCHOR (V.O.)
                                              The time is five past the hour. Here are the headlines.
                                              Scientists announced plans to renew construction of
                                              the super-collider. Speaking from Zurich today-

Harold turns radio down to MURMUR.

An ANCHOR comes on the radio and hands it over to a REPORTER.

                                                                    ANCHOR (V.O.) (cont’d)
                                               The time is five past the hour. Riot police have been called in
                                               on demonstrators. Forty six are confirmed dead with dozens,
                                               maybe hundreds more injured in the twenty seventh day of
                                               violence. Jeff Steelman has been covering today’s developments.
                                               We join him now in the nation’s capitol. Jeff?

                                                                     REPORTER (V.O.)
                                               Phillip, war protestors go home was the message today,
                                               that is if they still have a home. Here’s the scene from earlier-

Harold turns the RADIO down to mere MURMURING. SIRENS, SHOOTING, SCREAMING, and other RIOT SOUNDS are somewhat audible.

OVER HAROLD'S SHOULDER Stanley enters STOMPING holding the print-out above his head.

                                                Ah Stanley, I was just thinking how ironic it would be if
                                                the situation in the Middle East went nuclear. They could
                                                at least preserve and plant the bodies so someone else in
                                                a couple million years would have something to fight over.
                                                Time and pressure... that’s all it is... time and pressure.

                                                These test results prove those were mice remains!

                                                The curious lil' critters shouldn't have been looking for
                                                morsels in my machine.

Harold talks over Stanley, looking down, disinterested in what he has to say. He discovers grooves that mark an opening to the box.

                                                 Still does not negate the fact-

                                                 It was an accident.

                                                 A bio-scan machine should have never done that-

                                                 An isolated incident.

                                                 never should have incinerated organic matter!

                                                 An honest mistake.

                                       There is something wrong with this machine of yours,
                                       something very wrong indeed.

                                        Those mice were not incinerated, trust me.

Stanley closes the gap and stops below Harold.


                                         Nyes Stanley?

                                         It’s over. I'm shutting you down.

Harold doesn’t stop, retrieving a thin chisel and ball ping hammer at his side, he gives a quick glance at Stanley.

                                         Would you?

Harold proceeds to wedge and TAP at the box’s opening. Stanley waves the print-out around.

                                         I’ll send this data to corporate along with my findings and conclusion.

                                         We're pretty far along now. I don't think corporate would let that happen.

                                         You’re not following protocol. You’re violating safety codes-

                                         Well how many laws does it take until you know you’re free?

Vapor trails out of the box as Harold DINK’s it open. Stanley swipes the toothpick from his mouth and gestures with it, dropping the print-out.

                                         You’re obscenely over budget.

                                         Obscene is a relative word.

Harold reaches into the box and pulls out one circuit panel after another, inspecting each one until he holds one where a fuse is blackened. Looking closer he sees an ant has melted inside of it. He digs in his labcoat and finds a replacement fuse.

                                                                      HAROLD (cont’d)

Stanley flicks the toothpick and grabs hold of Harold’s leg dangling just above his head. Stanley pulls at Harold in a half-hearted attempt to dethrone him.

                                          You lied to them, you lied to us all!
                                          This isn't just a bio-scanning machine, is it?

Nearly losing the fuse, Harold raises his leg away from Stanley’s stretch. Standing up Harold walks off, disappearing from Stanley’s view. Stanley moves to the other side of the platform.

As he hoists himself to the top of the ladder, Stanley finds Harold wearing magnification goggles that protrude far off his face and narrow at the end. With a small cauterizing device Harold goes to work. Sparks shoot from his hands.

                                                                       STANLEY (cont’d)
                                           I’ll personally dismantle this beast and sell it for scrap.

Harold reinstalls the circuitry and welds shut the box’s opening with some more ZAPS of the cauterizing device.

                                           And what do you possibly hope to accomplish.
                                           So what if you shut me down. There are other men
                                           working as we speak. They will build bigger and even
                                           more efficient machines, than this one. The technology is there.
                                           If I don't, surely someone else will. It’s only a matter of time.

Stanley stops inches from Harold.

                                           Where’s Carl, Harold?

Harold lifts the goggles to the top of his forehead, and sets the box on a stand next to the radio, which he TURNS OFF with a twist.

                                            … How should I know where that buffoon is?
                                            Probably at home trying to figure out the complex
                                            engineering of his doorknob.

CHUCKLING to himself Harold gestures for Stanley to get out of the way.

                                            The computers have Carl swiping in at two twenty two.
                                            There was only one other person in the building at that time: you!


Computers spring to life.


Security cameras turn training on the pair.


Grinning contemptuously Harold attempts to allay Stanley’s fears.

                                             Yes and the computers also recorded him leaving half an hour later.
                                             What is your point Stanley? Look I've told the police everything I can recall.
                                             I simply didn't have the pleasure of bumping into him that night.
                                             Besides, I was informed by the authorities that it took seventy two hours
                                             until a person really qualified as missing, even someone as precious as Carl.

He grabs the box and sidesteps an incredulous Stanley, heading for the ladder. Stanley suspends chase when he makes out the distant HUM of the machine starting up.

                                                                               (to self)

LADDER, Stanley peers over the platform’s edge to see Harold descending the last few rungs and jumping to the ground.

GROUND, Stanley starts down the ladder as Harold moves towards us in the foreground.

                                                                            STANLEY (cont’d)
                                                There’s something you didn’t tell them, there’s something
                                                you’re not telling me!

                                               What would ever make you think that?

Harold walks off, Stanley nears end of ladder in descent.


A pressure needle twitches.

Turbines comes to life and gather momentum CHURNING.


Stanley catches up to Harold, takes hold of his shoulder, and spins him around; behind layers of catwalks, from two structures, frame the pair.

                                               Unhand me!

                                               I don’t give a damn what you told the police, you did something to him!

                                               Ha, you suspect me in foul play. Or maybe in Carl’s place; fool play, is it?

Harold puts box under his armpit and CLAPS for Stanley.

                                                Knock it off Harold!

                                               Ha, nyes. Good show old boy. And now if your honor
                                               would be so kind as to enlighten me, clue me into the
                                               weighing factors in your benevolent judgement.

                                                I just … know. I've had …

Harold stands feet from Stanley. He leans forward.



THE MACHINE, a thick liquid begins to bubble.


Glass doors slide open and Harold walks in followed closely by Stanley who is trying to understand. COOLING FANS start up. Harold methodically makes his way through the towering rows of super computers.

                                                     Deja vu, all over again, is it?

                                                     So you’ve had these dreams as well?

                                                     Ha. No. I no longer dream myself.

                                                     What are you saying? What are you telling me?
                                                     You don’t sleep? I suspected you’ve been taking
                                                     something. You know Harold, without sleep, you'll die!

                                                     I find the mind to be much more productive if not
                                                     bothered by the petty bickering of the subconscious,
                                                     the delusional ravings of the psyche. Besides, I don’t
                                                     believe there’s anything else that dreams could tell me.
                                                     Ah here it is.

Harold finds the plug and begins following it to its end.


                                                     Stanley, Why is it that, somehow, eight trillion cells make
                                                     us conscious? Hmmm?

AMOEBA, in neon colors, flash on screen for a split second.

                                                                          HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                     Each cell going about their day, performing their essential
                                                     function, doing their jobs, blind to the fact that they’re
                                                     contributing to a greater consciousness, blissfully oblivious
                                                     of their higher purpose. Busy operating in the dark.
                                                     Are we any different?

TRAVELING into the white of Harold's eye.

A CELL grows against a white background. Cell division. Cells continue dividing until they crowd the picture, overlapping, and create blackness.

                                                                           HAROLD(V.O.) (cont’d)
                                                      The darkness was there in the beginning and it will be
                                                      there in the end. The light struggles against the darkness,
                                                      but the darkness always wins. Sometimes it seems the light
                                                      only exists to give the darkness purpose.

Stars appear.



Stars are replaced by the glowing lights of the computer towers in the dark room.

Harold is on his knees wiggling the plug into the box he has been carrying. SNAP. It’s connected. Red lights turn green.

                                                       There. That’s the final piece to the puzzle.

Stanley looks on, growing grave.

                                                        I’m afraid you’ve gone mad.

Giddy Harold leaps up, pats dust off his trousers, and addresses Stanley.

                                                        Have I? Now the question is, have you put it all
                                                        together yet? Figured it out old chap?

                                                        Figured out what, that there’s something sinister
                                                        happening here? That you’ve done something with Carl?
                                                        That you’re skating the edge of sanity?

                                                        Ha, no, try again.

Harold swiftly walks off. Stanley lingers a moment thinking, suddenly his eyes grow large and he runs off after Harold.

PRESSURE GAUGE needle rises a little.

Harold stands at the long control panel watching the readings impressed. Stanley rounds the corner and takes an accusatory tone.

                                                          You’ve been in the core... Haven’t you?

                                                          Ha, brilliant.

Harold doesn’t give Stanley his attention, FLICKING switches and twisting knobs.


                                                          Nonsense, I’ve done only inspections of it
                                                          behind the protective glass.

                                                          No you warped bastard, you've been in it!

PRESSURE GAUGE needle rises into the yellow.

Harold turns swiftly to address Stanley who stares intensely.

                                                          ... So what if I have.

Stanley’s gaze drifts to the core and back to Harold.

                                                           The radiation, the electromagnetic pulse,
                                                           you'll be dead within a week.

                                                           It makes you smarter.

PRESSURE GAUGE needle rises into the orange.

Stanley's hand gesturing is frantic.

                                                            Makes you smarter? Have you started shitting blood yet,
                                                            because that's the first sign of the radiation poisoning!

Harold enters code into a computer at the console.

                                                            I know better than to stand in the core while it's on.
                                                            But… if you increase the level to ten times that of its
                                                            normal setting and stand behind the protective glass …
                                                            would you like me to finish this conversation in fluent Latin?

PRESSURE GAUGE needle approaches the red.

Harold begins speaking Latin; his accent becomes more fluent as he continues. Stanley yells.

                                                                                    HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                              Omnia mutantur nos et mutamur in illis. Deus vult. Jus divinum.                                                                       Orbis scientiarum abeunt studia in mores ad captandum.

                                                               Stop it! Cut it out Harold! Stop it!

Harold stops speaking Latin.

PRESSURE GAUGE needle falls to the border of the yellow/white zone and hovers there.

Harold smiles at the readings and FLICKS switches in the off position. He turns to a deep breathing Stanley.

                                                                  As I was saying we must progress, we cannot remain stagnant.
                                                                  If we remain stagnant we will die. You are a man of science,
                                                                  you know this and yet, yet you deny it.

Harold plunges an index finger into Stanley’s chest and bustles past him, walking towards the core. Stanley follows in a rant.

                                                                  You knew full well the implications of this machine before the                                                                       team started. My god, you claimed in reports to corporate that
                                                                  this, this absurd vision would cure cancer. Then you went on to
                                                                  say it had the 'good probability' of being able to map out every
                                                                  cell in the human body; to receive more funding most likely.

Those mice were incinerated before they even approached chamber four.

Harold climbs a thin metal ladder connected to the dome portion of the core. He gets to the top of the ladder and peers down at a huffing Stanley.

                                                                  Humans have better results.

Stanley shakes head in disbelief and grabs hold of the ladder to steady his nerves.

Bat like shadows streak across the walls behind Stanley emitting a HIGH PITCHED GIGGLE.

Spooked Stanley jumps onto the ladder and races after Harold who’s reached the top.

Harold proceeds along a catwalk and out of frame.

Moving in we meet Stanley as he peers over the platform ledge.

Swinging around to Stanley’s POV, Harold has vanished.

Stanley steadies himself on the catwalk. Looking around, a flash in the distance catches Stanley’s attention and he runs towards it.

THE CORE; a series of rooms separated by glass barricades holding all sorts of electronic equipment. In the center is six hexagonal structures which interlock and flash when they align. Harold rides a dial causing the structure to gain momentum as it spins.

Stanley enters and surveying the situation lumbers to the glass door, BANGING against it.

                                                  Harold?! Harold!

Harold saunters over to the glass with a smug expression. Pressing a button, Harold addresses Stanley through the intercom.

                                                   Nyes Stanley? What is it now?

                                                   What... What are you saying Harold? What do you mean
                                                   humans have better results?!

                                                   Derelicts, degenerates, bums! Yes, that's what I'm saying.

Stanley looks up grave and shakes his head.

                                                                                   HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                   Come now, don’t looked so shocked, they were a burden on society.
                                                   And I gave them a purpose. If I found myself to be in such a pathetic state,                                                    I think I would gladly give up my body in the name of science and                                                                  technology.

Stanley has balled his hands into fists and looks up at Harold with piercing eyes, expression a combination of bewilderment and rage.
                                                                                   HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                    Don’t looked so shocked.

                                                    Let me in this room Harold.

                                                    Come, come Stanley, we both know I can’t do that.

                                                    Harold, open the door.
                                                    Perhaps I’ll let you in when you have calmed down.
                                                    Now if you’ll excuse me I have work to do.

Harold nods, turns, and briskly walks away. Stanley attempts to break down the barrier; beating it until his knuckles go bloody.

A DROP OF BLOOD lands on the floor.

Frantic, Stanley heaves a metal chair against the glass which breaks a hole just large enough so Stanley can reach through and open the door from the other side. He cuts the inside of his elbow and lets out a YEOWL in pain.

MORE BLOOD drips onto the floor and is absorbed through it.
Shaking off confusion, Stanley strides to where Harold PUNCHES away at buttons. Grabbing ahold of Harold, Stanley spins him around, clenching his collar. Shafts of light from the core dance across his face.

                                                     You killed them?! You fucking murderer!

                                                     Ha, no. Some initially, most eventually. But specimen number
                                                     seventeen. There were very interesting results with specimen
                                                     number seventeen. He completely disappeared.

Stanley forces Harold up and onto the control panel. He lands on instrument, inadvertently PRESSING BUTTONS, causing the core to rotate faster, and light beams to oscillate quicker. Harold puts up no fight.

                                                     That's because he was incinerated, you sick bastard!

                                                     No, no Stanley. I checked, you see. There were no trace
                                                     amounts of him on the conveyor belt or inside any of the chambers.
                                                     He literally vanished. There wasn’t even any microscopic residue...                                                                However in Harold’s case I imagine it would be residon’t.

Stanley leans in close to Harold with the most maniacal grip you could possibly imagine.

                                                     He’s still fucking dead.

Harold, rotates head and checks the needles at his face, and looks toward Stanley amused.

                                                                                     HAROLD (CONT’D)
                                                     No, I don't think he is. He was converted into energy.

With a firm shove Harold casts off Stanley and stands up.

                                                                                     HAROLD (CONT’D)
                                                     See… inside every cell is the blueprint to life. All eight trillion of them.

With a GRUNT Stanley throws a fist which Harold catches in his claw.

                                                                                     HAROLD (CONT’D)
                                                     Hypothetically, if the technology were there,

A GRUNT later Stanley throws his other fist and is intercepted in Harold’s other hand. The old man, Harold, exhibits super human strength in holding Stanley.

                                                                                     HAROLD (CONT’D)
                                                     I could prick you with a needle and make a whole new one of you.
                                                     Harold headbutts Stanley, knocking him to the ground. Harold walks in                                                        and looms, his long cascading shadow towering over a dazed Stanley.

                                                                                     HAROLD (CONT’D)
                                                     Perhaps, even one a bit more perceptive. In fact most of the cell is                                                                empty, nothing more than fluids guarding the immeasurable. Most of the                                                        human cell, much like the atom, is empty space. Some call it the desert of                                                      the real. The nucleus, the essence of the cell, the essence of life. A single,                                                      sub-atomic, particle that when isolated and amplified is pure energy... Is                                                        life...

Stanley muzzles up on his elbows BREATHING DEEPLY.

                                                                                     HAROLD (CONT’D)
                                                    Once the elusive quark is reproduced it does so on its own, exponentially.

Harold places hands on knees and leans in close to Stanley who’s grown angry.

                                                                                     HAROLD (CONT’D)
                                                    Although it's hard to believe he could subject seventeen, or Carl,
                                                    got simpler.

Stanley rage turns to horror.

                                                    What? You... You... Monster...

                                                    Monsters?! Ha.

Harold starts to walk out of the control booth. Stanley gets up on a knee regaining strength.

                                                    Where is he then Harold?

Harold pauses in the doorway, back to Stanley.

                                                    The unmanifested realm of pure consciousness. The center of the universe,                                                     … maybe nowhere, maybe everywhere.

Harold’s face is still looking forward as Stanley slowly gets up behind.

                                                    If you can send him there, what’s stopping something from coming back?

Harold smirks.

                                                    ... Nothing.

He walks off and out of view. A moment later Stanley gets to his feet and follows after Harold. Once at the doorway Stanley looks around in disbelief.

OVER STANLEY’S SHOULDER Harold has vanished. A RHYTHMIC KNOCKING grows louder and louder.

TRACKING STANLEY staggering out and along the catwalk, descending the stairs, and making it to the front entrance.

Stanley has correctly identified the source of the KNOCKING as coming from outside. Looking up, Stanley can’t rule out the sound coming from the sky.

                                                                                 HAROLD (V.O.)
                                                                            (quiet and close)
                                                       Why won’t you let them in?

With a GASP Stanley spins around to find no Harold.

                                                                                 HAROLD (V.O.) (cont’d)
                                                        Come Stanley.

Stanley follows the voice, feet shuffle away. By the front door, against the wall, are Carl’s eyes. There’s a BOOP BOOP sound.

                                                                                 HAROLD (V.O.) (cont’d)
                                                        This way.

He arrives at the long chamber of the super conducting super collider and enters after retrieving a flashlight from a box at the entrance.


It’s pitch black and a pipe runs down the center with just enough room on either side for someone to move. He wanders some.


Stanley’s flashlight flickers. He hits it. The flashlight goes dead. A torch appears behind. Stanley panics and run. Moving in on the torch’s flame.

                                                                                 HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                                         (even more ghostly)

                                                         Stanley... this is not our first go around... do you remember the jungle?

EXT.  JUNGLE  NIGHT  50,000 B.C.

A fire burns. Primitive Stanley warms himself rocking. He gets ready to cook meat. A bush RUSTLES. Stanley stands up and looks around. After more noise he starts to walk away with his food. The noise follows. Stanley walks faster and faster, dropping his food. Something still pursues him and soon he is racing through the jungle. Stanley trips and hits a tree going unconscious.

A masked figure emerges from behind a huge fern.

EXT.  SHORE  NIGHT  50,000 B.C.

The masked figure drags Stanley into a waiting canoe with one hand, carrying a burning stick with the other. Other canoes wait beyond the surf.


Stanley is coming to. He is being carried.

RING OF FIRE In the middle is a pile of skulls that Stanley is tied down to. Outside the ring DRUMS pound and dancing tribesmen CHANT.

The masked figure appears out of darkness. He wears a more elaborate costume that resembles machinery, identifying him as chief. The chief dances up to Stanley, stabbing him ritualistically with a rock blade. The chief removes his mask; it's a grinning Harold.

The torch’s flame grows smaller until it goes out.


Low level moving camera capture the pair. Rubber tubes hang like jungle vines. Stanley emerges from the dark finding an exit to the tunnels. His head cocks at a HUMMING sound.

Following the sound he instinctively makes his way to Harold.


Bird's eye view of four locomotive sized diesel engines. Harold traipses through the middle. Steam rises shrouding oil derrick type pumps in mist.

Harold is standing on the platform, arms behind his back, next to the lever. Stanley stops half way up the steps, hands resting a few steps above.

                                            You've made a machine, a machine that makes monsters.

A PUMP MOVES Steam shoots out around it. The bulk of the machine that converts energy starts up.
Harold lectures Stanley who grows terrified as he becomes aware of all the machine parts starting up on their own, all around him, one by one.

                                             Monsters, ha. Despite our futile attempts to externalize our true nature with                                                    ludicrous symbols like the devil the fact-

                                             What, what is this really for?

                                             The fact still persists, man is-

                                              What, what is the true purpose of this machine?

                                               ... the monster.

                                               Goddamn it Harold! Harold?! I said what is this, what is this thing...

Smirking, Harold slowly and somberly raises a finger, pointing in the direction of the core. Stanley stops and looks back.

                                                                               STANLEY (cont’d)

                                                Look damn you, look!

Stanley’s eyes grow as big as saucers.

THE CORE A green light glows behind it. Ghostly Stanley walks off the platform to get a better view. Something casts a strange shadow on the wall. Stanley tracks further up to see heavy paneling dismantled off the back and left strewn about on the floor.

                                                You've … you've exposed the core, … there's no way of containing
                                                or predicting the chain reaction. The Electromagnetic pulse, on this                                                               frequency, you can't. The ice caps … the air …

Full of dread Stanley looks back at Harold.

                                                                                STANLEY (cont’d)
                                                The orbit.

Close on Harold raising eyebrows.

                                                Humanity is a failed mutation.


The mangy dog from before runs as fast as possible.

The black cat trails the dog.

The black cat passes the dog and runs beyond him.

Both cat and dog race from the twinkling city far behind.



Traveling into the machine past turning gears, churning turbines, and concentric circles of spinning magnetic discs; we reach a metallic heart which can hardly be made out.

Stanley takes a DEEP BREATH and charges up the platform staircase.

Harold grips the lever firmly and motions for Stanley to stop with his palm. Stanley keeps charging anyways.

                                                  I wouldn’t do that if I were you.

Stanley arrives at the top of the staircase.

                                                                                   HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                  You honestly don’t think I will?!

Stanley stops at the edge of the platform, a long drop below.

                                                                                   HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                  Now, where were we? Men must have monsters Stanley.
                                                  They must have something driving them, something that keeps
                                                  them raging into oblivion; uncharted territories, that is. All great                                                                     accomplishments, all steps forward, are at the behest of the...
                                                                                  (clears throat)
                                                  Bogeyman. You should know that better than most.

Harold cocks his head having gained Stanley’s full attention.

                                                                                   HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                  What kept you focused on the project for all those years? What fact
                                                  were you refusing to face, what ugly truth were you hiding from? Hmmm?

Shaking, Stanley loses it, taking some steps forward.

                                                   You rotten son of a bitch!

Harold caresses the lever.

                                                   If you want to be the trigger to humanity’s destruction then so be it!

Stanley stops again 6 feet from Harold.

                                                   Now look, Harold, let's talk about this.

                                                   There's nothing to talk about. I need not your permission nor
                                                   your consent. I do this with or without you.

Stanley searches for words.

                                                   You … you can't … it's not right.

Harold gestures with the hand not holding the lever.

                                                   Oh yes brilliant. You speak of everything right and good and
                                                   true and pure. You with your Goddamn social causes.
                                                   Try dying in wars for some!


CONVEYOR BELT moves through mist and into darkness.

Harold and Stanley stand in silhouette.

                                                    What are you saying?

                                                    Don't you know yet? This the best you could send me huh?

                                                    Who are you talking to? What is this?

                                                    Don't you know who you are? Who I am?

                                                    A murderer, a fucking madman, a-

                                                    Shut up Stanley! Our economic system was experimenting on those men                                                       long before me. And what of you? You were driving technically that                                                             makes you a murderer as well...

                                                    You, you-

                                                    How would you like to be with them again?

Stanley is trembling.

                                                    Them? Who?

                                                    Don’t play coy… Allison... And Angela, your daughter.
                                                    That must have been heart wrenching.


The metallic heart can now be clearly seen and begins BEATING rhythmically.

Harold continues in on Stanley.

                                                                                   HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                    I understand why your relationship with Allison fell apart after the                                                                 accident. Why she left you. A dead toddler can be a bit of an elephant
                                                    in the room. But it's not your fault, or Allison’s, or even the car                                                                     manufacturers, for that matter.

Stanley holds back tears.

                                                                                   HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                    If it wasn't for the accident, you never would have had the divorce, and                                                         then you wouldn’t have channeled all your energies into your work.
                                                    Our work Stanley. It all happened for a reason. Sometimes life is marked                                                     by the choices not taken. Do you still talk to them as if they’re still there,                                                       still in the room? When you’re alone and you’ve had one too many                                                               scotches? Are you still haunted by their ghosts?  You can be with them                                                         again... you can be where they are.

                                                                             (through grit teeth)
                                                    You sick bastard.

Tears stain Stanley’s cheeks.

                                                     How would you like to be with them again... On a different plane
                                                     of existence? There is much more to reality than just this turgid tale...

                                                     You, you go to hell!

Harold’s eyes have gone as black as a shark’s.

                                                      Hell? You want a vision of hell?


All quiet on the western front. A thin fog rests on no-man's land. Slumped against the trench wall WOODY, young fresh faced soldier, pulls a letter from his coat.

THE LETTER is sealed with a lip stick kiss.

Woody, with a dreamy look in his eyes, opens the envelope and unfolds the note inside. After reading some in his head he smacks the note and lets out a LAUGH in a southern drawl.

THE OTHERS crouching around take notice. A soldier shoots Woody a glance while passing a short rationed cigarette to another soldier. On the opposite side a Captain whittles under his helmet.

A giddy Woody can hardly contain himself.

                                                                                   SOLDIER #1
                                                      Wot, you get discharged or sumpfink?
                                                      Nah, it’s from my sweetheart back home, I asked her if she wanted
                                                      ta get hitched, and she wrote back, yes, yes, she said yes!

The soldiers smile and one hands Woody the cigarette.

The Captain looks up concerned, revealing it's Harold.

Woody accepts the passed smoke and stands to do a little dance.

                                                      The smoke! No three on a midget!

A sniper’s bullet WHIZZES across no-man's land and hits Woody in the head. Blood splatters. He tumbles forward.

The other soldiers are shocked, lingering on Harold as he looks down at Woody.

HAROLD'S POV half of Woody's face is blown off.

Something takes control of Harold. He lets out a PRIMAL YELL, grabs his riffle, and jumps out of the trench.

                                                                                    SOLDIER #1
                                                      No, it's suicide!


Following Harold across the desolate expanse hand held camera in front. Bullets ZIP by him and machine fire sprays the ground, kicking up dirt. He cuts himself hurdling barbed wire. There's a PHOOT and a mortar shell WHISTLES as it comes down and EXPLODES behind Harold, knocking him ass over head.

Harold gets up, shaken, he stumbles away from his gun, staggering towards the other trench. The enemy BARKS in GERMAN and a mustard gas bomb is SHOT onto the barren landscape. The wind changes and BLOWS the billowing smoke in the opposite direction. Getting shot in the leg doesn't stop him. Hobbling, he makes it to the other trench.


The enemy soldiers all wear gas masks. Harold grabs the end of a soldier's rifle and beats him with the butt off it. Flipping it around he stabs a few approaching soldiers with the bayonet on the rifle, shoots one dead at a distance. The first soldier he punched rises and Harold seizes him by the throat. Harold rips of his gas mask and looks on horrified.

OVER HAROLD'S SHOULDER under the mask the enemy soldier looks exactly like Harold. The enemy soldier smiles back.


Harold gives a look of bewilderment, Stanley seizes an opportunity confronting Harold on what he perceives to be a weakness.

                                              Yes, certainly there is more to this reality, perhaps there are extra-dimensional                                               forces at work on ours. Or maybe, just maybe this is all just a simulation.                                                       What good would pulling the plug then do? What would it prove? Huh?                                                         Do you hear me, you...?!


Stanley finds his angle of attack.

                                              Is it? Is it so absurd? What do we know about the smallest units of energy                                                     and matter? Well? Information is missing, that’s what. And what do we know                                               about enlarging a photograph, a reflection of the world, beyond it’s threshold?                                               Information also goes missing, and the surrounding data fills in the gaps. This,                                                 all of this, is nothing more than a simulation. The proof is in the pixilation!

                                              ... That’s... Not true.

                                              Ah, but you can’t be sure of that. How can you pretend to trust your instincts?                                               What good are they if you can’t even disprove that basic assumption?
                                              Where else are you misguided? What else are you missing?
                                              What else have you left out of the equation?

                                              Stanley, it’s too late now to-

                                              Or what if the same forces that you wish to suppress or even eliminate;
                                              the worst of men acting on instincts of greed and self-interest have gotten                                                       ahold of you, and are now using you in their population control scheme?

                                              That’s just it, by doing this now they will be caught off guard,
                                              out in the open, the bunkers will be left vacant.

Stanley slowly draws closer having Harold on the proverbial ropes.

                                              But you don’t know that. They could be down there now, cozy
                                              and comfortable, waiting for you to act just as they planned.

Harold motions halt to Stanley.

                                              Don’t take another step Stanley.

                                              What gives you the right to decide?

Stanley inches forward almost within arm’s length, Harold gestures again more firmly.

                                              I mean it Stanley don’t take another fucking step.
                                              I haven’t made this decision, it’s already been made.

The pair begin shouting over each other.

                                              Oh god, listen to what you are saying?

                                              God, ha! God invents man and then scared and alone in the caves
                                              man invents God.

                                              For a man who mocks God you’re certainly doing a good job
                                              of portraying one!

                                              Human beings cannot get over this notion of a sky god. We are living
                                              in an age of primordial instincts, a medieval belief system, and technology
                                              we do not understand! The experiment is over.

                                              You don’t think life deserves another chance?! You would deny that?
                                              You don’t think a few more smiles, some more laughter, a kiss, an embrace,                                                 another song is acceptable? God is love, damn you! Have you had nothing                                                   real in your life?! Huh?! you incomprehensible misfit! What of hope?!

Harold turns away from Stanley for a moment, staring into space.

                                               A meaningless slogan...You know, about a week ago I went into the city
                                               to get a part for the machine, and I saw what a putrid cesspool of despair
                                               it had become. The filth and decay was overwhelming, but not in the                                                              neighborhood, in the people. I listened to their eyes and I thought
                                               how much happier they'd be...

Turning back to address Stanley, Harold’s immense primitive mane has returned.

                                                                                HAROLD (cont’d)
                                               As electrons... I’ll give them their rapture...

Harold places both hands on lever.

                                               Don't pull that lever. Don't pull that Goddamn lever;
                                               you'll make ghosts of us all.

                                               Let's give the bugs a go, shall we?


Back and forth, going closer in until their eyes fill the frame.

                                                                                HAROLD (cont’d)
                                               Time heals all wounds...


Stanley lunges at Harold. It’s too late. Harold tugs down on the lever. A CLANK and the MACHINE SOUND becomes fierce. Stanley picks up Harold like a rag doll.

                                                                               STANLEY (cont’d)
                                               Turn it off Harold!

                                               I can't now, it's already started.

                                               Turn it off or else!

                                               Or else what Stanley? Do what you want with me, this is beyond both of us.

Stanley ROARS, throws Harold to the ground, and runs off.

BOTTOM OF PLATFORM Stanley nearly trips over himself rushing down the stairs, and out of sight. A moment later Harold descends the stairs slow and calm, WHISTLING. He ventures into the foreground and stops shocked. Cocking his head he brings finger to face.

OVER HAROLD’S SHOULDER as he stares at his reflection; an android version of himself. He drags an index finger across his metallic cheek, grinning.


Stanley TYPES madly entering code.

SCREEN 'OPERATION FORBIDDEN' continues to pop up. On another attempt 'HELLO STANLEY' pops up. Confused Stanley looks up to see Harold on the other side of the glass grinning at him. Harold tries door, finding it locked, and presses the intercom button.

                                                                               HAROLD (O.S.)
                                       Please Stanley, don't you think I would have already thought to lock the sequence.

Stanley ignores Harold and keeps working. Stanley removes an instrument panel and digs through wires.

                                                                               HAROLD (O.S.) (cont’d)
                                       Now you're thinking if I override the processor bypassing the auxiliary power                                                supply I'll be able to deactivate the sequence... I've already thought of that, I've                                            integrated the components, and made them self-replicating, self-sufficient, one                                                autonomous unit.

Stanley finds the wire cut.

                                                                               HAROLD (O.S.) (cont’d)
                                        Have it your way. Sleep tight Stanley.

Stanley looks up to see Harold has gone. There's a distant WHISTLING of 'ROCK-A-BYE BABY' which soon grows fainter and then disappears.

Stanley begins COUGHING and covers his mouth with labcoat collar.

VENT in the control room spews foul air.

Stanley GASPS for a breath. He POUNDS his fists against the glass with no result. Desperate he takes a chair and hurls it at the glass, which bounces off. Wobbling, with his last ounce of energy he lets out a PRIMAL YELL in frustration. The glass to the control room shatters into tiny squares.

Climbing out of the booth, he cuts his palms, impervious to the pain.

The MACHINE SOUND grows to grotesque proportions with a slight undertone of JUNGLE SOUNDS, TRIBAL DRUM, AND PRIMAL CHANTING. Running along a catwalk Stanley tosses anything he can onto the conveyor belt below.

There's an IRREGULAR CHURNING as the machine tries to digest the strange entities. In a fit of lucidity he pulls steaming tubes from a bulky, top-heavy, crane structure. In a passing gaze he spies something on the ground.

CARL'S COIN, in walks Stanley, he picks it up off the ground.

Instinctively, and with super human strength, Stanley unscrews large rivets, feverishly, at the structure's base.

Harold trains a revolver on Stanley.

                                                 I wouldn't do that if I were you. Step away Stanley, do the sensible thing,                                                      do the right thing.

Stanley carries on with even more ferocity.

                                                 Go ahead shoot! A bullet spark might ignite the methane. C'mon!
                                                 What are you waiting for?!

                                                 I was hoping you would come around. Pity that. Pity.
                                                 You've left me with no other choice.

BANG. Stanley twitches. Holding his side he look down dreadfully. There's no blood, lifting his shirt, no bullet hole. Nothing. Turning to Harold.

Harold holds an invisible gun. He throws his hand open, smiling.

                                                                                  HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                                              (voice cracking)
                                                   Now Stanley, let's talk about this.

Stanley rigorously dismantles the machine, unscrewing bolt after bolt in big bold strokes. Harold raves on in desperation.

                                                                                  HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                   Think. Just think for a moment.


Fade to white:


An earlier time. KID HAROLD and KID STANLEY lay in the snow, making angels. A downy flake falls. Kid Harold catches a flake on his outstretched tongue.

                                                                                    KID STANLEY
                                                   What do you want to be when you grow up Harold?

                                                                                    KID HAROLD
                                                    Taller. A big man I guess. What about you?

                                                                                    KID STANLEY
                                                    ... Happy.

Kid Harold catches another snowflake on his tongue.

                                                                                    KID HAROLD
                                                    You know, I think people are like snowflakes.

Kid Stanley muzzles himself up on his elbows.

                                                                                    KID STANLEY
                                                    Oh yeah, like snowflakes are all unique, and different, and
                                                    no two are alike?

                                                                                    KID HAROLD
                                                    ...I mean, they're here for awhile, then they melt away, and
                                                    they're gone.

                                                                                    KID STANLEY
                                                    I guess, but aren't they, I mean, they come back don't they,
                                                    after they evaporate, condensation, and the cycles, and all that?

                                                                                    KID HAROLD
                                                     I guess Stanley.

Kid Stanley gets up and pulls kid Harold up.

Kid Stanley goes to skip rock but the lake is frozen, it skids across.

                                                                                     KID HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                      C’mon, let’s go.

They wander back to their flock of sheep.


Stanley has nearly succeed in sawing down the structure and works towards pushing it over the railing and into the machine.

Harold crotches.

                                        Come now Stanley, the universe does not want to destroy man, it has to. It’s tried                                         to be reasonable, as have I. I’ve tried to convince you, tried to make you see.                                               Humanity is in a stage of decline. It’s becoming unstable, dangerous...
                                        To not only this planet... But the universe. This is just one of many occurrences,                                             one of many before, and many more to come. Think! Just think of the absurd                                                 statistical coincidence that both Hitler and Einstein existed in the same time and                                             place! We have an opportunity here. If the bugs die off all life goes extinct within                                           fifty years. Human beings, on the other hand, if they perish from this earth, then all                                         life, in fifty years, will flourish...  This is not the end of life, not all life. We've been                                           chosen to do this. Stanley? Stanley! Stanley, step away! It's God's work you're                                             destroying now! Stanley you fool, get away from my fucking machine!

Spittle hangs from Harold’s mouth as he rises.


Kid Stanley herds sheep into their pen with a stick.

Another stick enters into frame poking young Stanley in the neck.

                                                                               KID STANLEY

A mischievous kid Harold withdraws his stick.

Kid Stanley packs a snowball, half joking, half bent on revenge.


With bloody hands Stanley ROARS rocking the unbalanced, top-heavy, structure. He gets very close to toppling the magnificent beast when Harold rams him against the railing, matching his ROAR.

Harold pins Stanley against the railing and then promptly heaves him over it. Stanley grabs hold of Harold's lab coat and takes him with. Along their long descent they brush against equipment roughly, tearing much of it off. Machine parts glitter as they disappear into the darkness.


Moving out from Kid Stanley’s pupil.

Kid Stanley flings a snowball at kid Harold striking him in the ear.

                                                                             KID HAROLD


Stanley's head rests on a conveyor belt tread. He awakens, watches the outside light wane. He crawls away, revealing an incapacitated Harold behind.

Stanley, on all fours, makes it to the ladder. With one arm at first, he snatches hold of a rung. Then with all his might, against the creeping conveyor belt, Stanley manages to throw another hand up onto a higher rung. He hoists his mass from one rung to the next until he's reached the airlock. He opens it with a turn of the wheel and a thrust.


Stanley nearly climbs out.


Harold's claw of a hand latches onto Stanley's ankle.


Stanley is tugged back in.


Sheep mull around in their pen, BAHHHING.

Kid Stanley and kid Harold sword fight with their sticks.


Harold is on top of Stanley. Stanley holds Harold's arms back as he attempts to plunge them into Stanley's eyes.

                                      Opposable thumbs were developed to jam in the eyes of our fellow man.

They enter into a chamber where the walls scan and map. Infrared waves wash over them like ripple in a pond. The walls flash with white blinding light, an MRI SOUND accompanies.


Kid Stanley and kid Harold sword fight with their sticks backtracking through the forrest.

                                                                          KID STANLEY
                                                 En guard!


Harold cups Stanley's mouth and pinches his nose.

                                                 As I said, there are other men, working on other machines;
                                                 machines that will strip the earth of its resources, poison the water,
                                                 and steal the air, to be bottled and sold!

Stanley, barely conscious, fumbles finding the screwdriver in Harold's lab coat. He quickly plunges it into Harold's shoulder and twists.

Harold rears back, SCREAMING with a METALLIC TINT. Given the opportunity, Stanley wiggles out from underneath him.


The bio-scan read comes back: a neon image of Stanley jabbing the screwdriver into Harold. TEMP reads 32 F.


More stick sword fighting. Kid Harold LAUGHS while Kid Stanley's demeanor is stone cold sober, having the upper hand. They push back to the edge of the forrest and enter into a clearing.


The gate to the pen swings open.


Like a trout swimming upstream Stanley scrambles up the ramp of the accelerating conveyor belt. Frost forms at the end of Stanley's nose and the color has left his face. A COLD WIND swirls. Behind him, Harold removes screwdriver, turns sharply, and lumbers towards Stanley.

Harold in the foreground stalks the vulnerable Stanley as he crawls up the ramp leading to the previous chamber.

BIO-SCAN on the computer portrays the situation as they approach absolute zero. TEMP: -2 F


In foreground Stanley reaches the top of the ramp. Behind, Harold towers over him.

                                                                    ALLISON (V.O.)
                                                  Look out.

He rolls over as Harold swoops down stabbing the screwdriver into a tread of the conveyor belt.

Stanley wedges a foot underneath Harold's abdomen and kicks him off and away some yards.

Shaking, hypothermia setting in, Stanley gets up, removing the screwdriver from its tread.


The kids stick fight through the woods.

The sheep, obediently, remain inside the pen and bunch up in the corner farthest away from the open gate, BAHING.


Stanley takes a swipe at Harold with the screwdriver, who dodges his thrusts with remarkable agility. A few swipes later Harold grabs Stanley's arm twisting it behind his back and disarming him of the screwdriver.

                                                         You'll have to do better than that Stanley.

Stanley YELLS in pain. BONES BREAK. Harold throws Stanley against the mirrored wall with tremendous force, CRACKING it.


The two stick fight past the forrest and onto a clearing.

The view far away shows them small, in profile, amongst the largeness of the clearing.

                                                                               KID HAROLD
                                                 Okay, okay. You win. Time out.

They stop and catch their BREATH. A moment and Harold takes another stab at Stanley.

                                                                               KID STANLEY

Kid Harold LAUGHS. The ice CRACKS underneath kid Stanley. He looks down then up at Kid Harold, mortified.


Stanley is lobbed into another mirrored wall, shattering it. Harold walks over, scoops him off the conveyor belt, and holds him in the air. Harold seems unaffected by the extreme cold.

                                                           You just had to do it the hard way.

He flings Stanley's limp body into the mirrored wall on the other side. CRASH.


More CRACKS; this time underneath Kid Harold's feet.

Kid Harold and Kid Stanley's eyes grow big.

                                                                                   KID STANLEY
                                                            Don't move.

Harold takes a step and falls through the ice.

Stanley inches to the hole.

                                                                                   KID STANLEY (cont’d)
                                                           Oh god, Harold! Harold?!


Bio-scan reading: -40 F Absolute Zero Achieved.

Stanley numbly gets up. Ice crystals form on everything, including the end of his nose and eyebrows. There's a green glow at the end of the chamber as they approach the core. Harold draws closer.

                                                           You don't learn, do you?

Stanley has an idea; he extends his hand like he's holding something. He concentrates closing his eyes.
Harold's smile fades.

When Stanley opens his eyes he's holding the screwdriver.

Harold's maniacal expression turns to curiosity. Behind him the mirror is broken exposing rows of rubber tubes on the other side.

Knife gesturing in foreground, Harold's head tilts in background.

                                                                                 HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                       You won't stab me...

Stanley fights the cold and commandeers his nerves.

                                                       Yeah, you're right.

He stabs the tube behind Harold, which SPRAYS super freezing air at his face. Harold's SHRIEKS, he is engulfed in a cloud. Harold drops covering his face with hands.

Stanley rushes up the rapidly accelerating conveyor belt in spasms, his body trying to shut down to conserve energy.

Behind Harold's back as he gets up smoothly and walks towards Stanley.

Stanley scrambles, Harold in background.

Harold's face is horribly disfigured, his eyes bleached white.

                                                        Where do you think you're going?

Guided by unseen forces Harold advances on Stanley. Harold seizes Stanley's lab coat collar and pulls him back so his ear lines up with Harold's lips.

                                                                                  HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                        There's nothing left for you out there. It's only us now.
                                                        I want to show you something.

Stanley GASPS and manages to slip out of his lab coat and squirms away.

Harold smiles, discards lab coat, and going to walk finds difficulty.

Harold's foot has become stuck, wedged between treads.

Stanley scales the ramp leading to the previous chamber.

                                                                                   HAROLD (cont’d)
                                                         It's not over Stanley. This is not over. Do you hear me Stanley?!
                                                         It never ends!

Harold and the green glow grow faint over Stanley's shoulder. Tracking in front of Stanley he reaches the exit hole.


Kid Stanley stares at the hole in the ice on the verge of tears. Nothing. Then suddenly a hand reaches up out of the water. Stanley grabs it to hoist Harold out but instead loses his footing and is pulled in.

View from far away shows the tundra devoid of life.


Half dead Stanley weakly climbs up the ladder and out of the machine through airlock.

                                                                                     ALLISON (V.O.)
                                                  Time heals all wounds.


Harold gives a SHRILL METALLIC LAUGH as the conveyor belt reaches the end of the line.

Harold is bucked into the glowing orb and disintegrates.



It's raining very hard and the dogs have stopped barking.

                                                                               HAROLD (V.O.)
                                                   Goodbye Stanley.

The warehouse explodes then implodes demonstrating fusion and fission.

The view from the block shows the comparative massiveness of the event.

A single glinting particle travels into the sky. The particle ascends through the atmosphere and out into space.


Time elapses and the particle is sucked through a black hole.


The foundation is ablaze. Rubble moves and a tattered Stanley emerges. He stares up intensely, struggling to remain conscious. Light flickers across his barely conscious face.


Reverse angle with Stanley, back to us, in the foreground. Beyond him the sun slips behind the horizon. Palm trees sway in the gentle BREEZE. Birds CHIRP. Dramatic CLASSICAL SCORE starting calm and turning menacing before ending peaceful over credits.


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