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Written by Patrick Moore
FADE IN: EXT. MOUNTAIN VIEW NEIGHBORHOOD - MORNING ESTABLISHING - A nice two-story Georgian Colonial house in a high-value neighborhood in the Silicon Valley Suburbs. A pretty Middle-aged Syrian WOMAN leads her two DAUGHTERS to their new Mercedes Benz SUV. The Youngest drops her SCONE, cries. INT. ZAFRANI HOUSEHOLD
MASTER BEDROOM CLOSE ON - A SPIRAL-SHAPED SCONE LIES ON A SLIVER PLATE. AN ADULT HAND TAKES IT-TARIQ ZAFRANI, a mid-thirties Arabic computer engineer, is on the phone listening to someone, watching his daughter’s protests for a new scone get squashed by Mom. He bites his own fresh-baked scone. Drinks out of a “General Atomics”labeled mug. TARIQ (In Arabic, English subtitle) I’m late to work, I’ll have more code for you when I get home. I have to decode the data-package at work first. Goodbye. KITCHEN Tariq hastily cleans flour and dirty dishes, glancing at his watch. He’s out of time. In his haste, he knocks over a glass bowl, it shatters into large pieces. He SWEARS under his breath, grabs the broom. DING DONG! Tariq hesitates, sweeps more. He’s stopped by aggressive POUNDING-EXT. FRONT PORCH The door opens, Tariq appears. TARIQ May I help you?
2. REVEAL - DONALD WESTLER, an aging WASP Eagle-Scout, standing with ASHA SHAMPA, a middle aged Indian woman with a lasersharp gaze. WESTLER Tariq Zafrani? Yes. TARIQ
WESTLER I am Agent Donald Westler with the computerized Espionage task force for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. AGENT WESTLER flashes his distinctive badge. WESTLER (CONT’D) And this is Aasha Shampa, an intelligence officer for the Central Intelligence Agency. SHAMPA wordlessly nods her head in acknowledgement, not taking her gaze off of Tariq. There anxiousness to her. TARIQ What can I do for you? WESTLER We have some questions about your work on with General Atomics. May we come in? TARIQ Sir I am late for the work you speak of. May I come back another time? WESTLER Unfortunately, this pertains to an immediate matter of national security. SHAMPA Surely your defense contractor employer won’t understand, Mr. Zafrani. TARIQ I’m sure they would.
3. SHAMPA We represent the Defense of the United States of America. Therefore, we are your customers. Surely your bosses would give their time a customer. Shampa lets herself in. Tariq stands back, floored. KITCHEN Shampa’s heels CLOP loudly on Tariq’s hardwood floor, leading Agent Westler and Tariq into his own kitchen. CRUNCH. She lifts up her shoe. Crunched shards of the dropped glass bowl are strewn at her feet. Tariq has no words. WESTLER May we have a seat? Tariq nods. Shampa continues to look around, almost in her own world, seemingly taking deep interest in Tariq’s home. Examines a photo of Tariq’s entire family. WESTLER (CONT’D) Aasha? Shall we? She suddenly remembers why she’s here, sits down at the table. Empties her messenger bag of files. WESTLER (CONT’D) Mr. Zafrani, sorry to have to do this now but we have a matter of national security to tend to. Please do. TARIQ
Westler produces redacted war logs labeled “classified” and photographs of destroyed Panther Drone UAV’s. WESTLER We present these materials to you, in acknowledgement of your security clearance. Shampa scoffs at his declaration. Westler presses-WESTLER (CONT’D) These Drone units were shot down in Syria last week by Syrian National Coalition surface-to-air missiles.
4. TARIQ Yes, I read the Chronicle. WESTLER They were on their way out to strike known Hezbollah targets helping the Assad Regime. Mr. Zafrani, we just wanted to know if there was anything you could tell us about the navigational technology in these weapons. Any weakness or blind-spots? TARIQ We design it to be pretty air tight, security wise. I can’t see how there could be blind-spots. SHAMPA There must have been. The target coordinates in those Drones where reprogrammed while they were on our way to Syrian Government Targets; mid-way through the mission. How would that be possible? At all? TARIQ The only way it could be hacked is if were tricked. In the command prompt between drone pilot and the drone on the air. There is code that matches the GPS location of the Drone pilot and the lasertargeting system in the drone. Somehow, someone could mimic, or disguise the breach as code from base. SHAMPA So someone could hijack our code to the drone? That’s a pretty critical security flaw. It was never addressed in development? TARIQ We thought that our laser-codes were unbreakable.
5. SHAMPA Well, the Iranians figured out our old P-Y Code last year by jamming the radar, taking advantage of the weaker civilian-designed frequencies, hijacking a surveillance-drone documenting alleged nuclear sites. TARIQ And this year, we implemented the PX2 Code protocols, which are more secure. SHAMPA Project Nautilus. Excuse me? TARIQ
SHAMPA Project Nautilus. After the PY debacle, but you guys developed Nautilus: The most unbreakable code probably in the history of TRANSEC. TARIQ That’s classified. SHAMPA Rightfully so, but I also have a security clearance. Unlike yours however, mine’s much higher. Shampa summons documents labeled “Project Nautilus - Eyes Only”, complete with a logarithmic spiral-shaped logo and pages that are painted in complex data and high-lighter ink. SHAMPA (CONT’D) I mean, these numbers are quite esoteric. Can you shed any light on all this? TARIQ You’re the intelligence analyst. SHAMPA Indeed I am, so I already have. There’s a prefix in the command code link, specifying were that communication came from. She lays out the Nautilus data, points to highlights.
6. SHAMPA (CONT’D) This one is from CENT-COM in Yemen; The USS Eisenhower in the Straight of Hormuz; and one from Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan. The Drone Strikes in question, the codes came from all three. WESTLER Aasha, that’s classified. SHAMPA What? He has the security clearance right? TARIQ Would you mind getting to the point please? SHAMPA Who would hand over the commandline prefixes? TARIQ You’re looking at me? I write software. How would I have access to the prefixes? SHAMPA You write them! And as we already well-established by now, they’re classified. TARIQ And they’re passed up the chain, where I have no idea if somebody else changes them. What exactly are you getting at?! Shampa opens her laptop thumbs through graphic images of Drone strike damage. Gruesome tableaus of Men, Women, and Children lie in rubble mutilated or dead. Tariq looks away. SHAMPA We didn’t tell American newspapers this part. About how the Syrian Government hacked into our drone navigational systems, and used them to murder sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, like your pretty wife and adorable little girls. They can’t eat scones anymore. They’re dead!
7. Tariq slams the laptop shut on Shampa’s fingers. She shrieks. Sucks on her fingertips. WESTLER Mr. Zafrani! TARIQ Who are you people, coming into my house, showing me this shit? WESTLER Control yourselves, both of you! He snaps back to Shampa, dangerous lazer-gaze locked upon Tariq. A twisted smile appears. SHAMPA It’s okay, Don. Shampa, resolved, opens her messenger bag and produces a photograph of a pretty woman wearing a hijab Tariq’s age. SHAMPA (CONT’D) Who is this woman? TARIQ I don’t know. Shampa isn’t buying it. Westler rubs his forehead tensely. WESTLER Jesus, Aasha. SHAMPA Who is this woman? Tariq stays silent, glaring at a spot on his table. SHAMPA (CONT’D) Mr. Zafrani , you don’t think I already don’t know? TARIQ Then the fuck you wasting my time asking for? Listen, if I’m under arrest, then slap the cuffs on me. I’m an American Citizen and I want my lawyer. WESTLER No one’s arresting anybody. Intelligence Officer Shampa, stand down!
8. She glares at the both of them, eyes ablaze with internal conflict, as if to defy this directive. She becomes interested in a KNIFE-BLOCK in the kitchen WESTLER (CONT’D) Officer Shampa, do you read? SHAMPA You were in her frequencies class at Stanford, you know her, you’re were she got the codes from! TARIQ My communications are monitored at work, how could I do that? This is bullshit. Get out of my house. Both of you will be hearing from my lawyer. WESTLER Tariq, listen-TARIQ No you listen! I have done nothing wrong! I am an American Citizen! You can’t come in here and make accShampa grabs a PAIRING KNIFE out of the knife-block. She strikes, madly driving the cold stainless-steel blade through Tariq’s hand, deep into the table. Tariq screeches in shock, then agony. Westler backs up, stunned at what he just saw. SHAMPA You passed those lines of code through Nala Fazir to the fucking Syrians, so they could obliterate innocent lives! Didn’t you! Tariq just loudly howls in pain and shock. She grabs him and gets inches away form his face. SHAMPA (CONT’D) Al-Bassad’s fucked and you’re fighting for a mad man! Westler forcefully pries her off of moaning Tariq and pushes her out of the kitchen. WESTLER What the flying fuck was that!
9. SHAMPA You know he transmitted that data to them! That’s what my asset said! WESTLER Your asset was the one who passed that information in the first place and you know it. She played you for a fool, now your short career is in the shitter and your last act is to destroy that man in there. SHAMPA Don, there is proof-WESTLER Highly circumstantial at that! This is over-Don! SHAMPA
He stops. The table is stained red with a pool of blood. Tariq is missing. WESTLER Tariq? You okay? Tariq lunges out of the shadows, stabbing Westler in the neck, blood spurts out everywhere. Shampa screams. Pulls up her pant leg and unbuckles ankleholster, draws a 9mm handgun. Tariq rushes her, grabs onto the gun and wrestles with her. They go to the ground, Tariq twists the gun, it slips, she reaches over and grabs a glass shard from the broken bowl. Tariq wrestles the gun away from her. Shampa stabs him in the thigh with a glass shard. Screaming, He aims the gun: BLAM! Shampa’s face caves in and explodes out of the back of her head all over the floor. Panting and covered in blood. He picks up his phone and dials. Somebody SPEAKING IN FARSI answers: Nala. TARIQ
CONVERSATION IN ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES: NALA Tariq? What is happening?
10. TARIQ They know. They know I gave you the algorithms. And they know I fed you information on Nautilus. INT. STONE BEDROOM - SYRIA - NIGHT Staccato POPS of gunfire and soft BOOMS from the uprising can be seen and heard from outside the window. The girl in the photograph, NALA FAZIR, sits behind open laptops and computer screens. Talks on a Bluetooth earpiece. NALA I tried to throw my CIA handler. She’s really relentless. BACK TO KITCHEN TARIQ I wouldn’t worry about her. You gotta get me out of here. Me and my Famil-He is interrupted by cell-phone interference. Fuzzy noise drowns his call. Finally: RADIO COMMUNICATION 1 (Over Phone) Delta Squad one. Infiltrate target’s residence. Federal Agents not responding to radio check-ins. RADIO COMMUNICATION 2 Rodger that. Going around the back. Tariq looks outside. Sees tops of Delta Forces helmets. U.S. Special Forces about to force their way into his kitchen. TARIQ (To Nala) They’re coming in. They know its me. DELTA FORCE SQUADMEMEBER 1 (O.S.) Fire in the hole! Tariq’s glass back door explodes powerfully, sending Tariq onto his back, cutting open his face. Special Forces Commandos storm in.
11. COMMANDOS Get down! Freeze! Show me your hands. Tariq raises Shampa’s gun and fires at the Commandos. He gets up and runs upstairs. Suppressed machine gun fire follows him. TARIQ Nala, you have to help me! They’re after me! You have to get my family back to Syria. He promised if the government stayed I’d be protected! NALA Don’t worry Tariq, you will be helped. INT. STONE BEDROOM - SYRIA NALA You’ll be back to the promised land soon enough. You’ll hold your daughters in the afterlife. She types in coordinates and lines of code into a PROGRAM on her computer. On an external monitor, there is a live infrared video feed from a flying vehicle: A Colonial House? INT. MASTER BEDROOM Tariq slams the door behind him, barricades it with a dresser. TARIQ What does that mean? Can you get my family back to Syria? NALA Look to the sky valiant soldier. He looks out his window into the night. A burst of machine gun fire penetrates his door. TARIQ What’s happening? He sees it: two vapor trails arc towards his house, streaming from two hellfire rockets.
12. A small, glider-like aircraft can be seen at the rockets’ point of origin, veering off: A hacked panther drone. COMMANDO Blow the door! Blow the door! NALA Your family will be taken care of. You have done a duty to your nation and your god. Tariq looks at the coming rockets like a blessing coming towards him. He turns his eyes down: left overs from his scone that morning lie on a tea-plate. COMMANDO Fire in the hole! The rockets are closest now. Tariq calmly receives them. INT. STONE BEDROOM - SYRIA ANGLE ON Drone Camera CCTV
The fuzzy infrared-fed black-and-white house suddenly turns white, like someone blew up a sack of flower. The camera switches to color as we see in detail the obliterated smoldering rubble that was Tariq’s home. FADE OUT.