EarthBound By Thom Cote

Based on the Video Game Mother 2 By Shigesato Itoi

EarthBound, tcote000@gmail.com the Mother series, and all related characters are Copyright Nintendo

FADE IN: EXT.CLIFFTOP - MIDNIGHT On a remote clifftop in Dalaam, somewhere in the far East, a small campfire blazes. Two figures, PO, 17, and STAR MASTER, elderly, sit across from each other. Their identities remain unknown as their faces cannot be clearly made out. STAR MASTER Your training is now complete, young master. Soon you must leave Dalaam. It has been foretold by the stars... PO Why must I leave, master? STAR MASTER The day is coming when a great evil will take command of this planet. Everything we know will be lost unless you and three others band together to defeat it. Your abilities and those of your friends will prove crucial in stopping Giygas. PO Giygas? STAR MASTER looks up at the sky. STAR MASTER He will arrive very soon. Seek out those three whom you must join. The Earth’s fate is bound to yours. PO How will I find them? STAR MASTER Let your mind guide you. A bright shooting star can be seen flying through the sky overhead. BEGIN TITLES

2.

INT.HOUSE - EVENING - MID 1990S ANA SANDHOP places a steak dinner on NESS SANDHOP’s plate. 14-year-old NESS looks ecstatic. TRACY SANDHOP, 16, is much less excited. NESS Yes, steak! TRACY Why do we have to have steak all the time? NESS Because it’s awesome! TRACY No! The texture, it just feels...ugh! ANA is laughing to herself. TRACY Mom, what are you laughing at? NESS smiles as well. Really? TRACY You always side with him! It’s

ANA I’m not siding with anyone. just funny! TRACY Oh, I can’t believe you! TRACY gets up to leave.

ANA Stay here and finish your dinner! TRACY reluctantly sits back down. Someone starts knocking at the front door. TRACY quickly gets back up. TRACY I’ll get it! TRACY looks through the peephole. starts walking back. She quickly turns and

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

3.

TRACY Never mind-ANA Open the door. TRACY slowly opens the door. Standing outside are POKEY MINCH, a chubby 15-year-old, and his equally portly brother PICKY MINCH, 10. Their blond hair nearly covers their eyes. POKEY gives TRACY a big smile. POKEY Why, hello there Tracy. Lookin’ good. May we join you for dinner? TRACY I’d rather not-Of course! ANA Come right in!

TRACY (whispered) Mom! ANA I’m happy to have guests. Everyone sits back down at the table. ANA So what brings you here tonight? POKEY Well, Picky and I just love to eat out on occasion, and I had heard you make the best sirloin in town. ANA Oh, well thank you! PICKY (whispered to NESS) Truth is he was kicked outta the house tonight. POKEY (in background) And of course I simply adore visiting my good friend Ness. Isn’t that right?

NESS (whispered) Again?

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

4.

Ness? What?

POKEY Isn’t that right? NESS Oh, um, yeah.

POKEY Then you won’t mind if we sleep over here for the night. NESS What? ANA Great idea! I’ll get you all set up in the living room. INT.HOUSE - LATER POKEY and PICKY are in sleeping bags. POKEY Got any games? NESS I’ve got a deck of cards in-POKEY No, I mean real games. You know, Super Mario and all that. NESS Well, I have this. NESS opens the bottom of the TV cabinet to reveal an old Atari 2600 with a Space Invaders cartridge. PICKY Whoa, retro! POKEY Hmm. Well, it’s no Super Nintendo but I guess it’ll do. Care to play? I’m fine. NESS Go ahead.

As POKEY starts up the game, NESS heads upstairs to his bedroom. He falls asleep hearing the beeps and blips emanating from the TV downstairs.

5. EXT.SMALL SUBURB - MIDNIGHT Signs can be seen indicating the suburb is called Onett. quiet night. INT.HOUSE NESS sleeps uneasily. Suddenly, he awakes when a loud noise echoes through the night. Police sirens can be heard approaching as NESS gets out of bed. NESS What in the... NESS looks out the window. A large hill next to his house is surrounded by police cars. Something like a giant glowing coal is half buried at the top of the hill. NESS quickly pulls on some denim shorts, a yellow and blue striped T-shirt, and a red baseball cap, and heads downstairs. POKEY and PICKY are gone. ANA Where do you think you’re going at this time of night? NESS I want to see what happened out there. ANA I guess, but be back in ten minutes. NESS But Mom, that won’t be enough-ANA Ten minutes. Starting now. NESS runs out the door. EXT.HILL NESS scales a winding path up the hill. He turns a corner and bumps into POKEY and PICKY standing in front of a group of POLICEMEN. POKEY Ness? What are you doing here? You’re getting in the cops’, I mean, officers’ way! (CONTINUED) A

CONTINUED:

6.

NESS Pokey, will you-POKEY I’m gonna be the first to see the meteor anyway! Go home, I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow. NESS I’m just going to-POKEY Home, Ness. NESS relents and heads back. PICKY seems disappointed. POKEY smiles smugly, while

POLICEMAN Will you please leave as well? Kid? INT.HOUSE NESS enters the house. ANA Well, that was quick. on? What’s going

NESS I don’t know. Pokey was there. Said I was getting in the officers’ way. ANA Well, were you? NESS I’m going back to bed. NESS goes back to sleep, but is awoken again by a loud knocking at the front door. He goes to the door and opens it. POKEY Ness, you gotta help me! Picky...Picky’s gone! TRACY comes to the door.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

7.

POKEY Oh, uh, hello Tracy. Looking lovely as ever, heh heh. Say, think we could-TRACY Picky is missing? POKEY Oh, that. Yeah. Picky and I were up by the meteor, and suddenly he was gone! C’mon, we’ve gotta find him! Ugh, fine. NESS C’mon, King.

KING, NESS’s dog, wakes up and drowsily comes to the front door. POKEY Wanna come, Tracy? (Whispering) We could ditch Ness and-TRACY I’ll stay here. I don’t do well with strong odors. POKEY We could leave King here. TRACY I wasn’t talking about King. TRACY quickly closes the door. EXT.HILL NESS, POKEY, and KING climb the winding path up the hill. NESS Where did the police go? POKEY They left. Reports of more gang violence downtown. NESS The Tiger Sharks again?

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

8.

POKEY Heh heh, I hope so. Did ya see old Loyd’s house after the Sharks, ah, "stopped by?" NESS No... POKEY (nonchalantly) ’Course ya didn’t, numbskull, they blew it up. Heh, good times. They find PICKY hiding behind a tree near the meteor. POKEY There you are! What the hell are you doing here? PICKY The space rock was making weird noises. Ness, I’m scared. PICKY reaches to cling onto NESS, but is harshly pulled aside by POKEY. POKEY Oh shut it, there’s nothing dangerous about the meteor-Suddenly, a bright column of light emanates from the meteor, going up into the sky. A shockwave nearly throws NESS, POKEY, PICKY, and KING off the hillside. POKEY What the hell! A tiny robot emerges from the column of light and flies over to the kids. PICKY A bee? NESS What was it doing in the rock? Ness! Why? bee! BUZZ BUZZ Listen to me! POKEY You’re just a A...talking...bee...

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

9.

BUZZ BUZZ I am not an insect. I am a robot. I was sent from the future to tell you something. Sent? NESS By who? BUZZ BUZZ A friend. NESS Tell us WHO! BUZZ BUZZ You cannot know. Now, I must relay the message before my power cells are depleted. Listen well. A great evil power is destroying our world even as we speak. In the future, all will be lost unless you begin fighting now. You will soon meet three new friends your age who will be crucial to defeating Giygas, an immensely powerful alien bent on conquering this world. Search for Paula Polestar in Tussone. The others will find you themselves. But now, you must leave home and-BUZZ BUZZ is hit hard with an energy blast coming from behind the kids. He falls to the ground. The kids turn around and see a STARMAN, a strangely shaped humanoid in a white jumpsuit. His eyes are not visible under his tinted visor. STARMAN You have heard enough. The STARMAN fires an energy beam, knocking NESS to the ground. STARMAN Try as you might... The STARMAN fires on NESS again. beam with his arms. NESS tries to block the

STARMAN The might of Master Giygas will prevail.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

10.

The STARMAN fires on NESS again. absorb the energy. NESS No!

NESS, however, seems to

NESS channels the energy into a powerful beam firing from his hands. The STARMAN is knocked down and severely damaged. NESS stares at his hands, shocked. STARMAN You are...more powerful than...initially...anticipated. The STARMAN teleports away. NESS and PICKY rush back to BUZZ BUZZ while POKEY sits still, dumbfounded. BUZZ BUZZ Ness...you must go. Hone your psychic abilities...and above all...find Paula. Giygas...will not wait. You must...hurry... BUZZ BUZZ twitches, sparks, and falls silent. NESS, PICKY, and POKEY walk back down the hill. KING carries the limp body of BUZZ BUZZ in his mouth. POKEY So. You’re apparently some great hero or something, huh? NESS I...I don’t know. POKEY Why am I not the hero here?! I’m stronger, bigger...I bet I could take down this Giygas ten times faster than you! Maybe then Tracy wouldn’t ignore me. Picky, go home and tell Mom I’ll be gone for a while. PICKY Pokey, maybe Ness should handle this. POKEY Screw Ness, I’m gonna go fight aliens whether some stupid bee wants me to or not!

11.

POKEY shoves PICKY towards their house. As PICKY runs inside, POKEY runs in the opposite direction, towards downtown Onett. NESS returns to his house. EXT.ACADEMY - MIDDAY Nobody is outside Snow Wood Boarding School during class time, even though the sun has provided a temporary break from the usual snow on the ground. INT.CLASSROOM PROF. MAXWELL LABS busily teaches a science lesson to his students, all wearing the formal green school uniform. MAXWELL That said, a laser beam of this magnitude generates an intense amount of heat wherever it strikes, often enough to melt types of metals such as iron. MAXWELL pauses to write on the blackboard. JEFF ANDONUTS, 14, sits at his desk, nearly asleep. TONY, a brunette of 14, sits at an adjacent desk. A small ruler is in her hair, keeping it in something of a Chinese bun. TONY Hey...hey Jeff. JEFF Huh...what? TONY gives a friendly smile. JEFF immediately acts more awake and nervously tries to smile back. TONY Sorry, just making sure you’re awake. You don’t want to miss this lesson. It’s about lasers! JEFF Uh, t-thanks Tony. MAXWELL Now if the laser emanates from a handheld source, some recoil can be expected, contrary to what you might think. But let’s get back to the basics. I digress.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

12.

JEFF (under breath) Oh, please do. MAXWELL I’m sorry, what was that? JEFF Nothing, sir. MAXWELL Uh huh. See me after class, Mister Andonuts. INT.CLASSROOM - LATER The bell rings. All the students file out of the classroom except Jeff. TONY glances worriedly at Jeff before heading out. MAXWELL Jeff. If you want me to talk in more detail about something more advanced, just ask! I know you’ve already got the basics down. I’d gladly help you with further study. JEFF Thank you, sir. Alright. lunch. INT.HALLWAY JEFF walks down the crowded hallway. Most other kids ignore him, though a couple greet him as he passes by. JEFF largely ignores them uncomfortably or timidly says "hi" back. INT.CAFETERIA JEFF sits at a table alone with his lunch. He pulls out blueprints for some kind of box-shaped machine. He begins to edit his design with a pencil, using the edge of his lunch tray to make straight lines. MAXWELL Better get going to

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

13.

TONY Hi Jeff! JEFF looks up, realizes with a shock who it is, and quickly straightens his glasses. JEFF Uh, h-hi Tony. TONY What are you working on? JEFF Just a project. TONY Looks cool. TONY reaches behind her head. JEFF Not really, it’s just a simple... TONY removes the ruler from her hair. JEFF Well I guess it...It’s... TONY sits down next to JEFF, who cowers a bit. him the ruler. TONY Here, use this. better edge. JEFF T-thank you. The school bell rings. Another girl comes over and TONY leaves with her. JEFF watches as they go, then continues drawing, using the ruler now. INT.HOUSE - EVENING NESS and his family are having dinner. NESS looks at his mother and sister with a tired look in his eye. He gets up and walks toward the stairs. ANA Where are you going? You’ll get a She hands

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

14.

NESS I...don’t feel well. ANA Try to go to sleep. You’ll feel better in the morning. NESS does not respond, and continues upstairs. INT.HOUSE - LATER NESS sits on his bed silently. He looks at a side of his room with a desk and wall covered in alien-related content: posters, figurines, games. In the middle of it all is a family picture. NESS picks up the picture and looks at himself, his mother, and his sister. He puts it on his window sill and goes to sleep. INT.HOUSE - JUST BEFORE DAWN Everyone in the house is asleep. NESS quietly sneaks out of his room and grabs some food, his school backpack, a map, and a wooden baseball bat. He traces his finger along the map, following a route southward from his house through Onett, and into the main city of Tussone. He leaves a note on his bed and sneaks back out of the house. EXT.HILL - EARLY DAWN SEEN FROM TOP OF HILL, NEXT TO METEOR NESS walks into the distance, the sun rising on his left, as he heads South towards Tussone. On top of the hill, next to the meteor, PO appears out of thin air. His identity remains secret as only his lower legs and feet can be seen, along with the end of an Arabic sabre. Turning towards the meteor then back towards NESS, who does not know of his presence, PO teleports away seconds later. EXT.MIDSIZED CITY - MIDDAY, SAME DAY NESS enters Tussone and walks down the central street. He passes the usual businesses and houses present in a mid-sized 1990s city. He slows down and stares as he passes by a house painted entirely blue, including the grass and everything else on the property. Not looking where he’s going, he bumps into "GORGEOUS" TONZURA, a slightly chubby jazz singer of about 35.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: GORGEOUS Hey kid, whaddya tryin’ to pull here?! I know a pickpocket when I see one! C’mere ya little thief! NESS raises his baseball bat. GORGEOUS Whoa there, careful kid! hurt someone wit’ that! NESS I didn’t steal anything. GORGEOUS Ugh, ya sure as hell didn’t. Got nothin’ on me to steal. I just want to keep thieves like you off Tussone’s streets. NESS I’m not a thief! GORGEOUS Sure, sure. Whateva. Just get outta here before I call the police on ya. There’s enough of this crap in Tussone already. Hell, I heard just two days ago that someone had nicked fifty-thousand dolla’s from some tycoon’s bank account. Can’t stand this, ’specially when other people like me can’t afford to even leave this place! NESS What do you mean? GORGEOUS sits on a bench next to him. well. You could

15.

NESS sits down as

GORGEOUS Me and my guys are stuck here. Heard of the Runaway Five? NESS No. GORGEOUS We got a little show running down at the theater on 14th Street, but we got a debt with the owner. Ten grand. We’re stuck here ’til we can pay up. (CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

16.

NESS Sounds bad. I wish I could do something. GORGEOUS Nothin’ a kid like you can do. Call us up in about eighty years--maybe then we’ll be able to ditch this place. For now, we’re stayin’ right here in Tussone. Shame, too--we got one helluva tour bus. NESS Sounds cool. Hey, um, I’m looking for a girl here. GORGEOUS Aren’t we all? NESS No, I mean a specific person. Someone told me I’d find here in Tussone, but I have no idea where. GORGEOUS Well, that isn’t much help, now is it. Hmm...I’d say look wherever ya want to find her. NESS What? GORGEOUS The mind is a powerful thing, kid. More powerful than you might think. Search where ya think ya’d like to find her. Maybe ya will, or at least find some help. NESS Hm, well I know where my kind of friend would be... QUICK TRANSITION:

17. EXT.OUTSIDE AN ARCADE GORGEOUS Why am I not surprised. their games these days. Kids and

NESS Thanks for taking me here! NESS begins walking across the street towards the Arcade. GORGEOUS No problem. Good luck wit’ the girl, kid. Get in there and score! NESS stops and looks back at GORGEOUS. GORGEOUS (imitating playing on an invisible game controller) ...In the games, I mean! A high score! INT.ARCADE NESS enters the very loud Arcade. There are a couple GANGSTERS hanging out along the back wall, but otherwise the Arcade is empty. They look to be in their early 20s. NESS (can barely be heard over the noisy Arcade) Paula! Paula! GANGSTER 1 You lookin’ for someone, squirt? NESS Yes, do you know where Paula-GANGSTER 2 Perhaps ya don’t know how things work around here. This place is ours. Got that? NESS I’m just looking for-GANGSTER 1 Why are you still talkin’ kid? ’Ey, Jim, why don’t ya teach this kid a lesson in respect!

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

18.

The hulking GANGSTER 3 approaches carrying a two-by-four. NESS raises his bat. They fight for a short time before GANGSTER 3 knocks the bat far out of NESS’s reach, and corners NESS against a wall. NESS frantically searches for a weapon but finds none. Suddenly, he inadvertently uses telekinesis to slam a cash register against GANGSTER 3’s head, knocking him unconscious. The other GANGSTERs stand staring. GANGSTER 2 You little freak! All the GANGSTERs flee the Arcade. NESS slowly gets up, shocked. He stares at his hands and then touches his forehead. He exits the Arcade. EXT.OUTSIDE THE ARCADE EVERDRED, a shady-looking middle-aged man with sunglasses is waiting outside. EVERDRED Kid, I saw how ya handled the Tiger Sharks in there. You’re somethin’ special, I can tell. NESS (uneasy) Thanks. Uh, gotta go now. looking for-EVERDRED Paula Polestar? NESS How did you know that? EVERDRED I’m a friend of hers. She’s got similar...talents as you. NESS So you know where she is? EVERDRED Last I heard, she went missin’ early this mornin’. I bet it’s that no-good Cult of Blue again. They’re always stirrin’ up trouble but lately it’s gotten worse.

I’m

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

19.

NESS Giygas. EVERDRED Say what? NESS Never mind. Thanks for your help. NESS starts walking away. EVERDRED Hurry, kid! Come see me if you find Paula! Good luck! NESS increases his speed when told to hurry. EVERDRED (under breath, concerned) You’ll need it... EXT.BLUE HOUSE NESS arrives at the entirely blue house he saw earlier. He hops over the blue fence and sneaks up to a window. Looking inside, he sees PAULA POLESTAR, a girl of 14 with golden hair and a pink midlength dress. She is tied to a chair in the middle of a group of people dressed in blue robes and hoods. They are chanting something, and their apparent leader is slowly approaching PAULA. He is in some sort of trance. NESS runs to the door of the house and tries to open it. It is locked. He furrows his brow and attempts to use psychic powers to turn the lock. The knob shakes a bit but his unrefined telekinesis does not succeed. Finally, he resorts to smashing the window with his bat and awkwardly clambering in. INT.BLUE HOUSE NESS runs toward PAULA, but the cult leader fires a bolt of electricity from his fingers, hitting Ness in the leg. NESS trips and grips the burn on his leg. PAULA uses telekinesis to remove the ropes around her, but collapses out of the chair, exhausted. The middle-aged cult leader, MR. CARPAINTER, makes a slow hand motion, and several cult members drag NESS and PAULA away. CARPAINTER takes all of NESS’s belongings.

20.

INT.DUNGEON NESS and PAULA are locked in a cave connecting to the cellar of the blue house. There is a period of silence. NESS ...Sorry. PAULA Better here than anywhere near Carpainter. NESS Who? PAULA Cult of Blue’s head priest. But...he’s different than before. But you know all that. NESS No I don’t. NESS and PAULA turn to face each other, and get a bit closer. PAULA Well, the Cult of Blue used to be fine. Something about painting the town blue, but harmless enough. Lately, they’ve started acting strange, more extreme. It’s like they’re suddenly trying harder, willing to take more risks. I have no idea why, though. NESS And Carpainter, has he always had the, you know... PAULA No, that’s another thing! He got his lightning stuff around the same time the cult went bad. I don’t know what to make of it, Ness. NESS Wait, how did you know my name? PAULA You told me.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

21.

NESS No I didn’t. PAULA Yes you--oh. I get it. NESS What? PAULA My psychokinesis. NESS I’ve never heard of that. PAULA Basically, it’s like limited telekinesis, and maybe some other stuff depending on the person. For me, I can sort of read minds. NESS Telekinesis. I’ve noticed some stuff like that I’ve done. Sometimes I can make stuff move when I want to. PAULA Sounds like you might have psychokinesis too. Huh, I didn’t think I’d find anyone else like me. Can you, like, read people’s minds? NESS I haven’t before. PAULA Then you probably can’t. rare ability. It’s a

NESS This psycho-whatever stuff seems very normal to you. PAULA I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve known I had psychokinesis for a long time. Though it seemed to get a lot more powerful around the same time the cult changed recently.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

22.

NESS And I only discovered mine recently. Wait a minute, you got yourself free from that chair with psychokinesis! Why didn’t you just do that before? PAULA Before you distracted Carpainter, something was blocking my psychokinesis. I guess Carpainter must have some control over it as well. Strange, he hasn’t showed signs of it before. NESS This has gotta have something to do with the alien. PAULA Hold it. I don’t want two cults to deal with! NESS You’re funny. But this is real. That meteor that landed in Onett, it was a message to me. It told me to find you here. PAULA Oh, really. What is my name? NESS Paula Polestar. PAULA eyes NESS for a moment. PAULA Alright. They turn back the way they were before, facing the same direction towards the cell door. There is another period of silence. NESS So, um, how are we gonna get out of here? PAULA I don’t know. Another period of silence.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

23.

NESS That mind-reading thing you said you "sort of" can do...can you, you know, go into people’s minds and sense whatever they’re thinking? PAULA They have to want me to know their thoughts. Like you wanting me to know your name. NESS So you don’t know, like, what I’m thinking all the time. PAULA Right. NESS ...alright. NESS leans against the wall and faces away, looking relieved. INT.CAFETERIA - MIDDAY JEFF sits at a table alone, building the device from the blueprint. TONY comes over from a table of other kids. TONY Hey Jeff, want to come sit with us? JEFF ...No thanks. I’m fine here. TONY sits down next to JEFF. tenses. Again, JEFF immediately

TONY Jeff. You can’t stay like this forever. Make some friends! JEFF I have friends! to do. I just have work

TONY Jeff, every student in the school is having lunch in here right now. Introduce me to your friends.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

24.

JEFF ..... TONY give JEFF a knowing look and starts fiddling with the machine. TONY So is this almost finished? JEFF Don’t touch that! It’s very--

A powerful laser bolt very loudly emanates from the machine and hits the edge between the wall and ceiling. That area of the wall and ceiling disintegrates and is left smoldering. JEFF ...sensitive. Every person in the cafeteria turns and stares at Jeff. JEFF And you wonder why I don’t have friends. JEFF scoops up his machine and designs and rushes out of the cafeteria. INT.DORMITORY JEFF lies on his bed. He’s not quite crying but very close. He is about to fall asleep but hears something knocking at the window. He gets up and looks out. Outside, BUZZ BUZZ is repeatedly flying into the window to make noise. JEFF opens the window. BUZZ BUZZ Jeff Andonuts, I have come to-JEFF A working insectoid nanobot, in perfect condition! Remarkable! BUZZ BUZZ Yes. Now, I have come to tell you a message of the utmost importance. I come from the future, and--

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

25.

JEFF No way! A time-traveling insectoid nanobot! BUZZ BUZZ busily begins marking a series of numbers on JEFF’s notebook. BUZZ BUZZ Please listen. I must relay the message before my power cells are depleted. You must go to your father’s laboratory and acquire his Sky Runner. Fly it into Tussone and land at these coordinates. BUZZ BUZZ finishes writing out the coordinates. JEFF The Sky Runner is an experimental prototype. I doubt my father will allow me to take it. BUZZ BUZZ Your father has been notified already, and will fill you in on the details. The Earth’s fate is bound to yours. Leave as soon as possible. You must-A fly swatter smashes BUZZ BUZZ against the desk. ACADEMY KID Disgusting little fly. BUZZ BUZZ twitches, sparks, and goes limp. JEFF sadly scoops up the tiny robot’s remains and begins packing. INT.DUNGEON - LATER NESS is throwing rocks up at the ceiling of the cave. PAULA What are you doing? NESS Testing the ceiling. Not hollow. Nothing but solid rock above us. PAULA What’s that sound?

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

26.

NESS Rock hitting rock. sound.

Tends to make a

PAULA No, that sound that’s getting louder! A small flying saucer drops down straight through the ceiling and smashes down to the floor, barely missing NESS and PAULA. JEFF and DR. ANDONUTS exit the craft. JEFF Sorry to drop in without warning. JEFF fires his laser machine and melts the cell’s lock. JEFF We’re getting out of here. NESS Wait just a minute, who are you? JEFF Jeff Andonuts. This is my father.

DR. ANDONUTS is looking over the wreckage of the Sky Runner. DR. ANDONUTS Jeff, hold this for a minute. DR. ANDONUTS hands JEFF a part of the Sky Runner with a blinking light. A periodic beeping sound is coming from it. PAULA Now wait, how did you know to find us here? JEFF A time-traveling insectoid nanobot told me to. NESS Cool, same here. JEFF hands the Sky Runner part back to his father. It produces a small explosion offscreen, leaving DR. ANDONUTS ashy. DR. ANDONUTS Me three!

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

27.

PAULA Okay...who’s for leaving now? NESS Me. JEFF Sure. The three kids leave the cell. DR. ANDONUTS hangs behind for a second. He hugs the Sky Runner. DR. ANDONUTS Goodbye, beautiful. INT.BLUE HOUSE - EVENING NESS, PAULA, JEFF, and DR. ANDONUTS peer out from under a trap door in the wooden floor. A large group of CULT MEMBERS are gathered. NESS There’s gotta be at least twenty between us and the door. PAULA We’re gonna have to run. Ness, this would be a good time to try some more psychokinesis. JEFF Psycho-wha?-Before JEFF can be answered, a CULT MEMBER throws the trap door open. CULT MEMBER They’ve escaped! And they got friends! PAULA Run! The four run toward the door but are blocked by the group of CULT MEMBERS. JEFF brandishes his laser device, but everyone else is defenseless. PAULA Stand back guys.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: NESS What? PAULA takes a deep breath and close her eyes. MEMBERS become frozen in ice instantaneously. NESS Cool. PAULA I know, right?

28.

All the CULT

CARPAINTER emerges from behind the frozen CULT MEMBERS. His hands are sparking with electrical energy. He seems to be in a trance. CARPAINTER So...it has come to...this... PAULA Look, I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but-CARPAINTER Nothing is wrong...all is right... PAULA We can help you, Mr. Carpainter, but you have to let us go. CARPAINTER No...I’m...h...happy... JEFF Oh, it’s no use reasoning with him. JEFF starts to walk forward rather briskly. CARPAINTER (horrid scream) No!!! CARPAINTER shoots electricity from his fingers at JEFF. It hits JEFF’s laser device, causing it to surge and fire back at CARPAINTER. CARPAINTER disintegrates in a flash of light. PAULA Jeff...it wasn’t your fault. JEFF (hesitantly) I know.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

29.

DR. ANDONUTS The robot that notified me of the situation...it said that after Carpainter was dead, you should go to Foreside. He said you’d meet a friend there. NESS checks his map. NESS Foreside? That’s days away by foot! We don’t have time for that! PAULA We’ll figure something out. on. Come

DR. ANDONUTS If you don’t mind, I’d like to stay here and see if I can repair the Sky Runner. PAULA Could we use that to get to Foreside? DR. ANDONUTS I’ll try, but I don’t know how long it’ll take to fix. You’d be better off finding some other way there. NESS Alright guys, let’s go. PAULA Let’s get some sleep. Ness, we should recover from using psychokinesis. NESS, PAULA, and JEFF leave the blue house. Behind them, PO appears secretly. His head and face still cannot be seen. He is gripping his sabre. After a few seconds, he teleports away. INT.HOTEL ROOM - LATE EVENING The kids open the door to Room 140 and go in. The cheap hotel room has only two small beds. The three kids stand silently for a moment.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: NESS ...this was your idea. PAULA Shut up. INT.HOTEL ROOM - LATER

30.

NESS and JEFF are lying very close together, on their backs, in their very small bed. PAULA gets the other bed. PAULA I love traveling, don’t you? NESS and JEFF glare at PAULA. PAULA (amused) Alright, I get it. JEFF What? PAULA That he hates this right now. JEFF Well so do I, but how did you know? PAULA He wanted me to know. JEFF Okay, now I’m just confused. is going on here? What

NESS Paula has some kind of telepathy. PAULA I can sense people’s thoughts, but only those they want me to hear. JEFF ...right. Fine. So you two are, like, mentally linked. PAULA Not really, only what he wants me to hear, and I can’t send thoughts to him. It’s not really that great.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

31.

JEFF Are you kidding me! incredibly--

It’s

NESS Guys, let’s get some sleep. got a busy day tomorrow. Good idea. Goodnight. JEFF (mumbling) ’Night. PAULA ’Night. NESS

We’ve

After everyone else is asleep, JEFF lies awake in bed. He sits up and focuses his eyes on the digital clock on the bedside table. After focusing hard on the clock, he closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. Moving his hand, he attempts to move the clock using telekinesis. Nothing happens. After one more try, he gets out of bed and pulls out his blueprints and laser device. Sitting on the floor with his back to the others, he quietly works on his device through the night. INT.HOTEL ROOM - MORNING JEFF has fallen asleep on the floor next to his work, but he is awoken by NESS. JEFF Huh...what?... NESS Hey, Jeff. JEFF Wha?... PAULA I want to go see a friend before we leave. He’s probably worried sick. JEFF blinks and gets up.

32. EXT.MIDSIZED CITY The three kids approach EVERDRED in a city park. Hey, kid! EVERDRED Ya found her!

NESS You were right, it was the Cult of Blue. EVERDRED You okay, Paula? PAULA I’m fine. EVERDRED (to NESS) Thanks, kid. You don’t know how much good you done Tussone by takin’ down the Cult. Besides, Paula’s a good friend of mine. PAULA This is the only place in Tussone I can escape all the media following me around. EVERDRED Sad thing nowadays. No privacy. Some kids wish they were on TV, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, ’specially when you’re...different. Anyway, I’ve gotta repay you kids somehow. EVERDRED pulls a wad of bills from his back pocket. EVERDRED Here’s ten grand. Don’t ask where I got it. NESS accepts the money, understandably surprised. NESS Thanks! EVERDRED No problem, kid. If ya ever need any help, I’ll be headin’ to Foreside myself in a couple days. I, uh, don’t want to stay here much longer. (CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

33.

Sure!

PAULA I guess we’ll see you there! EVERDRED

Take care. The three kids leave the park and begin walking down the street towards the theater. JEFF You just missed a great opportunity! Why don’t we just wait a few days and go with him? NESS We don’t have a few days. is attacking even now. Giygas

JEFF (getting very irritated) Would you mind telling me who this Giygas is? NESS Oh, did the robot not tell you? JEFF He just said to come to Tussone. NESS Well, to be honest, I don’t really know much about this myself. From what the robot told me, Giygas is some alien trying to take over the world. For the last few days, there’s been weird stuff starting to happen. Like, I only recently found out I had psychokinesis. PAULA And Carpainter got his powers about the same time. NESS So we figure there must be some connection to this alien. JEFF ...fair enough. But why don’t I have this psychokinesis thing?

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

34.

NESS I don’t know. The robot told me I would meet three more people who would help to defeat Giygas. You must be one of them since the same robot guided you here. PAULA So there must be something about you that’s special. Something necessary to fight Giygas. JEFF That would be more comforting if I knew what it is that’s special! I’m not special! I’m just a random kid from a boarding school in the middle of nowhere! PAULA You got us out of that cave with that laser, didn’t you? Who else could build that? JEFF Well... NESS The same lasery thing saved us from Carpainter. JEFF What, so I’m special because I have a laser? PAULA I don’t think so. more than that. It’s got to be

They walk in silence for a moment. JEFF (sincerely) Thanks, guys. They reach the theater. Standing outside are five members of the Runaway Five jazz band: GORGEOUS, LUCKY, NICE, GROOVY, and KEYBORE. They’re standing against their black Runaway Five tour bus. LUCKY No shows until Tuesday!

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

35.

NESS We’re not here for a show. NICE No one is anymore. GORGEOUS Hey kid. NESS Do you think you could take us to Foreside in your bus? GORGEOUS I told ya kid, we’re stuck here. NESS Will this help? NESS holds out the wad of bills. GORGEOUS Holy smokes! Lemme see that! GORGEOUS grabs the bills and carefully looks them over. GROOVY They’ve gotta be fakes. GORGEOUS Holy...these are legit! The other members suddenly perk up. GORGEOUS These for us, kid? NESS It’s all yours if you take us to Foreside. GORGEOUS Damn straight! Lucky, show this to ’em! GORGEOUS hands the bills off to LUCKY, who runs into the theater. GORGEOUS (smiling, amused) No thief, eh?

So.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

36.

NESS Long story. GORGEOUS Ya know, I wouldn’t mind goin’ to Foreside anyway. I hear the theater there packs a good thousand per night! Foreside...that’s where the real money is, what with Monotoli runnin’ the town. PAULA Monotoli? JEFF I’ve heard of him. Huge business tycoon from Foreside. GORGEOUS Yep. Ya wouldn’t believe the economy there. I bet we’d get twice per ticket as we do here! LUCKY exits the theater, without the money. LUCKY It’s paid off! Paid off! GORGEOUS What luck! The Runaway Five members high-five each other. They begin hastily filing into the bus, followed by the kids. GORGEOUS All aboard the bus! to Foreside! We’re headin’

The bus pulls out. The Runaway Five are ecstatically waving their arms out the window and yelling. Atop a building, a PILOT in a large yellow attack helicopter watches them. PILOT (into radio) Targets have entered the bus. Heading to Foreside. bus en route to Foreside.

Repeat,

The helicopter’s rotors begin to rotate.

37. INT.BUS - MIDDAY LUCKY is driving the bus along a straight highway through a desert. Each bus seat fits two people, though the Runaway Five’s instruments take up some extra space. NESS and PAULA are seated next to each other, with PAULA by the window and NESS by the aisle. JEFF is in the seat behind them, next to a large drum case. They have been traveling for several hours, and all 3 kids are getting sleepy. PAULA Any idea when we’ll get to Foreside? NESS Well, looking at this map, maybe another four or five hours. PAULA leans her head back and closes her eyes. PAULA Well, wake me when we get there. NESS Sure. PAULA begins to doze off. JEFF reaches around the seat and taps NESS on the shoulder. JEFF Hey, Ness? NESS Yeah? PAULA’s head slips down onto NESS’s shoulder. NESS keeps a poker face and tries to stay still. JEFF cannot see NESS or PAULA from the seat behind, as the seat back is too large to see over and the drum cases prevent JEFF from leaving his seat. JEFF is occupied working on his laser device. GORGEOUS, sitting across the aisle from NESS, watches with amusement. JEFF Can you come into the aisle and look at this? NESS Uh, what is it? JEFF I’m trying to modify my laser device to be less volatile.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

38.

NESS Well, that’s good.

How goes it?

JEFF Just come around and see. NESS Um...ok, for a second. NESS tries to find another place to rest PAULA’s head, but finds none. He holds her head where it is using his hand and awkwardly leans around the seat to see JEFF’s project. JEFF See look, I’m trying to go for a design more like a firearm than a-NESS A box? JEFF (in background) ...yeah. Now, this is the trigger mechanism. Here, look closely. You’ll see there’s a small spring there to provide a bit of resistance. Of course, we don’t want the trigger going off too easily. So anyway, the trigger very briefly closes this circuit here, which is connected to both the power source located in the butt of the gun, and the "barrel" here, though that is something of an inaccurate term to describe this type of weapon. The weapon fires a short burst of laser energy, which is obviously very hot. Fascinating, isn’t it? NESS Very--very impressive. While JEFF talks, NESS must find a way to get closer to what JEFF is showing him without letting PAULA’s head drop. He tries his foot to keep her head up, but that quickly proves ineffective. He quickly catches her head with his other arm, which is now bent backward at an awkward angle. He uses his other arm to grab his baseball bat. Using the bat as an extension of his arm angle around the chair’s back, he keeps PAULA’s head up from far enough away to be able to see JEFF’s project up close. Even with the bat, he must balance on one leg and lean far forward to see the (CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

39.

project. GORGEOUS watches this, trying to keep himself from laughing. JEFF ...quite. Now there is recoil when firing, but it originates not from the discharge but from the-The bus suddenly swerves as a large yellow helicopter swoops down, firing on the bus. INTERCUT BETWEEN BUS AND HELICOPTER PAULA is jerked back awake. PAULA What’s going on? LUCKY Not sure, Ma’am! GORGEOUS Drive, Lucky! Drive! PILOT Engaging the target. engaging the target. Repeat,

JEFF sticks his head out the window to look above. He narrowly evades a stream of bullets. He starts hastily reconstructing his laser device. JEFF Got it! JEFF leans out the window and fires at the helicopter. He misses several times. The helicopter falls back behind the bus and lowers it altitude. PILOT Targets possess some sort of laser. Falling back, but continuing pursuit. JEFF opens the rear door of the bus for a brief moment and fires again at the helicopter, which is only a few feet off the ground. He misses again, partically due to the snaking bus. He pulls the door shut just as a spray of bullets makes impact with the rear of the bus. PAULA Monotoli?!

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

40.

NESS What?! PAULA The helicopter! on the side! It says ’Monotoli’

NESS What does Monotoli want with us?! PAULA I don’t know! GORGEOUS Don’t tell me the ten grand belongs to Monotoli, kid! NESS I don’t know where it was from! friend gave it to us! GORGEOUS Who?! NESS Everdred! Really?! GORGEOUS You’ve gotta be kidding! A

NESS You mean he stole it?! JEFF fires the laser out the back of the bus again, and very clearly misses. The copter’s windshield cracks and the PILOT falls out onto the ground. NESS Nice shot! GORGEOUS Way to go, kid! JEFF But I missed... NESS Huh? They all look and see a second person, PO, in the cockpit. PO dislodges his sabre from the windshield and barely manages to pull up before the copter can hit the ground. The kids watch as he inexperiencedly pulls the (CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

41.

copter high into the sky, then plummets back down. As the copter falls from very high up, the machine gun continues firing and hits the front end of the bus. The bus’s engine explodes and the bus screeches to a halt. The kids watch as the copter crash-lands in the distance, on the other side of several sand dunes. EXT.DESERT Everyone gets off the bus. A column of smoke is visible in the distance where the copter crashed. Everyone stands for a moment. NESS I think we should find whoever that was. Yeah. PAULA He did save us.

JEFF Mhm. If we go now he might not be far from the smoke. GORGEOUS You guys go ahead. We’ll stay here and try to get the bus fixed up. LUCKY Hey genius kid! Can ya help?

JEFF I don’t know much about automobiles. I’m more into lasers and aircraft. LUCKY (sarcastic) And aircraft with lasers too, I bet. JEFF Exactly. ...right. LUCKY See ya later, kids.

After walking across some dunes, the three kids come across a larger hill made more of stone than sand. There is a cave entrance in the side of the hill, leading toward the valley in the middle of the hill, where the column of smoke is originating. NESS tries to climb the side of the hill, but slips back down. (CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

42.

NESS I guess we’ll have to try the cave. INT.DESERT CAVE NESS, PAULA, and JEFF walk through the cave. PAULA Do you think he’s alright? JEFF We’ll see. That sounded like a very rough landing. Still, he seemed very adept at what he was doing. NESS makes short eye contact with PAULA. PAULA My thoughts exactly! JEFF What? PAULA He wasn’t very adept at flying the helicopter! JEFF smiles a bit. EXT.SATURN VALLEY The kids exit the cave to find that the valley is a large oasis. The bright green grass, blooming flowers, and small streams are in direct contrast to the outside world. The small valley seems completely isolated from the rest of the world. There are several small cylindrical huts with conical roofs in the valley. The huts seem to be built for people only two or three feet tall. As they walk into the village, which appears to be completely deserted, a scuffling sound draws the kids’ attention off to the side. They very briefly see a short, round, stumpy figure scurry behind a hut. NESS Hello? The kids go round to the other side of the hut. Hiding behind the hut is a tiny creature called a MR. SATURN. It appears to be just a spherical bald head with round feet. The strangely cute creature has beady eyes, large (CONTINUED) She giggles.

CONTINUED:

43.

prominent eyebrows, a cartoonishly large and round nose, and a single hair with a red bow tied around it. It is wary of the kids’ presence. PAULA kneels down and gives it a friendly smile. PAULA Hi. MR. SATURN 1 ...hi? PAULA gestures to the others to join her. PAULA Hi. NESS Hi. JEFF Hi! MR. SATURN 1 Hi...hi...hi? PAULA Nah, just "hi." Hi hi hi. MR. SATURN 1 Hi hi hi!

MR. SATURN 1 perks up and seems excited to meet his new friends. About 20-25 more MR. SATURNs slowly emerge from various hiding places and circle around the three kids. The MR. SATURNs repeat the same phrase "Hi hi hi!" over and over. It becomes a disorganized chorus of "Hi"s. Slowly, the talking dies down. Another MR. SATURN moves to the front of the group. Hi hi hi. MR. SATURN 2 I Mr. Saturn.

PAULA Hello Mr. Saturn. Another MR. SATURN approaches PAULA. PAULA And who are you? MR. SATURN 3 I Mr. Saturn.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

44.

NESS You too? MR. SATURN 3 I Mr. Saturn. He Mr. Saturn. Mr. Saturn. They Mr. Saturn. Here, we all Mr. Saturn! Zoom! He

JEFF Well. This isn’t something you see every day.

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