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FADE IN:

INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 1


OPEN IN BLACK
SUPER UP: The Near Future...
SUPER OUT
We HEAR a man's voice:
THE INTERROGATOR
Tell me about the Enigma file.
FADE UP ON dark WOOD and comforting TEXTURES, warm but
subdued LIGHT. Behind a DESK sits THE INTERROGATOR, a 40-ish
man in a SUIT with an official ID CARD clipped to one pocket.
Throughout the scene he periodically enters data into/reads
from a clear, translucent COMPUTER TERMINAL on the desk.
Across from The Interrogator in an overstuffed CHAIR is
CASSANDRA CRAY, an attractive, serious, tough woman in her
20s. She answers the question The Interrogator has just
asked:
CASSANDRA
That what they're calling it?
THE INTERROGATOR
Isnt that the name of the virus
you helped upload to the Grid?
Cassandra laughs bitterly and turns away.
CASSANDRA
(mumbles)
Is that what I did?
THE INTERROGATOR
(quietly)
Agent Cray. Cassandra. This isn't
your first inquest. You know how
it works. Take me through it from
the beginning.
Cassandra sighs heavily.
CASSANDRA
NewBorn and I were following --
THE INTERROGATOR
(interrupting)
-- thats your partner, Agent
Born...
CASSANDRA
Yes, Michael Born. We were
following rumors about a virus
being smuggled into the U.S. on a
simchip. Talk was it originated in
the Kazakh Collective and could
wreck the stock market. Crash the
entire grid... even launch nukes.
It was legendary. A myth, we
thought. But if it actually
existed, we had to get our hands on
it.
As she speaks, we...
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. SIMSHOP -- STREET - NIGHT 2
Several partially-working NEON SIGNS BLINK in the windows
offering Brainstorms and Explosive Live Jack Feeds! but
its obvious the clientele they were meant to attract
abandoned this part of town years ago.
A far-too-expensive DESIGN SHOT moves us down the shitty back
alley behind the shitty storefront, settling on a squat,
heavily-built SEDAN with opaque black windows.
I/E. DSA CAR -- ALLEY - NIGHT 3
Cassandra sits in the passenger seat. MICHAEL BORN, her late-
20s partner, sits in the drivers seat.
CASSANDRA (V.O.)
Enigma came into the country via
the SkinSim networks, a normal
channel for black warez and
viruses. We knew this Simshop so
we went in prepared.
Under the V.O., Cassandra and Michael check their GEAR.
They get out of the car and approach the back door of the
shop, STRIKE PISTOLS drawn.
2.
Michael grips the door handle as Cassandra counts down
silently on her fingers from three to one. As they prepare
to launch themselves through the door, we
CUT TO:
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 4
The Interrogator interrupts Cassandra.
THE INTERROGATOR
Back up a moment. You said you and
Agent Born were acting on a lead.
CASSANDRA
Yes.
THE INTERROGATOR
Where, exactly, did this lead come
from?
CASSANDRA
(shifts gears, annoyed)
DSA have informants like any other
cop.
The Interrogator pokes around the file on his terminal for a
few seconds.
THE INTERROGATOR
I dont see any indication of a
payment made to an informant.
CASSANDRA
It wasn't a... monetary... payment.
INT. DIVE BAR - NIGHT 5
Grungy and LOUD. Dressed down, Cassandra makes her way
through the slight CROWD toward ANDERSON and BLAIR, a tough,
scruffy-looking couple seated in a corner. Cassandra reaches
them and they exchange greetings.
CASSANDRA
Anderson. Id say you look good
but Id be lying.
(indicating Blair)
Whos the sponge?
Blair stands as if to start a fight.
3.
BLAIR
Im gonna sponge all over your ass,
bitch!
Anderson grabs her arm and yanks her back into her seat.
ANDERSON
Knock it off!
(to Cassandra)
This is Blair. Now play nice.
BLAIR
You look like a cop.
Cassandra looks at Blair, amused.
CASSANDRA
Funny. You look like a whore.
Anderson stops Blair from standing again.
ANDERSON
Its always so nice to see you
again, Cassandra.
(to Blair)
Agent Cray is with Digital
Security. Theyre lots worse than
cops.
CASSANDRA
Yeah. Cops have rules. Now what am
I doing here?
ANDERSON
(a beat)
Youve been after those grinders in
Little Tokyo, the ones running off
unmatched vitals.
CASSANDRA
Tommy Sugiharas crew.
ANDERSON
(pleased)
Yeah. Right now theyve got a
whole warehouse full of --
CASSANDRA
(interrupts)
We busted them Monday.
BLAIR
Shit.
4.
CASSANDRA
Never saw so many hot-cryod hearts
in one place. Like Valentines Day
at the morgue.
BLAIR
(to Anderson)
What about that pathologist at the
HMO...?
CASSANDRA
Who do you think gave up Tommy in
the first place?
Anderson sighs.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
I dont know what you were hoping
for, but youre giving me dog shit
here.
Cassandra opens her hands in an Im waiting gesture.
Anderson looks around the bar, then leans in closer.
ANDERSON
A... contact in the Bajacaa told
me about some super-virus they got
a copy of.
CASSANDRA
Super virus?
ANDERSON
They say it's the ber-virus, real
bogeyman stuff. The Russians call
it Enigma.
Cassandra lets this new information sink in for a moment.
CASSANDRA
We shouldn't talk about this here.
BLAIR
You know a better place?
CUT TO:
INT. CASSANDRA'S APARTMENT -- BEDROOM - NIGHT 6
A really neglected little place, the home of a total burnout.
Anderson slams Cassandra back on the BED as he and Blair bang
the hell out of her.
5.
COMMERCIAL SCENE 1: B/G/G A - CASSANDRA, BLAIR & ANDERSON
Toward the end of the scene, they HANDCUFF Cassandra to her
headboard.
BACK TO:
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 7
THE INTERROGATOR
So you paid them in black market
sims.
CASSANDRA
Among other things.
THE INTERROGATOR
Are you in the habit of keeping
illegal SkinChips around your
house?
CASSANDRA
The legal ones are boring.
The Interrogator TAPS around a bit more in the file.
THE INTERROGATOR
When did you tell your partner
about the tip?
CASSANDRA
Next morning.
EXT. CASSANDRAS APT. - DAY 8
Morning light washes across the front door of Cassandras
apartment. Michael steps to the INTERCOM PAD next to the door
and presses his thumb into it. The intercom BEEPS.
MICHAEL
Cassandra? Its Born... Michael...
Cassandras voice comes through the speaker.
CASSANDRA (O.C. PROCESSED)
Yeah, Im here. Let yourself in.
MICHAEL
Im not in your system.
CASSANDRA (O.C. PROCESSED)
Whatever. Hurry up.
6.
The intercom BEEPS as she clicks off. Michael fumbles in his
pocket and produces a set of lockpicks.
MICHAEL
Unbelievable bullshit...
INT. CASSANDRAS APT. -- LIVING ROOM - DAY 9
Michael tromps heavily up the steps. Cassandra is nowhere in
sight.
MICHAEL
Hey?
CASSANDRA (O.C.)
In the bedroom.
MICHAEL
(to himself)
I shoulda just...
(louder, to Cassandra)
Were late, yknow?
CASSANDRA (O.C.)
Cmere. I could actually use a
hand with something.
From the other room, Cassandra LAUGHS. Michael walks to the
bedroom.
INT. CASSANDRAS APT. -- BEDROOM - DAY 10
Michael finds Cassandra, half-covered with a sheet, still
handcuffed to the headboard.
MICHAEL
Why am I not surprised?
CASSANDRA
The keys are in my jacket.
Michael picks up her JACKET, checks a pocket.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
Other side.
Michael finds the HANDCUFF KEYS, moves to unlock Cassandra.
MICHAEL
You said you were working last
night.
7.
CASSANDRA
I was.
MICHAEL
(a beat)
Okay.
She stands and starts getting dressed. Michael looks at her,
mildly distressed.
MICHAEL (CONTD)
Youre not showering.
CASSANDRA
Busy day. Make coffee.
He sighs and exits toward the kitchen, muttering.
INT. SIMSHOP - NIGHT 11
The future equivalent of a video store. ELECTRONIC POSTERS on
the walls display teasers for available sims. A MANNEQUIN
wearing a HEADSET and SIM GOGGLES stands in one corner of the
shop. In a SIDE ROOM, a MALE SIMSHOP PATRON sits in a CONTOUR
CHAIR wearing simple, opauqe BLACK GLASSES.
TESLA, a thin, tattooed girl in baggy pants and a T-Shirt
comes from a side hallway TOWELING her WET HAIR. We FOLLOW
her as she moves out of the main area, down a CORRIDOR, and
into...
INT. SIMSHOP -- BACK ROOM - NIGHT 12
JEFF THE SCARECROW, a rail-thin wreck of a guy, sits behind a
DESK. A doorway leads to another SIDE ROOM with two CONTOUR
CHAIRS, both occupied with SIMSHOP PATRONS.
Tesla stops at the desk.
TESLA
Good?
JEFF THE SCARECROW
Good? That was fuckin incredible,
girl. Ive seen a lot of shit, but
that was some shit.
He hands her a SIMCHIP, which looks like nothing so much as a
small piece of clear plastic.
8.
JEFF THE SCARECROW (CONTD)
Thats really all you want? That
was a rough gig.
TESLA
I worked my way up through Tijuana
following that chip. This wasn't
that bad.
At that moment, Michael and Cassandra BURST through the back
door, weapons in hand.
CASSANDRA
Federal agents!
The Scarecrow's attitude is more annoyance than anything
else.
JEFF THE SCARECROW
Aw, fuck.
MICHAEL
Shut up. Nobody move.
Tesla bolts toward the front of the shop. Cassandra gives
immediate chase.
CASSANDRA
Rabbit--
INT. SIMSHOP - NIGHT 13
Tesla bolts for the front door. Cassandra tackles the girl,
taking her to the floor. They crash into the MANNEQUIN,
knocking it down beside them.
TESLA
Let me go, I havent done anything!
I havent done anything! Get off
me, you fucking dyke!
Tesla struggles and wiggles violently beneath Cassandra.
Cassandra pushes her pistol into Teslas face.
CASSANDRA
Hold still! You give me any more
shit and I'll shoot you in the face
with a shock pellet!
(beat)
Now roll over.
9.
Tesla rolls onto her belly and lies still while Cassandra
CUFFS her.
INT. SIMSHOP -- BACK ROOM - NIGHT 14
The Scarecrow sits cuffed while Michael BAGS up stacks of
SIMCHIPS and CRSH DRIVES from the DUPLICATION SYSTEM behind
the COUNTER.
Cassandra walks past with Tesla in front, holding the girl by
the hair.
CASSANDRA
(to Michael)
My catch is so much cuter than
yours.
BACK TO:
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 15
The Interrogator is TAPPING through the file again.
THE INTERROGATOR
Why did you arrest the girl?
CASSANDRA
She ran. I like to chase the ones
that run away.
THE INTERROGATOR
What made you think she was
anything more than just another
Simwhore working the circuit?
CASSANDRA
A hunch.
THE INTERROGATOR
You confiscated a dozen 600-
petabyte CRSH drives and over a
thousand simchips, of which less
than 100 were found to be
unlicensed. Did you view the sim
the prisoner had just made?
CASSANDRA
I didn't bother.
10.
THE INTERROGATOR
(a beat)
You jacked into it?
CASSANDRA
Oh yeah.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- CASSANDRAS OFFICE - NIGHT 16
Cassandra LOCKS the door.
She takes a pair of dark glasses from her jacket, eases back
into a CHAIR and puts them on.
Closing her eyes, she reaches to the back of her neck and
raises her hair.
At the base of her skull is a CHIPJACK, consisting of a small
metal oval with a slot. She pushes the chip into the slot
with a soft CLICK.
She catches her breath sharply. LIGHT rushes into her eyes
like starlight falling into a black hole.
The room around her MELTS to be replaced by:
INT. DANK WAREHOUSE - NIGHT 17
Theres little here except for a few pieces of dingy
FURNITURE. A few pieces of PAINTERS SCAFFOLD have been
erected at one end of the warehouse.
Sitting in the center of the room, Cassandra has become
Tesla. Several men, SIM GUYS 1-5, surround her, leering
hungrily.
Finally one of the men lunges forward and a rough, furious
gangbang begins.
COMMERCIAL SCENE 2: DP/DA CREAMPIE - TESLA, SIM GUYs 1-5
At the end of the scene, Tesla putsa her ass in the air. One
by one, each of the Sim Guys comes inside her. Shes handed a
shallow BOWL, which she squats over, squeezing out the come
into it. She lifts the bowl and downs the come in one gulp.
11.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- CASSANDRAS OFFICE - NIGHT 18
Sweaty and breathless, Cassandra finds she has WET THROUGH
her own slacks during the jack. She slowly removes the chip,
impressed.
CASSANDRA
Holy fuck...
BACK TO:
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 19
THE INTERROGATOR
I wonder if that chip actually made
it into evidence...
CASSANDRA
Was that simple implication or
actual accusation?
THE INTERROGATOR
We both know youve got a problem.
CASSANDRA
Is that your opinion as a shrink or
your judgment as an investigator?
THE INTERROGATOR
Agent Born thinks it started when
Adam McKenzie was killed.
CASSANDRA
(suddenly angry)
I'm so fucking glad Michael has a
fucking opinion about my life and
that he chose to share it with you.
THE INTERROGATOR
He wanted to help. What do you
think of Michael?
CASSANDRA
I think he's hopeless. He's a boy
scout. A straightedge kludge who
doesn't see.
12.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- CLASSROOM - DAY 20
The blackboard is a large multimedia OLED SCREEN that can
both be written on and display images. Currently, it
displays a DIAGRAM of a chipjack and how it interfaces with
the cerebral cortex.
Michael stands at the front of the classroom, teaching.
Three young agents, FEMALE STUDENT, MALE STUDENT #1 and MALE
STUDENT #2, are seated in front of him, taking notes on open
SCR011S, small, portable computers.
FEMALE STUDENT
The DSA was designed to track
malicious software that can't be
sent via the Grid because of
filters. Isnt it strange that we
spend most of our time tracking
down unlicensed extreme sex sims?
MICHAEL
Its not at all unusual for
government agencies to pick up odd
jobs. The Secret Service guards
the President... and busts
counterfeiters.
Cassandra enters the back of the room. She stands, watching.
MALE STUDENT #1
Why even bother with the adult
stuff? No other media is subject
to licensing restrictions.
MICHAEL
Sexual activity targets some
particularly fragile areas of the
brain. SkinSims can actually be
dangerous if they're too
stimulating. Since most illegal
skin rings also traffic in black
warez, and gridhack code, it makes
sense for the same agency to police
all of it.
The students continue taking notes on their scr011s.
MICHAEL (CONTD)
A lunatic with an IED vest might
kill ten people on a bus.
13.
(MORE)
Give him a nuke, he might even take
out a city. But a terrorist who
really wants to wreck this country
will come after the Grid. Our
economy, our power, our
communications, all of it could be
brought down by the right piece of
code. All of it.
Michael pauses, letting this sink in.
MALE STUDENT #2
Agent Born, is it true you dont
have one?
MICHAEL
Excuse me?
Nervous laughter all around.
MALE STUDENT #2
Sorry, sir. A chipjack. Is it
true?
Grinning, Michael turns his back to the class revealing only
skin. He turns back to face the class.
FEMALE STUDENT
How can you do your job without
having a chipjack? How can you
know what a chipjunkie feels if
youve never jacked in?
MICHAEL
Look, sims are a controlled
substance. I dont need to poison
my mind when I can watch the
content on a viewer. Most
researchers claim the sensations
from jacking in are largely
illusion, anyway.
Cassandra steps forward.
CASSANDRA
Bullshit.
The students look at Cassandra. She continues talking as she
walks to the front of the class.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
Nothing makes more money than
SkinSims, and the government wants
its share.
14.
MICHAEL (CONTD)
(MORE)
Black market sims exist because
legit skinmakers are afraid of a
government crackdown. They self-
censor, so naturally the buyer goes
elsewhere for what he wants.
Cassandra reaches the front of the room.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
(to Michael)
And youre a fool for not
understanding the difference
between looking at a painting and
standing in the middle of it.
MICHAEL
Excuse me, who the hell are you?
CASSANDRA
Im Special Agent Cray.
(extends her hand)
Your new partner.
BACK TO:
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 21
There's a long, uncomfortable silence.
THE INTERROGATOR
Tell me about losing your partner.
CASSANDRA
You make it sound like I misplaced
him.
The Interrogator says nothing.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
(mild agitation)
Anyway, whats the point? You've
got it all in the file.
THE INTERROGATOR
Tell me what isn't in the file.
Cassandra huffs, leans forward in her chair, rubs her face.
She sighs, resigned, and sits back in her chair.
CASSANDRA
DSA had planted an agent in a
terrorist cell operating out of
Iceland. Her cover got blown.
15.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
(MORE)
They fried her RFID chip, and
decided to use her in a bunch of
sims before they killed her or...
just sold her off. By the time we
tracked her down, they'd done a
pretty good job of breaking her.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. DUNGEON - DAY 22
A nude woman, FEMALE AGENT, hangs, suspended by her wrists.
A physically massive DOM and cold, self-possessed DOMINATRIX
circle the agent, using her.
COMMERCIAL SCENE 3: BDSM B/G/G A - FEMALE AGENT, DOMINATRIX,
DOM
Throughout the scene, the agent is resistant, but cooperates
when coerced. They are incredibly rough with her.
As the scene plays out, Cassandra and AGENT ADAM MCKENZIE, a
strongly-built man in his late 30s, sneak into the warehouse
surrounding the dungeon. They creep down the STAIRS toward
their quarry, STRIKE pistols drawn.
As the scene nears its climax, McKenzie signals for Cassandra
to wait until the Dom is distracted by his orgasm.
As the Dom comes, Cassandra and McKenzie make their move.
MCKENZIE
Federal agents!
CASSANDRA
On the ground!
DOMINATRIX
What the hell! What is -- ?
The Dom recovers from his climax.
DOM
Fuck, fuck, fuck! That was sweet.
CASSANDRA
I said get down!
DOM
Ooh, but not as sweet as you.
(blows Cassandra a kiss)
16.
CASSANDRA (CONT'D)
CASSANDRA
Now motherfucker!
The Dom smiles, and nods to the Dominatrix. They move slowly
to comply. The Dominatrix is already face-down on the floor
as the Dom gets down on his knees.
Cassandra checks the female agent. She MOANS.
DOM
(to Cassandra)
Friend of yours?
The Dominatrix snickers.
McKenzie prods the Dom with his foot.
MCKENZIE
Youve got a long night ahead of
you, Id shut up.
(to Cassandra)
How is she?
Cassandra starts to untie her.
CASSANDRA
I think mostly shes just...
exhausted.
CLOSE ON the Dom as he slips a tiny plastic SYRINGE from his
WRISTBAND and closes his palm around it.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
And dehydrated. She needs medical--
The Doms muscles convulse and he sucks in air.
MCKENZIE
Fuck! He's on Zephyr!
CASSANDRA
Look out!
Faster than the eye can follow, the Dom spins around, and
leaps to his feet. He KNOCKS McKenzie's pistol from his hand,
grabs him by the throat and slams him against a post.
Cassandra levels her weapon on the Dom. McKenzie bashes his
elbow in the Doms face several times with no effect.
MCKENZIE
(choking)
Take the shot.
17.
She hesitates, waiting for an opening.
MCKENZIE (CONTD)
(choking out)
For... Christs sake... Shoot!
Cassandra FIRES.
A tazer pellet HITS the Dom in the back. Sparks DANCE over
his body and he convulses, his grip tightening around
McKenzie's throat.
The Dominatrix uses the commotion to inch toward McKenzie's
dropped pistol.
Bioelectric conductivity SPREADS the tazer charge from the
Dom to McKenzie, who spasms, then goes limp.
CASSANDRA
Adam!
The Dominatrix scoops up McKenzies pistol, rolls to a
sitting position and snaps off a SHOT, GRAZING Cassandras
rib cage.
Cassandra SHOOTS back at the same instant, HITTING the
Dominatrix. Sparks DANCE across the Dominatrixs body, and
she collapses.
The Dominatrixs hand falls to the floor, convulsing, FIRING
McKenzies weapon.
Flesh TEARS and blood SPLATTERS as the shot hits the comatose
McKenzie in the thigh.
Cassandra slides to the floor in shock. She taps the BUD in
her ear.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
Agents down, agents down! We have
a DSA emergency with multiple
agents down!
(losing consciousness)
Repeat, DSA emergency. Multiple...
down... agents...
Cassandra tries to raise her pistol to fire at the Dominatrix
once more but cant. She goes limp as she passes out.
BACK TO:
18.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 23
Cassandra is cold and vacant, telling her story to The
Interrogator on autopilot.
CASSANDRA
When I woke up in the hospital,
they told me Adam was dead.
THE INTERROGATOR
(clicking files)
Im confused. The medical files
aren't attached... It doesnt sound
as if Agent McKenzie's wound was
that serious.
Cassandra shakes her head in a mix of disgust and disbelief.
CASSANDRA
You know the difference between a
tapeworm and an Internal Security
Officer?
THE INTERROGATOR
No.
CASSANDRA
One is a slimy parasite that hides
in the bowels of its host, feeding
off the stronger lifeform. The
other's a tapeworm.
THE INTERROGATOR
That's funny. I haven't heard that
one. Why don't you explain, then.
CASSANDRA
We carry HEAP rounds. Armor-
piercing, explosive tip. If we
shoot you, you're not supposed to
survive. Bullet fragments shredded
his femoral artery. He was dead
before they got to us.
THE INTERROGATOR
How'd you get lucky?
Cassandra chuckles bitterly.
CASSANDRA
Lucky?
(pause)
19.
(MORE)
Ballistic cloth in my jacket took
most of the punch.
The Interrogator fixes her with a steady stare.
THE INTERROGATOR
You know, Cassandra, I don't think
you feel responsible for Adam
McKenzie's death.
She's guarded, not sure what game he's playing.
CASSANDRA
That's the first intelligent thing
you've said today.
THE INTERROGATOR
I'm just warming up. I think your
sociopathic tendencies spring from
a deep-seeded guilt, but not over
him.
CASSANDRA
(pause)
Im waiting...
THE INTERROGATOR
I think you feel guilty because you
fantasize about being that agent
who was taken captive.
She doesn't know what to say.
THE INTERROGATOR (CONTD)
Not bad for a parasite, hm? Now go
back to the girl, after the arrest.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATION OPS - DAY 24
A COMPUTER TERMINAL sits nearby on a small DESK. Cassandra
leans against a table in the rear of the room. ROBERTS,
another agent, sits at the terminal.
In the adjacent INTERROGATION ROOM, visible on a large OLED
SCREEN, Tesla is seated at a table across from Born. After a
moment, Born gets up and comes into OPS.
MICHAEL
She wont say a word
20.
CASSANDRA (CONT'D)
ROBERTS
There's no trace of her in any
records. Prints, retina, DNA.
Nothing scans.
MICHAEL
Hows that possible?
ROBERTS
She's an Avatar.
MICHAEL
What?
ROBERTS
Hacker. A good one. She's taken
herself completely off the Grid.
Cassandra steps forward next to the terminal.
CASSANDRA
Play back the security vid from the
Simshop entry.
Roberts touches a few keys on the computer terminal. The
agents watch as the FOOTAGE begins. Cassandra reacts to
something in the playback.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
Wait, there. Back up and enhance.
The Video Analyst ROLLS BACK the footage a for few seconds
and PAUSES.
MICHAEL
What did you see?
The Analyst hits a key and the image on the screen is
MAGNIFIED. Cassandra says nothing.
ENHANCED PLAYBACK clearly shows The Scarecrow handing Tesla a
chip moments before Cassandra and Michael enter the shop.
ROBERTS
Say hello to my little friend.
MICHAEL
Ill be damned.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATION ROOM - DAY 25
Tesla looks up as Cassandra enters.
21.
CASSANDRA
Youre a clever one. Smart enough
to pull yourself out of the system
without a trace, so youre smart
enough to know that we are going to
talk.
Cassandra sits across from Tesla.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
Lets start with something simple.
What can we call you.
TESLA
Tesla.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATION OPS - DAY 26
Roberts enters Teslas name onto the screen as Michael
watches.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATION ROOM - DAY 27
CASSANDRA
Whats your story, Tesla?
TESLA
I want a lawyer.
Cassandra laughs.
CASSANDRA
Youre kidding, right? I dont even
have to make you an enemy combatant
to disappear you from the planet.
You did it for us.
TESLA
You cant just--
CASSANDRA
Sure we can. Were Homeland
Security. Now lower the aggro. We
know The Scarecrow gave you the
Enigma Virus.
TESLA
I dont know what that is.
Cassandra sits silent, staring at her.
22.
TESLA (CONTD)
Think whatever you want, but nobody
gave me any --
CASSANDRA
(interrupts)
I'm going to give you exactly one
chance to do this the easy way.
(suddenly shouting)
Wheres the fucking chip?
Tesla turns away. Cassandra shakes her head.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
Not so clever after all.
Cassandra leaves. Tesla looks after her nervously.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- EXAMINATION ROOM OPS - DAY 28
Cassandra stands in a small observation room. Displayed
ONSCREEN is a larger version of the INTERROGATION ROOM with a
longer table, entrance doors, and a FULL-BODY SCANNER that
sits to one side.
A pair of guards, FEMALE GUARD and FEMALE INSPECTOR, escort
Tesla into the EXAMINATION ROOM from the side entrance.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- EXAMINATION ROOM - DAY 29
The Inspector passes a WAND over Tesla while the Guard
monitors the READOUT on the scanners DISPLAY.
FEMALE GUARD
Nothing in her clothes. Shes even
zapped the ID chips.
FEMALE INSPECTOR
Remove your clothes and place them
on the table.
TESLA
Come on.
FEMALE INSPECTOR
Now!
Realizing the guards mean business, Tesla strips down to just
panties.
23.
FEMALE INSPECTOR (CONTD)
Everything.
TESLA
Perverts.
The Inspector SLAPS Tesla across the face. Tesla recoils.
FEMALE INSPECTOR
Mouth off again.
Tesla finishes stripping.
FEMALE INSPECTOR (CONTD)
Step behind the scanner.
The scanner displays a GLOWING OUTLINE of Teslas form and
her skeletal structure.
FEMALE GUARD
Skeleton, muscle, vitals... no
chip.
The guards steer Tesla to the table. The Inspector pushes
Tesla ROUGHLY over the table.
FEMALE INSPECTOR
(to Guard)
Hold her.
The Guard takes Teslas hands and pulls her across the table.
The Inspector pulls on an elbow-length LATEX GLOVE. She
GREASES it, and sticks her hand into Tesla's snatch.
Tesla hides her fear behind a steady patter of wisecracks
directed at the guard.
TESLA
Wow, no dinner first? Not even a
kiss? Some date you are. No wonder
your husband was paying me to blow
him instead of trying to fuck your
dried up old cunt.
Finally, The Inspector pulls her hand out of Tesla.
FEMALE INSPECTOR
That was just foreplay.
She lubes up her glove, and pushes it slowly but irresistibly
up Tesla's ass. Tesla squirms and cries out, but doesn't
break. Instead, she screams at the CAMERA repeatedly:
24.
TESLA
Are you enjoying this, you sick
cunt? Does this make you hot, you
fuck?
COMMERCIAL SCENE 4: FISTING/ANAL FISTING - TESLA, FEMALE
GUARD, FEMALE INSPECTOR
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- EXAMINATION ROOM OPS - DAY 30
TESLA (ON SCREEN)
Why dont you come in here and do
it yourself, you fucking whore! You
chickenshit cunt!
The Inspector pulls her hand out and stands Tesla up, turning
her around. She forces the slimy glove into Tesla's mouth.
FEMALE INSPECTOR (ON SCREEN)
(sarcastically)
Ordinarily I wouldve checked your
teeth first, but I forgot.
BACK TO:
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 31
THE INTERROGATOR
And did you enjoy it?
CASSANDRA
No. Of course not.
CUT TO:
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- RESTROOM - DAY 32
A public restroom. Cassandra pushes into one of the stalls
and closes the door. She sits on the toilet, pulls down her
pants and masturbates furiously.
COMMERCIAL SCENE 5: SOLO - CASSANDRA
As she rubs herself, she pisses through her panties, soaking
them and rubbing them against her cunt. When she comes, she
comes hard, licking her fingers clean.
BACK TO:
25.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 33
THE INTERROGATOR
But you did find the chip.
CASSANDRA
It struck me that night. I was
home alone. I'm usually home
alone.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. CASSANDRAS APT. 34
A MONTAGE as Cassandra paces, upset. She drinks out of a
BOTTLE. Strips off her clothes. Drinks some more. Cries.
Drinks some more. Talks to herself in the MIRROR.
CASSANDRA
Worthless fucking whore--
(paces, returns to mirror)
-- you fucking cunt! You had one
fucking chance, but no... Tear it
apart, tear it wide open. Fucking
whore cunt.
(pause)
Too slow... too fucking slow...
CUT TO:
INT. CASSANDRAS APT. -- BEDROOM - NIGHT 35
Cassandra opens a bedside drawer and selects a simchip from a
huge PILE. She slides it into her chipjack and falls forward
face-first on the bed as the room MELTS away to reveal...
EXT. NUCLEAR DESERT - DAY 36
A wasteland. Nothing grows for miles in any direction. The
sky glows an unnatural COLOR.
In the middle of the desert we find three women, NUCLEAR
DESERT GIRLS 1-3. Each is wrapped in flowing, gossamer
fabric.
The Girls are kissing, caressing each other. Desert Girl #1
reaches down to her abdomen, pulling open a small, invisible
flap of skin; a DERMAL POUCH. She pulls THREE PILLS from the
pouch, swallowing one and giving one to each of the others.
26.
NUCLEAR DESERT GIRL #1
(indicating pills)
Harmony.
Each of the girls swallows one of the pills, and they begin
fucking in earnest. The scene starts off light and pretty,
and ends as a rough and filthy girl/girl.
COMMERCIAL SCENE 6: G/G/G A W/FISTING & PISSING - NUCLEAR
DESERT GIRLS
BACK TO:
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 37
THE INTERROGATOR
One question.
CASSANDRA
God, you are such a fucking shrink.
THE INTERROGATOR
When you jack into these sims, who
are you? Do you ever change roles?
Have you ever tried it as a man?
CASSANDRA
Have you?
THE INTERROGATOR
I'm serious.
Cassandra looks at him as if he's stupid.
CASSANDRA
I'm the whore. I'm always the
whore.
THE INTERROGATOR
I see.
CASSANDRA
You don't see. You don't see
anything. I wasn't abused as a
child, my Uncle Ronny didn't touch
me when I was nine, and I didn't
suddenly become kinky when McKenzie
got killed. You want to hear about
my Dracula doll tying up my Barbies
and raping them when I was five
years old? Fine. But this is who I
am.
27.
(MORE)
I like feeling helpless and taken
and used when I'm getting fucked.
So don't tell me you see.
THE INTERROGATOR
I only meant --
CASSANDRA
(interrupts)
Show me your neck.
THE INTERROGATOR
I don't have to. Of course I have
a chipjack, it makes my work
easier. I can capture an entire
session and relive it verbatim as
opposed to taking notes. But I've
never jacked into a SkinSim.
Cassandra cracks a slow smile. She gets up and crosses to
the desk.
THE INTERROGATOR (CONTD)
What are you doing?
She straddles him.
THE INTERROGATOR (CONTD)
Agent Cray, this is... highly
inappropriate.
CASSANDRA
You bet your ass it is.
She lifts her skirt and opens her legs.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
Tell me, since youre the expert,
is it inappropriate that Ive been
buttfucked in the confessional at
Sunday mass? Baptized in piss?
Sold into slavery, tied up and
beaten til Ive come so many times
I cant remember my own name
Inappropriate is where I live.
Its what makes me come hardest of
all. Thats where I go when I jack
in. And youre right there with
me, arent you? Arent you?
She pulls his face into her crotch and he moans, inhales her
scent. She leans back for him to eat her pussy. He fingers
her and licks her. After a moment, she climbs off The
Interrogator, gets down onto her knees and unzips his pants.
28.
CASSANDRA (CONT'D)
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
Now. Shove your cock down my
throat. Fuck my face.
He does.
COMMERCIAL SCENE 7: ORAL - CASSANDRA & THE INTERROGATOR
After a few moments, Cassandra SNAPS BACK to reality. She is
still in the chair.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
Bullshit.
THE INTERROGATOR
Not everyone has a chipjack. Look
at Michael.
CASSANDRA
Yeah, NewBorn. Well, he doesn't
exactly count.
THE INTERROGATOR
Let me tell you a story.
CUT TO:
INT. SMALL CAF - NIGHT 38
Born and ALANA TURING, his late-20s fiance, are having
DINNER. The restaurant is slightly upscale.
ALANA
I feel like I havent seen you in a
week.
MICHAEL
Some week. You guys have been all
over the feeds.
ALANA
Dont begrudge ATF the little bit
of love we get from the press. We
raided a group with enough weapons
to arm Tanzanique, and what do we
get?
MICHAEL
(under his breath)
Thirty-six seconds on World News
Now.
29.
ALANA
Thats right, thirty-six-- yknow,
fuck off. At least we get tangible
results.
MICHAEL
So, you dont think gridhacks are
dangerous?
ALANA
I think dangerous is being point
through the door when someone more
heavily armed than a bunch of
chipjunkies is on the other side.
MICHAEL
Listen, I grew up in the Dragons
Fist Tong.
ALANA
Here we go.
MICHAEL
Ive been that guy on the other
side. So dont talk to me about
dangerous.
Alana looks at him for a moment, then smiles and takes his
hand.
ALANA
Youre so cute when youre all self-
righteous.
MICHAEL
I just think information is the
real power. There are limits to
what a gun can do.
ALANA
Not in my hands.
MICHAEL
You sound like Cassandra.
Alana becomes suddenly grim.
ALANA
Let me tell you something about
your fucking partner. She's
dangerous. A burnout.
30.
MICHAEL
You dont even know her.
ALANA
I dont need to. Ive heard
plenty.
MICHAEL
Alright, yes, shes got some
issues, but... she's also one of
the best Ive ever worked with.
ALANA
Really.
MICHAEL
Yes, really. Absolutely.
ALANA
(a beat, playfully)
You want to fuck her.
Michael laughs.
MICHAEL
Yeah, right.
(drinks)
Shed probably kill me in bed.
ALANA
(under her breath)
Dont talk to me about dangerous.
BACK TO:
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 39
CASSANDRA
Born told you this?
THE INTERROGATOR
In session.
CASSANDRA
It's a lie.
The Interrogator shakes his head, indicating a small DEVICE
on the desk.
THE INTERROGATOR
The stresser says no. He thinks
you're the best cop he knows.
31.
CASSANDRA
Was this before or after I wrecked
his life?
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATION ROOM OPS - NIGHT 40
ONSCREEN, Tesla sits on a chair in the INTERROGATION ROOM,
wearing a PRISON OVERALL. Roberts sits at the console.
Cassandra enters carrying a HEXMAG, consisting of a large
metal cube with a handle, some switches and a few wires.
CASSANDRA
Dont you sleep?
ROBERTS
Whats sleep?
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATION ROOM - NIGHT 41
Cassandra enters. Teslas head snaps up. Shes edgy.
CASSANDRA
Take off your clothes.
TESLA
Havent you fuckers seen enough?
CASSANDRA
Do it or Ill do it for you.
Tesla starts to strip.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
I know where the chip is. I know
it's in this room. On you.
TESLA
Well I haven't got many holes left
for you to stick your arm up, so
this should be quick.
Cassandra raises the hexmag and FLIPS a switch on its side.
It HUMS with electrical power.
Tesla recoils, fearing torture.
CASSANDRA
Im not going to touch you.
32.
TESLA
Wha -- what -- ?
CASSANDRA
This is a forty-watt hexal magnet.
It can lift seventeen-hundred
pounds or obliterate CRSH or
holographic media from a distance
of two feet.
Tesla gets it, even before Cassandra finishes.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
Now I'm betting that chip is tucked
into a scan-shielded dermal pouch
somewhere on that hot little bod.
Unless you want to be the proud
owner of a worthless hunk of de-
rezzed plastic, you'd better cough
up.
Cassandra begins advancing on the girl. Tesla backs towards
the wall. Cassandra is just a few feet away when Tesla
shouts.
TESLA
Okay, okay, stop, stop, stop! Ive
got it, Ill take it out, just...
dont come any closer.
Cassandra halts, still brandishing the HUMMING magnet. She
watches as Tesla opens a DERMAL POUCH on her abdomen and
pulls out a chip.
TESLA (CONTD)
It's not a virus.
CASSANDRA
Then what is it?
TESLA
(indicates the magnet)
Would you shut that thing off?
Cassandra doesnt budge.
TESLA (CONTD)
Please.
Finally, Cassandra switches OFF the magnet.
CASSANDRA
What is it?
33.
TESLA
I -- I can't talk about it here.
Cassandra sighs, rolls her eyes.
TESLA (CONTD)
(panicky)
Im fucking serious. We can only
discuss it someplace dark,
completely off the Grid.
CASSANDRA
Take a drive out to the country,
maybe have a picnic.
TESLA
(tries to sound calm)
I know what youre thinking, but
thats exactly what Im talking
about. The middle of fucking
nowhere. Its the only place
thats safe.
CASSANDRA
(a beat)
Sorry, not buying it.
TESLA
You dont understand!
CASSANDRA
And I dont much care, either.
(takes the chip, moves to
exit)
Now get dressed. And try to relax.
As Cassandra exits, Tesla, still nude, begins to flip out.
TESLA
Oh no, Jesus, no! Youve got to be
careful with that program! You
have no idea -- you cant just fuck
around with it! I need it to --
you dont know what it can do you!
You dont know what it can do!
INT. MICHAELS HOUSE -- BEDROOM - NIGHT 42
Michael and Alana are fucking.
COMMERCIAL SCENE 8: B/G A - ALANA & MICHAEL
34.
Afterward, Michael sits up in bed.
MICHAEL
You want some water?
Alana MUMBLES something about being too exhausted to think.
Michael smiles and exits.
INT. MICHAELS HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 43
Michael enters and crosses through into the kitchen. He
rustles around for a moment and returns with bottle of water.
Michael practically jumps out of his skin when he spots
Cassandra sitting in the dark.
MICHAEL
Fuck!
CASSANDRA
Your security system is a joke.
MICHAEL
(exhales)
Jesus. What are you doing here?
CASSANDRA
I need your help.
MICHAEL
What you need is to learn a little
respect for other peoples personal
space.
CASSANDRA
I have very little respect for
other peoples personal space.
MICHAEL
Really?
Cassandra snorts.
Alana, half-dressed, enters from the bedroom.
ALANA
Baby, who are you talking to?
MICHAEL
Its okay, Honey, go back to bed.
She recognizes Cassandra.
35.
ALANA
Holy shit. What the fuck is she
doing here?
MICHAEL
Leaving.
Cassandra looks around as if to say Who, me?
MICHAEL (CONTD)
Cassandra --
ALANA
(interrupts)
I told you, didnt I?
He doesnt answer.
ALANA (CONTD)
(to Cassandra)
Get the fuck out of our house, you
crazy fucking burnout cunt.
MICHAEL
Alana --
ALANA
I know what you do, the kind of
shit you put in your head --
Cassandra sits passively, amused.
ALANA (CONTD)
-- and I know you compromise your
job to do it.
MICHAEL
Thats enough.
ALANA
Jesus, Michael! She breaks into
our house in the middle of the
night, and now youre defending
her.
MICHAEL
Im not, she just --
ALANA
-- Goddamnit, you are.
MICHAEL
I know how it looks, but --
36.
ALANA
But what?
MICHAEL
She wouldnt be here if it wasnt
important. Just give me a minute
to --
ALANA
You want a minute? You can have
all fucking night!
Alana heads for the front door.
MICHAEL
No, Alana --
ALANA
Fuck you!
She storms out. Theres a long silence.
CASSANDRA
Would it help if I said Im sorry?
MICHAEL
Youre not sorry.
CASSANDRA
True.
(pause)
If its any consolation --
MICHAEL
Just get out. Im fighting the urge
to shoot you.
CASSANDRA
Okay, but --
(holds up the Enigma chip)
-- dont you want to see the super
virus?
CUT TO:
INT. MICHAELS HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 44
Minutes later. Michael, now dressed, inserts the Enigma chip
into a desktop TERMINAL. Cassandra sits beside him.
MICHAEL
Keyboard.
37.
A QWERTY keyboard appears at the bottom of the screen.
Michael hits a few keys and data APPEARS on the terminal
screen. He scrolls through it, pausing now and then.
MICHAEL (CONTD)
(reading, impressed)
Man oh man. Wow. Yeah, this is...
wow.
CASSANDRA
(frustrated)
Wow. I dont speak Eagle Scout,
whats wow? What is it?
MICHAEL
I dont have the slightest idea.
Its machine code, but not like
anything Ive ever... ever.
CASSANDRA
Is it a virus?
MICHAEL
I dont think so.
CASSANDRA
Let me have it.
MICHAEL
Jacking that chip is a really bad
idea.
CASSANDRA
Were sure as hell not getting
anywhere just looking at it.
Resigned, he takes the chip out of the terminal and hands it
to her. She lifts the hair off her neck, feels around.
MICHAEL
Bad, bad idea. Lets just take it
down to the lab --
Cassandra slots the chip into her jack. Suddenly, Cassandra
pitches forward out of her chair.
The room is filled with SOUND and IMAGES. She sees and hears
the entire world all around her as everything, big and small,
fills not just her vision, but her very essence.
Overwhelmed, she crawls across the carpet in a confused
spasm.
38.
Michael jumps forward and pins her, pulling the chip out of
her neck. She cries out at the shock of forceful disconnect.
MICHAEL (CONTD)
Cassandra! Are you okay?
Cassandra!
After a few ragged breaths, shes able to speak.
CASSANDRA
That's the closest thing to God
I've ever felt.
MICHAEL
What is it?
CASSANDRA
I don't know, but it's bigger and
smarter than us.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 45
THE INTERROGATOR
I'm curious as to why you would do
something that dangerous.
CASSANDRA
I wasnt afraid. Call it an act of
faith.
THE INTERROGATOR
In what?
Cassandra shrugs.
THE INTERROGATOR (CONTD)
So it wasn't Enigma?
CASSANDRA
Oh yes it was. But Enigma wasn't a
virus.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATION ROOM - DAY 46
Michael is seated at the table. Cassandra paces. Tesla is
brought in by ROBERTS and dropped into a chair opposite
Michael.
ROBERTS
This is a bad idea.
39.
Tesla looks at Cassandra.
TESLA
We can't talk about this here.
MICHAEL
Like hell. You know whats on that
chip and youre going to tell us --
TESLA
(almost frantic)
We can not talk about this here!
We cant. I cant.
CASSANDRA
(to Michael)
Same dead end.
Tesla looks at her.
TESLA
You've seen it. I can tell just
from looking at your eyes. Do you
honestly believe it can't see you?
CASSANDRA
You're afraid of it.
TESLA
Fucking petrified. And if you
aren't, then you didn't pay
attention.
MICHAEL
So explain it to us.
TESLA
You're a non-scan, I can't explain
anything to you.
(to Cassandra)
But pull me up a map, and I can put
you in the picture.
CUT TO:
EXT. DESERT ROAD - DAY 47
A LONG SHOT as a DSA CAR moves steadily along a dirt road. A
SECOND CAR, smaller, follows about a mile behind.
40.
CASSANDRA (V.O.)
We gave Tesla a few moments to poke
around at a map on a terminal. She
picked a spot a few hours from
nowhere. Completely off the Grid.
INT. DSA CAR -- DIRT ROAD - DESERT - DAY 48
Cassandra drives, Tesla in the passenger seat.
TESLA
This is good, you can stop. Shut
everything down.
Cassandra steers to the side of the road and stops. She
SHUTS OFF the cars engine.
TESLA (CONTD)
I mean everything. The scr011,
GPS, all of it.
Cassandra complies.
CASSANDRA
I haven't been on a date in a car
since I was thirteen. I hope
you're planning on going all the
way.
(holds up the Enigma chip)
What the fuck is this?
TESLA
It isn't a virus.
CASSANDRA
No shit. You said that already. I
know what it isn't.
TESLA
(pause)
It's a new life form.
CASSANDRA
... A new...?
TESLA
(nods)
A fully-realized artificial
intelligence living in a
holographic matrix.
41.
CASSANDRA
That's insane.
TESLA
You know its not, you've touched
it. You know I'm telling the
truth.
CASSANDRA
But an AI from where? Who built
it?
TESLA
(hesitating)
An Avatar called Gagarin. That's
why everyone thinks it's some
Russian virus. He wrote an
algorithm that allowed him to code
his own brain patterns,
personality, everything, onto a
simchip. Then he released it onto
the Grid.
CASSANDRA
Released it? Are you saying...?
TESLA
It's out there now. Everywhere.
But something happened during
Gagarins upload and the AI version
of him is damaged. Psychotic.
Paranoid.
CASSANDRA
How do you know all this? What is
he to you?
TESLA
Was. He was killed. Probably
hackers. Black warez smugglers he
was working with. I think it
happened during his upload. And he
was everything.
Cassandra is quiet for a moment.
CASSANDRA
(indicates the Enigma
chip)
I still don't know what this is.
42.
TESLA
That is digital cancer. A super-
smart, self-replicating, tunneling
botstorm that will track down every
last trace of the man I love and
erase him from the Grid. It's the
silicon angel of death. I made it
from his algorithm.
CASSANDRA
I see why you're scared.
Cassandra picks up her EARBUD and taps it.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
(into headset)
Born, are you listening?
INT. MICHAELS CAR -- DIRT ROAD - DESERT - DAY 49
Michael listens on his own EARBUD.
CASSANDRA (FILTERED, O.C.)
What do you think?
He starts to answer but is interrupted by the sound of Tesla
screaming in anger.
TESLA (FILTERED, O.C.)
You lied to me! You fucking lied!
Goddamnit!
INT. DSA CAR -- DIRT ROAD - DAY 50
TESLA
I can't believe you're so fucking
stupid! Were fucked!
CASSANDRA
Knock it off. DSA has a direct,
encrypted connection even the NSA
can't listen in on.
TESLA
Fuck the NSA! You know all about
the Echelon II system that monitors
every fucking phone call on the
planet! You think Gagarin can't
access that?
43.
CASSANDRA
You've been on the run too long.
You're stressed and paranoid --
Cassandra stops in mid-sentence as a bright white LIGHT and
deafening HUM seem to make everything around them VIBRATE.
Her earbud SQUAWKS once and the dash lights go OUT.
Everything is SILENT.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
The fuck...?
Cassandra tries the engine. Nothing.
Tesla shifts into overdrive.
TESLA
Forget it, its dead.
CASSANDRA
I know, but --
TESLA
EMP satellite. The pulse killed
the power.
Cassandra tries the engine again, hits a few buttons on the
dash; still nothing.
TESLA (CONTD)
HK is probably tracking us now. We
have to get out of this car!
CASSANDRA
Yeah, I think youre right --
TESLA
Get these cuffs off me.
Cassandra quickly unlocks the cuffs and the women try the
doors. They wont open.
CASSANDRA
(reaching into her boot)
Electric.
TESLA
Shit!
Cassandra pulls a Leatherman-type TOOL from her boot and
begins working the manual locks.
44.
Tesla grabs the scr011 off the seat and opens it.
TESLA (CONTD)
Is this DHS-shielded?
CASSANDRA
I don't know... Why don't you turn
the fucking thing on and find out?
She does; it BOOTS. Cassandra wriggles her way onto the
floor, works under the console.
Tesla types furiously on the pad, getting to a LOGIN SCREEN
for the DSA.
TESLA
Agency login!
CASSANDRA
What? Why?
TESLA
Your login! Now!
CASSANDRA
CrayC.
TESLA
Password!
Cassandra stares up at her a brief moment, then continues
working under the console.
CASSANDRA
Mckenzie2001.
Tesla pounds the password in and begins cracking through
various INTERFACES until she's looking at a GRAPHIC of a
targeting X moving toward their position on a map.
TESLA
This is bad. We've got a Reagan-
class microwave platform moving
into position above us.
CASSANDRA
How do you know that?
TESLA
SAC Security really sucks.
CASSANDRA
How long?
45.
TESLA
I'm trying to get that -- fuck.
Eighty-three seconds.
CASSANDRA
Almost there.
TESLA
Hurry!
CASSANDRA
Almost...
TESLA
No, really.
With only seconds to spare, Cassandra gets the locks to POP.
CASSANDRA
Go, go, go!
EXT. DESERT - DAY 51
Cassandra and Tesla bolt from the car toward a slight
depression in the landscape.
They duck under the lip of the land as Tesla pulls the scr011
pane out and watches the COUNTDOWN.
The clock reaches zero.
Nothing.
They exchange a look.
Cassandra rises up to peek over the lip just as a column of
superheated, shimmering air, like a clearly-defined mirage
rising into the sky, APPEARS around the car. Everything
within the column BURSTS into flames as a massive hum FILLS
the air.
Cassandra ducks again as the car EXPLODES, scattering debris.
The two women relax for a moment. Tesla checks the pane
again, then folds it up.
TESLA
Itll take thirty-four minutes for
the satellite to recharge. Were
safe. Til then.
46.
CASSANDRA
Why cant Gagarin track us through
the scr011?
TESLA
Im just that good.
CASSANDRA
(laughs)
You really think you're smarter
than a super-intelligent AI with
all the resources of the Grid at
its disposal?
TESLA
It's still Gagarin. I know my
strengths and his weaknesses.
(indicates the scr0ll)
He's not going to find us through
this.
At that moment, Michael appears --
MICHAEL
Hey, are you --
-- scaring the piss (no, not literally) out of the women.
CASSANDRA
Jesus!
TESLA
Fuck!
MICHAEL (CONTD)
Sorry.
(a beat)
I saw the blast. You two okay?
CASSANDRA
(calming)
For the moment.
MICHAEL
Yeah, I know. We better move
before it can get a satellite in
position to watch us.
Cassandra looks at the empty road.
CASSANDRA
Where's your car?
MICHAEL
No good. EMP killed it.
47.
CASSANDRA
Shit.
(surveys the situation)
Okay. First things first.
Cassandra takes her earbud and Michael's and throws them into
a pile of burning RUBBLE.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
RFIDs wont survive that.
She and Michael look at Tesla expectantly.
TESLA
What?
(a beat)
No. I need the scr0ll to --
CASSANDRA
Not the scr0ll.
Tesla looks puzzled, then --
TESLA
Dont tell me. Oh, for --
CASSANDRA
Take em off.
Grumbling, Tesla starts to remove her prison overall.
TESLA
Isnt this getting a little old?
CASSANDRA
There are more than a dozen tags
and GPS antennas woven into that
fabric. Youd be like a beacon
flashing come get me.
MICHAEL
(not really)
Sorry.
Tesla strips down to her boots and panties, reaches a hand
toward Michael.
TESLA
(more insistent than
inquisitive)
Do you mind?
48.
MICHAEL
Huh? Oh --
He hands her his suit jacket and she slips it on. Cassandra
tosses the overall into the fire, turns to Michael.
CASSANDRA
What do you think? Back the way we
came or...
MICHAEL
Good question. If we take this
road to the west, we --
Tesla walks past, scr0ll in hand. There is a MAP on the
display.
TESLA
Follow me. I know where were
going.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 52
THE INTERROGATOR
There's no record of these
satellite blasts you claim
destroyed your car. Don't you find
that odd?
CASSANDRA
Given that our offensive satellite
capabilities are an SCI-level
secret, no, I dont.
THE INTERROGATOR
Wouldnt Homeland Security have
gotten a report?
CASSANDRA
(cool sarcasm)
You mean one intelligence agency
might have withheld information
from another?
THE INTERROGATOR
Alright, so now you're on foot, you
can't call in, and you don't have a
plan.
CASSANDRA
We had a plan.
49.
EXT. HIGH SCRUB DESERT - DAY 53
Tesla, in boots, panties and Michaels jacket, walks through
the wilderness, scr011 in hand. Cassandra and Michael
follow.
CASSANDRA
Where the fuck are we going?
MICHAEL
Good. I thought I was the only
one.
TESLA
We're going to upload the botstorm
and kill Gagarin.
CASSANDRA
By heading into the desert?
TESLA
The Difference Engine is out here.
MICHAEL
Wasnt that a design for some kind
of 19th-century computer?
Impressed, Tesla stops to look back at Michael.
TESLA
Yes it was.
(continues walking)
Its also what Gagarin called his
main terminal. The chips
encryption is hard-coded into the
Difference Engine. If we upload
from anywhere else, it'll just be
gibberish.
CASSANDRA
Are we close at least?
TESLA
I think so. I've got it narrowed
down to a few square kilometers.
The agents look at each other.
MICHAEL
We're going to die out here, you
know.
50.
CASSANDRA
I'd be just as happy to shoot her
and go home.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. ABANDONED MOTEL - DAY 54
Tesla, Cassandra and Michael approach a small group of old,
long-abandoned buildings.
MICHAEL
(to Tesla)
This cant be it.
TESLA
(annoyed)
Its not.
CASSANDRA
Not that I believe in this sort of
thing, but Im going to take this
as a sign. We should rest.
MICHAEL
Yeah. Lets have a look around.
The trio peeks into several open doorways and windows; most
of the rooms are a mess, ravaged by time and the elements.
Two of the rooms appear to be habitable.
MICHAEL (CONTD)
These dont look too bad. Why
dont I take the single and you two
can have the other.
The women appear somewhat uncomfortable at the prospect of
sharing a room, but practicality -- and fatigue -- win out.
CASSANDRA
Sure.
(to Tesla)
Lets go, roomie.
They enter their rooms.
INT. ABANDONED MOTEL -- MICHAELS ROOM - DAY 55
Michael wishfully tries the taps in the bathroom. Nothing.
51.
He beats some dust off the BED and lies down, cradling his
head in his hands.
INT. ABANDONED MOTEL -- WOMENS ROOM - DAY 56
Tesla picks up and OLD NEWSPAPER from beside the bed. She
offers it to Cassandra.
TESLA
Wow.. Look at this.
Cassandra thumbs through the yellowing old pages. Tesla sits
on the edge of the bed.
TESLA (CONTD)
I wonder how many people have died
in this room.
CASSANDRA
As long as its not us, I dont
really care.
(a beat)
There is something I cant figure
out.
TESLA
Whats that?
CASSANDRA
Why you would go to all this effort
to track down a chip to let you
exterminate your lovers persona?
Or whats left of it?
TESLA
(long pause)
Because its too painful to know
he's out there hurting, insane,
like a wounded animal. If you know
what to look for -- unexplained
plane crashes, power outages,
technological breakdowns -- you can
see Gagarin lashing out. He has to
be stopped.
CASSANDRA
But why wreck your body as a
simwhore? Isn't chasing that chip
around on your back doing it the
hard way?
52.
TESLA
Actually, I don't mind. The sex is
diverting, sometimes even exciting,
but the meat -- the flesh -- isn't
that important to me. I exist
here... but Im alive on the Grid.
CASSANDRA
Bullshit. You die there, you get
another life. In this world, one
is all you get.
TESLA
Exactly. My world is better.
CASSANDRA
I dont buy this Avatar Gridlife
neo-psych crap.
TESLA
Really? Dont you spend a lot of
time living vicariously through
chip whores like me? How is that
different?
CASSANDRA
I can feel it.
TESLA
Ah.
Tesla takes two CHIPS from the battery end of the scr011 and
offers one to Cassandra.
TESLA (CONTD)
Come on, I'll show you where I
live. You tell me if it's real.
Cassandra looks at the chip, then Tesla.
CASSANDRA
We should try to sleep.
TESLA
Afraid?
CASSANDRA
Tired.
TESLA
Uh-huh.
53.
After a beat, Cassandra jacks into one chip; Tesla, the
other. Tesla punches in a few commands on the pane, and the
hotel room MELTS AWAY to be replaced by:
INT. SIM DOJO - DAY 57
They are standing in a circle of white light surrounded by
nothingness. A black floor with metallic gridlines is beneath
their feet. Tesla appears in a stylish, futuristic latex
dress. Cassandra is in a T-shirt and jeans.
They stand, facing each other.
TESLA
Normally I like to play in a full
environment, but that can be
distracting for noobs.
Cassandra smirks.
Tesla claps her hands, and her entire being TRANSFORMS. She
becomes taller, appears stronger, and is covered with a kind
of glowing ARMOR.
TESLA (CONTD)
You need to think yourself up some
protection.
Catching on a bit, Cassandra concentrates. Several real-world
protective devices appear on her; knee and elbow pads, a flak
vest. She takes a defensive stance.
Tesla clucks her tongue and makes a single, swift pass. She
levels a series of strikes at Cassandra which impact on the
flak vest, knocking Cassandra flat.
Cassandra gets up clumsily and makes a few attempts to
attack, but she is hopelessly outclassed. Every move she
makes is slow and clunky compared to Tesla's speed and grace.
Tesla gloats as she lands a series of particularly harsh
blows on her hapless opponent.
TESLA (CONTD)
Is this real enough for you?
After a few more moments of painful humiliation, Cassandra
yanks the chip from her own jack. The DISCONNECT returns us
to...
54.
INT. ABANDONED MOTEL -- WOMENS ROOM - DAY 58
Cassandra strides across the room and SLAPS the barely-
cognizant Tesla hard, knocking her off the bed.
CASSANDRA
This is plenty real, thanks.
Cassandra stalks into the dusty bathroom and SLAMS the door
as Tesla picks herself up.
Tesla feels the inside of her lip and finds BLOOD.
TESLA
(softly)
Bitch.
INT. ABANDONED MOTEL -- MICHAELS ROOM - DAY 59
Lying on the bed, Michael closes his eyes and tries to ignore
the SOUND of the women arguing next door.
FADE OUT.
I/E. ABANDONED MOTEL -- MICHAELS ROOM - NIGHT 60
Michael starts awake. It's DARK. He's been sleeping.
Something or someone PASSING his door has awakened him.
He draws his pistol and opens the door. He sees TWO MEN, AI
GOONS #1 and #2 each dragging one of the comatose women down
the sidewalk.
MICHAEL
Hey--!
Michael levels his pistol. From behind, the tip of a silver,
cylindrical HYPO presses against his neck with a HISS.
Michael turns to fire but goes limp and collapses almost
immediately.
As if from a distance, he sees his own gun fall to the floor,
and BOOTED FEET walking toward him.
55.
INT. SEEDY WAITING ROOM - DAY 61
Everything is BLACK & WHITE, complete with FILM GRAIN and
SCRATCHES. Seated in front of a reception desk is ROSALIND,
a curvy pinup type.
Michael enters, wearing a smart, 1950s-era SUIT. He stops at
the desk.
ROSALIND
You got a live one, Mike.
MICHAEL
You dont say? What type?
ROSALIND
Your type. All smoldering eyes and
trouble.
(beat)
Names Law. Tess Law.
Michael smiles and opens the door to his office.
INT. SEEDY OFFICE - DAY 62
Rosalind follows Michael in and sits on the edge of the desk.
Seated in front of the desk is BRIGID HAMMETT, a busty blonde
femme fatale. Rosalind takes notes and Michael sits behind
his desk.
MICHAEL
Rosalind here tells me your
husbands gone missing.
BRIGID
Yes. It was several nights ago.
He was working late at the office,
some special project or another.
He called to tell me not to wait
up, hed see me in the morning.
But he never came home.
MICHAEL
And you suspect foul play.
BRIGID
Always.
MICHAEL
I dont mean to sound insensitive,
Mrs. Hammett, but --
56.
BRIGID
Call me Brigid, Mister Born.
Michael shoots a look at Rosalind.
MICHAEL
Alright. Have you two had any
disagreements recently, Brigid?
Any arguments, money problems?
BRIGID
What are you saying, Mister Born?
MICHAEL
Is it possible your husband just...
left on his own?
BRIGID
(knowing smile)
No.
BRIGID (CONTD)
Have you spoken with the police?
TESLA
I... cant go to the police. There
would be... complications.
Michael considers this for a moment.
MICHAEL
Im sorry, Mrs. Hammett. Without
something more to go on --
BRIGID
I need help, Mister Born, and only
you can give it to me.
Rosalind raises an eyebrow at this, but continues writing.
MICHAEL
There are a dozen P.I.s in this
city who could help you. Why me?
BRIGID
Just... something I heard.
MICHAEL
Whats that?
BRIGID
Youre the best.
57.
He smiles.
COMMERCIAL SCENE 9: B/G/G A W/FISTING - BRIGID, ROSALIND &
MICHAEL
After the sex, Cassandra enters to find the threesome piled
naked on the furniture. She smiles at Michael.
CASSANDRA
Looks like you've done okay for
yourself since you left the force,
Mike.
MICHAEL
(surveys the scene)
Can't complain, Cass.
CASSANDRA
You ever get tired of this private
dick work, there's always a spot
for you back at the office.
MICHAEL
Thanks Cass, but I'm happy with my
50 bucks a day plus expenses. You
got a beef?
CASSANDRA
Yeah, we got a tough one. Homicide.
We could really use your keen
instinct.
MICHAEL
Anything for you, Cass. In fact...
(clouded expression)
... wait... a second...
CUT TO:
INT. DIFFERENCE ENGINE -- LIVING BAYS - DAY 63
CLOSE ON Tesla as she slowly wakes.
Shes disoriented at first to find shes no longer at the
abandoned motel. Were in large, empty cement structures,
perhaps once used as loading bays. A SMALL, UNTIDY BED sits
in the bay Tesla has awoken in.
The bay next to the one which holds the bed is packed with
computer and terminal GEAR. A thin man in a JUMPSUIT is
seated at the terminal, working.
58.
Tesla sits up in the bed, her expression one of puzzlement.
She calls out to him.
TESLA
David?
He shifts, but does not answer. She crosses her amrs.
TESLA (CONTD)
David. I know you hear me.
GAGARIN
You know I dont like that name,
even when you use it.
She sighs, annoyed.
58A.
TESLA
Fine. Gagarin, then.
GAGARIN
Much better.
He stands and approaches her.
TESLA
I -- Ive been asleep.
GAGARIN
I know.
TESLA
I was dreaming. Trying to help you
after... some kind of accident.
Something went wrong, but I cant
remember what.
GAGARIN
Dont worry. Everythings going to
be alright.
COMMERCIAL SCENE 10: B/G A - TESLA & GAGARIN
After the sex, Tesla turns to find him gone. She looks up to
the railings above the bay, and he is standing, looking over
her.
GAGARIN (CONTD)
I have to go now.
TESLA
What? No!
Tesla tries to go to him, but can't seem to get out of the
bed.
TESLA (CONTD)
No, please. Ill do anything --
anything you ask, Ill do it. Just
please, please stay!
Suddenly, Tesla can no longer speak, the words coming from
her mouth mere gibberish. Gagarin walks slowly into the far
distance. He stops at a heavy loading door, turns to look at
her.
GAGARIN
Im sorry. I cant.
(pause)
Goodbye.
59.
He opens the door. Light FLOODS IN. Outside, SILHOUETTED,
are three large men, AI GOONS #1-3. They grab Gagarin and
pull him through the door.
59A.
Tesla tries to scream.
INT. EXPANDED DUNGEON - NIGHT 64
A virtual duplicate of the dungeon where McKenzie died, but
much more vast. At the center of this Dante's Inferno of
BDSM is Cassandra, bound, beaten and being fucked by TWO
DUNGEON MEN and a DUNGEON WOMAN.
Included in the group are Anderson, Blair, the Dom &
Dominatrix, the Female Agent and McKenzie.
COMMERCIAL SCENE 11: GROUP W/HARD BDSM & EXTREME SEX -
CASSANDRA & SEVERAL DUNGEON MEN & DUNGEON WOMEN, MCKENZIE,
DOM, DOMINATRIX, ANDERSON, BLAIR & FEMALE AGENT
After several of the men have come, Cassandra notices the
dungeon walls FLICKER briefly. Behind them she sees a dingy
chamber with computer GEAR.
INT. GAGARINS HIDEOUT -- DINGY CHAMBER - NIGHT 65
Cassandra is naked, reclining in a medical CHAIR with a CABLE
jacked into her chipslot. The cable feeds into a TERMINAL
set into the wall.
AI Goon #2 is seated nearby, relaxing, as AI Goon #1 moves
into position between Cassandras thighs. They apparently
have been taking turns tag-teaming her comatose body and
their movements have pulled the cable loose.
AI GOON #1
Round three.
One of Cassandras eyes, the TAPE over it now loose, opens.
She takes in the situation.
AI GOON #2
Yeah, its a dirty job...
Goon #1s laugh is cut short as Cassandra wraps her legs
around his waist and punches him in the throat. As he drops,
she sits upright, pulling the cable completely out of her
chipslot.
The remainder of the dungeon and its denizens MELT AWAY in a
BURST of static.
Goon #2 stand as Cassandra dives for him. The ensuing fight
is sloppy, fierce.
60.
He lands one punch, BLOODYING Cassandras lip. She smiles and
lunges for him again, delivering a series of punches and
kicks that drop him to the floor.
Finally, Cassandra loops the simchip cable around his neck
and pushes her knee into his back until a loud CRACK fills
the air.
She finds her clothes on a small metal TABLE. She pulls on
most of them before hearing a NOISE from out in the hall.
INT. GAGARINS HIDEOUT -- HALL - NIGHT 66
Stepping from the chamber, Cassandra sees Goon #3. He levels
a RIFLE. She turns to dive for cover, but at that moment,
Michael appears from a side door.
Near tears of rage, he pummels the Goon.
MICHAEL
Motherfucking -- you fuckers! Ill
kill you, goddamnit! Fucking kill
you!
Cassandra stops him just short of beating the Goon to death.
CASSANDRA
Michael! Michael!
MICHAEL
They put -- they fucking --
CASSANDRA
What?
Unable to say it, he turns to show her the hatchet-job of a
CHIPJACK thats been implanted in his neck.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
Christ.
MICHAEL
They put one in me! Fucking cut me
and put it in! I feel like Ive
been fucking raped!
CASSANDRA
No you don't. Trust me.
He looks at her for a moment, understands, and calms down.
61.
MICHAEL
(catches his breath)
Okay, Im -- okay.
He hands her a STRIKE pistol, readies his own.
MICHAEL (CONTD)
The guns were in my room.
Cassandra checks the clip and steps back into the dingy
chamber. WE HEAR two gunshots from O.C., and she returns to
the hall.
CASSANDRA
We need to find Tesla.
Michael turns to go. A third GUNSHOT makes him start, but he
doesn't look back. Cassandra walks past him.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
Self defense.
INT. DIFFERENCE ENGINE -- LIVING BAYS - DAY 67
Now alone, Tesla is lying on the bed, masturbating with the
huge DILDO and a VIBRATOR. She appears to have an orgasm,
but doesn't stop. Tears stream down her face, and it's
impossible to tell if she's in ecstasy or agony.
COMMERCIAL SCENE 12: SOLO - TESLA (BRIEF)
After a minute or so, the room MELTS away to reveal...
INT. GAGARINS HIDEOUT -- DIFFERENCE ENGINE ROOM - NIGHT 68
The room is filled with cluttered TECHNO-JUNK. Tesla sobs in
her CHAIR as Michael and Cassandra, having disconnected Tesla
from a TERMINAL, stand over her.
TESLA
I couldn't stop. He wouldn't let
me stop.
CASSANDRA
Do you still have the chip?
Tesla feels her abdomen.
TESLA
(relieved)
Yes.
62.
They make their way to the DIFFERENCE ENGINE TERMINAL at the
center of the room.
Seated in a COMMAND CHAIR at the terminal, wearing the same
jumpsuit as in Teslas sim, is the desiccated CORPSE of
Gagarin.
Tears stream down Tesla's face as she kneels down and pets
Gagarin's cheek.
CASSANDRA
Is it...?
Tesla nods. She turns away, and Michael and Cassandra lift
the brainscan CRADLE off Gagarins head and gently move him
from the chair.
Tesla turns to a side console and TYPES several keystrokes on
the screen. She starts.
TESLA
We're almost out of time. He's
moving a pulse-laser satellite
overhead.
MICHAEL
How long?
TESLA
Just over two minutes.
MICHAEL
Shit.
EXT. SCRUB DESERT - NIGHT 69
A small, ABANDONED BLOCKHOUSE, most likely and old Army
listening post, sits alone in the dim desert night. A huge
communications tower next to it the only sign of life or
modern technology.
After a moment, we MOVE UP and away from the blockhouse, away
from the continent, covered with the lights of massive,
sprawling cities and into LOW EARTH ORBIT.
There, miles up, a large, ominous looking satellite is firing
small RCS thrusters to move into position.
63.
INT. GAGARINS HIDEOUT -- DIFFERENCE ENGINE ROOM - NIGHT 70
Tesla feeds the Enigma chip into a slot in the Difference
Engine terminal and affixes the cradle to her head.
TESLA
You two should go. I can do this,
but it's going to be right to the
wire.
CASSANDRA
Then hurry.
A flurry of typing.
The COUNTDOWN gets closer.
Tesla smiles at something on the terminal screen.
TESLA
Hello, David.
MICHAEL
(whispers)
Gagarin.
They watch Tesla work. TEXT and GRAPHICS flash by on the
terminal screen.
Suddenly, Michael realizes what shes really up to.
MICHAEL (CONTD)
Shit.
(to Cassandra)
Shes not trying to kill Gagarin,
she's trying to heal him. That's
why the AI on the chip seemed to be
sentient. It is.
He moves to stop Tesla, but Cassandra takes his arm.
CASSANDRA
I know. Leave her to it.
TESLA
(to Cassandra and Michael)
Go! I'm overwriting him now, but
it will take too long to propagate!
Michael heads for the door.
64.
CASSANDRA
You have to come.
TESLA
Forget the meat. I'm going home.
MICHAEL
(at the door)
Come on, Cassandra! Now!
Cassandra and Tesla exchange a last look, a nod of mutual
understanding. Finally, Tesla mouths go.
Cassandra heads for the door and she and Michael bolt. Tesla
turns back to the console.
EXT. EARTH ORBIT - NIGHT 71
The emitter tip on the laser satellite begins to glow.
INT. GAGARINS HIDEOUT -- DIFFERENCE ENGINE ROOM - NIGHT 72
Tesla touches the screen tenderly.
TESLA
(quietly)
I've missed you so much.
Everything BURNS into white, FILLING the screen.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 73
Long, heavy silence.
THE INTERROGATOR
And that's it?
CASSANDRA
What else is there?
THE INTERROGATOR
I was hoping for something that
might at least rationalize your
actions, but this...
CASSANDRA
This doesn't matter.
65.
She gets up and goes to the door, opens it. She pauses,
turns to face the Interrogator.
CASSANDRA (CONTD)
It's all over, anyway.
THE INTERROGATOR
What is, exactly?
CASSANDRA
Everything. Everything we know is
about to change.
(a beat)
Tell me something. What do you
think about guardian angels?
THE INTERROGATOR
I don't, really. I doubt many
people do in this day and age.
You?
CASSANDRA
Oh yeah. I think about them all
the time. Now.
Cassandra exits, closes the door.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- OUTER OFFICE - DAY 74
Michael sits, waiting. He stands as Cassandra walks up to
him.
MICHAEL
What the hell? You've been in
there for hours.
CASSANDRA
Doesn't matter. Let's get
something to eat.
MICHAEL
Was he rough?
CASSANDRA
Yeah but, y'know, I like that.
Maybe I'll take him out some night.
MICHAEL
You're twisted.
66.
CASSANDRA
Yep. Hey, something occurred to
me. When you were in your computer
reality, what snapped you out of
it?
MICHAEL
(smiles)
You.
CASSANDRA
Really?
MICHAEL
In that reality, you were nice to
me. I was so shocked it brought me
right out.
Cassandra thinks about this for a moment, then nods. She
turns and walks away. Michael follows.
INT. DSA HEADQUARTERS -- INTERROGATORS OFFICE - DAY 75
Still seated, the Interrogator removes a chip from his neck
and loads it into the terminal slot. A GRAPHIC lights on the
screen, indicating the system is recording.
THE INTERROGATOR
Enigma File, classification Top
Secret. Subject, Digital Security
Special Agent Cassandra Cray.
Subject exhibits classic signs of
post-traumatic stress-induced
psychological dysfunction with
attendant paranoid schizophrenia
and delusions--
He cuts off in mid-sentence as the terminal STOPS recording.
The info on the screen VANISHES, and is replaced by a message
in large type: FOR REASONS OF NATIONAL SECURITY THIS FILE HAS
BEEN LOCKED AND ENCRYPTED. SECURITY LEVEL TESLA.
There is a pause, then: HAVE A NICE DAY
The Interrogator is startled. He stares at the screen, then
at his closed office door. He glances back to the screen,
then his gaze drifts inexorably toward the heavens, the
CAMERA following as we
FADE OUT.
67.
The Upload Lexicon
or What the Fuck Does That Mean?!?

AVATAR: (Avuhtar)
Slang. An elite hacker. With the rare exception of those few avatars who are rumored to
work for government and business, their existence is almost a myth; the results of their
handiwork are very real, however, and can be at once spectacular and devastating.

BLACK WAREZ: (Blak Wearz)
Slang. Any software that by function, content or origin, the U.S. Government considers a
threat to the security or sovereignty of the nation. Some adult media, usually in the form
of unlicensed SKINSIMS (see below), is considered by the government to be a type of
black warez.

BOTSTORM: (Botstorm)
A literal swarm of software apps, called bots, usually delivered via THE GRID (see
below), and designed to assault a target with overwhelming numbers of intense, often
repetitive, calculations. Once engaged, the most advanced bots have the ability to learn
from, adapt to and even overwrite a targets defenses or other programs.

CHIPJACK:
A bio-mechanical interface that facilitates the transfer of media and even hard data into
and out of the brain. Originally developed as a means to aid mobility and communication
for persons with severe physical impairments, the chipjack has by far seen its widest use
as a platform for entertainment software, usually in the form of SIMS (see below) and
SIMCHIPS (see below).

CHIPJUNKIE:
Slang. Anyone who is addicted to viewing/playing/experiencing SIMS (see below).

CRSH DRIVE: (Krush Drive)
The hard drive of the day, CRSH drives are incredibly fast and ultra-reliable, with no
moving parts. Petabyte-capacity is the new standard for storage, with 500-petabyte and
higher drives not uncommon for commercial apps.

DERMAL POUCH:
A small pocket of skin, created via plastic surgery, that is used to hold (or more precisely,
to conceal) small, valuable items. Most dermal pouches are imperceptible to the eye;
some have been shielded against x-rays and other body scanning technology.

DIFFERENCE ENGINE:
As proposed by Charles Babbage in the mid- to late 1800s, the Analytical Engine and
Difference Engine were, respectively, the mechanical forebears of the modern computer
and digital calculator. Though never constructed during his lifetime, a version of
Babbages Difference Engine built in the 1990s proved to be accurate in its calculations
out to 31 digits.

DSA:
Acronym for Digital Security Agency. DSA is a division of U.S. Homeland Security
charged with protecting THE GRID (see below) from black warez, GRIDHACK CODE
(see below) and viruses.

ECHELON II: (Eshellon 2)
The next generation of the global computer network said to monitor all electronic
communications in an effort to alert law enforcement to possible terrorist threats. The
original Echelon system was a joint effort between the U.S. National Security Agency
and the Communications Security Establishment of Canada, the Government
Communications Head Quarters of England, the Australian Defense Security Directorate,
and New Zealands General Communications Security Bureau.

EMP SATELLITE: (E.M.P. Satellite)
Part of the HK (see below) orbital arsenal, the EMP satellite delivers an electromagnetic
pulse capable of short-circuiting any unshielded electronic device within the target area,
whether a single-family dwelling, an industrial complex, or an enemy column several
kilometers in length.

GAGARIN: (Guhgarrin)
An Avatar (see above) in our story, named for Yuri Gagarin, the first Russian
Cosmonaut, and the first human being to travel into outer space.

GRID, THE:
The merging of media, utilities, business, health care, government, and the Web. Our
economy, power, communications and defense, everything down to the clothing we wear,
is tied into and monitored via The Grid.

GRIDHACK CODE:
A particularly dangerous form of black warez designed to compromise the integrity,
security, and/or functionality of The Grid.

GRINDER:
Slang. Short for organ grinder. A grinder is anyone who makes, sells or otherwise
traffics in black market human lungs, livers, hearts, kidneys pretty much whatever an
ailing body needs. The organs are grown from a list of donors, willing and not-so-
willing. The best grinders provide a degree of genetic manipulation to closer match the
recipients DNA, but that kind of service is very rare and really expensive.

HARMONY:
A computer subprogram that allows the user to change points of view within a SIM (see
below). Harmony is usually hidden or disguised within the sim as a bonus or reward
for the user to discover and activate as s/he chooses.

HEAP ROUND:
Acronym for the high-energy armor-piercing explosive-tipped rounds that are standard
ordnance for the STRIKE. PISTOL (see below). If youre shot with a HEAP round,
youre probably not going to survive.

HOT CRYO: (Hott Cryoh)
A method for short-term and portable storage of organs and other body parts within an
inert chemical gel that does not require at- or below-freezing temperatures. Widely used
by EMTs and combat medics; a favorite of grinders.

HK:
Short for hunter-killer. HK is a global air- and space-based surveillance system
utilizing both unmanned aerial drones and orbital satellites to track and eliminate its
targets. Employed by the military and certain foreign and domestic law enforcement
agencies.

HYPOSPRAY:
As the heir apparent to the more traditional needle and syringe, the hypo uses
compressed air to painlessly transfer its contents into the body. The lack of a needle
allows for repeated/multiple usage with a reduced risk of infection.

MICROWAVE PLATFORM:
Part of the HK satellite arsenal, the various classes of orbital microwave platforms use
narrow- or widely-focused beams of high-intensity microwave radiation to literally fry
their targets from space.

NON-SCAN:
Slang. A person who does not have, or chooses not to use, a chipjack.

RFID CHIP:
Acronym for Radio Frequency Identification Chip. RFID chips and tags allow for
identification and tracking of people, animals and goods of all sorts just about anything
that can be lost, found, bought or sold. All DSA agents have an RFID chip surgically
implanted under their skin to be used only in case of emergency, of course.

SAC: (Sack) huh-huh you said sack
Acronym for Space & Air Command, the successor to the U.S. Defense Departments
Strategic Air Command, which was charged with protecting American airspace from the
mid-1940s until 1992. Space & Air Command counts among its arsenal ground-based
ballistic and smart missiles, aero jet bombers and spy drones, and low-orbiting EMP and
microwave satellites.

SCR011: (Scroll)
A fanciful spelling of the word scroll. This portable computer can be configured as a
laptop or PDA, and is comprised of single or dual E-Paper screens that roll up for storage
inside a cylindrical case that also houses the processor, battery, wireless antenna, etc.
Law enforcement and military-grade scr011s are resistant to extremes of temperature,
environment and shock, and can even pull double duty as a sap or baton. Available in a
variety of designer colors.

SIM:
Abbr. Common usage for simulation. The new standard in prerecorded entertainment,
the earliest sims were a largely voyeuristic experience, much like a 20
th
-century motion
picture or video game. With the advent of chipjack technology, the latest sims are truly
immersive, allowing the user to experience first-hand the sights, sounds, and other
sensations of those who appear in the sim to a degree that is indistinguishable from
reality.

SIMCHIP:
The preferred method for storage and dissemination of sims. The typical simchip is
small, about the size of a human fingernail, and fits neatly into the standard chipjack.

SIMSHOP:
The 21
st
-century equivalent to the video arcade, a place where patrons can rent or buy
sims to use at the shop or at home. Many underground simshops traffic in unlicensed
SKINSIMS (see below) and other, more unsavory, software; i.e., the good stuff.

SIMWHORE:
A person who performs sexually in unlicensed SKINSIMS (see below).

SKINMAKER:
Anyone who produces, directs, performs, or otherwise participates in the production of
SKINSIMS (see below). Skinmakers used to be called pornographers.

SKINSIM:
A sexually explicit sim. Like their Hollywood brethren, skinsims have evolved from
voyeurism to immersion, allowing the user to experience fully the sights, sounds and
other sensations of those who appear in the sim. According to (unverified) industry
estimates, skinsims currently outsell their mainstream counterparts by a factor of 12 to 1.

STRESSER:
A lie detector capable of discerning (some reports say extracting) degrees of truth from
a subject to within a fraction of a percentage.

STRIKE PISTOL:
The standard-issue sidearm for DSA field agents. STRIKE is an acronym for the
weapons tri-phase, dual-level functions, which include stun/taze, repel/immobilize and
kill/explode. Since the kill setting already utilizes a lethal (usually) HEAP round, some
agents jokingly refer to the still more-powerful explode setting as overkill.


ZEPHYR:
A performance-enhancing drug that acts directly on the nervous system, allowing the user
to react and move at speeds up to several times their norm. Originally developed for use
by the military, Zephyr was found to have worked its way into the populace when pro
and amateur athletes in a variety of sports were observed to be performing at inhuman
levels. The FDA banned the use of Zephyr in humans soon after when it was found that
repeated doses had a tendency to burn out nerve synapses in the brain, leaving the user
in a numb, even vegetative, state.

Alvin Edwards & Eli Cross