EARTHBOUND, ACT ONE EXT : ONETT HILL, EAGLELAND : MORNING : 198X : A swath of green envelopes the area and

slowly becomes more defined as the camer a changes focus. There is a leaf at the center of the screen, a crystal-clear be ad of dew rolling off toward the very tip where it hangs for several seconds and catches the distorted reflection of the grass and sky behind it--a near-microsc opic parody of the Earth itself. The dew drops off and the camera pans away from the leaves, which are part of a bush, and focuses in on a small boy, sitting atop a hill, with a red and blue ba seball cap. This is NESS: about five-years-old, his unruly jet-black hair is held in place by the oversized hat. All of his clothes, in fact, are too large for his almost frail-looking body. They are bright and colorful, unlike his dark and distant e yes that remain fixed on the town a few miles off. A dirty wooden baseball bat r ests in the grass near his outstretched legs, his name colored on the surface wi th crayon. NESS remains silent and still as a wide shadow is cast over him. He glances up, and there is a look of recognition about him, though his expression does not cha nge. The camera pans up and around to focus in on the face of an older, larger boy st anding over NESS. This is PORKY MINCH: big and brutish, he appears to be the complete opposite o f the first character in every way. The soft blonde hair on his head is brushed down neatly and starting to grow over his eyes. It perfectly accentuates his rou nd face and body, unlike his clothes, which he has already grown out of. The fly of his blue shorts is unbuttoned and his chubby belly has spilled over the wais tline, peeking out from under his stained white shirt. Though he looks closer to ten, he is barely eight-years-old. PORKY (smiling, a mocking tone to his voice) Hey there, neighbor. Whatcha doin'? NESS says nothing. He looks away from PORKY and down the hill at the town of ONE TT. PORKY (CONT.) (frustrated) I said hey there, neighbor! What's the matter, Ness? Too stupid to talk? Still, NESS says nothing and his face remains blank. It seems as if he is not pa rticipating mentally in the current scene. PORKY (CONT.) (smiling, but with a devious expression) You know, my mom's got some new cooking knives in the kitchen. I could steal em easy and we could play doctor. You be the patient, and I'll operate on you--just for pretend, of course. I promise I won't really cut you. There is still no word from NESS, though he looks up at PORKY again with his bla

nk and innocent eyes. PORKY (CONT.) (after a short pause) Or, we could fight--like superheroes! But you can only use your hands. No cheating. PORKY kicks the baseball bat and it rolls down the hill. Emotion suddenly return s to NESS and he stands up, devastated, but before he can chase after the bat, P ORKY grabs his collar and swings him around. PORKY (CONT.) (releasing NESS and readying himself) I'll say one, two, three' and then we go, okay? One... NESS regains his balance after stumbling backward, and then looks down the hill again where his baseball bat has fallen. PORKY seizes the opportunity to rush his neighbor without counting to three. He runs at NESS, who curls inward and closes his eyes. PORKY grabs the front of his striped shirt. There is a bright flash and PORKY is flung several feet up and a way by an unseen force. He lands hard on his back. PORKY (dazed, and then violently angry) ... Nobody pushes me! Ness, I'll get you! After a short struggle, PORKY rolls up off the ground and charges toward NESS ag ain with the full force and weight of his body. Before he even reaches the boy, there is another bright flash and he is flung back once more. The camera focuses in on PORKY, who realizes that NESS has pushed him without us ing his hands. He stands up again, but has lost all will to fight. PORKY (frightened and hiding this with anger) Freak! You're a freak! No wonder nobody wants to play with you! There's something wrong--you're not normal! (pause, catching his breath) You'll never have any friends. No one will ever talk to you now that they know you're a freak! Thunder rolls in the darkening sky above as PORKY exits the scene. NESS uncoils his arms from around his tiny body and watches PORKY running scared . Then, he slides down the grassy hill, the rain at his back, as a woman's voice calls his name from somewhere off-screen. FADE TO: INT: ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOME : AFTERNOON : 199X : The camera focuses in on a bright ray of sunlight streaming in through a window. It falls on a shaggy white dog resting on the floor beside a couch, upon which a boy is sleeping. This is NESS: eight years have passed, and he has grown a bit taller. Now thir teen, he has taken his first step into puberty. His bright clothes--a striped tshirt and pair of frayed denim shorts--appear to fit him better here, as does hi

s red and blue cap. There is still an ethereal but innocent look about him. A knocking sound is heard off-screen. It wakes NESS and he slides off the couch with the dog watching. The dog is KING: a sheepdog-mix with dirty white fur. His tired eyes suggest a ge and wisdom, as well as a fair amount of apathy about much of the world around him. He communicates with NESS through a disembodied voice, suggesting a telepa thic bond between them. KING That smell again... it's the large one, Ness, and his littermate. I would bark if I thought it would drive them away. You'll just have to let them in. NESS does not respond to KING. He opens the door to reveal two blonde boys, one fat and tall, the other thin and a bit shorter. The tall, fat boy is PORKY MINCH: now well into his teens, he has retained his ponderous shape and it is obvious that height has done nothing to hide this. Hi s thick blonde hair has grown completely over his eyes, though it is well taken care of. Only his clothes--a white shirt tucked into a bright blue pair of overa lls--are dirty. There is still something troublesome about this young man. The thin blonde boy is PICKY MINCH: the younger brother of PORKY. Despite the difference in height and weight, the siblings look like twins. He is the same ag e as NESS. Although he has reached puberty, his voice and demeanor are still sof t and childish, and show no signs of changing soon. He is the thinnest of the th ree boys. His dark shirt and baggy jeans hang on him like a blanket on a wire, h iding many of the bruises given to him by his brother. PORKY (faking politeness) Hey there, bestest friend. (pause, sniffing the air) Is lunch ready? PORKY shoves past NESS to get inside. PICKY is much more reserved and remains on the doorstep until NESS gestures him inside with an exasperated expression. PICKY He hasn't had his third lunch yet. Is it okay? NESS nods but says nothing in response. The camera pans away from NESS and PICKY to capture the rest of the residence. I t is a small but comfortable home, furnished lightly and decked out in scratched wooden floors. The wallpaper is bright and cheerful, as is the woman working di ligently in the kitchen. This is NESS'S MOTHER: a caring and loving person who is closing in on the mid dle-aged era of her life. Her hair is still a youthful, shining blonde, unlike t hat of her son, and she wears an equally radiant pink dress to match her upbeat personality. NESS'S MOTHER is heard speaking to PORKY off-screen as NESS and PICKY join them in the kitchen. PORKY is eating when they arrive. PORKY (speaking with a mouthful of food)

Thank you for lunch, ma'am. What a beautiful dress you have on. And is that wallpaper new? It so perfectly matches your lovely blue eyes. NESS (seating himself beside his neighbor) Calm down, P. You've already gotten the food. NESS'S MOTHER smiles and sets down plates for NESS and PICKY, but makes no respo nse to the empty compliments being thrown at her. Her facial expression speaks v olumes. PORKY (CONT.) Ness, don't you think we have the most wonderful mothers in the whole world? So lovely and charming, and such talented cooks. PORKY waits for NESS'S MOTHER to walk out of the kitchen before he starts to gag on the food he has been holding in his overstuffed cheeks. It is obvious he dis likes the taste, but is overreacting about just how much. PORKY (spitting the half-eaten mush onto his plate) Sick! What the hell is that? Tastes like carrots and dog crap. NESS No one's making you eat it. No one's making you stay, either. PICKY eats with a mix of gratitude and apprehension. The camera focuses in on hi m for a moment as he glances back and forth between his brother and NESS from ac ross the table, but he chooses to stay out of the brewing argument. PORKY Ness, we're best friends, right? We've had good times and bad. You'd tell me if you had any goodies in the cupboard, wouldn't you old pal, best friend? NESS shies away from PORKY as the larger boy attempts to drape an arm over his s houlders. Undaunted, PORKY slips off his chair to raid the cupboards, though he races back to his seat the moment he hears NESS'S MOTHER reenter the kitchen. She smiles a t the boys, and they all smile back, though NESS appears bothered. NESS'S MOTHER You boys haven't seen Tracy today, have you? NESS Must still be upstairs. She was busy this morning. NESS'S MOTHER I'll have a look. You boys are free to go when you finish, just don't leave the dishes lying around for someone else to do. NESS'S MOTHER exits. PORKY chuckles under his breath and watches her leave.

PORKY (leaning in close, whispering) Did your mom finally decide to go out and get that job? NESS (refusing to look at PORKY) What're you talking about? PORKY (grinning) C'mon, Ness. We're best pals. poor. Your dad's been beggin' since we were little. And I'm mom standin' on the corner in

I know your family's money from my dad pretty sure I saw your town.

NESS drops his eating utensils and they clatter loudly on the plate. The noise s tuns both PORKY and PICKY. PORKY (CONT.) Just thought you should know. PICKY (glancing up nervously) Porky, don't make jokes like that. You know Mum doesn't like it. NESS (standing up, angry) Take it back. PORKY Why? What if it's true? Then what, Ness? NESS (shouting) It's not true! Take it back! NESS shoves PORKY off his chair. The force and weight of the two boys is enough to snap one of the wooden legs. PORKY sits on the floor for a moment, stunned, before picking himself back up. P ICKY flinches and shrinks in his seat. NESS Get out. (pause) Go! PORKY (blushing, angry) Fine! I didn't want to eat your stupid crap lunch or play with a freak like you, anyway! You're a loser, Ness! A stupid, freaky loser from a freaky loser family! See if my parents help yours out anymore. PORKY exits in a shame-filled rage. PICKY slips out of his chair and approaches NESS with caution.

PICKY I'm sorry. He doesn't mean what he says. He likes to fight sometimes. Mum says he's just being a teenager. Dad says it's gas. (pause) We're still friends, right? NESS does not respond. PICKY See you later, Ness. And sorry, again. PICKY exits. NESS'S MOTHER enters. She looks stunned at the sight of the broken chair and her angry son. NESS'S MOTHER Sweetheart? NESS They left. (pause) It's nothing, Mom. Don't worry. NESS'S MOTHER approaches NESS and places a hand on his shoulder as he picks up t he broken chair. NESS'S MOTHER (in a quiet, soothing voice) You're a good boy, Ness. Don't worry about that now. Just go out and play. NESS exits. CUT TO: EXT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOUSE : NIGHT : A view outside the home of NESS. It is a quiet summer night, save for the chirpi ng and whirring of insects. The camera lingers on the humble two-story house for only a moment before the view changes again. CUT TO: INT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOUSE : NESS'S BEDROOM : NIGHT : The warm glow of a lamp bathes the far corner of the bedroom in a golden light. NESS drops his baseball cap over the top of the shade and props his bat against the nightstand. He is wearing striped pajamas and a distant expression, but a su dden knock at the door snaps him out of his reverie. A petite blonde girl enters the room. This is TRACY: the younger sister of NESS. She is just a child, but precocious . Her intelligence makes it easy for her to get along with adults as well as chi ldren her own age. Wearing her soft pink pajamas, she appears to be a nearly ide ntical copy of her mother, and bears a similar, cheerful personality.

Especially you. too. NESS'S MOTHER You know he isn't. I think this will be good for me. really? That's great! I never understood why you wanted a job so badly.m. being a kid and all. NESS'S MOTHER Time for bed. At least you're old enough. I just feel a bit off tonight. That fancy new job of yours isn't going to sound so exciting at 7 a. guys. (pause) You'll just have to be the man of the house a bit longer. NESS Is Dad coming home tonight.) Ness? Did I interrupt you? NESS No. his mother peeks into the room from behind the door lef t ajar. TRACY (CONT. Work has got him tied to the wall.. but pleased) Tracy. Miss Tracy. Mom. Sorry. TRACY (cutting in) I'm not just a kid. (pause) Did you need something? TRACY tiptoes across the room and over to the bed happily. . In a minute. bro. Mom? There is a period of awkward and somber silence as NESS'S MOTHER stares at NESS from the doorway. and-. throwing her arms aro und her brother.TRACY (speaking softly) Hey there.. that's all. The small smile on his face fades in an instant. Before NESS can respond. Feeling better? (pause) What's wrong? NESS remains silent. TRACY I've been on the phone almost all day and it's finally paid off! I spoke to the district manager of Escargo Express and she agreed to hire me! I can start working the phones in Customer Service tomorrow! NESS (stunned. Maybe you should work on getting a summer job. I'm fine. and we need the money. sweetheart. Ness. TRACY (smiling) Yes. I have a headache.

It is a meteor. Porky's always been a brat. TRACY exits. The camera cuts to a closer shot of one quadrant of the planet. It isn't worth it. ever since we moved here. it survives the harsh and fi ery ride through the atmosphere on is way toward the surface. and c rawls into bed with a heavy heart. just like you are every day. The camera closes in on his somber face. And yeah you fight a lot. It zooms straight up into his left eye as he rolls onto his back and continues toward a single bright spot on the lens. shuts off the lamp on his nightstand. I think he'd appreciate a phone call once in a while. but you guys never stay mad long. TRACY waits until she is out of earshot before speaking again. Ness.This dry spell won't last. NESS (embarrassed and hesitant) He's just a jerk. Goodnight. TRACY Don't worry too much. I'm sure you'll be outside playing tomorrow. Though not very impressive in size. as if it is not truly happening. TRACY (in a hushed voice) Mom told me you and Porky got into a fight. Why don't you do that in the morning? NESS and TRACY nod in unison and their mother points a stern finger at them. TRACY embraces him gently and walks back toward the door. NESS ponders her words for a moment. FADE TO: EXT : EARTH : The bright spot turns a deep blue as it morphs into a view of the Earth against the endless black backdrop space. From the right side of the screen. CUT TO: . Until then. When NESS provides no response. There is an almost surreal quality about the s cene. He'll be home soon. TRACY But you two have been friends for years. that's all. NESS'S MOTHER exits. showing an indis tinguishable landmass that is EAGLELAND. NESS'S MOTHER Bedtime. a re ddish-orange glow appears and races toward Earth.

her eyes half-lidded in t he overwhelming light. It grows larger and bri ghter with each second. Tracy. too? I was hoping that it was just a dream. CUT TO: INT : NESS'S HOUSE : NESS'S BEDROOM : NIGHT : NESS bolts upright in bed. eyes wide and filled with fear. NESS'S MOTHER enters.. nobody's hurt. NESS'S MOTHER I thought I might find you both out here. casting a yellow glow on the floor that floods into his room. and other debris are thrown violently into the air once the flaming rock hits. I expect. Although he suspects he may have been dreaming. wrapping the band of her thin white robe around her waist. and then groans when she realizes the source of the sound. NESS (frightened and curious) MomNESS'S MOTHER Now. his fearful state is heightened by the sound of police sirens wa iling somewhere outside. so I want you both back in bed. NESS'S MOTHER (exasperated) Oh. NESS (racing down the hall) I'll get it! . mister. This scene continues for only a moment as the dust begins to settle. A light f lips on in the hallway.. for God's sake. until it collides with the Earth. grass. Are you all right? TRACY Fine. Nothing's broken. He follows this out and finds TRACY in the hall. too. You. Mom. Her lecture is interrupted by a frightful pounding coming from downstairs. NESS climbs out of bed and stumbles across the room in total darkness. What happened? NESS'S MOTHER I don't know. You're not going to use this as an excuse to stay up late. Dirt. A small quake or something.EXT : ONETT HILL SUMMIT : NIGHT : The camera pans upward to a bright red speck in the sky. His heart is pounding and this is obvious from the look on his face. She j umps suddenly with surprise. TRACY (disoriented) Ness? Did you hear it.

His movements are intercepted by PORKY. NESS closes the door. Please help me. I only came to ask Ness if he would help me find a toy I lost. Without a word. good evening. He is holding his emotions in check. PORKY (faking politeness) Oh. I don't-. you've got to help me. which is flun g open to reveal PORKY.. PORKY (out of breath) Picky's gone. and he was just gone. NESS allows PORKY to stumble inside and closes the door after him. but he clears the stairs in seconds and is soon o ut of range. (pause. oh please help me look? It won't take long if we both go. The camera follows him all the way to the front door.. PORKY (pushing himself against the door) Wait! Ness. you've got to help me. It's his stuffed animal. I'm sorry if I disturbed you. NESS'S MOTHER Well I'm sure it's around here somewhere. Why don't you boys look for it in the morning? PORKY (interjecting sharply) No! . You're wasting time.. We snuck outside to see what happened. The expressio n on his face is one of pure anger. taking a few deep breaths) I looked up. NESS'S MOTHER enters with TRACY on her heels. There is a brief pause from PORKY. Please. He can't get to sleep without it. NESS Well then go find him. NESS'S MOTHER Is everything all right. Please. still dressed in his daytime attire. . You're looking lovely as ever. PORKY I'm sorry. Ness. who is formulating his thoughts... (hesitation) It'll be faster if we look together. dear? What are you doing out so late? Your parents must be worried. She is genuinely concerned to see PORKY and approaches the two boys.NESS'S MOTHER calls after him. ma'am. PORKY (desperate) No! Please.. Ness? I swear I'll take back all the things I said about your mom being-. it's for Picky. I really need it.

continuing on. puffing and panting all the way up the path. nag! Stop leaving your dirty poopies all over the bathroom floor! NESS halts suddenly and looks back at PORKY. And I mean that. whose heart has begun to melt at the display of emotio n. she'll tell my dad.NESS looks to his mother. You should be responsible. PORKY (CONT. Or why I didn't say anything. Their movemen ts are guided by moonlight and the timeworn dirt path beneath their feet. Her eyes are filled with concern. and then swit ches to NESS and PORKY briefly before changing scenes.) (speaking normally) Underwear. CUT TO: EXT : ONETT HILL : NIGHT : NESS and PORKY are seen trudging up a steep portion of ONETT HILL. she'll tell my mom. In the center of the crater is a rock black as th space from which it came. squeal-like voice) Porky! Why aren't you watching your brother? You're the older one. What other guy would give up his whole night to sneak out with his best friend and go check out that big glowing spaceship at the top of the hill! NESS (stopping again) Say what? PORKY runs off ahead of NESS. PORKY Are you kidding? If your mom finds out Picky is missing. Ness. though I don't know why you had to lie to her. and then they'll blame me. . NESS (mildly annoyed) You know I'm only doing this because my mom felt sorry for you. (pause. And if my mom finds out Picky is missing. They'll say(speaking in a high-pitched. begin walking again) You're such a good friend. He grabs hold of him to avoid losi ng his way in the dark. PORKY is walking uncomfortably close to NESS. Blah. it ughly the e void of glow dominates much of the landscape on the summit. blah! Nag. As the camera pans becomes clear that the light is coming from a crater in the ground--ro size of a large car. blah. The camera focuses in on her. He di sappears behind a ridge. NESS follows up shortly. CUT TO: EXT : ONETT HILL SUMMIT : NIGHT : An orange away. its edges and grooves fringed with fire. nag.

When he notices the meteor. and then glances over at the smold ering meteor. PICKY (surprised. People will believe it! And they'll pay big . closing his eyes. To avoid being overheard. from off-screen. He peers out from behind the trunk as. or somethin' cool. A mix of horror and awe envelope his visage. PORKY sidles up close to PICKY. It's just a rock. we say it was all his fault. PICKY (whispering) But Porky. At the base of one tree rests PICKY. PORKY (whispering. He presses a hand to his left temple. you're the one who brought him along. a bit louder) What are you an idiot? This is our chance to be famous! We were the first ones up here. the sound of heavy footfalls draws near. He'll ruin everything. PORKY (whispering) He's the cover-up! Incase we get in trouble. Who the hell is gonna pay to see some dumbass rock? NESS enters. Their leaves have caught the glow from the rock.A few trees dot the area. but otherwise looks frustrated and tire d. Picky! Ness is coming! PICKY What did you bring Ness for? PORKY hesitates a moment to catch his breath. Maybe we should just go. Therefore. but we'll say it's from Mars or an alien's butthole or somethin' crazy like that. PICKY (whispering) That doesn't sound right. we have every right to set up shop. PORKY (whispering) We can't let Ness know what we're doing. We charge people admission to come see this thing. makin g them appear to be engulfed in flames. He is pleased to see PICKY. his facial expression drops. but pleased) Porky! There you are! I've been waitin' for almost an hour. Where'd you go? PORKY (hunched over and panting) Shut up. lame! What the hell is that? A rock? I thought there were gonna be spaceships and burnt-up satellites. PORKY (disappointed and angry) Aw.

Picky. who responds with an ear-splitting scream .money to come see it! The camera pans away from PORKY and PICKY to catch NESS falling onto his hands a nd knees. NESS covers his ears. But I ain't walkin' you home. They'll just And then you'll really be in how Dad is. NESS remains hunched over on the ground several feet from the crater. And the police are blocked off by make you leave. PICKY Ness! What happened? (rushing over) Porky. You know PORKY is silenced for a moment. Look at Ness! PORKY Who gives a damn about every man for himself. it's Don't expect me to cover for upset. PORKY (angry and red-faced) Fine! You two losers go home! But I came all the way up here and I'm not leavin' until I get what's mine! I'm not just gonna walk away only to have some idiot come and take all this! PICKY Take what? It's just a rock! prob'ly gonna have this area morning anyway. The s ound is heard for only a moment before it is drowned out by a much louder one: a metallic wailing that fills the area. It disappears a second later. C'mon. There's something not right here. Please! There's something not right here. PICKY and PORKY appear stunned. PICKY (desperate and afraid) But we can't just leave him! . A sudden flash more brilliant than daylight accompanies the unearthly sound. Ness! In times like this. PICKY puts an arm around NESS. His eyes are shut tightly and his mouth is open. on the edge of fear) Did you guys hear that? PICKY Let's go now. but not incapacitated. but his s creams are unheard. PORKY (dumbfounded. He looks to be on the verge of tears. though he retains his anger. pal. and the noise melts away into the night air. And Mum and Dad have to know we snuck out by now. maybe we should just go home... trouble. you if Mom and Dad get (looking at NESS) Nothin' personal.

From within the invisible dome comes a return attack: rapid jets of green that p unch holes through the metallic body of STARMAN #1. . It stands several feet above the average adult human. STARMAN #1 This is the child. STARMAN #1 Do not assume you have arrived here without my knowledge. whizzing directly past PORKY and PICKY toward NESS. Another. Its body begins to d isintegrate. NESS looks around. acknowledging them individually. STARMAN #1 raises an arm. The throbbing pain in his head th at had been bothering him only moments ago is no longer an issue. viscous blood bubble out of the wounds. PICKY and PORKY recoil at the abrupt appearance of STARMAN #1. The one who will lead the four. but only for a time. When the light fades. A shar p red beam fires from it. but in the grand scheme. this time from the other side of the sum mit. This is STARMAN #1: a being not of the Earth. It then directs its attention to NESS. PICKY and PORKY look on. and PICKY do not respond. Although it has the ability to s peak and shows great intelligence. Destroy me now. NESS glances up f rom his vulnerable position. NESS lowers his head and closes his eyes only seconds before the b eam makes contact with an unseen barrier. Still frozen. thicker jet of light from inside the protective dome bursts forth. except for NESS. injured. who is still on his hands and knees in shock. NESS remains still. awestruck. The metallic being falls. if you wish. NESS. your efforts mean nothing. This child and the other three have been marked for death. VOICE You are safe. the end of which tapers off to a rounded point. though he still is immobile. (pause) Ness! You may stand up now. STARMAN #1 gazes at all characters present as the camera focuses in on its face. All three children are stunned. There is a black visor where its eyes ought to be. Black globu les of an ethereal. makes use of both teleportation and bipedal movements. almost statuesque figure is left i n its place. a tall. driv ing straight into the heart of STARMAN #1. and then stands. It bounces off. sending ripples of pri smatic light down a domelike shape.There is another sudden burst of light. it appears to be more like a machine than a l iving creature. hesitates. and is completely cloaked in a silv er "skin" not unlike steel. a nd no signs of a soul inside. STARMAN #1 stumbles backward. PORKY. The boys shield their eyes.

crawli ng up his hand to his shoulder. The threads of my soul and coming apart. but I cannot remain here long. Although. PICKY and PORKY kick and prod the body of STARMAN #1. Ness. and so I chose the form of an insect. NESS To kill me--us. Ness. (hesitation) Where are you? Who are you and what are you? VOICE Keep still. PORKY and PICKY take notice. So we must be quick. I. BUZZ-BUZZ Yes.. N ESS approaches. BUZZ-BUZZ In order to protect myself.. They are oblivious to the presence of BUZZ-BUZZ. It followed me to this time to seek out you and three other children. I've come from a time in the not-too-distant future with the hope of correcting the destruction that has come to Earth. There is no way of knowing wh at the shape of his true form actually is. I am right beside you. PORKY is interested in taking a closer look. I was forced to travel in as compact a body as I was able. (flitting his wings restlessly) I protected you from this single threat. it was able to travel safely in its original form. and in that body is my soul. Come this way. detaching themselves from the physical realm. They receive no response. A gentle blue light emanates from BUZZ-BUZZ and spreads across the rock like a s .NESS (grateful. This is BUZZ-BUZZ: a powerful being with psychic abilities that has taken on t he form of an arthropod. There is a pause as the camera pans away from BUZZ-BUZZ and NESS to focus on POR KY and PICKY. Whoever those other kids are. He is wise and dedicated.. but PICKY has grown more fearful. it's gone! I feel so much better.. BUZZ-BUZZ That being was a Starman. BUZZ-BUZZ takes off from NESS and alights onto a small rock a few meters away. PICKY and PORKY move up cautiously to the fallen body of STARMAN #1 to be certai n it is dead while BUZZ-BUZZ continues to speak. A small insect with clear wings and an iridescent carapace lands on NESS. however. am a being like you: I have an organic body. yet confused) My headache. Already my body is growing weak. But what-. who are still shaking off the fright from the encounter with STARM AN #1. BUZZ-BUZZ Please don't be alarmed. unlike myself. but they say nothing.

Believe me when I tell you. Hold it close to yourself. Before my body withers and my soul is cast off. NESS looks up from the Sound Stone at PORKY and PICKY. I don't get a lot of it. soon the rhythm of the Earth itself will join yours. Your heart beats within that very stone just as it beats within your chest. (hesitation) Well. NESS (removing the stone) But I don't understand. NESS That's what I don't get. They exchange glances . that you must seek out the eight sanctuaries of your earthbound soul and unite with the other three children. I can feel something inside me. BUZZ-BUZZ Take this. to be honest. CUT TO: EXT : ONETT HILL : PORKY AND PICKY'S HOUSE : NIGHT : The scene outside the MINCH residence is not much more peaceful than the scene a . What was once a lifeless rock is now imbued with the ability to record sound. He places it against h is forehead. smoothing out all rough edges until it is uniformly even. but does not pull away. Press it to your forehead and allow your mind to wander. I'll walk you guys home. BUZZ-BUZZ He is right. let's take shelter. Come on then. When I hold this rock. PICKY (cutting in meekly) Ness? What's wrong? Who are you talking to? (pause) We should be getting home. or Sound Stone for short. BUZZ-BUZZ (interjecting) Yes. NESS Right. but still say nothing. gasps as a sudden chill hits him. This power of this stone is in your very soul. We'll be in trouble. but only that which reaches your heart. NESS takes the stone as BUZZ-BUZZ crawls back up his arm.tream of water. I will explain more to you then. Ness. PORKY and PICKY watch NESS hold the stone to his forehead. Ness. None of this is making any sense. If fate is kind. BUZZ-BUZZ This is a Sonograph Stone.

We'll tell Mom and Dad that. casting a wide shadow on to the boys. It is more than twice the size of the house NESS live s in. (pause) That we needed to find Ness. PICKY So does Dad. LARDNA (relieved and angry) There you are! How dare you go off in the middle of the night. And without saying a word to either of us! (ushering the boys inside) Climbing out the window? These are the sort of stunts five-year-olds pull. great. Her personality is as erratic as her application of masca ra. but the building itself is elaborate and beautiful with a spacio us and well-tended garden. The door closes and a tall man approaches the group. bathing the boys in a harsh glow as they stroll up the path t oward the front gate. physically and mentally) Aw. And here you both are. making it quite an awesome sight against the natural green backdrop. A tall. young men of the world. It is coming from inside the house. I told you they would find out we were gone! Now what're we gonna do? PORKY Ness is comin' in with us. Shouting can be heard. but PORKY grabs hold of his hand and drags him inside with the rest of the family. PICKY (speaking sarcastically) Yeah. She is a heavyset woman w ith thick blonde hair. portly w oman dressed in a thin nightgown stands in the doorway. though the words are indiscernible. . LARDNA shuffles down the walk to the front gate and opens it for her boys. Clothes all dirty. This is LARDNA MINCH: the mother of PORKY and PICKY. The c olorful powders and creams on her face are running off in rivers from all the te ars she has shed. Her eyes are bloodshot. PORKY (exhausted. He got lost and his mom cried and cried for us to help her find him.top Onett Hill.. And how do we explain us sneaking out of the room then? The discussion is interrupted by the opening of the front door. the state they're in. sneaking out of your bedrooms at night like a pair of hooligans! (shouting to someone off-screen) Al! Come take a look at your boys. hair a mess! I do hope you haven't been wrestling in the dirt again! NESS is prepared to leave.. Mom sounds pissed. To look upon her is both bewildering and frightening. damn. Every light is on.

but LARDNA spots him immediately . . I've told my sons time and again not to associate with the trash of the neighborhood. ALOYSIUS (sternly. hopping the gate and turning east on the dirt road toward home. on his sons. you dirty thing! NESS is ushered roughly out the door. Did it seem like the perfect time for a midnight stroll? A moment of silence ensues before either of the MINCH siblings can gather enough courage to respond. BUZZ-BUZZ rests atop it. almost dangerously) Out late at night after an earthquake. LARDNA takes NESS by the shoulders. BUZZ-BUZZ is c rushed and LARDNA recoils from the sight. BUZZ-BUZZ crawls up to the cap NESS is wearing. Behind his crystal-clear glasses are a pai r of malicious eyes. The camera switches to a more personal shot of NESS as he stops near a swath of trees along the path and removes his hat. Both of you. ALOYSIUS (violently angry) Get the hell upstairs. Now! (turning to NESS) And get your ass out of my house. leaving a bright red print in p lace of pale flesh. He is often dressed in a business suit of a drab color. LARDNA (screaming) Get out of here! Get out. ALOYSIUS strikes his oldest son across the face. and stand-offish. as are the clothes he wears. swollen hand lands on the frail insect body. his body smas hed.This is ALOYSIUS MINCH: the father of PORKY and PICKY. LARDNA (frantic and screaming) Oh my God! Al! Al! Get it out of here! LARDNA flails and strikes NESS in an attempt to kill BUZZ-BUZZ. people starting riots in town. His appearance and deme anor are sharp. PORKY We were out looking for Ness. The palm of one fat. He takes off. He takes note of N ESS. and behind them an even more malicious soul. first and foremost. cold. with golden hair slicked back over his head and mustache neatly trimmed. Though NESS puts up his arms to shield himself and his passenger. ALOYSIUS turns to meet the three boys as they are led inside. guides him toward the door and away from her husband. the police patrolling in droves. but keeps his attention.

. NESS waits.. . answer me! I don't know-. right? BUZZ-BUZZ There is goodness in your heart and a light in your soul. BUZZ-BUZZ (weak.. I don't know what to do! (to himself) I feel like I'm losing my mind. and it begins to glow a faint blue. NESS (frustrated) What! You haven't told me anything! BUZZ-BUZZ But I've told you everything. Certain that the creat ure is dead. What about this rock? This stupid thing you gave me! NESS removes the Sound Stone from his pocket and holds it in his unoccupied hand . NESS I must be halfway there already. That's what they call me. he scrapes the insect remains off his cap with a leaf and buries th e crushed body in a small hole that is dug out by hand. (pause) The bodies need only catch up with the souls. A great evil is descending upon this world... It has begun.NESS (emotional) Hello? Hello. I'm sorry. NESS You mean a freak. He concentrates on it for a moment. nearly inaudible) There. but there is no more response from BUZZ-BUZZ. There is a short pause before dialogue continues. Every ounce of sanity in you will be torn to shreds. Things will begin to change. But you can't be gone now. your merits will be tested. are you there? (pause) Please.. You are a boy with an immeasurable gift. BUZZ-BUZZ (stern) Listen to me now. NESS What does that mean? (pause) Hello? (pause) Hello! Please. As for the other children. Ness. Keep the stone with you at all times. It is both your memory and guide.

NESS does not respond.NESS covers the grave and stands. Go on up. . CUT TO: INT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOUSE : NIGHT : The camera is set at the top of the stairs to catch NESS as he ascends. And you. my baby! (rushing over to her son) I was starting to worry. I assume? NESS (looking up. All three are startled by the sound of the front door opening. NESS'S MOTHER The boys have gone back home. looking as world-weary as ever. NESS exits with KING on his heels. NESS enters. KING The world is changing fast. too. NESS enters his bedroom as KING follows. which is providing their only source of light along with a floor lamp in the corner. wagging his tail lazily. then. KING is padding along beside him. NESS'S MOTHER (turning) Ness! Oh. head down. TRACY and NESS'S MOTHER sit with KING in front of the televisi on. for a minute in contemplative silen ce as the camera pans around him and cuts to different angles of the scene. Tracy. boy. NESS I hear you. Loud and clear. What happened. KING approaches the group. FADE TO: INT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOUSE : NIGHT : Inside the house. exhausted) I don't want to talk about our neighbors anymore. I just want to sleep. didn't you? I wouldn't expect anything less from my big brother. Did you boys find what you were looking for? NESS halts and allows his mother and sister to embrace him. It's enough to make me never want to set paw outside again. Mom. NESS'S MOTHER Of course. A fi nal close-up shot of his face shows him wiping tears away just before he dons hi s cap. TRACY I suppose you made it a late night after all.

and the o nce youthful female voice recedes. and feminine. His daytime attire from yesterday is still on. pale blue light appears in the distance. It is unfamiliar. Adjusting focus. Tracy's been up and gone to work already. NESS (stunned) Apologize! For what? . It continues to glow a faint blue until he sets it aside on his nightstand and falls asleep. and here you are lying in bed. NESS'S MOTHER (nudging NESS until he stands up) I want you to go over to the Minchs' today and apologize to Porky. You know you slept with your clothes on. much of the brightness fades to reveal a close-up shot of NESS' S MOTHER. I was wondering when you were going to wake up. ACT TWO FADE IN INT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOME : NESS'S BEDROOM : EARLY MORNING : The world is dark. NESS looks over himself. though it is wrinkled from a restless night. His baseball c ap is lying on his pillow. Nothing can be seen until a small. This isn't like you. Please. The light source grows brighter slowly until it overwhelms the screen. his mother standing beside him. NESS'S MOTHER There you are. The camera switches to a wider view of the bedroom as NESS sits upright in bed. is someone there? I've been trying for days now. NESS'S MOTHER It's almost lunchtime.NESS flops onto his bed with the Sound Stone still in hand. just as his mother has said. say something. A voice is heard--soft. to be replaced with one much older and more w omanly. but I still don't even know your name. young. END ACT ONE EARTHBOUND. giving the illusion of a far-off black horizon. She is wearing a cheerful smile and the sunlight is turning her hair g olden. VOICE (barely audible) Hello? (pause) Hello.

NESS'S MOTHER And what was he saying. NESS approaches a dresser and mirror near the window beside his bed and smoothes out his hair with one hand. NESS'S MOTHER Now what is this? What are you bringing rocks into the house for? (looking at NESS. I'm going to send you into town to buy a new chair to replace the one you two broke. right? NESS (sighing) Yeah. NESS But he's the one who started it! You should have heard what he was saying.NESS'S MOTHER (straightening up the bed) For fighting. but the stone does not glow for her. but that doesn't mean it's all right to do nasty things back. Ness? NESS hesitates. after you've finished that. right? NESS (somewhat disgusted) Right. So why can't you remember that? Porky is your friend. NESS'S MOTHER (CONT. yeah. shame-fa ced. NESS'S MOTHER People do nasty things sometimes. NESS hides the unruly tufts of his hair with his baseball cap and turns to leave . exasperated) I swear I'll never understand you boys. And then get going. I'll make you something to eat quick before you head into town. surprised. He picks up his baseball cap.) You know the money is coming out of your allowance. NESS'S MOTHER finishes making the bed and notices the Sound Stone on the nightst and. NESS'S MOTHER Correct. . It is obvious from the look on his face that he does not want to tell his mother what was said about her. Take this out into the garden where it belongs. NESS and NESS'S MOTHER (in unison) Two wrongs don't make a right. She picks it up as NESS watches. And then.

the powders and creams piled onto her face like icing on a cake. What do you want then? NESS (ashamed. Chasing after some little ruffian (pause. LARDNA (disappointed) Oh. CUT TO: INT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOUSE : AFTERNOON : NESS'S MOTHER is in the kitchen and her voice can be heard calling from there wh en the front door opens. Minch says he's grounded and that I can't see him. go on! Get off my front step.NESS'S MOTHER Aren't you going to clean yourself up a bit before going next door? NESS What for? It's just the Minchs'. LARDNA turns and closes the door on NESS. Her mascara has been reapplie d. CUT TO: EXT : ONETT HILL : MINCH RESIDENCE : AFTERNOON : The front door of the MINCH household opens up to reveal LARDNA. which is a short walk down a dirt path. NESS returns to his house. right? . glaring at NESS) Well. he's home. Not after they pulled last night. who gladly exits the MINCH property. He and Picky are not coming very long time. She is dressed in a loud pink muumuu with a vivid floral pattern. And they tell me following after you. unenthusiastic) Is Porky home? LARDNA Of course out for a the stunt they were NESS ActuallyLARDNA (interjecting) I've told them time and time again they're smarter than that. The camera an gle changes to catch him hopping the front gate and racing inside. NESS'S MOTHER Back already? NESS (entering the kitchen) Mrs. I'm afraid. You. you filthy thing! And don't come knocking round here again.

The camera changes angle to show that the front wheels of the wagon are rusted a nd loose. She removes a good portion of i t and then puts the jar away. NESS'S MOTHER takes a jar with the word "ALLOWANCE" written on it from off the t op of the refrigerator. I can understand that. NESS'S MOTHER (setting down a plate of food for NESS) No. . and then continues on. Bring it straight back here then. That should cover it. NESS'S MOTHER (CONT. and then exits a s well. though he is having difficulty keeping it straight. You'll have to apologize later then.NESS'S MOTHER Grounded? What for? NESS (sitting at the table) Sneaking out last night. NESS drops the handle and stares in angry silence at the wagon. After we went(hesitation) After we found the toy. His pace is swift at first. but quickly s lows as he approaches a bend in the road where several police barricades have be en placed. You'll have to use the old wagon out in the shed. The expre ssion on his face suggests that he is embarrassed to be doing so. NESS'S MOTHER pats NESS on the shoulder before exiting the scene. NESS is pulling a wagon that is obviously too small for a boy his age. CUT TO: EXT : ONETT HILL : AFTERNOON : Trees line the sloping dirt road like two green rivers. The door is open and NESS emerges. something similar to these. they went home. Run down to the furniture store after lunch and pick out a chair--just a small one. Minch weren't happy. They fly off when they roll over an uneven spot on the road. leaving it behind. dumps his plate in the sink. NESS rolls his eyes. Mr.) There you are. NESS guides his wagon do wn the path between them. and Mrs. He kicks it. It is filled with money. His parents didn't know. He has a clean set of clothes on as well as a patched brown knapsack that is bulging on one side. A sharp c rack is heard as the axle snaps in half. NESS continues eating voraciously. CUT TO: EXT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOUSE : AFTERNOON : A view of the eastern side of the house reveals a slightly overgrown garden and a tool shed.

The stone almost se ems alive. but remains in front of NESS to show just ho w cramped the inside of the tunnel is. Up ahead in the short tunnel is a patch of sunlight streaming in--an opening. This reveals a child-sized opening. but with his backpack. NESS approaches this smaller path as the camera cuts to a frontal view of him. He is now in a sma ll clearing surrounded on all sides by rock walls and tendrils of ivy ascending them. The soft blue light from the stone has become so intense that it can be seen through his shorts.The barricades rest near an unusual gathering of leaves and a smaller path--worn down by frequent use--leading into the trees. NESS (to himself and the stone) So. MOUSE #1 He leaves and now he decides to come back? MOUSE #3 What's he doing? The mice move to one side and watch NESS crawl by. A few field mice scurry out in front of NESS. MOUSE #1 Who is this? He isn't invited! MOUSE #2 It's the little human boy! Only he's a big human boy now. this time much brighter than before. The brush is dense and becomes thicker as NESS continues. which NESS had put inside before leaving home. it's still here. with it still in hand. The camera angle changes once more. It glows when removed. he is forced onto his hands and knees to clear away the undergrowth at the base of a low cliff. NESS stuffs the Sound Stone into his pocket and clings to the vines. He removes the backpack and notices it is trembling. NESS attempts to squeeze his body into the hole. Then. Again the angle changes to catch NESS emerging from the hole. NESS (to himself) Wow. he is mu ch too large. isolated hill covered . It is not the bag itself tha t is moving. suggesting that NESS can hear their th oughts. NESS finds himself on an uneven. After a few steps. That must mean I'm crazy. his express ion one of joy and determination. I wasn't dreaming. the camera closes in. When NESS opens the backpack. At the top of the cliff. NESS sits and ponders a moment while he stares at the Sound Stone. squeaking furiously at him. he squeezes himself into the hole. They b egin to speak through disembodied voices. but the Sound Stone.

the more apparent it becomes that the atmosphere is less peaceful and clea . no longer aglow. which can be seen from further up on the hill. Humming and vibrating. A small neighborhood lies just to the east. This marks the city limits. It stops when it reaches a pair of feet that look like they belong to a very small child. The Sound Stone is put inside and he continues on with it down the road. Contemplative. It lies still in his hand. There is a sudden flash as the scene cuts away from NESS.. NESS stares at it for several seconds. the further he goes. CUT TO: EXT : ONETT TOWN : AFTERNOON : The streets are busy and filled with people and noise. A wooly white puppy playfully toddles across a wooden floor. ONETT is an expansive but low-key town with clean streets and plenty of grassy a reas. the Sound Stone is alive and restless. I remember now. Just before the town begins is a large stone building--Onett Library--and beyond that. They appear put-off by the blinding blue light coming from his pocket. CUT TO: EXT : ONETT HILL : AFTERNOON : From the small hole at the bottom of the cliff. and have splash fights when the rain would fill up the holes. Music is playing. NESS passes through unnot iced. He is making his way toward the southern edge of town and. The next segment is co lored in sepia tone. The mice from the tunnel scamper up to NESS and watch him silently. its tongue out and a doggish smile on its face. Another flash and the dream sequence ends. NESS holds it clos e to his chest first. NESS takes notice and removes the Sound Stone. the commercial distr ict. A higher camera angle re veals that these holes form the shape of an enormous footprint.with soft grass and overshadowed by trees--except at the center. suggesting a memory or flashback. NESS slides into the bowl of the largest hole.. NESS stands on a small slope overlooking the town. We used to come up here and play all the time. The dirt path running from ONETT HILL becomes a paved street as it winds i ts way into the suburbs. where the groun d is bare and large holes have been cut into the Earth. NESS emerges and gathers up the backpack he left behind. but is looking much more pleased than when he awoke that morning. but it lasts for only a few short notes. The camera focuses in. NESS (to himself) Giant Step. then presses it to his forehead. He continues walking. shutting his eyes. He sighs. NESS gasps and pulls the Sound Stone away. backpack slung over one shoul der.

The co ntents of the wallet are dumped onto the sidewalk. He is watching NESS closely. THUG #5 (laughing) God-damn! So much for mommy sending you to the store for milk and bread. NESS tries to push past some of the older boys to break out of the group encompassing him. eh? . THUG #1 (shouting to NESS) Hey punk! (pause) What the hell you doing here? Don't walk away from me! THUG #2 (shouting to NESS) Hey where you goin'. short-stuff! NESS ignores the taunting and turns right at the corner. We're feelin' good. baggy attire with a deep blue insignia on their shirts . garbage. NESS passes by without acknowledging any of them. right? NESS does not respond. A teen at the edge of th e group puffs on the tail end of a cigarette.n than at the north end. An expression of fearless frustration crosses his face. Overturned trash cans. THUG #2 Don't get cocky now. The first group of THUGS follows and is joined by a second group as the camera c loses in on the thickening crowd. THUG #3 You hear that earthquake last night? They say somethin' crashed up on the hill. revealing a considerable amou nt of money. Up ahead. Some of them are wearing silver chains. A few more notice his approach and whisper to each other. a group of older teenagers huddles together. and police barricades litter the street and the crowds begin to thin out. at the end of the block. though. little man. NESS takes note of everything. The camera cuts away from NESS to focus in on the shady young THUGS. We just wanted to have a chat. NESS is surrounded. He attempts to slip out between a small gap in the crowd. but is met on ly with laughter and rougher physical responses. They begin to follow. They are dressed in dark. Within seconds. The Pigs've been out in swarms tryin' to keep people away. or flipping skateboards. but appears undaunted. Why not take chances while you still got chances to take. brandishing metal pipes and other tras h objects found in the street. THUG #4 (grabbing NESS from behind) What's you got in the bag? Another THUG opens the backpack and removes the Sound Stone and a wallet.

All eyes are on NESS. equally stunned) God-damn! What the hell? The THUGS pick themselves up off the ground and street. Without a word. man. Just because some damn rock lands on the hillTHUG #4 (interjecting) I think he's right. T hey land several feet away. The camera changes view to the opposite side of the gathering as the THUGS conti nue their debate. Ain't nobody that can pull somethin' like that--not no kid! It ain't right. THUG #3 They've landed. but he appears unbothered.Many of the THUGS pocket the fallen money. still shaking. him to the ground. NESS does not respond until one THUG takes the Sound Stone. NESS shuts his eyes as the camera cuts to an extreme close-up view of his face. A sudden bu rst of light erupts from the center and sends them all flying through the air. his face becoming red. The THUGS laugh in ound Stone around. he shivers. some more quickly than o thers. One THUG shoves Several more kick him as he attempts to stand. NESS opens his eyes and stands. His dark eyes are sharp and glassy. Intense rage overwhe lms him. Each time h e is struck. Deep purple contusions have forme d on his arms and face. man? NESS (enraged) Give it back. This kid ain't no alien. On the far left of the screen is an abandoned apartment comple x. THUG #6 The hell you carryin' rocks for. his body with his unison and each member of the group takes turns passing the S NESS reaches for it. and he shields legs and arms. Tears have welled up under his eyes and are falling down his cheeks. he glances up at the falling stone and catches it in one hand. Just like I told you! They walk among us! THUG #2 Cut that shit out. man. from which a man emerges. He wears a bright red suit with a . THUG #5 (standing. who is silent. but is not tall enough. The camera switches again to a view just outside the group of THUGS. This is FRANK FLY: overdressed and cocksure. The Sound Stone rockets upward from the blast. bewildered and stunned) Shit!! THUG #2 (standing.

FRANK (annoyed) What the hell is this? You rats muggin' kids for candy again? FRANK approaches NESS and notices some of the money left on the ground. the city just south of here. arm out to the side. But I'm not from there. FRANK (grinning) . The camera closes in on his dirt y face. FRANK lets loose the second blade. FRANK and the remaining THUGS are dumbfounded.matching charm on a gold chair around his neck. in his still-boiling rage. His hair is dirty blonde. What's a little guy like you need with all that? NESS steps away and walks back to the corner with the Sound Stone in hand. NESS (stern but quizzical) Twoson? FRANK Yeah. sending up another flash of light just before it spins back toward FRANK. and the knife foll ows the path. It turns sharply and sails across the street where it harmlessly c ollides with a building. FRANK (CONT. There is a constant sho w of stubble around his chin and a pair of sunglasses to hide his wise-but-coldas-steel eyes. FRANK Where'd you get all that dough. NESS turns again and watches the knife fly toward him. FRANK descends the crumbling stairs in front of the building and approaches the group as many of its members begin to disperse. It collides with an invis ible barrier. FRANK (in shock) So that's it. You must be from Twoson. NESS I know it. You're the one they been talkin' about. kid? Tell me. showing that he looks upon the scene with equal amounts of curiosity and disdain.) (violently angry) Hey! Why you smartass little son of a bitch-! FRANK draws a pair of fighting knives from the inside pockets of his jacket and whips one at NESS with deadly accuracy. The knife misses by mere inches and. NESS waves one hand in front of himself. slicke d back with gel to further expose his receding hairline.

Ain't you gonna go and get it? NESS does not respond. (pause) I suppose Everdred would know. But this can't be the kid. boy. but you ain't no superhero. CUT TO: INT : ONETT : ABANDONED APARTMENT COMPLEX : LOBBY : AFTERNOON : Inside. kid. and you're strong. Ceiling tile s and floorboards are missing in places. THUG #5 Yeah. FRANK pulls an old chair up to a table and sits before gesturing for NESS to do the same. the old building is even shabbier than it appears on the outside. A real man-to-man talk. makes stuff move without liftin' a finger. you and me. and then follows FRANK into the dilapidated apartment complex.. And look(revealing the inside flaps of his jacket) Out of ammo. So c'mon. T he THUGS outside sneer at him as he walks by. FRANK (chuckling) Don't tell me you're scared now. The wa lls are scorched black from where they have been touched by flames. FRANK I expect that's the reason my boys jumped you. They say there's a kid from Twoson who's some kinda special. I just want to talk. Furnishings are sparse.Oh no? Don't lie to me. The kid from Twoson's a girl. You know you left it all out in the street. Not nearly as fine as all that cash you were carryin'. but what's a kid like you carryin' around all that money for? You're special. NESS hesitates. What's that sound like to you? NESS remains silent and stone-faced. And comin' over to . This kid makes stuff happen without explanation. Not that you needed any help defending yourself. Not after what you did.. (speaking to NESS) Come with me. FRANK Is that right? Well. NESS sets the Sound Stone on the table. FRANK (surprised) That's a mighty fine rock you got there. I heard of that. NESS refuses to move. Boss.

There's a place just down the street--I figure that's where you were goin'. it's my fault. You're a good kid. A pause. I'll buy one for ya. right? NESS Up on the hill. and then FRANK bursts into laughter. don't worry bout your momma's chair. How old are you? Thirteen. So she sent me to buy another. Is it mommy's birthday or somethin'? NESS (shaking his head) No. and I would've believed it! But a kitchen chair? What a pistol. I'm sorry. NESS looks ready to respond. lookin' for a fight just to earn a couple bucks. I'm hearin' talk about a kid in Twoson with all these special powers. FRANK (interjecting) Listen. took the cash and ran. but FRANK resumes speaking before he has the chance .this side of town? You're just askin' to get your throat slit. FRANK (halfway between shock and laughter) Oh. NESS (angry. fourteen? (leaning across the table) If I were half the man you are. FRANK No shit! For real? (laughing) Boy. nothin'? (pause) Then I guess all the hype's been misplaced. and there's one livin' right under my nose here in Onett. What I'm interested in. FRANK No? No family. whoever this little girl from Twoson might be. I got angry and(hesitation) I broke a kitchen chair. kid. on the verge of tears) It's for my mother. is you--the both of you. You coulda told me you killed a man. you coulda told me anything. FRANK . I wouldn't be sittin' in this shithole. Do you know anybody there? NESS shakes his head. You live in Onett.

don't you think you oughta know about it? NESS does not respond. shifting position in his chair) I take rumors seriously. Anyhow. He's got the inside info on the town. FRANK Well Ness. I can't do much more then tell ya I'm sorry. NESS looks around the room at the rotting food. I never asked your name. smiling) People like you ought to stick together. But you're a funny kid. if she's real or not. It's always worth lookin' into. NESS fidgets in his chair a moment before putting the Sou nd Stone into his backpack. NESS I should be getting home. trash piled up in corners. CUT TO: EXT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOUSE : EVENING : . So here's what I'm thinkin'(pause. You're the first person who ever made me stop and think about what I was doin'. It's Ness. FRANK Funny name.Right. Ness. (reaching across the table to grab NESS) I coulda killed you! I ain't never gone after no kid before. after what happened. I just think it'd be good for ya. I feel like I owe it to ya. I say. the w eapons lying about haphazardly. and then glances out a nearby window. if I was half the man you are. NESS Ness. FRANK All right. so don't take it the wrong way. FRANK stands. but just hear me out. Oh! And when ya find Everdred. and give you this bit of advice: go down to Twoson sometime-whenever you get the chance--and ask around for a guy named Everdred. Who knows what you might find. kid(hesitation) Sorry. He'd be the one to ask about that girl. (pause. I'm just doin' what I can.. And I don't mean nothin' by that. FRANK winks and grins. let's go get your momma that chair. shame-faced) Like I said.. If there is a kid in Twoson like you. tell 'em Frank sent ya. And you didn't even flinch. FRANK Look. (sitting back in his seat.

the camera changes angle to catch a bright blue car pulling up the hill and winding around the path toward the MINCH RESIDENCE. ALOYSIUS and another. FRANK No trouble. What happened to your wagon. We can take it from here. Thank you. (speaking to FRANK) That's all right. I couldn't say no. The doors open as LARDNA steps out onto her porch. and then retreat inside. And look. glance over at NESS'S MOTHER and FRANK with disdainful expressions. one hand in his pocket) See you around. I'd hold onto him. Crapped out on me before I even got into town. And help him with the chair now. FRANK exits. Both NESS'S HOUSE and the MINCH RESIDENCE are ablaze with warm colo rs. much ol der man emerge. Ness? NESS (smiling and shrugging his shoulders) I dunno. NESS'S MOTHER Watch your mouth. nah. From the car. casting a fiery glow through out the sky. The camera switches back to focus on NESS'S MOTHER again. FRANK (playing along) Ah. NESS'S MOTHER (smiling) That he is. Not usually. if I were you. FRANK (waving. NESS'S MOTHER Well there you are! I was getting worried. FRANK is carrying a simpl e wooden chair with one arm. They speak for a moment. But this young man here drives a hard bargain. . watching with a mix of skepticism and pr ide as NESS leads FRANK up the hill toward their home. As they converse. NESS'S MOTHER I didn't know you guys delivered. you've made this poor man carry it all the way back home for you. FRANK laughs as NESS'S MOTHER gives NESS a light but firm swat on the head. ma'am. Ness. He's a good kid. She is looking at FRAN K.The sun sets below a line of trees in the distance. NESS'S MOTHER stands on the front step. young man. I didn't think it would take you all day just to go and buy me a chair.

but when he presses it to his forehead. a few musical notes play inside his mind. She thought you might have still been mad about yesterday. NESS'S MOTHER looks sternly at NESS. It's about time you showed up. Ness. You doing all right? NESS Yeah. NESS'S MOTHER (taking the chair into the kitchen) Well that's all right. You and Porky will be up to your old tricks again soon. I didn't expect my old wagon to break down on me. grinning) Remember when we used to call him the hippo? He . TRACY laughs. NESS pulls the stone away when the bedroom door opens. (pause. Things just work out that way sometimes. TRACY enters. All enter the kit chen as the scene ends. TRACY (speaking softly) Hey. TRACY (excited) Hey. why? TRACY Oh.NESS returns the gesture and carries the chair inside. TRACY and KING are sitting on the couch in the living area. FADE TO: INT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOUSE : NESS'S BEDROOM : NIGHT : The soft sound of crickets drifts in through the open window. As long as it doesn't get broken and you promise not to bring any more badlydressed salesmen to our house. NESS is lying on h is bed with pajamas on and the Sound Stone in hand. Both jump up to gree t NESS. nothin'. I'm over it. TRACY (sitting on the edge of the bed) Yeah? That's good. although it doesn't exactly match the others. KING You couldn't have brought me something? NESS Sorry. Mom was just worried about how long you took is all. not really. big bro! We were waitin' on you. NESS Nah. who smiles. I'm starving. It no longer glows. This new chair is beautiful.

VOICE (desperate) Hello? Hello. Can't you feel it? Brightness floods the screen. Then he'd chase us and start crying when he couldn't get us. Then. he reaches over his nightstand. giggle monsters. big bro. His eyes open and the v iew changes to first-person from his perspective. FADE OUT END ACT TWO. NESS (laughing) And the time he got stuck in that tire swing and his dad had to cut it off of him? NESS and TRACY laugh in unison as their mother enters. and closer to the viewer. NESS (still laughing) Goodnight. th is time brighter. I know you're there. the camera is focused in on NESS. Get to bed. It's like a drum pounding in my head. TRACY (still laughing) All right. wearing her white robe an d slippers. NESS'S MOTHER Hey. ACT THREE FADE IN INT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOUSE : NESS'S BEDROOM : EARLY MORNING : The same pale light that appeared to NESS the previous morning appears again.would get so mad. NESS tames his laughter and lies in silence for a moment. and then slowly begins to melt away as other shape s become more noticeable in the dying light. Your heart is even stronger now. please! Please answer. larger. Goodnight. The soft girlish voice is al so much more forceful. FADE TO: INT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOUSE : NESS'S BEDROOM : MORNING : When the light clears. (to his mother) Night. shuts off the lamp. mom! TRACY and NESS'S MOTHER exits. He is looking straight at KING . EARTHBOUND. There'll be plenty of time for you to be silly tomorrow. and turns over in the darkness with the Soun d Stone resting beside his heart. There is a sense of urgency about it.

NESS (groggy. but it disappears the instant a heavy. NESS (relieved) Oh thank God. This stupid thing. something. I thought I lost it. and the body takes on a peculiar scent. He looks as tho ugh he has been fighting off an assailant all night long.. Slowly he unwinds the tangled bedclothes. and failing. He tilts his head when NESS ackno wledges him with a groan. KING The soul leaves the body at death. It's taking over my life! . Ever since this(pause) Where is it? NESS digs frantically through the sheets and blankets. NESS is tangled in his sheets and blankets. his speed and urgency increase. His black hair is plastered to his face where perspiration has gat hered. yet you were still whimpering like a pup. and for a while I had believed you were dead. He barks and NESS buries his h ead under a pillow. There is a look of fear o n his face... I don't know anymore--about anything. KING Is it possible for a soul to leave its body and then return? NESS pushes KING off the bed with obvious annoyance and sits up. I smelled it all over you and I still can. confused) What? Dead? I was just asleep. I've been feeling weird the past few days. Why? NESS (rolling over with another groan) I don't know. N ESS clears the fallen blankets away and snatches up the Sound Stone. KING leaps up and puts his front paws on the bed. panting and ears up. As he works. The camera switches to a view of both characters. I don't even know what you're talking about. KING Awake now? You tell me I make strange sounds in my sleep as well. (pause) And dreaming about. KING sits beside the bed. solid sound hits the floor. KING watches with ears held high. NESS I don't know.

NESS (morose) I can't stop thinking about it. If it's not here. Who knows? The only thing I know for sure is that I won't be home tonight. You talk like you are going to leave forever. and then switches views to KING. I've got to leave here. The old dog sits back on his haunches. The camera focuses in on NESS. K ING begins to whine. They'll try and stop me. but if I stay. KING (whining) You're being too serious! Please stop. who has begun to cry. I can't tell Mom or Tracy. boy. . KING You're going somewhere? Right now? NESS Soon.NESS tosses the Sound Stone onto the bed and walks away. nudging him with his snout until NESS gives in and pats his head. (pause) I have to go. I feel like I'm starting to lose my mind already. (pause) And say goodbye to Mom. I'll go insane. NESS The best thing for me to do is get out of here. I don't want to leave you guys. KING What is a fate worse than death? NESS Whatever happens to me if I let go of that stone. which NESS looks into with disdain. And I'm telling you this because I want you to knowKING (interjecting) Why do they always confide in the dog? NESS (continuing) Someone has to know. restless and filled with anxiety. I feel like I'll die. Once I get some clothes on and get my things together. NESS I might be. or worse. KING stands beside NESS. KING Maybe it's for the best. The camera follows him to the bureau and mirror hanging above it.

and sighs. I'll know at some point. boy.KING nudges NESS again. burying his face in the dirty white fur. I'll let Mom know I'm all right so she doesn't have to worry. just listen. KING Is this the right thing to do? NESS (hesitant) I don't know. But I can't change that. NESS (CONT. I don't want to hurt you guys. Ness. but I won't be coming back. I feel like my mind is gonna explode. Maybe. KING That's dishonest. King. I don't know. I'm going to tell her that I'm just going out. They look in that direction. NESS Please. I'll call the house. NESS looks at KING with a stern expression. I guess. rests his head on his f ront paws. But it's not around here. This is gonna be really hard. Until then. NESS I know. and then wraps his arms around him. but Mom always used to tell me the right thing to do is usually the hardest. NESS (whispering) Okay. NESS I promise I'll come home just as soon as I can. You can't act upset when I leave today. A noise coming from the hallway distracts NESS and KING for a moment. or whatever it is I'm looking for--or what I think I might be looking for. NESS stands up and exits the scene after giving KING a final pat on the head. Just be normal. . Watch over Mom and Tracy. KING watches the departure. be a good boy. too. or else Mom might get upset. and then NESS wipes his face and kneels down in front of his dog. Listen close. like always.) I've got to find myself. whenever I find what I'm looking for. (crying. As soon as I can. putting a hand over his heart) It really hurts. KING She will worry anyhow. KING whimpers again. He sprawls out on the floor.

(lengthy pause. I wanted to go and check out this new thing they had at the Game Corner. His face is pressed in to the front of her dress. KING comes down the stairs. NESS wraps his arms around his mother in a tight embrace. and then switches back to a very somber NESS as he drops his backpack onto a couch and looks through it. NESS'S MOTHER (off-screen) So. Although he has cle aned himself up and dressed in a clean shirt and new pair of denim shorts. could you get me some of my allowance out? I was gonna go into town and maybe get some lunch there. which include several articles of clothing and the Sound Stone. NESS'S MOTHER enters the lounge and hands NESS a small amount of money. he lo oks just as shaken as when he awoke earlier that morning. and NESS glances at him . I'll be careful. NESS Thanks. NESS'S MOTHER (surprised) Oh? Well all right. you're finally up and about? Tracy told me to say hi to you for her. NESS'S MOTHER is in the kitchen.CUT TO : INT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOUSE : MORNING : NESS descends the stairs and enters the lounge. hun. NESS'S MOTHER returns his gesture. NESS'S MOTHER (walking to the refrigerator) You should really be careful about going into that part of town. NESS Yeah I know. He has his backpack slung over o ne shoulder and carries a baseball bat in the opposite hand. claws clicking on the floor. NESS'S MOTHER Ness? Are you feeling all right? You've been . NESS'S MOTHER That's all I ask. NESS No. it's okay. The camera focuses in on her a moment to show t hat she is busy preparing food. Stunned. They say there's been gang riots and all sorts of things happening. rummaging idly through the bag) Hey Mom. He looks hard at the items in his bag. NESS does not immediately respond. I suppose so. Are you sure you wouldn't rather wait? It shouldn't take too long.

too. NESS Stay. Although n othing seems to be out of place at first glance. NESS'S MOTHER smiles as NESS pulls away from her and secretively puts the money in his backpack.acting so strange lately. . Mom. He is turned away from his mother so that she cannot see his face as he dons his backpack and takes up his baseball bat. NESS'S MOTHER Well all right. it is obvious that NESS has not iced something is amiss. NESS exits. He whines. boy. Go on then and have fun. but she does notice that the bag is quite full. He is doing his best to keep her from seeing all the clothes he has packed. KING watches from his spot on the floor near the couch. Porky always tries to cheat anyway. Are you sure you're all right? NESS Fine. NESS'S MOTHER I love you. Maybe you could take Porky and(hesitation) Oh. Mom. I just thought(hesitation) I should tell you that I love you more. I forgot. The camer a closes in on him and he looks down the lane to the MINCH RESIDENCE. CUT TO: EXT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOUSE : LATE MORNING : The sun is nearing its noontime peak when NESS steps out of his house. KING (interjecting) Yes. sweetheart. Don't stay out late. let's not make it too obvious. NESS'S MOTHER Looks like you're going to be busy today. Don't give her any reason to suspect something. The camera catches the pained expression NESS makes. NESS I love you. aren't they? NESS That' all right. You be home for dinner. (smiling) Usually I have to ask for a hug before I get one. He and his brother are being punished. I'm sorry.

I guess they went to visit him. From the jumbled mess inside he produces a red yo-yo. and you're home alone. even if Porky always hasn't. Did you come to play? Because I can't really go anywhere right now. NESS Here. and then he removes his backpack and searches through i ts contents. and so did Porky. I know you like it. And you've been a good friend to me. . NESS What about Porky? Is he still sleeping? PICKY (resting his head in one hand) He's not home. whoever he is. Its designs a re faded. PICKY Yeah. NESS But I thought you guys were grounded? Why would Porky be gone and not you? PICKY (sighing) I don't know. I guess. I want you to have it. And Mum's out shopping. NESS Maybe I should just stop trying to understand your family. tracing circles in the dirt with his finger.CUT TO: EXT : ONETT HILL : MINCH RESIDENCE : LATE MORNING : A closer view of the MINCH household shows that PICKY is sitting outside on the front steps. suggesting age. He left with Dad this morning. NESS So they left to visit this guy. I think maybe it was that guy that came to our house last night. Mum told me to watch the house. but it otherwise looks clean. Ness. I gave up a few years ago. NESS enters the scene. NESS is silent a moment. PICKY shrugs his shoulders and begins to draw a new shape in the dirt. NESS (confused) Picky? PICKY (somber) Oh hey. He and my dad talked a lot. your mom went out to shop. He normally gets really bored when we have company.

When the dog rushes at him. The cam era captures this. It is snarling and baring its t eeth at NESS. It charges and lunges at NESS. Its eyes are wi ld and dark. He won't even know I have it when he gets home. takes up his backpack. the camera catches sight of a dog several feet from the roadside. A bright glow rises off the end of the bat just before it collides with its ta rget. glossy vitality seen in the faces of other animals and people is absent. It is home to a small residential area an d fringed with great waves of green--a forest that is seemingly endless. who turns sharply to block the fierce biting attack with the length of his baseball bat. does not lose interest. FADE TO: EXT : ONETT : CITY LIMITS : AFTERNOON : The sun has moved in the sky. ONETT is not far off. playing up the size of the area before coming back down to ea rth where the dirt road meets the first line of trees. There is a close-up view of the dog just before it lunges again. NESS begins to swing the bat and shout to frighten his assailant. NESS exits. There is a sharp cry from off-screen. Picky. NESS does not think twice about taking another swing . NESS See you around. mouth open. the sound of growling is heard. Without a word or any sign of hesitation. NESS is seen coming up the path. NESS continues walking. The view changes again to show the dog jus t as it collapses several feet from NESS. joyful) NessNESS (interjecting) You don't have to say anything. . Just take it. Shifting to the right. and retreats along the front walk. away from NESS. I'll put it in my secret place. The dog. from off-screen. it looks as though it has gone mad. Everything stops when. and skull crack ed open on one side. PICKY (taking the yo-yo) No. NESS smiles. And don't let Porky steal it from you.PICKY (stunned. eyes shut. Blood is pouring from the wound. but comes back for more. suggesting a substantial passage of time. but the paved roadways have ended and become dirt once more. howev er. As much as a dog can. This is the southern edge of the town. The bright. his face expressionless. The dog is thrown off. I won't. Its hackles are raised. NESS turns in the direction of the noise.

NESS backs off. NESS (annoyed) Just Onett. It is lined on its northern and weste rn end with forest. There is an expression of uncertainty about NESS. Then. A viscous. CUT TO: EXT : TWOSON : CITY LIMITS : LATE AFTERNOON : Green dominates the landscape. He wipes them away as the came ra switches back to a view of the dog. including the eyes. Can't an old-timer . OLD MAN (chuckling) I'm not going to bite you. takes up his bat. I knew it! I should've looked first.The bat has lost its ethereal glow. NESS looks over the nametag but does not recognize anything on it. He exits the scene. NESS sloppily folds the map up and stuffs it into his backpack. This is when he notices that it is wearing a collar with a name tag attached. He approaches the dog and k neels beside it. The crowds are thick and stifling. and NESS instinctively scoots down to put some space between them. much of the land is still pristine. and its southern and eastern sides are flanked by mountains. NESS crosses the street to a bench where he takes a moment to gather his thought s. He drops his bat and removes h is backpack to search through it. NESS trots down the path and enters the city. NESS is soon overwhelmed by the sheer number of people around him. He is lost from sight for a moment before escaping through a small gap. The same dirt road leading out of ONETT winds straight into TWOSON until it mee ts asphalt and pavement. and resumes walking. NESS (to himself) So it wasn't wild. though it seems to be set in the middle of nowhere. When the camera focuses in on it. The city of TWOSON is more expansive and heavily populated than ONETT. Even as the trees thin out and manmade structures come into view. some of the strange liquid is transferred to his fingers. which is wet with tears. There is a cl ose-up shot of his face. A lot of good that's gonna do me. he slings the bag over his shoulder once more. and it appears that NESS has also lost some of his nerve from the pained expression on his face. taking his first few steps across the sidewalk before stopping. pulling out a map that he unfolds until its bo ttom edge is hanging above his knees. heading south. it is ap parent that the map is of no use. as the camera slowly closes in on the face of the dog. With a look of intensifying disgust. pitch-black substance is leaki ng out of its mouth. Dammit. The people around him are forced to walk around. son. An elderly man soon joins him. It is leaking slowly from every opening on the animal. When NESS touches the face of the dog.

I should be heading home. OLD MAN Well don't let me stand in the way. It'd be too easy for a nice young man like yourself to get mixed up in something nasty. There is a moment of silence between NESS and the OLD MAN as they look away from each other and at the people and cars passing by on the street.) Secondly. gathering his backpack and baseball bat. NESS stands up. I don't know how familiar you are with this town. suggesting partial or total blindness. I never go alone anymore--even in the daytime. NESS looks puzzled and the OLD MAN laughs. OLD MAN Running away? NESS I've still got some things to do. OLD MAN Home must be a ways off for you then? NESS Oh. I was just giving you some room. sorry. but at least let me give you a bit of advice. those sorts of people. OLD MAN It's getting a bit late. NESS (somber) Yeah. . but I wouldn't suggest hanging about in the park after dark. his eyes appear to be gla zed-over. Although the man looks directly at NESS when speaking. OLD MAN (CONT. NESS shifts his attention to the sun slowly descending toward the trees in the west.like myself rest his bones? NESS Yeah. She'll appreciate it. yeah. but there is still a bright vit ality in them. criminals. I wouldn't get back until dark if I went now. First. NESS (curious) The park? Why? What's over there? OLD MAN Gangs. But I can't. Shouldn't you be heading home? You'll keep your mother waiting. always remember that no matter where you go or how old you are--even if you're my age--it never hurts to give your mother a call.

OLD MAN (to himself) Well. there he goes. CUT TO: EXT : TWOSON : CITY STREETS : LATE AFTERNOON : NESS races down to the corner where he turns right. grimy hair and a dirt-laden beard. DEALER (stunned) Whoa. The stand itself is nothing more than a table with plywood nailed to all sides. A man dressed in old clothes. most of them lost toys." NESS looks down the main path before moving again. and makeshift concession stands. On top of the table are various trinkets. I suppose Edith was right. kid. You lookin' for anything? NESS looks toward the source of the voice as the camera pans over.NESS (rushing) Thank you! I have to be going now! NESS takes off and the OLD MAN watches him depart. At the top of the archway is a sign that reads "BURGLIN PARK. though many of them are closed up and empty. NESS Yeah. park benches. though the camera is too far from them to catch the conversation. NESS What makes you so sure? DEALER . NESS stops when a voice calls to him from off-screen. broken watches . rests beside one of the concession stands. CUT TO: EXT : TWOSON : BURGLIN PARK : ENTRANCE : LATE AFTERNOON : When the camera catches up to NESS. VOICE Hey. The few people that are roaming about the park lo ok at NESS with a mix of curiosity and suspicion. I'm looking for a guy called Everdred. Partway down the walk. but you don't wanna see him. and it is obvious that NESS re ciprocates these feelings. The first person he comes ac ross. you don't waste no time pullin' out the big guns. The stranger points down the street and NESS takes off again. he has stopped outside a tall archway and ga te. NESS approaches the stand and the man addressing him. do ya? Everdred lives at the far end of Burglin Park. with long. and jewelry. It is a paved walk lined with flowering plants. he stops and talks to. I never know when to keep my mouth shut.

The DEALER tosses a round object to NESS. The wrong sort of people like to hang out here. What've you got in the bag? NESS (still walking) Clothes. kid? Twelve? There ain't nothin' a twelve-year-old has got to say to a grown man. I did that once. so you're runnin' away from home. whoa! Wait. who catches it blindly. no trade then? NESS begins to walk off again in silence. I know where you're goin' and I ain't gonna try and stop ya none. It'll bring you luck. I hear ya. Found my own place. (pause) So. Then again. have it. NESS I'm not running away from home. By the way. DEALER Right. Almost like you knew it was comin'. wait. NESS stops walking and the camera focuses in on him for a moment to catch his so mber. (smiling) Unless you'd like to buy somethin'. and though I personally don't see no sense in muggin' a kid--what kinna money do kids have anyway?-I do know that there are some pretty nasty fellas around here. We could make a trade if you ain't got no cash. So. you play baseball. but at least take this. No charge. welcome to it. NESS (walking off) I don't need anything. DEALER (desperate) Whoa. DEALER Ah. guilt-ridden expression. get back home. I suggest you get on outta here before the sun sets. DEALER (stunned) Well that's strange. don't ya? (pointing at the bat NESS carries) Anyway. Come back here. DEALER All right. And Everdred's one of 'em. There's just something I need to do before I can go back.(annoyed) How old are you. .

notices that it has an attachment on the back tha to his clothes. Where did you get it? DEALER Dug it up somewhere around here.NESS (scrutinizing the object) Really? DEALER Nah. but is too short to reach it. then I'd say it's worth every penny you didn't pay. Its roof is patched with wooden boards and metal plating. VOICE Don't you know it isn't polite to snoop around other people's houses? NESS turns in the direction of the voice. NESS turns the object over and t would allow him to secure it a world map and a bright blue is encompassed by a black bar lid gold trim. and the paint is p eeling from its sides like flakes of dry skin. Probably just some kid's toy. thick. No one's ever been interested. A voice emanates from the long shadows cast by the house. NESS approaches the window. NESS Are you Everdred? VOICE Who wants to know? . I can't sell it and Franklin ain't come lookin' for it. Sitting among the trees is a small. NESS does not respond. grating sound similar to driving over a dirt road. It is deep. and has a gravely. and then walks off to ward the other end of the park. so you can take it. This with the words "FRANKLIN BADGE" and set with a so NESS (pinning the badge to his shirt) Thanks. All I know is. Think of it as a souvenir of Burglin Park. I don't know what the hell it is. the land slopes unevenly toward the forest that borders the city of TWOSON. I've had it for years. which sounds as though something heavy has fallen fr om up high. On the front is a line drawing of lightning bolt running diagonally across it. But if you'd like to think of it as good luck. or who the hell Franklin is either. He is startled by a su dden and loud noise nearby. I can't promise that. He examines the badge for a moment. I guess. FADE TO: EXT : TWOSON : BURGLIN PARK : EVENING : At the far end of BURGLIN PARK. A light coming from the inside sh ines outward through a small window. single-story hou se.

but NESS does not flinch. he follows. like the mustache running down to his chin. He puts out one arm.NESS I do. NESS puts his arm down. EVERDRED (unfazed) Really? And I'm supposed to just take the word of a kid. This is IAN EVERDRED: short but feisty. Come on. The owner of the voice emerges from the shadows. am I? You know. When he strikes it. a couch littered with stains and holes. EVERDRED (smiling. amazed) I know why you're here. small ripples of light form an arc over NESS. a chair. . He runs his hands up and down over an unseen. droppin' off the face of the Earth and livin' in some hick town. His hair is pure black. which is propped up by several books. before you wind up in the gutter. VOICE (sarcastic) Well that was sweet of him. A man named Frank sent me. and watches EVERDRED collide with something in visible several feet in front of him. but you're makin' a mistake. He is a man with an awkwardly-shaped. He told me to come out here to find you. Without hesitat ion or any sign of fear. EVERDRED takes a seat on the couch. watching EVERDRED enter the small house. domelike shape. gesturing for NESS to do the same. round glasses with opaqu e lenses. That's where I'm from. NESS sits in the chair instead. despite his age. though nothing is there. EVERDRED (CONT. I was told I could find you here. and a mattress in the far right corner. I think you ought to run your ass back home now. The inside of the house is even less impressive than the outside. He also wears a black bowler hat and small. NESS He lives in Onett. After five years of pretending I don't exist. I'm not sure what would possess you to come all the way out to Twoson from Onett. all of which is accentuated by his loud and colorfu l clothing. EVERDRED (confounded) What the-? EVERDRED puts out his hands and finds something solid in his way. s quatty body and round belly. EVERDRED charges at NESS. and it has grown out to his s houlders--thick and bushy. the bas eball bat still held at his side. It contains a small television set on a table.) I never did understand why he moved out there.

what a gem. That's where he always is. it's your choice. EVERDRED (CONT. but what about your parents? NESS (somber) My mom's still at home. EVERDRED (nodding and reaching under the couch) That's Paula. I'm sorry if I scared ya. if they live here. He puts the tinder box away and slouches until he is comfortable. (pulling out and opening a tinder box) Although you ain't the only one that's come around askin' about her. NESS curls up his nose as the cigar smoke makes its way to him. and begins smoking.EVERDRED I know why Frank sent you. aren't you? NESS Frank only told me that there was a kid like me who lives in Twoson. but he remains s ilent. lights it. but I sure as hell ain't no murderer. You seem more the quiet type. The tourists and passers-by find out through word-of-mouth. And I never heard of no other kid like Paula anywhere else in the world--certainly not as close as Onett. EVERDRED (CONT. So. Most people just know where to find her. Listen. My dad's at work. EVERDRED (sitting forward) Hey. EVERDRED takes a cigar out of the tinder box. huh? You don't seem like the type to get scared easy. I didn't mean nothin'.) Not like you. She's about your age. You're here to see Paula. EVERDRED takes note of the stern expression NESS wears and laughs. but I ain't the guy most people make me out to be. Believe me or not. I don't take shit from no one.) It's awful ambitious of ya to come all the way out here just to see little Paula.) Not hardly. if he's seen what I seen. Sweetest little thing. (nursing his cigar) A lotta kids come around this park lookin' for trouble. I do what I can to run 'em off. I guess you could say I admire . kid. She's well-known in this town. Works at the Polestar Daycare with her parents. That's what I thought you mighta been up to. She's popular and doesn't seem to mind the attention. Mind you. but that's all. EVERDRED (CONT.

EVERDRED There's a phone just behind that TV there. (taking another hefty drag) The Polestars had an addition built onto their home so that it could double as their daycare business. EVERDRED (tapping his cigar) Right! Well I can tell ya that the daycare she works at is just down the street. And I know it ain't none of my business. NESS (feeling guilty) I should call her. NESS You seem to know a lot about her. NESS is silent. I got a private landline. It's actually where she lives. NESS Thanks. like I said. At least it's free. though I'd say you're the only one that's come askin' 'cause you could do the same things as her. She's always been special. and it's there on your left.) Does your momma know? (pause. Paula's been helpin' out ever since she was old enough to walk. EVERDRED (CONT. (laughing) Used to reach out with her arms and point at somethin' she'd want and it would float right over. I still need to know about Paula. turn right and walk 'til you get to the corner. And. Always has been. but she's been talkin' somethin' about a boy coming to visit--that she was expecting him to show up one day soon. NESS . But I can't talk to her just yet. I'd have more than a few things to say to you about takin' off without your momma's permission. silence) I thought not. So it's technically stealin' phone service from the city. EVERDRED (shrugging) She's the talk of the town. (pause) I take it you ain't goin' home tonight. since she's the one I'm looking for. (pause. nursing his cigar) I ain't told no one this. You go outta Burglin Park.that about people. you ain't the only one that's come around askin' about her. but if I was your father.

NESS'S MOTHER (CONT. I have half a mind to keep you in your room for the rest of the week. worried. Lots of people have. I'm really. Mom. and when you get . NESS'S MOTHER (angry. I'm sorry. kid. NESS'S MOTHER Hello? NESS (hesitant) Hey. NESS'S MOTHER You will be sorry when you get home. NESS That's good to know. which NESS picks up and dia ls. His hands shake the entire time. NESS'S MOTHER answers. (pause. EVERDRED gestures toward the telephone on the table.) Answer me. NESS Mom. and she'd never turn anybody away. After only two rings. She is angry and desperate. and thi s comes across the phone line clearly when she speaks. staring down at the floor) I think I want to call my mom now. You know I don't like you out running around in the dark. really sorry. You think just 'cause I'm some kinda half-ass criminal that she wouldn't have anything to do with me? Paula's a sweet little girl. all afternoon. and she always has been. mister. NESS (breaking down) Mom. please. yeah.(surprised) You've talked with her? EVERDRED Well. I know. NESS'S MOTHER (angry) Ness! Where are you? I told you to be home for dinner. young man! I have been sitting here. She'd help you out any way she can. but(hesitation) But I'm not coming home. You are two hours late! When were you planning on coming home? NESS does not respond. stunned) Excuse me? What did you just say? You get your butt back up that hill.

I'm not at the Game Corner. you're not a bad boy. I know you won't understandNESS'S MOTHER (interjecting) You're right. all while putting out the tail end of his cigar. The camera shifts away from NESS to EVERDRED for a moment. But trust me. I can't. Ness! NESS (hesitant. He is watching with g reat interest and concern. I love you! But why are you doing this to me? NESS (on the verge of tears) I'm not doing it to anyone. I pray to God every day and thank Him for blessing me with two of the best children a mother could ask for. I can't tell you what I'm doing or where I am. afraid) I can't tell you that. I'm not any of those places. Mom! No. There is a short but uncomfortable span of silence. I'm(hesitation) I'm not even in town. Mom. NESS'S MOTHER (worried. it's straight to bed with you.home. Get out of that game store and get home. Mom. Mom. I left and I'm not coming back until I get some answers. but I don't want you to be upset. Mom. NESS'S MOTHER (frustrated) Answers about what? Where are you. But I know for sure you're going to be stuck inside for two weeks if you aren't here in five minutes. speaking a bit more quietly) Ness. . Please. NESS'S MOTHER (panicked) Running away!? NESS I'm not running away. NESS'S MOTHER Well it's a bit too late for that! Are you at the Minchs'? The pizza shop? The drug store? NESS (interjecting) Mom. NESS No. This is something I need to do. I don't understand. NESS I'm not coming home. just listen.

EVERDRED I'd ask for more. And I can't come home until I figure out what I'm gonna do. but it's not my business. you can stay the night. you'd be in a . I love you. If you like. let alone so far from home.) I'm doing this because I have to. NESS No. I can't even explain it to myself. I wish I could explain everything to her. Mom. The camera focuses in on him. If you were mine. He i s quick to wipe them away as EVERDRED begins speaking again. Mom. but that was heavy. I promise I'll call you sometimes. I'm doing what feels right. cutting off th e sound sharply. NESS (crying) I didn't want to do it. There is a long moment of silence as EVERDRED shifts positions on the couch unti l his is comfortable. EVERDRED I don't like to get involved with other people's personal issues. crying) No! Ness. A kid like you shouldn't be out so late. But you can't help me. NESS hangs up the telephone as his mother wails on the other end. You know I'm upset at you for staying out late. NESS'S MOTHER Ness. If you have a problem. but come home now and we'll talk about it. NESS'S MOTHER (anxious. The expression he wears is one of uncertainty. There are tears in his eyes. I want to know! I want to help you! NESS I know. what I'll do. It's just me. It's not Dad. but you gotta trust me. wait! Don't hang up. Please. It's just something that's been bothering me for a while. little man. It's not you either. talk to me now! Is it your father? I know you kids have been so sad with your father gone all the time. I don't know what it is. or Tracy or anyone. or where I'm gonna go from here. please. Mom. NESS'S MOTHER (crying) But why did you have to leave! We could have just talked about it.NESS (CONT. but I can't. please! Just tell me where you are! NESS I'm sorry. Ness.

slumping lazily. NESS wipes more tears away but does not respond. I mean. thoug h they are distant. EVERDRED hops off the couch and peers out the small window. That'd be great. (pause) Oh. I'd like to personally introduce you and Miss Paula. he watches the flashing of red and blue lights through the trees until they disappear and the sound fades. not play matchmaker. She didn't do anything wrong. NESS (wiping away tears) I guess I deserve it. I'll walk you over to the Daycare myself in the morning. So I'm told about this fat kid and his father who are askin' around about Paula. out in the park. The conversation is interrupted by the screaming of police sirens outside. (looking at NESS sternly) I'll introduce you two. This is where we do our business.) Sorry to change the subject like that.. but I didn't see no one so I came back. I'd say a few hours or so before you showed up. NESS (somber) Thanks. good. EVERDRED (CONT. though. I thought it might help. Thought they might be comin' my way.. And you did come asking about her. They asked an associate of mine. I took a walk down there after I heard all this. NESS stares at the floor wi th a world full of sorrow and guilt swimming in his eyes. And then you came knockin'. Just today I've had one-besides you. I'm in with all the guys around here. You see. seeing as you're a special case. NESS continues to stare at the floor and remains silent. EVERDRED (CONT. This was maybe. Anyhow. Another round of silence breaks up the conversation. you were asking about Paula. From it. EVERDRED is noticeably uncomfortable.) Although they didn't exactly come to me. NESS (bothered) . Not that you'd be the first young fellow who's asked about her. EVERDRED So.helluva lot of trouble. Don't get no funny ideas. EVERDRED returns to the couch. And now she must think I hate her. EVERDRED Ah.

Her cl othes are as bright and cheerful as her golden hair. She is also tall a nd blonde. They wanted to know about the town. except it just didn't feel right. They think there's been a kidnapping! NESS is up out of his seat. the door to his tiny house is thrust open. Awful funny-lookin' people. Two men in uniform are se en interviewing a distraught couple just before the camera pans over to the adja cent street where NESS is racing to enter the scene. I wouldn't have looked into it. MAN (panicked) Ev. Real weird. NESS passes them and turns sharply to the sout h. This is CHARLES POLESTAR: the father of PAULA. though she looks much healthier and stronger than her husband. And he told me these guys were askin' an awful lotta questions--and not just about Paula. about Peace Valley and the mountains to the east. come quick! The cops are down at the Polestar's place. backpack on his arm and bat in hand.A fat kid and his father? EVERDRED Yeah. which have been left open. thin. kid! Wait up! Where the hell you goin'! CUT TO: EXT : TWOSON CITY : BURGLIN PARK : NIGHT : The shouting is ignored as the camera follows NESS up the central path of BURGLI N PARK. . POLICEMAN #1 (speaking to the couple) And where did you see her last? The camera focuses on the male member of the couple. His clothes are modest. The area is dark. casting an eerie glow on th e POLESTAR DAYCARE and the people standing outside it. NESS Did you happen to catch their names? Before EVERDRED can respond. his emotional state is much more so. He bolts past the stranger and out the door. and blonde wit h a small mustache. He is tall. The woman beside him is LINDA POLESTAR: the mother of PAULA. who is wiping his eyes. but streetlights ahead mark the location of the front gates. like. CUT TO: EXT : TWOSON CITY : POLESTAR HOME AND DAYCARE : NIGHT : Police cars parked in the street flash their lights. His face is filled wit h worry. EVERDRED (shouting after NESS) Hey! Hey. For as frail as his body looks. A man we aring layers of tattered clothes stands on the threshold. before EVERDRED can even process the information.

and comes to a halt several feet from the gat hering outside the POLESTAR DAYCARE. please. where did she go? Who was she with? LINDA I last saw her with a boy and his father. I didn't think twice about it. Some out-of-towners who had come to visit Paula. LINDA (speaking to NESS) Who are you? NESS (still gasping for breath) I'm a friend. I'm going to have to ask you to step back. The last I saw. she had gone up front to help Linda and see to the people stopping by. NESS What did they look like? Please tell me! POLICEMAN #1 (angry) Step back." That's our daughter. while POLICEMAN #2 continues the inquiry. son. POLICEMAN #2 Can you describe them for us? NESS enters the scene. Now! LINDA (speaking to POLICEMAN #2) . POLICEMAN #1 And you say it was one of your clients that was last seen with the victim? LINDA No. POLICEMAN #1 Excuse me. And please. The police notice him and. NESS (trying to catch his breath) Paula! What's happened to Paula? POLICEMAN #1 That's what we're trying to find out. Please. I was in the house. breathless. not one of our clients. Paula has visitors all the time. POLICEMAN #1 approaches NESS. They had come into the daycare asking about her. Step back.CHARLES She was here with us. stop calling her "the victim. We're conducting an investigation. Only immediate family members and witnesses are allowed.

thank you for the information. The man. and POLICEMAN #2. I was back in the house. Mr. I only heard about the visitors from Linda. POLICEMAN #2 (speaking to CHARLES) Did you happen to see either suspect? CHARLES No. The door of the POLESTAR HOME AND DAYCARE closes and the police cars drive off. Polestar. That was several hours ago. LINDA and CHARLES watch hi s departure. POLICEMAN #1 leads NESS to the sidewalk. his father. their arms around each other.. who is being removed from the scene by POLICEMAN #1. but the camera remains focused on CHARL ES. Thanks! NESS races off down the sidewalk and exits the scene. He is listening intently to the investigation. The boy was about his age. I would guess(points to NESS) Maybe a bit older. . NESS (speaking to POLICEMAN #1) Excuse me. do you know how to get to Peace Valley? POLICEMAN #1 (pointing East) Just follow this road out toward the mountains. still standing on the sidewa lk. not at all. I know. We'll file the report immediately. and Mrs. Curfew is in a few hours. NESS. POLICEMAN #2 writes something down on a small pad of paper before folding it up and stuffing it down into his pocket. That was the last I saw of her. that's it then. LINDA They walked outside with Paula--to talk. Like I said. LINDA. NESS Yeah. keeps watch on CHARLE S and LINDA. Both policemen exit. The camera moves off the property to focus on NESS. But I think you ought to be getting home. they said. wore glasses and a suit. POLICEMAN #1 rejoins the scene. He grows more anxious as the investigation wears on. CHARLES and LINDA walk back inside. She never came back.Both of them blonde.. heavyset. Their faces are a mix of worry and curiosity. (pause) And I remember he had facial hair as well. POLICEMAN #2 All right. And. as the lights from the police cars cover their house with an alternating mix of red and blue.

The Sound Sto ne is nestled against his heart. FADE OUT END ACT THREE. and then collapses to the ground himse lf. NESS (CONT. NESS grips the Sound Stone tightly. what am I doing? Where am I going? NESS turns his head toward his backpack and reaches for it. NESS enters the scene through this tunnel and comes to a stop several paces outs ide of it.FADE TO: EXT : PEACE VALLEY : NIGHT : The camera slowly pans over a vast sloping landscape covered with trees and bath ed in moonlight. and the recurring gir lish voice joins it soon after. A wide river snakes its way through the valley. NESS (to himself) All I know is that her name is Paula. 'cause I can't go home now. still glowing.) (to himself) I hope it's not too late. NESS (to the Sound Stone) Lighting up again? That doesn't help me. When the top flap is opened. ending in the f ar east at the mouth of a great lake. EARTHBOUND. including his clothes and the Sound Stone. And something terrible is about to happen. speaking to himself) God. . The view changes again to ground level. several items spill out. There is an opening at the bottom of a s mall hill--a man-made tunnel that leads from TWOSON CITY into the valley. He drapes it over hi mself like a blanket and rests his head on the old cloth backpack. Mountains border PEACE VALLEY on all sides . I can feel it. Whe n NESS touch it. the stone begins to glow faintly. ACT FOUR FADE IN EXT : PEACE VALLEY : EARLY MORNING : The world is dark for only a moment before the pale blue light on the distant ho rizon is seen. and for what? Why am I out here looking for some girl I never even met! NESS turns onto his side and gathers up the extra clothing. You're getting me into a lot of trouble. looking skyward and breathing heavi ly. NESS (exhausted. It grows until it has enveloped the screen. He drops his bat and backpack. For several seconds he lies on his back. his eyes filling up with tears.

I guess if they did come this way. disappointed) Just my luck. (pause) And wet. It is impossible to see more than a few meters into the distance. his eyes analyzing the movement and de pth of the water.) I hope this Paula girl doesn't mind if I show up little late. NESS (speaking to himself. Clear beads of perspiration are running down his forehead. NESS gathers up the Sound Stone and his clothes. NESS (CONT. NESS begins walking--his baseball bat in the opposite hand--as the camera cuts t o a different view of the valley. NESS peers over the top of the riverbank. Shaking. Every tree is nothing more than a gh ostly gray-green figure. It slopes down ward sharply into swift. he soon begins to shiver beneath the clothes he has piled atop himself. NESS cries out. It glows in his hand. Streaks of mud are left on his clothes as NESS climbs down the steep bank and pu ts his feet into the river. When the camera pans back up from the roiling surface. To his left is a wooden bridge. come find me. but he does not react until the first bit of bare sk in is exposed. NESS is standing on the edge. CUT TO: can feel it! Please. EXT : PEACE VALLEY : MORNING : With the camera focused in on his face. twitching and dancing about in chill waters with the bat held high above his head. Then. . There is a feeling of anxiety about him as he struggles with the current to get to the other side. and stuffs them into h is backpack. Please. merciless waters. The camera focuses in on the pained expression NESS wears as he moves. NESS awakes in a cold sweat. it shines like a beacon. that's your name. time left. Even in the dense fog. they didn't want to be followed. though th e river never swells much higher than chest-level. Though he appears heated and exh austed. He puts the Sound Stone in one pocket and holds tightly to his bat as he gets onto his hands and knees. The river bank is not far from tunnel leading out of TWOSON CITY. There's not much not with your ears. I'm Paula.VOICE (anxious) You're getting close! I hurry. Listen close-with every part of your I know it now. The Sound Stone in his pocket continues to giv e off a faint glow that can be seen even as the level of the water rises above h is waistline. but heart and soul. (pause) Ness. he appears to change his mind and removes the Sound Stone. The landscape is bathed in misty white fog. its midsection shattered.

focus retur ns to him as he drapes all wet articles over the low branches of a tree. wearing a curious expression. including what he is wearing. but this mom ent of respite is interrupted by a sharp snapping. NESS picks up his much lighter backpack. Most of the men. and exits the scene. moves onto his stomach to hide his existence from the men below. NESS ascends a steep hill and stops to rest at its peak. The trees that remain are being cut down and broken into manageable pieces. but he stops himself and sets it down. NESS (shouting) If Mom thinks I would rather be here than at home. and the Sound Stone. it shak es. muddy baseball bat . she's insane! I wish I never left! In a fit of anger. but the white mist that remains blots out the sun entirely. though the sky remains a solemn. It looks qu ite lonely among the sparse vegetation. His eyes scan the scene with caution and the camera follows from first-person point-of-view. revealing more defined shapes in the trees. When he holds it close. NESS. The re are many tree stumps in the area. but the rest have been soaked by the river. first removing the badge from his wet shirt. They ar e to be left behind. but there are dozens of men working arou nd it. Once NESS has put on dry clothing and reattached the Franklin Badge. He begins to undress. He concentrates on it while catching his breath. and short cliffs. NESS stands and approaches the source of the sound. ready to send the stone flying. NESS sits up and begins to pull the clothes from his bag. This he uses to pull himself out of the water and climb up to the grass where he collapses in a heap of wet clothes and flesh. all of them dressed in deep blue robes. suggesting that this was once a thick fores t.NESS reaches out with his bat. There the cl . Nearly all of the fog has lifted. The southern edge of the enclosed valley tapers to a rounded point. hills. overcast gra y. Toward the northern end of this small section o f PEACE VALLEY is a cottage with a green tile roof and white siding. This is evident by the clarity in the landscape. are gathering wood in a pile. This is when he notices that the Sound Stone is glowing more vibrantly. as t he camera pans over the nearby landscape. which takes him to the edge of a cliff roughly six meters off the ground. Th e setting seems almost surreal. NESS removes the Sound Stone from his pocket and pulls his ar m back. Those at the very top are still dry. shaking like a madman in the throes of death. The drop is a sharp one--straight down to a level plot of land bordered complete ly by cliffs of varying heights. Some of the fog has cleared. lodging the thick end of it in the mud on the ban k ahead. as the camera pans over them. though gently. They appear to be part of some co mmon group or cult. FADE TO: EXT : PEACE VALLEY : LATE MORNING : Some time has passed traveling.

thus adding to the weight of the bag. NESS. who retreats. and takes a flying leap . He departs from the group while the other cult members remain occupied with felling a tree. No going back. H e falls to his knees out of exhaustion. NESS slips off his backpack and puts the Sound Stone inside. The rest remain stunn ed. Those that are fir st to rise exit the scene in the direction of the cottage. is shaken after the sudden burst of energy. is a manmade tunnel. at their base. bat in hand. I'll eat my hat (pause) Or be in a helluva lot of trouble. some straight into the side of the adjacent cliff. His visible emotions turn suddenly to surprise as he spots the fr ont half of a parked car poking out from behind the cottage. The noise at tracts the attention of others in the group. His hands are trembling. NESS (CONT. quietly) That car! The scene cuts away to a brief flashback from the perspective of NESS: a blue ca r drives past his house on ONETT HILL and stops at the front gate of the MINCH R ESIDENCE. and the fall adding force to his attack. After catching his breath.) It's the same one. Everyone except NESS is thrown several feet through the air. The backpack is taken. His mouth hangs open in surprise. If not. but their eyes-. Their faces are hidden by tall blue hoods. There is another tunnel entrance at the opposi te end.iffs are less deep and. a look of growing anxiet y on his face. Its body is royal-b lue. Focus returns to NESS as he watches the activity below. NESS drapes his legs over the edge of the cliff. The camera cuts in close to the center of the blue swarm as a blinding light eru pts between the bodies. his face is fill ed with anger. and when NESS sees this. child? . who enter the scene. he chucks it off the cliff and waits with blatant appre hension. the camera is focused on NESS. though he appears confident.violent and dark--can be see through slits cut into the fabric. ALOYSIUS MINCH and an unfamiliar man step out together. I guess I got nothing to lose. NESS collides with the robed man and a struggle ensues. As he inspects the bag. but it has been sealed up with plywood boards. which allows for gro und-level access to the property. set with a gleaming silver bumper. When the flashback ends. motionless. He stops when a pair of robed men emerge. With the element of surprise working in his favor. NESS (speaking to himself. Then. One robed man notices the disturbance. HOODED MAN #1 What business do you have here. NESS drops his bat in the rising confusion and is pulled off the first robed man . but the robed men do not attack him. NESS gathers up his belongings and heads toward the c ottage as well. It is apparent that he lacks the strengt h to continue the fight.

smug) . and Mr. Ness! Two days ago. certainly. Before NESS can respond. PORKY approaches the hooded men and stands between them. Carpainter thought I had potential. and no children. Wow. I am now the righthand man to the founder of the Joyous Blue Cult-Mr. PORKY (smiling. NESS (angry) Cut the crap.NESS (angry.. (angry) In the middle of nowhere. This is a place of worship. tired) I'm looking for a girl named Paula. With an arrogant swagger in his walk. (smiling. Where's Paula! PORKY (feigning innocence) Paula? Who's Paula? Your girlfriend? (chuckling) I didn't think freaks like you had girlfriends. His blonde hair is combed neatly and he is dressed in a pair of dark sla cks with a sky-blue. HOODED MAN #1 (annoyed) There is no one by that name here. Carpainter met to discuss our great new religion. you learn something new every day. my father and Mr. NESS (confused) What the hell are you talking about? PORKY Only the greatest thing in the world. button-up shirt and blue striped tie.. what will be the church of the Joyous Blue. bestest friend. We suggest you leave quickly before you anger our high priest. What might you be doing all the way out here. She's gone missing from her home and I'm the only one who can help her. NESS I should be asking you that question. a mocking tone to his voice) Well hey there. the front door of the cottage opens again and PORKY ste ps out. Porky! PORKY (interjecting) That's Master Porky to you. William Carpainter. He's put me in charge of his affairs and lets me do whatever I want.

Ness! And you're not going to come between me and my plans. I'm not even going to try and make sense of what you just said. I don't care what kind of weird. NESS crosses his arms in front of himself. dome-shaped barrier of light appears over him. But who cares? She's a nobody-. Ness.a freaky loser like you. And so here I am now. before colliding wit h the robed men. speaking to the hooded men) Get him! PORKY steps back as his hooded cohorts rush at NESS. and as our numbers grow. Then he scr eams. freak! PORKY retreats into the cottage.He was right. of course. but continue to w ail on the unseen wall at full-strength. Its surface ripples viole ntly when the men strike it. It seems to erupt straight from his heart. NESS All right. freaky cult you and your dad are in. A close-up shot of NESS is seen as beads of perspiration run like rivers down hi s face. A thick. (angry. Several seconds pass in which his face turns a deep crimson. NESS follows PORKY into the cottage. He is concentrating hard. in shock) Sick! (speaking to NESS) This isn't over yet. arms out. A thin. eyes shut. pitch-black substance slowly begin s to bubble out of the eyeholes in the hoods and soak into the fabric. CUT TO: . the focus is on NESS. They are unable to break through. Porky. and a burst of colored light appears. Again. who is red-faced and drenched with sweat. NESS Quit playing games. I'm not playing. soon to be a king among men. convert them to the Joyous Blue. and tell me where she is! PORKY Games? Quite the contrary. I only came to save Paula--and don't play stupid! I know you've got her. The camera focuses in on them also. but the furious expression he wears is evidence that he is not ready to lie down just yet. He is bre athing heavily from exhaustion. You and your dad are the ones who kidnapped her in Twoson! PORKY (stunned. and this isn't a game anymore. so will my power. All I need to do is show people what they need to be happy. PORKY (staring. The bodies fall lifeless in front of PORKY. who stares at them in fearful anger. accompanied by a blast of melodious sound. furious) Dammit! Fine! Maybe we did take some stupid girl away from her parents.

It has the shape of a human body. To the left of CARPAINTER is a large golden statue nearly as tall as himself. the same color as his thinning hair. The owner of it is an elderly man standing in front of an angry-but-nervous PORKY. pushes past the men in his way. They approach NESS when he enters. He is dressed in a slate-bl ue suit. but a sharp. it's almost inhuman. The founder of a powerful religion ought to be powerful himself. and approaches CARPAINTER and PORKY. but set atop its head are fierce horns. this is made up for by his outrageous ideals and personality. giving i t a demonic look. . The thick black frames of his glasses seem to add to the sharp line s cut into his face by time. NESS (angry) I don't care about any of that nonsense! I'm here to find Paula. Although he does not appear physically strong. disguising their s hapes. A few hooded men remain inside. but it doesn't matter now. CARPAINTER (speaking to the hooded men) Leave him be. This is WILLIAM CARPAINTER: obsessive and deranged. leaving the far end of the front room empty. Perhaps he's come to learn about the Joyous Blue. and leaning on a solid gold staff for support. The girl has amazing power. I know you have her. will be transferred to me. despite how small it looks on the outside. He's only curious. masculine voice stops them. All pieces of furniture are covered in blue fabric. CARPAINTER (stunned) Well I don't know how you've found out about our little sacrifice. don't you agree? NESS I don't care about your stupid made-up religion! I came to get Paula and I'm not leaving until you hand her over.INT : PEACE VALLEY : CARPAINTER'S COTTAGE : AFTERNOON : The interior of the cottage is quite spacious. in turn. NESS wipes sweat from his brow with the sleeve of his shirt. They are packed tightly together near the front entrance. And that power can be transferred to my beautiful Mani-Mani god(indicating the golden statue) Which. She won't be leavingNESS (interjecting) What do you mean sacrifice!? What've you done! CARPAINTER We've barely scratched the surface.

The few that remain look over their robes as if they have never seen them befor e. They converse among themselves. NESS is struck directly in the chest. dry-heaving. brandishing his golden staff. . who approaches the body of CARPAINTER with caution. They wear expressions of disdain as they look at PORKY and NESS ROBED MAN #1 (confused. PORKY (entering from off-screen) Mr. They appear confused. Sparks dance on his body and a black ooze pours from his mouth and eye sockets. NESS stands and reenters the scene. There is another loud crack as the lightning rec oils. Painful screams are heard as the electricity courses through CARPAINTER. frustrated) Who are you? And what the hell is this place? Several of the men exit the cottage. the camera focuses in on PORKY. CARPAINTER stands upright. The robed men in the room remove their hoods. making his skin sizzle and his hair stand on end. The Mani-Mani statue be gins to spark and glow. I believe your fate ought to be the same as the men you left lying outside. Carpainter? While NESS gathers his bearings. CARPAINTER (annoyed) We will not be releasing the girl. CARPAINTER is struck and NESS co llapses from the impact. Those who do not submit to the Joyous Blue will be punished accordingly. NESS (stern. He falls lifeless mere seconds into t he onslaught. though the charge concentra tes on the badge he is wearing. He prods it with one foot. He looks immediately to the robed men. doubling-back on the man who produced it. With a look of shock and disgust on his face. The thunderous clap of electricity fills the room as every stray bolt races towa rd its target. furious) Where the hell is she? PORKY jumps in surprise. When there is no reaction. nor will you be leaving. dear boy. PORKY What are you waiting for? Get him! The robed men all appear confused. Then. As for you. he searches the pockets of the suit CARPAINTER wears.CARPAINTER looks at PORKY. who moves off-screen. bewildered. CARPAINTER turns his atte ntion back to NESS. which CARPAINTER directs at NESS. Bolts of lightning fly from it. coursing through the sta ff. who are currentl y off-screen. NESS turns away.

just remember. And I'm not leaving without Paula. but I was wrong! Please don't be mad. loser! . Okay? NESS does not respond. He jingles them when he gets to the front door. Ness. PORKY backs off into the wall. sliding away from NESS) In the back room. PORKY (shielding himself) Wait! Come on. Where is she? PORKY (pointing.PORKY (striking and kicking the Mani-Mani statue) Dammit! Useless piece of junk! NESS approaches PORKY as the rest of the robed men exit. this statue. who is concealing a ring of car keys in one fat hand. He exits the room. Carpainter was keeping her down there. a fierce and angry expression on his face. Things just happened that way. Carpainter was using it to control people's minds. we'll always be friends. Mr. but the camera remains focused on PORK Y. Mr. We grew up together--we're best friends! NESS remains still for a moment. I thought this new religion was gonna help me and my family. PORKY (speaking to NESS) Ha! Just kidding. NESS And you were helping him. but(hesitation) But I've learned now that I made a mistake. He holds his bat high. (pause. NESS I didn't come to deal with you. aren't we? NESS (winding up) As if. There's an opening in the floor to the basement. still moving) Ness. I didn't even expect you to be here. I'm sorry! I(hesitation) I just lost my mind. come on! We're still best friends. PORKY Ness! Hey. grinning. PORKY Yeah. But here we are. It's evil. It's this thing. and then puts his arms down. Catch you on the flipside. PORKY stops coweri ng and grins. visibly nervous.

one hand on the wheel as he laughs. goes to save his freaky little girlfriend. PORKY sticks his head out the window. This is PAULA POLESTAR: soft and feminine. in the center on the hole. NESS Paula? Was it you whoPAULA Yes. PAULA I knew you'd come. I've been trying for a week.PORKY exits quickly with keys in hand and the focus returns to NESS. A stone stairwell leads underground. is the front end of a now-dented blue car. PAULA stands and smiles as NESS approaches. There is a hint of madness in his voice and a devilish grin on his face. howThe conversation is interrupted by an explosion upstairs. She is wearing a bright pink dress. two r ed bows in her bouncy blonde hair. CUT TO INT : PEACE VALLEY : CARPAINTER'S COTTAGE : BASEMENT : AFTERNOON : At the bottom of the stairwell is a narrow hall and nothing more. who appears unfazed by the comments. PORKY (shouting to NESS) How perfect. The only disti nguishing feature is a small cell along the right wall. though there is something very precocious about her. Ther e is a gaping hole in the far wall near the basement entrance and. at least. NESS descends it as the sound of a car engine is heard coming from outside. the freakshow of Onett. She holds a g reat deal of wisdom in her young mind. it seemed. Ness. and sitting calmly behin d the bars is a young girl. CUT TO: INT : PEACE VALLEY : CARPAINTER'S COTTAGE : BACK ROOM : AFTERNOON : NESS enters the empty back room of the cottage and immediately heads for an open ing in the floorboards. The only time I could get through. CUT TO: INT : PEACE VALLEY : CARPAINTER'S COTTAGE : BACK ROOM : AFTERNOON : Wooden boards and torn pieces of siding lay in a tangled heap on the floor. She is the perfect model of childho od innocence. was at night--I suppose because you were asleep. NESS But why(hesitation) I mean. only to .

) One wrong move and the whole thing will come down on us.find himself trapped--forever! (laughing) See ya later. he crosses his arms atop them and buries his s weat-stained face. NESS It did. frustrated) Great. Knees against his chest. where should I start? Once upon a time. causing the rest to shift. NESS approaches the pile of rubble and pulls a piece off of it. shocked) Sorry! PAULA That's fine. (pause. NESS looks upon the blockade. The camera keeps focus on NESS as the sound of stone grating on stone is heard. It looks as though the house has imploded. I guess I won't! The car backs off and rams the cottage again. loser! Then again. PORKY drives off as the roof collapses on the back half of the building. letting the bat roll out of his hand and over to the ce ll gate. When the dust settles. I just want to go home. It sounded like the whole house collapsed. NESS (CONT. Pieces of the cottage are bloc king their only way back to the top floor--an immeasurable mess of wood. This is wonderful! Exactly what I wanted to do today. NESS (frustrated. an evil child was born into an evil familyPAULA (interjecting) I meant what happened just now. No! God damn him! (looking at PAULA. And we're trapped in here now. NESS Oh. discouraged. We can't dig through all that. and the supports begin to give way . CUT TO: INT : PEACE VALLEY : CARPAINTER'S COTTAGE : BASEMENT : AFTERNOON : Focus returns to NESS and PAULA in the basement. What happened? NESS (sighing) Well. nails a nd plastic. NESS drops to the floor. no. They are shielding their faces from the dust as it billows out of the stairwell. . on the verge of tears) I'm so tired.

PAULA struggles with the heavy slab of iron and. Not hing can be see. and then begins to crawl forward. could you help me. who is holding the Sound Stone. and the rug that had been concealing the manhole. smiling) I've known it was here the entire time. The lock it fits into is rusted. please? NESS looks up as PAULA struggles with a manhole cover at the far corner of her c ell. but the shuffling of feet can be heard. NESS (smiling) Where do you suppose this goes then? Do you know that? PAULA No. At the far left corner of the screen. It might be a way out. as d oes the gate when opened. NESS Well. finds the key on the wall. a table. He is care ful about keeping in contact with the stone at all times while still holding tig htly to his baseball bat with the opposite hand. NESS (surprised) A tunnel! But howPAULA (interjecting. of course. Let yourself in and help me with this. except for a single chair. PAULA . and returns to the cell w ith it.PAULA (off-screen) Ness. with help from NESS. The inside of the cell is empty. revealing an opening cut deep into the Earth. Although I admit. I was starting to feel a bit worried. stands. is able to drag it away. But we'll find out soon enough. then whyPAULA (interjecting) I was waiting for you. NESS grabs his bat. Carpainter keeps the key on a hook at the end of the hall. NESS gets onto his hands and knees. It squeals when the key is turned.) Mr. a blue light suddenly appears and casts its glow on NESS. PAULA (CONT. FADE TO: EXT : PEACE VALLEY : UNDERGROUND : LATE AFTERNOON : The scene fades to black as NESS and PAULA drop down into the tunnel system.

PAULA Oh. clutching the Sound Stone to his heart. They conceal the entran ce to the underground path. He moves it to his forehead. There is a wide opening at the base of one cliff. He approaches the winding trails of footprints and gasps. anyway. The stone in his hand is glow ing brightly enough to be seen in the glaring sunlight. it lights up like this--sometimes just a little. the sun has finally made an a ppearance on its path toward the horizon. It's kind of a long story. its feet in the air as it clutches them and smiles. that's what the story says. like right now. There is a sudden flash as the scene cuts away from NESS. (pause. There are trails of child-s ize footprints running across it. NESS does not respond. It casts a blazing orange hue across t he landscape as the camera pans over the cliffs and focuses in on a small. but every time I touch this rock.. and near it are bushes growing together in wide clumps. and sometimes it's really bright. The hand of an adult moves in and places a a bright red cap over the baby. suddenly.. PAULA The what? CUT TO: EXT : PEACE VALLEY : LILLIPUT STEPS : LATE AFTERNOON : Though much of the day has been overcast and gray. PAULA rises up next to NESS a moment later. One bush begins to quiver as NESS rises out of it. This is Lilliput Steps. PAULA steps out of the bushes and into the clearing. The next segment is co lored in sepia tone. an expression of pure joy on her fac e. Music is playing. but it lasts for only a few short notes. enclo sed plot of land between them. Another flash and the dream sequence ends. PAULA (dancing) Ness. . A baby lies on a blanket. the stone in his han d begins to shake. They say these footprints were made by happy children a long time ago--or. my! I never would have guessed. crawling ahead) I think it has something to do with the Sanctuaries. do you know where we are? I've been wanting to come here ever since I was a little girl. actually.(crawling behind NESS) How are you doing that? NESS I don't know. As NESS enters the scene. suggesting a memory or flashback.

NESS I don't really know. though. because it really has! At least. How could you dream about me without even knowing me? PAULA I just did. and friends listen to each other. our bodies and minds shut down and our souls can travel outside them for a while. this light comes outta nowhere. It is no longer glowing. I can try to explain. I don't even know what it was--like a robot from outer space. right? There is a moment of silence between them as PAULA looks down at her feet. and even longer to learn your name. who takes the stone away from his forehead. 'til now. and there's a beetle crawling up my arm. We're friends now. not exactly the same. telling me about this stone and the Sanctuaries of the Earth. . Her l egs are stretched out in front of her and her black dress shoes are shining in t he sunlight. Next thing I know. either. He takes a seat on th e ground. a meteor crashed into Onett Hill--that's where I'm from. though. I've never seen them before. in the center of the dancing footprints. a few nights ago. see? Now it's over with. PAULA (contemplative) I had a dream about that. This must have been one of them. It took me a while to really get a good look at you.The camera focuses in on NESS. But I dreamt of you. and PAULA joins him. I was sort of conned into going up there to look. kills it. in some ways. I never saw you before. PAULA That's all right. or something. and(pause) Then this thing attacked us. NESS I still don't understand. NESS (hesitant) Well. Well. PAULA One of what? A Sanctuary? What does that mean? NESS removes his backpack and sets down the stone and bat. You wake up and you think it's happened. You know how dreams are sometimes. (turning toward NESS) When we sleep. NESS (content) There. and of these other boys--kids like us. and it felt so real. but it's going to sound stupid and crazy. Stupid.

don't you? The one who was helping Mr. but I'm a freak. we'll know what we're looking for. PAULA If we don't find what we're looking for.) They're our friends. Carpainter. too. just like any friend would. or that maybe you couldn't find me. don't you? That awful hurt inside that won't go away. looking at NESS) You feel it. And then I felt it--you were so close last night! That's when I knew this was real and that I had to wait for you. There is another moment of silence in the conversation.NESS (skeptical) That doesn't make sense.. I figured you probably weren't going to come. NESS (dejected) Yeah. driving you insaneNESS AND PAULA (together) Making you feel like the world's gonna end. NESS (interjecting) Whoa. Why do there have to be others? Why do we have to go looking for people we don't even know? PAULA You came looking for me. only people who lie and pretend. I don't have any friends. After trying to reach you for almost a week. NESS He's my next-door neighbor. PAULA You know that boy. No matter what you do. (pause.. . wait. and how we'll find the other kids. it's always thereNESS (interjecting) Eating away at you. (pause) I'm lost. PAULA But it's true! It's how we found each other. too. And when we find them. You were on your way to save me. PAULA (CONT. Ness. NESS is stunned into silence.

He always said he was. (touching his shirt) These were all I had that didn't get wet. or stay this long. shoot! I forgot! I left most of my clothes hanging on a tree! (looking at PAULA) I had to cross the river this morning and I left my clothes out to dry. right? PAULA laughs and NESS joins in. NESS reaches for his backpack suddenly. I'm so tired I could sleep for days. we better be. PAULA We'll sleep then. It's getting dark. and we used to play together. I didn't expect to come out this far. (pause) I don't know what to think about him anymore. They continue this for several moments until the y are forced to stop and catch their breath. Then..PAULA (stunned) Wow. and tomorrow everything will be better. I guess we are. PAULA We could go and find them. I guess it doesn't matter. PAULA lies down. NESS His name's Porky Minch. I'm not about to go walking around in the dark looking for a pair of pants. but that could take hours. PAULA Then we'll go in the morning. awkward. and we won't be able to find them at night. Oh well. they are silent. Their eyes r oam the landscape rather than look at each other. I'm sure nothing will happen to them. NESS (sighing) You're right. and he was my friend-sort of. You'll see. aren't we? NESS Yeah. PAULA We're friends now. Do you remember the way? NESS I guess so. but I guess that was more convenience than actual friendship. NESS (frantic) Oh. (smiling) After coming all this way.. . anyway. smiling at NESS.

and opens her eyes.) By the way. EARTHBOUND. NESS (shocked) This is yours? I'm sorry! Someone in Twoson just gave it to mePAULA (interjecting) That's all right. She is lost in thought. I see you found my Franklin Badge. you know. NESS (smiling) Yeah. I know. suggesting that the voice is coming from within her. He's found me. You keep it. she does so aloud. you will soon. The camera pans over the center of LILLIPUT STE PS to where she is kneeling. Though I know you haven't met us. A close-up shot of her face reveals that her eyes a re closed. Just keep your mind open. but I'm trying. It looks nice on you. . I feel it. FADE OUT END ACT FOUR. PAULA Hello? (pause) Hello. puts her hands down. NESS is asleep on his side--exactly where he was when the previous scene ended-but PAULA is no longer with him. NESS gives up his backpack for PAULA to rest her head on. When PAULA speaks. don't let it take too long. PAULA Please. (pause) We'll find each other. Tears run down her cheeks. head down and hands together in a rever ent prayer position. and then lies down as well. the moonlight b ecomes a bit brighter. PAULA looks up. making it clear that some time has passed since NESS and PAULA first entered the area of LILLIPUT STEPS. She wears a worried and somber expression. are you there? It's very hard to reach you. revealing the shape of objects around. the Sound Stone held close to his heart as both children drift off to slee p. As the scene fades in. When she speaks again. It's a good luck charm. Our other friend is here. her mouth does not move.PAULA (CONT. ACT FIVE FADE IN EXT : PEACE VALLEY : LILLIPUT STEPS : NIGHT : Darkness reigns. reflecting the light of the moon. Her body remains still.

the scene changes to one where snow is softly drifting down to Earth. the wooden boards squeal under his feet and he cringes. Although he makes an effort to dress in a prac tical and professional manner. hiding some of his pubescent acne breakouts. chairs. Go back to sleep. Although his physical appearance is stereotypical of the intell ectual/science types. his clothes are often wrinkled. They border a hilly valley and icy lake.FADE TO: EXT : WINTERS : NIGHT : As the camera focuses on the moon. Its architecture. fearful. CUT TO: INT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY : STUDENT DORMITORIES : NIGHT : A young man sits up in bed. towers. feeling different parts of his scalp. He is a young adolescent boy with deep bro wn hair and a gentle personality. At the north end of the valley is a small village. his face and hair drenched with sweat. but when he steps onto the floo r. He appears unsure of himself. JEFF puts a hand over his heart and slowly moves it up to the side of his head. As the camera moves back fr om JEFF. though his blonde hair is a bit unruly. he does have his share of youthful good looks. He has the makings of a great scientist in him. He throws back the blankets quietly. TONY (groggy) Jeff? What are you doing up? JEFF Nothing. Mountains and evergreens fringed with white dominate th e landscape. their frames thick and black. but personality and shyness sometimes hinder his efforts. This is JEFF ANDONUTS: intelligent yet reserved. It hangs just above his eyes. . This is TONY: a true friend to JEFF. His clothes are always professional. There are two desks. conservative. He is the same age as JEFF--approximately fourteen or fifteen years o ld--but looks and sounds much younger. and confused. rumpled. TONY (worried) Did you have another nightmare? JEFF (sitting at his desk) I'm fine. or somew hat dirty. All of its houses and busines ses are dwarfed by an elaborate. more can be seen. and a second bed in the dorm. and finely-crafted but timeworn statuary suggest that it is well over a century old. brown brick building. and the occupant of that bed sits up slowly. and practical. The ruffling of bedclothes is heard across the room. JEFF reaches over to his nightstand and picks up his glasses. The camera focuses in on its wrought-iron gate where a sign reading "Winte rs Academy" can be seen atop the metal archway.

I know only what I'm feeling. Jeff. TONY No. You never used to be like this. It's embarrassing. JEFF All right. I've seen you get upset about assignments before. Tony. I'll help you. I can't ever remember. approaching JEFF) You're soaking wet! JEFF I was just dreaming. Except a voice(hesitation) No. but this is really weird. or someplace I need to be. TONY About what? JEFF I don't know. I'll be fine. or something. of course. I don't have anything to be stressed about--until now. (pause. nevermind. fidgeting nervously) Don't ask me to explain. you know. And if I don't find out what or where these things are(hesitation. Probably stress.TONY (getting out of bed) You did. JEFF You can't help me. TONY (pulling up a chair) So? Explain it that way then. didn't you? Don't pretend. Jeff. It's okay. right? You think? JEFF It couldn't be. Something's really wrong. Just don't worry about it. (pause) How can I explain? There seems no logical way of doing so. I'm at a loss. TONY No you won't. Everyone gets like this sometimes. Possibly both. (pause) There is something I need to do. Jeff! What voice? You're not hearing things are you? That's not good. I shouldn't be feeling this way! TONY Don't be embarrassed. JEFF (frustrated) .

At the center of th e room sits an older man in a white coat. lin tufts of snowy-gray hair that reach from one ear around to the other. catching his somber expression before the scene ends. The lights coming through the windows are the only thing sepa rating it from the near-colorless landscape. The camera focus es in on TONY. Op en cupboards and metal shelves hold machine parts and tools. science paraphernalia. all of them drowning in clutter--boxes. A moment pass es before DR. getting up) I need to walk for a while. JEFF approaches his father quietly and takes up a stool beside him. and other miscellaneous objects. DR. he wears black-framed and is highly intelligent. Jeff! What about curfew? If they catch you out lateJEFF interrupts TONY with a passive wave of his hand and exits. ANDONUTS I always am. The entryway is a long corridor with several rooms branching off of it. Like his son. This is glasses greater ed with sports DR. He a mustache of the same color. pushing away some of the mess on the table so that he can rest his arms there. ANDONUTS: the father of JEFF. ANDONUTS . but there is an age gap between them that is than that of most parents and children. JEFF (sorrowful) Hello. FADE TO: EXT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY : NIGHT : A distant view of the academy reveals a lone figure trudging through the snow al ong the eastern wall. The top of his head is bald. son. (pause. ANDONUTS notices him. Working late again? DR. but one at the other end remains open. Inside are black countertops and tables. Why are you out after curfew? JEFF I've been finding it difficult to sleep. ANDONUTS (surprised) Jeff! Didn't hear you come in. CUT TO: INT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY LAB : NIGHT : The door opens and JEFF enters the sterile yet cluttered environment of the labo ratory. empty food packages. Light is sp illing out of it and into the hall. The camera follows JEFF to this room and ent ers with him. TONY Wait. DR.No. The figure is headed toward a smaller white building sever al meters distant. Father. Most of the doors are closed. There is nothing common about this.

. But I have no idea what my problem is! DR. ANDONUTS Haven't I stressed the importance of downtime? Keeping up with your studies is one matter. ANDONUTS (interjecting) You're a handsome young adolescent with properlyfunctioning and highly-active hormones. but setting aside periods of respite is essential to your physical and mental health. as always. DR. But academics isn't the issue--not this time. I know school isn't the issue. JEFF (sighing) Not those kind of urges. DR. am I right? JEFF It seems like so much longer. School has been going well for me. that's unusual.) I have just been having these urgesDR. staring at the computer screen) Ah. It's difficult for me to explain. (pause.Still? This has been a problem for over a week now. That's the urge I feel inside me. ANDONUTS moves away from the computer and to another part of the room. He seats him self at the computer as focus returns to JEFF. DR. JEFF Understood. DR. JEFF I have to go somewhere. If it was. I need to get away from here and go somewhere. You have high marks in all subjects. here we are. ANDONUTS Try explaining yourself as best you can. Father. ANDONUTS gets up from his chair and approaches another table where a compute r rests beneath a pile of old food containers and plastic wrapping. ANDONUTS You do indeed--back up to the dormitories. JEFF (CONT. I believe it could be solved easily. There is a small machine on the table in front of him that he is working on. JEFF Exactly as I said. ANDONUTS (confused) Well. Doing fine. if you want the honest truth. DR.

an d soars upward. I supposeJEFF (getting out of his seat) Great! We'll be able to finish it much sooner. JEFF exits the room through a doorway in the far right corner. ANDONUTS Yes. ANDONUTS Well. ANDONUTS continues working on his pro ject. His father follow s as the camera pulls back from the scene. JEFF puts his head down on the table. PAULA . Father? DR. They are in the middle of a conversation. DR. None of it makes sense. but I knew I had to get away. replaced with the sun and brigh t blue daytime sky. passes through the nearest window. I was starting to go crazy. you remember. If you like.JEFF (frustrated) No. It cuts in to a closer shot of NESS and PAULA walking up a hill together. turning its attention to the moon. excited) The Sky Runner! DR. The camera angles downward to catch the span of PEACE VALLEY . NESS And that's when I decided to leave home. ANDONUTS The end-of-term break is coming up soon. It's like something I've known all along but have never seen before in my life. It broke down several years ago and I've been tinkering with it off and onJEFF (interjecting) Could I help you fix it. I didn't want to. the moon dissipates. JEFF (somber) I know. no! It isn't here. FADE TO: EXT : PEACE VALLEY : LATE MORNING : As the previous scene ends. whatever I'm looking for. A lengthy span of silence ensues while DR. I could repair the Sky Runner and loan it to you for that week. JEFF (looking up. but it's there. ANDONUTS I can't say that you're making any sense at all. Perhaps a small vacation is what you need. DR.

I mean. right? You were born with it. right? NESS Yeah. ever since I was a baby. You can't just lift cars without touching them. It's not like most people think it is. PAULA That's how it is for me. And it's really not your mind doing it at all--or your brain. The power comes from your soul. People with our kind of abilities . They don't know what's going on. and there's still energy there. or something like that. It's kinda weird. you could be alive and not have a soul--like a plant. It's a sort of psychokinetic force that let's you move objects with your mind. Each soul is different. NESS Yeah. Does that make sense? NESS (frazzled) I guess. You can do that. But I can feel their presence just as I felt yours. PAULA But you have Psi Power. I thought souls and stuff were a religious thing. see the future. They still grow. PAULA Well they are. but really. Ness. or how they show it in the movies. Although it would only happen when I really wanted or needed something. Can't you? NESS I guess not. too. read minds. PAULA But it's true. and how we live our lives determines what sort of soul we have at the end.I'm sorry if I've caused you any trouble. NESS I don't understand. but they can't think or talk. I should say. too. who are these others anyway? PAULA I don't know. your soul is what makes you conscious. NESS Psi Power? PAULA Psychic energy. I never really thought about anything like this before. I was only trying to contact you and the others.

PAULA I wonder where he's gone. be careful! Thin trails of smoke rise up from the point of contact. Now I guess it's on Porky. suddenly. Both children walk in silence until. NESS sets down his baseball bat and backpack and begins removing his clothes fro m the branches. It was on that Carpainter guy and the men helping him. NESS perks up and races ahead of PAULA toward a tree where various articles of clothing are hanging from its bran ches. right? NESS Yeah. I'm glad they're not gone. PAULA Ouch! It burns! NESS I know. Profane an d insulting words are painted sloppily on the shirt in blue. NESS There they are! The clothes I left behind the other day. but I keep seeing this stuff everywhere. frustrated) Porky. PAULA approaches and cautiously touches the black ooze. NESS (fearful) Paula. I touched some before on this dog. PAULA (troubled) What's that all over them? NESS looks down at the clothes on the ground and picks up a shirt. and PAULA cringes and pu lls away.aren't really good or bad. It is covered in a molasses-like black substance that slowly runs down the fabric. I never seen so many strange and disgusting things come outta one person in my whole life. PAULA does not join him. NESS (sighing. we're just different. PAULA What's that black stuff? It looks like tar. Carpainter's car. He was here. but I've seen it before. NESS I don't know. but he couldn't have gone far. The bridge . Some are lying beneath it. Our souls can reach things others can't. I thought it was just sick or something. You told me he drove off in Mr. too. It came after me on my way to Twoson. That doesn't surprise me.

PAULA At least the sun's out. NESS shivers and clutches PAULA tig htly. on the edge of the bank. His face turns red. But I don't see a car anywhere around here. NESS struggles all the way to the opposite bank and then stands there. NESS (standing up) Right. she looks mostly content while NESS appea rs to be just the opposite.is still out. PAULA pulls back on NESS. I guess. CUT TO: EXT : PEACE VALLEY : RIVERBED : AFTERNOON : With the water rushing around his waistline. Ness. Thank you. PAULA smiles at him. She is sitting atop his shoulders. PAULA is silent. wearing his backpack and holding his ba seball bat. She crawls off of NES S. But first we gotta get across the river. NESS Yes I did! Now just hold on. She looks at NESS shyly. NESS (abandoning his dirty clothes) It doesn't matter. turns. you're frozen! NESS (shivering) Water's a bit cold. and wraps her arms around his to pull him up. PAULA (straining) Oh gosh. Ness. stuttering) . who is looking at the river and the smashed wood en bridge that once spanned the width of it. The camera focuses in on PAULA. trembling . When we get close enough. who climbs the rest of the way out and sits. you climb up and I'll follow. NESS (shaking. PAULA We'll find you something else to wear. I can't wear these anymore with all this stuff on them. Although she is concerned. You'll dry off soon. PAULA You didn't have to do this. while PAULA tosses the bat and backpack up into the grass. shaking. His facial expression shows great strain. PAULA He could've crossed on his own. once we start walking again.

And I'm sure they're really worried about you. I'm so cold! I swear I must have shrank a few inches. PAULA (shaking her head) I can't now that I've found you. until I finish whatever it is I started. yeah. NESS Walking back isn't as bad as I thought it would be. (pause..Yeah-. lik e syrup. carrying with them the bac kpack and baseball bat. NESS But what about your parents? I saw them before I left Twoson to find you. the camera pans over to the clothes NESS left behind. NESS Nevermind. guilty) Well. We haven't solved all our problems yet. but instead cuts to a view a cross the river as they walk out of the scene. PAULA And aren't yours worried about you. FADE TO: EXT : TWOSON : CITY LIMITS : AFTERNOON : NESS and PAULA enter through the eastern tunnel connecting TWOSON and PEACE VALL EY. but I made up my mind. and when it touches the ground. NESS is no longer shaking. Their path is lined with trees that thin out as they approach the city. too? NESS (stunned. standing up with PAULA) God. withe rs. I left for good.. stopping) So. I can walk you there. though his clothes still appear wet. That's how I found out you were missing. offering her hand) You don't look any shorter. PAULA (confused. It's definitely easier than the first trip. He carries the b at in his right hand and keeps the other wrapped around one strap of his backpac k. PAULA . The pitch-black substance is slowly dripping off. yeah. and dies. NESS and PAULA walk hand-in-hand away from the river. all the grass around it smolders. The camera does not follow. They said you'd been kidnapped. no problem. (pause. She appears concerned. The others are still waiting. Then. you should probably be getting home. PAULA walks beside him.

looking over the city) Come on. PAULA (whispering to NESS) Is anyone looking? NESS No. who appears confused. We can't go back now that we're out here. Ness. She keeps her head down while walking. I know that feeling. NESS (sorrowful) Yeah. PAULA begins walking ahead of NESS. Where are we going? PAULA To the park. NESS But your mom and dad(hesitation) They'll think something awful happened to you. NESS My hat? CUT TO: EXT : TWOSON : CITY STREETS : LATE AFTERNOON : The streets of TWOSON are alive with activity. Lots of people know who I am. CUT TO: EXT : TWOSON : BURGLIN PARK : ENTRANCE : LATE AFTERNOON : . and then I'll never get away. but I can ask someone else to do it for me. I wish we could've met under nicer circumstances. A closer shot of PAULA reveals that she is wearing NESS's baseball cap. I'll never want to leave. PAULA I know. I'll need to borrow your hat a while. (pause. We've found each other.My mind's been made up as well. I'm not happy with how everything turned out. NESS But how're they going to know you're all right? Shouldn't we at least tell them that? PAULA We can't. and it just so happens that we both left home. They'll tell my parents if they find out I'm here. but I don't want anyone to see me. If I go back. Her blo nde hair is tucked under it to help disguise her. but it's already done with. I have an idea. NESS and PAULA have been swept up in the tide of human bodies and are drifting toward the other side of the city.

PAULA (pulling away. EVERDRED stops in the doorway. choking the main walk and the v endors that border it. Eveni ng is drawing near. you little punk. Some men took me to Peace Valley. I don't(hesitation) Could we maybe talk inside? EVERDRED. observing NESS) What happened to your hat? NESS (bothered) Sorry. thank God! PAULA (embracing EVERDRED) Uncle Ian! I've missed you! EVERDRED What in the world happened to you? Everyone's been talkin' you been kidnapped. (pause. I didn't know what would happen. CUT TO: INT : TWOSON : BURGLIN PARK : EVERDRED'S HOUSE : LATE AFTERNOON : The camera follows NESS and EVERDRED inside and then pans over to PAULA. NESS (confused) This is where Everdred lives. EVERDRED (shocked yet joyful) Paula! Oh. She smiles. arms out. He pushes past NESS and rushes toward her. when he sees PAULA. There sits the familiar one-room house. EVERDRED Hey. Paula. She retreats inside the house as EVERDRED sits up and ho ps down from the roof. EVERDRED can be seen lounging on the roof. her bouncy blonde curls resting on her shoulders. but the crowds remain thick. stunned. gestures NESS into the house.NESS and PAULA enter the park as the sun works its way toward the horizon. though he does not notice his visitor s until they begin speaking. smiling) I was. what're we doing here? PAULA does not respond. still wearing a bitter expression. Then Ness showed up. He appears angry. So you came back? I didn't expect I'd see you again after you ran off. who has removed the hat. NESS stops before they reach it. The children pass all the activity as PAULA leads NESS to the back of BURGLIN PA RK where the western edge of the forest begins. .

When I saw you take off the other night. I didn't know what to expect. drawing her into another embrace. You two are related? EVERDRED (annoyed) Ain't you been payin' attention? Here's a tip for ya: take notes. NESS pulls out the wooden chair from the table and sits down. I reserve judgment for a later date. He folds his hands in his lap. EVERDRED (CONT. NESS No. PAULA sits beside EVERDRED as he reaches under the couch for his box of cigars. shocked) Uncle Ian? EVERDRED Hey don't get cute. I'm confused. he appears embarrassed and puts t he box away. and stares at the floor. knees spread wide apart. I'm ain't surprised one bit.) I have to say. when he notices this. as far as I was concerned--albeit with a few good tricks up your sleeve. (sitting on the couch) But I can't thank you enough for rescuing my niece. Uncle Ian. NESS (bewildered. NESS I'm still just really confused. The jury's still out on your case. EVERDRED and PAULA look at NESS as the camera focuses on him. And if I ever see the sons of(hesitation. all that matters to me is that you're back now. PAULA He's not strange. He's a hero. PAULA stares at him and. as thrilled as I am that you brought little Paula back home.He saved me. kid. You never told me you spoke to Uncle Ian before coming to find me. (looking up at PAULA) Why didn't you tell me Everdred was your uncle? PAULA I didn't even know you two had met. EVERDRED Hey. You were just some punk kid. EVERDRED shifts into a more comfortable position on the couch and wraps an arm a round PAULA. I knew there was somethin' strange about you. glancing at PAULA) . Everything's been happening so fast. It helps. NESS does not respond.

angry and stunned) Oh. And I'm not suggestin' you would ever do anything. Uncle Ian. I imagine there is. things we have to do and find.The guys who did this. EVERDRED Oh? And what's that supposed to mean? PAULA Uncle Ian. But you can forget about it. PAULA (shocked. could we--well. There are places we have to go. (standing up) Please. You can count on that. EVERDRED (shocked) Paula! What're you sayin'? (turning to NESS. really big favor? EVERDRED Why so heavy all of a sudden. distant) You won't find them. and you can't make a big deal out of this. (taking PAULA by the hand) Paula. I've been planning this for a while. and now you're tryin' to convince my Paula to do the same? Get the hell out! PAULA No! It wasn't him. but it won't make any sense. listen to me. EVERDRED (standing up. offended) Uncle Ian! Please! I've never(hesitation) . I can't explain it to you. could I ask you for a favor? A really. I wish I could. I'm sorry. Uncle Ian. especially not to my own flesh-and-blood. I've(hesitation) If you really want to know. NESS (somber. but(hesitation) But you know there's only one thing a teenage boy thinks about. It's something that has to be done. I'll have more than a few things to say. little one? PAULA Could you please let Mom and Dad know I'm all right? I can't go home and I don't want them to worry about me. but I was a young punk teenager once. You're a sweet girl--the angel of our family. of this town! I don't like to say these kinna things to nice young ladies like you. You can't be upset. break your mother's heart by runnin' away from home. angry) You show up.

blushing) Could we just pretend I don't exist right now? EVERDRED (furious) Shut your trap. PAULA stops in front of the door. Uncle Ian.Ness would neverNESS (interjecting. boy. EVERDRED Out of town!? But you just got backPAULA (interjecting) I know. PAULA releases NESS and puts her hand out toward EVERDRED. eyes closed. We're not together. but we're not running away. I'd love to go home more than anything. I'm sorry. EVERDRED (sorrowful) You know you're breakin' my heart. and so would Ness. EVERDRED (stunned) Paula. Her fing ertips glow for a second before a sharp jolt of electricity darts out from them. Tears are beginning to form in her eyes. but I've made up my mind. You know I wouldn't do anything to hurt you.. because I'd love nothin' more than to make that a reality. Uncle Ian.. splitting the air between EVERDRED and the table. I promise. EVERDRED stops sharply in his tracks.. She puts the baseball cap on her head and tuck s her hair up into it. Ness. The bolt hits the wall and le aves a jagged black mark. EVERDRED (speaking to PAULA) I'm calling your parents. or Mom and Dad.. . what're you doing? PAULA I'm sorry. NESS (lifting his hand and PAULA's) This isn't what you think. (pause) In that way. (turning away) Come on. PAULA (approaching NESS and taking his hand) I'm sorry. Paula. We don't really have time to explain. At least let us get out of town. We're looking for something and we need answers. But we can't--not while there's still unfinished business to take care of. Both he and NESS appear frightened. But you have to give us some time.

The name "Runaway Five" has been spray-painted i n yellow on its side. slowly. before they take off. I can't believe I'm sayin' this to you kids. (pause) Linda's gonna kill me. PAULA exits and NESS walks out behind her. She continues to file her nail s. NESS exit s the scene after PAULA. WOMAN Lemme guess. Ask for a guy called Gorgeous and tell 'em I sent ya. making a fist with one hand. As the camera moves in toward the TWOSON THEATER. EVERDRED Wait! (speaking quietly) Listen. PAULA leads NESS up to the ticket booth. Uncle Ian. She is filing her nails a nd does not immediately notice NESS and PAULA. NESS and PAULA walking toward it .PAULA It won't be forever. EVERDRED races outside to cat ch up with them. it becomes clear that the neon displays have been lit. NESS Thank you. don't expect me to keep quiet about this. I've gone soft if I'm givin' in this easy. but if you ever need help(hesitation) Dammit. Blushing. NESS Hello? Is there someone named Gorgeous here? The woman gives NESS and PAULA a sidelong glance. though they are difficu lt to see against the backdrop of natural light. PAULA Thank you. Inside the booth sits a red-headed woman with glasses. Go down to the theater--and go now. EVERDRED (sighing) Dammit. you kids want an autograph or somethin'? Go around to the side. They ain't left . There is a black bus parked jus t outside the theater entrance. EVERDRED looks at NESS sternly. The camera cuts in to a closer shot of the scene. Your mom and dad are gonna know the instant I get to them. CUT TO: EXT : TWOSON : TWOSON THEATER : EVENING : The setting sun has painted everything in the city a shocking reddish-orange.

you're outta luck. A few of them are sitting on black leather instrument cases. and PAULA. They approach GORGE OUS. His clothes and personality are the brightest and loudest of all. GORGEOUS Wow. One member of the group appro aches them. PAULA takes NESS by the hand and pulls him quickly around the front of the theat er. The men stop talking when NESS and PAULA approach. He is short a nd pudgy. and laughing together. Though his pants are dark in color. Gathered near the wall is a group of five men. NESS. Paula. but I can't make promises. Think you could give us a little show before we take off? . GORGEOUS Hey. We're done signing for tonight. laughing. That's wild. talking. and sha king her hand. Everdred! I know that old goat. NESS backs up from the crowd. Am I right? PAULA nods in response and the men gather around her. but nothing about him suggests that he is a slouch. GORGEOUS Hey. We been itchin' to meet you! They say you're some kinda special kid with all these crazy magical powers. talking. all of them dressed in bright sui ts and fedoras. This is GORGEOUS: forthright and charismatic. If you're lookin' for an autograph. The other men stand up. NESS Are you Gorgeous? GORGEOUS (grinning and laughing) If the name fits! PAULA My Uncle Ian asked us to speak to you--Ian Everdred.yet. He's a big fan of ours! NESS Fan? Who are you guys? GORGEOUS (stunned) You gotta be kiddin' me! Who is this kid? He from another town or has he just been livin' under a rock the past few years? (speaking to PAULA) You said Uncle Ian. the jacket he wears is a stunning magenta--the same shade as his sunglasses. didn't you? That must make you Paula Polestar. man. The camera cuts to a different view of the scene to catch them rounding the corner. They are smoking. kiddos. forming a crowd around them. appearing both surprised and joyful.

GORGEOUS This here's Lucky. PAULA sits in one seat and gestures for NESS to sit beside her. and glasses.PAULA Take off? NESS Where are you going? GORGEOUS Headin' off to Threed--next town over. GORGEOUS grabs the first man to his right--a tall individual with a black suit. are storage racks. So relax. At the far end. Anywhere there's music. but hey. freeing her blonde curls. GORGEOUS (proud) Welcome to the Runaway Five Grand Tour Bus. it's a home on wheels as far as we're concerned. (laughing) But where are my manners? Allow me to introduce the rest of the guys. GORGEOUS stands in the aisle beside them. The men laugh. The Runaway Five! And. and liv ed-in. that's where you'll find us. we need money. fedora. LUCKY shakes hands with NESS and PAULA. Music's what we love. putting out his cigarette) The bus is out front. CUT TO: INT : TWOSON : RUNAWAY FIVE TOUR BUS : EVENING : An inside view of the tour bus reveals that it is spacious. LUCKY Pleased as can be to meet you. NESS Could you maybe tell us how to get to Threed? GORGEOUS (grinning) We'll do better than that. comfortable. We'll take care of that. and returns it to NESS. She removes the baseball cap. This is where the band membe rs put their instrument cases after entering the bus after NESS and PAULA. on the left. Miss Paula. (pointing. The seats are a plush red fabric. we'll drive ya there ourselves. hey. For Everdred's niece-Miss Paula Polestar and her friend. Some have a tabletop surface between th em. and then he slips past GO . It ain't much. We're a travelin' band. and he's almost as good a dancer as I am. Come on. y'see. And it's your home-away-from-home if ever ya need it. just like everyone else. and don't worry 'bout the drivin'.

and BIG G has dressed almost as loudly as GORGEOUS. BIG G (grinning. A motor is heard rumbling off-screen as the tour bus starts and begins to pull a way from the TWOSON THEATER. GORGEOUS So tell us about yourselves. He doesn't get out much. What business do a couple of kids like you have in Threed? Or were ya just lookin' for a free ride with a pack of cool cats like us? GORGEOUS laughs. GORGEOUS continues to introduce the rest of his group. wearing a r ed jacket and forest-green fedora. And your parents are all right with this-you two takin' a little trip on your own and all. our main sax player. GORGEOUS sits as well. eliciting a smile from PAULA. I take requests. however. laughing) Please to meet you. our drummer and expert driver. appears somber and his expression does not change. GORGEOUS Awful funny story. All men shake hands with NESS and PAULA before taking their seats. and around his mouth and chin is a thick patch of black hair. and last but not least. BOBBY-BLUE Glad to have ya on board. BOBBY-BLUE sports a suit and hat of his names ake color. GORGEOUS Next up we got Slim. What about your parents. SLIM is also tall and thin. so I promised to show him around a bit. ain't ya? PAULA No! Ness is(hesitation) We're cousins. Remember. He is the only da rk-skinned member of the RUNAWAY FIVE. Big G. all. but not while driving. The other band members pass by in order. GORGEOUS (uncertain) I see. . He lives in Onett and was visiting. NESS looks offended but remains silent. NESS. NESS Just need to get out of Twoson for a while.RGEOUS toward the front of the bus. SLIM Welcome to the tour bus. Then our man on bass. his feet out in the center aisle. You's two are brother and sister. Bobby-Blue.

thanks. but she ignore s him. When we get to Threed. I didn't wanna leave Mom and Tracy. it's nothing. PAULA (laughing) No. I can't stop thinking it. GORGEOUS (standing up) You two look a little tired. And that's a thousand times worse than or anything I've ever done up 'til now. NESS Yeah. GORGEOUS Just a couple of old pals out for a night on the town. we'll just keep on going until we find what we're looking for.'Cause I don't want this to turn out bad. Feel free to kick back and stretch your legs a bit. eh? Probably goin' to one of them clubs where they play all that computer-generated music you kids like nowadays. if you're ever in the mood for some good old-fashioned jazz. NESS What're you doing! Lying to people? Our parents aren't all right with this. I've got a . Our parents know where we are. or you're in a bluesy kinda mood. you know who to call. We go on vacations together all the time. but we can't tell everyone that. and the rest of us get thrown in the slammer for kidnapping or somethin' crazy like that. They don't even know where we are! PAULA I know. thank you. Lemme have a talk with the guys and see what we can do about getting' you both some grub. He knew you were leaving town and said you would give us a ride. distant) Yeah. And thank you for the ride. it's all over. But I about lying I do. NESS. But hey. PAULA Right. GORGEOUS exits the scene and the camera focuses in on NESS and PAULA. you get in trouble. We'll never be able to leave. I'm sure you know what I mean. They'll just send us back home. who looks flabbergasted. grabs the sleeve of PAULA's dress. PAULA Yes. NESS (thoughtful. who speak together in whispers. Uncle Ian told us we should come see you guys. and if that happens. Ness. had to and it kills me. see? We can't worry about the little stuff.

good feeling about the place. NESS Oh, really? I've been feeling just the opposite. PAULA Look, don't worry about it. Go to sleep if you don't want to be bothered anymore. NESS I'm too hungry to sleep. I haven't eaten since(pause) Gosh, since I left home. It's been almost three days now, counting this one. PAULA I'm sorry, Ness. I didn't mean for it to turn out this way. NESS It's no one's fault. This is just how it happened. And you're right, I guess, about lying. We can't really avoid it if we want to keep going, but I still don't like doing it. PAULA I can't believe I did it myself. That's not who I am. I feel like everything's different now--not just because of that, but because of all that's happened. And that feeling--that wanting to be somewhere else and find what we're looking for-it's still there. NESS I can't shake it, but I can't explain it either. Sometimes I feel like I'm gonna die. It's so bad, I didn't even think about being hungry until just now. I wanted to find you, and then I wanted to keep moving, to get somewhere. PAULA (shifting closer to the window) The world's really strange sometimes. PAULA turns away and stares out at the passing scenery. The camera angle changes view so that her face can be seen through the window. She appears somber and ti red. The focus holds on her for only a few seconds before pulling away from the bus and up over the trees. Slowly, the sunset scene begins to dissipate. FADE TO: EXT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY : NIGHT : The fiery sun is soon replaced with a view of the moon and nighttime sky, floode d with heavy blue clouds. Snow is drifting to Earth and the camera follows it do wn to take in the rest of the mountainous landscape. The WINTERS ACADEMY sits dark and quiet, but the much smaller laboratory buildin g adjacent is filled with activity. Lights are on inside and they cast a warm gl ow on the snow-covered ground.

CUT TO: INT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY LAB : NIGHT : When the setting changes, focus is put immediately on DR. ANDONUTS. He is kneeli ng on the floor, his front half hidden by a machine that cannot be seen fully. JEFF walks on screen and the camera turns to him. A small brown and blonde capuc hin monkey sits on his left shoulder. It is chewing something and holding a tool in one paw. The monkey hops down and gives the tool to DR. ANDONUTS. DR. ANDONUTS Thank you, Bubble. Jeff, did you find that other part for the engine? JEFF The compressor? Yes, it's in storage. We'll need two of us to carry it. DR. ANDONUTS stands, using the machine for support, and the camera pulls back to take in more of the room. The walls are a dull corrugated aluminum. Each one is lined with shelving units except for the wall at the far end, which instead has a row of windows and a wid e metal door that, presently, is closed. The room appears to be used both as sto rage space and as a hangar. Sitting in the center is the machine DR. ANDONUTS is concentrating on. The Sky Runner is a sleek, streamlined and silver with round portholes running a long its body. The short, curved wings on either side make it look like a small jet. It is just large enough to accommodate four or five occupants, including on e to operate the vehicle. JEFF and DR. ANDONUTS exit with the monkey in tow. CUT TO: INT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY LAB : STORAGE : NIGHT : Darkness obliterates everything until a door opens on the left, letting in a flo od of light from the hallway. JEFF and DR. ANDONUTS enter. They begin to rummage through the flood of boxes on the floor while BUBBLE, the monkey, hops up onto a nearby table, still chewing busily. JEFF (moving a box off the top of the pile) It's underneath this one. We'll have to remove it first, and then carry it out. DR. ANDONUTS (scratching his head) No, leave it. It will be easier to lift the box, rather than deal with the part itself. We'll put it in the hangar and then call it a night. JEFF (dropping the first box, appalled) What? You want to quit already!

DR. ANDONUTS I teach class early tomorrow morning, Jeff. And you have your own classes to attend as well. We couldn't possibly finish a project like this in one night--not if we intend to get any decent amount of sleep. (patting JEFF on the shoulder) End-of-term break is still two weeks away, son. We have plenty of time to repair the Sky Runner. Try to stay optimistic. (pause) I think I'll go and get a dolly cart for that. DR. ANDONUTS exits as JEFF stands alone in the stream of white light, his face s omber. The monkey leaps from the table to his shoulder. It pauses to blow a brig ht pink bubble with the gum in its mouth, and then exits as well. A close-up of JEFF is seen a moment before the scene changes. The glare on his l enses swells, washing out the entire screen, and then dissipates. FADE TO: INT : THREED : RUNAWAY FIVE TOUR BUS : NIGHT : When the brightness fades, the only light remaining is that of the moon shining in through the windows on the bus. The ivory glow outlines the face of NESS and PAULA as they rest beside each other. PAULA is using the backpack as a pillow wh ile NESS holds the Sound Stone protectively in his lap. Noises can be heard from off-screen and the camera pans over to GORGEOUS and BIG G standing in the center aisle. They are conversing quietly. BIG G You think we should wake them up? GORGEOUS They're out. Let 'em sleep. We gotta be on stage in five minutes anyhow. Just lock up the bus. They'll be fine for a few hours. BIG G Right-o, Boss. Consider it done. GORGEOUS and BIG G exit. Focus returns to the sleeping NESS and PAULA before eve rything fades to darkness. FADE OUT END ACT FIVE. EARTHBOUND, ACT SIX FADE IN INT : THREED : RUNAWAY FIVE TOUR BUS : NIGHT : The pitch darkness of the scene is coupled with a few subtle yet distinguishable sounds: keys rattling, hushed voices, and the movement of feet. Slowly, the moo nlight outside becomes visible, combating the overwhelming black. It outlines th e shape of two youthful faces--NESS and PAULA--whose eyes are closed in sleep.

Both children are resting against one another. They shift their positions slight ly when the bus rumbles and begins to move, but they do not awaken. Streams of b oth natural and manmade light wash over their faces as they are driven through t own. PAULA opens her eyes for a moment. There is a blank look about her, suggesting t hat she is not fully coherent. She stares out the window, and then looks to the front of the bus as the camera follows her point-of-view. There are several large male figures seated near the front. Their backs are turn ed to the children. When the camera returns its focus to PAULA, she begins to pr od NESS. PAULA (whispering) Wake up. Ness, wake up. NESS stirs and says something incomprehensible. PAULA (CONT.) We're moving, but something isn't right. Can't you feel it? NESS (groggy) What's not, huh? Did I leave the toilet seat up? PAULA (prodding NESS more forcefully) Wake up! There are strange people on the bus. I can't see real well, but I'm pretty sure it's not Mr. Gorgeous and his friends. NESS straightens up out of his slouched position, holding the Sound Stone gently and looking out the window. There are no streetlights or other artificial struc tures. Only trees line the road, but when the bus turns, a quick view of a wroug ht-iron fence is seen. NESS (bewildered, panicked) What the-? (staring, then rising quickly) What's happening! PAULA Ness, wait-! The bus turns again, but this time much more sharply. Tires squeal off the paved road and dig thick trenches through the grass. The bus lurches suddenly to the left just before it collides with a row of trees. NESS and PAULA are thrown acro ss the aisle and into the next seat as the vehicle collapses, metal bending and glass shattering. Both children are soon pulled apart. Focus is put on NESS, who struggles to find himself among the wreckage. There is grass and dirt beneath him where the window has been blown out, and shards of g lass lay like a blanket over his skin. The Sound Stone is still held tightly, bu t his bat and backpack have been lost among the wreckage. NESS (shouting)

Paula! Paula! There is no answer. NESS (CONT.) Paula!! (hesitation) Oh God, I've gotta find her. NESS cringes in pain as he places the Sound Stone in his pocket. The moonlight s hining in through the window above him casts an eerie glow on the blood running down his face. It is the only light available and, like a beacon, it keeps all a ttention focused on NESS as he climbs up the adjacent seat. CUT TO: EXT : THREED : CITY LIMITS : RUNAWAY FIVE TOUR BUS : NIGHT : An external view of the overturned bus is seen for a moment before NESS enters t he scene. He works his way through the open window and, halfway out, a shadow of a human form descends on him. NESS is grabbed around the midriff and a struggle ensues. Briefly, NESS's entire body glows. His eyes are shut tightly, but with the risin g action, it is impossible for him to achieve any level of concentration. The gl ow disappears and a greater physical effort follows. The figure behind NESS takes hold of him by the neck, brandishing a steel blade. It catches the silver shine of the moon on its way to his throat. NESS screams just before the scene cuts to black. FADE TO: EXT : THREED : UNDERGROUND : NIGHT : Several seconds of silence are broken by a soft girlish voice calling from a dis tance. The voice grows louder and closer until its words can be distinguished. I t is PAULA speaking, but she cannot be seen. PAULA Ness? Ness, come on. I know you can hear me. The darkness fades somewhat. Much of it is replaced with a view of PAULA, her fa ce close to the camera; then, the angle changes. Both she and NESS are within an underground chamber. The walls and floor are solid earth. There are two flame-p owered lanterns posted on either side of a steel door several meters away, provi ding the only source of light in the room. NESS stirs when PAULA prods him. He flails when she does it again and sits up. H is clothes are stained with blood, still wet. On his neck, running from one side to the other, is a fat, red and purple wound. It looks as though it has healed partially. NESS touches it, still incoherent. NESS (disconcerted) Paula? I'm sorry, I got tired(looking around, fear rising) What happened? Where are we? PAULA

I don't know. Some people put us down here. NESS (frightened) Down here? Who? Why? What's going on! PAULA I don't know who or why, Ness. Or even how they did it. But we're underground now. NESS continues to touch his throat until he realizes what he is doing. The recen t memories hit him suddenly and the look on his face is one of pure shock and fe ar. PAULA (CONT.) Those people weren't normal. I didn't really see any of them. It was too dark--I was too scared. But they almostNESS (interjecting) They almost killed me! (hesitation) The bus, I remember, you woke me up on the bus. And then it crashed. I couldn't find you, so I climbed out. Then someone grabbed me. That's when it ends--that's all I remember, except this feeling. (pause) I thought I was gonna die. No, I knew it! I knew what was coming. I just had that thought in my head, but when I tried-... nothing happened. It's like all the strength in me disappeared. PAULA An overload. You were way too tired. That can happen sometimes. Even with people like us. It's not like we can use our mind's power whenever we want. There's a limit to everything. I tried to get away, but they had already gotten you, so I let them take me. NESS (bothered) Why? Why didn't you run! I could've found you later, or something. PAULA No, you couldn't. They didn't come just to kidnap you, Ness. They really tried to kill you. Whoever it was, they must've had a reason. It's too strange and random an occurrence. NESS But what about you? You're not hurt, are you? PAULA They only brought me here, along with(hesitation) With your body. I don't really think you were dead. If you were, it probably wouldn't have worked.

That's obvious. apparently. but I mean(hesitation) I came out here to get answers. but just for small things like cuts or bruises. rolling her eyes) Oh don't be ridiculous. When he discovers the Sound Stone in his pocket. no! Not Mr. A Psi form of healing. he becomes calm again. or why. NESS (scratching his head) I don't know. PAULA stands and approaches the steel door. She fusses with it while NESS contin ues to finger the knife wound on his neck. I never expected this. I learned to do it when I was younger.NESS (interjecting. I guess it's not important now. But Uncle Ian knows people. But I don't know who. I never tried it on anything this big before. and he never would have told us to speak to anybody who might be dangerous. and to find you. searching around himself. Then. And your uncle was giving me the evil-eye when we left. Gorgeous and the others? No! I'm sure it wasn't! NESS Well all right. but you're not bleeding. PAULA (sighing. I didn't think they would either. Ness. still touching his throat) What? Did you do this--I mean fix this thing on my neck? PAULA Yes. . but I never thought that these random people would be trying to murder me! You don't think it wasPAULA (interjecting. PAULA This isn't really something you can plan for. how. I figured it would be hard. It was only a thought. They didn't hurt you. You seemed to come out all right. appalled) Ness. It makes an awful lot of sense. That's kind of why it's not perfect. NESS No. at least. But that still doesn't change what happened. if you think about it. but what else could it have been? Who else could've gotten onto the bus? PAULA Someone stole it. he appears panicked. NESS At least.

Can you really control it? PAULA Yes. but I thought I'd try anyhow. It's always just come out at random. She turns from NESS and folds her hands together. or produce small sparks and flames off my fingers. that's energy I definitely don't have. That's why I was only ever able to heal small wounds. I've never been able to force myself to use this(hesitation) Power. I totally feel like hell right now. She fixes the ribbons t hat have begun to fall out of her hair. kneeling beside him. It takes too much energy to use consciously. whatever you wanna call it. (pause. I lost stupid rock--the one thing The one thing that started great until I got it! The conversation gives way to a moment of silence. NESS And my backpack's gone. I was feeling and so is my bat. And I don't think any bit of Psi Power would help. But it takes a lot of work. the more you try to use this power. looking at PAULA) What're you doing? We can't get through that. except this I'd like to get rid of. PAULA It's all right. PAULA gives up and returns to NESS. PAULA Don't say anything for a while. PAULA I know. That explains everything. It's part of you--it's your soul. which is then broken by PAULA . and so much concentration.NESS I thought I'd lost it. everything. NESS I don't get it. and after healing you. the more energy it takes. of course. I have an idea and I need to concentrate. NESS Why? What're you doing? PAULA (shushing NESS) Just don't. It's solid. all this. NESS watches PAULA with a confused and awkward expression. NESS (bothered) So. Her back is toward hi . when I needed to defend myself.

concentrating) Jeff! CUT TO: INT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY : STUDENT DORMITORIES : NIGHT : Streaming through the darkness. her mouth does not move. I know we've never met before. He begins to rummage through the drawers of a bureau on th e opposite side of the room while TONY watches. a patch of moonlight casts itself onto a bed. I swear to you I heard someone call my name. We need you. And no one's allowed out at this time of night anyway.. wait! You're dreaming again! JEFF does not answer.. until I heard you get up. Why don't you just go back to sleep. I know you're very far from us. When she speaks ag ain.m and her eyes are closed. You must've been dreaming. listen. too. I swear. TONY (CONT. She is silent for several seconds. Jeff? .) Were you talking to me when I was sleeping? TONY No. but I don't know who. Please hear my prayer. JE FF sits up abruptly. Something is wrong. TONY awakens in the adjacent bed and struggles to follow. And I know for a fact it wasn't you. JEFF (sudden and stern) Was that you calling me while I was asleep? TONY is stunned into silence. JEFF It's not a dream. (pause. what are you doing? You're not talking. we need a friend. making it impossible to see his ey es until he brushes it away. TONY (worried) Jeff! Jeff. but now more than ever. he grabs his glasses and gets up. JEFF (CONT. TONY A girl? But the girls' dorms are on the other side of the building. say something. Please. It sounded like a girl's voice. suggesting that the voice is coming from within. JEFF pulls out several items of clean and neatly-folded clothes. PAULA (praying) Please. The blankets are in a tangle arou nd him and his hair is plastered to his face. face drenched with sweat. I was asleep. Panicked.) Jeff.

JEFF (frustrated) Because I can't sleep, Tony! Between this and all of my coursework, I can't take it anymore. I'm losing my mind. TONY Do you want me to walk you down to the infirmary? You can tell them what's wrong. They'll help you. JEFF They'll try, but I know they can't. I have to leave. There is something I need to find, or something I need to do. TONY You don't know? JEFF (standing, clothes in hand) I suppose I'll find out eventually. JEFF crosses the room to his desk and picks up the canvas shoulder-bag draped ov er his chair. He puts his clothes into it and carries it by the strap back over to the bureau. There, he rifles through some of the other drawers, grabbing more items to pack. JEFF takes out a clean pair of clothes and begins to undress. TONY turns away, red-faced, and the camera focuses in on him so that JEFF is off -screen. TONY (uncomfortable) You can't just leave. What about school? JEFF It will have to wait a while. TONY (shocked) But Jeff! You never miss school! You've got perfect attendance and perfect grades. You're like the best student in the academy! JEFF Tony, don't say those things. I am careful about my work. I take pride in it and it's definitely the most important thing in my life. (pause) Or it was. Distressed, TONY turns to face JEFF, who is pulling on the slate-green jacket of his school uniform. JEFF is now fully-dressed. TONY (flabbergasted) What're you saying! JEFF I just need to get out of here for a while, which means that I won't be going to my

classes, obviously. JEFF brushes aside his hair, which is still wet with perspiration, drapes the st rap of his bag over one shoulder, and returns to the nightstand for his wristwat ch. The digital display illuminates for a brief moment. JEFF (CONT.) It's after twelve. Father will have closed up the lab and gone home by now. At least I won't have to worry about that. TONY The lab? Is that where you're going? (pause) Jeff, I don't wanna tell on you. I don't want you to be in trouble. Can't you just stay here, please? And we'll talk about it as long as you want. You can tell me anything. We're best friends. JEFF (crossing the room to his desk) You won't tell on me, Tony. I know you won't. That isn't the sort of person you are. TONY (angry, sorrowful) I certainly will tell on you if you don't stop right now, Jeff! You can't just run away like this and not say anything. You need help. JEFF, while searching through his desk, stops briefly and stares ahead with a bl ank expression, as if he has stumbled upon an answer to all of his questions. JEFF No, I don't. But someone else does. And this is why I have to leave. TONY What? Who? This doesn't make any sense. JEFF (pulling a set of keys from the drawer) Come on. There's something in the lab I need, and you'll have to help me. JEFF exits the room with the keys and his bag. TONY is left looking forlorn. He fidgets uncomfortably for a moment, approaches his desk to grab the coat draped over the chair, and exits also. CUT TO: INT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY LAB : NIGHT : A light appears in the darkness as a door opens, revealing the silhouette of two human figures. More lights come up, illuminating the hangar in the WINTERS ACAD EMY LAB where the Sky Runner is kept. JEFF and TONY enter and BUBBLE follows sho rtly after. The camera pans over to the Sky Runner as all three approach it. There are vario us machine parts, tools, and boxes stacked around the vehicle. JEFF begins to mo

ve them as TONY watches and draws his coat in more tightly. JEFF Are you going to help me or not? TONY I shouldn't. You're breaking the rules. Plus you're leaving. I don't want you to leave, Jeff. JEFF (guilty, yet determined) Don't do this to me, Tony. I've made up my mind. If I could explain myself, I would. Maybe I'll be able to at some point. TONY, showing obvious reluctance, helps JEFF move the boxes away from the Sky Ru nner. The compressor taken from the storage room sits beside the vehicle on a do lly cart. This item is left alone for the moment. BUBBLE hops onto the cart and sits beside it, chewing a fresh piece of gum. JEFF sets his bag down and opens a panel on the rear port side of the Sky Runner . Inside are the mechanical components and the engine. Much of the wiring is bur ned, frayed, soldered haphazardly, and in need of replacement. JEFF looks upon i t with slight disdain before taking up some of the tools left on the floor. JEFF I'm going to remove the old compressor. Then you'll have to help me lift the new one so I can install it. It's a bit heavy. TONY (uncomfortable) Wait, you can't fly this thing. It's old and broken down. You and your dad aren't done fixing it yet. And we can't fix it by ourselves. JEFF (reaching inside the Sky Runner) All it needs is a new compressor. The rest should be fine, I would expect. (pause) Well, to be precise, several of the fuel-injector nozzles in the combustor could use replacing also. But I really don't have the time to go looking for any and I know it can fly well enough in its present condition. The fuel supply looks good. TONY But that's dangerous! That thing could explode, or something. Who knows? I really think we should just go back to the dorms, Jeff. JEFF I'm not going back. Now come here and help me move the old compressor. JEFF sets down the tools and begins to work the compressor out of the opening wh ile TONY stands awkwardly by. The compressor is black and appears to have been s corched in an engine fire. JEFF and TONY set it on the dolly cart beside the new er part, which they grab next and, shaking, shuffle back over to the Sky Runner.

TONY (straining) This one's a lot heavier! JEFF (straining) Lift it up a bit! I can slide it into place on my own. Then I'll see how well she starts. TONY releases the compressor once it has reached the opening in the Sky Runner a nd then backs off. JEFF fits the part into its proper place as BUBBLE grabs a to ol from the floor and climbs up to JEFF's shoulder with it in his paws. JEFF Thank you, Bubble. TONY (somber) So, where are you gonna go, exactly? (pause) You don't know, do you? You're getting all upset over something you don't know anything about. And you've got no good reason, either. You're just gonna quit school and leave us. JEFF (frustrated) First, let me make this perfectly clear. I am not quitting the academy, nor would I ever. All of my studies can be taken up again when I return. And I'm not leaving without reason. There certainly is a reason. I just need to figure out what it is. TONY (angry) But you can't! This is the first time you've done something that doesn't make any sense, Jeff, and I don't like it. JEFF I want to thank you for helping me with this, Tony. You didn't have to, and I know how upset you feel, but I appreciate it. (closing up the panel on the Sky Runner) And I want you to know that I will be coming back. It isn't like I would just run off forever. TONY But when, Jeff? If you miss too much school, you'll have to retake all your classes this semester. JEFF does not respond. He pushes the dolly cart away from the Sky Runner and, wi th BUBBLE riding his shoulder, takes his bag over to a storage unit along the fa r wall. BUBBLE hops onto the shelf and helps JEFF stuff several thick, multi-col ored skyrockets into the bag. It quickly becomes too heavy to carry anything els e. TONY Bottle rockets? You can't take those. They belong

to your dad. JEFF So does the Sky Runner. TONY is silent. He watches JEFF return to the vehicle and struggle to open its p ort-side door. The metal squeals a bit before giving way, and an internal view o f the Sky Runner reveals obvious neglect. Despite the sleek silver shine of its body, it is scorched and dirty from front to back on the inside. The four small passenger seats, arranged in two rows, are in need of new covers, and the operat ion panel is covered in a fine black dust. The camera follows JEFF into the Sky Runner where he deposits his shoulder-bag a nd begins to run furiously over the controls. Within seconds, the engine is aliv e and humming. The sound echoes like thunder in the hangar. JEFF reemerges and races to the other end of the room--to a panel on the wall th at opens the hangar door. The world outside is dark, snow-laden, and filled with a wild wind that whips some of the fresh white powder across the floor. TONY stops JEFF before he can climb back in the vehicle, drawing him into a quic k-but-heartfelt embrace. JEFF appears bewildered and embarrassed. TONY (shouting over the engine roar) I'm sorry, Jeff! I only wanted to say goodbye. We're still friends, right? JEFF (shouting over the engine roar) Yes! Yes, of course. Always. BUBBLE races over, climbs up to JEFF's shoulder, and wraps his paws around JEFF' s neck. He is wearing a forlorn expression. JEFF removes him gently and hands hi m over to TONY. JEFF (shouting over the engine roar) Put Bubble in his pen before you leave. (pause) I'll see you around sometime. JEFF waits for TONY and BUBBLE to move away before climbing into the Sky Runner and closing the door. The deafening thrum of the engine becomes a steady thunder as, slowly, the Sky Runner rolls out several feet from a sitting position. A st ream of fire blasts from the nozzles on its back end, thrusting it out the hanga r mere seconds before it noses upward and tears off through the night sky. TONY stands amid the drifts of snow that have been blown back at him. BUBBLE is hiding in his coat, clutching his chest, but TONY does not notice. He approaches the end of the hangar, tears filling his eyes. The camera catches the soft glow of moonlight on his face just before the scene ends. FADE TO: EXT : THREED : UNDERGROND : EARLY MORNING : A soft, dim orange glow illuminates the sparse underground chamber and two child ren sleeping inside it. NESS and PAULA lie just a few feet apart. NESS is clutch ing the Sound Stone. The blood on his clothes has dried, leaving a dark red stai

n. NESS rolls onto his back and opens his eyes slowly. He awakens, scans the room, and then moves into a more comfortable position-- this time facing PAULA. He wat ches her in silence as flickers of light from the lanterns dance across his face . From off-screen, the thunderous sound of impact is heard. It is powerful enough to shake loose some of the dirt and stones in the earthen ceiling. NESS glances up as the debris settles around him. He begins prodding PAULA. NESS Hey, wake up. Something's happening. PAULA (groggy) Hm, what? Are you all right, Ness? NESS takes PAULA by the shoulders and begins to slide toward the door with her. He keeps his eyes on the ceiling. PAULA Ness! What're you doing? NESS I don't know, but something's not right. PAULA looks upward also, though she appears more curious than distressed. The wa lls around them tremble, causing the candles to flicker furiously in their holds . NESS drops the Sound Stone and drapes his arms around PAULA suddenly, shieldin g her as the ceiling gives way. Rock and thick mounds of earth tumble into the c hamber, along with a winged vehicle. Its silver body lies crushed beneath the ru bble. Focus returns to NESS and PAULA as the dust settles. They stare in awe at the co nglomeration of dirt, stone, and steel. When they realize they are still clingin g to one another, they break apart. NESS is the first to approach the pile. Above him is an opening in the earth wit h a clear view of the night sky. The fading moonlight reaches into the hole, cas ting a glow onto the wreckage. NESS (intrigued) Look at that. It's like a spaceship or something that just fell out of the sky. PAULA approaches the pile of rubble and cautiously touches a bit of metal juttin g out on one side. Her expression is listless. She watches NESS climb up and beg in to dig until he hits another piece of the downed vehicle. NESS Whatever this is, it's huge! It's as big as a truck, I'd say. PAULA What do you think it could be? Using both his arms and legs, NESS clears away more dirt from the underlying str ucture until he has revealed the crumpled nose of what appears to be a small jet

revealing the small cockpit beyond. but he's not moving. all right. I'm gonna try and get him out. PAULA (struggling to maintain balance) Yeah. PAULA. NESS It's some kid--and he's hurt! NESS crawls through the smashed window. and a bunch of other junk. From insi de the Sky Runner. Lying across the control panel is the body of JEFF ANDONUTS. PAULA tak es hold of his arms. I know. or some other kind of personal aircraft. Just be careful. PAULA Don't worry about that. and tosses it out the window where it lands a few feet from PAULA. You grab him. But it sounds more interesting if you call it a spaceship. A window on the port side of the vehicle has been blown out. isn't he? NESS gathers up the clothes and bottle rockets that are still in-tact. stuffs th em into the shoulder-bag. wiggling when it appears he has become s tuck. NESS Got him? He's not that heavy. NESS pushes JEFF head-first out the smashed window. it looks like. I got him. okay? PAULA Sure. He slides down to the floor near the operator's chair.. joins NESS on the mound of dirt. NESS Whoa. arms out for balance. His glasses are ben t and small streams of blood are running down his forehead over his eyes. Its windshield is cracked and mangled. he's got fireworks in here! Bottle rockets. NESS Yeah. NESS I guess he's all right. its contents strewn about. sifting through the earth. Keep going. which has been warp ed from the crash. though. Ness! Help him! He's still alive. just kind of tall. There is a bag lying beside him on the floor. JEFF remains unresponsive while NESS looks through the should er-bag and objects on the floor. . distressed. PAULA cautiously approaches the buried aircraft. NESS (excited) Oh. And look! The driver's still inside! He's definitely not moving. wow! It's a spaceship! PAULA It's a plane.

NESS lifts JEFF by the legs and feeds his body through the opening while PAULA c lings tightly to his front half. devastated) Oh. shouting) What happened! Where am I? NESS (wiggling through the window) You're with us. (speaking to JEFF) What about you? You're bleeding. JEFF stirs in PAULA's arms. mind you. He opens his eyes and stares at h er a moment before the realization hits him. clothes. but I think you gave her a heart attack. where? NESS stands once he is out of the Sky Runner. He and PAULA watch JEFF fumble and fuss with his glasses. and slides down the dirt pile. that is. no! I've ruined it! Not that it was in the best of shape before. while JEFF remains fearfully plastered to the side of the Sky Runner. JEFF (shocked) Am I? Oh God. NESS Go back where? Where'd you come from. anyway? PAULA And the crash--we thought you might have been dead. and hair. JEFF (frightened. JEFF . If I ever go back. JEFF is silent for a moment while he stares at the decrepit aircraft. JEFF Who's us? NESS Me and Paula. running hi s hand along the exposed portions of its body. but now look at the state it's in! I'm sure I'll never hear the end of it. With a soft groan. Both scream and pull away from each other. Hi. NESS What're you doing? And where did you get that cool spaceship thing? JEFF Spaceship? The Sky Runner! (turning. just surprised. PAULA tumbles backward down the dirt pile. The dirt is beginning to slide under her. It is obvious that she is having trouble holdin g him up. PAULA (stunned) I'm all right.

PAULA (CONT. of course. if you knew that you had problems. initially. But you see. I'm so glad! I was afraid you'd never come! NESS Apparently I've missed something. JEFF Are you kidding me? I have lost days worth of sleep thanks to you! NESS (defensive) Hey. Even as a child I would pass out on carnival rides. frustrated) That was you!? PAULA Yes. back off her! . joyful) I'm sorry. I knew I had a place to go. Both JEFF and NESS turn red in the face.I'm not sure how it happened. Some sort of emergency has come up and I was on my way to deal with it. I'm afraid I can't explain. Although I had been trying a while. (pause. NESS So.) That is you. The engine must have given out. That must have been what happened in this instance. I am incredibly sensitive to any sudden change in G-forces. JEFF grabs PAULA by the shoulders and NESS steps up immediately. I saw on the display that there was a malfunction. I knew you were out there--I could sense it. You see. I didn't think any of it was reaching you. But I guess it took a real emergency for me to get through. JEFF (shocked. PAULA (interjecting. why would you try and fly something like that? JEFF I am questioning that decision myself. but for the life of me I couldn't tell you where. PAULA races over to JEFF and throws her arms around his neck in a heartfelt embr ace. though it's strange. isn't it? Oh. stepping down off the dirt pile) It seemed the best way to go. PAULA I've been calling you for a while now. and I thought perhaps I should land and make a few repairs. but are you Jeff? JEFF is stunned into silence.

Please don't be upset. You called for me with- . JEFF paces in front of the rubble pile. PAULA Ness and I were born with what's known as Psi Power. bewildered) I really must sound like a fool. I-don't-know-your-name. And-.JEFF (annoyed) Excuse me. I guess. and I also assume I don't want to hear it. but he is much too preoccupied to care. We were trapped down here and you were the onlyJEFF (interjecting) Hold on.. when I made contact. He rubs his face and discovers the blood that has been drying there. (speaking to PAULA) Do you realize what this has done to me! I left the academy. JEFF (CONT. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume all of this is real. JEFF (ignoring NESS) I assume there is an explanation for this. but we're having a private discussion. That was how I found out your name and. my entire life because I thought I was losing my mind! PAULA I'm sorry.. JEFF I don't really see how that's possible. JEFF And I was right. PAULA But it is true. why you were having trouble sleeping. (pause. I reached out to you with my mind--my soul. We need you. NESS (bitter) Well you look the part. my classes. How can you be in need of someone you have never met before in your life? NESS and PAULA are silent. I didn't even know who I was calling until just a few hours ago. to be more specific. You're one of us now. but it is so much easier to reach someone while they have less control over their conscious mind. You said you made contact. I'm sorry. Jeff.) So. I didn't want to hear that.

You never know when they'll come in handy. PAULA What're you talking about? NESS and JEFF (in unison) Nothing. I contacted him. JEFF. PAULA I'd like to explain more to you. JEFF (looking at NESS. carrying a small device fashioned out of paperclips and the innards of a b allpoint pen. Jeff. but most of your fireworks were broken. but I have quite a few other odds-and-ends that might work just as well. JEFF Well. waving his hands) With your mystical mind powers. (rummaging through the bag) Ah. And he called for you before that. JEFF And I'm the one who was supposed to bring a key.(hesitation. JEFF puts up his hands and backs off submissively. approaches the door and begins to dig around inside the keyhole. here! This should work. though. I seem to be missing a lot of them. exasperated) I'm starting to see a pattern with her. too. NESS Why don't we just try and climb out the hole . right? JEFF looks about the rubble pile and discovers his shoulder-bag lying near. P AULA watches gladly. But maybe we should find a way out of here first. did you? JEFF No. NESS You didn't really bring a key. NESS Your stuff was all over the inside of that plane thing. NESS (bitter) Yeah. I still have a few left. right? PAULA No. I grabbed what I could. He l ooks through it with a bit of disdain. well don't get any ideas.

PAULA Well. JEFF There we are! Perfect. JEFF pulls out the flashlight and switches it on. This door swings inward--that is. Our present one. JEFF retrieves his shoulder-bag and digs through it. correct? NESS does not respond. it would be unwise to set off an explosion in what is essentially a cave while we are standing inside it. NESS. the other down. did you bring a flashlight. You brought those huge bottle rockets. PAULA There's another set of stairs down there. yes I did. JEFF Bottle rockets launch when ignited. NESS . NESS All right. There are plenty of situations that call for them. but his facial expression changes the instant a sharp click is heard and the door opens. but it has no keyhole or handle. NESS What. but I never expected I'd have any real need for it. then blow it up or something. she takes hold of his arm. They take t he ascending stairs to another door. Pushing it would get us nowhere. approaches th em and picks up the Sound Stone that had been left on the floor. JEFF Because it would mean a completely vertical climb up a wall composed almost entirely of rock. Look at the hinges. toward us. And none of you brought climbing equipment. for instance. There is a small landing and two s ets of stairs carved into the earth--one leading up. shooting a bright beam out int o the corridor beyond the prisonlike chamber. He keeps a stern focus on JEFF. Even so. Now what? Do you think we could just push it open from this side? JEFF Negative. When PAULA noti ces him preparing to hurl it at JEFF. PAULA throws her arms around JEFF joyously. let's go! It shouldn't take us long to get back to the surface now.up there? At least we know that way's open. red in the face. I was hoping to try that out sometime. NESS Dead end. They aren't explosives. too? JEFF Yes.

PAULA There isn't much to say. JEFF is at the head of the group. a discussion in the field of metaphysics. They exit the scene t ogether. only a nerd would say something like that. NESS (scoffing. CUT TO: EXT : GRAPEFRUIT FALLS : UNDERGROUND : EARLY MORNING : The beam from the flashlight cuts through the darkness like a bright white beaco n. really. JEFF turns and walks down the stairs with PAULA following. It's just something Ness and I were born with. though. JEFF I can't say I do either. biology. JEFF Explain it again to me. leading the others down a corridor much too narrow for them to walk side-by-side. NESS brings up the rear. rolling his eyes) Yeah. chemistry. PAULA (shushing NESS) That's rude! NESS (speaking to JEFF) How much further do we have to go? JEFF There's another set of stairs about twenty .They go down. I'm only telling you what I know. Who knows where they lead? JEFF The best way to find out is to experiment. Though I know of it. I don't really know any of the science behind it. PAULA It's all right. if you would. I admit I've never had much interest. wearing an irrit able expression. You don't have to believe me. JEFF I suppose it wouldn't hurt to keep an open mind. What you're describing sounds like Descartes' theory of Substance Dualism. I specialize in the hard sciences--physics. NESS exits. if you don't want to. NESS And a closed mouth.

but it's good to let go of it for a while. How odd. Like a guidi ng beam. like an egg. NESS stands and stretches his arms. Be more careful with it. This certainly isn't the proper environment for them to grow. NESS is the first to emerge. Turning back around. JEFF How are you doing that? . It is the landing point for all the water flowing from a great river further up in the mountains. You can carry it. a peeled grapefruit in hand. The Sound Stone falls out of his hand and lands beside him . JEFF (adjusting his glasses) Citrus x paradisi. I'm sure I can see a bit of light coming from the top. When NESS touches it. NESS Ah. the soft r oar of the falls can be heard off-screen. it reaches across the valley toward the bordering cliffs. Almost feels like it's burning. He races out into the valley and drops rather empha tically to his knees. As the camera pans over the area . NESS (joyful) Daylight! It's good to see you again! PAULA (giggling) We weren't down there for that long. round fruits. PAULA retrieves the Sound Stone while JEFF puts away his flashlight. if you want. JEFF stares in awe at the othe r two children. the stone emits a harsh blue light that extends out from one side. PAULA is holding the Sound Stone carefully. There is a look of excitement and curiosity on his face. you've dropped your stone. turning its focus to an opening at the southern edge of the cliffs. winding valley at the base of a cliff that borders it on two sides. Ness. Calm down. JEFF steps away from the others and approaches a cluster of trees whose branches are laden with fat. NESS (relieved) Oh. PAULA It's hot. Look. JEFF pulls a grapefruit from the tree as the camera pans back over to the others .meters ahead. thank God! CUT TO: EXT : GRAPEFRUIT FALLS : MORNING : The area of GRAPEFRUIT FALLS is a narrow.

JEFF gestures for them to turn. They approach it. The beam appears ag ain. dropping the grapefruit) A compass! Quickly. PAULA They're so small. and JEFF pauses to observ e a trail of tiny footprints in the sand. the beam does not change direction. but only at certain times. NESS So? A bunch of three-toed kids are running around without shoes on. put it back in my hand. JEFF I'd say you were right. but keeps hold of it. NESS It's the Sanctuary! We have to keep going this way. though the stone continues to glow a dim blue. extending out toward the same place. except these aren't human. The camera follows them along the base of the cliff. Jeff? Why're you stopping? JEFF These prints. JEFF Exactly as I thought! It is a compass. The shape is similar. the compass always points to the magnetic north. PAULA stops and halts NESS as well. And no matter which direction you turn. look at them. Come on. PAULA Wait. there are only three toes on each foot. NESS returns the Sound Stone to PAULA. turn it in another direction. All three children are focu sed on the guiding beam of the Sound Stone. this doesn't appear to be pointing that way at all. Paula. who appears lost. Let's keep walking. walk with me. NESS and PAULA move ahead of JEFF. NESS takes the Sound Stone from PAULA and the beam disappears. PAULA What's wrong.NESS I don't know! It's never done this before. . but notice. NESS It stopped. It's almost likeJEFF (interjecting. which points toward another opening in the rock further down the valley. Whatever this thing is. I've seen the stone glow. It looks like they were made by children--someone even younger than us. Although. and wh en they do. of sorts.

and then joins the others in awestruck wonder as they take in the sights of S ATURN VALLEY. While most are set on ground level. it goes right through. reaching skyward. curious creatures emerging from their huts. Scattered throug hout the area are round huts made of a mud plaster and covered with expertly-wov en grass roofs. NESS (speaking to PAULA) We'll worry about getting back to Threed later. . brushes himself of f. PAULA It's almost like something out of a storybook. And I'd also say that I think we found the makers of those footprints. JEFF I'd say that's about right. PAULA and JEFF follow on all-fours. but I never actually believed it lived up to its name. All three children look down and the camera pans away from them to focus on the tiny.NESS and PAULA move on. I've read up on it. NESS (stunned) What is this place? It's amazing. Handcrafted ladders of various heights ext end from the valley floor up to each one. further on. JEFF keeping one arm over his shoulder-bag. JEFF (interjecting) Grapefruit Falls. Whatever it's pointing at has to be on the other side. He rejoins the group as the camera cuts to a different angle of the val ley--one just outside the opening in the eastern cliffs. he is forced to crouch. CUT TO: EXT : SATURN VALLEY : MORNING : The opening at the other end is a tight squeeze for all three children. as the ceil ing of the tunnel descends. NESS places the stone in his pocket and enters the tunnel. Two steps inside. The beam from the Sound Stone is penetrating the rock left of the entrance. there are some huts built up on grassy outcroppings in the cliffs. to slide forward on his knees. I don't recognize this place at all. He stands. Let's just see where this thing will take us. JEFF is forced to send his bag out first before following. PAULA Are you sure this is the right way to go? We must be really far from Threed now. leaving JEFF to observe the footprints for a few seconds longer. PAULA gives up the Sound Stone and the beam disappears. NESS Look. and. Cliffs enclose the green valley on all sides.

round and fleshy--no taller than a foot in height--with short legs. JEFF. rubbing their fat noses against them i n greeting. mo b-like fashion. JEFF backs off. though they all have their own personality. On both sides of their head. joyful) They're so cute! JEFF (nervous) What are they? SATURN #1 We are Saturns all. SATURN #1 No longer can go to well! SATURN #3 . helping them balance. wow! Look at them all! PAULA (holding a SATURN in her lap. and a bulbous nose that accounts for most of the ir face. distressed.These are members of the SATURN TRIBE: a unique race of beings. which is. SATURN #2 Live here in valley of Saturns. surrounding them in a joyous. Jeff? JEFF (wary) No. Some of them approach JEFF. which is just enough for them to wear brightly-colored bows. NESS They're kind of cool. SATURN #3 New friends. thic k whiskers extend outward. JEFF They can speak. They cluster mo re tightly around NESS and PAULA. The SATURNS waddle up to NESS. You come visit? The SATURNS gather around PAULA and NESS. JEFF keeps his distance. There is a pleasa nt expression on its face. please to help us? PAULA Help you? With what? All SATURNS become restless. bouncing and squeaking in distress. There are a few short hairs ato p their heads. It's both fascinating and frightening at the same time. Their bodies are small. and PAULA. Don't you think? You're not scared of them are you. fat toes and feet. There is positively no reason to be. while PAULA kneels to get closer. Each one looks like an identical copy of the other. One SATURN climbs over PAULA and rests comfortably in her lap. their entire body. in fact. NESS Oh.

Others nearby are const ructing ladders out of thin strips of wood and sections of vine that have been g athered from the cliffs. JEFF I think it would be best if we left now. Danger ahead! Boing! JEFF (nervous) A monster in a cave? Exactly why do we need to know all of this? NESS Don't worry.Frightened we are! Zoom! SATURN #4 Monster in cave! Terrible for Saturns! SATURN #5 Once were many. follow! Boing! The SATURNS disperse. Along the eastern edge of SATURN VALLEY. a small gathering of SATURNS sit and we ave long blades of field grass together with their toes. but now few. JEFF (nervous) Did they say monster? NESS Yeah. Jeff. NESS Looks like their feet are their hands. They've built an entire community. A smart science-type person like you should know that monsters aren't real. All afraid. but they talk funny. . PAULA (speaking to SATURN #1) What is it you want to show us? SATURN #1 Cave of monster. There a re more tribe members walking about. and all without hands and arms. It's kind of hard to understand them. we are. JEFF (fascinated) Amazing! They are both sentient and highly intelligent--I would say on the level of humankind. some working quite diligently. and SATURN #1 leads the children into the village. They seem so upset. They seem ob livious to the newcomers. PAULA They did say something about a well. SATURN #1 Come.

It leads to an outcropping more than thirty meters above the ground. The stone only glows when I'm close to one. No longer can go to well. no. I'm sure of it. the compass thing. friends of Saturns. NESS extends the hand with the Sound Stone out to PAULA. follow! Tall persons. Bring monster to harm Saturns. isn't he? The one the compass is pointing to. Ding! SATURN #1 (walking ahead) Come. very big! Black soul. I'm beginning to understand them. Many curious SATURNS gathe r around NESS and PAULA to admire the blinding blue light. . They asked for our help. NESS removes the Sound Stone from his pocket. who for whatever reason is both spiteful and malicious toward these beings. who.. in turn. destroy monster. where the mouth of the cav e is located. NESS And what about the Sanctuary? It's around here. brought a monster here and now it has their well blocked off? (pause) Oh. which NESS puts into his pocket as al l four approach a tall ladder at the northern end of the valley. Look at all these little guys.. It glows in his hand. right? PAULA (speaking to SATURN #1) Is there really a monster up in that cave? Where did it come from? SATURN #1 Tall person. That's where this monster is. SATURN #1 Please to free Saturns.PAULA But we can't. someone. shooting up toward the mouth of a cave on one of the uppermost outcroppings. JEFF (uncomfortable) He's going to that cave up there. SATURN #1 Ding-ding! Zoom! PAULA laughs and releases the Sound Stone. JEFF So. SATURN #6 Bright and shiny thing! SATURN #7 Make happy. We have to stay. SATURN #1 stops beside the ladder and points with one foot. puts her own hand over it. beautiful sound. And that light. The bright guiding beam appears again.

grip the ladder like a vice as he ascends. telepathy. huh? Just destroy a monster. The poor little guys down there must be so scared. NESS So. whic h are shaking terribly. Remember? JEFF My hands and face are perspiring profusely. JEFF (groaning) I knew I should have stayed in Winters. NESS (nudging JEFF toward the ladder) There's no such thing as monsters. and a few meters off the ground. Cross heart. It's funny. JEFF adjusts his glasses and loops the strap of his shoulder-bag around his neck. what do you think this monster is anyway? PAULA Probably a wild animal. though. Zoom! NESS gives JEFF another nudge. It's living in the cave. NESS That's all then. they begin co nversation again. Although Jeff was pretty scared of them. Be sure to keep us up-to-date on your other bodily functions too. they weren't afraid of us. Or psychic powers. NESS You know I feel like I've known you for years already. NESS and PAUL A follow. okay? PAULA (speaking to SATURN #1) Are you going to come with us? SATURN #1 (fearful) No can go! Stay here. nearly pushing him off balance. NESS I guess so. JEFF I suppose this isn't the appropriate time to mention my fear of heights. Keep moving! CUT TO: . is my guess. and people with special abilities. His hands. keep watch. like a mountain lion or maybe a wolf. Several seconds into their climb. NESS Thanks for that.Friends always.

Piles of liquid refuse litter the floor. and the blood of children. PAULA puts a reassuring han d on him as NESS walks ahead of the group. BELCH So that's what they call me. a stone stairwell can be seen on the other side. who have stopped walking. It is filled with long teeth and a pair of tusks tha t curve up over his top lip. shaking. rising until it has grown several feet. and a wide. crawls to the mouth of the cave where h e waits for the others. though there is a distinct black substance mixed in among the m. now shaking much more violently. All three cann ot take their eyes off BELCH. BELCH groans and shies away from the light. It shifts slightly as the children approach. and partially-digested chu nks of food.EXT : SATURN VALLEY : TUNNEL : LATE MORNING : A view atop the outcropping reveals that it is one of the tallest points in SATU RN VALLEY. This is MASTER BELCH: a being of pure evil. JEFF dry-heaves and drops his flashlight. which causes the beam to waver unsteadily. the camera takes in a larger mound of waste several meters distant. I smell human flesh. . that smell! It's like vomit inside a dead body. covered in old cheese. kneels and reaches for his flashlight. His hands are still shaking. all varying in color. Focus returns to NESS and his friends. When the flashligh t beam shines on it. JEFF removes his flashlight from his bag and switches it on. His only recognizable features are his eyes. Panning away from the group. jawless mouth beneath them. PA ULA moves closer to him while NESS takes a cautious step forward. NESS (stunned) You're the monster. JEFF climbs onto the ledge and. vomit. BELCH (groggy) Saturns? Have more of you come to test me? (pause) No. and all of the mountainous land beyond can be seen. NESS (covering his nose and mouth) Ugh. The solid rock walls of the tunnel are interrupted in places by steel-plating an d portions of an old piping system. now that I have consumed nearly half of their kind. JEFF.. NESS and PAULA join him seconds later and they stand tog ether at the entrance. Before them is a path bathed in darkness. his nose. It rounds out at the top and fa cial features slowly begin to emerge. His amorphous body is made entirely of liquid waste--a sickening array of colors. The village below. the other cliffs.. The massive pile in front of them move s again.

Madness becomes the body. BELCH fl attens to observe him at eye level. this is the one. The plan has been put in motion. All will be destroyed in due time. Like flies drawn to honey they have all followed the Leader of the Four. BELCH (sliding closer) My body was borne from human sin. So has Master Giygas told. (coughing) And very soon. BELCH Yes. BELCH slides toward the children. All will die in a sea of fire. but we're still missing another. The world so loves to indulge in its evils.) Hell has come to Earth already. NESS (backing up toward PAULA and JEFF) Sorry. sickness will flow through your cities like a river gone wild. becomes the mind. stunned) What're you talking about? PAULA That's us. Us four. yellowish-black bile pours from the corners of h is mouth. (coughing up bile) What fools. NESS (angry. NESS (speaking to BELCH) How do you know who we are? BELCH (ignoring NESS) There must be some mistake. (laughing) You seem surprised. His expression is fearful. JEFF and PAULA back off quickly while the came ra focuses in on NESS. . Ness. What reason has Master Giygas--the embodiment of all that is evil--to fear a child? The very thought sickens me. It is absorbed into his body. Pure evil shall be your undoing. BELCH (CONT. and then speaks after an uncomfortable pause . becomes the hell-bound soul. BELCH coughs again and a thick. yet he does not move.(laughing) Little creatures of the Earth. but I've never met a talking pile of vomit before. Darkness shall consume the Earth.

trapping NESS and the others against the wall. With a venomous laugh. A second limb appears and grabs NESS by the legs. His eyes po p up on the other side of him and he darts across the tunnel toward NESS.NESS Who is he--or what is he? Who is Giygas! BELCH laughs and moves closer. Just run. mouth gaping. once lost and soon dead. . This isn't real! NESS How about we worry less about what's real and more about not dying! BELCH swells up in front of NESS and extends a misshapen appendage from the cent er of his body. PAULA touches NESS on the shoulder. He closes his eyes each time the shaking beam of the flashlight falls on him. BELCH (CONT. frightened) Any ideas. gurgling. Her other hand is holding tightly to JEFF. lifting him into the air.) I have waited for the arrival of these tooambitious heroes. (laughing. and sliding closer) I shall drown your bodies in puke and consume your flesh! Rising into a column. guys? I'd love to hear 'em! JEFF (clutching his shoulder-bag) No. BELCH You ask questions. I'll do something-I'll try and stop it. he coils the limb around his victim and s hoves the end straight into NESS's throat. BELCH rolls up and sp lits. BELCH spreads himself out until his liquid body has formed a blockade around the group. NESS and the other s leap to either side of him as he collides with the wall. PAULA (fearful) Ness. NESS (jumping back. JEFF (shocked) By yourself!? Are you insane! BELCH All will be in time. Be grateful I do not leave you to the fate that is swiftly descending upon this world. no! This isn't real. what're we going to do? NESS I don't know. BELCH dives at the group. sending liquid pieces of his body splashing up to the ceiling. but you will never know.

and the rocket sails through his left eye. He is with s hands he loo JEFF pulls back the flap of the bag and. eliciting a pain-filled roar from him. His body thins out as he makes his way toward the stone stairs. (pause. Focus returns to NESS. His expression changes suddenly as ks down at a bulge in the bag he carries. He turns toward the source of th e sound. I shall tear away each limb until she screams no more! NESS (gagging and coughing) No! Paula. JEFF It worked. run! Get out of here! BELCH dives at PAULA with his mouth open as the camera pans over to JEFF. PAULA (speaking to NESS) I'm sorry. chosen Leader. who i s on her knees. BELCH flees from them and writhes as he continues to spew bile throughout the tunnel. The flashlight has again fallen to the floor. eyes wide with fear. NESS and PAULA are abandoned. watching. and Third Laws of Motion. inhuman scream interrupts the action as. Although he is shouting. and begins to dig furiously through his belo ngings. The camera returns to JEFF. his words cannot be understood. BELCH (violently angry) Then let this child be the first to drown. though JEFF keeps his on his shoulder strap for reassurance. Bolts of electricity strike BELCH from behind . are the bottl e rockets. and there he collapses. as the flesh of those you love rots within me! A sharp. BELCH Now watch.BELCH Taste the sin of all humanity! Choke on its flavor--let it be your only memory in Hell! A sharp crack is heard off-screen. PAULA is held in another a rm on the opposite side. It's all I had in me. removes them. BELCH laughs. who has taken a flying leap into BELCH and become trapped in the liquid waste. it worked! NESS (coughing) . growing excitement) By Newton's First. sitting atop his clothes. Second. facial features and limbs melting into him. He drops NESS and turns to PAULA. from off-screen. Color has left his face and he is drenched weat. exhausted. a red-and-whi te bottle rocket is launched straight at BELCH. He kneels. sprouting a new limb that captures NESS arou nd the midriff and squeezes until his face turns red. who appears stunned. Trails of vomit and a thick black liquid erupt from the wound as BELCH roars in pain.

Jeff. PAULA Come on. Their e ntire bodies are covered in vomit. JEFF enters t he scene with his bag slung over his shoulder once more and his flashlight in ha nd. (looking at his now dirty hand) You wouldn't happen to have any antibacterial solution that I could borrow. are you all right? PAULA (exhausted. They approa ch what was once his body and find only a pile of waste. You're all right. Something like that can't be normal. JEFF Fascinating. syrupy fluid i s bubbling up from the center. . That nasty burning liquid we found on your clothes. A black. All three children stare down the hallway where BELCH has collapsed. but I guess we should check just to be sure. PAULA (speaking to NESS) It's that stuff again. NESS accepts the offe r and helps PAULA to her feet. What happened? Is it over? PAULA rolls onto one side but does not respond. NESS And on Carpainter and that dog. He extends his opposite hand to NESS with a shy smile. NESS (touching PAULA on the arm) Hey. There is a pause in conversation as they observe the liquid remains of BELCH. would you? PAULA (speaking to NESS) Is it really gone? NESS I think so. NESS crawls over to her. That place the stone was pointing to must be just up those stairs. JEFF It's no problem. It's everywhere.Oh God. What exactly is it? NESS I don't know. NESS Thanks. Th e uneasy silence is broken by PAULA. disoriented) Ness? I think so. NESS wraps his arms around her and she returns the sticky embrace. but it burns when you touch it.

courageous. CUT TO: EXT : SATURN VALLEY : MILKY WELL : AFTERNOON : Outside the sun is shining upon a grassy clearing at the top of the cliff.NESS removes the Sound Stone from his pocket. NESS looks down at the stone in his hand with a somber. It is NESS'S MOTHER and there are tears in her eyes. and JEFF kneels at the edge of the pool. It glows brilliantly in his hand. With a bi t of caution. He and the others take one look at the stairs. There is a sudden flash as the scene cuts away from NESS. and JEFF emerge . but it lasts for only a few short notes. guilt-ridden expression. The Sound St one is glowing even more vibrantly. JEFF (stunned) Milk? From a well in the ground? PAULA (smiling. FADE TO: EXT : SATURN VALLEY : AFTERNOON : . There is an opening in the southern rock wall from which NESS. Milk only comes from mothers. All three exit the scene as the camera slowly pans over to the fountain.. always be thoughtful. Let's tell everyone the monster's gone. guys. NESS is the first to approach the well and he abruptly places the Sound Stone to his forehead. Music is playing. Its glow has faded. suggesting a memory or flashback. NESS'S MOTHER (distant. and strong. Within the clearing is a small pool filled with a delicate white cream and a fou ntain that fans the liquid out. PAULA. A woman with soft blonde hair stands on the front step of her home. taking NESS by the hand) No. but a smile on her face. She places both hands over her heart. bathing each droplet in sunlight. NESS (putting the Sound Stone in his pocket) Come on. Another flash and the dream sequence ends. JEFF turns off his flashlight while the others walk ahead of him.. PAULA and JEFF approach NESS. voice echoing) My son. The next segment is co lored in sepia tone. he dips one hand into it. and then begin their ascent.

steam-filled chamber. SATURNS (in unison) Friends always! Friends always! SATURN #1 Please to come sleep now. At its cente r is a hot springs. all three are smiling with confi dence. I could sleep for days. NESS God. Say yes to me? PAULA Yes. everyone! It's all right. Every member of the village has gathered to show their appreciation. white souls. their voices erupting into a boisterous disp lay of joy. This one is at gro und level and is a direct entrance to a wide. JEFF (speaking to SATURN #1) You wouldn't happen to have a place where I could wash up. SATURN #1 Much love. good friends. SATURN #7 Rest here. focus is placed on the ju bilant SATURN TRIBE below. NESS. NESS waves to the gathering crowd of SATURNS below. please! We would love to have a rest. Although they are wear y and covered in a wide array of bodily fluids. do you? SATURN #1 Come. The monster that was keeping you from the well is gone! The SATURNS bounce with excitement. SATURNS (in unison) You thank! You thank! You thank! SATURN #1 Friends always! Tall persons. As NESS and the others descend the ladder. You thank! . NESS (shouting) Hello. Stay long. PAULA. follow! Zoom! SATURN #1 leads the children to another opening in the cliff. and they sw ell into a grateful mob around the children once they reach the ground. Other SATURNS follow them inside. dragging mats of woven grass that they place a long the far wall. tall persons with white souls. and JEFF emerge.From the mouth of the cave.

) (speaking to JEFF) What about you? You did say you wanted to wash up. PAULA slides in as well and her pink dress billows up around her. NESS (CONT. NESS and PAULA laugh. NESS (stern) Yeah. b ut they remain silent. his glasses askew. JEFF (bashful) I feel like somebody's soup. you're one of us now. Who cares if you get your clothes wet? They'll dry off. but could we have a bit of privacy now. JEFF (setting his bag aside) I just had something more private in mind. but NESS slides right in. JEFF hesitates and NESS reaches for his arm. Gasping. PAULA I guess things are going to be different. they return to their work. PAULA and JEFF sit beside the hot spring. right? Don't tell me you're nervous. NESS (relaxed) This feels amazing! What're you two waiting for? Just jump in. Just get in. the vomit has begun to wash out of his hair and clothes. She blushes and pushes it down under the water. Several SATURNS are watching with great curiosity. NESS Come on. A few moments pass. This elic its another round of laughter from NESS and PAULA. We are all happy. All three children laugh as the camera cuts away from the scene to a view just o utside the bathing chamber. . happy! The SATURNS exit. JEFF falls forward into t he water. Already . He sinks unt il he is completely submerged.NESS You're welcome. which only adds to his panic. please? SATURN #1 Kay-o. There's three of us now. but I have a feeling that won't make it any easier. Then. and a soft blush and shy smil e from JEFF. and then sits up again with a heavy sigh. With a smile. Flailing. JEFF clings to the edge of the hot spring.

NESS (groggy. The camera focuses in on NESS. catching the wavelike reflection of water on ro ck walls. coming in along the eastern cliffs toward the cave entrances on the north end. soon after. yeah. NESS I'm serious. and closes his eyes. FADE OUT END ACT SIX. check me. and then focuses in on the children asleep on their woven grass mats. JEFF We all need the sleep. disoriented) What's happened? . ACT SEVEN FADE IN EXT : SATURN VALLEY : NIGHT : The skies have grown dark and are filled with clouds that billow out over the va lley like deep purple contusions. 'cause I might be dead. and PAULA and JEFF are not far beh ind. He is asleep within seconds. PAULA is busy smoothing out the folds in her dress. NESS does not awaken. PAULA and JEFF sits on their own mats. NESS (smiling. They have abandoned their own s leeping areas to get closer to NESS. EARTHBOUND. clutches the Sound Stone tightly. Ness.When the camera moves back inside. bringi ng thunder and. (pause) Really. but he begins to stir as two forms move in close to him. NESS If I'm not up in two days. turning onto one side) Ha. torrents of rain. PAULA Don't make jokes like that. Here you are. Flashes of lightning dart between them. The camera pulls back. NESS has climbed out of the water and is lyin g on one of the grass mats. It ease s inside the hot spring chamber. I should be in my own bed back at the academy dormitories. yet here I am. who yawns. who opens his eyes when he feels them make contact. Even as the thunder rolls and lightning flashes outside. revealing PAULA and JEFF. I'm so tired right now. I just want to pass out for a while. The camera descends slowly. casting a white glow ac ross his face. He removes the Sound Stone from his pocket and place s it over his heart.

PAULA Have you always lived there? JEFF Yes. NESS (speaking to JEFF) So. NESS (sitting up. or I did before coming here. (pause) Tony is a roommate of mine. and good friend. are you? JEFF appears embarrassed and does not respond. PAULA is lying o n the other side. rubbing his eyes) You guys aren't scared of the rain. JEFF You didn't forget about me already.PAULA (whispering) Oh. We didn't mean to wake you up. She places the Sound Stone in NESS's lap with a smile. The Sound Stone rests between them. everything seems different. gently squeezing hi s arm. NESS scoots against the back wall until he is sitting beside JEFF. what's it like in Winters? JEFF Cold and snow. Father isn't going to be pleased when he finds out. What's going on? PAULA Just looked more comfortable over here. even in summer. but that's at home. It never gets very warm. and smiles down at him. I'm sure. knees bent. did you? NESS No. NESS We? Who's that? Who else is here? JEFF sits just behind NESS. You're not in your own bed or your own room. Out here. and my guess is he knows already. She reaches out and puts one hand on NESS. PAULA follows and sits on the opposite side. PAULA . All the weather comes in from the mountains. I still feel so terribly guilty about leaving. sorry. Tony has told him. of course. JEFF We don't get many thunderstorms in Winters. PAULA I like thunderstorms all right. I attend the Winters Academy.

I didn't even thinkJEFF It's fine. I think everyone should have something to believe in. Faith just didn't seem to do anything for her. He appears bothered and u nwilling to add to the conversation. NESS keeps his head down. no matter what god or gods you worship. or so they told me. because there is no right one. The doctors couldn't save her. .) (fingering the bottom of her dress) I know there are a lot of different faiths out there. Medical technology wasn't as advanced or as readily available back then--at least not there. but I can't wrap my mind around it. PAULA (somber) I'm sorry. (pause) Of course. She was a woman of God. The point isn't so much picking the right one. but I think I could help save another life one day. really. but more like a life-force or natural power. you have no faith at all then? JEFF Not in that way. It's about finding the one for you in the right way. Her soul has gone to Heaven. but I think they're kind of all the same.What about your mom? She must be worried. no. So. wouldn't you say? JEFF does not respond. Some people don't even think about a god. too. it's too late to do anything for her now. JEFF A supernatural being that works miracles? PAULA Life itself is a miracle. (sighing) Maybe I'm missing the point. PAULA That's sad. I decided to put my faith into science when I got older and do what I could to improve upon the field as a whole. JEFF (hesitating) My mother died when I was young. his eyes on the Sound Stone. PAULA (CONT. PAULA So. while she prayed her life away.

picking up the Sound Stone) What. He appears much more relaxed when he does. The thunder r olls outside. wow! It's like room-service. It is inspecting the Sound Stone with its nose. PAULA leans against him with a smile and JEFF slides a bit closer. And I guess it's always nice to believe that someone loves you. NESS sighs loudly and holds the Sound Stone close to his he art. It waddles out of the chamber happily and returns with other SATURNS in tow. seem uncomfortable with the staring crowd. They're with you in spirit. but th e feeling does not last. at the same time. Ding! NESS (groggy. They are help ing each other to carry stiff. this? Do you hear something from it? SATURN #1 does not respond. It's whatever makes you feel the best. even if they're far away and can't always be there to help. All three take equal shares of the fruit and drinks as the SATURNS sit by and watch with interest. but my guess is I wouldn't understand. FADE TO: EXT : SATURN VALLEY : MORNING : Soft squeaking is heard just before the scene fades back in. SATURN #1 Beautiful sound of soft white soul. Eventually. NESS (inspecting the drinking glasses and milk) . rectangular mats constructed of wood and crabgras s. Although they are silent. th ey close their eyes and fall asleep beside one another. who opens his eyes and is taken aback by a SATURN sitting in hi s lap. the look in their eyes suggests deep contemplation. I'm tempted to ask how. PAULA (joyful) Oh. NESS and the others. JEFF and PAULA awaken beside NESS as SATURN #1 hops down off his lap. PAULA and NESS laugh. but the children are much more content than afraid. Atop the mats are grapefruits and curved. They must raise it themselves. The camera focuses closely on NESS. hand-blown drinking glasses filled with milk. at first. JEFF I suppose this answers all of my questions about the fruit growing out of its usual environment.JEFF (somewhat uncomfortable) How do you decide? PAULA With your heart and your mind. No response is made. bulbous noses resting between their fee t.

JEFF You're both wrong. But in a good way. it's good. it's like vanilla ice cream! But it isn't cold. SATURN #1 Tall persons of white souls. PAULA It can't be. almost. tastes the drink. definitely. and shakes his head. All three of these are vanilla.) Not a sour smell. PAULA Yes. It has a smell to it. It's like sugary. did you notice? JEFF appears wary. NESS (CONT. Like strawberries. The children are silent for several seconds. JEFF (stunned) Wow. PAULA lifts her glass to her nose. NESS Yeah. JEFF being the last to do so. They all taste the milk. but there's a certain other flavor to it. NESS This place is weird. PAULA So is mine. giving eac h one a taste. I just tasted it a second ago. NESS swaps glasses with PAULA. They look at their drinks. The pleasant facial expre ssions that follow speak volumes. JEFF sets down his glass and takes the other two from PAULA and NESS. NESS Mine tastes like chocolate! JEFF But yours is white. I'm pretty sure that's chocolate.This must be the stuff from that well we saw yesterday. please to tell Saturns wherefore you come? NESS (somewhat uncomfortable) Where did we come from? . and then at the passive SATURNS. NESS No.

and I felt weak all over. gave it to me. like. (pause. not far from where my house is. Because I'm not! I feel like I'm going crazy sometimes. messed up or anything. NESS Oh.. yet. PAULA (interjecting. I'll keep it real. The guy--or the thing. He wanted to go and look at it and conned me into going up there with him. PAULA Who was that? You never actually told me your whole story. The whole time I just had this awful feeling. It's kind of hard to explain and I don't want you guys to think I'm. why. . This is exactly how it went down. She looks both concerned a nd intrigued.. Or why you have that rock in the first place. Then this thing appeared. JEFF Several hours ago.. (picking up the Sound Stone) It was this thing. but I don't think I'm there. JEFF The same goes for me. Ness. surprised) I heard about that! Was anyone hurt? NESS No.JEFF Wherefore means why. I guess I don't really know. It was the most terrible pain I couldn't get rid of. but my stupid neighbor. we destroyed a sentient pile of vomit. for you guys. I believe. NESS (laughing half-heartedly) Well. I don't expect things could get any stranger than that. don't be too sure. I guess-whatever.. Porky(glancing at PAULA) You remember him. NESS goes quiet and PAULA scoots a bit closer to him. contemplating) Gosh. but I didn't think it would be polite to ask since it seems so important. and something someone told me. like something was coming to get me. I didn't realize. it's been a week almost. NESS It isn't a rock. a meteor crashed at the top of Onett hill.. It was rather an odd case. I came because Paula was trying to contact me. About that long ago.. NESS But it wasn't the only reason.

and a little beetle thing landed right there on my arm. (pointing then sighing. PAULA . silver(hesitation) Maybe it was a robot. He was the one that gave me this Sound Stone--that's what he called it. and there's one more yet. (shaking his head. Just what we need. (hesitation) I don't know how else to explain it. PAULA I feel it. They shift a bit closer to NESS. We have to find him. but it wasn't.) I don't know how to describe it. It definitely wasn't human. it said something about me leading the Four. Just tall. I tried to forget it ever happened. and I guess he thinks that I--or that we are gonna do something about it. somber) That was too weird for me. He said it could record the music of the Eight Sanctuaries of Earth. he said he was from the future and that some evil had come to Earth in his time. NESS (sighing heavily) Great. too. NESS (CONT. It's like I have to do it or I'll die. But anyway. A talking bug. It was like a person. PAULA puts a hand on NESS and wa its for him to continue. embarrassed) Yeah.The SATURNS' eyes are wide and bright with a deep-seated interest. I didn't know what he was talking about. but I couldn't! I just had this urge to get out of there and find all these places. That's why I called for you and for Jeff. He came to warn me of it. but I sorta do now. I guess. JEFF (adjusting his glasses) Do you know what species of insect it was? NESS Why does that matter? JEFF shrugs his shoulders but does not respond. I just knew you both were out there. I know. I feel drawn to them somehow.) So anyway. When it tried to kill me. NESS Him? You know it's a guy? PAULA That's what I'm feeling. NESS (CONT. this crazy streak of light came out of nowhere and shot it down! That's when I heard this voice.

and then exit as well. JEFF grabs his shoulder-bag and exits the hot spring chamber with the SATURNS fo llowing close behind. Ness. you know. and behind her is JEFF with a jointed wooden ladder that has been folded over itself several time s. who is eating some of the grapefru it in front of him. But what about that hole? How are we going to get out of it? JEFF (eating the last bit of grapefruit) I may have a solution to that problem. partially illuminating the n arrow tunnel. NESS stares at PAULA. I don't know where these other Sanctuaries are. PAULA We probably should. NESS . CUT TO: EXT : THREED : UNDERGROUND : AFTERNOON : A bright beam of light shines through the darkness. I guess we should find a way back to Threed then. PAULA walks behind him. but I didn't come to be toyed with. We'll get things sorted out. do you? PAULA (standing) I suppose I don't. we're going to help you. Both rise. It's a straight shot from one end to the other. NESS Right. NESS I think I see the steps up ahead. Whatever you feel you need to do. NESS and PAULA glance at each other for a moment. PAULA (offended) This isn't a matchmaker service. His bag is slung over the opposite arm. At the very least. Back to where we started. well. NESS is the first to move on-screen. we can be certain we're going the right way. JEFF We have been walking a while. carrying the Sound Stone in o ne hand and a flashlight in the other. NESS You don't know much about guys. but we'll find them--and this other boy.Why? Is there something wrong with that? JEFF (bashful) One more girl would help to even things out. and then looks to JEFF. The three of us are here for a reason.

Thank God for that. Machines on the surface are pulling it up slowly. Come on. PAULA What's so funny? Did I miss anything? NESS (shushing PAULA) Wait! Do you guys hear that? (pause) I think there's something up ahead. The sun is streaming in from above ground. smiling) Yeah. which leaves PAULA and JEFF struggling to catch up. though. Once all have exited the scene. We'll have to climb up. It looks a bit small. then chuckles a bit as w ell. though. quick! . We just took one of their ladders without paying for it. Jeff. I'm tired of being down here. thank you very much. approaching the wreckage and shouting) Hey! Hey up there! Wait! PAULA They can't hear us. NESS Get the ladder. JEFF appears confused. shining a natural spo tlight on the Sky Runner crash site. great idea. (pause. The vehicle has been roped from end to end. but no words can be distinguished.. But do you think it's tall enough? JEFF I would expect so. if in fact it doesn't measure up. NESS and the others enter the scene and stare. NESS snorts and begins to laugh. There are always ways of working around a problem. do you see that? Someone's already here! JEFF (bothered) The Sky Runner. NESS (skeptical. NESS Whoa. Come on! NESS races off-screen. dumbfounded. I don't know. Human voices shout over the n oise. By the way.. NESS The Saturns made it for us. the camera cuts to an internal view of the under ground chamber. JEFF I think it's quite capable of getting the job done. PAULA I feel sort of guilty. as the Sky Runner is lifted before them.

he assists JEFF in propping the ladder against the side of th e hole. WORKER #1 (talking over the machinery) Hey. NESS It's okay. sorry! WORKER #1 You ain't one of the kids from the bus theft incident two nights ago. and faces caked in dirt. are ya? They say some people stole the Runaway Five's tour bus. It wasn't found 'til just yesterday. It doesn't look that far. All of them have noticed NESS. Both she and JEFF keep their eyes on the Sk y Runner and the crane hauling it up from the floor of the chamber. CUT TO: EXT : THREED : CITY LIMITS : AFTERNOON : At the surface. and then climbs up. I'll go first and help Paula out since she's the shortest. hands. JEFF Shoot. P AULA waits on the ground behind him. tests the sturdiness of the ladder. th eir clothes. We can climb out the rest of the way. One man approaches from behind and taps him on the shoulder. Then. NESS puts the Sound Stone in his pocket and the flashlight into JEFF's s houlder-bag. come on up! I'll help you! Focus is moved from NESS over to a small group of men in construction attire.JEFF. still staring at the ascending wreckage. begins to unfold the handcrafted ladder. NESS (shouting) Okay. I was off by quite a lot there. NESS. red in the face. turns. PAULA (smiling) Well. kid! Where'd you come from? NESS (stunned) What? Oh. NESS (panicked) We didn't steal it! I swear! PAULA (speaking from off-screen) Ness! What're you doing? NESS . it's a start. NESS climbs ont o solid ground. and waits for PAULA to follow. The top rung falls several feet short of the surface. less than ten meters from the roaring machinery.

NESS (speaking to himself) Now that was definitely interesting. thank you! We've been trapped down there for days. she's with us. little lady. It's been all over the news. NESS puts his arms down into the hole and PAULA uses them like ropes to pull herself up. anyway! PAULA Do you know where they are? Mr. GORGEOUS (surprised) Miss Paula! Wow. Gorgeous and the Runaway Five. wait! Paula! Where're you going? The camera follows PAULA over to the boisterous gathering. We're all right. NESS Hey.Sorry! Lying on his stomach. PAULA races over to them while NESS struggles to help JEFF out of the hole. but so far nothin' else(smiling) Not 'til now. and a bunch of no-good punks hijacked the bus and crashed it not too far from the cemetery. Some people kidnapped us. Several policemen tak e notice. right? The Runaway Five? They say some kids was travelin' with them. POLICEMAN #3 . I mean. thank God you're all right! We thought you'd beenPAULA (interjecting) It's fine. GORGEOUS steps between them and puts his arms around the girl. WORKER #1 is quick to help her to her feet wh ile NESS remains on the ground. the dirty material of h er dress brushing across his face. It's cool. but before they can stop her. Are you all right? PAULA Yes. POLICEMAN #3 This is one of the missing children? GORGEOUS Yeah. WORKER #1 I heard. red-faced and hat askew. She climbs over his body. and GORGEOUS. WORKER #1 points to a row of trees where a crowd of people has gathered near a h uman body. Among the group are more construction workers. police. On the tour bus. WORKER #1 (speaking to PAULA) Hey. Police just found it yesterday.

it belongs to my father. POLICEMAN #3 Yeah? And now we've got landscaping problems. (indicating NESS and JEFF) And what about these other two? NESS and JEFF. It isn't used much anymore. who have entered the scene. which has been lifted to the surface. son? PAULA (interjecting) That's Jeff! He's a friend of ours. sir. POLICEMAN #3 (skeptical) You got some kind of special licensing or certification to operate that thing? JEFF It's still in development.I'm going to have to ask her some questions. I just had some engine problems. GORGEOUS (looking at NESS and JEFF) The kid in the hat's with us. Actually. but I never seen this other guy. The working men are readjusting the ropes tied around it. JEFF (uncomfortable) . JE FF is more concerned with the Sky Runner. up until about a century ago. I was on my way to visit my friends here. but the church used to bury its most prestigious deceased members in the catacombs under Threed. (speaking to JEFF) What's your name. NESS (stunned) Burial chambers? POLICEMAN #3 (pointing east) The public entrance is just on the other side of those trees. kid? JEFF Up north. POLICEMAN #3 And is that contraption over there yours as well? JEFF Mine. appear both relieved and confused. GORGEOUS Where'd you come from anyway. That vehicle of yours crashed right into one of the old burial chambers--a very important religious and historical site.

All of them have had their throats slashed. The eyes are missing from their sockets. tell me if this is the man. NESS steps back. and then killed themselves. POLICEMAN #3 turns the body over to expose the face. POLICEMAN #3 squats beside the body. u nnatural rate. But you're here now. and even bone have been eaten away at an alarming. puts one hand on it. and JEFF look at each other. POLICEMAN #3 Can't have any tampering with the evidence. tar-l ike substance. POLICEMAN #3 (CONT. PAULA What do you mean? POLICEMAN #3 There were five bodies found in the area not far from the crash site.) All of 'em are like that. who puts on a pair of latex glo ves. POLICEMAN #3 steps out of the crowd and indicates the human body lying face-down a few feet away. Just get close and have a look. and then. which has decomposed radica lly. I wouldn't expect it to be any other way. if you could help us make an identification. It'd sure be one hell of a strange coincidence if he's not. I see many anxiety disorders in my future. too. PAULA. including this one. The grass around it is saturated with blood and a black. What's really weird is that the bone is going.Oh. with great caution. We suspect it's a case of multiple suicide. if these are the perps. That is. (pause) Does any of it look familiar? The hair.) (frowning and scrutinizing NESS) Just tell me if you see anything familiar. NESS. very interesting. He is stopped by POLICEMAN #3. the clothes--anything? . These men hijacked the bus and you kids. and glances up. and a familiar black liq uid is pouring slowly from every opening in the skull. JEFF moves off-screen and coughs violently. POLICEMAN #3 (CONT. appalled. News reports were ready to label you two as dead. PAULA We're sorry. muscle. We didn't mean to cause any problems. and I do believe we've found the perpetrators. NESS app roaches the body. Charred flesh. Their prints were found all over the bus. POLICEMAN #3 Problem's solved now that we've found you. and they haven't been out here long.

It's just until our old one is fixed.. GORGEOUS So hey.NESS (shaking his head. those are mine! I thought I'd lost them. Several of the officers and working men disperse. after he crashed. Big G and the guys are takin' care of it. I'm afraid. don't you kids think it'd be better to just go home? If we leave now. but we really can't hang around. then maybe you could identify some of the items we found near the bus. GORGEOUS We got a rental bus waitin' at the front gate of the cemetery. I didn't. After we found out the bus had been stolen. Our friend Jeff is the next person we saw. who is not participating mentally in the conversation. PAULA Me either. POLICEMAN #3 (skeptical. They never came back once they put us down there. It is being moved onto the loading platform of the truck. our parents. Our tour here got cut short. anyway. but at least there's good news: we're scheduled to play tonight at Fourside's Topolla Theater. JEFF. Another police officer steps out of the crowd with a blood-stained backpack and baseball bat in hand. . We never actually saw them. I'm sure the guys and I could drive ya back to Twoson. holding the bat in his right hand. It was too dark. NESS is pleased to see the items. NESS Yes. After what's happened. you kids gave us quite a scare. releasing the body) Quite a story indeed. NESS (guilty) Yeah.. NESS puts the Sound Stone into his backpack and slips it on. PAULA (excited) How wonderful! Do you think we could go along? Both NESS and GORGEOUS appear uncertain. we thought for sure somethin' terrible was bound to happen. disturbed) No. GORGEOUS (uncomfortable) I don't know about that. all of their a ctivities focused on the Sky Runner and the arriving flatbed truck. I'm sure your parents would be scared to death. has his eyes on the Sky Runner. Well.

He appears pleased with himself and much more rel axed. With the bottom of his shirt. but could I ask what's going to happen with the Sky Runner? I just can't abandon it. NESS We're just a bit dirty. JEFF walks in from off-screen. JEFF opens the top flap of his shoulder-bag. GORGEOUS Well we'd be honored to give you and Miss Paula and your other friend there a lift to Fourside. your name. 'Scuse my language. NESS looks down at himself shamefully. POLICEMAN #3 speaks with him and another officer off-s creen while focus returns to NESS. GORGEOUS Are you sure this is what you want? I can't imagine any of this was very pleasant for you kids. We'll always be grateful. we were on our way to Fourside next! We only wanted to stop in Threed to meet up with our friend Jeff here. Nothing we can't handle. and PAULA. GORGEOUS. PAULA (smiling) Thank you. remember? JEFF (confused) Fourside City? We're going now? PAULA . along you to sign a few of identification.PAULA Actually. It is the clea nest thing on him at present. Right? JEFF (speaking to POLICEMAN #3) I'm sorry. Then you later. POLICEMAN #3 It's being taken to the auto with the bus. he wipes th e leftover blood from the Franklin Badge until its face is clear. If I could get papers and provide some form I'll have the vehicle put in can come back and pick it up shop in town. but you look like you been through Hell. if that's where you're headed. revealing a card holder where his t emporary license is kept. And maybe a little shaken up. that's all. I mean it's the least we could do after all this. JEFF It's taken care of. Where to then? PAULA (nudging JEFF) Fourside.

Yes. and JEFF sit in the center of the activity. speaking to PAULA) There's no need for any of you to be sorry. but what's a bus compared to you kids? The important thing is that you're here and you're safe. PAULA (speaking from off-screen) We're really sorry about what happened. Their clothes are unsightly. It speeds down the tree-lined road toward a tunnel as. each with sand wiches in their hands. blood-soaked and stiff with various fluids. sir. of course. Within seconds. CUT TO: INT : THREED : CITY LIMITS : HIGHWAY : RENTAL BUS : AFTERNOON : An interior view of the bus shows that it is much older and less spacious than t he one owned by the RUNAWAY FIVE. There is no storage space. who is driving-. (waving to the officers and workmen) Thanks for everything. NESS. PAULA. CUT TO: EXT : THREED : CITY LIMITS : HIGHWAY : AFTERNOON : The truck is replaced with a broadside view of a silver bus as the new scene beg ins abruptly. bench-style seats are covered in turquoise vinyl and set close together. And you are the one who offered us the lift to Fourside? GORGEOUS (laughing) Come on. The loading ramp is folded up and the truck ta kes off. GORGEOUS (offering his hand) Lead performer of the Runaway Five jazz band-pleased to meet ya! It's Jeff. obscuring everything else in the surrounding landscape . Mr. I can't say we expected someone would wanna steal that old junk heap of ours. in the back ground. I'm sorry! You two don't know each other yet. the view of THREED grows more distant.are located in the midd le rows. the scene ends. All the band members-. right? JEFF Yes. GORGEOUS (shrugging. guys! Much appreciated! GOREGEOUS leads the children off-screen as the camera pans over to the flatbed t ruck. which is a sharp contrast to the clean-pressed suits worn by the RUNAWAY FIVE.excluding BIG G. . I think it's time we got out of this town. Gorgeous here offered us a ride--oh. Its high-backed. As it passes by. the city is oblit erated by the natural wonders around it: the rolling landscape and tight cluster s of trees. its engine humming noisily. so the in strument cases are propped upright between the benches.

BIG G (speaking from the front of the bus) Think they got Prada in the Fourside Mall? We got time for a quick stop before the show tonight. that'd be lovely. Oh. who are smiling a nd stifling their own laughter with their sandwiches. LUCKY has turned red. I'd like to say that stranger things have happened. right? All three children look at GORGEOUS with guilty expressions. PAULA Sure. is the center of all the attention. pastel green to complement your eyes. It certainly wasn't your fault. his face blank. however. butPAULA (interjecting. We can use one of those. No harm done. The camera focuses in on the children. but is laughing as well. and then begins to toy with the badge on h is shirt. And really. GORGEOUS gives LUCKY a friendly tap on the arm as the band members laugh. NESS and JEFF make no attempt to change this. of course. GORGEOUS (taming his laughter) Anyhow. appears som ewhat uncomfortable. smiling) We understand. who is sitting on the aisle. All band members laugh.(smiling) And call us criminals if we ever let Lucky take care of the keys from now on. SLIM (gesturing with his hands) I'm thinkin' a soft. . and he pulls it clo ser to himself while staring at the floor. (pause) You kids are gonna call your parents. BOBBY-BLUE (speaking to LUCKY) Hey. we'll get ya a purse to put 'em in! GORGEOUS (laughing) 'Cept he'd probably set the purse down somewhere and get that stolen as well. When we get to Fourside. There are pay-phones around. NESS rubs his throat. we're all right. GORGEOUS I suppose it wouldn't hurt if we were all a bit more careful from now on. JEFF. I can't tell you enough how relieved we are. His shoulder-bag is sitting in his lap. PAULA.

moving out the nearest wi ndow and rising up over the landscape. It's a promise. The sentiment is p assed down the line to JEFF. The tallest building in particular is especially impressive. and JEFF as the band members move off-scre en. though she's much younger than you kids.GORGEOUS Make sure that you do. PAULA looks over at the boys. And I can't say I'd ever be comfortable with lettin' her travel alone--even if she was twice your age. All three children wear somber expressions. Digital marquees and lighted boards display the theater name and upcoming entertainment. From the left. The camera focuses in on NESS. w ith its mirrored glass windows reflecting the image of the setting sun. prestigious. It s ports a very European design. and people. PAULA (speaking to LUCKY) Thank you. It is in front of the TOPOLLA THEATER--an impressive piece of architecture. hey how's it goin'? They'll always appreciate it. The north and eastern sides are lined with a solid brick wall more than ten feet in height. until PAULA cracks a smile and nudges NESS again. you'll never be too old to call your parents. The bus makes its way across a gleaming white cable bridge spanning a wide river below. and his toric appeal that is sharply contrasted by the immense steel structures at the h eart of the city. CUT TO: EXT : FOURSIDE : TOPOLLA THEATER : LATE AFTERNOON : A ground-level view of FOURSIDE reveals a sprawling network of sidewalks. NESS and PA ULA laugh. (pause) Just remember. and a look and feel not unlike the Parthenon of Athens. Skyscrapers stand like sentries on the other end. She gives NESS a gentle nudge and he nods in response. and its giant spire rising from the roof. They eat their sandwiches slowly and avoid eye-contact. LUCKY I got a wife and daughter at home. who have their heads down. NESS looks at her. Even if it's once in a while--just to say. It has an angular. This is an area that covers more than a hundred square miles al ong the southern waterfront. GORGEOUS (smiling) That's all we ask. the silver bus rolls into view and pulls into a wide parking s lot across the street. We'll definitely call them as soon as we can. but cannot help smiling as well. street s. . marking the location o f FOURSIDE CITY. bothered. It is the most noticeable piece of the scenery . Great crowds swell and flow around storefronts like ocean current s. ribbed columns along its face. PAULA. But times change and kids grow up. Then. who blushes and tries to hide his face. the camera pulls back from the scene.

we were going to have a look around. eh? NESS No. You all are welcome anytime. followed shortly by the RUNAWAY FIVE and their instrument cases. PAULA. The Fourside Luxury Suites isn't too far. and(smiling broadly) We'll see what we can do about getting you kids in to the show tonight. head down that way. if you're interested. We'll be staying there. or worse! . The camera cuts to a closer view of the children as they take in everything with wide eyes and awestruck expressions. You're welcome to stop in anytime ya like. while JEFF hold s tight to the strap of his shoulder-bag. and we don't go on 'til nine. Meet us back here later. Go to the corner and take a right. Could we maybe take a rain check on that? BOBBY-BLUE Certainly. sure! That'd be great! PAULA (leading NESS and JEFF away) Thank you very much! JEFF Yes. GORGEOUS Not too shabby. It'll be a few more hours. Oh. and JEFF emerge. JEFF Could we have a look inside? BOBBY-BLUE (approaching the group) Ain't open yet. NESS Really? Of course. But if you'd like to see backstagePAULA (interjecting) Actually. NESS. thank you. NESS is weari ng his backpack and carrying the baseball bat in his right hand. it's awesome! It's nothing like the old community theater in Onett. GORGEOUS approaches the three children from behind.From the bus. GORGEOUS (shouting to the children) Watch yourselves out there! It's a big town! Easy to get lost. GORGEOUS (pointing west) Or. if for some reason we ain't here.

POLICEMAN #4 Looks like a rock. It shoots directly ahead. POLICEMAN #4 (unsettled. How's it do that? NESS Oh. Closing the gap between herself and those around her. POLICEMAN #4 I never did understand all these newfangled gadgets. yet stern) Hey! What've you got there? NESS (nervous) I-. He hands it back to NESS and it begins to glow again. and JEFF head east down the sidewalk until they reach the corner. right? NESS (taking off his backpack) Yeah. right? NESS (surprised) Yeah..NESS. POLICEMAN #4 (taking the Sound Stone. Otherwise it wouldn't be glowing like that. full of people waiting to cross the street. which prompts NES S to yank the Sound Stone out of PAULA's grasp. wow. It's like a personal thing. PAULA Get out that stone. PAULA taps NESS gently. I'd say. Members of the cr owd turn and look at the children with bewildered expressions. PAULA (smiling) I thought so. PAULA. How'd you figure? PAULA (placing her hand on the Sound Stone) Woman's intuition. A crowd has gathered there. POLICEMAN #4 scrutin izes it and finds nothing wrong. nothing. You still got it. It's a toy. There's one around here. you just have to activate it after you buy it. But why do we need it now? NESS removes the Sound Stone and it glows brightly in his hand. .. so it only works for whoever programs it. With both NESS and PAULA touching the stone. of course. A police officer steps in from off-screen to confront them. skeptical) A toy? That's a pretty impressive toy. The Sound Stone stops glowing the instant NESS releases it. harmlessly penetrating all in its path. the guiding beacon is released.

PAULA (reading off a plaque) Magnet Hill. POLICEMAN #4 exits as the crowd begins to disperse and flow from one corner to t he next. Sorry. or the Stannum Tower. Stannum. and under the right conditions becomes a superconductor. It is malleable. JEFF She's right. PAULA This city is huge. Look up ahead. while PAULA and JEFF take in the signage posted around the monument. The Sound Stone is glowing much more brightly and it trembles as they walk through the courtyard of the MONOTOLI BUILDING. formerly the FOURSIDE FINANCIAL CENTER. The only piece of the courtyard that has been left untouched is an abstract scul pture in the middle of a mosaic tile pattern. silvery gray. This naturallyoccurring metal has been harvested from the Earth since the late Stone Age. and JEFF enter the scene. CUT TO: EXT : FOURSIDE : MONOTOLI BUILDING : LATE AFTERNOON : A view of the next block is seen. There are some lingering remnants of its past in the paved courtyard ou tside. but take it somewhere else. you're great! I didn't know you could make up stories so well. PAULA. PAULA (smiling and whispering to NESS) Wow. NESS Right. including benches with the old company name engraved in them. This is the newly-remodeled MONOTOLI BUILDING. nearly all of the windows in this city have been made using a combination of glass and this metal. where the tallest structure in the city stands . NESS (annoyed) Would you stop doing that? We can't let people see this thing! We almost got it taken away. NESS and his friends follow the other people across the street. NESS. Through what is known as the Pilkington Process. Its many faceted points jut out fr om one pyramidal shape in the center. Workmen are busy removing all traces of this. his expression blan k. magnetic.(pause) Fine. Can you name it? JEFF Tin. How were we going to know where to start looking? I saved us a lot of time. They reflect a clouded image of the surrou nding area and shine a lustrous. . having just crossed the street a second t ime. if you speak Latin. That light's strong enough to put someone's eye out. NESS stares.

Very impressive. why tin? It isn't as valuable as the precious metals. For just a moment. I've never seen one this color before. NESS (bothered) This car. PAULA is standing beside NESS and she puts a hand on him gently. NESS stalks around the front of the car. he appears apprehensive. PAULA It can't be the same one.. PAULA and JEFF wait on the sidewalk. One vehicle stands out among the rest. Ness? NESS . but it's not really the answer I was looking for. For a moment. but it lasts only a few short notes.. PAULA This other sign says that man and nature work together. taking in its silver grill and square bumper as the camera follows his movements. metallic-blue she en that seems to glow. even in the long shadows cast by the buildings around it. a hand holding a baby bottle moves into view. NESS approaches the monument in silence as PAULA and JEFF look on.PAULA (impressed) Wow. JEFF (adjusting his glasses) Naturally. NESS races over there and the others follow while the camera cuts to an angle just in front of them. A soft blanket is spread evenly on the floor. This is the level from which everything is seen. passive. but one has to wonder. JEFF Interesting sentiment. There is a sudden flash as the scene cuts away from NESS. JEFF A Rolls-Royce. but his facial e xpression changes when he notices a row of cars parked along the sidewalk. suggesting a memory or flashback. Its body sports a rich. and then lifts the trembling stone to his forehead.. As much as we take. PAULA Better now? NESS does not respond. really? You're pretty smart. He is looking away to the left. The next segment is co lored in sepia tone. Music is playing.. Another flash and the dream sequence ends. ultimately we pay our debts and return to the Earth so that life may continue elsewhere.

PAULA and JEFF follow. CUT TO: INT : FOURSIDE : MONOTOLI BUILDING : LOBBY : LATE AFTERNOON : An internal view proves to be the e. direct opposite of what was seen on the outsid the marble floors a solid. NESS (angry. is there a Porky Minch here-in this building somewhere? ATTENDANT If you're referring to the young man who recently became Mr. the silver there is slightly darker than the silver on the front bumper. Still in fair condition. All of it appears se sullen complement of the olive drab wallpaper. NESS (angry. They are all dressed in professional a ttire. NESS approaches the desk and the woman stares him down. I'm going inside. when NESS. PAULA. And it is. but they've definitely been used. heading toward the MONOTOLI BUILDING) That's it then. is that which shines in through the glass on t Along the right wall from the entryway is a slate green desk and an attendant si tting behind it. And parts of the body around the wheels don't match up with the rest. Monotoli's political advisor- . The lobby is dimly-lit. and JEFF enter in their dirty clothes--an obvious contrast to the f ew people still mingling about the lobby. Look at the tires. You see. They follow wi th much reluctance. but polite) Could I ask you. wait. She appears disconcerted. remember? Or I expect it would be after being driven through a wall. it has had work done. I think we've taken care of things here. PAULA But it looks brand new. making ith earth-tone rugs and furniture veral shades darker thanks to the The only natural light available he revolving door. PAULA Ness. Why don't we go walk around for a bit? NESS (shouting) I just need some answers! NESS exits the scene as PAULA and JEFF exchanges worried glances. b ut keep a respectable distance. And the other one was damaged. JEFF Well. and more than a little annoyed.Yes it can. murky sea of gray w sitting atop the surface. I'd say this is an older vehicle with some very recent updates.

She is left waiting with the rece iver against her ear for an uncomfortable span of time while PAULA and JEFF look to each other. Mr. CUT TO: INT : FOURSIDE : MONOTOLI BUILDING : 47th FLOOR : LATE AFTERNOON : A hallway decorated in the same manner as the lobby is seen. Number twenty. NESS departs from the desk with his friends in tow. The woman nods. Minch? NESS Yeah I do--we do. He'll know who I am. but does not make eye contact. The soft chime of an e levator is heard just before the doors open to reveal NESS. NESS (stopping) Here it is. and then to NESS. They take note of another elevator. PAULA and JEFF follow. What's your name. ATTENDANT (perking up) Yes.. right? . The slate-green ele vator doors open the instant he presses the button on the wall. though the windows are covered to prevent any natural light from shining in. And don't start any trouble. I'm sure it's important. let me get hold of him right away for you. suite number twenty. (pause) Three visitors who say they have an appointment with you. and then move on. moving down the hall and inspecti ng the numbered plates on the wall beside each door. Minch. who is staring straight ahead. PAULA. picking up the telephone) Oh really! Well then.NESS (interjecting. and all three ch ildren enter. but at a much slower pace. ATTENDANT (sarcastic. (hanging up the telephone) Well that was lucky for you. actually. cupcake? NESS It's Ness. One of them says his name is Ness(pause) All right I'll send them your way. ac ross the hall. PAULA and JEFF appear uncert ain. Go on then. labeled "PRIVATE". stunned) Political advisor? ATTENDANT (curt) Do you have an appointment with Mr. and JEFF. NESS steps out promptly and turns to his left. while NESS seems more than ready to face what is ahead.. Two boys and a girl. wasn't it? (pointing to the elevator on the far wall) Forty-seventh floor.

PORKY (mocking) Well. hello there-. He looks at least twenty pounds heav ier than his last appearance on-screen.. PORKY grins at his guests.. no wait. He glares to the right at the saffron couch and the person sitting like a king upon it. um. coming from someone who isn't. though it is obvious he is trying to hide the contemp t he feels inside. The wooden edges of the furniture have been cove red with gold leaf. The cigar crumbles a bit in his hand . takes his baseball bat into his rig ht hand. NESS looks at it with disdain. His once greasy blonde hair is combed down and lies neatly on his head with the help of a thin layer of gel. I can see that. you dumbass. how could I forget? My old pal from the neighborhood. Ness. Gee.PAULA Right. The camera follows him into a much brighter room all decked out in soft white wa llpaper and gilded floor tiles. stunned by the opulence. but are you sure? NESS puts the Sound Stone into his backpack. What happened? You look like a stuffed pig in a suit. Care for a cigar? PORKY indicates the small table holding a tinder box beside the door. NESS Yeah. including his clothes--a black pant-suit with red pinstripe jacket. I've missed you. This is PORKY MINCH: now a high political figure. NESS These are chocolate cookies. PAULA and JEFF shield their eyes when they walk in. PORKY I happen to like chocolate cookies. NESS And what's that supposed to mean! . PORKY Really? That's rich. but NESS is unaffected. left arm out over the back of the couch while the other hand holds onto a cigar. as has the top of a desk placed across the room. Large windo ws that stretch from floor to ceiling stand with curtains drawn. Everything about him suggests importance and richness. and then opens the door slowly. He crosses one leg over the other. but reaches in anyhow. letting in the glow of the setting sun that sets all of the gold furnishings ablaze. What was your name again? Pig's butt? NESS (angry) You know who I am! PORKY Yes.

I'd say things are going well. She's a freak like you. three days ago when the election took place. I remember her. NESS So how about you explain yourself then? Why're you doing this? What're you trying to prove? PORKY How about you introduce me to your little fanclub there? It's very rude not to. speaking flatly) Time flies when you're having fun. Ness. after I've invited you all up here out of the goodness of my heart. PORKY You know. PORKY (smug) And won. He was running in the election for mayor of Fourside City. how is it possible for the new mayor to be in office so soon? That can take weeks or even months. it doesn't matter what you say anymore. thanks to me. PAULA Monotoli? I saw him on the news a few weeks ago. on any normal political schedule. (peering around NESS and grinning) I see you brought Paula. You're looking at the new advisor and right-hand-man of Mr. wouldn't you? NESS What'd you do? Stuff the ballot box like you stuff your big fat mouth? PORKY (offended) Stuffing the ballot box? That's for the weak--for those who don't really know how to play the game. isn't she? NESS What the hell do you know? . And now here we are. Geldegarde Monotoli. NESS approaches the couch. squeezing the handle of his baseball bat tightly in h and. (shoving the cookie into his mouth) It was three days ago when I arrived. because I'm above all that. If the election was only a few days ago. PORKY (angry. JEFF Hold on there. PORKY is watching him with great caution.PAULA and JEFF approach NESS from behind while PORKY takes a bite out of the cig ar-shaped cookie in his hand.

on the verge of tears. Boiling over with rage. catching himself on his knees. holding his bat close) Shut up. He is ashamed. Just let it go. PORKY You should probably listen to her. PAULA Ness. NESS swings at PORKY with his bat and the resounding cra ck looses a stream of blood. for a brief moment. stop. pointing. but a look of realization overcomes PAULA and she nud ges JEFF. too? How is it you people find each other. PORKY watches him. Now I'll never see him again! PORKY laughs and. unable to move. By the way. the camera focuses in on the hateful expre ssion and deep red color that has overwhelmed NESS's face. . anyway? An ad in the paperNESS (interjecting. There is a look of guilt about him that makes PORKY grin even wider and much more devilishly. PORKY (CONT. PORKY (CONT. Ness. boo-hoo! My son. PORKY rolls off the couch onto the floor. What would your mommy say. has run away from home--all because of a girl. the freak of Onett. still smiling. It's not worth it. but does not flinch. does your mom know about all this? Does she know you ran away from home just so you could play with some dumb girl? NESS loosens his grip on the bat. Ness? (speaking in a high-pitched voice) Oh.PORKY And what about the other one there? Is he a freak. Porky. He dabs at his nose. while NESS stands just a few paces away.) That's what I thought. They are stricken. dumbfounded. And here you were supposed to be the good kid.) Then again. PORKY (continuing) Do you ask some random person on the street? NESS I said shut up! PORKY (continuing) Or do you just shout: freak convention! Everyone follow the loser in the red hat! NESS holds his bat high. why should your mom care? She's too busy workin' the corner downtown. Focus switches to PAULA and JEFF briefly as they hold onto one another.

PORKY leans in close enough for their faces to touch.PORKY stands. NESS hesitates. that's sick! What the hell is wrong with you! PORKY (wiping his nose on his sleeve) I'm not the one with the problem. but it is soon forgotten as he and PORKY battle ha nd-to-fist. NESS (struggling) Dammit. From off-screen. All focus is on them. The lights flicker a moment as the loosed charge continues to race about the roo m. He cries out in pain. The collision erupts into a struggle-. you bully! PORKY. The camera cuts in to a closer shot as PORKY c atches NESS by the throat. your clothes. backing off of NESS as PAULA steps in.one in which NESS is obviou sly outmatched. Your face. The dark. (pressing harder while smiling) Do you have any idea how long it takes someone to die of strangulation? I see you're already looking a little blue. a wide grin spreading like a disease across his face. who cringes as his flesh begins to sizzle.. but PORKY charges him before he can strike again. choking) Stop! I can't breathe! PORKY Really? I feel fine. NESS (red-faced and angry) Why are you doing this? (hesitation. and it is mixed with a thick black substance that rol ls out in clots straight down the front of his suit. PAULA (angry) Leave him alone. and then belches loudly. And guess what? (whispering) I have a little secret for you. cups both hands over his face and stumbles aw ay from the group. Blood and heavy trails of black stream out of PORKY's nose and splatter on NESS. Blood contin ues to drip from his nose. Smoke rises from the wounds. PORKY (smug. you don't look so good. pressing down hard with his arm) You know. bilious fluid begins to seep out between his finger . T riumphant laughter follows. The bat rolls away from NESS. it's like someone's been dragging you through Hell. still lamenting his injury. a sharp crack is heard just before a jolt of electricity snaps PORKY in the face. with PORKY in the higher position.. then holds his bat up high. Ness. The weight and momentum of PORKY's onslaught alone is enough to bring them both to the floor. old pal.

violently angry) What the hell--what the hell did you do to me! You God-damn freak! PAULA ignores what is being said to her and helps NESS up from the floor. the door is flung open to reveal ALOYSIUS MINCH with two securi ty officers in tow. papers. and other miscellaneous objects fa ll around him. vengeful) Go ahead and try.) (shouting) Dammit! Son of a bitch--damn it all! (glaring at NESS. NESS retrieves his baseball bat as. and JEFF form a tight group. the camera shifts all focus back to PORKY. are you looking to beg more money from us now that we've found success? . lifting it over his head. and then looks over the desk where many items and documents lay in haphazard fashion. clutching his shoulder-bag and looking fearful.s. ALOYSIUS Come all the way from home to make our lives miserable? What. appearing both stunned and afraid. once more. He glares viciousl y at the others. It is clear that ALOYSIUS recognizes NESS and is displeased with his presence. PORKY charges at NESS. Both hands are balled in tight fists. ALOYSIUS (enraged. One fat hand snatches the silver-plated letter opener fro m its hold and. Stumbling backward. surprised) What the hell is going on in here? PORKY (pointing at NESS) It was them. frightened) Ness-! Across the room. shoving it several feet across the floor. Father! Look what they've done! NESS. JEFF a pproaches them. Pens. JEFF (turning sharply. who pulls his hands away from his face to reveal a bright red burn runnin g from one cheek to the other. speaking to PAULA and JEFF) Come on then. NESS clings to PAULA for support as he gets to his feet. PORKY (CONT. PORKY (voice muffled slightly. PORKY collides with the desk. NESS (stern. It's over. who is struggling to lift his own ponderous weight. PORKY halts instantly and tosses the letter opener away. PAULA. and then approaches POR KY. All eyes are on PORKY. I dare you! NESS slams one fist into PORKY's face with enough force to knock the larger adol escent off-balance. Focus returns to NESS briefly.

NESS p icks it up. his body glows. who are clinging desperately to one a nother. smothering the boy with a cloth. visibility of the char acters is unaffected. panicked) Paula! Oh God.(speaking to the OFFICERS) Get them out of here. and then slowly his eyelids drop just before his entire b ody goes limp. NESS (latching onto JEFF and PAULA) No! Both OFFICERS surround the three children. FADE OUT END ACT SEVEN. wake up. All of them! Put them away. A prismatic light spreads benea . examines it. screaming. NESS (groggy) Hey. The OFFICER behind wraps one arm around his throat. PAULA is pulled off-screen. by PORKY while focus is concentrated on N ESS. NESS shouts. His baseball bat is lying beside him. Hey. For a moment. EARTHBOUND. and lifts his head to look at NESS. NESS releases his friends to fight back and is apprehended first. NESS (CONT.) You all right? JEFF (sitting up) I believe so. The camera pans to the right where NESS and JEFF a re lying comatose. The camera cuts in close to him as he opens his eyes. we've got to find her! Jumping to his feet. Come on. NESS awakens and sits upright beside JEFF. PORKY (pointing at PAULA) Except her! Leave her with me. JEFF stirs. ACT EIGHT (PART ONE) FADE IN EXT : ETHEREAL SPACE : NIGHT : Darkness withers and reveals an endless void--a featureless landscape starved of both illumination and color. Slowly. and he scans the area in a daze. What about Paula? NESS (looking around. yet it casts no reflection. It appears as if an unseen light source is focused on them . The scene ends in pitch blackness. and then begins to prod JEFF. but a sharp kick to the side shatters his concentration. NESS bolts forward blindly. The surreal elements of t he scene have not yet sunk into his conscious mind. He is disoriented but unharme d. glasses askew. Though the world around them is black.

Possibly in the same building. The floor is sensitive to your movement. takes one step toward NESS. the light appea rs again and the fearful look in his eyes soon changes to delight. stunned. Here. When it does. curious) Try taking another step. NESS (bewildered) What just happened? JEFF I don't know. although really this could be anywhere at all. JEFF is watching with a bothered expression. and then stops as a blin ding burst of color explodes across the screen. but there is a satisfied smile on his face.th him like ripples in a pond. I can still see you. When he begins to walk. wai ting for the light to clear. but why can't I see anything else? JEFF (standing up) That I don't know. JEFF Nothing much surprises me anymore. the ligh ts brightly reflected in JEFF's glasses. breaking off into tiny spots of color once it has reached out far enough.) Outstanding. He leaps forw ard with both feet and a larger wave of color radiates around him. The harder you press. This other-worldly feature is the only way to make sense of what would otherwise be empty space. they are left standing among the skys crapers and streets of MOONSIDE CITY. the more of an effect it creates. NESS and JEFF take in the scene with a distinguishable sense of wonder. everything is bathed in black. A pul sating neon glow outlines each structure and shifts through all the hues in the spectrum. Not since I've met you. NESS (stomping around) But what is it? And why are we in the dark? JEFF It appears we're not. Both boys shield their eyes. He holds his legs at awkward angle s to avoid losing balance. coughing) I think I might be sick. I couldn't even tell you where we are. NESS Yeah. NESS stops. He appears ill. NESS slides one foot out with no result. JEFF dons his shoulder-bag. NESS You don't sound very surprised. (pause. A closer shot of him catches this inter mingling just before he starts to totter and heave. JEFF (CONT. . (bending over.

floral-patterned clothes. NESS Hey. NESS takes a step back and glances over his shoulder.NESS approaches JEFF. Somewhat bothered. Both hands tick slowly around their circular path as the STRANGER approache s NESS. and every article of clothing tears as the person ben eath swells to new heights. the chest flares. We gotta figure a way out of here. capturing his frightened expression reflected in the face of the watch. NESS (hesitation) But you justSTRANGER (interjecting) Moonwel ot cosidme. It has beco me a sentient skyscraper of a beast--two stories tall with thick. STRANGER Welcome to Moonside. How're we supposed to get around if you're gonna be blowin' chunks every two steps? JEFF (resting his hands on his knees) I'll be fine. The man is dressed in s ummery. Jeff. what! Are you- . The camera angle cuts to a view behind him. No longer is the STRANGER in human form. Just give me a moment. the h ead of the STRANGER has been replaced with a pocket watch several feet across. JeffJEFF (bothered. all four limbs stretch in to sinewy towers of flesh. J-Jeff? (reaching back toward JEFF) Jeff. and stares closely at NESS. don't do that. standing up) What. The transformed STRANGER lowers its head. clawed fingers and a pair of apelike hind feet large enough to crush a man. a heavy chain sprouting from the top. Jeff. ignoring the rainbow ripples made by his feet. When he looks again. what? To where? STRANGER Wecomel to Soonmide.. NESS turns from JEFF and is frightened to see another person standing several meters off in the middle of the street. I-. and then the body begins to change again. The lid of its golden case flips open. NESS (confused) I'm sorry. gold chain hanging over the back of it s neck. The neck thickens and grows outward. transfixed) Um. reve aling a numbered face that has begun to seep out of its confines like melted but ter.. NESS (stammering. His blonde hair seems almost fluorescent.

its massive body se nding out seismic ripples of color on all sides. He begins to stammer incomprehensibly as the STRANGER rises and steps over both boys. speaking to NESS) Do you suppose there are more like it? NESS (racing back into the scene) Yeah. attached to an ovoid body that cannot move. leaving the artwork grounded. and the art begins to move again . NESS (uncomfortable) Why're we still talking about this? JEFF (stopping. ABSTRACT ART (staring down at NESS and JEFF) Do you understand all this? JEFF stands gaping. Got a bit carried away there.) (staring up at the STRANGER. NESS stands his ground for a mo ment off-screen. In seconds it has surpassed both boys by several meters. JEFF Can't be. But. we're probably what's on the menu.Turning. But look at the size of it--outstanding! JEFF follows after the creature as it heads down the street. unable to answer. JEFF (CONT. who stare at its paint-splattered face. I'm sure. I knew I should have stayed in Winters. its lifestyle and habits. JEFF And its diet. Soft pinkish mounds of fle sh begin to grow out the back of the gilded frame. It hasn't acted aggressively toward us. . or how it eats for that matter. I wonder what it eats. A pair of legs slide out like molde d clay at both ends. intrigued) My word. NESS What is it? And what is this place? JEFF (shaking. turning to NESS) Sorry. knowing our luck. its neck reaching skyward. NESS I'd like to say that this is all some kind of dream and that it doesn't even exist. A large piece of ABSTRACT ART drifts in from off-screen and floats in front of N ESS and JEFF. JEFF is stunned into silence. NESS (also stopping) At least you're not sick anymore. NESS fidgets a moment before he realizes h e has been spoken to. Its movement is followed.

.. .NESS I-. loosing a shower of leaves.. My better sense tells me I ought to be frightened beyond belief. but the more logical. NESS Let's just stick with finding a way out of here. but I think this yes-no business could help us. Really forces one to stop and think about what he is saying. Do I understand what's happening? No. embarrassed) No! What're you talking about? JEFF (smiling) Aha! As I suspected.. It makes perfect sense in Moonside! NESS Does everything here have to talk? JEFF Moonside? This is interesting. This is quite an intriguing set of rules. releasing the leaf in his hand. JEFF (smiling) Absolutely astounding. leaving NESS flustered and red-faced. I'm glad you get it. Both nearly t rip on a bright red HYDRANT that appears before them in the middle of the sidewa lk. which it rubs its frame agai nst. Its edges and every vei n across its surface are pulsing with a bright. It lifts up and begins to skitter away on ten spidery legs. NESS walks ahead and JEFF follows. The mobile artwork wanders toward the nearest tree. do you really like her? NESS (blushing. and then briefly to the leaf in his hand. We still don't know where we are or what's happened to Paula. HYDRANT Yes is no and no is yes. neon green light. Do you like Paula-I mean. JEFF catches one as the camera returns focus to him and NESS. science-oriented side of me can't help but be amazed by all of this. (pause) Right. Curious how things work out that way. and yet frightening just the same. JEFF moves off-screen. ABSTRACT ART Good. NESS So how's Science gonna get us out of here? JEFF I wouldn't know. If yes means no and no means yes. let's try it then.

takes one of the treats without question. He is staring at a s kyscraper at the end of the block. That'd mean we're outside now. like in a funhouse. are you? Come on. . its edges and windows glowing all the way up from the ground to the tip of its rooftop spire. wait! I didn't mean that(hesitation) I meant the regular kind of no! The camera cuts over to a view of JEFF as NESS rejoins him. were we really out that long? NESS It can't be the same one. JEFF Can't argue with you there. if you will. But this is the only lead we've got at the moment. JEFF Indeed.) You're not gonna say anything. So what? JEFF It's the same building we entered(checks wristwatch) Oh. right? JEFF Not necessarily. NESS (watching. following the teacup. uncomfortable) We'll find a way out of here. This all could be a projection of some sort. a few hours ago I would say. NESS Well it's not very fun. spilling its liquid contents with each step.NESS Hey. Perhaps if we head that way. though stunned. I hope. See anything familiar? NESS (flustered) Looks like a building on crack. NESS (CONT. It's a strange thing. A teacup on tiny porcelain legs crosses in front of NESS and JEFF. A plate full of sugar cookies floats in from off-screen. NESS pays no attention to the s tructure. J EFF. we'll find what we're looking for. although now I've got a real craving for tea and biscuits. and the only house I want to be in right now is my own. You know what I meant! JEFF (pointing) Have a look at that. Wow.

It steps over them. JEFF (confused) Him? And who would this be? NESS gives JEFF a sharp nudge with his elbow and approaches the STRANGER. Thank you. sinewy limbs enclosing them on all sides. NESS What're you doing! JEFF (eating the cookie) Sorry. NESS and JEFF look at each other. . brilliant. We have to find Paula. NESS I don't want a cookie! I want out! As they speak.) I will take you to him. I should have grabbed you one. His ap pearance is one of caution and determination as he stuffs the end of his basebal l bat into his back pocket and begins to climb up the chain. the STRANGER drops the gold chain from around its neck and waits. We have to find someone. a shadow falls over the boys and the body of the STRANGER moves i nto view. although I should warn you that I don't exactly have the stomach for heights or rides of any sort. JEFF (struggling) No problem. The camera angle cu ts to a view atop the creature just as JEFF begins his ascent. its ches t resting a few meters above. STRANGER Why ever would you want to leave? And so soon after you've arrived? NESS (disturbed) We can't stay here. and the n reaches one arm down to assist JEFF. Shaking its clock-shaped head.JEFF (CONT. NESS You sit up there then.) (pleasantly surprised) Oh. STRANGER (CONT. STRANGER (stepping over NESS and JEFF) I know who. NESS slides into a depression between the shoulder blades. places his bat across his lap. but we can't waste any more time. NESS Sorry about that. but do not move. NESS and JEFF become silent.

NESS Say what? JEFF Giant stone pencils. Could this really be happening? NESS Who cares? I just want to get out. We're almost there. JEFF sits upright. JEFF (leaning forward) Good Lord. each topped with a sharp point. JEFF stares at the flashing lights until he begins reelin g in his seat. and it looks like they . Would you care to count backward with me? Twenty-five. JEFF (awestruck. The STRANGER is silent as it approaches the building. twenty-four. adjusts his glasses. NESS appears bothered. or wake up. and ob serves the adjacent pieces of the structure. swaying as their mount carries them closer to the neon replica of the MONOTOLI BUILDING. The wall is composed of wide angular sections standing like sentries before them . They cling to one another for support as the STRANGER backs down. taking it down to the e nd of the block in seconds. JEFF Pencils. why do I do this to myself? NESS Don't give up on me now. The sudden stop thr ows NESS and JEFF forward in their seats. or do something to get back to where we were.JEFF scoots into place in front of NESS and the STRANGER begins to walk. Just as the STRANGER rounds the eastern corner of the building. Here the ground is uneven and hilly. Its lon g strides count for more than a dozen human-sized steps. Every window is a shimmeri ng rainbow plate set like a jewel in black. and it is impossible to see inside. NESS and JEFF h old tight. slate-g ray wall shoots up from the ground to block any advancement. twentythree. NESS Or a total idiot on a drug trip. No doors are visible at ground level . twenty-twoNESS (interjecting) Creator? Do you mean someone made all of this? JEFF The man must be an absolute genius. a solid. yet unsettled) It's incredible. STRANGER The Creator is just head.

The STRANGER pauses. goodbye. NESS That's probably the most normal-looking thing we've seen since we got here. JEFF latches onto the chain as it whips past him over the back of the creature. The group approaches. JEFF . then pushes off w ith its hind limbs and launches itself over the top.go on to eternity. frightened) I'm trying! The wall continues to rise.. Its broad hands and feet cling readily. The body as a whole has begun to melt. but is consumed by the flesh melting around him . their expressions filled wit h fright. NESS It can't be that bad. can it? I mean. It stretches up ward a few meters more. and then becomes still as a close-up shot catches the pr ismatic lights reflected on its surface. the STRA NGER lowers the lid of its case to hide the face it is losing. Focus returns to the STRANGER. His shoulder-bag is with him. Its neck softe ns. Every adjoining section bel ow thrusts upward. arms sag and fall away from the torso like liquefied taffy. JEFF lands in his own b ubble a few meters away. NESS opens his mouth to respond. NESS and JEFF sit in si lence. JEFF (shouting) I have you! Don't let go! NESS (shouting. impaling the STRANGER through the chest. Its chain swings for ward and NESS and JEFF lose hold. but his glasses have come off and he searches desperately for them through the muck. Both stare at themselves reflected in the face of the watch as it pour s out of its gilded frame.. and. They are snatched up on the other side by the STRANGER. who has lost his footing and begun to slide. Wh ile NESS struggles to free himself of the sticky tangle. and then are thrown back as their mount take s a flying leap at the wall. JEFF Someone is obviously trying to keep us out. STRANGER (voice garbled and watery) Hello. Slowly. helping it to ascend ever faster while NESS and JEFF brace themselves against one another. His other arm holds tight to NESS. We can just climb over. one hand ext ended and clawed fingers closing in around them. In one thick strand he is dropped to the ground where the viscous bubble burst s. keeping several paces ahead of the clock-faced creat ure until there is a break in the action. who has eased down again. A closer view reveals NESS and JEFF visibly shaken. exchanging troubled glances. tossed through the empty airspace above like d ead weight. Now I'm certain this is where we're meant to go. Globs of softened pink churn around his body and help to cushion his fall. eliciting a sudden reaction from the wall. it doesn't look that high.

Gobs of the STRANGER's liquefied remains a re running off him like water. standing beside JEFF with the missing item in hand. Colors and lights have melded together. which continues to drip down the stone pencil wall.. NESS Maybe that's the hallucination. NESS Do you think any of this is really happening? JEFF (pinches himself) Well. although I would like to say. He tap s JEFF on the shoulder. But thank you. I'm blind as a bottom-feeder without my glasses. NESS Anyone ever tell you that you've got a really weird way with words? JEFF (taking the glasses) No. JEFF (sighing) I just don't believe it. No recognizable parts remain. Rolling his eyes and wiping off more fleshy globs from himself and his baseball bat. There is a general lack of distin ction. struggling) I'm here. again. but the both of us appear coherent and sane.. though the hazy form of NESS can be seen writhing not too far away. good Lord. Perspective switches to JEFF and shows the world from his view. I'd say this could be a drug-induced hallucination. NESS (CONT. It is litt le more than a liquid splattering of color. (hesitation) Somehow makes sense to us? JEFF does not respond. NESS enters the shot. but I think I'm stuck.) . but we're really just babbling a bunch of nonsense that-. that I knew I should've stayed in Winters.(squinting) Oh. Everything is bl urred. NESS and JEFF exchange awkward glances. Both boys glance up at the body of the STRANGER. NESS waits for JEFF to gather his bearings. I'm not sleeping. (pause. searching) Ness? Hello? Please tell me you're all right. We think that we're acting normal. camera focused on JEFF as he blinks hard and rubs his eyes. The shot clears when perspective returns to third-person. I can't see a thing. NESS (coughing.

Go away. The underlying structure is the same. We've got to find her.(uncomfortable) My head hurts now. NESS is quick to move off-screen. JEFF Indeed. We're just looking for a way out of here. and all color drains from his face. you have to. I'm not who you think I am. no. the scene is enveloped by a rainbow glow over t he entrance of the MONOTOLI BUILDING. backing away) Wait. Our friend is gone. his fa ce stern. UNKNOWN MAN (frightened. NESS Please. and we don't even know where we are. The UNKNOWN MAN. but lacks a courtyard. I'm sorry. She could be in real trouble. JEFF . I beg you. I can't. Instead. but his words are hushed. When focus returns to them. stop! Don't come any closer! NESS Hold on. I'm sure. JEFF (adjusting his glasses) The same what? Cutting away from NESS and JEFF. The camera shifts to a view further back and t oward the front of the neon-rimmed MONOTOLI BUILDING as he and JEFF make their w ay around the structure. JEFF (stumbling into NESS from behind) Hey there! What've you stopped for? NESS Look. Can you help us? UNKNOWN MAN (shaking his head) No. We just need a way out of here. UNKNOWN MAN (shaking) I can't help you! Just stop. out front. He takes note of NESS a nd JEFF as they enter the scene. It's the same one. is speaking to the statue. Every inch of it has been polished to reflec t the lights of MOONSIDE tenfold. whoever you are. NESS Look mister. NESS stops abruptly. Shall we move on then? I'm starting to feel a bit nauseous again. there stands an UNKNOWN MAN with a large golden statue--the MANI-MANI deity. an elderly fellow dressed in a soft blue suit and gray bowler h at.

but weak ly. NESS stands. JEFF Good Lord. He hasn't changed shape or altered himself in any way. All of his attention is directed at the statue. its surface is pulsating with every color i n the spectrum. When focus returns to the MANI-MANI. locked in a tangle with the power of the MANI-MANI.(speaking to NESS) He seems human. JEFF watches from a distance. There is a short pause in action as NESS screams somewhere off-screen. View switches back to the MANI-MANI. now how did Paula say it? I have to concentrate really hard. JEFF throws down his bag. which has begun to emit sparks. how in the name of Science did heNESS (interjecting. Volleys of charged beams dart out an d collide with the lightning. More electricity is building up around it. cracking thunderously. rifling through it for the few bottle rockets he has left. bringing him to his knees and forcing him to drop his bat. The MANI-MANI discharges another bolt of lightning as NESS. convulsing. and extends his left arm a s thick tendrils of blue rise from the end. It is gathe ring an electric charge while it holds NESS to the ground. NESS shouts. He shuts his eyes to concentrate and waves of blue begin to emanate from him. JEFF (dazed) This can't be real. fiercely angry) All right. but his body freezes when the MANI-MANI casts a ha rsh orange glow. NESS (speaking to JEFF) But how did he get here? UNKNOWN MAN (shouting) Please! Just turn back now! The UNKNOWN MAN makes a hasty retreat to the front doors of the MONOTOLI BUILDIN G. and instantly the camera cuts away again. body glowing. one quivering hand on the strap of his shoulder-ba g. bathed in whit e light. shield . With blinding speed i t looses the beam. shaking. Then I can control it. NES S and JEFF are left stunned. The resulting explosion thr ows JEFF into the air. sending it streaming toward JEFF. Panicked. rushing toward the building) Hey. and slowly his body melds with the darkness until he disappears. He i s tense. He looks up. NESS (shaking. wait! Wait! Come back! NESS races up the front walk. breaking the field of energy around him. A close-up reveals beads of sweat rolling down his forehead .

abrup tly placing one hand over the badge on his chest. this time making contact with its targ et. picking up another from the floor. He grabs one of the chunks of gold o n the floor. NESS i s the first to recover from the shock. JEFF. . NESS (frightened) Shoot! I lost it! JEFF rises to his hands and knees several meters away. The loose charge flies in all directions. NESS and JEFF lie among them. storage cases. awakens with a groan not too far from NESS and reaches for his shoulder-bag. NESS Like I just woke up. who fumbles and catches it awkwardly. splitting its solid gold surface. JEFF (exhausted) Good Lord. but I'm still tired. yes. He looks it over. adjusting glasses) Something like that. he cannot be heard over the ambient noise. Boxes. NESS (shaken. His eyes are closed and all of the metaphysical power e manating from him appears to have focused itself around his chest. Cracks form as a light burs ts from inside. The attack fr om the MANI-MANI splits and snaps around him. Both boys have minor burns on their clothes and across exposed portions of flesh . He opens his eyes and sits upright. (pause) What's that you have there? NESS tosses the piece of gold to JEFF. The statue shatters and the entire screen is smothered in white. They have also suffered a few shallow wounds.s himself with his arms. His glasses hang partway down his face. Though he shouts to NESS. chunks of gold scattered everywhere. his clothes singed. Another shot is fired from the MANI-MANI. deflected by an unseen shield. breathless) You saved me! I almost forgotNESS pauses in mid-sentence to look around. NESS is flung backward as every last strand of electricity is drawn into the Franklin Badge and deflected. revealing a dark room with one small light b eside a steel door. The expression on his face suggests that he has not yet allowed reality to sink in. He pu ts on his glasses and abruptly his expression turns to horror. testing its weight. but the sound has jarred NESS. and filing cabinets are the only avail able decor. It stri kes the MANI-MANI. meanwhile. I feel as though I've been beaten and dragged through the streets. but nothing too damaging. He opens his eyes and the glow around him disappears . JEFF (sitting up. FADE TO: INT : FOURSIDE : MONOTOLI BUILDING : BASEMENT : NIGHT : The brightness and noise dissipate.

but I've seen this thing before. taking the hint. His body is quivering slig htly. removing his handcrafted lock-picking device from the bag with a smile. He steps back and JE FF approaches. JEFF (CONT. He searches the room. Do you suppose that it could have(hesitation) May all of fact-based and empirical Science forgive me for this. He does not resp ond. NESS tries the door handle and sighs when it does not move. JEFF (CONT. But I wanted to thank youNESS (interjecting. JEFF. and then adjusts the straps of his backp ack as he kicks aside all of the gold scattered about his feet. correct? NESS stands. The statue. Let's just get out of here. do you think it could have created an illusion that was so unfathomably real that we might have lost our minds. or appears to have broken apart. moving toward the door) It's cool. . What exactly happened with this poor fellow? NESS does not respond.) It exploded. JEFF I'm guessing that's going to be locked. and then stands as he drapes it over himself. closes th e flap. but do you suppose the statue could have warped reality somehow? That is. It was made out this material. there is no response from NESS. The man who had it before said it had some kind of power. JEFF Well that's quite obvious.JEFF That statue. sifts through the contents of his shoulder-bag. possibly died. It certainly isn't here anymore. It makes people do terrible things. NESS Feeling okay? JEFF A bit bothered is all. nearly losing his balance. sliding between two storage crates to retrieve his baseball bat.) Do you suppose this is part of the illusion? NESS (uncomfortable) I don't know. had we stayed too long? Again. I mean.

. The ov erly tall heels on her shoes fill the corridor with sharp echoes once she steps off the carpet. ELECTRA approaches the service elevator on the opposite side of the hall. who appear nervous. creating the illusion that they are alone. ma'am. JEFF exits with NESS following close behind. She is dressed like a French maid. Maybe you should look somewhere else. Looking both confident and proud. ELECTRA Well hello there! Are you two lost? NESS (blushing) No. Sorry. eh? JEFF toys with the lock and it clicks. She smile s at NESS and JEFF. It reads. love. ELECTRA Haven't seen a little girl around here. I just came to visit. We lived next to each other for a long time. CUT TO: INT : FOURSIDE : MONOTOLI BUILDING : 47th FLOOR : NIGHT : The soft chime of an elevator is heard in a darkened hallway and a pair of doors slide open. smiling) And beautiful blue eyes. We're just looking for someone. JEFF (nudging NESS. ELECTRA Who is it you're looking for then? NESS A girl. ELECTRA What's that now? You know Master Porky? NESS Yeah. the door opening out into the next room. NESS Well. we're neighbors. There is an expression of genuine surprise on her face. Focus is placed on them as they step out.JEFF Lucky I brought this along. Or we were. but the startling sound of a voice of f-screen paints a look of panic on both their faces. Striding up the center of the hallway with a full tray in hand is a woman with t ight blonde curls and an artistic excess of makeup. A nametag rests on the left side of her chest. She's got blonde hair and a pink dress. what about a guy named Porky Minch? Do you know who he is? ELECTRA presses the call button for the service elevator. attempting to balance her tray as she turns toward NESS. revealing NESS and JEFF. ELECTRA.

Bringin' him one of his favorite snacks. I'm sure. and only a few doors line either side of the co rridor. He turns away immediately an d begins to dry-heave in the corner. NESS No thank you. (holding out the tray) Here. Did you just get here? You're awful dirty--look like you been put through the wringer. that young man is. Mounted faux candles provide light in what would otherwise be a dark hall. You must be excited to see your friend. grayish slop. Monotoli win the election and now he's top political advisor. JEFF peers into the bowls and his expression drops. He'll be happy to see you. I know. ELECTRA (CONT. ELECTRA I understand. NESS Just been one of those days. NESS. He's a genius. The doors open and ELECTRA steps inside. who appears disgusted. then gestures with her free hand at NESS. Suit yourself.) Well come on then! I'll take you to him. well. NESS and JEFF look at each other as they enter and the elevator doors close behi nd them. how lovely! I was just on my way to see him. Always nice to have a visit from an old friend. have you some of this. each filled with chunky. Master Porky helped Mr. It's one of Master Porky's favorites--trout yogurt. leading NESS and JEFF along. NESS and JEFF stand close tog ether. ELECTRA steps out. There are no windows. ELECTRA stops at the first one on the right and knocks. NESS (uncomfortable) Yeah. . CUT TO: INT : FOURSIDE : MONOTOLI BUILDING : SERVICE ELEVATOR : NIGHT : There is little room to spare inside the elevator. ELECTRA Well all right then. The service elevator chimes and the doors open. We're not hungry. She waits a moment. shakes his hea d. I can always make some more. putting distance between themselves and the items on ELECTRA's tray. ELECTRA (CONT.ELECTRA (joyful) Oh.) It's rather late at night to be having visitors. Ther e are several bowls resting upon it. Go on then.

grinning but noticea bly unnerved. She and PORKY converse. He stands behind ELECTRA. JEFF . His devilish laughter echoes in the corridor behind him. tray clattering on the floor. and PORKY makes his escape through the far door. He appears ple ased and more than a little smug. This isn't a game anymore. Both are silent. leaving the door ajar. JEFF enters the scene and kneels beside NESS and ELECTRA. fine! Come in! ELECTRA enters.ELECTRA Trout yogurt for you. bowls smashing. The room is small but luxuriously decorated with plush furniture and rugs. They collide. but their words a re indistinguishable. PORKY Your stupid little girlfriend? Who cares? She's long gone by now. who are both covered i n yogurt. loser! Just go home. Porky. feet propped on an ottoman. PORKY (getting out of the chair) What happened to my statue! NESS What happened to Paula! PORKY makes his way toward the door in the far left corner. PORKY (stunned. Your mommy's probably missing you. but his mood drops the instant he notices NESS . NESS tightens his grip on the bat and enters as well. PORKY sits kinglike in an oversized chair. Focus is kept on NESS and JEFF. but it is obvious that neither feels confident in the present situation. furious) No--NO!! It isn't possible! NESS (stern) It's over. NESS And what's that supposed to mean! PORKY (edging closer to the door) Give it up. (speaking in a high-pitched voice) Boo-hoo! Where has Ness gone! NESS charges but is stopped when PORKY shoves ELECTRA toward him. sir! PORKY (off-screen) Yeah.

All three meet in a tight. Jeff! Oh thank goodness. where everythin g from the ground-up is bathed in opulence. heartfelt embrace. The floor is marbled with a white an d yellow gold pattern that complements the brightly-upholstered furniture. PAULA (CONT. PAULA throws her arms around both boys. joyful) Ness. and si tting upon one is PAULA. ELECTRA (shouting) How's that for chivalry? You rude little things! CUT TO: INT : FOURSIDE : MONOTOLI BUILDING : MAYOR'S OFFICE : NIGHT : View switches to the spacious room at the other end of the hall. From there.) I thought they'd done something awful to you. MONOTOLI rises from the couch and retreats to a desk in the far west corner beside another open door. NESS (stunned. JEFF . somewhat fearful. a gesture that NESS returns and JEFF is visibly surprised by. he watches the children silen tly. She holds hands with the UNKNOWN MAN beside her. but we have to go! Sliding all the way to the door. This is GELDEGARDE MONOTOLI: the newly-elected mayor of Fourside. he does not carry himself like a politician. then. and then her attention is drawn to the open door acros s the room where NESS and JEFF stumble on-scene. ELECTRA (stunned. and a ppears out of place among the surrounding richness. NESS and JEFF abandon the scene and the very di sgruntled maid. At th e center of the room is a cluster of sofas gathered around a Persian rug.Are you all right? NESS No! Damn him! JEFF (helping NESS up) Come on. PAULA smiles at MONOTOLI. looking herself over) My new outfit! I'll never get this smell out! NESS Sorry Miss. breathless) Paula! PAULA (rushing forward. She rises to greet them. We have to follow him. Despite his h igh position in society and the sharp business suit he wears. He is rather aged and feeble. Across the room.

wait! I'm not who you think I am. And no. NESS (pulling back. The man moves behind his desk in an attempt to escape NESS. MONOTOLI (crying. JEFF (interjecting. able and strong when it was around. I'm nothing but a shell of a man. vengeful) Then why are you? We saw you earlier with that statue.(blushing. PAULA He just ran out through that door before you came in. I don't deserve to be the mayor of this city! NESS (angry. who appears ready to crumble. frantic) We'll have to explain later. Mister Monotoli has been taking care of me the whole time. sarcastic) Like any other politician. pulling back) That's one way of putting it. And then . MONOTOLI (desperate. Did you see where Porky went? He didn't hurt you. Now look at me. (sliding into the desk chair. NESS Monotoli? JEFF (pointing) That fellow over there? NESS (noticing MONOTOLI) Hey! He's the guy with the statue! PAULA The what? NESS approaches MONOTOLI. I felt confident. though at the outset I intended to run a fair campaign. it gave me such power. did he? PAULA points toward the far end of the room where MONOTOLI stands. wiping his eyes) I knew I didn't have any hope of winning. no! I never intended anyone to get hurt! But the Mani-Mani. head down) I was destined to lose the mayoral race. he hasn't done anything. before you ran off and left it to kill us! MONOTOLI Please. I'm sure. pleading) Stop.

I wanted to be close to it all the time. but their voices are drowned by the rising noise in the hall. It was the only way I could feel better about myself. pointing) Down the hall. Sitting at its cent er is a helicopter decked out in blinding yellow paint and branded with an obscu re logo on both its flanks. so I hid it in the storage rooms downstairs. I mean. and he convinced Porky and those other men to leave me alone. as does M ONOTOLI. money. taking control of this city. PAULA He's really not a bad man. so he keeps one arm on it. He may be in one of them. MONOTOLI (CONT. we all make mistakes. There are a few other offices. The statue gave me power the likes of which I have never seen before. I thought moving the statue elsewhere would help. Maybe he shouldn't be the mayor. . NESS (abrupt shift in emotion) Porky! I almost forgot--we've got to find him! MONOTOLI (wiping his eyes. Objects on the desk begin to tremble. NESS stands in front of the desk as PAULA and JEFF enter the current shot. his clothes billowing out around him. The only place left is the roof. PAULA a nd JEFF aid him. CUT TO: EXT : FOURSIDE : MONOTOLI BUILDING : ROOFTOP HELIPAD : NIGHT : The roof is bathed in light from the surrounding structures. who is struggling just to get around his desk. stumbling) I've got to stop him! NESS races past MONOTOLI. MONOTOLI (CONT.) The roof--the landing grid! (rising from his chair.) It was all I wanted--power. a tremulous thunder sounds from above. He's been kind to me. calling after NESS. High winds threaten to rip his hat away. MONOT OLI reels in his seat before them. PAULA places a hand on NESS and the camera shifts focus to them. Can't have gone far. head in his hands as he attempts to tame a fe verish fit of sobbing. They brought with them a golden idol and promised I would succeed--and I did! What a feeling. but it became too much. But the dreams never stopped. There is a look of panic and recognition on his face. It rattles the w indows and artwork on the walls. The rotors on its head and tail spring to life as NE SS emerges from a door several meters off the landing grid.this brilliant young man and his father showed up. Before NESS can respond. but he hasn't hurt anyone.

Porky was always kind of rude.) Don't bother trying to understand me. it swings its nose toward NESS. Focus shifts to him when he reaches the e is red and stained with tears. who acknowledges thei r presence but does not look to either of them. It's not my problem anymore. well. Looks like you're just a few steps too slow. PAULA and JEFF enter the scene. NESS (somber) Why do people do it? There is no response. apture NESS racing across dge of the roof. but it'll be fun watching you try. Ness.Focus is placed on NESS as he approaches and. As the helicopter rises. People were just people and sometimes they did bad things. for a moment.) I guess this is goodbye. The helicopter rises higher to clear a space between its blades and the rooftop spire. what I've been doing. but there is a much greater power waiting for me--bigger even than the Earth itself! Let that old fool crumble under the weight of all the angry people in this city. He shields his eyes. A sharp turn and onset of ve the MONOTOLI BUILDING. . PORKY (CONT. PORKY continues to speak. You couldn't possibly imagine where I'm going. This world will be mine. thus concentrating a sp ot directly on him. Both place a hand on NESS. My beautiful statue is gone now. NESS (CONT. PORKY (voice heard over external loudspeaker) Well. loser! I'd expect nothing less from a pin-headed idiot like you. why waste your time? You couldn't keep up with me anyhow. voice growing more distant) Come and find me if you can! (laughing) On second thought. your family. and the helicopter is clear of the airspace abo It takes off over the city as the camera pans out to c the helipad. sometimes they're okay.) I never used to think that good and evil were real. but I really thought we were friends. and all your stupid friends will rot in the pits of Hell! (pause. his face speed. and then you. the camera shifts vi ew behind him so that his body is silhouetted by the glaring lights coming off t he vehicle. NESS shouts. PORKY (CONT. but his words are devoured by the roar of the wind and rotors. and what I'm destined for. I've allied myself with a force that knows no bounds.

PAULA and JEFF reciprocate his laugh ter. Let's get off this roof. though! Why'd he pretend for so long just to throw it all back in my face? PAULA and JEFF appear reluctant to respond. ---------------------------------------CONTINUED IN PART TWO Please check artist's comments EARTHBOUND. He just has some things to sort out now that Porky's gone and he realizes what's been done.) (patting NESS on the back) Come on. NESS (angry) I want to know why. This elicits a humorous response from NESS. and PAULA slips her hand into his to gather his attention.PAULA It's all right. I sense the effects of vertigo will hit me soon. smiling) There's always the Topolla. But I think he'll be okay. JEFF No sense in crying over spilled tea. JEFF (CONT. PAULA We'll always be here. but I'm in the mood for a bit of good jazz. then. NESS (CONT. Ness. but you've done so muchNESS looks down. JEFF Don't think too much on it. eh? Especially if that tea was sour and in need of a good bath. ACT EIGHT (PART TWO) Continued from Part One CUT TO: . NESS What about that Monotoli guy? PAULA He's all right. I don't know about you. I barely even know you guys. NESS So where do we go now? JEFF (adjusting his glasses. It's not worth it.) We lived next to each other my whole life.

I was busy explaining to my associate the superiority of my orange-based recipes. approaches. . APPLE KID Well hey there. the lights are more brilliant and the crowds twice as thick as they were during the day. The instant they set foot on the corner. but this is our storefront. I just said that. glances up at the shop sitting sever al paces back from the corner. that is. not yours. He is dressed in an orange costume and also passe s out fliers. Try them. Madam. and shining blonde highli ghts approaches the group from the adjacent shop. There's more to life than just apple. PAULA. APPLE KID (speaking to ORANGE KID) Hey. All the citrus ones. who is looking over the advertisement. including miniature pies and cakes. but his expression is a joyful one nonetheless. you know. ORANGE KID (speaking to APPLE KID) But you didn't tell them about the other flavors.EXT : FOURSIDE : CITY STREETS : NIGHT : Outside. I prefer orange(speaking to NESS and the others) And by the way. and JEFF worm their way between people as they cross the street. at ground level. They're far better than anything else on the list. they are approached by a short boy with round rosy cheeks. The crowd drifts like a current around the children standing on the sidewalk. NESS. you all look mighty thirsty. PA ULA. How 'bout a quick stop at the Apples-To-Oranges Smoothie Shop? Our Apple Blossom smoothies and parfaits are simply the best. My customers tell me they're magical! ORANGE KID (speaking to CAKE LADY) Pardon me. putting the MONOTOLI BUILDING behind them. The mouse on his shoulder nibbles on a slice of cheese as its owner eagerly pus hes some of the papers in his hand onto NESS and his friends. He is dressed in an apple costume that appears too large and cumbersome for his portly body. CAKE LADY Why not head over to Summers' Sweets and take home a dozen of these cute little treats? We make 'em any flavor. In her hand is a tray filled w ith sugary homemade confections. Another young man. any size. I wrote all those recipes myself. hot magenta heels. We've got plenty of citrus smoothies and exotic drinks to excite your tongue. pushes his glasses up the bridge of his nose. this one much taller and thinn er than the first. A woman decked out in a pink dress. ORANGE KID Come get your fix at Apples-To-Oranges. with a special blend of ingredients and the tiniest bit of rum in the batter.

PAULA It's packed. The stoic exp ression on his face shifts to one of annoyance when he notices JEFF--followed by NESS and PAULA--cutting to the head of the pack. JEFF (starting up the front steps) One way to find out. NESS rises onto the tips of his toes in an attempt to find the door. .APPLE KID (indignant) My apple smoothies are pretty good. CUT TO: EXT : FOURSIDE : TOPOLLA THEATER : NIGHT : Crowds choke the front steps of the theater. CUT TO: EXT : FOURSIDE : TOPOLLA THEATER : ENTRANCE : NIGHT : A burly man dressed in skin-tight clothes stands at the entrance. CAKE LADY I'm sure the young customers would like a bit of cake or perhaps a doughnut instead. don't you? Won't they let you in? NESS As if anyone would believe us. How do you suppose we're going to get in? I don't see Mr. leaving the argument to escalate behind them. PAULA. A brief view of this is seen before the camera pans over to NESS. toss away their fliers and walk on. and then it cuts in close to them as they ponde r the situation. who look at each other. ORANGE KID I was simply helping them get their money's worth. Gorgeous or the other guys anywhere. APPLE KID Maybe we should let them decide what they want. making the sidewalk near impassable . APPLE KID Now hold on a secondFocus switches to NESS. and J EFF. his body keepi ng one of the doors propped open as herds of people filter inside. PAULA and JEFF. JEFF You both know them fairly well. too! ORANGE KID (waving his hand) Please! Your technique is far too sloppy. who approach from the east.

I'll take it from here. (speaking to NESS and the others) Hey where you kids been? We were waitin' all night. A HIPPIE three empty seats down from NESS looks over at the children. We're just about to start our duet with the Lady Venus herself. More than three dozen rows of seats border the stage with an excess in the balco nies above. Come on. JEFF (smug) Thank you. surrounded by other patrons a nd the din of idle chatter. Th ere. and JEFF slide into their seats. the camera angle starts out wide so that the shot may encompass as much of the theater as possible. They're friends of ours. The camera draws in close to FRONT AND CENTER a few rows back from the stage. GORGEOUS (patting the SECURITY OFFICER) Easy there. JEFF (approaching) I'm sorry. kid. each upholstered with plush red velvet that is timeworn but well-kep t. JEFF exits with the SECURITY OFFICER looking on. PAULA. You lose this? . CUT TO: INT : FOURSIDE : TOPOLLA THEATER : FRONT AND CENTER : NIGHT : For this scene. All of this is complemented by the gold-leaf print on the ceiling and embedded columns that line both walls. NESS.SECURITY OFFICER No line-jumping! Please move all the way to the end and wait your turn. nearly the same color as t he patchy pants he wears. HIPPIE (somewhat dazed) Hey. His hair i s one tangled mass sitting atop his head--bright red. pulls a toothbrush from one pocket. GORGEOUS motions for NESS and the others to f ollow and leads them to a separate entrance. Benny. flustered. The room exudes a high-class richness of decades past that has withstood much use and lived to tell about it. SECURITY OFFICER Do you have your backstage passes? JEFF hesitates. PAULA takes a spot between the two boys with NESS on her left. flanke d by violet curtains. Ignoring the shouts of excitement. but we're here to speak with the band. and pokes NESS with the handle. my good man. distracted by a sudden roar from the crowd as GORGEOUS enters th e scene from the right. JEFF gives the SECURITY OFFICER one last look. He picks through his sleeveless denim jacket for a mom ent. adjusting his glasses. The stage itself is darkened in preparation for the final performance.

HIPPIE Oh. She is tall. GORGEOUS (speaking into the mic) This last number goes out to a few very special guests. ex changing smiles. GORGEOUS and LUCKY step forward on either side of VENUS with their own microphones in hand. PAULA That's us. boys. with cur led golden-blonde hair and a black sequin dress that reflects the stage lights l ike a blanket of stars. a double performance by The Runaway Five and the one-of-a-kind superstar herself. This is VENUS: a well-known performer.NESS (uncomfortable) No. The audience hushes. Her voice is unparalleled. well. BOBBY-BLUE on bass. as our final show of the night. ANNOUNCER Ladies and gentlemen. and BIG G at the drums. PAULA. The HIPPIE shrugs and begins to run the dry bristles over his teeth. All lights in the theater dim. Another set of lights come up at the back of the stage. NESS stares at him until a voice over the speaker system attracts his attention. ignoring the whistles and c omments from the audience. seductive and sultry. You keep it. Miss Paula Polestar of Twoson and her friends. VENUS takes the microphone off the stand before her. revealing the RUNAWAY FI VE and their respective instruments: SLIM on sax. thin but shapely. propping on e leg up on the seat before him. Fourside's Topolla Theater is proud to present. and JEFF shift in their se ats to get a better view of the stage as the spotlights come on and a woman walk s on stage. that's us! NESS They said our names! JEFF . VENUS (speaking into the mic) It's show time. A quick shot of the children reveals them fidgeting excitedly in their seats. It's not mine. Lady Venus! Cheers erupt from the balcony and floor. Ness and Jeff. you want it? NESS (shaking his head) That's okay. NESS.

desk and sitting area complete with round table. shouting) Whoa. the curtains. Soft linen sheets lay folded over and underneath his head. Their voices slowly meld with the music around them. My arm must've slipped. baby! This is totally cool! (looking over at NESS) I'm on Cloud Nine. raising his eyebrows at NESS. They break into wide smiles. The bed closest to the camera is where NESS lies. eh? NESS (attention on the stage. NESS and PAULA watch him with curious expressions. PAULA nudges NESS with her elbow. PAULA. and gathered on the table are NESS's backpack and bat. fill the theater. All of the colors in the rug. man! I'm flyin'! Whoo! NESS does not respond. The silky sounds of VENUS. and the camera cuts to wider view of the room. and then t he scene begins to whiten. and in the blankets exude visual warmth that adds to a ge nuinely welcoming atmosphere. laughing and leaning back in their seats. The suite is spacious despite how heavily furnished it is. J . He rolls over. staring.(distracted) What is that man doing down there? JEFF points to the HIPPIE further down the row. Two queen-sized beds sit against the left wall opposite an entertainment center. but does not make eye-contact. and JEFF's overstuffed shoulder-bag. and JEFF. JEFF leans forward. HIPPIE (dazed. you're not kidding. and then looks back at JEFF and PAULA. He spins his to othbrush around. sorry. and soon none of them are able to keep a straight face. He watches for a moment. NESS (indignant) Ouch! Hey. JEFF (speaking to NESS) So that Lady Venus is quite a looker. coupled with the upbeat jazz and lead male voices of the RUNAWAY FIVE. staring) Yeah. FADE TO: INT : FOURSIDE : FOURSIDE LUXURY SUITES : PRIVATE ROOM : MORNING : The white light envelopes the screen before fading to reveal a close-up of NESS. smiling. His eyes are closed. and all three children sit forward in their seats. with PAULA just inches away. who begins to reel and laugh in his seat as the music starts. what's your problem? PAULA (feigning innocence) What? Oh. the boisterous laughter from the HIPPIE can also be heard. With the camera focused on NESS.

He smiles once he is able to see the others. Was a late night. I figured. PAULA We were pretty tired. I can see you're awake now. You guys fell asleep near the end of the show. GORGEOUS pulls out a chair across from JEFF and sits. The second your heads hit the pillow--out like a light. I'm sorry! PAULA (stunned. We could only get the two beds. embarrassed) Were you just(stammering) Did we justJEFF interjects with laughter. GORGEOUS Yeah. NESS (screaming) What the hell! What the hell!? Geez. You all slept good? Oh! I hope you don't mind the room. NESS avoids eye-contact with both GORGEOUS and PAULA. Although PAULA is the first thing he can see upon opening h is eyes--an expression of friendly recognition crossing his face--it takes a few seconds for him to process the situation. We're fine. Focus shifts to him as he awakens. it's fine. NESS and PAULA exchange bothered glances. squinting and s earching for his glasses on the nightstand. His face has gone deep red . NESS (uncomfortable) I don't remember going to bed at all. what's all the excitement? Here I thought you'd be sleepin' all day. (laughing) Almost had to carry you kids up here myself. NESS shouts and draws away from PAULA. PAULA (blushing) Yeah. Her reaction upon waking is muc h the same. it wouldn't be a problem for you two to share. watching them in silence. .EFF is on the other mattress. We woke you up and brought you all back here. GORGEOUS enters the scene. but it was like night of the living dead. GORGEOUS Well. and I thought since you and Ness here are cousins. NESS begins to stir. GORGEOUS Hey now. Panicked.

I'm afraid the boys and I can't take ya. A man from Threed's Auto Repair Shop called us this morning about the bus. I bought you three your own bus tickets--all-day pass. a nd then fishes out a folded piece of paper for JEFF. he says...) There's the address. I've got a bit of news for you. GORGEOUS (shrugging) It's no problem. uh-. to make a long story short. she's not gonna be out for a while. but they don't think they can do much for it. Mr. uh-. GORGEOUS (CONT. but he did have some interesting things to say about your. gesturing to JEFF) Your. you knowJEFF (interjecting.NESS No problem at all.. They've been workin' at it. distributes them. They've assessed the damage and. He says he'd rather have you come down and discuss it with him. Leave whenever ya like. sir. (slouching. (hesitation. JEFF Yes. So. Thank you very much. JEFF (stunned) Thank you. But this is a bit sudden.. PAULA . GORGEOUS Good! And on that note. sighing) It's as I expected. GORGEOUS pulls the bus tickets from the pocket on his shirt. NESS (surprised) Really? PAULA (pleased) Oh thank you. thank you. We've got rehearsal today and more shows booked tonight. I've arranged a ride for you kids back to Threed. Gorgeous! But you really shouldn't have. but they're willing to try. The guy says they can't make any guarantees since it ain't your ordinary run-of-the-mill vehicle. hopeful) The Sky Runner? GORGEOUS Right! That thing. if you're all willing to cut your trip a bit short.

Mr. if it's not too much to ask. and speaking for all the rest of the guys. thank you so much. PAULA rests in a prayer position. Seconds pass and sparks begin to dance on her fingertips. smiling) Eh. which flies across the room. GORGEOUS (shocked. Startled. They can wait a bit longer. The frightful expression PAULA wears soon melts away. but we can show our gratitude for your company and support. anyway? GORGEOUS Already at the Topolla. though I shoulda been down there hours ago. All focus is on her. All right. On my behalf. Panning out. and c loses her eyes for concentration. You've convinced me. And drop us a line sometime! We'll be thinkin' about you. (shrugging. the camera passes through the window adjacent to GORGEOUS and rises . Drawing both hands inward. laughing) Whoo! All right there! Now I can say I've seen everything. would you mind just a little demonstration? PAULA is blank and silent for a moment. (leaning forward. I'm now a firm believer in the fact that Twoson has produced a better show than I have. PAULA uninte ntionally releases the charge. PAULA gapes at her handiwork. speaking to PAULA) But before I head out. just tell your Uncle Ian hello for me when you get back home. PAULA Where is everyone else.Yes. N ESS and JEFF sit stunned. I stuck around to give you kids the tickets. There's no way to make up for what's happened. We'll always be thankful. and NESS and JEFF join in the rising laughter. NESS (staring at his ticket) You sure this is all right? GORGEOUS Don't be modest now. GORGEOUS Hey. past GORGEOUS and in to the wall where it leaves a jagged black burn. You all have been so kind to us. what the hell. PAULA Of course! Thank you. sure. NESS appears particularly curious. we owe it to ya. PAULA Oh! Oh. Gorgeous. and then her eyes light up in recognitio n. Let me see here. legs crossed.

CUT TO: EXT : THREED : AUTO REPAIR SHOP : AFTERNOON : Colors and text fly across the screen as the bus passes and comes to a stop afte r the scene transition. Nearly every portion of it is marred. Voices and the sounds of machines are comin g from inside. I t is moving west. It isn't what I was expecting. We'll know in a few moments. Its body is in-t act. NESS. Spots of oil dot the floo r. A view of the sun dominates the screen just b efore transition. on a raised platform. scattered beneath the working men. NESS and PAULA fol low shortly after. and JEF F standing together on the sidewalk. the formerly crushed landing gear replaced with a new set. CUT TO: INT : THREED : AUTO REPAIR SHOP : GARAGE : AFTERNOON : The ambient mechanical noise grows louder once inside. Focus is kept on the Sky Runner as JEFF and the others enter the scene. JEFF This is the place. PAULA. Against one wall. leaving NESS. camera zooming on it. dented and burned. JEFF opens the flap of his shoulder-bag and removes a slip of paper. JEFF walks off to the garage. I suppose. reading it. PAULA. rests the Sky Runner. and JEFF become visible through a window near the front. but we might as well go inside. The bus is followed until it reaches the opposite end of the bridge where an eve n more pronounced close-up sucks the camera straight into the side of the vehicl e. and vehicles on hydraulic lifts . A white and blue-striped bus is seen passing over the FOURSIDE cable bridge. The expr ession JEFF wears is one of both surprise and unexpected joy. detr acting from its streamlined appearance. Crushing the paper in his fist. FADE TO: EXT : FOURSIDE : CITY LIMITS : LATE MORNING : Light from the sun melds into a rippled reflection on water as the scene changes . It rests briefly in front of the THREED AUTO REPAIR SHOP --a renovated all-brick house that looks at least fifty years older than the gar age built onto its right side--and then drives off. just look at the state of it! I never . and as it rolls through the scene. NESS No. but it remains a n incomplete work.into the airspace above the city. JEFF Good Lord. according to the address written here. and I can't be too sure. How do you think your spaceship thing turned out? JEFF It's an aircraft. the tools.

Ain't got all the dents out yet. slate-gray coveralls and carries a spotty rag that he wipes his fa ce with before speaking. if you're lookin' to fix the guts of the thing. uh(pause. we could prob'ly get the rest of them dings out. Well if you wanna leave it here. and then hops down off the platform. Thank you. If I could just have it moved outside. would you? JEFF Yes. JEFF is silent for a moment.expected they would have accomplished so much in such a short time. but she's got new landing gear. MECHANIC (frowning) Hey you up there. JEFF No. that's me. He is dresse d in stained. but instead climbs onto the platform so that he may open the engine compartment. You think it'll work? JEFF does not respond. . JEFF Yes I've noticed! That's brilliant! MECHANIC Right. checking the palm of his hand) Jeff Andonuts. NESS It looks okay. I took a look at the engine myself and I can tell ya we ain't got the parts we need here. You wouldn't happen to be. Never seen anything so strange. I'd expect not. that thing. As JEFF explores the engine compartment. but I could prob'ly dig some names up for ya in a day or two. JEFF (scrutinizing the engine) Internal damage appears to be minimal. MECHANIC Yeah. I don't know of anybody in Threed who could help you out. a MECHANIC walks on-scene. I received a call about my vehicle. Thank Science for Father's brilliant design work. We been workin' on it from the time we got it here up 'til 'bout an hour ago. MECHANIC What you need is one of them AMT's. This takes a bit of work. JEFF I think she's fine as is. as the door still bears the un even indentations it suffered in the crash. but all we really done is some external body work.

But there's only one man who can fix it. JEFF looks at NESS with a curious expression. The MECHANIC exits. I'll take payment over here. JEFF All taken care of. Sorry for the wait. who are watching these proceedings in silence. JEFF No. NESS and PAULA look to one another. it doesn't. and then smiles. no. Don't tell me you're bothered now. JEFF You weren't all that keen on having me along at the outset. I'd forgotten that my currency isn't accepted here. JEFF walks on scene. Wait for me out there. The truck stops. CUT TO: EXT : THREED : AUTO REPAIR SHOP : PARKING LOT : AFTERNOON : A flatbed truck rolls into the open space at the end of the parking lot. and more than dozen men gather to move the Sky Runner from the platform to the ground. and that's my father. I can take care of the rest. well I'll have 'em haul it out.MECHANIC (dumbfounded. a ramp is lowered. are you sure you don't want to leave it here a bit longer? It doesn't look very safe. It's fine. and then watch JEFF walk off-screen. sure. opening his bag) No. so I had to charge it all to my account back home. MECHANIC All right. JEFF (speaking to NESS and PAULA) Be just a moment. PAULA You're going to take it all the way back to Winters? NESS (stunned) You're leaving us? There is a pause in conversation. . But I mean if you don't mind waitin' just a few more daysJEFF (interjecting. Focus s hifts abruptly to NESS and PAULA. skeptical) Right. readjusting the strap of his shoulder-bag. PAULA (concerned) Jeff.

I'll fly it home. no leaks. I couldn't ask you to do that. yes. Once it is gone. PAULA How're you going to get it there anyway? JEFF I'll be flying it. right? Take off in some flying heap of junk and forget about us? JEFF Take off in a flying heap. JEFF Nonsense. of course. NESS and PAULA (shocked. in unison) Flying it? JEFF The engine's in good shape. guilty) That is. JEFF approa ches his vehicle. I admit that it's not even close to peak-condition. JEFF (struggling with the port-side door) . He turns his attention back to the Sky Runner. NESS (offended) And that's your big plan. PAULA We're not afraid. if I can ever get away again.NESS does not respond. landing gear deployed. which has b een moved off the loading ramp and sits. Jeff. PAULA We're coming with you. We're in this together so we might as well stick it out 'til the end. We've come this far. NESS So then what're we supposed to do? JEFF Wait for me here. NESS and PAULA follow closely. The flatbed truck rumbles out of the scene. There's no way I could guarantee your safety. I checked the fuel lines as well. JEFF is unresponsive. Forget about you? (looking to NESS and PAULA) Certainly not. and then fly it back once all the repairs have been made. at the edge of t he lot. That's not good enough. beg my father's forgiveness. NESS No way. Minimal damage. (hesitation. But Winters is as far as I'd take it in such a state.

The smallest flaw in the system could send me to my death. which raises its vo ice from a low roar to a thunderous scream as the Sky Runner begins to tremble. there's no telling what'll happen. Wearing a disgruntled expression. almost blank. You might not ever find us again. so he is forced to sit forward slightly and hold his baseball bat between his legs. and you could always just wait here for me. JEFF (frustrated) That is positively absurd. JEFF (kicking aside the debris) Step out. Jeff! JEFF The amount of time it will take all depends on how quickly Father and I can repair the Sky Runner. I know where you both are from. Then what? JEFF (examining the control panel) Can't be that hard to locate you. You coming along for the ride will not make that process move any faster. Even if you do make it back. but it's far too large a responsibility. CUT TO: . Its frame has been warped in the crash.just far enough to climb inside. please. Her face is passive. JEFF continues his fight with th e Sky Runner until he has slid the door halfway open-. One look at her and the visible anger in JEFF disappears. JEFF lights up the control panel and switches on the engine. JEFF looks at him over his shoulder. PAULA hesitates before going inside as well. NESS We're staying. sighing) All right then.I never accused you of it. Have it your way. NESS plops himself down in one of the passenge r seats. PAULA takes the seat beside NESS. He enters with NESS on his heels. NESS (indignant) And you don't think all we've done up 'til now has been dangerous? A period of silence cuts into the conversation. I can't even guarantee that I'll make the trip on my own. JEFF (hesitant. PAULA But it could take weeks.

and then reaches into his poc ket and pulls out a stick of gum. BUBBLE hops onto MAXWELL from a location off-screen. . but I believe I can manage. as is the change in setting. Would you like some help grading the essays? DR. Very rarely is he neat or clean-p ressed. He is a man who is always into his work. as do his often stained. You've cancelled all of your classes this week without so much as an explanation for your students. head propped up by his hand. The camera pans out to reveal him sitting against one table. DR.INT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY LAB : NIGHT : The abrupt shift from noise to silence is jarring. He is much yo unger than his colleagues and still seeking tenure. The unruly mop of brown hair on his head and the thi ck lenses he wears add to his youthful look. ANDONUTS overwhelms the screen. sloppy clo thes. MAXWELL I'd say not. They app ear to be untouched. Maxwell. ANDONUTS (solemn) Thank you. A man dressed in a long white coat enters the scene. Stacks of paper surround him. ANDONUTS (frustrated) Completely unexpected and irrational! What ever could have possessed the boy do such a thing? It isn't like him! When have you known my son to willingly put aside his education in pursuit of something frivolous? MAXWELL I admit I don't quite believe it myself. All of his classmates have been talking about it. I can scarcely get through a lecture without one or two of them asking. I hope you don't mind. why isn't Jeff here? When is Jeff coming back? DR. placing a hand on DR. leaning forward) I know what it is. A close view of DR. ANDONUTS sighs as BUBBLE continues his tirade. his facial expression listle ss and somber. and then moves to a stack o f papers where he begins to act up and fidget impatiently. but there are no doubts abou t his intellectual prowess. ANDONUTS (depressed) He may well not be. Doctor. MAXWELL Came to see if you were still awake. DR. ANDON UTS to gather his attention. The monkey snatches it and begins to chew it i mmediately. This is MAXWELL: a professor of physical science at the ACADEMY. (resting arms on the table. all neatly-kept.

The argument is ass instruments MAXWELL and DR. Somehow he has managed to take off with it--I couldn't begin to guess where he might have gone--but the simple truth is that the Sky Runner was destined to fail. ANDONUTS (CONT. If he's smart enough to get your faulty Sky Runner to work. MAXWELL But isn't it possible that Jeff could be just fine. no. and then the starboard door opens. hopping down off the table as ANDONUTS exchange looks of visible unrest. DR. We have to accept it. its wings and nose turned upward. Jeff is a brilliant young man. in silence for CUT TO: EXT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY LAB : LATE NIGHT : Not too far from the rear entrance to the LAB. The gl ow of the moon draws attention to the vehicle like a natural white spotlight and keeps focus there as MAXWELL and DR. not to mention it was still damaged from a test run seven years ago. That vehicle was not flight-worthy. Moving behind the Sky Runner. the crumpled body of the Sky Runn er lays half-buried in a drift of snow. NESS and PAULA step out next. MAXWELL approaches t a smile while BUBBLE. hydraulic hi ss. BUBBLE screeches.) (joyful. my son! How are you feeling? Have you suffered some sort of injury? Contracted any illness? JEFF . just to allow the shock to sink in. ANDONUTS (in disbelief) Good God Almighty in Heaven! (rushing forward) Jeff! JEFF emerges from welcoming arms of he gathering with s him as a launch the Sky Runner. then he's smart enough to bring it back in one piece. my boy. ANDONUTS race on-screen.MAXWELL (stunned) Doctor! DR. the camera is able to catch the awestruck faces of both professors through the rising smoke. Faulty wiring. interrupted by a boom from outside that rattles the walls and gl on the shelves. gesturing with his arms) I don't know! Could be anywhere! What I'm saying is. They remain suspended a few seconds. There is a sudden sharp. falling straight into a drift of snow and the his father. use point to get to JEFF. looking JEFF over) Jeff. poor construction and design. DR. who has come running into the scene. even if the vehicle itself is not? Perhaps it began to play up a bit and he's landed it(hesitation. ANDONUTS (shaking his head) No.

I never intended to abandon anything--certainly not my academic work! TONY (shouting from off-screen) Jeff! Jeff!! JEFF Oh good Lord. I suppose. JEFF Friends of mine. His face is streaked with joyful tears and he throws himsel f at JEFF. MAXWELL (acknowledging NESS and PAULA) 'ello. TONY Jeff! I heard the landing and I knew--I just knew you'd come back! We all missed you! JEFF (blushing) It's all right. possessed you to abandon your studies to embark on some foolhardy excursion? JEFF Father. Cutting away from the group. smiling but shivering in the cold . They are the ones I was destined to meet. TONY (uncomfortable) What does that mean? Are they the ones you've had those awful nightmares about? . So tell me. TONY is seen plodding through knee-deep snow across the campus grounds. Although it was a tad warm yesterday. but I'm fine. This is Paula. DR. Tony.(embarrassed) Father! No. And who might you be? NESS I'm Ness.. quick! They're crazy on this planet! PAULA gives NESS a sharp nudge with her elbow. in the name of all that is factual and sound. I'm here now.. ANDONUTS Very well then. I'm quite all right. NESS (whispering to PAULA) Get back in the spaceship. She draws JEFF's shoulder-bag up close to herself. Thought I might suffer a small bout of heat stroke. if it's not too troubling a task(stern) What ever. please. arms wrapped tight around his neck while BUBBLE attempts to balance o n his shoulders.

his backpack and earby. It was really a coincidence I crashed where I did. He watches MAXWELL approach JEFF. ANDONUTS In Threed. night terrors. partially of papers. MAXWELL manages a smile. This is where I met both Ness and Paula. who are gathered at the opposite end of the table. DR. ANDONUTS. dirty c wear temporarily. DR. DR. a nd TONY. and they have been given oversized coats to SS fingers the Franklin Badge in one hand. CUT TO: INT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY LAB : NIGHT : NESS and PAULA sit beside one another at a table. but NES S allows his to sit untouched. NE baseball bat lying n MAXWELL approaches. Paula actually had been trying to contact me throughJEFF hesitates. He adjusts his glasses while BUBBLE sits on one shoulder. hidden behind stacks been washed. you said? MAXWELL seats himself beside DR. They are entrenched in conversation as the scene starts. NESS (exhaling deeply) Sounds good to me. microscopes and test tube racks. to be honest. and where Paula admitted fault in causing my nighttime disturbances. visions in your mind? JEFF (frustrated) No! I mean. JEFF Correct. PAULA accepts hers. ANDONUTS And you say it was because of dreams--night sweats. offering them each a cup of tea. Their hair has lothes removed. It is obvious that he feels reluctant to divulge the entire stor y. Tony. ANDONUTS appears solemn and conflicted. picking through his dirty blonde hair. But you recall I spoke with you about this before. That I was having urges to go somewhere. holding out a paw until he is rewarded with a fresh piece of chewing gum.JEFF (pushing TONY off gently) They weren't nightmares. yes? Bit cold out here tonight. DR. I have no idea. MAXWELL Perhaps we all ought to steps inside then. She had been attempting to contact me through long-distance telepathy- . ANDONUTS. yes. You can all get cleaned up and into something warm. BUBBLE climbs him and sits impatientl y on the table before the doctor.

It defies explanation. TONY (CONT. past the boundaries of academics. If anything. Had I not listened to the very depths of myself. frowning and looking co ntemplative. JEFF (CONT. MAXWELL Right. TONY Too right. or seen the truth that is out there. NESS and PAULA fidget in their seats. How could you know people you haven't ever met before? JEFF I know them now. And I still don't really believe any of this. He leans back in his chair. I would never have gone so far. ANDONUTS) But I've seen some amazing things. bends all the known rules of Science. I have friends nowTONY sets his teacup upon the table loudly. but I don't believe it. of course. but I didn't then. DR. My work is of the utmost importance.TONY (interjecting) Rubbish. Well let 'em show what they can do. avoiding eye-contact with the rest of the group. What I am trying to say is that I never intended to leave you all wondering. Father. ANDONUTS does not reply. at first. to first be an observer and secondly a critic. . but I've realized it's only one portion of my life. right. I admit I was quite in the dark until Paula explained herself.) You all know what sort of person I am. DR. who sips his tea with a bitter expression.) I'm sorry. All attention turns to TONY. and then for a while I wanted nothing to do with it. I have learned to keep an open mind. (speaking to DR. JEFF (CONT. I left with a purpose--one I feel is yet to be uncovered. accomplished so much. JEFF Neither did I. ANDONUTS Perhaps if you had some evidence.) Besides Tony. There is an uncomfortable pause in the discussion. MAXWELL (exhaling deeply) That's an awful lot to take in.

. ANDONUTS (awestruck) Outstanding! What sort of device is this? JEFF It's a rock. they don't know nothin'. NESS (dumbfounded. staring at the Sound Stone) Another Sanctuary. getting as close to NESS and the stone as possible. The stone reacts. JEFF (angry. I believe. getting out of his seat) Then I will prove it myself! JEFF rounds the table. It seemed especially lively at(pause) It was near the Grapefruit Falls. N ESS grabs it back and it begins to glow in his hand. bother. MAXWELL and TONY crane their necks for a better view. grabbing hold of JEFF) The Saturns! JEFF (stunned) . gesturing) Like this. with certain geographical locations.. What was the name of it? PAULA You mean the little village with the Saturns? DR. NESS (listless) It's a Sonograph Stone. DR. Oh.PAULA (uncomfortable) I'm afraid we can't. ANDONUTS leaps up. He empties its contents and the Sound Stone clatters across the table. DR. ANDONUTS Sonograph? Do you mean to say that it has the ability to reproduce sound? JEFF I have never heard any sound from it myself. but Ness has. Father. approaching NESS and snatching the backpack from him. His a ttention is fixated on it. It isn't that easy. Defensive. ANDONUTS (ecstatic. He places it up to his forehead(hesitation. It's all a lot of waffle and nonsense. DR. TONY (bitter) Aw.

(speaking to NESS. Their breath comes out as hot white vapor as the y exhale. that's what they were called. motioning for her to follow him out of the room. Look. . right? DR. speaking to MAXWELL) Where do you suppose they're going. NESS holds up the glowing stone and looks to PAULA. in disbelief) Meta-physics. They exit quietly as DR. This he unfold s onto the table.Yes. do you have any idea what you've found? We need direct confirmation. The familiar guiding beam shoots out to the northwest. shoving various items aside and to the floor. ANDONUTS (elated) My boy. nose curled. All right. drawing their coats more tightly around themselves. very industrious. JEFF (bothered. JEFF flinches as glass tubes and beakers break at his feet. But they're an awful strange lot. Peculiar little creatures. TONY (frowning. ANDONUTS Dear boy. Father? Since when have you had anything to do with the field of Metaphysics? DR. at his father. look! (pointing) There is the town of Threed in Eagleland--good God. now show me where you found them. who is staring. This could very well be the most intriguing discovery in Biology and Metaphysics! DR. ANDONUTS returns with an oversized world map. NESS and PAULA emerge from the side entrance of the LAB. Professor? MAXWELL 'Dunno. I am astounded the old metal bucket made it that far. who smiles and puts one hand over it. shivering and trying to adjust to the cold. and penetrating the barrier of evergreen s beyond. ANDONUTS rushes off to a storage cabinet at the other end of the room. ANDONUTS (poring over the map) There now. DR. eh? CUT TO: EXT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY LAB : LATE NIGHT : Snow has begun to fall over campus as the nighttime hours stretch on into mornin g. passing through the ACADEMY walls and perimeter fence. I have much to show you! NESS gives PAULA a nudge. Do you suppose you could point it out to me? At least give a rough estimate. TONY notices NESS and PAULA taking their leave. NESS glances up at JEFF. smiling) Three-toed children without shoes on.

Here. FADE TO: EXT : WINTERS : SNOW WOOD : LATE NIGHT : Within the forest the world is twice as dark. NESS You hear it. Trees have grown so thick.. too. PAULA What? (pause) Is there somethingCutting herself off in mid-sentence. is not able to respond. Rain drops cascade into the pool from the sky above. suggesting a memory or flashback. PAULA listens to the faint hiss of a gentle rainstorm. forcing PAULA to hang ba ck as well.NESS and PAULA glance at one another and then exit the scene. Bowls of steaming vegetables and potatoes are placed in the center. in her struggle to avoid the snow-covered rocks jutting out from the hill side. My heart is beating real fast just like all the times before. NESS keeps his hand wrapped around it securely as they move. She is dragged by NESS into a clearing at the bott om of the slope. PAULA But it can't be what I think it is. At this he smiles and places it against his forehead.. At the bottom. She and NESS begin to move again. Awestruck. A table has been set for a small but welcoming family meal. which at its center holds a round pool of water. The Sound Stone is glowing much more brightly. silent but visibly unnerved. NESS stops abruptly. almost dra gging PAULA along behind him as they stumble down another slope. but nowhere else in the clearing do they fall. the snow barely covers the grass. too. never speaking. PAULA stands at the base of the hill and watches NESS approach the ci rcle of rain. so tall . NESS (breathing deep) I know! Mine. excited) Why not? PAULA. NESS picks up his pace. The sound of their feet crunching snow is all that can be heard until they pass down a rocky slope. The next segment is co lored in sepia tone. and on the nearest plate rests a steak that has just . and so close together that only a few traces of moonlight reach the ground. Trees and short jagged cliffs encompass the area. NE SS and PAULA trudge through the snow hand-in-hand. The Sound Stone has begun to tremble. right? PAULA I do. There is a sudden flash as the scene cuts away from NESS. bathing the immediate area in blu e. NESS (hopping over a small boulder.

been taken off the grill. Music is playing but it lasts for only a few short not es. Another flash and the dream sequence ends. Focus is placed on NESS, who stands a few steps back from the rain pool, eyes cl osed. He lowers the Sound Stone, a smile on his face, and inhales deeply. NESS That smells so good. (inhaling again, opening his eyes) Or it did. PAULA walks on-screen and locks arms with NESS. NESS (CONT.) It felt so real. I really thought, for just a second, that I was at home, sitting down to dinner. NESS goes silent. The moonlight reflects the brimming tears in his eyes before h e wipes them away on his sleeve. When he speaks again, his voice cracks with sor row. It is obvious that he is trying to fight off his emotions. NESS (CONT.) I really want to go home. PAULA (leaning against NESS) It's all right. We'll get there. When all this is done, whenever we find what we're looking for. And then our moms and dads will be so happy to see us. Both children manage to smile. They look skyward and the camera, in turn, rises into the air. It shifts focus onto the moon, and then the scene slowly dissipate s. FADE OUT END ACT EIGHT. ~"For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until t hen may I too abide to dispel the misery of the world." ~ -Shantideva ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ EARTHBOUND, ACT NINE FADE IN EXT : FAR EAST : DALAAM : MORNING : The scene begins, clouded in white. Fog enshrouds the base of tall mountain spir es and rises up the length of their bodies, culminating in great masses around e ach cliff. As the camera draws in close, the faraway details of the landscape be come clearer. There are outcroppings in the mountains and worn trails between each one. A sing le sturdy spire at the center of the shot becomes the focus as humble thatched h omes appear in the clearing mist. They seem to blend with the surrounding rock, for there is little difference in their earthy tones. Closer in, sounds of life

can be heard. CUT TO: EXT : FAR EAST : DALAAM : VILLAGE : MORNING : (For the scenes to follow, all residents of DALAAM shall speak in a Central Tibe tan language with their speech in subtitles at the bottom of the screen.) A wooden cart full of goods rolls on-screen, drawn by a yak with thick black hai r and draped in bright tapestries. It huffs its way up a path in the mountainsid e and past a troupe of girls huddled together, deeply entrenched in conversation . They are dressed in dull shubas--robes left to hang loose over their bodies bu t cinched at the waist with a woolen girdle. Other women stroll through the scen e in much more vibrant robes, wraps, and scarves, all of them toting small child ren. A figure clad in white passes in front of the camera, too close for anything mor e than his torso to be seen. The chattering girls follow the movement of this fi gure, quietly smiling, and then begin to speak again in hushed tones. VILLAGE GIRL #1 << There he is! >> VILLAGE GIRL #2 << So stern. His eyes never move. >> VILLAGE GIRL #3 << I wish just once he would look my way. >> VILLAGE GIRL #1 << You are so plain, and he is the most handsome man in the kingdom and all others beyond. >> VILLAGE GIRL #3 << Just once he could look, I wish. And I would be so humble. >> VILLAGE GIRL #2 << They say he will become a warrior. >> VILLAGE GIRL #1 (surprised) << A warrior? But we are not at war... >> There is a beat of silence, and the curious girls follow the source of their int erest, leaving a trail of laughter behind them. The camera cuts to a new locatio n further down the mountain on its easternmost side where the sloping trail ends abruptly. Here, one uneven section of rock juts out and upward. Footholds adorn the face of it, worn from centuries of fearless climbers. The girls take in the scenery at a distance, reserved and respectful, and then t ry to goad one another into approaching before they are called away by the voice of an older woman off-screen. All girls exit, visibly disappointed, as the came ra ascends through the mist. FADE TO: EXT : FAR EAST : DALAAM : VILLAGE : SHUNYATA POINT : MORNING :

At the top of the cliff, the rest of the world appears further away, obscured by an ethereal fog. There is no vegetation, except for what little grows beneath t he twisted cypress tree. In its shadow sits the figure in white. This is PU: the crowned Prince of Dalaam. Statuesque, stoic, and bearing uncomm on appeal. He has reached the middle of adolescence, though his countenance and traditional robes give him the look of one much older. The black hair on his hea d has been shaved, except at the very peak of his scalp where it has grown out a nd been tamed with a tight braid, as dictated by custom. There is an air of stri ct discipline about the prince that belies his Eastern charm. Briefly, the screen is engulfed with a closer view of his face, eyes closed and features stern. PU is sitting cross-legged with both arms out, as if he has prep ared to hold up the sky should it fall; but his muscles are lax. Noise from the village off-screen does not faze him, and he is not shaken by the wind as it blo ws in from the west to rattle the gnarled cypress. The camera cuts out as the wind dies, and a small Eastern DRAGON enters the scen e. Its scales are the color of the Earth--green and blue--and its face is fringe d with crimson-gold tassels. Not much larger than a common iguana, the DRAGON goes unnoticed by the prince wh ile it circles his immobile body. Then, it stands before him and speaks in an un characteristically booming voice. DRAGON << Rise, noble prince. >> In an instant, the landscape is obliterated as the scene cuts to blackness, leav ing only PU in his meditative position. The DRAGON has gone also, but is soon to reappear in a burst of red smoke. It fills the void with its enormity, slitheri ng up from blood-colored clouds and curling its tail around them. Now, it is ten times as large, able to stare down at PU with fierce yellow eyes. PU stands. He appears unbothered by the presence of the creature. DRAGON << Prince Pu, I am a spirit of your ancient lineage. I have kept watch over you from birth. And now, other souls would have you. >> There is no response. DRAGON (CONT.) << Have you felt the pull in your heart? >> PU << Yes, Great Spirit. I sense the soul of another reaching out to me from a distance. >> DRAGON << And how has it affected your training? Do you sense the ill spreading across our world? >> PU does not immediately answer, nor does he falter beneath the DRAGON as the roi ling clouds billow outward. He allows for a beat of silence to contemplate the b est response. PU << Great Spirit, the purpose of my training has

forever been to instill discipline within myself. But as oflate, I cannot help feeling the disease. The Earth is in misery, thus I find myself imbued with bodhicitta. >> DRAGON << Then clear your mind. >> Another round of quietude as PU braces himself against the darkness. He closes h is eyes and shifts into a deeper, meditative breathing. The DRAGON looks on, all owing the stillness to continue for several seconds. DRAGON (CONT.) << Your intentions are honorable, but to master the art of Mu, one must know the depths of his mind. The body is transient, and the soul is forever a mutable force. Draw inward, Prince. Let go of this impermanent world. (pause) Your training is insufficient. >> The DRAGON waits, claws out, but PU does not move. DRAGON (CONT.) (severe) << I am going to break your legs. You will lose the use of them. Do you accept this? >> There is no response, and the DRAGON does not wait. It dives over the clouds swi rling about its tail and rips into the prince, passing through his body in strea ms of colored smoke. A fierce and instantaneous crack is heard. PU falls to his side, legs splayed. T hey have been torn from their sockets and lay at unnatural angles beneath him. The DRAGON rises over PU, who has not cried out or shown any signs of pain. He l ooks to be in a fiercer state of concentration. DRAGON (CONT.) << So, young prince, now that you have lost both of your legs, I shall tear away your arms and feed them to the crows. Do you accept this? >> Again, only a split-second is allowed for a response, but PU says nothing. The c amera maintains a close view of the prince's face as the DRAGON rips into him, p ulling away both arms with a savage wet snap of flesh. PU cringes for just a moment, and then his facial muscles relax. Smoke trails ri se from the DRAGON hovering above. DRAGON (CONT.) << Ah, Prince Pu, lie there. Now, I out your eyes. No Could you bear to without your limbs you can only will cut off your ears and pluck movement, no sound, and no light. live in eternal darkness? >>

PU tilts his head back, unresponsive. With visible rage, the DRAGON bears its te eth and, roaring, dives into PU. CUT TO BLACK

All sound dissipates, leaving the scene a blank, lightless void. This continues for several seconds. When the DRAGON speaks again, its voice is much closer and reverberates like thunder in the dark. DRAGON << What can you see, young prince? >> There is no response. DRAGON (CONT.) << You can hear my voice, but only with your mind. It lies open and ready to be taken. And I will have it, for there is nothing you can do to stop me. Your soul has not yet touched that of the Earth and the heavens beyond. Draw them into yourself, Prince Pu. Seek out their power. Do not heed your pain, for this too is only temporary. (pause) And now, open your eyes. >> Soft, natural light fills the screen as the darkness fades, revealing a sea of s tars. PU is lying beneath it all with an expression of self-fulfillment painted across his face. His eyes are open and his body is once again in-tact. The camera pans out and upward while distant comets race across the starlit cano py, becoming more numerous. Frail wisps of blue and crimson smoke fall over PU a nd disappear. The darkness around him continues to fade. DRAGON (CONT.) (speaking from off-screen) << Young prince, you seek enlightenment and the amassment of great power. >> PU << For the benefit of all living beings. >> DRAGON << Then rise and take the force of the Starstorm into your heart. >> PU stands, and the comets and stars above him run together, charging straight th rough his body. He is left with an ethereal glow, robes fluttering outward. When the light fades, a softly-colored fog begins to creep in. DRAGON (CONT.) << Step forward, Prince Pu. >> PU walks until the black void around him has disappeared and he is perched preca riously at the peak of a narrow mountain spire. Clouds tinged with pink gather a t his feet. From them, the DRAGON emerges, now much smaller. Its body morphs int o that of a stern-faced man--an ANCIENT who bears a striking resemblance to the prince. The ANCIENT stands on a cloud before PU. His robes are the same, but darker and worn with age. ANCIENT << Bodhisattva. There is immeasurable power within you, but it alone is not enough. Three other souls

are waiting to join with yours. >> PU << I feel it inside me. >> ANCIENT << Set your soul adrift. >> PU shuts his eyes and presses his hands together in concentration, inhaling deep ly. A soft blue light emanates from his flesh as the thickening pink clouds conv ene on all sides. The glow fades and PU opens his eyes. ANCIENT << What you have seen is a memory intended for another, but entrusted to you, young prince. Seek out the carrier of the Stone and transfer the memory to him, for the sake of all life on our world... (pause, approaching PU) I will show you the way. >> One arm out, the ANCIENT presses his hand against PU's forehead and, briefly, th e scene cuts to a view of WINTERS at the very edge of SNOW WOOD. When the vision ends, the ANCIENT's body begins to disintegrate. It crumbles, an d then is carried off like grains of sand on the wind. ANCIENT (CONT.) << Be mindful, Prince. May wisdom guide you and courage fill your heart. >> PU stands in reverent silence until the voice of the ANCIENT has died. The cloud s part before him and he leaps from the mountaintop, falling out of the scene. CUT TO: EXT : FAR EAST : DALAAM : ROYAL PALACE : LATE MORNING : Light pours down from the sky upon gold domes. The fog choking the kingdom has b urned off, leaving the PALACE and bordering gardens in direct view of the sun. T here is no manmade structure around that can compare to its size and richness. T he towers are artfully carved, flanked by jewel-studded serpents and statuary of all kinds. A pair of stone elephants sit ruminating on either side of the door; and between them, dwarfed in their presence, a man waits in silence. This is the MASTER: an aged Mystic who oversees the discipline and training of the prince. Time has cut deeply into his face, but not his mental faculties. His robes are dark in color, like clay from a riverbed, and are cinched at the wais t with a black band. The camera shifts to a ground-level view at the entryway. Here the MASTER stands as a yak-drawn cart rolls toward him through the gardens. He watches its ungain ly progress with passive features, but breaks into a smile when he notices PU ho p off the back end. MASTER (bowing, joyful) << Prince Pu, you have done it! >>

all of my teachings. the weapon inside is anything but. There is not a trace of rust or a single scratch on its surface. Remember that.) (smiling) << Though the covering may look commonplace. Marble columns like trees support a painted ceiling. It appe ars aged. . weaponry. Your training is complete. >> After a pause. tapestries an d thick woven rugs. and use what you have learned to aid our world. >> PU does not respond. And know that you have been trained as a warrior. They remain the only occupants of the room until the footste ps of PRINCE PU and the MASTER can be heard echoing down the far corridor. which the MAST ER gestures to silently. pottery. Cutting in to the far right corner. MASTER (CONT. unwrapping the white scarf around it. and beneath them lie the riches of the kingdom--handcrafted art. putting the sword away) << But the principles. >> PU removes the sword from its scabbard and admires the glimmering metal. >> PU (concerned. MASTER << Life cannot exist without death. >> CUT TO: INT : FAR EAST : DALAAM : ROYAL PALACE : CHAMBER : LATE MORNING : Just as on the outside. revealing a wealth of hidden treasures inside. MASTER (CONT. It was to be presented to you on the day you take a wife--the day you become king. Treat it well. Before them is a chest meticulously covered in precious stones. but not dull.) << There is nothing more I can teach you from the holy writings. PU stands and turns to the MASTER. I am forbidden to bring death upon any living being. the MASTER approaches PU and places both hands on his shoulders. MASTER << The Sword of Kings. sword in hand. the interior of the palace is covered from top to bottom in gold.PU << Master? How do you know? >> MASTER (moving toward the PALACE) << Come with me. He removes a curved blade in a sheepskin scabbard. the camera captures the approach of both men . >> Visibly bothered. You need only apply your lessons to life. PU kneels before the chest and opens it. But I sense you have more use for it now.

sleeveless tunic and silken pants. PU drapes the scarf and scabbard strap over himself. do you have all that you need? >> PU << I do. This leaves him in a much lighter. For the duration of his silence. I must relay to you a message from Eternity. PU approaches the edge of the cliff overlooking his village. The world will soon cave under the weight of its own misdeeds if this wickedness remains unchallenged. and inhales deep. a ruination of the soul. Can you keep my kingdom while I am away? Keep the people from worrying. solemn and complacent. but they are too far o ut of range to be distinguished. There is an evil descending upon the Earth and it has spread like fire. an d exits. From the thick pine for est along the western edge of campus. Prince.MASTER (CONT. FADE TO: EXT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY GROUNDS : LATE NIGHT : Brilliant moonlight shines upon the snowbound landscape. The MASTER is left standing alone. In one flying leap he is gone. A quick shift in focus puts the camera at groun d level and reveals the figures to be NESS and PAULA. nothing more than a blink of light against the sky. >> PU closes his eyes. >> MASTER (bowing) << On my honor. are one of the Four with the power to stop it. stern) Now ask yourself. MASTER (approaching from behind) << Young prince. nods once to the MASTER. two figures emerge. (pause. PU pulls off his robes. CUT TO: . It is a disease of the mind.) << Prince Pu. dropping them into the MASTER's arms. This I have known and have seen in visions since you were conceived. They have just emerged fro m SNOW WOOD and are shuffling their way back to the ACADEMY arm-in-arm. There is nothing but mountains and clouds beyond. You. the camera remains focused on him. and then. could you slay one being to protect the life of another? Without speaking. CUT TO: EXT : FAR EAST : DALAAM : ROYAL PALACE : LATE MORNING : With the PALACE behind him. hands together in front of his chest. both of wh ich do little to hide the developed musculature beneath. it cut s to a wider view as he races to the edge of the cliff. Master.

but not to worry. Ain't that them? Jeff's friends? TONY (sighing loudly) Yeah.) Well done. watching the students and cart) Here then! Stop it there for a bit. He sifts through the metal canis ters packed together. MAXWELL You sure you want to go along then? TONY 'Course. also in a thick coat sized appropriately for his body. t he source of them is revealed. did ya? The group of students. (abrupt shift in attention) Oh. You lads got the supplements in. Panning out. peering into several of them before he gives a nod of appr oval. uncomfortable beat of silence. What you think they been up to. MAXWELL is silent for a moment. all male and dressed similarly to TONY. NESS and PAULA enter the scene. then. I s'pose. MAXWELL (CONT.EXT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY LAB : LATE NIGHT : Thin clouds of vapor flit across the screen and vanish instantly. That's all I can say. at which point TONY turns from the gathering and crosses his arms. MAXWELL stands on the front step of the WINTERS ACADEMY LAB wrapped in a navy bl ue parka. . TONY is beside him in a heavy coat of his own with BUBBLE sitting on h is left shoulder. All's well. The y are watching a procession of students pushing a cart along one of the crisscro ssing pathways in front of the ACADEMY. he points and speaks again. But they got back all right. PAULA Hello again. Professor? They was gone quite a while. stops the cart ne ar the ACADEMY LAB and MAXWELL approaches them. it's true. STUDENT #1 Professor. is it true Jeff Andonuts has come back? A brief. hello there. We had something to take care of. (pause. Sorry for leaving so suddenly. MAXWELL Yes. MAXWELL Dunno. MAXWELL There. BUBBLE is chewing while TONY uncomfortably plays with the rim of his schoolboy hat. I gone with Jeff before. He was out on an extra-curricular assignment and won't be joining us tonight.

I mean. MAXWELL That you are. He exits and the remaining cast moves ahead. yet restrained) S'all right. Focus shifts to TONY. smiling) Come to think of it. Focus is returned to MAXWELL. CUT TO: . who has turned red both from anger and the stinging chill in the air.MAXWELL (curious. PAULA (concerned) Are you sure? NESS does not respond. I can't say I know the details of your meeting. Paula? It gets a bit nippy down at the lake. (pause. of course he's brilliant and always on top of his work. but this is different. I can't recall seeing Jeff so enthusiastic about something either. It's a curious thing. that's okay. I can't recall ever seeing the old-timer in such a fit of joy. yes! Thank you! NESS No. PAULA I'm fine. I think I'd like to be by myself for a while. Would you care to go for a walk with us down to the shore? TONY (turning abruptly. We're friends now. TONY falls back in with the other students while MAXWEL L and PAULA converse at the front of the procession. Andonuts at present. He's opened up. PAULA (speaking off-screen) It was nothing. along the sh oveled walk before them. MAXWELL Will you be warm enough. but whatever you two have done has really inspired him. You go ahead. indignant) Professor! PAULA Oh. still smiling. (pause) Where is Jeff? MAXWELL With Dr. They have much to sort out.

TONY (tearing up. There is no wind to stir up the surface. PAULA (CONT. MAXWELL an . He just took off and forgot all about us. Jeff never hurt me none. PAULA Are you feeling okay? TONY (annoyed) Fan-bloody-tastic. to be honest. the nicer people were to me. Other kids wouldn't talk with me. People know about me because of what I can do and they come visit. There is a nod and expression of understanding from TONY. too. TONY steps away from them and into a different shot w here he stands pouting at the edge. the hor izon line just to the south. PAULA Doesn't sound like it. PAULA Well. BUBBLE hops off his shoulder and PAULA appro aches. The more I hung with him. I didn't know no one else. but it's all right. I don't have any friends at home--nobody really close to me.EXT : WINTERS : LAKESHORE : LATE NIGHT : A single path worn through the snow by feet and vehicular activity winds down a slope toward the edge of a vast lake bordered by SNOW WOOD on all sides. Behind him. TONY Doubt it. they sometimes called us the bum-chums. PAULA If he forgot about you. You know he was really upset over everything.) Ness and I care about him. unbroken. then why'd he come back? TONY does not respond. wiping his eyes) 'Course. Like a perfect mirror the water reflects the sky ab ove. But there's something going on that we've still got to figure out. (laughing softly. (pause) You must still feel bad about Jeff leaving. I don't mind much. but I still felt pretty lonely sometimes. I mean. We didn't mean to interrupt his life or take him away from what he has here. The procession of students led by MAXWELL halts the cart at the end of a wooden dock and begins to unload. It's nice to have good friends you can be close to. turning away) Jeff's been my best mate since I started here. 'cept to call me a queer and an ass licker.

of course. PAULA returns to the edg e of the dock. Supposedly there are others-or were others. MAXWELL Go on. The students and MAXWELL begin to throw fish and various cuts of raw meat to TES SIE. TONY (interjecting) Oh! Can I do it. Here. In order to keep Tessie safe and preserve the landscape. Good girl. Professor? Jeff taught me how. The Tessie-Watchers. TONY moves out of shot. I think you'll like her. for example. we've permitted only a select few organizations to study and interact with her. She's a pretty gal. After a few rounds. PAULA is the only one to back away from the approaching animal while MAXWELL and his students ready their metal canisters. TONY lets loose a shrill whistle over the lake and the surface ripples. MAXWELL (tossing fish) A reptile. Miss Tess. the lady of the lake. It s rubbery. MA XWELL approaches the edge of the dock. PAULA (approaching with caution) But don't people wonder-? MAXWELL It's kind of a big secret for everyone here. Water is thrust up on both sides of the dock as a creature emerges from the shallows. actually. She's quite friendly. who catches them without fail. sleek from its head all the way down its ten-foot neck and across its broad back.d the students have emptied the cart of its canisters and taken the lids off. then. come up close. BUBBLE grows anxious and begins to blow a nd pop the gum in his mouth. They set up . PAULA (stunned. simultaneously misplaced and at home in the placid lake. MAXWELL (reaching into a canister) There we are. I've only seen Tessie. gray-violet flesh appears almost silver in the moonlight. yet wary) It looks like a dinosaur. MAXWELL You ready then? PAULA For what. Tess. exactly? MAXWELL For Tessie. It seems to have stepped right out of Prehistory. BUBBLE contin ues to pace frantically.

to get close enough to observe her more thoroughly. MAXWELL It's a good way to earn her trust. He looks u pon the body of the animal--a mountain sheep whose head and horns have been spli t by metal. That's what we're doing now.. you have a go. She cannot help jum ping when TESSIE snaps it out of her hand. and then the creature trumpets loudly for more. T he snapping of tree limbs erupts out of the silence a second time and. N . stumbles over the log. bleating and kicking up snow. It throws back its head. PAULA (taking another fish. It has since lost its trademark glow. The sorrowful look on his face changes to fear. Viscous black fluid bubbles out. sliding the Sword of Kings back into its scabbard. and makes a backward retreat up the slope. without d elay.. cut and left lying in the snow. his expression somber and lifeless. NESS Hello? (hesitation) Paula? NESS stands. camera angle shifts in that direction. He rests on one with the Sound Stone in hi s lap. frightened. All around him are the trunks of pine t rees. PU enters. CUT TO: EXT : WINTERS : SNOW WOOD : LATE NIGHT : The scene opens on a close-up of NESS. MAXWELL Good on ya! Have another go then. which is followed shortly by the sound of a crisp snap off-scr een. A view of NESS reveals him breathless. charging NESS. and then fa lls across the downed trees in the clearing. A sigh from NESS.camps along the waterfront. NESS is alert. PAULA does as instructed. I've never done anything like this! It's amazing! I wish Ness could see. smiling) Oh goodness. Careful of her teeth there. I see. The students empty their canisters into the lake. Snow falls in sheets as an animal r ushes out of the darkness. One solid band of light cuts diagonally through the frame and across the skull o f the animal. steaming as it hits the air and mel ting the snow. keeping the fish far from herself. It is stopped abruptly in the clearing . From off-screen. who is sitting with head propped in one h and. (handing PAULA a fish) Here. Hold it up and away. dead. And the Academy's Biology Department studies her and supplements her natural diet with vitamins and such. PAULA Oh. Don't be shy. and without words.

I must still learn this way of talking. Music is playing but it lasts for only a few short notes. blonde and heavily-pregnant. Without responding. PU steps up to NESS and puts a hand over his forehead. nearly-complete family home. But how do you know-? PU gestures for NESS to follow him to the body of the ram and kneels beside it. You're not getting it. PU Apology. There is a sudden flash as the scene cuts away from them. I walked off. He attempts to hide it behind himself. suggesting a memory or flashback. At the edge of the property is a woman. We'll just say I'm the Easter Bunny and call it even. When focus returns to NESS. Prince of Dalaam. We should be getting back. his eyes are filled with tears. . smiling with one hand across her stomach. It burns into his skin. NESS Back off. bubbl ing. but P U shows no sign of pain. clearing his throat . The next segment is colored in sepia tone.. Gotta go now. NESS (fearful) Who are you? PU introduces himself in Central Tibetan but stops abruptly. A small crew of men is working to finish a quaint. I'll show you where they are. NESS cringes at the site.ESS backs off as he approaches. Another flash and the dream sequence ends. and thin trails of smoke rise into the air. I am Pu. The sun bears gently down on a construction site near the top of a hill. drawing up some of the black fluid on his fingers. NESS (retreating slowly) Okay then.. NESS You're one of us? PU The others? Where are they? NESS (pointing) They're back at(stumbling over his words) Well. The expression on his face remains unchanged. PU You are one with Stone? NESS halts and looks at the Sound Stone.

the flesh. He eats voraciously b ut keeps one hand on the Sound Stone. and then there is a sudden cut over to th e ram. NESS is across from him. and the Frankl in Badge are also lying near. and where to find us. (speaking to NESS) And he's the fourth one? There are only four. anyway? PU (stern. PU exits. yes? NESS I'm pretty sure. but close enough. JEFF So then. and the camera pans out to capture his awkward facial expression. unsettled by the crumbs falling off. And you are called Jaff? JEFF Jeff. His backpack. CUT TO: INT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY LAB : LATE NIGHT/EARLY MORNING : A plate filled with butter and crumpets is set on a black lacquered table in fro nt of PU. If I may call you that. adjusting his glasses. Would you prefer another title? PU I am called Pu. What is it. DR. ANDONUTS enters from the left with an armload of rolled papers that he sets on the table at the center of the gathering. He drops it and picks out the small pieces still in his mouth. Slowly. Pu. DR. You say you're royalty. That's most puzzling of all. wiping the fluid away) Evil. PU attempts to eat one of the crumpets. baseball bat. NESS (uncomfortable) Yeah. Relieved of his burden. and mus cle begin to smolder. He knew about the Stone. ANDONUTS (bewildered) Well. JEFF enters and sits beside PU. he notices PU instantly and is taken aback. leaving NESS in center shot. Black still pours from its skull. who's this? How did you get in here? NESS . I've seen it before. hair.PU This makes all things behave in wicked ways. stuffing his own food into his mouth. JEFF Yes. and by now all of the snow around its h ead has melted and burned the grass underneath. and I keep seeing more of it.

(speaking to PU) What sort of vehicle did you arrive in? PU (struggling with the language) Vee-hic-ul? Apology. DR. ANDONUTS (intrigued. DR. ANDONUTS How many more of these friends should I expect? JEFF This is it. ANDONUTS No. CUT TO: EXT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY LAB : LATE NIGHT/EARLY MORNING : With the moon descending slowly in the sky. this plain. not plain. Sorry. He's part of our group. no. DR. returning to the table) Dalaam? Really? That's a very old kingdom. I arrive here through the air. DR. but I must still learn. ANDONUT S past the front step of the ACADEMY LAB. and DR. ANDONUTS (walking to a filing cabinet) Another long-distance friend you've never met? JEFF Precisely. The entirety of the WINTERS ACADEMY ca . No flavor. no! (sighing) Can you show us instead? Write it down? Draw it? PU (standing up) I show you. DR. I believe. I study your English and many other things. PU (picking up his crumpet) Oh. DR. no. although we're still not sure how he managed to find us here.I let him in. I am not aware of this word. ANDONUTS No. PU leads NESS. JEFF. He says he's part of the royal family of Dalaam. Father. ANDONUTS So you flew in on a plane? PU Plain is a place of grass and trees. Plane. JEFF I did as well.

Ness. He stands several paces out from everyone else. just short of the shoveled walk in front of them. ANDONUTS) So then. unsettled) Teleportation! But that's impossible. It is rather late. MAXWELL (speaking to DR. MAXWELL Good evening. breathes deep. although he is unresponsive. in disbelief) Too right it is! You lot are barking mad. ANDONUTS stand dumbfounded. right Jeff? . a rush of wind. PU pres ses his hands together. BUBBLE hops along beside them and over to JEFF. In a flash. adjusting glasses and pulling on their coats. perhaps good morning would be more appropriate. Their attention is draw n away momentarily as PAULA. PAULA You should have come with us. You will see. NESS. joyful) Outstanding! That was truly a sight! It was almost unreal! Like flight without machines! It was(hesitation) It was-. TONY (stunned. and DR. The students exit with the cart.. what is the word? MAXWELL (stunned. PAULA is watching. (speaking to his students) Thank you. ANDONUTS Just a moment now. Professor! Or. It ain't possible to fly or teleport. PU I go out that way and then come back. Maxwell! (pointing) Look there! A spot of light flashes at the extreme opposite end of campus. DR. Snow is thrown into the air as PU races back on-screen. You may return the cart and head back up to the dormitories. Snow explodes outward as his body accelerates. MAXWELL and his students enter the scene. by the way you lot look now. oh bother. thrilled. PAULA approaches NESS with a smile. gentlemen. what are you all just standing about for? I'd have thought you'd seen some phantasmagoric apparition. The others exchange looks. Don't dally.mpus lies before him. DR.. ANDONUTS (stunned. stunned. and then. I saw the most amazing thing down at the lake. TONY. He stops swiftl y with his arms out. and then takes off. The cart they are pulling is filled with the now empty canisters. JEFF. he disappears. MAXWELL and TONY step back in surprise.

Forgive him for his curiosity. (speaking to PU. And this is my father and Maxwell. And you? JEFF (adjusting his glasses) I'm afraid not. but PAULA retains her excitement and joy. and what's he doin' here? JEFF breaks into the conversation by approaching PU. PU Forces of the mind. PAULA. and then NESS. but I've been known to come in handy from time to time. JEFF remains unfazed. NESS (speaking to and approaching PU) How did you do that? PU (stern) You do not know? There is an uncomfortable pause in which PU awaits an answer that he never recei ves.JEFF I would otherwise be inclined to agree with you. And there's Paula and Ness. JEFF This all got started wrong. well. shaking his hand warmly and receiving a bewildered. I go wherever it feels like I should. . but who is this bloke anyhow? Where's he come from. offended look in return. Allow me to start it again. can't you? You have powers like ours--me and Ness. PAULA You can do it with your mind. Tony. but to where? NESS I don't know. and properly this time. TONY Sorry. They're. It's just part of me now. PU (CONT. and JEFF raise their hands. both professors at this fine school. Gifted and all with special abilities. PU May I ask who is to be part of the Four? Silence. as you are. NESS appears guilt-stricken. pointing) That there is my good friend Tony. everyone. This is Prince Pu of Dalaam.) Then what is it you have achieved? (speaking to NESS) You carry that stone. but I'm afraid I've been proven wrong.

outcast. PU Then we must work. and shame.The camera pans over the gathering. or what must be done. PAULA (guilty) You're right. ANDONUTS (surprised) . and it's worked so far. JEFF (speaking to DR. We cannot waste this moment. JEFF looks at PU with a smile. and swiftly. (looking skyward) When the sun rises here. ANDONUTS (confounded) That's quite a task. PU I am not certain you all understand what has become of the world. as long as Father approves. at the very least. we'll work on it together like we meant to from the start. I guess. MAXWELL and TONY stand together. Professor. Each day the evil spreads. Well. how much time do you suppose it would take to get the Sky Runner back in working order? DR. TONY exits with his eyes focused on his longtime friend. Only a few hours until classes. While PU stands intently. That's a good idea. Tony. NESS (somber) Just barely. (speaking to DR. Rest now. DR. ANDONUTS) If I may. MAXWELL You still taking your leave. we do it. (pause) I would have to say a fortnight. TONY (looking at JEFF) Right. We've just been kind of following our feelings. we begin. Jeff? JEFF Yes. It's way past curfew. MAXWELL (glancing at his watch) Rest. ANDONUTS) How about we do it in half that time? You and I. Whatever seems right. Come on then. NESS avoids eye-contact with everyone. confusion. the others appear to be a mix of apprehension.

PAULA (smiling) Tomorrow then? PU When the sun is risen. catching the rays of the sun. twi sting it around himself. CUT TO: EXT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY GROUNDS : DAYTIME : (A series of dialogue-free exchanges follow. enteri ng a meditative state of breathing as NESS struggles to do the same. A small flame appears at the tip of one hand. It can't take that long. stern) Let's do this. scratching his scalp beneath his hat. CUT: PU and NESS face each other from a distance of several meters. And we're going to require some mode of transportation.) Standing side-by-side. NESS (nodding. It will serve our needs. you will learn of the mindful force. A domed shield of light glimmers for just a moment. Not all of us can teleport. He stretches. PU looses a fierce static charge and NESS cowers. one leg out before him. concentrates. PU takes off.Jeff. and then disapp ears.' however it is said in your words. arms over his head. We have all we need here. who mimics his movements to no avail. arms at odd angles and fingers curved. JEFF I'll work while you're away. The shower of snow left behind covers NESS. PAULA watches. In a flash. PU I will teach this 'telepation. leaving only trails of smoke behind. Focus is placed o n the prince first as he crosses his arms in front of himself. I have classes to teach. Stunne d. The electricity fizzles once it hits the unseen shield around him. shocked and shame-faced. but manages only a flicker at the end of her index . though she is wearing a thick coat. NESS stands upright. PAULA glances at PU a nd waits for him to move. Without warning. His eyes are closed. you know. CUT: Shivering in the cold. PU presses his hands together and closes his eyes. This he draws out into a whip. and how to use what is within you. He is left watching. muscles tense. (speaking to NESS) To you. PU gestures to NESS. (speaking also to PAULA) And to you both.

NESS clears the s now from himself. There are tools scattered about it. He smiles. NESS comes racing into the scene. This stillness continues for severa l seconds. He obs erves the scenery with a passive expression.fingers. He opens his eyes. A few seconds pass before the flash is seen. CUT: In a clearing. CUT: Once again. sitting upon a rock several paces away. Each blow he deflects across the blade of his sword. drawing the Sword of Kings from its sheepskin scabba rd. NESS. and PAULA meets him at every turn. a snowdrift explodes. He frowns. NESS. PU stands waiting in the open with arms crossed. He digs his feet into the ground. and DR. takes a bite of the biscuit in his other hand. NESS can be seen lying face-down in the powder when it clears. as BUBBLE picks through his hair. and JEFF sit together just outside the laboratory with teacups i . BUBBLE hops into the scene carrying a wrench. twirls. In an instant. bewildered and joyful. and a fter it. to whic h PU responds with a stoic glare and raised eyebrow. and then. She smiles. and wat ches the activities outside. PAULA. before too long he breaks into a smile. face. he initiates the exchange. PU and NESS exchange flashes of psychokinetic force in the space just beyond the hangar. and flings the tail end of the burning whip at PU. CUT: Grinning. watches with disdain and charred c lothing. the session ends. Although it is obvious he is trying to suppress any emotions. PU extends an arm to NESS. hands out. NESS sits upright and turns. PU You have made improvement. ANDONUTS peers around him to watch. With a gesture. Beside him. PU stands waiting. a flash emanates from the far left. JEFF accepts it. working with diligence. the WINTERS ACADEMY looming behind him. He is looking to th e right with unblinking eyes. FADE TO: EXT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY LAB : NIGHT : There is a palpable decrease in excitement as the scene shifts into a quiet nigh t. helps him to stand. red-faced. but growing in power. His hat has fallen off from the impact and his hair. PAULA presses her hands together and waits for the ever-impassive PU t o begin. PAULA draws out a stream of fire with one hand. and falls forward over a snowdrift. stumbles. CUT: The dented body of the Sky Runner sits facing northward in the open hangar of th e WINTERS ACADEMY LAB. ANDO NUTS sit together. It is clear that NESS is outmatched in speed. and JEFF and DR. and then exits. Laughter and ebullient cheering follow. and clothes are charred black. PU bows reve rently and PAULA laughs. JEFF smiles. PU exhales deeply and walks off-screen.

It is pretty cold out tonight. JEFF I apologize for being so distant lately. Goodnight all. it seems. NESS and PAULA slide apart. but smiles. PAULA Goodnight. They watch him. (speaking to NESS and PAULA) Excuse me. and Father and I have been working ten-fold. PU is further out on campus. I mean. PAULA How's it coming along? JEFF Brilliantly. NESS Someone ought to tell that guy to calm down. but I'm needed. TONY grins as JEFF stands and hands over his teacup. (sipping his tea) And your training? PAULA I've learned so much! It's amazing. NESS glares at PAULA. don't you think? PAULA nudges NESS. 'night. Pu is really serious. statuesque and meditative. Once they are gone. PAULA No need to break up the huddle. TONY enters with BUBBLE on his shoulder. NESS Yeah. Andonuts says he needs you. Silence cuts into the conversation. and then PAULA slides back. Maxwell isn't much help. PAULA He's quite charming. TONY Dr. NESS (tense) Hadn't really noticed. but he knows a lot. Then. Your father. . NESS Yeah. Lack of sleep. He pats JEFF to get his attention. JEFF He never was mechanically-inclined. JEFF and TONY exit with BUBBLE. look at one another.n hand. who shrugs. Jeff. He's just a little too hyper. Neither has Father. I don't think I've ever seen her in such good condition.

JEFF (cheerful) Good morning! NESS (bewildered) Dude. JEFF. FADE OUT END ACT NINE. PAULA We'll have to leave soon. whose eyes are closed and face is stricke n with the oblivious joy of sleep. Lovely. Then. but we still don't know what to do or where to go. This is followed by a sharp metal sound and a voice calling his n ame. He is smiling as he holds it steady. Moving back into view. NESS does not respond. coming into fo cus on the open mouth of a long-barreled firearm. He is wearing a t-shirt with an elaborate crest of the WINTERS ACADEMY printed on the front and a pair of blue and white s horts. and then ex its. NESS leaps back acros s the bed. Focus is placed tightly on him. tangled in the bedclothes. He looks away as PAULA stands. In fear. His dark hair is a matted nest atop his head. NESS is left dumbstruck. There is a lengthy pause before the conversation resumes. or more? NESS Sounds about right. ACT TEN FADE IN INT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY : GUEST DORMITORIES : MORNING : The scene opens on a close-up of NESS. fully and neatly dressed. stands at the edge of the bed with an olive gree n bazooka balanced on one shoulder. PAULA wraps her arms around his neck. smiles. NESS awakens with reluctance as view switches to his perspective.PAULA (looking skyward) How long has it been since we got here? Five or six days? Maybe seven. ARTHBOUND. he t ips his head back and closes his eyes. Didn't mean to give you such a fright. what the hell? What the hell are you doing! JEFF Sorry. He blushes and takes one final glance at PU. isn't it? I came across it last night while we were putting the last touches on the Sky Runner. . A shadow falls over him and the pillow lying atop his head. his expression somber.

setting it. which have since been washed. It looks a bit big. but it's only about six and a half kilos. and his eyes dart around the spar sely furnished bedroom. sit around a table at the front of the room. various weaponry and explosives. ANDONUTS is poring over a set of pap ers with his son when NESS enters the scene and takes a seat beside PAULA. He is now fully dressed in his own clothes. JEFF and PU. But see here. .and I decided to clean her up a bit. Do you have to point it right at me? JEFF (lowering the bazooka) No worries. PAULA. NESS Okay. ANDONUTS and MAXWELL. Behind them is a blackboard. Maps. and before them are the ascending rows of st udent desks. His hat cov ers his wet hair. NESS (sarcastic) Think you can handle it. CUT TO: INT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY : SCIENCE CLASSROOM : MORNING : In a spacious lecture hall surrounded on all sides by brick. blueprints. NESS stares at the bazooka. NESS I'm not even going to ask why you have one of those. the baseball bat. idly scratching his head. accompanied by DR. NESS (expressionless) Is it time to eat yet? PAULA pulls the dirty backpack across the table. (pause. The others have washed and dressed by now. observing NESS) About fourteen pounds. JEFF exits and NESS watches him. aren't we? Come on then. And there's a strap to wrap round your shoulder. I still have yet to load it. JEFF Father used to develop and improve upon weaponry during the war. and the personal belongings o f each child are laid out on the table. It's an M9A1 rocket launcher. DR. a nd the Franklin Badge in front of NESS. it comes apart at this end. big guy? JEFF (smiling) Cheeky this morning. PAULA (whispering) Be quiet now. breathing heavily.

You remember his invention to unlock doors? Worked about as well as a wet piece of pasta. I do believe a change of pace is in order. Professor Maxwell is quite horrid when it comes to mechanics. Professor? DR. MAXWELL (exasperated) Oh bloody hell! MAXWELL groans and collapses on the table. would the school board allow it? DR. MAXWELL Yes but think of your career! DR. I couldn't take on yours-certainly not all of them! Robotics and Advanced Machinery? Come now.NESS (attaching the badge to his shirt) What for? What's going on? MAXWELL (speaking to DR. JEFF It's true. I've already spoken with the Superintendent. ANDONUTS smiles half-heartedly and pats MAXWELL on the arm. ANDONUTS) Really. ANDONUTS It's all right. Why. MAXWELL Quiet. and I have to say I've rather missed field study. ANDONUTS I will have to be. (speaking to DR. I've had more than a week's worth of time to think it over. He's approved my leave. MAXWELL (CONT. DR. think about it for a moment. head down. MAXWELL And just who do you suppose they'll get to replace you during your absence? Who could possibly take up all of your lessons? DR. sir. Even if you wanted to go. ANDONUTS I am indeed. It's been twenty years since I've been out of the classroom. thank you. bothered) Are you sure. . ANDONUTS observes MAXWELL while the others look on in silence. you! Or I'll drop your marks in my class. ANDONUTS. No! I have my own students and my own classes. be reasonable.) (frustrated) Oh no.

Father. but here you've brought me right back to it. Professor. but still relevant.JEFF (speaking to DR. and exits. The books are outdated by two centuries. JEFF This is very difficult for me to absorb. I'm leaving it in your care. ANDONUTS) Will you be taking the Sky Runner then? DR. upset) Fantastic. for real? Why? JEFF You ought to get out of bed earlier. ANDONUTS (smiling) Son. Lately. I've my own flight out of Winters tomorrow. I have been dabbling in the field since before you were conceived. (pause. ANDONUTS Here now. It just seems off. this extra-curricular research has been on hiatus. PAULA So you're really going to Saturn Valley. DR. . at least. nods to JEFF and his friends. my son. They'll find a suitable replacement for me until I return. Ness. what's all the fuss about? I'm not taking a permanent leave of absence. DR. MAXWELL forces a smile. I never knew you were interested in(hesitation) Metaphysics. There is an awk ward beat of silence that follows. ANDONUTS (rolling up maps) Because I believe it to be one of the great epicenters of metaphysical research. ANDONUTS On that I'll do my best. MAXWELL stands and looks at his watch. Sighing and brushing back his hair. MAXWELL Right. DR. MAXWELL (voice muffled. DR. uncomfortable) Promise you won't get in over your head. Doctor? NESS He is. I ought to be getting back to them. And you've your own classes to attend to. I've read up on the subject. ANDONUTS Of course not.

but for just a quick second. PAULA (speaking to PU) Oh wow. but to where? A ruminating PU opens his eyes. stands. NESS I saw a swamp! It was almost like I was there. Focus moves to PAULA briefly as she removes the Sound Stone from NESS's backpack . wisdom. packing it with new bottle rockets and ammunition. and the scene cuts to a view of a s tifling. To find what is impossible. NESS does not respond. does anyone have any ideas at all? A period of silence cuts into the conversation as DR. or why it's important. NESS Weak signal. It flashes. insight. NESS (stunned) I saw it! Or I saw something. JEFF Swamp(unfurling a map on the table) There are swamplands all over the world. The stone glows. JEFF It was pointing south. there must be guidance. Focus returns immediately to NESS. I never would have thought of that. NESS So then we go south. resting his hand on the stone. emitting a beam that cuts through the back of the room before it thins o ut. and one to carry them all. That must mean it's far away. and places an arm between NESS and PAULA . Shouldn't we be figuring out where to go next? I mean. How did you know? PU This is simple. NESS Is that where we're going then? JEFF You're the one with the stone. This image is little more than a brief flash. She holds it out to him with a smile and he places his hand upon it. He looks on as JEFF folds a few maps and puts them into h . waterlogged jungle. but especially so in the southern continents bordering the equator. ANDONUTS gathers up the re st of his documents and JEFF removes his shoulder-bag from the table.NESS I still don't get what all this is.

PAULA We're going together and that's that. bat in hand and bag over his shoulders. You'll have to put up with my piloting skills and travel the old-fashioned way. NESS (CONT. you mean I can't use teleportation to go somewhere I've never been before? PU It is a risk. leaving PAULA to smooth the wrinkles of her dress in discomfort before following. CUT TO: INT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY : MAIN CORRIDOR : MORNING : A rotary payphone hangs on the left wall in a hallway lined with wooden benches. Father? JEFF and DR. dons his white scarf and the sheepskin scabbard.is bag. PU This will fail. JEFF closes his bag. Could you give me a hand out. PU watches them passively. Once gone. JEFF I'll go fire her up then. JEFF and DR. JEFF (speaking to NESS) Sorry. ANDONUTS exit. Without knowledge. the camera turns to NESS a nd PAULA. and then straps it and his rocket launcher--now in two piec es--over his shoulder. now that I know how. NESS puts the Sound Stone in his backpack and slides out of his chair. who appear uneasy.) I saw where it was. Many are now lost in the air from their mistake. . and then come back. and exits as well. PAULA gives him a smile. mate. NESS Is your dad really going to let you take that? Looking at each other. PAULA What are you thinking? Without responding. one loses himself. You guys won't have to go anywhere. The power works from memory or a vision of great force. ANDONUTS shrug their shoulders. He walks off-screen. Should only take a few. NESS Why don't I just go there myself? All focus shifts to him and the rest of the action stops. I can just teleport there. NESS So.

PAULA waits beside him. her tone fi lled with despair and desperation. NESS'S MOTHER speaks into the phone. Who you goin' to call? Your mum or somethin'? (pause. NESS Yeah. STUDENT #2 exits and PAULA moves closer to NESS. but can you please go away now? Please? Visibly offended. but me mum tells me not to eat them so much cause theyNESS (interjecting) All right! Thanks for the money. that's me. There is an a udible ringing over the phone line that sounds several times before a female voi ce answers. but he ain't takin' classes or nothin'. NESS (trembling) Hello. NESS slips the coins into the payphone and dials. stop! After a round of garbled noise. STUDENT #2 (handing over the money) S'all right. Could I just borrow some coins already? Enough for two calls.Students dressed similarly to JEFF and TONY pass by as NESS walks on-screen. You sound funny. STUDENT #2 Do they got a lot of fat people in Eagleland? I heard everyone there was really fat. The child adjusts his hat and begins to dig in his pock ets. I don't use mine much. you'll have to press one and zero to dial out. no. ain't you? I can tell by the way you talk. pu lling along a small boy. right? I like chips. her tone sleepy. . right. Mom? TRACY (stunned. are ya? They say there was this kid. Oh. if it's okay. grin) You're from Eagleland. now awake) Ness? Ness. STUDENT #2 (fidgeting) You ain't from around here. PAULA joins them. it's Ness! Come quick! NESS No. The yo unger STUDENT fidgets. do you? You call them somethin' else. Cept you don't call them chips. wait! Tracy. cause all they got to eat is burgers and chips. That must be you then. oh my gosh! (shouting away from the phone) Mom! Mom. and then I think press one again to call your country. and he came to the Academy with Jeff Andonuts.

but I can't. I can't talk long. NESS (continuing) -that I really want to tell you. baby.. Shuffling and light sobbing is heard through the receiver.. NESS'S MOTHER (frantic) No! Ness. I can't. please! NESS I'm sorry. (muffled sounds) Ness. NESS shoves the phone back onto its hold. who tries to remain expressionless.NESS'S MOTHER (frantic) Ness! Ness. But look. and leans into the wall with his eyes closed. but I can't go on like this. cutting off the desperate cries of his mother. when are you coming home? NESS Not now. He's still away. . You're my brave boy. (hesitation) Look. wait! Don't hang up! Don't hang up on me. When are you coming home? NESS I can't! You don't understandNESS'S MOTHER (interjecting. I love you. you have to tell me where you are. Your father and I. close to tears) I wish I did. I'm all right. we've called everywhere. Mom. NESS'S MOTHER But wait! Please. PAULA places a hand on hi m. I've gotta go. Mom. NESS'S MOTHER (choking up) I know you are. my baby boy! Where are you? It's been weeks! NESS I know. You'll just have to trust me. Please don't cry. Mom. NESS glances at PAULA . talked to everyone! NESS (stunned) Dad's there? NESS'S MOTHER No.

I am going to rush off and join a traveling circus. ANDONUTS laugh. making it appear brand new. the sun is unable to shine. standing upright) Your turn. PAULA Called your mom? NESS Left home. The landscape is a blanke t of white with the cleared runway and repaired vehicle sitting in the middle of it all.NESS I shouldn't have done it. (sighing. PU is i . Both exit down the corridor. JEFF Only three more minutes. TONY No worries. fidget for a moment. Every dent in its body h as been removed. The Sky Runner is again sleek and streamlined. Behind them. That's not enough time to get back inside and upstairs to your class. wearing a heavy coat over his school uniform. Tony. CUT TO: EXT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY LAB : LANDING GRID : MORNING : Hidden behind gray clouds. And I wanted to see you off. He knows where I am. so they won't have too much to worry about. (pause) You are coming back. TONY is also present. sorta. after all. PAULA looks at the coins as NESS hands them over. toward a set of double doors at the other end. PAULA I better not. but JEFF and DR. I don't think I'll be brave enough to hang up the phone if they start to cry. ANDONUTS and JEFF stand together with PU beside the open door on its port si de. closing her fingers around the m. ain't you? JEFF (sighing) No. (putting the coins aside) And. He speak s with JEFF as NESS and PAULA enter the scene from the direction of the ACADEMY. PAULA forces a smile that abruptly fades. PAULA (CONT. Uncle Ian's talked to my mom and dad. Jeff and Pu must be wondering what's taking us so long.. and then take eac h other by the hand. I'm sure. NESS and PAULA exchange troubled glances. TONY appears disheartened.) Come on. It's only Professor Maxwell.. DR.

ci . Both watch as fire streams from its thrusters and it tears through the sky. and a somber-looking NESS into t he Sky Runner with their belongings in hand. After packing the receiver phone in his bag. ANDONUTS) Thank you. If you all have found what you are searching for and have heard nothing from me. Maxwell should have news of my progress. JEFF climbs into the Sky Runner and closes the door. I may need to make contact with you. DR. (smile fades) Before I change my mind and insist you continue on with your studies.nspecting the Sky Runner with marked confusion. Father. twi sting away from the landing grid. patting JEFF on the shoulder) Run along now. DR. then I think it best you return to the Academy. ANDONUTS (smiling. DR. ANDONUTS leads TONY away until the vehicle has enough clearance for take-off . ANDONUTS Oh yes! That reminds me. Go on. And please. ANDONUTS If anything comes up. as I ought to have done in the first place. (reaching into his white coat) Take this. TONY I know you done a lot since you first went away. JEFF turns over the black object given to him and flips it open to reveal a disc reet receiver phone. ANDONUTS Just a precaution. Its engines being to roar. Tony. JEFF You're going to call us? DR. yes. try to keep it in one piece. DR. TONY latches onto the strap of JEFF 's shoulder-bag before he is able to board. Snow blows upward on all sides. PAULA (speaking to JEFF) Sorry about the wait. JEFF keeps his smile while he ushers PAULA. JEFF But we may be too far out of range. and you met some new people and all. But will we be friends again when you get back? JEFF I never stopped being your friend. PU. We had to make a phone call. JEFF (shaking hands with DR.

TRACY and her mother sit together at the t able. When the door is opened. A single boom is all it leaves behind. rev line of clouds moving over ONETT. TRACY grabs his collar.rcling back once before it moves south. pa ws resting atop it. and then shifts to KING on the floor. King! Here. He might have to go outside. ANDONUTS heads back toward the ACADEMY. Mom? He never acts like this. His abrupt exit incites TRACY a nd her mother to follow. The camera draws in between them. He leaps up at the gate. Jeff. a nd this too eventually fades into the distance. In the kitchen of NESS'S HOME. TRACY takes her mother by the hand. NESS'S MOTHER King? What're you doing? TRACY Come here. stop! Sit! (struggling) What's going on. TRACY King. who remain together on the front step. boy! Ignoring all commands. and huffs once. I'm sure. DR. camera cuts to a view behind them. Both are dressed in pastel robes. TONY Be seein' you. They listen to KING in silence until the ealing the landscape beyond and a roiling clouds are unnaturally black and portions tint. TONY watches the cloud-filled sky and wraps his coat more tightly around himself . But he's far too stubborn to admit it. T hen. NESS'S MOTHER Let him go. Focus returns to TRACY and NESS'S MOTHER. Once the vehicle is out of sight . DR. KING skids to a stop at the front door and begins to scra tch incessantly. KING bolts across the yard. darkened by the pre-dawn sky ou tside. He has one hand on his schoolboy's hat to keep it from blowing away in the win d. their expressions sullen. and there he begins to bark with an uncharacteristic fervor. walking) Perhaps I should have kept them one week longer. he takes off toward the front of the house. The of the surrounding sky boast a reddish . NESS'S MOTHER is working through a fit of silent tears. ears erect and eyes focused straight ahead. ANDONUTS He has forgotten something. CUT TO: INT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOME : EARLY MORNING/DAWN : The white landscape jumps to one of softer hues. (pause. He lifts his head.

PU walks away in silence and joins NESS and PAULA at the edge of the riverbank. while JEFF emerges from the S ky Runner with his belongings. a gesture that PAULA promptly re sponds to. Focus shifts there to catch LARDNA stepping out She turns to speak to PICKY. at least we're close. frilled pink dress. She puts her hand on the stone and the same guiding beam emerges. Momma? There is no response. The surface appears flat. the camera pans out of th e yard with KING still barking. looking statuesque. It is here the Sky Runne r has touched down. can't you do something with it? Use your mind power to lift it out of the muck. closing his bag with several folded maps in hand. Focus shifts to him. who stands on the r words are indistinct. a layer of green scum re sting atop it. Plants of every variety rise from the depths: some with broad. and then the camera pans ching in. At such a distance. The camera pans over the immediate area as NESS and PAULA stand together in the knee-high grass. NESS removes the Sound Stone from his backpack. he car parked in front of her house over to the harbinger clouds mar . Doesn't mean you can fly it any better than before. All of this weight makes his movements u ngainly. She gets into the black with visible urgency. JEFF Well. FADE TO: EXT : SOUTHLANDS : DEEP DARKNESS : LATE MORNING/NOONTIME : Black clouds become the thick. maki ng a diagonal path toward the cliffs. It's positively deplorable. frustrated) So you can fix the bloody thing in a week.TRACY Storm clouds. JEFF (stumbling. PU is nearby. We can just follow the light. He is stopped for a moment by the sound of a car engine at the MINCH household. thi s time much brighter. He struggles to carry both t he overloaded shoulder-bag and bazooka. JEFF approaches them. ba nded leaves. (turning toward the vehicle) Just look at it. rolling right up to the shore and feeding into t he swamp. doorstep. A vast sea stretches northward. Cutting again to a frontal view. (speaking to PU) Here. A solid strip of land fringed with abundant flora acts as a natural ba rrier between the larger body of water and dense river. PAULA Looks like it. spreading out toward solid land and a wall of rising cliffs in the west. Great trees with twisted trunks dominat e the landscape. stagnant waters of a tropic wetland as the previo us scene melds into the next. some with tall fronds or bright blooms that stand out against the f orbidding gray-green colors around them. in a bright. It cuts straight through the trees and tangled vines. its landing gear crushed beneath the vehicle as it lies with nose buried in the earth.

they stick in my mouth. Looked pretty dry to me. Try touching it again. NESS (eating) I saw it! In a cave! PAULA A cave? Are you sure? NESS It looked like a cave. PU No. So let me ask. You ate most of it before we were even out of Winters.NESS Couldn't we eat something first? JEFF I didn't bring all that much food with me. Perhaps it will show you something else. He holds o ut the Sound Stone for PU. rows of l ight flickering in pitch black and illuminating a solid rock wall. It was dark and there were lights all around. The scene cuts to darkness. Focus returns immediately to NESS. JEFF Thank Science for that. And it's been more than a day! With the maps held under one arm. I would keep the . This image is little more than a brief flash. I don't think so. NESS I'll take his! JEFF (passing on the food) I say we worry less about stuffing our faces and more about the rock. but PU declines. This is the swamp. Let's head out then in a west-southwesterly direction. He offers them to everyone. NESS (groaning) I'm so hungry. his mouth stuffed with food. PAULA Do you think? Ness said he saw a swamp last time. JEFF reaches into his bag again and pulls out a few biscuits and crumpets wrapped in paper. isn't it? NESS nods but does not verbally respond. was the one you saw underwater? NESS No. I'm pretty sure. JEFF (unfolding a map) There are several systems of submerged and aboveground caves in the area. who touches it.

PU (gesturing to NESS) You must lead. I expect. He teeters awkwardly in place. NESS leaps into the water with the Sound Stone in hand and wades over to PAULA. Father will probably never allow me to operate any of his vehicles again. PAULA I'm good. I suppose I packed it a bit too full. shrugs his shoulders. Why don't you let me carry your bat for you? JEFF Yes. NESS balances on the edge of the bank. It's kind of squishy. but JEFF remains hesitant on the riverbank. PU leaps straight in and is covered up to his midriff with b lack water and muck. NESS (staring into the water) Right. or whatever it is? JEFF glances at the Sky Runner. She might not wanna get her dress all dirty. and begins to wrap his shoulder-bag mor e tightly around his neck until the strap has shortened considerably and the bag itself is resting across his shoulder blades. but there's no telling how deep this is. We may be checking it often. You think we can just walk right through it? Holding his arms out at odd angles. I mean. Without hesitation. so we may as well move on. NESS (bitter. A resounding splash is heard off-screen and the camera jumps abruptly to PAULA a s she presses the billowing ends of her dress under the surface and smiles at NE SS. or are you afraid? NESS (offended) No way! I was just worried about how deep the water was--for Paula. but not too bad. PAULA What about your plane. tossing his bat to PAULA) Shut up. There isn't a thing I can do about that now. JEFF Not much I can do out here. JEFF (gagging) Oh good Lord. and steps to the edge of t he bank. All attention shifts to him as he pu ts away his maps. Give it to someone who can handle herself. sets down the bazooka.stone on hand. NESS .

but I really can't afford to get any of this wet. PU walks behind him and helps hold the shoulder-bag above the water. NESS It's so hot. NESS and his friends wade through the muck of the river single-file. nearly loses his balance. reaching into the grass for his weap on. and then opts for sliding off the bank on his bottom. as the trunks have grown together and branche s become entwined.What're you doing? Trying to kill yourself? JEFF (coughing) No! . NESS waits for PAULA to respond and the guiding bea m to show itself. The others watch with puzzled expressions. bloody hell! CUT TO: EXT : SOUTHLANDS : DEEP DARKNESS : BLACK RIVER : AFTERNOON : Creeping vines hang down from the trees in a twisted maze of brown and green. fruit and flowers that are n ot reflected in the murky water below.no. And this place stinks--literally. Their faces are stained with sweat. PAULA You aren't going to try and carry that all. He re the foliage is much more dense. Are we still going the right way? Holding out the Sound Stone. dragging te ndrils of green scum along with them. are you? JEFF It's no problem! I can manage. JEFF is cradling his weapon with visible anxiety. PAULA It's been quite a while now. JEFF dips one foot toward the water. this . covered with bright slime molds.. JEFF squirms in the muck. JEFF (fumbling with the bazooka) Hey! Where are you all going? Wait-! (dropping part of the weapon) Oh. their hair sticky from the humidity. NESS Or my neighbors' bathroom.. JEFF (coughing) Could have done without that one. JEFF Smells like the local tip. and then move on. Its light cuts another path into the waterlogged forest. The rockets I have packed away will be useless if I drop them in the water.

and JEFF draw in close while PU climbs among the roots t hat have broken the black surface. NESS. JEFF (frustrated) Now see here. Only the fumbling and splashing of JEFF can be heard. leaving them to drop into the water below. w ho holds the other end and motions the group into silence. JEFF shouts from his position off-screen. . Sever al of them fall among PU. NESS Followed? By who? There's no one else here. Let's see if we can make our way through the trees. PAULA (smiling) But I'm the one with the bat. Th ey cut away vines as they move. look what's happened! Would you mind telling me what all the fuss is about? PU We are followed.time in a northwesterly direction. JEFF We've gone too far south. A sharp cry follows. PAULA. even a few days worth of time. NESS Are you sure you can get through there with all your stuff? Why don't you let us carry some of it? JEFF I believe I am capable. Dozens of tiny green bodies dart through the canopy. all goes quiet. JEFF continues to str uggle until he has freed himself. With the weapon retrieved. Blood seeps out between his fingers. I'll protect you. his words cut off by PU. thank you. but he does not react. PAULA removes her hand from the stone and the beam disappears. he is see n cradling the rocket launcher in one arm and holding his cheek with the other. don't worry. leaving the bag in PU's arms. rather than follow the open river. Just a quick jog through the woods and thenJEFF is yanked back by the strap of his shoulder-bag. approaching PAULA) An animal? Uh. Paula. PAULA Is it an animal or something? NESS (uncomfortable. PU leaves the bag with NESS and slips through the trees with almost soundless st ealth. but in the proce ss has dropped both parts of the rocket launcher. Insects provide a soft whirr in the b ackground. Could save us hours. obscured by the foliage. and when focus turns to him. He fumbles wildly to retrieve them.

His wears a skirt ma de of dried grasses. but handcrafted by and for a warrior. Like the rest of his kind. reaching for the item) Hey. TEBARI keeps his head down. it drops into the wat er as smoke rises from the site. JEFF (frustrated. and then. skin smoldering and a tiny s pear in one hand. and then a streak of gree n and brown races before NESS. or do something. TEBARI But time enough to destroy our home! There is a round of stunned silence in the group. then I'm Mary Poppins! NESS I don't care what it is. He can't really hurt us. The weapon he carries is meager. with thin-but-flexible arms and legs. A previously unseen creature appears. The Franklin Badge drop s into the water. There is a small pop and burst of fla me that travels from the tips of his fingers to a spot in the air near PAULA. hysterical) And it talks.JEFF (stunned) Ouch! Something bit me! A pause as the camera pans over the rest of the group. Get rid of it. JEFF (offended) Can't hurt us? That bloody thing almost took my face off! If that's a frog. chase it away. He's got the little spear and . I don't think. one arm out. Stunned by the fire. This is TEBARI: a member of the TENDA TRIBE. Of course it does. PU (speaking to TEBARI) You follow us? PAULA Don't frighten him! He looks like a little frog. Jeff! Why wouldn't it? It's not like this is the first strange creature you've come across. and a wide head. like a torpedo. he has the pliable green flesh of an amphibian. my badge! JEFF Watch it there! Hold onto the bag! PU leaps back into the water. cutting across his shirt. He stands no taller than a foot in hei ght. NESS (bewildered. it shoots to the near est collection of roots where it hops out and sits. We don't have time for this. NESS pins the badge to his shirt with one hand while he and the others stare at the TENDA creature.

There are places on its body where the pai nt has been scratched off. pink and round--dark colors and strange dress. Shattered tree limbs litter the grass-covered clearing ahead of them. Giant furrows of mud and dirt rise up on either side of a mangle d vehicle whose remnants have been scattered about. When we find it. the sooner we can go and leave your family in peace. TEBARI hops away through the trees along their bridge-like roots. formerly pristine and yellow. TEBARI Come with me. PU You have a name? TEBARI (proud. TEBARI hops out of the water and onto a spongy patch of land. He looks like a frog. TEBARI (standing) Then you search for the one like yourself? NESS There's other people here? Other humans? TEBARI Face soft like the skin of ripe fruit. He grabs for the spear and NESS steps up.the skirt. casualties of a disaster that has split the canopy and left much of the surrounding plant life disturbed. We're just looking for something. It's only natural that he should talk! (fumbling with the bazooka) I knew I should have stayed in Winters! PAULA approaches TEBARI and he lifts his head to stare at her with beady pitch-b lack eyes. TEBARI hesitates at the edge of the tall grass. It is a helicopter. He is followed by NESS and the others. CUT TO: EXT : SOUTHLANDS : DEEP DARKNESS : CRASH SITE : AFTERNOON : From the left side of the screen. PAULA We're not here to destroy your home. but now broken. Its door hangs open and the rotors from atop its head lay in pieces among the wreckage. PAULA Maybe you could help us find what we're looking for? The sooner we get to it. we promise to leave as soon as possible. The others fol low. last warrior of my tribe. standing tall) I am Tebari of Tenda. TEBARI .

We are left with shattered lives. He backs out imm ediately and swats them away. JEFF I expect he's around here somewhere. once more donning his shoulder-bag and carrying the parts of the rocket launcher at his side. NESS (incredulous.Cover your face. it has to be! NESS approaches. PAULA a nd JEFF hang back and are eventually moved off-screen as the camera tracks TEBAR I's movement. trails of blood left on the seats and floor. JEFF enters the scene. PU looks into the cabin. attempting to peer into the cabin. we're looking for a cave. Gesturing in silence. that smell! What the hell is that? With NESS heaving in the background.) That isn't Porky. An internal view r eveals more mangled machinery. NESS is overwhelmed by the flies. TEBARI There was one like you who came to our homes and left destruction. TEBARI hops into the clearing toward the open door of the helicopter. NESS (CONT. . Ther e is a man lying halfway out of the cockpit with an open head wound. but went alone. I don't know who that is. PU is behind them. but Porky's gone. NESS drops the shoulder-bag onto the ground. That's all I know. TEBARI hops onto the twisted skids lying beside the vehicl e. PU (speaking to NESS) The man is dead. (hopping down) This is what you search for? NESS Actually. approaching the vehicle) Dead! Are you sure? While peering into the cabin. One with bright lights on the walls. NESS (confounded) That's Porky's! That's the helicopter he took off in. and then pulls back as a vio lent fit of coughing overtakes him. NESS (gagging) Oh God. He ask to be taken to the Origin. Try not to breathe. With NESS following close behind. Flies swarm around him and begin to gather near the doorway. hand over his nose and mouth. my people more afraid.

and then gestures with his spear. who is again holding all of his own possessions. TEBARI hops throu gh the clearing and over everything in his path. I take them to the Hall of Light. the land slopes upward--a dramatic and sudden display of height-and separates itself from the low-lying swamp.There is a moment of silence in which TEBARI stands with a contemplative express ion. They take note of NESS and his friends upon their entrance and scatter immediately. a fiery glow spreads throughout the swamp. TEBARI disappears into the tunnel entrance as focus shifts to NESS. The camera pans over it all--from the white-and-brown marbled walls and myriad o f tiny tunnel entrances among them. who remain expressionless and quiet. They lie in piles of rubble on the floor. CUT TO: INT : SOUTHLANDS : DEEP DARKNESS : TENDA VILLAGE : EVENING : This scene opens on a close shot of the group. and then he fo llows with the others in tow. TEBARI leads the others. Closer in. To this point. . TEBARI Come. blocking any holes nearby. TEBARI (projecting) My people. I take you to this cave. He observes the others. some no larger than what a m ouse could fit through. NESS looks at the others. and thick grasses obscure the perpetually wet dirt beneath th em. and then he stops to wait for t hem. moving into the scene with cautious yet hasty gestures. The largest sits near the bottom on a solid patch of lan d where grass has been worn away. seeking refug e in the tunnels. Among this wreckage are trail s of viscous black fluid that refuse to dissipate or dry. but with weaker mus cles--busy themselves at the rock piles. NESS That's a promise I'll make sure we all keep. clearing away debris. Some of these have been destroyed. but you promise not to bother my people. Members of the TENDA TRIBE--similar in appearance to TEBARI. At various locations in the cliffs there are holes. There is visible hesitation. TEBARI bounding ahead of everyone through a narrow corridor that opens up into a broad room filled with handmade lanterns. There are misshapen stains of blood scattered about that have long since dried. to the rock bridges stretching from one side of the room to the other. CUT TO: EXT : SOUTHLANDS : DEEP DARKNESS : WESTERN CLIFFS : EVENING : As the sun dips toward the horizon. Trees grow out of the earth rath er than the water. t urning what was once sullen gray into a wild burst of color. The ground along the cliffs is much more solid. do not feel afraid! Strangers have vowed peace for my assistance.

PAULA smiles and laughs quietly. This what we are left with. we now feel more fear than ever before. More of the TENDA approach during the exchange. but an austere look from NESS quiets her humor. that he was just being a jackass. The camera pans over both walls as whispers emanate f Small creatures. like always. One comes within str iking distance of the group. Only in recent times have others ventured out(brandishing his spear) -to make weapons and catch fish. But has taken much time. We are very fond of peace. or the person that came here. Myself I taught with hope of teaching others. NESS and the others gather behind TEBARI. squeezing the Sound Stone) That again. But there's something going on. NESS We should be careful. Their bodi es shake and they keep their arms and legs pulled in close. Did it take you this long to figure it out? I've known there was something up since I first awoke and saw your bright shining faces staring back at me. NESS (speaking to TEBARI) So you're saying Porky. much more frail than TEBARI. I knew it. TENDA #1 (soft-spoken) We are shy. TEBARI No need to feel fear. wow. rances and stare the scene.Silence pervades ar the center of rom the tunnels. PAULA (speaking to NESS) Oh. gather at the ent at the visitors. Some of the more inquisitive TENDA tribesmen emerge from the tunnels. adjusting his glasses) Too right there is. did all of this? Destroyed your homes andTEBARI One like you. TEBARI hops to a pile of rubble and gathers some of the stray black fluid onto t he end of his spear where it smolders and drips off in thick globs. And with intrusion. All this time I thought our running into him was just a coincidence. and evil all around. waiting ne the room. JEFF (scoffing. It's a whole village of little frog people. much larger. NESS (stern. NESS .

but keep s a respectable distance. which is considerably smaller. I know we're getting close. PU You will take us? NESS We have to get to the cave first. It's possible he came here for another reason.Whatever we're doing involves Porky. <i?CUT TO: INT : SOUTHLANDS : DEEP DARKNESS : TENDA HIGHWAY : EVENING : Near-impenetrable black consumes the screen. a single lantern hangs from a h ook near the floor. (holding up the Sound Stone) It feels warm. What is it? Is that the cave we're looking for? TEBARI The Origin is a great mountain past our swamp. They do so and exit the scene. PAULA Maybe he doesn't. gesturing for the group to follow him down an uneven flight of stairs c arved into the rock. CUT TO: INT : SOUTHLANDS : DEEP DARKNESS : LUMINE HALL : EVENING : Switching to a closer shot of the group. TEBARI exits with the rest of the group. This gives the illusion that they are high above the cave floor. CUT TO: INT : SOUTHLANDS : DEEP DARKNESS : HIGHWAY ENTRANCE : EVENING : In the next room. Its light is enough to outline the shapes of TEBARI. too. A few TENDAS trail after them. and the narrow bridge of rock they walk on. The Sound Stone is glowing in NESS's hand. NESS and the others. follow. But I don't know what and I don't know how he knows. where the glo w of the lantern can be seen from a distance. Hall of Lights is ahead. Focus shifts over to TEBARI as he slides the lantern onto hi s spear. stumbling into a wider opening where TEBARI rests his spear and lantern against the wall. NESS But what! (speaking to TEBARI) You said he wanted to go to the Origin. NESS and the others pass with visible difficulty. except at the center. TEBARI (moving away) Come. . TEBARI leads them off the bridge throug h a corridor that only he can traverse with ease.

Wouldn't want to frighten poor Paula away. JEFF (smiling) Then I suppose you ought to be careful. The next segment is colored in s epia tone.TEBARI (gesturing) Hall of Lights is there. scattering the light in waves. NESS It's saying what I think. They clear a space more than ten meters tall and begin to crawl from rig ht to left--a scrolling marquee that forms the following: "My dad.. I want to go home. which is bathed in total darknes s. the room is left illuminated by tiny beads of white. I wonder what he's doing. his words scrolls across the wall behind. hey. JEFF (adjusting his glasses) Bioluminescence. They are small but numerous. and when he turns toward the camera he reveals the newborn baby in his arms. Sounds of shuffling feet and hushed voices can be heard. Without responding.. Another flash and the dream sequence ends. The lights reflect in his eyes.. staring up at the wall as the lights reconvene in a flurry of mo vement. Focus turns to TEBARI. who looks at his friends with an expression that i s a mix of confusion and embarrassment. Camera angle cuts to a view inside LUMINE HALL. and they fli cker like stars in the night sky. NESS smiles and places the trembling Sound Stone against his forehead. and that was me . There is a sudden flash as the scene cuts away from him. yellow. suggesting a memory or flashback. alternating their patterns at random. When he speaks. When most of the brightness fades. NESS approaches the wall and places his hand upon it. and then the others. Incredible! I have never heard of organisms with such traits gathering in this way. Music playing but it lasts for only a few short notes. TEBARI bounds ahead of the group. and they follow the glow of the Sound Stone until a sudden eruption of light forces everyone to a st andstill. after a moment of hesitation. NESS (peering into the next room) Looks kind of dark to me. They gather around him then and outline each of his fingers. . NESS follows. NESS backs off. He is wearing an old t-shirt and frayed denim shorts. A man with dark hair stands before a window with his back to the screen. how does it know-" The camera pans over to NESS. and green on the wall.. wrapped in a blue blanket. and then to NESS and his friend s. I'm so tired. who stands in silent awe. I'm so hungry...

NESS (speaking to the TENDA) Hey. NESS approaches the lighted wall. the other TENDA enter. Oh that's right! It only works on you. JEFF That's a lie if I ever heard one. almost reverent fashion. Don't be shy. I'm not up for anymore traveling today.NESS grins and stands still for a moment while more words appear: "Jeff has a really stupid haircut" There is laughter from PAULA. They are carrying fruit and tiny earthenware bowls. I promise. and sits against i t with the stone in his lap. I suppose you'll never know what I was thinking. keeping close. but not unkind. Never in darkness. come on. After some silent coaxing from TEBARI. JEFF Clever. PAULA follows suit. NESS (speaking to PU) What's wrong? We're not contagious. TENDA CHIEF We are shy. Here. the TENDA place their food items before th e group and back away. which JEFF also adds to. but I'm so hungry. TEBARI hops up to a small rock near NESS. Only PU sits apart from the group. One tribesman with horns atop his head offers up an espec ially large bowl. will you? PU cuts into the exchange by gesturing to the group of TENDA creatures that have filed into LUMINE HALL. In a humble. NESS Thanks. TEBARI approaches them. drops his bat and backpack. NESS Is this for us? The TENDA watch from across the room. NESS holds one of the bowls. let me try. I'm really glad we're here" . which is just big enough to fit perfectly between h is hands. JEFF is quick to join. We're not gonna hurt you. I take at sunlight. The following wo rds scroll across the wall: "This smells really weird. It is filled with saturated and thinly-sliced leaves. TEBARI If you wish see the Origin. They keep a respectable distance as they admire the lig htshow.

S. empty bowls scattered about. It rests in great mountain." -C. except for a small gathe ring of lights around NESS. Apparently watches that are waterproof aren t sludge-and-slime-proof. and NESS responds by placing his own han d upon it. "You do not have a soul. FADE OUT END ACT TEN. As the scene come s into focus. NESS (groggy.With focus on the group. They scatter when he moves. The wall behind them is dark. View switches to NESS. the Origin is not far. the lighted wall casts a soft glow as a wavelike pattern scrolls across it--the lines of a heartbeat. At the center is a mound of rocky earth from which lava bubbles out of like a fountain. We must go soon. PU We cannot wait longer. He draws himself out of a sleep-induced stupor as the res t of the group assembles. they begin to eat. You ARE a soul. CUT TO: INT : SOUTHLANDS : THE ORIGIN : FIRE SPRING : LATE AFTERNOON : The scene shifts from NESS to the fiery pits of a cave--walls that appear to be infused with orange and red. TEBARI (speaking off-screen) From here. This scene fades into the next: NESS and his friends have fallen asleep against one another. before everything is lost. Lewis ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ EARTHBOUND. NESS I think the only thing I m losing is sleep. TEBARI stands at the center with his spear and lantern in hand. PU kneels and takes up the Sound Stone. rubbing his eyes) What s up? What time is it? JEFF Couldn t tell you. PU slides closer to join them and th e TENDA exit in silence. You have a body. a place where souls gather and . There is a blue flash as he closes his eyes. which melts away slowly to reveal a blurred orange glow. Behind them. ACT ELEVEN FADE IN INT : SOUTHLANDS : DEEP DARKNESS : LUMINE HALL : LATE MORNING : The shuffling of feet and metal clinking against metal can be heard through the dark.

This is one of the Sanctuaries I was told to find. It rests far abo ve a lava sea. During TEBARI s monologue. . The quaking grows more violent. It ll be faster that way. He hands all of his possessions. turning his shoe up to reveal a steaming black liquid dripping off its sole. Wolfish ears. but that s not what we re looking for. which fo rms the head. Here I am needed with my people. skidding across the walkway. There is no response. except the Sound Sto ne. but I cannot leave. Focus shifts to NESS as he snatches the Sound Stone back from the edge. I show you the way to go. who looses a stream of fire in his direction. NESS This is it. NESS starts along the walkway and. The stone is glowing brightly and trembling in his hand. His attention turns to CARBON DOG. There is an ope ning on this wall to the rest of the mountain. Many thanks for promises kept. and dark pits in place of the eyes are the last to take shape before the creature CARBON DOG climbs out of the lava pool. Trails of fire flank it s body and churn within its mouth as it readies an attack. just like I saw it before we left. the lava is roiling. finds one of his feet stu ck. All of his attention remains focused here while the camera moves ahead. PAULA What do we do then? I mean. shaking the lava sea. One great wave rises over the walkway and latches on. He struggles. and then come back. he crawls after it. and in it stands NESS and his friends. (pause) I ll go by myself. an elongated jaw filled with glassy teeth. In a panic. then another. after we re done here.the world speaks. connected to the outer wall by a natural walkway. Balanced on the walkway. Below. their skin flushed bright red and dotted with persp iration. Please understand. NESS stares over the edge. the camera pans over the inner sanctum of FIRE SPRING: an area that is almost completely isolated within the mountain. His look of disgust changes to fright as the earth starts to ratt le beneath him. and it should be the last. to PAULA. it towers over everything else. You won t have to carry anything. A third and much larger mass bubbles up. holding it close. becoming a pair of bestial limbs with curved black claws. NESS loses his balance and the Sound Stone drops out of his hand. several steps over. PAULA Is this supposed to be the Origin? NESS I don t know. and the outside world. JEFF drops his shoulder-bag and bazooka with fevered exhaustion. releasing pockets of fire and steam. He hangs back w hile the others approach the walkway.

CARBON DOG paws its face. He slips the glowing Sound Stone into his backpack. and attempts to concentrate. and it sends r ipples of the same color in a dome over NESS. glasses askew. An attack is shot toward her. Lava bubbles up from the wound and bursts. and then breaks apart . becoming nothin g more than a puff of steam. powdery blue air curls out. but u ltimately fizzle out. or God s idea of a joke. tearing away part of its jaw. sits up. PAULA drops and PU catches her from behind. He pieces to gether the bazooka and loads it. NESS draws his arms away from his head. Damn it all! I knew I should have stayed in Winters! Setting the weapon over his shoulder. Focus shifts to NESS. PAULA closes her eyes. setting her on her feet. arms across her chest. PU ignites a spark at the end of his left hand and f lings it toward CARBON DOG in a straight arrow of energy that snaps upon contact . He pushes them up the bridge of his nose. I can t do it! PU (shouting) Concentrate! Focus your mind! Behind them. He drops the weapon in his surprise and looks up just in time to see the rocket collide with CARBON DOG . All the while. his body is shaking. PU (focused. launching a poorly-aimed rocket to ward the beast.PAULA (shouting. Howling. one arm out) Ness! Hold still! Green light flickers around PAULA seconds before the attack hits. Soft. JEFF (shouting) Clear out of the way! PU steps aside as JEFF fires off his bazooka. and then thrusts both hands outwar d. Sweat is running into his eyes and his hair lies plastered . The shield glows as flames ricochet off its surface. Waves of multicolored light flit around him. stern) Stay up! It is fire. JEFF rests on one knee and tries to steady himself. who has put considerable distance between himself and the walkway. JEFF (panicked) Oh bloody hell! This is just a horrible dream. JEFF rummages through his shoulder-bag for ammunition. clenches his fists. The roar of CARBON DOG echoes within the room. again deflected by protective green l ight. spill ing black fluid like blood. Explosive recoil knocks him off balance. Fire sprays in all directions. so conjure ice as I taught you! Standing in front of PAULA. PAULA (frightened) It s too warm. and backs off as CARBON DOG loo ks to PAULA. but it withers in the heat.

calling o ut for assistance. (speaking to PAULA) You must conjure ice! (speaking to the group) Do all you can to keep it away! Again. split across an arc of swirling color. The second round slips past CARBON DOG and rattles the wall beyond. fingers spla yed. CARBON DOG creeps across the walkway. NESS (fearful) What was that? What s happening! PU Not enough power. mouth open and yowling. JEFF (frustrated. frightened) Damn it all! How could you miss a target that size? Concentrate. and then all of FIRE SPRING trembles. The fire fades out between the jaws of CARBON DOG as it protests. JEFF reloads his bazoo ka. PAULA tries he r hand at forming ice. CARBON DOG stumbles off-balance. Streams of light rise out of NESS and hit the creature as a multicolored shockwa ve. PAULA . He looks to PAULA. He lifts both arms. who is do ubled-over with exhaustion. PAULA struggles in her own efforts and PU takes up a defensive stance. I m way too tired. filling the cavern with the sound of thousands of clamoring instruments--an explosion that is magnified by the echoes it create s. I need more time. It disappears. PAULA (weak) I can t keep this up. whose eyes are shut. An acoustic barrage follows.against his face. visibly u nnerved. Jeff! Fire streaks toward him from off-screen and explodes just inches from his face. JEFF continues to load up his weapon. firing it off without thought. his glasses hanging halfway off his face. Focus shifts to PAULA. and roars as a fire starts in i ts mouth. but all attempts fail in the heat. who is closest. tumbling into the lava sea below. JEFF Thank you. Rocks are shaken loose from the ceili ng. leaving JEFF dumbstruck an d gaping. It turns to NESS. eyes blazing and black smoke pouring from every opening. PU closes himself off to the rest of the world. looking with much uncertainty at the last piece of ammunition. who has amassed a cloud of hazy blue around her hands. What re we going to do? How do we stop this! PAULA and JEFF look to PU. eyes shut.

the camera shifts back to PU. What was it. PU (arms up. When all has cleared. that s it! I think I got it! JEFF (weapon aimed and ready) Then here s mine! Firing off the bazooka.(arms out. NESS retrieves his belongings from the cavern fl oor. JEFF holds himself a bit steadier through the recoil. PU We are victorious. Torrents of black fluid pour from the wound. My training has given me strength to look beyond when in need of this power. lodging itself in the palate just before it explodes. NESS removes the Sound Stone from his backpack and it glows. but I feel really strong. The cavern rumb les again and the ceiling splits as streaks of colorless light crash through. Its body has become angular and transparent. The camera pans away from CARBON DOG as NESS and the others regain their senses. triumphant) That s it. a pool of black underneath. su rging toward CARBON DOG. whi ch in turn reveals the darkening sky beyond. pu shing up his glasses to watch the impact. steam enveloping the scene. over the tongue and teeth. JEFF (adjusting his glasses) What just happened? PAULA I m not sure. With CARBON DO G crippled. All focus returns to PU when he spe aks. There is a howling scream as the smoke clears. CARBON DOG stands frozen on the walkway. and rain onto the walkway. that s what! Oh yeah! PAULA (speaking to PU) I didn t know you could do that. A view of the ceiling shows the many openings created by the crashing light. They stand in stunned silence. The barrage hits and sends up a powerful blast. anyway? It was like magic. NESS (excited) We kicked its ass. PU There is no magic. The rocket sails straight through the jaws of CARBON DOG. shouting to PAULA) There! Now release it! PAULA lets go of the blue energy and PU brings his arms forward. He looks to the gro . only strong will and deep concentration. NESS an d his group shield themselves as the screen goes to white. like a statue mad e of diamond.

NESS (confused) That was me. The ambient sound of a heartbeat plays in the background. wh en he opens his eyes and sits upright. At the bottom he laughs and lifts up the cap. The others are moved off-screen as the camera follows NESS between the legs of C ARBON DOG. disappearing into him and leaving only a soft blue glow under the s kin that travels up the vein in his arm. His hat is missing and. NESS stands wide-eyed and dumbfounded before the fountain. panicked) No! No... Another flash and the dream sequence ends. over the puddles of black. A child in a red and blue baseball cap toddles awkwardly through the grass. NESS (grabbing for the light. a soft blue light trailing out of his mouth as his eyes close. From off-screen. which is much too large for his head. suggesting a memory or flashback. all frontal shots of NESS will remain above the waist ) When the brightness clears.up once. his friends c all out to him with panic in their voices. He smiles. NESS does not respond. his movements in slow-motion. PAULA Ness. All ambient sounds stop. continuously growing louder. The next segment is col ored in sepia tone. Music is playing but it lasts for only a few short notes. before starting across the walkway. the movement of the light cannot be seen unti l it emits one last burst at the center of his chest. the sweat stains and telltale signs of exhaustion gone from his face. The Sound Stone begins to melt. wait! PU Leave him. wipes the sweat from his forehead. and then goes quiet when he notices NESS staring at him from a few meters away. and then lifts the So und Stone there. There is nothing left of it. in silence. NESS holds it before him in fear as it fuses wit h his flesh. There is a sudden flash as the scene cuts away from him. It will not move again. he realizes the rest of his clothes are g one as well.. FADE TO: EXT : ETHEREAL SPACE : (For the following scenes. NESS goes pale and grips himself over his heart as he f alls to the ground. he exhales. . wait! Wait! Disappearing beneath NESS s clothes. NESS is left in a foggy white void. and up to the fountain where lava bubbles up placidly. Lying on his s ide. taking a tumble down a small hill..

NESS (touching his chest and stomach, fearful) My clothes! I m naked! Oh God(pause, looking around) There s no one else here, wherever here is. NESS stands and calls out to his group, but receives no response. He turns just as a tall figure emerges from the fog, its body covered in bright feathers. This is the FLYING MAN: a being dreamed into existence. He stands more than a meter taller than NESS, with a broad chest, muscular arms, and a bright red beak that matches the color of the feathers on his legs and sides of his head. The r est of his body is yellow. The FLYING MAN smiles as NESS retreats and takes him gently by the wrist. FLYING MAN NessThere is no response. FLYING MAN (CONT.) You have stood on the eight power spots of the Earth, and from them you have created Magicant, the realm of your soul. Here there is beauty, kindness, and sorrow; but there is an evil and violent side of yourself as well--the side that knows only anger and hatred. NESS (trembling) Who are you? FLYING MAN I am your courage. I will follow you to the sea. NESS The sea? The FLYING MAN offers NESS his hand and they walk on together, the fog clearing around them. Grass appears beneath their feet. Vegetables the size of trees dot the landscape, reaching toward a sky filled with twinkling stars. At its zenith there is deep purple and blue, becoming lighter in color along the horizon. NESS departs from FLYING MAN as the world around them materializes, racing down a slope to where shimmering violet waves meet the shore. The water stretches on into eternity, interrupted only by a spiraling track of land that branches off o f the one they stand on. NESS dips his feet in the water with caution. NESS It s not cold. (speaking to FLYING MAN) Is this the sea you were talking about? FLYING MAN Further on.

Gesturing for NESS to follow, the FLYING MAN continues westward along the shore where the land rises up and over the water like a bridge. He ascends, taking NES S by the hand. Flower stems sprout from the ground as they walk, blossoming into various food items. NESS laughs at this. NESS That s weird. Too bad I m not really hungry. (pause, embarrassed) Um, well all of this is kind of weird. Can I ask where my clothes went? FLYING MAN They are with your body. NESS (bothered) My body? But I m right here, and I m naked! FLYING MAN Just as you were on the day of your birth. NESS So, if my clothes are with my body, then I must be having a dream. None of this is real, is it? FLYING MAN It s best to say it is only real to you. NESS That doesn t make much sense, but I ll take your word for it. Don t you feel weird, though? I mean, with me just walking here without clothes? FLYING MAN I am a part of you. I do not see you either nude or clothed, only the brightness of your soul. After a pause, in which NESS keeps his head down and eyes on his feet, the conve rsation resumes. NESS Am I dead? The FLYING MAN looks at NESS, but does not respond. NESS (CONT.) How much farther until we get to the sea? FLYING MAN (laughing) Relax your mind a bit. You re too impatient. NESS Mom used to say that... As the land-bridge drops back down, FLYING MAN releases NESS and they approach a chartreuse table holding jars lined up end-to-end. With a curious, joyful expre ssion, NESS peers into the first and finds it devoid of everything but liquid. NESS

There s nothing in it. FLYING MAN Are you sure? NESS Yeah, I don t see anything. (moving on) Noting in this one either, or the next. FLYING MAN Maybe it is just too small to see. NESS Oh, wait! Down there! NESS races to another jar, which holds a small pink object that is curled into a n ovoid shape. There are similar objects in the following jars, each suspended i n their own clear fluids. They become progressively larger down the line. NESS g awks at each and comes to a stop at the last, which holds a fully-developed huma n fetus. A piece of masking tape on the jar sports his name. NESS They re babies--I mean, me, right? It says Ness right there. He picks up a folded card sitting beside the jar, which reads: To be continued... . Breaking into a small smile, NESS sets it down and walks on with the FLYING MAN . CUT TO: EXT : ETHEREAL SPACE : MAGICANT : The landmass broadens again at the end of the bridge, opening into a field of wh ite grass. Snowmen stand like sentries above everything around them, looking dow n upon a group of children tumbling and laughing together. The camera focuses on one boy, who is dressed in dark blue, a cap of the same color on his head. NESS and the FLYING MAN watch the children, who appear oblivious of all but thei r shared joy. NESS Hey, that s me again! Isn t it? (pause, observing) And there s Henry and Tom, Georgie, Timmy, and Jason. Wow, they look so little. The children race off-screen while their laughter continues. When they move, the y reveal a small blonde child in a dark shirt sitting against one of the snowmen . There are broken pieces of plastic scattered all around him, his face red with anger and tears spilling from his eyes. He looks to be no older than five. NESS That s Picky! NESS approaches and drops into the grass beside the CHILD PICKY, sending up a pu ff of white powder. CHILD PICKY acknowledges his presence with a look, but conti nues to cry.

NESS Picky, what s wrong? How did you get here? CHILD PICKY (sobbing) He broke my toys and stole the cookie Mum gave me! NESS Who, Porky? Porky s here, too? CHILD PICKY drops his head as another fit of sorrow overcomes him, his tiny body trembling. NESS touches his shoulder, and when CHILD PICKY looks up again, his face appears several years older, covered in purple contusions. Blood and mucus drip from his nose. The sight of this stuns NESS and he backs off in shock. CHILD PICKY (sobbing, sniffling) I don t wanna look at the meteor anymore. I don t want Dad to get mad again! Cutting to a shot behind NESS, he is seen backing away from CHILD PICKY as a man in frumpy, colorful clothing approaches. NESS turns to face him when their bodi es make contact. NESS (surprised) Everdred! (covering his groin, embarrassed) What, I mean howEVERDRED (interjecting, smiling) Hey Ness, I knew I d see you again. Paula s rather close to ya now, so I figure we ll be seein your mug around town a lot more. (chuckling, taking out a cigar) You remind me of myself when I was your age. NESS Um, thanks, I guess. FRANK approaches and stands beside EVERDRED, but the two do not acknowledge one another. FRANK You re a good kid, Ness. I think you should go talk to your mother. Wouldn t want to break her heart like you did the chair. NESS Yeah, thanks. But this is all a little too weird for me. I have to go. NESS walks on, his hands still covering his groin, and is joined again by the FL YING MAN. He points to a spot in the distance where the patch of land begins to thin out again. There, a section of carpet has been laid, decorated with pieces of furniture. Sitting among them are NESS S MOTHER, TRACY, and KING. NESS (shocked)

Mom! Mom! The family stands to greet NESS as he races to them, throwing himself at his mot her. She holds him with a smile. KING barks with uncharacteristic enthusiasm. NESS(CONT.) (close to tears) Oh Mom, I missed you so much! I m so sorry! NESS S MOTHER You don t have to be sorry, baby. TRACY Where you been, Bro? We were waiting for you. TRACY hugs NESS when their mother releases him. He puts one arm around her, but stands rigid. There is a look of embarrassment on his face. NESS Tracy, it s okay. Maybe you shouldn t(hesitation) I m sorry for not having my clothes. TRACY What do you mean, Bro? NESS (confused) Well, it s just that I feel I m kinda(hesitation) -not dressed for the occasion. TRACY (laughing) Don t be silly! It s only us here at home. Or were you going out somewhere? There is a pause in conversation. Tears begin to well up in NESS s eyes, but the c heerful expressions of his family members remain. FLYING MAN enters the shot and puts a hand on his shoulder. FLYING MAN Would you care to stay awhile? NESS (sorrowful) No. This isn t my real family. FLYING MAN They are only memories and thoughts within you. Everything they do extends as far as your knowledge of them, but no more. NESS wipes away the tears on his face. FLYING MAN (CONT.) (smiling) You have remembered only good things about your family. This part of you is filled with love.

The FLYING MAN and NESS walk away together, but the rest of the on-screen cast s tops where the carpet ends. The joy painted on their faces is undying. TRACY See you later then, Bro. NESS S MOTHER (smiling) I know you ll find what you re looking for. CUT TO: EXT : ETHEREAL SPACE : MAGICANT : ROAD TO EDEN : Beneath NESS and FLYING MAN, the powdery-white grass has tapered off into a wind ing road paved with marble tiles in all shades of violet. They form a checkerboa rd pattern that is bewildering to look upon, but against the spectrum of colors in the surrounding sea and sky, it stands out like a beacon of consistency. The tail end of the spiral path rests at its center in the distance, and there s tands an abstract silver monument shaped like the horn of a beast. NESS keeps hi s eyes on it as they walk. Wrapped gift boxes of all sizes scatter on the road before them, skate to the ed ge, and hop off into the water where they fold into tiny paper boats and drift a way. Several steps down the path, PORKY waits eagerly on the shore. He is dresse d in an old white shirt and tattered overalls, one strap hanging down his back; and he keeps his hands out as the boxes pass by with the hope of snatching one. When he does, he tears it open to find nothing more than a puff of sparkling whi te dust. The camera pans back over to NESS, who stands with an angry expression and arms plastered to his sides. His fists are shaking. When PORKY catches sight of him, he attempts to hide the new box in his hand. PORKY (surprised) Oh, Ness! There you are! Uh, here(holding out gift box) Happy Birthday! NESS (violently angry) It s not my birthday, you fat ass! I want to know why you re doing this. Why! PORKY I just got you a gift. Here, open it. With a sincere smile that seems almost out of place on him, PORKY hands over the box, which NESS opens. The wrapping disappears in a puff of colored smoke and l eaves behind a young, shaggy white dog. Sighing, NESS sets the dog down. NESS That wasn t from you. PORKY Yeah, and so? NESS

. The camera tracks his movements until PORKY is forced out of the shot. I m your friend. PORKY (ignoring previous comments) I have no luck at all. visibly uncomforta ble. PORKY (speaking off-screen. God. tell me this isn t real. The bones inside begin to snap. snatching N ESS at the wrist and twisting his arm until they face one another. I never told anyone this before. PORKY releases NESS and stands with head and shoulders down. and a thick. wrapping his arms around his neck in a tight embra ce that nearly sends them both to the ground. Everyone likes you! And sometimes I get kind of jealous. I ve got things to do. and turns a bright red. NESS I have to go now. Let s play. Please. NESS gapes and eyes widen in shock as PORKY slowl y crushes his wrist. NESS (bothered) All right. NESS Not anymore! PORKY throws himself at NESS. PORKY (grinning) Come on. Just like we always used to. but you re really lucky. you re hugging me and I m naked. His clothes h ave changed to a black and red suit. staining each of his teeth. dark fluid pours from his mout h. NESS continues to struggle while PORKY speaks. PORKY (somber) Ness. NESS struggles. NESS is quick to put distance between them. best friend.) Please say we ll be friends forever. NESS Let me go! You re choking me! In silence. sarcastic tone) Don t you always? You re such a hero. PORKY (CONT.(angry) Why re you trying to hurt me and my friends! PORKY (confused) Your what? Ness. The dog begins to yap in alarm as PORKY reaches back into the scene. and I feel like no one loves me--not even my own family.

When it do es. NESS (stunned) Thank you. He stops upon noticing his older self. Sc raps of colored paper lay scattered about his bare feet. bounding toward YOUNG NESS. who laughs and stands with his toy in hand. YOUNG NESS (offering the cap) Here. It opens to a burgundy crushed velvet interior with a model of the Earth on a spring that turns as music plays. NESS takes the cap without a word while YOUNG NESS playfully roughs up the dog. NESS puts it on and picks up the music box left behi nd. It i s no longer broken. This sounds exactly like it. no more than seven years of age. There is much improvement to be made. the land widens into a circular mass with the twisted silver horn at its center. A small music box is left where he has been sitting. They take off down the path together. the FLYING MAN nods and leads him onward with t he dog following close behind. you might need it more than me right now. This monument extends upward several meters w here it tapers off to a rounded point. Sitting before the monument is a YOUNG NESS. NESS The Sanctuaries! I heard music whenever I visited them. YOUNG NESS approaches and removes his baseball cap. FLYING MAN . Placing a feathered arm on NESS. The dog barks. Only traces of dust remain. FLYING MAN Not all of your memories are so lighthearted.A golden light grows out of PORKY. King! Faster! After looking over the cap. He wears a striped shir t and blue shorts much too large for him. emanating from his chest until it has envelop ed his body. CUT TO: EXT : ETHEREAL SPACE : MAGICANT : DOORWAY TO EDEN : At the center of the spiral path. FLYING MAN approaches and waits in silence until the music box stops. He releases NESS and abruptly vaporizes with a silent scream left o n his face. NESS That s why we have to get to the sea. FLYING MAN steps into the shot and looks down at NESS. YOUNG NESS Come on. who tests his wrist. NESS closes it and sets it down again. and he plays with a hand-drawn cutout of FLYING MAN.

NESS But you re my courage! I can t go without you! FLYING MAN (disintegrating. It may fill you with visions unimaginable. NESS approaches. which is why I urge you to go only when ready. but stops as the FLYING MAN continues to back away. but often find they cannot stand what they see. A soft breeze carries his feathers away over MAGICANT. Going on may bring great sorrow. Time will not pass. Only you can reach it. How? FLYING MAN (backing off) When the dream has passed. unnerved) I don t understand. . NESS (desperate) Wait. It holds the truth of the universe. Many people dedicate their entire lives and minds to reaching it. You must go on alone. NESS But my friends. arms out) You don t need what s been inside you all along. Just beyond this point is the Sea of Eden. NESS (concerned. I was made to be powerful and heroic. and then places it beneath h is cap. The FLYING MAN lifts his head as his body breaks down. please! I don t know where I am or what to do. You may stay here as long as you wish. leaving only empty space behind. The Sea of Eden is your most private of places. FLYING MAN This is where the soul connects to the rest of the universe. Ness. but I can never be anything more than a dream. turns it gently. I am only an image dreamed into existence by your young mind. I have to get back to them. a place of ultimate intelligence.This is where my journey ends and yours begins again. You have to come with me! FLYING MAN (smiling) Ness. His brightl y-colored body has lost some of its luster. NESS grabs one fe ather by the stem as it floats by. NESS (fearful) Wait! Aren t you coming with me? FLYING MAN I cease to exist beyond this point.

colorful reflections on the water. and the voices go silent. Along its back are red fringes that end just before its flat tail. The creatures make a hasty retreat into the sea when he comes within range. through which a body appe ars. the creature does not react to him. upset) . The force of the st ructure drags him inward slowly. During this time. the monument begins to glow. turning one ear toward it. NESS makes his way between a pair of them. A vie w from behind NESS captures the dazzling glow of the demonic NIGHTMARE figure. into a wider expanse of sea unevenly bordered by reeds and the black sky beyond. NESS lets out a scream as his body is absorbed by the monument. Unintelligible whispers emanate from it and grow louder as NESS approaches. Focus returns to NESS as he wades in this direction. Their movements upset the otherwise unbroken water and stir up more whispering voices. upon which sits a life-size replica of the golden MAN I-MANI statue: the NIGHTMARE of NESS s soul. At the center of this area is a rais ed. Fearful. but he is stuck. and then disappears. The camera lingers on NESS briefly. He frowns. He struggles to break the surface before realizing that the sea is quite shallow . NESS pulls back. NESS slips out of the void and drops into the calm violet water below. The serpent creature resurfaces and snakes its way toward the land where it is j oined by two others. NESS (confounded. Stunned and dripping wet. NESS Hello? Hey. CUT TO: EXT : ETHEREAL SPACE : MAGICANT : SEA OF EDEN : The screen is enveloped in a sudden onset of darkness. sucked in up to his elbows. CUT TO: EXT : ETHEREAL SPACE : MAGICANT : SEA OF EDEN : Purple and green spires break the even calm of the sea at various points--a shin ing part of the landscape that casts glassy. circular plot of land.Behind him. it s me! The voices begin to whisper again. the voices have grown louder. The water covers every part of him below the midriff. He resists with feet out and heels down. It follows the edge of the reeds to a bend in the waterw ay. NESS adjusts his cap and observes his surroundings. NESS (uncertain) Hello? (pause) Mom? Mom. though their words are still garbled. are you there? Wait for me! NESS places his hands on the monument and they meld with its surface. upse tting the forest of reeds that grow on either side. Though NESS appears unnerved by it. A serpentine form as thick as a tree slithers by. cutting through the water like a knife.

The men fall around him. who looks up at hi m and grins. CUT: The garbage-ridden streets of downtown ONETT and a gang of young men dressed in black surround NESS. because you are the one who forced me into being. You cannot destroy me. Again. CUT: Blood seeps into the cracks of an old wood floor as the mangled body of CARPAINT ER lies smoldering before NESS. When these effects fade. the desire to kill. CUT: NESS is seen just outside his home in ONETT.. but he now stands doubled-over with both arms across his st omach. Coughing. NIGHTMARE Ness. He catches some of the s teaming fluid on his hands and stares at it in fear. It is in everyone. The surrounding water has darkened. the light it gives off intensifie s and blinds him temporarily.. NESS vomits into the water and black swirls around him. and the guilt that comes with it. who begins to lash out of them with waves of psychic energy . NESS vomits. wrapping around his head and forcing the following string of scenes into his mind. When NESS is within a few paces of the statue. NESS What do you mean? An arm of red energy whips toward NESS. and focus returns to NESS in the SEA OF EDEN. NIGHTMARE (CONT. I am the evil part of your soul. the NIGHTMARE figure is l eft with waves of blood-red energy curling about it like fire. PORKY Freak! CUT: A flash of light. Behind the body stands PORKY. breaking arms and snapping necks.) Anger and hatred murder the souls of the innocent. Will you let these emotions consume you? . he begins to choke on a thick black fluid that bubbles out of h is mouth. NIGHTMARE The will to cause pain.It s Carpainter s statue! But we destroyed it in Fourside! It should be gone. The energy waves have gone from him. shouting at PORKY before the two be gin to tear into one another with fists and fingernails. screaming. the lust for revenge. NESS advances with caution. His eyes are glued to the statue.

because I don t and they re probably too. The second serpent explodes and the water drops again. I want to be friends with our neighbors again and go back to the way things used to be! One of the serpents rears up out of the sea. NESS (CONT. Focu s shifts to the statue. . He will continue to spew his hatred and shed blood in blind rage until the blackness of his soul has consumed him. them one more time. I don t want to kill anybody or anything. mom I love her. NESS (CONT.) I want Dad to come home.The serpent creatures resurface and the whispering resumes. to which NESS turns his attenti on.) I wanna get back to know where they are wondering about me. the NIGHTMARE crumbles and falls into the sea. It open s its mouth and screams a second before exploding. I want to tell Tracy that I m sorry for teasing her sometimes. and when this happens. Atop the pedestal of land. the sea has darkened completely and risen up to his chest. NESS (CONT. and I wanna make both my parents proud. the wa ter level drops slightly. Trails of black drip down his chin. its head round and eyeless. I just need to see And I ve gotta tell my The last serpent is destroyed as the water level falls to NESS s waist and the bla ck fluid is washed away. The surrounding noise stops.) I never wanted to leave! I want to tell my mom that I m sorry for making her cry. A sharp crack is heard. NESS (sorrowful) I just want to go home. I want to help people and stop all this fighting. my friends. but it only adds to the rising din--the sound of NESS heaving and the waves of energy swarming the s tatue. Tears are spilling from his eyes. When the camera returns to NESS. NESS (angry) I m not evil! He is! Another wave of nausea hits and the creatures in the water become restless. NIGHTMARE There is no limit to the evil man can commit. NESS vomits a third time before looking up.

SPIRIT You are with me now. . revealing NESS suspended in the air. NESS I want to help. This lasts several seconds before some of th e brightness begins to fade. NESS s body begins to glow a brilliant blue. SPIRIT Evil in its purest form is seeping through the cracks. We don t know what to do anymore. Mother? A cloud drifts beneath NESS and cradles his body. where only the purest of souls can enter. and let my power become yoursAs the SPIRIT speaks. But I think we re lost. My body will blacken and burn. When he hits the water. and then closes his eyes. SPIRIT Then take these eight pieces of me into your heart. as will all of you.. There is hatred spreading throughout my world. The camera moves through them as they part. I needed to be certain that you and the other three could reach me. it wraps around him like a pair of arm s. NESS We tried. opening his eyes) Mother? SPIRIT My son. I have waited more than a decade to speak with you. or what s happening.. He falls backwar d in slow-motion. NESS stirs at the sound of an omnipresent female voice--that of an unseen SPIRIT --which is soft and full of love.NESS stands dumbfounded for a moment. FADE TO: EXT : ETHEREAL SPACE : The screen is obliterated by white. Hi s nude body is curled into a fetal position with a semi-transparent umbilical co rd trailing out from his navel. NESS Where am I. Soon it will overwhelm me. Really. We have been connected since your birth. and it has turned my children into monsters. Mother. NESS (sleepy. Its other end is buried within the clouds. and that your intentions were filled with love. SPIRIT Ness. and then absorbs his body entirely. leaving an ivory void filled with thick clouds.

) The Giant s footstep. the rain from my skies. I promise. that is me. letting him down slowly. the trails of tiny feet.SPIRIT (CONT. T he SPIRIT voice laughs softly. my son. There is a mother waiting with sorrow in her heart. our heartbeats. SPIRIT To confront the evil force descending on me. Beneath NESS. Red and yellow energies form between his fingertips. Your body is lying empty still. or the rain running through your hair. the cloud parts. These are yours. SPIRIT All of the answers can be found in the valley of the Saturns. the sand on your bottom. SPIRIT (CONT. NESS And my friends? SPIRIT Everyone who has ever loved you is waiting. and he watches them chang e shape. NESS But I don t know how. NESS embraces the cloud beside him. and the fire within my soul. the clouds above my head. The umbilical cord pops off his stomach and retracts. unless destroyed. SPIRIT (CONT. now. you must travel several revolutions back.) Go on.) Do what you must. the milk from my breast. . When you feel the grass between your toes. From there the evil will spread. Mother. I cannot keep you here forever. but never forget that you are twice a son. NESS (exuberant) I can feel them! The blue light travels outward from the center of NESS s body to each of his limbs . The glow fades from his body and. SPIRIT I will be here. smiling. NESS I ll miss you. the metal at my core. NESS I ll go back to her. and your path will become clear. Go there.

NESS But I remember everything. PAULA. This continues as the camera pans downward into FIRE SPRING near the lava founta in where the lifeless body of NESS lies in a circle of his friends. PAULA draws him into a tight em brace. who has turned away from the others. A soft glow emerges from off-screen in the direction of NESS. He begins to stir and. Focus shifts to PAULA and JEFF. which tapers off at one end like a comet tail. faces red and streak ed with tears. When he speaks. The stream of blue light enters the shot from above. I expect. Only PU makes a visible reaction. his voice cracks in an attempt to mask hi s sorrow. JEFF. What's happening? PAULA We thought you were dead. you came back! NESS (somewhat incoherent) I think I fell asleep. Ness! Ness. FADE OUT END ACT ELEVEN. and PU have gathered and laid him on his back. PAULA (stunned. "Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see. You went comatose. From a singular point in the distance. who are rubbing their eyes. drifting like air into the open mouth of NESS. pushes up his glasses and rubs his te ars off on his sleeve.The clouds dissipate and the white space fades to black. . Patterns of color swarm around him until they hav e fused with his body on the way down. ACT TWELVE FADE IN INT : SOUTHLANDS : THE ORIGIN : FIRE SPRING : NIGHT : Black obliterates the screen. JEFF Must have just passed out. the instant he sits upright. their belongings scattered aroun d. leaving only NESS until he too disappears into the void. His expression changes to one of intrigue. NESS emerge s and falls toward the camera. or something of that nature. He becomes a blue haze." ~William Newton Clarke ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ EARTHBOUND. relieved) Oh. JEFF.

JEFF What's this here? Have you got giant canaries growing out of your head? NESS takes back the feather and replaces it beneath his cap. Just trust me. exactly? The Sky Runner's in no conditionNESS (interjecting) Teleport. PAULA . JEFF How. I have something I need to take care of. PU (standing) And what of the rest of us? What of our world? PAULA And why now. g iving him a look of concern. Pu taught us how--or he taught me. but we have to go home--to my home. JEFF sighs and puts a hand to his forehead.PAULA (wiping her tears) Everything before you passed out. which JEFF pulls to r eveal a broad feather. Can you follow? I promise not to be long. Can we all go? I'm still not sure how that works. Look. you mean? NESS (standing up) No. I gotta do this. NESS (gathering his belongings) Great. everything. Ness? We still have more to do. NESS looks toward the night sky through the holes i n the ceiling of FIRE SPRING. NESS Just something I've had a long time. PAULA takes NESS by the hand. I don't know what to say to you guys that'll make any sense. or can't you feel that? NESS Yeah I can. but I need to go home first. A tuft of yellow protrudes from under NESS's baseball cap. I know what we have to do. PU It is possible for one to take another by joining hands. With her face still red and stricken with tears.

PU puts away his sword and the camera pans over to the front of the house. fixing his glasses) In the name of Science. rushing towa rd his home. Like the world's coming apart. what on Earth was that? PU Nothing like on Earth. FADE TO: EXT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOME : TIME INDISTINCT : The landscape of ONETT as seen from the hill comes into focus. He holds himself steady and low to the ground. They stumble toward the camera and NESS breaks contact. PAULA (shouting) Ness! Ness. I must say that sort of travel makes the Sky Runner seem positively dull. wait! PU appears hand-in-hand with JEFF and stops abruptly. What's going on? NESS (sullen) I don't know. beyond which only a dark sky is visible. It's something bad. c utting through the chest of a darkly-colored STARMAN as it appears above him. There are no lights or signs of life within the town itself. It is locked.. from which NESS and PA ULA emerge. Th ere is an inhuman scream and the STARMAN fades into a weak violet light. but I can feel it.. devoid of activity. causing JEFF to fall forwa rd with the weight of his belongings. waits. CUT: A view from the dirt road just outside NESS'S HOME shows the MINCH RESIDENCE fur ther down. where NESS is struggling with the door. and then swings right. Ness. JEFF (stunned) Good Lord. His hair is windblown and his glasses hang from one ear. PU (hushing JEFF) We are followed. JEFF (standing. leaving behind a puddle of black fluid. Black clouds have gathered over the town and hang as a gigantic cluster. .You're acting strange. Just above the center of the road comes a flash of light. JEFF (exasperated) By what this time? A toad wearing a loincloth? Silence falls as PU removes his sword from the scabbard draped over his shoulder .

A close shot of NE SS'S MOTHER reveals that she is crying. embracing one another as KING noses them and wags his tail with excitement. He's a professor. please! It's me! NESS yanks on the door. The children eat while TRACY stares at NESS. JEFF. NESS'S MOTHER (speaking to NESS) So. and his friends sit around the table in the kitchen as NESS'S MOTHE R moves back and forth between it and the refrigerator. open up. scientist and inventor at the academy there. The power's been out more than a day now. NESS. PU No family of mine still alive. I guess. JEFF Actually. The three fall to the floor. Her voice wavers a bit when she speaks. She looks up and focus shifts to PAULA. KING is lying on the flo or. Things are starting to go bad. and PU. stumbles backward as it is opened. A tense s ilence lingers for several seconds.NESS (shouting. I crashed my vehicle in the town of Threed by mistake. different places. PU By the threads of fate and destiny. NESS'S MOTHER stares at the group with food items in hand. head down. incessant ly wiping tears from her eyes. who stand at the edge of the yard. PAULA I just live in Twoson with my mom and dad. She sets food and drink in front of them. They work at a daycare and preschool. and then he leaps int o the arms of his mother and sister. eat as much as you can. We kind of all came together by chance. She sets them on the table loudly. I am alone in the rule of my kingdom in the Far East. where is it you're making all of these friends? NESS (eating. CUT TO: INT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOME : TIME INDISTINCT : TRACY. That's how I met them. desperate) Hey! Hey. (speaking to NESS'S MOTHER) I live with my father in Winters. NESS'S MOTHER (angry. appearing quite lost. speaking to NESS) . uncomfortable) Just around. NESS'S MOTHER Here. watching her.

Everyone else looks away. leaning against the table. Their flashes of red and blue are the only source of light in the unn atural gloom blanketing the landscape. You wouldn't understand. NESS'S MOTHER And that's all I get. NESS Really.Well I don't know what kind of game you've been playing but it has to stop. NESS'S MOTHER You smell. It isn't finished yet. NESS is the first to reach it. I don't. but not now. NESS (speaking into the phone) Hello? CUT TO: EXT : ONETT : OUTSKIRTS : TIME INDISTINCT : Police cars and barricades line the road leading into town. blocking the only en trance in. . The phone rings off-screen. lying to meNESS I didn't run away! I just had things to do. Mom. TRACY I thought the phones weren't working? When the second ring sounds. NESS'S MOTHER stares at her son. stunned. NESS'S MOTHER Like what! NESS (somber) You wouldn't understand. They all look at one another. NESS Mom-! NESS'S MOTHER (continuing) This is absolutely ridiculous! Running away from home for weeks. You wouldn't. They don't fit you anymore--you've lost weight! NESS I'll try and explain it to you sometime. Your clothes are filthy. NESS and TRACY dash out of their seats and into the living area where the phone sits on a table beside the couch. Another pause in conversation.

run off or something. but the power's out. Everyone's doing all right. not at all. This is NESS'S FATHER: dark-haired and with no distinguishing features. have you heard anything from the Minches? CUT: NESS'S FATHER The Minches? No. and I came to help your mother look for you. NESS Dad! Nothing! We're all right. Your mother says they're not at home. Are you at work? NESS'S FATHER I'm just outside of townCUT: NESS'S FATHER (CONT. I got off work as soon as I could. Ness. NESS .The camera pans over to a man standing beside a payphone on the sidewalk. staring at NESS. He wear s a long coat over a suit and carries a briefcase. What's going on? CUT: TRACY and her mother stand in the kitchen doorway. but no one ever answers. NESS'S FATHER (surprised) Ness. NESS'S FATHER Well I don't know how you got back into town. you're home! Your mother told me you had gone away. why would you run away? NESS I didn't.) The police have blocked off every possible road and highway through Onett. His ba ck is to the camera. The way the police are talking. NESS Somethin' like that. it's like a war's broken out. They're not letting anybody in or out. CUT: NESS Were you on your way home? NESS'S FATHER Yeah. Dad! It's too hard to explain. I've called their house a few times. but I think you ought to stay put. Hey Dad.

But when the collective streams of energy are unleashed. and friends calling after h im. Aga in he stumbles. son. but we haven't seen her come back. (pause) Hey Dad? I love you. Tell your mother. TRACY Is dad okay? NESS Yeah but the police won't let anyone into town. Minch left a few days ago and told Picky to stay and watch the house. much more powerful surge of energy breaks out of the shield from the inside. NESS'S MOTHER No! Ness. thrown off-balance by something unseen.Oh. Listen. A group of darkly-colore d STARMEN materialize around him as he falls. yellow. The camera tracks NESS's movements down the road toward the MINCH RESIDENCE. CUT: NESS I will. and then are torn apart as a larger. He trips when exiting the garden. NESS (walking out) I'll be right back. wait! CUT TO: EXT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOME : TIME INDISTINCT : NESS races out of his house with his mother. The STARMEN hang in the air. NESS hangs up the phone and turns to his family. Each STARMAN is engulfed in light. He stands and continues toward the house. I don't think anybody else is there. they bounce off a domed shield. sister. I'll see what I can do about getting back into town. NESS'S FATHER I love you too.. sending ripples of green light to the ground. have you guys seen the Minches at all? TRACY Mrs. trapping KING inside when he attempts to f ollow. their amorphous arms outstretched in preparat ion for an attack. and blue dissipate around NESS and black fluid rains down on all sides. CUT TO: INT : ONETT HILL : MINCH RESIDENCE : TIME INDISTINCT : .. Trails o f red. stunned.

looking around. PORKY puts a hand out and NESS pushes him away. and Mrs. There's monsters and evil things everywhere. NESS enters the living area and lets one hand trace along the back of the sofa. Minch? Picky? PORKY Forgetting someone? PORKY emerges from the darkness of the living area. That's your mistake. NESS (tense) Where's everyone else? PORKY What do you care? They're my family. All furnitur e and items appear just as they did in the first act. Ness? NESS (quivering) What's going on? I know you have something to do with all of this. NESS forms a mass of blue energy around his hand. The concentration of energy disa . are you. The camera cuts in more closely to NESS as he move s. But I knew you'd come looking.The front door is thrown open and NESS steps into a darkened house. isn't it? NESS backs off but PORKY matches him step-for-step. stepping forward) Is anyone here? There is no response. Where did they come from? PORKY Ness. PORKY (smiling) You're not going to do anything to your bestest friend. His right arm outstretched and fingers splayed. shocked) You're herePORKY This is my house. but the lights have been s hut off and silence pervades. don't worry. The glow casts a harsh light and haunting shadows over PORKY's visage. still wearing his suit. His flesh is noticeably paler than his last appearance. NESS (turning. It's not like anything really bad is gonna happen. Let's just go back to the way things were. NESS Hello? Mr. NESS Hello? (pause.

He's reaching out from the past and slowly creeping into your future. Only a table and chairs s tand out in the dim light that filters through the window on the other side. PORKY (CONT. Ness. NESS You're an idiot. and then dives beneath the table wi th his back against the wall. Porcelain figurines inside fall from their shelves and shatter. don't you think? I'll count to three and then we'll start. We're not friends. covering his eyes while NESS retrea ts to the kitchen. the power of Giygas is spreading. see who's the real tough one. The features of the room are mostly indistinguishable.) Let's play that game now. That's just the way things are.ppears. PORKY (frenzied) And what are you? The hero? NESS puts a hand to PORKY's face and spots of white energy flash from each of hi s fingertips. NESS From the past? That doesn't even make any sense! And what the hell is Giygas? PORKY It's not what he is. derisive) I thought you were so much stronger! Aren't you the cool guy? Aren't you the one everyone likes! PORKY shoves aside a chair and it falls near NESS. He is stumbli ng about blindly. PORKY stops and leans against it. PORKY This would be so much easier if I could just kill you now! (tripping over a chair. NESS (angry) Get away from me. PORKY latches on to NESS by the collar of his shirt and shoves him forward into a curio cabinet. PORKY shouts and releases him. angry) Where are you! Freak! Why don't you use some more of your freakshow powers like you did before? (kicking chairs aside. Games are always a lot of fun. And right now. I don't want anything to do with you! PORKY (approaching) We'll always be friends. which rattles behind them. Focus is kept there as PORKY enters. NES S skids across the kitchen floor. hesitates. dropping the scene back into darkness. It's what he isn't any more. prompting him to crawl to the other end of the table. .

and then together they disap pear. old pal. and then the sound of crashing instruments as waves of red. PORKY I have to leave you now. it does not move again. PICKY Where's Mum gone? Is she back yet? NESS Picky! You're here by yourself? Are you sure there's no one else home? PICKY (surprised. CUT: The upstairs of the MINCH RESIDENCE appears even darker than the rooms below. wh the room.. taking several pieces of furniture with it. PORKY exits. upturning the kitchen table. He waits a moment before crawling out.(walking out) One. ggles and his body glows. Focus returns to NESS. An attack is launched from the center of his ich shatters the STARMAN. There is a brief pause in action. He peers around both beds along the opposi te wall. NESS bolts out of the kitchen and is apprehended in the doorway by a second STAR MAN. stunned. NESS stru chest.. tripping over the scattered items as he goes. NESS . I tried to hide it from him. NESS is left in silence as the camera zooms in closer to catch the sound of his heavy breathing. It lifts him. Ness? (rubbing his face) Porky stole the yo-yo that you gave me. On ly the sound of shuffling feet and hands groping along the wall can be heard. The STARMAN is thrown across the living area into the far wall. PICKY crawls out of the entangled blankets and laundry. two. PORKY stands outside. A silver-colored STARMAN materializes behind PORKY. Once down. The explosion sends liquid black gobs across of NESS. the dark arm of a STARMAN grabs hold wrapping about his midriff. Dim lighting makes it di fficult to see the finer details of his face. and jumps back when one pile begins to move beside him. who is standing in the front doorway. whose shoulders and head are adorned with rounded spikes.. but he tore apart the room. I've got another time and place to be. NESS enters a dimly lit bedroom filled with piles of clothing and toys. an d then the opening of a door. Beyond the foyer and open door. An unseen shield around its body absorbs all of the beams shot toward it. and blue burst from NESS. crying) I thought you ran away. but his actions and sobbing expres s his sorrow.. yellow. but the game doesn't have to end. I'll be glad to play some more if we ever meet again. Pulsating with a neon pink light.

the sword is deflected off a dark shield that pulses when struck. NESS fires off bursts of energy toward them and the resulting ligh t overwhelms the screen. setting off an explosion of color as the weapons penetrate the shields around them. and then doubles back to hit the STARMAN. barking incessantly. His body sinks low to the ground. The STARMAN glows. The camera shifts in that direction. cutting through the shield like paper. Let's just get out of here. NESS helps PICKY to his feet as the sound of shattering glass cuts in from off-s creen. resting on one knee as he lines up an army of bott le rockets. A shift over to PAULA reveals her smiling at him before she hears NESS and PICKY enter the scene. but her face retains its expression of shock. I don't care. He swings it. The creatures hesitate. stunned. A si lver STARMAN--covered in spikes from its head down across its shoulders and back --appears before him. STARMEN reach in through the windows. but wait here. Only a shower of black is left behind. their appendages like liquid creeping arou nd the walls. the sword held in front of his chest as a yellow l ight spreads from his arm to the blade. CUT TO: EXT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOME : TIME INDISTINCT : Flames whip through the airspace just beyond the front gate. You can stay at my house. NESS Here. Okay? It'll be safer this way. PICKY But what if my mom comes back? Or Dad? NESS Then you can go with them. Cutting to a wider shot reveals PAULA and PU engaged in battle with a ring of STARMEN. NESS takes his mother by the hand and she acknowledges him. readying an attack. With each swipe. and PU stands back with eyes closed. that was one of my best yet! PU leaps on screen a fair distance from PAULA. wielding his Sword of Kings. Their eyes are glazed and mouths hang open in shock. . The rockets are fired just after the camera shifts focus to several dark STARMEN hovering in the air. Its body splits along a d iagonal and explodes. Both boys race through the yard to the front step where TRACY and her mother stand dumbfounded. PAULA (confident) Wow. and then are oblitera ted when a wall of flame is flung toward them from off-screen. KING is near him. JEFF is posi tioned several meters behind. PAULA shakes her right hand to douse the fire burning at the tip of her fingers.It's okay. you stay with Mom and Tracy. which PU nonchalant ly wipes from his face.

PU and JEFF follow in kind . (speaking to PU) Can you follow? PU nods and takes JEFF by the hand. I'm not running away. I know what I'm doing.) (nervous) Well. eliciting an awkward but compliant expressio n from him. The STARMEN explode. He said he would. PICKY (CONT. NESS reenters the scene and takes hold of PAULA by the hand .) (severe. If I leave.. I have to go again. um-.. But I have to do this. I'm not gonna leave you guys forever. so we have to lead them away. leavi ng PICKY on the doorstep with them as he rejoins the others.. yet compassionate) Mom. NESS All right guys. until my family comes back for me(hesitation) Could I call you Mom? . they'll follow me. excuse me. PICKY stands beside them and fidgets. They accelerate. I know he'd never lie about something like that. Ma'am. keeping her eyes on the place where NESS and his group di sappeared. NESS'S MOTHER and TRACY both look at PICKY just before the camera cuts over to h im. just trust me. You guys will be okay. NESS'S MOTHER (speaking softly to herself) That boy. We're going to Saturn Valley now. and then thin out quickly in a white burst of light. There's monsters and really bad things that wanna hurt people. PICKY (speaking from off-screen) Um. and focus is shifted back to the front step of NESS'S HOME. NESS runs with PAULA along the dirt road leading down to ONETT. JEFF Where my father is? NESS Yes. Those things are after us. but I can't come back until I make sure they're gone.. let's go. TRACY hugs her mother. Behind them.NESS (CONT. where's he gone to? TRACY He'll come back. PAULA and PU engage a few more STARMAN that have appeared out of th in air. NESS'S MOTHER looks on as NESS kisses her and embraces his sister.

NESS and PAULA. and then a close-up is shown of NESS'S MOTHER taking PICKY's small. NESS'S MOTHER Yes. ANDONUTS stops halfway down the slope and watches as PU casts beams of an ic y energy at the flames. then re leases an attack of his own. DR. tre mbling hand into her own. CUT TO: EXT : SATURN VALLEY : AFTERNOON : Thick plumes of smoke fill the air and ascend the bordering cliffs. of course. enter the scene in a burst of light. Great swa thes of the valley have been charred. Members of the SATURN TRIBE race about in panic. only to bounce off the unseen s hield NESS has surrounded himself with. The camera e ases into the valley where the roofs of several mud plaster huts burn furiously. smothering them and filling the valley with steam. Some SATURNS follow him to the nearest hut and watch as the flames continue to spread. ANDONUTS empties his buckets and starts back down the slope to a pool of water at the center of the valley. He kee ps his arms up and crossed in front of himself until the onslaught dies. sk idding to a stop between the burning huts. the camera cuts in to a close shot o f NESS dipping his hands into the pool of water at the center of SATURN VALLEY. followed by PU and JEFF. ANDONUTS--dressed in khaki-colored slacks and a sweat-stained. from the grass all the way up the rock wal ls. which a few SATURNS shuffle into piles. Volleys of red light are fired from the STARMEN. A cacophony of crashing instruments echoes througho ut the valley. Most of the handmade ladders lay in pieces. distancing themselves from the fires while a select few kick up dirt onto the flames at ground level. NESS looks to the rest of the group. Their voices blend together as they offer their th anks. a bucket of water in each hand. but they retreat when a ring of STARMEN materializes around NESS. DR. followed by a cas cading shower of black. PAULA follows his actions to a lesser extent until every fire has been doused. who stare back at him in silenc e. button-up shi rt with sleeves rolled to his elbows--trudges up a slope in the valley. DR. The energy hits the STARMEN and s ends them through the air where their metallic bodies explode. The SATURNS gather in droves. Breathless. More water! Wiping sweat from his forehead. joined by an eruption of color. The SATURNS squeak and bounce over to them with expressions of joy.A pause. Green light ripples on all sides. CUT TO: EXT : SATURN VALLEY : LATE AFTERNOON : Panning over the landscape at ground level. SATURN #1 (fearful) Still fire. . Some have already collapsed inward and been consumed by flame.

ANDONUTS Oh. ANDONUTS Yes. yes. ANDONUTS Because I know you would have arrived here in it if it had been in working order.His hat lies beside him. Each holds a hand-blown drinking glass filled with milk. JEFF . SATURN #2 White soul. JEFF's belongings are resting beside h im. JEFF (dumbfounded) How did you know? DR. So much has happened in such a short time. upturned to reveal the yellow feather inside. He lifts them off gently as PAULA laughs. there's something I ought to tell youDR. JEFF Father. DR. Everything I have ever read about the Saturns is true. A SATURN examines it closely. These creatures have an astounding array of abilities far beyond a mere animalistic intelligence. The Sky Runner is a junk heap again. ANDONUTS I was wondering when you all would get here. walking across his lap and over his s houlders. ANDONUTS on the rocks nearby. but very delicious. NESS reenters the shot and takes a seat in the grass near PAULA and JEFF. PAULA. Much of the tribe has gathered aro und them and sits passively in the grass. tastes like peaches. JEFF and PU sit in front of DR. The Saturns are incredible folk! So full of life and such intelligence! (taking a drink) Mm. You should try some. JEFF And what would that be? DR. DR. JEFF fidgets as some SATURNS crawl over him to get closer to NESS. kind heart. Many o f the SATURNS cluster around him. SATURN #1 We are friends all. ANDONUTS They can see the souls of living beings-just as easily as you and I see each other! Several more tribe members leap onto JEFF. Rather strange at first. yes! That reminds me! I've been meaning to tell you.

leaning forward) And in that stream of thought.Can they now? And what purpose would that serve? DR. to be more precise. (hesitation) One of my inventions was stolen by a man. ANDONUTS It's a very old invention of mine. ANDONUTS (sighing) My Phase Distorter. The SATURN sitting in JEFF's lap looks at him with big. JEFF What's been stolen? DR. the prototype. Some of the SATURNS sitting atop him lose their balance and roll off. He looked rather like a pig stuffed into a suit. ANDONUTS I beg your pardon. young man. JEFF (cynical) An old clunker is what it is. Father's idea of a time machine. JEFF (confused) You had the Phase Distorter shipped here? PAULA What is a Phase Distorter? DR. Much of the valley has suffered destruction. the losses we have suffered are great. (pause. ANDONUTS Well. Though we were able to quell the fires. but it just so happens that I have a whole tribe of people who've taken an interest in my work. JEFF What. One of my projects that I just haven't had time for since obtaining tenure at the Academy. these things here? Then I'd say they're just as strange as you are. I suppose it would be pertinent to spell out the details of our current dilemma. I built it long before any of you were born. wet eyes. . SATURN TRIBE (fearful) Black soul! Black soul! NESS looks up with an expression of anger. it would be useful to know if the person you were talking to was kind or otherwise. DR. Well. if you could call him that.

And the thief managed to get away with a few Saturns as well. she meant a full trip around the sunNESS I think so. NESS (speaking to DR. ANDONUTS If. it is. ANDONUTS) So you say it's been stolen? DR.JEFF (guilty) Sorry. ANDONUTS Indeed it has. time travel isn't possible! NESS No. I know he has. which is followed by uncomfortable silenc e. . by revolution. JEFF Right. JEFF (speaking to DR. JEFF sets aside his drink while DR. NESS (uncomfortable) It's Porky. but even so. That's a year. bouncing off one another. And that's where he's gone--to the past! I get it now! JEFF Well that's a first. So going several revolutions back would be traveling back in time several years! NESS stands abruptly in his excitement and the SATURNS that have gathered on his lap and at his feet fall into the grass. The tribe sighs in collective sadness. ANDONUTS I couldn't(indicating the SATURN TRIBE) But they have. He's taken it and gone somewhere with it. ANDONUTS) But how? I thought you couldn't get the Phase Distorter to work? DR. I didn't mean it. ANDONUTS finishes his own. NESS That's what Mother meant when she told me to go several revolutions back! PAULA (confused) Your mom told you that? When? DR.

completed just yesterday and even better than the first. DR. DR. nor was he aware of the upgrade being built. DR. except for a small opening carved into the northern cliff. but he did not steal my original plans. The SATURNS continue to paint and admire the Phase Distorter without distract ion.) Even Porky said that Giygas is moving from the past into our futures. but I know Porky's involved somehow and I know we've gotta stop it. using their toes in place of fingers. after a pause in which bewildered looks are exchanged. The res ulting artwork gives the vehicle the appearance of a large metallic SATURN. ANDONUTS exits the scene. Some tribe members perched atop short ladders paint designs in black on the Phas e Distorter with handmade brushes. ANDONUTS . DR. Its shape is flawl bulbous protrusion on one side. DR. they are able to accomplish great feats in no time at all. The Saturns have a vast amount of materials and rare elements at their disposal. ANDONUTS If there's one thing I've learned during my stay. ANDONUTS Here it is. I still don't know who or what it is. DR.NESS (CONT. it is that the ingenuity of these creatures is relentless. CUT TO: EXT : SATURN VALLEY : CAVE ENTRANCE : LATE AFTERNON : At the mouth of a ts while a few of here there sits a ess. PU It is the evil infecting our world? NESS That's right. ANDONUTS wai the SATURNS gather at his feet. JEFF Giygas? Seems to me I've heard that name before. NESS follows abruptly and. JEFF and PU follow as well. NESS So does it work then? Could we take it into the past to find what we're looking for? There is an uncomfortable pause in which only the human cast members are affecte d. He gestures the group inside w round gray vehicle more than ten feet tall. and with so many of them working together. (smiling) Our thief may have stolen my prototype. PAULA. ANDONUTS sets aside his empty drinking glass and stands.

then souls must. leaving the SAT URN to bounce away through the grass. ANDONUTS (sullen) As far as I am aware. There is no response. but because the human body could not withstand the pressure. ANDONUTS looks over the Phase Distorter while the SATURNS c ontinue to decorate it. NESS So that's it then. NESS stands and exits the scene in a hurry. JEFF and PU are moved off-screen as the camera follows NESS. NESS Then how did Porky-? DR. I imagine the risks would be innumerable. PU If bodies cannot fly. NESS Meaning what? DR. ANDONUTS shakes his head. DR. PAULA There has to be some other way. making itself at home in NESS's lap. but I cannot promise that it will work well. SATURN #3 White soul put in jar? NESS What's that? SATURN #3 White soul put in jar? Safe keep? NESS Put a soul in a jar? After a brief pause. With an expression of visible dismay. I have never tested a machine of this caliber. CUT TO: INT : SATURN VALLEY : CAVE : LATE AFTERNOON : Within the cave. The SATURN nudges NESS with its nose. NESS exits t he cave and his friends follow. They sit in the grass a few paces away. You'd think building a time machine would be the hard part.My guess is it will work. Not to mention a slight drawback of our own human frailty. Turns out we can't even use it. He does not acknowledge NESS when he enters. PAULA. it is impossible for any human to travel through time--not because the feat itself cannot be achieved. One trib e member joins them. It's far too powerful. .

NESS So can we do it? Could we make something that's like a body and then find some way of putting a soul in there? DR. of course. what about just their soul? DR. ANDONUTS) Sir! If a person's body can't travel through time. DR. DR. PAULA You think it's going to work? NESS Yeah. It has to. and what if we could put the soul inside something. casting its light onto the land below. The moon stands out i n the cloudless sky as a sliver of white. ANDONUTS looks at NESS. and then a shift in focus to the cave. ANDONUTS It's not something I have tried before. but I can't wait to go home. what'll we do? PAULA I don't know. Some tribe members rest in the spaces between. ANDONUTS Into a corpse? NESS No. A pause. CUT TO: EXT : SATURN VALLEY : NIGHT : Whirring insect voices fill the air throughout the valley. P U sits a few paces away. NESS Okay. like a body. from which JEFF emerges and stan . NESS and PAULA lie together in the grass just outside. the expression on his face changing to joyful enthus iasm. as would the soul inside it. no! I mean like(hesitation) I don't know. ANDONUTS Give me at least a day and I'll have it done. It and the fire from a small lantern inside the cave provide the only light sou rces. DR. asleep. close but not touching. Otherwise. a jar! Or some object. but not alive. ANDONUTS Yes. but I imagine that said object would be just fine. The soul exists on many planes simultaneously and is not static or transient like the human body.NESS (speaking to DR.

The camera cuts ba ck to them. NESS (taking PAULA's hand) As soon as we make things right. NESS Can't go home just yet. DR. JEFF exits the cave. ANDONUTS They're complete. but their functionality is still in question. not just yet. ANDONUTS and the metal pieces scattered in front of him. The Phase Distorter sits at the center of everything. PAULA (sliding her hand over) No. DR. ANDONUTS No. and even more around DR. His appearance is bedraggled and suggests great exhaustion. I am not entirely certain. JEFF You sure this is going to work? DR. But soon. FADE TO: EXT : SATURN VALLEY : EVENING : Darkness melds into a canvas of fiery colors. which is easier said than done. It would be prudent to test them out first. Those that are inside stand at the feet of NESS and his friend s. There is a lull in conversation before DR. A view from just outside the cave reveals the entirety of the SATURN TRIBE crowd ing the entrance. The sun has set below the cliffs s urrounding the valley. smiling. DR. The camera slips past him and back up into the night sky. JEFF And how exactly does one transfer his soul . ANDONUTS is beside it. son. but I have faith. JEFF reenters the cave where the painted Phase Distorter sits open at its missha pen end.ds in the entryway. There are a dozen SATURNS clustered around it. go far! Zoom! JEFF I suppose I need a bit more of it myself. and its lingering rays drown the landscape in red and ora nge. ANDONUTS Get some rest. ANDONUTS speaks again. He takes note of NESS and PAULA. SATURN #4 Make fly. We can take it from here.

and my soul to the good of all. ANDONUTS before conversation resumes. ANDONUTS (continuing) When leaving its body. We should think about this. such as the mouth. the only way to separate a soul from its bodyJEFF (interjecting. The movements of the soul are near impossible to measure or predict. I have pledged myself. should be able to do this. ANDONUTS) If it works. could the souls go back into their bodies? DR. However. We've come this far. ANDONUTS (uncomfortable) That's the difficult part. sighing) . the soul must pass out through an open orifice. I was able to equip the Phase Distorter with a machine that. stern) Is through death.into these things? DR. NESS Then let's try it. We have to. Try it on me. What's the point in giving up now? PU (stepping forward) I am ready also. Their bodies obscure the metal objects lying near the Pha se Distorter. PAULA and JEFF move off-screen while NESS wades through the crowd of SATURNS. ANDONUTS (reluctant. There is further hesitation from DR. PAULA Ness. my mind. It is why this field is often discredited or discounted among other sciences. could they be put back? I mean. DR. NESS I'll go first. in theory. I'm not afraid. I cannot promise any of you anything. in which the SATURNS jostle one another for a pos ition inside the cave. DR. ANDONUTS I am not certain it works that way. Really. no. With the help of the Saturns. An uncomfortable pause ensues. (speaking to DR. NESS Either we try this or we sit here and let the world go to Hell.

Animated and waving his arms about. ANDONUTS shaking as he applies the device. NESS turns away. NESS stands at the f ront of the Phase Distorter. even as he turns toward NESS. it comes into focus slowly. PU There is no shame in this death. ANDONUTS steps on-screen. These in turn are transferred t o one of the metal objects on the floor. past PAULA and JEFF. T he ambient noise fades out. from within. The ventral protrusion on the Phase Distorter opens and. ANDONUTS fits a transparent mask over NESS's mouth. Brief shots of PAULA and JEFF rushing toward him in panic are seen before the scene cuts to black. PU The soul lives on. the lifeless bodies of NESS and PU can be seen lying beside one an other with a formation of SATURNS nearby. but why can't I hear them? PU We have lost our ears in leaving our bodies. He speaks to J EFF. which connects to the machine through thin filaments. pans along the walls. To the right. who are working even more fervently to get near him. His voice sounds close and there is no res onance to it. The camera. still within NESS. when the device is fitted to him. which leaves a few seconds of quiet before the mecha nical sounds of the Phase Distorter takes over. PU breaks through the quiet suddenly. Focus shifts instantly to NESS's point-of-view--staring upward at the ceiling. JEFF takes a seat near them and. PAULA is wearing an expression of horror an d JEFF is beside her. There is silence and the darkness holds for a few moments. NESS screams and his view distor ts as he thrashes. but his voice cannot be heard. It's like a dream. PU places his Sword of Kings over one of the metal objects. NESS But I'm not dead! I don't feel like I am. a small de vice is extracted. lying on his back when DR. He leaves the scene again. It is with our minds we must communicate. NESS This isn't real. Your body lies empty on the ground. DR. Put them here. I can see what's going on.All right then. When the scene fades back in. DR. indicating that he is communicating with telepathy. ANDONUTS makes the indic ation. Set aside any material possessions you want to take with you. but look there. JEFF Hello hello? Am I hearing things? NESS . looking aghast. t he SATURNS nosing about him and DR. begins to struggle. and do wn to the SATURNS.

it disappears. As if traveling so swiftly that it appears not to go anywhere at all. They are all the same in height and shape--lightweigh t and slim. It begins to hum after that. but I can't hear much of anything else. increasing in volume. the Phase Distorter starts to fade in section s. Only the objects they carry set them apart. There is only a control panel and empty space within. I'm guessing Jeff can take us from there. Then. yes. ANDONUTS I do hope that boy can pilot this one better than he could the Sky Runner. (horrified) Oh good Lord! I just saw myself! I look like an asphyxiated trout. The SATURNS flee from the sound. Crossing his arms behind his back. NESS enters as the camera cuts away from his point-of-view to one that captures the whole interior of the cave. JEFF (exasperated) Yes. DR. FADE OUT . Andonuts? He's talking to me but there isn't anything coming out. DR. the camera looks over the rest of the group. which is like a fierce whirling. The bo dies lie neatly beside one another. ANDONUTS exits the cave. Leave it all to me. and in their place stand four humanoid figur es fashioned out of metal. ovoid heads with dark ocular pits. in a bright flash.Jeff! Can you hear us? JEFF It seems I can. and no distinguish ing marks among them. PU wears his s cabbard and JEFF carries his shoulder-bag and bazooka. DR. Does anyone have any idea what to do? PAULA He said to get in the Phase Distorter. At their feet the SATURNS bounce with visible joy as a round door on the Phase D istorter slides open. Still in NESS's perspective. NESS A what? PAULA What now? NESS Paula! You're here already? PAULA How come I can hear you but I can't hear Dr. movable limbs. NESS We have to talk to each other this way. ANDONUTS watches the robotic four board the vehicle and its door close behin d them.

NESS touches it while the others e Phase Distorter. seemingly-bottomless void. roiling red streams of energy pour from a single area in th e sky and spread like ribbons across it. and PU with his sword. JEFF with his shoulder-bag and weapon. still and pristine. It's kind of making me afraid. silver-blue monument stands like the bent horn of . The vehicle sits upon a narr ow and winding track of land covered with untamed grass. The shape is akin to a whirlpool. The one containing NESS's soul moves away from the group to the here a large. It flies in n abrupt stop. leaving innumerable extensions that continue on to eternity. EARTHBOUND. The four souls within their metallic bodies step out. too. It is a natural bridge sitting high above a dark. PAULA I do. PU (pointing) Look there! Above them in the distance. They are joined the direction of the camera.END ACT TWELVE. It is important to note here that all objects are ill uminated by a non-existent light source. Don't you know how to drive that thing? JEFF Good enough. PU I feel much strength and energy in this place. as though it has race across the screen. n rounded off to a fine point. NESS This isn't the right time. but it stopped on its own. In various places it has b roken apart. JEFF Anyone have any idea why we've stopped? Is this where we're meant to be? PAULA I thought you did that on purpose. ACT THIRTEEN FADE IN: EXT : UNDERWORLD : THE ORIGIN : HORN CAVE : TIME INDISTINCT : Out of pitch blackness. streams of light by a streak of pure silver. (calling to NESS) Ness come back! We have to stay together. and in that instant takes lm. yet i northwest edge w some great beast where it has bee remain beside th . At that moment also. Focus is placed on the Phase Distorter as its round port-side door slides open. It seems to have grown out of the Earth at least ten feet up. past the point where the broken pieces of land have faded into darkness. the landscape comes into view. but we're close. The ho rizon is black as the sky. comes to a on the shape of the Phase Distorter--ca never moved from its former location.

SATURN #8 Was four. PAULA (impressed) Very good. PAULA takes it. but my guess is it feeds off the conscious workings of the soul. NESS's metallic body reenters the shot. SATURN #9 lifts its right foot. JEFF It's all starting to make sense. but not this time. I thought I felt something here. PAULA and JEFF enter the shot. followed shortly by NESS. but now in pieces. we was.t is growing outward instead of drawing into itself. but appear listless. though. Zoom. Three SATURNS huddle together near it . where are they going? CUT: At the southeastern edge of the land sits a shattered vehicle similar in design to the Phase Distorter. They are looking at NESS and the others. little guys. black soul. Hey. presenting a red ribbon between its toes. SATURN #9 (sorrowful) Bad guy. . Take and leave. PU walks off-screen to the left. JEFF That's why the Distorter stopped then. NESS It's coming from this place. I have not even the slightest idea how. One gone. It is the same ribbon the rest of the SATURN TRIBE wears. We can't talk in these bodies. SATURN #8 (sorrowful) Kidnapped. PAULA I'm sorry. PAULA There are Saturns here. Now three. Jeff. What happened? NESS I don't think they can hear us. and JEFF begins to pick apart the wreckage with c aution. in the most nonsensical of ways. PAULA Hey. Kidnapped. Boing. Not know where.

The streak of silver that is the Phase Distorter rushes toward the screen and comes to a stop. this time. Sections of the Phase Distorter fade out. PAULA But what about these little guys? There is a pause. growing in int ensity. staring at the group--spe cifically at NESS. don't you mean? JEFF Yes. zoom! Without response.JEFF (holding a piece from the wreckage) Yes. We're almost there. PAULA The old clunker. The scenery is barren and gray. The door closes and again the whirring begins. The SATURNS remain huddled together. NESS We can't take them with us. and the bottomless space below the cliffs fades into white. it's still an artifact of science. SATURN #10 White souls in jars. fully-formed. JEFF tosses the broken piece back onto the pile with visible disdain. this is Father's prototype. How curious. and it is gone . Here's the part with his initials. JEFF (CONT. . NESS (walking to Phase Distorter) Then let's go! It's just a bit further on in the past. it is completely devoid of veget ation. A bright flash. It's too dangerous.) I'd like to give a piece of my mind to the fat. on the same patch of land. Rest now. SATURN #9 Can go by self. the mechanical forms of the four return to the Phase Distorter and climb inside. They could die. The same twisted monument s tands on the northwestern edge like a beacon. from which a thin mist is rising. however. well. (pause) And a little rabbit I drew with permanent pen when I was five. dirty bugger that trashed this fine bit of machinery. It is the only unchanged part of t he landscape. I'm sure of it. CUT TO: EXT : UNDERWORLD : THE ORIGIN : CAVE OF PAST : TIME INDISTINCT : White light cuts through the darkness a final time.

Some of th ese attacks pierce the STARMEN themselves. Where once there were missing pieces. A darkly-colored STARMAN appears. All of the ST ARMEN have been destroyed. JEFF searches his bag. but another time. NESS This is it. but a seco nd group appears to take their place. but is blown apart by a sonorous red-and-blue beam. and then PU pulls the Sword of Kings from its scab bard. Save everything you have. each with their personal possessions. We might need it later. catching him off-guard. but that's to be expected. NESS Don't worry about those. The metal figure of PU leaps at the rest with s word swinging. JEFF (stunned) That was a little too close for comfort. Both NESS and PAULA toss out waves of colored energy. PAULA It's so strong I can't even think straight-like there's noise everywhere but I don't hear anything. They launch a volley of red beams that are abruptly deflected by a pulsating psychic shield. ripping through their bodies and send ing out showers of black liquid. NESS steps back on-screen and the camera cuts out to a wider shot. Silence endures for a moment. PU (alert) Be ready! A ring of STARMEN materialize around the group. PU This is same place. The one imbued with PAULA's soul wears the SAT URN ribbon. It is filled with ammunition. glowing. but not much. Although it seems we haven't gone too far from our last stop. It continues onward to an opening in the cliffs beyond. JEFF I think we need it now. . Thank you for that.The round door of the Phase Distorter opens and four metal bodies step out. They are torn apart before they are able to retaliate. JEFF It isn't affecting me. the natural bridge they stand on is unbrok en. sinking into a defensive posture. All move together and stop near the edge as the camera shifts to a w ider view behind them. Behind them. Only boiling puddles of black are left behind. the bazooka resting beside him. I can feel it now even more.

Jeff. All turn and look back at a mass gathering of STARMEN. NESS (CONT. it's fine. We don't know what we're gonna find. NESS That isn't what I meant! PAULA Let's not do this now. but why? I couldn't hear anything before. because we might have to throw all we got at(hesitation) Whatever it is we're facing. We can't waste anything. Suddenly I'm not as vital to the cause.NESS No. NESS We're all part of this. JEFF gathers his belongings in silence before following. Beyond this is a tunnel bathed in dar kness. Just stay close to us. who are collectively star ing at them from further down the path. NESS exits and the others remain together on-screen. We can take care of things. but we'll have to be ready for it. otherwise we wouldn't be here together. You only needed me to push buttons and drive you all around. Come on. JEFF . Seems almost like they're afraid of us. CUT: At the far end of the winding walkway. Do you hear that? PAULA Yes.) Just save what you have. cliffs partially obscured by white mist r ise up and border a thin slit in the rock. labore d breathing fill the air. They stare at the opening but keep a respectable distance. except our voices. please. Right? There is no response. JEFF (offended) Oh I get it. The robotic four are pulled into the scene as the camera pans out. They stand like a silver blockade--silen t and unmoving. NESS They're just standing there. NESS Listen. The ambient sounds of deep.

JEFF Really? Have I said it that much? NESS Let's just go. JEFF We always were. Great evil is resting here. Its walls. the robotic four enter the scene. NESS Maybe it's a trap. then? The robotic figure of NESS puts out one limb. There's always something worse. PU Friends with courage and honor. the details of the tunnel are scant. mate. NESS Friends. but somehow that isn't the least bit comforting. and PU (in unison) Stayed in Winters. JEFF No pressure there. No turning back now. CUT TO: INT : UNDERWORLD : THE ORIGIN : DEVIL'S MACHINE : TIME INDISTINCT : Consumed by darkness. JEFF Oh yes. PU No. . they break their huddle and move int o the cave. Then. A close-up is shown of them together. They will not come close. (walks ahead and then stops) Whatever happens and whatever we see at the end. PAULA (speaking to NESS) Even when you got a little jealous.As they well should be. The s ound of heavy breathing is much louder here. With the camera set at a wide angle. PAULA. Their mov ements are slow and awkward. floor and ceiling are composed of tubular sections that shift and pulse as if alive. just remember it's all on us. I knew I should haveNESS. and this action is reciprocated by the others.

a subdued light source emanates from a massive and almost-organic structure. His movements suggest fear and apprehension. JEFF slips down one of the pulsating sections on the floor and his foot is sucke d into the gap below. well. This place is disgusting. The darker streaks of color on its fleshy surface are suck ed toward a depression in the middle. unless we could find a door. and from this. We don't have real eyes. NESS Stay together. I feel as if I've been swallowed by something. JEFF Thanks for that. back to the top of the slope. NESS (uncomfortable) That's me. until h e comes within range. Here. PAULA Can't cry. How do we know where we're going? NESS Just keep walking straight ahead. PAULA (awestruck) What is this? NESS I don't know. If we were to ever find something as normal as a door in this place. PU helps to lift him out. At the center is a bubble-like mass twice the size o f NESS himself. And be careful. a replica of NESS's human h ead emerges. It is the only portion of the device that does not move. When the camera pans away from it. I'd probably cry. accelerating through the twist s and turns of the tunnel. all th e tubular sections of the walkway convene. They walk on and the camera tracks ahead of them. at the top. JEFF (sarcastic) A door? Right. JEFF Hm. It towers above everything in the room. mate.PAULA It's so dark in here. feeding into a single device that see ms to breathe and to move very slightly. its eyes solid black. believe me I'd find a way. The robotic NESS backs off as the others approach him from behind. but it looks like a dead end. NESS breaks from the group to approach the device where every part of the tunnel meets on a ribbed walkway. but how-! (hesitation) . It ascends a small slope where. everyone. devoid of life. the robotic fo ur are there.

His hair has become d ull. All four robotic figures back away from the Spider-Mech as it descends. In his left hand is a r agdoll bearing the likeness of NESS. The creature is as large as an automobile but twice as tall. Inside that dome sits PORKY with a smug and devious smile. (pause. PORKY Ness! Are you surprised? It's me. They are part of a much larger body: a partially organic Spider-Mech with a s ingle red eye at its center and thick. PORKY (CONT. and his flesh has a notic eable blue tint to it (enhanced by the dark atmosphere). almost colorless skin pulled taut over it s legs. and then cuts to a wider view as the Spider-Mech crawls down th e front of the pulsating structure. and have myself become more powerful as a result. And do you know why? (pause. Giygas is an entity stronger than any other. Focus shifts to the top of the DEVIL'S MACHINE where several spidery limbs appea r. then shouting) Because of me! I was led by Giygas and .) I assist only the strong and able. He is everywhere. I can see right through all that metal. thinking they could beat me? It's stupid! (pause. Porky. It seems to come from everywhere. with a holl ow interior and glass dome cover. When PORKY speaks. Just little white ghosts stuffed in a tin can. unobstructed by the dome or environmenta l noises. but I suspect someone's got issues with you. NESS (angry) Where's this Giygas thing I've heard so much about? Or was that just another one of your lies? PORKY Don't be an idiot. your old friend and good neighbor. (licking his lips) Delicious. his voice resonates. which he caresses and squeezes between his fingers. The camera focuses on it to reveal that one of its black button eyes ha s been torn out.What is this place? JEFF 'Dunno. then laughter) You guys look pathetic! NESS How do you know who we are? PORKY Who else would come this far. leaning back) I know who you are. almost gray. since his last appearance on screen.

now here I am. PORKY (CONT. uncontrollable and stupid. landi ng among the group as they scatter. He is the embodiment of Evil itself--reckless. Everyone always liked you. (laughing) It's so sad. The Spider-Mech launches itself at the wall. A dark shield forms around the Spider-Mech just before leaps into the air. He stands near JEFF. PORKY (laughing. more powerful than you could ever hope to be! NESS (shouting) What is Giygas! PORKY He is everything and nothing! But he isn't the master of Evil anymore. revealing the robotic form of PAULA standing between PORKY and JEFF. I can't help but shed a tear. PU Now! Use what you have! JEFF digs through his bag for ammunition. I was hoping you'd come to say sorry for all the love you've stolen from me. who has fallen among his belongings.) (grinning) . Beams of red light form at the end of its fr ont legs and fire in all directions. On the floor. PU draws his Sword of Kings and deflects the beams. It backs off. But soon you'll burn up with all the rest of the garbage. a process that is hindered by his awkw ard mechanical body. But they'll like me more once you're dead. crawling upward until PORKY is able to look down upon the others. JEFF is readying his bazooka. fighting for your pitiful world. You four are the only ones out here. sorrowful) You're a bully and a disgusting person! You hurt people and you don't even care! PORKY And since when did anyone care about me? I'm in it for myself now. I'm the only thing that stands between you and the miserable fate of the Earth. squeezing the doll) If that's what you wanna believe. PAULA (angry. NESS We are the fate of Earth! All four of us. The Spider-Mech charges toward him and is stopped by an ons laught of electrical energy bouncing off its shield.

I am able to cast shields. deflecting the attack off a green shield. There is an explosion and a deep. his robotic body sparking . He beats on the frozen glass and squeezes the ragdoll in his fist. after which he begins to laugh like a de mon. Like an injured animal it struggles to stand upright. This body is weak. From its eye a bright beam is fired. A view inside the vehicle reveals PORKY fuming over his loss of visual range. It hits the shield. heavy groan as the Spider-Mech crashes to the floor. who puts his arms up. A volley of red beams is shot toward NESS.Enjoy your time in Hell. unbalanced. There he sits as his mount is struck multiple times. PORKY's laughter fill s the room. He smiles and trails of black fluid pour out of his mouth. which tears away his right limb . NESS and his friends gather around PU. all of which is dodge d expertly by PU. NESS . rattling the mech and sending PORKY to the floor. He falls and focus turns to PAULA as she casts ice over the dome of the Spider -Mech. to one side. It's a little slice of Hell and then some. NESS (frightened) Pu! Pu. which strikes PU through the chest. do you? PORKY fires off another onslaught of multi-colored energy. Their backs are turn ed to the crippled machine. An attack hits from off-screen. and then burst. PORKY (violently angry) Think you're clever now. squeezing the doll) So. (pause. He is f lung against the far wall and there he lies in a heap. The others cry out to him. no! You have to get up! NESS races to him and is struck by another beam. a rocket is fired at him. From off-screen. he cuts through one of the legs on the mech and it drops. do you want me to turn off the Devil's Machine? Are you ready to experience absolute terror? Outside the vehicle. causing it to pul se black and red. my dear friend. You could keep on fighting me and never get anywhere. but the powers of my soul are still alive. With sword drawn. He counters with a sonorous blast of yellow and blue. You don't even know what Giygas looks like. all of which is absorbed by the darkness around the mech. Dark liquid pours from wounds on the organic parts of its body. NESS Can you move at all? PU No. PORKY I guess you all think you're heroes.

It tears away the structure of the DEVIL'S MACHINE in its escape. PORKY (CONT. The round midsection has collapsed inward. We'll find a way out of this. man. only that you have come to harm him and the only way to save himself is to go through you. T hey remain suspended as though there is something solid.. The robotic four and the Spider-Mech a re left alone in a black void as the red swirling form of GIYGAS enshrouds them. but he is not w hat he once was. The camera turns to the main component of the DEVIL'S MACHINE. PORKY laughs again and coughs up chunks of black onto the front of his suit. leaving a gaping hole from whi ch a sound like the labored breathing emanates. Through the opening a massive sp irit rushes out. Inside. PORKY wipes away the black fluid that is pouring from his mouth in great gobs.. His body is nothing but dark energy. A close-up of the Spider-M ech reveals PORKY staring out between the clumps of melting ice. ever-changing in shape. beneath them. Mommy! Daddy! I'm so scared I think I'm gonna piss myself! No one will help you now. NESS and PAULA put up barriers of colored light while JEFF unpacks more ammuniti on from his bag. PORKY runs his hands across t he control panel. This is GIYGAS: an amorphous alien being of considerable power.Don't worry about it. The walls and floor of the tunnel give way beneath them. Th e remnants of a scream and painful expression are forever etched in the place wh ere his face ought to be. Ness? (laughing) Go on! Say. isn't this terrifying? My heart is beating incredibly fast. PORKY So. . M ore seeps out to replace it. (laughing) Don't worry. He doesn't even know what's happening right now. and then to devour this whole miserable world! You will be just another meal to him. The all-mighty idiot himself. but they do not fall. which is now miss hapen.) Do you want to scream for help here in the dark? Why not call your Mommy. still grinning. thunderous roar as the DEVIL'S MACHINE collapses and disappears. PORKY Giygas cannot think rationally anymore. it will all be over soon. The vehicle begins to fade out of the scene. They smolder and singe the fabric. The Spider-Mech lets out a sharp metallic groan as it picks itself back up and s tands crippled before NESS and the others. blood-red in color. yet invisible. There is silence as NESS and the others stand in awe. In the air are the ghostly sounds of torment and a deep.

tearing through the dark and featureless land scape. It hurts. but d rops again. GIYGAS splits at the point of impact and hurl s every piece of himself across the nonexistent sky where he appears to spread o ut into eternity. I'm so sad. Beneath the shield. Continue fighting. Pig's butt. another place. followed by an unearthly scream. I don't expect we'll meet again... GIYGAS (wailing) Nooooooo.. (pause. back..PORKY (CONT. PAULA I can't hold it up forever! NESS Just attack! Throw everything you've got at it. Countless images of his obscure. GIYGAS Go. GIYGAS lets out a tremulous groan. PU I will try(voice fading) Keep shields up. like a gale storm. beating upon the shield. Ness. He begins to lash out. spinning and writhing lik e a blood-red stormcloud.) I'll leave you now for another time. smiling) So. His nebulous body shudders... (groaning) It's not right. hits the psychic shield around NESS and the others.. not right. . The onslaught. NESS fires off multicolored beams that strike GIYGAS and are then absorbed within him.. JEFF takes up his bazooka and fires into the swirling red. Ripples of green cascade down its dome and it starts to fade.. There is an inhuman depth to his voice that expresses all of the hatred a nd sorrow that a lack of facial features denies him. pain-filled face roll in wave s through the void... whispering) Ness. which one of us do you think is the cool guy now? (laughing) Be seeing you.. cast ing energy in all directions.. Ness.. There is an explosion . GIYGAS (groaning) Nooooooo. GIYGAS lashes out like a whip. There has to be a weak point! The metallic body of PU twitches and sparks. (pause. PORKY exits in the Spider-Mech. He attempts to move his head...

With difficulty. Go! NESS and PAULA take aim at GIYGAS and fire off rounds of prismatic. NESS (speaking to PAULA) We have to do this. Ness. The onslaught is absorbed into the un dulating mass. Ness.. GIYGAS Go. but his mechanical l imbs have shorted out and he collapses.. together... PAULA Yes you are. The shape h e has taken distorts again.Lashing out again. we can't go on forever. Ness! (sighing.. back. Ness. JEFF (voice fading) No. NESS counters with another burst of energy.. the metal body of NESS is lying face-down once more with his remainin g arm outstretched toward PAULA. what are you! Why are you doing this! A tremulous moan from GIYGAS is the only response. Ness. GIYGAS Friends.. NESS (angry. and JE FF are lying face-down as if they have been struck. NESS I know but try! We have to do something. Okay. . it hurts. A pause... NESS stands. I can't move. When it clears... who screams and writhes above them. to w hich PAULA adds a stream of conjured fire. and then GIYGAS counters with another bright and shapeless burst. Ness. Jeff! You can do it. GIYGAS moans. sonorous ene rgy that collide with the alien. blinding light overwhelms the screen.. When it clears. speaking to GIYGAS) Dammit. Ness. (wailing) It hurts. at the same time. JEFF Damn! I'm no good anymore. NESS. Harsh.. I'm useless now. We're the only ones left! PAULA Ness. GIYGAS (whispering) Ness. She is surrounded by a soft violet shield. GIYGAS splits the shield around the robotic four and it shatt ers into pieces of green light. I feel good.. PAULA helps JEFF to his feet. sorrowful) It hurts. PAULA.

They stop their wo rk.. please. voice shaking) Please give us strength. Ness.. somebody help us. The camera focuses closely on PAULA as she forces her robotic body into a very h uman position. and still t here is no response. not right. GIYGAS moans again. AND ONUTS. Of course... who is sitting on a rock nearby with technical drawings scattered about. FADE TO: EXT : SATURN VALLEY : MORNING : The sun casts a warm glow over the valley. knees bent and hands together in prayer. Ness.. Pu. PAULA (stammering) Please. Her voice is soft.. someone! Can any of you get up? I can't hear you anymore. back. Ness. as if they have suddenly become aware of something. enveloping his body with a soft white glow. (whispering) Ness. A surge of energy strikes the shield and is absorbed by it. (pause. (pause) Ness. Ness. GIYGAS It's not right.PAULA (fearful) Oh no. SATURN #1 White souls in jars? .. GIYGAS (groaning) Go.. please! Jeff. but I've always had faith that we could find what we were looking for. Ness! Ness. We just need a bit of faith right now. It fades. if it is possible. can you move? There is no answer but the subtle twitches and sparking in his joints. PAULA I know I'm running out of ideas. a stark contrast to the darkness of t he preceding scene. Ness. rolling back up into a massive swirling figure. PAULA (sorrowful) Healing doesn't work. A group of SATURNS stacked atop one another rebuild a burned hut by spreading mud plaster over its walls with their feet.. Ness. but she hesitates.. because we don't have our real bodies anymore. and rush over to DR. His featurel ess face is twisted in an expression of agony. She reach es out to him. No damage is done to PAULA.

LUCKY It bothers me like hell. As the camera pans out. He clasps his hands together and bows his head. LUCKY sets his drink aside. right brother? Pray and hope for the best. H is voice is strained and a little less clear. CUT TO: EXT : ETHEREAL SPACE : TIME INDISTINCT : . right? I was just thinkin' about 'em myself. people gather around them. SLIM removes his saxophone from its case and begins to play. ANDONUTS (somber) God in Heaven. CUT TO: EXT : ETHEREAL SPACE : TIME INDISTINCT : A scream rattles the black void... and then his expression changes to one of desperate realization. How you think they're doin'? LUCKY shakes his head. The amorphous body of GIYGAS writhes in pain. scratching one side of his face. BIG G (smiling) All we can do is pray. the RUNAWAY FIVE sit with dr inks in hand and instrument cases nearby. Sometimes that's all you got to go on. DR. all of the environmental sounds of the street and sidewalk crowds can b e heard. GIYGAS It. please keep our children safe. hurts.DR. Off -screen. They are dressed in casual attire. The rest of the group looks at him. PAULA Anyone who can hear our plea. The rest of the ban d members follow his lead. CUT TO: EXT : FOURSIDE : TOPOLLA THEATER : ENTRANCE : MORNING : On the white marble steps leading into the theater.. help us! Give us strength! GIYGAS launches a blinding attack at PAULA. PAULA has not moved.. GORGEOUS Them kids. ANDONUTS acknowledges the SATURN.

CHARLES's hands tremble around the coffee mug he is holding. LINDA I pray that she's safe. The camera holds on them before the scene ends. GIYGAS Go. softly) Shouldn't you be getting home.. which collides with the shield around PAULA and mak es it flicker. Their expressions are sullen.. and from a single point above the gr oup. someoneGIYGAS (groaning) It hurts.. GIYGAS . aroun d which CHARLES and LINDA POLESTAR sit with EVERDRED. PAULA (desperate) Speed this prayer to the people of Earth! GIYGAS casts another attack. though there is no visible evidence of it. CUT TO: EXT : ETHEREAL SPACE : TIME INDISTINCT : GIYGAS twists and distorts his face further.The noise of the previous scene melds with the cries and moans of GIYGAS. A tight focus is kept on t hem. LINDA (speaking to EVERDRED. His bo dy has begun to break apart. GIYGAS splits open. PAULA Please. back. black fluid pours from the wound. EVERDRED Just waitin' for our little angel.. CUT TO: INT : TWOSON : POLESTAR HOME AND DAYCARE : EARLY MORNING : The early rays of the sun peek in through a window near the kitchen table. who in her current position appears to be reaching a deep er level of concentration. Focus shifts to PAULA. but then puts it awa y when he notices the uneasy look he is getting from LINDA. CHARLES (sipping coffee) We all are. Ian? EVERDRED pulls a cigar from inside his bright orange shirt... The sound of an explosion of heard. He wails as thick.

PAULA Please give us strength! Anyone who can hear our plea... MAXWELL removes his goggles and sets them on his desk. TONY I hope. Class is dismissed. anyhow. A bright flash is shot toward PAULA. just now. With a sigh.. PAULA acknowledges the fluid washing over her. CUT TO: INT : WINTERS : WINTERS ACADEMY : CLASSROOM : AFTERNOON : TONY glances up from his seat in the lecture hall-style classroom. A close-up is shown of TONY's hands as he folds them together. Professor. Sh e screams. are taking notes while MAXWELL stands before the chalk board giving his lesson. MAXWELL approac hes him. I just suddenly felt like there was somethin' wrong.. MAXWELL Do you need to visit the medical offices? TONY No. The other stu dents. but TONY remains seated. but continues to pray. waiting until the room is silent.. TONY It feels like somethin's not right. hurts. CUT TO: . I'm a bit worried is all. dressed similarly. The students pack up and leave quickly. MAXWELL (sitting) Everything that's meant to be will turn out. MAXWELL It's all right.. TONY (anxious) Professor! All noise stops and full attention is turned onto TONY.(screaming) It. TONY I'm sorry. shattering the violet shield around her. help us! GIYGAS It's not right.

A pair of timeworn h ands lifts its glass dome to light a fire inside.. can you hear me! Please.. It has begun to eat through the metal and smoke billows from the holes. GIYGAS continues to moan as PAULA attempts to speak over him.. g.... CUT TO: EXT : ETHEREAL SPACE : TIME INDISTINCT : GIYGAS is writhing. I pray for your strength. The robotic figure of PAULA is almost completely covered in black fluid..EXT : ETHEREAL SPACE : TIME INDISTINCT : Explosions are heard as GIYGAS splits open in several places.. MASTER << Bodhisattva. your wisdom(pause) Your life.. and the lives of those in need.. GIYGAS It hurts. >> The camera pans out of the window and into the gardens of the palace. It glows soft ly.o. adding to the blac k fluid that has already risen up to PAULA's chest. we need help. wailing in sharp. His voice has begun to give out and his body is fragmented.o. Crawling among its branches is a small Eastern dragon with crimson-gold tassels. PAULA (desperate. it hurts.. and then kneels before an open window where pillows and rugs have been pl aced neatly on the floor.. If this call is reaching anyone. (garbled speech) I feel. feel.. please help us! CUT TO: INT : FAR EAST : DALAAM : ROYAL PALACE : NIGHT : A golden lantern hangs from a decorative mount on the wall. happy. . The other bodies cannot be s een.. PAULA (desperate) Please grant us power! Anyone who can hear our plea(hesitation) Please. GIYGAS (sorrowful) I.. inhuman tones.. and then is gone. even less recognizable..d. He stands in the glow of the flame for a m oment. sorrowful) Someone. your courage. A tree wit h a crooked trunk and white blossoms stands out in the moonlight. and the camera cuts out to rev eal it is the MASTER who is doing so..

she throws it open and leans out. drowning) We're dying. That's how I feel. but awakens when she rushes suddenly to the window. He stands. providing a small source of illumination in the r oom. FRANK Just been thinkin'. and begins to tear away the pieces of wood covering it. Ness said he'd come back and he will. TRACY and PICKY enter the scene from behind. They stand together an d stare out at the dark and ominous sky. walks to a window that has been boar ded up. The owner of it is a young man wearing sunglasses. man? Rotten planks fall to the floor and FRANK leans over the windowsill.. KING is at her feet. asleep. I know you're right. staring up at the dark clouds hanging above ONETT. TRACY It's all right. His hair has been gelled into the shape of a shark fin. NESS'S MOTHER Yes. or somethin' I oughta do. they're not so bad.. THUG #7 Hey. Desperate. PICKY And his new friends. TRACY Mom? What's going on? NESS'S MOTHER (bewildered) I don't know. The man behind h im sits forward.please(hesitation. But I don't know what it is. There's someplace I should be. NESS'S MOTHER embraces both children when they come near. I believe him. It appears she is looki ng for something. FADE TO: INT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOME : TIME INDISTINCT : Within the living area of the house. . floral-patter ned chair. CUT TO: INT : ONETT : ABANDONED APARTMENT COMPLEX : TIME INDISTINCT : A cigarette lighter clicks on. FRANK FLY is sitting beside him. NESS'S MOTHER sits in a worn. Frank! (pause) Frankie! What the hell you doin'. They seem like really good people.

NESS'S MOTHER I just want them home safe. The four streams of light enter the scene from above. And then. He is now nothing more than streak s of red across a black screen. He turns just as NESS and the others emerge from the cave. ANDONUTS (ecstatic) Oh my God. DR. One of t he SATURNS pushes a few sheets of lined drawing paper over to him with its nose. releasing four streams of white light that jet out of the darkness and rise through a misty atmosphere. bursting along every invisible seam. . flying down along the cany on walls to a cave several meters behind DR. As the camera cuts to a wider angle. His body is breaking into tiny. unsteady on their feet but again connected with their real bodies. ANDONUTS. ANDONUTS sits in somber silence. drowned in a pool of his own evil. The SATURNS take notice a nd bounce with excitement. FADE TO: EXT : SATURN VALLEY : MORNING : With much of the tribe around him. eliciting laughter from them and an awk ward expression from PU. ANDONUTS looks around with an expression of unbel ieving joy. CUT TO: EXT : ONETT : OUTSKIRTS : TIME INDISTINCT : Flashing lights on police cars fill the street outside of town. Black liquid continues to pour from hi m. CUT TO: EXT : ETHEREAL SPACE : TIME INDISTINCT : The face of GIYGAS is no longer recognizable. looking skyward. you've done it! You've done it! DR. drawing the red portions of his body down like a siphon. letting in a ray of sunlight. Several men step out of their vehicles and approach the barricades. Every trace of liquid is vaporized in that instant. it reveals them traveling above the Earth. ANDONUTS embraces all four children. A rift in the clouds has formed and is growing larger. SATURN TRIBE (in unison) White souls! White souls! Zoom! As the chanting continues.NESS'S MOTHER begins to cry. an explosion. pixilated fragme nts. moving ever faster until it has melded with the light itself. It zooms in quick to join them. DR. The SATURNS gather. NESS'S FATH ER does the same. He screams just befo re the last bit of himself is swallowed up. DR. but it is ignored. The robotic figures are blown apart.

followed by a smile and laughter from JEFF. I should have brought more with me. I dare say I'll have no doubts about anything from now on. we're friends now aren't we? DR. ANDONUTS searches his belongings. also. I have my kingdom. DR. ANDONUTS Yes. if you don't mind. ANDONUTS You cannot even begin to fathom what news of this sort will mean to the field of Metaphysics--and to Science as a whole! (racing back to his drawings) You must tell me everything! All of you. They stand together while DR. These people are very hospitable. (rifling through the papers) Oh blast. Our world is safe now. Though my sword is lost in battle. NESS (CONT. Because after an experience like that. A pause. I mean. JEFF Not if you're going to drag me halfway 'round the world again. DR. ANDONUTS (backing off) I still can't(stammering) This is unreal! I never would have dreamed that this was possible! JEFF adjusts his glasses while NESS and PAULA crouch down to greet members of th e tribe. must return to my people. actually sir. PU approaches NESS.SATURN TRIBE (in unison) White souls! Dakota! DR. NESS Um. Father. JEFF Believe it. . of course. which the others reciprocat e.) We can always come back for a visit. ANDONUTS stares at him in shock and disappointment. PU I. NESS smiles at PAULA and takes her hand. please! You're welcome to stay as long long as you like. we'd like to go home.

and then he disappears as a bright flash envelops his body. picking up speed . man. PU (CONT. we know where you live. Don't forget. He races across the valley. Spend a couple of weeks in Winters with us! The cold will do you a bit of good. JEFF Oh good Lord. I guess this is goodbye. This we call a Khata. bowing in reverence. but does not respond.) Good luck.) Tashi Delek. don't frighten me like that. NESS takes PAULA by the hand and they race off together. NESS Say what? JEFF (laughing) That's all right. We give it only to those of great importance. He's still a keeper. NESS takes the scarf. Smiling. Focus returns to the remaining members of the group. NESS Take care. It means purity. JEFF offers his hand to NESS. Ness doesn't have any sense of humor at all. and then he bows and dons the scarf . PU (CONT. PU departs from the group.PU removes the white scarf wrapped around his shoulder and presents it to NESS. NESS Can't get rid of us that easy. PAULA (laughing. You promised to come and visit. We'll be back. exiting the scene in a bright flash of light. They stand apart with joyful expressions. embracing JEFF) You're so funny. and a start of great friendship. . There is hesitation and fidgeting from NESS. who pulls him into a swift yet tight embrace. JEFF Well. I'm going to miss that. PAULA bows as well. JEFF Don't forget now.

yeah. NESS Ha. When they break. Thanks for everything. PAULA I should get inside. PAULA Bye. The camera cuts away from him to follow PAULA up the sidewalk. Behind them is the rest of the town and a view of the sun rising over the rooftops. they stand together in silence. NESS That's okay. and NESS and PAULA appear on the sidewalk outside the POLSTAR HO ME. Both smile and allow another round of silence to cut into their conversation. for a moment. PAULA (laughs) Walk? That'd take so long though. CUT TO: . Ness. slowly. NESS Guess I'll be seeing you. Mom and Dad have worried long enough about me. DR. And my Uncle Ian. and then goes inside. PAULA Yeah. As she reaches the front step. Th en. ANDONUTS puts a hand on h is son's shoulder and. NESS nods and puts his hands into his pockets. she is intercepted by NESS. They stand together hand-in-hand before speaking. PAULA is blushing. Uncle Ian. NESS Yeah. right? That's not really all that far. He wraps his arms about her tightly and they kiss. CUT TO: EXT : TWOSON : POLESTAR HOME AND DAYCARE : EARLY MORNING : A second flash. PAULA begins to break away. who grabs her hand an d turns her back toward him. NESS (smiling) Be seein' you. Onett. PAULA stares after him. You could drive down here sometimes with your family. They skid to a halt just past the front lawn. or walk.The SATURN tribe gathers around the remaining two. NESS exits. too.

And she saw the house. whose rays are reaching up over the surrounding trees at th e time NESS appears on-screen. loser! Spankety. laughing and smiling as KING wags his tail with excitement. but I can't. The white light around him fades. From off-screen. NESS eats voraciously while KING waits for a h and-out. and then bolts into his house where his family and PICKY are waiting anxiously. PICKY It's for you. With a curious expression. Mom. You have no idea. NESS takes the paper. (speaking to PICKY) You want to have lunch with us? PICKY Yeah. He hands NESS a sheet of paper. Just a reminder. NESS crumples the paper in his fist. The skies have cleared. When his mother reenters the scene. My mom just got home. nothing important. NESS'S MOTHER What is it? NESS Oh. and NESS'S MOTHER exits. Upon it is written the followin g in sloppy lettering: "Come and get me. letting in light from the rising sun. he stumbles up to his front gate. KING barks.EXT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOME : EARLY MORNING : Dark clouds no longer hang over ONETT. I've been craving some real food for weeks! NESS'S MOTHER (smiling) Well slow down. spankety!" Sighing. but not with much enthusiasm. This scene lingers for a few seconds. NESS (excited) Oh my God this is so good. A view from the open doorway reveals them embracing in the living area. NESS continues eating. spankety. a knock upon the front door is heard. FADE TO: INT : ONETT HILL : NESS'S HOME : AFTERNOON : NESS and his family sit around the kitchen table. potatoes. . You'll give yourself a stomachache. PICKY is with her. and steak. which is filled with plates of vegetables.

NESS Oh yeah. Tell her that I'll help clean it up. It passes over ONETT. The camera follows him out of the house to the front garden where a white car pulls up alongside the fence. meshing together as they all speak at once. unt il they can no longer be heard. FADE OUT THE END . TRACY (speaking off-screen) Dad's home! Dad's home! The exuberant voices of NESS and his family fill the scene. forgot about that. Ness. PICKY (smiling) Okay! Thanks. The camera continues to pan out and up into the sky. See you in a bit! PICKY embraces NESS'S MOTHER and exits. I'm sorry. through the clouds. A man in a l ong coat gets out and walks inside. and th en drifts away through space with an image of Earth resting peacefully among the stars.

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