[FUTURE UNDERGROUND – NIGHT]
[With a dramatic whoosh, Adnan and Isobel are now in SubTerra, 10 years in the future.]
ISOBEL: Listen closely. We don’t have much time. You and I just time-jumped ten years into the future. To the SubTerra of tomorrow. You must do everything you can to make sure it survives.
ADNAN: (horrified) M-My face. My face is numb.
ISOBEL: There’s a war coming here. Your comrades will want to give up. You can’t let them. They don’t know what you know: Archive can resurrect human life.
ADNAN: (muffled) It worked. You’re telling me it works?
ISOBEL: It works. You and I are the proof.
[We hear a steady hum.]
ISOBEL: Y Corp was powerful when you left them. That power has only grown. But they don’t know you’re here. They don’t know what you know. Use this time. Show SubTerra what’s possible. Follow the new light.
ADNAN: Wait. I need to know more. Where do I go–
ISOBEL: It’s time for you to go.
[A vortex sound swells up, like everything being swallowed into a drain.]
ADNAN: (emotional) Wait, no. Come back!
ISOBEL: Return to our home.
ADNAN: (pleading) Please. I can’t leave. Not now.
ISOBEL: Follow the new light.
ISOBEL: Promise me.
ADNAN: I promise.
ISOBEL: Our home. A new light–
[Swirling sound effects]
[DESERT WASTES OUTSIDE SF – NIGHT]
[Adnan wakes from his vision to the sound of winds. Dwayne and Makenna loom over him.]
ADNAN: (lethargic) A new light…
DWAYNE: (flustered) Come on, man! We gotta go.
ADNAN: Dwayne! I-I found her. It’s okay. Everything is gonna be okay.
MAKENNA: (angry) Man, shut the hell up! There’s a sandstorm coming and it’s gonna rip through our comms gear!
DWAYNE: (tense) Adnan, you have got to stand up.
ADNAN: (more energetic) I got it. It’s okay. I can stand.
DWAYNE: Not a moment too soon. Come on!
[They pile into Dwayne’s jeep and drive off.]
DWAYNE: Makenna, you know the shortcut to New West Portal?
MAKENNA: On it.
DWAYNE: I’ll let ‘em know we’re coming. Now, Adnan, you wanna tell me what you were thinking assaulting Makenna and running back into harm’s way?
ADNAN: Dwayne, I swear to god, I didn’t touch her.
MAKENNA: Yeah, whatever, you got your friend to do it. Same shit.
DWAYNE: (stunned) Which friend?
ADNAN: (excited) Dwayne, it was her. The same woman. And, she– Dwayne, we’ve to go back to SF.
MAKENNA: Tell me you’re joking right now.
DWAYNE: Between weaponized sand and armed robots, are you not convinced it’s unsafe out there?
MAKENNA: How does he not know any of this?
DWAYNE: It’s… a whole thing.
ADNAN: Okay, so not tonight. Tomorrow?
MAKENNA: Please let me kick his ass–
DWAYNE: He’s not going. No one is going. Adnan, why the hell could you possibly want to go back there?
ADNAN: Because my wife is there.
DWAYNE: Your wife?! You didn’t think to tell me about your wife until just now?
ADNAN: I’m telling you, Dwayne. The pieces finally came together. The memory stuff, it’s like a clear stream now.
DWAYNE: (sighs) You finally found the app for your brain, huh?
ADNAN: Yeah. Finally.
DWAYNE: Well, congratulations, but I can’t make any more excuses for you.
ADNAN: Meaning what?
DWAYNE: Look, I was in the middle of convincing Rad Sue you were a valuable addition to our community. Then you pull…all this.
ADNAN: But I just explained to you.
DWAYNE: And I’m telling you, it’s not time for you to ask favors. It’s time for you to start producing. What will you do for our community?
ADNAN: (voice deepens) All right, you really want to know? You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. I barely believe it and I saw it with my own eyes.
DWAYNE: (cynical) Try me.
ADNAN: There’s a war coming. And you’re not ready.
DWAYNE: Yeah, no shit there’s a war coming. We’ve been bracing for it since we got here.
ADNAN: But– (he hesitates) I can help you win it.
DWAYNE: Yeah? (pause) Look, man: you need some rest. Tomorrow, we’ll go see Scout.
ADNAN: Who’s Scout?
DWAYNE: Scout is the only way you’re getting into SF.
MAKENNA: (laughs) Scout?! Haha. Better not go empty-handed or they won’t even listen to your ass.
[INSIDE THE LAW OFFICES OF RADEMACHER & FITCH – DAY]
We hear the clip-clop of footsteps in a busy lobby.
MEL: Welcome to Rademacher & Fitch. Can I get your name, please?
DEVANDRA: Devandra. From Y Corp. You can call me Dee.
MEL: Dee…Hmm. Can I get your last name?
DEVANDRA: Miller. I’m here to do some paralegal work for Ms. Rademacher.
MEL: All right, Dee. Your name’s not on here, so you’ll have to wait while we authorize you.
DEVANDRA: Hmm. (sharp breath) The thing is, I have a very full schedule today and this delay sets me back.
MEL: (condescending) Well, I’m sorry — for you — that that is the case.
DEVANDRA: I’m detecting a bit of a tone. Just so you know, when Gabriel Tau finds out that my work here was delayed, he won’t be pleased.
MEL: Look, I don’t know what to tell you–
[Mel’s phone rings. She answers.]
MEL: Just a moment, please. (pauses) Hello, Rademacher & Fitch, how can I help you? (listening) Yes. Actually she’s right here. (listening) I understand that. The problem is she’s not– (listening, typing)
I will gladly check again– (pauses) Oh, there she is. Must be some latency on our end. I do apologize.
(listening) Like I said, I apologize. Have a nice day.
[Mel lets out a long exhale.]
MEL: Welcome, Ms. Miller. Please follow me and we’ll print your ID.
DEVANDRA: Ah, no need. You can upload it to my implant.
MEL: Oh. You wear an implant?
DEVANDRA: Of course. I live in tomorrow.
MEL: Sure. (pause) Bit experimental, no?
DEVANDRA: Yes. (pause) For now.
[IN THE HILLS OF THE DESERT WASTES OF THE SOUTH BAY – DAY]
[Dwayne and Adnan drive through rough terrain in the desert hills. The uneven ground jostles them in Dwayne’s jeep.]
DWAYNE: (laughs) You gonna keep your cookies or you gonna toss ‘em?
ADNAN: I’m fine. How much longer is it?
DWAYNE: Just over this ridge.
ADNAN: You said that two ridges ago.
DWAYNE: That little lump on the horizon? That’s where Scout lives.
ADNAN: He’ll be able to get me into the geo-fence?
DWAYNE: Scout prefers “they” as their pronoun. And, yes, if you’re trying to get into the geo-fence and back out without dying, there’s no one better.
ADNAN: You coming with us?
DWAYNE: Hell no. Too many people depend on me at SubTerra. Besides, you’re better off just two.
ADNAN: Okay, but seriously I’m going to vomit–
DWAYNE: Oh, whoa, whoa! Here we are.
[SCOUT walks out.]
SCOUT: Dwayne! Hey, wow, it’s been, what…three and a half months?!
DWAYNE: Something like that. How you been, my friend?
SCOUT: Much better if you tell me you have more of those vintage transformers! Those things rrripped and I’m, like, thiiis close to finishing up my renewable grid.
DWAYNE: Lemme ask Makenna about that. In the meantime, Scout, I want you to meet Adnan Lem. You two got a lot in common.
SCOUT: Huh. Like what?
DWAYNE: You’re both builders. You’re both a little crazy…
SCOUT: (mocking) Oooh…”crazy.” (pause) So whaddaya build, Adnan?
ADNAN: I’m an inventor. I built… It’s called Archive. It’s like a rewind button for organic and inorganic matter.
DWAYNE: (skeptical) I thought that was a Y Corp thing.
ADNAN: It is. But it started as an Adnan Lem thing.
DWAYNE: That is what I’m talking about! We could use the shit out of something like that down here.
SCOUT: Ahh…It’s experimental and buggy as hell in uncontrolled settings. And it gets more and more so as the complexity of the thing you’re trying to recreate increases–
ADNAN: (talks faster) “Recreate” isn’t…accurate. More like revitalize or re-start. And the complexity isn’t– Wait, how do you know all this, by the way?
SCOUT: I read, like, every single last damn thing I could find about Archive after the launch.
ADNAN: So, Y Corp announced it to the public?
SCOUT: Yeah. Like, a year ago, dude. (pause) Or more. Where’ve you been?
ADNAN: (murmurs) Great question.
DWAYNE: So, Gabriel Tau really was your buddy? Damn, I– Wait, does he know where you are right now?!
ADNAN: I– (pauses, sighs) Apologies, but related to the whole finding my brain files thing, all I can say is I’m pretty sure they don’t.
DWAYNE: Pretty sure ain’t good enough.
SCOUT: If they knew, they’d be here by now.
ADNAN: Wait… The woman I was running after — She knows. She told me that Y Corp doesn’t know I’m here yet. That gives us an advantage.
DWAYNE: An advantage to do what?
ADNAN: To locate the database where my Archive work lives — all my research, all my notes. And… Oh, shit. I think I know a place where I can access the Y Corp server.
SCOUT: Where’s that?
ADNAN: SF. West of Twin Peaks.
SCOUT: Ooh. Fancy. Didn’t know Y Corp had offices up in bougie-ville.
ADNAN: (defensive) It’s not bougie-ville. It’s my home. (pause) Anyway, if I can get all that, I can rebuild a device.
DWAYNE: Just so you know, the only reason I’m signing off on this is because we need a device like Archive yesterday.
SCOUT: (under their breath) Even though it’s buggy as shit.
DWAYNE: Whatever. Now, once you find it, you’re still on the hook to help us. No cut and run. You got that?
ADNAN: Deal. 100 percent.
DWAYNE: Scout, what are the chances you can get him where he needs to go?
SCOUT: (sighs) Hard, not impossible. What are you paying again?
DWAYNE: Same as usual: credits and access to SubTerra One resources.
SCOUT: What about new, non-fried transformers?
DWAYNE: I’ll see what I can do.
SCOUT: It’s gotta be new, non-fried transformers or no deal.
ADNAN: Scout, Archive can make your fried transformers good as new.
SCOUT: Buggy as shit, though.
ADNAN: Not when I’m using it. The process is particular but once you know the signal pathway like I do, you’ll do no wrong.
ADNAN: Oh, yes.
[Scout paces, starts talking to themselves.]
SCOUT: (murmuring) You wanna do it? I wanna do it. You wanna do it? What if he’s lying? But do you wanna do it? Even if he is lying, we don’t have the resources for that. You wanna do it?
SCOUT: (out loud) I wanna do it.
[INSIDE THE OFFICE OF RAD SUE RADEMACHER – DAY]
[As Devandra enters the office of Susan Rademacher, Sue is finishing up a phone call.]
RAD SUE: Yes, we’re aligned there.
[Door creaks open.]
RAD SUE: Look, I gotta go. (hangs up) Hi. You must be Devandra Miller.
DEVANDRA: Ms. Rademacher, please call me Dee. It’s a pleasure–
RAD SUE: (no nonsense vibe) Susan works just fine. Let’s get to it, yeah? I’m assuming you already know the details of the Adnan Lem case.
DEVANDRA: Backwards and forwards.
RAD SUE: Sure you do. Now, this is a very serious accusation we’re lobbing at Mr. Lem. Scandalous, even. But I run a law firm not a tabloid. If we can do this without generating headlines, that’s a win. So, let’s get it right.
DEVANDRA: Absolutely. But you agree the audio on those Monitor logs is pretty damning?
RAD SUE: Mm-hmm. And with all the biometric data Monitor collects, it’s essentially as good as an eyewitness. The whole thing is a layup to ruin this guy for life. It feels too easy. Like a setup. So…did you?
DEVANDRA: (laughs) I’m sorry. Did I what?
RAD SUE: I found your bona fides online. And I see your designer clothes. Why are you doing contract paralegal work for Gabriel Tau?
DEVANDRA: I do quite a few things for Gabriel. This role is but one facet.
RAD SUE: (skeptical) Is it, now? (pauses) Now let me ask you this: why do you think Adnan Lem, a family man, was openly plotting with known terrorists on his employer’s comm line?
DEVANDRA: (deep exhale) People are irrational, Susan. That’s no revelation, is it? Mr. Lem and his family were under quite a bit of stress, you know.
RAD SUE: (sigh) Sure; his daughter.
DEVANDRA: (growing bolder) Her health is deteriorating. His marriage is crumbling. He’s butting heads with his employer — I mean, this is a recipe for volatility, no? Mr. Lem himself has admitted to being unstable at times.
[A silent beat passes.]
RAD SUE: Well, there’s only one thing left to do then.
DEVANDRA: Tell me and it’s done.
RAD SUE: I’m ordering a digital autopsy on that call to confirm its authenticity. If it were artificially sourced, there’s ways to find out.
DEVANDRA: Supposing that investigation leads you to doubt the veracity of the call. What then?
RAD SUE: Then we scrap the charge. We have more than enough to give Tau what he wants without ruining this man’s life. There’s literally a sentence on Lem’s employee contract that seals this whole thing up in our favor.
DEVANDRA: (angry) This isn’t how he wants it.
RAD SUE: Well, it’s how I want it.
[Pause. Devandra stands.]
DEVANDRA: Excuse me…
RAD SUE: Restroom is down the hall to the left. And I’ll make sure Mel comes to see you out. Best of luck to you, Ms. Miller.
[Clip-clopping of shoes out of the room.]
[OUTSIDE THE PERIMETER OF SF GEO-FENCE – DAY]
[Scout and Adnan are in their hover car floating in the liminal space just outside of the SF Geo-Fence. This half-parklet/half-dry dirt area is patrolled by drones flying overhead and driving along the perimeter — no humans.]
ADNAN: Scout, I have some guesses but can you tell me why we’ve circled the perimeter five times?
SCOUT: I don’t appreciate the sarcasm.
ADNAN: No, I genuinely can’t figure it out.
SCOUT: You said you had some guesses. Tell me your guesses.
ADNAN: To mimic drone patterns?
SCOUT: Close. We start by programming my hover car to mimic the flight patterns. Then we feed them into an algorithm in my dashboard that identifies the blind spots. Then we sort of…nestle inside of them. We’re all but invisible on the way in.
ADNAN: What about the swarm configurations once we enter the gates?
SCOUT: (shrugging) Oh, check this out…
[We hear a whirring sound as the anti-surveillance mechanisms drop into place around Scout’s hover car.]
SCOUT: Green screens! All over the exterior of my hover-car. They run a photo-real graphic of an official city vehicle. ID plates and everything.
ADNAN: Clever. But what happens if they run the plates?
SCOUT: Then a bot alerts some lazy security tech that the same government vehicle was in two places at once. Then they have to check if it’s a glitch. By that point, it’s a full 12 hours before they’ve even begun to look into it.
ADNAN: So it’s all stop-gaps on top of stop-gaps. You’re not nervous?
SCOUT: Nah. Everything on the way into SF is all automated. It’s like logging on to a website. Speaking of which…
[A loud electronic ping like a massive bell on the door to enter the world sounds.]
SCOUT: We are now entering the inner track… And segueing into city traffic.
ADNAN: Oh, wow.
SCOUT: Welcome back to SF.
ADNAN: This all looks so different than I remembered.
SCOUT: Why, what do you remember?
ADNAN: Archive was a wild idea we’d announced to a roomful of investors. The geo-fence was still under construction but it was gonna be an open-air park, not a gated community. And implants were this hot new thing for really rich people, but not even all rich people used them yet. I had a job at Y Corp. (pause) And I had a wife, and a little girl, and a house…
SCOUT: Sounds pretty cool. I moved out of SF five years ago when my mom died. Hospital bills left my dad broke so we left for the outskirts in an RV. We were actually doing pretty well until he died last year. That’s the year the outskirts dried up for good. (pauses) I came out to him that year. I came out to his actual dead body. Kinda fucked up but I had to do it.
ADNAN: Oh, I’m… I’m so sorry.
SCOUT: Anyway, whatever, whatever. I didn’t see any of those things happen to SF. I just read about them. All I do is read and fix things.
ADNAN: You sure got damn good at fixing things.
SCOUT: Hey, thanks, man. You know, I had to just get my mind off of shit. If things were gonna just burn down, I needed something else to think about. Building up this car, writing this funky algorithm — I just need to work, trick my brain for, like, a split second…
SCOUT: Ah, shit.
ADNAN: What? Wait, why are we slowing down?
SCOUT: So, we got a choice here and I sort of want you to let me make it.
ADNAN: Tell me.
SCOUT: Will you let me?
ADNAN: No, tell me first.
SCOUT: Ugh. There’s a higher than usual concentration of drones in your neighborhood. Like, much higher.
ADNAN: What about the green screens? Aren’t we safe enough?
SCOUT: Well, it’s managed risk, right? With this concentration of surveillance, the stop-gaps get very gappy.
ADNAN: Scout, just tell me, what are our options?
SCOUT: Well… We could go home.
SCOUT: This concentration is temporary. If they haven’t made an arrest in 12 hours, they’ll disperse. We could also create a distraction somewhere else in the city to buy us time. Lots of options, but not if we strike right now.
ADNAN: No way. We can’t give up. Not now.
SCOUT: No, no. We’re not “giving up.” (murmuring) Shit, this is why I didn’t want you to decide! (louder) It sets us back a day at most. I won’t even charge you extra.
ADNAN: (frustrated) Well, I don’t have a day! (pauses) If there is a chance let’s do it. You said so yourself. Hard but doable.
[Scout taps his feet, nervously.]
SCOUT: Tell me something nice. Something you remember about your home.
SCOUT: You’re not gonna listen to my advice! So let me have some good vibes.
ADNAN: I– (exhales) I remember looking up the hill from my backyard, and I see my daughter. She’s standing behind a glass door, her leg is shaking but she can walk. She’s barefoot in a red sun dress. I can’t see her face, though. There’s just a reflection of these bright sunflowers that my wife is growing where her face should be. (pauses) That’s it.
SCOUT: That’s a nice thing to remember. Keep it in mind. For good luck.
[OUTSIDE RAD SUE RADEMACHER’S OFFICES – NIGHT]
MEL: Good night, Susan. Can I call you a car?
RAD SUE: Thanks, Mel, but I’ll walk home.
MEL: All the way to the Marina?!
RAD SUE: (snorts) All the way?! It’s only two miles?!
MEL: (chuckling, to herself) Only two miles… But, it’s so late, my dear.
RAD SUE: (amused) Good night, Mel!
[Sue leaves. The clop clop of her steps echoes. We hear another set of footsteps. We hear someone whistling a simple five note melody.]
RAD SUE: Excuse me, what the hell do you think you’re doing?
[Caleb rushes her. He chases her.]
RAD SUE: No! Get–
[We hear sounds of struggling and grunts. Caleb tackles Sue to the ground.]
CALEB: (grunting) Hold still. It’ll hurt less.
RAD SUE: Get that FUCK-ing knife away… from… me. You’re gonna–
CALEB: I’m told the incision is painless.
[He cuts into the base of her neck. Cate screeches.]
CALEB: (exhales, satisfied) There it is.
RAD SUE: (screaming) Ah!!! Son of a bitch — I’m bleeding!
CALEB: Man these implants are tinier than I expected.
RAD SUE: (whimpering) You can’t unlock it. It’s useless to you!
CALEB: (chuckling) You have no idea what’s useless to me. Have a nice night.
RAD SUE: (calling out) Mel…
[Susan is moaning on the ground screaming for help. Caleb walks away whistling the same five-note melody.]
[INSIDE LUX NOVA’S OFFICE – DAY]
TAU: (distorted, over the phone) Let’s take it from the top.
LUX: (deep breath) Every Y Corp product is simply a tool to access something greater. With Monitor, we turned the personal computer into a concierge, giving you better access to your digital life. With Archive, every sovereign body on the planet had equal access to the means of production. There may have been hiccups along the way. And with Implant, we gave you access to your hom e — not just the place where you sleep at night, but the markets, the parks, the beaches, the restaurants — everything inside the geo-fence is now safely available for its residents. Which brings me to phase 3. (pauses)
Next slide, please.
LUX: Introducing Archive 2.0. All of the innovations, none of the bugs. We can revitalize larger and more complex materials–
TAU: Let’s stop right there. I’m… not convinced.
LUX: (stunned) Oh. Okay. What does that mean?
TAU: You sound like Lux, the employee. I want you to sound like Lux, the boss.
LUX: (laughs) Pretty sure you’re still the boss, Gabriel.
TAU: Am I? Lux, look back at the last year. By any metric, you’ve exceeded expectations. You’ve already managed to navigate an ambitious road-map under-budget and under-schedule. The geo-fence, broad adoption of implants, complete drone and human security at every porous point. Incredible. Now, tell me about phase 3 like you run shit. Tell me about it like you own it. (pauses) Ready when you are.
LUX: (deep breath, more assured) This is the largest tunnel boring machine in the world, revitalized from salvaged parts. We’re saving billions while establishing vital infrastructure — and we’re doing it all in record time. Just one of these drills will double the capacity of the SF territory in a month. And just so you know we’re serious… (pauses) We’ve built three of them.
TAU: (happier) Much better.
LUX: They’re gonna ask us about the underground population. As far as I know, we haven’t mapped out an exit plan for them.
TAU: If it comes up, I’ll address it. There’s quite a bit going on behind the scenes there and all our progress hinges on handling it with extreme care. We’ve already committed to spending millions directly out of our pocket to help reintegrate off-grid residents.
LUX: Glad to hear it. I’m on team Y Corp but I’m not ordering anyone to drill through people’s homes.
TAU: Rest assured, they’ll have options. We’re not monsters. Any update on our little side project?
LUX: We’re still poring over Adnan Lem’s research. I’ll be honest, the records he left behind were… opaque. But it’s only a matter of time until we crack them.
TAU: Time is a luxury, my friend. Always act as though it can’t be spared.
LUX: I’m not worried. Our only possible competition is Lem himself. And no one has seen or heard of him since his quote-unquote “suicide note.”
TAU: Quote-unquote?! Tell me, do you believe he’s still alive?
LUX: (dry laugh) It really doesn’t matter what I believe, Gabriel. Whether he’s dead or lying in wait… we’ve already won.
[INSIDE HOSPITAL – DAY]
[We hear the blip of a heart-rate monitor.]
DR. NISHI: Good afternoon, Susan. How are we feeling?
RAD SUE: (ragged, dazed) Hi, Dr. Nishi. I’m doing much better, thanks. Just…shocked.
DR. NISHI: Mm, mmhmm. The physical recovery was the easy part. It’s the psychological recovery that I’m most concerned about here.
RAD SUE: (laughs) You know I never would’ve expected…
[She tears up.]
RAD SUE: (through tears) Oh, shit. Why am I crying? Just get me my work computer. I have a million emails to answer.
DR. NISHI: I don’t believe you had a computer with you, Susan.
RAD SUE: Ah, shit. (frustrated chuckle) Of course. I need to call my office. I lost my implant, obviously.
DR. NISHI: Mm, mmhmm. And that was your only way to access the outside world?
RAD SUE: When you put it that way, it does sound pretty stupid.
DR. NISHI: No worries. We’ll arrange to get you a simple smartphone.
RAD SUE: ‘Kay.
DR. NISHI: Now, there’s no rush at all but we did have some trouble processing the insurance information we have on file. If at some point you can confirm your data with the admins…
RAD SUE: (frustrated) As I mentioned, I’m in the process of recovering…
DR. NISHI: I totally understand. And I’m very glad that you had the wherewithal to end up here so I could be the one to offer you direct care. By the way, congratulations on your case. It looks like you won.
RAD SUE: Wait, what? They went to trial…they went to trial without me?! (pauses) Shit!
[She runs out of her room.]
DR. NISHI: Uh, wait, Susan. You’re in no shape to be running around.
[She gets grabs a phone from the front desk.]
NURSE: What the hell are you doing?
RAD SUE: (with an attitude) Sorry, I just need to make a quick call.
NURSE: (stern) You can’t just grab my phone.
RAD SUE: I’m calling my office. It’ll just be a second.
NURSE: (louder) I said– (grunts) You cannot…just grab…my phone!
[Sue’s breathing slows.]
RAD SUE: Yeah. I’m… (pauses) I’m sorry.
[OUTSIDE ADNAN’S LEM HOME – NIGHT]
[We hear the hum of Scout’s cruiser winding down as Scout and Adnan pull up into a quiet neighborhood overlooking the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco.]
[Scout rifles around their stuff.]
SCOUT: Here I got a present for you.
ADNAN: Uh… (rustling, skeptical) A trucker hat?
SCOUT: That is much more than a trucker hat, my friend. That is the Hex Set. It’s the anti-implant. Deflects surveillance tech. It’s also pre-loaded with a few credits for lunch and some fuel. There’s even some super basic phone and text features though they’re kinda temperamental…
ADNAN: Neat little gadget. I’d ask you how effective it is, but I guess I’m not in any position to be picky.
SCOUT: Like I said, managed risk. Think of it like you’re driving on a spare.
ADNAN: And what about you?
SCOUT: Oh, I mean, you testing my equipment? This is all valuable research for me.
ADNAN: No, I mean, like, what if you get arrested? You’re young, you’re smart. I can’t let you go to jail.
SCOUT: Eh, I’m fine. Did you not hear my story? No one’s gonna miss me.
ADNAN: That’s patently untrue. They’d be lucky to have you at SubTerra. (pause) Look, you’ve done enough for me. Just leave me here. I’ll make it through on my own.
SCOUT: That’s a terrible idea. You have about a 75% worse chance of surviving without me.
ADNAN: Uh– Well, Jesus Christ. OK, let’s do this together.
[We hear their footsteps on the gravel. We hear the faint whirr of drones.]
SCOUT: (quietly) Drones incoming. Tilt your head down.
[Drones get closer and louder.]
SCOUT: Be cool. They’re looking for your face. Let the hat do its thing.
ADNAN: (quietly) Oh, yeah. Okay.
SCOUT: It’s fine. Just walk normal, talk normal. And hide your face.
[Their footsteps slow.]
[One drone grows louder as it closes in.]
ADNAN: Am I imagining or is that one getting way too close to us?
SCOUT: Ignore it. Keep walking.
[It keeps getting closer.]
ADNAN: It’s right behind me.
SCOUT: (tenser) I said, ignore it.
ADNAN: I can feel the air from the turbine behind me. It’s about to give me a haircut.
SCOUT: (frustrated) Goddamn it.
[We hear two short crunching sounds as Scout dismantles the drone. It whines until it goes silent.]
SCOUT: Follow me. And walk faster.
SCOUT: Dammit, now we have 20 minutes, tops, before diagnostics comes to retrieve that dead drone.
ADNAN: (aggravated whisper) I didn’t tell you to break it?!
SCOUT: Well, you weren’t shutting up about it.
ADNAN: I’m sorry, Scout.
SCOUT: Follow my instructions and move quickly. Now, what’s the plan?
SCOUT: Yes! Like, what are you going to do when you get to your home? Are you stealing something? Are you kidnapping someone?
ADNAN: Jesus, no! I… I’m looking for my wife.
SCOUT: Aw, man. You were just gonna ring the doorbell, huh?
ADNAN: Yeah… It’s my family.
SCOUT: Hmm… Hmm… (pauses) OK, it’s not a terrible idea. Best case scenario, you get in there, grab what you need, and we’re out of the city before support finds the drone I destroyed.
ADNAN: Worst case?
SCOUT: Whoever is behind the door– (makes loud pop) And you’re out.
ADNAN: Oh. Maybe I do this alone, then.
SCOUT: Yeah, maybe I’ll wait in the car.
[Adnan walks to the front door.]
[Electronic doorbell sounds.]
CLAIRE: (staticky) Hello?
ADNAN: (quietly) Claire?
CLAIRE: Who is this? I can’t see your face.
ADNAN: It’s me. It’s Adnan.
CLAIRE: (gasps) No.
ADNAN: It’s Adnan.
[Sirens in the distance.]
SCOUT: (shouting) Actually, Adnan, we have to go *now*!
ADNAN: Will you let me in?
CLAIRE: (anxious) I can’t believe it. Let me see your face. Take off the hat.
ADNAN: I’m in danger. Please…
CLAIRE: Take off your hat.
[A beat passes.]
CLAIRE: (whispering) Oh my god.
SCOUT: Whyyyy did you take off the hat??
SCOUT: (shouting) Two minutes before swarm descends. You coming with me?
CLAIRE: They said you were dead.
ADNAN: Who said?
CLAIRE: Gabriel. He said… (pause) Forget it. I– I can’t–
[Buzzing gets louder as drones approach.]
SCOUT: One more minute. I’m heading back to the outskirts, Adnan. Last chance.
ADNAN: (emotional) I… I missed you.
CLAIRE: (tearing up) If you come in, you have to stay.
ADNAN: But, I promised them–
SCOUT: (yelling, tense) Forget it. Goodbye! (murmuring) Taking too long and shit…
[Hover car drives away.]
CLAIRE: You have to. You have to promise me.
END of episode 2.