Episode 3, “The New Light” | Transcript

A series of bars arranged in a circle, with a single large horizontal bar through it; a treated photograph of a desolate landscape in the background.

Ep. 3

By Alee Karim

[Inside ADNAN’S OLD APARTMENT – DAY; set in the past timeline]

We hear subtle electronic music. Adnan Lem is breathing nervously. A pigeon, the same one from ep 1, coos. Adnan’s dialing a phone number.

Two beeps and then Lux answers, cool and collected.

Adnan, on the other hand, is extremely anxious.

LUX: Lux Nova.

ADNAN: Hey. It’s Adnan.

LUX: Just a second. (she starts whispering) Don’t hang up.

We hear shuffling as she changes location.

LUX: Where are you?

ADNAN: Uh, haha… Let’s say Vancouver. Listen, I need your help.

LUX: I am not going to help you do anything illegal if that’s what you’re going to ask.

ADNAN: What…makes you think I want to do something illegal?

LUX: They said you’re involved with some kind of terrorist group.

ADNAN: Who’s they?

LUX: Look, if something happened, just tell the police everything you know and we’ll figure this out.

ADNAN: Lux, I love you but stop and listen to me for a second. There’s no terrorist group. And I have a feeling nobody wants to help me figure this out.

LUX: (sighs) So, what do you need?

Adnan’s voice quavers.

ADNAN: I can’t go home right now but I need to get some things to Claire and Isobel. Just drop off a terminal at my home so they can get on the Y Corp server if they need to.

LUX: You want me to leave a company computer with your wife? Sorry, but that sounds sketchy.

ADNAN: Oh, come on. How much stray Y Corp tech is currently scattered around employee’s homes? She just needs access to my benefits and my retirement funds. I don’t have a fuckin will or anything so this is the best I can do. Put a firewall around it if it makes you feel better.

LUX: All right, all right. I’ll make it happen. (big exhale) Adnan, why would she need your retirement funds?

ADNAN: Just promise me you’ll do it.

LUX: I said I will. But you have to promise not to put me in a bad spot.

ADNAN: Believe me, I’m the only one in a bad spot. See you.

He hangs up with a boop.

The pigeon coos become strained.

ADNAN: (getting emotional) Hey. Hey, what’s the matter, bud? (laughs) You’re not giving up on me, too?

We hear the sound of Adnan hooking up pipes to his body.

ADNAN: My turn, I guess. Only fair after what I put you through.

One last coo…

ADNAN: Jesus, are you really–?

…And the pigeon dies.

ADNAN: (choking up) Oh.

Adnan sniffles.

ADNAN: Damn, sorry dude.

Adnan laugh-cries.

ADNAN: Ideally I’d run some tests but… That does not bode well. Either way, there’s no turning back.

Archive machine warms up.

ADNAN: Hey, Monitor.

MONITOR: Sorry, Monitor is unavailable without a network connection.

ADNAN: Record locally, please.

MONITOR: Recording…

ADNAN: This is a message for you, whomever you may be.

Ambient electronic music swells in.

ADNAN: The new light shines at the farthest shore. Jump into the void, without fear. Allow yourself to become…Nothing.

I/O theme plays.

[Inside the UNDERGROUND – DAY; this is the present timeline.]

Scout runs in to Rad Sue’s quarters.

SCOUT: (yelling) Hey! Hey! Hey, where’s Dwayne?! I need Dwayne.

RAD SUE: Dwayne is on a supply run right now. I’m sorry, have we met?

SCOUT: (out of breath) Scout. I’m Scout.

RAD SUE: Right, Scout. Listen if you insist on living at the outskirts, I’m gonna have to rescind your clearance. I can’t have you coming and going–

SCOUT: I’m so sorry but I do need Dwayne. I took Adnan to SF and, uh, we had some trouble. And I left him there. And now he’s stuck. There.

RAD SUE: You, what?! Am- Am I taking crazy pills?! What is with all of you risking our safety for this, this complete X factor of a human being?!

SCOUT: X factor?! No, no, no. He’s the guy who invented Archive tech.

RAD SUE: Yes. No shit. And then he disappeared. Even the cops couldn’t find him. Now he shows up on our doorstep, experimenting with something that makes people vanish into thin air. Then he finds us, sees what we’re all about, and he’s suddenly desperate to get to SF.

SCOUT: All his data, all his work lives in SF. I took him back there–

RAD SUE: (pissed) Listen to me, these little field trips you’re doing to SF are not going to save us. I need bodies showing up, every day, doing what needs to be done.

SCOUT: Uh, sorry, did I become your employee all of a sudden??

RAD SUE: You don’t get it. We are in this together whether we like it or not. Meanwhile, Adnan Lem now knows everything about your life and mine — and he’s stuck on the other side of the geo-fence?!

SCOUT: I mean… Literally, yes, that’s true.

RAD SUE: (getting angrier) Fuck. Fuck!

She storms out.

SCOUT: (sounding small) Where are you going?

RAD SUE: To find Dwayne!

[We’re inside DEVANDRA’S CAR – DAY; the past]

We hear the sound of traffic as Devandra’s phone rings while in speaker mode.

TAU: Tau speaking.

DEVANDRA: Gabriel, it’s Devandra. So nice to hear your voice.

TAU: Devandra…calling me from new numbers. What a cheap way to get me to answer the phone.

DEVANDRA: Well, it does work–

TAU: (interrupting, terse) I will be the one to reach out when I’m ready to speak with you.

DEVANDRA: I’m just calling to update you on the whereabouts of Susan Rademacher.

TAU: (hopeful) You found her?

DEVANDRA: Not as such. But my sources tell me she’s gone underground.

TAU: And what sources would those be?

DEVANDRA: No one special. Just a friend willing to press their ear to places where you and I daren’t tread.

TAU: I have to say, this doesn’t fill me with confidence. What I would prefer instead is a call from Susan Rademacher herself. I don’t imagine she will be pleased to speak with me, but I’d still like to get the call, all the same. Can you arrange that?

DEVANDRA: Aw, the word of your lover doesn’t suffice?

TAU: No, it does not.

DEVANDRA: Well, I can’t make any promises but I’ll see what I can–

TAU: Stop! This unsolicited call of yours marks the end of our partnership in every conceivable way. Do you understand? You’ll get the severance to terminate your retainer, in fact I’ll double it. I appreciate your “services”, but I no longer require them moving forward.

DEVANDRA: Oh, Gabriel. You used to be fun. (pauses, sighs) Are you eyeing political office again?

TAU: (clears throat) Devandra Miller, with all due respect, goodbye.

DEVANDRA: When you’re ready to win again… you know where to find me.

Phone clicks.

[We’re inside CLAIRE’S HOME – DAY; the present]

Adnan and Claire speak in hushed, emotional voices.

CLAIRE: Is it really you?

ADNAN: Yeah. Yeah, it’s me. God, I… I have so much to tell you. And I barely have the time.

CLAIRE: What do you mean? You’re home. You’re home and you’re alive. What else could there possibly be?

ADNAN: A lot, actually. Wait, where’s Izzie?

CLAIRE: Asleep.

ADNAN: Is… Is she okay?

CLAIRE: She had a good day.

ADNAN: What does that mean?

CLAIRE: I… (starts weeping) Oh, Adnan, it’s been a hard year. It’s just been me and she… The neurodegeneration got so much worse, so much faster than we ever imagined. She can’t… she can’t use her legs anymore. Not since just after you left.

ADNAN: Jesus, Claire. I’m so sorry. There’s so much I want to tell you. All I can say right now is she’s going to be okay.

CLAIRE: (stunned) I… How can you say that?

ADNAN: If I tried to explain it to you, you wouldn’t believe me.

CLAIRE: You’re probably right. Try anyway.

ADNAN: First, just answer me one thing: did you still have the terminal Y Corp delivered here?

CLAIRE: I don’t know. Maybe. It’s in a box downstairs, I think. I’ve never touched it and I’ve never had to.

ADNAN: Okay, thank god. I need to set it up immediately.

CLAIRE: Adnan, you’ve been reunited with your family and you’re just dying to find your old work computer? What is wrong with you?

ADNAN: Claire, I– Okay. (breathing quickly through his nose) Okay, okay. I had a vision. I saw our daughter ten years from now and she… She was not just surviving, she was thriving. She was a young woman and she was a leader. She told me to come here and find you so that I could–

CLAIRE: Uht. Just stop. I’ve heard enough. (pause) Take the computer and go.

ADNAN: Wait, no. No, no, let me explain.

CLAIRE: You just did. You’re back after almost a year and a half out of our lives and immediately everything is about your experiment. Just like before.

ADNAN: No, no, Claire, you don’t understand. It worked. And there’s people who live underground–
Look, I can’t tell you much more without endangering you and Izzie, but believe me when I say it’s for a good cause. And for the good of our daughter.

Claire sniffs, toughening up and no longer weeping.

CLAIRE: Adnan, I managed without you before you were gone. I managed without you when you disappeared. And I’m sure I can keep going if I need to. But what I can’t do is just… plug you in and out of our lives whenever it suits you. We’re not a service you can turn on and off. That’s not a family.

ADNAN: That’s not fair.

CLAIRE: (angered) Don’t tell me about fair.

We hear Claire stand and begin walking away.

ADNAN: Wait, Claire, please. I really do… need you.

CLAIRE: Do what you have to do. Just leave before she wakes up.

[Inside a HOSPITAL CAFETERIA in San Francisco – NIGHT; the past]

Susan Rademacher is attempting to buy a sandwich and coffee from a majorly disaffected male CASHIER.

CASHIER: You got the soy latte and the uh… turkey club. That’ll be 25.

RAD SUE: My voucher’s only for 20.

CASHIER: We also accept cards and implants.

RAD SUE: (frustrated) And clearly I have neither.


RAD SUE: (pissed off) Fine. Keep the fucking coffee.

We hear the sound of footsteps as Sue walks through the busy hall to the nurse’s station.

RAD SUE: (frantic) Excuse me. Excuse me. Hi, remember me? My name is Susan Rademacher. Can you find me Dr. Nishi?

NURSE: I’m sorry, Dr. Nishi’s not available this evening. But you can leave him a message. Do you have our app?

RAD SUE: I… (she growls) I explained all this to you already. I don’t have access to anything digital at all because I was mugged and my implant was stolen.

NURSE: I’m very sorry. I talked to a lot of patients since then. You can also try messaging him with a smartphone.

RAD SUE: I was supposed to have a smartphone five hours ago. No one ever brought me one. And now I’m stuck here. Because I have no credits, I have no numbers, and I have no shit-fucking apps.

NURSE: I’m sorry, ma’am. I understand your frustration.

RAD SUE: (sarcastic) Do you, though?! I have a job, I have money and I have a home. But it’s all useless because it’s all completely locked off from me. Do you know how that feels?

NURSE: (calmly) Some of us spend our whole lives like that.

RAD SUE: What did you say?!

NURSE: This is just one shitty day for you. It’ll pass. And when this one shitty day ends, everyone will stop looking at you like mud on their shoes. Consider yourself lucky.


RAD SUE: I am… sorry for losing my temper. Will you please let me know when my phone comes in?

NURSE: Of course.

Sue walks away.

We hear the sound of a TV playing in the waiting room.

TV ANNOUNCER: Today a San Francisco civil court granted Y Corp full rights to the experimental manufacturing tool known as Archive. According to founder Gabriel Tau, Archive is to the 3D printer what the nuclear bomb is to a cap gun.

RAD SUE: Hey, can you turn that up a bit?

TV ANNOUNCER: Adnan Lem, one of Y Corp’s head engineers, had been fighting Tau for the rights to Archive. However, in a stunning turn of events, Y Corp persuasively argued that Lem’s ties to a local terrorist group make him a national security liability.

RAD SUE: Oh god.

TV ANNOUNCER: Lem’s whereabouts are unknown at this time but he should be considered armed and dangerous.

[Inside CLAIRE’S HOME – NIGHT; the present]

Adnan fumbles with wires in his basement.

ADNAN: Hey, Monitor.

We hear his computer boot and reboot multiple times.

ADNAN: Hey, Monitor. This thing on?

MONITOR: Welcome back, Adnan. You have 2 notific– three hundred– over ten thousand notifications across all your apps.

ADNAN: Right. Of course. You can delete those.

MONITOR: Are you sure you want to delete all unread notifications?


MONITOR: Notifications deleted. Would you like to check the status of your automated program?

ADNAN: Uh, my what?

MONITOR: Your automated program has encrypted instructions for the Archive project. You created a call to send these instructions once a day until they were received.

ADNAN: (in awe) Oh my god. Oh my GOD. (laughs) That’s right! I put myself in cold freeze until someone… (quieter) Until someone heard it.


ADNAN: Monitor, has anyone received those instructions yet?

MONITOR: As of this morning at 8 AM, the instructions have not been received.

ADNAN: (hushed) Right, of course not. It hasn’t happened yet. It’s Isobel in ten years. Oh man how is this even happening.


ADNAN: Okay, okay, you’re here. It’s not worth questioning. Priorities, priorities. Monitor, can you find public unrestricted files on the server with the tag Resurrection tech?

MONITOR: Searching… (pause) There are no files matching that description.

ADNAN: Okay, what about my personal research logs?

MONITOR: I’m sorry but your personal logs have been locked by a user on the network.

ADNAN: Which user?

MONITOR: The user is Lux Nova.

ADNAN: (quietly) No shit. (louder) Monitor, what is Lux Nova’s job title?

MONITOR: Lux Nova is Y Corp’s VP of engineering.

ADNAN: Promoted. Good for her.

MONITOR: Adnan, I have to warn you: if any user attempts to log in to these files, Ms. Nova will be notified immediately.

ADNAN: Oh, nonono. Absolutely…

Knock on the door.

ADNAN: Hello?

YOUNG ISOBEL: Dad, what’re you doing?

ADNAN: Izzy. I’m in the middle of something. And you should be asleep.

Adnan opens the door. We hear the sound of Isobel’s chair wheeling in.

YOUNG ISOBEL: Well, don’t get mad.

ADNAN: I… You’re right, I’m sorry.

YOUNG ISOBEL: Does mom know you’re alive?

ADNAN: (sighing) Oh, yes. (pause) Izzy, how long have you been in that chair?

YOUNG ISOBEL: A couple months. It’s got a motor so it’s actually pretty cool.

ADNAN: It looks very cool. And I love the color.

Adnan takes a deep breath.

ADNAN: Look, hon, I have to go but it’s not… It’s not because I don’t love you.

YOUNG ISOBEL: (grumpy) Then why do you have to go?

ADNAN: Because… I have to do something that mom thinks is the wrong thing to do.

YOUNG ISOBEL: So why are you doing it?

ADNAN: Because… I think it’s the right thing to do. It just doesn’t look like the right thing… right now. But maybe mom will agree with me someday.


YOUNG ISOBEL: That doesn’t make any sense, Dad.

ADNAN: Listen to me, you are going to be an… amazing person one day. I mean, you’re an amazing person now but you’re gonna do some really special things. Sometimes you have to– (perplexed) Izzy? Did something– I can’t see your face…

YOUNG ISOBEL (quiet) It’s dark in here. (pause) There’s a new light. (pause) I can’t find it.

ADNAN: Wait, what did you say?


A large woosh.

FUTURE ISOBEL: (louder) Follow the new light.

A loud thud.

Adnan lets out two sharp breaths.


[We’re inside RADEMACHER & FITCH LAW OFFICES – DAY; the past]

We hear an electronic doorbell buzzing.

RAD SUE: (pissed) Dammit, can someone help me get into the law firm that has my actual name on it?

We hear the doorbell again.

MEL: Susan, I’m so sorry, let me help.

Click and the sliding door swishes opens.

RAD SUE: (sigh) Sweet Jesus. Thank you, Mel. Literally one thing goes right and it feels like I’ve been kissed by a god.

MEL: Can I get you anything? Maybe a tea?

RAD SUE: (talking fast) Look, first things first, I want a postmortem with all the partners on the Adnan Lem case. I did not sign off on that terrorist charge. We cannot do shit like that without being fully aligned.

MEL: (nervous) Yes, of course.

RAD SUE: Second, I need a way to get back into our systems until I get all my data retrieved. I’ve been trying to locate my implant or at least a backup so I can get my contacts, get my keys, and make sure no one fucking drained my bank account.

MEL: Um…

RAD SUE: What?

MEL: (hesitant) I believe you have a few messages from your accountant? They’re concerned.

RAD SUE: (surly) Hand me the phone.

MEL: Sure.

Punches a couple numbers.

RAD SUE: Yes. Hi, Carmen. (pauses) Of course you don’t recognize the number. I got mugged and my implant was stolen. (pauses) What?! (pauses, angry) I don’t care what they thought it looked like! It was fucking fraud!!! (pauses, pissed-off) Mmf. Dammit!

She throws the receiver to the floor.

RAD SUE: (docile) Mel?

MEL: Yes, Susan?

RAD SUE: Where are the partners?

MEL: They’re at lunch.

RAD SUE: What? All of them?

MEL: Yes. They’re celebrating… winning the Lem case.

RAD SUE: (hushed, astonished) They’re what?! I–

There’s a protest outside walking past their office. A crowd is chanting:

PROTESTORS: (calls) No more rent?! (responds) No more fence!! (calls) No more rent?! (responds) No more fence!!

RAD SUE: What the hell is that?

MEL: Oh god, it’s been like that all day. Someone discovered that a big SF property manager donated $15 million to the geo-fence initiative. So now there’s a rent strike. (sighs) What does that accomplish?

RAD SUE: (dazed) Yeah. (pause) I gotta go.

Chants grow louder.

Sue opens the door.

MEL: Sue, do you still want that meeting?

RAD SUE: Not really. Mel, just so you know, you’ve been nothing but lovely to me. I hope I see you again.

[Inside TAU’S OFFICE – DAY; the present]

TAU: Maggie, did you–

MAGGIE: All your presentation files have been downloaded to your phone.

TAU: Excellent, and–

MAGGIE: Lux Nova will be giving you an update from her meeting first thing tomorrow.

TAU: Perfect. One more thing–

MAGGIE: I ordered you the number 5 salad from Green Press.

TAU: And the tea I like?

MAGGIE: Two bottles.

TAU: What on earth would I do without you?

MAGGIE: Save it for my performance review, Gabriel.

TAU: Noted. If anyone needs me, I’m gone.

Tau walks out.

Maggie’s cell phone rings.

MAGGIE: Hello?

DEVANDRA: Maggie, it’s Dee.

MAGGIE: Oh, hey girl! Wow, it’s…been a minute.

DEVANDRA: Ah, yes. Fucked off to Europe for a bit. Cleared my head. Italian boys will do wonders for a broken heart.

They laugh.

DEVANDRA: I don’t suppose you could find Gabriel from me?

MAGGIE: I…shouldn’t. He’s in this super-intense investor roundtable thing. He does NOT want to be disturbed.

DEVANDRA: Ha. Least of all by me.

MAGGIE: Ugh. When was the last time he called?

DEVANDRA: Long enough that I’m embarrassed to tell you. He’s a genius with grudges that one.

MAGGIE: I swear he does not know what’s good for him. He’s been so stressed lately. Having you in his life again would solve SO many things.

DEVANDRA: Aw, that’s sweet of you to say. What’s he got to be stressed about anyway?

MAGGIE: The usual. And, oh god– Something crazy just happened. I can’t really talk about it, though.

DEVANDRA: Oh, come on now. Whatever it is, it stays between us, you know that.

MAGGIE: Seriously, if this gets back to him–

DEVANDRA: Never. Tell me.

MAGGIE: Okay, so remember the engineer who used to work here that turned out to be like this terrorist or whatever?

DEVANDRA: Adnan Lem? I thought he passed away last year.

MAGGIE: (whispering) Well, someone who claims to be Adnan Lem reached out to Lux Nova yesterday. And Gabriel is super anxious about it.

DEVANDRA: Oh, my. That’s a lot.

MAGGIE: Gabriel says he doesn’t believe it’s him. But also, this guy… He knew stuff that only Adnan would know. Anyway, Adnan and Lux are gonna meet this afternoon and it’s all hush-hush, even the location. I had to drag it out of him. It was a whole thing.

DEVANDRA: Well, I suppose if a dead man reached out to me, I’d be on edge, too.

They laugh.

DEVANDRA: How are things with him and Lux Nova, by the way?

MAGGIE: Oh, she took over Adnan’s role and then some. She runs everything now.

DEVANDRA: I mean, how are things with them…outside of work?

MAGGIE: Oh… Oh! Oh, god! (laughs) Uh, let’s see: Lux likes girls and Gabriel doesn’t like anything, so…

They laugh.

MAGGIE: Honestly, don’t worry. There’s no one in his life right now. (in a cutesy voice) He just has a big Devandra-shaped hole in his heart.

DEVANDRA: (wistful) That is so sweet of you to say. Listen I’ve got to run. Dinner soon?

MAGGIE: For sure. Bye.

We hear buttons presssed as Devandra dials a new number.

CALEB: You’ve reached Caleb, leave a message.

DEVANDRA: Caleb, it’s Dee. Listen there’s a very important meeting taking place this afternoon and I need a fly on the wall there. (pause) Or a wasp if need be.

[At the OUTSKIRTS OF SF – NIGHT; the past]

We hear a crowd partying and dancing to loud, rhythmic electronic music with a woman singing.

Two women talk and flirt over the din.

MAKENNA: Hey! I like how you dance.

RAD SUE: (laughing) Sure you do. I know how I look, honey.

MAKENNA: I’m being serious!

RAD SUE: Sweetie, I could be your mom.

MAKENNA: I’m not looking for a girl. I’m looking for a woman.

RAD SUE: That right? Well, this must be my lucky day.

MAKENNA: What did you do?

RAD SUE: What did I do? Meaning what?

MAKENNA: Like, before this. Before the revolution?

RAD SUE: I thought this was a party.

MAKENNA: Same thing.

RAD SUE: Fair enough. (pauses) I was a lawyer. And I don’t know what I want to do next but I don’t want it to be that anymore.

MAKENNA: Right on. We could use someone like you here. We need leaders.

RAD SUE: What’s your name?

MAKENNA: Makenna. What’s yours?

RAD SUE: Susan.

MAKENNA: (incredulous) Susan?? (clicks tongue) You do not look like– (drops voice) A Sue-zen.

RAD SUE: (laughs) It gets worse — Susan Rademacher. Don’t tell my extremely uptight German father that I said that.

MAKENNA: (laughs) Tonight, you’re not Susan Rademacher. (pauses) You are just Rad.

[Inside the PERIMETER CAFE in NEW SF – DAY; the present]

LUX: Adnan Lem… Wow.

ADNAN: Lux. Back at Perimeter Cafe. Just like old times.

LUX: Yeah, well Ciudad was booked. As usual. (laughs) So what’s with the trucker hat?

ADNAN: It’s for protection.

LUX: You look like you’re hiding or something?

ADNAN: I’m not not hiding. But mostly just avoiding the sun. Anyway, how are you?

LUX: Good. Stunned. Wow, it’s hard to believe I’m seeing you in the flesh right now.

ADNAN: (subdued) Last time we spoke, I was alone, in a dark room, holding a dead pigeon.

LUX: Is that a metaphor?

ADNAN: I wish it were.

LUX: But that was over a year ago. What have you been doing?

ADNAN: Long story. Not sure if all the details will translate. But after things went sideways with Tau, I…unplugged.

LUX: I’m just gonna say it. It was terrible what they did to you.

ADNAN: They? There’s no they. It was all him.

LUX: Adnan, I swear that wasn’t us. There was this lawyer, Susan Rademacher–

ADNAN: Wait, what?

LUX: She represented us in the custody battle for Archive. Someone gave her the idea that you were selling off Archive tech to some sketchy people. Once her firm got hold of that notion, they did not let go.

ADNAN: (stunned) Sue… Really?

LUX: She fell off the grid. Kinda like you did. Anyway, Adnan, I’m so sorry. I’m just glad you’re not, you know…

ADNAN: Dead? Or a terrorist?

LUX: (uncomfortable laugh) Both, definitely. (changes subject) Listen I have an idea I want to run by you: what if I told you that, with some very specific conditions, there was a way for you to continue experimenting with Archive tech?

ADNAN: You’re kidding. After all that??

LUX: Adnan, believe me when I say: No one ever meant to shut you out of your work. Gabriel was only ever trying to protect Y Corp’s investment. That’s a lot of people’s livelihoods on the line.

ADNAN: Wait, let me guess. You got lost in my research and now you’re stumped on how to make resurrection tech work.

LUX: Full disclosure — all our research indicates you are uniquely poised to take the technology to the next level.

ADNAN: Full disclosure — I designed it that way.

LUX: Honestly, the materials science division is stumped. They can’t recreate a living, breathing thing from just the DNA. It’s like a xerox. A copy of a copy. Not even close to the real thing.

ADNAN: (animated) That’s because they’re trying to copy the matter instead of reverting it. Without the original body you’re just, you know… (pauses, laughs) Look at me giving the game away… So, what are you proposing?

LUX: You get access to your records and resources through that terminal you have at home. All we ask is that you stay connected to the server while you work so we can track your progress and any breakthroughs that result.

ADNAN: I don’t need the server to do my work. I can download and work locally.

LUX: Eh — That’ll get old fast. Your connection will be automatically set to time out every five minutes. And you can’t save progress locally. This is the only way to access your research and data short of memorizing it.

ADNAN: And what if I say no?

LUX: Don’t say anything. Just take this.

We hear a small metallic click.

ADNAN: What’s that?

LUX: A good ol’ thumb drive. It’s got the encryption keys for Resurrection Tech. All the files, unlocked.

ADNAN: (incredulous) You’re gonna let me take this? You’re gonna hand me the keys to the kingdom over coffee? I don’t fucking believe you.

LUX: (laughs) Don’t be so dramatic. We still live in a world where nothing is free. Once you’re back in the system, we’ll be watching. If you run to a competitor, we sue and…then we go down that road again. If we catch a whiff of anything sketchy, we take you to the cops. Personally, I don’t see you doing either of those things. You miss this work. I can tell.

ADNAN: What about Tau?

LUX: Let me worry about Gabriel. You just focus on Archive… Like you’ve always wanted to.

ADNAN: Huh. Let me sleep on it.

LUX: I gotta say, I didn’t see you being so skeptical.

ADNAN: Me, neither. Yet here we are.

LUX: Speaking of, what made you think to reach out to me like this?

ADNAN: Well, like I said, I’d been sort of meditating, if you will, trying to figure out what my next move would be. And the idea just popped into my head, out of nowhere: ‘Find a new light,’ ‘find a new light.’ And that led me to you.

LUX: New Light, huh? I haven’t heard that in a while. Did you know that was my handle on threads back when I was, oh god, probably 16?

ADNAN: No kidding? And what was little Lux Nova like?

LUX: Basically a skinny little dyke with purple hair who wanted to hack the government. It wasn’t an easy time. (gets wistful) But it was also kind of magical. (pauses) Anyway…Adnan, I do hope you consider my offer but I have to go. Where are you staying by the way?

ADNAN: Uh, couch-surfing, I guess.

LUX: Sounds romantic.

ADNAN: Let’s pretend it is.

We hear a low rumble.

ADNAN: Whoa. Did you feel that?

LUX: Felt like an earthquake.

Sounds of people screaming outside grow louder and louder. Sirens sound off.

ADNAN: That was an explosion. Look outside.

LUX: Oh my god.

We hear a motorcycle whizzing past. It’s Caleb, screaming outside the cafe.

CALEB: (yelling) Viva Subterra!

The sound of chaos — breaking glass, screams.

LUX: Oh god. (gasps) What the hell is happ–

We hear mournful string music playing a funereal minor melody with some synthesized textures as we close out.