Episode 4, “The Making of a Killing” | Transcript


[Ambient hum sounds as Isobel begins to log her experiment into Monitor Two.]

MONITOR TWO: Good morning, Isobel.

ISOBEL: Monitor, open new experiment. Save as X1-B.

MONITOR TWO: Saving… What is the hypothesis of X1-B?

ISOBEL: Atemporality as a problem-solving approach and way of life.

MONITOR TWO: What are your qualifications for this experiment?

ISOBEL: I’m currently the only known human survivor of Archive Resurrection Tech.

MONITOR TWO: Will you require any external equipment for your experiment?


MONITOR TWO: Describe your approach.

ISOBEL: They’re called time jumps. I will access different points in my own timeline by visualizing my own muscle memory. Consistent, intense acceleration opens access to those points in my history.

MONITOR TWO: Is there precedent for this experiment?


MONITOR TWO: Do you have any data related to these previous experiments?

ISOBEL: Uh. Next field, Monitor. Expedite.

MONITOR TWO: Sorry, Isobel. You requested a higher level of granularity for research purposes. I’ll attempt to expedite. What is your destination?

ISOBEL: Y Corp HQ. Where my father is in cold freeze. Shortly before the first collapse of SubTerra.

MONITOR TWO: What are the risks?

ISOBEL: (frustrated, faster) Shit. Um. Inability to return to my current point in time. Compromising my cellular integrity while in transit. Inadvertently interfering with positive outcomes from the past. A loss of trust in my own judgment and sanity. Injury and death.

MONITOR TWO: Lastly, describe the value that X1-B can have for the residents of SubTerra One.

ISOBEL: Access to better technology. The ability to shape the future.

[I/O theme plays; melancholy electronic music]


[Massive explosion]

[Screams and chaos]

CALEB: (growling) Viva SubTerra!

[Motorcycle speeds away]

[Implant phone rings]

CALEB: Call Devandra.


DEVANDRA: (recorded) This is Dee. Leave a message.

CALEB: It’s done.


[Crowd chatters]

DWAYNE: Good evening, everyone. I assume you’ve all seen the news on your feeds about the bombing in SF. Now here’s the facts: five are dead, FIFTEEN are critically injured. Someone at the scene yelled, quote, “Viva subterra” just after the incident. And that’s all I know. We have no idea whether the bomber was actually from Subterra, though I doubt they were. We’re hearing rumors that this bombing will be used to justify a massive underground infrastructure project, one that will displace many of us from our homes.

SUBTERRA RESIDENT: Massive infrastructure project is just a nice way to say there’s a big-ass drill busting through our walls. It’s time to fight back, Dwayne.

DWAYNE: I understand your concern, my friend, but we need cool heads right now. For the safety of everyone, I’m beginning evacuation procedures. All SubTerra residents must report to the Vault by this time tomorrow.

[Murmurs of shock]

DWAYNE: Sue, you want to say something?

RAD SUE: Thanks, Dwayne. To all the friends and allies of SubTerra, I assure you, this is not defeat. This is precaution. We can rebuild anything they destroy. Anything but our bodies. Let’s all work together to ensure our safety not just for today, but for the future of our community.

DWAYNE: Couldn’t’ve said it better. Now if you have any questions for me, you know where to find me. I’m not sleeping anytime soon. Otherwise, see you all in the Vault.

[We hear Scout panting as he runs towards Dwayne]

SCOUT: Dwayne! (louder) Hey, Dwayne!

DWAYNE: Scout, what’s up?

SCOUT: (out of breath) Okay…Okay… First of all, Adnan used the Hex Set for like a full-on James Bond escape deal.

DWAYNE: Wait, what? Please walk me through those words again, but much slower.

SCOUT: Okay, so Adnan, the guy you introduced me to? He used my, like, phone, wallet, ID, implant-ish hat thingy to get around SF, to buy shit, and he just sent me a freakin’ text message from it.

DWAYNE: (concerned) Uh-huh. And what did this message say?

SCOUT: He’s trying to get out of SF, which, I mean, I showed him how to get in, getting out is, like, nothing compared–

DWAYNE: Wait, so he’s trying to get out and now he wants your help? No, no, no. Come with us to the Vault. You’re in danger anywhere else.

SCOUT: No way! I’ve never gotten this close with any of my experiments. This is groundbreaking shit.

DWAYNE: I understand that. But you will have time to get back to your experiments after we lock up.

SCOUT: Do you even understand the reason I was doing what I do? I’ve been waiting a long time for a chance to get in there and do something real. To make an actual difference to the underground, not just messing with my toys or whatever.

DWAYNE: Scout, you know I respect what you do.

SCOUT: You say you do. But you never show me.

DWAYNE: (sighs) I owe you one. I admit it. But please, let’s forget about Adnan for now. It’s just not worth the risk to save his ass again.

SCOUT: Don’t you get it, Dwayne? He did it. He did what he said what he was going to do.

DWAYNE: Wait, are you for real?

SCOUT: Yes. We’re gonna build Archive.


[Doors swoosh open.]

MAGGIE: Mr. Tau, Alfonso King is here for your 1:30.

TAU: Please, send him in.

[ALFONSO KING (early 40s, hulking Republican dude) stomps in to the office.]

KING: Gabriel Tau, it’s an honor.

TAU: That’s very kind of you but I recommend holding your praise, until– (pauses) Thank you, Maggie. We have what we need.

MAGGIE: Oh. Oh, right.

[Maggie leaves.]

TAU: (quieter) You know, I’ve always tried to be discreet but I’ve reason to believe I could stand to be… even more so.

KING: That is the sign of a man whose star is on the rise. But, a true leader knows when to load off certain responsibilities. You’re a bold man with big ideas, Mr. Tau; shit I can’t even begin to dream up. But you need protection — real protection for you and your city. I’m not talking brute thug shit, either: I’ve got black ops and deep technical experience. 12 years, Navy Seals. You’re the mind, I’ll be the skull.

TAU: The mind and the skull — good metaphor. Question for you: King is not your given last name, is it?

KING: No, it’s Reyes. I don’t have any shame in my heritage. King was just part of the whole personal brand thing when I struck out on my own.

TAU: Right. Remind me of your path post-military up to now.

KING: Consulted for maybe a month or two before I started my stint with ICE [“ice”]. Replaced my boss. Went on to a leadership role at DHS. [“dee aich ess”]

TAU: Then you went back to consulting?

KING: Pays better.

TAU: So what is it about heading up my security team, answering to me and my investors, and having a much, much higher level of accountability that’s enticing you to give up being your own boss for a second time?

KING: (chuckles) Look, I thought busting heads for six figures was the dream, right? But the big pull with the Seals, with ICE, with DHS: feeling like I was part of something bigger than just gettin’ mine. I’ve done my research. I like the way you operate, Mr. Tau. You don’t just think big picture, you act big picture. Your vision for expanding SF — that’s gonna go in the history books. And I’m just happy to be a footnote in there.

TAU: Well, I admire your faith, Mr. King. I really do. But this is going to mean making some hard decisions. And looking like a real asshole while doing so, quite frankly.

KING: Lay it on me. I’m ready.

TAU: Very well. Your first responsibility will be to support a massive drilling infrastructure project — we’re expanding the city below ground. You’ll help me pitch this on live news feeds. I’ll talk high level, you talk execution.

KING: Not a problem, Gabriel. Way I see it, we’ve got the whole city under our thumb right now.

TAU: Well, we have permission but we don’t have a positive perception. The Ciudad bombing was the worst terrorist attack in the history of San Francisco, and it happened on our watch. I need you to shoulder some of the responsibility when shit like this happens.


TAU: I’m sorry?

KING: No, I won’t. And you won’t, either.

TAU: What are you saying?

KING: We’re not gonna be on our back heels when terrorists strike. You’ve created a brilliant system for protecting the city and the attack actually validated that fact. It was a death rattle by insurgents who want this city to remain in the past. You want proof you’re on the cutting edge? Y Corp stock went up after the attack. The market has faith in you. San Francisco has faith in you.

TAU: I appreciate your positivity and your framing. But what is the action you’re proposing?

KING: You be the face of this response. Own the solution, be the hero. Let me be the one to underscore that we’re moving quickly with zero tolerance for backlash. And you come in to remind our viewers that there will be a path to citizenship for all underground residents who desire one. Just like you planned.

TAU: Alfonso, I must say: you’re good at this.


[Chill modern music plays against ambient restaurant sounds.]

DEVANDRA: Well, hello there, Caleb. My, you look… rough.

CALEB: Yeah, no shit. Tough day.

DEVANDRA: And I do appreciate you. Now, this place does a lovely steak frites — I insist you order it unless you’re feeling strongly otherwise. In the meantime, I took the liberty of ordering your favorite: single malt, neat.

[Caleb breathes deeply.]

DEVANDRA: (whispers) Why so quiet?

CALEB: I did what you asked. Just like you said. Just send me the payment so I can go home.

DEVANDRA: If you’re not enjoying this arrangement, I suggest you make the necessary adjustments to your role as soon as possible. There’s big changes coming and it’s later than you think. I do have to ask: did you leave the little memento like I asked? Or did you lose your stomach for that, too?

CALEB: Susan Rademacher’s implant is sitting on a marble countertop inside Ciudad.

DEVANDRA: Ooh, lovely. A toast, then. To the future.

CALEB: (laughing) The future of what?

DEVANDRA: Caleb, I realize you’re no scholar but surely you see where this is all going.

CALEB: I see this…all going to add some commas in my account.

DEVANDRA: I’m sure there’s easier ways to make a living.

CALEB: Nah. It takes me weeks of the usual hood shit people want to stack up to one job for you.

DEVANDRA: Well, I’m honored that my vision elevates your income bracket.

CALEB: Vision? (laughs) Is that what we’re calling Gabriel Tau killing civilians–

DEVANDRA: (hushed, angry) Watch what you say — about him and about any of this. He is a visionary and these are merely the growing pains of building a better future.

CALEB: Oh, okay. So framing Americans for terrorism is the future?

DEVANDRA: (mocking tone) “Framing Americans for–?” (seething) My goodness. Listen to yourself. Caleb, you need to upgrade your sense of good and evil from the children’s book version. The binary is no longer “right” or “wrong,” but rather “in” and “out.” And we, my dear, are in. All of this — the fence, the money — it’s for us. What’s right and what’s wrong are defined by what suit us. The people on the outside are the traitors. They race and scramble to keep up with our definition of the truth. And they will always be behind. Why do you think we police out there so much harder than in here? It’s so life in here can remain painless. When anyone pushes back in an attack like yesterday it never ever matters whose fault it was. The outside are the ones who pay the price.

CALEB: Wow. (pauses, exhales) You are a deeply crazy bitch.

DEVANDRA: Once you can elevate your perception of yourself from second-class citizenship and ascend to the height you dare not imagine for yourself, I assure you, we have a seat saved for you.

CALEB: Yeah, I don’t see it.

DEVANDRA: (miffed) Fine, do as you like. But you’ll never know what you’re missing.

CALEB: You know, part of me sincerely wants to see this all work out for you, just like you planned. But… (pauses, exhales) Part of me knows Gabriel Tau’s gonna get what he wants out of you then throw you out like trash.

DEVANDRA: Caleb, if you understood the full extent of my plans, well… (pauses, snickers) They wouldn’t be very good plans, would they?


[Scout’s hover car hums.]

ADNAN: Steel?

SCOUT: Yes. Steel girders, dynamically maintaining integrity along the rock walls. I have some really gnarly slabs we could use. They’ll straight annihilate a drill.

ADNAN: How many do you have?

SCOUT: Not enough. That’s where I need your help–

[Fleet of drones buzz overhead.]

SCOUT: Aaand the drones have found us.

EMERGENCY SYSTEM: Due to heightened security measures, all vehicles must return to the geo-fence subject to a complete inspection. Failure to comply will be regarded as an act of terrorism.

SCOUT: Ah, shit. Engaging the algorithm. Hopefully we can disappear but just gonna start mentally preparing for death.

[Drone swarm intensifies.]

ADNAN: It’s not working. They’re tightening up on us.

SCOUT: (shouting) Dammit!

ADNAN: (shouting back, anxious) Scout, go hard left. The drones are crowding you on your right.

SCOUT: Adnan, please please trust the algorithm! Don’t fight it! If we go hard left, they’ll fill the vacuum.

ADNAN: I’m telling you: hard left here and we’re in the clear.

SCOUT: Dude, these drones will shoot.

ADNAN: But it’s not just a simple hard left, it’s–

[Shots ring out.]

ADNAN: Shit! They’re shooting!

SCOUT: What did I just say?

ADNAN: You’re still keeping too close to the right.

SCOUT: It’s the algorithm.

ADNAN: It’s not that deep, though. Look, they’re not stealth bombers, they’re just cheap drones. If we make a quick enough break, they’re in such tight formation, they won’t change course. Most of them will just crash into each other.

SCOUT: Yeah?

ADNAN: I’m telling you.

SCOUT: All right, one… (pause) Two… (pause, louder) THREE. (grunt)

[A great electronic shift.]

[Laser shots ring out.]

[Drones crash.]

ADNAN: (laughs) Yes! You did it! Did you see that?! They went down like flies.

SCOUT: (subdued) Oh, man.

ADNAN: Scout, that was amazing.

SCOUT: (weakly) Oh…man…

[Hovercraft crashes.]

ADNAN: Scout?! Wait, what happened?

SCOUT: (laughs weakly) Got tagged. I’m sorry this is so cheesy. Tell my hot bearded boyfriend that I never actually had … I love him.

ADNAN: Nononono, you’re okay. That’s not your heart. (breathing panicky) It’s not your heart, is it?

SCOUT: (very weak) Who knows. Just…fuck…do me a favor. Don’t…bring me back to life. Resurrect or…whatever. Sorry. No offense. I’m…not…

ADNAN: Scout. Scout?! (cries) Oh, nonono. Please keep talking.

EMERGENCY SYSTEM: Good afternoon. The suspected dissident has been fatally wounded while resisting arrest.

ADNAN: You piece of shit. You shot a child! Why not shoot me?!

EMERGENCY SYSTEM: Our records indicate you’re a current contractor with Y Corp. If you’d like, we can arrange to have you escorted back–

[Crunching sound as Adnan punches drone.]

ADNAN: Ugh! Ugh!

ADNAN: Piece of shit! Shiiiiit!

[Sound of Adnan’s phone dialing]

ADNAN: (somber) Dwayne. This is Adnan. Calling you from the outskirts. (pause, deep breath)
Scout… They got tagged. They’re dead. That poor kid is dead before they even got started. Believe me when I say if there was something I could’ve done… But, look, we got what we needed. And I’m on my way back. (breathes heavier) On foot. See you in SubTerra.


[Tau smoking]

[Phone dials.]

DEVANDRA: (delighted) Gabriel Tau. To what do I owe the pleasure?

TAU: Can you imagine my reaction to learn that Susan Rademacher’s implant was discovered at the site of the Ciudad bombing?

DEVANDRA: (feigned concern) Oh, dear. Well, this is the first I’m hearing of it and let me say that’s a real shame to see someone turn like that. She clearly fell in with a criminal element after we lost touch with her.

TAU: Don’t be cute. (deep drag of his smoke, pissed) Devandra, please stop meddling in my business. You’ve leapt from pathetic to criminal in a single bound and I don’t have the energy for the fallout. So let me be completely clear when I say that you are no longer my business partner and you are most certainly no longer my romantic partner. So… stay away from me.

DEVANDRA: (calmly) Are you finished?

TAU: I’m finished the second you confirm that you’ve gotten my message. In any other case, we have a problem.

DEVANDRA Oh, Gabriel. You’re calling me at half past midnight, 4 scotches deep with a cigarillo on your lips? To talk, uh, “business?” The “business” that is actually going quite well, thank you very much.

TAU (pissed, takes a drag) You… You are a psychopath. It’s only out of care for what I know to be your astonishingly fragile mental health that I haven’t sought more drastic measures to inhibit you. Honestly, to think what I could… What I should do with…

[Tau coughs.]

DEVANDRA: It’s cold out there, dear. And it’s lonely for hearts like ours. I’m still waiting for you to embrace the darkness… (pauses, sighs) But perhaps you need things spelled out more clearly than I’d realized. (clears throat) So here it is: your “friend” Susan, is a fucking terrorist. She lives underground…nononono… (gets worked up, talks faster) She is a leader amongst the off-grid population. She mobilizes revolutionaries intent on smashing the very state which you’ve sought to nourish and strengthen. Gabriel, Susan is your mortal enemy — and enthusiastically so.

TAU: (long pause) And where’d you get all that from?

DEVANDRA: Gabriel, I know you fancy Lux Nova as your right hand but let’s look at facts: While you may be the savior of the city right now, the murmurs that your yes-men — sorry, yes-persons — won’t relay to you are that the first terrorist act inside the geo-fence was a big fat ding in your armor. And if your little boring project is anything short of a surgical strike, you’ll be relinquished of your role as CEO of the city and Y Corp’s competitors will rapidly fill the vacuum.

TAU: (disgusted) You’re full of shit.

DEVANDRA: Am I? Or am I saying what you wish weren’t true: That the mega-drought was your lucky moment. You figured out a way to consolidate the resources of the entire region, give everyone seamless access to them and stay safe. And thanks to a key innovation courtesy of a former employee of yours — who shall remain nameless — you had the infrastructure to do it all yourself. (laughs, sighs) Bravo, by the way. You were a poet when the world was tongue-tied and you deserved the keys to the city. But that attack on Ciudad broke one of the key promises of the geo-fence: safety. It doesn’t matter how it happened. It’s on you to fix it. But… (pauses, exhales) It’s not beyond you. Believe me, Gabriel, when I say: No one can see the colors of the world like I do.

TAU: (deep exhale) God, I miss you.

DEVANDRA: (sultry) Mmm. We make a good team, don’t we?

TAU: Devandra… (pauses, husky voiced) Where are you?

DEVANDRA: Same place.

TAU: I’ll send someone over.

DEVANDRA: (playful) I’ll be waiting.


[Crowds shuffle]

RAD SUE: (to a child) Now, sweetie, you just follow your dad. It’s a long walk but we’re gonna have dinner and storytime when we get there, okay? (pauses) Good job.

DWAYNE: Hey, Sue.

RAD SUE: Dwayne. Where have you been? We still have a whole quad that hasn’t evacuated.

DWAYNE: It’s on my list, Sue, I promise you. I have something important I need to tell you. (pause) It’s Adnan Lem. I got a message saying he’s on his way back to Subterra. But get this…Scout didn’t make it. They’re gone, Sue.

RAD SUE: (gasp) Oh my god.

DWAYNE: Yeah… I don’t know what happened or what–

RAD SUE: No. Enough. I’ll go find him. You take over evac work.

DWAYNE: Sue, please–

RAD SUE: I insist. Look, I get it. You see something in him. You’re hoping he’s gonna save us.

DWAYNE: Look, Sue. I’ve always kept my eyes wide open. So did Scout. Every day is a death sentence until it’s not. But the one thing that gets me out of bed each day is the chance that that day we’ll do more than just hide.

RAD SUE: I also want to see that day come to light. But if Adnan is the one who will get us there, he needs to start proving it. And if he can’t, he grabs a shovel and works just like the rest of us. Deal?

DWAYNE: Yeah. Deal.


We hear Rad Sue punching in her code to her keypad.

[Gates creak]

ADNAN: (breathing heavy) Sue…

RAD SUE: Where’s Scout?

ADNAN: Out on the flats. Somewhere safe where I can find him once this all blows over.

EMERGENCY SYSTEM: Warning. All non-residents must surrender to ports of entry for the city of San Francisco. Shelter, food, and other resources will be available at no cost to you…

ADNAN: Has anyone left yet?

RAD SUE: Fewer than I expected. Mostly families. Hard to blame ’em.

EMERGENCY SYSTEM: …Non-residents include those living permanently or temporarily outside the San Francisco geo-fence and those who do not have an implant enabled–

RAD SUE: Listen, Adnan. It’s long past time for you to step up. What are you prepared to give?

ADNAN: What does that mean?

RAD SUE: It means that no matter what I or anyone else thinks of Dwayne’s open door revolution policy, at the end of the day, we are severely lacking in givers. Scout was — maybe they were a little loopy sometimes but they were one hundred percent a giver. And they didn’t even live down here. (pauses, crack of emotion) Now they’re gone. (composure regained) So tell me, what are you prepared to give?

ADNAN: Archive — for starters.

RAD SUE: So you have it?

ADNAN: (rustling in his pocket) I have this.

RAD SUE: (skeptical) A thumb drive?

ADNAN: Access to Y Corp servers. All my research. Everything I need to recreate Archive with just a handful of raw materials, all of which I can find in Scout’s trailer. And, yes, I did ask their permission.

RAD SUE: I should hope so. So how long before we can start re-building all our broken shit?

ADNAN: A couple days, three at most. But if you can give me a little more time, I can give you Resurrection Tech. Sue, we’re gonna lose people in this fight. With a little more time and the manpower, it doesn’t have to be forever…

RAD SUE: (skeptical) How did you pull this off?

ADNAN: I just told you. This is my work. This is what I do.

RAD SUE: No, how did you get in and out of the city with proprietary Y Corp intel? How did you pull that off?

ADNAN: I had help.

RAD SUE: From whom?

ADNAN: (pause) Her name is Lux Nova. She… She works for Tau.

RAD SUE: (shocked) You met with… Wait, are you working for Y Corp?

ADNAN: It’s not like that.

RAD SUE: (righteous) Jesus, Adnan. You just brought the eyes and ears of the state into Subterra.

ADNAN: (angry) Sue, we’re way past that. They already know where we live. There’s an armada of drills heading for us no matter what you or I do next.

RAD SUE: How can I trust that this Lux Nova isn’t plotting anything else?

ADNAN: You can’t, but I promise you there’s very little she can do to stop me once I start working. The only consequence is that once I’m done, Resurrection Tech is no longer my awesome party trick — The last few details that live in my head will finally be in Y Corp’s hands. They’ll have everything they need to recreate Resurrection Tech without me.

RAD SUE: (chuckles, murmurs to herself) So you’re doing contract work for your old boss. Oh, wow… (angrier) Adnan, you want to know why I keep grilling you like this?! It’s because I just — don’t — trust you. It’s because you have these encounters with people where very important topics are discussed and only you can confirm how they went down. It’s because you just admitted to me that you haven’t cut ties with your former employer AT ALL. It’s because you move freely in and out of a city on lockdown without even breaking a sweat despite your memory being “fuzzy” and you seemingly don’t know anything about the last year and change. I don’t trust you because you’re a human landmine and every second I’m near you, I feel like you could go off.

[Long pause]

ADNAN: (deadpan) Well… I mean, it’s not like I trust you.

RAD SUE: (really offended) Meaning what?

ADNAN: In one of those aforementioned conversations that only I can confirm, I found out that it was you who framed me. You were the reason I had to hide.

RAD SUE: (defensive) No… No, Adnan, trust me when I say you’ve got this wrong.

ADNAN: Now I can see how hard it was for you to take me at my word, because I am having a hell of a time now that the tables are turned.

RAD SUE: This is ridiculous. I’m not letting you in here! Go! Go back to the goddamn city you call home!

ADNAN: Get Dwayne, then! Tell him how you worked for Gabriel Tau. Tell him how you had a hand in locking down San Francisco.

RAD SUE: That is not the issue! And he’s not going to overrule me on this!

ADNAN: Look, this isn’t just about me! I not only have the means to build an Archive device… Forget it, even if I don’t build it, Scout had a damn solid plan that we can put in motion immediately to help stop those drills. And I know you don’t have a team of backup materials engineers hiding in there. Please, just… I came back so I could help. Because I owe something to you guys. Just let me do that. Let me help. Because I have a really, really good reason to believe it’s gonna work.

[Long pause]

RAD SUE: Well… Now that we both have incentive to ruin each other’s lives… (pause, deep sigh) Look, I was supposed to frame you. That was the set up. But I pulled out of it. The whole thing smelled like shit and I pulled out and I lost my career and my whole life because of it. (pause) It was the right thing to do but it was still painful. It was still hard. (pause) You know and I know, the whole reason Dwayne brought you down here is because we need a win. And I agree. Fuck our hurt feelings. How are we doing this?

ADNAN: There’s Scout’s way and there’s my way. (pause) I think we can choose both.


[Sounds of crowd cheers, murmurs, coughs]

TAU: Welcome, San Franciscans… Stewards of the jewel of the West. I welcome you to the first day of your future. Before now, we were working on old ground. We had to reimagine our home to more closely align with our vision. And we did a damn good job — don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But today, we start on a new road. We are literally breaking ground on a new home, a clean canvas upon which we can build our dreams freely. Today, we will celebrate. But first, we will mourn those who paid the ultimate price.

[Long pause.]

TAU: Today, we break ground for them. And we promise them, we will build a safer, brighter future. We pledge that we will not accept anything less than the best for ourselves, for our children, for the planet we all call home. Fellow Citizens, today we are creating… tomorrow.

[Drill revs up.]


TAU: Thank you.

DEVANDRA: (intimately) That was fuckin’ splendid, babe.

TAU: (chuckles) Hell yes it was. Have you seen Lux anywhere?

DEVANDRA: Oh, she’ll turn up. Now, let me take you to lunch.

TAU: She should be launching drill two within the hour. (pauses) Surprised I haven’t heard anything.

DEVANDRA: Gabriel, I assure you the world won’t stop turning if you look away for a moment. Now come with me. I know a place that does a lovely steak frites.

TAU: Sounds delightful.

DEVANDRA: Yes. And a terribly old scotch for the terribly handsome man who introduced San Francisco to its future. (pause) Perhaps two?

TAU: (laughs) Dee, this is still a work day for me.

DEVANDRA: Nope. It’s time to celebrate.


[Massive machine hum]

GREG THE ENGINEER: (yelling) I need you to hold this brace like it’s shielding you from death. Because that is literally what it’s doing. (pause) Now — when that drill comes through, it’s gonna feel like your arm is coming out of its socket. But you’ve gotta suck it up and hold until the countdown ends. (pause) When you hear me say SHIFT, that’s when our guidance algorithm kicks in. I’m gonna start a countdown that goes “3…2…1” then I’ll say SHIFT again, and you turn clockwise.

[Metallic gears and motors wind up.]

DWAYNE: We call it the Drillkiller. And it’s no joke. All salvaged precious metals, all carefully assembled as a counterpoint to the moving parts of that big fucking boring machine that’s finna destroy this place we call home. Now this thing is a beast but it’s only as good as your eyes and ears. So stay focused on Greg. When he yells shift, you turn and turn until you can’t. If you’re wondering how you’ll know, believe me: You’ll know.

GREG THE ENGINEER: Yup. What Dwayne said. Let the algorithm do the thinking. Don’t try to outsmart it. Just be the muscle.

VOLUNTEER 1: How long do we do this?

DWAYNE: (through gritted teeth) Until it’s done.

GREG THE ENGINEER: We’re gonna keep diverting this drill until it comprises its route. And that’s when the walls are gonna cave in.

VOLUNTEER 2: Cave in? Like cave in around us?

DWAYNE: Yeah. (pauses) Yeah, that’s right. It’s automated so when it breaks down, we immediately start salvaging it for parts. We start with the motor, the electronics, and the fuel — those are priority resources for us.

VOLUNTEER 1: Why don’t you say it, Dwayne: some of us are gonna die.

DWAYNE: (annoyed, righteous) All right, then, if this helps you sleep better: Some of us are gonna die. Okay? (clears throat) I’m late for a meeting. If you’re not up to it, check in with Greg before lights out. Better have a good-ass reason, too.


ADNAN: Hey, Dwayne. Come here.

DWAYNE: Adnan, my man: Please say you have some good news for me.

ADNAN: I do. Here’s the titanium plate you gave me.

[Metallic clang]

DWAYNE: Oh my god. This is from Archive?!

ADNAN: You know it.

DWAYNE: (laughs) This thing was rusted and bent to hell. I can see my face in it now.

RAD SUE: At last, the prodigal son comes through.

DWAYNE: (laughs) Hahaha! Yes, he did! We can keep mangling this drill shield, and rebuilding it good as new.

ADNAN: This is just the beginning. Those men don’t have to die, Dwayne. What I’m working on next means we can start resurrecting. Not at scale and certainly not without some potentially alarming challenges. But if we really want it… death does not have to be the end.

DWAYNE: (chuckles) Whoa, my friend, that is a lot. Now how the hell does that happen?

ADNAN: Just send everyone manning the guard rails to me. I’ll record them. I can’t promise anything but if they’re injured or die somehow, there is a chance we can rewind them back in shape.

DWAYNE: No shit. What’s the catch? Why don’t we just…resurrect everyone?

ADNAN: I have to have a recording of them when they’re alive. And I need their body.

DWAYNE: Wow. And that’s it? They’re back and alive? Good as new?

ADNAN: Like I said, it may not be what you’re expecting but death is not the end.

DWAYNE: Adnan, whatever happens, I gotta admit, you stepped up and kept your word. That’s big in my book.

RAD SUE: Let’s all get some rest. The drill is set to breach tomorrow. And it’s quite a bit faster than your standard boring machine.

DWAYNE: I’ll sleep when I’m dead, Sue. (speaks quieter) But I will toast with y’all. C’mere. We have one tonight, one after we win this thing. (pause) To SubTerra.

ADNAN: To SubTerra. And to Scout.

RAD SUE: To SubTerra and to Scout.


CLAIRE: (whispers) No, Izzy, no monsters. You know why? Because I kill them, ok?

ISOBEL: For real you do?

CLAIRE: Yes. Promise.

[Digital sound of phone ringing]

ISOBEL: I can see your Implant buzzing! Who’s calling you, Mom?

CLAIRE: Oh, god. Why is the police calling me?

ISOBEL: (laughs) Did you do something bad?

CLAIRE: (tsking) Hush. (pause) Hello?

KING: Claire Lem?

CLAIRE: Speaking.

KING: (warmly) Well, first let me say that I’m delighted to speak with you and I hope I haven’t disturbed you or your daughter at this hour.

CLAIRE: (suspicious) Who is this?

KING: My apologies for not introducing myself. This is Alfonso King from the SF Guardians — we’re the exclusive law enforcement arm of Y Corp.

CLAIRE: Oh. So you’re not the police?

KING: Ma’am, we’re better than the police. We don’t just serve and protect. We’re making a happier, healthier–

CLAIRE: Listen, I have to put my daughter to bed. How can I help you?

KING: I’ll be honest: I’m a little nervous about asking what I need from you — and your daughter. But believe me, what I’m offering in exchange will be more than worth it.


[Drill approaches, increasing in volume]

GREG THE ENGINEER: (yelling) North wall breach!

DWAYNE: Everybody! This is for real! Eyes and ears on Greg!

[Crunch of rocks gets louder.]

GREG THE ENGINEER: Steady the rails!

[Walls begin to crack.]

GREG THE ENGINEER: Impact in 3… 2… 1…

[Sound of metal on metal]

DWAYNE: (yells) Keep holding!

[Drill stops.]

[Drill resumes.]

GREG THE ENGINEER: SHIFT! (pause) In 3… 2…

[Drill stops.]

[Rocks tumble down.]



GREG THE ENGINEER: Drop it now! Let the rails go–!

[Deathly silence]

[Morose string melody plays.]