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"Truthseer"

an original fan-fic teleplay for THE PRETENDER
(Based on information from the first season of "The Pretender")
Copyright 1997 by Mary Kay Hanson, all rights reserved.


[The characters of Jarod, Miss Parker, Sydney, Broots, Mr. Raines and Angelo, and The Centre belong to NBC's "The Pretender" series, but all other characters, the story, and actual teleplay itself are the the sole property of Mary K. Hanson. Copyright 1997. All rights reserved. This teleplay may not be reproduced in part or in whole without the author's expressed permission.]

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest in the Mountains of Northern California -- Night

The camera FOLLOWS quickly after a FIGURE in the forest. It is very dark outside, and raining heavily. The figure is running, but the terrain is uneven and difficult to cover. He stumbles a few times, but manages to get back onto his feet readily.

CUT TO a LONG SHOT of the forest. We can see the beams of four or five flashlights moving quickly between the trees, flashing their sabers of light back and forth.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of the figure we saw before. He stops beside a tree to catch his breath and turns to look behind him. We can see that it is JAROD. He's dressed in jeans and a leather jacket and is carrying a silver aluminum Halliburton (briefcase). He is slightly winded from the run, and soaking wet and muddied from the rain, but doesn't seem particularly distressed about his situation. He looks down at the case, and looks out back through the trees behind him.

CUT TO a LONG VIEW of the forest behind Jarod, from JAROD'S POV. The beams of the flashlights appear in the distance.

CUT TO a CLOSE VIEW of Jarod. Holding the Halliburton up against his chest, he looks around him, and then up into the branches of the trees over his head.

CUT TO

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest in the Mountains of Northern California, ANOTHER VIEW -- Night

CUT TO a MEDIUM VIEW of the forest behind Jarod. We can see Jarod's PURSUERS come into view, the beams of the flashlights glaring out in front of them. In the group we can see three or four "SWEEPER" TEAM MEMBERS, along with MISS PARKER and SYDNEY. Like Jarod, they are all soaking wet, and slightly muddied.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Miss Parker. Her coat gets caught in some of the underbrush between the trees, and she has to stop to pull it free.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT that shows us Sydney coming up to assist Miss Parker. They are both slightly out of breath and have to yell a bit to make their voices heard over the rain storm.

SYDNEY
Need some help?

MISS PARKER
This is ridiculous. Where does he think he's going?

SYDNEY
He thinks he's running for his life...

MISS PARKER
Yeah? Well if he doesn't stop running, he's not going to have a life.

SYDNEY
You don't have the authority to kill him.

MISS PARKER
Too bad.

SYDNEY

Even if we get him back to The Centre, what then? Jarod won't participate in any more simulations... and even if he does, we won't be able to trust the outcome. He'll use his pretender skills to confuse us, mislead us... He's not the same person anymore. He won't cooperate.

MISS PARKER
We'll worry about that after we catch him. Besides, didn't it ever occur to you, Sydney, that with Jarod under control again, you might have a chance to get out from under everything ourselves? I have a little "deal" daddy. Didn't I tell you?

SYDNEY
What do you mean?

MISS PARKER
Once The Centre has him back, the focus will shift to other things... away from Jarod, away from me. The cost of my emancipation from The Centre is Jarod.

SYDNEY
You're using Jarod's life to ransom your own freedom? I don't believe it.

MISS PARKER
Believe what you want. And don't give me that maudlin, weepy look of yours either. You probably thought of doing the same thing yourself more than once.

SYDNEY
That's not true.

MISS PARKER
Isn't it?

SYDNEY
If it was that easy to put him and the rest of it behind us, we would have both left The Centre years ago. Despite your "deal with daddy, you know as well as I do that you'll never be allowed to just walk away from The Centre. Not anymore. You're as much a "prisoner" as I am, Miss Parker; as Jarod used to be...

Miss Parker frees her coat from the brush, and starts out after Jarod again. Sydney, the other "Sweeper" Team Members, and the camera FOLLOW after her.

CUT TO:

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest in the Mountains of Northern California, ANOTHER VIEW -- Night

In a CLOSE SHOT of Jarod we can see him moving through the forest. He's without his Halliburton now, and is able to move a little more easily without it, but the ground is still wet, muddy, slippery and uneven.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Jarod. He rushes through what looks like a break between several trees. As he does, he checks behind him to see where her pursuers are, and in that instant, he loses his footing and falls out of sight.

CUT TO:

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest in the Mountains of Northern California, Incline Area -- Night

In a LONG SHOT we see Jarod tumbling down a hill. We realize that the break in the trees marked a spot where the ground gave way to a steep incline. Jarod slides and tumbles down the incline, the rain and mud making the surface more slippery than normal. Jarod is badly banged around, and slides out of view.

CUT TO:

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest in the Mountains of Northern California, ANOTHER VIEW -- Night

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Miss Parker, Sydney and the "Sweeper" Team Members as Miss Parker signals everyone to stop for a moment. They're all out of breath, muddy and wet. Miss Parker flashes her flashlight around her trying to get a fix on where Jarod might have gone. Sydney and the others follow suit.

SYDNEY
I don't see anything.

MISS PARKER
He's not smoke. He can't just disappear. He must have left tracks. Look harder.

CUT TO a LONG SHOT of the forest and the search party. We can see there is suddenly a slight disturbance in some of the underbrush several feet away, and Miss Parker, Sydney and the others run over immediately to investigate it.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of one of the trees in the forest foreground. The camera PANS up the trunk and into the branches. Standing up in the branches, hidden in the foliage is a tall, thin man, GABRIEL SERAPH. He's dressed in dark rain gear, but his head is bare. We can see he has vaguely Native American features, and dark hair pulled into a long braid that hangs down over one shoulder.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Gabriel in the tree. We can see that he is holding Jarod's aluminum Halliburton in his hands.

FADE OUT

INSERT: "The Pretender" opening sequence and credits.

FADE OUT


ACT TWO

FADE IN

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest in the Mountains of Northern California -- Night

In a MEDIUM SHOT of the trees and underbrush of the forest we can see that it is still very dark, and still raining heavily.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Jarod at the base of the incline, now tangled in some underbrush. He's very muddy now, and we can see the darkness of blood streaming from his hairline onto his face, but he seems to be unaware of it. He looks stunned and disoriented, but struggles against the brush to get himself upright. When he tries to use his left hand and arm to lever himself up, he gives out a stifled cry of pain and clutches the forearm with his right hand. After the pain washes through him, he uses his right hand and arm to lever himself up instead, and favors the left. When he's got himself sitting upright, he peers out through the underbrush at the incline and the area around him.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of the incline and surrounding area from JAROD'S POV. Everything is dark and wet, but there is no sign of his pursuers.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Jarod as he looks around him. We can see him start to fade, as fatigue, dizziness and shock move in on him.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Jarod's shoulder. Through the brush around him, a hand appears and grabs Jarod by the shoulder.

FADE OUT


ACT THREE

FADE IN

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest in the Mountains of Northern California, Centre Base Camp -- Dawn

As the camera PANS the forest branches overhead, we can see that the sun is rising and that the rain has stopped. The camera PANS DOWN the trees, and we see that we're now in a clearing. As the camera continues to PAN the area, we see a collection of tents, a van, and adjacent all-terrain vehicles. The zippered flap on one of the tents opens and Miss Parker steps out, a pack of cigarettes and a lighter in hand.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Miss Parker at the entrance to her tent. She's tried very hard to make herself look poised and presentable, but we can see the tell-tale signs of wear and aggravation on her. Bits of her hair are out of place; she's not dressed appropriately for the outdoors and is uncomfortable. When she lifts the package of cigarettes to extract one, she realizes the pack is crushed. When she removes one of the cigarettes, it falls apart in her hand. She tries another one... the same result. After the third rumpled cigarette, she throws the pack on the ground.

SYDNEY (VO)
There's a thousand-dollar fine for littering in this part of the national forest...

MISS PARKER
Shut up, Syd.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Miss Parker and Sydney, as he approaches her. He looks as though he's weathered the night far better than she did.

SYDNEY
Good morning to you, too. Didn't sleep well, I take it.

MISS PARKER
Considering the fact that I was sleeping on rocks, toads, and canvas as thick as bathroom tissue, that there are no toilet facilities here for women, and that everything I own is either soaking wet, covered with mud, or crushed into a non-recognizable mess... I think I did remarkably well.

SYDNEY
The team has already apologized for misplacing your traveling bags and overnight kit, Miss Parker. I'm sure everything will turn up... eventually.

Bemused, Sydney looks her over and seems concerned.

MISS PARKER
What is it now?

SYDNEY
Traveling in those heels can't be easy.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Miss Parker's feet. We can see she's wearing a pair of black dress heels.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Sydney and Miss Parker as she sighs heavily at him, and searches her own pockets for more cigarettes. She can find none.

MISS PARKER
My boots are in my traveling bags... It wasn't so bad yesterday, but they're really killing me today. Ran too much in them last night... I wasn't expecting this search and seizure mission to take so damn long.

SYDNEY
We've only been out here for a day.

MISS PARKER
Twenty-four hours too long. I can't believe we lost Jarod again last night... That guy has more escape techniques than Houdini. You didn't, by chance, have him "pretend" to be old Harry during one of your simulations, did you, Syd?

SYDNEY
As a matter of fact, yes, we did... quite a few times. But, if you'd like, the others and I can continue the search without you this morning.

MISS PARKER
Oh, no. I don't think so, Sydney. I'll be fine. Is there any coffee?

SYDNEY
Decaffeinated.

MISS PARKER
God...

CUT TO:

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest, Centre Base Camp, ANOTHER VIEW -- Daylight

The camera DOLLYS IN toward the all-terrain vehicles, and Miss Parker, Sydney and the "Sweeper" Team Members gathered around them. It's bright daylight now, and visibility is excellent.

CUT TO a LONG SHOT of Miss Parker and the others as they gather around her.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of one of the "Sweeper" Team Members as he produces a pack of cigarettes from his jacket pocket, and slips one into his mouth.

MISS PARKER (VO)
Our people on the perimeter tell us Jarod hasn't made an appearance yet outside the area, so, we can conclude he's still in here... somewhere.

CUT TO a LONG SHOT of Miss Parker and the others, as Miss Parker spreads a highly detailed topographical map out on the hood of one of the vehicles. The armed man beside her lights the cigarette he has in his mouth, but before he can take a puff, Miss Parker takes the cigarette from him.

MISS PARKER
Thank you.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of the armed man. He looks stunned and a little irritated, but doesn't do anything to get his cigarette back. He takes out another, and lights it for himself.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Miss Parker and the others. After taking a long draw on her cigarette and exhaling the smoke, she indicates the map to her personnel.

MISS PARKER
Presuming Jarod's still on foot, and considering the terrain in this area, we're focusing our own search, for the time being, here...[indicates a shallow radius on the map] Understand this: Jarod is to have no exit this time. I want him captured. No excuses. No mistakes... or, trust me, you'll find out how unpleasant early retirement can be.

The people in her group take her warning and threat with a nod, and split up. Sydney starts to align himself with another member of the group, but Miss Parker takes a hold of his coat sleeve and stops him.

MISS PARKER
You're with me, Sydney.

SYDNEY
I'm flattered.

MISS PARKER
Don't be. It wasn't meant as a compliment. Fact is: I don't trust you out there by yourself. When you're alone with Jarod, the mother-hen side of your nature has a tendency to take over. While you're clucking over him, you forget to do your job.

SYDNEY
I'm interested in his safety...

MISS PARKER
Cut the melodrama... and let's get searching. He's had all night to hide from us.

CUT TO

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest in the Mountains of Northern California, ANOTHER VIEW -- Daylight

In a LONG SHOT we can see the searchers, Miss Parker and Sydney as they fan out through the forest. Miss Parker and Sydney are in one the all-terrain vehicles and Miss Parker is driving.

CUT TO

INT: All-Terrain Vehicle -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT of the front portion of the all-terrain vehicle we can see that Miss Parker has a steady hand on the steering wheel and seems well-acquainted with the machine. As she drives, she smokes the cigarette she'd absconded from one of the searchers. Smoke blows into Sydney's face. He fans it away, but says nothing.

CUT TO:

EXT: All-Terrain Vehicle, Sierra-Nevada Forest -- Daylight

The camera FOLLOWS the vehicle through the trees, around boulders, and over underbrush. Its tires leave scars on the wet ground.

CUT TO:

INT: All-Terrain Vehicle, ANOTHER VIEW -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT we can see both Miss Parker scan the area around them as they pass by it in the vehicle. Sydney suddenly seems alerted to something, and follows it with his eyes.

SYDNEY
Stop.

MISS PARKER
What?

SYDNEY
Stop the car..

MISS PARKER
Why?

SYDNEY
Back there... I think I spotted a road.

MISS PARKER
A road. Hmph, maybe there is a God.

Miss Parker stops the vehicle, and puts it into reverse. We can then see it back-up, toward us.

CUT TO:

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest in the Mountains of Northern California, ANOTHER VIEW -- Daylight

In a LONG SHOT we see the all-terrain vehicle back-up through the forest, and then stop when it comes to a shallow parting in the underbrush. We can barely make out an unpaved dirt road beyond the break in the brush.

CUT TO:

INT: All-Terrain Vehicle, ANOTHER VIEW -- Daylight

In a CLOSE SHOT we see Miss Parker looking somewhat pleased by the discovery.

MISS PARKER
You've got good eyes, Sydney... I would never have seen this. Haven't by any chance been here before, have you?

SYDNEY
Not at all, Miss Parker.

CUT TO:

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest in the Mountains of Northern California, ANOTHER VIEW -- Daylight

In a LONG SHOT we see Miss Parker out the vehicle into drive, and steer it onto the dirt road. It drives down the road, kicking up mud and splashing through puddles, until it disappears from our sight.

CUT TO:

EXT: Seraph Cabin and Clearing -- Daylight

In a LONG SHOT we see a man-made clearing in the trees, and a rambling, two-story cabin. Then as the camera PANS the clearing and the cabin, we can see that the cabin seems clean and well-maintained. There is a cedar deck that runs along the front of the house, and large cedar troughs and barrels that line the front of the deck, over-flowing with flowering plants and herbs. Off to one side of the cabin is a van with California license plates that read: SERAPH7. Beside it is another van with plates that read: CHERUB2. Into the shot drives the all-terrain vehicle with Miss Parker and Sydney inside. Miss Parker stops the vehicle in front of the cabin, and the two disembark. We see Miss Parker snub her cigarette out on the ground next to the vehicle's tire.

CUT TO:

EXT: Seraph Cabin -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT of the front of the cabin, we can see the front door and screen door open, and Gabriel Seraph steps out onto the deck. He has a long, plain staff in his hands. He's dressed in unadorned clothes, but his hair is neatly braided and decorated with black and silver metallic charms.

CUT TO a LONG SHOT of the front of the cabin, and we can see Miss Parker and Sydney approach the deck.

SYDNEY
Hello --

GABRIEL
(calm and non-threatening)
You're not welcome here.

MISS PARKER
So much for small town hospitality.

GABRIEL
This is private property.

SYDNEY
Oh, we're sorry... The "no trespassing" signs must've come down during the storm last night.

GABRIEL
There are no signs. But you certainly know this property doesn't belong to you, and you know you're trespassing on it.

SYDNEY
We thought maybe it was part of the national forest.

MISS PARKER
Public land.

GABRIEL
You were mistaken. You are not welcome here.

MISS PARKER
Yes, you've made that abundantly clear. Nevertheless, we're --

SYDNEY
-- We're looking for a friend of ours. A young man, rather tall, dark hair, dark eyes... His name is Jarod. He was lost last night, separated from us by the storm, and...

GABRIEL
(still very calm, matter of fact)
Liar.

SYDNEY
Pardon me?

GABRIEL
You're lying. The one you seek isn't your friend, and you were not separated from him by the storm.

MISS PARKER
You've seen him, then. Jarod. You know where he is.

GABRIEL
I didn't say that. I simply said this gentleman was lying to me.

SYDNEY
I'm sorry.

GABRIEL
No, you're not. You're embarrassed... but you're not sorry.

MISS PARKER
(trying to act unimpressed)
What are you, some sort of human polygraph machine?

GABRIEL
One could say that, yes.

MISS PARKER
(rolling her eyes)
Please.

Gabriel steps out to the edge of the deck and looks down at Miss Parker, his staff still in his hands. Miss Parker doesn't back down one inch.

GABRIEL
I see your truths... Miss... Parker...

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Miss Parker's face as slight surprise shows in her features. She immediately stifles it.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Gabriel on the deck as he leans a little toward Miss Parker and seems to focus all of his attention onto her, as though he's "reading" her.

GABRIEL
...You are a mix of fear and jealousy, cravings and passion... You fear being separated from all you know, and you fear that you will never be separated from it... You dislike the one you pursue because he challenges your authority and dismisses your power as an annoyance... And you are jealous of him because he has achieved an emancipation you can only imagine... You pursue him because he hold answers to questions you're afraid to even ask yourself... And you love him-- ever since you were a child -- yet you know he will never reciprocate what you feel. There is too much history, too much pain between you... and so you are both emotionally and sexually frustrated by him...

MISS PARKER
Huh, I can assure you, I've never been sexually frustrated... by anyone.

GABRIEL
Untrue.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Miss Parker. She cocks an eyebrow at him, and pretends to be unaffected.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Gabriel, Miss Parker and Sydney. We can see Sydney watching Miss Parker trying to gauge her reaction to Gabriel's "reading".

MISS PARKER
Side-show crones reading tarot cards and crystal balls can perform the same act you do... I'm not impressed.

GABRIEL
Aren't you? Then why are you still here?

SYDNEY
You must have seen and spoken to Jarod. How else would you have know about us?

GABRIEL
You aren't the only one with access to information... Dr. Sydney Green... Mentor... Protector... Father-figure... Exploiter... Coward... Slave... Jacob was right, you know. He was always right. But you never listened to him. All you could see was the research side of what you were doing. You never bothered to calculate the cost in human lives... in children's lives... in Jacob's life... until it was too late. What are your excuses, now, Sydney? Why do you continue in this pursuit?

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Sydney. We can see that Gabriel's words have impacted on him greatly; he looks very uncomfortable.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Gabriel, Miss Parker and Sydney. Miss Parker looks thoroughly annoyed.

MISS PARKER
Who are you?

GABRIEL
My name is Gabriel Seraph. If you want any more information, you'll have to look for it. In the meanwhile, get off of my property. You are not welcome here.

MISS PARKER
Jarod has got to be here... We're going to search the house.

SYNDEY
Miss Parker -- ?

GABRIEL
I don't think you are.

MISS PARKER
I don't care what you think.

CUT TO a LONG SHOT of the front of the cabin, as Miss Parker leaves Sydney and walks around to the side of the deck on which Gabriel is standing. Sydney looks somewhat stunned by her behavior. Miss Parker marches up the shallow stairs on the side of the deck, up to the top of it, and over to Gabriel.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Miss Parker and Gabriel on the deck. In her heels she's almost as tall as he is, and stands with her chin up, looking superior. Gabriel, maintaining his state of seemingly endless calm, does not seem impressed or intimidated by her. He simply eyes her silently.

MISS PARKER
We're going to search the house.

GABRIEL
No, you're not.

Miss Parker pulls a gun from inside her coat and levels it at Gabriel.

MISS PARKER
Yes. We are. Step aside.

Miss Parker, her gun still threatening Gabriel, attempts to move past Gabriel to the front door of the cabin. Instantly the long staff Gabriel's been holding in his hands flashes out at her, cracks on the wrist of the hand holding the gun. The gun drops from her hand. The staff then flashes up to smack Miss Parker, hard, across the nose. Startled but not severely injured, Miss Parker stops and takes a step back, putting her hands up to her face to feel for any injury.

CUT TO a LONG SHOT in which we see Gabriel retrieve the fallen gun and toss it to Sydney, who catches it. Gabriel then returns to his relaxed stance.

GABRIEL
I have been given instruction in the use of the bo staff. [he gracefully manipulates the staff in demonstration]As you can see, it is a plain weapon, but an effective one. And it can be deadly, when wielded in the appropriate fashion. That crack on the nose was nothing. I could have cracked your skull, and force a fragment into your brain if I was so inclined.

MISS PARKER
(talking through the hands that are still feeling her nose)
How wonderfully graphic.

GABRIEL
I do not wish to harm you, but I will if you do not leave.

MISS PARKER
(talking through the hands that are still feeling her nose)
If we leave empty-handed now, we'll only come back later... with reinforcements.

GABRIEL
That is your choice.

Miss Parker stays where she is for a moment, and slowly lowers her hands away from her face. She and Gabriel stare at each other for a few moments, then Miss Parker, reluctantly, backs down.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Miss Parker. The camera FOLLOWS her as she walks off the deck to the all-terrain vehicle. As she passes by Sydney, she swats him in the arm to get his attention, and through gestures motions him back into the car. Sydney gets into the passenger side of the vehicle.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Sydney as he fastens his seat belt, then looks back toward the cabin and Gabriel.

SYDNEY
Tell me, Mr. Seraph... Is Jarod all right?

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Gabriel standing on the deck with his staff in his hands.

GABRIEL
The truth, Dr. Sydney Green: When he is not with you, he is fine.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of the all-terrain vehicle, Sydney and Miss Parker. Sydney looks somewhat wounded by Gabriel's comment, but Miss Parker is only irritated. She pops the car into gear, and drives it out of frame, leaving a spray of mud behind her.

FADE OUT


ACT FOUR

FADE IN:

INT: Seraph's Cabin, Upper Bedroom -- Daylight

In a CLOSE SHOT the camera shows us Jarod's aluminum Halliburton sitting on top of a wooden chest of drawers. The case is shut.

As the camera DOLLY BACK, it then PANS the room and show us that the walls in the room are paneled with wood, and the place is furnished in somewhat oversized rustic-looking furniture. Two partially draped windows and a ceiling light provide illumination. We can see that the door to the bedroom is open, and there is a hallway beyond it. We can also see Jarod's clothes, some towels, a few basins, some bandages and plaster piled in one corner of the room. Along with the chest of drawers is a desk and chair, an over-stuffed wingback chair, a nightstand, and a large bed.

The camera DOLLYS IN toward the bed to show us Jarod: he's conscious and sitting up, but looks exhausted and in some pain. We can see that his left arm is encased in a cast, and there is a large bandage on his forehead, up against the hairline. There is also a thermometer in his mouth.

The camera DOLLYS BACK again, and in a MEDIUM SHOT shows us the rest of the room and a female doctor, DR. RAFAÉL, standing beside the bed to Jarod's right. Dr. Rafaél is Hispanic, and appears to be older than both Jarod and Gabriel. When she speaks, it is with a Spanish accent. She removes the thermometer from Jarod's mouth -- as he watches -- and reads it, then looks up as she hears someone approach the room.

CUT TO a MEDIUM VIEW of Gabriel entering the room through the door. As the camera FOLLOWS him, he walks to the bedside and looks at Jarod, then at Dr. Rafaél.

GABRIEL
How is the patient?

JAROD
Recovering nicely... thanks to you and Dr. Rafaél here.

GABRIEL
I'm glad to hear it. We may have to move quickly this evening, to get you away from here. Think you can travel?

JAROD
I believe so, yes... I'm sorry my presence here is causing you such trouble.

GABRIEL
The "trouble" isn't being caused by you, Jarod.
(To Dr. Rafaél)
What's the prognosis?

DR. RAFAÉL
Fair to good. A slight fever, a broken wrist, a scattering of lacerations, abrasions and contusions.... I had to put a few stitches into his scalp, but the skull seems to be intact... The fact that he's sitting up and seemingly lucid is an encouraging sign.

We see Jarod smile. Then he turns his attention back to Gabriel.

JAROD
I didn't mean to eves drop, but the window here was open and I could hear much of what you said to Sydney and Miss Parker. How did you know about them? I didn't tell you anything...

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of the aluminum Halliburton sitting on the top of the dresser.

CUT TO A MEDIUM SHOT of Jarod, Gabriel, and Rafaél as Jarod decides:

JAROD
You must've activated and watched some of the DSAs in my case...

GABRIEL
No... I didn't have to. We've known about you for quite some time, Jarod. We've been watching your progress. We even witnessed your escape from The Centre... and were impressed.

JAROD
Who are "we"?

DR. RAFAÉL
You are not the only one who has been exploited by places like The Centre, Jarod. There are others... like Gabriel and myself.

CUT TO:

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest, Centre Base Camp, Miss Parker's Tent -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT we can see Miss Parker out in front of her tent, talking on a cell phone. Between phrases, she smokes a cigarette. Sydney is waiting beside her. We can see, in the periphery, some of The Centre's personnel milling around...

MISS PARKER
Tell me what you've got...

CUT TO:

INT: The Centre, Tech Room, Broots' Station -- Daylight

In a CLOSE SHOT we can see BROOTS talking on his telephone, while he sits in front of a computer console and types in data.

BROOTS
It's still processing...

We see Broots squint at the computer monitor while the machine goes through its machinations. We eventually hear a tone that indicates the machine is finished with its search, and Broots doesn't look pleased by the results at all. He looks at the telephone receiver in his hand, most likely wishing he could hang up, then brings it slowly back to his ear.

BROOTS
Uh... Miss Parker... You're... you're not going to like this, but remember this is just a preliminary search. With more time I can conduct a more thorough...

CUT TO:

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest, Centre Base Camp, Miss Parker's Tent -- Daylight

In a CLOSE SHOT we can see Miss Parking looking irritated as she puffs on her cigarette.

MISS PARKER
Just tell me what it says.

BROOTS (VO)
It's angels...

MISS PARKER
What?

SYDNEY
What did he find?

MISS PARKER
He said he's found angels... a whole screen full of angels and they're... "flitting around".

SYDNEY
Tell him to touch one.

MISS PARKER
Excuse me?

SYDNEY
Here, give me the phone.

MISS PARKER
[very reluctantly turns the cell phone over to Sydney.]
Tell me everything he tells you... and I mean everything, Sydney.

SYDNEY
Broots, touch one of the angels with the cursor.

CUT TO:

INT: The Centre, Broots Office -- Daylight

In a CLOSE SHOT of the monitor of Broots' computer we can see angels flying across the screen. In the bottom corner in a text box with verbiage running through it. A cursor moves from the bottom of screen to one of the angels and touches it. The screen changes to show us a vision of the head and shoulders of one large ANGEL.

ANGEL
You cannot pass without the Word.

BROOTS (VO)
Sydney, there's a single angel now, and it's asking for a password.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Broots at his computer console. He watches the angel on the screen as it passively waits for its password and blinks occasionally.

SYDNEY (VO)
Try the obvious choices first: either "Gabriel" or "Seraph".

We see Broots type the word "GABRIEL" into the computer first.

ANGEL
Improper. You cannot pass without the Word.

We see Broots type in the word "SERAPH". The angel on the screen smiles gently at him. As the angel slowly dissolves, we can see a new screen slowly start to appear.

BROOTS
That might be it. Something's happening.

CUT TO:

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest, Centre Base Camp, Miss Parker's Tent -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT we can see Sydney on the phone, and Miss Parker standing very close beside him.

SYDNEY
(to Miss Parker)
He thinks he's found something.

MISS PARKER
It's about time.

CUT TO:

INT: The Centre, Broots Office -- Daylight

In a CLOSE SHOT of the monitor, we can see the angel on the screen transforming into a hideous demon. The demon's mouth gapes...

BROOTS (VO)
Wait... Oh, no... Wait... wait... Oh, god, oh, god, oh god...!

CUT TO:

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest, Centre Base Camp, Miss Parker's Tent -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT we can see Sydney still on the phone with Miss Parker beside him. He turns the receiver so Miss Parker can hear Broots' complaints.

SYDNEY
I think something's amiss.

Miss Parker snatches the phone away from Sydney.

MISS PARKER
What is it, Broots -- ?

CUT TO:

INT: The Centre, Broots Office -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT we can see Broots leaning over the desk on which is his computer sits. The screen is completely blank, and the power is down. He rubs his face with one hand, and lifts the telephone receiver back to his ear.

BROOTS
The "Seraph" password activated a "judgment and retribution" program. Some kind of virus, I think. I think I disengaged fast enough... but I won't know for sure until I run some diagnostics on The Centre's systems...

MISS PARKER (VO)
So what you're telling me is: we won't have access to The Centre's main computer or data banks until after you've run a viral sweep of the entire system.

BROOTS
Uh... to be safe, yes.

MISS PARKER (VO)
And just how long is that going to take, Broots?

BROOTS
A little while.

MISS PARKER (VO)
How "little"?

BROOTS
To do a thorough sweep of all systems... ten, maybe twelve... hours.

CUT TO:

EXT: Sierra-Nevada Forest, Centre Base Camp, Miss Parker's Tent -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT we see Miss Parker abruptly hang up the call, throw the cell phone onto the ground, and walk into her tent. Sydney waits a few seconds, then picks up the discarded phone, and enters Miss Parker's tent himself.

CUT TO

INT: Sierra-Nevada Forest, Centre Base Camp, Miss Parker's Tent -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT we see Miss Parker standing in the middle of the floor of her practically empty tent. There's a mattress in one corner, a small table and a chair, and a single suitcase. As Sydney enters, Miss Parker snubs her cigarette into the canvas floor of the tent, burning a stain into it.

SYDNEY
The news isn't all bad, is it?

MISS PARKER
Jarod's guardian angel might have given The Centre's computer system an Electronically Transmitted Disease. We won't be able to have full access for about ten hours.

SYDNEY
I should have anticipated that.

MISS PARKER
...Luckily, I called for reinforcements before the system went down, so we should have some affective aid here within the next six to eight hours.

SYDNEY
Then we won't be able to move until after dark.

MISS PARKER
Looks like it. Wait... What did you mean by "you should have anticipated that"?

CUT TO a LONG SHOT in which we see Sydney walk over to the table and lay the cell phone in it. He indicates the chair, and Miss Parker nods, allowing him to sit.

SYDNEY
I... haven't been entirely forthcoming with you.

MISS PARKER
Why doesn't that surprise me? All right, Sydney, what have you been withholding from me this time?

SYDNEY
The "angels" signature is a familiar one. I was first alerted when Gabriel Seraph told us his name. I should have realized... He was daring us to come after him, goading us into taking the very action we just took: which may have compromised The Centre's data systems. The Centre has had dealings with him before.

MISS PARKER
What? You knew who he was, and you didn't tell me anything?

SYDNEY
I didn't recognize him at first, and didn't suspect who he was until after he'd given us his name. Even now, I'm not so sure...

MISS PARKER
Quit beating around the bush, Sydney, and tell me what you know...

CUT TO:

INT: Seraph's Cabin, Upper Bedroom -- Daylight

In a LONG SHOT of Jarod, Dr. Rafaél, and Gabriel we can see that Gabriel is sitting on the edge of Jarod's bed as Dr. Rafaél cleans up some of her medical supplies and mess on the bedroom floor.

GABRIEL
You're not the only one like you, Jarod. There are others; there have always been others. The vulnerable ones, the exploited ones. And there have always been places like The Centre... The Aerie... The Chandlers Group... Pirren Diagnostics...

JAROD
I've never heard of most of those places.

DR. RAFAÉL
They don't want anyone to know they exist.

JAROD
Then how do you know about them?

GABRIEL
I was in one of them for about twenty years. Dr. Rafaél was in another for almost twelve years. And we know other people who were or still are... "guests"... of the other places, including The Centre.

CUT TO

INT: Sierra-Nevada Forest, Centre Base Camp, Miss Parker's Tent -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT we can see Sydney and Miss Parker still talking. Miss Parker paces slowly as she listens to what Sydney tell her.

SYDNEY
Gabriel Seraph isn't his real name, of course. He's gone by countless aliases, but... He was once a part of The Chandler Group here in California. You know of that place?

MISS PARKER
It's one of The Centre's competitors.

SYDNEY
Not exactly. Although The Centre and The Chandler Group often seem to be at odds with one another, they're actually both in the same sort of business now. Their mutual research and secrets make them both vulnerable to attack from outside forces, so they often combine their staffs, share information, and protect one another when need be. They're not exactly associates and friends, but they're not exactly enemies either.

CUT TO

INT: Seraph's Cabin, Upper Bedroom -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT we can see Gabriel, Dr. Rafaél, and Jarod. Dr. Rafaél now stands beside Jarod's bed again.

DR. RAFAÉL
By the way, Angelo sends his regards...

JAROD
Angelo--? You know about him?

GABRIEL
Yes.

DR. RAFAÉL
He's protected you on several occasions; alerted you to danger; spoiled some of The Centre's attempts to snare you.

JAROD
I know. I'm just surprised that you know about him. -- And that you know about the aid he's given me. If The Centre finds out... He'll be in danger.

GABRIEL
We would never compromise his safety, Jarod. Or yours. You're too valuable.

JAROD
To whom? The Centre? Or you?

GABRIEL
You're still reticent to trust us.

JAROD
Considering what I've been through -- if you really know what I've been through -- that shouldn't be surprising to you. They exploited me... why wouldn't you try the same thing?

DR. RAFAÉL
Because we're like you, Jarod. Once slaves... now escaped.

GABRIEL
You're escape would be easier and more complete, though, Jarod, if you severed ties with Sydney Green. He is a crutch you no longer need. Clinging to him only keeps you partially lame.

JAROD
He knows things I need to know... And... It's more than that. Sydney is... It's hard to describe our relationship...

GABRIEL
Like many victims, you've formed a psychological attachment to your abuser.

JAROD
I understand that condition, but... You're mistaken. It's not like that between us.

GABRIEL
Isn't it? He wielded power over you for quite a long while, Jarod, and even though you're now free to flex your own will, and even attempt to "punish" him for his transgressions, he still dominates aspects of your personality, and your life. It is not an uncommon occurrence... but the attachment, in the long run, will prove unhealthy.

JAROD
Sydney did things... made me do things... that... But he's also helped and even endorsed me on many occasions. When we were in New York once, he held some of The Centre's sweepers at bay so I could escape...

GABRIEL
He "helps" you when it suits him to do so, so he can make himself feel better about himself, but in the next instant he's assisting others in their attempts to pursue and capture you. It's his way of maintaining your connection to him. He feels incomplete without you, and uses his knowledge of you to keep you close. Forces pull at him from all sides. His guilt, his misplace sense of loyalty, his paternal affections for you... Even he doesn't know what he'll do from one moment to the next. His unpredictability makes him dangerous to you. You tread a perilous line where he is concerned.

JAROD
I know. I can feel that at times myself. But... he raised me, Gabriel. He's the only "family" I have right now, and he can help me find out what happened to my real family...

GABRIEL
Is knowing about your family that important to you?

JAROD
More important than anything else. I have to know who I am, Gabriel. How can I ever really know anything if I don't know that?

GABRIEL
Sometimes, when we learn about our pasts, meet lost relatives, Jarod, it's not... It's not the comfort we'd anticipated or hoped for.

DR. RAFAÉL
Gabriel speaks from experience, Jarod. Like you, he was separated from his family, set adrift, and forced to cling to others who used his... "gift"... for their own profit. When he left his abductors, he searched for his family... only to find that they didn't want him.

JAROD
Why?

CUT TO

INT: Sierra-Nevada Forest, Centre Base Camp, Miss Parker's Tent -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT we can see Sydney and Miss Parker still chatting.

SYDNEY
....After Jensen, who is now Gabriel, left The Chandler Group, the information about him became evermore sketchy and unreliable. Stories started coming in from all over the country, even from Canada and South America: Seraph was forming his own conjoin, a collection of pretenders, truthseers, profilers, savants from every field. A counter-army against groups like The Centre and The Chandler Group. He's been credited with thwarting the appropriation of new test subjects by those corporations, staging break-outs, instigating state and federal investigations of the facilities... Some of the stories sound more like legends than facts, however, so it's difficult to be certain about any of them... The hierarchy of angels, though, has always been his signature. You know: Seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations, virtues, powers, principalities...

MISS PARKER
Yes, I know the countdown, Sydney.

SYNDEY
...Besides him, besides Gabriel, there are three others; three other directors or coordinators, if you will, of this new conjoin. They go by the code names "Michael", "Raphael", and "Uriel". Together, with Gabriel, they are the four archangels.

MISS PARKER
Why haven't I ever heard of these people before?

SYDNEY
I don't know. You'd have to ask your father about that.

MISS PARKER
Don't worry, I will.

CUT TO

INT: Seraph's Cabin, Upper Bedroom -- Daylight

In a CLOSE SHOT we can see Gabriel continuing with his story. He seems to be almost in a trance as he recalls his past.

GABRIEL
When I was taken, my abductors staged an automobile accident during which it was made to appear as though I had died. It was their hope that my parents would accept the manufactured tragedy as a real one, grieve for a while, then move on with their lives. But my mother wasn't so easily gulled. She knew, she felt it inside of her, that I was alive somewhere. Her belief became such a complete and overwhelming distraction that she found herself isolated by it from her husband and her other children, all of whom believed she was merely consumed by grief and driven mad with a mother's pain over the loss of a child.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Jarod. As he listens to the story he uses his pretender skills to "feel" what the characters in it felt.

GABRIEL (VO)
Her nightmares were insistent. Her grief, unending. Her desire to find to find her missing son, an obsession... Eventually, my father divorced her, and the courts took custody of her other children away from her. A few months after that decree, she was found dead in a motel room in Kansas City. She'd put a gun to her head and permanently quieted the voices that kept telling her her son was alive.

Jarod's eyes fill with tears, and he has to fight to keep his emotion in check.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Gabriel, Dr. Rafaél and Jarod. We can see that Gabriel's story has affected all of them, but Gabriel continues...

GABRIEL
After I ... distanced myself... from my abductors, I went in search of my family. My father refused to see me, believing I had been a willing participant in a ghastly hoax that caused the destruction of his family. My two brothers met with me... once... and vented their pain and hatred on me, blaming me for our mother's death and for their own unhappy lives. I understood, but... It was all more agonizing to me than I can describe...

JAROD
You don't have to describe it... I can imagine...

GABRIEL
You can. That is your gift... and your affliction.

CUT TO

INT: Sierra-Nevada Forest, Centre Base Camp, Miss Parker's Tent -- Daylight

In a CLOSE SHOT we can see Miss Parker has stopped pacing. She thinks to herself for a moment.

MISS PARKER
And what is Gabriel's "skill", exactly?

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Sydney and Miss Parker as Sydney continues...

SYDNEY
According to The Chandler Group's classifications, Gabriel was... is... a "Truthseer".

MISS PARKER
Which means?

SYDNEY
With his innate perceptive abilities, his abstruse knowledge of psychiatry, behavioral psychology and human physiology, and his amazing aptitude for fully empathizing with anyone he comes in contact with... no one can lie to him. He sees the truth in everything and everyone. You can imagine what an asset someone like that would be sitting on your side at a war tribunal or standing by during large corporations' contract negotiations... Even to law enforcement, his skills would prove invaluable. He could tell at a glance whether a suspect or witness was lying or not....

MISS PARKER
But he only works for himself now?

SYDNEY
As far as I know, yes. But you have to keep in mind that my information on him is superficial at best.

MISS PARKER
What about the other "archangels"?

SYDNEY
Raphael is supposed to be a science prodigy: all forms, all disciplines. Michael is supposed to have a genius-grade aptitude in the tactical, statistical, and combat fields. He's also a top belt in many of the martial arts. He was, no doubt, Gabriel's teacher when it came to the bo staff...

Miss Parker touches her nose were the staff struck her earlier in the day.

MISS PARKER
And Uriel?

SYDNEY
Not much is known about that one; not even its gender. But word seems to be that Uriel is another "pretender".

MISS PARKER
Of Jarod's capacity?

SYDNEY
We don't know.

MISS PARKER
If the information is that limited, then how do you know that Uriel even exists?

SYDNEY
We don't... not for certain. Seraph is very good at protecting his people, and at manufacturing misleads... which he might be doing right now.

MISS PARKER
What do you mean?

SYDNEY
I've been thinking... We didn't actually see any evidence of Jarod's arrival at the cabin. Perhaps he's not there. Perhaps he's some place else altogether, and Gabriel is purposefully attracting our people and resources to the cabin to distract us from Jarod's real location.

MISS PARKER
I don't think so. Our people would have spotted Jarod by now if he was still moving through the forest. He must be holed-up somewhere, and that cabin is as good a place as any.

FADE OUT


ACT FIVE

FADE IN

INT: Seraph's Cabin, Kitchen -- Dusk

The camera PANS the kitchen, and we can see that although there are drapes over the window, the sunlight outside is diminishing. The kitchen has modern appliances in it, but the counter-tops and furnishing are rustic-looking. On the floor in front of the sink area is a long braided rug. Along a counter by the stove are three large dinner plates, with helpings of a rice dish on them. Gabriel is at the stove cooking a vegetable dish, and Jarod (one arm still in a cast) is seated at the table in the center of the kitchen floor. Dr. Rafaél stands beside him, and is helping him button up a flannel shirt she's put on him. Jarod's leather coat is hanging off the back of the chair.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Jarod as he watches Dr. Rafaél button his shirt. When she finishes and smoothes down the front of the shirt with her hand, he smiles at her.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Jarod, Dr. Rafaél, and Gabriel. Gabriel finishes his cooking and transfers the vegetable dish to the plates on the counter, while Dr. Rafaél moves to another chair at the table and seats herself

DR. RAFAÉL
Feeling well enough to travel?

JAROD
Yes, I think so, but... I still believe I should leave on my own. There's no reason for the two of you to be any more involved than you already are. If you know about The Centre, then you know how aggressive and possessive its personnel can be.

GABRIEL
Your leaving here unattended is not an option, Jarod. Miss Parker and her minions will make their move tonight, under the cover of darkness... We'll escort you, at least as far as the highway west of here.

JAROD
You'll be putting yourselves in unnecessary danger.

GABRIEL
The danger exists whether you're with us nor not. You know that. Do you really think The Centre will allow this cabin and its occupants to go on as they were before? When they come for you, they'll be coming for us as well. Better to keep you near, than to abandon you... You don't enjoy being abandoned.

JAROD
If you're talking about my parents... my real parents... I was stolen from them, as you were stolen from your parents. They didn't abandoned me.

GABRIEL
But the possibility occurred to you, more than once, during your confinement at The Centre. In private, in the dark, you sometimes wept at the possibility.

JAROD
Yes. But not anymore...

Gabriel turns to look at Jarod. They exchange a heavy glance, then Gabriel returns to his plates. Carrying all three dishes at once, he walks them over to the table, sets down one in front of Jarod, one in front of Dr. Rafaél and one for himself. Gabriel then seats himself at the table.

DR. RAFAÉL
Something smells good.

GABRIEL
That something is stir fry.

Jarod tastes some of the vegetables, chews them, and smiles.

JAROD
This is delicious.

DR. RAFAÉL
Gabriel has always been the best cook I know. He could make lawn clippings edible.

JAROD
Why would he want to?

CUT TO:

EXT: Sierra Nevada Forest near Seraph Cabin and Clearing -- Night

In a MEDIUM SHOT we can see Miss Parker's all-terrain vehicle moving very slowly through the brush toward the edge of the clearing by Seraph's cabin without its lights on. Miss Parker is driving, Sydney is sitting beside her, and TWO ARMED MEN are in the back of the vehicle, hanging on so as not to be thrown out as the vehicle waddles and dips over the uneven ground. The vehicle comes to a stop, and Miss Parker is the first to exit.

The camera FOLLOWS her as she walks to the edge of the forest where it opens out to the clearing around the cabin. We see she is carrying binoculars from a strap around her neck and has a wireless headset on, with a condensed microphone dipping down to her mouth. She adjusts the headset as she walks.

CUT TO a LONG SHOT of the clearing and Seraph's cabin from MISS PARKER'S POV. We can see lights on inside the place, but no movement. We see, too, that the two vans that were by the cabin earlier in the day are still there.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Miss Parker as Sydney walks up beside her, and the two armed men come up behind. Miss Parker turns to the armed men and gestures for them to spread out into the greenery. They nod in unison, and leave to find hiding places in the brush.

SYDNEY
Where are your reinforcements?

MISS PARKER
On their way.

Miss Parker withdraws her gun from her jacket, and starts off on foot toward the edge of the clearing. Sydney and the camera FOLLOWS. They stay close to the greenery and the ground, trying to keep out of sight of anyone inside the cabin. Miss Parker pulls the microphone of her head-set back near her mouth.

MISS PARKER
(into the condensed mic)
What about the vehicles?

VOICE ON HEAD-SET (V.O.)
(very muffled)
No one's even attempted to approach them all afternoon.

MISS PARKER
And you're sure no one's left the cabin?

VOICE ON HEAD-SET (V.O.)
(very muffled)
Positive.

MISS PARKER
Any movement at all lately?

VOICE ON HEAD-SET (V.O.)
(very muffled)
None, Miss Parker.

MISS PARKER
(to Sydney)
Something's not right...

SYDNEY
Such as?

MISS PARKER
I don't think they're in the cabin anymore.

SYDNEY
How is that possible? Your people have been watching the place all day...

MISS PARKER
I don't know, but... I'm going in.
(To mic)
I'm going in. The rest of you maintain your positions, and cover me.

SYDNEY
Shouldn't you wait for the reinforcements?

MISS PARKER
They'll be here soon enough. He's not getting away from me again.

CUT TO a LONG SHOT of the clearing and the front of the cabin. We can see Miss Parker move quickly but stealthily up toward the side of the cabin where the vans are parked. Reluctantly, Sydney follows her.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of the clearing and vans next to the cabin. Sydney reaches Miss Parker's side as she stands up from a crouch to look into one of the vans.

MISS PARKER
Damn. It's a fake.

SYDNEY
What?

As Miss Parker moves off to the second van, Sydney rises to look into the first one.

CUT TO

INT: Van outside Seraph's Cabin -- Night

In a CLOSE SHOT of the interior of the van, we can see that there's nothing inside of it. No seats, no steering column, nothing...

CUT TO

EXT: Sierra Nevada Forest near Seraph Cabin and Clearing -- Night

In a MEDIUM SHOT we see Sydney move to catch up with Miss Parker who is crouched beside the second van.

SYDNEY
They're façades.

MISS PARKER
Just like Seraph...

CUT TO a LONG SHOT in which we see Miss Parker rise up again, gun still drawn, and head off toward the front deck of the cabin. She tries to keep herself hidden by the large wooden planters in front of the deck, then mounts the deck itself, with her back to its surface, to keep from being viewed through the windows. When she walks on the wooden deck, she can hear her high-heeled shoes clomping on it. She removes her heels and walks instead in her stockinged feet. We see Sydney come up onto the deck, via the same route as Miss Parker, to stand beside her.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Sydney and Miss Parker on the front deck. They approach the front door. Miss Parker moves to one side of it, and Sydney remains on the other.

MISS PARKER
(whispering into mic)
All foot units, close in.

CUT TO

EXT: Sierra Nevada Forest near Seraph Cabin and Clearing, Another View -- Night

In a LONG SHOT we can see about two dozen other dark forms moving from the forest into the clearing area around the cabin. Two split off and, crouching, approach the front of the cabin where Sydney and Miss Parker are.

CUT TO

EXT: Front Deck of Seraph's Cabin -- Night

In a MEDIUM SHOT we see the TWO "SWEEPER" TEAM MEMBERS who cut across the clearing join Miss Parker and Sydney on the deck. Miss Parker gestures for them to wait. She lifts her gun, and puts a hand to the front door knob. It turns without difficulty. Miss Parker shoves the door open, but doesn't enter immediately. She waits a few seconds, then enters the cabin quickly, gun poised. Her back-up men and Sydney follow her inside.

CUT TO

INT: Seraph's Cabin, Entryway and Livingroom -- Night.

In a MEDIUM SHOT we can see Miss Parker and her armed escort enter the cabin's entryway area and livingroom with their guns drawn. Sydney follows after them, but carries no weapon. We can see that the lights are on, and that the cabin looks "live-in". There are magazines on the tables in the livingroom area, and coffee cups. Sydney lifts up one of the cups and feels the temperature of it against his hand.

SYDNEY
Still warm.

MISS PARKER
Then they can't be that far ahead of us.
(To her escort)
You two, search the upper floors.

The two "Sweeper" Team Members leave Miss Parker and exit up the staircase onto the second floor. Miss Parker, with Sydney behind her, travels through the bottom floor of the cabin, and the camera FOLLOWS them.

CUT TO a MEDIUM VIEW of the kitchen as Miss Parker and Sydney enter. There are dishes in the sink. Miss Parker walks carefully around the room, looking everywhere, and inspects the dishes in the sink. Sydney opens the refrigerator.

MISS PARKER
Hungry, Sydney?

SYDNEY
No... Looking to see what sort of provisions they had. The refrigerator is well stocked, and the food is still fresh. The vans might have been façades, but the cabin certainly isn't.

MISS PARKER
I'm not so sure of that.

SYDNEY
Find something?

MISS PARKER
I think I have...

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Miss Parker's stockinged feet. She's standing on the rug in front of the sink area, and moves it aside with her toe. There is an outline on the floor under the rug, suggesting an opening to a basement.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Sydney and Miss Parker as they lift the rug out of the way and study the markings on the floor. Sydney reaches into the sink and gets one of the dinner knives. He shoves the tip of the knife into the outline on the floor and works it in rather deeply.

MISS PARKER
An escape route.

SYDNEY
Most Likely.

MISS PARKER
Can you pry it up?

SYDNEY
I'm working on it.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of the knife working in around the outline on the floor. After several attempts, Sydney is able to apply enough pressure to get the outlined area to come up. He works his fingers under it, and lifts it up. We can see light shining up from underneath it.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Sydney and Miss Parker in the kitchen, as together they lift a trap door up out of the kitchen floor. Bright light shines up at them from the hole in the floor. They look at one another.

MISS PARKER
Well, well, well.

CUT TO

INT: Seraph's Cabin, Basement Area -- Night

In a CLOSE SHOT we see Miss Parker and Sydney climb down a long metal staircase into the well-lit basement area. They are both astonished by what they see.

CUT TO a LONG SHOT of the basement area, so we can see that its a huge subterranean complex filled wall-to-wall with computer consoles and telephone equipment. As the camera PANS the place, we can see that the computers all have the angel-turned-demon figure on their monitors, and the demons are all devouring indefinable horrible-looking things.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Miss Parker and Sydney as they walk further into the underground complex, and look at the equipment. Sydney approaches one of the computers and tries to get it to function for him.

SYDNEY
It looks like a self-destruct sequence. The computers are consuming all of their data...

MISS PARKER (V.O.)
Can you stop it? Maybe we can salvage enough information to get this Seraph bastard afterall.

SYDNEY
I can try... but Broots and Jarod are better at this than I am.

We see Sydney attempt to override the computer's self-destruct command sequence.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of the monitor. We see then angel-turned-demon figure stop eating and look out of the screen at Sydney.

ANGEL-TURNED-DEMON
You are not The One. You have no authority here. Be gone. You are not The One. You have no authority here. Be gone. You are not The One. You have no authority here. Be gone...

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Sydney as he tries other key-code commands to interrupt the computer's function.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of the monitor again. The angel-turned-demon stops its repetitive chant, and grins a saw-toothed grin at Sydney.

ANGEL-TURNED-DEMON
All is lost.

CUT TO a LONG SHOT of the basement area, wherein we can see Sydney, Miss Parker, and the banks of computer consoles. An alarm starts ringing, and the systems in the room start shutting down, one after another.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Sydney and Miss Parker. They both look astonished by the noise.

MISS PARKER
What did you do?!

SYDNEY
I think I've inadvertently set off another self-destruct sequence. We'd better get out of here... and get your men away from the cabin.

MISS PARKER
Jarod's down here somewhere. I'm not leaving without him...

Miss Parker sets off quickly away from the staircase down the length of the basement complex, running in her stocking feet.

SYDNEY
Miss Parker -- !

Sydney hurries after her. As they run, the lights and computer consoles shut off behind them, leaving the basement behind them pitch dark, but the alarm still blares.

MISS PARKER
(into mic)
Get out of the cabin! I think it's going to blow!

CUT TO a LONG SHOT of the basement complex as the lights and console continue to extinguish themselves and the alarm continues to blare. Miss Parker and Sydney keep running, only a few steps in front of the black-out. They come to an area where the floor rises in a somewhat steep slope, and continue running until they come to a place where the floor levels out again. We see some more vans parked on the floor, and a garage-door at the far end of the flat.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT in which we see Miss Parker and Sydney scramble from vehicle to vehicle trying to find one they can get into and start. Most of the vans are façades, like the ones outside, but one has seats and a steering column, and looks "real". While Miss Parker gets into the driver's seat, Sydney checks to make sure the vehicle has an engine. Then he rushes to the garage door and finds a way to open it.

CUT TO

INT: Seraph's Subterranean Parking Garage -- Night

In a MEDIUM SHOT through the open garage door, we see anther steep incline beyond it, and a long, turning, lighted tunnel running underground.

CUT TO

INT: Van in Seraph's Subterranean Parking Garage -- Night

In a CLOSE SHOT we see Sydney get into the passenger side of the van, while Miss Parker works at the steering column and ignition switch.

SYDNEY
There's a passageway. Probably connects to the surface again further away, somewhere beyond the perimeter of the forest... I didn't know you knew how to hot-wire a car.

MISS PARKER
Face it, Sydney. There are a lot of things about me you don't know.

We hear the engine of the van roar to life. As the van takes off, Sydney is thrown back into his seat. He reaches for the seatbelt and straps himself in.

CUT TO

INT: Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel -- Night

In a LONG SHOT we see Miss Parker's van speeding through the lighted tunnel. In a MEDIUM SHOT we see Sydney and Miss Parker through the windshield. While Miss Parker drives, Sydney holds on for dear life. After a few seconds we hear explosions coming from behind the van.

CUT TO

INT: Miss Parker's van -- Night

In a MEDIUM SHOT we see Sydney turning to look out the back window. He then turns back to Miss Parker.

SYDNEY
The destruction sequence... Gabriel's making sure there isn't enough left for The Centre to retrieve.

MISS PARKER
Let's hope the eradication program doesn't include this tunnel.

CUT TO

INT: Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel -- Night

In a LONG SHOT we can see the lights in the tunnel, in the distance, behind the van shutting off.

SYDNEY (V.O.)
Uh... Miss Parker...

CUT TO

INT: Miss Parker's van -- Night

In a CLOSE SHOT of Miss Parker as she drives the van, we can see as she takes a moment to glance into the vehicle's rear-view and side mirrors.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of the view in one of the side mirrors. We can see the lights in the tunnel behind the van continue to wink off in sequence.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Miss Parker and Sydney as Miss Parker continues to drive.

MISS PARKER
Damn it. Hang on, Sydney.

CUT TO

INT: Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel -- Night

CUT TO a LONG SHOT of the van moving through the tunnel. Miss Parker floors the accelerator, and the van speeds up, rushing through the tunnel at break-neck speed, taking the turns wildly and sometimes banging into the tunnel's side. It whisks PAST the camera, and then vanishes down the tunnel.

FADE OUT


ACT SIX

FADE IN

INT: Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel, Another View -- Night

In a MEDIUM SHOT we can see, in a different part of the tunnel, another van driving quickly down the tunnel's length.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of the front of the van, and we can see through the windshield, Gabriel in the driver's seat and Dr. Rafaél in the passenger seat. Jarod sits in the seat behind them, sitting up on the edge of the seat so he can look through the windshield between them.

CUT TO:

INT: Seraph's van -- Night

In a CLOSE SHOT we see Jarod looking out through the windows of the van, intrigued by the tunnel outside.

JAROD
This is amazing. How long did it take your people to complete it?

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Jarod and Gabriel in the van. They continue their conversation as Gabriel drives.

GABRIEL
About three years.

JAROD
How did you manage to get the permits for subterranean blasting, and manpower and supplies, without drawing attention to the project?

GABRIEL
We shunted the necessary paperwork through the Pentagon, and plastered Top Secret, Official Business stickers on most of it. The government's inventory and disbursal systems are so fouled up, you could hide anything in there.

JAROD
Like birth certificates and records of death...?

GABRIEL
We found a few, on occasion. Don't worry, I've already got people looking, Jarod. If anything anywhere on your parents turns up, we'll certainly let you know. But, since your escape, The Centre has been burying records faster than we can find out that they even exist. You've made a lot of people there very nervous.

JAROD
If I wanted to expose them, I could have done that already.

GABRIEL
They don't see it that way. They think you're just playing your cards out slowly, waiting for the best opportunity to cause them damage. To them, you'll always be considered a threat. It's just the way they are. They have long memories and sustain even longer grudges. Forgiveness isn't part of their corporate strategy.

JAROD
So I've noticed.

From behind Jarod, we see a bright light start to fill Gabriel's van. Jarod looks behind him out the rear window, and Gabriel checks his mirrors.

JAROD
We're being followed.

GABRIEL
Miss Parker, no doubt. Persistent woman, isn't she?

JAROD
Incredibly.

CUT TO:

INT: Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel, Another View -- Night

In a LONG SHOT we see Gabriel's van in the tunnel, and Miss Parker's van coming up quickly, but still somewhat distantly behind it. Gabriel's van increases in speed.

CUT TO:

INT: Miss Parker's van -- Night

In a MEDIUM SHOT of Miss Parker, driving, and Sydney, we see Miss Parker's eyes narrow as she realizes there is another van in the tunnel with hers.

MISS PARKER
Hello, Jarod.

CUT TO:

INT: Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel, Another View -- Night

In a LONG SHOT we can see Miss Parker's van accelerate as well.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of the tunnel from Miss Parker's POV. Her van chases Gabriel's van through the tunnel, at increasing speeds, while, in the distance behind her the lights in the tunnel are still shutting off in sequence.

INT: Seraph's van -- Night

In a CLOSE SHOT we see Dr. Rafaél look at the view in the passenger side mirror of the van.

DR. RAFAÉL
There's something wrong. The lights behind them are shutting off.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT showing Dr. Rafaél, Gabriel and Jarod in the van. Both Jarod and Gabriel catch quick glances behind them.

GABRIEL
It's the eradication program. They must have tampered with the computer system; accelerated the countdown.

JAROD
The whole complex is going under?

GABRIEL
Yes.

JAROD
Even the tunnel?

GABRIEL
Yes.

DR. RAFAÉL
Do we have enough time to get out?

Gabriel checks his watch, and checks the speedometer on the van.

GABRIEL
Probably.

DR. RAFAÉL and JAROD
(simultaneously)
Probably?

CUT TO:

INT: Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel, Another View -- Night

In a LONG SHOT we see the two van continue to careen through the tunnel while behind them the tunnel lights blink off, and the dull thunder of distant explosions follows after them.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of the front of Miss Parker's van. Through the windshield we can see that Miss Parker is looking very pleased with herself as she continues to chase Gabriel's van. She adjusts the microphone on her head-set again and begins to speak commands through it to her back-up personnel. We cannot hear what she's saying.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Seraph's van as it continues through the tunnel. We can see the grade of the tunnel's incline increasing slightly.

CUT TO a LONG SHOT of both vans in the tunnel. Miss Parker's van is nearly on the tail of Gabriel's van. The two vehicles speed through the tunnel at matching velocities, matching moves.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of the front of Seraph's van, as he continues to drive. We can see the existing light of the tunnel wink off the exterior of the van; and can see Gabriel's determined features as he continues to drive; periodically checking his mirrors and the speedometer.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of the front of Miss Parker's van as she continues to drive. She looks more confident and determined than Sydney does. Her van accelerates even more.

CUT TO:

INT: Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel, Another View -- NightIn a LONG SHOT we can see both Seraph's and Miss Parker's approaching the camera from a distance. They are both moving quickly through the tunnel, while, we can see, a cloud of expanding dust and debris billows through the tunnel behind them. Both vans rush PAST the camera, and the camera PANS with them. Then the camera is seemingly inundated by the cloud of debris, and we can see nothing but that for a few seconds.

CUT TO a LONG SHOT of the end of the tunnel (from the van's POV). We can see the lights there end abruptly at a pair of large hanger-type doors. The doors are closed.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of both vans; Seraph's van in the lead. As Seraph's van mounts a final incline, the hanger doors in front of the van draw open -- but not fast enough.

CUT TO:

INT: Seraph's van -- Night

In a CLOSE SHOT we can see that Gabriel braces himself against the steering wheel but makes no effort to decrease his van's speed.

GABRIEL
Everybody, hold onto something.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Dr. Rafaél as she tightens her seatbelt and hangs onto the van's inner framework.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Jarod as he sits back in the seat, adjusts his seatbelt, and braces himself as well.

CUT TO:

INT: Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel, Another View, Exit Area -- Night

In a MEDIUM SHOT we see Seraph's van rush past us toward the opening hanger doors. The door's aren't completely open as the van passes through them, and the exterior handles and some of the decorative molding on the sides of the van are stripped off in a shower of sparks and debris.

CUT TO:

INT: Seraph's van -- Night

In a MEDIUM SHOT, from Jarod's POV, we can sparks shoot up around the van's windows, can hear the sound of the scraping metal and plastic, and can see the van being rattled terribly. Then the commotion stops, and we see nothing but darkness through the windows.

CUT TO:

INT: Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel, Another View, Exit Area -- Night

In a LONG SHOT we see Miss Parker's van follow Seraph's van out through the open hanger doors into the darkness.

CUT TO:

EXT: Paved Road Outside Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel -- Night

In a LONG SHOT we see both Seraph's and Miss Parker's vans continuing their run along a single-lane, paved road. There are trees and shrubbery on both sides of the road which makes it impossible for one van to pass the other. Miss Parker's van is right on Seraph's van bumper, close enough to touch it on occasion.

CUT TO:

INT: Seraph's Van -- Night

In a CLOSE SHOT of Jarod, we can see him looking out through the rear window of the van at its pursuers. He turns to face forward, to speak to Gabriel.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Jarod, Gabriel and Dr. Rafaél.

JAROD
I should get out.

DR. RAFAÉL
You can't. Not wen the van is moving this fast. It would be suicide.

JAROD
Miss Parker isn't going to give up. If I'm out of the van, she'll stop pursuing it... You'd have a chance to --

GABRIEL
I told you before: we're going to escort you as far as the highway. No arguments.

CUT TO:

INT: Seraph's Van, Another POV -- Night

In a MEDIUM SHOT, looking out through the windshield at the paved road outside, we can see only as far as the headlight beams from the van can reach through the darkness. Suddenly, up ahead, lights flash on.

GABRIEL (VO)
Company.

CUT TO:

EXT: Paved Road Outside Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel -- Night

In a LONG SHOT up the road from Gabriel's POV, we can see the lights are sitting in the middle of the roadway, and they're not moving.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of the vans as Gabriel quickly applies the brakes to his van. His van shudders and shrieks as it tries to come to a halt on the road, and Miss Parker's van crashes into the back of it. Everyone in both vans is thrown about a bit. Eventually both vans come to a clattering, steaming halt on the paved road only a few meters away from where the mysterious lights are. The wreck is illuminated by the lights.

FADE OUT


ACT SEVEN

FADE IN

EXT: Paved Road Outside Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel, Another View -- Night

In a MEDIUM SHOT of Miss Parker's van on the road, we can see Miss Parker exit the wreck of her van through the driver's side door. In her stockinged feet, she steps gingerly on the cold and damp pavement. She pulls off her headset and its attached microphone and discards them into the van. She's disheveled but seems to be uninjured. She looks up into the van.

MISS PARKER
Sydney -- ?

We see Sydney climb across the front seat to the driver's side door.

SYDNEY
I'm all right, Miss Parker. You?

MISS PARKER
I'll live.

SYDNEY
Where's Jarod?

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Miss Parker as she turns away from Sydney and starts to head in the direction of Seraph's van. Before she can take more than a step, there is the beam of a flashlight in her face. She raises one hand to shield her eyes, and produces her gun from her jacket with the other.

MISS PARKER
Whoever you are, get that light out of my face or I'll shoot you.

MALE VOICE (VO)
Miss Parker?

MISS PARKER
Who wants to know?

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Miss Parker, Sydney and MALE DRESSED IN BLACK CLOTHING who approaches the van out of the darkness with the flashlight in his hand. He lowers the beam so it's not blinding Miss Parker anymore, and gives her a courteous nod as he approaches. We can see that he's conspicuously wearing a bullet-proof vest and is heavily armed. Among other things, a machine gun is dangling from a harness at his shoulder.

MALE DRESSED IN BLACK
We're you're back-up, ma'am.

MISS PARKER
You're late. And don't ma'am me.

MALE DRESSED IN BLACK
Yes, ma'am... I mean: Yes, Miss Parker. Are you and Dr. Green all right?

SYDNEY
I'm fine.

MISS PARKER
Did you get him? Jarod?

MALE DRESSED IN BLACK
Yes, Miss Parker. That is, Miss Ames got him.

MISS PARKER
Who the hell is "Miss Ames"?

MALE DRESSED IN BLACK
She's one of Mr. Raines' appointees. She was sent to make sure you didn't lose the target again... Uh, I mean...

Miss Parker and Sydney exchange a glance, then Miss Parker looks back to the man in black.

MISS PARKER
Introduce us.

CUT TO

EXT: Paved Road Outside Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel, Another View -- Night

In a LONG SHOT we see Miss Parker and Sydney being lead by the man dress in black past the wreck of Seraph's van down the paved road to another, much large transport vehicle. It's headlights are the lights Gabriel and the others had seen on the road in front of them. In its headlights we can see other "SWEEPER" TEAM MEMBERS checking through Seraph's van, securing the edges of the forest where it runs along the road, and milling around. The transport vehicle is so large that it blocks the entire road. When Miss Parker, Sydney and their escort try to walk around it, they're forced to step onto the rocky shoulder and into the shrubbery. That causes Miss Parker some discomfort as she is still without shoes. As they reach the back of the transport vehicle, we can see that on the road behind the transport vehicle are several smaller vehicles, including a few jeeps. Their headlights illuminate the area behind the transport. And there, on the short stretch of road between the transport and its contingent of smaller vehicles, sitting on the pavement are Dr. Rafaél and Gabriel. Several "SWEEPER" TEAM MEMBERS stand around them, aiming guns at them. Both Rafaél and Gabriel seem to be disheveled and slightly bruised and bloodied. Their hands are cuffed behind their backs. Closer to the back of the transport is Jarod. Two "Sweeper" Team Members are trying to secure handcuffs on him, but have difficulty getting the cuff over his cast. Their efforts are being overseen by a trim, heavily armed, and rather severe-looking red-headed woman, MISS AMES. When she feel confident that her subordinates have Jarod securely shackled, she steps up very close to him.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Jarod and Miss Ames. Miss Ames looks him over, and seems somewhat disappointed by what she sees.

MISS AMES
You're what the fuss has been about lately? Hardly seem the sort to cause such problems.

MISS PARKER (VO)
He's been more difficult to capture than you know.

MISS AMES
(turning to Miss Parker)
For you, maybe.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Jarod, Miss Ames, Miss Parker and Sydney as Miss Parker and Sydney approach Miss Ames.

MISS AMES
I've only been out once and... here he is. All trussed up and ready for Mr. Raines -- [Indicates Jarod's bandage, cast, and bruises.] -- if a little worse for wear.

SYDNEY
Are you all right, Jarod?

Jarod only looks at Sydney, glaring at him, seething, and says nothing.

MISS PARKER
(to Miss Ames)
Well, thanks ever-so for the help, but I can take it from here.

MISS AMES
No. You can't. I have specific orders to complete the delivery myself.

MISS PARKER
My father wants me to do it.

MISS AMES
I don't care what your father wants... I take my orders from Raines.

MISS PARKER
Raines has no authority over me.

MISS AMES
But we're not talking about you, are we, Miss Parker? We're talking about me, and Jarod here... If you want to know the truth, honey, everyone who's anyone at The Centre is getting more than a little bit weary of your continual screw ups. Being daddy's little assassin just doesn't cut it anymore, I'm afraid. You may still be able to intimidate subordinates like Dr. Green and that molly-coddle, Broots, but you don't and never have intimidated me.
[To her men, in regards to Jarod]
Put him in the transport, and let's get ready to go.

MISS PARKER
He's not leaving my sight. I'm going with him.

Miss Ames shrugs and steps aside as her men help Jarod up into the large transport vehicle. Sydney follows after them, and enters the transport himself, and Miss Parker -- after giving Miss Ames a decidedly lethal look -- steps up into the vehicle, too.

CUT TO:

INT: Ames' Transport Vehicle, Back -- Night

In a MEDIUM SHOT we can see that long benches run along the length of the walls of the back of the transport vehicle. Jarod is seated on one of the benches between to armed guards, and Sydney and Miss Parker are seated directly across from him. Jarod isn't speaking to any of them. We see Miss Ames step up into the transport, and close the door behind her. She walks up the center of the transport to the front where a grid separates the passengers from the DRIVER and the BACK-UP DRIVER. She taps on the grid to get the driver's attention, and he looks back at her.

MISS AMES
Kill the other two.

DRIVER
Yes, ma'am.

JAROD
No -- !

SYDNEY
Do you think that's wise, Miss Ames? Gabriel Seraph could offer The Centre invaluable insight into the Archangels' conjoin.

MISS AMES
He's a liability. Besides, I have my orders.
(To the driver)
And so do you. Kill them, and have Miller dispose of the bodies.

The driver nods and exits the transport.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Jarod as he listens to the sounds outside the transport. There is some muffled movement, then the distinct sound of machine-gun fire. He jumps slightly at the sound of the gun fire, then breathing hard and forcing back rage and tears, he looks to the floor.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Miss Parker. Although she says nothing, we can see astonishment, confusion, and even some regret in her expression.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Sydney. He watches Jarod and even reaches forward with one to touch Jarod on the knee, to try to comfort him.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Jarod as Sydney's hand touches him. He shakes his knee to force the hand away from him, and flashes Sydney an angry look.

JAROD
It's only a matter of time before that's me out there, being machine-gunned down in the middle of the night on some deserted roadway, isn't it, Sydney?

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT including Sydney, Jarod, Miss Ames and Miss Parker. Miss Ames, still standing at the front of the transport near the grid, looks down on Jarod.

MISS AMES
Oh, please --

JAROD
(ignoring Ames, to Sydney)
How many more people have to die before you admit to yourself that what you're doing and who you're doing it with are evil?

MISS AMES
"Evil" is relative, Jarod. Didn't anybody teach you that?

JAROD
No. I escaped from The Centre before its operatives managed to brain-wash me into believing that.

MISS AMES
Well, now you'll have the chance to get back to those studies, won't you?

SYDNEY
Miss Ames, I --

Sydney is interrupted by the arrival of the driver back into the front seat of the transport. As the driver looks back through the grid awaiting Miss Ames' instructions, Miss Ames turns her attention back to him.

MISS AMES
Everything's taken care of?

DRIVER
Yes, ma'am. No traces.

MISS AMES
You're sure?

DRIVER
Yes, ma'am.

MISS AMES
Get us out of here, then.

The driver turns back to the dashboard, and we can hear the engine of the transport engage. The vehicle shudders slightly, then starts to move.

CUT TO:

EXT: Paved Road Outside Seraph's Subterranean Tunnel, Another View -- Night

In a LONG SHOT we can see the smaller vehicles behind the transport backing away, and the transport itself moving backwards, slowly, down the paved road. As it leaves, we can see other "Sweeper" Team Members have been left behind to eliminate the evidence of the vans' crash. They move about with flashlights and lanterns. There is no sign of Gabriel or Dr. Rafaél.

The camera FOLLOWS after the transport. We see it back down the paved road until it comes to a cleared turn-about area. Slowly, the huge vehicle makes a multi-point about-face turn, until it is facing in the proper direction on the paved road, and can proceed forward. Some of the smaller vehicles then lead it and other follow after it.

CUT TO:

INT: Ames' Transport Vehicle, Back -- Night

In a PAN SHOT of the transport, we can see the back of the heads of the driver and back-up driver, Jarod and his two security guards, Miss Ames, Miss Parker and Sydney in turn.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT in which we can see Miss Parker and Sydney. Miss Parker looks to the security guards.

MISS PARKER
You wouldn't happen to have a cigarette on you, would you?

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Jarod and the security guards. The guards look at Miss Parker, unspeaking, then look to Miss Ames.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Miss Ames. She smiles vaguely and shakes her head.

MISS AMES
I don't smoke, so they don't smoke.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT which includes Miss Ames, Miss Parker, Sydney, Jarod and his guards. Miss Parker leans forward a little to rub her feet, while she smiles venomously at Miss Ames.

MISS PARKER
Funny. Exactly who are you, again? I want to make sure I get all the facts right when I write up your termination paperwork.

MISS AMES
(smiling as well)
You can't have me fired.

MISS PARKER
Oh, can't I? Well, you'll just be surprised when you find yourself on unemployment tomorrow, then, won't you?

Miss Ames laughs dismissively. A few seconds later, the transport starts to slow down. Miss Parker looks confused and concerned, as does Sydney.

MISS PARKER
What's happening?

MISS AMES
We've reached the highway.

MISS PARKER
So?

MISS AMES
So, this is where you and Dr. Green get out.

MISS PARKER
What?

Miss Ames lifts a semi-automatic weapon and levels it at Miss Parker. Miss Parker draws her own weapon in response, and threatens to us it until she realizes that the two security guards have also leveled their weapons on her. Sitting between the guards, Jarod looks stunned. The guards stand and point their weapons more distinctly at Miss Parker until she reluctantly give up her weapon to the guard closest to her.

SYDNEY
(bemused, to Miss Ames)
You must be either Michael or Uriel.

MISS AMES
I prefer "Muriel", actually. Michael didn't come on this trip.

MISS PARKER
Damn. I don't believe this.

SYDNEY
"Ames"... For Aldrich Ames, the CIA double-agent who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1994 for selling secrets to the USSR?

MISS AMES
Hmmm. Amusing, isn't it?

MISS PARKER
Hysterical.

The transport comes to a complete halt, and Miss Ames walks to the rear of the vehicle and opens the back door. She steps out onto the pavement.

MISS AMES
Come along, Miss Parker. Dr. Green. Time to part company.

Miss Parker stands up and walks to the door of the transport. She pauses there for a moment, then steps down onto the pavement, and hisses at the cold when her feet touch the ground.

CUT TO:

EXT: Paved road near Highway 89 -- Night

In a MEDIUM SHOT we can see Miss Ames motion for Miss Parker to move past her, while Sydney exits the transport. Miss Ames sees to it that he moves past her, too, so she can climb back up into the transport herself. Standing inside the transport, at the open door, she smiles down on Sydney and Miss Parker.

MISS AMES
Give our regards to "daddy", won't you?

MISS PARKER
Count on it.

SYDNEY
You're just going to leave us here?

MISS AMES
We don't kill unless it's necessary, Dr. Green.

MISS PARKER
Of course not, you just abandon people on a highway in the middle of the night with no transportation.

MISS AMES
You're communications device is still at the crash site, Miss Parker. Walk back there and call for back-up. Ummm, make sure they're your own people this time, though, won't you?

Miss Ames closes the door of the transport, leaving Sydney and Miss Parker on the road. The transport rumbles back to life, lumbers off the side road onto the highway, and drives away. When the tail-lights are no longer visible, Miss Parker looks to Sydney.

MISS PARKER
If you say anything, I'll hit you.

CUT TO a LONG SHOT as Sydney chuckles and starts walking back down the paved road toward, away from the highway, toward the crash site. After a few moments, Miss Parker follows after him. Walking on the pavement is hard on her stockinged feet, and she stops a few times to rub debris and small stones from them.

FADE OUT


ACT SEVEN

FADE IN

INT: The Centre, Tech Room, Broots' Station -- The Next Day, Daylight

As the camera PANS The Tech Room, we can see Broots, Sydney, and Miss Parker all huddled around one of the computer consoles.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of the computer monitor. We can see on it something that looks vaguely like an octopus but with innumerable tentacles that writhe, extend, and contract through a field of static.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Broots, Miss Parker and Sydney as Broots points to some of the tentacles.

BROOTS
This is a graphic simulation, of course. It doesn't really look like that, but... Those tentacle... They're everywhere. All throughout The Centre's main frame. That "judgment and retribution" virus Gabriel down-loaded into our system didn't wipe out information, it just planted these parasites in it. From their original point of origin, they freely distributed themselves throughout the main frame, and started to grow.

SYDNEY
They're not damaging anything, though?

BROOTS
Well, not in the short term. They're no wholly destroying data banks, but they are rewriting some of the systems to accommodate themselves and they're slowly bleeding off information. Like leeches drawing off blood... not enough to kill the host, but just enough to sustain themselves.

SYDNEY
Where does the bleed-off go?

BROOTS
We don't know. We haven't been able to get inside one of these things yet to figure that out. Trying to eradicate them, though, is a chore and a half in itself. It's the damnedest thing I've ever seen. Every time we excise one tentacle, another one grows somewhere else.

MISS PARKER
A medusa.

BROOTS
Yeah.

SYDNEY
You can't just leave them in there.

BROOTS
No. But if we try to copy information from this system onto a new one, there's no guarantee that the medusas won't get copies right along with everything else. So, the only way we can assure ourselves that The Centre's data banks are secured again, is to enter all the information into a new, pristine system. We've got back-up files on tape and disk for most of the older stuff, but the majority of the new, daily information will have to be rewritten by hand... Every file, every page, every word.

SYDNEY
That'll take months.

BROOTS
Yeah... Talk about job security.

MR. RAINES (VO)
Yes.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Mr. Raines as he enters Broots' office with his supplemental oxygen container trailing on a dolly behind him.

MR. RAINES
Let's talk about "job security", shall we?

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots. Broots shrinks down and seats himself behind his computer console, trying to make himself invisible. Miss Parker and Sydney remain standing.

FADE OUT


ACT EIGHT

FADE IN

EXT: Daughters of Charity Hospital, Sacramento, California -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT we see Miss Ames, Dr. Rafaél, Gabriel and Jarod all gathered outside the hospital. Miss Ames and Dr. Rafaél are in green medical scrubs and wear badges that identify them as hospital personnel. Jarod is looking well and happy. He no longer has the bandage on his head, and is wearing a lighter temporary brace on his left wrist. His Halliburton case is on the ground beside his feet.

JAROD
You're performances were too excellent. You even had me fooled at times.

MISS AMES
Coming from a pretender of your capabilities, Jarod, I consider that a compliment.

We see Jarod grin, and shake Miss Ames' hand. Then he shakes Dr. Rafaél's hand, and she gives him a maternal hug.

DR. RAFAÉL
You'll be careful of that wrist, now, won't you?

JAROD
Yes, ma'am.

Jarod turns to Gabriel, and shakes his hand.

JAROD
When things have settled down a bit for me, I'd like to learn more about your organization, maybe become a part of it. Maybe I can help.

GABRIEL
We'd like that, Jarod. But take your time. There's still a great deal for you to do out here by yourself.

JAROD
Where will you go now? The complex in the Sierra Nevadas is demolished. And I doubt if The Centre and its Sweepers left even a fragment behind for you to retrieve.

GABRIEL
The Sierra site was just one of several. We lost equipment, but no data and no lives, so we consider ourselves fortunate. We have other facilities at our disposal. Don't worry about us.

JAROD
I will worry. But I'll also be grateful to you, always. For everything.

Gabriel pulls Jarod toward him and gives him a paternal hug. Jarod reciprocates the embrace. As they hug, a taxi cab pulls up in front of the hospital, and honks its horn. Gabriel releases Jarod ad gives him a pat on the back.

GABRIEL
You'd better get going.

JAROD
Yes --

Jarod retrieves his Halliburton, and walks over to the taxi as the camera FOLLOWS him. He opens the rear, passenger side door, and gets into the back seat. Once seated, he closes the door and waves out the window at Miss Ames, Gabriel, and Dr. Rafaél.

CUT TO a MEDIUM SHOT of Miss Ames, Gabriel, and Dr. Rafaél (from Jarod's POV). They wave back at him, then disperse back toward the hospital.

CUT TO:

INT: Taxi Cab Outside Daughters of Mercy Hospital -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT of the driver, we see him lean over the back seat to look at Jarod.

TAXI DRIVER
Where to, Mister?

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of a smiling Jarod as he sits in the back of the cab.

JAROD
The airport, please. I have a flight to catch.

FADE OUT


EPILOGUE

FADE IN

INT: 747 Commercial Airliner, In Flight -- Daylight

In a MEDIUM SHOT of the First Class passenger section of the plane we can see several PASSENGERS seated, enjoying their flight. In the aisle is a male flight attendant whose back is to us. When he turns to answer a "call" button in the compartment, we see it's Jarod.

CUT TO a CLOSE SHOT of Jarod smiling pleasantly at the passenger.

JAROD
Yes, ma'am. What can I get for you?

FADE TO BLACK

The End

 


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