Act1New Screenplay

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  • 8/9/2019 Act1New Screenplay



    Written by

    Ethan Taliesin Houser

    Draft in progress

    [email protected]

  • 8/9/2019 Act1New Screenplay


    FADE IN:


    A CLEANING WOMAN sweeps around the low retaining walls of

    manicured hedges on the grounds of a grand PresidentialPalace somewhere in the developing world. She hears aRINGING. She looks around and discovers a cellphone tuckedaway at the bottom of a hedge. With a perplexed expressionshe answers the phone.


    As she listens she becomes visibly alarmed. She drops herbroom and runs up the marble stairs and past the row ofneoclassical columns that line the entrance. A group of well-armed military guards stand at the:


    They point their machine guns at the hysterical woman wavingthe cell phone in the air.

    CLEANING WOMAN (CONTD)This man... He wants to speak withHis Excellency immediately! Thepresidents family...hostage!

    An entrance guard grabs the phone from her as she falls toher knees sobbing.

    ENTRANCE GUARDWho is this?!


    I will kill one each minute thatgoes by that I dont speak with himpersonally.

    The entrance guard now becomes as flustered as the woman. Hepasses the metal detector and alerts his superior (GUARD 2).

    They scramble upstairs.GUARD 2

    Your Excellency! Your Excellency!

    The guards swing the door open to:


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  • 8/9/2019 Act1New Screenplay


    A damaged chandelier swings above and the Presidentsheadless body lies on the floor.


    Carlo sets both phones down. With his elbows on the table

    Carlo rests his forehead in his hands and lets out a deepsigh. Carlo squirts out a generous amount of hand sanitizerfrom a bottle on the table and rubs it into his hands.


    In a beautiful home in a exclusive eastern bedroom community,a large man in his 60s, SENATOR NORBERG, pulls up his pant-legs and kneels down to choose a cigar from a lower shelf ofhis cabinet humidor.


    Honey. Im going out for a smoke,okay.

    Mrs. Norberg (60s, WASPy, high maintenance) enters the room.She is applying moisturizer to her hands.

    MRS. NORBERGI dont see why we dont just buildyou a little space by the verandawith a good filtration system.Its so cold outside.


    You think anyone would use thosesmoking rooms at the airport ifthey had access to a beautiful bikepath like we do?

    Sen. Norberg takes out a cigar, runs it across his nose, andputs it in his shirt pocket.

    MRS. NORBERG(playfully)

    Not going to call me nature hateragain?

    SEN. NORBERGWell arent you?

    MRS. NORBERGJust a teeny-weeny bit.

    Mrs. Norberg kneels down and kisses him on the cheek, andgoes back to the other room.


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    Remember, reservations at 8:00.

    Sen. Norberg reluctantly removes the large cigar from hispocket and replaces it with a smaller one and closes the


    SEN. NORBERGI know. Love you. Bye, honey.


    Sen. Norberg strolls down a beautiful bike path in hisaffluent community. He looks through some papers and puffson his cigar. As he approaches an accessway leading to astreet he hears an UNPLEASANT voice.


    Hello there, Senator.



    Sound of morning birds CHIRPING in the trees. Several policecars are parked in the driveway of the Norberg residence.


    A distraught Mrs. Norberg talks with four officers in theliving room of her beautiful home. As she speaks, shecompulsively grabs at her head which has made her up-styledhair disheveled almost to the point of looking like a fright-wig. She is surrounded by family who do their best to calmher down, though they too are nearly as upset as she is.



    Sen. Norberg stands in a room. He is surrounded by elevenrobed and hooded figures who have joined hands and stand in acircle around him. A strange vibrating, monotone is heard.The walls of the room are upholstered with red velvet andpaintings of strange esoteric symbols hang in ornate frames.


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    A cage lowers from a chain and imprisons Sen. Norberg whoappears to be in a stupor. The figures step back and walkaround the room in a counterclockwise procession. As theywalk, they extend their hands and slightly touch the velvetwalls with their fingertips. Their caresses set fire to thewalls as effectively as if they were squirting it with

    kerosine. Sen. Norberg grabs at the bars of his cage andlooks on in horror.

    They stop the procession and the figures retake theirpositions around the senator as he writhes in pain from thesmoke and heat. At once, the robes of the figures fall to thefloor (Obi Wan Kenobi style) as their bodies are transformedinto small, white, pyramid-shaped objects that spin and whirlaround the senators dying body.


    A parked commercial airliner filled with passengers. An olderwoman sits in first-class by one of the planes few emptyseats. She looks out at the unmoving tarmac below, looks ather watch, and sighs impatiently. CARLO sits in a seat infront of her.

    A man arrives at the womans aisle and places his carry-on inthe compartment above. He smiles and takes the seat next toher. Three other new passengers who have also just boardedtake their seats as well. A flight attendant comes for thebeverage containers and the DONG of the seatbelt sign isheard. Carlo is seen through the seats twirling his mustachewith one hand and fiddling with his phone with the other.

    Though not looking at the new passengers directly, hediscreetly observes them with suspicion. A German accentedmale voice comes over the INTERCOM:

    INTERCOMLades and gentlemen, again, I doapologize for the delay. Looks likewe cleared up those very minormaintenance problems and should beoff the ground very shortly.

    INT. NORBERG RESIDENCE - CONTINUOUSA police officer lays a hand on Mrs. Norbergs arm to try toconsole her. She brushes it off.

    POLICE OFFICER 1These kidnappers want money, theydont want to hurt your husband,okay? Our negotiator has experiencewith this kind of thing.



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  • 8/9/2019 Act1New Screenplay


    MRS. NORBERGIts been three days. Why dontthey call?

    Isabella has no response.

    ISABELLACome with me and help me make asandwich, okay?

    Mrs. Norberg stares at the phone.



    Mrs. Norberg stands. They walk towards the kitchen when the


    Sen. Norberg is back.

    Gasps of relief and astonishment are heard throughout theroom. A puzzled Sen. Norberg takes a step backward. Mrs.Norberg runs up and wraps her hands around him and kisses himrepeatedly. Everyone gathers.

    MRS. NORBERG (CONTD)Oh my god! Youre okay!


    Of course. Whats going on here?


    SEN. NORBERGI told you, I was going toSouthampton to play golf thisweekend. Christ, where did youthink I was?


    You went for a walk and never cameback. We had plans for dinner!What are you talking about?!?

    The room of people look toward Mrs. Norberg in a puzzled, yetsympathetic way.

    MRS. NORBERG (CONTD)We thought something horriblehappened to you!


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    SEN. NORBERGThank you all for your concern, butI made it clear I was playing golfthis weekend.


    Thats not true!

    People gather round Mrs. Norberg to calm her down again.Sen. Norberg looks around the room.

    SEN. NORBERGIm sorry for the misunderstanding.But Im going to have to ask youall to leave. I have a lot to do.Were in session tomorrow, youknow.

    Mrs. Norberg turns to Isabella, completely at a loss.


    A large modern newsroom. People sitting at computerworkstations. Papers cluttering desks. Television monitorsoverhead. A woman, SWEENA MALHOTRA (mid thirties, Indiandescent) walks briskly across the bustling newsroom talkingon her phone.

    SWEENA(into phone)

    This storys a lightning rod, I

    need more people on the record.Anonymous sources wont get printed.Find one and well use it in thenext installment, OK?

    Sweena gets off the phone.

    SWEENA (CONTD)(to self)

    Geesh, grow a pair.

    A fat, long haired, male COWORKER sits at a computer...


    ...and flags down Sweena as she walks by. Sweena walks over.

    COWORKER (CONTD)You see this memo about HomelandSecurity?


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    Sweena looks at the email on the screen with amazed contempt.


    Sweena laughs and throws her hands up.

    COWORKERIts patently absurdandthereare national security concerns?

    Sweena laughs incredulously.

    SWEENAThey must really think wereidiots.

    COWORKERI know, right?

    Sweena paces a small circle.

    SWEENAJust beyond the fucking pale. Youknow, a little politeness wouldhave gone a long way at thebeginning...try to threaten me, toridicule me. Dont they realizethis pushback just drives uscrazier to get to the bottom of it?

    A young guy, COWORKER 2, rolls over from the neighboring desk

    on his office chair. He points at the screen.

    COWORKER 2You guys need to scroll down.

    (beat)Sweena, Ryans not going with theDr. Badami story.

    Sweena stops pacing.


    Furious, Sweena turns and marches swiftly down the hall.Coworker 2 stands and watches...

    COWORKER 2Be civil!

    ...Sweena take off down the hall. Sweena BURSTS into the:



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    A bearded man in his 50s (RYAN LESPINES) is startled. Heshaving a meeting with two people. He looks over at Sweena. Hestands and defensively holds his palms toward her.

    RYANSweena, I know exactly what youre

    going to say...

    Ryan indicates a need for privacy and the two others exit.

    RYAN (CONTD)The thing is, we need to keep--


    Thats not what I was going to say!

    RYAN(Ryan lowers his voice)

    Listen, there are some very, veryaggressive lawyers, and with thenew amendment to the Freedom Actbeing passed...

    SWEENAIts another request, not aninjunction! Ryan, this thingsmultinational and Im justscratching the surface. Were notthe only ones on this story either,believe me.

    RYANWere the largest of therespectable papers.

    Sweena throws up her arms.

    SWEENAThere you go! All the more reason.And its no secret Ive beenworking on a book.

    Ryan wipes his forehead with his handkerchief.

    RYANAgain, with the Freedom Actamendment we could both go toprison just to watch the entirepaper go under in legal fees andlost advertiser revenue.

    Sweena storms out of Ryans office and into the:


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    Ryan pops his head out as Sweena walks away.

    RYAN (CONTD)You think I like this?

    Sweena walks down the busy hall where theres an unusualamount of commotion. Through the gaggle of newsroom workers,Sweena sees a group of men in suits (roughly 20 meters away)at her desk. They are removing her computer and emptying herdesk, putting everything in white cardboard boxes.

    Sweena walks toward them.

    SWEENAWhat in the hell are you doing?

    They turn to Sweena. One G-MAN points to Sweena. He and two

    others start off in her direction.

    G-MANYou need to come with us.

    Sweena stops in her tracks and takes a step back. Still somemeters away, the g-men are approaching quickly. The scenequickly becomes chaotic. Sweenas coworkers start yelling atthe perceived injustice and many crowd in between Sweena andthe agents. Ryan runs by Sweena and gets in front of the g-men.


    What has she done!? She hasnt doneanything wrong!

    People press themselves between Sweena and the agents andpandemonium ensues. Many with their hands raised, recordingthe action with their cellphones. Ryan is right in front ofthe agents with his arms outstretched, smashed between themand the rest of her supporters.

    RYAN (CONTD)What are the charges?!

    The g-men quickly bring Ryan to the floor. A heel of a bootis pushed into the back of Ryans neck and they handcuff him.The agents have lost Sweena, who is somewhere beyond the massof people. Agents look frustrated.


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    Carlo sits with his burly, bearded friend MAGNUS THE FINN onbenches in a cedar wood sauna. They are both very relaxed butsweating profusely.

    CARLOFirst it was the Southeast Asiathing. Then all the way over herefor this little job, and now 35mmSwedish autocannons delivered toBrazil. Its none of our business,but I dont see the connection.

    MAGNUSTheyve got their fingers in a lotof pies. Thats what I wanted totalk to you about.

    CARLOAnd theyve been insisting we meetin person--ever since the firstjob.

    MAGNUSBut youre sure they dont--

    CARLOAll they know about me is a Swissbank account number.


    Carlo. Keep it that way. No goodcan come from letting them know whoyou are.

    Magnus gets up and dips a ladle in the water bucket andsplashes the hot rocks creating a SIZZLE and a great amountof steam.

    CARLOThey are quite friendly on thephone...

    Magnus pours the last of his beer on the rocks as well.MAGNUS

    I hope you dont choose our clientsbased on their telephone manners.


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    CARLOAnd I hope you dont want to keepdealing with clients who want togive partial payment in caviaragain.

    Magnus sits back down, smiles and shrugs.

    Magnus reaches over and opens an ice chest. He takes a blini(biscuit), slathers it with black caviar and takes a huge,sastifying bite.

    CARLO (CONTD)At any rate, I kept the collateraldamage to a minimum and thepresident would have eventuallygotten it from someone else anyway,eh?

    MAGNUSWhether he would have or not, Imust admit Ive much more sympathyfor the poor sturgeon in theCaspian.

    He loads up another blini and offers it to Carlo, but herefuses. Magnus smiles and shrugs and takes a bite.

    MAGNUS (CONTD)Carlo. I just dont want to visitone day and find you shot dead inyour own hammock.

    CARLOThanks, Magnus. Its a mutuallybeneficial relationship, okay?Things change; I deal with it.

    MAGNUSIm trusting you on this one, mate.This thing turns pear-shaped Imholding you responsible. We canprobably scrape together around 200units of the 35mm from our fellow

    in Cyprus.


    A sympathetic looking, young FEMALE AGENT is doing her bestto diffuse the situation. Sweena listens with her arms foldedtightly against her chest.


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    FEMALE AGENTIm so sorry.

    (beat)Dear, youre not under arrest--youhavent done anything wrong. Wejust want you to come down and

    answer a few questions, okay?

    Sweena purses her lips as if deliberating.

    FEMALE AGENT (CONTD)If we help each other we might beable to save lives. Dont do it forus, do it because its the rightthing to do. Please, Sweena.

    Sweena says nothing.


    Mrs. Norberg and her daughter Isabella watch the TV as Sen.Norberg addresses the Senate.

    SEN. NORBERGI thank my distinguished friend,the senior senator from great stateof Oregon for yielding.

    (beat)I know it came as a surprise to agreat many of you for me to nowwholeheartedly endorse this bill,

    especially considering the hoursand hours of floor time I used tospeak against it. But I feel butwith the wisdom of reflection,comes the ability to admit when youmake a mistake. And ladies andgentleman, I was wrong. You know,my grandfather had a small storein...

    ISABELLAThe Internet bill? What the hell?

    Mrs. Norberg turns to her daughter.

    MRS. NORBERGNow you see what Im saying?

    Isabella shakes her head, as if trying to make sense of it.

    MRS. NORBERG (CONTD)He gave up cigars, too, you know.


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    ISABELLAMom, I think its a creepy billtoo, but we need to trust Daddy onthis one.

    Mrs. Norberg is overtly miffed at her daughters lack of



    Carlo approaches the door to his villa. Just as his keysnear the lock he stops. Carlo notices something amiss. Withone silent movement he exchanges the key in his hand for theBlack-Cat personal defense tool on his keychain. He turnsaround. Four BAD GUYS stand behind him. A gun is drawn atCarlos chest. They force him inside his building.

    BAD GUY 1

    Since you wouldnt meet us inperson we came to you.

    Carlos DOMESTIC HELP is lying face-down on the carpet withher hands behind her neck. She looks up at Carlo withdesperation.

    CARLOWhoever you think I am, I assureyou, Im not me.

    Bad Guy 2 goes to the stereo and turns up the music loud.

    BAD GUY 1You are very valuable to us but weneed your unconditional commitmentto our cause.

    CARLOThis isnt the best way to go aboutthis.

    Bad Guy 3 fires a single round into the middle of DomesticHelps back, killing her.

    BAD GUYYoure valuable, but notindispensable. Get down on yourknees and put your hands behindyour head. Trust me, you willunderstand soon.

    Carlos hands are slightly raised. He locks eyes with BadGuy 1.


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    In one explosive move Carlo lurches to the side, whips hiskeys at they guys face and scrambles upstairs. The bad guysshoot and run up after him. He goes into a bedroom and jumpsthrough the window and on to the:


    Carlo slides down, tears loose a rain gutter with a less-than-graceful touchdown, and lands in the:


    He runs at top speed around the neighbors swimming pool butslips and falls in the pool. The bad guys fire at him fromthe roof and bullets splash in the water as Carlo tries topull himself out.


    Two toddlers quietly play in the middle of the living room,their toys strewn all around them. One holds a little woodenblock in his hand. The two toddlers stop their play andbecome still as they curiously listen to the muffled soundsof gunshots and commotion coming from outside.

    The sliding glass door to the back EXPLODES with shatteredglass as a drenched Carlo rips through the house and tramplespast them. Carlo bursts out the front door and into the:


    The bad guys exit the house and stand by the doorway firinground after round at Carlo with handguns. Carlo makes a zig-zag course and all bullets miss. The bad guys run after him.

    Carlo takes a left through the yard of another villa. Hedives over a hedge, past a clothesline and makes another leftreturning right back at his own villa again. He crouchesdown. It seems the coast is clear. Carlo looks in his windowand sees the set keys he threw at the bad guy on the floor.Carlo slips back to his:


    and grabs his keys off the floor. The bad guys spot him andrun back toward the house. Carlo again runs upstairs, outthrough the bedroom window, down the roof, past the pool(this time avoiding the water) through the neighbors houseand away down a narrow street. The sounds of police sirenspeal in the distance. Carlo runs through a crowd of people,hugging the side of the wall and constantly looking over hisshoulder. The bad guys are still after him.


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    He runs down a concrete stairway to an:


    Carlo ducks behind parked cars. The bad guys look around forhim among the cars but dont see him. They hear a CHIRP and

    see the brake lights of a black SUV flash. Carlo slips inhis car through the passenger side and locks the door just asthe bad guys grab at the door handle. The bad guys firepoint-blank into the window but it does nothing to the bullet-proof glass on the armored car. Carlo frantically climbs tothe drivers side, starts the car, pulls into reverse, andsqueals out and up toward the exit.

    The bad guys see a woman cowering in her car. They grab herkeys and block Carlo in.


    A cord is plugged loosely into a wall socket. There is a loudmonotonous humming sound that vibrates the cord.

    Three people lie unconscious on hospital-type beds. They arecovered up to their necks with indigo satin sheets with alarge, red mystical symbols on them. Theyre hooked up tosome kind of EEG machines. Like alien whiskers, the wires ofelectrodes sprout from their heads.

    Like the other two patients, Sweena, lies still with afrozen, anguished expression.


    Sweena is in the red velvet room. She is on her kneesgrasping at the bars of her cage. The eleven figures starttheir circular procession.

    BACK TO:


    The hum of the machine keeps jiggling the cord plugged into

    the wall. Finally, the electrical cord falls out of thesocket and the orange indicator light goes off on Sweenasmachine. The machine cycles down and stops.

    Sweena lies still. Her body makes a slight twitch. Thenanother, more pronounced spasm.

    BACK TO:



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    The eleven figures touch the sides of the walls and ignitethem with their fingertips. With a slight flash of light,the scene (with the exception of Sweena) becomes a littleless distinct. Another flash occurs and things becomegrainier by another degree. The figures become noticeablyalarmed. With each successive flash the scene becomes more

    and more grainy, like a sandstorm is in the room. Thefigures scatter through a door.

    BACK TO:


    Sweena convulses and opens her eyes. Confused, she looksaround and touches her head and discovers the EEG wires. Shepulls them off and notices the two others lying next to her.

    Horrified, she takes stock and adjusts something under thecloth that covers her. She looks over at the person next to

    her. Its Carlo.

    Sweena rises from the bed and looks around the room. She iscompletely naked. She pulls the EEG pads from Carlos headand does the same for an (elderly woman) in the far bed. Shereturns to the stronger, more capable looking Carlo. Sweenastands over him and nervously looks over her shoulder. Shewaits and nothing happens. She grabs Carlos cheek betweenher thumb and index finger and starts vigorously shaking it.Carlo comes to and stares at the bare-breasted Sweena.

    CARLOWho the--


    The door to the room is ajar, through the crack Sweena andCarlo see two people armed with bullpup assault rifles walkby. Carlo is freaked--he turns on his side and starts to getup.

    SWEENA (CONTD)You have a catheter.

    Carlo makes an uncomfortable grimace as he pulls out thetube from beneath the cloth.


    Any idea where we are?

    Sweena shakes her head no. Carlo (naked) walks to the doorand peers through the crack.


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    Sweena realizes their clothes and personal effects are inplastic bags under their respective beds. She points this outto Carlo and they quickly dress.

    Carlo looks around the room and fruitlessly rifles throughdrawers. He picks up a hypodermic needle but realizes its

    not much of a weapon.

    The door OPENS and in walks a young nurse. Carlo and Sweenajump toward the wall just in the nick of time. Just as thenurse realizes the two beds are empty, Carlo comes frombehind and snaps her neck. The nurse falls to the floor andCarlo closes the door.

    The innocent and beautiful body of the young woman is atCarlos feet. Sweena looks on in horror and disgust at Carlo.

    SWEENAJesus fucking fuck.



    Carlo drags nurses body to the side. Carlo goes through thecabinets in the small room and finds a large bottle ofIsopropyl 95%. He turns to Sweena.

    CARLO (CONTD)Do you smoke?



    CARLOYou dont, per chance, have alighter in that purse?

    Sweena reaches into her purse and hands Carlo a lighter.

    SWEENAI dont smoke very much.

    Carlo holds the lighter in his teeth, removes a fire

    extinguisher from a box mounted on the wall, and pulls outthe safety. He hands Sweena a medical cone face mask from abox on the table. They both put one on.

    With his free hand, Carlo throws the pieces of fabric theywere covered with and lays them in a pile with two overturnedchairs. Carlo douses the carpet and everything with therubbing alcohol. Sweena pushes the still unconscious elderlywoman to the far side of the room.


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  • 8/9/2019 Act1New Screenplay


  • 8/9/2019 Act1New Screenplay


    Carlo shoots a dagger glance at Sweena and puts his finger tohis lips. A distant sound of FOOT FALLS is heard. The soundgets closer and closer.

    Carlo and Sweena sit frozen in silence. The handle turns andsomeone pushes against the door. The door is stuck, so the

    person behind uses his body weight to try to bump the dooropen. On the third attempt the door BURSTS open. ItsMagnus.

    SCENE WHERE SOMEONE TALKS INTO THE MIRROR. They could do itall at once. They could get a glimpse into Carlo and Sweena.


    Magnus looks on as Carlo sits at the rooms writing deskhandheld mirror and hacks away at his sizable mustache with adisposable razor. Sweena has apparently just taken a shower

    and is drying her hair with a towel.

    SWEENAThanks for the clean clothes.

    Carlo stops shaving for a moment and turns to Magnus.

    CARLOIndeed, Magnus. Im indebted.

    MAGNUSIndebted is the correct word,Carlo.

    Sweena sits down on the bed and brushes her long hair.Magnus walks over and lays a newspaper on the bed.

    MAGNUS (CONTD)Did you do this?

    Sweena picks up the paper and sees herself. The headlinereads: Times Writer Escapes Custody, Slays Three En Route toQuestioning.


    (shocked/confused)Of course not!

    MAGNUSI didnt take you for a killer.

    Magnus pulls a couple of passports from a manila envelope andthrows one to Carlo.


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    MAGNUS (CONTD)(to Sweena)

    Fortunately for you, the newspapersalways prefer your glamorouspictures. I used a more obscureone from the internet.

    Magnus hands Sweena an AUSTRALIAN PASSPORT. She looks at itfor a moment upside down, rotates it 180, and opens it.


    Sweena runs her thumb over the hologram and looks at Magnusincredulously.

    SWEENAYou just had this made??


    Hes an artist.

    MAGNUSTheyll be coming after you. Do youhave somewhere you can go?

    Sweena closes the passport.

    SWEENAThe group in Argentina I wastelling you about. I know I canstay with them.

    Carlo stands from his chair with his mustache still partlyunshaved.

    CARLOWith a resistance group bent onadvertising the deeds of thatclawed, hidden hand? Theyre makingthemselves a magnet for thosefiends, its just a matter of time!Suit yourself, but its an abysmalidea. I suggest you find yourself arock to hide under.

    MAGNUSYoure going escort her.

    Taken aback, Carlo holds one hand at arms length while theother clutches his passport at his heart.

    CARLONo bloody, bleeding, fucking way. Ihave done my part!


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    MAGNUSOh, no. Youve done much more thanyour part, Carlo. And thatsexactly why you will go.

    Carlo turns to Sweena but talks for the benefit of Magnus.

    CARLOHow was I to know who they were?But she, she acts like a bloodyfreelancer on assignment.

    SWEENADont you see? The worldschanging! Doing nothing istantamount to total submission.

    Carlo is noticeably perturbed.


    MAGNUSLike everyone in his profession,Carlos self-interested,unreliable, and always willing toswitch sides if the moneys better.But hes also clever, capable, andapparently quite daring when itcomes to protecting his own skin.


    Ill go at it alone... I just donthave access to my bank accounts.

    MAGNUSAnd Carlo has accounts under anumber of aliases. It was just theone with the Vertraulichkeit Bankthat was compromised, no?

    Carlo gives a half-hearted yes nod as he finishes shavingoff his mustache. He brings his hands to his head and sitsback down. Carlo is quite handsome clean shaven.

    CARLOArgentina. For all we know we couldbe walking right into our coffins.


    Nearly a hundred elite crawl on their hands and knees througha door and pour into a large room.


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    They line up around the far wall and place their foreheads tothe ground. In unison, the members chant:

    SECRET SOCIETY MEMBERSQuaeritur nobis mori, nos mori.Quaeritur nobis occidere, nos



    Isabella lets herself in her parents home, walks across theplush carpet and sits by a coffee table. The room is empty.She calls out across the house.

    ISABELLAHi Daddy.

    There is no response. She sets her handbag down, takes off

    her high heel shoes, and rubs her feet through her hose.Isabella looks off down the hall.

    ISABELLA (CONTD)My meeting was cancelled causethere wasnt a quorum. Im havinga drink; can I get you one?

    Theres no response but Norbergs voice is heard in thedistance.

    ISABELLA (CONTD)(to self)

    I will assume yes.

    Isabella ambles to:


    and takes out two lowball glasses and a bottle of booze. Sheplops in a few ice cubes in each and pours the drinks.Unhurried, she casually swirls the ice cubes around byrocking the glasses and takes a generous sip from one. Shesplashes a bit more in her glass to replace the sip she justtook.

    Carrying both glasses, she walks down:


    towards the room with Sen. Norbergs voice. The door isajar. Isabella frees up one hand by setting one of thedrinks down on the carpet by the door.


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    HIMSELFOnce the Speaker of the House is inoffice and the international mediacircus is in full swing, it shouldgive us a little breathing spacewhile we hunt down Dr. Badami. We

    believe hes in Argentina. So,hows you wife?

    SEN. NORBERGStill suspicious.

    HIMSELFAnd your daughter Isabelle?

    SEN. NORBERGIsabella. Shes at a meeting now. Idont think shes a problem. Likeyou suggested, I told her her moms

    been showing slight signs ofdementia. Shes very worried.

    (chuckles to self)

    HIMSELFGood, that should buy us enoughtime.

    Sen. Norberg has his hearing aids on the desk. He removes acouple of aspirn-sized batteries from a circular dispenser.He fiddles with his hearing aids battery compartment openingon his desk.

    SEN. NORBERGSir, I afraid Im not as optimisticas you. If my wife continues todraw attention we might need to doa cost/benefit of either bringingher in, or just getting rid of her.

    HIMSELFIt would be months to get her aslot at one of the machines. Atthis point we wouldnt be able todivert resources to her, anyway.

    Our number one priority right nowis to get someone on the inside ofBadamis group in Argentina.

    SEN. NORBERGYes, but if my wife keeps askingquestions I cant very well justbash her brains in with a brick,now can I?


  • 8/9/2019 Act1New Screenplay


    HIMSELFIf it were only that easy.

    (chuckles to self)

    Sen. Norberg closes the battery compartment and places thehearing aids behind his ears.

    HIMSELF (CONTD)Well send someone to take her outif we have to.

    Isabellas holds her fathers lowball glass close to herchest, as she stands petrified just outside the door. Hervacant stare belying confusion and terror.

    Just as she takes one cautious step away from the door,several ice cubes in the glass become detached fromthemselves and make a distinct CLINK as they settle.

    Senator Norberg quickly turns around and stands from hisdesk. He walks over to the door and looks out into the hall.He looks out in each direction but sees no one. He looksdown by his feet and sees the second glass. He bends downand picks it up. There is lipstick on the edge of the glass.