by: James Donnellan
First Draft Storyline 09-2004
Registration: Screen Writers Guild of America (2004)
Copyright by James Donnellan
.......... lonely room , small moderate apartment.. Obviously she has lived here alone for years.
An older woman is sick... discovered by some family member to be going down hill rapidly into coma. Upon discovery, a call for ambulance and cuts to emergency room, noise and confusion .. Typical.. Being rolled down a hall way ... nurses.. I.V. , to the quiet of a semi private room where a doctor appears. A couple of questions to the family member.. “ I don’t know... she was doing OK, and then we found her like this”... “ She’s been getting older you know.. Kind of slowing down”.. “ She’s alone a lot now but we check in on her when.. we can”..caring only little.
The Doctor, examining aspects of this, eyes open, comatose patient.. picks up the eye examination tool and beams the light into the unblinking blue eye.
As he does, we take the perspective of the doctors view and go into the eye. Past the surface .. Down into the vessels and bone.. Past and into the brain and finally into the cellular structure itself. We scan the red and white cells and debris traveling through the blood system and from far away, see one cell darker and different than the rest.. As it travels toward us, we start to recognize the outlines of the planet Earth traveling and spinning closer. As it comes forward it takes on the dimension and scale of the planet moving through the darkness and lights of the universe. We come closer.. The planet spins to show us the continental outlines of North and South America.
Down we travel ever closer into South America and as the colors change to browns and greens we see the canopy of a rain forest directly below. Down through the trees and into the quiet calm of rain drops and sun beams. A small pause of silence and soon we hear footsteps of a single person walking easily but directly through the leaves and twigs. Only feet pass the camera as it pans up to show the legs and backpack of a European man walking toward a small cabin in the near distance. Obviously, someone is home from the smoke of the chimney and faint light from the windows.
A little knock on the door by the hand of this faceless person and he opens the door to see two other individuals casually hanging out inside.
“ Ciao Franco.. You made it...” ...from feet propped up in an easy chair toward the fire...
“you guys have got to see this” ..as Franco holds out a newspaper or two.
“We really did a number on M 1” “ Their stock dropped like a rock and they’re all scrambling around trying to figure out what happened.” Removing his back pack he continues...
“Funny what funneling off one cent per gallon can do... I hope that Children’s fund is appreciative”.
From the corner behind a messy, large computer set up complete with assorted transmission electronics is a laughing voice,“ I guess they be wonderin’ who want to donate $4.2 Billion Dollars tout wantin’ a big dinner.”
A face appears mid sentence.. A huge smile of white teeth and blond dreadlocked hair brings Jimmy J. to the foreground. An unusual appearance for a brilliant hacker, obviously engrossed in his work. A South African accent is spilling from a white, freckled, mischievous face.
From the big easy chair by the fire, an arm reaches back towards Franco and beckons for the newspapers. Into the hand they are delivered and two hands open them to display.. “Metro 1 Petroleum hit by hackers”.. No information released yet as to the total losses”...etc...etc.
Other paper... “ Metro Stocks plummet on news of major losses”...etc.
The chair turns to reveal John Howard. Kind of rough and likable... 40's.. More charm than looks.. Strong eyes that have seen both pain and glory.
Easy smirk of a smile... “Hi.........OK , we’ve pulled off some good ones, but they’ll be looking hard now.. We’re getting into the bigger players and they’re not going to be happy about it.”
The bathroom door opens and a good looking, dark haired, morena girl appears.. No make up... wet hair being combed.. Sloppy khaki clothes just hinting of the figure inside.. “ What’s this we’re talking about?”.. and ...“Hi Frankie,” (as he is lighting up).. “if your going to smoke that
damn cigar.. Please go outside and talk with the other monkeys.”
This is Silvia.. Smart, to the point.. Naturally attractive.
“ I was saying Sil, it’s hard ball now. It‘s one thing to play Robin Hood with some small companies.. when we lightened the pockets of that creeps re-election fund.. That was small stuff. Nobody’s going to find an extra $600,000.00 deposited into some Nigerian Public Hospitals account.. Or when we helped out a person with a problem, the worse case scenario was extra taxes for them.. But this!.. It’s time to lay low for awhile”
To Jimmy J.. “ Jimmy are all our contingency plans in order”
“You bet.. Tree weeks ago.. Every tings good”.. Not looking up from his computer monitor.
Franco re-enters from the door.. Cigar blazing.
Sil: “Please, please Frankie.......”
Franco: “We have friends coming!”
Jimmy switches the outside cameras to stalking , dark figures in the trees!
“Ya Boss” “too sure bout this.”
John. “Let’s go!”
Much motion... a small door in the wooden floor is opened ... four bodies scramble quietly down the opening.. The last is John who put’s a small Persian rug over the floor and as he closes the door... automatic weapon fire releases, turning the cabin walls to a Swiss cheese of light beams.. Breaking everything in the cabin.. Floor to ceiling. Last, a rocket is fired in and the cabin implodes upon itself. A burning heap of nothing. We never really see more than a blur of the black figures outside, but they are many.... dozens maybe.
A quick shot of four figures silently crawling through a dark earthy tunnel
Sil whispers: “ You can put out that cigar anytime now Franco.”
[Cross fade to down town exterior New York.]
Sil and John walking the sidewalk, dressed clean and casual in New York style... and after a bit of silence...
Sil: “ I’ve been thinking about things .. We started this for a bit of fun and sure, because there’s a lot of crap going on......... But did we
really make a difference? I like being back, I miss this city, I miss my clothes..(laughing)... I miss the food!.. Was all our work helping?... So we managed to move some money around ... won’t it just end up in the same pockets eventually.. And that last time was rough for me... I know you like the excitement John... that’s fine, but I was scared... really scared. That doesn’t happen to you?.. I’m looking for some peace for once...it’s time for me.” “This is starting to feel crazy... you know? Crazy.”
John: “ You mean you don’t miss the old I.R.A. fights?... The pickets .. The police.. The demonstrations?... I remember when you lived for that.
Sil: “That was then.. This is now. If I wanted that, I’d still be back in Ireland with Franco... or finding some other battle to fight.” I thought we could make a difference then... but now I’m just not so sure.”
Stopping the conversation as they reach the doorway of their destination and enter...
In the small pub we find Franco and Jimmy... “ Close!.... Shit!”.... laughing... “Real close.”
“I tol you idgits” spouts Jimmy pointing to the entry... We see John and Sil at the door acknowledging their presence..
Four at the table and a bit of Hello’s.
Franco. “ Long time John... Hey Silvia, how’s the world?.”
John. “ It’s been out of the news for 9 weeks now, but I’m still not
comfortable. I want to believe they think they killed us in that fire, but hell, I don’t know”.. “ We can’t be certain of that.”
Sil. “ I still feel we should back off awhile.. Let the cinders settle.”
Underneath there is a bit of a fire between these two.. But it has turned to sarcasm. Franco and Sil had their fling a few years back and it ended long before John entered the picture. In fact it was Sil who introduced Franco to John when they had decided to play a few games with what they considered to be an unfair world.
Knowing they needed someone with a passion for danger, financial and investigative skills... Franco was their man, cigars or not.
“ So you two are asking me to go back to ripping off some Wall Street beginner.. Like get a real job or something?” “And maybe Jimmy here can make some more flight simulators... or Race car games?”
Jimmy, shaking his head: “ Mo money in porno sites this days.”
“Look!” chimes in Sil.. “ I want the break Frankie.”
Franco: “ Yea.. And a little house in the country.. A couple of kids?.. I’ve heard this one Silvia.”
Sil: “That’s old news... I just want a break.”
John: “ We’re taking this break guys... we’ve all got a little money.. We’re starting to get tense and that makes things dangerous.” “ We need to find the center again... the reason.. Sil’s got a point... Are we making a difference?.. Or are we just making noise and headlines.. For God’s sake.. The last thing we need are headlines.”
Jimmy: “ But you the one who say we do make the difference. Small moves.. Big results.. Remember tis?.. We help Hospitals, we help children.. Old people wid no money.. Help stop bad politicals... for sure!”
John: “ Your right ..... But these people are bigger than I ever thought possible. Damn man, what private company in the world could find us down there and send a small army to kill us?
“This wasn’t a Country or a State even ... just a corporation.”
Franco: “So we see each other for Christmas and exchange fruitcake and sweaters and all?”
Sil: “Don’t be an asshole Frankie.” “Just a break... for now...OK?”
Franco: “ yes dear... whatever....”
John: “ Ok then...settled.” A hand is offered for a group shake. Slowly all follow in agreement... last is Sil. Fade out.
[1 YEAR LATER]
Christmas in New York.... Lights and snow falling... a knocking hand on an apartment door.. Up scale.. Middle class building.
From inside John and Sil exchange a glance and Sil heads for the door.
As the door opens to no one.. Jimmy’s freckle face, deadlocked, mischievous smile bends into the opening... he is holding out a fruitcake and exclaims “ Merry Chrismas”.. I bring da cake” .. Laughing, smiling... “ I also bring me friend” as he reaches back and pulls forth Crystal. A spitting image of Jimmy.. She has the same freckled face, toothy smile and dreadlocked hair but is the younger, smaller, feminine American version. Their hair and skin look like brother and sister. Clothing style is similar... as one would imagine.. A bit hippy... jeans... t-shirts... but she is definitely the feminine version.
Under the coats and scarves of winter, Jimmys sweat-shirt carries the logo “SONY GAMES” and is a full length man’s style, while Crystal is wearing a crop top sweater with a flying, white dove woven into the front. His Jeans are high waist... hers are low.
“Pleased to meet you... Merry Christmas”... almost shy right now.
Sil: “ John?.. Jimmy and his...”friend”.. Are here.” (Quizzically and knowingly) .. “Well Merry Christmas to you both.. Come in.. Come in.. What a nice surprise...Jimmy (hug) how are you?”...etc....
Sil yelling: “ John”...”they brought cake!”
John: “Well that does make a difference.. I guess you really are welcome.” Walking into the room.. “Good to see you Jimmy ...
Everything good?” Motioning towards Crystal.. “For sure, Tis really good Boss!”.. Giant smile.. Wide eyed. John nods: “ Tis good den Jimmy.”
Arm around Jimmy.... John and he move toward the living room.. Girls follow laughing.
[ cut to dinner and cake.... sometime later]
John: “ Good meal, good cake... old and new friends.. and great coffee.” motioning to all involved in this casual toast.
Jimmy: “ Cheers...John, Sil... I bring you one tother gift... tis Crismas.. Well.. I bring one mystery for sure...” “ I meet Crystal while I work at de Science Institute up there in Boston . She is working in Media technology...... historical archiving for.. politicals and stuff..and me... what else ..[ pointing at sweat-shirt logo]... programmin’ da games.” (Laughing and making shooting gun gestures). “ Maybe it’s better Crystal explain now... OK baby?”
Nodding and changing her soft, shy demeanor to one of more seriousness... Crystal produces a DVD disc.
“ Can we use your player, it will help me explain.”
While they move and sit in the TV room she continues .. “ I don’t really know what I‘ve found here, but I know it’s interesting .. And I think it might be something important. Jimmy said maybe you could help... I hope so because I can’t get it out of my mind.”
The first images appear to be a random assortment of black and white TV news clippings from various eras. Moving rather quickly... they cut between speeches from John Kennedy to Pope Paul to Nixon to Margaret Thacher to Kruschev to Martin Luther King to Eisenhower to the Kings, Queens and Presidents of various Countries... some of the newer ones in color. Also included is the assassination footage of both Kennedy Brothers and Martin Luther King as well as various religious leaders and high ranking Generals of war... etc.
( Obviously, this area needs absolute documentation and the correct historical running order of events)
John... unimpressed: “ Well, it looks like you have been doing your job Crystal... but I don’t see.... What am I looking for?”
She pulls out a second DVD and says ..”Let’s try this one”
On this one are categories. The first is Presidents in succession of term.
Slowing down the DVD she says..”see this guy here in the back”... “ He is not connected with any political parties that I can find and no one knows his name... yet, he appears in the background of...” (as she is switching the scenes forward and freezing them).. “Every piece of footage on every president..” “look.. He’s older here.. And much younger back here... but it’s the same guy.”... “ He’s even in the crowd at the Kennedy assassination”.. Look.. “ Here he is in Los Angeles the night Bobby was killed.” “ I thought about a news service guy maybe... but this face just doesn’t come up anywhere except these events.”
“Now.. Here’s where it gets pretty interesting... That’s America right.. Well look at Europe. It’s the same. The guy is different, but he’s always there.. In the back.. Look .. Same.. Young here... old here.”
“ If that isn’t weird then check this out. Here is all my footage on the Vatican Pope’s... from 1970 till now. Look.. Another guy... but always there... everywhere... How can this be? When the Pope is in Russia... he’s there too... Spain? He’s right there.... Even Japan!..”
“This is one busy guy because the same guy has been spotted here in India, Tibet and Jerusalem. All involving religious leaders!... and here he is at Martin Luther King’s shooting!”
“Now I don’t have too much here yet, but this is my archive for War leaders, you know General McCarthy.. General Eisenhower ..Colin Powell.. Some big mothers... Same deal... different guy.. But an unknown guy always there watching and sometimes making notes.”
“ The note taking is why I first assumed journalists or reporters, so Jimmy and I ran a search on all the big newspapers, magazines and news services ...None of these faces line up with anyone from there.”
“In fact, only a hand full have even been in business for this long and they have never employed a journalist qualified for such major events from the time he was in his 20's until his 70's... Fucking Hell?” ...oh..”sorry”.
John dumbfounded: “ Shit.” Sil: “Double Shit.”
“Jimmy has an Idea.” Crystal motioning towards him.
Jimmy: “ I want ta know if tis is goin’ on any place else. Like maybe medicine, or communications...”
Sil: “or entertainment or corporations...”
Jimmy: “ For sure... I think maybe I can design da program .. Like to remove the main subject from the footage and then scan the background for a face match”... “ the hard part is only adjustment for age changes... but this is where me games come in.. We can do tis now.. For sure.”
Sil: “ What can all this mean... could be deep.. Really deep John.” With worry and resignation to the path ahead.
John: “ We can’t rely on just one archive.. We need all we can get.. We need Franco and”..Sil: “Great!... hello cigars again.” “ No, your right. He digs in like a ground hog till he gets it... however scummy and rotten it might be... and I have that feeling... we could need him.”
Crystal: “I have the archive job for about four more months.. Anything from there is public information.. No security. We need a list of who to be looking at... Like Dept. of Treasury announcements, heads of corporations, ... I don’t know help me.”
John: “Well ... It is still Christmas. Lets think on it and I’ll find Franco. Meanwhile keep this quiet you two... Sil and I have some talking to do too before ... no if..we head into this thing.
Everyone heads for the door... John: “ Merry Christmas.. Great to meet you crystal.... Jimmy, care now”... Door closes....
John looking at Sil: “Shit.” Sil: “Double shit.”
Cross fade to outside... beautiful Christmas night .. Snowing.. Lights everywhere.. Crystal and Jimmy hugging , laughing and walking in the distance... “Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men”.. Resounding from the music of the night. We spend a bit of time here focusing on the Faces of Christmas.. Laughter.. Shops..toys.. Lights... kids...old people.. And traffic.
Later John and Sil talk on the balcony over the lights. In a tight hug for warmth.. Each looks their own direction over the city below. Their eyes and spirits separate but together. Christmas carols are soft from below.
“Merry Christmas Sil................ Does all this scare you?”
“To tears.. Darling”.......
“ What do you think......... What do you feel?”........
“ I think this could be it... the center... the thing we were missing all along... the reason for all those protests and marches. .. That invisible little something that never felt right.... The one nobody could ever find.”..... “That thing that terrifies me”... “ I’m so afraid this is true John”........ “Me too Sil....Me too.”
The next day finds John catching a cab for Wall Street.... Looking up at the sky scrapers all around... glancing at the rebuilding and vacant lots from 9/11 , into a building and up the elevator to “Commercial Trust Commodities”... in he walks. From an open office door there is Franco... over dressed and way too clean in his black designer suit. Seeing John he smiles and holds up one finger in a just one minute gesture. As john paces the waiting room, he gazes out the large 20 th story window again focusing on the flattened square blocks still being cleared from the horrific attacks on the World Trade buildings.
Ushering out his clients du jour, Franco walks toward John with hand held out in greeting.. “ Isn’t the red tie a bit much Franco?”.. “Well you know the game John... How are you?”... “good..good.”.... “Listen, We need you Frankie”.. “ I thought the games were over”...”I think we’ve got something special but I’m not sure... can we talk?” “ Here is no good John”... motioning to cameras... “Since the attacks, security is ridiculous. I don’t really know why though.. We both know it would be