ALIEN NATION

"MILLENNIUM"

Written by

KENNETH JOHNSON

This Revision 3/21/95 Pink

National Studios * * * * Kenneth Johnson Productions

ACT ONE

DEEP SHADES OF GREEN - OPENING CREDITS

as the curious CAMERA slowly explores primitive greenery: thick STALKS lead to FERN-LIKE LEAVES which fan out, with moisture beaded. It's JUNGLE VEGETATION but many UNFAMILIAR PLANTS suggest that this is no ordinary jungle.

Eerie SOUNDS echo: BIRD-LIKE CALLS, but also a DEEP LOWING of some larger more formidable creature. Then VOICES...

VIVIEN (O.S.)
When will I see my father again?

CALIBAN (O.S.)
Further on. - That way.

VIVIEN (O.S.)
It was so incredible! Being reunited with him - in such an amazing place! - Where's Jennifer?

CALIBAN (O.S.)
Ahead. Like before. Waiting to guide us the final distance.

The thick foliage is pushed apart by VIVIEN FAIRBANKS, an upscale human wearing a TENCTONESE CEREMONIAL GARMENT. Her eyes are bright; she pauses, sweating, but jazzed.

VIVIEN
This is much more difficult than last time.

CALIBAN (A NEWCOMER)
(steps up behind her)
Makes the rewards greater, Vivien.

JASON a human, also in ceremonial garb, takes a quick step up behind them, glancing over his shoulder.

JASON
Ahhk! There! Did you see it, Vivien?! Some kind of spider-thing as big as my fist!

CALIBAN
(patiently)
You must keep your mind focused on the beauty of your goal, Jason. Otherwise there is danger.

JASON
It was huge! - I hate bugs!
(eyes flitting)
...I don't like this place.

CALIBAN
But to reach and appreciate your goal you must traverse difficulties.

VIVIEN
Jason! Look! Look at this!

It's a beautiful TRANSLUCENT PLANT, undulating mysteriously.

JASON
But the insects...

JASON, looking backwards, is startled when he BUMPS into

CALIBAN
(touching his shoulder)
You do want to find the peace and fulfilment you were seeking?

JASON
(swallows; vulnerable)
Of course, Caliban, but...

VIVIEN
C'mon, Jason, I'm a little scared, too, but we can do it.

JASON
(urgent, worried)
But last time things nearly got out of hand and-

CALIBAN
And Jennifer brought you safely through, didn't she?

JASON
Yes, but the asteroid we were on then seemed safer than-

VIVIEN
Oh my God!!

JASON
(heart pounding)
What!? - What is it!?

VIVIEN has stepped through the foliage. She's staggered!

VIVIEN
Look, Jason! Look where we are this time!

EXT. AN ALIEN PLANET DAY - (MATTE 1) - INTERCUT

JASON & VIVIEN peer into a small clearing amid a dense, ALIEN JUNGLE! TWO SUNS and a ODDLY-SHAPED MOON in a DEEP PURPLE SKY. EXTRAORDINARY, EXOTIC, OTHER-WORLDLY VISUAL!

CALIBAN - CLOSE - ON THE JUNGLE PATH

CALIBAN
...Come this way.

JASON & VIVIEN - CLOSER

They move down the pathway. She's enraptured:

VIVIEN
This is the most wonderful yet!

JASON'S heart is racing with anxiety. He glances around...

JASON
But there's something else... Don't you feel it? I heard something!

CALIBAN
There are perils, yes. But keep focused on reaching the summit.

VIVIEN
It's beautiful! I can feel my father here. Look! It's all so-

JASON.
No! - NO! There's something-

His foot has stuck to a SILKEN TENDRIL which extends out from among the foliage. Now another SNAKES OUT! Wraps around his ankle! JASON'S eyes widen in fear:

JASON
Ahhk! Oh my God! Help!

CALIBAN
Jason. Look this way! Jason!

JASON
You look! - LOOK!

A LARGE DARK SHAPE AMID THE FOLIAGE

is the source of the TENDRILS which are entangling JASON!

JASON
Oh my God! Caliban! Vivien, look out! Jennifer!? Where's Jennifer!?

JASON is pulled, terrified! In front of him, amid the foliage, is only glimpsed:

HUGE SCORPION-LIKE MANDIBLES, GLISTENING EYES

in the dense undergrowth! Only half-seen - but gigantic and nightmarish! Drawing JASON inward!

CALIBAN (O.S.)
- JASON!!

ZOOMING IN TO ECU ON JASON

as he SCREAMS - the CAMERA continues right into the darkness of his mouth - and the darkness becomes the STARFIELD of


THE ALIEN NATION SERIES MAIN TITLE

The CAMERA approaches earth, glides down through the stratosphere, and the IMAGES continue as described by:

THE NARRATOR
As we look back from this final week of the Twentieth Century, on the verge of the New Millennium, surely the most amazing experience Humanity shared was our first view of the huge Tenctonese space graft. Making a forced landing in California's Mojave Desert seven years ago, it brought a quarter million beings, bred as slaves to labour in any environment. Stronger than human beings, with keener senses, these alien Newcomers joined our work force - including the L.A. Police Department. Welcomed by many, they have also faced much fear and prejudice from others. With no way to leave earth, the Tenctonese Newcomers have become the latest immigrants to join the population of America.

Various shots: the police partnership of Newcomer GEORGE FRANCISCO and human MATT; The Newcomers among us. The rich tapestry of ALIEN NATION.


EXT. A ZEN-LIKE GARDEN - DAY - CLOSE ON A PILE OF STONES

WATER trickles through them. The CAMERA focuses onto frowning BUCK FRANCISCO, wearing a Tenctonese shirt.

He sits cross-legged in the poor but cared-for little garden, among a SMALL GROUP of mostly Newcomers and a few humans, with their eyes closed, listening to a gentle, graceful...

FEMALE VOICE (ALANA)
...While many misguided people fear we're facing "The End of the World," the New Millennium really offers a rare opportunity: to expand our souls. The next thousand years can bring great promise to all species. But we must train ourselves to be like the water; to flow around obstacles in our lives.

The CAMERA finds ALANA, a Newcomer Elder with the beatific countenance and inspiring presence of a Ghandi.

ALANA
This is the right path which we seek. It will lead to clarity, inner peace, and enlightenment.

Her mild eyes are watching BUCK. Who still frowns. Restless.

EXT. THE GARDEN ENTRANCE - TIME CUT - ALANA'S STUDENTS

exit onto the sidewalk of the run-down NEWCOMER GHETTO, smiling gratefully to her. she touches BUCK'S arm, offers...

ALANA
Sunflower seeds?

BUCK
Oh. Sure. Thanks.

ALANA
Takes them a while to ripen, Buck. To eat them too soon is to invite disappointment.

BUCK
(understands her lesson)
I know. I do want to learn your way, Alana. The right path.

ALANA
Patience is hard to master. But the first step. - You must also try to have patience with our human sisters and brothers. A desire for enlightenment isn't confined to Tenctonese souls.

BUCK
I'll get it. I know I will.

ALANA
Yes. When you control your yearning. You'll be surprised to find yourself at the very centre you're searching for.

She smiles. Touches his arm, then goes back into the garden. BUCK chews his lip, still frustrated. The quintessential, searching youth who wants all the answers. Now.

He leaves but the CAMERA HOLDS on a window. Behind a gauzy curtain, a striking, ETHEREAL NEWCOMER WOMAN in her late thirties has been watching BUCK. There is a commanding presence in her eyes.

A SIDEWALK NEWSSTAND - CLOSE ON NEWSWEEK'S COVER

"2000 A.D. End or Beginning?" Similar covers on other magazines. Some have TENCTONESE WRITING. Restive BUCK passes, the CAMERA follows him along the smoky sidewalk, past Newcomer RAW MEAT STANDS, etc. Heavy Metal Tenctonese MUSIC ECHOES.

As frowning BUCK passes an ALLEY, someone bumps him. He drops a book. Pausing to retrieve it, BUCK sees in the alley a well-dressed, troubled black man (NORTON) leaning on his Lexus, talking confidentially to a Newcomer...CALIBAN:

NORTON
And I tell ya, since she died I've tried it all: Zen, Indian sweat lodges, the Catholic church.

CALIBAN
But you can't find that peace and light you're looking for?

BUCK is struck by the phrase. He strains to hear more.

NORTON
It's like there's this big ...empty...hole...and I feel like, I dunno, time might really be running out and...

CALIBAN
(touches his shoulder)
We've met so many like you.

NORTON
I don't feel like I even belong on this planet sometimes.

BUCK relates; strains harder to hear.

CALIBAN
Perhaps you need to experience a different one.

NORTON
I need something. Friend of mine said Jennifer brought her a "mind-opening, life-changing experience." And right now. Put her onto a higher plane.

CALIBAN
It's amazing, but all true.

NORTON
God, I'd love to believe it.

CALIBAN
514 Spring Street. Tomorrow at three. Come see... and believe.

NORTON looks deeply at CALIBAN, who smiles comfortingly. BUCK has taken it all in. And is very thoughtful.


INT. COP SHOP - DAY - ON A SIGN

"Only 5 Days Left till 2000 A.D.!" The CAMERA finds a WHACKO HUMAN who's is being shepherded through the BUSTLING ROOM by SHIVAN, a saucy, black, female, uniformed cop. Several humans are wearing Tenctonese-inspired clothing. The WHACKO leans toward ZEPEDA, the beautiful Latina detective:

A WHACKO HUMAN
Sure! The End is coming!

SHIVAN
Yeah: The End of my patience.

SHIVAN jerks him (and the CAMERA) past GEORGE, entering. The WHACKO points at GEORGE and ALBERT, the Newcomer janitor.

THE WHACKO HUMAN
Because of your kind! Filthy slags! The End is coming! I've seen the Pillar of Fire!

MATT
I got your Pillar of Fire.

THE WHACKO HUMAN
(pulling toward Matt)
Think about it: Aliens land. Just before the Millennium?! Huh? Huh? Why? - Yeaaaah. - Y'see?

MATT
Got it. Thanks. I better get my burrito before they suck us through a black hole, huh?

THE WHACKO HUMAN
I ain't crazy! First it was bar codes! Then everything turned low-fat! It's them filthy damn slags! They're behind it!

SHIVAN
C'mon, Mitchell. Got a nice rubber room all ready for ya.

SHIVAN drags him off, still blabbering, "Filthy damn slags!"

GEORGE
I don't understand: half the world seems elated about the New Millennium - but lots of others are quitting jobs, leaving family and friends, behaving peculiarly. The suicide rate is up - and the Millennium doesn't even get here until 2001! They're all getting hysterical a year early!

MATT
It's a human thing, George.

He heads for coffee, revealing GRAZER who pulls CAMERA.

GRAZER
Zepeda! - We've got three more missing persons. And they're not throwaways either.

He reaches a bulletin board with numerous PHOTOS of decent-looking, mostly human adults. Adds the new three.

ZEPEDA
Like the others.

GRAZER
Yes. People of consequence. Status. That's why The Times is all over Chief Amburgy who's all over me. I need leads!

ZEPEDA
Working on it, Captain.

GRAZER
Use Sikes and Francisco, too.

GEORGE
Uh, captain, we're in the middle of a major drug investigation. This new narcotic, Supernova, is -

GRAZER
Do double duty. I want results now! Not in the next century.

ALBERT
That's only next week, sir.

GRAZER
Albert, you just get your own crap together, okay?
(to the others )
Now, you understand, or -

KA-BOOM! MATT yells! Everyone ducks! The CAMERA spins to the coffee room, SMOKING! MATT stumbles out, dazed, bloody!

GEORGE
Matthew!

ALBERT
Detective Sikes!

They all rush to him. ZEPEDA does a take re the "blood":

ZEPEDA
...Salsa?

MATT
Damn microwave exploded my burrito!

GEORGE
Didn't you read the memo?

GRAZER
He can read?

GEORGE
(proudly)
We got a new macro-wave. A lot stronger and faster. Boils Coffee in ten seconds.

ZEPEDA
And explodes burritos in fifteen. Thanks for beta-testing it, Sikes.

MATT
Man, what ever happened to toaster ovens?

He cleans up, sits. There's a PHOTO OF CATHY on his desk. GEORGE touches a WAND to his computer screen, activating it.

GEORGE
Oh Matthew, you're always so impatient with new technology.

MATT
I like pencils, George.

ALBERT
(dabs salsa off Matt)
Mmmm-me, too, Detective Sikes.

GEORGE
Just takes acclimation.
(with delight)
Look how fast my new Mouse Tail is... A thousand megahertz! It almost responds before you ask it! Couple of touches on the screen and viola!

MATT
"...Vi-o-la?"

GEORGE
(frowns, taps keys)
Oh. - Wait a minute.

MATT
Yeah, see? El crash-o.

ALBERT
Everybody is in such a hurry. Things should take their own good time .
(smiles to Matt)
Give me your shirt and I'll clean the salsa out.

MATT
I'm wearing it, Albert.

ALBERT
Ah.

GEORGE
There. I'm back on line. I'm telling you, even Albert can-

MATT
Okay, okay! I'm sorry I'm not a space cadet! But not all of us just blew in from Androgena.

GEORGE
Andromeda.

MATT
Most of us were raised here.

GEORGE
(smug aside)
Hasn't helped you pass the Detective Class 2 test.

MATT
Hey, lemme tell you: that stupid test was written by an Asian, a Hispanic, a Black, and two were women! A white male like me's got at stacked against him.

GEORGE
I didn't have any trouble passing, and no Tenctonese-Americans helped write it.

MATT
"...Tenctonese-Americans??"
(closes his eyes)
...I can't stand it. Man, I was pounding these streets while you were still slavin' around Uranus.

GEORGE
What about your Case Research Project, have you-

MATT
I'm working on it. - Sir.

ZEPEDA
(approaching)
Can y'work on a jumper with a hostage?

MATT
Anything to get outta here.

He grabs her Post-It and heads out. GEORGE stands to follow.

GEORGE
...Bit testy, perhaps?

ZEPEDA
Hey. It's The End of The World.


EXT. UPPER CLASS NEIGHBOURHOOD - DAY - EMILY & JILL

are walking with school backpacks, looking off. EMILY blushes:

EMILY
Ohmigod! There's Randy!

THEIR POV - ACROSS THE STREET - A HUMAN TEEN-AGER (RANDY)

is walking with some other kids. He's dressed in Tenctonese-style, colourful clothes. (INTERCUT with EMILY & JILL).

JILL
He's gone totally Tencto! - And he was asking me about you.

EMILY
Im-poss!

JILL
Poss!

EMILY
Ohmigod! He's looking at us!

JILL
He's looking at you, Emily. - And listen, he needs a synth player for his New Millennium's Eve party.

EMILY & JILL share a sharp, conspiratorial glance.


INT. SUSAN'S ADVERTISING OFFICE DAY - A PHOTO OF GEORGE

sits on her desk. It is suddenly eclipsed by an advertisement layout showing an attractive Newcomer and a human admiring a racy new car, the "ALPHA 2000." The ad copy trumpets "FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM! - DON'T WAIT! - GET YOURS NOW!"

SUSAN (O.S.)
It's looking better.

The CAMERA widens to show her design table, ad mock-ups, etc. keen-eyed SUSAN FRANCISCO speaks to a pair of assistants.

SUSAN
Enhance it here and here... I want that car to glow. We've got a big spending boom going with the New Millennium, and I want it so they can't wait to buy this car! - And we've got a deadline!

INTERCOM VOICE Susan, your daughter's on two.

SUSAN
(punches phone; to others)
And bring it back quickly. Em?

Teen-age EMILY FRANCISCO'S face appears on the vid-phone.

EMILY
Mum, Kurtz's is having an End-of-the-Millennium sale! The new Yamaha Synth's half-price!

SUSAN
We have a piano, Em.

INTERCOM VOICE
Susan, your Nu-Calm spot is airing tonight in that new retro show "My Brother the Alien."

SUSAN
(touches intercom)
Nuts. Wish we'd gotten the Burt and Loni sitcom.

EMILY
The synth is so cooooool, mum! Makes you sound professional in no time!

EMILY
And I can pay for it myself! With my Christmas gift money!
(off Susan's pause)
With just another fifty-two dollars from you. I could pay you back!

SUSAN
...Emily, you're still paying me back for-

INTERCOM VOICE
The Japanese gang's here.

SUSAN
We'll talk about it tonight, Em.

EMILY
They only have one left! I've gotta get it now! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease!

INTERCOM VOICE
They're really anxious, Sus.

SUSAN
(touches intercom)
Coming! - Alright, Emily. But this is the last loan. - Bye.


INT. FRANCISCO HOME- DAY - BUCK

wearing his typical, ethnic Tenctonese clothes, watches his sister EMILY and her friend JILL with annoyance as she hangs up. Does a high-five finger dance with JILL.

EMILY
Yesyesyesyesyesyes!

JILL
Way t'go! And you'll have a couple days to get the hang of it before Randy's party.

EMILY
(nervous, starry-eyed)
You'll let him know I'm getting it?

JILL
Yeah. He'll be here in a flash.

BUCK is in the B.G., undecorating Christmas tree which he looks at with extreme disdain.

BUCK
Except you shouldn't have "Christmas money." We shouldn't be celebrating earth holidays.

EMILY
Oh grow a brain cell. You didn't give your money back.

BUCK
I'm saving it for a good Tenctonese use.

EMILY
{Bravo.} - C'mon, Jilly.

JILL
(quietly to Emily)
Why's he so dark and moody?

EMILY
...Alien without a cause.

BUCK watches them leave. Then glares at the Christmas tree. Troubled. Restless.


EXT. DOWNTOWN L.A. - DAY - A CONCERNED NEWCOMER (MARINA)

presses close among the ONLOOKERS and PRESS being held back by a police line. MATT & GEORGE emerge from their car amid cops.

GEORGE
Where's the jumper?

A COP points, MATT & GEORGE look up to see:

A FIRE ESCAPE FIVE STORIES UP - A HUMAN MALE - INTERCUT

hanging precariously off the outside, clutching a HOSTAGE.

MATT
Swell.

MARINA watches them head into the front door of "L.A. EXTERMINATORS." A SIGN shows DEAD BUGS lying on their backs with the message: "Don't let 'em bug you in 2000!"

EXT. WINDOW TO THE FIRE ESCAPE - TWO UNIFORM COPS

are just inside as MATT & GEORGE come up to them. The COP reacts with distaste at seeing a Newcomer detective.

GEORGE
What have we got?

COP
(talks to Matt)
Loony. Sounds like he's on Supernova. Keeps babblin' about a big insect gettin' him in some kinda Alien Jungle... (re George) Probably talkin' about L.A.

MATT chuckles, GEORGE shoots him a frown.

MATT
He's just kidding, jeeze.

GEORGE
Who's the hostage?

COP
Office worker.

GEORGE
(snaps at Matt)
Co-ordinate with the SWAT team. I want them there and there.

COP
(mutters to Matt)
How come he's giving you orders?

GEORGE
Because I am the senior officer.

A KTTV PRESS CAMERAMAN and REPORTER rush into the room.

COP
Whoa, whoa, get the hell outta-

MATT
Perfect. Gimme that.
(grabbing the camera)

GEORGE
Matt, what're you-

MATT
(climbing out window)
I never got my burrito. Let's get this over with, so I can get lunch.
(to the jumper)
Hey! KTTV! Tell me what's up!

The JUMPER is outside the guard rail, holding the terrified HOSTAGE (a slight woman). Hearing MATT he turns very stiffly, rotating his head and shoulders together: He's JASON. Wide-eyed. Terrified. GEORGE is worried, too. - MATT waves his camera.

MATT
C'mon, c'mon, this is your chance to tell everybody.

JASON
Gotta kill the scorpion! Need her to exterminate it! It's huge! Seven feet! It's after me! Jennifer!?

MATT
A seven foot scorpion, huh? Tell me about it. C'mon.

JASON
We were in the jungle! Vivien and me!

MATT
In the jungle with Vivien who?

JASON
Fairbanks. Vivien Fairbanks.

MATT is inching around. GEORGE sees he's drawing JASON'S attention away from the window. MATT speaks to the hostage.

MATT
Are YOU Vivien?

THE TERRIFIED HOSTAGE
No. No. Please make him...

JASON
(grasping the hostage)
I need her to kill the scorpion! Exterminate it! - Jennifer won't come save me! - Stay back!

MATT
(easing over the rail)
Just getting a better shot. Who's Jennifer?

JASON
I've gotta get away! Vivien! Look out! Gotta get out of this jungle! Off this alien planet! Jennifer!

GEORGE sees his moment. Lunges out and grabs the HOSTAGE!

JASON
No!

MATT tosses the camera, swings outside JASON, arms around him, grabbing the guard rail on either side! But JASON struggles like one possessed! MATT shouts:

MATT
Hey guys, how 'bout a little-

JASON suddenly pushes MATT off into space!

MATT
- HELLLLLP!!

MATT grabs the fire escape platform. Dangles dangerously! The COP collars JASON as GEORGE dives to grasp MATT'S slipping hand! GEORGE uses his formidable Newcomer strength to pull MATT up.

THE KTTV VIDEO CAMERA - SLOW MOTION

Hits the ground hard! SHATTERS!

AMONG THE CROWD - MARINA - CLOSE - INTERCUT

Gasps! - Frightened!

THE PLATFORM - GEORGE & MATT

help the COP subdue the frantic JASON.

MATT
Take it easy, pal. You're okay.

JASON
(grabs Matt's shoulders)
The alien scorpion! It's coming back! It'll get you, too!

JASON clutches MATT'S shoulders in a death-grip, so intense that his fear begins to work on MATT.

JASON
The scorpion! Coming for YOU!

From below, MARINA, very worried, disappears into the crowd.

The COP wrests JASON from MATT, but MATT can't pull his eyes away from JASON'S face - frozen in wide-eyed HORROR!

JASON
- For YOU...!

MATT - CLOSE

fights it, but frowns. Somehow unsettled by JASON'S terror.


INT. CALIBAN'S SEEDY FLAT - NIGHT

Out of place in the cheesy room with peeling wallpaper, is some very expensive stereo equipment, the FM radio on.

ANNOUNCER
...But in addition to celebration, unrest also grows around the world concerning the End of the Millennium. Word comes from India that another entire village in Rajasthan has committed mass suicide by immolation.

CALIBAN flips on some NEW AGE MUSIC, smiles at its relaxing feel. He tosses down a shot of sour milk. Turns toward MARINA who is pacing, distressed. CALIBAN is cooler, calculated.

CALIBAN
You shouldn't've let Jason out of your sight t'begin with.

MARINA
You saw how crazy he was! Running through traffic and-

CALIBAN
Alright. So where is he now?

MARINA
At County S.C. - They've got a suicide watch on him. I couldn't get anywhere near.

CALIBAN
They'll just think he's nuts.

MARINA
But what if they do learn something? - Vincent is already dead, Caliban! - And you see how dangerous the Portal is! We should stop now. Not get in any deeper!

CALIBAN
Marina, get a grip. Jason was just a loose socket. We've been able to walk the line with everybody else. Haven't we? Huh? We're this close to Cashing in big! Gotta whole buncha new E-mails today. People want what we've got. And this operation is only the beginning!
(takes her shoulders)
It'll be okay, Marina. Nothin' else bad is gonna happen.

She'd like to believe him. But she's unconvinced.


END OF ACT ONE
ACT TWO

EXT. FRANCISCO HOME - NIGHT - STOCK

Impressive ROCK MUSIC PLAYS.

INT. FRANCISCO FAMILY ROOM - A SYNTH KEYBOARD

is being played by grinning EMILY. BUCK passes sourly.

EMILY
See, dad? Sounds like a whole group!

GEORGE
Far cool.

SUSAN
(passing, tight)
Maybe we should sell the piano to pay for it - George, I want to talk to you.

GEORGE
Alright, neemu. Have you seen this synth? It's very-

SUSAN
Have you seen this?

GEORGE
(a bit sheepish)
...The Visa bill?

SUSAN
More like The National Debt.

GEORGE
Susan, I work very hard and I don't think it's inappropriate for me to have a few minor-

SUSAN
This isn't minor, George. You see something you want, you buy. And half the time- I mean how often have you used the trampoline?

GEORGE
I was going to tonight.

SUSAN
Spare me. - You know what it is, George? You've got P.S.M.

GEORGE
You mean P.M.S.? - Males don't-

SUSAN
P.S.M., "Post-Slave Mentality." You're constantly trying to make up for all those years we had nothing. Rikki Lake just did a whole week of shows on it.

GEORGE
You just think I shouldn't have as much right to buy things because you make more money.

SUSAN
I accept my financial responsibility as head of the household. I'm just concerned about how your behaviour is affecting Buck and Emily. - She "had" to have that synth. I don't want her starting the new Millennium with the attitude that-

GEORGE
I didn't buy it for her.

SUSAN
No, she used her own money. Mostly. - Okay, I folded. And I shouldn't have. But I told her it was the absolute 1ast time.

GEORGE
I thought the iguana was?

SUSAN
This is the last time, George.

GEORGE
And Buck isn't like that. He's-

SUSAN
Over-reacting the other way: he's so turned off by our materialism that he's headed for the priesthood!

GEORGE
He's just studying at the shrine. It's good for him.

SUSAN
Or is it just the latest in his string of confused, anti-social behaviours? First that street gang, then not fitting in at school. - He's so brooding and silent and troubled, George. And a lot of it is a reaction to us. We've got to set a better example.

She taps the bill, exits. BUCK approaches holding a necktie.

GEORGE
Hey, Buck-o!

BUCK
(hands the tie)
I think you dropped this.

GEORGE
Oh, thanks. Wouldn't want to lose it.

BUCK
(dry)
No. ...I'm sure you wouldn't.

GEORGE feels the barb as BUCK passes. Tries to lighten him:

GEORGE
Hey - how 'bout a little bounce on the Old trampoline?

BUCK
No thanks. ...Dadd-o.

BUCK exits, disdainfully. GEORGE watches him. Worried.


INT. CATHY'S FLAT - NIGHT - CATHY AT HER DESK

Reading a book and tapping at her computer. MATT enters.

MATT
Hey, switch on the tube.

CATHY
And good evening to you.

MATT
Sorry. Hi, sweetie.

He presses his temple against hers. They have a quick kiss.

CATHY
Lemme save this.
(taps a key)

MATT
That new show just started: "My Brother, The Alien."

CATHY
I dunno. Sounds like they're just promoting racial stereotypes again.

MATT
No no, that guy Felix Navidad is funny. 'Member? We saw him on Letterman? Serious retro.

THE COMPUTER SCREEN - INTERCUT

changes to show a sit-com set: A BUSINESS OFFICE. Canned LAUGHTER. A Newcomer handyman (FELIX) is fixing a lamp and talks fast to a crusty, short-tempered black SUPERVISOR.

FELIX
Of course the name "Ruby Begonia" means something to me - she's my mother!
(laughter)
I just flew back from visiting her on Tencton! - And boy...
(audience joins in:)
...Are my arms tired!

LAUGHTER. Then A FOX LOGO suddenly fills the screen.

ANNOUNCER
The remainder of "My Brother, The Alien," will not be seen because our instant National Neilson Ratings indicate low viewer interest. - Stay tuned instead for a special rerun of The X-Files Pilot - Then - Join the Fox Network News Team for a special look back at the incredible events of the Twentieth Century and the last Thousand Years - with Fox senior news anchors George Stephanopolis and Tori Spelling.

CATHY clicks back to computer mode.

CATHY
Just what I was waiting for.

MATT
Aww, I thought the Navidad show looked kinda funny. They shoulda given it a chance: at least till the first commercial.

CATHY
I don't really have time anyway. Gotta finish entering the data for this

MATT
Y'know, y'oughta give yourself a break once in a while.
(nuzzling)

CATHY
(smiling)
Yeaaaah, I know what kind of a "break" you're talking about.

MATT
Naw, I mean- I thought you wanted t'slow down a little. Work in that garden Albert started for you.

CATHY
I did, but who's got time? Actually this new program is saving time. - Called TermWriter. Made to help with term papers. But I've been using it for my clinical research. You just punch in key questions, give a small sample of your personal writing style and it finds the resources, Organises, even writes a "suggested draft."

MATT
Get outta here! Writes it for you?

His wheels are turning re his Detective 2 Case Research Project. - CATHY stands, stretches her arms up.

CATHY
Mmmm. ...Hey. Did you really fall off a building today?

MATT
Anxious to get home to you. And away from "Mr. Detective 2."

CATHY
Well, why don't you just finish your Case Project and then you'll be a Detective 2, too.

MATT
...Tutu?

CATHY
Mmm. You'd look cute in a tutu.
(kissing him)
What was it anyway? End-of-the-worlder? Druggie? Supernova?

MATT
(frowning, remembering)
No. This guy seemed different. The cop shrink said he'd never seen anything like it. - Think you might have time to take a look at him?

CATHY
...Always happy to help.

She submerges him in a deep kiss. MATT mutters...

MATT
I'll take all the help I can get.

In mid-kiss, he glances down at the TERMWRITER BOX.


EXT. HILL STREET - DAY - MATT & GEORGE'S CAR

GEORGE (V.O.)
Only one Vivien Fairbanks in the book. She wasn't home, so I thought we'd try her office.

INT. THE CAR - MATT & GEORGE

MATT
Natch. See what she can tell us about jumper Jason. Sure sounded like he was juiced on Supernova.

GEORGE
(preoccupied; frowning)
Mmm. But he tested clean so far.

MATT
I'm telling ya, George, the guy'd been doin' something. And Supernova's spreading faster'n crack did back in the early nineties. - Hey, whadaya think about me using Supernova for my Case Paper?

GEORGE
Sure. Whatever.

MATT
...Somethin' bothering you?

GEORGE
No. ...You don't think Buck is troubled. Do you.

MATT
Oh yeah! He's always hostile and rude and sorta off-centre or-

GEORGE
(annoyed)
Oh, why do I ask you these questions?

MATT reacts with surprise, is about to respond, when:

RADIO VOICE
One Adam 42, possible 459 at The Shrine of Tencton, 54 East Central.

GEORGE
What?! A theft at the Shrine?
(George turns the car)

MATT
Hey. - What're you doing?!

GEORGE
The Shrine is very important to my people, Matt. It's not far out of our way. - Good humour me, alright?
(into radio)
This is one fifty two. We'll check that Shrine call. Any information on what was stolen?

RADIO VOICE
Roger, fifty-two. Something called a Portal?

MATT
Somebody stole a door? What's the big-

GEORGE
Not a door. A Portal. Remember that strange case we had three years ago...

FLASH BACK FROM THE "GENERATION" EPISODE - INTERCUT

As MATT & GEORGE enter an OFFICE, the CAMERA starts behind a MAN sitting at a desk and slowly circles to reveal...

GEORGE (V.O.)
That body we found charred - but only on one side.

MATT
Oh yeah, Charcoal Charlie. 'Cause o'that Tenctonese Box thingie. If you opened it wrong y'got majorly fried.

GEORGE
That ancient relic is called a portal remember when the Elder opened it properly?

MATT
...I'll never forget...

FLASHBACK FROM GENERATION - THE ELDER

Touches the JEWELS on the Portal in a particular order:

THE ELDER
{There is only one way, between the clear eye and the pure heart...}

A GLOW emanates from the Portal, slowly fills the screen and then DISSOLVES to GEORGE, awed, astonished, deeply moved!

GEORGE (IN FLASH BACK)
...Tencton!...

A WIDER ANGLE reveals a SPECTACULAR ALIEN LANDSCAPE: a night view, with THREE STRANGE MOONS in the starry sky. Bizarre foliage, and an unusual village seen dimly in the distance.

MATT (V.O.)
It was like we were standing right on that... alien... planet.

RESUME THE CAR - GEORGE

glances at MATT who is suddenly thoughtful.

GEORGE
...What?

MATT
Something that Jason guy said. About an alien planet...


EXT. THE GARDEN OF THE NEWCOMER SHRINE - ALANA

today wears ceremonial Tenctonese robes as she walks with MATT & GEORGE, who is extremely respectful.

ALANA
Detective Francisco? Buck's father?
(re George's appearance)
...Of course.

MATT suppresses a smile, glances off, catches a glimpse of the ETHEREAL NEWCOMER WOMAN watching from behind a gauzy curtain. Her striking face, with high cheekbones, and her commanding presence - make her highly intriguing.

GEORGE
(in Tenctonese)
{I hope Buck's a worthy student.}

ALANA
{I'm used to impatient novices.}

MATT
English, guys. you reported a theft?

ALANA
You recall we had a fire two months ago?

GEORGE
Arson. Half the Shrine burned. Purists were suspected, but-

MATT
So far no leads. I remember. Didn't somebody die?

ALANA
Vincent Van Gogh. An Elder.

MATT
Right. So it's a murder charge.

ALANA
Yes. And now there are rumours that our Portal, which we believed lost in the fire, was actually stolen. The fire may have been started for that purpose.

MATT
Who had access to the Portal?

ALANA
Only our most advanced students could partake of the Portal - under careful supervision - as an aid toward enlightenment. But anyone could've stolen it.

GEORGE
I know Buck was anxious to reach that advanced level and gain access to the Portal. Is that what you meant about his impatience?

ALANA
Buck is still quite uncertain of his place in this world. He's struggling to find his centre.
(Matt smiles)
The young so often rail against the slow, arduous journey to enlightenment. My own daughter numbers among those like Buck who were overly eager to experience the Portal. Buck was greatly disappointed that it was supposedly lost in the fire before he could graduate to it. - But now we have heard it's being used by an underground cult.

GEORGE
A sacrilege!

ALANA
Worse: Anyone misusing a Portal, - seeking a quick path to enlightenment without adequate preparation - can be in grave danger. You've seen how the Portal creates an intense energy field. Properly used it's a glorious, mind-expanding experience. But there's also a powerful dark side. Seekers must be schooled properly before daring to use it.

MATT
Sounds like a hallucinogen.

ALANA
There are similarities, yes. It generates an electrical field extending about fifty meters that affects the brain's neuro- transmitters. It creates a virtual world around the group of users. But the subconscious of each person makes it slightly different for each of them.

GEORGE
So you bring your own angels or demons?

ALANA
Yes. That's why proper guidance is essential. The mental stability of each user is critical.

MATT
Like L.S.D. The baggage y'bring affects your trip. Good vibes equals good trip. Bad equals bad?

ALANA
Potentially very bad.


EXT. SPRING STREET WAREHOUSE DISTRICT - DAY - BUCK

moves along a weathered fence. Peers through a hole into

A SEEDY PARKING LOT - A NUMBER OF UPSCALE PEOPLE

mostly human, are getting out of their expensive, late-model cars, moving into an old warehouse. VIVIEN FAIRBANKS is among them. Many have dark eyes, as though they've carried great personal burdens recently. There's a vulnerability.

BUCK hears snippets of dialogue: "Isn't it amazing? - I can't believe how she's opened up my mind. - Jennifer does do that, doesn't she? - Just when I needed it the most. - I saw my son! - I talked to my mother! - And the way she uses the Portal, my God it's brilliant! "

BUCK reacts strongly to hearing that reference. He moves toward a gate where MARINA is carefully checking a list while NORTON waits anxiously in his Lexus.

MARINA
Mr. Norton. Yes. Please enter.

CALIBAN has noticed BUCK getting nearer. He nods for MARINA to intercept BUCK.

MARINA
I'm afraid this is a private gathering.

BUCK
Uh, yeah. I heard something about what you do. I really need to-

MARINA
I'm sorry, I'll have to ask-

BUCK
Please. I've been studying at The Shrine, but-

A WOMAN'S VOICE
But you haven't found what you were seeking.

BUCK turns to see the striking ETHEREAL NEWCOMER WOMAN smiling at him. BUCK feels an immediate chemistry, heightened by the fact that she is older and carries a powerful spiritual weight.

THE NEWCOMER (JENNIFER)
It's alright, Marina. - Buck, isn't it?

BUCK
(intrigued)
...Yes ...Are you Jennifer?

JENNIFER
I am. ...Are you a true Seeker?
(off his nod)
Then please...

She indicates for him to move toward the warehouse.

INT. THE WAREHOUSE - DAY - THE OTHER SEEKERS

grow hushed as JENNIFER moves among them, Christlike. BRIGHT BEAMS OF SUNLIGHT streak in through the large shadowy room, and JENNIFER catches every one of them as she walks. She is friendly, smiling, greeting many with a light touch of her graceful hand. The look at her with loving, needy eyes, particularly a lean, balding man (BIGELOW.)

JENNIFER
...Nancy...Rebecca, is your arm better? Good. - John ...Deanna. ...Marvin Bigelow, correct?

BIGELOW
Yes, yes. And here, I have no cash, but I brought the pink slip for

JENNIFER
(waves it away)
Unnecessary. And Frank Norton?

NORTON
Yes maam.

JENNIFER
Welcome, Frank. ...Welcome all.

She steps up onto a platform that puts her just above them, and directly in STREAMING BACKLIGHT. A striking, almost otherworldly, effect. Along with the others, BUCK is mesmerised. JENNIFER'S presence is visceral, compelling. Is JENNIFER what he's been searching for?

CALIBAN & MARINA - AT THE REAR - INTERCUT

They close the door and share an enigmatic glance.

JENNIFER'S warm eyes look over the upturned faces. As she begins to speak, BUCK hears the others join in:

JENNIFER
...The Mind's Eye. ...Infinite. Unlimited. ...Once it is truly opened. ...A new consciousness.
(continuing alone)
The road to enlightenment and peace is alluring, isn't it?
(murmurs of agreement)
But filled with false paths. So many have sought incorrectly. Like the old phrase, they've "been there. Done that."

BUCK glances around, sees knowing smiles from BIGELOW and all.

JENNIFER
What I seek is refreshing and simple. It's available to all of us, not just a few venerable Elders who have monopolised The Path for their own use. While I respect them, they have been too conservative. - When the Portal found its way into my hands, I realised it was Destiny at work. For the powers of the Portal shouldn't be coveted, hidden from the people, but used. Used by we who want emotional fulfilment and spiritual enlightenment now, not in some misty hereafter.
(more agreeing murmurs)
We must be careful, however, to admit among us only true Seekers. We must guard our community's integrity. Any who breaks the confidence will not be allowed to rejoin us - Some of you have begun your journeys within the Portal, you've tasted its magic. Seen remarkable new vistas, communed with lost loved ones. Isn't the Portal splendid?

Respectful calls of "Yes, yes!" BUCK'S own enthusiasm grows. He glances around. Sees VIVIEN among those calling out.

JENNIFER
But it can also be dangerous. They must never be entered without your proper Meditations.

Calls of "We will. We'll do the work." - Their eyes glitter.

JENNIFER
For when used properly the Portal will open...
(they speak with her)
...The Mind's Eye. ...Infinite. Unlimited. ...Once it is truly opened. ...A new consciousness.

Her outstretched hand catches a streak of brilliant sunlight. It glows. She looks TRANSCENDENT. There is a pause, then...

JENNIFER
Caliban, you wished to speak?

CALIBAN
I must call the seekers attention to the practical.
(to the group)
Jennifer won't tell you how she's been personally paying for the location and powering of the Portals from her own dwindling funds.

JENNIFER
No, Caliban, it's not im-

CALIBAN
Someone must protect you from yourself, Jennifer. More contributions are necessary.

Those around BUCK smile and nod. Many pull out WADS of CASH or CHEQUEBOOKS. - BUCK'S pockets are empty. He feels bad.

JENNIFER
Except from those new Seekers who have not yet experienced the Portal. ...Please, Caliban.

CALIBAN
...Very well.

JENNIFER
Then all here present may meet us to enter another world. Call Caliban's Optinet address tonight to learn the location. - we meet at dawn tomorrow.

BUCK, NORTON and BIGELOW share a glance. Draw a breath. Nod.


INT. AN UPSCALE LAW OFFICE - DAY - CONFERENCE ROOM

with a spectacular high-floor view of L.A. - MATT & GEORGE are questioning a seriously Republican LAWYER.

THE LAWYER
No, we still haven't heard from Vivien. Over a week, now. It's such a shame. Until recently Ms. Fairbanks was an ideal junior partner here, until her father died two months ago. - It was quite hard on her. Her work suffered. She withdrew from many friendships. Became absent-minded.

MATT
Spacey?

GEORGE
(to the lawyer)
He means like drugs.

MATT
Thank you for translating. Sir.
(annoyed, mutters)
...No wonder Buck's screwed up.

THE LAWYER
...Drugs had occurred to some of us. But I have no proof. Do you?

GEORGE
Not yet. she never mentioned the name Jason Webster?

THE LAWYER
No, I asked the others. But... her secretary did tell me that Vivien had begun Selling off some expensive personal items.

MATT
...Supporting a habit.

GEORGE
Supernova? Or A Portal habit?

MATT & GEORGE exchange a glance. Puzzling it.


EXT. THE LAW FIRM'S STREET - DAY - MATT & GEORGE

Reach their car. GEORGE pauses, pointedly:

GEORGE
Buck is not "screwed up."

MATT
Hey. Whatever you say. Admiral.

MATT gets in, chuckling. GEORGE stands. And ponders.


EXT. FRANCISCO HOUSE FRONT SIDEWALK - BUCK

walks slowly with a faint smile, pondering his encounter with JENNIFER. Hearing her words echo in his head...

JENNIFER (V.O.)
The Portal will open The Mind's Eye... Infinite... Unlimited...

INT. FRANCISCO HOME - FRONT DOOR - DAY - BUCK

enters. And what he sees makes his face turn sour:

ANGLE ACROSS EMILY'S SYNTH - EMILY & RANDY - BUCK B.G.

RANDY wears snappy Tenctonese threads. He leans close to a delighted EMILY, who's PLAYING the synth skilfully.

RANDY
Cool! - Really cool, Em.

BUCK
(sarcastic re Randy)
Yeah, Em. ...Really cool.

RANDY
Buck? Right? - {How are you?}

EMILY'S surprised that RANDY speaks Tenctonese.

BUCK
{Not impressed.}

He moves off past them. EMILY is mortified, covers.

EMILY
Must be having a bad day. For a change.

RANDY
Hey, I've got an older sister who always acts like a jerk.

EMILY
{It's so neat you speak Tenctonese Most humans don't bother to-}

RANDY
(laughing)
Whoa! wait! - I'm just learning ...Maybe you could teach me.

He extends his hand, knuckles out, a Tenctonese greeting. EMILY smiles, touches her knuckles to his. Her heart racing.

EMILY
...I'd like that.

RANDY
Will you play synth with my group at my party on the 31st?

EMILY
(suitably whelmed)
Sure!

RANDY
Great! Wait'll you hear how it sounds when we get our midi-chips connected.

EMILY
Our what?

RANDY
Our midi's. See? Right here you've got a connector that - oh. Didn't you get the midi-chip option?

EMILY
...I'mmmm...going to.

RANDY
Perfect! Then we can make some ...amazing music together.

His smiling eyes meet her slightly insecure ones.


INT. MED LAB - DAY - A MOVING CT SCAN OF A HEAD & SPINE

CATHY (O.S.)
I've never seen anything like this.

MATT
Nobody has. That's why I wanted you to have a look.

MATT & GEORGE are beside CATHY at the monitor.

MATT
It's a CT scan? Right?

CATHY
Yeah. New high-def ultra-speed.

GEORGE
Wonderful equipment. Like the one they used to check your groin after that softball game.

MATT
(embarrassed, re Cathy)
Yeah. ...Thanks, George.

CATHY
(indicates)
Jason's head, cervical spine.

GEORGE
What makes it so unusual?

CATHY
The colour of the nerves looks as if they'd been, I don't know - seared. Look at the cervical vertebrae: they appear almost fused together.

MATT
What coulda' caused it?

CATHY
(shakes her head)
Some sort of bizarre electrical accident. A peculiar biochemical reaction. But there's no external burns or anything.

GEORGE
Could something have caused an internal reaction?

MATT
Like when someone's scared? What's it called, a "freeze response?"

CATHY
Perhaps, but his condition goes way beyond "scared"...

They look to where JASON is restrained in a chair with a COP and STURDY NURSE standing beside him. JASON'S eyes flit from side to side - still wildly fearful.

CATHY
...It's as though he'd been frightened into insanity.

They glance at each other and back at the vibrant, swirling colours of the strange CT scan.

END OF ACT TWO
ACT THREE

INT. COP SHOP - DAY - MOVING WITH GRAZER

GRAZER
Zepeda? Did you get those similars yet? I want to-
(stops, grimacing)
What smells like manure?!

ALBERT holds up a plastic bag of BROWN MUCK.

ALBERT
Probably this manure.

GRAZER
Albert, when I told you to get your crap together, I didn't mean-

ALBERT
Oh no sir, I was bringing it to Detective Sikes for Cathy's garden. It's my own special formula, would you like some, sir?

GRAZER
I'm already up to my eyeballs in it. Go put it in Sike's locker, it'll feel right at home. - Zepeda?

MATT & GEORGE are entering past ZEPEDA who's on a phone, taking notes, "smiles" through gritted teeth, sing-songy:

ZEPEDA
Just a mo-ment, captain.

MATT
Put what in my locker?

ALBERT
This manure, Sergeant.

MATT
Oh Albert, you shouldn't have.

ALBERT
Uh, I didn't, it's from a cow.

GRAZER
Get. It. Out of here.

ALBERT
It's for Cathy. Her garden.

MATT
She'll be thrilled. Thanks, Al.

GRAZER
(re a bill)
Sikes, KTTV says we owe them sixty thousand dollars for a mini-cam!

MATT
That's too much. It was used. - Hey, Shivan, don't you have some info on Supernova?

SHIVAN
You looking t'buy or sell?

MATT
Research. For my Case Project.

SHIVAN
Sure. That's what they all say.

MATT
Just gimme the file, Shivan. - Whatchu runnin', George?

SHIVAN drops a packet on MATT'S desk. GEORGE is tapping his computer screen, using the Wand like an orchestra leader.

GEORGE
Checking recent classified ads for a Vivien Fairbanks connection - with the speed of a thousand megahertz. I love this machine!

GRAZER
What I would love are some meaningful similars.

ZEPEDA
Here's the skinny: like Jason Webster and Vivien Fairbanks, they're mostly humans. With a good amount of money. Reports of some being a little spooked by the year 2000 coming. Jason Webster's wife and daughter were killed by a drunk driver. - A lot of them had lost a loved one or a job recently - probably in a vulnerable mindset.

GRAZER
That's all you've got?

ZEPEDA
(blinks, disappointed)
I thought it was pretty good.

GEORGE
(smiles re computer)
Well, this may help: Vivien Fairbanks' car for sale.

MATT
Way t'go. Let's make an offer.


EXT. A GROCERY STORE- DAY - EMILY - CLOSE

is cheerfully approaching the family car with SUSAN.

EMILY
Sure, I'd be happy to work for the extra forty dollars!

SUSAN
Good. Then you can buy the midi thing.

EMILY
I could help with the ironing!

SUSAN
That'd be fine. Buck shouldn't have t'do it all, anyway.

EMILY
I'll start tomorrow.

SUSAN
Great.

EMILY
...But can I have the forty dollars today?

SUSAN
(incredulous)
Emily! You have to pay me back for the synth and the iguana first!

EMILY
Mum, that'll take forever!

SUSAN
You'll appreciate your midi more.

EMILY
I'll appreciate it! I promise!

SUSAN
Emily: - No.

She closes her car door. EMILY is seriously frustrated.


EXT. A SELL-IT-YOURSELF CAR LOT - DAY - VIVIEN - CLOSE

VIVIEN
(worried and shaken)
You're police?

MATT
Yeah. There's always a cop when you don't need one.

GEORGE
You know a man named Jason Webster?

MATT
(seeing her go pale)
I'd say that's a yes.

GEORGE
When did you see him last?

VIVIEN
I can't remember. Look, I have to go.

MATT
Hey hey, we haven't even made an offer on your car yet.

GEORGE
Why are you selling it, anyway? To buy some thrills? Some Supernova or maybe a Portal?

MATT
(off her reaction)
Either way, it'll turn your brain inside out. Y'oughta see your pal Jason: he's a walking turnip.

VIVIEN
...What's a Portal?

GEORGE
A lot of people looking for quick thrills are ending up-

VIVIEN
(more nervous)
I wouldn't touch Supernova and I don't know what you're talking about. I have nothing else to say.

MATT
That's fine. 'Cause you have the right to remain silent... (cuffing her)

VIVIEN
What're you doing!

GEORGE
Arresting you on suspicion of trafficking in pseudo-narcotics.

VIVIEN
That's ridiculous!

MATT
Maybe, but we've also got ya on six delinquent parking tickets. - Busted, Viv.


EXT. THE WATERFRONT WAREHOUSES - DAWN - MARINA

is about to close the warehouse door. she sees BUCK running, breathless, into the seedy parking lot, again holding a dozen expensive cars. She glances questioningly at CALIBAN nearby.

CALIBAN
Let him in. A few poor ones like him keep the others from being suspicious.

BUCK
Sorry. The Metrorail tunnel caved in again.

MARINA
You just made it.

BUCK
(fishing out some bills)
Here. I know it's not much, but I wouldn't feel right if I didn't contribute. I'll be getting some more tomorrow.

MARINA
Oh... Jennifer will be touched. It's not the amount. It's the idea.

BUCK enters past CALIBAN who gives a pleased nod to MARINA.


INT. THE WATERFRONT WAREHOUSE - DAWN - CANDLES EVERYWHERE

SMOKY INCENSE fills the air. Tenctonese FLUTE MUSIC echoes as BUCK enters with MARINA. Seeing the dozen or so SEEKERS, BUCK frowns somewhat. JENNIFER glides in gently beside him.

JENNIFER
...Something wrong, Buck?

BUCK
Why is it ...mostly humans?

JENNIFER
(a sad sigh)
Perhaps because our people are jaded by the exotic worlds they've actually walked on. Or maybe they've become too anxious to blend in here, forsaking the old pathways. I'm hoping that enlightened Tenctonese Seekers like yourself will help spread the good word among our people.

BUCK
I'd like to. Very much.

JENNIFER
...Excellent. Our message should soon be available to all. The important thing is the swift achievement of self-realisation; spiritual gain. Opening-

BUCK WITH JENNIFER
The Mind's Eye.

JENNIFER
(pleased)
...Exactly.

She moves off, BUCK watches with admiration. Behind him, MARINA watches him, with some concern.

TRACKING WITH CALIBAN - CLOSE

as he passes a large Tenctonese COLLECTION BASKET among the SEEKERS, including BIGELOW and NORTON, who put in sizeable donations of CASH or JEWELLERY.

THE PORTAL BOX - CLOSE - IN JENNIFER'S HANDS

JENNIFER
The Portal opens realms of consciousness our physical natures hold us back from. It gives us glimpses of greater realities beyond. Lets us commune with other souls, touch deeply the memories of lost loved ones. It gives us a collective vision - within which our own fondest wishes can be realised. For many generations the teaching was that The Portal Couldn't be used... Until a Novice had passed many arduous years of "preparation". The Elders intentions were good, but cautious. The Portal can bring its glorious light into your life this beautiful morning. Now.

The SEEKERS, including BUCK and NORTON draw a collective breath as JENNIFER places the ANCIENT PORTAL BOX before her.

JENNIFER
It's not without danger. You must purify your thoughts. Cleanse your hearts. Beware of temptations and pitfalls that will loom ahead. - And trust that I will find you. To lead you from harm's way.
(opening the Portal)
...Come now ...and enter...

NORTON and BUCK exchange a glance, and move forward with the others. Their nerves growing. BUCK watches as

AHEAD OF HIM - CALIBAN

is first to step over the Portal. CALIBAN'S image WAVERS, but BUCK can still see him. Then BIGELOW steps over, reacting with amazement to something BUCK can't see. Until

BUCK - CLOSE - BLUE SCREEN (BS)

draws a breath, closes his eyes and steps across the Portal. The B.G. changes from the WAREHOUSE to a CLIFF FACE. BUCK'S own face suddenly takes on an orange, flickering glow. He opens his eyes and gasps!

EXT. AN UNEARTHLY VOLCANIC LANDSCAPE - (MATTE 2)

BUCK and the others, looking very small, stand on a ledge to one side of an enormous ABYSS with rivulets of MOLTEN LAVA streaming down into it! Steam HISSES and VENTS around them!

BUCK & NORTON - CLOSER - INTERCUT

And other SEEKERS amazed and staggered by the GLORIOUS, MYTHICAL IMAGE!

NORTON
Sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

CALIBAN
Follow me, we'll find the loved ones and the light that you seek. But beware temptations.

ANGLE DOWN FROM HIGH ABOVE - (MATTE 3) - THE SEEKERS

can be seen, a hundred feet below, walking slowly, tentatively on the ledge. Lava flows in the canyon a thousand feet below.

ON THE LEDGE - BIGELOW - CLOSE - INTERCUT

just behind CALIBAN, he suddenly pauses, reacting strongly.

ANGLE FROM BEHIND SEEKERS ON THE LEDGE - (MATTE 2 DETAIL)

A MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN appears, standing in thin air! (BS)

BIGELOW
Margaret?! - oh my God!

BUCK
What? I don't see anything?

NORTON
(amazed)
...It's my daughter!

RESUME ANGLE BEHIND SEEKERS ON THE LEDGE - (MATTE 2 DETAIL)

NORTON is indeed seeing his black, twelve-year-old CHILD! - While BIGELOW sees his own WIFE. - The APPARITION is hovering in mid-air over the abyss! (BS)

CALIBAN
No. It's not safe to see them here.

BIGELOW
But I do see her! Oh, Margaret!

NORTON
I see my daughter! Cindy!

CALIBAN
No! Not here! Clear your minds! Beware of temptations! - Bigelow!

BIGELOW
Margaret, I miss you so!

His eyes brimming with tears, he steps toward her - and the edge of the precipice. CALIBAN lunges for him. - Too late! BIGELOW falls! And SCREAMS IN TERROR as he PLUMMETS DOWNWARD!

RESUME HIGH ANGLE - (MATTE 3) - BIGELOW (BS)

disappears downward into the abyss!

BUCK & THE OTHERS - ON THE LEDGE

fall back in shock! Cower fearfully against each other, until:

RESUME SIDE ANGLE - (MATTE 2 DETAIL) - JENNIFER (BS)

materialises - FLOATING. - NORTON reacts.

JENNIFER
Not yet, Frank. ...Not here.

NORTON nods. And the CHILD disappears. Then JENNIFER smiles.

JENNIFER
This way, my friends. Fear not. Brother Bigelow isn't lost. We'll find him on a higher plane. Come.

BUCK & NORTON AMONG THE OTHERS

Slowly regain their courage. BUCK casts a nervous glance down the way BIGELOW fell.

JENNIFER
Come, Buck. I'll show you the way. ...It's beautiful.

BUCK looks back up at JENNIFER'S exquisite, radiant, loving face, as she beckons them onward.

RESUME FULL ANGLE - (MATTE 2 DETAIL) - JENNIFER (BS)

Points around the mountainside. The SEEKERS follow.


INT. THE BUSTLING COP SHOP - DAY - THE BULLETIN BOARD

GRAZER
Stock market's up a hundred points, but the closer we get to the damn Millennium, the more of these we pile up. If people aren't elated, or looking for some kinda religious epiphany, they're totally spooked.

He angrily pins up NORTON'S photo. ZEPEDA checks the file:

ZEPEDA
Frank Norton. Fits the missing pattern: had some money; recent death of child; vulnerable.

GEORGE
And my Ultra-Compu-Scan shows that a lot of the missing persons had sold off their wealth before appearing.

MATT
Just like Vivien Fairbanks. Somebody's preying on 'em, George.
(answering his phone)
Sikes. ...Yeah. Okay.
(hangs up)
And speaking of - she paid her tickets. We gotta let her go.

GEORGE
At least we bought time to set up surveillance on her. I'll let 'em know she's leaving.


INT. THE INTERROGATION ROOM - MATT OPENS THE DOOR

VIVIEN
About time.

MATT
Who's getting your money, Viv?

She glares; then turns to leave. GEORGE catches her sleeve.

GEORGE
Ms. Fairbanks, you're in a position to help us help a lot of people.

VIVIEN
I don't know anything. Excuse me.

GEORGE lets her pass. Then looks at MATT.

MATT
I told the guys to tail her close. See? - I could be a Detective 2.


INT. CALIBAN'S SEEDY FLAT - NIGHT - CALIBAN ENTERING

MARINA paces, nervously. Asks, but is afraid to hear:

MARINA
What did you do with his body?

CALIBAN
(pouring a shot)
Bigelow is history. Don't worry.

MARINA
Don't you see that it is getting worse?! Jennifer saw police at the Shrine and-

He ignores her, drinks. She flares, slaps his glass away!

MARINA
Will you listen!! We've-

CALIBAN
(erupting, grabs her)
No, you listen: you want to keep living in these Slagtown hovels?! Do you?! Huh?!

MARINA
(crying now)
No. But I didn't want anybody to die! First Vincent in the fire at the Shrine, and now Bigelow and we're responsible, Caliban! You think the police are gonna just stop!? We're in trouble and it's only getting worse!

JENNIFER
(has entered)
...Marina, calm yourself.

They look at her. There is a pause. JENNIFER smiles gently, and takes the sour milk carton. Slowly pours a glass.

JENNIFER
Poverty is a blight which we'll never again have to endure.
(she drinks slowly)
I'm sorry about the loss of Mr. Bigelow. But we stand to realise a huge profit. And then continue in the next city.

MARINA
Not if we're in jail!

JENNIFER casts a long, penetrating look at MARINA. Then...

JENNIFER
...I've done some research. There's a simple way to cover our tracks completely.
(hands them a note)
Just bring me this woman. And everything will be fine.

She smiles and raises her glass to them.


INT. FRANCISCO HOME - NIGHT - A BOWL OF RAW TRIPE

is carried by SUSAN to the dining table. GEORGE, who is wearing a colourful TENCTONESE SHIRT, admires her.

GEORGE
Have you done something different with your spots?

SUSAN
Mmm. I went to a U.V. salon today. Wanted to look good in the new Millennium. Can't wait for summer.

EMILY
(quietly, hurting)
I have to wait for what I want.

SUSAN
That's very different, Emmy.

EMILY
But it's true, mum.
(an ironic chuckle)
And look at those ads you do: "Buy it now!" "Get it today!"

SUSAN
Emily, those ads are designed for people who have the money to pay for things.

EMILY
...Or credit cards they can use.

She looks at GEORGE. SUSAN shoots him an I-told-you-so glance. EMILY smiles with an inspiration:

EMILY
How 'bout I get a credit card?

SUSAN & GEORGE
No!

GEORGE
Emily, I've only purchased things this family needs.

EMILY
I don't get much use out of the electric golf ball washer.

SUSAN
Can we please just eat our tripe in peace?

The door opens and BUCK breezes in. He's different: extremely bright-eyed and cheerful...

BUCK
Hey family of mine! Sorry, but Alana kept us late. Lemme wash up. Be right there.

He exits. SUSAN & GEORGE trade a glance re his behaviour:

GEORGE
"...Family of mine??"

THE KITCHEN - BUCK

is washing up cheerily as GEORGE enters "casually," gets something raw from the fridge. Speaks re his own shirt:

GEORGE
See, Buck? I haven't gone completely human.

BUCK
Yeah. Looks good. But ties're okay, too. When y'need 'em.

GEORGE
(studies him; curious)
Y'know, since you're not big on trampolines, we could maybe play some volorf together. - Build up our elbows a little.

BUCK
Uh...no. I've gotta study. For the shrine. But soon, huh!?

GEORGE
...Is everything okay, Buck?

BUCK
Yeah dad! - Tremendous!

GEORGE
...You just seem so much more-

BUCK
I am! - Everything's good!

GEORGE
Because of The Shrine?

BUCK
(quick vamp)
Yeah - The Shrine! Just makes me feel so...I dunno...Centred.

He touches GEORGE'S temple affectionately and exits. Leaving GEORGE concerned that he hasn't heard the whole truth.


INT. MATT'S FLAT - NIGHT - MATT AT HIS OLD COMPUTER

Hunts and pecks happily at his keyboard as CATHY enters.

CATHY
You using my TermWriter disk?

MATT
Yeah. To... Uh, organise stuff for my Detective 2 Paper.

CATHY
(watches, then gingerly)
I thought your report was more of a test. - Is this fair?

MATT
Grazer's working my ass off and I've gotta get it done before New Year's to get better benefits. Thinkin' about our future, y'know.
(changing the subject)
Had any ideas about what coulda' happened to that Jason guy?

CATHY
Strangest neuro-phenomena I've ever seen. I'm gonna try some drug-hypnosis therapy on him.

MATT
Thanks. And Albert wants to know how you liked his manure.

CATHY
Oh, my garden's gone all weedy. I just can't find the time. Other people'll have to grow the flowers. I'll just buy 'em. Or somebody can buy 'em for me.

She kisses his head, and moves off. He types, smiling.


EXT. AN L.A. SKYSCRAPER - NIGHT - A CHRISTMAS-DECORATED TREE

in the F.G., with a group of RELIGIOUS ZEALOTS CHANTING "The End is Coming in a day or two, y'better find God before he finds you!" A modestly-dressed Newcomer woman (POLLY) passes.

DARK PARKING STRUCTURE - HAND-HELD TRACKING WITH POLLY

giving the feeling she's being stalked. She begins to sense it, looks around. Turns back to be startlingly face-to-face with

CALIBAN
Ms. Wanakraker?

POLLY
Yes? What do you want?

He fires a TRANQUILLISER AIR PISTOL: WHFTTT! - POLLY reacts to the DART'S impact. - Then slumps to the ground. Revealing a very nervous MARINA behind her. CALIBAN opens a nearby car.

CALIBAN
Perfect. We're on a roll now.

MARINA - CLOSE

Increasingly distressed by their escalating felonies.


END OF ACT THREE
ACT FOUR

INT. COP SHOP - DAY - GRAZER'S OFFICE - A REPORT - CLOSE

TITLED: "The Origin and Spread of Supernova in L.A."

GRAZER (O.S.)
Your Detective 2 Case Project?!

MATT
Yeah. And it's all spelled right.

GRAZER
(slightly suspicious)
How'd you manage to finish this with the workload out there?

MATT
Hey, Bri. I'm a multi-talent. - Just send it on quick, huh.

GRAZER
(understands, nods)
You want the pension benefits before New Years.

GEORGE sticks his head in.

GEORGE
Excuse me, captain. Cathy's made progress with Jason Webster.


INT. INTERROGATION ROOM - JASON

sits with his eyes closed. A NURSE and COP nearby. GRAZER, ZEPEDA, MATT & GEORGE watch as CATHY speaks softly.

CATHY
He's on half an amp of acto- molathane. I've been using it to ease him into hypnosis. I thought you ought to hear this: ...Jason, are you listening?

JASON
Yes, Dr. Frankel.

CATHY
Tell me how you'd been feeling about your wife and daughter.

JASON
...I missed them. Terribly.

CATHY
But now you're going to stay unemotional.
(Jason levels out)
Good. Now tell me what you did.

JASON
Nothing. For a long time. Too depressed. Couldn't work. Kept looking for something to fill the void. ...Drink. ...Drugs.

MATT
Bingo. Supernova.

CATHY
No. - What did you find, Jason?

JASON
Jennifer.

GEORGE
Jennifer? Jennifer who?

CATHY
He doesn't know a last name.

JASON
she's beautiful. Spiritual.

CATHY
What did you give her people?

JASON
Not much. A little money.

CATHY
How much money?

JASON
Only about eighteen thousand.

GRAZER, ZEPEDA, MATT & GEORGE all react.

CATHY
And what did these people do?

JASON
Took me to better places. Other worlds.

CATHY
How did you get there?

JASON
I went through the Portal.

GEORGE reacts strongly.

CATHY
What were the worlds like?

JASON
Amazing! Glorious! Alien!

Now GRAZER'S eyebrows raise.

CATHY
And what did they promise you?

JASON
Peace. Enlightenment. April.

CATHY
...April is his late wife. Did you see April, Jason?

JASON
(eyes brimming)
...Yes. Jennifer took me to her. ...And to Millie.

CATHY
Your daughter.

JASON
I talked to them. They were happy. We were all so happy.

CATHY
Who else was with you?

JASON
Vivien. Some others.

GRAZER
What about the "other worlds?"

JASON
Each one was better... Grander... but more dangerous... Much more...
(getting agitated)

CATHY
Easy. Just stay relaxed. And describe the dangers to me.

JASON
They were... like nightmares. Beasts! The scorpion! I can't...
(trembling now)

CATHY
That's alright. But tell me, if there were such dangers, why did you and the others go?

JASON
Because it was like nothing I'd ever seen! Unearthly beauty ...And my family...

GEORGE
Where is the Portal?

CATHY
Can you tell us, Jason?

JASON
Different. Each time.

CATHY
How did you find it?

JASON
On the Highway. ...E-Mail.

ZEPEDA
...What??

GEORGE
The Information Highway? Optinet?

JASON
Yes. E-mail Caliban. To meet.

GEORGE
Let's go, Matt.

MATT gives CATHY a congratulatory pat. Leaves GRAZER pondering.


INT. FRANCISCO HOME - DAY - UPSTAIRS LOFT - EMILY

pauses on the stairs as she hears BUCK on the phone:

BUCK (O.S.)
Yes. It was a late Christmas present my father bought me today on his Visa. - A Pentium 360.

EMILY scowls in disbelief. She peers in, sees BUCK with the new, still-boxed computer.

BUCK
Nope. Never been opened. I really need the cash, so can I return it? ...Sure, a check is cool. No problem. Be there in a half-hour.

EMILY ducks back down the stairs as BUCK passes, carrying the computer. She watches him go. With frowning curiosity.


EXT. THE NEWCOMER GHETTO - DAY - MATT

out of character in an expensive sport coat and tie, leaning on a vintage 280SL Talking with downcast eyes to CALIBAN.

MATT
It's been really awful. Since my partner died nothing seems important. I started drinking let the business just slip away. And now with the whole Millennium coming to an end... Nothing seems to matter.

CALIBAN touches MATT'S shoulder.

INT. A CAR - GEORGE WATCHING CALIBAN'S FACE ON A MONITOR

CALIBAN
We've seen so many like you.

MATT - CLOSE - INTERCUT WITH GEORGE'S MONITOR

The CAMERA tightens on a "button." It's a MICRO-CAM.

MATT
We were more than partners. We'd always been closer than brothers.

GEORGE rolls his eyes. - MATT is soft, needy, vulnerable.

MATT
Friend of a friend, Vivien somebody, kept after me about letting this Jennifer person help - but I can't imagine she could, really.

CALIBAN
You'd be surprised. Would you like a small example?

MATT
I need something.


EXT. AN ABANDONED CHURCH - DAY - THE 280SL

is parked in front. GEORGE peers around a corner, gun drawn. Checks a tiny Watchman showing MATT'S wired POV

ON THE SCREEN - INT. THE CHURCH - MARINA - INTERCUT

is straightening MATT'S Tenctonese robes.

GEORGE reacts to a car stopping quickly behind him. GRAZER jumps out and hurries to GEORGE, who's surprised and dismayed.

GRAZER
Thought you might need a little back-up, and nobody was available. Find the Portal?

GEORGE
There it is. See?

On the Watchman, CALIBAN kneels beside the ANCIENT BOX.

GRAZER
Let's get closer.

GEORGE isn't pleased having GRAZER along, but moves forward.

INT. THE ABANDONED CHURCH - MATT

watches carefully as CALIBAN & MARINA kneel at the Portal.

CALIBAN
{There is only one way between the clear eye and the pure heart.}

They open the BOX. The GLOW emanates. CALIBAN looks up at MATT, but his eye spots something:

THROUGH A DOORWAY - REFLECTED IN A NEIGHBOURING WINDOW

CALIBAN can see GEORGE & GRAZER, sneaking closer. Guns out. He glances sharply at MATT, who looks and also sees them.

MATT
Great.

He reaches for his gun, but CALIBAN shoves him, grabs the hand of frightened MARINA - and pulls her across the Portal with him. MATT gives chase as he shouts back at GEORGE & GRAZER:

MATT
Way t'go, guys!

MATT leaps over the Portal in pursuit and finds himself in


EXT. DENSE FOLIAGE - MATT

confused, trying to get his bearings when GEORGE & GRAZER suddenly appear out of nowhere and land on him! - They all look around - in amazement.

FULL - THE ALIEN JUNGLE (MATTE 1)

THREE SUNS in the sky! GRAZER, MATT & GEORGE are astonished!

GRAZER, MATT & GEORGE - CLOSER - AGAINST FOLIAGE

GEORGE
We're inside the Portal!

GRAZER
Un-believable!

MATT
The alien jungle... where Jason saw the giant scorpion.

GRAZER
(suddenly nervous)
...Giant... scorpion?

TENDRILS FROM THE PLANTS

SNAKE around his legs! GRAZER yelps!

GRAZER
Wait a minute! Hey! - Hey!!

MATT leaps to help.

MATT
Sonuvabitch!

MATT clubs at the vines, FIRES his gun into them to no effect! They are pulling him and GRAZER into the foliage!

GEORGE grabs at them, trying to help.

GEORGE
Pull! Pull!

GRAZER sees SOMETHING in the foliage.

GRAZER
Oh my God! - OH MY GOD!!

MATT & GEORGE look - their eyes widen!

THE SHADOWY, HALF-SEEN MONSTROUS ALIEN SCORPION

fangs dripping, jaws gaping open! Pulling them in!

MATT
Well. That about does it for me.

MATT yanks GRAZER free.

GEORGE
Quick! Go the way they did! We'll get out of the Portal perimeter!

RESUME FULL - (MATTE 1) - MATT, GEORGE & GRAZER

run down the path in the direction CALIBAN had taken.

GEORGE & MATT, PULLING GRAZER - CLOSER

Rushing down the path! A blood-curdling SHRIEK from the HUGE ALIEN CREATURE propels them faster.

MATT
(dragging Grazer)
C'mon! Hurry up!

MATT (BS)

The CAMERA pans with him - as the JUNGLE BACKGROUND suddenly CHANGES to the CHURCH!

INT. THE ABANDONED CHURCH - DAY - THE FLOOR

As they crash over a pew and lie in a heap, gasping.

GEORGE
They must've turned off the portal!

THE MAIN SANCTUARY - GEORGE

appears in the doorway just in time to see MARINA carrying the Portal Box into CALABAN'S car, which SCREECHES away. GEORGE FIRES his pistol at it.

MATT, supporting limping GRAZER, appears beside the frustrated

GEORGE
Dammit! - Are you alright, captain?

GRAZER looks at them with a giddy, crazed Smile. And faints.


END OF ACT FOUR
ACT FIVE

INT. THE COP SHOP - DAY - ZEPEDA ON HER PHONE

ZEPEDA
Okay, checking the Optinet I found several of the missing persons had connected to interactive "support groups" for death in family, etc. And last connections they made were to Calaban's E-mail address.

EXT. THE NEWCOMER GHETTO - DAY - MATT

stands beside their car on the radio to ZEPEDA. A GROUP of NEWCOMERS & HUMANS pass behind him carrying "REPENT" signs, chanting that "The end is Coming." Some kids LAUGH at them.

MATT
Roger that. We're sniffing 'em out, Zep. - And wait'll I tell ya' where we just went!


INT. THE SHRINE GARDEN - DAY - ALANA

sets aside her Sunflower seeds as GEORGE rewinds his VCR.

ALANA Tell Buck we have missed him the last few days.

GEORGE
(surprised)
...He hasn't been here?

ALANA shakes her head. Their eyes hold. Then GEORGE plays the video tape.

GEORGE
We had our surveillance camera on the whole time, Alana. I'd like to see if you can identify either of these people.

MATT
And even though I just took the most amazing trip o'my life, I'm still not clear on how the Portal works.

ALANA
It's a spiritual tool: A Master guides the Seeker through the visions, Suggesting what the Seeker will see. Then the seeker's subconscious causes the Portal to generate images for them to "see."

MATT
So if we expect giant scorpions, we get 'em.

ALANA
Yes. And just as you can't be a black belt the first time you try karate, there's no "quick path" for a Seeker. - That's why they must be carefully schooled before entering: Their own subconscious can make the Portal visions dangerous.

MATT
Could it drive somebody nuts?

ALANA
If the person were unprepared and unstable, it's very possible.

GEORGE
Jason.

MATT
Get's my vote.

GEORGE
(re the video)
These Newcomers...

ALANA
(sees, draws a breath)
Caliban Smith. Marina Del Rey.

GEORGE
How do you know them?

ALANA
They were students here. But they grew increasingly impatient with our poverty and left the order.

MATT
Know where we can find 'em?

ALANA
No, but Jennifer might.

MATT
(reacting)
...Jennifer?

ALANA
My daughter.

MATT & GEORGE trade a concerned glance. ALANA perceives it.

ALANA
...She is in trouble, too?


INT. A MUSIC EQUIPMENT STORE - EMILY - CLOSE

is looking, longingly at

A RACK OF PACKAGES LABELLED "MIDI-CHIP 2000" - INTERCUT

With a sign: "Millennium Sale! Only $40.00!" - EMILY lifts one of the packages. Holds it. Her breathing is shallow. The CAMERA pushes slowly, tensely, closer. She glances around. Chews her lip. - Then slips the package into her purse. - Shoplifting it!

EXT. THE MUSIC SHOP - EMILY

emerges, feeling like all the air conditioners in the world have been turned on. Her heart is fluttering. She's scared. She walks into CLOSE-UP, emotions surging. Then she continues away.


INT. A TENEMENT HALLWAY - GEORGE - ON HIS CELL PHONE

GEORGE
Alana said Buck hadn't been there for several days.

INT. SUSAN'S OFFICE - SUSAN ON PHONE - INTERCOM

SUSAN
Then I think we've got some real trouble, George. I was in his room after you left. He hadn't slept in his bed. And he's taken some of his clothes.

GEORGE
...To where?

SUSAN
(a worried pause)
...Can you call the precinct? Ask the other officers to look... or...

GEORGE
...Of course.

There's a pause. Neither want to break the connection.


INT. JENNIFER'S DECREPIT FLAT - DAY - A GROSS LANDLADY

who sweats a lot and coughs more. A cigarette hangs from her lips. Preoccupied GEORGE stands nearby taking her statement as she packs up some belongings in the tacky apartment. MATT snoops.

THE LANDLADY
Yeah, Jennifer moved in here after the fire at that Shrine place. But she left a few days ago. Said I could have it all - not that any of it's worth a damn.

GEORGE
She said you could have it all?

LANDLADY
Said she wouldn't need it; she was moving to a "higher plane because The End was coming and it'd all be over." Stupid slag.

MATT
Watch your language, lady.

GEORGE is surprised by MATT'S defence. The woman shrugs.

LANDLADY
Doncha just love all this end-of-the-world crap?

MATT has found something behind a trash can. A small CARD.

MATT
George. Look. Jennifer just had a dental check-up.

GEORGE
"...Dr. Al Fresco."

GEORGE thinks a moment then looks at MATT, who's nodding.

MATT
Right. Why would anyone go to the dentist for a check up-

GEORGE
If they thought that two days later the world was going to end.

MATT
Wouldn't be my first choice.

GEORGE
Let's put out an APB.

MATT
...For Buck, too.

Worried GEORGE meets MATT'S eyes. Nods.


INT. COP SHOP - DAY - ZEPEDA

moves through the INCREASING BUSTLE to MATT & GEORGE entering.

ZEPEDA
Nothing on Jennifer yet. Or Buck.

GEORGE
(sighs, concerned)
Any new missings?

ZEPEDA
Newcomer: Polly Wanakraker.
(off Sikes' take)
Yeah, I know.

MATT chuckles to George, trying to lighten the moment.

MATT
Boy, those guys at Immigration really got their kicks naming you all.

GEORGE
Just remember what "Sikes" means in our language.

ZEPEDA
Excrement and cranium, isn't it? - Anyway, no real similars with Wanakraker. She's looking very straight, not a lot of money like the others. No deaths in the family. I'm still checking.

MATT
See if she E-mailed Caliban or has any connection to Jennifer.

ZEPEDA
Yeah yeah. - Whoa!

She's reacting to SHIVAN leading a handcuffed, babbling WHACKO with a CROWN OF THORNS - and stuck-on HORNS.

SHIVAN
He came to lead us into the year 2000. Claims he's the Antichrist.

MATT
No, here he comes.

GRAZER LIMPS up with MATT'S Case Project; ALBERT is passing.

ALBERT
Want me to massage your thigh again, captain?

GRAZER
Later, Albert.
(off their looks)
Physical therapy. Strained it in the Portal.
(re Matt's paper)
very nice job, Sikes. It's really terrific. Insightful. I'm recommending you for promotion to Detective 2.

GEORGE, ZEPEDA and others nearby AD-LIB CONGRATS & APPLAUD. MATT has mixed emotions. GRAZER snags his sleeve.

GRAZER
Can I see you in my office, Matt?

GEORGE
(did he hear right!?)
"...Matt?"

INT. GRAZER'S OFFICE - DAY

GRAZER
Wasn't that jungle incredible?!

MATT
...Yeah. It was really Something

GRAZER
If this is what's sucking in so many of those missing persons it's no wonder, huh? Humans'd naturally be most dazzled by the alien visions inside the Portal - since we've never been on other planets like the slag- Newcomers.

MATT
...That's what we figure.

GRAZER
Anyone caught up in the visual excitement of the damn thing'll want to move from one thrill to the next. - Getting into constantly more amazing areas.

MATT
They could be majorly addictive, we're worried about that.

GRAZER
(closing the door)
But they could also have very exciting possibilities.

MATT
...What're you talkin' about?

GRAZER
About being creative with the Portal technology. But Safely, of course. Safely.

MATT
...Being "...creative?"

GRAZER
Just think about it: The Portal could be bigger and better than Star Tours at Disneyland!

MATT
Wait wait wait, lemme get this straight - you want to use the Portal for joy-rides?! - To make an amusement park!?

GRAZER
Now just listen a sec: This Portal technology is new. There're no laws on the books to govern it. - I checked. No copyrights!

MATT
Yeah, but-

GRAZER
Matt, the damn government has tried to take advantage of Newcomer technology, why not the private sector. Somebody's bound to do it. - Why not us?
(off Matt's pause)
Listen, I've already put out very confidential feelers: my Cousin Rose's husband Phil has connections to some R & D geniuses up in Silicon Valley. They are very excited.

MATT
Well, that's swell Bri, but why're you telling me all this?

GRAZER
'Cause you're a savvy cop. And I know you're gonna eventually get your hands on the Portal.

MATT
Aw, now wait a minute-

GRAZER
Now come on. Don't be your usual loose-cannon self. I'm not stupid. I know you can't stand me. But I'm not asking you to go pick out curtains- I just want you to work it so we can "borrow" the Portal. Just long enough for the genius-nerds to figure a way to copy its technology.
(the trump card:)
We could both get very rich. Very quickly.

MATT stares at GRAZER.


INT. CALIBAN'S FLAT - NIGHT - JENNIFER & CALIBAN

JENNIFER
Your brush with the authorities was unfortunate. We could've spread our net wider here in L.A., before moving onto the next city, but under the circumstances we should probably have only one final gathering before-

MARINA
(pacing; rattled)
One more?! I can't believe we haven't already left!
(to Caliban)
I can't believe you let the police get that close! Jennifer, we've got to get away! - Tonight!

JENNIFER
(very calm)
Marina, I once had an old sweater that kept coming unravelled. - I finally threw it away.

Her eyes hold MARINA'S firmly for a moment, then MARINA turns angrily away. she moves to where

POLLY WANAKRAKER - LIES UNCONSCIOUS ON A COUCH

JENNIFER looks down at her, without a trace of emotion.

JENNIFER
How as Ms. Wanakraker?

MARINA
(subdued but tense)
I'm monitoring the zectathol carefully, keeping her healthy like you said. But why do you need her?

CALIBAN
Yeah, you want to tell us about this "clean getaway?"

JENNIFER
It's simplicity itself: I'll send the police a full confession, stating that you two were merely mesmerised pawns, like the others, who had no idea your actions were illegal. I'll take sole responsibility for the deaths of Vincent the Elder, and Bigelow. And I'll suffer no retribution.

MARINA
How is that possible?!

JENNIFER
Because I will be dead.

She enjoys their startled looks. Then smiles.

JENNIFER
And now I think it's time I mingled with my flock.

She opens a door and the CAMERA follows her out to reveal that CALIBAN'S FLAT is merely a room which is connected to a large, UNUSED WAREHOUSE - which has become A COMMUNAL LIVING SPACE for about THIRTY PEOPLE.

They're mostly human, sharing sleeping quarters, food, etc. They wear Tenctonese robes. Their eyes light up seeing their spiritual leader, JENNIFER. - These are the MISSING PERSONS.

CALIBAN
More are coming everyday to live here full time.

JENNIFER smiles down at them beneficently as she speaks with quiet reflection to CALIBAN.

JENNIFER
As long as the majority of them bring money.
(looking down at them)
...They used to spit on me, you know. The humans. I can still feel it in my eyes, taste it in my mouth.
(remembering)
Life was harsh aboard the slave ships... But coming here was a terrible betrayal: They held out the promise of freedom, and then they killed my father. And so many others. Because we weren't human. Hurled vile epithets at my mother and me. "Filthy slags." She bore it stoically. Ever the determined peace-maker. Ever the slave. She didn't fight back when they spat on me. ...The humans...

CALIBAN
(quietly aside)
Now look at them... And just imagine when millions are under the same spell...

JENNIFER Savers the joy in their upturned, hopeful faces. - One of the Newcomers turns to look up. - It's BUCK.

CALIBAN
Shall we separate out the few Tenctonese among these?

JENNIFER
No, they say to make an omelette one must break a few eggs. There're not enough Tenctonese here to matter and the semblance of community fosters trust.

CALIBAN
...Mmm. I think they'd follow you off the end of the earth.

JENNIFER
...Is that truly so...


INT. FRANCISCO FAMILY ROOM - NIGHT - EMILY & RANDY

are PLAYING together. His guitar connected to her synth. The MUSIC sounds terrific! He pauses in mid-play.

RANDY
Didn't I tell ya! - Bam!

EMILY
(wanly admits)
Yeah, it does sound cool.

She's trying to push away her feelings of guilt over the theft.

RANDY
{You make it sound cool.}

He touches her temple, affectionately. She glances at him. Her attention galvanised.

EMILY
...{Thanks.}

RANDY
Play that last part again.

EMILY draws a breath. Gets back into the moment, enjoying RANDY'S proximity and their chemistry. Musical and otherwise.

GEORGE is looking on from the kitchen.

GEORGE
You loaned her more money?

SUSAN
No. I don't know how she came up with it. But she had to have that thing now. - And who could she get that idea from?

GEORGE
(sticks it back at her)
I can't imagine.

SUSAN
I know. It's me, too. And we're snapping at each other because-

GEORGE
Of Buck.

Their eyes hold. Concerned parents feeling helpless.

GEORGE
...Where is he, Susan?

She takes him in her arms. A long tender, hurting moment. Then they separate, and sigh. SUSAN'S eye falls on some bills.

SUSAN
The bank called today - said our card was maxxed out! How could it have gotten that high?

GEORGE
I left the bill at the office. I'll check it tomorrow.

GEORGE picks up a photo of BUCK.

GEORGE
How did he get so aloof and strange and... What'd we do wrong?

SUSAN
Oh, George, I don't know if Buck will ever be comfortable on this planet. Or if we'll ever reach him. Even if we do find him. ...This family...

She sighs, walks away. GEORGE feels the weight. ...Aching.


INT. MATT'S PLACE - NIGHT - MATT & CATHY ON HIS COUCH

She's leaning on him, reading. Turning pages quickly. He's nursing a beer. Looking around the flat. she notices.

CATHY
A nickel.
(off his puzzlement)
...For your thoughts.

MATT
Oh. No. It's "A penny."

CATHY
Inflation. Worried about George?

MATT
And Buck. Yeah.

She waits, sensing there's more.

MATT
And I was just looking at this place. Thinking how it might be nice to live somewhere else.

CATHY
I like this building.

MATT
But it's definitely low-rent city. I'm talking someplace really- Y'know, maybe with a pool or a tennis court or-

CATHY
Will you make that much more as a Detective 2?

MATT
Naw. But Grazer pulled me into his office today. Wants to cut me into this business deal.

CATHY
I thought he disliked you.

MATT
But he thinks I can help him.

CATHY
Do what?

MATT
He wants to set up a kind of amusement park.
(off her look)
Yeah, that was my first reaction, too, but it really could make a lot of money. In a big hurry.

CATHY
What does Grazer know about amusement parks?

MATT
Well he's got this idea, see, to use the technology from the Portal and-

CATHY
(chilling)
To what?

MATT
Yeah, I know it sounds sorta funky at first, but they're not copyrighted or anything so it wouldn't be illegal and-

CATHY
But they belong to the Newcomer religious community!

MATT
Yeah, well we'd just copy 'em- Then give 'em back. He's got these Silicon Valley eggheads interested and-

CATHY
Matt, I can't believe you'd even consider doing something like that!

MATT
Y'ever been inside a Portal? They're fantastic Cath! I mean Grazer's right about how human's'd pay a fortune to get a glimpse of-

CATHY
(standing abruptly)
Stop! I don't want to hear this!

MATT
Cathy...

CATHY
The Portal are supposed to be used to help people. In a profoundly Spiritual way, Matt! They have a deeply social-religious significance to my people.

MATT
Well we wouldn't mess with any of that stuff, we'd just-

CATHY
Just trivialise Newcomer religious practices so you can make a buck!
(heading for the door)

MATT
C'mon, Cath-

CATHY
Hey, I've got a better idea. You want an amusement park? How about "Jesus Land?"

MATT
Cathy-

CATHY
Think of the possibilities: You could have a Haunted Cathedral! Maybe snack stands with wine and communion wafers?!

MATT
Alright, will ya just-

CATHY
Oooo ooo I've got it: "Archbishops of the Caribbean!" Or maybe a log ride down the Virgin Birth Canal!

MATT
Cathy, that's not funny.

CATHY
Isn't it?
(shakes her head)
We really are from two different worlds.

She leaves and SLAMS the door. - MATT stands and stares.


INT. COP SHOP - DAY - A PHOTO OF BIGELOW ON THE BOARD

ZEPEDA (O.S.)
Marvin Bigelow. He's the latest reported missing. And I finally got a photo on Polly Wanakraker.

POLLY'S picture is put up. GEORGE whistles low, appreciative.

GEORGE (O.S.)
...Look at those perfect spots. Buck always admired spots like those.

ZEPEDA and MATT trade a glance of concern for GEORGE.

ZEPEDA
She's still missing. And she never E-mailed Caliban. She's very straight, no drugs, planning a marriage, no reason at all to disappear. She's completely out of pattern with the majority of our missing persons.

GEORGE
Probably not related then.

MATT
No connection to Jennifer?

ZEPEDA
Only that they had the same dentist. Doctor named-

MATT
Al Fresco?

MATT & GEORGE look at each other. Thinking.

ZEPEDA
Yeah. - Mean something?

MATT
Beats the hell outta me. - But tell y'what, Zep. Get a warrant. Then call Fresco's office and get-

GEORGE
The dental records for Jennifer and Polly?

MATT nods, shrugs. What the hell.

SHIVAN
Sikes, Grazer wants to see you.

MATT turns toward GRAZER'S office.

SHIVAN
No. He's on the roof. - Could this be our lucky day?


EXT. COP SHOP ROOF - DAY - ALBERT

is tending his large, very successful garden. There are ferns, small palms, fruit trees and many flowers.

ALBERT
Hi, detective.

MATT
Jeeze, Al, I haven't been up here in a while.

ALBERT
You should. Particularly with the life you lead. It's very peaceful.

MATT
(marvels at the garden)
This is amazing!

ALBERT
(kneeling in the dirt)
You know what I think is amazing? - These seeds I'm planting right now - in this Millennium... are going to blossom in the next.

He smiles, with innocent eyes, up at MATT.

MATT
...Yeah.
(a pause, then)
It's a beautiful garden, Albert.

ALBERT
Ahh, all it takes is a little pruning. And turning the soil. And adding the humus. And the vitamins of course. And weeding. And y'gotta spread a lot of manure.

GRAZER (O.S.)
Matt, over here.

MATT
Yeah. Speakin' of.

ALBERT smiles at MATT'S mischieviousness.

GRAZER - ON THE ROOF OVERLOOKING THE CITY

GRAZER
Nice up here, huh?

MATT
Yeah. Listen, I've been thinking and-

GRAZER
That Case Project of yours was very thorough. Supernova's a real nightmare drug: so easy to Synthesise. So addictive. You're convinced it was the Dai Chin Family that first brought it to L.A.?

MATT
Well. Uh, Yeah. That's what all the research pointed to.

GRAZER
Oh, what am I saying, I didn't mean Dai Chin. You said it was Lubovsky, right?

MATT
(laughs uncomfortably)
Right. Yeah. Lubovsky.

GRAZER
(a beat)
...Actually, now that I think about it, I think your report does say Dai Chin.

MATT is silent. Realises he's been suckered.

GRAZER
But what the hell. It's a great paper. - Whoever wrote it.
(pause)
We've got more important things to discuss, huh? Thought we'd have a little more privacy up here. Just a few flowers, fruits and...
(re Albert)
A vegetable. - Now listen, I've been on with the Silicon Valley guys. They're ready for the first step: Phil's got a tech crew standing by to analyse the box. They've started getting some major backers on-line. They're all very interested in the theme park idea. I'm telling you, this could really be huge.
(lighting a cigar)
But of course, it all hinges on you snagging that Portal.

MATT draws a breath, GRAZER exhales a puff of cigar smoke.

GRAZER
I know you'll come through. And you can count on me to keep mum about your Case Project. Everybody fudges a little now and then, right? But you get that ol' Portal, huh?

GRAZER smiles. Winks at MATT and heads off. He picks one of ALBERT'S flowers as he passes. - MATT stands, bristling.


INT. FRANCISCO DINING ROOM - NIGHT - GEORGE, SUSAN & EMILY

are finishing a meal. Nobody's talking. Then...

EMILY
...He'll be back.

GEORGE & SUSAN glance at each other, then at EMILY.

SUSAN
Of course he will, Em.

EMILY
(a beat)
...Would you guys mind if Randy came over to practice a little?

SUSAN nods. There's a pause.

EMILY
...Can I still go to his party tomorrow night?

SUSAN
His parents are going to be there?

EMILY
Yeah.

SUSAN nods again. EMILY makes herself not brighten as much as she feels. She moves off. SUSAN & GEORGE sit, immobile. GEORGE looks at the unused place setting where BUCK would usually sit.

GEORGE
It's so frustrating. ...All the technology, all the resources, and I can't find him. Or even know if he's alright or...

SUSAN takes his hand. Hurting as much as he. They sit.


INT. JENNIFER'S WAREHOUSE - NIGHT - A GROUP OF CANDLES

The CAMERA pans off to reveal many other candles, held by NEW SEEKERS crowded in among the others. BUCK, VIVIEN and NORTON are among them. They all have vulnerable eyes filled with hopefulness as they look at

JENNIFER - FULL

radiant in the candles surrounding her.

JENNIFER
...And so my beloved friends, tomorrow we'll combine all of our monetary possessions. - Together we'll have enough to purchase a property in the high Sierras where our transcendent new community will have a permanent home.
(off their delight)
And to celebrate tomorrow, I'll lead us all to the highest level yet within the Portal - to reach an astonishing Spiritual Purity. - And connection to our loved ones. - And what day could be more appropriate than New Year's Eve - the end of one Age - the beginning of a New. - Tomorrow we'll enter it together at the sundown of the Old Millennium. - All who are ready to join me... step forward.

The SEEKERS, including BUCK, draw a collective breath. They all take a big step forward.


END OF ACT FIVE
ACT SIX

EXT. RANDY'S LARGE HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON - EMILY

walks up to the door of the impressive house. The door opens, startling her! RANDY grins.

RANDY
Saw y'coming. {Welcome!}

EMILY
Wanted to make sure this was the right place. I'll get the synth.

RANDY
Come in first.


INT. RANDY'S HOUSE - A BANNER

proclaims "COUNTDOWN TO 2000 A.D.!!!" The CAMERA finds EMILY and RANDY entering the large living room. All decked out with decorations, lavish buffet table, - but no people.

EMILY
Am I early? Where is everybody?

RANDY
They'll be here in a while. Check out the spread. I've got all the stuff you like.
(lifts a sandwich)
Even peanut butter and jellyfish.

EMILY smiles. RANDY moves closer. He materialises a wine glass of sour milk. Holds it out to her.

RANDY
Sour milk. Vintage. - October.

EMILY
Oh, I don't drink, I-

RANDY
Em! It's New Millennium Eve! Let your hair down a little. - so to speak.

She looks at him. Smiles. Tastes it. He touches her temple.

RANDY
{You are so beautiful.}

He leans closer, touches his own temple to hers. She's nervous.

EMILY
I don't want your parents to-

RANDY
They're not back from Palm Springs yet. ...I wanted us to have a little time alone first.

EMILY
(flattered, aroused)
Oh.

He sips a glass of wine. Indicates her glass. She sips again.

RANDY
...Got something to show you.

He peels off his shirt. Displays Tenctonese "spots" on his back.

RANDY
Whadaya think?

EMILY is amused. And intrigued. Her eyes glitter from the milk.

EMILY
Mmm. Not bad.

He turns to her, smoothly slips an arm around her waist. Whispers into her ear...

RANDY
...Can I see yours?

She meets his eyes. They're very close.

EMILY
Randy. I really like you. But things can get a little dangerous unless-

RANDY
Hey. I've seen the video.
(off her curiosity)
"Sex with the Proper Alien." I know how. ...All the right spots...

His fingers touch her lower back. EMILY draws a breath.

RANDY
...See?

He HUMS against her temple. She's weakening. He glides to her lips. They kiss. Both enjoying it. - The phone RINGS. He groans and reaches across her to pick up the wireless.

RANDY
Might be my parents. ...Hello?
(nods to Emily)
Hi, Mum. ...Hang on, I'll check.
(lifts her milk glass)
Be right back.

He moves off toward the kitchen.

EMILY is unsteady. She sets her glass down - and misses. The glass spills on the carpet. She looks around for something to clean it with.

THE KITCHEN - RANDY - CLOSE

is whispering delightedly into the phone:

RANDY
...Told ya I'd win, man! You just bring the money to the party 'cause I am definitely gonna shag the slag before midnight.

He turns and sees EMILY staring at him. Stunned. She turns on her heel and heads out. He drops the phone.

RANDY
Wait! - Emily!

THE LIVING ROOM - EMILY

fighting tears of fury. RANDY catches up, grabs her dress, - which rips slightly. He pulls her around to him.

RANDY
Wait, dammit! I was just-

EMILY
Let me go!

EMILY shoves him with her superior strength. He goes flying onto the buffet table, landing with a splash.

And furious EMILY is out of there.


EXT. L.A. - LATE AFTERNOON - STOCK

Lots of NOISE: CAR HORNS. SIRENS. MUSIC BLASTS from boom boxes.


INT. COP SHOP - DAY

Really frantic activity now: PHONES RINGING off the hook, COPS and PEOPLE SHOUTING. "Damned slags" is heard more than once. Two handcuffed WHACKOS are arguing about whether tonight is The End or The Beginning. Two other PEOPLE are kneeling in prayer. ZEPEDA wades past.

ZEPEDA
Oh man, between the partying prayin' and the flat-out weirdness this city's Cumin' unvalued.

SHIVAN
(pushing a perp)
Whadaya expect? It's not just any New Year's Eve. CNN's sayin' there's celebrations and mayhem all over the world!

GEORGE
(frustrated at computer)
The Optinet's jammed, too. I can't even check my stupid Visa bill.

He SLAMS things on his desk. out of control! MATT reaches out.

MATT
George, George. Take it easy.
(George glares at him)
We'll find Buck. We'll find him.

GEORGE'S jaw sets. He regains control. Nods to MATT.

SHIVAN
They've called up all the reserves and we'll still never get enough cops out there.

ZEPEDA
(to Matt)
Here's those dental records Jennifer's and Polly Wanakraker.

SHIVAN
Plus Streisand's playing the Coliseum; The Four Tenors are at the Hollywood Bowl.

ALBERT
And preparations for the Rose Parade. That's my favourite.

GEORGE
Who's the Grand Marshal?

SHIVAN
The artist formerly known as John Travolta.

ALBERT
Ooo, I like him.

GRAZER cruises slowly past. MATT feels his unspoken pressure. He looks at the DENTAL X-RAYS, then turns the brightness up on his monitor to use as a light box. GEORGE joins him.

GEORGE
What do you think?

MATT
Polly's X-Rays are identical to Jennifer's except-

GEORGE
Jennifer has one more filling. - There.

ZEPEDA
Right.

GEORGE
If I were Jennifer and I wanted everybody to think I was dead-

MATT
You'd kidnap Polly-

ZEPEDA
(getting it)
Pay off some sleaze-bo dentist to add a filling in the right place-

GEORGE
And bongo!

MATT
"Bingo." - Anybody finding a corpse that had t'be identified by dental records would think Polly was Jennifer.

ZEPEDA
And Jennifer waltzes away. - I don't think I like this woman.

MATT
And why does she want to do it now?

GEORGE
Because she knows we're snapping at her wheels.

MATT
Rrrrright, George. And these types o'cons usually try t'go out with a bang. Don't y'think she'll try t'fleece her followers one last time before she leaves 'em hanging?

GEORGE
Yes. But where?


INT. FRANCISCO HOME - EMILY

Storms in the door, tearful and upset. Blows right past -

SUSAN
Emily? - What's wrong? What happened to your dress?!

EMILY stops on the stairway. Just stands. Trembling with anger. SUSAN tentatively approaches. Touches her daughter's shoulder.

EMILY turns to look at her mother, tears streaming down. SUSAN is wise enough to deduce exactly what's happened, and remain silent. She puts her arms around EMILY, who leans into her - and sobs.


INT. COP SHOP - LATE AFTERNOON - MATT ON HIS PHONE

MATT
No, dammit, I'm tryin' t'get a report from the cops we detailed to follow Vivien Fairbanks. You give me the damned voice mail again I swear t'God I'll come down there and strangle you with the phone cord!

GEORGE
(at his computer)
Ah! Finally the Visa line.
(squinting, frowns)
- What is that charge?

GEORGE touches his Wand to the screen. Frowns more.

GEORGE
I haven't bought a new Pentium 360!

ZEPEDA
George, I've been going through the phone list of people that called Caliban's Optinet Address. - Isn't this one-

GEORGE
My home phone. Yes. But who-

He goes pale. Punches his phone.

INT. FRANCISCO HOME - LATE AFTERNOON - TELEPHONE INTERCUT

SUSAN
(on speakerphone)
Hello?

GEORGE
Any sign of Buck?

SUSAN
No.

GEORGE
Have you seen a new computer in his room?

SUSAN
A new computer? No I-
(sees Emily's look)
...Wait a minute. Emily, do you know something about a computer?

MATT
(on his own phone)
What do you mean they were pulled off Vivien's tail and "assigned somewhere more important!?" - To where?
(to George, incredulous)
They sent 'em to security detail at the Universal Amphitheatre - for the "Power Ranger Millennium Reunion."

GEORGE
Emily, it's important you tell me what you know.

EMILY
I don't want to rat on him.

MATT
(into his phone)
I need to know where they saw Vivien Fairbanks last.

GEORGE
Emily, anything you know about Buck you've got to-

EMILY
I saw him selling a brand new computer for cash. He'd been saving his money for some "good Tenctonese use" that's all I know.

GEORGE reacts. He's getting an uneasy feeling. SUSAN senses it.

SUSAN
George? What's going on? Should I be getting worried here?

GEORGE
No. I think it'll all be okay.

SUSAN
...George? - You think?

GEORGE
I have to go. I'll try to be home by midnight. I hope we all will. Bye, neemu.

He and MATT hang up at the same time. Stand up.

GEORGE
Get an address?

MATT
Let's hope to hell it's the right one.


EXT. L.A. - SUNSET

The SIRENS, HORNS, MUSIC, and GENERAL NOISE is even louder.

EXT. A VAST ABANDONED INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX - SUNSET

MATT & GEORGE wheel in and look out their car windows.

MATT
This place is huge.

GEORGE
Let's try down there.

He PEELS OUT again.

DEEPER INTO THE COMPLEX - MATT & GEORGE'S CAR

pulls to the F.G., MATT waves him to a stop. Bails out. He moves among some barrels. GEORGE gets out the other side.

MATT
Got somebody, George.

GEORGE
Careful Matt. I smell gasoline.

GEORGE joins him as MATT turns over the limp body.

GEORGE
Polly Wanakraker.

MATT
She's still breathing. Looks like a heavy dose of something.
(peers into her mouth)

GEORGE New filling?

MATT
Bongo. - And gasoline, huh?

GEORGE
A lot of it. Look at these barrels.

MATT
Serious barbecue time. And when she turned extra-crispy the med examiner would make her as Jennifer.

GEORGE
Let's get her back to the car.

They start to lift her - GEORGE freezes. Points to his ear, then in a direction. MATT moves stealthily, gun levelled. Sees:

ANOTHER BODY AMONG THE BARRELS - INTERCUT

MATT
Turn over slow. Lemme see those hands.

THE WOMAN
...I ...can't... I...

MATT decides she's not a threat. Comes in closer. Turns her. It's MARINA! - MATT calls off to GEORGE:

MATT
It's Marina Del Rey.

He tries to help her, but she is also drugged and very weak. GEORGE joins them...

MATT
What the hell is going on?

MARINA
They...didn't trust me anymore. Calaban... convinced Jennifer ...a
completely clean getaway: no... no...

MATT
No witnesses?

MARINA
(nods weakly)
No one to tell what happened ...or keep them from...

MATT
Stay with me, Marina! C'mon, talk t'me! - Keep them from what?

MARINA
...From conning others out of millions...

GEORGE
Is my son with them? Buck Francisco? Do you know him?

MARINA
...Yes ...He'll die with the others.

MATT & GEORGE exchange a stunned look. GEORGE keys his radio.

GEORGE
One William one fifty two requesting back up at the Industrial Complex, Central at 24th.

RADIO VOICE
Fifty two, stand by.

MATT
And I thought Grazer's plan was bad.

GEORGE
Grazer's plan!?

MATT
You don't wanta know, George. Better call the whole circus!

GEORGE
(into radio)
We need a SWAT Team, air support and every unit available.

RADIO VOICE
Y'gotta be kidding, y'know what's going on in this city?

GEORGE
Listen to me, dammit! A lot of people may die! - My son!

RADIO VOICE
I'd come help ya myself, fifty two, but we haven't even got a Boy Scout available. Sorry guys, but you're on your own.

MATT & GEORGE stare at each other.


END OF ACT SIX
ACT SEVEN

EXT. THE INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX - SUNSET - MATT & GEORGE

are scrambling through the elaborate abandoned factory, trying to find BUCK & the SEEKERS. Then MATT sees

CALIBAN - INTERCUT

hurrying through the old facility. - MATT pulls his gun.

MATT
Halt! - Police!

CALIBAN keeps rushing up steps to the second level of the factory. MATT FIRES several shots at him.

GEORGE
Hurry! He's headed up! That way!

CALIBAN is rushing up steps to the third level of the factory.

INT. THE FACTORY - THIRD FLOOR WINDOW - CALIBAN

runs to it, climbs out - and his IMAGE WAVERS.

MATT & GEORGE

reaching the third floor have seen him. MATT blinks heavily.

MATT
Something's wrong with my eyes!

GEORGE
Wait! - Here, come here.

GEORGE runs to the next window, SMASHES it open and looks out.


EXT. THE FACTORY - NIGHT

has fallen. MATT & GEORGE lean out and see

THE PORTAL BOX - INTERCUT

glowing on the fire escape just outside the window CALIBAN had fled through. Then MATT & GEORGE look up to see:

THEIR POV - CALIBAN ON A FIRE ESCAPE - INTERCUT

hurrying upward.

GEORGE
Look. Up there! Above him!

A group of SEEKERS are higher on the fire escape, going onto the roof. BUCK is among them! GEORGE freaks!

GEORGE
Buck! - Stop! Come back!

MATT
He can't hear you, George, look!

GEORGE sees that the IMAGE of the SEEKERS is WAVERING.

MATT
They're all inside the Portal.

GEORGE
Yes. And the direction they're going...

MATT
(remembers the geography)
Will put 'em on the roof - right over where we found Polly.

GEORGE
She's going to lead them off! - Then incinerate them!

He rushes toward the window with the Portal. MATT grabs him.

MATT
George George George! Let's just smash the damn box!

GEORGE
You know how powerful they are! We don't know what would happen to the people inside! Remember the charred bodies we found last year?!
(pulling hard)
Let me go!

MATT
George!

GEORGE
(furious)
There's no time!

GEORGE uses his great strength to shove MATT away! Then he turns and goes out the window - across the PORTAL BOX.


EXT. A CLIFFSIDE - GEORGE

emerges from a fissure in the rock face. WIND is BLOWING fiercely. GEORGE looks around.

FULL - ALIEN MOUNTAIN PEAKS ALL AROUND - (MATTE 4 DETAIL)

Strange iridescent CLOUDS swirl around them.

The fire escape has become a series of NARROW LEDGES leading to the summit. GEORGE starts upward.

MATT LEANING OUT THE OTHER FACTORY WINDOW

sees GEORGE struggling against an unseen wind, up the fire escape. MATT'S trying to figure a course of action.

MATT
Aw, man..

EXT. THE MOUNTAIN SUMMIT - JENNIFER - CLOSE (BS)

turns into CLOSE UP, the CLOUDS CHURNING and FLASHING WITH LIGHTNING behind her, her clothes BLOWING dramatically.

JENNIFER
Isn't it glorious?!

FULL ACROSS HER TO THE SEEKERS - (MATTE 4) (BS)

The SNOW-COVERED, ALIEN MOUNTAIN PEAKS surrounding them pierce into the TUMULTUOUS CLOUDS.

JENNIFER
Your successful passage through the dark jungle world has brought you to this magnificence! Embrace it!

THE SEEKERS - CLOSER - BUCK AMONG THEM (BS)

The WILD CLOUDS ROLLING behind them. Their faces upturned.

RESUME JENNIFER - CLOSE (BS)

JENNIFER
Together we will move higher still. To new light. To your loved ones. - But first...

She bends to open a CEREMONIAL CHEST. And from within her own billowing garments, she withdraws a large wad of CASH.

JENNIFER
All of my worldly worth, I place here to willingly share with you to found our new community. - Will you so share with me?

THE SEEKERS

as a group, nod and smile, begin moving forward with their offerings. Placing them into the chest.

SIDE ANGLE - THE MOUNTAIN LEDGE - GEORGE - (MATTE 4 DETAIL)

struggles to climb, against the wind. When suddenly CALIBAN leaps from a fissure, tries to push him off! GEORGE grabs him and they fall on the ledge, battling. GEORGE'S GUN is lost.

THE FACTORY ROOF - MATT

pulls himself up through a skylight and tumbles out. He sees

ACROSS THE GRIMY ROOF - JENNIFER & SEEKERS - INTERCUT

their IMAGES WAVERING as they put wads of cash into the chest.

MATT
Wonderful. - Where the hell are ya, George?!

MATT

runs to the edge of the roof, looks off.

MATT'S POV DOWN - GEORGE & CALIBAN

are struggling on the fire escape below.

RESUME SIDE ANGLE - MOUNTAIN LEDGE - (MATTE 4 DETAIL) (BS)

CALIBAN slugs GEORGE hard. But GEORGE fights back. They both have PINK BLOOD running from cuts on their lips. CALIBAN gets the advantage - pushes GEORGE off the ledge!

HIGH ANGLE DOWN FACE OF THE CLIFF - (MATTE 5) (BS)

GEORGE DANGLES from the ledge over a mile-deep ALIEN GORGE, a WHITE RIVER rushes madly, far below!

ON THE ROOF - MATT

MATT
George!

MATT'S POV DOWN THE SIDE OF THE FACTORY - GEORGE

actually dangles from the fire escape, three stories above a metal scrap heap! CALIBAN regains his footing. Stumbles back against the building a moment, enjoying GEORGE'S predicament.

MATT can't get a clean shot without hitting GEORGE. He looks quickly around for some way to help.

RESUME SIDE ANGLE - MOUNTAIN LEDGE - (MATTE 4 DETAIL) (BS)

CALIBAN draws a breath. Steps forward looks down at

UP ANGLE ACROSS GEORGE TO CALIBAN

GEORGE HANGING OVER THE GORGE - (MATTE 5 DETAIL) (BS)

Then CALIBAN raises

HIS FOOT - CLOSE

And brings it down on GEORGE'S hand.

GEORGE - CLOSE (MATTE 5 - CLOSER) (BS)

grimacing in great pain. He can't hold on.

CALIBAN - CLOSE

glaring intensely as he grinds his foot down - but then something catches his eye, his head snaps around to see

SIDE ANGLE - THE MOUNTAIN SIDE - (MATTE 4 DETAIL) (BS)

A large chuck of rock toward him! CALIBAN tries to duck, but he's struck and knocked off the ledge!

RESUME DOWN ANGLE - (MATTE 5) - CALIBAN - (BS)

falls past GEORGE and into the GORGE!

THE FACTORY ROOF - MATT LOOKING DOWN

MATT
Awright. Now climb up, George!

MATT'S POV DOWN - A HEAVY, RUSTING TOOL BOX

lies on the fire escape near GEORGE.

ON THE LEDGE - GEORGE

sees (the tool box as) the chunk of rock. He pulls himself up. Realises MATT must've helped him. He waves vaguely toward where he thinks MATT is, then hurries along the ledge.

SUMMIT - ACROSS SEEKERS TO JENNIFER - (MATTE 6) (BS)

The spectacular PEAKS SURROUND THEM. The CLOUDS CHURN.

NORTON

is the last of the SEEKERS to place his offering into the chest. JENNIFER smiles.

RESUME JENNIFER - CLOSER - INTERCUT - MATTE 6 DETAIL (BS)

JENNIFER
And now, my friends...we're about to move to a yet-higher spiritual plane. We'll all-

RESUME ACROSS HER TO SEEKERS - (MATTE 4) (BS)

GEORGE
No!

He is moving in among them. The SEEKERS are startled. upset by his negativity.

GEORGE
You are all being duped by this woman!

NORTON
Don't speak about her that way!

Other SEEKERS shout agreement with NORTON. BUCK is mortified:

BUCK
Dad, no. you don't understand-

GEORGE
The hell I don't

JENNIFER
Don't let him upset our delicate world!

GEORGE
This is police business. I want you all to-

NORTON
(grabbing George)
This is no business of yours!

Other SEEKERS lend a hand subduing GEORGE. JENNIFER is calm.

JENNIFER
Keep him silent. And let him see the power of our ways! Let him see me walk on air!

She steps off the mountain's edge! Walks on thin air!

THE SEEKERS (BS)

are awe-struck! GEORGE struggles, gets free a moment:

GEORGE
No, it's a ruse! She's-

NORTON
She's floating in air, man!

BUCK
Look, dad!

RESUME ANGLE ACROSS THEM TO JENNIFER - (MATTE 6) (BS)

As she indeed walks outward on thin air!

MATT - RUNNING CLOSER ON THE FACTORY ROOF

MATT
What the hell? - oh.

HIGH ANGLE DOWN AT JENNIFER CROSSING BOARD (BS)

showing the abyss of the alley dangerously beneath her. Once across, she nudges the board away. It falls five stories.

RESUME JENNIFER - CLOSE - CLOUDS BEHIND HER (BS)

JENNIFER
Come with me now, my friends. Share this with me, too. - Make your own "leap of faith."
(off George's struggle)
Bring him. Help him to see our way. Walk toward me, arm in arm.

THE BEDAZZLED SEEKERS (BS)

shoulder to shoulder, begin slowly moving - toward the edge!

GEORGE - CLOSE (BS)

GEORGE
(struggling, manages:)
No! - Buck! Listen to me!

MATT - CLOSE

MATT
No. Hey NO! - STAY BACK!

MATT realises they can't hear him. He aims his pistol at JENNIFER.

MATT
Alright, honey. Let's see if bullets cut through this crap.

He squeezes the trigger. CLICK. His face sags. He grabs for another clip. But has lost it. - He looks up to see

GEORGE - INTERCUT

being herded forward in front of the SEEKERS. MATT realises they're going to fall five stories!

MATT makes a snap decision. - Bolts away!

RESUME ACROSS JENNIFER TO SEEKERS - (MATTE 5) (BS)

who are moving closer to the mountain's edge.

GEORGE - CLOSE (BS)

Struggling furiously. Managing:

GEORGE
Buck! Have I ever lied to you!?

BUCK - CLOSE (BS)

He looks at GEORGE. Has the slightest hint of indecision now.

THE FIRE ESCAPE - MATT

is running down, full tilt. He slows as he comes to the level where the PORTAL BOX sits GLOWING. - He looks around, breathlessly. Grabs a broken PIECE of IRON RAILING. Glances urgently upward toward the roof.

GEORGE, BUCK AND THE SEEKERS (SPLIT-SCREEN SO THEY APPEAR:)

almost to the edge - and certain death.

MATT - CLOSE - ON THE FIRE ESCAPE

MATT
Please, God...

He crosses himself, draws a breath and swings the iron bar down onto

THE PORTAL BOX

which FLASHES with A FLURRY OF SPARKS!

ANGLE ACROSS THE SEEKERS TO JENNIFER - (MATTE 6) (BS)

The BOILING CLOUDS above suddenly IGNITE with LIGHTNING.

JENNIFER - CLOSE (BS)

as her eyes snap upward, knowing something's wrong.

THE SEEKERS - CLOSE (BS)

pause at the brink of doom. LIGHTNING FLASHES illuminate them.

ON THE FIRE ESCAPE - MATT

is SMASHING THE SHIT out of the PORTAL BOX. ELECTRICITY ZAPS at him. ELECTRICAL ARCS emanate from the box and curve into the metal fire escape in a fusillade of FIREWORKS!

ANGLE ACROSS THE SEEKERS TO JENNIFER - (MATTE 6) (BS)

BOLTS OF LIGHTNING from the TURBULENT CLOUDS CRACK down and IMPACT EXPLOSIVELY on the roof!

JENNIFER - CLOSE - THE VIOLENT SKY BEHIND HER (BS)

JENNIFER
No - NO!

Then a BOLT hits her! And she FALLS! - SCREAMING!

ON THE FIRE ESCAPE - MATT

brings the iron bar down one final time on

THE DESTROYED PORTAL

There is a final SPLASH OF SPARKS.

ON THE ROOF - THE SEEKERS - (MATTE 4) (BS)

are amazed when the ALIEN MOUNTAINS around them suddenly EVAPORATE!

THE ACTUAL ROOFTOP - THE SEEKERS

see how close they are to the edge of the roof! And death. - JENNIFER lies on the ground, far below.

GEORGE
Back! - Get back!

There is stunned pause. BUCK looks incredulously at GEORGE.

GEORGE
It's okay. It's over.

THE TOP OF THE FIRE ESCAPE - MATT APPEARS - INTERCUT

MATT
...George?

His eyes find GEORGE'S. And hold. GEORGE nods thanks.

BUCK moves to GEORGE. Hugs him tightly.

END OF ACT SEVEN
ACT EIGHT

INT. THE FRANCISCO HOME - NIGHT - A CLOCK SHOWS 11:55

GEORGE moves in front of the clock. He's wearing a funny, pointy party hat.

GEORGE
Almost time!

He hands a hat to BUCK, who takes it, very contrite.

BUCK
...Glad I'm here to celebrate.

GEORGE
Me, too.

GEORGE hugs him. Their eyes hold with real connection. Then:

GEORGE
Ah! The Queen approaches!

SUSAN & EMILY bring noisemakers. They both wear paper crowns.

SUSAN
(re Emily)
With the Crown Princess.

GEORGE
(bowing grandly)
Your gracious majesties!

BUCK
...Only four minutes left!

SUSAN
(straightens George's hat)
I'm so glad we're together - with no more slave ships in our future.

GEORGE
And maybe a little less slave mentality. - And I'm glad we're on this planet-

SUSAN
Yeah. When y'think of all the ones we could've ended up on...

BUCK
...Without each other.

SUSAN hugs BUCK. EMILY sits at the piano. Begins to play.

GEORGE
Not the synth?

EMILY
I'm gonna take it back. ...And the midi.

SUSAN watches her, affectionately.

SUSAN
Yeah. This planet's got some real possibilities.

GEORGE
- In spite of the fact that they've had a very rocky last thousand years.

SUSAN
Well, maybe we can help 'em to make the next thousand a little better.

GEORGE
(a deeply-felt smile)
...Yes. Maybe we can.

BUCK
Two minutes left!


EXT. MATT & CATHY'S ROOFTOP - NIGHT - MATT & CATHY

are bundled up, looking out over the city as MATT pours:

CATHY
Sparkling sour milk?!

MATT
Yeah, see...
(singing)
"I say Moet, and you say Moooo-ay."

She laughs, then pours some Moet Champagne for MATT.

CATHY
...So what'd Grazer say?

MATT
What could he? I told him the Portal was gone-zo. - Sayonara, Grazerland.

CATHY
Sometimes people do get what they deserve.

MATT
(nuzzling closer)
Mmmm. Glad to hear that.

CATHY
Me, too. ...What about your Detective 2 test?

MATT
Oh I'm sure to pass it sometime in the next thousand years. - Probably by the time you get your garden growing.

CATHY
Hey, I already started. This afternoon.

MATT
Get outta here!

CATHY
No, really. Planted some kohlrabi, radishes, seeds for wildflowers and-
(sees Matt's wistful expression)
...What?

MATT
Somethin' Albert said... how the seeds we plant in this Millennium... are gonna blossom in the next.

CATHY
...I love Albert.
(Matt smiles, nods)
...And I. Love. You.

She pulls him into a kiss.


INT. THE FRANCISCO HOME - NIGHT

THE FRANCISCO FAMILY
Four...Three...Two...One... HAPPY NEW YEAR! - 2000! Yaaaaaaaay!

They SHAKE, RATTLE AND BLOW NOISEMAKERS. Throw confetti and streamers on each other! - EMILY starts to PLAY, a little raggedly... and GEORGE, SUSAN & BUCK join in SINGING with her:

THE FRANCISCO FAMILY
"Should old acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind...
Should old acquaintance be forgot, And days of Auld Lang Syne..."


EXT. THE COP SHOP ROOF - NIGHT - ALBERT'S GARDEN

is being sprinkled with water. The CAMERA pans up to find ALBERT, smiling with simple pleasure, watering his newly-planted seeds.

THE FRANCISCO FAMILY (V.O.)
"For Auld Lang Syne, my dear, For Aul-llld La-anng Syne..."


EXT. MATT & CATHY'S ROOF - NIGHT - MATT & CATHY

are locked in a fond embrace as, behind them, the SPARKLING SKYLINE OF L.A. EXPLODES to life with DAZZLING FIREWORKS as all the city's CHURCH BELLS RING OUT!

THE FRANCISCO FAMILY (V.O.)
"We'll take a cup of kindness yet, ...For-rrrr Aul-llld La-anng Syne."

THE END