ALIEN NATION

"On Separate Ways"

Written by
Tom Chehak


Draft No. - Unknown
Draft Date - Unknown '90

ACT ONE

FAD IN

INT. L.A. METRO RAIL CAR - TRAVELLING - NIGHT

Mrs Ida Hoe, a middle-aged Newcomer, cradles her infant son tightly in her arms as she moves to a seat in the back of the rumbling metro rail car. Though the car is sleek and modern, the unsteadiness of the ride, the graffiti, and the low life's on board suggest a less than ideal mode of transportation. Mrs Hoe finds a seat, settles in, lovingly checks her baby, then reacts to the hiss of the connecting car door opening.

ANGLE ON - TRIO OF WHITE YOUTHS

Known as White Peepo. David, Alan and Rick, the all white gang -- dressed in white shirts, thin fifties type ties, black pants with white socks and black loafers -- are an unsettling addition to the car. They move down the aisle, the pulsing electrical system of the metro rail now flickering the lights on and off. Though barely in their teens, the malicious kids are indeed a menace. Alan, "The Wild One", digs through the pockets of a passed out bum, while "Handsome" Rick, moves up next to an attractive young girl and stares her down. David, the arrogant leader, eyes Mrs. Hoe tending her baby.

DAVID'S POV ON IDA HOE

Aware that she is being studied, she focuses on her baby, avoiding David's piercing stares.

THE GANG

As they move to David and confer. Ida is obviously the subject of conversation. The car appears to be slowing.

IDA though not her stop she rises and starts moving for the door, hoping to avoid any trouble. She moves by the gang who watch her for a beat, then Davis smashes the circuit panel and the lights go out completely. Random flashes, sparking from the circuit box allow us to witness the violence of an abduction in progress. The boys make a break for it out the end door. When the emergency lights come on, Ida is on the floor of the car, clinging to the empty blanket that once held her child, pleading to anyone who will listen.

IDA
{My baby! My baby! They took my baby!}


INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

George is at the kitchen counter preparing a sack lunch, addressing himself to Vessna who sits in her little porta-seat facing him.

GEORGE
Okay, you've got your formula, chew stone. What else are you going to need today?

A shirtless Buck enters and goes right to the refrigerator in an attempt to forage.


BUCK
We never have anything to eat around here.

GEORGE
I thought you wanted to go back to old eating cycles.

BUCK
I do. But I'm hungry now.

GEORGE
Buck you just ate three days ago.

BUCK
Can I help it if I'm a growing boy.

GEORGE
I'm going to the market tonight. Write down whatever you want on the list.

Buck closes the refrigerator revealing a huge list on the door. George returns his attention to Vessna.

GEORGE
All right. Let's see, are we all ready to go?
(remembering)
Your froggy. Buck would you hand me Vessna's pacifier?

Buck reaches into the refrigerator and pulls out a dead frog. He hands it to George who waves it front of Vessna, giving it to here. The pacifier is well received.

GEORGE
There's your froggy. Say "hi froggy." You know I think she's going to open her eyes any day now.

BUCK
She'll close them the minute she sees a hairy human.

GEORGE
Buck...

BUCK
I'm outta here.

GEORGE
What about a shirt?

BUCK
It's going to be a hundred and five out there today.

Buck starts to exit as Susan enters.

SUSAN
You've got a dress code at school... let's not make this a discussion, okay?

Emily enters wearing huge boxer shorts outside her speedo swimsuit, brightly coloured tennis shoes, and a bolo.

BUCK (re: Emily)
You going to make that a discussion?

Emily ignores him and goes to the refrigerator bringing out various items to prepare lunch.

SUSAN
Emily, put on a dress and get ready for school.

She crosses and touches George's temple. Emily ignores her mother's request.

SUSAN
Morning.
(to Vessna)
You all ready to go?

GEORGE
I thought I'd take her to MY day-care today.

SUSAN
Why? She's very happy with me.
(gathering Vessna)
Come on, Neemu.

GEORGE
Well, I know, but you've taken her the last couple of days.

SUSAN (avoiding George)
Emily? Didn't I ask you something?

EMILY
Mum, please...

GEORGE
Why is she wearing underwear like that?

SUSAN
Because she's twelve.

EMILY
Okay look people, I am beginning high school today. I think I can dress myself.

SUSAN
You're beginning an accelerated program at high school, I'm still your mother, and I will not allow you to leave the house dressed like a Yatzeman...

EMILY
A what?

GEORGE
Yatzeman were those on the ship who cleaned the carzuloo shoots.

EMILY
Gross. Thanks a lot.

GEORGE
Em, maybe you'd better change your outfit.

EMILY
And I suppose I can't wear any make-up either.

SUSAN
Not unless you want your Carpuzal glands to clog.

EMILY
I'm a little more grown up than you think. My Carpuzal's will be fine.

Buck comes in wearing a tank top shirt cut off just below the nipples. Susan vents her frustration at him.

SUSAN (snapping)
Buck, for the sake of Celine put on a shirt!

He does a U-turn out of the room.

GEORGE
Susan, I don't think this is that serious.

SUSAN (still frustrated)
Emily, change into an acceptable dress or stay home from school.

EMILY
Fine. You just don't understand. You don't even want to understand.

She storms out. The phone rings.

GEORGE (crossing to the phone)
Are you all right?

SUSAN
Yes, I'm fine. It's just that ever since her Tanjello glands turned under she's been impossible.

George picks up the phone.

GEORGE
Hello. Yes. When? I see. Right. The metro station at Sixth and Fullerton. I'm on my way.

He hangs up, casting a serious look to Susan.

SUSAN
What is it?

GEORGE
There was another abduction.

He touches her temple and exits.

ON SUSAN as THE CAMERA PUSHES in on her, she seems to be lost in a thought that takes her back. It hurts. As she clutches Vessna close, her pained eyes close.


EXTREME CLOSE UP - ON IDA

As she tosses her head about, emotionally wrought.

IDA
{How many questions do you want me to answer? I want my baby. They took my baby. Please somebody help me.}

The CAMERA WIDENS to see that Ida is seated on the street at the Metro rail entrance, being attended to by a paramedic. Sikes is nearby.

SIKES (to paramedic)
Look, can't you give her something to calm her down?

PARAMEDIC
We're not certified to do anything to them.

SIKES
So what are you doing?

PARAMEDIC
We get the call, we come. Then we call the certified boys. Should be here in another fifteen.

ANGLE - On George as he drives up and jumps out of his car. The woman continues her rants as the Paramedic tries to hold her.

SIKES
Hey, George.

GEORGE (focused on woman)
I'm sorry I'm late. What do you have?

SIKES (indicating Ida)
She's the victim. We're kind of having a little communication breakdown.

George touches Ida's temple with one hand and places his other hand on her sternum, massaging her chest with clinical strokes. Sikes and the Paramedic look on uncomfortably.

SIKES
Haven't got anything from her. Couple of other people filled me in...
(more uncomfortable)
Uh... looks like a gang... nobody saw where they went...
(finally, completely embarrassed)
George... you two know each other?

GEORGE (concentrating)
She's PRACTIMALNAL/.

SIKES
Yeah, well you're out of control.

GEORGE (aware of his salacious audience)
Hysterical... like your hyperventilation. This will calm her.

PARAMEDIC (enjoying it)
Hell, I gotta get certified.

GEORGE
Perhaps if you would, you'd act more like a paramedic than a goon at a stag party.

SIKES (getting the point)
Yeah, well, I guess I'll just see what I can come up with around here.

He starts to walk off and notices the paramedic, not getting it, still watching George.

PARAMEDIC
You want me to take over for you?

Sikes grabs the paramedic.

SIKES
Why don't you count some bandaids.

He tosses George an understanding smile and hauls off the paramedic. Ida seems to be calming down.

IDA
{Thank you. I'm fine.}

GEORGE
{Just relax. Everything will be fine.}

George finishes up his massage, looking up to make sure the paramedic is watching and seeing.

Sikes standing nearby talking to a down and out, dirty, stinking transient we will come to know as EDDY LEMOY.

George kneels next to Ida, who has barely collected herself.

GEORGE
{Are you okay?}

IDA
{They took my baby... on the ship...}

GEORGE
{No you're not on the ship...}

IDA
{She's gone... my baby is gone.}

GEORGE
Just try to tell me what you can.

All Ida can do is cling to George, her pain from the loss of her baby consuming her.


INT. OFFICE BUILDING - CORRIDOR - CLOSE ON A NEWSPAPER - DAY

A headline on the back of the folded paper reads "Newcomer Baby's disappearance third this week." The CAMERA WIDENS to reveal Susan as she moves down the hectic corridor, with Vessna in her porta-seat in one hand, her briefcase dangling and the newspaper in her other hand. She flips the paper and is drawn to the Newcomer article, visibly concerned, as she moves along. Candy Landers, a perky co-worker comes bustling by, breaking Susan's concentration.

CANDY
Is this a picture of motherhood? The paper, the baby, the briefcase
(having fun)
God, you're disgusting.

SUSAN
Hi, Candy. What's up?

CANDY
Old man Pierce wants a pow-wow on the Sinatra Spaghetti sauce account. Seems old blue eyes isn't a happy camper. You're expected at ten sharp.

They arrive at a mail/message section of the corridor.

SUSAN
Me? I don't have anything to do with that account.

CANDY
Hey, come on kid. You're Pierce's number one player. He wants to throw you in the ring and mix up the soup.

Susan puts the porta-seat containing Vessna on a chair, and turns her attention to her mail shot.

SUSAN
I thought it was spaghetti sauce?

Candy pulls a large report out of her briefcase and gives it to Susan who is busy with the mail in her box.

CANDY
Here's the background. See you in ten.

Susan looks at the huge volume and opens it up.

SUSAN
Why would anybody want to write so much about spaghetti?

She turns smiling to Vessna, but her humour is quickly drained.

SUSAN'S POV - The chair empty -- Vessna is gone.

Susan looks around, panic starting to consume her. She rushes up to an office boy.

SUSAN
{Did you see my child...?} Vessna... did you see someone take Vessna?

The boy shakes his head.

SUSAN
Vessna! Help me! My baby's been taken. Please somebody.

Office personnel start to come to Susan's assistance as she moves quickly down the corridor.

SUSAN
Somebody's taken my daughter!

Susan rounds the corner, practically running into Candy, who turns around to reveal she is holding Vessna.

CANDY
Susan, What's the matter?

SUSAN (taking Vessna)
I didn't know where Vessna was.

CANDY
You're always asking me to put her in day-care.

The CAMERA PUSHES IN on Susan who is obviously working out something much deeper than she is willing to admit. She holds Vessna closely.

CANDY
Susan? Are you alright.

Susan snaps out of her thought. Embarrassed at the gathered crowd.

SUSAN
Yes. I'm sorry. I'm... sorry.

She moves down the hall, embarrassed, clinging to Vessna.

INT. POLICE STATION - SQUAD ROOM - DAY

Grazer moves through the mess of office humanity to Sikes and George's desk, where the two detectives are huddled with Zepeda.

GRAZER
Why weren't you two at the Cantina Formage this morning?

SIKES
We've been kind of busy.

GRAZER
Didn't you get the memo?
(reciting)
"Informal briefing and collaboration between officers in the company of their commanding officer. 0-600 at the Formage Cantina."

SIKES
Bryon, it's all over the shop. You invested your savings in that dump, you're losing your shirt, your wife's about to sign you off if you don't turn a profit and nobody here is interested.

GRAZER (stunned)
Everybody knows that?

SIKES
Yeah, so drop the song and dance about collaboration between officers.

GRAZER
Well, if everybody knew why didn't they show a little support?

GEORGE
Sir, we were rather busy this morning with this new kidnapping.

SIKES
Speak for yourself, George. I don't eat expensive crap.

GRAZER
I hired a new chef, the crap is getting better.
(beat, then)
What new kidnapping?

GEORGE (handing Grazer paper)
Baby Hoe fits the same general description of all the others... less than a year old, healthy, good family...

GRAZER
What's that? Six in the last two weeks?

GEORGE (nods)
All the other abductions were done with a great deal of caution. The mother's momentarily turned from their children and never saw the abductors...

ZEPEDA
Or their children, again.

GRAZER
Why do I get a feeling this one was different?

SIKES
Broad daylight. Public transportation system. Plenty of witnesses on the three teen-agers who took off with the kid.

ZEPEDA
Looks like one of those westside designer gangs.

GRAZER
So, this abduction is probably unrelated to the others.

GEORGE
The line on the bottom still says six babies missing.

GRAZER
All right, well, start sniffing the westside and find that gang.

SIKES
With what we have, it'd be easier eating that tomato soup you serve.

GRAZER (under his breath)
We don't serve tomato soup.

Grazer walks off.

SIKES
My god. What was that red stuff I ate there?

George and Zepeda aren't amused, going back to work.


EXT. HIGH SCHOOL - DAY

Emily is at her locker, dressed in a little fashionless dress. Buck drags up.

BUCK
How's it going?

EMILY
Root functions in calculus. I did that in the third grade.

BUCK
No, I mean with the hairys.
(off her look)
The terts. The humans.

EMILY
Haven't really met anyone.

BUCK
Yeah, well don't plan on having a fan club.
(throws his books in her locker)
You mind if I stow these here for a while?

EMILY
Where are you going?

BUCK (covering)
I got a free period. Later.

He's gone as a human teenage girl approaches and opens the locker next to Emily's. She's dressed exactly the way Emily was before her mother made her change her clothes. Her name is Mindy Hooks. She notices Emily.

MINDY
How you doing?

EMILY
Fine.

MINDY
You go to school here.

EMILY
I just started.

Mindy starts applying a fresh coat of lipstick using the mirror on the inside of her locker.

MINDY
No kidding. You any relation to that other one?

EMILY
Buck's my brother.

MINDY
Cool.
(re: lipstick)
You want some?

EMILY
I don't know. Sometimes Tenctonese have a bad reaction to makeup... at my age.

MINDY
Yeah, right.
(shuts locker)
My mum would have killed me too, if I wore makeup at your age.

EMILY
No really. It's a physical thing.

MINDY
Sure.

Mindy catches a handsome stud walk by and is drawn to him.

EMILY
I don't think I'd have a problem.

MINDY
Yeah, well help yourself.
(calling)
Hey, Bobby... see ya kid.

She takes off. As Emily watches her go, the CAMERA PULLS BACK showing her alone in the empty hallway.


EXT. PARIS SKYLINE - NIGHT (STOCK)

To establish the city of love.

INT. PARIS APARTMENT - NIGHT

Several young French couples sit around a coffee table, littered with wine, cheese and fruit. The chic crowd has obviously been enjoying the food and wine for the better part of the evening. As CLAUDETTE, a young hostess, pours espresso for her guests, GUY the young host addresses the crowd. Nearby, a middle-aged man, known as SALAMANDRA stands out among the younger crowd. He is dressed just as chicly as the others. All speak their native French tongue.

GUY
Importation isn't a problem. No quarantine. No health certificate.

CLAUDETTE
Easier than a monkey from India.

Bernadette, a fashion plate, is excited.

BERNADETTE
Are we going to see it?

GUY
Yes, of course. Finish your flan.

BERNADETTE (to guy)
Tell us. How did you find it? How did you get it?

GUY (eyeing Salamandra)
If you're interested I think there are a few available.

BERNADETTE (to her mate)
Jean, we have to get one.

CLAUDETTE
Stop teasing. Let's see it!

GUY
All right. All right.

He rises and crosses down the hallway, as the others mill with excitement.

INT. PARIS APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT

As guy walks in, and flicks on the light.

GUY
All right, little fella. It's showtime. Up and at 'em.

ANGLE ON THE CRIB to see the near motionless body of a Newcomer infant.

Guy moves to the crib and bends down, picking up the child. As he starts to collect it, he grimaces, reacting to a peculiar smell. He checks the lethargic baby and notices a thin layer of clear ooze on the baby's hand. He touches it, rubs it between his fingers and sniffs it, reacting to the pungent smell. He grabs a nearby diaper and quickly dabs the baby clean, tossing the diaper back in the crib.

GUY
You are quite a creature.

As he exits, THE CAMERA PANS to the discarded diaper in the crib. The clear ooze on the diaper, starts to fizz slightly. As THE CAMERA PUSHES IN we see the bubbling ooze begin to smoke.

END OF ACT ONE.

ACT TWO

FADE IN

INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - DINNING ROOM - NIGHT

The family is at the table which is filled with enough food for twelve people. Everyone is voraciously eating. George takes a break and looks up.

GEORGE
Well, do you all prefer eating this way?

BUCK
Fine with me.

GEORGE
Susan?

SUSAN
We've tried so hard to adapt to the human eating cycles, but one meal every three or four days is so much better for us.

GEORGE
Em? What about you?

EMILY
What about me? You'll just do whatever YOU want.

SUSAN
Emily, your father was simply asking your opinion.

EMILY
So when does my opinion suddenly matter?

BUCK
Unplug it, Em.

EMILY
Pass the pinecones.

SUSAN
{Please.}

EMILY
{Please.}

GEORGE
So, how was your first day of high school?

EMILY
I felt stupid in that dress I wore. I spoke to one person and everybody else looked at me like I was a freak.

BUCK
Welcome to Reagan High.

EMILY
I don't know what's worse. School or here.

GEORGE
What's that supposed to mean?

SUSAN
It means she's twelve and for some reason on this planet when you reach that age it means you can sulk and be rude.

Emily throws down her fork, rolling her eyes.

EMILY
When you were twelve you didn't have your parents telling you what to do, when to eat, what to wear.

GEORGE
No, we had Overseers to do that after they ripped us away from our parents.

EMILY
Maybe they can rip me away from you.

Susan straightens and shoots Emily a stern look.

SUSAN
You may be excused from this table.

GEORGE
Susan, I don't think she meant that.

SUSAN
What did you mean, Emily.

EMILY
You just don't understand.

SUSAN (aggravated)
Can you help me understand why you would like some overpowering slave controller coming in here and tearing you from my arms... help me understand that...

GEORGE
Susan...

SUSAN
No, George. SHE doesn't understand and I will not have her at this table.

EMILY
Fine. I'll leave.

GEORGE
Emily! Perhaps an apology...

Emily exits. There is a long beat, then, breaking the tension in the room we hear,

BUCK
Maybe the pinecones were bad.

Susan shoots Buck a hard look. He raises his hands as if to surrender.

GEORGE
Buck, I don't think your humour is appreciated at the moment.

Susan rises and starts out the room.

GEORGE
Susan?

She exits. George looks at Buck who takes a beat, then offers a bowl to George.

BUCK
Pinecone?

INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

The door opens on the dark room, revealing Susan, balled-up in the corner, her arms tight around her knees, pulled close to her chest.

George moves into FRAME, kneeling next to her.

GEORGE
Susan what is it?

SUSAN
I'm sorry.

GEORGE
No. There's something more. {Talk to me.}

SUSAN
It's nothing. It's everything.

George embraces her.

GEORGE
Our children are growing up. It's very hard at times to let them do that.

SUSAN
I want them to grow up. That's not it.

GEORGE
The kidnappings?

A chord is struck. Susan tightens and looks at George.

SUSAN
Remember all the others... all the babies...

GEORGE
Susan, no, this isn't {Landing Three.}

SUSAN
Do you remember them? The faces of the mothers and fathers? What was the face of the woman who lost her child today like, George?

GEORGE
Listen to me. This isn't {Landing Three.}

SUSAN
How did her face look, George?


FLASHBACK TO

EXT. LANDING THREE MINING CAMP - DAY

The red dirt swirls as George stands before a flapping tent in his slave clothing. Newcomers push by him in panic. George is trying to wrestle a baby from a Newcomer female who pleads, tears flowing. George is desperately trying to communicate t the woman.

GEORGE (V.O.)
It's not the same.

BACK TO SCENE - ON SUSAN AND GEORGE

Susan looks at George intensely.

SUSAN
Then why is everything in me screaming to keep my family close?

Seeing the pain in Susan's eyes, George pulls her close.


INT. POLICE STATION - SQUAD ROOM - DAY

Sikes is at his desk with Zepeda who stands over his shoulder looking at a dozen black and white photos of men and boys in white shirts and black ties.

SIKES
You're telling me thirteen gangs wear the same uniform as the one that took the last baby?

ZEPEDA
Makes it harder to know who you're shooting at in a driveby.

SIKES
You're not helping, Zepeda.

ZEPEDA
There are subtle differences.

SIKES
Like?

ZEPEDA
Like...
(points to picture)
...the Rickets wear a little earring on the right lobe. The Dairies don't wear underwear.

George enters with a communiqué in hand and crosses to Grazer's office, through,

SIKES
And the only description we got was three teens in white shirts and black ties. Hey George, you feel like visiting a few gangs today?

GEORGE
Something else has come up.

Sikes is up and following.

SIKES
What?

GEORGE
There's a call coming through from Europe...

They enter,

INT. POLICE STATION - GRAZER'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

As George moves to Grazer's desk. Sikes stands in the doorway.

GEORGE
I asked for it to be routed into here.

SIKES
Who is it?

GEORGE
An Interpol officer in France. I don't know anything more.

The phone rings. George pushes the speaker box.

GEORGE (in French)
Hello, officer Jarre. This is officer Francisco. I'm with my partner, officer Sikes.

JARRE (V.O.) (in French)
Hello. I'll be brief. We have a situation here...

Sikes picks up a tacky menu from the Fromage Cantina off of Grazer's desk and glances at it through,

SIKES
Pardon Monsieur... could we do this in English for the slow guy here?

JARRE (V.O.)
Of course. My apologies. We have a situation here that I think you should be aware of.

SIKES
A situation?

JARRE (V.O.)
I understand you are involved in the investigation of those slave babies.

GEORGE
We call ourselves Newcomers...yes?

JARRE (V.O.)
Pardon. I didn't realise you were one. We've found one of the babies.

GEORGE
Alive?

JARRE
Well, that's rather hard for us to tell. We're not quite familiar with your species over here.

SIKES
How hard is it to tell if something is dead or alive?

GEORGE
Can you arrange immediate transportation back to Los Angeles for the child?

JARRE
Yes, well, there's another problem. Five adults were found with the baby... all of them are seriously ill. I think we're going to need a little help from you here.


EXT. HIGH SCHOOL - LOCKER AREA - DAY

Emily has her back to us as Buck speaks to her.

BUCK
Well, how much did you use?

EMILY
Barely any. A little lipstick and some mascara.

THE CAMERA MOVES around to see Emily. Her eyes are starting to swell closed and her lips are puffy.

BUCK
You definitely clogged up something.

EMILY
What am I going to do?

BUCK
Get a note from the nurse and go home.

EMILY
Sure and have mum kill me.

BUCK
Better than staying around this place and have friendly terts give you the once over.

They look at passing kids who stare and snicker as they walk by.

BUCK
Look, I gotta get out of here.

EMILY
What do you mean? Don't you have classes?

BUCK (uncomfortable)
Yeah, right. I'll see you later.

EMILY
But what about me?

BUCK
Look, Emily, it will go away in a couple of hours... I'd just wait a while till you tried painting your face again.

He saunters off. Emily watches, more alone than ever, kids walking by look at her puffy face and snicker.


INT. AIRPLANE - DAY

George and Sikes walk down the aisle to their seats.

SIKES
This is it, George. Sixteen "A" and "B".

George starts into his seat but stops.

SIKES
What?

GEORGE
I don't want to sit by the window.

SIKES
Fine.

Sikes stows a bag above him and dives into his seat. George sits, takes a beat, then reaches over Sikes and shuts the window.

SIKES
What the hell are you doing?

Sikes puts up the window. George reaches to put it down. Sikes holds it down.

SIKES
I'm not sitting by the window for ten hours looking at a plastic shade.

GEORGE
All right if you must know I'm a little concerned about this trip.

SIKES
What are you talking about? We're going to Paris. The Champs Elysese. The petite madamoiselles. The food. The petite madamoiselles. The wine. The petite madamoiselles.

GEORGE
I'm nervous...

SIKES
Of course you are. You're married and Paris has a lot of temptations. I'd be nervous too if had a collar around my neck.

GEORGE
I don't know what you're talking about but it's not Paris I'm worried about, its getting there.

SIKES
As in "scared of flying?" You? Mr Spaceman?

Sikes roars.

GEORGE
I'm not scared of flying, I'm nervous about this...

George opens the flight magazine and shoves it in Sikes face.

SIKES
The flight magazine? I'll get you Newsweek.

GEORGE
Look at our route. Should this plane go down, what will it go down in?

SIKES
A bunch of flames...

GEORGE
Salt water. Don't you see? Eighty percent of this trip is over salt water.

Sikes looks at him a beat then roars with laughter again.

SIKES
Well, lets just hope we go down over land.

CATHY (V.O.)
I thought I recognised that laugh.

Sike's good humour seems to drain from his face as he looks up with George to see, Cathy standing above them, her bag in hand.

SIKES
Hi.

CATHY
Hi. Why do you look like you're going to vomit?

SIKES
I look like that? I don't know.

CATHY
You didn't know I was coming, did you.

GEORGE
I've been so distracted. I requested Cathy to assist in bringing back the Newcomer baby. Since we needed a researcher I thought I'd make it kind of a family thing.

SIKES (through his teeth)
Great.

CATHY
Well I'd better stow my gear. It looks like we're about ready to blast off.

She moves down the aisle. Sikes watches her for a beat then slaps George on the shoulder.

SIKES
You thought you'd make this trip "a family thing".

GEORGE
Well, since we're going to be a long ways from Los Angeles I thought it'd be better to work with friends rather than strangers.

SIKES (slaps again)
Who died and made you social director?

GEORGE
Cathy is completely qualified for the trip and since I am the senior detective on the case, no one had to die for me to request her.

SIKES
Oh sure, rub in that detective two crap again.

GEORGE
I thought you liked Cathy.

SIKES (slaps again)
That's not the point.

GEORGE
Can you tell me the point without slapping me?

SIKES
The point is...
(thinking)
The point is, this isn't going to be a party over there. We've got some pretty heavy stuff coming down.

GEORGE
Yes, of course.

Sikes is uncomfortable knowing that George isn't buying it.

SIKES
Crazy things happen in Paris. It's a hell of a town... things heat up faster... I just wasn't planning on going to Paris with Cathy.

GEORGE
Better than a sharp stick in your thigh.

Sikes isn't amused and whips open his blind.

SIKES
We haven't made it there yet, George.

On that disquieting touché, George slouches back into his concern of air travel over salt water.


EXT. DEGAULLE AIRPORT - DAY (STOCK)

As the plane lands establishing the Parisian city.

EXT. PARIS STREET - DAY (STOCK)

Establishing a quiet row of apartment buildings in the Latin quarter.

JARRE (V.O.)
Of course we sealed off the room immediately...

INT. PARIS APARTMENT - DAY

This is the same apartment we saw earlier where the French yuppies had gathered. Now the room is draped with plastic and a makeshift hospital is set up. Several beds line a wall which hold the young Frenchmen, draped in more protective plastic tenting. Jarre, a very small man, stands with Sikes and George by the beds. The Frenchman keeps a fascinated eye on George. At the moment they are all dressed in space suit type gear to prevent any contamination.

JARRE
The discovery of the baby was such a shock.

SIKES
You should have seen us when their ship landed.

GEORGE
Monsieur Jarre, the woman who wasn't affected... could we speak to her?

JARRE (in wrist mic)
Sergeant, go get the girl in the next apartment.

SIKES
Anything on how the baby got here?

JARRE
Just what the girl has told us.
(indicates man on bed)
This man purchased the baby... probably black market.

GEORGE
How did they get it into the country?

JARRE
How did they get it out of your country? Dealers have been known to smuggle Black Rino's into Germany... a small package as that baby would be barley a challenge... considering the rewards.

SIKES
Any name attached to our dealer?

JARRE
The one who owned the baby...
(uncomfortable)
I mean, well, the one that bought it... him... her... is in a deep coma. All of our information has come from the girl.

GEORGE
I assume everything is in the computer, cross-referenced with knowns and priors... and you've done a passport search...

JARRE
Well, actually, we've been more concerned with containing this mutant virus.

They move through a plastic layering, to the hallway where white suited lab technicians immediately spray them down with a green mist. They then remove their helmets.

SIKES
This doesn't necessarily have to be a virus... I mean maybe the gang got into some bad vino.

JARRE
Perhaps if you looked at the baby you wouldn't think that.

An officer escorts Bernadette, the young French girl who we saw earlier at the yuppie gathering, down the hall. She is casting a frightened eye at George.

BERNADETTE (in French)
I can't go near him. He's poison.

GEORGE (in French)
I'm poison?

BERNADETTE (in French)
They touched the baby and this is what happened to them.

SIKES
What's she saying?

GEORGE
She said that after they handled the baby they got sick.
(in French)
Did you handle the baby?

BERNADETTE
No. No. It is poison.

Cathy comes out of the room. She has a vial of ooze that we saw earlier emitted off the baby. Bernadette reacts to Cathy.

SIKES
Look, why don't I take her back to her place and see what I can get from her.

GEORGE
Yes, of course.

Sikes walks off with the French officer and the girl. Jarre stares at George, who turns and looks at Jarre while Cathy removes her protective gear.

JARRE
May I?

A tense George looks at Jarre, then acquiesces. Jarre cautiously touches George's head.

JARRE
Magnificent.

George isn't amused. Cathy breaks the moment.

CATHY
Well, the baby's alive. She seems to be in some sort of incubational state. I've ordered an oxygenated transport. I think it best we get her back to our lab in Los Angeles as soon as possible.

JARRE (indicating vial of ooze)
What's that?

CATHY
Some kind of emission off the baby. I'm sending it for analysis.

GEORGE
Could it be the Predeal Effect?

CATHY
No the excretions are too toxic.

JARRE
Predeal?

CATHY
A protective odour our young put off when isolated... for survival.

GEORGE
I'll make arrangements for us to get back right away.

JARRE
You won't be staying the night?

CATHY
Your researchers have everything under control here. We've hooked up modem monitors so I can be up to date with their condition... back in Los Angeles where I can access our lab.

JARRE
Yes, I'm sure it must be better equipped than what we have here.

GEORGE
Is there something wrong?

No. My wife, wanted so much to meet you... she's never seen a Newcomer. We were having some friends in tonight...

CATHY
That's very kind. Perhaps when we return.

JARRE
Thank you. She would be pleased.

INT. FRENCH HOTEL - LOBBY - NIGHT

Sikes and George move through the lobby with their bags.

GEORGE
Do I have time to call home?

SIKES
Yeah, but you'll be walking in the door in twelve hours.

GEORGE
Susan's been having a hard time with Emily... I just want to check in.

SIKES
I'll get one of those little cups of coffee.

George crosses to a phone as Sikes crosses to a love seat in the lobby. He tries to signal a waitress. She moves to him, then past him to another French couple. Sikes pulls out his dictionary as the waitress crosses back.

SIKES
Se vou play, madam.

The waitress stops.

WAITRESS (in French)
Is there something I can help you with sir.

SIKES
Huh? Ah... just a second.
(from dictionary)
Voule voo a cup of le Cafe.

WAITRESS (in French)
Would I like a cup of coffee? I'm sure you mean you would like one. Black? Milk? Sugar?

SIKES
Oui. Le Cafe. Por favor.

The waitress frowns, Sikes smiles and looks past her to, Cathy who is walking through the lobby with her bag. Everyone in the place has stopped to stare at her. She's uncomfortable but smiles when she sees Sikes. She sits with him.

SIKES
You feel like you just walked through the room naked?

CATHY
I don't understand.

SIKES
I mean everyone stared at you like a freak.

CATHY
I am a freak...

SIKES
No you're not. You got spots on your head... big deal.

CATHY
They've never seen spots... it is a big deal.

SIKES
How can you be so... so comfortable with it all.

CATHY
I guess I'm just used to it. This isn't our home, Matt. We both stand out like a sore plumb.

The waitress comes up.

WAITRESS (in French)
Yes, may I help you.

CATHY (in French)
Yes... I would like a cup of coffee. Cream and sugar if it isn't too much trouble and could you bring me a pad and paper, I need to make some notes.

WAITRESS (in French)
Yes, of course.

SIKES
You seem so at home.

CATHY (smiling)
Look around... we're not in Kansas anymore.

Sikes smiles.

ANGLE THE ROOM - SIKES POV

As the CAMERA PANS from two Frenchmen talking, their hands flying, their body language very French. The CAMERA PANS over to a young romantic couple. They are in love, and talk close, kissing between the words.

BACK ON SIKES AND CATHY

Having seen the lovers, their eyes avoid meeting. The CAMERA lingers on the two islands in the middle of a French sea, alone, isolated, then PANS OVER to,

GEORGE

Past the crowd on the phone.

GEORGE
You'll have to tell Buck I couldn't find any Swedish magazines like he wanted.

INTERCUT WITH

INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - DAY

SUSAN
He's probably forgotten about them anyway. I'm glad you're coming home.

GEORGE
How's Emily doing?

SUSAN
She's working out her problem. Buck has suggested I "give her some space".

GEORGE
And how are you doing?

There is a long pause.

GEORGE
Susan?

SUSAN
I've been reliving Landing Three, over and over again.

GEORGE
No you mustn't.

SUSAN
We could have saved so many, George.

GEORGE
Susan, we'll find the man who's taking the babies...

SUSAN
But they're sick. Like Landing Three... what if it starts again.

GEORGE
It won't. This is not Landing Three. Do you understand.

Susan is lost in thought.

GEORGE
Susan, do you understand.

SUSAN
Hurry home, George.

GEORGE
I will. {I love you}

SUSAN
{As do I love you}

END INTERCUT as Susan hangs up. She reaches over and picks up Vessna out of her crib. The CAMERA PUSHES IN on her as she comforts her baby, thinking about the past. George's conversation has not resolved her dark memories. As THE CAMERA PUSHES IN we hear the sound of a wind storm building and voices shouting above the noise.

SUSAN (V.O.)
{Stanya, she doesn't understand.}

FLASHBACK

EXT./INT. LANDING THREE - TENT - DAY

As Susan moves from a large metal container to the flapping opening of the tent, joining George with the Newcomer woman who clings to her baby.

SUSAN
{She doesn't understand we want to help her. Prepare the container for loading... I'll try.}

George spots something.

ANGLE - ON APPROACHING OVERSEERS

As they move through a limbo cloud of red blowing dust, some kind of breathing device over their mouths.

BACK TO SCENE

As George grabs Susan.

GEORGE
{We have to leave her.}

SUSAN
{No.}

GEORGE
{We have no choice. They'll find all the others.}

SUSAN
{No. We can't.}

As the two struggle we,

END FLASHBACK

INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - ON SUSAN - DAY

As we carry over the sound of the storm we see Susan holding Vessna close, the pain in her eyes registering the pain in her past.

FADE OUT - END ACT TWO

ACT THREE

FADE IN

INT. POLICED STATION - SQUAD ROOM - NIGHT

At this late hour, only a skeletal crew works the place. George, Cathy and Sikes enter, still lugging their carry on baggage from the plane.

GEORGE (to Cathy)
You sure you don't want me to run you home first?

CATHY
No, it's fine.

SIKES
It's fine, George.

CATHY
Fill out your report, I'll call my office and tell them the baby's at the viral centre.

GEORGE
Why don't you use a phone in the Captain's office?

SIKES
She can use my phone.

GEORGE (to Cathy)
You'd have more privacy in an office.

He urges her toward the office. Cathy shrugs and goes.

SIKES
What's with you? Ever since we got to the airport you been like a chaperon from hell.

GEORGE
Ever since the airport you two have been acting... I don't know... distracted.

SIKES
You mean with each other? Well, I'm sorry, we've got a lot in common.

GEORGE
Yes, well we also have a lot of work to do, and I'd like to get home as soon as I can and I didn't want your distraction to become anything more than just a distraction.

SIKES
Thank you, George. I'll put some coffee on.

He starts to the coffee room.

GEORGE
Matthew, I only mean that for while you're on the job.

Sikes smiles and moves off.

George turns on his computer, takes out his notepad and starts to fill out his report. Behind him we see, Eddy Lemoy the scrappy transient we saw in the opening with Sikes, as he moves into the room. George doesn't see him at first but Eddy moves decisively to Sikes desk, throws his heavy coat on top of the desk, then starts rummaging through the top drawers. George can only look at him in disbelief.

GEORGE
May I help you?

EDDY
I just need a candy bar.

GEORGE
There's a machine in the hallway.

Eddy comes up with a candy bar. George is up and crossing to the transient.

GEORGE
I want you to put the candy bar down and walk out of here.

Eddy doesn't react.

GEORGE
I'm very, very serious.

Eddy starts to put the candy bar down, then quickly pops it in his mouth. George jumps him. As Sikes approaches.

SIKES
Hey! George! Eddy!

EDDY (struggling with George)
Hiya Sikes.

George suddenly stops wrestling.

GEORGE
"Hiya Sikes?"

SIKES
Eddy Lemoy, meet my partner George Francisco... George, you've been dancing with one of the best undercover cops we got.

GEORGE (offering his hand)
How do you do.

EDDY
Yeah, sure. Fine.

GEORGE
Why didn't you ID yourself as a police officer?

EDDY
Force of habit. Been in the streets a long time.

SIKES
What's in the wind, Eddy?

EDDY
White Peepo... that's two e's one oh, a little puke gang on the wets side... came into a lot of cash overnight.

SIKES
Baby money?

EDDY
They don't hit banks, generally nickel and dime muggings. Unless their rich old aunt died, I'd say you got a hot lead.

SIKES
We'll check 'em out.

GEORGE
Yes, thank you very much. I'm sorry about the candy bar.

EDDY
Sorry about my bad habits. I'll introduce myself next time.

Eddy walks out as Cathy approaches.

CATHY
Matt, you'd better take me back to the clinic right away.

GEORGE
What is it?

CATHY
The ooze we took off the baby is definitely linked to a poisoning of human blood.

SIKES
It's what attacked the French.

CATHY (nods)
And right now we don't know how to control it... let alone reverse it.

The CAMERA PUSHES IN on George. These words have effected him directly.

FLASHBACK TO

EXT. LANDING THREE - DAY

As the overseers, their faces protected with futuristic, minimal gas masks, walk through the blowing dust, now holding the Newcomer woman who clings to her baby.

OVERSEER ONE
{We're running out of time. This storm is building too quickly.}

OVERSEER TWO
{The tech team can't find a way to reverse the virus.}

OVERSEER ONE
{Then leave them all. Sterilise the ship and let's move.}

OVERSEER TWO
{On your command.}

OVERSEER ONE
{Leave them all. This exercise has already cost us an unfortunate delay.}

They move on and the CAMERA PANS to the flapping tent door where we see the suggestion of Susan and George.

EMILY (V.O.)
Mum. Mum are you all right.

END FLASHBACK

INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Susan is curled up on the floor near Vessna's crib . Emily is over her trying to wake her up. Susan suddenly awakens with a start and moves right to the crib.

SUSAN
{What?} Is she all right?

EMILY
She's fine. Mum, what are you doing?

SUSAN
I must have fallen asleep. Is your father home yet?

EMILY
No. It sounded like you were crying in here.

Susan grabs Emily and squeezes her tightly.

EMILY
Mum, I'm sorry. I don't want to fight anymore. I don't want to make you sad.

SUSAN
Oh, Emily I love you so much. I haven't been easy to live with, I know.
(off Emily's look)
It's something that happened a long time ago... something that I thought could never happen again.

EMILY
Is it? Happening again?

The two sit near the crib.

SUSAN
I don't know.
(she takes a deep breath)
Your father and I were part of a loading team... when the overseers recovered slaves from a mining camp they would send workers like us down to pack up machinery, food and water processors, whatever they could reuse at the next drop point.
(she swallows hard, the memories coming strong.)
Landing Three was a colony of Sandiska Diggers... mine workers, about a thousand families. The minerals were all mined out and we were moving them when a medical team found one of the infants was infected with some kind of virus... from the dust or air. They took several of the infants on board ship for examination and determined they were too contaminated... your father and I were the only ones who knew the fate of Landing Three.

FLASHBACK TO

EXT. LANDING THREE - DAY

As the overseers we saw before continue past the tent where George and Susan are loading equipment.

OVERSEER ONE
(shouting above the building storm)
{Leave them all. Load the equipment and our workers and move out.}

OVERSEER TWO
{On your command.}

They move past George and Susan who have heard the doomsday command.

SUSAN (V.O.)
We had to save the babies... we had to.

DISSOLVE TO

INT. LANDING THREE - TENT - DAY

As George moves in, revealing several bundled babies under his slave smock. He hands them to Susan who carefully places them in a well-vented steel container.

SUSAN (V.O.)
There were so many, and time was running out.

The Newcomer woman, with baby in arms, looks in the tent, spotting George and Susan, closing the container on the babies. She looks at them in horror.

NEWCOMER WOMAN
{What are you doing? You're killing the babies.}

George jumps up and goes for the woman. The struggle leads us outside as we saw before. Susan is at the tent door and spots,

SUSAN (V.O.)
She didn't understand why we were hiding the babies in the equipment locker.

THE OVERSEERS approaching.

George struggles but it is too late. The Overseers arrive, listen to the woman, throw Susan aside and go into the tent, opening the locker to reveal the babies, and a rage that cowers Susan.

END FLASHBACK

INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

A tear is rolling down Susan's cheek as Emily embraces her.

SUSAN
She didn't understand we were only trying to save the babies.

EMILY
Mum, it wasn't your fault.

SUSAN
But I still live with the memories. The pain of the mothers who lost their children... and the look from the woman as we tried to take her child... a look that I prayed we'd never share as a people again.

EMILY
Why didn't you tell me this before?

SUSAN
I don't know. I guess I was... afraid.

EMILY
That I wouldn't understand what you went through?

SUSAN
No... that you would understand.

She embraces Emily.

SUSAN
What we survived should never be your pain.

EMILY
Mum, I'm glad you told me. I don't want you to be so... alone again.

SUSAN
I don't either.

EMILY
And... thanks for being my mum.

INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - FRONT ENTRANCE - NIGHT

George enters, suitcase in hand. The room is dark.

GEORGE
Hello?

Hearing no response, he shuts off the hall light and heads upstairs.

INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

George comes to the bedroom door where he stops and smiles.

SUSAN AND EMILY - GEORGE'S POV

Curled up together on the floor by Vessna's crib. They are at peace, and sound asleep.


EXT. WESTSIDE ALLEY - ON A GRAFFITI COVERED WALL - DAY

Strong symbols make up this fashionable graffiti. A roller of white wash covers it.

WIDEN TO INCLUDE

George, in city-issued coveralls, stirring paint, is watching Sikes, dressed in similar fashion, paint out the graffiti with a roller on a long pole.

GEORGE
You really think by painting out this gangs' slogans they are going to show up?

SIKES
These slogans mean more to them than their mothers. It's their mark, their life... you wipe it out, you wipe them out.

GEORGE
And they'll return to resurrect themselves.

SIKES
They'll return with spray cans to piss on the wall again.

DAVID (V.O.)
You got a reason to be doing that?

George and Sikes turn to see, David, Alan and Rick, whom we recognise from the opening act as the abductors of the Newcomer baby. Donned in their white shirts, black ties and pants, they are White Peepo.

SIKES
You got a reason to care?

RICK
You're messin' with our tags.

GEORGE
You're White Peepo?

David pulls a knife and puffs up.

DAVID
Go do your cleaning somewhere else.

George and Sikes exchange a look. George puts his stirring stick down reaching for his gun strapped to his ankle as Sikes placates the gang.

SIKES
I haven't got a problem with that. You got a problem with that, George?

GEORGE (ready for action)
Well, yes, actually I do.

The two start walking off, when suddenly Sikes turns with the soggy roller on the pole, smacking David hard on the head. Simultaneously, George turns, his gun aimed at the other boys as David goes down to the ground, his knife flying out of his hand.

GEORGE
We're police officers... you're under arrest.

The other boys immediately put up their hands, scared out of their minds. Sikes moves in on David, cuffing the paint-soaked minor.

SIKES (re: David)
Looks like White Peepo just got a little whiter.

INT. POLICE STATION - INTERROGATION ROOM - DAY

The three minors sit at a desk in the barren interrogation room. George sits across from them.

DAVID (to George)
Give me a cigarette.

GEORGE
I don't smoke.

DAVID
I'm going to have your partner's ass for hittin' me like that.

GEORGE
And what will you do with his ass?

David wipes some paint dripping into his mouth, then spits on the floor. Sikes enters.

SIKES
Okay, kids, a lawyer's on the way. You know your rights. the '94 juvenile code is in effect, so given the crime, you'll be treated as adults which means a minimum of fifteen to life for kidnapping. Anybody want to co-operate and start talking?

They sit smugly, Rick maybe a little more nervous than the others.

SIKES
Oh, and by the way, that mirror over there is a two way, as you probably guessed, and four witnesses have positively I.D.ed you. A little co-operation at this point wouldn't hurt.

Nothing.

GEORGE
Do you know what I'd do to you if you took my baby?

DAVID
We don't really care, spotty.

SIKES
David Musterband... you've been nailed as the actual abductor.
(to others)
That makes toy two accessories... maybe get off with a little probation while Davey here's passed around the San Quentin bridge club.

DAVID
You're breathing on the wrong face, dick.

GEORGE (ignoring David to the others)
We don't want you. We want the person who's trading the babies.

DAVID
I said you're breathing on the wrong face, dick.

George's contained rage finally blows. He grabs David and pulls him to his feet.

GEORGE
And so are you.

George drags him to the door and summons a uniformed officer.

GEORGE
Take him to a holding cell.

David raises a fist saluting his brothers.

DAVID
White Peepo.

The brothers raise their fist, being cool. George closes the door and turns to Rick and Alan.

GEORGE
Now, who's face wants to be breathed on next?

The two gang members exchange a rather uncomfortable look, bracing themselves for the next round of talks.

INT. POLICE STATION - CORRIDOR - DAY

As George and Sikes move along through,

GEORGE
They think they've been charged with a parking violation.

SIKES
They'll break.

GEORGE
While they take their time there are mothers out there wondering if they will ever see their children again... whether they're alive or dead..
(George slams the wall)
Damn them all. We are not animals. We break just like you do. Damn them all!

SIKES
Hey, George... we'll find the babies.

INT. POLICE STATION - SQUAD ROOM - CONTINUOUS

As George and Sikes enter to find, Cathy at Sikes' desk.

SIKES
Cathy, Hi.

CATHY (to George)
{We have to find the babies immediately.}

GEORGE
{What is it. What's wrong?}

SIKES
{English, please.}

Cathy pulls the two over to some charts on Sikes' desk.

CATHY
The ooze from the baby is directly related to the Predeal effect.

GEORGE
Predeal? But it's far more potent than that?

CATHY
Yes, well apparently the carbon monoxide in the Earth's atmosphere complicates the Predeal causing the secretions to be far more potent than we're accustom to.

SIKES
Okay, English isn't really working here either.

CATHY
Newcomer infants in early stages of development put out an odour to repel predators. In this atmosphere it's far more powerful than we've ever seen.

SIKES
Yeah, so what do we do?

GEORGE
Yespian... mother's milk.

CATHY
After two feedings from the infants mother, the baby was completely normal.

SIKES
We still have a half a dozen babies on the loose. What about them?

CATHY
If we don't find them before they start Predeal, who ever comes near them could suffer the same consequences as the French.

GEORGE
Based on the length of time they've been missing that could be within days.

It doesn't take long for this to sink in.

SIKES
George, get with Grazer... get it to all divisions. I'll get it on the wire to all the news agencies... and let's hope this shakes up whoever's got those babies enough to bring them in.

GEORGE
That is if they believe it.

INT. MISS GREEN'S APARTMENT - CLOSE ON TV - NIGHT

The television flickers with a news report.

ANNOUNCER (ON TV)
If you know anyone who has seen one of these babies or who has one, please report them immediately to the Alien Institute or your local police station. We are listing numbers now.

Numbers appear below the announcer as the CAMERA PULLS back to see a baby crib. There is some movement under a blanket. The head of a little Newcomer baby sticks up.

ANNOUNCER (ON TV)
Again, this is a medical alert. The Newcomer babies are extremely toxic and cause severe complications if they are not treated properly. If you see one do not touch it, report it to the proper authorities.

WIDEN to see that we are in the well-appointed apartment of Miss Doris Green, who, as the CAMERA PULLS BACK is REVEALED sitting on a sofa in front of the television, her back to us. She seems to awaken with a start, then writhes in pain. She finally turns to CAMERA. Her face contorting in pain. She rises knocking over the television which explodes in a flash of sparks. Blinded by the ooze and toxin crippling her, she throws open her apartment door, and falls on the opposite wall, pulling a fire alarm as she does. As the siren sounds, the CAMERA PUSHES IN on the dying woman, and we,

FADE OUT

END OF ACT THREE

ACT FOUR

FADE IN

INT. MISS GREEN'S APARTMENT - DAY

George and Sikes are there with an SID team.

SIKES
According to the doorman, our victim was a Ms. Doris Green. Rich, childless, too old to legally adopt a kid and apparently in need of some better companionship than a cat.

GEORGE
I don't find that amusing.

SIKES
Neither do I. I hate cats.

Cathy enters and moves to the two detectives.

CATHY
The baby's in transport. There was nothing we could do for the woman.

GEORGE
The Predeal was that strong?

CATHY
Even more so than the French... probably because there's more carbon dioxide in the air in L.A. than Paris.

GEORGE
She had the TV on, she read the newspapers... why didn't she listen to the warnings?

SIKES
Why do people with one lung still smoke? Funny thing about our species, George. We don't always want to believe what we hear.

CATHY
Even if she listened, at her age and the toxicity of the baby... she didn't have a chance.

SIKES
Any word from France?

CATHY
All the victims are stabilised but still unconscious.

GEORGE
How much time do we have?

CATHY
If this baby proves out to be who we think... belonging to Joyce and Noah Exit... it disappeared ten days ago. Four other babies disappeared within days after it.

SIKES
So all we're doing is waiting for the thunder.

GEORGE
We've got to find the baby trader. He's our only direct link to the other babies.

Sikes starts out the door.

SIKES
Then it's time we start leaning on some White Peepo.

INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

George slips into bed where Susan is already sleeping. She stirs and turns to him.

SUSAN
How did the interrogation go?

GEORGE
After seven hours of screams, threats, parents, a superior court judge and a priest, the weaker third of White Peepo finally broke.

SUSAN
George, that's wonderful... will you be able to find the babies?

Susan crosses and picks up a stirring Vessna out of the nearby crib through,

GEORGE
The name we were given, a Mr. Salamandra, has been in the baby business since the late seventies. He made millions importing central American babies through a phoney adoption agency, then disappeared in the late eighties.

SUSAN
And now he's back.

She returns to bed and breast feeds the baby in her arms through,

GEORGE
I've been running files on him all night. Back in the eighties he had three El Salvadorian babies ready to sell, the heat came down on him... he left the babies in a crate at an airport hanger.

SUSAN
Even humans have their Overseers.

GEORGE
A maintenance engineer found the babies Salamandra was gone.

SUSAN
But this time he won't.

GEORGE
We have one chance... if he's suspicious he'll be gone.

SUSAN
George, this man... these last couple of weeks... {Landing Three}...

GEORGE
Susan, {Landing Three} was not our fault.

SUSAN
We failed on {Landing Three}.

GEORGE
Susan, we tried.

SUSAN
And we must try here. George, we can help... we have what you need to make Salamandra come to you.

They both look at Vessna.

GEORGE
Susan... no.

SUSAN
George, these humans don't understand the love we have for our babies... they don't understand the tears we share for each other. And if they don't understand it, it is up to us to teach them.
(touching George)
For this planet. For the tears... for me George, we have to try.

INT. POLICE STATION - SQUAD ROOM - DAY

As Sikes follows George out of Grazer's office, where we see Susan surrounded by a group of detectives as she tends Vessna in her little porta-seat. Sikes is dumbfounded as he follows George to their desks.

SIKES
You're going to use your own kid as bait?

GEORGE
If we are going to flush Mr. Salamandra we need a real product. He's too smart to crawl out of his hole for a dummy baby.

SIKES
Yeah, but George, this guy's cold steel... you're talking your own kid here!

George sits uncomfortably at his computer.

GEORGE
I know what we are talking. And I also know what is at stake. Vessna will be safe. Now I wish you would not question my judgement any longer and help me co-ordinate these communication codes for the operation.

Sikes moves around and looks at the computer, though his mind isn't really focused.

SIKES (re: computer)
I'd put the black and white's on a separate frequency.

GEORGE (tapping into the computer)
Good, thank you.

SIKES
Susan's okay with this?

GEORGE
Yes of course.
(re: computer)
I have the helicopter on full scan, but only in reserve.

SIKES
Yeah that's fine.
(beat, then)
You know, George, we can find another way.

GEORGE
No, we can't.
(George turns to Sikes)
Matthew, I've already put word out on the street that a baby is available. Our young friend in White Peepo is quite co-operative and Salamandra has done business with him so he'll feel comfortable. You know as well as I do, if he's going to show, the set-up is perfect.

SIKES
George... it's your own kid.

SUSAN (V.O.)
{They are all our children.}

Sikes and George turn to see Susan standing over them with the baby in her arms. Courageously, Susan gives Vessna to George. They touch temples. Susan smiles and exits.

SIKES
What'd she say?

GEORGE
That if she could help take the pain from one mother and child, she'd risk her own.


EXT. CITY STREET - ON RICK - DAY

Through a LONG LENS we watch as Rick walks down the street, cradling a box which holds Vessna, in his gang uniform -- black tie and white shirt -- and moves to a row of pay phones.
PULLBACK TO REVEAL,

George and Sikes as they sit in their car on the opposite side of the street watching Rick.

GEORGE
I don't think we should be so exposed.

SIKES
I'm not letting that box out of my sight.

GEORGE
Vessna is quite comfortable. The buildings are covered. There's a man at every corner. You're more nervous than I am.

SIKES
Well, I'm sorry, but I happen to be the one who pulled that little girl out of you and I kind of don't want to see anything happen to her.

GEORGE
I gave birth to her and neither do I.

SIKES
Fine. So why are we doing this?

George is distracted by the action on the street where we see, Rick reacting and moving to the phone. He nods, and listens.

INTERCUT WITH

George and Sikes watching from the car.

GEORGE
Something might be happening.

SIKES
Pay phone contact. That's Sal's M.O.

George touches his ear phone.

GEORGE
Understood.

SIKES
What?

GEORGE
They've traced the call to a mobile unit.

ON BLACK CADILLAC, as it pulls up. The tinted windows reveal little.

SIKES
Let's go. That's him.

GEORGE
Not till we are certain.

SIKES
George, I don't trust that kid. I say we drop this plan and hit that car.

ANGLE ON RICK as he carries the box and tips it to a partially lowered rear window of the Cadillac.

ANGLE ON THE BOX to REVEAL little Vessna comfortably lying inside.

BACK TO SCENE OVER SIKES AND GEORGE to see in the distance the window of the Cadillac go up, the back door pops open, and Rick climbs in with Vessna.

SIKES
I don't like this... I say we move now!

GEORGE
Matthew, he'll signal us when it's right.

THE BLACK CADILLAC drives off, Sikes and George doing a leisurely U-turn and following.

ANOTHER ANGLE - ON THE CADILLAC as it turns down a side street and parks.

SIKES AND GEORGE are at a traffic light looking down the block at the car.

GEORGE
They've obviously checked the authenticity of the baby.

SIKES
This gang punk is rolling over on us. I know it. We should have wired him.

GEORGE
It'd be the first thing Salamandra would pick up.

ON THE BLACK CADILLAC as the back door opens and Rick gets out holding the box. He carefully tucks Vessna's arm inside.

A WHITE CADILLAC rounds the corners and pulls up between Rick and the black Cadillac. the back door pops open. Rick gets in.

ON THE TRAFFIC SIGNAL as it turns green. George isn't moving through the signal and the driver behind him is getting anxious. The driver leans on his horn.

SIKES
We gotta do something.

George starts through intersection slowly. Both men stare at the white Cadillac, waiting for "The" signal.

ON THE WHITE CADILLAC - GEORGE AND SIKES POV

As the back window goes down and we see Rick spit. George and Sikes react to the spit.

SIKES
That's it.

Sikes grabs the walkie-talkie, while George does a high speed U-turn in the intersection barrelling down on the Cadillac.

TWO BLACK AND WHITES round the corner.

TWO MORE BLACK AND WHITES join Sikes and George in the charge.

THE WHITE CADILLAC jerks to a halt, the front door opens, and Salamandra, a little man in a baggy over coat, jumps out, slicing on foot through heavy traffic, causing two cars to collide, and sending,

GEORGE AND SIKES' CAR leaping the curb into a newspaper rack.

Sikes leaps out but is stopped momentarily by George as he gets out of the car, touching his ear plug.

GEORGE
He has the baby.

They look up to see Salamandra get into a cab and drive off.

INT. CAB - DAY - ON SALAMANDRA

As he settles in, smugly thinking he is away.

SALAMANDRA
Get me to the airport... and there's a hundred in it if it's non stop.

The CAMERA MOVES off Salamandra to the, CAB DRIVER Who smiles, and we recognise Eddy Lemoy, the one and only undercover cop, forgetting to introduce himself at the moment.

EDDY
I don't see a problem with that.

As Eddy smiles and breaks at a stop light, Sal gently places the baby on the seat next to him.

SALAMANDRA
I mean NO stops.

VARIOUS ANGLES

As Eddy turns, pedestrians, really cops, move to the car -- everyone has a gun drawn.

EDDY
You even blink and you're all over the window.

The door is ripped open and George collects Vessna, as Sikes simultaneously pins Salamandra back in the car, ripping his jacket open in a quick search for weapons.

SALAMANDRA
It was only business.

SIKES
I'll remind the judge you said that when he flips a coin for YOUR life.
(disgusted, to uniform cop)
Get him the hell out of here.

Sikes moves to Vessna and George. No words need be said. It is all over.

INT. POLICE STATION - SQUAD ROOM - NIGHT

Sikes is alone at his desk. The place is relatively empty. George crosses putting on his jacket.

GEORGE
Aren't you going home?

SIKES
Yeah, sure. I just wanted to finish some of the garbage... I got nothing else to do.

GEORGE
Would you like to come over for dinner... we've decided to go back to human getting cycles... I think Susan's prepared a Chard and Tuna salad.

SIKES
No, really, thanks. I'm really not very hungry and... I'm fine George.

George starts to leave, takes a moment then,

GEORGE
Matthew... thanks.

George exits as

SIKES

Goes back to his paperwork. He reaches for the phone and has a second thought. He turns to his computer, concentrating on entering data. A hand lands on his shoulder. He looks up to see, Cathy with a stack of files in her arms.

SIKES
Hi.

CATHY
Hi. I was dropping off these records downstairs and ran into George. He said you could probably use them.

SIKES
(taking the records)
He did, did he.

CATHY
All the infants have been returned in perfect health.

SIKES
Great.

CATHY
Well. I guess, that's it. I enjoyed working with you.

SIKES
Yeah, me too. It's been like a tornado... airplanes, Paris... I'm really glad we were together.

CATHY
Me too. So next time you're going to Paris... sign me up.

Sikes smiles, she turns to leave. Sikes doesn't want that.

SIKES
Cathy...

She stops and turns.

SIKES
It isn't Paris, but I know a great little French restaurant on the west side that features cooked and un-cooked escargot.

CATHY
Sounds like Paris to me...

As Sikes grabs his jacket and the two exit, we,

FADE TO BLACK

THE END