Stephen Metcalfe

Scylla

A Screenplay excerpt by Stephen Metcalfe
All Rights Reserved

The bottom of the tunnel is dark.

The wavering light of a torch is absorbed by the rock. Two miners are working with hammer, pick and shovels. Clothes grimy with dust and soil. They pant softly with exertion.

The man, BRODY, is in his fifties. Longish grey hair, beard.

He shovels away debris.

The woman, WYA, is around 30. Lean muscles gleaming in the dull light. Long, dirt tangled hair. She swings the big hammer until rock finally shatters.

BRODY

That’s done it… give me the light.

Wya passes him the torch. Brody eagerly examines the rock closely. He smells it – tastes it. He sits, despondent.

BRODY

Nothin’. Nothin’ at all.

WYA

We’ll dig deeper.

BRODY

Won’t make no difference. The vein’s tapped.

Wya raises the hammer and begins to beat at the rock.

BRODY

Wya –

Wya hammers even harder; desperately.

BRODY

– there’s nothin’ there!

Wya throws down the hammer with an almost animal cry.

BRODY

It was a fool’s dream to begin with.

Wya stands a moment, accepting it. And now she turns and walks back up the tunnel.

BRODY

Where you going? Wya?

Wya turns; stares a moment.

WYA

Home.

She turns and disappears into the dark.

AT THE TUNNEL MOUTH –

Wya comes out of the mine. She stands a moment looking out at a vast, desolate vista. She walks down towards the campsite.

Brody now comes out. He bangs the dust from his battered hat.

He follows.

EXT. CAMPSITE – NIGHT

A campfire crackles. Wya and Brody sit staring into the flames, drinking coffee. Their pack animals stand just out of the light, in the shadows.

BRODY

I ain’t gonna miss this goddamn place, that’s for sure.

He spits a stream of coffee. Something small and leathery scurries into the brush to avoid it. Wya is silent.

BRODY

Ah, who am I foolin’. Give me a good drunk, a grubstake and I’ll be back in a month trying to strike it rich again.

(a moment)

I grew up near an ocean. I ever tell you that?

WYA

About a million times.

BRODY

I know, I talk too much. You don’t talk enough. Where you from? You never said.

Wya is staring up the vast star filled sky.

WYA

Earth.

SUDDEN REVERSE ON – An icy moon wreathed in a sparkling, frozen ring, so close you could seemingly reach out and touch it.

Beyond it, other planets are set against the glitter of alien stars.

A flock of enormous serpentine shapes streak across the night sky and then are gone. The pack animals shift nervously – are caught by the light – their bodies are like mules but their heads are alien – long tendril-like ears – trunk-like noses – eyes on moving stalks.

Wya throws the remains of her coffee into the fire. Sparks flurry and scatter, then rise towards the stars.

CROSSFADE TO:

To the increasingly frantic beat of metallic drums:

Something metallic floats in space.

SCYLLA

A mythological Greek monster. A devourer of ships.

It is at the epicenter of a small system of planets and moons.

The big planet, Ajax, and its ringed moon, Odin, are much closer than all the rest. Twin suns hover in the distance.

A SHUTTLE –

– breaks our POV, heading in.

CLOSER NOW:

It resembles nothing so much as the interlocking spindles from a children’s game of jacks. The spindles surround one huge, central core.

It is a rusting and pitted industrial plant of towers and plasti-domes, of docking ports and cargo cranes, of glowing reactors and oxygen plants. is esthetically pleasing as a foundry.

Barges bring an alpha class freighter to berth. Other space-frosted freighters are moored at the spindle tips. The freighters are all emblazoned with a capitol “A”. The center of the “A” outlines a planet within an open hand.

Antaeus.

The shuttle glides towards an interior docking bay on one of the spindles. It is a Charlie class, used to ferry passengers and goods to and from the planet and moon.

A.I. VOICE (V.O.)

Ajax shuttle arriving at passenger terminal, docking bay C. Ajax shuttle docking bay C.

IN THE DOCKING BAY –

The exterior pressure door is closing. The shuttle hovers as a dock locks into place. A passenger ship-way comes out from the docking bay wall to connect to the passenger cabin of the shuttle.

INT. PASSENGER TRANSPORT TERMINAL –

Wide metallic doors open – – and passengers disembark into the busy passenger terminal. Miners mostly. Hard looking all of them. Burnt at the edges. Armed.

Wya and Brody come out shouldering their packs. Brody carries what looks like a bulbous nose shotgun across his back.

The voices of the station’s A.I.’s, play throughout the terminal, both in English and in alien languages, adding to the sense of controlled chaos:

— welcome to Scylla. is an Antaeus financed outland exploration station. Welcome to — Antaeus – supplying all your energy needs for the future! —

— all Union laws and regulations are in effect upon station —

— questions? Contact a representative at the processing station.

Not all of the passengers in the terminal are human.

– Antaeus Hyatt is the perfect destination for the tired traveler. Silica based life-forms are also welcome.

— all sapiens please proceed to the red zone. Non-sapiens to blue. Sapiens to red zone. Non sapiens to blue —

And some are leading strange looking pack animals –

– animals must be taken to the red quarantine area –

And pets –

– all carnivores must be sedated —

The metallic voices chirp on –

— medical care. Retirement plans. All this and more are just a contract away! Antaeus! Sign up today! —

Antaeus security, their black body armor emblazoned with the

Antaeus logo, escort a large group of prisoners across the terminal. The prisoner’s hands are bound with energy-cuffs – in some cases, more than one. All have glowing incarceration bands around their necks.

BRODY

Antaeus indentureds. Poor bastards be better off doin’ prison time.

Wya stares.

BRODY

Hey, Smiley – get a load a that.

Wya turns. A group of dangerous looking, scantily dressed women – their heads half shaved, their skin tattooed and tinted and ritually scarred – are waiting in an i.d. line.

BRODY

Pleasure girls. Hot stuff.

You wonder what kind of pleasure they specialize in. Wya and

Brody proceed to a zone marked in red.

INT. THE RED ZONE –

Id chips are slipped into the slot in a computer by an Union

Agent.

Unlike Antaeus security, Union personnel are clad in navy blue.

There is an phoenix insignia on the uniform’s breast; a bird rising from a sun. The face and record of the individual come up on a screen.

UNION AGENT

Scan.

The miner proceeds on through a scanner. It shows internal organs by way of heat production.

UNION AGENT

Clear.

The miner moves on.

BACK TO –

Wya and Brody join the end of the line. Wya, turning to stare again.

In the adjacent blue zone, a large group of men, woman and children look around in nervous wonder. They have a sense of settler to them; loose, rough worn clothes; plain, honest faces.

Something odd about them. They look normal.

Wya stops a passing Union officer –

WYA

Who are they?

UNION OFFICER

Settlers. Just arrived from the inner ring. They’ll be in quarantine a few weeks and then they’ll be shuttling down to Ajax.

Wya and Brody share a look.

BRODY

Something grows there?

A girl, 20, stands with a teenage boy and a little girl. As the girl turns, her eyes meet Wya’s.

TO:

At the front of the line – red zone –

UNION AGENT

Scan.

The miner moves to the scanner. He steps in. And now we see it on the scanner – not just the pulsing of organs, the biochemistry breakdown and the genetics evaluation – something snake-like moves inside him. Red symbols flash on the scanner screen – a warning horn blares.

EMBASSSY AGENT

We’ve got a carrier!

Union security guards fumbles for weapons.

MINER

No – no, please, I – I need help!

The man suddenly convulses as if he’s losing control of his body – and then he bolts – runs for the exit gates that will take him into the space station.

AN ACOUSTIC –

– a small, lethal looking weapon that fires sonic bullets – comes out of a holster. Over by the indentureds, one of the black-clad Antaeus officers flips up a mirrored visor to reveal a cold, cosmetically scarred face and golden cat eyes. This is BANNON, Antaeus’s Director of Security. He fires, hardly aiming.

The sonic ripples as if the air is water – and takes off one of the miner’s legs. He falls, skidding on the hard floor.

Onlookers scream and cower. The miner’s body begins to shudder… to shake… he screams – as in a cascade of gore, something silver bursts out of his back. It resembles a huge, gleaming centipede. Its headless, tooth-filled mouth flares open. Its long, sharp-tipped tongue extends. It hisses; a guttural sound –

WYA

I hate parasites.

The parasite runs – incredibly fast – through and around the screaming people. It scurries up a clear plasti-carbon wall and then across, trying to reach freedom. Bannon fires again.

The air rips – and the creature is pulverized. It leaves a trail of slime as it slides off the glass.

The settlers stare, silent, horrified. Wya sees the young woman quickly turns the children away.

Bannon smoothly slips spins the acoustic back into the holster at his hip. Flipping down his vizor, he turns away.

UNION SECURITY GUARD

All right, show’s over! Keep moving!

(To another guard)

Get a clean up squad up here.

Brody steps up, hands over his i.d. chip. He’s processed.

UNION AGENT

Next.

And then it’s Wya’s turn. She hands the agent her chip. And something else. The agent stares at Wya. And then he casually slips one hand into his pocket and hands the chip back to Wya without processing it.

MOMENTS LATER –

Way comes out through the scanner and join Brody who’s waiting.

BRODY

Thought you was broke.

WYA

I am now.

They continue on.

___________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

__

INT. STERILIZATION CHAMBER –

Showers filled with glowing chemical water, steam and naked miners; male and female alike. Sterilizes as well as cleans.

BRODY

I’m gonna get me a steak, nice mood enhancer. Gonna find one of them pleasure girls, teach her a few things!

Wya turns to find a hairy hulk of a thing staring at her. Wya glancing down – her expression seeming to say that the “man” has an enormous, erect penis.

WYA

You mind pointing that somewhere else?

Brody laughs.

INT. ANIMAL QUARANTINE – DAY

A large ampitheatre of corrals, filled with work and meat animals.

At one of the corrals, traders work the energy-fence perimeters, buying and selling and trading like used car salesmen. Most of their customers are settlers.

Wya and Brody are trying to sell their pack animals to a trader.

BRODY

Fifty credits!?

TRADER

Only cause they taste good.

BRODY

I ain’t sellin’ Big Bob so you can eat him!

TRADER

Everyone’s going mech. Antaeus brought in anti-gravs and energy cells.

WYA

You still have enough customers.

ALIEN TRADER

(disdainfully)

Settlers. Tech’s against their religion. Fifty credits. Take it or leave it.

He turns away. An older, bearded man – almost Amish in appearance – now steps forward.

SETTLER

We will give you 65, cash.

His family – wife, three teenage sons, four younger children, gather behind him.

SETTLER

Anti-gravity carriers and energy cells don’t keep you warm at night.

BRODY

(eyeing the kids; amused)

Don’t look like keeping warm at night’s your problem.

As Brody and the settler dicker, Wya turns to see –

In an adjacent corral, several cow-like animals are bawling as wild looking men in filthy, armored leathers drag them towards energy bars. Behind the energy rails, huge, scaled, upright creatures, GORGONS, throw themselves against the surge, eyes on the coming food.

The settler is now counting old paper money into Body’s hand.

BRODY

So much for a steak.

The Gorgons are now feeding.

WYA

So much for an appetite.

INT. SCYLLA – THE GRAND BAZAAR – NIGHT

Space and stars shine in the dome above. Much of is dark.

Light needs energy – energy costs money. Hence, the bubbles – clear domes above the stations outer concourses. The light of stars moons and the distant twin suns; all can be seen from a given part of the station on a regular basis. Like moonlight, it’s ethereal and dim but it’s free.

Wya and Brody move through the GRAND BAZAAR – a metallic concourse of bars, shops and stalls selling food items and goods from a hundred worlds.

Beauty parlors sell the latest in cheap, plastic surgery. The procedures is done behind glass partitions so passersby can watch.

Pleasure girls ride and wave on the gaudy carousel that tops a brothel – it’s “horses” are alien creatures.

Miners. Drunks. Beggars. Union police cruisers. And everywhere – Antaeus logo – and armed Antaeus men.

BRODY

Place has changed.

WYA

It’s worse.

They continue on.

INT. SASCO’S BAR –

Women feign lovemaking under rainbow lights. Miners, pleasure girls and hustlers lay siege to the bar and gaming tables. A bartender with facial gills pushes two mugs of beer across the bar to Brody and Wya.

BRODY

You kiss your mother with that mouth?

The man smiles, showing shark teeth. Wya is scanning the crowd.

Seeing what she’s looking for, she moves away.

BRODY

Where you goin’?

A BLIND HUNCHBACK

sits at a table doing business with a young miner. Two huge bouncers stand protectively behind him.

SASCO

You’ve read the contract. You understand my rate is 40%, that interest compounds on a daily basis.

Your collateral is you. You don’t pay, I own you. I can rent you, sell you, dispose of you as I wish.

The miner nervously nods.

SASCO

Very well then. Hand on the circle.

There is the outline of a circle on the table. The miner starts to places his hand on it.

WYA

What he’s not telling you is that if you don’t honor the contract, he sells it to Antaeus. They’ll be happy to have it. You won’t.

The miner hesitates, then jams his hand down. The circles flashes white. The miner pulls his hand away as if it’s been burned.

SASCO

Your molecular code is now recorded.

Get your credits at the bar.

The miner rises and moves away, clenching and unclenching his hand.

The hunchback snorts dust from a vial – and shivers as Wya sits down opposite him. The bodyguards stare. The hunchback’s brow wrinkles as if he’s pulling thoughts from the air. He smiles; his unseeing eyes silver.

SASCO

Well, well. The beautiful Wya.

WYA

Sasco.

Without looking, Sasco reaches out and touches the arm of a passing pleasure girl.

SASCO

Daga, another of whatever my friend is drinking and an enhancer for me.

She caresses his hand. Heavy rings on his fingers. Sasco comes from a world where his settler forbearers were forced to live underground. No light, no need for eyes. Over generations, they compensated.

SASCO

You smell of honest labor, Wya.

WYA

What would you know about it?

SASCO

I know it doesn’t pay well.

WYA

I’m looking for passage to the inner ring.

SASCO

Five thousand credits gets you steerage on a garbage scow. Several billion gets you your own speeder.

I’d be happy to lend either amount.

WYA

Pass.

SASCO

Smart girl.

WYA

What about the freighters.

SASCO

Antaeus owned, Antaeus staffed.

Last I heard, you weren’t Antaeus.

Anything else?

WYA

I’m going to be needing a job.

SASCO

It’s a Antaeus town. But I’ll keep

it in mind.

A man has approached the table – he looks nervous – eager.

SASCO

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have customers.

Wya rises.

SASCO

Wya. I can always use another pleasure girl.

WYA

(a small smile)

You couldn’t afford me.

Wya moves away. The man sits –

SASCO

You’ve read the contract. My rate is

40%, compounding on a daily basis –

AT THE BAR –

Brody has moved on to shots of violently purple liquid. He fires one down and shudders. He looks up as Wya returns.

BRODY

What was that about?

WYA

Nothing.

BRODY

That hunchback’ll sell you to the organ banks, soon as smile at you.

(Then:)

Hey. Check it out.

Wya turns to look. One of the settlers – a boy – has entered the bar and is looking around with wide, incredibly blue eyes.

A passing pleasure girl smiles at him. The boy just stares – something simple about him. Wya realizes it’s the boy she saw with the young woman. And suddenly the young woman Wya saw is there as well. Her name is SARA.

TO:

Sara looks around – sees the boy – moves to him.

SARA

Filo. You shouldn’t be in here.

Come along now – quickly.

And taking the boy’s hand, Sara turns. A dark blue man – a space welder – one who works construction on the outer surface of the station – all muscle – steps into his path.

WELDER

Who let you in, little cjango?

Sara starts to move around him. The welder steps into her way.

WELDER

Drink with me.

All around, men laugh. The welder raises a glass of something green off a table – offers it to Sara.

WELDER

You get on outside this, you’ll want stay all day.

SARA

Please.

She again tries to get around the welder again. Again the welder stops her.

WELDER

I’m offering a drink, cjango. You drink.

More laughter. Brody glances at Wya. Wya just sips for her beer as –

WELDER

I say drink.

Sara again tries to move past the welder. The welder suddenly grabs her and starts to force the glass towards hers mouth.

Sara struggles. Suddenly the glass – and the contents – fly.

Wya is spattered. And now she’s annoyed. Furious, the welder slaps Sara. Cat quick, Wya moves – and grabs the welder’s arm before he can strike again.

Wya

That’s enough.

WELDER

Mind your own business.

He tries to pull his arm free. Wya squeezes.

WYA

You got me wet.

The welder stares – then chuckles.

WELDER

Fine. You drink with me.

And he sucker punches her. Wya is knocked down the bar.

BRODY

Hoo, now we’re into it.

He reaches out to protect the drinks. The welder’s friends push

Wya out into the room. Screams and shouts fill the bar as the

Welder wades in. Wya is knocked over a table. Credits and drinks fly. Passion girls scream. Sasco’s bouncers start to move forward. He stops them with a gesture.

At the bar, Brody reaches for someone’s ignored glass and drinks, wincing as – The Welder pulls Wya up and head butts her. He grabs her in a bear hug and begins to squeeze. Wya struggles as the breath is crushed out of her.

Sara grabs a pitcher off the bar. Rushing forward, she breaks it over the welder’s head. The welder roars, releases Wya and turns. He’s about to backhand Sara when – CLOSE ON – again, his arm is grabbed in a vise-like grip.

WYA

Your breath stinks.

Wya hits the welder straight on – the welder is knocked back into the crowd. And suddenly Wya is grabbed and spun – by an identical welder only this one is violet colored.

BRODY

Whoops. Twins.

Welder 2 knocks Wya across the room. Towards Welder 1 who grabs her, then swings and hits Wya back.

Brody winces as –

Welder 2 grabs Wya and holds her. Welder 1 grins and pulls back a fist – Wya drives an elbow into Welder 2’s gut. As Welder 1 swings, she ducks – the punch just about takes Welder 2’s head off. Welder 1 growls in anger and then starts forward. And is stopped in his tracks by Wya’s fists. They come like pistons, snapping the welder’s head back. And now she kicks again – right into the welder’s groin. The air goes out of the man in a whimper. He falls to his knees. Wya draws back a fist to end it – then decides against it – the man is done. And then, changing her mind, Wya spins and kicks him, knocking him senseless. She turns to the bar.

WYA

Anybody else?

No.

TO:

Sasco “watching”, amused, as Wya moves back to the bar.

TO:

Wya wipes her bloody mouth. Picks up the her beer. Brody staring at her, amused.

WYA

Thanks for the help.

BRODY

Didn’t think you needed it.

Wya drains the glass. Spits on the floor.

Wya

Let’s get out of here.

She turns away. Brody downs the last of the drinks and follows.

The young man, Filo, and the young woman, Sara, watch them go.

And then they follow.

OUT ON THE GRAND BAZAAR –

Wya and Brody make their way out and down the crowded street.

Sara and young man hurry come out and after them.

SARA

Miss? Excuse me? Miss, wait!

Wya suddenly stopping; turning angrily.

WYA

Don’t call me that.

SARA

I… wanted to thank you. For helping us.

SARA

Don’t. What are you doing in a place like that anyway? You’re lucky they didn’t steal your teeth at the door.

(Turning away)

Stupid kids.

SARA

I’m not a kid. And Filo is not stupid, he’s a mind walker.

WYA

A what?

SARA

Give him your hand. He won’t hurt you.

Wya looks at the boy; at the serene expression and the wide, sky blue eyes. She offers her hand and Filo takes it –

EXT. A VILLAGE – NIGHT

Racing, armed Union soldiers in combat gear, firing, killing

TO:

– screaming women holding children –

TO:

– houses burning –

BACK TO:

Wya gasps and pulls her hand away.

BRODY

What?

WYA

He was in my head.

(Then:)

Just – be careful, all right?

They start to turn away again.

SARA

If we can’t thank you, let us offer you hospitality. Are you hungry?

This stops them. They are.

BRODY

We gotta eat.

Wya doesn’t like it.

INT. SETTLER’S HANGAR – NIGHT

A crowded settler’s town of tents has been created in a huge empty, freight bay. There are no lights except for the glow of small energy pods. Wya, Brody, Sara and Filo make their way through the people and possessions that are everywhere.

WYA

This is where they stuck you?

Sara nods.

SARA

We’re over here. Please don’t mention how we met.

They move on.

INT. SETTLER’S HANGAR – NIGHT

They approach some tents; people sitting close to a glowing fire pod. Something in a pot bubbling.

SARA

Karel! I’ve brought guests!

All look up. A large, bearded man rises.

KAREL

They’re welcome. What we have, we share.

SARA

(to Wya)

… my name is Sara.

She moves away.

LATER –

Something dark and glutinous is spooned out of the pot onto plates. Brody and Wya look dubious.

SARA

It tastes better than it looks.

She hands them plates. Brody hesitates – then tastes. He looks surprised.

BRODY

Ain’t bad.

He’s about to dig in when Wya elbows him. Brody sees now that the settlers have all bowed their heads in grace. The settlers all touch their hearts.

KAREL

Please – eat.

As the women serves the others:

SARA

They’re miners, Karel.

You can sense the sudden eagerness around the circle.

KAREL

On the moon? Odin?

WYA

No.

BRODY

Only ice worms and methane breathers there.

KAREL

Where then?

WYA

Ajax.

ELENA is Karel’s wife.

ELENA

(eagerly)

That’s where we’re going!

She realizes she’s interrupting.

ELENA

What’s it like?

WYA

Days’re hot. Nights you freeze.

Other than sand leeches, night dragons and parasites, there’s nothing.

BRODY

And there’s a lot of it.

The settlers all look at one another, disquieted.

KAREL

You’re wrong. There’s something there. A home.

LATER –

Brody is entertaining some of the children, telling stories.

BRODY

– so this big gazoo – you know what a gazoo is? – sorta a turnip with wings –

Across the fire pod, Wya sits watching. There is something about the children that touches her. Sara is suddenly there to hand Wya a cup of something hot.

SARA

It’s coffee.

Wya sips. Sara sits and sips from hers own cup.

SARA

You think we’re foolish, don’t you.

WYA

Not for me to say.

SARA

Do you know how we all got here? We indentured ourselves to Antaeus. Slave labor to buy passage and land.

Whatever’s down there is paradise compared to where we come from. Or we’ll make it one.

A child comes up to sit in Sara lap. She stares at Wya with wide eyes. It’s the little girl who was with Sara at processing.

SARA

This is Jenna. She’s eight. This is Wya.

JENNA

Hello, Wya.

WYA

Is she your daughter?

SARA

A ship’s plague hit us in transit.

We had no money for biotics. Many died including Jenna’s parents. I’m mother and father now.

They look up at the sound of a sudden commotion – black clad,

Antaeus security guards, approach; showing no regard for the people around them. Sara picks up the little girl.

KAREL

Children.

The children move away from Brody and towards the tents.

KAREL

You too, Sara.

A last look at Wya – and then Sara and the little girl follows.

Antaeus men come to a halt. The teamleader snaps up his visor.

Gold cat eyes gleam. Bannon.

BANNON

The cavalry has come to save you from the stink.

Wya turns to Sara, Karel and the others.

WYA

Thank you for the meal.

(To Brody)

Save me a bed.

BRODY

If I can find one.

Wya moves past Bannon. She doesn’t look back. Bannon and the guards move with her.

INT. SCYLLA – NIGHT

A sleek metal and glass module moves swiftly along, hovering just above a glowing blue, negative gravity track. The track is above a crowded concourse of up-scale shops, restaurants and Casinos.

Wya and the guards looking down at –

United Planets of Bennetton. Armani Universe. McSumoto –

Over a hundred trillion sold!

The metal tube continues on into –

A TUNNEL –

Of multi-level switching tracks. The car seems about to collide with another – a swift turn – the car rushes on.

INT. THE “HIVE” –

The transport comes out and to a halt at a station. The doors open. Waiting passengers move away as the security team escorts Wya off a car. Wya stares. She is at – – the Hive — the center of Scylla. A monstrous, hollow spindle – its top and its bottom narrowing in both directions. Floors circle each level. Anti-grav gondolas move passengers across, down and up.

Wya, Bannon and the security guards turn away and move on.

ON FLOOR CENTRAL

LOOKING DOWN ON – They cross a Antaeus logo emblazoned on a shining floor. Clear plexi-carbon doors sweep open.

IN A “LOBBY”

There are large letters on the wall beneath the Antaeus emblem – Antaeus – SUPPLYING ALL YOUR PLANATARY NEEDS! Beneath it is a phalanx of guarded transports. A receptionist – a hermaphrodite – sits at a pedestal console. One elevator is open and waiting.

BANNON

I’ll take her from here.

They enter the transport. Bannon inserts a key; twists. Glass doors close.

BANNON

Executive deck.

The transport retreats. Gone – like that.

IN THE TRANSPORT –

Bannon and Wya stare at one another.

WYA

Meow.

INT. SHAWNE’S OFFICE –

The elevator doors open. Guards on either side. Wya steps out, Bannon behind her. Wya stares. The view of the hive, through floor to ceiling carbobenzyloxy windows is breathtaking.

SHAWNE

Great view, huh? The throne of God.

VICTOR SHAWNE is a pudgy, balding man – almost jovial in appearance. He moves to a long, glistening flat topped desk.

Behind it are two identical, beautiful, bald-headed woman; as expressionless as statues.

SHAWNE

I hope you don’t mind if we record this.

WYA

Mentats?

SHAWNE

Legally licensed to recreate this meeting verbatim. I’m Victor

Shawne, Antaeus’s Director of Station. You’ve met Mr. Bannon, my director of security.

WYA

Since when do Antaeus personnel pull in citizens in for no reason.

Shawne touches the desk top – a crystal glass of liquor rises from the flat, black surface.

SHAWNE

Are you a citizen, Ms. Wya Doran?

Sipping his drink, Shawne presses the surface of his desk. A holograph appears – Wya in a military uniform.

SHAWNE

Or should I say, Major Doran.

Another touch – and now we see Wya with hair shorn, face bruised, wearing the uniform of an indentured prisoner. Below her, a number blinks –

SHAWNE

Three million credits reward, dead or alive. Now that’s impressive.

A touch – the holographs disappear.

WYA

If you plan on turning me in, do it now.

SHAWNE

Turn you in? Please. I want to hire you.

(a grin)

You been to the inner ring lately?

A hidden button on the desk – a holograph appears. The image is of shifting space – stars – planet systems – the holograph forming and reforming, faster and faster –

SHAWNE

Europa system. The Belt. Hydra.

All still operative but played out and fading fast.

– to solar system – to a planet. Its oceans are dark pools of

pollution and sludge. Its mantel of lightning streaked clouds

is the color of exhaust fumes. The outlines of the continents

are unmistakable.

SHAWNE

Earth. A scabbed over world with its

heart cut out. Nah. I don’t think

so.

A touch. The holograph blinks out.

SHAWNE

The future’s out here, Wya. May I

call you that? The outer rim. The

frontier. You can own a piece of it

– or not. You just have to be willing

take it. And to do so I need people

like you.

Silence. Bannon. Two Mentats. A view.

SHAWNE

Think about that. In fact –

Another hidden button – a credit chip slides out of a hidden

slot. Shawne pushes it across the desk.

Shawne

– get yourself a nice room and good

meal while you’re thinking.

Wya picks up the glass and drains it. She takes the chip.

SHAWNE

Don’t spend it all in one place.

Wya moves to the elevator. She steps in –

WYA

You wasted a credit chip.

– the doors close. Shawne’s smile disappears.

EXT. THE HIVE – NIGHT

Wya comes out of Antaeus HQ. She moves on. And now we see him.

A man in a hooded cloak, watching her go.

EXT. THE GRAND BAZAAR – NIGHT

Wya moves through the bazaar. The man in the cloak follows.

INT. SASCO’S BAR – NIGHT

No less crowded. Sasco sits at the same table, a bottle and

several glasses in front of him, the pleasure girl, DAGA, in

his lap. Wya now sits down opposite him.

SASCO

Back again, Wya?

WYA

Things have changed.

SASCO

That is the nature of things.

(To the girl; softly)

I’ll be along soon.

She rises – caresses Sasco – moves away.

SASCO

Love. It’s a worrisome pleasure.

But a pleasure none the less.

(Pouring drinks:)

You were saying?

WYA

Tell me about Shawne.

SASCO

Mmm. Antaeus director. Lovely

man.

WYA

He seems nervous.

SASCO

I would be. Failure is not an

Antaeus option.

WYA

He offered me a job?

SASCO

I know. Did you take it?

WYA

I want to know what I’m getting into

first.

Sasco sighs. And now, using glasses as chess pieces –

SASCO

There is a conflict in the universe,

Wya. Antaeus. The Union.

Military power versus economic

might. The inner ring is dying,

suffocating on its own shit. The

Union is desperate to relocate it’s

citizens to the outer rim.

Antaeus, who financed the

exploration of the rim, see this

influx of people as a threat to their

interests. As well they should.

WYA

Who’s going to win?

SASCO

The company’s presence is stronger

here. But only for the moment. In

the end arms win.

Wya rises.

SASCO

Wya. Next time I charge.

Wya turns away. She passes a table. The man in the hooded

cloak sits there, drink in front of him. And now as he raises

his glass, we see that his hand is an ugly, plastic and metal

prothesis – the exposed inner workings glow and whir like a fine

tuned watch.

INT. THE MINER’S HOSTEL – NIGHT

A large, barracks-like room filled with sleeping men in high

stacked, narrow, sleep modules. Snores and moans. The

glimpse of aggressive sex between two men – or is it two women?

Brody softly snores – all his belongings in his arms. A hand

covers his mouth and he comes awake, with a wide eyed start.

WYA

Come on.

BRODY

Where we going?

WYA

A hotel.

Brody quickly gets out of the narrow bunk.

EXT. HYATT UNIVERSAL – NIGHT

Establishing. A high polished bank of windows on the Hive.

The Hyatt sign blinking.

INT. HOTEL ROOM – NIGHT

Wya is in the shower. Eyes closed, hot water beating down.

Various scars on the taut body. And on her shoulder a tatoo

– a lightening bolt piercing a sun.

THE ROOM – LATER

Wearing a hotel robe, Wya enters, drying her hair. A window

looks out onto the hive; the light of the Hyatt sign glows in.

The room is spare but with expensive decor.

WYA

Brody?

BRODY

Here.

Brody is camped out on the floor.

BRODY

Damn bed’s too soft.

Wya moves to the window and looks out. At “night”, the hive

seems quiet – just the occasional gondola flying past.

BRODY

So, Smiley. Gonna tell me why that

cat-face bastard wanted you?

A moment.

WYA

What do you know about the 016

massacre on Malfi Prime?

BRODY

Military dropped gravity killers,

then sent in kamikaze teams to finish

the job. Malfians were pacifists –

didn’t even put up a fight.

WYA

It was a set up. Antaeus wanted

mining rights so they paid off

someone to send us in.

BRODY

Us?

WYA

I was a kamikaze unit commander.

Brody is speechless. Then:

BRODY

Is it true you killed women and

children?

WYA

I killed anything that moved.

Wya stares out.

INT. FOOD VENDOR – “DAY”

Blue yoked eggs hit a hot griddle. Bacon already sizzling.

BRODY

Look at that. Real bacon.

The sound of metal rending overhead and then – BOOM! – something

lands on an adjacent table with a crash. It’s metal bordered

Plexiglas – a window – torn from a wall.

BRODY

What the hell?

Wya and Brody move out into the concourse and looks up. A heavy

object comes flying out a gaping hole in the module three stories

up. It just misses her – CRASH! It’s a large, harp-like

instrument. There is the sound of screaming.

BRODY

Domestic disturbance?

And now a flamboyantly dressed man in a curly wig, comes

staggering out of the building, screaming something.

WYA

You think?

LATER –

A crowd of men and women has gathered. Union hovercraft have

arrived and nervous looking, uniformed officers are

interviewing the be-wigged man, who is gesturing wildly.

Wya sits, leaning against a pillar, watching it all from a

distance. Glancing up at the sound of the occasional scream.

Brody, eating his breakfast, now approaches from out the crowd.

BRODY

It’s a pleasure palace. The, uh,

“madam” there, says a customer got

disappointed in his performance and

blamed it on the girls. Ate two of’m

and now he’s threatening to kill the

rest.

WYA

Ate?

BRODY

That’s what he said. Security don’t

seem too keen on going in.

The male madam turns to the crowd.

THE MADAM

I will pay for the safety of my girls!

Five thousand credits!

BRODY

That ain’t bad.

Wya rises and moves forward. Brody follows. Wya makes her way

through the crowd.

MADAM

Anyone! Six thousand credits!

WYA

Ten per girl, I’ll go in.

MADAM

(hesitating; then:)

Yes.

WYA

(to one of the officers)

Is he good for it?

SECURITY OFFICER

Are you? It’s a Greenie, high on

dust in there.

That changes things. A glance at Brody.

WYA

If I don’t come out, five thousand

goes to him regardless.

MADAM

Done.

Wya turns to the building. She starts forward.

MADAM

(to Brody)

Will you take the five thousand in

trade?

INT. BUILDING MODULE – CONTINUOUS

Wya enters. It’s featureless metal inside. Wya has the choice

of a bloodstained elevator – a dead pleasure girl, her head at

an odd angle, in the open door – or narrow circular stairs. She

chooses stairs.

ON THE STAIRWELL –

She comes up the second floor landing and continues on.

ON THE THIRD LANDING –

She hesitates – opens the door a crack.

HER POV –

She’s looking down a hallway. Another dead pleasure girl, this

one somewhat chewed, lies on the floor.

INT. PLEASURE PALACE – CONTINUOUS

Wya enters. Keeping her back against the wall, she moves

forward. She passes an open bathroom door. A beaten pleasure

girl in S & M garb, sits, trembling on the floor. Wya raises

a finger to her lips – quiet. The girl nods. Wya moves on.

Parting the beaded curtains, she enters –

THE MAIN SALON

The pleasure palace is tacky opulent. Hover couches. Drug

hookahs. Alien eroticism on the walls. Liquor and bar area

behind a crystal counter. Four bruised and bloody pleasure

girls, cringing in a corner.

WYA

Where is he?

The girls, too frightened to speak. Their eyes grow wide as

behind Wya, a figure comes up from behind the counter.

Wya spins. The Greenie rises – up and up – a huge, green, drunk

humanoid. The muscles on his bare arms are enormous. As are

the muscles on his second set of arms. And his third.

WYA

(trying to smile)

Hi, big fella… nice big fella

The Greenie roars. Bottles, glasses and utensils flying, he

bursts through the counter. His charge takes Wya head on and

the two of them hurtle back and through a wall into –

A SEX ROOM –

They land and roll. A small, naked customer screams and cowers

in the corner. The Greenie backhands him into the far wall.

Wya, rises to her knees – she spits a bloody tooth onto the floor.

Her head turns with an alarmed snap. And then she is pulled

to her feet and lifted into the air –

One set of green hands hold Wya’s ankles, another her wrists.

A free hand slaps Wya – blood flies. It’s cousin moves to Wya’s

throat. The Greenie begins to squeeze, cutting of the

windpipe. Wya chokes, helpless.

Wya grits her jaw shut. Crack. And she spits a shard of bloody

broken tooth right into the Greenie’s yellow eye.

The Greenie roars in pain – one hand releases Wya’s wrist to

go to the eye – and Wya jabs a spear like hand into the Greenie’s

throat. The Greenie grunts – then throws Wya bodily across the

room into the far wall. WHAM! Wya falls.

The Greenie moves forward, picks Wya up and throws her again.

Back through the broken wall –

IN THE MAIN ROOM –

The pleasure girls scream as Wya comes hurtling through and

skids across the floor. Scream again as the Greenie bursts

through behind them, making yet another hole in the wall.

Wya pulling herself to her feet as –

The Greenie picks a kitchen knife up off the floor – and then

another one – and then a cleaver. He turns towards Wya.

Wya reaches for a long, thin, standing metal lamp – a

quarterstaff.

They fight. Three blades against the metal shaft.

Wya knocks a knife loose. The cleaver just misses her head and

gets buried in a wall. Two green hands grab Wya’s arm – and

break it. A third green hand grabs the shaft of the lamp. A

forth arm swings the knife, severing the shaft of the lamp.

Pulling the knife back to strike, the Greenie roars – with her

free hand, Wya thrusts the sharp broken point of the shaft into

the Greenie’s throat. The Greenie swats Wya away like a fly.

It staggers, horribly wounded. Wya staggers to her feet. The

Greenie charges. Wya leaps to the side – the Greenie charges

past, unable to stop –

OUTSIDE –

As Brody and the police and crowd watch, the Greenie comes

hurtling through the hole in the building and falls three

stories – to smash through the roof of a police hovercraft.

Brody whistles.

BACK TO –

The pleasure girls stare at Wya as somehow she turns and walks

slowly towards the door. And suddenly her eyes roll and she

stumbles and pitches forward, unconscious – and is caught just

before she falls by the man in the dark cloak.

INT. MED-C0 MENDING ROOM – DAY

Wya, in a drug induced haze, blinking up at – doctors. White

coats. Grey Asian eyes. Medical tattoos on foreheads.

DOCTOR

Shhh. We’ll make you good as new.

A hiss. BLACK.

INT. MED-C0 RECOVERY ROOM – TWO DAYS LATER

Wya comes awake, floating vertically – and naked – in a blue

restoration field. Not sure where she is.

VON SCHRYKE (O.C.)

You’re awake.

Wya looking up to see the man in the cloak, JOHN VON SCHRYKE

(Shrike), 30’s, sitting in a chair, studying his mechanical arm.

The hood is pulled back. Von Schryke’s head is shaved smooth.

If not for the scars on his face, he is handsome. He wears an

Union uniform. He has a slight accent.

WYA

How long…

VON SCHRYKE

Have you been out? Two days. How’s

the arm?

Wya had forgotten about it. She moves it now. It’s fine.

VON SCHRYKE

Better than mine no doubt.

Von Schryke takes a cylinder from his pocket. He thumbs a stud

on this futuristic switchblade and a small laser flares.

VON SCHRYKE

New one’s due any day now – they say.

He uses the point of the laser to make an adjustment in the inner

workings of his hand prosthesis. Circuitry smokes.

WYA

Where am I?

VON SCHRYKE

Hmm? Oh – a Union med unit. Don’t

worry, on the house – Lieutenant.

The tattoo.

WYA

Who are you?

A bit of pressure and the laser disappears.

VON SCHRYKE

Jon Von Schryke. Head of Union

deployment on Scylla. Which is a

joke, yes? Shawne – he offered you

a job. Are you going to take it?

WYA

Not now.

VON SCHRYKE

That’s right, you’re flush, aren’t

you. Perhaps we should charge you.

WYA

Why are you here?

VON SHRYKE

I’m intrigued. I’ve never met a

butcher before.

(Then:)

No. I’m here to offer you a job as

well.

INT. AN OFFICE – DAY

Wya and Von Shryke sit on opposite sides of a messy desk. Von

Shryke pours something hot from a thermos.

VON SCHRYKE

Tea? It’s the real thing.

Wya hesitates – nods. They sip; then:

VON SCHRYKE

Scylla. I have almost five

thousand Union settlers here waiting

to go down to Ajax. More arrive

every day. For some reason, Antaeus

is doing everything they can to stop

them.

WYA

Why?

VON SCHRYKE

I think they’ve found something down

there. I want these settlers

protected and I want to know what the

company is hiding.

WYA

What does this have to do with me.

VON SCHRYKE

I told you, I’m offering you a job.

You’re running. And you have

nowhere left to run.

Wya shakes her head.

VON SCHRYKE

In that case, you have two days to get

off this station and then I come

looking for you.

Wya rises.

VON SCHRYKE

One last thing. Has anyone told you

where these settlers are originally

from? No? Malfi Prime.

EXT. MED-CO HOSPITAL ZONE – DAY

Sara and Filo are on the busy concourse in front of the hospital

when the glass doors slide open and Wya comes out. She is

wearing a hospital jumpsuit. She sees Sara and Filo waiting.

Sara sees her at the same time. Wya turns and moves away. Sara

and Filo hurry after her.

ON THE CONCOURSE – DAY

Wya tries to ignore Sara as she and Filo catch up to her.

SARA

Wya – we heard – we were worried –

WYA

Go away.

SARA

What?

WYA

I said, leave me alone. Don’t ever

come near me again!

SARA

(hurt)

You have your wish. They’ve started

transport.

She turns away. Filo follows.

INT. HOTEL ROOM – DAY

Wya, dressed in her own clothes, finishes packing a small

duffle. She looks up as Brody enters. Brody tosses credit

chips down on the table.

BRODY

Fifty thousand credits. Hope it was

worth it.

Wya pushes one of the credits towards Brody. Brody pushes it

back.

BRODY

Don’t need it. I’m going back down.

I’m a miner, it’s what I do.

Wya pushes it over again.

WYA

Half of whatever you find.

BRODY

Now that’s a deal.

INT. SASCO’S BAR – DAY

Establishing. Business as usual. An id chip is passed across

a table. Wya passes credit in return.

WYA

It’s clean?

SASCO

If it’s not, you’ll be in prison and

unable to do anything about it, won’t

you.

Wya takes the chip and rises.

SASCO

(softly)

Travel safe.

INT. PASSENGER TRANSPORT TERMINAL – DAY

Busy and crowded settlers preparing to go down to Ajax. Wya

makes her way to Antaeus Service Counter. The agent is yet

again a study in cosmetically enhanced perfection.

WYA

I want to book passage.

IN. PASSENGER TRANSPORT TERMINAL – DAY

Wya puts her duffle in a locker – locks it with her palm imprint

– turns away.

INT. THE STATION – THE HIVE – DAY

The hover-rail comes to a stop in the station. The passengers

disembark. Wya among them.

ON FLOOR CENTRAL

Wya crosses the Antaeus logo emblazoned on the shining floor.

The metal doors sweep open.

IN THE “LOBBY”

The guarded elevators. The hermaphrodite receptionist on

duty.

RECEPTIONIST

Good day, Ms. Doran. Mr. Shawne has

been expecting you.

INT. SHAWNE’S OFFICE –

The elevator doors open. Wya steps out. No guards this time.

The room dark. Blinds lowered. No view.

SHAWNE

Wya. Ah, what a pleasure.

Shawne is behind his desk. And now, behind the desk, one of

the Mentats rises from off her knees in front of Shawne. The

Mentat quickly rises and exits.

SHAWNE

(closing his pants)

I hear you had time to consider my

offer. In a restoration chamber.

Wya tosses credits onto Shawne’s desk.

SHAWNE

Aww. We would have paid death

benefits.

Wya turns away. Shawne coldly watches her go.

INT. PASSENGER TRANSPORT TERMINAL – “DAY”

More crowded than ever now as settlers that are going, say their

good-byes to one another and move towards the shuttle ramp with

animals and possessions.

INT. PASSENGER TRANSPORT TERMINAL – CONTINUOUS

Wya pulls the duffle out of the locker. Closes it –

TO – MOMENTS LATER –

Wya moves through the crowd looking for –

BRODY

Hey, Smiley!

Brody is all grins. He has his old pack animal with him. Plus

his weapon.

BRODY

Look. Big Bob. I got’m back.

WYA

Take care.

BRODY

You do the same.

Brody grins and turns away toward the shuttle docks. Wya

watches him go. And now across the terminal she sees Karel,

Sara and family saying goodbye to yet more friends.

TO:

KAREL

We’ll join you as soon as we can. A

new life begins.

They embrace. Sara looks up and sees Wya. She looks away.

KAREL

Come. We’ll watch them go down.

TO:

Wya watches as they move towards an observation area.

INT. DOCKING BAY – IN A SERIES OF CUTS –

Shuttle doors close. Docking lock pulls away. Exterior doors

open. The shuttle’s propulsion fields glow blue and the

shuttle lifts, turns and glides out into open space.

INT. A FIRST CLASS PASSENGER’S CLUB – ABOVE THE TERMINAL –

Wya comes off a lift and hands her gold trimmed first class

ticket credit to an female attendant.

ATTENDANT

Id, please.

Wya hands her the chip she bought from Sasco. The attendant

runs it through a scan. Wya’s face comes up in a holograph –

plus a name – DEVONE ABREAUX. The attendant hands chip and

ticket back to Wya.

ATTENDANT

We’ll be boarding shortly.

Wya makes her way across the carpeted room to floor to ceiling

windows. She looks down to see the shuttle pulling away from

the spindle.

EXT. SCYLLA – CONTINUOUS

The shuttle is tiny against the huge mass of Scylla. It moves

out past the spindles.

INSIDE THE SHUTTLE –

The passengers – some miners but mostly settlers – make

themselves comfortable. The passenger bay is like a large

ferry deck. Brody grins at some nervous looking children.

BRODY

Don’t worry, this is the fun part.

THE SHUTTLE

Banks away from the station and descends towards Ajax.

WYA –

Watching; the shuttle growing smaller against the glowing

planet beneath it.

IN THE TERMINAL

The settlers who are staying cluster around the windows, buzzing

with excitement. Sara, now looking back for Wya.

Wya.

The shuttle.

Sara – turning back to the window.

The shuttle.

Brody.

BRODY

– you know what a gazoo is?

The children giggling.

TO:

WHAM!!! The shuttle explodes in a concussive ball of fire.

TO:

The concussion shakes the station. Wya falls back, aghast.

TO:

Flaming debris falls in pieces towards the rings Of Odin as –

TO:

Wya turns and runs, racing for the lift – she knocks people aside

– moves into the lift – madly presses buttons – the doors close

THE TERMINAL

The doors open. Wya races out into chaos and pandemonium.

Screaming men and women – crying children. Wya grabs an Union

official who is racing past.

WYA

What happened!?

OFFICIAL

I don’t know! They never do that!

Wya pushes the man roughly away. She turns. Moving forward,

she takes in the tears, the shock – Sara comforting a rocking

woman – and then, over by the observation window, still gazing

out – Bannon – who now turns to meet Wya’s eyes – and smiles.

In that moment, Wya knows.

She starts forward. Only to be blocked by the moving crowd of

hysterical people – trying to get around them, past them,

through them – – to find Bannon gone. Scanning the crowd. And

then, turning and racing towards the exit.

INT. – MONO-RAIL STATION – THE HIVE – DAY

The cars comes out of the tunnel and slide to a stop. Doors

open. Wya comes off the tram.

ON FLOOR CENTRAL

Wya crosses the Antaeus logo towards the doors. And hearing

the sound of marching feet, turns –

– to see Shawn and a phalanx of security approaching.

SHAWNE

I thought you’d left.

Wya has to stop herself from going for him.

WYA

The shuttle.

SHAWNE

Horrible. There’ll be an

investigation.

WYA

By you?

SHAWNE

It was ours.

WYA

My best friend was on it.

She turns away. Shawne, staring.

EXT. SCYLLA –

The station; the stars. The sound of voices singing in a lovely

language.

INT. THE SETTLER’S HANGER – DAY

The settlers are gathered in a deep circle. As they sing, they

pass candles, man to woman, woman to child, child to man. Each

settler holds it a moment, then passes it on.

Wya stands at the edge of the hangar, watching. She is joined

by Sasco.

SASCO

This is the light of our souls.

There is no dimming of the light.

There are only the many faces of the

one God.

(Then:)

The things people believe.

The singing continues.

INT. UNION SECURITY OFFICE – DAY

Van Schryke uses his prosthetic hand to take a bite of an alien

looking fruit. Then:

VON SCHRYKE

So now you’re interested.

Wya stands across from him.

VON SCHRYKE

Would you like to know what the job

pays?

WYA

Just show me who I’m working with.

INT. UNION MEETING AREA – DAY

Ten men – Union officers – none of them young or in great shape,

stand in a line. Wya, now in Union uniform, stares them down.

VON SCHRYKE

My division officers. Good men –

once. Now mostly waiting for their

pensions.

Wya undoes her collar. She rips it back and down revealing her

tattoo. Lightening bolt piercing sun – kamikaze.

WYA

Kamikaze.

They look nervous.

WYA

Disobey, I kill you. Turn and run,

I kill you. Give up, screw up, I kill

you. Tell your men.

As the men disperse –

VON SCHRYKE

That was impressive.

WYA

If I screw up, you can kill me.

IN A DEEP INNER CONCOURSE –

– of Scylla, between dripping pipes and air ducts, a nightly

ritual begins. Homeless men and aliens, all stripped to the

waste – begin to beat on metallic drums. They have lit the

refuse in battered bins to give light. The rhythms build and

echo as –

EXT. CONCOURSE – NIGHT

Armed Union officers led by Wya and Von Schryke make their way

down a concourse. Pedestrian get out of their way and stare

as they pass.

We INTERCUT between drummers –

– and the Union officers as Wya leads them on. Faces -both human

and alien – staring out of dark windows and doorways, watching,

as they pass.

INT. FREIGHT BAY – CONTINUOUS

The settlers – Sara among them, nervously look up from their

cooing fires – they can hear the drums echoing off the metallic

walls of –

TO:

The drummers drip sweat – IN SLO-MO – a man’s dreadlocks fly

with his exertions as –

EXT. SCYLLA – NIGHT

The upscale area. Wya and her men move towards a brightly lit

nightclub entrance. The drumming continues as –

INT NIGHTCLUB – NIGHT

Men and woman and humanoid aliens move under multi-colored

light, dancing. Half nude dancers, both men and women, writhe

in cages above the dance floor.

At a table, a three eyed alien, offers a human woman magic –

glittering gold powder – she snorts it up with pleasure.

White faced Goths, black hair in bird-like crests, sip blood

colored drinks. One of them eats a succulent leech –

At a table, two pleasure girls kiss – their long, snake-like

tongues are wrapped together –

Off to the side are row upon row of wire-heads. They sit,

twitching, electric current jacked right into the pleasure

center of their brains.

Wya and her men enter and move across the dance floor. The

dancers part, some backing away, some pushed; all startled.

The SOUND OF DRUMS abruptly stop as Wya stops.

Shawne sits at a table with the Mentats and several other exotic

looking couples. They are drinking what looks like champagne.

Bannon and two other Antaeus security guards flank the table.

Wya tosses down a square, black computer chip embossed with the

Union logo.

SHAWNE

What’s this?

WYA

It’s an order instructing all

citizens on to turn their

weapons in to Union authorities.

That includes Antaeus personnel not

directly involved with the

indentured population.

SHAWNE

You’re joking.

Another chip is tossed onto the table.

WYA

This order prohibits transport to and

from Ajax till further notice – your

mining personnel as well as settlers.

SHAWNE

You’re shutting us down?

WYA

That’s exactly what I’m doing.

SHAWNE

You don’t have the authority!

WYA

Tell him.

VON SCHRYKE

The Union’s been advised of the

situation. A military fleet will be

here from the inner ring in twelve

solar days.

SHAWNE

Of course, I’ll have to contact our

legal division to advise them of the

situation. Or maybe I should just

tell them there’s a wanted runner on

this station and let them contact an

Union Bounty Squad.

Wya

They can come with the fleet. I want

your weapons. Start with him.

Bannon. Acoustic at his side.

SHAWNE

Mr. Bannon.

Bannon just stares.

SHAWNE

Do it.

Never taking his eyes off of Wya, Bannon unholsters and holds

out his weapon – an Union officer quickly takes it.

WYA

(to Shawne)

It’s your shuttle. It’s my station.

Wya turns away. Von Schryke and the men follow. Shawne smiles

at his guests. He sips champagne.

INT. SHAWNE’S PERSONAL QUARTERS – NIGHT

Glasses and decanter are swept off a counter. Shawne bellows

in rage. More possessions hit the floor.

BANNON

Let me kill her.

SHAWNE

Are you stupid? And bring a Union

fleet down on our heads!

BANNON

Twelve days –

SHAWNE

We don’t want them here at all!

Surrender the weapons.

BANNON

No.

SHAWNE

Just some of them, you idiot. I’ll

figure out an explanation for the

shuttle.

BANNON

What about her?

SHAWNE

Find some competent locals who’d like

to collect on a three million credit

reward.

INT. SCYLLA – ANTAEUS HQ – DAY

The metallic drumbeat begins again as: Antaeus weapons are

collected. They’re pulled from lockers and off of racks.

IN ANTAEUS BARRACKS –

Antaeus personnel stand side by side in a long line. Union

police move down the line, removing sidearms. Shawne and

Bannon are grimly watching. As are the barrack’s servants –

indentured prisoners.

ON THE CONCOURSE – DAY

Miners and citizens reluctantly turn their weapons in at

collection stations.

IN A BAR –

Orbiters and Welders are frisked.

INT. MINER’S HOSTEL –

A miner is roughly arrested for resisting a search.

IN THE TRANSPORTATION BAYS –

Passengers coming off inbound freighters are made to register

and surrender weapons –

A.I. VOICES

All incoming passengers must turn in

their weapons before entering

Scylla. All incoming passengers

must —

One passenger is a brutal, tattooed man, JANUS. His entire

right arm and shoulder are dull metal.

LATER –

A long barreled sonic rifle, decorated with feather and teeth,

mounted with a heat seeking scope is turned in by an albino

humanoid, with long white braided hair, HALO. He is dressed

like the Gorgon hunters.

AND FINALLY –

This passenger is a huge, jovial, black man, DALGREN.

UNION OFFICER

Business?

DALGREN

Vacation!

He grins showing white teeth.

EXT. THE STATION – NIGHT

Establishing. The Antaeus freighters and mining transport are

moored to the Antaeus spindle. Silent, seemingly deserted, the

transport ban in effect.

INT. ANTAEUS TRANSPORT BAY – NIGHT

Huge metal shipping containers fill the bay. A figure races

down between two of them. He looks back – he runs on.

He runs down another row towards the huge metal wall at the end

of the bay.

He gets to the bay door – he is an Antaeus indentured; a miner.

He is holding something beneath his shirt. He slides the bay

door open –

OUTSIDE THE BAY

A deserted, industrial corridor of the station. Vents and

pipes above. The miner peeks out, then runs.

CLOSE ON –

Golden cat eyes.

ANOTHER THE CORRIDOR –

The miner races towards us – turns the corner, running –

AIR FAN CORRIDOR

– and stops. Dead end. Just a huge air vent ahead. He turns

back – and grunts as the glowing restrainment band around his

neck suddenly constricts. Choking, he tries to pull the band

free. He stares, bug-eyed, as Bannon casually approaches.

Bannon holds a small transmitter in his hand. He presses it

and the band releases. The indentured gasps for air.

Bannon’s gloved fist clenches – two curved, claw-like blades

release out from a gauntlet and over the hand – he strikes –

Twin blades burst through the indentured’s back.

He gurgles and falls as Bannon pulls the blades free. The

blades withdraw with a hiss and Bannon kneels. He reaches under

the miner’s bloody shirt and pulls out a small rough stone.

Matte-black, it seems to absorb the light. Bannon rises and

walks away. The body lies in a bloody pool.

INT. AIR FAN CORRIDOR – DAY

The miner’s face is turned – examined.

WYA

Antaeus indentured.

VON SCHRYKE

Shivved. These poor bastards are

always killing each other.

Wya kneeling to lift the incarceration necklace – bruises

underneath. And now she examines the two bloody holes.

WYA

There’s something in the wound.

VON SCHRYKE

Hold on. Use this.

He takes the cylinder out. He thumbs a switch and makes an

adjustment. The laser flares to a good six inches. Van

Schryke smiles at Wya’s look.

Wya takes it and probes. Flesh hisses. Wya picks out a bloody

something. She wipes it clean. It’s a small chip of stone,

matte black.

INT. UNION LABRATORY – DAY

The matte-black stone is under an analysis beam. The

microscopic image floats in a holograph. Tightly packed atoms

oscillate.

VON SCHRYKE

Incredibly dense. Large, stable

nuclei. Somewhere out at the far end

of the elemental table, I should

think.

WYA

Heavy matter?

VON SCHRYKE

As pure as I’ve ever seen. This chip

could power for a year. I

can’t imagine what it’s worth.

WYA

Now we know what they’re hiding down

there.

Union officer enters behind them.

VON SCHRYKE

What is it?

OFFICER

We have a problem outside.

OUTSIDE – ON THE CONCOURSE

A crowd has gathered. Settlers, all of them. Murmuring.

Angry. As Wya and Von Schryke come out, the screams begin –

SETTLERS

Murderer!/Butcher of children!/You

killed my mother!/ My son!/ My

sister!

Wya glancing at Von Schryke.

VON SCHRYKE

I didn’t tell them.

Wya looks up to see Karel coming through the crowd. Sara and

Filo are with him. Union officers move forward but at a

gesture from Wya, they stop. Karel stops in front of Wya.

KAREL

Is it true? You were Kamikaze?

WYA

I led them.

Karel suddenly pulls out and aims an ancient pistol at Wya’s

face. He is more in anguish than he is in a rage.

KAREL

Beg for your life! Beg! You

deserve to die!

WYA

I do. But not today.

Wya reaches out and takes the pistol.

WYA

This man is voluntarily turning in

his weapon. Someone help him walk

away.

Men move forward to gently take Karel by the arms. He moves

like a dead man. Sara stares at Wya. Wya hands her the pistol.

WYA

Hold it for him.

Sara takes it. And then she spits in Wya’s face. She and Filo

turn and follow Karel.

INT. SASCO’S BAR – NIGHT

Noisy and crowded. Wya sits at a rear table, a bottle in front

of her, lost in dark thoughts. She looks up. It’s Sasco.

Blind eyes staring.

SASCO

I wouldn’t drink too much of that.

WYA

Go away.

She drinks. She pours again.

SASCO

The man at the end of the bar, the one

with the metal arm.

Wya sees him now. Their eyes meet.

SASCO

His name is Janus. He’s a bounty

hunter. I’ve used him from time to

time to bring back clients. He does

so in pieces.

Janus finishes his drink, rises and moves towards the door.

WYA

Why are you telling me this?

SASCO

If Antaeus takes over, they take

everything. The bars,

loansharking, the whores. Sordid

shit – but my shit.

Wya rises. She moves around the table.

SASCO

Watch out for the arm.

It’s doubtful Wya hears him. She heads to the door.

EXT. GRAND BAZAR – NIGHT

Wya comes out onto the concourse. Except for the bars,

everything closed and deserted now. Towards the end of the

concourse, he sees a figure moving away. She follows.

ON A CONCOURSE – NIGHT

Wya moving – passing a drunken miner with two Pleasure girls

– the single figure up ahead, turns to look back and disappears

down a side corridor now.

SIDE CORRIDOR – NIGHT

Wya turns down the corridor – it opens onto a a series of small,

dowdy shops. The figure ahead breaks into a run. Wya gives

chase.

Wya races down the shadowed concourse, gaining on the dark

figure ahead who seems to be panicing now.

Wya finally grabs him – spins him to stare into at the frightened

face of – an alien man – his neck is six inches long, ornamented

with gold rings..

HUMANOID ALIEN

I have no credits – none!

Wya releases him.

WYA

My mistake.

She suddenly sees frozen panic in the alien’s eyes.

Wya ducks as a small metal ball and gleaming micro-wire sweeps

above her head. The thinner-then-thread wire slices through

the alien. The cut is so fine, head and body hardly know they’re

separated. And then gravity pulls the head away and gold rings

fall in smoothly cut pieces.

Janus. The ball and micro-wire sprout from his prosthetic arm

– the ball whirling –

Wya raises her acoustic – only to have a horizontal cut of the

wire slice the weapon in two – it could have been her hand.

Wya backs away as Janus advances, whirling the ball in a deadly

circle. Wya backs into a metal waste bin. Picking it up, she

throws it. The ball and wire whirl and the bin is cut in half

like butter, refuse flying.

Janus begins to spin the ball again. The arc of the circle

widens as Janus advances. Wya moves back and around a metal

bench. She ducks a horizontal cut – dodges, away from a

vertical cut that slices through the bench. Wya comes over the

bench and leaps, driving Janus back and down.

A blow into Janus’ face – and Wya rolls free.

Janus rises. He holds out his metal arm – a magnetic pulse

sweeps the micro-wire to him and home into its socket. He turns

towards Wya –

– and then his body arches as a two white, pointed bolts bursts

through his chest from behind. The “bolts” withdraw. Janus

falls.

Wya stares. Like elastic snakes, the “bolts” slide back – to

form two bone-white arms.

WYA

Shapechanger.

Halo can mold and stretch his body into different forms.

He points – a finger sharpens – stretches/strikes – slams

through Wya’s shoulder, driving her back and pinning her to the

wall. Halo approaches, his finger shortening the closer he

gets. His head stretches up off his shoulders, then bends so

that he is looking Wya in the eyes. Halo’s voice is a whisper

in a skull.

HALO

Shall the thing be taken dead? Or

alive.

SASCO (O.C.)

I prefer alive.

Halo’s head whips 180 degrees on it’s axis. Sasco is behind

him – blind eyes “staring” – no weapons. Halo’s finger pulls

free from Wya’s shoulder. Wya drops to the ground.

Halo’s arms fly forward; finger spreading. Sasco raises his

hand and his rings flare with a burst of energy. Halo’s hands

are is blasted away. Halo is blasted back; a hole blown through

him. He falls, twisting, flipping like a dying fish. His real

form is not human. And then he’s still. Wya drags herself to

her feet.

SASCO

Can you walk?

WYA

I think so.

SASCO

Good. I can’t.

He glances down at the white, severed arm that is impaled in

his belly. He falls to one knee.

SASCO

Get me back to the bar.

Wya pulls him up.

INT. BACK ROOM – BAR – LATER

Wya enters, Holding Sasco up. She moves to a small cot and help

him down.

WYA

You need a regeneration matrix.

SASCO

No. It’s healing already.

Wya parts the tear in Sasco’s tunic. The wound is closing,

seemingly healing of its own accord.

SASCO

They do it.

Sasco peels off his shirt. Beneath the mottled, swollen skin

of his hunchback, something horrible and serpentine writhes.

Wya stares, horrified.

WYA

Parasites.

SASCO

Lovely, aren’t they.

Sasco weakly turns to sit.

SASCO

Drugs slow their growth. But try and

remove them and you die. All you can

do is wait for them to rip their way

out, fully grown. And then you die.

And so one day soon, I’ll put a sonic

to my chest and blow them to hell.

And they know it.

The girl, Daga enters. She stares at Wya, then quickly moves

to Sasco. She tenderly puts her cheek against his knees.

SASCO

You can go. I’m well attended.

Wya leaves.

INT. UNION MODULE – NIGHT

Wya comes off a lift and moves down a hall of anonymous doors.

She comes to a door. She stops. She hesitates – she shrugs

off the sling and tosses it aside – she touches a stud. A voice

VON SCHRYKE

Yes, who is it?

WYA

Me.

The door opens. Von Schryke, out of uniform, stares in

surprise.

WYA

I could use a little help.

INT. THE APARTMENT – LATER

The apartment is small but neat and clean. Von Schryke gently

bandages the wound on Wya’s shoulder.

VON SCHRYKE

I don’t suppose you’re going to tell

me how this happened.

WYA

It doesn’t matter.

VON SCHRYKE

This should do for now.

(a moment; then:)

Would you like a drink?

WYA

Yes.

Von Schryke rises. Von Schryke moves to a counter – he pours

dark liquid into two glasses. Out of his uniform, Wya sees

why Von Schryke limps. It’s not just his hand that’s maimed

– much of his right leg is supported by metal prothesis.

VON SCHRYKE

Lovely, isn’t it.

(Off her look)

Courtesy of a suicide bomber on New

Istanbul.

He hands her the drink. They sip, quietly looking at one

another. He reaches out, pushes hair back from her face.

VON SCHRYKE

I keep trying to dislike you. It’s

not easy.

A long moment.

WYA

(softly)

When’s the last time you were kissed?

VON SCHRYKE

Far too long.

WYA

Me too.

VON SCHRYKE

May I?

WYA

I think… it’s why I’m here.

They kiss. The kiss grows needy.

INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT

Wya and Von Schryke lie together. His prosthetic fingers trace

the wound – and then the tattoo on her shoulder.

VON SCHRYKE

Tell me about Malfi Prime.

WYA

We did what we were trained to do.

He kisses her.

INT. ANTAEUS CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY

Shawne, subordinates and the Mentats sit on one side of a large

conference table. Wya and Van Schryke sit on the other.

Holographic illustrations accompany Shawne’s speech.

SHAWNE

– while the safety rating of the C-9

transport is second to none, there

have been reports of cracks in the

fusion shields. I’m a moron when it

comes to sub-atomic physics but this,

they tell me, can lead to sudden

violent surge in the energy modus.

Hence our little accident.

The holographs blink out.

SHAWNE

Antaeus, by the way, has generously

offered to provide financial

restitution to all relatives of the

deceased.

VON SCHRYKE

What’s a dead settler worth these

days?

SHAWNE

That’s to be determined. And now,

if we’re all satisfied, I’d like to

get our mining operations up and

running again.

WYA

When can we begin getting the

settlers down to the planet’s

surface?

SHAWNE

Ah. That’s a problem. See,

management wants us to do a thorough

examination of all our shuttles to

make sure they’re safe. Which will

take a little time. We’ll let you

know when we’re done.

Shawne; all smiles. Wya and Von SCHRYKE glance at one another.

They rise.

SHAWNE

By the way, can we get our weapons

back?

WYA

Don’t push your luck.

They turns away. Shawne; looking at his subordinates – how do

you deal with people like this?

EXT. CONCOURSE – DAY

Wya and Von Schryke stride down the busy concourse together.

VON SCHRYKE

Energy modus, my ass.

WYA

It’s time to see what they’re hiding

down there.

VON SCHRYKE

Why not?

They move on. Dalgren – eating ice cream – is following.

EXT. THE STATION –

A medium size attack transport with the Union logo on the tail

is docked on a secondary spindle. The transport is a rusting

bundle of bolts.

INT. BLACKHAWK – CONTINUOUS

A door slides open. Wya and Van Schryke enter. Lights come

on – falter – come on again. G-thrones – used to protect

soldiers from the forces of rapid descent – line the walls.

VON SCHRYKE

Look familiar?

WYA

It’s a Blackhawk attack transport.

VON SCHRYKE

The Union’s finest. When new.

They move on into the ship.

INT. BLACKHAWK BRIDGE – CONTINUOUS

Wya and Von Schryke enter and seat themselves on the bridge.

Von Schryke hits switches on the control.

VON SCHRYKE

Coming on line… now

The sound of energy surging – the Blackhawk bucks and vibrates

– lights flicker… then die…

WYA

How old is this thing?

VON SCHRYKE

It too, is waiting for its pension.

Another try. Energy surges and catches – lights come on. Von

Schryke buckles his seat harness.

VON SCHRYKE

Buckle up.

Shaking her head, Wya reaches for her harness.

EXT. THE SPINDLE –

The Blackhawk slips its dockage. Engines flare and the vehicle

moves up and away – gaining speed – leaving the station behind

– moving towards Ajax –

ON THE BRIDGE –

Out the observation window, they can see a convoy of Antaeus

ships making their way slowly down.

VON SCHRYKE

Those are container ships.

EXT./INT. THE BLACKHAWK –

The ship hurtles down – the planet getting closer – closer –

WYA

Atmosphere in five… four…

The yellow planet fills the observation panel.

Wya

… three… two..

The ship bumps hard as it hits the atmosphere.

VON SCHRYKE

One.

The transport begins to tremble – then rock – it glows, red hot

– as the atmosphere ignites around it –

ON THE BRIDGE –

The transport seems as if it’s going to come part around them.

Wya looks nervous – she glances at Von Schryke who seems totally

unconcerned.

EXT. AJAX – DAY

The transport hurtles towards the planet surface –

INTERCUT: THE BRIDGE –

The planet surface is rushing up at them.

WYA

(alarmed)

It’s not responding.

Von Schryke seems unconcerned. He reaches out and with a

clenched fist hits the instrument console – hard.

EXT. THE BLACK HAWK –

At the last moment it pulls up and races along, just above the

ground, moving with the changing desert topography.

ON THE BRIDGE –

Wya breathes a sigh of relief. Von Schryke seems amused. As

if answering an unspoken question:

VON SCHRYKE

I used up my allotment of fear a long

time ago.

(Then:)

Antaeus’s primary mining operation

is beyond that mesa.

EXT. THE MESA – DAY

The transport hovers and lands on the mesa.

ON THE BRIDGE – CONTINUOUS

The transport settles with a hard jolt. Wya unbuckles her

harness and rises.

WYA

Coming?

VON SCHRYKE

Not with this leg. I’ll stay here.

In the air conditioning.

Wya exits. Taking out the cylinder and releasing the knife,

Von Schryke begins to tinker with the insides of the prosthetic

hand.

EXT. THE MESA – DAY

Wya comes out of the Blackhawk into the stifling heat. The

double suns are blinding. She moves forward.

EXT. THE MESA – DAY

Wya moves across the mesa. As she approaches the edge, she sees

a scorched plain, stretching towards a endless horizon. And

then it’s in front of her, down below – an excavation; strip

mine on a grand scale. Dust billows. Indentured men and huge

machines are at work; disaggregating dirt from usable ore,

collecting. Anti-grav transports move towards grounded

container ships. Suddenly –

The air rips and the ground erupts as the shots from a rip gun

– an acoustic capable of firing off sonic blasts in sustained,

short bursts – just misses her. Three Antaeus guards are

mounted on horses – seahorse shaped anti-grav cycles. They

hurtle overhead. A forth and fifth guard, bring up the rear

– they open fire. The sonic impact knocks Wya off her feet.

Drawing her acoustic, she rises and runs across the plateau.

ON THE PLATEAU

The air rips, sounds waves shatter rock as Wya runs, weaving

in and out and under cover. The guards swoop and turn in the

blue sky overhead, incredibly fast, almost impossible to hit

with a hand weapon. Almost. Stopping, aiming, leading a rider,

Wya squeezes off a series of rapid shots. The last one blasts

a hole through the chassis of the anti-grav and out of control,

the guard rides down into the rocks where his machine explodes

on impact. Wya runs on.

ON THE PLATEAU

Wya comes over the plateau. She stops. The Blackhawk is just

ahead, separated by a hundred yards of jagged rock. No cover.

Sonic blasts hit around her. She runs –

– across the open space, dodging, weaving –

– one of the guards pulling his mount into a hover – carefully

aiming –

His POV – Wya running, in his crosshairs –

– and a massive, air curdling sonic hits the guard and anti-grav

mount, pulverizing them.

Wya stopping, breathless and startled as –

The Blackhawk’s acoustic cannon fires again.

WHOOM – the air rips as another sound wave pulverizes a second

guard –

– Wya staring up as –

The remaining guards try to flee. The aircycles are fast but

the sonics are made to take out air craft. Again, the air rips

and another guard and his cycle disintegrate. Shrapnel rips

into the last guard who slumps in the seat of his cycle. The

cycle careens, out of control. And then it turns in a careening

arc and, as if with a mind of its own, starts down – towards

Wya.

Wya turns and runs as it hurtles down – and then it crashes and

rolls after her. She leaps to the side. The cycle explodes

into rock in a fiery wall of debris.

Wya breathlessly rises. And suddenly the ground quakes and

gives way all around her and Wya falls –

BELOW – CONTINUOUS

– to land hard but in something soft. She lies, stunned. And

just about pukes at the smell. She is lying in a steaming pile

of rotting guts. A large decaying head is not more than a foot

from her own. Wya struggles up. It’s the body of one of Ajax’s

winged creatures – a night dragon.

Wya starts as more rock crumbles from the roof above and the

mangled body of the guard now falls and dangles.

In the shafts of light, Wya sees now that there are the remains

of other living things here. She takes a step – and almost

stumbles over the remains of a man. It is a Antaeus indentured,

the restrainment ring still around the remains of his neck. Wya

sees now that the wasted, paralyzed hands clasp something,

holding it close. Wya kneels and with some effort, pulls the

object free. It’s wrapped in scraps of dirty old cloth. Wya

unwraps it. And stares, incredulous. The stone, as large as

a jagged fist, is matte black. Heavy matter.

She starts as the dry, decayed chest of the indentured prisoner

suddenly collapses in on itself. The ribs and ripped out back

of the man is revealed.

Now Wya knows what’s killed all these creatures.

The patter of centipede feet. A scaled, silver eel, rushes out

of the gloom and with a cold hiss, throw itself at Wya – who

manages to grab it below the mouth as it drives her down –

The parasite’s open maw gapes above Wya. It’s rasp-like tongue

whips. The tongue is coated with maggot-like eggs.

WYA

I hate parasites.

Holding the parasite with one hand, Wya reaches. Her free hand

closes on a length of jagged bone. She drives it into the

parasite’s mouth and through its head.

Throwing the thing aside, she rises. There are other hisses,

in the gloom of the nest. She moves to the dead guard, reaches

for the man’s holstered sonic.

Something silver rushes forward.

Wya turns and fires – and blows a rushing parasite to mush. She

spins and mows down another. And then another and another.

Panting with fear and exertion, Wya moves to the rock wall and

climbs.

ABOVE –

Wya pulls herself up and out of the nest. She realizes she’s

lost the nugget of heavy matter. The hell with it – she’s not

going back down there. She turns away.

INT. THE BLACKHAWK – ON THE BRIDGE –

Wya comes on to the bridge. Van Schryke is in the Captain’s

chair, his back to Wya.

WYA

(putting the sonic down)

Let’s get out of here.

No answer.

WYA

Jon…?

She reaches out to touch – Von Schryke sags in his chair – blood

on his bruise mottled face – Wya spins. To see – HER POV –

a huge fist is coming at her.

INT. SETTLER’S HANGAR – NIGHT

A glowing fire pod. Settlers gathered around it. And now they

look up, startled at the sound of marching feet.

Armed Antaeus personnel move at a fast trot through the

settler’s encampment. Settlers move to get out of their way.

FURTHER ON – CONTINUOUS

Karel, Sara and the others stare, alarmed, as the armed men

approach. Karel’s wife, Elena, comes out of their tent.

ELENA

I can’t find Filo.

She moves to his side as men surround the perimeter. Two guards

part and Shawne, steps forward.

SHAWNE

Whoo, it’s freezing in here.

(Then; smiling broadly)

Hel-lo!

INT. BLACKHAWK – LATER

Wya blinks, not sure where she is. Someone is whistling. It

takes a moment to realize that her hands are bound behind her,

her feet are bound together and her cheek is against the floor.

The whistling stops.

DALGREN

Ha. You one tough bitch, sister.

What I hit, usually stay out.

Wya painfully sits up. Von Schryke – eyes unfocused – badly

hurt – trying to smile at Wya. Dalgren has an electric pulled

back, a heavy metal toolbox out and is fiddling with

micro-circuitry.

DALGREN

Better days, this Hawk seen. Lame it

went, when gravity we clear.

Wya looking out the viewpanes. They’re in orbit above Ajax.

Her hands begin to twist at the plasticine bonds.

DALGREN

Good though, sonics work. Fish in

barrel those little horses were.

(Then:)

Twist all day, sister, you get free

not.

WYA

So kill me now.

DALGREN

Uh-uh. Cat face psycho do it. Big

bonus. For you, bad luck, Sister,

good for me.

Suddenly power hums and the ship comes to life.

DALGREN

There. Told you I fix.

Dalgren rises, wiping his hands. And now, beneath the

sleeveless tunic, Wya sees a tattoo on Dalgren’s massive

shoulder. Lightening bolts through sun.

WYA

What’s the price of honor?

DALGREN

Ey?

WYA

One blood, one flesh, brother.

Dalgren picks Wya up off the floor with one hand.

DALGREN

You jobbin’ me, Sister, you pay.

He rips the uniform down off Wya’s shoulder. Stares at her

tattoo.

DALGREN

Kamikaze.

(Then:)

Three million plus bonus. Sorry,

sister, for that no honor, I.

He throws Wya roughly to the floor and turns away

EXT. SCYLLA –

The Blackhawk swoops towards the station.

ON THE SPINDLE – CONTINUOUS

The Blackhawk docks. Passenger locks engage.

INT. BLACKHAWK – BRIDGE – CONTINUOUS

Dalgren shuts the Blackhawk down. Reaching to an almost

invisible sheath on his thigh, he takes out a knife that seems

to be nothing but the edge of a glittering blade. He cuts the

bonds that bind Wya’s feet. The blade parts her pant leg and

cuts the flesh beneath. Dalgren roughly pulls Wya to her feet

and holds the knife to Wya’s face.

DALGREN

Cut your bones like butter, Sister.

Wya looks toward Von Schryke – he has fallen into

unconsciousness – the small switchblade-cylinder is on the

console next to him.

WYA

There’s no reward for his death.

DALGREN

(hesitating; then)

Because kamikaze you.

With a stroke Dalgren cuts the bonds holding Wya’s wrists. He

gestures towards Von Schryke.

DALGREN

Carry you him.

Wya moves to Von Schryke’s body. As she hoists him up, she palms

the knife cylinder. She staggers under the weight…

DALGREN

Hah! You weak, sister

Wya springs, throwing Von Schryke into Dalgren who stumbles

back. Wya turns on the laser – she flares it to full length.

Dalgren angrily raises the micro-scapel.

DALGREN

Pretty face, cut I, sister.

Dalgren attacks – drives Wya back. Wya slams off the console.

Dalgren moves for the sonic Wya brought onto the Blackhawk. As

Dalgren grabs the weapon, Wya grabs a seat harness. As Dalgren

turns, Wya throws the laser knife at the observation panel –

With a sizzle, the point of the laser pierces the old

plexi-carbon –

Wya lunges for Von Schryke as –

– PHWOOMPH! – the knife is sucked out into the void, leaving

a small hole in the panel. Instantly the bridge is a vacuum

– anything not nailed down flies towards it –

Dalgren grabs for the open hatch way – loses the sonic as –

– the Blackhawk’s metal toolbox hits the panel. It shatters

the panel, leaving a larger hole.

Wya holds the harness – desperately tries to keep her hold on

von Schryke – no air – as –

Dalgren’s fingers begin to slip – and suddenly a G-Throne hits

him, knocking him from the hatch – he grabs for purchase but

there’s nothing. Dalgren flies towards the open panel –

spinning – his legs are sucked out – his bulk closes off and

plugs the hole –

Vacuum gone, Wya releases the harness and drags Von Schryke

towards the hatch –

Dalgren screams as the suction begins to pull him through the

too small space. Cracks skitter in the glass around him. As

Wya reaches the hatch, Dalgren is pulled out with a pop –

OUTSIDE –

And sent gaping mouthed and hurtling out into space –

INSIDE –

Wya is holding on to the hatch frame with one hand, Von Shryke

with the other as the vacuum resumes it’s pull. She slowly

pulls herself through the hatch – she almost loses her hold as

a loose G-throne flies past her – and then she’s through –

ON THE OTHER SIDE –

– she pulls von Schryke through and hits a pressure plate and

the hatch door slides shut. Wya sags against the bulkhead.

INT. SASCO’S BAR – NIGHT

It’s late; some drunken men and fawning pleasure girls at the

tables. Sasco sits at the bar. He is drunk. He lifts the

bottle only to find it empty. He pushes the bottle away.

SASCO

Another bottle! Another!

The shark toothed bartender goes for one. And then, Daga is

there. She stares at Saco.

SASCO

Don’t look at me! Go away, get your

sympathy out of here!

She reaches to touch his face. He slaps the hand away.

SASCO

Get out, whore! Leave!

Daga hurries towards the exit. A moment. Sasco rises – he

staggers after her towards the door.

OUTSIDE – NIGHT

Sasco comes out onto the concourse. His head turns – his blind

eyes seem to be seeking what direction to go.

SASCO

Daga!? I’m sorry! Daga!?

ACROSS THE CONCOURSE –

A figure rises from where he’s been waiting on top of the moving

carousel. Bannon. He lowers his visor and raises an acoustic

rifle. Visuals on his visor key in on Sasco. Sasco looks lost

– truly blind – and alone. But then, he’s not. Daga hurries

out of the shadows. She stops.

SASCO

…sorry… so sorry…

She starts towards him as – Bannon fires. The sound bullet hits

Daga and drives her brutally into the metal wall. Screaming,

Sasco raises his hands. Clenching his fists, he fires his rings

in a blind arc across the concourse Pedestrians scatter as

stands explode and windows are shattered. Bannon leaps as the

carousel and it’s horses are turned to rubble. He lands like

a cat, losing the rifle. He snarls – he runs. Sasco stops

firing. He hears the sound of retreating footsteps. A moment

and then:

SASCO

Daga…?

Daga is dead. Sasco’s cry echoes through the concourse.

SASCO

Daga!!!!?

INT. MEDCO UNIT – NIGHT

Wya stares. Von Schryke, unconscious and naked, stands

suspended in a blue, regeneration field. Hand and leg

prosthetic gone; maimed limbs visible. Wya turns away.

EXT. MEDCO – NIGHT

Wya comes out. A squad of Antaeus Security is approaching.

Armed. Sonic rifles rise and aim as one.

ANTAEUS COMMANDER

Major Doran, you’re under arrest.

EXT. CONCOURSE – UNION HQ – NIGHT

As Wya and her guards approach, she sees that Union HQ is

swarming with Antaeus security. They have Union forces lined

up – hands on their heads. Wya is led past. And suddenly Wya

turns, shocked, at a familiar sound. The Antaeus men have

opened fire. The air ripples as the sonic bullets mow the Union

forces down. Wya is pushed forward.

INT. UNION LABORATORY – NIGHT

Shawne is perusing Von Schryke’s notes on the holographic

monitor. The molecules of the heavy matter oscillate. He

looks up as Wya is escorted into the room; her hands in glowing

energy cuffs behind her.

SHAWNE

(The holograph)

The power of the universe. Ajax has

enough to make energy a footnote in

mankind’s future.

WYA

And since Antaeus is about energy,

you’ll become a footnote too.

SHAWNE

Exactly. So we’ve decided to take

over. Throw her in a cell.

INT. A CONCOURSE – NIGHT

A squadron of Antaeus security double time it down the

concourse. Once they pass, Filo comes out of the shadows. He

follows.

EXT. UNION SECURITY HQ – NIGHT

Armed Antaeus men are around the entrance. The group of Antaeus

security approaches – Filo is now with them. A woman in Antaeus

uniform, STOWE on her name tag, is gripping his hand.

STOWE

Look what we found.

INT. UNION HQ – NIGHT

Filo and Stowe move down a corridor to a transport. Two guards

on either side; one an officer.

TRANSPORT OFFICER

What’s this?

STOWE

Settler’s kid. The Director’s been

looking for this one.

Stowe is still holding Filo’s wrist.

TRANSPORT OFFICER

Ring 3.

Transport Guard 2 presses a button – the transport doors open.

Stowe pulls Filo roughly into the lift.

IN THE TRANSPORT –

The doors close. There is an odd look in the Stowe’s eyes.

Filo’s hand now clasps hers.

STOWE

Fifth ring.

The sound of the transport quickly moving.

INT. THE FIFTH RING – INCARCERATION CELLS –

The transport doors open. An energy field bisects the

passageway between lift and cells. On the other side of the

field, two guards look up as Stowe and Filo approach.

STOWE

(flirtatiously)

Got a spare cell?

PRISON GUARD 1

I think we accommodate you.

The press of buttons on a console and the field goes down. Filo

and Stowe move forward.

STOWE

Thanks.

She chops the man down. Before Guard 2 can draw his weapon.

Filo grabs his hand.

THE CELLS – MOMENTS LATER

Wya sits in a cell. Bars of energy in front of her. She looks

up and then rises as Filo – holding Stowe and Guard 2 by the

hands – approaches. Both guards seem dazed.

STOWE

Hello, Wya.

What?

STOWE

It’s me, Filo. I’m a mind walker,

remember?

Guard 2 raises a harmonic key. A series of tones and the energy

bars disappear.

STOWE

I think we should leave, don’t you?

WYA

… good idea.

Wya moves out of the cell. She takes Guard 2’s weapon.

STOWE

Wait.

Filo looks up at Guard 2. The man’s eyes roll and he falls.

WYA

Any more like you back on the farm?

Filo smiles.

STOWE

It’s our secret.

Wya, Filo and Stowe move away. They enter the lift. The doors

close.

IN THE LIFT –

STOWE

There are guards outside the

transport.

Wya nods.

INT. UNION HQ –

The doors open and Wya leaps out. She slams one guard in the

head with the butt of the sonic rifle – the other in the stomach

with the barrel – and then, as he folds, on the head. Both out.

STOWE

You’re good at this.

WYA

I’m too good.

They move down the corridor.

INT. UNION MOTOR POOL –

The lift opens and Wya, Filo and Stowe hurry out. They move

across the bay past police hover cruisers and vans. Wya pulls

open the door of a hover cruiser.

WYA

Get in.

Filo and Stowe get in the back. Wya gets in behind the wheel.

She starts the cruiser. It goes into hover mode, blue anti-grav

field beneath it.

Wya

Hold on.

She jams it into gear and it vaults forward. Wya hits a switch.

Ahead of them, the exit doors begin to open. Open slowly. Too

slowly.

OUTSIDE – NIGHT

Antaeus guards turn in surprise as – the cruiser explodes

through the partially open doors, raining metal debris –

careening into the Antaeus transports, scattering bodies –

– the cruiser spins 180 degrees – and then –

IN THE CRUISER –

Wya gets it under control and aims it down the concourse –

Antaeus men firing on it as it races towards them – the cruiser

jolting as the sonics hit it but still it’s coming –

And then it’s through the men – a guard flying off the front

of the cruiser – and it races away.

Antaeus men leap into two hover cruisers – while one jumps onto

a “horse” – the seahorse shaped cycle. They take off in

pursuit.

ON THE CONCOURSE(S) – NIGHT

The chase. The hover cruisers and cycle are fast and smooth

– built for the slick flooring of – but at high speed

they are difficult to control – the cruisers especially are slow

to respond and they slide dangerously on the turns –

The cruisers open fire – Wya’s cruiser bucks as the sonics hit

it –

The last of the Antaeus cruisers is the first to lose control.

As it comes into a turn, it skids – the driver and his passenger

screaming as it careens into a metal wall and disintegrates.

On they go, Wya weaving – Antaeus cruiser followed by cycle.

Bursts of sonic bullets from both vehicles.

Wya suddenly realizes there is drop ahead – it’s a wide stairway

that takes the concourse down a level – oh, shit – her foot hits

the floor as she accelerates

The cruiser goes airborne – and lands halfway down the stairway

with a teeth-rattling jolt – – at the bottom of the stairs, Wya’s

fights the wheel, gets the cruiser under control and speeds on

The second Antaeus cruiser goes airborne – hits the stairs –

sparks flaring, metal rending – it lands, makes it to the bottom

and continues on –

The cycle isn’t so fortunate – it goes airborne and tilts in

mid-air – lands, bounces and rolls – boom! – into the side wall

– it disintegrates into pieces –

THE CONCOURSE – NIGHT

Wya is now on a long unfinished section of concourse. Exposed

metal support pillars run down the middle of it. As the

Antaeus cruiser closes behind her, firing sonics, Wya begins

to weave around the pillars.

Wham! The rear plasti-carbon window of the cruiser explodes!

Wya turns the cruiser into a skid – turns it 180 degrees. She

hits it and goes speeding back at the Antaeus cruiser, now able

to sticks an arm out the side and fire her sonic.

One of her bursts takes out the armed passenger. Now it’s just

Wya and the other driver – collision course – game of chicken

– – closer and closer. It’s the Antaeus man who yields first

– screaming, he yanks the wheel. He loses control and his

cruiser turns and hits a metal pillar head on. The cruiser is

cut in half – two crumbling pieces rolling and exploding into

flame –

Wya’s cruiser comes to a halt. A breathless moment.

WYA

Kid?

(No answer)

Filo!?

She turns –

– and she sees that Filo is frightened but fine. Stowe – Filo’s

voice – is dead, hit by a shard of plasti-carbon.

Wya turns the cruiser and moves away.

INT. INCARCERATION CELLS – NIGHT

SHAWNE

Son of a bitch!!!!

Shawne, Bannon and the two dazed prison guards stare at the empty

cell.

SHAWNE

Find her!!

EXT. THE GRAND BAZAAR – NIGHT

The Union cruiser glides into the Grand Bazaar, on its last legs.

It comes to a halt and Wya and Filo get out. Wya stares at the

shattered stalls, the smoking carousel.

INT. SASCO’S BAR –

Wya enters, Filo behind her. The place is empty. Wya sits

at a table towards the rear, his back to the door. As Wya comes

closer, she sees that Daga’s body is on the table in front of

Sasco.

SASCO

The innocent die first. The guilty

know they’re deserving of death and

so they’re wary of it.

IN A BACK ROOM OF THE BAR –

A metallic trunk slides from a secret compartment in the wall.

Sasco keys in a code and pulls back the lid to reveal an

assortment of weapons. He pulls them out, one by one.

SASCO

Rapid fire acoustic. Thermals.

Razor net. A blood burner. And

this – Union issue mmilitary assault

rifle.

Wya reaches for it.

WYA

Hey, old friend.

She ratchets a combustion shell into the firing chamber.

EXT. CONCOURSE – NIGHT

Wya and Sasco walk side by side; both heavily armed.

SASCO

You do know there are several hundred

of them and only two of us.

WYA

Let’s even up the sides.

They continue on. Unbeknownst to them, Filo is following.

EXT. INDENTURED BARRACKS – NIGHT

Two armed Antaeus guards look up as Sasco and Wya approach.

GUARD

This is a restricted area.

Wya raises the assault rifle –

INT. INDENTURED BARRACKS – CONTINUOUS

A instrument lined control room overlooks a large three tiered

bay of cells. A guard sits at a desk watching a pornographic

hologram. And suddenly a combustion shell blows a hole through

the metal door – the guards did not get out of the way in time.

Wya and Sasco enter.

WYA

Open the cells.

The guard hesitates. Wya turns to the Plexi-carbon that looks

out on the cell bay. She fires – a combustion shell turns the

glass to dust. The guard quickly hits a switch on the wall.

IN THE INDENTURED BAY –

The prisoners have moved to the front of their cells at the sound

of the shells exploding. The energy bars now disappear and

they move out onto the floors.

Wya appears overhead.

WYA

Who wants their freedom? Who?

They all do.

WYA

Are you willing to fight for it?

The prisoners look at one other.

AN INDENTURED

Fight who?

WYA

Antaeus.

They roar their approval.

ANOTHER INDENTURED

What about these?

He raises the glowing necklace around his neck. Wya turns –

the zip drive of the rifle sounds like a high pitched zipper.

70 calibre flechettes turn the wall of instruments into swiss

cheese. The charged bands go out.

WYA

Now they’re decorations.

The indentureds cheer.

INT. A STORAGE BAY – NIGHT

The doors are pulled open and indentureds rush in. This is

where Wya’s men stored the weapons they confiscated. The

indentureds fall on them, grabbing them up.

ON A CONCOURSE – NIGHT

A battalion of Antaeus security move down the concourse. The

leader stops – puzzled. And now he sees them –

A wave of armed indentureds race towards them; howling with hate

and rage – opening fire –

The security forces begin to fall back, returning fire –

– but the indentureds keep coming – like soldier ants; falling

and coming –

The Antaeus leader shoots down a rushing indentured, then

another. The third, an alien with a unicorn-like horn growing

from his head, leaps at him and impaling him, takes him down

EXT. ANTAEUS BARRACKS – NIGHT

Armed indentureds race towards a guarded barricade.

TO:

A man raises a bulbous nosed weapon and puts in a small grenade

– a thermal. He fires and the metal doors to the barracks

dissolve with a crack of incendiary heat.

IN THE BARRACKS COMPOUND – CONTINUOUS

The Indentureds pour in, firing at and receiving fire from the

Antaeus men.

IN THE BARRACKS – CONTINUOUS

The indentured servants turn on their masters.

EXT. THE HIVE – CONTINUOUS

Armed Indentureds race across Floor Central.

IN THE ANTAEUS “LOBBY” – CONTINUOUS

The Indentureds pour in, firing at and receiving fire from the

Antaeus men who guard the transports. The receptionist hits

some controls at his deck and locks down the transports – and

then arches as he is battered with sonics.

INT. SETTLER’S HANGAR – CONTINUOUS

The adult settlers are sitting gathered, surrounded by a

perimeter of Antaeus security. Suddenly the hangar doors slam

open and Wya enters, followed by armed indentureds. Guards

raise their weapons – not fast enough – Wya let’s lose with

the zip drive – the flechettes – small explosive darts – mow

several guards down.

WYA

Take their weapons.

A SHORT TIME LATER –

The settlers herd the guards that are still alive towards the

periphery of the hangar.

TO:

Wya makes her way to where Sasco sits, his back against a wall.

WYA

Shawne took the Sara and the

children.

SASCO

Where?

WYA

Quarantine. With the animals.

Wya turns. Karel and some of the younger settler men are

approaching. Karel holds his old pistol.

KAREL

We’re going with you.

WYA

I thought you were pacifists?

KAREL

They took our children.

INT. ANIMAL QUARANTINE – CONTINUOUS

The dragons pace in their cages, eyeing the clustered group of

frightened children. Shawne, flanked by his guards and the

Mentats, snorts a mood enhancer. He offers the small nasal

cannister to Sara.

SHAWNE

I bet you clean up pretty good.

She coldly stares at him. Bannon sits on the metal fence of

the corral, watching. Shawne turns to him.

SHAWNE

Feed one of these brats to those

things over there.

A dragon throws itself at the bars. The children cower.

SARA

No!

SHAWNE

Than be nice.

Shawne’s communicator chirps and he answers it.

SHAWNE

Talk.

The face on the communicator answers.

ANTAEUS GUARD

Sir, Union personnel have freed and

armed the indentured prisoners.

SHAWNE

How many?

ANTAEUS GUARD

All of them.

SHAWNE

Kill — them!

Shawne is barely controlling his temper as he disconnects and

turns to Bannon.

SHAWNE

Call transport to get my speeder

ready. Snuff that bitch when she

comes for the kids. And kill them on

your way out.

BANNON

Love to.

Shawne and his guards move away. Sara struggles to no avail.

INT. CONCOURSE – CONTINUOUS

Above, through the dome, Ajax glows in all its glory.

TO:

A figure rises before us, approaching, silhouetted by its light.

And then, two more. As the three figures – Wya, Sasco and Karel

– move forward, others follow.

Like gunfighters, going to meet their fate, Wya, Sasco and Karel

make their way towards us, side by side. Behind them are the

other settler volunteers.

DIFFERENT ANGLES ON – Wya represents the law, badge-like Union

emblem on her chest. Sasco is the gambler, possessed of a

momentary nobility; hunchback hidden by a long cloak. Karel

and his men are the posse; nervous but resolute.

Sasco and Wya are heavily armed; their weapons sleek and lethal

looking. The settlers have the weapons taken from Antaeus

guards. Karel has the old pistol stuck in his belt.

SASCO

You sure that thing works?

KAREL

It works.

They stride on.

INT. NEGATIVE GRAVITY CAR STATION –

Shawne, Sara and the Mentats, surrounded by bodyguards, hurry

into the station. Shawne flinches at the sound of near-by

acoustic fire. They move onto a waiting car.

SHAWNE

Get this thing moving!

The car leaves the station.

EXT. ANIMAL QUARANTINE BAY –

Wya, Sasco, Karel and the settlers approach the metal walls that

cordon off the quarantine bay.

INT. QUARANTINE – CONTINUOUS

Bannon. His men. Ready and waiting – some in a corral among

the nervous pack animals. Others with the children. Still

others are by the cages. In their cages, the Gorgons pace.

OUTSIDE –

Wya, Sasco and Karel come to a stop. The settlers look

frightened and nervous.

WYA

You don’t have to do this.

Karel too, looks nervous – but –

KAREL

God will forgive us.

(Pointedly; to Wya)

All of us.

WYA

Sasco?

Sasco’s ruined eyes “stare” at the blank wall.

SASCO

Acoustics there, there and there.

More by the cages, here. The

children are there in the east

corral.

WYA

Bannon?

SASCO

Back and center. All of them well

protected. But not from this.

Sasco raises the blood burner. The blood burner fires a near

invisible micro-wave beam that passes through walls – hard to

aim blind without a hypo-sensitive scope, even for Sasco – he

fires.

IN THE QUARANTINE BAY –

The beam hits a guard between the eyes. A burner takes a moment

to do it’s job. The guard’s blood starts to boil – it drips,

hot from his nose – a wisp of steam comes from his ears as his

brain cooks – and then his head explodes –

BACK TO –

SASCO

You can also micro-wave popcorn.

He fires again.

INSIDE –

Another guard screams, clutches his head – his head explodes.

ANTAEUS MAN

Blood burner!

Panic. The only way to deal with a burner – a banned weapon

– is to move and keep moving. Some guards are slow – the beam

hits another one –

OUTSIDE –

Wya raises rises the razor net launcher.

WYA

Get ready.

She lets loose the shell – which hits the metal wall and

immediately spreads like a glowing web.

WYA

One.

Its junctions glow hotter – and hotter –

WYA

Two.

And then – –

WYA

Three.

INSIDE –

The wall blow inward in small pieces – the pieces turning to

razor edged, flying shrapnel. Several guards go down.

Others, who have been expecting the assault through the bay

entrance, turn in surprise –

TO:

Wya leads the men through the entrance. Fire, smoke and debris

filling the air as –

INSIDE –

– they scatter, firing at will. Guards go down. Other guards

return fire – and one of the settlers go down –

Wya fires – a guard goes down.

Sasco throws aside his blood burner and raises his hands –

precise bursts of energy from his rings – –

– in a corral the terrified pack animals surge and bellow as

a guard hurtles off the fence and into the midst.

Bannon moves, fast as a cat. His claws come out and rake a

terrified settler – the man screams and falls.

Sasco is hit by a sonic burst and he falls.

Wya moves, firing – another guard is knocked from a corral fence

into the herd of frightened animals – the man is trampled –

– bloodlust screams as the Gorgons throw themselves against the

bars of their cages –

Karel aims his ancient pistol at a guard – but is unable to pull

the trigger. He now sees the children in the east corral and

starts towards them –

Bannon – through his visor – sees the heat image of a running

figure – click – the figure comes into focus – Karel –

Karel makes his way towards the children

KAREL

Children, get down!

Bannon steps up and sinks the claws deep. Karel, mortally

wounded, falls. Bannon moves on.

Wya stops, breathless. She sees that the settlers are dying

– fighting valiantly but there are too many well trained Antaeus

men – especially by the cages where another Gorgon screams and

throws itself against the bars.

Wya races forward, sonics bursting behind her. She dives and

rolls and comes up finds a clear shot. She fires –

– and blows the console that controls the cage bars off the wall

The energy bars that form the Gorgon’s cages disappear. The

Gorgons bolt for freedom – and for food.

The guards turn as the Gorgons come hurtling down on them – they

fire, bringing the first one down – another snap one up in

slavering jaws. Others scream and close –

Bannon watches his men go down – he turns to run –

On the ground, Sasco’s dead, sightless eyes suddenly jerk wide

open. He gasps as the parasites “heal” him.

As one Gorgon snaps up a guard, another turns to see the

children. Screaming, the Gorgon starts towards them –

Wya sees the animal – she races forward –

The Gorgon runs towards the terrified children. It screams and

leaps – and is blown to the ground – by Wya, who empties the

last of the zip drive into it.

Other settlers hurry towards the corral –

Wya

Get the children out of here.

Wya now turns looking for Bannon – only to see Sasco exit on

the far side of the Quarantine Bay. Wya throws away her now

useless weapon – she starts forward – and abruptly stops. She

looks down at Karel. He’s still alive. He offers his ancient

pistol to her.

KAREL

Take it. Hurry.

Wya grabs the ancient pistol from his hands and runs on.

INT. ANIMAL CHUTE – –

Bannon moves down the descending passageway used to herd animals

from transport to Quarantine. It exits into –

A NARROW CORRIDOR –

Lined with pipes, dripping with moisture and dimly lit – one

direction leads outwards towards transport bays. Bannon goes

the other way – inward; towards the Hive –

IN THE CHUTE –

Sasco moves down the passage and steps out into –

THE NARROW CORRIDOR

Sasco stops – “looking”. He moves – and suddenly gasps in pain

– his back arches. After a moment, the pain subsides. Sasco

rips the cloak off his back and continues on after Bannon. The

parasites in his back are moving.

FURTHER UP THE CORRIDOR –

Bannon makes his towards closed doors.

IN THE CHUTE

Wya makes her down to –

THE CORRIDOR

Wya hesitates. She turns outward towards Transport.

BACK AT THE CORRIDOR

The corridor ends at a closed metal sliding door. Sasco hits

a plate and it opens. Cold air puffs out – this bay is

refrigerated.

INT. MEAT PACKING BAY –

Sasco steps in. He is in a bay used to butcher, package and

store meat animals sent from the inner ring. Sasco makes his

way forward. The carcasses of skinned animals – most of them

oddly alien – hang from ceiling hooks. Sasco bumps into one,

it’s bizarre head still on it.

Sasco’s suddenly turns – it’s as if he’s smelling something.

And then he dodges away as Bannon leaps out from between two

carcasses, firing his sonic. Meat splatters, pulverized.

Flesh and blood hit Bannon’s visor momentarily blinding him.

He rips the helmet off his head.

BACK TO –

Wya stops, hearing the sonic echo. She turns back.

BACK TO –

Bannon creeps forward, acoustic in hand – ready, listening…

BANNON

I killed your whore, Sasco.

ON SASCO –

BANNON

Now it’s your turn.

Sasco pushes at a carcass – it bumps into the next one and that

one into the next – carcasses moving like dominoes towards –

Bannon – he turns firing his acoustic – – more flesh and bone

splatter. He stops – listening – panting –

Sasco is about to move – to pounce – he suddenly he stops,

groaning, back arching.

CLOSE ON – Blood from the parasites begins to stain his back.

Sasco staggers – into Bannon, who has stepped out from between

two hanging carcasses. Bannon’s claws flash as he drives them

into Sasco. Sasco falls.

BACK TO –

Wya enters the meat packing bay. She moves cautiously forward,

passing massacred carcasses. Moving on –

– to see him curled on the ground – Sasco. Still alive, eyes

dull with pain.

SASCO

(hoarsely)

Get away from me, quickly. Get away!

He groans as his back arches. Wya moves on.

INT. MEAT PACKING BAY –

Wya comes to the end of bay. She sees blood drops on the metal

floor. She follows it to a sealed maintenance hatchway. Wya

opens it and steps through.

IN A MAINTENANCE CORRIDOR –

Wya steps through into another narrow, pipe lined corridor.

She hears something ahead – the dull sound of metal against metal

– she continues on –

AT THE END OF THE CORRIDOR

The corridor abruptly ends in a closed, 12 foot lens-like

aperture. Bannon is using his claws to pound and tear open a

metal control panel. He succeeds. He keys in a code on the

harmonic pad. The metal lens in the wall revolves open.

Bannon pokes his head into –

THE MAINTENANCE SHAFT –

– a circuit lined shaft. It disappears in both directions level

after level. There are metal rungs on the side of the shaft.

BACK TO – THE CORRIDOR

Bannon is about to step into the shaft –

WYA

Careful.

Bannon turns.

WYA

Wouldn’t want to fall.

Wya makes her way forward, the old pistol in hand. Bannon

relaxes – he grins.

BANNON

At least make it a fair fight.

Wya eyes Bannon – acoustic holstered at his side.

WYA

All right.

Wya sticks the pistol into the belt at her hips.

They stare at one another – old weapon against new – two masters

facing one another to see who’s better.

Bannon moves first. His hand goes for his acoustic, has it half

way out of the holster, when –

In a smooth, fast motion, Wya draws the pistol and fires.

The bullet hits Bannon high on the chest. He grunts in

surprise. He looks at Wya – fear now in his eyes.

WYA

That was for Brody.

(a beat)

This is for Karel.

She fires. Bannon jerks as a bullet his other shoulder.

WYA

This for me.

She fans the hammer of the old pistol. Bannon jerks as the

bullets hit him. He has just enough life left in him to realize

he’s at the edge of the shaft. He fights for balance, and then

– with a last look back – he falls –

IN THE SHAFT

Bannon tumbles down the shaft – bouncing off the sides – and

is lost from sight.

TO:

Wya tosses the empty pistol down the shaft and turns away.

BACK IN THE QUARANTINE BAY –

The bay is strewn with bodies and blood. A wounded Gorgon –

the last one – is put down by a settler. The man looks up to

see Wya approaching. He turns to look towards a group of

settlers, gathered around something. Wya moves to them.

Wya makes her way through and looks down. Filo is on the ground

next to Karel. Karel looks up at Wya.

KAREL

There are only the faces of God.

He dies. Filo rises into Wya’s arms in grief.

WYA

Let’s find Sara.

ON FLOOR CENTRAL – CONTINUOUS

FROM ABOVE – Shawne and his men cross the Antaeus logo emblazoned

on a shining floor.

IN THE ANTAEUS LOBBY –

Shawne and entourage enter. The Indentureds are gone. Shawne

stares at the scattered bodies of his men.

SHAWNE

Do I have to do everything myself!?

He moves to the console – pushes the body of the hermaphrodite

aside – punches in commands. An energy field appears across

the entrance to the lobby. The doors to his personal transport

open. He moves towards it.

SHAWNE

Shoot anything that moves!

The Mentats push Sara into the transport. The doors close.

INT. SHAWNE’S OFFICE –

They come off the transport. Shawne moves across the room –

SHAWNE

Take a load off.

– to the black slab that’s his desk.

SHAWNE

Have you been recording all this?

The Mentats glance at one another.

MENTAT 1

Of course.

SHAWNE

Too bad.

Taking a small acoustic from a hidden compartment, he turns and

kills them both.

SHAWNE

What a mess, what a mess, what a mess!

He hits some hidden controls on the desk’s surface – and now

a pedestal and console rises from, the desk. He presses the

keyboard – columns of data form on the wall.

SHAWNE

Make yourself comfortable while I

blow this place to pieces.

EXT. FLOOR CENTRAL – CONTINUOUS

The entrance to the Antaeus lobby is still protected by a sheen

of energy. Shawne’s bodyguards are armed behind it.

OUTSIDE –

Armed indentures stare back. Wya, Filo and armed settlers make

their way through.

WYA

Can you shut it down?

INDENTURED PRISONER

(shaking her head)

It’s secured.

BACK TO – SHAWNE’S OFFICE –

The columns of data continue to form and then blink out as Shawne

reprograms the system; whistles to himself.

SARA

How can you do this? These are

people.

SHAWNE

It’s business, kiddo. From the time

we all crawled out of a bog and began

killing each other over seashells –

just business.

(Then:)

There… we.. go.

The columns of light on the wall now disappear.

A.I. VOICE

Fusion reactor safeguards disarmed.

To continue reactor disintegration,

enter Antaeus security codes.

SHAWNE

Now where’d I put those codes?

(Looking up)

Why don’t you make us a drink?

He begins to access his computer files.

INT. THE HIVE – GONDOLA TERMINAL – CONTINUOUS

Wya moves out onto the docks. She steps into one of the open,

sharp nosed gondolas. Filo is nervously looking on. There is

nothing beneath the docks but space.

Wya moves to the control panel and disengages the gondola from

the docking unit.

WYA

Let’s go.

Filo clamors on board. Wya turns the gondola and glides out

into the abyss.

ON THE GONDOLA –

Filo moves close to Wya. Wya looks down at him, aware that he’s

frightened. She puts an arm around him.

IN THE HIVE –

The gondola moves out, leaving the wall behind – – and then,

perpendicular to gravity, it begins to angle up.

ON THE GONDOLA

The sheer size – the lights and levels – the spindle narrowing

above and below them – all of it revolving.

IN THE OFFICE –

Sara watching as:

SHAWNE

Ah, here we are. Under B for boom.

His fingers fly across the keyboard.

INT. THE HIVE – CONTINUOUS

The Gondola is angling up and across the center of the Hive.

Wya

Where?

Filo turns, looking in difference directions. And then he

points up and across towards a glass enclosed level.

IN THE OFFICE –

SHAWNE

And – !

A last key touch.

A.I. VOICE

Code accepted. Disintegration

sequence will commence in twenty

minutes.

SHAWNE

That should be enough time. And if

not –

He raises a small transmitter. And now taking up the acoustic,

Shawne smashes the console. He presses his communicator.

SHAWNE

What’s the status of my speeder?

INTERCUT – INT. ANTAEUS LOBBY – CONTINUOUS

A security captain answers his communicator.

SECURITY CAPTAIN

Ready, Director.

SHAWNE

I’ll be right down.

He breaks the connection.

SARA

You’ll never get to it.

SHAWNE

You better hope I do because you’re

coming with me.

He opens another hidden compartment in the desk.

IN THE HIVE –

The Gondola closes on the windows. The figures of Shawne and

Sara can just be made out now.

IN THE OFFICE –

Shawne takes a metal case from the compartment. He opens it.

It’s lined with nuggets of heavy matter, as if on display.

Behind him, Sara sees it now – through the windows – something

approaching like a shark on the hunt –

Shawne closes the case. He picks up the acoustic.

SHAWNE

After you.

Behind him, the gondola is closing.

ON THE GONDOLA –

WYA

Hold tight.

IN THE OFFICE –

SHAWNE

That was not an invitation.

ON THE GONDOLA

– closing –

IN THE OFFICE –

SHAWNE

(raising his weapon)

Move.

He sees the alarm in her eyes. He turns. And his eyes grow

wide as –

The gondola crashes through the windows in an explosion of metal

and plexi-carbon.

Shawne leaps aside as it plows on and into the office.

Sara’S POV – the gondola is coming at her, metal shrieking

against metal. She begins to scramble back – but the gondola

is still coming

Wya rises up, weapon in hand, to aim down at the metal floor

– firing – the floor cratering with the impact of the sonic

bursts – the prow of the gondola drops down into the metal floor

– Sara with no place left to run and –

– the gondola shrieks to a halt.

Filo leaps down and moves to Sara just as – wham! A sonic hits

the gondola’s control panel next to Wya and sends her hurtling

out and through the air.

From across the room, Shawne fires again –

SHAWNE

Why won’t you die!?

Wya, rolls to get away – and comes face to face with one of the

dead Mentats, her eyes open and staring – Wya rolls away –

Shawne, move to a panel on the office wall and press a stud –

the panel slides up revealing a secondary transport. Shawne

enters –

– as Wya rises, aiming and firing as –

– the panel slides back down into place. Wya’s sonics dent the

hard metal but do no damage –

SARA

He’s programed the station to blow

up.

Wya moves to the console – sees that it is smashed beyond repair.

WYA

How much time?

SARA

I’m not sure. But he has a remote.

WYA

Come on.

They move towards the main transport.

SARA

He kept talking about a speeder.

WYA

It’s a ship. He’s leaving the

station.

They enter the transport and door closes.

INT. LOBBY –

Shawne’s bodyguards are waiting. As the elevator stops, they

snap to attention.

The doors open and Wya comes out shooting. She mercilessly mows

the men down. She moves to the console and shuts down the energy

field. As Sara and Filo come out and see the carnage, they stop,

horrified. Wya takes an acoustic rifle from a dead man’s hands.

WYA

Stay here.

SARA

No.

WYA

… then keep up

She races out of the lobby, Filo and Sara on her heels.

INT. CONCOURSE –

Shawne moving rapidly along. Passing worried looking

citizens. Shawne looking neither right nor left.

INT. TUNNELS – CONTINUOUS

CLOSE ON – Wya’s face.

PULLING BACK – to see that she, Sara and Filo are in a speeding

mono-car. The car flies on through shifting tunnels.

INT. CONCOURSE –

Shawne hurrying towards the Antaeus Transport Bay. No guards

– deserted. Shawne muttering to himself.

SHAWNE

– plum position, they said – career

advancement, they said – perfectly

safe, they said!

The door slides open in front of him.

A CONCOURSE –

FROM ABOVE – Wya, Filo and Sara racing beneath us. FOLLOWING

– as they race up the wide, now deserted concourse.

INT. ANTAEUS TRANSPORT BAY – NIGHT

The metal shipping containers still fill the bay. Shawne races

down the corridor formed by the containers.

INT. PASSENGER TERMINAL –

Wya, Filo and Sara race through the deserted passenger terminal.

Wya, stopping.

WYA

This is as far as you go.

SARA

No!

WYA

You can’t help me!

(Then:)

This is what I do.

SARA

What if you can’t stop him?

WYA

I’ll stop him.

Wya turns away.

INT. DOCKING BAY ZEBRA –

Shawne enters the bay. The speeder sits at a U shaped dock,

guarded by Antaeus security guards. Shawne hurries down the

retractable metal wharf.

SHAWNE

Let’s go!

He and his men enter the speeder.

INT. THE SPEEDER –

The main cabin of the speeder is all first class luxury. As

he enters, Shawne is met by the pilot.

SPEEDER PILOT

Welcome aboard, Mr. Shawne.

SHAWNE

Shut up and get us out of here.

He turns away.

OUTSIDE THE DOCKING BAY –

A transport opens and Wya rushes out – she sprints towards the

bay.

IN THE SPEEDER’S COCKPIT –

The pilot and copilot are in their harnesses. The pilot flips

switches. The ship hums with power.

IN THE MAIN CABIN –

SHAWNE

Will someone make me a goddamn drink!

Putting down his weapon, Shawne opens his case.

OUTSIDE –

The speeder disengages from the dock – it rises, hovering – it

slowly turns and –

INSIDE THE MAIN CABIN –

Shawne turns as the ship’s power stands down.

SHAWNE

What’s going on, what happened?

The copilot steps out of the cockpit.

CO-PILOT

Mr. Shawne?

Shawne moves –

IN THE COCKPIT

Shawne enters.

SHAWNE

What is it?

The pilot nods forward. Shawne looks out –

OUTSIDE –

Wya is on the forward wharf of the dock, acoustic rifle raised

and aimed at the cockpit, blocking the way.

PILOT

Shall I open the outer bay doors?

SHAWNE

Why, do you want her to blow a hole

in us?

(a sigh)

I’ll be right back.

Shawne turns away.

OUTSIDE –

Wya watches as the speeder hatch opens and Shawne comes out.

Shawne shows he’s unarmed. He moves across the speeder’s wing

towards Wya.

SHAWNE

What we have here is a failure to

communicate.

WYA

The remote.

SHAWNE

(taking it out)

You could kill me for it. But then

I wouldn’t be able to stop the

destruct sequence.

WYA

Then you go with us.

SHAWNE

Unless…

He gestures towards the outer hatch.

WYA

You can leave. You have my word.

SHAWNE

Yours might actually be worth

something.

He thumbs the remote.

SHAWNE

Computer?

A.I. VOICE

On line.

SHAWNE

Stop disintegration sequence.

A.I. VOICE

Disintegration aborted.

Wya lowers her weapon.

SHAWNE

Be seeing you.

WYA

I doubt it.

Shawne grins – and turns – and finds himself staring at –

– Sasco – bleeding, weak… but still very much alive. Shawne

takes out his hidden acoustic and aims it.

SHAWNE

Get out of the way.

Two writhing shapes are growing larger and larger on Sasco’s

back.

SHAWNE

Last chance.

Sasco bolts forward and grabs a surprised Shawne by the collar

with both hands. Shawne fires into his stomach – fires again.

Sasco arches as something explodes out of his back behind him.

Dying, he sags against Shawne – Shawne tries to push him away

as –

A silver horror rises over Sasco’s shoulder – another appears

over his head. Shawne screams – tries to get away. The

parasites arch up – fanged mouths gape, tongues like sharpened

rasps – they strike – Shawne falls back with a cry –

Wya watching as –

Shawne flails; one silver horror at his neck – the other wrapped

around his arm – its headless mouth flares up – it’s maw opens

– the tongue distends – it strikes.

Shawne gurgles in agony –

Wya approaches. She looks down at Sasco – dead – but peace now

in his face. She looks at Shawne.

SHAWNE

Help me.

Wya picks up Shawne’s dropped remote.

WYA

All I said is you could leave.

She moves past him and on to the exit.

WYA

(into the remote)

Computer.

A.I. VOICE

On line.

The exit doors slide open. Wya enters, turns and looks back.

WYA

(into the remote)

Open outer lock doors.

The exit doors slide shut.

WYA

Director Shawne is leaving.

CLOSE ON – Shawne. Standing on the wing, frozen, unable to

move. Behind him, the lock doors open. The sudden vacuum is

like a torrential wind. Shawne screams – and is pulled like

a bullet out towards open space –

OUTSIDE –

Shawne’s body slows – then drifts away from the station – the

parasites dangling like silver ribbons from his neck.

INT. OBSERVATION AREA – CONTINUOUS

In the deserted lounge, Sara and Filo stands at the plexi-carbon

windows, looking out. They can see Ajax and Odin below.

Sara turns as the lift opens and Wya enters. A silent question

in Sara’s face. Wya shows her the remote. Sara relaxes – and

now, finally, the tears start to come.

Wya moves to her, gently takes her in her arms. She pulls Filo

into her embrace as well.

WYA

You’re safe. You’re both safe.

EXT. SCYLLA – THREE WEEKS LATER.

More ships and freighters are at the docking spindles than ever.

Others circle, waiting for berths.

A Union Battle cruiser, bristling with weapons, is moored at

a spindle tip. Union fighters move to and fro.

INT. TRANSPORT BAY –

Busy with people.

A.I. VOICE

Ajax shuttle departing terminal 5,

docking bay D. Ajax shuttle bay D.

All vouchered passengers please

proceed to the processing gate.

Settler families and freed indentured prisoners, move towards

the security station that leads to the docking bay and the

shuttle gates beyond. Newly arrived Union personnel are

checking identity chips and transport vouchers, processing the

boarding passengers with gentle courtesy.

Wya, no longer in Union uniform, is watching. She turns at

the sound of a ruckus. A group of men and women – would-be

fortune hunters, recently arrived from the inner ring – are at

a transport desk, clamoring for shuttle vouchers.

UNION OFFICER

Union approved settlers have first

priority. It’ll be at least several

weeks!

FORTUNE HUNTER

All the claims will be gone by then!

The tumult continues. Wya turns away. To see Filo and Sara

in the crowd, obviously looking for someone Wya approaches.

They see her.

SARA

I thought you weren’t coming.

WYA

I had some time.

SARA

Come with us, Wya. You’d have a home

with us. Family.

Wya sees a passing settler – handsome – look back at with

interest.

WYA

You don’t need the competition.

I’ll see you sometime. So go. Both

of you – go.

Sara and Filo turns away. They look back – continue on. Wya

watches; finally turns. To find Von Schryke watching. He

raises his hand – the ugly prosthetic is gone – in its place

is what looks like a real hand.

VON SCHRYKE

It finally came in.

WYA

I liked the old one better.

(a moment)

Well, let’s not make a big thing out

of this.

VON SCHRYKE

Of course not.

A moment.

WYA

Yeah, well…

She starts to turn away.

VON SCHRYKE

Wya. I’ll miss you.

She nods. She turns and makes her way through the crowd towards

the adjacent passenger terminal

A.I. VOICE

Freighter transport to space station

Charon, now boarding in terminal D,

docking Bay A. Warning. The rim

worlds are considered extremely

dangerous territories and passengers

travel at their own risk. The Union

is not responsible for safety or

security.

We lose Wya in the crush of people. And suddenly, in a rush,

we pull up and away over the crowd – higher and higher – through

the Plexiglas bubble overhead and –

A.I. Voice

Please have your hazard waivers

ready…

– out of the spindle — filling the screen – and then

dwindling – leaving behind – leaving Ajax and Odin –

A.I. Voice

Please have your hazard waivers

ready.

– turning to see the small, coin size planets of the outer rim

– the frontier – the badlands….

A.I. Voice

Have your hazard waivers ready.

Hazard… hazard… hazard!

Charon.

CUT TO BLACK.

CREDITS to the frenzied sound of metallic drums