ザ・セル(2000年)

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[amazonjs asin=”B000244RLC” locale=”JP” title=”ザ・セル DVD”]FADE IN:

A SPECK OF DUST

Grains of sand dance in the wind. As we glide over a VAST
DESERT, the speck of dust becomes a HORSE AND RIDER.
CATHERINE YOUNG straddles the beautiful black animal, her
mesmerizing eyes scanning the horizon. A curious breeze
blows across her exquisite face and she drinks it in, as if
the wind itself were telling something to her…

Catherine sees a FLICKERING LIGHT in the sand. She pulls the
reins and the horse stops moments before the dune drops into
nothingness. She dismounts, affectionately scratches the
horse’s neck, and follows the LIGHT. When she looks over her
shoulder, the Arabian is now a child’s WOODEN HOBBY HORSE.
Not surprised, Catherine smiles and walks down a dune, sand
sliding beneath her feet…

She finds herself in a valley of dead trees whose decayed,
gnarled limbs appear to form hands. The light dances across
her face. She shades her eyes and pinpoints the source…

A SMALL MIRROR reflecting rays of bright sun, housed within a
locket and chain. It’s held by EDWARD, a haunted-looking boy
of seven with a precocious grin and piercing eyes. He sits
on a fallen tree trunk, patiently waiting for her arrival.

CATHERINE
Thanks for the horse.

He’s a shy child, yet comfortable with Catherine.

EDWARD
You liked him?

CATHERINE
He’s beautiful…

Edward smiles, delighted he made her happy.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
But I thought we were going sailing.

The boy frowns.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
You promised.

A devilish glint in his eye, Edward redirects the mirror.
Catherine follows the flicker to a TOY BOAT in the sand.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
We can’t fit into that!

Edward shines light in her eyes, momentarily blinding her,
then snaps the locket shut. When her vision clears,
Catherine sees a GIANT SHIP perched among the dunes. A craft
weighing hundreds of tons just sitting there in the desert.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
That’ll do.

She walks toward it, but Edward doesn’t follow.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
(coaxing him)
Come on, Mister E.

She extends her hand, but he adamantly shakes his head no.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
What now?

EDWARD
(nods at the ship)
‘s broken.

Undaunted, she… finds herself standing on the DECK.

CATHERINE
(calling to him)
Who says?

EDWARD
Mocky-Lock.

CATHERINE
Oh no… No you don’t.

EDWARD
“Mocky-Lock is the bogeyman. Mocky-Lock
wants me where I am.”

CATHERINE
I bet we can fix it.

She opens a rusted iron DOOR. It makes an HORRIFIC
SCREECHING SOUND. Similar to metal-on-metal, but more
piercing, more pained. As if made by a living thing.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
(familiar with the noise, a
warning to him)
Ed-ward…

The boy’s FACE CONTORTS, turning into something half-human,
half-animal. A monster. Mocky-Lock. He SCREECHES, trying
to frighten Catherine, but she cocks her head…

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
We agreed. No more Mocky-Lock.

The creature sticks its tongue out and DIVES.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
Edward!

But it’s too late! Edward/Mocky Lock slithers into the sand
and disappears. Resigning herself to a failure, she opens
the palm of her left hand, revealing a SMALL BUMP in the
flesh between thumb and forefinger. She presses hard and…

PICTURE AND SOUND DISTORT AND CHANGE

INT. LABORATORY – DAY

We are looking at a large SCREEN showing an electronically
generated three-dimensional view of a human brain featuring
color-coded neurological activity. In a specific section of
the image, cells flash from yellow to red…

PULL BACK TO REVEAL HENRY WEST surrounded by computers,
monitors, electronics, and keyboards. DR. MIRIAM KENT stands
before a peculiar diagnostic machine scrutinizing data and
images. Both wear garb favored by surgeons or microchip
assemblers. The impressive, weird computer system HUMS as it
shifts programs, the unusual brain image changing colors.

THROUGH A LARGE WINDOW, we see into an ADJOINING ROOM within
which a HUMAN FIGURE hangs suspended in mid-air by a series
of cables designed to simulate flotation.

AT THE CONSOLE, Miriam uses a pen to hit specific areas of
the touch-sensitive screen, changing the complex CHEMICAL
SYMBOLS displayed there.

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM, a series of pharmaceuticals are
injected into an intravenous tube feeding the sleeve/arm of
the figure. A featherweight cloth MASK electronically rises,
revealing the sleeping face of Catherine.

AT THE CONSOLE, Miriam hits a button and speaks into an
intercom microphone.

MIRIAM
Sing a song of sixpence…

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM, there is no reaction from Catherine.

MIRIAM (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Sing a song of sixpence…

CATHERINE
(hoarse, groggy)
A pocketful of rye…

MIRIAM (O.S.)
Four-and-twenty blackbirds.

Catherine’s eyes open.

CATHERINE
Baked in a pie…

IN THE CONTROL ROOM, Henry hits a switch and Catherine is
lowered to the pedestal. Miriam checks Monitors displaying
Catherine’s vital signs and continuing what must be a
routine, presses numbers on a keypad to open the PRESSURIZED
AIRTIGHT DOOR separating the two areas.

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM, lights come on and Miriam eases
Catherine out of the apparatus. She checks her pupil
dilation, pulse, throat, and reflexes. She pokes and prods
with a familiarity that would seem rude to an outside
observer, but is nothing to them. Getting to her feet, we
see that Catherine’s BODYSUIT is made of an unusual dark
fabric almost liquid in consistency.

AT THE CONSOLE, Henry moves to another section and for the
first time, we see there are two elaborate neural monitors.
And the “brain” pictured here is smaller. Younger…

HENRY
“Mister E.” is doing fine.

REVEAL A SECOND FIGURE suspended from the ceiling in the
PROCEDURE ROOM. A SMALL BOY is lowered to the pedestal and
as Miriam records data, Catherine removes the child’s “mask,”
displaying the haunted face of Edward. Clearly, the boy is
in some kind of catatonic state.

MIRIAM
Did we go sailing?

CATHERINE
Almost. Mocky-Lock showed up.

MIRIAM
“Mocky-Lock is the bogeyman, Mocky-Lock
wants me where I am.”

CATHERINE
Mocky-Lock is a pain in the ass.

Henry communicates with them via the intercom.

HENRY
Where did that come from again?

Catherine looks annoyed – How could he forget?

CATHERINE
A nursery rhyme.

Catherine detaches the cables and eases Edward’s frail body
into a waiting wheelchair. Miriam takes a penlight and
examines the boy’s eyes… An emotionless void, oddly
beautiful.

MIRIAM
(thinking aloud)
Nursery rhymes, fairy tales, the
bogeyman… All preparation for the
horrors of the real world.

Making certain the child is comfortable, Catherine covers him
with a blanket, rests a teddy bear on his lap, and pushes him
into the CONTROL ROOM, accompanied by Miriam. Henry types in
a command and moves to join them.

HENRY
Anybody hungry? I’m hungry…

A BUZZER sounds and ANOTHER DOOR HISSES OPEN… A constantly
fretting administrator, BARRY COOPERMAN, is waiting for them
in the corridor.

COOPERMAN
Edward’s parents are here.

We can see it in Catherine’s face – this isn’t good news.

EXT. CAMPBELL CENTER – DAY

Situated in a corporate/industrial area north of San Diego,
California, a series of well-secured buildings form a mini
compound. A sign near the gate reads CAMPBELL CENTER – A
DIVISION OF SUNERSET INDUSTRIES.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – EDWARD’S ROOM – DAY

Although this is a hospital room filled with medical
equipment, its sterility has been camouflaged with toys,
posters, photographs, and drawings to make it more “homey.”
(Some hint at aspects of Edward’s fantasy world). Every
comfort has been provided and no expense spared.

Henry, Miriam, and Catherine, now wearing funky/casual
clothes under a lab coat, stand opposite Cooperman. Sitting
on the bed with Edward is ELLA BAINES, an elegantly dressed
woman in her mid-40’s. There is a soulfulness to her, but
the husband, LUCIEN BAINES, 60’s, possesses the icy demeanor
of a corporate tycoon. One might write him off as cold, but
we sense a genuine love for his wife and child. Ella smiles
and caresses Edward’s hair.

ELLA
He needs a haircut.

CATHERINE
I’ll tell the nurse.
(sensing something in Edward)
God, he loves when you visit.

ELLA
My husband wonders if that’s true.
(delivering bad news)
He wants to place Edward in a hospital.

Seeing an unfunded future, Henry’s ready to disassociate
himself from Miriam and Catherine…

HENRY
There are other applications for the
scanner, Mr. Baines…

LUCIEN
I realize that, Henry…
(to Miriam)
And I know your work, Dr. Kent, is
invaluable to this company…

CATHERINE
You don’t know about me, though, do you?

LUCIEN
Catherine, we’ve waited eighteen months
for signs of progress…

CATHERINE
There’s been progress.

LUCIEN
Yes, but there is no proof the procedure
works. All I have is a belief that your
interaction with my son is not a
hallucination.

Catherine is hurt and vulnerable due to exhaustion and the
intensity of her experience with Edward, but feels she must
defend herself.

CATHERINE
(to Cooperman, Miriam, Henry)
You picked me, remember? And I took the
job. Gladly. This is the next wave and
I want to be part of it…

COOPERMAN
No one is doubting your ability.

CATHERINE
Then what is it?

Introspective and solemn-eyed, Lucien takes a moment, then:

LUCIEN
I’ve invested millions of dollars in
this study… And I’ve convinced others
to do the same. I suppose I should feel
responsible to them, but I don’t. I
could care less if they see a profit.
I’m responsible to my boy, that’s all
that matters.
(looks her in the eye)
You tell me… Am I doing the right
thing?

OFF CATHERINE’S FACE…

INT. WHITE ROOM – DAY

At first, we’re not sure where we are or what’s happening.
It’s too bright, the space confining. As our eyes adjust, we
seem to be in a bathroom or shower stall. We HEAR a WOMAN
CRYING and the camera finds ANNE VICKSEY. Dark circles
beneath eyes red and puffy from crying. Hair wet and ratted.
Sweater and pants damp and stained. Barefoot, she shivers
from cold and fear…

PULL BACK to show more of her surroundings. The white-tiled
10′ x 8′ room features a SHOWER HEAD, TOILET, and a push
button SPIGOT for drinking water. Two walls are SOLID, the
other two MIRRORED, the glass covered by thick clear plastic.

The floor is littered with empty food wrappers – candy bars,
juice boxes. In the center of the floor is a DRAIN and above
her, on the ceiling, a FLUORESCENT LAMP, also encased in
clear plastic.

There is no door.

A mechanism CLICKS. Then a RUMBLING… Anne seems to know
what’s coming. She presses against the wall, removes her
arms from the sleeves of the sweater, hunches down, and
raises the garment over her head, forming a tent.

WATER ERUPTS from the shower head. There is no steam, so
this water must be cold. Shaking, Anne whispers a count to
herself – “One-one thousand, two-one thousand, three…” and
so on. The spray hits everything in the room – mirror,
toilet, floor – and a food wrapper drifts toward the drain.

ANNE
Thirty.

She peeks up from the tent, but the water has not stopped,
and that isn’t what she expected. We hear a soft SUCKING
NOISE and a CLICK. The wrapper rises on a puddle of water.
Anne POUNDS her fist on the wall.

ANNE (CONT’D)
(angry, scared)
THIRTY!

A puddle forms around her feet and she realizes the drain has
somehow been sealed shut. Her panic intensifies as we hear
another CLICK and the water pressure increases.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – LABORATORY – DAY

In the darkened procedure room, Miriam finds Catherine
standing between the two suspension devices, alone.

MIRIAM
You okay?

Catherine turns, nods, and tries to smile. Has she been
crying? Miriam steps further into the room.

CATHERINE
He hates me.

MIRIAM
Lucien Baines?

Catherine nods.

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
I wouldn’t say “hates.” Dislikes,
distrusts, maybe.

Catherine laughs. Exactly what Miriam wanted.

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
She adores you.

CATHERINE
She thinks I can bring Edward back.

MIRIAM
Someday you can. We all believe that…

Catherine halfheartedly nods, but her mind is elsewhere,
focused on the two apparatuses.

CATHERINE
I want to try it. Please.

Miriam knows what this is about.

MIRIAM
We’ve been over this a dozen times. No.

CATHERINE
Why not? Just once. A trial run. What
harm could it do?

MIRIAM
I don’t want to find out.

Ever the doctor, Miriam finds herself surreptitiously
examining Catherine’s eyes, flesh tone, a slight trembling in
her fingertips.

CATHERINE
Why is it taking so long for us to reach
him? Because we’ve been reactive,
that’s why. And we need to be active.

Miriam reaches for Catherine’s wrist and takes her pulse.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
(annoyed)
Miriam…

MIRIAM
Shush.

As Miriam examines her, Catherine continues:

CATHERINE
He creates the obstacles, he decides
which games to play.

MIRIAM
I’ve heard this argument before. It’s
not happening.

CATHERINE
(frustrated)
It could take years for me to get past
the barriers he’s created.

MIRIAM
If we reverse the feed and bring Edward
into your mind, it could be devastating
for him. Imagine the shock of suddenly
existing in a whole other world.

CATHERINE
I do it all the time!

MIRIAM
Yes, but, you’re a willing participant.
Picture Edward in a strange place, lost,
frightened…

CATHERINE
I’d be there for him.

MIRIAM
And he might blame you for terrifying
him. That one moment could erase all
you’ve accomplished. And if that
happened, the trust he has in you is
gone.

CATHERINE
(defeated)
Okay, okay…

Miriam takes a penlight and examines Catherine’s eyes.

MIRIAM
Besides, I don’t know what it might do
to you. You’re already exhausted.
(concerned)
Have you been sleeping?

Catherine nods.

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
I can prescribe something…

Catherine shakes her head no. Miriam shuts off the penlight
and looks at Catherine with professional and personal
concern.

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
You’re sure? Any more nightmares?

CATHERINE
(defensively)
No.

MIRIAM
Good. We need you healthy and relaxed.
You’re going to eat well, meditate,
exercise, and watch mindless television.

CATHERINE
Yes mother.

MIRIAM
I don’t want you up all night reading
Edward’s case file of the nine millionth
time. Balance, dear girl, is the key.
Leave the work here.

She taps Catherine’s head.

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
Don’t bring it home in this.

CATHERINE
Okay.

Miriam gathers her belongings.

MIRIAM
Henry wants me to try this Vietnamese
place he’s wild about. Want to come?

CATHERINE
(declining)
I’ve got to feed my cat. Besides, I
want to get to bed early.

MIRIAM
That’s my girl.

Miriam exits, but Catherine remains, still curious what could
happen if things were reversed.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – HALLWAY – DAY

The corridors are dark and most everyone has gone home. At
the NURSES STATION, a staff member observes the child on a
closed-circuit monitor. Further down the hall, Miriam and
Henry exit. Wearing a (chic) thrift store coat and lugging a
worn book bag, Catherine stands outside Edward’s room,
watching him sleep.

CATHERINE
Pleasant dreams, Mister E.

EXT. RURAL HIGHWAY – DAY

A GREEN FORD PICK-UP TRUCK cruises down this deserted stretch
of two-lane blacktop, the driver carefully maintaining the
speed limit. He signals and exits…

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD – DAY

The truck rumbles along a stretch of bumpy, unpaved road.
The area is desolate, depressing, and deserted. It feels
like no one’s been anywhere near here for years. The pick-up
stops at a RUSTED GATE and the DRIVER, a tall, lean, sinewy
fellow undoes a combination lock-and-chain. We do not yet
see his face.

EXT. ABANDONED FARM HOUSE – DAY

The truck parks inside a charred barn, now hidden from view,
and the driver steps out, followed by his DOG.

A magnificent WHITE GERMAN SHEPHERD. We notice a GLINT in
its BLUE EYES – the animal’s an albino. The driver points
and whistles. Well-trained, the Shepard sprints to the gate
and waits, keeping a watchful eye on the road.

INT. THE CELL – OBSERVATION ROOM – DAY

From the outside, a passerby would never know this sanctuary
existed. Within the foundation of a farm building never
completed, we find a small room in the center of a much
larger space. The cell. We hear the WHIR of ELECTRONIC
EQUIPMENT and notice VIDEO CAMERAS mounted on tripods pointed
at the two-way glass. We follow CABLES to a massive VIDEO
RECORDER – the type used in surveillance, able to record for
days without maintenance, and an elaborate TIMING DEVICE
connected to a series of VALVES and SWITCHES.

As if in a beatific trance, the driver moves to the window
and gently rests his palm on the glass. ANNE MOVES! Arms
flailing, mouth gasping, eyes filled with dread. The last
spark of life… The driver JUMPS, startled and frightened.

Almost shamefully, he turns and hides, unable to look at her.
Suddenly, his body tenses and writhes, as if seized by
torturous pain. He opens his mouth in a silent scream.

And then, quickly as it came, the pain subsides. Hidden in
shadow, he breathes deeply, regaining self-control. He
waits, then moves back to the glass. Anne’s dead face floats
past him. Almost angelic. He watches her and leans his head
against the window, closer. And the driver catches his own
reflection in the mirror.

Meet CARL STARGHER.

EXT. CATHERINE’S HOUSE – NIGHT

Small and isolated, the nearest neighbor a block away.

INT. CATHERINE’S HOUSE – NIGHT

The place is a mess. Computer print-outs, dirty dishes,
unopened mail, videotapes, and notepads cover tables, chairs
and floor. On the crammed bookshelves, psychology texts sit
next to volumes on mythology, religion, and the occult.
Totems, figurines and artifacts (Central and South American
in origin) adorn the walls and tables.

As Portishead plays on the stereo, we find Catherine
suffering from insomnia, wearing goofy-yet-hip eyeglasses,
sweatpants and a UCSD T-shirt, sharing a late-night snack
with her pet CAT. She shuts the refrigerator door and we
linger on an odd POSTCARD taped to the surface. A kitschy
postcard of a warrior/goddess.

INT. BASEMENT – NIGHT

We MOVE out of shadow, toward a bright focused light,
following the albino German Shepherd – VALENTINE – as it
enters a VAST SUBTERRANEAN ROOM. Most of the walls have been
knocked down, leaving only thick support posts. Valentine
finds Stargher in a DUGOUT PIT – about five feet deeper than
the rest of the room – polishing a stainless steel table. A
bright tungsten work light hangs above, and near it is the
chain, cables and hooks of a customized MECHANICAL HOIST.

The dog picks up an unpleasant scent and follows it to a far
corner where there are empty jugs of BLEACH sitting next to a
long, deep cast iron TUB. Stargher WHISTLES and Valentine
obediently retreats to a KENNEL CAGE. Stargher gives him a
chew toy and locks the dog inside before moving to the tub.

Soaking in the bleach is the nude corpse of Anne Vicksey.
The interior of the tub is glazed with gleaming porcelain and
the whiteness of her flesh makes it appear as though she is
floating in nothingness, but what hypnotizes and appalls are
her eyes. Wide open, transformed by the chlorine into
something ghostly, they are unforgettable.

As the bleach gurgles down the drain, Stargher lifts Anne
from the tub and carries her to the table. He places her
face up and dries her with a clean white towel. He moves her
limbs, lips, hips, and hands into desired positions then
retreats into shadow. In the harsh light, against the shiny
table, the bleached body has the quality of an apparition and
we almost expect her to move…

We HEAR Stargher remove his clothes and he steps into the
pool of light. Nude, we see that his lean, muscular frame is
laced with some rough tatoos. When he turns his back to us,
we find EIGHT METAL RINGS, thick and strong, PIERCED through
his flesh. Two columns of four on either side of the spine,
running from shoulder blade to just below the waist. What in
God’s name are they for?

Stargher shuts off the work light and moves to an area where
he keeps TELEVISION MONITORS and VCRs. He inserts a
videocassette taken from the surveillance deck and watches
the screen.

In BLACK AND WHITE, we see Anne awaken in the cell. Her
first moments inside. Disoriented, terrified, trapped, she
examines her surroundings.

Stargher is mesmerized by her fear. Fast-forwarding to her
death, he presses a remote and we get SOUND. Anne screaming,
begging for her life. Aroused, stimulated, Stargher drinks
it in like a symphony. Valentine cowers in the back of his
cage, hating this.

INT. CATHERINE’S HOUSE – BEDROOM – NIGHT

Lying on her bed (a waterbed), Catherine sleepily stares at
the ceiling, rolls onto her side, and feels herself drawn
into the comforter. The folds of the fabric become ripples.
Ripples become dunes.

EXT. EDWARD’S WORLD – DAY

And we find ourselves in the DESERT of EDWARD’S WORLD.

We fly over dunes and come up behind Catherine as she
struggles through waves of sand. The tree trunk is up ahead
and we glimpse someone hiding inside.

Catherine reaches. MOCKEY-LOCK ERUPTS FROM WITHIN THE TREE
TRUNK! SNARLING! Catherine retreats, silently screaming.

INT. CATHERINE’S HOUSE – BEDROOM – DAWN

IN HER OWN BED, Catherine’s eyes are open. In sharp contrast
to a typical reaction to a nightmare, she remains calm. No
sweaty face, no gasp, no reaction at all, really. She might
as well have been dreaming of puppy dogs. Wide awake, her
eyes return their gaze to the ceiling.

CATHERINE
Go. To. Sleep.

INT. STARGHER HOUSE – BASEMENT – NIGHT

CHAINS attached to bizarre HOOKS dangle from the ceiling.
Admiring Anne’s body, Stargher links the hooks to the rings
in his back. He presses a remote unit and up in the rafters,
a series of GEARS click into motion. The sound is torturous
as the mechanical hoist LIFTS Stargher off the ground,
pulling at the rings, strips of flesh rising. Stargher
grimaces, but clearly he wants the pain, needs it. As the
hoist clicks into another gear, it carries Stargher over the
table until his body is perfectly positioned above Anne’s.

In the flickering weird light of the television screen,
Stargher resembles something from the twisted imagination of
William Blake – a levitating demon ready to debauch an
innocent angel. With his free hand, he touches himself,
chains clinking and swaying.

EXT. RIVER BANK – DAY

A railroad bridge and highway span an almost-bone-dry creek
bed. Gathered beneath the overpass are the POLICE, CORONER,
CRIMINIALISTS, AND A LOCAL FBI. A SEDAN travels down a
service road and stops nearby. TWO MEN exit, identify
themselves as FBI and move to the crime scene.

Special Agent GORDON RAMSEY is well-groomed, prides himself
on professionalism, and follows the Bureau party line.
Special Agent PETER NOVAK is rough around the edges,
introspective, and intense. A loner who marches to the tune
of a peculiar drummer, he’s unconventionally handsome with
probing eyes. He moves slowly, observing the scene – the
world, for that matter – from a unique perspective.

As Ramsey finds the FBI’s local liaison – AGENT COLE – Novak
oblivious to the people around him, touches dirt, smells the
air, and examines road, river, bridge and sky.

RAMSEY
Who found her?

Cole nods at a visibly shaken WORKMAN seated in a patrol car.

COLE
Surveyor for the railroad… ‘Bout six
this morning.

Novak sees a FEMALE BODY wrapped in plastic and bound by
wire. Supervising the examination of the woman is FBI
PATHOLOGIST DR. THEODORE “TEDDY” LEE, a polite, dapper
southern gentleman.

NOVAK
Thanks for waiting, Teddy.

Teddy gives Novak a friendly, respectful salute – “My
pleasure.” Novak dons gloves, nods to an FBI PHOTOGRAPHER
and assists Teddy Lee in snipping wire and peeling back thick
clear plastic. As the photographer reacts to a strong smell,
Teddy comments.

TEDDY LEE
Bleach.

As the man snaps pictures, Ramsey and Cole join them. Sadly,
Novak recognizes the face.

NOVAK
Anne Marie Vicksey.

We recognize her, too.

COLE
She the one from Santa Cruz?

NOVAK
Just graduated law school. Single mom.
Had a two-year-old daughter.

He and Teddy expose the bleached flesh of her torso, neither
man surprised. Coldly thorough, Novak finds another of the
killer’s tell-tale signs.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
(instructing the photographer)
The semen on her legs and abdomen.

FLASH! Photos are taken.

TEDDY LEE
Someone looking after her little girl?

NOVAK
Grandparents. Live over in Davis.

Novak looks into the dead white eyes of Anne Vicksey, trying
to imagine the horrors she beheld. He moves to the creek and
sees only a few inches of water. His eyes move from the drop
site to the highway above.

TEDDY LEE
The poor thing.

FLASH! We’re up there now, ON THE OVERPASS, with the
photographer and Novak, examining TIRE TRACKS in the soft
shoulder. Novak peers over the edge at the crime scene,
steps back, and focuses on the highway – imagining the
killer’s truck as it disappeared into the night.



EXT. OFFICE PLAZA – DAY

A PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN, JULIA HICKSON, shares lunch with her
fiancee, JOHN TRACY. They talk, laugh and kiss, not a care
in the world.

INT. PICK-UP TRUCK – ACROSS THE STREET – DAY

As TALK RADIO plays, Carl Stargher watches them, specifically
Julia, his eyes never off her for too long as his hands work
on something banal but unseen.

TALK RADIO HOST
…complaining about government
subsidies for farmers…

The voice on the radio becomes DISTORTED as we hear it
through Stargher’s ears…

TALK RADIO HOST (CONT’D)
…but without subsidies, families will
starve, and I’m nodd
exagggeerrrrr….ayding. Iff id werrrr
up tooooo meeeee…..

The host’s voice fades into a guttural, monstrous groan.

TALK RADIO HOST (CONT’D)
Meeeee gawwwwwdd Caaaarrrrlll. Mee god
cum…
(returning to normal)
Meeeee….wwuuuuuddunnnnttttt… be
spending billions on other countries
when we’ve got problems right here.

He opens his eyes and watches John kiss Julia goodbye as she
returns to work. Stargher looks down and we see what he’s
been working on – A TOY DOLL. Female. Stripped of its
clothes, a single metal ring stuck through its plastic neck.

INT. COFFEE SHOP – DAY

His lunch finished, Ramsey is on a cell-phone talking to his
wife. Chain-drinking coffee, Novak scrutinizes photos of the
tire tracks.

RAMSEY
Well, honey, what’s worse? Doing it
yourself or asking your mother for help?
(gets his answer)
Can it wait ‘til I get back/
(listens, answers)
I have no idea, Jeannie.

Novak checks his watch and the street. Clearly waiting for
someone or something.

RAMSEY (CONT’D)
Well all right. Good luck with the
Monster. I love you too. Bye-bye.

Ramsey snaps shut the cell-phone.

RAMSEY (CONT’D)
We call Jeannie’s mother “The Monster”
because, well… she just is.

Novak is oblivious, pouring over tire-related info.

RAMSEY (CONT’D)
I know you could care less about my
personal life, Peter, but I do
appreciate the occasional, “How’s your
wife, Gordon?”

He waits. Novak obliges:

NOVAK
How is she?

RAMSEY
Pregnant. Thanks for asking.

Novak is distracted by Teddy Lee entering the diner.

NOVAK
Here he is.

RAMSEY
Damn, man, I give up. Your partner
tells you his wife’s gonna have a baby,
and all you care about is a coroner’s
report!

Ramsey assesses the exhausted, lonely, intense man sitting
across from him.

RAMSEY (CONT’D)
I feel for those girls too, Pete. And
their families. But it’s just a job.
Someday it’ll be over. And then what’ll
you have?

Much to Novak’s appreciation, Teddy Lee’s arrival provides an
escape from answering the question.

TEDDY LEE
Hot off the presses.

He gives them copies of the AUTOPSY REPORT and FORENSIC
ANALYSIS of Anne Marie Vicksey. The WAITRESS sees Teddy,
approaches, and offers a menu.

TEDDY LEE (CONT’D)
(doesn’t need it)
Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes,
garden salad with Thousand Island
dressing and an iced-tea. Thank you
darlin’.

She nods and moves to the kitchen. Novak and Ramsey flip
through the documents.

TEDDY LEE (CONT’D)
Water in her lungs. Same brand of
bleach. Match on the semen. Lots of
hair.

RAMSEY
(unenthused)
More hair. I could knit this guy a
toupee.

Novak finds something in the report that catches him by
surprise. He double-checks and shows the item to Teddy.

TEDDY LEE
(reading)
So?

NOVAK
Anne Vicksey didn’t own a dog.

Ramsey checks his copy.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
I need it.

TEDDY LEE
Now?

NOVAK
Now.

INT. FORENSIC LABORATORY – DAY

A MONITOR shows a SINGLE HAIR under a video microscope.
Teddy Lee plays with the dials and gets a spectral view.

TEDDY LEE
Complete absence of melanin.

Novak and Ramsey stand over his shoulder.

RAMSEY
And that means?

Teddy moves aside and takes another bite of his lunch
(chicken fried steak now carry-out).

NOVAK
The dog’s an albino.
(pictures it)
He’d love an animal like that.

TEDDY LEE
Gentlemen, I believe an albino dog is
rare indeed.

INT. PARKING GARAGE – NIGHT

Exiting an elevator, Julia heads for her little Toyota.
Smart girl that she is, her eyes scan the area and her
fingers hold a can of mace.

INT. TOYOTA – NIGHT

Julia climbs in, checks her mirror and backs up. WHAM! Did
she hit something?? She brakes, puts the car in park, and
checks her sideview mirror.

Reflected there is a WOUNDED DOG. A white German Shepherd.
She rolls down her window and can hear the poor thing
whimpering.

JULIA
Oh no…

INT. PARKING GARAGE – NIGHT

Julia exits her car and kneels next to Valentine, who appears
to be in terrible pain.

JULIA
God… I didn’t see you.

STARGHER’S HANDS COME AT HER FROM BEHIND! One grabs her hair
and the other covers her face with a chloroform-soaked towel.
He presses so hard, she cannot scream, cannot move. After a
brief struggle, he SHOVES her into her car and holds her
until she passes out. Stargher pushes Julia into the
passenger seat and starts the car. Pulls a dog treat from
his pocket and WHISTLES. The Shepherd instantly perks up.
Perfectly healthy. And jumps into the car.

STARGHER
(feeds him a treat)
Good boy.

INT. RIVERSIDE COUNTY SHERIFF’S STATION – DAY

In a BRIEFING ROOM we find Teddy Lee, Ramsey, Cole and local
cops. All in need of caffeine. They complain, gossip, and
shoot the shit. Resembling a demanding professor, Novak
enters and through presence alone, lacking any self
consciousness about his dishevelled appearance, takes control
of the room by holding up a PHOTOGRAPH of a young woman.

NOVAK
Donna Krozin.
(a new picture every time)
Helen Francis, Teresa Manicki…

The chatter dies.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
Antoinette Simms, Natalie Pagels, Grace
Cassatt… Anne Vicksey.

Every person is solemn and focused.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
Smart, gentle, attractive young women.
Just starting out in life.
Embarking on careers, going to school,
getting married…

He’s hooked them. The victims, these women, now mean
something to them. With great effect, he holds up grisly
post-mortem photos.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
They were killed. Kidnapped, tortured,
and murdered. By a white male. About
30-years old.
(significantly)
Who owns an albino dog./

Everyone knows this is a real clue and awareness is
heightened. Ramsey chimes in.

RAMSEY
A purebred German Shepherd.

Novak shows them a picture of a WHITE GERMAN SHEPHERD taken
from a resource on the Internet.

RAMSEY (CONT’D)
Breeders typically destroy albino pups,
so this animal is truly unique.

NOVAK
Nicole Labetzki. Victim seven.
Forensics found dog hair in her car, but
they had a K-9 unit at the scene and
never had it checked.

TEDDY LEE
The Phoenix office tested that hair
thirty minutes ago. And we got the
match.

NOVAK
It’s his dog.

Ramsey holds up a thick list.

RAMSEY
Registered breeders of German Shepherds.

The list is long and a few of the cops GROAN. Novak silences
them with a fierce look that says, “I will not rest until
this man is found and neither should you.”

NOVAK
Be thorough, but be fast. This guy’s
accelerating.
He only waited six days this last time.
When he started, two months could pass.

A DESK SEARGENT enters the room and hands a FAX to Ramsey.
Novak is curious about it, but continues.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
This can mean different things. He
thinks we’re stupid and can’t catch him.
He’s having fun and needs more. Or…
(thinking it through)
This dog hair thing is sloppy. The body
this morning was found in less than
three inches of water. He knew we’d
find her. He wants to be caught. But
if we can’t stop him…

Gravely concerned, Ramsey moves across the room.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
(dreading what’s on that fax)
…he can’t stop himself.

INT. STARGHER HOUSE – BATHROOM – DAY

Stargher, the awful PAIN eating away at his skull. He
searches the medicine chest.

DISTORTED VOICE
Me god feed on pain.

The VOICE echoing inside his skull.

DISTORTED VOICE (CONT’D)
Pain good. Cumm home to meee…

INT. STARGHER HOUSE – KITCHEN – DAY

Struggling to stay on his feet, he moves to the KITCHEN.
Valentine paces nervously, whimpering concern. Stargher
reaches for a bottle of vodka but falls to the floor.
Valentine BARKS, but gets no reaction from master. We MOVE
IN on Stargher’s unblinking eyes.

DISTORTED VOICE
Go sleep Carl. Me god wake up now.

INT. THE CELL – DAY

Julia Hickson finds the snack foods, drinking spigot, toilet,
shower, and drain. Her bare feet try to adjust to the tile
floor, but it’s fucking cold. She glimpses herself in the
mirror and is startled by what she sees – a terrified girl.

INT. SUBURBAN HOUSE – DAY

A TAN SEDAN sits in the driveway of this modest middle-class
home. A VENTURA COUNTY SHERIFF’S CAR sits nearby, a deputy
keeping watch.

INT. SUBURBAN HOUSE – DAY

A distraught middle-aged couple, MR. AND MRS. HICKSON, sit on
the couch of their living room. FAMILY PHOTOS show them with
Julia, whose fiancee, John, does his best to comfort the
mother. Novak and Ramsey have the unfortunate task of
interviewing them about their daughter’s disappearance.

RAMSEY
She was still living at home?

MR. HICKSON
Yes, sir.

JOHN
We were looking at apartments.

MR. HICKSON
(important they know)
But nobody was moving in together ‘til
after the wedding.

Novak hasn’t said much. Instead, he looks at something in
his hands – a plastic evidence bag containing the TOY DOLL.

RAMSEY
John, you came to pick her up when?

JOHN
Eight o’clock. We were going out for my
birthday.

MR. HICKSON
Maybe you made a mistake. Maybe she…
she…

Novak hides the doll.

RAMSEY
No sir. I’m sorry.

Ramsey’s cell-phone rings and he excuses himself to a corner
of the room, leaving Novak alone to deal with this
uncomfortable, sad situation, no one saying a word until an
emotionally shattered Mrs. Hickson, fingering a rosary, feels
compelled to tell him.

NOVAK
After three years she remembers what the
guy drove?

RAMSEY
She remembers because it was her “dream
truck.” Wanted one just like it.

EXT. SMALL AIRPORT – DAY

Ramsey and Novak exit a small jet and are met by FBI Agent
STOCKWELL.

STOCKWELL
Ramsey, Novak?

They nod and he directs them to a waiting GMC SUBURBAN.

STOCKWELL (CONT’D)
Agent Stockwell.

NOVAK
Where is he?

STOCKWELL
Edison. Just east of Loma Park. SWAT’s
had the house under surveillance for
about twenty minutes.
(info memorized)
Suspect is Carl Rudolph Stargher. No
registered weapons, no priors. Got a
license for his dog, though. Named him
Valentine…

INT. GMC SUBURBAN – DAY

Stockwell is behind the wheel, racing down the highway.
Ramsey’s in the passenger seat, Novak in back. Shotguns and
body armor line the cargo area. Novak’s eyes target the FAX,
a copy of Stargher’s license and registration, and the grainy
dot-matrix image of the suspect’s face. And Novak knows he’s
found him.

NOVAK
You’re the bad man, aren’t you, Carl?

EXT. STARGHER HOUSE/NEIGHBORHOOD – DAY

A sparsely populated lower-middle class neighborhood. A half
dozen plain houses at the end of a cul-de-sac. Bare trees.
Brown lawns. Crows in the air.

The house furthest from the main road has a white Ford F250
pick-up in the driveway. Green trim.

THE SUBURBAN, hidden from Stargher’s house, four-wheels it
through a prairie and stops outside the backyard of a
PRESCHOOL, where two more Suburbans and a van already wait.

INT. PRESCHOOL – DAY

Stockwell introduces Ramsey and Novak to BROCK, leader of the
FBI Tactical Unit, a calm, confident ex-Marine wearing a
black uniform and body armor.

BROCK
Glad you could make it. We lose the sun
in half an hour.

Novak and Ramsey join him at the shaded window to observe
Stargher’s house. Children’s drawings fill the wall. As
Brock explains, Novak checks with binoculars.

BROCK (CONT’D)
Perimeter’s two-hundred yards around the
house. Three men at the rear, two on
each side, four up front. I’ve got two
marksmen on the roof.

NOVAK
Have they seen him?

BROCK
No. There’s been movement in the
kitchen. But it could be the dog.
(important)
You think she’s in there?

Novak is careful with his answer.

NOVAK
We proceed assuming she is.

RAMSEY
Let’s give old Carl a call. Tell him
he’s got company.

NOVAK
No.
(to Brock)
Can you get a man close?

EXT. STARGHER HOUSE – DAY

Quiet. Calm. And then we catch a glimpse of a FIGURE
advancing, using any cover he can, until he is right outside
the house. The sneaky SWAT team member, ERICSON, whispers
into his throat mic.

ERICSON
I’m at the back door.

BROCK (V.O.)
(in Ericson’s earpiece)
Check the kitchen.

Ericson maneuvers his way to the kitchen window and uses a
MIRROR to sneak a peek. In the REFLECTION we see a
motionless man lying on the floor.

ERICSON
I have a man down. Repeat, man down.

BROCK (V.O.)
Stargher?

Ericson chances a quick visual check and pops his head up
before reporting.

ERICSON
Can’t see his face.

INT. PRESCHOOL – DAY

Brock looks to Novak, urgency and tension mounting. Novak
knows how much is riding on this specific moment. All the
various outcomes. And decides.

NOVAK
Go.

EXT. STARGHER HOUSE – DAY

The SWAT TEAM SWARMS towards the house.

INT. STARGHER HOUSE – DAY

ERICSON KICKS IN THE BACK DOOR. GUN READY!

ERICSON
FBI!

He and THREE OTHERS rush inside!

BAM! FOUR MEN KICK in and proceed through the FRONT DOOR!

SWAT TEAM MEMBER
FBI!

An odd quiet is all they encounter. IN THE BACK, Ericson
moves through a LAUNDRY ROOM and finds VALENTINE hiding
behind a pile of dirty clothes, frightened by these masked
figures in black.

ERICSON
(into throat mic)
I’ve got the dog!

He points for someone to secure the animal and MOVES into the
KITCHEN, aiming his gun at the man on the floor, finally
getting a look at his face.

ERICSON (CONT’D)
(recognizing him)
Carl Stargher! Do not move!

No problem there. Stargher appears lifeless. As various
SWAT team members secure the house, Ericson removes his mask
and CUFFS Stargher, startled at the sight of the horrible
RINGS piercing his back.

ERICSON (CONT’D)
Jesus Christ…

EXT. PRESCHOOL/STARGHER’S HOUSE – DAY

As an AMBULANCE emerges from a hiding place behind another
garage, we FOLLOW NOVAK and RAMSEY as they run from the
preschool into the house.

INT. STARGHER HOUSE

As a K-9 UNIT secures Valentine, Novak storms into the
kitchen, checks Stargher for a pulse and barks at SWAT>

NOVAK
Paramedics. NOW.

Ramsey pushes through and Novak informs him.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
He’s alive.

EXT. STARGHER HOUSE – DAY

FBI AGENTS and local police cordon off the area.

INT. STARGHER HOUSE – KITCHEN – DAY

Valentine is muzzled and led away as the PARAMEDICS load
Stargher onto a stretcher. Agent Stockwell turns to a
worried Novak.

STOCKWELL
They’ll take him to County General.
Reid’s already there.

NOVAK
Make sure he stays cuffed. Two men on
him at all times. I don’t want anyone
treating him but Reid. Not so much as a
thermometer up his ass. Understand?

Stockwell nods and follows the stretcher outside. A stoic
Ramsey enters from the living room and Novak can see the
disappointment in his eyes.

RAMSEY
She’s not here.

Novak would give anything for that not to be true.

RAMSEY (CONT’D)
(it gets worse)
You should come downstairs.

INT. STARGHER HOUSE – BASEMENT – DAY

Ramsey leads Novak into Stargher’s “workroom.” It’s all
here, the table, the piercing supplies, the bleach. An odd,
grisly collection of DOLLS fills cubby holes in a wooden
storage/shelf unit. Novak’s eyes are like a camera,
documenting and storing as much information as possible, but
it’s overwhelming.

He moves through the basement. Careful not to touch
anything. He stops and focuses on the hoist and eight hooks
situated over the stainless steel table. (NOTE: ON THE
WINCH’S MOTOR IS A WORN PLAQUE READING “CARVER INDUSTRIAL
EQUIPMENT” with a logo).

Ramsey switches on the video monitor and the screen fills
with images of Anne dying in the cell.

Novak is painfully, tragically drawn to this. Although he’s
seen his share of horrific things, Novak is truly disturbed
by the sight of Anne, desperate to escape, drowning, slowly
dying, and he knows: This is what will happen to Julia
Hickson unless he finds her.

INT. THE CELL – NIGHT

CLICK. WATER SPRAYS FROM THE SHOWER. Caught by surprise,
Julia blocks the spray with her hands and searches for a shut
off valve. Of course, there is none. Thirty seconds later,
the water stops. Like an animal caught in a trap, Julia’s
eyes dart around her “cage.” What kind of hell is this?
Shivering, she catches herself in the mirror and looks deeply
into it. Something’s odd about the glass. Is someone
watching her? She bangs on it with her fist.

JULIA
Hey!

POUND, POUND, POUND!

JULIA (CONT’D)
LET ME OUT!!!

But there’s no response. Only her reflection.

INT. KERN COUNTY HOSPITAL – EXAMINATION ROOM – NIGHT

A HUMAN EYE. No movement, no deviation of the iris. A fixed
stare. The catatonic Stargher lies in a hospital bed, wrists
cuffed to the frame. An IV feeds him fluids and monitors
report his vital signs. As a nervous NURSE exits, we see TWO
POLICEMEN standing guard in the outer hallway. Novak, Ramsey
and Teddy Lee stand by as the killer is examined by DR.
MILTON REID, a brilliant forensic M.D. currently shining an
opthalmoscope into Stargher’s eyes. He pulls away and checks
the ELECTROENCENPHELOGRAM already on a lightbox.

REID
Minimal activity in the dorsolateral
prefrontal cortex. And here, the
anterior cingulate cortex.
(to Novak and Ramsey)
It’s what helps distinguish between
external and internal stimuli.

RAMSEY
What the hell does that mean?

TEDDY LEE
(answering for Reid)
He’s schizophrenic.

Novak doesn’t like this. Not one bit.

RAMSEY
What’re you doing here, Reid? Paving
the way for his insanity defense?

REID
No need. There won’t be a trial. This
is no act. The coma is real.

RAMSEY
Whoa. Wait a minute.

REID
You ever hear of Whalen’s Infraction?

Clearly not.

REID (CONT’D)
(re: the EEG)
In any schizophrenic, these areas would
be affected. But in someone with
Whalen’s, they’re hit hard and hit fast.

Novak’s worry intensifies.

REID (CONT’D)
Stargher’s neurological system was
infected by a virus in utero. It lay
dormant. In his case for about…
(guesses at Stargher’s age)
…thirty years. Most likely, he’s
exhibited symptoms for awhile now, but
the infraction – the breach – didn’t
occur ‘til today. You never know when
it’ll happen, at what age, or why. The
triggers vary, but the results don’t.
(fascinated by Stargher)
He has no ties to reality. No awareness
of this world or the people in it.

TEDDY LEE
What about Thorazine? Or… Desoxyn?

REID
The normal psychotropics don’t work.
He’s not just catatonic, he’s…
disappeared. Like having a dream and
never waking up.

NOVAK
This girl. Julia Hickson. Only he
knows where she is.

REID
Then I’m sorry. For her and for you.

Novak is past angry. He’s bordering on devastation. Ramsey
attempts to placate him.

RAMSEY
We’ll go back to his house, Pete.
There’s still a lot to do. Analyze the
videos, track sales of the bleach, go
through his records. Maybe he owns
property somewhere.

NOVAK
They’re in that fucking thing for forty
hours, Gordon. Four-oh. He got Julia
at seven-thirty last night. You know
what time it is now…?!

Ramsey backs off, knowing his partner is on the verge of
really losing it. Reid thinks perhaps he shouldn’t, but
sensitive to Novak’s pain and anger, mentions it anyway – if
only to keep his friend from true hopelessness.

REID
Peter? This is a longshot. I mean a
real long shot. You’re gonna think I’m
crazy…

EXT. EDWARD’S WORLD – DAY

The ship’s engine ROARS TO LIFE and the PROPELLER spins
through sand.

CATHERINE (O.S.)
It’s fixed!

AT THE TREE TRUNK, Catherine extends her hand and suddenly
Edward is there, quite close, reaching out. Catherine’s hand
trembles. The boy is startled.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
(surprised, to herself)
I’m not signalling…

Her hand tenses and shakes uncontrollably.

VOICE (O.S.)
Sing a song of sixpence…

CATHERINE
(angry, to the heavens)
I’m not signalling!

Edward is frightened by what’s happening and runs away.
Catherine tries to call out, but her throat constricts,
making speech difficult.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
I’m not…



INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – LABORATORY – DAY

Catherine’s face is covered by a cloth floating down from the
sky. The sky is replaced by the ceiling and overhead lights
of the LABORATORY, but Miriam’s face remains constant. Now
conscious, Catherine finds herself in the lab at the Campbell
Center, the suspension device lowering.

MIRIAM
(on intercom)
Sing a song of sixpence.

CATHERINE
(hoarse)
A pocketful of fucking rye.
(worried)
What’s wrong?

MIRIAM
(cagey)
Nothing.

CATHERINE
(disappointed)
Why did we stop?

Cooperman appears in the window and explains.

COOPERMAN
(on intercom)
I asked them to.
(with gravity)
We have a situation.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY

A SMALL TV SCREEN shows footage of Anne drowning in the cell.
Catherine, Cooperman, Henry, and Miriam watch with curiosity,
disgust, pity. Novak and Ramsey flank the portable
monitor/VCR, knowing this is a disturbing but powerful tool.
There’s someone else in the room. John Tracy. He cannot
watch the video, not again. Catherine glances at him,
uncomfortable with his presence.

MIRIAM
When did he lapse into the coma?

NOVAK
Sometime yesterday morning.

John tries to keep his composure, but Novak’s making this
tough for him. Novak wants the scientists to see, to
understand the boy’s pain.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
Each tape is the same. He provides
food, drinking water, a toilet.
Periodically, a shower starts. It’s on
some kind of timer – he’s clever with
machines, building things. I think he
wants them to believe this is a simple
kidnapping. That there’s a possibility
of rescue. Of survival. But it’s just
a form of torture. At the end of the
fortieth hour, the drain shuts. The
water starts and doesn’t stop.
(gravely)
We’ve already lost more than a day. If
she isn’t found tonight. She dies like
the rest.

COOPERMAN
(to Miriam, Henry and
Catherine)
John and Ella Baines – as well as the
Sunerset Board of Directors – have given
their approval, but the decision is
yours.

MIRIAM
What about the legalities of this…?

NOVAK
Stargher is in custody. The functional
equivalent of being under arrest.
Normally, we’d Mirandize him, and if he
didn’t lawyer up, we’d interrogate him.
But because of his condition, he doesn’t
have the capacity to waive those rights.

HENRY
So what you’re asking us to do is
illegal?

NOVAK
No, not at all.
(explains)
We’re dealing with exigent
circumstances. Somewhere there’s a
kidnapped woman still alive. If we
weigh the suspect’s Constitutional
Rights against the public safety.
The Law favors the victim and gives us a
lot of leeway. It’s called the Public
Safety Exception.

COOPERMAN
So what can you do?

NOVAK
Pretty much anything we want. There’s a
chance to save a human life. Because of
that, Stargher has no reasonable
expectation of privacy.

Miriam, Henry and Cooperman appear to be onboard. Novak’s
made a persuasive, heartfelt argument. Only one person still
remains uncertain.

CATHERINE
What if…?

All eyes turn to her.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
What if he wasn’t like this? What if he
was “normal?” Conscious. How far would
you go?

NOVAK
As far as I needed.

Catherine nods, analyzes Novak’s eyes, gestures, body
language, and “interrogates” him.

CATHERINE
Do you think he’d tell you what you need
to know?

John’s discomfort is increasing and Novak is sensitive to it.

NOVAK
There’s always a chance they’ll confess.

CATHERINE
Really? I don’t work with violent
cases, I work with children. But even a
kid lies. They love it when they get
you to believe something that isn’t
true. Don’t you think Stargher would do
the same?

NOVAK
Sometimes… Once they’ve been caught
they feel a need for disclosure. They
have so much they want to tell.
But they’ve never had a sympathetic ear.
They need someone to understand why.
(focusing on Catherine)
Stargher used to hide the bodies very
carefully. It was part of the ritual.
Some weren’t found for weeks and any
physical evidence had been meticulously
wiped clean. But these last three…
They were still in water – always in
water – but
(clarifies)
Listen, he wasn’t just careless. It
went beyond that…

CATHERINE
Okay. Let’s assume he wanted you to
find him, that some part of him hated
what he was doing… Most likely, that
part is dead. Schizophrenics with
Whalen’s Infraction sever all ties with
the real world. I’m sorry, I really am.

RAMSEY
Is it possible?

CATHERINE
If he came to trust me, yes, but it
takes months to build that kind of
trust. Someone like Stargher can’t
distinguish between fantasy and reality.
It’s all the same. He might tell me
she’s in Timbuktu and absolutely, one
hundred percent believe it to be true,
but she’s…

JOHN (O.S.)
Julia.

They turn to John Tracy. His vulnerable, barely audible
voice forcing everyone to listen.

JOHN (CONT’D)
Not “she.” Julia. Not thing, or it, or
her. Do you know anything about her?
Do you know what we’ve been through?
Julia is everything to me. Can you say
that about anyone?

Catherine hangs her head. And finds herself looking at
photograph of the girl in question. A smiling Julia Hickson
looking right at her.

WHOOP-WHOOP-WHOOP-WHOOP. POUNDING REVERBERATIONS…

EXT. CAMPBELL CENTER – DAY

WHOOP-WHOOP-WHOOP-WHOOP. A HELICOPTER descends onto the pad.
A stretcher is removed from the side door of the helicopter.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – VARIOUS/TRAVELLING – DAY

The STAFF watches with a mixture of fear and curiosity as a
stretcher bearing the catatonic Stargher is wheeled FAST
through the corridors by an FBI escort team.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY

Hundreds of photographs, drawings, diagrams, maps,
blueprints, and documents – Novak’s case material – cover
every inch of wallspace. The table is littered with
reference books, atlases, telephones, a fax machine, short
wave radio, and computer/Internet terminal. An FBI
TECHNICIAN completes the electronics work and points out the
“speed dial” functions to Novak and Ramsey.

FBI TECH
(listing them)
Quantico. San Diego Field Office.
S.D., L.A., and San Francisco P.D.
California, Arizona, Nevada State
Police. Nine and ten are open lines.
(re: radio set up)
Direct link to the chopper.
(re: the computer)
That gets you into the Bureau Database.

NOVAK
Thanks.

Once he’s gone, Ramsey takes this moment “alone” to question
his partner.

RAMSEY
You sure you want to go through with
this?

NOVAK
What else do we do?!

RAMSEY
I don’t know, Pete, but for god’s
sake… This is nuts. Do you really
understand what they’re going to do?

NOVAK
I don’t have to.

RAMSEY
Why jeopardize what we’ve already done?
We caught the sonofabitch. Carl
Stargher. That’s going to be like
Bundy, Gacy, Dahmer. A case that makes
careers. But if we push our luck. If
this is all bullshit and we come out
smelling like it.

NOVAK
Tell you what. If this thing burns us,
I take that heat. I give you permission
to point your finger at me and say “It
was all his idea.”

RAMSEY
(offended)
That’s not what I’m talking about, Pete.
I’m talking about waking up and
realizing this girl’s gonna die.

The words are anathema to Novak.

NOVAK
That won’t happen.

Cooperman appears in the doorway and informs them…

COOPERMAN
They’re ready.

Ramsey looks to his partner, but Novak is already on
Cooperman’s heels. Resignedly, Ramsey follows.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – LABORATORY – DAY

Cooperman guides Novak and Ramsey into the lab. The FBI men
are impressed, but neither is quite sure what to make it all.
The FBI escort team leader gets Ramsey’s signature and Novak
undoes the cuffs from Stargher’s wrists and ankles.
Following Miriam’s direction, the escorts guide the gurney
carrying Stargher into the procedure room. As Cooperman
shows them out, Henry seals shut the door. Miriam assumes
responsibility for Stargher’s care and checks his pulse, IV,
pupil dilation, and vital signs…

HENRY
Shouldn’t we get a catheter in him?

MIRIAM
They took care of that, thank you,
Henry.
(getting him out of her hair)

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
Why don’t you give our guests a little
tour?

Proud of his computer, but uncomfortable around strangers,
Henry directs Novak and Ramsey to the console.

HENRY
Gentlemen, you stand before the one and
only Neurological Cartography and
Synaptic Transfer System.

Although he’s listening, Novak’s eyes never really stray from
his prisoner as Miriam uses safety scissors to cut away
Stargher’s clothes.

HENRY (CONT’D)
It provides a highly detailed map of the
human mind. Not the brain – any MRI can
do that. The mind.
(self-impressed)
It reads and processes electronically
allowing information to be transferred
and interrupted.
(for the laymen)
Let’s say your thoughts could be stored
on DVD. If someone had the right kind
of player, they could watch and listen
to what you’re thinking.

Novak observes Miriam as she “undresses” Stargher and Ramsey
pokes around the lab.

HENRY (CONT’D)
But we can’t record or store the data.
The connections between nerve cells are
constantly being modified.

Miriam needs a moment to fully take in the scars. Henry
continues, eager to focus attention back to him, but even he
is fascinated by Stargher’s skin.

HENRY (CONT’D)
It’s like the early days of television.
The subject sends out a live feed and
you receive it during time of broadcast.
Whatever happens, happens. All you have
to do is “tune in.”

Miriam gives Stargher an alcohol bath, the clinical procedure
taking on the quality of ritual. Her wash cloth moves under
Stargher’s chin and over his face. She’s careful around the
eyes and finds herself unable to look at them for long.

HENRY (CONT’D)
But you do more than tune in… You
become part of the snow.

Catherine enters from a dressing area wearing the bodysuit.
Filled with curiosity, Novak watches Miriam and Catherine fit
Stargher into his suit.

NOVAK
I still don’t understand why I can’t do
this… This isn’t some “troubled kid”
you’re dealing with.

CATHERINE
I realize that…

NOVAK
How hard could it be…?

Catherine and Miriam try to hide their laughter.

CATHERINE
The first… What? Six or seven times I
went in. Remember what happened?

MIRIAM
Disorientation, nausea, migraines,
hallucinations, insomnia, paranoia.

CATHERINE
Like a New Year’s Day hangover.

MIRIAM
He needs to be turned over.

Novak and Catherine roll Stargher onto his stomach.

NOVAK
This man is deeply disturbed, he…

CATHERINE
You don’t know the procedure.

NOVAK
I know him.

MIRIAM
That may be true, but you don’t have
Catherine’s gift. She…
(distracted by Stargher’s back)
What happened here?

We see a series of EIGHT BANDAGES.

RAMSEY
We removed eight metal rings.

Miriam peels away a bandage and examines the flesh.

CATHERINE
Then he should like this.

Catherine connects Stargher to the SUSPENSION APPARATUS and
it HOISTS him off the table.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
They’re comforted by the feeling of
weightlessness. Like floating in water.

Henry catches Ramsey poking his nose near a THIRD SUIT AND
APPARATUS in the dressing area.

HENRY
Don’t touch that, please.

RAMSEY
Sorry.

Miriam prepares a series of CHEMICAL CARTRIDGES and loads
them into a container connected to the IV-like tubes linked
to the suspension device.

MIRIAM
(intimate, quiet)
This isn’t your responsibility.
Remember that. Don’t let them use guilt
as a tool. If you want to stop, say so.

CATHERINE
I’ll be fine.

MIRIAM
She said convincingly.

Catherine focuses on the procedure and makes the necessary
connections. Reluctantly, Miriam retreats to the monitoring
station. She “locks down” the procedure room and joins
Henry, Novak, and Ramsey at the console.

NOVAK
(eyes on the chemical/drug
monitors)
That’s the stuff?

HENRY
About twelve years of research, right
Miriam?

MIRIAM
Don’t remind me.

RAMSEY
What is it – are they – exactly?

That’s like asking her to explain the rules of cricket.

MIRIAM
Psychostimulants, serotonin,
stabilizers, meprobamate, Neurontin,
lithium carbonate. And my baby. It
duplicates and expands upon the effects
of a chemical called oxytocin, forcing a
break in the neuron connections that
hold experience. So new experience can
form.

Ramsey is utterly lost and just sort of nods, but Novak is
fascinated. Catherine presses the bump on her hand. A RED
INDICATOR LIGHT flashes on.

HENRY
There’s a touch-sensitive microchip
implanted in her hand. If she becomes
frightened, disoriented, or simply wants
to end the session, she signals us to
abort.

Catherine presses again and the red light shuts off.

MIRIAM
Although none of what she experiences is
real, she can be tricked into thinking
it is. The mind is awfully gullible, so
she needs to monitor herself.

Catherine and Stargher are suspended from the ceiling. Henry
types and the lights dim to a more somber, tranquil level.
Various screens flicker to life, displaying the vital signs
of both “feed” and receive.” Miriam initiates the injection
program.

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
Catherine? I’m about to start. If you
want me to wait, or…

CATHERINE
No. No.

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM, we see chemicals mix with her blood,
then feed the IV. AT THE CONSOLE, as Henry types furiously
at the computer keyboard, Novak asks Miriam:

NOVAK
You said she has a “gift.”

Overhearing, Henry interrupts, pointing at a section of
Catherine’s “mind map.”

HENRY
Not a gift. A highly evolved area in
her cerebral cortex, that’s all. A
genetic fluke.

MIRIAM
Catherine has a tremendous capacity for
empathy.
(clarifies)
When we started, there were a number of
test subjects – other therapists – who
acted as “receivers.” All they did was
observe and report. Nothing more. But
Catherine, she had the ability to feel
what was happening. She understood.
And the patient responded. Edward
engaged her in dialogue, took her
places, showed her things. He knew she
cared.

A hopeful, solemn Novak gazes through the window, watching
Catherine’s body as it becomes parallel to Stargher’s…

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM, Catherine takes a deep breath and as
the drugs take effect, feels herself losing consciousness.
She glances at Stargher, a man who tortures and kills women,
then looks up as the CLOTH MASK descends from the ceiling.

MIRIAM (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Intravenous administration complete.

HENRY (O.S.)
Initiating connection.

We follow fibrous wires running from Catherine’s mask to
Stargher’s. Their blood mixing with chemicals in the IV-like
containers. The computer system humming.

HENRY (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Transfer begins 1100 hours, 34 minutes,
12 seconds.

Catherine’s eye focuses on the mask. As it comes closer, we
see the lining is laced with thread-like wires and microchips
forming hyper-miniature circuit boards. Catherine’s eye
blinks. The mask covers her face. Catherine’s eye shuts.

Vision fades. Darkness. A faint light. Microscopic veins
in the eyelid become wires connected to chips. And we’re
MOVING, into the circuitry.

ENTRANCE ONE

INT. STARGHER’S WORLD

The pattern of the electronics grows into something more
organic, textured, concrete. Evolving into a world. Black
and shadow-filled, it resembles a labyrinthine complex of
vertical walls with cubicle like rooms carved deep into its
core.

Our journey into this bleak, grim place continues and we
occasionally glimpse brief images of a boy’s baptism.

INTERCUT with this journey are sections of cloudy blackness
and fragmented visions of CATHERINE connected to the
apparatus, face masked, DESCENDING into this world.

There is an abrupt SHIFT from still images to regular motion
and we find ourselves gliding over a tidepool filled with
tiny fish and tadpoles. At water’s edge, lying on rough,
pebble-strewn ground, is a HAND.

Catherine’s hand. We sense MOVEMENT, but she remains still.
From the darkness comes a DOG. Black in color and
featureless, it sniffs Catherine, dismisses her, and meanders
into a cubicle opposite her, disappearing from view. After a
moment of odd quiet, a DROP OF BLOOD hits the mask and we
follow Catherine’s hand as it moves to the cloth and removes
it from her own face.

IN MACROSCOPIC SUPER SLOW-MOTIONS, another BLOOD DROPLET
sails 64 into the air and comes crashing down, hitting a RED
ANT, catapulting it onto what looks like a tree, but is just
a TWIG. As the insect scurries away, MORE DROPS pound the
earth, splatter against “twig trees,” and explode into pools
of stagnant water…

As we begin to realize that this miniature landscape is the
world into which Catherine descended.

She sits up, shivering, and breathes deeply, acclimating to
her surroundings. The “floor” is covered with filth, ash,
pebbles, and insects. Water is present in many forms,
puddles, moisture, dripping ceilings.

Eyes focusing, queasy, not fully “awake,” Catherine notices
the crimson stain on the cloth mask and the blood droplets
showering the air. She turns and finds the source.

THE BLACK DOG stands in the opposite room next to a tub full
of BLOOD, shaking himself dry after his “bath.” Satisfied,
the animal stops and trots away. Still adjusting to this
nightmarish realm, Catherine at first doesn’t hear it, but
then realizes that somewhere, a child is CRYING. She looks
around, then through a crack in the “floor,” briefly catches
sight of a BOY beneath her, on a level lower than hers. As
he disappears into corridor ending in “nothing,” we PULL BACK
to show a MASSIVE LANDSCAPE of blocks, cubicles, crawlspace,
walls, stairs, and ladders. Leading everywhere and nowhere.

Catherine spots the boy as he crawls into a specific “room.”
Shortly after, a LIGHT comes on within the cubicle and she
moves to it. We feel as though we’re looking at a series of
interlocked tenement rooms, some walls of which have been
torn away to expose rooms within, rooms with no windows or
doors. Following a path of fragile steps, Catherine makes
her way to the LIGHTED ROOM and enters.

INT. STARGHER’S WORLD – LIGHTED ROOM

A mottled HORSE stands with its head down, nose kissing the
floor, allowing the BOY to caress its neck. This sweet
animal is an incrongruous vision in this hellish world and
Catherine approaches with respect.

CATHERINE
Hello?

The frightened child retreats into a corner of the
claustrophobic room, but the horse does not startle.
Surprisingly – to the boy – the horse takes an affectionate
step toward Catherine, inviting her to take over. Catherine
allows the mare to smell her, then vigorously scratches along
the mane and shoulder, much to the horse’s delight.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
Yeah, you like that, don’t you?

She can see the boy hiding in the corner, stealing glances at
her from the shadows.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
Is your name Carl?

The boy – YOUNG STARGHER – is startled and intrigued by the
question – How did she know that?! – but says nothing.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
Another little boy I know, he has a
horse, too.

The boy reacts to an unusual SOUND coming from the CEILING.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
His name’s Edward. The boy, not the
horse…

The boy takes a few steps toward her, out of the shadows, but
he seems more concerned about something in the ceiling than
“connecting” with Catherine. Very anxiously, he looks at the
wall behind Catherine and watches an old wind-up kitchen
TIMER click down.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
What’s the matter, Carl?

Again, a sharp SOUND from the ceiling.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
What’s wro—?

Young Stargher RUNS at her and SHOVES her hard! Catherine
FALLS BACK just as EIGHT SHEETS OF GLASS drop from the
ceiling! Like oversize razor blades, they slice the horse
into four clean sections. They separate and compact the
quadrants until four glass-contained sections of dissected
horse stand within the room. Catherine SCREAMS, but the mare
barely acknowledged what happened. Betraying no emotion, the
boy runs. The shaken Catherine takes a moment to collect
herself, then gives chase.

INT. STARGHER’S WORLD – THE LABYRINTH

Young Stargher knows his way around the landscape, but
Catherine has difficulty simply keeping him in sight. She
runs, climbs and crawls. Until she’s utterly lost and
disoriented. Tired and having difficulty breathing, she
drops to her knees and “cools down.” She hears a NOISE
nearby, gets to her feet, and finds a GEARED MECHANISM
connected to some kind of SHUTTERED DOOR composed of an
almost metallic-looking glass. Curious yet cautious, she
examines the nearby walls, floor, and ceiling for any signs
of “traps” akin to the glass blades. Finding none, she pulls
the mechanism and quickly steps back.

The shutter opens and Catherine knows there’s something alive
in the tiny cubicle beyond. She retreats into shadow,
hiding. Released from the chamber is a WOMAN. As she moves
out of a darkness, we see VICTIM ONE.

Ghostly pale and adorned in eerie fetish garb, she appears to
“sense” the presence of a stranger, targets Catherine in the
shadows, and ATTACKS!

Catherine’s had enough and moves to press the implant, BUT
THE VICTIM IS ALREADY THERE!
She brutally grabs Catherine, THROWS her against the wall and
SMACKS her head against it. Catherine drops to the floor
like a rag doll.

Victim One hefts Catherine onto her shoulder and with great
purpose, carries her deep into the labyrinth, toward the
core. Passing in and out of consciousness, between darkness
and light, a dazed Catherine is taken on a “tour” of
Stargher’s world. Passing mausoleum-like chambers filled
with IMAGES of unspeakable horror and/or disturbing
intensity. At one of the rooms, we think we see Young
Stargher silently observing…

Sitting of standing in individual cubicles are STARGHER’S
OTHER VICTIMS (TWO thru SIX), each woman resembling the
grotesque porcelain dolls glimpsed in the cubbyholes in
Stargher’s basement. Dressed by a fetishistic sadist (Nine
Inch Nails meets the Brides of Dracula), they resemble bored
housewives, barely acknowledging the new member of the
“harem.”


INT. STARGHER’S WORLD – THE CORE

VICTIM ONE drops Catherine in the center of the room and, job
done, crawls away.

Groggy, feeling sick, Catherine sits up. Unbeknownst to her,
she is sitting at the base of a pedestal with her back to the
kind of THRONE. And someone is there. In the dim pool of
light above the pedestal, we see a MAN rise from the throne.
The wall behind him is covered in BLOOD RED CLOTH, and as he
descends, we realize it is a CAPE connected to EIGHT METAL
RINGS pierced through the flesh of his back. In a fluid
motion, waves of red give way to harshly textured concrete as
the man reaches the floor. Catherine knows he is there.
Unable to stop herself, she turns. And sees the terrifying
face of STARGHER. But no the same Stargher.

This is STARGHER KING.

STARGHER KING
(primitive, guttural)
Where you come from priddy thing?

In a split second, Catherine presses the implant on her hand.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY

Apparently capable of staying awake if properly caffeinated,
Novak sits cross-legged on the floor, shoes off, analyzing
RECENT PHOTOS AND DOCUMENTS sent to him via courier.
Ignoring a snoring Ramsey napping on a nearby cot, Novak
looks at blow-ups from the videos, blueprints of Stargher’s
house, detailed shots of the basement, and a draftsman’s
conceptual drawing of the cell itself.

HENRY (V.O.)
Gentlemen?

Novak looks at an INTERCOM SPEAKER.

HENRY (V.O.) (CONT’D)
She’s back.

Novak doesn’t wait for his just-stirring partner and moves.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – LABORATORY

As he enters, Novak sees a concerned Henry checking a print
out of the procedure.

NOVAK
What happened?

HENRY
Must’ve been rather unusual.

Noting Novak’s confusion, Henry points to a CENTRAL MONITOR
resembling a futuristic V.U. meter, gradiated in sections of
white, yellow, orange, and red.

HENRY (CONT’D)
(re: white/yellow area)
If her neural activity stays within this
range, I know she’s self-cognitive.
(clarifies)
As if she were having a dream, but she
knows she’s dreaming. She can “wake up”
any time she wants to…

As Ramsey joins them, Novak nods, understanding, but his eyes
are on Catherine, who’s just coming back to consciousness.

HENRY (CONT’D)
(re: orange section)
However, if her level of involvement is
rather intense, as it was just now, she
can perceive things as true. It’s
difficult to keep perspective.

As Novak lingers on that question, Ramsey gestures at the red
section.

RAMSEY
What happens here?

HENRY
We don’t talk about that.

NOVAK
What happens?

HENRY
Well, Theoretically, while she’s inside.
If she came to believe that Stargher’s
world is her world, her mind has the
power to convince the body that anything
done to it is, um, actually done.

Novak doesn’t like the sound of that.

HENRY (CONT’D)
That’s why we monitor the use of the
drugs so closely. We don’t want her
getting to that degree of perceptual
disorientation.

MIRIAM
Pump in two liters of pure oxygen,
please Henry.

Henry types a command and Novak speaks into the intercom.

NOVAK
Dr. Kent?

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM, Miriam eases Catherine back to
consciousness.

MIRIAM
Deep breaths.

When she sees Stargher, Catherine’s flesh crawls.

CATHERINE
Is it cold in here?

MIRIAM
What happened?

No response.

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
What’s wrong?

Incapable of being in the same room as him, Catherine tears
out of the apparatus and anxiously exits.

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
Catherine!

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM:

NOVAK
I’ll get her…

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – DAY

A worried Novak searches the halls of the Campbell Center.
He’s about to ask the staff for help, but stops when he sees
through the window to Edward’s room.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – EDWARD’S ROOM

Catherine sits next to the boy’s bed, holding Edward’s hand,
softly singing a lullaby (to him, to herself). Feeling that
he must speak to her, Novak intervenes.

NOVAK
Edward Baines, I presume.
(to the catatonic child)
Hi, Ed. I’m Pete.

CATHERINE
Do you think that’s funny?

NOVAK
No. Not at all. From what I
understand, he knows I”m here, isn’t
that right?

Catherine nods. Novak picks up Edward’s fallen teddy bear
and rests it in the crook of the child’s arm.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
I read about a woman in TExas who was in
a coma for seven years. Every time her
husband came to visit, her heart would
beat faster. Isn’t that something? I
don’t know what name scientists have for
something like that…

CATHERINE
It doesn’t have much to do with science.

NOVAK
What then?

CATHERINE
The soul. The spirit. Whatever you
want to call it.

NOVAK
Ah, the part of us that can’t be
explained.

She appreciates his understanding. And finds herself
comforted by his presence. Catherine scrutinizes Novak, his
intensity, his honesty, his complexity. And asks:

CATHERINE
Agent Novak?

NOVAK
Peter, okay?

CATHERINE
Do you feel there’s a side of yourself
you don’t show people?

The question catches Novak off-guard, but he’s willing to
answer. Anything to get her talking.

NOVAK
Absolutely.
(realizing it’s too personal)
I suppose everyone does.

CATHERINE
Just like we all have fantasies, right?
Things only we know, that we don’t
share.

NOVAK
That’s what therapists are for, right?

Catherine laughs. It helps her relax. If only slightly.

CATHERINE
During the sessions. When I’m inside.
I see those things. What a person
hides, what they despite, what they want
to control. With Stargher…

This is difficult for her.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
With Stargher I saw things…

NOVAK
What did you see?

CATHERINE
(professionally)
A kingdom. His utopia.
Life without consequence or restriction.
He’s not even Carl Stargher anymore.
He’s this… idealized version of
himself who can do anything he
pleases… Without fear. A horrible
primitive ugly thing.
(uncomfortable; re: Edward)
I don’t want to talk in here.

She kisses Edward’s forehead and exits.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – CONFERENCE ROOM/COURTYARD – DAY

Catherine and Novak sit on a bench in the center of the
courtyard. John Tracy is visible in the reception area,
unable to sleep, desperately trying to fight frustration.

CATHERINE
Why’d you bring him here?

NOVAK
You’re the shrink, you tell me.

CATHERINE
(already knows)
As soon as I met him, you knew I’d say
yes. He makes Julia real for me.

Novak nods. Guilty.

NOVAK
It’s an old lawyer trick. Target the
emotions. Do it right, you get a
reluctant witness to testify, a scared
kid to confess.

Catherine looks at him with disbelief. “You?!”

NOVAK (CONT’D)
Before I was with the Bureau, I was an
attorney, a prosecutor. Mr. Law and
Order. And then… I had a murder case
in North Carolina. Charles Gish.
Butchered seventeen people in three
days. And because of one tiny piece of
tainted evidence, he walked.
(no regrets)
That’s when I quit the DA’s office and
joined the FBI.

Catherine can see the pain and frustration in Novak’s eyes.
She gives him a moment and asks:

CATHERINE
You thought Stargher wanted to be
caught.

NOVAK
I did, yeah.

CATHERINE
You were right. There’s a part of him
that knows the truth. About what he
did, about himself.

Novak’s curiosity is piqued.

NOVAK
What about Julia?

CATHERINE
This is going to sound terrible, but…
I don’t think she matters anymore. Not
to him. He never finished her. The
others…he was able to make them his.

NOVAK
You think you can do this, don’t you?

CATHERINE
He might tell me about Julia. The part
of him that wants to help, that feels
shame and remorse. Who wants to be
redeemed.

NOVAK
(skeptically)
This is Stargher we’re talking about?

CATHERINE
Not Stargher, not really. He’s split
himself right down the middle.
Good/evil, right/wrong, merciful/cruel.
A monster. And an innocent child. If I
could reach the boy.

NOVAK
Whoa. Hold on. Aren’t they the same
guy?

CATHERINE
Don’t you feel there are different sides
to every personality? Maybe even the
worst of us is capable of one decent
act. We’re all human.

NOVAK
It’s hard for me to see Stargher as
human, capable of something like
“remorse.”

CATHERINE
Then what is he?

NOVAK
Evil.

CATHERINE
If you believe that.

NOVAK
Maybe this is a big fucking waste of
time.

CATHERINE
(sensing something)
What happened to Charles Gish?

Novak doesn’t respond. She prods him.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
What happened?

NOVAK
What difference does it make…?

CATHERINE
Tell me.

God, he does not want to do this.

NOVAK
Right after the trial, the night after
he was released. Mr. and Mrs. Frank
Simmons found Charlie sitting in their
living room watching TV with their
twelve-year old daughter Margaret. He’d
cut her right down the middle with a
carving knife.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
Found the girl’s heart in the freezer –
he thought they might want to keep it.
(grim humor)
Luckily, the next thing he did was slit
his own throat.
(bleakly)
I am convinced of one thing.
Charles Gish could’ve been raised by
Ozzie and Harriet and the same thing
would’ve happened.

He can see Catherine doesn’t accept that.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
A child can experience abuse worse than
Charlie’s. And grow up to be someone
who would never, ever hurt another
living thing.

CATHERINE
You’re sure of that?

NOVAK
Yes. I am.

Catherine realizes that was a confession.

RAMSEY (O.S.)
Where the hell you been?

They turn to see Ramsey.

NOVAK
Right here.

RAMSEY
Next time, tell me, okay?

NOVAK
But you looked so cute. All sleepy…

Ramsey shoots him a murderous look, then asks Catherine.

RAMSEY
Your colleagues want to know what to do
with Stargher.

Novak looks to Catherine for the answer. Through the window
blinds, she watches John Tracy lower his head.

CATHERINE
Tell them to prep him. And that I’ll be
right there.

Ramsey nods and heads back to the lab.

NOVAK
Thank you.

Briefly, he touches her hand. Catherine looks away from John
to Novak’s hand, to the photographs on the wall. Stargher’s
house, Valentine, the pick-up truck. Valentine…

CATHERINE
I need something.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – CORRIDOR – DAY

A K-9 UNIT FBI AGENT escorts VALENTINE to the lab.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – LABORATORY – DAY

As the agent brings the frightened animal into the monitoring
area, Catherine and Valentine share a moment of “connection.”
Slowly, confidently, she approaches the Shepherd, kneels, and
removes his leash and muzzle. She strokes him and the dog
instantly warms up to her.

FBI K-9 AGENT
Sure wasn’t like that with me.

Novak signs a document and the K-9 Agent exits.

CATHERINE
You’re a good boy, aren’t you,
Valentine?

The dog picks up a scent from the procedure room and moves
it, Catherine and Novak following.

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM, Stargher lies face down on a gurney.
Now taped to the wall near Stargher are PICTURES from the
basement – his dolls, the hoist, etc. Miriam (in surgical
mask and gloves) carefully re-inserts the METAL RINGS (taken
from an FBI EVIDENCE BAG) into the eight straps of flesh on
his back. When he sees this, Valentine whimpers and hides.
Catherine comforts him. Miriam finishes her task and removes
her mask.

MIRIAM
I hate to admit it, but there’s
something perversely satisfying about
this.

HENRY
I think that’s the whole point.

Valentine runs to his “sleeping” master and barks at
Catherine as if asking for help. She encourages the animal
to lick and sniff Stargher’s face and hands.

HENRY (O.S.) (CONT’D)
That’s interesting.

IN THE CONTROL ROOM, he scrutinizes the monitor showing the
detailed “map” of Stargher’s brain.

HENRY (CONT’D)
Increased neural activity in the frontal
lobes. Rising dopamine levels in the
basal ganglia. Ever since the dog
walked in.

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM, Catherine readies herself in the
“receive” apparatus. As Stargher is lifted off the pedestal,
the doors HISS shut and Valentine curls up on the floor
beneath his master. As Catherine is lifted, she smiles at
the animal, then looks to Stargher.

NOVAK
(comforting and coaching her)
Remember, Julia Hickson is priority
number one. Nothing else matters. Find
out where she is.

CATHERINE
Okay, okay…

LIGHTS FLICKER. Catherine’s eyes shut. FADE TO BLACK…

HENRY (O.S.)
Uh-oh…

LIGHTS FLICKER. We hear an ELECTRICAL HUM rise and fall.
Catherine opens her eyes and the LIGHTS blink on and off in a
weird pattern, making it difficult to see clearly.

CATHERINE
Don’t kid around, Henry…

Her suspension apparatus DESCENDS on the floor.

HENRY (O.S.)
I’m not. It’s a power problem. I need
you to go to the circuit breaker and
check switches six through twelve.

Catherine moves toward the electrical panel.

HENRY (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Try to stay awake, okay?

CATHERINE
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m not sleepy.

As she moves toward the panel, everything becomes larger. By
the time Catherine reaches the circuit breaker, it is the
size of a garage door. Curiouser and curiouser…

She turns around to see the LABORATORY IS EMPTY and DEAD
QUIET. And she sees herself – Catherine as small as a mouse
trapped in a giant walled space.

AT THE CONSOLE, Novak, Miriam and Henry observe the procedure
room. And Catherine. Suspended in the apparatus.
Motionless…

ENTRANCE TWO

INT. STARGHER’S WORLD

Catherine turns to see… Catherine lying in the fetal
position, locked in a BOX made of thick clean glass. The
electronic HUM becomes RHYTHMIC, AMBIENT NOISE.. INSIDE THE
BOX, staying calm, she searches for and finds a TRAP DOOR on
the floor. She pushes out. The camera executes a complete
180-degree perspective change.

Catherine plummets. She tries to reach out, to stop her
descent, but cannot.

Catherine falls through a dark CAVERNOUS ROOM resembling a
mammoth hollowed-out rib cage. Below her is a DOME-LIKE
STRUCTURE “growing” out of the floor, a HOLE in the center of
its crest. Dozens of other such domes are visible in the
murky hell-hole, but Catherine has no choice. She’s dropping
into this one.

Once she passes through the hole, INSIDE THE DOME,
Catherine’s body looks as though it’s moving through water,
but there is no water. Like an aerial artist, she reverses
her position so she’s “heads up.” Standing, stable, on the
floor. Sensing something with her. And knows it is…

CATHERINE
Valentine?

Out from the darkness, moving in normal motion, comes the
white German Shepherd, but in the thick haze, his face is
indistinct and ghostly.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
Hi sweetie…

And as she steps toward him, his face DISSOLVES into a STARK
LANDSCAPE. An ear becomes a hill, the nose a stone, mouth a
path, and the eye a HOUSE.
YOUNG STARGHER retreats towards the bleak structure as
CATHERINE ENTERS FRAME. Seeing the invitation, she presses
on.

INT. STARGHER’S WORLD – BOYHOOD HOME – KITCHEN

Young Stargher is at the sink WASHING DISHES, an anxious eye
on the clock.

CATHERINE
Need some help?

As Catherine enters the claustrophobic house, the boy
hesitantly pushes a towel toward her, but doesn’t look. She
reaches the counter and starts to dry, much to Young
Stargher’s relief. As he washes, Catherine hands him a
MIRROR LOCKET just like Edward’s.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
Carl, I want to give you a present.

He’s hypnotized by the thing, his eyes lighting up.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
If you need me, or if you feel that I’m
around but can’t find me, just shine it,
like this.

She shines reflected light onto the walls. Carl hands
Catherine the wet plate and takes the locket. The dish slips
from her fingers and SHATTERS on the floor. The boy’s eyes
fill with dread. The kitchen clock reads 5:30. He PUSHES
Catherine toward a broom closet and shoves her inside.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
What’s wrong honey?

With a finger to his lips, he pockets the locket and shuts
the door. FROM WITHIN THE CLOSET, she watches the terrified
child through a CRACK in the door. IN THE KITCHEN, Young
Stargher desperately tries to hide the broken plate.
Startlingly, his father, Martin Stargher, is already in the
room. Cruel, imposing, manipulative man.

MARTIN
What did you do know? You make a mess?
I hate a mess.

Young Stargher backs into a corner, fearing what will come.

MARTIN (CONT’D)
Don’t lie, now, Carl.

IN THE CLOSET, Catherine pushes, but the door won’t budge.
She POUNDS. IN THE KITCHEN, we hear no sound.

MARTIN (CONT’D)
Remember what I said about liars? Liars
will be punished.

INT. CLOSET – CONTINUOUS

Catherine hears the child SCREAM. But the scream comes from
behind and she spins around.

INT. STARGHER’S WORLD – LIVING ROOM

Young Stargher is forced to sit on the lap of an ugly MIDDLE
AGED WOMAN barely wearing a man’s robe. On a nearby table
are whisky, tumblers, and an ashtray filled with butts.

WOMAN
I got you a present, cutie-pie.

She gives him a TOY DOLL. Drunk, she hugs and kisses him.
Embarrassed, the boy tries to squirm away.

WOMAN (CONT’D)
Oh no. You’re not going anywhere.

Martin enters and sneers at the boy.

MARTIN
Go back to bed, worm.

WOMAN
It’s okay, we was just.

MARTIN
Shut up, cunt.

The woman cowers, familiar with his violent moods. The boy
hurries to his room, but Martin grabs him by the collar.

MARTIN (CONT’D)
What is that?

He pulls the doll from the child’s hands, turns to the woman,
and SMACKS her across the face with it, gashing her cheek.

MARTIN (CONT’D)
You give him nothing. Whore. Are you
his mother? ARE YOU?

Terrified, she shakes her head “no.” Martin sees Young
Stargher quietly crawling away, hoping to escape.
Martin lifts the boy off the floor with one hand and holds
him in front of the woman.

MARTIN (CONT’D)
You see that? SEE IT? You slithered
out one of them. But where is she now,
Carl? As far from you as she could get,
that’s where.
(shoves him at the woman)
You want a mommy? Is that what you
want?

The poor boy trembles with fear. And Martin notices a puddle
of urine on the floor. He drops the boy and laughs.

MARTIN (CONT’D)
Little worm pissed his pants.

Humiliated, Carl covers himself and hides in a corner.
Martin and the woman LAUGH AND LAUGH, delighting in the boy’s
humiliation.

INT. CLOSET

Feeling the boy’s shame, Catherine turns and finds a FADED
POSTCARD taped to the wall.

INT. STARGHER’S WORLD – BEDROOM

Martin has discovered his son’s secret hiding place – a
camouflaged corner of the attic. Arranged in deliberate,
artistic fashion are scavenged DOLLS. Heads, limbs and
torsos held together with twine, tape and wire. Some wrapped
in filthy plastic. Faded photographs (including one of his
MOTHER), mementos, and most disturbingly, the feathers and
bones of dead birds, insect carcasses, and dissected,
desiccated mice. There’s something peculiarly beautiful
here, but Martin doesn’t see it. Not at all.

MARTIN
Only girls play with dolls…

He turns and we see Carl is bound to a wooden support beam, a
piece of tape covering his mouth. The boy is stripped to the
waste, barely conscious, face streaked with tears and sweat.

MARTIN (CONT’D)
What kind of thing are you?

INT. CLOSET

A WEIRD NOISE snaps Catherine back to “reality.” She turns
just as a door opens behind her. Responding to the
“invitation,” she moves through it.

INT. STARGHER’S WORLD – BATHROOM

The adult Carl Stargher sits at the edge of the tub, his back
to us, smoking a cigarette. A white German Shepherd PUPPY
clicks across the tile floor and YIPS at Catherine. She
again hears the WEIRD NOISE. A STAINLESS STEEL BOWL wobbles
as Stargher’s bloody rubber-gloved hands fill it with
something. Stargher knows she’s there and isn’t surprised by
her presence, but he’s not sure what to make of her. What to
do with her. He rises and walks past her to the sink. He
pulls off the gloves and washes his hands, glancing at her in
the mirror.

Catherine cannot resist looking in the tub. She sees a dead
girl, her torso sliced open. Disgusted and mortified, she
pulls back.

STARGHER (O.S.)
She was the first…

She turns, and Stargher is no longer at the sink.

STARGHER (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Didn’t know what I was doing…

She turns, where’s this voice coming from?! She steps back.

STARGHER (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Be careful…

The bumps into the stainless steel bowl and it topples to the
floor, spilling its contents of human organs. Wobble-wobble
wobble. The bowl makes its now-familiar noise.

STARGHER (O.S.) (CONT’D)
What did you do now? You make a mess?

And she can see him coming out of the shadows. Catherine
backs into a corner, fearing what will come.

STARGHER (CONT’D)
I hate a mess.

Stargher steps into a pool of light, shooshes the puppy into
the hall, shuts the bathroom door, and looks right at
Catherine.

STARGHER (CONT’D)
Why are you here?

God almighty, what does she say? What does she tell him?!

STARGHER (CONT’D)
Don’t lie, now…

SCRITCH-SCRITCH-SCRITCH. The puppy scratches at the door and
whimpers, but Stargher’s not about to let him back in.
Moving slowly, carefully, he approaches Catherine.

STARGHER (CONT’D)
Liars will be punished.

Catherine makes a break for the door. “Playfully,” Stargher
makes a half-hearted attempt to block her, but she evades him
and reaches for the knob. But the door’s not there. SCRITCH
SCRITCH-SCRITCH. She can still hear the dog, but there’s no
damn door. She turns:

No door. No window. The girl’s body and bloody remains have
vanished. An OVERHEAD LIGHT flickers on, giving the room the
look and feel of the cell.

STARGHER (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Where do you think you’re going?

Catherine turns, back to the wall, calm and intimidating,
Stargher stands in the center regarding her with great
curiosity. Catherine’s ready to press the sensor.

STARGHER (CONT’D)
Don’t do that.

She hesitates.

STARGHER (CONT’D)
If you go away, you’ll never find her.

How did he know?

STARGHER (CONT’D)
If you never find her, she dies. Like
the rest.

Catherine stops and listens. She can’t leave now. The path
to Julia has appeared.

STARGHER (CONT’D)
I mean, that’s why you’re here, right?
Why you came to my happy little home?

He reaches for her and she flinches. Expecting such
behavior, Stargher grins.

STARGHER (CONT’D)
You’re pretty. A pretty, pretty thing.

Catherine cannot show her fear, not now. She composes
herself and approaches him.

CATHERINE
I want to help you, Carl.

His grin broadens to a smile and he almost laughs.

STARGHER
Help me? That’s good. That’s a good
one.
(malevolent)
Liar. Whore. Cunt.

Catherine stands her ground.

CATHERINE
You sound like your father.

He gets close to her face and sneers.

STARGHER
I am not like him.

Stargher retreats into the shadows, but Catherine persists.

CATHERINE
Then help me. Where is Julia Hickson?

STARGHER
Why?

CATHERINE
Maybe, because you want to.

STARGHER
Is that right? You think you know me?


INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – LABORATORY – DAY

Henry sees a rapid rise in Catherine’s warning meter.

HENRY
Miriam…

INT. STARGHER’S WORLD – BATHROOM

A wave of fear, of impending doom, overtakes Catherine.

STARGHER (O.S.)
You wanna know who I am? You stupid
bitch!

And when he emerges from shadow, Stargher is STARGHER KING.

STARGHER KING
Now shud you mouth, priddy thing, or me
god slice you from the kunt to the tits.

Catherine moves to touch the sensor in her hand. He GRABS,
LIFTS and SLAMS her onto the floor, the back of her head
HITTING HARD. Her vision blurs. Ears are ringing.

STARGHER KING (CONT’D)
Me god want you stay.

Stargher King straddles Catherine and pins her arms behind
her back. She’s unable to touch the sensor. With the tip of
the TOOL he traces a line from her pelvis up the center of
her suit.

STARGHER KING (CONT’D)
Me god mek you beaudiful…

He shoves the tool through her neck and presses the trigger.
A COLLAR CLAMPS SHUT around Catherine’s neck and…

She blacks out.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – LABORATORY

A SENSOR ALARM SOUNDS on the computer. Henry and Miriam
express shock at the sight of the monitor peaking in the red
and move to the “map” of Catherine’s mind. As it becomes
“cool,” Stargher’s becomes “hot.”

MIRIAM
Son of a bitch!

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM, VALENTINE BARKS! Startling everyone.
The dog GROWLS and backs away. As if he senses something
horribly wrong within his master.

IN THE CONTROL ROOM, Novak questions the scientists.

NOVAK
When we got here, you just topped and
pulled her out.

MIRIAM
That was with Edward. She’s accustomed
to his world. Stargher’s mind is
unfamiliar territory. She’s “lost.”
(looks at the third suit)
Someone has to go in.
Remind her what’s really happening. And
get her out. Until then, she’s at his
mercy.

Mercy. Novak’s mind reels.

NOVAK
Into Stargher. Inside…

MIRIAM
Yes.

Novak knows who that person will be.

INT. CELL – DAY

Fueling herself with candy and juice, Julia examines the cell
for a way out, but finds tight seals everywhere. THE SHOWER
ERUPTS WITH WATER! She counts until thirty, it stops.
Shivering, Julia stars at the drain as the water spirals
down.

JULIA
(trying to remember the words)
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed
be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will
be done.

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GLASS, we watch her through one-way
glass from the video camera’s point-of-view. She looks right
at “us,” in the mirror, saddened by the dark circles under
her bloodshot eyes.

JULIA (CONT’D)
…on Earth as it is in Heaven.

We drift to the right and see the l.e.d. counters CLICKING
AWAY. 01:44:54, 01:44:53, 01:44:52… Less than TWO HOURS to
live and she has no idea.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – LABORATORY

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM, Novak lies in a hastily-rigged THIRD
APPARATUS/SUSPENSION DEVICE. Miriam connects him to the IV
cylinder and tubes.

MIRIAM
I have done this, you know. Been
inside.

NOVAK
No.

Miriam nods, knowing he won’t accept an opposing argument.

MIRIAM
(instructs him)
Deep breaths.

IN THE OBSERVATION ROOM, Henry adjusts monitors showing
Novak’s vital signs.

HENRY
Pulse is rapid, pressure’s a little
high…

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM, Miriam asks:

MIRIAM
Nervous?

NOVAK
Absolutely.

She loads a MICROCHIP SENSOR into a high-pressure injection
gun and IMPLANTS it in NOVAK’s HAND. He winces from the
brief pain as she loads the chemical cartridges.

MIRIAM
I have to ask you some things… Are you
taking any prescription drugs?

NOVAK
Prevacid. For my stomach.

MIRIAM
Any psychiatric medication?

NOVAK
No.

MIRIAM
What about narcotics?

NOVAK
No.

MIRIAM
I know your partner’s here, but it’s
very important that you’re honest.

NOVAK
I am. I’m a pretty boring guy.

MIRIAM
I doubt that.

Henry checks the “maps,” Catherine’s vitals and reports.

HENRY
We should hurry.

Miriam walks Novak through what’s about to happen.

MIRIAM
The first five minutes will be
disorienting. Give yourself time. Let
the drugs do the work. If you can see,
smell, feel, hear, taste things – you’re
on the right track. Once you’ve
acclimated, try to get a feeling for
Catherine. Instinct plays a huge role
in this. Trust it.

She gives him a supportive touch on the shoulder, exits and
shuts the door. IN THE OBSERVATION ROOM, Miriam continues
via intercom.

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
You can control how you see yourself –
clothes, shoes, that kind of thing – but
the rest of it is up to him. Use only
what he provides. Don’t try to change
anything. Or introduce something of
your own. It’ll only upset him.

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM, Novak flexes his fingers and sees the
little bump beneath his flesh.

HENRY (O.S.)
Agent Novak? Press the sensor.

Novak does and the red light comes on. As Novak is LIFTED,
he looks at Catherine, then Stargher. Valentine YIPS and
settles beneath Novak. The suspension device clicks into
place and the MASK descends.

MIRIAM (O.S.)
No matter what happens, Peter, remember
one thing: It’s not real.

Novak’s eyes fix on the clear liquid contained in the IV-like
cylinder. A liquid cloud of his blood grows within.
Preparing the mixture for injection.

The viscosity of the fluid starts to thicken and the CAMERA
MOVES INTO THE MIXTURE. As blood and chemical swirls take
shape, we MOVE FAST. Deeper into the fluid at a molecular
level. We feel like we’re SOARING over some kind of liquid
landscape.

NOVAK HYPERVENTILATES. He’s having difficulty making the 98
transition.

Flying faster, faster, faster. Through an entire universe.

Novak is in the procedure room. Alone. His face contorted
as if feeling the effects of tremendous G-FORCE.

ENTRANCE THREE

INT. STARGHER’S WORLD

CLOUDS hover above a dark, gloomy landscape dotted with
hills. THREE IDENTICAL WOMEN sit on black earth, their
bodies positioned in a uniform pattern. PULL BACK TO REVEAL
NOVAK at their feet, in a kneeling fetal position, face down
in the gritty soil, a piece of cloth draped over his head.
With difficulty, practically inhaling black grit, Novak
breathes deeply and rises to his knees. His hand moves to
his face and he’s briefly astounded by the texture of the
gravel, the sharpness of it against his face. Removing the
shroud-like cloth, he looks at the soil, smells it, tastes
it.

MOTHER ONE (O.S.)
Have you seen him?

Novak finds the first of the three – VISIONS OF STARGHER’S
MOTHER – addressing him. She, like the other two, speaks in
a ghostly monotone, nearly devoid of emotion.

MOTHER ONE (CONT’D)
My boy, my little one. His father took
him from me. Have you seen him?

As she continues, almost mantra-like, WOMAN TWO BEGINS:

MOTHER TWO
(similar monotone)
My child is an abomination. He is
damned. He has no soul.

The women’s repetitive “monologues” overlap. Aurual layers
now added by THREE.

MOTHER THREE
Me god me boy. Me god good son.

Novak takes a moment to absorb his surroundings. The sights,
sounds and feel of the place. Like being within a dream. As
he backs away from the odd quartet, SHIMMERING LIGHT dances
across his face. Shading his eyes. Novak searches for the
source.

Opposite him, across the valley, is a SHEER ROCK WALL. A
massive cliff face pockmarked with rough “windows.” Like a
star, the LIGHT sparkles inside one of them, a fragment of
MIRROR reflecting a beam away from Novak’s face to a PATH
cutting across the valley floor to the base of the wall.

The light guiding him, Novak follows the path and starts to
CLIMB, finding stairs or ladders, passing deep, seemingly
infinite passages. Like tombs, or the “drawers” of a
mausoleum. Deep within one of them, THE LIGHT FLICKERS.
Fades. And Novak crawls into darkness.

INT. STARGHER’S WORLD – THE DEN

Novak emerges in a cavernous room dripping with decadence.
The place reeks of sex, pain, lust, and cruelty. As he moves
deeper into the chamber, Novak sees YOUNG STARGHER perched
atop some kind of pedestal, crouching, fingering his mirror
LOCKET, bouncing sparkles of light into the dark corners of
the room

The FLICKERING LIGHT pinpoints a FIGURE emerging from the
darkness. It is Catherine. Altered to an image of
Stargher’s victims. Her skin, face, clothing, eyes, are just
like the Victims’. It’s a shocking, strange image, made even
more disturbing by the look of pleasure on her face. Novak
is staggered by the sight. His vision and hearing become
affected by blurred vision, sharp sounds – then focus to
clarity as he reminds himself…

NOVAK
Not real…

Like an ethereal queen of the damned, she strides toward him,
narrowing her eyes.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
Catherine.

She exhibits no recognition of her name. Catherine
seductively moves closer to Novak, their bodies almost
touching, her hands caressing his hair, lips, neck…

NOVAK (CONT’D)
Jesus. Catherine. Listen to me…

She presses her finger to his lips and forces him down, onto
the floor, his back to the pedestal. Catherine straddles
Novak, and when he tries to stand, she holds him down,
forcing him to stay.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
LISTEN TO ME!

She steals a glance over his shoulder and glimpses a MALE
FIGURE coming toward them, coming into the light. Novak is
utterly unaware of what’s happening. Catherine is keeping
him occupied. Waiting for the arrival of…

STARGHER KING

Catherine LAUGHS. Novak catches only a fleeting glimpse of
the monster before Stargher King GRABS him by the throat and
SMASHES his head against a pedestal.

BLACKOUT.

INT. STARGHER’S WORLD – THE DEN

Eyelids rise and flutter. Novak becomes conscious. And
instantly realizes what’s happened.

He lies on the pedestal, face up, spread-eagle, his wrists
and ankles bound to the cold stone surface with leathery
cords. Standing over him, in a pool of light, is Stargher
King. Wearing what could be seen as CEREMONIAL GARB, a
silent, solemn Stargher King prepares himself for execution
of a ritual by polishing and arranging an assortment of
shiny, sharp, macabre TOOLS.

Novak shuts his eyes and silently tells himself, Not real.
He opens them, breathes deeply and focuses on Catherine.

NOVAK
You’re Catherine Young. You majored in
Psych at UC San Diego. You work for
Sunerset Industries.

Stargher King’s fingers pass over an array of horrific
instruments – the throat piercer/collar mechanism, a cleaver
knife, a misshapen hammer, a long slender needle…

NOVAK (CONT’D)
Your grandmother raised you after your
parents died in a car crash…

Stargher King lifts the blade-like NEEDLE. So far, Catherine
looks at Novak like he’s speaking gibberish.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
When you were twenty-one, you were
arrested for possession and got off with
community service.

Stargher King SLICES through Novak’s clothes, exposing the
flesh of his abdomen.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
(reminding himself)
Not real, Pete…This is not real…
(urgency)
You had to work at a center for abused
kids for three months. You stayed on
two years for no pay. You give half
your fucking salary to the nursing home
your grandmother stays at…

Stargher King grabs his throat and traces the blade down the
center of Novak’s torso. Novak struggles and pleads with
Catherine.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
I know this because I work for the FBI.
Peter Novak, remember?!?!
(a desperate request)
Remember. You are Cath-

Stargher King cuts his flesh and INSERTS the needle into his
stomach. NOVAK SCREAMS! This fucking hurts!

NOVAK (CONT’D)
Help me!!!

Stargher King wiggles the needle, pulls it out, and digs his
finger into the wound. NOVAK CRIES IN PAIN.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
(tears forming, horrified)
Fucking FEELS real!

The intensity of Novak’s cries hit Catherine like a
thunderbolt. There’s a glimmer of life, of recognition in
her eyes.

STARGHER KING
(finally speaking)
Me god gut you like a dear.

Although we don’t see it, we HEAR something awful. Like
Stargher King fishing around inside the wound. A pale,
sweating Novak tries to stay conscious. He will not go into
shock…

NOVAK
Not real. Not real. Not real.

A FEMALE HAND grabs the tool from the tray.

STARGHER KING
(mimicking Novak, laughing)
Nod reel, nod reel, nod reel…

STARGHER KING IS SLAMMED FROM BEHIND! CATHERINE RAMS THE
THING THROUGH HIS THROAT! As Stargher King stumbles away
gagging, blood pouring form his neck, we see that she has
returned to normal. The “bride” persona is gone. As
Stargher King emits animalistic growls, Catherine turns and
sees an intact Novak standing next to her. As if nothing had
happened.

Catherine and Novak RUN out of the den, into the tunnel from
which Novak gained access. He stops, ready to press the
sensor, when a FLICKER OF LIGHT dances across Catherine’s
face.

CATHERINE
Wait…

NOVAK
Like hell “wait.”

But she won’t listen and he’s forced to play catch up as she
moves further from the den toward the cliff face. The
FLICKER OF LIGHT shines on the entrance to a specific TUNNEL.

CATHERINE
He wants us to follow. The little
boy…

NOVAK
Little boy?! That’s him!

CATHERINE
He brought you to me, didn’t he? If you
want Julia to live, trust me. Trust
him.

INT. TUNNEL/CUBBYHOLE

On her hands and knees, she enters the TUNNEL, not waiting
for him to respond. She knows what he’ll do… Catherine and
Novak crawl through the dark, grimy claustrophobic space,
playing with his mirror locket.

CATHERINE
Carl…

He so desperately wants her affection, but fear prevents him
from reaching out to her.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
This is Peter.

Scared, he shakes his head “no.”

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
Don’t be scared. You’re my friend and I
would never hurt you.

She extends her hand. Oh-so-hesitantly he takes it.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
Will you take us to her? To Julia?

Shyly, hesitantly, he nods. She smiles gratefully and
affectionately touches the boy’s face. Clasping her hand,
Young Stargher leads Catherine and Novak into utter darkness.

INT. STARGHER’S WORLD – THE IDEALIZED CELL

More stylized than the actual cell, it’s bigger and ornately
decorated, with the atmosphere of a church. Individual
IMAGES hang like SHRINES, each showing Julia Hickson from
different angles.

Central to the room is a WINDOW INTO THE CELL ITSELF. Where
we find a beautiful, mermaid-like JULIA HICKSON floating in
water. Peaceful, joyous.

IN THE CENTER OF THE ROOM, we find Novak and Catherine, she
holding the hand of Young Stargher, he stunned at the sight
of Julia. The child looks at Catherine with beatific, sad
eyes, regarding her as one would a saviour.

NOVAK
Where the hell are we?

CATHERINE
Carl, do you know? Like on a map…

He shakes his head and buries his face in her shoulder.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
It’s okay, it’s okay. You helped so
much already. I’m proud of you.

As a frustrated Novak searches for anything identifying,
Catherine comforts the boy and looks deeply into his sad,
haunted eyes.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
Carl, I think I can help you. Would you
like that? Even if Peter can’t find
Julia, I want to help you.

The boy leans against her and she caresses his face.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
I promise.

Novak finds himself standing in front of the idealized cell.
Mounted beneath the glass is a shiny, perfect metal plaque
reading CARVER INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT, with a logo. Novak
recognizes it from the hoist in Stargher’s basement.

NOVAK
Let’s go.

He pulls her to her feet. Feeling betrayed and rejected, the
child breaks away from her. THE ROAR OF STARGHER KING shakes
the cell. Terrified, the boy searches for a place to hide.

CATHERINE
CARL!

Novak feels what’s coming.

NOVAK
COME ON!

CATHERINE
I can’t leave him!

STARGHER KING APPEARS! His throat wounded, bloody mess, he
descends out of dark nothingness, HOWLING with rage. He
reaches for Catherine, but Young Stargher runs in front of
her.

STARGHER KING CLAMPS HIS MASSIVE ARMS AROUND THE CHILD!
Little Carl opens his mouth in a silent scream… Catherine’s
arms reach out to him, but Novak clasps her hand and presses.
And she is haunted by the sight of a frightened child in the
arms of a monster…

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – LABORATORY

Henry notices significant activity on the monitors.

HENRY
They’re back.

Everything happens fast. He and Miriam frantically cease the
procedure.
Novak and Catherine are lowered and Novak startles them by
quickly regaining consciousness. Miriam attempts to inject
him with stabilizing drugs, but he’s already trying to tear
himself out of the apparatus.

NOVAK
Get me out!

Miriam MOVES into the PROCEDURE ROOM.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
GET ME OUT!

Miriam tries to follow protocol, but Novak is moving like a
fish caught in a net, ripping and tearing his way out of the
apparatus and suit. He gets to his feet, but soon falls to
his knees, dizzy and disoriented.

MIRIAM
Don’t move!

Novak is not listening. Fighting off any after-effects- both
physical and mental – he moves for the door.

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
Agent Novak!

Catherine is coming back and Miriam moves to her. Novak
pauses just for a moment.

NOVAK
Is she alright?

MIRIAM
Yes. But you’re going to sit down right
now. I have to…

Novak is already gone.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – CONFERENCE ROOM

Novak speed-dials a number on speaker-phone, hurriedly
dresses, and locates a photograph of Stargher’s basement.
When he hears someone pick up the line, he barks:

NOVAK
This is Novak, who’ve I got?

A confused Ramsey enters and listens.

INT. STARGHER HOUSE – BASEMENT

A team of FBI AGENTS is meticulously going through every inch
of Stargher’s house.
Crisscrossed wooden beams have been laid across the pit
allowing forensics experts to search without disturbing
anything. On the other end of the direct line is COLE…

COLE
Agent Cole.

(INTERCUT WITH NOVAK AND RAMSEY)

NOVAK
I need you to find something in the
basement…

COLE
Already there.

NOVAK
That hoist, with the winch…

WE FOLLOW Cole as he moves to the machine.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
There’s some kind of plaque, a metal
plate, with a logo. On the base.

Cole locates it.

COLE
(reading)
Carver Industrial Equipment.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – CONFERENCE ROOM

Novak instructs him…

NOVAK
Find out the history of that machine.
Who bought it, used it, sold it. And
check Stargher’s pay stubs. I want to
know every contractor he worked for.
I’m calling you from the chopper in ten
minutes.

Dizziness and disorientation again hit Novak. Pale and
sweating, he winces as his stomach agonizingly cramps.

RAMSEY
Jesus Christ, man, you look like hell.

NOVAK
Considering where I’ve been…

Fighting the pain, he gathers together MAPS, slips on his
shoes and grabs gun and holster. Ramsey is apoplectic.

RAMSEY
Whoa-whoa-whoa. Mind telling me what
the fuck is happening?

Novak points to the photo of Stargher’s basement,
specifically the hoist.

RAMSEY (CONT’D)
You’re bettin’ the farm on something you
saw after they pumped you full of god
knows-what kind of shit?

NOVAK
I saw her. Julia. Alive. I saw
everything.

RAMSEY
You might’ve seen Jimmy Hoffa dancing
with Timothy Leary. I don’t care.

Novak is not stopping…

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – LABORATORY

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM, Miriam shines the penlight into
Catherine’s eyes.

CATHERINE
…a pocketful of rye.

MIRIAM
Four and twenty blackbirds…

CATHERINE
Baked in a pie.

AT THE CONSOLE, on a security monitor, Henry can see Novak
and Ramsey exiting down the corridor.

HENRY
The FBI has left the building.

IN THE PROCEDURE ROOM, Miriam appears concerned.

MIRIAM
Damn him.

CATHERINE
What’s wrong?

MIRIAM
Agent Novak. I didn’t get a chance to
clear him.

Catherine encourages her.

CATHERINE
Go. I’m fine. Go.

As Miriam hurries to catch Novak, she tells Henry.

MIRIAM
Keep an eye on her.

He nods, but isn’t really paying attention. Catherine turns
to Stargher’s motionless form, still suspended, still
connected to the machinery.

INT. THE CELL – DAY

JULIA
Do something, Julia.

She looks around the room and runs her hands along the walls,
the tile, looking for a weak spot. She focuses on the
CEILING PANEL and although it’s painful because of swollen
fingers, removes her ENGAGEMENT RING.

EXT. CAMPBELL CENTER

A ready-and-waiting HELICOPTER is on the pad. Novak races
out of the Center, Ramsey right behind him, SHOUTING at each
other in order to hear above the chopper noise.

RAMSEY
Pete, listen to me. What did you really
learn in there? Anything new? You
really think Stargher gave you a save
the-day clue? What if this is all some
kind of trick your head is playing on
you?

He won’t consider that. Novak climbs into the helicopter and
buckles himself in. He looks to Ramsey – you coming? –
Ramsey pats the side of the chopper and signals for the pilot
to take off.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – LABORATORY

Henry analyzes voluminous print-outs from the last procedure.
Although his eyes are on the data, he converses with
Catherine in the PROCEDURE ROOM via intercom.

HENRY
…there was a moment when we thought
we’d lost Agent Novak as well.

We see chemicals flow and computer programs initiate the
procedure, but Henry is oblivious.

HENRY (CONT’D)
His post-procedure consciousness
recovery was remarkably quick. Never
saw that before. Hey, remember that one
time…

He JUMPS when the door to the procedure room SEALS SHUT and
mechanisms HUM.

HENRY (CONT’D)
Catherine?

When he looks through the window, Catherine is again
suspended, the procedure under way.

HENRY (CONT’D)
What are you doing?

He types in a command, but nothing happens. He tires again.
On another keyboard, but gets no response. When he looks at
the “map” screens, he sees something odd. It’s a small
change, but it makes all the difference in the world.

INT. THE CELL – DAY

Like a rock climber in a crevasse, Julia shimmies up the
walls of the cell by bracing herself in a corner and using
her hands and feet to push up. The tile is slippery and each
movement precarious.

She uses strength and balance to reach a position just below
the Plexiglass, the fluorescent light bathing her in an eerie
intense glow. She sees a gap between the glass and the wall
and uses her ENGAGEMENT RING to dig into it, SCAPE, SCRAPE,
SCRAPING with the diamond.

THE SHOWER SPRAYS WATER! Julia nearly loses her balance, but
manages to stay pressed into the corner. She kicks the
shower head, sending the spray as far from her as possible,
and continues to dig at the caulking around the light
fixture.

IN THE OBSERVATION ROOM, we see something unexpected. The
clock reads 00:00:00. That water isn’t going to stop.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – EDWARD’S ROOM

Miriam and Ramsey return to the lab to find Henry anxiously
observing from the console.

HENRY
(flustered)
She changed the codes.

MIRIAM
What’s wrong?

HENRY
It would take hours to re-route the
system, and even if I did, I shouldn’t.

RAMSEY
What are you talking about?

Miriam analyzes the situation and regretfully, angrily,
worriedly realizes what’s happened.

MIRIAM
She’s done it. Stupid, stupid girl…

RAMSEY
Done what?

HENRY
Instead of going into his mind…

MIRIAM
She’s bringing Stargher into hers.

ENTRANCE FOUR

INT. CATHERINE’S WORLD

A bright, deliriously colorful realm visually reflective of
things we saw in Catherine’s home. Unusual trees, rock
formations, totems, statues, and a brilliant POOL OF WATER.

The pond ripples. Visible through the crystal-clear water is
YOUNG STARGHER, rising to the surface like a drowning victim
suddenly breaking through to air. Panicked, he scrambles to
shore and pulls himself to land. Although the place is
comforting and beautiful, he’s in strange territory and it
frightens him. Shivering, he hunches down, eyes darting this
way and that.

CATHERINE (O.S.)
You’re all right, Carl.

The boy turns toward the voice and finds CATHERINE, her hair
waving in the wind, skin glowing, eyes bright, cutting a
magnificent figure in clothes that make her a warrior
goddess.
She opens her arms and the boy runs to her, basking in the
comfort of her embrace. He shivers and she holds him
tightly.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
It’s okay, honey, you’re with me now.
You’re safe here.

She looks deeply into his eyes and reassuringly explains.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
I promised I would help you, and I
always keep my promises.

YOUNG STARGHER
Can…

Catherine is astonished and relieve to hear him speak. A
sad, trembling little voice.

YOUNG STARGHER (CONT’D)
Can I stay here?

She is touched that he would ask and strokes his face.

CATHERINE
(regretfully)
Oh…no, honey, I’m sorry. It’s doesn’t
work that way.

The boy breaks away from her, turning his back. She gently
takes his hand but he yanks it free.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
But what if I told you you could come
visit?

He slowly turns to her.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
I’ll make sure it happens, Carl. I’ll
get them to let me do it. And maybe…
maybe we can…

Young Stargher’s eyes open wide with silent terror. Over his
shoulder, she sees a SNAKE slither through the pool.
CENTIPEDES CRAWL over her legs and hair. She stands and
brushes them off. The atmosphere grows darker and ominous.

YOUNG STARGHER
He found me…

Catherine bristles as STARGHER KING RISES FROM THE POOL like
a human serpent. The brilliant colors of Catherine’s world
fade to GRIM TONES.

YOUNG STARGHER (CONT’D)
He always finds me.

Stargher King SCREECHES with anger and confusion.

STARGHER KING
Where thiisss att?!?! Me god no like id
here…

He snarls when he sees Catherine.

STARGHER KING (CONT’D)
You. Priddy bish-hor-kund. You big
trubble-mekker…
(sneers at the boy)
And you. You cumm home now, liddle
cogsugger worm. Or me god haffa punish
you…

Young Stargher tightens his embrace of Catherine. She steps
back, away from the pond, hugging the boy tightly.

CATHERINE
No.!

STARGHER KING
No?!??!?!?!?

Stargher King laughs.

STARGHER KING (CONT’D)
Hoo you thing you are?? Himm Muther?

He comes close and reaches for the boy…

STARGHER KING (CONT’D)
You gimme liddle worm.

For a moment, Catherine appears frightened and intimidated.
Perhaps near an emotional breakdown. But that is not the
case. She quietly lowers little Carl to the ground and
whispers something in his ear. As the boy nods, runs and
hides, a ferocity grows within her.

CATHERINE
I said no.

Like a vengeful Valkyrie, she emits what can only be called a
BATTLE CRY! STARGHER ATTACKS! Arms reaching for her.
Catherine BLOCKS, PUNCHES, AND KICKS. Stargher King doubles
over. Catherine grabs his ears and pulls his face into her
bent KNEE, breaking his nose.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
Welcome to my world.

As blood flows from his nostrils, Stargher King grins…

STARGHER KING
You funny. You thing you stop me god?

HE CHARGES. At the right moment, Catherine sidesteps and
SMASHES him in the ribs as he passes. Stargher King crumples
to the ground and she KICKS an uppercut to this chin. Rising
from the mud and muck, Stargher King lands a POWERFUL BLOW to
her head, sending her flying. He lifts the stunned Catherine
with one hand and pulls her face to his…

STARGHER KING (CONT’D)
You cum back wif me god. You be good
bish-hor-kund…

Catherine looks into his soulless eyes. Then SPITS in them
and BITES his face! She breaks free as he YOWLS with pain.
He steps toward her, but his feet don’t move. The earth
itself appears to wrap around them and turn hard, like
concrete. Stargher King HOWLS with frustration.

CATHERINE
My world…

A SHIMMERING KNIFE seems to enrage from within her forearm,
out the flesh and into her hand.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
My rules.

She SLASHES across his chest, drawing blood.

YOUNG STARGHER (O.S.)
No!

Catherine stops. And turns to see the distraught Young
Stargher.

YOUNG STARGHER (CONT’D)
Don’t hurt him!

She spins around and sees not Stargher King, but MARTIN.

YOUNG STARGHER (CONT’D)
He didn’t mean it. I was bad.

Disturbed by the transformation, Catherine backs away. Her
vision blurs, the sound distorts. And the earth cracks
around Stargher King’s ankles.

YOUNG STARGHER (CONT’D)
He teached me a lesson. I deserved it.

Fighting feelings of disorientation, she kneels before the
child and rests the knife on the ground.

CATHERINE
No one deserves it, Carl. No one.

She reaches out to him, but the child is JERKED into the air
by Stargher King. In one hand, the monster holds little
Carl. In the other – a KNIFE. His face and chest red with
crimson, Stargher King fixes his eyes on Catherine with a
predator’s stare.

STARGHER KING
Yer world. My knife.

Stargher King raises the blade toward the boy’s throat and –
SNAP! The strong arms of an adult Stargher breaks his arm at
the elbow. Both the knife and boy are dropped to the ground
as Stargher King YOWLS like a stuck pig, the good arm
cradling the other.

STARGHER KING (CONT’D)
Me god hurt! Why you do that? Why?!

STARGHER
Enough.

Stargher King regards him with disgust.

STARGHER KING
Enuff?!?!

MARTIN STARGHER’S VOICE comes from the belly of the beast.

STARGHER
I’ll tell you what’s enough…

Stargher and Stargher King square off. The boy stands
between them with the knife at his feet.

CATHERINE
Carl!

STARGHER KING
(still speaking as Martin)
Shut up cunt.
(to the boy)
Give it here, worm…

the child picks up the blade and stands between them, looking
to Catherine for guidance.

STARGHER KING (CONT’D)
(as Martin)
You want a mommy? Is that what you
want?

In an almost dream-like motion, the child hands the blade to
adult Stargher.

STARGHER
Enough.

And he DRIVES the thing into Stargher King’s heart. For a
brief moment, Martin’s face is superimposed over Stargher
King’s. Stunned, he slumps and regards adult Stargher with
sad, troubled eyes.

MARTIN
(as Stargher King)
Why? What’d I do?…

Stargher TWISTS the handle of the blade and Martin/Stargher
King drops dead. Dead. Young Stargher smiles and hugs
Catherine.

YOUNG STARGHER
Time to go ‘way.

CATHERINE
Carl…?

The boy runs to adult Stargher who lifts the child into his
arms and holds him close.

YOUNG STARGHER
Bye.

She looks to adult Stargher and begins to understand. He
descends into the pool, the boy resting his head on his
shoulder.

STARGHER KING
Thank you, Catherine. You did help me.
More than you’ll ever know.

Man and boy disappear beneath the water’s surface. Catherine
stands and sees that Stargher King’s body has vanished.
She walks to the shore and sees, deep underwater, Stargher
and little Carl floating lifelessly like women in the cell.
And FADE FROM VIEW.

CATHERINE
Goodbye Carl.

She presses the sensor in her hand.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – LABORATORY

IN THE CONTROL ROOM, Miriam is shocked by what she sees on
the monitors and looks at Stargher.

MIRIAM
He’s in full arrest.

Catherine quietly returns to consciousness and is
automatically lowered. She pulls the mask from her face,
rises and opens the door. Miriam races inside and
desperately attempts to revive Stargher. But it’s no use.
Angry and stunned, she demands of Catherine.

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
Help me!

But Catherine chooses not to. She knows Carl Stargher will
never return to the world of the living.

INT. HELICOPTER – DAY

The chopper roars across the sky. As they head northeast,
away from the urban and toward the rural, Novak gazes out the
window, trying to stay focused, fighting any after-effects of
the drugs. The pilot communicates via headset.

PILOT
Agent Novak? Go ahead.

NOVAK
Cole?

EXT. STARGHER’S HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

Cole and a handful of other agents pour into waiting
Suburbans. (INTERCUT WITH NOVAK IN HELICOPTER).

COLE
The hoist was manufactured by Carver
Industrial Equipment in 1982. Serial
number 117-337J. Purchased by a boat
shop in Lake Havasu, but sold to
Lattimer’s industrial Supply in 1992…

INT. THE CELL – DAY

The water is near the ceiling. Kicking her legs to keep
afloat, Julia DIGS with the ring and we see she has created a
gap between the light fixture housing and an unused PIPE
leading to the surface. She pushes, but can’t get anything
to move. The opening will get no bigger. Julia sucks the
last bit of oxygen and swims to the bottom of the cell.
Searching for something, she finds a juice box and pulls out
the drinking straw.

INT. CAMPBELL CENTER – LABORATORY

Shaken, but oddly transcendent, Catherine watches as
Stargher’s body is wheeled out of the lab on a gurney. She
comforts a whimpering Valentine and tells him…

CATHERINE
Everything’s alright now, Valentine. I
promise.

INT. HELICOPTER

Novak scans the topography of FARMS below, listening to a new
report.

INT. SUBURBAN – DAY

Cole is the passenger, on the radio to Novak, A DRIVER next
to him, doing about a hundred down the Interstate, SIREN
blaring.

COLE
Lattimer sold the hoist to a guy named
Bainbridge who tired to build a machine
works out near Delano. Bainbridge ends
up in bankruptcy court and the state
winds up with the land – it’s just
sitting there.

INTERCUT WITH NOVAK

NOVAK
Delano?

COLE
Yep. And guess who they hired to seal
up the place?

NOVAK
You’re kidding me.

COLE
I never kid. My wife hates it. Says
I’m too serious.

Novak locates Delano on the map.

NOVAK
The exact location, Cole. Give it to
me.

The pilot grins and pushes the copper to top speed.

INT. THE CELL – DAY

Julia is entirely underwater but alive. She uses the straw
to suck oxygen through the gap in the ceiling, but it’s
difficult to tread water and her lungs are aching.

INT. HELICOPTER

Novak uses binoculars to scan farmland. He searches. And
there it is: The abandoned farmhouse!

NOVAK
TAKE IT DOWN!

INT. THE CELL – DAY

Julia tries to hold herself up by pressing her arms and legs
against the walls, but as she does, the straw slips from her
mouth. She reaches for it, but only succeeds in pushing it
away from her. It heads for the drain. And disappears.

EXT. ABANDONED FARM HOUSE

The helicopter lands and Novak jumps out. He knows this is
the place. He runs into the barn, but there’s nothing, no
sign of her. The pilot looks at him with a true sense of
loss.

INT. THE CELL – CONTINUOUS

As Julia desperately tires to find the straw through the tiny
holes of the drain, we see for the first time an expression
which tells us she’s given up. THUMP-THUMP-THUMP. The cell
starts to vibrate. A repetitive noise WHUP-WHUP-WHUP – comes
from above. She swims to the top of the cell and POUNDS at
the ceiling.

EXT. ABANDONED FARM HOUSE

Fighting exhaustion and the side effects of the drugs, Novak
pushes on. Think, Peter, think… His eyes find the WATER
TANKS and he SHOUTS at the helicopter.

NOVAK
Cut the engine!

As the motor dies, Novak listens and listens. There it is.
Water pipes beneath his feet. And very faintly, a pounding.
He follows the sound, searching the earth. It’s clearer now,
louder. Novak tosses aside rusted junk and the pilot runs to
assist him. Together, they expose the entrance to the
underground sanctuary.

INT. THE CELL – OBSERVATION ROOM

Novak drops to the floor below. Instantly affected by the
similarities and the differences to the idealized cell of
Stargher’s mind, he feels another wave of dizziness, but
pushes on.

And is hit hard by the sight of DROWNED JULIA, her motionless
body floating past him. HER EYES OPEN and bubbles drift from
her nose and mouth. Novak BANGS on the Plexiglas and calls
to her.

NOVAK
JULIA!

The thick Plexiglass still remains, but she now can see him.
Novak pulls his ID BADGE and smacks it against the glass.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
MOVE ASIDE!

He pulls his gun and takes aim. Julia swims to the top of
the cell and presses herself against the ceiling. BANG-BANG
BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG. Novak fires a circle of shots into the
thick plastic. Water slowly leaks, but the damn thing is
still solid. He lifts the industrial VCR and RAMS it at the
bullet-damaged section. CRACK! CRASH! WATER POURS FROM THE
CELL. Julia’s body descends on the torrent of water. Novak
reaches inside and pulls her to safety. He’s just about to
give her CPR when she coughs, sputters, and thirstily drinks
in oxygen. Holding her tightly, Novak sinks to the floor,
the water from the cell spilling everywhere.

EXT. ABANDONED FARM HOUSE

Cole’s Suburban leads a contingent of FBI vehicles and local
police cars onto the property, sirens blaring.

INT. THE CELL – DAY

Hearing the sirens, Novak relaxes. For the first time in god
knows how long, he relaxes. And holds Julia Hickson as if
his life depended on it.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN:

EXT. CATHERINE’S HOUSE – DAY

Two cars parked outside. An old, quirky Volvo and a Land
Rover.

INT. CATHERINE’S HOUSE – DAY

As a television plays THE WIZARD OF OZ, we find Catherine
watching the movie from the couch, sitting up, drinking a cup
of tea. She looks rested and quite cute in gym shorts and a
T-shirt, her CAT sleeping next to her. IN THE KITCHEN,
Miriam packs up her stethoscope and blood pressure monitor,
moves into the living room as Dorothy falls asleep in a field
of poppies…

MIRIAM
I left the nutritional information on
the fridge door. Read it.

Catherine nods, but she’s more interested in the movie.
Miriam deposits prescription bottles onto a side table.

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
I refilled the Zyprexa and Atavan…

CATHERINE
I don’t need them anymore…

MIRIAM
I know.

But she leaves them just the same.

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
I’ll come by tomorrow after work. With
dinner.

CATHERINE
Thanks Miriam. Say hi to Henry and…

MIRIAM
…give a kiss to Edward.

CATHERINE
(overlapping)
Give a kiss to Edward.

The women exchange smiles and Miriam exits.

EXT. CATHERINE’S HOUSE

As Miriam walks to her Land Rover, she sees a government
issue Suburban park on the street and Peter Novak exit.

MIRIAM
Agent Novak.

NOVAK
Dr. Kent.

MIRIAM
You’re looking well.

NOVAK
Thanks you. Six weeks off does a body
good.
(conspiratorially)
I heard she got the approval to try the
reversal with Edward.

MIRIAM
That’s a secret.

NOVAK
Federal Bureau of Investigation, ma’am.
We know all, see all…

Novak opens the rear compartment of the Suburban and we hear
something moving inside.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
How’s the patient.

MIRIAM
Awaiting his arrival.

NOVAK
What about the cat?

MIRIAM
Completely unaware.

Miriam’s pager BEEPS and she hurries to her car.

MIRIAM (CONT’D)
I’ve got to go. Good luck.

Novak smiles, waves goodbye, and reaches into the Suburban.

INT. CATHERINE’S HOUSE

As Dorothy and her companions confront the Wizard, there’s a
KNOCK at the screen door and Catherine sees Novak waiting.

NOVAK
Ready?

Catherine cradles her cat.

CATHERINE
Ready.

He opens the door and escorts a leashed VALENTINE into the
living room. Catherine’s cat squirms from her arms and hides
under the couch.

NOVAK
That went well.

CATHERINE
Give her a minute.
(smiles at the dog)
Hello, Valentine.

Novak unleashes the albino Shepherd and he runs to Catherine,
licking her face, wagging his tail.

NOVAK
You sure about this?

CATHERINE
Absolutely.
(calling for the cat)
Abigail…

Valentine picks up the cat’s scent and sniffs around the base
of the sofa.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
I heard Julia and John got married.

NOVAK
Yep. Eloped.

CATHERINE
Good for them.

Valentine settles on the floor. Slowly, Abigail’s curiosity
gets the best of her and she creeps out, sniffing the dog’s
nose. Patient and sweet, Valentine lies still, allowing the
cat to reach an acceptable level of comfort.

NOVAK
Well look at that.

CATHERINE
I told you. You have to be optimistic.
Believe in them…

NOVAK
So you say.

Amazingly, Abigail brushes up against the dog and purrs.

CATHERINE
He’s mine?

NOVAK
All yours. My boss says it’s one of the
strangest requests the Bureau’s ever
had.

Catherine laughs. She likes that.

NOVAK (CONT’D)
He also says that until proven
differently, Julia Hickson was found as
a result of good old-fashioned detective
work.

CATHERINE
It doesn’t matter…

NOVAK
I don’t know. I think it does.
(genuine concern)
You know, Catherine… If you ever want
to talk about it. What happened to
Stargher. That last time.

It’s painfully clear the thought of it still troubles her.

CATHERINE
Not just yet. Okay?

Novak doesn’t push it. He just takes her hand and gives it a
gentle squeeze. The cat dashes into the kitchen and
Valentine follows.

CATHERINE (CONT’D)
They’re hungry.

NOVAK
I got it.

He moves into the kitchen. In a moment of quiet
introspection, Catherine looks at the television screen, at
Dorothy accidentally hitting the wicked Witch with a bucket
of water, causing her to melt. And she looks away, unable to
watch, disturbed by the image. She turns to the kitchen and
sees Novak feeding an appreciative dog and cat. He rises and
returns to the living room.

CATHERINE
Thank you.

NOVAK
No problem.

CATHERINE
No. Thank you.

He smiles and nods, gently resting his hand on her shoulder.
Catherine shuts her eyes and leans toward him, comforted by
simple human touch…

FADE TO BLACK.[amazonjs asin=”B000244RLC” locale=”JP” title=”ザ・セル DVD”]




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