Stars and Whales Edit 1

Stars and Whales Edit 1

A Screenplay by Of Stars and Whales and Sam Bova
"

My first edit of Stars and Whales, sci fi /adventure script.

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Stars and Whales


An Original Script by Sam Bova
























EXT. McCarthy Base - Night


It is a stormy night. The ocean roars beside McCarthy Base: a small, gray building, without windows, on a hill above the raging waters. Dark clouds swallow the stars.


Superimpose Titles:


McCarthy Base, 1984, Coast of Florida


INT. McCarthy Base - Night


In a dimly lit room, four men surround a table, playing cards. We focus on OWEN HURST, a gruff looking man with a cigar hanging out of his mouth.


OWEN

What’d you got, Timmy?


We see TIMMY, a skinny, Asian man with a timid face and a plain, black cap.


OWEN

C’mon, let’s see it…


Timmy reveals two cards; they are a 10 and a 4.


Owen cries out in joy, slamming his cards on the table.


They are a 8 and a 6. We see Owen snatch some bills from the middle of the table.


OWEN

Game over, boys!


Timmy speaks now. His voice is nasal and high-pitched.


TIMMY

Yeah, well, Owen, we’d best get

some shut-eye. Especially you;

we need you alert to guide

us in the right direction.


Another man, CALDER, agrees. He speaks with an English accent.


CALDER

He’s right, Owen. I don’t

think you understand the

Importance of our mission,

and as our leader you need to

be fully aware of what could

become of us, should we fail.

We’re going to see things, down

there, Owen, things we can’t

possibly comprehend.


OWEN

Aw, c’mon, Calder, we’ll be

fine. We don’t even know for

sure there is anything down

there!


CALDER

Listen...our job is to find the

purpose of the mysterious stone

“road,” as NASA called it, and

put some stock in the legends

which chilled our bones those many

years ago. Do you hear what I’m

saying, Owen? You’re too focused on

your drugs and games. So, I know I’m

not in charge, but call your wife and

get to sleep. We’ll all do the same.


INT. McCarthy Base - Owen’s Bunk - Night


Owen lies flat on his hefty bunk bed, in an all gray room with no windows. We hear the crack of thunder and patter of rain. Owen has a phone to his ear, and it is ringing.


Intercut with:


We see Owen’s wife, Sarah, on a couch beside their daughter. She picks up the phone.


SARAH

Hey, babe.



OWEN

Hey hon. How’s Crystal?


SARAH

She’s right here with me.

Crystal, you want to say

hello to daddy?


Sarah puts the phone to Crystal’s ear. The little girl is blond, cute, innocent.


CRYSTAL

Hi daddy.

OWEN

Hey there, pumpkin. I’ll be

home soon, ok, just a few more

days. I love you.


CRYSTAL

I love you too, daddy.


Sarah puts the phone back to her ear.


SARAH

Hey, so I’m going to let you

get to sleep, I know you’ve

got a big day tomorrow.


OWEN

Yeah. Yeah, I do. Goodnight,

babe. Take care of yourself.


SARAH

I will. Goodnight, Owen.



INT. The Hurst Home - Stairs - Night


SARAH HURST (early 40’s, brown hair) and Crystal lie together on the couch. Crystal (Age 6, blonde hair) sits with a rubik's cube on her lap, solving it slowly. They chat softly.


CRYSTAL

Mommy, is daddy okay?


SARAH

What do you mean, sweetheart...?

What makes you think he’s

not okay?



CRYSTAL (eyes still fixed on rubik’s cube)

Well because before he left

he told me he’s going to change

the world, but he also before

told me the world isn’t safe.

So if daddy changes the world,

would he not be safe?


Sarah pauses, unsure of how to respond.


SARAH

Daddy is changing the world,

sweetheart, and he’s doing it

for you. You’re his Crystal,

and no matter what, he is coming

home to you.


Crystal gives a little smile, still not looking up from her rubik’s cube. A few moments pass, then she looks up. We see that the rubik’s cube has been solved. Sarah gives her a quick hug.


SARAH

You’re a very smart girl, Crystal.

A problem solver, like your father.

You certainly don’t get it from me.

Anyway, you’d better get to bed. It’s

way past your bedtime.


CRYSTAL

Okay mommy. Goodnight.


She walks up the stairs (filmed from behind, low lighting). Music builds. Quick cut to her foot that slips. Camera is placed at base of stairs as Crystal tumbles down. She is lying on the floor as a small puddle of blood coagulates around to side of her head.


Top down shot that slowly moves upwards while tilting slightly, mother rushes to Crystal.


INT. Hospital - Morning


The phone beside a hospital bed rings. Sarah looks up from a chair at the foot of the bed, and gets up to pick up the call. We see Crystal in the bed, asleep. Owen is the one calling.


Intercut with:


Owen is leaning against a tall tree, a ship in the distance. Several other men are waiting around the ship.


OWEN

Hey Sarah. We’re about to board

the ship and head out. Just want to

say a quick little good-bye, I’ve

gotta get going.


SARAH

Wait, before you go, Crystal fell

through the stairs last night.

I’m in the hospital now for a

concussion! A concussion!


OWEN

Oh s**t! Is she going to be okay?


SARAH

I hope so. She’s asleep now.

Doctor Gliese says she’ll have

a scar across her head for the

rest of her life. I’ll try

to wake her so you can talk to

her real quick before you go.

Anyway, don’t worry,the doctors

are taking good care of her.


Sarah puts a hand on Crystal’s cheek, and wakes her.


SARAH

Hey, sweetie. Daddy is on the

phone. He wanted to talk to you

before he heads out to the ocean.


She puts the phone to Crystal’s ear.


CRYSTAL

Hi daddy.


OWEN

Hey, how’s my little girl

doing?


CRYSTAL

I’m okay.


She pauses.


CRYSTAL

Be safe, daddy.


OWEN (laughs)

Thanks sweetheart. I’ve gotta

go change the world, now. Tell

your mother I love her for me.

And, uh, you take care of that

brain of yours. You’ll need it.


CRYSTAL

Bye daddy.


With that, Owen ends the call and rushes over to his irritated crew and onto the ship.


INT. Ship - Atlantic Ocean - A few minutes later


The ship heads rapidly out to sea, while the music plays. Owen and other men put on scuba gear. Suddenly they stop, and Owen shouts out commands. The music is foreboding and mysterious.


OWEN

Alright, let’s go! If you find

yourself separated from the group,

return to the boat immediately! If

you can’t find the boat, well…

you’d better pray you’re truly

alone down there.


Owen jumps into the water. It is a foggy morning, and the sun is hidden behind the clouds. Eight other men follow Owen into the water, making nine total.


All together, they wade through the murky water, headed downwards.


We see Owen, scanning below him, searching. They are reaching a depth of nearly 500 ft.


The water is murky and hardly visible. No sea-life is present.


The water only gets darker as they dive deeper. The divers look at each, and nod, then proceed into a very dark, misty water. Then, though hardly visible, they find it.


The mysterious stone “road.” An ominous theme plays.


Owen leads them downward on a slope, there is a visible gradient between a somber blue on the top and desolate black on the bottom, which the team is slowly engulfed into, one by one (camera settles on the empty gradient for a short time after the team has disappeared)


Owen and his team are surrounded by darkness, with only their headlamps being luminous, but not seeming to light up the surrounding environment (camera faces crew as they wander in the darkness)


They follow the stone road into the darkness which it leads to.


TIMMY

(in slight panic) I never

thought it could get so

dark.


Intercut conversation


OWEN

Just keep focus on your

compass.


An electromagnetic force surrounds the objective. Their conversation is over radio comm.


TIMMY

I can’t even see my damn

compass!


Intercut to Timmy


TIMMY

Calder, do you know where the

hell we’re going?


Intercut to Calder


CALDER

Of course not, Timmy, that’s

what we’re here to figure out.


TIMMY

That, or Mr. corporate here

knows exactly what we’re after,

but his buddies in black suits

think we’re stupid divers who

just want a paycheck for their

dirty work.


Intercut to Owen



OWEN

Shut up! Both of you! We have a

job that does carry a shitload

of money, especially if Director

Shrill gets the news he’s looking

for when we return.


Owen says this in a mendacious tone as he stares at his barely glowing compass positioned on his right arm with a pennant of his daughter clipped onto the side. He’s changing the world for her, but there’s a sense of apprehension on the subject.


(Cont.) on Owen


CALDER

You’ve got me all wrong chief.

Timmy’s in it for the cash...


Intercut to Calder

CALDER (CONT’D)

I’m here to “change the

world.”


Calder laughs sarcastically.


Owen grudgingly looks at his compass, then a look of intentment covers his face.


OWEN

We’re approaching something

big.


There’s an ominous ambient score playing as the group slowly wades through the dark.


The stone walkway appears to be the only existing thing along with the crew.


The shot is “shoulder mounted” on a crew member wading behind another, obscuring forward view and emphasizing thing to his side.


Water particles begin to rush violently past them as the darkness turns into a murky green and stone surfaces appear around the walkway, until a mere glimpse of a ship fades into the shot.


Cut to Calder’s face as Owens walks to halt ahead of him.


TIMMY

S**t...I...I don’t think money

matters anymore


Shot from behind the crew of the derelict, a massive ship with a gaping hole in the middle, with whale bones malformed in the form of a disjointed star.


CALDER

Damn, I’m not so sure about

this, boss.


OWEN

Nobody’s sure about anything.

We just have to keep going.

Stay on the path, if you see

something Dr. Shrill might

find beneficial to his work,

let me know.


Someone pulls out a waterproof camera to photograph the derelict. There are three shots, each with a glaring flash. The final one serves as a transition to the interior of the vessel.


INT. The Sunken Boat - Atlantic Ocean - A few moments later


The interior has several holes casting a dim light into the inner chamber, which has a lowered center surrounded by a moat of darkness that slowly flows into the middle.


Ambience is eerie, yet beckoning. The ship interior is skeletal in texture.


CALDER

Where’s that light coming

from?


TIMMY

I don’t know.

Music plays as Owen makes his way to front of his crew. A bright light beckons him. To the disapproval of his crew, he proceeds into the separate chamber where the light shines ever brighter.


CALDER

Owen! Hey! Pull it together,

man!


Owen ignores this request. We see him alone now, advancing towards the light. He wades forward until he is directly in front of a circular force of light.


He reaches his hand out into the light. It goes directly through; there is no pain. He looks back to where his crew waits anxiously.


Then, he turns back to the light and swims through it.


INT. The Infinite Waters - a few moments later


We now see a distant shot of Owen. The boat is nowhere to be seen.


Dark blue water surrounds him, nothing but ocean for miles. We see a closeup of Owen.


He looks distressed and he panics as he quickly looks upwards to find the ocean surface. He can’t see the ocean surface from where he is.


He swims upwards, then, to reach the top and find where his boat is.


There is no top anymore.


The camera follows him as he ascends rapidly. Several minutes pass, and still no sign of the ocean surface.


He talks to himself.



OWEN

There’s no way I wouldn’t

have reached the top yet…

where am I?


He looks to his left and his right. The camera scans around him on all sides. Nothing but dark blue ocean. Again, he panics.


He continues to swim skyward. There seems to be no end. There is no end.


He looks back down. There, a humongous whale swims casually to where Owen is. The camera follows the whale’s ascent towards Owen.


Main theme plays as we see a distant shot of the whale headed towards Owen.


It stops in front of Owen. It is the biggest whale he has ever seen, on television or in real life. The whale seems to stare at him for several seconds. He studies it intently.


Then, the whale turns and swims downward again.


Owen follows it.


As they get farther down, Owen sees the mysterious stone road come into sight. But it is different here. The stone blocks are much larger and create a much thicker road.


Owen follows the whale along the road for a few minutes. Then, Owen sees something else.


A brightly lit crystal ball shimmers against the dark blue ocean water. Owen approaches it, and when he arrives next to it, he stares deeply into its beauty.


We see a close up of the crystal ball. Its luminance grows at a quick rate.


The whale swims around and covers the entirety of the shot.


When it exits the shot...


Owen is gone.


The camera zooms out to reveal the enormity of this infinite ocean where Owen ended up.

It gets bigger and bigger, with no end. All of the water is a dark blue colour.


Large titles expand as the main title plays:


STARS AND WHALES


Created by Sam Bova


Written by Sam Bova and William Flannery


Music by John Williams


EXT. Crystal’s Home - Morning, 50 YEARS LATER


Superimpose titles:


50 YEARS LATER, Washington D.C


Superimpose titles:


November 11, 2034


INT. Crystal’s Home - A few moments later


BEEEEEEEE! An alarm clock blasts.


A hand reaches over from her bed to shut it off. It is the hand of:


Crystal Hurst, now age 56, tied up blonde hair, pretty face, sprawled in bed, black jeans, white t-shirt. She is alone. She sits up. Her hair's a mess.


INT. Bathroom - A few moments later


Crystal brushes her teeth, then ties up her long hair into a ponytail.



EXT. Crystal’s House - a few minutes later


She steps outside. The street and sidewalk is damp and covered in colourful leaves.


It is a small, Washington D.C neighborhood. The air is cold.


INT. Crystal’s House - a few moments later


She heads back inside. She grabs a cup of coffee, a puffy, blue jacket, and a suitcase.


Beside the suitcase is a picture of her father, whom she stares at with a paralyzing sense of grief before breaking herself from the trance.


Then, she goes outside again, gets in her car, and heads down the dampened street.


EXT. Brent’s House - the Planet Proth - Morning


Superimpose Titles:


The Planet Proth



Brent’s Home is small, wooden; the ground surrounding it is a sand-like material...looks like a hut in the middle of a sandy desert, but the sand is more the colour it would be at a beach than say the Sahara Desert.


Seated on a bench in front of his house, we see BRENT WHARWOOD, an average-sized kid for his age (15 years), with pale skin, moppy, black hair, and looks like a human, but one who has spent little or no time in the sun.


Brent is waiting, and watching. He is looking out at Proth; one large city made up the entire population.


It looks like one large city, upon a sloping hill. But something looks off about it. Proth is not a large planet, so one city carries all of its inhabitants. However, outside of the city lie places unknown.


Nobody who had left the walls of the city had ever returned.


War engulfs the city. Both of Brent’s parents are fighting in the war.


The city is divided; once a shining city, now divided in opinions and ideas. Brent looks out at this disjointed city, and he is troubled by the sight.


But he is waiting. Waiting for Old Irt to come strolling up the long, windy, dirt pathway to his home, like every day.


EXT. The Prine - Proth - Same time


The camera shoots down the slope from Brent’s home and speeds through Proth; the inner city is called the Prine. Loud music plays as we speed through the Prine, seeing war, malice, death, hatred, black smoke swallowing the atmosphere, and the disfigured city, from different angles, from ground level and from above.


The city is fallen.


It is clear that it would be wise for Brent to look elsewhere for the future of their people.


The camera now shoots back to fall upon Old Irt, strolling up the long, dirt pathway to Brent’s home.  


In Brent’s point of view, we see OLD IRT from a distance, walking up the pathway. He is very old, and pale; he looks similar to Brent, but wrinkly and with a wispy gray beard.


He shoots Brent a dazed stare that shows not only his age, but a sense of wisdom.



OLD IRT

Good morning, Brent.


Intercut to Brent



BRENT

Irt! I’ve been waiting all

morning for you! C’mon,

there’s something I have to

show you. Something important.


Old Irt’s complexion becomes stern.


OLD IRT

Show me.


Brent gets up from the bench and Old Irt follows him inside.


INT. Brent’s House - A few moments later


The interior of Brent’s house is very small. It looks like a mixture a small apartment and an old, worn cabin in the woods. Another boy is seated at a table in the middle of the room, about the same age as Brent.


This is Brent’s brother, TILL - dark, ruffly hair, somewhat overweight, not enormous, but certainly nearing there.


Brent sweeps everything off of the table onto the floor, excluding a white piece of paper with a large black smolder in the middle.


BRENT

Last night, Irt, I was up on

the roof, watching the night

sky...


We see a flashback to the night before. Brent is on the roof of his house, sprawled out and staring upward to the dark sky.


BRENT (CONT’D) (over the flashback)

I was thinking about the research

we‘ve been doing, with the “rocket”

and everything. I was thinking maybe

we’re doing it all wrong. Like maybe

a man-made construction won’t do the

job right...anyways, I was falling

asleep up there, but then I saw

something strange in the sky. It

was a black smudge, blended into

the dark sky surrounding it. But

it was different. It looked to be

moving, like a spirited whirlwind.

It was like nothing you’ve ever seen.  


All the while he is talking, we see what he describes; the black whirlwind, twinkling stars surrounding it...they whisper hope for the future.


We see Old Irt’s face now, very intense; his complexion shows us that he is fascinated, excited even, but doesn’t entirely show it. He wants to know more.


Till leans forward.


TILL

Well, it sounds to me like a

storm blew by last night.


BRENT

No. I don’t think you understand,

Till.


TILL

No, I don’t think you understand,

brother. You and old man wacko

are living in an alternate

reality. The world doesn’t work

as you see it. We stay put and do

our utmost to protect ourselves.

And, to do that, we fight. We

respect the system. We don’t

trust old nuts to tell us how

our generation should be lived.

And we certainly don’t go

running off on some senseless

crusade to magicland where

everything is perfect and better.

I tell you what, you continue

your foolish plans to perfectland,

and because of it you’ll wind up

in foreverland.


OLD IRT

Well my time is better spent

actually fixing the mistakes of

the past, rather than fighting

and arguing about...erhh…what

is it you’re fighting for?

Nothing.


TILL

You know what, pops, you can

get you and your dusty a*s

out of this house!


Brent turns to Old Irt, ignoring Till.


BRENT

Irt, let’s try to find it again

tonight. I think this could be

our way out of here. If we can aim

for it with your whole..[gestures]

“rocket” idea,...who knows where

it’ll take us.


Irt nods.


Suddenly, we hear the door slam open.


We pan quickly to the doorway. Bright light pierces the shot. A dark silhouette of a man towers in the doorway. He steps through the light, into Brent’s house, into the shot. Till jumps up.


TILL

What the hell is this! Get

out of--


The tall, skinny man pulls out a gun and shoots him in the stomach. Brent and Irt quickly put their hands over their heads.



BRENT

S**T! [stares at man in panic)

W-who are you? What do you want?!


The man smirks. His name is SILAS BOYLE, tall and skinny, thin mustache, a well-known figure of Proth for his outspoken advocate of the Proth regime, to create a society where all do their part for the betterment of society and kill those who don’t respect the fighting, dutiful ways of the city.


SILAS

What do I want? Well quite

simply I want you dead...but I

can’t kill you because your

parents are such...wonderful

benefactors to our great city’s

continued success. HmHmHm. But,

I couldn’t help myself from at

least killing the overweight one.

After all, he’s not in any shape

to influence the progress we’ve

been making as of late. Anyway,

the reason I’m here is actually

because of your dear parents...

they’ve gone missing...and I need

you to find them for me.


INT. NASA Headquarters - Washington DC


NASA headquarters is a busy place. Brilliant men and women running amuck with papers flying from their hands and sticky notes painting their frizzled hair.


Amidst the calamity is Crystal, who manages to keep a calm and steady pace as she exits the elevator, coffee cup with hot chocolate in hand.


She makes her way over to her console, which is littered with solved sudoku puzzles, notebooks rife with mathematical equations, and other conquered enigmas.


Her co-worker, JONATHAN smiles at her from his clean, organized desk.

JONATHAN

For a minute, I thought you

had finally made the conversion

to coffee.


CRYSTAL

I’ve told you a million times, I

don’t like the taste of coffee,

makes my head hurt and makes me want

to puke, just like you.


JONATHAN

[sighs] You’re still a little girl

at heart, for a...what, 111

year-old--well, you sure are earning

yourself your fair share of wrinkles

with the hard work you’ve been doing.


CRYSTAL

[laughs] Shut up.


JONATHAN

Still, I wouldn’t make it through

the day without my  first cup of joe.

Even then, I’m still nowhere near as

productive as you. I mean, we wouldn’t

be anywhere close to making it to Mars

if it weren’t for you.


CRYSTAL

Eh, I just do my work, that’s all.


JONATHAN

Do your work? I take it back,

you must be a damn robot or

something!


Crystal stares at Jonathan as if her mind were drifted somewhere else; she then cuts him off casually.




CRYSTAL

Hey, did you look at the black

hole research I sent you last

night?


Jonathan rears his head back and sighs.


JONATHAN

Ah yes, how could I forget!


Crystal’s face shows a brief rush of excitement...


JONATHAN

That’s your one flaw. You and

your kooky sci-fi mysteries.


CRYSTAL

Jon, I’m not kidding. We-


JONATHAN

We still have work to do

on the mars project, work

that I must remind you, has

a bunch of government snobs

riding on our asses to complete

by a deadline.


Crystal has a slight glance of unease on her face. She begins to drink copious gulps of her hot chocolate while Jonathan talks.


We hear things inside her head.


OWEN (VOICE)

You take care of that brain

of yours. You’ll need it.


Crystal now closes her eyes. A faint buzzing sound gets increasingly louder and more piercing.


OWEN (VOICE)

Thanks sweetheart. I’ve gotta

go change the world now...


The hot chocolate has spilled on her lap, but she doesn’t seem phased by it.


JONATHAN

Damn, Crystal! Looks like

you drank a little more than

than you can swallow. Let me

grab a napkin for you!


CRYSTAL

No, it’s fine. I’ll wash up

in the bathroom. Guess my

old lady hands couldn’t keep

the cup steady.


Crystal gets up and head for the bathroom, she turns back as she’s walking and yells at Jonathan.


CRYSTAL

Hey, this doesn’t mean I’m

switching to coffee!


JONATHAN

I didn’t ask!


CRYSTAL

[laughs] You’re an a*****e!


Jonathan playfully flips her off.


INT. BATHROOM - a minute later


Crystal dries her face in the mirror, looks around the bathroom, and peers at the jagged scar etching across her head.


For a moment, it seems completely black, and there is a spirited mistiness to it, as if a deep black trench.


She blinks, then it turn to normal upon her shocked realization. However, a small amount of blood seeps from the very edge of the scar, while more comes from her nose.

EXT. The Prine - mid-afternoon


We see Silas, Brent, and Old Irt. They are now accompanied by two nameless men. They walk through the Prine. The sun is hidden behind the clouds, and the streets of the Prine are chaotic and unruly.


SILAS

We know where your parents

went, not where they are. We

don’t intend to go after them.

That’s for you to do, and for us

to make you do. They left the city.

Where to, we do not know. Of course,

no one has ever survived outside of

these walls, so what you will

find is all but unknown to us.


BRENT

You’re sending us to our death!


SILAS

Oh, who said anything about “us.”

You are to go alone. This old man

won’t be accompanying you. And it

is the loss of your parents

that we are risking here. Not you.

Shall you fail your task, we will

be saddened by your parent’s absence,

but certainly not your own. The

only reason we’re sending you to

do this important task is because

we have decided it is a futile

assignment which we might as

well have a go at...


BRENT

Maybe I can find serenity

in not seeing your ugly mug.


SILAS

[toothy smile] Maybe you will.


Silas pushes Brent forward towards the wall.


It’s rife with graffiti and signs of war. There is one large double door painted a bright red colour that has worn away into a rusted brown.


There’s writing on the wall, which reads “CH    E T  E  R  ”. The letters are also worn away.


We see a distant shot of Brent walking towards the wall. The sky is a murky brown, as if all of Proth’s evil, it’s death and devastation, has polluted the once bright blue sky.


There’s distant lightning strikes in the sky, which cannot be discerned from the erupting missiles.


Brent must face a broken world in search for his parents. Alone.


He is at the door now.


OLD IRT

Wait...Brent! I’m coming

with you.


EXT. Outside of the Prine - several minutes later


Old Irt and Brent are walking on the outside, a somewhat barren, olive coloured forest (not many trees) with murky green pools scattered about.


The air is acrid, and Old Irt coughs a lot. A creature that looks like a miniature cross between a kangaroo and an ox is drinking from a radioactive liquid.


As Irt’s condition worsens, he falls to the ground coughing. Brent bends down to assist the old man, when he notices a hole in the sky.


BRENT

Look Irt! It’s the smudge I

saw the other night. Look! Do

you see it! Ah, it’s no use.

We’ll be stranded out here to

die with nothing. Nothing!


Brent stares at the black blob in the sky, his eyes fill with tears as they gleam with a warming glow of hope.


OLD IRT

No…! Hope. We have hope.


Irt gets up and stares ahead of him.


OLD IRT

It’ll be impossible to find your

parents under these conditions.

Hell, we probably won’t find them

under any conditions. We’ll need

to find shelter to wait this

lightning storm out, we’ll

work up a plan in the morning.


Irt now stares at the black hole. The camera focuses on the ebony sliver, which smolders into a scar as the camera pans out to reveal Crystal.


INT. NASA Headquarters - Conference Room - late afternoon


Crystal is sitting alone in the conference room. The sun is setting in the distance, flooding the room with a somber gold light. Crystal is staring at a photo of her and her dad when she was little.


Jonathan knocks on the door and enters carrying two drinks.


JONATHAN

I brought you some normal

chocolate milk. Figured you

couldn’t burn yourself with

your old lady hands.


CRYSTAL

Thanks.


Crystal takes the drink and takes a sip, she then spits it out.


CRYSTAL

Ugh, is this mocha?


Jonathan laughs and exchanges her for the real chocolate milk.


CRYSTAL

[playfully] You rat.


JONATHAN

Hey, is that a picture of

your dad?


Crystal hands him the picture.


JONATHAN

Geez, that must’ve been a

hundred years ago.


Jonathan looks at Crystal’s saddened face.



JONATHAN

Sorry, I didn’t mean to-


CRYSTAL

It’s okay, I just-. Jon, you

know about the black hole research

I’ve been doing in my spare time.


JONATHAN

You mean our spare time, yes.


CRYSTAL

Have I ever told you about

when I hit my head on the stairs

and got this scar?


JONATHAN

No...no you haven’t.


CRYSTAL

I remember after hitting my

head, I was….swimming in some

sort of, dark, cold void. There

were stars on the sides, in my

peripheral vision, but...it

was completely black ahead of

me. I remember swimming through

the blackness, it felt like..

water but I wasn’t getting wet.

I could also breathe. Then I saw

something...something on the other

side of the void. It looked like a

planet, and I could faintly hear this crying,...then silence. I remember  

my mother telling me I was unconscious

in the hospital, but…..it felt so

real.


JONATHAN

Crystal, come on! Don’t tell me

you’ve been pulling me aside from

our work all these years based off

a...a dream.


CRYSTAL

No, not a dream, Jon! Director

Shrill...he’s been helping me

too, on the side...he sent my

father on that mission and he

Wants to know, as much as I do,

what happened that day. Look, I

know it sounds crazy, but my dad

disappeared shortly after I got

this scar and I never knew why.

I had to go 50 years without knowing,

without having him with me! My whole

life went by without him, but recently

I’ve been...I’ve been having visions,

I’ve been hearing him. Shrill trusts

me, and I trust that what he’s doing

is going to find some remnants of

my father’s death.


JONATHAN

Crystal...


CRYSTAL

I know, Jon! But, I’m telling you

this because I trust you too. I

think something’s going on and I

need your help. I need you to trust

me now. The Mars mission has been

placed aside; we’re dealing with

real, deep science that is very

much underneath human understanding.


JONATHAN

Okay, look, we have a board meeting

soon, we’ll talk about this later.

Okay?


CRYSTAL

Okay.


EXT. Outside of Proth - Forest - Very Early Morning


Brent and Old Irt are awakened by movement outside of the little wooden shelter they had constructed. An awkwardly shaped door conceals them.


The early morning sun seeps through the cracks of the shelter. Brent looks at Old Irt, fear in his eyes.


BRENT (whispers)

Irt, what do we do? What

is that?


OLD IRT

Just be still, my boy,

very still…


They lay, frozen on their leafy mats.


We see, through the cracks, a hairy beast, brown in colour. It is moving slowly and making a guttural, metallic pur as it creaks by.


It is silent for several seconds, all we hear is the breath of the thing as Old Irt and Brent lay frozen in their place.


It is very close, and it is focused on the hut.


Old Irt motions to Brent.


He points to the wall. It is an easily removable piece. Brent maneuvers toward the wall piece slowly, on his knees.


Then, he freezes as he looks in the direction of the door. A large, beastly eye is staring directly at him.


He pushes the wall piece off and makes a run for it. Old Irt follows suit.


The creature destroys the hut, and we see that it is the size of a bear, somewhat reptilian, somewhat alien looking, and brownish-black in colour with dark hair aligning its back.  


Brent puts his arm around Old Irt to support him as they run forward. The old man is struggling to keep up with Brent’s increasing pace.


The creature begins to gain on them.


BRENT

C’mon Irt, you can do it.

I know you can. Return to

your younger body, the way

you were when I first stumbled

upon you those many years ago.


Irt’s manner becomes reflective, as if deep in thought whilst his legs continue to move.


Old Irt stops, releases himself from Brent. He turns to the beast.


OLD IRT

Brent, continue directly

forward for a mile. And

Brent...jump.  


He faces the full impact of the creature as it pounces on him. We do not see the gore of his death.  


BRENT

Noooo!!! Irt!!


Loud music drums into our souls. We hear a pinch of Owen’s Theme, mostly unrecognizable as that.


Brent turns and sprints, sobbing.


Through hundreds of trees, it is all a blur.


Suddenly, Brent slows his pace and pushes aside some branches blocking his path.


We see a clearing, and a steep cliff. Brent walks forward, rubs his eyes.


We see a distant shot of Brent walking towards the brink of the cliff. We cannot yet see the bottom.


He nears the brink of the cliff. He peers down, and we see instant shock cover his face as he sees what is there.


It is now revealed to us. It looks as if a sea of black; a spiralling, misty, and spirited sea of infinite black.


Brent hears the voice of Old Irt in his head.


OLD IRT (voice)

Jump


We see a close-up shot of the spiralling blackness. It seems almost alive.


OLD IRT (voice)

Brent... jump


Brent stares into the infinite black. It was like the smudge he’d seen in the sky the other night. Were his parents there somewhere?


Loud music, we think Brent is going to jump.


He doesn’t. He turns from the cliff, and there he sees the beast, walking slowly towards him.


Brent steps back closer to the cliff. He almost slips; a piece of rock falls down the cliff and into the blackness. He regains his balance.


Brent has a very long knife in his pocket. He pulls it out. It is a desperate attempt, even though he knows it will likely be futile.


The beast charges.


BRENT

S**t!


Brent jumps barely over the edge. The beast jumps after him.


We see an angle of Brent’s hand stab the long knife into the wall of the cliff, stopping his fall. He holds onto it with both hands.


The beast, however, plunges into the black hole and disappears within it. The camera remains on the sea of black for a few seconds, lingering in silence on its mysterious nothingness. It looks more alive than ever.


BRENT

(grunts)


We see a distant shot of Brent hanging from the knife. He begins to pull himself up.


It is a struggle. He can’t reach the top from where he is. He is too far down, and all he has is the one knife to hold him there.


The knife slides downward. It cuts through the dirt, furthering Brent from safety.


Brent can do nothing to stop it.


Several different camera angles show Brent continue to slide down towards the sea of black.


This continues until he is directly above the black hole. Brent looks down. The black looks infinite, as if it stretches for eternity to no end.


Brent released one hand from the knife. He must try something. He claws at the dirt. It is somewhat soft, he can shovel it out slowly.


We see a close shot of his left hand as he reaches as high as he can and claws dirt out of the wall and clings to it. He slowly pulls the knife from its place.


Half of his body is in the black hole.


Quickly, he stabs the knife as high as he can above the crevice that he dug by hand. He pulls himself slightly upwards. He reaches up again and claws out more dirt.


He grimaces of fatigue. Sweat smothers his forehead.


He digs his fingers deep in the dirt and clings to it. He stabs the knife above. He continues to do this.


When almost halfway up, he stops. Old Irt’s voice echoes in his head.


OLD IRT (voice)

Just jump, Brent. Jump.


Brent’s eyes are bloodshot and watery. His arms tremble. His left hand is bruised and masked by dirt.


Main theme plays as he narrows his eyes and clenches his teeth. His continues to work his way up.


Finally he nears the top. He throws himself up and over, collapsing on the ground. He cries, the impact of everything that had just happened hitting him in that moment.  


Then he gets up, and what does he do? He runs. He looks clearly incredibly fatigued, but in no shape to do so, he runs through the forest, stepping through the scattered, murky-green pools, and to the wall.


He goes through the door and continues to run, all the way to a wooden house, somewhat larger than Brent’s house. This house is isolated from all others, in its own little corner of the Prine.


It is Old Irt’s house. Brent goes inside, slamming the door behind him.


INT. Old Irt’s House - the Prine - early afternoon


The inside of Old Irt’s house is desolate. The camera falls upon shattered glass, a cigar, and what looks to be a homemade deck of cards.


Brent creeps slowly through the house.


He hears a noise upstairs. It is a distant thud, as if someone had dropped something heavy.


Brent slowly proceeds up the stairs. He carries his trusty knife in his right hand.

We see an angle of Brent from the top of the stairs.


Now at the top, Brent looks in all directions. He hears the noise again, louder this time.


He looks in the direction of the noise. A dusty door is directly across from him.


He makes his way towards the door. Puts his hand on the knob, twists it slowly, and...


He pushes it open, holding his knife up. He sees nothing instantly, but then looks down to see a man and a woman, strung up in the room. They have tape covering their mouths.


His parents.


Brent rushes over to them, using his knife to cut them loose.


BRENT

Wha--what the hell you guys?

What happened? I thought you

had run off, away from the

Prine!


Brent’s mother is named MARTHA, his father, KIP.


Kip grabs Brent by his shoulders and slams him against the wall.


KIP

Your b***h-a*s friend...that

old goat, that’s what happened!

Why are you always hanging around

him anyways, Brent! You working

up some conspiracy against

your mother and I...or...or,

the government?? Despite all the

great things they’ve done to

protect this family?


BRENT

What happened, Kip, you

want to explain to me what

Irt did to you before accusing

me of being apart of it? Damnit,

Kip! You jerk!


Martha looks like she wants to say something, but doesn’t, just looks on with sad eyes.


KIP

Yeah, I’m the jerk...your old

friend sent some monster

after us, drove us out of

the Prine, straight into his

little trap...tied us up,

took us back here to rot! And

I’m the jerk.


Kip punches Brent in the face. Martha reacts, but then stops herself.  

KIP

C’mon Martha we’re leaving

here, now.


Brent is on the floor, his nose dripping blood now. Kip grabs his wife’s arm and pulls her out of the room.


Martha gives her son a hopeless glance before they are gone.


Brent looks up from his pain. There is more to see in this room.


A desk is in the left corner, covered in dozens of papers and a journal.


On the wall, there is a black and green suit. Next to it, a drawing of a blue and green planet.


It is a scuba suit. Next to it, a drawing of the Earth.


Brent gets up and walks over to the items. Music builds.


There is a tag on the suit.


It reads:


Property of Owen Irt Hurst


Fade to next scene.


INT. NASA Headquarters - Conference Room - evening


The board meeting takes place as the sun is setting.


The scene begins with a sufficient amount of sun peering into the room. Jonathan and Crystal sit anxiously as board members of NASA take their seats around the table.


Almost immediately, there’s cigarette smoke tracing the room. One man in particular, DIRECTOR MARTIN SHRILL, takes a seat at the head of the table. He’s a fairly old man with thin, large spectacles and well-combed silver hair and a stern mein.


SHRILL

Ladies and gentleman of the

board, we gather here for the

purposes of discussing the future

of our Mars project. Mr, Andrews.

I believe you had some developments

for us.


JONATHAN

Yes, um..we’ve progressed further

in our research of inertial dampen---


Jonathan's voice is drowned out as we focus on Crystal.


She is lost in thought.


Flashback…


A young Crystal walks around in Shrill’s office at NASA, her father seated across from the then-young director.


SHRILL

Thank you, Mr. Hurst. I

look forward to our continued

success, cultivated by our

combined knowledge, here at NASA.


OWEN

No, thank you, director. I

can tell your scientific goals

are right along the lines of

mine. Some of your ideas seem…

impossible, even, which I

couldn’t possibly comprehend

how--


He pauses. Smiles.


OWEN (CONT’D)

I think I’ll be a great fit.

I’d say for you to lower the

bar a little bit...I don’t

know that space will cooperate

with all that! But...you know

what you’re doing, I’ll be

glad to assist you in any

way to accomplish what you

set out to do.


SHRILL

Any way, huh? Now there’s

a good employee.


Owen stands up and shakes Shrill’s hand. He begins to walk out the door.


SHRILL (CONT’D)

Oh, I think space will do

just what I need it to...with

the little extra push! Have a

good day, Hurst.


Crystal follows Owen out the door, Shrill gives her an unconvincing smile.


SHRILL

Maybe you’ll be of some help

too someday, won’t you...

Owen exits, Crystal looks back at Shrill just before leaving.


SHRILL (CONT’D)

Crystal.


End of flashback...


SHRILL

Ms. Hurst, I’m sure you’re

dying to share your research

as well...


Crystal comes back to the real world.



CRYSTAL

Um, no...I’m sorry, I’ve

been busy with other work.


Crystal looks at Shrill with a questioning, why the hell are you asking me, you know quite well what I was doing, look.


Jonathan gives her a concerned, yet curious look. Crystal glances at him in a somewhat disconcerting way.


SHRILL

Surely you can spare a minute

to share your research. I know

you’ve worked so hard on this

project, just to not...pay...

attention.


CRYSTAL

I’m sorry Director Shrill…

my mind was wandering.


SHRILL

I was sharing a portion of

our research with everyone…

perhaps you’d like to continue.


CRYSTAL

No…


She looks at him with slight angst.


CRYSTAL (CONT’D)

It’s not for them to know,

it’s...it’s for me alone to

do...


Shrill shakes his head disapprovingly.


SHRILL

Well, if you won’t tell them,

I’ll just have to show them.


Shrill locks eyes with her, his eyes turn to black, Crystal’s scar burns as she falls from her chair onto the floor...


Jonathan jumps to help her.


JONATHAN

What the hell! Hey, what

are you doing, help her!


SHRILL

She can handle herself. She’s

a smart girl. (he smiles

disingenuously) A problem solver.

Let’s see her solve her way out of this...predicament.


JONATHAN

What are you talking about?


SHRILL

Shh, give her time. Watch...


Crystal recuperates, but blood drips from her nose.


SHRILL

See, as expected. Her bond to

their world is unbreakable;

physical proof of a gateway

stable enough to allow human

travel.


JONATHAN

What? What the s**t are you-


CRYSTAL

He knows, Jonathan. I told

you, he knows about my father.

I’m okay, this is apart of

our research.




JONATHAN

This isn’t research, this is

madness! Are you insane?!

What is he doing to you?!


SHRILL

You see, we’ve picked up a

lot of interesting things from

over the years. Things far more

interesting than whatever front

we display for the general public.

That’s how we beat the Russians

to the moon, how we landed a

rover on Mars, and now it’s

how we will unlock the power of

interstellar travel, and Crystal

was the gateway all along. If I

had not come across her fantastic

research and...extreme determination

with the project, we wouldn’t have

made it this far.


CRYSTAL (To Shrill)

Why now?


The sun sets completely, the room turns black.


SHRILL

Because, my brilliant flower,

you’ve disclosed our work

to Mr. Andrews and now, we must

begin early. It’s time to change

the world.


CRYSTAL

How did you kn--


SHRILL

This planet has always been looking

for a place amongst the stars,

somewhere we can escape the ruin

and devastation of our own race.

As members of the government, we

must protect humanity’s interests.

I’m so very sorry for causing you

pain, Crystal, but you must walk in

your father’s footsteps. You must

make his sacrifice once more.


CRYSTAL

(in pain) You...you were there.


Jonathan prepares to attack Shrill, but Crystal stops him. She is perfectly calm now.


CRYSTAL

Jon, it’s okay. (To Shrill)

Listen, I think I’ve located

the black hole we’re looking

for...I was meaning not to

show it to you yet, I was

going to try to figure it

more, myself, first.


SHRILL

What do you mean you weren’t

going to show it me! Tell me,

now.


CRYSTAL

The black hole we’re looking

for, it isn’t accessible to us in

outer space. It doesn’t exist out

there.


SHRILL

Then where? Where is it!


CRYSTAL

We’re living in it, and it’s

tearing into us right...now.



EXT. Outside of Proth - Dawn

We see Brent, walking towards the wall once again. He is carrying Old Irt’s journal.


Silas and his men sees Brent and runs to stop him.


SILAS

Hey, Brent! Where do

you think you’re going!

Your parents requested

you be terminated upon

being found! I know all

about your friend’s mutiny!


Brent sprints to the door, opens it, and continues to run out into the forest.


Silas and his men stop in their tracks before the door.


SILAS

It’s okay, let him go.

He didn’t die the first

time, he surely will

this time.


We see Brent again, running through the trees, all the way to the cliff. He stops at the edge, and looks down into it.


Camera angle of Brent’s face; we see a...


flashback of him with Old Irt...


Brent and Old Irt are sitting atop the city wall, looking out at the forest...then, the forest had many trees, and tall mountains towered over them.


OLD IRT

You want to know the most

valuable lesson I’ve learned

in my long life, Brent? Look.

See the mountain? Picture

yourself on top.  See the

world around you, and go. Go

explore what you do not know,

and reach it. See the trees,

and the wind, and the whales

in the sky, passing by in the

night, and follow wherever they

may lead. See hope that is left,

and run to it.


End of flashback…


We see Brent again. He takes a deep breath, then jumps into the sea of black, disappearing quickly within.


INT. The Black Hole - A few moments later


Pan down from miles of black to find Brent, spaghettified in form, stretched into a long, spaghetti-like strand. He is surrounded on all sides by darkness, and billions of stars. He is such a small piece of this immeasurable place.


He descends through time and space. It is as if he has become one with the infinite black surrounding him.


He sees the universe spread out before him. It is a lapse of time, eternity, and even though he is nothing within the infinity of the black hole, he is everything and everywhere at the same time. He is nothing, but yet he is everything. He is nowhere, but he is everywhere.


We see a distant shot of Brent. He seems to be falling, with nothing but black below him for eternity. But far in the distance we see a bright light.


The blackness that surrounds him feels like water, but he isn’t getting wet.


He is falling through this void of darkness towards the light.


Suddenly, a whale comes from the light, into the shot. It seems to be swimming upwards toward Brent.


We see a distant, side shot of the whale headed in the direction of Brent. The main theme plays lightly.


The whale is directly below Brent. It stares at him for a few seconds, then turns around and seems to swim downward with Brent.


They are headed towards the light. We see a shot that captures the enormity of the whale, and also the scale of this infinite black which surrounds them, as we see the size of the whale in comparison to it.

The light is getting closer. Brent examines it. It looks like a tunnel...a white hole. The black hole’s mirror image.


The whale swims around and covers the entirety of the shot. When it exits the shot, Brent is gone.


INT. NASA Headquarters - Shrill’s Office - evening


Crystal and Shrill are alone now in Shrill’s office.


SHRILL

Listen Crystal, I appreciate

your work in this, but your

friend Jonathan will not be

included. I need experienced

astronauts, people who have

been to space. He doesn’t

shape up.


CRYSTAL

He doesn’t shape up, huh? You

think someone who said he’d die

for this project doesn't shape up?

Someone who said he would die for

me? I need his help. You need his

help. Note this for future reference,

Shrill: You need passionate people

like Jonathan Andrews if you want to

go jumping into black holes.



SHRILL

My flower, this project marks

the beginning--the beginning

of a new time...a time where

the world will come to see

the ingenuity of our labour!

If Jonathan Andrews was to be

the one to reach into this vast

unknown, surely much more should

hasten be to staked as possible.

Right then...I will allow you to

take this fool to space. The

black hole will welcome him.


CRYSTAL

That’s all I ask, Shrill.

Thank you. [pauses] Y’know, I

could tell you more about black

holes, if that’s what you wish.


SHRILL

(leans forward) Tell me...

everything.


CRYSTAL

I felt it in my scar this

morning. Something alive has

entered the black hole, this black

hole which our entire milky-way

galaxy is immersed within. It has

found its way through, intact,

and it very well may be within

our midst as we speak. Whatever it

is, it is alien, and perhaps it

comes from an entirely different

universe. The nature of this black

hole is one which will swallow

anything that enters...it will

swallow it up into an...an infinity

of black, an eternity of time.

It is a portal to eternity past

and eternity future. A portal to

unlimited answers, for your

benefit, and for humanity's

benefit, as well.


Shrill smiles uncomfortably.   


SHRILL

Ok, here’s what I want you

to do now. Send everyone not

involved home. We’re going to

send you, your pretty boy Jonathan,

and a few trusted others, selected

by me personally, to Mars...


He looks her in the eyes.


SHRILL (CONT’D)

But know that they are just there

to ensure your survival. Your job

is to find the black hole...I know

you think it will kill you, stretch

you and destroy you. It will not…

you trust me, right? This is about

Owen. Once through the black hole,

you will know why I chose you for

this task.

CRYSTAL

Wait, but I just told you about

the black hole, how do you know

so much about it? What I told

you was my gut-feeling...what

I’m hearing from you seems like

facts...

Shrill smiles.


SHRILL

Well, that would be because

I concocted it.


Crystal pauses for a moment, in shock.


CRYSTAL

Director...I’m afraid I

don’t understand.


SHRILL

There are a lot of things

you don’t understand, my

flower. It will make sense

eventually. Go.


CRYSTAL

Yes, sir. I have to go find

Jonathan.


INT. NASA Headquarters - a few minutes later


Crystal is rapidly walking through the halls of NASA to find Jonathan.


She looks everywhere. She can’t find him.


EXT. NASA Headquarters - a few moments later


She heads out to the parking lot to see if his car is still there. It is.


Then she sees him, on the ground beside a trash can, beat to a pulp and bleeding out of his nose and mouth.


She rushes over to him.


CRYSTAL

Oh my God, Jonathan, what

Happened to you!


JONATHAN

(sputters)


Jonathan tries to sit up. Can’t.



CRYSTAL

Jon, you’re gonna be okay.

Let me get you back inside.


Crystal grabs Jonathan’s shoulders from behind and pulls him onto his feet. She puts an arm around him to support his weight, and they proceed slowly forward.


INT. NASA Headquarters - Crystal’s Office - ten minutes later


Crystal is cleaning up Jonathan’s cuts. She gives him a glass of water.


CRYSTAL

Jon, who did this to you?


Jon continues sputtering...


CRYSTAL (hysterical)

Answer me damn you!


JONATHAN (sputtering)

I...expected...choc..chocolate

milk...from...you.


Crystal laughs tearfully and hugs Jonathan. She then proceeds to clean him up until he can answer her more clearly.


CRYSTAL

Ok Jon, tell me. Who did

this to you?


Jonathan sits up.


JONATHAN

It...it was Oscar and some

of the engineers...I

recognized one of them...

Ralph.


CRYSTAL

But Oscar’s a good friend

of Shrill’s...why would

he have it out for you?

And I don’t think Ralph’s

ever talked to you except

that one time at the Christmas

party when you brought all

the guys beer.


JONATHAN

Well, it was them. But

it doesn’t matter. It

was probably something I

said, I’m always saying

dumb things without thinking

about how people might

take it.


CRYSTAL

No Jon, it does matter. I

think Shrill might have sent

them to beat you up so you

wouldn’t be able to join me

on the expedition. Which,

about that...I talked to

Shrill, and you can go

black hole jumping with

me.


JONATHAN

Well, in that case, the

pain’s all gone! Provided

that the b*****d doesn’t try

and shut me up again.


Jonathan tries to stand.


JONATHAN

(grunts) I’m good to go!

It’ll be like jumping

into a nice round cup of

straight black coffee!


CRYSTAL

Ok, Jon... well I need

to have a conversation with

Shrill. I think he’s up to

something. Jon, if you can,

I have a lot to take care of,

could you make some calls, tell

everyone not involved in this

mission to go home. Here’s the

list of everyone Shrill wants

involved…


She hands a piece of paper with a couple dozen names on it. She starts to walk out the door, then looks back and smiles.


CRYSTAL

Bye, Jon.


She walks out the door. Jon collapses back onto the chair and sighs. Then he picks up the phone and dials.


INT. Shrill’s Office - a few minutes later


Crystal slams the door to Shrill’s office open and barges in.


CRYSTAL

Damnit, Shrill, you sent

those guys to beat up

Jonathan!


Shrill smiles disingenuously.


SHRILL

Yes, yes I did. How

did he handle that?

Did he need you to

wrap him in a fluffy

blanket with some hot

cocoa, kiss his booboos,

and tell him he’s going

to be okay?


CRYSTAL

Actually, Shrill, he

says he’s still ready to

die for this mission! He’s

ready to risk it all! You’re

not going to stop him. He’s

not like you, he’s not in it

for the glory and money. He’s

in it for a love of science,

a keen interest of the universe,

the stars, the black holes.

Do you know what his favorite

animal is? It’s a big, damn

whale! He thinks big, lives

big, wants to die big and

wants to see big!


SHRILL

That’s nice. I already

said he can go. But...you

might want to take a closer

look at his injuries. He

might not be the same

Jonathan you see right now,

in...a couple of minutes. Just

a thought. You may be wrong

about me not being able to

stop him. I can do whatever

I right well please. So get

out of my office. I’m tired

of your silly bantering. We

have work to do.


CRYSTAL

What do you mean he might

not be the same Jonathan!

what the hell did you

do to him, Shrill! You’re

not the master of the

universe--


She walks aways, then turns around.


CRYSTAL (CONT’D)

Actually, you’re the master

of a certain part of it, it’s

called hell. Which is where

you’re going. But you’re not

the lord of the universe,

and you never will be. I

know who is Lord...master

of the universe. He created

it. His name is Jesus Christ.


Shrill gives his creepy smile again.


SHRILL

Oh, actually, I think I am.


Crystal storms out of his office. She goes straight back to Jonathan, in her office.


INT. Crystal’s Office - a few minutes later


Crystal rushes into her office to Jonathan. He is not there.


INT. NASA Headquarters - a few moments later


She walks rapidly, almost in a run, looking for Jonathan. He is nowhere to be found. She goes back to Shrill’s office.


INT. Shrill’s Office - a few moments later


She barges in again.


CRYSTAL

Shrill! Where the hell

is Jonathan?! I need to

find him, and you’re coming

with me.


She grabs Shrill by the arm and pulls him up.



SHRILL

No, I don’t care about

your inapt boyfriend, stop

it, I’m not going with you.


Crystal punches him in the nose.


CRYSTAL

Coming now, b***h!?


Shrill touches his nose. It is bleeding. He gets up and follows Crystal.


SHRILL

Damn you.


They go outside with flashlights.


EXT. NASA Headquarters - a few minutes later


It is very dark outside, and windy. They search around the building with their flashlights. Nothing.


INT. Crystal’s Car - moments later


So, they hop in Crystal’s car and she accelerates down the road.


They drive a couple of blocks.


SHRILL

Where are you going??


Suddenly Crystal slams on the brakes.


She jumps out of the car.


A black, misty liquid is in the middle of the road.


It looks like a body is in the middle of it.


We cannot make out whose body it is.  


Shrill gets out of the car slowly.


Crystal approaches the blackness.


CRYSTAL

Jonathan? Is that you?


Shrill remains behind Crystal. He looks somewhat frightened.


Crystal walks up to the body. We see a shot of her foot, stepping in the black liquid.


The liquid hisses and a mysterious black mist seeps out from it.


The body rolls over suddenly, alive.


It is Brent. He is the size of a dwarf. Brent’s theme plays.


We see that he is a slightly deformed version of the boy we saw on Proth...he looks somewhat aged, and also as if he had been exposed to some sort of acidic, burning chemical on his face.


Crystal steps back, hand over her mouth.


CRYSTAL

Oh my god...


SHRILL

Extraordinary...


We focus on Shrill. He speaks to himself, under his breath…


SHRILL (to self)

Perfect...


Shrill runs back to the car. He drives away without Crystal.


Brent looks at Crystal curiously. Crystal examines him. She sees in his eyes that he, himself, is afraid, and means no harm.


Crystal takes a deep breath.



CRYSTAL

Do you talk?


Brent’s eyes are fearful. He doesn’t respond.


CRYSTAL (CONT’D)

Where are you from?


Still no response. Crystals bends down.


CRYSTAL (CONT’D)

At least...at least tell

me your name.


The camera zooms in on Brent...we go close up to his face, then, he speaks. Main theme plays.


BRENT

Irt...Irt...


Brent clutches Owen’s journal at his chest. He tosses it to Crystal. It has the black liquid on the cover.


Crystal looks at Brent curiously, wonderment dancing about in her eyes. She opens the little book to its first page.


We see what it reads as Old Irt’s voice can be heard over the shot.


Owen/Old Irt (voice)

To my home, to Earth: I

hope this message finds

your planet prosperous,

and in good times. As for

me: my past does not matter.

What happened to me was

extraordinary. What matters

now is what I do to expand

the knowledge of the universe

and all that dwell within.

In this book, I give to you

my life’s research. May you

use it to do the same. To

whomever’s hands this book

finds itself in, I have

but one further request.

Please find Crystal I. Hurst.

She will know what to do with

this book. And she will know

that the writer of it loves

her very much.


Crystal collapses on her knees. She puts her hand over her mouth. Her eyes roar with emotion.


CRYSTAL

(sniffles) ...Tell

me more about Irt.


INT. Crystal’s Car - a few minutes later - night


Crystal and Brent drive in silence back down the road to NASA. The black liquid covers Brent’s skin in various spots.


Crystal breaks the silence.



CRYSTAL

Could I please get your

name?


Brent turns his head. Looks at her.


BRENT

Brent Wharwood.


CRYSTAL

I’m Crystal. You’re not

from here, are you Brent?


BRENT

No.



CRYSTAL

Can you tell me where

you’re from?


Brent pauses.


He grabs Owen’s journal. Flips to the back of it. There is drawing, by Owen, of Proth, the way he found it those many years ago in the depths of the ocean.


In bold, capital letters, it reads: PROTH.


An arrow points to a small, bright cylinder amidst all the darkness of the water surrounding it.


BRENT

Proth. (points)


CRYSTAL

But that’s where...that’s

where...where my dad went out…

that’s where he went missing. So my

dad was living on a tiny planet

in the middle of the ocean? That

makes no sense. Is he still

alive?


Brent shakes his head no.


Crystal goes deep into thought. She is saddened, but remains strong.


They drive into the NASA parking lot. Crystal parks her car, and they both get out.


INT. NASA Headquarters - meanwhile


Shrill is talking with a group. They look concerned.


Crystal walks in. The entire group goes silent and they all turn and stare at Crystal. Seconds later, Brent walks in behind her.


The group freaks. Shrill stands in the back of the group, a slight smile on his face.


CRYSTAL (to herself)

(mutters) Damnit…


CRYSTAL (aloud) (CONT’D)

Hey everyone, meet Brent!


She says this in somewhat of a caustic way.


CRYSTAL (CONT’D)

Conference room. Now!


INT. Crystal’s Office - minutes later


Brent is sitting alone in Crystal’s office.


INT. NASA Headquarters - Conference Room - meanwhile


Crystal is holding Owen’s journal in her hands. She stands on a wooden chair at the head of the table. Everyone else surrounding the table looks terrified, whispering amongst themselves.


CRYSTAL

Ok, calm down...listen,

I know you’re all afraid,

but you have to listen to

what I have to say. It might

sound crazy...but here at NASA

I know from experience that you

all are naturally adept to crazy.

What I have here is a journal.

It belongs to my father.


Crystal gives the journal first to Shrill. The group gasps, and some whisper to the person next to them.


CRYSTAL (CONT’D)

Now, I’m going to pass this

around. Read the message on

the first page. Flip through

it. Things might start to

make more sense. If you can’t

accept it, then what are you

doing here with NASA? This is

what we do. This is a clue

that there’s more to the

universe than we can possibly

imagine. We have some of the

best scientific minds in the

world here, and those minds

will be boggled by what they

may find in this journal.

My father was at the center

of all of this. And some of

you who ever had an ounce of

care for Jonathan Andrews,

may be wondering where he

is. You may be wondering

what has happened to him.

I believe Mr. Shrill knows

where he is, and what happened

to him. I also believe Jonathan

may have found himself in the

the middle of all of this,

because of Mr. Shrill...like

my father. I ask you, Shrill,

to tell us where Jonathan is,

if you care at all, not for him,

but for this company, and for

discovery within our universe

that we call home.  


Shrill laughs.


SHRILL

Yes, my dear, brilliant little

flower...as you wish.


He locks his eyes with hers.


Crystal falls from her chair, onto the floor. Her scar burns. It oozes black. We hear the screech within her head, as she doubles over in agony.


We see a flash of what she now sees, in her brain:


INT. Crystal’s Head - same time


She is swimming in a void of black. She swims through the void, nothing but darkness surrounding her. Once again,she is not getting wet, but it is visibly evident that she’s submerged.


Then she sees a bright, distant light.


She swims towards it for several seconds, then in a flash to her right we see Jonathan, mangled and spaghettified. His face screams perturbation.


Crystal screams as we return to the real world.


INT. NASA Headquarters - Conference Room - same time


We see Crystal, in a ball on the floor. The pain has subsided, and on the floor a small puddle of black steams.


Crystal stands up, wipes her eyes of tears.


CRYSTAL

You’re an evil man. Make

it right!


SHRILL

Mr. Andrews is just doing

his job, my flower. A job

you so insisted he be a part

of. I don’t know that you

quite understood the job

description.


CRYSTAL

I’m going to find him.

I’m going to bring him

back. And I’m taking

Brent with me. We will

launch as planned...

tomorrow.


SHRILL

Yes, take the alien with

you...please do.


A man in the room walks Owen’s journal up to Crystal. The room looks in a state of shock.


MAN

We’re coming with you,

Ms. Hurst, if that’s

alright. I was a young

man when your father

went missing. I was

intrigued by the stone

road, and what part it

played in his disappearance.

I grew up hearing stories of

what had happened that day and

it’s been tearing into me every

day since. If there’s one thing

I would want to do with my

life, it’s to know more

about what really happened.

The man looks around the room, speaking to everyone now.


MAN (CONT’D)

All the great stories of the

past do that for me. Make me

want to know more. Make me want

live in that world, where

things beyond my imagination

are possible. I read this

journal, and it’s like the

stories of my childhood are

true and exist in the

infinite universe out there.

That’s what this has done

for me. I want to go with

you. I want to go reach into

this universe of stories yet

untold.


As the man delineates to Crystal, her expression has a kindness too it; her face is amazed and conflicted.


Her look says it all.


When he finishes, Crystal nods,and smiles, which is partly feigned, but also genuine. Several others walk to the front of the room, shake Crystal’s hand, and give her a nod that speaks for them.


She’s frightened, but find comfort in these strangers, these knights of the dark. They are going too.

INT. Crystal’s Office - meanwhile


Brent is standing now, in Crystal’s office. He is looking around the room.


He walks slowly over to a shelf. He is too short to see the top. He grabs Crystal’s chair, and stands on top of it.


He observes the contents of the shelf. A picture of a young Crystal. A rubik’s cube. A picture of a man.


A picture of a younger Owen.


Brent grabs the photograph, looks at it closer. He traces his fingers over the man, as if some familiar warmth was emulated from him. Almost like that of what he shared with the little girl in the photo.


Crystal walks in. Brent jumps, surprised.



CRYSTAL

Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to

scare you.


She sees that he’s looking at the picture of Owen.


CRYSTAL (CON’D)

Yeah, that’s Owe--...Irt.

That’s my father. Did you...

know him well?


BRENT

He was my friend. He

wanted to get me out

of Proth...he wanted us

to do it together. But he

never told me any of this.

He never told me that in

fact there was more out

there than our lone planet.

I don’t understand why. It

was as if he had a plan all

along...now that I think

back on how, that whole time,

he knew something I didn’t...

it doesn’t make sense why

he didn’t say anything. I

can only assume there was

purpose for his death, and

his keeping that knowledge

from me.


CRYSTAL

Well, things happen for a

reason, Brent...they are

that can never be understood,

not by anyone.


Then Crystal looks lost in thought, as she thinks about her father’s death more.


CRYSTAL (CONT’D)

How...how did my father die?


BRENT

He saved me. He knew one

of us wasn’t going to

make it...we were being

chased by a….a ravenous

beast. We were running,

but he was so old...I called

him Old Irt...anyway, he needed

my support to run. We were

both going so slow, and so

he just stopped. He knew he

was about to die, and he just

told me to keep going, and to

jump, jump into this sea of

black which he somehow knew

was ahead. And now he’s gone.


Crystal looked deep in thought, as if imagining her father, old and frail, doing this heroic thing.


Or perhaps thinking of her father as she had known him, a kind man working for a better world for his daughter.


CRYSTAL

I think I know why he

kept you in the dark. I

remember, as a child, he

would always tell me that

a personal learning experience,

seeing things with my own eyes, is

better than being told what to

believe. He’d rather me discover

it for myself. That’s how he

wanted me to live my life.

Not believing anything I was

told. Not trusting that

everything I hear is fact.

Because, as he said, some

things aren’t at all what

they seem. Some things need

to be seen with your own eyes.


Brent’s face says it all. He approves of this.



BRENT

That makes sense.


Crystal nods. Smiles.


CRYSTAL

It’s late. We’d best get

some...wait, do you sleep?



BRENT

What?


CRYSTAL

Do you sleep? Sleep...you

know...it’s when you--


Brent looks at her curiously and interrupts her sentence. He laughs.


BRENT

Of course I sleep!


CRYSTAL

Oh, I just thought, maybe…

eh, never mind.


BRENT

Goodnight, Crystal.


CRYSTAL

Goodnight...where will you

sleep?


BRENT

I don’t know, anywhere I

guess.


CRYSTAL

Don’t you want a bed?



BRENT

No, really. I’ll sleep anywhere.

I’m fine. Back, uh, back home

I slept in the grass outside

my house. Irt did too. If he

were here with me now, we’d sleep

under unfamiliar skies every

night. We’d explore this world

together. Well...that’s what

he said, anyways. Maybe when it

turned out he’d already lived

here, it wouldn’t be the same.

But he always talked about what

we’d do, and how great it was

going to be. And he said I

would lead the way. It did

keep me going, wanting to

escape Proth.


CRYSTAL

Aw, c’mon, Brent, I’ve got

an extra bed at my place.

The hard floor isn’t any

place to sleep. Plus, I can

introduce you to this neat

drink we call chocolate milk.

You...uh, you don’t have that

on Proth, do you?


Brent shakes his head.


BRENT

I’m not going to be on

hard floor. I’ll be just

outside, on the grass.


CRYSTAL

Well...alright, you do

as you please. I’ll see

you in the morning.


Crystal exits the room.

INT. NASA Headquarters - moments later


We follow her as she strides through the halls of NASA.


The building is nearly empty, excluding a few stragglers.


She occasionally makes stops to compose herself. The thought of her father, where he’s been all these years, his sacrifice...Crystal pokes her head in Shrill’s office.


INT. NASA Headquarters - Shrill’s Office - minutes later


Shrill is seated at his desk. He is on his computer, typing away at a rapid pace.


CRYSTAL

I’m just heading out, Director.

You’d better have everything

ready for us, 8:00 tomorrow

evening. Remember, trust is a

luxury you’ve lost.


Shrill looks up from his work. Smiles when he sees Crystal.


SHRILL

Goodnight, my flower.


INT. NASA Headquarters - moments later


Crystal paces towards the doors.


She exits the building.


EXT. NASA Headquarters - moments later


She strolls along to her car, and gets in.


Slams the door shut.


EXT. NASA Headquarters - 15 minutes later


Brent is sprawled out on the grass, on his back. The camera slowly zooms towards him. He is just relaxing, his eyes remain open.


They are staring, fixed upon the sky above.


We see it across his face, and in his eyes. His amazement, his puzzlement, his sadness, and his conflict.


We see his perspective of the vast night sky. Millions of stars dance across it.


Brent’s theme mixed with the main theme plays.  


He goes to sleep atop the grass, under the stars.


EXT. Crystal’s House - next morning


Crystal wakes up in her house. It’s fairly small, but an extreme mess.


There’s sudoku and jigsaw puzzles littered across her bedroom, but the most interesting puzzle is a 1980 Rubik's Cube encased in glass. Sunlight bathes into the room slowly and hits the cube, shining onto Crystal.


She gets up and stares around her room. The atmosphere of her sullied room is taken in, then she begins to cry. Owen’s theme plays.


She comes across her cube, which she takes into her hand and stares at.


She has a flashback...


It’s 1989, her and her father are sitting on a peaceful grass hill in the middle of the night, the sky is twinkled with stars.


OWEN

I got you something special.


He hands her a drink. Young Crystal takes a sip and makes a revolted face.


CRYSTAL

Ew, that’s nasty.


OWEN

It’s called coffee. Ain’t good,

huh? Here, I got you the much

better version.


He hands her some chocolate milk, which she squeals in utter excitement for.


OWEN

Crystal, do you know why daddy

has to go next year?


Crystal shakes her head.



OWEN

Well, daddy has to go on

a real secret mission, a

mission to make the world a

better place for you.


CRYSTAL

Really? How long will you be

gone?


OWEN

Not long, but...it’ll be some

time.


He scoots Crystal closer to him.


OWEN

Thing is, my place is here on

the Earth, but you, you were

meant to make things better up

there, amongst the stars.


He points to the stars. Crystal stares in wonderment.


OWEN

Up there are a million stars that

shine so brilliantly, just like you.

They’ll always shine bright amongst

darkness. That’s what makes you alike

to them, belonging amongst them. And

that’s why they’re so bright and why

we can see them from here.


CRYSTAL

Really?


OWEN

Yep. And I’ll always be here.

Problem is, the world right

now is a dangerous place. You,