VirtualPlanet
Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.

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               FADE IN:



               EXT. TRINISYS TOWER - NIGHT

               Fifty-stories of mirrored windows and cold steel. A granite
               plaque planted in the landscape like a tombstone displays the
               building's name: TRINISYS.



               INT. STAIRWELL

               Several uniformed guards await instructions. The leader, TY
               FALERO, an attractive, athletically-built female, gives the
               orders.

                                   FALERO
                         Half of you go that way. The others
                         come with me.

               Unbeknownst to the guards, hiding directly above them hangs a
               FRIGHTENED MAN, late forties. His limbs tremble under the
               strain of holding himself in place.

               Clenched in his teeth is a disk case.

               The guards split up.

               After a moment the man drops to his feet. He slides the case
               inside his windbreaker.

               He looks around and then heads up the stairs, passing the
               word ROOF stenciled on the wall next to a bright red arrow.



               EXT. ROOF

               As the door to the roof opens, a searchlight from a
               helicopter hovering just above sweeps over the area. The man
               lets out a frightened gasp and pulls the door closed, but
               then keeps it cracked just a bit in order to see.

               After a moment, the helicopter light moves away from him. The
               man, sensing his opportunity, makes a panicked, mad dash
               across the roof to the tower's shadowy edge, crouching as he
               runs in order to avoid the sweeping spotlight.

               Having reached the corner of the roof, and being partially
               hidden in the shadows, he pauses to catch his breath. He then
               searches around in the darkness and after a moment he finds
               what he's looking for: a small, black PARACHUTE PACK.

               Panting, he quickly puts it on, pausing only to give a quick
               look over his shoulder to where the helicopter's spotlight
               roams over another part of the building.

               Being away from the searchlight, the man stands, releases a
               deep breath, and climbs over the guard rail. He pauses
               momentarily to look at the ground a thousand feet below him.

               He closes his eyes, bends at the knees and prepares to
               jump...

               Suddenly, a voice behind him causes him to freeze.

                                   VOICE (O.S.)
                         Going somewhere?

               The surprise almost sends him over, but he manages to balance
               himself. He turns slowly around...

               Before him stands a figure, his face hidden by the shadows.

               The figure approaches and the first thing seen is the semi
               automatic pistol in his gloved hand.

                                   FRIGHTENED MAN
                         If you use that, they'll know it
                         was murder.

               The dark figure takes another step forward and for the first
               time we see his face, sharp-edged and pockmarked. His name:
               CASTILLANOS.

               Castillanos stops, looks down at the gun in his hand.

                                   CASTILLANOS
                         You know something? You're right.

               And he slides the gun into the pocket of his overcoat.

               A faint look of relief comes over the man's face. He salutes
               Castillanos.

                                   FRIGHTENED MAN
                         Goodbye, Detective.

               And Castillanos' hand reemerges, not gripping the weapon, but
               in fact gripping something else. It catches the frightened
               man's eyes.

                                   CASTILLANOS
                         Goodbye, Mr. Miller.

               And what is in Castillanos' hand is none other than the
               parachute's rip cord.

               The shock sends the man falling over the edge in horror, but
               he somehow manages to land a grip on the railing.

               As he clings on for dear life, Castillanos approaches.

                                   MILLER
                         Please! For God's sake! Help me!

               Castillanos casually leans over the rail. He takes a look
               down, whistles. After a beat...

                                   CASTILLANOS
                         I'll make you a deal. Give me the
                         disc and I'll give you a hand.

               Miller frantically nods and releases his grip on one hand. It
               disappears inside his windbreaker and reemerges with a black
               disc case. Castillanos takes it.

                                   MILLER
                         Now help me!

               Castillanos extends his gloved hand. Miller takes it, grasps
               it with both hands, releases a huge sigh. But his look
               suddenly turns to horror as the glove he clings to slips off
               Castillanos' hand.

               Miller falls, screaming, gripping the glove and looking in
               horror into the cold black eyes of Castillanos.

               Castillanos watches the man plummet to his death, a strange
               look of satisfaction on his face.

               Suddenly, the sound of footsteps and a door banging open
               behind him grabs the Detective's attention. He turns.

               At the door, Ty Falero stumbles onto the roof, her lungs out
               of breath.

               She looks at him.

                                   FALERO
                         Did you get him?

               Castillanos gives a nonchalant glance over his shoulder to
               the ground below. He turns his attention to the disc case.

               He opens it. Empty. He looks into the questioning and stunned
               eyes of Falero.

                                   CASTILLANOS
                         Search the body.

               He walks past her, removes a cigarette from a case and lights
               it. He pauses, looks at his bare hand.

                                   CASTILLANOS
                         And bring my glove back.

               Falero says nothing as she watches him exit.



               EXT. BOSTON - NIGHT

               Panoramic view of the beautiful Boston skyline.



               EXT. SMALL TWO-STORY HOUSE

               Boston suburbia. The light in the den shines through the bay
               window.



               INT. DEN

               A man, early thirties, intelligent-looking, lies lengthwise
               on the sofa with two stacks of typed papers in front of him.
               On the end table is an almost-empty glass of bourbon.

               Across the room the television plays the late night news, the
               volume low.

                                   REPORTER
                         ...and Senator Russells' response
                         to his unusual refusal to air
                         campaign ads this close to the
                         election...

                                   SENATOR RUSSELL
                         I refuse to stoop to the tactics of
                         my opposition. This is a matter of
                         principle...

               The man on the sofa, JACK SOLOMON, finishes the bourbon
               before returning his focus to one of the papers he has picked
               up from the smaller stack.

               In his right hand, a red felt-tip pen.

               He glances at his watch, sighs, and begins to read through
               the typed paper in his hand.

                                   REPORTER
                         In local news, the name of the man
                         who jumped to his death from the
                         fiftieth floor of the newly-built
                         TriniSys tower is still being
                         withheld by authorities until
                         further investigation...

               Jack looks at the television, grabs the remote and turns it
               off.

               Just beyond his shoulder, something small is crawling
               underneath the throw-blanket draped over the back of the
               sofa.

               Jack doesn't see it.

               He continues to read, turning each typed page with a deep
               sigh. He pauses, strikes through something on the paper...

               Whatever was moving underneath the throw-blanket slowly
               emerges.

               It's a small Australian frilled lizard (the kind with the
               umbrella-like mantle around its neck).

               It begins to make its way across the armrest of the sofa,
               heading for Jack's back.

               Solomon finishes the paper, draws a large "C+" on the top
               page before tossing it onto the larger stack before him. Only
               one paper left in the other pile. Jack looks at it.

               It's a huge piece of work, almost an inch thick. Jack stares
               at it for a long moment and, as if by instinct, the lizard
               freezes in mid-movement.

               He picks up the paper. The title page reads: VIRTUAL PLANET.
               He weighs it in his hand. The lizard is back on the move.

               Jack shakes his head.

                                   JACK
                         Where the hell do they find the
                         time?

               The lizard makes its way up Jack's shoulder as he sits up.
               Jack pauses, considering... He fans the pages...

               He turns back the title page as he gets set to read.
               Something on the next page catches his attention...

                                   JACK
                         Dedication?
                             (reading)
                         To Jack Solomon, my favorite
                         creative writing teacher. May his
                         first book not be his last.

               Jack closes the manuscript.

               He checks his temper, releases a sigh. He grabs the red
               marker and scribbles on the page.

                                   JACK
                         I'm giving you an A for effort,
                         Miller. Abundant effort. I'm sure
                         it was a masterpiece.

               He writes the grade on the paper and circles it. Just beneath
               it, for emphasis, he writes GOOD JOB and tosses it onto the
               finished pile. It lands with a loud PLOP.

               As one hand rubs his eyes the other picks up the bourbon
               glass. He drinks, then realizes the glass is empty. He stands
               and makes his way into a darkened kitchen.



               INT. KITCHEN

               Jack stands before the sink and puts down the empty glass. He
               looks out the window above the sink into the darkness.

               After a pause, he flicks the light switch on the wall...

               With the light on, the window before him turns into a mirror
               and Jack notices his reflection. Suddenly his body jerks as
               he sees the lizard perched on his shoulder, inches from his
               neck.

                                   JACK
                         Shit!

               Jack puts a hand over his heart as he leans against the rail.

                                   JACK
                         Lenny! You scared the shit out of
                         me!

               He carefully scoops up the lizard and carries it out of the
               kitchen over to the den.



               INT. DEN

               Jack puts the creature back into a small, open-mouthed glass
               case sitting on the mantle.

                                   JACK
                         No more furloughs while I'm at
                         work, okay little guy?

               Jack scoops up the graded papers into his satchel The last
               one, the huge one, falls out. Jack bends down, picks it up
               and...



               INT. JACK'S CLASSROOM - DAY

               ...he hands it to a student, DANIEL MILLER, a nineteen year
               old sporting the grunge look. He looks at the grade.

                                   MILLER
                         Damn! Mr. Solomon.
                             (beat)
                         Somebody pinch me.

               Miller is in quiet rapture as he looks upon his grade.



               EXT. TRINISYS BUILDING - DAY

               A black limousine has just been cleared through the main
               gate.



               INT. LIMOUSINE

               SENATOR RUSSELLS, statesman-like, regal, sits next to one of
               his handlers, MAX LEVY. They appear to be going over a report
               of some type.

                                   LEVY
                         With the headgear hitting shelves
                         by September 1st, we predict 75
                         percent saturation by the end of
                         October...

                                   RUSSELLS
                         That's cutting it awful damn close,
                         don't you think?
                             (beat)
                         Hold on a minute.

               Something out of the corner of Russells' eye catches his
               attention. He motions to the driver to stop.

               The window on the passenger side comes down. A man sticks his
               head in. It's Castillanos.

                                   CASTILLANOS
                         Mr. President.

                                   RUSSELLS
                         Save the flattery for someone who
                         gives a shit, Detective. Where are
                         we on that small little problem of
                         ours.

               Castillanos takes a drag off his cigarette as his eyes assess
               Levy. A moment passes before he returns his attention to the
               Senator.

                                   CASTILLANOS
                         The item in question hasn't been
                         recovered. Yet. But don't worry,
                         we'll find it.

                                   RUSSELLS
                         I'm NOT worried, son. That's why I
                         hire people like you, to do my
                         worrying for me. Now I want this
                         thing resolved and I want it done
                         quickly. Do I make myself clear?

                                   CASTILLANOS
                         Absolutely.

                                   RUSSELLS
                         Good! Now find that disk before
                         some idiot stumbles across it and
                         decides to get nosy.

               And with that, he spurs the driver to move on. Castillanos
               takes a drag off his cigarette as he watches the limo
               disappear.



               INT. CLASSROOM - DAY

               Jack, at the blackboard...

                                   JACK
                         But you could argue Melville's real
                         protagonist is actually Ismael
                         because --

               SUZY, sitting up front, thrusts her hand into the air --

                                   SUZY
                         What do you think of the theory
                         that Moby Dick's really about man's
                         desire for sexual domination and
                         that --

                                   JACK
                         Suzy, don't you think that...
                             (beat)
                         ...sometimes a harpoon is just a
                         harpoon?

               A few giggles erupt throughout the room.

                                   SUZY
                         Are you saying you don't see the
                         comparison between the great white
                         whale and a virgin in white dressed
                         for her wedding day?

                                   JACK
                         Look, you're missing the point --

               Another student, LYLE, interrupts.

                                   LYLE
                         I've gotta great white that'll make
                         you wail.

               Raucous laughter. Jack raps on the blackboard.

                                   JACK
                         Can we get back to this please --

               And now ROSS, another student, puts in his two cents...

                                   ROSS
                         Oh and I guess you're gonna tell us
                         Ahab's peg leg is really a --

                                   SUZY
                         A phallic symbol. That's right.

               Jack rolls his eyes.

               And now the class erupts in a full-blown discussion among the
               students.

               During this entire exchange, Daniel Miller's focus has
               remained on his graded manuscript, oblivious to the
               disruption around him.

               Jack looks completely frustrated. Finally, he's saved by the
               bell.

               As the students file out, Jack shoves books into his satchel.
               He notices Miller still seated, still looking through his
               manuscript.

               Jack picks up his satchel and heads toward the door. Miller
               gets up and follows him, staying a few steps behind.



               INT. HALLWAY

               Miller continues to follow Jack out into the hallway.

               Jack spots a fellow teacher, ABRAHAM THOMAS, coming down the
               hall. Abraham's older, distinguished looking.

               As they pass each other:

                                   JACK
                         How's the mock trial coming?

                                   ABRAHAM
                         They're mocking the justice system
                         like never before.

                                   JACK
                         You up for the usual?

                                   ABRAHAM
                         I'll be there.

               Jack continues down the crowded hall, heading towards the
               double doors leading to the parking lot. Miller is still a
               few steps behind, eyes focused on Solomon.

               Jack looks over his shoulder, notices him.

                                   JACK
                         Daniel?
                             (beat)
                         You going to walk me all the way
                         out to my car?

               Miller stops abruptly causing other students to move quickly
               to avoid bumping into him.

                                   MILLER
                             (raised voice)
                         You didn't read the goddamn thing,
                         did you?

               Jack stops, turns.

                                   JACK
                         What?

                                   MILLER
                         Normally you light my shit up like
                         a friggin' Christmas tree. This,
                         there's not a mark on it. You put a
                         grade on it but you didn't read a
                         goddamn word of it, did you?

               Jack looks around at the other students who have stopped to
               rubberneck. He forces a smile.

                                   JACK
                         I thought your shit was pretty good
                         this time. Lighten up, Daniel. You
                         got an A. Enjoy it.

               He pats Miller on the shoulder and turns back toward the
               exit.

                                   MILLER
                         Then tell me. What was the best
                         part?

                                   JACK
                         What?

                                   MILLER
                         The best part. What was it?

               Jack is at a loss for words. The tension builds.

                                   MILLER
                         I thought so.
                             (beat)
                         You know something, Mr. Solomon?
                         You're a cheat and you're a liar.
                         You write one book years ago no one
                         ever heard of and that makes you
                         think you can treat others like
                         shit.
                             (beat)
                         No wonder your wife left you.

                                   JACK
                         Now hold on just a minute --

               Before Jack can finish, Miller pushes his way past him,
               knocking Jack's satchel to the ground, spilling its contents.

               Miller slams out the double doors.

               Jack looks around at the stares of the other students who
               surround him. He bends down and collects his things.

               As he rises, his eyes meet with those of MRS. FITZGERALD, a
               large, stern woman. The Dean.

                                   MRS. FITZGERALD
                         I'd like to see you in my office
                         first thing tomorrow morning, Mr.
                         Solomon, if you don't mind.

               Jack nods.



               EXT. TRINISYS BUILDING - NIGHT

               Several feet away, partially hidden in the shadows, a parked
               car with a clear vantage point of the main entrance.



               INT. CAR

               An attractive brunette, SARAH HARPER, late twenties, sits low
               in the front seat aiming a camera with a telephoto lens
               propped on the steering wheel.

               In the empty passenger seat is strewn various articles. Among
               them: black and white photos of Russells, other three-piece
               types, a newspaper clipping of the recent death.

               As she snaps photos, she speaks softly into the micro
               cassette recorder held in her hand.

                                   SARAH
                         Nine-thirty. We got another limo
                         leaving TriniSys...

               SARAH'S CAMERA'S P.O.V.

               A black limo, possibly the same one we saw entering,
               approaches the guard station on its way out. The window comes
               down and we get a clear picture of the man seated in the
               back.

               She snaps a shot of the man in the limo. He's a business
               type, serious-looking man with horn-rimmed glasses, late
               50's.

               She looks up from her camera and pauses in thought. After a
               moment, she turns her attention toward the compendium of
               papers sitting next to her.

               She takes a moment to sort through them and finally comes up
               with a photo. It's the same man she just took a photo of.

                                   SARAH
                         Elliot Wisenberg?
                             (into the recorder)
                         What is the chief financial officer
                         of Fizz Cola doing in bed with
                         TriniSys?

               A puzzled look comes over her face. As she loses herself in
               thought, she's jolted by the sound of her cell phone ringing.

               She answers it.

                                   MALE VOICE (O.S.)
                         Sarah?

                                   SARAH
                         Lou?



               INT. LOU'S OFFICE

               Typical editor's office of a major newspaper. Organized
               chaos. Behind the desk stands LOU, a middle-aged man as big
               as he is impatient. He's one deadline short of a heart
               attack.

                                   LOU
                         Sarah, where do you live?

               INTERCUT PHONE CONVERSATION - SARAH AND LOU

                                   SARAH
                         Not now, Lou. I'm in the middle of
                         a --

                                   LOU
                             (insistent)
                         Where do you live, Sarah?

                                   SARAH
                         In the real world...

                                   LOU
                         And where do I live?

               She lets out a sigh, shakes her head.

                                   SARAH
                             (lamely)
                         Same place.

                                   LOU
                         Say it.

                                   SARAH
                         The real world.

                                   LOU
                         And what happens in the real world?

               They both answer in singsong unison:

                                   SARAH
                         Deadlines are made or jobs are
                         lost.

                                   LOU
                         Deadlines are made or jobs are
                         lost.

                                   SARAH
                         Yeah, yeah Lou. I know, I know. I
                         thought I'd have this to you by
                         Monday but --

               She looks at the photo of Wisenberg.

                                   SARAH
                         Things just seem to keep getting
                         more complicated.

                                   LOU
                         Things aren't complicated. They're
                         very simple...
                             (beat)
                         Either have that assignment on my
                         desk by Friday morning or you'll
                         find yourself back in editorials
                         doing the Sunday brunch reviews. Do
                         I make myself clear?

                                   SARAH
                         Okay, Lou. But if I manage to pull
                         this one off, you're gonna owe me.
                         Big. I want that Hawaiian gig.

                                   LOU
                         Bikini fashion show? You gotta be
                         kiddin'. That ain't your style.

                                   SARAH
                         I haven't had a day off in two
                         years, Lou. For three and a half
                         weeks, I'll make it my style.

                                   LOU
                         Get this thing to me by Friday and
                         I'll row you there myself. Deal?

                                   SARAH
                         Deal! Now shut up and let me get
                         back to work.

               She hangs up and prepares to snap another photo.



               EXT. VILLAGE INN - NIGHT

               Locals enter a lively tavern.



               INT. VILLAGE INN

               A black dart hits a dart board, dead-center, joining two
               others of the same color in the bull's-eye.

               We see Abraham and Jack facing the board several feet away.
               Jack retrieves his darts.

                                   ABRAHAM
                         Jeez. Well, that's it for me.

               Abraham grabs his coat.

                                   JACK
                         Giving up already?

               Abraham shakes his head, finishes his drink.

                                   ABRAHAM
                         When am I going to learn. Never
                         play against a man who carries
                         around his own darts.
                             (beat)
                         You're a ringer, that's what you
                         are. I think you should have
                         considered going professional.

                                   JACK
                         You mean, as opposed to being a
                         writer?

               Abraham looks at him.

                                   ABRAHAM
                         Jack. Come on. That's not what I
                         meant.

               Jack removes a case from his pocket and puts his darts into
               them. There's an uncomfortable silence between them.

                                   ABRAHAM
                         I heard about that thing that
                         happened to you today.

                                   JACK
                         Oh that? Forget it. I just let some
                         snot-nosed kid's sarcastic remark
                         get to me.

                                   ABRAHAM
                         This isn't really about what some
                         dumb student said, is it?

                                   JACK
                         What do you mean?

               Abraham puts a few dollars on the table, buttons his jacket.

                                   ABRAHAM
                         I mean it's time, Jack. Time to get
                         back on that horse. Get your
                         goddamn confidence back, stop
                         feeling sorry for yourself --

               Jack raises a hand.

                                   JACK
                         Please, Abe, spare me the
                         inspirational soundbites. I've my
                         fifteen minutes of fame, okay?

               His friend shakes his head, pats his shoulder before leaving.

                                   ABRAHAM
                         I hope that's the cheap bourbon
                         talking.
                             (beat)
                         I'll see you tomorrow.

               Jack waves goodbye. He motions for the bartender.



               INT. LOCAL TAVERN - LATER

               The place has thinned out a bit. Jack sits alone in his
               booth, a drink sitting in front of him.

               He stares at it, lost in thought.

               Finally, he looks as though he's reached a decision. He
               stands, grabs his jacket and tosses some bills on the table.



               EXT. JACK'S CAR - NIGHT

               A beat-up, early model Volvo rounds a curve on a street along
               the waterfront district. Several small houseboats are moored
               along the piers.



               INT. CAR

               Jack slows as his eyes alternate from the paper in his hand
               to the numbers posted on the piers.

               What Jack doesn't see is that there's a YOUNG WOMAN, wearing
               a tight-fitting mini-skirt and leather jacket, crossing the
               street in front of him.

               Jack glances up in the nick of time and slams on the brakes.
               The car skids to a halt, just in front of the girl.

                                   YOUNG WOMAN
                         Hey! Watch it, jack-ass!

               The girl pauses by his window to flip him off. As she does,
               he notices the strange tattoo on the girl's neck and her
               pierced nose-ring.

               The girl storms off.

               As he regains his composure, Jack's eyes land on a number
               posted beside a nearby pier. After a quick double-check, he
               pulls his car over to the side of the road and hops out.
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Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.