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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.
Several uniformed guards await instructions. The leader, TY
FALERO, an attractive, athletically-built female, gives the
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.
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
Suddenly, a voice behind him causes him to freeze.
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.
If you use that, they'll know it
The dark figure takes another step forward and for the first
time we see his face, sharp-edged and pockmarked. His name:
Castillanos stops, looks down at the gun in his hand.
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
And Castillanos' hand reemerges, not gripping the weapon, but
in fact gripping something else. It catches the frightened
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.
Please! For God's sake! Help me!
Castillanos casually leans over the rail. He takes a look
down, whistles. After a beat...
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.
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
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
She looks at him.
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.
Search the body.
He walks past her, removes a cigarette from a case and lights
it. He pauses, looks at his bare hand.
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
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
...and Senator Russells' response
to his unusual refusal to air
campaign ads this close to the
I refuse to stoop to the tactics of
my opposition. This is a matter of
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.
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
Jack looks at the television, grabs the remote and turns it
Just beyond his shoulder, something small is crawling
underneath the throw-blanket draped over the back of the
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
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.
Where the hell do they find the
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...
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.
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.
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
Jack puts a hand over his heart as he leans against the rail.
Lenny! You scared the shit out of
He carefully scoops up the lizard and carries it out of the
kitchen over to the den.
Jack puts the creature back into a small, open-mouthed glass
case sitting on the mantle.
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
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.
Damn! Mr. Solomon.
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
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.
With the headgear hitting shelves
by September 1st, we predict 75
percent saturation by the end of
That's cutting it awful damn close,
don't you think?
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.
Save the flattery for someone who
gives a shit, Detective. Where are
we on that small little problem of
Castillanos takes a drag off his cigarette as his eyes assess
Levy. A moment passes before he returns his attention to the
The item in question hasn't been
recovered. Yet. But don't worry,
we'll find it.
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?
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
INT. CLASSROOM - DAY
Jack, at the blackboard...
But you could argue Melville's real
protagonist is actually Ismael
SUZY, sitting up front, thrusts her hand into the air --
What do you think of the theory
that Moby Dick's really about man's
desire for sexual domination and
Suzy, don't you think that...
...sometimes a harpoon is just a
A few giggles erupt throughout the room.
Are you saying you don't see the
comparison between the great white
whale and a virgin in white dressed
for her wedding day?
Look, you're missing the point --
Another student, LYLE, interrupts.
I've gotta great white that'll make
Raucous laughter. Jack raps on the blackboard.
Can we get back to this please --
And now ROSS, another student, puts in his two cents...
Oh and I guess you're gonna tell us
Ahab's peg leg is really a --
A phallic symbol. That's right.
Jack rolls his eyes.
And now the class erupts in a full-blown discussion among the
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
As the students file out, Jack shoves books into his satchel.
He notices Miller still seated, still looking through his
Jack picks up his satchel and heads toward the door. Miller
gets up and follows him, staying a few steps behind.
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:
How's the mock trial coming?
They're mocking the justice system
like never before.
You up for the usual?
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.
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.
You didn't read the goddamn thing,
Jack stops, turns.
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.
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
Then tell me. What was the best
The best part. What was it?
Jack is at a loss for words. The tension builds.
I thought so.
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
No wonder your wife left you.
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.
I'd like to see you in my office
first thing tomorrow morning, Mr.
Solomon, if you don't mind.
EXT. TRINISYS BUILDING - NIGHT
Several feet away, partially hidden in the shadows, a parked
car with a clear vantage point of the main entrance.
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.
Nine-thirty. We got another limo
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
She snaps a shot of the man in the limo. He's a business
type, serious-looking man with horn-rimmed glasses, late
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.
(into the recorder)
What is the chief financial officer
of Fizz Cola doing in bed with
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.)
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
Sarah, where do you live?
INTERCUT PHONE CONVERSATION - SARAH AND LOU
Not now, Lou. I'm in the middle of
Where do you live, Sarah?
In the real world...
And where do I live?
She lets out a sigh, shakes her head.
The real world.
And what happens in the real world?
They both answer in singsong unison:
Deadlines are made or jobs are
Deadlines are made or jobs are
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.
Things just seem to keep getting
Things aren't complicated. They're
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?
Okay, Lou. But if I manage to pull
this one off, you're gonna owe me.
Big. I want that Hawaiian gig.
Bikini fashion show? You gotta be
kiddin'. That ain't your style.
I haven't had a day off in two
years, Lou. For three and a half
weeks, I'll make it my style.
Get this thing to me by Friday and
I'll row you there myself. Deal?
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.
Jeez. Well, that's it for me.
Abraham grabs his coat.
Giving up already?
Abraham shakes his head, finishes his drink.
When am I going to learn. Never
play against a man who carries
around his own darts.
You're a ringer, that's what you
are. I think you should have
considered going professional.
You mean, as opposed to being a
Abraham looks at him.
Jack. Come on. That's not what I
Jack removes a case from his pocket and puts his darts into
them. There's an uncomfortable silence between them.
I heard about that thing that
happened to you today.
Oh that? Forget it. I just let some
snot-nosed kid's sarcastic remark
get to me.
This isn't really about what some
dumb student said, is it?
What do you mean?
Abraham puts a few dollars on the table, buttons his jacket.
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.
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.
I hope that's the cheap bourbon
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.
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.
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
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.
Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.