In the near future, Earth is overcrowded and resources are scarce. Scientists send an ark to establish a foothold among the asteroids while a corporation brings an asteroid to Earth for it’s resources. Marking the greatest failure of human history, the asteroid strikes the planet.
Earth is smashed into a technological dark age. The corporation, with forewarning and time to prepare, survives and hordes technology to rule humankind. In hiding, the scientists attempt to rebuild technology which could deliver humanity from unjust rule. They are failing.
Far away from these global concerns, a young man struggles to explain his ‘natural’ gift for building things. What he doesn’t know, is that he may hold the key to humanities future.
EXT OUTER SOLAR SYSTEM
Asteroid on a collision course with Earth, a pale blue dot.
EXT EARTH STRATOSPHERE
SUPER on screen: EARTH POPULATION 15 BILLION
Six rockets launch from Earth, leave the atmosphere, and disappear each in a flash of warping blue light. On the horizon, a huge space vessel slowly turns, engines ignite and it warps away from Earth.
EXT ASTEROID SPACE
Rockets appear around the asteroid from nowhere in a flash of blue light, clamping onto the asteroid surface. Rockets fire and the asteroid begins to move off its collision course. The spin slows. Too late. The asteroid breaks apart scuffing the Moon. Big chunks burn through Earth’s atmosphere. Too big. Impact. Shock wave. Darkness.
EXT MEADOW DUSK
SUPER: EARTH POPULATION [SPINS DOWN TO] 10 MILLION
Asteroid chunks drift peacefully in the night sky. Stars. Complete darkness over the landscape except, smoke rises from the chimney of an old hillbilly shack with an attached shed. Flickering lamp light streams out. HAMMERING METAL.
INT STANNER SHED DUSK
Dirt floor. It could be Abe Lincoln’s childhood cabin. A greasy hand reaches out from under something covered in canvas, resting on…wide tires. A GRAVEL voice.
CHARLIE, a dirty, disheveled eight-year-old boy, grabs the correct wrench. Places it in the worn and scarred hand, wide-eyed.
Can I help?
You are helping.
Are we close?
John slides out from under the car. He’s rough. Scars. Mid 40s. Sees his boys face.
Question is, what would your old man do if we ever finished?
We can do anything!
Don’t ever forget it.
DISTANT GUNFIRE, EXPLOSIONS. John blows out the oil lantern and Charlie dashes instinctively. This is routine. His father dusts off slowly. Charlie returns with a rifle and pistol belt, handing them to his father.
Take me with you. I can help!
This is my job.
…I can count your shots! Hand you ammo!
There’s something more important for you to do. You’ll get your chance. Now, you hide.
Charlie Nods. EXPLOSIONS in the distance. The sound of SCREAMING craft flying overhead. John looks up.
Really in a tizzy this time.
Rushes through the shack. Charlie follows.
EXT STANNER SHACK DUSK
John bursts out the front door. Men in rough camo uniforms wait.
They found you John.
The man nods toward Charlie
Better take the fight to them.
John looks over his shoulder at his Son.
Follow your instincts Charlie. Do your part.
John turns to men and leaves.
Charlie watches his father go.
EXT MEADOW DUSK
ECHOS of battle. John stands alone, calm, eyes glazed as a reddish black stain spreads across his chest. Blood. One hand holds an old picture, his other holds a lighter. Tries to burn the picture. Fails. EXPLOSIONS and GUNFIRE all around. SHOUTS. John coughs. Blood splatters out of his mouth. John, the lighter, and the picture all fall one by one.
Hits the ground with a CRACK! COUGH.
ANGLE ON: Picture. John as a young man, standing next to a scientist, TOM MACQUIRE, and a rocket with numbers on it’s side. They are smiling.
BRUSH CRACKING. A man in a black uniform emerges from the brush gun smoking. SAL CRAFT. Clean. Crisp. 30’s. John’s last effort to reach the photo. Sal grab’s the picture and the lighter swiftly. Holding it up. Turns the picture over. Writing. “Beltminer, Inc. John Stanner, Tom McQuire”
THE, John Stanner. You’re quest is over.
ANGLE ON: A patch on Sal’s arm, “Global Resource Management – Resources – Technology – Order” GRM.
John stares at Sal with one wild bloody eye. Sal drops the lighter and John burns.
EXT OLD BELTMINER, INC. RESEARCH FACILITY DUSK
SUPER: 15 Years Later
Old buildings surrounded by a ragged chain-link fence. Overgrown. There is a 300’ what-the-fuck crater smoldering. Unnatural. Everything is erased as if deleted by a perfect molten sphere that is no longer there. A perfect burning hemisphere. A body perfectly cut in half, cauterized.
INT OLD RESEARCH FACILITY OFFICE DUSK Ragged and worn people check equipment. Computers flicker. Some are dark with no power. The lab is haphazard. Old. Hand-written mathematical formulas cover every surface. There are scale starship models. An illustration of an asteroid trajectory intersecting with Earth. Power flickers. TOM MCQUIRE is tired, disheveled with old clothes patched many times, and deep in thought. Muttering.
Someone is there. SHOUTING ECHOS. Tom blinks. Comes out of his daze.
Tom! You hear me?!
I dunno! Paul, half of Susie. God. Five?
Containment. We have to get there first.
It’s math. We have to.
Looks at computer. Squints.
They will come. We have twenty seven…
Tom runs his finger down a formula written on a wall, adds to it.
…Twenty five minutes eight seconds.
Dave’s eyes widen.
Yells across the room.
People! We are leaving! 25 minutes! Go! Go! Go!
Twenty four minutes 50 seconds.
Dave rushes away.
EXT HILLSIDE DUSK
POV through binoculars: The old research facility with the 300’ smoldering crater.
KYLE RICKERS, a huge man in perfect black uniform with “GRM” logo. He lowers the binoculars. Beside him stands two black ONYX UNITS, tall sleek robotic humanoids. GRM vehicles line the hillside, equally perfect. It’s an assault team. From a distance, a VEHICLE speeds closer. Personnel stand at attention. Kyle swallows hard and walks down toward the approaching vehicle. It skids to a stop. SAL, older, gets out walking quickly. Summons Kyle with a jerk of his head as he walks toward a HOVER JET medium assult aircraft. Kyle follows and clears his throat.
We can destroy it from here.
It’s of use. Get it. Tom is here.
He must be dead.
You see the same crater I do? It’s him. A million in one chance to live and he found…calculated it.
He enters the Hover Jet. It leaps into air. Kyle snaps orders sharply. Armored vehicles roll-out toward the base.
INT OLD BELTMINER, INC. RESEARCH FACILITY DUSK
People scurry, checking time, grabbing items, leaving office. Tom disconnects a computer. Looks up, speaks loudly.
18 minutes 11 seconds! Jack!
Jack stops in his tracks and turns toward Tom who is writing a note on an old piece of yellow paper.
Put this note on that trash can.
Hands it to Jack.
Set it in the window sill of the second bathroom. 17 seconds, then get out. Go!
Jack counting, starts a timer, grabs the can, and runs frantically away. Everyone has a timer. Tripping, Jack falls in the hallway and recovers as Tom puts the computer in an armored case. Locks it shut. He grabs a ship model, hesitates, then mashes it through a panel with math formulas written on it. KYRA MCQUIRE runs up. A stunning woman in her late twenties. Serious. Tom points to the case.
Take it to Mark. He has instructions. He has to locate Stanner. It’s time. Go. You have 42 seconds.
Kyra habitually sets timer without looking at it.
Dad, you’re coming with me. Let’s go.
Put on the suit. It’ll get you out. Take the X8. I’ll follow in a few days. Go!
Kyra stands firm. BOOM! Explosions outside. Tom grabs both of Kyra’s shoulders, and pulls her close.
This time you do as I say. It’s a convergence. Multiple outcomes, only one is right. You have to do this or They. Will. Win.
Vehicle engines approach ROAR outside. Kyra pulls away, YELLS while she picks up a chair and throws it toward the SOUNDS of the FIGHT. A BEAT.
Catch up. We’ll be waiting.
Grabs The case. Runs out. Everyone has left. Tom, alone, walks into a small dark office. Locks door. EXPLOSION. Lights go out.
Not this time.
EXT OLD BELTMINER, INC. RESEARCH FACILITY NIGHT GRM
vehicles crash through fences firing weapons. Sal’s Hover Jet drops out of the sky. Two Onyx Units drop out like bombs, hit the ground and unfold, attacking. Hover Jet slams down. Onyx Units behead first RESISTANCE FIGHTER and shoot others. There’s no real fight. Sal exits the ship, and walks toward the facility entrance.
SAL (under breath)
Onyx Unit rushes forward and knocks down doors. Sal enters facility, flanked by his metal predators.
INT RESEARCH FACILITY HALLWAY
Kyra runs down the hall with metal case. An EXPLOSION rips a hole in the hallway behind her. An Onyx Unit leaps into the hallway. Kyra smashes through a door off the main hall, out of sight.
INT RESEARCH FACILITY NIGHT
Onyx Units and Sal stand in vacant hall. Distant GUNFIRE. SAL Light. Lights on Onyx Units come on. Sal continues down hall.
INT RESEARCH FACILITY OFFICE NIGHT.
Tom sits at desk. Waiting. NOISES in hall, and above. STEPS and SCRATCHING. The locked office doorknob turns from outside. Tom holds a picture.
A picture of Tom as young man standing next to John Stanner and the same rocket with numbers on the side.
INT RESEARCH FACILITY BATHROOM NIGHT
Locker open, a huge duffle bag hits the floor. Kyra yanks out pieces of a body-fitting exoskeleton, leans against the bathroom door and rushes to put it on. Locks on an arm and chest harness. She sees a trash can sitting in the window sill with note written on old yellow paper. She leaps up and grabs the can. The bathroom door implodes where she was. Onyx unit in the doorway. The exoskeleton powers on, she spins and punches with the mechanical arm. The Unit flies, shatters, sparks, collapses. She looks at the note.
Note, “Grab me now!”
SOUNDS of APPROACHING GRM TROOPS.
She grabs the case and duffle, rushes out of the bathroom.
INT RESEARCH FACILITY TOM’S OFFICE NIGHT.
An Onyx Unit drops out of ceiling in front of Tom’s desk. It stares at him. Tom stands up. Unit turns, unlocks and opens the office door. Second Onyx Unit enters from the hall dragging frightened and confused DAVE into the office. Sal enters. Tom is surprised.
Didn’t expect me. A first?
It’s been a long time.
Sal looks at Dave, restrained by the Onyx Unit.
Where does he fit into your equation, Tom? What part does he play? Does he make it?
Tom looking at Dave. He smiles.
You’ll be fine.
Dave sighs, and relaxes.
Old habits die hard, Sal. That’s all. You can stop this. We’ve got nothing out here. I’m just trying to help people. Regardless, it didn’t work. Records. Research. Its all too far gone.
Clearly. So hand over what you’ve found. Now.
The Onyx Unit raises his gun and points it at Tom. Tom, resolved.
We own you nothing. Our contract became void when you destroyed the planet.
Tom looks Dave in the eyes sadly. Mutters.
Dave’s eyes widen.
The Onyx Unit turns and shoots Dave. Unit and Tom stained by blood. Dave is dead. Unit moves toward Tom.
INT RESEARCH FACILITY HALLWAY NIGHT
Kyra has moved. She puts on more of the exoskeleton, locking pieces. Thin channels of living metal bind together. Not complete. EXPLOSIONS outside. She glances out an exit door window.
POV: WAREHOUSE ACROSS A COURTYARD INT RESEARCH FACILITY HALLWAY NIGHT
Behind her in the distance her father YELLS. She gets up, runs toward him. Stops. Rage. She grabs a wall and throws it through the exit door, grabs metal case and runs outside toward warehouse away from her father.
EXT RESEARCH FACILITY NIGHT
Kyra is running. A GRM ground vehicle SCREAMS toward her. She is strengthened by the exoskeleton and punches through the vehicles window as it goes past, yanking the driver out and tossing him 30 feet. The vehicle slides to a stop. Another GRM soldier leaps out, pulls gun. Kyra shoves the vehicle into the soldier, knocking him down. She jumps on top of the vehicle. The man lays on ground fumbling. Kyra looks back toward research facility.
POV: Reflection in Kyra’s eye: Friends killed. The timer counts down on her wrist.
TOM’S VOICE (ECHO)
It’s math. A formula. Do your part, and we survive. It’s only math.
Enraged. Kyra shoots the man on ground without looking at him, leaps off the vehicle. SLOW MOTION. EVERYTHING IS TIME & MATH. FORMULAS DRIFTING. LIGHT. PULSES. ANGLES. CALCULATIONS. EXPLOSION. Kyra runs to the warehouse. Smashes through door.
INT WAREHOUSE NIGHT
Not stopping, Kyra runs toward a roll-up door. Servo motors on her exoskeleton WHIRRING. Kyra whispers calmly while running.
X8. Verify. Thx-1138. Door and Escape.
The roll-up door opens. Engine WHINE from within and a HOWL from the darkness. Sounds like GODZILLA MATING WITH A LEAR JET. A vehicle leaps out. The X8 experimental cross between an M1 Abrams and a Lamborghini Aventador. The beetle door opens as it slides sideways to a stop. A gun shot hits Kyra’s case and it flies into the air. GRM troops pour into the warehouse. Onyx Units and men take position. Kyle steps forward through his troops.
The case hits the floor.
That’s coming with me.
ANGLE ON: Kyra locks the last piece of the exoskeleton in place. It WHIRS and glows. Locked. Guard stance. A BEAT. Kyle moves. Kyra attacks. Acrobatic lethality. She takes out GRM troops. Her face bloody. Kyle hits her with his fist. Its gross. Kyra punches Kyle in rapid succession, moving him in yards. He falls, rolls, throws up. Grabs a huge pipe. Smashed by Kyra before he can use it. They look at each other. Kyle with surprised recognition.
It’s not your day.
Kyra plants feet, punches Kyle. Knocks him across the room into a pile of GRM troops. Kyra starts to run toward case. GUNFIRE. She’s outnumbered. Leaves it. She leaps into the X8. Speeds off. Kyle, slowly gets up. Sees case left on the warehouse floor.