#K2815 - "Slidecage" - 1st Yellow Revs. 11/24/97
21 INT. LABYRINTH - TERMINUS OF MAGNETIC CORRIDOR - NIGHT
Quinn is unconscious, on the ground near the airlock.
Colin is still held, though no longer struggling,
looking at the sealed, silent hatch with despair.
Lock him down. Computer room.
I'm not leaving my brother!
We're not going to hurt your brother.
He stares at her, then relents, exits with the others.
Janie walks to a bowl of water, dips a rag.
She moves to Quinn, dabs his face. Some of her men stand guard a few feet
off. Quinn starts
Come on, come on now. That's it.
Quinn comes awake, remembers Maggie being chucked out the
He scrambles for the airlock.
He wheels on her.
Don't give me that! You murdered her!
She wouldn't have made it here, and she would have taken some of us with
You didn't even know her!
With a cry, he lunges for her. Her men restrain him.
Turn that hate where it belongs, on the Kromaggs.
The Kromaggs? The Kromaggs! I hope you burn in hell!
This is hell. Didn't you notice? The mainframe that runs this place
is sealed up
tight. We can't get into it, can't do a damned thing. And most of all, we
Nobody takes prisoners here. We get a Magg, we open him up, leave him for
others. I do what I do to keep these people alive.
Quinn says nothing, only glares at her.
There are a million ways to die here, but only one to live. Go cool down
and think about that.
She nods to her men -- take him away. They haul Quinn off.
22 INT. CONDUIT CENTRAL - NIGHT
Dark. We're in the walls at some juncture that opens up to
a larger space. In the shadows, we see
a misshapen FIGURE, glinting metal, carrying something.
It sets its burden down gingerly -- and now we see that
it's Maggie, eyes closed, unmoving. She
might be dead or merely unconscious.
23 ON THE FIGURE
As we now see that it's actually a man in a
cobbled-together SPACE SUIT. He raises his visor,
revealing his face. This is THOMAS (40s), a small, hectic man, very bright
but nervous, with a
sensitive face. He looks down at Maggie, studying her, his expression
24 INT. KROMAGG LAIR - NIGHT
Lighting dim. MALE AND FEMALE KROMAGGS busy themselves at
various tasks, tending
rough-hewn hydroponics, etc. Many have scars from battles, rags obscuring
parts of their faces,
covering missing eyes or badly healed wounds. The Kromaggs we saw earlier
drag Rembrandt in.
Lemme go! Let go of me!
You humans are so loud, even when you're not in pain.
KOLITAR surges through the crowd to Rembrandt (NOTE: His
arm has no bandage).
I haven't seen you.
Wish I could say the same. But everywhere I go, there you are.
(to the others) Was he alone?
No, I had my group with me.
You know, bass, drums, keyboards. Didn't bring my back-up singers on this
Kolitar suddenly backhands Remmy hard. Remmy's head snaps
back. Remmy looks at Kolitar
You're gonna have to go the limit with me. I've done my time in Kromagg
Kolitar thinks that over for a moment. Then:
What about your companions? The rest of the humans? Where do they camp
Rembrandt says nothing. Kolitar sighs. Turns to one of the
Hold his head.
Several Kromaggs hold Rembrandt's head so that he's forced
to look into Kolitar's eyes.
Do you know the difference between a human brain and a Kromagg brain?
A human brain is blood and tissue. A Kromagg brain is a knife.
Kolitar stares into Rembrandt's eyes and concentrates,
begins to mentally scan Rembrandt's mind.
Rembrandt feels his mind being violated, thrashes, but is held tight. It's
painful to Rembrandt.
Kolitar continues to scan him, cool, absorbed.
24A ON REMBRANDT AND KOLITAR
as Koitar bears down, scanning Rembrandt. Rembrandt
Your friends... A woman. Two men. Something special about the men.
one of them. (Surprised) You're sure he's going to find a way out of here.
Suddenly, Kolitar is perplexed by something he can only
dimly scan, very alien to the rest of
Something else there. Hidden. Buried. Deep...
And now a change comes over Rembrandt. Although his eyes
are still fixed on Kolitar, his
expression goes blank. He begins a LOW MOAN. There's a resistant quality,
but not as
though Rembrandt is resisting, but rather the information itself
is, separate from his will.
Kolitar's composure is faltering, locked to Rembrandt's
Secret. A Kromagg secret. What? (beat, intense) Open to me.
Rembrandt lets out a SCREAM and goes unconscious. Kolitar
CRIES OUT, breaks off the
contact. A TRICKLE OF BLOOD escapes one nostril. He dabs at it with a rag,
the unmoving Rembrandt. A boy, face completely covered in rags,
approaches. This is
KALDEEN (18), only his eyes visible.
Is he dead, father?
No, merely unconscious. There is a wall in his mind. But I will break it.
Kolitar sighs, touches his head. It aches terribly.
I must rest now. (to others, off Remmy) Chain him.
They drag Rembrandt to a nearby wall, chain him. Kolitar
sees that Kaldeen is still looking at
Rembrandt with curiosity. He speaks more softly.
You remember how I told you of the serpent in the garden, how the humans
it and tried to kill it? They hate anything that is not like them. You are
not speak to
him, do you understand me?
Kaldeen starts to protest, then nods obedience. Kolitar
26 INT. TERMINAL ROOM - NIGHT
A circular room with a row of computers. Colin stands by a
keyboard and monitor, typing in
different commands. With each try, the screen shows ACCESS DENIED.
I see now why this is the perfect prison for us. (hits the console with a
can't get this to work.
Quinn's not listening. He's running his hand along the
locked door, grieving.
Beat the odds, that's what I told her. Like always. We didn't beat them
I miss Maggie, too, but we have to get to Rembrandt if he's still alive.
only one who has a chance with this computer.
To do what? Get us out of here, get you killed, too? Maggie had no
home to find.
She was only here to help me find mine.
Colin comes up behind Quinn, speaks softly.
On my world, we know death well. Many families lost a child, a parent or
When the influenza carried off my foster mother and father, at first I
didn't want to
live. Why had it taken them and left me alone?
He puts his hand on Quinn's shoulder, rubs it.
I read somewhere that death is a natural part of life. You can't avoid it.
change it. All you can do is remember those we've lost, and live for the
ones still here.
Quinn turns to him and the two embrace, the emotion
welling up in Quinn. A beat, then Quinn gets
command of himself again.
He moves to the computer.
Let's see what we can do.
27 INT. CONDUIT CENTRAL - NIGHT
Maggie lies bundled in rough blankets, unmoving. Then she
GASPS, takes a deep breath and sits up.
She looks around, disoriented. A SOUND. She turns to
Thomas, hurrying up to her. He gives her
a reassuring smile.
It's all right, you're not dead. (off the surroundings) I mean, it would
be a pretty
sorry afterlife if it looked like this.
Maggie tries to speak, croaks out:
Where am I?
(off handed) In the walls. You're confused, that's only natural after what
through. Pitching you out in the methane, honestly I don't know what they
thinking. (extends a hand) Thomas. Thomas Beecham.
Maggie... You know, I would have figured you for a Betty, or maybe a Lola.
When I saw you in the corridor with your friends --
Her friends! Maggie tries to rise.
I've got to get to them.
She's seized with a fit of coughing. He rushes to her.
Easy, easy there. You're not up to anything yet.
He helps ease her back. She gives a cry of frustration,
That's it, just relax, you're a guest. (sheepish) Matter of fact, you're
I'm a bit of a stay-at-home. But when I saw what was happening to you, I
Some inner emotional pain flashes in his face, something
dark and down deep. He wipes it away,
all brightness again.
Well, what's done is done. You get some rest now.
He starts away, but she grabs his hand, murmurs:
He flushes, embarrassed, gives a small smile. Pats her
29A INT. KROMAGG LAIR - NIGHT (FORMERLY SCENE
Rembrandt lies curled in a fetal position, eyes closed,
chained to a wall. Kaldeen crouches,
looking at him, beyond Rembrandt's reach. Remmy opens his eyes, sees the
I'm not allowed to talk to you.
Rembrandt sits up with a groan.
Okay with me.
Remmy rubs his eyes, then looks at Kaldeen.
Who are you?
My name is Kaldeen. Kolitar is my father. Everyone's out foraging. Except
and they're not watching us.
Rembrandt raises up his chain.
You wouldn't happen to have the key to this place on you?
Kaldeen shakes his head.
No, I didn't think so.
I've never been this close to a human before. I mean, not a whole one.
Enjoy the show. My head's killing me.
I could help that, go into your mind. It took me a long time to --
You just stay out of my mind. I 've had enough of that today. (then) How
you keep your face all covered up like that?
Because I'm hideous, a mutation. We don't have looking glasses, but my
has told me.
Nice of him.
What's your name?
That's an odd one.
It's after a painter.
Are you a painter, too?
No. I'm a singer.
I've heard of songs. They are a human weakness. Are you from the home
Rembrandt stiffens, gets a suspicious look.
This more of the interrogation?
(surprised) No, just talking.
I'm not from the home world, never seen it. And from the way it's going,
like I will.
He looks at the chain, shakes his head.
When my mama was dressing me for kindergarten, I never expected to wind up
Tell me about your mother.
I never knew mine.
Rembrandt looks at the boy, thinks to say no. But then he
feels sympathy for him, this outcast.
Well, where should I start?
At the beginning.
Rembrandt looks at Kaldeen a moment. There's something
about this kid. Very un-Kromagg.
31 INT. CONDUIT CENTRAL - NIGHT
The space suit hangs on a hook. Maggie stands studying it.
Made it myself so I could explore outside.
She turns to see Thomas approaching with a tray bearing
various bowls of glop.
Good thing, too, or I wouldn't have been able to get to you. You're
looking worlds better.
Still pretty unsteady on my pins.
He helps her to a chair.
Naturally, to be expected. (off the tray) Hey, presto, I cooked something.
it comes from a gizmo in the wall, so it's more accurate to say I extruded
I didn't know what you liked, so I ordered up a choice. Artificial ham.
turkey. Actually, it all tastes like artificial chicken.
Maggie tries some. Makes a face.
But it does grow on you. So. How'd you land here? I assume you were
I was traveling with my friends. It's a little complicated.
Complicated is good. It makes for a long story. And time we have in
How about you? How'd you end up here?
(evasive) Oh, various and sundry, this and that. It's not really
Been here awhile?
In the walls? Not long. Oh ... ten years.
It's not as bad as it sounds. Really. I always liked tunnels and
that TV show? Beauty and the Beast? Not the Disney one, the other one.
Maggie's looking off at a ROW OF MONITORS set high along
one wall, switching to various
scenes of empty corridors and rooms.
I see you've noticed my home entertainment center. (draws up to monitors)
these up to keep an eye on things. Generally, from eight to twelve I watch
from twelve to four the Kromaggs. Quite diverting. (confidential) I have
We could use these to find my friends.
Thomas grows uncomfortable.
Well, yes, theoretically. But I wouldn't recommend it. Some of the things
you might see --
You're not up to much excitement yet.
Thomas, please, It matters.
He looks away, doesn't want to say yes. But she's looking
at him with such warmth, he can't deny her.
Maggie smiles, grateful.
32 INT. TERMINAL ROOM - NIGHT
Quinn's typing commands at the terminal, Colin nearby.
It's just as I hoped. The same de-encryption string our father hid in the
micro-dots he planted here.
He surmised we might come this way.
And gave us a key.
Can we turn off the Slidecage mechanism?
Not from here, it's on a separate grid. So first we've got to find a way
(off data on the screen) There's a venting duct that comes in here, I can
override its locking code. Only hitch is there's a stretch of it that's
to the outside atmosphere.
How long a 'stretch'?
Just a few hundred feet. (nothing to it) We'll hold our breath.
Colin looks very worried. Quinn keys the command. The
hatch on the vent starts to slowly open,
methane FUMES wisping out.
Got it. (off Colin's nervousness) We won't be in there long. Just think of
being underwater in a swimming hole.
A swimming hole isn't filled with methane, brother.
You don't always have to be so literal.
They take several quick, deep breaths, hold it. Quinn and
Colin then dive in. The hatch SLIDES
SHUT behind them.
33 INT. CONDUIT - NIGHT
SWIRLING TOXIC ATMOSPHERE within. We MOVE WITH QUINN AND
the tight, hellish space.
Colin starts to falter, Quinn grabs him, pulls him along,
determined. But they seem to be running
out of steam, losing the battle. The MIST GROWS THICKER until they're lost
END OF ACT TWO