INT. -- MEGA CONGLOMERATE RESEARCH FACILITY -- ACCESS
From floor level a long empty tunnel bulging with bundles of cable and pipe.
Bare bulbs throw circles of light into the narrow space as it recedes to a
vanishing point. Unfriendly mechanical noises click and rumble from inside the
walls as unseen voices grow louder. Several figures run lightly over the camera
at top speed, communicating in indistinct bursts of a few words. Oddly-shaped
equipment hangs from every surface of their patched jumpsuits. A hyperfrenetic
scarecrow of a girl, Flick, appears first, followed by Frag, an eerily watchful
and stocky boy, and Splinter, a man a few years older than the others, sure-
footed and unusually calm.
(quietly, still running)
--Marks the spot.
All three quickly stop and stare at the ceiling. Camera looks over Flick &
Frag's shoulders at Splinter, studying a circle of metal through iridescent
eyeshields sculpted to his face. There is a '23' patch on his right shoulder and,
as he turns, a caricatured smiley-face patch on the left.
A bit more light.
As a spotlight mounted on Flick's shoulder plays across the ceiling, camera
shifts to Splinter's viewpoint: recessed service hatch sprouting a bank-safe
style ship's wheel. Computerized information appears in several places around the
screen, revealing that Splinter has an internal heads-up display.
Two more figures arrive from the other direction. Twitch is a massive teenage
boy, wearing a ragged suit covered in safety pins and patches, while Sprout is a
girl about the same age, delicate and graceful whose jumpsuit is both clean and
well-tailored. Twitch stands under the hatch while Sprout climbs onto his
shoulders to inspect it more closely.
(whistling while she looks it over)
I need a self-replicating hatch seal confirmation signal with a seamless
splice into the original. You might check for pressure differential alarms, too.
Splinter's eye-display shows him calling up various bits of info from spiral
menus at the edges of his vision. A much younger voice comes over their
I've got their standard high-security seal signal ready to match.
Okay, make it happen.
Pressure readings locked into a stabilized loop.
(turning the wheel)
Open, says me!
Laughing maniacally under her breath, Sprout drops off Twitch's shoulders.
Flick's light goes out, and Twitch boosts Frag, Splinter, and Flick through
INT -- TRES EQUIS INFOTAINMENT BUILDING -- HOTEL ROOM
The room is sparely furnished and self-consciously 'ultramodern.' Scratch, a
man of indeterminate age, perhaps in his thirties, sits on the bed, while Dust
and Tweek, although younger men are more haggard, occupy the chairs. Scratch
picks up a Tres Equis Hotel thermos cup from the one table and unscrews the
bottom. As Scratch hands the false bottom to Tweek, we see a bag of yellow
capsules and a bag of lavender tablets.
Two hundred tims and three hundred of these new...
Whirlies, Tweek, whirlies.
Whatever. I call 'em girlies.
Tweek pulls a fistful of plastic cards from a pocket and lets them fall to the
translucent top of the table.
In exchange, four thousand pleasure points, forty standard
exec cards, one hundred pleasure points apiece.
I thought we'd said five thousand. I don't know, Dust, am I
We say it's four, then it's four. This is Tres Equis, ya know,
got anyone you feel like complaining to?
(waving lazily at the cup bottom with a bit of a fake drawl)
Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Tres Equis
with all that stuff.
Well, sounds like a breach of contract to me. But who's going to arrest who?
Tweek and Dust look at each other, almost imperceptibly.
You really wanted to say that, huh, smart guy?
I think you just made a bad mistake, and then topped it.
You're reading my mind.
(with an air of nervous triumph, produces a weapon)
Fuck this bullshit. We know you don't have a shooter, we
scanned you on the way in. So get the fuck up. Counter-
counter-revolutionary patrol officers. Hands behind you,
down on your face.
Dust and Tweek can't resist punching and kicking Scratch while they put
electronic restraints on his feet and ankles.
INT -- TRES EQUIS INFOTAINMENT BUILDING -- HOTEL CORRIDOR
Camera halfway down the corridor. Scratch appears from the open doorway of
the room as Tweek throws him into the opposite wall, and Dust follows them
out into the hallway, kicking Scratch in the small of the back as he passes him.
Two uniformed troopers turn the corner at the far end of the hallway, armed with
out-sized assault weapons, and fall in behind them.
EXT. DAY -- NEW SAN NARCISO -- TRES EQUIS INFOTAINMENT PLAZA --
The four officers form a square around Scratch, who is linked to each of them by
some sort of electronic restraint cable, which limits Scratch to a pitiful
They tug him roughly along toward a waiting Counter-Counter-Revolutionary
Patrol vehicle, its colored strobe lights flickering across the plaza.
(ultra-calm, still moving)
Look, you two. You don't like me, I don't like you, that's our karma, I suppose--
Shut the fuck up.
Listen to me for a minute. I wouldn't do this to you. I
wouldn't lock you in with those animals, let them fuck you up the--
Dust smacks Scratch hard enough to bounce his head off his shoulder.
(flushed, but unfazed, lifting his wrists)
Right now, hit the release switch, and I'll disappear.
Somehow, I don't think that would work out.
I'm trying to give you a choice. At least to give you a better death
than you would give me. To trade places as the clock runs
down. No? Then this was what was in your heart.
There is an incredibly loud rifle shot, and Scratch wobbles as one of the security
cables goes taut. Camera pulls back and up over the five figures: one of the
two troopers is down on the ground. There is a suggestion of slow motion. In
a precise rhythm, Tweek, then the second trooper, and finally Dust fold
awkwardly and spin around as they sprawl onto the ground. The restraints and cables release
from Scratch and clatter to the concrete as the men fall. Scratch
walks quickly, but calmly, toward the patrol car.
INT -- COUNTER-COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY PATROL VEHICLE
As Scratch climbs into the back seat, the green-haired driver, Apple, a young
woman in a shiny, multicolored jumpsuit, turns to grin at him. Computer read-
outs appear, revealing that Scratch has an heads-up eye-display, also, though he
has no equipment visible on his face. The words 'upload vidfile tres equis'
pulse in the lower corner of the screen--
FADE TO BLACK. MAIN CREDITS SCROLL UPWARD INTERMINGLED WITH DATA-TRANSFER CODE
INT -- C-C-R PATROL VEHICLE
The car pulls around a corner and squeals to a stop. Two men with streamlined
sniper rifles open the right-hand doors and nimbly jump in as the car lurches out
into the road, its strobes visible on the buildings streaking by. Styx is an
emaciated young man with stringy hair, while Stone is a bit younger and much
more muscular. Their jumpsuits and equipment seem relatively new.
You're gettin' all poetic and shit. Talking about karma and good deaths and shit.
Apple snickers, while Styx half-smiles.
We could do it again and have you get smacked around and have me wait on the roof.
It's cool, it's cool, I'm just playin'. Still, only good death I
know about is one I get to watch.
(with a split-second smile)
At a distance.
Up close is okay, as long as your friends got steady hands.
EXT. DAY -- NEW SAN NARCISO -- STREET
The C-C-R Patrol Vehicle zips around a corner at top speed, its strobes bouncing
in frantic rhythm off nearby windows.