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Force Majeure

[MLM-112 (4C12)]

Written by Chip Johannessen

Directed by Winrich Kolbe

U.S. Air Date: February 07, 1997

[Transcribed by Maria Vitale

Edited by Libby]

[A room somewhere. Heavy breathing in the background. The camera pans to a man in an iron lung, his face reflected in a mirror. His breath clouds the reflection. A woman, the Iron Lung Man's daughter Myra, speaks off-camera.]

MYRA: Papa, it's begun.

[Fade out.]

[A violent thunder storm erupts, lightning flashes horizontally across a night sky.]



[students everywhere are running for cover. Some find it under an entrance to a building on the campus. As they do, it suddenly begins to hail; chunks of ice so large that they rupture the lamps that light the quad. And just as suddenly, it is replaced by sheets of pouring rain.]

[One young man steps out from the entrance to pick up a piece of the ice. He brings it back to the other students to show them its size. It is as large as his entire hand.]

MAN: Look at this thing. Can you believe it?

[A young woman lights a cigarette, then sees a blonde woman walking in the rain slowly towards them.]

WOMAN: Lauren! What are you doing?

[she doesn't reply but continues walking. Lightning flashes, and draws the blonde woman's attention.]

WOMAN: Come over here! Hurry up! God, you must be freezing.

[The blonde still does not answer but she begins to raise her right arm toward the other woman.]

WOMAN: Lauren, are you okay?

[The blonde holds up two fingers indicating that she wants the cigarette which the other woman places between her fingers.]

[The moment the cigarette reaches her hand, the blonde becomes engulfed in flames. No one can do anything to save her. They watch helplessly as she burns. Through the flames she is seen down on her knees, her hands clasped with her fingers entwined, facing upward.]

[fade to black]

[main titles]

"You remember a single deluge only, but there were many previous ones."


[polaroid fade up]

[The Black residence. A television news report on the aftermath of storm. A reporter, off-camera, narrates her piece as images of the massive flooding are shown. A station ID is at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen: FTN NEWS 4.]

REPORTER: Seven confirmed deaths and the number of missing persons continues to mount in the wake of the freak storm front the National Weather Service has officially labeled the worst of the century. Twenty-five inches of rain have fallen over the past 72 hours.

[The telephone rings. Frank Black and his daughter are sitting at the dining room table. She is coloring and he is writing. He answers the phone.]

FRANK: Hello.

CATHERINE: Hi. It looks like I'm going to be pretty late.

[The scene alternates between Frank at home and Catherine elsewhere throughout the phone conversation.]

FRANK: I figured, with all the flooding.

CATHERINE: No, actually, it's this case. I'm with the parents of a grad student who lit herself on fire.

FRANK: Did she survive?

CATHERINE: No, and the parents keep saying that she'd never kill herself, so it's pretty intense here. Your guy has been a real comfort to them though.

[she turns to look at the man who is sitting with the parents in the other room.]

FRANK: I'm sorry, Catherine. What guy?

[He gets up to lower the volume on the TV.]

CATHERINE: Dennis something. He said he worked with you - I thought from the Group.

FRANK: I probably just haven't met him yet.

CATHERINE: You'd definitely remember him if you had.

FRANK: Make sure you get his name.

CATHERINE: I will. I better get back to the parents now. Love you.

FRANK: Love you.

[They both hang up. Catherine turns to speak to Dennis but he's already gone. The grieving parents she is counseling are alone on the couch.]

[The Black home.]

JORDAN: Was that Mommy? What did she say?

[He walks over to her, picks her up and carries her as he speaks to her.]

FRANK: I have a secret plan that I can't tell to any spies unless they're in their pj's. Hmm?

[They touch foreheads, she giggles and he places her back down on the floor.]

FRANK: Scoot.

JORDAN: I'll be right back, Daddy.

[she rushes off to change her clothes.]

[Frank picks up the remote control and raises the volume on the TV. The news broadcast is still on. Now they are covering the story of the girl Catherine mentioned on the phone. The reporter is off-camera, narrating the images on screen. Someone at the university caught the incident with a video camera.]

REPORTER: Some think this self-immolation, if that's what it was, had the trappings of a political act.

[The images on screen show the girl completely in flames, the outline of her body can be seen.]

REPORTER: But none of the students we interviewed had any idea what she may have been protesting.

[Frank's computer in his basement where he is looking at the same footage which was shown on the news: the immolation of the grad student at the university, without sound. Frank is manipulating the images, viewing it frame-by-frame. The girl's hands can be seen through the flames.]

[Catherine, who has arrived unheard, clears her throat calling Frank's attention. She looks at his monitor and sees the images.]

CATHERINE: I hope her family hasn't seen this.

FRANK: Yeah, it was on the news.

CATHERINE: She reminds me of those Buddhist monks protesting the Viet Nam War.

FRANK: Yeah, I think so too.

[The images are shown again, advancing frame-by-frame. Her arm and hand can be seen.]

FRANK: Ritualistic pose. Focused beyond herself, somehow.

CATHERINE: Maybe this is why the parents kept saying someone else had to be responsible.


CATHERINE: They had no idea, so, I took it as a defense mechanism, you know, find someone out there to blame. Honestly, that guy who knew you actually encouraged them.

FRANK: Did you find out what his last name was?

CATHERINE: No, he never came back.

[They look at the monitor as the images fill the screen, a mass of flames.]

CATHERINE: It's got to feel worse when it's an only child.

[Frank touches Catherine's hand which has been on his shoulder throughout.]

CATHERINE: I'm going to go peek in on Jordan.

[she kisses his forehead and leaves.]

FRANK: I'll be up in a minute.

[Frank logs in to the Millennium Group. He receives his usual message: MG Welcome Frank Black. Starting up... A communication menu comes up: Fax - Modem - Telephone. Frank chooses the phone.]

[He auto dials 555-0172 - Peter Watts' number. The computer dings until it finally connects.]

WATTS: Watts.

FRANK: Peter, Frank.

WATTS: So you weren't washed away?

FRANK: No, still here. Did you see the grad student on the news?

WATTS: Yeah, pretty grim.

FRANK: Do we have somebody working on that? Dennis something?

WATTS: No, no one. You think we should?

FRANK: Catherine spoke to the family. They say it wasn't a suicide.

WATTS: If I were the parents, I'd be telling myself that too. If you want, I can do a little research.

FRANK: Thank you.

[He disconnects from the call.]


8:44 AM

[The next day, Frank goes to the school to speak with the dead girl's friend, Maura - the same woman who gave her the cigarette during the storm. He knocks on her dorm door.]

MAURA: It's open.

[Frank opens the door, enters but leaves the door wide open.]

FRANK: Frank Black. I spoke to you on the phone.

[The girl hides the cigarette she's been smoking to one side.]

MAURA: Right. Look, could you close the door, please. I'm not allowed to smoke in here.

[He closes the door.]

MAURA: You'd think I'd quit after yesterday.

[but she takes a drag on the cigarette anyway. Frank looks at the room and points to a desk across from the girl.]

FRANK: Is this Lauren's desk?

MAURA: Not anymore.

[He picks up a book from the desk. The cover reads: theory and examples of Point-Set Topology.]

FRANK: 'Point-Set Topology.'

MAURA: Lauren. She was mutant bright. She was offered a faculty appointment at Oxford last year.

FRANK: Why didn't she take it?

MAURA: Her parents. They're nice people. They're just like, uh, 'Great Britain? Isn't that somewhere near England?'

FRANK: What do you think, Maura? Were there any warning signs before yesterday?

MAURA: Like what? What, like little fires flaring up? I'm sorry, but do you people not compare notes? I mean this is a complete xerox of what your partner already asked me!

FRANK: Someone was here?

MAURA: A Dennis Hoffman? You know, the snappy dresser.

[Frank looks around the room and spots something.]

MAURA: And the only reason I was willing to go through this again is 'cause he said you would be able to tell me what happened.

[it is a 3-D model of the solar system: the nine planets and the sun, with all of the planets in alignment with the sun. He turns it around to look at the planets.]

MAURA: He said you'd be interested in that.

[Outside, Frank walks along the quad. A worker can be seen on top of a ladder, replacing the broken balls of the lamps.]

[A makeshift memorial of candles and flowers has been created by the students on the spot where Lauren died. Two students stand by the memorial, with flowers in their hands, talking about the incident.]

[Frank stands and watches the students, then turns to watch the men working on the lamps. As the worker climbs down from the ladder, the lamps are turned on. He stares at them, then walks a bit so that they will all be aligned. There are seven lamps. Frank flashes on the 3-D model he saw in Maura's room. He then looks at the spot where the girl chose to die. It was in direct alignment with the lamps.]

[A man approaches Frank.]

MAN: Frank Black? (sighs) I would have come sooner, but I wanted you to see for yourself.

FRANK: Have we met?

MAN: Dennis Hoffman. I'm glad we're teamed up on this. The girl? The alignment?

[He points to the lamps and to the spot where the girl died.]

DENNIS: Boom. Boom. Doesn't get much clearer than that.

FRANK: What doesn't?

DENNIS: On May 5th, 2000, seven inner planets align for the first time since the Great Flood. Uranus at the meridian of its epicenter. Earth the focus of the biggest gravitational tug-of-war in 6,000 years. Catastrophic Earth changes on alignment day, preceded by abnormal weather patterns now as stresses build. Example: hurricanes - Edouard; Andrew; Andhra Pradesh, Bay of Bengal. Example: The Sahara Desert advancing 70.7 meters per year. Example: Lima earthquake, 7.3; Loma Prieta, 7.1; Irian Jaya, 8.0. Example: ...

[He nods toward the spot where the girl died, site of the previous night's storm.]

FRANK: The hailstorm.

DENNIS: Exactly as predicted.

FRANK: You mean prophecy?

DENNIS: I mean scientific fact. Alignment every 6,000 years. Obviously, Lauren knew.

FRANK: She killed herself because a hailstorm confirmed the world was about to end?

DENNIS: Nobody kills themselves over something that happens three years from now. I have to believe that she was protesting something else.

FRANK: People close to her have no idea what that might be.

DENNIS: Someone does. So obviously there's others involved, someone behind this.

FRANK: Dennis, you've been telling people we work together.

DENNIS: Only those with a need to know.

FRANK: I've never met you before.

DENNIS: Ask Peter Watts, he'll confirm. There are others involved.

[He walks away from Frank, leaving him near the dead girl's memorial.]

[Later that night, Frank drives to a location where Peter Watts is waiting for him. He gets into Watts' car.]

FRANK: Thanks for helping me out with this, Peter.

WATTS: It wasn't exactly a pleasure dealing with Dennis Hoffman again but I think I impressed upon him the need to leave you and Catherine alone.

FRANK: How'd you find him?

WATTS: Email. He's always eager to talk. Dennis came forward on a zodiac cult investigation a few years back before you joined us. Once he found out about the Group it took a year to get him off our backs.

FRANK: But he's not dangerous?

WATTS: Only if you listen to him.

[He hands Frank an envelope.]

WATTS: On the girl, I came up with some pertinent information. Actually, a lack of pertinent information. There's no birth certificate. Subsequent public documents list Lauren as the Padillas' genetic child but that's all but impossible. Too many recessive traits.

[inside the envelope are some papers and photos of the dead girl. One is a graduation photo with her parents, the Padillas.]

FRANK: So she was adopted.

WATTS: Never formally, meaning that there's no record of her biological parents. There's something else. Scholarships, appointments, an endless list of special programs starting at a very early age.

FRANK: I was told the Padillas weren't this sophisticated.

WATTS: (nods) Exactly. There's been a pattern of positive interference in her life - from outside.

FRANK: The genetic parents.

WATTS: Whoever it is, is taking pains to remain anonymous. But there are definitely others involved.

FRANK: That's what Dennis Hoffman said.

[Watts chuckles.]

[The room with the Iron Lung Man. The woman enters and walks over to speak with him. The man's labored breathing fogs the mirror before him.]

WOMAN: It's Carlin. She's not coming.



[Carlin's bedroom. The camera slowly pans across the room. There are stuffed animals on a dresser next to a 3-D model of the solar system identical to the one that Lauren had in her office. All of the planets here are also in alignment with the sun. Moans can be heard in the background as the camera continues to pan until it finds Carlin, sitting at her computer.]

[she is breathing heavily. Then she places a bloody razor down on the desk as a woman (her mother?) knocks repeatedly at her door.]

WOMAN: Carlin? Carlin? Honey?

[Carlin then takes a tissue and places it over an area on her right upper thigh and presses down on it. We see her face finally. She looks exactly like Lauren. Identical. As she moves her hand away from her leg it reveals what she has done with the razor. She has carved a circle with a straight line drawn out from it.]

[Next, we see Carlin at the top of a dam's gate overlooking its spillway. She steps over the railing and stands outside of it, over the spillway drop off. She turns her palms upward and interlocks her fingers. Then purposefully steps off the edge and into the spillway to her death.]

[fade to black]

[polaroid fade up]


[At the morgue, Lauren's body is being examined by Cheryl Andrews. Also present are Frank and Peter Watts. She is reporting her findings into a tape recorder.]

ANDREWS: Cheryl Andrews, M.D., conducting autopsy under the auspices of Snohomish County Coroner. Subject of reported self-immolation, grad student Lauren Padilla: P-A-D-I-L-L-A. White female, age 25. Elevated carboxy hemoglobin confirms cause of death was hypoxia and severe thermal injuries.

[On the table before then are the charred remains of Lauren. Watts looks intently at the body.]

ANDREWS: Bone shrinkage and fourth-degree burning of extremities consistent with use of acetone accelerants. Body posture consistent with acetone accelerants as well.

(She shuts off the recorder)

WATTS: The kneeling position?

ANDREWS: Well, 'kneeling' makes it sound voluntary. This is called 'the pugilistic attitude.' It's very typical. It's caused by the muscles contracting under intense heat.

[Frank moves closer for a better look at the girl's hands.]

FRANK: What about the hands?

ANDREWS: Less typical, much less.

[Watts mimics the pose with his own hands, interlocking his fingers with the palms facing upwards.]

WATTS: The Mandala position - if you're a Buddhist.

FRANK: What does that mean? Protest?

WATTS: Uh, an offering, supplication.

[Cheryl Andrews opens one of Lauren's eyelids to look at her eye. It is bright blue color.]

ANDREWS: Beautiful eyes.

[Frank puts on his eyeglasses for a closer look at something on the body as Cheryl continues her findings into the tape recorder.]

ANDREWS: Congenital coloboma occlusion at three o'clock.

[Frank pulls an overhead lamp closer to the body to better illuminate an area. The three of them gather around to look at it.]

FRANK: What do you think?

[On the girl's charred upper thigh is the same wound that Carlin had made with the razor: a circle with a straight line drawn out from it.]

ANDREWS: It's obviously self-inflicted. I wouldn't call it self-mutilation. The shape means something.

WATTS: In astronomy it's the symbol for conjunction.

FRANK: Alignment.

[Frank and Watts continue to discuss the case as they leave the building and head towards the parking lot.]

FRANK: She had a model of the solar system in her office. The seven planets were aligned the day she died.

WATTS: Hoffman was there first. He probably aligned them himself.

FRANK: He said others were involved. Someone's behind it.

WATTS: He always says that. He's bound to be right once in a while.

FRANK: I think he knows something.

[As they approach Frank's Jeep they find Dennis Hoffman leaning against his own car waiting for them. Watts gets irritated at the sight of Hoffman and shouts at him.]

WATTS: Dennis! We had an agreement!

DENNIS: (calmly) Yes, we did. But now you've found something on the body, haven't you?

WATTS: (more calm) Get in your car and go.

FRANK: What's this mean to you?

[He uses his finger to draw the symbol of conjunction on the dirty trunk of Hoffman's car.]

DENNIS: May 5th. I knew it.

[Watts becomes impatient again as Dennis goes into his litany once more.]

DENNIS: 5/5/2000. Seven inner planets align for the first time since the Great Flood. Uranus at the meridian of its epicenter...

FRANK: (interrupts) Yes, you told me about that before.

DENNIS: (continues) Catastrophic Earth changes on that day preceded by abnormal weather conditions now...

[Frank interrupts again, beginning to tire of hearing this again, heads for the car. Watts has already given up and gotten into Frank's Jeep.]

FRANK: The Bay of Bengal, you said that too.

DENNIS: (continues) Seven planets align. Seven people survived with Noah.

[Frank gets into the Jeep.]

DENNIS: Seven separate prophecies by Nostradamus predicting the apocalypse in May.

[Frank starts up the engine.]

DENNIS: Listen. This is the beginning of the Thousand Days. When the first trumpet sounds there came hail mixed with fire and blood. Revelations, verse seven. Blood. Exodus, chapter seven. 'And the river was turned to blood.' River of blood. There'll be more.

[Frank finally shifts into reverse and pulls away leaving Hoffman standing there.]

[back at home in his basement office, Frank goes online on the Internet to do some research. His Macintosh shows that he's accessing the database at the Palomar Electronic Observatory, Category: Solar System. Planetary Positions. For date and time, he enters: 05/05/2000 GMT.]

[While it searches for the necessary plotting information, Frank looks at a book. He finds a drawing of an erupting volcano.]

[The computer dings to signal that it has completed its task.]

[The screen displays the following: ]

Solar System: Friday Year 2000 May 5 @ 19:07 GMT Extremely Rare Alignment

Splendid Syzygy as illustrated by this artist interpretation

[Frank clicks his mouse to see the illustration. It shows a color rendering of the seven inner planets in alignment with the sun. Frank prints out a copy of the illustration while he goes back to his books.]

[in another book he reads: 'The Plague of Hail,' accompanied by an illustration. He turns some pages and finds another illustration with the caption: 'The River of Blood.']

[Returning to the computer, he does a search of the words: RIVER+BLOOD at a search engine web site, URL: 'https://www.Peripheral/Home.html'. The banner across the top of the page reads: 'Welcome Home... ' As it completes its search, the new URL becomes: 'https://www.Peripheral/SearchResults' and several references are listed. Frank scrolls down until he reads...

The Riverside [ Oregon ] Gazette

URL: 'https://www.westmedia.com/gazette/search.html'. Summary: Scientists baffled. Malheur river turns blood red. EPA called in. EPA Insp. D.J. Jorge flying in from Seattle Wa. Local tourist river closed.

[Frank selects the link and receives a reprint of the front page of the Riverside Gazette. Headline reads: 'Malheur River Turns Red', 'Scientists Baffled - Pyroclastic Surge'. A photo of the river and beneath it: 'River Water Turns Blood Red'.]

[He scrolls down the screen to read another front page article. Local Girl Missing - National Merit Scholar Carlin Mather Disappears]

[Frank, Watts and Cheryl Andrews meet with a Sheriff Camden in Oregon as they stand before Carlin's remains in a body bag.]

SHERIFF: We found her right where you said she'd be - a few hundred yards downstream from the dam just off the spillway.

[Frank pulls open the bag's zipper.]

SHERIFF: We left her the way we found her.

FRANK: Good.

SHERIFF: It wasn't pretty.



12:11 PM

[Frank, Watts and Cheryl are wearing surgical gloves. The sheriff moves away in order to give more room to Watts who picks up and looks at some sediment found on the body.]

WATTS: Andesol soil. Volcanic.

SHERIFF: The river bed ruptured just below the dam. Fish never knew what hit 'em.

WATTS: They speculate that volcanic ash from Santorini turned the Nile River red in ancient Egypt.

FRANK: River of blood.

SHERIFF: That's what people around here have been calling it.

ANDREWS: (examining the body) Connective fascia's pretty degraded. I'd guess two or three days underwater.

SHERIFF: Yeah, she, she went missing, eh, three days ago. I figure she was murdered somewhere else and then dumped over the dam.

[Andrews opens one of Carlin's eyes and find it is a bright blue color, just like Lauren's.]

FRANK: No, I don't think so.

SHERIFF: Someone want to tell me what's going on here?

[A woman (Carlin's adoptive mother) can be heard shouting from just outside the doors.]

MOTHER: I want to see my baby! I want to see my baby!

SHERIFF: Criminy! Zip that thing up!

[The woman pushes her way past someone outside and into the morgue where the sheriff grabs hold of her and takes her outside again.]

SHERIFF: Now, calm down, Lillian. No.

MOTHER: Let go!


MOTHER: I have to see my little girl.

[He grabs hold of her by her shoulders and shakes her.]

SHERIFF: (shouts) Now, listen to me! (more calmly) Now, I'm not saying you can't see her. I'm just asking you as a friend, please, let us clean her up first.

[Carlin's mother starts sobbing into the sheriff's shoulder.]

SHERIFF: I don't want you to remember Carlin like this.

[Frank walks over to the doorway to see what's happening. The woman looks up and notices him.]

MOTHER: You're the one who knew where she'd be.

FRANK: Yes. I'm very sorry.

[she becomes frightened.]

MOTHER: (to the sheriff) He's one of them.

FRANK: (shakes his head) No.

SHERIFF: One of who? Lillian?

FRANK: Who are 'they'? The ones that brought Carlin to you?

[she begins crying again.]

MOTHER: I don't know. I never knew. My perfect baby and they took her.

[sobs once again into the sheriff's shoulder.]

[inside, Cheryl Andrews continues examining Carlin's body. She's looking at her eye and notices the same marking she saw in Lauren's.]

ANDREWS: Same congenital coloboma at three o'clock.

[Watts is looking at the carving Carlin made in her thigh. Cheryl Andrews refers to it as well.]

ANDREWS: Carved icon I believe we all recognize.

3:27 PM

ANDREWS: There's definite family resemblance. And I'm betting the pelvic cavity should be highly interesting.

[she begins cutting through the skin with a scalpel.]

ANDREWS: There were needle marks in her buttocks, and a slight abscess of the surrounding adipose tissue suggests repeated intramuscular injections.

WATTS: Someone was drugging her?

[she finishes cutting, tosses down the scalpel and peels back the skin.]

ANDREWS: Well, by the angle of the needle she was almost certainly injecting herself. Both girls show extremely high post-mortem estrogen levels.

[she examines the exposed cavity through a microscope.]

ANDREWS: I assumed Lauren's was a false reading due to extreme heat but seeing Carlin's - I'm quite sure they were both injecting menotropins.

WATTS: Fertility drugs.

ANDREWS: Gentlemen, welcome to the realm of the truly bizarre. She's a high school senior - by all indications a virgin and she's super-ovulated.

[Frank flashes on the seven planets and the sun in quick succession. He even sees what Cheryl Andrews is about to see.]

FRANK: There are seven.

[Cheryl looks through the microscope.]

ANDREWS: Seven mature egg follicles where there should be one.

FRANK: They're the same, the two girls?

ANDREWS: Right. They've got to be sisters.

FRANK: (shakes his head) Identical twins.

WATTS: Frank, they're not the same age.

FRANK: Seven years apart. Identical offspring. Being readied for the cataclysm on May 5th, in the year 2000. Like Noah preparing for the flood.

[Again the room where the Iron Lung Man is located. The sound of heavy breathing from the apparatus can be heard throughout. The man's reflection can be seen in the mist-clouded mirror. Myra brings some news.]

MYRA: They know about both girls - Lauren and Carlin. What should we do?

ILM: Call the others.

[A young woman appears in the doorway. She is identical in appearance to both dead girls.]

[fade to black]

[polaroid fade up]

[A room at the police station. Cheryl Andrews is showing Frank and Watts a procedure on a computer monitor. There is a demonstration of the process which she describes to them regarding cattle eggs.]

ANDREWS: This a technique called the blastomere separation that's been used for decades to create identical cattle. Take a fertilized egg and let it divide a few times in vitro. Then you tease the cells apart. Each new embryo is identical to the original. Freeze some for later and you could have identical girls seven years apart.

WATTS: Both providing eggs for the next generation.

FRANK: A few - how many is that?

ANDREWS: In cows, a practical amount would be 20 copies - probably similar in humans.

WATTS: So, who does this procedure?

ANDREWS: No one would admit to doing it in a human but any gynecologist could.

WATTS: Pretty ugly breeding experiment. You think the girls who killed themselves wanted out?

FRANK: No. Staying in assured they'd survive on May 5th.

WATTS: Both sets of parents said someone forced them. Maybe they were removed from the program.

ANDREWS: If you've got the genes, you don't need the people.

WATTS: 20 identical human beings, no longer needed, no birth records - scattered over 50 states. Going to be tough to find.

[Dennis Hoffman's hotel room. Frank knocks on the door. Dennis tentatively opens the door.]

FRANK: The river of blood happened just the way you said it would. How did you know?

DENNIS: I read Exodus. Would you like some water?

FRANK: Thank you. (he enters the room) Dennis, there are others. There will be more deaths.

DENNIS: Are you mocking me? Is that what you're doing?

FRANK: No. There is someone out there who believes in May 5th. He's responsible for the death of two girls already. I need to know who else believes in Earth changes.

DENNIS: Einstein did.

FRANK: I mean today.

DENNIS: I don't know anybody like that.

FRANK: Where would he be?

[Dennis pauses, sits down, thinking, but does not respond.]

FRANK: Where would you be?

[Dennis still doesn't respond.]

FRANK: Where will you be on May 5 in the year 2000?

DENNIS: I really thought that when I finally found someone who believed, they'd be good. That the future would somehow be better. I reserved a hotel room in Pocatello, Idaho. Technically it's a motel but it's supposed to be quite nice.

[The room in the police station. Dennis, Watts and Frank are present.]

WATTS: Pocatello, Idaho.

DENNIS: 531 miles from the nearest coast. 4,448 feet above sea level. A seismic oasis, especially compared to here.

WATTS: (to Frank) Take a look at this.

[He types instructions at a keyboard and shows Frank a graphic display on a monitor while Dennis continues his dissertation on Pocatello.]

DENNIS: I mean, forget the Big One in L.A. When the Cascadia subduction zone shifts, Seattle's looking at a nine-plus. All those Starbucks will be about 300 feet under.

WATTS: (to Frank) Since I don't believe in telepathy I had to assume the girls who killed themselves had prior contact.

DENNIS: Peter, I just want to say it's great working with you again.

[Watts just ignores him and continues to type.]

WATTS: They did have contact but it wasn't directly. This is a picture of their calling patterns.

[The monitor shows a 3-D representation of the data with each connection represented by a ball. There are a number of radiating connections all stemming from a central contact point. A small box near the upper right-hand corner displays the telephone numbers linked to each of the connections.]

WATTS: Both of them called this number just before they died.

FRANK: The guy in the middle, that's who's pushing buttons?

WATTS: I don't know but watch this.

[The display expands to create two more sets of radiating connections, each of which also connect with the central contact point.]

WATTS: All in contact with the same guy. Roughly twenty total.

[Close-up of the small box on the monitor display telephone numbers which scroll on the screen: ]

-1200 RESPONSE 213-555-1551

-1220 RESPONSE 403-555-1999

-1200 RESPONSE 701-555-5896

-1240 RESPONSE 310-555-1130

-1220 RESPONSE 212-555-8905

-1200 RESPONSE 970-555-0669


-1220 RESPONSE 715-555-2991

-1240 RESPONSE 802-555-2300

SEQUENCE ENDS - ATV 20 555-1024


FRANK: Twenty - that's what Cheryl said.

WATTS: I checked a few of them out. Missouri, blue-eyed blonde - AWOL.

[He points to links on the screen as he details some of his findings.]

WATTS: Colorado, blue-eyed blonde - missing 2 days. California girl - missing 24 hours. Each one an only child.

FRANK: You think they're being recalled?

WATTS: I think we could end up with a real mess on our hands.

FRANK: Where, though?

[The computer screen is shown again. It reads:


ACCT # 208-555-1024




FRANK: Pocatello, Idaho.


[Frank, Watts, Dennis, as well as several local law enforcement officers, walk through the motel on their way down to the service level with the building manager leading the way.]

MANAGER: I know my building. I've got pumps, emergency generators, elevator equipment down here - no elves.

WATTS: Our records show a lot of activity.

MANAGER: No one has any access to this area without my knowledge.

LIEUTENANT: The bottom line is two dozen people are missing and they're all focused on this place.

[Along the way, Dennis, who has been at the rear of the procession, stops and notices the motel's decor: it was designed to resemble the inside of a boat, more specifically, to mimic an ark - Noah's Ark.]

[Down on the service level, Dennis walks past the search party as they unlock and check each room, shouting 'clear!' as they complete each one.]

[Dennis, however, is on a search all his own. He turns a corner and looks at part of the building structure – the wide metal struts bound to the concrete base of the building.]

[Meanwhile, the others continue unlocking each door till they find one they cannot open.]

MANAGER: Someone changed the cylinder.

[Frank slaps the door with his hand to acknowledge that they've found what they'd been looking for. Then he uses a crowbar to pry the door open.]

[upon opening it, Watts shines a flashlight into the darkened room as Frank cautiously enters. Dennis has rejoined them by this point. On one wall he finds, spray-painted in red, the same icon that was carved on the dead girls' bodies - a circle with a straight line drawn out from it, the symbol for conjunction, alignment.]

[As the others also enter the room, Watts spots a black object on another wall with his flashlight. It is a junction box of some sort.]

FRANK: What's in the box?

MANAGER: I don't know. None of this is supposed to be here.

[Watts examines the exterior carefully. Once satisfied that there are no trip wires anywhere visible, he opens it. Dennis and an officer, standing in the doorway, flinch at the sound of the loud click. Inside the box, are a number of wires leading to a control switcher. The three presets are: STANDBY, ACTIVE and LINE SHIFT with a numerical keypad just beneath it. Beside each of the preset conditions is a red diode light. The one beside LINE SHIFT is off. The one beside ACTIVE is on and the one beside STANDBY is blinking.]

[in the corridor, just outside of this last room, they gather to discuss what they've found.]

WATTS: It's a phone switcher. It could be forwarding literally anywhere.

DENNIS: Who designed this building?

LIEUTENANT: Where'd you find this guy?

FRANK: Who did design it?

MANAGER: A local woman, worked out of an office from a ranch about an hour from here. I forget her name, but you know I still remember the phone number. (begins dialing on his cell phone) 5-5-5...

[Frank and Watts exchange glances. They both know the rest of the number. Frank places his hand over the manager's hand to stop him from continuing and finishes saying the rest himself.]

FRANK: 2000.

[Night. Outside the perimeter of the farm land, Frank and the others watch the farm house in the distance. Frank looks through some binoculars at the license plates of some of the cars parked outside the house. Oregon, KMH-8T5; California, 3PEA360; Nevada 491-APA; (last plate is unrecognizable), S9X-381.]

LIEUTENANT: Look, I know you could care less but I got a dozen guys about to go into golden time here. So, I say we go down there and knock on the door with a domestic disturbance complaint.

[Frank again looks through the binoculars at the house off in the distance.]

FRANK: There've been two deaths already. This could become extremely volatile.

WATTS: We have movement.

[Frank sees a young blonde woman come out of the house, walk down a flight of steps toward one of the parked vehicles.]

FRANK: They're in there.

[Frank continues to watch as he sees her open the door of the car. Then he sees another woman, Myra, come out of the house, waiting for the young woman to return. As the she approaches the stairs she turns and notices some movement in the direction of Frank and the others. She pauses, seems to be looking directly at Frank. He pauses, wondering if she indeed has seen him, when we see her running back up the steps and into the house. It is clear that they have been discovered.]

LIEUTENANT: (into a radio) They've made us. Everybody in. Go, go, go!

[All of the men rush towards the farm house. They burst through the door, officers heading for all parts of the house. Some girls can be heard crying and yelling as they too rush about trying to get away from the officers.]

[Frank notices several girls run through the kitchen and slam a door shut behind them. He follows them.]

OFFICER: Hey, I found something up here!

[Dennis hears the officer call out from above and decides to follow up on that instead.]

[Meanwhile, Frank opens the door off the kitchen and finds some stairs leading down to the basement. He descends with the lieutenant and finds several girls of various ages, all frantically trying to escape from them. But there's nowhere for them to go except to a room at the rear of the basement where they are huddled together, most are kneeling, some seem to be praying - all are blonde and look very much alike. One of them looks up at Frank as he comes near to her. She, like the others, is clearly frightened and she is identical, in feature and appearance, to Lauren and Carlin.]

FRANK: It's okay. Nobody's going to hurt you.

[And meanwhile, upstairs, Dennis has found the Iron Lung Man. He slowly approaches, looks at the man's face. The ILM turns his head to look at Dennis. Then Dennis kneels before the ILM, places his hands in the mandala position and bows his head.]

[fade to black]

[polaroid fade up]

[Outside the ILM's house. An Idaho Department of Corrections bus backs up to the house, guided by the lieutenant on the scene.]

LIEUTENANT: Little more, little more. Okay, good.

[Frank and Watts come outside to see what's happening.]

FRANK: Wait. What is this?

LIEUTENANT: Protective custody.

WATTS: You can't arrest them.

[Dennis comes out of the house.]

LIEUTENANT: Those ten-year-olds in there found out today they're about as individual as ants. I'm not taking any chances.

FRANK: This is not necessary.

LIEUTENANT: Sorry. No way there's any Jonestown on my watch.

FRANK: You're making things worse.

DENNIS: Frank. He wants to talk to you upstairs. I told him you understood.

FRANK: I don't want to understand.

[He turns and heads toward the house. Watts follows.]

[Frank enters the ILM's room. There is an officer standing guard and a chair rests near the head of the machine. The sound of heavy breathing is heard throughout.]

[He and the ILM exchange glances as Frank walks over to the window, past the chair, pulls up the shade and leans there looking out the window, watching the proceedings below. The flashing lights from police vehicles can be seen.]

FRANK: (to the ILM) They're being locked in a bus. Shipped off. Do you know where? Do you care?

[The ILM doesn't respond.]

FRANK: (to the officer) Would you give us a minute?

[The officer nods and leaves the room.]

ILM: (weakly) I want you to understand. Noah was an insane man, until the rains came. And that day the flood began, all the people who had jeered showed up. Imagine that scene - the chaos, the violence. People who had taunted Noah just hours before, now willing to commit any vile act to secure a seat on his boat. I contemplated that scene for many years and I finally accepted that the people I wanted to see in the next world - people who would care for each other as brother and sister - did not exist. (draws a deep breath) I would have to make them. When I saw the results - how perfect they are to each other - I knew that the next world would be better.

[Frank finally sits in the chair by the ILM and draws it closer.]

[Frank alternately looks directly at the ILM and indirectly through the mirror placed above his face.]

FRANK: Your daughters are crying down there.

[The ILM lets out a deep moan.]

FRANK: The arrogance - not to take responsibility.

ILM: (shakes his head) No. The humility of accepting my place in the universe.

FRANK: You want to take God's place.

ILM: I accept that on May 5th the planets will align and massive Earth changes will occur - not as a referendum on man's wickedness but as part of the eternal order of the cosmos. We cannot stop this. It is not about us. And once you accept this, Mr. Black, it is your responsibility, as a human being, to do everything you can to preserve what is good about humanity. I was hoping for the future that you would understand.

[Frank disgustedly rises and goes closer to the machine, resting on it with one arm and leans in even closer to the ILM.]

FRANK: The two girls. You talked to them before they died. They were your daughters. What did you tell them?

ILM: The truth.

FRANK: What truth?

ILM: That the Thousand Days had begun, and that I'm dying. I won't make it with them to the other side. All my children. I pray they'll be all right.

[The ILM is clearly anguished by his situation and Frank is even moved enough to let go of his own anger and disgust. He sits down again near the ILM, silently looking at him.]

[Outside, the girls board the bus. The final girl to climb on board, turns and looks back at the house one last time, then enters. She pauses to look at the bus driver. He is very young, blond and yet another clone. They smile at each other as she takes a seat.]

OFFICER: Come on, let's keep moving.

[An officer enters the bus, reaches over and pulls shut the gate, locking the girls in the passenger section of the bus, then he exits and the driver shuts the door and drives the bus away from the area.]

[Meanwhile, inside the house Frank comes down the stairs and finds Watts going through some scrapbooks. Each one chronicles the lives of one of the clones, noting: awards, scholarships, achievements.]

[The particular book Watts is looking at shows a newspaper clipping, the headline reads: 'Local Girl Accepted at Oxford' with a photo of one of the girls, in graduation cap and gown.]

WATTS: A chance to remake the world in your own image.

[He turns the page and finds a color full-page graduation photo.]

WATTS: Maybe you'd be crazy not to take it.

FRANK: I don't think that's what he had in mind.

WATTS: Well, that's what he got.

[Frank walks over to a bookcase crammed with other such scrapbooks, each one labeled and dated. And each of them has a blue strip of tape on the binding. Frank takes one and opens it.]

WATTS: Look at this stuff. When you're breeding Einsteins 20 at a pop, that's a lot of ribbons.

[The book Frank has taken is of a male clone. Newspaper clippings of him as a boy, headline reads: 'Local Student Wins Oregon State Science Award.' Frank turns the page and finds a color full-page college graduation photo of the boy with his adoptive parents.]

[The lieutenant enters the room.]

LIEUTENANT: We're pretty much wound down here. I'm going to send my guys home.

FRANK: Where's Dennis?

WATTS: He was out front when they were loading the girls on the bus.

LIEUTENANT: You mean that Hoffman crackpot? I haven't seen him since they left.

FRANK: He's gone.

WATTS: What do you mean?

FRANK: They're gone. They're all gone.

[He shuts the book he's been looking at and hands it to Watts.]

FRANK: That bus will never get there.

[Watts looks at both books and notices that each has a strip of colored tape on the binding. The one he has been reading: 'Lauren,' has a red strip while Frank's book: 'David,' has a blue one, each obviously denoting the sex of the clone chronicled inside.]

LIEUTENANT: (to his men) Mason, Baker, get out after that bus! Get out there now! Let's go! Go!

[Watts walks over to join Frank by the bookcase to look at the volumes of scrapbooks of the boy clones when the lights suddenly go out all over the house.]

LIEUTENANT: What the hell is going on?

OFFICER: The power's out.

[Frank runs past the lieutenant, grabbing a flashlight on his way up the stairs to the ILM's room.]

[Meanwhile, on the bus the girls turn in unison to face the rear of the bus, each on their knees, hands clasped before them, leaning on the bus seats - praying. The camera pans down the aisle past each of the rows on its way towards the rear where Dennis Hoffman can be seen sitting on the rear seat. One of the girls looks up at him, extends her left hand as he reaches out his own to take it. She smiles at him. The bus continues along a stretch of road.]

[back at the farm house, the ILM is dead - his machine having been turned off when the power was cut in the house. Frank places his hand over the man's face, shutting his eyes.]

[Frank turns and notices for the first time yet another of those 3-D models of the solar system: all of the planets are in alignment with the sun. He also notices and pick up a large framed picture.]

[Elsewhere, police sirens can be heard as several of them approach the abandoned bus. As the officers enter to investigate it, they find that it is empty.]

[Watts enters the ILM's room.]

WATTS: The power was deliberately cut. They found the bus empty. Dennis is still at large.

FRANK: Wherever they vanished to, he'll be with them.

[Frank hands Watts the picture that he's been holding in his hands. It is a colored artist's rendering of The Atrium, particularly detailed is the structure resembling the inside of a boat - more precisely: an ark.]

[The Atrium. Same exact view of the ark-like structural ceiling support beams. The camera pans slowly across the ceiling. Watts and Frank begin walking around the mezzanine level.]

WATTS: The Ark.

FRANK: Well, at least we'll know where they'll be on May 5, 2000.

WATTS: It's a lot harder to dismiss when it's not just Dennis ranting.

FRANK: He just didn't know what to do with the knowledge. These people obviously have a plan.

WATTS: So how does it start? The Great Cataclysm?

FRANK: Nobody knows exactly. All they know is how it's going to end. I'm going to get something for my daughter.

[He leaves Watts and heads toward a gift shop.]

[The Black residence. Jordan opens a large box, her father's present.]

JORDAN: Thank you! What is it?

[Catherine laughs as Frank removes the item from the box. It is the very same 3-D model which has been prevalent throughout the episode. This one is made of plastic instead of brass and each of the planets is of a different color.]

FRANK: It's our solar system.

[The planets are in alignment with the sun but as Frank places it on the table, Catherine begins moving some of the planets.]

FRANK: Here, this is the Sun and this is us.

[He reaches over and moves the third planet, representing Earth, around to the other side of the Sun, away from the other planets.]

JORDAN: We live in a ball?

CATHERINE: (laughs) Shall I tell Daddy the great news? She got in! Green Valley Day School. They accepted Jordan for next fall.

FRANK: Good.

CATHERINE: Good? Frank, she's set through the twelfth grade. We're home free until 2010.

[All this time Jordan has been playing with the model, turning the Sun and moving the planets around in their orbits.]

[Catherine picks up a giggling Jordan.]

CATHERINE: I am so proud of you!

[Frank, meanwhile, looks quite pensive and worried. There is a shot of the model and all of the planets are once again in alignment with the Sun. He looks down and notices this.]

CATHERINE: Your Daddy and I think you're the smartest little girl and you're going to grow up to be a smart big girl.

[Frank continues to ponder their future.]

[Fade to black]

[end titles]

Executive Producer: Chris Carter

Terry O'Quinn (Peter Watts)

Brittany Tiplady (Jordan Black)

Guest Starring

Brad Dourif (Dennis Hoffman)

Morgan Woodward (Iron Lung Man)

Timothy Webber (Sheriff Camden)


CCH Pounder as Cheryl Andrews


Mitch Kosterman (Lieutenant)

Sarah Strange (Maura)

Kristi Angus (Lauren/Carlin)

Peter Hanlon (Manager)

Cindy Girling (Myra)

Phillip Mitchell (Uniform #1)

Merrilyn Gann (Carlin's Mother)

Music by Mark Snow

Editor: G. Richard Potter

Production Designer: Mark Freeborn

Director of Photography: Robert McLachlan

Associate Producer: Jon-Michael Preece

Consulting Producer: Ted Mann

Consulting Producers: James Wong & Glen Morgan

Co-Producer: Ken Dennis

Co-Producer: Chip Johannessen

Co-Producer: Frank Spotnitz

Co-Executive Producer: Jorge Zamacona

Co-Executive Producer: Ken Horton

Co-Executive Producer: John Peter Kousakis

Written by Chip Johannessen

Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Executive Producer: Chris Carter

Edited by Libby
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