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THE SHOW OPENS IN ATTWOODíS DIM OFFICE. ATTWOOD STANDS BY THE DOOR AS SLOAN, TOM, AND ED ENTER. TOM REMOVES HIS COAT AS HE WALKS THROUGH THE DOOR. HEíS WEARING A NICE GREY V-NECK SWEATER WITH A WHITE T-SHIRT UNDERNEATH. (VERY NICE SWEATER!) ATTWOOD FLIPS THE BLINDS ON HIS WINDOW FLAT TO REVEAL PICTURES OF RANDALL LYNCH AND LEWIS ON THE OVERHEAD PROJECTOR.
Attwood: Hello people. Tom. Have a seat.
Ed: Slide show...
Attwood: So far this is what the enemy has thrown at us. All different tactics in an attempt to destroy the human race. The date we derived from the pillar, October, 1998, logically has some bearing on their plan. This you knew. What you didnít know is what is taking place in Bardsdale, California.
Ed: Bardsdale? I used to go out there on family picnics when I was a kid. Itís nothing but a bunch of orange groves.
Attwood: And people. People who may be under attack.
Sloan: What kind of attack?
Attwood: Unfortunately thatís not clear. A reliable source has informed us that some elementary school children there are being tampered with or altered in some manner. So the question is, whether all these events are random, or part of a methodical plan.
Ed: Maybe more DNA altering.
Attwood: Thatís what we have to find out.
Ed: Weíll be ready to go in five.
ED SLOAN AND TOM EXIT THE OFFICE AND WALK THROUGH THE LAB AREA. TOM IS PUTTING HIS NICE BLACK SPORT-TYPE COAT BACK ON.
Tom: (to Sloan) Iím not going with you.
Sloan: Why not?
Tom: Iím gonna find out who Attwoodís reliable source is.
Sloan: Do you think you could do that?
Tom: I have a good idea where to start.
HE TOUCHES HER ARM AND WALKS OFF.
A LARGE SHINY OFFICE COMPLEX. INSIDE, THROUGH A CRACK IN THE DOOR, WE SEE LIMO LADY WALK BEHIND A DESK. TOM EMERGES FROM THE ELEVATOR. HE LOOKS GOOD. HE WALKS OVER AND STANDS JUST INSIDE THE DOOR, LOOKING TOWARDS LIMO LADY.
Limo Lady (turning) Tom. Come in.
Tom: You're not surprised to see me?
Limo Lady: No, I've been waiting for you. Iím impressed you found me so easily.
AT A SCHOOLYARD. ED AND SLOAN FOLLOW A DARK-HAIRED WOMAN, OBVIOUSLY A SCHOOL OFFICIAL.
Woman: Iíve been a principal here at Merango school for fourteen years, and this is the first time Iíve had a visit from the State Department of Health.
Sloan: Well, it may just turn out to be nothing. Weíre sorry for any inconvenience.
Principal: Well, as you can see the children are all very happy and healthy.
Ed: Howís your absenteeism this year?
Principal: Average. On any given day between three and six children are out sick, usually for no longer than a day.
Sloan: Have you noticed any erratic behavior on the part of any of the kids?
Principal (smiling) This is grade school. All of their behavior is erratic.
Ed: What about violence? Has there been an increase in schoolyard fights or--
Principal: No, thatís not tolerated here at Merango. Children know it, so they donít even try.
Sloan: Well, Principal Cook, certainly sounds like you have everything under control.
Principal Cook: Well thank you. These are my kids, Dr. Parker, and I think I take care of them very well. Thatís why I donít understand why you're here.
Sloan: Just a routine visit. I assure you itís nothing to worry about.
Cook: Well, I hope so.
A LITTLE BOY COMES RUNNING UP TO THE PRINCIPAL.
Cook: (smiling at the boy) Oh, Dustin!
AT LIMO LADYíS OFFICE. LIMO LADY SITS AT HER DESK, TOM SEATED BEFORE HER.
Tom: Your information about whatís taking place in Bardsdale mustíve come from someone on the inside. A confederate.
Limo Lady: Not only a confederate, Tom. But a member of your own species.
Tom: I wanna meet him.
Limo Lady: Why?
Tom: To make sure weíre not being set up. How can you trust this source?
Limo Lady: Iíll be the judge of that.
Tom: Donít you think Iím more qualified?
AT A SMALL MOTEL. SLOAN SITS ON THE BED READING A REPORT WHILE ED SITS ON A LOVESEAT.
Sloan: Nothing out of the ordinary. On paper, Merango is filled with healthy, normal average middle-class kids.
Ed: Maybe Attwoodís tip was bogus.
Sloan: (standing) He hasnít been wrong yet.
SLOAN SITS ACROSS FROM ED.
Sloan: So, whatís our way into this?
Ed: Okay, uh, ok, Attwood said kids were being altered. Thatís what they were doing to Kelly, altering her blood, changing her DNA.
Sloan: So weíve gotta start by analyzing the childrenís blood. Weíve got to do DNA testing.
Ed: Come on, weíd have to take samples from every kid, it would be impossible. I mean, parents, media, they would all want to know whatís going on.
SLOAN SITS BACK DEJECTEDLY. AFTER A BRIEF THINKING PAUSE, SHE QUICKLY SITS UP.
Sloan: Hold on!
Sloan: Are any of the sick kids that Principal Cook told us about in the hospital?
ED AND SLOAN START RIFFLING THROUGH THE REPORTS ON THE TABLE IN FRONT OF THEM.
Ed: Now, now here it is.
ED LIFTS A PAPER.
Ed: Looks like three. One with a broken arm, one having her tonsils out, oh, and another having plastic surgery after an automobile accident.
Ed: Címon, how do you plan on getting near these kids?
Sloan: Hey, Attwood got us credentials from the Department of Health. How hard could hospital badges be?
NIGHTTIME. A CAR CRESTS A HILL. ITíS TOM IN HIS BIG OLE LINCOLN. HE KILLS THE HEADLIGHTS AND GETS OUT, WALKING OVER TO A RAILING. HEíS LOOKING OUT OVER OIL FIELDS, THE PUMPS METHODICALLY RAISING AND LOWERING IN THE BACKGROUND.
CUT TO ANOTHER CAR DRIVING UP, LIMO LADYíS CAR.
CUT BACK TO TOM. HEíS GETTING IMPATIENT. HE CHECKS HIS WATCH, THEN TURNS TO SEE THE LIMO PULL UP. TOM WALKS OVER TO IT. THE REAR WINDOW LOWERS.
Limo Lady: Hello Tom.
TOM BENDS DOWN AND PEERS INTO THE CAR. A TEENAGED BOY SITS FORWARD AND LOOKS UP AT TOM.
Tom: May I talk with him?
LIMO LADY HUFFILY OPENS THE DOOR AND GETS OUT OF THE LIMO. TOM TAKES HER SEAT INSIDE THE VEHICLE AND RAISES THE WINDOW. HE TURNS TO THE BOY AND OFFERS HIS HAND.
Tom: Tom Daniels.
THE BOY SHAKES IT.
Boy: Shane. Iíve heard about you. They want you dead.
Tom: Does that scare you?
Shane: Hell yeah. They find out about me, theyíll try and kill me too.
Tom: (gesturing toward Limo Lady) Maybe you shouldnít be risking your life helping her.
Shane: You are.
Tom: Iíve been around a lot longer. Done things. Seen things.
Shane: Well Iíve seen enough. I donít want to see any more.
TOM NODS SLOWLY.
AT A HOSPITAL. SLOAN AND ED ENTER A ROOM AND SMILE DOWN AT A YOUNG GIRL LYING IN A BED.
Sloan: Hi. My nameís Sloan. Shouldnít you be asleep?
Girl: Iím not tired.
Sloan: We just talked to your mom outside. She said youíre pretty excited about getting your tonsils out tomorrow.
Sloan: How long have your tonsils hurt?
Girl: I donít know. A while.
Sloan: Is that the only thing that hurts you right now?
Girl: When I swallow. I donít really feel sick.
Sloan: Thatís good. This is Dr. Ed Tate.
Ed: Hi. I have to take some blood out of your arm. Have the other doctors done that to you?
Girl: (nodding) They said it would hurt but it didnít.
Ed: Well, Iíll make sure it doesnít hurt either. Hey, can you do that?
ED MAKES A FIST AND THE GIRL APES HIM. HE SITS ON THE BED NEXT TO HER WHILE SLOAN CLOSES THE BLINDS ON THE WINDOW, PREVENTING ANYONE IN THE HALL FROM SEEING INTO THE ROOM.
ON THE HILL ABOVE THE OIL FIELDS. TOM AND SHANE WALK DOWN THE ROAD, CONVERSING, WHILE THE LIMO SLOWLY TRAILS BEHIND THEM.
Shane: Iím living with my parents. Pretty soon theyíre gonna be sending me away.
Tom: For training.
Shane: Yeah. They say in a few years theyíre going to plant me in the mayorís office.
SHANE GIVES A SMALL LAUGH.
Tom: I went to the FBI.
Shane: Well, they said that you were one of their best, and that I should be like you. Before you turned.
Tom: But you canít do it.
Shane: I know what theyíll want me to do. I donít think I can. I know I shouldnít feel this way.
Tom: Itís not wrong to feel, Shane. They say itís a weakness but itís not.
Shane: (sighing) I think they know.
Tom: Well then youíre in danger.
Shane: Thatís why I went to her.
THEY STOP WALKING. TOM TURNS TO FACE SHANE.
Tom: Howíd you find her?
Shane: Well, theyíve known about her for a long time but they havenít been able to get near her.
Tom: Does she know that?
Shane: She does now.
THEY LOOK BACK AT THE CAR.
Shane: Can I trust her?
Tom: I really donít know.
AT THE BIO LAB. SLOAN PLACES A TRAY OF SAMPLES ON A COUNTER. ED IS SEATED IN FRONT OF A MICROSCOPE.
Sloan: I performed DNA testing on all of these samples. One thing we know for sure is that theyíre not one-point-six.
SLOAN HANDS ED A SLIDE.
Sloan: Hereís the first sample. Ten year old boy.
ED LOOKS INTO THE MICROSCOPE. ATTWOOD STANDS BEHIND HIM, WATCHING.Ed: This is the kid with the broken arm?
SLOAN CHECKS HER NOTES.
ED LOOKS AT THE SLIDE AGAIN.
Ed: Gimme the next slide.
SHE HANDS HIM A SLIDE.
Sloan: This is the kid undergoing reconstructive surgery. Heís eleven.
ED PULLS BACK FROM THE SCOPE.
Sloan: See something?
Ed: (distractedly) Uh, let me see the last one.
SLOAN GETS IT.
Sloan: This is the girl we saw whoís having her tonsils taken out.
ED PLACES IT UNDER THE MICROSCOPE AND LOOKS AT THE SAMPLE.
ED STEPS BACK AND WALKS OVER TO THE COMPUTER. HE TYPES AND A PICTURE OF CELLS COMES UP ON THE SCREEN.
Ed: Our immune systems operate in a delicate balance, and part of that balance are the T helper cells, which includes the CD4 cells. In each of these kids, the CD4 cells are being destroyed.
ATTWOOD WALKS OVER.
Attwood: Of course, attack our next generation.
Sloan: What kind of time frame are we looking at Ed? How immediate is the danger?
Ed: There is no time frame. The immune systems of these kids is literally disappearing, and sooner or later, maybe next week or next year, theyíll get strep or mumps or pneumonia. And theyíll die.
Attwood: Death from the common cold.
Sloan: Itís genocide.
Ed: I donít know what we can do to stop it.
AT SLOANíS APARTMENT. SHE SITS ON A STOOL AT HER CENTER ISLAND, LOOKING OVER REPORTS WHILE ED SITS AT HER COMPUTER.
Ed: Iíve gone over these results for hours. There's no mistake. I mean, in all these kids the CD4 cells are being eaten away. Look.
HE WALKS OVER TO SLOAN AND SHOWS HER A REPORT. SHE SHAKES HER HEAD.
Sloan: We need an immunologist.
Ed: Actually I know one. Yeah, in Med school I did an internship with Dr. Ian Copeland. I mean, this guy, heís one of the top immunologists in the country, and heís right here in L.A.
Sloan: You think heíll help us?
Ed: Well, I donít know but I think we should find out.
ED PICKS UP THE PHONE.
AT LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL HOSPITAL. ED AND DR. IAN COPELAND (WHO LOOKS AMAZINGLY LIKE WHITNEY FROM ĎTHE STANDí AND PRESIDENT BUTTERFIELD FROM ĎBOSTON COMMONí) WALK TROUGH THE LOBBY. (ED IS ACTUALLY DRESSED UP! NICE BLACK SLACKS, GREY COAT WITH A LIGHT GREY SWEATER UNDERNEATH. HE LOOKS NICE!)
Copeland: Five years ago you were one of my sharpest students, Ed. I wish youíd stayed in medicine. Lord knows I twisted your arm.
Ed: I wish youíd twisted harder.
Copeland: What's the matter, you not enjoying all the notoriety at the lab? Youíve made some impressive headlines.
Ed: I could live without Ďem. I think we all could.
Copeland: I donít follow.
Ed: Look, I donít know if you believe in this new species or not, but uh--
Copeland: Thatís not an issue.
THEYíVE MADE THEIR WAY OVER TO A BANK OF ELEVATORS.
Copeland: Tell me what your problem is. Why are you here?
Ed: This new species, theyíve devised a way of compromising the immune system of children.
Copeland: By compromise you mean...?
Ed: Devastate. I mean, they wonít be able to fight off even a simple virus or bacteria. If they can get to the children, in fifty years there wonít be that many humans alive.
Copeland: New species or not, do you have any idea how the children have been compromised? Ed: Wish I did. Was hoping you could help.
Copeland: Do you have some blood samples I could see?
Ed: Actually I do, back at the lab. I could bring Ďem over here, if it would be better for you.
THEY GET ON THE ELEVATOR.
Copeland: Iím sure your lab is better equipped and more qualified for that kind of work, besides Iíd like to see it.
THE ELEVATOR DOORS CLOSE.
NIGHTTIME, AT THE LIMO LADYíS OFFICE BUILDING. LIMO LADY WALKS ACROSS HER OFFICE AND OPENS THE DOOR. TOM IS IN THE DOORWAY. (HEL-LO!) SHE MOVES TO LET HIM ENTER. HEíS CHANGED CLOTHES. HEíS NOW WEARING A WHITE RIBBED T-SHIRT, BLACK 3-BUTTON SHIRT AND HIS BLACK WINDBREAKER JACKET. (SIGH)
Limo Lady: So, what do you think of our friend?
Tom: Heís a good kid. And heís very young. Too young to know exactly what heís getting himself into by associating with you.
Limo Lady: I disagree. I find him quite mature for his age. Itís one of the hallmarks of your species, is it not?
Tom: What are you planning to do with him?
Limo Lady: He could provide us with invaluable information, especially with this Bardsdale matter.
Tom: It could get him killed.
Limo Lady: Youíve managed to stay alive.
Tom: He doesnít have the experience. Let me get the information!
Limo Lady: Iíd be realistic. Shaneís on the inside. Youíre marked.
Tom: What if he were able to get you more information on Bardsdale?
Limo Lady: Then we can talk.
TOM TURNS AND WALKS OUT OF THE OFFICE. LIMO LADY WATCHES HIM AS HE LEAVES. (CHECKING HIM OUT, NO DOUBT.)
AT THE BIO LAB. ED SITS AT THE COMPUTER WHILE SLOAN AND DR. COPELAND STAND BEHIND HIS SHOULDER.
Copeland: Iíve never seen anything like this. These children have no idea what's happening to their bodies.
Sloan: Weíre open to suggestions.
Copeland: Believe me, I wish I had one.
Sloan: Three out of three samples show the same CD4 cell damage. Statistically itís something many children mustíve been exposed to. Any idea where to look for the cause?
ATTWOOD WALKS INTO THE LAB AREA.
Copeland: Well, itís hard to say. It could have been injection or...ingested.
Attwood: I've had access to vaccination records. These children were vaccinated at different times by different doctors.
Sloan: And they're all different hospitals. So it most likely was ingested.
Ed: Hey, look at this. Iíve been time-delay taping the degeneration of the protein layer. Watch.
ED BRINGS UP THE CELLS ON THE SCREEN.
Sloan: Hunhh. Whatever it is itís working its way through the CD4 cells in a circular pattern.
Copeland: Itís very methodical.
Ed: See if I can catch up to exactly where itís working. Maybe we could get a look at it under stronger magnification.
Copeland: Ah, thatís good, Ed. Thatís very good.
ED TYPES A BIT ON THE KEYBOARD AND THE SCREEN CHANGES.
Ed: This is just one blood cell. It's impossible to see whatís happening with the CD4s. Iím gonna magnify it a hundred times.
MORE TYPING FROM OUR LANKY SCIENTIST. THE SCREEN MAGNIFYS.
Ed: There. Whatís that?
MORE TYPING. THE SCREEN IS MAGNIFIED AGAIN AND WE SEE A BLACK, RECTANGULAR OBJECT WORKING ITS WAY THROUGH THE BLOOD CELL.
Ed: What the hell?
Sloan: Thatís not biological.
Ed: I don't believe it. A nanite.
Sloan: They've never been proven to exist. Nanotechnology, artificial life forms, itís all still theoretical.
Ed: Not anymore. We need to know how it got into these kids.
Attwood: Sloan, I want you to take Ray back to Bardsdale. Now that we know what weíre looking for, maybe we can find its source, and whoís behind it.
SLOAN GETS UP FROM THE COMPUTER DESK.
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