An Original Screenplay
Copyright by Hudson Owen
Registered with the U.S. Copyright Office
EXT – DESERT – DAY
An Army car, painted olive drab with a white star on it,
drives along an empty desert road, raising a trail of dust
TITLE: Alamogordo, New Mexico, 1947
The car stops near a rock formation. A large man in an
Army uniform, GENERAL LESLIE R. GROVES, steps from the
driver’s side. DR. J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER exits from the
passenger side. He wears a broad brim hat. Both men wear
dark glasses. A BOY looks from the back seat.
You stay there, Son.
Groves opens the trunk to the car and Oppenheimer takes out
a high-powered bolt action rifle.
I didn’t know you were a hunter,
I’m not a hunter. I’m a destroyer.
Oppenheimer takes up a position two hundred yards from a
rock spire. He inserts a copper jacket bullet into the
breach of the rifle and closes the bolt.
What did you mean by that comment, Robert:
“Now, I am become death, the destroyer of
worlds.” What did you mean by that, from
You see that rock over there?
It looks solid, solid like a
good American rock.
Oh, I know about you physicists
and your space between atoms. What
did you mean by that? Do you think
Truman was wrong to use the bomb?
Oppenheimer shoots at the rock. The bullet kicks up a tiny
puff of rock dust.
You were there at Trinity,
General Groves. You saw
the Gadget go off.
Oppenheimer chambers a second copper jacket bullet.
Yes, but I didn’t think
anything weird like that.
There was a war! We were
losing too damn many troops!
What are we doing here, anyway,
I was trying to put it into words,
What we had done, and the Hindu
text came to mind. It had the
proper gravity to it.
Oppenheimer shoots at the rock and hits it. Piff.
Well, I guess that proves you
can hit the broad side of a barn.
Oppenheimer puts on gloves and chambers a black bullet with
a gold tip and hands the rifle to Groves.
Here, General, you do the honors.
Just aim at the rock, right?
The General takes aim.
Yes. (to the Boy). You’re
going to grow up in one
EXT. NEW MEXICO, GROVES HOUSE – EVENING
A comfortable looking contemporary house sits nestled among
spectacular desert scenery. Mesas stand in the distance. A
new pickup truck is parked in the driveway.
EXT. GROVES’ HOUSE
BETSY GROVES, 37, trim and pretty, brings a birthday cake
onto the front porch, where her father, SANDY GROVES, 70S,
and younger brother, DALE GROVES, are sitting enjoying the
Dale wears Army pants and a tee shirt and has a leg
prosthesis. He has a strong upper body.
Sandy Groves sits comfortably in a rocking chair and wears
a cardigan sweater. The characters wear party hats.
More cake, anyone? Dad?
I’m good, thanks.
I’ll have another slice.
So, how’s the birthday boy?
It’s been a wonderful day.
Thank you both. I love you
Betsy plants a kiss on her father’s cheek and wipes off a
bit of frosting.
Love you. MMMMM.
How’s the sweater?
She made that for you.
It’s wonderful. It’s warm;
What are you thinking?
You have that faraway look.
Well...I was thinking about
the Old Man. I don’t know why.
I was thinking about the war.
He said, you know, they had a
list of target cities in Japan.
Dad told me, that after some
discussion, he insisted that
they leave Kyoto off the list.
What was special about Kyoto?
Kyoto had been the capital
Of feudal Japan. It had
special cultural meaning to
the Japanese people. So they
removed it from the nuclear
hit list and from the conventional
hit list, as well. People said
we had no feeling for the Japanese.
He was especially proud of that.
Happy birthday, Dad.
Everyone hears the SOUND of a helicopter out back.
Dale hops up and moves nimbly
INT. LIVING ROOM
through the living room, decorated with balloons and a
string of HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD letters, and
into the kitchen.
Dale looks out the kitchen window and sees ARMED MEN
rappelling down ropes from a helicopter.
All the attackers wear camouflage clothing and dark ski
Dale rushes to the
living room closet, removes and unzips an Army duffel bag.
Dad! Sis! There’re
armed men coming!
Sandy and Betsy enter, puzzled. Dale takes out a standard
World War II issue .45 automatic pistol, snaps in a clip
and tosses it to Sandy.
Betsy dials on her cell phone.
There isn’t time!
She fumbles with the cell and drops it.
Dale loads a banana clip into his M4 carbine and runs back
into the kitchen. He aims out the window and shoots
ATTACKERS 1 and 2 as they rush toward the house.
Sandy climbs up the stairs as fast as he can.
He sees ATTACKER 3 tearing through drawers looking for
something, and shoots him BAM.
The force of the heavy bullet knocks the attacker backward
out the window.
The attacker falls through space.
Sandy removes a battered tackle box from the closet and
heads back downstairs.
Betsy watches as a rocket propelled grenade sails WHOOSH
through the house, crashes through the front window and
impacts on the pickup truck, destroying it in a BALL OF
Betsy picks up her cell when a hand grenade flies through
the shattered front window from outside.
Betsy SHRIEKS and drops the cell, scoops up the grenade,
bobbles it, and tosses it back through the window.
EXT. FRONT PORCH
The grenade explodes, knocking ATTACKER 4 off his feet and
sends showers of glass and debris back into the living
INT. LIVING ROOM
Sandy enters from the stairs and hands Betsy the tackle
Take this somewhere and bury it.
Bury it deep and forget you ever
saw it. I love you.
A black SUV with tinted glass pulls into the driveway near
the burning truck.
The PASSENGER sitting next to the DRIVER sees ATTACKER 5
armed with an AK-47. The passenger whips out his Glock 9mm
pistol when the attacker FIRES A BURST through the
windshield, striking the passenger in the face,
spraying the back seat with blood and brain matter.
The driver ducks and floors the accelerator, knocking the
attacker backward over the roof of the vehicle.
EXT. DRIVE WAY
The driver exits the vehicle, rolls and comes up in a
firing position with his Glock 9mm. Attacker 5 struggles
to retrieve his AK.
SHANE DONNELLY, 41, kills him with one shot.
INT. HOUSE, LIVING ROOM
Dale hops toward Betsy, losing blood from multiple bullet
wounds. His EYES POP as a rocket propelled grenade hits
him from behind and protrudes from his chest.
He falls forward, pitching the carbine into Betsy’s arms.
Smoke emanates from the tailpipe of the rocket grenade.
Behind him stands the shooter, ATTACKER 6, holding the
Betsy turns the carbine on the Attacker and RIPS OFF A
BURST, killing him instantly.
ATTACKER 7 fires his AK from the stairs, hitting Sandy with
several shots. Sandy gets off one shot, grazing the
attacker, and goes down.
Betsy swings the automatic rifle toward the Attacker and
pulls the trigger. CLICK. Empty.
The front door bursts open and Shane enters with gun
Shane shoots Attacker 7 with his Glock. The attacker
crumples into a ball at the end of the stairs. Shane goes
Betsey helps her father, bleeding profusely, over to the
sofa. He frames her face with bloody hands, touches her
head, tries to speak, smiles, and dies in her arms.
Agent Shane Donnelly reenters the living room: tall, dark
handsome, fifteen pounds overweight, and BREATHING HEAVILY.
He is dressed in a suit, has polished shoes and a long
OK, the house is clear.
Betsey looks up at him, smiles faintly, and wipes her eyes.
Shane pulls the ski mask off Attacker 6. The man has a
Middle Eastern face. Shane removes an ID from the man’s
pocket and a brick of one hundred dollar bills.
Shane pockets the money and examines the ID.
Shane takes a picture of the man’s face with his cell
What do we do now?
We leave this place. Get
your purse, any valuables,
a sweater, and meet me outside.
Betsy climbs the stairs. Shane examines a black and white
photo on the wall. The photo shows a boy grinning and
holding up a big fish. An older man stands proudly beside
Shane gathers up the M4 carbine and Dale’s duffel bag and
exits the shattered, bloody house.
EXT. HOUSE - SUNSET
Shane waits by the damaged SUV. Betsey exits the house and
stands on the porch, in clean clothes. She carries a light
jacket, a shoulder bag and the tackle box.
She brushes her hair from her face and gazes calmly at the
low dark streaks of sunset. She walks slowly toward the
Shane opens the rear door for her. His long coat is spread
out on the back seat and the head of the dead Passenger is
covered by a cloth. Betsy sees, pauses.
Betsy gets into the SUV. Shane closes the door, enters on
the driver’s side and starts the engine.
That’s my partner, Gino
Marchetti. He got it coming
in. I can’t leave him here—
in case they come back.
INT. CAR, DESERT HIGHWAY – NIGHT
Shane drives 50-60mph, glancing in the rear view mirror at
Betsy, who sits upright, wipes her eyes, sniffles.
Oncoming headlights illuminate her face.
You don’t know what this
is all about, do you?
I’m never going back to that
About a week ago, a blogger
named Lonesearch5 posted an
entry on his blog, in which
he claimed to have information
that during World War II, J.
Robert Oppenheimer met with
Albert Einstein and they cooked
up some kind of atomic bullet,
a super bullet with the explosive
power of a cruise missile.
It mentioned your father’s name,
and went viral on the Web.
Are you sure you didn’t notice that,
with your father’s name?
I was planning his birthday party,
Agent Donnelly, Ma’am. Shane
Donnelly. Do you use the Web
much Ms. Groves?
I’m a writer, Mr. Donnelly.
I use the internet all the time.
How do you know my name?
Well, it’s part of researching
a case, Ma’am, this case.
Why did those men destroy
CAR RADIO VOICE
Agent Donnelly, Marchetti,
come in. This is Agent Doyle
from the Buffalo Office.
Shane reaches for the radio, hesitates.
CAR RADIO VOICE (CONT’D)
Hi, I’m in New York. You haven’t
reported in seven hours. Give us
a call. Do you read me?
INT. DARKENED ROOM – NIGHT
A MAN in an Army uniform waits in front of a mic.
INT. CAR - NIGHT
Shane turns off the radio.
There’s something not right
with this picture. I’ve never
heard of Agent Doyle, and believe
me, I know the Northeast.
Shane notices in the rear view mirror Betsey about to make
a cell phone call.
What are you doing?
I’m calling a friend,
if it’s any of your business.
Give me the cell, please.
No! Who do you think you
are, Mr. FBI Man. It’s none
of your damn business who
All right, calm down.
Just calm down. If you
make a call, to anyone,
anywhere, they will intercept
Who? Who is doing these evil
Like I’m trying to say,
Ms. Groves, the people
who can do a hit like this,
of this magnitude, almost
certainly are capable of
picking up cell phone calls.
They already know everything
about you: who your friends
are, where they live, work,
relatives, all that sort of
thing. So until we can get
things sorted out, until we
can see through the fog, so
to speak, I ask that you don’t
make any cell phone calls, any kind
of telephone calls, period.
If you want to stay alive.
Betsy falls back in her seat, puts away the cell, stares
blankly ahead. The cloth falls off the dead passenger’s
head, revealing a gaping exit wound in the back of his
Oh, God! Stop the car!
Stop! Please! The man’s
dead, for God’s sake! I
can’t take it anymore. I
really can’t. Please...
Betsy breaks into INCONSOLABLE SOBS.
Shane pulls off the road onto the shoulder and rests his
head on the steering wheel.
EXT. DESERT – NIGHT
Shane shovels dirt over the dead agent in a shallow grave,
near the vehicle, with a piece of board, as Betsey watches.
He smoothes the surface of the grave, stands and holds his
device to the sky.
I’m getting GPS coordinates.
Gino Marchetti will be re-buried
in the family plot on Staten Island.
We graduated from the Academy together.
He leaves behind a wife and one child.
He was my friend.
Who are you? Where are you from?
Shane goes into the back of the SUV and takes out a
sandwich wrapped in aluminum foil and a water bottle. He
sits on the end of the vehicle, unwraps the sandwich and
chomps down on the mountain of deli meat. Betsy keeps her
New York Anti-Terrorism Task
Force. They sent us down here
three days ago to investigate.
How did you know it was terror-
The blogger appears to be
foreign-born. You just can’t
be too careful these days.
Plus, we have the manpower.
Mmmm. This is good. Three
days I’ve been eating crap
burgers and milk shakes. I was
saving this. It’s a little mushy,
but I’m telling you, it’s worth it.
The next time you get to New York...
You want anything? I have power bars.
I’ve never been to New York.
This is surreal.
Shane steps away a few yards and vomits. Betsy swigs from
a water bottle.
I think we’re both upset.
Are you from New York?
No, Ma’am. I’m “Bastan”
Irish. I was transferred.
You can call me Betsy.
I’m sorry, Ma’am. I didn’t
properly identify myself.
You gave me your name.
I mean, if I had introduced
myself properly, I would have
asked your name. Actually,
I know who you are. They gave
me details in New York. I mean,
they provided some information.
Betsy, I’m sorry for your loss.
You sure you don’t want something?
Thanks. The RPG that killed
my brother...why didn’t it explode?
You know about things like that?
An RPG took his leg in Iraq.
He survived three tours. And
now he gets killed by one at home.
To answer your question, the
rocket hadn’t time to
arm itself—that’s probably
the reason. That’s to protect
the shooter. Or it was a dud.
If it had gone off, it would
have killed me.
Thank God, it didn’t.
I’ve never fired a shot
in anger before.
You didn’t have time to
get angry. You just reacted.
That’s what you’re trained to
do. So, what’s the plan?
The plan is to get some sleep.
I drove the last seven hours
He rearranges things in the back of the SUV.
I’d prefer to sleep outside.
You would be safer in the vehicle.
I’m not afraid of the desert.
The desert is lucky for me.
Suit yourself. Here’s a blanket.
You’re a good man, Shane
Donnelly. Good night.
See you in the morning.
Betsy puts on her jacket and makes a pillow with her bag
beneath the moon and stars, and covers herself with the
Betsy wakes and goes off into the bushes, squats and does
her business. A COYOTE trots up and eyes her.
What’s the matter? Never
seen a woman before?
The coyote shies away. Betsy returns to the vehicle and
looks in on Shane. He is fast asleep, Glock in his RIGHT
EXT. GROVES HOUSE – NIGHT
The front of the house is crowded with ambulances and
police cars with flashing lights, limos, news vans with
satellite dishes, two helicopters parked at a distance.
MEDICS bring body bags from the house to the ambulances.
REPORTERS talk into cameras. The house is fenced off with
police tape. Two MILITARY POLICEMAN guard the front door.
Just hours ago, what appears
to be a foreign terrorist
attack has rocked this quiet
DEPUTY SHERIFF WALLY PRUFUROY pushes through the crowded
living room. A PHOTOGRAPHER snaps flash photos. MEN IN
SUITS mill around chatting, pointing, shaking their heads.
MEDICS take out another bodybag.
OK, people, listen up.
I need to see some IDs.
IDs, please. You, sir.
Jim Comstock, National
Thank you, sir. You?
Baynard J. Ecckles, Atomic
Energy Commission. Do you
know where the bathroom is?
I think it’s upstairs. Good
Adelman, What’s good about it?
This place is a slaughter house.
I’m just trying to do my
Deputy Director of Homeland
May I see some ID?
You’re an idiot, Prufuroy.
I’ll show you my ass.
Adelman stalks off. The only man present in uniform,
COLONEL STEIG, tough, trim, holds up two photos. Steig has
a PURPLISH SKIN CONDITION and wears dark glasses.
Have you seen these two men?
They’re FBI agents: Donnelly
and Marchetti? Supposedly, they
were here earlier.
And you would be?
Sure. (shows ID) U.S. Army
Intelligence. Have you seen
I don’t think so, sir. No,
sir, I have not.
I need access for my forensics
team to go over this place.
I need you to clear out this circus.
I don’t know if I can do that,
Sure you can. It’s a matter of
Everyone here is national security.
Here’s my card. If you see
anything, hear anything, give
me a call.
Will do, Colonel. How about
OK, let’s both take a deep breath.
My name is Jonas A. Singleterry, and
I represent the Foreign Asset Tracking
Task Force. And I left my ID in
the glove compartment.
SHERIFF BEVERLY BUTTRICK, all 200 pounds of her, enters.
She surveys the scene.
Good God! Lord, forgive
me for taking your name in
vain. But you have allowed
this to happen on my shift.
She makes her way through the crowd, bullhorn in hand.
Colonel Steig makes a beeline toward her.
Hello. I’m Colonel Steig, and
I represent Army Intelligence,
and I need to know if you have seen
either of these two men, or heard
anything about them. We have
reason to believe they were here
earlier in the day. They’re
Buttrick examines Steig’s credentials.
Colonel, I just got here
and I don’t know anything
about any FBI agents here today.
There’s either FBI here or
soon will be here, and you can
I need to ask you a favor.
Beverly sees Prufuroy milling around.
And I need to ask you to step
outside until we can get this
situation under control.
She cuts through the crowd and confronts her deputy.
Wally, what are you doing?
Boy, am I glad to see you!
What are you doing, Wally?
I’ve been taking names. Boy,
is this a mess!
It is a mess, and I need you
to help me make it less of
a mess. Understand what I’m
I think so, Bev.
Man up, Prufuroy, and get
your head out of the place
where it is currently wedged.
LISTEN UP, PEOPLE, THIS IS
A CRIME SCENE AND I NEED ALL
OF YOU TO GO OUTSIDE WHERE I WILL
TAKE YOUR STATEMENTS. I REPEAT,
THIS IS A CRIME SCENE, AND UNTIL
FURTHER NOTICE, I AM IN CHARGE!
Prufuroy nods in agreement and makes shepherding motions
with his hands.
Everyone outside like she says!
EXT. DESERT – MORNING
Shane is up, drinking coffee over a fire. He wears jeans,
trail boots and a field jacket. Betsy rolls over under the
blanket, opens her eyes.
Morning. Want some coffee?
Coffee would be wonderful.
(looks at her watch) It’s too
early to get up.
We need to get going.
Where are we going? What’s
The plan is to stay one step
ahead of the bad guys. What’s
in the tackle box?
I don’t know.
I think we should find out.
She jumps up.
No! Absolutely not!
Betsy, people are dying
because your father knew
or had something in his
possession of great importance.
No. He said to bury it
and to forget about it.
Those were his dying words
Men kill for information.
No. Maybe later. I want
to take a shower. I have
blood in my hair. What
happened to the blogger—
he started all this?
He’s in federal custody.
She pours coffee for herself.
What was his source?
He’s hired a lawyer. I
don’t know. There’s milk
and sugar in the back.
Somebody must know something.
All of this is dark matter,
black ops. We need to ditch
the vehicle and get a new one.
Know anyone you can trust?
Shane and Betsy cover the vehicle, in a ditch, with sage
brush and tumble weed. Shane places a wildflower on
Marchetti’s grave. He tosses off a salute.
Farewell, my friend.
Shane shoulder Dale’s duffel bag plus his own knapsack, and
he and Betsy take off on foot across the desert.
EXT. NEW MEXICO TOWN – DAY
Shane crosses the highway and walks toward Sal’s Garage &
Gas. He sees three old clunkers off to the side.
SAL is in the garage, working on the underside of a vehicle
up on the lift.
Good morning. Maybe you
can help me. I’m looking
to buy a used car, nothing
Sal wipes his hands on a greasy rag and scrutinizes Shane.
You mean those wrecks
out front? I could fix
the Corvair; would take a
day or so. You in a hurry?
I could use sooner rather
Well, there’s Ray’s Auto
down the road.
‘Bout twenty-six miles.
You’re not from around here?
Just passing through.
Listen, if your car broke
down, I can tow it. No problem.
Shane crosses to Mirabel’s diner.
INT. MIRABEL’S DINER – DAY
Shane scans the menu.
I’ll have a flame broiled
cheese burger, a chocolate
shake. Make that two burgers,
and do you have any salad?
We can fix a chef’s salad,
to go. We have cole slaw.
Anything on those burgers?
Tomato and lettuce, and sliced
onions. I’ll take a pint of
cole slaw. And...fries, and
pickle slices, and that’s it.
Coming right up. I’m low
maintenance, if you’re interested.
Shane smiles. He turns around and notices the news box,
with photos of Dale and Sandy splashed on the front page of
The Santa Fe Chronicle and the headlines: NINE SLAIN IN
TERRORIST ATTACK, INCLUDING LOCAL WAR HERO. Shane buys a
EXT. DESERT – DAY
Betsy combs her hair fiercely, sitting by their gear.
Shane walks up.
It’s all over the news.
You’re a missing person.
It’s all over the world.
We made The New York Times.
I read it online. My x-pod
Betsy and Shane devour the burgers.
I’ve been thinking...There’s
a man who knew my father, knew
Leslie, General Groves too.
I haven’t seem him in years.
I don’t know if he would remember me.
I don’t know if he’s still alive.
We’ve got no vehicle,
unless you want to walk
or hitch a ride to Ray’s Auto,
twenty-six miles down the road.
If I remember correctly, it’s
about twelve miles that way—
through the desert. I can hoof
it. You could check it on your
GPS map. This guy worked at Los
Alamos, a physicist. If there’s
anything in that box, anything
technical, he would know how to
interpret it. I’m trying to help.
Okay. Let’s go for it.
They are deep in the desert now, with no road in sight.
Shane struggles under his load.
You said you were a writer.
What do you write about?
I’m a freelance writer. I’ll
write whatever you pay me to write.
I cover health topics. Some
local color. I blog about politics.
Of course, there’s no money in that.
I worry that I’ll end up being
just another blogger.
Why is that?
There’re sooo many writers. I find
it progressively more difficult
to snag good paying jobs.
I don’t see too many writers out
here. Maybe you’ll write about
this someday and make a million.
How much do you know about me?
I’ll bet you’ve read my LifeSpace
page. (Shane smiles) You have,
haven’t you! You know where I
live, don’t you?
You live in Santa Fe. You’re
good friend, Jeannie, lives there
too. You like alternative rock,
the painter Georgia O’Keefe—
I love Georgia O’Keefe.
--and you’ve competed in
What’s my shoe size?
I’m not a pervert.
Betsy speeds ahead.
What’s the matter, Mr. FBI Man,
can’t keep up with a woman? Ha ha. I’m
going to change my privacy settings.
You’re not carrying my load.
Oh, boo hoo. Big strong
Shane Donnelly. Let the
pity party begin. We haven’t
walked five miles, dude.
Shane puts down his load and sits on it.
I’m a desk jockey, Betsy. I
shuffle paper and search the
Web. People call and tell me
they’ve seen bin Laden in the
subway. Every three months, I
burn powder on the range. I
work out once a week, most weeks.
Obviously, it doesn’t do me much
good. I was sharp when I got out
of the Academy. It’s all those crap
I thought the food you brought
me was pretty good. The cole slaw
didn’t have too much liquid in it.
We’re taking five.
EXT. DESERT – DAY
A grizzled middle-age DESERT HIKER in hiking clothes and
boots, a tough customer with some warmth, pulls brush from
Shane’s SUV and examines the interior. He follows the
footprints from the site, walking at a rapid pace.
INT. HELICOPTER – DAY
Colonel Steig scans the desert landscape with binoculars.
Nothing moves down below other than pronghorn antelope.
We’ll have to expand the search area.
The Pilot gives thumbs up. A radio call comes in.
COL. STEIG (CONT’D)
What have you got?
EXT. SANTA FE – DAY
An AIDE in plain clothes walks down a residential street in
Santa Fe. He answers on his cell.
Betsy Groves lives here, alright.
I’ve checked with friends, neighbors.
Nobody’s seen her since the incident.
COL. STEIG (V.O.)
EXT. DESERT – DAY
Betsy and Shane hear the helicopter.
Lie down flat!
Shane covers them both with a camouflage blanket. Like a
chameleon, the blanket changes color and pattern to match
the immediate surroundings. The helicopter passes
EXT. DESERT – AFTERNOON
Betsy leads, Shane plods slowly behind. They walk through
an old graveyard of a small Spanish church with a bell
tower and worn wood crosses.
A DIAMOND BACK RATTLESNAKE slithers from one of the
crosses. Shane draws his Glock.
No! It’s going away from us.
You never knew your grandfather,
No. He died before I was born.
Your Dad must have told you
stories about his father.
Oh, sure. We both knew, Dale
and I, all about the famous
Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan
Project and his role in building the
Pentagon. Sometimes journalists
or authors came to our house
for information or a profile.
Your father and the general
There was mutual love and respect.
They shared a love of the outdoors.
Grandad took my father fishing.
The picture on the wall at the house.
Yes. Dale was eleven when
that picture was taken. Sandy
made quite a career for himself
in the Department of the Interior.
We’ve lived out West all our lives.
It’s beautiful here. I can’t say
I’m feeling it right now.
They come to a rise and look out across the plain below.
Golden shafts of sunlight pierce through the clouds on
BISON grazing peacefully in the distance. Shane holds his
GPS device up to the sky.
We’ll find those men behind
what happened and bring them
There is no justice for
men like that.
We’ll think of something.
According to my GPS, we’ve
only done nine miles today.
It feels like more than that.
We’re not going around in
circles, are we?
I think it’s just over there.
Two hours, maybe three.
Betsy puts on her music ear buds, slips Dale’s duffel bag
from Shane’s shoulder and slings it over her shoulder.
I’m feeling strong today.
EXT. DESERT – AFTERNOON
The desert hiker sits eating an orange. He watches as a
large van drives up and stops a hundred feet away.
Two MEXICAN MEN exit the cab and walk toward him, laughing
and joking in Spanish. One drinks from a liquor bottle;
both tote automatic weapons.
Casually, the hiker draws a mini-Uzi from his pack and cuts
down the men with a LONG BURST. He approaches the men, one
of whom is still alive, and finishes him off with a SHORT
He unloads their weapons and pours sand and dirt into their
chambers. He notices the van rocking, and loads a fresh
clip into the Uzi.
He approaches the van warily, circles it and looks inside.
He hears VOICES coming from the back. He tries the
handles—the van is locked.
The hiker takes a handheld cutting laser from his pack and
cuts out the lock. He steps back, gun raised.
The van doors are pushed open from inside. Terrified
MEXICAN MEN AND WOMEN stare back at him, talking excitedly
and motioning for him not to shoot. He motions to them to
exit the van. Reluctantly, they climb out with their hands
on their head.
Go! Abandonar! Get out of here!
The Mexicans makes gestures of prayer and thanks, and run
off into the desert.
The hiker watches them disappear, finishes eating the
orange, picks up his trail and continues on his journey.
EXT. DESERT – AFTERNOON
Shane examines a distant house through binoculars, Betsy
He sees an old man, OTTO JESPERSON, and a younger Navajo
woman, RITA OOLJEE, walking beside him, holding him steady.
She points out bright flowers in a circle in the driveway,
in front of the impressive Spanish style house.
Shane passes the binoculars to Betsy.
Is this the man you’re talking
about, who knew your father?
He’s gotten so old. I don’t
Do you think it’s safe?
I think he’s our best shot.
EXT. JESPERSON HOUSE – AFTERNOON
Shane and Betsy approach the house. Two DOBERMANS charge
around the corner, BARKING FEROCIOUSLY. Shane reaches into
his pocket. Rita opens the fancy front door and shushes
Hello. Can I help you?
Hi. I’m Betsy Groves. Otto
is a friend of the family. He
knows me from way back.
Tell him it’s Betsy Getsy.
Rita disappears inside the house. Shane looks around.
I wouldn’t mind retiring
in a place like this. It’s
Please, come in.
She shows the pair into the house.
INT. HOUSE, FOYER
The foyer is spacious, with decorative floor tiles. The
walls are a cream color and are hung with tasteful
paintings of desert scenes.
Otto comes forward, arms outstretched. Betsy rushes to
Betsy Getsy! Look, you’re
all grown up!
Otto, this is my friend, Shane.
Shane, this is Otto Jesperson.
Hello, Mr. Jesperson. Pleased
to meet you.
Likewise. To what do I owe
Well, we’re here on some
Serious business? Will you
If you don’t mind; we’d love to.
Well then. Rita will show
you to your rooms. Rita Ooljee
is my housekeeper. “Ooljee”
means “moon” in Navajo. I
think that’s lovely.
Rita and Otto exchange tender glances.
You can freshen up. I’ll take
a nap, and we’ll talk over dinner.
That sounds wonderful.
Betsy Getsy...She always
gets her way.
INT. HOUSE, BATHROOM
Betsy showers, shampooing her hair. BLOOD mixes with soapy
water in the drain.
Shane pokes his head through the door, holding a shaving
kit. He notices her figure through the glass shower door,
I’ll be out in a minute.
Shane exits, closing the door behind him.
EXT. FORT HUACHUCA, ARIZONA – AFTERNOON
An Army truck passes through the main gate marked by a
rustic sign: Fort Huachuca, Est. 1877, Home of U.S. Army
SOLDIERS carrying boxes embark from the truck toward a
large shed with a satellite dish on the roof. They
INT. INTELLIGENCE BUILDING
...and set down their boxes among a stack of boxes. Col.
Steig, smoking a cigarillo, directs the men.
Over here. Keep everything
in alphabetical order. We
should be up to the letter G
The boxes contain old files. The soldiers distribute them
to DATA ENTRY WORKERS, also in uniform, keying the
information into their computers.
COL. STEIG (CONT’D)
The bad news is over one hundred
thousand people worked at Los
Alamos during the war. The good
news is that not all of them were
scientists. What we want is the
names of scientists who worked
at Los Alamos on the Manhattan
Project who are alive today and
living in the Southwest. It’s
a tall order, but you men can
Isn’t any of this stuff on disk?
Sergeant Ramone has asked a question.
He wants to know if any of these
files are on disk. Gentlemen,
what we are talking about here are
files that were typed out by
secretaries using manual typewriters
with smudgy carbon ribbons and made
copies with smudgy carbon paper.
How sad is that!
The men GROAN.
COL. STEIG (CONT’D)
I mean, we’re talking about the age
of dinosaurs here. Monsters dropping
huge glops of doo doo for you to shovel
How did they make corrections, Sir?
Did they use White Out?
Private Moller wants to know,
how did these good people make
corrections. Did they have White
Out? I don’t know if they used
White Out, Private Moller. And
I don’t care. I don’t care,
because we’re gonna to find
COL. STEIG (CONT’D)
the sonofabitch we’re looking
He holds up a wad of bills.
COL. STEIG (CONT’D)
A thousand dollars cash to the
man who finds the winning file!
Ramone, your wife just had a
She did, Sir. A beautiful
I’ll bet an extra thousand
would pay for a whole lot of
diapers and baby food.
Oh, yes sir, it would!
Colonel Steig moves to a different section of the room
where INTERCEPT OFFICERS, with headsets, watch lines a code
racing across the screen and Scrolling up.
What are you hearing?
Steig lifts the headset and listens in.
COL. STEIG (CONT’D)
Just checking for Miley Cyrus.
The usual chatter. Nothing to
They’re smart. They’ve turned
off their cells, Remember,
these people are considered to
be armed and extremely dangerous.
They are a threat to national
security, and must be stopped.
COL. STEIG (CONT’D)
We work in eight hour shifts
with ten minute breaks between
shifts. That’s an order!
INT. JESPERSON HOUSE, DINING ROOM - EVENING
Otto, Shane and Betsy are seated at a long heavy wood
dining table in the spacious dining room, beneath a wagon
wheel chandelier, eating from thick earthenware plates and
serving dishes. Otto sips from a goblet of red wine.
How is dinner? More wine, anyone?
It’s all delicious. Thank you
so much. Really.
Otto winks at Betsy, looks at Shane.
She’s a real tigress, you know.
I’m good. The food is great.
You’ve both been quiet. What
is it that weighs on you?
What is this ‘serious business,’
How to begin. Some really, really
bad things have happened. We
were celebrating Sandy’s birthday,
at the house. (pause) We experienced
a home invasion.
A home invasion?
It was more of an attack.
These ninjas, these attackers
came into the house...and
there was a gun fight.
A gunfight? Who would do
such a thing?
Sandy and Dale were killed.
I shot the man who killed Dale.
I think I got another one with
Otto rubs his eyes and looks off into space. He reaches
across the table and holds Betsy’s hand.
There can be no words for
such a horror. I can only
say I am thankful you are alive.
This man here, Shane, saved
my life. He’s an FBI agent.
FBI? Then I must thank you.
Yea, it’s complicated. We
don’t know many of the details.
It has something to do, a lot
to do, with a report about an
alleged atomic bullet developed
during the Manhattan Project.
General Groves’ name was mentioned
and his son. I drove down from
New York to investigate.
Atomic bullet? What did you do?
I got one of them coming
down the stairs. Betsy
had run out of ammo. We
don’t know whether it was
a terrorist plot; some of
them, maybe all of them,
were of Middle Eastern origin.
The Washington Post is casting
doubt on that theory. They say
all but two of the dead attackers
were U.S. citizens.
You don’t know about any of this?
No...No...I don’t listen to
the news anymore. It’s all
bad, you know. I paint,
listen to music, take walks.
Betsy said you were part of
the Manhattan Project.
I was a junior scientist, a
physicist. I had a minor
role in all that.
Did you know General Groves
and Robert Oppenheimer?
I had one or two talks with
Oppie. I saw the General at
Los Alamos. A lot of people
were involved in the Manhattan
Project, a lot of very bright
people. You could have lit
every neon bulb in Times Square
with all that brain power.
Do you remember if Oppenheimer
made a special trip to Princeton
in 1945, 46, to talk with Einstein?
Try and remember. It’s important.
Of course, we all talked about
Einstein. No, I don’t know about
any special trip.
You were there, at Trinity.
You saw the bomb go off?
You mean the Gadget? That’s
what they called it, you know.
You saw the first atom bomb
Wow. What was it like?
I’ve been asked that a
thousand times. Of course,
they gave us darkened glass,
so we wouldn’t be blinded
by the thing. It was quite
extraordinary. For a moment
it was the clearest light,
in which you saw the most
trivial thing in the sharpest
detail. Come, I’ll show you
what I saw.
INT. ART STUDIO
Otto leads Betsy and Shane into his studio. There are
paintings in various stages of completion on easels and
about the room.
Otto turns on track lighting directed toward one wall. He
turns off the room light and pulls open the curtain
covering that wall, revealing a painting nearly the size of
The painting is a violently colorful rendering of the first
I call it the Eye of God.
It was if a giant eye had
opened and somehow had shined
a light on us, on our puny
world. It was an angry eye.
July 16, 1945.
Brighter than a thousand suns.
That was the headline?
Yes. We had created something
momentarily brighter than the
sun, than nature. We had
become godlike—that is when
man is most dangerous.
It’s your masterpiece.
Otto kisses her tenderly on the forehead.
That, my children, is the
show for tonight. I’m
going to bed and try to
sleep off this awful news.
Otto exits. Betsy and Shane stand close, hands touching,
as they contemplate the painting.
HALLWAY OUTSIDE RITA’S ROOM
Shane sees Rita keying on a laptop inside. He raps on the
Hi. I need to ask a favor.
I need to send an email
from your account. It’ll
only take a minute.
Sure. Take your time.
She steps outside.
Shane sits at the side of the bed slumped over studying a
photo, in his undershirt and trousers, by the light of a
table lamp. Betsy comes to the open door in a robe.
Shane looks up.
I just wanted to say thanks.
I know it sounds terribly
inadequate. But, you know,
words do mean something, even
at a time like this. Thanks
for coming when you did.
Shane nods. She sits on the bed beside him.
That’s your friend’s family?
That’s Trish, his wife, and
Daniel, his son. They’ll
get the news before I return
to New York. I’ll still have
to watch him die all over
again in when I talk to them.
Betsy rests her hand on his shoulder.
Some day, just maybe, we
can put this ordeal behind us.
She stands, walks to the door and turns, as if to say
Good night, Betsy.
Good night, Shane.
EXT. FEDERAL PLAZA, NEW YORK CITY – NIGHT
TITLE: Federal Plaza, New York City
A modern office building with lights on many floors stands
out in the mix.
INT. FBI OFFICE OF JOINT TERRORISM TASK FORCE
CRAIG SIDOWSKI sits in his cubical opening email. He opens
an email marked URGENT, stares intently at the screen,
prints the email and runs to the head office.
JOHN D. MCCLOSKY, Director, sits in his office looking
reflectively out the high office across the city. His name
and the shield of the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force
are on the glass door.
Sir, I just opened an email
from Donnelly. He’s outside
of Taos. Marchetti didn’t make it.
McClosky spins around in his chair, grabs his suit jacket,
and leaves the office.
Donnelly is alive.
Everyone looks up.
Saddle up. We’re flying to
Mexico tonight. Fisk, Patel,
you’re coming with me. Sidowski,
you’re in charge.
Patel straps on his shoulder holster. Fisk does a turn
around jump shot and tosses his soda can into the trash
basket. They are a pair of young guns in their 20s.
Any word on Gino? His wife
We’ll be bringing Gino back
I’m sorry to hear that, Sir.
Do you want me to say anything
to his wife?
No, not yet. Craig, get on
the horn to the Southwest
offices. There’s an Air Force
base down there. Tell them
we’ll need a helo and tactical
support when we get there.
Notify the NYPD, the Mayor’s Office.
Hell, go through the whole damn
list. No media. Got that?
INT. JESPRSON HOUSE, DINING ROOM – MORNING
Sunlight slashes through the open architecture.
Otto, Betsy and Shane sit at the long table. Breakfast
dishes have been pushed aside and the tackle box has been
set on the table. They drink coffee.
Rita! Has anyone seen
Betsy and Shane shake their heads no.
So you think this box is important?
Documents, a tape recording,
What the attackers might have
been after, specifically.
Something that would clear away
It’s Pandora’s Box, and it
contains violence and evil.
And if we open it, that’s
what we’ll get.
Otto is maybe the one person
living who can make sense of
this thing. Sure, there are
risks. It might contain a bomb.
It might blow up in our faces.
My father would not give
me a box with a bomb,
with his dying breath.
Well then, why did he keep it?
I really don’t know.
Well then, that’s why we
have to open it. (to Otto)
Do you have anything to cut
metal? It’s been welded shut.
I would have to look. My
The desert hiker enters the room silently, with Rita bound
and gagged. He totes his Uzi, with a long silencer
DESERT HIKER aka BENNY
Not a problem. I can open the
Shane goes for his gun. Benny fires a SHORT BURST into the
ceiling. Shane places his hands on the table. Benny puts
Rita into a chair.
And who would you be,
breaking into my house
I am Mossad. And I am
on a mission. You can call
me Benny, if you like.
You killed my dogs!
They are napping, Dr.
Jesperson. We will all
get along much better if
we just calm down and
conduct our business in
a sane and rational manner.
Agent Donnelly, your weapon,
Benny steps behind Shane to collect his Glock.
Do you have any identification?
Here is my passport...one
of several I keep handy.
Shane looks it over.
Are you aware of the Foreign
Agents Registration Act?
Enacted in 1938, I believe.
Can we get on to our real
How did you find us?
I put a tracer on your
vehicle shortly after you
left New York. It wasn’t
Yes, but we walked through
I learned tracking from
a Bedouin in the Negev Desert.
Any more questions?
How do we know you’re Mossad
and not some gangster?
I suppose I have no document
to convince you of anything.
Do I look like a gangster?
I’ve seen them in different
shapes and sizes.
You see, that’s the difference
between us. We interview the
person at airport security. You
rely on the machine. You are
afraid to profile, to offend
anyone, even those who would
You look like a man who would
do anything to achieve his ends,
however civil he might appear.
Well, Dr. Jesperson, you make
a good point. I would go to
to great lengths to serve my
We need to establish some
What do you mean? He’s got
Why don’t we open the box
and see what we’re talking
about here. It might be
nothing at all.
Benny brings his laser cutter to the table. He shakes the
box gently, hears METALLIC SOUNDS. He begins cutting.
INT. FORT HUACHUCA, INTELLIGENCE BUILDING – MORNING
Colonel Steig dozes in a chair. Nerdy looking PRIVATE
KEEBLE nudges the colonel awake.
Colonel, Sir. I think I might
have found something.
Keeble leads Steig to his computer screen.
PVT. KEEBLE (CON’T)
You have to figure than nearly
everyone alive at that time is
now dead. So your database of
possible matches is actually
very small. This is what I’m
looking at. I think this is
Steig examines the screen intently and breaks into a big
Keeble, you’ve just made me a
Steig slaps the wad of cash into Private Keeble’s hand.
Keeble lets out a WHOOP.
INT. JESPERSON HOUSE, DINING ROOM – DAY
Rita, released now, serves coffee and pastries to Shane,
Otto, Betsy and Benny. She glares at Benny. The tackle
box is open. Benny sorts out the contents on the table.
One reel fishing line, one
box assorted lead sinkers,
assorted hooks and flies,
one fish knife, one box of
Those belonged to my father.
Three plastic toy soldiers,
one pottery sherd, two arrowheads,
one Eagle Scout pin, one wedding
ring and wisp of hair.
Those belonged to my mother.
She died when we were children.
A basefall card. And one opened
envelope. “To Sandy” on the outside.
Betsy snatches the envelope from Benny’s hands.
That’s family treasure.
You have no business reading it.
I am afraid I do. Why don’t
you read it for us.
All right, since you show
a tiny bit of courtesy.
“My dear son, I am writing
to clarify the events you
witnessed one day in the
summer of 1947, involving
myself and the scientist,
J. Robert Oppenheimer.
What you saw was the world’s
first test of an atomic bullet.
Jesus God! So it’s true.
“The research for this weapon
was conducted by Oppenheimer
and Albert Einstein, in 1944,
while we were working on the
Manhattan Project. The bullet
was constructed by scientists
at Los Alamos, in secret,
apart from the main project.
I was not informed of its
development until the day
of the test. What a rude
awakening that was!
I’ll bet it was. Unbelievable!
“The scientists and engineers
manufactured five thousand rounds.
Each bullet contains a trace of U-235.
The one hundred eighty grain bullet
contains the equivalent explosive
power of approximately one thousand,
three hundred pounds of TNT.
The bullets were stored in thirty
caliber machine gun boxes with
a lead lining. They were made
black with a gold tip to distinguish
them from other bullets. They were
hidden at Trinity.
“I am writing this letter so that
you will know the story from me in
case any of this material comes to
light. It is my sincerest hope that
none of these bullets will ever be
recovered, as we have plenty of
destructive power already. With love,
So it was a thirty (.30) caliber
bullet. It was meant for the U.S.
Army weapons of the day.
But where at Trinity?
There’s a diagram.
Benny snatches the diagram from Betsy. He examines it
closely, and hands it to Otto.
See what you can make of this.
I am not a scientist.
Otto puts on his reading glasses and pours over the
Well, it appears to be a
design for miniaturizing the
uranium bomb, the gun type
bomb, that was dropped on Hiroshima.
Would it work?
Well, you just heard the words
of General Groves, who was there.
It would have to be a highly
efficient explosion since the
amount of fissile material is
very small, well below the critical
mass required in the bombs, X
number of pounds.
This stuff is on the Internet
That would be a mistake.
What about the math? Do you
understand the math? And the
“A.E.” signed at the bottom.
Would that be “Albert Einstein”?
I haven’t done higher math
in decades. I understand
the symbols. The “A.E.” might
be Einstein. You know, they
saved some of the blackboards
he worked on at Princeton. Stored
them away in a room somewhere.
Why do you care about any
atom bullet? Don’t you have
enough bombs already?
As you may know, the State
of Israel does not comment
on any alleged nuclear arsenal.
That said, we would not want
this information and material
to fall into enemy hands.
If you have the bomb, or are
trying to build the bomb,
what’s a few bullets?
Five thousand is more than a few.
I’ll connect the dots for you.
A sniper, aiming from the window
of a waterfront apartment in
New Jersey, say, could destroy an
ocean liner cruising down the
Hudson River, with one, two shots.
Or a warship. Or the Eiffel Tower,
Or Big Ben. Or the Golden Gate
Bridge. One man with one rifle and
one bullet. Or two, or three, or
four. Do you see the danger?
But how could anyone get away
with something like this?
Los Alamos was like a mid-size
city. It was impossible to
know what everyone was doing.
So what do you propose to do?
We need to find these materials
before the whole world starts
looking for them, and neutralize
What do you mean by “neutralize?”
Whatever is required. Take
them apart, render them harmless.
Betsy grabs the diagram from Otto and crams it into her
half-filled coffee mug. Benny levels his Uzi at her.
Shane and Otto rise from their chairs.
What are you going to do,
shoot me in here? Huh?
You know, I once placed a
prayer in the Wailing Wall.
I’ll bet you didn’t know that.
Are you Jewish?
No. You know what I prayed
for? Huh, Mr. Mossad?
What did you pray for?
Benny sighs and lowers the submachinegun.
Well, we are allies, after all.
Get your things together. We’re
leaving in ten minutes.
But where at Trinity?
I’m not going anywhere,
and neither is my housekeeper.
And I’m going to send your
government a bill for damages
done to my estate.
No need for that.
Benny lays out ten and twenty dollar bills on the table.
I seem to be a little short.
Shane pulls out the banded block of bills he recovered from
the dead attacker, and lays out a dozen or so c-notes.
Benny holds one c-note up to the light.
You think I would pass along
funny money? I’d got to send
one more email.
Shane loads a jerry can into the back of the older model
Land Rover. Rita hands Shane the keys to the vehicle.
I made you some sandwiches.
Good luck to you. Your
heart is true.
You need security. Call the
local sheriff. These are
very bad people we’re dealing with.
Betsy hugs Otto.
If I don’ see you again...
paint a beautiful sunset.
You’ll always have my love.
Benny piles into the back; Betsy sits next to Shane, who
starts the engine and drives away from the house.
INT./EXT. LAND ROVER ON HIGHWAY – DAY
Shane drives, elbow out the window, while Betsy sits beside
him, listening to music on her headset. Betsy and Shane
eat sandwiches from the bag Rita prepared. Benny sketches
on a note pad. His jacket covers the Uzi on the seat
Shane eyes him in the rear view mirror.
What are you up to, Benny?
Oh, just taking some notes.
I must file a report when I
get back home.
In fact, he is recreating the atomic diagram from memory.
Benny taps Betsy on the shoulder and hands her a photo.
Those are my daughters, Hila
and Ilana and my wife Ruth.
Ilana is still in school. Hila,
on the right, is in the Army.
We have the draft, girls too.
Betsy returns the photo to Benny.
You must be proud of them.
I love them to pieces.
I worry about them all the time.
When they walk out the door,
I wonder if I’ll see them again.
The world we live in...
They must think the same of you
Where do they live?
Normally I would not give
out that kind of personal information.
But, since we are comrades-in-arms,
they live in the northern town of
Tiberius by the Dead Sea, which
Christians refer to as the Sea of
Galilee, from the New Testament.
Yes. They listen to music
just like you. It’s the same
everywhere, really. It’s a
pity there are so many differences.
Benny hums a tune, conducting with his finger.
Shane reaches back and gives Benny the photo document he
took off the dead “Syrian” attacker.
What do you think of this?
What is it?
I took it off one of the
attackers at the scene of
the shooting. He looked
Middle Eastern. Is it
authentic? Can you tell?
It’s not a military document.
The Arabic is a trifle sloppy.
I’d say it’s a fake.
That’s what I think. It’s
a cover-up, a diversion.
The real question is: who is
behind all this?
The Land Rover passes a road sign: 32 miles to White Sands
INT. JESPERSON HOUSE, DINING ROOM – DAY
Otto and Rita are tied to the high back dining room chairs.
Colonel Steig is accompanied by two HENCHMEN. They wear
non-descript fatigues. Henchman 1 piloted the helicopter
Give me a lap dance, and
I might let you go.
Rita spits in his face. He slaps her hard across the face.
Leave her out of this! Do
what you’re going to do to me.
(to Henchman 1)
Dogs will chew on your
entrails in the desert!
Henchman 1 slaps her hard again. Blood trickles from her
Steig snaps open a glass ampoule and prepares a syringe.
Oh, we’ll do what we’re going
to do to you. You don’t have
to worry about that.
I don’t know anything that
would interest the likes of you.
Otto sits calmly in the chair. Henchman 2 assists Steig.
Now, that’s where I think you’re
wrong. I think you know one or
two tidbits that would interest me.
I’ve lived my life. I’m
mostly a corpse. There is
very little pain left in my
Wrong again. You see, I’m
not going to cause you any
pain at all. You’ll hardly
feel a thing.
Do your worst. Just let
Steig injects the needle into Otto’s arm.
You’re going to sing for me.
I just injected you with a
chemical a hundred times more
potent than sodium pentathol.
The Russians invented it.
They’re very good at this
sort of thing.
Colonel Steig steps back and watches as Otto becomes semi-
conscious. His head slumps to his chest. He begins to
BABBLE. Rita WEEPS quietly.
Two SHOTS RING OUT. Birds in a nearby tree scatter in
INT./EXT. LAND ROVER, WHITE SANDS – DAY
Shane, Betsy, and Benny drive along a deserted road. Benny
removes the M4 carbine from the bag.
I’m getting that sensation
in the pit of my stomach again,
part fear, part joy.
Look, it’s clouding up.
Where are we?
Shane points to a dot on his GPS display.
Why don’t we find a diner
somewhere and think this
It’s the zing of it. You
know, the adventure. The
We’re going to take a look
around see what’s here.
Have you been here before?
Benny attaches the telescopic sight on top of the barrel
and the grenade launcher under the barrel. He snaps in a
The vehicle stops at a gate in a cyclone fence with dense
coils of razor wire on top and a large padlock on the gate.
One sign reads: RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS – CAUTION. The
second sign reads: WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE – KEEP OUT.
The characters leave the vehicle and approach the fence.
Benny takes out his cutting laser.
I hate these case hardened
He goes to work with the laser on the lock.
Shane drives the vehicle through the opened gate and stops.
Benny secures the gate so that it looks like no one broke
in. Benny gets in the vehicle and they drive on.
The paved road comes to an end. Shane consults the GPS and
they drive across the desert floor. Clouds thicken on the
The desert floor is flat and empty except for tufts of
grass. Benny searches the landscape with binoculars.
Over there, do you see it?
Shane drives in the direction indicated by Benny, a tiny
spire on the horizon.
Shane brings the vehicle to a halt hear the Trinity
Monument, an obelisk made of cemented sections of black
lava rock twelve feet high. On the obelisk is a bronze
The characters leave the vehicle. Shane reads the plaque.
“This site marks the spot where
the first nuclear device was
exploded to test the theory of
the atomic bomb. The nuclear
device, known as the Gadget,
exploded on a one hundred foot steel
tower at 5:29 AM on July 16, 1945.
The explosion vaporized the tower
and created a green glass known
as Trinitite. The force of the
explosion was estimated at twenty-one
kilotons and was heard two hundred
miles away. The Trinity test
ushered in the Atomic Age.”
Shane notices rusted metal stumps in the ground.
That’s what’s left of the
tower. They set the thing
off in a tower to see what
an air burst would be like.
CROSS CUT SEQUENCE:
Black-and-white footage of the nuclear device with wires
protruding from it, atop the steel tower, with dark clouds
The characters. The characters look around them as if
The device explodes: first in real time, then in split
second intervals as caught by high speed cameras.
The fireball as a giant mushroom.
The giant mushroom evolves with spots on it resembling sun
The mushroom cloud rises high in the sky, and a shock wave
travels rapidly across the ground.
END OF CROSS CUT SEQUENCE, BACK TO SCENE
Betsy is visibly uneasy. She separates herself from Shane
and Benny. Benny samples the air around the monument with
a Geiger counter. The Geiger counter CRACKLES.
Betsy runs away.
Stop. It’s only a few millirems,
maybe not even that. It’s
Betsy turns toward the men with clenched fists.
Look at us! We’re covered
in blood! All of us! This
is crazy! The whole thing!
Tell me anything good that
has come out of it? (pause)
You know, sometimes I’m just
a woman. I don’t pretend to
be hard like you. You know?
I want to make things grow.
I want the earth to be green,
alive, vibrant. I want us all
to be safe and happy. Is that
too much to ask?
The men stand stunned. Finally...
Yea, you could say something
like that. Hell, I rather be
some place else. I’d rather
be on Cape Cod watching the
sun rise, or watching a show
in Times Square. I’ve got
a hundred and seventy days
of annual leave, and look where
I am. But you know, you know,
you just can’t quit. You just
Shane kicks up a spray of sand.
I’ll bet it’s under there,
the monument, the box of
bullets. The box of evil.
What we need is ground
Benny sees a speck half a mile away.
Let’s drive over there.
Shane parks the Land Rover near a block house. The
characters get out and investigate. The concrete block
house has narrow slits. Weeds grow inside. Betsy sees
something, brushes the sand away and turns it over in her
EXT./INT. BLOCK HOUSE
What do you think this is?
Huh. It looks like an old
radiation gage, a dosimeter.
You’ve found something, an
artifact of the early Atomic
Wouldn’t this have been too
close for humans?
This was probably for instruments.
Someone’s coming. Look.
Benny looks where Betsy points with binoculars. He sees a
Humvee and an Army truck shimmering in the distance.
Someone’s coming, alright.
Benny breaks out the weapons from the duffel bag. He hands
the Glock pistol and the Uzi to Shane and keeps the M4
carbine for himself. Betsy stands SHAKING.
Who put you in charge?
How many wars have you
fought in? Have you ever
used an Uzi?
I’ve trained on similar weapons.
Good. I’ve always admired
Shane steadies Betsy on the shoulders and gives her the
If it comes to it, just
aim and pull the trigger.
Shane kisses Betsy on the cheek and lightly caresses her
hair. Shane runs back to the vehicle and returns with the
camouflage blanket. He positions her a few yards from the
block house and covers her with the blanket.
Using the butt of the carbine as a shovel, Benny furiously
digs a shallow trench behind a clump of grass.
So where does that put me?
You must do the talking.
Maybe you can buy them off.
You have money.
Benny wriggles into the trench, throws sand over himself,
and sights in the scope.
Shane stands in front of the block house, holding the
submachine gun barrel down, casual, waiting.
The Humvee and truck stop a hundred yards away. THREE MEN
walk toward the block house; slowly, confidently. OTHER
MEN WITH WEAPONS take up position around the Humvee and
They draw closer. It is Colonel Steig and his two
henchmen. All wear bullet proof vests. The henchmen carry
M-16 rifles, while Steig wears a standard Army issue
Beretta 9mm automatic pistol on his hip. The flap is
They stop fifteen feet from Shane.
Shane shows his ID.
FBI, Special Agent Shane Donnelly.
Billy the Kid. Special agent,
huh? I’m impressed. Taking the
day off, or are you here on business?
Just driving around, seeing the
Uh huh. All alone? Mind if
I take a look inside?
Sure, it’s a free country.
Betsy clenches and unclenches her hands under the blanket.
INT. BLOCK HOUSE
Colonel Steig looks around, kicks the sand, exits.
EXT. TRINITY SITE
It doesn’t look like there’s
a whole lot going on today.
Yea, it’s pretty quiet.
Have we met before? Your
voice sounds vaguely familiar?
I don’t think so. Is the Uzi
standard FBI issue these days?
Steig lights a cigarillo. He looks around, notices the
Well, we get to choose.
Uh huh. Can I offer you
I’m good. Thanks all the same.
I know, ugly habit. My
dentist keeps telling me
to quit—stains my teeth.
I slap her on the ass.
She threatens to bring
me up on charges, but it
never comes to anything.
A guided missile speeds overhead and impacts beyond the
horizon, setting off a FLASH OF LIGHT.
Must be test day on the range.
The cavalry is coming.
Freaking A. Oh, the cavalry.
This conversation is getting
stranger and stranger.
I just thought I’d mention it.
You being Billy the Kid, and all.
He died young, Billy did.
An errant youth, he was. Lived
around here, they say.
You don’t know where to look,
Look for what, exactly?
Whatever it is you’re looking
for. I don’t have a clue either.
Whatever it is you’re looking for.
I’ve got ground penetrating radar.
But I don’t know, given that
there aren’t any clues and the
cavalry is coming, as you say.
And it looks like it might rain.
In the distance, lightening forks down to the earth from
menacing clouds and thunder RUMBLES across the desert.
Col. Steig lunges forward and marches Shane back up against
the block house wall with his finger in Shane’s chest.
Betsy listens intently to all this.
I want to tell you something,
college boy. My grandpappy was
a human guinea pig in the trenches
during those bomb tests in the Fifties.
Fried his ass. He died of leukemia at
age thirty. My father was an alcoholic
and my mom had a goiter down to here
(indicating), stuck her head in a gas oven.
And, as you can see, I was born with
beautiful skin. So whatever it is around
here that’s worth something, I figure
it belongs to me. Comprehende?
You could sell it on Ebay,
That’s right! I could sell it
on Ebay, one freaking bullet at
Steig starts to retreat with his back toward the Humvee,
looking up at the threatening skies, when he notices Benny.
In one motion, he spins around, gun drawn. The henchmen
turn in unison with him.
Shane sweeps across the three of them with a LONG BURST
from the Uzi. BUDDABUDDABUDDABUDDA.
Near simultaneously to the first shots being fired, Benny
rises from his prone position and opens fire at the armed
men near the truck and Humvee. POP POP POP.
The men at the Humvee return fire on Benny. Bullets ZIP
Benny fires a grenade from the M4 carbine, striking the
Humvee and sending it up in flames. Benny gets several of
the men. Benny is hit by return fire.
Shane gets Colonel Steig in the arm and leg.
Henchman 1 is hit in the bullet proof vest. The bullets
don’t penetrate but knock him backward. He fires his M-16
erratically. Shane hits him around the head and neck,
mortally wounding him.
Henchman 2 is similarly driven backward but hits Shane in
the shoulder. Shane goes down. Wounded, Benny finishes
off Henchman 2.
An Army Black Hawk helicopter flies low overhead.
FBI agents McClosky, Fisk and Patel fly in full combat
gear, alongside of ARMED TROOPS. McClosky speaks to an
ARMY MAJOR beside him.
Remember, these are rogue
elements. The men may not
even know what they are doing.
The Major nods yes.
Steig notices the human form under the blanket and crawls
on his elbows toward it, pistol in hand, trailing blood.
Betsy raises the blanket and sticks her pistol into Steig’s
You killed my father and brother.
She pulls the trigger, terminating him.
Betsy hears Shane MOANING and rushes toward him. Blood
pours from his right shoulder. She uses her jacket to try
and stop the bleeding.
Help! Please help! A man is
down! I need an ambulance!
Somebody call 911! Help! Please!
The remainder of Steig’s men speed off in the truck. The
helicopter cuts off its escape. The DOOR GUNNER fires his
machine gun into the truck’s engine. Steam pours from the
engine as the truck grinds to a halt. The men get out,
arms raised in surrender.
SOLDIERS from the helicopter round up Steig’s men.
McClosky and his men rush toward Betsy and Shane.
Benny lies dead, loosely holding the diagram he drew, smile
on his face. A wind gust blows the diagram, mottled with
blood, from his hand, as the first drops of rain fall.
EXT. ISRAEL, TIBERIAS, SEA OF GALILEE – DAY
SOMBER MOURNING VOCALS OVER
Benny’s WIFE and TWO DAUGHTERS console one another as
RABBIS, FRIENDS and SOLDIERS, some wearing prayer shawls,
place hands and flowers on Benny’s flag-draped coffin in a
private plot above the sea. The coffin is lowered into the
EXT. HOSPITAL, NEW MEXICO – DAY
As Betsy walks toward the hospital entrance, holding a
sprig of wildflowers, PHOTOGRAPHERS, OFFICIALS and McClosky
leave. Betsy overhears a remark.
That man should get the Medal
of Honor, as far as I’m concerned.
INT. HOSPITAL, HALLWAY
Betsy walks along the hallway; all eyes follow her.
He’s down there.
Betsy nods and continues down the hall. She sees Fisk
sitting in a chair beside an open doorway. He half rises
to greet her.
Jim Fisk. You remember...
Betsy pokes her nose inside the single room. A YOUNG NURSE
adjusts the flow on an IV bottle. She plumps up Shane’s
If you need anything, anything
at all, just push the buzzer.
Thanks. I’ll remember that.
The nurse exits. Betsy enters. She notices flowers all
over the room, covering the level surfaces.
I brought you some flowers:
yellow poppies. I’ll just
put them over here.
Shane holds out his left hand. His right shoulder is
heavily bandaged. She places the poppies into his hand. He
sniffs the poppies.
I’m afraid they don’t have
much of a scent.
They’re pretty. Thanks.
How are you?
I was scared you’d bleed
to death. I couldn’t stop
Shane looks out the window.
Your voice sounded far away,
like I was slipping out.
Out of your body?
Something like that.
You brought me back.
So how are you?
I’m okay. You look
kind of banged up.
I’ll be all right.
That’s what they all say.
Yea, that’s what we all say.
What good are we, anyway?
We bust up the world pretty good.
I suppose you’ll be returning
to New York soon.
Yea, if they ever let me
out of this joint.
The nurse enters, holding a medication tray.
Let me know before you go.
Maybe we can get together
for a coffee or something.
I’d like that. Hey,
He holds up the flowers. Betsy exits.
Agent Patel, newspaper in hand, comes up to Fisk.
Did you see the news?
Arsenal whipped Manchester.
We play football in this
country. (to Betsy) Do
you have a minute?
Betsy turns and waits. Fisk jumps up from the chair.
Patel takes his place.
EXT. HOSPITAL, PARKING LOT – DAY
Fisk pulls out a pack of cigarettes. Betsy deftly helps
herself to a cigarette.
I didn’t know you smoked.
He lights them both.
I’ve gotten tired of apologizing
for smoking. I’ll quit when I’m
good and ready.
Betsy laugh heartily.
What is it you want to talk
to me about, Mr. Fisk?
I want to talk to you
about Shane. He’ll tell
that he’s okay. Fact is,
his shoulder is all torn up.
He’ll need reconstructive
surgery; even with that, he
may never regain full use of
his right arm. Shane was a
star at Boston College. The
pros gave him a look-see.
I didn’t know that.
See, that’s the thing.
Shane doesn’t tell you
things like that unless
you know him real well.
I don’t know what you two
We didn’t talk relationships.
I thought that was odd. It’s
usually the first thing I go
He had a big breakup about
a year ago. He’d been seeing
this woman for months. I don’t
know what happened; he was pretty
bummed over about it. He thought
he’d be married by now with a
family. Maybe it was his fault,
I don’t know.
And, this pertains to me, how?
Look, all I’m saying is give
the guy a chance. He doesn’t
need pity. He needs a friend.
The President called him personally
this morning, and the poor guy is
lying in a hospital bed wondering
what kind of man he will be when
he gets out.
I’ve lost all the men in
my life, Mr. Fisk. I’m
not quite certain how I’ll
I’m deeply and truly sorry
for your losses. Gotta run.
Think about it.
Fisk runs back toward the hospital. Betsy flicks the last
of the cigarette.
EXT. TRINITY SITE – DAY
The site is divided into narrow strips marked by string on
posts and color tags.
WORKERS push ground penetrating radar units on small wheels
through the lanes demarcated by the string. The box-like
units each have an antenna.
The antennas transmit images to a master screen observed by
the ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS. The images show wave patterns
of the earth beneath the surface.
Backhoes did a deep hole in the sandy soil.
A mountain of dirt is piled by the hole, illuminated by
banks of lights. A worker at the bottom, some thirty feet
down, WHISTLES, and signals that he has found something.
Engineers and workers crowd at the edge of the pit and
EXT. PIT - NIGHT:
A ramp leads in two directions down to an object. VISITORS
in stylish HAZMAT suits walk down the ramp and gather
around the object. The object is illuminated so that the
inside is clearly visible.
ARMED GUARDS cover the pit on the surface. American flags
line the pit on both sides.
Popular World War II songs like “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and
“It’s Been a Long, Long Time,” play from speakers.
Visitors enter a large Army style tent to change into their
HAZMAT suits. When they emerge, suited up, they are
offered flutes of champagne by WAITERS and WAITRESSES
dressed as 1940s-era bellhops and cigarette girls.
The visitors sit in comfortable chairs, sipping champagne
and eating expensive snacks, and chat with one another, as
they wait their turn to enter the pit.
PROTESTERS CHANT at the periphery of the site. They are
restrained by the armed guards and site ORGANIZERS.
No more nukes! No more nukes!
Below, the visitors walk around the object, touching it
lightly with their protective gloves. Expressions of
wonder, awe and fear are visible through their suit
The object appears to be a glass cube eight feet on a side.
Embedded in the green-tinted transparent material is a wood
pallet on which are neatly stacked boxes with Army
stenciling: “.30 caliber ball ammunition.” Entombed in the
clear substance are diamond back rattlesnakes and strange
Mother of God! There it is!
VISITOR 2 furtively taps the object lightly with a rock
VISITOR 1 (CONT’D)
I don’t know that I would do that
if I were you.
Why? Do you think it will
We don’t really know what
we’re dealing with here.
I’d say caution is called for.
What do you say, glass?
I’m guessing ballistic glass.
I’m an aeronautical engineer.
Possibility. It could be that
stuff created by the blast,
Trinitite. That was green.
I’m just saying that the ethical
implications of tampering with
such a thing must be considered.
A GUARD speaks to the DIRECTOR, decked out in black
Shouldn’t we have someone
down in the pit?
These people paid three
thousand each to be here.
This is bigger than the
Super Bowl. You’ll get
The guard smiles. VISITOR 4 sidles up to VISITOR 2.
I’ll bet you’re wondering
what those funny looking dolls
I was, actually.
I’m a local anthropologist,
and I can say with a fair
degree of certainty, that
that are Navajo witch dolls.
Oh, right. This stuff is
bad medicine. Don’t mess.
And with the snakes.
Exactly. By the way, my
name is Barbara. We met at
the cocktail party...when
we didn’t have these gold fish
bowls covering our heads.
Oh, right...right. Nice to
meet you, Barbara. I’m Garth.
They shake hands. VISITOR 5 butts in.
The men who made this thing
were giants. We stand on the
shoulders of giants. And I say
that as a scientist.
Who’s in charge here?
I want to purchase this object.
It’s a fabulous work of art.
I’m offering thirty million
dollars for it.
Helmeted heads turn and look at one another.
VISITOR 6 (CONT’D)
That’s the problem with America.
Nobody’s in charge.
VISITOR 7 steps forward.
I’m not sure exactly who is in
charge here. My name is Bob
Bechtel, Secretary, Department
of Homeland Security.
You’re a secretary?
No. I am the Secretary. I’m
the boss. To whom do I have
the pleasure of addressing myself?
My name is Kashoggi. I am
on the Forbes’ list of top
forty richest individuals in
Well, Mr. Kashoggi, I don’t
think this object is for sale.
The government owns it.
Write to your elected officials.
A crowd gathers.
I say we cut the crap and take a
jackhammer to it and see if the
damn bullets work!
DIRECTOR THRU SPEAKER
Your time will be up in thirty seconds.
Please be ready to leave at that time.
The next group will be ready to enter
the display area in sixty seconds.
Thank you for your cooperation.
INT. DEEP MINE SHAFT
The object descends slowly down the shaft. As:
Dear Mr. President: I wish to strongly
recommend that the alleged nuclear
materials recently uncovered at the
Trinity Site, New Mexico, be disposed
of in a manner consistent with our
commitment to THE environment and
to national security.
EXT. PRINCETON UNIVERSITY – DAY
TITLE: Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey.
Students come and go on the grounds in this idyllic
I also recommend that all references
to the Atomic Bullet Project not
already in the public domain, be placed...
INT. INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY, HALLWAY - DAY
A JANITOR, carrying a bucket of water and a squeegee,
unlocks a store room...
...and turns on the light. The room is filled with
numbered, old-fashioned black boards with complex
mathematical formulations scrawled on them. A photograph
of Albert Einstein writing on a blackboard hangs on one
Consulting a clipboard, the janitor erases a certain black
board with the squeegee. It contains a diagram of a rifle
BECHTEL (V.0.) (CONT’D)
...under government safekeeping for
the the greater good of the nation.
Sincerely, Robert P. Bechtel,
Secretary, Department of Homeland
EXT. SANTA FE, JEANNIE’S HOUSE – DAY
Betsy enters through a gate, skips up a short walk and
rings the door bell to an A-frame cottage with flowers and
evergreens in front.
The door is opened by JEANNIE, 48, an earth mother, with
long hair and flowing skirt. They embrace at the door.
Their embrace carries into the main interior space, with a
rugged stone fireplace in the middle and large window walls
letting in oceans of light. A CAT rubs against Betsy’s
It’s sooo good to see you!
It’s so good to be back!
I love this house, all the light!
Crystals and stained glass miniatures of unicorns and
mythological beings adorn the windows and fireplace, along
with books and paintings.
Oh, I know what. Now, where
did I put it? Oh, here it is.
I made a scrapbook while the
world’s biggest adventure was
happening, mostly Web pages.
Betsy sits down with JEANNIE on a leather couch.
Here we are at day one,
the worst day in state history
in many a year.
Betsy turns away.
Oh, I’m sorry. How thoughtless
of me. But you’re writing about
Yes, that’s about all I’ve
been doing, writing and giving
interviews and refusing interviews.
Writing must be therapeutic
It is. I feel I could go
on and on—and some days, I
can’t write a single word.
I have nightmares, big
Are you seeing a therapist?
I could recommend a good one.
I’ll stick with the writing
Are you writing a book?
JEANNIE pours tea. A SECOND CAT enters the room and
settles beside Betsy.
Eventually, maybe, I don’t know.
What besides writing?
Betsy hovers over the tea, not drinking.
Besides writing, emptiness.
A really terrifying emptiness.
So I write, rent movies, take
walks. I have be careful
Yes, photographers, journalists,
strangers out of the blue;
lawyers who want to represent me.
Investment advisers. It’s kind of
like your junk mail coming to life.
Jeannie laughs heartily.
You didn’t think you were
going to say something funny.
But you did. Betsy, you walked
on the world stage. Of course
people want a piece of you.
Marriage proposals. I put
some of them in a file. I
don’t know, Jeannie. I feel
like my life is over. I’m
living in an afterlife through
But you can’t really believe
that. You aren’t forty yet.
I soon will be. I’m not
looking forward to it.
Look at you. You’re a survivor,
you wear that red badge of courage.
Your writing is assured for years
to come. Me? I’m facing foreclosure.
Sales are down: online and in
my shop. I could lose this
beautiful place. Who knows
where I might end up.
I could purchase it for you,
and we could live together.
As reassuring as that sounds,
no, it’s not going to happen.
Let’s get real. Have you
No, I haven’t heard from Shane.
I haven’t written to him, either.
I thought it was Jim. Here
I go, losing my memory at age
forty-eight! Well, why not,
why not send him an email?
You’ve taken bigger chances
Well, I don’t want to leave
the Southwest, and long distance
relationships never work. One
side or the other has to give way.
Betsy the Rock, and here she stands.
Maybe Shane will be the one to budge.
It’s different now, the Southwest.
There are places where I can’t go
anymore. People I loved are gone.
I suppose, logically, I should
be ready to leave for a fresh
Betsy Gurl, for all the pain,
life has given you a great
opportunity. It’s taken you
far from your comfort zone,
the little world of gossip
and relationships that most of us
live in most of the days of our lives,
and flung you onto a higher plane—
where, God knows, you can live beyond
your wildest dreams. There’s a bond
between you. There has to be. Unless
this guy is a total dud.
I don’t know, Jeannie. I
had to put up with a lot from
Dale after he came home from Iraq.
As much as I loved Dale, it got
to be a bit much at times, helping
him with therapy, helping him readjust.
Oh, well, if that’s the case...
He kissed me, right before
the attack, the final attack,
the colonel and his men, Shane did.
He kissed me on the cheek and
brushed back my hair, like it was
a great gift, the gift of his
life he was giving me, as
we both faced danger. Maybe
I don’t deserve such a gift.
I’d give five years of my
life for an ounce of your
soul right now.
As it happens, I will be
going to New York soon, to
see my editor at the New Yorker.
They’re publishing my account,
when I get around to finishing it.
There you go. That’s your
But I’m afraid. What if
it’s all be over in the
first five seconds? He’s
changed; I’ve changed. And
we kill each other with kindness?
He must be seeing someone by now.
Or he’s not seeing anyone at all—
which would be even worse. New York
will be a disaster.
JEANNIE takes Betsy by the hands.
Listen to me, Betsy. Go in grace;
go in confidence. Whatever
has pushed you forward this
far is nudging you one last mile.
Aren’t’ you going to try my tea?
Betsy sips the tea.
It’s delicious. Thank you.
INT. BETSY’S HOUSE – DAY
Betsy sits in front of the computer, drinking a steaming
mug of coffee. The room is covered with large prints of
Georgia O’Keefe paintings and similar, tasteful works of
art and photography.
Betsy looks up Shane on LifeSpace. She sees that Shane has
thirty-seven friends, some of them younger women. The
picture shows Shane jogging through a park. She sees: “If
you want to know more about Shane, befriend Shane,” She
holds the cursor over the befriend button.
Betsy enters her email program and starts a new email. She
types “Dear Shane,”. She gets up and paces around the
room, looks out the window and sees a HAPPY FAMILY with MAN
and WOMAN walking with laughing CHILDREN.
Betsy sits in front of the computer. Her fingers tremble.
Well, Betsy Gurl, are you
feeling lucky today?
She keys: “Dear Shane, How are you? Next week, I’ll be
traveling to New York on business.” She pauses, takes a
swig of coffee and keys: “I thought, maybe if you’re not
too busy, we could meet for a coffee or a drink.” She
backspaces out “drink” and substitutes “bite to eat.”
INT. COMMERCIAL AIRLINER – DAY
Betsy sits next to the window, looking out on the puffy
white clouds, relaxed, listening to her headset.
I would be remiss if I failed
to mention that I wonder, from
time to time, how you are,
especially considering your
grave wound and all the
experiences we endured together.
When last I saw you in the
hospital, there were so many
emotions, so many things I
wanted to say, seeing you
lying there all banged up.
But that wasn’t the time and
place for a serious conversation.
INT. NEW YORK CITY, SUBWAY CAR – DAY
Betsy holds on to the steel pole as she reads the subway
map on the wall. She wears a light jacket over jeans and
dark shades. The car is filled with all sorts of PEOPLE.
INT. 34TH STREET SUBWAY STATION
Betsy exits from the train and searches for the exit from
EXT. 34TH STREET
Betsy climbs up the subway stairs in front of Macy’s.
EVERYONE around her moves more quickly than she does.
She consults a piece of paper and walks east along 34th
Street, pausing to look at the Macy’s window displays.
Betsy takes a digital snap of the Empire State Building,
and continues along 34th Street.
She trips over an uneven slab of sidewalk.
EXT. HERALD SQUARE, PEDESTRIAN MALL
At the intersection of 34th Street and Broadway, Betsy finds
the mall, with small tables and chairs and beach type
umbrellas. She threads her way slowly between tables,
looking left and right.
Betsy whirls around, brushing the gentleman behind her with
her bag, and sees Shane, sitting at a table. He rises to
I walked right by you!
Betsy kisses Shane on the cheek. He embraces her with his
left arm. His right arm hangs stiffly by his side. She
takes the chair opposite him. He wears a sporty blazer,
open collar shirt, and shades.
He smiles, she smiles. They raise their shades
simultaneously, and laugh.
You look great. How was
Oh, it was ok, I mean,
it was good. I lost a
few days of my life getting
through airport security.
You look great, too.
Thanks. I’ve had some time
Using his left hand, he takes out a business card and gives
it to her.
“Shane Donnelly, Security
Consultant.” Does this
mean you’re off the force?
The agency. Yea, I mean, Yes.
Yes, I wasn’t much use to the FBI
anymore. Too many young guns
for me to handle. You know...
Awkwardly, he raises his right arm to the table to grip the
cup while he sucks from the straw.
It’s called a smoothie.
Not me, the drink.
If you find any good right
arms lying around, give me
Betsy smiles, looks down, cracks up.
I have nightmares.
I see a therapist. I
hear you’ve made The
New Yorker. Congratulations!
I’m excited. I feel like
walking. Can we walk for awhile?
Sounds good to me.
She takes him by his left arm as they leave the mall.
MUSIC OVER AS:
Shane points out the sights; Betsy nods.
EXT. CENTRAL PARK – THE MALL
They walk hand-in-hand along the path lined on either side
by large leafy trees.
EXT. CENTRAL PARK – THE HANS CHRISTEN ANDERSON SCULPTURE
Betsy snaps a pic of Shane posing by the statue. Betsy
shows the camera to a PASSERBY, who snaps several pics of
Shane and herself posing like a cutie pie.
EXT. CENTRAL PARK – THE JOHN LENNON MEMORIAL
Betsy and Shane stare at the circular black-and-white tile
memorial with the word “Imagine” in the center.
Do you think it’s still
possible to imagine?
I think you have to, especially
in this place. Ya hungry?
Betsy nods yes.
Hey, I kept up with you
Betsy laughs and squeezes him.
INT. POSH RESTAURANT – EVENING
Betsy and Shane lean over candles, laughing and feeding
each other bites from their different dishes. A MAN and
WOMAN several tables away notices Shane and Betsy and
whisper to one another.
END MUSIC OVER
EXT. SHANE’S APARTMENT BUILDING – NIGHT
A yellow cab pulls up to the building. Shane gets out and
pays the driver and opens the door for Betsy. The cab
So what’s the plan?
Oh, I don’t know. Can
you plan on getting lucky?
INT. SHANE’S APARTMENT, BEDROOM – NIGHT
Half-undressed, Betsy starts to pull off Shane’s
undershirt, in the intimate lighting.
I’d like to keep that on
for tonight...If you don’t
mind. I’ve had five operations.
Betsy caresses his chest, kisses his neck, face, lips.
They make passionate love in SLOW FRAMES.
Betsy moves violently in her sleep, clenching and
unclenching her fists, as if she is fighting someone in a
Shane awakens and turns on the table lamp. He gently
Nooo! Nooo! Noooo!
Her eyes flutter open.
It’s just a dream, Betsy.
It’s gone now. It’s OK.
She kisses him and goes back to sleep.
INT. SHANE’S APARTMENT, KITCHEN – MORNING
Betsy rummages through Shane’s refrigerator, in a half-
length robe. Shane stands by the kitchen window, drinking
coffee, watching her.
I don’t believe what I’m
seeing: veggi burger, bean
sprouts, soy milk, soy spread.
I don’t believe my eyes.
I decided to change my diet.
What, no more crappy burgers?
I enjoy a steak now and again.
I donate the baked potato to
You have lost weight. So,
this is part of the new,
reconstructed Shane Donnelly.
As soon as the words leave her mouth, she realizes what she
has done and buries her face in her hands.
I’m so sorry. The words
just popped out of my mouth.
It’s all right.
No, it’s not all right. You
deserve better than that.
You deserve smooth sailing
for the rest of your days.
What do you suggest I do?
She presents her rear end to Shane.
Kick or spank?
He propels her forward from the kitchen toward the bedroom.
EXT. RIVERSIDE PARK – DAY
Betsy and Shane walk by the Hudson River, hand in hand.
Bikers and joggers share the macadam path. It’s a sunny
day and the flower beds are in bloom.
It’s beautiful here. I
can see how you might want
to spend some serious time
in a place like this.
I like to come down here
and jog, especially when the
weather is nice like today.
I’m not sure it would work
for me, though.
Why is that?
I feel clumsy here. I
keep running into things.
That’s just the New York
What? You’re pulling my
Nah, it’s the tall buildings,
the pace of the city. People
write books about it.
Oh, pooh. Do you remember back
at Otto’s place, you said,
you could retire in a place
I remember that. Why?
I was just wondering.
I’m flexible. I’m on
disability. As long as
the government prints money,
I can live anywhere. I can
take my business most anywhere.
How did it go with your editor?
Real well. I want to run
a few things by you before
we go to print.
Are you really this easy
to get along with? ‘Cause
I can really bug the hell
out of a man.
Sure. As long as you don’t
point a gun at me.
I don’t know, Shane.
I don’t know what I want,
anymore. I’ve had The
Hunk, The Sensitive Male,
The Wounded Artist. Sorry.
What would that make me?
Oh, you would be The Hero,
I’m an ordinary man who
found himself in extraordinary
circumstances, that’s all.
Oh, you’re way better than
ordinary, Shane, believe me.
What about you? I can go on
and on about myself.
I was dating this woman. Her
ex was up on narcotics charges.
It turned out they were both
growing marijuana out on Long
And you got burned.
And I got burned. I showed
We’re already had a fight.
What, back there in the desert?
I try not to think too much about
all that. I mean, it’s there.
It jumps out in front of me
sometimes. I talk about it to
the therapist. It’ll always be
I want this day to last,
every minute of it, whatever
INT. SHANE’S APARTMENT, BEDROOM – NIGHT
Shane and Betsy lie in bed together, facing one another.
Shane runs his fingers through her hair.
I fell in love with you
when you were standing on
the porch. Your life had
just been destroyed. And
there you were, about to ride
off with a strange man with
a gun. You were brave standing
there looking into the sunset.
Into an unknown future.
With a strange man who had
just saved my life.
She tugs at his undershirt.
Think a moment, Betsy.
Is this a body you want
to wake up next to a year
He sits up and allows her to take off the shirt. The
patchwork of scars around his right shoulder are plain to
see in the lamp light.
This is as good as it’s ever
going to be. I’ve got nowhere
to run, no place to hide.
She runs her fingers lightly over the scars, presses her
cheek against them, kisses them, a tear rolls down her
You can hide inside of me,
Shane Donnelly. You can
hide inside of me.
EXT. DESERT - DAY
FLASHBACK to 1947
Oppenheimer puts on gloves and chambers a black bullet with
a gold tip, and hands the rifle to Groves.
Here, General, you do the honors.
Just aim at the rock, huh?
The General takes aim and pulls the trigger. BOOM! There
is a brief, intense FLASH and a SHOCK RING emanating from
the target. The rock spire breaks in half and crumbles to
The General looks at Oppenheimer in amazement. Oppenheimer
turns to the boy.
You’re gonna grow up in one helluva
Focus on the boy, FREEZE FRAME
Music over. Something like Louis Armstrong’s “It’s A
--“Now we are all sons-of-bitches,” Dr. Kenneth Bainbridge,
Director of Trinity Test.
--Photo of Little Boy atom bomb.
--Brief footage of the Hiroshima bomb explosion.
--Photo of Fat Man atom bomb.
--Brief footage of the Nagasaki bomb explosion.
--Footage of Japanese civilians with radiation burns.
--Still photo of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer conferring with
--Footage with sound of Civil Defense siren going off on a
--Footage of school duck & cover drill in the 1950s.
--Still photos of typical U.S. air raid shelters of the
--Footage of Nevada nuclear test with soldiers climbing
from their trenches after the blast and advancing on foot
with their rifles toward the mushroom cloud.
--Footage of U.S. Biki Atoll nuclear test with ships.
--Footage of U.S. underground hydrogen bomb test, with test
objects shaking on the surface.
--Color photo of Russian “Tsar Bomba” hydrogen bomb test,
largest test blast ever at 50 megatons.
--News Commentator: “Today, at Homestead Air Force Base, in
Florida, a B-47 bomber crashed during take-off. One
nuclear bomb burned in the resulting fire.”
--News Commentator: “A U.S. Navy Skyhawk aircraft with one
B43 nuclear bomb on board fell off the aircraft carrier
Ticonderoga today. The pilot, plane and bomb have not been
recovered in 16,000 feet of water.”
--Still photo of the collapsed and burning reactor at the
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
--Still photo of Nikita Khrushchev squaring off with
Richard Nixon in the Kitchen Debate, July 24, 1959.
--Newspaper headline: Scientists Express Growing Fear that
Strontium 90 from Nuclear Tests May Harm Children’s Growth.
--Newspaper headline: August 5, 1963, Nuclear Test Ban
Treaty Signed in Moscow.
--Still photo of John Lennon with the caption “Give Peace a
--Still photos from the 1967 March on the Pentagon.
--Slide show of various versions of the universal peace
FADE TO BLACK: