Lightfall

By R. Earle Harris
All rights reserved (c) 2015 (rearleharris@tuxfamily.org)


FADE IN:

EXT. HAVANA - DAY

Quiet square surrounded by shops and cafes.

EXT. CAFE - DAY

WALKER, fit and handsome, in a light suit, plays chess with Jose CAPABLANCA, dark and passionate, dark suit, current world champion of chess. They are obviously good friends. Walker's move; he studies the board.

WALKER
(Playfully, sarcastic.)         
I suppose even your childhood was wonderful, Jose?

CAPABLANCA
Por supuesto! I had a wonderful childhood! My grandfather was a fisherman. He had a boat in Guanabacoa, not far from here. During the day--

Walker squints at the board, smiling.

WALKER
Shhh! I'm thinking.

CAPABLANCA
You are trying to think, Walker. During the day he taught me to fish and in the evenings, to play chess. As you can see, he taught me well.

Walker moves and looks up at Capablanca, who shakes his head, No.

CAPABLANCA (CONT'D)
And you are apparently self-taught. By an idiot.

Walker laughs.

EXT. NEW YORK CITY - EVENING

Title Over:
               New York City, 2025.

Crowded, poor, dirty. Streets full of holes. Traffic hectic, but slow, many bicycles and motorbikes. Anything new that is technological looks modern and fragile, as if clinging to existence.

An old LTD passes down the street.

INT. LTD - EVENING

A RABBI and his grandson, ABEL, in a fifty-year-old LTD. The car is no worse than most. They are driving through a run-down business district. The rabbi is very conservative; the grandson ten or eleven years old. Both wear yarmulkes.

RABBI
Abel, I want you to listen to me.

The grandson becomes attentive. The rabbi takes a Sony Memory Stick out of one pocket. Carefully written on it is the Hebrew word for "door."

RABBI (CONT'D)
I want you to take this and keep it safe. If anything happens to me, if we become separated, take it home.

ABEL
What will happen to you?

RABBI
Nothing, God willing. But you know how important this is. If something happens, do not think of me. Only flee! Yes?

ABEL
Yes, grandfather.

Abel takes the stick and puts it in a pocket.

RABBI
Now, we must find a place to park in this mess.

He smiles at his grandson; Abel smiles back.

EXT. CAFE - DAY

Capablanca and Walker still at chess. Walker's move again.

CAPABLANCA
And you, Walker. Su abuelo. What about your grandfather?

Walker frowns and looks up.

WALKER
My grandfather was murdered. In a convenience store.

CAPABLANCA
(Shocked, sad, puzzled.)         
A convenience store?

WALKER
A little grocery. We walked in on a robbery. I was holding his hand when they shot him.

CAPABLANCA
Oh. Mi amigo. Lo siento mucho.

Walker waves his hand in a gesture to drive off sadness and goes back to studying the board.

CAPABLANCA (CONT'D)
These murderers. They were brought to justice?

WALKER
No.

CAPABLANCA
Ah. That is why you love justice.

Walker makes his move and looks up.

WALKER
Yes. That is why I love justice.

Capablanca smiles at him sadly, sweetly.

CAPABLANCA
Oh, Walker. That is another very poor move.

INT. PARKING GARAGE - EVENING

The LTD parks in a run-down ruin of concrete.

INT. LTD - EVENING

The rabbi turns off the engine.

RABBI
Alright. Remember, Abel, protect what I have given you.

Abel nods, Yes. Rabbi gets out; Abel starts to open his door, hears something and turns to see a man, only partly visible through the opposite back window, crowd up against his grandfather. There is a muffled shot.

INT. PARKING GARAGE - EVENING

Rabbi's body is laid quickly on the ground by his murderer, who carefully searches the body. Killer hears the far door of the car open and raises up in time to see Abel scurry around the next car. Killer stands up to verify that two other men have seen the child and are pursuing him. He returns to searching the body.

EXT. CAFE - DAY

Walker and Capablanca have forgotten the game.

CAPABLANCA
And your grandfather had been raising you?

WALKER
Yes. After my grandfather was killed, no one wanted me. I had nowhere to go--

Walker notices a woman walking towards them from across the square. She is dressed in dark, obviously futuristic clothes. Capablanca turns to see what Walker is looking at.

INT. PARKING GARAGE - EVENING

The two men are playing cat and mouse with Abel. Abel is crawling under cars, hiding behind pillars, stopping, listening. They are quietly cornering him, following him by sound. They eventually have him cornered. They cannot see him but they know where he is and are ready to move in from two sides. They pull slightly futuristic handguns out of their jackets. At a signal from one, they close in suddenly.

EXT. CAFE - DAY

Capablanca admires the woman, who is in her late thirties, and turns to Walker.

CAPABLANCA
She does not belong here, mi amigo.

Walker continues to watch the woman approach. She seems to have a weapon concealed under her jacket and Walker tenses.

CAPABLANCA (CONT'D)
She must be from your side of things.

Walker gives Capablanca a startled look.

EXT. OFFICE BUILDING - EVENING

Old brownstone in New York. Through a window, the back of a fat man can be seen sitting at a desk.

INT. OFFICE - EVENING

Same fat man sits at an old wooden desk in a poorly-lit office. On his head is a high-tech-looking head-band to which are connected the two suction-cup things that cover his eyes. His hands are in heavy, awkward gloves, full of wires. Head-band and gloves are connected to a steel-grey box on his desk the size of a collegiate dictionary - his console. Another cable runs from the box to a port in the wall. The fat man's hands move gracefully within the shapeless gloves. A DWARF enters the room and crosses to the fat man. The dwarf raps the fat man on the lips twice, firmly but gently.

EXT. CAFE - DAY

Walker reacts as if rapped on the lips and reaches up to feel his mouth. Then he turns back to the approaching woman.

CAPABLANCA
Walker? This is seeming very peculiar.

Walker gets up. The woman, perhaps thirty yards away, stops.

WALKER
I have to go.

Walker turns and darts towards an alleyway. Capablanca half rises.

CAPABLANCA
Walker! That does not go anywhere!

Walker disappears into the alley as the woman rushes past Capablanca.

INT. PARKING GARAGE - EVENING

The two killers rush upon the place where the child was, only to find him gone. A nearby stairwell door slams.

INT. STAIRWELL - EVENING

Abel runs down the concrete stairs.

INT. STAIRWELL - EVENING

The door slams open again as the two men plunge after the boy.

EXT. ALLEY - DAY

Walker turns the corner of the short alley to find himself in a cul-de-sac. He stops, facing the dead-end, and smiles.

INT. OFFICE - EVENING

Fat man removes his hands from the gloves. Dwarf waits patiently. Fat man gently and carefully removes the cups from his eyes. He blinks to clear his sight, turns to the dwarf.

DWARF
Visitors, Walker. A woman and an older man. Jews.

WALKER
Jews?

DWARF
The illegal kind.

Walker rolls his eyes.

WALKER
Turn the lights up. Show them in.

EXT. ALLEY - DAY

The woman, weapon in hand, comes around the same corner Walker just rounded, and finds the cul-de-sac empty.

EXT. STREET - EVENING

The two men who chased the child are outside the parking garage and are returning to the garage's exit. As they approach a waiting car, its DRIVER's window goes down and the rabbi's killer is driving; there is blood on his clothing.

DRIVER
The child?

ONE of the two responds.

ONE
Nowhere. The package?

DRIVER
Nowhere.

ONE
Are you sure?

DRIVER
I'm sure. Get in.

INT. OFFICE - EVENING

Walker's office. Walker sits at the desk and straightens his clothes a bit as the dwarf goes to the door. The dwarf opens the door and gestures to those outside in the outer office.

DWARF
Mr. Walker will see you now.

Walker looks up as they enter and is visibly startled to see the same woman, RACHEL, from the square in Havana, enter the room with a man in his fifties, IBRAHIM. Both are dressed in dark, plain clothing - not like the woman on the square - and the man wears a yarmulke. Walker stands up and gestures to the other sad chairs in his office. The older man turns to Rachel.

IBRAHIM
I will wait for you outside, Rachel.

RACHEL
Thank you, Ibrahim.

Exit Ibrahim.

RACHEL (CONT'D)
You are a walker?

Walker sits back down.

WALKER
In the data? Yes, I can walk in the dataworld. Or did you mean my name?

Rachel frowns.

RACHEL
We need your help. To find the men who are murdering one of our rabbis.

INT. CHAIRMAN'S OFFICE - EVENING

A luxurious office, furnished in glass and rich woods. The CHAIRMAN sits at his expansive desk. A SERVANT enters.

SERVANT
Your pardon, Mr. Chairman. "Security" to speak with you.

CHAIRMAN
Give me privacy.

Servant returns to the door and activates a panel as he leaves. The windows become opaque, white noise fills the room. Chairman turns to a com-link on his desk. He enters a short sequence of numbers. SECURITY's face fills the screen.

CHAIRMAN (CONT'D)
You have news for me?

SECURITY
Operation incomplete, sir.

CHAIRMAN
Incomplete?

SECURITY
First attempt failed. No package of any kind found. Search was thorough.

CHAIRMAN
And?

SECURITY
A child was with him. The child is pursued.

Chairman looks away. A little tension shows in Security's face. Chairman looks back at the screen.

CHAIRMAN
I expect better news will be imminent.

SECURITY
Yes, sir.

Chairman switches off the phone. There is a ring of keys on his desk. His gaze fixes on them and then he starts breaking them one by one against the wooden desktop.

INT. WALKER'S OFFICE - EVENING

Walker and Rachel are alone in the room.

WALKER
Murdering?

RACHEL
The murder is happening as we speak. Or is still fresh.

Walker looks at her with a mixture of distrust and distaste.

WALKER
How do you know this?

RACHEL
We have watchers in the DataSpace.

WALKER
Inside DataSpace's domain or out in the old Net?

RACHEL

Screenplay truncated at 500 lines.