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Revenge

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INT. NAMELESS ROOM

SOUND: a television clicks into life. a kctv news report is in progress.

 

ANCHOR

...surprisingly, the "Robot Revolt" - as it has come to be known - has had a positive impact for some.

 

INTERVIEWEE ONE

I don't trust robots, any more. They - The Company -  said it was just a one-time thing, but how can they be sure? It shouldn't have happened in the first place, and it could happen again, to my mind.

 

INTERVIEWEE TWO

I'd been in the Sewer Pits two years - never mind why - and out of the blue, I hear that folks like me are wanted again. It's great.

 

ANCHOR

Like you? How do you mean?

 

INTERVIEWEE TWO

Y'know, human. Sure, I might cost a bit more than a robot and won't take half the shit they do, but at least you know I won't go berserk because of some bloody software error.

 

ANCHOR

Firstmaster Chairholder Uvanov has remained consistently on-message.

 

UVANOV

Fewer than one tenth of one percent of the robot population was affected by this error. That's a ninety-nine-point-nine percent safety record. What happened two months ago was regrettable, but I assure you that it can't happen again. The root cause of the situation was identified -

 

ANCHOR

Taren Capel?

 

UVANOV

Ye-

(catches himself)

No!

(BEAT)

Terrorists who looked to Capel as some sort of role model. They infected the source code of a few robots and this virus took affect during an upgrade process. Fortunately, the swift response by Company technicians contained the damage.

 

ANCHOR

Eight thousand people were killed or injured.

 

UVANOV

Not necessarily by robots. Company Security has learned that many humans decided to take advantage of the situation and went on rampages of their own. I'm sure that, as we continue to evaluate what happened, we'll learn that not only were the reported incidents grossly exaggerated, but that many of them were, in fact, inflicted by human criminals - not malfunctioning robots. I'm sure that, as the dust settles, the truth will be determined. 

 

ANCHOR

Of course, there are some detractors.

 

LANDERCHILD

Once again, Chairholder Uvanov is attempting to manipulate the truth in order to protect his place on the board. I'm calling for a full and impartial inquiry into finding out who was responsible for that day of carnage - be they within or without The Company.

 

ANCHOR

Do you believe Company incompetence could be to blame?

 

LANDERCHILD

(withdrawing)

I think it's too early to speculate.

 

ANCHOR

Xia Farren, of the Minor Faction, also has an opinion on the state of the Company Board.

 

FARREN

(Female, middle aged, certain)

I can't help wondering if the upper echelons of the Company board could have looked past their constant and petty infighting, perhaps this threat could have been recognized long before it became reality.

 

ANCHOR

You think that the senior board members have put their personal agenda ahead of Kaldor City's?

 

FARREN

I didn't say that. But I can understand it if some people might be thinking that way.

 

ANCHOR

And so it seems that while Kaldor City recovers from a day of carnage, matters are far from peaceful within Company Central. For KCTV I'm-

 

SOUND: THE TELEVISION CLICKS OFF

 

MUSIC: intro theme

 

INT. UVANOV'S OFFICE.

 

SOUND: A door swings open and iago enters

 

UVANOV

Iago! How nice of you to grace us with your presence. Finally.

 

IAGO

What do you want?

 

UVANOV

I want you to meet my new secret- (CATCHES HIMSELF)   my new executive assistant. Dyera Sarson, this is Kaston Iago, my... security consultant.

 

DYERA

(female, young, confident)

Pleased to meet you.

 

IAGO

Another one from the Minor Families? You haven't had much luck with those. Or secretaries, for that matter.

 

UVANOV

Exceedingly minor. And I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. What happened to Justina was hardly my fault.

(TO DYERA)

Did I mention that the position includes life insurance?

 

IAGO

(surprised)

It does?

 

UVANOV

Partial insurance. For certain circumstances.

 

DYERA

Such as being kidnapped and murdered by a Tarenist cult?

 

UVANOV

Ahh... so you knew about that, then?

 

DYERA

Word got around.

 

UVANOV

It was unavoidable, I suppose.

(BEAT)

Dyera, I'm expected at a board meeting in half an hour. I won't need you for that, so you can get used to the office, introduce yourself -

IAGO

(Dryly)

Identify your next of kin on the paperwork.

 

UVANOV

Yes, yes. Iago? You'll accompany me.

 

IAGO

You've got guard squads for that.

 

UVANOV

Maybe so, but you're right here and they're not. Come on!

 

SOUND: UVANOV AND IAGO EXIT. FADE OUT

 

INT. COMPANY CENTRAL

 

SOUND: UVANOV AND IAGO WALKING DOWN A CORRIDOR, TOWARDS THE BOARD ROOM

 

UVANOV

Out with it, you're upset about something. Is it Dyera?

 

IAGO

You've a bad history with secretaries. First Callio Techlan, and then Justina.

 

UVANOV

What happened to Justina couldn't be helped.

(BEAT)

Maybe I should have hired a man, at least I wouldn't have to worry about you screwing him, then.

(BEAT)

Would I?

 

IAGO

(inarticulate noise of disgust)

 

UVANOV

Hm. I suppose not. As for Dyera... I'm a traditionalist.

 

IAGO

Abusing members of the Minor Families is a tradition?

 

UVANOV

Close enough, yes.

 

IAGO

I thought it was more of a hobby.

 

UVANOV

I like to remind the board that class isn't everything. Although I sometimes wonder if they'll ever understand that. Inbred halfwits, most of them.

 

IAGO

But not all of them.

 

UVANOV

No. That's true. Landerchild is still looking for his chance... although I think he's losing his touch. It's a little sad, really. Maybe he's finally losing heart.

 

IAGO

That could be... helped along.

 

UVANOV

No! How many times do I have to tell you? Assassinating him would be too obvious. I'd be the prime suspect.

 

IAGO

All right. You're the boss.

 

SOUND: FADE OUT

 

INT. COMPANY BOARD ROOM

 

LANDERCHILD

I move that the Board condemns this latest, outrageous proposal of Firstmaster Chairholder Uvanov's.

 

UVANOV

(wry, confident)

So moved. Is there a second?

 

SOUND: shuffling of papers, a few throats are cleared.

 

LANDERCHILD

(sotto voce)

Farren? Farren?


UVANOV

Firstmaster Farren? I think Firstmaster Landerchild is trying to get your attention.

 

FARREN

(distracted)

Hm? What?

 

UVANOV

A motion has been made. I rather think Landerchild is expecting your support?

 

FARREN

What? No! No, I'm afraid not.

 

LANDERCHILD

What?

 

UVANOV

(enjoying this far too much)

Are you sure, Firstmaster Farren?

 

FARREN

(recovering)

Yes. I have nothing else to say - at this time.

 

UVANOV

Alright then.

(BEAT)

The motion fails for want of a second. Better luck next time, Landerchild. That wraps it up, I think. Meeting adjourned.

 

SOUND: chairs pushing back, various whisperings about landerchild being shot down again, some surprised mentions of farren's name

 

LANDERCHILD

(Fading)

Firstmaster Farren! A word, please!

 

UVANOV

(chuckles)

 

SOUND: fade out

 

INT. UVANOV'S OFFICE.

 

SOUND: the door opens and iago and uvanov ENTER

 

UVANOV

Now that was a board meeting worth the effort of attending. Landerchild's face! Like he'd swallowed a pint of his own urine! Dyera, find out what you can on Firstmaster Farren. If Landerchild's trying to cultivate her, I need to know more - especially if she's possibly changing her mind about who her friends are.

 

SOUND: uvanov's voice fades out as he goes into his office and shuts the door behind him, leaving iago behind

 

IAGO

(to dyera)

Don't get used to it. He's not usually like that.

 

DYERA

Cheerful?

 

IAGO

Polite.

 

DYERA

Duly noted.

 

SOUND: a keyboard clicking away as dyera consults her computer

 

DYERA

(muttering)

Farren... Farren. Minor Faction, right?

 

IAGO

I suppose so.

 

DYERA

Hm. There's not much, here...

 

SOUND: iago moves closer to dyera's desk

 

IAGO

Why did you take this job? Uvanov's not... easy to work for.

 

DYERA

And you're not famous for small talk.

(PAUSE)

He's rich and the top dog. Who wouldn't want to work for him?

 

IAGO

It might be said anyone with self-esteem.

 

DYERA

I doubt a lack of self-esteem is your problem, Iago.

(BEAT)

Did you want something?

 

IAGO

(slightly perturbed)

Excuse me?

 

DYERA

If you get any closer, you're going to have to buy me dinner.

 

IAGO

That's an idea.

 

DYERA

(laughing)

I don't think so. I'm busy.

 

IAGO

Another night, then?

 

DYERA

I'm still busy. I'm sure my hair needs washing, or something.

 

IAGO

Really?

 

DYERA

I have a policy. Never date co-workers or professional killers. Nothing personal.

 

IAGO

That sounds pretty personal to me.


DYERA

It isn't


(beat)

IAGO

I have to go.

 

DYERA

I'm sure you do. Bye, Iago.

 

SOUND: iago exits, slamming the door with unnecessary force

 

INT. Company Central - Security Operations Office

 

ASST'D COWORKERS

Welcome back!... Hiya, Rull! Looking good!

 

RULL

Yeah, yeah. Good to see you. Yeah, nice to be missed. Oh, fuck me, look at that desk...

(to well wishers)

Yeah, yeah, it's great. We'll do lunch, now piss off!

 

SOUND: door slams

 

RULL

Bloody hell. What a mess. Where do I start?

 

SOUND: slithering crash as two months' of assorted paperwork is shoved on to the floor

 

RULL

Okay. That's sorted. Now then...

 

SOUND: keyboard clattering as rull turns to his computer

 

RULL

What's this? Did no-one do anything while I was in the hospital? Then again, they didn't bloody do anything when I was here, did they?

(sighs)

Time for a tea-break, I suppose.

 

SOUND: a screw-top bottle is opened. rull takes a hefty swig, gasps a bit.

 

RULL

I should be happy, else they'd have nicked this and all.

 

SOUND: another gurgle of the bottle

 

RULL

Gonna have to replace Cotton, I suppose.

(sighs)

That Dum-head. He should have known better...

 

SOUND: rull gets up, and opens the door to his office

 

RULL

Oi! Anyone applied for Cotton's job, then?

 

ASSISTANT

Yeah.

 

RULL

Bloody vultures. How many?

 

ASSISTANT

Four.

 

RULL

Alright then, give me their details.

 

SOUND: a chair squeaks as rull sits down again. Papers rustle.

 

RULL

No... No... Hell no... No - wait.

 

SOUND: more rustling

 

RULL

Huh...

(shouts through open doorway)

Hey! Get Morland in here, will you? On the double!

 

ASSISTANT

Him? What for?

 

RULL

I've got a job for him, that's what's for.

 

ASSISTANT

Morland? But he's...

RULL

Yes?

 

ASSISTANT

Well, they say he only came out of the Sewerpits a couple of months ago.

 

RULL

Yeah?

 

ASSISTANT

Because he'd run out of people to kill, eat or fuck.

 

RULL

Is that so? He's my kind of guy, then. Now get him up here!

(to himself)

You might be just what I'm looking for, all right.

 

INT. Company Central - Uvanov's office, outer area

 

SOUND: uvanov's door open and he enters the outer office

 

UVANOV

Iago!

(Waits for an answer that doesn't come)

Where is he?

 

DYERA

He said he had to go.

 

UVANOV

What? Has he got somewhere better to be?

 

DYERA

He seemed to think so. So do you, by the way.

 

UVANOV

What?

 

DYERA

Have somewhere better to be.

 

UVANOV

Talk sense, woman!

 

DYERA

Firstmaster Farren is throwing a party, tonight.

 

UVANOV

Why on earth would I care about that?

 

DYERA

Because of the guest list. You weren't invited.

 

UVANOV

Of course not! I've got better things to do than eat soggy canapes at some -

(pause)

Ohh... I see. Who is invited?

 

DYERA

Several other Firstmasters. A few members of the Minor Faction. No-one too prominent, but no-one inconsequential, either.

 

UVANOV

You think she's using the party as a cover for something else. Something more important.

 

DYERA

Yes. I've been looking at her schedule and she's made a habit of appearing at events that are either too small-change for the upper ranks - people like you or Landerchild -

 

(uvanov makes a contemptuous noise at landerchild's name. dyera ignores him)

 

- or are scheduled directly against events at which you have to make an appearance, but she and her cronies don't.

 

UVANOV

Cronies?

 

DYERA

It's looks that way.

 

UVANOV

Does it, indeed? Where did you say this party was going to be?

 

SOUND: fade out

 

INT. XIA FARREN'S HOME

 

SOUND: A society party is in full swing. people are chattering, glasses clinking. a string quartet plays in the background.

 

FARREN

I assure you, Reiser, I know exactly what I'm doing -

SOUND: nearby, uvanov makes a noisy entrance, wanting to be heard.

FARREN

Oh no. What is he doing here? We can pick this up later, yes?

 

REISER

Of course.

SOUND: crossfade as we follow farren across the room, trying to head uvanov off before he makes his way further in

 

FARREN

(sincerely feigned sincerity)

Chairholder Uvanov! What a lovely surprise!

 

UVANOV

Yes, isn't it? I heard that you're celebrating your daughter's return. She's just come back from a tour on a storm mine, hasn't she?

 

FARREN

(gamely holding on)

Yes, yes she has. Mine Seven. I thought it would be nice to welcome her back to civilization.

 

UVANOV

Of course it is. I thought I should pay a visit.

 

FARREN

How nice of you.

 

UVANOV

Where is she? Your daughter?

 

FARREN

(Beat)

That's her, in the red dress.

 

UVANOV

Oh dear. She's, er... What happened?

 

FARREN

An accident. She was beside an ore conduit when it burst.

 

UVANOV

(genuinely sympathetic)

I'm sorry to hear that. She's lucky to be alive. In fact, she looks quite... good... considering.

 

FARREN

That's what she tells me.

 

UVANOV

Well, I won't bother her, then. She seems preoccupied with her young friends. Quite the crowd, in fact.

 

FARREN

I want to encourage her to have an active social life. All things considered.

 

UVANOV

Of course, of course. That's very kind of you. Indeed, you've been quite generous with the guest list, I see.

 

FARREN

Excuse me?

 

UVANOV

Quite the cream of the Minor Families you've got here. Trying to marry her off, are you?

 

FARREN

The possibility had crossed my mind. It was a successful venture. She's a woman of practically independent means, now. 

 

UVANOV

And people are willing to overlook quite a lot for the sake of personal gain, aren't they?

 

FARREN

Yes. I suppose they are.

 

UVANOV

Quite a lot.

(beat)

Well? Aren't you going to introduce me to your guests?

 

FARREN

What? Oh! Of course...

 

UVANOV

After all, I've nothing else on my schedule this evening. I think a little socializing is well overdue.

 

FARREN

Is it?

 

UVANOV

Oh, yes.

 

SOUND: FADE OUT

 

INT. COMPANY CENTRAL - Uvanov's office - outer area, next day.

 

UVANOV

That was some good work, Dyera. Very impressive.

 

DYERA

Thank you. I've seen it done amongst the Minor Faction, before.

 

UVANOV

Hiding in plain sight, hm?

 

DYERA

Yes.

 

UVANOV

I think Farren will be rethinking that strategy from now on. I made her life hell last night. Members of the Minor Families were practically throwing themselves out of the windows.

 

SOUND: door opens. Iago enters.

 

IAGO

I thought you said you didn't want that.

 

UVANOV

Metaphorically, Iago. Metaphorically. I suppose that's a bit too abstract for you?

 

IAGO

I prefer to say what I mean.

 

UVANOV

Don't I know it... Farren's on thin ice. She might have some friends in the lower half of the board, but she's losing them at the top. She could have at least tried to win me over, last night but, no, she was more concerned with putting herself between me and everyone else there - those who stayed, that is.

(aside)

She'll have a hell of a time marrying off that daughter, now.

 

IAGO

Daughter?

 

UVANOV

She got sand-scorched on Storm Mine Seven, Farren said. Hideous.

 

IAGO

(non-committal noise of almost total disinterest)


UVANOV

Dyera. I want you to keep an eye on Farren. Since you seem so familiar with the petty machinations of the minor families.

 

SOUND: dyera clears her throat and makes a lot of noise with her keyboard.

 

UVANOV

Did you want something, Iago?

 

IAGO

No. Not at all.

 

SOUND: iago stamps away, slamming the door behind him

 

UVANOV

Don't mind him. He has these moods, occasionally.

(beat)

All the time, in fact.

 

DYERA

I've noticed.

 

SOUND: FADE OUT

 

INT. Rull's office

 

RULL

Siddown, Morland. Just shove that stuff off.

 

SOUND: a stack of papers lands on a cluttered floor

 

RULL

Let's see...

 

SOUND: rull pages through a file folder

 

RULL

Quite a piece of work, aren't you? Rude, selfish, sticky-fingered -

 

MORLAND

That was never proven. The investigation was dropped after the witnesses changed their stories.

 

RULL

And quite willing to put the boot in when needed, according to the canteen gossip. All of which means you're eminently suitable for Company Security. So...

 

SOUND: rull throws the file aside

 

RULL

The job's yours, if you want it.

 

MORLAND

Really? Thanks.

 

INT. Uvanov's flier

 

SOUND: comms chirp

 

DYERA

She's been pretty good at keeping her head down. It looks like she's using Landerchild to distract you.

 

UVANOV

He can be distracting. Like a toddler having a temper tantrum.

 

DYERA

(surprised that lightning hasn't struck)

I suppose so. But while you've been picking on him, she's been quietly making friends on the board.

 

UVANOV

But no-one all that important, surely?

 

DYERA

It could be quantity over quality. Those small percentages add up. As it is, she's seen as the unofficial spokesman for the Minor Faction, especially since Simons died.

 

UVANOV

Simons?

 

DYERA

He fell into an industrial shredder, remember?

 

UVANOV

Oh, yes. A nasty accident.

(to himself)

Not one of Iago's. I think.

 

DYERA

What was that?

 

UVANOV

Nothing. So Farren's been doing a little empire-building, has she?

 

DYERA

It would -

 

UVANOV

Then we have to put a stop to it. Ideally, convince her that she'd much rather have me as an ally than an enemy.

 

DYERA

How...?

 

UVANOV

There are ways. Leave it to me.

 

INT. The Gentleman's Oasis, Guest Lounge.

 

SOUND: soothing music plays quietly and a fountain is just barely audible in the background

 

FARREN

The Oasis? This is hardly low-profile. Then again, I didn't know they even allowed women in.

 

LANDERCHILD

Only as far as the guest lounge.

 

FARREN

I see. It's quite sumptuous, isn't it? In an old-fashioned way. What did you want to talk to me about?

 

LANDERCHILD

What? What?? Isn't it obvious? What the hell are you playing at?


FARREN

I'm sorry?

 

LANDERCHILD

I thought I had your support for blocking Uvanov!

 

FARREN

I only said I'd consider supporting you and you put me on the spot. I wasn't ready.

 

LANDERCHILD

I thought you were with me!

 

FARREN

I'm against Uvanov. They're not quite the same thing.

 

LANDERCHILD

What?

 

FARREN

You rushed me. You want too much, too soon. You know what they say about the nail that sticks up? You're getting hammered down quite enough for the both of us, I think.

 

LANDERCHILD

While you sit there on your arse and avoid any risk.

 

FARREN

Hardly. You've brought me to Uvanov's attention now, thank you very much. He gate-crashed one of my parties, last night. Total shambles and nothing got done.

 

LANDERCHILD

Then you're going to need allies, aren't you? Reliable ones.

 

FARREN

I can be on your side. I will be. But you're moving too fast.

 

LANDERCHILD

(calming down, slightly)

Something has to be done! Three years that arrogant ass has been... we have to do something.

 

FARREN

And we will.

 

LANDERCHILD

Like what, pray tell?

 

FARREN

We - I've got some ideas. But it's too soon.

 

LANDERCHILD

For you, maybe.

 

FARREN

You might not like it, Landerchild, but you need me as much as I need you.

SOUND: a rustle of clothing, as farren looks at her watch

 

FARREN

I have to go. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon.

 

SOUND: farren gets up and walks away.

 

LANDERCHILD

We...?


EXT. KALDOR CITY - A marginal area, bordering the Sewer Pits.

 

RULL

The edge of hell. How did you get out of the pits, Morland?

 

MORLAND

Company put my family in. Company got me out. All that anti-robot feeling after the revolt. I suppose it evens out. Why are we here? Visiting the Sewer Pits isn't my idea of a good time.

 

RULL

Just a bit of recce, Morland. Keeping an ear to the ground.

 

SOUND: SOMEONE BUMPS INTO THE PAIR

 

RULL

Hey! Watch were you're going!

(to morland)

So what is your idea of a good time, then?

 

MORLAND

(ignoring Rull)

Hey! You!

SOUND: morland runs after someone

 

PICKPOCKET

(young, male)

Ow! Watch it!

 

SOUND: morland and the other man scuffle. morland's clearly getting the best of it

 

RULL

(catching up)

What the..?

 

SOUND: morland lands some heavy blows

 

MORLAND

Hand it over, you little sod!

 

PICKPOCKET

What? I never -

 

SOUND: the pickpocket's head thuds against a convenient wall

 

RULL

What are you -

 

MORLAND

Here. He took your wallet.

 

RULL

What? He didn't? Bloody hell!

 

MORLAND

Come on, Rull. You know how it is. Some of these kids could take your socks off your feet without touching your shoes.

 

RULL

Not a good idea. You haven't seen my socks.

 

SOUND: another thud as morland kicks the pickpocket while he's down

 

RULL

All right! All right! You've made your point! So much for the economic upswing, huh?

 

MORLAND

Nah. Kids like that, they just do it to keep in practice. Congenital.

 

RULL

(thoughtful)

Yeah, I guess so.

 

INT. Farren's home

 

SOUND: door closing, farren strolls into her living room

 

FARREN

Lana? Are you here - who are you?

 

IAGO

Kaston Iago. I'm -

 

FARREN

Uvanov's tame killer.

 

IAGO

I prefer security consultant.


FARREN

You can call yourself the queen of Sheba for all I care. How did you get in?

 

IAGO

I let myself in.

 

FARREN

Did Uvanov send you to...

 

IAGO

Kill you? No. If that were the case, you'd be dead, already.

 

FARREN

Then what do you want?

 

IAGO

Me? I don't want anything.

 

FARREN

Then what does Uvanov want?

 

IAGO

He wants you to think about your future. While you still have one.

 

FARREN

I see. Threats.

 

IAGO

Only if you choose the wrong side.

 

FARREN

I'm on the right side. Mine.

 

IAGO

Interesting.

 

FARREN

Really?

 

IAGO

No.

(beat)

We're done here. I'll see myself out.

 

SOUND: iago heads for the door

 

FARREN

Wait!

 

IAGO

What?

 

FARREN

I've got money.

 

IAGO

Not enough.

 

SOUND: iago exits, the door closing quietly behind him

 

FARREN

Shit.


SOUND: farren fumbles with a comm-link

 

FARREN

Lana? It's me. Where are you? Listen to me, something's happened...

 

SOUND: FADE OUT

 

INT. COMPANY CENTRAL - SECURITY OPERATIONS OFFICE

 

RULL

The pay's not great - although it's better now that the damn Larson project's been shut down. But there are some perks.

 

MORLAND

Larson project?

 

RULL

Don't ask. It makes my head hurt to just think about it. Bloody Landerchild.

 

MORLAND

Landerchild?

 

RULL

I said don't ask.


MORLAND

Alright. What about these perks, then?

 

RULL

Well, this one's always popular.

 

SOUND: rull's chair squeaks. a few switches are thrown

 

MORLAND

I don't get it. What's so exciting about an empty room?

 

RULL

Seen that latest bit of totty Uvanov's hired?

 

MORLAND

No. I've heard about her.

 

RULL

Very easy on the eyeballs. That's her bedroom.

 

MORLAND

What?

 

RULL

Most of the nobs want their assistants living on their property. Keeps 'em within shouting distance, I suppose. We had to do a lot of rebuilding over the last few months. Riots. Fliers going through Uvanov's window... As Company Security, I decided it was vital that we keep an eye on said nobs outside of business hours.

 

MORLAND

Including the totty?

 

RULL

Especially the totty.


MORLAND

Who else are you... keeping an eye on?

 

RULL

Pretty much anyone I think Uvanov would want to look out for. They all use Company guard squads, so getting inside's been easy.

 

MORLAND

So... that would include Landerchild?

 

RULL

Of course. Why do you ask?

 

MORLAND

Remember how I said the Company put my family into the Pits?

 

RULL

Yes...

 

SOUND: FADE OUT

 

 

INT. ROBOT FACTORY NUMBER TWO

SOUND: A FACTORY FLOOR, an assembly line operates in the background. VOICES ECHO SLIGHTLY OFF HIGH CEILINGS AND METALLIC SURFACES

 

UVANOV

As you can see, we're running at full capacity.

 

ANCHOR

Replacing stock destroyed in the riots...?

 

(as uvanvov huffily corrects the anchor, crossfade to Iago and dyera, nearby)

 

IAGO

This is a waste of time.

 

DYERA

Not really. Spin control is important right now. Uvanov doesn't want the board suspecting how much sales figures have dropped.

 

IAGO

Correction. This is a waste of my time.

 

DYERA

I don't know. You saw the crowd outside. Ugly bunch. Getting back to the flier might be difficult.

 

IAGO

No, it won't.

 

SOUND: a tearing crash of metal and concrete as the outside mob bursts on to the factory floor. asst'd shouting indicates that this is an anti-robot crowd that isn't done with their protesting. They seem more concerned about job displacement than software issues.

 

UVANOV

What the hell!

 

SOUND: iago unholsters his gun

 

IAGO

Maybe a little.

 

DYERA

You can't shoot your way out of here!

 

IAGO

I can't?

 

DYERA

And not on live television!

 

IAGO

I can't?

 

SOUND: iago opens fire. noisy chaos ensues

 

SOUND: FADE OUT

 

INT. UVANOV'S FLIER

 

UVANOV

Where are we going?

 

IAGO

Your safehouse.

 

UVANOV

I've got a safehouse?

 

IAGO

Of course. I set it up for you a while ago.

 

UVANOV

Why didn't you tell me about it?

 

IAGO

You didn't need to know.

 

UVANOV

What the hell happened back there? That mob shouldn't have been able to break in.

 

IAGO

No. They must have had help.

 

UVANOV

From who? Landerchild?

 

IAGO

Maybe. I'll find out.

 

UVANOV

How?

 

IAGO

You're going to the safehouse. I'm going back to Company headquarters.

 

INT. COMPANY CENTRAL - IAGO'S OFFICE

 

SOUND: A KEYBOARD CLICKS AWAY AS IAGO HUNTS FOR DATA

 

IAGO

Come on, Landerchild, where are you?

(pause)

Oh. Already? Rull's playing true to type, it seems.

 

DYERA

What do you mean?

 

IAGO

You wouldn't understand. And get out. Uvanov's my concern. You aren't. And you're in the way. Go back to your quarters. You'll probably be safe there.

 

DYERA

Probably.

 

SOUND: Dyera leaves. door slams. more keyboarding

 

IAGO

Maybe Topmaster Farren is braver - or stupider - than I thought

 

INT. LANDERCHILD'S HOUSE

 

MORLAND

Good evening, Topmaster Landerchild.

 

LANDERCHILD

Who are you? How did you get in?

 

MORLAND

Friends in high places. As for who I am... We haven't met.

 

LANDERCHILD

Then what are you doing here? If it's robbery-

 

MORLAND

No.

 

SOUND: an unpleasantly organic thump as morland pistol-whips landerchild

 

MORLAND

We haven't met. But you put me and my family in the Sewer Pits. Just one of many as far as you're concerned, right?

 

LANDERCHILD

Please...

 

MORLAND

Too late for that, you bastard.

 

SOUND: further unpleasantness as morland puts the boot in

 

(CROSSFADE TO RULL'S OFFICE, WHERE RULL IS WATCHING VIA SECURITY CAMERA)


RULL

(TO HIMSELF)

Jesus, mate. Don't hang about. Just shoot him and get out of there.

(beat)

Cotton, I hope you appreciate this...

 

SOUND: morland concludes beating landerchild to death, THE NOISE SOMEWHAT MUFFLED AS IT'S HEARD FROM RULL'S POV IN HIS OFFICE

 

MORLAND

(TINNY VOX. to security camera)

Thanks for the assist, Rull. Couldn't have done it without you. Of course, if you've turned off the cameras like you promised, then you won't have to worry about anyone knowing that, will you?

 

RULL

What? You crafty little bastard!

SOUND: frantic throwing of switches as rull assesses options. A door bursts open and iago storms in

 

RULL

(panicked. Blurting)

Landerchild's dead.

 

IAGO

I know. And?

 

RULL

Huh?

 

IAGO

Security keeps track of who comes and goes from the board member's homes?

 

RULL

(cagey)

A camera on the front gate is SOP, yeah.

 

IAGO

Show me the activity at Topmaster Farren's house for the past twenty-four hours. I want to know if her daughter has been there.

 

SOUND: rull cues up various digital equipment

 

RULL

Alright. Not many vistors. Just the two, in fact. Landerchild and, my god, who's that?

 

IAGO

Farren's non-existant daughter.

 

RULL

What?

 

IAGO

Supposedly maimed in a serious accident on Storm Mine Seven. But there are no records of there having been any such accident on that mine, ever. You know how the Company loves paperwork.

 

RULL

Then who is she?

 

IAGO

It's Blayse!

 

RULL

How can you tell?

 

IAGO

Don't look at her face. Look at the way she moves.

 

RULL

You'd know more about that than me - ow!

(pause)

If that's not Farren's daughter...

 

IAGO

Farren's in on it, too.

 

RULL

But what exactly is it?

 

IAGO

Isn't it obvious? Where is the daughter now?

 

RULL

How am I supposed to know that?

 

IAGO

Every Company ID card contains a chip allowing you to track any employee's location.

 

RULL

How do you know that? That's a secret policy-

 

IAGO

Who do you think suggested it to Uvanov?

 

RULL

God. He was paranoid enough before you got involved.

 

IAGO

Shut up. 'Lana' set herself up as a Company employee. That means she's got an ID card. Find her.

SOUND: various keyboard noises

 

RULL

Uvanov's quarters.

 

SOUND: iago prepares to leave

 

RULL

No! Wait. She's moving. His office.

 

IAGO

Shit. Stay here.

 

SOUND: Iago exits

 

RULL

Don't mind if I do.

(to himself)

How the hell am I going to clean up that footage?

 

INT. COMPANY CENTRAL - UVANOV'S OFFICE, OUTER AREA

 

SOUND: door slams open as iago rushes in. his blaster fires twice and there is a thump as a body hits the floor

 

BLAYES

(badly wounded and breathing hard)

Damn. Two more minutes.

 

IAGO

You emptied Uvanov's safe? This was just a robbery?

 

BLAYES

No. Revenge. It was just about revenge.

 

IAGO

Explain.

 

BLAYES

Six weeks ago, I woke up in some nameless research outpost and I looked like this. No idea what happened. No memory of it at all. I figured it was a good bet the Company was responsible.

 

IAGO

If the Company was responsible, you'd be dead.

 

BLAYES

I didn't say it was your fault, did I? Although it's crossed my mind.

 

IAGO

You'd be dead.

 

BLAYES

Aren't I, now?

 

IAGO

Farren's ambitious. You took advantage of that.

 

BLAYES

I'd kill Uvanov. She'd move up the ladder. Dead man's boots. Where is he?

 

IAGO

Not here.

 

BLAYES

That's unhelpful. I should have waited. But when that riot happened, I assumed he'd come running back here, like usual.

 

SOUND: blayes coughs. An ominous gurgle hints at blood in the lungs

 

BLAYES

So I went for Plan B. Rob him blind and get the fuck out.

 

IAGO

You cut it too close.

 

BLAYES

It looks that way.

 

IAGO

How did you get the safe open?

 

BLAYES

Convey my apologies to the secretary. If she lives. Wait. I'm not really sorry.

 

IAGO

Stupid bitch.

 

BLAYES

Which one?

 

SOUND: iago's blaster fires once more, finishing blayes off

 

IAGO

It doesn't matter.

 

SOUND: COMMS CHIRP

 

IAGO

Security? There's a body in Uvanov's office that needs cleaning up. No rush. And check Uvanov's quarters, too.

 

SOUND: IAGO EXITS

 

INT. FARREN'S HOME

SOUND: iago kicks a door in and enters, followed closely by uvanov. farren's presence is indicated by her yelp of surprise

 

UVANOV

We saw ourselves in. Hope you don't mind.

 

FARREN

I can ex-

 

UVANOV

(interrupting)

Oh, please don't say I can explain. It's a bit late for that. Lana - or I should say, Blayes, is dead and there's no reason I shouldn't have you executed on the spot.

 

FARREN

You wouldn't!

 

IAGO

I would. But...

 

UVANOV

But what?

 

IAGO

She could be useful.

 

UVANOV

What?


IAGO

You're going to have to propose some unpopular policies, soon - the numbers aren't going to be pretty at the next board meeting. Make them through her.

 

UVANOV

Hmm. A sort of conduit? A cipher?

 

IAGO

A front. Yes.

 

FARREN

That'll destroy my reputation-

 

IAGO

What's more important. Your reputation or your life?

 

FARREN

Can I have a moment to think about that?

 

IAGO

Think fast.

 

UVANOV

Let you take the heat for what has to happen. Yes, that could work. And if you even hint at the existence of an arrangement...


IAGO

You're dead.

 

UVANOV

And that saves me the trouble of finding an acceptable replacement for you on the board. Yes, I like that very much.

 

SOUND: uvanov's voice fades as he exits

 

UVANOV

Come along, Iago...

 

IAGO

(to Farren)

You owe me. Remember that.

 

FARREN

Oh. I see. I will. It's not as if I have any choice.

 

IAGO

You don't.

 

SOUND: IAGO EXITS

 

INT. COMPANY CENTRAL - IAGO'S OFFICE

 

SOUND: DOOR OPENS. RULL ENTERS

 

IAGO

Rull. What brings you out of your cave?

 

RULL

You've bloody bugged my office, haven't you?

 

IAGO

You just figured that out?

 

RULL

You said you knew Landerchild was dead!

 

IAGO

I'll take that as a yes.

 

RULL

I could kill you.

 

IAGO

No, you couldn't. I'm the only person who can clear up that little problem you've got with Morland giving you the finger at Landerchilde's murder.

 

RULL

What, really?

 

IAGO

Yes.

 

RULL

What's in it for you?

 

IAGO

Your undying gratitude.

 

RULL

You'll have me over a barrel, you mean.

 

IAGO

Only figuratively. Fortunately.

 

RULL

I'm going to move my office.

 

IAGO

Waste of time. I'll bug that, too.

 

RULL

I bloody hate you, Iago.

 

IAGO

And?

 

SOUND: rull storms out

 

IAGO

Two out of three. Not so bad.

 

INT. NAMELESS ROOM

 

SOUND: someone is watching television

 

ANCHOR

Company Security has come down on civil unrest in an unprecedented manner, following the deaths of FirstMaster Landerchild and the daughter of TopMaster Farren. Many board members have gone into seclusion, but that didn't stop FirstMaster Chairholder Uvanov from speaking up.

 

UVANOV

As before, The Company will emerge from this turbulent time stronger and more robust than ever-

SOUND: THE TELEVISION CLICKS OFF

 

CARNELL

What a mess. Maybe next time they'll come to me instead of making it up as they go along...

MUSIC: OUTRO THEME