Circuit Breakers

Episode 7, "65,536 Shades of Grey" Act 3

Scene 1. Producer. 03:50:50

Plot Scene
Characters: Grey, Tang, Bobby, Connor, Seven
Set: Various. Montage

INT. VARIOUS LOCATIONS. MORNING.

Montage edit of techs collaborating with the team analyzing GREY’s suit’s sensor data, plotting the movement of the Guardian robot by tracing hacked traffic lights, TANG working a heavy bag, CONNOR inspecting gear and giving people orders, BOBBY and MCKEW aiding in the construction of some kind of device.

BOB
We’ve tracked the robot to the Selfridge Air Base in Harrison. Tang’s friends have taken a peek at the base’s operations schedule, and it looks as though a heavy is en route right now. It’s scheduled to lift again within fifteen minutes of touch-down, destination Anacostia. We don’t know why the Machine has taken an interest in this rival A.I., but regardless of its intent, I aim to interfere. Your mission is to prevent that plane from leaving with the server on board. Destroy it if you have to. Mckew.

MCKEW
Using the sensor logs from Greyson’s exo-suit, we’ve determined that the enemy robot is using a high-gain dynamically-configured antenna in its arm to hack the control circuit of targeted electronic devices. It doesn’t even attempt to breach a device’s operating system—it goes right for the servos or power regulators. We’ve managed to devise a jamming device that should protect you from being hacked in that fashion again.

CONNOR
That still leaves us with a heavily-armored and powerful robot to contend with, though.

GREY
I can take it.

BOB
There’s a truck ready to go. Get the computer, and kick that robot’s tailfeathers. God speed.

Scene 2. Joel 03:54:55

Plot Scene
Characters: Grey, Bobby, Connor, Tang, Guardian robot
Set: Selfridge Air National Guard Base

EXT. DAY. AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE.

CONNOR is in the cab of a military-style truck, dressed in fatigues. GREY in his exo-suit and BOBBY are lying in the covered bed of the truck, pretending to be powered down, and TANG is riding along with them. They stop at the guard house, and CONNOR flashes some false credentials.

CONNOR
Last-minute delivery for Flight 87a. Commander Longman’s heard there was a flight going out and wants to get this power suit down to the Pentagon.

The GUARD hands him a clip board to sign in.

GUARD
Better hurry, they’re in some kind of rush to get that plane off the ground.

CONNOR signs the clip board illegibly and passes it back. The gate goes up, and CONNOR floors it, heading immediately for the airfield. In the distance, we see the plane on the runway, its cargo door down. An airman is pushing a wheeled cart up the ramp. In the shadows inside, the large robot is visible. The ramp starts to rise, and the plane’s props spin up.

CONNOR
We’re too late! They’re about to take off!

GREY and BOBBY tear the canvas covering off the bed of the truck, and TANG picks up a sniper rifle. He rests the gun’s bipod on the roof of the truck’s cab and raps on the roof with his knuckles. CONNOR hits the breaks. As he does, GREY and BOBBY both leap out of the bed of the truck and start running for the plane.

TANG lines up a shot carefully, and just as the ramp is almost all the way closed, he takes his shot, hitting a hydraulic line. The ramp slams back to the tarmac. BOBBY barely manages to get onto the ramp as the plane starts to accelerate away. GREY activates his jump jets to make up the last bit of distance. GREY lands a little in front of BOBBY. The large robot is in the cargo area. It unlatches itself and takes a fighting stance between the two heroes and ELLA’s server rack.

[CONFLICT: Producer draws four cards. Joel uses his Vigilante trait and a Fan Mail to bring his hand up to five cards. Cobalt has only the two from his Screen Presence, but Seth and Tyler both contribute one Fan Mail each to bring him up to four. Both of them get a “No, but…” result, meaning they don’t get what they want, but they do resist their impulses.]

GREY engages the anti-jamming device, turns on his spotlights, and starts playing “Ring of Fire” again. The GUARDIAN makes a gesture at him, but it has no effect. GREY charges and engages it in hand-to-hand combat as the plane leaves the runway.

Cut to CONNOR and TANG. CONNOR has started the truck moving again. The camera swings from a shot from behind TANG looking at the rising plane, 180 degrees to several trucks coming up behind them, driven by MPs.

CONNOR
Tang! Head down!

TANG ducks behind the cab just as CONNOR drives right through the chain-link fence at the southern end of the base and

Back in the plane, BOBBY dodges past the GUARDIAN while GREY occupies its attention and heads for the cockpit.

GREY is a little more agile than the GUARDIAN, but the robot is more powerful. They grapple and box back and forth across the cargo bay, occasionally coming close to smashing ELLA’s server on one side or tumbling out the hatch on the other.

BOBBY encounters the co-pilot, who is coming back to see what’s going on with the cargo. BOBBY knocks him out and continues forward.

Cut back to GREY, who starts taking some savage blows from the GUARDIAN. He starts retreating toward the cargo ramp.

BOBBY reaches the cockpit and calmly sits down in the co-pilot’s seat.

BOBBY
So how do you fly this thing?

PILOT
What? You… You can’t be here!

BOBBY points a gun at the PILOT.

BOBBY
Sorry, but I am. We’re going back now.

GREY has maneuvered the fight to the edge of the ramp. The GUARDIAN sees an opportunity to get rid of its opponent and aims a massive punch at the center of GREY’s torso, hoping to simply shove him off out the hatch. That’s exactly what GREY’s been waiting for. He rolls with the punch and catches the GUARDIAN’s forearm with both hands. As he falls backward, he activates his jump jets, pulling the GUARDIAN with him out of the plane. They both plummet toward Lake St. Clair. Above them, the plane banks steeply, turning back toward Detroit.

We see a long shot of the two mechs hit the water, then we cut to GREY’s POV of the surface of the lake getting further away as he sinks into the dark.

Scene 3. Seth. 04:19:18

Character scene.
Characters: Connor, Tang, Bobby
Set: Division safe house

INT. NIGHT. DIVISION SAFE HOUSE.

CONNOR, BOB, TANG, and BOBBY are gathered in the dining/conference room.

CONNOR
I think we should keep this A.I. locked up and powered off for now. I don’t trust it. We can figure out what to do about it later. In the meantime, is there any word about Grey?

BOB
We’ve got helicopters and divers out there looking now, but without a precise fix on where he actually hit the water, I’m afraid there’s not much hope of finding him.

CONNOR (sighing)
Alright. I guess there’s nothing we can do but hope, then.

Scene 4. Tyler. 04:23:46

Character scene.
Characters: Tang
Set: Tang’s house, Lake St. Clair, Connor’s house, Division safehouse.

We intercut between several scenes with sad music as the team broods over the loss of Grey.

INT. TANG’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

TANG is lying on his couch, VR visor on his head and squeezers in his hands.

BOBBY is plugged into the wall, recharging and watching TV. There is a news report about the FBI’s controversial use of robots in lethal confrontations with the Holy Cross terrorists.

INT. DIVISION SAFE HOUSE BASEMENT. NIGHT.

The Division techs carry ELLA into the basement of the safehouse and leave her in the center of the room. It is very dusty and dim. There are no windows. CU of the deadbolt closing, locking the servers away.

EXT. LAKE ST. CLAIR. NIGHT.

Helicopters hover over the surface of the lake, spotlights pointed at the water. Divers jump out of the choppers, continuing the search for both Grey and the Guardian robot.

INT. CONNOR’S TOWNHOUSE. NIGHT.

CONNOR is sitting at a desk in the wreckage of his living room. The scene is lit only by the streetlights outside the windows and his desk lamp, which is tilted away from his face and illuminates his hand, a crystal tumbler, and a bottle of whiskey, mostly empty.

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