Circuit Breakers

Episode 6, "Monkey Business" Act 3

Scene 1. Producer. 03:27:26

Plot scene
Characters: Grey, Bobby, Tang
Set: Another “abandoned” building

EXT. ABANDONED BUILDING. NIGHT. SNOWSTORM.

The team’s surveillance van is moving carefully across snow-covered streets in a run-down part of the outer city. The back of the van has been cleared of equipment in order to accommodate GREY in his exosuit. TANG is driving, and BOBBY is operating Simian’s laptop, connected to the captured robot’s head, and the cellular signal tracer is in operation once again.

BOBBY
Are you sure this is working right?

GREY
Yeah, I told you; transmitting telemetry on the same cell carrier frequency reactivates the control signal. As long as we can fool it into thinking the bot is still active but not accepting instructions, the controller will keep trying to access it so it can be destroyed. Then all we have to do is trace the signal to its source.

BOBBY
How did you figure this out, anyway?

GREY
I had a dream about it.

BOBBY exchanges a glance with TANG. TANG appears unperturbed by this revelation. The van pulls up next to a chain-link fence around an abandoned property with an expansive parking lot. Snow has drifted deeply against the side of the building and against the fence.

TANG
Do you see any surveillance?

GREY
I guess I’ll use my suit’s sensors to scan the area? Can my suit even do that?

POV: GREY’s suit’s scanners show no thermal traces. A nearby electrical transformer shows a very intense EM field.

GREY
I don’t see much in the building, but there’s a lot of juice running through that transformer up there. That seems suspicious for an abandoned building don’t you think?

BOBBY
Are we going to have another autonomous factory war today?

TANG
I don’t know, but I’m freezing my ass off. Let’s either get inside or start a fire.

GREY
Well, only way to go but in. Let’s do it.

BOBBY and GREY exit the van, and BOBBY easily breaks the chain holding the gate closed. TANG drives through, and BOBBY swings back up into the van while GREY breaks the trail. They pull close to the front entrance. By the time TANG and BOBBY get to the door, GREY has kicked it off its hinges.

They pass through the reception and office areas, rifling through ancient desks and eventually emerge on a catwalk overlooking a warehouse floor. Below, rank upon rank of unmarked black and grey robots stand silently.

GREY
Well, that was easy.

BOBBY
We need to dispose of these things.

GREY
Wow, that’s a lot. None of these are police robots; they don’t have any markings on them. This is beyond my pay grade, guys.

BOBBY
Well, they look like the same robots that destroyed our headquarters.

GREY
Surely that one assembler you saw couldn’t have made all of these things. That means that whatever’s manufacturing them must be doing it secretly at a dozen different factories.

BOBBY
Simian would be helpful at this point.

GREY
We could try to rig this place to explode. It’s not going to let us know how these things got here or why, though.

BOBBY
We could monitor it, see if any other robots show up.

GREY
I’m kind of surprised we haven’t set off some kind of alarm. Surely whoever is running this place would have it lined with sensors.

BOBBY
Maybe they wanted us to see it.

GREY
You saying someone wanted us to come here?

BOBBY
You’re the one who led us here.

GREY
Are you saying Ella sent us here on purpose?

BOBBY
I’m saying it’s a possibility

GREY
But it was just a dream. She wan’t actually there.

BOBBY
There’s stuff here. You don’t usually dream about a random location, go there, and actually find stuff.

GREY
You’ve got a point. They look like they’re connected to some kind of charger. We could cut off the power, maybe, but that might wake them up.

BOBBY
We could try to blow them up. If they have the same kind of explosives as the other robots, I estimate the damage to this building would be catastrophic. The damage to the highway and the building across the street would be significant. The snow should prevent any fires from spreading.

GREY
If it comes down to it, I could just send a missile down into it, but I’d rather try to find some kind of information about why they’re here and who controls them. Bobby, are you picking up any signals in here?

BOBBY
No, but there is something strange going on in the police band. There’s an encrypted signal I don’t have a key to, and the transmission is coming toward us.

GREY
Do you think they’re receiving instructions on the police band?

BOBBY
It’s conceivable. The police network extends across the entire metropolitan area. Whatever it is, though, it’s going to be here in about five minutes.

GREY
So maybe there was an alarm?

BOBBY
It might be a set-up after all.

GREY
Are you patched into the police network right now? Is there any kind of response going on besides that encrypted signal?

BOBBY
There is no unit being dispatched in this area.

GREY
If whoever it is can send a signal that you can pick up, surely it would be easier to go ahead and activate a hundred robots and turn them on us instead of sending something else. Maybe they’re not finished, or they need a software update or something.

BOBBY
I don’t know, but we have a few options: We could wait and see what this signal does when it arrives, which is risky. We could try to blow them all up before they get activated. Or the most difficult: we could try to stop the signal. Find out where it’s coming from and shut it off.

GREY
What if one of us was to hide and watch what happens. The others could leave and wait nearby.

BOBBY
I’ll stay behind and watch.

TANG (sighing)
Back out into the cold.

BOBBY climbs into the rafters and hides in the shadows. GREY and TANG get back into the surveillance van and withdraw. Cut back to BOBBY, whose indicator lights are shutting off. Moments later, we hear the crunching of snow as a vehicle pulls up to the building. A car door closes. The front door opens and closes. Out onto the catwalks steps DETECTIVE ROARKE.

ROARKE takes a long look at all of the robots, apparently unsurprised by their presence. He touches his ear, as though he is wearing an earpiece, but he says nothing. Then he turns and leaves. Outside, ROARKE examines the tracks left behind in the parking lot by the surveillance van and GREY’s suit.

Cut to GREY and TANG, now driving on well-traveled streets in order to hide their tracks. GREY leans forward into the cab of the van.

GREY
Bobby says it was some detective named Roarke. He’s gone now. Why would a police detective be involved? That seems incredibly suspicious to me because these aren’t police robots. Not to mention the fact that they tried to kill us.

BOBBY
Affirmative.

GREY
Do you know what he said on his earpiece?

BOBBY
He didn’t appear to say anything.

GREY
Maybe he’s under control of the nanotech. Should we let the police know?

BOBBY
Let the police now what? That we’re a bunch of terrorists who broke into a warehouse to find a bunch of robots?

GREY
Well, when you put it like that. Well, something fishy is going on here. It sounds like the place needs to go.

The van pulls up across the driveway. BOBBY runs out the door as GREY steps out of the van and opens his rocket ports. Two small missiles shoot up into the sky, then arc downward. GREY turns away before they hit as BOBBY joins him in a dramatic slow-motion walking-away-from-the-explosion shot. In the background, one missile blasts a hole in the roof, and the second ignites inside the building. We see a yellow flash inside, but the huge exciting explosion fails to appear.

GREY and BOBBY pause for a moment, look at one another, then turn around to see that the warehouse hasn’t exploded like they expected it to. TANG leans out the window of the van, looking puzzled.

GREY
Um… Let me shoot one more, just in case.

He launches another missile, which has similar results. There is now a hole in the wall, so the robots are visible from the street. A few of them have been destroyed, but most are still intact.

BOBBY
Now dispatch is sending someone our way. I guess someone heard the explosions.

GREY
If police units are coming, we don’t have a lot of time.

BOBBY
But they’re not police robots, they might just…

GREY
I don’t think we want to be found in the area.

BOBBY
Okay, let’s get out of Vegas.

Scenes 2-5: Everyone 04:07:45

[We took a long time getting to this point, so we started wrapping things up here. Montage editing to show each member of the cast trying to adjust to the new circumstances.]

INT. HOLY CROSSGUEST ROOM”. NIGHT.

CONNOR and SULLIVAN have punched a hole in the wall and are pulling data cables out into the room.

INT. GREY’S APARTMENT. NIGHT.

Slow motion, with sad music. The lights are low, the scene is mostly illuminated by moonlight reflecting from the snow on the balcony.

GREY is sitting on his bed, his head in his hands. We can see TANG and BOBBY through the open door. The doorbell rings, and TANG turns to answer it.

Cut away to SULLIVAN stripping wires with the edge of his badge. Real time.

Back to TANG, opening the door, in slow motion again.

To CALIBURNUS, who is watching a security monitor that shows CONNOR and SULLIVAN working on their escape. He turns to one of his people and nods.

Back to TANG. As the music rises to a dramatic crescendo, he opens the door, the framerate accelerating to realtime, to reveal a gorgeous young woman in a very brief silk kimono. She is smiling and holding a plate of cookies. The music drops in volume for the dialog.

STRIPPER
Welcome to the building!

TANG
Oh, thank you; you’re so nice! Are these homemade?

STRIPPER
Uh, kind of. I warmed them up.

TANG
Nice, I would have done the same. So thoughtful.

Cut to BOBBY, staring at the scorch mark on his arm, where Simian burned him. He reaches up to touch the open panel on his head again. In the background we see TANG still conversing with the STRIPPER. A shadow passes over the room. The STRIPPER gasps, looking past BOBBY. BOBBY whirls toward the windows. He is slightly slower than TANG at getting his gun out.

Cut to a wide shot of the building. A fireball erupts from the side of the building. Roll credits as the sad music resumes.

TAG: At the end of the credits, we see CALIBURNUS. Someone whispers something in his ear. He nods and turns his attention back to the monitor, in which CONNOR and SULLIVAN appear to be splicing wires together.

Fade to black.

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