INT. CONCOURSE/AIRPORT TERMINAL - BAY
CLOSE ON A FACE. A nine year old boy, YOUNG COLE, his eyes wide
with wonder. watching something intently. We HEAR the sounds of
the P.A. SYSTEM droning Flight Information mingled with the
sounds of urgent SHOUTS, running FEET, EXCLAMATIONS.
YOUNG COLE'S POV: twenty yards away, a BLONDE MAN is sprawled on
the floor, blood oozing from his gaudy Hawaiian shirt.
A BRUNETTE in a tight dress, her face obscured from YOUNG COLE'S
view, rushes to the injured man, kneels beside him, ministering
to his wound.
ANGLE ON YOUNG COLE, flanked by his PARENTS, their faces out of
view, as they steer him away.
FATHER'S VOICE (o.s.)
Come on, Son --this is no place for us.
YOUNG COLE resists momentarily, mesmerized by the drama.
YOUNG COLE'S POV: intermittently visible through a confusion of
FIGURES rushing through the foreground, the BLONDE MAN reaching
up and touching the cheek of the kneeling BRUNETTE in a gesture
of enormous tenderness, a gesture of farewell, while the P.A.
SYSTEM continues its monotonous monotone...
Flight 784 for San Francisco is now
ready for boarding at inmate number
INT. PRISON DORMITORY/FUTURE - ETERNAL NIGHT
PRISON P.A. SYSTEM
--number 5429, Garcia -- number 87645, Cole...
COLE, late thirties, dark hair, comes awake in a bunk cage, one
of many stacked four high along both sides of a long dim
corridor. He blinks in the near dark, shaken, disoriented.
Then, as he "recovers" from his very vivid dream, WE GET OUR
FIRST LOOK AT HIS ENVIRONMENT...A WINDOWLESS UNDERGROUND WORLD OF
ETERNAL NIGHT SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE...AN ALMOST COLORLESS
"REALITY" OF BLURRED EDGES AND ECHOEY SOUNDS, MUCH MORE
"DREAMLIKE" THAN HIS DREAM.
Flashlights glare. In the half-light, COLE sees spooky figures,
GUARDS, moving among the locked bunk/cages.
COLE turns and whispers to the occupant of the next cage, JOSE...
Ssssst! Jose, what's going on?
JOSE's face is almost lost in shadow. What there is of it is
youthful. He's just a scared Puerto Rican kid!
JOSE immediately rolls over and feigns sleep as SCARFACE, a
menacing guard with a jagged scar running down his cheek, looms
close to COLE's cage and unlocks it.
The PRISONERS in the other cages watch silently with narrowed eyes.
I didn't volunteer.
You causing trouble again?
(controls his temper)
INT. EQUIPMENT ROOM - ETERNAL NIGHT
COLE's alone, struggling to get into what looks like a space suit
in a room where suits hang like ghosts with blank eyes.
TITLES BEGIN SUPERED OVER THE SCENE
COLE has the torso of the suit on now and is trying to close it.
OFFSCREEN VOICE (o.s.)
All openings must be closed.
COLE looks for the source of the voice, a tiny grate in the wall.
OFFSCREEN VOICE (o.s.)
If the integrity of the suit is compromised
in any way, if the fabric is torn or a zipper
not closed, readmittance will be denied.
INT. SEALED CHAMBER - MINUTES LATER (ETERNAL NIGHT)
COLE, wearing the "space suit" and a helmet with a plastic visor,
steps into a tiny chamber, a kind of air lock. The heavy door
clangs shut behind him. He's alone. COLE'S breath comes quicker
now as he sucks oxygen from the air tanks on his back.
On the opposite wall is another door with a huge wheel lock.
COLE turns the heavy wheel, opens the door, steps through It
INT. ELEVATOR - SECONDS LATER (ETERNAL NIGHT)
COLE'S in an ascending elevator that groans and creaks. He looks
down at a crudely drawn map he holds in his gloved hand.
The map shows a series of tunnels and ladders.
INT. SEWER PIPE - MINUTES LATER (NIGHT)
COLE pans a flashlight, probing the filthy sewer he's wading through
RATS flee the blade of light, scurry across islands of rusting junk.
The flashlight beam settles on a ladder mounted in the wall.
Reaching the rusted ladder, COLE starts to climb awkwardly.
EXT. CITY STREET/FUTURE - MOMENTS LATER (NIGHT)
A SCRAPING NOISE as a heavy man-hole cover is pushed up and moved
aside. COLE'S helmeted head emerges from below.
COLE'S POV THROUGH HIS PLASTIC-VISORED HELMET: a city in
moonlight! A surreal image of abandoned buildings. No people
anywhere. The only sounds are the WIND and COLE'S BREATHING.
EXT. ANOTHER CITY STREET - MINUTES LATER (NIGHT)
COLE'S light reveals abandoned vine-covered automobiles.
Moving to the nearest car, COLE searches in the vines for
something. Finds it. An insect.
COLE takes the bug in his gloved hand. As he clumsily inserts it
into a collection tube, something makes him turn.
There's something across the street in the dark. Something alive.
COLE points his flashlight and reveals...a BEAR! Startled by the
light, the animal blinks, then stands on its rear legs and ROARS.
ANGLE ON COLE, staring wide-eyed.
Then, the BEAR sinks down onto all fours and, trying to avoid the
flashlight, it pads quickly down the street.
INT. SUBTERRANEAN PARKING GARAGE - NIGHT
Using the flashlight to see, COLE reaches down to the cracked
floor and gets another specimen. DOGSHIT!
The only sound is COLE'S labored BREATHING.
Then, a different SOUND. GRRRR! A dog. More GRRRRS. More
dogs. Then, a YIP. Then, VICIOUS GROWLS. It's a DOGFIGHT!
EXT. STREET - NIGHT (FIRST LIGHT)
A giant OWL, perched on an overhead traffic light, raises its wings
and lifts off...rising higher and higher into the brightening sky.