Darkness, impenetrable. For a moment we hear nothing but
BREATHING, harsh, labored -- someone in PAIN, fighting for
every gasping breath. For life.
WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
Who are you?
The sound of WHIPPING WIND rises to blend with the harsh
BREATHING, as we -
FADE UP ON:
EXT. ROOFTOP -- DAY
TIGHT ON A WOMAN'S FACE -- bloody, bruised, lip cut and
bleeding, breath RASPING painfully.
She's twenty-four, beautiful, and currently getting the shit
beaten out of her.
This is JAIME SOMMERS.
WIDEN to see we're on a ROOFTOP, WIND gusting and eddying
through a forest of CITY BUILDINGS.
A WOMAN (we heard her VOICE over black) stands over Jaime,
back to us -- she continues TALKING in the same calm,
Or maybe I should be asking... what
-- and she KICKS Jaime in the stomach, almost casually.
Jaime CURLS in on herself, biting off the urge to SCREAM.
She rolls painfully onto her hands and knees, wind whipping
her hair across her face -- then LOOKS UP, eyes fixing on
the Woman, not in pain or fear, but DEFIANCE.
(gasping for breath)
Shouldn't I -- be asking --you?
REVERSE ON THE WOMAN, giving us our first good look at her:
strikingly beautiful, sleekly muscled, maybe 30 -
-- and with brutal, indifferent strength, she GRABS Jaime by
the hair and JERKS her to her feet.
Later we'll know her name: SARAH.
She STARES Jaime in the eye, inches apart, an edge of WEIRD
INTIMACY between these two people who are obviously STRANGERS.
(like a dare)
Jaime STARES right back at her, bruised and beaten, like
someone taking a CHALLENGE -
Who the hell are you?
Sarah's answer is a GHOST OF A SMILE -- and she raises her
arm to BACKHAND Jaime. Her bladed hand comes WHISTLING down -and
the INSTANT before impact, we -
SMASH CUT TO:
EXT. SAN FRANCISCO STREET ALONG THE BAY -- DAWN
The sun is barely rising over SAN FRANCISCO -- hilly streets,
Victorian houses butting up against sweeping modern buildings,
quaint and cosmopolitan at once.
TWO WEEKS EARLIER
Follow a FIGURE JOGGING on a road overlooking the water, a
SILHOUETTE against the brightening sun-streaked sky -- it's
JAIME, running alone along the water in JOGGING SWEATS. She
SPRINTS through the streets, turns INLAND, heading home.
EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING -- TENDERLOIN -- MORNING
Jaime picks up the speed, RACING the last few yards through
the dingy neighborhood, reaching a CRUMBLING EDWARDIAN
BUILDING, once an elegant hotel, now LOW RENT APARTMENTS.
INT. JAIME'S APARTMENT -- DAY
A wreck of an apartment, a tiny two-bedroom. A dirty window
shows a view of a BRICK WALL. Dishes are piled in the sink,
clothes strewn over the furniture.
A TEENAGE GIRL, BECCA, sleeps soundly on the couch in what
looks like yesterday's clothes. She'd be pretty if she
weren't so relentlessly determined not to be. Everything in
her wardrobe is shades of BLACK, including her dyed hair.
JAIME comes hurrying in, hastily stripping off her running
clothes as she heads for the shower, grabbing up DIRTY CLOTHES
as she goes -
You're going to be late.
Becca rolls over grouchily, burrowing under the blanket.
I'll catch a ride with Jason.
You'll catch a disease from Jason,
more likely. You are not getting in
a car with that kid.
Jaime STRIPS the blanket off Becca as she passes.
Breakfast after I shower, then we're
leaving in ten.
Becca slithers off the couch, looks after Jaime resentfully.