4-17 Meltdown

4-17 Meltdown


I’m not exactly who I pretend to be.



I’m not exactly who I pretend to be.


Original air date: April 29, 2000

Written by: Ethan Lawrence

Directed by: Krishna Rao

Jarod enlists the help of the FBI to trick a group of small-time criminals into revealing which one of them murdered a young girl during one of their previous robberies.

Jarod’s Discoveries:

Jarod’s Occupations: Thief, FBI Agent

Jarod’s Aliases: Mr. Abraham


Behind the scenes insights and the Creator’s Take

Official Synopsis

Jarod joins a collection of small-time criminals to expose the murderer of a young girl.


Jarod assists an unruly group of small-time criminals who break into the headquarters of Magna Tech Unlimited.  His accomplices are Mr. Job, Mr. Cain, Mr. Cain’s younger brother, Mr. Abel, and Miss Eve.  Dressed in jumpsuits, the criminals enter the building and, after successfully passing themselves off as janitors, crack the security system.  They then locate mysterious canisters that their boss, Elijah, has instructed them to steal.  Later, at a warehouse, the group collapses in fits of coughing and stumble out of a van as they drag out a frosted stainless-steel container.  The container bursts open, sending everyone, including Jarod, back on their heels.  Jarod reseals the container and then wipes away the frost, uncovering a label that identifies the contents as nerve gas.  Parading as the so-called science expert of the group, Jarod faces the panicked faces of the crew.  He tells them they have been exposed to nerve gas and, barring a miracle, they will die in less than six hours.

As one of the Centre’s low-level employees, Leonard, tosses “burn bags” of Centre documents into an incinerator, the word “mirage” catches his eye.  Leonard tears open the bag and grabs the “mirage” document.  Leonard, who fondly knew Miss Parker’s mother, Catherine, years ago, tells a Sweeper that Miss Parker must see the document.  Raines and his Sweepers shoot and kill Leonard as he attempts to phone Miss Parker.  However, Leonard was able to leave a message, explaining how he saved the burned “mirage” memo, which concerns an e-mail intercepted from Miss Parker’s computer.  The author turns out to be Edna Raines, who sent the message on the day she escaped from a mental institution.  Broots finds a video attachment on the message.  In the video, a very lucid Edna tells Miss Parker that it is time for her to learn everything about her mother and “mirage.”

The sickly crew wonders if the $100,000 Elijah promised them is worth it.  Suddenly, a laptop transmits a video image of Elijah’s face.  Jarod explains to Elijah that one of the canisters sprang a leak.  Elijah explains that the warehouse contains chemicals from which Abraham (Jarod) can concoct an antidote for the poison.  Job demands to know when Elijah plans to pay them the money.  Elijah assures Job that his men are one the way.  The laptop goes dark, and Jarod goes to work, taking blood samples from each member of the group except Eve.  Eve pulls out her gun and states that she will take her chances at the hospital.  She heads for the door, but is stopped by voices of police officers.  Immediately, Jarod dims the lights and everyone cowers in the shadows.  Officers Argus and Belllini enter the warehouse, their flashlights cutting through the darkness.  Finally, the cops move out to another part of the warehouse.  Jarod then returns to work on the antidote.  Job happens upon a news report about the heist.   It turns out that a security guard, was found nearly strangled to death near the crime scene.  Job turns to the group and angrily asks who attacked the guard.  No one confesses.  It is then revealed that during a previous robbery, someone in the group snuffed out a little girl named Brittany Tate.

Nerves continue unraveling at the warehouse.  Eve tells Jarod that she was resistant to him taking a blood sample because she is pregnant and is worried about harm to her unborn baby.  Meanwhile, Abel finds a toy chest in the shadows and opens it.  Inside is a photo of Brittany Tate and some of her personal effects.  Brittany’s body, it is revealed, had been discovered in a toy box.  Suddenly, Officer Argus and Officer Bellini return.  The group aims their guns at the officers.

Officer Bellini reveals that he and Officer Argus are Elijah’s messengers and were sent to pick up the gas.  When Job asks about their money, Officer Argus throws an envelope on the floor.  The envelope only includes $10,000—not the $100,000 promised each person.  Officer Bellini explains that Elijah was not satisfied with the violent way the Magna heist transpired.  Jarod pulls his gun and shoots Argus point blank in the knee.  Argus drops to the floor, screaming in pain.  A bleeding Argus screams that the murder of the little girl angered Elijah.  Abel screams, clutching the picture of the dead girl.  Eve rips the photo in Abel’s hands…and announces it isn’t the girl’s picture.  Jarod looks up at her.  He then fills syringes with the antidote, but Job grabs Jarod, smashing one of the syringes in the process.  Jarod announces that there is not enough antidote for everyone.  Eve tells him to leave out the one who killed the little girl.  Jarod agrees and distributes the remaining syringes to everyone but her.

Jarod tells Eve she implicated herself when she pointed out that the photograph was not of the little girl.  Eve pulls her gun on the group, ready to take anyone out who approaches her.  She admits to killing Brittany.  Eve fires at Jarod when he refuses to give her the remaining antidote and everyone starts firing at each other with their guns.  However, Jarod has loaded all the guns with blanks.  Argus rises from the dead and aims a gun with real bullets at the group.  Jarod reveals that he is an FBI agent, and is working with Agent Argus to find out who did kill Brittany Tate.  Jarod then reveals that the gas was not poison, but a twelve-hour intestinal virus stain.  The back wall suddenly opens and reveals a sound stage with a dozen FBI agents.  Elijah sits handcuffed in front of the laptop.  Jarod says that Elijah cut a deal with the FBI to minimize his involvement.  Eve looks around the warehouse and realizes nothing was real.

Jarod hugs Brittany’s parents.  As the criminal crew is escorted into waiting FBI cars, Argus turns to Jarod and asks if he is coming back to the office.  Jarod responds that he has family business to attend to and walks away playing a tune from Brittany’s music box.

4-01 The World’s Changing

Meltdown Transcript


  Teaser Scene 1 
Blue Cove, Delaware. The Centre. Evening.   Miss Parker, Sydney, and Broots are in Miss Parker’s office.
Broots   Raines’ estranged wife Edna escaped that mental hospital just to tell you about your mother and Mirage? Why?
Miss Parker   Edna Raines said Mirage was my mother’s work, work I’m supposed to finish.
Sydney   Well, no one seems to remember any Centre project by that name. Could it be one of her delusions?
Miss Parker   You didn’t see her eyes. Syd, in that moment she was as sane as you and I. [Sydney chuckles.] Broots, you been downloading porn again? My email server is wacked. [She gets up, and he sits down at her computer.] Someone around here has heard of Mirage. You can bet on it.
    [A tall black man in a brown suit enters the office.]
Leonard   ‘Scuse me, ma’am. I’m here to collect burn bags for incineration.
    [Miss Parker gives him a document in a clear, plastic bag and takes his clipboard to sign the paperwork.]
Leonard   I…knew her.
Miss Parker   Excuse me?
Leonard   Catherine. She was a special person.
Miss Parker   You knew my mother?
Leonard   She always seemed like a bright and shining spirit, even in the darkest hours. Sorry for the interruption.
Miss Parker   Maybe we could talk again, if you wouldn’t mind, Mr.—uh—
Leonard   Name’s Leonard. And it would be my pleasure.
    Scene 2
The Centre. SL-26 Incineration Chamber.   Leonard and another sweeper named Don toss burn bags into the incinerator. Leonard picks up one with a file labeled, “For Centre use only. Mirage.” He tears it open and pulls out the file.
Don   What the hell you doing? Everything burns.
Leonard   Miss Parker will want to see this.
Don   I said everything burns.
Leonard   But Miss Parker must see this.
Don   [grabbing his arm]
That’s a big mistake.
    [They struggle. Leonard pulls out a gun.]
Leonard   I have to talk with Miss Parker!
    Scene 3
Dallas, Texas. Dorsey’s Dept. Store Warehouse, the warehouse district.   Saturday, 8:25 pm.
Reporter’s voice   Details are sketchy, but after the robbery, the five suspects, posing as janitorial staff, fled Magna Technologies in a brown van. A hazmat team has been dispatched, and the warehouse district has been quarantined. We’ll keep you updated as the story unfolds. Reporting live from the warehouse district. Now back to you in the studio.
    A van pulls into Dorsey’s Department Store Warehouse and screeches to a stop. People inside are shouting to be let out. The doors burst open, and four men (including Jarod) and one women launch themselves out, coughing.
Abel   I think my lungs are on fire. I can’t breathe!
Eve   Something is very wrong here.
    [Jarod brings a box out of the van and opens it up, coughing.]
Job   Hey, what’s this?
Jarod   It’s what we stole.
    [He pulls out a frozen canister labeled, “Biohazard Soman Nerve Gas Magna.”]
Jarod   Oh, my God.
[He quickly closes the box up again.]
Job   Hey, Science Guy, you make me nervous. What is it?
Jarod   Soman nerve gas.
Eve   That stuff could kill us, couldn’t it?
Jarod   It already is.
Cain   What do you mean, is?
Jarod   Is! Is! Barring some miracle, we’re all going to be dead in less than six hours!
    Intro, credits.
    Act 1
The Centre, evening.   Miss Parker and Sydney walk through the atrium. Broots runs up to them.
Broots   Miss Parker!
Miss Parker   Good night, Broots.
Broots   That guy went postal down in SL-26, started shooting up the place.
Miss Parker   That guy?
Broots   Leonard, the clerk! The burn bag guy that knew your mother!
    [Miss Parker stares at him, then dashes for the elevators, Sydney and Broots following. They burst into the SL-26 Incineration Chamber, where a group of people is at work, two wheeling a body out on a bed. Mr. Raines is presiding. Miss Parker runs up to the body and strips back the white sheet to see Don the Sweeper. Replacing the sheet, she turns to a body on the floor. Sydney pulls aside the sheet to reveal Leonard, with a gun in his hand.]
Mr. Raines   We tried to negotiate with him. He wasn’t interested.
Miss Parker   So you traded the olive branch for an Uzi! Is that your Christian way, Raines?
Mr. Raines   He was armed and out of control. He tried to kill one of my men.
Sydney   There must have been another way.
Mr. Raines   I will not tolerate unstable behavior from Centre employees.
Miss Parker   I thought that was a job requirement.
[Raines only stares at her and turns away. Miss Parker stalks out.]
Broots! I want the surveillance footage of what just happened here, and quick.
    Scene 2
Dallas, Dorsey’s Department Store.   8:45 pm.
The thieves are stripping off their brown janitors’ uniforms.
Job   Ain’t bad enough there’s cops searching for us everywhere, now you’re telling us we got six hours to live? Well, who the hell are you to be pronouncing us dead on arrival?
Jarod   I don’t have to, Mr. Job. You can already feel it, can’t you? You all can. It’s on your skin, it’s in your lungs, and it only gets worse.
Eve   Elijah never said anything about stealing nerve gas.
Job   Poindexter here is probably talking out of his ass. I mean, us, we know each other, right? Him? Who the hell is he? For all we know he’s some out-of-work pharmacist. I think we should call Elijah.
Cain   He’s right. We were supposed to steal computer chips.
Job   Yeah, not to mention a hundred thousand each for our efforts, thank you very much! I say we call!
Jarod   [fixing a television in the warehouse]
Elijah said the target was a box. That’s all he said.
Job   What difference does it make? He owes us anyway, right? Screw it. I’m gonna call Elijah.
Cain   No! Elijah calls us! He always has, he always will.
Eve   Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not gonna just sit around here and wait to die. There must be something we can do about this Soman gas.
Jarod   It affects the chemical structure of the brain. It’s only a matter of time before our paranoia turns into psychosis.
Abel   What—what do you mean, we all go crazy?
Jarod   Exactly. It breaks down our tissues. First we’ll feel nauseous. Then the tremors, and then our internal organs will liquefy. Our insides will look something like—well, something like that.
[He points to where Abel is pouring soured, lumpy milk into a glass.]
Then your nose will start to bleed, and it just won’t—
Abel   No—stop. OK? I just—stop, alright—I can’t.
[He coughs and hacks.]
Job/td>   Look! Look, it’s Elijah’s laptop! He’s gonna help us.
Eve   And what? We wait for his call and surf the web, Mr. Job? I hear Bleedout.com has some real interesting graphics.
Job   You know, you’re really turning into one sarcastic bitch, you know that?
Eve   Ooh! You really do have issues with women! What was it, trauma with training pants, or did Mommy have Stoli with her Corn Flakes every morning?
Job   Shut up!
Eve   Or what? You wanna smack me around a little?
Jarod   OK, that’s enough. As sick as we’re going to get, we need to stick together.
[He types on the laptop.]

This is Elijah’s laptop. The question is, why hasn’t he tried to contact us?

Job   He used us as guinea pigs is why!
Abel   [to his brother Cain]
Look, are we really gonna—are we gonna die?
Cain   No, brother, we’re not gonna die, I promise you that, OK? I’m gonna take care of you. Don’t I always take care of you? Man, I don’t know about the rest of you, but me and my brother, we’re getting the hell out of here. Come on. Let’s go.
Jarod   And exactly where do you think you’re going?
Cain   [pulling a gun on him]
To a hospital!
Jarod   Use your brains, Mr. Cain, what’s left of them. The way the black-and-whites are circling around outside, you and your little brother won’t get a block before they pick you up.
Eve: Abraham’s right. Our best chance is if we stick together and wait for Elijah to contact us.
Cain   [putting his gun away]
Alright. But if things get out of hand, the last rational thought I’m gonna have is putting a .38 slug in the back of your head.
Jarod   If this gets out of hand, I will consider that a favor.
    [Job has been fiddling with the television and manages to get a fuzzy picture. A red-suited reporter stands near a news van to make her report.]
Job   Hey, I’m getting something!
Reporter   The robbery occurred in Dallas’ industrial district. Now, for unknown reasons the area’s been cordoned off, and an emergency evacuation order has gone out to clear the area of all non-emergency personnel.
Eve   Evacuation? The cops already know what we stole.
Cain   If they know, then Elijah knows.
Abel   Yeah—well, Elijah’s gonna want his stuff, so he’s gonna come down and get us out of here, right?
Job   Right, maybe he’ll send a flock of flying monkeys, moron.
Cain   Hey! Leave him alone. Now!
Job   Ease up, Tarzan.
Eve   You know, I knew I should have cut and run when I realized you thought Groundhog Day was a national holiday.
    Scene 3
Flashback to one week ago   Job sits in a booth in a restaurant with Cain, Abel, Eve, and Jarod. They are all wearing suits. A laptop with webcamera faces them.
Job   I’m not saying it’s a major holiday. It’s, you know, right up there with Secretaries Day.
Cain   Secretaries Day isn’t a national holiday either, Job.
Eve   And like you’ve ever had a secretary, anyway.
Job   I had a secretary once. And then lunch was over, we put our clothes back on, and she went back to her typing.
    [Cain and Abel laugh. Jarod and Eve do not.]
Job   Hey, speaking of secretaries, hotshot, what are you, some kind of a…entry expert?
Jarod   The name Mr. Elijah gave me is Mr. Abraham. And yes, breaking and entry is one of my specialties.
Job   I bet you robbed a girl of her virginity once. Which I find impressive.
Jarod   Well, you should. She was your sister.
    [Cain and Abel laugh.]
Job   What the hell you laughing at, half-wit? Your mama is your sister.
Cain   Hey!
Jarod   How did you people pull off twenty scores in the last three years?
Eve   I’ll tell you how. We don’t know a damn thing about each other. Rule Number 1 in the book of Mr. Elijah.
    [The laptop rings like a phone, indicating an incoming call.]
Computer   You have a video phone call.
    [Mr. Elijah pops onto the screen.]
Elijah   Good morning, campers. I assume you’ve all met and bonded with Mr. Abraham here. He’s a strong addition to our team. He’s an expert in many areas, mostly the sciences.
Job   What, like we’re mopes or something?
Elijah   It’s good to see you again, too, Job.
Cain   You know, I gotta agree with Job on this. We’ve done fine on our own, Mr. E.
Elijah   Have we? I’m putting Mr. Abraham in charge of this one.
Job   What? I gotta take orders from Science Guy here? You know, we made a lot of scratch for you in the last few years, pal. I don’t have to sit here and take this crap!
[He gets up.]
Elijah   Well, then I guess the others will have to split up your hundred thousand.
Job   [sitting back down]
We get a hundred grand each?
Elijah   It’s big. But let’s see if we can do this one without any blood on it. Deal?
    Scene 5
Dallas, Dorsey’s Warehouse.   Return to present.
Job   What deal doesn’t have blood on it?
Eve   [reading a newspaper]
Isn’t this cute?
Jarod   What is it?
    [An article reads, “Child Murdered in Robbery. Young Brittany Tate Smothered to Death in Robbery”.]
Jarod   Brittany Tate? Who’s Brittany Tate?
Eve   Last job we did? Three months ago. A kid was murdered.
Jarod   [reading]
“Brittany Tate, age nine, was smothered to death during a robbery at a Westbrook area estate. Only evidence found at the scene were a pillow used in the suffocation, a spilled bottle of perfume, and a broken music box.” Well, I guess that’s what Elijah meant when he said “one without blood.” Which one of you geniuses did her?
Job   None of us knows. Nobody’s talking.
Eve   Mr. Cain’s gone strangely silent.
Cain   So?
Eve   So, you killed that little girl.
Cain   [laughing at her]
Lady, your brains already beginning to melt.
Job   What difference does it make who did it? It’s done!
    [The laptop rings. Everyone rushes toward it.]
Computer   You have a video phone call.
Elijah   Tough evening, eh?
Job   Tough? We’ve all been exposed to nerve gas!
Elijah   Which means you’ve accomplished your mission. Well done.
Eve   You set us up! You knew what we were stealing was deadly!
Elijah   Would you have taken the assignment otherwise?
Cain   Assignment? We’re dying in here!
Jarod   One of the canisters leaked! We’ve all been exposed to the gas.
Elijah   I realized that that might be a possibility. Check the dispatcher’s office. I’ve left the materials in there for you to work a little chemistry, Abraham. Now, I’m sending a couple of my men over to pick up the canisters. They should be at your location within the next few hours. Just know the contingency plans are being implemented.
Job   Forget about contingency! What about currency?
Elijah   Patience, Job. Patience. My men are on the way.
[His image fades on the screen.]
Job   No—no—wait. Wait! Dammit!
Abel   Oh, God, he’s—he’s leaving us here to die.
Eve   Shut him up, or I will.
Cain   Elijah will not leave us high and dry, OK?
    [Jarod brings out chemistry equipment from another room.]
Job   What’s this stuff?
Jarod   Elijah left me everything I might need to create an antidote.
Job   What, you think you can save us?
Jarod   Now don’t you wish you’d been nicer to me?
Cain   Hey, how long?
Jarod   Five hours, maybe less.
Eve   How do we know you can do this?
Jarod   I was an Army medic in Desert Storm, I know a few things about chemical weapons. I’m gonna need a blood sample from each one of you.
Eve   [pulling a gun]
Hey, screw this! This guy could be a wacko for all we know! I agree with Cain. I’m gonna take my chances with the hospital.
Jarod   You won’t make it, and even if you did, they won’t have the antidote you need.
Eve   You got all the answers, don’t you? I’m out of here.
    [As she goes to the door, a sound outside is heard.]
Eve   Someone’s coming!
    [Everyone ducks down behind furniture.]
Jarod   [turning off the lights]
    [The door opens, and two cops with flashlights come in. Two others look in.]
Officer Argus   Hey, come on! Let’s get moving.
    [The police leave.]
Jarod   [turning on a lamp]
They’re gone. We’re clear.
[Holding up a syringe.]
We have to do this before it’s too late.
    Scene 6
The Centre, Broots’ tech room.   Broots, Parker, and Sydney watch a surveillance video of the SL-23 Incineration Chamber from the time Leonard found the Mirage file. Holding a gun on Don the Sweeper, Leonard dials a number on the phone on the wall. Two sweepers burst in and shoot Leonard, then Don. Raines stands outside the door watching.
Broots   Leonard didn’t kill anyone.
Sydney   My God, they just mowed them down.
Miss Parker   Rewind, Broots. Before they get shot.
[Broots rewinds so they can see Leonard dialing again.]
Who’s he calling?
Sydney   Can’t tell. The image is too small.
Broots   Maybe if I enhance the video, I can isolate his hands and match the motion.
Miss Parker   You can do that?
Broots   Well, yeah—it would take about an hour.
Miss Parker   Clock’s ticking.
    Scene 7
Dallas, Dorsey’s Warehouse.   Saturday, 10:30 pm.
Abel plays “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with one finger on a piano in the warehouse.
Abel   This song reminds me of when Mom used to sing it.
Job   [looking at the television]
The signal’s coming back.
Reporter   The latest report is that the security guard, a father of six, was found nearly strangled to death in the robbery at Magna Technologies, Ltd. His condition is considered to be life-threatening. Police are still combing the area for the suspects.
Job   Who did it? Which one of you idiots strangled the guard?
Cain   What difference does it make?
Jarod   Might make a big difference, if we survive. Question is, which one of you has the itchy trigger finger?
    Act 2
Scene 1
Dallas, Dorsey’s Warehouse   Abel is still playing the piano, badly. Jarod works on his antidote, Eve coughing nearby.
Jarod   Tell me something. What does Elijah see in that one?
[Nods at Abel.]
Eve   It’s like a horse race entry. You want Cain, you get Abel.
Abel   [coughing and disoriented]
I gotta get out of here. I gotta get out of here.
Cain   Hey, calm down!
Abel   I gotta get out of here.
Cain   Calm down. Calm down.
Abel   Please!
Cain   [struggling with him]
Calm down. Calm down.
Jarod   You know something? I thought I was a really good judge of people. I guess I was wrong.
Cain   What’s that supposed to mean?
Jarod   I thought I was working with professionals, and I find out you snuff out a little girl, now a rent-a-cop? Did you do it? What about you, Mr. Job?
Cain   [laughing shrilly]
Yeah, he’s got the guts.
Job   Oh, yeah, killing a little girl, that takes a lot of guts. Face it, you know: it coulda been any one of us.
Eve   Speak for yourself!
Abel   It wasn’t—me.
Jarod   Well, one guilty, all guilty. I’ll tell you one thing. Mr. Sparky and his twenty-two hundred volts of death—he doesn’t much care.
Eve   What about you, huh?
Cain   Yeah! You coulda popped that guard just as easy as any one of us
Job   Yeah, we all know each other. We been doing this a while. You—we don’t even know you.
Jarod   No, you don’t.
    Scene 2
Flashback to three days ago.   Jarod bends over a blueprint of Magna Technologies outside the building itself. The others gather around him in their nice suits.
Jarod   Job will access the main security panel and break the various door codes and control panels to the security cameras. Eve, Cain, and I will take the upper floor, with Eve manning the infrared thermo-sensor, and me securing the target.
Eve   You’re sure the target’s on the upper floor.
Jarod   Supposed to be. What I do know is that it’s kept in cold storage. That’s where the infrared thermo-grid comes in.
Job   What about him?
[Points to the security booth on the blueprint.]
Jarod   We walk in past the security guard.
Cain   The janitor uniforms are already set.
Job   [laughing]
Janitor? Hey! A guy like me is gonna be hard-pressed to pass for a bucket jock.
Jarod   You have a better idea, Mr. Job?
Job   Yeah, I do. I, for one, wanna know who the hell you are, Mr. Peabody.
Jarod   You know Elijah’s rule. Total anonymity. No names, no pasts, nothing.
Job   I already broke that rule.
Cain   What? What are you talking about?
Job   I swiped your glass from the coffee shop last week. I had a friend of mine run the prints. There ain’t squat on you out there. Know what I’m saying? I mean, hell, every decent criminal I know has got some kind of sheet. What’s the matter, you never broke the law before?
Jarod   I broke plenty. I’m just too damn smart, too damn good, and like my freedom too damn much to ever get caught. But you, Mr. Job, on the other hand—
Job   What’s so funny?
Jarod   Well, let’s just say I ran a little fingerprint check on you as well. Would you mind telling me exactly what determines a lewd act at a kennel?
    Scene 3
Dallas, Dorsey’s Warehouse.   Abel is still playing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with two fingers.
Eve   Hey, Simple Simon! Fini!
Job   Why is, uh, this guy so much worse than the rest of us?
Jarod   Each one of us is different. We’ll all unravel at our own genetic pace.
Job   Oh. Well, he’s definitely bringing up the rear.
    [Abel coughs and throws up on the piano.]
Job   [applauding]
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Abel and his five-piece concerto. Well, six, if you count the green bean.
Cain   [attacking Job and shoving him against a wall]
Leave him alone.
Abel   I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. Momma’s gonna be so mad.
[Tries to clean the keys with his sleeve.]
Cain   Come on. Don’t do that.
Abel   I’ve gotta clean this up. I’ve gotta clean this up.
Cain   Don’t do that!
Abel   I’ve gotta clean this up before Momma gets home! She’s gonna—
Cain   Get out of there! Mom’s dead!

[Shoving Abel away from the piano and onto the floor.]

You idiot! You stupid idiot! She’s dead! Has been for ten years! Wake up!>br />
[Clutches his head.]

I’m gonna kill the next person who says a word.

Eve   [going to Jarod]
How’s it coming already, huh?
Jarod   I’m working on it.
Eve   Yeah, well, hurry.
Jarod   You should sit down. It will slow the effects of the toxin.
Eve   Look, I, uh—I didn’t give you my blood before because I was worried.
Jarod   About what?
Eve   I’m pregnant. Four months.
Jarod   Do they know?
Eve   Yeah, sure. They’d give me a perfect little baby shower, don’t you think? So, what’s this gas gonna do to my baby?
Jarod   Airbornes—they can’t pass through a placenta. Actually, your baby’s safer than you are.
Eve   OK. You can take my blood, as long as it’s safe for the baby.
Jarod   I promise.
    Scene 4
The Centre. Broots’ tech room.   Miss Parker enters with two mugs.
Miss Parker   Got it?
Broots   Got it. But you’re not going to like it.

[He shows her the enhanced video of Leonard dialing the phone.]

He’s dialing two-seven-two-five.

Miss Parker   My extension. My God.
    [They hurry to her office. She dials her voicemail. Broots gets on her computer.]
Leonard’s message   Miss Parker, this is Leonard. I saw something I probably shouldn’t have. Something meant to be burned. Memo B4-37. Something about an email file intercepted from your computer. Miss Parker, you should see this.
[Gunshots. Leonard cries out.]
Broots   Someone broke into your computer. That’s why your email wasn’t working.
Miss Parker   Doesn’t the Centre’s system keep a—uh, duplicates of—of all incoming and outgoing emails?
Broots   Yeah, but they’re in the file allocation dump, and none of us have clearance to get in there.
Miss Parker   Get me that email, Broots. Or someone might find all of us in the dump.
    [She shoves him away toward the door, and he hurries out.]
    Scene 5
Dallas, Dorsey’s Warehouse.   Sunday, 12:15 am.
The brothers are huddled together on the floor against the wall, Jarod kneeling near them.
Abel   You know, I’m gonna die because of Mark Beyer’s bike.
Jarod   Come again?
Abel   First thing I ever stole. You know, it had this speed shift in it, this banana seat. It was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. You know, it was almost worth the cops chasing me so I could ride that thing down Arlington Hill.
Eve   Where’d Elijah recruit these two, the Boy Scouts?
Job   [finding and opening a wooden chest with painted designs in a corner]
Hey, look at this. That Brittany girl—her body was found stuffed in a toy chest just like this, wasn’t it?
Eve   What the hell is going on?
Job   I mean, the paper’s one thing, but this? This is Elijah! He’s messing with our minds!
Cain   What difference does it make? We need to keep our minds in the here and the now. Who cares what happened months ago?
Job   I agree! The here and now! Like—like how I want my hundred grand here and now! Where’s the pay, huh? Where? We did the job! We did the damn job!
    Scene 6
Flashback to Saturday, 7:45 pm.   The crew in janitors’ uniforms push cleaning supplies into Magna Technologies. The security guard waves them through. Job takes a laptop upstairs. The others go into the elevator. Job enters a room marked “Authorized personnel only,” accesses security panels. The others line up in a hallway near a security camera.
Job   [into the radio microphone at his ear]
Here we go, boys and girls. Ready to loop signal on Security Camera 1.
    [The guard notices a blip in his security feed but thinks nothing of it.]
Job   Clear.
Jarod   Go!
Job   The door code is eight-eight-six-five-six.
    [Jarod enters the code, and he and Eve enter the laboratory. The second security camera goes out.]
Job   You’re clear.
    [Eve opens a laptop attached to her infrared thermo-scanner.]
Eve   I have infrared readings. I’m getting extreme temperature drop in Room 2108.
[Nods at the door nearest them.]
That one.
Job   Security camera…clear. Security door code is six-one-six-eight-four.
    [Jarod enters Room 2108 and goes through several sets of doors.]
Job   You’re in the clean room.
    [Jarod puts contacts in.]
Job   The cold room chamber door code is two-zero-two-zero-one-eight.
    [Jarod puts his eye to an optical scanner and enters the code. He is opening the door when Cain rushes in with janitorial supplies and startles him.]
Jarod   Next time, knock.
Cain   Your limo awaits.
    [Jarod opens the door and pulls out the Soman gas canisters and puts them in a box hidden amongst the supplies.]
Cain   Job, are we clear? Job? Are we clear to come out? Job!
Jarod   Come on.
Cain   Wait! Job, are we clear?
Jarod   The hell with it! Come on!
    [They hurry out and back down the elevator, past the security booth.]
Cain   There’s no guard. Where’s the guard?
    [Job meets them.]
Job   My communication pieces shorted out. Sorry.
Eve   [grabbing his arm]
Don’t you ever leave me hanging out like that again, you understand?
    [A security alarm sounds.]
Jarod   Come on, move! Let’s get out of here! Move!
    Scene 7
Dallas, Dorsey’s Warehouse.   Everyone is very uncomfortable.
Eve   Oh, my insides are starting to boil!
    [Jarod catches her as she collapses.]
Jarod   Come on. It won’t be long now.
Eve   I don’t wanna lose my baby!
Jarod   [helping her to a seat]
You won’t. Not—not if I can help it.
Eve   Thank you. There’s not a lot of love in this room, you know?
    [Abel goes to the toy chest, opens it, and sees toys and a picture of a little girl with black hair.]
Abel   Oh, my—it’s her stuff!
[Drops the lid.]
Jarod   Whose stuff?
Abel   Brittany Tate! The dead girl’s stuff—it’s her stuff!
Job   What?
Abel   Her stuff!
Job   What are you babbling about?
[He opens the chest.]
There’s nothing in there.
Abel   [looking again]
No—no! I—I saw a doll and a pillow, a picture, music box! Listen, I smelled perfume!
Job   Guy’s starting to lose it here!
Abel   I don’t wanna die! I don’t wanna die! Not like this!
Eve   [scratching frantically]
Oh, my skin’s on fire!
Job   Come on, Science Guy! What’s taking so long?
    [The warehouse door flies open, and two cops enter with guns.]
Officer Argus   Freeze!
    [All the thieves pull guns and point them at them.]
    Act 3
Scene 1
Dallas, Dorsey’s Warehouse.   Everyone points guns at each other.
Officer Bellini   Elijah’s not going to like it if you execute his messengers.
Jarod   Elijah?
Argus   He sent us to pick up the gas.
Cain   Dirty cops as messenger boys? Typical Elijah.
Job   Hey, man, you got our money?
    [Argus pulls out an envelope and throws it on the floor. Jarod, Job, and Cain bend to reach it; Job gets it first.]
Job   What is this, a joke?
Eve   What? What is it?
Job   There’s like ten grand here.
Jarod   Hey! The deal was one hundred grand each.
Bellini   Mr. Elijah is less than satisfied with the way the job went down. He’ll be in touch. Until then, if you just give us the canisters, we’ll be on our way.
Jarod   [standing up and pointing his gun at them again]
Not for ten large.
    [The laptop rings again. Job rushes to it.]
Jarod   Get over there! Move!
[Urges the cops over to the laptop with his gun.]
Computer   You have a video phone call.
Cain   Where’s the damn money you promised us?
Elijah   It’ll be much harder to sell the gas now that it’s become such a sought-after commodity. Somebody’s going to have to pay for that, and that somebody is you people.
Job   You’re scum, you know that! I’m going to find you, pal! I will!
Elijah   Even if you knew where I was, Mr. Job, you’d never have the nerve.
Jarod   Well, maybe not him, Elijah, but you forgot about me!
[He shoots Argus in the leg, then grabs Bellini by the collar and points his gun at him.]
Now, I’m going to send your healthy messenger back for our money. If he isn’t here in two hours, the police get the canisters. Is that clear?
Elijah   Clear enough. I just hope you all live long enough.
Jarod   Oh, by the way, this now ends your broadcast day.
[Aims and shoots a hole through the laptop.]
    Scene 2
The Centre, Broots’ tech room.   A weary Parker, Broots, and Sydney are gathered around Broots’ computer as it tries to decrypt Miss Parker’s emails. Something emerges.
Broots   Wait a minute! Mirage.
[He pops open an email from Edna Raines with a video attachment.]
The email was from Edna Raines.
Miss Parker   That’s impossible. She could barely speak.
Sydney   It seems she had another moment of clarity.
Broots   That’s not all. It was Mr. Raines who stole it.
Miss Parker   How would Mr. Raines know what was in my email?
Broots   Looks like they’ve been monitoring your mailbox since last Tuesday, Miss Parker.
Sydney   Tuesday. That’s the very day Edna escaped from the institution. They must have anticipated her contacting you.
Miss Parker   What was in the email?
Broots   Well, the text field was empty, but there was a video file attached.
Miss Parker   Play it.
Broots   Huh uh. The only way to access the actual file is from the computer it was transferred to…in…Mr…Raines’…office.
Miss Parker   Then what are we waiting for?
    Scene 3
Dallas, Dorsey’s Warehouse.   Sunday, 4:15 am.
Officer Argus lies on the floor clutching his bloody knee.
Argus   I’m bleeding to death. Like any of you care. Shouldn’t have killed that little girl. That’s what made Elijah’s so angry. Now there’s the guard. Which one of you dirtbags is into suffocation, huh? [To Job.] Was it you? What happened that night?;
Job   Ah, what the hell. You’re gonna bleed to death anyway. This huge estate in Westbrook. Inside were intelligence documents. Worth a fortune. Elijah hired us to get ‘em. Whoever found them was supposed to bring them back to the van. But somebody got greedy, decided to take a little side trip into the guest house.
Eve   The caretaker’s daughter wasn’t supposed to be there.
Job   I think Cain did her.
Cain   Shut up!
Argus   All for a few extra bucks?
Cain   [stomping on Argus’ wounded leg]
Shut up! Shut your mouth!
Abel   [hallucinating]
Mark? Mark—Mark, is that you? Hey! Look, I’m really—I’m really sorry about your bike.
[Starts playing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” again.]
Eve   [sniffing]
What’s that smell? Smells—smells like perfume. Cut it out, green bean!
[Cocks her gun against Abel’s back.]
I don’t want to hear that song again! Oh, go ahead. Play it again, Sam, just one more stinking time, I dare you.
[Abel hurries away from the piano.]
What is that smell? Is that the antidote?
Jarod   No. It’s Champs de Nuit.
[He sits at the piano and begins playing Debussy’s “Clair de la Lune,” speaking somewhat manically as he plays.]
My mother wore it. I could smell it when she tucked me in bed at night.
[He half laughs, half sobs.]
Maybe that’s a lie. Because I can barely remember even if I had a mother. The ingredients in perfume, they’re known as notes, did you know that? The perfumer, he acts as composer. Now me, I always went for the heart. Some people, they could only smell the top notes. I went deeper, searched for the soul. Perfume. Sparkling citrus notes like lemon! Dark, resonant notes like balsam.
    [Cain, annoyed, strikes a lamp, and it flies into the television, jarring it into working again.]
Reporter   And the medical report just handed to me states that the Magna Technologies, Ltd., security guard has died from injuries sustained during the robbery.
    [Cain shoves the television off its table and breaks it.]
Eve   Well, that was smart.
Cain   He’s dead! Didn’t you hear that? He’s dead!
Jarod   He ain’t the only one.
[Takes a sheet and lays it over Officer Argus.]
Eve   Great. That’s one more corpse on our hands.
Cain   [putting his hand to his nose]

Oh, my God. I’m bleeding. Oh, my God. You’ve gotta finish the stuff. I’m gonna die—you’ve got to finish that stuff!
[Grabs Jarod.]

Jarod   I’ll finish it!
Cain   You’ve got to finish it!
Jarod   [tearing away]
Let go of me!
    [Abel goes to the toy chest and opens it again. It is empty except for the picture of the black-haired little girl.]
Abel   Oh my. Look at that—it’s her—it’s the dead kid!
Job   [snatching the picture]
So what? That’s her! So what? She’s dead! Just like we’re gonna be!
Abel   I didn’t kill her.
Job   I didn’t say you did!
Eve   [taking the picture and staring at it]
That’s not even her picture.
Abel   I didn’t kill her!
    [Jarod picks up five filled syringes and drops one on the floor. It shatters.]
Jarod   Oh, dammit! Now there’s only enough antidote for four of us.
Eve   So what does that mean?
Jarod   I guess that means that one of us is going to die. The question is, who?
    Act 4
Scene 1
Dallas, Dorsey’s Warehouse   The thieves gather around Jarod and his antidote. Everyone is shivering, itching, and becoming delusional.
Eve   So how do we decide who gets the antidote?
Jarod   We’ll leave out the one who killed Brittany Tate.
Job   The only problem is we don’t know who the killer is.
Jarod   No, we do.
Cain   What are you talking about?
Jarod   Process of elimination. I mean, it couldn’t have been me because I wasn’t there, right?
Cain   I didn’t kill her. I swear, I didn’t kill her, I didn’t kill her!
Jarod   Well, I know you didn’t. [Gives him a syringe of antidote.]

And I know you didn’t. [Gives one to Abel.]
And I know you didn’t. [Gives one to Job.]

Eve   What’s going on? Give me the antidote!
Jarod   You don’t deserve it.
Eve   Wh—why?
Jarod   Because…
[He stops being sick and drops the persona.]
You killed Brittany Tate.
Eve   Mr. Abraham, I don’t know what you think you know, but you’re wrong.
Jarod   Am I? For starters, you’re not really pregnant, are you? That was just a fabrication so no one would believe you could ever possibly murder a child. And I checked your blood for the pregnancy hormone HCG. [Makes a buzzer sound.] Thanks for playing.
Eve   The gas is making you crazy.
Jarod   The most convincing evidence is Brittany herself. No one saw her that night except for the killer. Her picture wasn’t in the papers, it wasn’t on the news. You were the only one who recognized that photograph as a fake, because you remember what she looked like the night you killed her!
    [Eve pulls a gun and aims it at him. Jarod pulls his and aims it back. Everyone pulls their own and aims at everyone else.]
Cain   Woah! Hey! Put your gun down! Put your gun down!
Job   Look, if she killed the kid, then she’s the ticket to our money from Elijah.
Eve   You shoot me, I take at least two of you with me. Starting with little brother.
[She rubs her nose and stares at her hand.]
Jarod   Uh oh. Bloody nose. You know what that means. You tell me the truth, I’ll give you half my dose. The disintegration of your internal organs, the complete meltdown of your psyche—it isn’t pretty.
Eve   The little girl wasn’t supposed to be there.
Jarod   Well, she was there! And you killed her in cold blood just to assure her silence!
Eve   I can’t breathe!
Jarod   It doesn’t have to be this way. Just tell me the truth, and I’ll give this to you.
Eve   Yes! I killed her! I killed her! Now give it to me!
    [Jarod holds it out and deliberately drops it on the floor, where it shatters.]
Jarod   Whoops.
    [Eve screams in anger and shoots him, starting everyone else shooting at everyone else. Nothing happens, and they stare at their guns.]
Cain   Blanks.
Jarod   Yes. Uh, except for mine.
[Turns and shoots at his chemistry equipment, which shatters.]
Oh, and his.
[Gestures at Officer Argus, who pushes aside the sheet and gets up, gun in hand.]
Argus   I thought you’d never end this. I almost sneezed.
Eve   What the hell’s going on?
Jarod   I’m not exactly who I pretend to be. I’m an agent with the Texas Bureau of Investigation. I purposefully exposed you all to find out who killed Brittany Tate.
Cain   But you were going to get killed by the gas, too.
Jarod   There was no Soman gas. It was just a twelve hour intestinal virus, with a little kicker to weaken the sinus cavity and constrict breathing. Not to mention a mild herbal hallucinogen. It’s completely harmless.
    [The brick wall behind Eve suddenly opens up, revealing a large room with the reporter in red standing in front of the news van, Elijah sitting at a desk wearing handcuffs with two policemen behind him, the parents of Brittany Tate, and a group of FBI agents with computer equipment.]
Eve   I—I don’t understand. The reporter—the cops!
Argus   It was all a hoax. Mr. Elijah cut a little deal to help us and to shorten his stay in prison.
    [Jarod shoves the toy chest up behind her, opens it. It has the toys in it.]
Jarod   Now you see them.
[Closes it and opens it to reveal it empty.]
Now you don’t. These were all the last things that Brittany saw before you killed her.
Eve   None of this was real?
Jarod   Nothing. Except your confession. And that’s a lifetime of real.
    Scene 2
The Centre, Mr. Raines’ office.   Miss Parker, Sydney, and Broots gather around Mr. Raines’ computer.
Broots   I’m into Raines’ hard drive. There’s the email. But the video attachment’s been deleted.
Miss Parker   Dammit.
Broots   Hang on. Deleting emails is sort of like losing your car keys. They’re not gone, just lost. Faint magnetic traces of the original could still linger where they were stored. I just have to link all the pieces. There! I got it! It’s Edna Raines! She sure doesn’t look crazy there.
Miss Parker   Maybe she’s not. Play it quickly.
    [Broots plays the video.]
Edna Raines   Miss Parker, I need to talk to you. It’s time that you learned everything about your mother and Mirage. Please answer this message as soon as possible, and I’ll send you the where and when. It could be a matter of life and death.
Miss Parker   For Leonard it already is. Let’s just hope it’s not too late for the rest of us.
    Scene 3
Dallas, outside Dorsey’s Warehouse, early morning.   The thieves are being taken away in handcuffs. Officer Argus in an FBI jacket talks to Jarod.
Argus   If anyone finds out how we pulled this off, some heads are gonna roll, starting with mine.
Jarod   We caught a baby-killer, didn’t we?
Argus   Right.
[Shakes Jarod’s hand.]
I’ll see you back at the office. We’ll book these animals.
Jarod   Uh, don’t wait for me.
Argus   You have other business?
Jarod   Family business.
    [Argus pats him on the shoulder and gets into his car. Jarod pulls the music box out of his pocket and opens it. It plays Debussy’s “Clair de la Lune.” He imagines blonde Brittany Tate listening to it and dancing around the bedroom in the guesthouse. He turns and walks away to the haunting strains of “Clair de la Lune.”]

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