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Case Number A713N

By: Robert Code

Page 1, An interrogation scene between a detective and an unidentified \"criminal\".

 

 
                              BERT
 
          Okay, case number A713N. (turns on recorder) Please state
          your name.
 
                              JOHN
 
          I do not have one.
 
                              BERT
 
          You don't have one?
 
                              JOHN
 
          No.
 
                              BERT
 
          You don't have a name?
 
                              JOHN
 
          No.
 
                              BERT
 
          No identity at all?
 
                              JOHN
 
          None.
 
                              BERT
 
          Goddammit. Okay, fine. I'm going to call you John. When I
          say "John", you respond. Is that clear?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Yes.
 
                              BERT
 
          Good. Okay, John. Can you tell me why you were in the
          Youngstown Public Library after hours this evening?
 
                              JOHN
 
          I was reading.
 
                              BERT
 
          Okay... John. Do you not understand the concept of hours of
          operation?
 
                              JOHN
 
          I do.
 
                              BERT
 
          You do? Well, that seems a little strange to me, seeing as
          how you broke into city property and proceeded to vandalize
          the facility.
 
                              JOHN
 
          I did not vandalize anything. I was merely trying to acquire
          your attention, and seeing as how our time is limited, I did
          not want to wait.
 
                              BERT
 
          Well, you have my attention, John. And what exactly do you
          mean "our time is limited"?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Precisely what I said. We are running out of time.
 
                              BERT
 
          I don't... John. Are you making some sort of a threat?
 
                              JOHN
 
          A promise, rather.
 
                              BERT
 
          A promise? John, what exactly are you "promising" me?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Nothing. It's a promise to all of you.
 
                              BERT
 
          All of who? Are you making a threat to YPD? That, sir is a
          felony offense.
 
                              JOHN
 
          No. I'm making a promise to your planet.
 
                              BERT
 
          My planet? Ah, shit. (picks up recorder) case number A713N
          is mentally unstable, no further questioning necessary
          (turns off recorder).
 
                              JOHN
 
          Are we alone?
 
                              BERT
 
          Pardon?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Are we alone?
 
                              BERT
 
          Yeah. Why you ask?
 
                              JOHN
 
          No one is monitoring our conversation?
 
                              BERT
 
          No. Trust me, it's no longer necessary.
 
                              JOHN
 
          Good. I have something to tell you. Something you will want
          to hear.
 
                              BERT
 
          Look, John - nothing you can say is going to help. We're
          done here.
 
                              JOHN
 
          Then what is the harm?
 
                              BERT
 
          Okay, fine. (picks up recorder, tries to turn it on). This,
          piece of shit. Battery must be dead.
 
                              JOHN
 
          It isn't. I have disabled the device.
 
                              BERT
 
          Excuse me?
 
                              JOHN
 
          I have disabled it using telekinesis.
 
                              BERT
 
          Okay, John - with all due respect you're a few screws short
          of a toolbox and I've got better things to do then... AHHH!
          (feels electric shock from recorder) What the fuck is wrong
          with this thing?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Do you believe me now?
 
                              BERT
 
          (Long pause, stare) What the.... did you do that?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Perhaps. Have I your attention now?
 
                              BERT
 
          Yeah. Full.
 
                              JOHN
 
          Splendid. Detective Ferguson, I regret to inform you that
          your entire planet is scheduled to be decimated at
          approximately 6:33 a.m. eastern standard time.
 
                              BERT
 
          (Long pause, stare) Wow.... woooooow... well, thank GOODNESS
          you told me! I'm so glad that we picked you up! Looks like I
          saved the planet! All in a days work, right?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Detective...
 
                              BERT
 
          Listen, John. I don't know what kind of shit you're on, but
          you need to clean up your life.
 
                              JOHN
 
          Detective...
 
                              BERT
 
          No, I'm serious. You seem like an articulate guy. Your brain
          is going to be silly putty - if it already isn't - if you
          keep this shit up.
 
                              JOHN
 
          Detective.
 
                              BERT
 
          LET ME FINISH. I've got much more important things to do
          than listen to some whacked out junky tell me about the end
          of the world, so shut up and wait here until someone picks
          you up (gets up to leave).
 
                              JOHN
 
          Wouldn't you want to save Charlie?
 
                              BERT
 
          (Pauses) What did you say?
 
                              JOHN
 
          I said, wouldn't you want to save Charlie?
 
                              BERT
 
          How the fuck do you know my son's name?
 
                              JOHN
 
          I know a lot more than you would give me credit for,
          detective.
 
                              BERT
 
          Shut up. How do you know his name?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Detective...
 
                              BERT
 
          (Gets up in John's face) I SAID, HOW DO YOU KNOW HIS NAME?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Bert, may I call you Bert?
 
                              BERT
 
          What?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Your first name, may I refer to you by your first name?
 
                              BERT
 
          Sure. Answer my question.
 
                              JOHN
 
          I will. Please, stand back - you are making me
          uncomfortable. There.
 
                              BERT
 
          (Sits back down) How do you know my son's name?
 
                              JOHN
 
          I know everything about you, Detective Bert Ferguson, age
          45, weight 190 pounds, height 5 foot 10 inches. I know that
          your wife tragically passed due to a 2 and a half year bout
          with cancer. I know that you are a recovering alcoholic
          because you blame yourself for not being there when her
          lungs collapsed, and I know that your son Charlie is the
          most important thing in the world to you.
 
                              BERT
 
          (Stares, horrified) Who are you?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Let us say, I am not of your world.
 
                              BERT
 
          (Scoffs) John, this isn't funny. I'm going to ask you one
          more time. Who...
 
                              JOHN
 
          Is it so unbelievable?
 
                              BERT
 
          What?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Is it so unbelievable that perhaps your world isn't the only
          one out there?
 
                              BERT
 
          I mean...
 
                              JOHN
 
          Is it so unbelievable that - as many of your people suspect
          - that you are in fact being watched?
 
                              BERT
 
          I, uh...
 
                              JOHN
 
          I am here to warn you.
 
                              BERT
 
          Why?
 
                              JOHN
 
          I was sent here 250 years ago to observe your species. I
          took form as one of your own and have been cataloguing data
          for my people since.
 
                              BERT
 
          Cataloguing? What, like a... like a scientist?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Precisely.
 
                              BERT
 
          (Pulls out flask and takes a drink) Well... why are we going
          to be killed off?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Because you present a threat to our kind.
 
                              BERT
 
          Wait... what?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Your people are a vicious, warring kind that seek nothing
          but self-indulgence and power. I have watched your kind kill
          off innocent animal species, men, women, and children.
 
                              BERT
 
          I guess we are a pretty shitty kind. (Takes a drink) So why
          are warning me?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Because. Much like your scientists have made error in
          observation, I too have made a mistake.
 
                              BERT
 
          So you're not perfect?
 
                              JOHN
 
          No. And neither are you. But you... you in particular. You
          show sincere compassion.
 
                              BERT
 
          Me?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Yes, you. I have been studying you extensively for the past
          2 decades and you have presented evidence that regardless of
          circumstance, you can still provide compassion for those
          that need it most.
 
                              BERT
 
          Mom always said that I had a big heart.
 
                              JOHN
 
          I'm sorry?
 
                              BERT
 
          Have you never heard that expression before?
 
                              JOHN
 
          I'm afraid I haven't.
 
                              BERT
 
          A big heart. Y'know, like... someone who likes to spread
          love.
 
                              JOHN
 
          I'm afraid I'm confused by your incorrect anatomical linkage
          between emotional expression and cardiovascular functioning.
 
                              BERT
 
          What the fuck ever. So, is there anything I can do to stop
          this? By the clock's standard, we've got about half an hour
          before we're outta here.
 
                              JOHN
 
          There is nothing you can do.
 
                              BERT
 
          Well then, with all due respect, I've got a son to kiss
          goodbye.
 
                              JOHN
 
          There is one thing.
 
                              BERT
 
          What?
 
                              JOHN
 
          We share many similar traits, Bert. I too lost my wife,
          almost a century ago due to illness. And my daughter was
          vaporized when she tried to stand up for me prior to my
          deployment to your planet.
 
                              BERT
 
          Holy shit. Why?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Because this is in fact a suicide mission.
 
                              BERT
 
          You mean, you're not getting out of here alive either?
 
                              JOHN
 
          I'm afraid not. My government finds me expendable.
 
                              BERT
 
          Well, how can we stop this from happening?
 
                              JOHN
 
          I have made the necessary arrangements. I will be vaporized
          as a sacrifice for your kind.
 
                              BERT
 
          Wait, what?
 
                              JOHN
 
          After investing nearly infinite resources for my mission
          over these years, my government sees it fit to destroy
          someone or something to make a statement to our people.
 
                              BERT
 
          So you're just going to take a bullet for a planet full of
          people that you don't know?
 
                              JOHN
 
          No. I'm going to take a bullet for you, Bert.
 
                              BERT
 
          For me? Why?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Because you've just showed me what I have been searching for
          for over 200 years.
 
                              BERT
 
          What?
 
                              JOHN
 
          Unbridled curiosity and trust in the unknown.
 
                              BERT
 
          That doesn't make any sense at all (lights black out, then
          flicker back on revealing Bert alone in the interrogation
          room). What the... ? (He stands, looking around, confused.
          He looks down at the table, picks up the voice recorder,
          presses rewind, and deletes the sound file).

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