redefining spirituality and opening to non-limitation

Archive for the ‘suspense’ Category

"The Awakening Of Ellington Webb" by Bradley Rand Smith

awakening; artist unknown, though hopefully not for long
FADE IN:

EXT. SUBURBAN HOME – NIGHT
Flames can be seen growing behind the windows on the first floor of a very modest home, when the front door opens and a FOURTEEN YEAR WILLIAM runs out of the burning house with his still-sleeping TWELVE YEAR OLD BROTHER ELLINGTON wrapped in a blanket. He carries his brother across the street and lays him on the grass.
YOUNG ELLINGTON
What’s happening! Where’s Mom?! Dad?!
YOUNG WILLIAM
Shhhhhhh. It’s all right. I promise. Shhhhhhhhh.
ON SCREEN: “FORTY YEARS LATER”
INT. HOTEL BALLROOM – MANHATTAN – DAY
The enormous room is filled with rows of banquet tables set for a meeting of 2,500 majority shareholders of Webb International, the fourth largest corporation in the world.
Center of the table is the multi-billionaire founder, C.E.O. and majority stockholder of Webb International, ELLINGTON WEBB. 52, smart, powerful, aggressive, driven and charismatic, Ellington is also hard and cold.
ELLINGTON
Before I pass you along to Executive Vice President Martin Andrews to do the real work, I’d like to offer my personal thanks to each of you for your faith and support during all of our trials and triumphs this past year. Thank you again, and I look forward to an even better year ahead. Thank you.
He waves to the enthusiastic shareholders who spontaneously give him a standing ovation, as does the Board.
EXT. FEDERAL COURT BUILDING – MANHATTAN – DAY
INT. COURT ON TARIFFS AND TAXATION
An audience area is partially filled with well-dressed businessmen and international business reporters. Lawyers are seated before the bench.
At the front of the room sit two male judges and one female judge. A half dozen court transcribers, assistants and translators are seated on the perimeter.
ROBERTS MARSHALL
And as this court can plainly see, both Webb Industries and the Webb Company, Ltd. have systematically engaged in blatant and egregious violations of both the Stockholm Copyright Treaties and the Atlantic Alliance Protocols, in a blatant theft of protected Konig International programs and the Anderson Group technologies.  
Ellington is seated in the back row. Seated beside him is his personal assistant, MARCUS JENNINGS, 35; aggressive and dedicated and not without personal ambition.
ROBERTS MARSHALL (CONT’D)
We ask the court to instruct the defendants to honor their commitments and to grant to the aggrieved parties the penalties and restitution requested.
Marshall sits as PARKER YATES, 49, the equally imposing Lead Council for Webb International, stands.
Ellington stands, taking an overcoat and briefcase with him, exiting the courtroom, followed by Marcus.
OUTER CORRIDOR
MARCUS
So, what do you think?
ELLINGTON
I think I’m going to get screwed. As soon as the “Wall Street Journal” had the leak, I should have closed shop on the deal. Let’s get out of here.
EXT. WEBB INTERNATIONAL BUILDING – MADISON & 42ND STREET – DAY
A sleek building towering sixty stories into the sky.
INT. ELLINGTON’S PENTHOUSE OUTER OFFICE
The enormous, elegant suite is filled with a half dozen Webb International executive secretaries, male and female, organizing files on tables or speaking on cell phones or quietly looking over business papers.
Marcus enters.
MARCUS
All right, folks. We should have an initial ruling sometime on Thursday; if it goes our way, we’re back on track. If not, of course, we’ll appeal, but we’ll still have to get all the offices to pull the entire Konig databases and programs from the system. At this point, Mr. Webb  would just as soon as drop the entire venture rather than get stuck in a hundred more lawsuits.
SECRETARY
What about Nigeria? I’ve been holding off Dembe for three days.
MARCUS
Dembe’s got no other choice. He’ll wait as long as we want him to. The teleconference with the Board is still on so have every department online with their final year-end reports.
Marcus re-enters the private office.
INNER OFFICE
The walls of Ellington’s private office are decorated with dozens of framed photos, i.e.: Ellington with all of the last five Presidents as well as leaders of many foreign capitols such as Gorbachev and Thatcher and Deng. Ellington on the covers of numerous magazines such as “Time,” “Newsweek,” “People,” “Vanity Fair,” “Forbes,” “Barrons,” “Fortune,” “Wired,” and even “Rolling Stone.”
Ellington is staring out over the cityscape of Manhattan. Marcus walks behind him and sits on a couch in front of a table, on which is an open laptop and scattered business papers.
MARCUS
You’re all set with Sir Rodney at the Cambridge office on Wednesday, then back to New York on Thursday. At the teleconference, do you want to begin with the Randall issue, or wait until the end?
ELLINGTON
I’ll wait.
MARCUS
I think we should get him out now, before the quarterlies come in. He’ll just use the adjusted stock price to back his position that you should never have put those earnings into R.& D. You know he’s as much as been sleeping with Andrews; and Lawrence has wanted you out for the last six months.
ELLINGTON
I told him that Senator Holden was going to begin an inquiry into the Merchant’s Bank collapse back in ’89, when Randall was chief officer. There’s nothing there, but it would kill any chance he had at the Board. And just in case, I have hotel receipts for Randall and a guest who happened to not be his wife.
MARCUS
Good old fashioned blackmail. Then we’re back in business.
INT. ELLINGTON’S PARK AVENUE APARTMENT – THAT NIGHT
Ellington is seated at his desk, at a computer keyboard. After a moment LINDA MATTHEWS enters. She is 38, beautiful, intelligent and driven, as well as highly sexual.
LINDA
It’s good to be back. I hated Atlanta. About finished?
ELLINGTON
Just finishing some notes for the Board.
LINDA
About the court loss?
ELLINGTON
And the drop in the stock price. Ten years ago everyone was running scared because the Japanese were investing money without an expected return for five hundred years. I put one quarters’ worth into research and I’m being reckless with stockholder’s money. The greedy s.o.b.’s. It’s a good thing you and I don’t like money.
She kisses him. He responds and soon she is in his lap and he is unbuttoning her blouse.
INT. MASTER BEDROOM – LATE NIGHT
Ellington is asleep in the large bed, perspiration glistening on his forehead, his expression twisted with anxiety, Linda asleep beside him.
Ellington’s pounding heart slows, his expression relaxing as he lays back against the pillows, his eyes staring at the ceiling in bewilderment.
INT. ELLINGTON’S PRIVATE OFFICE – THE NEXT MORNING
Ellington is seated at his desk as he reads “The Wall Street Journal”. Marcus enters.
MARCUS
Morning. Your plane leaves at two-thirty; the car’ll pick you up at one-forty-five.
Marcus drops some papers on Ellington’s desk.
MARCUS (CONT’D)
Your London itinerary. What’s wrong?
ELLINGTON
I think Linda’s having an affair.
MARCUS
Are you sure?
ELLINGTON
I can’t explain it, but I woke up this morning just knowing. I don’t know with whom or for how long. I don’t even know how I know. Get that detective company that helped us out with the Bluestone situation; see if they can find out anything.
INT. TRAVELLING PRIVATE JET – OVER THE ATLANTIC – DAY
Ellington is seated in a plush recliner as he stares out the window. He wipes some perspiration from his forehead, looking at it curiously.
Marcus enters and hands some faxes to Ellington then sits in a chair opposite.
MARCUS
Looks like Lawrence is still pushing for the Board meeting.
Funny how Randall suddenly came down with the flu and couldn’t make the teleconference.
(beat)
Are you all right? You look pale.
Ellington stands.
ELLINGTON
I’m going back and lay down.
INT. BEDROOM CABIN – TRAVELLING JET – LATER
Ellington is asleep in the bed.
EXT. RUGGED COASTLINE – SAME TIME
Ellington, dressed as he was on the jet, is standing at the edge of a cliff overlooking a magnificent, calm, luminous sea. The vivid blue sky above is cloudless — but at the horizon, where the moon should be, is AN ENORMOUS PLANET SURROUNDED BY BEAUTIFULLY COLORED RINGS.
A startled Ellington turns to the tall pine trees surrounding him and to the green meadow behind. At the top of the meadow is a Japanese-style pagoda, wind chimes ringing in the warm breeze.
Ellington walks up the meadow toward the pagoda, an older man in a suit and purple vest waiting for him.
INT. HOTEL SUITE – LONDON – NEXT DAY
Ellington is lying in bed. A NURSE is seated in a chair as she reads from a magazine. Ellington’s eyes open as he looks around himself, confused.
ELLINGTON
What’s going on?
NURSE
You’ve been unconscious; you’ve had a fever.
ELLINGTON
But I don’t remember…
Marcus enters the bedroom.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
What the hell’s going on? I don’t remember anything.
NURSE
I’ll let the doctor know.
She stands an exits.
MARCUS
You went back to rest on the jet and I couldn’t wake you when we landed. Took you to the emergency room. You had a fever of a hundred and two. You were hallucinating. Had us all pretty scared. Then the fever broke. Doctor’s couldn’t find anything wrong. Cancelled all your meetings. Linda wanted to come over, but I told her you were much better.
ELLINGTON
How long have I been out?
MARCUS
Twenty-six hours.
EXT. HOTEL ROOM BALCONY – LATER
Ellington looking out over the city of London. Marcus enters.
MARCUS
You look good.
ELLINGTON
I feel great. Whatever happened to me on the jet, I’d sure like to be able to sell it. I feel focused; alert; I’d even swear that my memory’s improved.
Marcus heads for some papers on a nearby table.
MARCUS
When you do discover it — after you’ve made a billion dollars off it — I’ll try some too. Now. Regarding re-scheduling with Sir Rodney.
ELLINGTON
I think I’ll head home. Call and make my apologies.
MARCUS
I don’t understand. You don’t want to meet with Sir Rodney? Have you changed your mind about the deal? You did come all this way. If he’s really interested in selling, I don’t know how this will look?
ELLINGTON
It’ll look any damn way I want it to look. I’m going for a walk.
He exits.
EXT. BOTANICAL GARDENS – LONDON – DAY
Ellington is sitting on a bench off the side of a narrow path winding through lavish gardens in full bloom.
BRITISH GENTLEMAN (O.S.)
Listen to that, birds, finches —
Ellington turns a man in his 60’s, dignified, elegant, standing at the end of the bench. Under his suit coat is a vivid purple vest.
BRITISH GENTLEMAN (CONT’D)
— a jay; children laughing, playing; a parent calling out for her boy; bees, crickets, cicadas; the breeze through the trees and the smells! Wonderful! Did you know that they can run mice through a maze in Holland and mice in, say, Australia learn the same maze twice as fast. The more mice that run the maze, the more mice that learn it — and faster — everywhere in the world. You see, we’re all connected. We’ve just forgotten.
Ellington makes a move to leave.
BRITISH GENTLEMAN (CONT’D)
It gives some credence, I think, to the ancient Hebrew saying that to save one person is to save the world.
Ellington stands.
BRITISH GENTLEMAN (CONT’D)
You’ll meet a woman named Miranda. She might be able to help.
The Gentleman turns down the walk and out of sight.
EXT. THE UNITED NATIONS – NEW YORK – DAY
A towering building abutting the East River with an open plaza in front.
INT. U.N AUDITORIUM – LATER
The packed auditorium is silent as all eyes focus on Ellington standing behind the podium on the stage before them.
ELLINGTON
In conclusion, a future that is moving steadily toward the empowerment of the individual without the historic barriers of geography, language and culture will still require strong, visionary leadership from the world’s corporate structures. We must be there to help shepherd those who fall behind or none of us will move forward. Thank you.
He steps from the podium as the audience applauds dutifully if not enthusiastically, some foreign members throwing their arms up in disgust.
CORRIDOR 
Ellington is shaking hands with several audience members. Marcus comes up beside him.
MARCUS
Coniff hasn’t gotten back on lunch tomorrow yet and you have your three o’clock with Secretary General Delogos and the teleconference at five.
ELLINGTON
Make sure Jessup’s on with us, and I want some completion figures on the Asaba waterworks; the World Bank’s on my back.
A French reporter, DONAT, comes up to them, holding a small tape recorder in his hand, which he extends to Ellington.
DONAT
Mr. Webb, could I please get a comment from you on the “Bluestone Documents” collected by your then Senior Vice President Rolland Bluestone and the implication that you were aware back in 1992 of the copyright conflicts with Konig’s DataCom?
ELLINGTON
The Federal Court has the facts; they’ll decide the merits.
DONAT
How did his subsequent suicide effect you?
MARCUS
Mr. Webb has categorically stated from the very beginning that he knew nothing of the programming content of the database.
DONAT
That seems hard to believe, considering —
MARCUS
We’re not giving any interviews in a hallway.
Ellington turns down the corridor as Donat ‘clicks’ off his recorder and watches them recede. Marcus follows.
SECOND CORRIDOR
The corridor is filled with well-dressed Easter Europeans. Ellington and Marcus both become aware of a commotion off to one side. Several security guards are trying to separate one group of Eastern Europeans from another group of shouting, well-dressed Eastern Europeans.
MARCUS
Still picking a fight.
Ellington’s attention is captured by a striking-looking, dark-haired, obviously no-nonsense woman in her late thirties named MIRANDA KILEY, who is also trying to separate the angry groups, a fist thrusting out and knocking her to the floor.
Miranda quickly regains herself and immediately runs to an Eastern European woman in her 50’s, TRESA, who has collapsed to the floor in tears, pointing her trembling finger at an Eastern European man and wailing horribly.
Miranda embraces the woman and tries to comfort her.
Miranda glances up and across the hallway, making sudden — and unexpectedly intense — eye contact with Ellington, then turning away.
MARCUS (CONT’D)
What a mess. Should stay in their own damned country.
Ellington continues to stare at Miranda.
ELLINGTON
That woman, the one that’s helping the older woman.
Marcus looks.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
Find out who she is.
MARCUS
Why?
Ellington watches as Miranda helps Tresa into a nearby room, the door closing behind.
ELLINGTON
I think I may know her.
MARCUS
Let’s go before a riot breaks out.
INT. MIRANDA’S APT. BEDROOM – SOHO – NEW YORK – THAT NIGHT
Miranda is asleep in bed, tossing and turning.
EXT. SURREAL PARK – SAME TIME/DAY
Miranda is standing on a cobblestone path at the edge of AN UNBELIEVABLY LARGE PARK; grass, trees and flowers extending as far as the eye can see. Other pathways bisect the park as  MEN, WOMEN and CHILDREN go about riding bikes, playing ball and talking among themselves on park benches. In the distance is the silhouette of A MAGNIFICENT CITY OF GLASS.
Miranda is staring at the scene before her, her eyes wide in amazement, her mouth and eyes gleaming with giddy happiness. She extends her hands in front of her and looks at them. She touches them to her face.
MIRANDA
My god…I’m real…I can feel myself — The wind, it’s warm and I can smell flowers — lilacs! Roses! This place is real…But I know I’m asleep…But I’m awake…
The British Gentleman in the purple vest comes up to her.
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
Miranda. You’ll be leaving soon, but this time you won’t forget.
MIRANDA
Where am I? I don’t understand how this place can seem so real. I mean, I know this is a dream. How I can talk to you like this?
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
Talk to your father.
He kisses Miranda gently on the cheek, smiles then walks past. Miranda starts to follow him.
MIRANDA
Wait —
INT. MIRANDA’S BEDROOM
Miranda sits up in bed, her hand extended as she calls out:
MIRANDA
Wait —
She opens her eyes to the dark room around her. She touches herself and the bed.
MIRANDA (CONT’D)
…I can still smell the flowers, roses, lilac — and the warmth. Where was I?
INT. ELLINGTON’S PENTHOUSE INNER OFFICE – NEXT DAY
Ellington is seated on a couch in the middle of the office, focused intently on a business letter. Marcus is seated at a small desk, speaking on the phone.
MARCUS
“Barrons” and “The Journal” have both got it wrong; Sir Rodney and Webb Communications are still very much involved — Well, then ask that question at the press conference.
He hangs up. SARAH, Ellington’s secretary, enters.
SARAH
Excuse me, Mr. Webb, but —
ELLINGTON
Tell Michael I’ll call him back.
SARAH
…Yes, Sir.
She closes the door.
MARCUS
How’d you know it was Michael?
ELLINGTON
What?
MARCUS
Just now. How’d you know it was Michael on the phone?
ELLINGTON
I just guessed, I guess.
Ellington stands and extends the letter to Marcus who stands and takes it.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
I can’t move on anything with Dembe until the World Bank decides if they’re going to fund the dam or not. Be diplomatic as only you can be.
Ellington looks at his watch.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
I wish I could get out of this damned press conference. Hell, they all know more about what’s going on with my business than I do.
Marcus takes up a fax from a stack of papers.
MARCUS
Uh oh. Looks like Dr. Pendelton at Vortex Pharmaceuticals has gotten himself new lawyers: McBride and Winston. They’re going to file a class action suit over our pricing over the last fifteen years of Thydoroid.
Marcus hands him the fax, Ellington.
MARCUS (CONT’D)
If Dr. Pendelton’s got McBride and Winston behind him; they’ve got very deep pockets. We may not be able to keep Texas University’s research findings out of the public eye any longer.
ELLINGTON
Damn-it. Vortex Pharmaceuticals is becoming our number three cash cow.
MARCUS
How do you want to handle it?
ELLINGTON
See if we can buy off Dr. Pendelton. He does have fifteen years of legal bills.
MARCUS
We could tell a version of the truth; fall back on ‘our research — at the time — was better than their research.’
ELLINGTON
And tell that to the fifty million Thydoroid users when they discover they shelled out seven hundred million more than they had to for the chance at maybe staying alive another six months.
MARCUS
This kind of a lawsuit could scare off Sir Rodney.
Marcus hands a paper to Ellington.
MARCUS (CONT’D)
Oh. This is what Piper at Kinsington Detective Agency found out about the woman at the U.N.
Ellington takes the paper.
ELLINGTON
Miranda Kiley.
MARCUS
You do know her?
ELLINGTON
No. But a man in London. He mentioned the name to me, out of the blue. And it’s an unusual name to hear twice in one week. Single; no kids.
MARCUS
With the International Red Cross. Got her Ph.D. in Political Science. Liberal Democrat down the line. She’s even a member of Greenpeace, for crissakes. Phone and address is on the other side. Would you like me to contact her?
ELLINGTON
No.
MARCUS
Give her a call. What can it hurt? Linda doesn’t have to know.
ELLINGTON
I didn’t ask your opinion.
Ellington exits with the paper in hand.
EXT. THE MEADOWS CONVALESCENT HOME – WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK – MORNING
A colonial-style building surrounded by manicured gardens.
INT. CORRIDOR
Miranda stops at an open doorway and knocks.
BEDROOM
A single bed sets in the hospital-like room beside an open window. A withered, frail man in his eighties, DELL KILEY, Miranda’s father, is propped-up in the bed as he looks out the window. He has an antibiotic I.V. feeding into him on one side and a nourishment I.V. feeding into him on the other.
MIRANDA
Hi, Dad.
Miranda goes to him kisses him on the cheek.
MIRANDA (CONT’D)
How’re you doing?
DELL KILEY
You should have called. I’d have cleaned-up.
She pulls up a nearby chair and sits. She takes his hand in hers.
MIRANDA
You look good.
DELL KILEY
Thanks for the lie. I’ll take any compliments I can get.
MIRANDA
How’re you feeling?
DELL KILEY
Your mother came by last night. She looked like she was seventeen. Standing in the middle of this bright light. We talked all night. We never talked like that before.  She talked about you. She said you take care of others, but not yourself.
Dell drifts off to sleep. Miranda kisses him on the cheek again.
MIRANDA
I love you.
INT. NURSES’ STATION – LATER
Miranda walks up to the station, a female NURSE looking up.
NURSE
Hello, Ms. Kiley.
MIRANDA
What’s the score today?
The nurse bends sideways and retrieves a medical chart.
NURSE
He’s not eating any solids. Had a mild fever last night, but it’s gone today. Everything else is the same.
MIRANDA
Thanks.
Miranda exits.
INT. ELLINGTON’S APT. BEDROOM – LATE NIGHT
NIGHTMARE SEQUENCE:
Ellington is walking down the middle of Park Avenue, WHICH HAS BEEN LEVELED FROM A NUCLEAR BLAST. It is a horrific scene of melted cars, crumbled, blackened buildings and melted pavement; trees are still burning, Grand Central Terminal leveled. A dozen survivors, horribly burned, wander about aimlessly.
Ellington sees a burned newspaper from within a melted newspaper rack. It reads: “FOOD RIOTS WORSEN. RUSSIAN DUMA OVERRUN. WORLD FOOD BANK RESERVES AT ALL TIME LOW. FIST-FIGHT BREAKS OUT IN UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL.”
An emotionally beaten man, WILLIAM, 50 — and Ellington’s brother — comes up to Ellington.
WILLIAM
Help.
ELLINGTON
William!?
ELLINGTON’S BEDROOM
Ellington’s eyes flash open, his heart pounding, perspiration gathered on his forehead. He glances to Linda still sound asleep beside him.
DINING AREA – ELLINGTON’S APARTMENT – NEXT MORNING
Ellington is seated at the dining table. Linda enters.
LINDA
You tossed and turned all night. And the night before. Maybe you should take some time off?
ELLINGTON
Just as an insurrection is growing to have me removed as C.E.O.?
LINDA
First of all. Half the Board is behind you and always has been. Secondly, you own over two thirds of the stock. What are you worth these days? Gee: Thirty billion? Please. You’ve been going twenty hours a day since the Konig lawsuits. Why don’t you take some vacation time and just rest?
She sits and she reaches down to a fashion magazine on the table and begins flipping through it. Ellington suddenly turns to her, realizing that — as if trapped between conflicting radio signals — he is HEARING the ‘noise’ of her THOUGHTS:
LINDA (OVER) (CONT’D)
“My god what an ugly dress look at that piece of shit god Mack would just love something like that wouldn’t he I think I’ll dress up this weekend like one of those whores he likes so much get him off and leave him what a laugh I can just see his face.”
ELLINGTON
…You’ve been sleeping with Mack Farmer…
LINDA
What are you talking about?
ELLINGTON
You’re going to see him this weekend. “Dress up like one of those whores he likes so much?”
LINDA
…Ellington…I…
ELLINGTON
I gave you credit for better taste. And Mack can’t afford you.
LINDA
This is crazy, Ellington, you know I —
ELLINGTON
I’ll stay in the house. You can stay here until the end of the month. Have your lawyer call Palmer in the morning.
LINDA
How dare you!
He begins walking to the door.
LINDA (CONT’D)
That’s it!? That’s all you’re going to say?! After all those sluts on the side of yours I’ve had to ignore?! I’m not some negotiation!
He turns to her.
ELLINGTON
You are now.
He exits.
INT. BOARDROOM – WEBB INTERNATIONAL – DAY
All Boardmembers are focused intently on a report before them.
FEMALE BOARDMEMBER
So what’s the bottom line on the Konig loss?
ELLINGTON
We’re appealing. But the loss in royalties and costs in re-programming as well as the penalties will bring us in at around six hundred and seventy-five million.
ANDREWS
Let’s see how the appeals go. Frankly, I’m more concerned about this Vortex Pharmaceuticals situation. The Konig verdict will only interest financial editors. But this Vortex mess will be front page news in Boise.
ELLINGTON
It was the majority decision of this Board at the time to delay publication of Texas University’s report on alternatives to Thydoroid until we could put together other scientific research.
LAWRENCE
Will Winston and McBride accept a settlement to keep it out of the papers?
ANDREWS
I’ll meet with Charlie Winston. We have a history at Harvard and Commerce. If we can offer an amount that’s in the best interest of his clients and his law firm, he’ll put a leash on McBride.
ELLINGTON
I’m sure part of any deal is going to be a royalty from all future Thydoroid sales. I’ll meet with Senator Holden; see if we can end-run this thing.
ANDREWS
We got burned. Badly. Let’s move on.
MALE BOARDMEMBER
How’s the deal for Sir Rodney’s Euro and AsiaCom going? The investors and banks are anxious for us to sew up that agreement.
RANDALL
I understand you cancelled your meeting with him in London?
ELLINGTON
I often cancel meetings during negotiations, especially when the price suddenly goes up substantially.
ANDREWS
How substantially? I still believe we’re over-extending ourselves on this deal. So does the Street.
ELLINGTON
We’re just at that stage. Believe me, the price will come down to what we agreed to.
ANDREWS
What some of us agreed to.
LAWRENCE
If that’s it, then I believe Randall wanted to bring up the research and development costs in the stock report.
Randall looks from Lawrence to Ellington.
RANDALL
…No. I think the issue’s been covered.
ELLINGTON
Anything else?
Ellington stands and exits as do the other Boardmembers. Lawrence goes up to Randall.
LAWRENCE
And what the hell was that all about?! You don’t show for the teleconference and you jump ship here?
RANDALL
Ellington was going to get Senator Holden to start hearings on the Merchant Bank collapse.
LAWRENCE
Oh hell, there’s nothing there and he knows it.
RANDALL
He found out about me and Rachel. Has copies of hotel receipts. I can’t fight him and win.
Randall exits.
INT. ELLINGTON’S INNER OFFICE
MARCUS
How’d it go?
ELLINGTON
They didn’t call for a vote of confidence. So I guess it was a success.
MARCUS
And Randall?
ELLINGTON
Lawrence brought up the issue. Randall didn’t say a word. It was dropped.
MARCUS
Excellent. Oh, and Amid left a message confirming that Miranda Kiley will be at the cocktail party tonight.
INT. DINING HALL – UNITED NATIONS – NY – THAT EVENING
A black tie cocktail party is under way. To one side a STRING QUARTET plays chamber music.
Ellington enters taking a glass of champagne from a waiter, whom he asks for some information. The waiter nods, looks about the room, and points toward the buffet tables.
Ellington steps up to an Indian gentleman in his 40’s, AMID, who is speaking with a German gentleman in his 60’s, MEYERHOLDT. Amid sees Ellington, extending his hand. They shake hands.
AMID
Ellington! You made it! This is my good friend from the World Bank, Meyerholdt Schieder. Meyerholdt Schieder; Ellington Webb.
Meyerholdt and Ellington shake hands.
ELLINGTON
My pleasure.
MEYERHOLDT
The pleasure is mine, Mr. Webb. I was here for your speech the other day. Very nice. I must say, it’s unusual for a giant of corporate America to be seen in these not-so-hallowed halls, much less socializing with all us…closet socialists.
AMID
Oh, Ellington is a great friend to the U.N.; as long as we don’t interfere with anything he wants to buy! Am I right, my friend?!
ELLINGTON
I’d love to buy the U.N. Great location for a hotel and marina; although I’m not sure I could get as good a tax deal from the city.
Meyerholdt excuses himself.
AMID
So, have you seen the young woman yet?
ELLINGTON
Sorry about the call; it was a little adolescent.
AMID
No, no! When I got your call, I thought: What insider’s information do I have that the C.E.O. of Webb International could want? And will it get me into trouble! And then, when you explain that you’re looking for a woman who has captured your attention — What joy! I get to play cupid!
ELLINGTON
I really do apologize.
AMID
Not at all! When I knew the woman you were referring to, I couldn’t have been happier! Although, I must also warn you; she is, as they say, very much her own woman.
ELLINGTON

Is she here?
AMID
Oh yes! Quite surprised when I invited her! I told her I felt she deserved a party after the unfortunate incident where you first saw her. She actually has the remnants of a black eye.
He points his glass across the room.
AMID (CONT’D)
And there she is now!
ANGLE
Amid waves as Ellington turns. Miranda looks up from her conversation and waves back, Amid gesturing for her to join them. Miranda excuses herself and makes her way across the room.
AMID
Miranda, I want you to meet an old friend of mine, Ellington Webb.
Miranda extends her hand to Ellington.
MIRANDA
Mr. Webb. It’s nice to meet you.
ELLINGTON
It’s a pleasure to meet you.
Ellington gestures to the faint bruise visible above her cheek bone.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
I’m sorry. I was there, in the hallway; I saw you get hit.
MIRANDA
It’s not the first time.
AMID
Miranda is just back from Gabon where the real fighting has sprung up.
MIRANDA
I’m with the International Red Cross: chief cook and bottle washer, but I also work as an unofficial liaison with UNICEF.
AMID
Our Miranda here knows every despot in the world on a first name basis!
MIRANDA
Only the really cranky ones.
AMID
Please keep my good friend Ellington here company until I can return and free you.
Amid exits.
ELLINGTON
You handled yourself well, in the hallway.
MIRANDA
Not too well. I saw you, in the hallway; I recognized you from your pictures. What brings you to this rather obscure gathering of bureaucrats?
ELLINGTON
Amid helps me when I need advice on international cultural issues. We went to school together at Harvard.
MIRANDA
And I think I’ve been set up. Amid knows I can’t stand these things but he insisted that I come. Eventually he let slip that there was someone who wanted to meet me. Amid loves intrigue. Why did you want to meet me? Oh please, I can’t be that scary; not for the “Warrior Of Wall Street”?
ELLINGTON
I’ll never live that one down.
MIRANDA
So, did you have someone check up on me? I deal with men in ‘high positions’ all the time; none of them makes a move without being very clear what’s ahead.
ELLINGTON
I think this is going badly.
MIRANDA
I’m afraid it’s not going anywhere at all. It was nice to meet you.
And she turns and steps into the crowd, Ellington watching her go.
EXT. U.N. PLAZA – LATER
Miranda stops at the end of a line waiting for a taxi. Ellington stops beside her.
ELLINGTON
I’m sorry.
MIRANDA
I’ll bet you don’t say that very often.
ELLINGTON
Is it just me, or who I am that upsets you?
MIRANDA
Look. I’m sorry. I apologize. I was rude. I just don’t like being ‘handled’.
ELLINGTON
Why’d you come?
MIRANDA
I was curious.
ELLINGTON
May I drop you somewhere?
MIRANDA
Have you eaten?
ELLINGTON
You turn on a dime, don’t you?
MIRANDA
Like you, I just like being in control.
ELLINGTON
Fair enough.
INT. RESTAURANT – LATER
Ellington and Miranda are seated at a table, the remnants of a meal and glasses of wine before them.
MIRANDA
My dad was an English teacher. Named me after Prospero’s daughter, in “The Tempest”. I was a real hell raiser as a kid. You?
ELLINGTON
Average. Above average. Out of Harvard, I was with A.T.&T during the breakup where I learned valuable lessons about diversifying your economic base, which came in very handy during the eighties when I managed to…diversify.
MIRANDA
You mean raid, don’t you?
ELLINGTON
I wasn’t a raider. And I don’t apologize for how I make a living; I help move the economy; create —
MIRANDA
“Create jobs”. “Infuse wealth into the middle class.” Trickle-down. Yeah. Right. I was there.
ELLINGTON
I’m proud of what I’ve built.
MIRANDA
So what, exactly, did you think would come out of our ‘meeting?’ Surely you know something by now of my background; my politics? And I know that a man in your position doesn’t need Indian Cultural Attaches to set him up with women. Why me?
ELLINGTON
When I saw you in that hallway, getting back up after being hit; helping that woman, calming her. You glanced up at me and I saw your eyes. I don’t know. In that moment you just seemed to me the most extraordinary woman I’d ever seen.
MIRANDA
If that’s a pick-up line — it’s not a bad one.
ELLINGTON
How is she? The woman in the hallway?
MIRANDA
Not good.
ELLINGTON
What happened?
MIRANDA
I knew her daughter, in Slavia. During the war the daughter and her mother, the woman you saw, were both captured, imprisoned, brutalized. The daughter, her name was Sonja. She was murdered. Her father was killed. I can’t imagine the horror Tresa must go through every day.
ELLINGTON
Is there anything I can do?
MIRANDA
I should go. I’ve got to get up early. Thank you for dinner.
She stands. Ellington stands.
ELLINGTON
Do you know an old man, maybe in his seventies, in London? Maybe he likes to sit in the Botanical Gardens?
MIRANDA
No, I don’t think so. Why?
ELLINGTON
It’s the strangest thing, but he told me that I’d meet a woman named Miranda Kiley. Wore this unusual, bright purple vest?
She responds.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
You do know him, don’t you?
MIRANDA
I don’t know anyone in London in their seventies. Sorry. Thanks for dinner.
She exits.
EXT. ELLINGTON’S MANSION – LONG ISLAND – LATE THAT NIGHT
An enormous Tudor-style mansion sets at the end of a gated drive.
INT. ELLINGTON’S BEDROOM
Ellington is asleep, by himself.
NIGHTMARE SEQUENCE:
Ellington ‘awakens’ to a vision of the ENORMOUS POLAR ICE CAPS breaking away from the Arctic Ice Shelf and collapsing into the ocean.
BROOKLYN BRIDGE ROADWAY
Ellington is on the roadway of the FLOODED BROOKLYN BRIDGE, bracing himself against the SWEEPING CURRENT, holding onto a railing with one hand as his other hand tightly grips the hand of a his adult brother, William, who has been washed over the roadway and into the RAGING EAST RIVER.
ELLINGTON
HOLD ON!
William’s head bobs up from the powerful flow, when Ellington loses his grip and William disappears into the river depths.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
WILLIAM!
INT. ELLINGTON’S BEDROOM
Ellington’s eyes flash open. His breathing calms as he shuts his eyes painfully.
INT. ELLINGTON’S OFFICE – DAY
Ellington is standing in front of the windows, looking out at the cityscape.
POV
On the horizon as a cloud of black smoke from a commercial fire billows skyward.
ELLINGTON
As he watches the smoke.
FLASHBACK:
To the nighttime vision of the suburban house from the first scene, forty years earlier, the house engulfed in flames, firemen rushing to put it out. Young Ellington is crying, older William staring at the burning house indifferently.
FORWARD:
ELLINGTON’S OFFICE
Marcus enters reading a several page long fax.
MARCUS
Margariette with Gallant Foods over at the Paris office says there’s going to be a three percent rise this summer across the board. Evidently there’s been a devastating loss in the European honey bee population.
Marcus hands him the fax, Ellington reading it.
MARCUS (CONT’D)
She sounds worried. Also something about nitrogen levels in the top soil. I never can understand her. What do bees have to do with it anyway?
ELLINGTON
I think it’s called pollination.
MARCUS
But don’t we have machines that do the same thing by now?
ELLINGTON
Find out if there’s been a similar drop in bee population worldwide. Senator Langston’s on the Commerce Committee, he should be some help.
MARCUS
Why? It can’t be that big of a deal.
ELLINGTON
I had a dream about worldwide food shortages. A very vivid dream.
INT. HOSPICE – BROOKLYN – DAY
The four story brownstone building has been turned into a care center for the dying.
PATIENT ROOM
The small bedroom is well-kept, homey and cheerful in its surroundings.
An emaciated GASPAR TOLEDOS, 21 and an ex-gang-banger, is lying in the bed. Miranda is seated in a chair near his head, reading from a copy of “Vanity Fair,” both smiling at the contents.
MIRANDA
“The Dutchess was quoted as saying that she was suing lifelong friend, and designer to the stars, Rupert Reme’ because ‘I was certainly expecting to be the sole owner of the gown and was horrified to see an all-too-coincidental variation of the same gown being worn at the Gala by my ex-husband’s sister-in-law.’
GASPAR
There a picture of the gown?
Miranda shows it to him.
GASPAR (CONT’D)
Jeeze! Ugly piece of dress makin’. My sister, Carla, turn out better caca on the machine in the kitchen! What you white folks wear way past me.
MIRANDA
We can’t all be as stylish as you, Gaspar.
GASPAR
That’s the caca!
GASPAR (CONT’D)
What’s a beautiful lady like you doin’ hangin’ ’round us dead folks? Can’t you get a date or nothin’?
MIRANDA
And miss your shining personality?
GASPAR
I’m serious. You need to be gettin’ some all the time! You my woman, I never let you outta bed. ‘Course, that’s what got me in this caca in the first place!
He laughs, then coughs. He recovers.
GASPAR (CONT’D)
No. Really. You gotta be out there in the sun.
MIRANDA
Are you trying to get rid of me?
GASPAR
You my confidant.
A MALE NURSE enters.
MALE NURSE
Yo! The Man!
GASPAR
Ah jeeze, I best be dyin’ soon.
MALE NURSE
(to Miranda)
Someone to see you.
Miranda stands as the nurse takes her place, picking up the magazine.
MALE NURSE (CONT’D)
“Vanity Fair?”
GASPAR
I have to be up on the latest, you know, ‘case Barbara Walters comes by for a pop.
MIRANDA
I’ll be back.
GASPAR
Then I want to hear all about your sex life!
Miranda laughs as she exits, Gaspar looking at the nurse.
GASPAR (CONT’D)
And I don’t want to hear about yours.
RECEPTION AREA
Ellington is standing near the reception desk. Miranda enters.
ELLINGTON
I’m sorry to bother you at work. I coerced Amid into telling me where you might be. I called here and someone said you usually take lunch about now.
MIRANDA
All right.
INT. PIZZA ‘PARLOR’ – EAST HARLEM
MIRANDA
Not your usual luncheon environment?
ELLINGTON
I think I saw an olive move.
MIRANDA
Think of this as a picnic in the wilderness. You have been on picnics, haven’t you?
ELLINGTON
I wasn’t to-the-manor-born: Yes, I’ve been on picnics.
MIRANDA
Poor kid rises to the top?
ELLINGTON
My family was positioned at the other end of the demographic.
MIRANDA
Still alive?
ELLINGTON
Don’t you find it difficult, working in that place?
MIRANDA
“That place?” Yes.
ELLINGTON
But you must get something out of it?
MIRANDA
Of course. And it’s very selfish. It makes me feel very much alive.
ELLINGTON
Death doesn’t bother you?
MIRANDA
Yes.
Ellington can suddenly HEAR her THOUGHTS:
MIRANDA (OVER) (CONT’D)
“Damn-it, Dad, you’re not going to do this to me; I’m not going to let you.”
Her INNER VOICE stops.
MIRANDA (CONT’D)
What’s this about; your tracking me down? Is this some kind of a date?
He lifts up the limp pizza as Exhibit A.
ELLINGTON
I hope not.
She laughs.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
If it were, would that be a bad thing?
MIRANDA
Nothing would come of it. Tresa, the woman at the U.N.?; she’s not doing well. I’m thinking about going back to Slavia to see if I can help.
ELLINGTON
When?
She stands.
MIRANDA
I’ve got to get back to the hospice. Thank you for lunch.
Ellington stands.
ELLINGTON
How about dinner? Sometime? Tomorrow night?
MIRANDA
I don’t think so. But thanks.
She exits, Ellington watching her go.
EXT. WASHINGTON SQUARE CLINIC – MANHATTAN – DAY
An elegant brownstone across from Washington Park.
INT. DOCTOR RIDER’S OFFICE
Ellington is seated on a leather couch, when DOCTOR SAMUEL RIDER, 50’s, enters.
DR. RIDER
Ellington.
ELLINGTON
Sam.
Rider brings his chair from around his desk and sits opposite.
DR. RIDER
So. How is Linda?
ELLINGTON
Seated at separate tables these days.
DR. RIDER
I’m sorry.
ELLINGTON
It’s for the best.
DR. RIDER
And you? You were down-right mysterious on the phone.
ELLINGTON
I don’t feel stressed-out, but maybe I am and I don’t know it. Maybe there’s something you could give me? I’m having nightmares, more vivid than I’ve ever had before. They started after this fever I had in London. And I can smell in these dreams. And taste. I can feel things. I’d read that when you smell things that aren’t there, that could be a sign of something neurological?
DR. RIDER
You run a corporation; I’ll diagnose.
ELLINGTON
And believe me, I know how this sounds, but it may be part of a symptom I’m unaware of: I think I can hear other people’s thoughts — I know I can — Not all the time, just twice so far.
Rider stands.
DR. RIDER
So. Shall we?
Ellington stands, ushering Rider towards the exam room.
INT. RESTAURANT BAR – NIGHT
Ellington is seated by himself watching the vodka in his glass.
OVER, young Williams’s pleas for help are HEARD, the enraged VOICE of their father shouting out:
MAN’S VOICE (OVER)
GET BACK IN THIS HOUSE YOU LITTLE BRAT OR YOU WON’T WALK FOR A WEEK!
The voices stop.
Ellington looks at his hands — which are RADIATING A RAINBOW OF COLORS DRIFTING OFF HIS SKIN like a mist.
Ellington stumbles off the stool. He looks around. All the customers in the bar are RADIATING COLORS, as are the plants.
Ellington stumbles outside.
EXT. MADISON AVENUE
Ellington tumbles from the bar into the crowded street: Everything living is RADIATING COLORS.
He shuts his eyes and opens them: The colors are gone.
INT. LIBRARY – ELLINGTON’S HOME – LONG ISLAND – THAT EVENING
Ellington is seated at his desk. The phone RINGS, Ellington picking up the receiver.
ELLINGTON
Yes? Thanks, Dr. Rider. You didn’t find anything? Are there any other tests? No. Yes. Sure. I will. Thanks.
He hangs up. He turns. The British Gentleman is standing in the middle of the room, still wearing the vivid purple vest under his suit coat.
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
Don’t be frightened.
ELLINGTON
How’d you get in — How’d you — Who are you — ?
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
What’s been happening to you; you must try to not be frightened. It is a great gift. You are in a remarkable position to do remarkable things. But no one can force you. Whatever you chose will be honored. I’m only here to point out various options. You have choices. You have always had choices.
ELLINGTON
Who are you? How did you get in here?
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
It’s only important that you not be frightened.
ELLINGTON
You know, don’t you, what’s happening to me, and why?
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
You are all evolving. Some faster than others. Your adolescence is over. It’s time. Just remember: You’re not alone. You’ve never been alone.
The British Gentleman VANISHES INTO A BRIGHT, BLUISH LIGHT, the light itself disappearing.
Ellington looks very much like a man who has just seen a ghost.
EXT. MIRANDA’S APARTMENT – SOHO – DAY
Ellington waits at the door, when the door opens and a surprised Miranda appears.
ELLINGTON
Hello.
MIRANDA
Don’t you have really important businesses to run?
ELLINGTON
You’re right.
MIRANDA
Looks like I’m going to have to have a talk with Amid.
ELLINGTON
I really don’t mean to bother you. It’s just…I don’t know. I really don’t know why I’m here.
MIRANDA
It looks like you could use some coffee, which I just happen to have.
The door opens and Miranda steps in followed by Ellington. She closes the door as Ellington looks around at the small, one bedroom apartment decorated with artifacts from all over the world, as well as enlarged photographs of smiling children of all races. In the center of the room are several packed travel bags.
ELLINGTON
You’re leaving?
MIRANDA
Friday. Have a seat.
He sits, staring at the grinning, dirt-smuged faces in the photographs.
MIRANDA (O.S.) (CONT’D)
They keep me sane. Reminds me that there’s still joy out there.
Miranda exits and re-enters with two cups of coffee, handing one to Ellington. He points to one photo of a younger Miranda with her arms around a smiling older man and woman.
ELLINGTON
Mother and father?
She nods slightly.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
You seem happy.
MIRANDA
We were. It was wonderful back then.
ELLINGTON
“Were?”
MIRANDA
She died suddenly in a car accident. He’s in a nursing home with a real laundry list of health problems. But he’s strong. He’ll be around for awhile.
ELLINGTON
The old man wearing the purple vest, you saw him too. Something’s happening. Something that I can’t seem to control and I do not like not being in control.
MIRANDA
…I’ve had…dreams these last few weeks. Like I’ve never had before. I was awake but I knew I was dreaming. I could smell the flowers, feel the sunshine. When I woke up I could still smell the flowers as if they were in my room.
They started when I first saw you, at the U.N.
ELLINGTON
Are we going crazy? Because if we are, I’ve got a lot of money I’d like to spend first.
MIRANDA
Did he say anything to you?
ELLINGTON
Just that I had choices. Which is why I know for a fact that he’s not real.
MIRANDA
You don’t have choices?
ELLINGTON
You get to a certain age, you get to a certain place, and no, you really don’t anymore. You’re part of the package, part of the scenery, part of the wallpaper. And you just get through the best you can. For all I know everyone has dreams about old guys in purple vests and we just don’t talk about it.
(beat)
I am sorry I bothered you, and I won’t again. Thanks for the coffee.
He starts for the door.
MIRANDA
I don’t know what’s happening either. But maybe it’s not crazy. Maybe it’s something important?
ELLINGTON
Have a safe trip.
He opens the door and exits. Miranda stares at the door.
INT. FRENCH RESTAURANT – MANHATTAN – DAY
Ellington and SENATOR HOLDEN, 50, are seated in a booth in the crowded restaurant.
SENATOR HOLDEN
So. Now that I’m drunk, what did you have in mind?
ELLINGTON
The Thydoroid lawsuit.
SENATOR HOLDEN
Let me see, something about your Vortex Pharmaceuticals hiding independent university research documenting that a generic brand of the cancer drug was just as effective only — and this was the bad news — at half the cost. Only Webb International happened to not own the generic brand. Something like that?
ELLINGTON
What would you say if Vortex were to offer to the F.D.A. a major price reduction on their Somagen blood clot factor?
SENATOR HOLDEN
I’d say you’d make the F.D.A., Medicaid, and every heart surgeon and heart patient in the country very happy. And of course, you’d get much better publicity than a successful class action lawsuit against Vortex’s Thydoroid drug?
ELLINGTON
If you could get a Senate hearing to request new research into the effects of these latest lymphatic cancer drugs —
SENATOR HOLDEN
Then any pending lawsuits might be put on hold until the new research is completed, which could take years? Or am I mistaken?
ELLINGTON
Your consulting position with Webb International when you retire has been approved by the Board.
Holden reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out several folded papers, laying them on the table. Ellington picks them up and looks at them.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
So there is concern?
SENATOR HOLDEN
And there are serious signs coming out of Russia and North Korea. The State Department is worried we may start seeing the sort of continual famine there that we’ve only seen in Africa. Only in Eastern Europe the people don’t seem quite so accepting of their plight. And they also just happen to have nuclear warheads laying all over the place.
He stands.
SENATOR HOLDEN (CONT’D)
Global warming, world famine, nuclear warfare, I’m not worried about any of them. I just hope I never get thyroid cancer.
He turns and walks away.
INT. ELLINGTON’S OUTER OFFICE – DAY
Marcus is on the phone.
MARCUS
Yes, of course, Mr. Winston, I understand fully. I’ll make certain that he contacts you the moment he returns. Yes —
He slams the receiver down as the door opens and Sarah sticks her head in.
MARCUS (CONT’D)
Has he left any word with you?
Sarah shakes her head.
SARAH
Sir Rodney’s assistant just called to cancel the Halifax meeting; they’re going to accept an offer from Aries Communications.
MARCUS
My god. Where the hell is he! Get hold of Andrews and Lawrence. See if one or both can meet with me. And get hold of Randall too. Tell him to call me at my office.
INT. LIBRARY/OFFICE – ELLINGTON’S MANSION – LONG ISLAND – DUSK
Ellington is seated at his desk. An old cardboard box is one the desk, the top off. Ellington is staring at a worn photograph in his hands.
PHOTO
Of a laughing fourteen year old William and a grinning twelve year old Ellington, arms tightly around each other; two brothers against the world.
ELLINGTON’S BEDROOM – THAT NIGHT
Ellington is asleep, the phone receiver on the bedside table laying to one side.
NIGHTMARE SEQUENCE:
EXT. DESERT HIGHWAY – DAY
Ellington is standing in the middle of a four lane highway running through the desert. Hundreds of cars are abandoned on the sides of the highway, some in the center. DEAD, DECAYING BODIES are lying half in and half out of their cars. Some have obviously tried to run only to die where they fell. Vultures circle and pick at the remains.
To one side is a fence running the length of the highway, a sun-bleached “BIOHAZARD” sign flapping in the hot breeze.
POV
As a hearse passes, the cadaverous driver slowly turning to Ellington. It’s William.
ELLINGTON
ELLINGTON
— William…NO! I didn’t do this! I’m not responsible for this!
ELLINGTON’S BEDROOM
He angrily sits up on the edge of the bed, lashing out with his hand in frustration and slapping the glass of water across the room —  THE BEDSIDE TABLE AND PHONE HURTLING ACROSS THE ROOM AS WELL under an unseen power, smashing against the far wall. He raises his hand and stares at it.
INT. DELL KILEY’S ROOM – NURSING HOME – MORNING
Miranda enters. She closes the door behind her, watching her sleeping father. The tubes that were running in and out of him are gone. She goes to the chair by the bed and sits.
FLASHBACK:
To a summer scene of a backyard, a tire suspended from a tree, a TWELVE YEAR OLD MIRANDA joyfully swinging in it. She is being pushed by her father, her MOTHER standing to one side watching and laughing.
FORWARD:
DELL’S ROOM
Dell awakens.
MIRANDA
Hi, Dad. They tell me you’ve been doing great?
DELL KILEY
Feeling better.
MIRANDA
We’re going to have you back in your old room in no time.
DELL KILEY
How’re you?
MIRANDA
Good. But I have to head back to Slavia, just for a week. Is that all right?
He takes her hand in his.
DELL KILEY
Save the world.
MIRANDA
They’ll get hold of me if you need me and I’ll be on the next plane out, okay?
DELL KILEY
I’ll be fine. Good as new. Go.
MIRANDA
I love you, Dad. You’re the world to me.
DELL KILEY
I wouldn’t let my girl down.
Dell releases her hand and closes his eyes, falling asleep. Miranda remains at his bedside.
INT. ELLINGTON’S OFFICE – MANHATTAN
Ellington pushes the com key for Sarah, her VOICE heard through the computer speakers:
SARAH (OVER)
Yes, Mr. Ellington?
ELLINGTON
Sarah, get me Piper at the Kinsington Detective Agency. Put him on my private line.
SARAH
Yes, Sir.
MONITOR
On the screen is an Internet search engine. At the “Search” icon Ellington has typed in: “Psychic Phenomena.” Appearing below is a long list of entries, topped by: “Clairvoyance,” “Clairaudience,” and “Telekinesis.” Ellington moves the icon to the “Telekinesis” entry.
There is a knock at the door, the door opening and Marcus entering.
MARCUS
You asked to see me?
ELLINGTON
Did you get that information from Senator Langston’s office about honey bee populations?
MARCUS
“Bees?” You’re interested in bees? Have you even tried to contact Sir Rodney? There may still be time to sort this out.
ELLINGTON
I called him and wished him good luck with Aries.
MARCUS
The stockholders and investors, the Street, they were all expecting a joint Euro and AsiaCom, as part of the restructuring. Without them, we’ll seem out of touch, second rate. The deal was never just about money.
ELLINGTON
I’m well aware of what everyone was expecting. And I may just create my own satellite network. Is any of this a problem for you?
Marcus doesn’t respond.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
Good. And now I’d like that report on honey bees.
Ellington turns away. Marcus exits. Ellington picks up the phone and places a call.
INT. MIRANDA’S APARTMENT – SAME TIME
The answering machine on a table activates, Miranda’s VOICE is heard:
MIRANDA’S VOICE
“Hi, I’m on the road again for a week. Leave urgent messages with my service, 555-9000. Take care.”
INT. ELLINGTON’S OFFICE
Ellington replaces the receiver.
INT. MIDTOWN MANHATTAN RESTAURANT – DAY
Marcus, Lawrence and Randall are seated around a table.
LAWRENCE
So what was your gut impression after meeting with Andrews?
MARCUS
That he doesn’t want a war, but if we can make it in Ellington’s best interest to step down, he’d be more than happy to take over.
RANDALL
In other words: It’s your ass, not mine.
LAWRENCE
And you really believe that Ellington is undergoing some sort of breakdown?
MARCUS
I think his actions these last few weeks speak for themselves. He’s exhausted. With Linda leaving him. He’s been to Dr. Rider for stress and nightmares.
RANDALL
Can he be bought out?
MARCUS
It would take an enormous parachute. But I have an additional incentive. What I want from you both are assurances that you’ll sponsor my nomination to the office of corporate V.P. I deserve it.
RANDALL
Anything to get him out. Anything.
EXT. PATIO/POOL AREA – ELLINGTON’S MANSION – NIGHT
Ellington is standing at the edge of the pool, staring into the lighted water.
INT. ELLINGTON’S OFFICE RECEPTION AREA – MORNING
Sarah is seated at her desk. Marcus is reading a message in his hands.
MARCUS
Slavia? We don’t have any interests there, do we?
SARAH
Not that I’m aware of.
Marcus checks his watch.
MARCUS
Maybe I can still catch him at the airport. I tried him at home and there was no answer.
SARAH
Is Ellington all right?
MARCUS
No. No he isn’t.
INT. ELLINGTON’S JET – PRIVATE AIRFIELD – NEW JERSEY – MORNING
Ellington is seated in a  recliner looking over some business papers, when Marcus enters through the hatch.
MARCUS
I’m glad I caught you.
ELLINGTON
Is something wrong?
Marcus moves into the cabin.
MARCUS
Actually, that’s what I came to ask you. I just wanted to know if there was something I could do to help?
ELLINGTON
Help what?
MARCUS
Bring things back into focus. Maybe you weren’t aware how close Aries Communications actually was to an offer to Sir Rodney? It was a huge loss to the prestige of the company. And why, exactly, are you going to Slavia of all places without telling anyone!? I just don’t understand what’s going on.
Ellington HEARS Marcus’ THOUGHTS:
MARCUS (CONT’D)
“Egomaniac sitting in his jet doesn’t care Andrews should see him now he’ll be with us someone’s got to take control.”
ELLINGTON
So you believe you’ve got Andrews in your pocket? And with Randall and Lawrence, all you need are four more votes and you can have me removed for incompetence?
MARCUS
I don’t know what you’re talking about?
ELLINGTON
I do. And you’re fired. Now get out.
MARCUS
But…You can’t. Not after all I’ve done for you.
ELLINGTON
Get out.
MARCUS
If there’s been some kind of a mistake, or miscommunication, please tell me and I’ll rectify it immediately.
The PILOT enters the cabin from the cockpit.
PILOT
We’re ready to go whenever you are.
The pilot returns to the cockpit. The sound of jet engines revving are HEARD.
MARCUS
I don’t know what you’ve heard from anyone else, but I would never —
ELLINGTON
Do you need me to have you removed?
MARCUS
I won’t let you destroy this company.
Marcus exits the jet.
INT. HILTON HOTEL – SLAVIA – EASTERN EUROPE – DAY
The hotel’s lobby is filled with locals, blue-capped U.N. monitors, visitors and journalists.
INT. ELLINGTON’S HOTEL SUITE
The bellhop enters carrying Ellington’s bags, Ellington following. The bellhop places the bags at the foot of the bed.
BELLHOP
Occasionally we have problems with the water pressure; we’ll try to see that it doesn’t happen during your stay.
Ellington pulls several bills from his pocket and hands them to the bellhop who accepts them.
BELLHOP (CONT’D)
Just ring if you need anything. Enjoy your stay.
The bellhop leaves. Ellington goes to the window and looks out.
EXT. SIDESTREET – SLAVIA – DAY
A battered taxi pulls up and Ellington climbs out, examining the address numbers on the bullet-riddled buildings. He walks to a doorway and knocks. After a moment, the door opens and an attractive Australian woman in her late 20’s, ANNIE, sticks her head out.
ANNIE
Yes?
ELLINGTON
I was told I might be able to reach Miranda Kiley at this address?
ANNIE
And who are you?
ELLINGTON
My name’s Ellington Webb.
ANNIE
Ellington! Come on in; I’ve heard about you.
Ellington enters, the door closing behind.
INT. ANNIE’S HOME
Annie shouts up the stairs:
ANNIE
Miranda! You’ve got a guest!
Miranda call from upstairs:
MIRANDA (O.S.)
Coming!
ANNIE
So I hear you’re one of the richest blokes in the universe?
Miranda appears at the top of the stairs, drying her hair with a towel.
ELLINGTON
I hope you don’t think I’m stalking you?
ANNIE
(to Miranda)
He doesn’t look that rich to me.
And Annie quickly climbs the stairs, passing Miranda.
MIRANDA
My god, this is a surprise.
ELLINGTON
Was it a mistake?
MIRANDA
You bet.
KITCHEN – LATER
Miranda and Ellington are seated at a small table, cups of coffee before them.
ELLINGTON
So there you have it: Nightmares, premonitions, ends-of-the-world, colored lights, an English ghost, occasionally hearing other’s thoughts, and the piece d’resistance: I threw a table across the room without touching it. All of which brings me here. I’m afraid I can’t give you a much better reason for being here now then for showing up on your doorstep in New York.
MIRANDA
Only on this outing you crossed international time zones.
(beat)
I’d say you were completely nuts, except that I’ve had similar dreams, and, yes, I did see the English guy. And I still don’t know what to tell you.
(beat)
I’m not good at this. Never have been. It’s how I’ve managed to stay single so long. So I’ll get to the point: Psychic phenomena or not, did you think that by flying half way around the world in your private jet that I’d sleep with you?
ELLINGTON
I flew half way around the world because I don’t have anyone else I can talk to.
MIRANDA
Won’t profit margins fall if you’re not around?
ELLINGTON
If you want me to go, I’ll go.
MIRANDA
I just still don’t know why you’re here? What do you want with me?
Are you slumming?
ELLINGTON
Are you nervous that someone is intruding on your own little private hell, which you alone hold the keys to? I’m here because I needed to see you; to be around you. Because seeing you was the only thing that made any sense in my life.
MIRANDA
I’m afraid I don’t have a snappy comeback for that. I hate this.
Ellington stands and goes to her.
MIRANDA (CONT’D)
I hate this so much.
And she holds onto him tightly, Ellington embracing her.
MIRANDA’S BEDROOM – LATER
Miranda and Ellington are in the bed, embraced tightly, both looking off. Miranda kisses his bare shoulder, noticing something in the half-light: four small, pale, circular scars.
MIRANDA
What are those?
ELLINGTON
They’re scars from when I was eight.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
My father used to put his cigarettes out on me. He was an alcoholic. Full of hate. Would beat me and my brother regularly. My mom didn’t seem to care one way or the other. One night, when I was twelve my brother set fire to the house. He got me out. My parents were asleep.
MIRANDA
My god.
ELLINGTON
My brother was sent to juvenile camp. I was sent to foster parents. I never saw him again. There’s a part I didn’t tell you about the nightmares; he’s in every one. My brother. I’m trying to save him and every time I can’t. What I don’t understand is why my private past with my brother is tied up with global disasters.
(beat)
Plastic surgery could take care of the scares. I decided to leave them.
Miranda gently lays her head against his shoulder.
KITCHEN – MORNING
Ellington and Miranda seated at the table, drinking coffee.
MIRANDA
I’m picking up Tresa in an hour. We’re meeting with some members of the War Crimes Commission. They think they’ve found the mass grave where her husband is buried. Would you like to come? It obviously won’t be pleasant. The truth is, I could use a shoulder out there.
He takes her hand.
EXT. SLAVIAN COUNTRYSIDE – DAY
A sloping meadow surrounded by thick forest. Summer flowers dot the meadow with brilliant color.
Ellington is standing by several trucks parked on the narrow dirt road above the meadow. Miranda, two blue-capped U.N.monitors, several townspeople, local policemen, and Tresa are standing several yards below. All are solemnly gathered around freshly uncovered earth.
OPEN SHALLOW GRAVE
Exposing the intermingled skeletons of dozens of war victims.
Tresa nods gently, recognizing a piece of clothing that a crouching policeman gestures to.
ANGLE
Ellington watches Tresa walks away, stopping to bend down and pick some flowers. She takes them with her back to the waiting trucks at the dirt road.
Ellington watches as Miranda leaves the group at the grave and slowly walks farther on to a large dilapidated shed of some kind. A U.N. Peacekeeper is standing guard outside.
Miranda enters as a photographer exits.
Moments later Miranda exits, her feet giving out from under her, the peacekeeper grabbing her and holding her up.
Ellington runs to her.
ANOTHER ANGLE
Ellington holds Miranda, who pushes him away. She runs farther down the meadow. Ellington watches her, then slowly turns to the shed door, the peacekeeper resuming his guard.
INT. SHED
Shafts of sunlight filter through the cracked and warped ceiling and wall boards, falling to the straw-covered floor. Dust motes sparkle in the beams of light, dancing around the rusting metal meat hooks and bloody ropes suspended from the walls and roof.
Ellington takes a step backwards.
NEARBY HILLTOP
Miranda is looking out over the valley below her. Ellington joins her.
MIRANDA
These people are just like us; they even look like us. Average people with average hates who one day just decided to start killing each other. Right here, in this meadow, this is where the end of the world began. I wouldn’t worry too much about your nuclear war and melting ice caps. I’d worry about your next door neighbor.
She begins walking back to the trucks. Ellington continues to stare off over the peaceful valley, unaware of the British Gentleman standing behind him, on the crest of a nearby hill.
INT. MIRANDA’S BEDROOM – THAT NIGHT
Miranda is seated in a wooden chair by the window. She is looking out at a steady rainfall. Ellington is seated on the edge of the bed watching her. A half empty bottle of scotch sets on the table.
MIRANDA
They’re going to kill them tomorrow. Tresa doesn’t know. But her three cousins, they’ve found two men who participated in murdering her husband, raping and murdering her daughter. The killers think they’re going to meet to buy some black market trucks. The police and U.N. know; they won’t do anything. Got to keep their eye on the ‘bigger picture’. And on and on it goes.
ELLINGTON
It’s not your fight. It wasn’t your war.
MIRANDA
No. I’m with the Red Cross; we’re not supposed to get involved. No one’s supposed to get involved.
ELLINGTON
It’s not your fault.
MIRANDA
Tell me something, Mr. Webb; anybody ever get killed from one of your products that you suspected was faulty? Ever “downsize” someone knowing that some people actually kill themselves and take others with them? Down here, at the other end of the penthouse, I gotta tell ya, it gets pretty bloody.
(beat)
My father’s dying, but I won’t let him. And he’s too much of a gentleman to complain. Somehow he knows that I need him to stay alive. One hour my mother was there, fifty minutes later she was dead in a car accident. Maybe I had to come halfway around the world to realize that I can’t really fix anything at all.
(beat)
Hold me.
He does so.
EXT. CITY STREET – SLAVIA – NIGHT
Ellington walks out of the Hilton Hotel lobby, stepping onto the street.
NIGHTMARE SEQUENCE:
He looks up and gasps: Before him is a hellish scene of destroyed, smoldering buildings and a wide street strewn with dead, bloodied bodies, the civilian victims of a brutal battle.
Ellington steps farther onto the street, carefully sidestepping bodies, some with weapons at their side, some without, some with spilled groceries, some with children beside them. 
Ellington looks up. William is standing at the far end of the street, watching Ellington. William turns and walks away.
ELLINGTON
What do you want from me?
EXT. LONDON BOTANICAL GARDENS – SAME TIME/DAY
Ellington is sitting on the bench in the middle of the gardens. Seated next to him is the British Gentleman.
ELLINGTON
Why are you doing this to me! I’ve had enough!
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
No one’s doing it to you.
ELLINGTON
Why this nightmare — just now?!
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
Another choice: I suppose you could call it ‘brother killing brother.’
Ellington stands.
ELLINGTON
I don’t choose that! I don’t choose any of it!
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
Really? Of that, I’m afraid, you’ll have to convince me. You’ll also, I’m afraid, have to convince yourself.
ELLINGTON
I’ve had it with all this! I don’t want this! I don’t choose this! I don’t accept this!
INT. ELLINGTON’S TRAVELLING JET – NIGHT
Ellington awakens from his visions, looking around himself, realizing that he’s seated in the recliner in the darkened cabin of his jet.
After a moment the bathroom door opens and Miranda steps out. She goes to the recliner opposite and sits.
MIRANDA
Awake I see. Are you all right?
ELLINGTON
I know the top executives of just about every major corporation in the world. We all grew up pretty much the same: upper-middle class or wealthy; went to the same schools; eat at the same restaurants; play at the same resorts. I can go anywhere in the world I want at the drop of a hat and I never see a bill for any of it. I used to know about the real world. But I’ve forgotten. That meadow and shed reminded me.
She kisses him.
MIRANDA
I hear they’ve even got a bed in this thing?
EXT. MEADOW – DAY
A luxuriant meadow stretches to one horizon as far as the eye can see; the other direction extending to cliffs, which fall away to a brilliantly blue ocean. A warm, golden sun glows above.
Ellington and Miranda are lying on a blanket on the thick grass surrounded by wild flowers. They are kissing. Ellington pulls back.
ELLINGTON
Close your eyes.
Miranda closes her eyes. Ellington closes his eyes for a moment then opens them, a single, beautiful butterfly landing on Miranda’s hair.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
Open them.
Miranda does so as dozens and then hundreds of fluttering, radiantly colored butterflies land beside them or glide about the air around them. It is an extraordinary sight.
Miranda extends her finger upward, a single butterfly perching on it. She looks at Ellington.
MIRANDA
I love you.
INT. ELLINGTON’S BEDROOM – LONG ISLAND – SAME TIME/EARLY MORNING
Miranda opens her eyes. She sits up in the bed, as does Ellington.
MIRANDA
I was there — You were there!
ELLINGTON
Yes. I know.
MIRANDA
Together — And the butterflies!
She takes a handful of her hair and smells it, extending it to Ellington.
MIRANDA (CONT’D)
Sunshine, you can smell it.
ELLINGTON
My god. We were in the same dream together.
MIRANDA
But where were we?
INT. LIBRARY/OFFICE – ELLINGTON’S MANSION – LONG ISLAND – THAT MORNING
Ellington is standing at his desk looking over the pile of faxes he has received. Miranda enters at the doorway.
MIRANDA
Good morning.
ELLINGTON
Morning.
Miranda walks to the patio doors and looks out.
MIRANDA
Nice digs.
She turns to him.
MIRANDA (CONT’D)
So. Back to work. And life goes on.
ELLINGTON
Life goes on. And you?
MIRANDA
I’m going to the nursing home today.
ELLINGTON
Can I help?
MIRANDA
Were you expecting me to stay?
ELLINGTON
I’m expecting you to do exactly what you want to do.
She goes to him, kissing him on the cheek.
MIRANDA
Good boy.
(beat)
I should be back there. I shouldn’t have come with you.
ELLINGTON
I’m very glad you did. Whenever you want to go back, the jet is yours.
MIRANDA
Oh, that would look good; a poor, selfless, tireless worker for the International Red Cross stepping off of a Lear Jet to help the downtrodden. They’d take away my A.C.L.U. card.
(beat)
Both of us seeing the English man in a dream; the dream last night: we were meant to meet, weren’t we?
ELLINGTON
Didn’t you feel something when we saw each other that first time at the U.N.?
(beat)
I’d like you to stay.
MIRANDA
And be your live-in?
ELLINGTON
Be my wife.
MIRANDA
…I’m out of breath…Oh no, here comes the hot flash. Please don’t tell me I’m blushing too?
ELLINGTON
Would you like me to call an ambulance?
(beat)
Although before you answer, you should know that I may be quite insane; I may no longer be the C.E.O. of my own company; and I may just be about to do something really, really stupid.
MIRANDA
Other than asking me to marry you?
ELLINGTON
Other than that.
MIRANDA
Very big mistake. Very big mistake.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Ellington goes to her and they kiss passionately.
INT. ELLINGTON’S OFFICE – WEBB INDUSTRIES – MANHATTAN – DAY
The elevator doors open and Ellington steps out. Sarah looks up.
SARAH
Welcome back, Mr. Webb.
ELLINGTON
Thank you. Bring your notepad. Nice dress.
SARAH
Thank you.
INT. ELLINGTON’S PRIVATE OFFICE
Ellington sets the briefcase down as he looks over his desk. Sarah enters. She goes to his desk and hands him a fax, Ellington sitting down as he reads.
SARAH
This came for you while you were gone, from the Kinsington Detective Agency. They’ve called to ask how you want to proceed. I told them you’d be in today.
ELLINGTON
Get Marcy up here because I have a press release I want to work on. See if you can set up an appointment within the next week with Senator’s Holden, Peters at Agriculture and Stein at Interior. And Maragriette in Paris. Call Matt at the White House and see if I can meet with the Vice-President as soon as possible.
SARAH
Anything else?
ELLINGTON
I’m afraid so. Later today I’ll e-mail you a description of my complete income from Webb Industries and all my other corporate holdings. I’d like you to forward it to every employee here and abroad, regardless. As of today I begin a corporate policy of full and complete financial disclosure. All future employees and future executives will be subject to the same policy. The policy will not be retroactive and will not include present Boardmembers. However, I welcome all volunteers.
Sarah continues to write.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
I will also need to set up a meeting with all our tax attorneys. Last year we made 3.8 billion in profit and paid no taxes. Beginning next fiscal year, we pay all the taxes we’re responsible for. Then, I’d like you to set up individual phone calls with every CEO on this list.
He hands her a sheet of paper.
SARAH
What am I telling them?
ELLINGTON
Leave that to me, but you can tell them we should speak first, before they read the papers.
SARAH
Anything else?
ELLINGTON
Have you heard anything from Marcus?
SARAH
Just to get some mail. He hasn’t been in to clean out his office yet, but I do know he has had several meetings with Randall and Lawrence.
ELLINGTON
Get me a list of the plaintiffs in the Thydoroid lawsuit. That’ll be all. For now.
Sarah stands, Ellington escorting her to the door.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
And Sarah? You’re a sweetheart.
SARAH
Thank you.
She exits, Ellington closing the door behind her.
INT. UPPER EAST SIDE BAR – NIGHT
Marcus and Randall are seated on stools at the crowded bar.
RANDALL
Now that he’s back, what’re you going to do?
MARCUS
I’m trying to arrange a meeting with Andrews to make him aware of some business dealings Ellington has undertaken in the corporation’s name that Andrews might not be aware of. Illegal dealings.
RANDALL
Blackmail?
MARCUS
I learned from the best.
INT. DELL KILEY’S ROOM – DAY
Miranda knocks at the door, peering in. A man in his 80’s,  is attached to a heart monitor in the bed next to Dell’s. He is asleep. A grim-faced nurse is checking Dell’s vital signs. She finishes, sees Miranda and leaves.
A weak Dell looks over and sees his daughter. He extends a frail hand into the air. Miranda quietly walks to Dell’s bed, kissing him on the forehead.
MIRANDA
Hi there.
DELL KILEY
Hi your ownself.
MIRANDA
Status report?
DELL KILEY
There was a giant spider web covering the hallway back by the kitchen, but they don’t believe me.
MIRANDA
I’ll have them check again.
Miranda sits in the chair. Dell coughs painfully, regaining his shallow breath.
MIRANDA (CONT’D)
Dad. I wanted to tell you something. Some good news. I’m going to get married.
DELL KILEY
What’s your husband going to say about that?
MIRANDA
I don’t have a husband, Dad. This’ll be the first. His name’s Ellington Webb. He’s a very successful businessman.
DELL KILEY
A crook, huh?
MIRANDA
Once I get settled, I’d like very much to move you closer. Find a home for you.
DELL
I’m not leaving here.
MIRANDA
Yes you are, Dad. I promise. I’ll see to it.
DELL KILEY
I saw your mother again. She was so beautiful. I miss her.
INT. ELLINGTON’S OUTER OFFICE – DAY
Ellington is looking over a yellow legal pad. Surrounding him are Sarah, taking notes, and eight of his Executive Assistants. All are poised with their own notepads or laptops.
ELLINGTON
This isn’t a question and answer session. That’ll come later when I speak with each of you individually. I’m going to institute several new programs over the next few months. You’re here for the overview. I will be speaking to the Board about these, but I intend to go ahead with these plans using all of my personal assets, if necessary. I am currently in the process of speaking with the C.E.O.’s of the top two hundred corporations worldwide regarding my intent to set up a foundation with an initial financing of sixty billion of my own money. Ongoing funding of five hundred billion annually will be sustained by stocks, interest, member corporations and private associates as well as limited government assistance through already existing programs. Members will donate one per cent of their above line profits. I intend to create a global, financial ‘Red Cross’ whose first priority is to end world hunger within five years. Not only is that date possible, its long overdue. And in answer to the question on each of your minds: I intend to appeal to corporate board’s and stockholder’s consciences, and when that doesn’t work, I’ll remind them of what they all secretly know but don’t like to admit because it cuts out personal greed: When you invest in the future and in people, you make money. When that fails, I will inform them that I intend to put full page ads in every paper in the world with a circulation over 50,000 and on the Internet and on television describing the foundation and who has joined, and who has not joined. If that doesn’t work, I’ll also place ads recording the profits, profit margins and personal salaries of every boardmember and every executive of every corporation. Some will call that blackmail. I call it clarity.
EXT. PATIO – ELLINGTON’S MANSION – LONG ISLAND – THAT NIGHT
MIRANDA
They won’t let you do it. You’ll be out of there before you know it.
ELLINGTON
Probably.
MIRANDA
It could bankrupt you.
ELLINGTON
Getting nervous?
MIRANDA
No. I’ve been broke before.
ELLINGTON
Do you know how much money I’d have to spend — per second — to go broke? And there are a lot of folks out there just like me.
MIRANDA
I think it sounds wonderful. And I love you for it. What’s wrong?
ELLINGTON
Before I left for Slavia, I had a detective agency try to find my brother, see if he was even still alive. They’ve found him. In a trailer park outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. Living under a different name. On government subsistence. Evidently he’s an alcoholic. Evidently he’s dying. I couldn’t see him after the fire, because seeing him reminded me of everything, of my own weakness for not being able to control anything that went on in that house.
MIRANDA
You were just a child.
ELLINGTON
I love him. I loved him but I couldn’t allow him into my new life, my new, perfect, socially acceptable life. I couldn’t face the past so I shut the door on it, on it and my brother. I was afraid. I’ve been afraid that there’s a part of me in him. A part of me I can’t face.
EXT. MARTIN ANDREWS’ HOME – SOUTH HAMPTON, LONG ISLAND – DAY
An enormous mansion sets on sand dunes near the Atlantic Ocean’s edge.
INT. STUDY/LIBRARY
Andrews, Randall, Lawrence and Marcus are seated on couches or chairs, each facing an impressive bank of twenty t.v. monitors, each showing a different live broadcast, satellite feed or digital recording of news shows the world over. Local times and dates of the broadcasts are under each monitor. On several screens the face of Ellington Webb is visible.
With a remote control in his hand, an impassive Andrews raises the volume on a particular national newscast.
REPORTER
“It is a stunning commitment of personal wealth, admittedly by one of the world’s richest men. Who else could afford air time on every satellite service worldwide? So far no other multi-millionaires, or billionaires have come forward in response to Mr. Webb’s personal, five hundred billion dollar challenge to end world hunger now. So just who is Ellington Webb? For that story we go to — “
MONTAGE OF INT./EXT. SCENES – SAME TIME
Of Miranda seated in a chair beside her father in his bed, both watching a wall-mounted t.v.
Of Ellington’s physician, Dr. Rider, watching a t.v. in his office.
Of Sarah watching a small t.v. at her desk.
Of Miranda’s Australian friend Annie in Slavia watching a European broadcast.
Of Tresa and her neighbors in Slavia watching a failing t.v. in a local tavern.
Of the British Gentleman standing on a London street watching a t.v. from a department store window.
BACK TO SCENE
Andrews uses the remote to turn off the sound.
LAWRENCE
It’s unbelievable. He’s insane. And he’s an embarrassment to the entire company.
MARCUS
He can’t possibly think he’ll get away with it? Blackmailing every corporation in the country? In the world? It’s ludicrous.
ANDREWS
Entire countries have fallen and revolutions have been born with less information then he plans to provide. And he’s got the money to do it.
RANDALL
The public will lose interest in about three weeks and Ellington will be remembered as a harmless eccentric.
ANDREWS
You forget one thing: He’s not wrong.
LAWRENCE
Marcus has come across certain information.
ANDREWS
What kind of information?
MARCUS
About the Konig lawsuits.
ANDREWS
Go on.
MARCUS
Ellington was personally aware of the thefts of the — at the time — not yet patented data bases. He knew about it. He okayed it.
ANDREWS
And you know this for a fact?
MARCUS
I have documentation. I have tapes of phone conversations.
ANDREWS
This would have happened over five years ago. How come I’m hearing about it now?
MARCUS
He was my boss. I assumed he’d okayed it with the Board.
ANDREWS
You assumed that, did you?
LAWRENCE
The point is, Ellington’s got to go. And now we have the means.
ANDREWS
Why would you tape phone conversations if you thought everything had been okayed?
MARCUS
I try and keep records of everything Ellington asks me to do.
RANDALL
Obviously, we’ll have to keep this quiet, just among the Board.
ANDREWS
(to Marcus)
And what do you get out of all this? I assume something’s already been considered?
MARCUS
I’d hope that my long years of dedicated service, and bringing this illegal activity to the Board’s attention, would reflect positively on me.
ANDREWS
You supported Ellington in front while you taped him behind his back; you held onto information that you knew was evidence of a crime until it served your interests. Why should you be trusted in the future? No, your actions don’t reflect positively on you. I’ll call an emergency session of the Board for tomorrow afternoon. You can show yourselves out.
(to Marcus)
As I believe Ellington has already fired you, I see no need for any other action.
He exits.
EXT. BEACH HOUSE – DAY
Miranda is standing on an enormous wooden deck surrounding a beautiful, Frank Lloyd Wright-style beach house overlooking towering cliffs, thundering surf and a clear, turquoise ocean.
AN ENORMOUS, SATURN-LIKE PLANET is setting at the horizon, its colored rings dazzling in the sunlight. She turns to see the British Gentleman standing behind her.
MIRANDA
Is this a dream?
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
It’s easier to call it that.
MIRANDA
Why are you here?
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
To suggest that you not feel guilty.
MIRANDA
Guilty of what?
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
Your father is on his path as you are on yours. As your mother is. Guilt is drawn from fear, not love. Your father is loved, as are you. Neither is alone.
INT. ELLINGTON’S MANSION – LONG ISLAND – DAY
Miranda awakens on the couch, her eyes wide, realizing that she had fallen asleep. She sits up, her thoughts reeling.
MIRANDA
Dad.
INT. ELLINGTON’S PRIVATE OFFICE – MANHATTAN – EARLY EVENING
Ellington is seated in a chair across from the couch, opposite Webb International’s Lead Council, Parker Yates.
ELLINGTON
I want to make a deal with McBride and Winston. They release us from further legal action, we’ll admit to the over-pricing. We’ll pay Winston and McBride’s legal bills as well as their percentage of the settlement. We’ll pay each of the plaintiffs one hundred seventy-five thousand dollars and we’ll set up a medical fund of eight million dollars to pay for all their past and any future medical bills due to their thyroid conditions, as well as fund research into a cure.
PARKER
You’ve okay’d this with the Board?
ELLINGTON
It’ll be my recommendation. We’d have lost the case anyway and you know it.
PARKER
Probably, but I always like trying.
ELLINGTON
Besides, we’ll make the money back when we find a cure.
PARKER
Just between you and me: Have you gone off your rocker?
ELLINGTON
Some folks say the world is coming to an ignominious end. I fully intend to prove them wrong.
PARKER
Well, if it does end badly, I’ll handle your Breach of Promise lawsuit.
Parker leaves just as Sarah sticks her head in.
SARAH
Mr. Webb. It’s Mr. Andrews to see you.
Sarah steps back as Andrews enters.
ELLINGTON
Martin. Have a seat.
ANDREWS
I’ll be brief.
Ellington HEARS Andrews’ THOUGHTS:
ANDREWS (CONT’D)
“It has been brought to our attention that you were aware of the thefts.”
ELLINGTON
That I was aware of the thefts of the Konig data bases. You’ve met with the Board and it’s been agreed that I tender my resignation.
ANDREWS
…I assume you will communicate your terms through your lawyer?
ELLINGTON
It’s an interesting thing being able to read people’s thoughts, even occasionally: they’re almost all fearful; of not having something or not getting something, or fear of not being something. And you realize that if everyone could read everyone else’s thoughts, the fear would disappear, like atoms colliding and annihilating each other. I think I’m through being afraid.
(beat)
This doesn’t change a thing. You’ll just be known as the Board that fired the man who helped end world hunger.
ANDREWS
I hope so.
Andrews exits.
INT. DELL KILEY’S ROOM – NURSING HOME – EVENING
Miranda enters. Her father is alone in the room, sleeping, the heart monitor still attached. She walks up to him then sits in the chair beside his bed. She reaches down and takes one of his hands in hers.
MIRANDA
Dad.
He doesn’t respond.
MIRANDA (CONT’D)
Dad. I just wanted to tell you that I’m happy, really happy. That I’m so thankful for the life I had with you and mom. And that if you’ve been staying because of me, that it’s all right now. I’ll be fine now. And that if you want to see Mom, you should go to her. You should go to her and be happy. Be happy, Dad. I love you.
She kisses him on the forehead. She turns and exits the room.
EXT. POOL – ELLINGTON’S HOUSE – LONG ISLAND NIGHT
Miranda is sitting on the pool’s edge, her bare feet dangling in the water. Ellington comes up to her.
ELLINGTON
What’s wrong?
MIRANDA
My dad died. I’d just gotten back here from seeing him, and they called. He died in his sleep.
ELLINGTON
I’m so sorry.
MIRANDA
It’s okay. It’s really okay. I’m really happy. As happy as I’ve ever been.
He sits beside her.
EXT. ELLINGTON’S TRAVELING JET – DAY
As it streaks across the sky heading toward Arizona.
EXT. TRAVELING RENTAL SEDAN – ARIZONA – DAY
As it drives down a curving, dirt road.
INT. TRAVELING SEDAN
Ellington is at the wheel, Miranda opposite.
EXT. TRAILER PARK – DAY
Eight dilapidated trailers make up the ‘park’ which is out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by junk and sagebrush.
The sedan pulls up and Ellington gets out. He walks to the passenger side as Miranda brings her window down.
ELLINGTON
Sure you’ll be okay?
She nods. He turns back to one trailer in particular.
INT. TRAILER
The trailer is a mess, most of its original features and fixtures having been sold off long ago. Liquor bottles and beer bottles lay scattered about.
WILLIAM, Ellington’s 55 year old brother, and an obvious alcoholic, and obviously dying, is lying on the small couch, asleep, when a KNOCK is heard at the door. William wakes up and stumbles to the door. He opens it.
WILLIAM
Yeah? What is it?
ELLINGTON
Are you William Webb?
WILLIAM
I don’t know nothin.
Will turns to close the door.
ELLINGTON
I’m Ellington. I’m your brother.
WILLIAM
…El?
ELLINGTON
Forty years late.
WILLIAM
Good god, it is you!
He hugs Ellington. William releases him and steps backwards, Ellington stepping in farther. A suddenly excited William starts tossing things away so that Ellington can sit in a chair, William sitting on the couch, coughing.
WILLIAM (CONT’D)
Sorry about the looks. I ain’t very good at cleaning.
ELLINGTON
It’s all right.
WILLIAM
Can I get you somethin’? Jesus dog!? I can’t believe it! My little brother! Let me get you a beer. You can always stay here anytime you like — Jesus dog — Look at you! You look successful! Are you?
ELLINGTON
I guess so.
WILLIAM
Jesus dog!
He painfully coughs, Ellington moving forward.
ELLINGTON
What’s wrong?
WILLIAM
Oh hell, my liver’s shot and my bowels is all backed up and I got some damn  thing spittin’ cancer through my whole body.
ELLINGTON
Cancer?
WILLIAM
Somethin’ to do with my thyroid. Drugs are too damn expensive. Doctor’s know nothin.’
ELLINGTON
My god…
WILLIAM
You all right?
ELLINGTON
There are drugs. Just for the thyroid. My company, the one I work for, actually makes one. I’ll take you to the hospital. I’ll get my doctors.
WILLIAM
Too late now anyway. It’s my time and I’m ready. Hell, my life ain’t been so bad — and you! Son-ofa-gun! Look at you! In the flesh! My little brother!
ELLINGTON
No, you’ve got to let me help you, after all these years of not being around, not even trying to get hold you; to find out if you were alive or dead.
WILLIAM
Just you relax. I don’t recall tryin’ to get hold of you either. Better that way. I’d have just held you back. Look at you!
ELLINGTON
Please let me help you now.
WILLIAM
You already did, little brother, by comin’ just now. I’m dyin’ here, but I’ve had a good life. I got no apologies. And you got nothing to apologize for neither.
ELLINGTON
I’m sorry, Will. For all the years.
WILLIAM
What’s done is done. If I hadn’t protected you back then, no one would have. And look at you now! Damn! I did all right. I ain’t never stopped lovin’ you, El. We’re a part of each other. Always will be.
ELLINGTON
Let me protect you now.
Ellington reaches into his pocket and pulls out an envelope, extending it to William.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
It’s for you, to help out. And where to reach me for anything.
WILLIAM
You know I ain’t never asked for no help.
Ellington puts the envelope on the table.
ELLINGTON
I know.
WILLIAM
Thank you, El, for comin’. It’s enough.
Ellington embraces his brother with all his might.
EXT. TRAILER – TWO HOURS LATER
Ellington exits the trailer and closes the door behind him. He walks away then turns back for a last look. He walks to the sedan, Miranda watching him. He climbs into the car.
INT. SEDAN
ELLINGTON
I wanted him to meet you, but he was too embarrassed. Some other time, he said.
Miranda nods her head.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
I’m glad I came. I got my brother back.
He looks back to the trailer.
ELLINGTON (CONT’D)
Let’s go home.
INT. TRAVELLING JET – HEADING EAST – DAY
Ellington is sitting on one recliner, Miranda on the other.
ELLINGTON
You’re getting used to this kind of life.
MIRANDA
I may be a radical socialist, but I’m not stupid.
He looks at her, when his THOUGHTS are suddenly HEARD:
ELLINGTON (OVER)
“So beautiful and I’m so lucky.”
Miranda smiles, having ‘heard’ his thoughts.
MIRANDA
You’re damned right you’re lucky.
(beat)
Women have always been able to read men’s minds. We just never told you.
ELLINGTON
This will make things complicated.
MIRANDA
So does the jet leave with the job?
ELLINGTON
I’ve already raised seventeen billion and its only been two days.
MIRANDA
I want your brother to come visit us. Stay with us. What do you think?
ELLINGTON
I think I love you. And for the first time, I think I know what the word means.
EXT. BEACH HOUSE DECK – DUSK
Ellington and Miranda, hand-in-hand, are standing on the deck of the Frank Lloyd Wright-style beach house. They look around themselves at the beauty, then out over the ocean to the SATURN-LIKE PLANET at the horizon. Dolphins and whales flow through the moonlit currents majestically.
The British Gentleman is standing to one side.
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
I won’t see either of you again like this.
MIRANDA
Why?
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
Because one journey of yours is ending. And another, more wonderful than you can imagine, is beginning.
ELLINGTON
Miranda, and myself. You brought us together, didn’t you?
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
I only opened your eyes a bit. You found each other. As you have, I might add, over the centuries. If you don’t think love can transform time and space, levitate objects, read another’s thoughts, bring two strangers together, then you don’t know the power of love. But you are learning.
ELLINGTON
Are the nightmares over?
BRITISH GENTLEMAN
Only if you want them to be. But I’ll go out on a limb and say most probably. You see, you both have saved the world, because you saved another.
(beat)
Would you like to see the kind of power love does have?
All three are suddenly swept into a LUMINOUS, WHITE LIGHT.
SERIES OF INT./EXT. VISIONS
Of the black, thick — and dead — Hudson River off the coast of Manhattan as the waters suddenly clear to a    pristine blue, alive with sea life.
Of factory smokestacks in the Ukraine belching black toxins into the air, suddenly clearing until only pure    heat vapor can be seen rising.
Of a dead and browned coral reef off the coast of Borneo,  blooming to life, radiating extravagant colors as equally  colorful fish and other sea life sweeps by.
Of AFRICAN VILLAGERS harvesting thick, luxuriant fields of wheat.
Of the skyline of Mexico City, thick with dark brown,  killing smog, as the air clears, a brilliant blue sky  revealed.
Of a bulldozed section of the Brazilian rainforest  magically re-growing.
Of Tresa and other Slavians laying flowers at a peace memorial erected where the shed and mass grave once were.
Finally: of the soil alive with insects and small animals giving way to a garden in full bloom.
Giving way to the park around it.
Giving way to a wonderful, thriving city around it.
Giving way to the state around it and the country around it and the continent around it and the oceans around them, to the Earth spinning in space.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. BUS STOP – THE BRONX – NEW YORK – DAY
A fifteen year old PUERTO RICAN IMMIGRANT is sitting on the bench, despondently waiting for the bus, which may or may not come.
He suddenly looks to the other end of the bench — startled to see an HISPANIC GENTLEMAN in his 70’s wearing a sweater with a vivid purple tie. The Immigrant immediately sits up.
IMMIGRANT
Hey! Where the hell’d you come from?
HISPANIC GENTLEMAN
Did you know that if they train mice to run a maze in, say, Puerto Rico, that different mice in, oh say, Brooklyn, will learn to run the same maze twice as fast?
IMMIGRANT
Say what?
The Gentleman laughs.
HISPANIC GENTLEMAN
Excellent! We’ll have great fun! Have I got a dream for you!

FADE OUT.

c.2009
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