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Dawn: The Series 1x05 "Dreams Of A Dead Man"

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  • Dawn: The Series 1x05 "Dreams Of A Dead Man"

    DAWN

    "Dreams Of A Dead Man"
    (1x05)

    Written By

    Kungfubear

    Created By

    Kungfubear & Skinless

    Based on characters created by Joss Whedon


    TEASER

    EXT. UNKNOWN CITY LIMITS - DAWN

    A quiet, empty, long stretch of road. It's just before sunrise. A light haze of pink begins to pierce through the deep blue morning skyline. The fields surrounding this road are flat and barren. No crops are growing here. Not yet, anyway. Everything is still and silent, save for a chorus of crickets, somewhere in the sparse vegetation.

    Suddenly, a late model sedan comes roaring over the horizon. Much of the car appears to be on fire. The flames flicker in the wind as the car speeds carelessly down the highway.

    The camera PANS slowly to the ground.

    LOW ANGLE ON: Pavement. Ground level. Part of the asphalt starts to erode and change shape as a spike erects from the ground. The flaming vehicle gains ever closer. Contact is almost certain.

    HIGH ANGLE ON: Street, as the left front tire meets the spike and blows out, causing the car to go soaring off the ground and flip, end over end like a roll of dice. Steel and glass shatter and bend, producing a horrid groaning and shrieking sound, as if the car itself could actually feel pain.

    Eventually, the car lands upside down. It's still on fire. After a beat, the driver's side door opens. QUINN MARTIN, pulls himself out of the wreckage. He's wearing black pants and a white dress shirt, or at least it used to be white. It's mostly splattered with blood. What once was his neck tie, is now bandaged around his left hand, which is immobile because that arm is clearly broken.

    A large gash is open on his forehead, near his hairline, causing blood to run down the side of his face, blinding one eye. Not that it matters. That eye is swollen shut. In his good hand, Quinn holds a silver, pistol-grip, Mossberg 500, 12 gauge shotgun. He uses the gun for leverage, trying to drag himself away from the auto accident.

    He gets a few yards away before the car explodes. He's just far enough away to escape harm from the blast. He lays there in the middle of the road, looking up at the sky as the dawn breaks.

    ANGLE ON: Quinn's POV. The rays of the sun are tearing through the clouds.

    ANGLE ON: Quinn's face. Dirty, bruised, bloody and weary.

    QUINN
    (VO)
    Hell of a morning. I haven't even had my coffee yet.

    Quinn checks his shirt pocket and produces two shotgun shells.

    QUINN
    (VO)
    Two shells left. (beat) Peachy.

    He loads the two shells into the gun.

    QUINN
    (VO)
    One for me, just in case?

    The sound of a speeding vehicle can be heard off in the distance. Quinn does a slow, painful sit up. We can hear a couple bones within him cracking.

    ANGLE ON: Quinn's POV. He sits up just in time to see a giant truck appear over the horizon, headed straight for him at top speed.

    QUINN
    (VO)
    ?and one for the son of a bitch who killed me.

    Quinn plants the butt of the shotgun onto the pavement, the barrel pointing up towards the sky, and gives it a hard, one-handed pump, loading a shell into the chamber.

    QUINN
    (quiet, to himself)
    Here we go.

    ANGLE ON: The truck tearing down the road, towards the camera, filling the frame.

    BLACK OUT.

    END OF TEASER

    CUE MUSIC AND OPENING: "Tomorrow" by SR-71

    ACT ONE

    FADE IN:

    INT. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - EVENING

    Quinn and a YOUNG BOY are seated in giant bean bag chairs. They're watching some cheesy, ?60s B-movie on television. Eerie sci-fi music can be heard coming from the set.

    WOMAN
    (OS)
    Atom?!? Atom?!

    A leggy, bleach-blond WOMAN enters. She's very pretty, except she looks like an exotic dancer.

    WOMAN
    There you are. Can I talk to you for a sec.?

    Quinn gets up from his seat. His eyes are focused on the screen. He eventually tears himself away and follows the Woman into the kitchen. The Young Boy is still glued to the TV.

    TV ANNOUNCER
    (OS)
    We now return to, "The Island Of Doctor Death". A Quinn Martin Production.

    INT. KITCHEN - EVENING

    The kitchen, much like the rest of the house, has that same retro, late ?60s nuclear test site design to it. Lots of light blue, cream colors and chrome. The refrigerator is adorned with various family photos, held in place by lots of colored, alphabet magnets.

    WOMAN
    Listen, Atom. I'm goin' into work so you're watching Stevie tonight.

    ATOM
    Hold on, you said you had the night off.

    WOMAN
    (checking her purse)
    I did, and now I don't.

    ATOM
    He called you in again, right? What's with that guy?

    WOMAN
    A man like that's used to getting what he pays for. How do I look?

    ATOM
    Like you're worth way more than whatever he's paying.

    WOMAN
    Aw, thank you, honey. You really like my outfit?

    ATOM
    That's not what I meant.

    WOMAN
    I know what you meant. I just need you guys to stick with me on this a little while longer, okay? He hates it when I'm late, so you gotta watch Stevie.

    ATOM
    You know, it would have been nice to be asked. I mean, what if I had plans?

    WOMAN
    Do you?

    ATOM
    Well, no. Of course not.

    WOMAN
    Okay then. What's the fuss?

    ATOM
    Just because you're correct, doesn't mean you're right.

    The Woman pulls a bunch of dollar bills from her purse and hands it to Quinn.

    WOMAN
    Maybe you two can do something fun together.

    ATOM
    He's eleven. Our options are severely limited.

    He pockets the money.

    WOMAN
    What, were you planning on arms dealing?

    ATOM
    No way. We did that last week.

    She smiles.

    ATOM
    All I'm saying is, it wouldn't kill you to at least ask me first.

    WOMAN
    Atom?

    ATOM
    What?

    WOMAN
    Would you please do me a solid and watch Stevie tonight while I go into work on my day off?

    ATOM
    There. See, was that so hard?

    She hugs him.

    WOMAN
    I love you, sweetheart. There's a box of ice cream bars in the freezer.

    ATOM
    I love you too, Mom.

    WOMAN
    (calling out to Stevie)
    Stevie? I'll be back later. Listen to your brother. I love you!

    STEVIE
    (OS)
    ?Kay, Mom! Love you, too!

    MOM
    Bye.

    She gives Quinn a quick peck on the cheek before she darts out the back door. He takes a moment for himself and then walks to the laundry room, adjacent to the kitchen.

    INT. LAUNDRY ROOM - EVENING - CONTINUOUS

    The room is small, almost more like a foyer. The washer and dryer take up one side. On the other side, rests a large, coffin-like freezer. Quinn lifts the lid and peers inside. We see various frozen meats and microwaveable meals. In the corner, Quinn finds what he's looking for. He pulls two ice cream bars from the box and closes the lid to the freezer.

    INT. LIVING ROOM - EVENING - CONTINUOUS

    Quinn enters back into the living room. It's empty. Stevie isn't there. Theremin music plays on the television.

    ATOM
    Stevie?

    Quinn glances at the TV. On the screen, a giant, rubber tentacle monster lumbers towards a pretty, unsuspecting girl. He turns off the television, leaving the living room silent and mostly dark. He exits the room.

    INT. HALLWAY - EVENING - CONTINUOUS

    Quinn makes his way slowly down the long, narrow hallway. We track behind him as he reaches the door at the end of the hall.

    CLOSE UP ON: QUINN

    Quinn peers in at the bedroom, finding nothing out of the ordinary. From behind him, at the other end of the hall, we see a blurred figure moving through the background. Quinn senses this presence. He whips around. A suction-cup dart flies into frame from seemingly out of nowhere and lands directly between his eyes.

    STEVIE
    Gotcha!

    ANGLE ON: QUINN'S POV.

    We see Stevie standing before Quinn, aiming an orange, plastic gun at his head. Quinn smiles and pulls the dart from his forehead.

    ATOM
    I should have known. I guess this means I'm dead now. Do I get a funeral?

    STEVIE
    What for? You're just gonna come back as a zombie.

    ATOM
    I am? Cool. What kind?

    The two of them head back down the hallway and into the living room.

    INT. LIVING ROOM - EVENING - CONTINUOUS

    STEVIE
    What do you mean what kind?

    ATOM
    Well, I mean are we talking an actual zombie?

    STEVIE
    You mean instead of the fake, inflatable kind filled with pudding?

    They sit back down in front of the TV. Stevie turns the television back on as Quinn hands him an ice cream bar.

    ATOM
    I'm talking about the difference between a rotting, shuffling brain-muncher and a true zombie. Those guys are usually under the control of some scheming puppet master, using his hypnotized victims to carry out the dirty work he won't do himself. You don't even have to be dead to be that kind of zombie.

    STEVIE
    Oh, totally the Romero kind, then.

    Stevie tears open his ice cream bar from its paper packaging and then takes a big, healthy bite out of the delicious treat.

    STEVIE
    (mouth full)
    Is Sci-Fi Saturday still on?

    ATOM
    Looks like.

    STEVIE
    Awesome.

    Stevie peels away a bit more of the wrapper on his ice cream bar, only to discover a small scrap of paper with the word "poison" scribbled on it.

    STEVIE
    What the-- Aww, no way!

    ATOM
    (smiling)
    Gotcha.

    STEVIE
    That's cheating.

    ATOM
    Hey, you're dead now. Dead men can't complain. You know the rules. Besides, I don't have a gun like you do. I have to use my brain.

    STEVIE
    Guess you won't be doing that again, since you used it all up.

    ATOM
    I'm a zombie, remember? I'll just eat someone else's brains and gain their knowledge.

    STEVIE
    Not in this town.

    ATOM
    Ooo, you're right. Slim pickings. Guess I'll just have to wander the highway and hope a tourist with a PHD picks me up.

    Stevie chuckles. The two of them are interrupted by a knock at the front door. They look at the door and then each other.

    STEVIE
    Brain delivery, like Meals on Wheels.

    They both scramble to answer the door. Stevie's got his dart gun drawn, ready for action. Quinn starts munching into his ice cream bar.

    ATOM
    (casual)
    Mmm, brains.

    Stevie, a young man with a purpose, whips open the door and takes aim. The two boys immediately freeze in their tracks with their mouths hanging open.

    ANGLE ON: FRONT DOOR.

    Two, teen girls in Cheerleader uniforms are smiling back at them. One girl is a BLONDE, the other is a BRUNETTE.

    BLONDE
    Hi there! We're from Crestridge Junior High and The Squad sent us out on a scavenger hunt for our next pep rally. We were wondering if you could help us out?

    ATOM
    Uh, that depends. What exactly are you girls looking for?

    BRUNETTE
    If it's two good looking guys, I'd say we're set, but I don't think it's on the list.
    (to Blonde)
    Is it?

    BLONDE
    (looking over list)
    Let's see. Crowbar, fright wig, brass monkey, vinyl record, ceramic cow creamer, traffic cone? Nope, two cute guys, not on the list.

    BRUNETTE
    Oh, that's a shame.

    BLONDE
    You know what we do need?
    (holds up list)
    A pair of plain, white boxer shorts.

    BRUNETTE
    Oh, that's right. What do you say, boys? Throw us a bone?

    A beat.

    ATOM
    Would you excuse me for a moment while I confer with my colleague?

    BLONDE
    Sure.

    Quinn closes the door. He and Stevie both kneel down and face each other, as if they're hiding and sharing government secrets.

    ATOM
    (whispering)
    What do you think?

    STEVIE
    (whispering)
    Don't look at me. All my underwear have Ninja Turtles on them.

    ATOM
    (whispering)
    Not that. The girls. What do we do about the girls?

    STEVIE
    (whispering)
    Oh. Well, I'll admit these babes are pretty major.

    ATOM
    (whispering)
    I agree, but don't ever talk like that again. You want them to laugh at us?

    STEVIE
    (whispering)
    Right. Hey, do you think the blonde one will make out with me?

    ATOM
    (whispering)
    Hold on, since when did you become so interested in girls?

    STEVIE
    (whispering)
    Since last week at the block party when Molly Hanson let me feel her boob.

    ATOM
    YOU TOUCHED A BOOB?!

    Stevie quickly covers Quinn's mouth with his hand. The two of them slowly look over at the front door to see if anyone outside might have heard that. When they get no response, Quinn removes Stevie's hand and continues the conversation.

    ATOM
    (whispering)
    I can't believe you grabbed her boob.

    STEVIE
    (whispering)
    What? It's not like I dropped from a tree like a ninja and ambushed her.

    ATOM
    (whispering)
    Stevie, Molly Hanson is fifteen.

    STEVIE
    (whispering)
    It was her idea.

    ATOM
    (whispering)
    Oh, and I'm sure if she asked you to kill for her, you'd do it?

    STEVIE
    (whispering)
    Of course not. Why, did she say something?

    ATOM
    (whispering)
    We'll talk about this later, just be cool, alright?

    Stevie holds up his dart gun, proudly.

    STEVIE
    Look who you're talking to.

    Quinn shakes his head, grinning. He opens the door.

    BRUNETTE
    What's the good word, killer? Has the jury reached a verdict?

    ATOM
    Please, come in.

    The girls smile at each other and stride confidently into the house.

    BRUNETTE
    Oh, I love the inside of this house. It's so retro.

    ATOM
    You know, it just occurred to me that we've got years worth of junk in the basement. You're welcome to come have a look.

    BLONDE
    Hey, yeah! We could totally knock out the rest of our list in one shot!

    BRUNETTE
    How about this? You two troll the basement while your little brother here keeps me entertained.

    STEVIE
    You wanna see my room?

    BRUNETTE
    (smiling)
    Sure thing. Lead the way, cutie.

    They part company. The Brunette girl and Stevie head down the hallway. We follow behind Quinn and the Blonde girl as they open the door to the basement and head downstairs.

    INT. BASEMENT - EVENING - CONTINUOUS

    It's dark, but only for a moment. Quinn flips a switch on the wall, filling the basement with a few pools of light, from three, dim hanging lamps. The basement is big and spacious, but cluttered with all kinds of furniture, appliances and boxes of forgotten, sundry items. Most of what's down here is covered by white sheets and dust.

    ATOM
    Your friend is awfully, uh?

    BLONDE
    Friendly? Yeah, she's a massive flirt, like me.

    ATOM
    That's all well and good, I'm just concerned. Things could get awkward up there and I don?t want anyone to get their signals crossed.

    BLONDE
    No worries. Debbie's harmless.

    ATOM
    Yeah, except I was talking about Stevie. Did you say you needed a crowbar, too?

    BLONDE
    Yeah, you got an extra one?

    ATOM
    I'm pretty sure we do. Hold on.

    Quinn makes a beeline for a work bench covered in discarded car parts and rusty tools.

    ATOM
    I think I remember seeing one.

    A crowbar is resting against the wall, by an old refrigerator. Quinn picks it up and hands it to the Blonde girl.

    ATOM
    There you go. One crowbar. What's next?

    BLONDE
    Um?

    She scans the list.

    BLONDE
    A fright wig?

    ATOM
    Right this way.

    They walk across the floor to a far corner of the basement.

    BLONDE
    Come on, there is no way you have a fright wig down here.

    ATOM
    Old Halloween costumes, aisle five.

    Quinn reveals a clothes rack brimming with various costumes and uniforms, most of them in clear plastic sleeves. He starts going through them, searching.

    BLONDE
    How is it you have all this stuff? Are your parents major pack rats or something?

    ATOM
    As far as my mom is concerned, let's just say she's led an interesting life with many, many colorful jobs.

    BLONDE
    What about your dad?

    ATOM
    My old man's been in somebody's pocket for as long as I've known him. Most everything down here ties into some debt he never paid off.

    BLONDE
    How come?

    ATOM
    He took a header off a hotel balcony in Reno a few years back.

    BLONDE
    That sucks. I'm sorry.

    ATOM
    Don't be. Even when he was around, he wasn't really around, you know what I mean? My mom says the only promise he made good on was giving her two healthy boys, so it's not a total loss.

    Quinn finds an old clown costume and removes a pink fright wig from the bag. He tosses it to the Blonde girl. She catches it and smiles at him.

    ATOM
    Told you so.

    Quinn moves over to a row of boxes on a card table and starts digging through them, passing a full length mirror along the way.

    ATOM
    I swear, you name it, it's probably down here. Anything from lampshades to leprechauns, even.

    BLONDE
    Really?

    With the fright wig in one hand and the crowbar in the other, the Blonde girl slowly walks up behind Quinn. She passes the full length mirror, which does not show her reflection!

    BLONDE
    How about vampires?

    BLACK OUT.

    ACT TWO

    INT. BASEMENT - EVENING

    Quinn is digging through a box. He stands up into frame and turns to face the Blonde Girl.

    ATOM
    What?

    BLONDE
    (quick)
    What?

    ATOM
    Did you say something?

    A beat.

    BLONDE
    No.

    ATOM
    Huh. I could've sworn you said--

    BLONDE
    (pointing OS)
    Hey, is that an urn?

    Quinn follows the Blonde girl's gaze over to a homemade shelf on the wall. On the shelf, we see a Las Vegas snow globe, some candles, a bottle of old perfume and a brass urn. They walk over to the shelf.

    ATOM
    Yeah. Meet my old man, Eddie Blue. After he Jackson Pollacked all over the pavement, we had him scraped up and cremated. (beat) You should probably mark off some of this stuff from your list.

    BLONDE
    Oh, right.

    She puts the items she's gathered down on the floor and digs out the list from her tiny, impractical purse.

    BLONDE
    Weird. I can't find my pencil. I had it a second ago.

    She digs a bit through her purse.

    ATOM
    Oh, check this out. I forgot why we put it down here in the first place.

    Quinn takes the perfume bottle off the shelf. He opens it and smells the contents of the glass container. The liquid is clear.

    ATOM
    It smells okay. Perfume doesn't go bad, does it?

    BLONDE
    I don't think so, let me try.

    Quinn holds the bottle out. The Blonde girl puts her nose up to it and sniffs.

    BLONDE
    I don't smell anything. What's in it?

    ATOM
    Holy water.

    Immediately, Quinn splashes the water in her face. She screams and instinctively morphs into Vamp face. Her skin blisters and sizzles, while smoke seems to be coming out of her pores. She brings her hands to her face in an effort to shield herself from danger, but it's too late. She grabs Quinn and tosses him across the room like a rag doll. He slams into the wall, dislocating his shoulder, and slumps to the cold, basement floor.

    BLONDE
    You?re gonna pay for that, you ass!

    She drags him up to his feet by his shirt, with one hand. Quinn winces in pain.

    ATOM
    My shoulder!

    BLONDE
    Believe me, that's the least of your problems. He wants you alive, but he didn't say you had to be in one piece. I'm gonna turn you into a human traffic cone. How about I mark THAT ONE off my list?!

    With his good arm, Quinn stakes the Blonde vampire through the chest with her missing pencil. She quickly bursts into dust. Quinn hits concrete again.
    ATOM
    (through the pain)
    Don't forget your pencil.

    After getting his wind back, Quinn rams his shoulder into the corner of the room, popping it back into place. Once that's settled, he looks up at the door to the living room.

    ATOM
    Stevie.

    Although he's not feeling his Wheaties, Quinn finds the strength to race up the stairs and reach for the doorknob. Before he can touch it, the door opens from the other side. The BRUNETTE cheerleader (DEBBIE) produces a Stun Gun and zaps Quinn with enough voltage to knock him unconscious. He drops into the living room with a dull thud.

    DEBBIE
    (smiling)
    Sweet dreams, killer.

    DISSOLVE TO:

    INT. TRUNK - LATER

    Darkness. A spark of light from the flame of a Zippo illuminates the screen for the briefest of moments. Darkness again. Another spark. It's not holding. Finally, the lighter works, revealing Quinn's sweaty face. Taking in his claustrophobic surroundings, he realizes he's locked in the trunk of a car.

    EXT. CAR - LATE NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

    A white, late-model sedan is parked by the side of the road. A repetitious banging is coming from the inside of the trunk. Eventually, the trunk gives, springing open. Quinn spills out of the car, his body hitting the dirt. He stands up and finds himself dressed in a black suit and tie. His jacket pocket starts RINGING. He reaches into his jacket and pulls out a sleek, hi-tech cellular phone. Quinn opens the display screen. It reads: "Incoming Video Message." He presses play.

    CLOSE ON: The playback shows Debbie standing in the back patio of Quinn's house, smiling brightly and obviously holding the camera outward to catch herself on film.

    DEBBIE
    So, no doubt you?ve made it out of the trunk by now. Like your new threads? I picked them out myself. The car too, but I've got the keys.

    Debbie holds up a set of car keys and jingles them in front of the camera.

    DEBBIE
    I?ll bet you?ve got a ton of questions so I?ll do my best to fill you in. Eddie Blue owed a massive debt to my employer, Mr. Leonetti. Instead of paying it off, he tragically committed suicide and stuck his wife, Karen with the bill. Rather than share the same fate, your mom, trooper that she is decided to work off her debt as Mr. L's personal escort and dancer at his club, Girlie Corner. I know, I'm not telling you anything new here but be patient, I'm getting to that. What you didn't know was that your dear old dad hired himself out as a freelance thief to the boss man. He had a real knack for it, too. Paintings, diamonds, priceless artifacts. You name it, he could get it, except he got stupid. His last job, before his untimely demise, Mr. L wanted Eddie to get a precious stone from South America, called the Lazarus Heart. Well, he got it alright, but chose to keep it for himself. No telling where he put it, but we've been looking ever since. Leonetti has only so much patience, so he sent me and my girl Tina to you know, ask nicely. I asked your mom?

    Debbie steps out of the shot to reveal KAREN BLUE (Quinn's Mother), bound to a chair and gagged, covered in blood. She's obviously been severely tortured. There's some faint signs of life.

    DEBBIE
    (OS)
    ?but I guess she didn't know, either.

    CLOSE ON: Quinn, taking in the image of his dying mother. As the video continues to play, his eyes look up, down the road.

    DEBBIE
    (OS)
    Now that we've got all the boring exposition out of the way, I'll tell you what you're gonna do next.

    CUT TO:

    EXT. BACKYARD - LATE NIGHT

    Quinn comes sprinting from the desert field just off the road, towards the backyard of his home.

    DEBBIE
    (VO)
    As of this moment, you live to serve Franco Leonetti. All debts from Edward Blue now fall on your shoulders. This can end now if you give us the Lazarus Heart. Your only other option is to work it off. Play your part and do a good job, you just might live a decent life.

    Quinn slows down as he reaches the patio.

    EXT. QUINN'S HOUSE - BACK PATIO - LATE NIGHT

    An empty chair, streaked with blood sits on the patio. The back door to the house is open, a trail of blood leading inside. Quinn follows it into his house.

    DEBBIE
    (VO)
    You could always follow in your father's footsteps and off yourself but trust me when I tell you, after you find what I've done here, you'll want to live. Revenge is a powerful motivator for self-preservation.

    INT. QUINN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

    Quinn enters the kitchen. The entire inside of the house has been ransacked and destroyed. Quinn finds Karen's dead body on the ground, having crawled her way to the refrigerator just before she died. Her body is covered in numerous cuts and bruises. Quinn kneels down to check for a pulse. He knows it's useless, but he checks anyway. It's then that he notices something under his mother's hand. It's an old family photo that's been pulled down from off the refrigerator. Quinn looks up at the refrigerator door where the photo would have been, expecting to find a blank space. Instead, a few of the blue alphabet magnets have been carefully placed together to spell the word, "URN".

    ATOM
    (VO)
    It's true. My father did jump off a hotel balcony in Reno, but that's not how he died. Something happened to him while he was in South America. When he came home for the last time, my mother knew something was wrong. That night, he tried to kill her in her sleep. It was the first time she and I learned that vampires were real.

    Quinn stands up and starts to exit the kitchen in search of his little brother, when something catches his eye.

    MEDIUM CLOSE ON: Spots of blood on the floor, leading in a different direction, into the Laundry Room.

    INT. LAUNDRY ROOM - LATE NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

    Quinn cautiously steps into the Laundry Room. The drops of blood stop right at the foot of the large freezer. Quinn slowly extends his arm out to touch the handle on the lid. His hand is shaking.

    INT. FREEZER - LATE NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

    The lid lifts open as we are looking up at Quinn, from inside the freezer. He tries to keep from breaking at what he sees. His eyes are glassy, welling up with tears. His heart feels like it could burst out from his throat. Quinn reaches down into the freezer, grabbing hold of something. When his hand comes back into frame, we see he's taking an orange, plastic gun from the grasp of a young boy's bloodied hand. Stevie's hand eventually releases the toy gun and falls lifelessly back out of frame.

    ATOM
    (VO)
    My father thought if he faked his death, he would no longer have to pay his debt to Franco Leonetti.

    Quinn can't keep it in any longer. He begins sobbing over the dead body of his little brother.

    ATOM
    (VO)
    But somebody has to pay. Somebody always pays. We never told Stevie what really happened. We believed hiding the truth would keep him safe.

    CUE MUSIC: "Flames" by Vast.

    DISSOLVE TO:

    INT. BASEMENT - LATE NIGHT - MONTAGE

    -- Quinn opening his father's urn and turning it upside down, dumping the ashes out onto the floor. A sliver of paper follows behind.

    -- Quinn picks up the scrap of paper and examines it. It reads: 5 Right, 23 Left, 79 Right.

    -- Quinn moving the full length mirror away from the wall to reveal a recess in the architecture, which houses a large, heavy safe.

    -- Quinn opens the safe to discover a substantial amount of cash, roughly $48,000 or so, divided into groups of a thousand each.

    -- Quinn stuffs the money into a leather, bowling ball bag. Also in the safe, Quinn finds a silver, pistol-grip, Mossberg 500, 12 gauge shotgun. A handful of shells lay scattered at the bottom of the shelf

    -- Quinn loads the shotgun, pocketing a couple leftover shells.

    -- Tucked away in the back of the safe, Quinn finds a small object that looks mystical in its appearance: a crystal, octagonal knob, encased in bony claws. He looks at it, puzzled. Reluctantly, he puts it in his jacket.

    DISSOLVE TO:

    INT. KITCHEN - LATE NIGHT - MONTAGE

    -- Quinn picks up his mother and carries her into the laundry room.

    DISSOLVE TO:

    INT. LAUNDRY ROOM - LATE NIGHT - MONTAGE

    -- Quinn puts his mother's body in the freezer with Stevie. He takes one last lingering look inside before closing the freezer. He reaches down at his feet, brings up a gas can into frame and proceeds to pour gasoline all over the freezer.

    DISSOLVE TO:

    INT. LIVING ROOM - LATE NIGHT - MONTAGE

    -- Quinn dousing the furniture and the walls with gasoline.

    DISSOLVE TO:

    EXT. FRONT YARD - LATE NIGHT - MONTAGE

    -- Quinn ignites his Zippo lighter and chucks it onto his front lawn. An immediate blaze of fire rips a trail of flames into the house.

    DISSOLVE TO:

    INT. QUINN'S HOUSE - LATE NIGHT - MONTAGE

    -- The entire inside of the house is on fire by now. Flames crawl up the walls and torch all the furniture.

    -- A framed photo of the Blue Family, once happy and together begins to melt and dissolve away.

    DISSOLVE TO:

    EXT. FRONT YARD - LATE NIGHT - MONTAGE

    -- Quinn stands in his front yard and watches as his family, his house, his life goes up in flames.

    CLOSE ON: Quinn's face. A deep rage and determination are slowly building from behind his eyes.

    DISSOLVE TO:

    EXT. HILLSIDE - LATE NIGHT - MONTAGE

    -- Quinn appears over the horizon. He walks down the other end of the hillside, shotgun and bag of money in hand. Black smoke billows in the background, endlessly floating into the night sky, as if trying to reach an ever distant destination.

    DISSOLVE TO:

    EXT. CAR - LATE NIGHT - MONTAGE

    -- Quinn reaches the sedan, the trunk still open from when he last left it. He puts his belongings in the trunk and then closes it.

    DISSOLVE TO:

    INT. CAR - LATE NIGHT - MONTAGE

    -- CLOSE ON: Quinn hot-wiring the car.

    DISSOLVE TO:

    EXT. ROAD - LATE NIGHT - MONTAGE

    -- POV: The car's headlights give a limited view of the road ahead as we go forward with Quinn into the darkness.

    ATOM
    (VO)
    Words like safety and value hold no meaning for me anymore. Nothing else matters. As long as I live, I am a slave to my hunger for retribution. I've never been outside the city limits, but there is no longer a home for me here. For the memory of my family, to hold on to the man my mother raised me to be, I must go out and make a new home.

    A beat.

    EXT. CITY LIMITS - LATE NIGHT

    CLOSE ON: A sign post that reads, "Now leaving Burning, Nevada". The car zips by it and heads off into the distance.

    ATOM
    (VO)
    But first, I have a debt to pay.

    BLACK OUT.

    ACT THREE

    EXT. GIRLIE CORNER - BEFORE DAWN

    The night has crossed over into the next day, but it's still dark outside. The car pulls up and stops in front of an old warehouse. There doesn't appear to be any other businesses around for miles in every direction. This lone building is painted completely black, even the windows. There are no distinguishing marks to be found, except one: A pink, neon sign above the front door, depicting the curvaceous outline of the female form. The front door is the only other aspect of the place with any sort of color. It's painted blood red.

    INT. GIRLIE CORNER - BEFORE DAWN

    The inside of the club is wall-to-wall with lavish decorations. There are runways with stripper poles, a dance floor and an expansive bar curved like a horseshoe. The place is free of patrons or employees of any kind. Girlie Corner appears to be closed at the moment. We hold on the silence for a moment until: BOOM! The front door bursts open, having been "unlocked" by an apparent shotgun blast. The smoking barrel of Quinn's Mossberg enters the club before he does. Looking around, Quinn is confused to find the place deserted. He was ready for almost anything, except for nothing. He hears a small bit of golf-clapping from behind. Quinn turns, gun drawn, but finds only Debbie, sitting on top of the bar, legs crossed and smiling brightly.

    DEBBIE
    (cheerful)
    Bravo! Nice entrance. A little over dramatic, but you really sold it. Good for you!

    ATOM
    You again.

    DEBBIE
    Well, of course it's me. What'd you expect? Since you made soup mix out of Stacy, I have no one left to hang out with.

    ATOM
    Cry me a river.

    DEBBIE
    You know, now that she's out of the picture, there's an opening for my new best friend. You interested?

    ATOM
    Pass.

    DEBBIE
    Aw, how come?

    ATOM
    I'd rather eat chalk. Where is everyone?

    DEBBIE
    We cleared the place out, silly. We can't have this club thumpin' when you show up, all full of rage, guns blazin'. It's bad for business. Hey, how did you even get here? I still have the keys.

    ATOM
    Hotwire.

    DEBBIE
    My, aren't you just full of surprises?

    ATOM
    And you're about to be full of buckshot. Where's your boss?

    DEBBIE
    Long gone. It's just me and you.

    Without hesitation, Quinn fires the shotgun, blasting a hole through Debbie's chest. The impact sends her over the other side of the bar, falling behind it. Quinn pumps out the used shell.

    ATOM
    Now it's just me.

    A beat. Quinn is about to leave, but stops when he hears some shuffling coming from behind the bar.

    ANGLE ON: The bar. A hand comes up and slaps down onto the bar. Debbie rises up into frame.

    DEBBIE
    God! Rude much?! Look at my outfit. It's ruined.

    The gross, gaping hole in her torso closes up on itself in a matter of seconds.

    DEBBIE
    I expected better manners from you, Atom. I guess this means you won't be working for us.

    ATOM
    What tipped you off?

    DEBBIE
    It may have been when you shot me! Are you trying to kill me?!

    ATOM
    Make no mistake, I'll keep trying until you're dead.

    DEBBIE
    Sweetie, you can't kill me. I'm already dead.

    ATOM
    Keep pushing. I've already killed one vampire, tonight.

    DEBBIE
    Lucky for me then, I'm not a vampire. Right now, you've got bigger demons to knock down.

    ATOM
    Meaning?

    DEBBIE
    Do you know what an Elemental is?

    ATOM
    No. Should I?

    DEBBIE
    I'll say. It's only the thing that's gonna kill you.

    ATOM
    Not if I die of boredom, first.

    DEBBIE
    Oh, don't worry.

    A low rumble from underground starts to build.

    DEBBIE
    He's here.

    The rumbling is getting louder. Quinn looks around for the source, but can't find it. It seems to be coming from everywhere. The ground beneath his feet starts to quake. A few discarded glasses on the bar vibrate to the edge, fall off and crash to the ground.

    DEBBIE
    Good luck, killer.

    Debbie snaps her fingers, and disappears in a flash of bright, hot light, leaving behind a tinge of smoke where she had previously been. Quinn doesn't have much time to react. Sections of the ground begin to open up, as thin, lanky creatures composed of earth and roots rise up from underground. At least a half dozen. They advance on him, eyes made of fire.

    Quinn maneuvers as best he can, dodging their attacks while firing shells at them. Their limbs fly apart in a haze of dirt and rocks. Much of the debris hits Quinn. He continues to shield himself while trying to make his way towards the exit of the club. One of the creatures surprises him by approaching from his right. He levels the gun at the monster's face and pulls the trigger.

    The head explodes like a bad melon. That seems to do the trick as the rest of the creature disintegrates into a pile of useless soil. Quinn finishes the rest of them off by going for the head shots. He's finally able to back out through the front door.

    INT. SEDAN - BEFORE DAWN

    Quinn slides into the car, quickly slamming the door behind him. He ducks under the dashboard, reaching for wires. He hastily fumbles to hotwire the car. Just as he ties off the frayed wires and his vehicle roars to life, Quinn hears another, more primal sounding engine. He looks up.

    EXT. GIRLIE CORNER - BEFORE DAWN

    From behind the club, a massive truck with oversized tires comes flying into view. Quinn doesn't waste time. He pulls away and manages to spin the car around, in a movie that would make a stunt driver proud. He's out of there, and the truck follows suit, its engine screaming after him.

    CUT TO:

    EXT. UNKNOWN CITY LIMITS - DAWN

    Quinn is pushing the car to its limits, kicking up tons of dirt in the process. The truck shows no signs of slowing. The sky is beginning to soften. Dawn is approaching.

    INT. SEDAN - DAWN

    Quinn grips the steering wheel tightly, his knuckles white. He glances in the rearview mirror and can see the truck in hot pursuit.

    ATOM
    That's right, just keep chasing me. You can't kill what you can't catch. Nothing's gonna slow me down.

    EXT. SEDAN - DAWN

    Suddenly, a fury of flames erupts on much of the paint job of the car, as if it had been waxed in gasoline. The fire flickers in the wind as the car continues speeding down the road.

    INT. SEDAN - DAWN

    Quinn pounds the steering wheel in frustration.

    ATOM
    Dammit!

    Something up ahead catches his eye. He squints.

    ANGLE ON: Quinn's POV. Up ahead in the road, the pavement magically erodes and spikes up. Too late to avoid.

    CUT TO:

    EXT. ROAD - DAWN - MONTAGE

    -- A few seconds of the car soaring into the air.

    -- A few seconds of Quinn crawling out of the wreckage.

    -- A few seconds of Quinn loading the last two shells into his shotgun.

    -- A few seconds of the truck barreling down on the camera. End Montage.

    ATOM
    (quiet, to himself)
    Here we go.

    Quinn fires a shot into the grill of the oncoming truck. It doesn't do much damage, but the vehicle screeches to a halt, anyway. It stops just a few feet away from Quinn's body. After a beat, the driver's side door opens. Out steps a gargantuan, muscle-bound beast made of stone, or some such. He's definitely not human. He lumbers towards Quinn with determination and big, heavy steps. Each step he takes, the pavement sizzles beneath his cloven hooves, leaving smoldering footprints behind.

    In a last ditch effort, Quinn aims his gun and fires. The buckshot more or less scuffs the beast in the left shoulder, making a few small, inconsequential dents. That's all she wrote. Quinn is out of ammo.

    ATOM
    Well, that was fruitful.

    The mammoth creature pauses for only a moment to acknowledge the impact of the shot as not much more than a minor nuisance. He continues to advance on Quinn. Fed up, Quinn discards the shotgun and digs into his jacket pocket.

    ATOM
    Okay, you know what? Here!

    Quinn pulls out the crystal object he had discovered at home. Disgusted, he tosses the item at the monster towering above. The beast catches it and examines it closely.

    ATOM
    Take the stupid Lazarus Heart or whatever and choke on it! Just leave me the hell alone. I'm damn sure not gonna die over some glorified paperweight.

    The beast widens its sapphire eyes and looks back at Quinn.

    BEAST
    Hold on? Atom? Atom Blue?

    A beat. Quinn stares at the intimidating figure in bewilderment.

    ATOM
    Um, yeah? Can I, help you?

    BEAST
    It's me, Doug! Don't you remember?

    ATOM
    Sorry, no. Can't say that I do. Have we met?

    DOUG
    Totally! I was your babysitter, bro!

    ATOM
    Say what?

    DOUG
    Oh, you were three at the time. Here, let me help you up.

    Doug bends down and extents his hand out. Reluctantly, Quinn takes it and gets up.

    ATOM
    Ah! My leg! My leg!

    DOUG
    Oh, jeez! I'm sorry! Here, lean on me.

    Quinn puts his arm around Doug as best he can and leans his weight onto his good leg.

    DOUG
    Man, you took one hell of a wipeout back there. I'm really sorry about that. Had I known it was you--

    ATOM
    Listen, Doug, is it?

    DOUG
    Uh huh.

    ATOM
    Listen, Doug. I don't mean to be rude here. Under any other circumstances, I'd be super glad to meet an old friend but I'm in a lot of pain here. Some morphine would be really great right about now, but I?ll settle for some answers.

    DOUG
    Hey, I'm just hired muscle here, guy. I know only as much as they tell me. Think of me as a loan shark for the soul.

    ATOM
    Seriously, gonna pass out any second, Doug.

    DOUG
    Look, I was called in by the cheerleader chick. She told me to swing by Girlie Corner and beat down the guy who had the Lazarus Heart, make him tell me where it was. It's nothing personal, I swear. Like I said, I didn't even know it was you until just now.

    ATOM
    Well, there you go. It's yours now, so have at it.

    DOUG
    What, you mean this?

    Doug holds up the crystal knob-thingy.

    ATOM
    Yeah. You mean that's not--

    DOUG
    The Lazarus Heart? No.

    ATOM
    What the hell is it, then?

    Doug turns the base of the object upside down, revealing a point at the bottom. He hands it to Quinn.

    DOUG
    You see this spike on the bottom?

    ATOM
    Yeah.

    DOUG
    You gotta drive that end into the ground as hard as you can.

    ATOM
    What are you, high? The ground's rock solid!

    DOUG
    Just trust me, you can do it. Go ahead.

    ATOM
    No way. Here, you do it.

    Quinn tries to give the crystal to Doug. Doug refuses.

    DOUG
    I can't. Only you can do it.

    ATOM
    How do you know so much about it?

    DOUG
    I was the one who gave it to your Mom to give to you.

    ATOM
    You--

    DOUG
    You found it in the safe, right? (beat) I'm sorry, Atom. We wouldn't even be talking unless this was trouble of the worst kind. I never wanted to see you again, because if I ever did, it meant-- (beat) There's nothing I can say to help you now. You have to talk to The Conduit.

    ATOM
    Who?

    DOUG
    Only you can know that. Everyone sees something different. Given our surroundings, I'm afraid the ground is the only way to get there.

    A beat. Quinn looks at the object in his hand and then back at Doug. Doug says nothing. On shaky legs, Quinn kneels his weary body down to the ground. Aiming the sharp spike downward, he raises the object high above his head and stabs it into the pavement. Surprisingly, it sinks in as easily as punching through cookie dough. A large, rectangular groove forms into the earth, revealing the crystal device to be some sort of mystical doorknob.

    DOUG
    Take as much time as you need. I'll be here when you get back.

    The rock door drops away to reveal a set of earthen stairs that lead down into darkness. Quinn stares into the hole before taking a deep breath and descending down the stairs with a wincing limp as he goes.

    INT. VOID - CONTINUOUS

    As Quinn continues down the stairs, he turns back to look up at Doug, just in time to see the hole close up above him. He is in dark, but he can make out the remaining steps ahead of him. Quinn cautiously moves on. When he plants his feet at the bottom of the stairs, the steps fade away. Almost instantly, a figure appears in front of him, standing in a pool of light. We see EDWARD BLUE, Quinn's Father, the man from the family photo. He's short, bespectacled and friendly-looking. His voice is soft, calm and reassuring.

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    Be still now. I am with you. I am deep within you. You are at peace. You cannot be harmed. You will not suffer. Breathe deeply. Breathe in the healing love of the universe, and breathe out the sickness which has taken you. I am with you.

    ATOM
    D-- Dad?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    No. I am only as you need me to be. What you see before you is from your own mind, but you may ask of me anything.

    ATOM
    If you're not really my Father, then what are you?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    I have no real name or form, but I am as solid as Earth and as old as time.

    ATOM
    Where are we?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    I am everywhere, but you are nowhere.

    ATOM
    You'll forgive me if I have no idea what that means?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    Of course.

    ATOM
    Why doesn't it hurt, here?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    Physical pain is that of a human concept.

    ATOM
    So, you're telling me I'm not human?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    Yes.

    ATOM
    (rolling his eyes)
    You have got to be joking.

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    I am. I apologize. I don't get many visitors and you looked as though you could do with a laugh.

    ATOM
    I appreciate it, but that's not what I'm here for. What can you tell me about something called The Lazarus Heart?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    It is a precious jewel, constructed of bone and filled with blood.

    ATOM
    Human blood?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    Some of it, yes.

    ATOM
    You mean to tell me that my entire family was killed over some old, shiny rock?!

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    The stone's value is measured subjectively, just as most everything can be.

    ATOM
    Why?! What's so important about a blood stone?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    It is believed to grant immortality and control of the fates to those who possess it.

    ATOM
    Well? Does it?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    It is hard to say.

    ATOM
    Try!

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    I cannot answer at this time.

    ATOM
    Can't, or won't?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    Both. While it is true that knowledge is power, the wealth of a thing does not simply come from the awareness of it, but more to when it is known and how such knowledge is gained.

    ATOM
    So, basically you're saying--

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    Reply hazy. Ask again later.

    ATOM
    Right. Where do I go from here.

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    That's up to you. But if I may, I'd like to make a suggestion.

    ATOM
    A suggestion? You give out answers and advice?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    Only under special circumstances. The love you feel for your family radiates from your being. Your soul is like a lantern, a guiding light that leads you to salvation and prosperity. Unfortunately, the pain and loss you have suffered by your enemies is slowly dimming the shining good within you. I want to help you get that light back.

    ATOM
    I don't see how. Once I go back out there, I'm lucky if I can hardly stand up.

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    Yes, the road before you now is long and dark, but there is a strong resolve within you that cannot and will not allow for this reckoning to go unfulfilled. Every living thing is connected so that every connection may continue to live on, even when those ties are severed. A love has been replaced by hate and this darkness cannot prevail. You will be an instrument of solidarity and restoration, a bonding agent, but only if you choose to be. It's up to you.

    A beat. Quinn ponders this proposal.

    ATOM
    I'm sure you get this a lot, but I just wanna know for my own peace of mind?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    Yes?

    ATOM
    Are-- Are you, God?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    I am only as you need me to be.

    A beat.

    ATOM
    I'm not gonna get a straight answer on that one, am I?

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    Not in this lifetime, I'm afraid.

    ATOM
    Well, it was worth a shot.

    CONDUIT
    (as Eddie)
    Would you like to hear the rest of my proposal?

    ATOM
    What else have I got to lose? (a beat) I'm listening.

    BLACK OUT.

    ACT FOUR

    EXT. ROAD - LATER

    We see Doug standing in the road, currently juggling a few flaming rocks. The ground in front of him opens up like a whirlpool of dirt and sediment. Quinn casually rises up from it as if he's on an escalator. Once he's out, the ground closes up behind him, leaving behind the crystal doorknob. He picks it up and pockets it.

    DOUG
    (juggling)
    Did you have a nice talk?

    ATOM
    Just ducky. He offered me a job.

    DOUG
    (still juggling)
    A job? Huh, he must really like you.

    ATOM
    Would you stop that for a sec? This affects you, too.

    DOUG
    (more juggling)
    Hang on, I'm going for a personal best.

    ATOM
    What do you know about a vampire who calls himself Bob, lives in Chicago?

    Upon hearing that, Doug drops the burning stones and directs his undivided attention toward Quinn.

    DOUG
    Bob? Sure, I know him. He's a good guy.

    ATOM
    We are still talking about a vampire, right?

    DOUG
    Bob's a, special case.

    ATOM
    He rides a short bus?

    DOUG
    No! Look, never mind. Just tell him you're friends with me, you'll be fine.

    ATOM
    If you say so. The Conduit said I gotta go see him.

    DOUG
    He's really sending you to Bob?

    ATOM
    No, you are. Can you do it?

    DOUG
    Well, yeah but trust me it's not a fun ride. Wouldn't you rather take a plane? I'll pay for your ticket and everything.

    ATOM
    No, he distinctly said it had to be you. He said you would understand.

    DOUG
    Ah, man.

    ATOM
    Is there a problem?

    DOUG
    Well, yes and no. What you're asking me to do can't be undone. On top of being your time and space travel agent, this makes me like, your personal Chewbacca. It binds us completely, but not in a gay way.

    ATOM
    You know what's been taken from me.

    DOUG
    Yeah.

    ATOM
    You know what those people deserve.

    DOUG
    Uh huh.

    ATOM
    Okay then, so get to it.

    DOUG
    Atom, it's not that simple. You--

    ATOM
    It's what my Mother would've wanted, Doug.

    DOUG
    (whining)
    Ah, Dammit! Don't say that!

    ATOM
    You'll do it, then?

    DOUG
    (defeated)
    Yeah, open your shirt.

    ATOM
    Open my shirt?

    Quinn starts to unbutton his worn, bloody shirt.

    DOUG
    Come on, I don't wanna mess it up--

    Quinn looks down at his tattered, filthy rags and then back up at Doug, raising an eyebrow.

    DOUG
    --some more.

    Quinn opens his shirt like Superman, revealing his bare chest.

    ATOM
    Are you sure this isn't a gay thing?

    DOUG
    Just shut up and hold still!

    Doug holds out his hand with his palm facing Quinn, as if trying to signal stop. He then proceeds to bend his fingers back, breaking them in the process. The bones are snapping, but it doesn't seem to bother Doug.

    DOUG
    This is gonna hurt, a lot.

    ATOM
    Everything does. Why stop now?

    Four sharp claws extend out from Doug's palm and form an X-shape. The claws start getting red hot. When they're all heated up, Doug presses the claws deep into Quinn's chest, branding him. Quinn SCREAMS!

    FLASH CUT TO:

    EXT. BACK OF LOGAN'S DINER - MORNING

    In Chicago, behind Logan's Diner, there rests a big, rusty dumpster. We hold on this for a moment as a flash of lightning sparks from inside. A few seconds later, Quinn climbs out of the dumpster, very disoriented. He picks up a discarded newspaper from off the ground and reads it.

    INSERT ON: The name of the newspaper reads, "Chicago Sun Times".

    Quinn looks around before limping around the corner, out of frame.

    EXT. FRONT OF LOGAN'S DINER - MORNING

    Quinn makes his way to the front of the diner, just in time to catch a glimpse of CATHRYN "CAT" KELLER inside. She turns on the "Open" sign and then heads deeper into the diner, out of sight.

    INT. LOGAN'S DINER - MORNING

    Quinn enters the diner and finds himself to be the only patron, currently. Feeling weak, he steadies himself against the booth next to the door. Cat emerges from the back and sees Quinn almost instantly. She's taken aback by his appearance.

    CAT
    (startled)
    Oh my God! What happened to you?! Did you get into a fight or something?!

    ATOM
    You should see the other guy.

    Quinn slides into the booth, resting his back against the wall and putting his bad leg up on the cushion. Cautiously, Cat finally approaches the table.

    CAT
    Um, do you want me to call an ambulance?

    ATOM
    If you don't mind, I could really use a cup of coffee right about now.

    CAT
    Coffee? You look like you could use a splint and an IV drip.

    ATOM
    Hospital later. Coffee first. Or, I'd kill for a beer.

    Cat takes a step back. Quinn remembers that he's covered in blood.

    ATOM
    Oh, right. I didn't mean that. Sorry.

    CAT
    (uncomfortable)
    Okay. Do you, uh, still want the beer though?

    ATOM
    Please, if you have some.

    CAT
    Sure, what kind? would you like?

    ATOM
    Something dark. Surprise me.

    CAT
    Okay, it's just that, I'm gonna need to see some ID? Sir?

    Quinn slowly digs into his jacket and pulls out his wallet. He's obviously in pain. Watching him makes Cat feel sorry she asked him to move at all. He slides his wallet across the table. Cat picks it up and examines his ID.

    CAT
    Yeah, see, it says here you're under 21, Mr. Atom Blue. Huh, interesting name.

    ATOM
    What's your name, Miss?

    CAT
    (nervous)
    Well, it's Cathryn but everybody just calls me, Cat.

    ATOM
    Pleased to meet you, Cat. I'm sorry I can't shake your hand, but it hurts when I breathe, blink or pretty much think, so? Anyway, back in Nevada, where I'm from there is a bag of money that belongs to me. I'm willing to pay you thousands of dollars in tip money if you'll just give me a beer and a hot plate of food.

    A beat.

    CAT
    Uh?

    ATOM
    Cash. I could have it wired here, no problem.

    CAT
    Listen, you've obviously been through some bad days here so I'm gonna give you a break. Now, if you promise not to bleed to death all over my upholstery while I'm gone, I'll run in the back and get you that beer. Sound good.

    ATOM
    I owe you one, Cat.

    CAT
    You owe me two. What are you hungry for?

    ATOM
    A BLT would do nicely. Thank you.

    CAT
    Sure thing. Just stay put and I'll have it out for you in no time. Okay, Atom?

    ATOM
    My name's not Atom. Atom Blue is dead. That's not who I wanna be, anymore.

    CAT
    (genuinely curious)
    Okay, so who are you?

    A beat. Quinn searches for a name.

    QUINN
    Call me Quinn. Quinn Martin.

    Cat nods before heading into the back of the diner. Quinn is resting with his thoughts. Suddenly, he hears a phone ringing. He searches his pockets and finally produces a ringing cell phone. He answers the call.

    QUINN
    What?

    DEBBIE
    (OS)
    My, someone's crabby. We were starting to think we'd lost you for good, but that phone I gave you has a tracker in it, so it's only a matter of time before we find you again.

    QUINN
    Good for you.

    DEBBIE
    (OS)
    Now, now. Let's not get too off topic here. Did you find what we're looking for?

    QUINN
    No, and I don't care. Suck it.

    Cat comes back carrying a bottle of beer and a hot cup of fresh coffee. She places both down in front of Quinn. She smiles at him. He nods.

    DEBBIE
    (OS; sighs)
    You know, I am so disappointed in you. I wish you could see things our way, but I have every confidence that you will, in time.

    QUINN
    I can't wait.

    DEBBIE
    (OS; angry)
    That is enough! My boss is growing impatient with you and your, immaturities. When we find you, and believe me, we will, you'll wish I'd killed you first instead of your stupid, sniveling little brother. Do you know that little horn dog tried to grab my ass?! Oh he talked big, but just before I ripped his annoying little throat out, all he could do was cry out for his Mommy!

    This is clearly getting to Quinn. He tightens his grip on the phone, his scowl hardening. We can hear the clear plastic of the phone straining against his grasp.

    DEBBIE
    (OS)
    It's pathetic! That's your family in a nutshell. Dead and lame! What do you have to say for yourself? Do you have anything at all to say?

    Quinn leans into the phone and growls into the receiver:

    QUINN
    Start running.

    In disgust, he closes his fist on the phone, crushing it and then drowns the device into his coffee, destroying it. Cat looks on.

    CAT
    So, if you don't mind my asking, who was that?

    QUINN
    (a beat)
    Telemarketer.

    He twists open his beer and takes a drink as we:

    BLACK OUT.

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
    Skinless
    Kungfubear

    THE END.
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