(A lonely building, probably an old farmhouse,
during a storm.)
SHEILA: Hi. You all right?
META: When's Hunter coming back?
SHEILA: Why, are you missing him?
META: What are you implying? We may have been out
here too long without a single eligible man in
sight, but I'm not that desperate.
SHEILA: You never know. You might be missing
META: What, with Hunter? He's old enough to be my
META: God, you've got a dirty mind.
SHEILA: Seriously, I do think he's got a little bit
of a crush on you.
SHEILA: Yeah, he said to me
META: Don't. It's not fair on him. He's a nice man.
SHEILA: Well, then.
META: Well, if he's so nice, why don't you have him
(Sheila pulls a face.)
META: Yeah, I thought that'd shut you up. Anyway, I
don't really have time for that sort of thing.
EGAN: Where is it?
SOLOMON: There have always been places like this in
this web. I remember them from before the fighting.
I thought everything had changed. I was me that had
SOLOMON: The path is obvious to those of our people
who intend no harm. It's a condition of travel.
SAUL: Our people?
SOLOMON: The Preceptors, the Protectorate, there's
no difference really, just history. Forget the
hatred, and the breach becomes clear. If you can't,
SAUL: You smug bastard.
EGAN: What's happening to you?
SOLOMON: I've learnt the worth of individuals apart
from myself, apart from my own kind.
EGAN: You can't turn your back on all the killing.
It's part of you.
SAUL: Show us the breach. We'll follow.
SOLOMON: I'm not ready to go through. Not yet. You
two, you're not fit.
EGAN: I think you'll change your mind.
(He picks Rose up by the neck and squeezes. Saul
grins. Solomon walks on. Egan drops Rose. He and
Saul follow Solomon, and they all vanish.)
(Upstairs at the farmhouse.)
HUNTER: Okay, we'll go through the preliminary
stages again. So, you can open the files in
sequence, as before, then go to the Hunter directory
and open a construct.dnp file in the Doors
application. All right? You're not too tired?
HUNTER:: We're only a little late, and if you're
tired we can stop now and restart tomorrow. It's up
to you. I must say, we're doing rather well at the
moment. If we stop now, we'll be back to square one
in the morning. But as I say, it's up to you.
META: No. No, really, it's fine. I'll carry on.
Where's Sheila got to with that coffee?
HUNTER: I expect she'll be here in a minute. Right.
Okay, in your own time. So, we're into the
preliminaries. That's it, level one. Don't forget
the missile guidance. Good. This is much faster,
Meta. Very good. Leave the coffee cup alone, thank
(It is moving without anyone touching it, same as
the computer keyboard.)
META: Sorry, I was getting bored.
HUNTER: You won't be bored in a minute. Carrying on
to level two.
META: Ah, coffee.
(Hunter shakes his head. Meta's cup rises from the
HUNTER: Leave it, Meta.
META: Sorry. And now to the Hunter directory.
Opening the construct.dnp file in the Doors
(Dropdown menus flicker across the screen. An image
of a cube slowly wibbles, then Sheila drops her mug,
scalding her hand.)
(Bright shapes move across the screen. There's a
brief flash of a face and Meta screams.)
HUNTER: Meta! Meta, are you all right?
META: Face. I saw a man's face.
(Dawn. Solomon and Saul are standing some way apart
in scrubland, next to a concrete building.)
SOLOMON: Your move.
SAUL: Egan! (picks up a stick) Right, that's enough.
What's happened? What's going on?
(He hits Solomon with the stick.)
SAUL: That hurt, did it? You know what that is?
Pain. You want to be careful, there's a lot of it
about in this universe. Do you remember? You said
that to me once when we first met.
SOLOMON: Feel better now, do you?
(Then Solomon knocks Saul down and grabs the stick.
Saul curls into a ball. Solomon lowers the stick.)
SOLOMON: Where is Egan? Just tell me where he is.
SAUL: Oh no, don't piss me about.
SOLOMON: What do you mean?
SAUL: You took us through the breach and into the
web. You brought us here. You tell me where he is!
(Solomon turns his back, Saul grabs the back of his
neck, a brief tussle and Solomon literally has him
by the balls.)
SOLOMON: Do you know how much you're beginning to
SAUL: (in agony) No.
SOLOMON: This much. Now listen very carefully. I do
not know where Egan is, and now I believe you don't
either. These are the facts. We were in the
dimensional web, and then suddenly we weren't. We
didn't exit through a portal, or a breach, or a
power break. So, I don't know how we got here or
where we are.
(A final bit of pain-giving then he lets Saul
SAUL: Maybe this is another mission.
SOLOMON: To tell the truth, I don't very much care
at the moment. All I want to do is to get away from
wherever the hell we are now, and back to where I
was before. Give me the information stream.
SAUL: Egan's got it.
SOLOMON: Egan. Egan. Right, we've got to find him.
Either he's still in the web, in which case we need
to find a breach, or he exited when we did. In
either case we've got some searching to do.
SAUL: Where are you going?
SOLOMON: Have you been listening to me?
SAUL: Yeah. What am I supposed to do?
SOLOMON: I'm not a bit interested in you or what you
do. What are you doing?
SAUL: You said you weren't interested.
(Saul follows Solomon.)
(Pouring with rain.)
EGAN: Who are you?
(There is a stack of old copies of The Times. He
looks at one and checks his watch. Then he manages
to force open the big corrugated iron doors.)
EGAN: Saul! Solomon! Saul!
SHEILA: Don't move!
(She is pointing a gun at Egan. He grins and reaches
into an inside pocket, so she shoots him in the leg.
While he is down, she searches him and finds his
fake police ID.)
SHEILA: Inspector Egan? What's the Met doing here?
Can you walk?
(She goes to the barn doors.)
(Egan reaches for his dropped palm top computer and
she steps on his wrist, then picks it up.)
SHEILA: What the bloody hell?
META: Who is he? Why did you shoot him?
SHEILA: He'd got a gun. Take this. Tie it above the
wound to stop the bleeding.
META: Isn't that dangerous?
SHEILA: Normally, but we've just got to get him into
the house. Do it! All right?
SHEILA: You take that arm.
(Flashes of negative lightning - black turning to
white and vice versa.)
SAUL: Hey, maybe you've lost the knack. Our ways are
always open to any of our people who intend no harm.
That's the condition of travel. That's what you
said, wasn't it? Well, hitting me with that piece of
wood wasn't exactly intending no harm. Maybe
you just can't see breaches any more. Maybe we've
dragged you down to our level. Ha ha!
SOLOMON: Inflicting grievous bodily harm on
creatures like you doesn't count.
SAUL: Oh, very funny.
(The wind is howling.)
SHEILA: It looks like the bullet has gone straight
(She gets the first aid box.)
SHEILA: Meta, put on the dressing, secure it, not
SHEILA: I'll go phone for help. And put his leg up
on the table.
(Leaves. Meta realises she has seen Egan's face
(On the phone.)
SHEILA: Very well. Mmm hmm. ETA? No, I don't foresee
any trouble keeping him. Hello? Hello?
SHEILA: Right, help is on the way. Meanwhile I think
we'll get him upstairs and make him comfortable.
META: Wouldn't it be easier to keep him downstairs?
SHEILA: If I wanted your expert advice.
META: But surely
SHEILA: Meta, don't argue.
SAUL: How long are you going to keep this up?
SOLOMON: As long as it takes.
SAUL: You do realise that if we are back on Earth,
we'll probably end up walking all the way back to
that silly bitch on the bridge. And you won't have
to worry about breaches. You'll be all cuddly, comfy
cosy with your favourite human being. Ah. My feet
are killing me! Yes!
(A car is coming up behind them.)
SAUL: Oh, yes!
(It stops for Saul's fake police ID.)
SOLOMON: What are you going to do?
SAUL: Oh, yes. Transport.
HUNTER: Metropolitan police? You're a long way from
home. How can I help you, Officer?
SAUL: We're conducting a very important
investigation, and our squad car doesn't appear to
have turned up. (to Solomon) Get in the back. Go on.
(Saul gets in the passenger seat.)
SAUL: Thank you very much, Mister?
HUNTER: Hunter. Mister Hunter.
SAUL: Mister Hunter. And where're you going, Mister
HUNTER: Ah well, I was er just going home. Orchard
Cottage, just a few miles up the road.
SAUL: All right, that'll do for now, then we'll see.
Start the engine, would you? Keep a look out, Mister
Solomon. You could get a good sweep of the area from
here, wouldn't you say?
SOLOMON: Yes, I would. I would say that. Detective
SAUL: Good. Well, drive on.
SHEILA: Right, turn him round.
(They drop him on the bed.)
SHEILA: What are you doing here? Shit.
(Sheila leave. Egan sits up.)
EGAN: I've seen you somewhere before. Who are you?
(Egan pretends to be out cold when Sheila returns.)
META: What are you doing?
SHEILA: Sedative. Should keep him out of mischief
for a bit.
(She gives Egan an injection.)
SHEILA: Okay. Come on.
[Outside the bedroom]
(Sheila locks the door.)
META: Is he dangerous?
SHEILA: Hunter will be back soon. Just concentrate
on your work.
SHEILA: Coffee? I could do with some of that herbal
tea stuff that you like so much.
META: None left.
SHEILA: Oh. Everything all right?
SHEILA: It's just that you look a bit tired. I
thought Hunter worked you a little too late last
META: It's all right. He felt the tests were going
well. It's not as if I have anything else to do
SHEILA: Well, no. You must say, Meta, say if you're
META: What do you care? Oh, sorry.
SHEILA: It's okay.
META: You're only doing your job. Shield, the one
who shields me, protects me, looks after my
interests. Funny names they give us. Meta, Hunter,
SHEILA: I prefer to be called Sheila. It's a pet
name that stuck over the years.
META: What's your real name? Shall I tell you mine?
SHEILA: That'll be Hunter back with the shopping..
META: It was his face.
SHEILA: What? Whose?
META: The man I saw during the experiment last
night. It was his face, him upstairs.
SHEILA: Who the hell has he got with him?
[Outside the cottage]
SAUL: Detective Inspector Saul, Metropolitan police.
This is my associate, Mister Solomon. He's a member
of the public who's helping us with our enquiries.
SHEILA: I see.
SAUL: We needed a lift.
SAUL: No luck, Mister Solomon?
SOLOMON: Eh, oh, no.
SHEILA: What are you looking for?
SAUL: I'm afraid I can't say, Miss
SHEILA: Mz. Mz Sheila Donnelly.
SAUL: Well, I'm afraid it's a rather sensitive
issue, Mz Donnelly.
META: You're not the first policeman we've had
SAUL: Really? Who else has been here?
META: Well, I can't remember his name, but he's a
Detective Inspector like you. He's upstairs.
SHEILA: Meta, why don't you go back to the house.
SAUL: No. Wait a minute, Miss.
SOLOMON: What's his name, Mz Donnelly?
SAUL: And what's he doing upstairs? Taking a piss?
SHEILA: He's injured. We found him, he was
injured. I've sent for an ambulance. It should be
SOLOMON: How badly is he hurt?
SHEILA: Not badly. He should be all right.
SAUL: Right, if you could show me where he is
SHEILA: No point. He's unconscious.
SAUL: All the same, I must see him, if you please.
SHEILA: Of course.
SAUL: Er, you wait here, Mister Solomon. DI Egan and
I are colleagues, after all. Right, Mz Donnelly.
(Sheila and Saul leave.)
HUNTER: Can I get you a coffee, Mister Solomon?
SOLOMON: Thank you.
SHEILA: He was like this when we found him.
SAUL: Okay. Thank you, Mz Donnelly. If you could
leave us for a moment or two.
SHEILA: But he's unconscious. Shouldn't we really
let him rest until the ambulance arrives?
SAUL: Wait downstairs with the others, please, Mz
(Sheila leaves. Saul closes the door after her.)
HUNTER: I thought I'd give you a rest today.
(Saul puts his hand on Egan's forehead.)
SAUL: Come on.
EGAN: Saul. There you are, you little bastard.
SAUL: What happened?
EGAN: Is that bitch still here? The one with the
gun. She shot me, the stupid cow.
SAUL: Who was this? The Donnelly woman? Someone
EGAN: There is no one else. I got out of the barn.
She was waiting for me. She shot me in the leg. It
bloody hurt. Saul.
SAUL: Okay, okay, I'm here, I'm here.
EGAN: The information stream. She took it. She's got
it. We have to get it back. Find out.
SAUL: Find out what?
EGAN: What it means.
SAUL: What what means?
EGAN: I saw a face. Oh God. She put something into
my arm. Information stream.
SAUL: Egan. I don't know what you're talking about.
SHEILA: Where the hell are they?
SOLOMON: How is he?
SAUL: Unconscious. Mz Donnelly
SHEILA: They said that they'd sent a helicopter. I
just don't understand where it's got to.
SAUL: Did you find a personal computer anywhere near
SHEILA: Personal computer?
SOLOMON: Yes, about that big.
SAUL: I see. Do you mind if I take Mister Solomon
outside for a walk? We need to discuss our case. It
is a police matter.
SHEILA: Be my guest.
(Saul and Solomon leave.)
SHEILA: Where are they?
[Outside the cottage]
SOLOMON: Are you enjoying yourself, Saul?
SAUL: Mmm, yeah. I am. I'm really enjoying getting
right up your nose, actually.
SOLOMON: You are, are you?
SAUL: Yes, yes, I am.
SOLOMON: Good. So long as you're having a good time.
(Saul flinches away from Solomon's crotch-height
SOLOMON: Egan's unconscious?
SAUL: Donnelly injected him with something.
SOLOMON: How'd you know that?
SAUL: I brought him round.
SOLOMON: Very impressive.
SAUL: I thought so. There's something else. He'd
been shot, by her, Donnelly. Sexy Sheila.
SAUL: Yeah. He materialised in the barn. When he
broke free, she gave him one in his leg.
SOLOMON: Have to watch her, you know. She could
prove to be unpredictable.
SAUL: That's what I was thinking. Want to know
SOLOMON: If you know something else, Saul, it would
be in your interest to tell me.
SAUL: She's got the information stream.
SOLOMON: I see.
SAUL: So if this is another mission, we've no way of
finding out about it.
(Several negative lightning flashes.)
SOLOMON: What are you playing at, Egan?
SOLOMON: Do you think this ambulance is on the way?
SAUL: Dunno. You mean she could be lying about it?
SOLOMON: She's lying about virtually everything
SAUL: Well, we'll have to wait and see. Whatever
happens, Egan's leg will have healed by tomorrow
morning, which should raise a few questions with the
locals. So we'll just have to bide our time, find
out what's going on, and take the first opportunity
SOLOMON: And that's all I'm interested in. Finding
the information stream, so we can get out of here.
(Night. The Army are taking up positions around the
perimeter when there is another of those negative
lightning flashes, and two of them fall down, eyes
SOLDIER: Evening, boss.
(He salutes a lady red beret.)
DEVLIN: Thank you. Evening, Mike. How are the lads?
SOLDIER: Not so bad.
DEVLIN: Right. Still no radio contact with Control.
SOLDIER: Oh great.
DEVLIN: Any sign of Edwards or Stevens?
SOLDIER: Not a sausage. It's like they disappeared
off the face of the Earth.
DEVLIN: Right. Chas, Alan, give the perimeter the
once-over and check it's clear.
SOLDIER 2: Right you are, boss.
(Sheila tries the telephone but it is dead.
Solomon keeps watch while Saul searches the
drawers and cupboards.)
SHEILA: They must have
SHEILA: They must have been delayed.
SAUL: It's lucky the Inspector's wound isn't more
life-threatening then, isn't it?
SHEILA: The phones are still dead, so I'm sorry,
gentlemen, I can only suggest that you spend the
night here. We certainly have plenty of room.
SAUL: Very cosy. Ah, Hunter. We have two more houseguests for tonight. Perhaps you could show the gentlemen the spare rooms?
HUNTER: Oh, sure. Sure. Come this way.
(Another flash outside.)
HUNTER: I wonder where all this thunder and lightning's coming from? Very strange.
SHEILA: The phones are bound to be all right in the morning, and then we
can sort all this out, call up and find out where the ambulance got to
and er get in touch with your people.
SOLOMON: Sounds very sensible.
HUNTER: This way then.
(The men leave. Sheila bolts the kitchen door behind them, gets the
information stream from a drawer and puts it in the pocket of a jacket
hanging on the back of a chair.
Then she opens the back door and lets Major Devlin in.)
SHEILA: We have a situation, Major. The phone lines are down.
DEVLIN: And we've lost radio contact with Control.
DEVLIN: That's not all. Stevens and Edwards are missing.
SHEILA: What? What the hell is going on here?
(Knock on the kitchen door.)
HUNTER [OC]: Hunter.
(Sheila lets him in.)
HUNTER: When are we getting rid of these people? I think it's upsetting Meta.
SAUL: Evening all. What can I do for you, sir?
SOLOMON: Which is Egan's room?
SAUL: Now, now, sir. Not getting up to any mischief, are we?
SOLOMON: I could of course kick every door down until I find him.
SAUL: First on the left.
SOLOMON: Thank you. Find the information stream.
SAUL: Yes, guv.
(Meta comes out of her bedroom.)
META: Oh. Are you staying the night?
SAUL: Yeah. I was just going to use the loo.
META: So was I.
(Saul opens the bathroom door and turns on the light.)
SAUL: After you.
(He fingers her nightshirt and she brushes him off.)
SAUL: What's the matter?
(He sneaks down the stairs. The conversation in the kitchen is
indistinct because of the poor sound quality and background music.)
DEVLIN: I lost contact with Control just after we received the order to move in.
SHEILA: We were promised a medical back-up helicopter, but we haven't
seen one of those either. The point is, they're here, and we've got to
decide what to do about them.
DEVLIN: You're the project commander.
SHEILA: Thanks. I think we should play it softly-softly. You and your men keep well out of sight.
HUNTER: I don't think that Meta can put up with any more unnecessary distractions.
SHEILA: Look, Hunter. If I think for one second that the project is under threat, believe me, I will show my hand.
(Solomon takes Egan by the throat.)
EGAN: Solomon, what are you doing?
SOLOMON: Do you remember doing this to Rose?
EGAN: What I did to that woman was necessary to bring you back to your senses.
SOLOMON: Is all this necessary?
EGAN: All what?
SOLOMON: Ejecting us without warning from the web, splitting us up,
energy from the web flashing all over the sky. Is this all a necessary
part of your next mission?
SOLOMON: How do I know I can believe you?
EGAN: Because we're on the same side.
(Solomon releases Egan's throat.)
SOLOMON: Let's not go through all that again.
EGAN: Ah yes, that's right. You're turning your back on it all, aren't you? You're changing sides.
SOLOMON: There are no sides, just a lack of understanding. And if you
think I'm going to go off on the next mission, kill the next innocent
bystander who's been marked out for death
EGAN: I wanted to bring you back to our people to see if we could do
anything to reverse the estrangement programming. Don't you see? It's
distorted your judgement.
(Now the information stream is on a counter top, and Saul sees a hand pick it up.)
SHEILA [OC]: Anything's possible.
(Saul dodges into another room to watch.)
EGAN: Did you see the woman?
SOLOMON: What woman? Do you mean Sheila?
EGAN: No, not the one with the gun. No, I mean the other one. Meta, I think her name is.
EGAN: I saw her face in the web. I saw her face in the web before we arrived here.
SOLOMON: That's impossible.
EGAN: Don't you think I know that? It's as if she brought us here.
(More energy flashes.)
SOLOMON: It's getting worse. We've got to get out of here, but I can't
see any breaches. It's as if something made them all close up.
EGAN: We've got to get hold of the information stream. It's the only way we can find out why we're here.
SOLOMON: Just so that you can find out your next murder victim.
EGAN: I told you, no. This isn't a mission. You know it's not like that. I just want to know how to get out of here.
SOLOMON: Well for once, we agree.
EGAN: You know, old son, there were times when we always agreed.
SOLOMON: Times change.
EGAN: I know, I know. I miss the old Solomon now. I miss him.
(Solomon sits on the floor, remembering happier times with Rose in Nottingham.)
(The room that Saul is hiding in, it turns out. The computer screen
glows each time the web energy flashes. He investigate a video camera
that records the sessions.)
META [on screen]: Opening the construct.dnp file in Doors application. (screams and collapses)
(The lights are turned on.)
HUNTER: What are you doing? You've got no right to come in here.
(Saul takes the tape from the camera.)
SAUL: What are you lot up to here?
HUNTER: Sheila? Sheila!
(Saul hands over the tape as another flash makes the computer sizzle.)
HUNTER: This isn't a matter for the police.
SHEILA: What are you doing here?
SAUL: I was looking for the personal computer you took from DI Egan. It is police property.
HUNTER: I just found him here. He was looking through one of the files. The latest one.
SAUL: What is Project Metaphysic?
SHEILA: We'll see about giving you your computer back in the morning. Meanwhile, go upstairs and sleep like a good little boy.
SAUL: Are you trying to intimidate me? Darling, that's a very serious offence.
SAUL: Ooo, is this my lucky day?
(She points a gun at him.)
[Outside the cottage]
SHEILA: Phone lines are still down.
DEVLIN: Still no radio contact with Control.
SHEILA: I'm going to take Saul over to that farm and see if their
phone's working. Caught him snooping last night. He knows something's
going on. I'll contact Control, sort out the helicopter
for the casualty. Meanwhile, you hold the fort but keep well out of
DEVLIN: Right. What about the other two?
SHEILA: Egan's still out cold, and at the moment I don't think Solomon
suspects anything. We certainly could do without him throwing his weight
(Sheila pulls Saul out of his room.)
SHEILA: You are coming with me.
(The sound of footsteps wakes Solomon, and he sees Sheila and Saul get into a car and drive away.)
SOLOMON: Where are they going?
HUNTER: Beresford. The nearest village. Quite a drive.
SAUL: (driving) Couldn't you get one of your soldier friends to run this errand for you?
SHEILA: I just wanted to be sure that we both spoke to your bosses at Scotland Yard. What exactly are you investigating?
SAUL: Why exactly did you shoot my colleague?
SOLOMON: What would you say if I told you that your friend Sheila shot my friend Egan?
HUNTER: I'd say why on Earth should she do a thing like that?
SOLOMON: Not, but she hasn't got a gun?
HUNTER: I don't have to listen to this. I must er must get on, must get on with my
SOLOMON: Get on with what? What do you do here?
HUNTER: I gather you're not a policeman. Well then, I really don't have to answer these peculiar questions.
(Hunter goes into the office, Solomon looks in the drawer where the information stream used to be.)
(Knock on door.)
EGAN: Who is it?
META [OC]: Meta. Are you decent?
EGAN: Er, yes, I suppose so.
META: I brought you some coffee.
EGAN: Oh right, thanks. Er, no milk. Where are my colleagues?
META: Oh, one of them's downstairs in the kitchen. The other one, the one with the pony tail, he went in the car with Sheila.
EGAN: Why, where are they going?
META: Into the nearest village, I suppose to find out why the ambulance didn't turn up last night.
EGAN: You haven't touched your coffee. Meta. Meta, why did Sheila shoot
me? (no reply) Well, you're still here. I think you want to talk.
META: Why did I see your face?
EGAN: When did you see my face? So you want to talk about something else?
META: It's not that I don't want to talk about it, it's just that. God, I'm saying too much.
EGAN: Well, let's try this. I'll share a secret with you, if you'll share a secret with me.
SAUL: It must be top secret, whatever it is you're doing there, so my
guess is your bosses will call my bosses to tell me to keep my mouth
shut. Am I right? Good. So we understand each other then.
SHEILA: Oh, so I'm expected to understand about you and your two friends? There's something not quite right about you.
SAUL: Think of us as a special unit outside the normal sphere of police influence.
(Egan gets out of bed and tests his leg, then removes the bandage. He is healed.)
META: It's incredible. I don't understand. How did your leg heal so quickly?
EGAN: What were you doing when you saw my face?
META: I was thinking. That's what I'm paid to do, think. I think in a
special way, apparently. They discovered it when I was a little girl,
and I've been working
with them ever since. Started out with the simple stuff, party tricks.
They're easy, boring. I hardly ever bother to do them anymore. Do you
want to see one? A party trick?
EGAN: Yes, all right then.
(His mug slides along the bedside cabinet.)
META: Somehow I knew you wouldn't be surprised.
EGAN: No, no, that is very impressive.
(The mug falls to the floor.)
META: Don't patronise me. What I do is classified, you know? Top secret.
I told you because, I don't know why. Maybe it's because you're up here
(her head). Nobody gets there usually.
They justs sit on the outside and wait for me to do something incredible
with my mind.
META[recording]: Project Metaphysic, day one. It's a lovely cottage, and
I like my room. Hunter seems very nice. He's very enthusiastic about it
all. Maybe this time they'll come up with some
answers about why I am the way I am. He says I'm remarkable. I don't
feel very remarkable sometimes. Sometimes I think I'm a bit of a freak.
(Hunter turns off the tape machine and sighs.)
META: You were going to tell me about why your leg got better so quickly.
EGAN: Was I?
META: Yes. I need to know.
EGAN: When I saw your face, I was somewhere, somewhere else, in a place I
thought it was impossible for any human being to reach me. But there
you were, reaching out.
(Meta kisses Egan.)
META: Reaching out.
(Egan kisses Meta.)
(The car stops.)
SAUL: It's just cut out.
(Meanwhile, Egan and Meta get more passionate, and the two missing presumed dead soldiers jerk then sit up.)
HUNTER: Meta? Meta, we're late. We've got to get started. Meta?
(Sheila is looking at the car's engine.)
SAUL: Here comes the cavalry.
SHEILA: Oh, Stevens and Edwards. Hey, you two. Where the bloody hell
have you been? (holds up ID) I take it you recognise the Project
Commander when you see her?
(The soldier knocks away her ID and points his rifle at her. The other
points his at Saul. As Egan and Meta consummate their passion, the first
soldier flickers negative,
then Saul knocks the other down. Sheila then shoots them.)
SHEILA: Run for it!
(More negative flickers and the soldiers get up again.)
HUNTER: I'm afraid you're not supposed to come in here.
SOLOMON: Has Egan upset your schedule?
HUNTER: She's a grown woman, she can do what she wants.
(Saul and Sheila give the zombies the slip.)
SHEILA: What was that all about?
(Beeping from her jacket pocket.)
SAUL: Think that'll be for me. Didn't you say something about giving it back?
(She hands him the information stream.)
SHEILA: Just turn it off, for Christ's sake. I thought you said it was a
computer, not a telephone. What are you doing? Can that thing get us
out of here?
SAUL: Might do. Shit.
SHEILA: What's the matter?
SAUL: Nothing. Oh shit.
(Solomon turns on the computer as Egan and Meta move towards a climax.)
HUNTER: I must insist that you leave. Now.
(A light appears in the computer screen.)
SHEILA: Are you going to tell me what's going on?
(The soldiers are coming their way.)
SAUL: Oh dear. Either they heard the signal or they're just bored. Which way to the cottage?
(Sheila indicates with her gun.)
SAUL: Very good.
SHEILA: Shut up you. Come on.
(They run across a field to a building.)
SAUL: In here.
(Egan and Meta climax together, sending web energy out through the computer screen and knocking down Solomon and Hunter.)
SAUL: Those bastards are going to kill us.
SHEILA: An amazing deduction. What are you doing?
SAUL: Shut up and keep firing.
(Sheila runs out of bullets.)
SHEILA: Shit! I'm out of ammo. We can't even run for it, they'd just cut
us down. What are you doing, writing your last will and testament?
SAUL: It's a long shot. It may not work, but if it does, it'll give us time.
SHEILA: What will?
SAUL: You really don't want to know.
SHEILA: Oh yes I do.
SAUL: Those soldiers are dead. They've be reamimated that comes from a
place beyond your universe called the Dimensional Web. That energy has
turned them into a sort of
antibody. They're here to wipe out anyone in this area of dimensional
instablilty created by you and your stupid bloody experiments with that
poor girl's mind. What
I'm going to try and do is siphon off some of the energy in them back
into the web. I can only do this once because otherwise this information
stream will overload and
go up in a puff of smoke. Okay?
SHEILA: You're right, I didn't want to know.
SAUL: Get back.
(He puts the information stream on a wooden post and it sends out a beam
which makes the soldiers flicker yellow and red. The scene wibbles then
a beam knocks the soldiers down.)
SAUL: Yes! Right, come on, back to the cottage.
SHEILA: Hey, but just a minute, you mean to say that you just
SAUL: Look, those soldiers will be up and after us in about ten minutes
time. Their energy drain won't last that long, so we don't have time to
stand around out here talking. Come on!
(Solomon recovers first. He checks for Hunter's pulse then turns on the tape recorder again.)
META [OC]: Project Metaphysic, day 13. As usual I've been manipulating
computer simulations. Today it was more missile guidance systems. Oh,
and the new satellite
platform laser thingy. Hunter seemed to feel it was all going well. I
wasn't getting tired so we went on later. We've done this stuff before.
I've got the feeling
that I've used up all the simulations Hunter has been given. That's why I
think he gave me something else to work on. So he tried me on a complex
substance, a pet project of Hunter's. It's a material that doesn't exist
in any real physical sense, and probably never could. It was wonderful.
new. It seemed to be alive. And when I unfolded it, I felt as if I was
somewhere else. There was a man's face. I can't describe my feelings,
but I know this man
is important to me.
(The recording ends. Solomon turns off the tape and leaves.)
(Meta is still asleep and Egan is getting dressed when Solomon enters.)
EGAN: It was her idea.
SOLOMON: Mingling with the natives, I thought you called it.
EGAN: This has nothing to do with you.
SOLOMON: Oh, really? Have you stopped to think what's going on in this place?
EGAN: What are you talking about?
SOLOMON: The experiments they've been doing with this girl's mind.
SOLOMON: So? Is that your sole contribution to this conversation?
EGAN: I don't see there's any point in bothering to converse with a mind
that has been conditioned with Protectorate propaganda. Is Saul back
SOLOMON: This has nothing to do with the estrangement programme.
EGAN: Everything you say has got something to do with the estrangement
programme. Everything you think, everything you feel. It's lodged in
your brain like a parasite.
It's destroying who you are.
SOLOMON: You once told me to forget this human identity, so what are you
doing having sex with a so-called worthless human being? Is it
Preceptor policy, hmm? How does it
achieve your glorious aims, eh? Or are you using Meta to satisfy the
base lusts of your adopted physical form?
(Solomon laughs, and Egan pushes him up against the wall.)
EGAN: You don't understand.
SOLOMON: Why do you think you saw her face in the web? Think about it. Why?
EGAN: I don't know.
SOLOMON: Because of what they've been doing with her mind. The power of
her thought projected itself, probably accidentally, from her universe
into our dimension. Into the web.
What they're doing here is dangerous. She is dangerous.
(Meta has been listening.)
META: I don't understand.
(Meanwhile, the zombified soldiers are waking up again.)
SOLOMON: I heard your diary. I felt as if I was somewhere else. Do you remember saying that?
META: Yes. As the shape unfolded, it was wonderful. For a moment I felt
free, beyond any physical
SOLOMON: Your mind entered something, something beyond this reality.
META: This dimensional web? I don't really understand it, but I can feel
it's there. I've always thought there could be a danger in what I can
do, but it's just a feeling.
With me it's always just feelings. Then I saw your face.
EGAN: Reaching out.
(Solomon and Egan confer.)
EGAN: All right, I've seen the lightning, I know it's energy discharges from the web. But what damage can one mind do?
SOLOMON: Oh, Egan! It's getting worse. This isn't just a case of a
random thought creating minor interdimensional damage. The power of her
mind is like a beam of pure
energy burning its way through into the web. The experiments they've
been doing here switched that beam on. The longer it's switched on, the
greater the damage to this
universe and ours.
EGAN: What damage?
META: Hunter. It's Hunter, isn't it?
SOLOMON: What do you mean?
EGAN: Who's Hunter?
SOLOMON: The research scientist controlling the experiments.
META: When you and I were making love, he crossed my mind. Sorry, I
don't mean to say I wasn't concentrating on you, but I did think of him
for a moment. What's happened?
SOLOMON: He's dead.
META: I killed him.
EGAN: You can't be sure of that.
META: Yes, I am. It's my feelings, isn't it? But how can you control your feelings?
(Meta runs out of the bedroom.)
SOLOMON: Egan, we have to face up to the implications here. There is a
tear in the fabric of this universe. Energy from the web is breaking
through, and Meta's mind is having
a direct effect upon that.
EGAN: We don't know anything for certain until we've consulted the information stream. Without that, we
SOLOMON: She's already killed someone and that's just the beginning! The beam of mental energy
EGAN: Is going to kill us all.
SOLOMON: Unless we find a way of switching it off.
[Outside the cottage]
SHEILA: Stay where you are.
SHEILA: Shut up and drop your weapon.
SHEILA: Saul, where the bloody hell are you going?
SAUL: There's nothing wrong with her.
(Three other soldiers run round the corner of a building, one skidding and falling. Sheila puts her gun away.)
DEVLIN: Okay, chaps. What's the matter, Commander?
SHEILA: Don't understand it myself. All I know is that we found Stevens
and Edwards, and they've gone bad. They tried to kill Saul and me.
They're heading this way now.
The point is, we must get Meta and Hunter to safety.
SAUL: There's no chance of that, believe me.
SHEILA: What do you mean?
SAUL: What I said.
DEVLIN: We can handle them when they get here, Commander. There's only two of them.
SHEILA: Right. Better tell your men to assume defensive positions.
(Meta watches from the bedroom window.)
SHEILA: Hunter? Hunter, where are you?
(Saul knocks and enters.)
SAUL: Nice to see you're up and about.
(He hands the information stream to Egan.)
EGAN: At last.
SOLOMON: Don't tell me. You didn't make it to the village.
SAUL: Car broke down. But that's not all. Trouble's on the way.
SOLOMON: You mean the web energy's on the move?
SAUL: Oh, no doubt about that. It'll probably vaporise a good few square
miles before it's satisfied. But I'm talking about something much more
EGAN: What could be more immediate than that?
EGAN: Oh, no.
SAUL: Oh yes. Two of those soldiers from the patrol, zapped by web
energy. They're chock full of it, very determined and virtually
indestructable. I managed to slow them down, by
siphoning off some of the energy, but
SOLOMON: No, that won't hold it for long.
SAUL: No, so I suggest it's time to leave.
EGAN: Oh, very funny, Saul. There is no possibility of making a random
jump into the web at this proximity. It'll tear us to shreds.
SAUL: Haven't you read the mission briefing?
SOLOMON: Mission! You said there isn't a mission!
EGAN: There isn't one.
SAUL: Oh yes, there is. I heard the transmission arrive just after the soldiers started shooting. We've received new orders.
(Solomon snatches the information stream and reads.)
SAUL: Here it is. There's a way out waiting for us right now. It's been
here since we arrived, by the looks of it. What? Come on, let's kill her
and get out of here. The way out
isn't going to wait forever, you know.
EGAN: You go, both of you. Now.
SAUL: But what about?
EGAN: Go. I'll follow.
SAUL: Well, if you're sure. Okay then.
(Saul walks through the wall of the bedroom. Egan gives the information
stream to Solomon who appears to leave with it, then he puts his hand on
SOLOMON: I thought you might need some encouragement.
(Sheila is already there when Meta enters.)
SHEILA: Meta, you mustn't come in here.
META: I know he's dead. I killed him, you see.
(She touches her head.)
META: I didn't mean to. I didn't mean to.
SHEILA: But how could
META: It's all my fault. Everything that's happening here, everything.
SHEILA: You mean that the experiment somehow? Oh, I just don't, I just
don't. I've always thought that we shouldn't mess about with things that
we don't understand. But they, they,
they can't resist it, the scientists. I just do my job and let them get
on with it. Hell of a way to earn a living.
[Outside the cottage]
(The zombies are approaching.)
DEVLIN: Take cover! Target front!
(Sheila joins them.)
DEVLIN: You sure about this?
SHEILA: Oh yes.
DEVLIN: Open fire!
(The zombies fall with a red flash.)
DEVLIN: Seems to have sorted them. What do you think they
(The zombies are up and shooting again. One soldier falls.)
SHEILA: We'll have to move back to the house.
DEVLIN: Fall back! Go, go.
SOLOMON: You know what you've got to do. You can stop all this and
complete your mission. I can't do it for you. It isn't my war any
longer. You have to kill the target.
Kill her, and the force tearing into the web will cease, the antibodies
will die. All you have to do is kill Meta.
DEVLIN: Barricade the windows and the front and back doors. Got it?
SHEILA: Right, table up to the window. Meta.
SHEILA: Meta, you mustn't come in here. You could get hurt. Just go upstairs, okay?.
DEVLIN: Here they come again.
(Once again they are shot down, twitch, flicker. A soldier runs out to
take up a forward position, then Meta leaves the cottage.)
DEVLIN: What the hell's she doing?
[Outside the cottage]
(The zombies get up again.)
EGAN: Meta, no!
(The zombies stagger under the hits, Egan runs out and grabs Meta, pushing her against an outbuilding wall.)
EGAN: Cover me!
DEVLIN: Use a grenade!
SOLDIER: Grenade! Down!
(It knocks the zombies down, and Egan gets Meta back into the cottage despite her resistance.)
META: You should have let them kill me!
EGAN: It's not your fault. It's what they've done to you.
META: They made me into a monster! I let them do it. I was eager to please them.
EGAN: You are not a monster.
META: When I feel, there is only death. Isn't that monstrous?
EGAN: You're up here. To me you're beautiful.
DEVLIN: They're out of ammo.
(Despite being shot many times, the zombies grab the soldier outside and beat him to death with their rifle butts.)
DEVLIN: Get them!
SOLOMON: I'm going to see if I can help. You need time together.
EGAN: You're really enjoying this, aren't you?
SOLOMON: If you think I've sacrificed my life just to gloat over you having had a change of heart
EGAN: It's not a change of heart. Meta is different. There's something remarkable about her.
SOLOMON: There's probably something remarkable about everyone in this little universe of theirs, if you know where to look.
EGAN: Is that you or the estrangement programme talking?
SOLOMON: I think you're undergoing your own estrangement programme. Maybe you've learnt something.
EGAN: Like what? That I have to kill the one I love to survive?
SOLOMON: That there are moral dilemmas, not just certainties.
DEVLIN: Split left and right. Shit, where are they?
(Solomon enters and nearly gets shot.)
SOLOMON: What can I do to help?
SHEILA: Nothing. We're almost out of ammunition, and those bastards are
not going to go away. Devlin, go and try the phone again.
SHEILA: Is Meta behind all this?
DEVLIN: Still dead.
SHEILA: Devlin, the front door!
(A zombie grabs Devlin.)
SHEILA: Solomon, get out of the way!
(It drops Devlin, and Sheila shoots at it.)
(Soldiers try hand to hand with the zombies, and lose. Devlin gets stabbed. Sheila gets grabbed.)
SHEILA: Take the gun! Take the gun and fire!
(Solomon gets the gun but is knocked down. then he runs up the stairs.)