Don’t Stop

A Screenplay

By

Tom Foster

 

Log Line: An unknown cyber-terrorist threatens a production worker with dire consequences if he leaves his computer terminal.

 

 

ACT I

INT. FACTORY SETTING-BRIGHT FLOURESCENT LIGHTING

There is activity in the near distance. Fire alarms are blaring, sprinklers are actively dousing the area. Thick, black smoke billows from several large machines whose sides have been bowed out. Flames belch from the sides of these long, complicated-looking tools. A lone MAN sits at a single computer terminal. Three FIGURES dressed in white body suits and red vests are shouting at him to stand up.

FIGURE 1

You need to get off the computer, right now!

BRAD looks fearfully at the computer screen. He is soaked through, but does not move.

BRAD

I, I can’t, I mean, I…

CUT TO:

An icon on the computer screen flashes. This captures BRAD’S attention. The description bar erases, and he leans forward, an expectant look on his face.

FADE TO WHITE:

FADE IN:

THREE HOURS EARLIER

BRAD and several others are in a large room donning bodysuits for their job. BRAD looks less than pleased to be there, but is soon approached by a much shorter WOMAN. The WOMAN speaks softly to him.

WOMAN

Just one more day, then the weekend.

BRAD looks like he wants to argue with the WOMAN. Instead he zips up his body suit and moves towards the door leading into the production area.

BRAD

Yeah, let’s get it over with.

BRAD pushes his way through the door, moving into the production area as he speaks.

BRAD

Hoo-rah.

CUT TO:

INT: FACTORY SETTING-BRIGHTLY LIT AREA

CUT TO:

INT: INSIDE TOOL-BACKLIGHTING FROM INTERIOR LIGHTS

BRAD is lying inside one of the print line tools, working on one of the screens. A gob of silver paste falls from the screen, landing on his chest. A woman named HANNAH leans in over him.

HANNAH

Find it yet?

BRAD

(grimacing as HANNAH draws near)

Nope.

HANNAH leans in a little further, causing BRAD to grimace more as her breath wafts over him. She looks up at the screen, pointing with one finger.

HANNAH

It should be somewhere like, right, here.

HANNAH adjusts herself several times as she tries to point out the problem with the screen.

BRAD tries not to show his distaste and continues to check the screen, grumbling softly to himself.

END OF ACT I

ACT II

INT: FACTORY SETTING-BRIGHT FLOURESCENT LIGHTING

BRAD is seated at a fold-up wooden table with an older black male, JAMAL. JAMAL is working on paperwork while BRAD is surfing the internet.

CUT TO:

Several sites come and go as BRAD looks bored, slouched in his chair as he searches for one site after another. Suddenly a line of static arcs across the screen.

BRAD

What the hell was that?

JAMAL does not react. BRAD shrugs his shoulders and keeps surfing the web. He eventually checks his email and sees something that he doesn’t recognize. BRAD almost deletes it but then thinks to see what it is. The address is NOREPLY@GMAIL.COM. BRAD clicks “open” on the email.

EMAIL

Mr. Caldell,

There is no time to waste here, and you are not worth the time so I’ll be brief and blunt.  We have your children, their sitters, and are en route to gather up you and your wife’s respective families.  You are currently being monitored as we speak, and will decide the fate of your and your wife’s kin if you so much as lift an ass cheek from your chair.

It’s time to play a game Brad, and one that we are very well versed in.  You see, your name was selected, and the way you are going to die is going to be, well, quite unique.  But it won’t be quick, and it won’t be alone.  If you move from your chair, you die, if you attempt to tell any of this to anyone, you AND your family will die.  Well, you’re all going to die anyway, but the manner in which it occurs is up to you.

You will access your bank account, and your wife’s, and make a request.  We know very well how much you and your wife have in Chase and Bank of America, and will not hesitate to move quickly once the transaction is ended.  In case you’ve not understood me, you are giving oral and written permission for us to clear out your accounts. Now we do understand that this is not possible without your signature and some other form of verification, which you will give.  You let us worry about the rest.

Keep in mind your family, and that of your wife.  The more you stall, the less you work

with us, the worse it will be for all of you.  If you don’t believe me, attempt to log off now.  You

will find it much more difficult than you believe, and the results will not be pleasant.

Get to work Brad, and remember that we have the control, not you.

CUT TO:

INT. FACTORY SETTING-BRIGHT FLOURESCENT LIGHTING

BRAD looks around, sure he is being pranked. He is in between two PRINT LINE machines, each which is roughly one hundred yards long and operating at maximum capacity at the moment. He looks in all directions, at the control panels, at the tools, and then back at the computer.

JEROME

(gets up from his chair, looks at BRAD)

Alright BRAD, you should probably think about getting off the computer for a while. Even if we aren’t that busy we’ve got to look like it if one of the suits comes walking in.”

(JEROME chuckles as he walks off)

BRAD goes to log off. A black and white dialogue box pops up on the screen, reading:

Don’t leave this terminal Brad. I’m warning you for the last time.

BRAD sits down quickly. Looking at the box he then types his own question.

BRAD

(typing)

Who are you?

ANONYMOUS

The last person you want to screw with Mr. Caldell. Now get to work.

BRAD

(typing)

Or what?

ANONYMOUS

Pay close attention to the fast fire BRAD.

CUT TO:

The fast fire section of the print line suddenly bulges outward, belching black smoke and showing an interior filled with red-hot flames. BRAD winces as the explosion hits him full force, shaking his head as the alarms begin to blare.

ANONYMOUS

Now you’ll have to hide for a moment BRAD.

BRAD hesitates.

ANONYMOUS

Do it BRAD, or another machine goes up in smoke. I promise this one will be much, much louder.

BRAD still doesn’t move. The sprinkler system switches on and suddenly everything is soaking wet. BRAD quickly moves the processor and the screen beneath an overhanging section of the tool to keep them relatively dry.

ANONYMOUS

Boom BRAD. Cover your ears.

Another explosion booms as the tool just across the walkway explodes in a fiery blossom of metal and superheated components. Screams of those caught near the blast rise as BRAD huddles closer to the table.

ANONYMOUS

Now go hide. Once they are all gone you are to return and finish what we’ve started. If no, I will continue the hit parade until your entire workplace is slag.

BRAD does not hesitate this time as he stands up and runs to the end of the walkway where he seeks cover behind a large section of ductwork. Finding a washbasin used for janitorial purpose he stands in the basin.  The sprinklers continue to pour down as the alarms continue to bray. People are filing out quickly, avoiding the still-flaming tools.

BRAD peeks around the duct and sees that the red-vested EMT’s (emergency personnel) are roaming around looking for any stragglers. One of the EMT’s is standing near the tools with a heavy-duty fire extinguisher.

EMT 1

Get that fire out! Don’t move them, don’t move them! The fire department’s on their way!

CUT TO:

BRAD’S phone begins to buzz in his pocket. Taking it out he is careful to remain hidden as he sees the word RESTRICTED on the screen. He hesitates for just a second before answering the call.

BRAD

Who is this?

ANONYMOUS

The one holding your life and your family’s in his hand. I’m also someone that knows how much you’re worth Mr. Caldell, and I can make life very difficult for you unless you decide to play by my rules. Now, the EMT’s should be finishing up shortly, which means you have almost no time to find a more suitable hiding place in which to evade them until they arrive on the outside of the building. At this time the fire department will already be en route and you will only have a handful of minutes to do as I ask.

If you continue to play games with me Mr. Caldell I will bring the entire fab down around your ears and leave you alive to contemplate what will become of your family and all those you care for.  I assure you that I will still get what I want.

BRAD

I don’t understand

ANONYMOUS

That’s not my problem. Your responsibility is to get back on that terminal in the next five minutes or another machine will join the first two in metal heaven, and I will continue to detonate each one until you have concluded the transaction or are no longer able, in which case I will move on to the next participant.

BRAD hears the EMT coming closer and pulls back as he tries to will them not to look this way.  The phone goes dark in his hand. The footsteps then begin to recede.

EMT1

Anyone over there?

EMT2

Nope. Everyone’s out.

The EMT’s begin to see to the injured operator. BRAD pushes a button on the phone and sees a text message.

ANONYMOUS

You have 1 minute to get back online. Get going.

Seeing no one in his sight line BRAD makes his way back to the

terminal. He is shivering and miserable, but knows now that the caller is all too serious.

 

ACT III

INT. FACTORY SETTING-BRIGHT FLOURESCENT LIGHTING

BRAD is seated at the terminal, attempting to access and transfer funds from his bank account online.

FIREMAN

You need to get off that thing, now!

Strong arms take hold of BRAD from behind, grabbing his arms as he is hauled to his feet. He resists, but there is more than one individual pulling him back. In the near distance the factory setting is filled with black smoke, flames, and littered with machine parts. Several other explosions have taken place, and another booms from a distant part of the room as BRAD continues to fight.

The fire fighters attempting to take BRAD away are suddenly flung to the side, as is BRAD, when the tool directly in front of them blows, its sides warping outward as the concussive noise knocks them to the ground.

FADE TO BLACK:

CUT TO:

EXT. DAYSTAR PARKING LOT-OVERCAST DAY

JAMAL stands near his crew as they all watch the billowing black smoke that comes from inside their workplace. BRAD is now the only person unaccounted for. HE is holding his cell phone in one hand as he stands with a shocked, bewildered look on his face.

CUT TO:

JEROME’S CELL PHONE

The NOKIA model has a single text message showing.

ANONYMOUS

Too late JEROME. You should have made him stop.

END ACT III

The End

 

 

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