T A O E

Episode 18: "Playing by Someone Else's Rules"

Writer:  C. A. E. Jones

1:42 PM 5/24/2010


[ EXT. BRICK BUILDING - NIGHT. : Two security guards stand near the entrance. ]

[ There is a slight rustle of noise; a section of bricks is briefly moving with shadows and bulges before returning to normal. ]

GUARD1:
Did you hear that?

GUARD2:
I dunno.

[ The guards look around. One of them holds up a flashlight and clicks it on. The beam lands on a brick-and-sidewalk-colored object that quickly disappears from sight. ]

GUARD2:
Hmm. For a second it looked like the wall was bulging.

GUARD1:
We gotta get a better shift.

[ There is a dim red glow above the heads of the guards. The glow disappears, and a pigeon falls from above, landing between the two guards. The guards turn to look at the fallen pigeon. ]

GUARD2:
The heck...

GUARD1:
Must've been the noise.

GUARD2:
Crazy birds.


[ EXT. STREET - NIGHT. Distant city lights illuminate the concrete and asfalt-surrounded area. Streetlamps cast light in small areas along the sidewalk. A wadded-up piece of newspaper is visibly stuck in a stormdrain near one of the lights. ]

[ A figure whose colors closely match those of the nighttime steps under one of the streetlamps. The figure's color returns to normal, revealing it to be Retanretla, carrying a box under his arm. ]

RETANRETLA:
How well we chameleons survive in the dark.

[ Retanretla steps to the pole supporting the lamp and uses it as a support while sliding the box up to look at it. ]

RETANRETLA:
The serum I gave that kid might not have worked on me, but this should give me different results.

[ Retanretla chuckles, sliding a hand toward the front of the box. ]

RETANRETLA:
Not that I'll be testing it on myself.

[ A car drives by. Retanretla turns his head to look at it. The car drives away, but Retanretla spots the paper in the drain further along the sidewalk. ]

RETANRETLA:
Hmm.

[ Retanretla lowers the box to his side and walks to the drain. He crouches and pulls the paper out of the drain, then turns the box so that he can set the paper on it and smooth it out. ]

[ The paper shows a grayscale photograph of a nondescript giant near the Tokyo tower. The headline reads "GREEN GIANT ATTACKS JAPAN. UNKNOWN FOREIGNERS LURE IT INTO THE WATER.". ]

[ Retanretla looks at the paper curiously. ]

RETANRETLA:
So, they're still meddling across the water, are they? That gives me more time to perfect my serum.

[ Retanretla lowers the box, letting the paper slip away. He walks off screen along the sidewalk. ]

[ Fade to black. ]


[ Fade in to EXT. ABOVE CITY - DAY. : Slowly zoom in toward street level, though with no specific spot receiving focus. ]

ISDACHAIRMAN (voice-over):
Captain Ernie Rogers, hereafter Black Eagle, ...

[ Dissolve to... ]


[ INT. ISDA CONFERENCEROOM - DAY. : The ISDA Chairman and BB15 are in their customary positions. A man in a dark gray suit and tie sits to the Chairman's left. Black Eagle stands at attention across the room from the chairman; Wind stands in the corner of the room, watching with a disbelieving expression. ]

ISDACHAIRMAN(cont'd):
... has been charged with authorizing international actions beyond the limits of the security mission which he was assigned to lead, resulting in overt interference in a foreign military operation from ISDA operatives, and jeopardizing U.S./Japanese relations and the status of the Intensive Situation Defense Agency. Black Eagle is also charged with leaving the spatial bounds of his mission in an offensive action, in conflict with the limitations of his mission to defense. Reviews of the case have left the disciplinary committee to uphold the charge that Black Eagle authorized international activity without the authority to do so. The committee has determined that Black Eagle did not overstep his authority in pursuing an active threat in accord with his security mission. In response of the upheld charges against Black Eagle, the ISDA disciplinary committee has decreed that Black Eagle be stripped of his status as field captain. If any monitary damages are determined as a result of the upheld charges, the required funds will be fined to Black Eagle and witheld from any monitary compensation owed to Black Eagle by the ISDA. This hearing is adjourned.

[ The suited man beside the chairman nods, stands, and walks out of the room. Wind looks toward Black Eagle, who slowly turns, then walks out of the room. BB15 looks from Black Eagle to the chairman, then sighs. Wind follows Black Eagle out of the room at a slow run. ]


[ INT. ISDA HALLWAY - DAY. : Black Eagle walks with his back stiff. ]

[ Wind walks quickly to catch up with Black Eagle, then starts walking at the same speed as him. ]

WIND:
How can they do this to you? Didn't it all turn out right? Saving people; isn't that our job?

BLACK EAGLE:
It doesn't matter what our job is at the moment. The Japanese aren't happy that the monster contaminated their coast, and they're not happy that a bunch of Americans dropped in to play the hero. Someone has to fall for it.

WIND:
But how did you do anything wrong? Besides, Charles and Shanan bearly got out of that alive to help them... Charles is still in the hospital.

BLACK EAGLE:
And would that have happened if I'd kept them in Hawaii?

WIND:
... Could you have?

BLACK EAGLE:
We're messing with politics, now. When someone in an agency breaks rules and annoys another country, someone has to be dealt with, otherwise we'd look bad to people we want as allies. And with Fieron somewhere out there, and that doll guy... and now these demons and monsters... I don't know what's going on, but this is no time to be making enemies of people that can help us.


[ INT. ISDA BREAKROOM - DAY. : Black Eagle and Wind enter from the doorway. Spectro sits in the chair nearest the door, looking toward the door. ]

SPECTRO:
Well, you'll be happy to know that another of our nimeses is alive and well.

WIND:
Huh? Who?

SPECTRO:
Can't tell for sure, but it sure looks like someone chameleoned their way into a medical supplies warehouse.

BLACK EAGLE:
Retanretla? Any idea what he's ...

[ Black Eagle sighs. ]

SPECTRO:
I can only guess. I'm pretty sure we could track him down, but Captain Fist seems to have different ideas.

[ Black Eagle's expression is both shocked and displeased. ]

BLACK EAGLE:
... please tell me someone told you how to pull a prank on me.

WIND:
Captain... Fist?

SPECTRO:
Yeah. It seems the next ranking officer is convinced we shouldn't go poking our noses into other people's business unless they've got a banner saying "Hey, I'm Fieron!".

[ Black Eagle looks ready to start running. ]

BLACK EAGLE:
... Great. Just ... great.

[ Black Eagle takes a deep breath and relaxes his posture. ]

BLACK EAGLE (cont'd):
What do we know?

SPECTRO:
Someone at the local level wants to pass this to someone with better resources. We've essentially got a couple thefts. There were cameras at the medical warehouse, and supposedly they didn't pick up anything suspicious around the time it had to have happened. If we could analyze original copies of the video... we could probably answer a lot of questions. (beat). There was another theft. Some chemestry stuff. There were security guards, but they don't report seeing anything. One might have heard something around three AM, but that's about it.

[ Black Eagle gives a low, frustrated growl. ]

WIND:
So... what's it mean?

[ Spectro shakes his head. ]

SPECTRO:
No way to tell.


[ Fade in to INT. JAIL CELL - DAY. : Hoita stands in the middle of the cell. Theracy stands outside the cell, looking in at Hoita; BB14 stands to the side. ]

HOITA:
Holes in space? I can only think of two ways that could be possible.

[ Hoita holds up her hands about a foot apart, positioned as though holding a thin sheet. ]

HOITA (cont'd):
If you think of space like a sheet,

[ Hoita pulls one hand away, then pokes it at the center of the imaginary sheet, moving her finger in a circle. ]

HOITA (cont'd) (cont'd):
you could have a section cut out of it.

[ Hoita lowers her hands. ]

HOITA (cont'd) (cont'd) (cont'd):
But I don't think that's likely. It'd create incontinuities in space with consequences we can only imagine. Something else, though I wouldn't call it a hole, is the possibility that space is disrupted by a point of contact between two spacial membranes.

THERACY:
Spacial membranes?

HOITA:
Effectively separate universes. I've come to believe that space is a medium without which matter and energy cannot exist, and that matter and energy are just vibrations through space, which is something of a multi-dimentional bubble.

[ Hoita holds up a hand, forming a circular shape. She runs the finger of her other hand around the circumference of the hand-circle. ]

HOITA (cont'd):
We exist on--or rather, within--the surface of the bubble.

[ Hoita puts a finger through the hand-circle, then pulls it out and waves it in the air around her hand. ]

HOITA (cont'd) (cont'd):
Inside and outside of the bubble, there is nothing. Inside and outside are spacial concepts. Space is the surface of the bubble, and nothing else.

THERACY:
What about the "points of contact"?

[ Hoita smiles and forms both hands into circles. ]

HOITA:
Our universe could easily be contained on the surface of one bubble. But Eoce's feats and my own calculations have led me to believe there could easily be others.

[ Hoita moves her hands together so that the knuckles of each bearly touch. ]

HOITA (cont'd):
Since matter and energy are vibrations on these bubbles, they can't just jump from one to the next. The universes have to touch in order for energy to be transfered between them. In fact, I suspect that if there is a bubble that touches no others, then it might as well not exist to anyone in another universe.

THERACY:
But... Eoce's portal opened and closed. And...

[ Theracy puts a hand to her mouth and shakes her head. ]

HOITA:
The bubbles don't have to touch much. In fact, the harder they're pressed together,

[ Hoita Hoita presses her hands tightly together. ]

HOITA (cont'd):
the more difficult it would be for energy to get into the point of contact.

[ Hoita Hoita pulls her hands apart so that only the joints of two fingers touch. ]

HOITA (cont'd) (cont'd):
Remember that matter and energy are vibrations.

[ Hoita begins moving her fingers, immitating waves. ]

HOITA (cont'd) (cont'd) (cont'd):
If things line up correctly...

[ Hoita tilts her hands so that her waving knuckles overlap to form a snaking pattern. ]

HOITA (cont'd) (cont'd) (cont'd) (cont'd):
the area of contact can change size, or be more friendly to retaining the integrity of energy that crosses from one universe to the next.

[ Hoita lowers her hands. ]

HOITA:
If not for Eoce's success, I'd think that matter couldn't survive traveling from one universe to the next without dramatically changing form.

[ Theracy holds both her hands palm up and looks at them for a moment, then looks up at Hoita. ]

THERACY:
How could remote viewing work?

[ Hoita cocks her head and smirks. ]

HOITA:
Remote viewing? Like a psychic ability? I have no reason to believe that the human mind is separate in any way from the human brain. Arguably one could learn to interpret very subtle changes in the environment, or perhaps even to manipulate minute details of one's body to achieve seemingly supernatural feats, but that doesn't give one the ability to view what's happening in Europe from a bathroom in Wisconsin without the use of technology.

THERACY:
How do you think I came up with space-holes?

[ Hoita puts a hand on her chin and looks at Theracy more closely. ]

HOITA:
Can you prove that this was something more than your imagination?

THERACY:
I know that when they had me look for Eoce's experiments based on your information, it was difficult to move around in that area.

[ Hoita drops her hand, a hungry expression on her face. ]

HOITA:
As well it should have been, if you were moving in more than three dimentions. So, Eoce's portals are pressers after all. And whatever you're claiming is remote viewing involves some degree of multidimentionality.

[ Theracy holds up her burned hand, turned so that her burns are clearly visible to Hoita. ]

THERACY:
It started when I was burned by steam from a meteorite.

HOITA:
A meteorite? Do you know where from?

[ Theracy lowers her hand. ]

THERACY:
They haven't proven where it's from yet, but I think it's from Venus. But...

[ Hoita steps forward and lowers herself slightly so that she's closer to eye level with Theracy. ]

HOITA:
But what?

[ Theracy takes a short step back. ]

THERACY:
But I don't think... whatever gave me my power came from Venus. I think it wanted to escape. I think it must have fallen through a hole in space before. Whenever I got close to looking at one, I knew it was dangerous, like something bad had happened before.

HOITA:
Interesting. Very interesting. Can you view something for me now?

[ BB14 takes a step forward. A beaping sound comes from near him, and he reaches for his badge. ]

BB14:
This is fourteen.

[ BB14 steps off screen. ]

THERACY:
Well, no. The last couple things I've looked at cut it off, somehow. I got it back the first time, but now...

HOITA:
Now, we know that it was either your imagination, or a separate being capable of interfacing with the human brain. An interversal being, at that. If you aren't just pulling my leg, then I think we have much to discuss.

[ BB14 steps back into view. ]

BB14:
You'll have to discuss it later. Yellow, you're wanted at the base.

[ Hoita steps back and crosses her arms, grinning. ]

HOITA:
Please hurry back.

[ BB14 leads Theracy off screen. ]


[ EXT. HOSPITAL - DAY - ESTABLISHMENT SHOT. : Zoom in. ]

[ Dissolve to... ]


[ INT. HOSPITALROOM - DAY. : Gravitor lies in the bed, looking up at the ceiling with an extremely unhappy expression. Hydron sits in the recliner near the bed, reading a textbook. ]

[ Wind enters and moves toward the bedside. Aluben follows, and stands somewhat awkwardly at the foot of the bed. ]

GRAVITOR:
How'd it go?

WIND:
Black Eagle's been demoted. And the new guy doesn't want us doing... anything.

GRAVITOR:
Ah, sounds like a few doctors I know...

WIND:
You know you'll just hurt yourself more if you keep getting into trouble after all the injuries you've taken. Getting beatup by a suicide explosion wasn't enough... you had to go get slapped around by Godzilla and then get stabbed by Chuckey.

GRAVITOR:
Hey, we won, didn't we? And I'm not as helpless as everyone seems to want me to be.

WIND:
Yeah, so you want your back to get worse?

GRAVITOR:
No, but I'm no fan of sitting here doing nothing for a year either.

[ Glacier enters, holding a VHS cassette in one hand. ]

[ Wind and Aluben look toward Glacier, who continues walking as to pass the foot of the bed. Aluben steps out of Glacier's path. Hydron looks up from her book, then marks her page and holds it to one side. ]

WIND:
Hey, Glacier... what's... up?

[ Glacier walks over to Hydron and hands her the cassette, then turns and silently departs the way he came. ]

GRAVITOR:
Bad day at the office?

WIND:
Hmm. Yeah.

ALUBEN:
What'd he give you, Shanan?

[ Hydron examines the cassette. Wind walks around the bed to stand near Hydron. ]

WIND:
Is anything on it?

HYDRON:
Just this.

[ Hydron turns the cassette so that Wind can see the bare spine where a label should be. ]

WIND:
I don't see anything...

[ Aluben moves to nearby and looks at the cassette as well. ]

HYDRON:
Look closely.

[ Close on the spine of the cassette, where it is possible to see a faint scratch along one side of the plastic, a near Symmetrical curve with a steap triangular point in the middle. ]

WIND:
What is it? Some kind of... mountain?

ALUBEN:
Or a bird.

WIND:
... Black Eagle.

[ Mid shot from above. ]

GRAVITOR:
We're to the point of secret messages?

[ Gravitor winces in pain, but keeps talking as though nothing happened. ]

GRAVITOR (cont'd):
Is it gonna self destruct?

WIND:
I don't think so. I guess we should get back to our apartment and check it out.

[ Wind looks to Gravitor as though she'd rather stay. ]

GRAVITOR:
Nn. Go ahead. Not like I'm going anywhere...

WIND:
We'll be back.

 


[ INT. ISDA BREAKROOM - DAY. : Spectro is seated in his previous position. Theracy sits in the opposite chair. Captain Fist, a man anywhere from thirty to fifty years in age with a bush of brown hair on his head and short-but-rough-looking facial hair stands in front of the table. The coloration of his outfit is a mix of red, white, blue and brown. ]

CAPTAIN FIST:
What do you know about that book that was stolen from Agent Anthon?

THERACY:
Book? From the castle?

CAPTAIN FIST:
That's the one.

THERACY:
I know I couldn't look inside the castle.

SPECTRO:
Noone told me that.

CAPTAIN FIST:
Well, the book was re-stolen once it reached the U.S., and we're having a hard time tracking down the thieves. Based on what we know, we've only referred to them as "Fatty" and... umm... "Not-Fatty".

THERACY:
Slim?

CAPTAIN FIST:
Nah, the witness said he wasn't all that slim, even though he wasn't anywhere near as big-bellied as his partner. Onun, the guy that sold it illegally is more slim than Not-Fatty. Anyway, all we know is the general area they're in, since they tried to get a waitress at a Chinese restaurant to read parts of the book.

SPECTRO:
Wait. A castle in Europe, blocks a remote viewer, and a book in there is written in Chinese?

CAPTAIN FIST:
There was some English in it, from what we know, and we're not convinced it isn't in Japanese or Korean. The point is, we need someone to track them down.

THERACY:
I don't think...

CAPTAIN FIST:
Don't think what?

[ Theracy looks down for a moment. Fade through white to... ]


[ EXT. CITYSCAPE - DAY. : A gelatenous green giant (reference episode 16) stomps through a building, Fierox perched on its shoulder. ]

[ A translucent image of Theracy appears, surrounded by a glowing red skeleton and wielding a staff. ]

THERACY (voice-over, reverb, chorused):
Most interesting. I've only ever heard stories of something like this...

[ Smoke begins to leak from the giant, slowly drifting toward "Theracy". "Theracy" aims the staff at the giant, and blue lightning flies from it. ]

THERACY (voice-over, reverb, chorused):
Let's see what you're made of!

[ The smoke swirls around the lightning and flows into the staff, up the skeletal arm, and completely obscures Theracy's image. There is a heavily distorted scream as the red skeleton is consumed in a ball of smoke and fire. ]

[ Fade to white. ]

THERACY (voice-over, reverb):
Was it ever you? Were you ever anything without that power?

[ Dark Bob appears, holding Kejek with the red-violet-gemmed dagger at his neck. Kejek flips the dagger out of Dark Bob's hand. The two images dissolve into the whiteness. ]

THERACY (voice-over):
That boy got into the castle, didn't he?

[ Dissolve to... ]


[ INT. ISDA BREAKROOM - DAY. ]

CAPTAIN FIST:
Well?

THERACY:
I don't think I can do much unless you send me to the town where they were seen.

SPECTRO/CAPTAIN FIST:
What?!

THERACY:
We don't have much to go on, do we? If I could ask around the town they're in, maybe it'd be easier. And it'd be a lot easier to have one person doing all the work, wouldn't it?

SPECTRO:
That's not safe at all.

CAPTAIN FIST:
She's got a point. And we can remain in constant radio contact. All right, get yourself ready for the trip.

SPECTRO:
What? If...

[ Captain Fist looks at Spectro. ]

CAPTAIN FIST:
And you'll stay here until further notice.

[ Captain Fist walks to and out the door. Spectro looks at Theracy with an astonished expression. ]

SPECTRO:
What did that giant do to you?

[ Theracy shrugs. ]


[ EXT. APARTMENTS - AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHMENT SHOT. ]

[ Dissolve to... ]


[ INT. APARTMENT - AFTERNOON. : Wind and Aluben sit on the couch, while Hydron stands in the middle of the room holding the previously-seen cassette. ]

[ Hydron approaches the TV/VCR and kneels beside it, inserting the cassette into the VCR. She presses a button on the TV, and it blinks to a blue screen. ]

WIND:
Is it rewound all the way?

HYDRON:
Yes.

[ A blurry line jumps up the screen, which changes to reveal an image of a darkened hallway with a heavy metal door in the wall near a dead end. ]

ALUBEN:
It looks like a hallway.

WIND:
This must be the security footage Spectro was talking about.

[ The color of the image on the television abruptly becomes blue, revealing a violet-tinted figure standing near the door. ]

WIND:
Woah, did Spectro do that?

HYDRON:
The light's been shifted up so we can see the infrared.

ALUBEN:
Retanretla.

WIND:
Yeah, but what are we supposed to do with this? We don't even know where he is.

[ The image flashes to static, then shows a weathermap of the United States, with a man in a suit pointing to Nebraska. ]

WEATHERMAN (on television, cont'd):
... rainfall; Omaha got--

[ The image jumps, and the man is pointing toward the northeastern corner of the map. ]

WEATHERMAN(on television, cont'd):
... through the eastern coridor.

[ The image flashes to static, then becomes blue. ]

WIND:
Which is it? He pointed to two places.

[ Hydron presses the stop button on the VCR. The image on the screen changes to show a blond-haired woman in green fighting off an army of men with orange "9"s on their shirts (reference episode 16). Hydron presses a button and the VCR makes audible rewinding sounds. ]

SIGMA (on television):
No you don't!

[ The woman on the television falls to the ground. One particularly muscular "9"-wearing man, wielging a clearly broken-in-half sceptre with "" imblazened on it, steps forward and stands over her. ]

KAGEN-OH (on television):
Just one more unit of strength, and I'll be at one hundred!

[ Hydron reaches up and presses a button on the television, returning it to blackness and silence. ]

HYDRON:
He only said the name of one place. The second could have been a direction or a location inside the city.

WIND:
The east side of Omaha, then?

HYDRON:
That's my guess.

WIND:
Does he want us to check it out?

ALUBEN:
Why would he have sent the message if he didn't?

WIND:
I hope there are hotel rooms available.


[ EXT. ALLEYWAY - NIGHT. : Two police officers look around the area with flashlights. A pigeon lies motionless beside a brick wall, and another struggles slightly a few feet away. ]

OFFICER1:
More pigeons

OFFICER2:
More?

OFFICER1:
The warehouse guards said one hit the ground when they heard that noise. Probably some chemicals in there giving them brain damage or something.

GLACIER (OS):
Or radiation.

[ The officers turn quickly around. Glacier walks past them. ]

OFFICER2:
Hey, hold it.!

GLACIER:
He's left. I'm searching the southwest quarter.

OFFICER1:
Wait!

[ Glacier slides away, trails of ice left behind his feet. ]

OFFICER2:
What the...

[ Officer1 shines his flashlight on the ice-trails. ]

OFFICER1:
Where'd this ice come from?


[ EXT. SIDEWALK - OUTSIDE AIRPORT - MORNING. : Theracy stands next to Anthon. Theracy appears tired. ]

ANTHON:
There was an unusual incident reported from a gas station last night. People inside reported an inexplicable difficulty moving for a period of roughly thirty seconds. Two men that could have been Fatty and Not-Fatty were seen leaving the gas station carrying a book.

THERACY:
Do you think they've figured out how to read it?

ANTHON:
They were described as leaving in a hurry. If they used something in the book to immobilize the patrons, they weren't expecting it.

[ Anthon hands a walky-talky to Theracy. ]

ANTHON:
I'll follow their tracks from the gas station. I want you to investigate a nearby neighborhood. The family that found the book lives there.

THERACY:
Isn't Kejek at that boarding school place?

ANTHON:
He disappeared from there the day after the giant attack on Japan. Then reappeared the next day. And now he should be arriving here some time soon, if not already.

THERACY:
Jees, he gets around.

[ Theracy takes the Walky-talky and looks down at it. ]

ANTHON:
Keep in touch. I'll be checking in with you every ten minutes.

THERACY:
Right.

[ Theracy clips the walky-talky to her waist. ]


[ EXT. DRIVEWAY - DAY. : The building to which the driveway is attached is only visible as a shadow to the edge of the screen, though the grassy lawn beyond the edges of the driveway can be seen. ]

[ A brown minivan pulls to a stop in the driveway. The passenger's side door opens, and Liquaro and Rani (reference episode 16) quickly climb out and onto the pavement. ]

LIQUARO:
Koko desu ka?

RANI:
Hayai kitekoto ga dekiru yo ne.

[ Wide shot. A two-story gray house is visible at the end of the driveway. Two men--one with a great deal of belly fat dressed in a baggy gray outfit and hoody, the other a not-so-fat, modestly muscular-armed man in a faded black shirt and dark pants--walk along the shoulder of the road. ]

NOT-FATTY:
I knew there was something to that thing! We gotta try to find more diagram things like that one.

[ Fatty and Not-fatty stop a short distance from the corner of the driveway. Fatty makes a weak movement of his forearm, indicating the twins near the van. ]

[ A boy of roughly the age of Liquaro and Rani, wearing dark jeans and a navy-blue T-shirt approaches from the opposite direction of Fatty and Not-Fatty, heading toward the twins. ]

SEJES:
Hey, are you Liquaro and Rani?

LIQUARO/RANI:
Yes. Good morning!

SEJES:
Kejek left early. He wanted to talk to Kairin about... that magic stuff. I can show you the way.

LIQUARO/RANI:
Ok!

[ Sejes turns and runs off the way he came. Liquaro and Rani follow him, all three disappearing off screen. Pan to and zoom in on Fatty and Not-Fatty. ]

NOT-FATTY:
Did you hear that?

[ Fatty nods, grinning maliciously from under his hood. ]

NOT-FATTY:
A couple Asian kids and someone that knows a thing or two about magic... we've struck oil, my friend! Let's follow 'em!

[ Not-Fatty starts speed-walking in the direction that the boys exited. Fatty struggles to keep up with him as they both disappear off screen. ]

[ Dissolve to... ]


[ INT. FACQUES RESIDENCE - LIVINGROOM - DAY. : Anita Facuqes and Webby stand in the middle of the room. Theracy stands near the front door. ]

ANITA:
No, Kejek left to see some friends a few minutes ago. A couple boys from Japan were supposed to be in town.

THERACY:
Japan?

ANITA:
Yes. I guess he met them while he was out at school. That's not quite how he answered when I asked, though.

THERACY:
Do you know where Kejek went?

ANITA:
He said they'd be just past the railroad tracks southwest of the elementary school. A blue house with a big fence.

[ Theracy turns and pulls open the door. ]

THERACY:
Thanks!

[ Theracy runs out the door, pulling it shut behind her. ]

WEBBY:
That was suspicious!

[ Anita shakes her head. ]

ANITA:
The past year's been suspicious.


[ EXT. HOLIDAY INN - MORNING - ESTABLISHMENT SHOT. : Zoom in on the window of a ground-level room. ]


[ INT. HOTELROOM - MORNING. : The shower is audibly running. Aluben can be seen kneeling between the two beds in the room, while Hydron sits on the bed closest to the front of the room, looking at a newspaper that is spread over her lap. ]

[ A knock comes from the door. Hydron moves the newspaper onto the bed and gets up and goes to the door, pulling it open. ]

[ Standing on the other side of the door is Dan Wothers, a man of about forty, wearing a gray cap and a light, gray jacket over a polo shirt. His pants are bluejeans, and his shoes are high-topped tennis shoes. ]

HYDRON:
Hello?

DAN:
Good morning. I'm Detective Dan Wothers. I'm investigating some strange thefts in the city, and was wondering if you'd be willing to answer a few questions.

HYDRON:
Ok...

DAN:
You arrived from out of state last night, is that right?

HYDRON:
It is.

DAN:
Who is staying in this room?

HYDRON:
Me,

[ Hydron indicates Aluben. ]

HYDRON (cont'd):
him, and our other friend is busy at the moment.

DAN:
Where are you from?

HYDRON:
We've been back and forth between Denver and Chicago for almost two years now.

DAN:
And what brings you to Omaha?

HYDRON:
A suggestion from a friend. We think someone we know might be in town.

DAN:
What do you plan to do today?

[ The sound of the shower stops. ]

HYDRON:
We're not sure, yet. We'll probably just look around until something happens.

DAN:
Thanks for your cooperation. Stay out of trouble and you might not have to put up with me again. Have a good day, ma'am.

[ Dan turns and walks out of sight. Hydron closes the door behind him. Further back in the room, Wind steps into view, wearing a large white T-shirt and knee-length shorts. ]

WIND:
What was that about?

[ Hydron turns around to face Wind. Wind picks up a hairbrush from off screen and starts using it to brush her hair. ]

HYDRON:
Detective. Probably on the same case we are.

[ Aluben stands up and steps to the edge of the isle formed by the two beds. ]

WIND:
What did you tell him?

HYDRON:
Enough.

WIND:
You think we should follow him?

HYDRON:
It'd be safer if I went.

[ Wind turns and places the brush where she got it, and turns around to face Hydron, taking a step toward her. ]

WIND:
Has he left, yet?

HYDRON:
I might be able to catch him.

WIND:
Well, go for it!

[ *Hydron pulls the door open less than a quarter of the way, then transforms into water that flows through the opening. The door falls shut behind her.* ]


[ EXT. PARKING LOT - MORNING. : Dan walks along the sidewalk until coming to where a blue-silver sportscar is parked. He walks to the driver's side and opens the door, getting inside and closing the door behind him. Water-Hydron flows along the sidewalk toward the car. As the car's engine starts up, all four door-windows slide down. ]

[ In the driver's seat, Dan holds up a cel-phone to his head. ]

[ While Dan speaks, Water flows over the back passenger's-side window and into the car, disappearing from sight under the passenger's seat. ]

DAN:
Hey, this is Detective Wothers. Not much at the hotel. (beat). Can't you follow it? (beat). How are pigeons bad enough to interfere in following a trail like that? (beat). All right. I'm on my way.

[ The car's engine revs and it backs out of the parking lot. ]


[ EXT. ALLEYWAY - MORNING. : An Omaha Police Department car is parked near the entrance to the alleyway. Officer1 is bent over to faint streaks of moisture along the pavement. ]

[ Dan's car pulls up at the entrance to the alleyway, stopping beside the OPD car. A pigeon flies through the alleyway toward Officer1, who looks up in time to see it coming toward him. He jumps aside, and the pigeon flies into the nearby brick wall before falling to the pavement. Dan gets out of his car and approaches Officer1. ]

DAN:
Having any luck with that ice?

OFFICER:
It's not lasting in the sun. So far it looks like he wasn't lying about checking the southwest corner of town. I was going to follow him, if you didn't have anything else.

[ Water leaks from the front of Dan's car, forming a puddle beneath it. ]

DAN:
He could be leading us the wrong way. Probably should check out more of the east side. I'll head to the station and report where we're going.

[ The now large water-puddle under Dan's car flows off into the shadows. Officer1 looks toward the puddle, then up at Dan. ]

OFFICER1:
's your car leaking?


[ EXT. STOREFRONT - MORNING. : A payphone hangs on the wall in a recessed area several feet from a darkened set of glass doors. ]

[ Water-Hydron flows along the ground until stopping near the payphone, then rises from the ground and returns to human form. ]

[ Hydron picks up the receiver of the payphone and begins dialing. She puts the phone to her ear and waits for a couple seconds. ]

WIND (over phone):
Hello?

HYDRON:
I think Glacier's in town. Southwest corner.

WIND (over phone):
How can you tell?

HYDRON:
He apparently saw the police and left a trail. It's melted from the sounds of it.

WIND (over phone):
We're on the west side, right?

HYDRON:
Close, anyway.


[ INT. HOTELROOM - DAY. : Wind sits on the edge of one of the beds. Aluben sits on a perpendicular edge of the other. Wind holds a cel-phone to her ear. ]

WIND:
Aluben and I'll head south. You want us to wait for you?

HYDRON (over phone):
I'll catch up.

[ There is a sudden burst of noise from the phone. ]

WIND:
Are you all right? What happened?


[ EXT. STOREFRONT - MORNING. : Hydron looks down at a pigeon that now lies about two feet from her. ]

HYDRON:
Everything's fine. Something's wrong with the pigeons.

[ Hydron kneels and reaches out for the pigeon, keeping the phone to her head. She turns the pigeon so that she can look at its face. ]

HYDRON:
I can't see too clearly, but its eyes look bad. I'm pretty sure Retanretla has been here.


[ EXT. STREETSIDE SIDEWALK - MORNING. : Wind and Aluben walk along the sidewalk while traffic frequently passes along the road. ]

ALUBEN:
Why is everyone keeping secrets? The detective didn't tell much, Shanan didn't tell much, and Glacier makes everything secret.

WIND:
Well, Glacier's like that. It all goes back to ISDA politics.

ALUBEN:
Politics?

WIND:
Things are only more confused now that Captain Fist's in charge. The detective probably knows about as much as us.

ALUBEN:
Do you know that?

WIND:
I guess not, but I'm guessing...

[ As Wind and Aluben step near to a drain in the sidewalk, Water-Hydron rises from it and takes human form. Wind and Aluben stop walking. ]

WIND:
... Hey, Shanan.

HYDRON:
Nothing?

WIND:
Not yet.

HYDRON:
I didn't find the trail the police mentioned. I'm guessing most of it's already melted.

WIND:
So we're just walking, then?

HYDRON:
Until we have something better to do.

WIND:
Breakfast sounds good.

HYDRON:
If we could find something on the way...

WIND:
Heheh. Well, there's probably an ATM at the bank across the next street ahead.


[ EXT. INTERSECTION - MORNING. : On one side of the street, an elderly man stands in preparation to cross. Wind, Hydron and Aluben standon the opposite curb. ]

[ A pair of cars drive through before the light changes to indicate that the pedestrians can pass. ]

[ The old man steps into the crosswalk and walks at a leisurely pace toward the other side of the road. A pair of pigeons fly from off screen and low over the street, one of them narrowly missing the man as he stops, waving his arm defensively. ]

[ One of the pigeons flies at the windshield of an oncoming car, and the car swerves as it slows. ]

[ Close on Wind, Hydron and Aluben, who look on in surprise. ]

ALUBEN:
That car is losing control!

WIND:
Shanan, get that guy out of there!

[ Hydron becomes water and flows into the street. ]

[ Water-Hydron flows into the older man, and he yells as he slips and falls backward. The car skids past him and off screen. Water-Hydron collects behind the man and returns to human form in time for Hydron to throw out her arms and keep the man from falling onto the pavement. ]

HYDRON:
Are you all right?

OLDMAN:
Bearly! Did you see where that water came from?

[ Four pigeons fly through the street in bizarre patterns. A gust of wind pushes them out of the way of the next car, which manages to stop before reaching the crosswalk. ]

[ On the curb, Wind's hands are extended toward the road. ]

WIND:
All right, let's go before the light changes!

[ Wind hurries across the street, Aluben following. ]


[ EXT. SIDEWALK - MORNING. : Hydron, Wind and Aluben walk along the sidewalk. ]

ALUBEN:
Does Glacier eat?

WIND:
I... really couldn't tell you.

HYDRON:
He'd've eaten earlier.

[ The group approaches a small restaurant with the image of a Cheeseburger painted over its entrance. Pan down and to the side, revealing a two-foot-high block of ice sitting at the corner of the building. ]

[ Hydron, Wind and Aluben approach the corner of the building, and stop to look at the block of ice. ]

HYDRON:
Glacier's been here. He knows we're here.

WIND:
Can you be sure?

HYDRON:
He left the ice in the shadows, and it's still big. He didn't expect anyone to get here before sunrise. And it's the north side of the building.

WIND:
So?

HYDRON:
The police might come from any direction. Most of the hotels like ours that are easy to get to on short notice are to the north. He expected us to find him.

[ Aluben looks along the side of the building, toward the back. ]

ALUBEN:
There's another back there.

[ At the back corner of the building sits another, slightly larger block of ice. ]

WIND:
So what, do we follow them?

HYDRON:
Your guess is as good as mine.

[ Hydron steps along the wall, and Wind and Aluben follow. ]

WIND:
Maybe he wanted us to wait here?

HYDRON:
If not, the trail will be gone.

WIND:
I don't see any trail...

HYDRON:
Hmm. I guess we wait, then.

ALUBEN:
Should we leave a clue?

WIND:
Clue?

ALUBEN:
So he'll know we found the ice.

WIND:
Good idea!

[ Aluben picks up a rock and sets it on the closest iceblock. ]

[ Hydron picks up a bigger stone and tries to scratch it along the edge of the ice, then leaves it on top. ]

[ Wind, Hydron and Aluben turn and walk off screen. Zoom in on the rock that Hydron left on the ice; a faint "E"-shape has been scratched into it. ]

[ Fade to black. ]


[ Fade in to EXT. ABOVE HILLBOTTOM - DAY. : A road runs along the hill, with a house atop it. Toward the bottom of the hill, the land flattens and becomes marshy, with a ricefield visible in the distance. A blue-gray house sits on the bottom of the slope, a lumber fence enclosing an area behind it. ]

[ Zoom in on the area in front of the blue house. ]

KEJEK (voice-over):
The air out there is humid.


[ EXT. HOUSEFRONT - DAY. : A lean-to no more than eight feet across sits against the side of the blue house. A pair of cindreblocks sit in front of the door--whose wooden surface is covered in a layer of ribbons of lacerated wood--and Kejek and Kairin sit on them. Kairin's fanblade (see episode 14) is in one of his hands, and he looks down at it as he carefully spins it dangerously close to his body. Leaning against the wall next to Kejek is an uprooted, thorn-headed plant resembling a chute of bamboo. If the roots are visible, they should appear damp. ]

KEJEK (cont'd):
It was protected in that bag in the ruins, but as soon as Elanmak took the pages out, they started to deteriorate.

KAIRIN:
Well, if the words can still be seen, we could just take a picture of it.

KEJEK:
Elanmak hasn't let anyone see it since Taharhin and Vekin read the first page.

KAIRIN:
If he can't read it, why's he keeping it?

KEJEK:
I don't know. It looks like it was mostly music.

SEJES (OS):
Hey, Kejek!

[ Kairin and Kejek look up. ]

[ Sejes, Liquaro and Rani walk from the road toward the lean-to. ]

KEJEK:
Hey, guys.

[ Sejes and the twins stop walking once they're within four feet of the cindreblocks. ]

SEJES:
Did anything cool happen before we got here?

KEJEK:
Not really. We wound up talking about that bag Elanmak took from the ruins on that island.

KAIRIN:
For all we know, it could help reopen the gateway, but he won't let anyone see it.

KEJEK:
If anything would talk about the gateways, it'd probably be--

NOT-FATTY (OS):
Hello, there!

[ Everyone looks toward the road. ]

[ Fatty and Not-Fatty walk across the grass toward the boys. ]


[ EXT. ROAD - DAY. : The land on either side of the road is largely covered in grass and trees, with no sidewalks in sight, though a house or two is occasionally visible amid the trees. ]

[ Theracy runs along the road. ]

ANTHON (over radio):
Anthon to Yellow. Do you copy?

[ Theracy holds up the Walky-Talky. ]

THERACY:
I read you loud and clear.

ANTHON (over radio):
Where are you now?

THERACY:
I'm looking for a house where Kejek, Kairin and a pair of Japanese twins are supposed to be.

ANTHON (over radio):
Is there any sign of Fatty and Not-Fatty?

THERACY:
No, but with all of them in the same place there has to be something interesting there!

ANTHON (over radio):
All right. Proceed.


[ EXT. HOUSEFRONT - DAY. : Kairin and Kejek are now standing. Fatty and Not-Fatty are within ten feet of the lean-to. ]

NOT-FATTY:
Are any of you interested in magic?

KAIRIN:
That depends...

[ Sejes looks from Fatty to Not-Fatty, then turns and walks to Kejek and whispers something in his ear. Kejek's eyes widen and he stares at Fatty's hoody. ]

NOT-FATTY:
If you'll just let us step inside, we'd be happy to show you something that I'm sure you'll find impressive!

RANI:
Inside?

[ Kairin turns and puts his hand on the knob on the door of the lean-to. ]

KAIRIN:
Well, there's nothing in here right now.

[ Kejek looks at Kairin, then nods and picks up the uprooted plant beside the blocks. ]

NOT-FATTY:
That will do just fine!

[ Kairin turns the doorknob and pushes the door inward, revealing a dark space beyond. ]


[ INT. LEAN-TO - DAY. : The room is almost square, less than eight feet in each direction. The only light comes from the open doorway, though it is enough to see the dark-brown wooden-paneled walls and the pale blue-gray carpet on the floor. ]

[ Kairin steps through the door way and heads for the back of the room (foreground). Kejek follows him inside, and Liquaro and Rani are visible through the doorway. ]

[ Shot of the back of the room: the light from the doorway reveals an identical door on the opposite wall, with a lightswitch in the wall beside it. Kairin walks to the lightswitch and flips it. Light shines from the ceiling. ]

[ Original angle: Liquaro, Rani and Sejes have entered the room. Fatty steps through the doorway, though seems to struggle to fit through it. Not-Fatty follows, closing the door behind him. ]

NOT-FATTY:
Ah, wonderful, wonderful.

[ Fatty moves a bit left of center (screen right), and Not-Fatty moves to stand beside him. Fatty reaches into the large front pocket of his hoody. ]

NOT-FATTY:
By the way, could one of you tell me which direction is north?

[ Kairin points toward screen right. ]

KAIRIN:
That way.

NOT-FATTY:
Ah, thank you.

[ Not-Fatty turns to face northward. Fatty pulls from his hoody pocket a leather-bound book with gold trimming, charcoal set in bronze embedded in the corners of the cover, with what appear to be slightly burned fingerbones placed along the spine. A bronze latch holds the book shut, and a fragment of partly-burned bone is set in the latch. ]

[ Close on the book as Fatty opens the latch and flips the book open. ]

[ Close on Kejek. ]

KEJEK:
That's the book, all right.

[ Not-Fatty continues to face northward, while the boys look on from the east side of the room. Fatty turns the pages of the book, finally stopping and flipping the latch back up. ]

NOT-FATTY:
And for our first trick...

[ Fatty tilts the book carefully, turning it so that the top of the spine points northward. ]

[ Kejek takes a step forward. ]

KEJEK:
Hey, where did you--

[ Kejek lifts his foot to take a step forward, then staggers as though under heavy weight. ]

[ Not-Fatty turns to face the boys with a wicked smile on his face. ]

NOT-FATTY:
Impressive, isn't it?

[ Kairin attempts to raise the fanblade, but struggles as though his entire arm is weighted. ]

KAIRIN:
What in the...

LIQUARO:
Rani, I can't move!

RANI:
Me too!

[ The fanblade drops from Kairin's hand and clatters to the floor. Sejes pulls back his left arm, raising the right as though in a swimming motion, though very slowly. ]

NOT-FATTY:
And there's more where that came from, if one of you would be so kind as to help us read this book.

[ Sejes staggers forward, within a foot of Fatty and Not-Fatty. ]

SEJES:
You stole that book! I saw you!

[ Not-Fatty punches Sejes in the head, and Sejes falls to his knees, then collapses. ]

NOT-FATTY:
Not him.

[ Close on Kejek as he struggles to move the plant, hereafter the chute-staff, in different directions, with limited results. ]

KEJEK (muttering):
Has to... break... somehow. Inside... north...

[ Close on Kairin as he struggles to turn his hands palm up and tilt his head to look at them. ]

[ Mid shot. Liquaro and Rani struggle to turn their heads toward one another. ]

LIQUARO:
Ok, we'll read it!

KAIRIN:
What?!

NOT-FATTY:
Good, good!

[ Not-Fatty turns to face Liquaro and Rani, holding his hands out toward them both. Fatty tilts the book downward at a small angle. ]

NOT-FATTY:
Come here.

[ Liquaro and Rani stagger, then walk at a normal speed toward Fatty and Not-Fatty. (Liquaro is closer to Sejes, and Rani is closer to Fatty.) ]

[ Close on Kejek, who slowly turns to face northward. He holds up the chute-staff and smiles, then slowly turns toward the back door (behind him). ]


[ EXT. HOUSEFRONT - DAY. : Theracy runs up to the front door of the house. Once she reaches it, she stops to catch her breath. ]

THERACY (out of breath):
This is it. I hope.

[ Theracy raises her hand and knocks on the door. ]

[ After a moment, the door opens, revealing a young-looking woman, anywhere from sixteen to her early thirties. ]

WOMAN:
Hello?

THERACY:
Are Kejek and Kairin here?

WOMAN:
Yes they are.

THERACY:
I need to talk to them.

WOMAN:
They should be out in the playhouse. It's right beside here.

THERACY:
Thanks!

[ Theracy turns and runs, leaving the woman in the doorway looking after her in bewilderment. ]

[ Theracy approaches the door of the lean-to and reaches up to knock on it, but abruptly steps back. ]

THERACY (confused):
Huh?

[ Theracy Lowers her hand. ]

THERACY (cont'd):
Something seems strange.

[ Theracy looks at the door for a moment, then reaches out her hand again. As her fingertips touch the doorknob, flash through white to... ]


[ EXT. ABOVE FOREST - NIGHT. : Move toward a tree-draped mass of dark stone sitting amid a great many trees; a small break in the trees a short distance from the large stone building can be seen in the form of a stream. ]

[ Zoom in on the stone mass, which appears to be an old, partly collapsed castle. ]

WEBBY (voice-over, distant, reverb):
Not to look for more bones...

KEJEK (voice-over, distant, reverb):
Just to see what's inside. You remember the stories from Spring school...

[ The castle fills the view. A dead raven hangs from a windowseal no less than twenty feet from the ground. ]

KEJEK (voice-over, distant, reverb, cont'd):
Maybe we'd have something to show Daklyn's mom...

THERACY (voice-over, reverb):
A way in?

[ Zoom in on a darkened, spiderweb-covered window a short distance from the raven window. There is a distant, resounding boom, as though from a large drum. ]

THERACY (voice-over, reverb):
I can't get in...

[ There is another boom. A light flashes around the castle. ]

THERACY (voice-over, reverb):
What is this place?

DEEPBOOMINGVOICE (voice-over, echo):
NO! BACK!

[ Flash through white to... ]


[ EXT. HOUSEFRONT - DAY. : Theracy falls back from the lean-to as though struck. She lies on the grass, staring at her burned hand. ]

THERACY:
I'm too late.

ANTHON (over radio):
Yellow, do you copy?

[ Theracy slowly reaches to the walky-talky clipped to her waist, pulling it away and holding it close to her face. ]

THERACY:
I copy.

ANTHON (over radio):
What is your situation?

THERACY:
I'm at the house. I think Fatty and Not-Fatty beat me here. The boys are in a small room. I can't get inside it. It's just like the castle.

ANTHON (over radio):
Keep them there as long as you can. I'm on my way.

[ The woman from the doorway walks to Theracy. ]

WOMAN:
Are you all right?

[ Theracy blinks, then gets to her feet, putting the walky-talky back at her waist. ]

THERACY:
Yes. Is there another way in?

WOMAN:
Well, around back. Why? The doors don't lock.

[ Close on Theracy's face. Fade to black. ]


[ Fade in to EXT. RESTAURANT - DAY - ESTABLISHMENT SHOT. : It is the same restaurant as seen previously, though the ice-blocks cannot be seen from this angle. ]

[ Zoom in. ]

[ Dissolve to... ]


[ INT. RESTAURANT - DAY. : Wind, Hydron and Aluben sit at a four-chaired table beside a four-foot-high divider wall; a cup with a picture of a cheeseburger on it sits on the table, in front of Wind. More tables are across the "isle" from them, with a wall of windows between them and a colorful indoor playground (few details other than tunnels, slides and nets can be seen from here). ]

WIND:
If we stay here much longer they'll kick us out.

ALUBEN:
We aren't disturbing anyone.

WIND:
We've stopped buying things... they'll want to clean before the lunch rush.

[ A child no older than five years jumps up from beside the table. ]

CHILD:
The blue ranger said to tell you he's in the playset.

[ Wind and Aluben look toward the child with surprised and confused expressions on their faces. ]

MOTHER (OS):
Sam! Leave those people alone. Come get your drink if you want to keep it; we've got to go!

[ The child runs off. ]

[ Wind and Hydron slowly turn to look at one another. ]

WIND:
That was weird.

HYDRON:
His outfit is way lighter than the Power Rangers'.

ALUBEN:
What? Was that about Glacier?

WIND:
I guess we should look.

[ Wind looks at the window into the playroom. ]

WIND (cont'd):
I guess it's empty now. Shanan, can't you go check?

HYDRON:
If you want the cashier seeing a customer transform into water.

WIND:
Ah, ok. Let's go, then.

[ Wind gets up. Aluben blinks. Hydron shrugs, then stands up; Wind moves toward the windows across the room. Hydron follows, and Aluben finally gets up and walks after them. ]


[ INT. PLAYROOM - DAY. : Aside from Wind, Aluben and Hydron (entering), the room appears void of people. At least half of the room is dominated by a net-bound maze of plastic tunnels and nets, with a pit of multi-colored plastic balls visible in the center through the netting around the outside. The nets are broken by the tunnels that lead into the playground, other than one area to the left of the ball-pit where a two and a half-foot gap near the padded floor leads beneath a floor of woven fabric. ]

WIND:
Since we're in here, let's not ask and see who can find him first.

ALUBEN:
What?

WIND:
... I'm taking... that one.

[ Wind points to a tunnel on the left side of the room, then crawls into it and disappears from sight. ]

HYDRON:
You wouldn't have taken that one if you didn't know it led to the slide.

WIND(from tunnel):
Shut up!

ALUBEN:
Do I go in?

HYDRON:
If you want.

[ Hydron moves to the right-most tunnel and climbs through, climbing into a path built on all sides of nets, with punchingbags and enormous foam-boulders as obstacles. She forces the obstacles aside as she moves past them and is obscured from sight. ]

[ Aluben looks around, then climbs through the tunnel leading to the ball-pit. ]

[ Aluben and Hydron nigh simultaneously enter an area toward the exterior wall rendered nigh unseeable due to the punchingbags that dominate its volume. ]

HYDRON:
I'm not so sure you're invisible from the windows.

[ Hydron moves a punchingbag aside to reveal Glacier standing amid them. ]

GLACIER:
I am.

HYDRON:
How long have you been waiting?

GLACIER:
I wasn't the first in here.

HYDRON:
That'd atract attention.

[ Aluben looks on with a perplexed expression. ]

GLACIER:
He's left town.

HYDRON:
You're sure?

GLACIER:
If he was here, he'd want to be found.

WIND (From a tunnel above):
Hey, you could wait for me.

[ Aluben looks toward the window. ]

ALUBEN:
Is that the man that came to the hotel this morning?

[ Hydron looks to the window. ]

[ Through the window can be seen Dan Wothers, not close enough to see into the window, but not coming inside the building. ]

HYDRON:
... Detective Wothers.

[ Inside an orange-tinted tunnel, Wind crawls into an opening and slides down, arriving in a padded area with a view of the window and one tunnel (other than the slide) leading out of it. ]

WIND:
... What?

ALUBEN:
What should we do?

WIND:
... How to get in there where you guys...

[ Hydron releases the punchingbag that was obscuring Glacier, and it swings back into place, though it moves enough so as not to obscure Glacier from sight completely. ]

[ The sound of Wind moving through tunnels can be heard. ]

HYDRON:
Don't bother.

WIND:
It'd be better to see who's talking...

[ Wind appears in a net above the punchingbag area. ]

HYDRON:
The detective is outside. We can't leave without being seen. If he suspects something, and he probably does if he sees the ice and our rocks, then he'll at least come inside and question the employees.

WIND:
Well, it's not like we have any reason to hide. I say we just leave. If he stops us, then we talk to him. If not, get back to the hotel.

ALUBEN:
What do we tell him?

WIND:
We'll let his questions decide that. Do we leave now, then?

GLACIER:
He won't try it on himself. We should look to the south or southeast.

WIND:
... huh?

HYDRON:
Retanretla? So we're done here, then?

GLACIER:
Yes.

ALUBEN:
How do you know?

GLACIER:
Kairin.

WIND:
... The kid that was with him last time?

HYDRON:
That's what I thought. I don't think he knows how it works any more than we do.

WIND:
What are you talking about?

HYDRON:
Retanretla doesn't know where his powers are from. So he experimented on Kairin. Remember how there's a gap in his memory before his powers showed up? Retanretla probably used color patterns to mess with his head, then did something to him. But it didn't work on himself, so now he's trying to get supplies to experiment further.

WIND:
Another mad scientist? ... Aren't we supposed to be leaving now?

ALUBEN:
The Detective is moving.

WIND:
Ok. Let's get going.


[ INT. RESTAURANT - DAY. : As Wind, Hydron, Aluben and Glacier emerge from the play area, Dan enters from further in the background. ]

WIND:
Great...

[ Dan walks stoicly toward the counter, deliberately not looking in the direction of Taoe. ]

CASHIER:
Can I help you, sir?

DAN:
Are you serving lunch, yet?

CASHIER:
Yes, sir, we are.

DAN:
Allright, then I'll take two woppers, one with a large fry, the other small. And can I get one of those with no mustard?

CASHIER:
Yes sir. Will that be all?

DAN:
For now, anyway.

ALUBEN:
Should we leave?

HYDRON:
No.

[ Dan pulls some cash from his pants pocket and slides it across the counter, and the cashier hands him a receipt. Dan then turns and walks over to a table, but doesn't sit. ]

DAN:
I hope you didn't think I wouldn't notice a puddle of water jumping into my car without getting anything wet.

HYDRON:
You're not a bad actor.

DAN:
No acting to it. I'm running a burger to the officer I told should check the east side. Least I can do for sending him the wrong way. Should I make him wait, or are you going to cooperate?

HYDRON:
Depends what you mean by "cooperate".

DAN:
I mean, stop hiding things. This wasn't a petty break-in. You know it. No need to have us running around the city. I want to know what's going on.

[ Dan goes back to the counter. The cashier sets two paper sacks on the counter, and Dan picks them up. ]

WIND(to Glacier):
This is why we don't where neon-blue spandex in public.

HYDRON:
No need to send him into an ice fortress in Canada again.

[ Dan walks back toward Taoe. ]

DAN:
I hope you're not making things up to confuse me.

GLACIER:
They aren't.

DAN:
Well, let's start with you, spandex. Do you know who is responsible for these break-ins?

GLACIER:
I have reason to believe so.

DAN:
Can you give a name?

GLACIER:
Retanretla.

[ Dan sighs and pulls a cel-phone from his pocket and presses some buttons before holding it to his ear. ]

DAN:
Hey, it's Dan. If you come to Burger King now, your food might not be cold.

[ Slow dissolve... ]

[ To the exact same place, only now Taoe and Dan are seated, other than Glacier, who stands stoicly at the end of the table. ]

DAN:
Still so many secrets. You won't tell me who you're working for--I'm supposed to believe it's the government. You say this Retanretla guy is experimenting, maybe on kids. But you won't say why. And he's apparently skipped town. And didn't show up on security footage. If you can't explain the first two, explain the last one, at least. Unless you want to say why you think it's him.

HYDRON:
He has... a talent with colors.

DAN:
If I didn't know you could turn into water, and he can make ice out of thin air, I'd think you were talking about his wardrobe.

GLACIER:
Not thin air.

DAN:
Do you have something to add? Frankly I don't want to get mixed up in your magic tricks. My job is to find a burglar, bring him in if I can and with proper evidence to take it to court if need be. You're giving me the end without the proof.

ALUBEN:
He is dangerous.

WIND:
Very dangerous. Actually, with what he says he can do, it's pretty shocking that...

DAN:
That?

WIND:
... That ... we had to come here on our own.

DAN:
Look, I know you're either sworn to secrecy or giving me a huge lie. You could at least give me something to work with; I could always arrest you as accessories, since this isn't helping find the guy.

GLACIER:
He knew we'd come.

DAN:
What makes you believe that?

GLACIER:
He used the southeast quarter more than once to sleep. He had a space cleaned on the roof of a warehouse. He nearly started a fire trying to clear some of the mess. There was a pigeon carcass; its brain was...

WIND:
Ok, we get it. I was thinking about getting something to eat before we leave...

DAN:
You know it was him?

GLACIER:
Or someone like him.

HYDRON:
Spectro's been away from here, hasn't he?

WIND:
Spectro didn't do it...

HYDRON:
I know, but if we can prove he didn't, then the evidence from that building points to Retanretla, unless someone else can do those things.

WIND:
Kairin?

GLACIER:
It was an adult.

ALUBEN:
We could see that in the video.

DAN:
Video! How... ...

[ Dan sighs. ]

DAN (cont'd):
Can you point me to this warehouse?

GLACIER:
I already did.

DAN:
Try again.

GLACIER:
I told the police that he'd left.

DAN:
Hmmph. So we were that close after all. And you know he left?

GLACIER:
His spot was cleaner than the rest of the roof, but it had been abandonned for some hours of daylight.

DAN:
Ok. Homacidal maniac, I don't want to know how he nukes things, trying to do experiments without getting caught. Resorts to sleeping on warehouse roofs and killing pigeons. I take it he isn't wealthy?

WIND:
We don't even know how he got here. We met him overseas.

HYDRON:
I'd guess he didn't want to lose track of Spectro.

DAN:
And you think he went...

GLACIER:
Not north. Probably not west.

DAN:
Southeast quarter makes that direction quickest out of town. Is there anywhere he might go to?

HYDRON:
Not that we know of.

WIND:
He's probably a hobo that thinks he's a scientist.

DAN:
One problem. Let's say I find this evidence at the warehouse, get in contact with people... how do I know you didn't plant the evidence? Some matches and a microwave oven could reproduce it.

WIND:
We got here last night. The evidence is older than that.

DAN:
You got here last night. What about him?

[ Dan nods toward Glacier. ]

WIND:
He handed us the...

HYDRON:
We saw him a few hours before we left. He gave us the tip.

DAN:
Witnesses?

WIND:
We were visiting a friend in a hospital. His legs and back are messed up, so he hasn't been let out much.

DAN:
Out of state?

WIND:
Yes.

DAN:
Get me the name of the hospital, room number, name. I'd like to see the video you mentioned as well. That'll be enough to convince me, and I'll make sure every county in Nebraska is looking for him.

[ Officer1 enters. ]

OFFICER1:
Big party. You'd think it was someone's birthday.


[ INT. LEAN-TO - DAY. : Liquaro and Rani stand before Fatty and Not-Fatty. ]

NOT-FATTY:
You can start by reading what's on the open pages.

RANI:
But you already know what that page tells. That's how we're trapped, isn't it?

NOT-FATTY:
Picky, picky...

[ Rani looks toward Liquaro. Liquaro nods. Rani quickly turns and punches Fatty's arm. Fatty takes the arm away from the book and brings it down over Rani's head, knocking him back. Liquaro ducks, reaching for Sejes, and simultaneously kickint at Not-Fatty's knee. Not-Fatty yells as Liquaro's kick connects and staggers. ]

NOT-FATTY (in pain):
Strong little punks...

[ Kairin slowly raises his hands and aims them at Fatty and Not-Fatty. ]

KAIRIN:
Dragonfly Attack.

[ A flash of light comes from Kairin's hands, and Not-Fatty yells. ]

[ Kejek spins and touches the door with the chute-staff, his free hand pointed to the north. ]

KEJEK:
Now!


[ EXT. BEHIND HOUSE - DAY. : A narrow wooden deck spans the back of the lean-to. Theracy and the previously-seen woman stand on the deck. ]

[ Sparks crackle around the knob on the back door of the lean-to. ]

THERACY:
That's it!

[ Theracy hurries to the door and reaches for the doorknob with her burned hand. Sparks flow from the doorknob and into Theracy's hanb. Theracy smiles, and pushes the door inward. She pulls her hand away, and the sparks fade. The burns on her hand appear more faded than usual. ]


[ INT. LEAN-TO - DAY. ]

[ Kejek jumps back as the door opens. Theracy and the deck are visible through the doorway. ]

[ Liquaro raises a hand toward Fatty, and a beam of white light blasts from it, striking Fatty in the shoulder. The book falls from Fatty's hand. ]

WOMAN (OS):
Hey, in there!

KEJEK:
Come on!

[ Kejek runs over to Sejes and taps him on the back with the chute-staff. Not-Fatty looks at Fatty, glares at Kairin, then trapes toward the open door. Fatty walks beside him, Kejek and Liquaro pushing Sejes out of their path. ]

NOT-FATTY (muttering):
He didn't even hit us.

[ Kairin runs across the room to Rani, who seems to have recovered from Fatty's attack. Sejes moans quietly, and Kejek and Liquaro help him to his feet. Kairin picks up the book from the floor. The boys follow Fatty and Not-Fatty out of the room. ]


[ EXT. BEHIND HOUSE - DAY. : Fatty and Not-Fatty stand to one side, trying to look innocent. ]

NOT-FATTY:
We were just ... showing the kids here something we found...

WOMAN:
Oh?

[ Theracy looks at the boys, her eyes falling on the book in Kairin's hands. ]

THERACY:
The book!

[ All eyes fall on the book. ]

NOT-FATTY:
That belongs to my associate.

WOMAN:
Well, then, give it back to him.

[ Theracy's mouth hangs open as she looks on. ]

[ Kejek shakes his head. ]

[ Kairin sighs and steps forward, holding out the book. ]

THERACY:
But...

[ Not-Fatty snatches the book, and hands it to Fatty, who places it into the front pocket of his hoody. Not-Fatty smiles wickedly at the boys. ]

NOT-FATTY:
Thank you very much.

[ Theracy clenches her fists, glaring at Not-Fatty. Not-Fatty blinks, then turns to face out into the yard. ]

NOT-FATTY:
Well, we'll be going, now. Time's wasting, and all that.

[ Pan to Theracy and Kairin, so that Fatty and Not-Fatty are off screen. ]

[ Theracy looks toward Kairin. ]

THERACY:
Why do I always find you in the middle of all this trouble?

KAIRIN:
Huh? Who... are you?

[ Theracy sighs. ]


[ EXT. HOUSEFRONT - DAY. : The woman walks in front of Kairin and Theracy, while Kejek, Liquaro, Rani and Sejes walk more slowly and loosly in the yard a few feet away. ]

KAIRIN:
Well, can't you follow them now?

THERACY:
That giant that fell into the ocean ruined my powers. I can't tell you what's in your pockets.

ANTHON (over radio):
Yellow? Copy?

[ Theracy pulls the walky-talky from her waist. ]

THERACY:
Hold on.

[ She holds the walky-talky near her face. ]

THERACY:
I copy. Anthon, they left... they have the book!

ANTHON (over radio):
Can you keep track of where they are?

THERACY:
They headed up the road. I'm not sure which direction...

KAIRIN:
North.

THERACY:
They went north!


[ EXT. HILLTOP ROAD - DAY. : Anthon stands on the side of the road, his hand at his side. ]

ANTHON:
I'm north of you now. I should be able to catch them.

[ Fatty and Not-Fatty come running along the road. Anthon steps into the road, standing in their path. ]

ANTHON:
Freeze.

NOT-FATTY:
Who are you?

ANTHON:
I said freeze.

[ Anthon raises his hand, a tiny pistol within. Fatty and Not-Fatty stop a few feet from him. ]

ANTHON:
You have two choices. You can get taken in for robbery, assault, and attempted kidnapping, or you can hand over the book.

NOT-FATTY:
What kind of gun is that? Cops don't carry those.

ANTHON:
The book.

[ Not-Fatty looks around. ]

NOT-FATTY:
No walls... why does that stupid thing need walls?

[ Anthon aims the pistol at Not-Fatty's chest. ]

ANTHON:
That book was sold illegally. And then you stole it. Hand it over. Now.

[ Fatty pulls the book out of his hoody pocket. ]

NOT-FATTY:
What are you doin'?!

[ Fatty opens the book. ]

ANTHON:
You have two seconds.

[ Fatty looks down at a page in the book. ]

[ Zoom in on the page, showing a crudely-drawn figure collapsed beside a vastly oversized drawing of the spine of the book, with a line drawn beneath both of them. Several Chinese characters appear above the drawings. (Translated, the writing should read "The bones feed standing".) ]

[ Fatty closes the book, a devilish grin appearing on his face. ]

NOT-FATTY:
You aren't gonna give it to him, are you?

[ Fatty bends over and sets the book down on the ground, standing so that the spine faces Anthon. Anthon steps forward and drops to one knee, keeping his eyes on Fatty and Not-Fatty as he reaches for the book with his free hand. ]

[ Flash through white to... ]


[ INT. SMALL CABBIN - NIGHT. : The room is lit by a small fire in one corner. Ms. Saiyoshin (see episode 15) and her eldest son sit on the floor, with two girls--one around ten, the other no more than two years younger--near them. ]

MS. SAIYOSHIN (reverb):
You couldn't even take the original if it was standing. The bones in it would take the spirit right out of you.

[ There is a flash of light, and a wall suddenly bursts into splinters. ]

[ Close on the fire, a book visibly burning within. ]

MS. SAIYOSHIN (OS, reverb):
What are you doing?!

MAN (OS, reverb):
Burnin' your witchbook! Watch it, or you'll be next!

[ Flash through white to... ]


[ EXT. HILLTOP ROAD - DAY. : Anthon touches the spine of the book, but begins to quiver. ]

ANTHON:
Nice... try.

[ Anthon struggles to get to his feet, but staggers. ]

ANTHON (winded):
Step... away.

NOT-FATTY:
Maybe later.

[ Not-Fatty runs past Anthon and punches him in the back of the head. Anthon collapses forward. Fatty scoops up the book and places it into his hoody pocket. ]

[ Not-Fatty laughs. ]

NOT-FATTY:
That was a nice one! Hooda thunk you'd come up with usin' the book to weaken him like that?

CAPTAIN FIST (over radio):
Anthon? What is your status?

NOT-FATTY:
I think it's time to leave.

[ Not-Fatty turns and runs up the road. Fatty follows. Theracy runs up the road, stopping near Anthon. ]

THERACY:
Hey! Come back here!

[ Anthon moans. Theracy kneels beside him. ]

THERACY:
Are you ok?

ANTHON (groggy):
Don't... let them get away...

[ Anthon exhales tiredly and falls still. ]

CAPTAIN FIST (over radio):
Anthon! Do you copy?

THERACY:
He's passed out! Fatty and Not-Fatty ran off with the book!

CAPTAIN FIST (over radio):
Can you track them?

THERACY:
I don't know! Anthon's...

CAPTAIN FIST (over radio):
What do you mean you don't know?

[ Theracy clenches her fists and her teeth. ]

CAPTAIN FIST (over radio):
Yellow, answer me!

THERACY (quiet, angry):
My name is Theracy.

[ Theracy runs up the road after Fatty and Not-Fatty. ]

CAPTAIN FIST (over radio):
Yellow! Yellow!


4:29 PM 5/26/2010