Welcome to THE WORMHOLE

part 7 of NEON RUN

Since we all need some extra entertainment right now, this week I’m doing a serialized release of my screenplay NEON RUN. This is Part 7. 

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6


INT. VR FLOOR - CONTINUOUS

Agnezz continues talking to The Chris.

THE CHRIS

... and your reflexes when that guy came out of nowhere!

He touches her arm casually when Stenzrood suddenly floats up between them.

HOWIE

AGNEZZ!

She pulls away from The Chris immediately, acting like nothing happened.

HOWIE

Red alert, Lyllywight called, Messy's gone missing!

Howie grabs Agnezz and they run away, Stenzrood floating ahead of them, but not before Agnezz steals one last look at The Chris.

INT. HOTEL HALLWAY - LATER

Lyllywight rushes down a transparent tube of a hallway.

LYLLYWIGHT

I've lost him, how did I lose him, why did I think...

Above him, screens and holograms flash with alerts.

SCREENS

Officials found the small frog-like sentient with the same type of designer ammo allegedly linked to Queen Veda of Melkia, currently a fugitive for treason against the Galactic Assembly.

Lyllywight's comm device flashes.

ZOE (O.S.)

(over comm) WHAT THE BLAZES IS YOUR FROG CHILD DOING?!

LYLLYWIGHT

I don't know, I lost him!

ZOE (O.S.)

Where did you last see the thing?

LYLLYWIGHT

He asked to be called a him, not a thing!

VEDA (O.S.)

(over comm) Let me talk to him.

Lyllywight tugs on his horns in distress.

VEDA (O.S.)

Lyllywight, slow down, let's just think about where to find—

LYLLYWIGHT

I COULD HAVE STEPPED ON HIM.

VEDA (O.S.)

That's not a very productive line of thinking.

Lyllywight MOANS.

EXT. CITY STREETS - CONTINUOUS

Zoe and Veda run through the streets, pushing through crowds. The screens and projections surrounding them the warning about Messy.

SCREENS

Galactic Assembly Police were able to track the ammo following a black-market sale on the Archipelago system.

ZOE

Once I find out whoever sold my ammo, I'm gonna tear their—

They skid to a stop as they come up against a crowd surrounding a large hologram showing the news—

And then—

It's Veda. Her message playing out all across the planet.

SCREENS

Breaking news as the fugitive queen Veda Centennia has released a statement alongside irrefutable evidence detailing corruption between Galactic Officials and arms corporations. Within moments, people all across the assembly have rallied to Centennia's support.

Veda grabs Zoe's arm.

VEDA

Thank you.

ZOE

It's all you.

SIRENS. Zoe flips around— GAPs rip through the crowd, headed straight toward them. Zoe takes Veda's hand and they go running—

ZOE

(into comm) Agnezz! Got anything?

INT. HOTEL KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

Agnezz and Howie run through the kitchen, sliding through spills and past the many creatures loudly complaining.

Stenzrood wraps its tentacles onto Agnezz and hangs on like a kite while she rushes through the room.

AGNEZZ

(into comm) Think we found him. Big mess in the kitchens! Level 2319!

Agnezz and Howie skid to a halt as they tumble through the swinging kitchen doors—

INT. SLOT MACHINES - CONTINUOUS

They look out over the multi-tiered gambling room, with neon slot machines and projected animations.

Up on a balcony, there's a scream and the crowd disperses— Stenzrood jets itself up. Howie and Agnezz run up the stairs.

INT. SLOT MACHINES - UPSTAIRS - MOMENTS LATER

Agnezz and Howie stop amidst blinking machines and scan the room for Messy.

HOWIE

I sold that ammo. Zoe's going to kill me.

AGNEZZ

Yeah, they can trace that stuff, dummy.

HOWIE

I was just trying to help!

Stenzrood WHISTLES. Agnezz points to a waterfall. GAPs chase Messy out of it.

AGNEZZ

There!

They run, falling into step behind the GAPs.

INT. HOTEL BALCONY - CONTINUOUS

Lyllywight stops at the balcony of the crowded hotel atrium. He sees Zoe and Veda across the way.

Zoe motions to him and then ducks to hide from a troop of GAPs running across the hall.

Lyllywight joins Zoe and Veda as soon as it's clear.

ZOE (O.S.)

(into comm) Agnezz, we're going to need a distraction for any hope of getting out of here. Place is crawling with GAPs.

AGNEZZ

(over comm) Aye aye, cap. I'm aware.

Below, there's a crash, and SCREAMS. Some GAPs run through the atrium, followed shortly after by Agnezz and Howie.

Zoe, Veda, and Lyllywight run out of the atrium—

EXT. OSING LANDING PAD - CONTINUOUS

They stop dead. The Redacted is surrounded by GAPs.

INT. HOTEL STORE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

Agnezz and Howie run down the crowded hall, past merchants and stores—

The GAPs run down the hall, out of sight.

HOWIE

Did they catch him?

In front of them, fruit spills across the hall.

They follow the fruit to a fruit stand, where The Chris crouches down, feeding a piece of fruit to Messy, who hides under a plant.

Agnezz gapes.

Messy CROAKS.

THE CHRIS

Agnezz!

AGNEZZ

Chris?

HOWIE

Messy!

Messy CROAKS happily. Agnezz and Chris stand fixated on each other.

HOWIE

We can pay you for the fruit.

The Chris answers while giving eyes to Agnezz.

THE CHRIS

No need, I'm just glad you found your friend.

GAPs cross the hallway once more. Everyone instinctually ducks.

ZOE (O.S.)

(over headset) GUYS? THAT DISTRACTION?

Howie gives an annoyed look to Agnezz.

HOWIE

That's your department.

AGNEZZ

All I have is a bomb.

THE CHRIS

Could I help?

HOWIE

Yeah, right—

AGNEZZ

Can you handle a grenade?

The Chris melts as if Agnezz has made a delightful proposition.

THE CHRIS

Absolutely.

AGNEZZ

Give me a second.

Agnezz takes a bomb out of her pack and then rips out a chunk of her robotic leg and uses the bits to hotwire the bomb. She hands the finished product to The Chris.

AGNEZZ

Pull the pin, you've got ten seconds. Small explosion, will look worse than it is but it's only sleeping potion, pretty much harmless. Got it?

THE CHRIS

Got it.

HOWIE

Let's go!

They start running. Stenzrood picks up stray pieces of fruit in each of its tentacles before leaving.

THE CHRIS

When will I see you again?

As she runs, Agnezz's leg falters and breaks—

She keeps running on the broken leg, leaving her foot behind on the stairs.

Chris picks up the robotic foot left behind and watches Agnezz go.

EXT. OSING LANDING PAD - CONTINUOUS

Suddenly, from above, there's a BLUE EXPLOSION. The GAPs surrounding the Redacted run back toward the hotel.

Zoe, Lyllywight, and Veda join up with Agnezz, Howie, Stenzrood, and Messy. Howie tosses Messy to Lyllywight.

LYLLYWIGHT

MESSY!

Messy CROAKS and clings to Lyllywight.

ZOE

Who set off my bomb?

HOWIE

Stupid Chris!

ZOE

What?!

Zoe stands at the bottom of the ship's ramp, pulling people on board.

ZOE

Whichever one of you sold my ammo is dead meat!

They run up the ramp—

INT. THE REDACTED - HALL - CONTINUOUS

Zoe waits back, making sure everyone gets onboard, pulling Veda up last. Zoe turns to head into the ship—

VEDA

Thank you.

Veda hugs Zoe from behind. Just like in the picture.

Zoe freezes. Calculates.

Then pushes Veda away.

ZOE

We can't do this. You need to stay away from me.

VEDA

What do you mean? What about—

ZOE

I'm not good for you.

VEDA

Zoe, you just saved me. You cleared my name.

ZOE

Trust me, I'm going to mess everything up. You will go back to hating me sooner than later.

VEDA

I don't think that's true.

Zoe turns around.

ZOE

I said I'd keep you safe. So stay away.

Alarms across the ship start sounding.

ZOE

We have to go.

She runs out, leaving Veda in shock.

INT. THE REDACTED - COCKPIT - CONTINUOUS

Zoe trudges in, Veda reluctantly following.

In the corner, Agnezz attaches a new foot to her leg.

ZOE

How are we doing?

Zoe's jaw drops. An enormous GAP ship flies toward them, surrounded by dozens of fighters. Lyllywight weaves the ship out of their fire.

LYLLYWIGHT

We'll never outrun them.

ZOE

Can't we get around them?

LYLLYWIGHT

Would you like me to turn right into the giant spaceship blocking our way? Or left into the unregulated wormhole?

An ORANGE FLASH as the ship jolts.

ZOE

We can't take much more fire.

HOWIE

What do we do now?

LYLLYWIGHT

We will never outrun them.

HOWIE

What do we do?

VEDA

Zoe. What do we do?

Zoe stands, waiting for the thought to come...

ZOE

I'll think of something, just give me a second.

VEDA

Is this how it's going to end?

ZOE

Come on, isn't that what you expected all along?

VEDA

Why are you pushing me out again?

ZOE

I told you I'd lead you into trouble and here we are. Isn't this what you expected?

No one speaks— it's just Zoe and Veda's electrifying anger and the blinking colors as alarms go off all around them.

Zoe closes her eyes and retreats inside herself, deathly still. Veda watches, waiting, hoping for a reaction.

ZOE

We don't need to outrun them. We just need to go where they won't follow.

She sits and turns the ship sharply.

LYLLYWIGHT

What do you mean?

Zoe flips a switch—

The ship DROPS. Howie SCREAMS.

The ship starts to roll, spinning out of control—

ZOE

We're going through that wormhole.

LYLLYWIGHT

We have no idea where we'll end up!

ZOE

Anywhere's better than here!

Zoe grabs the steering handles, watching the windshield intensely as the heat starts to flicker around them.

Zoe doesn't break her stare.

AGNEZZ

This is insane!

ZOE

Just hold on!

The ship starts to shake. Stenzrood wraps itself tight around Agnezz while WHISTLING.

They're getting closer to the fleet of GAP ships.

ZOE

GET THE SHIELDS UP!

The GAPs fire a rainbow of plasma—

Zoe's grip on the steering tightens as she pilots the ship in a sudden drop down, ducking further beneath the GAP ships and toward the dark hole swirling ahead of them—

ZOE

EVERYBODY HOLD ON!!!

The ship jolts back as it slows, hitting the strange plane of the wormhole—

As if in slow motion, they bounce around the ship while the technicolor light of the wormhole flashes past them—

The colors blink faster and faster, there's no knowing where they're going—

And they're certainly not showing—

Any signs that they are slowing—

Everything goes dark.

To be continued…