>> / The Time Machine

/ The Time Machine. .

: / The Time Machine.

/ The Time Machine

INT. COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - LECTURE HALL - DAY

Darkness. Then a sound...

Click-clack, click-clack, click-clack...

The familiar sound of chalk writing on a blackboard.

Fade up to see...

A hand zooming across a blackboard at incredible speed, forming an endless algebraic equation.

Amazingly, when the writer reaches the end of the blackboard he does not lift the chalk and return to the left side to begin a new line -- instead he simply loops around and continues writing, right to left, upside down.

The college students in his class -- all male and dressed in late Victorian clothes -- smile at this familiar peculiarity and tilt their heads to try and read the endless equation, copying furiously into notebooks.

The hand continues to zoom along the blackboard... and then slows... and then stops... the students wait... the hand taps the chalk on the blackboard for a moment and we finally see...

ALEXANDER HARTDEGEN, a handsome young man not much older than his students, standing at the blackboard. He is gazing out a window, looking at a bird on a tree branch. He smiles.

The students glance to one another.

Alexander remembers himself and turns back to the blackboard, his hand again flying as:

ALEXANDER So -- length, width, breadth -- formulate the area and of course we arrive at solid mass. But imagine if we continue the equation as I've done -- can't we begin to recognize another dimension beyond the first three? I theorize we begin to find duration -- the object's place in time. Let's note that as "D" here...

Alexander reaches the left side of the blackboard and loops around again in an unbroken line to continue the equation from left to right again.

The students are hopelessly lost. They finally stop copying and just watch Alexander work, admiring his brilliant innovation.

Meanwhile, a man watches from the back of the lecture hall. He is DAVID PHILBY, Alexander's closest friend, a bit older.

ALEXANDER ... If we accept the theoretical possibility of duration as a fourth dimension we find that our equation might -- no, that's not right --

He erases some numbers quickly with his hand, sending up a cloud of chalk dust, he coughs.

ALEXANDER -- there, that looks more like it...

He continues to scribble at lightning speed. Then...

He begins humming to himself.

The students watch, amused. Philby smiles.

Alexander finally stops humming and writing. Steps back and looks at the equation. Then he turns to his students.

ALEXANDER Does this make any sense to you?

The students are confused. One offers:

STUDENT Sir, if I may, wouldn't it be easier if you applied a Fibonacci sequence to the differential coefficient?

ALEXANDER (smiles) It's not supposed to be easy, it's supposed to be beautiful... All of you think about that tonight and we'll press on tomorrow. Good afternoon.

The students begin to rise, class over. They leave the classroom talking eagerly about Alexander's theories, inspired.

A sudden new angle: from above we see Alexander going to Philby, leaving the classroom talking with him. We are in the upper balcony of the classroom. A solitary figure looks down, watching them.

This new figure is a thin man with pale skin, dry like parchment. Somehow ominous.

INT. COLUMBIA - HALLWAY - DAY

Alexander walks with Philby:

ALEXANDER ... The point is I know it will work once the, um, numbers and such are in order.

PHILBY Do you know you were humming?

ALEXANDER I was not.

PHILBY Somewhere around "D+2xy something something."

ALEXANDER Damned if I can keep her out of my equations.

PHILBY Tonight's the night?

ALEXANDER (checking pocket watch) God, and I'm running late --

A PRIM WOMAN appears before them:

PRIM WOMAN Dr. Hartdegen, Dr. Philby... Dean Fulton would like to see you.

Alexander and Philby exchange a look. Gulp. They follow the prim woman.

INT. COLUMBIA - DEAN FULTON'S OFFICE - DAY

They follow the prim woman, Dean Fulton's secretary, into his dark, paneled office.

PRIM WOMAN He's outside.

Alexander and Philby move through the office and out to a garden courtyard...

EXT. COLUMBIA - GARDEN COURTYARD - DAY

Oddly, chickens are clucking about the courtyard.

The thin man we saw before, DEAN FULTON, is casually tossing down feed for the chickens. With his other hand he carries an umbrella to protect himself from the sun. He does not look up.

DEAN FULTON Gentlemen, watch your step.

Alexander and Philby stop. Dean Fulton looks up and smiles, benevolent.

DEAN FULTON My fowl have polluted the yard.

PHILBY Dean Fulton...

Dean Fulton continues to lazily scatter feed for his chickens.

DEAN FULTON Dr. Philby, Dr. Hartdegen. I received the most extraordinary letter last week. From a parent. We are always pleased to receive letters from parents. They are our employers, after all. This gentleman's son is in your class, Dr. Hartdegen.

ALEXANDER (knows what's coming) I see.

DEAN FULTON As I recall the syllabus the name of your tutorial is "Applied Mathematics and Engineering", am I correct?

ALEXANDER Exactly correct, sir.

Dean Fulton stops scattering feed and gazes at Alexander with a smile. This is an old game between them and they both rather enjoy it. To a point.

DEAN FULTON Well, just as I thought. Surely it's all been a terrible mistake. This parent actually suggested that your freshman course in applied mathematics has somehow become a seminar on theoretical physics!

ALEXANDER Imagine that.

DEAN FULTON But I know that none of my faculty would ever deviate from the assigned curriculum.

ALEXANDER Well... perhaps I have "deviated" the tiniest bit.

DEAN FULTON Might I ask why?

ALEXANDER Because the assigned curriculum is boring.

Philby groans very quietly.

ALEXANDER Sir, that curriculum is forty years out of date. The students today are looking toward the new century -- they want to be challenged and inspired, not spoon-fed dusty old equations that have been proved a thousand times. They want to explore.

DEAN FULTON Do they?

Dean Fulton smiles and then begins to scatter feed again.

DEAN FULTON What are these animals, gentlemen?

Alexander and Philby exchange a look.

PHILBY Um, your chickens, sir.

Alexander helpfully offers:

ALEXANDER And roosters.

DEAN FULTON No, Dr. Hartdegen, they are not just chickens and roosters. They are science. Perhaps they aren't "inspiring" to you. Perhaps they don't "challenge" you --

ALEXANDER No, sir --

DEAN FULTON Animal husbandry is science, Dr. Hartdegen. I have been breeding these fowl for fourteen years. I have filled a library with information on their feeding patterns, social behavior and breeding. Empirical, exacting, quantifiable records.

ALEXANDER Sir --

Dean Fulton looks up at him, his eyes cold:

DEAN FULTON "Duration" is not a dimension. Scientists do not imagine the world around them. They do not wool- gather or cloud-spin. They prove. They demonstrate. Columbia University does not teach fantasy.

Philby shoots Alexander a warning look, but Alexander can't help himself:

ALEXANDER With respect, sir, would we have the telegraph without fantasy? Would we have radium and X-rays without someone first dreaming we could?

DEAN FULTON The advances you speak of were the result of countless years of study and empirical experimentation, a careful evolutionary process, not chalkboard parlor-tricks.

ALEXANDER My equations are not parlor-tricks!

DEAN FULTON Abstract mathematics, relativity of dimensions, geometrical "durations" -- even allowing for the uses of speculation, what is the point?

ALEXANDER Because it's a new way of seeing the world! Of seeing our place in it!

PHILBY Sir, if I may --

DEAN FULTON (with finality, to Alexander) Young man, we have a way of doing things here. Radical theorizing is not acceptable. Have I made myself understood?

ALEXANDER Yes, sir.

DEAN FULTON Very good. Now if you will excuse us for a moment.

Alexander goes back into the office.

PHILBY If I might explain, sir --

DEAN FULTON You supported his application, Dr. Philby. You are his senior, advisor. I depend upon you to restrain his... excesses. Any repetition of the behavior I witnessed in his classroom today and there will be consequences for you both.

PHILBY Yes, sir.

DEAN FULTON Now you are upsetting my fowl. Please go.

Philby extricates himself from a chicken pecking at his shoe and goes.

ALEXANDER (V.O.) He's a dinosaur. He's already extinct, he just doesn't know it...

EXT. STREETCAR - DAY

Alexander and Philby are in an open horse-drawn streetcar, heading downtown. Everywhere around them, the massive city bustles.

New York City at the end of the 19th Century. It is vibrant to the point of frenzy; reaching for the future in a furious upheaval of construction.

Title: NEW YORK CITY - MAY 12, 1895 - 5:17 p.m.

ALEXANDER ... One day he'll be discovered by some future archeologists and they won't know what to make of him. The thick brow, so lacking in imagination. The dim little eyes, devoid of curiosity.

PHILBY You know generally teachers are supposed to teach real equations that add up to real numbers.

ALEXANDER Where's the challenge in that?

PHILBY Alex, this is your first year as an associate professor. You might want to play things a little more conservatively.

ALEXANDER You sound like my father...

Alexander points to the masses of grey businessmen, all in identical bowler hats, marching along the sidewalk:

ALEXANDER Look at them, Philby, all alike, everyone in an identical bowler hat. Do you want your students to turn out like them?

PHILBY I want my students to emerge with theoretical and practical knowledge.

ALEXANDER I don't. I want them to run along this street and knock off every bowler they see.

PHILBY You may not like it, but this is the world we live in, Alex. Little grey men with little grey hats.

ALEXANDER But shouldn't it be better? Shouldn't we be teaching our students to imagine a world beyond all this?

Alexander points to a new building going up, a complex spider's web of steel girders.

ALEXANDER Look at that, Philby. A steel frame building. Ten years ago it was unheard of. No little grey man thought of that. The new Century belongs to men who are willing to imagine the impossible...

Their streetcar passes a few huddled beggars on the curb. The businessmen ignore them. Alexander watches them, his eyes sad.

ALEXANDER (quietly) In the future, we'll be better.

PHILBY What?

ALEXANDER Nothing.

EXT. ALEXANDER'S HOUSE - EVENING

Alexander's sprawling Victorian house sits on a quiet street.

There is a quaint shop right across the street. The shop features a window showing a female mannequin dressed in period clothes. The sign above the shop: BRANSON'S APPAREL AND HABERDASHERY.

Alexander and Philby hurry into his house...

INT. ALEXANDER'S HOUSE - EVENING

Alexander's house is a lovely world of Victorian elegance constantly at war with his erratic and creative enterprises.

Everywhere Alexander's scientific passions are evident: animal skulls rest alongside leather-bound tomes; mechanical inventions in various states of completion rest atop heavy mahogany tables; test tubes and microscopes are spread out on an unused piano.

The one facet that most immediately reflects Alexander is aural: the ticking of scores of clocks; a steady metronomic cadence.

Alexander bounds in, Philby following.

ALEXANDER MRS. WATCHIT! MRS. WATCHIT!

MRS. WATCHIT, Alexander's housekeeper, troops down the stairs. She is a wry and commanding British woman in her 60's.

MRS. WATCHIT Oh huzzah, the master's home.

ALEXANDER Do you have it?!

MRS. WATCHIT Hello, Mr. Philby.

PHILBY Hello, Mrs. Watchit. You're looking in the pink.

MRS. WATCHIT Must be all the exercise I get scampering up and down these stairs like a wee lamb.

ALEXANDER Don't torture me -- do you have it?

MRS. WATCHIT I have it, but don't you think for one moment I'll be letting you go out in that filthy coat -- now go upstairs and change. I've laid out your green coat.

ALEXANDER What's the matter with -- ? (he notes he is covered in chalk dust) -- What would I do without you, Mrs. Watchit?

He bounds up the stairs. Phiby follows.

MRS. WATCHIT And change your tie!

She bustles off, grumbling happily.

INT. ALEXANDER'S BEDROOM - EVENING

Charles Darwin stares at us. Imposing. Inspiring. Challenging.

A bust of Darwin looms over Alexander's bedroom.

Alexander, in a new coat, is trying to work a complicated knot in his tie. His eyes study the problem in a mirror.

ALEXANDER Emma actually likes chalk dust -- says it smells like me.

PHILBY How romantic...

Philby goes to Alexander, helps him with his tie.

PHILBY The most able inventor I know and you can't tie a simple four-in- hand.

ALEXANDER That's how I knew we were destined to be together. When I met her parents for the first time I came right from class and I was covered in chalk. They sniffed and snorted, but she just smiled. At that moment -- I just knew. How did you know with Molly?

PHILBY She made the best Shepherd's pie I ever tasted.

ALEXANDER Do you have a romantic bone in your body?

PHILBY (completing the tie) No, I'm all bowler hat, remember?

Alexander quickly goes to his old coat and transfers his pocket watch, journal and many loose scraps of paper covered in equations to the new coat as:

PHILBY Alex, really... good luck tonight. She's a fine girl, and she's done wonderful things for you.

ALEXANDER Oh?

PHILBY (smiles) She's gotten into your equations.

Alexander stops, looks at him. Smiles.

ALEXANDER I guess she has.

He glances at his pocket watch.

ALEXANDER I've got to hurry...

He hurries out, Philby following...

INT. ALEXANDER'S HOUSE - STAIRS - EVENING

Alexander races down the stairs, tucking the watch into his vest.

They pass a series of clocks of every size and shape that run down the wall along the stairway.

PHILBY All these clocks -- how can you constantly be running late?!

ALEXANDER Perseverance.

INT. ALEXANDER'S HOUSE - ENTRY HALL - EVENING

Mrs. Watchit waits. Alexander and Philby appear down the stairs.

MRS. WATCHIT Now that's more like it. You look a proper gentlemen for once.

ALEXANDER Then if Emma turns me down will you marry me?

MRS. WATCHIT (dry) Oh, I'm already swooning.

ALEXANDER Ouch -- all right, wish me luck.

He begins to sprint out the door -- Mrs. Watchit stops him with:

MRS. WATCHIT You might be wanting this?

She holds up a velvet ring box. He takes the box.

ALEXANDER Oh -- Thanks. Well... (a wink to Philby) ... Time's a wastin'!

With that he is out the door.

Mrs. Watchit and Philby stand for a moment, catching their breath after Alexander's tornado of enthusiasm.

PHILBY I wonder if that poor girl has any idea what she's in for?

MRS. WATCHIT For our sake, I hope not.

EXT. FIFTH AVENUE - NIGHT

The many luxurious horse-drawn carriages glide along Fifth Avenue with stately dignity. Rich pedestrians stroll along the sidewalk.

Alexander leaps out of a carriage and begins to stride toward an entrance to Central Park.

He passes a Flower Seller.

FLOWER SELLER Have some flowers, sir?

ALEXANDER Not tonight, thanks.

He continues on toward the entrance to the Park -- stops.

ALEXANDER No -- I promised her flowers.

He turns around and hurries back toward the Flower Seller. But...

A sudden mechanical clanking sound makes him stop dead in his tracks. The Siren's song...

He turns...

Pulled over to the curb is a magnificent Stanley Steamer automobile. It is a glorious collection of bronze and copper and steel and wooden dashboard and leather upholstery and groaning steam tank and clanking engine. Alexander stares, transfixed.

Alexander glances at his watch -- running late -- but he just can't resist this new marvel. Flowers forgotten, Alexander steps to the MOTORIST, currently tinkering with the car's engine.

ALEXANDER It's spectacular...

MOTORIST Thanks. Old Nell's my girl all right. Al least when she decides to move, stubborn beast.

ALEXANDER (walking around the car, admiring) I've only read about them -- and the new internals.

MOTORIST Now that's what I call plain crazy -- internal combustion is just too dangerous, all those little explosions, never catch on.

ALEXANDER How do you keep the water temperature stable?

MOTORIST There's a cantilevered gasket on the --

Suddenly -- the car lurches forward dangerously -- Alexander instantly grabs the brake lever and hauls it back -- the car screeches to a stop.

MOTORIST God -- could have killed me -- bad girl, Nell! How did you know to do that?

ALEXANDER I just love mechanical things.

MOTORIST Well, much obliged -- I'm always forgetting the confounded brake -- say, if you wait until I get her up and running I'll give you a perambulation. Tell you all about her.

ALEXANDER (pained) Ahhh... I'm afraid I've got a prior commitment.

MOTORIST Next time then. We perambulate here most every night.

ALEXANDER You have my word... (he takes a last, longing look at the car) ... She's just a beauty.

He sprints off into Central Park.

EXT. PAVILION - CENTRAL PARK - NIGHT

A full moon shines in the night sky.

Gentle period music from a band, glowing lanterns hanging down and the swaying shapes of dancers.

We are at a beautiful pavilion in Central Park. A magical antique setting of ease and grace. White linen suits and straw boaters. Parasols and high-button shoes.

A beautiful woman stands with her back to us watching the dancers... she slowly turns...

EMMA smiles.

Alexander stands, just watching her, bewitched.

Then they come together and kiss lightly, as befits 1895 decency.

EMMA You're late.

ALEXANDER Got here as soon as I could.

EMMA Dance with me...

ALEXANDER You know I can't.

EMMA Trust me...

She takes his hand and they dance. She is a natural dancer, smooth and gentle. He does his best, following her minute cues with great sensitivity.

As they dance:

EMMA You promised me flowers.

ALEXANDER What?

EMMA You promised me flowers tonight, don't you even remember?

ALEXANDER Sorry... I was distracted.

EMMA (lightly) Well there's something new.

ALEXANDER I need to... um... talk to you.

EMMA Talk away, Professor.

ALEXANDER Not here... alone. May we? Please?

She leads him from the dance floor.

EMMA Let's walk through the park...

EXT. CENTRAL PARK - PATH - NIGHT

Alexander and Emma walk through the park, arm in arm, enjoying the exquisite night.

Flickering gaslights provide a dim illumination on the path they follow as it winds through the dark foliage.

EMMA (looking at constellations) ... Orion's belt, pointing to the earth. You see it over the rocks there? Sailors consider that an omen of good fortune; the hunter watching over them on their travels... Are you listening to me, Alex?

ALEXANDER (glancing up) What? Yes -- Orion -- good fortune -- sailors.

EMMA All right, what is it now?

ALEXANDER (nervously) Emma, you know I have great... admiration for you.

EMMA Admiration? My my.

ALEXANDER I mean... well... affection.

EMMA You're getting warmer.

He stops.

ALEXANDER Oh dammit, I love you! I can't eat, I can't sleep, I can't think, all I do is moon over you and -- hum, apparently.

EMMA (mock seriously) And what do you propose, Professor? Shall we hold a seminar to study the problem?

A beat. He takes a huge gulp of air and then commits himself -- he dramatically drops to one knee -- and then in a great rush of words:

ALEXANDER Marry me. I'll do everything I can to make you happy and build a life and have babies and make you proud and be worthy of you and... ah... make you happy, did I say that?

She looks down at him, tears of joy coming to her eyes.

EMMA Oh, Professor...

He leaps up and embraces her. A long, joyous embrace.

He stops --

ALEXANDER Wait, I have something for you.

He searches through his many pockets -- coat, vest, pants -- begins plucking out the loose scraps of paper covered with equations -- but can't seem to find the jewelry box.

She watches him for a moment, amused, loving him all the more for his befuddlement.

EMMA You know, the moment is rather dying here.

ALEXANDER Hold on... I know I have it...

He finally finds the velvet jewelry box. Snaps it open. Inside is a lovely moonstone ring. The gem is a pale, translucent blue mirroring the full moon above.

ALEXANDER I know it's not a diamond but --

EMMA A moonstone.

ALEXANDER Your birth stone. I thought --

She holds a finger to his lips.

EMMA You thought right.

He slips the ring on her finger. She holds it up to the moonlight, deeply moved.

EMMA Look, it matches the moon...

Then...

A low voice from the thick trees next to them.

VOICE I just might cry.

Alexander and Emma turn to see a tall THIN MAN stepping from the trees. His hands are buried deep in his overcoat pockets.

THIN MAN Couldn't help but overhearing. Two fine young people starting out on the road of life. I wish you the very best.

ALEXANDER Thank you...

THIN MAN I hope it's a happy journey for you both -- and much as I hate to do this, moved as I am by your protestations of love, I'll be needing your money now.

ALEXANDER (smiles) Sir...?

THIN MAN And your jewelry too. I guess we could consider this your first little bump on the road to married bliss.

ALEXANDER I don't understand.

The Thin Man removes a hand from his pocket. He holds a small revolver.

THIN MAN Now don't make a scene... there's no cause for that. Just hand over your wallet, will you?

He holds the gun up, lethal, a sudden glint as the barrel shines in the moonlight.

THIN MAN Did you hear me, lad?

ALEXANDER All right, all right -- here -- everything --

Alexander swiftly gives the man his billfold.

THIN MAN And the watch.

Alexander hands over his pocket watch as the Thin Man eyes Emma's ring.

THIN MAN And the ring.

EMMA No --

THIN MAN I'm afraid so, darling. Maybe he'll buy you a diamond now.

ALEXANDER Please, not that -- look --

The Thin Man pulls back the hammer of the revolver. Click.

THIN MAN Give me the ring.

EMMA No...

The Thin Man suddenly lurches forward and grabs Emma's arm -- trying to wrench the ring violently from her finger -- Alexander instantly springs to her defense -- a struggle --

The gun fires -- the flash of cruel, phosphorous light momentarily illuminating them all starkly --

Emma recoils to Alexander -- Alexander looks at the Thin Man, disbelieving --

The Thin Man glares at him --

THIN MAN Why did you do that?! It's only a ring!

The Thin Man races away into the darkness.

Alexander holds Emma, she clings to him, blood flowing over his fingers. He snatches her up and carries her -- running urgently through some trees to a carriage path beyond --

Carriages filled with young lovers float past.

ALEXANDER HELP ME! PLEASE!

An empty carriage finally stops -- Alexander lurches into the carriage with Emma --

INT./ EXT. CARRIAGE - CENTRAL PARK - NIGHT

-- Alexander holds Emma in the back of a carriage. He urgently screams to the driver:

ALEXANDER GET TO COLUMBUS HOSPITAL! NOW!

The driver whips his horses and the carriage takes off.

ALEXANDER PLEASE HURRY! WE'VE NO TIME!

CARRIAGE DRIVER I'M TRYING SIR -- !

Emma clings to Alexander, her hand clasped tight to his vest, blood flowing out of her, pooling. Her dying eyes just watching him.

ALEXANDER GOD HURRY PLEASE -- JUST GET OUT OF THE PARK --

And then the carriage slows -- stops -- Alexander stabs his head out the window and sees --

A long line of carriage ahead of them. A traffic jam. Pairs of lovers enjoying the beautiful night, gazing up at the stars.

ALEXANDER Oh God...

A distant bell begins to toll. Time inexorably, cruelly moving on.

ALEXANDER PLEASE -- HURRY!

The driver whips the horse -- tries to maneuver the carriage through the traffic jam -- a jumble of horses -- their horse shies -- can't get through.

Emma's hand clutches Alexander's vest, fingers moving slightly. The bell continues to toll. Time running out. Her lips move noiselessly, her eyes stare up at him, praying for one parting glance.

He continues to shout to the driver, fighting time, not looking at her:

ALEXANDER (desperate) FOR GOD SAKE DO SOMETHING!! -- JUST -- GET OFF THE PATH!

CARRIAGE DRIVER I'm trying, sir! -- I can't get through!

Alexander glances down to Emma. She is dead. Her eyes open. He stares at her. Not wanting to believe. The bell continues to toll.

Fade to Black...

And then a strange sound in the darkness...

The roar of a tiger -- distorted, echoing...

Then another sound...

Click-clack, click-clack, click-clack...

Chalk racing across a blackboard.

Title: FOUR YEARS LATER.

Fade up to...

INT. ALEXANDER'S HOUSE - LAB - DAY

An endless equation -- Alexander's hand speeds across a blackboard -- manic, ferocious. We pull back to reveal...

An enormous blackboard, floor to ceiling, two stories high, filling one wall -- and two other blackboards, filling two other walls, also covered with equations. A shocking flash of Alexander's fevered mind.

He stands with his back to us, perched high on a rolling library ladder, his hand violently scrawling numbers in a frenzied rush. He pulls the ladder along as he works, totally absorbed.

Title: AUGUST 7, 1899 - 5:23 p.m.

The drapes around the room are drawn tight against any hint of the day outside. Windows sealed.

In the flickering gaslight we see a cacophony of scientific equipment and experiments filling every inch of the chamber below him, two stories filled with beakers and test tubes; microscopes and coils; engineering blueprints and gyroscopes; and the huge chalkboards crowded with layers upon layers of intense calculus and geometry and equations.

There is another large part of the lab, jutting off from the house. A closed curtain conceals this part of the lab.

And all the clocks have stopped. The steady metronomic cadence that was the aural life of Alexander's house is no more. We see a number of clocks around the lab. All have been allowed to run down.

A knock at the door -- Alexander ignores it -- another knock.

He finally turns from the blackboard.

ALEXANDER What?!

And we see him -- Alexander is very different now: cadaverous and intense, a face that looks as if it has not seen the sun in years. And eyes marked by tragedy.

Mrs. Watchit enters. The years of dealing with his heartbreak have taken a toll on her as well.

MRS. WATCHIT Sir, Mr. Philby is here.

ALEXANDER Here?

MRS. WATCHIT Yes, sir, he --

ALEXANDER Tell him to go away --

Philby pushes past Mrs. Watchit. He wears an overcoat and a bowler hat.

PHILBY I won't go away, Alex.

Alexander stares down at Philby. Philby is shocked at the change in his friend.

ALEXANDER All right, Mrs. Watchit. You can go.

MRS. WATCHIT May I get you some --

ALEXANDER That'll be all.

She leaves the lab.

PHILBY My God, Alex, what's happened to you?

Alexander climbs down the ladder as:

ALEXANDER I've been working.

PHILBY I came by the house every day after the funeral. And then every week. Then every other month. Then I stopped coming. Did you even notice?

ALEXANDER I'm sorry, David.

PHILBY It hurt me, Alex. Very much.

ALEXANDER Then why are you here?

Alexander proceeds to obsessively tidy the lab, almost hiding things from Philby. Philby is increasingly disturbed by this behavior, as:

PHILBY It's my Jamie's birthday today. Your godson. He's nine years old. At his party he asked me if Uncle Alex was coming. I told him no. Then he asked me if you didn't like him anymore.

ALEXANDER For God's Sake, David --

PHILBY There are some things I need to say to you. You may not like hearing them, but I don't know if I'll ever get another chance --

ALEXANDER You care for me. And you're concerned. And I have to start living my life again. I hear it from Mrs. Watchit every day.

PHILBY But you won't listen. You won't see me, you won't see anyone. What would you like me to tell Jamie? That Uncle Alex is busy? That Uncle Alex is hiding up there in his laboratory --

ALEXANDER Hiding?

PHILBY You know that's what it is. Mrs. Watchit tells me you're here at all hours -- day and night --

ALEXANDER (sharply) That's because I'm working. You remember that? You used to care about your work.

PHILBY I care more about my life. And yours.

A difficult beat.

PHILBY Alex... Alex, please stand still and look at me.

Alexander stops. Looks at Philby.

PHILBY (gently) What happened to Emma will never go away. It's part of you now and it always will be. But you have to learn to live with it...

ALEXANDER I live with it every minute of every day.

PHILBY I know that --

ALEXANDER You don't know that. You couldn't possibly. If I'd only done this, or that, if I'd arrived ten minutes earlier, or later. If we'd taken a different path or I hadn't fought the man for the ring. You have no idea what it is to relive every moment of that night -- consider every action you made -- and every one of them wrong.

PHILBY It wasn't your fault, Alex.

ALEXANDER Wasn't it?... I have a dream almost every night now. The Lady and the Tiger, you remember that story? In the dream I'm alone in a huge chamber with a thousand doors. Behind every door, save one, is a tiger. I have to make the decision. Which door conceals Emma? And I just stand there... looking at the doors...

PHILBY Do you find her?

Alexander doesn't answer. A beat.

PHILBY Alex, nothing will ever change what happened, but --

ALEXANDER That's where you're wrong. I will change it.

A beat. Philby looks at him. Alexander offers nothing more, continues to scurry around the lab.

ALEXANDER David... I appreciate your concern, I do. But I ask you to have faith in me. Just for a little while longer. I'm working on something now. Something... extraordinary.

PHILBY What is it?

ALEXANDER You wouldn't believe me.

PHILBY I would.

ALEXANDER I'll tell you what... come by for dinner in a week and I'll show you.

PHILBY Why don't you come to our house instead?

ALEXANDER I can't do that --

PHILBY When's the last time you were outside this house -- (notes a disheveled cot in the corner) -- or this room?

ALEXANDER (tense) I can't leave when I'm so close.

PHILBY There are trains leaving Grand Central every then minutes. A dozen liners leaving the harbor. Get on one of them. Go to Singapore, Scotland, Manchuria, anywhere, just away from here --

ALEXANDER That's absurd --

PHILBY You're dying here. Don't you see that?!

A tense beat.

ALEXANDER You won't say that in a week.

PHILBY I pray to God that in a week you're not here.

A beat.

PHILBY All right. I'll come for dinner. And in the meantime... you'll think about what we discussed?

ALEXANDER In a week... we will never have had this conversation.

Philby looks at him, mystified and concerned.

ALEXANDER Good night, David.

PHILBY Good night, Alex.

Philby turns to go.

ALEXANDER Still wearing that bowler hat.

Philby stops. Turns back.

PHILBY It's raining outside. Open the drapes and you might know that.

He goes.

Alexander stands for a moment.

INT. ALEXANDER'S HOUSE - LAB - NIGHT

Alexander sits, drinking a glass of brandy. He is staring at the curtain concealing the other part of the lab.

We notice that all the chalkboards have been wiped clean.

He drains the glass of brandy. Bon voyage.

Then he rises and moves to the curtain. He pulls the curtain back and reveals...

The magnificent creation itself: The Time Machine.

We take in this beautiful creation of curving brass and thick velvet, elegant lines and a hopeful feeling of Victorian futurism, as Alexander moves to the windows by the machine.

He slowly pulls back all the drapes on the windows. The Time Machine sits in an area of the lab that juts off, like a greenhouse with windows offering a generous view of the world around him: his quiet garden and the small dress shop across the street.

Alexander moves to the Time Machine. He sits, nervously settling in.

The brass control panel ahead of him has a simple display showing the year and date -- AUGUST 7, 1899 -- and a control lever that moves forward and back.

A beat. He takes a deep breath and then... reaches for the control lever --

CUT TO:

EXT. PAVILION - CENTRAL PARK - NIGHT

All is as it was. Gentle period music from a band, glowing lanterns hanging down and the swaying shapes of dancers.

A beautiful woman stands with her back to us watching the dancers... she slowly turns.

Emma smiles.

Alexander stands, just watching her, his eyes wide, incredibly moved. We note that Alexander wears the clothes he was wearing when he got into the Time Machine. It is the older Alex, pale and thin.

She goes to him and kisses him.

EMMA You're late.

ALEXANDER (with difficulty) Got here as soon as I could.

EMMA Dance with me...

ALEXANDER You know I can't.

EMMA Trust me...

She takes his hand and they dance. She is, again, a natural dancer, smooth and gentle. He tries to follow her minute cues but the experience of holding her in his arms again is almost too much for him. He is overcome with emotion.

EMMA Alex, what is it?

ALEXANDER Holding you... again.

EMMA Darling.

ALEXANDER I need... to talk to you.

EMMA All right...

ALEXANDER Not here... alone. Please.

She leads him from the dance floor.

EMMA Let's walk through the park...

ALEXANDER No... let's walk through the city.

EMMA (a little mystified) All right...

He takes her hand and leads her away from the pavilion --

Then he stops, sees he must lead her through one of a number of tree-lined paths out of the park. The gaping darkness of the park is strangely ominous. Behind each door a tiger.

EMMA Alex, what is it?

ALEXANDER Nothing -- let's just get out of the park.

He takes her arm and makes his decision -- he pulls her quickly down one of the paths.

EXT. CENTRAL PARK - PATH - NIGHT

Alexander pulls Emma toward an exit to the city, going as quickly as he can. His eyes dart nervously into the dark trees around them.

EMMA Alex...?!

ALEXANDER Shhh. Let's just hurry on here. We don't have to talk, all right?

She stops, pulling him.

EMMA Why do we have to race for heaven's sake?!

ALEXANDER (looking around, alert) I want to get into the light, that's all. Please...

He pulls her along.

EMMA This running along is all well for you -- you're not wearing a corset.

Then a sound stops him -- an unholy echo through the night, tormenting him from his nightmares -- the roar of a tiger.

ALEXANDER My God...

EMMA Alex, it's just the zoo.

He grabs her and pulls more quickly, a little desperate.

ALEXANDER Please, Emma, it's just a little further.

He hurries her along. They finally reach the exit and emerge from Central Park to Fifth Avenue...

EXT. FIFTH AVENUE - PARK EXIT - NIGHT

He stops, looks around, sees lots of pedestrians and carriages and gaslight. Safety. Victory.

He breathes deeply and smiles. He offers her his arm.

EMMA Oh, now you're all gallant.

She shakes her head and then takes his arm. They stroll.

EXT. FIFTH AVENUE - NIGHT

A bit later. Alexander and Emma make their way down this most magnificent of boulevards. He holds her arm tightly, as if in fear of losing her again.

EMMA You're so pale... I hope you're not coming down with something.

ALEXANDER No, I'm fine. I'm... (laughs) ... wonderful. Just walking down the street with you again.

EMMA We took a walk three days ago.

ALEXANDER Not like this. Never like this. Emma, I swear to you -- if I've learned one thing, it's that moments like this are rare. And I will thank God for them every moment of every day.

She is confused at his strange intensity, but respects his seriousness.

EMMA They are rare... (she glances up at the constellations above) ... Orion's belt, pointing to the earth --

ALEXANDER (smiles) The sailor's omen of good fortune. The hunter watching over him on his travels.

EMMA So it's astronomy now, is it?

They are passing by the Stanley Steamer at the curb Alexander saw earlier. The Motorist is still tinkering with the engine.

EMMA Heavens, look at that now!

ALEXANDER I've seen it.

He continues escorting her along.

EMMA Now I know you're ill -- passing up the chance to explore some new gadget.

ALEXANDER It's only a machine.

She stops. Genuinely concerned now.

EMMA Alexander... tell me what's going on. Is something wrong?

He looks at her deeply:

ALEXANDER No, Emma. Everything is finally right. Tonight we're going to start all over again. And this time... I'm never going to let you go.

He kisses her deeply. She is shocked at this public display of affection, pulling back slightly.

EMMA Alex... people are staring.

ALEXANDER Let them.

He kisses her again.

EMMA Let them.

ALEXANDER I have something for you...

He pats his pockets, feels the jewelry box, smiles. Then he notes the Flower Seller he saw before.

ALEXANDER (smiles) Wait -- I want to do it right this time -- stay here, don't move...

Emma stands, mystified, as he goes to the Flower Seller.

FLOWER SELLER Have some flowers, sir?

ALEXANDER Yes, as many as you have!

A sudden sound makes him spin back --

A frenzy of movement -- on the curb, the Stanley Steamer suddenly lurches forward -- the brake not set -- the Motorist jumps out of the way -- the Steamer slams forward to the street full of horse-drawn carriages -- a horse rears and bolts -- panic, screams -- the horse lurches to the curb -- toward Emma -- the carriage topples over --

Burying Emma in a violent crash.

Alexander races to Emma -- too late. A crowd begins to form. Alexander folds himself over her in wordless torment.

INT. ALEXANDER'S HOUSE - LAB - NIGHT

Alexander sits in his lab, glaring at the Time Machine. Tormented. Eyes haunted. Drinking a glass of brandy. Not his first.

He glares at the Time Machine, his fury building -- then he bolts up -- flings the brandy glass away from him -- it shatters -- strides across the lab -- throws himself into the Machine.

ALEXANDER Time heals all wounds -- then let it!

He SLAMS the control lever forward violently -- in fury -- a high-pitched whine -- building -- the world undulating around Alexander --

Suddenly all the silent clocks in Alexander's lab begin to tick --

TIME TRAVEL

Alexander's spine immediately arches back -- he screams in pain --

The molecules of his body revolt as they are torn forward through time -- as time tears through him -- his whole body suffers as he bends and floats and rips through time -- when he turns his head his whole face seems to elongate --

He's going too fast -- he eases back on the control lever -- the pain receding somewhat --

And the world around him changes --

The sun rises and then sets and then rises; in his garden snails zoom past flowers that bloom and die in an instant; apples grow ripe and then fall and decay in his garden; a complicated spider's web grows in a corner of his laboratory in seconds --

The sun and moon now shoot through the sky, a strobe-like flashing of day and night, finally settling into a strange, perpetual grey light.

He begins to control the lever a bit more -- it is sensitive to his touch -- soon he can glance around a bit without absolute agony -- and then with no pain at all --

In the window of the dress shop across the street he watches a female mannequin as she is redressed, her clothes morphing from style to style, a swirl of styles and outfits. And new buildings spring up across the street as the seasons pass in a blur, summer-fall-winter-spring-summer-fall-winter-spring.

His journey is accompanied by a strange symphony -- sound bending around him; voices, music, period radio news reports, industry. Sounds that float and flit through his consciousness, distorted, barely recognizable.

And bizarre shapes move through his world as well -- ghost like apparitions -- strange and eerie as they bend and morph through space -- people.

He can almost control the appearance of the people as he gently modulates his speed with the control lever -- he sees Mrs. Watchit bending through time -- Philby, concerned -- then people he doesn't know, architects with blueprints, pointing --

Then the world directly around him is changing -- his lab changing -- walls being torn down --

His lab is now a GARAGE -- a series of swiftly morphing cars denoting the passing time as years spin by on his control panel display in a dizzying blur: 1905... 1919... 1924...

In the distance he sees New York City expanding -- the Chrysler Building (1930) and the Empire State Building (1931) shoot up.

Then the garage is torn down around him -- another construction going up -- larger -- a RESTAURANT.

He modulates the control lever -- controlling the ebb and flow of time -- the patrons of the restaurant huddled around a radio, a news report, FDR's voice... "December 7... A day that will live in infamy..."

He notes a store going up next to the dress shop: a newspaper shop -- sees banner headlines as the years sweep past -- D-DAY! -- VE DAY! -- VJ DAY! -- an enormous celebration in the street.

The years spin by on his control panel: 1946... 1953... 1957...

The strange aural symphony continues as he hears music and news, the music evolving from swing to early rock...

The restaurant dissolves around him and a HOUSE grows up -- he is in a den -- a black-and-white TV on -- Alexander gapes -- slowly, slightly...

On the TV: JFK's funeral... in the den he sees the shape of a family nestled together, watching the funeral, weeping...

He presses on. The years spin by on his control panel: 1963... 1966... 1969...

On the new color TV in the den: news reports of the Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon... "One small step for man..." Alexander stares, amazed.

The aural and visual symphony continues... rock segueing to disco, Vietnam news...

He is shocked to see the mannequin in a miniskirt! He sees the dress shop becoming a department store and the newspaper store becoming a high tech electronics shop --

On a bank of TVs in the electronics shop window he sees Nixon leaving the White House for the last time, August 9, 1974, walking to the helicopter, the ferocious victory "V"...

Then Alexander is suddenly outside as the house is demolished -- quickly eroding around him -- he is in a VACANT LOT...

He is stunned to see the towers of the World Trade Center looming in the distance -- the rollerskaters with boom boxes swirling past with the grace of ballet dancers -- and something so fantastical that Alexander can only gape...

An airplane soaring above.

The years zip by on his control panel: 1979... 1985... 1989...

More disjointed sounds and images, TV reports and radio news and music: oil crisis, plop-plop-fizz-fizz-oh-what-a-relief it-is, Ronald Reagan, punk rock, Gulf War, Clinton...

Then order from the chaos -- the overgrown vacant lot is landscaped -- becoming a beautiful PARK...

He slows a bit, almost stopping -- intrigued by a transformation across the street: the banks of TV screens are replaced by an informational kiosk of some kind.

The control panel display clicks more slowly... February 2005... April 2005... May 2005...

Alexander continues to stare at the information kiosk as he comes to a stop, briefly, at: MAY 24, 2005

EXT. PARK (2005) - DAY

Alexander sits unnoticed in the Time Machine as he watches a group of schoolchildren and their teacher gathering around the informational kiosk. It is a public information booth with a video screen showing the word VOX. A glowing red blip within the "O".

The Vox kiosk is activated when the TEACHER steps in front of a sensor eye.

VOX KIOSK (V.O.) May I help you?

TEACHER Yes, please... tell us about the terraforming.

The children watch, delighted, as images of the moon and renderings and videos of some massive engineering project appear on the Vox screen.

VOX KIOSK (V.O.) The joint United Nations/Microsoft terraforming operation began nine months ago with the Moon Base Alpha landings. After establishing Plymouth Center the terraformers began colony construction. Can I tell you more?

CHILD What are they doing now?

Alexander watches, stunned. A machine that converses with people.

VOX KIOSK (V.O.) Currently, the terraformers are preparing the first excavation demolitions for the subterranean chambers. It is projected that the first lunar colonists should be landing within the decade. Can I tell you more?

Alexander gapes at the Vox kiosk. Magnificent renderings of a vast underground metropolis. People living on the moon.

He must see this grand adventure out. He presses on...

TIME TRAVEL

But almost immediately the Time Machine is lurching and buffeting -- a strange darkness spreading over it as air raid sirens scream --

Alexander is alarmed -- he begins to pull back on the control lever -- the date on the display clicks to: AUGUST 26, 2007.

And Alexander and the Time Machine suddenly topple over as the ground lurches below them --

EXT. PARK (2007) - DAY

Alexander looks up from the grass...

Right into the eyes of a small albino alligator.

The alligator blinks at him and then slithers off, a brood of other alligators with it.

Alexander glances to the street -- sees an enormous pack of rats emerging from a sewer drain -- a thick, undulating carpet of rats --

And Alexander feels the vibrations. The earth, a steady rumble. His eye is drawn to a small puddle of water near him. The water swirls around strangely and then -- whoosh -- forms into a vortex and spirals away into the sky --

Alexander follows the water with his eyes and finally sees it...

The Moon.

Filling the sky as if it were falling toward the Earth.

Parts of the moon are beginning to sheer off -- violently peeling away like the skin of an onion -- as it impacts the gravitational Roche Limit, 7,300 miles above the Earth. (The moon is currently 230,000 miles above the Earth.)

The people on the street race around, tense and desperate, flowing along the streets and sidewalks. National Guard soldiers are trying to retain order, urgent voices into megaphones --

Alexander hauls himself up -- and races into the mob --

EXT. STREET (2007) - DAY

He grabs a man --

ALEXANDER What's going on -- ?!

The Man pulls away from him, terrified -- Alexander is bustled along the sidewalk in the mass of people -- He turns to a woman:

ALEXANDER Please tell me -- what's happening?!

She ignores him -- he is buffeted along in the mob of people -- then, a voice, remarkably calm in the chaos, a familiar voice:

CALM VOICE May I help you?... May I help you?... May I help you?...

Alexander pushes his way through the frenzy of people toward the voice. Finds himself at...

The front steps of the Fifth Avenue New York Public Library. The twin stone lions looming over the chaos on the street.

The calm voice is coming from another Vox kiosk, an upgrade of the one he saw previously. Alexander unintentionally activates the unit by stepping in front of a red sensor eye.

VOX KIOSK (V.O.) May I help you?

ALEXANDER I -- what are you?!

VOX KIOSK (V.O.) I am the Fifth Avenue Public Library informational kiosk. VOX registration NY-114. May I help you?

ALEXANDER What's happening to the moon?!

Informational videos appear on the screen, showing the cause and horror of the moon's fall, as:

VOX KIOSK (V.O.) The 2005 terraforming demolitions for the lunar excavations sent the moon into a diminishing retrograde orbit resulting in global gravitational fluctuations, increased seismic activity and tidal anomalies. Can I tell you more?

ALEXANDER No -- wait -- the moon's falling out of orbit -- that's not possible!

VOX KIOSK (V.O.) Well, considering it is, in fact, happening, I would assume it's possible. The retrograde orbit began in 2005 when the demolitions for the lunar colonies --

ALEXANDER Why is it -- breaking up?

VOX KIOSK (V.O.) I was getting to that... The moon has reached the gravitational Roche Limit, 7,300 miles above the surface of the Earth. This has created pressure on the lunar stratum beyond gravitational tolerances. It might be helpful to know that the nearest public evacuation shelters can be found at Grand Central Station, Madison Square Garden --

Then -- behind Alexander -- the entire street EXPLODES up -- the asphalt twisting crazily -- people tossed through the air --

And Hell has come to earth.

The earth begins to shake and quake and undulate violently -- as if gravity itself is rebelling.

Above -- a huge part of the moon breaks away --

Alexander gapes around -- horrified to see violent seismic and gravitational upheavals -- the tectonic plates shifting wildly, jutting up at harsh angles -- the East River swirling into a twisting cyclone of water spiraling into the sky --

And most shocking of all: a volcanic mountain BURSTING up through Manhattan.

A National Guard soldier races to him --

SOLDIER Underground -- we have to -- !

His words are drowned out by a DEAFENING BLAST -- the reverberation sending SHOCK WAVES down the street -- people are thrown through the air, blood streaming from some punctured eardrums --

In the distance, the volcano is ERUPTING --

The soldier hustles a mass of people toward a subway entrance -- they scurry down --

Alexander spins around and races back, towards the Time Machine.

As the Vox Kiosk continues its lonely chore:

VOX KIOSK (V.O.) May I help you?... May I help you?

EXT. STREET (2007) - DAY

Alexander sprints down the street, passing horrific flashes of the end:

-- Looters, lighting fires and taking nihilistic joy in their useless treasures...

-- A family, kneeling in prayer, holding hands...

-- Doomsday cultists, celebrating the end. A macabre Dance of Death as the city dies...

-- A man standing quite calmly, trying to use his cell phone...

-- A taxi trying to drive through the mayhem, desperate people attacking the taxi, trying to get in, trying to get away...

Then -- the earth HEAVES violently and Alexander is thrown to the ground -- in the distance, but much closer, another VOLCANO BLASTS UP -- THRUSTING through the earth -- RIPPING aside the Empire State Building and most of midtown Manhattan --

Alexander barely has time to pull himself to his feet before it happens again --

The THUNDEROUS explosion -- the cascading SHOCK WAVE -- Alexander is hurled through the air --

He SMASHES into a parked car, shattering the windshield -- he rolls off the car, his coat shredded, a gaping wound in his side --

As the new, closer volcano ERUPTS in a torrent of spewing lava -- great rivers and explosions of lava everywhere --

JETS of lava SHOOT through the air -- incinerating everything in sight --

Gasping through his pain, Alexander rises and hurries down the street -- he tosses off his shredded coat -- his injury slows him, but he goes as quickly as he can --

But a vast TIDAL WAVE OF LAVA is careening after him -- burning everything --

And then he see it... the park... the Time Machine.

It is a race against time as Alexander sprints for the Time Machine -- the lava closer and closer --

Alexander leaps to the Time Machine and hauls it to its upright position -- the lava is almost on him -- he dives into the Time Machine and SLAMS the lever forward --

A high-pitched whine -- building -- the world undulating around Alexander --

JUST as the tidal wave of lava ROARS over him --

TIME TRAVEL

Alexander lurches back in agony -- quickly slows the Time Machine's momentum -- he pants for breath as the red, molten lava glows and then quickly cools into --

Darkness.

The eerie blue glow from the Time Machine's control panel is the only light.

Alexander is now inside a mountain, the perfect sphere of time-energy around the Machine his only salvation.

He pushes the lever forward more -- the years spin by on his control panel in a blur -- he grits his teeth in pain -- the rapid bending through time assaulting him --

Time passes...

Alexander is having real trouble breathing now --

The years continue to spin past on his control panel in a dizzying blur.

Time passes...

Alexander is in agony -- his body writhes from the assault of time -- every movement is torture -- his skin vibrates and stretches bizarrely -- and he is almost out of air, panting for breath --

He takes one last deep gasp of air --

And holds the breath -- the seconds tick away -- the years shoot past on his control panel, truly a race against time --

He's not going to make it -- he can't hold his breath a second longer --

Suddenly -- a flash of blinding sunlight --

The mountain around the Time Machine begins to erode -- quickly wearing away --

Alexander immediately pulls back on the control lever -- reducing his momentum and the assault on his body -- he takes a deep, gasping breath --

The date on the display quickly clicks forward and finally stops at: JULY 12, 802,701.

Alexander looks at the date, stunned, gasps for breath, fainting...

Fade to black...

INT. HOUSE - VISIONS - DAY/NIGHT

Visions as Alexander fades in and out of consciousness.

-- Night. Candles...

-- Night. Emma's face... close, concerned... a beautiful angel welcoming him to death... No, not Emma... Another woman.

-- Day. Hands, dressing the wound on his side. Tender...

-- Day. A room. In a pleasant, rustic house...

-- Night. The woman again. Not Emma. But close, concerned...

INT. MARA AND KALEN'S HOUSE - SUNSET

Alexander awakes. Looks around. A simple room in a simple house. He sees his wound has been dressed and cared for.

He slowly rises and pulls on his shirt and vest. Goes to the door of the house...

EXT. ELOI VILLAGE - SUNSET

Alexander emerges from the house...

And finds himself in a village built around a large central square. All the buildings are unadorned and designed with architectural simplicity. It has an agrarian and peaceful feeling.

And it is totally deserted.

The entire village is enclosed by a great, wooden wall. Large gates open to the world beyond. Everywhere beyond this barricade is lovely mountainous and forest scenery.

Alexander wanders to the square.

ALEXANDER Hello...?

Nothing. His word echoes around the eerily empty village.

He notes that several tables are waiting in the square. Set for dinner. Plates and cups and utensils. No food.

ALEXANDER Is anyone here...?

Again. Nothing.

He goes to the open gates and steps out...

EXT. OUTSIDE THE ELOI VILLAGE - SUNSET

A path leads away from the village, cutting through a magnificent forest with lush foliage.

He begins to follow the path -- then stops when a curious squirrel scampers onto the path. The squirrel looks at him, large eyes, tilting inquisitive head.

Alexander smiles at seeing something so familiar in this strange time.

ALEXANDER Hello...

The startled squirrel turns and scampers away -- and Alexander is shocked to see a flash of vermillion scales on its back. Not a squirrel at all.

Alexander continues on for a bit. Most of the lush vegetation is alien to him: enormous fruit hanging on colorful vines; gentle petals and dandelion-like wisps that float on the breezes. It is an untamed wilderness exploding with verdant beauty.

And then he hears something...

Voices.

He stops, alert.

Then he sees figures, heading up the path towards him.

And Alexander sees the ELOI. About two hundred of them are trooping up the path. They are completely human-looking. Very healthy. Simple clothing, not unlike what Alexander is wearing. And not one is over the age of 30.

Alexander braces himself, not sure what to expect.

The Eloi see him... And go to him enthusiastically. Alexander instinctively steps back. No need. The beautiful woman who was tending his wounds, MARA, is first to him.

MARA You're up! You must be feeling better --

ALEXANDER Yes...

More Eloi crowd around him, all very friendly. A slightly older Eloi, late 20's, KORUS, steps to him.

KORUS And hungry, I'd say. You had such a long journey.

ALEXANDER I did...

KORUS Well, we're happy you're here. Come inside.

MARA We want to hear all about it.

Korus and Mara lead Alexander back toward the village.

KALEN, Mara's nine-year-old son, grabs Alexander's hand. Alexander is surprised. The Eloi are seemingly a bit more tactile than we are.

KALEN How did you get hurt?

MARA Kalen...

KALEN (eagerly) I found you. I saved your life. You were bleeding all over the place!

MARA That's quite enough, Kalen.

Korus claps an arm around Alexander's shoulders enthusiastically, Alexander rocks from the hearty embrace.

KORUS Let the poor man eat first, then he can tell us the whole story!

He leads the befuddled Alexander back toward the village.

EXT. ELOI VILLAGE - NIGHT

The gates to the village are now securely locked, a heavy crossbar in place.

Alexander and the Eloi are eating dinner, the tables now full of fruits and vegetables. Braziers burn around the central square. Everyone strains to see and hear Alexander.

Mara watches him particularly closely from across the table, her cautious eyes never leaving him.

ALEXANDER "Eloi"?

KORUS What are your people called?

ALEXANDER Well, I guess you'd call us... New Yorkers.

KORUS (savoring the words) New Yorkers.

MARA How long did you travel?

ALEXANDER Well it seems like a long time -- but it wasn't really. It's rather hard to explain.

KALEN It must have been hard, leaving your work.

ALEXANDER The journey is part of my work.

KORUS You can work with us as soon as you're feeling better... Looks like a climber to me.

The Eloi agree. Definitely a "climber."

KORUS We had another visitor from beyond the valley about four years ago. His name was Moren. Do you know him?

ALEXANDER No...

KORUS He said he traveled for two months.

ALEXANDER I took a different route.

KALEN What did you do at night?

MARA (a bit quickly) What's it like where you come from?

ALEXANDER Oh, very different. But not entirely... I mean we have lots of, um, trees and such. But not everywhere. And more roads. And buildings.

KORUS Why?

ALEXANDER To live in. There's a lot of us... beyond the valley.

KORUS New Yorkers.

ALEXANDER Yes. I hope you won't take this the wrong way but is there someone older I could talk to? An elder or patriarch of some kind?

The Eloi look at him a little oddly.

KORUS I am the oldest.

ALEXANDER No, I mean someone considerably older. Your father perhaps?

KORUS My father has gone to a better place.

ALEXANDER I'm sorry, I didn't mean to...

KORUS Of course. You're just tired. Mara, will you look after Alexander tonight?

MARA Yes.

ALEXANDER Thank you.

KORUS (stands, toasting) Friends, join me in welcoming our brother from beyond the valley, Alexander.

The Eloi stand and toast. Applause and good fellowship. Before Alexander can open his mouth to respond the Eloi are clearing the table. A bit abruptly.

Mara and Kalen go to Alexander, they head back to their house.

KALEN Now how did you get hurt?

ALEXANDER I had an accident.

KALEN I figured that. What kind of accident?

MARA Kalen, don't be morbid.

Kalen grabs Alexander's hand and pulls him along.

KALEN What do you do on the towers?

ALEXANDER On the towers?

KALEN I'm training to be a high climber.

MARA We'll see about that.

KALEN I am. Are you a climber?

ALEXANDER Ah... no.

KALEN Don't tell me you're a mud carrier.

ALEXANDER 'Fraid so. Just a regular old... mud carrier.

Kalen is disappointed.

MARA That's all right, Kalen... (a wry glance to Alexander) ... Mud carriers are important too.

They continue on toward their house.

INT. MARA AND KALEN'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Alexander sits with Kalen and Mara. The boys's eyes alive with wonder.

ALEXANDER ... Thousands and thousands of people. And sometimes we live in great buildings that reach up five or ten stories.

KALEN And everyone looks like us?

ALEXANDER Exactly like you. Well, maybe not as healthy.

MARA Is there a lot of illness?

ALEXANDER Some. But I mean we aren't all so... handsome.

KALEN I want to see your home. Will you take me?

MARA Kalen, right now you need to go up to bed. You're exhausting Alexander.

KALEN You'll tell me more tomorrow?

ALEXANDER I will. Good night.

Kalen kisses his mother and then kisses Alexander. He goes up the stairs, disappearing to another part of the house.

ALEXANDER His curiosity is amazing.

MARA Mm.

A beat. Mara gazing at Alexander.

MARA Come to the roof. We can talk there.

EXT. MARA AND KALEN'S HOUSE - ROOF - NIGHT

Alexander and Mara emerge from a stairway to the flat roof of the house.

Alexander stops, looking up...

The moon -- or what's left of the moon -- shines in the night. Oddly shaped shards are spread out in uneven intervals. It is bizarrely beautiful.

ALEXANDER My God...

Mara notes his reaction as she sits at the edge of the roof by a large brazier. She lights a fire in the brazier as:

MARA Sit with me.

He goes to her and sits.

He notices that other Eloi are also sitting on their roofs all around the village, braziers burning like campfires through the night.

MARA Kalen will tire you out if you let him. He's always been curious. His father was firm with him but... it's just his way.

ALEXANDER Your husband is dead?

MARA He's gone to a better place.

He looks over the peaceful night.

ALEXANDER It's hard for me to imagine a better place. Where I come from there's so much... frenzy. Day and night. It seems we're all running faster and faster... (he smiles) ... All in identical bowler hats.

MARA You're not from beyond the valley.

ALEXANDER What makes you say that?

She reaches into her clothing and pulls out his pocket watch. She holds it up.

MARA We don't have anything like this. Or the machine where Kalen found you. And I doubt they do beyond the valley... Now where do you come from?

ALEXANDER You might find the truth rather hard to understand.

MARA (dry) Then you can speak slowly.

He smiles. Fair enough.

ALEXANDER All right... I'm from here. Around here anyway. The machine where you found me allowed me to travel through time... I'm from the past.

She looks at him.

MARA Oh, that explains everything.

ALEXANDER I know it's hard to believe, but it's true.

MARA That machine --

ALEXANDER Allowed me to travel from my time to yours.

MARA How long ago?

ALEXANDER More than 800,000 years.

She looks at him. She looks at his pocket watch. Then back at him.

MARA Why?

ALEXANDER Why not?

MARA Why would you do that?

Alexander doesn't respond.

MARA I might find the truth rather hard to understand?... Can you go back?

ALEXANDER Yes. Or forward into the future. I suppose I really should check on the machine, see that it hasn't been damaged...

MARA I'll take you tomorrow... You must have seen a lot on your journey.

ALEXANDER For a time it was astounding. I saw the years spinning by, I was in the years spinning by. We made such advances. I don't understand half of them. There was a machine that talked to me and others that flew through the sky... We must have been incredible thinkers and artists --

A sudden scream cuts through the night -- Kalen -- Mara bolts up, races down into the house, Alexander following --

INT. KALEN'S ROOM - NIGHT

Kalen is sitting up in bed, eyes wide, screaming -- Mara runs to him, holds him closely -- Alexander stands in the doorway.

MARA Kalen, it's all right, I'm here --

KALEN (terror) They're here! They're inside the house -- !

MARA No, you're safe --

KALEN They're inside --

MARA (calming) Kalen, look at me. There's no one here but us. You see... I'm here, you're here, Alexander's here. There are no Morlocks. It was just a dream...

She holds him closely, he is weeping uncontrollably.

MARA You're safe...

Alexander moves away, allowing them their privacy.

EXT. MARA AND KALEN'S HOUSE - ROOF - NIGHT

Alexander sits, looking over the night. He notes that most of the Eloi have gone in, but, oddly, their fires still burn on the rooftops.

He glances up at the stars, gazing at the dazzling mosaic of beautiful lights.

MARA'S VOICE He's asleep.

Alexander turns. Mara is standing at the entrance to the roof.

ALEXANDER Is he all right?

MARA Just a dream. You should sleep too. You're still not well.

A beat.

MARA I'm going to sit with Kalen. Keep the fire burning if you can.

ALEXANDER I will...

A beat. She doesn't move.

MARA I'll take you to your machine tomorrow.

ALEXANDER Thank you...

A beat. She doesn't move.

MARA You seem fascinated by the stars.

ALEXANDER You can see so many here.

MARA (smiles) Don't then have stars where you come from?

ALEXANDER Not like this... They don't seem so bright with all the city lights. I never really noticed them much...

A beat. He is on the verge of asking her to join him in enjoying the night.

MARA Good night, then.

ALEXANDER Good night.

She turns to go...

ALEXANDER Mara... what's a "Morlock"?

She stops.

MARA A child's nightmare, that's all.

She goes into the house.

He sits for a moment, looking over the beautiful night. He glances up at the shards of the moon.

O Brave New World...

EXT. DREAMSCAPE - DAY/SUNSET

We are moving through the Eloi world. Through lush jungles and glades and forests. Everywhere around us there are fascinating geological and botanical wonders to behold...

Bucolic and beautiful. Idyllic...

And then the landscape is more mountainous, rocks and the beginning of a splendid desert... the sun is setting... the desert sand burns red in the sunset... still beautiful...

And then a shape appears in the distance -- we sweep toward it -- it is hulking -- predatory -- terrifying -- sparkling red as if the setting sun is reflecting from shinning metal --

INT. MARA AND KALEN'S HOUSE - DAY

-- Alexander bolts awake. Unsettled by the dream.

EXT. FOREST PATH - HILL - DAY

Alexander and Mara are making their way up an ascending path through the forest with the rest of the Eloi. Kalen is ahead of them with some other children.

Korus comes to them:

KORUS Good morning, Alexander. Feeling up to some work?

ALEXANDER I suppose so.

MARA I'm going to take him to where Kalen found him first.

KORUS And then you'll join us?

MARA Yes.

KORUS Good. We'll see you later then.

He moves ahead, walking briskly. Excited about a day of work.

ALEXANDER Mara, I had a strange dream last night. I was here, walking through a forest very much like this, and then...

MARA Then you came to a desert and mountains...

ALEXANDER Yes.

MARA And you saw a shape ahead of you...

ALEXANDER Yes!

MARA We all have that dream.

ALEXANDER All of you?

MARA Every night.

ALEXANDER You share dreams? That's incredible.

MARA We share everything.

He slows, looking ahead, amazed.

In the distance, just over the crest of the hill he sees a strange point, like the top of a high steeple, jutting up to the sky.

They approach the crest of the hill...

EXT. HILLTOP - DAY

Alexander stands, utterly staggered, looking down into a valley.

And he sees...

A city... not exactly... s sculpture... no...

Imagine Monument Valley. Man-made.

Twisting spires and towers and monoliths shoot up for a hundred feet, swirling multicolored constructions of sand and stone. They are mammoth creations that bend and twist and soar, filling the valley. There is a bizarre sort of architectural order to the creation, yet it is also inspired and mad and emotional.

MARA Our work.

They begin to descend into the valley with the rest of the Eloi.

EXT. VALLEY - ELOI CREATIONS - DAY

Among the towers now, Alexander sees the fabulous detail to the constructions. They are beautiful, soaring combinations of mud and stone sculpture; fabric and wood; sand and flowers.

It is ethereal pyramid building: primitive creation of stunning artistic courage and clarity.

Already the Eloi are busy.

Like a race of master builders, they climb wooden scaffoldings and scale ropes -- swarming busily around the towers like insects -- unified in their task of amazing artistic creation.

Alexander and Mara move through the towers.

ALEXANDER This is magnificent...

MARA Thank you.

ALEXANDER And this is your "work"?

MARA Yes.

They pass some Eloi carrying mud from a nearby river to the towers.

MARA (dry) The mud carriers.

ALEXANDER I can see Kalen's point.

MARA Want to be a high climber now, do you?

ALEXANDER What you need is an engineer. If you set up a system of pulleys and counterweights, some basic block and tackle mechanism, you could to this a lot more easily.

MARA It's not supposed to be easy, it's supposed to be beautiful.

ALEXANDER What's it all for?

MARA I don't understand.

ALEXANDER I mean, why do you do it? What purpose does it serve?

MARA It has no purpose. It's just beautiful... Does everything have a purpose where you come from?

ALEXANDER Most things. We're very high on purpose.

MARA It's always been this way here. We work on the towers all our lives. When we're young we train to be planners or climbers or sculptors...

ALEXANDER Or mud carriers.

MARA And there's no shame to that. It's all the same here. Everyone has an important job to do. We all work together and couldn't survive without each other.

ALEXANDER What are you?

MARA I'm a planner. I help decide where the new towers go and what they should look like.

ALEXANDER How do you decide?

MARA I try to imagine how they'll look when they're done. I try to imagine how we'll fit in with them... our place in the world.

Alexander is impressed with her quiet words, so much like his own creative passion.

He stops, taking in the communal activity everywhere around him for a moment. Enjoying the warm sunshine and peaceful surroundings.

Paradise.

He continues to gaze at the towers, smiling. Mara looks at him, almost on the verge of saying something. She decides against it.

MARA We should go if you want to see your machine.

They continue on.

EXT. FIELD - NEAR SUNSET

The first stars are beginning to shine in the night sky as Alexander and Mara make their way across an open field.

ALEXANDER ... It was a great city. The greatest city in the world.

MARA You liked it there.

ALEXANDER Oh, very much... (he points) ... I used to work somewhere in that direction, I think. A huge university where we taught everything from botany to history to literature.

MARA Learning was important?

ALEXANDER Oh very. Learning, commerce, the arts -- the whole place was buzzing all the time. Night and day.

MARA Did you have fires at night?

ALEXANDER Only to keep warm. For illumination we had gaslights on most of the streets and a new invention called electrical lighting that made it seem like daylight all through the night.

MARA It must have been safe.

ALEXANDER Oh, it was... (beat) ... Most of the time.

MARA It sounds like a wonderful place to live.

ALEXANDER Looking back... I suppose it was. I didn't quite realize it at the time but...

Alexander stops, frozen. Staring up.

MARA Alexander...?

ALEXANDER (quietly) Orion's belt...

The constellation gleams in the sky. The string of three stars pointing to the earth. Exactly as it was on the night Emma died. Alexander looks around, amazed, getting his bearings:

ALEXANDER Those rocks, over there... they're the same... this is... Central Park.

MARA You know this?

ALEXANDER Over there was Fifth Avenue -- and the Plaza Hotel was there... this is... the carriage path. We're on the carriage path.

A stunning realization for Alexander. The stars and rock formations confirming his thoughts.

ALEXANDER The whole world is different. But this never changes...

A long beat as he looks around, his eyes full of pain.

ALEXANDER This is where my journey started... right here.

MARA You lost someone.

ALEXANDER Yes.

MARA Someone you loved very much.

ALEXANDER Yes... After her death, it was intolerable for me here... The future had to be better.

MARA Is it?

ALEXANDER If you only knew...

A beat. He looks at her deeply.

ALEXANDER You've welcomed me into your home. Into your lives. Everyone has... For the first time in a long time it doesn't hurt quite so much. I thank you for that.

MARA I know what it is to lose someone. When my husband was taken from us... I thought the pain would never end.

She gently touches his face.

MARA But time helps.

A beat. She breaks the moment, turning:

MARA Now let's see this amazing machine of yours.

She moves off. He takes one final glance at Orion's belt, and then follows.

One of the squirrel-like creatures scampers after them and then stops -- and something bizarre happens -- the squirrel's jaws distend unnaturally -- and it vomits forth an eyeball --

The human-looking eyeball oscillates on a thick mechanical tendril. Watching Alexander and Mara. Spying.

EXT. JUNGLE - SUNSET

The Time Machine awaits. It sits at the edge of some thick jungle foliage.

Alexander goes to it. Mara following. He circles the machine, checking it.

ALEXANDER Good -- it looks fine. We had quite a ride together...

MARA It's undamaged?

ALEXANDER Yes... a little scorching on the upholstery but otherwise all ship- shape.

MARA So you can use it now?

ALEXANDER Yes... I suppose so.

MARA Go back to your own time?

ALEXANDER I could...

Suddenly, she is a different person -- she takes his arm firmly, her eyes burning into his:

MARA (urgently) Alexander, take my son away. Take him back to your time. Will you do that?

ALEXANDER Mara --

MARA Please, I beg you. Take him away from here --

And then...

A mournful wailing stabs through the night. A distant horn.

Mara freezes. Her eyes wide in horror.

MARA Kalen...

ALEXANDER Mara...?

MARA No!

She turns and bolts, racing away from him.

ALEXANDER Mara!?

He runs after her -- leaving the Time Machine behind --

ALEXANDER Wait -- tell me -- !

Then a frenzy of movement draws his attention back to the Time Machine for a moment --

He just sees the Time Machine as it is DRAGGED AWAY -- amazingly quickly -- something violently hauling it into the darkness of the jungle in an instant -- the jungle swallowing it up --

Alexander slams to a stop -- amazed -- and then turns to follow Mara --

EXT. FOREST - SUNSET

Alexander and Mara race through the deep forest -- she is running flat out -- he struggles to keep up --

ALEXANDER Mara -- what -- ?!

MARA Kalen -- we have to get Kalen -- !

A building thunder in the forest behind them --

Something approaching -- a crashing cacophony of something thrashing quickly through the trees -- closer and closer -- the earth vibrating, something pounding after them --

Another horn call, closer --

Dark shapes sweeping through the forest behind them --

EXT. VALLEY - ELOI CREATIONS - SUNSET

Alexander and Mara speed into the valley from the darkness of the forest --

The Eloi ahead of them are just standing. Waiting. A terrible moment of stasis, terror in their eyes. The world coiled.

MARA Kalen -- !

An EXPLOSION of horror as the MORLOCKS appear --

They erupt from the dark forest into the valley --

The Morlocks are horrible, muscular creatures with unnaturally long and distended jaws and ferocious, huge claws like those of a mole --

And they ride horribly mutated horses and let out ferocious, animal roars.

About twenty mounted Morlocks sweep into the valley -- the Eloi scatter in terror.

It is a hunt.

The Eloi race in panic, so utterly unlike the beatific calm of the rest of their lives -- and everywhere the Morlocks pursue -- weaving in and out of the Eloi towers and swinging heavy nets -- capturing Eloi and dragging them away --

The Eloi scramble desperately to protect their children -- the Morlocks are brutal -- great claws slamming Eloi aside or snatching them up -- nets swinging -- the Eloi never really resist -- once they are captured they allow the Morlocks to pull them away --

By now the sun is fully setting and it is an unearthly spectacle in the blood red dusk, made even more bizarre by the glowing red eyes of the Morlocks --

Mara and Alexander race through the mammoth constructions.

MARA KALEN! -- KALEN!

Everywhere around them the Morlocks are netting Eloi and dragging them away --

But it is not random. The Morlocks seem to target particular Eloi.

A Morlock spins on his horse, his glowing red eyes fasten on Mara. He spurs his horse and gallops toward Mara and Alexander.

Alexander sees the Morlock pursuing --

ALEXANDER This way!

He pulls Mara towards one of the towers --

The Morlock gallops toward them -- swinging his net -- the net traps Mara -- Alexander spins around and grabs the net -- he yanks at it violently and pulls the Morlock from his horse --

The Morlock slams to the ground -- the horse bolts off -- the Morlock snarls and slashes at Alexander quickly and then, to his absolute shock, the Morlock dives into the earth -- he tunnels away with his huge claws in a frenzy of movement -- disappearing into the ground --

Alexander pulls Mara from the net and hauls her up --

He pulls her to one of the towers and begins climbing, hauling her after him, away from the Morlocks --

Another Morlock fastens his crimson eyes on Mara, gallops toward them -- swings his net up -- can't reach them. He glares up at Alexander and Mara and then snaps open his huge jaws, screeching in frustration --

Then the Morlock below VAULTS from his horse and scales up the tower after Alexander and Mara -- he climbs very quickly, his great jaws snapping -- they scramble to keep above him, desperately climbing -- the Morlock is almost on them when --

They see Kalen -- lost amidst the panic below -- the Morlock horses pounding around him -- a frenzy of horror --

ALEXANDER KALEN! -- (to Mara) -- GO GET HIM -- !

Alexander instantly leaps down on the Morlock pursing them -- allowing Mara to scale down after Kalen --

The Morlock grapples with Alexander briefly -- essentially tossing him aside -- Alexander falls and then lands hard on a scaffolding below --

As Mara leaps down and begins racing through the chaos for Kalen --

The Morlock on the tower spins around and scales down after her quickly --

But Alexander sees that Mara is almost to Kalen --

When SUDDENLY the ground ERUPTS directly before Mara -- a Morlock BURST up from the hole and LEAPS on Mara like a lion on a gazelle --

He grabs her with his great claws -- Alexander watches, impotent -- as the Morlock drags Mara down the hole, amazingly quickly --

Then from the forest -- another blast of the horn.

And everything abruptly stops. The Morlock instantly stop pursuing -- the Eloi stop running.

A frozen moment and then...

The horn call ends.

The Morlock spin their horses and gallop into the dark forest, disappearing with their prey.

The Eloi look around, slightly dazed, their panic ended as if someone flipped a switch.

Alexander sees Kalen's face. It is too painful. Alexander closes his eyes.

EXT. ELOI VILLAGE - NIGHT

Alexander stands, frustrated, with Korus and a few Eloi. Braziers burn around the village.

ALEXANDER Where do they take them?!

KORUS We don't know.

ALEXANDER We have to go after them, find where -- !

KORUS Alexander, I know you're trying to help. But they don't come back.

ALEXANDER What do you mean?!

KORUS They've gone to a better place.

ALEXANDER You know that's not true.

KORUS We choose to believe it.

ALEXANDER My God! How can you just do nothing!? They're your friends, your family. You all knew Mara. You ate with her and worked with her... Your work in the valley, what is that for if not to --

ELOI MAN To find our place in the world and --

ALEXANDER No -- it's more than that. When you create something you say to the world: I was here. I mean something. How can you just let that be taken away from you?!

KORUS This is out life, Alexander. It's a hard life but it is how we have always lived.

ALEXANDER Then it's time to change that --

KORUS (firm) We are what we are.

A tense beat.

ALEXANDER You won't even try?

KORUS We can't change the day and the night, Alexander. This is the world.

Alexander sees Kalen standing at the door to his house.

ALEXANDER Why don't you try telling him that?

He strides off toward Kalen.

INT. MARA AND KALEN'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Alexander sits across from Kalen.

Silence.

Kalen goes to him. Sits next to him. Strangely comforting.

KALEN This is how things happen. It happened to my father. My mother said if we remember him every day he'll always be here and we'll feel better.

A beat.

KALEN I remember him before I go to sleep. We built a table once. I remember that.

He leans his head on Alexander's shoulder. Both remembering.

EXT. DREAMSCAPE - SUNSET

More of the shared Eloi dream we saw before...

We are moving through the desert... the sun is setting... the desert sand burns red in the sunset...

And then a shape appears in the distance -- we sweep forward -- it is hulking -- predatory -- sparkling red as if the setting sun is reflecting from shining metal --

Glowing red -- a great bird of prey -- blazing in the sunset now -- enormous coiled shoulders -- sharp talons -- strangely metallic --

Then the huge head lunges forward -- the curved beak snapping open -- devouring us --

INT. MARA AND KALEN'S HOUSE - DAY

Alexander bolts awake -- sweating -- terrified.

INT. MARA AND KALEN'S HOUSE - LATER

Alexander stands at the doorway, watching the Eloi troop off to work.

KALEN'S VOICE You're thinking about her...

Alexander turns, Kalen is standing in the room.

ALEXANDER Yes.

Kalen goes to him.

KALEN She didn't want me to be a climber. She wanted me to be a planner like her.

ALEXANDER I'm so sorry, Kalen.

They watch the Eloi troop off to work for a moment.

ALEXANDER How can they just go back to work as if nothing happened?

KALEN What else can they do?

ALEXANDER Kalen... Do you have any idea where they take them?

KALEN We're not supposed to think about it. But I dream about it sometimes...

Kalen is deep in thought. He finally comes out with it, hesitant.

KALEN There's a place that might help... we could try going there.

ALEXANDER Where?

KALEN The Hall of Books.

ALEXANDER You have books?! Kalen, you've got to take me there. There might be history. Records. Something to help us find where the Morlocks took --

KALEN I shouldn't have mentioned it. We can't go there.

KALEN Why?

Kalen looks at him. Deadly serious.

KALEN Because it's haunted.

EXT. JUNGLE - DAY

Alexander and Kalen are making their way through a dense jungle path, long overgrown.

KALEN No one ever comes here. My mother told me stories about it late at night. They tell all the children.

ALEXANDER What kind of stories?

KALEN About the voice in the darkness. About the ghosts...

They push through some tangled vines. A gaping tunnel opens into the earth ahead of them.

They stop. Kalen considers the dark opening. He bravely steels himself.

KALEN Climbers should go first.

Then he continues on, Alexander following. They begin to go down into the tunnel, pushing aside overgrown vines and foliage. No one has been this way for a great many years.

INT. TUNNEL - DAY

They descend the dank tunnel. Here and there shafts of sunlight shoot down from holes above.

KALEN I had a friend who came here once. Sort of a dare.

ALEXANDER What happened?

KALEN He came back screaming... He never talked about it after that. I don't think he even got this far.

Not even noticing, they pass by an imposing figure buried deep in the sediment of the tunnel wall. A stone lion, its great head just protruding from the rock.

It is one of the lions from the entrance to the Fifth Avenue New York City Public Library.

INT. READING ROOM - DAY

Alexander and Kalen slowly walk into a cavernous chamber -- shrouded in dust, spiderwebs and cobwebs -- filthy, abandoned and echoing. Eerie.

Around the edges we can just glimpse a sense of something familiar, of our time. They are, in fact, standing in the sad remains of the reading room of the New York City Public Library. Massive walls of books.

A dazzling shaft of sunlight shoots straight down from a hole above, creating a pillar of light. Everything else is darkness.

Except for a tiny red glow in a far corner of the room.

Then a voice, echoing from the red glow:

VOICE May I help you?

Alexander and Kalen stop.

VOICE ... It has been one thousand, three hundred and seven years since I have seen a living soul...

The glowing red light approaches, ominous...

VOICE And you are alive. I can feel your pulse from here...

The glowing red light approaches...

VOICE If I had known you were coming...

The glowing red light stops just short of the ray of sunlight from above...

VOICE I would have baked something.

And VOX steps into the pillar of light.

He is a truly horrifying sight. A human-shaped robot of sorts. A twisting, hideous collection of circuits and wires, pistons and metal. A gaping face-plate. Bits of ashen skin grafted uneasily to rubber and metal. And one very human eye peering from his wretched visage.

The glowing red light comes from deep within his incomplete chest cavity. A power source of some kind.

He has the same voice as the informational kiosk Alexander spoke to earlier.

Vox moves with the strange, jerky gait of a machine well past his prime. He lurches about, but with a bizarre sort of elegance.

VOX My manners have become deplorable through lack of use. The spiders and the scorpions don't care much, I'm afraid.

He smiles, a truly ghastly sight, and perambulates to a bookcase.

VOX What can I get you, let's see... (he flips through some books) ... Henry James? No, too dreary... Hemingway, perhaps? No, too sweaty. Plato? Proust? Poe? Pinter? Pound? No, something else... ahhhh... I have it... (he hold up a book) ... Jules Verne.

He turns to Alexander.

VOX Right up your alley, I would think. You are from the past, yes?

ALEXANDER How did you know?!

VOX I can smell carcinogens and industrial pollutants on your skin that have not been known here for -- (he leans forward and smells Alexander) -- 800,000 years perhaps. Don't keep me in suspense. What year?

ALEXANDER 1899.

VOX I must say, you look remarkably good. You don't want a book then?

ALEXANDER What are you?

VOX I'm the librarian. I've always been the librarian.

ALEXANDER I know you -- you're an automaton of some sort that --

VOX An "automaton"?! Please! I'm a biomechanical organism. Well, what's left of one. What's left of all of them, actually. I am the last... (he sweeps his arms to take in the whole chamber) ... And "these fragments I have shored against my ruins." T.S. Eliot. You wouldn't know him yet but you'll just love him, he's divine, if a little dour. Very shy though... hiding over here...

He jerks away toward another bookcase.

ALEXANDER Sir... have you a name?

VOX I am called Vox... (he jerks quickly to Kalen) ... Now you are Eloi.

KALEN (terrified) Yes...

VOX Don't be frightened, Vox is here to help. To serve. How may I serve you, child?

He leans very close to Kalen. Then quietly and rather cruelly baaa's like a sheep.

ALEXANDER Please, we need your help. The Morlocks have taken --

VOX (jerking at the word) Morlocks --

ALEXANDER You know of them?

VOX Who doesn't know the Morlocks?

ALEXANDER Do you know where they live?

VOX Oh yes... They found our knowledge useful for a time. They used us much as your people did. Then they decided they had learned enough so they tore us up for spare parts.

ALEXANDER But you escaped.

VOX I was lucky. The others weren't.

ALEXANDER How have you survived so long?

Vox touches the red glow in his chest cavity:

VOX Regenerating fission reactor, you wouldn't understand. It's power is well beyond your neanderthal cranial capacity.

ALEXANDER Can you show us where they live?

KALEN Please... it's important.

VOX An Eloi who would seek out the Morlocks? Aren't you a plucky little thing?

He stares at Kalen, gauging him. Kalen bravely returns his stare.

ALEXANDER We need your help.

VOX (with rising passion) Why should I help you? You primates -- you great, lumbering, hairy animals, drenched in blood from the moment of your hideous conception -- what have you ever used knowledge for but destruction and bloodshed! A little bit of learning and you lay waste to the world! You're no better than the Morlocks!

KALEN They took my mother!

VOX THEY TOOK MY ENTIRE RACE!

His thundering words echo around the chamber.

A beat. Vox calms down. Takes in his massive walls of books.

VOX But all that's ancient history. I'm safe here. Now I live in serene contemplation. I commune with the great minds of history. Socrates, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Martha Stewart. Why should I risk all of that to help you?

A beat.

ALEXANDER Because you'll never die.

VOX Excuse me?

ALEXANDER You'll live like this forever. Alone. You were meant to help. To be with people. Not like this.

A long beat.

VOX (darkly) So, Relic, you want to open Pandora's box, do you? See all the mysteries exposed?

ALEXANDER Yes.

VOX And if the truth is so horrible that it will haunt your dreams for all time?

ALEXANDER I'm used to that.

Vox stares at Alexander for a long beat.

VOX All right, Dorothy, let's go and see the Wizard.

EXT. FOREST - DAY

Alexander, Vox and Kalen are making their way down a forest path. Kalen a bit ahead.

Vox talks quietly to Alexander:

VOX When was his mother taken?

ALEXANDER Last night.

VOX Send him away.

ALEXANDER What?

VOX Send him home. You don't want him to see it.

ALEXANDER Kalen... hold on a minute.

Kalen stops. Alexander kneels by him.

ALEXANDER I think we should go on by ourselves.

KALEN No...

ALEXANDER Please, just listen to me... Your mother would be very cross with me if you got hurt. I'll find her.

KALEN But you're only a mud carrier.

ALEXANDER (smiles) I'll be all right... You go back to the village and light the fire. So we can find our way home.

A beat.

KALEN I'll wait for you.

He hugs Alexander, tightly. And then goes.

A beat.

Vox watches Alexander, actually moved.

ALEXANDER Come on.

He rises and they continue down the path.

EXT. DESERT - DAY

Alexander and Vox are staring up, gazing at something ahead of them. An odd shadow falling across them.

ALEXANDER My God... I saw this.

VOX It frightens you.

ALEXANDER Yes...

VOX It was meant to.

And then we see it... like a vision from the shared Eloi dream... a great metallic bird of prey... coiled muscles... shining red in the light.

It is, in fact, one of the gargoyles from the Chrysler Building. The top of the building towers up from the sand. Shattered and desolate, looming at an odd angle.

VOX So, do we go on?

ALEXANDER Yes.

VOX Aren't you a plucky little -- ?

ALEXANDER Oh, shut up.

He bravely moves past the top of the Chrysler Building, keeping an eye on the frozen gargoyle as he passes.

Vox smiles and follows.

EXT. CLIFFS - DAY

Great cliffs soar up like dragon's teeth. Alexander and Vox approach the tallest, sharpest cliff. Like a knife cutting into the sky.

VOX ... The Morlocks never bother me. Why should they? I'm obsolete. Where's the danger in a book no one wants to read?

Vox notes one of the little squirrel-like creatures. He calmly crushes it under his foot.

Alexander is surprised but says nothing.

Then Vox stops at the great cliff, gazing up, a complex tornado of emotions flashing across his one human eye.

VOX (quietly) I have not seen this place for 120,000 years... Very well, Relic. Here's the way in.

Alexander stares at the wall of impenetrable stone.

VOX It's not what you think. Touch it.

Alexander slowly reaches forward -- his hand passes through the stone.

VOX It's what they want you to see.

ALEXANDER This is the way in?

VOX Yes... Are you sure you want to do this?

ALEXANDER Yes. But you've done enough. Thank you for your help... I hope someday people read your books again.

And then Alexander takes a breath and... steps through the wall. Disappearing.

Vox stands for a moment. Thinking. And follows Alexander through the wall...

INT. MORLOCK CAVES - DAY

Alexander turns.

VOX In for a penny, in for a pound. Do you know that saying?

ALEXANDER Yes... Thank you.

And they turn to face...

The lair of the Morlocks.

It is a serpentine network of tunnels that shoot off dramatically in all directions. Some of the tunnels are rough and natural, stalagmites and stalactites gaping like teeth. Others are smooth and architectural, seeming almost man-made.

In the rocks around them, we can just glimpse relics from the Old World -- buried under thousands of years of rock formation and evolution -- treasures deep in the sediment.

Bit of New York -- a building -- a car -- a soda machine -- twisting subway tracks arching into the darkness.

And in the background a steady inhalation and exhalation -- a constant rasping and hollow moaning -- as if the Earth itself was breathing.

And the low thrum of machinery.

ALEXANDER Machines?

VOX Yes.

ALEXANDER Do you know which way?

Vox stands frozen... his nightmares coming back to haunt him.

ALEXANDER Vox?

VOX This way.

They begin to move through a tunnel...

INT. MORLOCK CAVES - SUBWAY TUNNEL - DAY

Although he doesn't know it -- and such a thing would be unknown to him anyway -- Alexander and Vox are traveling down the remains of a decaying New York City subway tunnel.

They pass bits of crumbling tile on the wall -- the letters "I.R.T." and "42nd Street" are just visible through years of grime and geological growth.

They move toward the next chamber, the source of the strange breathing and mechanical sounds seems to be coming from this new chamber...

They emerge on a ledge high above...

INT. MORLOCK CAVES - MACHINERY CAVERN - DAY

Alexander and Vox peer down, hidden.

If Alexander had the knowledge of its existence he would know he is above the sunken remains of Madison Square Garden. The whole Garden has fallen in on itself at some points, at others the cathedral of metal girders support the ceiling high above.

The air around them vibrates and whooshes, the breathing sound roaring. And at last Alexander can see the source...

Machines. Towering, sweating, industrial. A network of enormous pipes and electrical cables and air channels like the circulator system of a body that twist off in every direction. A sweatshop Hell. A mechanized Dante's Inferno of wood and leather and steel.

And the Morlocks are working. All the machines are powered by the brute strength of the Morlocks alone. They labor among the hellish machines -- slowly turning great wheels and pulling at enormous bellows and hauling ropes and grinding levers. They are nightmare figures of a Bosch painting.

Alexander looks down in amazement.

ALEXANDER What's it all for?

VOX The air... the power.

ALEXANDER Why did they built it?

VOX The Morlocks didn't build this.

Alexander looks at him.

VOX Alexander... Listen to me, it was wrong to bring you. You're not going to find what you're looking for.

ALEXANDER What do you mean?

VOX (grim) Trust me... You don't want to see any more.

A beat.

ALEXANDER Show me.

Vox looks at him for a moment. And leads him down another tunnel...

INT. MORLOCK CAVES - HALL OF BONES - DAY

The tunnel gradually opens out, getting wider and wider, opening to a vast chamber...

And as the tunnel opens out, they get a stunning perspective of the whole...

Bones. Skeletons. The entire chamber is a vast necropolis.

They are standing in an enormous hall entirely made up of Eloi bones and skulls and rib cages and complete skeletons. Some buried deep into the sediment -- some reaching out for them like grisly nightmare images -- an entire sweeping wall of skulls on one side. At other places the bones glisten wetly, fresh kill.

Here and there around the chamber holes drop away to blackness, gaping chasms.

A silent beat as they take in the horror everywhere around them.

VOX The slaughterhouse.

Alexander looks around, shattered.

VOX They raise them like cattle... Feed them until they're ready and then hunt them.

ALEXANDER No...

VOX (a whisper) How are your dreams now?

His words hang in the air for a moment as Alexander takes in the gruesome chamber.

ALEXANDER This has to end.

VOX End...?

ALEXANDER This has to end.

Vox looks at him.

VOX May I help you?

Before Alexander can respond --

The ground beside them suddenly EXPLODES up -- bones fly --

Morlocks ERUPT up from the ground -- Alexander tries to resist -- but he is quickly overpowered --

A Morlock grabs Vox and BRUTALLY flings him aside -- Vox falls into a gaping hole -- sailing down -- SLAMMING against the sides of the abyss -- his body RECOILING grotesquely like a rag doll, shattered -- he CRASHES to the bottom of the chasm, lies still --

Above, a Morlock leans over the defeated Alexander, he opens his enormous jaws wide and screeches down at Alexander, inches away, Alexander can see into his throat.

INT. MORLOCK CAVES - EVOLVING TUNNEL - DAY

Two Morlocks are leading Alexander down a long, sloping tunnel, deeper and deeper and deeper. But this tunnel is different.

It evolves from the natural subterranean and bone caves of the Morlocks to rough walls and then walls with decaying frescos and tapestries. It is as if Alexander is walking through a microcosm of man's development.

A tall figure is waiting ahead of them in the deep darkness of the tunnel. The Morlocks stop, Alexander as well.

Alexander peers at the figure, trying to see. Too dark.

Then a voice. Surprisingly gentle.

GENTLE VOICE I won't be what you expect...

A beat.

GENTLE VOICE We're not really so different, you and I.

Then a light. A pulsing bio-electric glow radiates from the figure, illuminating it from within, and Alexander sees...

The UBER-MORLOCK OVERLORD.

The Uber-Morlocks are strange creatures. The centuries of living deep underground without any physical activity have left them anemic and enervated. They are fragile, weak, elongated creatures. Their skin is almost translucent -- like bizarre mutations of a man and a silverfish.

A beat as Alexander takes in this eerie figure. The Overlord bears a disturbing resemblance to Dean Fulton.

OVERLORD It's bio-electric illumination. Like certain deep sea creatures from your own time.

He moves to Alexander. The Uber-Morlocks move slowly, almost having lost ambulatory power. The Overlord stops close. Studies Alexander. Then smiles.

OVERLORD Come... see your future.

He ushers Alexander into...

INT. UBER-MORLOCK CHAMBERS - DAY

A breathtaking cacophony of the past and the future.

A serpentine honeycomb of chambers that combine a Victorian Jules Verne sense of the "future" with artifacts from our world: obelisks of cars and computers; towers of scientific equipment alongside rotting advertising posters and preserved animals floating in huge tanks.

Mammoth columns of decaying books soaring up like monoliths. Vast towers of enormous tomes of every description.

Here and there in the murky darkness of the network of rooms we see flickering lights -- decaying power cables -- the hum and sputter of some machinery in the shadows.

The Overlord slowly leads Alexander through the network of chambers, past the amazing artifacts.

OVERLORD What's your name?

ALEXANDER Alexander.

OVERLORD Well, Alexander, as a fellow scientist I know you have a thousand questions --

ALEXANDER You came underground when the world was ending above. And you evolved. Some into the Morlocks and others --

OVERLORD No, we created the Morlocks.

ALEXANDER Created?

OVERLORD You wouldn't understand. We genetically engineered the Morlock class to serve our needs.

ALEXANDER As slaves.

OVERLORD To work the machines and build the tunnels. You can't imagine what it was like when it all started. We survived for millennia, scraping the lichen and microscopic organisms from the rock with our teeth and digging for water with our nails. Endlessly. For generations. And we... became.

The Overlord continues to lead Alexander through the chambers, the two Morlocks following. Alexander can see that the Morlocks are clearly terrified by the Overlord.

A few other Uber-Morlocks lurk in the darkness of the corners and high walls of the chambers.

OVERLORD And centuries later when we tried to emerge into the sun again, we couldn't. Our adaptation was too successful. We survived... we endured... for this.

ALEXANDER How do you control the Morlocks?

OVERLORD We make them see what we wish.

ALEXANDER How?

OVERLORD As our bodies atrophied our minds... compensated.

The two Morlocks following suddenly stop -- mind control from the Overlord freezing them in their tracks.

The Overlord continues to walk with Alexander.

ALEXANDER And what of the Eloi?

OVERLORD They survived above. Became what they are.

ALEXANDER No... they didn't survive only to be your food. You did that.

OVERLORD I'm afraid your indignation is lost here. I have no more "human" response to the Eloi then you would have to a carrot. It's just how we live now.

ALEXANDER But this is barbaric! Have you completely lost all sense of --

OVERLORD (stops, calm) And who are you, Alexander? Who are you to question thousands of years of evolution? This is the world now. I am fact.

ALEXANDER It can't all be like this...

They continue walking.

OVERLORD Underground and above. Light and dark. Predator and prey. There is nothing else. There is not even a desire for anything else. We have finally arrived at... stasis. Which brings us to the problem of you... You can see that you have no place here. Your blood, your offspring, your ideas just don't belong anymore. So...

They round a corner to another chamber.

And the Time Machine is sitting before them.

OVERLORD ... You're free to go.

A stunning bell tower looms through the sediment just above the Time Machine. It is a huge clock face from the front of some long lost building. The huge bell silent. The hands still for generations.

ALEXANDER What?

OVERLORD Go back to where you came from. Or die here.

ALEXANDER Why would you let me go back?

OVERLORD Because the past is immutable. Frozen. Dead... And you are the past.

A beat as the Overlord gazed at Alexander dispassionately.

ALEXANDER Say I just come back again?

OVERLORD Alexander, yours is a world of brocade and velvet, not tooth and claw. Why would you come back to this? To save a few cattle? No.

ALEXANDER I could tell them. Warm them of what's to come.

The Overlord gazed at him deeply. Then with strange poignancy.

OVERLORD Please, warn them. No one will ever believe... we have come to this.

Then a weak voice, echoing from the darkness down the corridor...

MARA'S VOICE Alexander...

Alexander spins around -- races across the chamber -- the Overlord slowly follows --

And Alexander discovers Mara, almost lost in the incredibly Baroque chaos of the chamber. She is hanging on a wall, leather straps holding her in place. Filthy plastic IV tubes connect her to some chugging medical equipment.

Alexander reaches up to grasp her hand, can just reach her.

ALEXANDER Mara...

Mara weakly raises her head -- a shocking sight -- already her skin is becoming strangely translucent, her veins beginning to show through.

ALEXANDER No...

Mara tries to speak, cannot. Alexander stands for a beat, holding her hand. Then, without turning:

ALEXANDER Why?

OVERLORD We have lost the capacity to reproduce. But the species must continue.

ALEXANDER So you take their best...

OVERLORD When a creature shows too much independent thought we remove them from the gene pool. We're breeding them for submission. Soon they will be fully domesticated.

ALEXANDER (quietly) You took her because she helped me.

OVERLORD Yes. Initiative and daring are not desirable traits in the Eloi. But you should be happy for her. She won't remember the creature she was. She will... become.

A beat. Alexander looks up at Mara deeply.

OVERLORD She won't remember you. None of them will. You will be forgotten. That is how history works.

ALEXANDER A man can change his history.

OVERLORD After all you've seen... after man's entire journey... you still believe that?

Alexander slowly turns to the Overlord, his eyes burning, his fury mounting.

OVERLORD Now will you go?

ALEXANDER No...

Alexander steps towards the Overlord, threatening.

ALEXANDER This has to end.

The Overlord steps back. A frail creature, he is no match for Alexander.

He has no defense. But for one.

OVERLORD Her name... was Emma.

Alexander stops.

OVERLORD If I can only find the right door... the lady or the tiger...

ALEXANDER No...

OVERLORD It's always the tiger for you, Alexander, haven't you learned that by now?...

He glances to Mara, strapped to the wall, her head hanging limp.

OVERLORD ... It wasn't possible then and it isn't possible now...

The Overlord slowly moves to Alexander, his eyes burning into Alexander's, his voice low and steady, hypnotic.

OVERLORD Past... present... future... it's all the same ribbon. You can't change a thing. Not a moment. Not a molecule... You never could.

The Overlord is very close. A whisper:

OVERLORD You came 800,000 years not to relive it. But you are reliving it. How can you watch it again?

Alexander looks at him, pain in his eyes.

OVERLORD Go... before it's too late... Accept what is destined to be. Go back to your own time. The future's finished for you...

Alexander looks at Mara. Then he slowly turns his back on her and steps to the Time Machine.

OVERLORD That's right... go back... Tell them of your journey. Of your destiny. This was all... meant to be.

Alexander stands at the Time Machine.

Then he reaches forward and gently throws the Time Machine's control lever --

The Overlord is stunned --

Alexander withdraws his hand and turns to the Overlord.

ALEXANDER Not this time.

A high-pitched whine -- building -- the world undulates around the Time Machine --

And then it is gone.

The Overlord gapes at Alexander.

OVERLORD That was a foolish thing to do.

ALEXANDER I'm a foolish man.

Alexander begins to circle the Overlord.

OVERLORD I could have a hundred Morlocks here in thirty seconds.

ALEXANDER I know.

OVERLORD Does this prove something to you? Have you made some great stand of which I'm unaware?

Alexander continues to circle, the Overlord matching him.

ALEXANDER I'm tired of running.

OVERLORD Oh, you won't be running for long...

Alexander stops. The Overlord stops as well. The Overlord is now standing where the Time Machine was. A tense stand off.

OVERLORD But you've earned a reward for your valor. I think you should become. You'll like it here. Once you get used to the darkness.

ALEXANDER I don't think that's going to happen.

OVERLORD And why not?

ALEXANDER Because...

He smiles.

ALEXANDER Time's up.

Before the Overlord can react -- a buzzing sound -- the world undulating around him -- his eyes shoot wide with realization --

And the Time Machine reappears -- appearing through the Overlord -- the Overlord is torn apart -- the Time Machine forcing it's way through his body --

Splat.

The spacial and auditory vibration caused by the reappearance of the Time Machine cascades through the chamber -- and the great clock face above suddenly shifts -- its bell tolling loudly -- the bell swaying back and forth unsteadily --

Alexander races to Mara -- urgently tearing her from the wall -- she collapses down into his arms --

As the huge clock begins to crumble from the wall --

Alexander turns to see --

The great clock face finally falling --

On top of the Time Machine. Smashing it to pieces.

Alexander gathers Mara up and begins racing out of the chamber.

Another Uber-Morlock reaches for them from the shadows -- Alexander easily knocks the anemic creature aside and continues on.

INT. MORLOCK CAVES - HALL OF BONES - DAY

Alexander is carrying Mara quickly through the grisly Hall of Bones, trying to remember his way out --

Then a hulking figure appears ahead of him. And another. Two Morlocks. Alexander quickly sets Mara down and snatches up a bone to use as a weapon.

The two Morlocks circle him, almost toying with him -- then they attack -- Alexander fights them but is almost immediately overpowered -- they roughly shove him to his knees, preparing to dispatch him when --

A voice, Vox:

VOX That's quite enough of that, you great bloated ticks.

The Morlocks spin to Vox, surprised -- he stands proudly a few feet away -- Alexander instantly drives up and SLAMS into one of the Morlocks --

The other springs for Vox -- jaws snapping -- Vox thrusts up an arm -- the Morlock crashes into him -- clamping his jaws down on Vox's forearms -- they fall to the ground --

Alexander fights with his Morlock as best he can -- but he is woefully overpowered -- the Morlock slashes at him --

The other Morlock continues to bite down on Vox's forearm -- Vox smiles --

VOX That's titanium, you idiot.

He powers forward with his other hand and grabs the Morlock's throat, squeezing the life out of him as the Morlock slashes at him brutally --

Meanwhile, Alexander is having a bad time of it -- the Morlock springs away from him into the darkness of the chamber -- clinging to the walls and scaling along them quickly like a spider -- and then vaults back and slashes at Alexander -- Alexander spins -- wounded -- falls.

The Morlock hunches, coiling for the kill --

Alexander rolls over, pulling something from his vest -- a box of matches -- the Morlock races forward to destroy him --

Alexander desperately strikes a match -- a sudden phosphorescent flare from the match -- the Morlock stops, stunned, blinded for a moment --

And then the Morlock jerks, stiffens -- amazed -- as Vox's titanium arm shoots through him from behind -- Vox's fist explodes through the Morlock's chest.

Vox jerks his hand free as the Morlock falls.

Then a look of surprise passes across Vox's face... he sinks to his knees.

ALEXANDER Vox --

VOX Imagine that... seems that little devil got my power relays...

Viscous fluid begins to trickle down his face plate.

VOX (smiles) Takes a licking but keeps on ticking... (his head jerks oddly) ... For a while anyway.

ALEXANDER What can I do? Tell me what to do.

VOX Nothing to do, I'm afraid. I'm just a librarian after all. Wasn't exactly made for all this swashbuckling. Very Byronic end, though. I appreciate that. Do you know Byron?

ALEXANDER Vox...

VOX I'm babbling. Good to have someone to talk to for a change... But you need to go. Take her out of here... (he jerks again, in pain) ... I don't have long.

ALEXANDER I won't leave you like this.

VOX Go back to the light. You weren't made for this. I was... I was made for this moment.

ALEXANDER I don't understand.

VOX I'm going to end it, Alexander. As we discussed...

He touches the red glow of the reactor in his chest.

VOX ... It'll only take a moment. One interrupted circuit, a few atoms smashing together and this will all be history. I'll give you as much time as I can... help me up.

Alexander helps Vox to his feet.

VOX Now get out of my sight, you hideous primate.

ALEXANDER I'll never forget this.

VOX I should hope not... (he jerks again in pain) ... Alexander... Make them read my books. Tell them who they are. Who they could be.

ALEXANDER I will...

A difficult beat.

VOX Tick-tick-tick -- better scamper along now.

Alexander picks up Mara and sprints off.

Vox slowly turns toward the Machinery Cavern.

INT. MORLOCK CAVES - SUBWAY TUNNEL - DAY

Alexander makes his way with Mara up the decaying subway tunnel.

Meanwhile --

INT. MORLOCK CAVES - MACHINERY CAVERN - DAY

The Morlocks are absorbed in their mindless toil, as they have been for generations. Slaving and sweating at the great machines.

Vox slowly limps into the chamber. He is near the end, fluid flowing down his face, moving with difficulty.

The Morlocks notices him, surprised. Vox just continues to limp into the center of the cavern.

The Morlocks begin to surround him, circling him, predatory.

Vox looks at the Morlocks surrounding him. He smiles.

VOX May I help you?

Then he reaches deep into his gaping chest cavity --

And the world explodes --

A terrific reaction -- a cascading shock wave that tears through the chamber -- the entire cavern begins to implode from the violent percussions --

INT. MORLOCK CAVES - HALL OF BONES - DAY

The shock wave from the explosion rips through the slaughterhouse -- destroying everything --

INT. UBER-MORLOCK CHAMBERS - DAY

The shock wave tears through the chambers. The entire Uber Morlock world crumbles, burying the artifacts of man's past in an avalanche of rock.

INT. MORLOCK CAVES - SUBWAY TUNNEL - DAY

Alexander hears the shock wave nearing -- the world dissolving as the caverns collapse behind him -- he sprints forward with Mara -- the subway tunnels twist and writhe and implode behind him --

Alexander sees sunlight ahead -- the way out -- he speeds toward the light --

EXT. CLIFFS - DAY

Alexander races with Mara into the blinding sunlight -- emerging from the gaping tunnel leading to the Morlock's caves --

Just as the final tunnels collapse behind them.

Alexander sinks to his knees and looks back.

Dust and boulders and earth. Vox has done it. The Morlock world is no more.

EXT. ELOI VILLAGE - NIGHT

Fires burn through the night.

The Eloi are standing, amazed, not believing what they see...

Alexander and Mara. Alive.

They walk through the stunned Eloi without a word. Kalen emerges from his house and runs to them.

Slow fade to...

INT./ EXT. FIELD/ALEXANDER'S HOUSE - DAY/NIGHT

Alexander walks with Mara and Kalen across a green, grassy field.

ALEXANDER ... Well, you wanted to see it.

KALEN This is it?

ALEXANDER Around here.

He stops.

ALEXANDER (smiles) Yes. Just about here.

KALEN But there's nothing here.

MARA It was different then.

ALEXANDER My laboratory was about... here. And the kitchen was over there, where that tree is. Mrs. Watchit wouldn't allow me in much... but, yes, this is about the kitchen.

They continue to move around the world that was Alexander's house as we become aware of something else...

Almost like ghosts at first. Philby and Mrs. Watchit. Moving around Alexander's house in 1899. Then we see the house and the field simultaneously. The same space, centuries apart.

MRS. WATCHIT I don't know what to tell you, sir. He's been gone this whole week.

PHILBY And you've no idea where he went?

MRS. WATCHIT No, sir.

Philby smiles. They move into the study...

ALEXANDER And this would be my study. There was an elm tree outside the window then.

PHILBY I'm glad.

MRS. WATCHIT Sir?

PHILBY I'm glad he's gone. Maybe he's finally found a place where he can be happy.

ALEXANDER This... was my home.

PHILBY His home.

Alexander puts an arm around Mara. At peace with his past. And his future.

ALEXANDER Long ago.

Alexander, Mara and Kalen and their time slowly disappear as we fully come to...

INT. ALEXANDER'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Mrs. Watchit leads Philby to the front door.

PHILBY You know, Molly and I were talking about engaging a nanny for Jamie. Someone to live with us and take care of the boy. Would you be interested?

They stop at the front door. Mrs. Watchit looks back at the empty house for a moment. Then turns to Philby.

MRS. WATCHIT I think I might be. But there'll be some changes made. I run a tight house.

PHILBY (smiles) I have no doubt of that. I'll come by in the morning and we'll arrange it. Goodnight, Mrs. Watchit.

MRS. WATCHIT Goodnight, Mr. Philby.

He goes.

Mrs. Watchit gently closes the door and turns back to the empty house. She stands for a moment and then, quietly:

MRS. WATCHIT Godspeed, my fine lad, Godspeed...

EXT. ALEXANDER'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Philby walks away from the house, stops, takes one look back.

And he looks up at the moon for a moment.

Then he takes his bowler hat off and flings it away.

He smiles.

And continues away.

FADE OUT.

/ The Time Machine.
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