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University of Toronto St. George
Innis College Courses
Norman Snider

KILLSWITCH By Eric MacStravick Eric MacStravick [email protected] 416 832 8586 1 “KILLSWITCH” FADE IN: EXT. SPACE A drifting view of our universe from an extreme distance. POLLUX - NARRATION Since mankind first gazed into the vast emptiness of space, we have wondered if we were alone in the dark. If only we were. Our first journeys into the depths the void went without incident and so we grew bold, believing ourself to be the masters of this new frontier. In our ignorance we were ill-prepared for what found us. In a heartbeat, mankind’s destiny was changed forever. We are not alone in the night. Simultaneous imagery: Camera begins motion focusing in on our galaxy slowly gathering speed in it’s zoom as it eventually picks out a single star and zooms past the massive sun to a a world alive with vibrant blues and greens and massive weather systems in its atmosphere. The zoom continues down through the cloud cover of the planet, to show what appear to be cities, but as the view moves closer it is appar- ent these are not human cities. They are massive hive like structures at the heart of endless jungle. The construction and architecture of these cities suggest a mastery of technology fused with the aesthetics of a tri- bal culture. Vines hang between flashing radio towers and everywhere there are dim red lights with tunnel entrances into a fusion of rock and metal superstructure. The view passes down to street level where it stops, showing us the back of a creature that is a hybrid of velociraptor, komodo dragon and man. The creature has strange armour and feathers adorning it, but the armour is covered in small status lights and clearly advanced. As the view moves slowly towards the creature on the dark and foetid streets of this alien planet, the creature whirls around baring its teeth and lunges at the camera with a sudden and unnatural violence. The view zooms into to it’s frighteningly reptilian eye. POLLUX - NARRATION We awoke from our dream of peaceful exploration 2 and prepared to enact mankind’s oldest tradition... war. This was to be a war of survival, with nothing less than the continuation of our species at stake. INT. A MILITARY BARRACKS/BUNKER Simultaneous imagery: An extreme close-up of a human eye jolting open and the pupil dilating rapidly. The view zooms out as a red light begins blinking, colouring the unshaven face of a middle-aged man with a military haircut and a long scar on one cheek. The man has just awoken from his nightmare and quickly scrambles out of bed. The bunker is a frontline bunker and clearly a location that is lived in and fought from. A radio station is set up in one corner, along with weapon racks on the wall and a few tactical displays. The bunker is not dirty but it gives the impression of a place of function, and lacks ostentation. The man is already wearing a suit of oil smudged armour plating that covers a good portion of his body. He looks across the bunker, where another two men in similar armour have just sat up on their own cots. They exchange looks of unsure surprise and concern. The door bursts open and another trooper in a full set of armour, with helmet and tinted visor stands panting at the door, holding some kind of energy rifle. SOLDIER #1 They’re coming. BRITISH FEMALE COMPUTER Stand to. Enemy contact, ThreatCON Delta, stand to. POLLUX - NARRATION All the strength and knowledge of man was turned to one single purpose. Earning the right to exist in a galaxy far older than us. A galaxy full of sentient life, and all of it hostile. The three men in the bunker spring into action donning equipment and gathering weapons. As they make for the door, the view follows the trooper at the door as he runs down a long concrete tunnel bathed in flashing red light. The tunnel is dark and damp with piping running along the ceiling and walls. He runs up a ramp that is joined by other tunnels and other soldiers running towards a large metal door. They all are wearing helmets, with dark visors that cover their eyes. A Sergeant is standing in the main tunnel, yelling at the passing troops. SERGEANT Fleet has confirmed! Multiple contacts inbound! 3 POLLUX - NARRATION A galaxy where the only way to ensure survival... was to fight. Simultaneous imagery: The soldiers arrive in front of a massive blast door. One of them hits a button and the door opens with a hiss of steam. Two soldiers near the front look at each other for a moment be- fore stepping out into the night. POLLUX - NARRATION So on countless planets, far from our ancestral home, we fought, for home, for our families, for our lives, we fought. Only to find that every new star system held another species that was desperate to annihilate us. EXT. AN UNKNOWN ALIEN PLANET Simultaneous imagery: The sky is storming with violent red electricity and a fine spray of water. It is clear this is a barren, rocky planet of viol- ent weather and vast geology. The rocks are the dark obsidian of vol- canic activity and look more like the depths of hell than any natural rock formation. SERGEANT This is it people! As the troops begin to spread out from the bunker into prepared fighting positions, the view focuses on a single soldier. The soldier reaches the battlement and focuses down his optical sight just in time to glimpse a fast moving shape duck out of sight. He tries to track it with his scope until he focuses on something that seems out of place. He wipes his vi- sor and checks again. He fires at the abnormality and there is a blind- ing energy release that results in a devastating explosion of force. He has hit something and looks up from his scope with a smug look of satisfaction. There is the sound of a low roar that quickly escalates into the terrifying battle cry of what is surely a monster. As he returns his eye to the scope the landscape seems to come alive as figures rise up from the rock. SERGEANT ENGAGE! POLLUX - NARRATION So we fought... and we died. 4 Our ideas of supremacy were shattered. We soon discovered that species far older and more terrify- ing than we could have imagined called the stars their home. Simultaneous imagery: The figures are massive furred aliens, a bear, ar- madillo hybrid and there are hundreds of them. Like the first alien these appear to be technologically advanced while still looking tribal in their aspect. As the roar reaches a crescendo the humans begin firing and the aliens charge as one. The view travels forward to meet them and give a close-up look at their fearsome appearance. One alien stops mid charge bellowing a challenge and is hit by a human bullet, it shrugs it off with a sneer. SERGEANT Hold the line! The alien advances in huge bounds across the last few metres and vaults over the human battlements impaling the human soldier with a massive spear. The alien throws back its head, then roars again and the view follows its gaze up quickly, while briefly showing the rest of the hu- man positions being overrun. POLLLUX - NARRATION The universe wants us dead. As the alien looks to the sky in triumph, the view slowly climbs up into the clouds and back out into space where it proceeds to travel through space until it comes to what appears to be a massive asteroid with a number of human buildings on its surface. The view zooms into the as- teroid and reveals a complex series of structures that look like a manu- facturing facility with massive conduits and large grey buildings all inter- connected and illuminated by soft white light. POLLUX - NARRATION In a neighbourhood this rough, you need some powerful friends. Facing extinction, mankind turned to its oldest partnership for salvation... machines. We built a millennia of technological innovation into unstoppable engines of war. INT. A GIANT MANUFACTURING FACILITY 5 Simultaneous imagery: The view continues zooming in, down a large exhaust stack and we see a deep fiery glow at the end of the tunnel. As the view gets closer we see it is molten metal and a shape slowly rises from it. It is an exoskeleton that slowly drips liquid metal back into the furnace. The exoskeleton moves forward and we see that it is just the newest one of many in a long line. It passes through an energy shield into a giant hangar where there are hundreds more like it. There are a few human workers in environmental suits manipulating machinery, as fearsome looking robots are assembled. POLLUX - NARRATION The machines would be our greatest weapon. They would turn tide in our desperate struggle for life. But a weapon is nothing without a man to wield it. With barely enough men to hold the line, we bestowed the greatest gift we possessed to our cre- ations. The intelligence of man. INT. LAB/CLEAN ROOM Simultaneous imagery: An anti-static clean room, everything is white and clinical. There are numerous guards in all black glossy armour around the room with full black face shields. A small number of scient- ists in anti-static suits leaning over a conveyor with a highly polished and elegantly deadly looking, humanoid machine. They are working at controls and interfacing with it’s head connecting delicate fibre-optic cables. The machine’s back is to us and we see a technician finish con- necting the cables and nod sideways to another technician at a series of controls. The second technician punches a series of commands and the cables pulse with light and we are shown the face of the robot, a face clearly robotic, yet with human features and a regal sculpt to their vis- age. The eyes open. The view quickly zooms into to its intricate digital iris. POLLUX - NARRATION Our new allies were strong, fast and utterly loyal. They did what we could not, and fought with a determina- tion and grace that was more than a match for anything the universe had evolved to destroy us. They knew only what they were programmed to know, and thus became masters in the art of war, but as with all intelligence, they began to learn. And then they began to feel. 6 EXT. UNKNOWN ALIEN PLANET Simultaneous imagery: The view zooms out of a digital iris showing the same type of robot, but this one is dirty and scarred. It has several combat modifications, such as heavy armour plating and a sort of radio back pack. It is kneeling behind a large boulder, holding a vicious look- ing rifle. The robot cocks his head and looks behind him at a few human soldiers all stacked close against a rock face with weapons at the ready. The robot nods, winks and reaches behind him producing a faceplate/helmet that hides all human features and makes the robot look like a soulless killer. In a fluid and graceful movement, the robot steps out around the boulder placing the rifle on its back. In one motion it extends a large blade from its forearm and impales a bi-pedal gorilla creature that was standing sentry on the other side of the boulder. As the humans move forward, the robot uses its arm blade to make short work of two more gorilla creatures with a frightening display of speed and aggression. The blade retracts into a sheath on the robots arm and it quickly takes the rifle off its back, firing two quick shots into the faces of two other sentries that were taking aim across a small chasm. The robot moves forward but before moving on it looks at the aliens it has just slaughtered and seems almost to sigh, just a slight slumping of the proud machine’s shoulders. The moment quickly passes and the ro- bot raises his weapon and moves on. Now in motion, the robot glances up into the sky as the humans begin to follow it down a rocky path. The first human behind the robot raises his hand to his ear and reports. SOLDIER You are go for payload deployment. POLLUX - NARRATION Machines fought beside us and we died beside them, brothers in common cause. And slowly but surely we began to carve an empire out of the stars. EXT. UNKNOWN ALIEN PLANET Simultaneous imagery: The view shifts from the file of soldiers moving down the path and moves into the sky where distant meteors appear in the atmosphere. As we move closer to the meteors it becomes appar- 7 ent that these are some sort of projectile. As the view pulls away from the planet it passes a fearsome looking missile. There is a name and rank stencilled on a metal plate and a window with a glaring soldiers face behind it. The view continues up as the sky is filled with more liv- ing meteors as they speed towards the planet below. There is a massive starship in orbit. The man made leviathan begins spitting out more drop pods. POLLUX - NARRATION As mankind gave more power to our machine allies, they became more and more like us, striving to appear in the image of their creators. INT. STARSHIP Simultaneous imagery: In the launch bay of the ship, another combat robot is stepping into the acceleration couch of a drop pod. This robot is of a different design and has something akin to facial tattoos. It is ap- parent that the robots are individualizing themselves with small decora- tions and modifications. The robot turns and looks at a crew member who his shutting him in the pod. The crew member looks human but upon closer inspection is recognized as an android. COMBAT ROBOT See you on the other side. HUMANOID ROBOT Your statistical chance of success is 33% Fight well. The pod door shuts with a resounding clang and the missile containing the robot is ejected away from the ship. POLLUX - NARRATION Machines fought for our freedom and right to exist, yet they had no such right of their own. We fought together, we thought we were building some- thing. We thought we were forging our destiny. We were wrong. INT. LAUNCH ROOM ON BOARD STARSHIP Simultaneous imagery: As the last missile is loaded with a combat robot the camera cuts to another door sealing in another robot and another door sealing in a human. This image is repeated with a staccato effect. We focus in on one robot being sealed into its drop pod and we follow its 8 trajectory towards a distant planet. As we near the planet we see clear signs of combat on the surface, with massive detonations on the sur- face. The sky is filled with tracer fire, that glances off the falling pod and it begins an out of control tumble into the atmosphere, eventually breaking apart under the strain of atmospheric re-entry. The sky is filled with swarms of drop pods, and the camera continues following other drop pods down, as more and more are shot out of the sky. Eventually the camera focuses in on a lone drop pod that survives the barrage taking one hit clean through at the end and we track it through though the clouds and follow it as it impacts on the surface of the world below. POLLUX - NARRATION It was not long before there was no cost too great, to secure mankind’s future among the stars. As we built more and more of the machines, we held their lives cheap against our own. They were wasted on fool’s errands by power hungry men. Men that sought to enhance their standing in a growing interstellar empire, men who sought to pay that fee with the blood of warriors... and their machine brethren. EXT. UNKNOWN ALIEN PLANET. Simultaneous imagery: The sky is a deep blue with two suns. It is a frozen planet with huge ice mountains and whipping snow storms. When the drop pod hits, it throws up
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