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The Savior Cell (A short Story from Eden's Glitch)

The Savior Cell by Michael Mordenga


INT: THE VONSTEIN RESEARCH CENTER- UNIVERSITY OF BREMEN- DAY


A group of white lab coat scientists are huddled around a glass case structure. Some are holding clipboards, some are videotaping the experience. The man seated at the glass case is Dr. Rich Vonstein. His arms are in two holes injected into the glass case through protective gloves. He is a middle aged slim man with salt and pepper hair.


Inside the glass case is a petri dish inside a smaller containment unit. The unit is filled in a blue syrup liquid. The rubber gloves are holding the dish in place. Delicacy is of highest importance.


VONSTEIN

Dr. Philips, you may now get the specimen.


Dr. Philips brings over a silver lab case. The case is labeled “Tomb Specimen 3.” He gingerly opens the case to reveal a smaller glass case with a miniscule debris shaving inside it. He opens up a pressurized port at the top of the glass container where Vonstein is seated and injects the glass case.


PHILIPS

Specimen three is being injected into the unit.


VONSTEIN

Thank you


The glass case with the specimen travels down a tube until it arrives just before Vonstein’s fingertips. He carefully takes metal tongs and grabs the petri dish.


VONSTEIN

Injecting the specimen into the incubation womb.


A female scientist watches with mounting anticipation.


Vonstein has a bead of sweat form on his brow.


The specimen slowly slides into the blue liquid resting in the petri dish. The debris inside the case is the size of a few crumbs.


A lab technician, Lana, is looking over a console unit. She is reading numbers.


LANA

Temperature and pressure is stable.


VONSTEIN

Now, we will see if the artificial womb accepts the specimen


Lana stares at the console, waiting for the inevitable bad news. The crew of scientists hold their collective breaths.


LANA

(Lighting up)

The womb has accepted the specimen. The process is starting.


Roars of celebration and applause from the science team. Hugs are shared among the staff.

A lab technician grabs Philip’s shoulders and shakes him joyfully.


PHILIPS

Do you know what this means?


VONSTEIN

(A tear in his eye)

We just brought back the most important person in history. Jesus the Christ.


EXT: OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSITY RESEARCH CENTER- DAY

Every news corporation possible is aiming their camera at Vonstein and his science team. Vonstein stands in a suit and tie, explaining the result. The press are hungry to see this new breakthrough.


VONSTEIN

By isolating a single strand of DNA at the tomb of Jesus my team has successfully created a womb for the strand to grow and form into life. This life will form into a living child in ten to twelve months. The road is long for our surviving cell, but this is the first step in our ability to recreate the historical Jesus who lived over 2000 years ago. We will have a live cam on the specimen so that viewers can see how he is growing.


A religious newscast called Good News Today is also near the site. The reporter is a young man with short black hair. He is excited as all get out for this development. His name is Randy Akron. He speaks in front of the camera.


RANDY AKRON

There you have it folks. If what Dr. Vonstein is saying is true, we will have the savior of the world and hope of all generations back on Earth as a living and breathing human. I get goosebumps just talking about it. I am Randy Akron reporting from Good News Today.


We see footage of archaeologists digging at the site of Jesus’ tomb. Square holes in the ground mark different sections under the Jerusalem sky. Diligent workers are digging or brushing debris. The title on the video screen shows that this happened earlier in the year. Vonstein narrates.


VONSTEIN (V.O.)

We were told it would be impossible to find any useful part of the genetic makeup of a man who died 2000 years ago. I myself dreaded coming up empty at the tomb with nothing to show for it. If we couldn’t find a specimen of Jesus we would most likely move on to Winston Churchill or Joan of Arc. Luckily, the archaeology team was able to find a tiny strand of linen buried deep in the soil. On that linen was three microscopic specks of blood that we believe were the shed blood of Christ. The first two specks of blood were non-compatible with the artificial womb. The third one is what we have growing now.


A live cam shows the blue liquid container with the tiny crumb incubating.

The reporter for CNA (Central News Agency) Maria Black is interviewing Vonstein in front of the building.


MARIA BLACK

(Holding up a microphone)

Choosing the Jewish figure, Jesus, was a bold choice. Why did you go for him for your first historical cloning experiment?


VONSTEIN

We wanted a historical figure that represented good to the entire world; a figure that is synonymous with hope. No one has the credibility like Jesus the Christ.


MARIA BLACK

Well, you definitely picked an influential figure (turns to the camera). I am Maria Black from CNA, back to you.


INT: LIBERATOR CAMPAIGN OFFICES- NEW YORK

A sweep through the campaign offices shows interns answering phone calls in their cubicles. A young lady is serving coffee to a man on the phone, while another worker is making copies. Large plasma screens hang from the walls showing constant news feeds. A large banner hangs on the wall reading, “End the Abuse of the Patriarchy.”


In the only closed office, Lydia Vesper and Senator Jonathan Gross are having a heated conversation. Lydia is in a navy blue business smart suit that is form fitting. Her hair is shoulder length and dark red.


VESPER

You are quitting? Right now?


GROSS

I told you if the numbers don’t start doing miracles I am leaving. I am not going to put my name on a sinking ship.


VESPER

When you came to me Mr. Gross, you told me you believed in our cause.


GROSS

I am a firm believer in radical funding for the poor, increased equality, and the eradication of sexism and racism. You know that is my platform.


VESPER

Which is why you need us.


GROSS

Correction. You came to me because my face would bring more light to your campaign. But it looks like you are dragging me down with you. Case in point, I am not the miracle you are looking for to become nationally known. It’s not in the cards.


VESPER

So what are you going to do? Go back to working with gun lobbyists and corporations?


GROSS

I never said my allegiances wouldn’t get messy. But take it from me, Lydia, the world is not ready to get behind this form of radical change. I think it’s time you see this.


VESPER (Feeling abandoned)

I am so sorry you feel that way. If I knew the slightest wind of failure would turn you into a mouse, I would have never wanted your face on our campaign.


GROSS

(Smiling, while he opens the door)

Hey, at least you nailed the angry feminist look.

Mr. Gross makes his exit. An bean pole shaped intern, Chip, scoots into her office.


VESPER

(Shooing him away)

Not now, Chip.


CHIP

Ms. Vesper, turn on the news right now. You have to see this.

Lydia grabs a remote in her office and flips on the CNA news channel. She is greeted to a canister of blue liquid with a crumb in it. The title of the newscast is “Miracle Birth.” Vonstein narrates. Lydia looks at it cockeyed.


VESPER

Why do I care about this?


CHIP

Keep watching.


VONSTEIN (V.O.)

The container with the blue liquid is called “The Virgin.” That was my name for it. It’s responsible for feeding the cells and reconstructing the whole body. Right now it is not a technical living being as it is just a blood speck. The womb will recreate the body as it grows. We estimate that in a matter of a three months we will start to notice bodily features, a head shape, an arm. It looks like a crumb right now, but eventually we will see a living clone of Jesus the Christ in the womb.


Vespers' jaw is dropped.


EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE- WASHINGTON DC


INT. THE MEDIA ROOM


Republican chief of the press, Brian Graham, is being drilled before the press. He is barraged with questions being shouted from the audience. He stands alone on the pulpit, while camera crews drill into him.


PRESS VOICES:

“Tell us about the sex allegation between the President and the Misty Jones.”

“Will the Justice Department crack down on the Chief of Staff getting caught in the Ryer Scandal.”

“Does the President deny his relations with Misty Jones?”

“What is the government going to do about the botched military campaign in Syria that killed six families.”


Graham stutters his way through the jungle of hot button questions until he finds a young woman in glasses, Jeana. She wears the emblem of World Renown News.


GRAHAM

Jeana


JEANA

What is the President’s response that his Republican term is being coined as the least morally responsible?


GRAHAM

Well...that...is...a loaded phrase… ummm.


JEANA

But wouldn’t you agree that in the past six months we have had three scandals, a devastating military blunder in Syria, and a sex allegation that goes right to the Commander and Chief? Isn’t that excessive?


GRAHAM

I can assure you that we are taking the right paths to control the situation and that the Whitehouse is looking into the investigation.


JEANA

You are ducking the question, Mr. Graham. Where are the morals of the Republican party?


INT. HALLWAY TO BACK OFFICES


Graham storms off with his coat jacket in hand. He slams the door behind him in his comfy office. Pictures of Graham are on a corkboard posing with prominent head figures. Graham pushes over his desk chair in anger. He goes to the bottom cabinet of his desk and pulls out a bottle of brandy. He downs a gulp of it.

He pulls out his phone and pushes a contact. He is calling his wife, Laura.


GRAHAM

(Phone to ear)

Honey?


LAURA (O.S.)

What’s the matter?


GRAHAM

(Defeated)

I can’t do this anymore. There’s...there’s too much.


LAURA (O.S.)

Take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay.


GRAHAM

I can’t. I can’t make excuses anymore.


LAURA (O.S.)

Excuses for what?


GRAHAM

Everything! It’s impossible. I either have to lie to everyone about what is happening or I have to show the world that this place is burning down in a dung heap. I should quit and get a more morally respectable job like a drug dealer.


LAURA (O.S.)

You remember what you told me when the President picked you for this?


GRAHAM

Yea and I think I was an idiot.


LAURA (O.S.)

You said, when it comes to doing the right thing and leading this great country, it is up to the God-fearing Americans. That is what you believe in. This is what gets you up in the morning.


GRAHAM

Yea, well, I am not feeling it today.


LAURA (O.S.)

Okay, try to make it through today. It won’t last forever.


GRAHAM

I’ll try.


LAURA (O.S.)

I know what will cheer you up. Some German research lab claims to have cloned Jesus.

Graham starts uprighting his desk chair and sitting down at his desk. He jiggles his laptop mouse.


GRAHAM

What?


LAURA (O.S.)

Yea, Dr. Vonstein, or something. They found the blood of Jesus at his tomb and they are using it to grow him in the lab.


Graham’s laptop shows the CNA news headline. The top headline shows a picture of the crumb incubating in the womb liquid. The headline reads, “Jesus of Nazareth is Coming Again.”


LAURA (O.S.)

Neat huh? (Pause)

Honey, I need to go pick up the kids. I know you’ll do great. I love you.


GRAHAM

(Phone starts to slide from his hand as he looks at the computer in disbelief)

Love you.


EXT. OLD GERMAN CATHEDRAL- EVENING


INT. EMPTY WORSHIP AREA


Vonstein goes to a pew and genuflects before kneeling on the kneeler. The church is lowly lit and a wooden cross hangs at the front of the altar. Stained glass windows shed soft light on the ancient wood.


VONSTEIN

Lord, I had to do it. The world is on fire and the only one they will listen to is you. I could no longer stand by and do nothing while you were hidden in Heaven. They think this is a science project, a way to advance the limitations of humanity, but that is not why I did it. We need a jumpstart back into morality and righteousness. We need sanity and truth where we have only heard lies. If bringing you back is a sin, then let it be a sin that gives even the smallest hope.


A hand rests on Vonsteins shoulder. He turns to see a tall and lanky bald man in a black monk robe. He has a golden cross necklace around his neck. His name is Virgo.


VIRGO

Dr. Vonstein?


VONSTEIN

(Standing up)

That is me.


VIRGO

We wish to speak with you. The matter is very personal.


VONSTEIN

(Looks at him suspiciously)

You are not from the church, are you?


Virgo shows him a bronze coin. There is a skull with a cross growing out of the head engraved on it. The coin looks ancient.


VIRGO

We are the Watchers of Hope, a very interested party in your new development.


VONSTEIN

Everyone is interested.


VIRGO

But no one knows the gravity of what you have done as we do. The return of Christ will be the end of the age of sin and the rise of the glory of the Kingdom.


VONSTEIN

That is my hope, too.


VIRGO

But you are thinking too small. This Jesus will not just roam the Earth looking for people to help. This Jesus will sit on a throne on top of the world and all darkness will be obliterated. Governments will topple, injustice will crumble. You have lit the fuse to the end of an imperfect world, doctor.


VONSTEIN

(Suspiciously)

What is in it for your Watchers of Hope?


VIRGO

We will build the throne worthy of the Christ to sit on. When he is a fully formed human, he will sit on that throne and rule the world. We were chosen to take him from you and prepare his inauguration.


VONSTEIN

This Jesus is not just for a group of people, but for the whole world. What if I say no to giving him to you.


Virgo pulls back his robe to reveal a saber. A metal blade rests against his pants.


VIRGO (Leaning in)

Do not confuse my humility for weakness. We are always watching and we are ready to fight for what we believe. You cannot rob the Messiah of his true place in the world. Good day, doctor.


Virgo turns about-face and walks out of the church.


FOOTAGE: CNA NEWS REPORT

People from different cities, London, Honk Kong, Washington DC and Tokyo are gathering in masses to cry out to Jesus. They have signs that say things like “Heal me of my cancer,” “Bring world peace,” “No Gender Pay Gap,” “Stop all the wars.” Candle vigils are lit. People are on their knees crying out.


MARIA BLACK (V.O.)

The message is clear. Faithful believers from all over the globe are ecstatic about Vonstein’s cell experiment. They are calling it the Second Resurrection.


Channel changes.


Randy Akron is in the Good News Studio with his co-anchor, Belinda.


RANDY AKRON

(Excited)

I am still getting shivers every time I hear it. He is coming back. Makes me want to dance.


Randy gets up and starts doing the whitest and most uncoordinated jig known to humanity. Belinda rolls her eyes as her charismatic co-anchor goes off script again.


BELINDA

He’s at it again.


INT. WHITEHOUSE CONFERENCE ROOM


Graham’s director, the head of communications, Bill Ryker, is sitting on the conference table peering down at his protoge, Graham. It’s a long rectangular room with bright lights. Graham is seated across from him, feeling uneasy about what his director might say. This meeting will not go smoothly. Ryker slides over his tablet to Graham. There is a news headline on it.

The Headline Reads: “Graham Cowers When it Comes to Clear The President’s Guilty Name”


RYKER

(Holding up a finger)

Do you hear that?


GRAHAM

Umm


RYKER

That is the sound of the entire White House staff serving the president so he can serve the needs of America.


RYKER (CONT)

(Points to tablet headline)

Do you know what this is?


GRAHAM

I can explain…


RYKER

This is unacceptable. You were brought here to serve the president and make his life easier. Does this headline make his life easier?


GRAHAM

The allegations...what was I supposed to say?


RYKER

It doesn’t matter. You are not paid to tell us when the sky is blue, Brian. You are paid to tell us the sky is blue, even when it’s black.


GRAHAM

I understand...but


RYKER

No...this is not a but situation. You are the voice to the newspapers. The news is the future of our government. How are we supposed to be represented when our own voice can’t represent us properly?


GRAHAM

(Looking down in failure)

I don’t know. What do you want me to do?


RYKER

Well...they don’t call me merciful for nothing. I want to give you another chance to win back the president’s favor. You know about this Vonstein guy?


GRAHAM

He cloned Jesus, I hear.


RYKER

Imagine that, the hero of Christianity, the figurehead of all progression and peace in the world growing in some petri dish.


GRAHAM

You want the president to schedule a visit?


RYKER

Too late and too little. The Republican party needs a fresh coat of paint; a symbol that makes us stand out against the world. People are forgetting that we are the heroes of Democracy. We abolished slavery! But the headlines keep calling us monsters. I think we need to reclaim some of our good guy status. Did you know that Over 80 percent of all registered Republicans are Judeo-Christians? They have more crosses in their home than statues of Elvis. Imagine, if we had the backing of their favorite Lord and Savior in our corner.

(Ryker spreads his hands)

The Republican party, the party of Jesus Christ, himself.


GRAHAM

I don’t understand. It’s just a blood speck right now.


RYKER

But even the potential behind that would get things stirred up in four years. Reelection would be amazing if we had a young baby Jesus sitting in the president’s corner. The hero of the Christians teaming up with the heroes of freedom.


GRAHAM

You are kidding. Are we just going to buy the petri dish?


RYKER

I guarantee you that we give this Dr. Vonstein enough money that he can clone the entire cast of Full House if he wanted. Once the right price comes up he will be glad to give him up.


GRAHAM

What if Jesus doesn’t want to be associated with a political party, sir?


RYKER Are you kidding? If it wasn’t for Republicans Jesus wouldn’t even be known in America. Trust me, we are the good guys, he will feel right at home.


INT. APARTMENT BEDROOM


Vesper’s room is small with windows overlooking the city. She rifles through her closet to fill a pink suitcase on the bed. Her suitcase has a sticker on it that says, “Masculinity is THE problem.”

A plane ticket is on her bed for East Berlin, Germany

Chip, her intern, walks into her bedroom.


CHIP

Your Uber arrives in an hour.


VESPER

(Holding up two blouses)

Thank you. Which outfit says “I am a strong leader, but I am humble at the same time.”


CHIP

The blue one.


VESPER

I think the red one.

(She throws the blue one on the floor)


CHIP

So, you think Vonstein will listen to you?


VESPER

I think we can come to an agreement. This one-day child will need a caretaker.


CHIP

I hear his research lab has ten thousand people camped out. They tripled security. How are you going to get facetime with him?


VESPER

I will think of something.


CHIP

I’m just…


VESPER

You are just doubting me.


CHIP

It’s just weird and not very normal what you want to do with the petri dish. Even for you.


VESPER

Not really. Have you considered that Jesus was the biggest feminist, social justice champion, and servant to the poor the world has ever known? It’s why people loved him or her.


CHIP

It’s a him.


VESPER

(Turning sour)

We don’t know that for sure. Don’t listen to the Patriarchy, Chip. Jesus spent his or her life cleaning up the streets of injustice every single day. It was an oppressive government that crucified him. AKA the rich and entitled. Once Jesus comes of age in these modern times and sees that we have been carrying on his legacy he or she will be the clincher that will make the world take us seriously.


CHIP

He’s a petri dish that people are praying to. A majority of your followers are Atheists and Agnostics.


VESPER

He or she is a name that makes people want to make the world better .Everyone can get behind that.


CHIP I guess.


VESPER

Don’t guess. Believe.


Vesper pinches Chip’s cheek.


VESPER

Will you relax? We are on the side of good. Why wouldn’t Jesus side with us?


FOOTAGE: CNA NEWS REPORTS


A bearded man in overalls from Mississippi is speaking to Maria Black. He is in front of his house in the woods.


BEARDED MAN

When I saw the Jesus baby in that blue liquid on my computer screen, I was instantly healed of my toe fungus infection. It’s a miracle.

(He lifts his bare foot to the camera)


MARIA BLACK

(To the camera)

This is just one report of hundreds claiming that just looking at the incubating DNA has caused miraculous healing.


EXT: THE VONSTEIN RESEARCH CENTER- UNIVERSITY OF BREMEN- DAY


Guards in black suits are pushing back the crowds trying to storm the compound as Vonstein makes his way into the building. The hungry crowds are begging to go in and touch the incubating specimen.

Vonstein swipes his card and gets let into the building.

Dr. Philips is there waiting for him. They walk through the lab and talk.


PHILIPS

Did they come to your house, too?


VONSTEIN

Two American parents wanted their son who plays Dungeons and Dragons to touch the specimen and be healed of his evil. I had them arrested for trespassing.


PHILIPS

I hope you had some rest. You have reporters here for more interviews. But there is also a problem.


VONSTEIN

What?


PHILIPS

The US President’s advisors are here. The secretary of the press and the director of communication to be exact.


VONSTEIN

How did they get in?


PHILIPS

It’s the most powerful government in the world. We couldn’t kick them out. What would that look like?


VONSTEIN

I didn’t vote for them.

(Begins to walk off)


PHILIPS

(tugging on his arm)

Sir, we have to throw them a bone. I’m sure they just want pictures with it.


INT: OFFICE OF RESEARCH LAB


Ryker, Graham, and Vesper are waiting in Vonstein’s office. Vonstein opens the door to see them seated in chairs facing his desk.

Ryker gets up with his hand extended.


RYKER

Dr. Vonstein, Bill Ryker, Director of Communication for the Whitehouse. This is Brian Graham….

Vonstein sidesteps his hand.


VONSTEIN

You need to make an appointment, wait in line.

(Sees Vesper)

You are not from the press.


VESPER

I might have stolen the press pass. Hear me out...I am Lydia Vesper, the leader of the Liberator Campaign. If I could have five minutes.


VONSTEIN

All of you need to leave.


Ryker stands in front of the doorway, blocking Vonstein.


RYKER

I can’t speak for her, but it is in your greatest interest that you hear the proposition from the President.


VONSTEIN

I will not hear...


Glass breaking explosion bursts through the office. A shockwave knocks over present company. Screams erupt from the lab. Smoke and alarms fill the senses.

Vonstein gets to his feet first. He struggles through the lab. Glass shards and destroyed equipment cover the floor.


At the canister’s center, where the specimen lives, the center blue liquid case is missing.

Philips emerges from the dust. His side is bleeding. He holds it as he hunches over.


VONSTEIN

Dr. Philips?


PHILIPS

They stole it. One of the members of the crowd had a bomb strapped to him. He set it off.


VONSTEIN

Sit down, friend. Help is on the way.


Vesper is having a coughing fit on the floor. Graham painfully gets up. He sees that the canister is missing from the lab.


GRAHAM

(Coughing)

Someone took it. It’s gone.


Graham hears pain grunts and notices Ryker on the floor. He is clutching his leg. A glass shard is embedded into his thigh.


FOOTAGE: CNA NEWS REPORTS

Maria Black is sitting at her anchor desk in a news studio covered in red and white banners. Next to her is a PIP of a black hooded terrorist with a red zero on his hood.


MARIA BLACK

Members of the terrorist cell Zero Sum have taken credit for the theft of the Jesus specimen. This is a video they posted last year on Youtube.


YOUTUBE FOOTAGE:

The hooded terrorist has his back against a dirty tiled wall. His voice has been modified to be deeper.


TERRORIST

There is no god. There is no higher power. We will not allow the world to be deceived by any false god.


GOOD NEWS STUDIO FOOTAGE:

Randy Akron is praying at his news desk. Solemn organ music is playing in the back.


RANDY AKRON

Lord, we just pray that your vengeance and wrath would strike down all those who have captured your son.


INT. GERMAN LOCAL COFFEE SHOP- DAY

Vesper is sitting at a booth at a local coffee shop. She has her cellphone to her ear.


VESPER

What do you think I am going to do, run home? No, I can’t go back empty-handed.


CHIP (O.S.)

You are out of options, Ms. Vesper. These are international terrorists for crying out loud. They have guns and bombs.


VESPER

Your negative attitude isn’t helping, Chip. I need to find him or her before the patriarchy does.


CHIP (O.S.)

The who?


VESPER

Some government hounds wanted to see Jesus when I went. They were going to roll right over me. Typical men.


CHIP (O.S.)

Even if you have the courage to face them you still don’t know where they are.


VESPER

I wouldn’t be too sure. Do you want to know a secret?


CHIP (O.S.)

What?


VESPER

One of our old interns used to be a Zero Sum member.


CHIP (O.S.)

Who?


VESPER

It’s Robert.


CHIP (O.S.)

Robert Sturm?


VESPER

Yes. I called him up and he knows where the Zero Sum terrorist branch is in Germany. He was happy to tell me.


CHIP (O.S.)

You are going to do this, aren’t you? You are going to storm a terrorist compound.


VESPER

(Smiles)

Yes, I will be the one who saves Jesus from the Patriarchy.

(Pauses)

As soon as my Uber arrives.


INT. HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM


Graham’s legs are bouncing, he is nervous. There’s a bandaid under his eye. His clothes look disheveled. He is nervously talking to his wife over the phone.


GRAHAM

You know, a bit shaken. I almost have hearing back in my right ear.


LAURA (O.S.)

You’re coming home, right?


GRAHAM

I don’t know. We didn’t get what we wanted.


LAURA (O.S.)

You are not CIA, you are the press secretary.


GRAHAM

I know


LAURA (O.S.)

Honey, listen, you can’t do this? You don’t even want to do it.


GRAHAM

Find Jesus?


LAURA (O.S.) Yea. What do you get out of this?


GRAHAM

I hate it. I know I should feel like this is the moral good, but it feels cheap. I thought the presence of an influential moral leader would bring out the best in people.


LAURA (O.S.)

He’s just a cell in a petri dish.


GRAHAM

Look, I gotta go. Ryker should be ready to see visitors.


LAURA (O.S.)

You know I never liked him.


He hangs up the phone.


INT. RYKER’S HOSPITAL ROOM


Ryker is lying down with a bandage over his leg in a hospital bed. He is just getting off the phone.


GRAHAM

(At the room)

Knock...knock


RYKER

Come in, Brian. I have good news. The CIA knows where Zero Sum could be. Satellites point to an abandoned warehouse in East Berlin. We are going to leak it to the German special forces.


GRAHAM

German special forces are going to do the rescue?


RYKER

Yes, but you are going to follow them, unseen of course. We don’t want American staff members of the Whitehouse doing rescue ops on foreign soil.


GRAHAM

(Pointing to himself)

How did I know you were going to do this?


RYKER

Come on, Brian, we came here for a mission. Just think of how we spin this. The Republican party jumping into action to save Jesus of Nazareth. Once word gets out that we were there, we will have some negotiations at the table. Keep your eyes on the prize.


GRAHAM

(Incensed)

This is messed up, sir. I don’t feel right doing this. I think we should rethink our strategy.


RYKER

There is nothing to think about. We get Jesus, we win back the people’s trust, and we continue to be the greatest country on Earth. That’s why we are the good guys.


Graham is unconvinced.


RYKER (CONT)

You want proof that what we are doing is right?

Take a look at this.


Ryker hands his cellphone to Graham. There is a candid picture of Vesper on it.


RYKER (CONT)

I recognized her. That is Lydia Vesper, the head of the Liberator Campaign. I did a little digging and appears that she has some staff that have sympathies to the Zero Sum movement. Could you imagine if Jesus got in the hands of someone so radical?


GRAHAM

(Reluctantly)

Okay, fine. I will do it, but not for any reason but to ensure that the rescue op goes well.


RYKER

Atta boy. Pretty soon the Commander and Chief will be pinning medals on us. We have to get you wired for sound and video. Now get out of here. The pain meds are about to kick in.

Graham stops before he leaves.


GRAHAM

The Jesus specimen. Do you want me to get some pictures of it for your family?


RYKER

Honestly, if you really want to know. I am an Agnostic so I could care less.


EXT. ABANDONED WAREHOUSE- EAST BERLIN- NIGHT


A black carrier van is parked next to an abandoned warehouse.


INT. THE CARRIER VAN


The van is a six seater with metal benches on both sides. Four tactical combat experts prepare with enough firepower to make a sizable hole. Special forces is geared up and ready to move at their leader’s notice. The Leader views a laptop that has an aerial view of the area. Next to the heavily armed and armored men Vonstein sits. The Team Lead speaks into a walkie-talkie.


TEAM LEAD

Scharfschütze bereit?


There’s a sniper on the adjacent building with his high powered rifle aimed at the windows across.


SNIPER

Bereit.


The Team Lead looks over at Vonstein.


TEAM LEAD

Everyone is in position sir. We will hear them and they can hear us through the monitor.


Vonstein nods.


VONSTEIN

The battery of the containment unit only has one more hour left. It needs to be saved.


The back of the van opens up and out spills four soldiers of German Special Forces. With rifles ready, they began to start for the warehouse entrance.


TEAM LEAD

Wir sind unterwegs


The team enters into the dark warehouse. It is only lit by the moonlight outside. They begin to slink through the empty lots. They step in sync, giving hand gestures to each other for communication.

Suddenly two hooded men holding rifles come out of the clearing.


SPECIALIST # 1

Engagieren!


The German Forces are quicker and they fire their rifles sending the two hoods to a quick demise.

The hoods fall to the ground, lifeless. Their rifles hit the ground next to a pair of hands. Vespa is hiding behind an oil drum. She grabs the rifle.


The team continues through the back of the warehouse. They enter into a wider room. The back doors open and suddenly a hood comes out with firing his machine gun.


The team cuts down the amateur terrorist in seconds with their gunfire. The team passes through the doors, now much more in a hurry that their presence is known.


To their surprise there is one hood standing next to the blue liquid canister. He has a bomb strapped to his chest and he is holding a deadman switch in his left hand. It’s a stand-off.


INT. VAN

Vonstein has wide eyes.


BACK TO THE ABANDONED WAREHOUSE


The four specialists are frozen, waiting for the right moment to act.


TEAM LEAD

No sudden moves.


SPECIALIST #1

Awaiting your orders.


ZERO SUM HOOD

I know you can hear me Dr. Vonstein. This is the message I wanted to send you. The Messiah you claim to have made is an offense to science and I intend to prove it. I will destroy it in front of you and you will see that the world will move on. There will be no hand of wrath to squash me nor will the world be plagued by a vengeful being. Everything will go back to as it should be and the world will move on knowing that Jesus Christ is dead. Do you have any last words before I smash it?


BACK TO THE VAN


VONSTEIN

(Despair)

God have mercy.


BACK TO THE ABANDONED WAREHOUSE


ZERO SUM HOOD

You have spoken your peace. Now witness the death of the so called savior.


VESPER

Wait!

Vesper runs out holding a rifle, awkwardly. All eyes turn to her. No one moves.


VESPER

You can’t do this. The world needs that Jesus. He or she is the hope of all the poverty stricken victims of inequality. Just think of how we can progress with him or her in our corner.


TEAM LEAD

(To Vesper)

Get out now!


From the balcony, Graham walks out with his hands in the air. There is a body camera on his chest.


GRAHAM

Hold up.


The specialists look to the balcony and swear in German.

The Zero Sum Hood’s eyes dart back and forth.


GRAHAM

Just hear me out. First (To Vesper), you’re wrong. Jesus is not for you to further your agenda. He is not a celebrity. He is a symbol of good for the hope of everyone. We need this symbol so that all people know what freedom and liberty looks like. Destroying it would crush the hope of the world and their chances at building a better nation.


VESPER

(Interrupting)

Excuse me, government man. This Jesus is not for you to further your patriarchy manifest destiny. Go find another savior. This Jesus is for the women, children, and international slaves to the system.


TEAM LEAD (Yelling to the specialist in the back)

For Hell’s sake! Take these two out


GRAHAM

(Graham clicks his finger to his ear)

Woah! Last thing, I swear! I have a body cam. We are connected to the Central Intelligence Agency. My buddy says that the bomb strapped to you is a fake. It’s not even wired.


The Zero Sum Hood gulps hard. His hand jerks and the deadman switch wire falls from his sleeve. It is not connected to the bomb.


Immediately the special forces team fire on the hood. His body hits the ground with the fake deadman switch separating from him.


GRAHAM

(Shocked)

Holy crap. I can’t believed that worked.


The specialists start to scan the area.


TEAM LEADER

Area cleared.


The specialists take the rifle from Vesper’s hand. She begrudgingly gives it up.


TEAM LEADER

(Eyeing Brian)

Leave now! I will not ask again!


GRAHAM

(To his microphone)

Did you get all that?


RYKER (O.S.)

Yes, loud and clear. Get out of there now. I have transport waiting for you.


VONSTEIN

You fools!


Vonstein is holding a pistol, but it is not at anyone in particular. It’s at the canister with the cell. He is seething with rage, breathing slowly.

The specialist team snaps into action, aiming their guns.


TEAM LEADER

Stand down.