"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"MISSION TO MARS"

Screenplay by

Jim Thomas, John Thomas
and
Graham Yost

Story by

Lowell Cannon, Jim Thomas
and
John Thomas

SHOOTING DRAFT

2000



FADE IN:

EXT. LATE AFTERNOON SKY

Blue sky, a few puffs of cloud, pierced by slanting rays of
sunlight. Late afternoon on a perfect day.

SUPER TITLE: "HOUSTON, TEXAS. JULY 4, 2020."

As we hear, after a few more beats, an ASTRONAUT'S VOICE.

PHIL
T minus ten, nine, eight, start
ignition sequence, five, four, three,
two, one, ignition... Liftoff!

A tiny red streak zips into the sky, then bursts with a faint,
ludicrous POP. A bottle rocket. We hear CHILDREN'S LAUGHTER,
excited SHOUTS.

EXT. LAWN PARTY. LUKE GRAHAM'S HOUSE. LATE AFTERNOON

DESCENDING, we see PHIL OHLMYER, late 20's, kneeling, with a
gaggle of eager CHILDREN around him. Phil, an astronaut, has
got an impressive array of fireworks lined up, and is using
an empty longneck as his launching tube.

CHILDREN
(all at once)
My turn! My turn! No, I was next!
No, me! Uncle Phil, Uncle Phil, can
I do one? I want to do one!

PHIL
Guys, guys, please! This is risky
stuff here. And I'm a highly trained
professional.

Derisive GROANS from the kids, more SHOUTS. Phil grins.
There's little danger NASA will ever use him on a recruiting
poster: he's messy, very hyper. Phil waves his hands for
silence.

PHIL
Okay, okay! Uncle Phil will launch
another booster...

Another astronaut, RENEE COTE, a tall, very fit French woman,
is walking by with a fresh six-pack. She tosses a beer and
Phil catches it.

PHIL
...just as soon as he completes his
fuel intake.

ANGLE FOLLOWS COTE

Who grins, walking away from Phil and the kids, as we begin
to get a better sense of the scope of this party. We are in
the big back yard of a middle-class home in a Houston suburb.
DOZENS OF PEOPLE - astronauts, NASA personnel, and their
families -- are gathered around picnic tables or spread-out
blankets. Lots of red, white and blue bunting, lots of
balloons. We hear snatches of MUSIC, mostly country-flavored,
from dueling boomboxes. Futuristic Frisbees are being tossed
about. A banner, strung between trees, reads "BON VOYAGE,
MARS ONE!!!"

WILLIS
It'll take us six months just to get
to Mars. Another year on the surface,
then six months back. That's two
years...

Passing the banner, Cote lobs a beer to another astronaut,
NICHOLAS WILLIS, who snags it neatly. He's got his other arm
around the waist of a PRETTY GIRL. As Cote moves OUT OF FRAME,
ANGLE LINGERS on these two. Willis, a very young astronaut,
early 20s, is recruiting poster material, and knows it all
too well.

WILLIS
I guess what I'm trying to say is,
since this is my last night on Earth,
it's gonna be a very precious memory
to me. Y'know?

PRETTY GIRL
Nice try, Nick.

As the Pretty Girl slips out of his grasp, laughing, and
walks away, Willis shrugs philosophically. He pops open his
beer, swigs it.

ANGLE FOLLOWS THE PRETTY GIRL As she swerves around an open-
pit barbecue, where other ASTRONAUTS are gathered. Cote has
paused here, too, distributing the last of her beers. SERGEI
KIROV, a Russian cosmonaut, is watching some kids nearby as
they play a game of wiffle ball. He turns, grinning beerily
at the chef.

KIROV
Hey, Woody, our Mars One crew won't
be heading back to Earth till ten
days after you guys land at our base
camp with Mars Two. That's a pretty
good long rendezvous.

WOODY BLAKE, late 30s, is a big, rangy guy in a cowboy hat
over a Hawaiian shirt and a "KISS THE CHEF" apron. An entire
pig is turning on a spit over the flames, and Woody is basting
this as he smiles at Malik.

WOODY
What are you suggesting, Sergei?

KIROV
Maybe you should bring a baseball
bat. Yes? American baseball? Our two
crews could have ourselves a little
Solar System Series.

WOODY
Please. Half you guys are foreigners.
We'd crush you.

KIROV
No, no, we have equal crews. Three
men, one woman. Same handicap.

He grins teasingly at Cote, who makes a face at him.

WOODY
Easy now, you're talking about my
wife.
(seeing her approach)
And Terri just happens to be one
helluva shortstop.

DR. TERRI FISHER, early 30s, passes by with a platter of
corn-on-the-cob. Short, sturdy body, a face made attractive
by its alert, questing intelligence. She pauses to kiss
Woody's cheek; there's a wonderful, sexy spark between them.
Then she glances at Kirov, all business now.

TERRI
Fast pitch, no steals, batter calls
his own strikes. Thousand bucks make
it interesting?

He's a bit rattled by her cockiness, and looks at Cote, who
smiles, nods her cool agreement.

COTE
Eh bien. Winner take all.

TERRI
Good.
(smiles sweetly at
Kirov)
Bring some balls.

The other men ooooh at this, busting on Kirov and Cote, as
Terri moves on. Woody, watching her go, has a thousand-watt
grin.

WOODY
You wanna know the sad part?
Technically I outrank her. But if we
want any peace at all on Mars Two,
I'm gonna be saying a lot of "Yes,
dears."

The others laugh.

ANGLE FOLLOWS TERRI as she dodges a PACK OF KIDS -- they run
by her, shrieking happily - before she finally reaches a
picnic table, where ASTRONAUTS' WIVES are opening containers
of baked beans, coleslaw, and potato salad.

1ST WIFE
...just not sure how I feel about
NASA allowing couples to go on this
type of mission together.

One of the other women raises a warning eyebrow, and the 1st
Wife turns, sees Terri setting down her platter.

1ST WIFE
(embarrassed)
Nothing personal, Terri. It's just
that, well, it's kind of a funny
feeling for those of us staying
behind.

TERRI
(carefully neutral)
All the research shows that marriage
will provide stability on these long
duration trips.

2ND WIFE
Then they haven't studied some of
the couples I've known.

Laughter at this. Terri smiles politely -- she doesn't really
have much in common with these women -- before moving on.
ANGLE LINGERS on the wives, who watch her go with a slight
tinge of jealousy. One of them is looking around.

3RD WIFE
Anybody seen Jim McConnell?

4TH WIFE
I don't think he's coming.

1ST WIFE
God, that poor man. How's he doing?

2ND WIFE
Totally losing it, from what I hear.
Can't sleep, can't eat. Visits her
grave almost every day.
(lowers her voice)
They say he could lose mission status.

3RD WIFE
Oh, that's so sad. That is just so
tragic. You go to a routine physical
one day, and wham.

4TH WIFE
After all those years of training,
too. It was their whole dream.

1ST WIFE
Must be a pretty funny feeling for
Luke Graham. Y'know? Now he's gonna
be in the history books. First man
on Mars...

She shakes her head, awed by the thought. The others nod in
agreement, following her glance...

In the distance, a lone MALE FIGURE stands by the garage,
his back to them, facing the parked cars, vans, and SUVs
which stretch down the driveway and along the street. Another
figure, a WOMAN, can be seen approaching him.

CLOSER ANGLE FOLLOWS the moving woman -- DEBRA GRAHAM, early
30s, very attractive -- until she reaches her husband. LUKE
GRAHAM, mid 30s, has the lean, fit body of an astronaut, the
restless intellect of a scientist. He's unaware of her
approach until she touches his shoulder. He looks at her
with an apologetic smile.

DEBRA
He's not coming, Luke.

LUKE
Jim deserves this, too. All his
friends are here. And it's my last
night.

DEBRA
(gently)
Your last night with us, too.

He looks at her, moved. She summons a smile. He slides his
arms around her waist, kisses her forehead.

LUKE
I love you, Deb.

DEBRA
I love you too, baby. But maybe you
should spend some time with Bobby.

LUKE
Yeah. I will. Where is he?

DEBRA
Up in his fort.

He kisses her again, then goes. Debra's eyes follow him,
with a mixture of pride and sadness.

ANGLE FOLLOWS Luke away from the garage, into

EXT. THE BACK YARD. LATE AFTERNOON

Luke moves through the crowd. Phil and the kids are still
shooting off rockets. Red streaks arc high overhead.

In the back corner of the yard, where it's quieter, he passes
Willis, who's sitting on a blanket, murmuring soulfully to
PRETTY GIRL #2.

WILLIS
Deep space is so lonesome. So cold.
But I guess I'll have my memories to
keep me warm...

Luke shakes his head. Willis is incorrigible. Finally he
reaches a tall redwood playset. He looks up the ladder.

A SMALL BOY sits on the platform of the tower, arms around
his knees, staring up at the stars. A telescope rests nearby
on a tripod. He looks lonely.

Luke climbs up, sits down on the wooden deck next to him.
BOBBY, 7, glances over at his dad, his idol, then back at
the sky.

BOBBY
Who's gonna read to me now, at
bedtime?

Luke is surprised by the question. A pause.

LUKE
Mommy will.

BOBBY
I like when you do it. Now we're
never gonna finish our book.

His voice is unexpectedly fierce. He's fighting back tears.
Luke is moved. Another brief silence.

LUKE
Well, I'll tell you what. I've been
thinking about that. And what I
thought was -- how 'bout if I bring
along my own copy?
(Bobby looks at him)
Then every night, wherever I am,
I'll read a little bit more of it.
And I'll know that you and Mommy,
wherever you are, you're reading it
too. That way, it'll feel like we're
still reading it together. 'Cause I
don't know about you, but I'm pretty
anxious to find out how 'ol Ben Gunn
got marooned on that island. What
d'you say?

Bobby manages a smile. He nods, feeling a little better.
Luke is proud of his son's courage.

LUKE
Good deal. Can I have a hug?

Bobby's arms go around his father's neck. He hugs Luke
fiercely, and Luke hugs him back. His eyes, over the thin
young shoulders, are brimming with love and impending absence.
Then, from the distance, the sound of an APPROACHING CAR.
They both turn.

An open Jeep is coming down the street. Its DRIVER is alone.

Luke's expression changes. Recognition, then happiness.

EXT. LUKE'S STREET. LATE AFTERNOON

The Jeep stops, its electric engine WHIRRING down. The Driver
climbs out wearily, reaching into the back seat, and comes
out with a champagne bottle, hastily decorated with ribbon.
The PARTY SOUNDS are drifting this way, and he hesitates a
moment, seeming to gather himself. He starts gamely towards
the party, then pauses again.

Debra Graham stands nearby on the front lawn, waiting. She
smiles tentatively.

JIM MCCONNELL, early 40s, manages a smile in return. He has
dark circles under his eyes, and his clothes look slept in.

Yet we sense, even through his sadness, a kind of quiet
competence in this man, an unforced authority; he's a natural
leader.

Debra hurries forward, into his arms, and he hugs her. They
separate, looking at each other. Her eyes are shining.

DEBRA
We were afraid you wouldn't come.

MCCONNELL
I caught a whiff of your barbecue.
After that I was helpless.

DEBRA
All the way out in Galveston?

MCCONNELL
Something like that.
(she smiles)
It's his night, Deb. I didn't want
to spoil it.

DEBRA
Spoil it? He's been going crazy
looking for you.

Over her shoulder he sees Luke approaching, his arm around
Bobby. The two men look at each other, the bond between them
so strong it needs no words. Finally Luke smiles.

LUKE
C'mon. A whole lot of folks here are
gonna be mighty glad to see you.

McConnell comes towards him, accompanied by Debra, and
together the four of them move OUT OF FRAME, heading towards
the party. ANGLE HOLDS on the parking area, as we...

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. SAME VIEW. NIGHT (HOURS LATER)

All the parked cars and vans are gone now, except for two:
McConnell's Jeep and Woody's classic 'Vette. Willis, one of
the last to go, is just departing on his motorcycle. Perched
behind him, arms around his waist, is PRETTY GIRL #3. They
zoom away, through the darkened neighborhood.

EXT. BACK YARD. NIGHT

The yard is nearly deserted. The "Bon Voyage" banner has
torn loose at one end and flutters limply. Here and there a
napkin blows across the ground.

In the distance, THREE FIGURES sit on the ground, by the
waning fire of the barbecue pit, sipping beers.

CLOSER ON THIS TRIO

As Woody shoves another piece of wood into the flames. For a
moment he, McConnell, and Luke are silent, staring at the
sparks as they rise towards the stars -- red and gold dots
mingling with the silver ones.

WOODY
(abruptly)
I wish we were all going. Together.

The intensity in his voice surprises the others, and even
Woody himself. Luke glances at McConnell. An awkward beat.

LUKE
Then you've got a short memory. Think
back to how we were by the second
week of lunar training.

WOODY
Oh, you're not gonna bring that up
again --

LUKE
(laughing)
I'm trying to remember, let's see,
which one of us scored the lowest
ranking up there?

WOODY
You just can't let that go --

LUKE
Oh, man, three commanders, on the
same ship? If they sent us off to
Mars together, there wouldn't be
enough fuel to lift all those egos.

WOODY
(laughs)
Bullshit, we would've made a great
crew.

MCCONNELL
That was never gonna happen. I was
always teamed with Maggie, and we
were mostly chalkboard jockies. You
know? Systems. Payloads...

LUKE
Listen to him. Mr. Cover-of-Time
Magazine!

WOODY
Yeah, who landed the crippled Block
II Shuttle?

LUKE
Yeah, and who scored highest on the
lunar rankings?

WOODY
Let it go, Luke.

MCCONNELL
(smiles)
Sure, I made a little noise. But
putting the first footprints on Mars?
Nah. That's for guys who...
(looks at Luke)
...wrote their Ph.D. thesis on how
to colonize the place. And guys who...
(looks at Woody)
...read too much science fiction as
a kid and still wear little Flash
Gordon rocketships around their necks.

He grabs playfully at Woody's neck. Woody smacks his hand
away, laughing.

WOODY
You read the same damn science fiction
books that I did! You're just not
man enough to wear jewelry!

He pulls from his shirt a little Flash Gordon rocketship
emblem hanging on a chain, and waggles this tauntingly at
McConnell, as Luke and McConnell laugh.

WOODY
You want Flash. You know you want
him. Well you'll have to come through
me!

Luke grabs Woody's arm to give McConnell a better shot at
the emblem, but Woody cuffs his hands away, laughing.
McConnell, watching their horseplay, shakes his head.

MCCONNELL
God, she would've loved to see you
two clowns. Just one more time.

He tries to smile, but his face reddens. Then all at once
his chest is heaving as he struggles to control his emotions.
Woody sees this, reaches out a reassuring hand, but McConnell
shakes him off, rises abruptly. He turns his back on them,
walking away a few steps.

Woody and Luke exchange a worried glance.

EXT. LUKE'S STREET. LATER THAT NIGHT

McConnell and Luke watch as Woody starts up his Corvette.
McConnell has regained his composure.

LUKE
Hey, Woodrow, isn't it about time
you donated this thing to a museum?

Woody revs the engine, which ROARS lustily. He grins.

WOODY
Internal combustion, boys. Accept no
substitutes.

Luke laughs. Woody looks at McConnell.

WOODY
Jim, if there's ever... if there's
anything Terri and I can do --

MCCONNELL
I'm okay. Really. Thanks.

Woody reaches out to shake Luke's hand.

WOODY
See you when I get to Mars, Luke.
Don't solve all the mysteries of the
universe, okay? Leave a little
something for the next guys.

LUKE
I'll see what I can do. Just make
sure you bring some fresh beer.

WOODY
You got it.

With a final glance at McConnell, Woody slips the car into
gear. McConnell and Luke watch as he drives away. A silence.
Luke glances at his old friend, growing more serious. We
sense he's been waiting all night for a chance to say this.

LUKE
Should've been your mission, Jim.
Yours and Maggie's.

McConnell, looking after Woody's car, becomes very still.

LUKE
None of us ever wanted Mars the way
you two did. Not even Woody. Twelve
years of hoping for this assignment,
training for it --

MCCONNELL
That's all over now.

LUKE
If Maggie hadn't gotten sick -- if
you hadn't pulled yourself out of
the rotation to take care of her --

McConnell turns to him, his eyes flashing danger. He will
not tolerate pity. Luke sees this but presses on.

LUKE
No, I'm gonna say this. I have to
say it...
(pause)
I wanted Mars One. Hell, I battled
you for it every step of the way.
Never wanted to beat anybody so bad
in my life. But not like this...
Jim, I'd give this all up in a second,
if it would bring Maggie back to us.

McConnell is deeply moved, and for a moment doesn't trust
his own voice.

MCCONNELL
I know that, Luke. You don't have to
say it... Mars is yours now. Go get
it.

LUKE
(pause)
Take care of yourself.

MCCONNELL
Yeah. You too.

Luke nods. They grab hands for a second, then let go. Luke
walks back towards his house. McConnell watches him for a
moment, then turns, walks over to his Jeep. He opens his
door, then pauses. He turns. Looks up at --

EXT. NIGHT SKY

A tiny reddish dot hovers there, glowing steadily. Mars
itself, a tantalizing prize. But for him now, more distant
than ever. For him, perhaps, never to be attained.

CLOSE ON MCCONNELL'S FACE

As we see these thoughts going through him. After a moment
he looks down at

HIS SHOES

And the sandy verge of the front yard.

MCCONNELL'S EYES

Are a map of complex emotions: regret, injured pride, infinite
yearning. Gently, a bit self-consciously, HE LIFTS ONE SHOE

And sets it down again, making a careful, deliberate footprint
in the sandy soil...

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. MARS. CHRYSE PLANITIA. DAY

Instantly we're hurled into an immense, stunning LANDSCAPE,
mysterious and vivid as a fever dream. Dazzling sunlight. A
vast plain of rust-orange soil. Countless craters. Boulders
the size of houses, tossed about by the hands of gods. Twin
moons hanging in a salmon-pink sky. On the horizon, towering,
craggy peaks. And, at center -- the only sign of life -- a
small, mysterious, moving puff of dust.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. MARS. DAY

CLOSER ANGLE as a small, Sojourner-like, multi-wheeled robotic
vehicle ambles INTO FRAME, jouncing along the orange Martian
soil, pausing to snuffle its sensors towards the occasionally
interesting rock. Lettering on its side reads "ARES-8."

SUPER TITLE: "MARS. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. EIGHT MONTHS LATER."

Suddenly Ares-8 pauses. Its video lens WHIRRS out, fine-tuning
focus, as it becomes intrigued by something OFFSCREEN -- a
higher, more distant target. The little fellow almost quivers
with excitement.

EXT. MARS. TIU VALLIS. DAY

A one-man ATV ROVER waits in the background, in a dry
streambed, as Luke, in an EVA spacesuit, swings a clawed
rock hammer against a multi-layered, sedimentary rock face.
Reddish dust coats his bulky white suit. Despite that bulk,
he moves easily in the light Martian gravity (1/3 Earth's).
A hunk of rock breaks off, and Luke examines it more closely,
holding it up to his clear faceplate. He's very happy,
absorbed in this work, when his RADIO CRACKLES.

COTE
Luke, you read me?

LUKE
Yeah, Renee.

COTE
Luke, I just got ARES-8 on line and...
Well, we think you're gonna wanna
see this for yourself.

Luke, though reluctant to break off work, is intrigued.

LUKE
Copy that.

As Luke turns away, headed for the rover

WE PULL WIDE

To REVEAL a STAGGERING PROSPECT, seen for the first time:
Valles Marineris, that planet-creasing slash. So wide, so
deep, it boggles the mind: on earth it would reach from New
York to L.A.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

INT. MARS ONE HAB. DAY

The crew of Mars One - Kirov, Willis, and Cote -- have joined
Luke, gathered around some display monitors. They're in NASA
jumpsuits; the Hab has artificial atmosphere, enhanced
gravity, and heat. All are captivated by what they see. ON A
VIDEO SCREEN

We see a low-angle image of an elongated, rubble and dirt-
covered MOUNTAIN. Hard to tell scale, but it looks huge.
What's most striking, however, is a WHITE PEAK barely
protruding through the rubble two-thirds of the way along
the mountain's ridgeline. Its whiteness is in clear contrast
to the typical rust-orange of the surrounding rubble; what's
more, this strange little peak also displays an oddly-smooth,
multi-planed symmetry.

LUKE
What the hell is that?

COTE
No idea, boss.

LUKE
Where is it?

Cote glances at the others. They're all smirking, as if they
share some secret joke Luke's not yet in on.

WILLIS
You don't wanna know.

LUKE
C'mon, what's so funny? Gimme the
coordinates.

He leans over to read a digital gauge, but Cote covers it
with her hand, enjoying the tease.

COTE
Latitude 41 degrees north, longitude
9 degrees west.

LUKE
The Plains of Cydonia. So?
(pause)
Oh no. You're not telling me --

They all laugh as the other shoe drops. Luke's expression is
incredulous, exasperated.

COTE
Oui. Exactement! It's Kirov's fault,
he picked today's sector.

KIROV
Hey, c'mon! We've got a scientific
duty to check that thing out.

Luke sits, taking over the Ares remote control from Cote.
They all watch as he fine tunes the image, trying without
success to coax more resolution.

LUKE
Great. That's great. The first anomaly
we hit, and it's gotta be in the one
place guaranteed to make NASA look
ridiculous... You know how many books
have been written about that damned
mountain?

COTE
The Egyptians put it there.

KIROV
No, the Amazons.

WILLIS
No, it was little green men!

LUKE
And all because a couple of lousy
impact craters happen to look like
eye sockets. If this gets out, we'll
have every UFO kook on Earth spouting
off on the six o'clock news... C'mon,
people, gimme a read here. Is that a
cinder cone?

KIROV
Nah, too smooth. Too angular. Volcanic
upwelling?

COTE
No fissures. No caldera.

LUKE
It's an upwelling, for sure. But
maybe not volcanic...

The others look at him, puzzled. Luke leans in closer, with
growing excitement. He points to the screen.

LUKE
Look at the color. And see how shiny
it is? I could swear that's ice...

COTE
This far south?

WILLIS
Impossible. You can't have ice at
this latitude. Not unless...

They look at each other, Luke's excitement now leaping from
one to another of them. They're almost trembling.

WILLIS
Oh my God.

LUKE
How far away is it?

KIROV
Sixteen kilometers northeast. Take
us twenty minutes to get there.

LUKE
(considers a moment)
Let's send a packet to Micker. Then
we'll go check it out.

EXT. MARS ONE BASE CAMP. DAY

AIRLOCK DOORS

Slide back, REVEALING the crew in EVA suits, carrying gear.
They walk over to...

THE FOUR-MAN ROVER

The astronauts climb in through the hatch. The last one in
pulls it shut behind him and locks the latches. We see Cote
and Luke check their screens and press some buttons. Luke
puts the rover in drive.

WIDER ANGLE, PULLING UP AND AWAY

As the rover moves off across the rocky surface, dust kicking
up from the wheels, we get our first exterior glimpse of the
Mars One Base Camp. The main HAB UNIT looks like a huge tuna
can with a conical top section; it connects to a separate,
inflated-bubble GREENHOUSE. There's also an OXYGEN STILL,
PROPELLANT PLANT, and, on the other side, a couple hundred
meters distant, the massive ERV (Earth Return Vehicle), which
arrived as a separate, unmanned flight.

Rows of SOLAR PANELS, arrayed on the ground, and an AMERICAN
FLAG on a thin pole, about man-height, complete the scene.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISP). EARTH ORBIT. DAY

A vast, impressive, MULTI-SECTIONED SPACECRAFT is drifting
majestically above Earth. The main hull displays both NASA
and U.N. flag decals.

SUPER TITLE: "INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION. MARS MISSION
CONTROL ROOM (MMCR). 20 MINUTE TIME LAG."

We MOVE IN towards another of the station's segments, which
is dedicated entirely (as we see from more labels and
insignias) to the Mars Program: Control Room, Training and
Living Quarters, and a Vehicle Docking and Launch Area, where
Mars Two is already positioned for its eventual flight. We
hear LUKE'S EXCITED VOICE, over speakers.

LUKE
This is a truly anomalous formation.
Looks like nothing we've seen so
far. The structure appears to be
crystalline, at least from the angle
displayed by ARES-8 ...

INT. MMCR. DAY

On a large CENTER DISPLAY SCREEN, we see Luke and the Mars
One crew, sitting around their kitchen table in the Hab,
finishing lunch while taping this VIDEO MESSAGE.

LUKE
(grins)
We're all trying not to go too nuts
up here, but -- we think there's a
good chance this could be an extrusion
from some subsurface, geothermal
column of water. And if we're right...

He looks at his crew. They beam like cats who ate canaries.

LUKE
...then we've found the key to
permanent human colonization.

IN THE MMCR

There's an EXCITED BUZZ among the assembled TECHNICIANS,
FLIGHT ENGINEERS, and SCIENTISTS. This would be a fantastic,
epochal discovery.

MCCONNELL

Sits at the center console, wearing a headset. He's now the
Mars One CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator), and his manner is
brisk, efficient, all-business. A TECHNICIAN leans in for
instructions.

MCCONNELL
Tell geology and hydrology we need
to scramble on this. Full-court press.

The technician nods, hurries away. McConnell, sharing the
intense excitement of those around him, stares up at

THE SCREEN

Where Luke and his crew are still smiling, well knowing the
excitement their bombshell will create.

LUKE
Anyway, we'are going out to take a
closer look at it, try to get an
idea of its composition.
(checks his watch)
By the time you receive this, we
should be just about on-site.

EXT. MARS. THE FACE. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. DAY

The rover is a hundred meters away and moving fast TOWARDS
CAMERA. We BOOM DOWN to REVEAL Ares-8, still faithfully
holding its point, like an Irish Setter, with its video snout
WHIRRING OUT.

The rover drives up and slows to a stop nearby. The hatch
door cracks open and some dust vents out. The door opens all
the way and the astronauts climb out. They all look up in
awe. We hear their voices ON RADIOS.

KIROV
Jesus Christ...

THE MYSTERIOUS PEAK

Gleams in the sun, dazzling white, its facets as planed and
smooth as if an architect had drawn them. It pierces through
the topmost rubble at the near end of the big mountain -- an
isolated, butte-like giant, stretching two miles from left
to right in front of them.

THE ASTRONAUTS

Walk towards the mountain. There's a very deep, very low,
staccato tone intruding over their headsets.

LUKE
Anyone else hear that?

COTE
Yeah. What is it?

WILLIS
Sounds like our antenna's out of
phase.

LUKE
Can you fix it?

WILLIS
Hey, skip, I can fix anything.

LUKE
Big talker. Renee, Sergei, let's
break out the radar, see what this
thing's made of.

As they go to their jobs, the deep, barely audible rumbling
tone continues.

INT. SPACE STATION. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE MMCR. DAY

MULTINATIONAL CREWMEMBERS walk by, in the artificial gravity
of the busy station, as RAY BECK, mid-50s, approaches from
the opposite direction. Beck is the tough, crewcut, PR-savvy
head of the NASA Mars Program (ID'd by his name tag), and
just now he's leading a covey of U.N. AMBASSADORS on a tour.
The ambassadors, of both sexes, many nations, and all races,
look as excited as schoolkids.

BECK
...and this is the Mars Mission
Control Room, nicknamed "Micker." I
understand a comm packet is incoming
from Mars One Base Camp, so you may
find this interesting.

He opens the doors, ushering his flock inside.

INT. MMCR. DAY

The ambassadors enter, oohing and ahhing over the impressive
array of gadgetry and personnel, and especially over the big
screen. Some of them start taking souvenir snaphots. The
NIGERIAN AMBASSADOR turns to Beck, whispering curiously.

AMBASSADOR
That man over there. He's in charge?

BECK FOLLOWS HIS GLANCE TO

MCCONNELL

Who is surrounded by a KNOT OF TECHNICIANS, to whom he is
giving quiet, precise instructions. They hover, then depart,
like so many eager bees.

BECK

Smiles indulgently at the ambassador's misunderstanding.

BECK
No, actually, that's Jim McConnell,
the CAPCOM. Our voice link to the
astronauts? Jim's been with the manned
Mars program since its inception.
One of our real pioneers.

AMBASSADOR
Will he be going to Mars, too?

BECK
Ah, no. This is as close as he gets.

ON THE SCREEN

Luke and his crew have finished eating, and are clearing
away their dishes and leftovers.

LUKE
...anyway, that's about it. We'll
send another packet when we get back.

Cote clears her throat, gives Luke a look. The others can
barely conceal their grins.

LUKE
Oh, right. One more thing. Today is
a very special day for a good friend
of ours, and I know he's there right
now.

McConnell looks at the screen, worried. What's Luke up to?

LUKE
Now, he hates it when any fuss is
made, so I won't mention his name...

A look of relief comes over McConnell.

LUKE
...because the last thing in the
world I'd ever want to do is embarrass
someone like Jim McConnell.

McConnell winces -- Dear God, no -- as, on the screen, Kirov
appears from OFF CAMERA holding a cupcake with a burning
candle stuck in it, and the Mars One crew starts SINGING
"Happy Birthday" to him. Loudly. And very off-key.

LUKE
C'mon, you Micker weasels, sing!

Soon most everyone in MMCR is singing along -- even some of
the jolly ambassadors -- with the noticeable exception of
Beck, who stiffens unhappily. McConnell is mortified.

LUKE
(sings a line, then,
to CAMERA:)
Hey, Ray! Take a look at him! Is he
all red with one of those fake "I'm-
a-good-sport" grins?

Beck looks over at McConnell, who indeed is red in the face
with a fake "I'm-a-good-sport" grin.

LUKE
And hey, you guys, check out Ray!
Does he have on one of his "This-
wasn't-in-my-mission-plan" faces?

Indeed, Beck's smile is thin, sour, disapproving.

LUKE
Nothing you can do about it, Ray!
We're a hundred million miles away!

Luke and the crew finish singing the song. Luke raises the
cupcake in a toast.

LUKE
Happy Birthday, Jimbo! Make a wish!

He and his crew lean in, blow out the candle. They laugh and
applaud, then wave goodbye.

LUKE
Catch you again soon. Take care,
buddy. End of transmission.

Luke reaches out, turns OFF the CAMERA, and the display screen
GOES BLACK.

Beck turns, his gaze locking with McConnell's. He's annoyed,
as if this violation of protocol were somehow McConnell's
fault. McConnell returns his stare coolly.

EXT. MARS. THE FACE. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. DAY

Cote stands by a display screen mounted on the rover. Kirov
has a big radar gun on a tripod, pointing at the mountain.
Luke turns to Cote.

LUKE
Well? What's under there?

COTE
(puzzled)
Je ne sais pas. I... I think there's
something wrong with the equipment.

LUKE
What?

COTE
I mean, it can't be right. It says...
it says there's metal under there.

Luke doesn't understand. He walks up to look at the display
screen.

COTE
(points)
There's ten, twelve meters of rubble
and sand, and then... solid metal.

LUKE
That doesn't make any sense. You're
reading a vein of ore.

COTE
(shakes her head)
No. It's under the whole mountain.

The deep pulsing tone continues. Luke frowns.

LUKE
Nick, could the problem with the
antenna be interfering?

WILLIS
Could be.

LUKE
(to Cote and Kirov)
Try it closer and up the power. I'll
watch the screen.

INT. MMCR. DAY

McConnell is taping an audio message to be sent to Mars as
the rest of MMCR looks on. Beck is gone. So are the U. N.
ambassadors.

MCCONNELL
Ah, we're all pretty stoked about
that formation you spotted, Mars
One. The folks in the geology and
hydrology back rooms are going over
your images and comparing them to
every photomap they've got.

EXT. MARS. THE FACE. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. DAY

Cote and Kirov are close to the foot of the mountain,
resetting the radar gun on its tripod. The deep vibrating
tone continues.

Luke is some distance away, by the rover. He looks at Willis,
who's still working on the rover's antenna.

LUKE
Nick, how we coming on that antenna?

WILLIS
Goin' as fast as I can, boss.

Cote and Kirov are having some trouble with the switches on
the radar gun. They turn towards Luke and Willis.

KIROV
Hey, Nick. Come show me how stupid I
am. I can't get this to work.

Willis looks at Luke. Luke nods -- Go help them. Willis starts
towards the radar gun.

INT. MMCR. DAY

McConnell is handed a slip of paper, glances at it.

MCCONNELL
Medical wants me to remind you that
you're three days late on your blood
tests. I know they're a bore, but
you've got to get them done, or
else... or else I don't know what.
Just do them, okay?

EXT. MARS. THE FACE. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. DAY

Willis, Cote, and Kirov get the radar gun up and running.

KIROV
All set here, chief.

Luke sidles over to the display screen on the rover.

LUKE
Okay. Crank up the juice and let's
see what's in this sucker.

INT. MMCR. DAY

McConnell checks over his clipboard list of updates.

MCCONNELL
I think that's about it for business.
But on a personal note, be advised
that, ah, none of you can sing worth
a damn.

LAUGHTER in the MMCR.

EXT. MARS. THE FACE. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. DAY

Luke watches the screen on the rover, as, by the mound...

KIROV

Flips a switch on the radar gun, then swivels its muzzle
slowly across the near slope of the mountain. We hear and
feel the radar signal. The immediate result is that the
pulsing tone we've been hearing suddenly stops.

LUKE

Looks up from the display screen. A puzzled expression.

LUKE
Why did that stop?

A split-second later, he gets his answer. We hear a WHOOSH,
a mighty rushing of wind, as

A GIGANTIC, TRANSLUCENT CYLINDER

Starts to swirl and rise, straight up from the top or the
mountain, at its center. As it swirls, the cylinder picks up
debris -- pebbles, sand -- from the sediment-encrusted surface
of the slopes.

THE FOUR ASTRONAUTS

Stare up at this spectacle, awed. A cyclone? Some kind of
energy wave? They have no idea. At the moment they're too
fascinated to even be scared.

TILTING UP - FROM THEIR POV

We see the whirling cylinder rise, higher and higher,
perfectly straight, until in just moments it's as tall as a
skyscraper. As it rises, it gains speed and power, narrowing
at its top into a conical vortex. It's sucking up so much
dirt, so many rocks -- even small boulders now -- that the
accumulating debris begins to darken its swirling, translucent
outer "skin".

THE ASTRONAUTS

Exchange amazed glances. Can't believe their eyes...

INT. MMCR. DAY

McConnell still hovers by the microphone.

MCCONNELL
Honestly, Luke, if you guys don't
have anything better to do with your
time, I can make some suggestions to
mission medical. There are worse
things than blood tests.

LAUGHTER and GROANS from the staff in MMCR.

EXT. MARS. THE FACE. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. DAY

Luke, still staring in fascination, becomes aware of sand
and pebbles flashing past his helmet. From behind. He turns.

SAND PATTERS AGAINST HIS FACEPLATE

As the nearby landscape BLURS. The vacuuming effect is
becoming more general across the area. More violent.

LUKE IS ALARMED

And the spell is broken. He keys his throat mike, his lips
moving, but no sound can be heard over the ROARING WIND. He
waves his arms, motioning for the others to back away, towards
the rover. Wind whips at their EVA suits as they obey him,
retreating.

Luke, backing away himself, is afraid to take his eyes off
the cylinder.

Then he sees that one man -- Willis -- hasn't moved. In fact
he's busily snapping photographs of the cylinder. Luke hurries
over to him, tugs his sleeve.

WILLIS LOWERS HIS CAMERA

But still stares up, transfixed, like a man face to face
with a cobra. Luke follows the young astronaut's frightened
gaze, and his own eyes widen as he sees

THE TOP OF THE VORTEX

Beginning to tilt down, then coil sideways. Suddenly they're
looking into the huge open "mouth" of it, as sand and rocks
fly into the swirling darkness...

The monstrous, gaping maw slithers down over the rim of the
mountain, turning this way, then that. Seeking them. And
then, with horrifying precision, it locks in on the little
group of astronauts. And lunges towards them...

EXT. MARS. THE FACE. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. DAY

Luke and Willis turn, running as hard as they can towards
the rover. But the suction is so great, it's as if they're
held back by wires.

The ground itself is SHAKING, RUMBLING, as earthquakes begin
to open fissures across the plain. The ROAR of the vortex,
the GROANING of the earth, are like an onrushing freight
train...

AHEAD OF THEM

In the maelstrom of flying debris, they can barely make out
Cote and Kirov, still retreating, leaning back with all their
strength against the suction, while staring up, aghast.

Suddenly a hurtling rock, the size of a basketball, smashes
into Cote's helmet from behind, crushing it and killing her
instantly. Blood sprays into the wind, immediately
crystallizing, in the sub-zero atmosphere, into red pellets...

LUKE, HORRIFIED, FLINGS HIS ARM UP

As bloody hail patters against his faceplate and forearm. An
instant later he sees

KIROV

Snatched up by the wind, then swept past him, in a terrifying
blur, arms and legs flailing, mouth open in a silent scream
as he vanishes...

THE GROUND AT LUKE'S FEET

Abruptly opens, and he slides into a fissure. Scrabbling
frantically with his gloved hands, he manages to momentarily
arrest his fall, gripping the edge of the fault line, with
his helmet and one elbow thrust over its lip. The air is
almost solidly choked with debris, deadly boulders bound
over him, and torrents of cascading sand are burying him
alive...

CLOSE ON LUKE

Barely conscious, as he watches, for a horrifying final
instant, as...

HIS LAST CREWMAN, WILLIS

Is sucked bodily into the black maw of the vortex, spinning
and tumbling like a rag doll...

CLOSE ON WILLIS'S FACE

His features grotesquely distorted by the forces tearing at
him, before suddenly his faceplate is sprayed with blood,
and...

DISTANT ANGLE - LUKE'S POV

Willis's spacesuit explodes, his entire body disintegrating
into a million bits, which instantly disappear into the
hellish maelstrom. And then that maelstrom itself, just as
abruptly...

STOPS. Vanishes.

There is an instant, ringing SILENCE, as awesome in its own
way as the roaring storm itself had been...

WIDE ANGLE

On the plain, as the last pebbles, released from suction,
pitter down, bouncing. Swirls of dust and sand drift away,
settling gently. The harsh orange landscape is once again
calm, peaceful.

And then, from the direction of the nearby mountain, we hear
another sound: the deep bass pulsing rumble returns.

INT. MMCR. DAY

As McConnell finishes his message to Luke.

MCCONNELL
Oh, and I talked to Debra. She and
Bobby are doing fine. Said to tell
you, they're, ah, they're on their
"third time through the book, page --
(glances at a note)
-- page 125." They send their love
and say take care of yourself. Same
from us here, buddy. Till next time,
then. End of transmission.

EXT. MARS. THE FACE. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. DAY

MOVING ANGLE, the CAMERA EXPLORING ground zero, as the bass,
pulsing rumble continues...

WE PASS the Rover, canted sideways into a little crater,
with its canopy missing, one axle fractured, but miraculously
still with all four wheels...

WE PASS faithful little ARES-8, lying on its side, partially
crushed under a boulder. It gives a final, pitiful WHINE,
its video snout slowly extending, then dies. And finally we
come to the area where the fissure had been, and see

THE FISSURE HAS BEEN FILLED IN

Leaving only a slender crease of umber sand. No sign of Luke.
The pulsing rumble continues, over, as we see

EXT. AERIAL VIEW. DAY

An extraordinary sight, seen from high in the air, looking
back down. Staring up at us from the bottom of a shallow
crater, scoured clean of its aeons of accumulated silt and
rubble, is a structure resembling a vast humanoid Face.

The surface is gleaming white, apparently metallic. The
features are suggested by intricately interlocking planes,
slopes, ramps. The "eyes" -- hatches of some kind? -- are
closed, and the overall expression is eerily calm, but
terrible in its power, like some ancient tribal mask.

We see the Face clearly for only a few beats before thick,
scudding clouds OBSCURE it, but the deep, pulsing rumble
continues, low and insistent...

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. MARS TWO (DOCKED). COCKPIT. DAY

We're inside the Mars Two spacecraft, which is still in its
docked position alongside the Space Station.

Woody Blake, wearing a NASA jumpsuit, floats up into the
cockpit in Zero-G, studying a thick manual.

WOODY
(reads)
"Problem: Hatch door malfunction,
backup power fail, manual override
fail. Solution: Replace circuit
breaker 907B."

He straps into the pilot's seat, staring at an electrical
junction box at one end of the console.

WOODY
Okay... Piece of cake.

He swings open the housing, revealing a bewildering tangle
of fuses and wires. He sighs heavily, as Terri drifts up
beside him, also in a jumpsuit, and straps into the co-pilot's
seat.

WOODY
God, who dreams up these nightmares?

TERRI
Don't try to change the subject.

WOODY
I'm not! We're talking about your
sister's wedding, right?

TERRI
Very funny. We're talking about
dancing lessons. Before my sister's
wedding.

WOODY
Honey, do you mind? I've got a
catastrophic power failure here.

He peers into the housing with exaggerated concern. But
Terri's not so easily sidetracked.

TERRI
Woody, we're a married couple. Would
it kill you to invite me out on the
floor once in awhile?

WOODY
I danced with you at our wedding.

TERRI
I'm not talking about shuffling your
feet around while you grab my butt.
I mean real dancing. Cha-cha, rhumba,
jitterbug --

WOODY
Face it, honey, some couples dance,
some go to Mars. That's life.

TERRI
I'm serious. We've got two more months
in this training rotation, but just
as soon as we get home, we're starting
lessons. If we never dance, people
will think there's something wrong.

WOODY
If they see me dance, they'll know
there's something wrong.

Reaching past him, she pulls out the required breaker. As he
reacts, surprised, she smiles, despite her exasperation.

TERRI
You are such a lug.

Overhead, an intercom CRACKLES. We hear PHIL.

PHIL'S VOICE
Cockpit, this is Control.

TERRI
Control, this is Cockpit.

PHIL'S VOICE
Uh, Terri, they want us all back in
the Station. Report to Micker.

TERRI
Who says report to Micker?

PHIL'S VOICE
The little men who live in my head.

WOODY
Phil, c'mon! We just started this
drill.

PHIL
Woody, it was Ray Beck. He told me
to round up the team. Now.

Woody and Terri exchange a worried look. What's wrong?

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

INT. SPACE STATION. MMCR. DAY

A crisis atmosphere prevails. The big room is more crowded
than we've ever seen it, with ENGINEERS and MANAGERS hurrying
by, huddling in tense, conferring knots, or muttering
feverishly into microphones.

On the center screen, a giant image of Mars. A frantic flow
of green numbers crawls above and below this, and the site
of the Mars One Base Camp is marked in blinking red.

WOODY AND HIS CREW

Are staring up at this screen, appalled. McConnell and Beck
stand nearby, briefing them.

BECK
Then, at 1417, the X-band continuous
data stream from Mars went silent.
All data -- med, environmental,
everything -- suddenly stopped. While
we were trying to figure out what
the hell went wrong, we got a signal
from the folks at the Large Array at
Soccoro.

MCCONNELL
At the same moment we lost the data
stream, they picked up an intense
burst of energy from Mars.

WOODY
What do you mean, "intense"?

MCCONNELL
(hesitates)
Catastrophic.

Looks are exchanged among the Mars Two crew.

TERRI
What about the crew?

BECK
The level of energy in the pulse...
didn't seem survivable.

WOODY
What about the REMO? It went into
Mars orbit last week. Maybe that
could give us some clue.

MCCONNELL
Good thinking, Woody. That's just
what we tried next.

He leans over, punches buttons on a keyboard.

ON THE CENTER SCREEN

An orange dot can be seen in its orbital ellipse around Mars,
leaving a glowing electronic trail. This dot gets isolated
in a viewing box, then enlarged and rotated into the computer-
animated image of a small, ugly, industrial-looking unmanned
cargo craft, labelled "REMO."

MCCONNELL
The Resupply Module checked out fine.
No instrument failures, no change in
status. Orbit holding steady. But
there was something else. The REMO'S
computer contained an uplink message --
a very faint, highly distorted
transmission from Mars One Base Camp.

TERRI
Someone's alive.

MCCONNELL
Yes.

PHIL
How?

BECK
The message is almost indecipherable.
Two teams are still working on it.
You better see for yourselves.

INT. MMCR. DAY

FINGERS press buttons on a console. McConnell, Woody, Terri,
and Phil are crowded around a monitor with Beck and two weary
TECHNICIANS.

TECHNICIAN
Still concentrating on the audio. We
managed to bring out a couple more
words, but we've got a long way to
go.

WOODY
Show us whatever you've got.

The technician nods, then gestures to his assistant who hits
a play button.

CLOSE ON A MONITOR

Black for a moment, then static. Out of this static comes a
faint image of Luke, sitting alone at the Hab kitchen table.
He looks awful -- dried blood on his face, bloodshot eyes.
The image is blurry, heavily streaked, and most of what he
says is lost in waves of static.

LUKE
...make this quick... may be only ch--
(long section of static)
...to the site, when we... hit us
just as we... --thers are all dead...

Woody, Terri and Phil look at each other -- Oh, God.

LUKE
(following more static)
...low sound that we couldn't
understand. Then all of a sudden
there was this terrib...
(another long burst
of static)
...--stems are holding up for now,
but I don't know how long I can...

The monitor screen GOES BLACK.

INT. MMCR. DAY

TECHNICIAN
That's it.

Woody and his crew stare at the screen, stunned. This is a
catastrophe almost too huge to grasp.

INT. SPACE STATION. DAY

As Beck leads McConnell and the other shaken astronauts down
a corridor, Phil pauses, seeing...

A SOBBING TECHNICIAN

At her desk. TWO CO-WORKERS are trying to comfort her. One
of these women looks up, and her reddened eyes meet...

PHIL'S EYES

He looks back at her, haunted.

TERRI
What did Luke mean by a "low sound?"

INT. SPACE STATION. DAY

In an otherwise empty lounge, the astronauts clutch Styrofoam
coffee cups. Beck stands nearby. Through a large viewport
behind them, stars glitter against the inky blackness.

BECK
If this was a earthquake, as we're
now assuming, there's usually an
auditory component.

WOODY
But that energy pulse they picked up
in New Mexico...

PHIL
Electromagnetic emission. Not uncommon
with large-scale geophysical
phenomena.

WOODY
(incredulous)
Causing this kind of damage? I don't
buy it. We're missing something here.

McConnell and Woody exchange a glance... Woody's right.

TERRI
Luke must be in pretty bad shape if
he hasn't blasted out of there in
the Earth Return Vehicle. That thing's
designed so even one crew member
could fly it back to Earth.

MCCONNELL
Even if Luke was in great shape, he
couldn't get home. That energy pulse
would've fried the ERV'S computers.

WOODY
Other than the computers, how do we
think the ERV fared?

BECK
Well, so far our modelling says it
should be in pretty good shape.

WOODY
Which means it's gonna be up to us
to get new motherboards, drives, and
software to Mars. As fast as we can.

McConnell looks at him, nods. They're on the same wavelength.
But Beck is more cautious.

BECK
Whoa, slow down. It's gonna take us
weeks just to analyze this data.

MCCONNELL
Right, but meanwhile, we've gotta be
working up a mission plan.

WOODY
Luke needs us now.

BECK
Luke may already be dead. And even
if he's not, it's doubtful he's going
to be able to transmit again. So we
wouldn't know whether it's safe to
land until you were almost there.

PHIL
What about SIMA?

Terri looks at Phil -- SIMA?

PHIL
The Saturn Imaging Probe. It's going
to slingshot around Mars on its way
through the solar system. It could
be retasked to take pictures, read
radiation levels at Mars One Base
Camp.

WOODY
Good idea Phil. If SIMA tells us
Luke hasn't survived and it's not
safe to land, we swing around Mars
and come right back home.

MCCONNELL
Yes. We can design the mission to
have a free return capability. It's
a long trip, but if you don't land
it's the best option.

BECK
We're getting ahead of ourselves.
You're forgetting the bigger problem.
(they look at him)
The orbits are all wrong. Our first
decent launch window is almost eight
months from now.

MCCONNELL
But we can go earlier and get there
faster if we reconfigure the payload
for extra fuel. We've modelled that,
Ray. I've modelled it.

BECK
On paper, yeah. But those stresses
have never been tested in space.

MCCONNELL
The ship can take it.

BECK
I wasn't thinking of just the ship.

A tense beat. Again we sense the test of wills between these
two tough-minded men, once good friends.

MCCONNELL
I know the protocols for a Mars
Recovery Mission better than anybody,
because I helped design them. And
I'm saying these guys can do it.

WOODY
He's right, Ray. We've got a real
shot.

A pause with beck weighing the odds. He looks at Woody.

BECK
Give me an updated mission plan by
0800 tomorrow. Then I'll put it in
the works.

MCCONNELL
You'll have it by 0600.

He looks at Woody, Phil and Terri, who are just as eager.

MCCONNELL
Let's get to work.

McConnell exits followed by Terri and Phil, but as Beck starts
out, too, Woody stops him.

WOODY
Chief, could I have a word?

Beck looks at him a moment, nods.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

INT. SPACE STATION. MMCR. DAY

In a quiet corner, Woody and Beck are alone.

WOODY
I've no longer got the right crew.

BECK
(surprised)
What do you mean? Bjornstrom can be
up here on the next shuttle.

WOODY
Bjornstrom is a geologist. He's good,
but not for this. My people just
lost eight months of training. This
is a different mission, with a
different objective.

BECK
I haven't been given authorization
for a mission yet.

WOODY
But when you are, it ought to be
given the best chance for success. I
want McConnell to fly right seat.

Beck's expression hardens.

BECK
He's no longer on mission status.

WOODY
Yeah. Because you washed him out.

BECK
He washed himself out. He only had
to pass a few more psych evaluations,
but he refused to take them.

WOODY
Ray, he's the best pilot I ever saw,
and you've got him benched at a desk.

BECK
Everybody has to pass the psych
prelims. No exceptions. Jim knew
that.

WOODY
Maggie was his wife. He didn't want
to lie on a couch and share her with
strangers.

BECK
That was his call. But I had to make
one too. It was tough as hell, but
I'd do it again.

WOODY
His wife wasted away in front of his
eyes. What was he supposed to do?
Suck it up? Get with the program?
What was his crime? That he was upset?
That he cried...?

BECK
I couldn't trust him!

Beck and Woody stare at each other. A long tense beat.

BECK
(his voice softer)
Not in a crisis... I'm sorry Woody,
but Jim lost his edge. Are you gonna
stand there and tell me Jim McConnell
is the same man he was two years
ago? You want me to bet four more
lives on that?

This stops Woody, just for a beat. Then makes him press on
harder, with even greater intensity.

WOODY
When Maggie died, yeah, it knocked
the shit out of him. It knocked the
hell out of all of us. But you know
and I know that he's still the best
we've got. He and Maggie wrote the
book on Mars. He's got more hours in
the sims than the rest of us put
together. Ray, we can do this. Give
me McConnell as co-pilot, and we
will bring Luke home. And that's a
promise.

Beck looks back at him, his features taunt.

INT. SPACE STATION. MMCR. DAY

Woody, Terri, and Phil stand at the edge of the big control
room, waiting and watching, in a tense silence, as

IN THE DISTANCE, FROM THEIR POV

Beck and McConnell are huddled together at the CAPCOM's
console. Other personnel have moved away, giving them room.
Both men are seated, leaning forward, with McConnell listening
intently, while Beck does most of the talking, very quietly.
After a moment McConnell looks up in surprise. His eyes search
the room till they find

WOODY'S FACE

Woody looks back at him, nods: C'mon, man. Take it.

MCCONNELL'S OWN FACE

Is a study in conflicting emotions. But after a moment he
masters his feelings, turns back toward Beck. A few more
quiet words are exchanged, then Beck offers his hand.
McConnell hesitates, then shakes it. Both men rise, and
McConnell turns again to look towards

WOODY, TERRI, AND PHIL

Who react with relief, glad that he's now a part of their
crew. Woody grins, giving him a thumb's up.

CLOSE ON MCCONNELL'S FACE

As he smiles. Then he starts towards them, with a new energy
in his step, a new sense of confidence and purpose. And as
he WALKS TOWARDS US, PASSING OUT OF FRAME...

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. DEEP SPACE. MARS RECOVERY. DAY

An infinite canopy of stars. After a moment, some of them
begin to be BLOTTED OUT as

A SPACESHIP

Glides INTO VIEW. "MARS RECOVERY" (formerly Mars Two) looks
much like its sister craft on Mars: a conical cockpit mounted
above a "tuna can" crew Hab module.

SUPER TITLE: "MARS RECOVERY. MISSION DAY 172."

The entire lower deck forms a segmented section of the hull
that rotates on bearings to provide artificial gravity; we
see window ports spinning past, then an American flag emblem.

Behind this lower deck, in an extending network of struts,
like the abdomen of a dragonfly, are the three huge round
PROPELLANT TANKS. Then vast, delicate-looking rectangular
SOLAR PANELS, which sweep out to either side of the ship;
these also bear the dish of the earth-pointing HI-GAIN
ANTENNA. And finally comes the great mass of the ENGINE BELLS,
housed within a curving AEROSHELL; three hatches in the
aeroshell can open to allow the main thrusters to fire through
for a mid-course burn.

CAMERA DRIFTS CLOSER

To the forward section of the ship, APPROACHING a viewport
in the EVA airlock chamber. Inside, we can see Phil leaning
forward, concentrating on some task...

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

INT. EVA AIRLOCK. DAY. A BUNCH OF M&MS

Are floating in mid-air, forming an intricate 3D pattern. In
the EVA airlock, it's zero G.

Phil, strapped into a chair by a galley counter, is just
completing this weightless puzzle by placing a final blue
M&M. He looks bored, sluggish. In the b.g., Terri is hunched
over a microscope.

McConnell emerges from the core tunnel, behind them, coming
up from the lower Hab, then pushes off from the ladder,
floating towards Phil. He grins, admiring Phil's obsessive
handiwork.

MCCONNELL
What's that?

PHIL
That... is the exact chemical
composition of my ideal woman.

MCCONNELL
Used to be.

He plucks out a couple of the M&Ms as he drifts by.

PHIL
Hey!

McConnell grins, snacking on the M&Ms.

MCCONNELL
Now what is it?

Phil looks sadly at his floating model.

PHIL
A frog.

McConnell and Terri laugh as Phil starts scarfing down the
rest of the M&Ms. Swooping at them with both hands.

TERRI
I guess now we have our answer to
the effects of long-term
interplanetary travel on the human
mind. The answer is Phil.

MCCONNELL
(smiles)
I'm gonna get an update on SIMA. It
should be just about close enough to
start capturing some surface images.

He's drifted to another short ladder, and now grabs it, starts
up to the cockpit, atop the Hab.

INT. COCKPIT. DAY

As McConnell appears in the cockpit, he sees Woody by the
forward instrumentation panel, looking at a monitor. The
cockpit is also zero G.

MCCONNELL
Hey, Skip.

WOODY
Take a look.

McConnell pulls himself forward.

ANGLE ON MONITOR

MARS completely fills the screen. Surface details are clearly
visible. Something is moving down there, an amorphous brown
swirl.

INT. COCKPIT. DAY

WOODY
What do you make of that?

MCCONNELL
Dust storm. Southern hemisphere,
coming from the east... Big fella,
too.

WOODY
Headed for Chryse Planitia.

MCCONNELL
Yup. Could get a little hairy just
about landing time...

McConnell pulls back from the screen, looks at Woody.

WOODY
We'll have to be ready to move fast.
Maybe even advance our ETA. Those
things can cover the whole planet,
and last up to a year.

A beat. They both hope he's wrong.

MCCONNELL
When does SIMA do her fly-by?

WOODY
Tomorrow morning, about 0600. That's
when we find out whether we came all
this way for nothing.

They exchange a glance. Woody's right, but the thought is
too terrible to dwell on. McConnell looks back at Mars.

MCCONNELL
(softly)
My money's on Luke.

INT. MARS RECOVERY. EVA AIRLOCK. NEXT MORNING

CLOSE ON A DIGITAL CLOCK

Just turning over to read "0545."

TERRI

Pulls her gaze away from these numbers. Judging from her
redrimmed eyes, it's been a long, anxious night. Restlessly,
looking to distract herself, she reaches for a test tube of
blood, straps it into a centrifuge, sets it spinning. Nearby
is her electron microscope.

MCCONNELL (LOWER HAB)

Lies on his cot in his own cubicle, with the door closed.
The lower hab has artificial gravity (AG) and McConnell can
move normally. Hands behind his head, he stares at his bureau.

PHOTO OF A WOMAN

Rests there, in its leather travel frame. Beautiful, smiling,
dark-haired: MAGGIE MCCONNELL. Her face glows with
intelligence and energy.

MCCONNELL

Shifts his eyes. The clock on his bulkhead reads "0546."

PHIL (LOWER HAB)

Stands in the communal bathroom, still in his pajamas, a
towel around his shoulders, brushing his teeth. He glances
at another digital clock, which reads "0547." Shakes his
head impatiently. He looks back into the mirror, then is
surprised to hear MUSIC lilting incongruously over the
loudspeakers: Elvis Presley's "Blue Moon."

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

INT. EVA AIRLOCK. DAY

Phil floats in through the connecting tunnel, then stops
himself at a handhold. He grins, charmed by the sight of

WOODY AND TERRI DANCING

Like a weightless Fred and Ginger. Woody is surprisingly
good at this. Enthusiastic, unselfconscious.

He sweeps Terri gallantly about the little cabin, pushing
off from every handy surface, even guiding her into some
passable twirls and dips. She laughs, shaking her head.

PHIL
What brought this on?

WOODY
Zero-G. My last chance to be graceful.
Once we're in Mars gravity, it's
back to shuffling my feet and grabbing
her butt.

TERRI
I'll take what I can get.

She grins, kisses his ear, as Phil turns, sees

MCCONNELL

Who has now arrived, is also watching the dancing couple. A
twinge of sadness crosses his features. But when his eyes
meet Phil's, he shakes off the feeling and manages a smile:
Aren't they something?

Over the music, they hear a CHIRP from the SHIP'S COMPUTER,
then an announcement.

COMPUTER
Attention. Incoming packet.

They all look at each other. This is it! Woody spins over to
a console, shuts off the music.

MCCONNELL
It's SIMA.

INT. COCKPIT. DAY. MINUTES LATER

The crew is gathered around a display screen. The lights are
dim, reflecting up off their faces. By their expressions, we
can tell the news is not good.

CLOSE ON THE SCREEN

It's a color, high-resolution satellite image of the Mars
One Base Camp. Ghostly, dust-covered. No signs of life.

WOODY
Looks deserted.

PHIL
It's still standing, though. So is
the ERV. And look, there's the
greenhouse.

MCCONNELL
We know Luke survived for at least a
few hours. Question is, are there
any signs of recent activity?

They all scan the screen. Phil spots something.

PHIL
There.

He grabs a stylus and touches the screen. They all look.
CLOSE ON THE SCREEN

Using where the stylus touches the screen as the focal point,
the image enlarges. THREE LONGISH DIRT PILES appear, some
fifty meters from the hab.

PHIL
What the hell are those?

McConnell gets it first.

MCCONNELL
Graves.

They all realize he's right. They sit back, stunned. But
then Phil has another thought.

PHIL
Hold on. There's only three. That
means --

TERRI
Phil --

PHIL
It means Luke must still be --

TERRI
No. It just means there was nobody
left to bury him.

This quiets everyone for a long moment.

WOODY
Check the radiation levels.

Phil keys in some commands and data pops up onscreen.

PHIL
Normal.

WOODY
Go to the disaster site.

Phil uses the stylus to bring MORE IMAGES into view. The
frame moves over the terrain in the direction of the Face,
first in SWIFT BLURS, then slowing. Scattered rock debris
come into view. The IMAGE ARRIVES where the mountain was,
and they see...

Debris in every direction, NEAT SPIRALS of it now, dropped
uncannily into place, like some massive earth sculpture. As
if - but this makes no sense -- it had been swirled towards
a LARGE CRATER. The crater itself is a perfect circle. They
FOCUS on the CENTER OF THE CRATER, but the image gets
distorted by STATIC.

MCCONNELL
What's wrong?

PHIL
I don't know. Magnetic interference?

Phil tweaks the stylus, but the image won't clear up.

WOODY
Go to infrared.

Phil works the keyboard.

THE SCREEN

Goes to INFRARED, reading heat, The middle of the IMAGE,
where the Face is, is still distorted, refusing focus.

THE ASTRONAUTS

Sit back, exasperated.

PHIL
Must be a problem with SIMA. I don't
see how an earthquake, six months
ago, could give us this kind of
distortion.

MCCONNELL
That was no quake.

He leans closer, staring intently.

WOODY
Then what the hell was it?

McConnell shakes his head. But his every sense is engaged;
he's like a predator just sighting his prey for the first
time. We see in his eyes an utter determination to unlock
this secret.

EXT. SPACE. DAY

Mars Recovery is speeding ever closer to Mars, which now
looms large, a dusty red mysterious sphere.

INT. MARS RECOVERY. LOWER HAB. DAY

McConnell and crew are eating dinner while they watch a taped
message from MMCR.

CLOSE ON MONITOR SCREEN

As Ray Beck addresses them. Other NASA STAFFERS, twenty or
more, have crowded in behind him, and we sense their great
hopefulness and high spirits; the whole team's triumph is
tantalizingly close now.

BECK
We're going to continue analyzing
this data and try to determine what
the problem is with those images.
Frankly, we're just as stumped as
you guys, but we'll keep on it.
(glancing around)
We agree that the evidence of the
graves is inconclusive and that a
ground search is advisable. Be aware
there are little sand storms kicking
up near Mars One Base, but the big
one you spotted is turning south. It
shouldn't be a factor.

Beck takes a breath, smiles.

BECK
We're all pretty excited here and
we're sure you must be feeling the
same. Enjoy your meal and get a good
night's sleep. We anticipate that
tomorrow morning you will be Go for
Mars Orbital Insertion.

INT. MARS RECOVERY. LOWER HAB. DAY

WHOOPS OF JOY from McConnell's crew. Woody and Terri high
five each other.

BECK
God bless you and goodnight. End of
transmission.

The monitor screen GOES BLACK.

INT. MARS RECOVERY. LOWER HAB. NIGHT

The lighting is subdued for a sleep period, but everyone's
too restless. There's a low HUM of equipment.

INT. EVA AIRLOCK. NIGHT

Terri and Phil are playing computer Monopoly under a single
light. Terri is using touch-screen technology to move her
piece. She glances at Phil. He has spread some M&Ms out,
letting them drift in mid-air as he performs his ritual
weeding out of the red ones. She shakes her head.

TERRI
What if you opened up your meal packs
and found that, instead of putting
in everything but red ones, they'd
made a mistake and put in only red
ones?

PHIL
Hey, that's a funny notion. And what
if in your meal packs, instead of
brown rice, there were spring-loaded
spikes that shot into your eyes?

TERRI
(pause)
How did you ever pass the psych
evaluation?

PHIL
When you're schizophrenic, they take
the higher score.

He touches the screen to roll the dice.

INT. MARS RECOVERY. LOWER HAB. NIGHT

McConnell, in his cubicle, looks away from the photo of
Maggie. Haunted by memories. He rises, flips through the CDs
in a storage case, pulls one out. He holds this carefully,
hesitating, then feeds it into his computer. Immediately his
screen saver vanishes and we see

HOME VIDEO OF A PARTY

An impromptu celebration, a bunch of friends gathered in a
semi-darkened living room. The footage is HANDHELD, a bit
jerky. People have paper plates of food, beers in hand,
everyone is a little tipsy. Debra is there, Terri, Phil,
Cote, Kirov, others. They're watching a STILL PHOTO SEQUENCE,
shown on a large screen TV, with commentary by Luke and Woody.

THE FIRST PHOTO

Is of a small boy (YOUNG MCCONNELL) in his pajamas, kneeling
in front of a Christmas tree. He's grinning ecstatically as
he holds up a brand new model rocket.

LUKE
Jim's first ship was seriously
underpowered...

LAUGHTER at this. Some AD LIB CRACKS about the painfully bad
haircut and the pajamas.

THE SECOND PHOTO

Is of a gawky-looking teenage girl (YOUNG MAGGIE), standing
on a porch at night, posing a bit self-consciously by a
telescope on its tripod.

WOODY
Maggie was always starstruck...

More LAUGHTER, plus some digs about the nerdy eyeglasses and
braces. VIDEOCAMERA swings around the room, REVEALING the
adult JIM and MAGGIE. They sit side by side on the hearth,
leaning into each other, looking very happy.

MAGGIE
I'll get you guys for this.

More LAUGHTER. Everyone's having a great time. The VIDEOCAMERA
swings back towards the TV screen as

THIRD PHOTO APPEARS

Jim and Maggie, young adults, standing on the wing of a
fighter jet. Both in Air Force flight suits, helmets in hand.
Suntanned, cocky, flashing radiant smiles.

LUKE
When they met at the Air Force
Academy, it was "love at first
flight."

GROANS and LAUGHTER from the offscreen watchers.

WOODY
After that, NASA training was tough.
All Jim could think about was
exploring a heavenly body. More ribald
LAUGHTER, as

FOURTH PHOTO APPEARS

Maggie and Jim, tethered together, floating weightlessly in
space suits.

LUKE
But Maggie, as you can see, kept him
on a short leash. Until...

A FIFTH PHOTO

Shows McConnell, in a dress uniform, leaning in to kiss
Maggie, who wears a white bridal gown.

WOODY
Mission accomplished!

ANGLE ON MCCONNELL, IN THE PRESENT

As he smiles at this, hearing the renewed LAUGHTER and CHEERS,
the AD-LIBBED DIGS from the video. He becomes aware he's not
alone. He looks up.

WOODY

Stands in the doorway of his cubicle. Their eyes meet. They
both smile, turning back to the video. Remembering.

IN THE VIDEO

Luke and Woody have stepped forward, INTO SHOT, standing at
the sides of the TV, where the last photo lingers. Luke waves
his hands, hushing everybody.

LUKE
Today we celebrate a new chapter in
their story. And guys, it's a pretty
historic one.

Both men raise champagne flutes.

WOODY
Let's hear it for the newly-announced
Captain and Co-Captain of Mars One.
To Jim and Maggie!

CHEERS at this, repeats of "Jim and Maggie!" Luke grins,
giving a little signal, and we see

A FINAL PHOTO

Of Maggie in Jim's arms, both of them in goofy tropical
vacation wear, smiling. Evidently a photo taken in the surf
somewhere, but here it's been crudely superimposed onto a
Martian landscape. Laughter greets this unlikely image.

LUKE
When you guys land, it'll prove once
and for all there's no intelligent
life on Mars.

More hoots of LAUGHTER, CATCALLS, but Maggie jumps in to
protest, as the VIDEOCAMERA SWINGS TO HER AND JIM. Terri
sits nearby.

MAGGIE
Hey, c'mon, what if I'm right?

ASSORTED VOICES
Oh no, here we go! Don't get her
started! Somebody put on some music!

MAGGIE
It's our sister planet!

PHIL
Oh brother!

LAUGHTER at this, and Maggie joins in. She's a good sport.

TERRI
Maggie, why does this have to be
about us? Mars is a great opportunity
for pure science.

MAGGIE
We'll do the science. And we'll do
it very well. That's what we've
trained for. But what if there's
more...? In all our myths, in every
human culture, Mars has always held
a special attraction. What if that
means something? Only we don't
understand it yet...

The mood of the party is changing, as everyone is caught up
in Maggie's spell. She has a radiant simplicity. The VIDEO
CAMERA DRIFTS IN ON HER; we are caught up, too.

MAGGIE
The universe is not chaos. It's
connection. Life reaches out for
life...

She looks at McConnell, smiles. He takes her hand.

MAGGIE
This is what we were born for, isn't
it? To stand on a new world, and
look beyond it to the next one. It's
who we are.

A silence; the guests are enchanted by the purity of her
passion. She smiles, suddenly self-conscious. She hadn't
meant to get so carried away.

IN THE PRESENT - MCCONNELL

Reaches out, gently taps the keyboard, FREEZING the screen.
He and Woody, their eyes shining, stare at her image. A beat.

WOODY
You okay?

MCCONNELL
Yeah. I'm good to go.

Woody glances at him. It's true. Rather than being saddened,
McConnell seems to have taken on new strength. A renewed
sense of wonder.

MCCONNELL
After all these years... Can you
believe it? Tomorrow we'll be standing
on Mars.

Woody nods, smiles.

WOODY
You know what? She may have been
right.

McConnell looks at him.

WOODY
If that wasn't a quake down there,
then something else caused it. Or
planned it... You're thinking the
same thing.

MCCONNELL
It's never been out of my mind.

WOODY
Jesus. You realize what this means?

McConnell nods. Looks again at Maggie's face on the screen.

MCCONNELL
She knew, Woody. She was the only
one of us that ever thought there
might be something down there.

WOODY
Yeah, and we're not leaving until we
find out... Deal?

McConnell nods. They clasp hands briefly. Deal. Then Woody
turns. Before leaving, he hesitates just a moment, turning
back. One last thought, and he doesn't know he's going to
say it until it comes out.

WOODY
Maggie was the best of us.

McConnell looks at him, silent but grateful. Woody goes.
McConnell turns back, looking at her smiling face, frozen on
the screen.

INT. COCKPIT. NIGHT

MARS LOOMS AHEAD OF US.

As seen through the cockpit windows. Huge, beautiful, MUCH
CLOSER now. We can make out swirling pink clouds, large
surface features. It's just before Martian dawn, the next
morning.

MCCONNELL
Range 6783 and closing. 35 minutes
till Mars Orbital Capture.

WOODY
Okay, people let's look sharp. If we
overshoot, there's no coming back.

PHIL (O.S.)
Yeah, and drifting through eternity
will ruin your whole day.

In the cockpit, Woody and McConnell are in the pilot and co-
pilot's wearing space suits but not yet helmets. AS CAMERA
PULLS BACK AND AWAY, we see them making instrument adjustments
in preparation for MOI.

TERRI (O.S.)
Delta V systems initialized.

WOODY
Charge primary APU.

TERRI (O.S.)
Engaged. Charged.

WOODY
Select HPU fuel cells for run.

TERRI (O.S.)
Engaged.

MCCONNELL
Tie main bus to systems.

PHIL (O.S.)
Power ready.

MCCONNELL
Select H2/O2 HPU and fuel cells for
open.

PHIL (O.S.)
H2/O2 control valves open.

CAMERA TURNS, PUSHING DOWN INTO...

INT. EVA AIRLOCK. NIGHT

...Where Phil and Terri sit side by side at a pair of
computers, relaying cockpit commands to the systems.

WOODY (O.S.)
Charge flow.

TERRI
Charged and on-line

WOODY (O.S.)
Reset PW.

TERRI
Set

MCCONNELL
Transfer protocol data from EVA
station.

PHIL
Transferred. Awaiting track
confirmation.

There's a sudden LOUD, BRITTLE POP from somewhere overhead,
and Phil's gloved hand, hovering over a computer screen, is
punctured through and through. The screen itself is holed
and spiderwebbed with a loud CRACK!

PHIL
Uhhh!

PHIL HOLDS UP HIS HAND

As he and Terri stare at it, dumbfounded. Thick droplets of
blood leak out and begin to swirl away, sucked up towards
the venting puncture in the hull over head. The astronauts'
helmets dangle up there, awaiting use.

TERRI
What in God's --

Suddenly we hear HIGH PITCHED ALARMS SOUNDING, then the
PINGING OF MORE TINY MISSILES, slashing across the ship's
outer skin.

WOODY AND MCCONNELL

Are staring back from the cockpit, reacting in astonishment
to Phil's drifting blood and to the alarms. Then Woody
suddenly understands.

WOODY
Micrometeoroids

MCCONNELL
(scanning sensors)
Breach hits in the hull!

ANGLES ON TERRI AND PHIL

As she seizes his wounded hand, tries to stop the bleeding.
He's staring at a gauge.

PHIL
Outgassing! Losing pressure!

TERRI
Woody, seal the breech!

ANGLE ON WOODY

As he unbuckles, dives from the cockpit back down into the
EVA, and floats quickly over to a storage hatch. He yanks
this open pulling out a

PATCH GUN

Then spins around in zero-G, as his eyes track

THE RISING DROPLETS OF BLOOD

Which give a telltale hint of the puncture's location,
somewhere up among the dangling helmets on the "ceiling."

WOODY PUSHES OFF

Rising to this area, and shoves aside a helmet with a
shattered faceplate -- its label reads "MCCONNELL" -- to
REVEAL A BREECH IN THE HULL. Jagged metal edges, dangling
insulation. The blood droplets are whirling out through here,
going into the vacuum of space.

Quickly Woody stuffs the muzzle of the patch gun into the
puncture, firing a thick grey sealant. We hear MORE PINGS,
ECHOING LOUDLY, but after a few seconds they DIMINISH, then
abruptly STOP. The KLAXONS continue to wail.

WOODY
Kill those alarms!

McConnell punches buttons, MUTING THE ALARMS, and they all
strain to listen, faces tense and sweating. A long beat. But
the meteor shower has passed by, as abruptly as it appeared.
The astronauts turn, becoming aware of a strange phenomenon.

PHIL'S BLOOD DROPLETS

Have stopped in place, wobbling eerily as perfect spheres in
the zero-G. Then suddenly they start moving again, faster
and faster, in a new direction. Down through the open core
tunnel that leads to the lower Hab.

MCCONNELL

Stares at a gauge that confirms what's happening.

MCCONNELL
Still outgassing in the lower Hab!
There must be another hole down there,
even bigger.

PHIL
Losing pressure fast! We're gonna
decompress!

WOODY
Computer, how long until zero
atmosphere?

COMPUTER
(after a beat)
Four minutes, nine seconds.

PHIL
If we get below 20% atmosphere, the
power will shut down!

TERRI
Are you sure?

PHIL
Positive! A vacuum inside the ship
would cause a total electrical
failure. The nav computers will fry!

MCCONNELL
(to Woody)
We'll lose all control. We won't be
able to fire the engines to capture
Mars orbit.

Just then a computer screen flickers, freezes. Phil punches
keys with his good hand. What he sees shocks him.

PHIL
It's already starting. The primary L-
1 hub has been smashed. The systems
are crashing.

Woody looks back at his crew, struggling to project more
calm than he really feels.

WOODY
Everybody switch to suit oxygen. We
beat this in the simulator, we can
do it here. Jim, you've got the ship.
I'm going EVA.

They stare at him, stunned by their immense task.

WOODY
C'mon, people, let's go! Let's work
the problem!

INT. EVA AIRLOCK. MOMENTS LATER

Terri, now helmeted, is putting Woody's helmet on him, but
something's in the way, chafing his neck. He reaches into
his suit, pulls out...

THE CHAIN

From around his neck, with his little Flash Gordon rocketship
dangling.

WOODY HANDS THIS TO TERRI

As they share a brief, loving glance, but there's no time
for words. She tightens his helmet ring, and he brushes his
gloved fingertips on her faceplate. Then he hurries towards
the inner hatch door, where McConnell is throwing airlock
switches. Woody and McConnell exchange a look.

At the EVA computer panel, Phil is shutting down non-essential
power drains, trying to get the main computer system back on
line. His wounded hand makes this difficult and painful.

PHIL
Jesus, it's still bleeding.

TERRI
Keep the pressure on!

COMPUTER
Eighty percent atmosphere...

INT./EXT. AIRLOCK. NIGHT

The outer airlock door is now open, revealing stars, as Woody
drifts through it into space. He's now wearing the MMU, an
oversized jet pack like the ones used by the shuttle
astronauts.

INT. EVA ROOM. NIGHT

MCCONNELL'S HELMET.

With its shattered faceplate -- now useless -- drifts past
Terri as she is wrapping med tape around gauze pads on Phil's
glove.

MCCONNELL

Floats up to them, checking on Phil's work at the computer.

TERRI
Jim, you've gotta get your spare
helmet from storage.

MCCONNELL
No time. Phil, can you keep the nav
computers on-line?

PHIL
I can't get this damn machine to re-
initialize! And the automated systems
just went down. We can't shut down
the hab rotation from here.

MCCONNELL
I'll do it from below.

TERRI
We're losing pressure. You could
embolize.

COMPUTER
Seventy percent atmosphere...

McConnell looks at her, knows she's right. But he starts off
anyway. Phil reaches out his good hand.

PHIL
Jim, I've got an idea. If you guys
can save enough atmosphere, I'll
disconnect the power in the main
computer bay, then jump start the
systems. I'll do a hard boot.

This is a radical, incredibly risky notion. McConnell stares
hard at Phil. So does Terri.

MCCONNELL
Has that ever been tested?

PHIL
Are you kidding? These machines are
much too valuable.

McConnell looks from Terri to Phil. It's life and death.

MCCONNELL
Do it.

Then he turns, and the CAMERA FOLLOWS MCCONNELL as he pushes
away from the console and dives down into the core tunnel,
heading towards the

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

INT. LOWER HAB

...where he emerges from the core into the rotating Hab deck,
and pushes himself down a ladder toward the floor. He
accelerates as he gets closer to the floor, then rights
himself with a twist and lands on his feet -- now in gravity.

EXT. MARS RECOVERY. NIGHT

Woody, in the MMU, is hovering over the lower segment of the
Hab hull, and right away we see his problem. He can't reach
the damaged spot because it's spinning past him, spewing
vapor.

WOODY
(over radio)
Jim, how we doin' on the AG?

INT. LOWER HAB. NIGHT

McConnell runs to a computer terminal and starts clicking
with the mouse.

MCCONNELL
Just one goddamn second. Come on,
c'mon...

COMPUTER
Voice print identification.

MCCONNELL
McConnell!

COMPUTER
(a beat)
Accepted. Shutting down artificial
gravitational rotation.

McConnell hears a sound up at the core tunnel. He turns,
it's Terri. She holds an small 0-2 cannister, marked with a
red cross.

MCCONNELL
Hang on!

McConnell grabs onto a counter edge as...

EXT. SPACE. NIGHT

Attitude control thrusters on the hull begin firing in pulses.
The rotation of the lower Hab deck immediately starts to
slow down. The great red ball of Mars drifts by.

INT. CORE TUNNEL. NIGHT

Terri, lurching, grabs a ladder strut, and watches from the
tunnel as...

MCCONNELL

Is also jarred by the firing of the thrusters. The rotation
slows until the Hab is still. Zero-G. McConnell floats. He
and Terri can hear the terrifying sound of air whistling out
into space through the breach hole.

COMPUTER
Sixty per cent atmosphere...

WOODY (V.O.)
Get some light on the hole so I can
locate it.

MCCONNELL
I've got a better idea.
(shouts to Terri)
Stay there!

He starts rooting through Phil's storage area -- bags of
M&Ms, comic books -- looking for what he needs.

INT. COCKPIT. NIGHT

Phil is now strapped into the pilot's seat. He's scared,
sweating hard, but concentrating fiercely as his one good
hand works a battery-powered screwdriver.

He's removing the panel of the main computer bay. Over the
intercom, he can hear the merciless struggle going on
elsewhere.

WOODY (V.O.)
I'm topside, Jim, do you know which
sector?

MCCONNELL (V.O.)
I'm workin' on it!

EXT. SPACE. NIGHT

The lower Hab deck is no longer revolving. Woody pops his
thrusters and drifts over the metallic skin. But there's
such a vast area to search!

WOODY
Jesus, uh, OK, this is gonna be like
searching for a needle in a haystack.

INT. LOWER HAB NIGHT

McConnell locates a can of Dr. Pepper, shakes this violently,
then tosses it up to Terri, who's still in the tunnel mouth.
She catches the drifting can, confused. When McConnell speaks
again, he's gasping for air.

MCCONNELL
Shake out the liquid.

TERRI
Jim, I don't --

MCCONNELL
Shake it out near the hull!

Terri shakes out soda from the open can. She and McConnell
watch the brown stream of fluid swirl up into the air, caught
by escaping oxygen. It rises towards the "ceiling" of the
outer hull, like a miniature tornado.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. SPACE. NIGHT

Woody still drifts over the hull, searching intently as his
frustration builds.

WOODY
C'mon, c'mon, where are you...?

COMPUTER (V.O.)
Fifty per cent atmosphere...

INT. LOWER HAB. NIGHT

Terri, staring at the ceiling, sees something remarkable.

THE SODA STREAM

Swirling ever tighter, has formed a whirlpool that's now
being sucked out through the breach hole in the hull. She
can now see the ugly puncture for the first time.

MCCONNELL
(gasping)
Woody, the breech is in sector four!
Sector four, copy that?

WOODY (V.O.)
Copy, I' heading there now.

Terri turns, excited by McConnell's triumph; she's just in
time to see him collapse to the floor below her, as he starts
to lose consciousness. He's deathly pale.

EXT. SPACE. NIGHT

Woody spots a tiny geyser of brownish ice crystals spouting
out of the hull of the lower Hab. It's some distance away
from him, but clearly visible.

WOODY
(to himself, marveling)
Sonofabitch. You never did that in
the simulator.

INT. LOWER HAB. NIGHT

Terri pushes off from the ladder, drifting weightlessly down
to McConnell. She opens the valve of the oxygen cannister,
pushing the plastic mask over McConnell's face. He sucks in
air, color returning to his skin as he revives.

INT. COCKPIT. NIGHT

CLOSE ON THE COMPUTER'S GUTS.

An incredible tangle of tubes, wires, chips, as Phil's gloved
fingers -- both hands now -- probe desperately through them.

PHIL
Where are you, you little bastard,
where are you...?

PHIL WINCES WITH PAIN.

As he moves his hands and forearms deep inside the computer
bay. Around him, several of the smaller screens and gauges
are starting to malfunction, the data streams breaking apart,
streaking into electronic snow. He shoots a tense glance at

THE NAVIGATIONAL MONITOR

Which is flickering crazily. It shows the ship moving much
closer to its critical MOI point, indicated by a flashing
red triangle aimed down at the Martian surface.

COMPUTER
Forty percent atmosphere...

EXT. SPACE. NIGHT

Woody, popping his thrusters, moves as fast as he can towards
the protruding finger of crystal, but he's not there yet.

All of a sudden Woody's thrusters cut out. The ship is moving
by, a meter beneath him. Woody punches his arm controls.
Nothing.

Then just as the outer edge of the hab starts to pass him,
the thrusters kick back in. Woody grabs the edge, starts to
move to the hole. Woody lets out a breath.

WOODY
(to himself)
Whoa.

INT. LOWER HAB. NIGHT

McConnell, holding his breath, grabs a patch gun from a
storage locker. Terri's still got the 0-2 cannister. He nods
to her, and together they push off from the floor, leaping
weightlessly up to the other side of the Hab, the "ceiling."
They reach the gaping puncture, which they now see has been
only partially dammed by the soda ice.

INT. COCKPIT. NIGHT

VERY CLOSE ON THE COMPUTER'S INTERIOR

As Phil's gloved fingers finally locate the plug he's been
searching for. He hopes. And grip it firmly.

PHIL
Gotcha!

PHIL TAKES A DEEP BREATH.

Says a silent prayer. Then he yanks the plug. SHRILL WHINES,
ELECTRONIC CRACKLES from all around him, as the systems are
abruptly shut down, in a way they were never meant to be
mishandled. Terrifyingly, a couple of the monitors arc to
each other as they die. Dodging sparks, Phil stares at

THE NAVIGATIONAL MONITOR

As it also flickers and dies. Now they're flying blind.

COMPUTER
Thirty percent atmosphere...

EXT. SPACE. NIGHT

Woody arrives at the ice finger, knocks away the big crystal,
then pulls his patch equipment from a pouch.

INT. LOWER HAB. NIGHT

In the Hab, Terri uses the base of the 0-2 cannister to smash
away the interior ice chunk, then McConnell, who's getting
wobbly again, blasts the hole with the epoxy gun. As he works,
Terri gives him another hit of air.

COMPUTER
Twenty percent atmosphere...

The lights flicker out in the Hab.

EXT. SPACE. NIGHT

Outside, Woody slaps a big square patch over the hole, rips
off the backing.

CLOSE ON THE PATCH

As it changes color and shrinks, drawing itself down into
the metal of the hull.

INT. COCKPIT. NIGHT

VERY CLOSE ON THE COMPUTER'S INTERIOR.

As Phil's fingers re-connect the same plug.

PHIL PULLS HIS HAND OUT

From inside the computer bay. He's trembling, sweat-streaked
inside his faceplate. Blood has soaked through his gauze
pads. His good hand hovers over the red main power switch.
The moment of truth.

PHIL
OK... OK now...

With a dramatic click, he throws the switch, hard-booting
the computer system back on. He stares at the screens.

Nothing happens!

PHIL
Come on. Come on...!

Frightened, furious, Phil bangs on the switch with his
cordless screwdriver. When all else fails, hit something.

INT. LOWER HAB. NIGHT

Feeble starlight from the viewports. McConnell and Terri,
drifting side by side, stare at one another, expecting to
die within seconds. It feels like an agonizing eternity.

COMPUTER
Twenty percent atmosphere...

McConnell's eyes widen, as he realizes this is the same as
the last reading.

COMPUTER
Pressure stabilizing... Atmosphere
level increasing.

Terri and McConnell look at each other. Tears of relief in
her eyes. He is exhausted, nearly spent, but manages a grin.
She holds the 0-2 mask up to his face, and as he grips it,
breathing deeply, they hug one another.

INT. COCKPIT. NIGHT

The lights and computer screens are flickering back on. All
of them! The cockpit lights up like a Christmas tree. Phil
bounces up and down like a madman, babbling in triumph.

PHIL
Yes! Awriiiight! Had it all the way.
Yes!

Forgetting his injury, he pounds his gloved fist on the
console in triumph.

PHIL
Shit!

He wrings his injured hand, then his gaze is caught by

THE NAVIGATIONAL MONITOR

Which pops back on, showing the ship and the MOI point coming
perilously close together.

PHIL'S EYES WIDEN IN FEAR

As he keys his mike urgently.

PHIL
Get back in here, guys!

EXT. SPACE. NIGHT

Woody floats above the repaired hole, scanning the nearby
surface of the hull.

WOODY
Jim, there's a lot of scarring...
I'd better check for other punctures
while I'm out here.

MCCONNELL (V.O.)
Negative, negative. Woody, get back
inside. We've gotta start the
checklist for orbital insertion.

WOODY
(a beat; reluctantly)
Copy, I'm heading there now.

Woody jets back towards the open EVA hatch. But as he reaches
this, about to re-enter the ship, he's captured momentarily
by a breathtakingly beautiful sight below him.

SUNRISE OVER MARS

As the huge planet is REVEALED in all its red, unearthly
glory. It's so close now that individual features can be
seen with the naked eye -- the vast chasm of Valles Marineris,
and then Olympus Mons, poking all the way up through the
Martian atmosphere. A stunning, alluring spectacle.

WOODY

Stares down at Mars, enthralled, as sunlight floods the side
of the spaceship, sparkles off his visor. Dawn, after a very
long night indeed. He whispers lovingly, under his breath.

WOODY
Hey, Beautiful...

Then he stirs himself out of his reverie and hurries through
the EVA hatch.

CAMERA DRIFTS QUICKLY BACK and down along the hull as stark
sunlight flares off the big propellant tanks, three in a
row, and the thick silver tubes that join them. There's a
good deal of scarring and denting from the meteor shower.
Then, as the ship begins to MOVE OUT OF FRAME...

WE MOVE IN CLOSER

On one of these tubes, a feeder line to the engine bells, we
see a scatter of tiny, undetected holes, about the size of
the eraser at the end of a pencil. So small, so apparently
harmless...

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

INT. EVA AIRLOCK. DAY

As Woody enters, stripped from the MMU, dripping with sweat,
McConnell is waiting for him. For a moment the two men just
look at each other, then they surge forward into a fierce
hug.

WOODY
(whispers)
Know what? You've got enough left.

McConnell looks at him, understands.

Terri sits nearby, where she has just finished stitching up
Phil's hand. As Woody goes to her, she rises from her seat
and looks at him tears of relief and pride in her eyes.

TERRI
Piece of cake?

WOODY
Well. Easier than the cha-cha.

He scoops her into his arms; they kiss passionately.

Phil is blinking; something seems to be getting into his own
eyes. His voice catches for a moment.

PHIL
I don't know what you're getting so
cocky about. We scored better times
in the sim at least twice.

MCCONNELL
(grins)
How's his hand?

Terri separates from Woody, looks down at Phil.

TERRI
Seems OK. Couple of the tendons are
going to be a little tight for awhile.
Try to close your fingers, Phil,
nice and slowly.

Phil starts curling up his fingers. The middle digit remains
extended in the universal gesture. They all consider this
for a moment. Then Phil looks up cheerfully.

PHIL
Well, at least I'll still be able to
drive.

After a split-second they get it, and the whole crew roars
with LAUGHTER, which builds and builds; they're almost giddy
with the relief of the tension...

EXT. DEEP SPACE. DAY

MARS RECOVERY

Sails INTO VIEW, with small attitude thrusters firing as the
great ship maneuvers into position for its orbital-capture
burn. Mars looks very large, blood-red. The entire spectacle
is majestic, awe-inspiring.

WOODY
OK, we're ready to light this candle.
Go/No Go for braking burn and MOI.
Engines?

INT. COCKPIT. DAY

All four astronauts are strapped in, fully suited and
helmeted. Mars looms through the cockpit windows. The
atmosphere is electric with excitement.

MCCONNELL
Go.

WOODY
Systems.

TERRI
Go.

WOODY
Nav.

PHIL
Go.

WOODY
We are Go for the burn. I'm fueling
the engines.

He flips three switches, in rapid sequence, and...

EXT. MARS RECOVERY. DAY

As we MOVE IN on the damaged fuel line, we see a tiny but
steady spray of fuel venting from the hole caused by the
meterorite. This freezes into eerie streamers and chunks,
which slowly drift away from the ship. They're quite
beautiful.

PHIL (V.O.)
Optimum angle of entry minus seven
degrees. Six... Five...

INT. COCKPIT. DAY

Woody looks at the others for moment -- everyone is set,
looking good -- then reaches for a last switch.

PHIL
Four... Three...

Woody hesitates, then glances at McConnell.

WOODY
Jim?

McConnell, moved by this honor, nods. He reaches out to throw
the switch himself.

MCCONNELL
Let's go to Mars.

As the countdown indicator reaches "0000.00.00", a final
signal PINGS, and he flips the switch.

EXT. MARS RECOVERY. DAY

In total silence, the engines ignite. The second they do,
the streamers of frozen fuel explode in a white flash.

INT. COCKPIT. DAY

With alarms sounding, the four astronauts are slammed
violently forward, against their restraints.

WOODY
What the --

MCCONNELL
Shut down engines!

He and Woody both reach out, straining against the incredible
G-forces, and manage to grab a red emergency lever, yanking
it down hard.

EXT. MARS RECOVERY. DAY

Too late! IN SLOW MOTION, we see a terrifyingly violent chain
reaction. The fuel tanks themselves explode, one after
another. The supporting metal struts are vaporized. The solar
panels are snapped off. Two of the huge engine bells are
smashed sideways, out of alignment, while the third, trailing
pieces of the cowling, goes hurtling off, PAST CAMERA, like
a flaming cannon ball. The entire aft section of the ship,
including much of the lower Hab, instantly becomes a shredded,
charred tangle of metal, and even worse, the explosion causes
what's left of the ship -- mainly the EVA chamber and cockpit --
to tumble end over end, cartwheeling down towards Mars.

INT. COCKPIT. DAY

In the windows, Mars goes crazily in and out of view. The
astronauts, flung this way, then that, are all fighting
against unconsciousness.

WOODY
Engines negative! No response! I've
got no attitude control!

MCCONNELL
Manual separation! Blow the bolts!

WOODY
Negative! The CM doesn't have enough
thrust to correct this rotation!

PHIL
We're too steep! Falling into the
atmosphere...!

EXT. MARS RECOVERY. DAY

From further away, the charred remainder of the ship can be
seen spinning down towards Mars, which now fills the screen,
looming as large as Earth, when seen from the space shuttle.
The ship's motion is mercifully slowing as it hits the outer
atmosphere, but just as clearly this steep, unplanned angle
of entry dooms it.

PHIL
Christ, at this angle we'll burn up!

INT. COCKPIT. DAY

ON A COMPUTER.

Their ANGLE OF ENTRY is shown -- much too direct -- with an
indicated swerve into blinking red disaster. Warnings flash:
CRITICAL ENTRY! PULL OUT!

WOODY
How much time've we got?

PHIL
I don't know! Three minutes? I don't
know!

McConnell's mind is racing furiously, desperately.

MCCONNELL
Where's the REMO?

PHIL
The Resupply Module? Why? That's not --

MCCONNELL
Where is it?!

Phil punches buttons. ON THE SCREEN a second ellipse appears:
a blinking orange dot labelled "REMO." It appears to be soon
intersecting with their own trajectory.

PHIL
Uh, it's close...

MCCONNELL
Damn it, how close?!

PHIL
(shaken)
I-I don't know. It'll take time...

MCCONNELL
We don't have time! Figure it out!
Now!

Phil frantically types in commands on the computer.

WOODY
Jim, we're dead stick, there's no
way to maneuver this ship into a
link-up!

MCCONNELL
Not the ship. Just us. We have to go
EVA.

They look at him, stunned. Leave the ship?

PHIL
You want us to transfer in suits?

TERRI
Jesus, Jim -- if we don't make it --
if we miss the REMO...

MCCONNELL
There's no other choice! Phil, how
close?!

PHIL
One kilometer, that's the best I can
do!

They stare at Woody. We feel the full, terrible weight of
his responsibility. Four lives hang on his call.

WOODY
Prepare to abandon ship.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. SPACE. DAY

The astronauts are outside the ship, tethered to each other
with long shock cords. Other cords, clipped to their suits,
trail gear bags. Phil clutches a silver metallic case -- his
precious computer repair kit. Woody is in the MMU. They're
all rotating at the same speed as the ship behind them.

WOODY
On my mark, seven percent left
thruster. Three, two, one, fire.

All four astronauts fire a brief, simultaneous burst from
the tiny attitude control thrusters in their suits. This
stops their rotation, bringing their travel under control.
The ship continues spinning in the background.

Woody takes a final look at the charred, doomed Mars Recovery.
The only home they've known for six months. He exchanges a
silent glance with the others. They all expect to be dead in
the next few minutes. Woody takes a breath, nods.

WOODY
Okay. Let's go.

He pops the big thrusters on the MMU and starts heading away
from the ship. The cord between Woody and the others pulls
taut and they start to follow.

WIDE SHOT

Of Woody leading them away from the crippled spaceship,
against the magnificent backdrop of the blood-red planet
below. Four tiny figures, all alone in space.

ANGLE ON MCCONNELL AND THE OTHERS

As Phil looks back, his eyes searching the stars.

TERRI
What're you looking for?

PHIL
(softly, sadly)
Earth.

TERRI
(beat)
Hey. When we get back? We really
will have to try this in the sim.

He tries to smile. So does she.

MCCONNELL
How we doin' on fuel, Woody?

Woody eyes a small display screen on his forearm.

WOODY
I'm at fifty percent.
(looking down)
But I don't see the REMO.

THEIR POV

Everyone is looking back at the curve of Mars against black
space, expecting to see the REMO coming up behind them.

TERRI

Happens to glance directly below.

TERRI
There she is!

THEIR POV

The black outline of the little cargo craft drifts against
the red of Mars.

WOODY
Jesus. She's not where I thought
she'd be.

PHIL
We're going to miss her.

WOODY

Looks again at his display screen, frustrated.

MCCONNELL
What do you think?

WOODY
We can't catch it. Not like this.

MCCONNELL
(thinking quickly)
Use the tether.

From a compartment on the side of the MMU, Woody pulls out...

THE TETHER GUN

About the size of a large flare gun. There's a carabiner-
like hook five inches in diameter on the front of the gun.

MCCONNELL
We'll only have one, maybe two shots
before she's out of reach.

WOODY
It'll be better if I leave you the
gun while I run out to the REMO.
I've got enough fuel left for that.

MCCONNELL
You'll be going too fast.

WOODY
I'll aim to overshoot, then brake
like hell; arc it in.

McConnell looks at him. They both know how risky this is,
and they also know it's their only chance. Woody flips a
switch on the gun and pulls on the hook. Off it comes,
trailing wire. Woody clips the hook to the MMU, then hands
McConnell the gun.

WOODY
Seeya in a few.

McConnell nods. Woody and Terri exchange a look -- tender,
loving -- then Woody turns around and fires the MMU jets at
full throttle. As Woody pulls away, line unspools from the
tether gun.

WOODY AND THE REMO

Woody is chasing the REMO from above. It's as if he were in
an airplane, trying to land on a car racing along a freeway.
Woody is picking up speed quickly. Maybe too quickly. He
checks his armpad display screen.

WOODY
Okay. I'm on path to overshoot. I'm
gonna take the edge off.

Woody starts braking with the MMU thrusters as hard as he
can.

CLOSE ON THE THRUSTERS

Glowing with orange flame. They suddenly cut off.

WOODY'S EYES

Show alarm. He checks his display.

WOODY
I'm out. Coming in hot. Still long.
(beat)
Abandoning the unit. I'll brake with
suit jets.

Woody hits some buttons and the MMU's latches snap open. He
grabs the hook connected to the tether line, then pushes
himself free of the MMU, starts firing his small suit jets.

WOODY'S POV

He's still going very quickly.

WITH MCCONNELL, TERRI AND PHIL

Floating close together. The tether line is still unspooling
from the gun. They watch Woody, below and ahead of them, as
he races towards the REMO. Terri's heart is in her throat.

TERRI
Oh Jesus. Jesus...

McConnell reaches a glove out, touching her arm.

BACK ON WOODY

Still speeding towards the REMO. His suit jets cut out.

WOODY
Suit jets gone. But I'm gonna make
contact...

MCCONNELL, TERRI AND PHIL

Stare at Woody's distant figure.

INTERCUT --

MCCONNELL
At what velocity?

WOODY
Impact's gonna be a little rough.

MCCONNELL
At what velocity?

WOODY
(beat)
Thirty-two.

A look between McConnell and Terri; her face is stricken.

MCCONNELL
I'm gonna use the gun to slow you.

WOODY
No! You slow me and I'll fall short.

MCCONNELL
It's too fast, Woody.

WOODY
No choice. I'll be okay. Here we
go...

WOODY AND THE REMO

Woody's coming down on the module at over thirty kilometers
an hour. He holds the hook out in front of him with one hand
while grabbing the tether line with the other, and WHAM! --
he crashes into the REMO.

WOODY'S HAND

Slams the hook against a receiver on the hull of the REMO.

IT CONNECTS --

WOODY

Tries to hold onto the tether line but his momentum is too
much.

HIS GLOVED HANDS

Are ripped from the line.

WOODY

Slides over the hull of the REMO.

HIS HANDS

Grasp in vain for something to grab onto. They drag and bump
and then finally his fingers close on... empty space.

WOODY

Is past the REMO, freefalling toward Mars.

BACK ON MCCONNELL, TERRI AND PHIL

As Terri screams.

TERRI
Woody!!

McConnell hits a button on the tether gun and starts to reel
them quickly in towards the REMO.

WOODY

Tries his suit jets again -- they're empty.

HIS POV

Falling away from the REMO.

MCCONNELL AND THE OTHERS

Are being reeled towards the REMO by the tether line. Another
couple hundred meters to go.

MCCONNELL
Woody, what's your status?

INTERCUTTING --

WOODY
(after a beat)
Uh, well, no suit jets and I'm still
carrying a good deal of velocity.

MCCONNELL
As soon as we get hooked up, I'll
come get you.

WOODY
(after a beat)
Uh, I'd have to say negative on that,
Jim.

MCCONNELL
Negative on the transmission?

WOODY
No, I heard you. Negative on the
maneuver. I am not retrievable.

McConnell and Terri share a quick, anguished look.

TERRI
Woody, that's not possible. You're
not going that fast.

WOODY
It comes down to the amount of fuel,
honey. The suit jets were designed
for attitude control, not travel.
Retrieval just won't work.

PHIL
It has to work!

WOODY
Hey, believe me, I don't like it any
more than you do.

TERRI
Woody --

WOODY
Run the numbers, Jim.

MCCONNELL
I am.

McConnell finishes looking over the numbers on his display
pad. Terri is staring at him. When McConnell's eyes meet
hers, they are red-rimmed. Haunted.

MCCONNELL
Woody, you hang tight. We'll get
into the REMO, fire her up, drop her
into a lower orbit and come scoop
you up.

WOODY
Sounds good, Jim.

TERRI
It's gonna take half an hour to get
the REMO reoriented! Woody'll be...
He'll be in the atmosphere by then!

MCCONNELL
Then we'll have to get her moving
faster.

TERRI
We don't have time!

WOODY
You listen to Jim, honey. It's a
good plan.

TERRI
No! We are going to --

PHIL
Oh Jesus, look! The ship!

Phil points. McConnell and Terri look.

THE MARS RECOVERY COCKPIT

Is now several kilometers below and behind them. It's glowing
red... then orange... then white. Then it erupts into a giant
fireball, devoured by friction with Mars' atmosphere.

MCCONNELL, TERRI AND PHIL IN DEEP SPACE

Are all staring at this, awed, when McConnell happens to
look up again. He sees something alarming.

MCCONNELL
Look out!

THEIR POV

They are drifting quickly into the REMO.

MCCONNELL
Brakes!

ALL THREE

Fire their suit jets, slowing themselves down. They bang
into the REMO at about one-tenth the speed Woody did. They
find handholds and grab on. McConnell hits a button on the
tether gun.

THE HOOK

Releases from the REMO's hull. McConnell hits another button
and it is reeled all the way into the gun. Phil is already
scrabbling at a latch on the REMO's outer airlock door.

MCCONNELL
Okay, let's get inside! Phil, start
dumping the cargo, or there won't be
room for us.

PHIL
But we need those supplies for --

MCCONNELL
Dump the cargo. Hang on, Woody!

WOODY

Is looking back at the REMO. Smiles with relief to see that
Terri has reached it safely.

WOODY
Will do, Jim.

He turns to look at...

MARS

Right below him, filling his field of view. A long beat.

WOODY
(softly)
Hey, Beautiful...

BACK AT THE REMO

Terri makes a snap decision. She grabs the tether gun from
McConnell's surprised hands, then pushes off from the REMO.
McConnell lunges after her, his gloved hand straining.

MCCONNELL
Terri, no!

But it's too late. She's already out of reach, and now fires
her suit jets, pulling quickly away from the REMO.

MCCONNELL

Is reaching to activate his own jets, when

PHIL'S HAND

Grabs at his wrist, restraining this suicidal courage. They
stare at each other. McConnell wrenches his hand free, half-
maddened, agonized, staring after Terri.

MCCONNELL
Goddammit, Terri, it won't work!

But Terri keeps on going.

WOODY

Looks back at the REMO, as he continues to fall towards Mars.
Sees the small figure of his wife heading towards him.

WOODY
Terri, what are you doing?

INTERCUT --

TERRI
I'll tell you what I'm not doing,
Woody. I'm not going to watch you
die.

WOODY
Terri --

TERRI
You'd do the same for me.

AT THE REMO

Phil is watching as Terri drops towards the distant twinkle
of Woody's suit lights. The airlock door hangs open. Phil
looks at McConnell, anguished.

MCCONNELL
Get inside. Dump the cargo, then
start the systems.
(Phil hesitates)
Now.

INTERCUTTING BETWEEN WOODY AND TERRI

As Woody keys his mike. Tries to steady his voice.

WOODY
No. I wouldn't come for you. Not if
it just wasn't possible.

TERRI
I can do it!

WOODY
No, Terri, you can't! You don't have
enough fuel to get me, stop us both,
and get us back. Hell, you come any
farther and you won't have enough to
get back yourself.

No response from Terri.

WOODY
Listen to me, goddammit! You have to
stop! You have to stop now!

MCCONNELL
He's right, Terri... It's no use.

Terri looks at her armpad display.

CLOSE ON DISPLAY SCREEN

As her fuel indicator drops from 50 percent to 49 to...

TERRI

Releases her thumb from the toggle control.

HER SUIT JETS

Stop firing.

TERRI

Drifts, staring towards Woody.

TERRI AND WOODY

Are on the same trajectory, going the same speed, and only
about a hundred meters apart. But it might as well be
infinity.

WOODY
Okay, honey...? You gotta go back
now.

TERRI
The hell I do.

Terri raises up the tether gun and pulls the trigger.

THE HOOK

Comes shooting out of the gun, wire spooling out behind it.

WOODY

Watches as it comes shooting down toward him.

PLATE POV -- MOVING -- AS

Woody gets larger and larger, the hook gets closer and closer,
and then SNAP! -- the hook stops. ANGLE ON THE TETHER GUN

The wire has run all the way out.

WOODY

Looks at the drifting hook, ten agonizing meters away from
him. His only life preserver.

TERRI

Hits the button and the wire starts winching fast back into
the gun.

WOODY
What are you doing?

TERRI
I'm gonna jet a little closer and
try again.

WOODY
Terri, you spend any fuel getting
closer, you won't get back, and if
anyone tries to get you, they'll die
too.

No response from Terri.

THE HOOK

Is whipping back toward Terri and the gun. Woody's voice
cracks; he's very close to tears. Pleading now.

WOODY
Honey, please go back. Go back and
help everyone get down to the surface.

The hook slams back against the muzzle of the gun. Terri
resets the gun quickly, in an anguished fury.

TERRI
I am not losing you.

WOODY
I can't let you do it. I can't. I'm
sorry.

TERRI

Looks at Woody, two hundred meters away, sensing something
different in his voice now, a terrible resolve...

TERRI
Woody...?

WOODY

Raises his hands to his helmet ring. His eyes shining.

WOODY
I love you, Terri. God how I love
you.

He unscrews the ring, pops the seal. The outrush of air pushes
his helmet all the way off. Woody shuts his eyes and opens
his mouth.

TERRI
Woody, nooooooo...!!!

Ice crystals bloom with Woody's last breath. There's nothing
to suck in. He doesn't fight it. He lets death come.

ANGLE ON TERRI

Tears streaming, chest heaving, frantic.

TERRI
Woody, oh Woody, please God, no!

HER THUMB

Hovers over her suit jet toggle control. McConnell's voice,
from the distance, sounds very tired. Like he's aged fifty
years in the blink of an eye.

MCCONNELL
Come back, Terri.

Terri's thumb is still poised. Death would be better.

ANGLE ON MCCONNELL

Outside the REMO. The hatch is still open. We see Phil inside,
staring out anxiously towards Terri.

MCCONNELL
(quietly, simply)
He's gone.

He sees no movement from the distant, small figure of Terri.

MCCONNELL
Please, Terri...
(long beat)
We need you.

TERRI'S THUMB

Pushes the toggle control... to one side, not forward.

TERRI'S FACE

Inside her helmet, is streaming with tears. She turns herself
around, reluctantly. Heads slowly back towards the REMO.

INT. INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION. MMCR. DAY

On the big screen at MMCR, a glowing green icon labelled
"MARS RECOVERY" is shown in orbit, as a stream of computer
figures crawls beside it.

SUPER TITLE: "SPACE STATION. MMCR. 20 MINUTE TIME LAG"

Beck stands by the NEW CAPCOM, as the latter repeats headset
data.

NEW CAPCOM
Okay, they're Go for the burn and
MOI. Should be initiating the burn
just about... now.

Suddenly the data stream goes crazy. It shivers, streaks,
breaks up... then stops. The blinking green icon representing
Mars Recovery glows brighter... then vanishes.

A moment of stunned silence in the big room. Then a rising
babble of scared, confused voices.

RAY BECK

Takes a step forward, staring helplessly at the screen. His
face goes pale, stricken. His worst nightmare is taking place,
right before his eyes -- and for the second mission in a
row...

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. REMO. MARS ORBIT. NIGHT

The REMO is now on the night side of Mars. Cargo boxes,
packing cases and assorted equipment containers float outside.
The hatch is sealed.

INT. REMO. MARS ORBIT. NIGHT

McConnell hovers by a bulkhead. He's anguished, haunted by
the image of Woody's death. We see him struggling to overcome
his grief and shock, trying to force himself to concentrate
on the critical tasks at hand. In front of him, a panel has
been opened; he's facing

SMALL UTILITY MONITOR

Already glowing, surrounded by coded switches, indicator
lights, com ports.

MCCONNELL

Stares at these, thinking hard, remembering. He's holding a
palm-sized computer, already wired into this panel. He begins
tapping the keys, but then stops himself. Reconsiders. He
turns, looking back at

TERRI AND PHIL

Hunched on what would be the floor if the REMO were on land.
They grip stowage straps to keep from drifting. Clearly this
tiny, rude cargo craft was never designed for manned
operation. It's claustrophobic, bitterly cold.

PHIL'S FACE

Is a map of torment. He is shivering, both from cold and
fear, barely holding himself together. He hugs his computer
supply case like a scared child would hug a teddy bear.

TERRI

Is worse. A thousand-yard stare. She's in shock.

MCCONNELL

Knows he has to occupy them. Speaks softly.

MCCONNELL
Phil?
(no response)
Hey, Phil...?

Phil looks up at him dully.

MCCONNELL
We're going in blind. We'll deploy
the chutes by laptop. I need to get
on the data bus, put in a software
patch, and try to soften this tin
can's landing. I could use your help
with the patch.

After a moment Phil releases his strap, pushes towards
McConnell. He stares numbly at the monitor for a few beats,
then takes the little computer from McConnell. He begins to
tap the keys, slowly at first, but then with more confidence.

MCCONNELL
That's great. Good job.
(turning to Terri)
Hey, Terri, I was wondering. Think
maybe we could rig some kind of
seatbelts out of those cargo straps?

Terri hesitates a moment, then looks at the strap in her
hand, as if she's never seen it before. Dully she reaches
for another one, begins looping them together.

MCCONNELL

Studies both of their faces intently. Knows that he can't
push them too hard, too fast. They're moving like robots,
but at least they're moving.

EXT. REMO. MARS ORBIT. NIGHT. (MINUTES LATER)

Small thrusters are firing, getting the REMO into position
for entry into the atmosphere.

Then all the jets fire in unison, braking the REMO, as it
falls away from us, towards Mars at night.

INT. REMO. HIGH ATMOSPHERE. NIGHT

The astronauts, restrained on the floor by Terri's jury-rigged
strap system, hold on for dear life. The buffeting through
the atmosphere is shaking them violently.

BEHIND THEIR FACEPLATES

We see the effect of the incredible g-forces: faces distorted,
unable to focus their eyes. Each of them thinking, once again:
Now I'm going to die...

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. MARS ONE BASE CAMP. NIGHT

The Mars One Base Camp looms in the foreground, like some
desolate, otherwordly ghost town. And then, in the night sky
beyond it, we see an eerie and beautiful sight: a bright
streak of red as the REMO slashes down into the Martian
atmosphere, like a shooting star, finally disappearing behind
distant mountains. Then all is stillness again, deathly
stillness and silence...

INT. INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION. VIEWPORT. DAY

Beck stands by a viewport, staring out into space. He's just
lost four good friends, and also knows he is seeing, in this
disaster, the probable end of the Mars Program, and the
certain end of his own career. He doesn't, at first, even
hear the nearby VOICE.

NEW CAPCOM
Ray...? We've got some new data,
just coming in.

Beck looks up, his eyes red-rimmed. The CapCom shifts
uneasily. He's holding a computer printout.

NEW CAPCOM
We just -- it doesn't make any sense.
We're not sure how to read this.

BECK
Data?

NEW CAPCOM
Yes sir. Telemetry reports the REMO
has left its orbit and reached the
Martian surface.

BECK
(pause)
Crashed?

NEW CAPCOM
No sir. Under power.

Beck snatches the paper, staring at it. For the first time
we see some life coming back into him.

BECK
When?

NEW CAPCOM
Sixty-three minutes after Mars
Recovery went off-line. Sir, the
graph reads like a controlled descent.
But that doesn't make any --

Beck suddenly understands. And it's a joy to see his face,
the tears of happiness that spring into his eyes.

BECK
They used the REMO as a lander.

The CapCom stares back at him, feeling the same surge of
hope.

BECK
It's McConnell, it's got to be! Nobody
else could have pulled this off. Son
of a bitch! They're alive.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. MARTIAN SURFACE. MARS ONE BASE CAMP. DAY

POV ANGLE - WIDE

As we see the Mars One Base Camp: silent, very still. In the
distance, the massive ERV still looms, perched for takeoff,
the bottom rungs of its ladder buried.

PANNING

We see that sand has drifted high against the Hab, as well
as the sides of the partially-deflated tunnel and greenhouse,
and the four-man rover. The oxygen still and propellant plant
are almost buried. Solar panels, some of them punctured by
micrometeors, FLAP and CREAK eerily in the slight breeze.
And finally,

CLOSER TO CAMERA

We see the camp's American flag, still on its toppled pole,
but nearly obliterated by sand.

ANGLE ON MCCONNELL, TERRI, AND PHIL

Who are spooked by this desolation. They've paused at the
edge of the camp.

They have dragged along with them from their landing site a
crude sledge, improvised from the REMO's hatch cover and
some cargo straps. On this, their meager supplies.

McConnell, glancing at the others, knows he's got to keep
their spirits up. He kneels, digs out the flag pole. Brushing
off the sand, he rights this and re-plants it firmly in the
ground, packing the sand down with his boot. He stands for a
moment looking at the flag, his eyes moist. Despite the cost,
they have made it to Mars.

When he turns, Terri and Phil are looking at him, moved.

MCCONNELL
Better?

PHIL
(pause)
Damn right.

MCCONNELL
Terri, let's see if that oxygen still
is operational. Phil, you better
check out the ERV. I'll take the
Hab. If you find Luke's --

He catches himself. Phil and Terri look at him.

MCCONNELL
Just keep in touch.

EXT. ERV. DAY

Phil steps from the umber sand onto the ERV's ladder, begins
to climb. The four-man rover is nearby, sand drifted high
against its tires.

EXT. OXYGEN STILL. DAY

Terri kneels by the oxygen still, begins to scoop away sand
with her gloved hands. She still looks numb.

EXT. HAB. DAY

MCCONNELL
(on radio)
I'm at the main airlock door.

He unlatches a panel, grips the emergency lever inside, tugs
it. After a seeming eternity, the door groans and creaks
open. Little puffs of dust and sand swirl about, settle.

MCCONNELL
Entering Hab.

EXT. ERV. DAY

Perched atop the ERV's ladder, Phil, using a battery-powered
drill, is just removing the final screw from the hatch cover.
He lifts off the heavy cover, lets it tumble to the sand.

PHIL
I've got ERV access. I'm going in.
Terri, you okay?

EXT. OXYGEN STILL. DAY

Terri is still scooping sand. She's just cleared the first
row of gauges.

TERRI
Yeah. This is gonna take awhile to
get back to 100% capacity.

INT. MARS ONE HAB. DAY

McConnell walks through the kitchen, which we recognize. He
pauses to look at the table from which Luke and his crew
taped their final, fateful message.

HIS BIRTHDAY CUPCAKE

Still sits there, eerily, with its stub of burned-out candle.
Half-finished, frozen cups of coffee. Suddenly, out of the
corner of his eye, he catches a flash of white. He spins,
startled, and sees

HIS OWN REFLECTION.

In his white pressure suit, staring back at him from the
screen of a video monitor. Above this is perched the camera
the Mars One astronauts used for their comm packets.

MCCONNELL SHIVERS

This place is filled with ghosts.

INT. ERV COCKPIT. DAY

Phil, in the pilot's seat of the ERV, pushes a computer's
power button. The screen flickers weakly to life, startling
him a bit, but all he sees on it are white streaks, crazy
static.

PHIL
ERV appears structurally intact.
Computers are fried, just as we
thought.

EXT. OXYGEN STILL. DAY

Terri has cleared more gauges, valves. She sits back on her
heels, studying the tangle of pipes.

TERRI
Copy that. I've got busted filters
here, clogged intakes. Helluva cleanup
job, but so far no major damage.

INT. GREENHOUSE. DAY

AN INNER AIRLOCK DOOR WHOOSHES OPEN, AND MCCONNELL ENTERS.
THEN STOPS, ASTONISHED. HIS POV

On a fantastic, almost jungle-like atmosphere. The plants
have been allowed -- encouraged? -- to grow wildly. Some are
even pushing against the inflated roof. Water condenses on
the leaves and the roof, then is captured and routed through
pipes of every shape and size, dripping into a clever
assortment of collection jars. Liquid water.

MCCONNELL

Reaches into a bucket, touches the water. His glove comes up
before his wondering eyes, dripping. Grasping the implication,
he looks down at his forearm instrument pad.

Blinking red letters read "25 deg. C." And something else --
the puffy white material of his suit is starting to slightly
deflate, revealing his arm's shape. There's air pressure in
here!

MCCONNELL

Punches in more numbers, and gets the readout:

"Nitr. 78%/ 02 20%/ C02 1%/ Trace gasses 1%."

MCCONNELL

Slowly reaches up, unsealing the neck ring of his helmet. He
hesitates, then lifts it off. Takes a deep, quenching lungful
of pure air. Holds it in. Lets it slowly out. For a moment
he doesn't trust his own voice. Then speaks softly towards
his helmet.

MCCONNELL
I'm in the greenhouse. You better...
you better come see this for
yourselves.

INT. ERV. DAY

Phil, still sitting at the cockpit controls, turns. Through
a side viewport he can just make out the greenhouse.

PHIL
What is it?

There's no answer. He rises.

EXT. OXYGEN STILL. DAY

Terri rises, concerned, and turns. Through the distant,
translucent wall of the greenhouse, McConnell's shadowy figure
can be seen, moving slowly.

TERRI
Jim...?

INT. GREENHOUSE. DAY

McConnell sets down his helmet, starts exploring, pushing
through fronds as he makes his way down an aisle. The dripping
foliage is so dense it almost chokes his path. Everywhere he
looks, he has the sense of a scrounged-together, recycled,
jury-rigged environment, where a great deal of ingenuity has
come into play. He pauses, looking up...

Overhead, a bellows, stitched together from pieces of plastic
tarp, slowly inhales and exhales, pumping air into a vent in
the upper deck of the Hab. Its power comes from a crude water
wheel, a buckets-and-strut assemblage, tidily sutured with
duct tape, like some giant Erector set.

As McConnell turns away from this, still marvelling, a ragged
figure leaps through the foliage! It smashes into him, with
a HARSH SCREECH, knocking him to the ground.

McConnell, on his back, straddled by his attacker, fights
back as best he can. A blur of flailing arms and fists, as
he tries to push the creature away. Staring up, he catches a
glimpse of the almost unrecognizable

LUKE GRAHAM

Whose frightened eyes glare back at him through a swaying
curtain of dreadlocks. His skin is creased, weathered, above
a scraggly beard. His clothes are tattered, patched together.
In one fist he grips a rock hammer, which he swings high
overhead, about to drive the claw through McConnell's skull.
McConnell grabs his arm desperately, trying to fend him off.

MCCONNELL
Luke, it's me! Jim McConnell!

We see a flash of uncertainty in Luke's eyes. Then he yanks
his arm free, and his hammer arcs up even higher, trembles
in the air.

LUKE
You're not here!

MCCONNELL
Luke, it's Jim!

LUKE
No, no, you're not... you can't be
here.

MCCONNELL
Your wife is Debra! Your son is Bobby!
You were reading Treasure Island
with him...!

As he stares down at McConnell, Luke's eyes finally light up
with recognition. but before he can move, he is seized from
behind and flung backwards to the ground, the hammer ripped
from his grasp, as Terri and Phil pinion his arms. McConnell
scrambles to his feet.

MCCONNELL
Don't hurt him!

McConnell kneels beside Luke, signalling to Terri and Phil
that it's okay to let him go. They stand back, pulling off
their helmets. Everyone is panting, out of breath.

Luke sits up, slowly studying their features, one after
another, as if still not quite certain whether they might
vanish. His voice is hoarse, rusty from disuse.

LUKE
Phil... Terri...

Luke looks with incomprehension at McConnell.

LUKE
Jim... I don't understand. You're
not supposed to be here... Why are
you here? Where's Woody?

MCCONNELL
He didn't make it Luke.

Luke stares at McConnell, trying to absorb everything. He
looks to Terri, who looks down.

LUKE
Oh no.

Luke shakes his head in dismay. He seems to shrink in on
himself. It's all too much for him to take in. McConnell
kneels and puts his arm around Luke, comforting him.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

INT. ELSEWHERE IN THE GREENHOUSE. DAY (MINUTES LATER)

Luke sits on the side of his cot, in the little tented
sleeping area he's created in one corner of the greenhouse.
Nearby, his hotplate, pots, and some freshly harvested
vegetables and greens. The others crouch around him.

MCCONNELL
Luke, what happened here?

A flash of fear in Luke's eyes.

LUKE
(whispers)
We fired the radar. It came. They
all died.

MCCONNELL
What came?

LUKE
They all died, but I was spared.
Why? Had to be for a reason. Then,
all of a sudden, I knew why I was
spared.

His voice drops to a conspiratorial whisper.

LUKE
So somebody would be left to figure
out the secret.

He taps his forehead, significantly, then nods once or twice.
The others exchange an uneasy glance.

MCCONNELL
Luke, we still don't understand.

LUKE
Come. Comecomecome.

He rises quickly and scuttles off, waving an impatient hand,
without waiting to see if they'll follow. McConnell, Terri
and Phil stare after him for a long moment. Phil breaks the
silence.

PHIL
Is it just me? Or is he about two
mealpacks short of a picnic?

TERRI
Long term exposure to low gravity
can have an adverse impact on the
brain. He could be suffering from a
form of asphyxia.

MCCONNELL
Or maybe his whole crew died and
he's been marooned alone on Mars.
Let's give him time to adjust.

McConnell and Terri follow in the direction Luke went. Phil,
trailing, mutters to himself.

PHIL
Greatgreatgreat.

EXT. MARS ONE BASE CAMP. DAY

Luke, now in a patched-up pressure suit and grubby-looking
helmet, stands peering down unhappily at the improvised
sledge, with its meager supplies. McConnell, Terri, and Phil
walk up behind him, wearing their helmets again. They hear
Luke over his RADIO.

LUKE
So... let me be sure I understand
this. Your ship blew up, with all
its supplies. Then you emptied the
cargo out of the REMO, and it was
totalled on landing. You've got no
food, no water, no spare oxygen,
nothing but what I see here...?

McConnell and the others are silent, embarrassed. Then
McConnell nods. Luke looks at him, a cracked grin.

LUKE
What kinda rescue mission is this?

MCCONNELL
That kind.

He points to the computer repair case, as Phil lifts it off
a sledge. Luke turns, looks at the case, then Phil.

PHIL
Check it out. New nav boards for the
ERV. I got four round-trip tickets,
baby, right in here.

LUKE
(softly)
Four.

In some mysterious way, this reminder of Woody's death seems
to bring him fully back into himself. He takes Terri by the
shoulders, deeply saddened. She meets his gaze.

LUKE
Terri... I'm so sorry. He was a good
man.

TERRI
Thanks, Luke.

LUKE
When there's time, we'll talk.

She nods, grateful. A beat. He looks at the others.

LUKE
This way.

He starts off across the sand, and they follow.

EXT. GRAVE SITE. DAY

They stand looking down at the three long mounds of dirt, as
Luke completes his account of the disaster.

LUKE
...When I came to and dug myself out
of the sand, my faceplate was cracked.
Leaking badly. I barely made it back
to Base. It was weeks before I could
work up the nerve to go back out
there and look for their...

He has to pause, collect himself.

LUKE
Renee was the only one I could find.
But it didn't seem right, somehow,
to dig just one grave.

There is an emotional silence. Luke turns, takes a few steps.
He stares into the distance, observing the swirling dust
around them. McConnell hesitates, notices Luke's gaze.

MCCONNELL
Has it been blowing like this for a
while?
(Luke nods)
We saw a big storm from space. But
Micker said it was turning south.

Luke looks off into the distance, studies something only he
seems to see.

LUKE
If it holds course.

McConnell pulls his gaze away from the horizon, looks at
Luke.

MCCONNELL
This -- whatever it was -- this force.
You say it came directly out of the
top of the mountain?

LUKE
You don't believe me. That's okay.
But I'm not crazy, Jim.

McConnell isn't quite sure how to reply to this.

MCCONNELL
What did you mean by its "secret?"
What secret?

LUKE
(pause)
You better see for yourselves.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

INT. MARS ONE HAB. DAY

McConnell, Terri, and Phil follow Luke into the Science Lab
area of the Hab, then stop in their tracks. Their helmets
are off. It's very cold in here; their breath is frosty.

THEIR POV --

The Lab is crammed with rock and sand samples from many
locations, all tagged and labelled. There are drawings and
diagrams covering the walls: Martian landscapes, annotated
maps, and over and over, obsessively repeated, drawings of
the vortex that destroyed the Mars One crew.

LUKE
See, where they made their mistake
was, they must've planned for it to
be visible from Earth...

The others turn, looking at him. Luke is aiming an electric
space heater at his computer. As the coils glow red, he rubs
his hands together, poised over the keyboard.

MCCONNELL
Who's "they"?

Luke reacts to their blank stares. He has a kind of jittery
feverish intensity, a secret excitement.

LUKE
Don't you understand? Hundreds of
millions of years have gone by. You've
got erosion, sand storms, lava flows,
meteor impacts -- hell, in that much
time, the whole surface would've
changed. So no wonder we never saw
it before. Well, I mean, we saw it,
but not like they meant us too. Too
much dirt on it.

The others exchange worried glances. Is he totally nuts?

TERRI
Saw what?

LUKE
This.

On the computer screen they're looking at...

CLOSE ON THE MONITOR

Pictures of the Face after the disaster, seen from ground-
level, in telephoto views. Rising out of a ring of rock and
dirt rubble is the shiny-white profile of a gigantic face.
The white is smooth, impenetrable. It has the scale of a
mountain, but the planes and angles are clearly unnatural.

MCCONNELL, PHIL AND TERRI (INT. MARS ONE HAB.)

They are stunned. Can hardly believe their eyes.

PHIL
Jesus...

TERRI
What is that...?

LUKE
I don't know. But whatever it is,
somebody built it. And not us.

A few moments of silence while they try to absorb this.

MCCONNELL
What about the sound? That signal
you heard before the explosion?

LUKE
Good, Jim, good. That's the key.

A click of the mouse and they all HEAR, over speakers, the
DEEP PULSING BASS TONE.

LUKE
Hear the pauses? That's what made me
realize it's a pattern -- a repeating
pattern.

MCCONNELL
Mathematical?

Luke is trembling with excitement. His words tumble out very
quickly. He's been waiting so long to share this.

LUKE
That's what I thought. There are
distinct blocks in the pattern, and
within each block the tones come in
groups of three. Threethreethree.
For months I struggled to analyze
it, trying different constructs...
Then I thought about dimensions.

MCCONNELL
X-Y-Z coordinates...

LUKE
Right! Three groups equals three
dimensions... So I tried assigning
different graphic values to each
block, group and tone. And finally I
got... this.

He types another command. They all look at the monitor, the
glow reflecting on their faces. They are amazed again.

CLOSE ON THE MONITOR

Where we see the beautiful interlocking chain, the universally
familiar double helix, of a DNA molecule -- the elegant
blueprint of life.

BACK TO SCENE (INT. MARS ONE HAB.)

PHIL
My God... Is that what I think it
is?

TERRI
DNA... that's a model of DNA!

LUKE
You see it, too. Thank God. I was
afraid I was just suffering from a
form of asphyxia.

She glances at him, surprised that he overheard her earlier
diagnosis. But he smiles, not offended.

PHIL
So, okay, so -- somebody left this
thing here, somebody -- other than
human. But what the hell is it?

LUKE
My guess is, it's a signature. A
self-portrait of whatever species
created the Face.

MCCONNELL
But that DNA looks human.

TERRI
No way. It's missing the last pair
of chromosomes. See?

MCCONNELL
Yeah, but it's close. Damn close.

TERRI
The difference between a man and an
ape is less than three percent of
genetic material. But that three
percent gives you Mozart. Einstein.

PHIL
Or Jack the Ripper.

They look at him. Then all four turn, stare again at the
slowly rotating DNA, pondering its awesome mystery.

MCCONNELL

When he finally speaks, never takes his eyes off the screen.
We can read in them the almost overwhelming grip this mystery
has on his imagination.

MCCONNELL
It's been a long day. Let's get a
couple hours sleep, then tackle this
thing when we're fresher. Phil, your
first priority will be to get the
motherboards over to the ERV.
Concentrate on getting communications
up first.
(Phil nods)
Soon as we've got the juice, we'll
send a packet to Micker, tell them
Luke's OK, and that... everything
else that's happened. The rest of us
will take an inventory of supplies,
see where we stand. Okay?

The others nod in weary agreement. As they start out, towards
the relative warmth of the greenhouse, Terri looks at Luke,
at his scraggly beard and his long, lank hair. She smiles,
brushing some locks off his forehead.

TERRI
C'mon. There's a pair of scissors in
my medkit.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

INT. MARS ONE HAB. ANOTHER SECTION. NEXT MORNING

As in the Science Area, this space has enough thin oxygen
for the astronauts to remain unhelmeted. McConnell and Luke
are still going through what few supplies were salvaged from
the REMO.

Luke pauses, rubbing the unfamiliar smoothness of his cheek.
His beard is gone, his hair neatly trimmed. McConnell enjoys
Luke's own wonder at his transformation.

MCCONNELL
How do you feel?

LUKE
Like I just got back my other three
percent.

McConnell smiles. Terri enters through the hatch, removing
her helmet.

TERRI
The backup generator is salvageable,
and two of the solar panels. I'm
pretty sure I can get the oxygen
still back into production, too. So
we're not in such bad shape,
considering.

LUKE
Good work, Terri.

McConnell, rummaging through Phil's backpack, drops an already-
opened bag of M&Ms. The CANDIES scatter and bounce all over
the floor.

MCCONNELL
Look at that. Phil's idea of absolute
essentials.

Luke and Terri smile. McConnell scoops up the fallen M&Ms.
He slows down as he does it, looking at the scatter of little
round CANDIES. Something tugging at the back of his mind...

FLASHBACK TO:

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

INT. MARS RECOVERY. EVA AIRLOCK. DAY

Phil's intricately designed M&M model of his "ideal woman",
floating weightlessly, as McConnell drifts past it, plucking
away a couple pieces of the candy. Phil reacting, in good-
natured annoyance. The gap in the design left by McConnell's
theft...

INT. MARS ONE HAB. ANOTHER SECTION. DAY

CLOSE ON MCCONNELL

As he trembles with excitement. With sudden comprehension.

MCCONNELL
It's not a signature.

LUKE
(puzzled)
What?

MCCONNELL
That noise from the Face... It's not
a signature. It's a test.

Luke and Terri stare at him.

INT. MARS ONE HAB. MOMENTS LATER

McConnell sits in front of the computer back in the science
lab area, staring once again at the mysterious DNA model.
Luke and Terri stand behind him. McConnell's energy, his new
certainty, is almost electrifying.

MCCONNELL
It's asking us for the right answer.
It wants us to put in the missing
pair of chromosomes.

LUKE
But why?

MCCONNELL
To prove that we're human.

Terri and Luke look at each other, starting to understand.

LUKE
We fired radar into that thing.
Concentrated sound waves...

MCCONNELL
Which it interpreted as a wrong
answer... Yes! It's like a, a security
alarm. When it gets an incorrect
response, it defends itself.

INT. ERV COCKPIT. DAY

Phil is listening in on radio. He's got panels open, wires
dangling, as he works his ongoing repair. He keys his mike,
uneasily.

PHIL
So what happens when it gets the
right answer?

INT. MARS ONE HAB. DAY

As McConnell looks at Luke and Terri.

MCCONNELL
(hesitates)
I don't know. But we've got to find
out.
(to Luke, pointing)
Can you work this the other way?
Figure out which tones would be
equivalent to the missing chromosomes?
Then dub them into your recording of
the signal?

LUKE
I think so, yes.

MCCONNELL
What about the radar gun? Will it
accept that input? Can we transmit a
completed signal back to the Face?

Luke stares at him, startled by what he's implying.

INT. ERV COCKPIT. DAY

Phil is also growing increasingly nervous.

PHIL
Whoa, whoa, hold on, Jim. What if
you're wrong? Whoever goes out
there... I mean, what if you're wrong?
Three people have already died over
that thing.

INT. MARS ONE HAB. DAY

As Luke and Terri look tensely at McConnell.

TERRI
Four.

McConnell looks at her.

MCCONNELL
Terri, if we leave here without
getting some answers, they all died
in vain.

Terri shakes her head.

TERRI
We just don't know enough about that --
that thing out there to take any
more chances.

MCCONNELL
What are we here for, if not to take
chances...?

His passion startles them; they've never seen him so
emotional. He points at the computer screen.

MCCONNELL
This means we're not alone. It means
we're on the brink of the greatest
discovery in mankind's history. But
we've still got to prove it. Who
knows when someone else will get
back here? Or if they ever will? You
know what Congress is like. They'll
say it's too dangerous, too much
loss of life, let's go back to
unmanned flights. We could be the
last explorers to come here for
decades. We're it, guys.
(pause)
We're it.

LUKE
(quietly)
We don't have to go out there. There's
a better way.

They look at him, surprised.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. MARS. THE FACE. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. DAY

The familiar, plucky little figure of ARES-8 wheels across
ocher sand, with the radar gun jury-rigged onto its back.
Ares' video snout WHIRRS out, extending. The familiar bass
rumble of the Face is very loud from here.

LUKE
Checking video feed...

INT. MARS ONE HAB. LATE DAY

McConnell, Terri, and Phil have gathered around Luke as he
pushes buttons, and a monitor CRACKLES to life. White streaks,
then a blurry image, which he tries to enhance. Finally the
image starts to sharpen.

LUKE
There!

ON THE MONITOR

They see the familiar stark white profile of the FACE, shot
from ground level, in a SLOWLY APPROACHING ANGLE...

THE FOUR ASTRONAUTS

Stare at the ominous sight. They're all more nervous than
they want to show. Luke's fingers delicately work a joystick
as he maneuvers the remote surveyor.

MCCONNELL
How close do we need to get?

LUKE
I'm not sure. Maybe we better stop
by that boulder.

EXT. MARS. THE FACE. LATE DAY

Ares-8 whines to a stop by a large boulder, which partially
shields it from the Face, looming beyond. The radar gun
swivels, locating its target. Then stops, ready to fire.

INT. MARS ONE HAB. LATE DAY

Luke looks at Terri, Phil, and McConnell. Phil shuts the lid
of the box holding the new nav boards, snaps it protectively
down. He nods. Terri takes a deep breath, then she nods.

Luke's hand hovers over the red firing button; a moment of
awesome uncertainty and danger. He looks at McConnell, who
finally gives a nod of command. Then Luke hits the button.

EXT. MARS. THE FACE. LATE DAY

From the radar gun on Ares-8's back, a sharp, high-pitched
electronic burst is emitted, pulsating like a tuning fork as
it's fired towards the Face. After a few seconds it stops.

For a moment nothing happens.

Then the deep bass rumbling stops as well. The only remaining
sound is of WIND, stirring up dust on the Martian plains.

ANGLE ON THE FACE

As suddenly a huge, curved segment of the white surface begins
to rise from the earth, like a gigantic hangar door, sliding
out of sight into an upper sheath of some kind. The movement
is measured, stately, utterly silent. As the segment rises,
it reveals a blinding white light: the interior of the Face.
No inside details can be seen.

INT. MARS ONE HAB. DAY

McConnell, Luke, Terri and Phil stare at this phenomenon,
awed. They're barely breathing.

PHIL
Oh my God...

LUKE
It worked... It worked!

MCCONNELL
Check for radiation.

Luke punches buttons, waits anxiously for a readout.

LUKE
Normal. Seismic... normal. Anemometer
steady. No sign of the vortex.

PHIL
I don't know what we did, but guys --
does that look to you like a hostile
gesture?

TERRI
No. More like an invitation.

LUKE
Or another test...

McConnell is staring at the mysterious opening. On his face,
a growing look of determination.

MCCONNELL
Luke, the four-man rover. Does it
still work?

The others look at him, their expressions changing as they
realize what he's implying.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. MARS ONE BASE CAMP. LATE DAY

McConnell, once again helmeted, emerges from the Hab airlock.
Luke, Terri and Phil are coming out behind him. The wind has
picked up, and fine dust is blowing. They stop, staring off
in astonishment towards

A FRIGHTENING SIGHT

The entire sky has darkened from its customary salmon into
purplish-black at the horizon, with bloody streaks above.
The DUST STORM has turned their way; it's now sixty kilometers
away and closing. The main body of it reaches two thousand
meters above the surface and stretches out along a thousand-
kilometer front.

THE ASTRONAUTS

Stare at this unholy juggernaut, alarmed. McConnell turns to
Luke, whose expression is grim.

MCCONNELL
How long before it hits?

LUKE
An hour? Maybe less.

MCCONNELL
How bad?

LUKE
A storm like that? It could go
planetary. And last a year.

McConnell stares at him.

LUKE
It'll sock us in, Jim. We won't be
able to take off. If that happens,
with what few supplies we've got
left...? We'll starve to death.

McConnell turns, staring off towards the killer storm. The
others look at him with questioning gazes. He turns again.
There's the four-man rover, ready to go. Waiting.

MCCONNELL
Phil, how much longer to prep the
ERV?

PHIL
Maybe forty-five minutes. It'll be
tight, but we can make it.

MCCONNELL
Then there's still time for us to
get out there and back.

He looks a question at Luke and Terri, one after the other.
Their eyes, tense but excited, signal agreement.

MCCONNELL
Stay here. Continue the repair. If
something goes wrong, you get out of
here before that storm hits.

PHIL
Go back... alone?

MCCONNELL
If we're not back in forty-five
minutes, I want you to prep and
launch.
(looks at his armpad
display)
That's 1950 hours.

PHIL
Jim --

MCCONNELL
It's not a suggestion, it's an order.
You understand?

PHIL
(reluctantly)
I understand. But --

MCCONNELL
You understand what?

PHIL
If you're not back by 1950, I prep
and launch.

McConnell nods, satisfied. Looks at Terri and Luke.

MCCONNELL
Let's go.

They start towards the four-man rover. Dust is swirling more
thickly through the air, and the WIND IS LOUDER NOW. Phil
stands watching them go, a lone, rather forlorn figure.

EXT. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. DUSK

In a WIDE SHOT, we see the rover approaching the Face, across
the plains. The sky beyond the Face is almost black, as the
storm approaches from that direction. It's marching
relentlessly across the planet, with flashes of lightning
now rippling up and down its face, and even small tornadoes
spinning off near its purple-black base...

INT. ERV COCKPIT. DUSK

Phil has panels off. He's reaching into the guts of the main
computer, working feverishly. His repair kit is beside him.

EXT. MARS. THE FACE. DUSK

In a HIGH SHOT, we look down across the side of the Face and
its vast, open doorway, out of which the bright white light
is streaming. Into this corridor of light, we see the rover
arrive, slewing to a stop, throwing sand from its wheels.

GROUND LEVEL SHOT

Looking at the cavernous vertical gap in the side of the
Face. The opening towers to a dizzying height above us; the
white light strains our eyes. The three astronauts ENTER
FRAME as we see them, from behind, staring up.

ON THE ASTRONAUTS' AWED FACES

As they are stunned by the immensity of the scene, the cosmic
mystery before them. Luke and Terri look at McConnell. Another
moment of critical decision. He keys his mike.

MCCONNELL
Phil, do you read me?

INT. ERV COCKPIT. DUSK

Phil keys his own mike.

PHIL
Yeah, Jim. Your signal's breaking up
a little in the storm, but I read
you.

EXT. THE FACE. DUSK

McConnell stares into the bright opening. Bathed in its light.

MCCONNELL
We're at the Face. We're gonna need
a few minutes here. Same deadline,
launch at 1950. With or without us.
Do you copy?

PHIL
(pause)
Copy that.

Terri and Luke exchange a tense glance.

TERRI
Jim, are you sure you want to do
this?

MCCONNELL
I'm not sure of anything anymore.
But I didn't come a hundred million
miles just to turn back in the last
ten feet.

Luke smiles. The three of them stare into the portal.
McConnell, between the others, reaches out and grips each of
them by a gloved hand. They take a sort of collective breath.
Then they walk forward together, into the light.

INT. THE FACE. DUSK

The astronauts continue forward, each of them extending a
free hand.

The light is too dazzling for them to gauge distances,
textures, colors -- anything at all. They can't see walls,
ceiling, even a floor.

MCCONNELL
Surface seems firm and level.

LUKE
Roger that. Texture is smooth.

TERRI
I've got good footing and no
obstructions. Let's check our --

Behind them, there is an abrupt WHOOOSH, like a giant airlock
sealing shut. They turn, startled and nervous. Letting go of
each other's hands, Luke and Terri run back the way they
came, but almost immediately are stopped by a wall of some
sort. The vast hangar-type door has closed behind them.

TERRI
It's solid again! We're trapped.

MCCONNELL
Don't move! Keep this orientation.

The three scared, helmeted faces seem to float in the
brightness, some twenty feet apart.

MCCONNELL
(keys his mike)
Phil? Phil, can you still hear me?

INT. ERV COCKPIT. DUSK

Phil, saying a silent prayer, reaches over and turns on the
main computer. It works! He's immensely relieved.

PHIL
Computers are online! Ready to load
software. But guys -- we're losing
visibility here.

He glances out the cockpit window at the blowing dust. Then
realizes that he's hearing only silence over his radio.

PHIL
Guys...? Jim? Luke? Terri? Is anyone
there...?

No answer. Phil stares at his radio in dread.

PHIL
Don't leave me.

INT. FACE. DUSK

McConnell is staring at his spacesuit's sleeve. He can see
that the suit material is starting to deflate, revealing the
shape of his arm, just as it did in Luke's greenhouse. He
hesitates, then begins to unscrew the sealing ring on his
right glove.

Terri and Luke see this.

TERRI
(alarmed)
Jim, what're you doing? You'll
depressurize!

MCCONNELL
I don't think so.

McConnell makes the final twist on his glove and there's the
hiss of rushing air.

LUKE
Jim, seal it!

MCCONNELL
No. That was air going into my suit,
not out. Look at your own suits --
they're not rigid anymore. We've got
pressure in here.

Luke looks at his sleeve. McConnell's right.

TERRI
Above Mars atmospheric? That's
impossible.

MCCONNELL
We're millions of miles from Earth
and we're inside a gigantic white
face. What's impossible?

Terri types on her arm keypad. She's amazed.

TERRI
There's six psi in here...
(taps more keys)
Nitrogen and oxygen.

LUKE
Otherwise known as air?

Terri nods. McConnell starts unscrewing his helmet ring.
Luke follows suit.

TERRI
Hey, there may be some lethal trace
gasses I haven't picked up yet, or...
or... oh, the hell with it.

Terri starts taking off her helmet. In a few moments, all
three helmets are off. They hold them, glowing softly, against
their chests, as they breathe deeply and gratefully. Air.
And then, at this very moment, as if they have just passed
another kind of test...

HIGH, STRIATED WALL

Appears through the glare, soaring up before their startled
eyes. White, metallic, composed of complexly-linked bands,
plates, ramps. It's part of a STRUCTURE whose overall height
and breadth keep us from understanding its purpose. But the
hatch opening slowly in its side, at the top of an approach
ramp, is unmistakable. Radiant white light streams out from
within, forming a glowing tunnel, down towards the astronauts.

THE ASTRONAUTS BLINK

Raising their gloves against the dazzling glow. At the end
of this tunnel of light, inside the hatch frame

A SHAPE MATERIALIZES

And slowly resolves itself into a glowing humanoid form,
which we somehow sense is female. She appears benign,
wondrous. This glowing MARTIAN -- a holograph -- regards the
astronauts for a few moments, then beckons to them, as if to
say "Enter." All her motions are both calm and calming --
precise, unhurried, gracious.

MCCONNELL, LUKE AND TERRI

Look at each other. They're awed into silence, and still
tense, but now more out of excitement and anticipation than
fear. Their eyes agree: Let's go.

They walk forward slowly, carrying their helmets, up the
ramp and into the tunnel of light, following the Martian,
who retreats before them. They go through the hatch and
disappear inside.

INT. MARTIAN STRUCTURE. DUSK

Following the Martian, they find themselves in a round, open
space, defined by light, with a smooth matte-metallic floor,
but without apparent walls.

The Martian stops, turns, facing them. The astronauts stop,
too, uncertain what they're meant to do. Then the Martian
gestures again.

A cylindrical holographic column appears, rising from the
floor in front of the astronauts. Inside it, a swirl of eerie
lights, millions of them, like cosmic fireflies...

MCCONNELL, LUKE, AND TERRI

Set down their helmets, then cautiously converge around this
column, forming a loose triangle. As they stare into it, the
myriad lights are reflected off their own eyes and their
spacesuits.

IN THE HOLOGRAPHIC COLUMN

The whirling lights resolve into images, which relate to
them the story of ancient Mars:

A BLUE PLANET

we do not recognize. All is peaceful, beautiful.

INTERCUT

MCCONNELL
(softly)
Is that what I think it is?

LUKE
Yeah. It's Mars.

SUDDENLY A HUGE ASTEROID

Tumbles through space towards the planet...

TERRI
Oh my God.

ON THE PLANET - CLOSER VIEW

As thousands of small rocketships lift away from the surface,
heading in a stream out of the solar system...

THE ASTEROID IMPACTS

And a wall of fire and debris scours the planet. Oceans boil
and vaporize. Two gigantic hunks are blasted out of the
planet, spinning in flames...

MCCONNELL, LUKE, AND TERRI

Involuntarily flinch, bathed in the fiery images...

THE PLANET IS NOW DEAD

As dust storms roil across its cold, lifeless surface. The
flaming hunks of molten rock cool into twin moons.

THE ASTRONAUTS

Stare at this devastation, deeply moved.

IN DEEP SPACE

The stream of Martian ships grows smaller and smaller as it
continues on its epic voyage towards a new solar system.
Then we zero in on

ONE PARTICULAR ROCKETSHIP

As it peels off and goes in another direction. Graphics show
a model of what the ship contains: the familiar double helix
of DNA. The ship heads towards another blue planet in our
solar system...

EARTH

As it was then. More clouds than now, more ocean, and the
landforms all wedged together.

TERRI

Her voice is soft.

TERRI
Earth, when it was still Pangaea.
Before the continents separated.

THE LONE MARTIAN SHIP

Makes a fiery streak through Earth's atmosphere and plunges
into the ocean.

Instantly the image of the DNA double helix grows, filling
the entire holographic column, then it begins to spin and
pulse, disintegrating into a phantasmagoric whirl of new
images...

MCCONNELL, LUKE, AND TERRI

Cry out, stunned by the strobelike power of the display as

LIVING FORMS

Flash into the holographic column, swimming, growing,
crawling, leaping, flying: one-celled microscopic organisms,
plankton, plants of all kinds, insects, then fish, dinosaurs,
birds, small mammals, larger mammals -- the entire stunning
panorama of evolution, distilled into a single explosive
sequence, as the images wash over the dazzled, awestruck

FACES OF THE ASTRONAUTS

Until finally the images whirl away, the holographic column
dissolves, leaving only a circle of glowing, concentric,
colored rings on the floor. The astronauts are left staring
at each other across the open space where the column had
been.

THE MARTIAN

Now comes forward with outstretched arms and completes their
circle, taking the fourth position. McConnell is opposite
her glowing form, and Terri and Luke are at either side. The
Martian reaches her arms out, inviting them to link hands.
As they do so, the Martian seems to be staring directly into
McConnell's eyes.

MCCONNELL

Is in wondrous awe, his whole face radiant with joy. It's
the first time we've ever seen him utterly without sadness
or reserve. Staring at the Martian, he understands.

MCCONNELL
They're us. We're them...

LUKE
We're Martians...?

MCCONNELL
That's what she means.

TERRI
Oh my God. The Cambrian explosion.

McConnell and Luke look at her.

TERRI
Almost six hundred million years
ago, there was a sudden expansion of
life on Earth. The first multi-celled
plants and animals appeared. No one
has ever understood why...

LUKE
They seeded Earth.

We hear a BELL-LIKE TONE, a single lingering high note, and
simultaneously the outermost ring of the circle on the floor
begins to glow brightly. It is an intense chromium yellow.

THE ASTRONAUTS

Step back, startled, unlinking their hands, and look at the
circle of colored rings. These shade from yellow, on the
outer rim, to a deeper yellow, then orange, then finally
reds. Inside the final, deep red ring is a circle of indigo
blue, about a meter across. Small points of light glitter
here, like stars against a midnight sky.

THE MARTIAN

Steps closer to McConnell. She has picked him out in
particular. Now she beckons for him to move inside the circle
of colored rings, to stand on the indigo core.

MCCONNELL

Looks back at her, nods his understanding. For the first
time she seems to smile. Benevolence, reassurance. Then as
abruptly as she first appeared, she fades away. Vanishes.

Luke and Terri look at McConnell, confused. There is a sudden,
static-filled CRACKLE from their helmets, nearby on the floor.

PHIL
(over radio)
...in, please. Can you... me?

Terri picks up her helmet, leans into its mike.

TERRI
Phil, we're here! We read you.

Even through the scratchy interference, they can hear the
relief in Phil's voice. And then the desperation.

PHIL
Thank God! Listen, this storm is
really --
(loud static)
-- few more minutes, I can't --
(more static)
You've gotta get back to the ship!

And then they hear only STATIC. His signal is lost.

TERRI
Phil? Phil...?

Suddenly the BELL-LIKE TONE REPEATS, at a lower register,
with a more sustained note, and simultaneously, the last of
the yellow circles of light begins to fade, as

THE FIRST ORANGE BAND

Begins to glow brighter. McConnell turns, looking at this
new color, then looks back at Luke and Terri.

MCCONNELL
We are in a ship. This is a ship.
And the countdown has already started.

Terri looks at Luke, alarmed.

LUKE
He's right.

TERRI
Then let's get the hell out of here!

She scoops up Luke's helmet, tosses it to him. As he catches
it, she's already starting back out, in the direction they
came from, and Luke follows her. Until they both become aware
that McConnell isn't with them. They turn back. He's still
rooted to the spot, his gaze locked on the indigo core of
the colored rings.

LUKE
Jim...

McConnell doesn't turn.

LUKE
Jim, we gotta go.

MCCONNELL
I'm not coming with you.

TERRI
(stunned)
What?

Coming back, she sees how calm he is. How certain.

TERRI
What are you talking about? We've
got to get home.

MCCONNELL
That's where I'm going. Don't you
see? That's what all this is for.
(McConnell gestures
at the ship around
them)
You were right Terri. This is an
invitation. To follow them. To follow
them home.

He looks into their faces. Terri is trying to grasp this
idea, still incredulous. Luke has the beginning of a half
smile.

MCCONNELL
I have to go. This is the mission
now. To find out who we are. Isn't
that why we came here? Like Maggie
said, "To stand on a new world and
look beyond it to the next one."

Luke nods at the memory of Maggie's words. Terri remembers
too. McConnell's passionate conviction is affecting them
both.

MCCONNELL
You know, when you think about it --
I wasn't even supposed to be here --
all the accidents, everything that
got us to this point, it's just...
it's just... I just know it's right.

Terri looks at Luke. Luke is smiling. He understands.

MCCONNELL
I'm okay. I know what I'm doing. But
you're running out of time. You've
gotta get back to the ERV and get
off this planet. Now please go.

Luke steps closer, looking at his old friend.

LUKE
I once felt like I was taking your
turn. But now I think maybe you're
taking mine. Guess I'm a little
jealous.

They clasp hands for a moment. But in this moment is a
lifetime of camaraderie, an eternity of farewell.

LUKE
Thanks for saving my life.

MCCONNELL
My pleasure.

Luke nods, deeply moved. He turns away, picking up his helmet,
as Terri comes closer, looking at McConnell, a long unspoken
beat. Her eyes are glistening.

TERRI
I wish Woody were here to see this.
He would've wanted to go too, Jim.

Terri smiles. She is starting on the road to recovery. She's
going to be okay.

MCCONNELL
He's here, Terri. We wouldn't have
made it without him.

Terri nods. She digs into one of her suit's pockets, pulls
something out. She hands it to McConnell, and his fist closes
around it.

TERRI
Take care, Jim.

McConnell smiles. Terri smiles back at him. Then she turns,
picks up her helmet, and crosses to where Luke has paused,
looking back.

LUKE
Hey, Jim...?

MCCONNELL
Yeah?

LUKE
Have a great ride.

MCCONNELL
Always do.

Luke and Terri exchange a final silent farewell with him,
then hurry away, into the darkness.

MCCONNELL

Looks down at what Terri gave him.

IT'S WOODY'S NECK CHAIN

With the little Flash Gordon rocketship.

MCCONNELL

Grips this tightly as he looks up.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. MARS. THE FACE. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. NIGHT

The hanger-like hatch has reopened, and Luke and Terri,
helmeted again, emerge from the Face. The leading edge of
the dust storm is upon them. They can't see much more than a
few meters.

As they reach the rover, they hear, even in this chaos, that
the deep pulsing tone of the Face has started again. They
look at each other, uncertain what this means. But McConnell
is now beyond their help. Luke keys his mike.

LUKE
Phil? Phil, do you read?
(to Terri)
He's not reading.

TERRI
I can barely read you. Let's get the
hell out of here!

INT. ERV COCKPIT. NIGHT

PHIL
Is anyone there? Can anyone read me?

Phil gets no response. He is shaking, almost crying. He
hesitates, then starts hitting some keys.

CLOSE ON HIS COMPUTER DISPLAY

Which reads: "PRE-LAUNCH CHECKLIST."

INT. MARTIAN SPACESHIP. NIGHT

McConnell has shed his backpack, with its unneeded oxygen
tank. He steps cautiously onto the colored rings. Nothing
seems to happen. Moving further, he takes his place on the
indigo circle at their core. He looks at

THE GLOWING TAKE-OFF COUNTDOWN INDICATOR

As it dips from orange into red; the BELL TONES are continuous
now, very deep and rapid.

EXT. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. NIGHT

The rover, with Luke and Terri inside, races away towards
the safety of the ERV, as the maelstrom boils over the Face
behind them. The sky is purplish black, thick with flying
debris and eerie lightning flashes. Towering billows of dust
chase them over the plain, nearly enveloping them as they
speed towards us, passing OUT OF FRAME.

INT. MARTIAN SPACESHIP. NIGHT

McConnell reacts, surprised, as suddenly

A TRANSPARENT, GLASS-LIKE CYLINDER

Begins to rise around him, swiftly and smoothly, coming up
from the circumference of the indigo circle.

Then a second, identical cylinder -- the top half -- drops
down from somewhere overhead. The two sections meet and fuse
in a flash of light, containing McConnell inside them, as
neatly as if he were in a giant, transparent mailing tube.

MCCONNELL

Fights against a stab of claustrophobia. Is he being
imprisoned? Or somehow protected? Either way, he's virtually
immobilized. In this tight space in his bulky suit, he can't
even move his arms. Only his head and neck can still shift.

INT. ERV COCKPIT. NIGHT

Phil is going over his final pre-launch checklist, flipping
switches and pressing buttons. He looks at his

DIGITAL CLOCK

Which reads "1350."

PHIL IS STRICKEN, TORMENTED

His finger hovers over a "Fire" button. He licks his lips
nervously, squeezes his eyes shut, and hits the button.

CLOSE ON COMPUTER DISPLAY

And the words: "IGNITION SEQUENCE INITIATED"

INT. MARTIAN SPACESHIP. NIGHT

McConnell is straining inside the cylinder that surrounds
him, when something catches his attention. He arches his
neck, looking down.

A COBALT-BLUE TRANSPARENT LIQUID

Is beginning to fill the cylinder! It swirls in, from some
unknown source, rising rapidly; already his lower boots are
covered.

MCCONNELL'S EYES

Widen in alarm. He strains against the sides of the cylinder
but

HIS GLOVED HANDS

Slide helplessly across the smooth surface.

MCCONNELL

Looks down again.

THE COBALT LIQUID

Is up to his knees. Now his thighs...

MCCONNELL

Cranes his neck, staring up. Can he wedge himself higher,
can he somehow climb to safety?

ABOVE HIM

The entire "ceiling" of the Face is becoming translucent. He
can see the dust storm, boiling overhead. And now, rising
into this, are fiery coils of energy from the Face itself.
These swirl and twist in every direction, like angry water
snakes; battered by the fierce winds. Two vast forces on a
collision course.

INT. ROVER. NIGHT

Luke drives the rover through the blinding storm, as Terri
stares at a dashboard computer screen. They have to shout to
be heard over the ROARING WIND.

TERRI
I've lost the Base Camp beacon!

Luke looks over alarmed.

CLOSE ON A DIAL

As the needle spins freely, giving no direction whatsoever.

TERRI
No good! We're driving blind.

LUKE
I'll try to keep on a straight line!
It's our only chance.

TERRI
Don't worry! I've worked with Phil
for four years! I know Jim gave him
a direct order, but he won't leave
without us.

EXT. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. NIGHT

The Rover races towards us, the front of the storm chasing
it from behind, then completely overtaking the Rover. It
disappears from view!

INT. ERV COCKPIT. NIGHT

Phil sits in the pilot's seat. He is looking at a computer
graphic that shows the engines readying to launch. With
resignation, he keys his mike.

PHIL
This is ERV, do you read? ERV to
Rover, do you read...?

Phil waits a second, then reaches slowly for a blinking red
switch that reads "LAUNCH." He hesitates, then actually has
his fingers on it, about to flip it, when he hears a crackle
of static on the radio. Phil keys his mike.

PHIL
This is ERV, do you read?

LUKE
(very faint)
Save the fuel, Phil. We're coming
in.

And Phil chokes back a sob. Blinking back the tears, he tries
to compose himself, then keys his mike.

PHIL
Uh, Phil's not here right now. He
left for Earth five minutes ago.
Please leave your message at the
beep.

EXT. THE FACE. NIGHT

FROM GROUND LEVEL we see that the coils of energy are rising
from the forehead of the Face, from its "third eye," spinning
and looping faster and faster, starting to form a vortex.
But unlike the wind vortex that killed the Mars One crew,
this is a vortex of fire. As we watch, more fiery streaks
begin to emerge from the sides of the Face, from the chin,
cheeks and temples. These all rush upwards, like lava flowing
uphill, gathering in intensity as they leap free of the Face
itself and spiral into the atmosphere. The peak of the forming
vortex is already piercing the lowest layer of storm clouds,
causing a dark counter-swirl.

EXT. MARS ONE BASE CAMP. NIGHT

Phil stands at the bottom of the ERV's ladder, gripping it
to steady himself, staring into the swirling dust.

THE ROVER appears out of the dust and sand, the immense storm
seeming to chase it from behind. Luke and Terri climb out,
struggle towards him through the wind. Phil grips their hands,
helping them over to the ladder. He looks back, confused.

PHIL
Where's Jim?

TERRI
He got another ride.

Phil stares at her, bewildered.

LUKE
Tell you on the way. Let's go!

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

INT. MARTIAN SHIP. NIGHT

LOOKING DOWN INTO THE CYLINDER, we see that the cobalt-blue
fluid has risen to McConnell's upper chest. Now it's at his
shoulders! It pours into his suit through his neck ring.

He strains on tiptoes, craning his head back, trying to keep
his unhelmeted face above the rising liquid.

He sucks in deep desperate gulps of air, his head thrashing
from side to side. Then suddenly the fluid is over his mouth,
his nose, his forehead. His whole body is submerged!

The level of fluid continues to rise towards the unseen top
of the cylinder.

MCCONNELL

Squeezes his eyes shut, holding his breath. Not so much
fighting this anymore as simply floating in place, waiting
for his inevitable death...

EXT. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. NIGHT

WIDEVIEW FROM ABOVE, as the energy vortex bends from side to
side, pushing back the swirling storm that surrounds the
Face. As the vortex coalesces its energy into a cylindrical
shape, we see through its center to a rising form -- the
Martian ship. It is a flattened convex circle whose matte-
metallic angles replicate the "Face" imagery.

EXT. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. NIGHT. SIDEVIEW FROM INSIDE THE FACE

As the Face burns away around us, the Martian ship begins to
rise and spin.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. NIGHT

The vortex is now a tight, rapidly spinning cylinder. As it
draws more and more power from the disintegrating Face, the
Martian ship in its center spins faster and faster.

INT. MARTIAN SHIP. NIGHT

MCCONNELL'S FACE

Is spinning and shaking too, more and more violently, as the
huge buildup of G-forces tears at his body. We're reminded
of Nick Willis just before the vortex exploded him; is the
same thing about to happen to McConnell?

His eyes remain tightly shut, bubbles are streaming from his
lips. His last breath is nearly exhausted, it's being shaken
from his lungs.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

INT. MARTIAN SPACESHIP. NIGHT

As we MOVE IN CLOSER ON HIS FACE, we suddenly see, with him,
a SERIES of rapid-fire, almost subliminal IMAGES FROM THE
PAST. We recognize each one. Previously, though, we saw them
as still photos; now they have movement, life, and we view
them from new and slightly different angles. These images
INTERCUT with glimpses of McConnell's pale, shaking, near-
death face in the present...

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

THE YOUNG MCCONNELL

Under the Christmas tree, lifts his new model rocket from
its box. He turns to us, smiling joyfully. A blinding white
flash, and he disappears...

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

THE TEENAGED MAGGIE

Is on her porch, under a night sky, bending down to the
eyepiece of a TELESCOPE. She looks up at us with a shy, proud
smile. A blinding white flash and she's gone...

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

MAGGIE AND MCCONNELL

In flight suits, holding their helmets, stand on the wing of
a fighter jet. The radiant young couple turn to each other,
kissing. A blinding white flash and they vanish...

MAGGIE MCCONNELL

In an astronaut's pressure suit, drifts rapidly towards us,
reeling in along a tether. A man's gloved hand is
outstretched, reaching for her. As she grips the hand, we
see her triumphant expression through her faceplate. A
blinding flash; she's gone...

MCCONNELL'S FACE - IN THE PRESENT

Is shaking savagely; he is very near death. And then, all at
once, the SHAKING STOPS.

Time itself seems to stop.

McConnell opens his eyes, staring STRAIGHT AT US. And then,
fully accepting his fate, he throws his head back, opens his
mouth and takes in a deep lungful of the fluid. He can breathe
it.

His eyes widen in surprise and understanding. He can breathe
it! This fluid will keep him alive! His whole body relaxes,
the tension draining from his head and shoulders, as he fully
trusts this launch for the first time. And then, with his
eyes wide open, he sees, from memory, one final image...

BRIDAL VEIL IS LIFTED

And REVEALS, in CLOSEUP, the beautiful face, the shining
eyes of MAGGIE McCONNELL. Beatific, eternal. She gazes
directly INTO CAMERA, then smiles...

MCCONNELL

Smiles back.

EXT. PLAINS OF CYDONIA. NIGHT

WIDE VIEW, FROM ABOVE, as the energy vortex changes from red-
orange to blue-white. It ROARS with terrifying power as its
top starts to bend, angling like a telescope towards a
specific point in the stars. Then the Martian ship -- a
rounded darker form, little more than a blip within the vast,
blue-white column of energy -- shoots away from the surface,
leaving only a blacked crater where the Face had been.

EXT. MARS. HIGH ATMOSPHERE. NIGHT

ANGLE FROM DEEP SPACE, LOOKING DOWN, as the Martian ship,
riding its blue-white column of energy, streaks up into the
vast blackness, like a narrowly focused spotlight piercing
the night. Down below, we can see the dust storm in all its
vastness still boiling orange and brown across the planet's
surface, which it now completely covers.

As the Martian ship flashes by us, it passes another ship,
much smaller and slower, rising through the storm clouds on
a different trajectory. We recognize the familiar, comfortable
sight of the ERV.

PUSHING IN QUICKLY ON THIS.

We see three figures in the cockpit.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

INT. ERV COCKPIT. NIGHT

Luke, Terri and Phil are strapped in, with their acceleration
just starting to level off, when suddenly their cockpit
interior is starkly bathed in white light. They wince at the
unearthly radiance, shielding their faceplates with gloved
hands.

TERRI
Dear God. Look at that.

Through their cockpit window, they watch the Martian ship
hurtle by them at a hundred times their speed.

PHIL
Is that him?

Luke nods. Their eyes are glistening. Luke's voice is a
whisper, both of prayer and farewell.

LUKE
Godspeed Jim McConnell.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

OMITTED

Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. SPACE

Looking through the cockpit window we see the Martian ship
receding into the infinite distance of space -- a long blue-
white scratch that in moments begins to fade. Finally it is
a tiny point of light, taking its place amongst the limitless
expanse of the star-filled heavens.

THE END

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