"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 ]

WATCHMEN



Written by

David Hayter & Alex Tse





INT. EDWARD BLAKE'S APARTMENT - KITCHEN - EVENING

CLOSE ON: A "Have A Nice Day" HAPPY FACE PIN. STEAM rises
past the pin. We hear a KETTLE BOILING.
We PULL BACK and find that the pin adorns the lapel of a ROBE
worn by EDWARD BLAKE, 63, but amazingly not far from his
physical prime--body chiseled, built like a truck. Handsome
too, save the LONG SCAR running down the side of his face.
Blake removes the kettle from the stove. He scoops some Asian
tea leaves from a can, dumps them in a cup .

INT. EDWARD BLAKE'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - EVENING

The apartment is expensive but not quite luxurious. Terrific
New York view from the window. Blake lives well, if alone. He
sits on the couch with his cup of, tea, puts his feet up. Hits
the remote, turns the big screen TV on. The news:

ANCHORWOMAN
--addressing the United Nations today,
the President expressed his concern over
the increasingly intense territorial
disputes in both Asia and the Middle
East.
CUT TO: The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES--

PRESIDENT
The sound of a bullet at one end of the
world echoes across the ocean to the
other end. Armed conflict is not self
contained in its respective region--the
consequences reverberate through every
nation across the world and therefore
must be avoided at all costs.
CUT BACK TO: The Anchorwoman--

ANCHORWOMAN
While the President's position was clear,
he did not comment on whether or not he
would order Dr. Manhattan into action
should the situation continue to
escalate.
CUT TO: Stock footage of DR. MANHATTAN--a man, at least he
appears to be, who has glowing blue skin. The stock footage
shows Dr. Manhattan flying through the air as a MISSILE heads
straight for him.

(CONTINUED)









2.

CONTINUED:
With a wave of his hand, Dr. Manhattan stops the missile in
its flight--frozen in mid-air--inches from his face.
With another wave, Dr. Manhattan DETONATES the missile. Dr.
Manhattan disappears in the EXPLOSION . but once the
smoke clears, we see he's still there. Unscathed--
--Blake snorts at the stock footage, changes the channel--
CRASH!--The FRONT DOOR EXPLODES, splintered by a KICK; Blake
jumps up, immediately at the ready--
--when we see the INTRUDER'S FEET entering. Slowly. Blake
sees the Intruder's face, though we never do--we only see
that he's dressed in ALL BLACK, including GLOVES and a KNIT
HAT. A look of recognition comes over Blake.

BLAKE
Just a matter of time, I suppose.
With sudden, blinding speed, Blake WHIPS the SAUCER from
under his cup, sending it FLYING like a saw-blade. The
Intruder BATS IT out of the air with even quicker reflexes,
but the act buys Blake time to pull a PISTOL with a SILENCER
from a hollowed out STEREO SPEAKER. He's a pro
. but so is our Intruder. Before Blake can get a shot
off, the Intruder is already upon him, SNATCHING the gun out
of Blake's hand--
--Blake PUNCHES the Intruder in the chest plate--the Intruder
drops the gun. Blake fights. Not like an old man, but like
the trained killer he is. But the Intruder is much, much
faster. Younger. Deadlier. He SMASHES Blake with an elbow to
the head.
Blake falls. BLOOD blurs his vision. The Intruder picks Blake
up off the ground. Brings him to the window with the great
New York view. Thirty stories up. Blake looks the Intruder in
the eye
. and starts laughing. Hysterical.

BLAKE (CONT'D)
I always thought I knew the punchline.
But I guess the joke's on me now.
He laughs. The INTRUDER seems to regard Blake a moment--
--then, with incredible strength, he LIFTS BLAKE OVER HIS
HEAD AND THROWS BLAKE THROUGH THE WINDOW. Blake never makes a
sound as he plummets to the sidewalk.









3.

EXT. STREET - EVENING

CLOSE ON: Blake's dead body. His eyes are wide open, not in
fear, but in resignation. As BLOOD starts to POOL behind his
head, we move to the happy face pin Blake wore, now on the
sidewalk by his neck. We slowly ZOOM IN on the pin as blood
DRIPS on it
. when the pin is WASHED AWAY.

EXT. STREET - LATER (TIME CUT)

A SHOPKEEPER has his HOSE out, spraying off the blood from
the sidewalk. Blake's body is gone, a CHALK OUTLINE in its
place. A COP comes running up to the Shopkeeper.

COP 1
Hey! This is still a goddamn crime scene!

SHOPKEEPER
It's been over four hours, I got a
business to run--
As they argue, we're back following the happy face pin, as
the water carries it to a DRAIN--
--when someone picks the pin up. We're in this person's POV
as he studies the pin for a moment before pocketing it.
We never see his face. We move from his POV--
--to across the street, arriving at a NEWS STAND. People at
the news stand stare at. the crime scene. At the cop still
arguing with the shopkeeper, the patrol cars, the yellow
tape. At the MEDICAL EXAMINER zipping up Blake's BODY BAG.
Other people at the news stand ignore the scene and peruse
the magazines and periodicals, most of which have
inflammatory headlines regarding the tense atmosphere
currently in the world--a Newsweek headline reads "War?", The
New York Times: "China Moves Battleships near Taiwanese
Waters," The New York Post, over a PHOTO of the President
with Dr. Manhattan: "What Me Worry?"
The NEWS VENDOR notices a MAN frowning at the papers.

NEWS VENDOR
(re: headlines)
Depressing ain't it?

MAN
But good for business, right?

(CONTINUED)









4.

CONTINUED:

NEWS VENDOR
Yeah. Irony's a bitch.
The man pays for a newspaper when A HOMELESS MAN taps the
News Vendor on the shoulder.

HOMELESS MAN
The current issue of The New
Frontiersman, where is it?

NEWS VENDOR
It's late this month.

HOMELESS MAN
When will it be here?

NEWS VENDOR
I dunno, pal, like I said, it's late--
We MOVE BACK ACROSS THE STREET, to Blake's apartment
building, then MOVE UP the building, to the broken glass
window Blake was thrown out of. We MOVE INTO THE WINDOW--

INT. EDWARD BLAKE'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

--inside the apartment, where DET. GALLAGHER (older, jaded)
and DET. FINE (street worn, but not quite cynical yet) walk
through the crime scene. Fine studies the broken window.

DET. FINE
Edward Blake--63 years old, six-two, 225.
A solid 225, guy was built like a
linebacker. This is plate glass too,
you'd have to step on the gas just to put
a crack in this. Had to be a two man job.
At least. You check the bedroom?

DET. GALLAGHER
Drawers were open, tossed through.
Mattress flipped.

DET. FINE
Robbery?

DET. GALLAGHER
Or made to look like one.
(tosses Fine an ID)
Found that in the bedroom.
Det. Fine studies it. It's Blake's UNITED NATIONS ID. It
reads "Special Advisor, United States."

(CONTINUED)









5.

CONTINUED:

DET. GALLAGHER (CONT'D)
You see this?
He picks up a PHOTO from the floor, hands it to Fine.

DET. GALLAGHER (CONT'D)
Shaking hands with the President.

DET. FINE
You're saying this guy was a spook? You
think this might be a political murder?

DET. GALLAGHER
I think that this is way bigger
than the both of us.
He leaves Det. Fine to ponder this.

EXT. STREET - LATE NIGHT/EARLY MORNING

Outside Blake's apartment building. It's later now, the news
stand is closed, businesses closed, people gone.
We move into someone's POV. The person stares up at the
broken window of Blake's apartment, now covered with PLASTIC

SHEETING.

RORSCHACH (V.0.)
Rorschach's Journal, October 12th.
Earlier today I came across what appeared
to be a suicide. It was later learned to
be a homicide. Someone's time was up.
Still in POV, we see the person pull something from his
pocket--the happy face pin. We realize that this was the
person whose POV we were in earlier.

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
I discovered a clue. Something I
recognized. And suddenly, unexpectedly
. I heard my own clock ticking.
We move out of the POV and see our guy for the first time--
RORSCHACH (roar-shock)--a masked vigilante who wears a trench
coat, fedora, and a silver-white MASK with oily BLACK SPOTS
moving about, creating shifting, doubled PATTERNS like a
Rorschach test. Scary looking.
Rorschach draws a hydraulic GRAPPLING GUN from his coat, and
FIRES the HOOK AND CABLE THIRTY STORIES UP where it latches
itself through Blake's broken window. Pressing RETRACT,
Rorschach FLIES UP THE WALL to the 30th floor.









6.

INT. EDWARD BLAKE'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - LATE NIGHT

With a grunt, Rorschach pulls himself past the plastic
sheeting, through the window, and into Blake's apartment. He
investigates, silent. He sees the same things that the cops
saw . . but he notices the speakers by the TV. Notices one
of the speaker covers is ever so slightly askew.
Rorschach pulls the speaker cover off and discovers that the
speaker was hollow. (The Intruder clearly took Blake's gun
and put the cover back on when he left. Why?)

INT. BLAKE'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM CLOSET - NIGHT

Blake's clothing hangs in military rows. Rorschach runs his
fingers along the wall-seams. He pauses, presses on the
hanger BAR, which SLIDES BACK to reveal a RED BUTTON.
Pressing it, the BACK WALL of the closet SLIDES OPEN,
revealing a SECRET COMPARTMENT. On the wall is an old FRAMED
PHOTO of EIGHT PEOPLE IN COSTUMES, from the 60s. Included in
this photo is a young Edward Blake--Blake wasn't a spook--he
was a superhero.
WEAPONS of all kinds adorn the walls in here. TEAR-GAS,
GRENADES, RIFLES, PISTOLS--if it can kill you Blake's got it.
But that's not what draws Rorschach's attention.
Hanging on the back wall, dead center, is a more current
COSTUME. Black leather armor, gloves, boots. Hanging over it
all like a vacant, grinning face--a black leather MASK.
Rorschach stares. Framed nearby is the FRONT PAGE OF THE
BOSTON GLOBE. The headline reads "The Comedian Gets Last
Laugh On Moloch." Underneath is a photo of Blake dressed in
the costume Rorschach was staring at--Blake was a superhero
called the Comedian. In the photo, Blake holds a supervillian
named MOLOCH prisoner. (We'll meet Moloch later.)
On the same page is a smaller photo of a group of
superheroes. Rorschach is in the photo, as is Dr. Manhattan,
as is the Comedian. (As are DAN DREIBERG, ADRIAN VEIDT, and
LAURIE JUPITER, all of whom we'll be meeting soon). The
caption below reads: "The New Watchmen."
Suddenly, Rorschach hears the front door open. He quickly
closes the secret hatch.

INT. BLAKE'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Two uniformed COPS stand in the doorway.

(CONTINUED)









7.

CONTINUED:

COP 1
You sure it wasn't the wind?

COP 2
Nah, I definitely heard something.

COP 1
I tell ya, I'd rather do traffic duty
than be posted at a crime scene all
night. Watch the door.
Cop 1 pulls his gun, going through the motions rather than
being concerned. He then enters the bedroom.
Cop 2 stands guard, nervous From the bedroom:

COP 1 (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Clear! I'm checking the other rooms.
Cop 2 relaxes a bit, turns--
--and comes face to "face" with Rorschach, standing inches
away. The Cop's face goes slack with childish terror. He goes
to yell but Rorschach raises two fingers, "Shhh"--
The fingers JAB INTO THE COP'S WINDPIPE. The cop HISSES and
falls silently as Rorschach brushes past him like a whisper.

HOLLIS (O.S.)
See, the Comedian thought he had it all
worked out.

INT. HOLLIS MASON'S APARTMENT - LATE NIGHT/EARLY MORNING

CLOSE ON: A FRAMED PHOTO of the first Watchmen--identical to
the old one in Blake's closet. Holding the photo is HOLLIS
MASON. He puts the photo down, but we don't see his face yet.

HOLLIS (O.S.)
He was young and arrogant, but what he
lacked in experience, he made up for in
. tenacity.
As he speaks, we PAN ACROSS various FRAMED MEMORABILIA: The
first is a NEWSPAPER CLIPPING dated 1958: MYSTERIOUS MASKED
MAN CLEANS UP WHARFS--the caption underneath reads "Hero
Calls Himself The Nite Owl."

HOLLIS (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Guess I was that way too, when I started.
I'll never know what possessed me to put
that mask on the first time.

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)









8.

CONTINUED:

HOLLIS (O.S.) (CONT'D)
It started with the villains, y'know,
people forget that. Pirate outfits,
ghosts. Gangs that thought it was funny
to dress up and pull heists, crap like
that.
PAN ACROSS: Another FRAMED CLIPPING, dated 1962: NITE OWL
FORMS WATCHMEN--COSTUMED HEROES COMBINING FORCES! "'We're
going to clean up this town!' Says costumed crusader."

HOLLIS (O.S.) (CONT'D)
So a few cops, we decide it might be
funny to mask up too. Be anonymous. Take
these guys on at the street level, right?
Then the media got wind, ran with it,
turned it into a whole different beast.
PAN ACROSS: A GOLD STATUE of NITE OWL in his Sixties-era
costume. The plaque below reads: IN GRATITUDE, 1969. Another
clipping: "Hero Retires, Reveals Identity In Tell All Book."
Finally, we come to HOLLIS MASON (aka Nite Owl), 70s, though
his eyes sparkle with strength and his face still shows the
edges of a born hero. The TV is on in the background.

HOLLIS (CONT'D)
Superheroes, Supervillians--you know who
I ran into the other day at the market?
The Screaming Skull. We chatted for a
while. Turns out he's a born again.

DAN (V.0.)
No way.
We see who Hollis is speaking to--DAN DREIBERG (the second
Nite Owl), late 30's, handsome, though he's let himself go
the past few years--his edges have gone soft. He was in the
photo of the new Watchmen in Blake's apartment.

HOLLIS
All the nuts that started popping up,
I'll tell ya. Who was that midget you and
your partner chased down years ago?
What'd he call himself?

DAN
The Big Figure.

HOLLIS
Big Figure. A midget bad guy. Guess it
doesn't get lower than that, does it?
Hollis laughs at his own joke; Dan chuckles, polite.

(CONTINUED)









9.

CONTINUED: (2)

DAN
(glances at his watch)
Wow, it's really late.
Dan stands, finishes his beer. Hollis sees him to the door.

HOLLIS
Well, even though I spent my time
catching real bad guys, you were still a
better Nite Owl than I ever was.

DAN
That's bullshit, Hollis, and you know it.
They hug.

HOLLIS
With all this talk of war, all that's
going on in the world, it's a shame the
government forced all you guys out.
Before Dan can answer he notices a breaking news report on
the TV:

ANCHORWOMAN
This just in--masked vigilante Rorschach
has assaulted a New York City police
officer who was guarding a crime scene in
the early morning hours. Rorschach is on
the FBIs ten most wanted list for
violation of the Keene Act, which banned
masked heroes ten years ago.
Dan and Hollis watch as an image of Rorschach flashes on
screen.

HOLLIS
Well, forced all of you guys out except
one.

(BEAT)
Next week?
Dan nods, then leaves.

EXT. HOLLIS MASON'S APARTMENT - LATE NIGHT/EARLY MORNING

Dan descends the stairs. He pulls up his collar against the
cold and walks down an alley. A SIGN below Hollis' apartment
reads: "MASON AUTO REPAIRS--Obsolete models a specialty!"









10.

INT. SUBWAY - LATE NIGHT/EARLY MORNING

Dan rides the subway, lost in thought, when a group of GANG
MEMBERS, wearing yellow and black BANDANAS brush past him.
ONE stops. Dan's leg is out, a couple inches too far.

GANG LEADER
Move your leg.

DAN
What?

GANG LEADER
I said move, dick.
Dan finally realizes what he's talking about. Dan meets his
eyes, for just a moment and draws back his leg. The
Gang Members snicker at Dan as they pass.

EXT. DAN DREIBERG'S TOWNHOUSE - LATE NIGHT/EARLY MORNING

Dan walks down the empty street to his TOWNHOUSE, digging for
his keys. Then he stops, suddenly alert.
His front door hangs slightly OPEN--the LOCK'S been SMASHED.
There's a LIGHT on inside. Cautious, Dan enters the house.

INT. DAN DREIBERG'S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

Dan quietly approaches the light coming from his kitchen. He
hears odd, metal scraping SOUNDS.

INT. DAN'S KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

Dan enters the kitchen, stunned to find--

DAN
Rorschach.
Rorschach sits at the table, mask half up, eating a cold CAN

OF BEANS.

RORSCHACH
Hello Daniel. I helped myself to some
beans. You don't mind?

DAN
No, of course not. You uh, want me to
heat some up for you?

RORSCHACH
No need.

(CONTINUED)









11.

CONTINUED:
Rorschach finishes the can of beans, stands, pulls his mask
back down. There's a strong familiarity between the two but
at the same time, Dan is wary.

DAN
You were on the news. They say you
attacked a cop.

RORSCHACH
Minor wound. Won't need hospitalization.

DAN
Other than that . How have you been
keeping?

RORSCHACH
Out of prison. So far. Look at this.
He tosses Blake's happy face pin onto the table. Dan picks it
up, runs his fingers over the RED-BROWN SPLOTCH.

DAN
This little stain, is that bean juice or--

RORSCHACH
Human bean juice. It belonged to the
Comedian. He's dead.

DAN
The Comedian?
Nervous now, Dan glances out the window.
DAN (cont'd)
Let's talk downstairs.

INT. DAN'S HOUSE - HALLWAY - LATE NIGHT/EARLY MORNING

Rorschach follows Dan to a CLOSET, at the end of the hall.
Dan opens the closet, revealing an old BOOKSHELF. With some
difficulty, Dan PULLS OPEN the HINGED BOOKSHELF with a RUSTY
CREAK. STEEL STAIRS lead down into the dark.

INT. DAN'S OWL-CHAMBER - NIGHT

The two men descend into Dan's WORKSHOP--the dusty remnants
of a hero's LAB; Old computers and an OWL-COSTUME, hanging in
a locker. No-one has been down here for years. In the center
of the space, an OVAL VEHICLE the size of a subway car is
covered by a dusty TARP--the Owl-Ship.

DAN
How did it happen?

(CONTINUED)









12

CONTINUED:

RORSCHACH
Murder. Someone threw him out a window.

DAN
Maybe it was a burglary. The killer might
not have known who Blake was.

RORSCHACH
An ordinary burglar? Kill the Comedian?
Ridiculous.

DAN
You're right. I heard he was working for
the government. Maybe it was a political
killing.

RORSCHACH
Maybe. Or maybe someone's decided to kill
off costumed heroes.

DAN
You don't think that's . a little
paranoid?

RORSCHACH
Is that what they're saying about me now?
That I'm paranoid?

DAN
I-'m just saying the Comedian made a lot
of enemies over the years, even amongst
his friends, if he had any. The man
wasn't exactly endearing. Just because
something happened to him doesn't mean it
involves us.

RORSCHACH
One of our own has been murdered. I
thought you might be interested. An
attack on one is an attack on all of us,
right?
Dan hesitates.

DAN
I'm out, Rorschach. I've been out, we've
all been out. Except you. You know that.

RORSCHACH
Yes. I know that. Anyways, I thought I'd
let you know. Just in case.

(CONTINUED)









13.

CONTINUED: (2)

DAN
Yeah, thanks. You can take the tunnel out
to the warehouse on Fleet street--
Rorschach turns to walk off down a long, dark TUNNEL.

RORSCHACH
I remember. Used to come here a lot.
Back when we were partners.

DAN
Yeah. Those were good times, Rorschach.
Great times.
(more to himself)
What ever happened to them?

RORSCHACH
You quit.
Rorschach disappears into the SUBWAY TUNNEL, leaving Dan to
reminisce alone. Dan glances at his old costume hanging.

INT. SLEAZY MOTEL ROOM - EARLY MORNING

The kind of room you rent by the hour. Or the minute even. A
cheap looking HOOKER enters with an ARMY OFFICER, giggling.
She playfully pushes the Officer onto the bed.

HOOKER
So tell me what you wanna do. Sir.

ARMY OFFICER
Seeing that I don't have to be back to
base till Friday--everything.
He puts a stack of BILLS on the dresser. Then takes his
UNIFORM off like he can't wait. The Hooker gets on top of him-
--when the DOOR FLIES OFF THE HINGES. Rorschach steps in,
yanks the Hooker off--
--the officer gets to his feet, throws a punch, which
Rorschach dodges. Rorschach GRABS the guy's arm, then KICKS
the Officer on the side of his KNEE, tearing the joint to
shreds. The Officer cries out in pain, falls to the floor--
Rorschach nails him in the head with a BLACK JACK, knocking
him out.
The Hooker screams. Rorschach grabs her by the hair and SLAMS
her face into the wall.

RORSCHACH
Quiet, whore.

(CONTINUED)









14.

CONTINUED:
Nose broken and bleeding, the Hooker quiets to a whimper.
Rorschach takes the officer's uniform and ID. Then leaves.

EXT. VEIDT ENTERPRISES - MORNING

A mammoth, shining skyscraper. At the 50th-floor there is a
HUGE V-SHAPED HOLE where WATER FALLS.

INT. VEIDT ENTERPRISES - LOBBY - MORNING

A mammoth lobby. The decor is Egyptian and marble. Dan
approaches a beautiful ASSISTANT behind an imposing desk.

DAN
I'm here to see Adrian Veidt.

ASSISTANT
Do you have an appointment?

DAN
No, uh, just tell him Dan Dreiberg is
here to see him.

ASSISTANT
I'm sorry, Mr. Veidt doesn't see anyone
without an appointment.

DAN
I understand, but if you would just tell
Adrian that Dan Dreiberg is here, I'm an
old friend.

ASSISTANT
Well, Mr. Veidt is very busy at the

MOMENT--

DAN
Just tell him I'm here. I assure you
he'll see me.
Dan glares at her. She glares right back. A game of chicken.
She reluctantly gets up, goes inside the office.
Once she's gone, Dan's glare disappears, replaced by
nervousness. Because he's not sure if Adrian will see him--
it's been a long time. He glances at the SECURITY GUARDS
eyeing him. Finally, the Assistant returns.

ASSISTANT
Go on in, Mr. Dreiberg.









15.

INT. ADRIAN VEIDT'S OFFICE - MORNING

Dan enters the enormous office--there are three TV feeds
PROJECTED onto the walls, architectural models of real estate
developments, poster size ad campaigns for "Nostalgia"
perfume--all reflecting the financial empire of Veidt
Enterprises owned by--
--ADRIAN VEIDT, late 30s, movie star looks, is at the far end
of the office, SPRINTING on a treadmill as journalist DOUG
ROTH holds a tape recorder to him. Adrian sees Dan
approaching, smiles wide. He holds up a finger, telling Dan
to hold on a sec. Dan nods, takes a seat on the couch. Picks
up a Fortune magazine with Adrian on the cover.

DOUG ROTH
Mr. Veidt, would you acknowledge that you
are considered the world's smartest man?

ADRIAN

(LAUGHS)
I think it's better to be the world's
most modest man. You should ignore my PR
people, they tend to be a little too
enthusiastic.
Though Adrian seems to be sprinting at top speed, he hardly
seems out of breath as he answers questions.

DOUG ROTH
If we could move off the subject of
business for a moment, I'm curious
whether the world's smartest man thinks
we're headed for our next World War.
Adrian stops the treadmill, towels off as he heads to Dan.

ADRIAN
Predicting stock prices isn't the same as
predicting world events. I hope there
isn't a war, or even a skirmish for that
matter. Because Veidt Enterprises has
some exciting plans, plans that will,
pardon the cliche, truly make this world
a better place. My team of engineers and
scientists have been working with Dr.
Manhattan himself on synthesizing a new,
cheap form of energy which will eliminate
the worlds reliance on fossil fuels with
no toxic emissions. This energy could
power cars, aircrafts, stadiums--there
are no limitations--
(reaching Dan)

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)









16.

CONTINUED:

ADRIAN (CONT'D)
--but I talk too much. Will you mind
pausing the interview a moment, Doug? A
good friend of mine is here.
Doug Roth leaves. Adrian hugs Dan, despite the sweat.

DAN
You look good, Adrian.

ADRIAN
Dan--it's been far too long.

INT. ADRIAN VEIDT'S OFFICE - LATER

Dan and Adrian sit, talking over coffee. Dan examines an
ACTION-FIGURE of Adrian as OZYMANDIAS (his superhero alias).

ADRIAN
Rorschach. He paid me a visit too.

DAN
He did? Must've been tough to get past
your security, even for him. I thought
your assistant was going to take me out.

ADRIAN

(LAUGHS)
Sara can be tough. Is that why you came
to see me? You're worried about this mask
killer theory Rorschach's conjured up?

DAN
You're the world's smartest man, Adrian.
You tell me.

ADRIAN
Rorschach's a sociopath suffering through
nostalgia. I revealed my identity to the
public as soon as the Keene Act was
passed. If an old enemy wanted me dead it
would have been done already.
Adrian notices the news on one of his TV projectors.
Something about Pakistan putting troops along the Indian
border. Adrian turns up the volume, looking grim.

ADRIAN (CONT'D)
No, there are other things in the world
I'm far more concerned about.
ON THE WALL: The TV projector shows an image of TWO PAKISTANI
SOLDIERS on patrol.









17.

EXT. PAKISTAN/INDIA BORDER (KASHMIR) - SAME TIME

We're now actually with the two Soldiers on patrol. One of
the Soldiers takes out a pair of binoculars, looking into the
mountains. (They speak in Baluchi)

PAKISTANI SOLDIER
We should attack the Indian bastards. I
don't understand--
CUT TO: POV--a SNIPER SCOPE, locked in on the Pakistani
soldier.

INDIAN SOLDIER #1 (O.S.)
--why I can't just pull this trigger.
We see two Indian Soldiers, hidden in the mountains, one with
his sniper rifle aimed. (They speak in Hindi)

INDIAN SOLDIER #2
Because then a battle begins. Then a war.
And then the Americans will send--

INT. BRIDGE - BATTLESHIP - CHINESE WATERS - SAME TIME


CHINESE CAPTAIN
(in Mandarin)
--their blue abomination to intervene.
And we don't want that. At the same time,
we can't assume to know what's on the
minds of our enemies.
We're in Chinese waters, off the coast of Taiwan. The CHINESE
CAPTAIN and his First Mate look out at the water. TAIWANESE
GUNBOATS can be seen in the distance.

INT. MISSILE CONTROL ROOM - ISRAEL - SAME TIME

We're in the control room as an ISRAELI OFFICER and his much
younger AIDE watch SATELLITE IMAGES on the giant screen.
Images of potential targets. (They speak in Hebrew)

AIDE
Is Dr. Manhattan even real?

ISRAELI OFFICER
Why don't you ask the Vietnamese. Or the
Iraqis? Dr. Manhattan is real. Thank god
for that.









18.

EXT. ROCKEFELLER MILITARY BASE - EVENING

A SIGN posted on a RAZOR-WIRE FENCE reads: ROCKEFELLER
MILITARY RESEARCH CENTER. An M16-toting GUARD stands at the
gate.
We move into Rorschach's POV as he approaches the gate. The
guard has no reaction to Rorschach--
--because Rorschach is in disguise, wearing the Army
Officer's uniform he stole. Rorschach presents his ID. The
Guard waves him through.

INT. HALLWAY - DR. MANHATTAN'S COMPOUND - EVENING

Rorschach ditches the uniform in the trash and puts his mask
on. He quietly enters--

INT. LABORATORY - CONTINUOUS

--a huge room, which contains technologically advanced
MILITARY DEVICES. Distorted in sections of GLASS, we see the
REFLECTION of a HUGE MAN, GLOWING BRIGHT BLUE--

DR. MANHATTAN (O.S.)
Good evening, Rorschach.
--and we see DR. MANHATTAN (formerly Jon Osterman) for the
very first time. He is SIXTY FEET TALL, BLUE LIGHT ripples
from his skin, emanating pure power--he is God on earth. He
works on a reactor--telekinetically moving parts in the air--
not even looking at Rorschach. It's as if Dr. Manhattan
already knew he was coming.

RORSCHACH
Dr. Manhattan.
Dr. Manhattan continues about his business when his
girlfriend, LAURIE JUPITER, 30, very much in her prime,
enters from the other end.

LAURIE
Jon, did you say some--Rorschach: What
are you doing here? You're a wanted man.

RORSCHACH
Nice to see you too, Silk Spectre.

LAURIE
Don't call me that. My mother made me
take that name. I always hated it.

(CONTINUED)









19.

CONTINUED:

RORSCHACH
Sorry, Miss Jupiter. I thought I should
tell you the bad news--the Comedian has
been murdered.

DR. MANHATTAN
Yes, since he and I are the only two
extranormal operatives currently employed
by the government, I was informed. The
CIA suspects one of the radical Islamic
groups.
Dr. Manhattan shrinks from sixty to six feet in size. He
speaks in a cold, even, matter of fact manner.

RORSCHACH
I have my own theories. But neither of
you seem too concerned.

DR. MANHATTAN
A live human body and a dead human body
have the same number of particles.
Structurally there's no difference.

LAURIE
Well, I might not be able to count
molecules, but either way, Blake was a
bastard. You know he tried to rape my
mother?

RORSCHACH
Sounds like you may have had a score to
settle. You or your mother.

LAURIE
What? Are you accusing--

DR. MANHATTAN
Rorschach, please don't upset Laurie. I

DON'T--
He pauses as if he hears something.

DR. MANHATTAN (CONT'D)
Excuse me for a moment.
Suddenly he disappears.

EXT. PORT OF LONG BEACH - CONTINUOUS

A group of suspicious looking MIDDLE EASTERN MEN watch as a
CONTAINER is being loaded onto a TRUCK--

(CONTINUED)









20.

CONTINUED:
--when suddenly Dr. Manhattan materializes in a blue flash,
floating in mid-air. The Middle Eastern Men shield their eyes
from the light, then realize in awe and fear

MIDDLE EASTERN MAN
(in Arabic)
It's him He's, he's real. Allah
help us, he's real!
The men run for it but it's useless--Dr. Manhattan shoots
BEAMS OF ENERGY at them, freezing all the men in mid motion--
--when PORT SECURITY pulls up. They get out of their jeeps,
in awe of Dr. Manhattan, still floating in mid-air.

DR. MANHATTAN
These men were transporting a shipment of
enriched uranium--
With a gesture, the container floats off the truck and
separates into pieces . . revealing the URANIUM inside.
Suddenly the uranium changes--

DR. MANHATTAN (CONT'D)
I've safely transformed the uranium into
sand. I trust you can take things from
here.
And just like that he disappears--

INT. LABORATORY - CONTINUOUS

--and is back in the lab without missing a beat.

RORSCHACH
--I'm not here to judge the moral
discrepancies of a man who died in
service of his country.

LAURIE
You call rape a moral discrepancy?!

DR. MANHATTAN
Rorschach--you're upsetting Laurie. I
think you ought to go.

RORSCHACH
I came here to warn you both, just like I
warned Adrian and Dan. I believe someone
may be targeting masked heroes--

DR. MANHATTAN
I said you ought to go.

(CONTINUED)









21.

CONTINUED:

RORSCHACH
It took a lot of effort to get in here.
I'm not leaving before I've--
With a look, Dr. Manhattan makes Rorschach disappear.

EXT. ROCKEFELLER MILITARY BASE - CONTINUOUS

Rorschach materializes down the road from the base.

RORSCHACH
--had my say
Rorschach realizes what just happened. Checks himself, his
surroundings. Reorients himself. With nothing else he can do,
he heads down the road.

INT. LABORATORY - SAME TIME

Dr. Manhattan resumes his work. He looks distracted.

DR. MANHATTAN
He's gone. Are you okay now?

LAURIE

YEAH
(studies Dr. Manhattan)
Are you okay, Jon?
Dr. Manhattan pauses for a moment, thoughtful.

DR. MANHATTAN
I'm having trouble with my vision. I
can't see clearly what lies ahead.
There's some static interference.

LAURIE
Interference? Caused by what?

DR. MANHATTAN
I'm uncertain. A power surge of great
magnitude? Perhaps a nuclear detonation.

LAURIE
More war talk. I can't deal with this. I
don't want to think about the future
right now.

DR. MANHATTAN
There's no such thing as the "future."
I've explained to you on many occasions--

(CONTINUED)









22.

CONTINUED:

LAURIE
--that time is simultaneous. There's no
past to travel back to, no future to
travel forward to, everything happens all
at once, our actions affect the course of
time instantly, yes I know.

(BEAT)
I'm sorry, it's just a little
unnerving to be with someone who can see
the future, or whatever you call it.

DR. MANHATTAN
I understand your frustration, Laurie.
The human mind for some reason is only
capable of viewing time frame by frame.
Perhaps you'd find it more comforting if
you could perceive time as I do
Dr. Manhattan touches her head--

INT. JUPITER HOUSE - NIGHT (FLASHBACK - 25 YEARS AGO)

Laurie's childhood home. We're in Laurie's POV, as a little
girl. There's arguing downstairs. Laurie goes down to
investigate.
She comes upon the kitchen door, ajar. She can see her
PARENTS inside, arguing--

LAURIE (V.0.)
Jon, stop!

INT. LABORATORY - EVENING

Back in the present, Laurie pulls away from Dr. Manhattan's
touch. That memory seems to be painful for her.

DR. MANHATTAN
I didn't mean to upset you.

LAURIE
I know. I think I've been cooped up on
this base for too long. Rorschach
mentioned Dan Dreiberg--we haven't seen
him in years. Maybe we can give him a
call, see if he's available for dinner
tonight.

DR. MANHATTAN
You go ahead, Laurie. I want to further
investigate this interference with my
vision. I find it troubling.









23.

INT. RECEPTION - DR. MANHATTAN'S COMPOUND - EVENING

Laurie, dressed up and looking gorgeous, heads out when she's
stopped by a SECRET SERVICE AGENT FORBES.

AGENT FORBES
Going somewhere, Miss Jupiter?

LAURIE
Out.

AGENT FORBES
I'll have a car brought around in a few
minutes.

LAURIE
No, thank you. I called a cab already--
it's waiting for me outside.
She tries to walk past but Agent Forbes steps in front of
her.

AGENT FORBES
You look quite nice. Who are you meeting?

LAURIE
An old friend of mine. And of Dr.
Manhattan's. Now step out of my way.

AGENT FORBES
Please keep in mind, Ms. Jupiter, that
your boyfriend is this country's most
valuable asset. You need to keep him
happy. And on our side.
Laurie glares at him.

LAURIE
Yes, sir.
She brushes past him as she leaves.

EXT. NEW YORK CITY - NIGHT

We move down the beautifully lit New York city skyline,
passing the Brooklyn Bridge . the Statue of Liberty
and the in Towers of the World Trade Center?
We hear the LAUGHTER--









24.

INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT

--of Dan and Laurie as they finish up their meal at this
trendy restaurant.

LAURIE
You remember that crazy guy, what did he
call himself . Captain Carnage!
Pretended to be a supervillian just so he
could get beat up all the time?

DAN
Yeah, he tried that with me once. I just
walked away but he starts following me
down the street in broad daylight
yelling, "punish me! punish me!"

LAURIE

(LAUGHS)
Whatever happened to him?

DAN
Uh, well, he pulled that on Rorschach and
Rorschach dropped him down an elevator
shaft.
They look at each other, serious, then explode in laughter.

LAURIE
Sorry, sorry, that's not funny. I can't
remember the last time I laughed like
this. It feels good.
Dan looks at her as she finishes her coffee. We can see he's
smitten with her and that he probably has been for years.
Laurie seems oblivious.

DAN
It's great seeing you again, Laurie.

LAURIE
Yeah, this was fun.
The WAITER arrives with the check; Laurie grabs it.

DAN
You sure I can't get that?

LAURIE
Let me put my expense account to use. You
can thank Uncle Sam.

(CONTINUED)









25.

CONTINUED:
Laurie nods out the window. Dan turns and sees a GOVERNMENT
SEDAN parked outside.

DAN
They've been watching the whole time?

LAURIE
Just making sure I'm not doing anything
that might upset the country's most
powerful weapon.

DAN
How is Jon, by the way?

LAURIE
I really don't know. It's been harder and
harder to tell over the years. It's like
his emotions are slowly eroding. To be
honest, I can't tell if he even cares
about me anymore.
They're quiet a moment. Laurie glances at her watch.

LAURIE (CONT'D)
I should get back.

EXT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT

Dan and Laurie step outside.

LAURIE
Y1 know, when I think back, why did we do
it? Why did we dress up like that? I
think the Keene Act was the best thing to
ever happen to us.

DAN
You're probably right.

LAURIE
I mean, you remember my costume? All that
tight spandex? That was awful.

DAN
Uh, yeah. Awful.

LAURIE
And to think my own mother pushed me into
that spandex. Pushed me into the whole
costume thing in the first place. Wanted
her little girl to be just like mommy and
fight bad guys.

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)









26.

CONTINUED:

LAURIE (CONT'D)

(BEAT)
Well, I guess my ride is here.
She gives Dan a hug.

LAURIE (CONT'D)
We'll do this again.

DAN
Yeah. I'd really like that.
Laurie crosses the street and gets into the sedan. As Dan
watches the car drive off, TWO KIDS nearly bump into him,
running around playing. The Kids make flying noises.

KID 1
I'm Dr. Manhattan, saving the Twin
Towers!

KID 2
No, I wanna be Dr. Manhattan!

MOTHER
You can take turns, okay?
Dan watches the Kids for a moment, then walks away. The Twin
Towers looming behind him.

EXT. CEMETERY - LATE AFTERNOON

Days later. A few mourners gather in the rain for Edward
Blake aka The Comedian's funeral. Mostly government types.
Dan, Adrian and Dr. Manhattan line the edge of an open grave.

INT. HALLWAY - SALLY JUPITER'S CONDO - LOS ANGELES, CA - DAY

Laurie MATERIALIZES in the hallway of her mother's condo in
California. She immediately runs to the bathroom.

EXT. NEPENTHE VISTA - SAME TIME

Bright California sunshine gleams over this upscale condo
facility. Laurie's mother, SALLY, 60s but looks in her 40s,
reclines by the POOL. She hears someone VOMITING in her
condo.

SALLY
Laurie? Is that you?

INT. SALLY'S CONDO - DAY

Sally steps through the sliding glass doors as we hear the
toilet FLUSHING. Laurie wobbles out of the bathroom.

(CONTINUED)









27

CONTINUED:

SALLY
I'd figure you'd be used to traveling
that way by now.

LAURIE
Well, I'm not. I hate it when Jon
teleports me.

SALLY
Margarita?

LAURIE
No.
Sally pours herself a margarita from a pitcher on the
counter. We see photos, remnants of Sally from her
crimefighting days around the condo. Under the pitcher of
margaritas is a days old LA Times with the headline: "Dr.
Manhattan Intercepts Terrorists At Port."

SALLY
It's Eddie Blake's funeral today, isn't
it?
Laurie nods. (From here on, intercut between Blake's funeral
and Sally's condo)
FUNERAL: Blake's coffin is removed from the hearse.

SALLY (V.0.) (CONT'D)
Finally got his punchline, I guess. Poor
Eddie.

LAURIE
Poor Eddie? How can you say that? After
what he--

SALLY
Laurie, you're still young. You don't
understand how things change as time goes
by.
FUNERAL: Blake's coffin is carried past Adrian, Dan and Dr.
Manhattan.

LAURIE (V.0.)
Another lesson on time passing. Y'know,
you and Jon should get together and write
a book on the subject.
Sally reaches into a drawer and pulls out the old photo of
the Watchmen, the same one with Blake and Hollis Mason in it.

(CONTINUED)









28

CONTINUED: (2)

SALLY
That leaves just two of the old team
left. Me and Hollis Mason.
She stops at Blake in the photo, regarding him.

EXT. CEMETERY - LATE AFTERNOON


SALLY (V.O.)
Eddie was the Comedian. He always thought
he'd get the last laugh.
As the PRIEST speaks, we move down the row of mourners,
stopping at Dr. Manhattan looking thoughtfully into Blake's

GRAVE

INT. BAR - SAIGON - NIGHT - (FLASHBACK - 1964)

MATCH CUT TO: Dr. Manhattan. In the night sky, a BURST of
FIREWORKS. Outside, a CROWD of Vietnamese people CHEER.

BLAKE (O.S.)
Fireworks.
A young Blake sits in a derelict Saigon bar, mean drunk. His
face is devoid of his trademark scar.

BLAKE (CONT'D)
You'd think this country'd had enough
goddamn fireworks. If we'd've lost this
war, I think it might have driven us
crazy, y'know? As a country. But we
didn't. Thanks to you.

DR. MANHATTAN
You sound bitter.

BLAKE
Me? I think it's hilarious.

VIETNAMESE GIRL (O.S.)
Mr. Eddie?
They both turn. A pretty VIETNAMESE GIRL stands in the door.
She's pregnant, just starting to show.

BLAKE
Fantastic. Just what I need.

VIETNAMESE GIRL
The war is over now. We must talk.
(touching her abdomen)
About this.

(CONTINUED)









29.

CONTINUED:
Blake SLAMS his glass down. He glares at her, drunk and
dangerous.

BLAKE
There's nothing to talk about cuz I'm
leaving. I'm gonna forget you and your
horrible, sweaty little country.
He turns away. Her eyes blaze with betrayal and hatred.

VIETNAMESE GIRL
No. You will remember. You will remember
me and my country forever.
She SMASHES a bottle. Blake turns just as the broken SHARDS
SLASH HIS FACE, slicing him his jagged scar

BLAKE
You bitch! My face!
He PUSHES HER into the bar and DRAWS HIS PISTOL--

DR. MANHATTAN
Blake . don't.
BLAM! Blake shoots her; the Girl SLAMS against the far wall.
She drops, dead.

DR. MANHATTAN (CONT'D)
Blake. She was pregnant. You gunned her
down.
Blake turns on him, spitting fury.

BLAKE
That's right! And you know what? You
watched me! You could've changed the gun
into steam or the bullets into mercury or
the bottle into snowflakes, but you
didn't, did you? You're drifting outta
touch, Doc--I've seen it. Don't tell me
the war got to you.
Blake walks off shouting "Medic!" Dr. Manhattan turns to the
girl's body and regards it, curious. MATCH CUT TO:

EXT. CEMETERY - EARLY EVENING

Dr. Manhattan looking down at Blake's grave. We move down to

ADRIAN









30.

INT. WATCHMEN HEADQUARTERS - NIGHT - (FLASHBACK 15 YEARS AGO)


BLAKE (V.0.)
This is all bullshit.
Dan, fit and trim in full Nite Owl regalia, attends the
meeting of the "new" Watchmen. Rorschach is there, as is a
teenage Laurie, dressed in her tight spandex costume. Dr.
Manhattan, his age unchanged, stands with his girlfriend
JANEY SLATER, though he casts occasional glances at young
Laurie . who definitely glances back. Dan also pays
Laurie attention, but she is oblivious.
A younger Adrian, dressed as Oxymandias, leads the meeting.

ADRIAN
What are you saying, Comedian?
Blake, now in his forties, smokes a CIGAR, feet on the table,
a FLASK in hand. The PAPER in his hand reads: "Arab Leaders
Call Dr. Manhattan: 'America's Weapon of Satan."'

BLAKE
What I'm saying is this whole bringing
back the Watchmen thing is bullshit. It
didn't work twenty years ago, and it
ain't gonna work just because you want to
keep on playing Cowboys and Indians.

DAN
Maybe we should agree on no drinking at
meetings. Look, Rorschach and I have made
real headway on the gang problem by
pooling our efforts.
Rorschach's voice is quiet, not yet its tortured rasp.

RORSCHACH
That's true. But something like this
seems too big. Too bureaucratic.

ADRIAN
Bureaucracies can be effective with the
right leadership--

BLAKE
And that would be you, right Veidt? I
mean you're the "smartest guy in the
world," right?

ADRIAN
It doesn't take a genius to see that the
world has problems.

(CONTINUED)









31.

CONTINUED:

BLAKE
But it takes a roomful of morons to think
they're small enough for you guys to
handle. You people are a joke. You hear
Moloch's back in town and get your
panties in a bunch. You think that
matters?

RORSCHACH
Of course it does. Justice matters.

BLAKE
Justice. Hilarious. There's no such thing
as justice.
He stands, moving to Adrian's DISPLAY which outlines the
Watchmen's agenda: GANGS, RACKETEERING, DRUGS. Blake flicks
his ZIPPO and the display GOES UP IN FLAMES.

ADRIAN
My display .

BLAKE
Justice doesn't matter, alright? Because
twenty years from now we're all gonna be
dust. Mankind's been trying to kill each
other off since the beginning of time and
now we finally got the power to finish
the job. Ain't nothin' gonna matter when
the nukes start flying, and I promise you
they will. Then Ozymandias here is gonna
be the smartest man on the cinder.
He sneers and walks out. Silence. Uncomfortable in the wake
of truth, the others pack up to go, muttering apologies to
Adrian, but Adrian ignores them, staring at the flames
flickering across his face. He seems more thoughtful than
upset. MATCH CUT TO:

EXT. CEMETERY - LATE AFTERNOON

Adrian, moving down to Dan as we FADE TO:

EXT. CITY STREETS - NIGHT - (FLASHBACK 10 YEARS AGO)

A NEWSPAPER BOX. The headlines: "Cops Say: 'Let Them Do It',"
"Senator Keene Proposes Emergency Bill Banning Vigilantism."
PAN UP TO REVEAL: The streets JAMMED with ANGRY PROTESTORS,
waving signs decrying vigilantes.
ANGLE ON: AN OVAL AIRSHIP--the OWL SHIP--its forward windows
sculpted like the eyes of a great owl.

(CONTINUED)









32.

CONTINUED:
Dan, in costume, pilots the ship. The Comedian stands outside
the ship, in one of the "owl eyes," wielding a MACHINE GUN.

DAN
(over loudspeakers)

EVERYONE, PLEASE CLEAR THE STREETS. WE

ARE TRYING TO RETAIN ORDER UNTIL THE

POLICE STRIKE IS OVER.

BLAKE
Crawl back in yer holes before you get
hurt! I got rubber bullets!

MAN IN CROWD
We want regular cops! No more vigilantes!

WOMAN IN CROWD
My son is a cop, asshole!
The Comedian gets HIT IN THE HEAD by a flying SODA CAN.

BLAKE
Okay, that's how you wanna do it?!
Smiling grimly, he FIRES TEAR GAS CANNISTERS INTO THE CROWD.

DAN
Oh God.
(over speakers)

LOOK, I'M SORRY. YOU'VE LEFT US NO

CHOICE. PLEASE CLEAR THE STREETS!
The Comedian DIVES into the crowd, knocking random people
aside with his rifle butt, then starts firing rubber bullets
into the crowd. The protestors scatter and retreat. Dan lands
the Owl Ship, exits wearing a GAS MASK, hands one to Blake.

DAN (CONT'D)
Comedian, this is a nightmare! The whole
city is erupting!

BLAKE
Hah! You seen this?
The smoke clears enough for Dan to see a message SPRAY-
PAINTED on a brick wall: "WHO WATCHES THE WATCHMEN?"

DAN
How long can we keep this up?

BLAKE
My government contacts tell me they're
pushing some new bill through Congress.

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)









33.

CONTINUED: (2)

BLAKE (CONT'D)
Until then, we're society's only
protection.

DAN
Protection from what?
Blake laughs, exultant in the blowing smoke, the chaos.

BLAKE
Are you kidding? From themselves.
CLOSE ON: the happy face pin on Blake's costume. MATCH CUT TO-

EXT. CEMETERY - EVENING

--Dan fingering Blake's happy face pin.

PRIEST
Lord have mercy upon us. Amen.
Dan DROPS the pin into Blake's grave. The mourners linger a
moment as dirt is shoveled onto Blake's casket, then start
filing out. We follow one particular mourner all the way in
the back--a LONE MAN, as he walks away.

EXT. CEMETERY GATES - CONTINUOUS

The Lone Man leaves quickly.

INT. MOLOCH'S BROWNSTONE - NIGHT

The Lone Man removes his hat and coat. He is old, withered.
He is EDGAR JACOBI. In his younger days, he was a
supervillain known as MOLOCH--we recognize him from the news
clipping in Blake's closet.

INT. MOLOCH'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

Moloch goes to the REFRIGERATOR, opens it. Then stops,
staring. There is a scrawled NOTE inside. Moloch picks it up--
in spiky handwriting it reads: "LOOK BEHIND YOU."
Over Moloch's shoulder Rorschach's hat-brim TILTS UP. As
Moloch turns, Rorschach lunges, PINS Moloch's ARM behind his
back and SLAMS him to the floor.

RORSCHACH
Edgar William Jacobi. Also known as Edgar
William Vaughn. Also known as William
Edgar Bright. Also known as Moloch.

MOLOCH
What are you talking about? I'm a retired
business maaAAAHHH!

(CONTINUED)









34.

CONTINUED:
Rorschach TWISTS the man's arm back viciously.

RORSCHACH
Lie again, I'll break your arm.

MOLOCH
Oh God, please. I did my time. I'm not
Moloch anymore. What do you want from me?
Rorschach lets him go. Moloch's hollow eyes follow him.

RORSCHACH
You attended a funeral today. Why?

MOLOCH
The funeral? I don't know why I went. I
just felt I should. I'd been thinking
about the Comedian--
Rorschach SLAMS Moloch against the wall.

RORSCHACH
How did you know Blake was the Comedian?

MOLOCH
He broke in here! A week ago! He, he had
his mask off. He was drunk--

RORSCHACH
You were enemies for forty years. Why
would he visit you?

MOLOCH
I don't know! I woke up in my bedroom and
there he was! He was upset! Crying!

RORSCHACH
The Comedian? Crying?

MOLOCH
He, he was babbling, not making sense. I
was pissing in my pants--I thought he was
going to kill me!

RORSCHACH
What did he say?!

MOLOCH
He said he was wrong. About it all being
a joke, that it wasn't funny anymore. He
said he was scared--

(CONTINUED)









35.

CONTINUED: (2)

RORSCHACH
Scared of what?!

MOLOCH
Something he saw, I think. He said
something about wishing he never broke
into that building. But that he had to
keep his mouth shut. Then, then he left!
Rorschach studies Moloch a moment, then releases him.

RORSCHACH
Hm. Funny story. Sounds unbelievable.
Probably true.
Rorschach glances around the kitchen. He opens some drawers,
looking inside. He picks up a stack of MAIL, flips through
it. One of the envelopes contains a PENSION CHECK from
"Pyramid Industries."

MOLOCH
So that's it? I'm clean?

RORSCHACH
Clean? I searched your house. Found
illegal drugs.

MOLOCH
Illegal--I don't use drugs.
Rorschach pulls a PILL BOTTLE from his coat.

RORSCHACH
Laetril. Phony medication made from
apricot pits. Illegal.

MOLOCH
oh c-come on. Look, please don't
confiscate that. I'm trying anything
. I have cancer.

RORSCHACH
What kind of cancer?

MOLOCH
The kind you don't get better from.

RORSCHACH
Fine. You're off the hook, for now. If
you remember anything else, leave me a
note in the trash can opposite the Gunga
Diner at Fortieth and Seventh. Keep out
of trouble, Moloch.









36.

EXT. CITYSCAPE - NIGHT

CLOSE ON: Rorschach blasting through the night air as the
city streams by. This close, he appears to be flying.

RORSCHACH (V.0.)
Rorschach's Journal, October 17th.
Thought about Moloch's story on my way to
the cemetery. Could all be lies. A scheme
for revenge planned during his years
behind bars.
CUT WIDE: To reveal he is actually PERCHED ATOP AN ELEVATED
SUBWAY CAR. Just one way he gets around.

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
But if it's true, then what? What could
have possibly scared the Comedian? What
building was he talking about? What was
it that he saw? So many questions.

EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT

Rorschach stands alone over Blake's fresh grave. Paying his
proper respects.

RORSCHACH (V.0.)
Edward Blake--the Comedian. Born 1944,
buried in the rain. Murdered.
FLASH TO: Blake, the night of his murder, turning as his door
is kicked in.

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
Violent lives ending violently.
FLASH TO: Adrian's display burning.

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
Blake understood. Humans are violent in
nature. No matter how much you try to
dress it up, to disguise it.
FLASHES OF: The group photo of the old Watchmen. Then the
photo of the new Watchmen.

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
Blake saw the true face of human kind and
chose to become a parody of it, treated
it like a joke.
FLASHES OF: Blake being beaten in his apartment.

(CONTINUED)









37.

CONTINUED:

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
I heard a joke once. Man goes to a
doctor, says he's depressed. Life seems
harsh and cruel.
Blake is KICKED in the stomach.

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
Says he feels all alone in a threatening
world.
Blake stands alone in the blowing tear gas smoke.

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
Doctor says, "the treatment is simple.
The great clown Pagliacci is in town
tonight. Go and see him. That should pick
you up."
Blake is lifted up by the Intruder's hands.

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
The man bursts into tears.
A bloodied Blake laughs at the Intruder.

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
"But doctor," he says.
ULTRA-SLOW, Blake crashes through his apartment window.

RORSCHACH (CONT'D)
"I am Pagliacci."
Blake FLIES TOWARD FRAME on his silent trip to the ground.

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
Good joke. Everybody laugh.
Blake FALLS INTO FRAME--GO BLACK .

INT. ROCKEFELLER MILITARY BASE - BEDROOM - AFTERNOON

CLOSE ON: Laurie, eyes closed with pleasure, as Dr.
Manhattan's GLOWING BLUE HANDS caress her face.

LAURIE
Mmm. What time do you have to be at your
TV interview?

DR. MANHATTAN (O.S.)
Don't worry, we have plenty of time.

(CONTINUED)









38.

CONTINUED:
Eyes still closed, she does not see a THIRD BLUE HAND trace a
line down her cheek. She kisses it.

LAURIE
Hey, your finger, it's like licking a
battery. It's all--
She opens her eyes. They widen in shock and horror as she
sees TWO DR. MANHATTANS in bed with her.

LAURIE (CONT'D)
Oh God! That's horrible! Stop it!
Laurie jumps up. The two Dr. Manhattans stand, confused.

DR. MANHATTAN 1 DR. MANHATTAN 2
Please don't be upset. I thought you'd enjoy it.

LAURIE (CONT'D)
I'm sorry, I--You startled me, that's all

DR. MANHATTAN 1
I don't know what stimulates you anymore.
Laurie backs into the hall, trying to get a grip.

LAURIE
Forget about it. I overreacted. It was
just strange to see--
Laurie can now see into the KITCHEN, where yet a THIRD DR.
MANHATTAN is working on an experiment. Her eyes blaze.

LAURIE (CONT'D)
How long have you been working in here?

DR. MANHATTAN 1
Laurie, try to understand--

LAURIE
Understand!? You're working in here at
the same time we're in bed!?

DR. MANHATTAN 3
My work with Adrian is at an important
stage. It seemed unnecessary to--

LAURIE
Shut up! Just SHUT YOUR MOUTH!
Laurie WHIPS a full BEAKER at 3's chest. It PASSES THROUGH
HIM and SMASHES IN THE KITCHEN SINK. Laurie storms out.

(CONTINUED)









39.

CONTINUED: (2)

DR. MANHATTAN 3
Laurie, please--If you think there's a
problem with my attitude, I'm prepared to
discuss it--
As he speaks, the smashed BEAKER and its contents RISE INTO
THE AIR, REASSEMBLING perfectly in the palm of 3's hand.
IN THE HALL: Laurie nearly bumps into Dr. Manhattan 2.

DR. MANHATTAN 2
--but logically, not clouded with human
emotion.

LAURIE
Human emotion? You were human once.
That's the problem, Jon. You've forgotten
that.

DR. MANHATTAN 2
Laurie, where are you--
The door slams. Laurie's left. For good.
Dr. Manhattan 2 stands there. He walks back to the BEDROOM
where 1 is. Dr. Manhattan 1 holds an OLD PHOTO. In the photo
is a COUPLE, smiling into the camera. We recognize the woman
as Janey Slater, Dr. Manhattan's ex-girlfriend, who we saw in
Adrian's flashback at Blake's funeral. We recognize the man
in the photo as . Dr. Manhattan. When he was human.
Dr. Manhattan stares at the photo. Perhaps feeling the tingle
of human emotion again

INT. DAN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - EVENING

Dan heats up some leftover Chinese food in the microwave as
the TV plays in the B/G:

NEWS ANALYST (V.O.)
--no one's fired their weapons yet, but
no one's lowered them either. Maybe these
other countries aren't so afraid of Dr.
Manhattan, maybe they're calling the
President's bluff. I'm very curious to
see what Dr. Manhattan himself has to say
in his live interview which should be in
about an hour or so
BOOM, BOOM! Dan looks up. Someone's banging on the door.
Hard.









40.

INT. LIVING ROOM - EVENING

Dan approaches the door, cautious, mask killer on his mind?

DAN
Who is it?

LAURIE (O.S.)
It's Laurie.

DAN
Laurie?
It takes a few moments for him to open the door.

DAN (CONT'D)
Sorry, I had a new lock installed, it's a
little sticky--

LAURIE
I left Jon.

INT. DAN'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

Dan pours a teary eyed Laurie a glass of RED WINE.

DAN
Did, uh, the Secret Service follow you
here?

LAURIE
I lost them in the subways. I think.

DAN
I'm really sorry, Laurie.

LAURIE
Living with him . Dan, you don't know
what it's been like.
INTERCUT TO: Dr. Manhattan, holding Laurie's BRA. Staring.

LAURIE (V.0.) (CONT'D)
The way he looks at things, like he can't
remember what they are, like he doesn't
really care. This world, the real world
to him it's like walking through
mist, and all the people are just
shadows. Shadows in the fog.
Dr. Manhattan lowers his head. A SHADOW FALLS OVER HIM. He
looks up to see a THREE PIECE SUIT floating before him--
waiting for its wearer.









41.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Dan and Laurie walk the streets, getting some air.

LAURIE
I hope I didn't ruin your night.

DAN
Not at all. I was just going to see
Hollis for our weekly beer session.
You're more than welcome to join. In
fact, I insist
They pass the news stand from the opening scene. The Homeless
Man is arguing with the News Vendor:

NEWS VENDOR
--I told you, this month's issue still
hasn't arrived yet! Why do you care about
that right wing rag so much? Cuz those
bastards don't give a damn about you,
pal! They--hold up, here it comes.
They turn as SEYMOUR, a fat slob of a man, arrives with a
BUNDLE of the latest issue of "The New Frontiersman."
CUT TO: Dr. Manhattan stepping THROUGH and INTO the empty,
floating suit. His TIE knots itself.
Dr. Manhattan looks around the empty room . sad? Again,
he looks at the photo of him and Janey Slater . . then

DISAPPEARS IN A BURST OF PARTICLES.

EXT. STREET - SAME TIME

Dan and Laurie turn down a darker, less populated street.

DAN
Laurie, will you please stop apologizing?
I'm here for you anytime.
SHADOWS trail behind them, ominous. Someone's following.

LAURIE
I know. I just find it rude when people
show up at your door--

INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - NIGHT

The main waiting area. People go about their jobs. The
RECEPTIONIST hears a strange, electric CRACKLING

(CONTINUED)









42.

CONTINUED:

LAURIE (V.0.)
--completely out of the blue.
Suddenly, Dr. Manhattan appears in a burst of energy. The
receptionist SHRIEKS. The PRODUCER looks out his office.

PRODUCER
Terrific. Dr. Manhattan arrives and no
one thinks to tell me?

RECEPTIONIST
He, he just--

PRODUCER
All geez. We don't have time for make-up.
That blue is too light for television.
The light from Dr. Manhattan's SKIN DARKENS to a DEEPER BLUE.

DR. MANHATTAN
Is this dark enough?

PRODUCER
Uh, yeah

EXT. ALLEY - SAME TIME

Dan and Laurie turn down an alley. We now see who's following
them--a group of YOUNG THUGS.

PRODUCER (V.0.)
that's dark enough.

INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - BACK STAGE - SAME TIME

A White House PRESS AGENT escorts Dr. Manhattan to the set.

PRESS AGENT
Just another reminder that if the second
Geneva Convention comes up, our official
position is that talks will not resume
until the Chinese agree to exclude you
from the agenda. The President approved
this interview because he wanted to
strengthen morale at home and to gently
remind the rest of the world who holds
the cards. Please keep that in mind.
Dr. Manhattan stands off stage, waiting. The LIGHTS come up
and we're live with the glossy NEWS HOST.

(CONTINUED)









43.

CONTINUED:

NEWS HOST
He's been called many things; Hero,
weapon, linchpin of our security--
CUT TO: Dan and Laurie turning as the Young Thugs BLOCK THE
ALLEYWAY. One of the Thugs pulls a KNIFE. Laurie and Dan
exchange a look. Dan removes his glasses. CUT BACK TO:

NEWS HOST (CONT'D)
His given name is Jonathan Osterman--Dr.
Jonathan Osterman--a renowned nuclear
physicist who through a terrible accident
became the man the world knows today as
Dr. Manhattan.
The audience APPLAUDS loudly as Dr. Manhattan takes his seat.

DR. MANHATTAN
Thank you.

NEWS HOST
Thank you, Dr. Manhattan, and not simply
for appearing on this program. I believe
I speak for all of America when I thank
you for thwarting the terrorist plot at
the port of Long Beach over a week ago--
Furious applause from the audience, which Dr. Manhattan
regards curiously.

DR. MANHATTAN
It was my duty.
CUT TO: Dan and Laurie surrounded by the Thugs . when
suddenly they DIVE INTO the group, fighting like the heroes
they once were.
Dan grapples with one of the Thugs and knocks his knife away--
--when another Thug nails him from behind with a BAT. Dan
drops to the ground . BACK TO:

NEWS HOST
Before we start, I want to explain to our
viewers the unconventional format for
this interview. Our live audience is made
up entirely of news media and Dr.
Manhattan will be taking questions from
the floor. This commercial free broadcast
is presented to you by Veidt Enterprises.
We see Adrian standing near the audience with the Press
Agent, smiling for the camera.

(CONTINUED)









44.

CONTINUED: (2)
CUT TO: Laurie, driving a FIST into a Thug's NOSE, when
another Thug GRABS HER HAIR.

NEWS HOST (V.0.) (CONT'D)
We will now take our first question--
The Thug draws a PISTOL on her. Dan, still on the ground,
sees the gun and his eyes narrow, harden. He pushes himself
up off the ground.
CUT BACK TO: The TV Studio AUDIENCE: where Doug Roth, the
journalist who interviewed Adrian earlier, stands.

DOUG ROTH
Dr. Manhattan, Doug Roth, Nova Times. Do
you remember a man named Wally Weaver?

DR. MANHATTAN
Yes, he was a good friend of mine. When
we were both physicists.

DOUG ROTH
He died of cancer.

DR. MANHATTAN
I remember. I attended his funeral.

DOUG ROTH
How about Edgar Jacobi, also known as the
supervillian Moloch? You had a lot of
battles with him, didn't you? Did you
know that he has cancer as-well?
The News Host looks confused. Adrian turns to the Press
Agent, growing concerned with where this is leading.
CUT TO: Dan, snapping the GUNMAN'S wrist back and up--
Barrel aimed at the Thug's CHIN. In the last fraction of a
second, Dan SHIFTS the gun two inches left as it FIRES,
deafening the Thug, but leaving him alive. BACK TO:

DR. MANHATTAN
I was not aware--

DOUG ROTH
And what about Jose Flores? He was the
longtime janitor at the Watchmen
Headquarters where you worked for many
years. Cancer.

(CONTINUED)









45.

CONTINUED: (3)

DR. MANHATTAN
By your line of questioning, you're
suggesting that I was the cause of cancer
in these individuals.

DOUG ROTH
You tell me, doc.
Adrian turns to him.

ADRIAN
Doug, that `s enough.

DR. MANHATTAN
It is irrelevant whether I was the cause
or not.

DOUG ROTH
Irrelevant?

DR. MANHATTAN
A live human body and a dead human body
have the same number of particles.
Structurally there's no difference.
An appalled then angry buzz comes over the audience.

DOUG ROTH
What about Janey Slater? Do you think it
makes a difference to her?

DR. MANHATTAN
Janey Slater? Wh--

DOUG ROTH
Your ex-girlfriend, she was a physicist
too. You were with her for ten years. Or
does she have to remind you herself?
Suddenly Janey Slater emerges from a door at the top of the
stands. She is old now, frail, barely recognizable from the
images we've see of her.

DOUG ROTH (CONT'D)
She has cancer as well. Doctors have
given her six months. What do you have to
say, Ms. Slater?
He sticks the microphone in her face.

JANEY SLATER
D-damn you, Jon. God damn you

(CONTINUED)









46.

CONTINUED: (4)
She leaves as fast as she came, bursting into tears. Dr.
Manhattan stands, visibly shaken--

DR. MANHATTAN
No, Janey, wait!
In the audience, Adrian turns to the Press Agent, frantic.

ADRIAN
We need to stop this now.
Adrian and the Press Agent hurry on stage, SECURITY
following.

PRESS AGENT
That's it! Interview's over!
BACK TO: The alley, littered with the unconscious BODIES of
the Thugs. Laurie and Dan lean back on the wall, gasping for
air, horribly out of shape, but victorious.
CUT TO: The TV studio, as Adrian and Security surround Dr.
Manhattan, trying to escort him out. The audience spills out
of the stands, RUSHING Dr. Manhattan with questions and,
FLASHING cameras--it's madness. Adrian shoves a camera out of
Dr. Manhattan's face.

ADRIAN
As the sponsor of this program I demand
all cameras off!
His plea is futile, of course. A REPORTER breaks through,
gets in Dr. Manhattan's face.

REPORTER 1
Did you give Ms. Slater cancer by
sleeping with her?

DR. MANHATTAN
No. Please let me through

REPORTER 2
Do you even care about human life?

DR. MANHATTAN
Please. If everyone would just go away
and leave me alone.
Adrian hears the note of warning in his voice.

(CONTINUED)









47.

CONTINUED: (5)

ADRIAN
Everyone back off! Don't you understand?
He's the only thing preventing the world
from chaos!

DOUG ROTH
How many other people did you do this to?
Dr. Manhattan finally SNAPS--

DR. MANHATTAN
I said LEAVE ME ALONE!
Every last person BURSTS INTO PARTICLES and DISAPPEARS. Dr.
Manhattan is suddenly alone. He looks stunned almost.

EXT. ROOF - SAME TIME

The TV audience materializes out on the roof

EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT

Dan and Laurie exit the quiet alley, trying to play it off.

LAURIE
I should find a hotel. God. Imagine, us
getting mugged.

DAN
Why don't you come by Hollis' with me?
Shake off the adrenaline.

LAURIE
No thanks, I've had enough hero stuff for
one night.
(walking away)
You take care, Dan. It's a dangerous
world out there.

INT. HOLLIS MASON'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Hollis opens the door for Dan--

HOLLIS
You're late.

DAN
I know, you won't believe it--

HOLLIS
You missed it--Dr. Manhattan just lost it
on live TV.

(CONTINUED)









48.

CONTINUED:

DAN
Wait, what?
Dan turns to the TV, which replays the clip of Dr. Manhattan
being accosted and then teleporting everyone to the roof.

DAN (CONT'D)
I was just with Laurie. She doesn't know.

HOLLIS
She'll know soon enough. The whole world
will know.

INT. CAB (MOVING) - NIGHT

Laurie rides in back, staring out at the street, calming
down. The cab stops at a red light; The CABBIE takes outa
ZIPPO,lights a cigarette. Laurie stares at the FLAME

INT. WATCHMEN HEADQUARTERS - NIGHT (FLASHBACK - 15 YEARS AGO)

like she stares at the flame here, as Adrian's display
burns. Laurie glances around as everyone leaves, apologizing
to Adrian.

EXT. WATCHMEN HEADQUARTERS - NIGHT (FLASHBACK - 15 YEARS AGO)

Outside Watchmen HQ, Dan's Owl Ship rises out of view.
Rorschach skulks off into the shadows. Dr. Manhattan and
Janey Slater get into a Town Car as young Laurie watches from
around the corner.

BLAKE (O.S.)
Laurel? Laurel Jane?
Startled, Laurie turns. Blake steps out of the shadows.

BLAKE (CONT'D)
You're Sally Jupiter's kid.

LAURIE
You're the Comedian, right? You were
pretty cool in there.
Blake lights a smoke, looks her over.

BLAKE
You got your mom's eyes. Even that funny
little mole.

LAURIE
Got another smoke?

(CONTINUED)









49.

CONTINUED:

BLAKE
She was one of the all-time champion
beauties, your mom. She talk about me
much?

LAURIE
No. Not really.
As Blake gives her a light, Laurie touches his hand to cover
the lighter from the wind. She looks up at him, sly.

SALLY (O.S.)

TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF HER.
Laurie nearly jumps out of her skin. A younger Sally marches
toward them from a LIMO, waiting at the sidewalk.

BLAKE
Hey Doll. Long time no see.

SALLY
Not long enough in my book, Eddie.
She eyes Laurie with cool death.

SALLY (CONT'D)
Put that out. Get in the car.
INSIDE THE LIMO: Laurie cracks her window an inch. Her
mother's harsh, low tone drifts clearly back.

SALLY (CONT'D)
Are there no depths you won't sink to?

BLAKE
Christ, we were just talking! Can't a guy
talk to his, y'know, friend's daughter?
What the hell do you think I am?

SALLY
I know what you are, Eddie. I've always
known. Don't ever forget that.
Driving off, Laurie watches Blake through the window--

INT. CAB (STOPPED) - NIGHT

--like she watches through the window in the present. The
light turns green--
--when a BLACK SUV pulls in front of the cab, BLOCKING its
path.

(CONTINUED)









50.

CONTINUED:
The Cabbie honks his horn as a team of SECRET SERVICE AGENTS
get out of the SUV. Agent Forbes knocks on Laurie's window.

AGENT FORBES
Ms. Jupiter, you need to come with us now.

INT. ROCKEFELLER BASE - COMMUNICATIONS ROOM - NIGHT

Agent Forbes escorts her into the room.

LAURIE
I don't understand, what do you mean,
Jon's gone?

AGENT FORBES
I mean he snapped and disappeared during
the interview. Now our trackers can't
detect him anywhere on the planet. If we
want to find him you're our only hope.
A TECHNICIAN wires Laurie up; GRAPHS record Laurie's neural
responses, MONITORS show satellite images.

TECHNICIAN 1
Miss Jupiter, we need you to visualize
Dr. Manhattan. Do you need a prompt?

LAURIE
No.

TECHNICIAN 2
Neurotransmissions tracking.

TECHNICIAN 3
Transmitting on all frequencies.

TECHNICIAN 1
We're ready Miss Jupiter. We need you to
try and talk to him.
Laurie, wired like a porcupine, seems embarrassed.

LAURIE
Jon? Jon, can you hear me?
The GRAPH-NEEDLES jump and tick, searching
. when a high, clear TONE rings through the room.
Needles fly. Technicians dash to lock it down. Agent Forbes
hurries to the graph, looking over their shoulders.

AGENT FORBES
Have you got him?

(CONTINUED)









51.

CONTINUED:

TECHNICIAN 1
We've located his signal, yes.

AGENT FORBES
Well? Where the hell is he?
The Technician looks up, not happy about the answer.

TECHNICIAN 1
He's on Mars.

EXT. REMOTE SATELLITE STATION - NIGHT

HUGE DISHES scan the skies. We hear the high, clear tone,
above all the RADIO CHATTER, NEWS REPORTS and MILITARY
FREQUENCIES, the endless, echoing chaff of the world...

NEWS REPORTER 1 (V.0.)
--massive mobilization of troops in

KASHMIR--

NEWS REPORTER 2 (V.0.)
--unconfirmed reports of a gunfire
exchange in Tehran--

NEWS REPORTER 3 (V.0.)
--prompting the President to call an
emergency meeting with his National
Security Advisors--

LAURIE (V.0.)
Jon. Can you hear me, Jon?
But these VOICES get progressively QUIETER, as we--
ZOOM BACK: Up, out of the atmosphere, at a blinding rate--

EXT. MARS - NIGHT

--landing on A VAST MARTIAN PLAIN, and the tiny BLUE FIGURE,
walking across it, RED DUST BILLOWING behind him. The peace
and quiet after the cacophony of Earth is soothing.
Dr. Manhattan stops, looking over the landscape. He holds the
photo of him and Janey Slater in his hand, when he was human.
He stares at the photo a moment and closes his eyes--
--and we FLASHBACK to the moment that photo was taken. He and
Janey are at a CARNIVAL. After the flash, Janey turns to him.

JANEY SLATER
Aww, Jon, look--you've got cotton candy
on the side of your mouth

(CONTINUED)









52.

CONTINUED:

JON OSTERMAN
You do too. Here, let me get it for you.
He pulls her close. They giggle like the young lovers they
are and then kiss, passionate
BACK TO: Dr. Manhattan walking on mars' surface. He
approaches a LARGE ROCK FORMATION which blocks his path.
He PARTS the rock formation telekinetically, like Moses
parting the sea--
--and we FLASHBACK, mirroring the parting of the rock
formation to the parting of two SLIDING DOORS, in the LAB OF
A NUCLEAR TESTING FACILITY, as Jon steps into the REACTOR

CHAMBER€”

JON OSTERMAN (CONT'D)

(YELLING)
I'll catch up with you guys--I left my
watch inside .
Jon backs into the chamber without noticing the DIGITAL CLOCK
above the doors counting down: 3 2 1--"TIME LOCK
INITIATED"--the doors CLOSE .
BACK TO: Dr. Manhattan on Mars as he stops to pick up a
STRANGE ROCK. It's beautiful--the colors, the crystals--
unlike anything we've ever seen--
--and we FLASHBACK to Jon's lab COLLEAGUES watching in horror
as Jon retrieves his WATCH, oblivious. They try to open the
door, but it's no use--the time lock can't be overridden.
Janey arrives, SCREAMS when she sees Jon inside. Jon turns,
sees all the terrified faces staring at him.

JON OSTERMAN (CONT'D)
Janey? What's wrong?

JANEY SLATER
The time lock, Jon!
As it dawns on Jon, he hears the hum of the REACTOR
INITIATING, the big mechanical parts moving. Jon runs to the
door, BANGS on it.

JON OSTERMAN
Janey: Oh my god!
TEARS stream down Janey's face as she looks at him through
the thick glass, helpless, hopeless. Inside, the chamber
starts to GLOW .

(CONTINUED)









53.

CONTINUED: (2)

JANEY SLATER
I'm sorry, Jon, I can't--
Janey can't bear to watch--she runs out of the lab as the
reactor initiates

JON OSTERMAN

JANEY!
. and with a BLINDING FLASH--Jon and his watch are
OBLITERATED to bits .
BACK TO: Dr. Manhattan on Mars, as he obliterates the strange
rock he was holding to bits
and we FLASHBACK to the lab CAFETERIA. Janey sits at a
table, crying softly, being consoled by her colleagues
CUT TO: OUTSIDE THE NUCLEAR FACILITY, by the barbed wire
fences, A DISEMBODIED BRAIN, A SET OF EYES, AND A SPINAL

COLUMN MATERIALIZES .
BACK TO: Dr. Manhattan on Mars, as he RISES into the air. At
a thought, the RED SAND FUSES into a beautiful, PINK GLASS

STRUCTURE--
--and we FLASHBACK to the cafeteria KITCHEN as a COOK SHRIEKS
at A WALKING NETWORK OF HUMAN VEINS--
BACK TO: The pink glass structure on Mars which SPREADS OUT
INTO COMPLEX GLASS PATTERNS, RISING FROM THE PLAIN at Dr.
Manhattan's command--
--and we FLASHBACK to the cafeteria HALLWAY as a SKELETON
passes two terrified GUARDS
BACK TO: Dr. Manhattan, now dwarfed by the RISING, EVOLVING
GLASS STRUCTURE, which begins to resemble parts of a WATCH--
--and we FLASHBACK to the cafeteria. Janey's still crying.
One of her Colleagues reaches for her hand when STATIC SPARKS
snap around them. All over the cafeteria, the METAL UTENSILS
begin to SPARK. In the center of the room, GLOWING BLUE
PARTICLES begin to collect, SLAMMING INTO EACH OTHER with
amazing force
and in a BLINDING FLASH, THE PARTICLES FORM DR.
MANHATTAN, hovering over the room like a newborn god.
Everyone in the cafeteria looks up in awe, in fear and--

JANEY SLATER
Oh god . Jon is that you?

(CONTINUED)









54.

CONTINUED: (3)
--recognition.
BACK TO: Mars, where Dr. Manhattan's GLASS PALACE rises in
its full glory. A home fit for a god.

INT. ROCKEFELLER BASE - COMMUNICATIONS ROOM - NIGHT

PULL OUT FROM: A SATELLITE IMAGE of MARS. NOISE filters back
in, as TECHNICIANS buzz this way and that, desperate.

AGENT FORBES
There must be some way to contact him.
Laurie sits in the room, largely forgotten.

LAURIE
Agent Forbes.

AGENT FORBES
(distracted, annoyed)
What?

LAURIE
I need to go to the bathroom.
Agent Forbes gives her a look, then waves for a SECRET
SERVICE AGENT to escort her.

INT. ROCKEFELLER MILITARY BASE - HALLWAY - NIGHT

Laurie heads to the bathroom, trailed by the Secret Service
Agent. As she reaches the bathroom door--
--she suddenly SPINS and ELBOWS the agent in the GROIN. The
Agent buckles; Laurie grabs him by his coat, SHOVES his head
through the bathroom door and SLAMS THE DOOR on his head.

INT. BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS

Laurie drags the groggy Agent into the bathroom. She takes
his GUN, pulls it on him.

LAURIE
You're getting me out of here.

SECRET SERVICE AGENT
We're only detaining you for national
security purposes. Don't you understand?

LAURIE
Don't you understand that sitting there
with a bunch of high tech radios and
monitors isn't going to bring him back?

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)









55.

CONTINUED:

LAURIE (CONT'D)
Only one thing can bring ion back and
that's Jon. If he wants to find me, he's
quite capable of doing so on his own.
I've been a prisoner in my live long
enough. You are taking me out of here
because if you don't, and Jon does come
back, I'm going to let him know who was
naughty and who was nice. And he won't
give you a lump of coal--he'll turn you
into one, understand?
The Agent eyes her, then reluctantly gets to his feet.

INT. DAN DREIBERG'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAWN

Dan sleeps peacefully in his bed when a SHADOW moves over Dan
. dropping a NEWSPAPER on his LAP, waking Dan with a
gasp. Rorschach hovers beside the bed.

DAN
Jesus! Rorschach

RORSCHACH
Good morning, Daniel. I brought in your
paper.
Dan reads the headline: "DR. MANHATTAN LEAVES EARTH."

RORSCHACH (CONT'D)
The Comedian murdered. Dr. Manhattan
exiled. Two of us gone within a week.
Who's next? Veidt? Ms. Jupiter? Me? You?
Rorschach turns for the door as Dan reads the story.

RORSCHACH (CONT'D)
By the way, that new lock broke after one
shove.

DAN
My new lock?

RORSCHACH
Get a stronger one, Daniel. You can't be
too security conscious these days.

START WORLD MONTAGE:

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
These days nobody's safe.
We see the same Pakistani Soldiers from before, only now
there are dozens more TROOPS with them, mobilizing on the
border as are their Indian counterparts--

(CONTINUED)









56.

CONTINUED:
CUT TO: The Chinese Battleships we saw before, moving towards
the coast of Taiwan. They FIRE SHOTS--
CUT TO: The Israel Missile Control room we were in before now
bustles with frantic action.

AIDE
--three synagogues were bombed in Tel
Aviv, a bus exploded in Jerusalem--

ISRAELI OFFICER
Enough!

(BEAT)
Begin the first wave of air strikes.

INT. WHITE HOUSE - WAR ROOM - DAY

A HUGE MAP OF THE WORLD is projected onto the war-room
screens. The President and his ADVISORS look up at it.

SECRETARY OF STATE
The Chinese have already made their move.
India and Pakistan have engaged and
everyone in the Middle East is going at
Israel. Time to start picking sides, Mr.
President.

PRESIDENT
Forget picking sides--first, are we safe?

SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY
We've increased security at all entry
points: water ports, airports and border
patrol.

PRESIDENT
I want the National Guard put on the
border. As for the rest of it . let's
not jump into the fray just yet.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Mr. President, I urge you to--

PRESIDENT
Let's just wait, okay?! Maybe he'll come
back.
(beat, wishful)
Maybe he'll come back.

INT. VEIDT ENTERPRISES - MAIN LOBBY - DAY

Adrian steps off the elevator when he's met by his Assistant.

(CONTINUED)









57

CONTINUED:

ASSISTANT
Clock's ticking, Mr. Veidt.

ADRIAN
I know. I'm meeting the toy people, yes?

ASSISTANT
Eleven-thirty. They want to talk to you
about some new villains for the
"Ozymandias" line.

ADRIAN
All the old villains are dead.

ASSISTANT
What's with everybody today? Everyone's
on this death trip.

ADRIAN
I suppose the threat of war has that
effect.
ACROSS THE WAY, Dan enters the building, intercepts Adrian.

DAN
Adrian, I need to talk to you.
Adrian looks put off.

ADRIAN
Dan, I'm sorry, this is a bad time.

DAN
But what about what happened with ion?
Adrian excuses himself from his Assistant.

ADRIAN
Jon's departure is terrible. Not only for
what's happening in the world now, but
for what could have happened. The energy
project he and I were working on--it's
dead now .

DAN
Rorschach came to see me again. Maybe
there's something to this mask killer
thing.

ADRIAN
Are you still preoccupied with the
ramblings of that lunatic? I really don't
have time for this, Dan.

(CONTINUED)









58.

CONTINUED: (2)
Adrian walks away, continuing on with his Assistant
when a MAN in a TRENCHCOAT approaches the pair. He DRAWS A
GUN on them .

PERSONAL ASSISTANT
Sometimes I can't bear to watch the news.
It makes it so hard to be
optimistic Is that a gun?
Dan sees what's happening--

DAN
Adrian!
BANG! The man SHOOTS the Assistant in the gut; Adrian
immediately springs into action--he moves with unbelievable
speed and quickness, grabbing a velvet ROPE-STANCHION--
--DEFLECTING A SECOND BULLET with it--
--and SMASHING IT INTO THE FACE OF THE ASSASSIN, knocking him
into a FOUNTAIN.
SECURITY GUARDS run, guns drawn, toward the fountain where
Adrian GRAPPLES with the dazed man.

SECURITY GUARD
Mr. Veidt! Let us handle it!

ADRIAN
Wait, he's got a poison capsule!
He JAMS his fingers into the Assassin's mouth when Dan
arrives.

ADRIAN (CONT'D)
Don't bite down, you scum! I want to know
who sent you!
The Assassin's eyes BULGE

ADRIAN (CONT'D)
I want to know who's behind this!
The Assassin CHOKES and dies. Adrian DROPS him,
unanswered. He looks over at Dan, frustrated.

INT. CAFE - AFTERNOON

Dan and Laurie sit in the back of the cafe, making sure they
have privacy.

(CONTINUED)









59.

CONTINUED:

LAURIE
Oh my god. Where's Adrian now?

DAN
Talking to the cops. Thank god he's still
in great shape. You get so caught up with
the whole smartest man in the world thing
you forget what a physical specimen he is-
-he's as fast as I've ever seen him

(BEAT)
What about you? What are you going to do?

LAURIE
I'm not sure. I can't go stay with my mom-
-I'm sure that's the first place they'll
look. But I need to get out of the city.
It's only a matter of time before they
find me.

DAN
Listen, why don't you . how about you
stay at my place?

LAURIE
Oh, Dan, I couldn't impose--

DAN
It wouldn't be an imposition, I have an
extra room. We're friends. And with
everything that's been happening

LAURIE
You're buying into Rorschach's "mask
killer" theory?

DAN
I don't know. But it can't hurt to be
safe. Besides, I've already had one
wanted person visit me, another one won't
make a difference.
They look at each other. Laurie smiles.

LAURIE
Okay.

(BEAT)
So this guy who tried to kill Adrian--who
was he?

INT. LIVING ROOM - APARTMENT - SAME TIME


DAN (V.0.)
Some local low-life named Roy Chess

(CONTINUED)









60.

CONTINUED:
Rorschach investigates the apartment of ROY CHESS, Adrian's
would-be assassin. The place is decent but messy.
Rorschach spots a PORNO MAG on the coffee table. On the couch
nearby, a pair of PANTS. Rorschach picks them up, reaches
into the pockets. He pulls out some cash, credit cards--
--and an ID for Pyramid Industries. It says Chess was a
security guard
. and then Rorschach remembers the pension check he saw
at Moloch's house. From Pyramid Industries.
Rorschach sees a LAPTOP over on the kitchen table. The
computer is on and shows the SERVER for Pyramid Industries.
Rorschach navigates the server until he finds the EMPLOYEE

DIRECTORY.
Once in the directory he pauses for a second. Then he types
in a name: "Jane Slater."
A photo of Janey Slater pops up--"Status: RETIRED."
Rorschach stares at the screen, excited at the connection.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

We're in Rorschach's POV as he walks down the street. From
the non-reaction of passers by, he obviously doesn't have his
mask on.

RORSCHACH (V.O.)
Rorschach's Journal, October 19th.
Someone tried to kill Adrian Veidt.
Proves mask killer theory--the murderer
is closing in. Pyramid Industries is the
key.
Rorschach approaches a TRASH CAN. He rummages through it and
finds an ENVELOPE. He opens it and finds a NOTE that reads:
"Tonight 11:30, M."

RORSCHACH (V.O.) (CONT'D)
Checked mail drop, got a message from
Moloch. Was just going to pay him a
visit.
Rorschach turns down an alley, approaches a DUMPSTER. He
reaches behind the dumpster.

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
My things are where I left them. My coat.
My gloves

(CONTINUED)









61.

CONTINUED:
Still in his POV, we watch him put each article on. Then he
pulls out his MASK.

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
. my face.
Rorschach pulls his mask on, FILLING THE SCREEN

INT. MOLOCH'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

CLOSE ON: MOLOCH'S EYES staring fearfully out the rainy
window. Rorschach APPEARS in the darkness behind him.

RORSCHACH
Somebody tried to shoot the world's
smartest man today, Moloch.
Moloch sits at the kitchen table. CLOSE ON: MOLOCH'S HAND. An
ignored CIGARETTE smolders. In his other hand, a NOTE.

RORSCHACH (CONT'D)
The hitman worked for Pyramid Industries.
So did Janey Slater and everyone else Dr.
Manhattan allegedly gave cancer to. And
last time I was here, I saw a pension
check sent to you from the same company--
obviously a front set up by whoever it is
that killed the Comedian, that pushed Dr.
Manhattan over the edge, that wants us
masks dead. Is that why you left me a
note in my mail drop? You have something
to confess?
Rorschach turns. A HOLE gapes between Moloch's staring eyes.
A PISTOL lies on the table--Moloch's dead.
Rorschach carefully pulls the NOTE from Moloch's hand. It's
the note Rorschach had left in Moloch's refrigerator, the one
that reads: "LOOK BEHIND YOU."
Behind Rorschach, BLINDING LIGHT GLARES THROUGH THE WINDOW.

DET. FINE (O.S.)
(over LOUDSPEAKERS)

RORSCHACH, THIS IS THE POLICE!

RORSCHACH
No.

DET. FINE (O.S.)

WE KNOW YOU'RE IN THERE.

(CONTINUED)









62.

CONTINUED:

RORSCHACH
No. No, no, no

DET. FINE (O.S.)

IF THERE'S ANYONE IN THERE WITH YOU, SEND

THEM OUT UNHARMED.
Moloch's corpse stares at Rorschach. Rorschach TEARS OPEN the
cupboards, pulling items off the shelves.

RORSCHACH
Framed. Set up. Walked right into it.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.

DET. FINE (O.S.)

LET'S MAKE THIS A NICE, CLEAN SURRENDER.

RORSCHACH
Heh. Never. Never surrender.
Rorschach takes an AEROSOL CAN and a PEPPER SHAKER.

DET. FINE (O.S.)

ALRIGHT. I HOPE YOU'RE READY, "HERO."
Rorschach's mask DISAPPEARS back into darkness.

RORSCHACH
When you are

INT. MOLOCH'S BROWNSTONE - FOYER - CONTINUOUS

CRASH! Moloch's door is SMASHED OPEN. Armed SWAT COPS swarm
in, but no more than three can fit in the narrow entry way.

SWAT COP 1
It's a bum tip, I'm telling you.

SWAT COP 2-
Keep your eyes open.
SWAT Cop 1 moves down the hall, carelessly ahead of formation-
--BEHIND HIM, Rorschach APPEARS out of the darkness. He
IGNITES the AEROSOL CAN'S STREAM, SPRAYING THE COPS WITH
FIRE. They fall back, screaming, shooting. SWAT Cop 1 catches
the worst of it--he DROPS AND ROLLS on the floor, trying to
extinguish the flames on him.
Rorschach BOLTS upstairs, IGNITING the staircase behind him.
Pandemonium.

(CONTINUED)









63.

CONTINUED:

SWAT COP 3
Where'd he go?

SWAT COP 2
Upstairs! He's upstairs! Go!

INT. MOLOCH'S BROWNSTONE - SECOND FLOOR - CONTINUOUS

SWAT COPS top the 2nd floor landing, already lit by fire.

SWAT COP 3
Where is he?!
(into radio)
Send the second team in! Graves is down!
And we need a fire unit. All this smoke--

SWAT COP 2
Stay calm, the file says he never goes
armed.
Rorschach APPEARS, blowing PEPPER INTO COP 2'S EYES.

SWAT COP 2 (CONT'D)

AHH! I CAN'T SEE!

SWAT COP 3
Get out of the way! I don't have room to--
SWAT Cop 3 CLEARS his line of fire and finds Rorschach

AIMING THE GRAPPLING GUN AT HIS CHEST .

SWAT COP 3 (CONT'D)

SHIT
The HOOK BLOWS THE BODY-ARMORED COP OVER THE RAILING.

EXT. MOLOCH'S BROWNSTONE - NIGHT

Det. Gallagher and Fine watch from behind a LINE OF COP CARS.
The house is now BLAZING. Smoke and men's screams drift out.

DET. FINE
We've got him. There's no way out.
From the second floor, Rorschach SMASHES THROUGH THE WINDOW,
snarling like a rabid dog, landing hard on the concrete. His
ankle TWISTS, dropping him to the ground.
Rorschach struggles to get to his feet. When he looks up he
finds TWENTY COPS IN A SEMI-CIRCLE before him. A loaded,
pregnant pause. The COPS RUSH FORWARD.

(CONTINUED)









64.

CONTINUED:
But Rorschach holds up a gloved hand. And they all stop,
unsure what this lunatic will do next.

RORSCHACH
Ten years. I've waited for this.
He beckons them forward. The cops PILE INTO HIM. Rorschach
brutally disables six cops before he is overwhelmed.

RORSCHACH (CONT'D)
No pain. Must get up. Find who framed me--
A Cop KICKS HIM in the throat. Rorschach drops again.

FINE
Get that mask off him!

COP 1
I got it. Christ, he stinks!

RORSCHACH
No no no NO NO NO!
The Cop peels back the shifting mask to reveal the Homeless
Man from the news stand. He screams at them wildly.

RORSCHACH (CONT'D)
My face! Give it back to me!
Rorschach is finally beaten, surrounded by cops, as Moloch's
house blazes in the background.

RORSCHACH (CONT'D)

GIVE ME BACK MY FACE!

INT. DAN'S HOUSE - DAY

Dan is at the front door, fixing the lock Rorschach busted
twice, when Laurie comes down the stairs, yawning.

LAURIE
What time is it?

DAN
Noon. Thought I'd let you sleep in.
Laurie smiles at him. Is Dan crazy or does he sense a spark?
She touches his shoulder as she turns into the living room,
then turns on the TV:

(CONTINUED)









65.

CONTINUED:

ANCHORWOMAN
Today, police searched the apartment of
Walter Kovacs, better known as the masked
vigilante Rorschach. Kovacs was captured
last night and charged with the murder of
Edgar Jacobi, formerly known as the
supervillain Moloch. Moloch was found
shot in the head at point blank range.
Both Dan and Laurie stop what they're doing, eyes fixed on
the TV: They see Rorschach, unmasked, IN SHACKLES.

ANCHORWOMAN (CONT'D)
Inside the decrepit apartment, police
discovered stacks of right-wing
literature, including several years of
back issues of the ultra-conservative
publication, "The New Frontiersman." We
asked "New Frontiersman" editor, Hector
Godfrey, for comment.
CUT TO: A clip of the EDITOR being interviewed. We see
Seymour, who we met at the news stand, in the background.

EDITOR
Rorschach is an American patriot and we
are proud that he reads this publication.

ANCHORWOMAN
During his capture, Kovacs assaulted and
severely injured at least nine police
officers, shooting one officer with a
grappling gun. That officer is in serious
but stable condition.

ANCHORMAN
Meanwhile, in Kashmir, fighting continues
to intensify. Both India and Pakistan
alluded that the use of nuclear weapons
is not out of the question--
Laurie shuts off the TV, not wanting to hear the war talk.

LAURIE
That mask's eaten Rorschach's brains
away.

DAN
He wasn't always like that. We were a
great team--tactically, he was brilliant.
But I don't know, something about this
murder charge I just can't see
Rorschach shooting Moloch.

(CONTINUED)









66

CONTINUED: (2)

LAURIE
He shot a cop with a grappling gun.

DAN
Don't remind me, I made that thing for
him. But a regular gun just seems too
. ordinary

LAURIE
And this war, god. Sometimes I wish I
could just leave the planet. Like Jon.

DAN
Oh sure. The old Manhattan Transfer.

LAURIE
Now, that's funny. That's what you call
Jon's teleportation?

DAN
Well, not to his face.
Laurie laughs.

INT. PRISON HALLS - DAY

Rorschach walks, led by TWO CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS. From the
cells, PRISONERS shout insults, death threats. Rorschach
stares ahead. Silent. Calm.

INT. PRISON PSYCH ROOM - DAY

The PRISON PSYCHIATRIST, Black, amiable, a mite portly, sits
across the table from Rorschach sans mask: Cold and
frightening. The Psychiatrist reads his FILE.

PSYCHIATRIST
Walter Kovacs. Is that your name?
Walter?

RORSCHACH
No.
The Psychiatrist sits back, considering Rorschach carefully.

PSYCHIATRIST
Let me explain your situation here,
Walter. If you cooperate with me, I may
be able to convince them that you should
to be treated medically, in a hospital,
which I believe is best for you. But the
authorities want to put you in General
Population.

(CONTINUED)









67

CONTINUED:

RORSCHACH
A prison is a prison.

PSYCHIATRIST
Yes, but the difference is, downstairs?
They'll eat you alive.
He holds up a RORSCHACH BLOT-CARD.

PSYCHIATRIST (CONT'D)
Now . . tell me what you see.
FLASH OF: A DEAD DOG. Bloody, horrible.

RORSCHACH
A pretty butterfly.
The Psychiatrist holds up another blot-card.

PSYCHIATRIST
How about this one? What do you see here?
FLASH OF: Rorschach, as a LITTLE BOY, watching his MOTHER,
HALF NAKED, EMBRACE A MAN AS HE HANDS HER SOME MONEY. When
she catches Rorschach interrupting, she SMACKS him in the
face. Shuts the door on him.

RORSCHACH
Some nice flowers.
The Psychiatrist eyes him, dubious. Holds up another card.
FLASH OF: Rorschach as a little boy looking up at TWO OLDER
BOYS, teasing him. Calling him "son of a whore." Rorschach
just wants to be left alone when one of the Boys SPITS in his
face. Suddenly, Rorschach's face changes. He attacks the Boy
like a wild animal--biting, clawing .

RORSCHACH (CONT'D)
Clouds.
The Psychiatrist sighs, puts the cards down.

PSYCHIATRIST
Tell me about Rorschach. Will you do
that?

RORSCHACH
Why are you here with me, doctor?

PSYCHIATRIST
Because I want to make you well.

(CONTINUED)









68.

CONTINUED: (2)

RORSCHACH
There's other men in here with behavior
more extreme than mine. Of course,
they're not famous. You want to know
about Rorschach, doctor? I'll tell you
about Rorschach

EXT. CITY STREETS - NIGHT (FLASHBACK - 13 YEARS AGO)

Rorschach, walks through intermittent STREETLIGHTS. In his
GLOVE, he holds a PHOTO of an angelic SIX YEAR OLD GIRL.

RORSCHACH (V.0.)
I was investigating a kidnap case. Blair
Roche, 6 year old girl. I was young then.
Too soft on criminals. I let them live.

EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT (FLASHBACK - 13 YEARS AGO)

A creepy, deserted-looking house. Rorschach peers through a
slatted fence at TWO GERMAN SHEPHERDS FIGHTING.

RORSCHACH (V.0.)
Broke a man's arm to get a tip. Led me to
the missing girl's location.

INT. HOUSE - NIGHT (FLASHBACK - 13 YEARS AGO)

CRACK! The front door is KICKED OPEN, smashing the lock.
Rorschach moves between a line of headless MANNEQUINS. In one
corner rests an old WOOD-BURNING STOVE. Rorschach peers
inside, removes a BLACKENED scrap of UNDERWEAR. It's
decorated with little hearts and bears.

RORSCHACH (V.0.)
I knew the girl was here. But when I
searched the place I found nothing.

INT. HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT (FLASHBACK - 13 YEARS AGO)

Rorschach enters the kitchen. Out the window, the DOGS are
fighting. Rorschach opens a cupboard, where a line of KNIVES,
CLEAVERS and a HACKSAW hang on hooks. Outside, the snarling
dogs get LOUDER.
Slowly now, Rorschach's gaze moves from the knives . to
the counter. He runs his gloved finger along RED STAINED,
DEEP-CUT GROOVES in a THICK WOODEN CHOPPING BLOCK. Blood. His
gaze continues out the window

RORSCHACH (V.0.)
And then I found her.

(CONTINUED)









69.

CONTINUED:
. to the dogs, still fighting over the BONE, which we now
recognize as a small, HUMAN FEMUR--that of the little girl.
Rorschach clenches his hands in fury, his fists tremble
and suddenly, he relaxes. Calms.
Rorschach slowly turns to the cupboard. He reaches for a
large CLEAVER .

EXT. HOUSE - LATER (FLASHBACK - 13 YEARS AGO)

The CHILD MOLESTER, greasy and fat, walks past the now-silent
fence.

RORSCHACH (V.0.)
It was dark when the murderer got back.
As dark as it gets.

INT. HOUSE - NIGHT (FLASHBACK - 13 YEARS AGO)

The Man flicks a LIGHT SWITCH. Nothing. He draws a GUN.

INT. HOUSE KITCHEN - NIGHT (FLASHBACK - 13 YEARS AGO)

He tries the light in here. Nothing again. He turns away as
the BODY of a DEAD GERMAN SHEPARD CRASHES THROUGH THE WINDOW!
He SCRAMBLES through the warehouse, falling over mannequins.
He FIRES madly into the dark. The SECOND DOG SMASHES INTO HIM
FROM A SECOND WINDOW. His gun goes flying. He scrambles
backward against the stove.
FROM BEHIND, Rorschach CUFFS THE MAN'S WRIST TO THE STOVE.
When the Child Molester sees that "face," he loses his
bladder. Rorschach just stares, mask-blots shifting

CHILD MOLESTER
You think I had something to do with that
girl? I didn't! Where's your evidence?
Rorschach calmly points to body of the dog. (It is the
same image Rorschach saw in the first blot-card.)

CHILD MOLESTER (CONT'D)
Okay, I confess! I kidnapped her! I
killed her! Arrest me!

RORSCHACH
Men get arrested.
Rorschach RAISES THE CLEAVER, high over his head

(CONTINUED)









70.

CONTINUED:
RORSCHACH (cont'd)
Dogs get put down.
Rorschach SWINGS the cleaver DOWN. Blood SPATTERS his mask.

INT. PRISON PSYCH ROOM - DAY

The Psychiatrist listens, paralyzed. Horrified.

RORSCHACH
A tremor of impact shook my arm. Warm
blood splashed my face. It was Walter
Kovacs who screamed, who closed his eyes--
it was Rorschach who opened them again.
The silence reels out
RORSCHACH (cont'd)
You see, Doctor. God didn't kill that
little girl, fate didn't butcher her and
destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If
God saw what any of us did that night, he
didn't seem to mind. From then on, I
knew. God doesn't make the world this
way. We do.
The Psychiatrist rises shakily. He crosses to the GUARD.

PSYCHIATRIST
I can't help him.

INT. PRISON COMMISSARY - EVENING

The Mess hall is PACKED, hundreds of INMATES eat dinner.
Rorschach enters. The place goes instantly, heavily SILENT.
Suddenly someone yells:

RANDOM VOICE
Hey Rorschach, I heard your momma was a
whore!
A cruel RIPPLE OF LAUGHTER and the mass conversation begins
again as Rorschach takes his place in the food line. A HUGE
PRISONER moves in behind him. He whispers:

PRISONER
Hey, Rorschach. You're pretty famous,
right? Y'know, I'm pretty famous too.
Maybe I can give you my autograph.
The Prisoner slides a SHIV from his sleeve

(CONTINUED)









71.

CONTINUED:
Rorschach doesn't register this. He waits for the FRY-COOK
behind the counter to turn away--
--then casually reaches across and lifts the DEEP-FRYER
BASKET from its mount--
--the Prisoner JABS the shiv forward--Rorschach spins,
GRIPPING the man's wrist and FLINGING the BOILING GREASE INTO
THE MAN'S FACE. The man SHRIEKS like a FIRE WHISTLE and
CRASHES TO THE GROUND. The Guards DESCEND on Rorschach.
Rorschach is calm as he's dragged away. As the injured man's
screams fall away to weak, bubbling hitches, the room once
again goes silent. Rorschach eyes the fearful, hateful eyes
of the room, marking each one. And in the silence he speaks,
his icy voice carrying easily.

RORSCHACH
None of you understand. I'm not locked up
in here with you.
Rorschach is placidly dragged off INTO DARKNESS

RORSCHACH (CONT'D)
You're locked up in here with me.

INT. DAN'S OWL-CHAMBER -.EVENING

CLOSE ON: THE NITE-OWL UNIFORM, staring its blank, empty
stare. Laurie stares back, alone down here, fascinated with
the costume, the gadgets, the whole place. She wanders to the
OWL-SHIP, whose tarp has been pulled back. She runs her
finger through the DUST caked on the windshield.

INT. OWL-SHIP - EVENING

Inside the ship, Laurie pulls open a HATCH filled with
ALTERNATE COSTUMES; designed for underwater work, cold
conditions, heavy armor. She puts a cigarette in her mouth.

LAURIE
All these gadgets and there isn't even a
dash lighter
She hits a BUTTON--the lights inside go DIM. Creepy. She hits
the button again to turn the lights back on but nothing

HAPPENS

INT. DAN'S KITCHEN - EVENING

Dan returns home with some TAKE OUT FOOD . . when he hears
Laurie SCREAM downstairs.

(CONTINUED)









72.

CONTINUED:

DAN
Laurie?!
Dan BOLTS for the basement door, thoughts of the mask-killer
on his mind.

INT. DAN'S OWL-CHAMBER - EVENING

Dan descends the stairs and sees FIRE.

DAN

LAURIE!
Dan grabs a FIRE EXTINGUISHER.

DAN (CONT'D)
Where are you?!
Dan SPRAYS the fire. Laurie stumbles from the smoke, out of
the Owl-Ship. Dan's got the fire under control now.

LAURIE
I'm so sorry--I hit the wrong button. I
was looking for the lighter in.there.

DAN
I don't smoke. Are you hurt?

LAURIE
I'm fine, but your ship--

DAN
Ah, that's mostly just soot. Archie's
pretty resilient.

LAURIE
Archie?

DAN

(EMBARRASSED)
Short for Archimedes--Merlin's owl. I'm
just glad you're okay. I heard you scream
and well, you know, after the Comedian--

LAURIE
Still with the mask-killer theory?
Rorschach is insane.

DAN
Maybe, but the Comedian murdered; Jon
exiled; Someone tries to shoot Adrian;
Rorschach gets arrested. It makes me
uneasy.

(CONTINUED)









73.

CONTINUED:
Dan goes to a BANK OF SWITCHES on the wall. Flicking them,
the Owl-Chamber LIGHTS UP. Hidden FANS dissipate the smoke.

LAURIE
How did you ever afford all this?

DAN
My Dad was in corporate banking. He left
me quite a bit. Which always surprised
me.

LAURIE
How did he die?

DAN
Mugging. He was shot.
As Dan cleans up, Laurie watches him, like she's seeing him
for the first time.

LAURIE
You really do worry about me, don't you?

DAN
Huh? Well, yeah, of course I worry about
you, I mean, we're, y'know, friends--
Laurie takes off his glasses . and KISSES him. It's what
Dan's been wanting all this time . but he pulls away.

DAN (CONT'D)
Sorry, I

LAURIE
What's wrong?
But Dan is already walking up the stairs, pathetic. Laurie's
left there, alone. The Owl-Costume looming in the background.

INT. PRISON CELL - NIGHT

Rorschach sits in his cell, staring impassively at the wall.

BIG FIGURE (O.S.)
It's been a long time, Rorschach.
Rorschach turns to see TWO THUGS standing side by side, one
muscle bound, the other very fat, staring at him through the
bars. PAN DOWN: To reveal a MIDGET between them--the
supervillain known as the BIG FIGURE--his silver hair combed
neatly back, a big CIGAR perched in his tiny mouth.

(CONTINUED)









74.

CONTINUED:

RORSCHACH
Big Figure. Small world.

BIG FIGURE
(chuckles through smoke)
I like that. But you know, it is a small
world in here. I've been in it for--how
long now, Billy?

DUMB THUG
Twenty years, Mr. Figure.

BIG FIGURE
That's right. Twenty years since you and
that owl fella put me away. Rorschach--
that guy you burned is dying. Could go
any minute now. And when he does, this
place is gonna explode. Then you die by
inches.

RORSCHACH
Tall order.

FAT THUG
(SLAMS into the bars)
I'm gonna tear this guy a new hole!

BIG FIGURE
Relax, Lloyd. Soon.
Chuckling, Big Figure walks off down the long, shadowed
corridor. Rorschach continues staring, straight ahead.

INT. DAN'S NIGHTMARE - NIGHT

CLOSE ON: Dan, naked, on his knees in the center of an
INFINITE FIELD OF BLACKNESS. No corners, no exits. In the
DISTANCE, he sees a FEMALE FORM. Desperate, he runs to her.
It's Laurie, waiting for him IN COSTUME. They kiss. She tears
at him passionately. His SKIN suddenly TEARS AWAY like
wrapping paper. Beneath the false skin, Dan wears his NITE-
OWL COSTUME. Confident, he touches her face. She smiles with
palpable heat. They kiss.
In the background, a NUCLEAR BLAST ERUPTS. Still kissing, the

BLAST BLOWS THEM INTO TWO EMBRACING SKELETONS.

INT. DAN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Dan wakes with a jolt, sweat beaded on his forehead









75.

INT. DAN'S OWL-CHAMBER - NIGHT

The DOOR opens. Laurie stands in the SHAFT OF LIGHT.

LAURIE
Dan? Is everything okay? I heard you
coming down the stairs
Descending the stairs, she finds Dan before his costume,
naked. He fiddles with an OWL-WING THROWING WEAPON.

DAN
Mask killers. War. Nuclear annihilation.
I feel so powerless, so I've been
afraid of this damn costume. Afraid of
how much I need it.
He FLINGS the owl wing crescent, whizzing into the dark.

LAURIE
So. Let's take the ship out.

DAN
What?

LAURIE
Who's to know? I used to be a "masked
avenger" too, remember? I'm used to
getting up at three in the morning to do
something stupid. Besides, I'm already a
wanted lady, you're already in trouble
for hiding me, how much more trouble can
we be in? Just give me a second--can't go
out like this.
She jogs upstairs. Dan turns to the empty, waiting suit.

INT. DAN'S OWL-CHAMBER - LATER

PAN UP: DAN'S COSTUMED BODY. The Nite Owl suit is fantastic,
intricate, but above the belly . it just barely fits, Dan
managing to CLICK it closed.

DAN
I can't believe it still fits. Luckily I
constructed it with material that was
elastic and--
Dan turns as Laurie appears at the door, decked in her BLACK
SPANDEX. SILK SPECTRE, looking every bit as good as seventeen-

DAN (CONT'D)
--form fitting

(CONTINUED)









76.

CONTINUED:

LAURIE
I'm ready.
Dan turns and sees his reflection in the owl-Ship's window.

DAN
Me too.

INT. OWL-SHIP (MOVING) - NIGHT

Laurie holds on as the Owl-Ship's ENGINES ROAR to life. The
ship RISES INTO THE AIR and slips easily into the TUNNEL.
Laurie watches the LIGHTS of the tunnel whiz by. At the end,
two big STEEL DOORS open, allowing a passage UP.

DAN
Let's have some cloud cover.

INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

THICK FOG POURS FROM LOWER-DECK JETS as the ship RISES into
an ABANDONED WAREHOUSE, whose steel roof ROLLS BACK.

INT. OWL-SHIP (MOVING) - NIGHT

Laurie touches the window, the SPARKLING CITY laid out below.

LAURIE
It's so beautiful

DAN
Hang on.
Dan BANKS, wheeling the ship toward the VELDT BUILDING.

DAN (CONT'D)
Got to clean her up a bit. I'm sure
Adrian wouldn't want to impede the course
of justice.
Heading straight for the building, Dan JIGS at the last
moment, flying the ship THROUGH THE V-SHAPED WATERFALL in the
skyscraper's center. The water washes clean the years of
dust. The Owl-Ship emerges, sparkling like new.

LAURIE
Look!
Below, a TENEMENT BUILDING is ENGULFED IN FLAME. Dan's jaw
sets. He wheels the ship around and down. As they zoom
closer, they can see people SCREAMING from the windows.

(CONTINUED)









77.

CONTINUED:

LAURIE (CONT'D)
There's children in there!

DAN
I'm putting the water cannons on the
lower stories.
(over the LOUDSPEAKERS)

PLEASE REMAIN CALM. WE ARE SLOWING THE

FIRE DOWN FROM BELOW. CALMLY MAKE YOUR

WAY TO THE ROOF AND I'LL EXTEND A RAMP TO

YOU.
(to Laurie)
Can you escort the people over?
She watches him move, quick, confident. She smiles.

LAURIE
I'm on it. Nite Owl.

EXT. TENEMENT BUILDING - NIGHT

The ship EXTENDS AN ESCAPE RAMP with Laurie on board. The
residents forget their fear of fire for a moment as they soak
in the spectacle of this sexy lady on this Owl-Ship.

LAURIE
Hi. If you could all form a line, we'll
have you out of here in just a moment.
ATOP THE SHIP: Dan latches the steering column into its roof
socket. He stands; Takes a deep, chest-expanding breath. Who
has he been kidding? This is who he is. Flicking a switch OLD
JAZZ plays pleasantly.

INT. OWL-SHIP - NIGHT

Below, the residents file on board, in a daze at their
surroundings. Laurie grins at the music.

LAURIE
Anybody want coffee?

EXT. OWL-SHIP (MOVING) - NIGHT

FIRE rising behind, Dan wings the ship STRAIGHT INTO FRAME.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

The Owl-Ship RISES, leaving a grateful CROWD behind. In the
background FIRE TRUCKS are just arriving. A FIREFIGHTER looks
up in time to see the Owl-Ship disappear into the clouds.









78.

INT. OWL-SHIP (MOVING) - NIGHT

Dan skims the clouds like a man waking from a dream.

LAURIE
I can't believe we did that! That was
actually fun

DAN
Yeah.
He puts a hand on her shoulder. His eyes locked onto hers. He
knows what he wants and this time he's not afraid of it
He kisses her. Hard. Running her hands up his cheeks, they
slide each other's masks off. Their mouths melt together.

INT. OWL-SHIP - LATER

Soft music plays. Dan and Laurie lie in a heap of discarded
costumes.

LAURIE
It was good, wasn't it?

DAN
Yeah, saving those people from the fire.
Taking Archie out
Laurie swats him on the chest--that's not what she meant. Dan
grins, having fun with her.

DAN (CONT'D)
It--you were unbelievable.
They kiss.

LAURIE
So . what do we do next?
Dan sits up, serious. Very serious.

DAN
I've been thinking about that. And I
believe we have certain obligations to
our fraternity.

(BEAT)
I think we should spring Rorschach.

EXT. OWL-SHIP - CONTINUOUS

Long beat. The ship hovers, silent in the clouds.

(CONTINUED)









79.

CONTINUED:

LAURIE (V.0.)
What?

INT. PRISON MEDICAL ROOM - NIGHT

The Prisoner Rorschach burned lies in bed, his face
completely bandaged, hooked to an IV . . when he FLATLINES.

INT. RORSCHACH'S PRISON CELL - NIGHT

Down the dark corridors, a ROAR is building. ALARMS ring. Big
Figure and his two Thugs appear at the door.

BIG FIGURE
He's dead, Rorschach--the riot's already
begun. While everyone's distracted, we
thought we'd bring you a housewarming
gift. Something from the machine shop.
The Fat Thug wheels an ELECTRICAL WELDER to the door.
Rorschach sits, idly TEARING his PRISON SHIRT into STRIPS.

FAT THUG
Hey Boss, y'notice? None of that "small
world, tall order" crap, cuz he knows
once we slice open this lock, he's next
on the block.

RORSCHACH
Fat chance.
The Fat Thug reddens. He DIVES forward, HANDS SWIPING for
Rorschach.

FAT THUG
You're dead, Rorschach! We got a prison
full of killers out here! What've you
got?
Rorschach SPINS, WRAPPING A SHIRT-STRIP AROUND HIS WRISTS,
trapping the Fat Thug's hands inside the cell.

RORSCHACH
Your hands. My pleasure.
Rorschach SNAPS Fat Thug's pinky fingers. Fat Thug SHRIEKS.
Rorschach roughly binds the fingers around the bars.
Dumb Thug tries to reach the welder around Fat Thug's body.

DUMB THUG
I can't reach the lock. Should I cut the
bars?

(CONTINUED)









80

CONTINUED:

BIG FIGURE
This riot won't last. And I've been
waiting twenty years for this
Big Figure nods to the Dumb Thug, who then grabs Fat Thug's
neck.

DUMB THUG
Nothing personal, big guy.

FAT THUG
Boss, you can't be serious! Wait--
Dumb Thug SNAPS Fat Thug's neck. He then CUTS OFF Fat Thug's
hands with the welder, pushes the corpse out of the way to
reach the lock. Big Figure grins at Rorschach.

BIG FIGURE
Now you find out what the score is.

RORSCHACH
One-nothing. Come and get me.

INT. OWL-SHIP (MOVING) - NIGHT

Dan and Laurie are back in costume.

LAURIE
Look, Dan, I'm glad you were able to
rediscover your calling in life, but I
think you're getting carried away. You're
talking about springing a homicidal
psychopath from prison.

DAN
Rorschach may be sick, but I think he's
on to something--four heroes attacked in
a week is not a coincidence. I mean, that
whole cancer thing with ion, does that
make sense to you? You didn't contract
cancer from him.
He says as Laurie's about to light a cigarette. She changes
her mind.

LAURIE
Why would someone want to drive ion away?
Look what's happening now. With Jon gone
it looks like we're headed for another
World War. Who would want that?

(CONTINUED)









81.

CONTINUED:
OUTSIDE THE WINDOW: The Owl-Ship approaches a ROOFTOP with a
HELIPAD. On the helipad is a HELICOPTER with the Veidt
Enterprises LOGO.

DAN
I don't know. But I know someone who
might be able to help.
Dan lands the Owl-Ship on the roof.

INT. ADRIAN'S MANSION - NIGHT

Surprisingly, Adrian is awake, packing his things, hustling
about his grand mansion as Dan and Laurie trail.

DAN
You're leaving town? So you do believe
Rorschach's theory.

ADRIAN
Please. Right now, I'm not concerned with
this so-called mask-killer, I'm concerned
with the mass killer called war, or have
you not heard.
(calling out)
On !
A WALL SIZED MIRROR turns into a TV:

CNN NEWSCASTER
--US Aircraft Carriers have already moved
into the Persian Gulf and US Battleships
have left Japan en route to the Far East

THEATRE--

LAURIE
It's happening
Dan breaks away from the terrible news, follows Adrian.

DAN
All the more reason we need to get to the
bottom of this. Maybe we can get Jon to
come back in the process and stop all
this madness.

ADRIAN
Nothing we do will bring Jon back!
(glances at Laurie)
But I think you know that already. And
breaking Rorschach out of prison
certainly isn't the answer.

(CONTINUED)









82

CONTINUED:

DAN
Rorschach's been the only one
investigating this from the start.
Without him, we're starting at the
beginning and we don't have that kind of
time. We need your help, Adrian.

ADRIAN
I'm leaving, Dan. And I suggest you both
do the same.
Adrian pulls on a thick WINTER COAT and heads upstairs.

EXT. HELICOPTER PAD - NIGHT

Adrian walks briskly to his idling COPTER, propellers loudly
cutting through the air. Dan gives one last effort, shouting.

DAN
Where are you going to go?

ADRIAN
Antarctica.
It takes Dan a moment to realize Adrian is serious. By then,
Adrian's halfway into the helicopter.

ADRIAN (CONT'D)
Good luck, Dan.
He says it sincerely. Dan watches the helicopter fly off.

INT. PRISON CELL - NIGHT

Dumb Thug WELDS, the lock GLOWS RED. Nearly through.
Rorschach backs away from the door as Big Figure trembles in
excitement.

BIG FIGURE
Hurry Lloyd! I wanna smell this
sonofabitch cooking!
The lock MELTS AWAY. Rorschach climbs onto his bunk as Dumb
Thug enters, JABBING the electric welder at him menacingly.
Rorschach drives his HEEL into the porcelain TOILET BOWL,
SHATTERING IT. WATER SPILLS across the floor. Rorschach KICKS
Dumb Thug in the stomach; Dumb Thug buckles, then SLIPS in
the water--Dumb Thug falls, welder still in hand as he hits
the water
Dumb Thug's hand FUSES to the welder as ELECTRICITY SURGES
THROUGH HIM. He collapses, smoking. Dead.

(CONTINUED)









83

CONTINUED:

RORSCHACH
Hmm. Never disposed of sewage with a
toilet before. Obvious, really.
Big Figure looks very small and alone now

RORSCHACH (CONT'D)
Two-nothing. Your move.
Panic stricken, Big Figure moves, or rather, runs. Rorschach
calmly follows him out of the cell.

INT. OWL-SHIP (MOVING) - NIGHT

The Owl-Ship tears through the sky, the prison ahead on the
horizon. Dan has his game face on; Laurie's still unsure.

DAN
You don't have to do this. I know the
whole crimefighting thing wasn't
necessarily your choice in life.

LAURIE
No. But this is.
She moves next to him.

LAURIE (CONT'D)
But I'm not doing it for Rorschach or
even for Jon. And I'm sure as hell not
doing if for the Comedian.
They look at each other--Dan knows who she's doing it for.
The Owl-Ship is upon the prison now

LAURIE (CONT'D)
Look!
They see a RIOT below--Inmates spilling out into the yard,
overwhelming the Correctional Officers on the ground; TOWER
GUARDS take shots at some of the Inmates; Broken glass,
broken furniture parts scattered through the yard; SMOKE
emits from inside the prison.

DAN
Hmm, Rorschach gets locked up in here and
suddenly there's a riot. I wonder if
that's a coincidence.
They descend toward the hell of TEAR-GAS, FIRE and VIOLENCE.
The Tower Guards, stunned at the sight of the Owl-Ship, begin
SHOOTING at it. The bullets bounce right off.

(CONTINUED)









84.

CONTINUED:

DAN (CONT'D)
Put your ear-plugs in.

EXT. PRISON YARD - NIGHT

The ship emits a PIERCING SHRIEK. WINDOWS SHATTER. The
Inmates and Guards fall to the ground in sonic agony.

INT. OWL-SHIP (MOVING) - CONTINUOUS


LAURIE
How are we going to find Rorschach in all
of this?

DAN
When he and I were partners, we each had
tracking implants put under our skin so
old Archie here could find us if either
one of us were ever in trouble. Let's see
if Rorschach kept his in.
Dan turns on the GPS monitor. There's a BLIP on the screen.

DAN (CONT'D)
He's in that wing.
Dan steers the ship toward the Maximum Security Wing. 9

EXT. PRISON - MAXIMUM SECURITY WING - CONTINUOUS

The Owl-Ship stops to a hover position. The LOWER HATCH OPENS
and a LADDER extends
As Laurie descends the ladder, Dan simply, joyously LEAPS
OUT, his wings SNAP WIDE to GLIDE him through the air.

INT. PRISON HALLS - NIGHT

Fires burn in the cells. Shotguns and screams echo in the
emergency lighting. Archie's Owl-Shriek is dulled here--it's
quiet. Tense.
Laurie and Dan turn the corner, searching. Laurie spots the
BODY of a DEAD GUARD. She crouches to take his PISTOL, slips
it into her waistband.

LAURIE
How do we know he's still alive?
They come upon Rorschach's cell. Dan sees the SMOKING CORPSE
of Dumb Thug. Sees the CUT OFF HANDS of Fat Thug, HANGING
from the bars.

(CONTINUED)









85

CONTINUED:

DAN
He's alive.

INT. PRISON HALLS - NIGHT

Big Figure runs, turns a corner, ducking into the BATHROOM.
Rorschach sees this and walks serenely after him . when
Dan and Laurie enter the far hall.

LAURIE
Is that--

DAN
Rorschach? Rorschach!

RORSCHACH
Hello, Daniel, Ms. Jupiter. Excuse me, I
just have to visit the men's room.
He disappears into the dark bathroom. Laurie watches after
him in stunned disbelief.

LAURIE
Oh, for Christ's sake.

DAN
Hey, it happens. I remember I lost a big
arrest like that once. Had to redesign
the costume after that--
Rorschach exits the bathroom, wiping his hands.

RORSCHACH
We can leave now.
He walks off.

LAURIE
Are you sure you're ready? We don't want
to go diving head-first into things.

RORSCHACH
Good Advice. I'm sure there are many
who'd agree with you.
Behind them: BLOODY WATER FLOODS from the bathroom door as
they go.

EXT. PRISON ROOFTOP - NIGHT

The trio crosses the roof as Dan calls Archie by REMOTE.

(CONTINUED)









86.

CONTINUED:

RORSCHACH
Good to see you in uniform, Daniel. What
happened? Finally taking the mask-killer
seriously?

LAURIE
I'm not.

RORSCHACH
Of course you haven't been attacked yet.
Funny, most everyone else has.

LAURIE
What's that supposed to mean? We came
here to rescue you, asshole!

DAN
Hey! Survive now! Argue later! I had to
turn the screechers off, so we'll be
drawing fire.
The owl-Ship rises to the roof. They all jump in.

EXT. PRISON - NIGHT

Under HEAVY FIRE the Owl-Ship ZOOMS OFF, leaving the chaos
behind.

INT. OWL-SHIP (MOVING) NIGHT

Dan weaves and whips the ship into the sky, above the clouds.
Satisfied that they've escaped, Dan allows himself a grin. He
looks at Laurie, who grins back.

DAN
Rorschach, you remember how to handle
Archie?

RORSCHACH
I believe so.
Rorschach sits in the pilot's seat. Dan turns to Laurie, high
on adrenaline and love. Dan moves in to kiss her--

RORSCHACH (CONT'D)
Daniel.

DAN
Give us a second--

RORSCHACH
I don't think this can wait.

(CONTINUED)









87.

CONTINUED:

DAN
What? What is it
Dan looks up, through the windshield, and sees--
--Dr. Manhattan WALKING ACROSS THE CLOUDS--STRAIGHT FOR THE

SHIP.

LAURIE
It `s him.
The ship COLLIDES with Dr. Manhattan, who PASSES THROUGH into
the CABIN with a SHOWER of BLUE PARTICLES--

DR. MANHATTAN
Hello Laurie.

LAURIE
They said you were on Mars.

DR. MANHATTAN
I am on Mars. You and I are about to have
a conversation there.

LAURIE
Where? What are you talking about?

DR. MANHATTAN
You are going to try to convince me to
save the world.

DAN
Wait, what? You're taking her to Mars?
No, she can't--Laurie, I don't know about

THIS
Laurie looks at Dan then at Dr. Manhattan. Comprehending

LAURIE
I have to go, Dan. Jon and I, we're going
to talk. Maybe we'll find some way out of
this mess the world's gotten itself in.
I'll be okay. Really.

DAN

LAURIE--
Laurie and Dr. Manhattan BURST INTO PARTICLES--they're gone.
Dan stares at the space where Laurie just was.

RORSCHACH
No time for heartbreak, Daniel.

(CONTINUED)









88

CONTINUED: (2)
Dan notes TWO BLIPS on the RADAR.

EXT. NEW YORK AIRSPACE - NIGHT

TWO NYPD HELICOPTERS appear behind the Owl-Ship
INSIDE THE OWL SHIP: Dan takes the controls.

DAN
Let's try and lose them in the city.
He hits the jets, heading for the New York SKYLINE.

EXT. MARS - NIGHT

A red vista. Dr. Manhattan and Laurie appear atop a rise.

DR. MANHATTAN
So. What do you think?

LAURIE
J--huc? Hhhhhhh--
Laurie GRIPS her throat and TUMBLES down the hill. She rolls
into Jon, waiting for her at the bottom. She CLAWS at him.

DR. MANHATTAN
Oh. Forgive me. These things sometimes
slip my mind.
He TOUCHES her mouth, forming a small ATMOSPHERE around her.
She HEAVES in air, retching and choking at the same time.

LAURIE
Jon, you stupid bastard! Listen, you
better not forget this air supply or
whatever it is
(looking up)
Oh shit.
Laurie stands up before Jon's huge GLASS PALACE.

LAURIE (CONT'D)
I'm on Mars.

EXT. NEW YORK CITY AIRSPACE - NIGHT

The Owl-Ship WEAVES around the buildings, trying to shake the
copters . but the pilots are good, staying on its tail.
The Owl-Ship shoots out of the city over the water . Dan
LOOPS Archie around--

(CONTINUED)









89.

CONTINUED:
--and heads straight for a SUBWAY TUNNEL

INT. SUBWAY TUNNEL - CONTINUOUS

. just clearing it. The Owl-Ship SKIMS the sides of the
tunnel, SPARKS flying--
--when a SUBWAY appears. They're heading straight for it.

DAN
oh no.

RORSCHACH
Tactical error, Daniel.

DAN
I know--
They head straight for the subway--
--when the tunnel opens up--
--Dan SWERVES to the adjacent track just in time.

EXT. NEW YORK CITY AIRSPACE - NIGHT

The Owl-Ship emerges from the subway tunnel . when one of
the NYPD copters cuts it off.

DAN
Shit.
Dan accelerates, weaving Archie around the skyscrapers, the
Empire State Building . but the copter's still there.
Dan cuts around the UNITED NATIONS BUILDING. The copter
follows the Owl-Ship around to the East River
. but the Owl-Ship is nowhere to be found
The copter hovers there. Baffled.

EXT. EAST RIVER (UNDERWATER) - SAME TIME

The Owl-Ship rests at the bottom of the river, hidden

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

A group of GANG MEMBERS (with the black and yellow bandanas
who confronted Dan on the subway earlier in the film) walks
down the block when another Gang Member catches up, running.

(CONTINUED)









90.

CONTINUED:

GANG MEMBER 1
Yo, y'all hear? Some super owl dude broke
Rorschach outta prison.

GANG LEADER
Rorschach? That fool put my cousin in a

WHEELCHAIR

GANG MEMBER 2
You say Nite Owl broke him out? Didn't he
write a book or something? He lives over
a garage near here.

GANG LEADER
Does he now

INT. HOLLIS MASON'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Hollis sits up in bed, TV on: CNN; Grainy, shaky CLIPS of the
Owl-Ship. He's on the phone, beaming.

HOLLIS
It's just like old times, Sal. Nite Owl
and Silk Spectre back at it again.
CUT TO: Sally Jupiter on the other end in California,
watching the same footage.

SALLY
I always knew Laurie had it in her. Sorry
for waking you, Hollis.

HOLLIS
I may be retired from the costume, but my
sleeping habits have never changed.
There's a KNOCK at Hollis's door.

HOLLIS (CONT'D)
Who--there's someone at the door. It
might be Dan and Laurie--they may need
help. I better go.
Hollis hangs up, heads to the door, excited. He opens the

DOOR--
--and the Gang Members PILE INTO HIM. The picture SLOWS DOWN.
Hollis turns, mouth bleeding. HOLLIS' POV IS SEPIA TONED. The
gang appears as a COLLECTION of VILLAINS in COSTUMES.
SLOW, SEPIA: A young Hollis is in his old COSTUME. The VOICES
come from the present, while Hollis is lost in the past.

(CONTINUED)









91.

CONTINUED:
In his SLO-MO world, Hollis PASTES at Villain in the mouth--
in reality, he gets nailed. This intercutting continues until
the Gang Leader picks up the GOLD STATUE of Hollis in costume
whose base reads: IN GRATITUDE

GANG MEMBER 1
Hold on, Derf, are you sure this is the
right guy--he, he's just an old man.

GANG LEADER
Then I'm probably doing him a favor.
Hollis, old again, looks up. The SHADOW of the statue

DESCENDS HARD TOWARD HIS FACE--GO BLACK.

INT. OWL-SHIP (UNDERWATER - MOVING) - NIGHT

The Owl-Ship moves slowly through the water.

RORSCHACH
I hate this. How long are we going to
stay down here? Daniel!
Dan says nothing. Rorschach puts on his costume.

RORSCHACH (CONT'D)
You're letting fear paralyze you. And
that woman--

DAN
Hey! We took enough unnecessary risks
bringing Archie up so you could get your
spare costume. We stay put until it cools
down out there--they're looking for us.

RORSCHACH
Unnecessary? Cowering in the sludge, from
the authorities, that's unnecessary.
Rorschach pulls his mask on, turns.

RORSCHACH (CONT'D)
While we waste time, the mask-killer gets
closer. We need to get to Pyramid
Industries.
Dan sits at the COMPUTER.

DAN
I know, you told me already. I'm tapping
into all the databases, finding out about
the company--

(CONTINUED)









92.

CONTINUED:

RORSCHACH
Sitting at a computer? No. We need to
trace the killer--hit up underworld
contacts, squeeze people. You've
forgotten how we do things. You've been
lazing around too long.

DAN
Listen, I HAVE HAD IT! Who the hell do
you think you are? You live off people
while insulting them, and no one
complains because they think you're a
goddamn lunatic!
Dan turns away, shaking. He leans against the console.

DAN (CONT'D)
I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that.
Maybe you're right, maybe--

RORSCHACH

DANIEL
Dan turns. Rorschach holds out an open hand.

RORSCHACH (CONT'D)
You are a good friend. I'm sorry
that it is sometimes difficult with me.
Touched, Dan shakes his hand. An awkward, lovely moment.

DAN
Hey forget it It's okay, man.
Releasing his hand with some effort, Dan sits, invigorated.

DAN (CONT'D)
You're right. It's time to head up.

EXT. OWL-SHIP (MOVING) - HARBOR - NIGHT

The Owl-Ship BURSTS THROUGH THE SURFACE OF THE WATER

DAN (V.0.)
Let's really start plumbing the depths.

EXT. MARS - NIGHT

Jon leads Laurie into the Glass Palace.

(CONTINUED)









93.

CONTINUED:

DR. MANHATTAN
Our conversation commences when you
surprise me with the information that you
and Dreiberg have been sleeping together.

LAURIE
You . know about me and Dan?

DR. MANHATTAN
Not yet. But in a few moments, you're
going to tell me.

LAURIE
Jon, I'm having enough problems right now
without getting into your predestination
crap.

DR. MANHATTAN
Why does my perception of time distress
you so?

LAURIE
Because. If you already know the future,
why were you surprised when I left you,
or when that reporter ambushed you? Why
even debate if you already know the
outcome?

DR. MANHATTAN
Because everything is pre-ordained. Even
my responses.

LAURIE
Agh! This is so typical of you! Do you
know what a relief it is to be with
somebody human, like Dan?

DR. MANHATTAN
You mean you're sleeping with Dan
Dreiberg?
Contemplating this, he steps to the balcony's edge.

LAURIE
But you already know . You said--

DR. MANHATTAN
I said, often, that you were my only
remaining link with the world. Now that
link is shattered. Don't you see the
futility of asking me to save a world
that I no longer have any stake in?

(CONTINUED)









94.

CONTINUED: (2)

LAURIE
That's ridiculous. The Earth is too
important to hinge on one relationship.

DR. MANHATTAN
Not to me. My red world here means more
to me than your blue one. I'll show you
around if you like.
The giant Glass Palace begins to RUMBLE.

LAURIE
Are you doing this? I'm not in the mood
for jokes.

DR. MANHATTAN
Nor I. Believe me, I fully understand the
gravity of the situation.
The clockwork Glass Palace RISES HIGH INTO THE AIR

EXT. PYRAMID INDUSTRIES - NIGHT

The Owl-Ship approaches the large warehouse building that is
Pyramid Industries. The ship lands in the alley nearby.
Dan and Rorschach exit the ship. Shady neighborhood.
Rorschach goes to the door which is AJAR

INT. PYRAMID INDUSTRIES - HALLWAY - NIGHT

Dan and Rorschach slowly make their way down, peering into
ROOMS. The place looks abandoned--scattered papers, dusty
file cabinets, leftover computer components

RORSCHACH
You sure this is the correct location,
Daniel?

DAN
Positive. Pyramid Industries. Specializes
in industrial plastics. At least they
did.

INT. PYRAMID INDUSTRIES - PROCESSING PLANT - NIGHT

They enter the large, dark industrial section of the
building. They pass huge PROCESSING VATS, CONVEYOR BELTS.

(CONTINUED)









95.

CONTINUED:

DAN
I tapped into all the databases--tax
records, business registries, real estate
records--trying to get a bead on who's
behind Pyramid but it's a never ending
paper trail.
Rorschach investigates ahead when Dan catches some MOVEMENT--
--he turns his FLASHLIGHT to find a few HOMELESS PEOPLE
squatting in the warehouse. Upon seeing Dan in.costume, the
Homeless People run away.

RORSCHACH
Daniel.

DAN
They're harmless, Rorschach.

RORSCHACH
Daniel.
Rorschach is looking down at something. Dan heads over and
sees a DEAD BODY in the early stages of decomposition. He
turns the body over--bullet between the eyes just like Moloch
. but we recognize the corpse--it's journalist Doug Roth.

DAN
Hey, I know this man.

RORSCHACH
Yes. Doug Roth. Journalist who grilled
Dr. Manhattan on national television.

DAN
No I didn't watch that interview.
This was the guy who was doing a story on
Adrian when I went to see him.

RORSCHACH
Hmm. Journalist set up Dr. Manhattan, was
probably working to set up Veidt also.
Dan stands there thinking. As if hit with an epiphany. He
opens his mouth like he can't believe what he's going to say.

DAN
Rorschach. What, what if it's Adrian?

RORSCHACH
Veidt? Behind everything? Makes no sense.

(CONTINUED)









96.

CONTINUED: ( 2)

DAN
On the surface it doesn't, but hear me
out--Adrian's the only one who could've
taken on the Comedian in hand to hand
combat. He's the only one with the
finances to create an entire company for
the sole purpose of setting up Dr.
Manhattan. And Adrian was directly
involved in arranging that broadcast. He
probably supplied this journalist with
the whole cancer list.

RORSCHACH
That doesn't explain the attempt on
Veidt's life.

DAN
If we say that Adrian set that up
himself, he could've had the hitman shoot
his assistant first. It was a risk, but--

RORSCHACH
But why?

DAN
I don't know. Let's go ask him.

EXT. ANTARCTICA - NIGHT

The endless white blanket that is Antarctica is interrupted
by a SPLASH OF COLOR in the distance. As we approach, we see
that the color is a BIO-DOME--a tropical RAINFOREST inside.
This is part of KARNAK: Adrian Veidt's Arctic Fortress.

INT. KARNAK - BIO-DOME - NIGHT

Adrian stands at the entrance of the Bio-Dome, amidst the
exotic foliage, where a GROUP of SCIENTISTS and ENGINEERS are
gathered. They all hold CHAMPAGNE FLUTES--Adrian raises his
glass for a toast when the HEAD SCIENTIST interrupts.

HEAD SCIENTIST
Mr. Veidt, may I?

ADRIAN
By all means, Eric.

HEAD SCIENTIST
I just would like to say that when I was
first offered this position, I was
hesitant. A multi-year commitment to work
in Antarctica?

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)









97.

CONTINUED:

HEAD SCIENTIST (CONT'D)
But the opportunity to experiment with
Dr. Manhattan's atomic fusion energy was
too great for me to pass up, too great
for any of us to pass up. And now that
our work is finished, and we finally get
to go home, I can say that it was all
worth it. Mr. Veidt, you are a genius.
The world will be a better place because
of you.

ADRIAN
I certainly hope so.
The group applauds. Then they sip their champagne. All except
for Adrian
The group goes around congratulating each other, when
suddenly the Head Scientist COLLAPSES, choking. The others
surround him, trying to help--
--when one by one they each start collapsing themselves--
POISONED by the champagne.
Adrian regards them all, writhing on the floor, and leaves.

EXT. PYRAMID INDUSTRIES - NIGHT

In the alley, the Gang Members who killed Hollis Mason stand
around the Owl-Ship arguing amongst themselves, when Dan
appears behind them.

DAN
Something I can help you with, boys?
They all spin around, frightened at the costume.

GANG MEMBER 1
(to Gang Leader)
I told you we had the wrong guy.
The Gang Leader shits his pants as Dan steps closer.

GANG LEADER
L-listen, I didn't mean to kill that old
guy. Things just got outta hand

DAN
What old guy?

EXT. PYRAMID INDUSTRIES - MOMENTS LATER

Hearing SCREAMS outside, Rorschach bursts out of the

WAREHOUSE--

(CONTINUED)









98.

CONTINUED:
--and sees Dan gripping the bloody Gang Leader by the THROAT,
CHOKING him as the other Gang Members flee.

DAN
You're dead! You and the rest of your
gang, you're all DEAD! You know how much
fire-power I've got floating out there!?
Oh god damn. Hollis. God damn god damn
god damn
Dan begins to break up. Rorschach quietly pulls him away.

RORSCHACH
Not now, Daniel.

EXT. CITY STREETS - EARLY MORNING

The Owl-Ship slows to a hover besides an OLDER BUILDING.

RORSCHACH (V.0.)
Rorschach's Journal. Final entry?
Dreiberg is convinced that Veidt is
behind everything. Apparently, the Owl-
Ship is capable of the trip to
Antarctica, but are we? I cannot imagine
a more dangerous opponent. Veldt is
faster than Dreiberg and myself. He used
to joke that he was fast enough to catch
a bullet. I believe he could. He could
kill us both, alone in' the snow. No one
would know.
Rorschach descends the ladder, goes to the door of the
building. He places his JOURNAL in an ENVELOPE.

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
I have done my best to make this legible.
Whether I am alive or dead upon this
reading, know that whatever the nature of
this conspiracy--Adrian Veldt is
responsible.
He drops the envelope into the MAIL SLOT, climbs back up the
ladder.

RORSCHACH (V.0.) (CONT'D)
I appreciate your recent support and hope
the world survives long enough for this
to reach you. For my own part, I regret
nothing. I have lived my life free of
compromise, and step now into the shadow
without complaint. Rorschach. October
21st.

(CONTINUED)









99.

CONTINUED:
Rorschach disappears into the dark hatch. The Owl-Ship blasts
off . disappearing, just as Seymour arrives. Seymour
picks up the mail and walks inside.

INT. THE NEW FRONTIERSMAN - EARLY MORNING

The Editor walks in as Seymour goes through the mail.

EDITOR
SEYMOUR! Is that Dulmage's editorial
cartoon?

SEYMOUR
It's the mail. Hey cool, someone sent us
their journal.

(READING)
"Earlier today I came across what
appeared to be a suicide. It was later
learned to be a homicide. Someone's time
was up."

EDITOR
War's coming, Seymour--I don't wanna hear
some knob's life story! Chuck it in the
crank file!
Seymour tosses Rorschach's journal into a PILE OF LETTERS.

EXT. GLASS PALACE - MARS - NIGHT

Laurie's hair blows in the cold wind. She lowers her head.
Jon serves her some WATER.

LAURIE
Can't you just tell me how this all ends
and save us the trouble?

DR. MANHATTAN
It ends with you in tears.

LAURIE
Tears. You mean I lose? You don't come
back to Earth?

DR. MANHATTAN
I return to Earth at some point. The
streets are filled with death.

LAURIE
You mean there's going to be a war? An
actual, nuclear war?

(CONTINUED)









100.

CONTINUED:

DR. MANHATTAN
I can't be sure. I'm still experiencing
some static interference preventing any
clear vision of what lies ahead.

LAURIE
Static?

DR. MANHATTAN
Tachyon particles. Tachyons are a rare
occurrence. The detonation of nuclear
warheads could conceivably be the cause.

LAURIE
Jon, you've got to stop it! Everyone will
die!

DR. MANHATTAN
And the universe will not even notice.
See the dual moons. Aren't they
breathtaking?
Above, TWO MOONS cross overhead. One is HUGE, CRIMSON RED,
the smaller is a delicate SHELL PINK. Spectacular.

LAURIE
You're right, Jon--what does human life
matter next to a, a neutrino. Look, I'm
not going to debate you when you clearly
don't see anything terribly miraculous
about life. I guess quantum physics
doesn't allow for miracles.

DR. MANHATTAN
No, thermodynamic miracles are--

LAURIE
Oh God, Jon. Land this thing. Now.

DR. MANHATTAN
On the Argyre Planitia? As you wish.
The structure descends. Laurie stomps down the stairs.

LAURIE
That's it then. You can send me back to
Earth to fry with Dan and my Mom and all
the other worthless humans. And look, you
were wrong. You said this ended with me
in tears and see? Not a damp eye in the
house. Maybe you're wrong about
everything.

(CONTINUED)









101.

CONTINUED: (2)
Jon is waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs.

DR. MANHATTAN
Laurie. You complain that I refuse to see
life on life's terms. And yet you
continuously refuse to see things from my
perspective. If only you'd try to see the
whole continuum, life's pattern, you'd
understand. But you deliberately shut it
out as if afraid to see.

LAURIE
I'm not afraid, okay? You want me to see
things your way? Go ahead, do that thing
you do.
She stands there, arms folded, waiting. Then, just like
earlier in the lab, Jon touches her head--

INT. JUPITER HOUSE - NIGHT (FLASHBACK - 25 YEARS AGO)

Same flashback as before, in Laurie's childhood home. We're
in Laurie's POV, as a little girl. There's arguing
downstairs. Laurie goes down to investigate.
She comes upon the kitchen door, ajar. She can see her
PARENTS inside, arguing .

SALLY
You wanted to hear it, so I'm telling
you, okay?. Magic! Dreams! That's what I
had before. I was a hero goddammit!

LAURIE'S FATHER
It's not my fault you got old! What do
you have to complain about?! I'm putting
food on the table for you and your child.
Why don't you give your friend Eddie a
call? Maybe he can give you a better
life!

SALLY
It was a mistake--one time! Am I never--
And then they notice Laurie looking at them.

LAURIE
Mommy?

SALLY
Oh. Oh, Laurie

(CONTINUED)









102.

CONTINUED:
Tears run down little Laurie's face. Her parents are

HORRIFIED--

INT. GLASS PALACE - MARS - NIGHT

--Laurie breaks away from ion and drops down to her knees,
tears flowing.

LAURIE
No. No, no, no, no not him

DR. MANHATTAN
The comedian was your father.

LAURIE
But he--

DR. MANHATTAN
Attacked your mother. Yes.
(searching in his mind)
Two years later he came back to her, to
make amends. And you were conceived on
that day.

LAURIE

NO!!I
Laurie WHIPS a BOTTLE at the palace--
--and the huge glass construction CRUMBLES. Jon protects them
with a FORCE FIELD as debris collapses around them. Laurie
sobs in the echoing SILENCE.
Jon's eyes SHUT. He seems to feel . empathy. A TEAR slips
down his cheek. Laurie's realization is a revelation for ion.

LAURIE (CONT'D)
The comedian is my father. I guess my
life is just one big joke.

DR. MANHATTAN
I don't think your life is a joke.

LAURIE
Well, of course you're going to say that.

DR. MANHATTAN
But I've changed my mind. There are
miracles in your world that are worth
preserving.

LAURIE
What? But you were saying--

(CONTINUED)









103.

CONTINUED:

DR. MANHATTAN
I tried to explain. Thermodynamic
miracles--events with odds against so
astronomical, like oxygen turning into
gold. I have longed to witness such a
thing and yet I neglect that in human
coupling, millions upon millions of cells
compete to create life over generation
after generation: Until finally, your
mother loves a man--Edward Blake, the
Comedian--a man she has every reason to
hate. And out of that contradiction,
against unfathomable odds, it was you,
only you, that emerged. To distill so
specific a form from all of that chaos;
Your creation is like . turning air
into gold. A miracle.

LAURIE
But if my birth is a miracle you, you
could say that about anyone.

DR. MANHATTAN
Yes, anyone in the world. But the world
is so crowded with miracles that they
become commonplace and we forget. I
forget.
They stand there in silence. Connected for the first time in
years.

DR. MANHATTAN (CONT'D)
Now. Dry your eyes.
FROM ABOVE: We see the full CRATER--the ARGYRE PLANITIA.
Round, with two, eye-like BOULDERS set side by side, a RIDGE
of land curling below . like a smiley-face.

DR. MANHATTAN (V.0.)(CONT'D)
And let's go home.

EXT. ANTARCTICA - DAWN

The owl-Ship sails through a TOWERING CLOUD BANK. The COAST
approaches as SNOW starts to fall.

INT. OWL-SHIP (MOVING) - DAWN

Dan stares ahead, stoic. Thinking about Hollis, Laurie and
Adrian. He glances at a MONITOR, tracking heat signatures.
There's a LARGE SIGNAL ahead.

(CONTINUED)









104.

CONTINUED:

DAN
I've got a large reading ahead. Anything
that's emitting that much heat out here,
must be a pretty big facility. Adrian.

(BEAT)
We're not going to make it, are we?
Rorschach says nothing . when a halting WHINE sputters
from the engines. A HUGE CLIFF APPEARS before them.

RORSCHACH
The engines--

DAN
They're icing up, hold on!
Dan pulls the stick back. The ship SHUDDERS UPWARD.

EXT. ANTARCTICA - DAWN

The ship, tiny before the massive ice-wall, climbs slowly.
It's going to be close. The wall is 100 yards away now, the
top-most edge barely in view. 50 yards. 20 and then

SILENCE--

DAN
We just lost the engines--find something
to grab on to!
The ship BARELY CLEARS THE CLIFF. BOUNCING hard, it SKIPS
across the snow like a stone, finally CRASHING INTO A DRIFT.

INT. OWL-SHIP - DAWN

Dan opens the hatch. Shrieking WIND blows the snow in. Dan
pulls on a white, FUR-LINED SNOW-OWL costume.

DAN
The engines are de-icing. You sure I
can't fit you with something warmer?

RORSCHACH
Fine like this.

EXT. OWL-SHIP - DAWN

Rorschach pulls up his trench-collar against the bitter wind.
Dan pulls two stand-up HOVER-SCOOTERS from an OUTSIDE HATCH.
They exchange a look and ride the scooters off into the snow.









105.

INT. KARNAK - CONTROL HALL - DAWN

Adrian, dressed in his Ozymandias costume, sits alone in the
massive hall, opposite a wall of giant PLASMA-SCREENS which
show various television NEWS CHANNELS showing all the IMAGES

OF WAR IN THE WORLD.
Adrian sighs and hits the remote--the screens become ONE
IMAGE--ALEXANDER THE GREAT slicing the Gordian Knot.
By Adrian's feet is an exotic LYNX. Its unnatural beauty
almost hides a feral danger in its eyes. Adrian pets the
beast.

ADRIAN
See this painting? Alexander the Great.
Before his conquest of Phoenicia, he
struck North for Gordium, where the
world's greatest puzzle waited. A great
knot, impossible to untie. For a young
man determined to rule the world, it was
a challenge he couldn't resist. So he
sliced it in two with his sword. Lateral
thinking, you see.
Suddenly the Lynx stands, GROWLS.

ADRIAN (CONT'D)
What is it, girl?
He hits the remote--the TV screens switch to MULTIPLE VIEWS
OF Dan and Rorschach, heading toward Karnak.

ADRIAN (CONT'D)
Ah. It's all right, girl. Everything's
all right.

EXT. ANTARCTICA - SNOWFIELDS - DAWN

Flying on the scooter, Dan wipes frost and fog from his
goggles. He then looks up and--
--sees KARNAK, a GARGANTUAN GLASS PYRAMID, rising out of the
snow, the Bio-Dome attached to it.

INT. KARNAK - CONTROL HALL - DAWN

Adrian watches Dan and Rorschach reach the door on the
monitors.

(CONTINUED)









106.

CONTINUED:

ADRIAN
Really, getting even this far is an
admirable effort, given their
limitations. Of course the ice they're
skating on is slippery and thinner than
it looks. Let's hope they don't overstep
themselves.
On the monitors, Dan takes a LASER TORCH to the door.

ADRIAN (CONT'D)
Let's hope they know when to stop.

INT. KARNAK - DAWN

Having burnt through the control panel, Dan pushes the huge
door open. They enter the grand palace, dwarfed by its
Macedonian massiveness.

DAN

JESUS

(BEAT)
I don't understand any of this. Adrian's
a pacifist. He's never killed anyone in
his life. He's a vegetarian for Christ's
sake!

RORSCHACH
Hitler was a vegetarian. If you're
squeamish, leave him to me. We won't get
a second chance.

INT. KARNAK - CONTROL HALL - DAWN

Dan and Rorschach pass the wall of plasma screens into--

INT. DINING HALL - CONTINUOUS

--the dining hall, where Adrian eats alone, at a long table.
Though they're only a few yards away, Adrian doesn't appear
to see them, hidden by some PILLARS.
Dan and Rorschach signal to each other, quiet. Adrian eats--
--and Rorschach RUSHES him from behind--
--Adrian moves at the last second, grabs Rorschach's arm,
ELBOWS him in the chest, spins and BACKHAND FISTS him,
sending him flying back.

ADRIAN
Mind your manners.

(CONTINUED)









107.

CONTINUED:
Dan draws his PEN-LASER.

DAN
Adrian, don't make me--
Adrian picks up a GOLDEN SERVING TRAY off the table as Dan
FIRES. Adrian DEFLECTS the laser with the tray--
--then DISCUS-SLINGS the tray into Dan's NOSE. Blood SPRAYS,
Dan drops to his knees. Adrian turns his back on them, calm.

ADRIAN
Now. What can I do for you?

DAN
You know! You killed the Comedian! You
set up Rorschach! You created Pyramid
Industries, hired all those people, gave
them cancer and blamed it on Jon!

ADRIAN
Yes.

DAN
Dammit Adrian, what are you trying to do?

ADRIAN
What we always intended--to improve the
world.
As Adrian speaks, Rorschach sneaks up behind him, with a
FORK. He tries to stab Adrian in the back, but Adrian
effortlessly dodges the blow, GRABS Rorschach's mask, TWISTS
it, then KNEES him in the gut. Rorschach drops to the floor.
Adrian starts walking out of the hall. Dan helps Rorschach up
and they follow.

ADRIAN (CONT'D)
I never intended to kill the Comedian--
that was an accident. Part of his duties
as a government operative was to keep
track of all former masked heroes, make
sure there was no rocking of the boat. He
must have liked Rorschach because he
allowed him to continue to exist. I had
thought that the Comedian might be
incompetent, but he disproved that
hypothesis when he discovered what was
really going on. here in Karnak--no easy
task. Even my staff was unaware--I made
sure to keep each department separate.

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)









108.

CONTINUED: (2)

ADRIAN (CONT'D)
The Comedian was appalled by my plan, but
still, he understood the scope of what I
was trying to accomplish. Frankly, I
never thought he'd actually talk. But by
the time he visited poor Moloch, he was
cracking badly. So I had to kill him.

INT. CONTROL HALL - CONTINUOUS

As they enter the control hall, Rorschach moves to attack
Adrian again when he and Dan hear a growl . the Lynx
steps in between, protecting its master.

ADRIAN
After Blake, I neutralized Jon--a plan
nearly a decade in the works after
analyzing confidential psychological
profiles which predicted his withdrawal
from human existence. By then,
Rorschach's mask theory, 'though
erroneous, needed to be addressed, so I
faked my own assassination--

DAN
Why take that risk? What if the hitman
shot you first instead of your assistant?

ADRIAN
I suppose I'd have to be fast enough to
catch the bullet then, wouldn't I?
Adrian smiles enigmatically.

ADRIAN (CONT'D)
After apprehending my own assassin, I
shoved a cyanide capsule in his mouth,
disposing of him, and soon after that,
the journalist Doug Roth, tying up all
the loose ends if you will. Then I knew
nothing stood in the way of my triumph.

DAN
Triumph? Adrian, what are you going to
do?

ADRIAN
I'm firing a beam of concentrated energy,
synthesized from Dr. Manhattan himself,
into the hearts of nine key regions
around the globe, crossing all
traditional politics and ideologies;

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)









109.

CONTINUED:

ADRIAN (CONT'D)
Paris, Tehran, Kashmir, Beijing, Taiwan,
Pyongyang, London, Jerusalem, New York--
destroying approximately three million
people.

DAN
Three million people? You're joking.

RORSCHACH
He's not. Listen to his voice.

DAN
Rorschach, he's making it up!

ADRIAN
I understand your disbelief, Dan. When I
began the plan ten years ago, my moral
safeguards gave me pause at the necessary
sacrifice. See, the Comedian was correct.
What we were doing with the Watchmen was
pointless--the savage nature of humankind
would inevitably lead to the end of the
world. So in order to save the world, I
had to trick it--to frighten the world
towards salvation with history's greatest
practical joke.

DAN
By killing millions of people? And when
were you planning on doing this?

ADRIAN
When? Dan, my dear friend, I am the
smartest man in the world--do you
seriously think I'd explain my master
stroke if there remained even the
slightest chance of you affecting it's
outcome?

(BEAT)
I did it thirty minutes ago.

EXT. KARNAK- ANTARCTICA - MORNING

A BEAM of BLUE ENERGY SHOOTS INTO THE SKY from Karnak. The
energy infects the CLOUDS, CHARGED with CRASHING, ERRATIC
BLUE LIGHTNING SPREADING out across the globe

EXT. NEWS STAND - MORNING

As the News vendor opens his stand--

DR. MANHATTAN (V.0.)

PEOPLE OF THE WORLD...









110.

INT. WHITE HOUSE - CONFERENCE ROOM - SAME TIME

The President and his Cabinet look out the windows, up at the
electric blue clouds

DR. MANHATTAN

THIS IS DR. MANHATTAN. FOR YEARS, I HAVE

WATCHED HUMANITY BARREL IGNORANTLY DOWN

THE PATH TO DESTRUCTION .

EXT. KASHMIR - SAME TIME

We're with the Pakistani and Indian Soldiers from earlier,
stopping their gun fight to look up at the sky--

DR. MANHATTAN (V.0.)
(in Hindi)

THIS ENDS TONIGHT.

EXT. TAIWAN COAST - SAME TIME

We're with the Chinese Battleships from earlier--

DR. MANHATTAN (V.0.)
(in Mandarin)

FROM THIS MINUTE ON, YOU SHALL CHANGE

YOUR POLICIES AND YOUR WAYS OF VIOLENCE-

INT. MISSILE CONTROL ROOM - SAME TIME

We're with the Israelis from earlier, watching on screen--

DR. MANHATTAN (V.0.)
(in Hebrew)

ANY NATION THAT DOES NOT IMMEDIATELY

STAND DOWN AND DISMANTLE THEIR WEAPONS

ARSENALS, SHALL BE DESTROYED.

EXT. TIMES SQUARE - NIGHT

Realization is dawning on the faces of the New Yorkers.

DR. MANHATTAN (V.0.)

FROM THIS MINUTE ON--I WILL BE WATCHING.
Suddenly the SOUND of a rising, HOWLING WIND and the
LIGHTNING STRIKES begin, CRASHING TO EARTH with savage,
blistering force. Their expended blue energy SPREADS like

LIQUID FIRE, FLOODING THROUGH THE STREETS.
People SCREAM and RUN. As the LIGHT OVERTAKES the unlucky
ones, they are instantly BLOWN TO ASH--

(CONTINUED)









CONTINUED:
(WORLD MONTAGE): --as is the News Vendor; the Pakistani and
Indian Soldiers; the Chinese Battleships; the Israeli Missile
Control Room; Paris; the Great Wall of China. Destroyed.

EXT. NEW YORK STREET - MORNING

The smoke-filled street is silent. Then GLOWING PARTICLES
COALESCE, slamming together to form Jon and Laurie, but Jon's
teleportation falters, shorting out. They FALL from the air.
Laurie drops roughly to her knees.

LAURIE
God Jon, what was that?
Jon looks around the street. Even he is awe-struck.

DR. MANHATTAN
Interference. Cataclysmic interference.
Laurie looks up and screams. THOUSANDS OF BLACK SILHOUETTES
are IMPRINTED on the STREET and the WALLS. Everywhere. There
is no rubble--some buildings have simply disintegrated.

LAURIE
Was it a war? It doesn't seem like--

DR. MANHATTAN
Not a war. I .don't know what it was.
Dr. Manhattan looks up into the sky, studying it.

LAURIE
Take me out of here, Jon. Please.

DR. MANHATTAN
I'm sorry. This must be very upsetting
for you. I have traced the source of the
Tachyon particles to Antarctica. Shall
we?

LAURIE
Anywhere. Anywhere's better than here.

INT. KARNAK - CONTROL HALL - MORNING

PULL OUT FROM: The televisions--NEWS REPORTS from all over
the world, documenting the tragic destruction caused by Dr.
Manhattan. Dan turns away shaken. Rorschach boils. Adrian
beams.

DAN
God. God, he

(CONTINUED)









112.

CONTINUED:

RORSCHACH
Impersonated Dr. Manhattan. Murdered
millions of people.
(re: Lynx)
Call off your cat. Call off your cat and
face me!

ADRIAN
Don't you understand? I've ended the war--
I've ended all wars. Because of their
fear of ion, I've forced the world into
everlasting peace.

DAN
By committing the biggest mass murder in
history. You have no right to play God!

ADRIAN
I wasn't playing God. Just Dr. Manhattan.
Suddenly there's a LOUD BEEPING in the hall. The Lynx growls.
Adrian switches the monitors to the security cameras
which show ion and Laurie materialize in the snow.

ADRIAN (CONT'D)
Speak of the devil.

EXT. KARNAK - SAME TIME

Laurie vomits in the snow.

DR. MANHATTAN
Adrian, of course. Who else would have
the resources

LAURIE
Wait, this is Adrian's compound? Are you
saying he's responsible for this--
Jon walks toward the building, entranced. Distracted.

DR. MANHATTAN
Yes. Yes, he killed Blake and millions of
others. Excuse me, Daniel, I'm talking to
Laurie ninety seconds ago

LAURIE
What, Daniel? Millions of others? Jon
don't start that crap now, not here!

(CONTINUED)









113.

CONTINUED:

DR. MANHATTAN
I'm sorry. It's these tachyons. They're,
muddling things up. I'd better follow him

INSIDE
In a burst, he's gone.

INT. KARNAK - CONTROL HALL - CONTINUOUS

Jon materializes in the hall. Adrian sprints like lightening,
out of the room, followed by the Lynx.

RORSCHACH
No, don't let him escape!

DAN
Jon, stop him, he killed millions of
people, who knows what else he'll do.
Jon walks calmly after Adrian.

DAN (CONT'D)
Jon, are you okay? You seem drugged.

DR. MANHATTAN
Yes. Yes, he killed Blake and millions of
others. Excuse me, Daniel, I'm talking to
Laurie ninety seconds ago

DAN
What? Where's Laurie?

DR. MANHATTAN
I'm sorry. It's these tachyons. They're,
muddling things up. I'd better follow him

INSIDE
Jon follows Adrian into the next room.

INT. REACTOR CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

Jon enters the MAZE of advanced technology.

DR. MANHATTAN
Adrian, don't be foolish. Even if I can't
predict where I'm going to find you, I
can turn the walls to glass. The tachyons
were clever but it's time to give up
Jon spots the Lynx in a METAL CORRIDOR.

(CONTINUED)









114.

CONTINUED:

DR. MANHATTAN (CONT'D)
Very well. If I must, let us follow this
through to the bitter end.
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WALLS is Adrian, waiting by a
CONTROL PANEL. He takes one last look at his Lynx.

ADRIAN
Forgive me, girl.
Jon enters the corridor with the Lynx; Adrian flicks a
SWITCH. The Lynx' FUR STANDS ON END as ENERGY CRACKLES
BETWEEN THE METAL WALLS. The Lynx HOWLS.

DR. MANHATTAN
Adrian? Adrian, don't--
LIGHT BLASTS through Jon and the Lynx--both are OBLITERATED.
Adrian peers around the corner, winded by his success.

ADRIAN
You know, I really wasn't sure that would
work.

LAURIE (O.S.)

ADRIAN--
Adrian turns. Laurie aims the prison guard's pistol at him.

LAURIE (CONT'D)
You're such an asshole.
Adrian cries out, LEAPS at her as she FIRES--
--and hits Adrian. He COLLAPSES. Dan and Rorschach find them
as Laurie approaches Adrian's body

DAN
Laurie, shoot him again!
Adrian's hand falls from his chest to the floor, blood
trickling, as his PALM OPENS--
--holding a BULLET inside.

LAURIE
Oh shit.
Adrian opens his eyes and KICKS her in the stomach, sending
her flying back.

(CONTINUED)









115.

CONTINUED: (2)

DAN
LAURIE! If you've hurt her, I'll--

ADRIAN
Oh Dan. Grow up.
Adrian exits as Dan helps the winded Laurie to her feet.
Together, Rorschach, Dan and Laurie follow him back to:

INT. KARNAK - CONTROL HALL - MORNING

Adrian approaches his wall of TV screens when--

DR. MANHATTAN (O.S.)

I AM DISAPPOINTED IN YOU ADRIAN. VERY

DISAPPOINTED.
Jon, now 100 FEET TALL, SMASHES THROUGH THE WALL. Adrian
crawls desperately away, grasping for his remote on the
floor. As Jon approaches him, Jon SHRINKS to six feet.

DR. MANHATTAN (CONT'D)
Restructuring myself was the first trick
I learned! It didn't kill me before, did
you seriously think it would kill me now?
You are nothing but a man. And the
world's smartest man means no more to me
than its smartest termite!
Out of tricks, out of traps, Adrian lifts the remote.

DR. MANHATTAN (CONT'D)
What is that, Adrian? Some new, ultimate
weapon?

ADRIAN
Yes. Yes, you could say that.
Adrian goes back to his wall of screens, watching the news
reports. We hear SOUND BITES and IMAGES: "India and Pakistan
immediately call for truce," "China stands down," "US
withdraws forces," "Israel agrees on cease fire."
TEARS stand in Adrian's eyes. He raises his fists in triumph.

ADRIAN (CONT'D)
I did it. I DID IT! I've saved Earth from
Hell. Next, I will elevate her to the
vaulting stature of Heaven.

LAURIE
Next? You can't get away with this!

(CONTINUED)









116.

CONTINUED:

ADRIAN
No? Will you expose me, undoing the peace
so many have just died for? Morally,
you're in checkmate, just like the
Comedian was.
Jon examines the many screens, taking it all in.

DR. MANHATTAN
I'm afraid he's correct. Exposing Adrian
would only doom the world to nuclear
destruction again.

DAN
He's right. All we did was fail to stop
him from saving Earth.

LAURIE
We we can't say anything about this

?

RORSCHACH
You're joking, of course.
Rorschach walks toward the exit.

DAN
Rorschach, wait a second! Let's talk this
out!

RORSCHACH
Never. Not even in the face of
Armageddon. Never compromise.
Adrian and Jon's eyes meet--an unspoken communication. Seeing
this, Dan runs after Rorschach.

DAN
Rorschach!
Across the hall, ion materializes between Rorschach and the
exit.

DR. MANHATTAN
Where are you going, Rorschach?

RORSCHACH
Back to the Owl-Ship. Back to America.
People must be told. Evil must be
punished.

(CONTINUED)









117.

CONTINUED: (2)

DR. MANHATTAN
Rorschach, you know I can't let you do
that.
Rorschach pauses. Dan is halfway there . Rorschach
removes his mask, tears stand in his eyes.

RORSCHACH
Suddenly you've rediscovered humanity? If
you had cared from the start, none of
this would be necessary. None of this
would have happened. So what are you
waiting for? Do it.

DAN

NO WAIT!

RORSCHACH

DO IT!!!!
Jon WAVES HIS HAND and BLOWS RORSCHACH APART. Dan collapses
to his knees, sobbing. Jon contemplates the BURN-MARK where
Rorschach stood only seconds ago, then disappears--
--reappearing across the hall where Laurie is. She is also in
tears, watching all the horrible footage on the TV screens.

DR. MANHATTAN
Laurie. I'm leaving this galaxy. For one
a little less complicated.

LAURIE
Leaving? I, I thought you regained an
interest in human life.

DR. MANHATTAN
I have. I think maybe I'll create some.
Goodbye, Laurie.
He kisses her on the cheek--

ADRIAN
Jon, I'd hoped to talk to you. I've made
myself feel every death, see every
innocent face I've murdered to save
humanity--you understand, don't you?

DR. MANHATTAN
Without condoning or condemning, I

UNDERSTAND
And with that, he disappears. Forever.

(CONTINUED)









118.

CONTINUED: (3)
Across the hall, Dan recovers from mourning Rorschach. He
stands, gritting his teeth. Walks toward Adrian.

ADRIAN
What's on your mind, Dan?

DAN
Your death.

ADRIAN
Really. You want to kill me?

DAN
Yeah. You might have created peace, but
not at the expense of justice. You need
to pay for what you've done.

ADRIAN
That doesn't sound like you, Dan. That
sounds more like Rorschach.

DAN
Exactly.
Adrian readies himself. Laurie breaks away from the TV
screens.

ADRIAN
Only you're not Rorschach, are you now?
How do you expect to succeed where he
failed?

DAN
Tell you the truth, Adrian. I don't.
Dan FLIES at Adrian, fighting like a madman for his life.
His fighting style has changed. Dan's newfound brutality is
informed by everything he's learned from Rorschach. About
justice. About life.
But Adrian is the best. He takes Dan's attacks apart with
ease, delivering blows which would kill a man not quite so
focused on his goal. In the end, he CATCHES Dan's final
strike and TWISTS. Dan's arm SNAPS easily.

LAURIE
Dan!
Laurie charges Adrian. With one hand, Adrian blocks her
attack, grabs her by the hair and SLAMS her to floor,
knocking her out.

(CONTINUED)









119.

CONTINUED: (4)
Dan falls to his knees, bloody and beaten. Out of tricks, out
of time, he searches his belt for something, anything, and
finds one last OWL-WING. The WINGS SNAP OUT. Desperate, he

FLICKS IT AT ADRIAN--
Who merely SNATCHES the owl-Wing out of the air. He laughs.
Prepares to finish Dan off.

ADRIAN
I have to say, I've always thought your
choice of an owl was quite juvenile.

DAN
Really? I've always liked owls
Adrian sees that Dan has pulled one last item from his belt.
Adrian STEPS on Dan's WRIST, bones crunching. Dan's HAND
falls OPEN, revealing the OWL-SHIP REMOTE.

DAN (CONT'D)
because you can never hear them
coming.
BEHIND ADRIAN: FLOODLIGHTS BLAZE, targeting Adrian as the OWL-
SHIP CRASHES THROUGH THE WINDOW and into Adrian and Dan.
Silence, but for the tinkling of GLASS falling to the floor.
Dan tries to stand, but he falls, his left leg shattered.
Most of Adrian has been CRUSHED under the ship. He coughs a
fine blood spray. Adrian looks over to Dan, dying.

ADRIAN
I . don't regret my actions. I know
in my heart . I did the right thing.

DAN
So do I.
Adrian lays back, calm, accepting and dies.

INT. OWL-SHIP - MORNING

Dan sits painfully in the passenger seat, as Laurie tries to
pilot the ship out of Adrian's bedroom.

DAN
That's it. Careful. Now, pull the stick
to the left
The ship RISES and TURNS awkwardly in the hall, smashing out
more glass.

(CONTINUED)









120

CONTINUED:

DAN (CONT'D)
Now, the thrusters . There.
She HITS THE THRUSTERS. The ship FLIES from the control room.
It's afterburners IGNITING the room, and Adrian's body.

EXT. ANTARCTICA - MORNING

The Owl-Ship RISES into the sky, the Pyramid of Karnak
BLAZING from it's tip like a Roman candle. Dan watches out
the window, until his eyes slip shut

EXT. NEW YORK STREETS - MORNING (SOME TIME LATER)

Time has passed. The disintegrated buildings are being
rebuilt. The shock of the attack is wearing off, and though
the streets may not be as crowded as they once were, a sense
of normalcy is returning.
Sally Jupiter walks the sidewalk, looking for an address.

INT. DAN AND LAURIE'S TOWNHOUSE - MORNING

Sally mixes herself a tall drink at the bar. Sally calls out:

SALLY
You sure you don't want a drink?

LAURIE (O.S.)
I'm okay. Thanks.
We finally see Laurie now--her hair dyed, appearance changed.

LAURIE (CONT'D)
Mom--I just want to get this out of the
way . . I know Eddie Blake, the
Comedian--I know he was my father.
Sally freezes.

LAURIE (CONT'D)
I remember.
Sally downs her drink, immediately starts making another.

SALLY
It, it was years later, he stopped by out
of the blue, and, and apologized. I don't
know, I just couldn't stay mad. It
just happened--
Laurie kisses her mother's teary cheek.

(CONTINUED)









121.

CONTINUED:

LAURIE
Mom. People's lives take them strange
places. You never did anything wrong by
me.
Sally jumps as a CLICK/WHIR SOUND comes from a BOOKCASE.

SALLY
What the hell is that?

LAURIE
Oh that's Dan. Home from "work."
The bookcase SLIDES ASIDE and a blond DAN enters from the
secret ELEVATOR. He is trim and confident, cheeks flushed
with color. Buttoning up his shirt, he spots Sally.

DAN
Oh hi.

SALLY
Hello, Dan. Excuse me, I should clean up.
Sally wipes her runny make-up, goes to the bathroom.
Dan and Laurie embrace, kiss.

LAURIE
Any bad guys last night?

DAN
There are always bad guys. Even in
today's world.
Slow, Laurie turns to the window. Looks out at the New York
skyline being rebuilt.

LAURIE
Dan.

DAN
Hmm?

LAURIE
Will it be alright? The world, I mean.
He puts his arm around her shoulder.

DAN
As long as no-one ever finds out that
Adrian was behind it all, the public will
think ion is still up there, watching.

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)









122.

CONTINUED: (2)

DAN (CONT'D)
The threat remains, and everything should
be fine.

LAURIE
Yeah. Just fine

INT. THE NEW FRONTIERSMAN - DAY

CLOSE ON: A YELLOW HAPPY FACE--suddenly SPLOTCHED with RED--
printed on A T-SHIRT now stained with ketchup.
WE PULL BACK: And find Seymour wears the shirt, eating a
burger when the Editor bursts in.

EDITOR
SEYMOUR! What the hell do you got for me?

SEYMOUR

UH

EDITOR
We got nothing to write about. Everyone
in the country, every country in the
world is holding hands now, singing songs
about peace and love--it's like we're
living in a goddamn global hippie
commune !

SEYMOUR
Um, I guess I can look for stuff in the
crank file.

EDITOR
Crank file? Whatever! Take some
initiative! Run whatever you like--
Seymour turns to the PILE of submissions known as the crank
file, where RORSCHACH'S JOURNAL sits on top. Seymour reaches--

EDITOR (CONT'D)
--I leave it entirely in your hands.
--and picks up Rorschach's Journal . Just as he's about
to open it, we CUT TO BLACK.




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