The room is large and humid. Large fans whirr above their heads. Holden is centering Leon's eye on the machine. The small monitor screen is filled with Leon's eye.
LEON: Care if I talk? . . I'm kind of nervous when I take tests.
HOLDEN: Uh, just please don't move.
LEON: Oh, sorry. . . . . I already had an I.Q. test this year. . . I don't think I ever had a. . .
HOLDEN INTERRUPTS LEON: Reaction time is a factor in this so please pay attention. Now answer as quickly as you can.
LEON: . . . sure.
HOLDEN: One one eight seven at Hunterwasser...
LEON: That's the hotel.
LEON: That's the hotel.
LEON: Where I live.
HOLDEN: Nice place?
LEON: Uh, sure I guess. Is that part of the test ?
HOLDEN: No . . . just warming up, that's all.
LEON: Oh. It's not fancy or anything.
HOLDEN: You're in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of a sud-- . . .
LEON: Is this the test now?
HOLDEN: Yes. You're in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of a sudden you look do-- . . .
LEON: What one?
LEON: What desert?
HOLDEN: Doesn't make any difference what desert, it's completely hypothetical.
LEON: But how come I'd be there?
HOLDEN: Maybe you're fed up, maybe you want to be by yourself. . . who knows. You look down and see a tortoise, Leon. It's crawling toward you. . .
LEON: Tortoise? What's that?
HOLDEN: Know what a turtle is?
LEON: Of course.
HOLDEN: Same thing.
Holden looks at the instrument's readings and gives Leon a suspicious look.
LEON: I never seen a turtle. . . But I understand what you mean.
HOLDEN: You reach down and flip the tortoise over on its back, Leon.
LEON: You make these questions, Mr. Holden, or they write 'em down for you?
Disregarding the question, Holden continues, picking up the pace.
HOLDEN: The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over. But it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping.
Leon looks alarmed and agitated by the question.
LEON: What do you mean, I'm not helping!?!
HOLDEN: I mean you're not helping! Why is that, Leon?
Holden looks hard at Leon, a piercing look. Leon is flushed with anger, breathing hard, it's a bad moment, he might erupt. Suddenly Holden grins disarmingly.
HOLDEN: They're just questions, Leon. In answer to your query, they're written down for me. It's a test, designed to provoke an emotional response.
Leon is glaring now, the blush subsides, his anger slightly defused. Holden smiles cheerfully, very smooth.
HOLDEN: (smiles) Shall we continue?
Leon nods timidly, still frowning.
HOLDEN: Describe in single words. Only the good things that come into your mind. . . about your mother.
LEON: My mother? . . .
LEON: Let me tell you about my mother.
Leon leans down and BLAM! A blast erupts through the table top.
His laser burns a hole the size of a nickel through Holden's stomach. Unlike a bullet, a laser causes no impact. It goes through Holden comes out his back, clean as a whistle.
Like a rag doll, Holden and his chair spins around and crashes into the partition behind him. Leons fires again through the back of Holden's chair, propelling him further.
CUT TO EXT. OVERHEAD VIEW CITY - NIGHT: We are looking down on a city of the future where gigantic buildings dwarf the ancient skyscrapers.
CUT TO EXT. THE BLIMP - FROM BELOW: A huge blimp, flashing lights and blaring sound drifts slowly over the tall buildings. As the blimp drifts through the tall buildings, advertisements appear on the curved sides of the dirigible and an accompanying soundtrack proclaims the virtues of Offworld emigration.
BLIMP VOICE TRACK: A new life awaits you in the Off-World colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure.
EXT. CITY STREET: Lights from the blimp flash along the street and wipe across the crowds of pedestrians as the voice tracks continues to blare from above.
A noodle bar is crowded with customers, sitting on stools slurping their food out of bowls.
The man holding the newspaper is Deckard, he's sitting near the noodle bar waiting for a seat. He's in his thirties, wiry, athletic, rumpled, used, unshaven.
The blimp floats closer, ever present, you can feel the low hum of it's engines vibrating through you.