Episode 25 Transcript: "The War of Paradigm City"|
Episode opens with overhead view of Roger driving rapidly down a highway towards the city. The Griffon seems to be the only car on the road.
Cut to Dastun manhandling the little boy in the front row of the movie theater. Dan lifts the frightened boy up by his shirt and demands, "Who are you? What's this about?" Both of the children are crying in fear.
Dan stares at the boy, obviously confused and a bit frightened by all this himself. He says to the child, "But you can't--be me?" He drops the boy to the floor.
Cut back to Roger driving. There is an expression of stern determination on his face. His copy of "Metropolis" is beside him on the passenger seat.
Cut to mysterious stage set where we last saw Angel. She is still there. The cookpot is still boiling away on the wood-burning stove. She seems dazed by her discovery of all this, and murmurs to herself, "Is this possible? But this is...How can this be? My mother? My home?" (The camera pans across the stage as she talks to herself.)
Cut back to highway. A group of red scorpionbots are lined across the road in an attempt to block it. Roger, aware of them, first raises a shield across the Griffon's front windshield. The red 'bots fire machineguns at the car, but the shield protects Roger from the bullets. He guns the car's engine, jumping it over the scorpionbots and escapes. He continues racing down the highway towards the domes.
The camera pulls away from the highway and the Griffon, and pans up towards the cloudy skies above the city. We see Big Duo still rising into the air, and now hear Schwartzwald narrating over the rest of this scene: "The giants who formed this world into its sensual existance, and now seem to live in it in chains," (we see some of the green cables that had swallowed Alan Gabriel start to fall through a hole in Big Duo's chest, carrying Gabriel's feathered hat out with them; everything falls to the ground far below) ..."are in truth the causes of its life and the sources of all activity, but the chains are the cunning of weak and tame minds, which have power to resist energy." Big Duo continues its lonely rise.
Cut to Roger's crushed piano, a black sheet draped over it, then cut to Dorothy lying lifeless on a white cot.
Cut to highway. Two red scorpionbots are waiting for Roger. He is still racing down the road, now with several of the red 'bots in pursuit. He growls, "You WON'T get in my way," and hits a control. A gun turret drops from beneath the rear car bumper and fires several bursts, destroying the 'bots. Meanwhile the Griffon's two rocket launchers rise up along the front end and fire as well, destroying the two 'bots blocking the road ahead.
Roger drives through the flames, then retracts the shield over the front window. We see a light/bomb(?) fall from the sky high above him, and a warning sensor goes off in the Griffon. Roger is startled: "What is that? Where is it coming from?" We can see the sky through the rear window of his car turn white as the light/bomb explodes in the city behind him.
Roger stops the car and gets out to see what is happening. One of the domes glows internally, like a sun. More lights/bombs fall from the sky, devasting the city wherever they hit. Roger is horrified to see this. He cries out, "What the--What the hell is going on?"
Cut to overview of city. The lights/bombs are falling everywhere. Roger, watching all this, quotes "Metropolis" in wonder: "Divine thunderbolts raining down from the heavens." The camera shifts to show scenes throughout the city; there is terrible destruction everywhere.
Meanwhile, back at Roger's place, work on Big O is being completed. All that's needed is to re-arm the black megadeus. Berg comments to a workman, "This may very well be the last task that we have to perform." The workman disagrees, replying, "I don't think so. We won't let them take away our purpose in life just yet," and walks away to finish his job. Berg turns and smiles at him.
Cut back to movie theater. It's collapsed. We hear the boy gasping, and Dan says, "Hang in there, don't die on me! Was this the same catastrophe 40 years ago?" Dastun closes his eyes briefly, as if to gather himself, then gets on his police radio to ask MPHQ to send medical help to his location.
Cut back to smoke-filled highway. Roger is still watching everything in disbelief. The ground beneath his feet begins to quake; the tremors strengthen. Roger turns and looks towards a white building with a golden dome, down at the end of the highway. A brilliant beam of light suddenly bursts upward as the dome's two halves glide open. The wider they open, the bigger the light beam becomes and the more powerful the shaking becomes as well. Roger is frightened and cries out, "What is happening?"
The dome finally opens fully and we see the silhouette of Big Fau rise majestically into the light. It stands atop the white building. Cut to interior of Big Fau. Alex is seated in the cockpit and has a very self-satisfied smile as he surveys the destruction before him. He turns on Big Fau's controls and the blue viewscreen reads, "Cast in the name of god, ye not guilty." Alex shouts, "Big Fau, ACTION!" and the white megadeus' eyes flash green as it comes to life. It flexes its massive arms, and Alex gleefully shouts, "Time for the grand finale!"
Huge laser guns rise from Big Fau's shoulders and aim towards the white lights in the sky. Alex fires at them; the clouds turn white from the blasts, and then lights/bombs fall to earth, causing more destruction. The last explosion causes the highway where Roger and the Griffon are located to shake violently and the road gives way, crumbling beneath them. Smith fires his grappling wire from his watch at a nearby lamppost, grumbling, "I'm wasting my time, I need to take care of things." The lamppost gives way, and Roger falls screaming into the smoke-filled blackness below.
Camera pulls back, giving an overview of the area. There is a gigantic crater now in the middle of the city, and Roger has fallen down into the heart of it.
Cut back to Angel. She is standing, dazed, and is startled to hear a man abruptly clear his throat. She turns and sees Gordon Rosewater sitting quietly at the wooden table, his straw hat lying on it. His eyes are closed. She smiles gently at the old man. "Gordon Rosewater. You are truly the king of Paradigm City, the city of deceptions." She has an almost fond look on her face.
Gordon seems to wake suddenly. "Hmmmm," he grunts. "Would you, unnn, hurry up and serve me that tomato stew? I'm really very hungry." He looks back down at the table.
Angel: "What are you saying?"
A door behind Angel suddenly starts to open, and the blonde woman turns towards it, gun drawn.
"Welcome home!" a female voice chirps. Angel's eyes open wide.
"My angel!" The speaker is Vera. She has survived the explosion in the tunnel. Her left eye is bandaged over entirely. However, there is no trace of the stomach wound from her duel with Gabriel.
Vera laughs sarcastically, and says, "I guess there's no place like home. Your favorite line from your favorite book, wasn't it, Agent 340?"
Angel keeps her gun trained on the older woman. "Agent 12? Vera Ronstadt? YOU'RE supposed to be my mother?" Angel's voice is pained. "You must be joking!"
Vera approaches her. "WHAT is this city? The thought of this ridiculous room being here makes me laugh." She brushes past Angel.
Angel: "What are you talking about?"
Vera: "Look at this pathetic old man. That Oedipus-wannabe son of his even tried to kill him!"
Gordon looks up at Vera. "Wouldn't you say it's about time the tomato stew was ready?" he asks.
Vera ignores him. "Ah, I have to say that this city is SO lovely."
Gordon stands up and moves towards the stove. "Ummm, I'm so hungry," he groans. He reaches for the pot.
Vera glares at him and scowls. As he moves closer to the stove, softly moaning, "Tomato, tomato, tomato soup," a whip flashes past his hands. He shrieks and backs up.
Vera: "Father! Mind your manners!"
Cut back to Big Fau. Alex is still blasting lasers into the sky. Tv monitors throughout the city are showing both this footage and prerecorded images of Alex standing on Big Fau's palm, his (Alex's) arms extended triumphantly. Beneath the images the followings words continuously scroll: "We have a new world we have a new world we have a new world..."
Cut back to Big Fau's cockpit. Alex shouts defiantely, "Throw down your thunderbolts and burn down this city!" More bombs drop everywhere, wrecking havoc. Alex continues his rant: "I am the son of the king, the man who rebuilt this world! I will recreate this world myself! But before I do, all of you who don't deserve to exist in my world will be eliminated, and that includes you filthy scum!" Every time he fires the lasers, more lights/bombs fall.
Cut to the ruined city streets. MP heavy tanks are rolling through, taking position at various locales scattered throughout Paradigm. They too take aim at the sky and fire. More lights/bombs fall with each blast.
Dan is aghast at this. He quickly contacts headquarters and demands, "What are you doing? Who gave you the order to fire at a target you can't even see?"
Dispatch answers, "The Paradigm Justice dept. said, sir!: Smash the foreign invasion and praise the full restoration of Big Fau, which will be the symbol of the new order!"
Dastun listens to all this with growing disbelief: "Who? What?! Cease fire immediately! Where do they think we are? HEY!"
Scene cuts briefly to medical tirage area as Dastun speaks. We see the little boy's head being bandaged by a doctor.
Cut back to Big Duo, still rising. It has reached a massive gridwork of steel beams and spotlights high above the city. The lights are so big they dwarf the red megadeus. We hear Schwartzwald speak again: "I will have the true memories in my possession! All this time I was mistaken, but it won't be long now, for I realize what those memories really are!"
Cut to R.Dorothy, lying motionless on the white cot. We faintly hear her voice calling "Roger."
Cut to Roger. He has survived the fall. He is walking down what seems to be a hallway, the wall covered with painted arches and blue sky. We see a triple image of him: the far right is his head and shoulders, as he is now. Presumably he is thinking about his past, and the other two imges represent his thoughts. The middle image depicts him as Roger the Wanderer, the confused bum, with messy hair and dirty tan trenchcoat. The image on the far left is of a young bald boy, dressed in the tan pullover and black shirt of the memory children. Cut to Roger's feet as he keeps walking steadily down the hallway.
We hear him think aloud: "Deep underground, a place where we are assaulted by our primal fears--the place that I must confront." We see him walking confidently, looking normal. He approaches what seems to be a mirror-image of himself and walks through it. Scene goes to black.
Cut back to stage set. Gordon finally has his bowl of soup. He is eating it slowly, blowing on the spoonfuls to cool them. There is red on the tip of his nose and dripping from the side of his mouth, like blood.
Vera is seated at the table too, but her chair is turned towards Angel. She says to the younger woman, "I had rescued him from his burning dome, thinking he might still have some memory fragments, but it was a waste of time."
Angel: "You called him 'father,' back there."
Vera: "He's your father too." She smiles meanly, then continues: "In one of his foolish attempts, he tried to revive memories, using his own genes and those of the elder statesmen, creating tomatoes via artificial cultivation." (images of a barcoded eye, memory children, flash by on screen.) "We were considered the inferior stock, cast aside in order to produce a superior species." (Closeup of Gordon's red-stained mouth as he eats the tomato soup.)
Angel is shocked by this and whispers in response: "This place, this place was my home?"
Vera: "But even if the superior could remember what happened 40 years ago, they could not remember one thing prior to that," (images of R.D.'s victims flash by on screen)..."and sadly they were killed at the very instant they became aware of that fact."
Angel: "Who did this?"
Vera: "He is one who believes he is Gordon's only son, an Oedipus."
Imge of Big Fau flashes across the screen. The surviving Paradigm inhaibitants are gathered around public tv monitors scattered throughout the city, watching the white megadeus and the words "We have a new world..." continuously repeat. More images of the ruined city flash across the screen, including a medical triage center, then rows of grim-faced MP officers, then an overview of the city. We hear Alex narrate over the images: "I thank you, dad, from the bottom of my heart, for bringing me into this world."
Cut back to Gordon, now staring unhappily at his empty soup bowl. He looks up as we hear Angel ask Vera, "But what about our people? What about the Union?"
Vera replies, "The Union symbolizes the hatred of a people who were forsaken when this city was constructed 40 years ago. We, the breed who was abandoned and cast out of the city, are the ones who deserve to unify the power now."
Gordon continues to fidget and look upset.
Angel: "Revenge? That's why you want the memories?"
Vera: "Our motives are just."
Angel: "And to get them, you would blatently rewrite the memories of the living?"
Gordon whines, "I want some more." Vera takes the empty bowl and goes back to the stove.
Vera: "Our means are just."
Angel: "What memories are there? What could possibly be left at the bottom of the earth?"
Vera, her back still towards Angel, repies, "You know, you too are losing your sanity."
Angel, watching Vera refill the bowl, has a flashback of her own childhood, with a younger, prettier Vera at the stove. Tears slide down Angel's cheeks, but she raises her gun, aiming at Vera. "No," Angel says firmly. "No, I'm quite sane. Sane enough to know I can't trust myself. The Union is just a place that reminds me of heaven--a place I have a hard time believing in. Anyway, I lost the right to go there a long time ago."
Vera glances over her shoulder at Angel.
Angel: "So did you, Agent 12." She begins to pull the trigger. Vera turns, snapping her whip out and knocking the weapon from Angel's hand. The gun hits the floor and fires, the bullet striking a metal pipe harmlessly.
Vera keeps whipping Angel, knocking her to the floor as well. The older woman shouts, "You've been a bad little girl, my dear little angel!" Gordon watches silently as Vera proceeds to whip Angel's back unmercifully, shredding both her clothes and finally her bare skin. Angel cries out in agony and tries to crawl away. Vera keeps striking her, now saying, "It makes your mother sad, hurting you in this way, just to make you listen!"
Suddenly a thin wire wraps itself silently around Vera's neck. She is dragged backwards off the stage and onto the floor.
Roger emerges from a dark doorway behind her. He's used his grappling wire as a weapon. As he approaches them, he says sardonically, "As a rule, Angel, I still refuse to carry a gun."
Angel, dazed from the pain, turns towards his voice. "Roger," she murmurs softly, as if not quite believing what's just happened.
Roger retracts the grappling wire, releasing Vera. He gracefully leaps over her body onto the stage set. He tells Angel, "I'm here now to take you home." He glances towards Gordon, and says respectfully, "And you too, sir. Let's go."
Vera revives and leaps at Roger, a large knife in her hand. She stabs at his chest, but slams the blade into the copy of "Metropolis" he is holding. The thick book has saved his life.
Furious at being thwarted, Vera tries to punch him in the face, but he dodges her blow and punches her hard in the stomach. As he lets her collapse to the floor, he admonishes her sternly, "Something else that goes against my policies--using violence against women. So, I'd prefer it if you wouldn't resist any further."
Vera gasps for breath and says to Roger, "You're just like us. A useless attempt...at artificial cultivation."
Roger is unmoved by this statement. He replies, "Even if it's true, it doesn't change the fact that I am who I am."
Vera glares at him.
Roger continues: "The way in which you were given life has nothing to do with the way you live your life as a human being."
Vera: "Do you really think that everyone is as idealistic as you are? You conceited domineus! We'll rain down thunderbolts and burn this city to make them atone for their sins!"
Gordon suddenly speaks: "You're wrong!"
Startled by his outburst, everyone turns towards the old man. Roger asks him, "What do you mean, sir? How is she wrong?"
Gordon: "Of all my cherished tomatoes, Negotiator, you aren't one of my beloved ones." The old man turns towards Angel and says to her, "And neither is this young lady. And the words in that book don't belong to me either. It's a story that a dream commanded me to put down. NO one ever had memories of the world prior to 40 years ago, including myself. But memories themselves have existed in unexpected forms."
Roger stares at him, a slight frown on his tired face.
Vera gets to her feet, standing beside Roger. "You're just senile," she snaps. "My compatriots and I will remind you of the shame you caused us when the Union destroys the world you have built!"
Gordon: "The Union--it's just a tiny gathering of people scattered across the wasteland. It's just a name, perhaps never existed in the first place."
Vera scowls, angry at his words: "That's--impossible!"
We hear distant explosions suddenly. Vera smiles at the sound. "Don't you hear that rumble? The sound of the fires of wrath, unleased by my compatriots!" More loud booms follow.
Gordon mildly replies, "They don't exist. They never did."
Vera's face is full of dismay. As the light hits her eye, we see the reflection of a red barcode appear.
Cut back to Paradigm City. It is utterly ruined; people are scattered about. The camera pans up to directly overhead. The clouds are beginning to thin, and we can faintly see the outline of the steel grid with its enormous spotlights.
Cut to Big Duo. The red megadeus is rising through the multilevels of steel bars and brilliant lights. We hear Schwartzwald narrate: "Paradigm City--a grand, ostentatious stage--and above it, secretly looking down at the folly of human blunders, were not the ever-expecting and comforting presences of gods, but only this abandoned equipment" Schwartzwald laughs sadly, then continues: "This is a comedy! That which I was searching for, the true memories, they were--"
His words are cut off as the red megadeus flies directly into a spotlight. There is a tremendous explosion, destroying both the light and the megadeus and damaging the metal beams.
Cut back to Alex in Big Fau's cockpit. He has now seen the gridwork high above and is puzzled by it as well. He asks himself, "How could this be possible? There's no way something like that could exist above Paradigm City." He then glances down at his blue viewscreen. He is startled to see a barcode scrolling across it. "What?! What is that?"
We hear Gordon's voice as the viewscreen fades from view, replaced by the stage set. Gordon says, "Memories are found in people, and if they come in any other form, they're nothing but fakes."
Roger: "But everyone has lost them, even yourself!"
Gordon: "I have made a terrible mistake." He stands up from the table.
Gordon looks over at Angel, still huddled on the floor. He moves towards her, saying, "Just because they're within us, doesn't mean we can get access to them and retrieve them from our conscious mind." Angel and Gordon look at each other.
Gordon: "Young lady, you are surely a memory."
Angel, Roger, and Vera gasp to hear that.
Gordon: "The proof is in the marks on your back."
Angel: "What are you--What are you saying?"
Gordon: "I'm simply saying you yourself are a memory."
Angel turns away from him, terribly upset: "Stop it!"
Gordon: "They prove that you aren't human, but rather a memory itself."
Angel is distraught at hearing this. She cries out, "Enough! Stop it! You stop it!" She curls up onto the floor, sobbing. "You're telling me I'm not human!"
Roger watches her, his face full of sympathy, then turns towards Vera as the older woman laughs. She has left the stage and is now standing on a pile of rubble in the shadows. "If memories are intangible, then there's no need to acquire them," she states. She then raises her hand. She is holding a grenade of some sort, her thumb firmly on the firing button.
Roger growls at her, "What are you trying to do?"
Vera: "No one else can have them either."
Gordon looks at Vera. "Do you hope to wait again, to hunger for memories from their sleep, my dear daughter?"
Vera presses the button and falls backwards behind the rubble. There is an explosion, but the others are protected by the rubble.
Roger gasps, shocked at Vera's actions. The room shakes violently from the explosion. Gordon falls to the stage set floor. He spots Roger's copy of "Metropolis" with Vera's knife still stuck in the cover. A page is loose and is sticking out of it. It is the half-torn photo of a younger Gordon. The old man sits up and picks up the book. He looks closely at the photo.
Roger: "This is the den of a monster who hungers for memories, all right." He raises his watch to him mouth and calls for Big O.
Gordon stares at Roger if he suddenly knows who he is. He gasps, "Roger Smith."
Big O, now fully repaired and rearmed, activates. Berg and his work crew proudly watch the black megadeus go on its way.
Gordon reaches into the sweatband of his straw hat and pulls out a torn bit of paper. It's the other half of the torn photo. He puts the two halves together, so that it now shows young Gordon shaking hands with Roger Smith. Roger sees it and his eyes widen in surprise, He asks, "How is that possible?"
Gordon: "Long ago I hired you--no, I hired A Roger Smith who had memories to conduct negotiations for me. I said that if it's true about this world, if it's one enormous stage, then we're just merely actors playing out our roles on it. We don't need to have any memories. But I've always wondered why can't there be those who can change their roles?" He looks up at Roger, then continues speaking: "I wanted that person to negotiate with the one who directed this world."
Roger looks down at the old man. Smith's tired face is puzzled as he asks, "You mean to tell me I had memories?"
Image of memory children flashes across the screen. We can finally see the child in the shadows.
Cut to Big Fau's view screen. We see the barcode, then the face of the same mysterious boy, with another barcode and the name "Alex" directly beneath it.
Alex's eyes narrow at this. "Impossible--That can't be! I--I'm--!" He covers his face with one hand, horrified at the revelation. We see Dorothy's memory disc behind him, shaking from side to side.
Cut to R.Dorothy lying on the cot. Beck walks up to her and looks down. He seems unhappy, and mutters "Damn it all," in a regretful tone.
Closeup of Dorothy's face, her pale green eyes dead and empty. We hear Alex's voice over her image, shouting "It can't be!" Dorothy's face fades, replaced by Big Fau, the massive gridwork high above it and clearly visible in Paradigm's sky.
Alex: "I'm not one of those defective tomatoes!" There is an explosion directly behind Big Fau. Something seems to be rising behind it.
Cut back to stage set. Roger is kneeling beside Angel. He's draped his jacket over her shoulders. Everything is shaking again. Roger looks up. "What's that?" he asks Gordon.
Gordon: "A ravenous monster, whose hunger for memories has taken in my poor daughter."
Roger: "A bird whose wings have been plucked, will shed all its feathers and return to the beast it was before it evolved into a bird."
Angel looks up at him, surprised.
Roger says to Angel, "That was the message she told me to tell you, before she left."
Angel gasps softly, and says, "But why are you telling me this?" She remembers Vera telling her the very same thing. As she sits up, the jacket slips, revealing the bloody wounds and her odd birthmarks.
The place continues to shake violently. Big O's fist breaks through the floor. Roger stands up and looks at Gordon. Gordon says to him, "Continue your negotiations, Negotiator."
Cut to Big Fau, still perched on top of the white building it emerged from, the distant gridwork clearly visible above it. Everything is quaking violently here too. Alex seems to cower a bit inside the cockpit. He looks up from the viewscreen and looks out over the ruined city before him. The enormous crater is directly ahead. Brilliant beams of white light explode out of the crater, then there is an actual explosion.
A tremendous ball of yellow metal rises from the ground. It appears to be a monstrously huge megadeus, curled into a fetal position. Big O has raised the thing over its head easily. It dwarfs the black megadeus (imagine a man holding a mountain over his head.)
Alex leans forward, furious. "You telling me you're the only true domineus? Sorry, but I'm having a hard time accepting that as the truth, Negotiator!"
Camera pans over Big O holding the giant yellow megadeus; then we hear Vera's voice shriek: "This city is cursed, and I will strike a curse on you, Roger Smith!"
Scene cuts to ruined grid high above the ground, where Big Duo slammed into the spotlight. Massive beams fall from it, striking the ground near where Big O stands.
Billows of smoke and dust rush past Big Fau. As the air clears, we see Big O, unharmed. It throws aside pieces of the beams that it caught in its hands. The yellow megadeus is nowhere to be seen.
Roger: "Big Fau. Alex Rosewater."
Alex: "People don't want to live in a world where gods fight amongst each other. One god is enough!"
The two Bigs face each other.
Roger: "You know exactly who you are. As for me, I haven't the slightest idea who I am, but there's one thing I do know. Even if everyone else continues to forgive you for the sins you've committed to obtain your power, that's not something I can agree to!"
Alex: "I'm getting tired of all your talk!"
Both men shout simultaneously, "SHOWTIME!"
End of episode