Better Living Industries is newly formed and running everything. The youth of Greenvale cope by partying, conspiring, and social activism. It’s dangerous to be young.
Town residents, including the entire White and Clarke family,
are in attendance.
Ray and Frank are sitting together. Next to them is another
man who looks like an older version of Ray. This is Ray's
brother, BOB TORRES (25).
There is a podium and microphone on the stage.
DEBRA LIU (35) takes her place there.
Debra is a tall, thin woman of Chinese and Japanese descent.
Her clothes and manner are business-like, but she also seems
to feel a great sense of satisfaction.
Greetings residents of Greenvale. I
am Debra Liu, the newly appointed
head of operations for Better
Living Industries. I have worked
for many years with Lillman
Pharmaceuticals. We know you have
questions, and we hope to answer
them for you at this time.
(under his breath)
It's about time.
Mrs. White looks scared and places a warning hand Mikey's
As you know, the weather conditions
during the summer of 2012 depleted
regular fire-fighting resources and
budget. Normally this would not
have been an issue, but the new
round of fires that started after
the solar flares, which created
their own catastrophe, made our
assistance to the government
absolutely necessary. Through the
combined assistance of Lillman and
Blackstone Security, order and
peace has been maintained. We are
grateful for the opportunity to
help, and it is a continued need,
leading to the merger of the two
Aren't the fires done?
The fires are done, but they have
created unbelievable devastation.
Not only have several towns been
completely destroyed, but the
infrastructure is badly damaged as
Don stands up.
I've been offering to help with
telecom repair, which would be an
important part of infrastructure,
but I keep getting turned away.
I'm sure some of the action we take
must seem hard to understand, but
believe us, we are only trying to
work for the safety and harmony of
society. Sadly, many other
locations have not been as
fortunate. Many of the smaller
towns have burned, or fallen to
other disasters when there were not
resources available to help.
What about getting back home? I was
visiting from Battery City!
Both Frank and Gerard look up at this.
I am so sorry. When I speak of
disasters you probably think of
fire and flood, but there are other
kinds, and Battery City has fallen
victim to a deadly flu epidemic.
Many have already died, and the
crisis is not yet over.
Oddly, the Torres brothers and Frank do not seem surprised by
Gerard's family looks at him, but he can look at no one.
Their suffering has been worse
because of the rioting and disorder
spread by disreputable citizens
immediately after the flares. Many
were left without shelter, and made
more vulnerable to disease.
What about other towns?
We have been able to secure
Greenvale, Battery City, and
Hayward. All displaced persons are
being relocated to one of those
Liu displays a large map, showing the three cities connected
by a road. Outside are the Zones.
What about our homes?
Sadly, the destruction has been too
great. Entire cities have burned,
or devolved into lawlessness. We
are setting up safety patrols to
restore order. In time we may be
able to rebuild, but for now we
must be patient together.
A hush falls over the crowd as the implications sink in.
Liu smiles with cold eyes.
You have been extremely fortunate
here. You are safe, and fed, and
healthy. These restrictions may
feel like a burden, but they will
preserve you for the coming future.
JENNY SANDERS (15) stands up suddenly.
She is petite and blonde, and she fairly vibrates with energy
What about the schools?
Everyone in the auditorium turns and stares.
How can we look to the future with
All of these things will take time.
You must be patient, and be
grateful for what you have.
There is no time for additional
questions. We wanted you to
understand about the temporary
blockades, and why some of these
measures are necessary. We will
keep you informed as the situation
develops. That leads to the most
important part of my announcement.
Don whispers to Mr. White.
Whatever this is, it will not be
Each household will be receiving a
monitor that will carry news and
transmissions and will soon provide
entertainment. This will allow you
all to feel more connected. Thank
you for your attention.
Liu strides off the stage.
The town members sit stunned. As they think of other
questions to ask, it is too late.
In a somber mood, they file out, or talk in small, subdued
Gerard sits motionless. Cathy and Mrs. White put their arms
around him, while Mikey feels helpless.
Ray and Frank catch Mikey's eyes, and he goes over to talk to
What do you think?
Getting out of town sounds better
all the time. And more impossible.
Bob comes over.
This is my brother, Bob.
Mikey and Bob shake hands.
Nice to meet you.
I should be getting back to Karen
and the girls. Are you coming?
I think we're going to work on the
car for a while.
Okay. I'll see you at home.
Bob leaves and Frank turns to Mikey.
We're restoring a Trans-Am. You can
come if you want.
At that moment, Gerard comes up behind Mikey. His eyes are
We're going home. Mom wants to know
if you're coming.
I'll be there later. Gee, I'm
Gerard says nothing and leaves.
What was that about?
That's my brother. His fiancee was
in Battery City.
Frank nods and looks down.
Do you think everything she said is
The part about the flu is true. I
Mikey looks at Ray sharply.
What do you mean "know"?
Just, things that I've heard. And
it makes sense.
Hey, do you want to come work on
the car or not?
Mikey is about to answer, but he notices Jenny arguing with
another teenager, JOHNNY SANDERS, and then walking out,
I'm going to take a rain check on
that. Thanks though.
Mikey heads after and catches sight of Jenny. He follows her
around to the side of the school.
There is blacktop and an old baseboard, but the net has been
Mikey finds Jenny leaning against the wall, looking
Jenny looks at Mikey in surprise.
I thought that was really brave of
you, and you're right.
Jenny shakes her head.
It doesn't seem to matter. No one's
I think they've all forgotten how
to listen, at least if you're
You're right. I'm Jenny.
Mikey. I've never seen you before.
We're refugees from Carson.
Oh. I'm sorry.
Jenny smiles warmly.
It's okay. They finally placed us,
so we're not living in the school
anymore. Actually, this wasn't so
I just hung out in the library and
read. Besides, we're alive, and we
have a roof over our heads. There
were people who didn't get out.
Mikey sits down next to Jenny.
It is as bad as they say out there?
Carson was really bad. The wind
flared up at just the wrong moment.
But, I still think they might be
exaggerating about a lot of it.
It's hard to trust them. My sister
and her husband were living in
Kimball, but they were visiting us
when the flares happened, and
they've been here ever since.
Is he the one who asked about
Yeah. That's Don.
I knew I didn't have much chance
after him, but I had to try. Was
that your whole family?
My brother came. Dad's been kind of
down, I guess, so he stayed at the
Was that your brother that you were
talking to after?
You mean fighting with? Yeah, he's
worried we'll be targeted because I
asked a question, but it wasn't a
If anyone targets you it should be
kids who don't want to go to
Everyone should be so bored by now
that they won't mind.
I'd love it. I wanted to go to
college. Now it feels like I'll
never even finish high school.
Do a lot of the kids here go to
Some. My brother was studying in
Debs. He had just gotten back for
winter break the day it happened.
So you were all together.
I wish we were. I don't know what
happened to my mother.
That's awful. I'm really sorry.
Jenny pauses reflectively.
It's been hard. I think maybe
sometimes I don't feel it enough,
but I'm trying to make up for Dad
Jenny and Johnny? Are you twins?
Yes, but it wasn't supposed to be
like that. It started out as
Jennifer and Jonathan, and we both
Are you close?
We used to be. He's been having a
really hard time.
That sounds painfully familiar.
If you've lost your mother and your
home, I guess I can't blame him.
No, but I miss the way he used to
be, and it doesn't help. It
Mikey nods in understanding.
My brother's fiancee was in Battery
City. We don't know what happened
to her either.
Do you think...
I always thought she was like us.
Bored, and frustrated, but now...I
don't know if he's ever going to be
They sit silently against the wall for a while, small
compared to the problems they face.
I'm really glad you're here.
They begin to hold hands.
As time passes, Jenny and Mikey continue to hang out, just
walking around, or sneaking into the library.
Sometimes Johnny is with them. Johnny is also 15, but he is
tall and raw-boned and with dark hair. He is always glum, and
it is easier being without him.
One day, though, Johnny comes to Jenny and Mikey excited.
Check this out!
Johnny hands his sister a crudely drawn flyer for a rave.
Are you serious?
Yeah. Sean and Jake have the
equipment and a generator to run
it. It's going to be wild.
I thought you were scared of doing
I think mouthing off to Blind is a
bad idea, but we're not inviting
them to this.
Mikey is looking over the stack, impressed.
Did you hand draw all of these?
Yeah, well, we didn't have access
to a photocopier.
That's a lot of work. That's great.
Yeah. It's going to be off the
hook. You're coming, right?
Great! We're supposed to get home
now. Hurry it up!
Johnny charges off.
I haven't seen him like that in
forever. Do you think people will
Oh yeah. For something to do if
nothing else. I don't know if
they've ever had one around here.
I think they did have them at home,
but I've never been to one. Too
much of a nerd.
I don't believe that.
Oh, I totally am. I study too much
and take things too seriously.
I believe that, but you're way too
pretty to be a nerd.
Jenny smiles in surprise. She had never thought of that.
Does that matter?
Yeah, at least around here it does.
Huh. Well, I did just get my braces
off. Maybe that helped.
Mikey shakes his head.
I don't even think full headgear
would do it.
Jenny laughs appreciatively.
You're so sweet, but I need to go.
Yeah. It's cool.
Jenny starts to move away, reluctantly.
Well, I'll see you soon. And Mikey?
I don't see how you could ever be a
Jenny runs off as Mikey gives a little laugh and shakes his
It's just like when Clarice told Rudolph that she thought he
was cute. If Mikey needed to, he could fly.
INT. GREENVALE HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM
Jenny and Mikey enter the gym. It is pulsing with the energy
of, it seems, every young person in town.
There is not much lighting, but there is a strobe, and there
is music. Kids are bouncing up and down in time.
Mikey spots Frank and Ray talking against a wall, and leads
Hey. This is Jenny.
What do you think?
I can't hear anything.
Frank nods, and tries a nearby door. It does open, leading
into an empty hallway.
The others follow him out, and conversation becomes possible.
I asked what you think of this?
It's cool, I guess.
The music hasn't been great so far,
but I'm impressed that they pulled
I'm surprised so many people made
it out after curfew.
You made it. Do your parents know
Mikey shakes his head.
It just shows what can be done. If
you can get kids organized, look at
all that energy and ability. We
should totally be doing something
Frank and Ray look at each other.
What did you have in mind?
I think the logical first step is
to get the schools opened again.
Maybe then roads.
So not overthrowing Blind or
anything like that?
Do you think we need to?
Ray and Frank look at each other again, and then back at
Jenny and Mikey and shrug.
We don't know.
I was just trying to see where you
were coming from.
I don't know either. I guess
speaking at town meetings can be
As long as Blind is in charge.
But they're just a company! They
shouldn't be able to supercede any
community decisions, and ultimately
most school decisions can be
decided locally as long as they
don't go against federal law.
Is there still federal law?
Jenny looks worried at this.
I don't know.
What you're saying is good, but I
don't know that you have much
I think I have to try though. Maybe
petitions? They can't object to
Maybe, but then they have
everyone's name down. It sounds
Mikey, what do you think? Like if
we asked people here?
I think everyone in there just
wants to dance. Actually, I was
hoping to dance with you.
Mikey and Jenny both blush a little at this, but they are
You two go on in. We'll catch you
Mikey and Jenny duck back inside the gym.
What do you think?
I don't know.
Inside the gym, Mikey and Jenny stand on the edge of the
crowd, not quite joining in.
I wish they'd play something slow.
Suddenly, the outer doors burst open, and guards pour into
the gym waving clubs.
Teenagers scream and scatter.
Jenny is stunned, but Mikey grabs her hand and pulls her back
into the hallway, where Frank and Ray still are.
What's going on?
It's a raid!
Ray starts running in the direction of the science labs and
the others follow.
As they enter that wing, they can hear steps running towards
Dashing down another hallway, and they approach some
These doors are really close to the
woods. We can take cover in there.
As they burst out the door, the door hits one of two
Draculoids who were coming around the building. He goes down.
The other Draculoid sees the teens and starts to pull his
gun, but Ray punches him and Frank headbutts.
All four head for the woods.
A little ways in they stop, panting.
Do you think they'll be able to
Ray shakes his head.
Too dark, but we better split up.
Ray and Frank head off in one direction and Jenny and Mikey
go in the other.
Jenny and Mikey are still running, but not quite as panicked.
Jenny stumbles and falls. Mikey stops to help her.
Are you okay?
Mikey is surprised to find that Jenny is laughing.
Are you crazy?
Jenny laughs some more, but finally gets it under control.
I'm sorry. I know it's bad. It's
just, this was so fun.
Jenny lies on her back in the grass, laughing.
Mikey is mystified for a moment, but lies down next to her.
Have you ever done anything like
No. Not really.
Me neither. I mean, I'm the
responsible one. I'm always
studying and reading and running
for student council.
I can tell that about you.
I can't believe I just did this. It
felt so free.
Mikey rolls over and looks at Jenny intently.
Let's run away together.
Just take off. Hit the open road.
I'm really starting to hate it
Jenny sees that Mikey is serious, and sits up to talk
What about your family?
They won't even notice.
I don't believe that.
They've all got their own problems.
We could just grab a car and head
out there and see what it's like. I
don't believe that it's all been
destroyed out there, but even if it
is, we'll be the only ones who
Yeah, after we steal a car, and
break through the roadblock, and
cut ourselves off from society.
Are you really going to miss
society all that much?
Maybe not, but I feel like I have
to at least try and make things
better. Let's give it a shot with
the petitions. If it works, maybe
things won't be so bad. We could
take classes together.
And if it doesn't work?
Then we run away. But I need to try
this first. Will you help me?
Jenny hugs Mikey.
Thank you! I know I'm a pain.
No you're not.
Mikey breathes her in. He could hold that hug forever, but
Jenny stands up, and so that is the only thing for him to do.
They start walking in the direction of town.
Do you think Johnny got away okay?
I'm sure he did. Anyway, it
shouldn't be that big a deal. It
was just dancing and music.
Do you think so?
I'm sure he's fine.
They are near Jenny's place now. Things seem peaceful,
indicating that the commotion has not moved past the school.
At least not yet.
I should probably make it seem like
I've been in bed all along.
Jenny moves towards her bedroom window, reluctantly.
Thanks for everything. You've been
the best part of coming here.
Mikey laughs boyishly and adorably.
Jenny is suddenly close again and kisses Mikey. It is mid
kiss before he even knows what is happening, but he adapts.
Jenny pulls away, giddy, and whispers.
I'll see you tomorrow, okay? Good
Jenny gives Mikey one quick kiss on the cheek and then climbs
in through the window, waving when she is safely in.
As Jenny disappears, Mikey keeps gazing a little bit longer,
adjusting to this brave new world.
I will do absolutely anything you
She does not hear, but she probably already knows. Mikey
grins again and walks home.
INT. JENNY'S BEDROOM
The next day, Jenny and Mikey are working on petitions.
Tell me what you think: We the
undersigned request the reopening
of Greenvale High School for the
following purposes: 1. To prepare
the community's youth for a
productive future. 2. To provide
the youth of the community with
positive activities and remove the
temptation towards unseemly
That should be popular after last
I hope so. And 3. To restore a
sense of normalcy to the community.
I think it's good.
Will people sign?
I don't know. Right after the
flares, maybe not, but now I think
everyone's sick of permanent
Oh, that can be a fourth point: To
provide useful employment for
community members as teachers,
custodians, and administrators.
Are you maybe saying "community"
It's the heart of the matter. What
are some synonyms?
No, "community" is good.
Okay, now we make out some neat
copies and get people to start
As the project becomes more concrete, the mood becomes more
What if they ignore it?
If we get a lot of people to sign,
I don't see how they can. It would
show that they have no respect for
the citizens, and means more
dramatic forms of resistance are
What if people don't sign?
Then we're running away together.
At this, Mikey smiles.
Come on. Let's get this going.
EXT. MAIN STREET IN GREENVALE
Jenny and Mikey are showing their petitions to an older man
dressed in a suit.
He shakes his head and moves on.
Maybe we should split up. Try and
hit more people.
Different sides of the street?
You go left. We can meet back here
in an hour.
Do you really think this is going
I hope so. Anyway, he's just one
person. They can't all be like
Right. See you in an hour.
Mikey reluctantly crosses the street and starts heading down
to talk to people.
As luck would have it, Frank and Ray appear.
Hey, what are you doing?
I've got this petition to get the
school reopened. Will you sign?
Frank and Ray look at the petition, and then look at each
I don't know, man.
I don't know how they're going to
take this. I can't have them
following me home.
I can probably sign it.
Yeah, that might be okay.
I know something is up with you
two. Do you want to tell me what it
Look, we like you-
Forget that! Do you trust me?
I do, but it's not just me, and
it's not like we're really doing
anything. We're just trying to be
But there are things that might be
frowned on, and it's bad. People
here don't know how bad it is yet,
but I think they're going to find
Please, if there's anything, I want
But if you are openly doing this,
then it's too risky to be doing
I told Jenny I'd at least try it
I can respect that. I wish I
thought her way would work.
Where is she anyway?
She was taking the other side of
Mikey turns around to point her out, and sees that Jenny is
being accosted by two Draculoids.
The Draculoids try to pull the papers away from her, but
Jenny pulls back and starts to yell.
One Draculoid raises the butt of his rifle and smashes it
down on Jenny's head. She collapses.
Mikey, Ray, and Frank start to run to help, but the Draculoid
then fires the gun into the back of Jenny's head.
Ray and Frank hold Mikey back as he struggles against them.
Let me go!
Ray hisses in Mikey's ear.
You're too late! Save it for
sometime when you can help.
Mikey watches as the Draculoids kick Jenny's body,
unconcerned, just making sure.
Mikey's eyes go dead. He jerks out of Ray and Frank's hold
and walks away in the other direction.
Ray kneels and picks up the fallen petitions, and tears them
to pieces in frustration.
Little scraps of paper drift away.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Fire and Ice by Robert Frost