Initiation - Darkest Night

Initiation - Darkest Night
Darkest Night 2x03
"Initiation"
Written by
Kimberly Ndombe
Copyright (c) 2017
Final Draft (1)
kkndombe@gmail.com
DARKEST NIGHT
SEASON 2
EPISODE 3: Initiation
Characters
Katie Reed - Mid 20s. Impulsive and spontaneous. Quick
learner who isn’t afraid to speak her mind.
Dr. Lionel Ricketts - 30s. Younger member of Project Cyclops,
working independently from Dr. Kinsler. Extremely cold. Softspoken but menacing. Guarded.
Corey - 18. College freshman pledging Omicron, a
distinguished black frat. Not sure if this is all worth it.
Moses - 18. Corey’s friend and fellow pledge. Cocky,
aggressive, and dutiful to Omicron.
Hill - 21. The Omicron pledgemaster who takes it too
seriously and gets off on the power.
Effi - 18. Scrawny freshman who hasn’t made much of a mark at
college besides dealing weed to people.
James - Early 50s. Corey’s overbearing father who has very
strong opinions about what a strong, successful black man
looks like.
Locations:
1. Dr. Ricketts’ Lab at The Roth Lobdow Center for Advanced
Research
2. Corey’s Dorm Room
3. College Campus / Off Campus
4. Car
5. Forest
Time of day:
Evening
2.
INTRO BUMPER
Efx: recorder button/tone
KATIE
(whispering)
Roth-Lodbow Center for Advanced
Research. Project Cyclops, Day 13,
about to begin. Entering the
laboratory now.
Efx: keycard beep. A loud buzz, a metal lock unlatched. Door
opens, footsteps.
Morning.
DR. RICKETTS
Efx: Rickets eating an enrgy bar.
KATIE
Dr. Ricketts. Are you eating? After
Yesterday, I could barely keep any
food down.
DR. RICKETTS
Katie, don’t dwell on what you see
in Project Cyclops. The only thing
of concern to us is our work.
Many of the greatest scientific
advancements of mankind, were born
in the most unfortunate of
circumstances.
Efx: Walking up and breathing
DR. RICKETTS (LEFT HEAR) (CONT’D)
Ever heard of the drug
tretinoin?.... It was created in a
series of violent tests on
unwilling prison populations.
KATIE (TIMID)
What are you trying to say?
DR. RICKETS (RIGHT EAR)
Tretinoin is what is keeping your
uncle alive.
KATIE
What do you know about my Uncle
Tim?
3.
DR. RICKETTS
Enough. We don’t have time for
personal matters... Who do we have
today?
Efx: sheet being thrown off a box.
KATIE
At least there’s one eye left.
DR. RICKETTS
You only need one to see. The other
only provides perspective.
Efx:
Wet popping noise.
KATIE
Withdrawing blood from the optic
nerve. Depositing into the box.
Locked and loaded.
DR. RICKETTS
Project Cyclops. Trial 7-zeta-3.
Timestamp is registering correctly.
Initiating playback in 3...
2...
1...
Initiate.
INSIDE A DORM.
Efx: Rhythmic stomps and claps are punctuated by guttural
shouts as Corey practices step. The rhythm goes awry.
COREY
Damm! It’s uh...
Efx: The stomps and claps start again, but the beat is off.
It’s...
COREY (CONT’D)
Efx: The stomps and claps peter out quickly this time.
COREY (CONT’D)
You’re going to get your ass
whooped if you don’t figure this
out!
Efx: Corey smacks himself on the head a few times.
4.
COREY (CONT’D)
You can’t let that happen. C’mon
man.
Efx: Corey dials a cell phone. Dial tone.
JAMES
Corey. How are you?
Hey dad.
COREY
JAMES
Is this the call where you tell me
you’re in?
Not yet.
COREY
JAMES
They’re really dragging it out
then. Making you guys suffer.
COREY
You have no idea.
JAMES
I have some.
COREY
Was it like this in your day?
JAMES
I’m pretty sure it was worse back
then. These colleges are all over
these frats now. Trying to make
sure nobody gets hurt.
COREY
So you were hurt?
JAMES
Oh yeah. I got smacked around with
that paddle. They put a burlap sack
over my head and practically
drowned me at one point.
Jesus.
COREY
JAMES
I can take a beating. That shit
made me a man. You hear me?
(MORE)
5.
JAMES (CONT'D)
(beat)
I said you hear me?
COREY
I hear you.
JAMES
You sound scared son.
COREY
I’m not scared. I’m just... Is this
really worth it? I’m barely getting
my work done. I feel like my
thoughts aren’t even mine anymore,
you know? It’s all Omicron all the
time.
JAMES
Hell yeah it is! Because being an
Omicron means something. You’re
joining a brotherhood of
distinguished black men. You’re not
going to end up like the others
living down to expectations.
COREY
Why you always gotta bring this up?
It’s always about being better than
other people.
JAMES
If you don’t want this, then drop,
quit. It wouldn’t be the first time
for you.
COREY
I just feel like-JAMES
Like what? Like a pussy? ‘Cause
that’s what you sound like. Can’t
believe a son of mine is going to
pussy out of pledging.
I’m not!
COREY
JAMES
You going to make it?
I will.
COREY
6.
JAMES
Good. How you think I got this
cushy job? You know 75% of black
male lawyers are Omicrons. And who
do you think introduced me to your
mom? Being an O is worth it.
COREY
Right. Imma keep practicing my
steps.
Efx: Through the phone. James stomps, claps, and shouts out
the beats perfectly. Ending in a resonant...
JAMES
Omicron!
(laughs)
See you son.
Efx: Phone hanging up.
COREY
Ok, c’mon. You can do this.
Efx: The rhythmic stomps, claps, and guttural shouts. He’s
almost to the end.
Efx: KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK
COREY (CONT’D)
(catches his breath)
Shit!
Efx: Opens door.
MOSES
What’s good, bruh?
COREY
‘Sup Moses.
Ready?
MOSES
COREY
Ready as I’ll ever be.
THE NARRATOR
Corey and Moses left their dorm and
stepped out onto campus. Corey
clung to his hoodie in the crisp,
fall air. Tonight was the night. He
could feel it. It was do or die.
7.
COREY
So you’re not worried at all? You
think this is all just-- cool?
MOSES
Yeah man. We’ve been putting in the
work. Tonight, after we get
inducted, we’re going to be
somebodies.
COREY
You think it’s definitely going
down tonight then?
MOSES
It better be. I might get some PTSD
if this goes on any longer.
Efx: A boy bumping into them. Books falling on the ground.
Sorry.
EFFI
MOSES
Watch it man!
EFFI
I said I was sorry!
Efx: Effi picks up his books and leaves.
EFFI (CONT’D)
(sotto)
Dicks.
MOSES
Say it to my face!
THE NARRATOR
Effi paused for a moment and looked
at Moses and Corey. After a brief
moment, he started to run.
MOSES
Look at that Effi kid. You want to
be him? He’s not smart, he’s not
cool, he’s not funny, he’s not
anything.
COREY
I thought he dealt some of the
brothers weed.
8.
MOSES
Maybe he does, but he’s definitely
not an O. And you know he tried.
Hill would never let him happen.
COREY
I guess you’re right.
MOSES
Yeah, I’m always right. You ever
hear this one? “Greatness is never
on sale. You always got to pay full
price.”
COREY
That shit’s whack man.
MOSES
Shut up! It’s cool. We’re cashing
in on greatness tonight.
THE NARRATOR
The boys meandered away from
campus. The brightly lit bars and
shops were replaced by boarded up
windows and graffiti.
MOSES
You know where we’re going right?
COREY
I’m following the directions.
MOSES
Oh yeah? ‘Cause we look lost.
COREY
We’re not lost. This is the way.
MOSES
I never should have let you lead.
Tyrell is going to kill me if I’m
late again.
COREY
I wish Tyrell was my big. Michael
spit in my eye when I couldn’t get
all those facts straight about
Omicron’s history.
(sighs)
Damn. We can’t be late. Have you
seen these directions? Turn left
where the stop sign used to be?
9.
MOSES
It’s supposed to be hard. That’s
the point. Let me see those. Man,
you’re lucky your dad was an O.
COREY
What are you trying to say?
MOSES
You know what I’m saying.
THE NARRATOR
Corey balled his hands into tight
fists.
MOSES
You’re not going to hit me. Let it
go.
Efx: Screeching tires.
THE NARRATOR
The boys turned to see masked men
getting out of two cars. The men
came right at Corey and Moses
tackling them to the ground.
Get off me!
MOSES
COREY
What the hell!
THE NARRATOR
The men binded the boys’ hands
behind their backs with zip ties.
Corey watchex as the men shovex
Moses’ head into a burlap sack. The
world world then went black as they
did the same to him.
COREY
Moses! Moses!
THE NARRATOR
Corey struggled against the men as
they lifted him off the ground. He
hit a flat surface with a hard
thud.
Efx: Trunk shutting.
THE NARRATOR (CONT’D)
Corey slid around in the trunk as
the car took off. He took deep
breaths in and out. In and out.
(MORE)
10.
THE NARRATOR (CONT’D)
He knew this is most likely a part
of the initiation process. So why
wouldn’t the fear subside?
COREY
(sotto)
Relax. You’re cashing in. You’re
just cashing in.
THE NARRATOR
Corey filled the time quelling his
doubts about joining Omicron. He
imagined his father’s pride. He
remembered Effi running away on two
thin legs. Omicron is a better fate
than that.
Efx: Car parking. People getting out of the car and opening
the trunk.
THE NARRATOR (CONT’D)
The men pulled Corey out of the
trunk and stood him on his own two
feet. One of the men grabbed
Corey’s hand and placed it on his
shoulder, guiding him. Corey’s
shoes sunk into the mud as he
walked. He heard breathing and wet
footsteps. The sounds of people.
Pairs of hands moved him where he
belonged. Bodies shuffled into
place on either side of him.
HILL
Take them off!
THE NARRATOR
The bag was whipped off of Corey’s
head. He looked around and found
himself in a clearing in the woods.
He was standing in a line with his
pledge class, Moses by his side.
The masked men took out pocket
knives.
COREY
(sotto)
Oh my god.
THE NARRATOR
They cut the zip ties, freeing the
boys’ hands.
11.
MOSES
(sotto)
Pussy.
HILL
Brothers, you may go.
THE NARRATOR
The masked men, fellow Omicrons,
made their way towards the woods.
The one nearest Corey grabbed his
face in one hand, fingers digging
into his cheeks. He forced Corey to
look hard into eyes. Corey
recognized them. These were same
eyes he couldn’t look away from
when his big, Michael, spat into
his mouth. It felt like a warning.
Michael let go and followed the
other masked men who one by one
disappeared into the forest.
HILL
Here we are boys. Here we are.
THE NARRATOR
Hill orated from in front of a
tall, roaring fire. His face was
shrouded in darkness until he
lifted a lighter to a joint. He
took a deep drag, before letting
the cloud of smoke billow out of
his mouth. He boke out into a big,
toothy smile that stretchesd from
cheek to cheek.
HILL
Ooh that shit’s good. That’s damn
good.
THE NARRATOR
Hill marched up to the line, so
that he was inches away from one of
the pledges. With a swiftness that
nobody was expecting, Hill landed a
punch square in a boy’s nose.
Efx: A boy getting punched in the face and holding in his
pain.
HILL
(laughing)
God, I love that I can just do
that!
(MORE)
12.
HILL (CONT'D)
You boys can’t do anything about
it. Omicron step right now for me.
THE NARRATOR
The boy instantly went into step,
ignoring the blood dripping down
his face from his nose.
Efx: The rhythmic stomps, claps, and guttural shouts of the
Omicron step that Corey was practicing earlier.
HILL
That was beautiful! Why don’t you
all do it together. Omicron step!
Efx: The boys in unison -- the rhythmic stomps, claps, and
guttural shouts of the Omicron step that Corey was practicing
earlier.
Omicron!
BOYS
HILL
(laughing)
Keep dancing for me boys. Omicron
step!
Efx: The boys in unison -- the rhythmic stomps, claps, and
guttural shouts of the Omicron step that Corey was practicing
earlier.
HILL (CONT’D)
I love the sound of this, the way
you boys are moving. Don’t you dare
stop moving until I tell you to.
THE NARRATOR
The boys didn’t stop. In perfect
unison they continued and continued
and continued.
BOYS
Omicron! Omicron! Omicron
THE NARRATOR
They shouted To mark each turn.
HILL
(laughing)
Dance boys! Dance!
THE NARRATOR
One of the boys started lagging
behind.
(MORE)
13.
THE NARRATOR (CONT'D)
Hill grabbed him by his hair and
flung him to the ground. The rest
of the boys kept going like nothing
has happened. Hill quickly approach
Moses.
HILL
Why are you looking at me like
that? Like I’m nothing, when you’re
the one who’s nothing! You’re not
even a brother.
THE NARRATOR
Hill punched him in the gut.
Efx: Moses taking a punch to the gut and groaning.
THE NARRATOR (CONT’D)
Corey faltered as he watches his
friend clutching his stomach. Hill
grabbed him by his shoulders and
shoved him to the dirt.
HILL
Did I tell you to stop?
THE NARRATOR
He kicked Corey inthed stomach.
Answer me!
No.
(weak)
HILL
COREY
THE NARRATOR
Hill stomped his booted foot on top
of Corey’s head. Corey had never
felt more alone as his face was
driven deeper into the ground.
COREY
(muffled)
I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.
THE NARRATOR
Hill finally lifted his boot off of
Corey’s skull.
HILL
Did I tell you to stop?
14.
No!
COREY
(yelling)
HILL
That’s right.
Efx: The boys in unison -- the rhythmic stomps, claps, and
guttural shouts of the Omicron step that Corey was practicing
earlier.
HILL (CONT’D)
Every body stooooop!
THE NARRATOR
Still. Nobody moved. They panted
and remain as upright as they coul.
HILL
Enough of that. You boys have been
through a lot these past few
months. It all ends tonight. But it
gets worse before it gets better.
You see this on my chest, over my
heart? This is the measure of the
Omicron men.
THE NARRATOR
Hill lifted his shirt to reveal his
Omicron branding... raised skin in
the shape of an O.
HILL
One by one, I’ll take you out into
the woods to make each of you a
man.
THE NARRATOR
Hill walked toward the fire and
grabbed a metal branding rod that
had been stuck into the ground. He
raised the O-shaped end into the
fire until it burned bright red.
Hill motioned to the first pledge
to follow him.
HILL
You’ll know when it’s time for the
next one. Just walk straight ahead
into the woods.
THE NARRATOR
They disappeared into the forest.
Corey looked at his fellow pledges.
(MORE)
15.
THE NARRATOR (CONT'D)
Their blank faces revealed that he
wasn’t the only one feeling lost.
COREY
I’m fine thanks for asking.
MOSES
That’s right. I didn’t ask.
(sighing)
Sorry. It’s just that you need to
worry about yourself more.
Efx: A screaming boy from faraway.
THE NARRATOR
Crows burst from the tops of the
trees all at once as the echo of
the scream died out.
COREY
I guess that’s the cue.
THE NARRATOR
Without hesitation, the next boy in
line walked the straight path into
the woods.
COREY
I can’t believe we’re getting
branded.
MOSES
You’ve known that! Your dad is an
O.
COREY
But that was years ago. I can’t
believe they still do that. We’re
not animals.
MOSES
Aren’t we? Eat or be eaten man.
That’s this school, this world.
It’s everything. Get on board or
get gone.
Efx: A screaming boy from far away.
THE NARRATOR
The next boy dissapeared into the
darkness.
16.
MOSES
What are you so scared of? Hill
already kicked your ass. A brand?
It’s just a little more pain, and
then you’re in. No pain, no gain,
right?
COREY
What is with you and all these
dumbass idioms? No pain, no gain?
Greatness is never on sale? What
does any of that mean.
Efx: A screaming boy from far away.
MOSES
I guess I’m just looking for some
words that will make you understand
what it means to be a man, but I
don’t think you’re ever gonna get
it.
COREY
Get what? I just got beat up in the
name of brotherhood. What is that?
These guys aren’t my brothers.
Efx: A screaming boy from far away.
MOSES
Well they’re mine.
Don’t go!
COREY
MOSES
Get off me.
THE NARRATOR
Moses shoved him off and marched
into the woods. Corey wanted to run
away from there, from fire and
branding and boys who thought these
actions would transform them into
men. Instead, he found himself
running after Moses.
COREY
Moses? Moses?
THE NARRATOR
His eye caught the red glint of the
branding rod. He saw Hill raising
it high in the air.
(MORE)
17.
THE NARRATOR (CONT'D)
Moses knelt in front of him. His
eyes shut and tears slipped down
his face.
MOSES
Just do it. And please don’ tell
the others I cried. Please don’t.
HILL
Don’t you worry.
THE NARRATOR
Corey watched, bracing for the
branding until he noticed the
sharp, stake-end of the metal rod
pointing at Moses.
COREY
(yelling)
Nooo!
THE NARRATOR
Corey sprinted at Hill. The
branding rod went flying as Corey
tackled him to the ground. Hill
landed a hard punch on Corey’s
face. They grappled, but Hill
easily gained leverage.
Help me!
CEDOREY
THE NARRATOR
The muscles in Hill’s biceps
rippled as his thick fingers
squeezed tighter and tighter around
Corey’s neck, choking him. Corey
sucked in what little breath he
could as he stared into Hill’s cold
vacant eyes. Corey’s arms flailed
on the ground around him. They were
searching, reaching for anything.
(Efx: snapping twig)
Hill released Corey’s neck, grabbed
a rock and spun around. Moses
sneaked up behind Hill with the
branding rod held high in his hand.
Hill whipped around and smashed the
rock into Moses’ face.
(Efx: rock into head)
again.
(Efx: rock into head)
again.
(MORE)
18.
THE NARRATOR (CONT'D)
(Efx: rock into head)
And again.
Blood covered Hill’s entire body.
COREY
(crying)
Please don’t kill me. Please don’t.
EFFI (BEHIND)
You’re asking the wrong guy.
THE NARRATOR
Effi stepped out from behind
cCorey.
COREY
Help me! Please help me.
EFFI
Again. You’re asking the wrong guy.
THE NARRATOR
Corey ran to Effi’s side as Hill
turned away from Moses’ lifeless
body. Hill’s teeth shined bright
through his blood covered face as
he leered at the two boys.
EFFI
I’m not afraid. I’m not smart or
cool or funny either. I’m nothing.
Hill, if you will?
THE NARRATOR
Hill grabbed the metal rod off the
ground and tossed it to Effi. He
caught it and in one swift motion
jammed the rod through Corey’s
kneecap.
Efx: Rod through knee. Corey screaming.
COREY
What the hell is going on?
EFFI
He’s acting weird right? That must
have been the weed I sold him. I
cut it with this shit my dad was
working on. Check this out.
19.
COREY (SURPRISED)
Professor Igwe?!!!
THE NARRATOR
Effi looked over at Hill. His eyes
shrunk in concentration. Hill
nodded. He took off his shirt,
walked over to Effi and grabbed the
branding rod from him. He lifted
the sharp, pointed metal end and
started scratching lines into his
chest. Streaks of blood followed
the rusted rod as Corey watched the
lines form a name, EFFI.
Oh my god.
COREY
EFFI
That’s right. I put a little
something in that weed. That
something makes me the transmitter
-- aka the boss -- and makes Hill
here the receiver -- or as I like
to call him, my little bitch.
Pretty cool huh? I’m going to take
pleasure in this.
Efx: Effi does the Omicron step. As he finishes...
Omicron!
EFFI (CONT’D)
THE NARRATOR
Effi grabbed the metal stake from
Hill and lifted it high to drive it
through Corey’s face.
COREY
Don’t! Please don’t kill me.
Please!
THE NARRATOR
Effi halted, the stake was still
high.
EFFI
Oh. I like that. The begging is
nice.
COREY
Please, let me go. Please. I’m not
one of them.
20.
EFFI
You’re here aren’t you? You think
that makes you better then me?
COREY
No I-- I don’t think like that. I
swear.
EFFI
Keep begging..
COREY
Please don’t kill me. I won’t tell
anyone. I swear to god. I’ll do
whatever you want. Just don’t kill
me. Please.
EFFI
God I love the way you beg. It’s
not going to save you though.
No wait!
COREY
Efx: Effi jamming the rod through Corey’s eye. Corey drops
dead with a thud.
EFFI
(laughing)
Omicron!
(laughing)
Omicron? What does that even mean,
huh? Why did I even want it so bad?
(laughing)
I wanted to be one before your
stupid ass failed my dad’s class.
Isn’t that right?
Yes, sir.
HILL
EFFI
You made sure I’d never be one of
you after that.
(laughing)
Some joint, huh?
(laughing)
Omicron!
Efx: Rod jamming through a throat and blood gurgling out of
Hill’s neck.
OUTRO BUMPER
21.
Efx: Distinctive noise.
DR. RICKETTS
Heard about this one on the news.
They called it a hazing incident
gone wrong.
KATIE
Did they go into detail?
DR. RICKETTS
Not at all.
KATIE
What happened there? I mean how
would you describe that?
DR. RICKETTS
I wouldn’t.
KATIE
That kid, Effi... he made Hill do
things.
DR. RICKETTS
We don’t know that. Corey could
have easily been... delusional by
that point.
KATIE
Right, but we don’t see delusions.
We just see an accurate portrayal
of what the patient saw. Effi was
controlling Hill against his will.
DR. RICKETTS
Maybe Hill was on his side from the
beginning.
KATIE
A normal boy wouldn’t start killing
people out of nowhere.
DR. RICKETTS
What are you getting at, huh? You
sound like you want to find
something whether it is or isn’t
there. Mind control? Is that what
you’re suggesting? Listen to
yourself. You sound crazy. Here’s
some advice. Shut up and do the
work. Save your crazy theories for
someone else, ok?
22.
KATIE
How can you just deny, deny, deny
day in and day out? Yesterday we
saw Carlisle. Today, it’s this Effi
guy.
Katie...
DR. RICKETTS
KATIE
Effi called himself a transmitter
and mentioned a receiver. You heard
him say that right? What are those
things. How are you not curious?
Don’t--
DR. RICKETTS
KATIE
And why is this the first body
where we’ve seen past his death,
huh? That used to happen all the
time when I worked with Dr.
Kinsler, but this is Corey’s
head... yet we clearly saw past
Corey’s death all the way to Hill’s
death.
Efx: Ricketts topples over some equipment. The sound of
crashing metal.
KATIE (CONT’D)
Dr. Ricketts!
DR. RICKETTS
(yelling)
Do you want to get us killed?! Stop
this now. I am not Dr. Kinsler. I’m
not some older friend you can toy
with.
Screw you.
KATIE
DR. RICKETTS
(yelling)
I refuse to end up like him in
order to entertain your delusions.
Efx: Ricketts picking up a scalpel and placing it by Katie’s
neck.
23.
DR. RICKETTS (CONT’D)
(sotto)
You feel that blade against your
neck. You think I’m afraid to do
it?
KATIE
Dr. Ricketts, please stop.
DR. RICKETTS
If we can’t coexist, and it has to
come down to you or me, I assure
you, it will be me.
Efx: The scalpel hitting the floor. Ricketts’ footsteps
walking away.
KATIE
This isn’t the first time someone’s
tried to kill me. I’m not afraid of
you.
(beat)
How much you want to bet Effi’s
dad, Professor Igwe, worked for the
center?
Efx: The footsteps continue. A door opens and shuts. The
recorder is removed from the purse.
KATIE (CONT’D)
(into recorder)
Roth-Lodbow Center for Advanced
Research. Project Cyclops, Day 13,
completed.
Efx: recorder button press/tone.
END OF EPISODE
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