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Watchmen Movie Script

Writer(s) : David Hayter, Alex Tse

Genres : Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller

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                                  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.



          THE END