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XMen The New Age 7
by Eric Christopher Jackson
04/20/10
Not For Sale
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INT. WASHINGTON D.C. – OFFICE SUITE - NIGHT

PRESIDENT-ELECT JIM SLADE sits around with his staff watching TV in his office suite, fully furnished, they track the progress of early ballot voting.

SLADE
(with a drink in his hand)
We look pretty good gentlemen.
(a huge grin on his face)

STEVE-STAFF #1
We still want to be cautious Mr. Slade. These numbers could shift, depending on how many voters will wait until election day to cast their vote.

SLADE
You worry too much Steve…we've seen the trend already! My opponent has an unpopular stand against mutants and the people who support them. He's tried to hide it and the public isn't buying it. The truth actually works sometimes!

STEVE
I know, sir…I'm simply saying, this isn't over.

SLADE
It will be in a couple of days…

JESSICA
(Jim Slade's girlfriend)
Don't mind him, Steve. He just wants to hide his nerves. He's as anxious as the rest of us.

SLADE
I have a right to be anxious. I feel like I've waited all of my life for this. And here it is…two days away.
(Jim and Jessica kiss)
(He turns to Steve)
Come on, we've still got work to do.

STEVE
(big grin appears on his face)
Yes, sir!

As Jim Slade and Steve Beck walk towards the door, the Secretary, Kim Nadar, walks in.

SECRETARY
Excuse me, Mr. Slade…have you seen Mr. Rosenburg?

SLADE
Kim, hi…I talked to him the night before last…he's swamped. I don't want to interrupt the terrific job he's doing.

SECRETARY
I haven't been able to get a hold of him.

STEVE
Really?
(pause)
Come to think of it, he hasn't called me in a while. That's not like him.

SLADE
Yes…well, we've all been so busy, running around, tying loose ends. You're concerned?

SECRETARY
"Very" concerned sir! I don't understand why he hasn't called. No text message or e-mails. It's not like him at all.

Silence.

STEVE
Do you think we should call the police, sir?

SLADE
(pause)
No. Not yet.

SECRETARY
But sir…

SLADE
If we tell the public Rosenburg is missing, there will be a panic…no one would come to the polls, not in the numbers we need.
(pause)

STEVE
I can call Xavier…

SLADE
No…not this time. The government is keeping tabs on them, any move they make will let everyone else know something's wrong. We have to keep this quiet.

STEVE
How?

SLADE
Get our own people on this. Now. We have less than 48 hours to get to the bottom of this.

JESSICA
(comes over)
Is something wrong?

SLADE
No honey, we just need to hammer more details out.

JESSICA
(pause)
What's wrong?...Kim…

SECRETARY
I…just…

SLADE
Honey, please…I need to talk to my staff right now…

JESSICA
No! No, you are not pushing me out right now. I told you we are in this together 'til the end.

SLADE
I know, I know, but I need time to…

JESSICA
It's going to come back to me anyway and you know it…so…tell me now.

STAN
(comes over)
Hey, what's up?

Now they all notice the room has quieted, everyone has turned to look at them. Jim Slade knows he has to say something, but not EVERYTHING.

SLADE
Everybody…Kim has brought a situation to my attention.

STAN
What "situation"?

SLADE
(Holds his hand up)
Please…I am going to take care of this my way…and we'll resume with all the planned events, nothing has changed. Everybody understand?

GROUP
Yes. Yeah. Sure.

STAN
So you're saying…everything's…okay?

SLADE
(pause)
Yes.

Jim Slade, Jessica Miller, Steve Weaver, and Kim Nadar walk out the door. Stan Weaver comes to the group still huddled near the TV.

STAN
Something bad has happened, I know it. He's not telling us.

DENISE COLEMAN
They'd postpone the election and we'd lose too many voters.

STAN
I think we should call Charles Xavier…

TYLER WILLIAMS
You can't be serious! You don't even know what's going on, "if" anything!

KENT
Jim had that look on his face…Kim as well…I know them well enough to know this is big. But what?

STAN
I wonder if Allan knows anything about this…

DENISE COLEMAN
I…I'm trying to call him now…he's not picking up.

Silence.

JOAN
Maybe that's why Kim came over here…she usually doesn't come out here…

Silence. Then everyone jumps up, moves out of their positions to rush out the door…

STAN
Wait a minute!

GROUP
What?! We have to look for him…

STAN
People are watching us.

GROUP
Oh… - sigh…

JOAN
I still can't get him on the phone…if he's missing, we need to know what happened as soon as possible!

STAN
I agree, but if we…that's what Jim meant by…

DENISE
…handling it his way. He doesn't want the police or the X-Men involved, a war will break out!

KENT
If an anti-mutant organization got a hold of Rosenburg, the war has already begun. It's just a matter of time before everyone else knows about it.

Silence.

TYLER
Cancel the election?

STAN
We've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this campaign, we are less than 48 hours from the election, I'm not canceling anything! We have to…

There is a pounding at the door. They all pause…

DENISE
Check the camera monitor!

KENT
It's…

Stan runs to the door, opens it, Allan Rosenburg stumbles in and falls to the floor.

STAN
Allan! What happened to you?!

ROSENBURG
I…I was attacked by…some type of mutant killers…professional. They…they knew how to contain my mutant ability…

JOAN
Call for an ambulance!

ROSENBURG
No! Call Thompson…he has the…equipment…to regenerate my energy. Call him…

INT. WASHINGTON D.C. - CONFERENCE ROOM – NIGHT

Jim Slade, Jessica Miller, Steve Beck, and Kim Nadar sit in a conference room looking at monitors setup in the room, each one with the face of the leading organizer for the campaign waiting to hear what Jim Slade has to say.

SLADE
I know it's late, especially for you on the east coast. But I had to let all of you know…

JESSICA
Honey, I got a message…!

SLADE
What?

JESSICA
Look…!

Jim Slade grabbed his phone on his side and read the incoming message.

(MESSAGE)
"We found Allan Rosenburg. In bad shape, but recovering at Dr. Thompson's facilities, in critical, but stable condition."

Jim sat in shock for a while, then a sense of relief came over him…

SLADE
I am so sorry everyone…

SCREEN #1
Is there a problem, Mr. Slade?

SLADE
Honestly, I thought there was a very serious problem, but…it will be okay now.

SCREEN #5
Are you sure?

SLADE
Everyone get some rest…

INT. RUSSIA – COLOSSUS' HOME – DAY

Nightcrawler and Colossus sit in the room, thinking about their last trip, investigating the interior of the Russian military medical base, one section found deep beneath the surface.

COLOSSUS
I cannot get this off of my mind, Kurt. There has to be another area we missed.

NIGHTCRAWLER
I searched as far as I could, as fast as I could Piotr…and found nothing…

COLOSSUS
This area is not supposed to be here! It's hundreds of feet below ground, not registered with the U.N.

NIGHTCRAWLER
It would not be uncommon for any country to keep a little part of their government operations secret.

COLOSSUS
At a time such as this, they should not!

A laptop buzzes and Colossus walks over, opens it up, to see a LIVE feed from America.

XAVIER
Hello, Piotr…Kurt…I wanted to check on you.

NIGHTCRAWLER
Hello, Professor…

XAVIER
You both must realize…we are no longer X-Men.

COLOSSUS
We needed to know whether or not they are hiding something. I needed to know.

XAVIER
But Piotr, at what cost?! You should not risk the peace of mutants and mankind on a gut feeling.

NIGHTCRAWLER
They have a medical facility underground, deep beneath the surface…

XAVIER
What did you find?

NIGHTCRAWLER
Nothing out of the ordinary…

COLOSSUS
No chemicals, no weapons, nothing setup for treatments on people or mutants. But why…why do they need this place? It cannot be there for no reason at all.

XAVIER
I agree.
(pause)
However, there is no proof of the Russian government being involved with illegal activities.

NIGHTCRAWLER
I feel Piotr is right…perhaps they knew we were coming…or finished the project before we arrived.

XAVIER
If you would have been discovered, we would have been blamed for starting the war all over again…

COLOSSUS
If we waited too long it would have cost us much more.

XAVIER
Be patient Piotr…if there is a threat, they have to make the first move. I don't want to give our opposition any reason to blame mutants.

NIGHTCRAWLER
There's nothing else we can do now, but to trust that peace will prevail.
INT. WASHINGTON D.C. – HOSPITAL ROOM

SLADE
How is he?

THOMPSON
He took a massive jolt to his entire system. Despite the condition he came in, he should recover pretty well.

They walk over to a window, looking through it at the case containing Allan Rosenburg.

THOMPSON
He helped us design the technology to harness his power. Enough was stored here in case of an emergency such as this. We never thought we'd use it however.

SLADE
How much time will it take for him to recover?

THOMPSON
Once his strength is regenerated, he'll be back to normal within a few hours. I do want to keep him longer to make sure he's emotionally stable more than anything else.
(pause)
He's been through a traumatic experience.

SLADE
They tried to kill him.

THOMPSON
Yes…surprisingly though, whoever they are…they believed they killed him.

SLADE
He came back to life?

THOMPSON
In a way…they must have used a high-powered concussion blast, which knocked him out. All of his systems failed. However, our readings show he expelled much of his energy before he was hit. The energy is designed to recharge itself once it reaches a low level or is suddenly extinguished.

SLADE
So…he was practically dead before they shot him.

THOMPSON
Precisely. Counting on his energy to do its job…though, because of the concussion blast, it took a lot longer for him to regenerate. Most likely, he had no pulse, his captors assumed he was dead.

SLADE
What type of weapon could harm a mutant like Allan? I thought he was almost invincible!

THOMPSON
True. But this is the most puzzling aspect of all. They had the ability to capture him and nearly kill him with energy or a weapon we have no knowledge of. In his previous battles, no one stood a chance against him. Perhaps…
(pause)

SLADE
Perhaps what?

THOMPSON
We're still testing this theory, but perhaps a similar energy to Allan's was used against him. A more powerful substance, too much for him to handle at one time.

SLADE
But where would anyone get energy like that from?

THOMPSON
That is the question you have to find the answer to.

SLADE
(sigh)

The room fills with the staff and Jessica, all taking a look at Allan to make sure he's alright.

THOMPSON
Go and talk to him Jim. He needs to see you.

SLADE
What are the readings on those monitors mean?

THOMPSON
Oh…well…my goodness…remarkable…

SLADE
Good news?

THOMPSON
Over sixty percent of his energy is already regenerated. His systems have stabilized, although his heart rate is a bit high…everything seems normal from here.

SLADE
He's going to want to leave once he's fully recovered.

THOMPSON
That concerns me the most. You must keep him calm, at least until the election is over. I imagine he wants to look for the people who did this to him.

SLADE
And we don't need any ripples in the water.

THOMPSON
Go on, I have to give these stats to the nurses.

SLADE
Hey…thank you.

They shake hands and give a brief one arm hug with mutual admiration. Jim Slade walks into the room and everyone turns to him.

SLADE
How is he?

JESSICA
They said, physically, he's going to be fine. He's a fighter.

ROSENBURG
Jim…?

SLADE
Did he say something?

ROSENBURG
I want to go home.

SLADE
Allan!
ROSENBURG
After we win the election.

SLADE
Get some rest my friend, we're almost there.

ROSENBURG
You have to find them…you have to…

SLADE
We have people on it, but…it could be anyone from any country. There's not enough time to narrow it down.

The case lights up momentarily and everyone steps back quickly…

ROSENBURG
Then we have to get to as many election centers around the globe. Increase the security. Call on other mutants to help the National Guard.

SLADE
Kim already sent out the information.

The case briefly lights up and charges go over Allan Rosenburg's body. The monitor reads 68%.

ROSENBURG
I'll be in place Jim.

SLADE
I don't want to…

ROSENBURG
I'll be there!

SLADE
You call me…we all keep in touch, everybody lay low and stick together!
(pause)
Security is outside, you will all be escorted to your offices, including your homes. No one deviate from the plan.

GROUP
Okay. Yes sir. Got it…

SLADE
(eyes watery)
Thank you…everyone…for the sacrifices you've made…for me…for man and mutant kind alike. This is our legacy…we are at the dawn of a new age, where humans and mutants will begin to live together in harmony for the rest of time.

Jim Slade takes Jessica's hand and walks out the door. Everyone begins to follow exchanges nods of assurance to one another. The case containing Allan Rosenburg begins to glow steadily with his energy. Election day has begun. It's midnight.

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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