One Giant Leap


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Scene Title One Giant Leap
Synopsis Two boys stranded in a strange time fight to find a way home, unaware that time is rapidly running out.
Date November 8, 1970

The city skyline is a glittering carpet of lights cast across a dark blue plate. Though the stars above are snuffed out by the city lights, if one imagines hard enough, they can see them twinkling back. On the roof of one tenement building nestled in the urban embrace of New York City a pair of boys are not focused at the outward wonder of the stars, but the inward wonder contained in each of them.


Walter Trafford's expression is deadly serious and his double-handed grip tightens around the haft of a baseball bat. Eyes narrowed, he waits on edge. Across the rooftop in the shadow of a billowing line of laundry they're supposed to be bringing in, Matthew Parkman Junior clutches an empty Yoohoo bottle like a baseball. He winds up, concentrates, and lobs the bottle in an underhanded softball toss toward Walter, who swings wildly with his bat. It connects with the bottle, shattering into a glittering plume of—

—the bottle, intact, clatters to the rooftop and rolls to a stop.

New York City

November 8th

7:44 pm

"Primal," Walter whispers, crouching down to pick the bottle up. He holds it up to Matthew, then looks at his reflection in the glass. "You're getting really good at that," he says with admiration, handing the bottle over to Matthew as the older boy hurries over. Matthew rolls the bottle around in his hand, then holds it up to the rooftop light, squinting.

"There's cracks," Matthew says, frustratedly.

"Yeah but, it's whole!" Walter exclaims. "I blew it up and you just, shoop," he waves one hand frantically, "smooshed it back together! That's awesome!"

Matthew snorts and brandishes the bottle in Walter's face. "There's cracks. Don't you get it?" He's visibly agitated, and Walter only now notices. "If this was one of us, what do you think would happen? I can't—I can't help get us home if I can't control my ability!"

"Hey, my mom says progress comes one step at a time. Nothin' hard gets done in a day." Walter offers wisdom beyond his years, straight from Delilah's mouth. Matthew isn't ready to hear that, though, and spins around, angrily hurling the bottle off the roof. It shatters down somewhere on the street with a pop. "Hey, hey c'mon—" Walter tugs on Matthew's arm. "Let's try again."

"No!" Matthew shouts and the rooftop light flickers. "No I don't want to try any more. I want to go home!" He swats away Walter's hand, and the redhead recoils, looking at Matthew with wide, hurt eyes.

"I was… just trying t'help." Walter says, looking down at the bat in his hands, shoulders rolling forward. All the anger immediately bleeds out of Walter and he regrets everything from the last few minutes. He reaches out to touch Walter on the shoulder, but the redhead jerks away.

"Walter. I'm sorry." Matthew mumbles, but Walter throws the bat down with a clatter and takes a few steps away. "Hey, come on, don't—"

"We need to finish the laundry." Walter mutters, giving Matthew a wide berth to pick up the laundry basket and bring it down the clothes line to start taking more laundry down. Matthew watches him for a bit, then closes his eyes and paces away across the roof, scrubbing the heels of his palms against his eyes. The two boys stand in silence from one-another for a long time. Long enough for Walter to finish unpinning the laundry, bundling it all up in the basket, and bring it to the stairwell.

Matthew circles back from the edge of the roof, running his hands through his hair. "I'm sorry," he says again, eyes red with a tumult of emotion. Walter nods, at first not looking up at Matthew, then finally doing so when the older boy's shadow looms across his face.

"Me too." Walter says, looking around the roof. "I need to be better too, if we're gonna get home. I know it's—easier for me. 'Cause I have mom." He looks away, and Matthew does the same. "I'm sorry if I haven't been like, the best friend sometimes."

"No." Matthew insists, grabbing Walter's arm. "You're my best friend. Nobody else. I—I couldn't do this without you, man. You and me we're in this together until the end. I—I'm sorry I'm really hard on you sometimes. I'm sorry I can't—that this isn't as easy for me."

Walter drops the laundry basket and steps in, fiercely hugging Matthew, who in turn returns the hug and rests his cheek on top of Walter's mop of red hair. "We're gonna get home, okay? We're gonna find a way back." Matthew insists as the two disengage from the hug. "Best friends in time." He says, holding out a hand.

"Best friends in time," Walter repeats, grabbing Matthew's hand in a firm and overly macho handshake like that one they had both seen in Predator.

"Now," Matthew bends down and picks up the laundry basket, "let's get this downstairs before your mom comes looking for us."


The Long Lines Building

There are forty-two stairs from the records hall to the director's office. The click of hard heels reports down each one, echoing across bare, brutalist concrete architecture. A gray-haired woman in a sleek black suit hustles up the stairs, crossing a carpeted lobby to a glass-walled office shrouded behind cream-colored vertical blinds. There is a plain brass plaque on the door that reads DIRECTOR. She knocks on it, then clutches a narrow folder of documents to her chest.

"In," she hears the director call out, and levers open the door, slipping in and shutting it behind herself in a smooth motion.

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"Sir." Kara Prince steps into the Director's office, watching him as he closes a small, leatherbound journal. She does not wait to be addressed, instead speaks again once his attention is leveled on her. "Hesser's picked up a trail he thinks might be the Specials associated with the Roswell case." She sets the file down on the desk, opening it to show a map of New York City with several circled areas. "But there's something interesting in this." She points to one of the circled areas. "This building." She says, tapping a box shaded in with a red wax pencil.

"Harlem?" Marcus asks, settling back against his chair. He folds his hands in his lap, letting Kara walk him through the details.

"It's a Paper Company warehouse. Primatech." Kara says, sitting down in the chair across from Marcus' desk. "Hesser picked up a trail there tonight, he thinks it's the Polish man, Nowak." Marcus nods at the assessment, motioning for Kara to continue. "I had the boys down in records pull files for me, property records. I wanted to be thorough." She moves the map aside, revealing a New York City driver's license photo for a man named Daniel Linderman. "The warehouse is owned by the Primatech Paper Company, which in turn looks like a shell corporation owned by a pharmaceutical production company called Biomere Incorporated. They make cheap painkillers." She can tell she's starting to lose Marcus, who is instead focused on the contextless driver's license. "This man, Daniel Linderman, apparently owns Biomere."

"How old is he?" Marcus asks, squinting at the picture.

"Twenty seven." Kara emphasizes. "Which is what raised my eyebrows, too. So I did some digging, looking to see if I could find some family wealth Mr. Linderman must have come into to build his business. Instead, I found nothing."


"Not just nothing but a cartoon cutout of where information should be." Kara explains. "This driver's license is registered with the State of New York, but there's no supporting documentation. No birth certificate, nothing."

"So you think it's an alias?" Marcus asks, looking up from the paperwork.

"I did," Kara says, sliding out the third document: a heavily redacted OSI file dated 1961. At the top of the file is a red stamp that reads TOP SECRET. "Except Andrews found this," she says, pointing to a list of names on the page. One of them, D. Linderman in a column next to the abbreviation C.S. "So I thought I'd come and ask you…" She sits back in her chair, one brow raised.

"…what was Project Icarus?"

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