INT. SUBURBAN HOME—
(Four FBI agents — SAMANTHA SPADE, VIVIAN JOHNSON, MARTIN FITZGERALD, DANNY TAYLOR — stand in a cluster, smoking cigarettes. Their unit supervisor, SPECIAL AGENT JACK MALONE, enters through the home’s front door and joins his team.)
MALONE: I got here as fast as your perception of fast tells you I got here.
JOHNSON: Thanks, Jack. You made it just in time for your arrival.
MALONE: Good. What’ve we got?
JOHNSON: A void.
MALONE: A void? What kind of void?
JOHNSON: Purportedly human. Seemingly male.
MALONE: A purportedly human, seemingly male void. Hmm. That’s potentially regrettable.
JOHNSON: Hence our presence.
MALONE: Right. So who used to occupy this void?
SPADE: Some say a successful businessman. Others claim a devoted family man. Then there’s the preschool household member upstairs who, when we questioned her a few minutes ago, described the entity that’s no longer construed as being here as “my horsie-daddy.”
MALONE: So the void could be equine?
SPADE: To certain observers, naturally.
MALONE: Do we know how this void was created? How it came to be?
TAYLOR: Do you mean was it put here by God?
FITZGERALD: Or do you mean was it conceived by the same minds that created the concept of God?
TAYLOR: You know, Martin, your knee-jerk denial of God’s existence could seriously hamper this investigation.
MALONE: Hey. Guys. Let’s hold off on the dialectics till after we’ve collected all the evidence. What’d you find, Viv?
JOHNSON: These books were on the nightstand, Jack. A Brief History of Time and Love Story.
SPADE: So there was a struggle.
MALONE: An internal struggle, you mean. Between human intellect and animal passion.
JOHNSON: Right. Which could have led our dichotomous reader to seek contemplative solitude.
TAYLOR: Or self-destruction.
FITZGERALD: Define “self”! Define “destruction”! Your terms are irrelevant in this context.
MALONE: Hold on. What’s that? On the floor near the table.
SPADE: Looks like blood.
FITZGERALD: Which would seem to confirm the existence of a physical form at one time or another occupying the present void.
SPADE: And, by extension, our own existence independent of subjective interpretation.
FITZGERALD: Interesting but tangential hypothesis, Sam. Here’s where I was going, though: if, for the sake of argument, we accept that the void we’re investigating was formerly a flesh-and-blood entity, yet the entity’s flesh is nowhere to be found, while its blood is plainly extant, even, in fact, pooled and sticky, can we infer the existence of evil in the world?
SPADE: Don’t you infer the existence of evil every time you carry a weapon? Or your badge?
FITZGERALD: No. I infer uncertainty while perpetuating the illusion of objective order, like they teach at the academy.
(A WOMAN with a small child on her hip descends the home’s staircase. She pauses a few steps from the bottom, looking across the living room at the FBI agents.)
MALONE: And who might you be?
WOMAN: Who do you see me as?
MALONE: My instinct is to regard you as the spouse.
WOMAN: Then who else could I be?
MALONE: I’m Special Agent Jack Malone. Can you tell me, was it you who discovered the household’s human-male void?
WOMAN: Did I see nothingness first?
MALONE: That’s the question.
WOMAN: I can’t be sure. I may simply have been the last to see the pre-nothingness.
MALONE: Right. Tell me about when either, neither, or both of those events took place?
WOMAN: Just this morning. I was with the baby …
(EARLIER THAT MORNING)
(The WOMAN sits at a table, feeding a BABY in a high chair. Both are smoking cigarettes.)
WOMAN: In a man’s world, I am defined as less than a man.
BABY: Gimme, gimme.
WOMAN: In a child’s world, I am defined as a servant.
WOMAN: In my own world, I am defined as someone who’s expecting the cable guy sometime before noon.
Cut back to:
MALONE: And where was your alleged husband-businessman-horsie-daddy during all this?
WOMAN: He was the resignation in my voice.
MALONE: Thanks. You’ve been very helpful.
(AGENT JOHNSON is at the rear of the living room looking through a sliding glass door at the backyard.)
JOHNSON: Jack, come here. You need to see this.
OF THE SUBURBAN HOME—DAY
(AGENT JOHNSON, cigarette in hand, stands next to a doghouse. The other agents have gathered nearby, smoking.)
JOHNSON: Apparently, the object of our probe is out here. Look. C’mere, girl.
(A standard poodle emerges from the doghouse and lies down on a bare patch of ground.)
MALONE: Viv, this is a dog. The void we’re investigating, I thought we agreed, was left by a male human, possibly equine, entity. How can this be who we’re looking for?
JOHNSON: Jack, think about it. How can it not be?
MALONE: Touché, Viv. Nice work.