(There is a brief blackout that slowly fades back in to the dimly lit bedroom in New York. We see a closeup of the well-dressed man, now tied to a desk chair with a collection of extension cords, bungee straps, and two neckties. He struggles a bit when he finally comes to, but finds them quite snug.)
MAN: Well, this is a humbing experience.
PETE: (approaching him) So, you’re awake.
MAN: (groaning) In one way or another… could you untie me, please?
PETE: Aw, no way, man! You think you can just show up here in the middle of the night, in the middle of my bedroom, lookin like that…
MAN: There’s nothing wrong with the way I’m dressed…
PETE: (without stopping) and you think I’m just gonna let you go? Uh-uh, man… no way.
(The man looks up at PETE with an exasperated expression and sighs)
MAN: Very well then. I’ll just have to escape myself. I knew Houdini, you know.
(he begins to fidget with the ropes, still talking)
Fabulous man, terrific taste in cakes. Taught me a thing or two about…
(he stops when he hears, and we hear, the hammer of a gun click back into position. The camera pulls out to see a .38 trained on the MAN, with PETE holding it. He is sweating profusely, his hands shaking around the trigger.)
PETE: Don’t move, man. Just don’t… don’t move.
(the man sighs again and stops fidgeting)
MAN: I’m frozen, I assure you. Now will you put that thing down? You’re liable to hurt someone.
PETE: I’m liable to hurt you!
(he repositions the gun and runs a dry tongue over cracked lips)
Now, you’re gonna sit there, and answer me some questions. My aunt’s gonna be home in an hour, and as you can see…
(he jerks his head in the direction of the gun)
she ain’t too fond of strangers.
MAN: And you’re going to keep that blunderbuss trained on me until then?
PETE: If I have to, yeah.
MAN: I don’t doubt it. Man of your athletic accomplishments, you could probably hold your arm out like the Colossus of Rhodes for an hour or two…
PETE: How’d you know that about me?
MAN: I assumed you didn’t make a habit of collecting other people’s trophies…
(the man jerks his head to one side and we get a short montage of various trophies and ribbons as he continues)
I was never much for sport myself, outside of the occasional round of bocce or badminton… baseball, football, and running track? I believe, in this day and age, they’d call you a triple threat.
(he turns back to Pete and tries to smile disarmingly. PETE has none of it)
PETE: You an… admirer or somethin?
(he gives the Man a queer look, raising one eyebrow. It takes a while for the Man to catch on.)
MAN: Hardly, young man, as I’ve just met you, and… oh, you meant like that. Erm, no.
(he coughs uncomfortably)
no, no, no… you could ask Marilyn if you still don’t believe me… although, now, I guess you can’t. I have to say, though, I don’t see anything particularly personal on these walls, Mr…
(he squints at a piece of paper on the desk nearby)
Rodney Pete. Strange, my recollection says you ought to be forty-five by now… and you certainly don’t look like a journeyman quarterback…
PETE: It’s Pete Rodney. You’re readin’ one of my old school assignments.
MAN: (squints harder) Ah! So I am. You must excuse me, the light in this room is simply dreadful and I don’t have my spectacles.
PETE: (a little incredulous) Uh-huh.
MAN: So, like I said, Peter..
PETE: It’s Pete.
MAN: It is also Peter. As I was saying, I don’t see many personal effects in here. Posters, yes… but there are thousands of those made every day. Where are the family, the friends, the penpals and… no, wait… what year is this? Yes… the, er, Facebooks and blogs? I’ve always wondered what a Facebook looked like. How many pages does it have? Anyway, why no pictures, letters, heartfelt bric-a-brac?
PETE: My parents… they passed away. And I ain’t got no friends.
MAN: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. I lost my family, too, long ago… there was a war.
PETE: (softening a little) Me, too. So, what’s your name?
MAN: Phineas Bogg.
PETE: (rolls his eyes) your real name.
MAN: That is my real name!
PETE: Whatever. The cops’ll know who you really are. So, Phileas…
PETE: Uh-huh… so what’re you doin’ in this shabby-ass apartment in the middle of the night? You’re dressed all fancy, this don’t look like your part of town.
(as if on cue, there’s the sound of sirens and gunshots out the open window)
PHINEAS: You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.
PETE: (a conditioned response) What, you think you’re better than me with your fancy clothes?
PHINEAS: Well, not to cause a row, but… yes, I do believe I know more on the subject than you, as a graduate of…
(he glances across the room at the diploma)
PS 34 as of… three months ago.
PETE: And that fancy way you talk?
PHINEAS: Where I come from, everyone talks like this.
PHINEAS: (looks offended) Wisconsin.
PETE: You don’t sound like you’re from Wisconsin.
PHINEAS: Where I come from, everyone in Wisconsin talks like this!
PETE: I’ll just add that to the crazy list. So, tell me what you do.
(PHINEAS says it plainly, as if he’d been asked it thousands of times…and he probably has)
PHINEAS: I’m a time-traveler.
(the rest of the word is cut off by more gunshots outside the window.)
PHINEAS: Such language!
PETE: I call it like I see it. So, crazy-time-travelin-man, what are you doing here?
PHINEAS: You couldn’t possibly comprehend it.
PETE: (cocky) Oh yeah? Well, I’m the guy holdin’ the gun, and we got lots of time, so why don’t you just try and explain it to me?
PHINEAS: So brave when they have a gun… very well. I’m an agent of the Time Equilibrium Service. It’s our job to set right in the scope of history what went wrong. I was just on my way back from a very enlightening talk with Mahatma Gandhi when you, for lack of a better term, crashed my time machine.
PETE: (looking around quickly) I don’t see no time machine.
PHINEAS: You don’t see any time machine.
PETE: (reminding him) Man with a gun!
PHINEAS: (nearly growling with exasperation) I don’t use a specific time machine, per se. I travel from place to place in the timestream like a droplet of water displaced in a river. You throw a rock in, and the water splashes about. I am that water, and the device in my pocket is the rock.
PETE: Oh, really? Let me see.
(despite PHINEAS’ protestations, PETE quickly relieves him of a bauble in the pocket of his opulent waistcoat)
Looks like one of those old timey watches.
PHINEAS: It’s not, and I’d prefer you’d give it back.
PETE: Maybe. Say, this is pretty awesome… how much did you pay for this?
PHINEAS: I didn’t pay anything for it, it was standard issue!
PETE: Uh-huh, and which comic convention did you pick it up at?
(he flips open the lid very nonchalantly and, instead of seeing a simple watch, he sees a whirling mass of imagery and displays, scrolling through information at a dizzying pace: location, time, date, notable names, places, ideas, cultural information… and in the middle of it all a tiny, but well-proportioned map. PETE closes the lid with a click, his eyes wide.)
PETE: (shellshocked) I know what this is.
PHINEAS: I highly doubt that.
PETE: (exhuberant) This is an iPhone! Aw, damn, it must be a real new one, too! I ain’t seen one like this before… this thing looks awesome! It makes me phone look like crap!
PHINEAS: It’s not a phone, you 21st century digital boy!
PETE: (not listening) Hey, what does it mean if there’s a red light? Do you have a voicemail or something?
PHINEAS: (panicking) Red light? Oh, no…
(he begins violently thrashing about in the chair)
Oh, they’ll have me for this!
PETE: What are you talking about, you…
(he turns around to see PHINEAS flailing, nearly out of the restraints. He trains the gun back on him.)
Hey hey hey, settle down, man!
PHINEAS: (staring him down) I can’t settle down, you stupid child! I need to get out of here! I’ve got a Red Light!
PETE: Why? What’s so important about a red light?
PHINEAS: (blowing heavily) A Red Light means I have an assignment. Something has gone wrong in History and I need to use that device to go back and change it!
PETE: What, the iPhone?
PHINEAS: The Omni! I need it back, and I need to get out of here, so, if you wouldn’t mind…
(in a bit of quick footwork, PHINEAS is able to stand, although still bound to the chair, and bull his way into PETE, his stocky form knocking the athlete over his bed. In a trice, PHINEAS is able to free himself and he set himself upon PETE, pinning him to the ground and taking back the Omni. Once retrieved, PHINEAS gets up and heads over to the window to activate the Omni. We see a shot of PETE grabbing the gun and placing it in the waistband of his pants, fire in his eyes. Just as PHINEAS is about to press “engage” on the swirling display, PETE charges at him in a rage, using all of his football skill to knock the strangely dressed man backward and halfway out the window, catching him by the ankles six stories above hard, unforgiving pavement. Rather than scared, PHINEAS seems very put out.)
PHINEAS: Oh, how wonderful.
PETE: What, you want me to drop you?
PETE: You’re crazy!
PHINEAS: And you’re and IDIOT! Now let me go!
PETE: No way!
(Tension builds as we switch between shots of PHINEAS, PETE, the blinking red light on the Omni, a wider shot and the grisly possibility of a six story splatter-death. Finally, PHINEAS decides that something must be done.)
PHINEAS: Oh…. damn!
(He jams the “engage” button on the Omni, and the both of them immediately disappear. Again, the night has returned to normal… that is, more sirens and bullets.)