Altered Carbon S2E1 Script

Phantom Lady (2020)

This is a ghost story.

Told in the age of eternal life.

Technology has conquered death...

but with endless future comes endless past.

We are trailed by specters...

twisted apparitions born from our deepest pain...

until sometimes...

we'd rather be dead ourselves.

♪ I've got you

♪ Under my skin ♪

♪ I've got you ♪

♪ Deep in the heart ♪

♪ Of me ♪

♪ So deep in my heart ♪

♪ You're really a part of me ♪

♪ I've got you ♪

♪ Under my skin

♪ I've tried so ♪

♪ Not to give in ♪

♪ I said to myself This affair ♪

♪ Will never go so well ♪

♪ But why should I try to resist ♪

♪ When, darling, I know darn well ♪

♪ I've got you... ♪

My apologies if your drink disappoints.

It's not you. The nerve endings in this thing are for shit.


You're wearing a synth. More like a latex glove.

Everything tastes like curried sawdust.

Hmm. Perhaps an organic sleeve would be more to your liking?

Uh-uh. I'm traveling. Interstellar.

May I ask what brings you all the way to Maghda Prime?

I'm looking for someone.

Takeshi Kovacs?

I beg your pardon.

Word is he's owed a lot of credits and he'll be here tonight to collect.

Any idea which one of these losers is him?

Hmm. I wish I could be of service, but I hear Takeshi Kovacs is off on an epic quest to find his long-lost love, Quellcrist Falconer.

Oh, sounds like a load of swamp-panther crap to me.

I assure you, it is not.

You expect me to buy that Takeshi Kovacs, the Last Envoy, and Quellcrist Falconer, leader of the Uprising, had a thing?

If you mean a passionate connection transcending time and challenging the grim bounds of death itself, then yes, they had a thing.

I never heard that.

Sounds like you know a lot about him.

Oh, I consider myself somewhat of an authority on the subject.

Prove it.

Untraceable credits.

I've got more... if you can point him out...


Point out who?

I just told you.

I regret, a vicious attack on my person-hood has left my memory a trifle... unreliable?

Perhaps, if you reminded me.

What's your name again?


I work here, you don't. Stop harassing the customers.


Ugh, fucking rogue AI.

You see an emitter around here?

An emitter?

He's a holo. Talks people's ears off.

He's got stories from all over the settled worlds.

You think any of them are true?

I think if I ever find that emitter he's tethered to, I'm gonna use it for target practice.

♪ I close my eyes ♪

♪ And drift away to distant sound Of an old symphony... ♪

Hey, I'm looking for somebody, goes by Takeshi Kovacs. Do you know him?

People don't like questions around here.

♪ I can hear it now... ♪ Which one of you is Kovacs?


I don't care what face you're wearing, take your money and get out of my life.

♪ Illusion of you... ♪ I'm Kovacs.

♪ Illusion of you... ♪ Bullshit.

I'm Kovacs.

Both these men are liars.

I'm Takeshi Kovacs, and I'll take my money... thank you very much.

I thought this might happen. You all work it out.

Winner gets paid.

And I don't wanna hear another word from Takeshi Kovacs ever again.

♪ I think I fell in love With an illusion ♪

♪ I think I fell in love With an illusion of you ♪

♪ Illusion of you... ♪

♪ Illusion of you... ♪

♪ Illusion of you... ♪

What's the rush?



Is that you? In the flesh.

Just not the kind you were expecting.

Why didn't you say something before it all went to shit?

Your money's back in the bar.

My money's in your pocket.

You palmed it and left those suckers to kill each other over an empty case.


Maybe not completely empty.

Yeah. Missed me.

All right, all right. Here.

Take it.

This is half of what you owe me. How am I supposed to get off planet?

Look, there's another job.

You could have my cut.


Just the messenger.

I was hired to find you.

How the fuck did you?

For starters, that's a wide-frequency emitter you got there on your hip.

I hear Takeshi Kovacs goes nowhere without his crazy AI.

Yeah, well, I don't like being interrupted either.

It's not like you were gonna say yes.

And I'm on a deadline.

Horace Axley wants to talk to you.


It's a job offer.

Short term.

I don't work for Meths.

You have before.

Tell your boss, hard pass.

I don't care how many credits he's got.

Forget it.


Told you. I'm on a deadline.

You wanted to get off planet.

You shot me in the back.

Organic damage isn't personal.

It's business.

Honor gets in the way of profit.

Let me guess.

You're Axley?

Have you ever heard of an ONI? Because you could have done your research.

I fucking hate getting shot.

Well, I wasn't sure you'd take my call.

I hate Meths too.

Well, perhaps this will assuage you.

Accept my offer and this is the sleeve you'll have waiting for you.

Bespoke design by Khumalo Bioware.

Military use only, aftermarket upgrades, rapid healing, enhanced reaction time, biometric mag plates among other bells and whistles. Does it help you say yes?

Does your definition of consent always involve restraints?

That wasn't my call. My associates set up this virtual sub routine.

You mean, your bounty hunter.

She's done quite a few jobs for me. She's efficient.

She's a psychopath.

Well, coming from you, I'll assume that's a compliment.

I'll adjust it.

Don't bother.

Envoy 101: I control the construct.

You know what I hate more than Meths or death by gunfire?

It's being underestimated.

This room isn't real. Your stacks in conducting gel.

You're not getting out of that body without me.

One minute.

If you're still not interested, I'll cast you back to Maghda Prime in whatever lounge performer sleeve you want.

It better be good. I always wanted to play piano.

I need your protection.

From what?

There's a war where I come from.

Get private security or go on vacation. Or move.

I have business interests I can't forsake.

I believe no one can protect me better than you.

I don't care. I can give you what you want.

No matter what you have, it won't be enough.

Quellcrist Falconer.

Be very careful what you say next.

I can show you where she is, and I'll pay you enough the two of you can disappear.

I don't believe you.

You'll see for yourself.

I can deliver her.

How? How do you know it's really her?

Do you have her DHF?

Is she spun up, re-sleeved?

Where the fuck did you find her?

I'll answer all your questions when you're here.

As long as you keep me alive.

Falconer's life for mine.

Do I have your word?

If you're lying, you have my word the last thing you'll see is this face before your stack is ripped from your spine.

I crossed the stars in a colony ship before stacks were invented.

I left a dying Earth behind to seed a new world.

You don't scare me, Mr. Kovacs.

I know what you dream of.

Make sure there's a mirror.

And get your psychopath bounty hunter to transmit my AI.

Already done.

Stay alive long enough, and there's nowhere you can go that isn't haunted.

I see the boy inside the man.

All of us have ghosts.

They cling to us like shadows.

But if you chase after shadows...

if you're foolish enough to seek out your ghosts...

Survive. That's an order! just might become one.


Thank you for choosing Psychosec in-home resleeving package, the ultimate in elegance and privacy.


My readings show that you may be feeling some sleeve sickness.

I've alerted support staff. Medication is on the way.

I recommend you lie down and relax.

Your oxygen levels are low.




Your resleeving is now complete.


Shit, Axley.

Wake up. Axley, where is she?


Tell me!



You seeing this?

"'Twas noontide of summer And mid-time of night, And stars in their orbits Shone pale thro' the night."

Yeah, but those aren't stars.


Obviously we're on...

Harlan's World?

You know another planet with a sky full of Elder Orbitals?

Home again, home again. Huzzah.

How long has it been? Five years? Try 30.

Of all the godforsaken rocks we've been to, we're right back where we started.

I thought you swore you'd never return. What compelled you?

Horace Axley compelled me.

And who, pray tell, is Horace Axley?

He's that one.

My word.

We just got here. I didn't kill him.

What a refreshing change. Hmm.

Is it prudent to loiter?

We're in a house with a murdered Meth. Whatever happened, I'll be blamed.

Now Axley said this sleeve has a personalized weapons augment.

Just have to be within range.

Oh, my.

Let's go.

Look, the needlecast station. It's a sign. We should heed it.

Not until I find out who killed Axley.

We have no idea what Mr. Axley will remember after he spins back up.

And as you said, so astutely, accusations for his murder could land squarely on you.

If we are apprehended, you will be arrested, and I will be deleted.

Choosing to stay here is... It's not a choice.


Suicide! I'm not leaving.

You don't get it. Axley was a Meth.

He should have been untouchable with his resources, but he was scared shitless.

He believed he needed protection. And he was right.

If he was right about that... he might be right about Quell.


He said she's here.

He swore to prove it if I kept him alive.

I see. If that is the case... we'll need some place to stay.

I know a place.

An old AI hotel a friend of mine used to own.

There has also been a decrease in terrorist activity within the city of Millsport itself.

Negotiations with Joshua Kemp are ongoing

- as we await... Check the local feed.

Axley said something about a war.

It appears we've arrived in the middle of it.

True salvation is found in renunciation.

Become a Renouncer and the world can be as you make it. No loss, no pain.

No, thank you.

Do a search on Konrad Harlan, see what the old bastard's up to.

Attention, stand by for an important message from Governor Harlan.

That's not Konrad.

According to the Array, Konrad recently abdicated his position, along with everything else.

You're kidding?

In his absence, his daughter, Danica, has taken up his mantle.

Let me guess. She ran unopposed.

That is also accurate.

Citizens of Harlan's World, for 20 years the Quellist rebellion has disrupted our way of life.

Mines have been sabotaged, alloy shipments attacked, our people dislocated.

At every step, we have fought back against these terrorists, weakening them, rooting them out of our cities.

But we have also suffered great loss.

It's with this shared burden in mind that I have recently entered into talks with Quellist leader Joshua Kemp.

It would seem the revolution has a new face as well.

I've seen enough.

After much negotiation, we have agreed this conflict must end.

A cease-fire is now in place effective immediately.

Starting tomorrow, mining operations resume in full.

Make no mistake, if the cease-fire is broken, our retaliation will be swift.

But tonight, as your governor and as my father's daughter, I am proud to declare the safety of Harlan's World has been secured.

Thank you. Good night.


You've brought peace to the world.

My father used to say that a cease-fire was just a breath between battles.

A breath's all we need.

The Protectorate will have to return their colonel now.

No war, no reason to stay.

Over half the stacks in existence are made of alloy dug from our trenches.

We're the goddamn fountain of eternal life, Stone.

Colonel Carrera has every reason to stay.

The only thing standing between the Protectorate and us is them.

Well, I think you're giving them too much credit.

Elders are extinct.

Anyone who builds weaponized satellites we can't shoot down deserves to be taken seriously.

And did your father say that too?

Quellcrist Falconer actually.

Keep an eye on Colonel Carrera.

Let's make sure he doesn't come up with another reason to stay.

I believe we made a wrong turn.

The Array has no evidence of a decommissioned hotel in this area.

Well, the guy who owns it pays a lot of money to keep it that way.

Hmm. One of your more unsavory acquaintances?

Depends where you stand on Yakuza.


The big boss has a dozen of these places, half safe house, half black site.

I've used it before so he won't...

Damn it, Poe.

You glitched. Ah!

There you are.

Try and stick with me, okay? Of course.

Where are we going again? I just told you, twice.


Are we there yet?

We're here.

And are you certain it is safe?

You're under arrest for treason. Good to see you too, Jaeger.

Safe enough.

If you'll excuse me, I will leave you to adjust the configuration of the nanoswarm.

[man 1 speaking Japanese}


I did not sanction this. This building is off-limits.

Who the hell do you think you are?

You got a death wish?

Answer me.

I am Tanaseda Hideki. This is my property.

Tanaseda wouldn't be caught dead in a common combat sleeve.

Arrows and bullets all spent... with sadness we fall.

But unless I smite the enemy, my body cannot rot in the field.

Where did you hear that?

I told you, I'm Tanaseda Hideki.

Continue this disrespect, whoever you may be... and I will rip you from that sleeve.

Almost had me.

Only one mistake.

I'm Tanaseda Yukito.

You don't recognize your own great-grandson?


Now that you mention it, you do look familiar.

That sleeve is worth a bundle, Yuki-san.

That's some custom shit.

Preserve the sleeve.

Sir, I set up a nanoswarm, so if you would be so kind as to plug in the emitter, perhaps I can assist in negotiating this misunderstanding.

Perhaps not.

Nothing common about that.

You're a dead man.

But first, you get to explain to my great-grandfather why you know my family's death poem.

I'm not sure that's a good idea.

So this is the man who dares take my name.

A heavy burden... not worth stealing and harder to carry.

My name carries its own weight.

He impersonated you, Sosofu. Sleeve killed two of my men.

How do you know my family's death poem?

You recited it to me almost 300 years ago in a teahouse in New Hokkaido.

Foolish child.

Do you have any idea who you escorted past my security?

Perhaps you'd like to cut out my stack and hand it to him as well.

No, we beat him.

He's not a threat.

Educate him.

Forgive me, Oyabun.

I asked you to make a point, and you made it.

I don't understand.

He's an Envoy.

He allowed you to beat him because he wanted an audience.

He recited the poem so you would have to comply.

Isn't that right, Takeshi-san?

I'm not here to endanger you, only to ask a favor.

I need a place to stay.

Off the grid.

But my great-grandson didn't know that.

I'll make amends.

Start by vacating the building.

This man did a job for me after the fall of Stronghold.

When one of our own betrayed me, he was caught by the Protectorate, tortured in every way they knew how.

He never gave me up.

He is not to be bothered again!

Yukito is young, but still, that was disappointing.

Family usually is.

I see your gift for understatement hasn't changed.

Has anything else?

I'm still looking for her.

Horace Axley told me that she was here on Harlan's, said he could prove it.

I protected him... but I was too late.

Axley and I go back a long way, Takeshi-san.

He would lie to the devil himself if he stood something to gain.

Well, someone went savage on him. This time he wasn't lying.

I gave no orders to eliminate Axley.

The last time you were here, you suspected your sister had hidden Quellcrist Falconer's DHF.

Has it ever occurred to you that Reileen was lying?

That Axley merely dangled Falconer's whereabouts to bend you to his will?

Every minute of every day.

But if there's a chance that anything he said is true...

I can't walk away.

That's not love.

It's obsession.

This is the first Songspire grown in captivity, my personal experiment over the centuries.

You sound like a scientist.

Remnants of an abandoned past.

The cells in our bodies are constantly dying and being replaced.

As we age, we become a copy of a copy of a copy, degrading each time.

Meths have got around that.

Have we?

We transfer our minds into new sleeves, but what if the spirit degrades as well?

We can't quantify the change, but we are not the same.

I'm not the person I once was.

Neither are you.

Nor, I suspect, is she.

I didn't come here for a lesson, Oyabun.

I should get back.

Time is the greatest of all warriors.

What it doesn't destroy, it alters beyond recognition.

Time tears down everything.

We brace our backs against the void, desperate to hold on to the past...

to our ghosts...

to ourselves.


My apologies, sir.

I'm afraid our old haunt is much like myself, in a state of broken-down disarray.

Perhaps "The Nevermore" would be a more apt moniker.

Is there whiskey?

I believe the former tenants left a passable bottle of...

Oh! Single malt.

Then it's fine.

All I want is a bed and no more bullshit for one day.

Hmm, can I infer you... triumphed against adversity once again?

I'm on a planet I hate, I don't know who killed Axley or how I'll find them, and I'm no closer to Quell than I was before.

So... that's a no.

Good night, Poe.

Good night, sir.

I can't do this anymore.

This wild-goose chase across the stars, running after you.

This isn't true, is it?

You're just a figment... in my head.

That's all there is left.

You're gone.

You have your answer, Tak.

It's in the one place you're not looking. I don't know what that means.

When we made stacks, we thought we severed the mind from the body, but the truth is more complicated.

I'm done with complicated. Either you're dead or you're not.

Our bodies know things, our skin, our bones, our flesh hold our experiences.

What does your body, this body, remember?

Feel what you felt... then you can remember what you saw.

State-dependent memory.


I did what you told me.

I survived.

I'm not here for you.

♪ I close my eyes ♪

♪ And drift away ♪

♪ To a distant sound Of an old symphony ♪

♪ There I saw your face ♪

♪ And recalled the days When you couldn't find ♪

♪ Your melody ♪

♪ I can hear it now ♪

♪ I think I fell in love With an illusion ♪

♪ I think I fell in love With an illusion of you ♪

♪ Illusion of you ♪

♪ Illusion of you ♪

♪ Many moons have passed ♪

♪ Since that winter's night ♪

♪ We poured our hearts out Till the morning light ♪

♪ The windblown chime Break the lovers sigh ♪

♪ The big bad wolf has cried Too many times ♪

♪ I can hear it now ♪