Equals (2015) Script

All trains departing lower levels.

The Collective runs by everybody doing their part.

Report suspicious activity to health and safety.

Health and safety is here to help.

Just look for the black and white vests.

After you. Thank you.

This train serves the north-east work sectors.

This is a message from the Collective.

Are you overly tired? Or experiencing increased sensitivity?

Maybe you have difficulty concentrating.

You may have S.O.S. Switched On Syndrome.

...a further 43 degrees along this orbit that the holst probe will begin the 110 minute descent into TK-14's atmosphere...

...bombs dropped for the span of 28 days and obliterated 99.6% of usable arid land on the Earth's surface.

And event that changed the course of human kind forever, and now known as the great war.

...of the two tracts of land that survived the great war.

The Peninsula still stands 44 degrees west of the Collective.

And is a wild primitive area, containing empty, dilapidated buildings...

...and little is known of the primitive nature of the Peninsula's inhabitants.

The defects living there are ruled by emotion and base desires.

An ancient vestige of our past.

This image shows Equis 12 leaving Earth's orbit on last week's interstellar mission.

Who wrote the text for this feature?

Me, I did.

Does this accurate, Nia? Yes.

Except the rocket's fission thrusters are cylindrical, these appear triangular.

Thank you. I'll change that.

Iris is back from conception duty.

She got back yesterday.

She had a defect.

How do you know?

She told me. Did she have the bug?

No. She says she's clean.

Where is everyone watching the landing tomorrow night?

I'm watching it in Bishop Park. I'm going to leave work early to get a good seat.

If I arrive early enough I can get a seat close to the screen.





You're in safe hands now folks. Please continue on your way.

Total number of puzzles solved, 2224.

The following is an update on last night's disturbance in living block 5-J.

Health and safety officials subdued two individuals engaged in coupling activities.

And both have been transported to the defective, emotional, neuropathy facility, the den, for containment and emotional suppression treatment.

The incident is an outbreak of defective behavior.

Remember, couplers are a danger to themselves and to all of us.

Physical contact, touching, or displays of emotions are signs of an individual infected with S.O.S.

If you see the signs, report the couplers to health and safety immediately.

Let's do our part to help contain this dangerous epidemic.

...with no infrastructure the Collective erected a patrolled border to contain any resurgence of chaos...

Did anybody see that? See what?

That's unfortunate. He's already dead.

Anyone recognize him? Not sure.

Don't think so. That's our first jumper in a while.

His head was no match for that concrete.

I just remembered there was a suicide in my building last night, a woman slit her throat.

I hope they find someone to cover his work.

Even before the demise, humankind knew the importance of space exploration.

As the Collective, we prioritize it and perfect it.

Now, 798 million miles away, as we brace the surface of TK-14, we move one step further in our understanding of ultimate reality.

Okay, everybody, this is it.

3... 2... 1... Mark.

Last but not least. Speculative non-fiction, the title is inside the Peninsula.

Silas, will you talk us through the lead illustration?


Sorry, Leonard.

I went with the scene on the Peninsula where the defects huddle together for warmth.

In my research I found that they form social bonds with each other to help alleviate something called anxiety.

Very good. Thank you.

While scientists are making great strides in understanding this debilitating condition.

A reliable cure for S.O.S. has yet to be found.

And most S.O.S. sufferers will experience complete emotional disability.

In as little as four to six months.

Prior to eventual containment at the den, Kappa Rho inhibitors offer a reliable means of dampening symptoms, and slowing the stages of the disease.

Thus allowing sufferers to maintain... What stage?

Excuse me? What stage are you?

Oh, I'm just here for a check up. Strictly precautionary.

I'm Jonas.


What stage are you?


You look healthy.

Well, I have my good days and my bad days.

Silas? Good luck.

Thank you.

The ground was rushing towards me.

I couldn't breathe.

I felt like my stomach was... it was in my mouth. It was extremely unpleasant.

You had a nightmare, Silas.

I never want to experience anything like it again.

How long have you had these symptoms?

Maybe three days. No longer than that.

I'm going to take some blood now.

Can you give me your hand please, Silas?

Your test is positive, Silas.

You're only stage one.

A woman in my office recently gave birth to a defect, I...

I couldn't have caught it from her. Not if she's clean, right?

Even if this woman did have S.O.S., it isn't contagious.

I'd like to start you on a full course of inhibitors immediately.

There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to live a normal life.

At least for a while.

And the den. You mustn't think about that for now.

The den is a long way off for you. A cure is right around the corner.

Where were you, Silas?

I went to the cafeteria to drink some tea.

Is that where you got the bruise?

No. Last night in Tai Chi class, the man next to me accidentally struck me.

Silas, you weren't in Tai Chi class last night.

Yes, he was.

I saw him.

What's that?

It's a bumblebee.

Careful. Don't they sting?

According to the laws of aerodynamics they shouldn't even fly.

But they don't know it. So they fly anyway.

Be part of the solution by taking your inhibitors. Your health is the health...

Picking up.

If you're watching this film, your doctor has diagnosed you with S.O.S.

Switched On Syndrome.

As members of the Collective, we hear a lot about Switched On Syndrome.

Here is important information about how this debilitating disease will affect you.

And how you can manage it responsibly before eventual containment at the defective emotional neuropathy facility, the den.

Switched On Syndrome is a malfunction of the gene silencing that controls human emotions and eliminates human flaws.

But in Switched On Syndrome, problem genes lose their silencing and re-awaken.

Leading to unpredictable sensory experiences and behavioral defects.

Until a cure is available.

Inhibitors are the only effective means of slowing the disease's staging, while dampening the onset of emotion.

And while the causes are unknown, we do understand the disease's progression.

During stage one, intermittent feeling, you will experience difficulty concentrating, depression, pain, overwhelmed feelings, impulsivity and sensitivity to light.

As the disease progresses into further stages, consistent low level emotion and emotional volatility, these symptoms will worsen.

In stage four, acute behavioral chaos, you will no longer function as a productive member of the Collective.

And your doctor will prescribe containment at the den.

Where you will be provided with electro restraint, emotional suppression, and a pain-free death scenario.

If you have questions about your condition, notify your doctor or health and safety official for immediate attention.

And remember, a cure is right around the corner.

Hello, Silas.

Hello, Nia.

Individuals no longer... Nia...

I read your article on the Harlow Nine probe.

I was wondering if you could look over my impressions.

But you're speculative non-fiction.

I switched with Leonard.


I felt like a change.

There's a staff meeting tomorrow afternoon.

Why don't I review your work then?

I'd really appreciate your input at this early stage, if it's not too much trouble.

This isn't what I described.

Isn't it? Harlow Nine is a lander not an orbiter.

And where's its robotic arm? Are those for a feature?


I thought you were speculative non-fiction.

I switched with Leonard.

One more thing. The Eleos landing was made on a flat surface.

The way you've drawn it, it looks almost mountainous.

Is there anything else I can help you with, Silas?

Thank you for your feedback.

You're welcome.

It's this vastness... inaccessibility, symmetry... and the permanence of the night sky that made it a natural topic for philosophers pursuing the understanding of ultimate reality.

It's this vastness... inaccessibility, symmetry... and permanence of the night sky that made it a natural topic for philosophers...

At Atmos our past is not a relic we should leave behind.

But a living creation, something to be handled.

The work we do at Atmos is that which links our present.

I'm so sorry.

You dropped these.

Thank you.

It's about time you all knew. Last week I... tested positive for S.O.S.

I'm stage one. I'm taking inhibitors.

There is no evidence that the bug is contagious. However... if it makes you feel more comfortable, I'll wear a face mask from now on.

Silas, I'm very sorry. How long do you have?

It's difficult to say.

Is this why you stopped doing speculative non-fiction?

I don't know, Rachel.


A face mask is a little extreme. Although I don't think he should sit with us anymore.

And you should have your own mug.

Do you all agree?

We cured cancer. We cured the common cold.

We can cure S.O.S. You're going to live, pal.

Thank you all.

This has to stop.

If it continues I'll be forced to report you.

Do you understand?

You have the bug. Don't you?

I'm clean.

The day that man jumped off the building... you saw his body out the window, you...

you looked... affected.

There have been other times, too. I've been watching you.

The way you look at the world, the way you experience things.

I'm clean.

It's different.

What you are going through must be very difficult.

If you were clean, this conversation wouldn't even be taking place.

You'd have reported me already.

Am I right?

Goodnight, Silas.

Good morning, Silas. Good morning, Nia.

And finally, the Harlow landing.

Nia, do you have any more notes for me?

No. Your changes work well. Thank you.

Onto the next article then. Zoe?

These are my impressions of the hot flow anomaly on the planet BL4.

The visible bioshock...

Goodnight, Nia. Goodnight, Rachel.

Your bruise went away.

You noticed that?

I've had the bug a year and three months.

I didn't want to go to the doctor. I just sort of knew.

You know there is really nothing any... anyone could do to help.

And I'm scared of the meds and then...

Doesn't seem fair at first.


You know I could live... I could live with it.

But every day was different and that was the hardest part.

Every single time I thought I knew something or learned anything, I...


And I felt this guilt every time I wanted to go back to normal.

Like I shouldn't want that.

Every day I am practicing unbearable discipline and self-control.

You realize what would happen if anyone saw us in here right now?

We'd go straight to the den. It's a death sentence.

One of my neighbors missed two doctor's appointments.

I haven't seen him in six weeks.

We can't do this again.

It can't happen, you know that.

We just...

We just have to hold out for the cure.

Will you stay in here with me a little longer?

Are you okay? Yeah.

I need to go.

Nia, are you staying late again tonight?

I'm not sure. I wish I had your kind of work ethic.

I received a message from Zoe.

On her way to work this morning she received a conception duty summons.

Could one of the illustrators present for her in the staff meeting?

I'll do it. I'll be glad to.

Good night, Nia. Good night, Kate.

They may simply be labeled as dualist.

Two subject concepts and materialist one subject concepts.

The way you've been looking at me...

I can't help it.

I can feel it.

What does it feel like?

It feels just wrong.

No, no. No.

It's not wrong. It's completely right. This feels... completely right.

I'm scared.

I'm so scared.

Me too.

Hello, Leonard.


I didn't expect to see you here this late.

Have you thought about killing yourself?

No, that's not until stage three.

Why is Nia's interface on?

Have you been snooping again, Silas?

Excuse me?

A month ago, health and safety saw you on Nia's interface after-hours.

I was told to keep an eye on you.

Is there something you want to tell me?

As the manager here at Atmos, one of my duties is to maintain the safety and welfare of the team.

Therefore, if I believe that someone on the team is in danger, or involved in an activity that is unsafe, I'd report him, or her, to health and safety.

Unless, of course, the activity were to stop.

Does that make sense to you?



Shall we get out of here, Silas?

Goodnight. Goodnight, Nia.

He knows.

What are we going to do?

We have to stay away from each other.

I can't... stay away from you. I can't... not be around you.

Not in that office. Not when I see you everyday. It's impossible.

I thought about it. The best thing is for me to leave Atmos.

Get a job somewhere else.

It's like you said... we have to hold on for the cure. That's all we should be thinking about.


Have you received a conception duty summons?

Let's work together to populate the Collective.

Insemination is quick and solitary, and during gestation you'll be supporting and growing the Collective.

If you received a summons please...

Are you sure this is what you want?

I'm sure.

Positions at Atmos are highly coveted. Once we've placed you...

I understand.

Because of my diagnosis, I think a work environment where I interact less with others would be better.

For everyone's benefit.

That's a very responsible attitude.

Oh, Nia... meet Dominic, our new illustrator.

Dominic, this is Nia, she works in text. You'll be interpreting her words.

It's very nice to meet you, Nia. Welcome to Atmos.

Follow me.

I also design rockets. I could have been an engineer, but I lacked patience.

I think working at Atmos is a vitally important job.

Science is a process and often leads to dead-ends.

But here... we're delivering the answers, we're educating people.

Knowledge is sacred, and Atmos is the new scripture.

If you think about it, we're kind of like preachers.

Where did you study?

I'm self-taught. I've always drawn pictures ever since I was a child.

One of my guardians, Barnabas, nicknamed me Little Da Vinci.

Did you hear? Zoe was inseminated.

It means she's clean. She didn't catch the bug from Silas.

That means we're probably clean, too. I'm definitely clean.

I donated blood last week.



You okay?


Do you want to take a walk?

I miss her.

I don't know, it felt so good to be around her that... we were nearly tripping up and I couldn't see... couldn't see anything bad happening to her.

You two were in love with each other.

That's very clear. You were right to end it though.

I think dealing with this disease on your own is hard enough, coupling would just make it unbearable.

You know... about a year ago...

I also made a connection with a woman.

Though, it didn't end well.

So sorry.

Your friend, what stage is she?

She's self-diagnosed. She's fighting the bug without drugs.

She's a "hider."

Not many people can do that successfully. I think hiders are...

I think they are wired differently.

You know we have one in our group. Bess. She's a... she's a doctor at the den, of all places.

Listen, I'm part of a group. A support group.

With Bess and others from my work.

To talk openly about how we feel.

If you're interested I'll vouch for you.

It might help.

I'd be willing to try.


Nia, it's me again. Until you give me some text to work with, I am idle, and that doesn't seem like a very good use of my time.

I'm almost finished, Dominic.

All the other illustrators received their pieces hours ago...

I'm almost finished, Dominic.

But I appreciate your patience.

Of course.

Silas, you made it.

This is great. I'm glad you're here.

Everybody, this is Silas. The one I was telling you about.

Silas, this is Bess. Peter and Thomas.

Gilead, Max and Alice.

Come take a seat.

...and then after lunch he just kept staring at me, like he could tell I wasn't taking my meds.

And I wanted to say something to him.

But then I thought, what if I'm just imagining it?

So I turned and walked away.

And all I could think is that he knows.

He's going to report me and I'm going to get caught.

And I can't stop thinking that. All the time...

It's natural. It's happened to every one of us.

Yes, but all I could think is that I am going to the den. I'm going to the den.

It's over. And they're...

What happens in the den?

Half the people who are brought in commit suicide.

The staff encourages it and stand by while it happens.

And that's the preferable option anyway.

Compared to electro restraints and all the other methods of treatment.

But there is value in living.

Being a hider reminds you of that.

I still don't know how you do it.

Working for health and safety is hard enough.

Yes, it's difficult to see things and not be moved.

But that's what being a hider is all about.

So you do small things to help.

Just looking someone in the eyes, can make them feel they're not alone. Give them hope.

But under no circumstances do you interfere.

You have to tell yourself, do not risk your job, do not risk your life.

But why stay in a position where you feel so much risk?

You could ask to be reassigned. I'd rather be with people who feel.

Who feel intensely.

It reminds me of who I am and why I choose to keep on living.

Everybody says it's not contagious.

But after all these years as awful as it is, everyday I feel a stronger... affinity with other people.

See I don't believe all the research.

Feelings engender feelings.

S.O.S. isn't even a disease, that's what they say but... switched off is something they do to us between conception and birth.

S.O.S. is who we really are and... the inhibitors are just another attempt to squash that.

I don't know. It's so hard.

It's lonely.

At least with the inhibitors I can get by but now...

I would rather feel nothing.

Nothing is better than this.

It's okay. It's okay.

I could never have imagined what love felt like. It's strange... like a little tornado going around and...


That's why I was so scared of it at first.

It's about giving, I want you to take everything, I don't even know what it is, I just want you to take it from me.

I just want to...

I want to run.

I want to run... both of us... as fast as we can, outside, just take off.

It's so weird, I'm like...

I keep on thinking about...

Ever since we were kids it's been drilled into us that... our purpose is to explore the universe, you know.

Outer space is where we'll find... the answers to why we're here and... where we come from.

It's like everyone's... searching for these answers 800 million miles away and the truth is... the answers are right in front of us.

I know why I'm here.

Me too.

What are we going to do now?

We just spend as much time here together as we can.

Go to work, act normal, but then... at night... we're together.


What did you look like when you were little?

Have you always had these freckles?

I don't know.

I think so.

Did you grow early? Did I grow early?

Yeah, I was tall until I wasn't.

I was a little round kid.

What was your favorite subject?

I liked history. How about you?

I always really loved to write.

What did you write when you were a kid? I always liked to write poetry.

I liked the school trips as well.

When we got to go... to the great war museum... to see how the bombs dropped and wiped out the cities and stuff.

I see a future outside of this room.

Some place out there in the vastness of everything we know.

In all those millions of miles.

Dominic FYI. The article's finished.

You gave it to me already. I'm working on it right now.

No, the one after this. On the extraction of superfluids from neutron stars.

No pressure.

I wish I could explain this to everyone else.

I'm sick of being... scared of getting caught.

I want people to know and not think we're sick.

The significant breakthrough came with the isolation of the bulbar cell line, allowing an effective genetic re-silencing, without triggering the systematic organ malfunction that had marked earlier attempts.

To be clear, this is not another Kappa Rho inhibitor.

It's a cure that restores the health and systematic order to the individual.

With the Ashby Eni cure, it is only a matter of time before all current S.O.S. cases are treated, and future cases prevented.

The ENI cure is injected directly into the neck, leaving a small coin-like scar, a quick and simple procedure.

Once administered, the drug requires a six hour absorption period, before the disease is completely neutralized.

After which point, regardless of stage, the patient is restored to normal health.

Mass production of the drug is already underway.

And shipments are being made available to public clinics immediately.

Individuals diagnosed with S.O.S. need not suffer another day.

Contact your doctor immediately to receive the Ashby ENI cure... and rejoin the ranks of equals...

We're gonna remember this feeling.

We're gonna live every day remembering and we're not gonna feel it.

We're not even gonna exist anymore.

It's not over.

We're not doing that.

So you don't want the cure. No.

Do you?


This is Nia.

We want to go to the Peninsula.

At my old post, I took part in an air patrol.

We wouldn't fly directly over the Peninsula, but...

I could see it from a distance. It's totally overgrown.

If anyone actually lives there it's in a completely primitive state.

How do we get there? You're seriously considering this?

We've already decided. You know you'll be on your own out there.

There will be no one to look after you.

Whatever we go through it will be together.

I know how you're feeling, but you're not thinking of all the risks.

If we stay here we'll be found out. We'll get the cure.

You know, it's many years ago...

I was not much older than you are now when I got the bug, no one even knew what S.O.S. was back then.

People were getting it, and most of them would commit suicide.

There was a young man in my living block, I could tell he was a hider, just like me, but no one dared mention it back then.

One night... he knocked on my door and told me that he and two others... were going to the Peninsula and he wanted me to go with him.

Of course, there was no way I was going.

I knew they were headed for their deaths.


A few months after he left were the loneliest I ever felt.

We'd only spoken that one time.

More than all the suicides I've seen.

It was his death that was the most... unnecessarily wasteful.

Such a waste.

That was a new feeling for me.

But you don't know that he died.

What if he didn't?

I can talk to my old colleague. He was the pilot who took us on the air patrol.

If they get caught, the whole plan could be traced back to you or to the group.

You said interfering was too risky.

If you make this decision you know... there is no turning back.

If you do manage to get out... you can never return.

Of course.

When you get to the border ask for Oliver, he will fly you.

What if he gets caught?

He won't.

Good luck.

Thank you.

Welling is the closest station to the border.

Trains don't go there until the weekend. I checked the schedule.

We could leave on Saturday.

Three days.

You're shaking. So are you.

Are you sure? Yes. Are you?

I got a conception summons.

We're leaving in two days.

By the time they come looking for you we'll be gone. Ignore it.

My tag is blocked, I'm not gonna get on the train.

I won't make it through any of the check points.

Look, it's just a summons, right?

It's not like they're going to inseminate you...

They'll check my blood. They'll see I have the disease instantly.

Yeah, but they can't force you to get the cure.

I've been diagnosed, no one's forcing me to get it, are they?

Besides, the clinics are overwhelmed right now.

All that's going to happen is, they'll tell you you've tested positive for S.O.S., and that you should see your doctor immediately, that's it. Then get out of there.

Nothing's changed.

We're leaving Saturday, 10 o'clock train. You've missed the whole morning of work.

You should get over there right away. I'll come after my shift.

Meet me behind the clinic.


I received a summons.

Hello, Nia. Hello, doctor.

Lie back for me, please.

I'm going to take a sample of your blood, okay?


I have the bug, don't I?

Nia, you're pregnant.

What is it? She's pregnant.

She got called for conception duty and they found out. They're taking her to the den.

You need to calm down. I'm calm, I'm calm, it's fine.

When did they take her? About an hour ago or something.

Well, listen, I will contact Bess... No, no. No. Not Bess.

She won't help us. Ask someone else. There is no one else. Bess is our only hope.

Listen, you can't be seen around here like this.

I'm fine, but let me come with you. Let me help her...

Go home, I'll contact you. Wait there. I can talk to them. Let me go with you.

Don't attempt to see Nia.

Silas, go home. Trust me.

What are they gonna do to her? Just calm down.

You need to stay calm, or they'll give you the cure.

Give me a couple hours. Go home and wait there.

Jonas? Get dressed as fast as you can.

And listen to me carefully, last week, a woman was brought in called Eva.

She was stage three. Last night she knotted a garbage bag over her head, suffocated, she's dead.

Now you... are going to switch places with her.

Eva didn't kill herself last night, you did.

You are Eva, she was you.

You're gonna walk out of here. Just...

Hold out your arm. Your left arm please.


All right.

You are Eva.

Got it? Ready?

I told Silas to wait at his apartment. You'll find him there.

The following message is an update on the security breach at the den.

The Collective wishes to congratulate health and safety official, I.D.: 22564943 who alerted authorities to three individuals operating against protocol at the den.

Two of the three were health and safety officials, and the third was a physician at the den.

All are currently safe and receiving the Ashby ENI cure.

So that they may return to work as productive equals in the Collective.

The ENI cure will now be required for those diagnosed with, or suffering from S.O.S.

And mandatory S.O.S. testing will begin immediately, for all health and safety officials as well as medical professionals.


Her name is Nia. Her ID tag is 34729647.

She writes text for Atmos.

You said her name was Nia? Yes.

Was she brought here yesterday evening?

Lives at 6L 415? That's right.

She died last night.

According to the doctor's notes, the cause of death was asphyxiation.

Could you... could you check that again?

Yes, that's her.


Are you okay?

Do you need some help?

Where have you been?


You okay?


I thought... I thought you were gone.

How long do you have?

Maybe five hours.



Fight it.

It doesn't matter, it doesn't matter. Fight it. Okay?

I'm still pregnant.

We're going to get on the train tomorrow. Okay?

I love you.

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.

You have to fight it. Just fight it, okay?

I can already tell it's in me.

Just remember... okay?


Remember this feeling.

Just remember what this feels like.

Yeah, just promise me, no matter... what happens you keep loving me, no matter what I say, what I feel or don't feel, I'm still... I'm still in here trying. Okay?

I'm still in here. Just don't give up on me.

Please, don't give up on me. I promise.

I promise that I won't...


Good morning.

Do you still love me?

I remember I loved you.


I don't feel it anymore.

Do you still want to go?

We made a plan.


This is a non-local transport serving outlying regions with three stops.

The final destination port will be Welling at the outer Peninsula.

This transport is for...