The year is 2017: A computer virus has infected the West Coast Main Frame, which
controls everything from electrical power, to communications satellites, train switching,
airline traffic control, and oxygen production. The Main Frame is the "brains" for the
entire Western United Staes... And it has a virus. Potentially deadly to everyone from
Seattle to Los Angeles to the Rocky Mountains.
How do you find and destroy a virus WITHIN a computer?
You send in a team.
Five computer scientists: the government's top virus expert Dr. SIMAK, a tough female
hardware tech VOUGHT, a wild and crazy young programmer HAMILTON, the dashing systems
designer KUTTNER, a beautiful female virus expert from the private sector named LISA.
Protected by a team of five Marines lead by Urban Rescue expert Sgt. JOHN CABOT.
Sent INTO the computer by experimental Direct Plug Virtual Reality. Into a landscape of
giant hard drives and circuit boards to hunt a virus which has taken form: stolen "bodies" from
computer fighting games. A virus with the latest in artificial intelligence.
A virus which has become sentient... Learned to hate.... Wants to destroy the world
outside of the computer.
Time is running out. The Bandits have shut down the oxygen scrubbers for Los Angeles.
Everyone will be dead in less than ten hours, unless the Team can destroy The Bandits Virus.
But every hour spent in Direct Plug Virtual Reality after the first four becomes potentially
deadly. The human brain loses its ability to differentiate between Virtual Reality and Reality.
After four hours a fatal injury in VR will actually kill you.
As Cabot and the team search the inner workings of the Main Frame, searching for The
Bandits Virus and its deadly leader DERRIX, they enter a world where programs are more real
than humans. A "Doom"-like maze of wires, chips, circuit boards and transistors. Where the
lions and tigers and bears of Encarta are REAL, and the vicious aliens from a game can actually
kill you. Where a Bandit might lurk behind the next corner, waiting with a weapon stolen from a
"HARD RETURN" is non-stop sci-fi action in the tradition of "Fantastic Voyage" and
"Aliens" about a battle fought INSIDE the computer, with the fate of the world outside at stake.
HARD RETURN copyright 2005 by William C. Martell
For a copy of this script... E-mail me! wcmartell@ScriptSecrets.Net
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I've written 19 films that were carelessly slapped onto celluloid: 3 for HBO, 2 for Showtime, 2 for USA Net, and a whole bunch of CineMax Originals (which is what happens when an HBO movie goes really, really wrong). I've been on some film festival juries, including Raindance in London (twice - once with Mike Figgis and Saffron Burrows, once with Lennie James and Edgar Wright - back to "jury duty" in October of 2009). Roger Ebert discussed my work with Gene Siskel on his 1997 "If We Picked The Winners" Oscar show. I'm quoted a few times in Bordwell's great book "The Way Hollywood tells It". My USA Net flick HARD EVIDENCE was released on video the same day as the Julia Roberts' film Something To Talk About and out-rented it in the USA. In 2007 I had two films released on DVD on the same day and both made the top 10 rentals.