Violet's Code by Julian Paulsen | Script Revolution

Violet's Code

After their troubled son unleashes an apocalyptic virus, a couple of genius scientists send an assassin back in time to stop him, only for their past selves to inadvertently stand in the would-be killer’s way.



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As brilliant physicist LUCIEN VANCE (50s) and his genius bio-engineer wife, JESSICA VANCE (50s), speed in their car through a pandemic-ravaged, post-apocalyptic Manhattan, Lucien desperately tries to convince Jessica that, “It wasn’t Paul!” But as they reach their luxury high rise and make their way to their sprawling loft, they’re confronted with a newscast on their TV– the image of their only child: DR. PAUL VANCE (30s) with a red chyron beneath that reads, “SCIENTIST TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE NOVIXIME VIRUS IN A GRUESOME MANIFESTO.”

Within minutes, horrified, the couple discovers Paul lying lifeless on the terrace, bleeding profusely from every orifice in his body. Reeling with grief and misery, Jessica cries, “If we don’t do something, it’s all over! We can stop him. We have to!”

Jessica and Lucien flee the nightmare of Paul’s body, and time jumps to a deserted New York City subway station. A delicately framed and shy-looking Paul (20s) walks the empty platform, passing VIOLET (20s), who’s on a bench, looking otherworldly with bright blue eyes and deep black hair. Paul is mesmerized, but buries himself in a book, only to be grabbed from behind by a hooded figure who tries to break his neck. Out of nowhere, another dark hooded figure –whom Paul quickly sees is Violet!– slams against his attacker, fights ferociously and kicks the hooded figure in the chest with such force that it lands on the express tracks a second before the train runs through.

Terrified, Paul flees the station as fast as he can to his parents’ apartment, where he collapses on their sofa and passes out. When Jessica and Lucien return home from an elite event and hear how Paul fled the scene, they are both concerned and rife with disappointment, which the highly anxious and fragile Paul immediately recoils from as they decide to bring in police detectives who now start an investigation.

Paul returns to his own apartment and has nightmares of Violet appearing over and over again, killing him. The next morning, troubled and anxiety-driven, he slogs to his lab, where he works for his parents’ hugely successful AI research company, Valiant Technologies. After, he heads to a lecture by DOCTOR LES GRAHAM (80s) and is both stunned and intrigued after running into Violet. Graham is a controversial eugenicist and depopulation advocate, whose contention is that planet Earth can only be saved via the end of human procreation and controlled extinction of humankind. Paul finds his philosophic concepts very compelling food for thought and shares it all with Violet–plus a quick tour of Central Park’s Zoo–before ending at his apartment to take refuge from a sudden storm. Violet is quite endeared by him, yet cautious.

When Paul awakens the next morning, Violet is gone, having left only her shoes. Paul is distraught and smitten, determined to find her. But it’s a short-lived search, as his parents soon break the news that Violet was murdered and her body had been found. With no known last name or family to call, the three of them hold a dignified funeral for her. And so it begins a very dark devolution of Paul, who is inconsolable.

As Paul falls into a morbid and angry depression, we jump back in time now to Violet, on the day she arrived at the subway station and first saw Paul. While he reads his book, Violet fast approaches him from behind, grabs him by the neck ready to snap it, when out of nowhere, another dark hooded figure appears and slams against Violet to defend Paul’s life. Paul falls to the floor and crawls away, confused and terrified as Violet confronts her opponent: the girl looks exactly like her - same eyes, same hair, same clothes, same otherworldly look. She’s Violet’s exact duplicate.

Violet soon kills her duplicate, discards her body, and proceeds to “run into” Paul at Graham’s lecture the next day. She meets Paul for an afternoon of touring Central Park’s Zoo, and they take refuge from a storm in his apartment. Later that night, as he sleeps, Violet hears a frantic knock at his door and, despite being barefoot, she answers, only to be whisked away by someone...

That someone is quickly revealed as Jessica. It takes her no time to realize that Violet is not human, and she swiftly gains command of the humanoid. Violet reveals to Jessica that she herself created Violet–the first human-like conscious AI– decades in the future, and then sent her back in time–which Lucien’s wormhole research will allow in the future as well–on a mission to kill Paul.

Why? Because it’s the only way to stop Paul from fatally descending into his self-loathing, nihilistic psychopathic future self who will be bent on unleashing a virus to save the planet from humanity.

What Jessica and Lucien don’t realize is how very human–and therefore unpredictable and mercurial–their son is as he vacillates in his torment, while at the same time, they fail to recognize how very reliable and deterministic their scientific inventions are in guaranteeing Paul’s apocalyptic vision, with or without him.

Submitted: March 8, 2023
Last Updated: March 12, 2023

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Julian Paulsen's picture

The Writer: Julian Paulsen

Julian's journey – from a lounge bar pianist in Mexico City to a full-time feature screenplay writer in Brooklyn – would be considered quite improbable but not impossible. With this in mind, he has been honing his writing skills with two projects: a noir drama set in New York City, circa 1978, and a romantic, post-apocalyptic thriller set in the 2030s. Write it till you make it, is his motto! Go to bio

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