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20-Page Treatment 1 - Psycop

This is long. Long enough that I considered giving it its own page, rather than a post? But I guess if you're reading this, you know what you're in for.

Like I mentioned the other day, it's not 20 pages, and it's not great. But it is my first 20-page treatment, so I didn't really expect it to be. It's changed significantly since the 3-page treatment, which I'm okay with, because the changes had to do with a pretty deep problem - specifically, the lack of a antagonist. This current incarnation still doesn't have a phenomenal antagonist, but it does have one. So that's better, at least.

So yeah. It's rough and unpolished and kind of just bad and rambly. I'd probably prefer nobody read it. But it's finished, and the point of this blog is to keep me accountable, which just won't work if I only publish stuff I'm proud of, so here it goes.

Psycop


Sandra is a Psycop - a law enforcement official slash soldier slash secret servicewoman who uses implants and drugs to stimulate her precognitive abilities, allowing her to train for fights days, weeks, sometimes months before they happen. However, she’s been out of commission for a while after a “novel” fight - a fight she hadn’t seen coming. She was left maimed, and shows up to work sporting new cybernetic legs.

As soon as she comes in, her chief says he wants to see her, but she tells him she wants to take her Pythium first. The first thing a Psycop does at work is to shoot up with Pythium, to get a vision of the next fight they’ll be in - technically, it’s the next time you have an adrenaline rush, but Psycops adopt a very ascetic lifestyle to ensure that it’s only combat that causes adrenaline rushes.

When Sandra shoots up, she sees herself fighting the same guy who took her down before. She’s stoked, and ready for revenge. Even though she loses horribly in the vision, she knows that she can train for the fight, so her victory is all but assured.

Her chief, though, isn’t as certain. Expressing concerns about how unstable her cybernetic legs are, and with how poorly the fight went in her vision, he transfers her to the Postcogs: traditional police investigators, with a focus on Psycops and the things that slip between their cracks.

Sandra appeals to the chief’s boss, but she sides with the chief. She comforts Sandra, though, telling her that she actually reached her position by working up through the Postcogs. She assures Sandra that there is plenty of fulfilling work to do there - while the culture in the Psycops is very negative towards Postcogs, she says that’s just interdepartmental rivalry, and they’re good people.

Sandra meets with Bo, the Psycop’s resident precognition expert, and an old friend of her family. He commiserates with her, but also encourages her to take the transfer. He assures her that the Postcog work will be fulfilling - but also assures her that he can keep her supplied with Pythium, so she can see if she’s still going to get in that fight, and if so, train for it. He encourages her to talk with her now ex-partner, Huey, because surely he can keep her updated on anything they learn about the guy.

Sandra takes Bo’s advice. She accepts the transfer, and talks to Huey. Huey agrees to request that case, and promises to keep her updated. Plus, when her vision assures her she’ll still get in that fight, the Pythium allows her to keep training for it.

Sandra fits in with the Postcogs about as well as she expected to - they’re cold to her, and she’s cold to them. Things do warm up a bit when she saves one of her coworkers, Mahsa, who has an allergic reaction to some nuts, and Sandra is the only one who thinks to grab her epipen. Still, Sandra has a lot to learn about traditional policework, and the Postcogs aren’t thrilled about having to teach someone who somehow got to skip school.

There’s another assassination, and Sandra and the Postcogs are called in to interview the only surviving witness: the Psycop assigned to watch over the event. The Psycop explains how, despite the crazy turmoil and the horrific injuries, he was strangely calm the entire time. Sandra develops a pet theory: what if he didn’t see it coming, because he didn’t have an adrenaline rush? And what if the Psycops are all being drugged before their engagements?

Sandra goes to see Bo, to talk things through with him. As he explains the holes in her theory and points out the strengths, she gets a janky feeling. Who better to drug the Psycops than the one administering their drugs? She takes a slightly invasive line of questioning, and Bo admits to being the assassin.

He admits freely to the entire plan, for every assassination. He even explains the bits that Sandra doesn’t understand. He’s seen the end of the world a dozen different ways, and they all hinge on the people that he’s assassinating. Only by killing them can he save the world from them. He compares it to being given a chance to go back in time and kill Hitler.

He also explains that he’s seen this entire conversation, and has thus planned for it adequately. Dozens of thugs burst in and restrain Sandra. He doesn’t kill her - he has strict rules against killing when he doesn’t have to - but in order to make certain she can’t stop him, he blinds her. Then he leaves.

She manages to get a distress call to the Postcogs, and they track her down. She tells them everything that happened, and explains that, given that they’re the only ones who know the whole plan, if it’s possible to stop Bo, they’re the only ones who can. But the fact that he explained everything probably means they can’t.

They have some brief philosophizing over whether he intended them to go after him or not, and how to respond. Eventually they settle on flipping a coin, and the coin says they go after him. So they do.

When the Postcogs try to warn everyone, they find they’ve been branded as terrorists, and blamed for all of the assassinations so far. They have to assault the location where the president is speaking, fighting through police and Secret Service agents (without killing anyone) in order to save the president.

Sandra injects herself with the psychic drug, and then with an adrenaline shot, giving her a psychic vision of like, five seconds from now. She and the postcogs rush to president, and have to fight off Bo, who’s been training for the fight. However, her weird, unprecedented psychic vision messes with the refresh rate of his predictions, and she’s able to catch him off-guard and beat him.

The Psycops are horrendously discredited, but Sandra just earned a butt-ton of goodwill, and is the perfect person to restore their name. She’s put in a position of high leadership.
Sandra Markus, 32, wanders casually in a futuristic shopping mall. She’s tall, fit, and keeps her hair short. Her clothes are more focused on comfort and freedom of movement than on style.

The mall atrium is massive, full of natural light, and just as full of artificial light from dozens of flashing signs and displays. Hundreds of people mill about, but the room is so big, it looks like it’s a slow day.

Sandra notices one of the displays: “Up to 70% off Guilan Wristwatches! TODAY ONLY!” She takes a breath. Looks all around her, scanning for something. She sees a little boy trip and hurt his knee. She nods, lets out her breath, and starts stretching.

She paces to a bookstore, picks up a particularly heavy book. Puts it down in what appears to be a random spot on the floor, but she’s very specific about it. Next, she goes into a toy store and buys a bag of marbles. Finally, she walks to a nearby bench, and moves it about three feet to the side. She pulls an extending stun baton from her pocket, sits on the bench, and waits.

About fifteen seconds later, someone leans down to pick up the book Sandra had set on the floor. Just as they do, a gunshot rings out, and a bullet hits the wall where they were just standing. Sandra throws the marbles a couple dozen yards away, and they scatter on the floor just as a gunman comes running around a corner. He slips and falls.

Another gunman comes running from behind him, aiming again at the man who picked up the book. Before the gunman can fire, Sandra throws her baton at him, stunning him just long enough for her to run up and dispatch him with a few vicious strikes. She retrieves her stun baton, and runs back towards her bench. She uses it as a springboard to jump directly into the man who tried to pick up the book, stuns him with her baton, and then throws her baton behind her shoulder to stun the first gunman as he gets back to his feet.

She grabs the heavy book that the first man had still been carrying, tears out a page, and sets in on the floor just around the corner. Then she slides the book across the atrium floor, tripping a third gunman just as he arrives.

She charges the first gunman, knocks him out, and retrieves her stun baton. The third gunman fires at her, but she jukes and jives in a casual, almost practiced manner, avoiding all of his bullets. She stuns him into unconsciousness.

She looks over her shoulder to see the first man running away. As soon as he turns the corner, though, he slips on the loose page and hits the ground. She approaches him and handcuffs him just as police arrive. She calls him by name and arrests him for racketeering, but tells him they’ll let him off easy if he can tell her why someone just called a hit out on him.

She leads him outside. There’s a man staring at her in awe. “Are you a Psycop?” he asks, and she smiles and nods. She has a small flicker of recognition just as he draws a gun. Before she can react, shoots her in the gut.

Headlines and interviews. Psycop Killer Strikes Again. “Why don’t the Psycops ever see him coming? Isn’t that, like, literally what they do?”

Months later, Sandra shows up at the Psycops headquarters, sporting a fancy new pair of cybernetic legs. She’s a little unsteady on them, as if she’s only just mastered walking - which she has. She gets warm welcomes from everyone who sees her, along with a few words of pity and/or encouragement.

Her partner, Huey, 30, greets her with a hug and a warning: The chief wants to see her, and word around the office is that he won’t have anything good to say. Sandra laughs him off. “It can’t be worse than getting my legs cut off.” Still, she puts off seeing the chief so she can go take her first dose of Pythium, the psychic drug - it’s standard routine to do that first thing.

She heads to the Psych Lab and is surprised to see Bo, 58, lecturing the lab techs. Bo seems equally surprised to see her; nobody told him she was gonna be in today, and nobody told her he was. They greet each other like the old family friends that they are.

After a little bit of small talk, and giving her the same warning Huey did, Bo hooks up some electrodes to her temples, and gives her a small tab of Pythium to let dissolve on her tongue. She raises an eyebrow at the amount, but he reminds her that she’s been off it for months, already went through withdrawal; she doesn’t have the resistance that she used to.

She takes it, and sees a vague, foggy image of herself, running down the street. At the end of the street, she sees the guy who shot her, armed and seemingly ready for her. He shoots at her. She ducks for cover, draws a gun of her own, and fires back. There’s a brief skirmish, but he kills her before she can land a shot.

Sandra snaps out of the vision, sweating but excited. “I’ve got him now.” Bo doesn’t seem as excited as she is; this guy has been assassinating Psycops for a while now, and he’s, frankly, terrified for her. But while she knows he has a strong upper hand, now that she’s got him in a vision, she can plan for it, and she knows she’ll take him down eventually.

Still elated, she goes to see the chief. True to the omens, he doesn’t look happy at all. In fact, he looks mad. “You should have come to see me first.” Sandra reminds him that it’s standard procedure to take your Pythium upon first arriving, and he looks at the floor.

“Look, Sandra,” he says, “It’s not easy to say this. But I’ve been talking with your doctors. You’ve made a lot of good progress in the past couple months, but I worry that it’s not enough.” Given that some guy’s been out there assassinating Psycops, he just thinks everyone needs to be in tip-top shape. And she’s not. And now she’s predicted a fight with him.

Sandra agrees that she might need a couple more weeks of recovery, but begs to still be allowed to train for this fight in the meantime. The chief shakes his head. “You’re getting ahead of yourself.” He makes it clear: he’s not talking about extending her recovery period. He’s talking about retiring her.

She tries her best to stay calm, but still kind of flips out. He’s seriously going to let her go through the entire recovery process so that she can come back, only to tell her at the last possible second that she’s fired? He tries to emphasize that her goal of coming back was wonderful for her recovery, and that she might not have been able to use the legs if she hadn’t had that as a goal. And she’s not being fired; she’s being transferred to the Postcogs, an investigative agency. He also assures her that they’ll do everything in their power to make sure the fight she just predicted doesn’t come to pass.

She storms out of the office, after handing in her badge, gun, and Kit - a collection of Pythium-related paraphernalia all Psycops carry around.

The first place she goes is to the Psycop commissioner - the chief’s boss. She tries to convince the commissioner to force him to let her stay, but the commissioner says no. The commissioner tells Sandra that, while she understands why she’s upset, she can assure her that she’ll be serving her city and her country just as well in the PPID - the official name of the Postcogs - as with the Psycops.

Sandra says no, she won’t; if they try to force her into the Postcogs, she’ll just retire. It’s the Psycops or nothing. The commissioner tries to dissuade her from viewing it like that, telling her there are a lot of good people in the PPID that do a lot of good work, but Sandra won’t have any of it. She storms out of there, too.

Sandra beats on a punching bag at a gym with Bo coaching her. She’s obviously super pissed about everything, but he advises her to stay calm. He repeats what the commissioner said about the Postcogs being better than Sandra is giving them credit for.

Sandra says that’s not the issue, but realizes it also kinda is. But really, it’s about why she joined the Psycops. She didn’t just join because she wanted to help people generally. She wanted to stop bad things from happening altogether. The Postcogs entire MO is to investigate crimes after the fact. Like, yeah, they stop the guy who perpetrated that crime from doing more in the future. But they’re entirely reactive.

Bo tells her that, technically, the Psycops are reactive too, they just get to react before the fact. Especially given the recent predictionless killings. But he does understand. He tells her that part of his job is to test new variety and strains and types of Pythium, and it’s entirely his prerogative as to who he tests it all with. He would gladly test it with her - meaning, at the very least, she’d be able to keep training for the fight she saw.

That hooks her interest, but she’s still going to try to get her job back. She tells him she’ll keep it in mind if she can’t, though.

Bo doesn’t stop there, though; he encourages her to talk to Huey. Huey could keep her updated with any other facts about the assassin. With Huey feeding her info (and her helping him sort through it), and Bo supplying her with Pythium, it’d be just like she was still a part of everything.

Still, Sandra would feel a little skeezy about doing all that. She again says she’ll keep his offer in mind, but she’s not going to give up yet. Bo tells her to hit the showers and they’ll go.

After her shower, they head out to his car, but it doesn’t start for some reason. Bo groans and complains, tells her he’s going to wait for a repair guy. But she lives within walking distance, so she says she’ll just walk home, it’s a nice day. She waves goodbye and heads out.

As she walks, things start seeming funny. She looks around a lot, examining her surroundings. Something is wrong, but nobody is acting like anything is wrong. Then she realizes what’s happening: she’s right where her vision takes place. This is where she’s going to get attacked, and she’s not ready. She’s nowhere near ready.

She flips out, starts screaming and dives into cover. She calls the police, and she calls Huey personally. Everyone around is looking at her like she’s crazy, but she won’t get out from her cover.

Eventually, Huey arrives, with the police close behind. They’re in full go-mode, guns drawn and ready. They scoop her up and escort her away, but luckily, nothing happens.

Huey takes her back to his house, and they talk shop. Sandra’s still pretty rattled about everything, and it isn’t too difficult for her to convince him to keep her informed on the case. She tells him about what Bo told her to do, and asks what he thinks.

Huey says it does feel a little skeezy, and he probably would’ve said no an hour ago, but after this, he thinks it’s perfectly reasonable - at least for a little while. Also, she should avoid that street for the time being. Like, seriously, she shouldn’t be anywhere near it.

She agrees.

Sandra goes to see the commissioner, tells her that she’ll accepting reassignment to the Postcogs. She’s excited, and glad that Sandra changed her mind. When she asks why she did, Sandra just says she got some perspective on the issue.

Sandra then goes to see Bo again at his workshop, and he instructs her a little in his work. Pythium gives you a glimpse of yourself the next time your body has enough adrenaline, but there are different varieties of pythium that change stuff like how intense the vision is, how much detail there is, how personal it feels, how long it lasts, and even how much adrenaline it takes to trigger it.  Plus, while pythium normally interferes with itself - if two people have visions of the same event, the later vision will incorporate the prior one, almost invalidating it - he’s starting to figure out ways to counteract that. But it’s all very paradoxical. Basically, for now, he just needs her to report all the minutia of her experience to him, on a dozen different scales.

She has another vision of the fight, in the same place. She lasts longer this time, but still dies pretty quickly. They discuss how it’s odd - but good - that the fight is happening in the same place, even though she knows where that place is. It means that she can avoid the fight by avoiding that location - or that, for some reason, she won’t be able to avoid the location. But they’re erring on the side of optimism.

The Postcog’s chief introduces Sandra to the Postcogs that she’ll be working with, especially Pietro, who’ll be her new partner. The chief is terse but not unsympathetic, quickly getting the introductions in before as he gives her a brief tour of the office and walks her through where everything is and what she’ll be doing.

The Postcogs, though, are openly cold to the point of hostility. Pietro, in particular, tells Sandra that she’s not wanted, welcome, or qualified, as soon as he gets a moment alone with her. He’s been instructed to show her the ropes and give her sort of a crash course in being a Postcog, when everyone else has to go through training in order to join. He makes it clear that the perception is that she brown-nosed her way into the department. Moreover, she replaced a widely respected officer, who was in a tragic accident not too dissimilar from hers, leaving him permanently crippled.

Sandra tries to defend herself, but when they go out to a crime scene, she mangles some of the evidence almost immediately, and gets ordered to go sit in the car and wait for them to finish.

When they get back to the office, the chief asks to speak with her. He asks how much training she’d been given for her reassignment, and she tells him none. He’s shocked, and pissed - though not entirely at her. He knows more of the details about this than everyone else, knows it wasn’t entirely her call, but he’s still annoyed that they just forced a completely new recruit onto his force without giving him a say in anything.

Sandra tells him she’s a fast learner and she’ll pick everything up pretty quickly, but he makes it clear that if she “picks things up” by ruining evidence, that’s just not gonna fly. This isn’t a place for on-the-job training. He dismisses her.

Later, she vents about the entire experience to Bo. “The worst part about it all is that they’re all right,” she says. “I’m not qualified. Which is fine by me, because I don’t want to do it.” Bo encourages her to stick with it, and she says she’ll try, but she’s not sure they’ll let her. Bo tells her to make a concerted effort to ingratiate herself with everyone there. Remember people’s birthdays, ask about their kids, that sort of thing. She’s not terribly convinced that bringing someone a cake on their birthday will fix anything. “So bring cookies.”

She does. She brings cookies to the office, and sets them on her desk, with a sign saying to help yourself. Pietro openly scoffs at her thinking that a plate of cookies is all it takes to make them forget her flaws, but when she tells him he doesn’t have to eat any, he takes the entire plate and starts handing them out to everyone in the office himself, disassociating her from it.

She starts to protest, but then decides to leave it alone. Soon, though, there’s a commotion in the corner - someone’s choking. Someone shouts to call an ambulance. Sandra runs over, and sees one of the Postcogs choking on one of her cookies, with Pietro trying to give him the Heimlich maneuver. Sandra recognizes that he’s not choking on the cookie, though - he’s having an allergic reaction to something in the cookie. She rummages through his desk, finds an Epipen, and sticks him with it. He’s soon able to gasp for air, and it’s quickly clear she saved his life.

The next couple days, things aren’t as bad at the office for Sandra. Pietro even - somewhat begrudgingly - offers to help her with some work. When the choking man comes back to work after a brief hospital stay, he introduces himself to her as Ahad, and thanks her profusely for saving his life. He offers to show her the ropes, take over her training.

He introduces her to his partner, Olney, who also thanks her - somewhat less fervently than Ahad, but no less sincerely. Olney also agrees to help her out with things if there’s anything he can do.

The three of them go out to a bar after work, and talk a little about the circumstances that led to her being transferred to the Postcogs. Once they know the story, they look on her more sympathetically; they repeat the prevailing story that she’d brown-nosed her way into the role, then comment on how really she’s just as much a victim in the circumstance as everyone else. Maybe moreso, given that everyone else takes it out on her.

Later, Sandra loses another predicted fight. Every time it seems like she’s getting closer to victory, defeat jumps a little further out of reach. She’s been going at this for weeks, now, and isn’t any closer to victory than when she started.

She asks Bo if maybe it has something to do with the experimental Pythium, and he waves that off. He does warn, though, that it is conceivably possible - very, very unlikely, but technically possible - that the baddie has gotten his hands on some Pythium. If that were the case, with the advantage he has in the fight, there wouldn’t be much that they could do.

Sandra asks if Bo really thinks that’s something they should worry about, he says no. But it is something they should worry about worrying about. In the meantime, he warns, they really aren’t making any progress, and they need to start considering trying to avoid or escape the fight, rather than trying to win it.

Sandra won’t have any of that, though; this is their chance to stop the assassinations. She’d rather die trying to stop them than walk away and let more Psycops die. Bo is clearly not a fan of this thinking, but lets the issue lie. He advises more Pythium, more often, and reiterates his warning to stay far away from that street.

When there’s another Psycop murder, Sandra manages to convince Pietro to go check it out, even though it’s technically Ahad and Olney’s case. While Pietro tries very, very hard not to step on their toes, they welcome him and Sandra, given Sandra’s personal knowledge of the Psycops.

Ahad walks her through what they’ve already investigated - basically, instructing her in the basics of CSI under the pretense of showing her what they’ve already found. She asks if they’ve determined a cause of death yet, and he says no, so she goes to check out the body.

It’s someone she knew - not well, but still. He’s got a massive dent in his head, which confuses Sandra - isn’t that clearly the cause of death? But Olney points out that there are some injection marks on his neck - it’s possible he was poisoned first.

Sandra looks through the contents of his pockets, then asks where his Kit is. All the other Postcogs ask her what she’s talking about. She explains about a Psycop’s Kit, and how they carry around some Pythium paraphenalia - a couple dose of Pythium, some anti-addictives to moderate withdrawal symptoms, an adrenaline shot to deal with overdoesage. They have it on them at pretty any time they have their gun on them. Usually more often than that. She even shows them the Kit she’s got because of working with Bo.

That throws everyone for a loop. No, the dead Psycop didn’t have his Kit - and neither did anyone else that they’d found. They had no idea that was even a thing.

The fact that a Kit includes Pythium means the assassin just got upgraded on the threat list, and he was already pretty high up there. Now they know he has access to Pythium, and is likely training for each of his assassinations. No wonder he’s been getting away with it - and no wonder Sandra’s been having such trouble with her predictions.

Ahad flips out that the Psycops never told them about the Kits, never told them to be looking for them - never even asked them where the Kits were in the past murders. Sandra flips out at Ahad for blaming the Psycops for what she sees as a basic lapse in investigation. He could’ve asked any Psycop about it. Ahad counters that he had no way of knowing that he needed to ask about it without the Psycops telling him about it.

The argument quickly dissolves into a blame game, with each side blaming the other for years of interdepartmental distrust and rivalry. Finally, Sandra storms off on her own.

She goes to see Bo, and rails on about the Postcogs lack of basic investigative sense, before eventually getting to the point - the assassin has access to Pythium.

Bo barely reacts. He tells her that he didn’t want to admit it, but it had certainly seemed that way. It just makes sense, given what’s been happening. He tells her there are basically two paths they can take.

First, they can give up and run away. Dedicate their efforts to avoiding the fight. It should be possible. Maybe even easy.

Second, they can redouble their efforts. They have a basically unlimited supply of Pythium, whereas this guy has to be rationing himself. They could force him to use up his supply - helpful for them, and for any future Psycops he targets.

Sandra opts for the second option, with an additional objective, or maybe a slightly altered aim: doing everything they can to stop him from hurting anyone else. She recognizes that she’s probably likely to lose to him now; her goal is to do everything they can to make sure he’s stopped this time. She wants to force him to leave evidence behind, maybe leave an identifying mark. Using up his Pythium seems good, too.

Sandra uses Pythium a few times that very day, and by the end of the day she’s managed to glimpse a small tattoo of a bird on her attacker’s neck.

Over the next couple days, she researches that tattoo as much as she can. She canvasses tattoo parlors, checking their standard designs to see if any of them have that design as a standard. She questions some birders, figures out that it’s a tattoo of a swallow specifically.

Once she knows that, she starts digging in the Postcogs’ databases, and discovers a specific gang that has that swallow as a logo. Unfortunately, that gang hasn’t been known to have been active for years, and all of its known members are either dead or in jail.

Still, a lead is a lead, and she questions one of the gang members in prison. He expresses his disgust of the Psycops, who became a thing while that gang was around. They both made it their business to take out each other, and it didn’t take long for the Psycops to win.

She asks him if he knows of any members that weren’t arrested, and he laughs at her assumption that he’d help her at all.

There’s another assassination - a bad one. Three Psycops died, and one is put into a coma with, at best, 50/50 odds of survival. The Psycop ranks are dwindling, morale is almost gone, and public trust is failing as well. They’re not really in a good way.

They take that frustration out on the Postcogs for not doing their job and catching this guy. Sandra shares what she’s learned so far with Ahad and Olney, and they thank her, then go off to do their job.

Sandra is left with little she can do to help, and is just super frustrated. She meets with Huey, tells him what she knows, and he tells her the little he knows about the incident. They commiserate and complain and drink, but know they can’t do anything to help right now.

Then, they get news that the injured Psycop is awake and talking. Sandra knows the guy, so she goes to visit and wish him well with Huey.

When they arrive, they bump into Ahad and Olney as they leave, grumpy. When Sandra asks what’s wrong, they explain that the injured guy just doesn’t seem to trust anyone, and wouldn’t be straight with them. They’re convinced that he’s hiding something, but have no idea what it is or how to get it out of him.

Ahad asks, if she does know this guy, if she could talk to him for them, and she agrees. When she and Huey go in, he opens up a lot, and Sandra pries for details about the event. He manages to trick Huey into leaving, and then when Huey’s gone, he tells Sandra that he thinks there’s a traitor in the Psycops. Where they all were, the only people who should’ve known would be other Psycops. She’s in the clear because she didn’t know, obviously, but he doesn’t know who else to trust, and just doesn’t trust anybody.

He tells her that he was super calm and relaxed the entire time. She realizes that he was drugged to not have an adrenaline rush, so he couldn’t predict the fight. She takes that information - though not the information about a traitor, not yet - to Ahad and Olney. They test the other victims, and the victim from the last assassination, and find traces of adrenaline-inhibiting drugs in them.

Sandra goes to visit Bo to discuss this new development with him, and try to figure out (A) how they were drugged without their knowledge, and (B) what they should do about it in the future. Bo says that first there’s some people he needs to tell about this.

Sandra talks things through as Bo sends some messages on his phone. She mentions the suspected traitor among the Psycops, and figures that they’re the ones who drugged the Psycops. The only thing she can’t figure out is who would’ve been able to drug some Psycops without them noticing. It would have to be someone involved in the injection of Pythium…

She puts the pieces together just a little too late. She turns around to see Bo training a gun on her. He apologizes, profusely and sincerely. He tells her that this isn’t what he wanted at all. This moment, this crossroads has been played out more than any other moment in his plan. He’s tried dozens of different things, dozens of ways to explain things to her, dozens of threats and promises, but there’s no future he can find where she sides with him - or doesn’t find out. She’s just too good at her job, and too dedicated.

He tells her his entire plan. He explains how he broke the adrenaline barrier, allowing him to glimpse all sorts of futures that weren’t just fights. He saw dozens, maybe hundreds of years into the future. And he saw an apocalypse. Global war that destroyed entire nations - theirs included.

Desperate to avoid that future, he started investigating what he could do to stop, or at least forestall the war. He found only a single act that could completely prevent the war - the assassination of the president, as he hosts a peace summit, that he wasn’t planning on hosting, at a location he wasn’t going to hold it at, while giving a speech that nobody was going to write. With a complete knowledge of the future at his fingertips, Bo’s managed to get the peace summit planned, held at the appropriate venue, and with the appropriate speech written, and do all of that with minimal loss of life.

Bo emphasizes that that’s been his guiding creed the entire time: as few people dead as possible. He refuses to kill anyone who he doesn’t have to - and in exchange, he can forgive himself for killing the people that he absolutely does have to. And therein lies the problem.

He tells her that she is one of the people that has to die. She simply has to. He’s tried locking her in the closet, he’s tried detaching her legs, he’s tried everything. She doesn’t have to die here, at this moment, but anywhere that he doesn’t kill her eventually, his plan has an unacceptably high risk of failure. He tells her the only guaranteed plan has him leaving her here, explaining all of this, and then killing her later when she comes to stop him. He says he could also succeed if she stayed at home, but she just never, ever does.

He begs her not to vilify him for what he’s about to do. He tells her that he genuinely loves her, as if she was his own daughter, and he’s willing to risk the world to save her life. He’s had plenty of ideas that he hasn’t been able to explore to their full potential, but the most promising one was blinding her.

He tells her he knows that she’ll still try to stop him. And he’s okay with that. He knows he’ll go down in history as a villain, and he’s okay with that too. What he can’t bear is her viewing him as evil. He begs her to understand where he’s coming from, at least; and whether he succeeds or fails, to know that he risked his entire plan to give her a shot at survival.

He apologizes as he pulls out a stun gun, and a dozen men burst into the room to hold her down as injects her with his anti-adrenaline drugs, then blinds her.

Once she’s blinded and restrained, Bo leaves to put his plan into motion. He leaves no guards behind.

Alone and blind, Sandra somehow manages to find a computer and message Pietro. Soon after, he, Ahad, and Olney show up. They try to immediately take her to the hospital, but she asks them about the president. When is the peace summit? When is it happening? Where?

Ahad tells her it’s happening that night, in their city. Sandra flips out. She tells them they have to stop it. She explains everything that just happened. At first, they can’t really believe it, but Pietro does a little digging and verifies all of the changes that have happened in the planning of the Peace Summit, just like Bo explained.

They debate what to do - clearly Bo saw all of this coming, and so maybe he wants them to follow him? But if he saw this coming, he also saw them having this conversation - or one very much like it - so maybe he wants them to think he wants them to follow him, and for them to decide to stay away?

Sandra warns that if they continue thinking like that, they’ll very quickly reach ridiculous levels of uncertainty and indecision. At the same time, though, it’s a good thought - what if he does plan on them following? They shouldn’t charge into things blindly, either.

They eventually settle on flipping a coin. That should be random even in any futures Bo saw, so they can, in theory, cripple his ability to plan for what they’re going to do. At the very least, they’ll force him to plan for two things instead of one.

They flip a coin, and it lands on stopping him.

They call the Postcogs, and find out they’ve all been branded terrorists, and the Secret Service is on their way there, right now, to stop them.

They have to quickly come up with a battle plan. If they fight back, they’re cementing their fates. If they don’t resist, though, the president will die.

Olney mentions what none of them really seem willing to discuss - is that best? If this really will stop global war? He tells them he’s not going to resist. He’s going to let Bo do it.

The others accept Olney’s decision, but don’t agree. He assures them he won’t tell anyone where they’re going if they decide to run now. And they do. They run away to regroup and plan what to do next.

They leave just a smidge too late - the Secret Service and police arrive as they’re running away. They try to evade them without a confrontation, but they’re spotted and have to run. They can’t fight back, because these are the good guys - they’re just wrong. Plus, fighting back would reinforce the idea that they’re terrorists.

They manage to make it to their car, and flee by road. The chase isn’t over, though, and they’re forced to dodge traffic as well as bullets. Sandra is helpless the entire time, given her blindness, but manages to stay pretty calm due to the anti-adrenaline drug. That gets her curious. Why would he give her the anti-adrenaline drug? She’s blind.

She tries to discuss this with the others during the car chase and gunfight, but they’re surprisingly not interested in having a chat.

The car fight comes to a spectacular halt when a bridge explodes directly underneath them. It sends them flying to the other side, and stops their tail from pursuing them. Pietro is too wounded in the crash to keep going, so Ahad and Sandra continue on alone.

In the meantime, Bo meets with the Secret Service. They discuss the terrorists, and Bo complains that he can’t protect the president if he’s not near the president. They seem to be swayed, but not quite all the way.

Now that they’re on foot, they have to take a different route - one that leads through the alley where Sandra had her visions. She starts noticing familiar sounds, hears someone say something she’s heard before. She asks Ahad where they are. When he tells her, she freaks out a little. “I wasn’t blind before! You weren’t here before! He drugged me so I shouldn’t be able to predict anything!”

Ahad doesn’t know why she’s freaking out, and tries to calm her down. She does, quickly - she was drugged, after all. She tries to think rationally about it. If this is different than she predicted, it should be different than he predicted, too - he shouldn’t know about Ahad. She tells Ahad to run ahead, and be on the lookout for a guy fitting the assassin’s description, and tells him to shoot as soon as he sees him - this wasn’t going to be a good guy. He doesn’t understand, but she doesn’t give him a chance to argue. He runs ahead, and she stumbles along blindly.

She doesn’t know what’s going on. She’s clearly freaked out. After a while she calls out for Ahad. He doesn’t respond. She starts crying. Some people come over and ask if she’s okay, but she ignores them and keeps calling for Ahad.

Just when she’s lost hope, Ahad arrives and asks what’s going on. He never saw the guy she described. She tells him they should just get out of there, now.

In the distance, the assassin watches Ahad and Sandra. He calls Bo, tells him that Sandra and Ahad are still coming.

Sandra and the Postcogs begin a small-scale invasion of the President's safehouse.

Ahad and Sandra get within sight of the hall where the president is going to be giving his speech, but have to stop to figure out what on earth they’re going to do. They can’t very well just walk up to the front door, but one lone Postcog and a blind ex-Psycop aren’t going to be able to sneak in or storm the place, either.

Sandra pulls out her Kit, and the emergency Pythium she has in it. She has enough for two doses for herself, which should be several for Ahad. She explains her plan: she’s been drugged to not have an adrenaline rush, so it’s useless to her, but Ahad can probably get as much as ten doses of Pythium to choreograph an attack on the hall. It’s not much - probably not enough - and Ahad stands a strong risk of just straight ODing, but it’s the only chance they’ve got.

She gives him a dose of Pythium. He has a vision…

When he comes out of it, he tells Sandra they have to run, now - they’re going to be attacked by the Assassin right where they are now. Sandra says no, they have to stop him here and now. She tells him to hide, and ambush the Assassin when he goes after Sandra. Ahad doubts whether that’ll work, but Sandra warns that if it’s this close to happening, the only thing they could do to stop it altogether would be abandon the president.

Ahad hides, and waits.

It doesn’t take long. Someone grabs Sandra, pulls her to a standing position, and puts a gun to her head. He says he knows Ahad is around, and demands he come out. Ahad shoots him, but he shoots Ahad back. Ahad shoots him again, killing him.

Bo talks to the Secret Service again; they’re in a panic, because shots were fired right outside the hall. Bo tells them the terrorists are here, and if they don’t let him in there, the president will die. They agree to let him protect the president.

Ahad is mortally wounded, and can barely sit up. He sees the Secret Service running over, and warns Sandra that it’s all over.

She refuses to accept that. Bo told her it wasn’t over, that he was risking her stopping him by not killing her. And he drugged her - why would he drug her and blind her? Why not just blind her?

Answer: because Pythium would let her see. Pythium is a very out-of-body experience. You don’t see things from your eyes, you see things from a distance. You even see yourself. But how can she use Pythium if she’s been drugged to not have an adrenaline rush?

Answer: Ahad’s epipen. Which is just a norepinephrine shot. She takes a dose of Pythium and then takes Ahad’s Epipen and sticks herself just as the Pythium is kicking in. She sees the present, but fully and completely.

She sees the Secret Servicemen round a corner before it’d be possible to see them. She’s able to catch them off-guard, take their weapons, and leave them disabled but able to radio for help. She tells them to call an ambulance for Ahad, then takes off running.

She reaches the hall, but is stopped by Huey. Huey’s a little freaked out by her being blind but not being hindered by it; he warns her that he’s been training for this fight, and it’d be best if she just walked away. She asks if he’s been manipulated by Bo, or if he knows what’s happening. He apologizes, but says he knows. Bo didn’t just tell him, he showed him. And he’d do anything to stop that from happening.

They fight. Huey initially has a strong upper hand, because he has been training for the fight, and he knows what Sandra’s going to do before she does it. But when she sees a fire extinguisher around a corner with her psychic sight, she manages to break away from Huey, grab the extinguisher, and blind him. She doesn’t take the time to take him down, she just runs.

She dodges past some Secret Servicemen, and breaks into the auditorium just in time to see Bo pulling out his gun. She draws first, and shoots him. Cut to black.

Bo comes out of a Pythium vision. He curses. Looks at a picture of Sandra. “There has to be some way I can save the world and you too. There has to be.” He takes another dose of Pythium.

--

- Teddy