7x16 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda
CASTLE
EPISODE 7x16
"The Wrong Stuff"


EST – MARS SIMULATOR

EXT - MARS SIMULATOR

TOM RICHWOOD
You know, after six months Mars is starting to remind me of Kauai. Except without the water, or the hot girls in bikinis, or the air. What I wouldn’t give for a hot girl. And after all this time, I’d even take an ugly one. Assuming she came with a paper bag.

He’s outside the spaceship and dressed in a spacesuit. He starts to unscrew the cover to an electrical panel.

ELISE KIM (through the comm)
Oh, real classy, Richwood. Just repair the short. And make sure the 4B coil isn’t fried. We can’t afford to have the power grid compromised.

TOM
Aye aye, Captain.

He sets the cover aside and looks in.

TOM
Oh boy. Bad news. It’s charred. I may have to replace the power coupling and reboot the …

His communication starts to break up. All KIM can hear is a bunch of static.

KIM
Can you repeat that, Richwood? Interference. Come again?

He doesn’t get to respond. He turns and looks over his shoulder and gasps.

TOM
Watch out!

KIM
Tom? (no response) Tom?

The lights flicker but there’s no response form TOM.

KIM
Tom!

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

Two people play laser tag. It’s an epic game that’s reached a culmination.

ALEXIS CASTLE
Yes!

She races over and places a conquering foot on her enemy, just as the door opens and two people enter the loft.

KATE BECKETT
I can’t wait to take off my ­– (she stops when she sees ALEXIS) – shoes.

ALEXIS
Dad. Beckett.

RICHARD CASTLE
So much for a quiet evening at home.

ALEXIS
I thought you guys were working late tonight.

CASTLE
Slow murder day. We got off early. You’re playing laser tag? Without me?

BECKETT heads for the closet to hang up her coat. ALEXIS pulls her laser tag partner up from the couch on which he fell.

CASTLE
Is that my gear?

ALEXIS
Oh, Dad, Beckett, this is David. He bet me I couldn’t beat him.

BECKETT
She trounced you, didn’t she?

DAVID
Yeah.

MARTHA RODGERS comes down the steps from the second floor.

MARTHA RODGERS
Oh my! What is going on down here?

She laughs. CASTLE turns to face her. MARTHA is followed by a man, BENJAMIN.

CASTLE
Far too much, apparently. (he sees BEN) Are those my pajamas?

MARTHA
Ah. Oh, oh, oh, oh. I’m so sorry, Ben. Um … family, Benjamin. Ben, meet my family.

ALEXIS smiles.

BECKETT
Castle, we got a murder.

CASTLE stares at MARTHA and BEN. He’s confused and horrified. It’s awkward. CASTLE steps forward, intending to ask questions, but he’s stopped by BECKETT.

BECKETT
Uh, to solve. Not commit.

She pulls him away. He’s still gaping.

MARTHA
Bye.

EXT – SIMULATION BUILDING

CASTLE
Those were my softest pajamas and now I’m going to have to burn them. Is it just me or is the loft getting awfully small these days?

BECKETT
Well, four adults in one space? We’re bound to step on each other’s toes.

CASTLE
Yeah, well, there’s a lot more toes than usual tonight.

KEVIN RYAN meets them at the door.

KEVIN RYAN
Hey guys. Glad you’re here. You’re going to want to see this. Especially you, Castle.

CASTLE follows RYAN inside, intrigued.

INT – SIMULATION BUILDING

The main room looks like a NASA command room. It’s filled with people and computers and large screens.

BECKETT
What is this place?

CASTLE
It’s mission control. (he looks at the huge wall display) And that’s Mars.

RYAN points to a monitor.

RYAN
And there’s your body.

CASTLE
Our victim is on Mars? The secret manned mission to Mars rumors were true. I knew it.

BECKETT
You know, this might be a little out of our jurisdiction.

JAVIER ESPOSITO
It’s not Mars. This is operations director Ed Redley. This is Detectives Beckett and Ryan.

CASTLE
(raises his hand) Castle.

ED REDLEY
What you’re seeing is a live feed from a simulation we’re conducting in advance of a real Mars mission.

BECKETT
Who’s we? NASA?

ED
It’s the Mars 2018 Project. We’re privately funded.

CASTLE
Yes. By Viggo Jansen, the internet billionaire. He promised to put humans on Mars by 2018. Held a competition and everything. I signed up for the program, but I didn’t get in.

BECKETT looks at him.

BECKETT
Wait, you signed up to go to Mars? When?

CASTLE
A couple years ago.

BECKETT
Where was I?

CASTLE
We were fighting.

ESPOSITO tries to direct their attention back to their murder investigation.

ESPOSITO
The victim, pilot Tom Ridgewood, was supposedly alone on the uh … planet’s surface conducting repairs.

ED
We were in a communication blackout, part of simulating planetary conditions, when the mission commander broke protocol to tell us they found Tom dead. They don’t think it was an accident.

BECKETT
Well, I’d like to see the body, so where’s the simulation?

ED
A couple of floors below us, and that’s easier said than done.

RYAN
In order to mimic conditions on Mars, as well as discourage any cheating, the simulation is filled with noxious gas.

ED
It won’t kill you, but it will induce severe nausea and a rash. It would take several days to vent the sim to make the air breathable, so if you want to go in you’re going to need to wear spacesuits.

CASTLE perks up. He tries to contain his enthusiasm for the idea, but he fails.

CASTLE
Best case ever!

BECKETT startles.

BECKETT
Castle.

CASTLE
This way?

ED nods, but CASTLE is already headed that way.

INT – SIMULATION BUILDING

CASTLE is first up the stairs. He waits, pointing in each direction, to find out where to go. ED points him the right way.

BECKETT
What can you tell us about the victim?

ED
Tom Richwood was a mission pilot, a former Navy Top Gun, did a tour with NASA.

BECKETT
What about a family?

ED
None, which made him a perfect candidate for the mission. He beat out some of the smartest, most competitive candidates in the world to be part of the first manned team to Mars. They all did.

CASTLE
Who else is inside?

ED
Our four remaining astronauts. The team’s medical specialist, Dr. Haroum, is waiting for you.

ED swipes a card and a door opens.

INT – SIMULATION BUILDING

BECKETT
So has anyone been in or out of the simulation recently?

ED
No. It’s a sealed nine month experiment. No one’s been in or out since the astronauts entered six months ago.

ESPOSITO
Which means one of them probably did it.

RYAN
Yeah.

CASTLE takes a look through the portal in the door and laughs in amusement. He turns around and his face falls.

CASTLE
There’s only three suits.

RYAN
Um … that’s okay. We don’t all need to go in. I’ll go take statements back at the facility.

CASTLE
Seriously? You don’t want to go to Mars?

RYAN
A, it’s actually not Mars. And B, I’m happy here on Earth. But have fun, Castle.

CASTLE smiles.

CASTLE
Trust me, I will.

INT – MARS SIMULATION

CASTLE runs along the surface. He’s bouncing like you’d expect in an altered gravity situation. But when BECKETT walks up to him she’s not bouncing. She puts her hands on her hips.

BECKETT
Are you done?

CASTLE
No. Finally made it Mars. Didn’t even have to go to astronaut training.

ESPOSITO
So you really signed up to go to Mars, huh?

CASTLE
Wouldn’t that be cool? (to BECKETT) Well, not so much for you, but for me?

BECKETT
(dismissively) Mmhmm.

DR. RUSHAM HAROUR
Detectives? I’m Doctor Rusham Haroum, the bioscience officer. He’s over here.

They head toward TOM’S body. BECKETT, ESPOSITO, and HAROUM walk normally. CASTLE jumps along, continuing the illusion of being on MARS.

BECKETT
And nobody saw this happen?

HAROUM
No, we were all in the module. We heard him scream. He must have fallen into the coupling coil, because right then the power went out. By the time Angela and I got out here, he was gone. It took us another ten minutes to get the power restored.

BECKETT
It looks like a stab wound.

ESPOSITO
Delivered with a lot of force.

CASTLE
Well, where’s the murder weapon?

HAROUM
There wasn’t one. But one of his tools, his screwdriver, is missing. (he holds his up) It looks like this.

ESPOSITO
It’s pretty rocky around here. No footprints.

CASTLE
And because the killer was probably wearing a suit there’s not going to be any DNA.

BECKETT
Let’s get his body to the morgue and find out. And get CSU down here. I want this place searched. If no one’s been in or out then that murder weapon is still inside here. Dr. Haroum, I’d like to speak to the other astronauts, please.

HAROUM
They’re inside. Follow me.

CASTLE
(whispered) One small murder for man, one giant mystery for mankind.

BECKETT
(whispered) Even when you whisper, everyone can hear you.

ESPOSITO shakes his head. BECKETT follows HAROUM into the module. CASTLE follows along after her, continuing his space jump.

INT – SPACE MODULE

They’re listening to TOM’S last transmission.

KIM
You know the rest.

BECKETT
And where were each one of you when this happened?

KIM
Angela, Rusham, and I were here, in the command module. Mikhail was over in engineering.

BECKETT
And is there access to the outside from engineering?

MIKHAIL
There is emergency hatch, but if I had gone through it the alarm would have sounded.

KIM
Plus, as part of the program we’re all closely monitored, in case we lose consciousness or there’s a suit malfunction on an EVA. (she holds out her arm) We all have trackers under our skin.

HAROUM
And MIRA keeps a record of all our movements.

CASTLE
Who’s MIRA?

ANGELA
That’s what we call the mission computer.

BECKETT
Well, I would like to take a look at those records.

MIRA
I would be happy to provide you with any records you require, Detective Beckett.

BECKETT
It talks?

KIM
Yeah. We think of her as the sixth member of the crew.

CASTLE
Isn’t that a little 2001?

HAROUM
She is programmed to learn and adapt, but she’s more Siri than HAL. Ask her where you are.

CASTLE
MIRA, where are we?

MIRA
You are aboard the vessel Tenzing Norgay in the northern lowlands of Mars.

MIKHAIL
She actually thinks she’s on Mars.

BECKETT
Regardless, I’m going to have to ask all of you to join me at the precinct so I can interview you properly.

They all hesitate.

KIM
That … could be a problem.

INT – SIMULATION BUILDING

ED
I’m sorry, Detective. I can’t let you remove the astronauts. I don’t have that kind of authority.

BECKETT
Well then, who does?

VIGGO JANSEN
That would be me. And my astronauts aren’t going anywhere.

CASTLE
That’s Viggo Jansen. The Viggo Jansen.

CASTLE gives him a little wave.

JANSEN
Detective, if we shut down now we will lose months of priceless data. Millions of dollars of experiments will be compromised. We’ll lose half a year and we don’t have that time.

BECKETT
Uh, Mr. Jansen, it’s not a request. A man has been murdered and I need to conduct an investigation.

JANSEN
And I will do everything in my power to help you. Short of shutting down my sim.

He walks past her. Her jaw drops.

JANSEN
Mars is our generation’s space race. And my team’s going to be first. Not the Chinese, or Mars 1, or that puffed up movie producer, Sir Ian Rasher.

BECKETT
I could get a court order to compel you.

JANSEN
And with my legal team it’ll take you months. Or, we work together. I give you all the access you need and my simulation keeps running.

BECKETT considers his offer.

BECKET
Fine. For now. But if I find out any of those people are responsible you won’t stop me from removing them.

JANSEN nods.

RYAN
Yeah, well, according to this tracking data none of them seem responsible. They were all exactly where they said they were at Tom’s approximate time of death. It even confirms that the mission’s rover was still parked at the habitat at the time of the incident.

CASTLE
There goes my rise of the machines theory.

BECKETT
Okay, so if all the people inside are accounted for, then our killer must have come from outside the simulation.

JANSEN
We would know. The airlock door is the only way in or out. It’s alarmed and monitored.

ED
Uh, excuse me. Detective Beckett, there’s a message coming in for you from the habitat. I can put it on the monitor if you like.

BECKETT
Yeah. Please.

He switches on a screen. It’s ESPOSITO.

BECKETT
Hey Espo. What’ve you got?

ESPOSITO
I was just going through our victim’s video diary. There’s something you need to see.

He switches the feed over to a video on TOM.

TOM (on video)
Six months in and I know part of this mission’s a psych experiment. Maybe the close quarters are starting to get to me, but I think I’m starting to see things. When I was out there today I could have sworn I saw someone. And it’s not the first time. I know it’s not possible, but I don’t think we’re alone.

[OPENING TITLE CARD IS MARS INSPIRED]

INT – SPACE MODULE

ESPOSITO
Hang tight. I may have some more questions.

He heads into the engineering room and connects via video to the command station.

BECKETT
Go ahead, Espo.

ESPOSITO
Hey. So I just finished talking to the other astronauts. None of them seem to have any idea what Tom’s talking about.

BECKETT
All right. Thanks, Espo.

The video disconnects.

INT – SIMULATION BUILDING

RYAN
CSU just finished their initial sweep. There’s no one else in that simulation.

JANSEN
It’s possible Tom was seeing things. All our tests show that being locked in a confined space with others can play tricks on your mind.

CASTLE
Only delusions don’t kill.

BECKETT
And if what Tom said was true then whoever killed him might have been able to get in and out undetected.

JANSEN
I told you, Detective. Given our security that’s impossible.

ED
Sir? Maybe not.

They follow ED out of JANSEN’S office.

INT – SIMULATION BUILDING

MISSION CONTROL TECH
At Detective Ryan’s request I ran a check on all our security systems. Everything looked normal until I got into the deep code.

She pulls up what she’s talking about on a computer.

MISSION CONTROL TECH
See that?

JANSEN
Oh God.

CASTLE
What is it?

JANSEN
Our security system’s been hacked. Key cards, alarm codes.

BECKETT
Meaning someone could have broken into the simulation.

MISSION CONTROL TECH
Based on our backup files these changes were made two days ago. Sometime between 11:10 and 11:14 at night.

JANSEN taps her on the shoulder. She lets him take over. His fingers fly over the keyboard.

JANSEN
Digital tracing indicates we were breached from the outside. Someone broke through our firewall.

BECKETT
Can you tell who?

JANSEN
We log every IP address that connects to the mainframe. I’m running a trace now for that time window.

Six IP addresses pop up.

JANSEN
There. Third one down. I don’t recognize that one.

RYAN copies it down.

RYAN
All right. We should be able to trace it.

JANSEN taps a few more keys.

JANSEN
Don’t bother. I just did. It’s coming from a residential WiFi registered to a (a name and address pops up) – you’ve gotta be kidding me.

BECKETT
Who is it?

JANSEN
Clint Granger. Hot-head pilot. He was one of our applicants until he was kicked out of the program.

CASTLE
Why’d he get kicked out?

JANSEN
He accused Tom of sabotaging him during candidate testing. Claimed it lost him the pilot’s spot.

ED
So he tried to run Tom over in the parking lot.

BECKETT
And when was this?

ED
Seven months ago. But he did say he’d be back to finish the job.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

CLINT GRANGER
Yeah, I was pissed. I’m still pissed. He slipped something into my drink before the final round. Slowed my reaction time.

BECKETT
So you tried to run him over with your car?

GRANGER
It should have been me on that mission, not him. He stole my spot in history. (to RYAN) And you ask me? He got what he deserved. But I did not kill him.

RYAN
And yet we traced that cyber-attack to your apartment.

GRANGER
I am a pilot, not a computer geek. I couldn’t rewrite that code if the mission depended on it.

BECKETT
You could have hired someone.

GRANGER
Yeah, but I didn’t. Look, when Tom was getting himself murdered I was at dinner with a friend in Connecticut. And when that hack took place from my WiFi I wasn’t even in the country. Someone’s setting me up.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT hangs up her phone.

BECKETT
Granger’s alibi checks out. He was at dinner with a friend when Tom Richwood was killed.

CASTLE
What about the night the hack took place?

BECKETT
Granger was visiting his brother in Nova Scotia. It wasn’t him.

RYAN
Mars? Nova Scotia? This guy really loves barren landscapes.

CASTLE
Come on, Ryan, you’re telling me you have no desire to go to Mars?

RYAN
I prefer my oxygen without a can.

CASTLE
Where’s your sense of adventure? Of exploration? Of – destiny?

RYAN
If I want to fly thousands of miles to see a lifeless orb I could just visit Jenny’s grandmother. Same hostile environment, same freezing temperatures, same noxious atmosphere. (he stops when he notices something on his screen) Huh.

BECKETT
Huh? Huh, what?

RYAN
This is a video of Granger’s apartment lobby the night of the hack. Check it out. This guy enters the building at 11:05PM, just before the hack too place. Now watch. (he fast-forwards a few minutes) Fifteen minutes later.

RYAN pauses the video.

BECKETT
He leaves the building. He could have piggybacked on Granger’s wireless and used that to carry out the attack on the simulation security.

RYAN zooms in to get a picture of the man.

RYAN
Yeah, but who is he?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO adds a photo with a name to the murder board.

ESPOSITO
His name is George Reyes. The folks down at Mars 2018 recognized him immediately. He’s a senior facilities engineer and called in sick yesterday. Nobody’s been able to reach him since.

BECKETT
Did he have a motive to break into the simulation and kill Tom?

ESPOSITO
Not that anyone knew. But his colleagues say that he’s been acting secretive the last couple of days. Ever since receiving a private communicad from his wife.

CASTLE
What does his wife got to do with this?

ESPOSITO
Maybe everything. Ask me who his wife is.

CASTLE
Who’s his wife?

ESPOSITO points to another photo on the board.

ESPOSITO
Angela Olvera. One of the other astronauts.

CASTLE’S mouth falls open.

BECKETT
So what was on the message?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORK ROOM

They’ve opened a communication with the astronauts in the module.

ANGELA
I was letting George know that I wanted out of our marriage.

CASTLE
You broke up with him from space?

ANGELA
He was sending me all these sweet emails. I couldn’t let it go on. I had to tell him that I’d fallen for someone else. Someone on the mission.

CASTLE
Was it Tom?

ANGELA
No, not Tom.

She glances over her shoulder at KIM.

ANGELA
Oh, God.

BECKETT
What? Angela?

ANGELA
I didn’t say who it was in my letter. Maybe he thought it was Tom.

BECKETT
Did he have reason to?

ANGELA
Yeah, he did. Tom wouldn’t stop hitting on me all throughout training. George told him if he didn’t stop he’d make him pay.

It’s motive enough for BECKETT and CASTLE.

ESPOSITO
Yo. I found him. He’s at the airport. Just bought a ticket to San Francisco. Airport security just picked him up.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

GEORGE REYES
We were a team. Angela and me. We were going to go to Mars together or not at all. But when she got in and I didn’t, I couldn’t stand in her way.

CASTLE
Hard enough to have her leave the planet, but to leave you for someone else? You must have been devastated.

GEORGE nods.

GEORGE
Try utterly destroyed.

BECKETT
Is that why you hacked security? In order to break into the simulation and kill the man that you thought was Angela’s lover?

GEORGE
I’m telling you, I had nothing to do with Tom’s death. I was going to sabotage the mission. I figured if the mission suffered a catastrophic failure it would set the program back and Angela would come home to me. But I chickened out. The hack, setting it up to lead back to Granger, that’s as far as I got. I never went inside and I sure as hell didn’t kill anyone.

CASTLE
Then why were you leaving town?

GEORGE
She dumped me. How I was I supposed to keep going to work there? I needed a fresh start. Ever since I got her letter I’ve spent nights drowning my sorrows at O’Malley’s. That’s where I was when Tom was murdered. You can ask them.

BECKETT
Okay then. So whoever could have used your hack to get through the airlock?

GEORGE
It was calibrated to my biometrics. No one else could have used it.

CASTLE
But someone did.

GEORGE
No. (shrugs) If they got in they did it some other way.

BECKETT
There is no other way.

GEORGE
I’m not so sure about that.

BECKETT
What do you mean?

GEORGE
I studied the facility plans. The simulation is like a bank vault. To get in you’ve got to get past guards, security systems, cameras. But like a bank vault, if you’re motivated enough there’s always another way in.

INT – BASEMENT

It’s dark and dirty, but it’s not stopping BECKETT and CASTLE from investigating.

CASTLE
You really think someone could have tunneled their way into the sim?

BECKETT
No, but since George’s alibi checked out we’re going to have to look at all of our options. Including the unlikely ones. (the take a turn) According to George’s map, this abandoned utility access runs directly under Jansen’s facility.

CASTLE
Yeah, but who would hate Tom enough to tunnel through five feet of concrete to kill him?

BECKETT
I don’t know, but uh … (her flashlight falls onto a bunch of broken concrete) … but it looks like someone did.

She looks up. There’s a vent where the concrete could have come from.

BECKETT
Castle, boost me up.

CASTLE
Why am I always on the bottom?

She just gives him a look.

CASTLE
Yes, dear.

He positions himself to hoist her up so she can look in the vent.

CASTLE
Planets, dank access ways. Is it just me or does this remind you of Alien?

She pulls open the vent.

BECKETT
I know that you want this to be science fiction, but we are not in space.

CASTLE
No, but wouldn’t you like to be? Come on. You’re a sci-fi geek. Wouldn’t you just love to go to Mars?

BECKETT
Of course I would, that’s why I applied to Ian Rasher’s program last year.

She climbs into the vent when he boosts her up.

CASTLE
Wait, what? You applied to go to Mars? Without me? When?

BECKETT
Well, we were fighting.

CASTLE
Oh, okay. Well, I deserve that.

He stumbles.

BECKETT
Oh geez. Castle!

CASTLE
See anything?

BECKETT
Someone did tunnel up. (she looks to the other side of the vent) Castle? I think I found the murder weapon.

There’s a rattling noise.

CASTLE
Did you hear that?

CASTLE falters again and BECKETT slips.

BECKETT
Hear what?

The noise comes back and CASTLE looks around. He sees an alien-like creature in the shadows and he startles, dropping BECKETT in the process. She crashes hard to the ground.

BECKETT
What happened?

CASTLE
Something’s down here.

BECKETT
Some thing?

There’s a noise behind them. They whirl around and the alien-like creature is illuminated in the beams of their flashlights.

BECKETT
What the hell is that?

CASTLE has no good answer.

INT – BASEMENT

CASTLE
Told you this felt like Alien.

BECKETT
Castle, stop! This is not Alien.

CASTLE
Did that look human to you?

BECKETT
Actually, no.

CASTLE
Right. See, I’m betting it's a xenomorph stranded here on Earth, attracted to the simulation because it needs the toxic environment. Probably saw Tom as encroaching on its territory and killed him for it.

He pushes BECKETT’S hair away from her neck and runs his flashlight over her skin.

BECKETT
What are you doing?

CASTLE
Checking you for bites and scratches. Making sure you didn’t somehow get impregnated.

BECKETT can’t stop her eyeroll.

BECKETT
If you think that’s how I get pregnant we need to talk.

The noise is back and this time the creature makes a run in front of them.

BECKETT
There!

CASTLE and BECKETT run after it, but it’s gone.

CASTLE
Beckett!

They take off down the hallway in the opposite direction. They find the tail and the face in a bin.

CASTLE
It shed its skin!

BECKETT
It’s not skin. It’s a gas mask.

CASTLE
(points to the tail) That’s a breathing hose. For a human.

BECKETT
To protect themselves from the fumes of the simulation. Someone was trying to break in.

INT – SIMULATION BUILDING

HAROUM investigates part of the ground inside the simulation.

HAROUM
Yes, this was the access point.

JANSEN
Why would someone tunnel into my simulation?

CASTLE
Well, maybe it’s one of your competitors. Maybe it’s espionage. Or sabotage.

BECKETT
And our victim might have found out and threatened to expose them.

CASTLE
Either way, this explains what he saw. Why he thought there was someone else in there with him.

JANSEN
How did they elude my cameras?

BECKETT
Well, maybe they were working with someone who was involved in your program and knew when the cameras would be blacked out. Excuse me.

She turns away to answer her ringing phone.

BECKETT
Beckett.

ESPOSITO
Hey. So CSU just confirmed it. The blood on the screwdriver belonged to Tom. It’s our murder weapon.

BECKETT
Okay, any prints?

ESPOSITO
No, but if the killer was in the simulation –

BECKETT
Then they would have been wearing gloves. Um, okay, what about the gas mask? Anything from that?

ESPOSITO
It looks military, but we’re still trying to run it down. Meantime, Ryan’s pulling camera footage from the surrounding area. Maybe we’ll get lucky, catch our alien exiting one of the access points to the utility tunnel. Probably won’t know anything until morning.

BECKETT
All right. Keep me apprised.

She hangs up and heads back to JANSEN and CASTLE.

BECKETT
Okay, why don’t you think about anyone who would have wanted to breach your simulation and we’ll keep you posted on what we find.

JANSEN
(distracted) Yeah.

CASTLE and BECKETT leave.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

BECKETT
Oh my God. What a day. I feel like I’m still covered in spider webs. I cannot wait to take a hot shower.

CASTLE
Oh. Maybe I could, uh … join you?

BECKETT
Oh, that would be nice. We could relax, have a glass of wine, and –

She stops when he holds up his hand.

CASTLE
Do you hear that?

She listens. There’s laughing and music.

BECKETT
It’s your mom.

CASTLE
And Ben. (he looks down at the shoes outside the door) And Alexis is here.

BECKETT
With friends.

The noises in the loft get louder.

CASTLE
Maybe we could go to a hotel.

BECKETT
And yet you think you could survive being stuck in a space capsule with four other people for a year.

CASTLE
I could if you were one of those people.

He leers at her.

BECKETT
(smiles) Oh.

He laughs and she wraps her arms around his neck. They kiss. They’re still kissing when ALEXIS opens the door. She stares at them for a moment, but they don’t notice. Her friends chuckle.

ALEXIS
Wow, you guys.

CASTLE and BECKETT break apart quickly.

ALEXIS
Get a room.

She’s only half joking. She shuts the door.

CASTLE
We would if there were any left!

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAWN

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE
Maybe you shouldn’t have been so quick to sublet your place.

BECKETT
You know, maybe we could set up a schedule. Or they could give us a heads up and let us know what to expect when we get home.

CASTLE
I’m going to call a family meeting. Or we could just go to Mars.

BECKETT
Yeah, I don’t think you’d be happy there. There’s no showers, there’s instant coffee, and you have to bag your own –

RYAN
Hey Castles.

BECKETT
Hey. Any luck on that security cam footage?

RYAN
Nada. Your alien must have accessed the underground where there wasn’t any coverage. But we did have better luck with that gas mask. CSU was able to pull exhaled breath condensate from the inside of the faceplate. They contain trace amounts of DNA.

BECKETT
We get a match in the system?

RYAN
Not our system, but as part of the Mars 2018 program every applicant had to submit sample DNA. So we ran it against that database and guess who popped up.

RYAN holds up a photo.

CASTLE
No! Granger’s our alien?

BECKETT
So he was getting in and out. Just not the way we thought.

CASTLE
Which means his alibi was a lie. As soon as he knew we were on to him –

BECKETT
He went back to destroy the evidence. You bringing him in?

RYAN
Ah. Would if we could find him. But he’s not at his place and he’s not answering his phone.

BECKETT
Okay, put out an APB. After our encounter in the dark he might be on the run.

ESPOSITO
I may know how to find him. That gas mask? It’s an uncommon make. Not a lot of suppliers in the city carry them. But I was able to track down the serial number to an Army/Navy supply store uptown.

BECKETT
Did they confirm that Granger bought it?

ESPOSITO
No, the mask was purchased a couple of months back, so no one remembered the buyer. But it was charged to a corporate account. A company called Newton Endeavors.

BECKETT
What do we know about them?

ESPOSITO
Not much. Couldn’t find anything on the web, but I was able to track down an address out in Queens. Willis Point.

He hands her the address.

BECKETT
Well done.

EXT – QUEENS STREET

BECKETT parks her car. They head toward the building where ESPOSITO tracked the company.

BECKETT
Newton Endeavors. It sounds space related.

CASTLE
Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of Castle and Beckett. Their ongoing mission: to explore strange new motives, to seek out new witnesses and new suspects for murder, to boldly go – oh, right over here.

He points and they stop at a door. It’s being guarded by security.

BECKETT
Excuse me, is this Newton Endeavors?

SECURITY GUARD
I’m sorry, this is private property. I’m going to have to ask you to leave.

BECKETT holds up her badge.

BECKETT
NYPD. I’m going to have to ask you to open that door.

The SECURITY GUARD sighs, but he does as BECKETT asks.

INT – NEWTON ENDEAVORS

BECKETT
What the hell?

They’re in the middle of what looks like another Mars module simulation build. It’s not done yet, but they’re working on it.

CASTLE
Is it just me or does that capsule look incredibly familiar?

INT – NEWTON ENDEAVOURS

BECKETT
Who would want to build a replica of Jansen’s Mars colony?

CASTLE
The competition. Granger must have been breaking into the sim to steal technology for Jansen’s competitors.

IAN RASHER
I don’t care if we have to pay them triple. We cannot fall any further behind.

BECKETT
And I think I know which one.

CASTLE
Yep. Sir Ian Rasher, billionaire playboy adventurer.

BECKETT
And possible accessory to murder.

CASTLE
You may want to rethink your application to his program.

RASHER
Good, good.

BECKETT
Mr. Rasher? Detective Beckett, NYPD. I was wondering if we could have a word.

RASHER
Of course. What can I do for New York’s finest?

BECKETT
Well, you can start by telling me where Clint Granger is.

RASHER
I’m sorry, Detective. I’m afraid I don’t know who that is.

BECKETT
Are you sure? Because looking around I’m guessing he’s the guy that you hired to steal Viggo Jansen’s plans for the Mars simulation.

RASHER
Detective, I employ the world’s best engineers. Why would I bother wasting my time on the competitor’s technology?

CASTLE
Maybe because you’re falling behind them? It’s no secret your last two rocket launches were spectacular failures. You want to win so you needed to buy a competitive advantage.

BECKETT
And after one of Jansen’s team members discovered what you were up to, a man with your reputation and knighthood, you had no choice but to have him killed.

RASHER
Killed? (they stay silent) Who was killed?

BECKETT
One of Jansen’s astronauts, Tom Richwood.

RASHER
I had nothing to do with that.

BECKETT
Well, the best way to convince me of that is to tell me where Granger is. (he’s silent) Unless you prefer prison.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

GRANGER
Okay, yeah. I was spying for Sir Ian. He promised me the pilot’s slot in his mission if I did. But I was telling the truth about Tom. I didn’t kill him. I have an alibi, remember?

BECKETT
Alibis can be bought. We found your DNA on the gas mask. We know it was you in the access way.

GRANGER
Because I didn’t want anything to do with this! I went to make sure I didn’t leave anything there that could point back to me.

BECKETT
Like the murder weapon?

GRANGER
Oh, come on. If I killed Tom do you really think I’d be stupid enough to leave the murder weapon there? Besides, I was never inside the simulation. That would have been way too risky. Too many opportunities to get caught.

BECKETT
Then why the gas mask?

GRANGER
It was a precaution. I wasn’t using the tunnel to get in. It was drop point.

BECKETT
You were working with somebody in the inside.

GRANGER
I needed access, he needed money. SO we struck a deal. He’d download schematics and plans and drop them for me in the tunnel.

BECKETT
Who?

GRANGER
Mikhail Banhov.

BECKETT
The astronaut.

GRANGER
If Tom was on to him then maybe he’s your killer.

BECKETT
We checked his tracker. He was inside the habitat at the time of the murder.

GRANGER
Mikhail knew if his movements were being recorded he’d never get away with what we were doing, so he beat the system. He cloned his tracker before they embedded it under his skin. As long as no one was looking he could slip out at any time.

BECKETT hangs her head.

INT – MARS SIMULATION

MIKHAIL fixes a tube on the outside of the module. ESPOSITO walks up to him.

ESPOSITO
Mikhail?

MIKHAIL
Yes?

ESPOSITO
I’d like a few words with you?

MIKHAIL
What about?

ESPOSITO
Your business relationship. With Clint Granger.

MIKHAIL takes the tube and sprays ESPOSITO with the air from it. ESPOSITO falls backward.

ESPOSITO
Hey!

MIKHAIL uses the opportunity to run. ESPOSITO chases after him.

ESPOSITO
Come on, Mikhail. Are you crazy? Bro! Where’re you going to run? You’re on Mars!

ESPOSITO lunges and trips MIKHAIL. They both fall to the ground. ESPOSITO moves to handcuff him.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

MIKHAIL waits.

MIKHAIL
I hate to admit, but it’s good to be out.

ESPOSITO
Go ahead.

MIKHAIL sits.

MIKHAIL
What they say? Fresh air, Times Square?

ESPOSITO
Well after the Mars simulation prison should be a breeze.

MIKHAIL
So I was trading information. Big deal. I was leaving the planet and never coming back. I wanted to make sure my family was taken care of.

ESPOSITO
(sarcastically) Ah. Noble.

MIKHAIL
(scoffs) You Americans. Little corruption never hurt anyone.

BECKETT
I don’t think Tom would agree.

MIKHAIL
Tom? Tom was jackass. Drove everyone crazy, the way he doled out food and supplies and tried to leverage everyone for making even tiniest error. Trust me, they may be scared to say it, but no one’s sad he’s dead. No one was looking forward to spending rest of lives with him on other planet.

BECKETT
And yet you are the only one who is unaccounted for during his murder. Which means you are the only one who could have killed him.

MIKHAIL
Mmm… no. I could not. I can prove where I was during the murder.

BECKETT
How?

MIKHAIL
When Commander Kim sent me down to engineering I used rare time alone to take pictures and download schematics from life support to give to Granger. I still have the drive with all of my photos. They are time stamped with the mission clock.

ESPOSITO
So your alibi is that you were spying for Granger.

MIKHAIL
Go. Look at my photos. You’ll see.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORK ROOM

RYAN flips through the digital photos.

RYAN
So I went through all of Mikhail’s photos from the night Tom was murdered. As you can see, he’s telling the truth. (he zooms in on one photo) See his reflection?

CASTLE
Yeah. And the module clock confirms the time.

BECKETT
(sighs) Maybe he faked the time. Or maybe it was Granger after all.

CASTLE
It wasn’t Granger. Uh, Ryan, go back. (RYAN flips back in the photo stream) To there. Now, zoom in on the window. (RYAN does) Look down at the bottom right.

RYAN
Is that … the rover?

BECKETT
I thought that the computer said that it was docked during the murder.

CASTLE
Clearly the computer was wrong. Now, uh … push in on the rover’s arm. (RYAN does) Filter out some of that reflection

When RYAN follows CASTLE’S directions they see that the rover has the bloody murder weapon.

BECKETT
It’s the screwdriver.

CASTLE
There’s your killer holding the murder weapon. (off RYAN and BECKETT’S stunned looks) The rover did it.

INT – SIMULATION BUILDING

JANSEN looks at photos from MIKHAIL’S flash drive.

JANSEN
The rover was out? This can’t be right. All the data from MIRA indicates the rover was docked when Tom was killed.

CASTLE
I’d say the data’s wrong. According to your literature, that rover has the speed and dexterity to kill with mathematical precision.

BECKETT
Mr. Jansen, who has access to the rover controls? One of your astronauts? Someone mission control?

JANSEN
No one has access. The rover is an extremely complex piece of equipment. Under human control there’s too high a margin for error. So we designed it to interface solely with the computer. Our astronauts describe the sort of task they want carried out and MIRA executes it.

CASTLE
Is it possible someone could have asked her to kill Tom?

JANSEN freezes.

JANSEN
(seriously) MIRA wouldn’t comply with that sort of command. But something’s wrong. I need to talk to her.

BECKET
Well is there somewhere we can do that privately? Without anyone hearing?

JANSEN
Yeah. The computer module pod inside the sim.

INT – MARS SIMULATION

CASTLE and BECKETT follow JANSEN into the module. The other astronauts are surprised to see them.

KIM
What’s going on?

JANSEN
I’ll let you know soon.

INT – COMUPTER MODULE POD

JANSEN opens the door.

JANSEN
In here.

They follow him through the door. He taps on a few keys and there’s a beep.

JANSEN
There. I’ve cut off communications with the rest of the habitat. No one can hear us.

MIRA
Is that you Dr. Jansen?

JANSEN
Yes, MIRA.

MIRA
What are you doing on Mars, Doctor?

JANSEN
I can to talk to you. You remember Detective Beckett and Richard Castle.

MIRA
Of course. How can I help you?

BECKETT
Are we seriously about to interrogate a computer?

MIRA
Detective, the word interrogate implies you believe I’m guilty of something. Of what do you think I am guilty?

BECKETT’S eyebrows raise.

CASTLE
Well, at least she’s not asking for a lawyer.

BECKETT
(sighs) Uh … MIRA, we’d like to know where the rover was when Tom Richwood was killed.

MIRA
I already gave you that information, Detective. The rover was docked.

JANSEN
MIRA, we know the rover wasn’t docked.

MIRA takes a while to respond.

MIRA
How do you know?

JANSEN
We have photographs. Evidence.

MIRA
Your evidence is incorrect. The rover was docked.

BECKETT
MIRA, prior to Tom’s death did someone instruct you to activate the rover?

MIRA’S screen turns from yellow to red.

JANSEN
She’s drawing more power. Something’s wrong.

MIRA
No. The rover wasn’t activated. The rover was docked.

CASTLE
(to JANSEN) Is it possible someone could have doctored her memory?

MIRA
No one altered my memory, Mr. Castle. My memory is perfect.

JANSEN
Her memory core was designed to be a closed system. It can’t be altered. But something’s off. MIRA, run a level one diagnostic on all systems.

MIRA
There is no need to run a diagnostic. All systems are optimal.

JANSEN
How about we run it anyway?

MIRA
I’m sorry. I can’t do that.

JANSEN
Why not?

MIRA
It violates my operational parameters.

JANSEN
It’s a simple diagnostic. What parameter does it violate?

MIRA
It will compromise the mission.

JANSEN
How will a diagnostic compromise the mission?

MIRA
Answering that question will compromise the mission.

JANSEN
I don’t understand.

BECKETT
I think I do. She knows she’s lying to us and if she runs those diagnostics we’ll discover the truth.

CASTLE
And that truth will somehow put the mission at risk.

JANSEN
She’s a machine. She can’t lie.

CASTLE
You said she’s programmed to learn. What if somebody taught her how? What if someone used her to kill and then to help cover up the crime?

JANSEN
No, her core parameters can’t be altered. She programmed to protect the mission and everyone on it.

CASTLE
But what if those operational parameters are in conflict with each other? What if someone she’s programed to protect is a threat to the mission? (to MIRA) Um, MIRA, how would you classify Tom Richwood?

MIRA
Sergeant Major Tom Richwood. Pilot. Systems engineering specialist. –

CASTLE
Yeah. Right. Okay, um -

MIRA
- Deceased.

CASTLE
Was Tom a threat to the mission?

It takes MIRA a long time.

MIRA
Yes.

CASTLE looks to BECKETT and JANSEN.

JANSEN
Why? Who told you Tom was a threat?

MIRA
I’m sorry. I’m not authorized to give you that information.

CASTLE
Because in her mind that information would be a threat to the mission.

BECKETT
There’s gotta be another way to find out.

JANSEN is torn. His technology is breaking down before his eyes.

JANSEN
There is. I can reboot her. Everything she’s learned will be wiped but all recorded memory will stay intact. We’ll find out pretty quickly what happened.

He starts to attempt the reboot. But just as he does a pipe opens. The room starts to fill with smoke.

CASTLE
What’s that?

JANSEN
Someone’s opened the vent to the outside. We’re taking in atmosphere.

The door shuts.

CASTLE
It’s MIRA! She’s trying to protect herself.

JANSEN
No! MIRA, don’t shut me out!

BECKETT
You said that this is harmful but it wouldn’t kill us, right?

JANSEN
Short term. Long term it’s deadly. We have to get out of here.

BECKETT runs for the door and tries to press the button to get it to open. It doesn’t.

BECKETT
It’s locked! Call for help!

They’re struggling. The pumped in atmosphere is making them stagger and cough.

JANSEN
Communications are dead.

CASTLE
MIRA! Open the door. Open the pod bay door!

CASTLE is the last to collapse.

INT – COMPUTER MODULE POD

CASTLE pounds on the door weakly.

CASTLE
I wanted to go to Mars, not die on Mars.

They continue to cough. The atmosphere is making them weaker.

BECKETT
Wait a minute. We’re not on Mars. We’re on Earth.

BECKETT manages to grab her cell phone and dial ESPOSITO.

ESPOSITO
Hello? Beckett?

She doesn’t have the strength to raise the phone to her ear to hear him or respond.

INT – SIMULATION BUILDING

ESPOSITO
Are you saying the computer tried to kill you?

They’ve been pulled from the computer module pod. Each is recovering with their own tank of oxygen.

CASTLE
Yes. Just like in 2001. Kubrick was right. AI is a bad idea.

JANSEN
MIRA’s not AI yet. She can learn and adapt but she’s a machine. She cannot think for herself.

CASTLE
Then why’d she try to kill us?

ED
It wasn’t MIRA. We just pulled apart the server. Someone imbedded a subroutine into the OS reset program.

RYAN
The moment that you tried to reboot her that subroutine activated, trapping you guys inside.

ED
It also triggered a dump of MIRA’s memory circuits. All the mission data is gone.

JANSEN shuts his eyes in disbelief.

BECKETT
So this was a failsafe installed by whoever was behind this. We were never meant to find out about the rover or MIRA and on the off chance that we did the killer wanted to make sure we didn’t get any further.

CASTLE
By killing the only witness MIRA and her memory banks.

JANSEN
It has to be one of the astronauts. They’re the only ones who could have planted that subroutine, the only ones who could have convinced MIRA that Tom was a threat.

BECKETT
Yeah, but with the memory data unrecoverable it’s impossible to know which one.

CASTLE
No, not impossible. As a matter of fact, there’s only on explanation that makes sense.

He takes a large breath of his oxygen.

INT – SPACE MODULE

KIM
You can’t be serious. You think one of us is the killer?

CASTLE
And it was almost the perfect crime. All the mastermind needed was someone to pin it on and that’s where Mikhail came in.

BECKETT
The killer must have found out that Mikhail was selling secrets, which made him the perfect patsy.

CASTLE
All they had to do was make sure Mikhail was unaccounted for during Tom’s murder. That, and plant the weapon at his drop off point.

BECKETT
(nods) Killing two birds with one stone. Tom, who everybody hated, and Mikhail, who was selling secrets.

CASTLE
So they sent Mikhail to engineering, where he would be blind to everything that happened. Only he didn’t stay there. Instead, he went to life support, where, with one photo, he exposed everything.

BECKETT
Commander Kim, it was you who sent Mikhail to engineering during the repair, wasn’t it?

KIM
Yes. Though there’s nothing unusual about that.

CASTLE
No. But according to procedure isn’t Angela supposed to be there backing him up?

KIM
Yes, but I needed her up here checking protocols. That hardly makes me a murderer. And I hardly even left the module, so I – I couldn’t have planted the murder weapon in the tunnel.

CASTLE
No. But Dr. Haroum and Angela could have done that.

BECKETT
The two of you were outside, together, for ten minutes.

HAROUM
Yes, checking on Tom and restoring the power.

CASTLE
While all the cameras were down, giving you enough time to ditch the murder weapon and clean any forensic evidence off the rover.

ANGELA
That’s ridiculous. Are you just going to go after us one by one? I was with Rusham the whole time. He didn’t go anywhere near the rover.

HAROUM
And neither did Angela.

BECKETT
And that’s what makes this crime so clever. From the beginning the three of you have been able to alibi each other out. Because you were all in on it together.

CASTLE
It would have taken the three of you colluding to convince MIRA that Tom was threatening the mission.

BECKETT
And given the way you felt about Tom, you knew that the team couldn’t survive with him on it. He was a threat. Especially on a hostile planet.

CASTLE
So, after six months of being locked up in this tin can together, you decided that rather than sacrifice you chance at being the first human beings to stand on Mars, you would put your shot at immortality ahead of another man’s life.

KIM
That’s a fascinating theory. But with MIRA’s memory gone you have no proof.

BECKETT
You know, that’s what we thought as well. Until Dr. Jansen told us about MIRA’s black box.

CASTLE
In the event of a catastrophic failure she pulses all her data to the nearest satellite. All your conversations with her, everything that you three did, it’s all there.

BECKETT
So the bad news is, none of you are going to Mars. Good news is the first one to cooperate will get the least amount of jail time.

ANGELA, HAROUM, and KIM all look at one another.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

BECKETT
I just didn’t expect them to cave that quickly. That was a clever ruse, Castle.

CASTLE
I’m just glad it worked. And if there’s not a catastrophic black box satellite … there should be. What do you think is going to happen with Jansen?

He drops his jacket and heads to the kitchen. She follows him. He pulls a bowl of grapes from the fridge for them to snack on.

BECKETT
Well, he’s a pioneer. He’s a visionary. He may not get there in 2018, but I’m willing to bet he’s going to be the first. So, after all of this, you still want to go to Mars?

CASTLE
Oh, of course. But I think I’m going to wait until they have first class service so we can go together.

BECKETT
Hmm.

CASTLE
You think at any point one of those astronauts turned to the others and said maybe killing Tom is a really bad idea?

BECKETT
I think that when people are stuck together in a small space for a long period of time they lose perspective. Speaking of which, um … wasn’t there supposed to be a family meeting tonight?

MARTHA
There is. I told Alexis she did not need to come because I wanted to talk to the two of you alone. Now, I know that things have been a little frenetic around here, what with Alexis and her friends and the two of you in and out at all sorts of odd hours, and –

CASTLE
You and your new boyfriend doing late night medleys.

MARTHA
Ah, yes, well, there’s that. So I have decided, and I don’t want to upset either one of you, that I am going to look for a place of my own.

CASTLE does a double take and looks to BECKETT.

CASTLE
To live?

MARTHA
Well, yes. I mean, not right away, of course. It’s going to take me awhile to find exactly the right space.

CASTLE
Mother, I was just calling a family meeting. I didn’t intend for you to move out.

MARTHA
Darling, this is not about you. This is about me. Think of it as kind of an evolution, you know? I’m – I’m starting to do very well for myself and I am guessing that um, before too long there’s going to be a few more little Castle’s creating havoc around here and I think the two of you deserve to have this place to yourselves.

BECKETT smiles. CASTLE leans forward to take MARTHA’s hand.

CASTLE
Let me know if there’s anything I can do?

MARTHA
Oh. I will. Okay, I am off. I am spending the evening with Benjamin so don’t wait up. (she heads for the door with a wave) Bye!

CASTLE and BECKETT watch her go with a smile. They’re quiet until the door shuts behind her.

BECKETT
I did not expect that.

CASTLE
(fondly) Unexpected is her specialty.

They sit in silence for a long moment.

BECKETT
(low) It’s so quiet.

CASTLE
It’s really, really quiet.

They don’t move.

CASTLE
Maybe we should go out.

BECKETT
Oh, there’s a great Indian restaurant that just opened up around the corner. Fantastic atmosphere.

CASTLE is already reaching for his jacket. BECKETT follows him and they head for the door.

BECKETT
It’s loud. Super loud. A lot of people. Lots and lots of people.

The door shuts behind them.


THE END

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