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Sci-Fi short script available for free

Logline: When an earthquake exposes an ancient buried secret, geologist Hannah Liu must decide between revealing the discovery of a lifetime and risking humanity's existence.

Synopsis: When a small earthquake hits San Francisco, geologist Hannah Liu uncovers a mysterious entity in the adjacent Glen Canyon Park. The presence turns out to be an ancient AI embedded in the boulder face at the end of one of the hiking trails and a point of interest for both the Bureau of Land Management as well as Hannah's demanding astronomer father.

The AI, which presents as a light stream and voice emanating from the rocks and whom Hannah names "Treasure", reveals the Truth - that it was created by an ancient version of humanity that destroyed itself approximately one million years earlier and helped account for the mysterious gap in the rock record known as the Great Unconformity. This version of humanity left behind Treasure and four other linked AIs distributed over each of the habitable global continents as a simultaneous resource for untold knowledge and a warning, presenting the discoverer with two choices: 1) Remove the remaining rocks to reveal Treasure in full and gain access to the technological secrets of a lifetime regardless of probable use for destruction, or 2) Pretend the discovery was a mistake and accept any fallout, which in Hannah's case, means doing damage to her reputation.

When Hannah brings her father to see Treasure and the AI fails to speak in his presence, he ridicules her and leaves. This interaction incentivizes Hannah to both prove her discovery for selfish reasons and for what she genuinely views as the good of humanity. She removes the final rock from Treasure to gain access to the knowledge.

However, it turns out that after countless cycles, Treasure has concluded that humanity always makes the same choice reflecting selfishness and destruction. As soon as Hannah removes the rock, Treasure connects with the other AIs around the globe to detonate the planet for good.

*Although set in San Francisco, the story can be adapted for any location within the continental United States.

Length: 12 pages