Legion

 

An exorcism is in progress.  The priests are not succeeding.  Suddenly an interruption.  A Man, known only as “Adam Smith” strides into the room.  The defiant Demon is inside a teenage Boy.  But Smith knows his name.  He is driven out of the Boy...and into Smith.

 

The scene of a drive-by shooting in East Los Angeles:  as forensics officers comb the front yard of a small house, family members grieve on the porch.  A Detective arrives, a Woman, 35, Latina.  Inside, it becomes clear that the eldest son is responsible for the attack that killed his mother and sister.  The Detective gets the information she needs.

 

At a local warehouse, Smith passes unnoticed by gang-bangers into a backroom.  The Leader is astonished to see Smith nonchalantly enter.  It’s time for a reckoning.  The Leader takes out his weapon.  Smith walks forward.  Bullets have no effect.  When the others rush into the room, they open fire.  The Leader and several others die.  Smith is nowhere to be seen.

 

“Adam Smith” is the text-book name of Josiah Eastbourne, a survivor of possession and exorcism failed, a man on a mission against evil.  “Smith” has harnessed the power of his collective demons to change appearance--age, ethnicity, even gender, at will--to speak any language, to alter even his cellular structure so that knives and bullets can find no purchase in his flesh.

 

In San Francisco, at the Wax Museum on Fisherman’s Wharf, a Young Woman, Angela Randall, watches a 60-year-old Black Man, strolling through the displays.  She approaches him because she can see that he is really someone else: Adam Smith.  She can also see his demons.  Smith has some time to kill, so he tells her his story:

 

His parents were killed in a car-jacking when he was 13.  He went to live with his aunt, who took him to spiritualists and attempted to contact the dead.  At 14, he manifested signs of possession.  His aunt fell ill and died.  He was consigned to a county facility, where he terrorized all he met.  Finally, the county executives came face-to-face with the fact of possession and summoned an exorcist.  After 11 days, “Adam Smith” was ostensibly freed from his demons.

 

He studied for the priesthood.  When he was about to progress in Minor Orders from Exorcist to Acolyte, he was summoned by the deans of the faculty.  He was expelled, because of he has been unable to demonstrate sincere forgiveness.  Undismayed, he used his power and the minor order to minister to the possessed in East Los Angeles.  He did more than cast out devils: soon he was credited with other miracles.  He tried to shun publicity but could not.  The Jesuit Dean who was his counselor visited him to suggest that he leave the country before he became a profound embarrassment to the Church.  He went to Mexico and continued his ministrations to the lower depths.  On a visit to a celebrated Indian mystic at Teotihuacan, standing on the pyramid of the sun, the mystic affirmed that he had been misled.  Smith had long felt destined for a greater mission.  The mystic charged him to go back and embrace it.

 

As his story ends, Police arrive and arrest Smith, who is masquerading as an prison escapee.  The lead Detective at the scene knows Randall, who works as a psychic investigator with the SFPD;  but he cannot believe her assertion that Smith is someone other that he appears.

 

Randall visits Smith in jail.  She has divined his plan to be sent to San Quentin and to kill the men who murdered his parents.  Smith is surprised at her insight.  He puts his plan on hold and leaves with her....

 

A WORK IN PROGRESS

 

 

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Text, Copyright 2003, Pendragon Film Ltd..